The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

This Might Be What You’d Call ‘Relevant’

Posted on | May 9, 2012 | 35 Comments

Remember how Liz McMillen threw Naomi Schaefer Riley to the wolves over accusations of racism? Headline at American Power:

Naomi Schaefer Riley Is Married to the
Wall Street Journal‘s Jason Riley, Who is Black

Routine conversation at the Riley household, as imagined by typical readers of the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Naomi: Honey, will you take out the garbage?
Jason: Stop oppressing me, cracker!
Naomi: You left your dirty laundry on the bathroom floor again.
Jason: Orval Faubus! Bull Connor! Selma!
Naomi: Could you run to the store and get a gallon of milk?
Jason: “We shall overcome . . .”

Once you start seeing the world through the lens of oppression and victimization, you see it everywhere. When the only tool you’ve got is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Naomi Riley offers a few highlights of the absurdity:

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry spewed a four-minute rant about my post, invoking the memory of Trayvon Martin and accusing me of “small-mindedness.” . . .
If you want to know why almost all of the responses to my original post consist of personal attacks on me, along with irrelevant mentions of Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and George Zimmerman, it is because black studies is a cause, not a course of study. By doubting the academic worthiness of black studies, my critics conclude, I am opposed to racial justice — and therefore a racist.

There is also a separate Wall Street Journal editorial, plus a Memeorandum thread, with commentary by Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom, Benjamin Plotinsky at National Review and Ann Althouse.


  • scarymatt

    Yeah, I had never put the two of them together until I read something that mentioned that her husband was on the WSJ editorial board. And then I chuckled.

    But I’m sure Jason is just a self hater, which must be why she married him, in order to strengthen the white patriarchy by keeping the brother down.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Why do you hate Oreo’s???!!!???

  • robertstacymccain

    As a Southerner who married a Yankee, I know what it’s like to be an oppressed victim of imperalist subjugation.


  • Rob Johnson

    You married a Yankee?  What a nightmare! 

  • robertstacymccain

    She’s one of the good ones. Also, I think she might be 1/32nd Cherokee.

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  • Bob Belvedere

    Some people just need tomahawking.

  • Finrod Felagund

    Liberals in general don’t know how to argue, they only know how to accuse and blame.

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  • Dianna Deeley

    This whole thing is just killing me.  If my role didn’t forbid it, I’d be rolling around on the floor laughing.

    First, I read that sidebar in the Chronicle of Higher Education a couple weeks ago, and cringed. There is a reason that academia has become a realm outside reality, and a place where lunacy flows with the fountains. The five Ph.D. candidates profiled will be teaching the next set of Black Studies majors; read the abstracts and what they have to say about their dissertations (I dare you to manage that alone without wincing), then imagine what they’re going to teach.

    Does it bear the slightest scrutiny?

    No, it does not.

    But – and here’s the key – were I to take on this particular sacred cow, I’d be sure to read the dissertations, have extensive quotes, and I’d do it in a longish article, the sort of thing that The Chronicle Review publishes.

    I’m sure Naomi Shaefer Riley only meant to provoke some debate, but she’s in academia. She ought to have known better. You’re only allowed to be snarky and skewer pretensions if you’re doing it from the left!

  • Chas C-Q

    I haven’t seen Mrs. Riley raise that in her own defense.  Too colorblind?  Too classy?  Too invested in arguing the merits?

    Having too much fun to stop the h8rz soiling themselves?

  • Dianna Deeley

     I’m inclined to think she didn’t consider it relevant. Have you read the comments to her original blog p0st? They accuse her of everything but bestiality.

  • richard mcenroe

    Don’t be an Uncle Tomahawk, Bob.  Embrace change.

  • richard mcenroe

    The deliberate lowering of standards and expectations for black students by self-indulgent white academia is a millstone around the necks of all black students.  Whether it’s social promotion in the public schools, the fostering of nonsensical, unsupported and insular syllabi in “African-American Studies” tracks, or the general lowering of standards in admissions and final results in mainstream tracks and professions  (example, the NYFD requires white applicants to get a 98% on the entrance exam, and 85% for black students), even genuinely diligent and accomplished black students and trainees have to deal with the suspicion they might be one of the ones who “got over” through lowered  standards.

    This is an ironically amusing annoyance to Ms. Riley.  It’s a daily tragedy for black students around the country.

  • SDN

    Until Derbyshire is re-hired with back pay and benefits, I don’t want to hear a single word from National Review on this subject.

  • Adjoran

     Marylanders, like West Virginians, Kentuckians, and Oklahomans, can often “pass.”

  • Adjoran

     I don’t go there any more, either, but my non-negotiable demand is that they fire Lowry.

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  • Adjoran

    Kissinger once remarked about academic controversies being so intense because there is so little at stake.  Once you accept “Black Studies,” “Gender Studies,” “Transgender Studies,” etc., as academic disciplines, there simply is no rational basis to deny anything its place.

    Of course, these tenure-seeking parasites always protect each others’ turfs from those asking impertinent questions like, “What the heck are you talking about?”

    Reason #5902 why the federal government should have no role in education.  Without heavy subsidy from taxpayers, no institution of “higher learning” could afford to squander resources on such nonsense, and the world would be a better place for it.

  • Quartermaster

    Are you implying that RSM is one of those people?

  • Quartermaster

    Deleted my link. I’m with you on throwing Lowry under the bus.

    Incidentally, Rich Lowry is a coward.

  • ThePaganTemple

     This was one of the reasons I supported Newt after Bachmann dropped out. Although I am now solidly behind Mitt, I frankly doubt he would come remotely close to doing anything about this issue.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Paleface speak with knife tongue [can figure out how to use fork].

  • Bob Belvedere

    Indeed, I can confirm that Rich Lowry Is A Coward.

  • Bob Belvedere

    It’s worth going there for Mark Steyn and Andrew McCarthy.

  • Wombat_socho

     I’d be happy if he just put the “Defense” back in NDSL, and stopped handing out grants & loans to every liberal arts major with a C- average.

  • ThePaganTemple

     That would be a good start but its the tip of the iceberg of what needs to be done to reform education in this country. I liked Newt precisely because he’s the only politician who ever spoke up strongly on this issue, and he didn’t do it on some obscure late night talk show or some opinion column ninety nine percent of the people would have never read, he did this on Meet The Press. He went into the whole problem with tenure, leftist control of the education system, etc.

  • scarymatt

    Newt had a lot of good ideas. But he couldn’t distinguish from the batshit crazy ones. And there were a lot of those.

  • Bob Belvedere

    QM: Only Saint Mrs. Other McCain knows for sure.

  • ThePaganTemple

     If you’re talking about his moon base idea, I liked it too, and hope we eventually do something like that before the Chinese or somebody else does.

    It could be easily achieved without adding one dime to the deficit, at least not in the long run.

    All you’d have to do is cut an average of one percent off of every Cabinet Department, another one percent off of ever agency within those department, and reduce regulations and taxes so the economy would grow.

    You could also reallocate Defense Department funds from areas where they’re being wasted, because this is as much a matter of national defense as anything else. Remember how they laughed at Reagan over “Star Wars” before you denigrate Newt’s ideas.

  • scarymatt

    The moon base thing sounds a bit ambitious, and I’d much rather continue the privatization of space that’s happening now than have yet another federal takeover.

    But there’s always “right wing social engineering,” NY23, commercials with Pelosi…

  • ThePaganTemple

     You can’t trust national security to the private sector, those are legitimate government areas of concern. Privatization of space is a pipe dream, something that’s floated out there to encourage people to forget space exploration. The private sector rightly isn’t going to get involved in anything where it can’t make a profit, especially with the kinds of expenditures that would involve. A few billionaires paying for a space ride every now and then isn’t going to move us any closer to the goalpost.

    Maybe after we’ve advanced enough to where our position in space is solid and secured, and the technology has developed far, far more than where it is at now, then maybe the private sector can step in and run some aspects, but not now.

    For example, suppose we discovered vast oil reserves on Mars, or massive amounts of gold. The technology is going to have to develop greatly before it would be profitable to go after it. But first, we have to find it. The private sector isn’t going to spend billions of dollars on the off chance that there might be resources like that. It’s not in their interests to take such a risk. But it is in the national security interests of the United States to establish a firm position in space.

  • scarymatt

    If you can link a moonbase to some urgent national security concern…but you can’t.

    The private sector has been getting more and more involved in space. That’s not to say that I don’t think the Air Force should pursue orbital supremacy as a mission.

    I don’t know what path the private sector will take in space, but launching satellites is a damn good place to start, and there’s plenty going on there right now.

    A group of billionaires has announced an interest in mining asteroids, which is a very different prospect than joy riding. I doubt they’ll succeed, but the point is that they’re interested in trying, and their need to make a profit will give them more incentive to figure out the technology than any amount of government fiat.

  • ThePaganTemple

     Read between the lines. Nobody is going to invest billions of dollars of their investors money on that bullshit, unless they get some kind of government grants or subsidies. So the government is still involved, and will call the shots. Like back in the nineties a bunch of eggheads decided it would really be possible to invent a matter transmitter, like on Star Trek. But they would need a government grant, of course. I don’t know whether they ever got it or not, or how much they got if they did, but I do know there’s never been a matter transmitter yet, and there never will be one either.

    And if China ever gets a solid presence established on the moon you’ll know what the implications of it is when you realize how easy it would be for them to disrupt our air travel and communications with absolutely no danger of repercussions.

    Plus, from that distance you can destroy a city the size of New York by hitting it with, literally, a box of rocks.

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