The Corner

Dang: a Correction & a Clarification

I got an important fact wrong while lecturing others to get their facts right. Mickey Kaus rightly zings me for it. While CSX did sell its port business to DPW in 2005, there were no American ports involved. I regret the error.

But since we’re on this port business, I might as well offer a clarification. I don’t think it’s “racist” to criticize the sale of a port to Arabs. But I do think it’s analogous to racial profiling which, I have long argued, isn’t necessarily based in bigotry (but most certainly can be). Hence, my criticism on this front is mainly aimed at the hypocrisy of liberals who think such profiling and stereotyping is evil when the right does it, but sound policy when the left does (what is affirmative action other than racial profiling, by the way?). I do not buy this distinction Democrats now offer between a state-owned foreign company and a privately owned one. First, it smacks of an after-the-fact rationalization since it seems to only have come up in earnest after the “racism” charge was levelled at Democrats. Second, since when do Democrats hate state-run businesses? If that’s the complaint let’s hear no more about lifting the embargo with Cuba since except for a few hotels and fruit stands, that’s all they got.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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