“My white guilt died on Good Friday, April 6, 2012,” writes Mark Judge in the Daily Caller. “That was the day my bike got stolen.”
Judge’s essay proceeds to establish a few simple facts. First, he really, really loved that bike. Second, it was definitely a black guy who stole it. He didn’t see the bike thief per se, but:>
I know Brookland pretty well. It’s home to several Catholic religious orders (Brookland was once known as “Little Rome”). I could be pretty certain that on Good Friday a member of the Little Sisters of the Poor, which is across the street from where I was parked, had not nicked my bike. Neither had the monks at the Dominican House of Studies on the corner. The students at Catholic University were on Easter break. That left the neighborhoods around the university. Since the time I was an undergrad at Catholic University in the 1980s, most of the crime that has occurred on campus has come from those neighborhoods, which are predominately black.
You doubt it? Men have been hanged for less proof than that. Often without a trial, even. So there you have it.
Judge proceeds to argue that the liberal position is that stealing bikes is okay. (“A liberal friend gave me a lecture about profiling and told me to just forget about the bike. ‘That person needs our prayers and help,’ she said. ‘They haven’t had the advantages we have.’”)
You may wonder which plank of the Democratic Party platform or Bob Herbert column argues that stealing bikes is okay if you’re black. I have wondered the same thing. I had always thought that the liberal position is anti-bike-stealing and also anti-blaming entire races for the theft of your bike.
But it turns out that the apparent liberal support for bike-theft plays an important role in the conservative psyche. Conservative pundit Heather MacDonald once wrote about her conversion from her youthful leftism, which apparently entailed her believing that the theft of her bike meant “redistributionist justice had been done.” Now, if you read Judge’s past writings, his white guilt does not seem to have exerted an especially strong pull:
no one would have the guts to tell the truth. It was not Asians or whites or Indians who were wilding in Georgetown. It was black teenagers. Illegitimacy and fatherlessness in black urban areas like Washington, D.C. has created an entire class of youth who have been weaned on gangster culture and have absolutely no impulse control. …
That was the old, encumbered-by-white-guilt Judge writing. I’m a little frightened of the new version.