Thursday, July 14, 2016

Rod Dreher sounds off on the "hypocrisy" of the left about race narrative polemics, but let's propose that the problem isn't hypocrisy ...

http://beta.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2016/07/10/mike-hashimoto-yes-irresponsible-link-dallas-gunman-larger-cause
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In a statement condemning the Dallas attack, Black Lives Matter said it "was the result of the actions of a lone gunman. To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible. We continue our efforts to bring about a better world for all of us."
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http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/left-hypocrisy-race-rhetoric-black-lives-matter/

Read the whole thing. Hashimoto’s point about BLM’s hypocrisy is superb. It was happy to cast insane aspersions on all its enemies, with no evidence at all. I don’t believe it’s fair to blame BLM for the murders of Dallas police officers, but according to the (black) police chief of Dallas, the killer told police who cornered him that Black Lives Matter got him riled up about white cops. Again, that’s certainly not enough to blame BLM, but it’s more than the BLM loudmouths had when they blamed everyone to the right of Pol Pot for Orlando.

...

The older I get the more I think that garden variety hypocrisy is probably the human condition.  There may always be a gap between the ideals we would profess if you asked us what our most cherished beliefs are and what we actually do on a day to day basis.  Liberal or conservative hypocrisy in itself seems like nothing more to me than mortals being mortals--it's unfortunate at a variety of levels but probably ultimately not entirely avoidable.  I considered it hypocritical over the years when fans of Mark Driscoll claimed that the only thing Wenatchee The Hatchet ever did was rip on Mars Hill or Mark Driscoll--those are the kinds of statements that can only be made by partisans who have selective attention spans but we're all fallible mortals. 

On the other hand, double standards are a problem and one of the problems on the left and the right alike is the probably similarly unavoidable human temptation to say that "your" scapegoating of an entire category of people on ideological, ethnic or economic grounds is bad while "my" scapegoating is just stating the facts. 

The most tedious riffs on the internet are the ones that highlight hypocrisy and they're tedious because by and large anyone who looks hard enough for such hypocrisy is going to find it, and the sad thing is that it is probably not even "hypocrisy" that bugs people as much as it is the sense that whoever they're complaining about is perceived as having (and may really have!) a set of double standards--when double standards are in play then atheists can talk about how sexist Christians are while pulling the "no true Scotsman" card for the misogyny of high profile atheists.  It doesn't help a Christopher Hitchens to snipe that there aren't any truly funny women if one of his complaints had been that religions are oppressive to women.  But that's something I'd suggest is an unobserved moment of hypocrisy and not necessarily a double standard, or it might be a Brit problem.  ;)

Trusting you saw what I just did there.

Particularly as we're looking at an era in which the dominance of white Christians in the United States seems to be drawing to a close it seems dangerous for those WASPs on the left and right to act as if the legacy of pernicious racism is simply the possession of the "other" side.  That kind of dishonest propagandistic "history" is going to remain popular, however, because as white establishment types within the left and right see their demographic slip over the next half century it's going to become important to see who can "win" the contest to gain and retain allies in the non-white voting demographics. Republicans seem unconcerned with that kind of demographic cultivation on the one hand while Democrats seem to have smugly presumed they have the non-white voting blocs in hand if the polemics of the last decade have been any indication.  Neither of these may turn out to be prudent stay-the-course gambits. 

The unifying emotional state for all sides seems to be dread.  The cliché that may have some merit to it is that when people who are speaking for a cause speak from dread they will sincerely feel they're speaking from a place of vulnerable and yet come across to those who have a parallel sense of dread as speaking from a place of aggression.  But when it's "you" and not "them" you think you're speaking about self-defense. 

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