The Good Is Our Best Friend

13 06 2010

Racism Schmacism:  How Liberals Use the “R” Word to Push the Obama Agenda, by James Edwards.  2010.  TPM Press.  Memphis.

It is often said that the best is the enemy of the good.  This was the phrase that ran through my head over and over as I read James Edwards’s hot new book, which is his foray into the world of dead tree and ink publishing.  Edwards is already well known as a Memphis-based nationally syndicated talk radio host and blogger; both media labor under The Political Cesspool moniker.  I read his blog on a daily basis, and listen to his show as much as I can, though in all honesty, I need to listen more often than I do.  Put together talk radio, a blog and a book, and it’s official — Edwards is now a triple threat.  This is very likely the first of his many books.

Since I am almost a charter listener and reader to his show and blog, I knew what Racism Schmacism would be about, and that I would like its content.  I knew that he would prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the concept of racism simply means white person, and that it is being used as a political weapon to silence white dissent to egalitarianism and simultaneously to advance the power of non-white racial groups.

What impresses me about Racism Schmacism more than its content is the way Edwards went about presenting the material.  Two things stand out at me:

*  First, even though it is verily a book length effort at 159 pages, it is as easily digestible as a series of on-point, to-the-point, short-and-sweet blog posts, because there are 18 chapters.  Edwards is only a few years younger than your blogmeister, so we both come from the generation of “I want what I want, and I want it now.”  Neither one of us might be as narcissistic as the average member of our generation, nor are our attention spans that short, (even though I really should be speaking only for myself), but we probably are more impatient than the members of our parents’ generation.  As two people who have mastered the fine art of blogging, we are well aware of what we like to read and what we don’t like to read on other blogs.  We know better than anyone that you have to maximize the efficiency of the message; make as much of a point as you can with the fewest number of words, or in the case of book-length material, the fewest number of paragraphs.  Thanks to Twitter and text messaging, you’ve got to compress a salient point down to 140 characters.

When I was in high school, a teacher did an experiment on a class full of us sophomores.  He interrupted the normal flow of his teaching, and simply sat down at his desk and didn’t speak a word.  It wasn’t long until we started talking, and speculating among ourselves out loud what was going on.  After five minutes of this, he spoke up and confirmed some of our suspicions that it as an experiment and we were his guinea pigs.  The point he was making is that television has conditioned our brains for the desire for gratification within a matter of seconds.  He asked us to notice how quickly the scene changes in a given TV show, the next time we watched TV, though he hoped that wouldn’t be too soon thanks to his reading list for the school year.  You’ve gotta figure that a generation of human beings isn’t going to have the patience for tomes, even if tome-length dead trees and ink are necessary to demonstrate a point or develop a topic important as the one in RS.  Because Edwards has maximized the efficiency of his message in Racism Schmacism, I get the sense that he targeted his message to our ADD-afflicted generation.

*  Second, I think Edwards engages in some strategic positioning in his word and phrase choice, and the overall tone, to Racism Schmacism.  This is where the best being the enemy of the good comes into play.  Racism Schmacism reminds me of another book from almost twenty years ago that was also a call for racial fairness and against racial double standards, Jared Taylor’s Paved With Good Intentions.

To read both books, and compare the prose to the authors’ other works, it is obvious to see that the books in question are the least conservative, or to put it more specifically, the least given to overt and strident racialism, of their respective lives’ work.  It’s not that I’m not an fan of overt and strident racialism, aka race realism, aka white nationalism.  Of course I am.  But I also recognize the value of positioning as a matter of marketing.  No politician worth his or her salt runs or governs on all of their pure beliefs and instincts.  Likewise, authors sometimes have to tone down their own instincts to market a more fundamental and important message to a wider audience.

Both Paved and Racism Schmacism read like material that the average listener to a certain nationally syndicated lamestream conservative talk radio host who was born and raised in a town about halfway between your blogmeister and James Edwards would be comfortable in purchasing and digesting.  But it’s clear from Jared Taylor’s writings after Paved, or Edwards’s before RS, that neither are neo or lamestream conservatives.  Indeed, if you’re tuned in enough, there are various phrases and paragraphs in both books that allude to their authors’ distance from the neos and lamers.  But if I am discerning the motives of both authors correctly, and I have no way of knowing for sure if they really did “tone it down,” and if their doing so was a conscience and deliberate decision for both, I think it’s a wise move.  At present, a message of racial fairness is easier to sell than out and outright white nationalism.  Of course, we know that the practical reality that only white nationalists can be trusted to undo racial double standards and enforce racial fairness, (which Edwards sort of proves subconsciously, with all the chapters about John McCain and the missives about the lassitude of the Stupid Party on racial issues), but you’re not going to get white nationalists in positions of power, both in government and in crucial areas of corporate, academic and cultural power, if you don’t have enough white nationalists to begin with.  And the way to get more white nationalists is to market at first the most agreeable elements to the natural consequence of white nationalism in power.

I think I can already demonstrate why this strategy is a winner — Even after Jared Taylor’s long and extensive resume of writing after Paved, it, the least conservative of all his works, remains his most quoted work, not only in more “mainstream” sources, but even among the hard core faithful who read the dead tree and ink American Renaissance and engage in constructive debate and conversation at AR’s online presence.  I think a lot of “AmReners,” as they call themselves, are squarely in the camp of white nationalism and racial realism because of Paved, and because Jared Taylor had the good sense not to go hard core in what was essentially his debutant case to the world, though he started AR the publication a few years before he published Paved.  I predict that James Edwards will have far many more fans of TPC, both radio and blog, because of his “mainstream” book.

As an aside, one of the ways Edwards makes it clear that he’s not a Limbaughian conservative is that, in one chapter of the book, he engages in the best deconstruction of neo- and lamestream conservative racial shibboleths since the late Sam Francis.  I don’t give it all away — I want you to buy the book, after all!  But I’ll give you a hint — If you are a neo or lamer, and you read the chapter I’m thinking about, neither “plantation” or “family values” are words that will cross your mouths ever again, at least in relation to America’s domestic black population.

The only matter of substance which I think is worth including in this review is that Edwards mentions the now-yearly celebration of the integration of Major League Baseball every mid-April, the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first regular season game with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.  Twenty-ought-seven marked the 60th anniversary of that occurrence, and in the days running up to the nativity of racial integration in the major leagues, Yahoo Sports published the entirety or relevant parts of mainstream media articles from the national and New York City media from that evening of April 15, 1947 or morning articles from the next day’s press rolls that covered what is now a sacred event.  Strangely enough, the actual reporters in the actual media in the actual place of the sacred event didn’t quite recognize the holiness of it all — In most of the articles, Robinson was only an afterthought, buried deep down in the paragraph count.  If you had bothered to read down that far, then you might have thought that race and racial integration of baseball was as insignificant as, say, the first time that a player from Sioux City, Iowa with red hair born in the month of February played in the major leagues.  The New York Post only mentioned Robinson in the very last line of its article, and referred to him as a “colored boy.”  A wee lad of 28, for sure.  Of course, twenty-eight is childhood in the ObamaCare jargon, so I suppose everything condescending and old is condescending and new again.

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20 03 2011
Sunday Wrap-Up « Countenance Blog

[…] Maybe your next water-is-wet blockbuster will be tell us that in popular usage, the word “racist” simply means “white person.” […]




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