mfioretti: racism* + political correctness*

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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. Without going into the details (which you can Google or simply read on the wall of this professor, Bret Weinstein, who happens to be a friend of mine), I want to share a perspective based on my research into the psychological dynamics of political behavior among people who claim to promote social justice, yet are so deeply broken down by the larger pathologies of Western culture that they have lost the ability to tell friend from foe.

    In the last year, I had a similarly dramatic experience where social justice activism was blindly pursued in a manner that caused otherwise good-hearted people to turn on one of their own. Blindly in their fear, these people lashed out and hurt me with cruel and empirically incorrect judgments about my behavior in their group.

    At a deeper level, there is an information war being waged against our societies that is designed to create this kind of anguish and confusion. Divide and conquer is the age-old strategy here. Get us to fight amongst ourselves and it is easy to keep status quo systems in place. This is a natural outcome of what Jordan Greenhall describes in his excellent (yet disturbing) article, The War on Sensemaking.

    What I am seeing in these patterns is a profound inability to discern what is really going on in the world. When student protestors accuse a person who has consistently stood up for racial equality and cultural diversity of being a racist (as is happening now at Evergreen), there is call for taking pause to reflect on just how deeply confused so many among us have become.

    Millions among us fear Trump supporters when they don’t realize that the real danger comes when social unrest grows to the point that ANY group begins expressing emotionally intense rage without critical inquiry at another group.
    https://medium.com/rally-point-perspe...ghting-against-ourselves-ea8d06d53e96
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  3. “Stop telling people of color they’re fucking useless,” a female student demands of Weinstein at one point.

    “You’re useless, get the fuck out of here,” she adds, saying “fuck you, you piece of shit” as her peers ask Weinstein for an explanation of his email.

    Weinstein attempts to answer–asking “may I answer that question?”–butthe student protesters suddenly decide that they no longer want his explanation, and respond with a resounding “no!”

    They drove him off campus out of fear for his own safety:

    As a biology professor for 15 years at Olympia’s The Evergreen State College, Bret Weinstein has seen his share of protests, but he’s never been afraid of being on campus until this week.

    “I have been told by the Chief of Police it’s not safe for me to be on campus,” said Weinstein, who held his Thursday class in a downtown Olympia park.

    An administrator confirmed the police department advised Weinstein it “might be best to stay off campus for a day or so.”

    Demonstrations involving as many as 200 students filled classrooms and the President’s office on campus on Tuesday and Wednesday. Protesters are upset over what they believe are racist policies at the college, and some called for Weinstein to resign.

    Every one of those students who intimidated that professor should be disciplined, and probably expelled. Every one. Including this nitwit:

    But when student Marissa Parker, one of the protesters, heard Weinstein was advised to stay off campus, she responded, “If he feels unsafe or frightened for two days, he can only imagine what black and brown bodies have feared for years.”

    According to the report from Seattle’s KING television station that I linked to above, Evergreen State officials are considering changing the school’s racial policies in response to the protesters. And look at this — the administration is gutless:
    https://www.theamericanconservative.c...ing-of-bret-weinstein-evergreen-state
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  4. Students at Evergreen State College in Olympia, who filmed their exploits and posted the videos on social media, have occupied and barricaded the library, shouting down anyone who disagrees with them or shows insufficient passion for racial justice.

    Biology professor Bret Weinstein was berated by dozens of students outside of his classroom Tuesday morning for refusing to participate in an event in which white people were invited to leave campus for a day. Now, he says police have told him to hold his classes off campus due to safety concerns.

    Things are “out of control at Evergreen,” he said.

    “Police told me protesters stopped cars yesterday, demanding information about occupants,” Mr. Weinstein told The Washington Times. “They believe I was being sought. It appears that the campus has been under the effective control of protesters since 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Police are on lockdown, hamstrung by the college administration. Students, staff and faculty are not safe.”

    A spokesman for the Evergreen Department of Police Services confirmed the agency had been in contact with Mr. Weinstein. He said officers would be in touch with The Times, but three subsequent phone calls during business hours were not answered.

    A college spokesman declined to comment on Mr. Weinstein’s situation or any of the other activity on campus.

    Evergreen student Blake Vincent said he was participating in the protests and was unaware of any searches for Mr. Weinstein’s whereabouts.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2...te-students-demand-professor-resign-f
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  5. Apparently, if you're not Asian, U can't tell if rice is cooked
    https://sputniknews.com/us/2017052110...-yale-university-dean-racist-comments
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  6. Comics studio’s vice president of sales tells summit that some stores say people ‘have had enough’ of new female and ethnic minority characters
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...-diversity-may-have-alienated-readers
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