Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Gunman says he was acting on anti-white views that he learned in college

The Daily Caller reports.

Excerpt:

The man who murdered one woman and paralyzed another during a 2011 Atlanta shooting spree testified at his trial last week that he was motivated by beliefs he had acquired about white people when he was an anthropology major at the University of West Georgia.

Nkosi Thandiwe, 23, argued that the bizarre political views he encountered — and accepted — in college led to a mental state that should have been grounds for a defense of temporary insanity, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

“I was trying to prove a point that Europeans had colonized the world, and as a result of that, we see a lot of evil today,” Thandiwe testified. “In terms of slavery, it was something that needed to be answered for. I was trying to spread the message of making white people mend.”

Thandiwe explained in court that he had attended an event designed to address concerns about racial inequality the night before the shooting spree. He became furious when he saw two white people there.

“I was upset,” Thandiwe said. “I was still upset Friday. I took the gun to work because I was still upset from Thursday night.”

Maybe we should have a ban on guns – a ban applicable only to Democrats. Guns don’t kill people, Democrats kill people.

Dennis Prager’s latest column looks at a college student was brainwashed to have obviously false views on war and foreign policy. Be careful what you study in college – it’s better to stick with math, science, technology and engineering – especially during a socialism-induced recession. Stick with things that can be measured and tested to insulate yourself from leftist speculations. You want to get a degree in something useful, not in leftist dogma.

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Friday night movie: Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)

Here’s tonight’s movie:

IMDB rating: [7.4/10]

Description:

Cyrano de Bergerac is a Parisian poet and swashbuckler with a large nose of which he is self-conscious, but pretends to be proud of. He is madly in love with his “friendly cousin” (they were not actually related as cousins), the beautiful Roxane; however, he does not believe she will requite his love because he considers himself physically unattractive. Soon, he finds that Roxane has become infatuated with Christian de Neuvillette, a dashing new recruit to the Cadets de Gascogne, the military unit of which Cyrano is the captain. Christian however, despite his good looks, is tongue-tied when speaking with women. Seeing an opportunity to vicariously declare his love for Roxane, he decides to aid Christian, who does not know how to court a woman and gain her love.

Gascony (Gasgogne in French) is the south-west of France, and Normandy is in the north of France. Cyrano and the other cadets are from Gascony, but Christian is from Normandy.

This movie is very special to me, because I share many of the character traits and experiences of Cyrano. In fact, whenever I want to explain myself to a woman, I show her this movie and highlight certain parts. Like me, Cyrano has a distant relationship with his mother, and no sisters. Like me, his favorite color is white. For him, it symbolizes independence. For me, it symbolizes independence and also chastity, fidelity and secrecy . He wears a white plume in his hat, symbolizing his independence.

At one point in the movie, Cyrano is shown to be fond of making enemies rather than friends, because he resents the way that people are constantly trying to make friends and trying to make people like them. I have that same view. I get very annoyed with Christians who hide their convictions about truth and morality in public in order to be liked by others. In fact, I think that the two biggest challenges to being a Christian are the expectation that if God is real, then he will make you happy and the expectation that following Jesus will make people like you. It’s much better if Christians expect to not be happy and to not be liked – that’s the normal Christian life. Many Christians fall away from their faith because they feel that God should make them happy and that people should like them.

I wish that everyone watching the movie could understand French, because Cyrano always speaks in rhymes in the French.

Here is one of my favorite parts:

Annoying person:
Quoi, pas un grand seigneur pour couvrir de son nom?…

Cyrano, angry:
Non, ai-je dit deux fois. Faut-il donc que je trisse?
Non, pas de protecteur…
(la main son epee)
Mais une protectrice!

He is asked by someone how he expects to survive after he has offended some fool who is protected by a powerful nobleman. Does Cyrano have a powerful protector? His reply: “No, I have no patron… but a patroness” while putting his hand on his sword. In other productions of the play, like this one, he draws his sword.

Cyrano is also very lonely, and finds women very mysterious, and therefore very desirable.

CYRANO:
Regarde-moi, mon cher, et dis quelle esperance
Pourrait bien me laisser cette protuberance !
Oh ! je ne me fais pas d’illusion !–Parbleu,
Oui, quelquefois, je m’attendris, dans le soir bleu;
J’entre en quelque jardin oa¹ l’heure se parfume;
Avec mon pauvre grand diable de nez je hume
L’avril,–je suis des yeux, sous un rayon d’argent,
Au bras d’un cavalier, quelque femme, en songeant
Que pour marcher, a petits pas, dans de la lune,
Aussi moi j’aimerais au bras en avoir une,
Je m’exalte, j’oublie. . . et j’apercois soudain
L’ombre de mon profil sur le mur du jardin !

Translation:

CYRANO:
Look well at me–then tell me, with what hope
This vile protuberance can inspire my heart!
I do not lull me with illusions–yet
At times I’m weak: in evening hours dim
I enter some fair pleasance, perfumed sweet;
With my poor ugly devil of a nose
I scent spring’s essence–in the silver rays
I see some knight–a lady on his arm,
And think ‘To saunter thus ‘neath the moonshine,
I were fain to have my lady, too, beside!’
Thought soars to ecstasy. . . O sudden fall!
–The shadow of my profile on the wall!

It’s a bit sad to me that you guys are not getting the original French, but if you watch the 1990 version of the movie with subtitles, you can at least hear the rhymes. Here’s the play in French and in English for those who prefer to read rather than watch. If you read the play, you get more details but you lose the swordfights. Cyrano is the best swordsman in Paris, and not afraid to use his sword to make a point.

Happy Friday!

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How faith, virtues and marriage are declining among blue collar Americans

Brad Wilcox writes about a new book entitled “Coming Apart” in the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

So much for the idea that the white working class remains the guardian of core American values like religious faith, hard work and marriage. Today the denizens of upscale communities like McLean, Va., New Canaan, Conn., and Palo Alto, Calif., according to Charles Murray in “Coming Apart,” are now much more likely than their fellow citizens to embrace these core American values. In studying, as his subtitle has it, “the state of white America, 1960-2010,” Mr. Murray turns on its head the conservative belief that bicoastal elites are dissolute and ordinary Americans are virtuous.

Focusing on whites to avoid conflating race with class, Mr. Murray contends instead that a large swath of white America—poor and working-class whites, who make up approximately 30% of the white population—is turning away from the core values that have sustained the American experiment. At the same time, the top 20% of the white population has quietly been recovering its cultural moorings after a flirtation with the counterculture in the 1960s and 1970s. Thus, argues Mr. Murray in his elegiac book, the greatest source of inequality in America now is not economic; it is cultural.

He is particularly concerned with the ways in which working-class whites are losing touch with what he calls the four “founding virtues”—industriousness, honesty (including abiding by the law), marriage and religion, all of which have played a vital role in the life of the republic.

Consider what has happened with marriage. The destructive family revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s has gradually eased—at least in the nation’s most privileged precincts. In the past 20 years, divorce rates have come down, marital quality (self-reported happiness in marriage) has risen and nonmarital childbearing (out-of-wedlock births) is a rare occurrence among the white upper class. Marriage is not losing ground in America’s best neighborhoods.

But it’s a very different story in blue-collar America. Since the 1980s, divorce rates have risen, marital quality has fallen and nonmarital childbearing is skyrocketing among the white lower class. Less than 5% of white college-educated women have children outside of marriage, compared with approximately 40% of white women with just a high-school diploma. The bottom line is that a growing marriage divide now runs through the heart of white America.

This whole article is worth reading, because it talks about some of the other areas that are declining in middle class America. I have added the book to my wishlist.

It seems as though Theodore Dalrymple’s description of the British lower classes in his book “Life at the Bottom” has come to America. He argues in that book that the new moral relativism of the elites works well enough for them because they have money, but it is very harmful to the poor, if the poor adopt moral relativism. I always believed that America would be safe from moral relativism. Recently, I was trying to argue with some British Christians about how the secularization of Britain was leading to the decline of marriage and the nuclear family. I point out their 45% out-of-wedlock birth rate, and they pointed out our 40% out-of-wedlock birth rate. We are right behind them, and it really makes me sad. Children need a mother and a father to take care of them.

When arguing with liberals about the importance of marriage, I like to use two good articles from the Heritage Foundation. I argue that when marriage goes, many bad things happen, like child poverty and child abuse. You would think that the government would do something about the decline of marriage, but people on the secular left often don’t like marriage, because there are traditional roles for husbands and wives that clash with their feminism. They don’t like the working father and the mother staying at home – not even if that creates the most stable environment for the children

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Greek men deprived of provider role commit suicide in record numbers

From the Wall Street Journal, a reminder that recessions hit men the hardest. (H/T Tom)

Excerpt:

]Gross domestic product in the second quarter was down more than 7% from a year before, amid government spending cuts and tax increases that, combined, will add up to about 20% of GDP. Unemployment is over 16%. Crime, homelessness, emigration and personal bankruptcies are on the rise.The most dramatic sign of Greece’s pain, however, is a surge in suicides.

Recorded suicides have roughly doubled since before the crisis to about six per 100,000 residents annually, according to the Greek health ministry and a charitable organization called Klimaka.

[...]Suicide has also risen in much of the rest of Europe since the financial crisis began, according to a recent study published in the British medical journal The Lancet, which said Greece is among the hardest hit.Suicide has also risen in much of the rest of Europe since the financial crisis began, according to a recent study published in the British medical journal The Lancet, which said Greece is among the hardest hit.

[...]A suicide help line at Klimaka, the charitable group, used to get four to 10 calls a day, but “now there are days when we have up to 100,” says a psychologist there, Aris Violatzis.

The caller often fits a certain profile: male, age 35 to 60 and financially ruined. “He has also lost his core identity as a husband and provider, and he cannot be a man any more according to our cultural standards,” Mr. Violatzis says.

Heraklion, commercial center of the island of Crete, has had a spate of such deaths.

[...]Victims once were typically adolescent males or old people facing severe illness, and in normal times suicide cases often involve a mixture of factors including mental illness, says local psychiatrist Eva Maria Tsapaki.

But the economic crash has created a “new phenomenon of entrepreneurs with no prior history of mental illness who are found dead every other week,” she says. “It’s very unusual.”

Hans Bader had a recent post about Obama’s stimulus bill that is relevant.

Excerpt: (links removed)

A logical place to have financed road and bridge repairs would have been Obama’s $800 billion stimulus package. But the stimulus package was purged of most investments in roads and bridges, and filled instead with welfare and social spending, out of political correctness, after feminist leaders complained that building and repairing roads and bridges would put unemployed blue-collar men to work, rather than women.

Christina Hoff Sommers points out that “of the 5.7 million jobs Americans lost between December 2007 and May 2009, nearly 80 percent had been held by men,” because men “predominate in manufacturing and construction, the hardest-hit sectors, which have lost more than 3 million jobs since December 2007.” But when some administration officials floated the concept of “an ambitious . . . stimulus program to modernize roads, bridges, schools, electrical grids, public transportation, and dams” as a way of “reinvigorating the hardest-hit sectors of the economy,” “Women’s groups were appalled,” asking “Where are the New Jobs for Women?” and denouncing what they called “The Macho Stimulus Plan.”

As Sommers notes, the Obama administration quickly knuckled under to this pressure, replacing its recovery package with an $800 billion stimulus package that instead “skews job creation somewhat towards women” by spending money instead on social services like welfare that are administered mostly by female employees.

As a 2009 Associated Press story reported, “Stimulus Funds Go to Social Programs Over ‘Shovel-ready’ Projects.” A team of six AP reporters who have been tracking the funds find that the $300 billion sent to the states is being used mainly for health care, education, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and other social services.” Or, as another AP report put it, “Stimulus Aid Favors Welfare, Not Work, Programs.”

The stimulus package also repealed welfare reform, as Slate’s Mickey Kaus and the Heritage Foundation have noted. (In 2008, Obama ran campaign ads claiming to support welfare reform, even though he had sought to undermine welfare reform as an Illinois legislator. The stimulus package largely repealed the 1996 welfare-reform law.)

Men: don’t vote for this man in 2012.

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Government official fired for making racist comments at NAACP rally

UPDATE: Upon viewing the full video, I think that the incident isn’t really as bad as I initially thought, so I am retracting this post.

Here’s the video:

There’s your racism – and at an NAACP event, no less. They’re the ones who are obsessed by race.

Big Government has the story. (H/T Hot Air)

Excerpt:

We are in possession of a video from in which Shirley Sherrod, USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development, speaks at the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Georgia. In her meandering speech to what appears to be an all-black audience, this federally appointed executive bureaucrat lays out in stark detail, that her federal duties are managed through the prism of race and class distinctions.

In the first video, Sherrod describes how she racially discriminates against a white farmer. She describes how she is torn over how much she will choose to help him. And, she admits that she doesn’t do everything she can for him, because he is white. Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help. But she decides that he should get help from “one of his own kind”. She refers him to a white lawyer.

Sherrod’s racist tale is received by the NAACP audience with nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement. Hardly the behavior of the group now holding itself up as the supreme judge of another groups’ racial tolerance.

And she’s been fired for it. (H/T Hot Air)

Excerpt:

The Agriculture Department announced Monday, shortly after FoxNews.com published its initial report on the video, that Sherrod had resigned.

“There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA, and I strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a written statement. “We have been working hard through the past 18 months to reverse the checkered civil rights history at the department and take the issue of fairness and equality very seriously.

Finally we find some racism at a political rally – and it’s all on the left side of the aisle.

UPDATE:

Another video:

From the BlogProf.

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