Last week, my favorite comic strip, Dilbert, disappeared from my morning paper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In its place was simply a gray box. Had the Plain Dealer dealt plainly, it would have stamped “Censored” on the box. Instead, it offered a joke better than those in the banned strip, saying the censorship was not an example of “cancel culture.” Big Brother himself could not have told a bigger lie.
Other newspapers across the country joined in the auto-da-fe. Showing the totalitarian impulse behind cultural Marxism, the ideology that demands “Political Correctness” in all things, the cancellations had nothing to do with the strip itself. Rather, the slaughter was justified by saying the strip’s author, Scott Adams, had said something “racist.”
Here it is useful to remember that words have meaning. The meaning of words such as “racist” and “sexist,” according to the people who created them, is that the thing itself, in this case race, is a “construct.” A construct is a castle in the air, something with no basis in reality. The building blocks of reality, in contrast, are facts. That makes facts the opposite of a construct, which in turn means that something cannot be both a construct and a fact. So to test whether a statement is “racist” or “sexist,” we need only ask whether it is factual or not.
I have not seen the whole of Scott Adams’ remarks. But most of the howling about them seems to focus on two elements. According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Adams, commenting on a recent Rasmussen Poll that found a small majority of blacks agreed with the statement “It’s OK to be white, said,
If nearly half of all Blacks are not OK with white people . . . that’s a hate group. . . I don’t want to have anything to do with them. And I would say, based on the current way things are going, the best advice I would give to white people is to get the hell away from black people. . . because there is no fixing this.
In sum, the two elements Mr. Adams is in trouble for are that half of all blacks constitute a “hate group” and whites should avoid blacks.
So what are the facts? I have not seen the Rasmussen Poll, but it is a respected polling firm. No news account has disputed Mr. Adam’s claim that a small majority of blacks said whites are OK. But Mr. Scott infers that the poll means a large minority of blacks are hostile to whites as whites. Is that valid?
Clearly, a non-trivial percentage of American blacks are hostile to whites simply because they are white. This is largely a product of cultural Marxism, which keeps telling blacks that all their problems are the fault of whites. This both feeds black hostility to whites and tells blacks that they cannot help themselves; improving their situation must be done by whites. The antidote to this is best found in the writings of Booker T. Washington, who argued, contrary to cultural Marxism (itself a product of whites), that blacks can and should depend on their own efforts to rise. In sum, Mr. Adams’ assertion that a large minority of blacks are hostile to whites as whites is true to some extent, but the poll does not reliably define the size of the minority.
But are these blacks a “hate group?” Here,Mr. Adams is using the word “group” differently from its usual definition. In the phrase “hate group,” “group” normally means an organization. There are certainly black organizations that are hostile to whites and therefore qualify as hate groups, just as those organizations have white counterparts. But Mr. Adams does seem to be stretching the word “group” beyond its usual meaning, which makes his assertion open to question.
Finally, what about Mr. Adams’ advice to white to avoid blacks? One powerful fact supports that advice, namely that the black rate of violent crime is twelve times the white rate. Even though the majority of victims of black crime are also black, black violent crime is a real danger to whites, and everyone in his right mind seeks to avoid danger. So the facts support Mr. Adams here.
But. . . as a conservative, I reject cultural Marxism’s demand that we see everyone as a member of one or another identity group. I prefer to judge people as individuals, according to their works. Black violent crime is almost all the product of young black males. As the black mayor of Cleveland said recently, 90% of the gun violence in our city is a black male aged 19-29 shooting another black male of the same age group. Do I avoid young black males? Absolutely. Guess what? So do other blacks.
But I am happy to mix and socialize with older black people, including the black couple who come to my church and the family of black Jehovah’s Witnesses who live in my suburb (all Jehovah’s Witnesses are pacifists). If I find myself in a crowd of blacks who are coming out of church, I am as comfortable as I am in a crowd of white church-goers. In other words, I try to discriminate between good black people and possibly dangerous black people, just as I do with whites. And my discrimination is based on facts.
The crime against facts and reason here is not committed by Scott Adams, even though some of his statements may stretch some facts. The crime is the banning of my and most people’s favorite comic strip, Dilbert, for statements that never appeared in the strip. That crime is committed by the cultural Marxists and the moral cowards afraid to challenge them in editorial rooms across America. Collectively, they are the pointy-haired boss who killed Dilbert.