7 Follow-On Thoughts to Crimson Carnage

Occasionally something I write slips the leash and I have to spend a couple hours looking for it. That was the case here and so I thought it necessary to add a few follow-on thoughts.

1. Bryan Loritts said this on Twitter about my article: “@douglaswils blog is like using a eulogy to preach on evils of smoking to kids of the dad who died of lung cancer.” He then linked to my Crimson Carnage article, but not to this one, or this one.

In the first of these posts, I had explained why I was reluctant to say anything about whether the flag should stay up or down. I said:

“It is unseemly to politicize these horrors when the families are still weeping. Whether the issue is gun control or something else, whenever a hard sell comes in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy, the only thing it makes me want to do is wonder at how boorish some people can be.”

So let us make the illustration a bit more apt, shall we? I am the crazy uncle attending the funeral of a man who died of lung cancer, and am sitting respectfully in the back. The entire family, the whole lot of ’em, smokes twice as much as the deceased did, a fact that I had pointed out at various appropriate intervals. Halfway through the service, the Rev. Sather calls me up to the front and asks me to say a few extemporaneous words about the dangers of sunscreen. I shake my head because if I talk at all, I am going to tell you the truth. But he insists, and so I say a few true words, an unwelcome prospect at more funerals than just this one. I am then upbraided for my bad manners.

And you might call me jumpy, but in expanding the illustration used by Bryan Loritts, I do not mean to indicate anything critical or negative about the funerals in Charleston. These dear saints were not smoking cigarettes, but rather praying to God.

2. When a post goes nuts, I am honestly not able to stay current with all the comments and all the debates that might result. John Sather has said that my “minions” have been a disgusting problem. “Nothing could be more disgusting than reading @douglaswils minions hate on African Americans in . . . his blog comments.” All I would say there is that if someone is pretending to be on my side and is saying racially hateful things, please flag the comment via Disqus and I will review and remove it. But if — as is more likely given the history here — John Sather has been so sensitized by the spirit of the age that he regards any challenge to his views as hateful, I will leave the comment right where it was.

On a related front, Anthony Bradley asked “DW fans” to “please stop trolling” him. I would ask the same thing of my fans — please don’t troll anybody. But I would also ask Anthony to not mistake attempts to engage with him as trolling.

3. Nobody does better at empty gestures than liberal white people, who never let their impotence interfere with their deep compulsion to “do something.” Something horrific happens, and so it is self evident to them that “something must be done.” And in the minds of those who believe in Uplift, it is better to do an easy something that will solve nothing at all than to attempt to address the actual problems caused by human depravity. And so it was that we began with a ruckus about taking down the battle flag at the capital and ended with WalMart yanking Civil War chess sets from the shelves. There. Everybody feel safer now?

4. Speaking of the power of the mob, one of the qualities of character that we should all want to develop is the ability to stand up to one. This is best done with the mobs of your own era, rather than with the mobs of bygone eras. The bygone era mobs are generally dispersed without much tear gas, and more medals can be given out in the daydream ceremonies afterward. But the actual mobs are the ones causing the problems and actual courage is required, so be sure to weigh your options carefully.

5. As someone has pointed out, there needs to be more to the much touted “national conversation on race” than “vote Democrat.” As John Cleese once pointed out about the World Series, when other sports have world championships, they are good enough to invite other countries. A conversation should involve more than one perspective which is why a real conversation is nothing like what the modern left is demanding — nothing is more monochrome than leftist diversity. But in our evangelical subculture, we are doing our own pared-down version of this same thing, where the Approved Voices are the ones tagging after the world at a respectable distance. Genuinely conservative voices that have something important to say about race, poverty, statism, and so on, have been preemptively DQed by the overheated rhetoric of their opposition. How can you invite a hater into your important conversation? Of course the only reason he is thought to be a hater is that it was considered more efficient to label him that way than to try to answer his arguments.

6. The difference between acting on principle and reacting to circumstances is a difference that is a vast one. That vast difference is quickly identified by the hard, cold and unforgiving reality of facts. If you send your emotional reaction to circumstances out into the very rough world, you will soon find yourself flummoxed by some angular facts. Generally this results in another emotional reaction, only aimed in a different direction — usually at the one who apprised you of the facts. Once you have established the emotional reaction of some people to one flag as the basis of necessary action, what happens when you find some other people reacting the same way to another flag? The problem is that this is a flag that doesn’t fit into the currently approved narrative, so if you tried to get WalMart to discontinue sales of it because of the “history” you would find yourself in a world of hurt. And so you head on back to the daydream, where history is always far more cooperative.

There was a time when it took political courage to stand up to the Klan.
There was a time when it took political courage to stand up to the Klan.

And what does this “principle” have to say about the high school in San Francisco that banned students from wearing shirts with American flags on them on Cinco de Mayo?

7. And last, I would say this by way of reminder — in my posts on this topic, I actually have posed a number of crucial questions that really should be answered. They have not yet been. Why did everybody just sail right past my question about psychotropic drugs? Maybe the problem really is being sold at WalMart, but over in the pharmacy.

On all these and related issues, I would be more than willing to have a civil discussion and/or debate with respected black leaders on what I regard as a very important topic. I am willing to do this behind closed doors, and I am willing to do it with the microphones on and cameras running. And this is not the first time I have made the offer.

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Darius
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Darius

“I am willing to do this behind closed doors, and I am willing to do it with the microphones on and cameras running. And this is not the first time I have made the offer.”

And it’s not the first time that Anthony Bradley has said “I have more important things to do.” Apparently helping people see the supposed truth of his views is below his pay grade.

Keith LaMothe
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Keith LaMothe

Pastor Wilson,

Thank you for continuing to say what has to be said, even though it’s often like preaching to a pile of bones. The intoleristas look smug running toward the endzone, but God is not mocked, and it is not lost on Him that they’re at least 70 yards out of bounds and that the ball curiously resembles a paper cutout.

Blessings,

Keith

Jack Bradley
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Jack Bradley

“The problem is that this is a flag that doesn’t fit into the currently approved narrative.” Yes, that’s it, Douglas. There does come a time when a Critical Mass (with all that phrase implies) in a culture no longer approves a past narrative—and for good reason. (See repeal of Jim Crow laws and their “Whites Only” public signs—which many Blacks and Whites liken closely to the current Confederate Flag—again, for good reason.) But while you’ve made convincing cases against the “currently approved narrative” when it comes to such things as the Gay Agenda and the Pro-Abortion Agenda, your case against… Read more »

ashv
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ashv

Note that the current media circus *started* around the flag at a historical monument.

JP Stewart
Member

But the “Critical Mass” isn’t reached in 1 week. That’s how long it’s taken to all but change SC’s flag; set the stage to do the same in MS; have Wal-Mart, Amazon, Ebay, Sears & other major retailers ban all Confederate-related items; have AL take down flags and probably remove monuments, etc. As I’ve said before, I’m not falling on my sword over this issue. There are much more important things. But the flags have been controversial for decades. No one–including the Sharpton/Jackson crowd–has demanded all this before. What we’re seeing are people acting like lemmings as news feeds from… Read more »

Nord357
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Nord357

A discussion on psychotropic drugs wont get the mob quite as stirred up as will screaming for the burning of the Stars and Bars.

Nick Hall
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Nick Hall

I enjoy your blog and agree with you most of the time but you made a common error stating that Florida and Alabama’s flags are derived from the Confederate battle flag. They are in fact inspired by the Spanish Cross of Burgundy which flew over Florida and south Alabama which was part of Florida up until the 1800’s. However the historical ignorance and misplaced anger that you so eloquently write about will probably compel Alabama and Florida to change their flags at some point because historical facts don’t matter…just liberal feelings.

Matthew Abate
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Matthew Abate

Doug,

Toward the end of your piece, you asked a question that didn’t slip past my attention: “Why did everybody just sail right past my question about psychotropic drugs?”

Here are two links that show the connection between Dylan Roof and the psychotropic drug Suboxone:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/charleston-shooting-suspect-dylann-roof-drug-suboxone/

http://www.infowars.com/charleston-shooter-was-on-drug-linked-to-violent-outbursts/

Be blessed today…

TedR
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TedR

Those links deal only with the Charleston murders, I think the question wasn’t just psychotropic drugs in this incident alone but that many of the recent mass murders were carried out by people on psychotropic drugs. Some of us are wondering, based on this fact, why some enterprising journalist hasn’t made the connection. Heck, why isn’t anyone asking? I’d say that question involves at least two w’s, the why and what. Some smaller news outlets have written and talked about it but by and large I don’t see that the main stream media has tackled it in any meaningful way.… Read more »

Matthew Abate
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Matthew Abate

You’re right about Doug’s question implying / suggesting that there’s a link between psychotropic drug use and the recent spate of mass murders in the 21st Century. In fact, that’s something that I’ve believed for several years. I wanted to lay to rest any notion that there wasn’t a link in the Charleston incident by future commenters.

Barnabas
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Barnabas

It looks like its a done deal for all the confederate flags. Let me remind you that symbol of hate last week was the $20 bill. This certainly won’t end with those flags. When you try to assuage hurt feelings with political power one thing you’re sure to get is a run on hurt feelings. At the end of the day, when you’ve torn down all your flags and all your monuments and all your institutions because they were imperfect you be unable to replace them. I’m not sure whether to call them petulant children or bloody Jacobins but one… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Barnabas is nailing it. We should expect to get more of what we subsidize. We are currently subsidizing hurt feelings.

Jim S.
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Jim S.

I’m curious what your affiliation with the League of the South is since you co-authored a book with one of their leaders and they have some pretty, uh, interesting views.

TedR
Guest
TedR

Red herring and ad hominem. Besides, this has been asked and answered, many times. Google it.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Doug, The psychotropic drugs discussion is an important one. However, there is at least one alternative explanation that needs to be considered (which I fail to see in your discussion). I am not sure if the data actually do support a relationship between psychotropic medications and these episodes of violence, but I will grant it for the moment. Perhaps many of these mass murderers are taking these medications because they are in fact sicker. An analogy from another area of medicine should suffice. A large portion of individuals who die of heart attacks are taking cholesterol and blood pressure medications… Read more »

Willis
Guest

Chris, I totally agree with this. Having been in ministry for a long time and worked with people suffering from various mental illnesses, I can say that, in my experience, getting off the meds is a sure guarantee of trouble (often violent). Most people are not on meds unless they already have major problems.

This guy was probably on meds because he was violent and mentally ill – not the other way around.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

The drug that he was publicized as using was Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone).It is not an antipsychotic. It is an synthetic opiate derivative. It is typically used, as methadone was in the past, to maintain an addict and keep him from reusing other opiates like heroin.

Katecho
Member

I agree with the point that Chris is making, and I also agree with Doug that it still needs to be part of the discussion (psychotropic withdrawals seem to be worse than simply staying on the drugs). However, let’s suppose that this young man hadn’t been taking any drugs at all. Is it still rational behavior to take a gun and shoot random black people, while they are worshipping in a church, because you are angered by something that you think other black people have done? Regardless of medication (abuse), does this case in any way suggest normal mental function?… Read more »

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Can I highlight another issue: “The heresy of racial superiority” – http://www.albertmohler.com/2015/06/23/the-heresy-of-racial-superiority-confronting-the-past-and-confronting-the-truth/ Rev Mohler uses the term “racial superiority”. He brands it a heresy. He likens it to policies in Nazi Germany. But he never defines it. Which leads to sloppy thinking. All of the following are statements of “racial superiority”. Not all of them are heresy. Some of them might even be true: – negros are usually taller and faster (over short distances) than caucasians – eastern asians tend to excel academically – western culture is morally superior to islamic culture, and should attempt to supplant it – for… Read more »

Daithi_Dubh
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Daithi_Dubh

A commenter on another blog brought this up, and I think it is spot-on: Even if you think the Battle Flag is a symbol for racism (I don’t), the SJWs may have only succeeded in reviving it as an even more potent symbol of resistance to their incessant bullying.

Good job!

Benjamin Burke
Guest

Point #3. That perfectly describes how I’ve felt about this whole situation. Is the flag offensive to some and is that a problem? Sure. But the enormity of this political debate and the vehemency with which it’s being discussed seems like a misappropriation of time and resources. A couple of days ago, I saw (what I thought was) a video of some of the victims addressing the shooter with forgiveness. Does anyone know if that was for this incident or for another? If it is for this incident, why is that not the most talked about occurrence surrounding this attack,… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Now Apple has joined the witch hunt, pulling Civil War games from their app store.

http://toucharcade.com/2015/06/25/apple-removes-confederate-flag/

I guess the Christian SJWs are proud–another triumph of the Gospel and whatnot. Maybe Appple can replace them with the “Caitlyin Jenner vs Rachel Dolezal Olympic Showdown” or something.

Matt
Guest
Matt

You don’t need any debates or discussions. “Respected black leaders” have already told you what they want: get rid of the damn confederate flag. You instead opt to write thousands of words hemming and hawwing around while chucking red herrings left and right, all to ignore the obviously correct course of action: get rid of the damn confederate flag and be done with it.

I know it pains you, really really pains you, but “liberals” and other people you hate are right.

Steven
Guest
Steven

If respected Black leaders wanted to leave the flag up, would you support that decision with equal vehemence?

Willis
Guest

Hi Matt, As a northerner that has no love for the rebel flag, my feelings about the rebel flag are generally pretty negative. But are you really saying that this issue does not even deserve discussion? That there is some process in our country by which we can just get rid of something (that some people obviously like) without discussion? It sounds like you think that anyone who wants to discuss it should sit down and shut up. Is that what you are saying? I think that the people demanding the change should also be willing to discuss why they… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

You don’t need any debates or discussions.

Ok. Come and take it.

katie
Guest
katie

Seeing as The Mob is fed and kept alive by media, social or otherwise (and really probably wouldn’t exist without it) would it be cowardly or would it be sane to unplug ourselves from it?

timothy
Guest
timothy

The Jacobins behaved much the same way as we see these pagans behaving today: http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/2003/March/27/3/magazine/article/10826260/

timothy
Guest
timothy

The next Symbol that must be removed: An Appeal To Heaven flag http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/27/exclusive-sarah-palin-an-appeal-to-heaven/