Jump to content
BSUTOP25

When weaponizing of racism harms the innocent

Recommended Posts

30 minutes ago, youngredbullfan said:

I do kind of agree with the article (D’Angelo is a grifter and the whole pseudo-spiritual white shame complex is stupid). You’d almost think that the author was advocating for material change. Tangibles. 

 

 

 

 

Then I realized it’s from Reason. 
 

BTW, any Reason articles on the wholesale hypocrisy, commodification and pre-millennialist nihilism of mainstream white evangelicalism? On its justification of the American setter colonialist project and brutal exploitation as divinely ordained? Send links pls.

That's too bad for you. When I read an article from Jacobin or Mother Jones or The Nation, or when I read scholarship in a field I find to be epistemologically misguided, I don't just write it off because I am not ideologically aligned with the board of trustees of the organization that produced it. If I think it has something to say that's good or interesting or worth engaging, I'll read it an think about it. I think you're missing out. 

As for Reason roasting historical wrongdoings of white evangelicalism... probably. But they're not a history journal, so it would likely be in the context of some current event that was taking place when the article was published. I know the outlet has been no friend to the religious right. But one thing they have been out in front on for decades is vehement calls for police, prison and general criminal justice reforms and looking at the racial disparities as one of the primary reasons the issue is so immediately pressing. They've been doing that since like the 70s. 

  • Cheers 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, smltwnrckr said:

https://reason.com/2020/06/29/kneeling-in-the-church-of-social-justice/

Some excerpts...

I don't agree with all of it, but he's hitting on some of my concerns. 

Kneeling in the Church of Social Justice

America certainly has work to do on race, but ritual and symbolic acts aren't the way forward.

JOHN MCWHORTER | 6.29.2020 5:30 PM


Such rituals of subservience and self-mortification parallel devout Christianity in an especially graphic way, but other episodes tell the same story. Many conventional religious institutions are now rejecting actual Christianity where it conflicts with TWA teachings. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a chaplain was forced to resign after writing a note exploring the contradiction between roasting the police as racist and the Christian call for love of all souls. Unitarianism has been all but taken over in many places by modern antiracist theology, forcing the resignation of various ministers and other figures.

The new faith also manifests itself in objections to what its adherents process as dissent. A friend wrote on Facebook that they agreed with Black Lives Matter, only to have another person—a white one, for the record—post this reply: "Wait a minute! You 'agree' with them? That implies you get to disagree with them! That's like saying you 'agree' with the law of gravity! You as a white person don't get to 'agree' OR 'disagree' when black people assert something! Saying you 'agree' with them is every bit as arrogant as disputing them! This isn't an intellectual exercise! This is their lives on the line!"

....

A great many intelligent people clearly consider all of the glowering postures, verbal laceration, and dismissals to be somehow an advance over how social change worked in America in the past. The seismic civil rights victories of the 1960s came about through protest, no doubt. But absent in the annals of how we got from Selma to the election of Barack Obama is this focus on individual psychology as opposed to national social and political structures.

....

TWA people, to be sure, claim that all of this is ultimately about changing society. But in practice, the performance and fury are the main meal while the mundane but urgent work of changing society seems distinctly underplayed. One treatise on white privilege after another gives this away, such as Őzlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo's Is Everyone Really Equal? After almost 200 pages of teaching the reader that being a good antiracist requires bowing down to any claims anyone not white makes about race, we assume that the final chapter might show how this counterintuitive ideology is supposed to change the actual world. Instead, that chapter simply repeats the minatory mantras from the previous chapters.

If TWA were really a political program, it would focus much more readily on making change from the grassroots on up; the psychological cleansing would feel like a prelude cherished by a few but best gotten past as quickly as possible. The idea that political work must be preceded by a massive mental overhaul of the nation is not self-standingly obvious. It is a tragically fragile proposition that reveals TWA as in essence not politics but Sunday school.

....

Yet we can be quite sure that the TWA position on these things, no matter how many and no matter how widespread, will be to dismiss them as mere optics, as if such things weren't what they seemed to be calling for in their furious policing of psychology. The new line will be that these changes didn't matter because they left "structures" of society in place. This bait and switch will not be a cynical ploy, but an inevitable outgrowth of the fact that TWA is a matter of ideology and attitude, not progress and pragmatism. Its liturgy requires that America always be a racist snakepit, redeemable only by a mysterious day when the U.S. "comes to terms with" racism. Just what those terms would be is never specified for a reason, which is that if there really were no racism the TWA adherents would lose their sense of purpose. (No, reparations won't do it. Look under the hood of the most prominent calls for reparations and you'll see that they say reparations would only be a "beginning.")

....

And second, we must ask: Is it necessary, for the cops to reform, that a food columnist be suspended for dissing a half-Thai model or that sincere Unitarian ministers lose their jobs?

Because this is so very much a TWA moment and because its perspective has been creeping into the fabric of educated American society over several years, we are becoming desensitized to how ancillary to civic progress is this peculiar, furious, and fantastical indoctrination. We seek sociopolitical change, yet we find on the vanguards a contingent who have founded a new religion. They insist hotly that they "really are right," because racism is bad, isn't it?

Indeed it is. But it is also bad for increasing numbers of Americans, out of fear for their social acceptance in wider society, pretend to subscribe to the semi-coherent tenets of an anti-empirical faith feigning higher wisdom with big words and manipulative phraseology. 

I’ve got to say, you have a way with words. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, soupslam1 said:

I’ve got to say, you have a way with words. 

I didn't write those last ones... they were excerpted. Click the link to read the whole thing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, smltwnrckr said:

That's too bad for you. When I read an article from Jacobin or Mother Jones or The Nation, or when I read scholarship in a field I find to be epistemologically misguided, I don't just write it off because I am not ideologically aligned with the board of trustees of the organization that produced it. If I think it has something to say that's good or interesting or worth engaging, I'll read it an think about it. I think you're missing out. 

As for Reason roasting historical wrongdoings of white evangelicalism... probably. But they're not a history journal, so it would likely be in the context of some current event that was taking place when the article was published. I know the outlet has been no friend to the religious right. But one thing they have been out in front on for decades is vehement calls for police, prison and general criminal justice reforms and looking at the racial disparities as one of the primary reasons the issue is so immediately pressing. They've been doing that since like the 70s. 

FWIW, also, the author is not a Reason staffer. He's a professor and hosts a podcast through Slate, whose ideological origins are maybe less problematic for you?

JOHN MCWHORTER is a professor of linguistics at Columbia University and hosts Slate's language podcast Lexicon Valley. His next book is Nine Nasty Words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, smltwnrckr said:

That's too bad for you. When I read an article from Jacobin or Mother Jones or The Nation, or when I read scholarship in a field I find to be epistemologically misguided, I don't just write it off because I am not ideologically aligned with the board of trustees of the organization that produced it. If I think it has something to say that's good or interesting or worth engaging, I'll read it an think about it. I think you're missing out. 

As for Reason roasting historical wrongdoings of white evangelicalism... probably. But they're not a history journal, so it would likely be in the context of some current event that was taking place when the article was published. I know the outlet has been no friend to the religious right. But one thing they have been out in front on for decades is vehement calls for police, prison and general criminal justice reforms and looking at the racial disparities as one of the primary reasons the issue is so immediately pressing. They've been doing that since like the 70s. 

Well, Reason was the first clue. The author was the next one. McWhorter. Awful.

 

He was right in this article largely, though. 

 

Also, the mainstream white evangelical stuff is happening right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, youngredbullfan said:

Well, Reason was the first clue. The author was the next one. McWhorter. Awful.

 

He was right in this article largely, though. 

 

Also, the mainstream white evangelical stuff is happening right now.

I haven't read any of his stuff, but I'll take your word for it. I disagree strongly with you about Reason. I don't agree with everything they publish, and I think they're misguided in a lot of ways. But I think the publication is intellectually honest and also open to intellectual diversity in ways that a lot of ideological publications are not. 

I'm interested in an example of the white evangelical stuff specifically you're talking about. That category is such a shit stew of hypocrisy and corruption that it's hard for me to get a sense of exactly what you mean. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, youngredbullfan said:

Well, Reason was the first clue. The author was the next one. McWhorter. Awful.

 

He was right in this article largely, though. 

 

Also, the mainstream white evangelical stuff is happening right now.

Reason is a pretty solid pub. What’s your gripe with it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

A few things.

all great posts begin with a great lie

3 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

First, the reason I take issue with the idea of collateral damage or whatever you want to call it in this case is because that notion (shrugging off bad things that result from the thing you think is good) is at the heart of the issue I have with this whole conversation. The thing that is actually scary about the more radical factions of the anti-racism movement is the assumption that it is unquestionably morally right and thus any damage done by it is OK and justified because the things damaged are morally wrong. It's a crusade, and in a crusade you betray your supposed ideals in individual interactions and individual battles in order to win some sort of war because that war has righteous intentions. If you don't see that, and you're not concerned about that, and you think it's boring to be concerned about that, that's fine. Maybe I'm closer to it than you are. 

You certainly are. The most liberal place I've lived in the last 2 decades was Spokane (once upon a time, Larimer County was republican...) . The most liberal institution I've worked for was probably the University of Wyoming. My primary clients have been oil companies, rich ass WASPS, and general contractors. That... is  not a clientele that is overly concerned with racism.

My perspective is, and has been, that anti-racism will make the country stronger- more stable, more economically successful, less politically fractured, and wastes less of our natural talent first and is morally right second. Moral rectitude is tricky. Every action you take has moral consequences. I have more sympathy for utilitarianism than you do which almost certainly explains most of our inherent differences here. I'm also far less concerned about a crusade sticking around, but as I mentioned above, I'm very insulated from any kind of crusade.

3 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

The other problem with the idea that this is collateral damage (or, again, whatever term you want to use) is that it is an unintended, unexpected or unfortunate consequence. Except that's not the case at all. This is very explicitly a method where the people who do it intend to do the things they're doing. Saying this sort of thing is collateral damage and just part of the vague and chaotic process of necessary social change is like saying that individual missions successfully carried out are part of the fog of war. It's just not the case - these are intended consequences.

I'll clarify (or more accurately, actually articulate) my understanding of what the "collateral damage" is. It isn't the individual people losing their jobs. It's the existence of the crusade and gotcha culture that is the collateral damage. It seems to me that that kind of unhealthy behavior is a consequence of the shift in social values, mores, and expectations. Society knows that the line of acceptability is moving and we don't know where it is going to end up. Right now that means we get the gotcha champs testing the waters to see where the line is. It's how it reads to me anyway. 

3 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

I do want to clarify something, as this conversation has spanned threads and topics.The Twitter mobs or celebrity cancelling or calls for individuals who did dumb stuff to get fired - I don't view those as the things to be most concerned about here. That's not the damage I fear the most, or even really fear personally. I'm not on social media, the vast majority of my colleagues don't know my politics, and I don't talk about this sort of stuff in company for the most part. And when I do, I almost always am able to find some common ground and steer the conversation in that direction. What I do actually fear is how such approaches will manifest themselves in the institutions that I think actually matter and to which I have personal connections - higher education and journalism.

We're already seeing it in journalism. A well-respected editor got fired resigned from the times for giving the OK to an op ed by a sitting freaking senator who was making a policy argument (an ugly, awful and stupid argument, but one the president was also making) in the time of crisis. The WaPo published a story about a normal person no one otherwise knew about having one of the most humiliating nights of her life with the expressed purpose of destroying her reputation because they were scared of being called racist by the two women of color who were supposedly traumatized two years before.There have been quite a few others, and there will be more. In all cases those institutions are turning their backs on the very standards and the very values that make them great institutions because they are getting pressure to make "moral clarity" the primary value that drives their editorial decisions. And if you push back against that absolutely frightening notion, you're a racist and should be cancelled and fired. 

I have to cede the point. I don't know anything about journalism. 

3 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

And on college campuses, there's already a road map to institutionalizing punitive measures and investigatory commissions to punish those deemed as not anti-racist enough. I've witnessed the fall-out from (and even sat through) multiple inquisitions by Title IX investigations against people who did nothing wrong because malevolent or misguided actors leveraged the power of the institution ton punish individuals who said something they didn't like or said something in a way they didn't like. And those weren't even related to accusations of sexual assault, which themselves have been more than a little problematic over the years under those same kinds of investigatory commissions. Multiple campuses have strong calls by student and faculty groups to institute the same sort of system to combat racial injustice or to beef up the systems they do have but which are ineffective because they violate the first amendment (or in private college cases, violate the free speech values of the institution). And you know what? There are organized efforts to push against this very thing on college campuses around the country. Groups like the Leadership Institute which publishes CampusReform and Turning Point USA. I want absolutely nothing to do with those groups because their tactics are ghoulish and immoral and betray the fact that they actually have no coherent policy prescriptions for meaningful reforms.

The biggest free speech event while I was at Gonzaga was that the board allowed the Vagina Monologues to play on campus. The biggest at UW was that Dennis Prager was on campus speaking - paid for by student fees. The response from the UW Democrats was "it's great that we get speakers, maybe we shouldn't pay for them out of student fees". 

I don't know which one of us has a more typical higher end experience. 

3 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

If you don't see these efforts to quell speech and silence dissent as coming out of the same playbook as the social media tactics, that's fine but I would really like an explanation of how they are different. 

Second, I do take exception to the idea that I have a problem with these things because of my fear or dislike or discomfort with change which is somehow tied to my distaste for gambling as a person with a conservative temperament. Because I don't have a problem with change on its own, or at least I don't want to try to stop it. I regularly make fun of people on here grousing about change, from the death of rock music to having to press two for english, to the digitization of everything, to the legalization of drugs, to the changing economy, to many other things.  I regularly advocate for large scale, sweeping changes to policies that I think would lead to positive change for marginalized communities. Some of the most formative experiences for me in terms of the way I think about change have happened while living and working in communities that are deeply averse to it and that actively work to resist it. Those places tend not to be great places to live. So I kind of resent the idea that I don't have enough self-awareness to honestly think about what's driving me here. Because I think my discomfort over change is not nearly as much of a factor in this as my fear of institutions implementing and acting on policies based on some sort of moral clarity. And I've been on the other side of collateral damage on the latter of the two. 

That's fair and I didn't have the context of the above when I made those comments (you'd alluded to such instances earlier, but given the places and experiences I've had, your worries seemed to be a little chicken little ish). 

A fear of driving moral clarity... yes. I understand that perfectly well. What are a few lives, if the cause is just? What are a thousand?

3 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

Finally, I don't disagree that less systematic racism is a net benefit for liberal democracies. We've seen it here... as much as there is progress still to be made, this country has done a lot in the past 75 years to make systems less racist and to actually cut down on the kinds of outcomes that harm marginalized groups. It's crazy to think that progress doesn't correlate in some way with great progress on the liberal principles I hold so dear. But here's the thing... It seems to me that there is a battle within the movement for racial justice specifically over the nature of those principles. On one side, you have people who believe that the problem is that these principles are unjustly withheld from certain groups of people and that the great struggle since this country's founding has been to reconcile the existence of those principles with the unjust, unfair and unequal ways they have been applied. I would wholeheartedly sign up to be on that team, because those principles are very important to me and it angers me when they're denied to people. But there is another side that believes those principles are the problem, and thus they are irreconcilable with the kind of racial justice they are seeking. And that side is gaining ground. And if fearing that is just me being averse to change, well I guess I'll just yell at the clouds to get off my lawn.

I don't take the leftist anti-liberals as seriously. 

For one, they tend to be educated... but they also end to be just +++++ing dumb. They bitch about liberal values not serving us while the only policy proposals they have are based on providing liberal values to everyone. They talk about how "late stage capitalism" while ignoring the fact that we've seen a gilded age 130 years ago, that the mixed system which we have has regulated far more effectively in the past, and that their suggestions is just... more regulated mixed system.

For two, there aren't that many of them. They're loud and snarky and are a distinct minority with off-putting discourse and methods.

For three, this is still America. We're still the country were there are no poor people, just temporarily inconvenienced millionaires. That's less true in the cities, but it's still largely true in huge swaths of the country. Illiberal leftism is just constrained greatly as an ideology.

For four, they'd be a threat if they were willing to join the populist right to push each side's illiberal desires. But... they hate each other. 

3 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

suck on that, @NVGiant

fify

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, BSUTOP25 said:

Reason is a pretty solid pub. What’s your gripe with it?

they are often blind to threats to their ideology from the right

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, happycamper said:

they are often blind to threats to their ideology from the right

Reason will often attack the far right. They might lean a bit right according to the traditional spectrum but they’re not exclusively on that end.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, happycamper said:

they are often blind to threats to their ideology from the right

I dunno man... they're going bonkers over there about the concept of "common good" conservatism. They also have quite a bit of intellectual diversity among their staff and contributors. I've seen them completely eviscerate the "intellectual dark web" and also post a friendly interview by John Stossel (barf) with Jordan Peterson (double barf) the same week. 

We can disagree. I admit to being a fan boy. I am biased.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, smltwnrckr said:

I dunno man... they're going bonkers over there about the concept of "common good" conservatism. They also have quite a bit of intellectual diversity among their staff and contributors. I've seen them completely eviscerate the "intellectual dark web" and also post a friendly interview by John Stossel (barf) with Jordan Peterson (double barf) the same week. 

We can disagree. I admit to being a fan boy. I am biased.

I haven't seen a lot from them about the threat that dominionists pose, which redbull is alluding to. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

I didn't write those last ones... they were excerpted. Click the link to read the whole thing. 

What!? That was "edited"? :facepalm:

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've avoided this thread until now but I have a comment

 

Racism, by definition, harms the innocent. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

I haven't read any of his stuff, but I'll take your word for it. I disagree strongly with you about Reason. I don't agree with everything they publish, and I think they're misguided in a lot of ways. But I think the publication is intellectually honest and also open to intellectual diversity in ways that a lot of ideological publications are not. 

I'm interested in an example of the white evangelical stuff specifically you're talking about. That category is such a shit stew of hypocrisy and corruption that it's hard for me to get a sense of exactly what you mean. 

Maybe an examination of, say, why 81% of white evangelicals votes Trump and generally the religion of capitalism deal they do. 

5 hours ago, BSUTOP25 said:

Reason is a pretty solid pub. What’s your gripe with it?

Oh no, I like Reason. It is very solid. It just would be surprising if they published someone who was insinuating that material change was necessary over symbolic change from my understanding of their ideological bent. 
 

McWhorter is one of those pull yourself by the bootstrap guys. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×