January 19, 2005
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From: Brian Dunaway
I'm glad Steve Sailer can be so flexible on Michael Barone, even regarding the same book—Almanac of American Politics 2004—deprecating his findings in one column ("Michael Barone, Call Your Office! Hispanic Vote Gets … Smaller?," 15 Aug 2004), and supporting them in the next ("Random Reflections on Martin Luther King Day," 16 Jan 2005).
(My irony is at a minimum. I admire those who can switch gears so adeptly—and Sailer is hard to pigeon-hole on a variety of subjects.)
Sailer quotes Barone lauding Martin Luther King and the 1965 Civil Rights Act (CRA):
"Per capita income in Mississippi was 36% of the national average in 1940; in 1999, it was 72 percent, well below the national average, but given the lower cost of living here, a level recognizably American."
Oh Peter, Paul & Mary!
Has Mr. Sailer ever heard of The Civil War and Reconstruction?
Then Sailer got downright bigoted. Upon his suggestion that MLK day move further from Christmas, etc., he opines that "Then even the Grand Kleagle would be demanding Martin Luther King Day off from his foreman down at the hog-rendering plant."
Bigotry aside, I've tried (O.K., not that hard) to convert Sailer on Lincoln, etc., to no avail. But even though he drives me nuts on a few things, I admire him—his analysis is unassailable, and he's always a gentleman. (Hmm … Maybe he should perform a genetic analysis on his own dang sef', maybe he's a genetic Southerner!)
Now I read this:
"The truth is that King advocated "compensatory" hiring of blacks. Overall, he was a conventional Sixties Socialist. He subscribed to most of the leftist nostrums that did so much damage to blacks—above all, boosting welfare payments to single mothers (the black illegitimacy rate is three times worse today than in the mid-1960s)."
Well, here Sailer sounds more like the conservative Daniel Patrick Moynihan than the liberal George W. Bush. Moynihan perfectly predicted the outcome of the 1965 CRA, and many years later concluded with the coda "Defining Deviancy Down."
Wait a minute—after considering the column's editorial prologue and its content, I'm not certain whether right or left is supposed to be more offended by this column.
Kudos to Sailer for insulting everyone, and getting everyone thinking.