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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION APRIL 20-22, 2018) — Inability to let go of the past freezes a person into a lingering immaturity of perpetual pain, blame, and victimhood. It works that way for nations, too, as well as races. Daily we see this being played out full-boil as a tiny minority keeps America from advancing toward enlightenment through the egregious use of the race card.

Fact is, growing up and to this day, THE PLANET never noticed anyone’s skin color until they brought it up or threw it in my face. That applies to white skinheads, black hotheads, and anyone of any hue and disposition in between, over, around, or through.

Friend Eddie comes to mind. He hawks beer in Syracuse, NY at SU basketball, football, Triple A baseball and hockey, and special events such as the “Super Bowl” bowling tournament now going on in that city, the one televised nationally this weekend. When I see Eddie, we hug, joke, laugh, and raconteur (if we may use the word as a verb). We end with a handshake and a fist bump. He’s not black; we’re not white. We’re just friends. He’s known as “the best cottdamned beer hawker in America,” and through his own enterprise and hustling, he probably brings home more in commission and tips than most middle-management types who occupy soulless cubicles on Rug Row. Eddie’s got aa booming voice and an infectious laugh. He’s not a victim. He’s a MAN. We are blessed to have many Eddies in our life.

This week in America, though, race has once again been blown out of all proper proportion. Consider:

We’ve seen Starbucks coffee chain over-react to the arrest of two black men in Philadelphia. The loudmouths were quick to brand the coffee brand as “racist,” and the company wrenched its back in apology while announcing a nationwide shutdown on a day in late May for “sensitivity training.” At Syracuse University, the school suspended one of its professional fraternities (engineering) for a video showing racial hazing. SU chancellor Kent Syverud had to cartwheel before a tiny group of students wearing a hairshirt and spiked collar. And at Claremont McKenna College, “Black Lives Matter” types mounted a rally to block entrance to a building where pro-police author Heather McDonald was due to speak. The university didn’t dare enforce a law that forbids blocking entry to public buildings for fear of causing a riot. McDonald delivered her speech to an empty hall, with the talk being streamed live online. She made the point that modern policing is not propelled by racism but by data, which shows the continued preponderance of black-on-black crime. So much for one of academia’s hallowed traditions, that of free speech in the marketplace of ideas.

THE PLANET knows what every thinking, observant person knows: (a) The magnification of racism by social media from a problem into an obsession has distorted the issue beyond all reasonable amelioration by government, schools, social workers, police, honorable activists, politicians, or any other societal institution, and (b) the social media furor has served as a serendipitous dodge to avoid the real issue, namely, that of black-on-black violence.

Neither Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Ralph Abernathy, Jesse Jackson, Angela Davis, or any other civil rights figure from the era had social media. Consequently, they were able take advantage of generous attention spans to use writing, speech, and action as a logical lever to spur racial improvements that were once thought unthinkable. They wrote, spoke, and acted when conditions were exponentially worse than they are today, using what millennials deride as archaic, analog tools. Yet when you ask the cool latte-and-brie crowd to explain the great success of these truly great leaders, they give you the blank staring of the walking dead.

Today, the instantaneous assaults of hysterical twitter feeds have largely killed critical thinking and the possibility of meaningful action on an issue that continues to dog America 153 years after Grant and Lee shook hands at Appomattox. The shrill and deafening defiance of ignorant, flashpan protest movements such as Black Lives Matter and the politically correct Me Too make a mockery of King’s peaceful marches and soda-fountain sits-ins — even the fire of Black Panthers Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Seale, Huey Newton and company, who based their strategy on the undeniable, Major League racism of the country, particularly the Jim Crow South.

Black Lives Matter is a creation of social media, a communication channel that truncates reasonable debate and substitutes a kind-of pixeled demagoguery whose brevity precludes anything but inflamed and reactive emotionalism. It’s not enough to hate. It’s not enough to have hate fuel protest. Such reactionary communication only leads to action that’s nothing more than wolved anarchy wearing political sheepskin. It’s reached the point where activists are calling on Boston police to investigate as a “hate crime” a “White Lives Matter” graffiti moronically spray painted on the cracked concrete of a wall in Roxbury?

Mainstream Media, of course, comes off even worse. While MM is on its way to extinction, it sadly thinks that its best option lies in turning social media into a news story rather than a competitor. That remains one of the crucial communications issues of the age, but it is a story for another time.

With that preamble, THE PLANET shares a story you may have missed. It was first published Thursday in The Washington Post, written by Cleve Wootson and Herman Wong. We present it here:

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In the hours after Barbara Bush died Tuesday, even those who didn’t share the former first lady’s political views expressed their condolences and recounted warm memories of the Bush family matriarch.

Former president Bill Clinton, the man who once campaigned against her husband, called Bush “a remarkable woman” with “grit & grace, brains & beauty.” Another former president, Barack Obama, said she had “humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit.”

But a creative writing professor at California State University at Fresno had a blunt message for those offering up fond remembrances:
“Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal,” Randa Jarrar wrote Tuesday night on Twitter, according to the Fresno Bee.

In another tweet, the outspoken professor wrote: “I’m happy the witch is dead. can’t wait for the rest of her family to fall to their demise the way 1.5 million iraqis have. byyyeeeeeee.”

Jarrar’s words — and others that she used as she argued with critics for hours during an overnight tweetstorm — sparked a backlash that would soon prompt the university to distance itself from her remarks.

School officials also said they were reviewing the tenured professor’s position.

More than 2,000 people had replied to Jarrar before she made her Twitter account private, the Bee reported.
Some were upset at what they viewed as her incivility about a woman widely regarded as genteel.
For others, the sin was more basic: She had spoken ill of the dead.

Jarrar pointed to the comments as an example of “what it’s like to be an Arab American Muslim American woman with some clout online expressing an opinion.”

“Look at the racists going crazy in my mentions right now,” she tweeted.

The professor taunted those attacking her, sharing a contact number that was actually that of Arizona State University’s suicide hotline, and said she was a tenured professor who makes $100,000 a year.

“I will never be fired,” she tweeted.

Enraged, some people tagged Fresno State and the institution’s president, Joseph Castro, demanding that the professor be fired.
Jarrar laughed at them.

“LOL let me help you. You should tag my president @JosephlCastro. What I love about being an American professor is my right to free speech, and what I love about Fresno State is that I always feel protected and at home here,” Jarrar wrote. “GO BULLDOGS!”
On Wednesday, Castro told the Bee that Jarrar’s comments were “beyond free speech. This was disrespectful.”
“A professor with tenure does not have blanket protection to say and do what they wish,” he said. “We are all held accountable for our actions.”

Jarrar is on leave of absence and is not teaching any courses on campus during the current semester, a university spokeswoman told the Visalia Times Delta on Wednesday.

The professor did not respond to a request for comment.

As the controversy swirled, Fresno City College said Jarrar had dropped out as the featured reader at an upcoming literary festival. Jarrar had been scheduled to headline Lit Hop on Saturday, but informed organizers this week that she was withdrawing, the college said.

“While we respect the right to free speech, even objectionable speech, Jarrar’s statements are her own and do not reflect the values of LitHop or Fresno City College,” the statement said. “We acknowledge the severity of her statements and take very seriously the concerns expressed throughout the community. The safety of each individual, including Jarrar’s, and all members of the LitHop and Fresno City College community is our paramount concern. We do not support violence or threats on social media or elsewhere; rather, we value civil discourse and look forward to the necessary healing ahead.”

At a news conference Wednesday, Fresno State Provost Lynnette Zelezny said the university had put in place “additional security,” a common action, she said, “when we feel that there’s a spotlight on us.”

Fresno State originally responded to the controversy with a statement by Castro that said Jarrar’s words were “obviously contrary to the core values of our University” but that they “were made as a private citizen.”

Wednesday, on talk-radio station KMJ, the university president told host Ray Appleton: “I want all of your listeners to know that I condemn the tone, substance and timing of Dr. Jarrar’s comments on Twitter last night. I want that to be unambiguous. And how do I feel? I was shocked, upset, appalled just like everybody else.”

Zeleny, the provost, called Jarrar’s comments “deeply disrespectful” and said the school’s administration is taking the matter “very seriously,” KMJ reported.

Fresno State also noted that its flags were flying at half-staff.

The Fresno State College Republicans said they were “outraged” by Jarrar’s “reprehensible” and “completely irresponsible” remarks, which, they said, were “yet another example of intolerance that we have seen at other universities around the country.”
The California College Republicans said they would hold a memorial for Bush on the Fresno State campus and invited Jarrar to attend.

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Make no mistake: THE PLANET stands for equal opportunity for all. Blacks in America have a legitimate beef in their ongoing struggle for full and equal status. We fully support the ideals that insist on the rights of ALL to pursue their destinies as they wish. However, as long as peole, particularly the young,  continue to be led by the shrill voices of social media activists, they shall remain frozen in victimhood. People need an equal place at the starting line, but when we insist that one group should be given a headstart to the finish, that’s when we have trouble.

We are all brothers and sisters under the protection of Minerva.

Have a great weekend, everybody.


I’m black, white, yellow, red, green, blue, and polka dot. I’m a human being, 50th cousin to everyone” — Sir Tiberius Fruitjuice



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3 years ago

The info-mercials continue on PCTV. And now it’s Guiel at the wheel.

3 years ago

So Pete White and a few others don’t support sending a petition form the G- Man to Ordinance and Rules because of the wording,yet, when Councilor Moon mispoke about some private Committee being formed, and Krol Mentioning also a private Committee,petition-less, which means the City Council couldn’t look at it and this Committee-Group haven’t put out in a Petition to City Councilors. Did they just plan on slipping it to the Mayor or a couple of City Councilors The point is Connell and Mazzeo were the only ones who argued it.

3 years ago

Dean sux soap.