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Thursday, October 27, 2016

When It Comes To Mass Shootings, Nothing Is Black And White

When It Comes To Mass Shootings, Nothing Is Black And White

With the exception of sex and religion, nothing makes people more irrational than race. Given the bloody history of racial disputes in American life, one would think that responsible news organizations would take particular care in addressing inflammatory topics. Then there’s The Washington Post, which actually ran an Easter Sunday opinion column headlined, “White men have much to discuss about mass shootings.”

Written by Charlotte and Harriet Childress, identical twins who describe themselves as “researchers and consultants on social and political issues — with a Ph.D. and four master’s degrees between them — the essay argued that something uniquely wicked about “white male culture” is responsible for tragedies like last year’s massacre of 26 schoolchildren and teachers in Newtown, CT.

“Nearly all of the mass shootings in this country in recent years,” the authors assure us, “not just Newtown, Aurora, Fort Hood, Tucson and Columbine—have been committed by white men and boys.”

Yes, the Childress sisters actually wrote that, and the editors of the most influential newspaper in our nation’s capital waved it into print.

Neatly airbrushed out of the picture, most Washingtonians would object, were two of the most notorious mass murderers in recent U.S. history: “Beltway snipers” John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo. In 2002 they murdered 10 people in The Washington Post’s primary circulation area for explicitly racial (and entirely mad) reasons having to do with black nationalism.

Also 2007 rampage shooter Seung-Hui Cho, a Korean immigrant who killed 32 classmates and professors at Virginia Tech. Raised in Fairfax County, VA, across the Potomac River from Washington, Cho had been adjudicated “an imminent danger to himself as a result of mental illness” in a Virginia court, but not hospitalized.

This last is important because another of the Childress sisters’ claims is that “when white men try to divert attention” from their collective guilt “by talking about mental health issues, many people buy into the idea that the United States has a national mental health problem.”

Odd, because yet another mass shooting with a Washington angle involves Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood assassin—an Arlington, VA native. Whether or not Hasan, a Palestinian-American Muslim many would call a terrorist, should properly be called “white” as the Childress sisters use the word, was debated by many of the thousands of online commentators who gravitated to the Post website to bicker and exchange anonymous racial insults—an entirely predictable outcome of publishing such witless nonsense.

It’s also true that several of Maj. Hasan’s colleagues at the Walter Reed Medical Center—another Washington institution—described him as “paranoid” and “schizoid,” terms that have been applied in medical settings to the Tucson and Aurora shooters as well.

But the Childress sisters are having none of that. “What facets of white male culture,” they demand to know, “create so many mass shootings?”

If I sound personally offended, that’s an error of tone.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • A party that goes as far as opposing effective background checks for fear of impacting arms sales does not deserve to be considered a viable political alternative. They are just lackeys serving their masters and pleasing those that are so consumed with fear, intolerance and hatred that they cannot function without a placebo, even when the latter is used to slaughter innocent victims, including elementary school children do not deserve attention or civil discourse. Shame on those who continue to support the climate of violence that is destroying our society.

    • montanabill

      Got a mirror handy?

      • Sand_Cat

        You could use one, too.

    • background checks have been a part of gun sales for many years now, the laws have been in place for as long to keep these people from buying guns. all the laws in the world will not keep guns out of hands of criminals, and crazy people intent on killing anymore than the drug laws stop drug use or sales. it is not the background checks e worry about a much as the registration to be used to confiscate our guns not to mention them digging into our medical records. these laws are like the UN treaty, designed to disarm american citizens. te NRA does have the right idea of armed guards in schools and is the only way to stop these killings. when criminals do not know who is armed, they are much more careful as they do no want to die before getting their moment of fame. gun free zones are targets plain and simple. history is repeating itself and this government is going to do like hitler did and we gun owners refuse to be like the jews, executed like sheep. lawful gun owners are not the problem, criminals and crazy people are and more laws will not change that. they do not now nor will they ever follow the laws. doctors shold be mandated to lock up the people they do know to be dangerous. that is a law that would help.

  • The Childress sisters need to grow the hell up.

    we don’t need political correction, we need the truth. And the truth is, anyone can be a hateful murderous scum sucking killer. Men, women, and even children of every arbitrary distinction have proven it, to our shared pain.

  • itsfun

    We have an administration that calls veterans terrorists, a administration that wants to kill Americans with clones, a administration that lets ambassadors and their staff be murdered then covers it up, and then you want the same administration to make more background checks into its citizens. I don’t think so.

    • awakenaustin


      • itsfun

        I hear you leftist talk about tolerance and listening to other people and demanding the right compromise their ideas to fit yours. And then you resort to name calling. Real nice show of tolerance.

        • awakenaustin

          A troll jumps into a conversation about one subject and introduces their own completely off subject topic. Usually this is accompanied by ignorant comments about the injected off subject topic in an effort to irritate, distract or attract attention to themselves and their rant. That is what you did. Ipso facto ….
          Because liberals by and large preach and practice tolerance and engage the search for truth and cooperation, doesn’t free you up to act like a goof and then be free from the consequences of your actions.
          Besides it was quicker to call you a troll than to explain why everyone of your comments was either a fabrication, overstatement or the product of delusional thinking.

        • Sand_Cat

          So what is “fun”? Does tolerance mean tolerance of malice and delusion, and basing policy recommendations on them, as you seem to find entertaining, if not actually good policy?

    • A_Schick

      ha ha

    • Sand_Cat

      Where do “we” have this horrific administration?

    • Take your meds and go back to bed before you hurt yourself!!

  • Mark Forsyth

    I recieved my annual invitation to join the N.R.A. in Mondays mail.They have always proved quite handy when used to light the woodstove.

  • SaneJane

    I think there are some valid points here concerning culture. All mass murderers are not white but I think these people could still be effected by the macho culture fostered by white men. Our culture is the biggest part of the problem and I don’t see that changing here in Alabama or any of the other southern states.

    • The word “Macho” is a Hispanic Spanish term!

  • TheSkalawag929

    What is Mr. Lyons’ complaint?

    As far as I can ascertain Mr Lyons’ only complaint is that two women, with in his opinion questionable credentials on the subject, had the audacity to put white males on blast for being the predominate perpetrators of mass killings in recent years. I don’t see anything disingenuous about that premise and apparently neither does Mr. Lyons because he didn’t attempt to refute their claim. All he does is rant, blow smoke and pound his fists in faux outrage. How dare they point out that the race and gender of these crimes and the leaders in charge of the investigations are the same. At no point does he show where they are wrong only that he is angry with them for pointing out the facts.

    He tries to equate the Virginia Tech, Fort Hood and DC sniper incidents with those of Newtown, Aurora, Tucson and Columbine and fails miserably. I’m not saying that his choices for comparison are not heinous crimes in and of themselves but only two of the three examples he chose qualify as mass killing. The DC sniper incident was more along the lines of serial killings than mass killings.

    • stcroixcarp

      It seems to me that Mr. Lyons is trying to excuse the white male culture of violence by saying that black, Asian, and middle eastern men do it too. Maybe violence is just a guy thing.

      • TheSkalawag929

        I might be a guy thing but it appears that white guys do it more often.

    • awakenaustin

      Maybe he was complaining about folks who have failed to establish through their credentials or their research and analysis a claimed expertise in the subject about which they speak. Maybe he is saying racially based arguments are as stupid and of as little value applied to “white guys” (good luck in coming up with an definition of what qualifies one to be a member of the “white race” or the “white guy culture”) as they are applied to any other group. Race is an indefensible and just plain dumb-ass way to categorize people no matter who you are talking about. As with all racially based arguments, if you assign some negative characteristic or trait or phenomenon to the “race” of someone then you allow yourself the luxury of claiming it is innate or unique to them and therefore without remedy. It allows all kinds of excesses, prejudices, and sanctions which become the fault of the person with that “race.” I am not really much worried about “white guys” (old or young) they can take care of themselves. However, if you continue to address any issue in “racial” terms you suggest it is a valid concept when applied to groups of people. Clearly, that includes all people and especially those historically disadvantaged by being classed as inferior because of race.

      • TheSkalawag929

        It was an opinion piece not an academic dissertation so the establishment of credentials would be hardly necessary, I would think.
        For centuries white people have not had a problem defining what it means to be white so what’s the problem now?
        Could it be that there is a growing stigmatization associated with being white in the minds of white people?
        Was it indefensible or dumb-ass when it suited white people to use race as a way of holding non-whites back?
        Isn’t a matter of fact that racial suppression was codified through out the south?
        Is it now that the shoe is on the other foot, so to speak, it pinches and is kind of tight and uncomfortable?
        I’m not trying to offend anyone. I’m just asking.

        • awakenaustin

          Of course it was dumb-ass then and it is dumb-ass now. If “race” is a worthless and valueless analytic concept or construct for explaining human behavior, then it is a worthless and valueless analytic concept or construct whenever or upon whomever it is used.

          The fact that white people have historically misused and abused the concept of “race” isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of or a valid reason for its continued use as a concept or construct to explain human behavior.

          Am I supposed to be stupid because others have been stupid in the past?

          I am more than a little curious about what you read in my response which suggested to you that I was defending the use of race as a concept or construct when used by “white” folks but am opposed to its use now for purely personal “racial” reasons.

          You seem to suggest that if use my power to abuse you it provides you moral and ethical cover to abuse me. I understand the emotional draw of that idea, but I fail to see the rational basis or moral justification for it. Unless, of course, your argument is simply turnabout is fair play. This, though, kind of reduces us to the playground level of discourse, thought and action.

          You know what they say about opinions. Everyone has one. Some however, smell worse than others.

          The fact that it was an “opinion” piece doesn’t mean it should therefore be free from criticism for its lack of a rational and factual basis.

          Your response is an ad hominem attack, based on the notion that Mr. Lyons article and my response to you should be rejected not because they lack rational, moral, factual or philosophical force, but rather because we must be “white” guys. This puts you right up there with those who attack the President’s actions by claiming they are based on his “racial” background. Just between us, maybe that isn’t the kind of company you would want to be seen sharing?
          I’m not trying to offend anyone, I am just asking.

          • TheSkalawag929

            You have misconstrued
            my queries as attacks.

            I’m not
            trying to use how someone defined themself in the past to explain human
            behavior and I am not trying to establish a value. What I am trying to
            determine is why it is no longer an acceptable criteria. I am not trying to explain
            human behavior at all.

            What I read
            into your response was denial. What I saw was an attempt to divorce white
            people from past practices and I want to know how white people came late to a
            conclusion that those whom the practice was used against knew all along?

            assumption that I want to abuse you is so far off the mark that you didn’t even hit
            the target.

            Yes it is
            true what is said about opinions. But it is also true that so opinions ought
            to be held in high esteem.

            With regard
            to the article I think calling it an opinion piece is wrong. After
            reconsidering it I think it is best described as an observation of behavior.

            Your claim
            that I have attacked you or Mr. Lyons base on your being “white guys” is absurd
            as well as your analogy placing me in the same category as those who attack the
            president based on race.

            What I have
            done is ask a number of questions. And what you have done is fail to answer them.

          • awakenaustin

            My problematic use of the word attack. I was talking about your attack on the argument not me personally.

            It is no longer an acceptable criteria because:
            1) One can not consistently, systematically and accurately categorize people by race on a biological basis. (They never could, even though they tried.) You can not do it on any other basis either. Try it. Try to create a meaningful categorization of people by race. What human traits, features, aspects, characteristics, or whatever discretely separate us into “racial” categories?

            2) It isn’t a scientifically useful, robust, reliable or valid concept/construct. Because we use “race” in our discussions of others doesn’t mean it has any explanatory value.

            3) If one isn’t trying categorize people by race in order to explain or understand them, then why bother? Clearly the Washigton Post article was seeking to explain/cast light upon a phenomenon by using race/race culture. What is “race” a criteria for? What is its value?

            4) Race as a concept/construct leaves one with the idea that some things are innate or unique to certain “races” and therefore because they are “racial” or biological in naure they are immutable. Following closely behind comes the idea one is justified in separating, isolating and maybe even eradicating these other sub-standard, sub-human races for the protection of the superior race. (E.g., Hitler and the Holocaust or the Union of South Africa or the U.S. – not an exhaustive list.)
            You should read more carefully next time. And this time.
            Sorry, to disappoint, but I didn’t feel abused. This specific response by you is an effort to undercut my position by suggesting it is merely a reaction by me to assuage my wounded pride. I think you read too much into things.
            Opinions should only be held in high esteem only when they have shown themselves to have some actual value beyond the mere expression of what someone thinks about something.
            Unfortunately this “observation of behavior” invoked race as a way of explaining the behavior – mass murder.
            Re-read your prior response.
            One may address or attack an opinion or a position by asking questions. (E.g., see Socrates or Socratic method.)
            Questions like answers are not value free.
            Your questions/queries were rhetorical questions. You used them in an effort to make a point and not to elicit a meaningful response. You already had or knew the answer to your questions.
            I answered the non-rhetorical questions in my prior response. I have taken pains to try to supply you with a response to each of your statements this time.

          • TheSkalawag929

            You way over think things. That is your problem and where you run into trouble. I’m not impressed with the quantity of the word use to answer a question. The quality of the words is what is important.

            What does it mean to be white? Answer A person with low levels of melanin.

            Could it be that there is a growing stigmatization associated with being white in the minds of white people? My guess is Yes due to guilt or remorse felt because of the way previous generations treated people of color.

            Was it indefensible or dumb-ass when it suited white people to use race as a way of holding non-whites back? Answer. Yes

            Isn’t a matter of fact that racial suppression was codified through out the south? Answer. Yes

            I’m thinking that you will have another book to write in rely to my response. All of which will be much ado about nothing.

          • awakenaustin

            If all you have is a hammer, then everything is a nail.

            When have a simple mind, simple answers always satisfy.

            Your first answer is silly.

            Your psychology is simplistic and based on unsubstantiated conjecture.
            It is a guess!
            I answered yes to the question about dumb-assness.
            So? Proving what exactly?
            Yes. And so? Proving what exactly?
            You are correct. Everything you have written is much ado about nothing.
            You have written nothing which enlightens, elucidates or even entertains.

          • Mark Forsyth

            Here is another way of looking at it.Simplicity is a dream,unnecessary complication is a nightmare.A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

          • TheSkalawag929

            awakenaustin hold up a mirror.
            Now feel free to continue this conversation with the person you see there because that is the only one that is going to fall for that okie doke.

          • awakenaustin


          • TheSkalawag929

            🙂 back at you.

          • sigrid28

            Heh, Skalawag: Why not recognize that both of you have contributed to the often messy, occasionally long-winded, sometimes enlightened, yet inconclusive practice democracy thrives upon, political discourse? That’s why we follow comment threads like yours.

          • TheSkalawag929

            That is acceptable considering that neither one of us is going to change the others mind.

          • sigrid28

            Heh, awakenaustin: Take a complement. Both of you have contributed to the often messy, occasionally long-winded, sometimes enlightened, yet inconclusive practice democracy thrives upon, political discourse. That’s why it’s worthwhile to read the National Memo, to follow comment threads like yours.

  • sigrid28

    Golly, Gene. Now you’re making all of us published women with Ph.D.’s (and maybe even with a twin) feel bad for posting on the National Memo comment threads, where I don’t see many citations or the chance to let a pithy argument play out, especially now that longer posts are folded up upon themselves, so the last idea is invisible (who wouldn’t say, why bother?). I’m OK with Nate Silver and Ezra Klein (and their choice of interns) getting attention, as long as they keep rolling out statistics and interpreting them smartly. Print media is too inclusive? Better that, than the opposite. You and I are going to read and write, think and argue, no more or less because these other voices have been heard. We are all on the side of words winning our battles, even though these battles are fraught with the built-in weaknesses and misunderstandings embedded in language and aided by the counter-valences at work constantly within American society. Like the Childress twins, we can all agree that firearms are the ultimate silencers.

  • ObozoMustGo

    There is no such thing as gun control, only people control. And it’s always the first step toward disarming the people and the rise of tyrants. And there are NO laws that would have prevented ANY mass shootings. NONE.

    Gun control is also racist. First used by Southern DemonRATS (aka the KKK) to keep blacks from owning guns and defending themselves.

    [click image to enlarge]

    Have a nice day!

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and
    transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn reflecting on how easy it was for Stalin
    to overrun and murder the opposition that was not armed.

    • Sand_Cat

      Ah, the most malicious and deluded of our trolls returns.
      Obama will go when his term ends, and what will you complain about and call yourself then? When he goes, will you promise to as well? We can wait.

    • CPAinNewYork

      Aside from the desire to maximize gun sellers’ sales revenue, what reason does the National Rifle Association give for advocating the sale of automatic weapons to civilians? They’re inappropriate for target shooting. You cannot hunt with them. No one collects them because they’re ugly. I’ve been an NRA member since the sixties, but I am against the sale of automatic weapons and large clips and magazines.

      True, automatic weapons would be useful in fighting an internal tyrant and an incursion by a paramilitary force. In fact, I believe that the “true” purpose of the Second Amendment was to establish a legal means of defending the individual’s rights against internal tyrants. But those justifications are theoretical. They must be compared to the actual dangers of crazies using weapons to commit mayhem. In that sense, putting automatic weapons in the hands of the potential murderers makes no sense.

      I realize that many of the atrocities were committed by semi automatic firearms, not automatic weapons. Much of the effectiveness of semi automatic weapons can be reduced by limiting the size of the clips, because it takes time to pull out a fresh clip and insert it into the receiver of a rifle.

      • ObozoMustGo

        CPA… there is no way you can be a member of the NRA and make the statement about the sale of automatic weapons to civilians. They have been banned from civilian ownership (unconstitutionally I will add) for about 70 years. Only with an impossible to get federal permit can one get such a gun, and then they cannot if their state does not permit them. Semi-automatic rifles are nothing more than rifles like any other. You leftist freaks don’t like them because of how they look. And a great many people do hunt with them, especially large game that is aggressive toward humans like giant wild boar, large bears, and others that are a threat in the wild. They are also useful for defense when a person is outnumbered by thugs. And they are just fun to shoot. But that doesn’t matter. The 2nd Amendment is NOT about hunting or personal protection. It’s about the citizens’ last resort defense against a tyrannical government. And tyranny does not happen overnight. It happens slowly. And history shows that the march of tyranny and the disarmament of the citizens go stride for stride with one another. In every case, the number of morons who thought “it can’t happen here” grew and grew over time, until it was too late.

        Here is the truth: over 100 MILLION unarmed people were murdered by tyrants and dictators (all leftist by the way) in just the last century alone. That’s more death than every war put together, not to mention individual and multiple murders by whatever means, that has been perpetrated by government. This is the reason for the 2nd Amemdment. The government should fear the people, not the other way around.

        [click image to enlarge]

        SHOCKER!!! A leftist freak like you who thinks you can impose your beliefs on others, despite the fact that it’s against the Constitution of the US. But then again, the Constitution is just an impediment to the grand designs of the leftist freaks who desire to control everyone and everything for their grand plans for society.

        Have a nice day, CPA!

        “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good.” – George Washington

        • CPAinNewYork

          “… over 100 MILLION unarmed people were murdered by tyrants and dictators (all leftist by the way) in just the last century alone.” Is that what you want to go on record saying?

          You said “…in the last century alone,” right? Well, the last century includes the Hitler era in Germany and the Mussolini era in Italy, They were not leftist, so you’re wrong there. Automatic weapons cannot be sold? Then, how do so many of them get into the hands of the crazies? Obviously, automatic weapons are being distributed.

          Obozo, you sound like a typical business person, in that you want to do as you wish to make money, regardless of who gets hurt. You don’t give a damn for the safety of innocent people.

          You’re as low on the human scale as anyone can get.

          • ObozoMustGo

            CPA… you are being stupid again….. SHOCKER!!!

            How many times do I have to school you, the dopes like you, about Hitler? Hitler was the head of the NAZI Party. What does NAZI stand for, you dope? It stands for National SOCIALIST Party. Socialist is leftist, you idiot. And DemonRAT is socialist, as well. Hitler pushed through and got disarmament of the people, socialized medicine, defacto government control over industry, elimination of religion from schools, and of course murder of 6+ million jews… all LEFTIST SOCIALIST ideals. And Mussolini was a fascist which is characterized as defacto government control over the means of production, though it may appear to be privately held. Government control is a leftist ideal.

            Add it up… Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Polpot, and all the other scumbags that ran socialist experimental states. I’ve heard it mentioned over 250 million people total in the 20th century that were murdered by government. This does NOT include wars.

            And, stupid A$$…. the CT and CO shootings were done with semi-auto rifles, not automatic. You are in idiot if you think that. Look it up, dope. Prove yourself wrong.

            You’re also a stupid fool if you think that someone seeking to earn a living somehow “hurts” someone else. What kind of idiot are you? If you are a retired idiot, I am certain that you were a dumba$$ government worker, the lowest of the low in the working life food chain.

            Have a nice day!

            “Participating in a gun buy back because you believe that the criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you believe that the neighbors have too many kids.” – unknown

          • CPAinNewYork

            You used the word “leftist” not “Socialist.” If you think that Hitler was a leftist, then you’re sadly mistaken. Don’t be misled by the word “Socialist.”

            As to the “tone” of your reply: a have this mental picture of an overweight guy in his fifties or sixties, retired and with nothing to do, frothing at the mouth, sitting at a computer, sending me expletive-laden messages.

            An impressive picture. Also, pretty funny.

  • charleo1

    The argument aganist any type of gun control, may take various paths.
    Depending on the premise or logic proffered as to why we must do what
    is reasonable, or preventative. But, it always ends up in the same place.

    That the law abiding will follow the law. The persons for whom the law was
    intended, will not. Thus, the phrase, “The only way to stop a bad man with
    a gun, is with a good man with a gun.” The problem becomes, of course,
    to always have a good man with a gun ready, and on the spot, to stop the
    bad one, entails arming so many people, with so many guns, you’re going
    to lose more people by accident, than the bad one would have shot in the
    first place! Although we might not notice. Just 10 or 12 per day. Three in
    New York City, one in Pittsburgh, a murder suicide, in Kansas. It is shocking
    to realize there were more people shot, and killed in Chicago last year, than
    Afghanistan. My friend Kinki Freedman, whom I met, and got to know several
    years ago now, in Austin TX. Where he was either entertaining, while he drank
    as a pass time, or drinking, and entertaining on the side. I could never decide
    which. But he had a theory at least as solid as these two, “experts.” He ask,
    if I ever noticed the number of serial killers named Wayne? Well, he said, their
    Fathers named their Sons Wayne, because they were big fans of John Wayne.
    But, the Son wanted to be an interior designer, or something. Which frustrated their
    Father, and gave the Son a complex. And one day, no longer able to take the
    pressure, just snapped. I had to admit, there are a lot of serial killers named Wayne.

    • sigrid28

      This reminds me that Forrest Gump, like many southern boys of his era, was named after xxxxxx.

      • charleo1

        You make a great point about racial animus. The South, having lost
        the war, remained convinced they were nonetheless correct in their
        assertion of a State’s Right to secede. And the, “Negro,” made the perfect

        target on which to vent their anger, for what they seen as a great injustice.
        And, as Faulkner observed about the South. The past, he said, is never
        dead. In fact, it’s not even passed. Twain, it seemed to me, presented
        a unique, coequal, relationship between a White, and younger Huck,
        who was often bewildered by Tom’s lack of freedom, and the way
        Huck’s White society, treated, and thought about Tom. Who he genuinely
        liked, and admired. In this way, Twain, I believe, was holding a mirror up
        to a highly prejudiced, Southern Society. And demonstrated that bigotry
        was not a natural condition, but a learned response. Handed down,
        from one generation to the next. And, he very purposefully wrote to the
        audience he knew could be most influenced by that message. The

        • sigrid28

          Such a great post, especially with respect to Huck’s role as an innocent, unspoiled by standard learning and the typical parenting of his era. I want to be sure I understand you, because I think you might have conflated the names of Tom Sawyer, Huck’s boyhood friend from “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” and the run-away slave Jim, with whom Huck travels down the Mississippi on a raft to escape an adoptive mother, who attempts to “sivilize” Huck in Twain’s sequel, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” On the raft, the leader is Jim, and the follower is Huck; Jim is the father figure (much better than Huck’s own father, the town drunk), and Huck is the child, the most tolerant white person Jim has ever known. The comedy stems from the role reversal, in which the white person takes the position in society usually reserved for the black, and the black takes the position in society usually reserved for whites, with unpredictable yet satisfying results that overturn the southern stereotypes which have made them both miserable for most or their lives. It is savage humor perfect for the smart alecky, tough kids Twain loved to portray in his books and hoped to change in his literature.

          • charleo1

            You’re right! it was Jim! Thanks! Great Post!

  • Lafollette

    How could the paper that employs such careful intellectuals as Jennifer Rubin, Fred Hiatt and Sally Quinn possibly print such half-assed research?