Chanting Points Memo: The History Of An Illusion

To:  Eric Black, MinnPost
From: Mitch Berg, Peasant
Re:  The New JournoList?

Mr. Black,

You built your reputation as a reporter.  And for that, I give you all due respect.

I was a reporter, too.  Not much of one; a couple of radio stations, some free-lance print work.  Nothing big, and certainly nothing to build a career out of – but I did learn one thing, and practice it; a reporter is supposed to ask questions.

And while I apply only the broadest possible definition of “journalist” to myself, I do ask questions.  I’m told I’m not bad at it, at least on the radio; even a reporter on your side of the aisle commented on it (I’ll direct you to paragraph 16).  So it’s not a foreign concept to me.

Now, far be it from me to gainsay one of the deans of Minnesota political writing, but I’ve got a question here.

Last week, you wrote about Dr. Carl Bogus’ assertion from fifteen years ago that the Second Amendment was written to protect slavery.  Now, my friend and frequent commenter Joe Doakes – who actually is a lawyer – pointed out that Bogus’ theory is given no weight by the legal academy, because it’s been pretty soundly debunked and, more signally, ignored by legal scholars; Bogus’ theory is only kept alive by anti-gunners who like, as Doakes put it, to “borrow his degree to lend them legitimacy”.

So here’s what I’m curious about.

Bogus published his theory fifteen years ago.  It was roundly shredded in short order.  It was substantially ignored (beyond a few trivial references to incidental research) in the SCOTUS’ debates that led to the Heller and McDonald decisions, which respectively adopted the “individual right” definition of the 2nd Amendment and incorporated that definition onto the states.

And yet somehow last week Bogus’ theory was pulled from legal history’s scrap heap and restored to glorious prominence by the gun-grabber left.

Hey! It’s Confederate soldiers, defending slavery! The MinnPost ran this image in Eric Black’s story last week about Carl Bogus’ theory. I’m never going to let the MinnPost live this one down!

So I got to checking.  The first I heard about it was a comment on my blog on 1/17, which pointed to your article in MinnPost the same day; around that time, I started seeing a lot of lefties on Twitter chanting more or less the same thing.  Danny Glover and Roger Ebert had spoken or written about it, stating the “slavery” theory as settled fact, around the same time.   And the story was churning around the leftyblog fever swamp, as these things do, once the likes of Kos and  Crooks and Liars repeated the meme (which meant every bobbleheaded leftyblog carried it like it was the revealed truth).

Disarmed people – Jews, in this case – dealing with the SS, which is short for “Schützstaffel”, which loosely translated means “Department of Homeland Security”. Connect the dots, people. The MinnPost can run its inflammatory, searing, emotionally manipulative images, I’ll run mine. Mine happen to be good analogies based on historical fact, but whatever.

Now, a concerted Googling (and a reading of your piece) seems to show that the “writing” about the subject links back to last Tuesday, when lefty talk show host Thom Hartmann – who is sort of the Dennis Prager of the left, only without the intelligence or credentials – wrote a piece on the lefty überblogs TruthOut and Smirking Chimp , lavishly citing Bogus’ theory.

Oops, I did it again! More disarmed people! The sign above their heads says “Arbeit Macht Frei”, which is German for “Work Creates Freedom”, which was sort of the “Hope and Change” of the era. Again – you publish your inflammatory, emotionally manipulative images? I’ll publish mine.

And I thought the dynamics of the story were interesting; in two days, the “story” of Bogus’ “theory”, which had laid mostly dormant since being shredded in the court of academic and public opinion half a generation ago, suddenly was on the lips and minds and blogs of, it seemed, every lefty,  from the fever swamp to Hollywood (pardon the redundancy) to, well, MinnPost and a half a million chuckleheaded leftybots on Twitter.

I’ve been writing online for a long time, Mr. Black.  I’ve seen memes come and go.  The “come” side usually takes a while; someone writes something, it gains traction, it holds sway, it rolls away like the tide.  It usually takes a little while.

The Klan attacking black people! And therein lies the real truth – and the Berg’s Seventh Law reference; Gun Control actually has its roots in American racism. The first serious American gun control laws were aimed at – you guessed it – blacks. In fact, the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment was written in part in response to a Texas law aimed at former slaves who’d been shooting up Klansmen.

But the Bogus  theory went, metaphorically, from zero to sixty in four seconds flat.

Didja notice that?

Anyway, those are the facts; Bogus’ theory came, was shredded, went away for fifteen years, and suddenly re-germinated across the broad swathe of lefty opinion over the course of two measly days.  Now, leaving aside the fact that the theory is, well, bogus (as noted last week) – wouldn’t it have been a useful fact for the reader to know that Bogus’ theory has been languishing in academic obscurity for 15 years for a reason? I know, that would have been a statement against your interest and, I suspect, the MinnPost’s, but it’s kinda significant, no?

But here’s my question:  aren’t you the least bit curious as to the, er, pace at which this meme swept the left?  From “forgotten” to “conventional wisdom” in two days?

It almost seems as if there’s some sort of back-channel communication – one might even call it a list of journalists, absurd as that sounds – a, for lack of a better term, “Journo List” that syncs the leftymedia up on the major chanting points.

No, I know – that’s just crazy talk.  I know.

Anyway – did that strike you as odd in any way?  If not, why?

That is all.

PS:  Well, no.  It’s not.  Because while the theory that the Second Amendment was “about protecting slavery” is pretty much a fringe, fever-swamp conceit, it is a matter of settled historical fact and Constitutional Law that the roots of the gun control movement are intensely racist.

More at noon today.

13 thoughts on “Chanting Points Memo: The History Of An Illusion

  1. Sorry to disagree, Mitch, but Eric Black is a typical left wing propagandist. People like him do not deserve respect, because he doesn’t ask questions. People like him, which is about 70% of his profession, are disgraces to it.

  2. Pingback: Gun control=racism » Cold Fury

  3. I realize that there is not a lot of ‘sports talk’ here at SitD, so I might be accused of ‘threadjacking’, but this Manti Teo story has some parallels with this seeming coordination of narratives on the Left.
    Narrative Coordinators in the sportin’ pages retail this certainly unusual coincidence if not hard to believe story about this football players Grandma & Girlfriend both dying on the same day, ahead of the big game, and the player involved nominates their deaths -from cancer- as his reason to win said big game. Not one Narrative Coordinator questions the story. Not one Narrative Coordinator makes a phone call to the girls school (Stanford by the way – not a lesser known school like Southeast Florida Community College) or googles the obits (hell, even SitD commenter “Emery” could have done that) or just checks into it. They just repeat what the player, Notre Dames Sports Information Director and others ‘knowledgeable’ of the story tell them because, a sporting contest has to have backstories, never mind the whether these backstories are true or not.
    MBerg’s former radio mate ‘Captain’ Ed Morrisseys’ HotAir partner ‘Allahpundit’ has great term for this – “To Good To Check” – for an news item that propels a story or narrative Forward!. Saturday it was the “FIVE SHOT AT GUN SHOWS ON NATIONAL GUN APPRECIATION DAY”. Look into the facts behind the incidents and the details emerge that although the headline is technically true – the shooting were accidental discharges of weapons outside of the gun shows – and no one was hurt seriously enough to require a hospital stay. This must be why Fox News is so universally hated. You can hear something different than the white noise (literally all white in the case of NBC/MSNBC News) you get from ABCCBSNBCCNNAPREUTERS borgs.

  4. In 1998, Carl Bogus was on the faculty of Roger Williams Law School.
    Roger Williams Law School was founded in 1993 and given provisional accreditation by the ABA in 1995. It is considered a 4th tier law school.
    The “Hidden History of the 2nd Amendment” was published by the U.C. Davis law Review. U.C. Davis Law Review proudly claims to be the 30th ranked law review in the country.

  5. Mitch is clinging to the memory of Eric Black, pre Minnpost. That Black is long gone.

    If liberalism is a disease, and I think there is consensus on that, then it is a communicable disease which gets progressively worse unless the sufferer is removed to breath the fresh, life giving air of common sense.

    The minute Black accepted the gig at MP, his fate was sealed.

    What took his place is the mendacious, pap spewing moonbat living off the tits of deep pocket lefties.

    He is their pet.

  6. Mitch is clinging to the memory of Eric Black, pre Minnpost.

    I’m a uniter, not a divider.

    Fortunately, you’re a divider, Swiftee, and God love ya for it.

  7. Roger Williams Law School

    I saw that, and thought “the only law school I’ve seen that was named for an early-seventies country western singer…”

  8. Perhaps In the interest of fairness, Dr. Bogus or Mr. Black could take up an examination of the City of New York’s “Sullivan Act” of 1911?

    Basically, it was a law proposed by state senator “Big Tim” Sullivan, known as a Tammany Hall boss, after a murder/ suicide in New New York City in which a well-known writer was killed by a man who used a concealed handgun. The killer committed suicide after killing the writer.

    After an outcry from some of New York’s elite and the medical examiner who handled the case, Sullivan successfully wrote and got enacted new laws which prohibited the carrying of a concealed handgun in public without a permit, which was only issued if the person had a “legitimate purpose.” AKA having wealth, power, connections, and white skin.

    Many belive that the true intent of the laws was to disarm the city’s growing population of “undesirables.” At that time, these were mainly Italian immigrants. However, members of other lower socio-economic and ethnic groups were gladly included.

    The Sullivan Act is considered by many to be the forerunner to New York City’s present strict gun control laws. It’s parallel to today’s “Assault Weapons” controversy are amazing, including many of the arguements that are used today. Cityroom.blogs.nytimes offers a very interesting, although quite sanitized version of those events.

    I wonder if the Pope would also approve?

  9. Authored by Bogus, and BOGUS by definition. Eric Black would have been better served to watch the video “In Search Of The 2nd Amendment”. The movie is a documentary discussion by constitutional scholars regarding the meaning and implications of 2A. It also goes to some length discussing the relationship of 2A and 14A. I’d go so far to say that the pedigree of the participants in the documentary far exceed that of the BOGUS one.

    I think that this crap that was debunked years ago has been brought up again because those that are doing it might think that with the continuing dumbing down of Americans it might just get some traction, sadly Eric bites on it.

  10. A law professor once claimed the Second Amendment is racist. President Obama is Black. People who oppose President Obama’s gun control plans are double-racist. Low information voters should threaten those politicians to change their votes or face election trouble for their racism.

    The speed and pervasiveness with which the race card was played to suppress opposition to the President’s gun control plans is evidence of a political campaign in which journalists like Eric Black are at best unwitting dupes, at worst enthusiastic participants.

    It’s essential to Eric’s credibility as a journalist that he convince us it’s the former.

  11. Mitch is clinging to the memory of Eric Black, pre Minnpost. That Black is long gone.

    If liberalism is a disease, and I think there is consensus on that, then it is a communicable disease which gets progressively worse unless the sufferer is removed to breath the fresh, life giving air of common sense.

    The minute Black accepted the gig at MP, his fate was sealed.

    What took his place is the mendacious, pap spewing moonbat living off the tits of deep pocket lefties.

    He has turned his credibility, and integrity into bat guano.

  12. I have better things to do with my life than worry about Eric Black’s contorted view on natural law. I want to know who did Michele Obama’s new “do.”

  13. Pingback: Chanting Points Memo: Will Susan Perry Ever Stop Treating Readers Like Junior High Kids? | Shot in the Dark

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