Monday, June 22, 2015

In the Midst of Madness


When I heard about Rachel Dolezal, my first impression was that she was one of those Froot Loops that had escaped from GloZell Green’s bathtub. But upon further consideration, I asked myself what’s wrong with a white woman claiming to be black so she could head up the Spokane chapter of the NAACP?

Although the NAACP is insisting they have no problem with a white woman in that role, it’s not something they’ve ever encouraged in the past. What’s more, the Congressional Black Caucus has made it a practice to white-ball Caucasian members of the House, even those representing predominantly black districts, denying them membership strictly on the basis of pigment.

But these are different times, we’re told, so if Bruce Jenner can get away with insisting he’s a woman, and even have Barack Obama laud him for his courage, why shouldn’t Ms. Dolezal be allowed to call herself a black woman? And if, in spite of overwhelming evidence, she insists that some black man is her father, I would think her biological father would feel nothing but relief. I can actually picture him mopping his brow and saying: “Whew, that was a close one.”

Even very young children are being urged these days to determine their own gender and their own names, and, with that, decide how they wish to dress and which bathroom to visit.

It makes me wonder just how far this new open-minded policy goes. I mean, if there’s a long line at the men’s room and I decide to use the lady’s room, can I be arrested if I explain that I am in fact a 75-year-old black woman named Geraldine with a very small bladder and a great deal of attitude?

Thanks to a bunch of new edicts handed down by University of California President Janet Napolitano, Cal students and professors can no longer refer to America as the land of opportunity or even to suggest that the most competent person up for a job deserves to get it. The idea is that foreign students shouldn’t be made to feel that their native land doesn’t measure up or that incompetence should ever be regarded as a shortcoming,

The irony is that Ms. Napolitano knows better than anyone that in America, even women who seem destined to wind up being linebackers in the NFL, can end up as a governor, the head of Homeland Security and the president of a major university, and that competence is never even a consideration.

Speaking of what passes for education, L.A. has now decided that students can graduate even with a D average. Inasmuch as most of those students are Hispanic, and accustomed to dropping out of high school without passing Go and collecting a diploma, the plan must be to encourage them to stick around an additional year or two.

The school board has also decided to offer more services to those high school students who are 22 years of age or older. They neglected to mention what those services might be, but I assume learning the ins and outs of collecting Social Security must be on the list.

Recently, a local writer saw a re-run of one of my old “Dragnet” episodes. In it, Sergeants Friday and Gannon appear as a couple of panelists on a TV talk show, defending the LAPD against a professor, a hippy activist and a studio audience packed with cop haters.

He got the idea of doing a phone interview with me to find out if my views had evolved over the years, especially in the wake of Ferguson and the other recent brouhahas involving the police and young blacks. He explained he was writing a piece for the Atlantic and that he himself didn’t like the police.

Having written the show 47 years ago (it was in fact the very first script I ever had produced), I had no idea how it would hold up. But I told him I’d be happy to answer his questions. He, in turn, promised to let me read his piece, so I could make sure he’d quoted me correctly.

Two days later, he emailed it to me. I read it and replied: “Obviously, we see the issue from opposing viewpoints. But you gave my side a proper hearing, so I have no complaint. I would like to point out, though, that there are tens of thousands of cops in America, but the fact that so few are thugs or brutes is the reason that such occurrences are so rare as to be newsworthy.

“Even then, as you saw in Ferguson, the facts don’t always jibe with the propaganda. The problem is that because everyone has a telephone camera, the events go viral in a matter of minutes. Even as far back as Rodney King, they very rarely cover the entire incident and, so, they’re not telling anything like the full story. Truth has become the greatest victim of technology.

“Even in the recent pool party incident in Texas that cost a cop his career, we got to see the seven minutes in which the cop went ballistic, but we didn’t see the previous half hour during which the invited guests had to deal with a gang of unruly teenage trespassers and we didn’t see the 15 minutes after the video ended.

“When we see these isolated fragments out of context, it’s a lot like watching “Gone with the Wind” with all references to the Civil War deleted.”

We’ve all heard of Stockholm Syndrome in which captives, after a period of time, begin to identify with those holding them hostage. Frankly, I can’t imagine such a thing. It sounds like a disorder from which only liberals would suffer.

But now I’ve heard of something called Jerusalem Syndrome (JS). It is a phenomenon in which a visitor to a holy place begins to experience a religious psychosis, such as believing himself to be a messiah. As weird as it sounds, it’s something I’ve seen with my own eyes. I believe the last recorded case of JS took place the first time Barack Obama set foot in the White House.

I belong to a small Republican group here in the San Fernando Valley. We are, for the most part, like-minded people with a proper reverence for America and for those who fought and died to defend it. However, at a recent meeting, a few members let it be known that if the 2016 GOP nominee doesn’t pass their personal litmus test, they will stay home on Election Day, even if it means that Hillary Clinton could move back into the White House.

Frankly, I understand liberals more than I do these self-righteous lunkheads. If I were running for president, and made it known that I would do everything in my power to defeat Islamo-fascists and to defend Israel; that I consider the Constitution a sacred document; would only appoint true conservatives to the Supreme Court; and that I oppose same sex-marriages and abortions, they would not vote for me. That is, they would not vote for me if they found out I don’t accept Jesus Christ as my Savior, that I occasionally smoked pot in college and that I have two divorces on my resume, even though marriage number three is still going strong after 30 years.

It is that sort of nit-picking, aka arrogant idiocy, that allowed Barack Obama to defeat Mitt Romney in 2012 and could help ensure Hillary Clinton’s coronation in 2016.

Is it too much to expect voters to understand that presidential elections are intended to elect mortals capable of leading a great nation, guided by a belief in America’s exceptionalism and a manual known as the U.S. Constitution?

God, on the other hand, is not an elected position.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.