The Washington Post carried one of the dumber op-eds within memory yesterday. It was written by Baynard Woods and titled “Only white people can save themselves from racism and white supremacism.” Its thesis is that Dylann Roof’s murderous rampage proves that all whites are white supremacists. Or all Southerners. Or something:
[I]t is up to white people to rescue white people from our own worst selves, from the distorted monsters we have allowed ourselves to become.
What do you mean “we,” paleface? Speak for yourself.
We have to stop hiding from the truth of race — that this country, and the state of South Carolina in particular, were created on the idea of white supremacy.
This is a ludicrous claim. A large majority of American states have never known slavery or racially discriminatory laws. The exceptions are the Deep South states, back when they were dominated by the race-obsessed Democratic Party. Some things never change.
Woods grew up in South Carolina, and claims that he has heard racist comments there. It’s possible. I have spent a fair amount of time in South Carolina, and have never encountered a single racist statement or action. But maybe my friends are higher quality than Woods’s. Or maybe Woods is a less than objective observer. He says that for a long time, he has “proudly proclaimed my hatred of my home state.”
It also seems that for Woods, the racism bar is a low one. As one of South Carolin’s “worst instances of white idiocy,” he cites Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” during an Obama State of the Union speech. In fact, far from being a prime instance of idiocy, Wilson was right, as I think even the most loyal Democrat would now have to acknowledge.
Woods blames himself for Dylann Roof’s murders. Why? Because he “let the racist jokes go unchecked, … looked the other way at some sanctioned act of bigotry, [and] has not taken the time and effort to listen to what black people have to say about their experience….” I’ve got good news, Baynard: you didn’t do it.
Of course, Woods doesn’t really mean it when he says he is responsible for Roof. He means that other people–the ones he hates–are responsible:
Every white South Carolinian who accepts that the Confederate battle flag flies — even today, and not at half-staff — on the state capitol grounds, where it flies over the Confederate War Veterans Memorial, is responsible for Dylann Roof. He is our child. …
Of course, 99 percent of southern whites will never go into a church, sit down with people and then massacre them.
That estimate is way low. In fact, I believe Dylann Roof is the only one.
But that 99 percent is responsible for the one who does. We white southerners — those of us who left, the others who stayed, and even those millions who have migrated to the Sun Belt — are all Dylann Roof. We are all responsible. We cannot shirk it. We cannot go forward until we fix ourselves. We must organize ourselves, educate ourselves and come together to fight against white supremacy. If we don’t, there will always be another Dylann Roof around the corner. And in the mirror.
Actually, no: you may be a white Southerner, but unless you went into a black church and murdered nine people, you are not Dylann Roof. Roof was right when he complained that “[w]e have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet.” There was no one but him, a fact that liberals can’t seem to accept.
A mass shooting occurs every couple of years, representing an infinitesimal percentage of homicides, and each time, like clockwork, Democratic politicians try to make political hay. Barack Obama has already done this more than once. But note how conveniently vague he is:
I know today’s politics makes it less likely that we take a stand on serious gun safety legislation.
What legislation is that?
I remarked that it is very unlikely that this Congress would act, and some reporters, I think, took this as resignation. I want to be clear—I am not resigned. I have faith we will eventually do the right thing.
Which is? Obama, of course, never says.
Likewise with Hillary Clinton:
It makes no sense that bipartisan legislation fails in Congress despite overwhelming public support.
That rarely if ever happens. (The obvious and perhaps unique exception is immigration.) In reality, there is little public support for increased gun control.
The politics on this position have been poisoned. I will not be afraid to fight for common-sense reforms…because of this senseless gun violence.
How is it possible that we as a nation allow guns to fall into the hands of people whose hearts are filled with hate? We can have common-sense gun reforms that keep them out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable while not penalizing responsible gun owners.
If the reforms Hillary wants are just common sense, surely she can tell us what they are. Can’t she? No, actually, she can’t. Dylann Roof bought his Glock .45 legally, according to the most recent news reports. He had not been convicted of a felony and had not been adjudicated mentally ill. Therefore, he was not on the NICS list, just like Seung-Hui Cho and most other mass murderers. How, exactly, do Obama and Clinton propose to change current firearms law so as to prevent crimes like Roof’s? They won’t say.
The only proposals the Democrats have on offer would 1) ban “assault rifles,” a category of weapon that exists only in the minds of liberals, and 2) extend the NICS background check system to purchases from sellers other than licensed firearms dealers. I am a broken record here, but rifles are the least popular murder weapon of all. More murders are committed with knives, blunt objects and bare hands than with rifles, let alone semiautomatic rifles. Let alone “assault” rifles, a category defined mostly by cosmetic features. (“Ooh, it looks scary!”) Like almost all murderers, Dylann Roof didn’t use a rifle. And the problem with the background check system is not that it doesn’t apply if I sell a pistol to a friend. The problem is that the large majority of people who shouldn’t own guns are not on the list. Like Dylann Roof.
Barack Obama says:
We should be able to talk about this issue as citizens, without demonizing all gun owners, who are overwhelmingly law-abiding, but also without suggesting that any debate about this involves a wild plot to take everybody’s guns away.
But is it crazy to think that liberals want to “take everybody’s guns away”? Leading Democrats like Obama and Clinton call for gun control legislation that would prevent outrages like the one in Charleston. But what might that legislation be? What gun control law other than an outright ban on private ownership of firearms (or a law permitting such ownership only by a small percentage of Americans) could have prevented Dylann Roof from carrying out his homicidal scheme? To my knowledge, there is no answer to that question.
Maybe Obama and Clinton understand this, and are just demagoguing the issue to fire up their base for next year’s election. (Apparently few Democrats are smart enough to ask what legislation, exactly, the politicians have in mind.) Or maybe the Democrats really are gearing up for a massive attack on the Second Amendment. It is hardly paranoid for gun owners, who, as Obama said, are “overwhelmingly law-abiding,” to wonder whether that is what the Democrats have in mind.