Prediction: Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president.
Of course, it all depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is ...
No doubt Hillary supporters felt a punch in the gut when they read our qualifier. Now they know how the rest of the country felt back when ... well, we´ll get to that.
An angry but polite Hillary follower asked me to elaborate on these comments in our prior post:
"I believe Hillary is set to crash. She is a priest without faith, a doctor without intuition. Her idea of a political commitment is a cocktail party. To date, she is running the same paint-by-the-numbers campaign that cost her the Democratic nomination in 2008. Such candidates are on rails; they can move only straight ahead or backward, never side-to-side. A switch pulled unexpectedly, a well-placed obstacle on the track, and they are irredeemably derailed."
All the above welded together and welled to the surface in Hillary´s fire poker-rigid encounter last month with activists of Black Lives Matter. To see a video and written transcript of the meeting, click here. No faith; zero intuition; pre-packaged responses: there is no way I can improve on the 15-minute meeting to demonstrate each of our prior comments.
Try watching the meeting with the sound off. Hillary´s body language revealed her attitude. Avaler des couleuvres (French): to swallow snakes, i.e., tolerate something unpleasant. No cocktail party there.
I´m sorry, black American readers, but the meeting demonstrated that when it comes to understanding racism, you have been as misled as American whites. There is another, broader, deeper phenomenon of which anti-black racism is only one among numerous cases. Without confronting that phenomenon, you will never combat racism effectively: never.
That deeper phenomenon is what made -- indeed, what will continue to make for the foreseeable future -- Martin Luther King´s dream a dream.
The phenomenon is so taboo that all Americans who ever seriously considered it would fit in a taxicab. We will identify it in a moment.
Watching and reading how Hillary reacted with Black Lives Matter, I had a strange feeling of déjà vu. Maybe, you did too ...
I located the source.
Go back almost exactly 17 years, to 1998. President Bill Clinton was testifying before a grand jury on his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. To watch the proceedings, click here. To see his famously infamous questioning of what the meaning of the word "is" is, go to 1:47 in the video. (For the written transcript, click here. Clinton´s "is" subterfuge is on pp. 57-8.)
Held up to the light, striking similarities appear between Bill´s testimony and Hillary´s statements to Black Lives Matter. Let´s look at the major one:
Note how Bill tried to divert attention by redefining the question to suit him. At the time the question was asked, he had terminated his sexual relations with Lewinsky; hence, "is" he having such relations with her presently? -- the truthful answer was no. He was hoping his pursuer, Independent Counsel Ken Starr, would be distracted and forget the original -- and real -- question: not is Bill now but did he ever have sexual relations with Lewinsky. To reinforce the misdirection of attention, Bill abruptly launched into a discussion about his lawyer´s statements; it´s all so unusual; I wasn´t paying attention; I don´t remember; etc., etc.
In her encounter with Black Lives Matter, Hillary resorts to the same Arkansas Rambler Ploy. She tries to divert attention from the possible* role of President Bill in causing white police violence against blacks -- to: gosh, this racism stuff sure is awful, tell me what to do and I´ll do it; I represent you black people -- you are doing the right thing; I love you; let´s all get together and work to elect me president; etc., etc. To close the deal, her campaign quickly set up an out-reach program to Black Lives Matter.
The activists weren´t fooled any more than was the House of Representatives in 1998. President Bill needed help in defining what "is" is. He got it. Four months after his testimony, the House impeached him for perjury and obstruction of justice.
In Hillary´s meeting, Hillary´s "is" is as simple as it is apparent.
Hillary spent eight years in the White House and almost 12 years as the First Lady of Arkansas, and still doesn´t have the foggiest idea of what to do concretely about improving race relations. She is waiting for blacks to tell her, and is visibly exasperated when they don´t. She demands of them to do what she failed to do -- come up with a practical plan. Deep down, she knows nothing of the sort will be forthcoming.
Hillary´s meeting underwent an anticlimax without a climax preceding it. Her handlers step in to "remind" her she is busy/ busier/busiest. So sorry; of course we´re not trying to cut short you wonderful black people -- you´re doing the right thing, bravo! ... but we gotta go; other people are waiting, etc., etc. Saved by the bell.
Wait a second. Why won´t blacks provide a realistic plan to combat racism?
Because they can´t.
* * *
Dear reader, please Google-search a word:
Your attention will be instantly directed to the other side of the planet. You will see interminable references to India.
Caste is distant, weird, foreign stuff. Thank god we don´t have such backward, unjust nonsense in America.
Or do we?
We noted that only a handful of Americans ever seriously considered the deep and broad phenomenon of which racism against blacks is one of many manifestations. On the extremely rare occasions when caste in America is addressed, the discussion hopelessly confounds and confuses caste with class and other hierarchical stratifications. (For an example from The Atlantic Monthly, click here). Caste thus loses all usefulness as an analytical tool for understanding America. Again, saved by the bell.
Contrary to what everybody will tell you, the caste system is not only alive but thriving in America. Its most poignant form is racial.
The essence of a caste system is birth. You are either born into a caste or you are not. To the point: you are either born black or you are not. If you are not, there is nothing you can do to join the black caste. Ditto the white caste.
Think back three months -- to Rachael Dolezal, a white civil rights activist who claimed she was black. Remember how all of America ganged up on her as a scammer, a mentally ill liar. Probably, dear reader, you joined the inquisition. No bell saved her.
What the sheer ferocity of the attack on Dolezal showed: not only is a caste system in place in America, there is no need to look "out there" to find it. It is in our hearts -- all of us.
Which takes us to the telltale heart of the matter: if you have one drop of black blood, you are all black. (Curious thing: I am told that in Brazil, it is the opposite.) Rachael Dolezal doesn´t have that drop, ergo ...
The giveaway that a caste -- not class -- system is involved is that castes are an either-or proposition. Forget black and white America; it´s black or white America. The category of mulatto, for practical purposes, does not exist. Even in the dark days when Jim Crow ruled the Solid South, there was no sign "Mulatto Waiting Room Only" anywhere. I dare say such a sign never even occurred to anybody.
Fast forward to the present. For almost eight years the mainstream media have been falling all over themselves declaring that President Obama is the first black president of America. For his part, Obama takes out the flute and plays along; he identifies himself as "black."
Of course, he is not black; he is a mulatto.
It only gets worse. Obama is arguably not even the first mulatto American president.
Why did those words shock you? Because, like the mulatto presidents who came before him, Obama knows better than to say openly what he really is.
Knows better? Why?
What is going on?
* * *
The caste system is a residue of humanity´s pre-history. A living fossil.
Packs? Tribes? What type of group did mitochondrial Eve, the earliest known homo sapiens, inhabit 200,000 years ago? We postulate that whatever those primordial groups were, as with so-called primitive groups today, religion was central to them. If that is correct then it is impossible to understand our prehistoric ancestors -- consequently, to understand castes -- without asking this fateful question:
What is holiness?
The anthropologist Mary Douglas made four key observations:
First, “Holiness is the attribute of Godhead. Its root means ‘set apart.’…Granted that its root means separateness, the next idea that emerges is of the Holy as wholeness and completeness.”
Second, being separate, whole, and complete, “Holiness requires that individuals shall conform to the class to which they belong. And holiness requires that different classes of things shall not be confused. Holiness means keeping distinct the categories of creation. It therefore involves correct definition, discrimination and order.” You just saw an explanation of why libraries resemble cemeteries; cemeteries, libraries.
Third, order is not only the Holy’s purpose, it is also practical for man. “The blessing of God makes the land possible for men to live in. God’s work through the blessing is essentially to create order, through which men’s affairs prosper.”
Fourth and finally, we come to the punch line.
Douglas observed that religious precepts “extend holiness to species and categories. Hybrids and other confusions are abominated.”* That extension is the source of the problem. Certain religious perceptions and feelings about order, which were necessary for survival thousands of years ago, are being inappropriately applied today.
Socioeconomic classes may or may not be antithetical to democracy. People who prosper due to talent, intelligence, hard work and/or luck and form an upper socioeconomic class, may or may not endanger a democracy; the point is debatable. Caste, on the other hand, because it is determined by birth, is absolutely, undeniably, always, contrary to democracy.
Caste versus democracy: it is a fight to the finish. As we said, caste is an either-or proposition -- unlike democracy.
In the United States if caste is not winning, it is certainly holding its own. I think Hillary unintentionally referred to the primordial power of castes in claiming that, regarding racism, most hearts cannot be changed. Is she right?
For Americans to obtain the ascendancy of democracy over caste requires first and foremost the conscious, public recognition that their country has a caste system. Only then can the unconscious elements that underpin the caste system be consciously addressed and controlled, instead of being controlled by them. As noted, that recognition does not presently exist. The first step has not been taken.
Those who seek to combat America´s caste system and truly uproot racism should have no illusions about the enormity of the task at hand. As noted, castes have existed from time immemorial.
Anthropology, ethnology and other social sciences offer insights into how mores and morals, customs and cultures change. For me the starting place is Montesquieu´s The Spirit of The Laws (1748). Hillary obviously never read it, otherwise she would not have taken the position she did.
At length Montesquieu convincingly discusses why the solution Hillary favors -- passing laws -- is an ineffective way to achieve change wherever and whenever hearts are involved.
Well, hearts are where it´s at for Black Lives Matter. Result: Hillary´s fixation on legislation condemned the meeting to two ships passing in the night. The activists asked her, what time is it? Hillary answered: Tuesday.
I would not mention that curious interaction if it were not representative of a larger problem ...
America´s political system shows signs of the Ganser syndrome, i.e., nonsense answers and wrong ways of doing things. Not dementia but pseudodementia.
To acknowledge the Ganser syndrome is to see simultaneously the truth about Hillary. The divide between blacks and whites where it counts -- income -- is at its biggest point since 1989. That period includes the years of the Clinton presidency, 1993-2001. The white-black divide, incidentally, widened under the Obama administration. That pattern will continue until the root cause of racism, the caste system, is admitted and confronted.
Hillary´s Sing Along With Mitch, paint-by-the-numbers presidential campaign is the projection on a political screen of what her "is" is: a bureaucrat in search of a bureaucracy. We do not know if she will win the presidential election. We do know, dear reader, you were warned.
As for what Hillary´s "is" is as a thing in itself ...
* * *
Many people fear that if Hillary is elected president, husband Bill will be the unseen puppeteer. We will have President Bill all over again, but invisible and unaccountable -- and totally irresponsible. Her administration will be the Brazilianization of the United States, a Lidiane and Beto soap opera.
We share that fear but not in the literal sense of Bill barking orders at Hillary in emails or on the phone ...
New-born infants see themselves as one with their mother:
"In the early life of an infant, he forms a very close bond with his ´mother´, virtually experiencing his mother as an extension of himself. Soon afterward the infant becomes aware that he and his mother are two separate people ... "
Hillary does not fully see herself and Bill as two separate people. That explains why she did not do what a mature adult would have done after Bill´s soiled fairy tale in a cloak closet with Monica Lewinsky. Hillary did not -- because she could not -- obtain a separation or divorce; to do so would have split herself off from herself.
Hillary compensates for her lack of maturity by making exaggerated claims to women´s rights and to being a life-long fighter for a nebulous "freedom" for all the poor and oppressed people of the earth. Nebulous, because to start with, after decades in politics she still has no practical program to curtail police violence against blacks and otherwise bridge the racial divide that widened under President Bill.
That Hillary has no plan to combat racism simply means she has other priorities. As indicated, she is subsumed in a bureau-pathic thoughts and actions. Like her husband, she is interested in a position, not in what the position can do.
To sum up: Hillary sees Bill as an extension of herself. Her infantile point of view is an ideological inversion in which reality is stood on its head. Turned right-side up, as if by magic what her "is" is appears:
Hillary is Bill. Bill, for his part, is not Hillary.
*Black Lives Matter has an implied hypothesis that needs to be said aloud, rigorously studied:
Mandatory sentencing, which President Clinton supported and signed into law, is positively, significantly and meaningfully correlated with police violence against blacks. By "meaningfully" we exclude spurious correlations.
That hypothesis and its subsidiary corollaries would make an excellent PhD dissertation. Awaiting statistical data, for argument´s sake we will venture the null hypothesis:
No significant and meaningful correlation exists. The reason is that, as the image at the top of this post graphically illustrates, major police violence against blacks predates mandatory sentencing. Therefore, the source of that violence lies elsewhere.
**Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger, Routledge, London, England, 1996, pp. 51-4.