Thursday, August 31, 2017

Take a Look at These Incredible Pictures of Heroes in Houston

By Christine Rousselle

Over the weekend, Houston and parts of Texas faced unimaginable destruction and record-breaking flooding. There were hundreds of horrific images of an entire city underwater, but amid the damage came hope, in the form of ordinary people stepping up to save lives and help out their communities. 

Here's a few highlights:


Our officers conducting rescue operations in our city around the clock. Please STAY OFF the roadways and help us by helping your neighbors.



Touching photo by Louis DeLuca from our slideshow of Texans providing rescue in #HurricaneHarvey's 'biblical' floods …



Extraordinary photo shows Harris County Sheriff's deputy rescuing two children from high floodwaters in Cypress, TX 

'Vile and Contemptible': POLITICO Slammed for Publishing Cartoon Mocking Hurricane Harvey Victims

By Christine Rousselle

POLITICO is being criticized for publishing a tone-deaf cartoon mocking the religious faith and political views of Houston residents in the aftermath of the flooding.
The cartoon, drawn by artist Matt Wuerker, depicts a family sitting on the top of a house amid rising floodwaters on the verge of being rescued by a helicopter. One of the people calls the helicopter an "angel, sent by God," to which the rescuer then sneers that he's in the Coast Guard and sent by the government.
I mean, this is beyond tasteless, and it's almost sickening how nobody thought to themselves "hey, maybe this is a bad idea!" during the drawing, publishing, and tweeting process. Now is not the time. Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding didn't discriminate based off of religion, political views, or skin color. Further, a person's political views, religion, or skin color don't make someone any more or less worthy of being rescued from a flood, by either a private boat driven by the Cajun Navy or by the U.S. Coast Guard. This isn't too challenging of a concept.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Updates: Hurricane Harvey; South Asia Strategy; Illegal Immigration; Trump Pardons Sheriff Joe Arpaio

 News From The National Diversity Coalition For Trump:
Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Americans in the path of Hurricane Harvey.  In times like these, Americans unite.  Not because of skin color, religion or political affiliation but because we are AMERICANS and we are people of compassion and action. 

While the left and media are busy playing games with identity politics, the Trump train is moving forward as shown in the below list of actions during Hurricane Harvey and the prior week. 
National Diversity Coalition for Trump Leadership Team:

Darrell Scott - CEO
Michael Cohen - Chair
Christos Marafatsos - Vice Chair
Bruce LeVell, Executive Director



Homeland Security Advisor, Tom Bossert, on CBS’s "Face the Nation" outlines how the President has been monitoring the storm’s progress:

TOM BOSSERT: Well among other things he's been talking to me and Brock Long and his acting Homeland Security Secretary, Elaine Duke.
Yesterday we had two hour long almost conversation with his entire Cabinet all the senior leadership team.
The President was actively involved in that making sure operations were coordinated unsticking any disagreements of which there were none at this stage.
The Vice President was very actively involved in that, in fact the Vice President and President both called me in the last 12 hours probably a dozen time, each. What you're doing making sure that we're coordinating.
And so what I liken it is to race, we're off and out of the blocks the right way.
That’s because of strong preparedness and strong leadership.
But now we have to run that race and finish well.
Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert on ABC’s "This Week" on the President’s priorities moving forward after Hurricane Harvey

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you for joining us this morning. You just heard that praise from Governor Abbott for the federal response. What is your focus as we head in to the next phase?
TOM BOSSERT: Good morning, George thanks for having me on the program.
So the President’s focus and mine remains on supporting the Governor. And it's very nice to hear the governor give us the praise. I think it's a mutual feeling.
President Trump right now is giving all the latitude of the federal government that he can possible give it.
Brock Long, our FEMA administrator is taking the reins and coordinating efforts. And people focus on coordinating federal efforts.
But what Brock is doing is really pretty special because what doing is he's coordinating federal efforts across different departments and agencies but he’s also he's coordinating volunteers and workers and professionals from other states as well.
We have talked a lot this morning about the search and rescue efforts under way. Life-saving and life-sustaining is our priority right now.
But you will see some of those search and rescue teams are coming from different states all over the country and that is what makes us special at this point of kind of a unifying feeling there's a lot of effort under way.
And what Brock has to do and what the president has to remain focused on and what I try to help him focus on is unity of the efforts.
FEMA Administrator, Brock Long, on NBC’s "Meet the Press" gives an update on FEMA’s actions following the storm:

CHUCK TODD: Let me start with this cleanup effort and the fact that Lester was just saying and understandably that some of it is delayed or stalled because more is to come. What kind of extra efforts are you having to -- resources are you having to marshal to deal with issues of flooding? Are you having more air support, Coast Guard coming in? What are the resources you're having to start now?
ADMINISTRATOR LONG: So, first of all, I'd like to say that President Trump is extremely concerned about this. He's given me all the authorities to amass the resources from the federal government down through our state and local partners.
And right now we have nearly 5,000 staff that we have coordinated across the federal government within the states of Texas and Louisiana helping Governor Abbott as well as the locals respond.
Right now we're not doing recovery. There's no such thing as recovery right now.
Right now we are deep into the life safety mission of helping people be rescued through swift water rescues, search and rescue. And it's my job to coordinate that.
So specifically what I mean is that under the national response framework we mission assign the Coast Guard. We mission assign DOD assets in support of our state and local efforts. And you're seeing that take place right now.
Administrator Long on CNN’s "State of the Union" on FEMA’s continued work in the affected areas:
JAKE TAPPER: The National Weather Service says parts of Texas might be uninhabitable for weeks, even potentially months after the hurricane. Are you prepared? Is FEMA prepared to be there for months on end?
ADMINISTRATOR LONG: FEMA is going to be there for years, sir. This disaster recover -- this disaster is going to be a landmark event and we're already in the stages, while we're focused on response and helping Texas respond.
We're already pushing forward, recovery housing teams, we're already pushing forward forces to be on the ground to implement National Flood Insurance Program policies as well. And doing the inspections that we need.
So we're setting up and gearing up for the next couple years.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Fox’s "Fox News Sunday" on the President’s game-changing strategy for victory in Afghanistan:
SECRETARY TILLERSON: I think the President has been clear, Chris, that this is a dramatic shift in terms of the military strategy.
We are shifting from a time-based military strategy that had very clear troop ceiling levels as compared to now, he indicated a conditions-based strategy, which means it will be dictated by conditions on the ground informed by battlefield commanders.
He has also delegated significant authority to Secretary Mattis to set troop levels but has also been able to delegate for the military commanders in the field to begin to turn the tide against the Taliban.
I think we all recognize for the past couple of years that Taliban has been advancing and Afghan forces have been unable to push them back.
There will be a definite change in military tactics on the ground.
Now all of this is directed to sending a message to the Taliban that we are not going anywhere.
We're going to be here, we will continue to fight for the Afghan government, support the Afghan Security Forces and what needs to happen is the Taliban need to engage with Afghan government in a process of reconciliation and developing a way to govern the country in the future.


President Trump’s top priority remains to protect the American people and keep our country safe. The President has approved a new strategy for South Asia to ensure that terrorists will never again use Afghanistan as a haven to attack the United States.
Key Elements of Strategy:  New strategy departs from previous approaches to South Asia in several key respects.
    Any future decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan will depend on conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables.
    Strategy will integrate all American power—diplomatic, economic, and military—in a way that is sustainable and cost-effective.
    Will support the Afghan government and security forces in their fight against the Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist groups to prevent the establishment of terrorist safe havens in the country. This will include providing advisors to Afghan brigades and additional combat air support.
    Will put military pressure on the Taliban and set conditions for our ultimate goal - a peaceful settlement between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban that protects our interests.
    The United States does not seek a permanent military presence in Afghanistan. We are prepared, however, to remain militarily engaged in Afghanistan to produce a political settlement that protects the interests of the United States.
    The heaviest burden will continue to be borne by the Afghan people and their forces.
Pakistan:    Change in our approach to Pakistan: will reflect the commonsense understanding that no partnership can survive a country’s tolerance for militants and terrorists who target US service members and officials.
    This strategy marks a break with the status quo in U.S.-Pakistan relations and a fundamental change in how we approach the challenge of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan.
    While Pakistan is an important partner for achieving our priorities in the region, it must take decisive action against militant groups based in Pakistan that are a threat to the region.
    No partnership can survive a country’s tolerance of militants and terrorists who target U.S. service members and officials.
    Strategy will require Pakistan to demonstrate that it is willing to assist the U.S. in its core counterterrorism goals in the region.
    Regional approach: new strategy will emphasize developing our strategic partnership with India.
    The United States views India as a valued partner, with mutual interests.
    India is making important contributions toward Afghanistan’s democracy, stability, prosperity, and security.
    Strategy incorporates the serious threat of nuclear weapons that could be obtained by terrorists

    To that end, reducing nuclear dangers in South Asia is a critical element of protecting the safety and security of Americans.

Since his inauguration, President Trump has made undeniable progress reducing illegal immigration along the southern border and targeting the most dangerous criminal illegal immigrants in the country.
  Illegal border crossings over the southwest border have decreased by 47 % compared to the same period last year.
  Illegal aliens removed due to ICE arrests have increased by over 32% to 48,580 illegal aliens, compared to the same time last year.
  71% of the more than 91,000 administrative arrests conducted by ICE since President Trump’s inauguration have involved convicted criminal aliens.
  Of the illegal aliens arrested without criminal convictions, 74 percent were charged with a crime, were immigration fugitives, or were repeat violators.
  So far in fiscal year 2017, ICE has removed over 2,700 criminal gang members, compared to 2,057 criminal gang members in all of 2016.
   During Project New Dawn, a nationwide, six-week operation, ICE officers and agents arrested 1,378 suspected gang members. 104 of those arrested were members or associates of MS-13.
  Operation Matador in the New York City metropolitan area has led to nearly 140 arrests, the vast majority of these are affiliated with MS-13.

President Trump is following through on his promise to the American people to build a wall to secure the southern border and the Yuma Sector is a clear example of how effective the wall can be.
Illegal border crossings in the Yuma Sector have declined by 70 percent from 2006, when the Yuma Sector built more than 50 miles of border wall.
To jumpstart construction on the border wall, President Trump ordered DHS to use $20 million of unspent appropriations in its account for border security, fencing, and infrastructure.
DHS has authorized a waiver to expedite a 15-mile stretch of wall near San Diego.
President Trump has worked with Congress to pass border wall funding and the House of Representatives passed $1.6 billion to fund 28 miles of new border wall and 46 miles of new and secondary fencing.

President Trump is working with Congress to pass tough new laws to secure the border, strengthen immigration enforcement, and increase penalties for breaking our immigration laws.
President Trump supports the passage of Kate’s Law to increase mandatory penalties for illegal aliens who re-enter the United States to a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 25 years.
President Trump supports the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which would block localities that do not cooperate with immigration enforcement from receiving many Federal grants.
President Trump supports the Davis-Oliver Act, which would restrict Federal money to sanctuary communities, increase funding to local communities enforcing immigration laws, and raise penalties for immigration crimes.

Trump Pardons Joe Arpaio
By Alice Greene

Arpaio is “humbled and incredibly grateful”

President Trump has pardoned conservative hero and former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The self-styled “toughest sheriff in America” who was convicted after he ignored a court order to stop profiling Latinos in his crackdown on illegal immigration.   Trump is receiving serious backlash for his decision to grant this pardon.
As of Wednesday, 85-year-old Arpaio faced up to six months in jail. He was to be sentenced on October 5th. By Friday evening he had been pardoned.
Arizona's large Hispanic community has responded with outrage, claiming Arpaio is yet another example of the white supremacy that plagues our country.
Thousands gathered in Phoenix Tuesday to protest as Trump delivered a speech at the city's convention center. Protestors waved signs that read “Arpaio & Trump: A match made by racism” and “No pardon for criminal sheriff Joe Arpaio.”
Arpaio did not attend the event, choosing to watch the speech from his home in Fountain Hills. The former sheriff claims the media has failed to tell his full story and insists that he has been unfairly targeted due to politics.
Arpaio says he is “humbled and incredibly grateful” for the pardon. He slammed his conviction as “a political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama justice department” and said he is “not concerned” about the people who are going to continue criticizing him “no matter what.”
Here’s the way I see it:
Arpaio has been a Trump supporter from the very beginning. He even introduced then-candidate Trump during his campaign events in Arizona.
Arpaio did break the law, but he did so adhering to principles that Trump shares. At the root of it, Arpaio’s pardon is more evidence of how Trump plans to uphold his campaign promises and embolden his voter base.
NBC journalist Stephen A. Nuno labels the Trump Administration's approach to illegal immigration as "fanaticism" and points out how sometimes this can be a legitimate strategy. "Approaching disagreements over civil rights, reproductive rights, police reform, etc. from a fanatical position is a legitimate strategy, perhaps even the best one...Trump knows this." 
President Trump has drawn a red line against illegal immigration from the very beginning, and his pardon of Arpaio is consistent with his approach to politics.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

What if the media gets the President — or others — hurt?

By Jeffrey Lord

Jim VandeHei of Axios
The other day Jim VandeHei of Axios — VandeHei a longtime journalist with previous stops at the Washington Post and Politico — tweeted the following after President Trump’s Phoenix speech. A speech in which he spent time attacking the media. (And yes, mentioning yours truly.) The VandeHei tweets read:
To family/friends who support Trump: what he said last night about reporters was despicable, extremely deceptive, dangerous…
… Claim bias. Fine. Claim elitism. Fine. Claim the press hyperventilates/bloviates. Fine…
… But to say reporters erase America’s heritage, don’t love America, turn off cameras to hide truth, are to blame for racial tension…
… is just plain wrong. I worked w/ reporters like Daniel Pearl who died a gruesome death seeking truth; scores die yearly exposing facts…
… There are great Americans deeply concerned about a changing nation. God forbid one buys Trump’s mad rant and takes action…
Mr. VandeHei, whom I do not know, is a serious journalist. And out of respect his tweets deserve a serious reply from a Trump supporter. So, forthwith, an Open Letter to Jim VandeHei.

An Open Letter to Jim VandeHei

Dear Jim:
Thank you for your recent tweets addressed to those of us who support President Trump. Clearly sent in good faith, I wanted to take an opportunity to respond in good faith.
Let me begin this per your tweets:
… what he said last night about reporters was despicable, extremely deceptive, dangerous…
… There are great Americans deeply concerned about a changing nation. God forbid one buys Trump’s mad rant and takes action…
Are you kidding Jim? Allow me to recount some recent “mainstream” media history.
Let me recall for you that in February of 2016 your old paper, The Washington Post, published this screed from Danielle Allen , identified thusly as “a political theorist at Harvard University and a contributing columnist for The Post.”
The column compared then-candidate Trump to — Adolf Hitler.
In December of 2015 Post columnist Dana Milbank opened his column by saying this:
Let’s not mince words: Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist.
In February of 2016 the Post editorial board joined the Trump-as-Hitler frenzy saying:
First, you don’t have to go back to history’s most famous example, Adolf Hitler, to understand that authoritarian rulers can achieve power through the ballot box.
There has been much more of this kind of garbage coming from the Post, but let’s move on to the New York Times. Here’s the Times editorial board in November of 2015:
America has just lived through another presidential campaign week dominated by Donald Trump’s racist lies.
And so it has gone, with one outright lie after another from once respectable media outlets. The President is Hitler, he’s a racist, a xenophobe, homophobe, yada yada yada.
So Jim, the obvious question for some of us? Let me rephrase your tweets this way:
… what the media has said in the course of the last two years about candidate and now President Trump was despicable, extremely deceptive, dangerous…
… is just plain wrong. I worked for President Ronald Reagan who almost died because a mentally disturbed young man thought he could impress a liberal young movie actress by killing a president who, not unlike Donald Trump, had been assailed by left-wing opponents in and out of the media as a wannabe Hitler and a racist.
… There are great Americans deeply concerned about a changing nation. God forbid one buys the mad rants from the mainstream media and takes action…
In other words, Jim?
Your colleagues have repeatedly and consistently painted the 45th President of the United States in such, if I may borrow again from you, “despicable, extremely deceptive, dangerous” terms that it raises the question exactly of whether the media is going to wind up hurting the President, a Secret Service or police officer or an average American who merely is momentarily in the President’s physical presence because someone filled with this mainstream media BS “takes action.”
In fact, this has already happened to Congressman Steve Scalise.

The fact that you and so many of your colleagues do not see the effect of what you are doing is no surprise. As you know, I was fired from CNN because I tweeted out a direct quote from a sarcastic paragraph in a two-day-old column of mine in this space in which I focused on the fascist tactics of Media Matters for America. Story after story in the media about my firing referred to MMFA and its leader as mere “liberal activists” or a “liberal activist.”
Jim, have you ever spoken to Mark Stevens? In 2012 Mr. Stevens was targeted by what he calls “the usual suspects” because his non-political marketing firm in Rye, New York advertised on — among many other radio venues like CBS and Bloomberg — the Rush Limbaugh Show.
At the time MMFA was ginning up its “Stop Rush” campaign in which they went after Rush’s advertisers to stop sponsoring his show.
Mr. Stevens, who, by the way, is Jewish, suddenly found himself and his business under ferocious attack for advertising to the Limbaugh audience.
Out of the blue he was told his “every move” was now “under surveillance.”
His company was besieged with thousands of hostile emails from angry idiots around the country who self-described as “Policeman of the Internet” or “Citizen of the Internet.”
Phone calls poured in attacking his female employees as “sluts” and his physical safety was threatened.
Stevens was asked about this by Fox News host Stuart Varney, as here.
Mr. Stevens made a point of saying he was not the target of a “boycott” but rather an organized “terrorist action.”
And yet this kind of, to quote you again, “despicable, extremely deceptive, dangerous” behavior with an advertiser is blithely dismissed by the mainstream media — yes, including CNN — as just another humdrum liberal boycott by liberal activists.
What happens, Jim, when someone egged on by these people “buys Media Matters For America’s mad rant and takes action” against an advertiser?
Will the mainstream media finally reflect that not treating MMFA as I did in my column with sarcastic condemnation for their Nazi-style tactics was a mistake?
When one adds up the countless stories from college campuses across the country that have this or that conservative speaker not only shut down but threatened physically and in at least one case — Charles Murray at Middlebury College — physically attacked?
Add in the riots at some of these campuses, at the President’s inaugural, or in places like Baltimore or Ferguson, not to mention the wholesale Taliban-style effort to erase monuments that record American history (and when an ESPN broadcaster of Asian descent is moved from coverage of a college football game because his name is “Robert Lee”).
Is it any wonder that millions of Americans see the mainstream media not as the leading edge of freedom, liberty, and free speech in this country but as the leading edge of a serious attempt to silence conservatives, Trump supporters, and anyone else who dissents from the liberal/leftwing agenda of the moment?
And do so literally if not physically.
Jim, you have had a long and distinguished career. But in all candor the moral, political and journalistic blinders you and so many of your mainstream media colleagues have donned — voluntarily — is not simply maddening to millions of Americans, it is frightening.
Let me close by noting this from a previous column that mentioned Mr. Stevens.
Stevens had spoken about all the supportive emails he received after he went public about what had been happening to him.
He noticed a recurring theme from those that supported him.
His fellow Americans!
They had developed this uneasy feeling that standing up in today’s America was “like being an outspoken critic of the government under a totalitarian regime.” He paused. “We don’t have it yet,” he mused, “but it’s too much like that.”
Think of that, Jim.
An American citizen who says that the fellow Americans he heard from when they learned of the attacks on him had the uneasy feeling that he was being treated like “an outspoken critic of the government under a totalitarian regime.”
With respect, Jim?
You objected to the part of the President’s speech that, in your words, said “reporters erase America’s heritage, don’t love America, turn off cameras to hide truth, are to blame for racial tension…”
But when so many Americans view the mainstream media as exactly the would-be hand-holders for, in Mr. Stevens’ words, “a totalitarian regime” that consists of the liberal or left-wing worldview of just about anything, it would seem that you and your colleagues have some serious self-examination ahead when covering not just this President but his supporters — your fellow Americans — as well.
Thanks for your time.
Best wishes,
Jeff Lord

Hurricane Harvey Devastates Texas
Some parts of Texas could receive up to 50 inches of rain as Hurricane Harvey continues to pound southeastern Texas, bringing "catastrophic flooding" on Sunday, the National Weather Service announced.

The White House announced Sunday that President Trump will visit storm-ravaged Texas on Tuesday.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Shameful Blackout of Thomas, Sowell and Williams

By Larry Elder

Clarence Thomas, one of nine members of the Supreme Court and the second black to ever join the Court, is not in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Asked to explain Thomas' absence, the chief spokeswoman for the Smithsonian said, "The museum's exhibitions are based on themes, not individuals."

Yet the museum plans to add a popular local D.C. television news broadcaster. The museum's founding director, Lonnie Bunch, said the broadcaster "symbolized that it was really important that America was changing and his presence was a symbol of that change." And Thomas, raised in poverty to become only the second black to sit on the Supreme Court, is not "a symbol of that change"?
Left-wing blacks -- and that's the overwhelming majority -- feel that black conservatives like Thomas do not just have different or wrongheaded or illogical views. Thomas' views, to them, damage the black community. Never mind that most Clarence Thomas-haters could not identify a single case Thomas decided with which they disagree. 

One line of attack against Thomas goes as follows. Thomas "took advantage" of race-based preferences to get into college and law school, but then "turned his back on those behind" by arguing that such preferences violate the 14th Amendment.
What these critics assert is that but for race-based preferences, Clarence Thomas would likely be working the deep-fryer at McDonald's. Assume, for the moment, that but for race-based preferences, Thomas would not have gotten into the particular schools he attended, College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Yale Law School.
But in America thousands of colleges and universities, from community colleges to Harvard, accept students of varying abilities with financial assistance readily available. Surely the driven, hardworking, academically oriented Clarence Thomas could have and would have found admission into schools matching his skills and ability.
Here's another problem with race-based preferences. Studies document a disproportionately high college-dropout rate for minority students admitted with lower test scores and grades than their peers selected without preferences. How is this mismatching of value to the "beneficiary" if it leads to a higher dropout rate, with the frustrated student giving up and leaving school in debt? The student often blames his failure to succeed at this high level on unfair, if not racist, professors.
The African-American Museum's discrimination against Thomas provides just one example of the black anti-conservative bigotry.
Here's another. Every year, the black monthly magazine Ebony lists its "Power 100," defined as those "who lead, inspire and demonstrate through their individual talents, the very best in Black America." Each year Thomas is conspicuously absent. Apparently, as a sitting black justice on the Supreme Court of the United States, Thomas does not "lead, inspire and demonstrate ... the very best in Black America."
Ebony not only excludes Clarence Thomas but also shuts out prominent conservatives Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams.
As for Sowell, he's only an economist and writer whom playwright David Mamet once called "our greatest contemporary philosopher." Sowell, who never knew his father, was raised by a great-aunt and her two grown daughters. They lived in Harlem, where he was the first in his family to make it past the sixth grade. He left home at 17, served as a Marine in the Korean War, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, earned a master's degree at Columbia University the next year, followed by a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Chicago.
Sowell, at 87, authored some four dozen books (not counting revised editions) and wrote hundreds of scholarly articles and essays in periodicals and thousands of newspaper columns. In 2015, Forbes magazine said: "It's a scandal that economist Thomas Sowell has not been awarded the Nobel Prize. No one alive has turned out so many insightful, richly researched books." Yet, thanks in part to the Ebony shutout, many blacks have never heard of him.
How does Ebony justify excluding economist and writer Walter Williams, former chairman of the economics department of George Mason University, where he still teaches? Raised by a single mother, he lived in Philadelphia's Richard Allen housing projects. He served as a private in the Army before earning a bachelor's degree at a state university, followed by a master's and a Ph.D. in economics at UCLA. Williams has written a dozen books on economics and race, including the inspirational "Up From the Projects: An Autobiography," and was recently the subject of a documentary about his life.
The exclusion of people like Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams explains why there's no serious discussion in the black community about government dependency; school choice; the damage done by high taxes, excessive regulation and laws like minimum wage; and why blacks should rethink their allegiance to the Democratic Party.
The failure to acknowledge conservative blacks is a failure to engage their ideas, to the detriment of the community. This is not merely an injustice to them: It is an injustice to all Americans.

Clarence Thomas: Disappeared by the Smithsonian

The curious case of The Smithsonian v. Clarence Thomas

By Kevin D. Williamson — October 6, 2016

What is the Smithsonian Institution?

It is a depository of national treasures and a national treasure in and of itself. It is the world’s largest system of museums — 19 museums, nine research centers, 138 million items in the archive, etc. — and it is a trust established by Congress, the original bequest from the British scientist James Smithson having been squandered through — one suspects this history will repeat itself — a bum investment in Arkansas bonds, which the state defaulted on.

It is also corrupt.

The Smithsonian has opened a new National Museum of African American History and Culture, a long overdue addition to its offerings. And in this version of African-American history and culture, black conservatives do not exist.

Specifically, the life and career of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas have been — forgive the term — whitewashed from the record. Anita Hill, an obscure functionary who achieved for herself a moment of fleeting fame when she advanced the interests of the Democratic party by smearing Clarence Thomas with lurid, flimsily documented allegations of sexual harassment, is presented as a major figure of the 20th century.

The scholar and jurist who actually sits on the Supreme Court? Clarence Thomas is an invisible man, so far as the Smithsonian is concerned.

There are two possible explanations for this. The first is the Hanlon’s-razor (never attribute to malice what may be adequately accounted for by stupidity) explanation: The dons of American history simply goofed and overlooked Justice Thomas, as though the new museum were a picnic and each of its curators thought the other guy was bringing the potato salad.

Because we tend to have warm feelings toward the Smithsonian, we may extend maximum charity in our analysis here. But even at the limit of that charity, we could conclude at best that the Smithsonian is managed by incompetents, that its management should be decimated or more than decimated, and that Congress should use its purse-string powers to effect this.

The second and more likely explanation is that the Smithsonian is corrupt.

This would not be surprising. The Left is committed to its Long March through the Institutions, with a special emphasis on cultural and educational institutions, the commanding heights of public discourse. The Left corrupts everything it touches, and it subordinates everything it touches to politics.

That is true of everything from the public schools to labor unions to Catholic seminaries.

If you are a high-school sophomore in Lubbock, Texas, that might mean receiving an account of American history which consists almost exclusively of the Great Depression, Jim Crow, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, as I did

If you are a family of modest means that has saved its pennies for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to our nation’s capital with the intent of exposing your children, however briefly, to the best that has been thought and written in the American context, that means a museum of African-American history in which a major figure in African-American history has been airbrushed away like a Soviet apparatchik fallen into disfavor.

If you were looking for a figure who personified the humiliations and triumphs of black Americans, you could hardly do better than Clarence Thomas, the son of a poor, Gullah-speaking family on the Georgia coast, a man who was not quite fluent in anything that would pass muster as English until his adulthood — who, nonetheless, found his way into college, into the Yale law school, and the Reagan administration, whose shortcomings and errors he admonished fearlessly.

When he was elevated to the Supreme Court, the Democrats — who hate a black conservative more than they hate anything on this good green Earth — concocted every manner of dishonest attack to try to do to him what they had successfully done to Robert Bork not long before.

But Clarence Thomas prevailed over what is by now a familiar attempt by the Democrats, the party of Bull Connor, to keep a black man in what they imagine to be his place.

His place is in the Supreme Court. In a sane world, it is also in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

If the Smithsonian intends to conduct itself like a political organization — one in which “black” is an ideological descriptor rather than a racial one — then Congress should treat it like one and redirect its funding toward some more worthy and more intellectually defensible cause.

Its director, David J. Skorton, might find a useful and profitable role on the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign — but, if this is the best he can do, he does not belong on the payroll of an institution nominally dedicating to the pursuit and preservation of knowledge.

We are owed an explanation. And if the Smithsonian cannot provide a convincing one, then it no longer deserves public support. It cannot function as a trust if it is untrustworthy.

— Kevin D. Williamson is National Review’s roving correspondent.