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July 13, 2020

Comments

Still, if I were editing, I'd be asking McKinney what's wrong with writing "try" in the first place? Like I used to ask them at work: Why do we all now have to "utilize" things and "assist" people? Why can't we just "use" them and "help" them? Not pompous enough, I guess.

Rather than using the simpler word, I enjoy trying to figure out why a second word came into fashion.

For example: Utilize seems to resemble utility, which would seem to suggest sharing a common useful resource. Utilizing a reservoir for community water, for example.

Assist (latin origin) means to stand by someone, slightly different than help (German) by giving.

The linguists here may disagree or shed more light, but I kind of love thinking about it as an amateur.

I am not very careful in everyday speech or writing, but if I'm trying, it's fun to think about those nuances.

I think there are various complaints about Bari Weiss, but one is that she has spent much of her life trying to cancel pro Palestinian activists. So it was funny to see her signing an anti- cancellation letter.

https://theintercept.com/2018/03/08/the-nyts-bari-weiss-falsely-denies-her-years-of-attacks-on-the-academic-freedom-of-arab-scholars-who-criticize-israel/

Some people here don’t like Greenwald. I don’t care. GG is one of the few mainstream journalists to write about Palestinians.

I suspect that as a NYT op ed editor she had something to do with some of the opinion pieces in 2018 that defended Israel’s shooting of Palestinian demonstrators. It was interesting to me how little attention that got. Shmuel Rosner was openly contemptuous of their deaths. May 18, 2018 if anyone wants to google. But I don’t know if Bari was directly involved.

There are other complaints about her, but given my interest that’s the one I noticed. She and some of her coworkers did not get along. My guess is that there might be fault on both sides.

Here are the opening paragraphs of the Rosner piece. To me these are the words of an apologist for mass murder, but opinions no doubt vary.
I like the term “ ingenue mourning”. Shows that tough minded unsentimental spirit one likes to see in an analytical piece one reads over breakfast about the killing of scores of demonstrators. He balances it with an acknowledgement that the deaths of humans is never a happy occasion.
Nice touch. Palestinians are human, even if you have to gun them down.

“ It is customary to adopt an apologetic tone when scores of people have been killed, as they were this week in Gaza. But I will avoid this sanctimonious instinct and declare coldly: Israel had a clear objective when it was shooting, sometimes to kill, well-organized “demonstrators” near the border. Israel was determined to prevent these people — some of whom are believed to have been armed, most apparently encouraged by their radical government — from crossing the fence separating Israel from Gaza. That objective was achieved.

Of course, the death of humans is never a happy occasion. Still, I feel no need to engage in ingénue mourning. Guarding the border was more important than avoiding killing, and guarding the border is what Israel did successfully.”

Andrew Sullivan was with New York Magazine, not the New Yorker.

As for the prog Left, whatever that is, back in the day, they took down a Democratic President over Vietnam. Richard Nixon, Pat Buchanan, and the rest of the poisonous right wing did not seem too awfully exercised about that cancellation.

Nor about Edmond Muskie's.

I'd be curious to know what editorial and by what writer got bounced from the New York Times so that Tom Cotton, who, I believe is a clear and present danger to this country, could shoot his surly mouth off on those pages.

And why do not those who are daily denied space on any editorial space in this country complain about the cancellation of their voices.

The job of an editor is to choose whose voices get canceled. An editorial page is not a blog comment section. You get the four opinions the editor chose to print and the dozens rejected end up in the round file.

Tough sh*t.

Back to Tom Cotton: if that fascist f*ck with that mouth of his comes anywhere near me, his free speech will be the last thing on his mind.

Not opining is what he should do.

By the way, where does Shirley Sherrod go to get her life and reputation back after Obama fired her after subhuman filth and scum Andrew Breitbart lied about her.

Let's go back and see if any conservatives here were up in arms about her cancellation except to ridicule Obama for falling for Breitbart's bullsh*t.

Happily, Breitbart was canceled by the universe.

It's a relief not hearing his voice.

"For the rest of us, a civil society recognizes boundaries and lines and limits."

Is that the same civil society who elected Trump, who destroys all boundaries, lines, and limits?

With my 6:33 pm post, commenters who mostly agree with me could assist me with more examples [with a nuance of supporting my statement]. Commenters who are sympathetic, but think I'm slightly misguided, could provide some help [with a nuance of changing my statement somewhat].

John Thullen, yes indeed to your 6:46.

On the "assay" question, what do you know. I did look it up before posting, to check, and the source I looked at (can't remember which) used the gold one first. It did list "try" afterwards, but then (as I discovered in my enraged fulminations after the Kavanaugh hearings) dictionaries now list "deny" as a meaning for "refute" after the correct meaning of "disprove" (my version of what Janie calls being archaic, apparently). So the whole idea of proper usage is obviously going to hell in a handbasket! But anyway, my apologies to McKinney for that, if nothing else.

Here is a long article giving examples of leftwing cancel culture. I don’t agree with some of it ( she partly defends Bari Weiss), but it gives you a sense of what people are talking about.

https://arcdigital.media/in-defense-of-the-letter-ee6f7164f9c1

Thomas Chatterton Williams, who wrote the Letter, has a twitter account and you can find a lot of links to that point of view there if you are interested. I got the preceding link from that location.


Going to quit now. I think there is a problem on the left to some degree, but don’t know how much.

Here is a podcast discussion, if you don't mind listening instead of reading, that covers in some detail what is being discussed at length in this thread.

"We live in a world where a Boeing executive was forced to resign over a 33-year-old article opposing the idea of women in combat and a respected art curator was pushed out of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for saying he would "definitely still continue to collect white artists." The editor of The New York Times opinion page left his job after publishing an article by Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.) and TV host Nick Cannon was fired by ViacomCBS after voicing anti-Semitic comments on his podcast."
Jonathan Rauch on Cancel Culture and the 'Unending Battle' for Free Speech: "The idea that wrongheaded, dangerous, heretical, and blasphemous ideas should be not only allowed but protected is preposterous," says Rauch. And yet, it's "the single most successful social principle ever invented."

Annie Applebaum has been canceled by the Republican Party. No invites for her.

I wonder if socialist Michael Harrington ever got published by William F. Buckley's rag?

Buckley, in what must have been a momentary fit of good sense and taste, canceled Ayn Rand and other conservatives as well.

The right in this country originated the cancel culture.

Now it's their turn.

And they secretly like it, notwithstanding grandstanding drama queens like Sullivan and Weiss, who have been so peeved all along that they didn't get to be victims, that they resigned rather than wait forever to be fired.

By the way, Bari Weiss went to her boss and complained about liberals on the New York Times staff as well.

I just read that she attended Shadyside Academy, a private prep school visible from my public high school in Pittsburgh, PA.

She's had a rough life. Nearly Palestinian in its misery.

Apparently, Weiss livetweeted a staff meeting. https://twitter.com/donmoyn/status/1268650212266049537/photo/1

People got mad.

Donald, that Rosner extract is truly disgusting.

Donald, that Rosner extract is truly disgusting.

That was the day that the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem, right? Both sides do it?

One of the things we don't talk about, because we're too busy with all of the horror at home, is the horror of Donald Trump abroad. Because, yeah. It's a lot worse now.

It's always a bit of a problem getting to the comments after everyone has had time to get up a head of steam, such that any further observation seems like an affront. I try to remember and avoid that, but I am 13 hours after you, so simply conforming to that means that I don't get to say much. I'm not claiming that I'm being 'silenced', but by replying, I'm threatening to pour gas on the embers. But I did want to go back to Donald's excerpt, where he said

But the people quoted there were making sweeping statements about white people and Black people.

One of the problems with these discussions is that if you push the point too hard, you are implicitly not allowing any space for the other person to reframe what they said. Someone like McT takes advantage of that by skipping over points he doesn't like and hammering on the things he feels he can defend.

The problem with my discourse style (and probably why I don't get along with McT or Marty for that matter) is that I tend to be pedantic, and overly formal as you will see below.

If we look at the excerpt Donald gave, we see 8 tokens of 'white'. They are

white culture (4 times) and the following 1 time each
White Eurocentric knowledge
White European Enlightenment epistemology
White, Indigenous and non-European knowledges.
white values

At no point are DiAngelo and Singleton talking about white "people". So I think one of the points of contention is that we don't agree that they are talking about the same thing. We could have a discussion (and have had it in varying forms) how we can separate 'people' from 'culture', but I feel like Donald's underlying assumption is that if you talk about a culture, you are talking about the people in it.

This is where a lot of the flak that occurs when this topic is discussed can be found. Values embedded within that culture, there's no problem with it because everyone knows it, everyone does it, and everyone understands what the problems are if you don't.

I've not followed who said what (another problem with coming to this in the Japanese AM), but some people seem to dismiss the idea that different groups have different conceptions of time. There's actually a large body of research saying the opposite and if one is interested (rather than simply googling to find counter examples), I'd check out the work of Hofstede. Here's an interesting website that compares different countries on not only time but other variables proposed by Hofstede.
https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison/

As I mentioned before, when it is embedded in the culture and everyone roughly agrees, there's not a problem. But when two different cultures (and DiAngelo and Singleton are arguing that there is a Black culture) having, for example, differing conceptions of time, bump into each other, one can expect conflict to arise. A difference in time perception, with the majority white culture adopting a monochronic approach where time can be spent, saved or wasted and lateness or any form of interruption will not be tolerated bumps into the polychronic where number of tasks can be done at once and people are not expected to do one thing at a time (some national cultures/areas that are considered to be like this are Mexico, the Philippines and Southern Europe) problems arise. When it is assumed that this approach tells us something about the people in that culture, we have the monochronic culture assume that representatives of the polychronic culture are lazy and shiftless. This is where the problem lies, and you only get at that by discussing the cultural tendencies.

At any rate, that's why I was baffled by Donald's reaction to the excerpt. To write at this length creates the impression that I'm mad at Donald, which is not the case, it is just the time shifting, so I apologize for the impression.

It was interesting to do a comparison of the US and Mexico in the Hofstede piece. Made sense to me.

lj's comment reminded me of something from my honeymoon, when my wife and I traveled to Greece. There were a lot of Greeks on the flights both on the way there and on the way back. On the first flight out of JFK, we were a little shocked at the way the Greeks all rushed to the boarding gate in a big cluster the moment they announced the start of boarding. Everyone had an assigned seat, and they were boarding in an order, as usual. Their behavior seemed almost offensive to us.

On the way home, we just sat and waited until the last minute to get on. Very quickly (or maybe after two weeks in Greece) the rushing, crowding Greeks were just ... different? In any case, it was no longer the least bit bothersome. We knew the deal and did our thing.

I don't remember what the baggage claim was like going to or returning from Greece, but I used to fly fairly regularly years ago, and the baggage claim always annoyed me. That was because of American behavior. Everyone would crowd the carousel to get their luggage. Meanwhile, no one had a clue whose bags would come out first, it was difficult to see your luggage coming out if you weren't right at the front, and it was difficult to get to your luggage when it did come out. If everyone just stood back, everyone could easily see and retrieve their luggage when it came out in whatever random order that would happen.

The thing is, though, that I can imagine (and maybe that's because it happened that way, even if I don't specifically remember it) that the Greeks would just hang out at a distance (probably smoking, if it was in Greece*) waiting for their luggage to come out, behaving in a way that was far more sensible than the American way of crowding the carousel.

So the Greeks weren't good with the ordered process, and the Americans weren't good with the unordered process. That seems like culture to me. One good at one thing and the other good at another. Neither better overall.

*My wife and I joked that the non-smoking section in the Greek airports, where people were smoking and there were ashtrays, was where smoking was just optional. In the smoking section you had to smoke. It was mandatory.

Marty, The arc of my travels has never put me in a place with a large Mexican or even a large Hispanic population except for brief periods of time and I've never made it to Mexico so I'd be interested in any anecdotes you have about encounters with Mexico or Mexicans that you'd care to relate.

hsh, a friend who spent time in Italy (another one of those Southern European cultures) said that in Italy, a line is a triangle with its base at the counter.

Here is a long article giving examples of leftwing cancel culture.

Thanks for this Donald. Most of the examples are cases of which I have, up to now, not been aware. I agree that many of them seem to be examples of people suffering consequences way out of line with whatever it was they said or did.

All of that said, this Twitter comment from the article is closest to my own opinion:

'Cancel culture' has become such a vague, catch-all, hodgepodge phrase, encompassing wildly different people and situations. It's not useful at all.

I'll also say that it seems reasonable for an organization to cut ties with people who they simply do not want to be associated with, due to that persons public (often very public) statements or actions.

It's a weird time, everybody is angry. About a lot of things. And there are a lot of things that people should be really angry about. It seems almost naive, to me, to think that there is some idyllic forum for thoughtful, balanced, and carefully reasoned discourse on offer out there somewhere, if we could all just open our minds and ears and really hear what our counter-parties are saying.

It's kind of a knife-fight. A lot of people are getting hurt, in a lot of ways. Strong words, and strong reactions, should not surprise anyone.

None of us are going to get past any of that without hearing and acknowledging the fact that a lot of people are hurting.

Not to pick on Marty, but upthread he offers the thought that the essence of the black complaint is that society wants black people to act in ways that work for society, and (presumably) black people don't want to have to do that.

I submit that that is not the essence of the black complaint. I can't tell you what the essence of the black complaint is, because I'm not black, and it would be lame for me to say I can speak for black people. But I am, let us say, highly confident that that is not the essence of their complaint.

Lather, rinse, and repeat, for all of the other groups of people who feel that they don't have a full stake in our common life. For whatever reason.

If folks want to tone down the 'cancel culture', maybe the first step is to listen to the angry people. Maybe they're angry for a reason.

If Twitter is the biggest weapon they have to bring to the table, maybe they're angry, and not particularly powerful. Maybe a bigger seat at the table would help.

In any case, I have no solution to the problem. I'm not on Twitter, I don't really engage in social media pile-ons. I'm not really interested in bullying people. All of this is kind of outside my experience.

Conversation and openness and the granting of the benefit of the doubt goes in multiple directions. The opposite, likewise.

A perhaps-Hofstede-related anecdote.

My wife and I were in Italy. We rented a car. It was black.

We were heading back home and returned our car to the rental agency. The paperwork said the car was white.

Car model, year, mileage, plate number, all matched. Car was black, paperwork said white.

"But, the car is black", we said. "Is there a mistake?"

"No, it's fine. We just put 'white' down as the color for all the cars".

Different strokes.

My wife and I were in Italy.

Glad we went there in the fall, even though it was a splurge. It will be awhile before we're allowed out amongst the world community again.

This is what it must have felt like to be a Soviet citizen. Thanks, Trump voters.

Not to pick on Marty, but upthread he offers the thought that the essence of the black complaint is that society wants black people to act in ways that work for society, and (presumably) black people don't want to have to do that.

I submit that that is not the essence of the black complaint. I can't tell you what the essence of the black complaint is, because I'm not black, and it would be lame for me to say I can speak for black people. But I am, let us say, highly confident that that is not the essence of their complaint.

Being braver (more foolhardy) I will take a shot. The black people I know personally (admittedly perhaps an atypical subset) have no problem with acting in ways that are unexceptional among white people. The essence of their complaint is that they frequently don't get the same response. In particular, but by no means exclusively, from law enforcement.

In short, not "we are being forced to do it your way" but "we do it your way (and are OK with that), but it doesn't work the same."

On the matter queues.

"Is queuing just a phenomenon of English-speaking countries? The British are famous for their habit of queuing, as are the Canadians. Americans will wait in line and become extremely agitated if somebody cuts in. Yet in China, standing patiently in a queue is a sign of weakness. The strongest, and most successful get to the front. And anybody who has tried to board a train in India will be familiar with the stampede that happens as soon as the doors open.

Different cultures have different attitudes to waiting in line. Here’s a quick trip around global queuing habits."
Why do Brits love to queue?


"Queuing, it's what the British are renowned for doing - and doing very well. Better than anyone else in the world, if reputation is to be believed."
Queuing: Is it really the British way?


Perhaps TLDR

"What separates a good queuing experience from a bad one, however, is not just the speed of the line. How the wait makes us feel and line fairness (nobody likes line-jumpers) can have a greater impact on our perception of a queue than the amount of time we spend in it. And while waiting time is often hard to cut down, perception can be altered with good line design and management."
Waiting game: An extended look at how we queue: You might have heard of a serpentine line, but did you know about jockeying and slips & skips? Enter the weird and wonderful world of waiting line design.

Donald,

From the article": “Which is the real threat?” is a pointless argument, because the answer is: Both."

This claim is not true in any meaningful sense in today's political zeitgeist in our country. That it is given significant credence in a time when a fascist POS President is sending armed thugs into our communities is simply this: Unforgivable.

It is a near total abdication of what is actually important.

Sorry. I agree with you on some really fundamental issues (US foreign policy, Palestinian rights) which you point out repeatedly and correctly are "cancelled" in just about every sense of the term. This is not one of them.

Perhaps this author could take a moment to speak with Phil Donahue, a real victim of "cancel culture" (a case somehow never mentioned by our freedom crusader, McKinneyTex) . My take is this: An article that takes on "cancel culture" and only cites left wing "woke" transgressions is simple taking sides.

Cathy Young is taking the wrong side.

Greek culture -- or rather, public behavior -- is somewhat different now from what it was in the days of hairshirt's honeymoon in my home town on Crete.

For example, the frivolous Greeks (citizenry and government both) managed to take Covid-19 more seriously than the exceptional Americans. Greece has suffered only about 200 Covid deaths out of about 10 million population so far. And although Greece lives on tourism, Greeks are willing to forgo tourists from the US and other shithole hotspot countries. Maybe that's a form of "cancel culture", though, and to be frowned on by such paragons of reason as McKinney.

On a completely different topic: it appears that every one of you prog leftists couldn't care less what slogans or insignia Whole Foods workers are allowed to wear at work. So, just to make McKinney feel better, let me reassure him that there's at least one prog leftist around here who would be MORE likely to shop at Whole Foods if I noticed some of its workers sporting BLM masks (or tee shirts, or tatoos) and LESS likely if it was MAGA hats or Confederate flags. I might go so far as to be indifferent to American flags, in moderation.

"Less likely" is not the same as "boycott" or "picket" or "cancel". But it's still something savvy businessmen looking to increase shareholder value in a free market with at-will employment might care about.

--TP

And I can hear the response: bobby, it's not about taking sides."

Yes. It is.

Perhaps lj can weigh in here better with some additional insights, but when it comes to queuing, Japanese generally are patient, listen to any instructions from various officials and other staff about the need or reason for queuing, and in explanations of any reactions I've gotten about queuing from people here that I know, will say that all the instructions and the personnel are there for public safety, and to help people. Completely the opposite from what I hear about many Chinese.

One thing that seems to come up in the Japanese view of queuing is to make it a worthwhile experience. A TV clip from some time back illustrated not only this, but also the difference in cultural views of queuing.

A certain restaurant had opened in Tokyo that had gotten a lot of great advance reviews, and the clip showed people lined up waiting for the restaurant to open. A TV interviewer went around getting some "vox-pop"-type comments from people as to what they were there to try in the place and so on, including a woman with two children was there.

The interviewer asked her if it was difficult for her to wait in line with two children, both of whom appeared well-behaved. She said she had no problem with waiting because she could share in the anticipation and experience with others in the line. But then she added that her American husband was elsewhere at that time because he couldn't stand waiting in line like this, as to him it was a complete waste of time.

If folks want to tone down the 'cancel culture', maybe the first step is to listen to the angry people. Maybe they're angry for a reason.

Precisely. Thank you, russell. Look, it goes like this:

OP (the oppressed): Your boot is on our neck. release it!

TP (teh powerful): We will take your complaint under consideration. Fill out this form in triplicate and forward to the P.O. Box provided.

OP: That didn't work! We protest!

TP: You are being rude and disrespectful! Why are you burning buildings in your own community? Obviously your complaints are without merit.

And although Greece lives on tourism, Greeks are willing to forgo tourists from the US and other shithole hotspot countries.

It’s been almost a quarter century since my honeymoon, and I still occasionally check out Rethymnon on google street view. Before going down to street level, seeing all the places labeled as “currently closed” is a punch to the gut. Thinking of that place as being remotely empty stabs me in the heart.

Or stabs me in the gut and punches me in the heart. Whiskey... Did I mention I’m an engineer?

More on the incoherence of the "cancel culture" crusaders.

This is not hard. Please stop making it so.

Completely the opposite from what I hear about many Chinese.

From one of the articles I linked to up thread:

Yet in China, standing patiently in a queue is a sign of weakness.

I suspect that this can vary with age. Unlike middle-aged Chinese who lived through the bad times, young Chinese are known to wait in line for hours to get into the currently popular eating establishment. And the establishment may pay people to stand in line to make it look even more popular.

This is a very interesting article about practical electoral mechanics:
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/07/david-shor-cancel-culture-2020-election-theory-polls.html

What it brushes very lightly over is what changes people’s attitudes over time, but it’s nonetheless extremely interesting on why they vote the way they do. I expect some will find the arguments offensive or in persuasive, but I think they bear thinking about.

(And set aside the interviewer’s snark at the start.)

I hate to be a party pooper, and I confess to being as guilty as anybody here....but really, shouldn't we argue about more important things? Remeber when we argued about the Iraq invasion(s)? Torture? Privatizing Social Security? Tax cuts? Deficits? Health care? And yes, racism?

And now everybody is getting their panties in a bunch because Bari Weiss QUIT her lucrative well paying job? Really?

We have lost our minds.

nigel @ 02:00 AM,

Do you realize what an ungodly hour this is over here? But yes, good article....too long to fully digest right now. Thanks.

"The term “cancel culture” comes from entitlement – as though the person complaining has the right to a large, captive audience,& one is a victim if people choose to tune them out.

Odds are you’re not actually cancelled, you’re just being challenged, held accountable, or unliked.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 10, 2020

“I have an entire TV network dedicated to stoking hatred of me,” continued Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat who serves as house representative for New York’s 14th congressional district.

“A white supremacist with a popular network show regularly distorts me in dangerous ways, and it’s a normal part of my existence to get death threats from their audience. You don’t see me complaining about ‘cancel culture’.”

i'm sure Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib can sympathize.

FWIW, I have to say the David Shor pile-on and firing seems just dumb. World-class, shoot yourself in the foot, own-goal dumbness. A liberal auto-da-fe.

And yeah, we've lost our minds.

ask Mitt Romney if Republicans know anything about "cancel culture". the former GOP nominee had a 23% approval rating nationally, among Republicans, this spring.

Darth Cheney's daughter is not welcome at the GOP Parteitag either for the crimes of 1) supporting a candidate in a GOP primary whose opponent Jabbabonk endorsed and 2) supporting a candidate in a GOP primary endorsed by Jabbabonk (put not the party establishment).
Just waiting for the trifecta with charges that she did not endorse any candidate in a third GOP primary.

the former GOP nominee had a 23% approval rating nationally, among Republicans, this spring.

Good to know we've got about a 1 in 4 starting point of sane people for the re-creation (I think we're beyond mere "rebuilding" at this point) of my party. I was worried it was closer to 1 in 8.

I'm only part of the way through Nigel's link, but I wanted to share these excerpts about balancing shorter-term electoral strategy with longer-term attempts to move public opinion.

There’s a paper by the political scientist David Broockman that made this point really famous — that “moderate” voters don’t have moderate views, just ideologically inconsistent ones.

(...)

Non-college-educated whites, on average, have very conservative views on immigration, and generally conservative racial attitudes. But they have center-left views on economics; they support universal health care and minimum-wage increases. So I think Democrats need to talk about the issues they are with us on, and try really hard not to talk about the issues where we disagree. Which, in practice, means not talking about immigration.

(...)

The problem is that swing voters don’t trust either party. So if you get Democrats to embrace Abolish ICE, that won’t get moderate-ish, racist white people to support it; it will just turn them into Republicans. So that’s the trade-off.

(...)

But it’s a hard trade-off. And I don’t think anyone ever says something like, “I think it was a good trade for us to lose the presidency because we raised the salience of this issue.” That’s not generally what people want. They don’t want to make an unpopular issue go from 7 percent to 30 percent support. They want something like what happened with gay marriage or marijuana legalization, where you take an issue that is 30 percent and then it goes to 70 percent.

(...)

If you look at long-term trends in support for gay marriage, it began linearly increasing, year over year, starting in the late 1980s. But then, right when the issue increased in salience during the 2004 campaign, it suddenly became partisan, and support declined. After it stopped being a campaign issue, support returned to trend.

Interesting stuff.

Haven't had time to do a detailed catch-up, but from my initial skim it looks as if McKinney has never again referred to Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton or Byrd, after my inconvenient response on behalf of The Progressive Left. It is only fair to say that this is a normal part of the McKinney MO when dealing with inconvenient responses which don't fit his prejudices.

I'm away from my office and just now getting up and running--is the above the comment you believe I failed to address? If not, pls specify and I will respond.

I did not see a response to my general broadside against the prog lefty double standard that, pick your Verb: allied with, idolized, revered, championed, defended, etc. Down the memory hole as it were. I do concede that a number of women today--well past time when it matters--have had unkind things to say about Bill while ignoring his wife's complicity or by claiming it to be unrelated to her husband or her defense of her husband and, for the record, here is what I said upthread:

GFTNC often assays to infer the psychology behind others' thoughts and views. I invite her to explicate the prog left's underlying psychology of its not-so-distant love affairs with Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd. If leaving your date to drown while you flee isn't a bit of misogyny, I don't know what is. Maybe someone can square this circle for me. Please help me understand the high moral ground so many here seek to occupy with your own party's recent past.

The prog left today is quite judg-y from most outsiders' viewpoint, which ties into the Taibbi piece, cancel culture, twitter mobs, the "white" fetish and so on. The disconnect with the prog left's own history, particularly Kennedy, has always been astonishing to me.

Your personal views are apart from the defenders of those cretins at the time.

Invent your own nightmare, here. Be creative.

Yep, I get it. I tell my attorneys, when I hire them, that we have the full range of political and social outlooks in our office and among our client base and if you can't work and play well with the full range of what our society presents(and our world, for that matter, since not all of our clients are domestic), go somewhere else. I make it clear that they have the right to believe, vote, etc as they see fit but they do not have the right to alienate others. If they feel they need to take a public stand in a way that is likely to cause problems with clients, they must leave and if they don't, I will cause them to leave.

As an aside, we are a trial firm. We try cases all over the state and Texas is quite diverse in many, many ways. Either you develop an affinity and an understanding of who your state-wide neighbors are or you're out of business. We are anything but out of business and for that very reason, this will be my last comment until I can get caught up and that may be sometime right around the first of Never. Adieu.

I make it clear that they have the right to believe, vote, etc as they see fit but they do not have the right to alienate others. If they feel they need to take a public stand in a way that is likely to cause problems with clients, they must leave and if they don't, I will cause them to leave.

Which, in your particular situation (which is not the situation of most companies IMHO), is not unreasonable. IF you tell them right up front that is what is expected/required.

No. The comment I believe you failed to address, although I notice that now (Your personal views are apart from the defenders of those cretins at the time.) you may preemptively explain this, was:

This is a perfect example of the phenomenon I mentioned of McKinney attributing attitudes to "us" which "we" don't have.

I despised Ted Kennedy, and made it clear that if I was put in the position, I would refuse to shake his hand in a professional context which might have harmed me. I was agnostic about Bill Clinton (although impressed by his brilliance as a campaigner), but ended up believing Paula Jones, and thought Juanita Broadrrick's allegation convincing.

I had no idea who Robert Byrd was until I read your comment, but looked him up.

Byrd later called joining the KKK "the greatest mistake I ever made."[22] In 1997, he told an interviewer he would encourage young people to become involved in politics but also warned, "Be sure you avoid the Ku Klux Klan. Don't get that albatross around your neck. Once you've made that mistake, you inhibit your operations in the political arena."[23] In his last autobiography, Byrd explained that he was a KKK member because he "was sorely afflicted with tunnel vision—a jejune and immature outlook—seeing only what I wanted to see because I thought the Klan could provide an outlet for my talents and ambitions."[24] Byrd also said in 2005, "I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times ... and I don't mind apologizing over and over again. I can't erase what happened."[12]

My attitude on reading the Wikipedia entry is this. I am aware that racists (even overt, activist racists) can reform, and I praise and appreciate those who do. It is ambiguous to me from this whether that was the case with Byrd, or whether his "conversion" was cynical and motivated by professional ambitions.

McKinney, as so often you are arguing with people who aren't here. Get a grip for God's sake.

Posted by: Girl from the North Country | July 22, 2020 at 09:27 AM

Oh, I see that McKinney was talking about the "prog left", not just me. But since he always seems to invoke us as representatives of the same (as I quoted earlier), I stand by my response.

Posted by: Girl from the North Country | July 22, 2020 at 09:31 AM

Namely:

They are just as sure about their views as everyone here is about their own. They view the Prog Left as incoherent, authoritarian nuts who, among other things, have lost their collective minds in the aftermath of the Floyd George killing.
.....

Matt Taibbi, once again, lays out the reasons why I--and others--can no more lie in your bed than I can in Trump's

Posted by: Girl from the North Country | July 22, 2020 at 09:36 AM

Goddamit, I was so pissed off that I was unclear. I should have said:

I despised Ted Kennedy, and made it clear (in a professional context where it might have harmed me) that if I was put in the position, I would refuse to shake his hand.

Posted by: Girl from the North Country | July 22, 2020 at 09:40 AM

As I make clear, I believe I was entitled to give you my view, since you characterise all of us here with the exception of Marty (and maybe wj) as The Prog Left.

Yep, I get it.

All good. I appreciate the reply!

IMVHO, some of the 'cancel culture' stuff is, in fact, overzealous policing of thinking and saying the 'right things'. See also, the David Shor case.

And also IMVHO, a lot of what is characterized as 'cancel culture' is people saying and doing things in a very public context - whether work related or not - that makes life more complicated for their employer or peer group or whoever than they would like.

So ways are parted.

Things like Bennet at the NYT fall into the second category. Again, IMVHO.

And sometimes, what is broadly characterized as 'cancel culture' is straight up harassment, not infrequently to the point of criminal behavior.

See also, Milo Yiannopoulis and similar trolls.

Different cases are different.

I don't really get the "as sure about their views" thing. McKinney strikes me as being very sure about his views. As far as I can tell, he's as sure about his views as I am about mine. Does that make us equally wrong, or what? Here we all are - the prog left, Trumpers, and McKinney - all sure about our views. What does that say about our views?

I know people who think the administration of vaccines is part of a global conspiracy to ... well I'm not sure what the goal of the conspiracy is supposed to be ... but they're sure there is one. I know people who think the moon landing was faked, and they're very sure of it.

I'm sure that the world is round. Some people are convinced that it's flat. Is one of those views right, or are they equally wrong because of the equal certainty with which they're held?

Yup, I think it means "my Trump supporting friends are sure they're right, and so are you prog lefties at ObWi, so same-same." Which rather ignores, as you remark hsh, what those views are. I don't want to harp on, but some people like McKinney and Marty were sure of their view that HRC or Trump would be equally bad for America as president. I would far rather that history had not proved the sure view before the 2016 election of the ObWi commentariat regarding Trump as being so very, very right.

I'm truly sorry to harp on about HRC, and would call it back if I could. But I can't think of another example which shows how utterly blind the right (except for the Never-Trumpers) were before the election. As a thought experiment, if by some strange series of events Trump had been the Dem nominee, and someone like Romney the GOP one, I wonder how many of us would have voted GOP, or abstained? But I guess it's almost impossible to see how Trump could have succeeded in getting the Dem nomination, despite his earlier history. On the other hand, the whole thing would once have seemed unimaginable....

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/7/23/1963124/-Texas-county-overwhelmed-with-Covid-19-will-deny-treatment-to-those-deemed-unlikely-to-survive

https://www.dallasnews.com/business/health-care/2019/09/10/here-s-how-many-texans-don-t-have-health-insurance-according-to-new-census-data/

Texas turned down expanded Medicaid as well.

McTX, since you measure us repeatedly against friends of yours who vote for Donald Trump and whatever nutcase conservatives his Party coughs up, and find absolute balance in the the two sides' respective crazy, please tell them for me that they are genocidal cold-blooded republican murderers and we are not.

Thomas Edsall:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/22/opinion/liberals-conservatives-trump-america.html

quoted by hsh:

There’s a paper by the political scientist David Broockman that made this point really famous — that “moderate” voters don’t have moderate views, just ideologically inconsistent ones.
Never heard of Broockman, but I made that point here at ObWi long ago.
The problem is that swing voters don’t trust either party. So if you get Democrats to embrace Abolish ICE, that won’t get moderate-ish, racist white people to support it; it will just turn them into Republicans. So that’s the trade-off.
I have also long held that "independents" are people who will vote Republican given the slightest excuse.

McKinneyTexas is by his own statements here a solid Republican (though anti-Trump) so he's not one of those "independents". He doesn't need an excuse.

hsh, in person:

I don't really get the "as sure about their views" thing. McKinney strikes me as being very sure about his views. As far as I can tell, he's as sure about his views as I am about mine. Does that make us equally wrong, or what? Here we all are - the prog left, Trumpers, and McKinney - all sure about our views. What does that say about our views?
Gee, I wish I'd said that.

As for unjust "cancels" by the "prog left", let's focus on cancelling He, Trump and his fascist lickspittles and then worry about reining in the overzealous among us.

--TP

FWIW, and in the interests of accuracy, I think McKinney has told us in the past that he hasn't been an actual Republican for years. But I don't think he's ever didavowed being a Conservative, or on the right.

Disavowed

McKinney has stated here several times in the past that he is not a member of the Republican Party.

Yes, a conservative, but on some issues, gay marriage for example, he would be pilloried as a RINO and worse by that party, if in fact he was in that party.

"As for unjust "cancels" by the "prog left", let's focus on cancelling He, Trump and his fascist lickspittles and then worry about reining in the overzealous among us."

Exactly.

I don't really get the "as sure about their views" thing. McKinney strikes me as being very sure about his views. As far as I can tell, he's as sure about his views as I am about mine. Does that make us equally wrong, or what? Here we all are - the prog left, Trumpers, and McKinney - all sure about our views. What does that say about our views?

I have a short break and this is a valid point. Let me clarify: the commonality between the prog left and the Trump right is that both have realities unique to their outlook that are are viewed much differently by people outside their respective orbits. The regualar/moderate Dems I know say, like I do, "I don't have a party anymore." The "base", whether Republican or Democrat, has their core beliefs and no one is moving them off their positions, come hell or high water. And both are as sure as they can be that everyone who doesn't agree with them has it wrong. Back to work.

JT, I'd tell them they were murderers if that's what they were. They aren't. You'd like most of them. And they would like you.

TP--I haven't aligned as a Republican for years. I'm obviously conservative on a number of issues.

Bobbyp- I agree Cathy Young’s piece is biased. The point was to see some examples of what conservatives talk about. Are there cases where they have a point? I think the answer is yes. Some twitter account— McWhorter’s, I think— claimed that he received numerous emails in private from people in academia claiming they kept their mouths shut on some issues for fear of their jobs. One doesn’t have to agree with them on everything they say. And I certainly agree that we on the left can give many examples of lefties being cancelled. Half of what Chomsky wrote about in his political books were examples of US atrocities being ignored. I


I think there are multiple factions — it isn’t just left vs right—and to the degree that a given faction has power in some setting, some people will abuse it and engage in bullying.

GTFNC— Yeah, that Rosner passage was terrible. I have mixed feelings about publishing it. I lean towards the idea that the NYT is such a huge institution that they should publish a very wide range of views, including some that are shocking. But if so, they needed to publish a very hard hitting response to the Rosner piece. Or the Cotton one.

LJ— I didn’t think you were mad.

I object to that way of thinking that I cited on multiple grounds. So I don’t think one should talk about rationality and science as “ White”. If you want to criticize how science has been used to justify racism, then go ahead. I have a ( half- read) copy of Ronald Fisher’s book on natural selection It is one of the most important works of evolutionary theory. Part of it is about eugenics. And yes, Enlightenment figures were often racist, sexist, and antisemitic. People should know the bad side of Western history ( though without acting like it was all bad or that much worse than other cultures.)

So one could talk about how certain attitudes claim the mantle of rationality and science, but DiAngelo and company weren’t doing that. They were making a claim that scientific thinking is “ White” and that it is unfair to Black children to judge them by these white ways of thinking.

I can’t think of a polite way to express my fervent disagreement with certain forms of postmodern bullshit. Yes, people from different cultures and subcultures see things differently. And yes, children raised in a given subculture might have trouble learning what these people consider “ White” ways of thinking. Teachers should take this into account. But children really should learn about math and science and they should learn how to communicate effectively via the written word and they should not be taught that these useful abilities are “ White”. If they work in certain settings then it is important to be on time.

All these are useful and important skills. One can also have classes where one learns about other cultures, ideologies, religions, and so forth in a respectful way.

I sometime feel like many of the portions of far left thinking that successfully break out into the wider culture are the really stupid parts. I assume that wokeness workshops for office workers are a lucrative business and enable corporations to avoid lawsuits without having to worry about giving longer bathroom breaks,or longer stretches of paid sick leave and decent health care to their warehouse workers. Yes, this is oversimplified.

The "base", whether Republican or Democrat, has their core beliefs and no one is moving them off their positions, come hell or high water. And both are as sure as they can be that everyone who doesn't agree with them has it wrong.

I'm not sure how this addresses the point regarding what that means about who actually is right about ... anything, I guess. And I don't see how it's something exclusive to the people in a given party's base to think people they disagree with are wrong. That's what disagreement is. Perhaps it's the sureness that you think is particular to the bases, though I don't know how you're measuring that. Like I wrote earlier, you seem as sure that your opinions are right as I am that mine are, AFAICT.

When you get time, McKinney, I'd suggest Nigel's link in his 7/23 2 AM comment. It says something different about the bases of the two parties than what you're suggesting.

“ these people”

I used that phrase. I meant DiAngelo and the other person that was cited, or more generally, this particular brand of leftwing radical.

One point Taibbi made which was obvious— you could are exactly the same case when fundamentalist parents objected to having evolution taught in their biology classe, or demanded equal time for their own ideas. You can an should be respectful to children and their religious beliefs and not engage in ridicule but students should learn biology in school and that includes evolution, even if they think that is a “ secular humanist” view

I don't see how it's something exclusive to the people in a given party's base to think people they disagree with are wrong.

For a non-political example, one need only consider theology. Not just between religions, but even within one. Indeed, the term "heresy" for any disagreements has its origins there.

Loved this headline, regarding covid-19 and its impact here:
American exceptionalism was our preexisting condition

the commonality between the prog left and the Trump right is that both have realities unique to their outlook that are are viewed much differently by people outside their respective orbits.

I personally belong to at least three groups of people, for whom this statement is also 100% true:

* UU Church member
* Working musician
* Software engineer

Plus, bog standard white middle class suburban blue state liberal.

So, what you've said is completely true, but I'm not sure what to do with it.

I'm sure that (D)'s could pick up some votes if their base wasn't seen as too extreme by people who think of themselves a moderate. They'd also lose some votes if they went out of their way to appeal to people who think of themselves as moderate.

I understand why you find it unpalatable. I often find it unpalatable, but my own values and interests align closely enough with those of the "prog left" that I just ignore the stuff that bugs me and carry on.

I suspect that something north of 90% of People Like Me are more or less in the same place. There aren't that many people who are, in any meaningful sense of the word, radical.

Eat the meat and spit out the bones. And if the meat itself is not to your liking, that's also cool, everybody has their own point of view.

Yes, a conservative, but on some issues, gay marriage for example, he would be pilloried as a RINO and worse by that party

pilloried is a quaint old fashioned way of saying "cancelled".

so, sorry, you must be wrong about that, JT.

The regualar/moderate Dems I know say, like I do, "I don't have a party anymore."

I would say you don't seem to know many Dems, "regular" or otherwise.

I am the real Zell Miller.

I apologize for assuming upthread that a man who wrote here that he voted for Republicans up and down the ballot except for president "is" a Republican. I freely and humbly acknowledge that McKinney may be simply one of those "independents" who vote Republican given the slightest excuse.

There are many people like that, I hear. The kind of people who want government to "get things done" and never mind what "things" those are. The kind of people who are "as sure as they can be that everyone who doesn't agree with them has it wrong" because the MAGAs and the SJWs can't both be right. The kind of people who seem to think two adversarial political parties is one party too many for a sensible, moderate, congenial form of self-government.

So what do such people ask of the "prog left", and what do they ask of the Trump-supporting right? What would either "side" have to say or do to get these numerous and sensible "independents" to ally with it? Or abandon it?

--TP

So what do such people ask of the "prog left", and what do they ask of the Trump-supporting right? What would either "side" have to say or do to get these numerous and sensible "independents" to ally with it? Or abandon it?

The "prog left" should disappear in a cloud of marijuana smoke, and the Trumpers should do as they are told by their masters.

Look! More 'woke' cancel culture.

By god, it's everywhere...like a virus.

I loved cleek's copy upthread of AOC's tweets about cancel culture, but I have just watched her statement on the floor of the house about Yoho, and it is just wonderful. It may become as important as Julia Gillard's in the Australian parliament did, but in the meantime, it sure puts down a marker.

https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1286381316670398465

I loved cleek's copy upthread of AOC's masterly tweets about cancel culture, but I have just watched her statement on the floor of the House about her encounter with Yoho, and it is just wonderful. It may become as iconic as Julia Gillard's speech in the Australian parliament, but in the meantime, I imagine it will resonate pretty strongly with 50% of the population, and not all of them Ds.

https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1286381316670398465

Or maybe it will become this generation's
"Have you no sense decency, sir?"

Just reread my comment upthread. It needs an editor. I could use a few lessons in clear writing myself, though I blame part of it on impatience while typing.

Anyway, to me leftwing cancel culture is an issue, possibly important, but I am not sure. The worst case I know of was that woman who lost her job because the Washington Post exposed her poor judgment in satirizing a Fox News host.

But right now getting Trump out um, trumps everything for the next few months. Who would have guessed that having a moron in the WH during a global crisis would be a bad idea? If Biden gets in, then there will be a wide range of issues to argue about.

If Biden gets in, then there will be a wide range of issues to argue about.

Doubtless true. But we will remain in agreement that he is a huge improvement. However many objections we find ourselves having over some things he does.

Further to which, I'm guessing that Trump's boasting about having aced the cognitive test might just be his worst mis-step with the public since the bleach injections. If I'm right, quite a lot of the public might have either done the test themselves, or more importantly have accompanied a spouse or parent who has been doing it (as I did with my late mother), and know from personal observation that doing well on this test is not something to boast about. Here's hoping, anyway.

Or maybe it will become this generation's
"Have you no sense decency, sir?"

Sadly, I find this unlikely.

Further to which, I'm guessing that Trump's boasting about having aced the cognitive test might just be his worst mis-step with the public since the bleach injections.

Trump has a rock-solid lock on about 30% of the population. If he has a couple of strokes of luck between now and November, that's probably worth another 10 - 20%. How that plays out electorally is a jump-ball, although at the moment it doesn't seem to be in his favor.

Tax cuts, deregulation, and the endless appeal of owning the libs. It has a constituency.

What he says about a cognitive test is not going to make any difference.

TBH, if it wasn't for the virus, I'd put his odds at better than even.

Damn you russell for your good sense! (I feel like Snoopy on the roof of his doghouse going "Curse you, Red Baron!") I guess I was indulging too much in wishful thinking, particularly since I also just finished reading Nigel's excellent link to the interview with David Shor, where the electoral maths for the next few cycles depressed me enough to go looking for good news.

The Jacksonville Republican summer of suffocation has been canceled.

Trump today: "I looked at my team and I said, the timing of this event is not right."

"I had a deal with my friend, the Covid-19, that if I ignored the virus, it would agree to go away. I kept up my end of the bargain.

His team, cowering under the table, breathed a great Covid-19 droplet-filled sigh of relief.

Here they are on the way into the meeting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-WX5-WexvE

We're a f*cking pathetic, but deadly joke.

It's true, in retrospect Obama and H. Clinton might, I say, maybe now, don't hold me to it, it's still up in the air, all of the evidence is not in, after all, but they MIGHT not have been so bad after all.

Here is the problem with cancel culture, everyone knows it exists, so really it's just not worth the back and forth.

Cancel culture is like political correctness or the race card. It’s not that there’s nothing at all there. It’s just not of the size or nature that some people think (or at least claim to think). It gets turned into a cudgel, an all-purpose refutation for a broad yet still conveniently selective set of circumstances. There a bunch of cancel culture outside of the set that people use it to describe, and there’s a bunch inside that same set that doesn’t belong there.

I'm pretty happy to never discuss it again.

Morning, I don't want to be worrying this like a dog with a bone, but this is obviously something that deeply interests me. Donald wrote:

I object to that way of thinking that I cited on multiple grounds. So I don’t think one should talk about rationality and science as “ White”. If you want to criticize how science has been used to justify racism, then go ahead. I have a ( half- read) copy of Ronald Fisher’s book on natural selection It is one of the most important works of evolutionary theory. Part of it is about eugenics. And yes, Enlightenment figures were often racist, sexist, and antisemitic. People should know the bad side of Western history (though without acting like it was all bad or that much worse than other cultures.)

I don't think that DiAngelo and others are suggesting that rationality and science are 'white'. They are saying that it is embedded in a way of teaching that empowers whites and disempowers others.

To give an example, I was I was pretty good at math, but when I was helping (or should I say trying to help) my daughters with their math, I was totally flummoxed. It didn't effect my self-image, math is not really essential for my job, but as a kid, I got good scores in math, so my self-esteem was supported at that point in my life.

However, if I were in the position in JHS or HS, it is very easy for me to see how it would have adversely affected me. Perhaps, had I learned Japanese as my first language, I would have been able to show my math ability, but we should be acutely aware that education in the US often does not really give minority children the kind of background that they need.

The point is similar to the one Michael Herriot gave at the end of this long tweet thread. I've pulled out the anecdote, though the whole thread is worth reading (though I'm not too sure about saying Native Son is better than Moby Dick, I tend to agree with James Baldwin's complaints about the novel, but the idea that Bigger is Ahab is interesting, though I think Baldwin would see Bigger as Moby Dick)

here

When I was in college, I took Chinese. The way you learn Mandarin Chinese is through a system called Pinyin, which is basically a system of phonetics and accents. Someone asked her if we’d be able to communicate in China if we learned Pin Yin, she said “probably not” She had a hard time explaining the variations in dialect and eventually settled on explaining it this way: “It’s how white people talk in your country.”

Some people were offended until she elaborated: “I know how to speak American English,” she said. “ “Before I came here, I read newspapers and watched the news. But no one talks like that. Then one day, I was in a math class taking a test. It was very difficult because it was all word problems. It was so hard even though I am very good at English and math. “After the class, someone asked me ‘how I think I did.’ I didn’t know what he meant. How I did what? What did I do?”

That’s when I realized that everyone around me was talking JUST LIKE THE PERSON WHO WROTE THE TEST. They were all White people. “ “It’s not that I didn’t know correct English, I didn’t know how to speak like the people who wrote the test!”

Because there are so many local & regional dialects, China tried to romanticize the written language for hundreds of years. But instead of restricting, Pinyin combined other systems into one written system. So you won’t be able to understand everyone but if you know pinyin, most ppl will understand you. “In America, most people understand correct English but they speak ‘white English’” she said.

Then she made a joke that offended some people but, as the only black person in the room, I knew exactly what she meant. It was a throwaway line but I remembered it for the rest of my life. “Learning ‘white’ should really be a prerequisite,” she said... “For ALL the classes.”

So when you see D & S making:

a claim that scientific thinking is “ White” and that it is unfair to Black children to judge them by these white ways of thinking.

I see them instead pointing out how it is taught, though people seize on that explanation to judge it as illegitmate. This is the point that Michael Holding, the Jamaican cricketer, made about Edison and Lattimer's place in history.

Interestingly enough, Herriot's thread was prompted by a tweet by Thomas Chatterton Williams, one of the authors of the infamous Harper's cancel culture open letter, complaining about this article about Rutger's changes to their curriculum
https://www.thecollegefix.com/rutgers-english-department-to-deemphasize-traditional-grammar-in-solidarity-with-black-lives-matter/

which, as Herriot points out, was misread by the article and the identity of the author may explain why he chose to read it in that way.

Williams was also interviewed by Issac Chotnier in the New Yorker. He doesn't fare as badly as Richard Epstein did (ouch!), but his discussion of the genesis of the letter underlines how much it was a product of a bubble.

I can’t think of a polite way to express my fervent disagreement with certain forms of postmodern bullshit. Yes, people from different cultures and subcultures see things differently. And yes, children raised in a given subculture might have trouble learning what these people consider “ White” ways of thinking. Teachers should take this into account. But children really should learn about math and science and they should learn how to communicate effectively via the written word and they should not be taught that these useful abilities are “ White”. If they work in certain settings then it is important to be on time.

All these are useful and important skills. One can also have classes where one learns about other cultures, ideologies, religions, and so forth in a respectful way.

Unfortunately, the problem with this approach is that it places non-white cultures off to the side, so that people can treat them as an add-on rather than as the true meat of the education program. This is also the complaint made of the diversity programs that DiAngelo cut her teeth on, so if you take on board that complaint, they you need to apply it to this situation.

Anyway, apologies for length, hope it is of some interest.

LJ—

Actually, yes, if you are learning math or science then everyone’s culture is off to the side. When it isn’t, off to the side, you get creation science in biology class.

I have no particular stance on how humanities classes should be taught.

Incidentally, back in the day when people argued about intelligent design in the classroom, circa 2005, some people said that it could be taught in a religion class or even philosophy if a high school had a philosophy class. Which is fair.

I sometimes thought it would be interesting for a biology teacher to take on the intelligent design or creationist arguments in class— take them seriously and critique them. I still think that would work with openminded intelligent kids but on the whole it was probably a bad idea. You use up limited time and in practice, if you don’t come to the “ correct” conclusion you still have upset fundamentalists at the PTA meetings.

So shove that culture stuff out of the science class. If you want to know abou tthe cosmologies of people whose beliefs don’t fully coincide with what Western science teaches, do it in another class.

BTW, this includes some of my beliefs.

On a related note, I know some white people who don’t entirely live in a secular Western materialist cosmology, though it is funny to think about where we draw the lines. I’m a Christian and so I am one of them. I haven’t had any woo- woo experiences. But I know people who say they have. I am not going into that as none of these are my stories and I haven’t seen any of them. But yes, I mean ghost stories from people who claim to have seen them or heard them or in one case,been carried by one.

So it seems kind of silly to link a scientific worldview with “ whiteness” when I could fill a few paragraphs with some distinctly non scientific stories I have heard from white friends who claim to have experienced them. Plus there are people who believe in astrology and then there are all of us who still believe in some religion involving God and spirits and life after death. I have one friend who thinks belief in ghosts is absurd. He is a creationist.

Do these stories and beliefs belong in a science class? Are we sidelining actual “ white” culture when we leave them out of the educational system, except for maybe a religion or folklore class? Where exactly do these postmodern folk get their stereotypical notions of whiteness?


I'm pretty happy to never discuss it again.

but, but, Michael Cohen.

LOL...OK. I am off to bed.

As so often, the judge's ruling against the Trump administration is scathing. Because its actions were not only unjustified, but blatantly so. These guys wouldn't even make the cut for the gang that couldn't shoot straight.

Nigel,

The Shor interview was interesting and a bit gloomy (his logic seems pretty sound on that matter). However, his take on the increasing ideological sorting of the electorate into two camps is fairly common knowledge. I also found his narrative re post WWII elites to be a bit, um, odd. Not sure I agree with that take.

Thanks for the link.

Where exactly do these postmodern folk get their stereotypical notions of whiteness?

You need to define 'these postmodern folks'. Absent that, I don't really know how to answer the question. But to take a stab at it, I'd say that DiAngelo gets her idea from seeing what is taught and related and how it is understood. That last bit is pretty contentious, but when you pile up lots of examples, there is arguably a pattern. That understanding might not be shared by everyone in the society, but it is a lot like herd immunity, if a large proportion holds that, it exists, so arguing that one person or one group of people's understanding, (often for one particular fact) goes against it doesn't really invalidate the idea that the notion exists in a way that can influence people's actions.

An example is discussed in the 2016 op-ed by Garfield and Van Norden that provoked a lot of discussion
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/11/opinion/if-philosophy-wont-diversify-lets-call-it-what-it-really-is.html

You might argue that you are talking about science, but "science" doesn't appear in the passage, the passage says "White European Enlightenment epistemology". So taking science as the keystone of the complaint has, like the lawmaker who wanted to change the value of pi to something easier, nothing to do with science.

I agree with you that 'whites' have a lot of non scientific beliefs and I entertain them myself from time to time. But I hope you can see that the framing of the great march of progress and how science banished ignorance is largely a tale from a perspective of white society.

And we don't have to pay the price for believing in non-scientific mumbo jumbo. Yet someone who isn't white who says they believe in some aspect of say, Afrocentrism, I don't think they fare as well. Yes, there are theories that are way out there, but those are focussed on in discussions to the exclusion of theories and speculation that is actually worthwhile. (cue someone to google and pull up Stanley Crouch complaining about Afrocentrism)

I gave an example of how the structure of word problems can be dependent on the majority discourse. Fixing that is not simply painting a layer on top, it's actually going in and reconsidering how things are taught. Of course, given the short shrift given to public elementary and secondary education in US, the outcome is that the people who are more likely to succeed at university tend to be self-selected, and so, incidents like this are a symptom of that. So our education system works together to create a picture that whites are somehow more deserving.

The interesting thing is that when we restructure how we teach, we often find that people who may not fared as well in the old system are able to make strides. The requirement that someone be 'twice as good' makes sure that all the people who are just as good, or maybe 1.5 times as good don't get to where they can act as models for others.

To move this away from race, this Ted talk by Temple Grandin
https://www.ted.com/talks/temple_grandin_the_world_needs_all_kinds_of_minds?language=en

suggests what we are losing out. Assuming that we both agree that skin color has no bearing on this, then the structuring of education to present a myth of white superiority is problematic. How this is tackled is a difficult question, but if the question is considered out of bounds from the beginning, it won't be tackled at all.

Science did appear in the passage I cited from the NYT piece., Go back and look.

And from your NYT link—

“ Others might argue against renaming on the grounds that it is unfair to single out philosophy: We do not have departments of Euro-American Mathematics or Physics. This is nothing but shabby sophistry. Non-European philosophical traditions offer distinctive solutions to problems discussed within European and American philosophy, raise or frame problems not addressed in the American and European tradition, or emphasize and discuss more deeply philosophical problems that are marginalized in Anglo-European philosophy. There are no comparable differences in how mathematics or physics are practiced in other contemporary cultures.”

I completely agree. And as a Christian I am certain I would find the philosophical traditions of other cultures very interesting. But the article specifically excludes science and math. Good.

I would happily read at some point histories of racial oppression in the US and the West more generally. I have in the past. But I really have less than no interest in the way many academic leftists talk. I think it starts out with a clear complaint— Edward Said pointing out that the characters in Mansfield Park benefit from West Indianslavery, for instance, ( I may have that mixed up— it has been a long time since I read either Mansfield Park or Said). But that’s clear. White supremacy is tacitly accepted. Or even more clear is how our own glorious history has been thoroughly whitewashed. Or Ta Nehisi Coates wrote a pretty clear description of how black wealth was stolen via policy. I haven’t read Michelle Alexander’s book on prisons and Jim Crow, but I could no doubt follow that. And when reading about the Israeli- Palestinian conflict it is not hard to see the various hatreds and bigotries on both sides manifesting.

But when I read the passages in the NYT article I cited or read the transcript of the DiAngelo talk my reaction can best be summarized as “ Wtf is this shit?” The parts which are true are obvious. Her anecdotes were of white people being dumb, including herself. She thoroughly misrepresented how everyone talks about JackieRobinson. I don’t follow baseball history, but I knew nobody ever talked about the lesson being what she said it was. But overall it just seemed like a religious revival meeting, except one where you can’t be saved.

I first encountered this style of leftism in the first moral panic about OC culture back in the 90’s and it frustrated me, because it seemed to me that legitimate fact based revisionist views of Western history were being lumped in with some postmodern language that nobody understood.

As for whites being privileged to get away with nonsense while Afrocentrists are called out, this is hard to measure, but certainly white creationists get called out and ridiculed whenever they try to impose their views on the school systems.

I like the Michael Holding cite, lj.
One of my cricketing heroes (though Malcolm Marshall was even better, IMO).

That’s when I realized that everyone around me was talking JUST LIKE THE PERSON WHO WROTE THE TEST. They were all White people. “ “It’s not that I didn’t know correct English, I didn’t know how to speak like the people who wrote the test!”...

To some extent that’s the difference between good and bad teaching. Certainly the better lecturers at British universities are sensitive to this king of thing - necessarily so in recent years owing to the large numbers of overseas students universities have recruited.
And less of a problem to our kids generation, I think, as they are simply more sensitive to such issues ?

The Shor interview was interesting and a bit gloomy (his logic seems pretty sound on that matter). However, his take on the increasing ideological sorting of the electorate into two camps is fairly common knowledge. I also found his narrative re post WWII elites to be a bit, um, odd. Not sure I agree with that take

I didn’t really bother much with that last point, bobby. My thoughts were more about how it sets our rather clearly ways in which to be electorally smart, or avoid being dumb, without overly compromising your political principles. Some politicians (AOC is perhaps one) appear to get this intuitively, but many (most ?) are either completely wrapped up in their ideologies, or completely subsume principle to electoral considerations.
His remarks on statehood, and how to push for it, as a counter to the inbuilt Republican bias were also very interesting.

I like this proposal a great deal:
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/07/biden-judicial-nominations-corporate-lawyers-prosecutors.html

A remarkable statistic:
As of 2019, nearly 60 percent of federal circuit court judges were former corporate law partners.

Well, we are probably reaching the event horizon on this, but I've been reading some things cited and if anyone is interested, here is the article cited in the excerpt

https://robindiangelo.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Sensoy-DiAngelo-HER-2017.pdf

The focus of the article is about hiring at the university level, which may be of interest to some people here. I was particularly curious about the context of the quote of "validated and elevated positivistic, White Eurocentric knowledge over non-White, Indigenous and non-European knowledges"

Another unnamed logic of Whiteness is the presumed neutrality of White
European enlightenment epistemology. The modern university—in its knowledge generation, research, and social and material sciences and with its
“experts” and its privileging of particular forms of knowledge over others
(e.g., written over oral, history over memory, rationalism over wisdom)—has
played a key role in the spreading of colonial empire. In this way, the university has validated and elevated positivistic, White Eurocentric knowledge
over non-White, Indigenous, and non-European knowledges (Battiste, Bell,
& Findlay, 2002; Carvalho & Flórez-Flórez, 2014; Grosfoguel, Hernández, &
Velásques, 2016; Mignolo, 2002). These knowledge forms “inscribed a conceptualization of knowledge to a geopolitical space (Western Europe) and erased
the possibility of even thinking about a conceptualization and distribution of
knowledge ‘emanating’ from other local histories (China, India, Islam, etc.)”
(Grosfoguel et al., 2016, p. 59). The decolonization of the academy requires,
at minimum, an interrogation of not only the disciplinary fields and their borders but also the everyday commonsense practices of the institution itself.

that's it for me, will try and get a few new posts up about something or other.

Here is the problem with cancel culture, everyone knows it exists, so really it's just not worth the back and forth.

the problem with "cancel culture" is that it's this season's ebola. it's a bogeyman ginned-up to scare conservatives during an election year.

people shunning or shaming or cancelling each other is as old as humanity. all that's changed now is the American right has been sold the idea that this intrinsic human activity is something lefties recently invented in order to take over the world.

I slept on it and my complaint is in part with the entire use of language by the academic left. This is what Chomsky has said for decades about postmodernism and it resonates with me and probably most people. It goes like this—

In science and math and some areas of philosophy people use a technical language which is hard to understand at first, but unless it is a degenerating research program ( technical language for BS) there actually is substance behind it. It isn’t BS. If you put in the work you will understand it. Whereas in much academic thought there seems to be a kind of joy in polysyllabic language and technical lingo for its own sake and sometimes underneath it all just a kind of relativism, but there isn’t much else there. If there are any legitimate points being made they could be made much more simply. This doesn’t have to be postmodernism, because it can pop up in some areas of philosophy as well. Hume, rightly or wrongly, consigned scholastic philosophy to the flames because it was just rhetoric.

So much of the academic left is composed of people dressing up banalities in a lot of pretentious rhetoric.

This has little or nothing to do with styles of teaching. If people have new ways to teach linear algebra, great. I could have used someone who knew some better method when I took it. It made no sense to me until I saw some of it used in physics.

Taibbi is being a jerk on his twitter feed in the past couple of days, but he is also collecting phrases used by lefties and imo he is right. There are just a lot of lefty cliches that have become very tiresome.

There are just a lot of lefty cliches that have become very tiresome.

I agree (without having read Taibbi), but I'll take tiresome over apocalyptic right now.

Also, what cleek said.

So much of the academic left is composed of people dressing up banalities in a lot of pretentious rhetoric.

inasmuch as it's not just a problem for "the left", i 100% agree. sticking fancy labels on banalities lets people seem like they're saying just a bit more than they actually are.

you can also find this in business jargon (especially management trends), and comp-sci (an entire sub industry devoted to giving names to the 'patterns' all programmers use every day!); and probably everywhere else, too.

So much of the academic left is composed of people dressing up banalities in a lot of pretentious rhetoric.

Have you ever been in a corporate all-hands meeting?

There are just a lot of lefty cliches that have become very tiresome.

I'm sure that's true.

But here is where we are. We are being led by a corrupt, narcissistic ignoramus. And a solid third of the country is not only OK with it, they celebrate it.

We're back up to about 1,000 deaths, per day, from COVID. 70 THOUSAND new cases, yesterday. New cases, in one day. And there is not now nor has there at any point been anything remotely like a coherent strategy for dealing with it. People lose their shit if they're asked to wear a mask when they're in public places.

I haven't seen the country this divided since the glory days of Vietnam and Nixon.

I could go on at length.

And people like McK, who despises Trump and on matters of substance is actually not that far away from many if not most folks here, can't find a way to get with the "prog left" program because James Bennet got fired and people are mean to somebody on Twitter.

Lefty cliches are tiresome because all cliches are tiresome. Lefty party line blather is annoying and vapid because all party line blather is annoying and vapid. Doctrinaire lefties are bullying asses because doctrinaire adherents to any position are bullying asses.

And I don't care. Because the only people on the scene right now that appear to give a crap about anything I value in the public sphere are the annoying vapid lefties.

You should hear what the other side sounds like.

Time to stop picking nits about style and look at the bigger picture. At least, seems that way to me.

And if anyone thinks everything is gonna be all better if we just get Biden in the White House, it's not. All the people who freaking adore Trump and everything he is about, are still gonna be here in January 2021, no matter who is POTUS.

Also - nous has provided the best available clue to disentangling the whole "science is white" business with his reference to positivism.

but many (most ?) are either completely wrapped up in their ideologies, or completely subsume principle to electoral considerations.

Rock meet hard place. There are infinite shades of "completely", and events can make rabid ideologues geniuses (Lenin, 1917) or goats (Hoover, 1932).

But interesting stuff, nonetheless, coming from a professed marxist. Another commonality is race. As some observers have remarked, nearly 20% of Dem voters are really pretty racist.

Thanks.

people shunning or shaming or cancelling each other is as old as humanity.
It is, but the existence of social media has radically expanded its reach, at the same time as massively weakening the constraints of direct human interaction.
Though that, of course, is a more general problem.

The McKinney Theorem:

The importance of an issue is inversely proportional to the amount of ink released explicating it.

Research is ongoing to test this hypothesis. While not yet validated, some avenues of research apppear promising....

1. "cancel culture"
2. trans people entering bathrooms
3. the Columbian exchange
4. Genghis Khan

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