Belmont Club

Ethnicity: Poor

David Goldman writing from Tel Aviv, explains that Hamas is broke, has lost its patrons in Egypt and weaker than ever. It is bombarding Israel to attract more terror funding. By contrast, Israel has thrived under fire and is poised to become more prosperous than ever.

Netanyahu will look indecisive and confused, because he has to deal with an openly hostile U.S. administration on one side and his nationalist camp on the other. Time, though, is on Israel’s side: economically, demographically, strategically. The proportion of Jewish births continues to soar. The fruits of a decade of venture capital investing are ripening into high-valuation companies. And the Arab world is disintegrating all around Israel’s borders.

That coming prosperity will only make Israel even more ‘guilty’ than before. To understand why, watch Dinesh D’Souza debate Ed Show guest host Michael Eric Dyson and panelists Eric Boehlert and Zerlina Maxwell over slavery. D’Souza argues that every country began by conquest  and slavery was rife in the world from the beginning of time. The only thing that distinguished America was it actually fought a civil war to end the institution.  Dyson was having none of it. He argued America was guilty because it ‘ideologized’ slavery by using the Bible. In this Dyson is almost certainly wrong. America is guilty, like Israel, not because of the Bible but because it got rich.

One wonders what Dyson would have made of news that Brazil was being asked to pay reparations for historical slavery. It was the largest slaver in the new world. “Brazil was the last country in the Western world to abolish slavery. By the time it was abolished, in 1888, an estimated four million slaves had been imported from Africa to Brazil, 40% of the total number of slaves brought to the Americas.” By contrast, as Wikipedia explains, North America was small potatoes:

A total of about 600,000 slaves were imported into the Thirteen Colonies and the U.S, constituting 5% of the twelve million slaves brought from Africa to the Americas. The great majority of African slaves were transported to sugar colonies in the Caribbean and to Brazil. As life expectancy was short, their numbers had to be continually replenished. Life expectancy was much higher in the U.S. and the slave population began to reproduce; enslaved peoples’ numbers grew rapidly, reaching 4 million by the 1860 Census. From 1770 until 1860, the rate of natural growth of North American enslaved people was much greater than for the population of any nation in Europe, and was nearly twice as rapid as that of England.

But Brazil is rarely mentioned in connection with slavery for one simple reason. It ain’t got no money. Race guilt — and guilt in general — is directly proportional to wealth.  China is discovering that wealth is turning the Chinese White. During the recent advance of Isis in Iraq, Chinese oil workers were evacuated in special buses and chartered flights complete with hired Iraqi army escorts. The rescued workers were even allowed to recount their fear and anxiety, just as if they were Westerners. The ever politically incorrect Chinese expressed it succinctly: “Chinese society is no longer in the era of poverty, life is no longer cheap.”

Eugene Volkh famously described how Asians in America became white. The process was simple: they became rich.

This implicit correlation between wealth and race distorts nearly every media story.  Proof that Israel is racist is shown by the fact that they inflict disproportionate casualties in every fight with the Palestinians, something you might expect from their superior weaponry, training and competence.  The genetic differences between Arabs and many Jews is not very pronounced. They are principally different in wealth. What if the Palestinians had the F-16s?

What if the Palestinians had the F-16s?

What if the Palestinians had the F-16s?

If the Jews were penned up in an enclave surrounded by a vastly superior Palestinian force you would basically expect a replay of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Between 300,000 to 400,000 Jews were killed and or deported to death camps by the Nazis, who had a preponderance of force comparative to that the IDF enjoys over the Gazans. It took the Germany army about a month to wipe them out. Do they really think the IDF is acting like the Nazis? Compare the deaths in 2 years of the Syrian civil war with the 8 years of Palestinian-Israeli battles.

Syrian civil war casualties vs Gaza

Syrian civil war casualties vs Gaza

So why are the Syrians not as ‘guilty’ as the Jews in the Middle East?  Simple: they have no money to attach in a suit or if they do, it’s stashed away where the courts can’t get at it. If as David Goldman predicts, Israel continues to prosper, it will become more and not less guilty, because wealth has the biggest explanatory coefficient in the guilt equation.  What you do has very little to do with it.

The deep dark secret of media coverage is that poor people killing other poor people is page 20 news.

The Second Congo Civil war has killed more people than any conflict since World War 2, perhaps five million people, fifty times more than the combined US casualties of the Korean and Vietnam wars. Have you ever heard of the Congo Civil War?

Susan Rice had this advice for Bill Clinton during the Rwandan Genocide. If you don’t talk about it then no one will notice.  And if nobody notices you’ll be re-elected.

At the time of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, Rice reportedly said, “If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November election?” Rice subsequently acknowledged the mistakes made at the time and felt that a debt needed repaying. The inability or failure of the Clinton administration to do anything about the genocide would form her later views on possible military interventions. She would later say of the experience: “I swore to myself that if I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of dramatic action, going down in flames if that was required.”

And Bill Clinton was the First Black president.  And of course, there’s the ever ignored drumroll of deaths in Chicago. DeWayne Wickman in USA Today resolved back in 2012 never not to notice it again:

My only New Year’s resolution for 2013 – and it’s one I intend to keep –- is to give the relentless slaughter in many of this nation’s inner cities the same kind of high-profile attention that the massacre of schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., generated.

The carnage wrought in that bedroom community by a single gunman wielding an assault rifle with military-style ammunition clips took the lives of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Before those awful 10 minutes, murder was a rare occurrence in Newtown.

Even so, last month’s massacre there got far more attention from the news media and politicians in this nation’s capital than the 260 schoolchildren who were killed in Chicago over a recent three-year period. At a memorial service for them in 2011, Mayor Rahm Emanuel tried to make the case that these deaths –- which largely happened in crime ridden sections of the Windy City –- should be the concern of all Chicagoans.

Perhaps the history of South Africa can impart one more lesson to the world. During the height of apartheid the Japanese were white. What made them white was money.

The designation was applied to Japanese people (who were also once considered Honorary Aryans) in the 1960s to assist a trade pact … with such a huge deal in the works, Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd determined that it would be tactless and disadvantageous to their trade arrangements to subject the Japanese people to the same restrictions as other ethnicities … thenceforth, Pretoria’s Group Areas Board publicly announced that all Japanese people would be considered white, at least for purposes of residence. Johannesburg’s city officials even decided that “in view of the trade agreements” the municipal swimming pools would be open to all Japanese guests.

The reason that no one is particularly interested in attaching much blame to the Boko Haram isn’t because the girls they kidnapped are black: it’s because they’re poor. If Oprah or Beyonce were kidnapped, there’d be hell to pay.

Being able to invoke racism as a reason for outrage has the advantage of elevating one morally. It puts one on the high ground. “I hate racial inequality” sounds a deal better than “pay me”. Now which is the truth? It’s a terrible thing to realize that people are mostly driven by greed, including the white guys in South Africa and the Chinese in China. It’s almost as bad as being racist.

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