The Other McCain

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

So, Justine Finally Landed …

Posted on | December 22, 2013 | 141 Comments

The unfortunate Justine Sacco, whose Friday tweet inspired the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet, went into full grovel mode:

Today Sacco spoke to ABC News, saying, “My greatest concern was this statement reach South Africa first.” After sending her statement to South African newspaper The Star, Sacco shared the following apology:
“Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologize to the people of South Africa, who I have offended due to a needless and careless tweet,” Sacco said. “There is an AIDS crisis taking place in this country, that we read about in America, but do not live with or face on a continuous basis. Unfortunately, it is terribly easy to be cavalier about an epidemic that one has never witnessed firsthand.
“For being insensitive to this crisis — which does not discriminate by race, gender or sexual orientation, but which terrifies us all uniformly — and to the millions of people living with the virus, I am ashamed.
“This is my father’s country, and I was born here. I cherish my ties to South Africa and my frequent visits, but I am in anguish knowing that my remarks have caused pain to so many people here; my family, friends and fellow South Africans. I am very sorry for the pain I caused.”

As Ace accurately observed Friday, Sacco is a liberal, and her joke was actually a self-deprecating reference to white privilege. No one can deny that it was tasteless and, as she says, “insensitive,” but it scarcely justified her public crucifixion. Her apology, while no doubt sincere, is also a signifier: “I get it! I’m a liberal, too!

But her liberalism (like all liberalism) is misguided, assuming as it does that the problem of AIDS in Africa (or any similar social problem) results from a shortage of caring. This is a species of Magic Thinking: “We could solve this problem, if only we cared enough.” And from this delusion, we get a lot of empty gestures that do nothing to solve problems, but make people feel good about themselves.

Thomas Sowell wrote an entire book about this, The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy — a book that no liberal has ever bothered to read, because if they bothered to read it, they wouldn’t be liberals anymore.

If you think that every problem of black people can be explained by racism, or that every problem of gay people can be explained by homophobia, certain conclusions are inherent in those premises, no matter how you construct your syllogism. One example is the way in which we monitor speech for “proof” that others secretly harbor forbidden sentiments, and immediately pounce upon anything that looks like such “proof,” like Justine’s tweet:

“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS.
Just kidding. I’m white!”

Twelve words, and let’s get her fired from her job for making a bad joke on Twitter, as if getting her fired will purge the world of racism and thereby end AIDS in Africa. The Daily Mail reports.

The PR executive who was summarily dismissed after her racist Tweet sparked a revolt on social media has apologised – as her own father called her a ‘f****** idiot’.
Justine Sacco said that she was ‘ashamed’ over her actions and said she had been ‘cavalier’ in making her tasteless joke about the AIDS crisis in Africa.
But her father, who has not been publicly named, was more forthright and said that what she did was ‘unforgivable’.
He also apparently backed the campaign to name and shame his daughter as, in an ironic twist, it emerged he moved his family from Cape Town to the US in 1994 to escape racism at the end of Apartheid. . . .
Losing her job as a communications director could also mean losing her US work visa -potentially forcing her to leave America.

Well, I’m sure we’re all glad Justine’s father called her a “f**king idiot,” but did you notice something about that article?

So pervasive is what Sowell called The Vision of the Anointed that most people didn’t even notice this dishonest assumption. To say her tweet was “offensive” is one thing, but to label it “racist” is to assume to know Sacco’s intent when, as seems evident, her actual intent was anti-racist: “Sacco is a young, professional, New York woman. Chances are about 99.9% that she’s a BuzzFeed-loving, Obama-voting, MSNBC addict.”

If anything, Sacco’s tweet betokened the arrogance of a young liberal who assumes that all her friends (and she had fewer than 200 Twitter followers before Friday) understand she is not racist, whereas if she were a Fox-watching, Limbaugh-listening conservative Republican, she would understand that she is constantly suspected of secretly hating everyone who is not rich, white and heterosexual. Remember when Rush Limbaugh got kicked off ESPN? Even I have forgotten exactly what he said, but it was something about a black quarterback and the lesson was obvious: No Republican is ever allowed to criticize a black person, which has worked out rather nicely for Democrats since 2008, eh?

Apologies for contradicting bad ideas are never going fix any problem, especially not problems caused by liberalism itself.

NAACP investigating sheriff who
refused to lower flag for Mandela’s death

The Thought Police are always watching, aren’t they?



UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! I liked this from the comments:

There was a time when even the Left considered Lord of the Flies a cautionary tale. Now they treat it like an instruction manual.

And finally someone got the allusion!

Ah yes, If the author of Justine were alive today he most certainly would be heading a modern media organization rather than staging his plays inside an insane asylum.



141 Responses to “So, Justine Finally Landed …”

  1. disqus_MHw7a2dXsU
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 10:00 am

    South Africa became incredibly violent under Mandela, compared to what it was during apartheid. Saying you forgive and actually acting like you forgive are two different things.

  2. Harold James
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    An employer “has every right” to fire an employee for pretty much anything. It is called “employment at will”. “Employers rights” are therefore not an issue in this context.

    As far as “publicly embarrassing her employer” I am afraid I didn’t see any comments about her employer anywhere. What did she say? He eats boogers?

  3. Chuck Pelto
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 10:18 am

    Indeed. They are the ‘enemy’ in sheep’s clothing.

  4. bo ure
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 10:20 am

    It is. For my own part it has taken my whole life to become this rude purposefully and counter to all prior training regarding propriety. Actual maturity does not always work. So, meta maturity if you like. One can slip back down to regular maturity at any point.

  5. Neo
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    You never have to worry when Barry Diller has your back

  6. midnitetease
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    “As Ace accurately observed Friday, Sacco is a liberal, and her joke was actually a self-deprecating reference to…

  7. bo ure
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 10:26 am

    Not a useful example to pull because it is so extreme. You are comparing something innocuous with something truly disgusting. I can just ask Martin Bashir and that will not clarify anything.

  8. Jim
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 10:27 am

    I laughed, and the halting punchline was well formed.

  9. bo ure
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 10:29 am

    Great comment. I will internalize this.

  10. Emilio_Crosby
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 10:43 am

    So, Justine Finally Landed …

  11. Optimizer
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

    I was all set to chime in with the “It wasn’t even a racist comment” crowd, and certainly concur with various laments about how “racist” has become a punch-line, having lost all it’s meaning at this point, but then another angle occurred to me.

    It totally WAS racist! It’s just that it was ANTI-WHITE racism. Her comment had “white privilege” snark written all over it. You don’t have to be non-white to be an anti-white racist – white liberals love to confess their own racism, to “prove their point”, to “prove” their virtue, and as a sort of self-flagellation.

    Nobody pays any attention to anti-white discrimination, but perhaps the backlash will begin soon, with all the other pillars of liberalism crumbling (Obamacare/Socialism, Global Warming, anti-Christian intolerance, etc.).

  12. Wanda
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

    That would be the sensible thing to do, but consider the sort of environment this woman has lived in her entire life. A liberal is convinced that he and his fellow liberals are right about everything, all the time. It must be shockingly disorienting to suddenly find herself on the outside, denounced by those whom she’s always considered infallible in matters of moral virtue. How could she react?
    A conservative has a ready-made “There you go again, idiots!” template available to explain liberal spasms of insanity. A liberal doesn’t. When has she ever had to consider that her comfortable world could be totally wrong about anything? She’s like a dog who’s suddenly lost her pack – adrift and trying to get back to where it’s warm and familiar. It takes a strong person to maintain that she’s right and everyone else is wrong, and liberalism doesn’t breed strong people.

  13. Federale
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

    If they have been here since 1994, then they at least have green cards, so, unfortunately she will not be deported. But why did they leave in 1994? South Africa was “free” by then? Were they fleeing black racism or incompetent black governance? That makes them racists.

  14. wraith67
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

    Bah. It was racist, the Left is entirely racist (and sexist) they’re just too stupid to realize it. Affirmative action is racist. Dumbing down high school standards for blacks and Latinos is racist (the list is long so I’ll stop there). But here, ‘poor little stupid black people in Africa can’t help themselves but catch aids. I won’t, because I’m white’… same thing as usual.

  15. Morbius
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

    Fathers denouncing children, children denouncing fathers, just all part of that “fundamental transformation” thingy.

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  18. Guy Average
    December 23rd, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

    Twitter: Simultaneously both the symptom and cause of modern idiocy.

  19. PeterP
    December 24th, 2013 @ 7:57 am

    Said the father of Lizzie Borden. ; )

  20. PeterP
    December 24th, 2013 @ 7:57 am

    How true; how horribly true.

  21. PeterP
    December 24th, 2013 @ 7:58 am

    The best is when liberal victims groups get upset because other victims groups are threatening to take more than their fair share of that yummy Victim Pie.

  22. PeterP
    December 24th, 2013 @ 8:00 am

    I am not defending Mandela, only saying that the left props him up as the model of human decency because he forgave his enemies and it can’t even forgive a woman who made a stupid 12 word tweet.

  23. PeterP
    December 24th, 2013 @ 8:01 am

    They didn’t kill him.

  24. PeterP
    December 24th, 2013 @ 8:02 am

    LOL. Love it. I have a bumper sticker on my carbon emitting Hummer that says “Have You Irked a Liberal, Today?”

  25. tlk244182
    December 24th, 2013 @ 8:18 am

    He was also photogenic. That never hurts.

  26. tlk244182
    December 24th, 2013 @ 8:20 am

    Can’t make an omelet without a few bumps in the road.

  27. tlk244182
    December 24th, 2013 @ 8:25 am

    Yes, but have you ever tried to explain that to a liberal?

  28. tlk244182
    December 24th, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    “meta-maturity.” I love it!

  29. ihazconservative
    December 24th, 2013 @ 10:55 am

    To you, then, freedom of speech as a principle is “I can say whatever I want and there should be no consequences.”

  30. ihazconservative
    December 24th, 2013 @ 10:55 am

    Now, now no need to name call. Let’s discuss things like adults.

  31. ihazconservative
    December 24th, 2013 @ 10:57 am

    So wait, that isn’t a freedom of speech issue because…you disagree with the speech or find it offensive. Got it.

  32. ihazconservative
    December 24th, 2013 @ 10:57 am

    So wait, that isn’t a freedom of speech issue because…you disagree with the speech or find it offensive? Got it.

  33. disqus_MHw7a2dXsU
    December 24th, 2013 @ 11:46 am

    It sounds an awful lot like you are defending him. I’m also left wondering why his captors actually needed forgiving. Mandela, as I all ready stated, was a murderous terrorist. Saying that a murderous terrorist forgives his captors for locking him up for being a murderous terrorist simply inverts morality. You’re implying that locking up a murderous terrorist is somehow wrong, which of course is absurd.

  34. CruisingTroll
    December 24th, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

    No. To me, freedom of speech means being able to say whatever you want, and any consequences that follow should be just. There is NOTHING just about destroying this woman’s livelihood over a bad joke.

    The injustice of what has happened to her erodes the freedom of speech, as others look upon the destruction wrought by totalitarian correctness and either censor themselves, or zealously pitch in building the bonfire the next time, whether out of hopes of avoiding being seen as insufficiently right thinking or out of a newly released censorious totalitarianism that lurks within their own bosoms.

  35. CruisingTroll
    December 24th, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

    Actually, Mandela wasn’t imprisoned for 27 years “just for wanting freedom.” He was imprisoned for working to overthrow the government, for recruiting and training terrorists, for accepting money from foreign government to overthrow his government..

    Nelson Mandela was NOT a prisoner of conscience. When imprisoned, he was a violent Marxist. Whether the prison experience truly changed his heart, or merely changed his tactics is debatable, (I think it’s a mix) but he is primarily credited with keeping South Africa from descending into civil war as apartheid was ending.

  36. timmaguire
    December 26th, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

    You did notice what she does for a living, no? Please reread the comment I’m responding to. What you wrote makes no sense in context.

  37. ihazconservative
    December 26th, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

    Your Constitutional interpretation of freedom of speech includes “and any consequences that follow should be just”. So who decides what is just for it to count as freedom of speech?

    Freedom and liberty means that things you disagree with will happen. Sometimes bad things happen, and it’s not the government’s role to prevent every thing we don’t like from happening. Freedom of Speech is a legal, Constitutional concept about limits on the government. Not on society. Society has its own norms and mores that are enforced (or not enforced) by society. Not the government. And if you think the government should have somehow prevented from happening what happened to this woman then you aren’t a Constitutional Conservative.

    We can think it’s wrong, but there’s no role for the government here. There’s no freedom of speech issue.

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  39. PeterP
    December 28th, 2013 @ 9:18 am

    I think you are missing the point. The left worships Mandela because he forgave his enemies yet it cannot forgive one of their own who made a stupid twelve word tweet. Pay attention.

  40. PeterP
    December 28th, 2013 @ 9:19 am

    ADD is a serious problem. Stay focused, people. Issue is not whether Mandela good or bad, but rather whether the left is hypocritical.

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