Thursday, April 22, 2010

Celebrate Humanity, not "the Earth"

via Steve Horwitz:

While large portions of the population celebrate "the earth," take a few minutes and hoist a glass of fine wine or good scotch and give a quiet toast to the millions, if not billions, of human beings whose ability to tame the earth has enabled it to support six billion humans and taken humanity as a whole out of the misery and poverty that has characterized most of its history.  And then toast the great liberal thinkers who understood that economic freedom and the end of privilege was the key to unleashing human creativity and ingenuity as the "ultimate resource" for extending life and liberating increasing numbers of men, women, and children from the solitary, nasty, brutish, and short lives of the pre-industrial era.  It was capitalism's ability to tame and control nature that gave us the very wealth it takes to be able to afford to celebrate "earth day," so don't be an ingrate.  Celebrate markets, freedom, and human creativity because they, as Desrochers points out, are the earth's best friend.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Published!

So I finally published another piece. It's a lighthearted riff on baseball. You can find it over at Wunderkammer Magazine.

Monday, April 19, 2010

'Minstrel' is the New 'Tom'

I am black. I am a (small "L") libertarian. I have, at various points in my past also self-identified as "conservative" and "Republican." And, as most black people of our general political stripe can attest, with it comes some pretty nasty insinuations and a lot of name calling.

"Sell-out." "Oreo." "[Uncle] Tom."

It's hard to put into words what it feels like to be branded a race-traitor by your own people; that explicit and ultimate denigration of your identity and character that says what you believe is incompatible with what you are, where you come from, and how much you care about other people like you; that your politics shows that you are ashamed of your blackness--and thus should be ashamed of who you are.

That Charles Blow and Jamelle Bouie publicly engage in this by saying black tea partiers are participating in a 'minstrel show' is deeply offensive, if not unhinged. I appreciate that Adam Serwer reasonably stated that black conservatives are not, indeed, minstrels--though I think his offhand dismissal of Conor's piece was unfair.

Indeed, I would say that Blow, Bouie and Serwer may have misidentified whom exactly the black tea partiers were signaling to with their "I'm not a racist" signs. Is it really all that unlikely that those who have, for years, endured smears and hateful venom from their racial kindred be a tad sensitive to accusations of racism-by-association from the likes of Keith Olbermann or thinly veiled accusations of Tomism from Charles Blow? (It's not like these insults are new. Seriously. At all. You can even read a book about it.) National media personalities who don't know us, and apparently don't understand us, just throwing out words like "minstrel" and "racist" just because some assholes show up fully displaying their ignorance. Yes, the Right has a racist past. But, duh, the Left does too.


I'm not a tea partier, but I know something about how they feel. I've found it quite ironic that we have to defend ourselves for being different--for being individuals and thinking for ourselves--against vicious slurs by supposedly enlightened ones who think we should all think and vote the same.

So much for the content of my character, huh?

Update: Jamelle has graciously issued an apology

By the Time I Get to Arizona

If you haven't heard yet, Arizona's legislature just passed a harass-the-Hispanics bill. I wish I was kidding.

I don't have time to get into the problems with localities enforcing federal law, but this is just so broad that it boggles the mind how rational people can pass such god-awful legislation. Here is a good and pretty short video detailing some of the major problems with the bill. Pay particular attention to the "anti-discrimination" provision.

It seems only appropriate to play this for Mood Music Monday.

You can urge Arizona's governor Jan Brewer to veto this odious legislation here.

Thanks to America's Voice for the Selden link and the petition to the governor.

Update: Governor Brewer signed the bill today (Friday), with accompanying empty rhetoric about how it's not going to encourage racial profiling.