Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as the Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party. On the contrary, they adored the Party and everything connected with it. … All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children.
– George Orwell, “1984”
My apologies to the real, albeit fictional, Wally and Beaver Cleaver. I refer in this article to two of the more prominent and peevish vigilantes in Obama’s racial thought police.
This past week one of them, Bill “Wally” Maher, attacked Andrew Breitbart on his TV show. Another, David “the Beav” Remnick, attacked Donald Trump in the pages of the magazine he edits, the New Yorker.
Their charges were fully and nastily race-based. Among other racial sins, Breitbart and Trump stood accused of advancing my thesis that Bill Ayers was the primary craftsman of Barack Obama’s acclaimed memoir, “Dreams from My Father.”
Although Breitbart and Trump have handled themselves well enough, neither has asked their accusers the question I would ask, “Who the hell appointed you pale-faced children of privilege chief muckety-mucks of the racial thought police?”
After a series of false accusations against Breitbart by another panelist, Maher brought his Stasi-like skills to bear on Breitbart. “Let’s get on to the racism of today,” Maher smirked. “You do not believe Obama wrote his own book.”
Breitbart was not surprised by this line of attack. Although he dedicates less than one full sentence to my thesis in his book, “Righteous Indignation,” Martin Bashir had already indicted him for it on MSNBC.
Maher cited not the book but Breitbart’s damning tweet that he found my argument “compelling.” That one tweet was evidence enough for Maher to ask Breitbart accusingly, “Do you think you can be a racist and not know it?”
Koestler’s “Ivanov” or Orwell’s “O’Brien” could not have phrased the question more insidiously. In the age of Obama, you can commit a racist thought crime without any intent at all.
“It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen,” Orwell wrote. “The smallest thing could give you away.” And even Orwell did not anticipate Twitter.
In “Deconstructing Obama,” I discuss at some length the fraud that JFK pulled off with “Profiles in Courage.” Ted Sorensen wrote it and lied about his authorship under oath. Kennedy got the Pulitzer.
The obvious reason I would have for exploring the transparent literary fraud of any Democratic presidential candidate would, of course, be politics.
Top notch thought cop that he is, Remnick sees beyond the obvious. In referring to “jackass” Trump’s support of my thesis, he concludes that this and other “fantasies” are designed “to arouse a fear of the Other, of an African-American man with a white American mother and a black Kenyan father.”
Although Remnick does not mention me by name in the article, he does in his Obama biography, “The Bridge.” Bizarrely enough, he lumps me and the innocent Rush Limbaugh together and pleads that our collective “libel about Obama’s memoir” had an “ugly pedigree.”
Speaking of ugly pedigrees, Remnick, Maher and I all grew up in baby-boom New Jersey. Remnick came of age in the leafy suburb of Hillsdale, which, as late as the 2000 census, was still less than 1 percent black.
Maher grew up in River Vale, which, incredibly, has fewer blacks per capita than even Hillsdale – 0.58 percent to 0.85 percent for those seeking the least diverse city in America.
According to Wikipedia at least, Wally and the Beav were “childhood friends.” Did they meet at Gus’ firehouse or perhaps the country club cotillion?
The New Jersey town I grew up in, by contrast, is now 16 percent white. It is the fourth-poorest in America and has often topped the charts as the nation’s most dangerous. It is called “Newark.”
In that I spent my adolescence playing basketball, often as the only white kid in the gym, I came to think of black people not as “the Other,” as Remnick suggests, but as Junior, as Seton, as Tyrone, as Marvin. Real people, David. Look them up.
After graduating from their happy little homogenous high schools, the lads headed off to the Ivy League, Wally to Cornell, the Beav to Princeton.
I wanted to go to Princeton, but when I asked my guidance counselor, he just laughed, “How are you going to pay for that?”
Not to get too Dickensian here, but he knew that I was living with my widowed mother in a Newark housing project. So it was off to Siena College I went. Siena paid the full freight.
After Siena, I got a Ph.D. from Purdue. The lads needed no further schooling. They may not have received a better education than I, but in the Ivies they made much better contacts.
I have read their bios in vain looking for the Freedom Rides they took down south or the lunch counters they helped integrate, but without success.
Where they learned to love “the Other” or who gave them the credentials to judge the racial thoughts of lesser mortals, I have not been able to discern.
I do know that Maher has gotten a few demerits along the way. A few years back, for instance, his live-in gal pal, Playboy Cyber Girl Coco Johnsen, sued him for pain and suffering caused by his “insulting, humiliating and degrading racial comments.”
I have not lived a perfect life, to be sure, but no one has ever sued me for THAT!
Back in the day, suburbanites feared even the white kids from Newark. Wally and the Beav still do. I defy either of them to debate me anytime, anywhere, and I promise not even to mention Coco Johnsen.