I’ve been thinking about race and racism for the past few weeks, and I have come to the conclusion that at its root, racism is the result of viewing people as groups rather than as individuals. For example, it is racist to believe that purple people are lazy, and green people are smart just because they are purple or green. But it’s not racist if you think Joe is lazy because he never does anything, or Jane is smart because she’s both a brain surgeon and a rocket scientist.

Here’s my working definition of racism: the belief that a person’s race is important in judging the superiority or inferiority of that person; also viewing everything through the filter of race. The idea that purple people are better than green people is a racist idea because it judges the groups based on their race classification only. And a professor of Green Studies who sees every real or imagined insult as an attack on him personally because of his Green color is likewise a racist.

The sad news is that we have not gotten past race and racism as a nation yet. As proof, I offer President Obama. He is often referred to as our nation’s first black President, but is he really? OK, ignoring the claim that President Clinton was our first black President, President Obama’s mother was white and his father was black. That makes Obama a half-and-half mixture of the two races. To identify him as black implies that the 50% of him that is black is more important than the 50% that is white. Another example is Tiger Woods. As Wikipedia puts it, he is “one-quarter Chinese, one-quarter Thai, one-quarter African American, one-eighth Native American, and one-eighth Dutch.” But every time he is called black or credited as the “first African American to win a men’s major golf championship,” a value judgment has been made stating that the 25% of him that is black is of greater worth and mention than the other 75% of his ethnic makeup. That is a value judgment based on his race, and to my mind that is racist.

I don’t care about the President’s family background; I care about his stated goals and policies. I disagree with his plans for government control over more and more aspects of Americans’ lives.

Is this attitude racist? How could it be racist if my disapproval of Obama has nothing to do with his race and everything to do with his far-left policies? But people on the left are crying “racist!” when people criticize or lampoon our Dear Leader. Don’t believe me? The left is now worried that calling Obama and his supporters “socialists” is now code for much nastier racial epithets. Here is MSNBC host Carlos Watson, making this claim:

The second half rambles off onto immigration, but here’s the part that shocked me. Watson is paraphrasing David Brooks:

More credible conservatives have to stand up and say that there is a line that has to be drawn, that there is a line of responsibility that’s important, and that extends to the words that we chose. Including how we use even legitimate words like socialist.

Words mean things, and it is quite accurate to label Obama and other Democrats as socialists as they are trying to take over the nation’s economy, but it is also accurate to identify his plans for government control of businesses, like banking and auto industries, as fascism. Are either of these words racist? If you say that they are, I have to ask you to point out how they target a specific race. I am left to believe that they may be considered racist words solely because they are used to target Obama. Consider the two images below.

Two Jokers

Both Presidents are being compared to the Joker character as portrayed by Heath Ledger in the recent Batman movie, “The Dark Knight.” But people are calling the poster on the left racist, while there was no outcry when the same thing was done to President Bush. The same treatment was given to both Presidents, but it’s virulent racism when done to Obama and mere good humor when done to Bush. I am led to believe that to the left, any criticism directed at President Obama is racist because it is directed at President Obama. That reminds me of something the Apostle Paul wrote to Titus:

Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. Titus 1:15

If someone sees everything through the lens of race, that person is a racist and nothing is pure to him. I look forward to the day, as did Martin Luther King, Jr., when we will not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. On that day we will have put racism behind us.

Here’s something to think about each time you hear someone talk about Senator Obama’s “historic” nomination as the first black Democrat Presidential candidate. Does this mean that the U.S. no longer has problems with race? Of course not, say liberals. That won’t happen until Senator Obama becomes President Obama, so any vote against him is therefore a racist vote.

Bull pucky.

America will have finally gone beyond race when people stop talking about the first black Democrat Presidential candidate and just talk about the Democrat Presidential candidate–when people stop talking about the color of his skin and focus on the content of his character. Hey, that’s kinda catchy.

I will not vote for Senator Obama this November, but not because of his race. I will not vote for Obama this November because I don’t want a barely-experienced, Marxism-enamored Senator to be our next President.

The media dogs have been barking around Don Imus for some insulting comments he made about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. The negative attention has been sufficient to cause Imus to lose his job at CBS. I’ve not written anything about it so far because I neither listen to Imus nor look to him for information, so normally I wouldn’t care what he said in any case. But his comments have garnered nation-wide attention, and that in itself makes the situation newsworthy.

The First Amendment says the following about free speech: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” As I read it, Congress is forbidden from telling people what they can or cannot say — and that includes over the airways. A strict Constitutional interpretation of the freedom of speech would prohibit Congress from forbidding or fining people for saying @#$% or &^%$ or even *@%! on the radio or TV, making the old Monty Python song potentially acceptable for airplay. Speaking of what constitutes “permitted speech,” I heard the following sound bite by Al Sharpton on the radio this morning:

It is our feeling that this is only the beginning. We must have a broad discussion on what is permitted and not permitted in terms of the airwaves.

That quote is on the Drudge Report, but interestingly enough, a search for this quote isn’t currently pulling up much. But I find this comment of greater concern to Americans than Imus’ obnoxious comments were. You may say that Imus’ comments were bigoted and inexcusable, and I will agree with you wholeheartedly. But his comments are the act of one man embarrassing himself on the national airwaves by sharing his bigoted feelings with the world. It is his right to say what he wants, even if those words end up getting him in trouble. Sharpton’s comment, by comparison, is frightening in that it represents the thoughts of a single man who believes it is his privilege to dictate to all Americans which thoughts and opinions can and cannot be voiced in public. That is not his role. As much as I am disgusted by comments of the kind that put Imus in such hot water, I’d rather allow him the protections of free speech — even if it means he abuses that protection by spouting inanities — than live in Sharpton’s world of “permitted and not permitted” speech.

The thing I find most interesting about this story is that the media is nipping around Imus’ ankles and barking about his statement, while at the same time giving a pass to others who continue to make far more hateful, misogynistic and racist statements than Imus did. Since Al Sharpton has insisted on inserting himself into this fray, I’ll mention one example of his own race-baiting rhetoric: Tawana Brawley. Where is the media’s condemnation of Sharpton? Where is their outrage at the bigoted statements of Jesse “Hymietown” Jackson? People like Sharpton, Jackson, and numerous rap artists receive a pass from the media, but that same media will continue to bark around Imus for days if not weeks. When I see the media act this way, I am reminded of a particular conversation between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson:

“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

“To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.

The point of this conversation was that guard dogs don’t bark when their master is about. Who, then, is the media’s master?

Being hypersensitive to insults is a hallmark of immaturity. If you are confident about yourself and your actions, then snide or insulting comments by others are not a big deal. But for some insecure people, the mere mention of a word they don’t like–regardless of its true meaning–is enough to outrage them. This is what happened several years ago when:

… teacher Stephanie Bell said she used the word “niggardly,” which means stingy or miserly, during a discussion about literary characters. But parent Akwana Walker, who is black, protested the use of the word, saying it offended her because it sounds similar to a racial slur.

Walker was not upset because the teacher uttered a racial slur, but because it sounded like a racial slur to her — it’s not the facts, but how she feels that matters.

Tony Snow got in trouble when he said “hug the tar baby” in a press conference, but he’s not the only person to recently say this. While at a fund raiser in Iowa, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney used the term when speaking about the Big Dig ceiling collapse. He defended his taking over the Big Dig project after a woman died in a collapse of the tunnel even though it could be a large political problem for him. He defended his action by pointing out that no action at all on his part would have been even worse. And then he said it — “The best thing politically would be to stay as far away from that tar baby as I can.”

I’ll give you a moment to recover from the shock of it.

Now that you are back on your feet and the tang of smelling salts is fading from the air, I have to ask a fairly simple question: did the Governor use the phrase “tar baby” in a racist way to label a black person, or was he talking about a sticky situation? It’s obvious from the context of his remarks that Gov. Romney was using the latter definition. But that really doesn’t matter. People who dislike Gov. Romney politically are upset by the phrase. Race-baiting poverty pimps are upset by the phrase. And hypersensitive people who see issues of race and prejudice in every action are upset by the phrase.

If someone ever speaks of a tar baby, ask yourself whether the phrase is being used to refer to a person or a sticky situation. Referring to a person that way is not acceptable, but using it to mean a sticky situation that is hard to get out of is not a racist phrase. It may sound like something objectionable, but it is no more racist than the word niggardly is racist, regardless of what it sounds like or how people feel about it.

I find it interesting that many of the same people who are resoundingly criticizing Mel Gibson for his verbal abuse during his drunk driving arrest don’t seem to bat an eye when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad utters his own anti-Jewish remarks while (presumably) stone-cold sober. But that’s neither here nor there. What really caught my eye about this issue with Gov. Romney was the following headline:

Gov. Apologizes for ‘Tar Baby’ Remark

Gov. Mitt Romney has apologized for referring to the troubled Big Dig construction project as a “tar baby” during a fundraiser with Iowa Republicans, saying he didn’t know anyone would be offended by the term some consider a racial epithet….

Black leaders were outraged at his use of the term, which dates to the 19th century Uncle Remus stories, referring to a doll made of tar that traps Br’er Rabbit. It has come to be known as a way of describing a sticky mess, and has also been used as a derogatory term for a black person.

“Tar baby is a totally inappropriate phrase in the 21st century,” said Larry Jones, a black Republican and civil rights activist….

Romney’s spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, said the governor was describing “a sticky situation.”

“He was unaware that some people find the term objectionable and he’s sorry if anyone’s offended,” Fehrnstrom said.

Fehrnstrom produced copies of editorials and columns from Boston newspapers using “tar baby” in a context similar to Romney’s. One example from 2004, a Herald editorial, used the term about the Big Dig itself.

Gov. Romney should have learned the lesson that every conservative must learn: never apologize to the Left. Doing so only encourages them to whine and complain more.

I have put some miles on the car this summer by visiting family and friends, but that’s really nothing new. Each trip to visit the family puts about 2,000 miles on the car, but I consider it a small price to pay to get together. Having made the drive many times, we have chosen a few standard places to stop for gas and munchies. At one stop, I availed myself of the facilities. In the spirit of capitalism, the McDonald’s at the truck stop had purchased some advertising space on the back of the bathroom stall doors. In this case, the item being hawked was McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.

Not being a big fan of McDonald’s food, I didn’t pay much attention to the ad. On my return trip, however, I noticed the ad had been defaced. Someone had drawn an arrow to the phrase, “made of 100% white meat” and wrote, “Even McDonald’s is raciest [sic].” My first response was, “Geez, learn to spell ‘racist’ right!” My second response was to look at the meat in the McNugget on the ad. I couldn’t think of any way to best describe the color of the meat, other than to call it white.

In chickens (and some other birds like turkeys), the muscles that don’t see much use, like chest muscles, tend to be a lighter color than the muscles that are used constantly like the thighs and legs. Other birds that fly more than chickens, such as geese, are all dark meat. Because we Americans have different tastes when it comes to white and dark meat, people often carve the Thanksgiving turkey into piles of white and dark meat and allow the guests to choose the kind they like best. It is common for commercial food preparers to use only white meat in their chicken nuggets, not because it tastes any better to be made only of white meat, but merely because the appearance is more attractive to most people. There is even a scientist who has spent time figuring out ways to turn the dark meat of a chicken into white meat. I’m not a big fan of chicken nuggets from any fast-food place, since to my tastes the dark meat on a chicken has more flavor than the white. This is also why I like duck and goose meat more than I do chicken, but their higher cost means we don’t eat them very often.

But how exactly does “white” and “dark” apply to race, when we are talking about different portions of a chicken? The only way I can see that “made of 100% white meat” could be construed as a racist comment is if the person reading the advertisement views any use of the word “white” to be racially charged. And doesn’t that make the reader a racist, since he is viewing the ad (and, I assume, the world as well) through the distorted lens of racism?

If you get bad service at a restaurant, do you assume it is because of your race, age, or gender, or is it because the waiter is having a really bad day? If you instantly see any slight you might receive as being due to your race, doesn’t that make you a racist? My definition of “racist” includes those people who automatically classify others because of race. Saying “[blank] people are all [something] because of their race” is a racist attitude. And leaping to the conclusion that others are treating you poorly because of your race is also a racist attitude.

Americans are sensitive about being branded as racists. Those of us who grew up after the civil rights changes of the 1960s have been instructed and indoctrinated that we must not be racists. And because of the American melting pot effect, many Americans are mixtures and blends of different races and cultures. If we are guilty of racism, we could be guilty of hating ourselves. Tiger Woods is a good example of this. He is a mixture of Thai, Chinese, white, black, and American Indian. He is just as much black as he is Indian. He is just as much white as he is Thai. But he is really 100% American. And that’s the way we, as Americans, ought to think of ourselves. The other option is to spend our time in meaningless measurements of racial percentages, trying to discover whether it was our great-great-great or our great-great-great-great-grandfather who was of one race or another. Spare me.

Calls of racism have surfaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Kanye West labeled President Bush a racist during a fundraiser for the survivors of Katrina. Others have assumed racism in the different ways that people in photographs were identified as having “looted” or “found” food, when the reality is different. Now that Hurricane Rita is roaring to landfall, certain people will look at the different ways that local, state, and federal officials react to this hurricane as proof positive that the response to Katrina was racist. I find it much easier to believe that different people in different places will act differently, and that having seen how things were mishandled with Katrina, they will do whatever they can to keep the same mismanagement from occurring with Rita. It’s called learning from the mistakes of others.

Another common call of racism comes whenever someone points out that the attacks on September 11th were carried out by Arabic Muslim males between the ages of 18 and 45. The follow-up to such an observation is a call for more scrutiny of males of Arabic descent between the ages of 18 and 45, but some people will claim such behavior is racial profiling. It should be common sense that since we have been attacked by male Arabic Muslims, we should actually focus our attention on them. Pat-downs at airports of elderly ladies and of former Vice President Al Gore do not make us more safe. It is only common sense to focus more on the persons who resemble those who have actually been attacking us. Any time someone suggests this, the cry of “racism” and “racial profiling” comes up. But as Jim Quinn has said, giving more scrutiny to Muslim males of Arabic descent is not so much “racial profiling” as it is “a description of the perpetrator.” Heather Mac Donald wrote about this issue at National Review Online:

There are, however, no unambiguous physical markers for being a Muslim. So rational Islamic-terror investigators must use a surrogate: apparent national origin. Al Qaeda and other Islamic-terror groups have drawn the vast majority of their members from what Krauthammer calls the “Islamic belt” — the Middle East, Pakistan, and North Africa, where white skin is not indigenous. Does that mean that Islamic-terror investigators are biased against people with darker skin? Of course not. Nor does it mean that antiterror agents should treat every Middle Easterner as a suspect. But they should be allowed to factor in apparent Muslim identity in evaluating whether certain behavior is suspicious. A string of eight Saudi males seeking to purchase large quantities of fertilizer at a garden supply store outside of Las Vegas should raise more questions than if eight Mormon missionaries were to do so.

When my wife read this quote, she said, “Yeah, but you gotta watch those sneaky Mormon missionaries. Let ‘em into your home and they could–horrors–CONVERT you to a Christian faith!!! And then you’d engage in horrible activities like humanitarian projects and potluck dinners! Gahh!” Given a choice between having more au gratin potatoes at a potluck dinner or having my head cut off with an “Allahu Akbar” chorus, I think I’ll take my chances with the Mormon missionaries.

Several times now Bill Cosby, the popular comedian, writer and actor, has spoken out about the American black community. Recently he spoke to black leaders and activists about the rising generation of blacks: “They think they’re hip. They can’t read; they can’t write. They’re laughing and giggling, and they’re going nowhere.” This was not the first time that Cosby had chastised the black community for the failings of some of its members. Months before, at a gala affair commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Cosby said he wanted to “turn the mirror around on ourselves.” Here are several quotes from this and other times he has spoken out:

I travel the country and see these patterns in every community — stories of 12-year-old children killed in the crossfire between knuckleheads selling drugs, the 14-year-olds with a sealed envelope as their first step into the criminal justice system, the young males who become fathers and not held responsible, the young women having children and moving back in with their mothers and grandmothers, and the young people who choose not to learn standard English.

I can’t even talk the way these people talk, “Why you ain’t,” “Where you is” … and I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk … Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.

I want people to take their neighborhood back. Hey, man, you know, to be — I’ve traveled around all the different cities, and to turn on the TV or the news at 5:00, and I read that some child, 12-year-old, shot. Whether it’s Dayton, Ohio; Wilberforce, Ohio; Pennsylvania, Mississippi. And for me, it’s painful. That’s a life gone. And then when they catch the person that did it, that’s another life gone. Where are we? Who are we? 50% dropout in school. 60 to 70% of our incarcerated are illiterate.

You’ve got to stop beating up your women because you can’t find a job, because you didn’t want to get an education and now you’re [earning] minimum wage. You should have thought more of yourself when you were in high school, when you had an opportunity.

Our nation has come a long way from the institutionalized racism of the last century. Outright and open racism is no longer acceptable in society, but this shift in attitude has caused racists to go underground and hide their disdain of others. We have changed to a society where a once commonly-used racial slur is now only referred to as “the N word” on the nightly news. But although the overwhelming majority of whites would be embarrassed to use this type of language today, Cosby is saddened that blacks too often use “the N word” with each other. He places the responsibility for this act on the parents. “When you put on a record and that record is yelling ‘n—– this and n—– that’ and you’ve got your little 6-year-old, 7-year-old sitting in the back seat of the car, those children hear that,” he said. I would add that while parents are responsible for playing that “music,” the artists are also to blame for creating songs which contain this kind of language.

Cosby has dismissed reports that some people are using his words to tear down blacks, but there has been very little open criticism against his comments. Jesse Jackson was present at a recent event and defended Cosby: “Bill is saying let’s fight the right fight, let’s level the playing field. Drunk people can’t do that. Illiterate people can’t do that.” And many others have stood up and agreed with Cosby, as Dick Meyer recently wrote: “Cosby’s remarks were embraced by several of the leading black columnists in the country: DeWayne Wickham, Clarence Page, Colbert King, Leonard Pitts, Jr., and Thomas Sowell.”

Bill Cosby dismissed claims that he was airing the black community’s “dirty laundry” thus: “Let me tell you something, your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day, it’s cursing and calling each other n—— as they’re walking up and down the street.”

It is laudable that Cosby is not willing to sit back and watch people dig themselves deeper into problems of their own devising: “I think that it is time for concerned African Americans to march, galvanize and raise the awareness about this epidemic to transform our helplessness, frustration and righteous indignation into a sense of shared responsibility and action,” he said. Inaction is easy, but it takes courage to stand up and announce publicly that the emperor has no clothes, and we should stop pretending otherwise. “For me there is a time … when we have to turn the mirror around,” Bill Cosby said. “Because for me it is almost analgesic to talk about what the white man is doing against us. And it keeps a person frozen in their seat, it keeps you frozen in your hole you’re sitting in.”

I am glad to see Cosby refusing to play the game of victimhood. Taking responsibility for your own failings and rolling up your sleeves to fix them is a sign of maturity. In fact, Ralph Peters identified in 1998 the tendency of blaming others as one of the seven signs of a losing nation-state:

The cult of victimhood, a plague on the least-successful elements in our own society, retards the development of entire continents. When individuals or cultures cannot accept responsibility for their own failures, they will repeat the behaviors that led to failure. Accepting responsibility for failure is difficult, and correspondingly rare. The cultures of North America, Northern Europe, Japan, and Korea (each in its own way) share an unusual talent for looking in the mirror and keeping their eyes open. Certainly, there is no lack of national vanity, prejudice, subterfuge, or bad behavior. But in the clutch we are surprisingly good at saying, “We did it, so let’s fix it.”

I salute Bill Cosby for speaking up over the years about this issue, and I’m pleased to see some national press finally following his comments. It is high time that we as a nation grow up, both individually and collectively. The overt racism of segregated water fountains in times past should be as repugnant to us as the subtle racism of lowered expectations today.

41-year-old Nathaniel Jones is dead, and people are blaming the police of Cincinnati, Ohio. But unlike an earlier death in that city, Jones’ death did not lead to widespread rioting and looting. Nathaniel Jones’ death made the news because he was caught on police video, lunging and swinging at the cops. The police retaliated with nightsticks as Jones continued to resist. The coroner for Hamilton County, Carl Parrott, said that Jones died from a combination of factors including an enlarged heart, obesity, and “intoxicating levels” of cocaine, PCP and methanol in his blood.

Did the cops single out Jones to kill him? No. Jones attacked the cops. But this latest death has not improved the Cincinnatians’ opinions of their police force. In 2001, Cincinnati erupted in riots and looting after the death of another man at the hands of police. Timothy Thomas was the fifteenth man since 1995 to die in Cincinnati at the hands of the cops.

Let’s examine each of these 15 deaths, working our way backward, and see if we can spot some common threads in each of these deaths.

Timothy Thomas

Thomas was only 19 on April 7, 2001, but he was wanted by the police for over a dozen misdemeanor warrants. When he realized the police had spotted him, he took off. Eventually twelve officers were involved in chasing Thomas. Officer Steve Roach testified that he saw Thomas appear from behind a building, and that he further saw Thomas reaching for something in his waistband. Fearing for his safety, Officer Roach fired once, killing Thomas. In this case, Thomas did not directly threaten the cops, but he did resist arrest as he fled. Thomas’ death sparked the worst riots and looting in the U.S. since 1968, when the Avondale riots occurred in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Adam Wheeler

Wanted on three felony warrants, Adam Wheeler was not too interested in letting the police enter his home to investigate a drug complaint on January 31, 2001. He slammed the door in the cops’ face and shouted, “You want a war? You got a war.” He emptied his gun at the police and was shot and killed during the fight. He died while resisting arrest and attacking police officers.

Jeffrey Irons

On November 8, 2000, Jeffrey Irons entered a supermarket, and the employees claimed he stole some deodorant and shaving cream. When the police were called and Irons was confronted, he refused to surrender and struggled with the cops. He snatched one officer’s gun and shot Officer Tim Pappas in the hand. Officer Frederick Gilmer then shot and killed Irons. Irons died while resisting arrest and attacking police officers.

Roger Owensby Jr.

Wanted for outstanding warrants, Roger Owensby Jr. initically cooperated with the police officers as they tried to arrest him on November 7, 2000. But once he saw the handcuffs, he panicked and ran. He was quickly brought down with pepper spray, handcuffed, and placed in a police cruiser. Later he was found unconscious and died shortly of suffocation. He died after resisting arrest.

Courtney Mathis

Courtney Mathis was only 12 years old on September 1, 2000, but he stole a relative’s car and drove it to a convenience store. Officer Kevin Crayon, noticing Mathis, asked to see his driver’s license. Mathis started to drive away, and Officer Crayon reached into the car to stop him. The officer became tangled in the steering wheel and was dragged by Mathis for 800 feet until Officer Crayon drew his gun and shot Mathis point-blank in the chest. The force of the shot dislodged the officer from the car, and he struck another vehicle and was killed. Mathis managed to make it home, where he died four hours later. Both Officer Crayon and Courtney Mathis died because the boy resisted arrest.

Alfred Pope

Alfred Pope was a known criminal with five convictions and 18 felony charges. Pope died on March 14, 2000 after he and another man robbed and pistol-whipped three people in an apartment building. The police chased Pope until he pulled out a 9mm handgun and threatened the officers. Of the 26 bullets subsequently fired by the police, 10 struck and killed Pope. He died after resisting arrest and threatening the police.

Carey Tompkins

Officer Craig Ball responded to a domestic violence call early in the morning of October 16, 1999. As Officer Ball opened the door to the apartment stairway, he came face to face with Carey Tompkins who shoved a 9mm handgun in the officer’s waist. Tompkins was shot in the ensuing struggle for the gun. He died while resisting arrest and threatening the police.

James King

On August 20, 1999, James King robbed the Fifth Third Bank at gunpoint. No one was hurt during the robbery, and King made off with a bag of cash. King led the police in a car chase until he trapped himself in a dead end. King exited his car, gun in hand, and was ordered by the police to drop his gun. He refused and was shot and killed. He died while resisting arrest and threatening the police.

Michael Carpenter

In the early morning hours of March 19, 1999, Officers Brent McCurley and Michael Miller ran a check of the license plates of the car Michael Carpenter was driving. The car belonged to a friend, and the registration had expired. When confronted by the officers, Carpenter refused to leave the car and reached for the glove box. Officer Miller tried to pull Carpenter out through the driver’s side window, and was dragged about 15 feet until the car hit a parked van. When Officer McCurley saw Carpenter attempt to back up his car, he fired nine times. Carpenter died while resisting arrest and threatening the police.

Randy Black

On the morning of July 17, 1998, Randy Black robbed the Cinco Credit Union at gunpoint. The police gave chase. Black threw a brick at one officer and lunged at Officer Joseph Eichhorn with a two-by-four board studded with rusty nails. Black was shot twice and died. He died while resisting arrest and threatening the police.

Jermaine Lowe

After an eight-minute car chase, Jermaine Lowe crashed his fleeing car into another on June 3, 1998. Lowe reached out the driver’s window and emptied his handgun at the three pursuing officers, who returned fire and killed Lowe. Lowe’s passenger was unharmed and was not charged with a crime. Jermaine Lowe died while resisting arrest and attacking the police.

Daniel Williams

On February 2, 1998, Daniel Williams flagged down Officer Kathleen Conway’s car. He struck her in the face and shot her four times in the legs and abdomen before pushing her aside and seizing the steering wheel. Officer Conway responded by shooting Williams twice in the head. Williams died while attacking the police.

Lorenzo Collins

Lorenze Collins had a history of mental illness, and on February 23, 1997, he found himself surrounded by 15 officers armed with guns. Collins threatened them with a brick he was carrying and refused to drop it. He was shot and died five days later. Collins died resisting arrest and threatening the police.

Darryll C. Price

On April 4, 1996, the police found Darryll C. Price jumping on the hood of a car and shouting that he was going to “shoot someone.” The police sprayed him with a chemical irritant, tackled and shackled him. Because of the cocaine he had previously used, Price suffered from “agitated delirium with restraint,” a syndrome that begins when a disturbed person cannot get enough oxygen. Price died because he resisted arrest.

Harvey Price

Harvey Price killed his girlfriend’s 15-year-old daughter, Tesha Beasley, with an axe and kept police at bay for four hours on February 1, 1995. He advanced on officers with a raised knife and was shot by the SWAT team. He died while resisting arrest and attacking officers.

Of the 16 people on this list who were killed by the Cincinnati police, 15 were resisting arrest, and 12 were attacking or threatening the officers. Does this sound like cops out of control to you? Does it sound like the police had itchy trigger fingers and were cruising around just looking for an excuse to plug someone? When I look at the individual cases, I have to answer “no” to both questions.

The death of Timothy Thomas and the subsequent riots in 2001 did have a result. To reduce the community’s anger, the police reduced their presence in the area. In the next two months, 73 people were murdered — a 700% increase over the previous year. The people’s demand for the police to back off led directly to more deaths. So which is worse, 16 people dead over the course of 9 years, or 73 deaths in two months? You can do the math.

Let me finish with a quick lesson that everyone reading this article should learn: if you wish to live through an encounter with police, do not attack them and do not resist arrest.

It really is that simple.

In my last comment, I wrote about diversity and how the liberal Left views diversity as a worthy goal. The Left has a very monolithic view of race that is outright racist: people are lumped into a group and are expected to behave as part of that group. How narrow-minded! You are not an individual in their view; you are nothing more than a tag: Black, Conservative, Latino, Gay, Southern, Woman, Man.

This is why Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown are so vilified by the Democrat senators. Here are two people who ought to be marching lock-step to the liberal view of what a Latino and a Black should be. How dare they have independent thoughts! Let’s look a little closer at these two nominees put forward by Pres. Bush and blocked by the liberal Democrat senators.

Justice Miguel Estrada spent over two years before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In fact, it took over 16 months before Estrada was granted his first hearing before the committee after his nomination. This is a prime example of the Democrat foot-dragging President Bush has endured during his time in office — something that the liberal Democrats refuse to acknowledge even today. Estrada had the gold seal of approval from the American Bar Association with their “well-qualified” rating. But this was not sufficient for the Democrats on the committee. Why are the liberals so afraid of letting Estrada’s nomination be voted on by the whole body of the Senate? It is simple — he would get the 51 votes needed to be confirmed a member of the D.C. Court of Appeals, and this would put him on the short list for a Supreme Court position when one comes open. Had he been approved, Estrada might have been the first Hispanic judge to sit on the nation’s highest court, but the liberals, ever-faithful champions of the minorities, have blocked his nomination. You see, he isn’t “Latino” enough for them. He does not fit their narrow-minded vision of what a Hispanic person should be, and so they refused to even give him the decency of a full Senate vote. In September, tired of the 28 months of partisan wranglings of the sanctimonious liberal Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Estrada withdrew his name from consideration for this judgeship.

Pete Martinez summed up the liberal Democrats’ position in his post to HispanicVista.com: “We have found nothing negative in Mr. Estrada’s past. He is by all accounts a brilliant attorney. Was a brilliant student, has led an exemplary life and is a bona fide role model not only to Latinos, but indeed to all Americans — but he refuses to answer our questions on how he would decide cases that may come before the court — he refuses to tell us that he would decide as we the Democrats believe he should decide, so it can only mean he would use either his independent thinking or follow the philosophy of the Republican party — so we cannot allow him to be confirmed.”

Justice Janice Rogers Brown is another well-qualified nominee for a high court position. But she is also being blocked by the liberal Democrats sitting on the Senate Judiciary Committee. They view her as being far out of the mainstream, so she should not sit on the D.C. Court of Appeals. It is interesting to note that she was reelected to her California judgeship with 76% of the vote. How can she be so far out of the mainstream when a pretty liberal state like California is so firmly behind her? The answer is simple: she is not out of the mainstream, but she is too conservative for the far-left liberal Democrats in the committee. She isn’t acting Black enough in their viewpoint to be a good judge. Sen. Kennedy called Brown and the other nominees “Neanderthals,” but this racist comment barely made a ripple in the news. But the message is clear: if you are a minority, you had better conform to the Democrat concept of how you should behave. If you dare to think or act differently than the way liberals think you should, then you are somehow not Latino or Black enough. If you are Black, you must be the liberal stereotype of Black. If you are Hispanic, you must be the liberal stereotype of Hispanic. If you are female, you must be the liberal stereotype of female. What a bunch of pig-headed, racist nonsense!

The problem with this static liberal view of race is that race in America is far from static. People have called Tiger Woods, the championship winning golfer, Black or African-American. But they do so by ignoring the rest of his heritage. Newsweek, in December 1996, reported that “Tiger is one-eighth Native American, one-eighth African-American, one-quarter white, one-quarter Chinese, one-quarter Thai.” Tiger himself explained in a press release, “On my father’s side, I am African-American. On my mother’s side, I am Thai. Truthfully, I feel very fortunate, and EQUALLY PROUD, to be both African-American and Asian!” We can see that regardless of percentages, Tiger identifies himself the way he wishes. He sees himself as both Black and Thai while these identities are 12.5% and 25% of his makeup, respectively. He could just as validly claim to be Native American and White, also 12.5% and 25%. Does his race matter? Only to people who like to pigeonhole other people.

At what point do we tell someone that he or she cannot be called Black/White/Purple/whatever because he or she is less than 25%/10%/5% of that race? Years ago, this was a major issue for society. The following breakdown of races comes from a 1884 book with a truly long name: The People’s Cyclopedia of Universal Knowledge, with numerous appendixes invaluable for reference in all departments of industrial life. The whole brought down to the year 1884 with the Pronunciation and Orthography Conformed to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary. Illustrated with More than Five Thousand Engravings, and Fifty-two Handsomely Colored Double-Page Maps., by W.H. De Puy, A.M., D.D.

Father Mother Half-Caste
White Negro Mulatto
White Indian Mestizo
Indian Negro Chino
White Mulatta Cuarteron
White Mestiza Creole, only distinguished from the white by a pale brown complexion.
White Chinese Chino-blanco
White Cuarterona Quintero
White Quintera White
Negro N.A. Indian Zambo or Cariboco
Negro S.A. Indian Mameluco
Negro Mulatta Zambo-negro or Cubra
Negro Mestiza Mulatto-oscuro
Negro Chinese Zambo-chino
Negro Zamba Zambo-negro (perfectly black.)
Negro Cuarterona Mulatto (rather dark.)
Negro Quinterona Pardoc
Indian Mulatta Chino-oscuro
Indian Mestiza Mestizo-claro (frequently very beautiful.)
Indian China Chino-cholo
Indian Zamba Zambo-claro
Indian China-cholo Indian (with short frizzy hair.)
Indian Cuarterona Mestizo (rather brown.)
Indian Quintera Mestizo
Mulatto Zamba Zambo
Mulatto Mestiza Chino (of rather clear complexion.)
Mulatto China Chino (rather dark.)

According to the definition of the late 19th Century, someone who is only 6.25% Black is considered White. Judging from his Black heritage, Tiger Woods would be classified a Quintero (12.5% Black) had he lived in the 1880s. But all this hyper-sensitivity over race misses the whole point now that we live in the 21st Century. Regardless of the race of the mother and father, the resulting child is an American.

Isn’t that much simpler?

A common catch-phrase among certain crowds is “Our strength is our diversity,” or the reverse, “Our diversity is our strength.” It has become a self-evident, unquestioned concept in recent years. But is this really a hard and fast rule that we should use to govern our lives?

Certainly there are some valid reasons to seek out diversity. Lack of diversity, for instance, is one objection to cloning animals on a large scale. If one animal in the cloned herd is susceptible to a disease, then all of the animals are susceptible. One nasty contagious bug and you have lost your entire flock of cloned sheep. In this case, the flock’s diversity is definitely the flock’s strength. Does this concept apply to other aspects of human life?

The University of Michigan has hit the news twice this year regarding Supreme Court decisions dealing with diversity. The Supreme Court rulings did not make sense to me, since they tossed out a clearly-defined form of discrimination but upheld a sneaky and underhanded form of discrimination. I figure if we must have discrimination to provide diversity, it would be better to know beforehand how that discrimination will work. That may make sense to me, but not to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s opinion basically stated that the need for diversity in our society outweighed the 14th Amendment’s right to equal treatment under the law. Is diversity really that important? Will I learn chemistry better if the person sitting next to me in class is a different race, age, or gender? How, exactly, does the different skin color of the person next to me make me a better student of inorganic chemistry?

In a scene from the movie Joe vs. the Volcano, Joe’s boss Mr. Waturi asks repeatedly in a phone conversation, “I know he can get the job, but can he do the job?” Since the University of Michigan was favoring minority applicants over those with higher GPAs and test scores, the university was in essence saying that it valued enrollment of minority students more than it was concerned with their preparedness and readiness to succeed in college — that it was more concerned about minority students “getting the job” than being able to “do the job.” And yes, minority drop-out rates are greater in schools that give preference to race over ability. Do you notice the racism the University of Michigan is displaying? It is not asking for the best and brightest students. If you happen to be a minority, you are not held to the same standard as others who apply. The University believes that you cannot possibly do as well as other students, so it condescendingly lowers the bar to allow you in. Are you comfortable with the thought that the University of Michigan believes you are incapable of competing with other students because you are part of a minority group? This is racism.

I am not saying minority students are any less able, but if a school sets a standard of a cumulative SAT score of 1300 for entrance and lowers the requirement to 1000 for a specific group, then we should not be surprised to see that second group struggling with performance in school. This bar-lowering does not have to be associated with race. For instance, most prospective firefighters are required to lift a 150-pound load and carry it at least 500 yards; if that requirement is lowered or ignored for female firefighters, the end result will be a number of firefighters who could not successfully pick you up and carry you out of a burning building. Would you be comfortable with that if you were trapped in a burning house? Has a sexually diverse workplace made the firefighters better at their jobs? It has not if the basic requirements have been lowered just to promote diversity. The principle is sound — if you lower expectations, you will get less skilled people.

Since the last paragraph discusses generalities, let me use a specific example of diversity run amok. Opinion writer Michelle Malkin wrote about how discrimination in the name of diversity has affected two people. Patrick Chavis was admitted to the University of California-Davis medical school under a special quota program for minorities. Allan Bakke, who had higher scores than Chavis, was not admitted because he did not have the right skin color. Both Sen. Ted Kennedy and Jane Fonda’s ex-husband Tom Hayden stood up for Chavis and praised the decision to admit him over some other guy because of his minority status. Sen. Kennedy proclaimed that Chavis was “making a difference in the lives of scores of poor families.” And what a difference he made.

Malkin proceeds to describe the nature of the “difference” Chavis made: “An administrative law judge found Chavis guilty of gross negligence and incompetence in the treatment of three patients. Yolanda Mukhalian lost 70 percent of her blood after Chavis hid her in his home for 40 hours following a bungled liposuction; she miraculously survived. The other survivor, Valerie Lawrence, also experienced severe bleeding following the surgery; after Lawrence’s sister took her to a hospital emergency room, Chavis barged in and discharged his suffering patient — still hooked up to her IV and catheter — and also stashed her in his home. Tammaria Cotton bled to death and suffered full cardiac arrest after Chavis performed fly-by-night liposuction on her and then disappeared …. In 1997, the Medical Board of California suspended Chavis’ license, warning of his ‘inability to perform some of the most basic duties required of a physician.’”

Here is the liberal Left’s poster boy for diversity through discrimination, performing horribly. Chavis has since died, the victim of a shooting, but who knows how many people continue to suffer or who bear the scars of his ineptitude? Tell me honestly, which doctor would you choose to perform emergency open-heart surgery on you: the surgeon who was top of the graduating class, or the one who got into medical school not because of fine skills or good grades, but because of skin color or gender?

I like diversity. Without it, my life would be one boring continuous slog through sameness. I love different foods, different people, different scenery, different experiences. But this diversity comes because I desire it — there is no need for some bureaucrat to mandate it into my life. True diversity comes from the freedom to choose the best. During the years I worked for Microsoft, I became friends with team members from Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Ireland, Italy, England, Syria, Canada, and all over the United States. These talented men and women were picked because they excelled in their chosen profession, not because of their looks or background. And because the best people were picked for the job, the natural outcome was a wide diversity of people, ideas and backgrounds. It was freedom, not the underground racist cry for diversity at all costs, which made this possible.

Addendum: In November Sen. Edward Kennedy, booze-hound, bad driver, and liberal Democrat from Massachusetts said that the Democrats will “continue to resist any Neanderthal that is nominated by this president.” When Sen. Trent Lott made some off-the-cuff joking words about Sen. Strom Thurmond at his 100th birthday celebration, the liberal Left burst a major artery with outrage. Oh, the venom that dripped from leftist pens and lips as they attacked Lott for praising someone who was once a segragationalist. Oh, the humanity! So Lott, as Republicans tend to do, fell on his own sword and stepped down as the Majority Leader of the Senate.

Now we have some hateful words spoken in dead earnest, and you barely hear a comment about it. Here is a quick and dirty search I did on “Lott Thurmond” and “Neanderthal Kennedy” looking just for these issues:

Kennedy Lott
CNN 0 40+
CBS News 0 1
ABC News 0 20+
FOX News 2 20+

Notice the trend here? I thought you might.

Rush Limbaugh is a major fixture in the radio business. For more than fifteen years, Rush has broadcast his views and opinions over the airwaves. Many people love him, others despise him, but all have to agree that Rush’s show has been monumentally popular. Industry people even credit Rush with reviving the AM band in general, and talk radio in particular. But love him or hate him, Rush has hit the front pages twice this week.

The first hit came while Rush was on ESPN commenting on the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Buffalo Bills game. Referring to the Eagles quarterback, Donovan McNabb, Rush opined, “I don’t think he’s been that good from the get-go,” and “The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.” These comments kicked up a firestorm a few days later as more and more people complained they were racist and hateful. Three of the Democratic presidential candidates, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, and Al Sharpton, called for ESPN to fire Rush. Wesley Clark went as far as to call these remarks “hateful and ignorant speech.” Oh, come on! Jesse Jackson calling New York “Hymietown” is racist and hateful. Rush’s comments are not.

Allen Barra of Slate magazine agrees that Rush’s comments were not racist. In an article published Oct. 2, Barra agreed with Rush’s assessment of McNabb. “If Limbaugh were a more astute analyst, he would have been even harsher and said, ‘Donovan McNabb is barely a mediocre quarterback.’ But other than that, Limbaugh pretty much spoke the truth. Limbaugh lost his job for saying in public what many football fans and analysts have been saying privately for the past couple of seasons.” Barra also took time to compare Brad Johnson with Donovan McNabb. In almost every measurable way, Johnson is a better quarterback than McNabb. But people view Johnson as mediocre, while McNabb is often lauded as the best pro quarterback. If McNabb’s performance is worse than Johnson’s, why is he considered the better quarterback? There is only one plausible reason: Rush is right.

I don’t follow football, so I have never watched Rush on ESPN. I do think it’s sad to see Rush forced away from ESPN when he clearly enjoyed it so much. But when it comes to his comments, people have been making a mountain out of a molehill. Many perpetually annoyed liberals have screamed that Rush’s comments were racist, but their claims ring hollow to me. After all, how seriously can I take their complaints about Rush’s comments, when they take no stand against a former Grand Kleagle of the Klu Klux Klan sitting in the Senate? I refer of course to Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, who was an active member of the KKK for many years and who has never renounced his affiliation with that organization. But does this concern the liberal left? Not at all. Yet if a conservative makes one comment about the race of a football player, even if many others share his sentiment, liberals will call for his head. Interesting hypocrisy, no?

The second story to hit the news alleges that Rush has been buying thousands of addictive prescription drugs from a black-market drug ring. According to Wilma Cline, who claims to have been Rush’s housekeeper, Rush has been hooked on various potent prescription painkillers. The National Enquirer sat on this particular story for two years, and the obvious question which no one seems to be asking is: why release it this week? If you have been following Rush’s activities, you would have noticed the drug accusations hit right while he was headed for Philadelphia to be the keynote speaker at the annual National Association of Broadcasters meeting. Thus on the day the story broke, there was a substitute filling in for Rush. The timing of this story placed Rush in a position where he was unable to defend himself against these accusations on his radio show, and the curious who listened in on that day would probably assume Rush had gone into hiding to avoid further hits from the press.

On Friday, Rush returned to his radio show, and most of the day he strongly defended his comments about McNabb, but he barely touched on the drug accusations. Here is part of his official response, posted on his Web site and disseminated by EIB: “I am unaware of any investigation by any authorities involving me. No governmental representative has contacted me directly or indirectly. If my assistance is required in the future, I will, of course, cooperate fully.”

I’m pleased that Rush says he is willing to cooperate with the authorities, but he did not definitively reject the notion that he abused prescription drugs. He has not strongly declared his innocence. During the past administration, Bill Clinton was questioned many times by reporters about his various scandals. His responses were inevitably evasive. Usually he would say that since the issue was under investigation, he could not respond. Instead he preferred to wait until all the facts were known. But Clinton himself would have been privy to these facts, so waiting for the investigation to conclude was an attempt to dodge the questions. Clinton could have proclaimed his own innocence, since he was fully aware of his actions in these matters. But he chose not to do that.

Rush was quick to spot these evasions during Clinton’s administration, but I have yet to hear anyone pointing out these same evasions on Rush’s part. I admit that I like listening to Rush, and I do hope he is innocent of these charges. But conservatives like me have a very low tolerance for corruption and law-breaking, even among our own. When someone on the political right does something wrong, we expect that person to do the honorable thing. You can see this expectation reflected in the way conservative government officials have resigned when their past sins came back to haunt them. But liberals tend not to do this. When a liberal gets in trouble, other liberals tend to close ranks and stand behind him, right or wrong. This was the case during the Clinton years, and it is the case today. This is why I say conservatives have standards, and liberals have alibis.

I hope Rush is found innocent of these drug charges. But I believe if he could honestly defend himself against these accusations, he would–that would fit his brash, outspoken style of comment. This tiptoeing around the issue seems to reveal much more about what’s going on. If Rush is found guilty, as much as I like him, then I expect justice to be served.