There has been an awful lot of finger pointing going on in the aftermath of the unfortunate incident in Texas a couple of weekends ago. The question “who is to blame” has been on everyone’s minds. Nobody is much interested in the obvious answer, i.e., that the shooter himself is to blame, as that answer, however truthful, is lame and boring. So the blame has been shifted onto virtually everybody else. I use the qualifier “virtually” because I have yet to hear anyone blame country and western singer/songwriter and NASCAR speed demon Marty Robbins for the shooting. Yet the case against him is as sound and logical as the case which progressives, liberals, and other left-wing kooks and weirdos have been pressing against Donald the Orange.
The song that established Robbins’ country and western career and won him his first Grammy award was “El Paso”, written and recorded for his 1959 album “Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs.” The song is a first person narrative in which the character of the narrator sings about falling in love with a Mexican girl named Feleena, a singer at Rosa’s Cantina in the “west Texas town of El Paso.” When another cowboy comes to town and he sees the two of them together in the saloon he jealously challenges the newcomer to a duel and shoots him dead. He steals a horse and flees to New Mexico, but is unable to resist the urge to see Feleena again. On his return he encounters several mounted cowboys who are out looking for him and runs the gauntlet to get into town, being severely wounded in the process. He makes it to the backdoor of Rosa’s, only to be shot down, and dies in Feleena’s arms moments later.
Here we find the inspiration for the unhappy turn of events that has been all over the news as of late. Clearly, Whatever-the-heck-his-name-is, was listening to this song one day and the idea popped into his head “Hey, this song is saying that in El Paso, the thing to do when you are mad is to go around shooting people” and the massacre ensued.
What’s that you say? “Preposterous!” “Absurd!” “Nonsense!”
Of course it is. No more so, however, than the ridiculous claim that Donald the Orange’s supposedly “racist” rhetoric is to blame.
The accusations against the American president utilize the same sort of illogic that progressives here in Canada, as well as in the UK and Europe, have used for decades to justify laws against so-called “hate speech.” According to their way of thinking, hate speech, which does not mean expressions of literal hatred such as “I hate you” so much as statements which reflect negatively on an identifiable group of people leads to violent actions and so should be treated as a violent act itself and prohibited and punished by law. This sort of thinking is very similar to the basic concept that underlies the practice of magic, the non-sleight-of-hand-type of magic that is, - the idea that you can produce effects in the physical world simply by uttering the right word or combination of words. A lot of progressive thinking is like this. Note how they seem to believe that governments have the ability to alter reality by passing laws and that an individual is whatever sex or made-up gender he, she, it or whatever declares himself, herself, itself, or whatever to be. Given the way the left-wing mind seems to operate, perhaps, if you ever find yourself in the situation of being afflicted with unrequited love for a person of the progressive persuasion you should follow the advice of David Seville’s shaman and try uttering the words or syllables or whatever they are: “oo ee oo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang” – it might actually work.
It is at times like this that we really feel the loss of the late, great Auberon Waugh, who knew no equal – with the exception of Michael Wharton aka Peter Simple – in his ability to poke fun at this sort of thing. Mercifully, an article he wrote many years ago can be applied to the situation at hand. It appeared first in the July 10th, 1976 issue of The Spectator and was later included in the anthology Brideshead Benighted, published by Little, Brown and Company in 1986, where it can be found on pages 153 to 156. The title is “Che Guevara in the West Midlands.”
In the article, Waugh begins by talking about an interview, which had just been published, with John Tyndall, the leader of the National Front, and goes on to discuss Robert Relf, whose difficulties with the Race Relations Board were highly-publicized at the time and who is the “Che Guevara” alluded to in the title. “I don’t know why it is that race relations should attract so much foolishness and pomposity on both sides of the fence”, Waugh began one paragraph and in the next added “For myself, I see nothing to choose between the National Front and the Race Relations Board. Both are a collection of bores and busybodies and both are harmful to the extent they are taken seriously.” In his concluding paragraph he wrote that “I feel certain that the only thing which gives the National Front glamour or popular appeal at the present time is the attempt by foolish, well-meaning people to suppress its views and treat its language as unfit for publication” and of the Race Relations Board “The kindest and wisest thing to do is to laugh at them.”
This, for those who have forgotten, which is probably most people since there is so much of the opposite floating around these days, is what sanity looks like. The part of the article that is most relevant and which is what brought it to mind is the following excerpt:
They [the National Front] may well be a nasty, boring and humourless collection of fanatics, but I have never seen that there was anything more wicked about race hatred than there is about class hatred or religious hatred or the peculiarly intense and inexplicable hatred which my dear wife feels for Jimmy Connors, the tennis player. They are all part of the rich panorama of life. If I forbade my wife to express her true feelings for Jimmy Connors, I have no doubt they would fester inside her, creating little black eddies of resentment and paranoia which would eventually burst out in some hideous drama on the Centre Court at Wimbledon when Connors would expire, coughing blood, in front of the television cameras, with a lady’s parasol sticking between his ribs; public subscriptions would create a Jimmy Connors Memorial Trust and we would be stuck with a hideous modern statue of the young man somewhere on those green and pleasant lawns. So, wisely, I let her have her say.
The insight this shows is truly profound. The verbal expression of hatred is not the cause of violence but a safety vent that helps prevent it. I am persuaded that Waugh was on to something here and that if civilization ends up being consumed in a race war it will be progressive anti-racists who demand that the law be used to force those they disagree with to shut up who will be to blame for it.
In addition to saying that the current American president’s rhetoric inspired the El Paso shooter, progressives also maintain that he has been promoting “white nationalism.” “White nationalism” is an expression which has been used to mean anything from white people engaging in the kind of racial identity politics that the progressive Left promotes for every other race to the violent ideology of National Socialism but it is the latter end of that spectrum that progressives have in mind when they make this accusation against Trump. They are as wrong in the one accusation as they are in the other and for the same reason. Their own promotion of identity politics for all other groups together with their vilification of whites as a race makes white identity politics legitimate as a defensive, response. Their denial of that legitimacy, is what creates the risk of white racial identity politics turning radical, revolutionary, and violent. Someone like Trump, who provides a voice within the system whereby whites can air their legitimate racial grievances, is the best safeguard against that outcome. Only a total moron could fail to realize that.
Of course progressives are wrong about this just as they are wrong about everything else that has to do with race. Eleven years ago Barack Obama ran on a platform that basically amounted to “vote for me because I am black, you have to vote for me because I am black, oh, and by the way, did I mention that I am black.” This proved to be a winning strategy and American voters responded by electing their first president chosen on the basis of the colour of his skin. When this happened, progressives hilariously declared that his election signified that the United States had entered into a post-racial era. In reality, it was Obama, not Trump, who ushered in a new era of highly racialized politics. Progressives are pointing to El Paso and Christchurch as proof that a wave of white supremacist terrorism is upon us when in reality these incidents completely disprove their argument. Since every time a white person anywhere in the world commits a violent act which can possibly be attributed to racial motives the media makes it the top story for weeks if not months on end we can be certain that we have heard of every such incident that has ever occurred and they are a miniscule fraction of a fraction of the violent incidents that occur on a daily basis. Neither the Christchurch nor the El Paso killer was part of any organized movement. Both incidents were carried out by deranged loners and in both cases in order to create the narrative spin they desired the liberal media had to cherrypick the killer’s manifesto. By contrast, the anti-racist terrorism that the liberal media and progressive political leaders refuse to condemn even while they demand that all right-of-centre political leaders disavow and condemn white advocacy whether violent or not is systematic, organized and widespread.
Yes, this sort of insanity is crying out for the return of Auberon Waugh to once again satirize the unsatirizable. While raising him from the dead is beyond my abilities, Naim Attallah of Quartet Books has done the next best thing by publishing a new anthology of his writings entitled A Scribbler in Soho. For any sane person looking to lighten his spirits in these dark and gloomy days I highly recommend it.
Be careful, however, about the messages you soak in while listening to 1950’s era country and western music. I would hate to hear that any of you had shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
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