- The Washington Times - Monday, June 14, 2010

Civil war schooling

“This, of course, is the 19th century, and theories about race are wild. Modern racism styles black people as physically superior, and mentally inferior. But in the 19th century, white supremacy styled whites (and in the South, Southern whites specifically) as physically and mentally superior. No one claimed to fear meeting a black man in a dark alley — the logic held that he would run and cower before the white man, his superior in all things.

“Knowing that, I think, gives us some perspective on the Lost Cause. Think of it: The South didn’t have the North’s great industrial power or cultural sway. But what they had was a military tradition. Southerners were fighters. They could say to the North, ‘You may have poetry and machines, but we both know I can kick your ass.’ …

“But it wasn’t. Moreover, it was the secessionist who took the ass-kicking, at the hands of a bunch of effete Northerners and cowardly runaway slaves. It was as if the AV club and the weed-heads got together and beat down the football team — in front of the cheerleaders.”


Ta-Nehisi Coates, writing on “The Civil War as Revenge of the Nerds,” on June 13 at his Atlantic magazine blog

Gay boycott

“The more I learn about the antics of gay leaders (and other organizers of gay events) in this country and abroad, the more convinced I become that their primary concern is not promoting greater social acceptance of gay people, but in becoming the gay auxiliaries of various left-wing (and often anti-Western) movements. The latest evidence we have comes from Madrid where the organizers of the Gay Pride parade disinvited Israeli participants. …

“No matter that Israel is, of nations in the Mideast, the most tolerant of gay people. No matter that the flotilla was sponsored in large part by terrorist organizations which advocate the execution of gay people. No matter that gay people face persecution in the terrorist-run enclave of Gaza.

“It will be interesting to see what (if any) gay organizations condemn this exclusion and commend Israel for its policies protecting gay people and allowing our fellows in the Jewish State to live openly and celebrate publicly. As Allison Kaplan Sommer put it in the post linked above, ‘Those who are truly interested in lesbian and gay rights should welcome Israel with open arms as a model of tolerance in an intolerant region.’ Yet, to all too many gay organizations, that tolerance matters less than belonging to the ‘Grand Coalition of Those Oppressed by Western Civilization.’”

B. Daniel Blatt, writing on “Banning Israeli Float from Madrid Gay Pride Parade,” on June 9 at Gay Patriot

Lonely goalie

“The goalkeeper is a man apart. He stands alone. ‘All that I know most surely about morality and obligations,’ wrote Albert Camus, ‘I owe to football.’ Camus was a goalkeeper himself and knew a thing or two about the existential anguish that is the goalie’s lot in life and football. As the last line of defense, the goalkeeper is also first in the firing line when blame and retribution are meted out.

“Philosophical sympathy may offer little consolation for poor Robert Green now, but the England goaltender, whose epic mishap gifted the United States a draw in Rustenberg on Saturday, has at least guaranteed himself a kind of unfortunate immortality. His name, and his misfortune, will be remembered for years to come.

“Whereas outfield players are hardly encouraged to squander goal-scoring opportunities, they are at least forgiven for their profligacy. Not so the hapless goalkeeper of whom perfection is expected all the time and who may find his career defined and remembered by a single calamitous blunder. With the notable exception of penalty shootouts during which the burdens of expectation are reversed, the goalkeeper is expected to be perfect all the time.”

Alex Massie, writing on “Can England Forgive Robert Green?” on June 13 at the Daily Beast