June 1, 2020
In a recent op-ed in the New York Post, John Podhoretz alludes to Norman Mailer’s essay The White Negro to bring some context to the current riots following the murder of George Floyd. Predictably, Podhoretz is silent about the murder, but vocal about the looting. While he doesn’t condone Mailer’s argument, he suggests the context makes it more acceptable:
|“||The difference between the hoodlums of Mailer’s day and the antifa “insurgents” of Thrasher’s and our time is that our insurgents are fully aware there is a phalanx of media and academic apologists at the ready, who will not only excuse their behavior but laud it. This both provides them internal psychological cover for the unleashing of the evils inside them and a vocabulary to explain away the evils they release.||”|
I would posit that it’s exactly what Podhoretz has a problem with is what might make this more effective: the ubiquitous cameras. It’s because of a citizen with a camera that we even know about George Floyd’s murder. As Will Smith has recently been credited as saying: “Racism is not getting worse. It’s getting filmed.”
Also, maybe when taking a knee doesn’t work, you have to hit them where it hurts. If all the powers-that-be seem to care about is money and the stuff that money buys, they’ll feel the burn. What else can be done if everything else has been tried and failed? Just wait for it to happen again? Ask politely for change? Respect? Understanding? That would be insane.
Podhoretz, this isn’t about pleasing you. It’s about destroying other, more insidious “evils.”
(Does this make me a member of the Radical Left? An “academic apologist”? I think I prefer iconoclast.)
June 9 UPDATE: Apropos to this discussion, see the last couple of minutes of Last Week Tonight. The episode “Police” is worth watching in its entirety, but this woman’s poignant speech should be heard by everyone. Are you listening, Podhoretz?