Monday, July 31, 2023

Tim Scott Is Too Soft to Be Our Nominee

By Kurt Schlichter |

AP Photo/Mic Smith

The rap on Tim Scott is that he is too nice to be a modern Republican, but that’s wrong – he’s too weak to be a modern Republican. The man consistently defaults to submission to the woke left, but the times call for a warrior and his brand is soft surrender. Yeah, it would be nice to live in an era where we have the luxury of a president who dodged the draft in the culture wars, but we do not live in that time. Tim Scott needs to stay right where he is, an affable but unaccomplished senator firmly within the tradition of the political puffballs that South Carolina’s GOP inexplicably turns out. Let him be nice somewhere where his alleged niceness won’t shaft us again.

It could have been different, but that would require a different man than Tim Scott. There are moments that define a candidate, moments where they have a choice and the choice they make makes or breaks them. Kamala Harris decided to take what is essentially a footnote within the Florida history standards and contort it into some sort of lie about how Ron DeSantis loves slavery. It’s one of those issues where the claim is so facially ludicrous that you have to wonder if Kamala is stupid or cynical – and come to the conclusion that she is probably both. But she went with it and DeSantis pushed back and we were moving on when someone in the regime media asked Tim Scott about it.

This was his decision point. It was an opportunity to show who he is. And Tim Scott whiffed.

He could have said this: “The idea that Ron DeSantis is some sort of slavery advocate is silly and cynical and I refuse to play Kamala Harris’s divisive race-baiting game. I intend to beat the governor in this race, but I will do it on policy, not on lies. Next question.”

Holy cow, that would have crushed it. He would have been a hero – including to those of us like me who prefer other candidates. It would have been based and gracious, all in one sharp response. It would have rejected both the lie and the idea that he could be co-opted to do the left’s bidding. And that response has the benefit of being true. The idea that Ron DeSantis somehow drafted some sort of pro-slavery provision in the standards – there are no pro-slavery provisions, of course – is just as dumb as the idea that DeSantis approves of slavery. It’s an almost insultingly stupid accusation, making the pushback a no-brainer. It was an easy win.

But Tim Scott chose to be a loser in what should be the defining moment of his campaign. He made the other choice. He chose to accept the premise of our enemy, the lying, borderline clinical moron Kamala, and use it to try to achieve a cheap momentary advantage over his rival for second place in the primary race.

To do so, he unforgivably accepted the premise of Kamala and her regime media lackeys, and the headlines reflected it. NBC crowed: “Tim Scott rebukes Ron DeSantis over Florida Black history standards about slavery - The GOP presidential candidate [Guess who!] told reporters that, despite new language in Florida public schools, ‘there is no silver lining’ in slavery.”

Great work, Tim. “Here you go, libs, my silver lining comment is exactly what you wanted right on a silver platter!” 

Does Tim Scott actually believe that Ron DeSantis approves of, tolerates, or excuses the Democrat-led institution of slavery? Of course not. To think that, Scott would have to be a blithering idiot, and he’s not a fool. He knows that Ron DeSantis is not some sort of slavery apologist, and he probably further knows that what the Florida standards say – which is what the College Board says and what a bunch of other sources also say – is not what Kamala claimed it says. 

So then, because Tim Scott is too smart to actually believe the slander Kamala set and he spiked, he is a liar. He purposefully and intentionally lied about Ron DeSantis for personal advantage. He knowingly made a false statement about a fellow Republican’s character to get ahead for himself.

Nice guy? If that was his selling point, his shameful prevarication just defeated it. Nice guys do not tell horrible lies about other people, particularly about people (allegedly) on their own side for the benefit of the enemy. He failed the character test, and the lack of any apology as of this writing confirms his character deficit issue.

So, what we have is nice guy Tim Scott having demonstrated that he’s not actually very nice at all. Nice guys don’t help spread lies about other people. And the absence of niceness leaves absolutely no reason to support him. His selling point was that he will not upset the voters turned off by conflict and harsh rhetoric and mean tweets and a never ending blizzard of bullSchiff. His best quality was that he seemed to be the kind of guy you could call up and he’d help you move. But his disgraceful coordination with Kamala showed he’s not even that.

But then, this is not the first time he’s sided with the left. During the riots he could be relied on to embrace the left’s views. Because he’s intermittently useful, the regime media largely holds off on him. And his “I hope the alligators eat me last” strategy will work right up until the moment he becomes a real threat to the Dems in the 2024 election – admittedly an unlikely scenario. But if it ever happened, he’d suddenly replace Larry Elder as the black face of white supremacy. All his craven submission and his immolation of his reputation will have been for nothing.

We deserve and demand a candidate who will stand up to the left and have our backs, but when DeSantis’s back was exposed Tim Scott helped the left shove in the knife. Do you imagine that he will stand up to the left for you or me? Tim Scott’s ugly betrayal showed exactly who he is – like Mitt Romney, his nice guy act is a fraud and he will turn on us the second he sees it is to his advantage. 

And to think that if he had made a different choice, if he had stood up for honesty against the left, he would be a hero right now. But that is not who he is. And he is not who we Republicans are looking for.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Oakland NAACP blasts progressive city leaders demands more action on rising crime


It’s hard to believe this actually happened. Oakland is a far left city full of far left elected officials. Yesterday the head of the Oakland NAACP, along with the Bishop of the Acts Full Gospel Church, released a letter blasting the city’s progressive politics and singling out the county’s progressive DA. The letter called for a state of emergency to deal with rising crime. This letter is so good I’m tempted to include all of it but here’s a portion of it.

Oakland residents are sick and tired of our intolerable public safety crisis that overwhelmingly impacts minority communities. Murders, shootings, violent armed robberies, home invasions, car break-ins, sideshows, and highway shootouts have become a pervasive fixture of life in Oakland. We call on all elected leaders to unite and declare a state of emergency and bring together massive resources to address our public safety crisis…

Failed leadership, including the movement to defund the police, our District Attorney’s unwillingness to charge and prosecute people who murder and commit life threatening serious crimes, and the proliferation of anti-police rhetoric have created a heyday for Oakland criminals. If there are no consequences for committing crime in Oakland, crime will continue to soar.

People are moving out of Oakland in droves. They are afraid to venture out of their homes to go to work, shop, or dine in Oakland and this is destroying economic activity. Businesses, small and large, struggle and close, tax revenues vanish, and we are creating the notorious doom-loop where life in our city continues to spiral downward. As economic pain increases, the conditions that help create crime and criminals are exacerbated by desperate people with no employment opportunities.

We are in crisis and elected leaders must declare a state of emergency and bring resources together from the city, the county, and the state to end the crisis. We are 500 police officers short of the number that experts say Oakland needs. Our 911 system does not work. Residents now know that help will not come when danger confronts them. Worse, criminals know that too…

There is nothing compassionate or progressive about allowing criminal behavior to fester and rob Oakland residents of their basic rights to public safety. It is not racist or unkind to want to be safe from crime. No one should live in fear in our city.

 What can you say except that is outstanding. Under the circumstances, people in Oakland are right to be angry because crime is up and so are 911 wait times.

According to Oakland Police Department statistics, the city had already logged 3,370 violent crimes in 2023, an 11% increase over the previous year, as of June 25.

In nearly seven months of 2023, Oakland experienced 52 homicides, the same number as during the entirety of 2022, although still fewer than in 2021. Incidents of rape increased by 16% and robbery by 14% compared to 2022, according to police.

The problem also extends to how the city responds to crimes. Victims of crimes—even violent ones—who call 911 face long wait times to speak with a dispatcher and even longer ones for the police to arrive.

Between 2018 and 2022, the average time it took police to arrive after 911 received a call about a high-priority incident ballooned from 12.7 minutes to 19.1 minutes, more than a 50% increase. Response times for misdemeanors are even longer.

The letter was released yesterday, the same day that Oakland residents packed out a public safety meeting with the police and with county DA Pamela Price:

A group of passionate residents lined up around the block to get in. At one point, community members took over the meeting and loudly voiced their concerns about a rise in violence and the lack of prosecution in Oakland.

“While I’m driving, I’m pulled out of my car at gunpoint. What are we doing to address this? How do we solve this? Nobody feels safe,” said one woman who spoke at the meeting…

“Pamela Price needs to understand that there must be consequences when there are assaults on people in their city,” Barbara Hoffer said, adding she was assaulted during an attempted robbery along with her friend.

“They just drive around and pick a victim. It’s getting scary. I’m fearful,” said another woman who attending the meeting.

 Price has been criticized, including last night, for a recent decision not to charge a group of teens who were implicated in a string of robberies. Price said the decision was made not to prosecute because there was not enough evidence to secure a conviction.

Hopefully, the message of the NAACP letter and last night’s meeting is sinking in with Pamela Price. People don’t want 2nd chances for crooks at this point, they want some order on the streets so they aren’t afraid every time they leave the house. Here’s a local news report about the public safety meeting.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Professor: Critics of Florida’s African-American history curriculum willfully misunderstand it.


Relating Black History without History

Shackles used to bind slaves on display at the Whitney Plantation in Wallace, La., in 2015. (Edmund Fountain/Reuters)
Critics of Florida’s African-American history curriculum willfully misunderstand it.

The advent of a stand-alone curriculum in African-American history for the very first time in Florida or any state has attracted a firestorm of distortion and outrage. Most notably, Vice President Kamala Harris sounded the rejectionist trumpet and was promptly echoed by agitprop battalions throughout the country. Harris was followed by the speciously serious discussion provided by historian Heather Cox Richardson in her Substack Letters from an American. Where Harris’s initial comment was refuted by the very grammar of the supposedly offensive sentence, Richardson obligingly quotes the sentence accurately and then proceeds disingenuously to interpret away its undeniable meaning, attributing to the African American History Standards Workgroup a design to defend the thoroughly discredited 19th-century argument of John C. Calhoun that slavery was a “positive good.”

Here is the sentence in dispute: “Slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.” Besides the obvious fact that this observation makes no reference to any benefit from slavery itself, it speaks quite directly of skills personally developed, and it includes skills already developed prior to enslavement as well as skills developed subsequent to enslavement. The only benefit is the “personal benefit” that resourceful, resilient, and industrious humans derived from their own exertions. This is plain beyond cavil. It is, moreover, reinforced in the curricular standards through clarifications specifying examples that clearly do not fall within the ambit of “gifts from enslavement.”

What, then, is the problem? Richardson is more open than Harris. She makes explicit the argument that to take notice of the American founding as opening a vista onto liberating principles somehow diminishes the “truth” that the American founding was rather moral bane than moral boon to humankind in general and Africans in particular. To sustain this argument, however, she finds it necessary to erase every element of American history that witnesses profoundly against her. In denying the truth that the founding principles were incompatible with slavery — and hence embracing the line of argument of Calhoun, Roger Taney, and Woodrow Wilson about the “birth of the nation” — she requires readers to ignore the explicit arguments of American founders, black and white. From Stephen Hopkins’s open denunciation of slavery in 1764 on religious as well as philosophical grounds to the observations of leading Founders including Washington, Adams, Hamilton, Madison, Morris, Jay, et al., the records describe a highly developed sense of incongruity in proclaiming the “unalienable rights” of human beings while indulging human enslavement. More important, she depreciates the efforts of Prince Hall, Benjamin Banneker, Richard Allen, and others who invoked those self-same principles in defense of and petitions for African liberty.

To say that opponents of slavery were inspired by the Declaration of Independence is so great a truism that one can only account for the specious denial of that truism by acknowledging a deliberate agenda to discredit the Founding itself. When the Florida curriculum observes that the founding principles fostered expanding conceptions of human liberty and hence expansions in civil rights and liberties, it says no more than that the steady but difficult progress of representative democracy in the United States — and its attendant prosperity — had never occurred in the absence of those principles. Richardson denies this evident fact. She implicitly rejects not only the arguments but the influence of Frederick Douglass (as does the 1619 Project that inspires so much of the criticism).

When Douglass and Ida B. Wells in 1893 celebrated the accomplishments of American blacks post-slavery, they did so in their essay, “The Reasons Why,” by specifically identifying those accomplishments as the accomplishments of American principles. Their protest of the exclusion of blacks from the Columbian Exposition amounted to the argument that to erase the history of black accomplishment was to erase the history of America itself.

This is the proper light in which to review Florida’s curricular standards. Far from rejecting “the idea that enslavement belied American principles,” as Richardson argues, the standards reinforce the contradiction between those principles and enslavement. Far from denying the reality of racism, the standards specifically call out Jefferson’s formal coining of the racist argument for slavery in his “Notes on the State of Virginia” Query XIV.

Still more importantly — and this is the most egregious distortion in Richardson’s essay — rather than assimilating slavery “to any other kind of service work,” the standards innovatively target the 1640 John Punch case as originating the racial distinction in the treatment of indentured servants — assigning European indentures only to a term of years and an African indenture to lifetime service. Richardson is obviously unfamiliar with this historical record, but that is no excuse for her blithe misrepresentation of the work of the work group.

Finally, no one can close this discussion without specifically observing that the criticisms of the standards are in fact a tacit insistence upon dehumanizing the persons held in slavery. To deny that they could under serious adversity nevertheless manifest agency and inventiveness from which they could benefit is to characterize them as so deficient in the human character as to be unable to “overcome.” Countless personal accounts give the lie to this argument. The stories of the persons who lived the history of enslavement are worth infinitely more than the narratives about those lives that prevail in attacks on the curriculum. No objective in the curriculum is more important than the objective to enable schoolchildren to hear the stories of the people who lived the history and to hear those stories in their own words. They described the ways in which they turned to their advantage whatever circumstances gave scope to do so. Douglass notably did so in describing the tentative efforts of his owner’s wife to teach him to read. She gave him but little, but just enough to spark in him the resolve to have the whole lot. That he did, to his and his country’s benefit. Many similar stories, large and small, were related, and all should be heard. No one should be allowed to erase the stories of the people who lived the histories. And the first criterion — that without which no interpretation can be taken seriously — is to take seriously the stories of the people themselves. And that means to understand those stories as they themselves understood them. Remember, Booker T. Washington did not title his autobiography “down in slavery.” He titled it “Up from Slavery.”

WILLIAM B. ALLEN is emeritus dean and professor of political philosophy at Michigan State University.

Friday, July 28, 2023

The Lie About Florida Schools and Slavery Gets Completely Exposed

By Brad Slager |

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

We are on week #2 of the press, Democrats, and the Biden administration continuing to deliver the same scathing narrative that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is commanding Florida schools to revise the historical impact of slavery. Media outlets have been delivering red-faced punditry, and the White House saw fit to send Vice President Kamala Harris to the Sunshine State to deliver a rebuke of a speech, decrying that anyone would dare say slavery benefitted black people. It is all so deeply dramatic serving as a case of grand theater.

Unsurprisingly, it is all rooted in a lie. 

To set the stage properly, in order to reboot this storyline, first understand it is all centered on the fact that the Florida Department of Education recently issued revisions to all school curriculums in the coming year. In the guidebook for the middle school courses, under the topic of Social Studies, there was found to be an entry concerning the skills that some slaves acquired and were able to apply later in their lives. This has been cited as the revisionism of the reality of slavery and suggests blacks, as a race, benefitted from that era of our history. It reads:

Examine the various duties and trades performed by slaves (e.g., agricultural work, painting, carpentry, tailoring, domestic service, blacksmithing, transportation). Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.

To grasp the extent of this portion of the course guide, we get the full impact from PolitiFact. As we covered in "Riffed From The Headlines," in their defense of the vice president's claims, the fact-checkers declared Harris was "Mostly True" in her speech slamming FDOE and Ron DeSantis. But in the course of doing so, the outlet manages to expose the sham behind it all:

Although the new standards include many conventional lesson points about the history of slavery, they also include a sentence that enslaved people developed skills that "could be applied for their personal benefit." 

Just take a moment to absorb the lack of enormity behind this – "a sentence." The course guide that was issued is over 200 pages, with numerous modules listed therein and multiple revisions under those modules. PolitiFact even listed out the numerous horrors of slavery that are (and have always been) included in the lessons in Florida schools. Yet, despite this wealth of content and teaching of all aspects of slavery, they approve of Kamala – and the press – reclassifying the entire curriculum based on a solitary sentence. 

Now arrives a completely disqualifying detail that will see all these critics and mewling media mouthpieces reduced to silence. Ron DeSantis' Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern delivers a piece of information that will not sit well with these prevaricating critics, as it concerns the previous controversy surrounding the Florida schools' curriculum. Recall there was significant upheaval when the governor rejected a new course foundation offered up to the FDOE, the debated AP African American History. This course was sent to be revised due to the inclusion of inaccurate social activist lectures, heavy amounts of Critical Race Theory, and other elements not foundational to accurate history teachings.

This resulted in very similar claims being made, where it was said Florida was eliminating black history. Understand this rejection was of a new curriculum being proposed, not eliminating existing teachings of black history. This is because Florida law mandates that black history, slavery, and the Holocaust be taught in Florida schools. (Take one guess who signed the law making this a requirement.) Already, we see that the politicization of these decisions is not rooted in facts.

Now comes the glaring reality. 

To this day, there persists outrage that any teaching of slavery would dare include elements suggesting that former slaves at one point would have been able to utilize learned skills while they had been indentured. This is said to "sanitize" the horrors of slavery and whitewash the pernicious practice of people used as property. Any teaching that dares include this controversial stance is considered racist and intolerant. Well… that highly-praised AP African American History curriculum has nearly the exact same language touting the exact same sentiment. Redfern included the section of that course study with the language to this effect. 


Remember when Florida wouldn’t allow that AP African American Studies course because it focused too much on CRT and not enough on history, and the lost its mind? Well, here is one of the standards considered “essential knowledge.” See it here


Just to reiterate, this identical passage is part of the curriculum that the loudest critics today, decrying this teaching, had been demanding to be installed in Florida's schools. It underscores, specifically, that there is no genuine outrage at the content or, at least at the balance of it, in the entirety of the courses being taught. It is entirely rooted in what can be politicized and who can be targeted politically.

Here is the best way to see the vacancy of these outrages. Today, Ron DeSantis is slammed over the inclusion of this passage on slavery benefits. Months earlier, he was slammed for not approving the AP African American History that included this passage. Can those shrieking over Ron DeSantis "whitewashing" slavery explain how this very same element was something they were mandating he needed to accept months prior? 

No, they cannot, and they will not. Because none of these accusations have been about the accuracy of history, it is all about impeding his political future.