April 14, 2008

Obama's Afrocentrism is his mother's passive-aggressive revenge on her Indonesian second husband

One of the mysteries of the Democratic frontrunner's life is why he isn't the cosmopolite that so many of his supporters assume he must be. For example, the new New York Times op-ed columnist Roger Cohen has a column this week returning once again to his theme of Obama as the ideal post-nationalist Citizen of the World, a notion based on Obama having lived from age 6 to 10 in Indonesia and having spent a few weeks in Kenya.

Cohen visits Obama's old school in Indonesia:

"There's a mosque and a small Christian prayer room with a sign saying: "I understand we are all different and include everyone." Kuwadiyanto, the principal, told me: 'Christians and Muslim kids mix easily. Maybe more Americans should come here to see what's really happening.'

"Obama already has. If he's shed his chubbiness, he hasn't shed Indonesia's lesson, emblazoned on its coat of arms, of 'unity in diversity.'"

Huh? Once again, an Obama supporter's fantasies about Obama can be deflated just by quoting Obama. The last time Obama was in Indonesia was a vacation in (Hindu) Bali, and that was a long time ago, before he was married. He sums up his potted history of Indonesia in The Audacity of Hope with a reflection on how out of touch he is with contemporary Indonesia:
"All of which underscores perhaps the most profound shift in Indonesia -- the growth of militant, fundamentalist Islam in the country. ... As much as the world has shrunk, with its direct flights and cell phone coverage and CNN and Internet cafes, Indonesia feels more distant now than it did thirty years ago. I fear it's becoming a land of strangers."

Nonetheless, his few years in Indonesia offer a comically convoluted explanation for why, with the whole world to choose from, Barack Obama Jr. worked so methodically to make himself into an African-American politician in that most parochial of burghs, the South Side of Chicago.

Most voters initially assumed that Barack Obama, like Tiger Woods, identifies with all sides of his heritage. When they discovered from the belated Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. scandal that the mild-mannered Obama has long fiercely identified with the black half of his identity, many assume that this was forced upon him by white racism. After all, on the South Side of Chicago, anybody who is half-black is considered just plain black.

Obama, though, chose Chicago as an adult, just as he later carefully chose the extremist Rev. Wright. He actually spent 14 of his first 18 years in Hawaii, where the racial rules are very different from the rest of America. But, strikingly, it was during those other 4 years, from age 6 to 10, which he spent in Indonesia, that his white mother began her methodical campaign to inculcate in him the black identity that led this preppie from paradise to try so hard, at least through the year 2000, to prove he's "black enough."

As he neared graduation from the U. of Hawaii, Barack Obama Sr. was offered a full scholarship to the prestigious New School for Social Research in Manhattan. This would have paid not only his own living expenses, but also those of his wife Stanley Ann Dunham Obama and tiny son Barack Jr. Yet, he turned it down in favor of a scholarship from Harvard -- because it was even more prestigious -- even though Harvard would not pay for his family to accompany him. This ended his bigamous marriage to Stanley Ann.

The young mother then took up with another Third World student at the U. of Hawaii, Lolo Soetoro. Lolo had been in Hawaii on a scholarship presumably paid for by Indonesia's leftwing Sukarno regime. Obama wrote in Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance:

"... that was part of what had drawn her to Lolo after Barack had left, the promise of something new and important, helping her husband rebuild a country in a charged and challenging place beyond her parents’ reach. ... In Hawaii [Lolo] had been so full of life, so eager with his plans. At night when they were alone, he would tell her about growing up as a boy during the war, watching his father and eldest brother leave to join the revolutionary army, hearing the news that both had been killed and everything lost, the Dutch army’s setting their house aflame, their flight into the countryside, his mother’s selling her gold jewelry a piece at a time in exchange for food. Things would be changing now that the Dutch had been driven out, Lolo had told her; he would return and teach at the university, be a part of that change.

After the horrific events of 1965-1966 in which a Communist Party uprising led to a bloody crackdown by the Army and leftist blowhard Sukarno's replacement by rightist Gen. Suharto, Lolo was recalled home and assigned to the army as a young officer to prove his loyalty. When he got back from military service as a geologist in New Guinea, his wife and little Barack traveled from Hawaii to Jakarta to join him.

Stanley Ann later told Obama she hadn't heard about the scenes of slaughter during the putsch just the year before her arrival in Indonesia, and perhaps it's true -- she generally gives the impression of having a strong capacity for not paying attention to things she didn't want to notice, like Barack Sr. already being married when she let him impregnate her and then marry her.

Unfortunately, one thing she very much noticed in 1967 was that Lolo at home in a pro-American capitalist country full of apathetic, corrupt incompetents wasn't as romantic as he had seemed in Honolulu as the representative of a socialist country of the non-aligned future.

Stanley Ann never really fell back in love with her second husband after their year's separation -- "something had happened between her and Lolo in the year that they had been apart" -- and she eventually abandoned him in 1972.

In the meantime, in his easygoing way, Lolo helped little Barack adjust to Indonesian culture, teaching him how to ignore beggars, how to change a flat tire, and how to fight with his fists. The last was necessary because, as Chicago Tribune reporters who interviewed his schoolmates discovered, Obama was routinely subjected to racist violence by Indonesian lads: "All say he was teased more than any other kid in the neighborhood--primarily because he was so different in appearance." He was frequently attacked by three Indonesian kids at once, and one time they threw him in a swamp. "Luckily he could swim."

(Obama doesn't mention in his voluminous autobiography the racism of Indonesians toward him, although he recounts in microscopic detail every hint of white racism he believes he has endured in America, such as the palimpsest of the N-word that he claims to have discerned under coats of paint in a men's room stall at that hotbed of racism, Columbia University. He left out getting beaten up by Indonesians for being black presumably because Asian anti-black racism just doesn't fit into his black-white worldview. That's a little too nuanced for Senator Nuance.)

While Stanley Ann and Lolo were still stuck with each other, she found herself becoming irritated by his dutifully climbing the corporate ladder to support her and her kid (even though everybody instantly could tell just by looking at his hair that he wasn't Lolo's own son).

"Looking back, I’m not sure that Lolo ever fully understood what my mother was going through during these years, why the things he was working so hard to provide for her seemed only to increase the distance between them. ... With the help of his brother-in-law, he landed a new job in the government relations office of an American oil company. We moved to a house in a better neighborhood; a car replaced the motorcycle; ... Sometimes I would overhear him and my mother arguing in their bedroom, usually about her refusal to attend his company dinner parties, where American businessmen from Texas and Louisiana would slap Lolo’s back and boast about the palms they had greased to obtain the new offshore drilling rights, while their wives complained to my mother about the quality of Indonesian help. He would ask her how it would look for him to go alone, and remind her that these were her own people, and my mother’s voice would rise to almost a shout.

"They are not my people."

But, as Obama tells it, Stanley Ann had American standards when it came to her son. Once Barack had come home with a gash in his arm:

"But her tone alters slightly as she remembers that Lolo suggested we wait until morning to get me stitched up, and that she had to browbeat our only neighbor with a car to drive us to the hospital. She remembers that most of the lights were out at the hospital when we arrived, with no receptionist in sight; she recalls the sound of her frantic footsteps echoing through the hallway until she finally found two young men in boxer shorts playing dominoes in a small room in the back. When she asked them where the doctors were, the men cheerfully replied “We are the doctors” and went on to finish their game before slipping on their trousers and giving me twenty stitches that would leave an ugly scar."

Obama claims:

"She had always encouraged my rapid acculturation in Indonesia ... She had taught me to disdain the blend of ignorance and arrogance that too often characterized Americans abroad. But she now had learned, just as Lolo had learned, the chasm that separated the life chances of an American from those of an Indonesian. She knew which side of the divide she wanted her child to be on. I was an American, she decided, and my true life lay elsewhere."

The difficulty with this interpretation is that Stanley Ann spent most of the rest of her fairly short life in Indonesia, returning repeatedly to Indonesia (but not to Lolo), writing her 1067 page anthropology Ph.D. dissertation on "Peasant blacksmithing in Indonesia: Surviving and thriving against all odds." That's where she mostly raised her daughter, Obama's half-sister.

A more parsimonious explanation for what followed might be that she just couldn't stand her husband Lolo, and hated seeing her precious son fall under his influence.

So, she strove to inculcate white American values in her son.

"It was as if, by traveling halfway around the globe, away from the smugness and hypocrisy that familiarity had disclosed, my mother could give voice to the virtues of her midwestern past and offer them up in distilled form.

This presented a problem for her, though, since, as we've seen, she despised white Americans. But, at least she had an object lesson of bad values ready at hand: her annoying husband Lolo and his casual ways:

"Honesty-Lolo should not have hidden the refrigerator in the storage room when the tax officials came, even if everyone else, including the tax officials, expected such things. Fairness-the parents of wealthier students should not give television sets to the teachers during Ramadan, and their children could take no pride in the higher marks they might have received."

So, although the anti-role model was naturally Lolo, little Barack must have a positive role model as well to combat Lolo's pernicious influence:

"The problem was that she had few reinforcements; whenever she took me aside for such commentary, I would dutifully nod my assent, but she must have known that many of her ideas seemed rather impractical. Lolo had merely explained the poverty, the corruption, the constant scramble for security; he hadn’t created it. It remained all around me and bred a relentless skepticism."

So, Stanley Ann decided that the perfect role model for Barack Jr. would be that paragon of Midwestern virtues, Barack Sr.!

"She had only one ally in all this, and that was the distant authority of my father. Increasingly, she would remind me of his story, how he had grown up poor, in a poor country, in a poor continent; how his life had been hard, as hard as anything that Lolo might have known. He hadn’t cut corners, though, or played all the angles. He was diligent and honest, no matter what it cost him. He had led his life according to principles that demanded a different kind of toughness, principles that promised a higher form of power. I would follow his example, my mother decided. I had no choice. It was in the genes.

"“You have me to thank for your eyebrows…your father has these little wispy eyebrows that don’t amount to much. But your brains, your character, you got from him.”"

Now, obviously, the Kenyan politician Barack Obama Sr., an alcoholic bigamist Big Man on the make who had abandoned his son without a penny of support, was, by any objective standard, a skunk compared to poor Lolo. But, that wasn't Stanley Ann's point. The point was to stick the knife in her irritating second husband and twist it around by constantly emphasizing that the boy he was working and conniving to support was a cuckoo's egg left by her sexy and morally superior first husband.

Over time, Stanley Ann's strategy expanded to depicting the entire black race as the epitome of bourgeois virtues:

"Her message came to embrace black people generally. She would come home with books on the civil rights movement, the recordings of Mahalia Jackson, the speeches of Dr. King. When she told me stories of schoolchildren in the South who were forced to read books handed down from wealthier white schools but who went on to become doctors and lawyers and scientists, I felt chastened by my reluctance to wake up and study in the mornings. If I told her about the goose-stepping demonstrations my Indonesian Boy Scout troop performed in front of the president, she might mention a different kind of march, a march of children no older than me, a march for freedom. Every black man was Thurgood Marshall or Sidney Poitier; every black woman Fannie Lou Hamer or Lena Horne. To be black was to be the beneficiary of a great inheritance, a special destiny, glorious burdens that only we were strong enough to bear."

One obvious political implication of Stanley Ann's line of indoctrination is that the only possible explanation for why these embodiments of all middle class values weren't rich and happy was that "white folks' greed runs a world in need," as Barack Jr.'s surrogate father Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. was later to phrase it so felicitously in his "Audacity of Hope" sermon. All that blacks needed to lead them to what they deserved were audacious political leaders who had achieved "a higher form of power," like that nation-building statesman Barack Obama Sr.

"Burdens we were to carry with style. More than once, my mother would point out: “Harry Belafonte is the best-looking man on the planet.”"

As opposed, it goes without saying, to her second husband, who was not the best-looking man on the planet. (Stanley Ann, by the way, looked like a girl named Stanley Ann.)

Stanley Ann bundled Barack Jr. off to his grandparents in Honolulu when he was 10. A year later, she ran off from her husband with their newborn daughter and rented an apartment in Honolulu so she could nag young Barack up close and personal. But after two or three years, she felt she had to go back to Indonesia to do whatever it was that was so important for her to do there, so she took his half-sister with her and dumped him back on his grandparents.

Young Obama grew up alternately resenting his mother's constant nagging when she was around him and being crushed by her absence when she'd abandon him to her grandparents.

But he fell hook, line, and sinker for her canonization of his absent father, with whom he only spent one month after the age of two.

As a teenager, he started to notice that blacks weren't always the paragon of Midwestern virtues -- instead, they were something much better, they were cool.

And, in his 20s, he eventually discovered his father was indeed a skunk.

But he's never quite gotten over his mother's indoctrination that 1) Being a politician, especially a politician who stands up for his race, is the highest calling in life, far superior to being some corporate sell-out like her second husband; and 2) What blacks need is not more virtue, but merely better political leadership to achieve a higher form of power.

Or, in his case, the highest.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

46 comments:

Lawful Neutral said...

All I can say is, ouch. I heard on The Simpsons that every president gets one free murder - you'd better hope that's not true.

Bill said...

Wow. Good research. What strikes me is the philosophical similarity between Stanley Ann and my own absent, white dad. He, too, idealized black culture. I have several half-black siblings, and have only met one. I've tried to keep in touch, but haven't had much luck. My brother, a very bright young man, was in SE Asia last I heard trying to hustle up business.

Barack's mother was born only a few years before my dad, went to high school in the same area, and must have been exposed to similar influences. I wonder what was going on in those years...

Was this some kind of blowback from the failure of Western civilization -- a reaction against the horrors of the early 20th century? Sometimes, I have to admit that I feel as though my own generation is so much flotsam: merely the scattered wreckage of a broken promise. Is it any wonder that Obama, a true child of that revolutionary sentiment that grew out of the war, has come to epitomize the "new" America?

Even so, I think he'll ultimately fulfill a tragic role. Our country is no longer in ascendancy, so how could it be otherwise?

Ian said...

Brilliant

testing99 said...

Brilliant Steve.

Bill -- Western Civilization did not fail. What happened was the natural laziness brought about by abundance and bounty led Western Pols to be well, lazy. And unprepared for either Mussolini, Lenin/Stalin, Franco, and Hitler plus Tojo.

Had France and Britain spent money on an actual military (instead of their pretend one) and crushed Hitler in 1936 the world would have been far different.

The lesson -- laziness kills. As any one observing couch potatoes can tell you.

Your generation fell for the same old crap that Romantics always fall for. Fred Siegel in City Journal has an article about "Audacity's Children" and the same old junk peddled ... in 1826. Blame Byron (a very poor man and over-rated poet).

All that junk, romanticizing the Turd World, "smash monogamy and capitalism" and somehow ending up with David Koresh, intellectual disdain -- dates from before the US Civil War.

Henry Adams and Barack Hussein Obama in the above link might as well BOTH be described by Steve. Particularly the painful resentment at not being given power to "nature's aristocracy."

Which again ... is Laziness. Characteristic of rich cultures. Poor ones can't afford that vice.

Obongo McLeish said...

"Now, obviously, the Kenyan politician Barack Obama Sr., an alcoholic bigamist Big Man on the make who had abandoned his son without a penny of support, was, by any objective standard, a skunk compared to poor Lolo."

this is great.

what a contemptible woman.

Anonymous said...

"Stanley Ann, by the way, looked like a girl named Stanley Ann"

I checked out some pictures and she looked quite cute (to me) when Obama was a kid.

Anonymous said...

Superb. You've excelled yourself.

Anonymous said...

To have a mother who was, by turns, controlling then absent, must have been very difficult. Not to mention having to deal with a rather bizarre father. No wonder Obama had to write a book to make sense of himself. To create a convincing fiction, at least.

Michelle O strikes me as a somewhat domineering character ... I wonder where she fits into the emotional scheme of things.

I'm not an Obamanaut, but I feel rather sorry for him having read Steve's post.

Mary Pat said...

Puts me in mind of Ann Coulter's take on the "racist grandma" incident....

...ole grandpa was being a lazy ass, not wanting to get his butt out of bed to drive breadwinner wife to work. So he casts around for various excuses, until he brings out Moral Authority Card: wife wants to be driven just because aggressive hobo bugging her is black! Yes! Back to bed and no need to look bad in front of grandson who eats up excuses for laziness.

reno said...

Stanley Ann Dunham sounds like the ultimate "whiter person". Her genetic roots probably go back to East Anglia, which seems to be where that strange sub-race originated.

Shouting Thomas said...

My litte home town of Woodstock, NY is jam packed with Stanley Anns.

They are demons. I don't know how else to put it.

Convinced of their own moral purity, they would as soon burn the world to the ground than live with moral confusion and compromise.

They are crazy dangerous. When I read this stuff, I shudder... because... they are the backbone consituency of Sen. Hillary here in New York.

I don't know if either of Hillary or Obama are worse. With Hillary, you get the sex-change lezzie crowd from Manhattan, San Francisco and Woodstock.

A. HItler said...

Excellent blog.

One reason Obama doesn't identify with his "White" heritage is that his Grandparents and mother didn't like white people!

Did Stanley's parents ever give her grief for marrying an African? I don't think so. My impression is that the grandparents and the mother were hardcore liberals who never had a patriotic bone in their bodies.

David said...

Wow. Steve, there's you - then there's the junk media. Not many in between.

We might infer from this sordid personal history that white mischief - an American woman with jungle fever - is to blame again. But, who put those ideas in her head? Who wired her that way? Who were her models? Leftism ruins - it's a war on reality and must end in various disasters. (Reality wins every war.)

Religion v. science is still relevant. Because wishful thinking v. realism is always relevant.

Politically correct "idealistic" bilge that will lead us to a transfigured state of being or utopia, if we believe in it hard enough? Or, the truth? You pays yer money and you makes yer choice.

kurt said...

The evisceration of Barak Obama continues.

Nice work, Steve.

kurt said...

Stanley Ann, both young and old, looks like Tyne Daly.

Martin said...

Obama's mother seems to have been a typical leftwing flake, self-involved, selfish at root, and idealizing a culture (African) of which she was wholly ignorant.

It seems harsh to pick on a guy's Mom, and I suppose it is. But this guy wants us to make him the most powerful man on Earth. If he were content to be a private citizen, neither his life, nor his mothers would be at issue, and I would be happy to respect his privacy.

Martin said...

"Bill said...

Was this some kind of blowback from the failure of Western civilization -- a reaction against the horrors of the early 20th century?"

I think you are right. This is an idea I have become persuaded of over the last few years. Laziness, as Testing99 (aka Evil Neocon) pointed out, also has a role. Societies get old, rich, and lazy, and this leads to their downfall.

But I think that something more is needed to explain the outright death-wish that many in the western world seem to have for their own culture. To put it briefly: Western Civilization had a nervous breakdown. The two world-wars, and all their attendant horrors, have convinced many people in the west that there is something fundamentally rotten about the west - that we are too dangerous to survive and deserve to be destroyed.

Sideways said...

You might find the Indonesian coat of arms amusing. It's basically a point for point replica of the American seal complete with the eagle turned into a garuda (mythological giant bird) and a word for word translation of e pluribus unum into English then Indonesian.

simon newman said...

testing99:
"Western Civilization did not fail. What happened was the natural laziness brought about by abundance and bounty led Western Pols to be well, lazy. And unprepared for either Mussolini, Lenin/Stalin, Franco, and Hitler plus Tojo..."

Apparently you've never heard of World War One, evil neocon. WW2 was more the result of PTSD than laziness. Bill Lind's "Western
Civilisation shot itself in the head in 1914" is a lot closer to the truth.

Marc said...

Obama's mom sounds like a real piece of work. Dear God.

I agree with Bill that whoever wins the Presidential election in 2008 will fulfill a tragic role. At this point, the question is what form will that tragedy take. Whose personality will the electorate stamp on the next four or eight years of bumbling decline?

Josh said...

Whoa! A 1097 page dissertation could be produced examining Stanley and her discontents! But..what on earth did Lolo see in her????

Lucius Vorenus said...

David: Leftism ruins - it's a war on reality and must end in various disasters.

If by "reality" you mean "truth", then you are correct:

[H]e was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

And the "disaster" which it ends in is Death.

Martin: But I think that something more is needed to explain the outright death-wish that many in the western world seem to have for their own culture. To put it briefly: Western Civilization had a nervous breakdown. The two world-wars, and all their attendant horrors, have convinced many people in the west that there is something fundamentally rotten about the west - that we are too dangerous to survive and deserve to be destroyed.

I've got a bunch of Leftists on another forum whining and bitching and moaning at me because I pointed out to them that Obama was [as Freud would say] projecting onto the people of rural Pennsylvania his own journey through bitterness and into "religion" [although I hesitate to use that word in conjunction with anything involving Jeremiah Wright & friends].

Here, though, I have to point out that you are projecting your own personality onto the Left: You're assuming them to be motivated by some sort of a noble sentiment, such as, I dunno, maybe some kind of a poignance of sorrow or greater societal wistfulness.

But I think that your intellectual journey through life might profit a little if you were to consider the possibility that The Left is Death: Death is what they love, Death is what they crave, Death is what they cherish.

Things are so bad at this point that our primary duty now is to see to it that they don't take us & our loved ones down with them in their rush to societal, racial, and civilizational suicide.

SKT said...

I don't see how all those people associate Obama with "hope" and go all weak in the knees when his head pops up on TV.

The more I hear about him, the more depressed I get.

beowulf said...

Great piece Steve, we'll see how long it takes for your piece repeated almost verbatim (but without attribution) in the MSM?

The stepfather Lolo sounds like a good guy and frankly deserved better. If he was like me (that is to say, evil), he would adopted Barack and then 10 minutes later, kicked Stanley Ann to the curb to raise his son right (do you think mom's get custody in Muslim countries?).

testing99 said...

Simon, ever hear of the Thirty Years War? About one third of all German speakers perished. "Magdeburg Quarter?" Or perhaps you'd like Mr. Bonaparte's bloody expeditions?

Wars are common in Europe, they've always had them. Great masses of Hugeonots were slaughtered by the French. Cavaliers and Roundheads killed each other with abandon. Heck, CAESAR killed over a million Gauls, with spears and short swords.

Mass slaughter is a European tradition (and let's be honest, a tradition pretty much everywhere).

Europeans never gave a damn about slaughter before, what changed?

Hint: it's not a "death wish." And European culture no more shot itself in the foot in 1914 than American Culture did at Shiloh or Gettysburg or Cold Harbor. [Which had proportionally bad or worse death tolls -- about 40% of military age men 14-40 in the South were killed.]

It's the SEX. Stanley Ann is a good example. Birth control, cheap pills and condoms alike, changed fundamentally the way in which Western Society had operated from around 1100 AD or so through to the Edwardians. It allowed Stanley Anns to go off and search for the Big Man, without getting pregnant if they don't want to.

Look at the City Journal link above. The fundamental desire for Leftists is for the female Leftists to sleep with the biggest big man around (echoed in the lower classes in Britain and America). For the male Leftist, it's collecting a harem. Western Civilization was built on monogamy and the mobilization of resources (including reproductive resources) of the common man.

Those who would be Absolute Kings, like Darius/Xerxes etc. find that intolerable.

It's as simple as the sex. [Ever wonder why Leftists hate hate hate monogamy? This is why! Can't have a harem with it. Or be part of it.]

Evil Neocon?

David Davenport said...

Ever wonder why Leftists hate hate hate monogamy? This is why! Can't have a harem with it. Or be part of it.

Are Mormons, excuse me, F. L. D.S. cult members, Leftists?

SFG said...

Her genetic roots probably go back to East Anglia, which seems to be where that strange sub-race originated.
According to David Hackett Fischer (albion's seed), the East Anglians, who went on to found New England, were influenced by Scandinavian mores, because that's where Scandinavian invasions took place. So there may actually be a link between the most leftist part of Europe and the most leftist part of America! Who knew?

Anonymous said...

Testing99 says:


It's as simple as the sex. [Ever wonder why Leftists hate hate hate monogamy? This is why! Can't have a harem with it. Or be part of it.]


A hole in one!

That and the fact that those leftists have little ability to do anything real, so they have to come us with some crap to convince the disaffected to follow them (and get into their pants--the female followers, that is).

dollmaker said...

What scares me is that in Obama's mind, the US of today will always be the Indonesia of Suharto that his mother warned him about.

abe said...

There is nothing "brilliant" about this convoluted and contrived analysis. Stanley Ann deliberately inculcated a black identity in Barack Obama to get back at her Indonesian ex-husband? Steve Sailer watches too much tv.

Martin said...

" testing99 said...

Mass slaughter is a European tradition (and let's be honest, a tradition pretty much everywhere).

Europeans never gave a damn about slaughter before, what changed?"

Machine guns, landmines, heavy artillery, airplanes, poison gas, death camps, and nuclear weapons. That's what changed. The shear industrial scale of death that WWI ushered in was a qualitative change. And in those previous wars you mentioned, the 30 years war, the American civil war, far more of the casualties were due to disease and privation.

As Churchill said after the war: "War, which used to be cruel and magnificent, has now become cruel and squalid." The grinding futility of World War I (60,000 casualties on the first day of the Somme offensive alone), shook the faith of many europeans in progress itself. The effect of both wars, was to lead many to question the superiority of western civilization. America was immune from this for a time, but we seem to have lost our faith beginning in the 60's, with the prospect of a cataclysmic nuclear war.

The change in sexual mores you mention has certainly had real and far-reaching consequences for our society. But I think that there is a lot to the idea of a crisis in civilizational confidence induced by the wars of the 20th century.

lloyd1927 said...

White parents of mulatto children make a BIG mistake when they try to dutifully follow black advice and teach their children to follow hypodescent and the "one drop" myth. (Hispanics and Arabs - who are nearly all part black to various degrees - cheerfully ignore the "one drop" myth, disdain the blacks, intermarry with whites, and no one dares to say a word about it). It's like telling a kid that you are not really part of this family because you are not part of my race/ethnic group. Obama's mother, despite any good intentions, sent that message. Notice that, in the gramdmother incident, Obama says that the aggressive black hobo could have been his "brother." If you examine black attitudes toward racial mixture and racial identity, they commonly believe that no white relative or ancestor can really be "family" and that a part-black child owes loyalty to the "black race" rather than to the closest white family members. Those who prefer a white or mixed-race identity are routinely demonized in the mainstream media (usually by blacks and a few extreme white liberals)and no dissenting arguments are allowed.

Michael said...

Steve at his best. Brilliant.

lloyd1927 said...

This is from page 99 of the paperback edition to Obama's autobiography, Dreams from My Father. Many people assume that he is similar to Tiger Woods because he constantly refers to his white mother "from Kansas" and black father "from Kenya." He has benefited from the efforts of the Multiracial movement to make racially mixed families and racially mixed ancestry respectable and overturn the "one drop" myth, but he is obviously not in favor of free choice - or at least no one has publicly dared to ask him if he still holds to the views expressed below:

I didn’t have the luxury, I suppose, the certainty of the tribe. Grow up in Compton and survival becomes a revolutionary act...I had nothing to escape from except my own inner doubt. I was more like the black students who had grown up in the suburbs...You could spot them right away by the way they talked, the people they sat with in the cafeteria. When pressed, they would sputter and explain that they refused to be categorized. They weren’t defined by the color of their skin, they would tell you. They were individuals.

That’s how Joyce liked to talk. She was a good-looking woman, Joyce was, with her green eyes and honey skin and pouty lips...all the brothers were after her. One day I asked her if she was going to the Black Students’ Association meeting. She looked at me funny and then started shaking her head like a baby who doesn’t want what it sees on the spoon.

“I’m not black,” Joyce said. “I’m multiracial.” Then she started telling me about her father, who happened to be Italian and was the sweetest man in the world; and her mother, who happened to be part African and part French and part Native American and part something else. “Why should I have to choose between them?” she asked me. Her voice cracked, and I thought she was going to cry. “It’s not white people who are making me choose. Maybe it used to be that way, but now they’re willing to treat me like a person. No–it’s black people who always have to make everything racial. They’re the ones making me choose. They’re the ones who are telling me that I can’t be who I am...”

They, they, they. That’s the problem with people like Joyce. They talked about the richness of their multicultural heritage and it sounded real good, until you noticed that they avoided black people. It wasn’t a matter of conscious choice, necessarily, just a matter of gravitational pull, they way integration always worked, a one-way street.

Martin said...

"lloyd1927 said...

It's like telling a kid that you are not really part of this family because you are not part of my race/ethnic group."

Good point. It seems as though Mrs. Obama put quite the head trip on her son. It does make one feel sorry for him too.

Good posts - both of them.

Anonymous said...

99EvilNeocons,
intellectual laziness also kills the ability to build a coherent argument.
Of course, there is always the hope that letting 99EvilNeocons hack away at typewriters forever will in the end yield at least one sensible blog comment.

Anonymous said...

I wonder that quote from page 99. I think Steve hasn´t used it so far - yet it is worse than anything he actually used. I do not quite understand this.

Markku said...

Stanley Ann, by the way, looked like a girl named Stanley Ann

I checked out one of her pictures from her youth. She was ugly. She looks English in a bad way.

In my opinion, the best looking native Englishwomen are those with a signifigant Viking raider genetic heritage.

Jeff Williams said...

Her genetic roots probably go back to East Anglia, which seems to be where that strange sub-race originated

In olden days, when most trade and communication was done over water routes, eastern England was part of a cultural zone with Holland and other nearby western European ports. Where did the Pilgrims go when they first left east England? To their friends in Holland.

Scotland, Ireland, Wales formed a separate cultural zone with a separate pattern of water-borne trade.

As a Scotch-Irish American, I can never understand what the Dutch or east England people are trying to accomplish. Being "modern" seems to be important to them in a way it is not for us.

They are just weird.

David said...

If by "reality" you mean "truth", then you are correct:

[H]e was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth,[...].


No, that is not what I mean. And I am surprised you neglected to capitalize "truth."

You have your own belief system like Stanley the girl had hers.

Not all of us have an otherworldly agenda.

ijulkio said...

Wow Steve. I hope you get some recognition for doing this.

Anonymous said...

Obama's great grandfather was named Ralph Waldo Emerson Dunham, which should tell us all we need to know about where Obama's grandfather inherited his Yankee elitism and feelings of moral superiority.

Steve Setzer said...

@David Davenport:
Are Mormons, excuse me, F. L. D.S. cult members, Leftists?

That's a tougher question than it appears, David.

The F.L.D.S. are famous for polygamy, but they also are strongly communitarian. You might fairly call them Leftist in some ways.

The regular L.D.S. stopped both polygamy and communal living around 1890. Today, the average Mormon man is horrified at the thought of sharing his property, and his wife is more horrified at the thought of sharing him! Most L.D.S. range from ordinary Rightist to damn-he's-really-scary Rightist.

Da Martyr said...

Obama's mother married a black and a pacific islander. If she hates white people then why wouldn't he? Obviously the Obama family (especially the mother) has no problem with betraying and excluding white men.

Anonymous said...

For the record, MSNBC is now [Saturday, April 03, 2010] reporting that It's official: Obama is black.

Anonymous said...

[August 2, 2010]

Steve - there's a vanity post over at Free Republic tonight wherein a Freeper posits that Michelle LaVaughn Robinson is the black mother figure that the bisexual Barry Soetoro Dunham never had & always yearned for.

Interesting reading.