Home/Rod Dreher/Frederick Joseph Is A Racist Bully

Frederick Joseph Is A Racist Bully

In fact, Fred Joseph is no friend

I was watching late last night a documentary about the late Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, who died in 1986. In a recording of his voice after he defected to the West (in the mid-1980s), we hear Tarkovsky saying that the measure of a civilization is its spirituality. In that sense, he says, he has more hope for Russia (then still under Soviet rule) than for the West, given what he has seen. A civilization that is rich but that lacks spirituality is really a zombie civilization, he said.

That line got me to thinking this morning about Americans who have the (false) impression that free speech is under threat in Hungary, but who are completely ignorant of how much less free Americans are than Hungarians to speak their minds. It has nothing to do with laws. It’s about culture.

Here’s what I mean. After the movie, I checked Twitter, and saw how this revolting drama played out.

It started with Frederick Joseph, a NYT bestselling author of a book called The Black Friend: On Being A Better White Person. No doubt it was inhaled by the baizuo, who treated it like Holy Writ. Anyway, this is what happened to Joseph over the weekend:

Was this white woman being obnoxious by mistaking Joseph and his fiancée for interlopers, and telling them to go back to their own neighborhood? Yes, she was. If you live in New York City, as I did for five years, you have to develop a thick skin, because there is always somebody being obnoxious to you. This is just life in the big city.

When he saw that the white woman recognized she was being filmed, and got frightened, Fred Joseph realized that he had power over this woman. And armed with his 116,000 Twitter followers (plus his Instagram mob), Fred Joseph decided to use it. After someone on his Instagram feed identified the white woman, he set out publicly to get her fired:

And he succeeded:

Hey presto, Social Justice!

Fred Joseph is a hypocrite, though. Someone on Twitter caught him out saying just last month that white people ought to get out of Harlem:

None of it matters. Fred Joseph can destroy a stranger’s life after a single regrettable remark she made in a brief dog park encounter, and get away with it because of the color of his skin, which makes him a Sacred Victim in the baizuocratic social order that the woke had created [from baizuo, the Mandarin term of contempt for white Western progressives]. And it doesn’t matter that he was very recently guilty of the same hostility to white people that he accuses Emma Sarley of. People like Fred are power-holders in this new world order. The rest of us have to be afraid of the Freds of the world, because all they have to do is think that some non-black person has been racist to them, and BOOM, that person faces an instant Internet campaign to get them fired, and their name ruined forever.

I wonder how amenable Emma Sarley and those who love her will be to appeals to oppose racism now? I wonder how likely they are to regard “anti-racist” campaigns as nothing but power plays.

Stay far away from the Fred Josephs of the world. Nothing good can come from being their friend or associate. And do your best not to work for gutless companies that allow themselves to be manipulated by the Fred Josephs of the world. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a single company that wouldn’t have done what Bevy did. To be denounced publicly as an Employer Of Racists™ is the worst thing in the corporate world (though nota bene, anybody who employs Fred Joseph has Twitter evidence, from 8/27/21, that he harbors racist anti-white views, but as we now, in the baizuocracy, that redounds to his credit).

So, yes, speech is de facto more free in Hungary because so far, it is not a common thing to try to use the Internet and social justice ideology to get people who annoy you fired and destroy their lives. I think Fred Joseph is an anti-white racist, but I would never try to get him fired for his views, as long as he was not in a position to hurt people with them (and speech is not violence). Even racists like Fred Joseph have a moral right to earn a living. As ugly as his rhetoric is, I would rather live in a society that tolerates it, and doesn’t try to destroy him personally and professionally, than to live in the persecutorial society that the woke are creating. They are making America worse in every way. You can be quite sure that many non-black people are observing this situation, and quietly deciding to be very, very careful interacting with black people, because one slip of the tongue could change your life for the worst.

This is not the kind of America that decent people of any and all races want. Being a liberal democracy means that we have to put up with things we don’t like, and especially things we don’t like to hear. A couple of years ago, I was in a position in which I was being mistreated by a local businessman (white, though race had nothing to do with it), who was a landlord of a rental property in my neighborhood. He had some bad renters in who often caused the police to be called because of violent threats one of the residents made publicly against his housemate (screaming, high or insane, on the street). When the landlord kept blowing me off, I realized that given my Internet platform, both on this blog and on social media, I could bring a lot of pain to this man in his business. I probably couldn’t ruin his business, but I could damage him, and damage his professional standing in the community. There was absolutely no question that this man was in the wrong, and was behaving very badly. Yet I decided in the end not to do it, because there is no way to control information like that when it goes online, and it was very easy to imagine how the punishment could end up wildly disproportionate to the “crime”.

I made a similar move a few years back when a man at a local pizza delivery joint screwed up my order, and covered up for himself by flat-out lying about me to his manager. Angry, I posted something to social media about it from my car, but when someone from that chain’s corporate office followed up with me, I declined to file a formal complaint. Though I had been wronged, I did not want to be responsible for punching down on a lowly pizza slinger, and cost him his job. It was easier to live with no pizza and a false accusation made in front of his manager than it would be to live with the knowledge that a complaint from a relatively high-profile customer cost a young man his job.

I don’t say that to hold myself out as a competitor for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. I think the way I behaved in both cases was the kind of thing that has to be done to maintain a civil society. Sometimes you just have to suck it up, because the cost of settling accounts is too great. Our baizuocratic Republic now has countless freelance agents for the woke Committee For The Promotion Of Virtue And The Prevention Of Vice roaming the streets, looking for reasons to punish those they hate.

See, this is what I mean in Live Not By Lies when I talk about how we have all the outward structures of liberal democracy, but it has decayed within into something shaping up to be totalitarian. Of course we have a First Amendment — but how much good was the First Amendment to Emma Sarley? See what I mean? The fact is, people like Fred Joseph, and their allies within institutions who live by the Fred Joseph standards, have no interest in defending liberal democratic norms. What good are those norms when people who belong to a particularly favored class can act with impunity to run the lives of those who are in a disfavored class?

And look, don’t come at me with “well, that will teach racists to think twice before they tell black folks to go back to their hood.” I’m not defending what Emma Sarley said to that couple any more than I would defend Fred Joseph’s tweeting out that white people ought to leave Harlem. What I’m defending is the right to express a mildly obnoxious and offensive opinion without being mobbed by the Internet and having your career destroyed. Fred Joseph benefits from the illiberal hypocrisy the US ruling class has, which tolerates all manner of racist speech from non-whites.

That said, anybody non-woke person who goes near Frederick Joseph after this is a fool. He has shown what a little tyrant he is. You know, though, the problem is not really Fred Joseph. The problem is Bevy.com and companies like it who bow and scrape to these tyrants. The problem is institutions that have elevated these tyrants, and given them the power to do this to other people. I just looked Emma Sarley up online. Do you know you can get her address and phone number online? I can tell you where she is not right now: at that address. Why not? Because she has almost certainly been dealing with death threats. This happened to me in New York back in 2001, when mildly obnoxious words in my New York Post column earned me the ire of the Sharpton Outrage-Industrial Complex. I literally had to hide out in my apartment (in those days, it was a lot harder to find addresses online) because I had black people leaving messages on my work phone threatening to cut my throat. I watched a live shot on local cable TV as a young black man told a large and very angry black audience that he had gotten me on the phone, and I had unleashed a torrent of racist invective against him. The crowd went wild, though every word of what this man said was a lie. A minute later, the mob was chanting “Kill Giuliani!”

I watched this on TV, and wondered how I would ever be able to work in New York again, or even walk down the street without having to fear being assaulted. Then, a week later, 9/11 happened, and people had more important things to think about.

All I’m saying is that racist bullies like Fred Joseph are a menace to liberal democracy — and so are people like Bevy.com CEO Derek J. Anderson and the management team at his woke capitalist firm. These baizuocrats have created an unjust and dangerous system, and should not be surprised if rising numbers of people reject it. I am sure that there are a lot of people who don’t really like Donald Trump, but who would vote for him as a way to kick woke tyrants like Frederick Joseph and Derek J. Anderson in the teeth. I’ll leave the last word to Wilfred Reilly, an African-American commentator who is a great follow on Twitter:

UPDATE: Research from the UK:

Surprise, surprise. It’s not the Right that’s ruining Western liberal democracy.

UPDATE.2: Here’s another story I encountered over the weekend about black racist crybullies steamrolling liberal democratic norms. Take a look at this:

It turns out that one of the black students involved in this attempt to ethnically cleanse a part of a public university is a Ford Fellow at that university (Arizona State). Here’s why that matters. The Ford Foundation, with $16 billion in assets, is a major funder of the baizuocracy. Whistleblowers at the Ford Foundation leaked internal communications from the non-profit foundation. Excerpts:

As a group, their views on policy issues are uniformly bleeding-heart-Marxist… so much so, that they are actually pretty boring and predictable. The listserv is mostly them patting each other on the back over how brave and smart they are all. The much more compelling undercurrent in these emails, rather than any particular policy issue, is the clear disdain that they hold for unfettered free speech and scholarly debate. It isn’t just one or two individuals. This problem is endemic to their corporate culture. Here are a few real quotes I cherrypicked from their emails to highlight this. I assure you these are not taken out of context:

“I reject these neoliberal invocations of “dialogue” or “understanding the other side”

“Why should people with opposing viewpoints be listened to?”

“I will not engage such arguments in the name of scholarly civility”

“Those who feel compelled to “Hear both sides” is disappointing and intellectually moribund”

“I am disturbed that anyone could raise this question”

“You ask for discussion and debate but how do we debate when somebody won’t acknowledge water is wet? what’s the point.”

“You seek civil debate and discussion but we must first agree that [my] facts are facts”

“I have no interest in this debate that continues to clog my inbox. I will just say this it is an absolute and disgusting abomination that on a list overwhelmingly utilized by Black and Latinx people we are subjected to a racist debate”

“We fordies have no obligation AT ALL to engage in so-called “debate”… if your views are causing harm, this platform is not the right forum. Notably, I know that we use the listserv as a safe space, but right now your cantankerous dialogue is causing young fellows who may have identity issues a lot of harm.”

“I am a new ford fellow and I do not agree with you. I encourage you to take on counseling.”

“the current public discourse (and on this list) we incessantly hear is that “everyone is entitled to their opinion”

“[My opponent] trolls the Ford Fellows listserv, These are not serious attempts at dialogue, My perspective is that her messages are to be ignored”

“Your call for mutual respect here registers as performative rather than genuine, given your apparent refusal to engage or practice the knowledge established in these works, many of which are the products of Ford fellows’ intellectual labor. Just stop. I don’t want to engage further.”

“We especially should not be expected and do not have an obligation to engage in conversations like this”

“Sometimes people who ask us to “educate” them do not really want to learn. They want us to engage in a fake debate, where their “opinions” are given the same weight as our informed, evidence-based beliefs.”

“I find it appalling that one might raise this question”

“I cannot listen in good faith to a person with this viewpoint… I can’t hear you, regardless of who you are”

“all perspectives should not be equally validated on this forum, especially ones that would dismantle our fellowship program, are grossly misinformed, or threaten the lives and well being of people of color.”

“You refer to a lack of dialogue and acceptance of alternate ideas. When that dialogue is centered around a party that accepts and practices racism I can’t get past that to have an active dialogue. You seem to be really focused on getting heard and having respect for both sides.”

UPDATE.3: Oh wow, I learned from the comments box that Frederick Joseph is that loony who launched a viral attack on an AirBNB owner whose decor made Frederick fear that he and his black family (yes, he racialized it) were under threat from secret Satanists.

UPDATE.4: Just received this statement from Emma Sarley:

“I am still processing everything that has happened over the last couple days, and thought it was important to share what I saw and experienced. I absolutely accept responsibility for how I could have handled things differently in that moment.

On Saturday evening, I watched a dog get into several aggressive altercations with other dogs at my local park, and as the owners of this dog were leaving, I suggested that they keep a handle on their dog while visiting this particular park. My reference to “back to your hood” only referred to another dog park outside of this neighborhood park.

I was frustrated and upset, but to be clear – I had no intended racial undertones in my comments whatsoever. I said it because it’s an unstated rule at our local park that when a dog is being aggressive, owners immediately remove them so it can be a calm, welcoming environment for everyone else. However, I fully understand how my words could’ve been interpreted and I deeply wish I had chosen them more carefully. A brief and thoughtless moment in my life has now led to nationwide outrage and hurt. For that, I am sorry.

I want to clarify that I never threatened to call the police. I never went on a tirade. As the dog owners followed me down the street with the phone camera on, I was filled with some panic because I’ve never been in an altercation like this and reacted in an inappropriate way. That’s what you witnessed on that tape.

I’ve lived in New York City for a decade, my Brooklyn neighborhood and dog park is extremely diverse, something I truly love about this city, and I never meant for my words to contribute to pain for anyone. I truly hope we can find understanding and a peaceful resolution to this, for everyone involved.”

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

leave a comment

Latest Articles