Politics & Media
Jun 19, 2024, 06:27AM

Juneteenth Has Arrived

And so has the Key to the City that P Diddy had to give back.

240616 sean combs p diddy eric adams key new york vl 1137a d836df.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Despite recent lamentations from left-liberals that serious discussion of race is being censored in schools, in the real world discussion of race is constant, often mandatory, increasingly strident, unabashedly left-wing, and thus largely unmoored from reality. The (government-funded) University of Connecticut has gone so far as to make a course on “systemic Anti-Black Racism” a requirement for graduation. You wouldn’t want people of all races becoming engineers or marine biologists without thinking of the U.S. as an evil white regime, apparently.

I’m reminded of the college-age East Asian women I overheard in a movie theater laughing about how ridiculous the white boyfriend of one of them was for being taken aback by her stated desire to “destroy whiteness.” The silly boy took that as some sort of oppositional stance when she merely wanted to reengineer society, not kill him.

How unfair that despite the girlfriend’s consciousness-raising efforts, the U.S. population remains about two-thirds white and thus inherently oppressive. Obviously, that racist fraction needs to come way down. Pending that outcome, reeducation and indoctrination will have to do.

Lest we treat Asian-Americans as a political monolith, which they certainly are not, let’s pause to appreciate the (Asian, female) diversity chief of Uber who was put on leave for hosting an event that denounced anti-white racism, called “Don’t Call Me Karen.” She tried to build bridges, but, like statues and monuments, those are things we tear down nowadays.

And it can get leftier still: The American Medical Association can declare Body Mass Index a racist formula if that formula designates more blacks than whites fat (ditching the BMI is easier than getting mired in endless debates over crime statistics, grades, IQ, etc., and people love easy-sounding solutions). Stanford showed the real range of leftist possibilities in 2017 when it admitted a student whose admission essay consisted of the phrase “Black Lives Matter” repeated 100 times. Essay sections have always allowed for more subjective metrics, after all.

But better that slogan—which at least is true—repeated 100 times in print than, say, a huge group of BLM protestors harassing people dining on the sidewalk in New York City a few years ago by surrounding them and repeatedly screaming “One solution, revolution” at them. Meanwhile, some of the BLMers’ leftist colleagues were pushing to get restaurateurs and customers to leave the City, insisting such capitalists are not wanted by the most authentic of the locals. Hey, keep up the noisy protests long enough and finding a strategy for driving away tourists won’t be a problem anymore.

New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams, to his credit, has some conservative tendencies, though, and just in the past several days defied expectations for a Democrat-run metropolis by asking for—and getting back—the ceremonial “Key to the City” that New York had bestowed upon rapper Sean “P Diddy” Combs in less-embarrassing times, before Combs was revealed as the possible host of mansion-filling orgies of drug use and underage sex.

The Mayor may be setting a better example here than when he bickered in public in an ethnically-loaded way with an 84-year-old woman who’d survived the Holocaust, that historical horror that so often vies with slavery for the distinction of worst thing that has ever happened. Let us celebrate the fact that both are (almost entirely) behind us and, rightly, widely condemned. If we all strive to behave more like rational individuals and less like warring tribes, such nightmares may never again plague the human race.

It would help, though, if we resisted imposing a tribal lens on every conflict that would be better viewed as a clash of badly-behaved individuals. I recall the mother of a girl shot dead by Columbus, OH police several years ago (right around the time the controversial verdict against police officer Derek Chauvin was read) saying her daughter had “promoted peace,” and protesting anti-racist college students across the country were so eager to believe it that that they called for boycotts and divestment from Columbus, even though the girl was repeatedly stabbing another girl (who was herself black) when she was shot.

Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s closest longtime advisor, was one of many who falsely characterized the incident as the officer gratuitously escalating the situation by “break[ing] up a knife fight” with a gun, as if knife fights don’t routinely involve deadly force. NBC edited the resulting 911 call to conceal the fact the girl had a knife, likely imagining they were helping to create a more politically educational narrative.

Most people prefer to feel they are part of a big throng instead of lonely individuals, I fear. Recall the hordes that stormed the Oklahoma capitol to protest mere anti-riot measures a few years ago, just before protestors filling capitol buildings became an unthinkable crime against democracy. You’re not usually going to get honest, case-by-case reviews of conflicts from such mobs. Their very structure disinclines the participants from engaging in the methodical analysis that leads to seeing people as individuals with their own distinct sets of moral credits and demerits—which is to say, as full-blown persons separable from the highlighted ethnic or sexual group of the moment (or millennium).

The very foundation of justice in the modern sense of the word requires ditching the crude tribal calculus that since the dawn of time has grunted, “They got one of ours, so we’re going to get one of theirs.” As a libertarian, I can say Hunter Biden shouldn’t go to jail over drug or gun charges regardless of what legal fate befalls, say, Donald Trump. Individual cases, individual accusations, individual pieces of evidence—regardless of party and regardless, if the topic need arise, of skin color.

But if you insist on seeing history through a collective, racialized lens, here’s something to celebrate: the Supreme Court striking down the Trump-era ban on bump stocks for guns (which make certain rifles easier to fire).

Remember, gun control began in this country in large part as a way of disarming black people who were facing frequent attacks by the Klan. If you want to keep assigning collective blame to present-day individuals for perpetuating the wrongs of history, you may have to start treating every gun control advocate as an accomplice to white-hooded mass-murderers, that organization that was in effect out to restore slavery or to take revenge for the abolition of that monstrous institution.

But if you’re a gun control advocate, fear not. Unlike so many of our fellow Americans, I strive to see you as an individual, even with all your moral flaws, not just another face in an angry, violent crowd of yahoos perpetuating systems of control.

—Todd Seavey is the author of Libertarianism for Beginners and is on X at @ToddSeavey


Register or Login to leave a comment