Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Self vs. the Group

Is anyone "born" anything, except tabula rasa? Is one "born" a Jew, or a Catholic, or a Muslim, or Buddhist, or even an atheist?

Recently, a writer I esteem for his consistently perspicuous and insightful observations on foreign affairs, domestic policies, and modern culture, writing about being Jewish, made this startling statement:

"Jewish is a group identity. There is no such thing as an individual Jew. No man is an island and certainly no Jew is. Someone who is not part of the Jewish people is not a Jew."

Yes, being Jewish might be a "group identity." But Jews are individuals first, Jewish second. People can choose to be part of a "group," but they're still individuals making individual choices. An individual has no innate collective identity, unless he chooses one, and then it is not "innate." There is nothing in any person's genes or physical makeup that determines the content of his mind. Groups or collectives don't think. One can choose to join a mob or a political party or a fraternity and the like, but this is making an individual choice. No one is destined to be drawn inexorably or helplessly into an imaginary gestalt, however benign or malevolent it might be.

Regardless of one's circumstances, the element of volition and choice is ever present in any individual, regardless of the circumstances of his birth. One can be born into a Jewish family, a Muslim family, a Catholic one, even an atheist one, a Zulu tribe, and so on, and be raised in strict accordance with the dogma or tenets, traditions, or beliefs shared by that group. At any point in one's life, one still has the capability of questioning whether what one is taught is true or false. If one has the courage, or the curiosity, one can step outside of one's "group," and observe it from the outside. Groups are not necessarily unbreakable chains or boast of "force fields" that prevent one from leaving them.

Tabula rasa, a Roman Latin term for "clean slate," is an all- important ingredient in this issue. One can write one's own slate, or let others write it. One can form one's own independent mind, or allow others to determine what is in it and therefore make one dependent. It's that simple.

Claiming that one is born anything but tabula rasa is to utter a fallacy, to make oneself a prisoner of circumstances and irrelevancies.

The same truth applies to race. One's skin color or facial features do not determine the content of one's mind, no more than do one's limbs or body weight. Claiming that one has been born "black" or Hispanic or Chinese, and so is unable to change how one thinks, is to surrender to determinism, to accept a fate worse than death, which is to say that one is the helpless pawn of forces beyond one's control. Then, if one commits a crime – or achieves an admirable value or accomplishes a rational success – one can indulge in the double-edged luxury of claiming: I couldn't help it, I'm black (or white, or Asian). This is robbing Peter – you – to pay tribute to a tribe of anonymous, undifferentiated Pauls, who had nothing to do with your crime or your achievement, and who may even claim it. You steal from yourself to give to strangers. Group think is altruist. You sacrifice your own identity and pride to and for the group.

Communists can change their minds (even if they were born as "red diaper babies"), and become neoconservatives, vociferously excoriating Communism but not enthralled with capitalism, or are inarticulate in stating what they are for. Christians can convert to Islam, or to Buddhism, or become Moonies, or Jehovah's Witnesses, or Mormons – or vice versa – or become founding members of the Front for Free Range Poultry committed to acts of terror on Tyson and Perdue chicken farms, or even join an actual domestic terrorist group.

Children raised in strict or lax religious households can abandon religion all together or switch to another, more earnest-sounding creed. Children born into a family of Progressives or Democrats or Republicans can, when their store of knowledge is sufficient, switch politics and become opponents of their parents' political beliefs and convictions. Children's minds are subjected to or immersed in the practice and doctrine of a creed, and really have no means to defend themselves. So they may simply grow to adulthood not questioning anything. They will think: I must be a Jew, or a Christian, or a Muslim, because no man is an island, I must have been born a Jew, Christian, Muslim, or a black, and so I am but a cipher of that group. I cannot take credit or be indicted, one way or another.

That way he can convince himself there is no other alternative, and can consciously or unconsciously disavow responsibility for his own actions or the criminal actions committed by members of his "group."

But, regardless of the rationality or irrationality of the creed or of one's choice, choosing to remain "Jewish" or "Christian" is an act of volition.

One can choose not to choose. This is the most serious, damning, and perilous condition. It, too, is an act of volition. This is the more common decision most men make when it comes to politics or a system of ethics or a morality. For one reason or another, it is an act of mental stagnation, of not wanting to bother to think, of being comfortable in a state of mental arrest. Such men are satisfied with the inert, unchallenged contents of their minds, letting the slate written by others remain uncorrected. The basic reasons for refusing to think are either fear or being content with being a mental dullard. Ayn Rand, the novelist/philosopher, called this "second-handedness."

When an individual will question his "received wisdom" depends on his courage and determination to know the truth for better or for worse, and having had developed a disposition to investigate other answers to "life's questions." Again, it is a matter of choosing to think. Some people don’t begin to question what they believe until some stage or point in their adulthood. Others begin in their teens or early adulthood. Very few individuals are willing to perform a volte-face in their premises and world views once they have reached or passed the age of fifty. They become dependent on a lifelong store of knowledge which they cannot validate or be certain is true or not. They become defensive when it is questioned and hostile to anyone who seems to contradict it or who seems to be a reproach to their life-long held values.

Habits are not necessarily a bad thing. Choosing to think is a good habit. Choosing not to think, as John Galt, the philosopher-inventor in Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged, said to the world, is tantamount to the notion of Original Sin.

Thinking is man’s only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to think—not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment—on the unstated premise that a thing will not exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict “It is.” Non-thinking is an act of annihilation, a wish to negate existence, an attempt to wipe out reality. But existence exists; reality is not to be wiped out, it will merely wipe out the wiper. By refusing to say “It is,” you are refusing to say “I am.” By suspending your judgment, you are negating your person.

The negation can be compartmentalized. An individual can be rational "to a fault" in his career and elsewhere in his life, but still claim that he is either an inseparable member of his group (a race or a religion or a political cause), or even a superb example of his group. (See my column, "The Origins of Modern Black Collectivism" for W.E.B. Du Bois's early promulgating the notion of a black "Talented Tenth" who would lead, presumably, the "Untalented Ninety Percent," of blacks out of poverty and discrimination by that other enemy group, whites.)

Groups can be persecuted (as Jews have been for millennia), or Christians slaughtered (as they are now in the Mideast). Centuries ago Catholic France persecuted French Protestants. The Cambodian intelligentsia was sent to the "killing fields" by another group, Pol Pot's Communists. Stalin, a Georgian Russian, targeted the relatively prosperous Kulaks in Russia for extermination. Instances of one group destroying or persecuting another are legion in human history. The most notorious one in the present, targeted for death, submission, or slavery, are non-Muslim "infidels," regardless of their race, color, gender, or creed (e.g., Sunni Muslims are battling Shi'ite Muslims, the one group regarding the other as heretical "infidels"). 

Groups do exist, but they must be defined by a common thread or denominator of choices made by those who elect – or by default or without thought – to "belong" to them, and by what things are chosen by those who wish to  "belong" to any specific group. Hassidic Jews are a distinct group of Jews. The Mennonites differ from the Amish. Catholics who prefer masses said in Latin disparage Catholics who prefer masses said in English. The differences between groups are endless.  But what members of these groups all have in common is that it is a consequence of individual volition and choice (but not necessarily of thought).

I might, as Rand did herself, call myself a radical for capitalism. But that is a conscious choice. I was not born tabula rasa except that laissez-faire was already written on it. That never happened. It wasn't in my genes or in my race, I wasn't fated to become one. After years of observing men's behavior in politics and economics and social relationships, I wrote that myself.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Origins of Modern Black Collectivism

I remember these scenes vividly.

Sometime in the mid-1950's, when I was about ten years old, I was in the family car with my foster father on some errand. My foster father was an Italian-American Lutheran truck driver who married into an Irish-German family. We had to stop on Perrysville Avenue (this was in Pittsburgh), right in front of Perrysville High School (as it was known then). A black cop was directing traffic at the five-way intersection, which had no traffic light. My foster father remarked angrily, "Damned niggers are taking over everything!" 

Now, I had never seen a black man before, and did not understand my foster father's anger. But the seething malice was evident in the way he uttered the words. I gave him what I guess he perceived to be a "dirty look," but which was simply my astonished but mute inquiry.

When we got home, he beat me with the strap of his belt. I guess he saw reproach in my glance.

In another episode of "misunderstanding," the family had company over. We were in the living room and there was a lively conversation on politics, in which I did not participate. I don’t recall exactly what the subject was, and I think I was in my pre-teens. But either my foster father or foster mother asked me: "What color are we, Eddie?"

I answered: "Beige." Well, I was the only member of the family who read books. My foster parents had conniption fits every time I consulted the pristine set of the Encyclopedia Americana they had bought for show and shelved in a glass-door cabinet.  I had encountered the term somewhere, and it seemed more appropriate and truer than was "orange" or "white." The term was in my vocabulary, not my family's.

So, "beige" was not the answer any of the adults expected to hear. I think they all sat stunned, and my foster parents looked embarrassed.

When the company left, I again heard the swoop and felt the sting of my foster father's belt.

Yes, racism existed in America then, and it still exists, and will continue to exist for as long as men think of others in collectivist terms. Observe the racism and destructive furor evident in Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting of a black man by a white police officer. Except that it is basically "black" racism. A man who has just robbed a convenience store, assaulted a police officer, and charged that officer with every intention of causing him more harm, was shot and killed by the officer. But the facts and circumstances are irrelevant. The black "youth" is being touted as a "victim" of white racism.

No one asks: What was the cop, Darren Wilson, who was injured, supposed to do when the "youth" sauntered away? Ignore the assault, call in sick and drive to the nearest hospital to have his injured eye attended to? If he is a law enforcement officer, and suspected Brown of just robbing a convenience store, he was obliged to act, and not let Brown walk off to boast to his buddies, "Hey! I just socked a honky cop and he ain't done nothin' about it!"

In today's politically correct, thought-repressing climate, imagine what would be said, shouted from the rooftops, and headlined were the Darren Wilson/Michael Brown roles reversed.

A white man, of the same weight, height, and nasty disposition as Brown's, barely literate, as well, except in the "rap" vernacular, and known to most locals as a brutish thug, robs and manhandles a convenience store clerk, then walks out with merchandise he did not pay for. A black policeman stops him on the street, asking him to walk on a sidewalk. The white man assaults the officer, tries to take his gun, causing it to fire once. He pummels the officer, then walks off. The officer gets out of the patrol car and tells him to stop. After all, the "white" Brown has already committed a felony assault on the officer, in addition to being a suspect in a store robbery that has just come over the patrol car radio.

The white man turns and charges the officer, maybe uttering a "rebel yell," intending to inflict further bodily harm the officer. The officer shoots, several times. The brute is hard to stop.

The verbally abusive redneck yahoo is killed.  

Would the black officer be accused of racism? No. it would be the white man. "See," the chorus of the MSM and race-card players and liberals would cry, "that just proves that whites don’t respect blacks, even when blacks are part of the establishment. Let's hang that white trash!"

Michael Brown has not been portrayed as a thug, but as an "innocent" youngster who meant no harm.  All he was doing was walking in the middle of a busy street. And also, well…getting away with robbery in spite of his video-taped assault on the store clerk.

The preceding is by way an introduction to a book by Murali Balaji, published in 2007, The Professor and the Pupil:  The Politics and Friendship of W.E.B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson.

Balaji is a regular do-gooder contributor to the Huffington Post, and seems to want to do for Hindus in this country what CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations) has been doing for Muslims: Empower them politically, culturally, and socially. 

He has written an adulatory character study of the most influential advocates and propagandists for black racism, William Edward Burghardt "W. E. B." Du Bois (1868-1963), the black sociologist, civil rights activist, and advocate of one species of racism, a study which parallels Du Bois's life with that of Paul Robeson (1898-1976), the black actor, singer, Stalinist admirer of the Soviet Union, and secret member of the Communist Party of the United States.  (His son, Paul Robeson, Jr. , who went to grade school with Josef Stalin's daughter in Moscow, had denied it until it the CPUSA boastfully outed him in 1998, calling him "one of their own"). 

Du Bois's racial theories  -- and there were many until he became as committed a racist as Louis Farrakhan and Rev. Jeremiah Wright – advanced over decades by him and his ilk were as vile as the "scientific" racial theories of Madison Grant,  Houston Chamberlain, and Joseph Arthur, Comte de Gobineau.

The current black strain of racism has at least a century of ideological antecedents. But, it would be appropriate to let Ayn Rand, the novelist/philosopher, have the first word on the subject of racism:

Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.

Racism claims that the content of a man’s mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man’s convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical factors beyond his control. This is the caveman’s version of the doctrine of innate ideas—or of inherited knowledge—which has been thoroughly refuted by philosophy and science. Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stock-farm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.

Like every form of determinism, racism invalidates the specific attribute which distinguishes man from all other living species: his rational faculty. Racism negates two aspects of man’s life: reason and choice, or mind and morality, replacing them with chemical predestination.

Yes, black racism is also a form of collectivism, and much of it was encouraged and propounded by communist and socialist intellectuals. Du Bois and his successors in racial "studies" such as Marcus Garvey, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. , Cornel West, Derrick Bell, and Regina Austin, and a score more offered irrational solutions to racism that entailed the employment of racial preferences (affirmative action), force, the inculcation of self-consciousnesses of being "black" (black pride), reclaiming Africa from capitalist and colonialist Europeans, and blatant bigotry against any and all whites.

Virtually the only black spokesman in the 20th century for genuine black freedom was Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) who disagreed with Du Bois about how to go about emancipating blacks from discrimination or achieving equal rights with whites. He thought that force, preferential treatment,  and "revolutionary" action would only be counterproductive and leave blacks worse off than before. As they have been left worse off, by chiefly the Progressive Democrats, who wish to keep blacks in thrall as a tool of perpetuating the welfare state.

Derrick Bell argued that America was an intrinsically "racist" country and that its fundamental character as a nation of laws not of men was but a complicated ruse and dumb show concocted by whites to perpetuate "white" supremacy and to oppress blacks.  Therefore, laws were needed to compensate blacks for the discrimination and to enforce their preferential treatment. Any perceived "injustice" to whites in such a program was but reparations in the name of the ancestors of whites, who may or may not have had anything to do with enslaving or persecuting blacks.

Bell in the 1970's began to develop his Critical Race Theory (CRT).

Founded by the late Derrick Bell, critical race theory is an academic discipline which maintains that society is divided along racial lines into (white) oppressors and (black) victims, similar to the way Marxism frames the oppressor/victim dichotomy along class lines. Critical race theory contends that America is permanently racist to its core, and that consequently the nation's legal structures are, by definition, racist and invalid. As Emory University professor Dorothy Brown puts it, critical race theory "seeks to highlight the ways in which the law is not neutral and objective but designed to support white supremacy and the subordination of people of color." A logical derivative of this premise, according to critical race theory, is that the members of “oppressed” racial groups are entitled—in fact obligated—to determine for themselves which laws and traditions have merit and are worth observing.

Further, critical race theory holds that because racism is so deeply ingrained in the American character, classical liberal ideals such as meritocracy, equal opportunity, and colorblind justice are essentially nothing more than empty slogans that fail to properly combat—or to even acknowledge the existence of—the immense structural inequities that pervade American society and work against black people. Thus, according to critical race theorists, racial preferences (favoring blacks) in employment and higher education are not only permissible but necessary as a means of countering the permanent bigotry of white people who, as Bell put it, seek to “achieve a measure of social stability through their unspoken pact to keep blacks on the bottom.”

Regina Austin, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, and an advocate of Critical Race Theory, can be characterized as a high priestess of the theory and how to practice it in real life. Black criminals should be treated with kid gloves, or not at all.

Central to Austin’s “Advanced Torts” course is her claim that minority status confers the privilege of interpreting the law as one pleases. As writer Heather MacDonald points out, Professor Austin, in her published articles, has exhorted the black community to reject the distinction between lawful and unlawful activity as the imposed strictures of an oppressive white society. Austin pours scorn on such “traditional values” as “conformity to the law,” which she insists will “intensif[y] divisions within the black community.”

Austin has also called on blacks to engage in outright lawbreaking, which she calls “hustling,” but which in fact amounts to any number of acts of thievery licensed by Austin’s demands for social justice. Thus, “clerks in stores [who] cut their friends a break on merchandise, and pilfering employees [who] spread their contraband around the neighborhood,” are encouraged by Austin to occupy the “good middle ground between straightness and more extreme forms of lawbreaking.”

Much of this thinking is either Marxist in essence or heavily influenced by Marxism. The riots in Ferguson, Missouri this month are a direct application of those ideas, trickled down from academia to government programs and a compliant news media, and ultimately, to "the street."  

Then there are the non-intellectual preachers and promulgators of the same vicious ideology, such as Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan, and retired minister to President Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright. In addition, there were the Black Panthers, individuals such as Eldridge Cleaver, Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis, and numerous other "activists." Whether it is the naked "whitey is the devil" claim of Farrakhan's or the "black theology" of Wright's or Bell's Critical Race Theory, they are all collectivist in their fundamental premises. There are as many variations of black racism as there are of white racism, but they are all evil.

The racial philosophy of W.E.B. Du Bois, for example, in Balaji's description of the "Doctor's" world view, moved in stages over time from concocting the notion of a "Talented Tenth" of American blacks – the notion that the "best and brightest" would, after being educated and proving their worth to live in a "white-dominated" society, help to uplift the balance of blacks from poverty and ignorance – to an unreserved endorsement of the Soviet Union, with full knowledge of Stalin's genocide and the murderous purge of the Communist Party of its original founders (such as Trotsky and other Inner Party luminaries). Both Du Bois and Paul Robeson were certain that the Soviet way of government was the blacks' only hope of achieving equality, dignity and freedom.

Du Bois and Alain Locke, his contemporary at Howard University, championed the New Negro and the Talented Tenth, a belief that those blessed with the "natural" proclivity for intelligence and education would lead the uplift of the Negro race…But Du Bois's first political awakening came after a visit to the Soviet Union, where he saw firsthand the application of Socialist principles.

Du Bois and Robeson both viewed Germany and Italy's Fascism as the inevitable result of capitalism, colonialism, and an "innate" European desire to subjugate the "dark races." This is pure Marxism.  And both men –the recipients of university education, in which they seemed to excel – viewed the Soviet Union as the chief bulwark against "white supremacy," as well as the imperialism of Japan in spite of its literal rape of China in the 1920's and 1930's, simply because the Japanese were not "white." Robeson opposed this view of Du Bois's, which absolved Japan of its own brand of racism against the Chinese and Mongolians. Robeson asked the logical question:

If the Japanese had "no regard" for the Chinese, how could they have any regard for African Americans? Robeson would argue this point as he became more absolute in his opposition to colonialism and Fascism. By the time the United States entered World War II, Robeson led the charge to demonize Fascists, who existed "not only in Germany, Italy (and) Japan, but in Canada, the United States, the West Indies (and) Africa."

Du Bois and Robeson both visited the Soviet Union at least twice, were given the red carpet treatment, and saw what the Soviets wanted them to see. They were consequently bedazzled by the Soviets' alleged campaign against racism and concern for the "minorities" in the Soviet empire. While Du Bois remained skeptical about a Soviet-style system working in America, Robeson remained for the rest of his life enamored of the Soviet Union. It could do no wrong, not even when he had knowledge of the monstrous wrongs it was committing.

So [Robeson] stayed loyal, proclaiming that the Soviet Union's lead in the global freedom struggle and their fair treatment of minorities made it the one nation that valued human dignity. Robeson, in one of the rare public comments he made on the [show] trials, told Ben Davis the Soviets "ought to destroy anybody who seeks to harm that great country."

Du Bois was that leftist brand intellectual who donned blinders to the reality of Soviet tyranny – tyranny was okay as long as it was anti-white and anti-capitalist. Robeson was a forerunner of today's celebrities who have nothing to say about Islamic atrocities but oppose Israel defending itself against jihad, and also excoriate capitalism while enjoying its fruits. Du Bois and Robeson both wound up embittered hulks nurturing a deep hatred for the U.S.  Robeson died of a stroke close to the 200th anniversary of the founding of the U.S.; Du Bois joined the CPUSA in 1961, and moved to Ghana, a "socialist police state," and died there in 1963.

The only means of perpetuating racism and discrimination against blacks or any other "minority,'" or even against a "majority," however "well-intentioned," is by force, to nullify the voluntary freedom of association in employment, education and in other human relationships. Government force, in the hands of racist politicians or those with a vested interest in perpetuating racism as a tool of power and "social and political transformation" (such as President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder), will only exacerbate racism, and knowingly promote it (see the careers of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson).

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" have had the opposite effect, ignoring or disparaging the basic principle that the government is powerless to force a mind (whether or not an individual holds racist views), but can only corrupt it by introducing the element of legislative compulsion and therefore stressing the alleged ubiquity of the irrational.

"Black" racism is no answer to "white" racism, and those are not the only species of racism extant today. For example, "white" or Semitic Muslims despise Muslim and non-Muslim blacks alike (in Arabic, blacks are called "abeeds," or slaves). Light skinned or "mullatos" or mixed-race blacks look down on dark-skinned blacks, and vice versa. Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams, black intellectuals who promote individualism and reason, and who oppose any kind of racism, especially black racism, which they regard as a folly, are despised by most black civil rights organizations and by liberals and leftists, as is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

I received my first taste of racism as a young boy, at the end of a leather strap, a long time ago, because I did not exhibit an "inherent" white racism which Du Bois, Robeson, and Derrick Bell, among others, claimed was a permanent character trait of whites. So I know how vicious any species of racism can be.

*The Professor and the Pupil:  The Politics and Friendship of W.E.B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson, by Murali Balaji. New York: Nation Books, 2007. 481pp.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Police Blame Media for Race Riots

Or, they ought to. Some have. In a manner of speaking, and very guardedly. Don’t blame the Democrats for perpetuating black poverty. Don’t blame Obama, either. Heavens, if an individual or official did that, a brick outhouse would drop and crush the fellow. It's happened before. It'll happen again as long as Obama is still in power.

Note that I didn’t say, "As long as Obama is still in office." There's a significant difference in the terms. Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, and that whole motley, malevolent crew regard their offices as seats of unrestrained power, unchecked by the Constitution and by Congress. And the news media seem to want Obama to go the limit, to reach the goal posts and do his pitiful victory dance again, nine-iron in hand.

Reading Cliff Kincaid's Family Security Matters article of August 18th, "Media Blame Police for Race Riots," it occurred to me that there ought to be an article titled, "Police Blame Media for Race Riots." So, here it is.

I can't top Daniel Greenfield's sardonic article, "How to Write About Israel" column of August 18th.  It is a veritable instruction and policy manual for liberal and clueless "journalists" on how to misrepresent Israel and the facts behind any conflict between it and its attackers. It's a playbook, an absolutely mandatory script to follow, lest one be relieved of employment or be reassigned to cover pet parades in Oshkosh or a sighting of the Loch Ness Monster in the Dead Sea.

At one point in the Fox News video of the chaos, the riot-geared police can be seen backing off, passing a shoulder-to-shoulder mass of photographers with their cameras, rows thick, perhaps several score of them, some possibly standing on bleachers in the rear to give them better shots of the police firing into the menacing crowd of "peaceful" protesters.

The question is: Why aren't the "protesters" attacking the newsies? Because the protesters are on TV now, on camera. They're hamming it up for the news media, putting on their best "America's Got Chanting Angry Mob Talent" performances. Were it just a news scribbler and his flash camera photographer from the Daily Ferguson Flier, the rioters and their provocateurs wouldn't be out in such numbers, if any were out at all, and certainly wouldn't be egging the police on to fire into the crowd and crack heads with their batons. (Oh, horrors! The police are so brutal, not the rock-throwing punks! They're black, and can do no wrong, you racist!) But the news media has pumped up the riots for national and international consumption.

There is no video of Darren Wilson shooting Michael Brown, in the back or anywhere else on his ample anatomy. No video of Brown trying to grab Wilson's gun and slamming the cop's door on him. No sound bytes of the cop's gun going off in the car after Brown tried to wrest it from the cop, nor of the cop telling Brown to freeze as he walked away from assaulting a policeman. There is just the video of Brown manhandling the store clerk and walking away with stolen merchandise minutes before Brown had his altercation with the cop. That was incriminating enough.

There are several witnesses who substantiate the officer's rendition of what transpired from the time the police car idled by to tell Brown and his friend to not walk in the street to the time Brown lay dead, a "victim" of his own arrogant folly.

Attorney General Eric Holder has gone to Ferguson to make sure Brown remains a "martyr" who died waging his own brand of "jihad," and was not just another dime-a-dozen thug who miscalculated and got what he deserved.

In the meantime, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter who tweeted that she had spoken to witnesses who corroborate Officer Darren Wilson's rendition of what happened, has been relieved of duty. Daniel Greenfield, in his FrontPage column of August 19th, "St. Louis Post-Dispatch Purges Reporter Who Spoke to Witnesses Corroborating Ferguson Police Story," asked:

Since when does Twitter count as a newspaper’s standards for publication? Plenty of New York Times reporters tweet their views and opinions and parts of developing stories. Plenty of reporters have been behaving in a wildly unprofessional manner over Ferguson, on and off Twitter. They’ve been acting like a lynch mob.

Byers was reporting conditions on the ground on Twitter in much more neutral and professional terms, but at the same time the conclusion could have been drawn that she was sympathetic to the law and order side of the angle, not the rioters and looters that her colleagues preferred.

Christine Byers was actually quoting what police told her about the violence. That may have been a no-no. Pulling her silences the police and lets Obama, Sharpton and Co. play their games.

This is the new journalism.

Well, not so much "new" as shop-worn. We saw it over and over again in the MSM's coverage of the Gaza War, from the Frostbite Falls Bugle to the New York Times to the Washington Post to the Sacramento Bee.

I'm going to take the liberty of paraphrasing some of Greenfield's paragraphs from his edifying article, "How to Write About Israel." The lessons to be gleaned from that marvelous commentary are equally applicable – and are being applied even as I write this – to the Ferguson, Missouri "war zone." I hope he forgives me.

Writing about Ferguson has become a booming field. No news agency, be it ever so humble, can avoid embedding a few correspondents and a dog's tail of stringers into the town and its environs, to sit outside of undestroyed, un-looted shops, clicking away on their laptops, meeting up with other leftists and the oppressed protester or grieving mother of the week.

Ferguson is hot (well, it is August) with the suggestion of violence brimming under the surface, except when it's no longer a suggestion but a volcanic eruption. Ferguson should be described as a "troubled town." Throw in occasional ironic references to civil rights and Martin Luther King, Jr., and end every article or broadcast by emphasizing that peace is still far away.

Weigh every story one way. Depersonalize the cops and shopkeepers, personalize blacks. One is a statistic, the other a precious snowflake. A blacks-only looting and torching a Korean-owned store is always in retaliation for something, but a shopkeeper's defending his property with a gun is rarely a retaliation for anything. When shopkeepers repel a mob by simply waving their guns from a rooftop, suggest that this latest action only feeds the "Cycle of Violence" and quote some official who urges the shopkeepers to talk and negotiate with those who would harm them – whether or not there actually is anything to talk about. Well, maybe free Swisher cigars for the overweight among the mob, with unlimited EBT card use at the counter.

Center everything around reconciliation and "reaching out." If the shopkeepers have any credible complaints (probably racist) about the rudeness and character of their customers, do your best to avoid learning about them. Assume that all shopkeepers – Korean, white, black, Hispanic, whatever – think the same way. Every concession of theirs, made in a state of terror, is a referendum on the "peace process."

 Convey to the reader that there is something disturbing about the tenacity with which the store owners and shopkeepers cling to their businesses, while making it clear that they will have to be economically cleansed from the town for there to be peace. Many are already ruined and won’t be back, but don’t mention that. Do not use the word "economic cleansing," use "expropriation in the name of social justice," it sounds cleaner. Mention something about the Indians and slaves. Talk to the black youth and contrast their fresh faces with their unwillingness to make peace with their Korean, black, Hispanic and white neighbors who have harmed and insulted them in uncountable ways, such as expecting them to pay for what they want without walking out of a store in a huff.

Visit with politicians and black activists and other racial activists, such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Democratic Governor Nixon's envoy, and other out-of-towners, and maybe with a committee representing besieged Ferguson shopkeepers. If the latter make jokes (which is unlikely), describe it as a transparent and offensive effort to curry favor with you and influence the freedom of the press.

The police are even worse. Press them about their rules of engagement with suspects, their profiling policies, their constant harassment of blacks who absent-mindedly pilfer stores or have a record of shoplifting and threatening store clerks, and so on. Get them to admit that they're all secret members of the KKK or some other racist outfit. If the police give you the bum's rush and ask you to leave, write about it being an embedded hostility to the press and a denial of law enforcement transparency.

Property owners are even worse. Press them about the all the misery and deprivation they've caused in town. Then get your Washington and Springfield contacts to introduce you to friendly left-wing pols who will commiserate with you about the state of the peace process and the leap of faith that needs to be taken to make peace. Get a quote from them about the next generation of potential protesters, and describe them as saddened by their government's unwillingness to allow thugs and looters to roam free in town and in their stores. Express exasperation about the police's violation of the freedom of association during a riot or other social crisis that calls for "military" gear and other scary symbols of oppression.

Don’t be fooled by the shopkeepers' committee suddenly and collectively holding up their hands with nervous smiles and saying as one, "Don’t Shoot. Don’t Loot." They're simply patronizing you and mocking those with legitimate grievances. You're a journalist and deserve better treatment than that.

Write about how all the guns make you uncomfortable, but that you're not uncomfortable with rocks and Molotov cocktails and crowbars and guys running around wearing masks and babushkas over their faces pretending be ISIS "martyrs." Close with an old man who expresses hope, however inarticulately (you can clean up his English later, if you know how to) that one day peace will come to this troubled town.

Then go home to your usual stomping grounds and your Starbucks lattes and comfortable apartments or homes and clean working environments where the most dangerous thing to sail past your head is a rubber band shot by a pranksterish colleague from another cubicle.