Sometimes the unfolding American cultural scene strikes me as surreal. Sometimes it really seems that America has been transformed into some kind of Alice in Wonderland society in which logic, or, least, what historically has passed as logic, is routinely and zealously turned on its head.
One notable example of this descent into the booby hatch involves a confrontation that occurred earlier this year between a black woman, Bonny Tindle, and a white male, Cory Goldstein, both San Francisco State University students. The source of this confrontation: Goldstein’s dreadlocks, which Tindle deemed a theft of her African culture. Never mind that dreadlocks have been used by a variety of other cultures, as Goldstein valiantly struggles to explain during the confrontation.
Tindle not only cornered Goldstein but tried to restrain him physically in the course of the 46-second confrontation.
And it gets even more surreal: This confrontation apparently resulted in the recent decision by SFSU administration to accede to calls by the Black Student Union to establish Afro-themed dorm floors.
Somebody please walk me through this: A white male is confronted by a black woman over something as seemingly frivolous as a hairstyle choice, he makes repeated attempts to walk away, despite being physically restrained at one point, and this is subsequently construed as the basis for creating separate Afro-themed dorm rooms?
Write me off as some middle-aged, provincial Alabama cracker, but I’m beginning to think that we’re traveling down an unusually perilous path in 21st century America. And as far as I’m concerned, anyone who doesn’t see this is living in something resembling Carroll’s Wonderland.
The Ominous Meaning behind “Deplorables”
In an earlier posting, I’m discussed what I consider to be the ominous undertone associated with Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” comments. Several pundits argue that these comments reflect the left’s growing determination to ferret out and condemn any behavior deemed racist, homophobic or Islamophobic. There will be no room for the lovable racist uncle or the working-class homophobic cousin, even though both happen to be all bluster and entirely redeemable.
The dreadlocks confrontation is one of many incidents within the last couple of years that portend an troubling, and maybe even a totalitarian future. Those who exhibit traits or express views that run counter to diversity orthodoxy in the future not only will be deemed deplorable and irredeemable but even subjected to public obloquy.
Today, it’s the impudent white college student who purloins dreadlocks from African culture or anyone on a college campus who has the temerity to to question the basic tenets of diversity. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? In some not-too-distant future, it could be anyone in the wider public who not only questions the tenets of diversity but also any facet of leftist ideology.
Kulakization Under Way?
Even more disturbing, some elements of the left seem to be increasingly inclined to assign non-accreditation status to groups deemed inherently morally debased and, consequently, irredeemable.
And this non-accreditation seems to bear an eerie resemblance to the classification totalitarian regimes assigned to entire races, ethnic groups and classes. Consider Jews, Volga Germans and Kulaks and you get the picture.
The white privilege rhetoric that has become increasingly pervasive on college campuses and even within corporate culture bears some eerie parallels with the anti-Semitic language that pervaded classrooms and public discourse before the rise of Nazism. And, frankly, I think that the case could be made that among some segments of the left the American white working class and underclass are taking on some of the characteristics of the Kulaks – a recalcitrant class that refuses to conform to the left’s vision. Like the Kulaks, the members of the white working class are wretched – and, consequently, irredeemable – not only because they are obstinate but also because they originated within a milieu that is inherently morally flawed.
Needless to say, this flies in the face of everything I and most people understand the term “American” to mean. I count myself a Dreyfusard, but it appears that the left is becoming even more inclined than the alt-right to move us away from this traditional view of citizenship.
And we already can see a frightening cycle emerging. The more the diversity culture is ratcheted up, the more white backlash this invites and, consequently, the more need for government to step in to “manage” these problems.
Under the circumstances perhaps Charles Murray is right: an authoritarian future in America seems increasingly conceivable.