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October 04, 2002

Amiri Baraka re-redux

Friedrich --

Thanks for pointing out the latest development in the Amiri Baraka anti-Semitic-poetry saga. It highlights, or at least gives me the chance to highlight, a dilemma lefties are forever walking into.

Hereís how it goes: Given that lefties are compulsively, dogmatically anti-authority and pro-underdog (and ignoring for the moment their strategy of being pro-underdog as a way of claiming authority) ... What happens when the underdog turns against the lefties? In this case, when the angry and (supposedly) oppressed black poet attacks the Jews? Well, what happens, as you point out, is that the lefties (in this case, the Times) come out in support of the (in this case, stupid and anti-Semitic) underdog.

Hey, letís reward the underdog for attacking us; letís congratulate ourselves on our noble devotion to the cause of underdogs everywhere; and letís demonize those who would stand up for themselves in the face of attack.

Itís a pattern that shows up over and over again.

*I remember the upper-middle-class (and rich) parents who gave their rebellious, spiteful, angry hippie children credit cards.
*There was the case of a lefty woman judge in NYC who was on trial for something. Her daughter was called to testify against her, and did so devastatingly. Afterwards, the lefty judge was seen telling her daughter how well sheíd done.
*These days, itís striking to observe the Jewish intellectuals (Sontag, Chomsky) who demonstrate sympathy for Islamic fanatics.

Do lefties ever notice how often they fall into this trap? Do they even experience it as a trap? Are they proud of the way even direct assault canít shake their ďcommitmentĒ?

As someone from a smalltown Republican background, I stare at this kind of behavior utterly amazed. People in Republican small towns have their own quirks, lord knows, but I never encountered this particular kind of through-the-looking-glass, no-end-to-it neuroticism until I started moving in fancier -- more academic, leftier, more moneyed -- circles.

Did you see this kind of acting-out much before arriving at our Lousy Ivy College?



posted by Michael at October 4, 2002


Nope, don't understand it myself. Being of the Jewish faith and having grown up among many holocaust survivors, I never heard those survivors utter the insipid question that has plagued out stupidigentsia since 9/11, which is "Why Do They Hate Us".


Posted by: Jim on August 17, 2003 4:45 PM

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