Hey Cowards, Let's Have a Conversation
By Deborah C. Tyler
I have worked with many couples in distress. Initially, the work involves preventing conversation until the rhetoric of the relationship can be improved. Happy couples mainly talk about their lives; unhappy couples mainly talk about each other. In doomed relationships, couples use words to humiliate each other. And as the doomed relationship collapses, the partners become more desperate to spew insults and make the other hear them.
Barack Obama and Eric Holder stand their ground together upon a framing of race so false and degrading that it would inevitably tear the American people apart. Attorney General Holder used an utmost humiliating term in calling Americans cowards. He did this with the approval of President Obama, who fully stands by his man each time Holder's wrecking ball takes a swing at the Constitution. Holder's purpose in shaming Americans was to demonstrate his power as untouchable. But Holder's abusive language, and the contempt it shows, bore within it the seeds of doom for blame-and-shame race rhetoric.
Social science research uses a model called frame analysis to understand social movements:
"Framing is a process whereby communicators, consciously or unconsciously, act to construct a point of view that encourages the facts of a given situation to be interpreted by others in a particular manner. Frames operate in four key ways: they define problems, diagnose causes, make moral judgments and suggest remedies. Frames are often found within a narrative account of an issue or event, and are generally the central organizing idea."
- Jim A. Kuypers, Rhetorical Criticism: Perspectives in Action
Since the end of legalized racial segregation in the 1960s, the central organizing idea of race relations in America has been that white people are still racist and black people are still victims. This rhetorical frame operates as follows:
1) The problem: the greatest problem in America is that black Americans have lower incomes and poorer health, and are generally less successful than white people.
2) The cause: white racism, which is the primary moral evil in America. All white people enjoy white privilege, and all black people are victims of white racism, regardless of individual circumstances.
3) Moral judgment: black Americans are not morally responsible for their generally lower achievements and drastically higher criminality because these problems can be traced to white racism.
4) The remedies: keep the focus on white racism; maintain permanent special rights, including affirmative action, racial preferences, and lowered performance standards. Accept that white racism causes disproportionately high numbers of black people to depend on the government for basic necessities such as food and medical care. Maintain a "national conversation" about white racism.
The Obama administration exists because of this framing. No one suggests that Barack Obama would have been nominated by the Democratic Party for the presidency based on his record alone if he had been white. But still, the framing of race rhetoric that the government advances is breaking down from the weight of its own falseness.
On February 26, 2012, a wannabe cop and a wannabe gangsta interacted on a sidewalk for a few minutes. The Hispanic wannabe cop suspected the other man as being up to no good and called the police. The wannabe gangsta responded by breaking the other man's nose and smashing his head into the sidewalk. The victim of the beating shot and killed the black teenager, and was subsequently found by a jury not guilty on the basis of self-defense. Nevertheless, President Obama psychologically projected himself into the incident in an emotional manner. He framed the event as a result of white racism, ignoring the assault committed by the black teenager and the teenager's history of violence and drug use.
The president displayed victimization envy when he breathlessly confided to America, "It could have been me." Imagining oneself as the victim of racism is taking on an almost erotic quality. Maybe it will spawn a new genre of fantasy porn, where rich, privileged black people get to dress up as crime victims and be abused by white racist archetypes. (They can hire the videographer who "caused" Benghazi if he ever gets out of jail). In fact, racial profiling brought Barack Obama this world's highest opportunities that he did not earn, honors that he did not deserve, and power that he cannot handle. But the point is that in the president's moral universe, being suspicious of a black stranger in your neighborhood is morally worse than slamming someone's head into concrete.
Now comes the calls for "conversation." For the left wing, conversation serves both practical and philosophical purposes. Liberals virtually never make any personal sacrifices for their causes. They prefer chin music to breaking a sweat. Philosophically, liberal conversation-addiction descends from Jacques Derrida and deconstructionism. Rejecting the search for objective right and wrong in favor of the supremacy of personal "text" elevates egoistic conversation into sacred scripture. But on the deepest level, Derrida's work is just claptrap cover-up for narcissistic humanists, who pervert every experience into feeling good about themselves. In such a world, it does not matter whether or not the Zimmerman-Martin case was factually about racism. If you feel that it was about racism, then it was. And communicating that feeling as conversational "text" satisfies the liberal sense of justice. If destroying George Zimmerman and his family is a syntonic theme of their personal narrative, any moral qualms about that destruction can be neutralized through more conversation.
With no doubt of their superior subtlety of mind, the most rabidly pro-abortion people are now heating up their keyboards with swellers about the value of precious black life. On July 30, Nancy Pelosi is hosting a "Conversation on Race" in which shame-and-blame phraseologists will get a chance to fascinate each other at taxpayer expense. No one else is listening anymore. The epidemic of black-on-black murder, child-killings, flash mobs, and horrors like the killing of baby Santiago, combined with travesties like the racist dereliction of Holder, are imploding the liberal rhetorical frame.
On July 22, 2013, Bill O'Reilly used his huge platform to initiate what social scientists call "interpretive frame transformation." Frame transformation occurs when an interpretive frame no longer resonates with everyday experience. A skilled conversation preventionist, O'Reilly told the race grievance establishment that it is time to cut the crap. Guilt has been called the only wholly artificial emotion, entirely concocted and serving no survival purpose. Besides, you can't guilt all of the people all of the time.
O'Reilly reframed the problem as being one of black criminality and irresponsibility. The causes are the breakdown of the black family, out-of-wedlock birth, and vile black popular culture. Immoral behavior committed by African-Americans is their own responsibility. The remedy is that black Americans need to stop having babies out of wedlock, whom they don't raise properly.
It is said that only equals can be friends. Similarly, you can't have a productive conversation with somebody who calls you names.