Groomers, Looters, And Other Progressives
‘Live Not By Lies’
The logic of identity-politics liberalism inexorably leads to supporting them, whether we like it or not
In Canada last week, I talked to a young conservative who told me it was all but impossible to get his folks to understand how far gone the culture is. When he tells them actual facts about what the groomer Left is doing here and there, they refuse to believe him. They cannot accept that such a thing can be happening. You can understand how someone would arrive at that conclusion if, like many older people, they get all their news of the world from the mainstream media, which serves mostly as a Narrative-curator. That is to say, it functions to prevent normies like that man’s parents from understanding what the Left is actually doing to us.
Remember when we were all told that one is bigoted to object to Drag Queen Story Hour, and to say it was a matter of sexually grooming children? Now we are at Phase Two, where the drag queens aren’t reading to kids, but performing for them. Lo, look at this video from a “family-friendly” drag event yesterday in Chattanooga, at the WanderLinger Brewery. In this clip, a little girl strokes the crotch of a male drag performer, to explore:
At what point will we be able to call this what it is — grooming — without backlash? Answer: never. I believe there is no point at which the Left will condemn any of this. You might have seen the other day the clip in which Spain’s progressive Minister of Equality said that children have the right to have sex if they choose it. This is the ultimate end point of today’s Left. Do I think that any but a small minority of left-wing people believe that? Of course not! The problem is that for the people in control of left-wing discourse and policy, there are no enemies to the Left, and no apparent limiting principle. In her important new book The Case Against The Sexual Revolution, the English feminist writer Louise Perry — no conservative she — writes:
When you set out to break down sexual taboos, you shouldn’t be surprised when all taboos are considered fair game for breaking, including the ones you’d rather retain. The claim from Foucault and his allies was never that violently coercing children into sex is OK. Rather, they claimed that sexual desire develops earlier in some children than in others and that it is therefore possible in some cases for children to have sexual relationships with adults that are not only not traumatic but mutually enjoyable. The claim, therefore, was not that consent is unimportant but, rather, that children are sometimes capable of consenting. And they pointed out, correctly, that paedophiles are a maligned sexual minority who suffer greatly as a result of the taboo maintained against them. Their project, therefore, was not a detour from the progressive path but in fact logically in keeping with it. The principles of sexual liberalism do, I’m sorry to say, trundle inexorably towards this endpoint, whether or not we want them to.
Again, Perry is not a conservative, or a religious person, but she has the common sense to recognize that the principles of the Sexual Revolution have been harmful for women, children, and the vulnerable. If you don’t understand this, you won’t understand why early Christianity was so radical about sex and sexuality. As I wrote in a popular 2013 essay in this space:
It is nearly impossible for contemporary Americans to grasp why sex was a central concern of early Christianity. Sarah Ruden, the Yale-trained classics translator, explains the culture into which Christianity appeared in her 2010 book Paul Among The People. Ruden contends that it’s profoundly ignorant to think of the Apostle Paul as a dour proto-Puritan descending upon happy-go-lucky pagan hippies, ordering them to stop having fun.
In fact, Paul’s teachings on sexual purity and marriage were adopted as liberating in the pornographic, sexually exploitive Greco-Roman culture of the time—exploitive especially of slaves and women, whose value to pagan males lay chiefly in their ability to produce children and provide sexual pleasure. Christianity, as articulated by Paul, worked a cultural revolution, restraining and channeling male eros, elevating the status of both women and of the human body, and infusing marriage—and marital sexuality—with love.
Christian marriage, Ruden writes, was “as different from anything before or since as the command to turn the other cheek.” The point is not that Christianity was only, or primarily, about redefining and revaluing sexuality, but that within a Christian anthropology sex takes on a new and different meaning, one that mandated a radical change of behavior and cultural norms. In Christianity, what people do with their sexuality cannot be separated from what the human person is.
I hope you’ll get Ruden’s book. She’s a Quaker, and very much not a right-winger. But she grasps that the sexual taboos instituted and upheld by early Christianity were necessary to establish a social order that protected the weak. Me, given human nature, I doubt very much that it will be possible for our post-Christian culture to retain those necessary civilizational taboos without religious backing. In other words, absent a real religious revival, the perverts and groomers of “family friendly” drag shows, the radical left politicians, and the woke capitalists (I’m looking at you, WanderLinger, the Craft Brew That Made Grooming Famous™), are likely to prevail.
Will the local media report on this? Nope — unless it’s to publicize how Chattanooga bigots are attacking this delightful diversity-celebrating event, and diversity-supporting business. Again, it’s all about supporting the Narrative.
It’s obvious that this mob is black. Most of these videos we get these days, of mobs ransacking and looting stores, feature black faces. That’s not manufactured; that’s reality.
But this is a reality that our media refuse to see. Blacks can only ever be victimized; they can never be the victimizers. That’s how the narrative goes. As Wes Yang points out in his Twitter commentary on the above clip:
He’s right. We can only be grateful that cameras caught examples of police brutality against black people. Any healthy society needs to know this kind of thing happens, so it can reform itself. But we should also be aware that cameras capture anti-social, criminal realities that do not fit into a progressive narrative. From time to time, the media will air discourse about so-called “food deserts” in predominantly black cities. A “food desert” is an urban neighborhood where supermarkets are rare or non-existent, dramatically reducing the variety of food available to local residents — especially exiling fresh fruits and vegetables from those neighborhoods.
The off-the-shelf progressive explanation is “racism,” of course. A decade ago, I was at a social event in which I met an executive within a large supermarket chain, and asked him why food deserts exist. He told me that it was a matter of shoplifting. He said it made no sense for a business like his to stay out of black neighborhoods, unless they were losing money there, or the cost of doing business was too high. And, he said, it was: shoplifting meant it was too costly to open supermarkets in urban black neighborhoods.
Nobody ever talks about that. That man never would have said that had he known he was talking to a journalist. I thought about that the other day when I had to go by the Apple store in my city, for the first time in a long time, and noticed something I had not seen before: two uniformed off-duty sheriff’s deputies guarding the front of the store. I asked a sales clerk about that, and he said it’s to guard against the kinds of mobs that ransacked the Wawa. He said it hasn’t happened at that particular store, but it has happened at other Apple stores.
(“These thieves really do well,” he said. “They steal these” — he pointed to the display models — “but they aren’t fully functional. They’re just for display. Then they turn around and sell them to people on the street who think they’re getting a real computer, iPhone, or iPad.”)
These looters are usually all-black mobs. Sometimes Latinos join in. Maybe an odd white person, an Antifa type. But unless I’ve missed some key videos — and maybe I have — the black people are dramatically overrepresented among looters. Why is that? The racist answer is that black people are inherently prone to criminality. That’s a racist lie. The more accurate answer is that this is what you get in a subculture where the idea of law and order has broken down. In Britain, there are loads of white criminals raised in housing estates, who exemplify the same kind of yob criminality. Where responsible fathers cease to exist as part of the social fabric, law and order eventually goes away, because young men do not have a force to teach them, and to compel them, to channel their masculine aggression into socially positive directions.
We can talk endlessly about why this happened to black America, but the fact is, what you see above is something that ordinary people of all races will take into account when they make decisions about where to live, and where to invest. It is a historical fact that many urban areas burned out in the riots of the late 1960s did not recover economically. It was the sociological version of investors learning that they had built businesses on top of an earthquake fault. Nobody wanted to take the risk to rebuild and reopen businesses in areas where the social fabric was so weak that rioting and looting could erupt overnight — and the people in a neighborhood would prey on themselves.
A Texas friend who passed through Baton Rouge a couple of years ago, and who stopped with his wife to visit me, e-mailed recently, after the random murder of an LSU student on the edge of the black part of town, that the government of this city had better get on top of this crime problem. He mentioned that when he came through town, he was really unsettled by how dangerous it felt. A Nashville friend who had also stopped in with his family to visit me on a roadtrip, told me the same thing. Violent crime in Baton Rouge is a black thing, both in terms of the perpetrators and, mostly, the victims. But if Louisiana’s capital city gets a reputation as being crime-ridden, it’s going to cause it to go into decline.
Not long ago, I had dinner with a former juvenile court judge in this city, a liberal Democrat who told me that if you want to go into deep despair about the future of Baton Rouge, spend some time in juvenile court. He told me about a case in which he had brought before him a twelve-year-old black boy — they’re almost always black kids — in cuffs, because he had committed a violent crime. His mother was also present for her son’s trial, and she too was in cuffs, because they had to bring her out of parish prison to attend the court session. The man told me that for so many black youth in our city, family, in the sense we have all understood in for time out of mind, no longer exists, and hasn’t for a generation or two.
So yeah, let’s talk about how “white supremacy” and “whiteness” are the most important problems facing black America, and America in general. As with the drag queen/LGBT question, the Left has no model of discourse in which it can hold black people themselves responsible in any meaningful way for the problems in black America. The Left model says it can only ever be the fault of whites. I am aware that there is a Right model that denies that structural or institutional racism has anything to do with it. I reject that model too! But “structural racism” is not looting the Wawa. “Institutional racism” is not murdering people in the cities at rates unseen for years. Those are abstractions to most people; reality is what gets people killed, and their businesses destroyed.
If violent crime, or if disgust with grooming, causes a big right-wing political backlash in this country, you watch: the media are going to tell us that this just goes to show what a racist, bigoted country we have become. That’s the only way they can interpret reality: through that ideological lens. Recently in North Dakota, a middle-aged liberal man admitted to running over and killing a teenage Republican kid with his car because the kid was Republican. Have you heard about this on the national news? Of course you haven’t, unless you watched Fox. We all heard about the white racist right-wing extremist who struck and killed an anti-racist protester in Charlottesville years ago — and we should have heard about it, because it was an abhorrent crime. Yet it seems with the US media, political violence can only go one way: from Right to Left.
Last night I re-watched one of my favorite movies, The Big Short, Adam McKay’s riveting, extremely entertaining account of the insanity that led up to the 2008 economic crash. If you haven’t watched it in a while, or at all, please do. It feels very much of the moment, not only economically, but culturally, and in terms of war-and-peace (Ukraine, Russia, etc.). What the movie illustrates is the bubble mentality of all the people involved in the financial system. They built an entire system on fraud, on lies, and deliberately blinded themselves to what they were doing. They were all making too much money to see otherwise. Even though (as we all know now) they had ample reason to know what they were doing, and to know that they were taking advantage of hard-working little guys in packaging and selling garbage securities, they did it anyway, because it felt great. The protagonists of the film — all of them real people, profiled by Michael Lewis in his non-fiction book of the same name — all got very rich because they could see what was happening, did not want to live by lies, and made big financial bets against the system.
Here’s a clip from the film, in which an older banker, played by Brad Pitt, chastises two younger bankers he has helped make a huge deal. These two younger bankers know that the system is going to crash, and placed massive bets that it would happen. They know that they’ll be rich, and they are cheering for themselves. The older banker, Ben Rickert, slaps them around over it:
I don’t know what it would mean to “short” American culture over the lies our elites tell themselves about what’s happening — that is, the d ideological lies about race, sex, and gender that they tell themselves, and expect us all to live by, even though they are obviously untrue to anybody with eyes to see and ears to hear. To repurpose a line: the principles of identity-politics liberalism do, I’m sorry to say, trundle inexorably towards collapse, whether or not we want them to. But a social and cultural crash is definitely coming, probably triggered by the next economic crash. There will be no room for “I told you so,” because the pain that will have been inflicted on people by these evil gender ideologues, criminals and those that carry water for them out of a misguided sense of racial justice, and the political parties that either promoted them (Democrats) or feared to attack them (many Republicans) — that pain will have caused immense destruction in people’s lives.
Get weekly emails in your inbox
And for what? I can understand why the Wall Street people lived by their exploitative lies: because they were getting filthy rich. But why lie to ourselves about these other things? Who benefits?
One more time: watch the Chattanooga video of the child stroking the crotch of the man dressed as a woman at the Pride event in Chattanooga, and tell yourself with a straight face that this is not grooming. I dare you:
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.