Not exactly sure of where I read this distillation of Walter Russell Meade’s definition of the Jacksonian attitude to conflict – possibly at Ace of Spates HQ, or maybe Bayou Renaissance Man, but the phrase stuck with me as soon as I read it. Basically, the average middle-to-working class Jacksonian American who just wants seriously to be left alone has only two settings when it comes to threatened conflict: “Can’t we just work out a way to settle this?” and “War to the knife and no quarter.”
There is no dial setting, which can be moved up or down; there is only “off” and “on.” And it takes a hell of a lot of provocation to flip that switch from ‘off’ to ‘on’. I cannot help wondering of late how close that flip is, with regard to racial aggression – what with feral black hoodlums making certain cities and neighborhoods basically unlivable for all – black, white, Asian, whatever. Making public transportation a thing to avoid unless totally desperate – you know, like the New York City subway system. With teachers of color feeling free to display their vicious racism on social media. With the crushing hand of DEI in the corporate and academic worlds, with the blatant twisting of American history by the never-to-be-sufficiently-condemned 1619 Project, the national establishment media (and local affiliates) turning themselves into triple-pretzel knots trying to paper over the stats of which race is actually committing the out-of-proportion to their representation in the overall population numbers of robbery, rape and murder… even just all-hands brawls in fast-food restaurants and amusement venues. Read in the media headlines of a senseless shooting, a mass looting of a neighborhood corner store or a punch-out in a Waffle House or McDonalds? Yeah, we know with a high degree of accuracy the color of those involved, once we scroll past the headline, and say to ourselves, “Yep – about what I thought.”
I should add, for the benefit of progressives snorkeling through the pool of conservative bloggers and commentors in this corner of the internet searching for risible tidbits which can be construed as ‘the-most-raaaaacist-evah!’ to tantalize the woke mob with fresh meat; this soon-to-be-end-of-patience does most definitely not apply to those friends, co-workers, fellow parishioners, and neighbors who happen to be of that year-round dark tan color, but are alike in devotion to the principles of fair play, good manners, rewards based on ability, and the guiding precepts of our Constitution. Such fellow good citizens are not the problem. Trust me – we know the difference. It is that unholy and dysfunctional unity that we are close to being out of all toleration for; black urban criminality, the community leaders who give them cover and space, and the intellectuals who spin all kinds of airy justification for it in the media, in college lecture halls and in mandatory corporate and government DIE classes.
I don’t know where or when the precipitating incident will come, or even if there will be just one single event that galvanizes a response. In my opinion, it will be a cluster of independently-occurring events or small incidents: the pair of Sikh employee/owners beating the snot out of a serial robber in Stockton, California, the dentist who got internet-mobbed for allegedly hosting a back yard party mocking Juneteenth and has since filed a defamation lawsuit … small feathers in the wind. Comment as you wish, and while we still can.