Do Black People Have Equal Gun Rights?

By rights, the Second Amendment should serve as a totem of African-Americans’ full citizenship and enfranchisement. For centuries, firearms have been indispensable to black liberation: as crucial a defense against tyranny for Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. as for Sam Adams and George Washington. Today, however, many black Americans have a decidedly mixed relationship with the right to bear arms. ›› Read at the New York Times

Democrats in Disarray

When, last year, it became clear that 2014 should by rights be a good year for conservatives, the more cynical among them began to imagine that it was therefore about time for the party’s leadership to scour the country in search of the most unlikeable, inadequate, unpredictable figures that they could possibly find. Somewhere, I supposed acidly, there was a farm that specialized in raising registered Republicans with incurable Tourette’s and a penchant for ventilating on the subjects of rape and armed revolution. From the latest litter would the party draw its candidates and, as in years past, the rest would be history. And yet, in this cycle, it has been the Democrats who have repeatedly erred and the Republicans who have stayed happily out of trouble. ›› Read on National Review Online

Palin the Piñata

Day in and day out, the more trigger-happy feminists within America’s media circus are moved to pen extravagant disquisitions on the nature of sexual inequality if and when a man they dislike so much as looks at them askew. Elsewhere, wholly substantive criticisms of Elizabeth Warren or Hillary Clinton are held up as shining examples of deeply embedded sexism within the United States, and of the subtle, sometimes invisible role that “hatred of women” plays within the country’s political culture. To take potshots at clownish figures such as Lena Dunham, we have learned, is to invite indignant death threats. And yet, when a veritable legion of male comedians elects to use foul, carnal, and, yes, “gendered” language to dismiss Palin and her family, our contemporary Boudiceas shrug at best and offer endorsements at worst. Sarah Palin, as the abominable bumper sticker has it, “isn’t a woman, she’s a Republican.” ›› Read on National Review Online

Wendy Davis vs. Principle

Politics is a silly game, and Davis is an especially maladroit player. Nevertheless, her reaction is telling, neatly demonstrating as it does just how comprehensively the politics of victimhood devours classical conceptions of liberty. Abbott’s argument was that, as a lawyer, his job would be to represent the interests of his client — whatever he personally thought of those interests. At what point, one wonders, did this approach become controversial among civilized people? As it is broadly understood that defense attorneys play a crucial role within the criminal-justice system — their job being to make the best possible case against the claims of the state — it should be generally comprehended that an attorney general plays a crucial role within a constitutional republic. Suppose that Abbott had said explicitly that he would have been duty bound to defend Texas’s miscegenation laws. Would that have made him Bull Connor? Or would that have made him a representative of the will of the people — a paid channel and nothing less? Clearly, it is the latter. ›› Read on National Review Online

Crying ‘Racism’ on Ebola

Writing in the Guardian last week, Hannah Giorgis proposed seriously that the Western world’s pronounced fear of Ebola was merely a proxy for “fear of a black patient.” The man who brought Ebola into the United States, Giorgis noted correctly, “was black, he was poor, and he was African” — and this, she suggested, really matters. After all, Giorgiscomplained, “a Dallas hospital turned away” the patient — an “uninsured Liberian immigrant” named Thomas Eric Duncan — “after an initial exam concluded he suffered only from a ‘low-grade viral disease.’” Simultaneously, “the media turned [Duncan] into the unsympathetic, undeserving face of a contagion with which the west is frantically grappling.” Far from being individually notorious for having brought a lethal disease to the United States, Giorgis suggested, Duncan and other West Africans with Ebola have “become nothing more than disease vectors responsible for infecting innocent western health workers.” So too “Amber Joy Vinson, the second healthcare worker diagnosed with the virus,” who Giorgisbelieves has been criticized because she is black. ›› Read on National Review Online

What the Left Can’t Admit about the Politics of Ebola

Whether or not Ebola constitutes a real enough threat to the United States to justify the Republican party’s stance remains to be seen. Politics being politics, it is entirely possible that the GOP has observed a certain anxiety in the public and jumped on it for electoral profit. Nevertheless, rather than rolling their eyes, progressives might take a moment to inquire as to exactly why the charge is landing. Is it that Republicans are uniquely predisposed to hysteria, and that their representatives are uniquely cynical? Or is it that disquieted voters, already skeptical of the potency of the state, have of late been given few reasons to amend their suspicion. ›› Read on National Review Online