mfioretti: racism* + equal opportunities*

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  1. interests are assumed to be determined by their membership in groups, particularly their sex, race, sexual orientation, and disability status. Its signature is the tic of preceding a statement with “As a,” as if that bore on the cogency of what was to follow. Identity politics originated with the fact that members of certain groups really were disadvantaged by their group membership, which forged them into a coalition with common interests: Jews really did have a reason to form the Anti-Defamation League.

    But when it spreads beyond the target of combatting discrimination and oppression, it is an enemy of reason and Enlightenment values, including, ironically, the pursuit of justice for oppressed groups. For one thing, reason depends on there being an objective reality and universal standards of logic. As Chekhov said, there is no national multiplication table, and there is no racial or LGBT one either.

    This isn’t just a matter of keeping our science and politics in touch with reality; it gives force to the very movements for moral improvement that originally inspired identity politics. The slave trade and the Holocaust are not group-bonding myths; they objectively happened, and their evil is something that all people, regardless of their race, gender, or sexual orientation, must acknowledge and work to prevent in the future.

    Even the aspect of identity politics with a grain of justification—that a man cannot truly experience what it is like to be a woman, or a white person an African American—can subvert the cause of equality and harmony if it is taken too far, because it undermines one of the greatest epiphanies of the Enlightenment: that people are equipped with a capacity for sympathetic imagination, which allows them to appreciate the suffering of sentient beings unlike them. In this regard nothing could be more asinine than outrage against “cultural appropriation”—as if it’s a bad thing, rather than a good thing, for a white writer to try to convey the experiences of a black person, or vice versa.

    To be sure, empathy is not enough. But another Enlightenment principle is that people can appreciate principles of universal rights that can bridge even the gaps that empathy cannot span. Any hopes for human improvement are better served by encouraging a recognition of universal human interests than by pitting group against group in zero-sum competition.


    How high are the stakes in universities? Should we worry?

    SP: Yes, for three reasons. One is that scholars can’t hope to understand the world (particularly the social world) if some hypotheses are given a free pass and others are unmentionable. As John Stuart Mill noted, “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.” In The Blank Slate I argued that leftist politics had distorted the study of human nature, including sex, violence, gender, childrearing, personality, and intelligence. The second is that people who suddenly discover forbidden facts outside the crucible of reasoned debate (which is what universities should be) can take them to dangerous conclusions, such as that differences between the sexes imply that we should discriminate against women (this kind of fallacy has fueled the alt-right movement). The third problem is that illiberal antics of the hard left are discrediting the rest of academia, including the large swaths of moderates and open-minded scholars who keep their politics out of their research.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/steven-...nlightenment-values/article/2011595#!
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  2. Nel 2015 un libro bianco ha ipotizzato che la “condivisione” degli appartamenti a Los Angeles ha eliminato undici appartamenti al giorno dal mercato degli affitti tradizionali. Un altro studio ha sostenuto che Airbnb elimina circa il 20% degli appartamenti in affitto in alcune zone di Manhattan e di Brooklyn a New York, fino al 28% nell’East Village, sebbene sia illegale affittarli oltre 30 giorni all’anno. Nei venti quartieri più centrali della metropoli americana si stima che Airbnb abbia sottratto almeno il 10% delle case disponibili dal mercato.

    La perdita di case disponibili sul mercato causata dalla disruzione (disruption) di Airbnb colpisce sei volte in più i residenti neri. Il quartiere con la più alta discriminazione razziale è Stuyvesant Heights, nel cuore di Central Brooklyn, dove le prenotazioni effettuate dai proprietari bianchi sono 1.012 volte superiori a quelle dei neri. La diseguaglianza economica sarebbe pari all’857% sul totale dei redditi accumulati dagli host bianchi.
    https://www.che-fare.com/leffetto-dis...iccarelli-gentrificare-e-turistizzare
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  3. a typical white neighborhood would have twice more listings on the platform (four listings, at $120 per night, and 96 percent rating) compared with a non-white neighborhood (two listings, at $107 per night, and 94 percent rating). That is, not everybody has equal opportunities to participate as a host on Airbnb.

    A similar experimental study (i.e. fictitious Airbnb profiles) conducted in 2016-2017, showed that requests from guests with African-American names (vs. white names) were 19 percent less likely to be accepted. So despite Airbnb's efforts — community commitment, removing host pictures in the initial search — these studies document that racial discrimination has always been and is still a critical issue today. There's even a study specifically focused on Airbnb's change of layout last year, comparing daily bookings and price data before and after the implementation of the "anonymity" policy, but it only shows a negligible increase in bookings for black hosts, and only in New York City — not in Los Angeles, New Orleans, or Philadelphia.

    The issue applies to other sectors in the sharing economy. For instance, a study of Uber and Lyft ride-hailing companies indicated a similar pattern of discrimination: Drivers canceled the hailed rides twice more for passengers with African-American sounding names.
    https://www.shareable.net/blog/what-d...iscrimination-and-the-sharing-economy
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  4. Myanmar has been a technologically backwards authoritarian state for much of the past 50 years, with less than 1% of the country connected to the net, until 2015, when the country held its first elections in decades, a moment that was swiftly followed by a relaxation in telcoms controls and widespread access to the internet via mobile devices.

    50,000,000 people are now able to get Facebook, in other words. The net has delivered a complex basket of social changes, among them a revival of the country's ugly, murderous history of ethnic cleansing, fueled by blood libels about minority Muslims attacking the Buddhist majority. The new incitements to violence are travelling hand in hand with news about Trump and his promise to end Muslim migration into the USA. Trump's election is being used to normalize and justify ethnic cleansing movements in Myanmar ("We should do like America and do it here too. No more Muslims!").


    As was the case in earlier eras of the internet's history, these new users equate the net with the service they use the most (once it may have been "Netscape" and "the net"; then "the web" and "the net"; then "Google," etc) -- they use "Facebook" and "internet" interchangeably. This is due to increase, as Facebook has sold the carriers on its "Free Basics" system -- a net discrimination deal with the mobile carriers, who take bribes from Facebook to exempt the company (but not its rivals) from their data-caps.

    The racist extremists in Myanmar are using Facebook to forge alliances with xenophobic movements elsewhere in the world.

    Sheera Frenkel's piece on the rise of Facebook, the internet and xenophobia in Myanmar is a fascinating and detailed look at the complex and often unique circumstances of the country's high-speed entry into the networked world: from the division in the kinds of script used to represent written Burmese to the legal crackdown on parodists who attain notoriety by shooping politicians' heads onto Hollywood stars' bodies.

    Wirathu rose to prominence as part of a group of extremist monks once known as the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, and then the “969” movement. Today, they are called Ma Ba Tha, after their Burmese acronym. Since the end of military rule, monks have assumed an increasingly public role in the largely Buddhist country. Wirathu, and the Ma Ba Tha movement, have denied any role in the Buddhist lynch mobs, which, in recent years, have killed more than 200, and displaced more than 150,000 of the country’s Muslims, who make up roughly 4% of the total population. Civil society groups allege that the state’s security forces have fomented recent outbreaks of violence against the Rohingya. But there is no denying that Ma Ba Tha’s bashing of Muslims as “cruel and savage” is often repeated by those who want to see all Muslims expelled from Myanmar — and they admit that their anti-Muslim stance has gained its largest following through Facebook.

    This week, following news that Trump’s administration was being staffed with hardliners, Wirathu released a statement hailing Trump’s White House as a victory in the fight against “Islamic terrorism.”


    “May US citizens be free from jihad. May the world be free of bloodshed,” Wirathu wrote in a public statement. It was one of many Trump received from figures across the world who appeared to feel emboldened by his win.
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/sheerafrenke...orld?utm_term=.ys2Z9p7PeZ#.sewdrNl1Od
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  5. you need not be wealthy to participate. All you need to gain access to socialism for white people is a good corporate or government job. That fact helps explain how this welfare system took shape sixty years ago, why it was originally (and still overwhelmingly) white, and why white Rust Belt voters showed far more enthusiasm for Donald Trump than for Bernie Sanders. White voters are not interested in democratic socialism. They want to restore their access to a more generous and dignified program of white socialism.

    In the years after World War II, the western democracies that had not already done so adopted universal social safety net programs. These included health care, retirement and other benefits. President Truman introduced his plan for universal health coverage in 1945. It would have worked much like Social Security, imposing a tax to fund a universal insurance pool. His plan went nowhere.

    Instead, nine years later Congress laid the foundations of the social welfare system we enjoy today. They rejected Truman’s idea of universal private coverage in favor of a program controlled by employers while publicly funded through tax breaks. This plan gave corporations new leverage in negotiating with unions, handing the companies a publicly-financed benefit they could distribute at their discretion.

    No one stated their intention to create a social welfare program for white people, specifically white men, but they didn’t need to. By handing control to employers at a time when virtually every good paying job was reserved for white men the program silently accomplished that goal.

    White socialism played a vital political role, as blue collar factory workers and executives all pooled their resources for mutual support and protection, binding them together culturally and politically. Higher income workers certainly benefited more, but almost all the benefits of this system from health care to pensions originally accrued to white families through their male breadwinners. Blue collar or white collar, their fates were largely united by their racial identity and employment status.

    Until the decades after the Civil Rights Acts, very few women or minorities gained direct access to this system. Unsurprisingly, this was the era in which white attitudes about the social safety net and the Democratic Party began to pivot. Thanks to this silent racial legacy, socialism for white people retains its disproportionately white character, though that has weakened. Racial boundaries are now less explicit and more permeable, but still today white families are twice as likely as African-Americans to have access to private health insurance. Two thirds of white children are covered by private health insurance, while barely over one third of black children enjoy this benefit.

    White socialism has had a stark impact on the rest of the social safety net, creating a two-tiered system. Visit a county hospital to witness an example. American socialism for “everyone else” is marked by crowded conditions, neglected facilities, professionalism compromised by political patronage, and long waits for care. Fall outside the comfortable bubble of white socialism, and one faces a world of frightening indifference.


    When Democrats respond to job losses with an offer to expand the public safety net, blue collar voters cringe and rebel. They are not remotely interested in sharing the public social safety net experienced by minority groups and the poorest white families. Meanwhile well-employed and affluent voters, ensconced in their system of white socialism, leverage all the power at their disposal to block any dilution of their expensive public welfare benefits. Something has to break.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrislad...alth-coverage-in-the-us/#718842f6186a
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  6. If we want to build on what movements like #RhodesMustFall have achieved and really decolonise universities, it’s time for dead white men to stop controlling things.

    Altering the curriculum is a necessary part of this change. That doesn’t mean Shakespeare should pack his bags and leave universities once and for all. It simply requires a different way of teaching – and here’s how it can be done.

    Academics and their students must engage with English being a language born of and sustained by migration and cross-cultural contact both in Britain and overseas. This narrative must be a central part of the curriculum, from the very beginning of the literary studies degree.

    We must acknowledge the power structures that have allowed some people to contribute to the canon while keeping others out. These structures have also preserved certain texts while ignoring others. We must also explain the role universities have played in this selection process.

    It’s time to eradicate the notion that writing by women, people of colour and other socially and culturally excluded groups is only interesting to a limited number of people. Being familiar with these voices is essential to the kinds of skills cultivated by and assessed in a literary studies degree. It is not an optional extra.
    https://theconversation.com/its-time-...iculum-back-from-dead-white-men-40268
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  7. The United States has a lot to be proud of: it is the most powerful country on Earth and a global leader in culture and innovation as well as international affairs, and has a well-earned reputation for freedom and democracy. But, like any country, it has its flaws, as well. And those flaws are important to remember and examine — even if many Americans would probably rather not think about them.
    http://www.vox.com/2015/5/27/8618261/america-maps-truths?amp;amp;amp;??
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  8. 1. White Privilege is being able to move into a new neighborhood and being fairly sure that your neighbors will be pleasant to you and treat you with respect.

    2. White Privilege is being able to watch a movie, read a book and open the front page of a newspaper and see yourself and your race widely represented and spoken for.

    3. White Privilege is
    http://thoughtcatalog.com/macy-sto-do...ot-understand-because-white-privilege
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  9. Tal, I think I know why Time did this. I think somebody over there wanted an article that would stir things up, and put the ‘privilege’-shouters in their place. They had a frankly racist agenda, but nobody had the guts to put their name on something so asinine. So somebody found your piece on the Princeton Tory, and scooped it up.

    They needed a front. Someone with some credibility. You’re not perfect, but you’re a pretty good fit. You’re young, you’re at an Ivy League, and you’ve got the whole historical victim/rags to riches/American Dream backstory thing going on. Trust me, if some black or Asian or more interestingly ethnic kid had offered to write a similar article, you would have been dropped like a bad habit, for reasons we’ve already discussed. But they took what they could get.

    So, Time, you’re not fooling anyone. And that’s really cowardly of you to use a kid who can’t even drink yet to do your dirty work.
    https://medium.com/p/12a3018d5abc
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  10. My feeling is that a large percentage of South African males of whatever hue, class or political persuasion are suffering from extreme forms of stress.

    In the higher-income groups of the politically “disempowered” white Afrikaans community this amounts to vast reservoirs of underlying resentment, fear and anger.

    The white male has nowhere to go with his obsolete patriarchal baggage except maybe to the shooting range or the rugby match. At best, this becomes manifest in a general attitude of suspicion, distrust, barely suppressed aggression and a readiness to defend bodily integrity with every means at hand.

    At the worst it flares up during incidents of road-rage, temper tantrums and public fisticuffs or racist shooting sprees and family murders.
    Shadow of a proto-fascist state

    In the case of traditionally brought-up middle-class Afrikaners socially formed during the apartheid, one must add to the mix the effects of living in the shadow of a proto-fascist state and a uniquely effective state church, the Dutch Reformed, inside a well-oiled educational propaganda machine.
    http://theconversation.com/glitz-blin...onversationedu+%28The+Conversation%29
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