Projection of Power(skirts)

A few commenters on here have raised the question as to whether the US Navy’s infatuation with diversity and political correctness might be behind their recent spate of warship collisions. Via Twitter Kevin Michael Grace I came across this very long article detailing the circumstances around the 2017 collision between the destroyer USS Fitzgerald and a large cargo ship. Not that I wish to extrapolate too much from this, but it makes for grim reading:

Sarah Coppock, lieutenant junior grade, was the officer of the deck, responsible for the safety and navigation of the ship while Benson slept.

Coppock did not trust some of her team that night.

Still, Coppock, naturally self-assured, took the bridge undeterred.

Her conning officer was Eric Uhden. Like Woodley, he was an experienced sailor who served years at sea as an enlisted man before becoming an officer.

Uhden alerted Coppock to the potential danger. At first, she dismissed his concern. But a moment later, Uhden said that Coppock seemed to realize her miscalculation.

Uhden memorialized the incident in an understated note scribbled in his private journal: “Fishing vessel got close on watch.” But nobody else knew about it. Coppock never told the captain, as she was supposed to do.

Coppock may not have ensured that the radar on the bridge was properly adjusted to obtain a finer-grained picture. A post-crash reconstruction showed that Coppock lost sight of one of the ships due to clutter on the “improperly adjusted” SPS-73 screen.

But the 5-foot-4-inch Coppock was used to giving what she got in the Ashland’s wardroom, where the ship’s officers gathered to eat and talk. “You could sit there and scream at each other for hours and it was just to get stuff done. We really didn’t care. It wasn’t personal,” she said. “We’d go out and drink afterwards.”

It was a different story on the Fitzgerald.

Coppock stopped dining with her fellow officers in the Fitzgerald’s wardroom. By long Navy tradition, attendance at such meals was considered necessary to forge the esprit de corps needed to run a ship. Not eating with them was akin to snubbing family.

Fellow Fitzgerald sailors noted her absence. To some, Coppock appeared disconnected. Other shipmates went so far as to call her “lazy” or “abrasive and unapproachable.”

Coppock said she stayed away from the officers’ mess because of criticism from fellow junior officers. She blamed their hostility on her singular focus on getting the job done. Mission came first, she said.

Coppock had displayed her skills in the weeks after Benson took command. She and her enlisted assistant, Alexander Vaughan, had stayed up almost 48 hours in the successful pursuit of a Chinese submarine off the coast of Japan. The achievement sealed Coppock’s reputation as a hell of a sailor.

It also boosted her self-assurance. She considered herself one of the better officers on the ship.

Parker alerted Coppock. Coppock told Parker not to worry — she was tracking the ship. She said it would pass 1,500 yards behind the Fitzgerald.

“We gotta slow down,” Parker told Coppock.

No, Coppock told her again. “We can’t slow down because it’ll make the situation worse.” Coppock worried that slowing down might bring her into the path of the ship that was supposed to pass behind them.

Coppock disobeyed Benson’s standing orders. Rather than call Benson for help, she decided to continue on her own. Coppock didn’t call down to the combat room to ask for help, either.

Coppock decided that she was not going to clear the Crystal by going toward the right. Such a turn would put her on a possible collision with the Wan Hai 266.

“Oh shit, I’m so fucked! I’m so fucked!” she screamed.

Instead, Coppock ordered a move that disregarded the very basics of her training.

Coppock did not sound the collision alarm to warn sailors of the impending risk.

“I just got so wrapped up in trying to do anything that I had to just drop the ball on everything else that I needed to do,” she said.

Babbitt was trying to save his sailors. The five crew members trapped in sonar were rescued early on. Womack appeared in a daze. Coppock was inconsolable, sobbing and berating herself.

The Navy’s investigators concluded that sailors bore the primary blame for the collision. Benson, Coppock and the bridge and combat information center watch teams had failed to use basic seamanship skills to escape an “avoidable” accident. They had been “excessively fatigued” and had not taken steps to rest. Coppock had ignored basic rules of the road and the captain’s orders.

To be honest, I don’t think this episode makes the case that women are useless sailors. Under a different regime, women could probably perform very well on a warship. The trouble is, the same politicised, ultra-progressive, bureaucratic, management system which places high value on diversity is also responsible for standards plummeting across the board. The captain was a man named Bryce Benson, and he didn’t seem up to the job either. It’s not difficult to imagine that the behaviours and characteristics which get you recognised and promoted in the modern US Navy (and most modern organisations) are not those which are valuable in a crisis. This snippet is illuminating:

Coppock had displayed her skills in the weeks after Benson took command. She and her enlisted assistant, Alexander Vaughan, had stayed up almost 48 hours in the successful pursuit of a Chinese submarine off the coast of Japan. The achievement sealed Coppock’s reputation as a hell of a sailor.

I expect there were many such instances of Coppock’s reputation soaring as her career progressed, only when it really mattered it was abundantly clear it was undeserved. This is depressingly common: I can’t remember how many times I’ve seen slavish dedication to senior management form the basis of someone’s stellar reputation, even as everything falls apart around them. The outlook’s not too gloomy for her, though:

Coppock was charged with dereliction of duty and pleaded guilty. She remains in the Navy and is expected to be a witness against Benson and Combs in their trials. Navy investigators have praised her candor and cooperation. She has a tattoo on her left wrist with seven shamrocks. It features the coordinates of the crash.

I’m slightly surprised she didn’t get a medal.

(I’d be interested in Jason Lynch’s comments on this story.)


State of the Union Dressup

I’m seeing a pattern here:

Behind him, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat in a white suit jacket and blouse. Before him, a block of female lawmakers donned a range of white outfits and visibly unimpressed expressions. Even his daughter Tiffany was pictured in white, with social media speculating that the choice may have been more than a coincidence.
President Trump’s State of the Union address was flooded with the color white.
The bold statement, initiated by the House Democratic Women’s Working Group, saw dozens of lawmakers coordinate their attire as a show of solidarity among women. Democrats taking part included newly-elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who was seen wearing a white cape, and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who wore a white vest and trousers paired with a blue hijab and red shirt.

Oh yes:

Women are wearing black to the 2018 Golden Globe Awards to protest sexual harassment and raise awareness for Time’s Up, a new initiative fighting sexual misconduct in Hollywood and beyond. As the stars take the red carpet for tonight’s ceremony, they explain the powerful reasons why they went all-noir for the awards show.


When US vice-president Mike Pence visited Philadelphia on 23 July, he was greeted by a now familiar sight: a wall of women dressed in scarlet cloaks, with oversize white bonnets obscuring their faces.

The outfit worn by Margaret Atwood’s handmaids in her 1985 dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale and its recent TV adaptation has been in evidence from Argentina to the US, the UK and Ireland, and has emerged as one of the most powerful current feminist symbols of protest, in a subversive inversion of its association with the oppression of women.


An estimated 500,000 people gathered for the Women’s March on Washington to advocate for gender equality on President Donald Trump’s first full day in office. Many sported pink knitted beanies with cat ears, called “pussy hats,” as a symbol of solidarity among protestors.

A group called the Pussyhat Project helped make the hat part of marchers’ uniform. Project co-organizer Jayna Zweiman told Business Insider that anyone who planned to march could download a crochet, knit, or sew pattern for the hat on the project’s site. Alternatively, people could make and send them to the organizers to give away at DC’s march.

An awful lot of what passes for women’s politics these days is just a big game of dress-up. Whereas this might be expected from empty-headed actresses and the vinegar-drinking cat-ladies who go on women’s marches, what excuse do female politicians at the State of the Union address have? That America oppresses women so much it behooves the dozens of women who hold high political office to draw attention to it? This is theatre – nay, pantomime – and these women are play-acting. The whole stunt screams:

“Hah! We have forced our way into your institutions and now we’re going to act like a bunch of teenagers and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it. Take that, daddy men!”

Which is strange, because the old misogynistic dinosaurs of yesteryear warned against allowing women into senior positions on the grounds they’d not take them seriously. From accounts I’ve read on Twitter, each woman in white sat through Trump’s address with a face like a bulldog licking piss off a thistle until he said:

No-one has benefited more from a thriving economy than women, who have filled 58% of the newly created jobs last year.

At which point they rose to their feet and delivered a round of applause in congratulation to…themselves.

I can understand why this goes down well with some women. What I don’t understand is why normal, intelligent, self-assured women would take them seriously. Even more baffling is that men vote for them as well. As others have said, modern feminism is little more than a giant sh*t-test which men are failing badly. Men are gonna need to snap out of it soon. So are ordinary women, for that matter.


Pinko and the Wain

This amused:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jeremy Corbyn have a fair bit in common. Both offer dingbat socialist solutions to genuine problems and have an army of fanatical supporters, most of whom are deranged. Other than the fact Corbyn is an old, white male (albeit one sufficiently cowed), my guess is their respective supporters are pretty much interchangeable. The trouble is, whereas Corbyn’s brand can’t possibly suffer any more damage than has already been sustained, AOC’s can. Her political career lies ahead of her, whereas what passes for Corbyn’s is almost over. If she were as media-savvy as people claim, she’d know Corbyn is a loser who stumbled into the post by accident and in three years of opposition has barely laid a glove on the most pathetic, dysfunctional Tory government in living memory. Inevitably:

Her response is unlikely to satisfy American Jews, particularly considering her much-publicised friendship with two openly antisemitic, newly-elected congresswomen. At some point, if she wants a full career in politics, AOC is going to have to broaden her appeal beyond the fanatics. Being young she has time, but she’d do well learn to spot liabilities like Corbyn and give them a wide berth.


Back in Black

Last week, the Democrat governor of Virginia Ralph Northam went on the radio defending an abortion bill which appeared to legalise infanticide:

The paediatric neurologist said the measure allowed termination “in cases where there may be severe deformities” or when there is a “foetus that’s not viable” outside the womb.

“So in this particular example, if a mother’s in labour, I can tell you exactly what would happen,” he told WTOP’s Ask the Governor programme Wednesday.

“The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

This generated outrage in conservative circles and a dismissive shrug among liberals. It wasn’t until a picture emerged in the 1984 East Virginia Medical School yearbook a day or two later that the left went into meltdown:

Quite why there is a picture of a man in blackface beside someone dressed as a KKK member in a medical school yearbook I don’t know. Northam hasn’t provided much clarity either: first he apologised without saying whether he was Mr Blackface or Mr KKK, then he backtracked and said he isn’t in the photo but he did black up on another occasion, but only to impersonate Michael Jackson.

Here’s my take. As everyone here knows I went to Manchester University, which has a large medical school. I knew a handful of medics and they were all nuts. Their philosophy was to work hard and play hard. You’d not see them during much of the semester as they were in various placements or putting in stupid hours somewhere, then one night the student bars would be invaded by a horde of them wearing white gowns and stethoscopes. They’d dance like maniacs, drink themselves into oblivion, and would often be open to taking someone home before hooking themselves up to a saline drip to stave off the inevitable hangover. Having spoken to several medics who went to other schools around the UK, this behaviour seems typical. Also common are tales of pranks and acts of stupidity medical students get up to, especially around cadavers. All of this is a way of coping with a job which is usually difficult and often unpleasant. So if a bizarre photo turns up in a medical yearbook from 1984, I’m not going to be very surprised.

Do I think such a photo is in itself proof that Northam is, or was, racist? No I don’t. Insensitive maybe, but medical students aren’t the most delicate of people as I’ve already explained and I’m old-fashioned in that I think there’s a big difference between offensive humour in your twenties which you later realise was in rather poor taste, and genuine racism. But in the last few years blackface – which is something I’d never heard of until recently – is now up there with child sacrifice as something for which you can never be forgiven. Actually, that’s a poor comparison: American liberals don’t appear to mind child sacrifice as the reaction to Northam’s radio appearance showed, but blackface is really beyond the pale. Ahem.

As such, we’ve seen all the white grannies of the Democrat party – Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi – queuing up to denounce him and demand his resignation. At some point they’ll be held to account over their hideous whiteness, and they’re doing all they can to burnish their anti-racist credentials while bashing someone from the rival sex. Naturally, any Democrat or liberal duskier than Keira Knightley is not only looking to throw Northam under the bus, but to reverse back over him and apply the handbrake. Equally naturally, you have a bunch of Republicans furrowing their brows and saying “we’re better than them” and “we shouldn’t stoop to their level” when contemplating calling for his resignation.

In actual fact, the Republicans shouldn’t call for his resignation over this photo. Not because of principles – this is a war to the knife in which anything goes – but because it’s unnecessary. As we’ve seen, the Democrats are tearing him apart for them. They’d be better off keeping their mouths shut and asking themselves why, when Northam was running campaign adverts depicting Republicans running down Latinos in pickup trucks, they didn’t unearth this photo. What was Ed Gillespie’s research team doing? And, redundantly, what were the press doing? How long have they known about this photo?

So there’s no need for Republicans to pretend to be upset over a dumb photo, especially given Northam has a 35 year track record on which to judge him instead. Republicans, and sane liberals, need to prepare themselves for inevitable attacks which will come from unearthing dodgy photos and yearbook scribblings in future. They should do this by poking their opponents in the eye and refusing to play the game.


Troublesome Priests

A couple of weeks ago I speculated that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be more of a thorn in the side of the Democrats than Republicans. Yesterday I read this:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has infuriated colleagues by aligning with a progressive outside group that’s threatening to primary entrenched Democrats. Now some of those lawmakers are turning the tables on her and are discussing recruiting a primary challenger to run against the social media sensation.

At least one House Democrat has been privately urging members of the New York delegation to recruit a local politician from the Bronx or Queens to challenge Ocasio-Cortez.

“What I have recommended to the New York delegation is that you find her a primary opponent and make her a one-term congressperson,” the Democratic lawmaker, who requested anonymity, told The Hill. “You’ve got numerous council people and state legislators who’ve been waiting 20 years for that seat. I’m sure they can find numerous people who want that seat in that district.”

She poses problems to the Democrats on two fronts. Firstly, she is drawing attention to real, existing social and economic problems that both parties have ignored for years. She has a habit of taking to Twitter and discussing things with her 2.7m followers that establishment Democrats would rather stay buried:

Which party do you think the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos support? Which candidate do you think Google and Twitter favour in a presidential election? I suspect a few establishment Democrats have received sharp words from powerful donors with respect to putting a leash on this Latina upstart, and she’s having none of it. On the contrary, she seems bent on unseating some of her party colleagues.

It goes without saying that AOC’s solutions to problems either real or imagined are insane. When it comes to actual policy she’s about as well-informed as you’d expect for any product of the American education system, but that doesn’t matter. Bernie Sanders thought socialism was a cure for America’s ills, but that didn’t mean he was wrong when he criticised the corrupt, crony capitalism that underpins corporate America and the difficulty millions face finding decent work. This so dented Hillary’s run for Democrat party nominee she had to resort to skulduggery to secure it (which in her case is a bit like saying a career thief had to resort to stealing in order to make a living). When a socialist candidate appears on the political left and starts pointing out obvious problems and the hypocrisy of those who occupy the centre, it’s not the opposition party which feels the heat but the establishment left. On whom has Corbyn’s Momentum wrought more damage: the Conservatives or New Labourites?

The second problem is the Democrats desperately need a presidential candidate who is not a raving lunatic. Thus far we have Elizabeth Warren who is laughably inept, and Kamala Harris who has staked out her stall way over on the left, probably to outflank Warren and Sanders. The only centre-left candidates on the horizon are Joe Biden (who is my father’s age) and Tulsi Gabbard who has been ostracised for wrongthink. Any sensible Democrat candidate who puts themselves forward will have to contend with AOC’s Twitter army trashing them in favour of (probably) Harris. And woe betide them if they happen to be a white man with greying hair; he’ll be trying to talk about economics, foreign policy, and compromise while AOC and Harris will be shrieking about white supremacy, misogyny, and Nazis. He’ll not get a word in edgeways, and will receive the same treatment as McCain and Romney when they dared run against the Messiah. For this reason I’d be surprised if we see any white men putting themselves forward. Aside from being a rather large handicap going into the race, I’m not sure wealthy Democrat donors will like what they’re seeing. If the Democrats don’t rein in AOC and her fellow travelers soon, chequebooks will start closing.


California Dreaming

In its 3,000 word puff-piece on likely 2020 Democrat presidential frontrunner Kamala Harris, the BBC overlooks something rather important:

The propulsion of senator and lawyer Kamala Harris to front-runner status among the Democrats hoping to take on President Donald Trump in 2020 has underlined the resurgent political power of her home state.

A California senator is one of the front-runners for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

A California congresswoman is Speaker of the House of Representatives.

California’s new governor is a young, progressive champion promising to offer an alternative to the “corruption and incompetence” of Donald Trump’s White House.

And that is, you can win California by 2:1 and it still won’t land you the presidency. To do that, you need to get out of the lunatic progressive bubble that is coastal California and appeal to ordinary people. Can Kamala do that? We shall see. My guess is the Democratic primaries are going to uncover an awful lot of unpleasantness and flaws in each candidate. Personally I’m hoping Hillary runs again.


Backslid and Nancy

Over the weekend Donald Trump caved in over the government shutdown, agreeing to a budget, albeit temporary, which contained no funding for his wall. Those who a few days ago were saying Trump’s inability to compromise was destroying the nation are now hooting and mocking him for compromising. Given another showdown is on the horizon, this might not be very sensible. I’m not one of those people who believe Trump is playing 14D underwater chess, but I do think if another standoff occurs, he’ll be less inclined to back down. The fact that he did this time is pretty remarkable, and the simply truth is he’s been outsmarted by Nancy Pelosi who is a lot better at this hardball politics game than he is. There were good reasons why the Democrats wanted her back as speaker, and not some dimwit in her twenties.

However, in characteristic fashion, Trump may have inadvertently skewered the Democrats in the long-term. One thing I’ve not understood is how the chattering classes in Europe and America are so upset about Trump’s wall. A couple of weeks ago one of my lecturers, who is neither American or Mexican, wrung their hands and said “I do hope it won’t get built.”  Now you can argue that the wall is too expensive, or it will be ineffective, or it won’t look nice. What I don’t get is why people think foreign citizens should be free to enter the US for any purpose and any length of time without going through the formal channels. Trump appears to have got whole swathes of the global middle classes to adopt open border policies that were previously the preserve of the lunatic fringes, including the Democrats.

Whatever you think of the crudeness of Trump’s speech and the symbolism of an actual wall, immigration is a major concern to a lot of people, and most sensible folk believe borders should be controlled in some way. Otherwise, what’s the point in having a visa system at all? The Democrats forcing Trump into a humiliating climbdown over the wall won’t change that. Also, those who voted for Trump with the expectation that he will curb immigration are seriously unimpressed. They are asking, not without reason, why he didn’t get this wall built when the Republicans controlled Congress. These people are not suddenly going to decide maybe unfettered immigration is a good thing after all; rather, they are going to vote for someone who is deadly serious about grasping this nettle regardless of his other policies. The Democrats meanwhile have given a clear message to the electorate that they don’t believe their borders should be policed in any meaningful way.

Ultimately, citizens get the politicians, government, and country they deserve. If enough Americans – and indeed Europeans – vote for open borders, then so be it. But let nobody say they didn’t know what they were getting. For all the talk about the dangers of populist strongmen popping up everywhere, it’s yet to dawn on the ruling classes what’s feeding them. I have an inkling we’ve not seen anything yet.


Label Weiss

I’m currently halfway through listening to the recent Joe Rogan podcast with Bari Weiss, a journalist at the New York Times. I don’t think I need to wait until the end to conclude she’s dumber than a wet breeze block.

She says on the podcast that she doesn’t consider herself white but Jewish, despite her being paler than a male feminist whose hard-drive’s been seized by police. This isn’t surprising. If you want to join the ranks of the liberal left, it’s best you identify as something other than white. Weiss has simply looked at the options in front of her and decided it’s best to call herself Jewish rather than white. This is an American thing: I can’t imagine too many British Jews doing this.

She also says she was inspired by the first Women’s March. This was a gathering of the wealthiest, most privileged, and well-kept women outside of royalty in the history of mankind, and there were 200,000 of them. Their excuse for marching was that they were suffering under the yoke of an intensely patriarchal society, and the election of Donald Trump, who made remarks several years before they didn’t like, was the final straw. What they were really doing was protesting the results of an election that didn’t go their way and subscribing to an alternate vision of reality because their own lives are spiritually empty. Like a small boy lying in a ditch with a stick thinking he’s fending off a battalion of invading Germans, these women fantasised about a world where they were important and did something meaningful. Bari Weiss was part of this.

She then says how dismayed she is at the realisation that the Women’s March is a hotbed of anti-semitism, fronted by people who turn up in photos standing next to Louis Farrakhan. She goes on to explain how poisonously divisive antisemitism is, and how it is based on lies and distortions which nobody seems interested in correcting. Which is funny, because she’s describing exactly how I felt about the Women’s March. It seems to me Weiss is happy to play identity politics by disavowing her skin colour and joining in a 200,000 strong mob to denounce men, but when others do the same and it’s her tribe under attack, she doesn’t like it. It’s clear she doesn’t understand that when you make tribalism and political identity the basis of your existence, you’re likely to run into conflicts with other tribes. At one point (1h:07m) she actually describes newly-anointed congresswoman Ilhan Omar as an “incredible American dream story” because she’s a refugee from Somalia, is a mother, and wears a hijab so “obviously” she wants to cheer her. Yet she’s dismayed to discover not only does Omar not like Jews very much but she’s happy to say so in public. What was she expecting, exactly?

What will it take for it to dawn on people like Weiss that it is not white American men she needs to worry about but people who really don’t like Jews, many of whom have no business being in the United States, let alone holding office? What is Weiss’ position on immigration, do you think? As various dissident right voices have said, at some point American Jews are going to have to decide whether they want to join the ranks of white deplorables or continue to stoke the fires of identity politics which enable those who truly detest them.


Stance Macabre

Regular readers will know that my position on abortion is that it’s a necessary evil, something best made available under certain conditions, with restrictions, and with the acknowledgement it’s really not a good thing to happen under any circumstances. This appears to be the general consensus in the UK and other European countries; there are principled opponents, but they lack the numbers to lobby for an outright ban, let alone get one passed.

Not so the US. Rather than seek political consensus the American ruling classes opted for legal fudge, meaning 45 years after Roe v Wade the subject is still highly divisive. This has led to those on the fringes dominating the discourse. On the right you have the likes of Ben Shapiro who thinks abortion is akin to murder and rape victims should be forced to carry their unwanted babies to term. On the left the issue has become the vehicle by which lunatic feminists punch the patriarchy on the nose, and the more ghoulish they can make what ought to be a sensitive subject, the greater they imagine their victory.

Yesterday New York State passed The Reproductive Health Act, which guarantees women the right to terminate a pregnancy up to 24 weeks, or afterwards if her life is at risk or the fetus “not viable”. This bill was brought about in response to demands from feminists who are deluded enough to believe Roe v Wade is about to be overturned and abortion will be banned nationwide. In passing it, they may have inadvertently strengthened the argument that it’s a matter best left to individual states to decide. Despite feminists’ claims that America is on the cusp of outlawing abortion, their laws are more lax than most European countries. For instance, France, Belgium, and Denmark impose a limit of 12 weeks; Sweden’s limit is 18 weeks. Germany imposes a 12-week limit as well as a mandatory counselling and a 3-day waiting period. The UK and the Netherlands set the limit at 24 weeks, with the latter imposing a 5-day waiting period and the approval of two doctors after 12 weeks. None of these countries are hotbeds of religious patriarchy, yet American feminists claim they’re being stripped of their human rights unless their sisters can have unfettered access to abortion up to 24 weeks. Even then, many argue this doesn’t go far enough, hence the clause in the recent bill that allows for termination after this date.

So having passed what is probably the most permissive abortion law anywhere on the planet, its proponents decided to celebrate. Here’s what New York’s governor thought was appropriate:

And here are the scenes from the New York senate:

Whatever your views on abortion, there’s something seriously amiss with politicians rubbing celebrations in the public’s face at the passage of a bill of this nature. I suspect this isn’t really about abortion at all, and more a manifestation of deep psychological problems among members of the ruling class and those who support them. They hate their political opponents so much they’re going to kill fetuses just to spite them. These are the people who accuse Trump of dividing America.


Sitting Bullsh*t

Over the weekend a young man was caught on video committing the most horrific crime imaginable in contemporary America: being white, Republican and insufficiently deferential to a minority.

The usual Twitter mob formed, headed by blue checkmarks with enormous followings who called for the young man to be ostracised from society along with his family and friends (check out the entire timeline to see just how depraved this pile-on became). While the individual in the video might look like a smug git with a punchable face, it’s important to note that he did not engage in violence, nor abuse anybody. In fact, on any objective measure he doesn’t seem to be doing much wrong. But none of that matters, and the hatred and anger being directed at this teenager by Twitter’s finest rests on his merely being “disrespectful” to a protected class. The terms “white privilege” and “white supremacy” are being thrown around like confetti and, naturally, Trump is to blame.

However, several videos have since emerged (1, 2, 3) which shows the kids were doing little other than acting like kids do on a school trip when the Native American “elder” approached them, beating his drum. In other words, he got in their faces, not the other way around. Oh, and the kids were also being told they were on “stolen land” and should “go back to Europe“; presumably they were expected to meekly accept that and move on. One might also ask where the outrage was after this incident, or this one. The Washington Post quickly got hold of the Native American and uncritically published his side of the story, whereas the boys, who are pupils at a Catholic School, had no such ear lent to them. Nonetheless, one pupil’s account seems to match that of the video footage, and as I am writing this most of Twitter agrees the entire episode was a deliberate attempt to construct a narrative using misleading footage and generate a pile-on.

There are a couple of points to make here. The first is that since Trump’s election, race relations have collapsed to lower levels than even Obama managed, not because of bands of Nazis roaming the land lynching blacks but because there is now an entire industry devoted to labeling anyone and everyone a racist if they do so much as twitch an eyelash in opposition to aggressive minorities. It seems a lot of people, including an awful lot of whites, are hell-bent on starting a race war using a wholly imagined prevalence of white supremacy as an excuse. Ironically, these people claim to be opposed to the “normalising” of white supremacist thought, but here’s the thing: if you keep bandying that term around and accusing random people of being white supremacists for not grovelling before troublemaking minorities, at some point it is going to become normalised. Trump’s about as much a white supremacist as he is a Trappist monk, but progressives have decided everyone who supports him is a card-carrying racist. Well, keep that up and don’t be surprised if a candidate appears on the scene threatening to take minorities down a peg or two and a few million vote for him.  The ZMan often remarks that, sooner or later, whites are going to start voting along racial lines just as everyone else does; incidents like this are only going to bring that moment closer.

The second point is I can see a business opportunity in providing immediate support to those on the receiving end of a Twitter mob. These people need professional help in the form of legal advice, personal security, and PR on short notice in order to keep themselves safe and their lives intact. I’ve heard a few discussions on podcasts on what to do if a Twitter mob comes for you, and I’d not be surprised to find companies springing up actually offering this service before too long. Maybe one day you’ll be able to insure yourself against it; considering how many people fear it compared to how many it actually happens to, it might be a lucrative market.