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Flaunting a Presumptuous Innocence

Amid the disruptions of his own time, William Butler Yeats noted that “The best lack all conviction while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.” That was a hundred years ago. Despite what you might call the prosaic diction, the lines have worn pretty well, and they’ve done so because they hit their mark with the speed and assuredness of a well-laced ball to a wide receiver on a slant route.

Almost nothing in “The Second Coming” fails of its effect: “rough beast,” “vexed to nightmare,” “blood-dimmed tide,” “slouching towards Bethlehem.” For good reason, it is a “thoroughly pillaged” poem, as one writer has sneeringly put it. We even have a New Yorker cartoon in which a physician, looking at his clipboard, says to his patient, “Your best cholesterol lacks all conviction, and your worst is full of passionate intensity.” That’s almost funny enough to get a smile from a humorless Jacobin in an ivory tower.

Amid the disruptions of our own time, when it really does seem as if the best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity, I would put the poem in as many heads as possible. But as the gyre widens and the falconers go hoarse for yelling, I return more readily to the epigrammatist J.V. Cunningham, who was impatient with what he called “professionals of experience” who seek out crises to prove how strong they are. He called such people “fools” and accused them of “flaunt[ing] a presumptuous innocence.” Here is the poem in full and in all its surgical precision:

  

If wisdom, as it seems it is,
Be the recovery of some bliss
From the conditions of disaster—
Terror the servant, man the master—
It does not follow we should seek
Crises to prove ourselves unweak.
Much of our lives, God knows, is error,
But who will trifle with unrest?
These fools who would solicit terror,
Obsessed with being unobsessed;
Professionals of experience
Who have disasters to withstand them
As if fear never had unmanned them,
Flaunt a presumptuous innocence.

I have preferred indifference.

  

During this summer of our discontent, once again the easy binaries of ideology triumph over the subtleties of history: our paper of record accounts as devils the giants of the past because they owned slaves but reveres as gods the dwarfs of the moment because they loot businesses. In such times, it is difficult to believe that wisdom is anything like the recovery of bliss from the conditions of disaster. To read the papers you’d think wisdom is the disaster.

What is not difficult to believe is that the coincidence of a pandemic and racial unrest have combined to provide Cunningham’s “professionals of experience” with the exact crises they have been hoping for, the crises that will not merely prove them unweak but also, at long last, afford them the chance to step in and take their rightful places as masters of all—with terror their servant, of course, in strict accordance with the official revolutionary formula scripted in 1789 (or 1793; take your pick).

The statues you raise today won’t be razed tomorrow? Don’t bet on it.

I acknowledge the cynicism in this and confess to being uncomfortable with it. But I can’t possibly be alone in being dismayed at the hubris of academics—obsessed, as usual, with being unobsessed—who would go so far as to appoint themselves educators of police officers. I say nothing of the epidemiologists and other “experts” vexed to the very core about whether to ignore their own lock-down instructions so they can join a protest, because, you know, Silence is Violence, and you’re not really one of the socially reprobate if you gather in large numbers for The Right Causes.

Even the nicest people are unbearable right now, with their lists of must-read books and their instructions on how to get the right things out of them.

Tell me, though: does the quietude that comes of circumspection also fall within the new axiomatic verities concerning silence? “A fool uttereth all his mind,” said Solomon, “but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.” Is even the wise man violent now?

The End of History?

The thing to do these days is not to keep your counsel but to flaunt a presumptuous innocence. You are to pray on the street corners; wear sackcloth; put on ashes. The Professionals of Experience would have it thus. Trifle with unrest. Solicit terror.

And then participate in the moral cleansings: the condemnations by category that have spared no one with any stink about him whatsoever—not Jefferson Davis, not George Washington, not Robert E. Lee or Woodrow Wilson or even Aunt Jemima. Scrub history clean. Cauterize that little place in the brain where bad memories are kept. Only then will all be well.

But why stop there? Why not simply outlaw the judicious study of the past and require that it be policed instead, making sure everyone knows that the past exists only for us to pick through until all the people less pure than we are have been thrown in the river to sink with the statue of Christopher Columbus? Why not revoke the tenure of all historians who refuse to turn their discipline into consciousness-raising? Folks at the Chronicle of Higher Education are staying up nights providing me with advice on how to talk about racism in my classes. I’m afraid there won’t be any time left over for Paradise Lost, which is what the students have actually signed up to hear me talk about.

To engage in this scrubbing and cauterizing is to presume that you have arrived at the end of moral development, that you are the historian who at last stands outside history. Vigilantes have taken the law into their own hands before, but today’s mob is right to do so. These new vigilantes have disasters to withstand them, as if fear never had unmanned them.

Much of their lives, God knows, is error? Nay. None of it.

But it is a species of moral arrogance, not to mention a profound failure of historical imagination, to pass a breathtakingly severe judgment on your forebears, whether near or distant, especially having made no attempt whatsoever to historicize them. And only that same arrogance can then fail to imagine that your descendants, even more bereft of historical awareness than you are, won’t do the same to you, or that there will be no standard left to judge you by—the standard having already been set, today, by you.

The statues you raise today won’t be razed tomorrow? Don’t bet on it.

The Ceremony of Innocence is Drowned

If you leave aside the impressive paucity of nuance in the new outrage—an outrage that can detect wrongs done to racial minorities or to members of the gender-legionnaire or to dogs left in cars but none to the dead or the unborn—you are still left with an astonishing lack of charitableness about it all. The standard of judgment according to which you discredit Thomas Jefferson for having owned slaves is a standard that must of necessity discredit every one of us, unless you’re lucky enough to be the one who is without sin and who therefore gets to cast the first stone—a stone that never used to be cast until the morally pure Professionals of Experience arrived on the scene. But the standard would discredit even today’s “pure,” and they’re the crowning achievement, the very apotheosis, of moral evolution. Plus the standard that discredits Jefferson would leave them without the high principles of the Declaration of Independence.

When even the Morally Pure can’t get the Golden Rule right, we’re in for some trouble.

And so we must, as ever, call things by their right names. The Morally Pure are nihilists of the first water: believing in nothing and yet coming to the uncomfortable realization that as humans they ought to believe in something, they cast about for the wrongs that will cost them nothing to oppose. Notwithstanding their revolutionary furor, they follow, like water, the path of least resistance. So they rage against sexism. They rage against homophobia. They especially rage against racism, and they alone know exactly what it is and who the real racists are. No living person will oppose them, and the statue of no dead person can.

The danger these nihilists face is plain to everyone but themselves: they will be followed in time by more nihilists, whose emptiness will be as capacious, whose methods as specious, and whose zeal as consuming as their own. They too will boom like kettle drums—and be just as empty. Today’s Woke will be accounted fast asleep by tomorrow’s Woker, who will also account themselves the wokest who ever walked or talked.

And so there will be an infinite regression of nihilists. The reason for it should not be difficult of description: there abides in so many of us a great disquietude, an apparently imperishable human need: to feel superior.

Writers as different as James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time) and Wendell Berry (The Hidden Wound) have both said that at the heart of racism itself is this very need, the need to feel superior. I do not see any evidence that the virtue-signaling antiracists have conquered in themselves the need to feel superior. At the moment they are both powerful and repugnant.

But the heads on the statues they erect today will also be severed. They will be severed because the presumptuous innocence that the Morally Pure flaunt will eventually meet with another presumptuous innocence, which in time will also meet itself, and so on and so on. Boom! goes the kettle drum, and all the while on the inside that same great noise-making emptiness. Yeats was right to say “the ceremony of innocence is drowned.”

They Don’t Really Want What They Want

Moreover, the Morally Pure cannot afford to see vanish the crises they seek and cling to. Nothing is dearer to the agitator than the inequity or injustice that gives him his raison d’être. He will be quite happy, in the name of charity, to have “systemic racism” keep its grip on the world until he reaches retirement age; in the name of charity, she will deny that the gains of feminism have been anything but token so long as tenure-track jobs and book contracts are still being offered. And both have so little to say; neither knows how to talk about anything else.

I dare say that the morally nuanced, by contrast, will not fail of actual charity. For example, they will acknowledge the indisputable greatness of Martin Luther King, Jr., without requiring that the monuments to him be removed because of his manifest moral failures. Like you and me, Dr. King was sometimes wrong. But fallibility is one of those human traits that transcends us, and in transcending, unites. The Morally Pure, by contrast, have transcended fallibility itself. But in transcending it they have declined its unifying properties. They are not helping—not one bit. If they aren’t careful they just might buy themselves another four years of Mr. Trump, the only upside to which is that, obsessed with being unobsessed, they will still have a raison d’être.  

The champions of diversity will tolerate nothing but uniformity of thought. You will either feel good about feeling bad or you will take your unapproved thoughts somewhere else.

It gets worse: they have all the firepower of the academy to back them. From every grove of academe, bold administrators write their statements condemning racism, as if condemning racism on a college campus were costly.

But condemning racism on a college campus takes less courage than trashing the Los Angeles Lakers in a Beantown bar. What would be truly costly would be to condemn the recent lawlessness that the organs of acceptable opinion have given a free pass to. What would be truly costly would be to recommend the careful deliberation by which you might find unwarranted the giant leap from the killing of George Floyd to the conclusion that our nation is bedeviled by “systemic racism.”

But, instead, something even more perplexing has happened: our courageous academic hand-wringers, following the lead of intrepid and precious celebrities, have gone so far as to vow—in public statements clearly intended to let their left hands know what their right hands are doing—that they will “confront and address their own inherent racism.”

Now this is rich. Normally the openly racist academic gets fired. But not in this scenario. If you’re an openly racist academic but also a faux flagellant seeking crises to prove yourself unweak, you’ll have all you need to pad your next merit review. The self-congratulatory racists will no more get fired than the celebrities will serve 25-year prison sentences for the wrongful deaths that they themselves claim to “take responsibility for.”

I can’t possibly be alone in seeing the insanity here.

Meanwhile, I await the university president bold enough to tell faculty members that feeling good about feeling bad is what narcissists do and that nobody should be doing it, least of all professors. Such a president might add that you certainly don’t write your own purity test and then brag about making a perfect score on it. I await the administrator who recommends (along with what these recommend) the silence born of wisdom, humility, and circumspection.

Grease Up the Guillotine

To make any such statement would be to mortise and tenon your own coffin. For I am quite certain that some academics, once upon a time protected by tenure, are going to lose their livelihoods—not for being racists, as the hand-wringers disingenuously admit to being, but for failing to be antiracists of the acceptable kind. They will either plead guilty to being racists and vow to “confront and address their own inherent racism” or they will stand trial in a kangaroo court and await the inevitable sentence. Like witches they will be guilty if they float and innocent if they sink but, in either case, out of the academy’s hair for good, no longer an impediment to the progress we apparently haven’t made in the 60 years that the Professionals of Experience have been in charge.

For make no mistake: the champions of diversity will tolerate nothing but uniformity of thought. You will either feel good about feeling bad or you will take your unapproved thoughts somewhere else, where backward-thinking is normal—to a rural place, for example, where it’s all guns and Jesus and crises that are unsolicited.

Cunningham ends by saying “I have preferred indifference.” But let us be clear about this. Nowhere does the poem suggest indifference to injustice. The poem is not about injustice. It is about wisdom. And so I don’t mind saying I’m with Cunningham: to those flaunting a presumptuous innocence—but showing little interest in recovering bliss from the conditions of disaster—I too prefer indifference.

And note the governing circumspection: “Much of our lives, God knows, is error.” Would that the Professionals of Experience knew this.

I hope I may be permitted a place at the front of the queue for condemning the killing of George Floyd, even as I hope the Professionals of Experience, together with those who responded to his violent death with lawlessness and complete disregard for the putative “epistemic authority of medical science,” will join me in praying for his soul. I doubt they will. Nor, I wager, will they wonder if that kind silence qualifies as violence.

Reader Discussion

Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.

on July 13, 2020 at 08:08:42 am

This is an outstanding essay of olden times, when the poetic hand gathered the insights of emotion and the moral intellect guided the power of mind to bring forth an argument of imagination, grace, reason and achievement.

The center has not held, and things did fall apart. Yet, in the hearts of men the struggle for the right to life is as unflagging as the culture of death is indestructible. In opposition to dying at the hands of the Morally Pure we fight with Horatius at the Bridge.

We may pray for the victory of civilization and the peace in which all will be saved, but we must hope merely for remission of mere anarchy, the mere respite of four more years of Mr. Trump, who is Horatius.

Else all is lost.

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paladin
on July 13, 2020 at 14:32:25 pm

Lovely comment, Paladin. I agree, this essay is outstanding, and President Trump is Horatius at the Bridge.

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Sotto Voce
on July 13, 2020 at 18:30:10 pm

Thank you!

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paladin
on July 13, 2020 at 10:11:13 am

What ties together so much of the insanity is not the alone a need to feel superior but to have others acknowledge it with approbation. It has been noted before that the true goal of the progressive left is not tolerance of "otherness" in all its variety but its promotion.

This is the "truth" Nihilism offers: Nothing is contemptible, mean, or vile. It then becomes inevitable that even crime be approved and the sentinel charged with obstructing criminals, meaning the police, be disapproved. Lenin himself never dreamed of such a paradise, the Okhrana not only neutered but apologetic!

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Joseph Sansonese
on July 13, 2020 at 10:46:37 am

Hmmmm, " there abides in so many of us a great disquietude, an apparently imperishable human need: to feel superior."

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Anthony
on July 13, 2020 at 12:34:58 pm

OK THIRD ATTEMPT!!! This IS tiring!
Re: "superior[ity]"
Well, Hmmmmmmmmmm! I find this trait to be most prevalent amongst academics / soi-disant intellectuals and their acolytes, the latter of which have this disquietude, this sense of superiority transmitted to them by the former and not unlike the ChiComm Flu virus it too spreads by close and repeated contact with the warped a-historical (or more precisely anti-historical) views of the former. Regrettably, the mortality rate is far higher than the 0.04 rate of this current virus while the percentage of those shown to be asymptomatic is significantly lower than the 40% rate of ChiComm Flu.

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gabe
on July 13, 2020 at 12:49:59 pm

I've been remarking for several years that Millennials' mantra is: "Everything before yesterday is wrong." It gives them the certitude to make up new rules on a daily basis. And thoughts or essays requiring scrolling will never be read by Millennials--it needs to fit on a phone screen or be bite-sized as Twitter. Peas for pea-brains.

Excellent essay, though.

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Forbes
on July 13, 2020 at 14:18:26 pm

This is a very well-written and insightful essay, and I trust that a few observations on its subject will not be taken as an intent to detract from it. The notion that there is something awry in the passions of the current moment, particularly in the regressive and down-right nutty response of academia, is obvious.

The present iconoclasm and faux-revolutionary turmoil is not a phenomenon of moral courage or result of some recently discovered virtue that shames the past. It is more appropriately a result of oblivious indulgence. It is as though someone organized a large banquet to show solidarity with the victims of famine, or held an ostentatious bonfire in which he burned some of his spare cash to fight poverty, or...flew half-way around the world to combat climate change. What is happening is not even virtue-signaling, it is virtue poaching: seeking praise and affirmation by recasting actual injustices and grievances so they can be condemned, to the social benefit of the safe, comfortable person doing the condemning. We see a conflagration of narcissistic indignation, not because of some recent innovation in moral principles, but because indulging in moralistic role-playing is cheap. As long as there is no down-side to burning, or looting, or denouncing, or any other of the destructive innovations of social justice sophism they will continue. This is nothing new. The rewards of such indulgences are not, nor are they intended to be, objective societal improvement, cultural refinement or a virtuous society. The goals are largely personal and shallow: vindication for arrogant and self-centered attitudes, a theatrical sense of moral superiority and inherent virtue, un-examined self-esteem, and the satisfaction of mindlessly denigrating people who actually accomplish things. It is not the righteousness of their professed cause that makes the poaching of virtue appealing, it is the fecklessness of university administrators, corporate CEOs, and the self-appointed guardians of cultural propriety that make it so. It is not that the societal rewards of mouthing a few social justice platitudes are great, it is that the personal benefits can be had at little cost.

Of course, this is not new. The natural history of such movements is fairly constant. First comes the revolution. Then, because the point of the revolution was not that everyone benefits, but that certain people come out on top at the end, the purges begin, The rivalries, the internecine plotting begins. Denunciations of insufficient revolutionary ardor are used to cripple competitors. Then the counter-revolution comes, then the return of order, when ordinary people have had enough of the ideological and destructive stupidity of the "elites." Right now the process of identifying the Dantons. the Robespierres, the Trotskys, is underway,

The denunciations and purges are beginning in a surreal atmosphere of illogic and contradiction. How long before the demagogues of "white fragility" are themselves denounced as "albaphobes," in an effort to fend off the ascent of the wrong kind of "elite?" These counter-forces are inevitable, because the motivation for such revolutionary irrationality is not societal, it is social. It is confined to the social sphere of relatively affluent and comfortable elites, who owe their status to others whom they profess to despise. The satisfaction of claiming to champion virtue is diminished if everyone is doing it, so the first thing that happens is that the claimants become more strident. They make more and more ridiculous claims (mistakenly thinking that this makes themm more virtuous), such as that there is something noxious about the statement that all lives matter, or that "whiteness" is something more than a pejorative, pseudointellectual contrivance, or that the idea of "systemic racism" is beyond question. When that yields diminishing returns, those falling behind in the virtue poaching Olympics look for other causes, not novel, or even rational, to demonstrate that the leaders of the moment are themselves insufficiently virtuous. Thus, we get to the point of tearing down statues of abolitionists, and take great offense at pancake syrup. They pretend to destroy the past, not because they can destroy it, or that it needs destroying, but simply because it is something that the cultural nihilists think sets them apart in their ultimately futile attempts to remain in the vanguard.

We live in a strange time, not because our imperfections are historically egregious but because we have been willing to accommodate people who are capable of great destruction. We accommodate these people, whose motivations are largely silly, narcissistic, ideology-addled and immature, because we take for granted what they wish to destroy.

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z9z99
on July 13, 2020 at 18:18:05 pm

Z:

Excellent commentary.
As proof of two of your assertions:
1) nancy pelosi, herself, is now being challenged and is in danger of being cancelled. I believe this was inevitable as she sought to accommodate the idiocy of the likes of AOC and her ilk.
2) "...so the first thing that happens is that the claimants become more strident."
One need only review chronologically the intellectual porridge served up by academia and note the ever more delusional clains, charges and fabrications. Theory begets ever more radical theory and no one in the academy challenges the new postulates / catechism. indeed they are provided with a tenured position.
3) Re: Stridency (my words) IS cheap. See Portland, NYC, etc where the looters / rioters / lawyers impersonating bolshevik aronists are released on their own recognizance and / or have no charges pressed against them.
Indeed, in St Louis, that *crazed* (media appellation) gun toting couple are facing felony assault charges whilst the same District Attorney blithely releases and dismisses all charges against numerous rioters / looters / arsonists.
Why should a young privileged radical change his behavior as it appears that they are still privileged as the "righteousness" of their cause allows them to avoid any and all consequences for their behavior.

We NOT only accommodate them, we APPLAUD them.
3)

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gabe
on July 13, 2020 at 22:45:29 pm

Gabe,

Week 3 of a COVID-shortened NFL season. Middle of the second quarter; scoreless tie. Visiting team has the ball at its opponent's 37 yard line; 2nd and 4. Offense lines up, empty backfield, bunch formation to the right. At the snap, inside receiver runs a wheel, apex receiver runs a 12 yard dig; outside receiver runs a post. Quarterback hits the post route in stride at the back of the end zone, The receiver cradles the ball cleanly. The back judge signals touchdown. The officials confer briefly:

Ref: Did he get both feet down?
Back Judge:Absolutely!
Ref: Controlled the ball, no bobbling?
Back Judge: Yep!
Ref: O.K. then sounds like...
Side Judge: (interrupting)BUT!...
Ref: But what?
Side Judge: I heard the receiver parked his SUV over the line of a handicapped spot!
Line Judge: Really? When?
Side Judge: Two weeks ago...maybe three.
Umpire: Where did you hear that?
Side Judge (defensively): On Twitter!
Ref: Oh, Twitter huh? So...incomplete then?
Side Judge: Wait, we equate ableism and misogyny with dropping a pass or stepping out of bounds?
Umpire: What did he do that is misogyny?
Side Judge: (dismissively) Asking why that is misogyny is misogynystic!
Ref: Okay, okay. (turns on stadium microphone) The ruling on the field is that the receiver caught the ball in bounds, but was technically out of bounds, so the pass is incomplete! In addition, there is a five yard penalty for...(glances at side judge)
Side Judge: (shakes his head disapprovingly)
Ref: 15 yard! 15 yard penalty for...(glances back at side judge)
Side Judge (is running in place, fists clenched, arms rigid at sides, face turning purple)
Ref: And the receiver is ejected!

The officials gather up the ball and start heading back upfield.

Side Judge: Ugh! I can't stand you people!

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z9z99
on July 13, 2020 at 22:14:38 pm

I find I prefer your language in your longish comment over that of the author’s over long essay. “… What is happening is not even virtue-signaling, it is virtue poaching: seeking praise and affirmation by recasting actual injustices and grievances so they can be condemned … a conflagration of narcissistic indignation … It is not the righteousness of their professed cause that makes the poaching of virtue appealing, it is the fecklessness of … the self-appointed guardians of cultural propriety … the motivation for such revolutionary irrationality … is confined to the social sphere of relatively affluent and comfortable elites. …the claimants become more strident. … falling behind in the virtue poaching Olympics… to the point of tearing down statues of abolitionists, and take great offense at pancake syrup.”

I only take exception at your final sentence: “We accommodate these people, …, because we take for granted what they wish to destroy.” No, the resistance and push back we see here and elsewhere shows we do not take for granted our good and our flawed past because we do in fact cherish evidence that our imperfect efforts today are no worse (but perhaps no better) than the motives driving the results obtained by those who preceded us.

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R2L
on July 13, 2020 at 15:18:38 pm

Quite a beautiful short essay.

Mentioning Milton brings Puritans, Epictetus and Christopher Hill to mind.

Real puritans never forget that the “T” in TULIP calvinism stands for the total inadequate of our thoughts, understanding and efforts; the merely puritanical have no idea of that concept.

The stoics teach us that we are like dogs tied to back of a wagon being drawn by Gods or fate or chance or the unintended consequences of our own actions or inactions. We can go along willingly but if we resist we will nevertheless be dragged along.

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EK
on July 13, 2020 at 15:30:36 pm

History is meant to be remembered and taught, but not always celebrated. The issue with the Confederate monuments is that the history has been ignored and/or whitewashed.If their true place in history had been reported rather than romanticized almost a century after their acts of treason, we might not even be having this discussion. However, this cancel-culture that seeks to tear down EVERY monument and memorial is WRONG!

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Margaret
on July 13, 2020 at 22:17:29 pm

“History is meant to be remembered and taught, but not always celebrated.” I concur, but it is impossible to guess what might have transpired in the former Confederacy if Lincoln had not been assassinated and his brand of leadership exercised during the Reconstruction. Just as the “Palestinians” today (plus their associated Islamists) need to understand and accept that they have in fact lost both their physical and ideological war with Israel, the soldiers who fought for the South and the citizens who supported them needed to fully accept not only their physical failure in war but also the flaws in the moral positions they held to justify fighting in the first place. One can guess that some form of “Marshall Plan” by the North for the South, plus two or three generations of military occupation might have brought about a suitable change in long held prejudices and bigotry (on both sides).

Instead we find that the warriors and soldiers came to admire and respect their opponents on the other side because they shared similar levels of bravery and terror during battle. But such respect did not get translated to the politicians on each side responsible for binding up the country’s wounds. The still too slow progress providing eventually for integration in the military during WW II, the civil rights movements and legislation of the 50’s and 60’s, and the results of affirmative action (whether justified or not) seemed to me by 2007 to be bearing fruit. We were turning the corner on “wrong think”, until Obama and Holder tore off the scab on that wound and encouraged the racialists (Acorn, et al.) to push for political advantage over civil acceptance. Move forward another 12 years and we have Ferguson, George Floyd, riots, headless statues and all the rest. I believe we had grounds for celebration … until we didn’t.

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R2L
on July 13, 2020 at 16:24:03 pm

Wow! So much to unpack in this essay. Thank you, Professor Peters!

Grace, humility, and forgiveness are as important today as they were two millenia ago.

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DaveK
on July 13, 2020 at 21:02:54 pm

A brilliant essay. A perfect summary of our Maoist Cultural Revolution.

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J.K. Day
on July 13, 2020 at 21:25:15 pm

The only mindless comment, one which marred the beauty of the essay, includes this sentence: "The issue with the Confederate monuments is that the history has been ignored and/or whitewashed. If their true place in history had been reported rather than romanticized almost a century after their acts of treason, we might not even be having this discussion."

To the extent we as a society or as individuals accept or offer any form or degree of apologetics which would seek through understanding to attribute any of this summer of violence to systemic white racism, police brutality or historical causes, just to that extent we tolerate the violence, incite more violence, relinquish the legal right of self-defense, concede the moral high ground requisite to self-defense and lose the will and the physical capacity to protect ourselves and our society.

Ahab, who had no rational motive, said, "I’d strike the sun if it insulted me.” That explains the nature of the matter. It is what it is. It is nothing else but what it is. Don't make excuses for the inexcusable.

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paladin

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