Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for May 19th, 2022

Capital variation

with 16 comments

From the Latin noun caput, which meant ‘head,’ we get the adjective capital, which originally and literally meant ‘having to do with a head.’ Austin, where I live, is the capital—i.e. head—city of Texas. That’s one kind of metaphor. Another is calling the inflorescence of a plant in the composite botanical family (Asteraceae) a capitulum, or ‘little [flower] head.’ Even within a plant species one flower head can look rather different from another, both in shape and color, just as human heads can. You see that exemplified here with two Texas thistle (Cirsium texanum) flower heads from Northwest Williamson County Regional Park on May 13th.



§         §         §



In yesterday’s commentary I brought up the terrible May 14th mass murder in Buffalo, New York, in which an 18-year-old white supremacist and anti-Semite killed a bunch of supermarket shoppers, most of whom were targeted because they were black. I pointed out that some people in the media immediately claimed that the shooter was inspired by Republicans and conservatives, as well as conservative television news channel Fox News and in particular one of its commenters, Tucker Carlson. I showed you that, unfortunately for the people making those claims, a long manifesto left by the killer made clear he hated conservatives, and especially a Jewish conservative like Ben Shapiro. Nowhere in the manifesto did the killer mention Tucker Carlson.

In case anyone wants to accuse me of “cherry picking” evidence, let me add now that the killer did believe something that Tucker Carlson believes: the declining birth rate among white Americans, coupled with the American government’s allowing—even encouraging—high illegal immigration into the United States from non-European countries, has resulted in a declining ratio of white Americans. A check of the numbers confirms it. According to a Wikipedia article: “As of the 2020 Census, 61.6%, or 204,277,273 people, were white alone. This represented a national white demographic decline from a 72.4% share of the US’s population (white alone) in 2010.” You may look on the decline favorably, unfavorably, or neutrally, but the decrease in the portion of Americans who are white is real.

Now let me make a point about logic, or the lack of it. Just because two people share a certain belief or preference doesn’t mean they share all beliefs and preferences. I shouldn’t need to point out something so basic, but I feel that I have to, given the way some commenters quickly turned to guilt by association. Yes, the Buffalo killer and Tucker Carlson share a belief about the undesirability of unchecked illegal immigration. That doesn’t make Tucker Carlson in any way responsible for the mass shooting in Buffalo—any more than Senator Bernie Sanders and leftist talk-show host Rachel Maddow were responsible for the 2017 incident in which a man who admired those two public figures fired 60 shots at Republican members of Congress—one of whom almost died—who were playing baseball as practice for a game to raise money for charity.

Similarly, just because the Buffalo killer who disapproves of illegal immigration was a white racist and an anti-Semite doesn’t mean that everyone, or even most people, or even more than a smattering of the people who disapprove of illegal immigration, are white supremacists and anti-Semites. Take me, for example. As I revealed in greater detail in a commentary a year ago, I happen to be Jewish, the son of someone who fled the Soviet Union with his family in the 1920s to escape communism and anti-Semitism. I also happen to be married to someone of a different race who’s an immigrant to the United States from the other side of the world. And yet by the “logic” of some people in the media, because I don’t condone illegal immigration I must be a xenophobic anti-Semitic white supremacist. Crazy, isn’t it?


To be continued tomorrow.




© 2022 Steven Schwartzman







Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 19, 2022 at 4:33 AM

%d bloggers like this: