Google “South Africa Protests Burning Portraits”

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Picture 8 Picture 7 I am suddenly inspired with a great love for Obama.CQEzkyFUwAAsHNy

 

Where they burn portraits, they will burn people.

ETA: Now they’re burning down the buildings (h/t With the thoughts you’d be thinkin):

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Cathedral Round-Up #7: Colonialism 2.0

The purpose of Cathedral Round-Up is to keep track of what our betters have in store for us. This month we are headed to Harvard (and for a side-excursion, Oxford,) to witness the progressive push to expand the notion of “refugees” to include virtually everyone not already living in the West; the sheer heart-breaking difficulties of being one of the world’s most privileged black people; and Cecil Rhodes‘s pro-Muslim legacy.

Jacqueline Bhabha brings us “When Water is Safer than Land,” repeating the common claim that “no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land” that was so commonly bandied about in the wake of the drowning of 3 year old Alan Kurdi. Alan’s death is a tragedy, but his family was trying to leave Turkey, a peaceful, relatively prosperous nation, not a violence-riddled war zone.

I argued back in Newton’s Third Law of Politics that the official definition of “refugee” is already broad enough to encompass almost anyone the government wants it to; Professor Bhabha wants to do away with the concept of “refugee” entirely, in favor of “distress migrant”:

… news coverage and political attention have highlighted the irrationality and inefficiency of our outdated legal and administrative system of migration management—a system now manifestly premised on incoherent dichotomies and false assumptions.

The most fundamental dichotomy lies at the very root of modern migration law, separating bona fide “refugees” with a “well-founded fear of persecution” under the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, from spontaneous “economic migrants” seeking to take advantage of greater prosperity and opportunity outside their home countries. The former are considered legitimate recipients of international protection, the latter unlawful border-crossers.

But for more than a decade, migration experts within the United Nations, in the immigration and justice ministries of many countries, and civil-society organizations such as the Women’s Refugee Commission, the International Rescue Committee, and Human Rights Watch, have acknowledged the artificiality of this dichotomy, given the reality of “mixed migration”—distress migration prompted by multiple, interconnected factors, including survival fears and economic desperation. …

Priority in these entry categories should be given to “distress migrants,” a category that should replace the now unworkable distinction between “legal” refugee and economic but “illegal” forced migrant.

In short, Bhabha thinks it’s unfair to prevent anyone who lives in a country that’s poorer than the West from migrating wherever they want to go. Migration to the West is a human right; wanting to control who enters your country is outdated and shows that you’re not a “team player”:

But such official resettlement is sustainable only if it is a joint endeavor, agreed upon by countries that are willing to host relocated refugees and share the responsibility for doing so with others in their region. The current intransigence of relatively prosperous EU member states such as France, the UK, Slovenia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic vitiates this sort of collective humanitarian endeavor and unreasonably leaves the protection “burden” only to the exemplary few (Germany and Sweden at present).

Germany broke EU rules by inviting in a few million migrants without the consent of the other member states, but Hungary is being totally meanie pants for insisting on this weird notion of “national sovereignty” instead of just lying back, spreading its borders, and thinking of Queen Victoria.

Maybe we should adopt a policy of always letting Germany do whatever it wants to its neighbors–would have saved us a lot of effort about 102 – 71 years ago.

Bhabha also notes that the current system rewards those who break the rules by migrating illegally–if you can just get to Europe, chances are you’ll be fine–while punishing those who try to obey the rules by filling out all of their paperwork and then sitting out the multi-year process just to get rejected. This is completely accurate.

Bhabha believes that “distress migration” to wealthy countries is inevitable and unstoppable, but has several recommendations for making the immigration system more humane and less likely to involve dead children:

  1. Massively overhaul the immigration bureaucracy (this I actually agree with–bureaucratic systems tend to be awful.)
  2. Let in all of the “distress migrants.”
  3. Westerners should stop the wars in foreign countries (how, exactly?)
  4. More funding for refugee camps in places like Turkey so people will stay there instead of migrating to Europe. (I don’t know what the conditions in Turkish refugee camps are like, but I bet they could be much nicer.)
  5. Westerners need to make economic development happen in the third world so people will want to stay there, (because third worlders can’t run their own economies?)

It’s funny how people who think colonialism was evil simultaneously think Africans can’t feed their own children or run their own economies without white people stepping in.

Of course, given current fertility rates, the prospects for feeding all of Africa’s children without the rest of the world stepping in do look pretty grim:

Total Fertility Rate by Country (Wikimedia file)
Total Fertility Rate by Country (Wikimedia file)

Population-1950-2100-b

Bhabha has left out the simplest, most humane solution: birth control.

Interestingly, Professor Jacqueline Bhabha is an English woman who obtained her last name via her husband, Homi K. Bhabha, son of an Indian Parsi family. The Parsis are interesting in their own right, but that is a matter for another day. Alas, I have not been able to figure out if Homi is the son of the similarly-named Indian nuclear physicist Homi J. Bhabha. (At the very least, if you meet a Bhabha, chances are he’s an exceptionally intelligent person.)

I have noticed that elites tend to be highly international people–born in one country, raised in another, married into a third. A highschool fiend hailed from four different countries; another attended an elite boarding school 15,000 miles away from her family. And they know each other–“Oh, you’re from Hong Kong? Do you know so-and-so? You do? What a coincidence!”

President Obama, son of a Kenyan and an American of mostly English extraction (who met while studying Russian in Hawaii,) lived for four years in Indonesia, and then ended up in Chicago.

Carlos Slim, largest shareholder of the New York Times and one of the richest men in the world, is a Mexican of Lebanese descent–“Slim” was “Salim” back when his father moved to Mexico.

And as Tolstoy notes, at the time of Napoleon’s invasion, the Russian ruling class spoke French, not Russian.

Homi K. Bhabha
Homi K. Bhabha

According to the NY Times, getting Homi K. Bhabha, who taught in the Afro-American Studies department in 2001, was a major coup for Harvard. Sure, Indian-born Homi might not look like an expert on the experiences of African Americans, but his co-professors are enthusiastic about his work:

“”He’s manifestly one of the most distinguished cultural theorists of the postcolonial and diasporic experience in the world,’ said Lawrence Buell, the department chairman.”

Other professors point out that Homi’s “expertise” may be entirely high-falutin’ smoke and mirrors:

In 1998, Mr. Bhabha won second place (Judith Butler, a gender theorist at Berkeley, took the top prize) in the annual Bad Writing Contest sponsored by the journal Philosophy and Literature for this passage from an essay on mimicry: “If, for a while, the ruse of desire is calculable for the uses of discipline soon the repetition of guilt, justification, pseudo-scientific theories, superstition, spurious authorities and classifications can be seen as the desperate effort to ‘normalize’ formally the disturbance of a discourse of splitting that violates the rational, enlightened claims of its enunciatory modality.”

"Untouchables"
“Untouchables”

A developing theme in this series is the way that elite colleges use majority-white people with a small percentage of black ancestry to pad their diversity numbers. In Homi’s case, “whiteness” is debatable, but he is clearly an elite, light-skinned Indian of Persian (aka Aryan) descent, not one of India’s dark-skinned “untouchables,” Scheduled Castes, or Dalits.

The official logic of “diversity” and Affirmative Action is that universities should correct for past oppression and reflect the racial composition of the population they serve by correcting for the negative effects of racism and poverty on test scores. The logic runs that a poor kid growing up in Detroit with one parent in jail and the other busy working two jobs just to make ends meet is going to attend fewer SAT prep classes than rich kids attending TJ, and so his SAT scores may not reflect his true potential.

In practice, places like Harvard end up with a bunch of high-class elites like Homi who can ticky-box “diversity” but are not actually part of an oppressed minority. (A bunch of white “Hispanics” get in this way, too.)

Elites love diversity–so long as “diversity” means other elites. And they can’t understand why their proles insist on icky nationalism:


“Ewww. Get it away.”

Jacqueline Bhabha on Merkel:

Germany’s Angela Merkel has emerged as the surprising heroine of the humanitarian lobby, leveraging her country’s ever-present past and robust economy to welcome more than one million refugees and to stress the potential demographic dividend of a healthy, youthful workforce for an aging continent.

Yes, I’m sure Merkel is the kind of elite who just loves spending time with the huddled masses of the third world.

And on European fears:

The notion that the magnitude of refugee arrival, on the other hand, poses any sort of threat to Europe’s future prosperity is laughable. The Syrians arriving represent less than 1 percent of the population of the European Union (EU), the world’s richest continent. In Lebanon, an incomparably poorer polity, every fourth inhabitant is now a Syrian refugee, and yet even that war-torn country is not at the brink of collapse. The current flow of refugees poses no objective threat to the future or prosperity of Europe.

Because every country wants to look like Lebanon?

Leaving aside the fact that not all of the migrants are from Syria–many of them are, ahem, “distress migrants” from Africa or Asia fleeing poverty, not ISIS–an argument that Europe can handle its current migration levels is not an argument that Europe can handle far more migrants.

Germany’s overall fertility rate is one of the lowest in the world–about 1.4 children per woman. (Slightly over 2 is necessary for population stability, neither growing nor shrinking.) This means that the population of Germany is shrinking.

As of 2014, 16.3 million of Germany’s 81.5 million people–20% of the population–were immigrants or the children of immigrants. In 2009, about 4.3 million Germans are Muslim–5.4% of the population–but due to much higher fertility rates, 9.1% of Germany’s children were Muslims.

A million migrants arrived in Germany in 2015, and more still arrive every day. Keep this up for a few years, and yes, a very large percent of the country will not be German anymore.

I know it’s unreasonable to expect Harvard professors to be able to do math, but we can:

If Germany has 81.5 million people, and about 18% of them are children, that’s 14.7 million children. Of those, 9.1%, or 1.3 million, are Muslim.

If Germany has about 4.3 million Muslims, and 1.3 million of them are children, then 3 million are adults.

Let’s suppose Germany accepts a modest 1 million refugees a year for just two more years, (for 3 million total,) and they have the same TFR as the folks already in Germany. Now 16% of German children are Muslim.

Keep it up for 9 years (10 million migrants,) and 24% of future voters are Muslim (and that’s not counting the shrinking native German population during this time.)

These are obviously extremely rough numbers, but they are not unreasonable.

If your goal is, “make Germany look more like Lebanon,” then that’s one way to do it. And perhaps the German people are perfectly happy accepting a million migrants a year. But let’s not banter about facile claims like “less than 1 percent” when advocating virtually limitless, long-term immigration policies in a world with over a billion people who would happily move to Germany (or virtually any other Western country) if they could.

Elites think that if elite migration is good for them, then the mass migration of unskilled, illiterate poor folks will be great for proles, and then are confused when the masses do not react with universal jubilation at the results:

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The Daily Mail summarizes:
Alexandra Mezher, 22, fatally stabbed at migrant centre where she worked
Her family, who are originally from Lebanon, described her as ‘an angel’ …
A boy, 15, living at centre, arrested on suspicion of murder is from Somalia
Teenage killer was overpowered by other children living at the centre
Swedish police demand more cash to stem rising violence in the country

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Italian police have arrested a Senegalese illegal immigrant who prosecutors believe killed Ashley Olsen, a U.S. woman who was found dead in her apartment in Florence last weekend.

“We have collected very serious evidence of his guilt,” Florence chief prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo told reporters at a news conference on Thursday after the man was arrested and questioned in the early hours of the morning. …

She was strangled in the early hours of Friday, Creazzo said, but the autopsy revealed that she had two fractures to her skull — injuries that would also have proved fatal.

 

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Mamadou Kamara, an 18-year-old from the Ivory Coast, allegedly slit the throat of Vincenzo Solano, 68, and then attacked his Spanish-born wife, Mercedes Ibanez, 70.

Ms Ibanez fell to her death from a second-floor balcony, during a robbery that turned violent. …

Mr Kamara was arrested after police searched his bag on Sunday as he returned to the migrant centre.

Inside they found a mobile telephone, a laptop computer, a video camera and a pair of trousers, allegedly belonging to Mr Solano, that were covered in blood.

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Of course, Professor Bhabha, living comfortably in Massachusetts, does not have to worry about being raped or murdered by “distress migrants” from Africa let in under the rhetoric that Turkey is not good enough for Syrian refugees.

But Professor Bhabha isn’t just advocating for increased African migration to Europe; she has also noticed that places like Mexico and Honduras have astronomically high murder rates, and therefore wants to let them into the US. Perhaps there is some magical quality to the soil in America that she thinks will make people suddenly be less murderous when they step over the border.

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Prudencio Ramirez stands accused of killing his 18 year old girlfriend and her three year old son in Washington State, the Tri-City Herald reports.

Prosecutors say the victims were shot and then stuffed inside a burning car.

The coroner says it is likely the little boy was burned alive.

Or perhaps she is just an idiot.

Either way, expect to see a lot more people talking about “distress migration.”

********

Switching gears, our next article is My Harvard Education: Learning “what it means to be a walking disruption,” by Jenny Gathright, former editor of the Harvard Crimson and currently assisting Harvard Magazine’s editorial staff. She is also author of Existence as Resistance: Black Chronicles II and Hashtag #Solidarity.

Ms. Gathright starts with a quote from Ta-Nehisi Coates:

You are growing into consciousness, and my wish for you is that you feel no need to constrict yourself to make other people comfortable…The people who must believe they are white can never be your measuring stick. I would not have you descend into your own dream. I would have you be a conscious citizen of this terrible and beautiful world.

I know pretty much everyone spouts vacuous “be yourself” bullshit, but it’s still annoying–everyone has “constrict” themselves to make other comfortable. Just because you feel like farting while in a crowded elevator does not mean you do it; just because you feel like yelling at your cubicle-mate every time he starts humming does not mean you do it; just because you feel comfortable wearing a bathrobe and slippers does not mean you wear them to a job interview. Living among other humans–even in hunter gatherer tribes in the arctic!–means paying attention to social norms and controlling one’s impulses in order to act appropriately.

Anyone who thinks they are special enough to avoid normal human social norms is a fucking sociopath.

Second, “must believe they are white.” ??? What does that even mean?

White person: I don’t see race.
POC: OMG how racist of you to deny my blackness and your white privilege!
White person: Oh, okay. I guess I’m white.
POC: OMG, how racist of you to insist on believing that you’re white!

Continuing on, Ms. Gathright describes a conversation between a guy handing out apples in the cafeteria and her “house tutor” (“RA” in common speak.)

He is standing in front of me, and I am standing next to Jonathan, my lovely, gentle, kind Lowell House tutor.

That sounds awfully intimate.

Ms. Gathright is disturbed because Jeremy and apple-guy are happily talking to each other instead of to her.

Maybe I am just woman enough, just brown enough, to be rendered invisible. It might all be in my head, but isn’t that sometimes just enough to make a moment uncomfortable?

Things that are “all in your head” can indeed make moments uncomfortable, like when you hallucinate spiders crawling under your skin. But that doesn’t make them real.

Apple guy talks about apples:

He is talking about seeds and grafting, about history. Did you know that hard cider was the Founding Fathers’ primary method of hydration? Did you know that they were all drunk pretty much all the time? …

I am distracted. His historical factoids about hard cider have gotten me thinking about a drunken Thomas Jefferson wandering around Monticello, and this image makes me sick and scared in a way that the two men next to me will never understand. [bold mine]

If you are genuinely “sick and scared” from simply imagining someone getting tipsy on hard cider, you need psychological help. That is not normal. If you are not genuinely “sick and scared,” then you are a liar.

There is a distance between my body and the bodies this place was built for. I feel it every day in Lowell dining hall, when I look up at portraits of white men and wonder if they expected me to be here.

Well, the folks it was built for are probably all dead, so unless Ms. Gathright is sitting in a graveyard while writing, I guess this is technically true.

Ta-Nehisi Coates uses “body” where a normal person would write “souls,” because he’s an atheist. There are times when he pulls it off, and times when the effect is horribly awkward.

This is one of those awkward times.

The Lowell House dining hall is not as fancy as Harvard’s freshman dining hall, but the chandelier is a nice touch:

Lowell House Dining Hall, Harvard University
Lowell House Dining Hall, Harvard University

According to the History of Lowell House:

In the Dining Hall are portraits of President Lowell and his wife; his sister Amy Lowell (Pulitzer prize winning poet, and a lover of scandal credited with introducing D. H. Lawrence to America); his brother Percival Lowell (the astronomer who spearheaded the search for the planet Pluto); and his grandfather John Amory Lowell (a fellow of Harvard College for forty years).

Lowell House was built in 1930; Harvard Medical accepted its first black students way back in 1850:

1869: George Lewis Ruffin is the first black to earn a degree from Harvard Law School. In 1883 Ruffin became Massachusetts’ first African-American judge.

1869: Harvard awards its first degree in dentistry to an African American named Robert Tanner Freeman.

1870: Harvard College graduates its first black student, Richard Theodore Greener, who goes on to a career as an educator and lawyer. After graduating from Harvard, Greener becomes a faculty member at the University of South Carolina. He is the first known black to be hired to the faculty of a flagship state university.

1870: George F. Grant graduates with a degree of dentistry from Harvard. He later serves as its first black instructor at the dental school from 1878 to 1889.

1895: W.E.B. Du Bois earns his Ph.D. in history from Harvard, the first black to do so at Harvard.

1896: Booker T. Washington receives an honorary master’s degree from Harvard University.

1907: Alain LeRoy Locke of Harvard University becomes the first black Rhodes scholar.

1912: Carter G. Woodson becomes the second black in the U.S. to earn a doctorate in history. His Ph.D. is from Harvard. He goes on to found the Journal of Negro History in 1916 and inaugurates Negro History Week in 1926.

1921: Amherst College graduate Charles Hamilton Houston becomes the first black editor on the Harvard Law Review.

1933: Harvard Business School graduates its first black MBA student, H. Naylor Fitzhugh, the founder of Howard University’s marketing department.

In other words, at the time Lowell House was built, black students had been attending Harvard for decades. There is no “distance” between Ms. Gathright’s body and the bodies it was built for, because people like her were in the group it was built for. So, yes, I guarantee you that the folks in the portraits expected people like you to be there.

You’d think she’d have Googled “when did Harvard start accepting black people” to find out if the folks in the portraits had black students before writing an article about how stressed out she was by her incorrect assumptions.

For goodness’s sake, this is Massachusetts.

But getting back to the article:

I am taking an economics class on libertarianism. I don’t consider myself a libertarian at all, so I took the class to challenge my thinking. …

One day, we are talking about the consequences of drug prohibition. Libertarians believe that the negative effects outweigh the positive effects. I’m sympathetic to the viewpoint, and I’m glad this policy debate is a topic of discussion. Professor Miron briefly lists “increased racial profiling” and the resulting “racial tensions” as a negative consequence of drug prohibition laws. He moves on—he has other slides to discuss, other lines of argument to explore. But I am stuck, still thinking about what it means for him to name “increased racial profiling” and “racial tensions” without naming Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Rekia Boyd, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland…I want to stand up and scream about how the things he is talking about tear bodies apart. [bold mine]

Geez. Psycho, much?

Seriously, this woman can’t watch two people talk about apples without wanting to know why they aren’t talking to HER; she cant look at her posh, crystal chandeliered cafeteria without wondering what the people in the portraits would have thought of HER; she can’t listen to a lecture without wanting to scream that the professor didn’t talk about exactly the things SHE wants to talk about.

I want to be clear here: I’m not asking my professor to re-write his lecture. He is teaching a class that doesn’t center on my experience in every moment, and that’s okay. This isn’t necessarily about my professor or my classmates or my syllabus.

When you feel compelled to clarify that it’s okay if a class doesn’t center on, “MY experience in EVERY moment,” that is a sign that you are hilariously unaware of just how narcissistic you are.

I am talking to my friend. He has had a tough couple of days. He is telling me about a class on race and gender that he is taking. He is feeling the course material in his body, he says. The readings are causing him pain. … Section is causing me pain.

I think people actually do this thing where, by constantly reading/watching/thinking/talking about something horrible, they prompt their brains to release far more stress hormones than their physical situation actually warrants. This is because our brains can’t really tell the difference between “picture I saw on TV” and “thing I saw in real life,” and a person being murdered before your eyes in real life would be a very concerning thing indeed that you probably ought to do something about (fight or flight,) thus prompting a massive outpouring of hormones.

Feminists do this by reading sixteen blog posts in a row about rape; white nationalists do this by reading sixteen blog posts in a row about “white genocide”; housewives do this by reading about children who’ve been abducted and murdered; etc. I do this by researching human sacrifice in animist religions.

By the end, you feel awful.

There are was to deal with this: First, realize that your brain is producing hormones in response to a threat that is not actually physically present in the room with you. Second, calm down. I find meditation helps, or prayer if you’re religious. Third, recognize that this is not a healthy thing to do to yourself. Take breaks, don’t let yourself get sucked into reading 16 articles in a row, and most importantly, don’t do it at 4 AM, because that is a quick road to nightmaresville.

Ms. Gathright then discusses Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff’s Atlantic article, “The Coddling of the American Mind”:

I could critique their piece on several grounds. But one of the first things I thought when I read it was, “Where is this movement, and how did I miss it?” Because here is my truth: I don’t see a ton of liberal students trying to “scrub” Harvard’s campuses “clean” of offensive or uncomfortable ideas. Instead, I see all around me students, my friends, who are willing to be made uncomfortable by words and ideas all the time. I see students who willingly walk into classrooms that will make them, in the words of my friend, feel the course material in their bodies.

Oh, honey, don’t you understand that feeling bad is exactly how the SJWs want you to feel? You feel bad because you have already imbibed a political ideology that dictates how you react to the world. You are not “willing” to be made uncomfortable by words or ideas; you make these things make you uncomfortable.

There is a difference. Being willing to be uncomfortable means being willing to consider that someone else’s POV might be right.

When I read about cannibalism, I am uncomfortable, but I am not willing to consider that cannibalism is moral. When I speak with a friend about philosophy, I am willing to consider that they might be correct. If they question some deeply held assumption, I may be uncomfortable–but I am not going to have nightmares.

Some people go through this place without having to ask and answer hard questions about the spaces they occupy. I have had to constantly articulate and question my relationship with this institution: the way I fit into its history, and the way I feel in its classrooms.

Aww, it sure is hard being at Harvard. I mean, if you can’t feel insanely privileged while siting in a cafeteria with glittering chandeliers or attending classes taught by some of the most elite professors in the entire world, I don’t think anything will.

 

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Oxford, Rhodes, and Syria

Hey, did you hear about the “Rhodes Must Fall” protests at Oxford?

Student campaigners have condemned an Oxford college for deciding to keep its statue of Cecil Rhodes, claiming the college has been influenced by a “dictatorship” of donors.

Rhodes, not quite bestriding a plinth.
Rhodes, not quite bestriding a plinth.

Ella Jeffreys, a master’s student, told the Guardian: “We feel that the decision of Oriel College, due to the threat of withdrawing funding by alumni, shows that money talks over students. …

The campaign said in a statement: “Oriel has been rushed into this decision by the irresponsible threats of wealthy individuals. This is a decision for the short term. It is a decision made by authorities, not by students. It is a decision motivated by power not by principle.”

Welcome to real life. No one cares about you.

The statement said the decision lacked “legitimacy” and warned: “It is a decision that jeopardises trust between students and the institution.”

That’s okay. You’ll be gone in a few years. Oxford has been around for almost 1,000. They don’t need you:

Student activists said they would not be derailed by interventions such as those of Chris Patten, the chancellor of the university, who said in a recent interview that those involved with Rhodes Must Fall should “think about being educated elsewhere”.

At least someone has a spine.

I am personally uncomfortable with pulling down statues for the same reason that I am uncomfortable with burning books. There are times when a nation simply finds that it has an excess of statues of a former dictator, and people reasonably desire fewer of them, but England does not suffer an over-abundance of Rhodes statues.

Students called for a reckoning from the institution, and said their first demand was for Oxford to “acknowledge and confront its role in the ongoing physical and ideological violence of empire”. They want the university to apologise for its role and to offer more scholarships to black students from southern Africa.

Why? Did they help build Oxford? Did Oxford tear down their universities?

No.

Then Oxford owes them nothing.

They said they wanted to hear “the voices suffocated into silence by a Eurocentric academy”.

Then get the fuck out of Oxford. What, you can’t physically listen to people talk without a professor telling you to listen to them, first?

Simukai Chigudu, a postgraduate student in international development, said Oriel’s decision “throws into sharp relief that strong power donors have in shaping the college and underscores that it is not a free, open and democratic [process].

WHY THE HELL DID YOU THINK OXFORD WAS A DEMOCRACY? It is a college, not a country.

It turns out that the money threat was quite substantial:

Oxford University’s statue of Cecil Rhodes is to stay in place after furious donors threatened to withdraw gifts and bequests worth more than £100 million if it was taken down, The Daily Telegraph has learnt. … The governing body of Oriel College, which owns the statue, has ruled out its removal after being warned that £1.5m worth of donations have already been cancelled, and that it faces dire financial consequences if it bows to the Rhodes Must Fall student campaign.

100 million pounds is worth about 144 million dollars.

So I decided to see how Rhodes’s colonialist legacy is working out. According to Wikipedia, Cecil Rhodes created the Rhodes Scholarships, which pay for international students to come study at Oxford, in order to:

promote civic-minded leadership among “young colonists” with “moral force of character and instincts to lead,” for the purpose of ‘extending British rule throughout the world…the consolidation of the Empire, the restoration of Anglo-Saxon unity…” and the foundation of so great a Power as to render wars impossible and to promote the best interests of humanity.”

What kinds of students win such a scholarship? Luckily for us, Harvard Magazine has a helpful article on Harvard’s winners:

The Rhodes Trust has announced that five Harvard seniors have been awarded American Rhodes Scholarships this fall. Among them, one is vice president of the Harvard Islamic Society and co-founder of the Ivy League Muslim Council, a second is pursuing Islamic studies, and a third, the son of a Syrian immigrant, is studying global human-rights institutions. …

Alacha is “concentrating in Social Studies. For his senior thesis, he is studying global human rights institutions and examining their effect on local practices in Jordan. … He is the son of a Syrian immigrant and is interested in the movement for Islamic human rights.” Alacha plans to pursue an M.Phil. in modern Middle Eastern studies at Oxford.

Huckins is “concentrating in Neurobiology and Physics. …

Hyland “majors in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (Islamic Studies). Her primary academic interest is the common intellectual heritage of medieval Islamic and Christian theologians. … She is a leader in community and campus work, especially addressing the problem of sexual assault. …

Lam is pursuing “a joint concentration in Neurobiology and Philosophy. He is interested in philosophical problems of free will, moral responsibility, and punishment, and has career interests in criminal justice reform. He is an active advocate of the effective altruism movement …

Shahawy “is pursuing a double major in History and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He has devoted himself to working with marginalized communities to correct social injustices and improve access to opportunity, while also studying Islamic jurisprudence and global health and medicine. He worked with Los Angeles County inmates with the American Civil Liberties Union, as an intern in rural health clinics in Kenya with Vecna Technologies, and as an analyst with small-business lender Liwwa Inc. in Amman, Jordan. He has also conducted research on transplant surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and on the causes of Saudi Arabia’s private sector labor shortage at the Harvard Center for International Development. Hassaan is the Vice President of the Harvard Islamic Society and Co-Founder of the Ivy League Muslim Council. He has volunteered at the Children’s Cancer Hospital in Cairo, Egypt and mentors prison inmates in Norfolk, Massachusetts.” Shahawy will pursue an M.Phil. in Islamic studies and history.

Welcome to the new colonialism.

Cultural Marxist Happy Hour

or ragey hour, whichever emotion you want to go with.

I was recently asking myself, “What happened to drag queens? Sure, you hear about trans folks all the time these days, but what about good ol’ fashioned drag queens? Are people just not doing that anymore?”

I’m sure you ask yourself these sorts of things all of the time, so take heart! I’ve found some, and it turns out that politically active drag queens are crazy Cultural Marxists. Who knew?

I wasn't going to post a picture, and then I saw this.
I wasn’t going to post a picture, and then I saw this. (BTW, this pic got over 1,000 “likes.”)

Yup, it’s those guys I highlighted the other day, Alok Vaid-Menon and Janani Balasubramanian, claiming that Norway was “colonizing” black people by expecting migrants to Norway to obey Norwegian laws and hosting voluntary classes to explain to the immigrants some of the ins-and-outs of Norwegian social codes.

Alok and Janani have degrees from Stanford University.

This time, they’re back to helpfully explain to us how, exactly, Norway is “colonizing” people who moved there voluntarily. I was going to just post a screencap, but I keep wanting to respond to individual lines, so we’re going to quote:

This has been said so many times but I’m reading some troubling comments about the news from Norway (https://tinyurl.com/norwaycolonialism) and I suppose it needs to be constantly pushed.

Yes, constantly push that narrative! Constantly! Push, push!

Gender based violence can never be discussed outside of colonialism because gender based violence is foundational to colonialism.

Concrete used in my sidewalks can never be discussed without discussing the World Trade Center, because concrete is foundational to the World Trade Center. It’s also foundational to almost every large building on Earth, so discussing this crack in the sidewalk outside my house is going to take a really, really long time.

Also, colonialism was about conquering land and making money.

Also, Norway hasn’t colonized anyone since the Viking era.

Norway’s training of refugees in European “sexual norms” is part of a long history of the West understanding Black & brown masculinities as “backwards” and white feminism as the answer.

Actually, it’s an immediate response to these migrants raping Norwegians.

Funny how people who are quick to proclaim that “race is a social construct” will turn around and talk about “The West” as though it were a single, coherent entity–of which Norway constitutes less than half of one percent!

Norway, with no history of colonialism and no (until now) imported minority of non-Europeans, has no “history” of “understanding” black and brown “masculinities”–at least, not until they altruistically let in a bunch of people who started raping the locals.

White supremacy would have you dwell on the particular (“But who did Norway colonize anyways?” “Isn’t it harmless?”) without addressing bigger systems and ideologies. Whiteness is the privilege to observe the particular and not experience the structural.

Who needs facts? What facts? Sure, all of the facts might actually contradict all of the bullshit I’m blathering, but that’s some kind of “white privilege” to notice actual reality! Nonwhites get to notice “structures”, even when those structures are completely contradicted by actual facts.

The West isn’t a saint because it’s taking in (a few) refugees because it was the West who drew the borders the refugees are being forced to cross to begin with!

1. Norway had nothing to do with the drawing of anyone’s borders.

2. The Syrian refugees are genuinely fleeing violence, but the black migrants are went to Norway voluntarily.

Blah blah blah…

The fact that you are unaware about the long and brutal history of the West “training” the Global South into gender and sexual norms (read: imposing Victorian sexual ethics, codifying the gender binary, importing homophobia and transmisogyny, etc.) has everything to do with colonialism. The fact that it’s easier for you to think of Black & brown masculiniteis as sexist/homopohbic moreso than white European culture (the most (trans)misogynist of all!) has everything to do with colonialism.

Oh hey, you know how people claim that whole “Cultural Marxism” thing is just a conspiracy theory? (How does anyone who has ever been to college claim such a thing?)

Marxism became a popular ideology among the de-colonializing nations because colonialism was capitalist, and Marxism is anti-capitalist. Cultural Marxism takes the original Marxism’s economic arguments and replaces them with cultural arguments. So we get this weird and completely a-historical argument about colonization having to do with gender oppression and homophobia.

Of course, no statistics are given on rates of homophobia, transmisogyny, etc. Statistics are like “facts”; things that only white people use. But hey, since I am white, how about some poll data on what Muslims think of homosexuality?

From Pew Research Center, Muslim Views on Morality
From Pew Research Center, Muslim Views on Morality

Yeah, whites are SOOO homophobic.

It reveals a deep and misplaced anxiety that white supremacy has always held: that immigration is really about penetration, that opening white imposed borders for Black & brown men is inviting in rape.

Someone here is a Freudian, and it isn’t me.

Just as economists don’t discuss Marxism anymore, especially since the major test case crashed and burned, psychologists don’t discuss Freud anymore, since his theories were found to lack predictive value.

This is the point where one might want to cite some data that proves that black and brown men rape at the same rate as white men.

Of course he doesn’t, because data is for white people he knows the data overwhelmingly contradicts him.

(Newsflash: White people already did this very thing: it’s called colonialism!) Colonialism IS rape culture.

Wait, now he’s arguing that invasion is rape?

White feminism is never the answer unless your solution to ending gender based violence involves mass criminalization, detention, torture, bombing, occupation, and war. … White feminism is never the answer because it actually can and will never be about the liberation of all women and femmes: it will always only be about the conditional safety of white women and femmes. Never forget: White men have used the alleged “safety” of white women as an excuse to occupy the whole world haven’t they?

Nope. They haven’t.

It keeps going, and going, and going, like the Energizer Bunny of made-up history and bad logic. I’m going to stop here, because it really isn’t worth continuing with this idiocy, but you can read the whole delusional thing if you want to.

The sad thing is that this is not some obscure, random voice, but a post that received over a 1,000 likes.

Cathedral Round Up #6: Dartmouth’s Diversity Scam

This month, I decided to take a look at Dartmouth, better known for drunken frat parties than Ivy League-style academic excellence.

Keggy the Keg, Dartmouth's mascot, even if the administration doesn't officially endorse him.
Keggy the Keg, Dartmouth’s mascot

So it turns out that being part of the Ivy League actually has nothing to do with academic excellence; it’s just an athletic conference. That’s right, the entire perception of academic prestige is due to Dartmouth and Harvard occasionally playing football together.

Dartmouth’s motto is Vox clamantis in deserto, which is Latin for “Help, I’m stuck in New Hampshire!”

Technically, that’s still better than Cornell’s motto, “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”

(That’s… not a motto.)

Dartmouth comes across like a culturally blue-tribe white frat guy who’s never actually met any black or Hispanic people, but knows that anti-racism is the difference between people like him and beer-swilling rednecks from the South.

Don’t ask me why; I hail from one of those regions where Prohibition is still in force.

As you would expect, Dartmouth is therefore trying to correct its “whiteness problem.”

From The Dartmouth, which bills itself as America’s Oldest Student Newspaper, Vice Provost Aims for Faculty Diversity:

Vice provost for academic initiatives Denise Anthony, who assumed the position last October, has been entrusted to help retain and recruit a diverse faculty at the College.”

Anthony is a sociologist whose specialty appears to be patient trust of electronic health care records, which doesn’t seem like an ideal background for the job, but then, it’s probably not hurting her. The article continues:

Anthony’s new position was publicized during College President Phil Hanlon’s “Moving Dartmouth Forward” speech late last month, in which he also said the College has committed $1 million per year to further this diversity initiative. …

Diversity is big business these days.

“To the extent that we are an educational institution and really training the next generation of thinkers and leaders, it is also necessary to have a diverse faculty to be training those leaders to recognize the value of diversity,” Anthony said.

If you were my student and you produced a sentence like that, I would circle it in red and tell you to fix it. There is no “extent” to which Dartmouth is an educational institution; Dartmouth is an educational institution.

Her goal, she said, is to increase recruitment and retention for underrepresented groups such as African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian Americans in a variety of fields and women in science.

I’m circling this one in red, too.

Any time a department does a faculty search, that department works with the dean to create a search committee. The $1 million in annual funds will go in part toward increasing resources for department search committees, such as websites and literature on unconscious bias that search committees can utilize before they commence a search, she said. These resources will be available to any department.

Wow, a million dollars to recommend a website!

The sheer level of scam astounds me. This woman is being given $1 million dollars a year to email links to other professors. Hey, Dartmouth, I’ll make you a deal: pay me a measly $900,000 per year, and I’ll email you all the links you want. You get to save $100,000, and my links will be much more entertaining.

Plus, I’ve got much better credentials.

Success for the program would mean an increase in the number of underrepresented faculty and in their retention, along with the full engagement of those faculty members.

Not the production of knowledge or education of students or any of those silly, results-based measures of “academic” success. After all, Anthony thinks Dartmouth is only an educational institution “to an extent.” Perhaps its other purpose is simply “to hire people.”

Anthony said she meets with faculty and staff from the Geisel School of Medicine and the Thayer School of Engineering daily to talk about diversity on a student and staff level.

Every day? What do they have to talk about?

Day One

Anthony: So, is the Engineering Department still mostly white?

Engineering Faculty: Yes.

Anthony: Well, that’s enough talk to justify billing this lunch to the department. Let’s get started on our appetizers.

Day Two

Anthony: So, is the Engineering Department still mostly white?

Engineering Faculty: … You know new students only really start school once a year, right? And that day wasn’t yesterday.

Anthony: Is that a yes?

Engineering Faculty: Yes.

Anthony: Well, that’s enough talk to justify billing this lunch to the department. Let’s get started on our appetizers.

Repeat ad nauseam. But moving on with the article…

Chair of the African and African American studies program and English professor Gretchen Gerzina, who has been teaching at the College for 10 years, said that she thinks faculty of color leave Dartmouth for a variety of reasons…

Gretchen Gerzina is about as black as Rachel Dolezal, complete with the fake-permed hair:

g-gerzina-photo

Rachel Dolezal
Rachel Dolezal

Yale has this same problem:

Elizabeth Alexander, poet
Elizabeth Alexander, poet, Yale professor

You know, I might think this is funny, but I bet actually black women don’t think it’s funny when majority white-DNA women perm their hair and take jobs meant for blacks.

Fact is, it is actually trivially simple to hire black people if you want to. There are, after all, nearly 42 million black people in this country, and even though Dartmouth is, as Gerzina notes, located in an isolated backwoods with little to do on a Friday night but attend frat parties, it still would not take much effort to find a couple hundred who would be willing to come write poetry and opine for Dartmouth’s students on the “African American experience.”

These might not be folks with the kind of credentials traditionally looked for in Ivy League professors, but it is easy to wave that away by pointing out, quite accurately, that such credential requirements disproportionately rule out black (and Hispanic) applicants.

But finding (and keeping) qualified black professors, especially in fields with technical requirements that you can’t just wave away, is much harder, hence the continuous demands that elite institutions allocate more money to attract them. Being even vaguely black is a high-demand commodity.

Let’s finish the article:

Between 2006 and 2013, Yale University had a faculty diversity initiative, which focused on increasing the number of underrepresented minority faculty members and women in science. The initiative set the hiring goal of 30 minority and 30 female professors from 2006 until June 2013.  As of February 2013, the University was able to retain 22 minority and 18 female faculty members, one year after the university hired 56 minority and 30 female faculty members.

And look what a harmonious place Yale has become:

Meanwhile at The Dartmouth Review, Eyes Wide Open at the Protest:

Black-clad protesters gathered in front of Dartmouth Hall, forming a crowd roughly one hundred fifty strong.  Ostensibly there to denounce the removal of shirts from a display in Collis, the Black Lives Matter collective began to sing songs and chant their eponymous catchphrase. Not content to merely demonstrate there for the night, the band descended from their high-water mark to march into Baker-Berry Library.

“F*** you, you filthy white f***s!” “F*** you and your comfort!” “F*** you, you racist s***!”

These shouted epithets were the first indication that many students had of the coming storm.  The sign-wielding, obscenity-shouting protesters proceeded through the usually quiet backwaters of the library.  They surged first through first-floor Berry, then up the stairs to the normally undisturbed floors of the building, before coming back down to the ground floor of Novack.

Throngs of protesters converged around fellow students who had not joined in their long march. They confronted students who bore “symbols of oppression”: “gangster hats” and Beats-brand headphones.  The flood of demonstrators self-consciously overstepped every boundary, opening the doors of study spaces with students reviewing for exams. Those who tried to close their doors were harassed further. One student abandoned the study room and ran out of the library. The protesters followed her out of the library, shouting obscenities the whole way.

Students who refused to listen to or join their outbursts were shouted down.  “Stand the f*** up!”  “You filthy racist white piece of s***!”  Men and women alike were pushed and shoved by the group.  “If we can’t have it, shut it down!” they cried.  Another woman was pinned to a wall by protesters who unleashed their insults, shouting “filthy white b****!” in her face.

The Dartmouth has a rebuttal article, which claims that,

“These allegations of physical assault are lies to make white students look like the victims and students of color to look like the perpetrators,” Abera said. “The protest was meant to shut down the library. Whatever discomfort that many white students felt in that library is a fraction of the discomfort that many Natives, blacks, Latina and LGBTQ people feel frequently.” …

Many of the demonstrators then approached the sitting students and chanted “F**k your white privilege” and “F**k your white asses,” demonstrator Dan Korff-Korn ’19 said.

“It was important to point out that the students sitting there in the library at the computers represented this greater degree of ignorance, apathy and privilege that you see at Dartmouth, …” Korff-Korn said. …

Comments such as “F*** your white privilege” were not personal or racist attacks on individual white persons in the library, Diakanwa said. Instead, these comments were meant to target the legacy of white supremacy that many students have benefited from and students of color are fighting against, he said.

Got that? “Fuck your white ass” is not supposed to be a personal or racist attack.

The Dartmouth also brings us The Death of Peaceful Protests? about no, not the difficulties of studying at Dartmouth, busy highways being shut down, convenience stores burned down by protestors, a police precinct occupied by protestors, or a man wearing a “Stop Killng Black Men” t-shirt getting his head bashed in with a hammer by a “Black Lives Matter” protester:

protest-hammer-los-angeles

(Also from the article about the guy hit with the hammer:

Some of the protesters made their way to a freeway in Oakland and blocked traffic. The California Highway Patrol said some tried to light a patrol vehicle on fire and threw rocks, bottles and an explosive at officers. Highway patrol officers responded with tear gas. [source])

No, it’s about some dudes in Oregon occupying a building in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which, while lovely:

Malheur_Wildlife_Refuge_(Harney_County,_Oregon_scenic_images)_(harDA0014)

Is not exactly densely inhabited.

The Death of Peaceful Protests? claims that:

If the armed men were African-American, they would be called thugs. If they were Muslim, they would be called terrorists. The showdown between the armed protestors and the government illuminates a tremendous hypocrisy. We label violent groups based on the race or religion of their members.

Look, I am the first person to complain about inconsistent language use, but I’d like to see one credible news source that has called Time Magazine’s #4 Person of the Year “thugs.” I’d like to see a single non-violent (and until violence happens, I’m going to call this non-violent) Muslim take-over of a building in some rural part of the country called a “terrorist” act.

The author further argues:

The federal government has not been quick to respond due to its experience with right-wing militant groups in Waco and Ruby Ridge in the 1990s. …

Additionally, the occupation has exposed the government’s fear of antagonizing right-wing groups. Our nation’s leaders have given such extremists carte blanche. They can act with impunity. If the armed men were African-American or Muslim, the government would have mustered all of its strength to crush the opposition.”

Actually an image of the government crushing Black Lives Matter protesters
Actually an image of the Obama administration crushing Black Lives Matter protesters. Loretta Lynch is driving the first tank.

The government hasn’t been “hands off” with the Oregon militia thing because they’re afraid of antagonizing right-wing groups, (goodness knows militias aren’t exactly one of Obama’s core voting demographics,) or because we’ve somehow become more pro-white guys with guns since 1993, but because everyone basically agrees that this:

Waco Compound in Flames (source)
Branch Davidian Compound in Flames

is a really bad way for a standoff to end. From Texas Monthly, The Fire that Time:

We found the women and children huddled together, under blankets. There were 27 bodies, two of them pregnant women. They were covered in debris—not just construction debris but spent rounds of grenades and ammunition. I suspect that the blankets were moist, to try and keep out the smoke. But there was such a rip-roaring fire that they were trapped. That was the most profound and distressing aspect of this entire case. To see that mass of human remains was a horrific thing for all of us. …

Many of the Davidian children’s remains went unclaimed because whole families were dead or their relatives were too poor to pay for funeral services or no one wanted them. And so all those bodies that had been at the coroner’s office were buried, without markers, in paupers’ graves in a Waco cemetery.

Martin We had to stand behind the caution tape. We watched them bring out coffin after coffin and drop them in the ground. It was a horrible thing.

No one really cares about some random building in rural Oregon, even if there are some guys with guns holed up in it.
In our final article from The Dartmouth, Educated Action reminds us that young people vote liberal, therefore, be sure to vote, because who could argue with logic like this?

Cathedral Round Up #4 (no heroes for you)

Today we come to a flaw in my methods: I usually write my posts a few weeks before they actually go up. Normally, this is not an issue–genetics tends not to change very much from week to week. And to keep a them evenly paced, I just write each Cathedral Round up on the day the previous one goes up. Since articles from the Yale Law bulletin or Princeton Magazine are not normally of interest to outsiders, the delay between publication and commentary hasn’t been a big issue.

But this month, all the stuff going on in the echelons of higher education has made it into the actual news! Do you know how weird it is to suddenly have relatives complaining about student protests at Yale or U Missouri? Obscure campus news–that’s my schtick, not theirs.

Next month, I’m going to try out a new methodology for keeping the Cathedral Round Up both on-schedule and topical. For today, though, here’s what was going on before all this stuff broke into the media:

This month, I decided to focus on Yale, Princeton, and Penn (though Stanford managed to sneak back in, because Stanford.)

Yale is in the process of cannibalizing itself. Princeton is halfway there, but some students are still holding out due to Princeton’s stronger culture of elitism. Poor Penn is never going to get taken seriously as an Ivy so long as it continues insisting on publishing mostly reasonable articles about itself, instead of concentrating on world-breaking levels of crazy.

The Yale Alumni magazine has a transcript of Deal Holloway’s Freshman Address, Yale’s Narrative, and Yours, (gosh, that comma bugs me. Commas are for lists of three or more things, or separating two different actors in a sentence, eg, “She went to the store, and I vacuumed the house.” This title should not have a comma,) which I am going to quote quite a bit from because it is just so awful:

Class of 2019, I am thrilled to see you and look forward to getting to know you well in the years ahead. … But who, exactly, are you? You hail from across this country and from around the world. Many of you are the children of parents who are already Yale alumni. More of you will be the first in your families to graduate from college at all. Most of you went to public school. Nearly half of you are receiving financial aid. …

I’d like you to turn to the images that are in your program. … The images you see are something of a triptych—three different paintings of British merchant Elihu Yale that when brought together tell a fascinating story. For those who don’t already know, Elihu Yale rose to power and accumulated wealth through his leadership in the East India Company. In 1718, Yale received a request to finance a new building for the Collegiate School of Connecticut, a small enterprise founded in 1701 for the training of Congregationalist ministers. Yale sent hundreds of books, a portrait of King George I, and bales of goods that were later sold to finance the building. In short order, the Collegiate School was renamed in his honor. …

In all of the paintings Elihu Yale is wearing and surrounded by sumptuous fabrics. … In the two paintings on side one we see ships in the distance—a reference to the fact that Elihu Yale built his career on trade that navigated the ports in the British empire. In the second and third paintings we see an unidentified attendant. Much like the wearing of exquisite clothes suggested, placing a servant in a portrait was an articulation of standing and wealth. But when we look more carefully at these two paintings we notice that in addition to the fine clothes the servant and page are wearing they also happen to have metal collars and clasps around their necks. What we are seeing in each painting, then, isn’t a servant or a page, but a slave.

We are fairly certain that Elihu Yale did not own any slaves himself, but there’s no doubting the fact that he participated in the slave trade, profiting from the sale of humans just as he profited from the sale of so many actual objects that were part of the East India trade empire. As such, Elihu Yale’s wealth was linked to a global economy that was deeply, practically inextricably, interwoven with the sale of human beings to other human beings. In fact, when we look at the paintings it is safe to assume that Elihu Yale was a willing participant in that economy. Since he could have selected anything to represent him in these paintings we can conclude that he chose to be depicted with enslaved people because he believed this narrative would best signify his wealth, power, and worldliness.

This is a difficult story to hear, especially on an occasion of welcoming and celebration. But I share it with you because just as proper histories are unafraid of their darker corners you should be unafraid to ask difficult questions of this university. Indeed, we expect you to do so.

The first of your three images hangs in the Corporation Room of Woodbridge Hall—the nerve center of the university. That this specific portrait hangs there, however, is fairly recent history. Until 2007, the second painting of Elihu Yale you see in the program insert is what you would have found in the Corporation Room. That year, recognizing that this representation was terribly jarring whether it was understood in its historical context or not, the university removed the painting. …

So, Class of 2019: here you are, in a place that has been waiting a long time for you to arrive, a place where you emphatically belong. Whatever your race, religion, wealth, sport, political philosophy, taste in music; whatever your sexuality, your passport’s origin, or the number of stamps in your passport, this place is yours, ready for you to make your contribution to it. …

You have come here at a unique moment, when this university engages with questions of its own identity, at a time when national conversations about race have shined a light on social constructions and assumptions that for many (but not for all), have lain dormant for decades, if not centuries. …

I have to interrupt here. Who the fuck thinks that our ideas about race have been lying dormant for centuries? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? Were there no Civil Rights marches in the 1950s? Did no one in the 60s and 70s ever mention race? Did we never celebrate Martin Luther King Day in school? Are there no streets named in his honor? People talk constantly about race, but for some strange reason keep claiming that we have not been talking about race.

These big questions will form part of the education that awaits you, even more than problem sets, term papers, or exams. But so will the conversation that begins today, as you write your own story and build your own Yale.

This is hard but joyous work, and you embark on it with many others. Joining you are your peers and your professors, the friends you are about to make, and the students who have preceded you. I join you, too.

Welcome to this work. Welcome to this place. Welcome to Yale.

TL; DR: White history is shit and white people should feel bad. Welcome to Yale!

The President of Yale, Peter Salovey, also gave a Freshman Address, “Launching a Difficult Conversation.” Let’s see if it is any better:

Good morning and welcome, Class of 2019, family members, and colleagues sharing the stage with me.

Well, as the events in South Carolina shook the nation, many members of our own community could not avoid considering a matter that ties us here in New Haven to similar questions of history, naming, symbols, and narratives. …

About one in twelve of you has been assigned to Calhoun College, named, when the college system was instituted in the 1930s, for John C. Calhoun—a graduate of the Yale College Class of 1804 who achieved extremely high prominence in the early nineteenth century as a notable political theorist, a vice president to two different US presidents, a secretary of war and of state, and a congressman and senator representing South Carolina. …

Calhoun mounted the most powerful and influential defense of his day for slavery. …

Are we perhaps better off retaining before us the name and the evocative, sometimes brooding presence of Yale graduate John C. Calhoun? He may serve to remind us not only of Yale’s complicated and occasionally painful associations with the past, but to enforce in us a sense of our own moral fallibility as we ourselves face questions about the future.

So it was not surprising that within a short time of the massacre and subsequent debate in South Carolina, we found that the issues of honoring, naming, and remembering that have occasionally surfaced regarding Calhoun College returned to confront us again. …  And inevitably we found ourselves wondering, and not for the first time, how best to address the undeniable challenges associated with the fact that Calhoun’s name graces a residential community in Yale College, an institution where, above all, we prize both the spirit and reality of full inclusion. …

As entering Yale students of the Class of 2019, what are your obligations to wrest from this place an education that encourages you to question tradition even while honoring it, to chart your own history even while learning from the past, to enter fully into difficult conversations even while respecting contradictory ideas and opinions?I know in the next four years, you will make progress on figuring all this out. Let’s get started together. Let’s get started today.

Yale has, apparently, no heroes worth honoring or inspiring its students to emulate, only villains. The grand duty of Yale students is to decide whether their past heroes should cast out and forgotten, or remembered solely as a warning about evil.

On a related (but funnier note): Yale still receiving money from evil, evil capitalists:

Take Yale’s bond from a Dutch water authority: it was originally issued in 1648, it is inscribed on goatskin, and recently, it added €136.20—about $153—to Yale’s coffers. … the bond was acquired as part of “a collection that traces the history of capital market development and financial innovation.”

Then in quick succession, just to drive home the point: Faculty Departures Raise Diversity Questions, What Color is Yale’s Faculty, and It Can’t Just be the Righteous Few (about the NAACP’s new leader.)

A bestselling memoirist, the poet for Barack Obama’s first inauguration, and Yale’s first endowed professor of poetry, Elizabeth Alexander ’84 is one of Yale’s highest-profile professors. But not for long: Alexander is leaving the Yale faculty for Columbia next fall.

Her departure, along with that of anthropologist Vanessa Agard-Jones ’00, also for Columbia, was reported in the Yale Daily News as a sign of “systemic problems” in Yale’s efforts to make its faculty more diverse. (Alexander and Agard-Jones are both African American.)

Really? You could have fooled me:

Elizabeth Alexander, poet
Elizabeth Alexander, definitely a black person.
Rachel Dolezal
Rachel Dolezal, definitely a white person.

At least Agard-Jones is actually a black person, though calling her an anthropologist is a bit misleading. She actually describes herself as, “an Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender + Sexuality Studies at Yale University. … As a political anthropologist, I specialize in the study of gender and sexuality in the African diaspora. Anyway, the article goes on:

Columbia has invested $63 million in its faculty diversity initiative to finance “recruitment, support, and related programs” since 2012.

“We have not made nearly enough progress on diversifying the faculty, and my colleagues in the higher administration know that I have long believed we need to have powerful commitments from on high, both in continued, stated vision and also with extensive resource allocation,” Alexander told the News. “Yale lags behind its peers where we should be leaders, and [faculty diversity] goals, in my opinion, should be a priority, as they are elsewhere, including Columbia.”

Ultimately, it all comes down to money. Qualified black professors are few and far between, and so capable of commanding much higher salaries than they would if they were white.

The world does not need more scientists, engineers, or people who build complicated systems for the delivery of electricity or removal of waste. The world needs more vaguely black-looking poets and gender studies professors. Those are the folks who will bring us the next set of civilization-building innovations!

Here at Yale, your worth as a person is not determined by what you do, by what you accomplish, or by the content of your character, but by the color of your skin. And maybe your sexual proclivities and gender.

I have a proposal: Let’s rename the whole shebang. Get rid of “Yale”. Let’s rename them “Rosa Parks University” and “Caesar Chavez College” and be done with it. It’s not like anyone actually cares about Elihu or Calhoun, except as representatives of a hated history.

Penn had an interesting article on helping ex-cons start companies by teaching them how to fill out paperwork, but that kind of practical approach to the world will never get Penn the kind of attention it needs to be a world-class university.

Meanwhile, over at Princeton, one of the nation’s most prestigious and selective colleges, a student noticed that in order to have a functional social club that pursues a particular interest (in this case, literature), some people have to be excluded. The student therefore decided not to join a social club, because excluding people is bad.

Princeton: Revoke Cosby’s Honorary Degree

Penn: Revoke Cosby’s Honorary Degree

That’ll stop rape!

Here I need to stop and mention an article in the Stanford Daily, “‘One in Five’ Takes action to combat sexual assault“:

A group of students is in the process of creating a new student organization that aims to raise awareness and educate the community on the subject of campus sexual assault. …

Because no one has ever done that before. Seriously, I bet no one on the entire Stanford campus has ever thought to raise awareness of sexual assault before.

The idea for the student group grew out of a Sophomore College course this summer called “One in Five: The Law, Policy and Politics of Sexual Assault” with law professor Michele Dauber. The group will be called One in Five after the class.

The three-week experience was “completely immersive,” according to Dauber.

“Immersive”? What, did they rape the students in the course?

 

In The Problem with Philanthropy, a Princetonian critiques Effective Altruism on the grounds that capitalism is evil:

Perhaps more troubling than Whitman or Rockefeller are the cases of individuals like Matt Wage ’12. Wage took Peter Singer’s ethics class and decided to work on Wall Street after graduation in order to make large amounts of money that he could then donate to life-saving causes. In his book, Singer argues that Wage exemplifies the model of effective altruism, a concept that enshrines individual charity as the most effective force for good while ignoring entirely the power of collective action against structural injustice.

Wage joined a toxic system of finance dominated by rent seekers that helps maintain an environmentally unsustainable global economy. This economy is already taking lives and bringing suffering [PDF] for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. While Wage can take credit for the lives that he has supposedly saved with his Wall Street earnings, he can also conveniently ignore his complicity in a system of finance inextricable from climate injustice as well as other forms of oppression like private prisons, sweatshops, the domestic and global exchange of weapons and practices like insider trading, cronyism and corruption.

If you look at the PDF about “taking lives and bringing suffering,” you’ll note that Wage is being blamed for global warming.

While I actually dislike Wall Street and economic theories based on the idea of endless growth, which are bad for long-term resource maintenance necessary for people to have nice lives, this is not a critique of Effective Altruism. Coherent critiques of EA exist, but “EA => Global Warming!” is not one of them.

Princetonian feminists would like to let us know that male sexuality is still disgusting, and I would like to remind you that colleges are breeding grounds for disease.

Finally, Princeton students are questioning the Legacy of Woodrow Wilson, a Racist Bigot:

… it is time for our University to reevaluate its blind veneration to its deeply racist demigod. … This response assumes that Wilson’s racist actions were minuscule despite the fact that he actively worked to destroy, hinder and thwart the communities of black and brown peoples in America. … I told the administrator that Wilson is arguably the most racist U.S. and Princeton president, and the administrator agreed that Wilson was indeed racist.

I think the Cherokee might disagree with that assessment.

Remember: no heroes. Ever.

 

Cathedral Round Up #3

stanford cover

From Stanford Magazine’s feature article, A Hard Look at How We See Race:

“Jennifer Eberhardt’s research shows subconscious connections in people’s minds between black faces and crime, and how those links may pervert justice. Law enforcement officers across the country are taking note.

The first time Jennifer Eberhardt presented her research at a law enforcement conference, she braced for a cold shoulder. How much would streetwise cops care what a social psychology professor had to say about the hidden reaches of racial bias?

Instead, she heard gasps, the loudest after she described an experiment that showed how quickly people link black faces with crime or danger at a subconscious level. In the experiment, students looking at a screen were exposed to a subliminal flurry of black or white faces. The subjects were then asked to identify blurry images as they came into focus frame by frame.

The makeup of the facial prompts had little effect on how quickly people recognized mundane items like staplers or books. But with images of weapons, the difference was stark—subjects who had unknowingly seen black faces needed far fewer frames to identify a gun or a knife than those who had been shown white faces. For a profession dealing in split-second decisions, the implications were powerful. … “

This is actually quite interesting research, but it does not investigate why people might have become hyper-vigilant about danger around black people to start with. Given that crime victimization surveys consistently show that blacks actually commit crimes at rates similar to their rates of incarceration, Professor Eberhardt is capturing, at best, a miniscule effect. The effect of black people actually committing real crimes explains the vast, vast majority of black incarceration, and any research on the subject that doesn’t take this into account is ignorant at best.

Keep in mind:

shootinggraph

The police disproportionately shoot whites and Hispanics, not blacks, and even when they do shoot at blacks, they are mysteriously less likely to kill them. Police officers are actually less likely to use force against black suspects because they fear backlash:

Pistol-whipped detective says he didn’t shoot attacker because of headlines (article NOT from a university):

“A Birmingham, Alabama, police detective who was pistol-whipped unconscious said Friday that he hesitated to use force because he didn’t want to be accused of needlessly killing an unarmed man. …

“”We don’t want to be in the media,” he said. “It’s hard times right now for us.” …

“Adding insult to injury: several bystanders, instead of helping, took pictures of the bloodied officer as he was facedown on the concrete and posted the images on social media, where the officer was mocked. …

“”Pistol whipped his ass to sleep,” one user wrote, employing the hashtag #FckDaPolice. Another mockingly offered the officer milk and cookies for his “nap time.””

And it’s not just anecdote–here’s a study: Cops hesitate more, err less when shooting black suspects.

• Officers were less likely to erroneously shoot unarmed black suspects than they were unarmed whites — 25 times less likely, in fact
• And officers hesitated significantly longer before shooting armed suspects who were black, compared to armed subjects who were white or Hispanic

“In sum,” writes Dr. Lois James, a research assistant professor with the university’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology who headed the study, “this research found that participants displayed significant bias favoring Black suspects” in their shooting decisions.

Stanford Magazine closes with Ghosts of Mascots Past: Respect should transcend nostalgia:

“… I, too, am a Stanford Indian. I’m a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a proud Stanford alumna. But nothing about the caricature on that shirt represents me, my family, my community, or the hundreds of other Native students and alumni of the university.

Whenever the Stanford Indian resurfaces, I’m reminded that the Native members of the Stanford community still aren’t viewed as equals. …

Adrienne Keene, ’07, is a postdoctoral fellow in Native American studies at Brown University. She writes about Native representations on her blog, Native Appropriations.

If Indians don’t like being used as mascots, politeness dictates not using them as mascots.

However, the idea that you aren’t viewed as an equal at a university that is at least 50% non-white is really quite a stretch; the idea that the mascot has anything to do with it makes about as much sense as saying that the Irish aren’t viewed as equals at Notre Dame.

WOW JUST WOW THIS IS SERIOUSLY NOT OKAY
WOW JUST WOW. THIS IS SERIOUSLY NOT OKAY.

If anything, I’d think that attending a place like Stanford is rather akin to having the world handed to you on a big silver platter, and so maybe it looks bad to complain too much that your platter isn’t shiny enough or it wasn’t handed over with sufficient deference.

Next up, Harvard:

HARVxCV1x0915_1x

The text says, “From the Ground Up: Doing Business at the base of the pyramid

Let’s take a moment to look at these two covers. Stanford recently had a “Protest” cover, showing Stanford students shutting down a highway in support of Black Lives Matter; today’s cover is even starker.

Harvard’s cover also features black people, but more subtly, and these are black people who actually live in Africa, rather than America. The overall feeling I get when reading official (non-student run) Harvard publications is one of internationalism–here are pictures of our Ugandan law students, here’s what up with our European investments, here a story about a professor in China–while Stanford’s publications feels decidedly mired in common American problems.

This is not to say that Harvard students aren’t protesting in favor of Black Lives Matter–they definitely are. But the university’s official publications chose not to highlight this the way Stanford’s do. Harvard’s vision of itself is global; Standford’s is national.

Anyway, back to the article, a discussion of how difficult it is to be economically successful in Africa, because even though food grows perfectly well there, people haven’t figured out how to get it all to market before it rots. A country like Nigeria, therefore, is reduced to importing tomato paste while millions of tomatoes rot in the countryside. So some Harvard guys are trying to teach Nigerians how to efficiently preserve their tomatoes so they can actually get them to market before they rot. (Wouldn’t the most efficient solution be sun-dried tomatoes? I know plenty of African fishermen sun-dry their catches because it’s an easy and free way to preserve food in their environment.)

Unfortunately the whole process is impeded by Fulani tribesmen who like to herd their cattle through the tomato fields.

Open borders rule!

Then we get to the meat of the article:

Imagine a simple triangle diagram of the planet’s population. A fortunate couple of billion upper-income people—in the United States and Canada, much of Europe, Japan, Australia, and prospering urban centers in parts of Asia and Latin America—occupy the apex. The invisible hand of market capitalism supplies this prominent minority with bountiful goods and services. But that leaves a lot of people out. At the very bottom of the pyramid, a billion or more humans live in poverty (on less than $1.25 per person per day), often depending on government programs and charitable aid to subsist.

” … In a conversation, he compared the lives of these people, the base of the pyramid, with those at the top. Because they likely do not own property, and lack rent or tax receipts, they are not bankable, so they turn to exploitative money lenders for credit to stock a shop or start a small business. For medical care, they choose among local healers, vendors of patent nostrums, or queues at public clinics (where it may take a bribe to advance in line). Their labor, often interrupted by those queues or long bus trips to remit cash to a rural family, may be seasonal, itinerant, and legally unprotected. Functioning markets, he noted, imply a level playing field between consumers and producers, but most of these people aren’t getting a remotely fair deal. It is as if the broad base of the pyramid were an alternate universe where familiar rules don’t apply.

“Rangan quickly credited the late corporate strategist C.K. Prahalad, D.B.A. ’75, of the University of Michigan, for saying (most prominently in The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits, published in 2004) that the same rules ought to apply.”

As I have said over and over, societies are built by the people in them. At this point, invoking the Invisible Hand is tantamount to invoking Voodoo or the influence of Mercury retrograde in Taurus.

Countries where the people have high levels of trust, low levels of aggression, and low time-discounting end up with efficient, complex markets where they can do business with strangers without fear of being cheated or killed. In nice countries, like Japan, Finland, and even the US, the people depending on government aid and charitable programs to subsist do not have to bribe their way into medical care because people in those countries believe that bribery and line-jumping are immoral.

Nice countries are places where everyone agrees to cooperate in the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Shitty ones are places where everyone is looking for a chance to defect–say, by running their cattle through a neighbor’s tomato fields.

“Philanthropic and development agencies tend not to scale or sustain themselves, he found, and public entities often fail to assure efficacy and efficiency. In contrast, “Through the ages, one actor has proven consistently able” to satisfy these criteria: competitive private industries.

“… Rangan applied his scholarly perspective to suggest inverting the telescope through which companies view prospective lower-income markets. “Typical marketing sells the organization to the customer,” he and research associate Arthur McCaffrey wrote a decade ago. (Need a car? We at GM/Mercedes/Toyota make good ones.) Within the base of the pyramid—devoid as it is of cash, roads, and gas stations—there are no such customers. But enormous demand exists for carts to ease the burden of hauling loads along muddy paths or cheap pumps to irrigate fields. Here, the proper paradigm is to “sell the customer to the organization.”

Long-term, I think making the opportunities to become successful available to people is actually a good strategy. The article is too long to continue quoting, but you can read it there if you’re interested in the opportunities/difficulties of investing in developing markets.

In Shedding Light through Social Science, Harvard’s President Faust, rated by Forbes as the 33rd most powerful woman in the world, descendant of Puritans, IVY league grads, Senators, and thoroughbred horse breeders, talks about the opportunities for Harvard to use its computing power to comb through Big Data in pursuit of the Great Informationing (my term, not hers):

“The nature of censorship in China, to give just one example, can be explored by monitoring the types of communication suppressed by the government, a project that relies on sifting through millions of social media posts.

“At the same time, real-world experiments can inform economic, political, and social theory. Are people more likely to save for retirement with the help of targeted brain stimulation? Can gender bias in hiring, promotions, and work assignments be overcome by evaluating candidates jointly rather than individually? How do malnutrition and sleep deprivation among low-income individuals influence economic outcomes? Faculty supported by cross-school research programs such as the Behavioral Insights Group and the Foundations of Human Behavior Initiative are answering these and other questions by undertaking discipline-spanning research that can shape everything from the decisions we make at the grocery store to the votes we cast in the ballot box.”

Personally, I think trying to electrocute people into having lower time preference is really scraping the bottom of the idea barrel; you might as well just throw in the towel and say that some people just aren’t very good at delaying gratification and there’s not much you can do about it. Faust continues:

“This is a time of remarkable promise for the social sciences. Yet short-sighted federal funding cuts are threatening our ability to answer questions that have the potential to inform and shape all of our lives. The last 51 of the United States’ recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economics were supported by the research divisions of the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, which may soon face a more than 50 percent reduction from current federal funding. If we hope to address complex and consequential issues such as climate change, global pandemics, and inequality and human rights, we cannot ignore unique insights into the human and behavioral that the social sciences alone can provide.”

Harvard has more money than god and could send a mission to Mars if it felt like, but more taxpayer dollars to investigate whether or not we can alter people’s brains to get them to save money is critical.

Harvard then turns to women’s issues, with a spotlight portrait of history Professor Catherine Brekus:

Catherine Brekus ’85 specializes in hearing the voices of America’s early female religious leaders, nearly lost to history …

” “I did not like studying history in high school,” the Warren professor of the history of religion at Harvard Divinity School confesses, smiling. “I was always good at it…but the idea is that you memorize a lot of facts, mostly about political history, and what happened when.” When she taught the subject to high-school students for two years, Brekus noticed that textbooks “have this narrative of political events…and then you have this little human-interest thing in a box. That was where the women would appear. My goal as a historian,” she adds, “is to get women out of those boxes and into the main texts.””

And she’s going to fix this by studying the lives of women whom no one cares about?

If you want more women in the history books, do (or encourage them to do) something worth recording in a history book.

In A Case for Women:

“When Nitin Nohria became Harvard Business School (HBS) dean in mid 2010, he detailed five priorities, ranging from innovation in education and internationalization to inclusion. In setting out the latter goal, he said in a recent conversation, he aimed not at numerical diversity, but at a broader objective: that every HBS student and teacher be enabled to thrive within the community.”

If you can’t “thrive” at HBS without the faculty making special sure to pander to your needs, you do not belong in business. The idea that women are special little wilting flowers who have to be coddled at every turn because they can’t take care of themselves, even at the highest levels of intelligence and achievement, is absolutely repulsive.

““I have launched an initiative that will focus…on the challenges facing women at the school,” Nohria wrote. He created an institutional home for the work—a senior associate deanship for culture and community—and appointed Wilson professor of business administration Robin J. Ely to the post: a logical choice, given her research on race and gender relations in organizations. …

“Just as M.B.A. cases have become increasingly global in the past decade, he aims for at least 20 percent to “feature a female” leader within the next three years. (And because HBS sells cases to schools worldwide, that shift will radiate far beyond Allston.) …

Ely recently recalled the concerns that prompted Nohria’s initial interest, including persistent underrepresentation of women among M.B.A. students earning highest academic honors.”

In other words, Nohria is making pity-jobs for women because they can’t hack it at HBS. Next time you look at the skyrocketing cost of college tuition, remember that college is now a make-work program for unemployable women.

Continuing the theme, “Not Holding out for a Hero” features an interview with the Asian Man now drawing Wonder Woman.

In Empathy and Imagination, author Ceridwen Dovey (now there’ a British name for you!) talks about how guilty she feels over apartheid in her childhood home of South Africa, a place she doesn’t actually bother to live in anymore, now that her political activist parents’ goal of racial harmony and integration have been achieved.

“Motherhood also played a role [in the writing of her new novel]: “It made me more grateful for the time I have to write,” she adds—and ultimately more creative, especially while finishing Only the Animals in 2013. The nature of pregnancy, nursing, and caring for a newborn intensified her kinship with “the whole family of mammals.”

“… Like Coetzee, Sax, an author and academic best known for his writings on animal-human relations, has influenced Dovey, who also admits to feeling “bewildered to the point of inaction in terms of the ethical responsibilities we have toward animals and the obligations we owe them as the dominant species on earth. We treat animals in the most appalling ways right now.” …

““I am very aware that we are all creatures who suffer together, and that existence is hard for us all,” Dovey reflects. “There is something, also, about the bond we have with animals, the care and connection that we don’t appreciate or see the magic in as much as we should.””

As Staffan points out, vegetarianism and Englishness (in this case, perhaps Welshness) are extremely correlated:

Map of self-reported English ancestry
Map of self-reported English ancestry (green)
Map showing the per capita distribution of vegetarian restaurants
Map of per capita distribution of vegetarian restaurants (green)
Graph of the correlation between vegetarianism and English ancestry
Graph of the correlation between vegetarianism and English ancestry

The English and their near kin are probably unique in the world in their ability to consistently extend their circle of concern not only to non-tribally related humans, but even to animals–even other whites do not share this trait:

Graph showing the much lower correlation between
Graph showing the much lower correlation between “whites” and vegetarianism

Since the English are included in whites, removing them from the graph would result in an even lower correlation.

Off-topic, here is a quick excerpt from an interesting letter to the editor:

“In those distant days, every Harvard and Radcliffe first- and second-year student was required to complete one full Gen Ed course in each of three broad areas: only 18 (not 574) two-semester courses qualified for “Humanities,” “Social Science,” or “Natural Science” credit, plus a two-semester Gen Ed A writing course required of virtually all entering freshmen.”

Hopefully I can get back to this in more depth later, but I suspect the massive increase in the sheer amount of media (books, movies, TV shows, etc.,) available to everyone over the past hundred years, while in many ways quite wonderful, has contributed to an intellectual fracturing where we no longer have a common set of ideas and metaphors at our disposal with which to communicate with others.

I was going to do Princeton and Yale, but Harvard gave me so much material that I’m just going to save them for next month.

cathedral round up #2

In the WTF file: Ex-Harvard Student Brittany Smith Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

“On May 18, 2009, just two weeks before Smith’s graduation from Harvard, her boyfriend Copney and two accomplices shot and killed Cosby in the basement of Kirkland’s J entryway.

“An aspiring songwriter from New York City who frequently visited Smith and stayed in her room, Copney was convicted of felony murder of the first degree at the conclusion of his trial in April. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. …

“A senior in Lowell House at the time, Smith watched Jiggetts load the gun in her room before the men brought Cosby to Kirkland House to arrange the drug rip. Smith gave Copney and his accomplices her Harvard ID to gain access to the Kirkland basement, where Cosby was shot. Cosby later died from a bullet wound to his abdomen.

“Upon Copney’s return from Cosby’s shooting, Smith hid the gun in her blockmate’s room in a bag under her bed. She then called a taxi to help with the men’s getaway to South Station, where the four boarded a bus to New York. Smith returned to Harvard the next day.”

According to HuffPo,

“Prosecutors said Cosby, 21, was shot during an attempted robbery by Smith’s former boyfriend, Jabrai Jordan Copney, and two other New York City men.”

Harvard, is this the kind of student you’ve sunk to admitting?

In a related matter, Education Department Dismisses Admissions Complaint:

“The U.S. Department of Education has dismissed a complaint filed against Harvard this spring by 64 Asian-American groups accusing the University of discriminating based on race in its admissions practices.

“The complaint, filed in May, accused the University of unfairly denying admission to highly qualified Asian-American students while admitting similar applicants of other races.”

Everyone knows they do it, but they still get away with denying it. (A similar lawsuit is ongoing, though.)

Also, via iSteve: MIT shits on one of its minority groups, white men:

“The MIT Physics Department is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty and student populations to improve our excellence and to better serve the society that supports our work.”

“Like in many physics departments, white males are over-represented in our student and faculty populations.  There are several reasons to pursue change, seeking to increase the number of women and under-represented minorities in our community:”

Make that two minority groups: “Under-represented minorities” is code for “Piano-playing Asians need not apply. We have enough of you already.”

The whole thing is a painful ball of nonsense and lies. Putting more of group X, Y, or Z into the MIT physics department has zero effect on whether or not the department serves the society that supports its work. For that matter, who the hell do you think supports the MIT physics department? Asian men, white men, and Jewish men. THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT SUPPORT YOU. Don’t shit on them.

When I need some physics, maybe a quark proven to exist or a new state of matter created, do I care the race or gender of the physicist? No! I just want them to prove that quarks exist and create new states of matter.

MIT, stop hurting my soul.

Meanwhile, Yale Law’s professors have been focusing on police:

Law professor Tracey Meares is interviewed about Sandra Bland in Sandra Bland Video Shows An Argument With Police Officer:

“TRACEY MEARES: It’s a pretty good example of a police officer. He’s angry because she said no.

“KASTE: Tracey Meares is a professor at Yale Law. She was also on President Obama’s police reform task force. She’s actually surprised by how well this traffic stop went at first. But the cigarette was the turning point. Meares says it looked like a case of contempt of cop. That’s when a police officer tries to reassert authority in the face of disrespect. And she says it’s not justified.

“MEARES: Given that he is a police officer with the power to take her life that it’s incumbent on him to make the first move and maybe tolerate a little bit more disrespect.”

and in State Child Advocate; Policing in the 21st Century:

“Also, we’ll sit down with a Yale Law professor who is on President Obama’s task force examining policing, as America grapples with a series of deaths of African Americans after confrontations with police.”

(The rest of the interview is audio, so you’ll have to listen to it yourself.)

Professor Wishnie is quoted in, “Lynch visits Connecticut in stop on community policing tour“:

“Despite the improvements, East Haven police still have work to do, including fulfilling the remaining requirements in the consent decree, said Michael Wishnie, a Yale Law School professor who represented the plaintiffs in the civil rights lawsuit.

“The kinds of structural racism and practices that have long existed in East Haven take a long time to change,” Wishnie said. “I think it’s far too soon to claim victory.”

San Francisco slaying case likely would have played out differently in Connecticut:

“In Connecticut, California slaying suspect Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez would have been held for pickup by Immigration and Custom Enforcement officials only if he had a violent felony in his background or there was a court order in the case. …

In February 2013, as part of a settlement with a legal clinic at the Yale Law School, the Connecticut Department of Correction said it would review each request on a case-by-case basis.

It agreed to hand over the person if they already were the subject of a removal order; they were gang members or part of an anti-terrorism database; of if they had been convicted of a felony. This was codified into statute as part of the Connecticut Trust Act. …

“Under the revised policy, the Connecticut Department of Correction will no longer enforce ICE detainer requests and Administrative warrants solely on the basis of a final order of deportation or removal, unless accompanied by a judicial warrant, or past criminal conviction unless it’s for a violent felony,” Commissioner Scott Semple wrote in a memo to ICE.

Maybe I’m just too tired, but I can’t figure out what this article is trying to say about the difference between Conn and CA law.

Could One Soldier Derail ISIS War?

“President Barack Obama’s war against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq currently is illegal, many scholars say, and as the one-year mark for U.S. intervention approaches one constitutional law expert has an idea for how to prove it in court.

“Yale University law professor Bruce Ackerman, like other critics of the war’s current legal grounding, says Obama is violating the War Powers Resolution by committing the U.S. military to hostilities without specific authorization from Congress.

“It’s historically been tough to establish standing to make such claims in court. But Ackerman has a plan.  …”

What was that about chicken butts?

Robotics and the Law: When software can harm you sounds like an interesting article, but I can’t read it because UW Today’s website is shitty. However, I did make it through to How Makerspaces Can Be Accessible to People with Disabilities:

“The effort is part of a broader National Science Foundation-funded AccessEngineering initiative, which supports students with disabilities in pursuing engineering careers and promotes accessible and universal design in engineering departments and courses.

“A lot of universities are creating these more casual prototyping spaces where students can have more of a DIY experience, as an alternative to a traditional machine shop,” said AccessEngineering co-principal investigator Kat Steele, a UW assistant professor of mechanical engineering whose Human Ability & Engineering Lab focuses on developing tools for people with cerebral palsy, stroke and other movement disorders.

“Because this is a big growth area for engineering schools, we wanted to help with some best practices and guidelines so that as these new spaces are being created they can be accessible to the widest group possible.”

Cerebral Palsy is caused by brain damage, and somewhere around 30-50% of sufferers are also intellectually disabled. While I know personally a very capable engineer who must use a wheelchair, severely disabled people, on the whole, tend to have things wrong with them that also impact their brains. Making cerebral palsy accessible labs will catch only a very small number of geniuses who happen to have cerebral palsy; by contrast, just spending the same money to hire people who have already graduated with STEM degrees and can’t find jobs would do far more to create more science in the world. Instead of actually hiring scientists to do research, universities want to throw buckets of money at specific identity groups just to look good.

Just in case you thought Harvard’s business was educating students: Harvard’s Controversial Romanian Forest Sold to Ikea Group:

“The move distances Harvard from a corruption case involving one of the contractors who helped oversee the land, and comes shortly after a change in leadership at Harvard Management Company, which invests the University’s $35.9 billion endowment. …

“HMC began purchasing timberland in 1997. It invested heavily in timber under the guidance of then-President and CEO Jane L. Mendillo, who resigned in 2014 after a tumultuous six-year stint as the head manager of Harvard’s endowment. Her replacement, Stephen Blyth, comes from a background in public markets and faces high expectations to bring Harvard back to its pre-recession dominance in investment returns.”

After Federal Feedback, Law School Implements New Title IX Standards:

“Unlike the procedures for students at other parts of the University, Law School students involved in cases of alleged sexual harassment will now be guaranteed access to an attorney, paid for by the Law School, during the different stages of a case. After professional investigators examine a case, a separate adjudicatory panel, whose members are not affiliated with Harvard, will determine guilt, potentially after a hearing. A school-specific Title IX committee, staffed by tenured professors, will oversee the process for investigating and adjudicating cases of alleged sexual misconduct between Law School students. …

“The apparent implementation of the school’s procedures marks the close of a lobbying process that Law School professors, unhappy with Harvard’s new approach to Title IX, began last year. Harvard’s new policy and procedures, unveiled last July, altered its new definition of sexual harassment and centralized its process for handling cases, a fact administrators lauded as a positive step forward. It also adopted the preponderance of the evidence standard for determining guilt.

“But quickly afterward, both in closed-door meetings with top University officials and in an open letter published in The Boston Globe, several Law School professors pushed back. They charged that the University’s framework was biased against the accused and did not offer adequate due process. …

“The discord between the Law School and central administrators has also made some Law professors increasingly wary of centralized administrative rule at Harvard.”

This is perhaps an excessive level of formality given A. the number of people who get raped at HLS every year, and B. the fact that rape is already illegal under completely normal criminal laws, so I don’t see any reason why universities should set themselves up as parallel court systems in the first place instead, but at least HLS appears to be holding back from the full madness.

And over at the Harvard Crimson, we get some student opinions:

A Police Officer’s Bullet, The People’s Ballot

“Today, Ferguson, Missouri will be holding its first city council elections since Michael Brown was shot and killed last August. The city of Ferguson has been around for 121 years; during those first 120 years, only three black candidates ran for city council. This year, there are four black candidates for the Ferguson city council. This is no coincidence. Many of those in Ferguson realize that to prevent the next police officer’s bullet from killing another unarmed, black teenager, they need the ballot.

Yet, fresh off the heels of the 2014 midterm elections, which saw the lowest voter turnout since World War II, I am still worried. I am worried that our generation is losing sight of what it means to even have the right to vote. I am worried that not enough young people, people of color, and people who care about social justice are participating in the political process.”

Written before Trump came on the scene: A Threat to Moderation: Cruz’s candidacy will only drive Republican candidates further right

“It is difficult to believe that the Republican Party will win a presidential election in the near future when Tea Party candidates like Ted Cruz—whose announcement speech included numerous religious references and alluded to repealing the Affordable Care Act and eliminating the Internal Revenue Service—run in the primaries and pull the eventual nominee into supporting more ideologically extreme platforms.”

Yup, Ted Cruz sure did turn out to be the right-wing ideologue for liberals to fear.

Bullying pt 2: Race, Crime, and the Police

This is part two on bullying as an emergent social/political behavior and an exploration of the basic thesis that in a dispute between two people, elites will justify or outright lie about violence toward the lower status individual. For a longer explanation, see Part 1: Everything Adults say about Bullying is Bullshit.

Let’s start with this graph, helpfully supplied by Slate Star Codex’s extensively researched article, Race and Justice: much more than you wanted to know, but originally from Mother Jones Magazine:

shootinggraph

“I want to see a cop shoot a white unarmed teenager in the back,” said Ms. Morrison, who also has won the Pulitzer Prize for her work, which includes the bestsellers “Beloved” and “Song of Solomon.” “And I want to see a white man convicted for raping a black woman. Then when you ask me, ‘Is it over?’, I will say yes.”

(From the Washington Times, “Police kill more whites than blacks, but minority deaths generate more outrage“)

Picture 15

(Source: Washington Post )

Welp. That took all of 5 seconds to find via Google. Does Ms. Morrison not own a computer? Or is she ignorant by choice?

The Mother Jones data (above) records not a single white who shot at the NYC police, yet whites were 20% of those shot by the police. Approximately 70% of the people who actually tried to shoot a police officer were black, but only about 40% of those shot by the police were black. Hispanics make up about 30% of those who shot at the police, and 40% of those shot by the police.

In other words, NYC police officers appear to be preferentially shooting whites and Hispanics, not blacks.

Even when we compare the “fired upon by police” bar vs the “struck by police” bar, we notice that the police seem to be much better shots when shooting at whites than at blacks. When they shoot at blacks, they appear to be trying not to actually hit them, whereas they appear to have no such compunctions when shooting at whites.

So where are all of the protests and marches for whites and Hispanics murdered by the police? Does even Stormfront give enough of a shit about murdered whites to block a highway or steal a microphone?

But that is just Mother Jones and the WaPo. What stats do other folks cite?

Peter Moskos, assistant professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, decided to use figures from the website Killed by Police. …

“Adjusted to take into account the racial breakdown of the U.S. population, he said black men are 3.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white men. But also adjusted to take into account the racial breakdown in violent crime, the data actually show that police are less likely to kill black suspects than white ones.

““If one adjusts for the racial disparity in the homicide rate or the rate at which police are feloniously killed, whites are actually more likely to be killed by police than blacks,” said Mr. Moskos. …

Peter Moskos, assistant professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, decided to use figures from the website Killed by Police. Based on that data, Mr. Moskos reported that roughly 49 percent of those killed by officers from May 2013 to April 2015 were white, while 30 percent were black. He also found that 19 percent were Hispanic and 2 percent were Asian and other races. …

“Adjusted to take into account the racial breakdown of the U.S. population, he said black men are 3.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white men. But also adjusted to take into account the racial breakdown in violent crime, the data actually show that police are less likely to kill black suspects than white ones.

“If one adjusts for the racial disparity in the homicide rate or the rate at which police are feloniously killed, whites are actually more likely to be killed by police than blacks,” said Mr. Moskos, a former Baltimore cop and author of the book “Cop in the Hood.”

But do others agree with Mr. Moskos’s numbers?

“The investigative journalism website ProPublica came up with a similar percentage in an Oct. 10 article, reporting that 44 percent of all those killed by police were white, using FBI data from 1980 to 2012.

“The fact-checking website PolitiFact concluded in August 2014 that police kill more whites than blacks after the claim was made by conservative commentator Michael Medved. PolitiFact cited data from the Centers for Disease Control on fatal injuries by “legal intervention” from 1999 to 2011.

“Over the span of more than a decade, 2,151 whites died by being shot by police compared to 1,130 blacks. In that respect, Medved is correct,” said PolitiFact.”

(Quotes from the Washington Times article.)

But anyone who says, “All Lives Matter” (or “White and Hispanic lives matter,”) is, of course, a terrible racist. Thankfully, I’ve found a helpful article to sort out why for us: The next time someone says ‘all lives matter,’ show them these 5 paragraphs

“Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!”

So, the article is saying that we should be out in the streets marching and protesting about the preferential killing of whites and Hispanics by the police? Because this is, of course, what the data actually shows.

But what about that pesky matter, crime?

The Baltimore Sun has a widget that lets you see where all of the homicides in Baltimore have been committed since 2007:

Baltimore homicides, 2015
All Baltimore homicides in 2014
Baltimore Homicides as of August 13, 2015
Baltimore Homicides as of August 13, 2015

I’m guessing the year’s total will come out somewhere around 280, breaking the general trend of falling homicide rates.

Baltimore isn’t alone:

“Milwaukee, which last year had one of its lowest annual homicide totals in city history, recorded 84 murders so far this year, more than double the 41 it tallied at the same point last year. …

“The number of murders in 2015 jumped by 33% or more in Baltimore, New Orleans and St. Louis. Meanwhile, in Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, the homicide toll climbed 19% and the number of shooting incidents increased by 21% during the first half of the year.”

But sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words:

Screen-Shot-2014-11-25-at-12.30.37-PM incarc rate by race & gender - web page8 page7-2 page7 page3 Inprisonment_Rates Violent_crime_rates_by_race_of_victim_1973-2003 2008-R-0008-1 2008-R-0008-2

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I’m going to quote a few bits from the Slate Star Codex article linked at the top:

“Then I found a huge review paper on the subject, written by a Harvard professor of sociology, which concluded after analyzing sixty pages of exquisitely-researched studies that:

“‘Recognizing that research on criminal justice processing in the United States is complex and fraught with methodological problems, the weight of the evidence reviewed suggests the following. When restricted to index crimes, dozens of individual-level studies have shown that a simple direct influence of race on pretrial release, plea bargaining, conviction, sentence length, and the death penalty among adults is small to nonexistent once legally relevant variables (e.g. prior record) are controlled. For these crimes, racial differentials in sanctioning appear to match the large racial differences in criminal offending. Findings on the processing of adult index crimes therefore generally support the non-discrimination thesis.’ …

“Police records consistently show that black people are arrested at disproportionally high rates (compared to their presence in the population) for violent crimes. For example, blacks are arrested eight times more often for homicide and fourteen times more often for robbery. Even less flashy crimes show the same pattern: forgery, fraud, and embezzlement all hover around a relative risk of four. …

“The second hypothesis has been strongly supported by crime victimization surveys, which show that the percent of arrestees who are black matches very closely matches the percent of victims who say their assailant was black. This has been constant throughout across thirty years of crime victmization surveys. …

“Summary: Blacks appear to be arrested for drug use at a rate four times that of whites. Adjusting for known confounds reduces their rate to twice that of whites. However, other theorized confounders could mean that the real relative risk is anywhere between two and parity. Never trust the media to give you any number more complicated than today’s date. … Older national data skews more toward the New York City side with little evidence of racial bias, but I don’t know of any recent studies which have compared the race of shooting victims to the race of dangerous attackers on a national level. There is no support for the contention that white officers are more likely than officers of other races to shoot black suspects. …

“a more recent Bureau of Justice Statistics finds that 66% of accused blacks get prosecuted compared to 69% of accused whites; 75% of prosecuted blacks get convicted compared to 78% of prosecuted whites. …

Summary: Most recent studies suggest a racial sentencing disparity of about 15%, contradicting previous studies that showed lower or no disparity. Changes in sentencing guidelines are one possible explanation; poorly understood methodological differences are a second. Capital punishment still sucks.”

But don’t just take my word for it; go read Scott’s whole post. Obviously he put a lot of effort into it.

What do our elites have to say on the subject? Other than, of course, calling for a “National conversation on race?

Presidential hopeful and US Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign website helpfully explains his thoughts on the matter:

“Issues: Racial Justice

“We must pursue policies that transform this country into a nation that affirms the value of its people of color. That starts with addressing the four central types of violence waged against black and brown Americans: physical, political, legal and economic.

“Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Samuel DuBose. We know their names. Each of them died unarmed at the hands of police officers or in police custody. The chants are growing louder. People are angry and they have a right to be angry. We should not fool ourselves into thinking that this violence only affects those whose names have appeared on TV or in the newspaper. African Americans are twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police. …”

CNN weighs in on the Bernie Sanders/Black Lives Matter incidents:

“Many observers are perplexed by the decision of some Black Lives Matter activists to twice disrupt attempted addresses by presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“Well, I am not perplexed. The new generation of civil rights activists never accepted “trickle-down economics” from conservatives. Today they are rejecting “trickle-down justice” from the liberals. …

“But we have needed and wanted more. Our economic problems include an unemployment rate that is double that of whites, racially biased policing and court systems, predatory lenders who deliberately target black neighborhoods and public schools that expel black children at staggering rates for minor offenses. …

“Sometimes, it seemed some Democratic politicians were happy to publicly name and embrace every part of the Democratic coalition — immigrants rights defenders, womens’ rights advocates, environmentalists and champions of LBGT equality. But not black people.”

Yes, clearly the one thing Democrats fail to talk about is Black people. Really, I’ve hardly heard anyone talking about black people and their issues for the past few decades. Maybe during the LBJ administration there was some talk about black people, but that was ages ago.

“In case anyone missed the memo after Ferguson, Baltimore and Charleston, here it is: the Obama era of black silence on issues that matter to us is over.”

That’s what you call “silence”?

“It turns out the Seattle activists’ actions were aimed less at Sanders himself and more at racist practices and policies being tolerated by local liberals in a supposed progressive bastion like Seattle. The Seattle Police Department has been under investigation for years for racist scandals and problematic use of force. Black children in King County schools are suspended at higher rates than their white peers. And the region is wasting $210 million on a new jail instead of investing in communities. … any fair discussion of “income inequality” must necessarily include a denunciation of our racially biased criminal justice system. Always.”

Time Magazine weighs in with, “Bernie Sanders Is Wrong To Ignore ‘Black Lives Matter.’” I don’t think I need to quote fro the article for you to get the gist, but I’m going to, anyway:

“This is the Civil Rights Movement Part II, and our leaders should want to get in on the side that promotes human rights—full stop. … You cannot look at a group of people living in fear and dying in droves and tell them they are protesting incorrectly. It’s easy to sit back and critique the method when it isn’t your life on the line. But if someone were being choked, the last thing they would need is a passerby saying, “I’d love to help you out. But could you at least say “please?” Convince me why I should save your life, and do it politely.” White people have the time and the luxury to wait for the system we created to work in our favor.”

Also:

images  IMG

How about Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton? MSNBC reports, “Hillary Clinton: ‘Yes, black lives matter’“:

“Attempting to soar where her rivals have recently floundered on issues of racial justice, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addressed a crowd of nearly 400 in South Carolina Thursday and said unequivocally: “Yes, black lives matter. …

“Last weekend, black activists interrupted a presidential candidate forum at the Netroots Nation conference … O’Malley has since apologized for adding “white lives matter, all lives matter” to the protesters’ calls.

On a larger scale, however, the exchange targeted the progressive movement as a whole for allowing racial justice issues to fade into the background.”

There’s that “we haven’t been talking about race lately” idea again.

CNN tells us that “Clinton meets with #BlackLivesMatter protesters after they were barred from her event,” but notes in the article that,

“…the protesters showed up slightly before the event started and, according to the Clinton campaign, were not allowed into the main event because the room has been shut down due to capacity by the United States Secret Service.

“A Secret Service agent on site confirmed this to CNN.”

How about those evil racists on the Republican side?

Well, here’s a quote from Rand Paul’s campaign-launching speech:

“I see an America where criminal justice is applied equally and any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed.”

So… Rand Paul wants to repeal almost the entire body of criminal law, including homicide and rape? I confess to being not particularly impressed with whatever train of thought produced this promise.

Even the Harvard Crimson weighs in, with perspectives from some of America’s future (and current) movers and shakers:

 Picture 21

The Naked Truth: Black Lives Matter

“In our stern voices, we chanted: “Black lives matter! Black lives matter! Black lives matter!”

“Confused, boisterous, and starkly naked, they replied: “U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

“During this year’s Primal Scream, we were a part of a group of students who stood in front of Hollis Hall as part of a peaceful protest in response to the recent non-indictment of Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo, police officers who are responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, respectively.

“With the support of the administration, we hoped to delay primal scream with a 4.5-minute moment of silence, symbolic of the 4.5 hours that Brown’s body lay on the street after his death. Black lives matter, and we wanted to engage the larger Harvard community on some of the most salient issues of our time: systemic racism, oppression, and brutality on black and brown bodies. And yet, to our dismay, the efforts of several administrators who rallied for students to respect the moment of silence were muted by the chanting of the naked mass.”

In case it’s not obvious, “Primal Scream” is one of those old-school college traditions in which (probably drunk) students strip naked and run through Harvard Yard at midnight on the night before finals. Oh, and it’s in the dead of winter, which means it’s really fucking cold. Probably not the best time to try to get a hundred or so drunk, naked people get on board with an agenda of standing around in the cold for a few minutes.

Picture 17 Picture 18 Picture 19 Picture 20

Demonstrators Continue ‘Black Lives Matter Campaign’ in Central Square March

“More than 200 demonstrators poured onto the streets of Central Square in Cambridge Wednesday evening, extending a series of marches and protests both nationwide and in the Greater Boston Area against racial prejudice in the criminal justice system.

“This is just a continuation,” Divinity School student Rachel A. Foran said, clutching a sign on which read “White silence is state violence.” Foran, like others at the event, emphasized the need for uniting in protest following two separate non-indictments of white police officers late last year who killed unarmed black men. …

“Along the way, organizers handed off a milk crate podium to one another as they invited individuals to decry prejudices against African American men and implore Cambridge residents to join the movement.”

I think Central Square, Cambridge is significantly blacker than Harvard.

Iconic Revolutions: Art and Protest at Harvard

“The energies that fuel art are similar to the ones that power politico-economic movements, and the line between the two can often blur. The protest can be considered a form of performance art, and movements at Harvard and beyond have utilized the intersection between the two. …

“Harvard is in a unique position within the genre of protest-performance art, organizers say. And since Harvard is constantly scrutinized by the media, revolutionary art produced on Harvard’s campus—protest-based or otherwise—has unusual reach and staying power.

“PERFORMING PROTESTS

“Harvard is familiar with the tradition of performance art as a form of protest. For instance, Divest Harvard, a group that calls for Harvard to divest from fossil fuel companies, recently used a tactic that showcases performance art: They initiated the Divest Harvard Fast, a hunger strike in all but name. The hunger strike is an age-old tactic, used by groups ranging from suffragettes to Indian nationalists to Cuban dissidents. The act of fasting has a peculiar evocative power to it: an asceticism that brings up images of emaciated fakirs and a willingness to use the body as a canvas, a la Marina Abramovic.”

I am reminded here of Nydwracu’s recent post detailing the Harvard Crimson’s long support of the Khmer Rouge, well-known for being one of history’s most genocidal regimes, which you really should read:

“If the American government were sincere about wanting peace in Cambodia, it would stop supporting a repressive dictatorship, and allow the people of Cambodia — represented by the Khmer Rouge and the supporters of the deposed Prince Norodom Sihanouk — to determine their own destiny,”

and of Slate Star Codex’s recent review of “Chronicles of Wasted Time,” the memoirs of a liberal journalist who got his wish to visit Stalin’s utopia, witnessed Holodomor first-hand, and then couldn’t get anyone back home to publish his articles about it or pretty much anything that wasn’t uplifting lies about the awesomeness of the USSR, which you should also read:

“He is reduced to sending secret messages at the bottoms of people’s suitcases, only to find to his horror that even when they successfully reach the Guardian offices back in Britain, his bosses have no interest in publishing them because they offend the prejudices of its progressive readership. …

“The plan goes without a hitch, he passes himself off as a generic middle-class Soviet, and he ends up in Ukraine right in the middle of Stalin’s Great Famine. He describes the scene – famished skeletons begging for crumbs, secret police herding entire towns into railway cars never to be seen again. At great risk to himself, he smuggles notes about the genocide out of the country, only to be met – once again – with total lack of interest. Guardian readers don’t look at the newspapers to hear bad things about the Soviet Union! Guardian readers want to hear about how the Glorious Future is already on its way! He is quickly sidelined in favor of the true stars of Soviet journalism, people like Walter Duranty, the New York Times‘s Russia correspondent, who wrote story after story about how prosperous and happy and well-fed the Soviets were under Stalin, and who later won the Pulitzer Prize for his troubles.”

Speakerpedia claims that Tim Wise commands a $10,000 speaker’s fee to lecture about White Privilege to college students (and other groups) across the country; he has apparently spoken at over 800 colleges. Does anyone ever get invited to speak about black crime, the targeting of whites and Hispanics by the police, or black on white crime at universities? I bet Jared Taylor would speak for free.

Black Lives Matter has the official support of Harvard University, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Twitter, and the mass media establishment.

(No, seriously this is what the inside of the Twitter headquarters looks like:

rlvikkw0xkfyubtrhbtn blacklivesmatter

Source, source.)

CKsj7Z4UcAAGn_m

Everyone lies. All the damn time. Most lies are completely inconsequential, of course, but lying about who is murdering whom seems like the kind of lie that could result in real consequences: people dying. But even to mention the truth in public carries serious consequences: ostracization, loss of job, harassment, banning, etc. Only low-class losers care about crime against whites; rich people, of course, have no such petty concerns. Maybe because they can live in million dollar neighborhoods where the gates/ferry rides “keep out the riff-raff.”

Whose lies are believed? Whose are not?

 

Conclusions: The police and whites who worry about getting killed (or get killed) are low-status. Blacks and wealthy whites who proclaim how much they love blacks are high-status.

 

Does this sound counter-intuitive?

Why? Socially, blacks are more popular than whites.

As I noted yesterday,

“White people want to have black friends; it lets them prove to themselves (and others) just how non-racist they are. It makes them feel better about themselves and assuages some portion of guilt. To have a black friend makes a white person feel like a good white person. …

“Black people, by contrast, have no particular desire to prove how non-racist they are.”

The imbalance puts whites in a position of lower social value, attempting to get social status via black approval. But don’t just take my word for it. Remember that article in the New Yorker about the Vermont couple who adopted 20 kids?

“All the teen-ages were nervous about being black in Vermont, but Fisher and Lilly were wildly popular in high school. Lilly was a track star, and Fisher was cool and good-looking.

Fisher: I was popular. It went to my head, I won’t lie to you. All the little white girls saw I was the best dancer in the school, and I was the only black guy.”

Fisher dropped out of college, got three girls pregnant and went to prison for beating one of them.

Were you popular enough with women to have three kids before your mid-twenties?

Newsweek has an interesting article on childhood popularity and race: By Third Grade, Black Students who Self-Segregate are more Popular:

“In NEWSWEEK magazine this week, we suggested that part of the problem [racial self-segregation among students] stems from white parents’ refusal to talk to their young children about race and ethnicity. This inadvertently teaches children that race is a taboo topic. …

“Nevertheless, the scholars are finding stunning racial patterns in the kids’ responses. They found that black kids who self-segregate ─ who only hang out with other blacks ─ are more popular than black kids who have white friends.

“This means that an average black student could increase her popularity by hanging out with other black students. Meanwhile, if she chooses to have white friends, she could put her popularity at risk. Many kids don’t have the social capital or confidence to make this tradeoff.

“When the scholars ran the analysis a second time, substituting how much kids were liked for how popular they were, a similar troubling pattern emerged. Black kids who self-segregated were liked by more black children. Having white friends decreased a black child’s “likeability” ─ at least in the eyes of other black children.

“For white children, in contrast, self-segregating hurt their popularity. …

“Overall, black students were more popular than white students. And both the white and black kids in his study agreed which black kids were popular.”

Newsweek concludes the article by claiming,

“Twenty or thirty years ago, no black kids would have been seen as popular by white kids ─ and few black kids would have had social influence. Black kids would not have been setting the social standard, school-wide. Now they are.”

Really?

In “Blacks in the White Establishment,” Zweigenhaft and Dumhoff write about the effects of the ABC program–A Better Chance of Andover–established in 1967 to give scholarships to black and other minority students so they can attend Andover High School:

 “Perry’s study found that ABC students felt themselves to be popular. In fact, in response to an item asking, “How popular do you think you are in school this year in comparison with all the other students in your grade,” black ABC students indicated they felt more popular than did a control group of white students at their schools. (More than one-third of the black respondents felt themselves to be among “the most popular” and less than one-tenth thought themselves to be among “the least popular.”)

“Not only were black ABC students popular, they were also valued as leaders in dealing with teachers and administrators. … the student body of 840 students (40 of whom were black) surprised many people (including the faculty, the administration, the New York Times, and, most likely, themselves) by electing blacks as presidents of the sophomore, junior, and senior classes for the 1969-70 academic year. As the New York Times breathlessly and historically informed its readers, Andover, “the alma mater of the Lees and Washingtons of Virginia and the Quincys and Lowells of New England, has elected three Negro students from the ghettos of Chicago and Oakland as class presidents for 1969-70.” (Bold mine)

Of course, 1969 is 40 years before the Newsweek article was published, not 20-30, so perhaps black kids got a lot less popular sometime between the 60s and the 80s. Or maybe Newsweek just employees people who want certain fictions to be true.

Here’s another study on the same subject, with the same findings, African American and European American Children in Diverse Elementary Classrooms: Social Integration, Social Status, and Social Behavior:

“African American—but not European American—children had more segregated relationships and were more disliked by cross-ethnicity peers when they had fewer same-ethnicity classmates. African American children’s segregation was positively associated with same-ethnicity social preference and perceived popularity and with cross-ethnicity perceived popularity. European American children’s segregation was positively associated with same-ethnicity social preference but negatively associated with cross-ethnicity social preference and perceived popularity.”

Normal humans are perfectly aware of what would be impolitic to claim: from Yahoo Answers, Why are “blacks” considered more popular in any school?

I’ve been to many different middle schools and highschools (we moved alot for dad’s job) and it always seemed as though blacks are more “popular” than anyone else in the school?

My area is majority white…and most of the Black people at my school(and there isn’t a lot) are quite popular. Same with a lot of the Asian kids at my school.

Well usually I feel as though they have more culture…I don’t know.. more fun then just and I am not trying to “Generalize” the american girl population, but most of us are annoying slutty brats, who just want to take pictures all the time in the same god damn position.

We’re just always expected to be cool and popular, honestly…and it’s just that most blacks are raised to be more outgoing, so it carries on with them through school. I get along with most people, but I’m not that popular.

the blacks in my school tend to be popular because some of them make trouble.  Source(s): im black,and im not popular”

The general explanation for black crime (if you get one at all) is that blacks feel bad because of racism, they have low self-esteem, they’re unpopular, people are constantly mean to them, they suffer microaggressions, etc.

The “self esteem” racket is quite a thing, and has been going on for quite a while (since the ’80s, at least). I recently happened across a treasure trove of old books a former kindergarten teacher was giving away for free because she was retiring, and gratefully took the whole stack. Many of the books were on the expected topics of “Kindergarten is awesome” and the ABCs, but a substantial subset were books aimed at raising black self-esteem, such as, “I Like Myself”

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Actually, there were two copies of this book in the stack.

Here’s a page from the book:

Picture 1

People the MC would not like to be: a baby, an old woman, or a police officer–all white.

And another page:

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Remember, whites get bullied more than black kids, but how many books do you think you can find in the average kindergarten class depicting a white kid being bullied by a black kid, and encouraging the white kid to be proud of themself?

Black Girl Dangerous helpfully reminds us:

“Teach your kids to constantly question the media’s narratives, especially about black people, including what stories the media tells and doesn’t tell, what images they show and don’t show, and the ways that black people and other people of color are made less than human by the media, while white people, even mass murderers, are allowed full humanity. Point out to them the differences in headlines and language used to describe people of color vs. white people and make sure they understand the motives behind them.”

The Cosby Show must have been really hard on her self-esteem.

Of course, the whole self-esteem business is a canard; popular kids have high self-esteem. From Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan (2004):

“More recent findings have documented that Blacks have higher self-esteem than Whites (Adams, 2003; Crocker & Lawrence, 1999; Crocker, Luhtanen, Blaine, & Broadnax, 1994; Harris & Stokes, 1978; Gray-Little & Hafdahl, 2000; Milkie, 1999; Porter & Washington, 1979; Rosenberg & Simmons, 1972; Simmons, 1978; Taylor & Walsh, 1979; Tashakkori, Thompson, Wade, & Valente, 1990; Twenge & Crocker, 2002). …

“By the 1970s, a majority of empirical studies found that Blacks had high self-esteem (Simmons, 1978; Taylor & Walsh, 1979; Rosenberg & Simmons, 1972; Harris & Stokes, 1978; Porter & Washington, 1979). Cross (1991) also reviewed studies published from 1968 to1980, and found that 74% of the studies reported that Blacks had equal or higher self-esteem than Whites. …

“a plethora of quantitative and qualitative studies have reported that Black adolescent girls consistently present high self-esteem scores (Adams, 2003; Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1999; Brodsky, 1999; Brown et al., 1998; Dukes & Martinez, 1994; Gray-Little & Hafdahl, 2000; Makkar & Strube, 1995; Milkie, 1999; Twenge & Crocker, 2002). In an empirical review of race comparative research published from 1980-2000, Adams (2003) found that 23 of 26 studies reported that Black girls had higher self-esteem than White girls. Black adolescent girls may be facing difficult circumstances but they consistently rate higher on self-esteem than any other racial group (Twenge & Crocker, 2002).”

 

Meanwhile, Pistol-whipped detective says he didn’t shoot attacker because of headlines:

“A Birmingham, Alabama, police detective who was pistol-whipped unconscious said Friday that he hesitated to use force because he didn’t want to be accused of needlessly killing an unarmed man. …

“”We don’t want to be in the media,” he said. “It’s hard times right now for us.” …

“Adding insult to injury: several bystanders, instead of helping, took pictures of the bloodied officer as he was facedown on the concrete and posted the images on social media, where the officer was mocked. …

“”Pistol whipped his ass to sleep,” one user wrote, employing the hashtag #FckDaPolice. Another mockingly offered the officer milk and cookies for his “nap time.””

 

Who has status in America?

update on the cathedral

YLS Clinical Students Represent Immigrant Women and Children Detained in Texas

Yale students debate renaming Calhoun College:

“Even if we could rename every single residential college after radical people of color, racism would still manifest itself on our campus every day.

“Because institutions such as Yale and the federal and state governments are inextricably implicated in the maintenance of racism in this country in ways that will take more to undo than hollow symbolic gestures.

“Don’t get me wrong, symbolism is important. But to fixate on a futile debate about whether or not to change the name of Calhoun College is to miss the more fundamental question of how to shift power relationships on our campus so that they are more racially just.”

The counter-article:

“Yale should do a better job of commemorating. I propose a yearly vigil on Dec. 20, the anniversary of Calhoun’s home state of South Carolina’s secession. We can read aloud the testimonies of the slaves Calhoun thought subhuman, and of the Union soldiers who fought to destroy his evil dream incarnate. In doing so, we will emphasize what Dean Holloway worries is too often ignored: “that African Americans have a humanity that ought to be respected.” It could be, I think, a solemn institutional repentance. Perhaps Calhoun’s victims would appreciate our piety on their behalf.”

I’m not sure what they’re disagreeing over.

From the Harvard Crimson: Delving Deep Inside Amy Schumer The significance of society’s inability to find women funny

That’s… significant?

“As Christopher Hitchens once said, and as Amy Schumer video commenters often echo, maybe women aren’t funny because they’ve never needed to be funny. I mean, it’s just evolution. Throughout the years, as dinosaurs evolved into chickens and as carrier pigeons evolved into iPhones, human males evolved a sense of humor because it got them laid more often. One knock-knock joke, and before he knows it, the lucky man is a father to a litter of funny boys and unfunny girls. Or something like that. Science!”

Wow, I think I have missed the ev psych theories on humor. But I don’t really have much of a sense of humor, so maybe I just haven’t been reading the correct things.

“Sorry to burst your bubble, but while humor is a lot of things, it’s a lot more than just a flirting device used by men to woo women. …

“No, humor is far more powerful than that. Humor—particularly satire—is a tool of social commentary and criticism. It’s a way for people to hold up a mirror in front of society’s face and point out all the pockmarks.

“Women, of all people, know that society is deeply flawed. When we routinely get paid less than our male colleagues, and when the length of our skirts determines whether or not we deserve to live—well, how could we not turn to humor to shine a light on society’s failings?”

Criticizing society is more powerful than evolution?

Sorry, hon. But evolution wins. Every match. Every time.

Also–skirt length determines whether or not we deserve to live? What the hell has happened to Harvard? Did it get taken over by the Taliban sometime last year and no one told me?

Harvard Law would like to note that it practically started the gay marriage bandwagon: The Road to Marriage Equality

“In an essay titled “Recognition, Rights, Regulation, Normalisation: Rhetorics of Justification in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate,” Halley expressed concerns that although limiting marriage to heterosexual couples indeed deprecated the relationships of gay couples who wished to marry, the fight for equality had too readily adopted language emphasizing the normative value of traditional coupling. Instead, Halley argued, the movement should question widespread assumptions about marriage and monogamy, leaving the door open for a broader range of non-traditional relationships.”

Luce Foundation Awards $400k to Harvard Law for the development of SHARIAsource

“SHARIAsource is a new initiative of Harvard Law School’s Islamic Legal Studies Program and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society that will provide an online portal of resources and analysis on Islamic law, in cooperation with scholars of Islamic law and policy in the United States and around the world.

“SHARIAsource aims to be the go-to site for researchers, journalists, and policymakers, as well as generally interested readers seeking to grasp the basics and the complexities of Islamic law—a frequently recurring topic in news and policy circles. The portal will accomplish this goal by collecting primary sources (court cases, legislation, and fatwas) about Islamic law, and offering scholarly analysis and policy papers about them. The analysis will come from recognized experts in Islamic law and related fields in the United States and abroad.”

Actually, that sounds kind of useful. I once tried to do a project on Gypsy law, but got bogged down when I realized that law is really boring. Also, I couldn’t figure out how to find any Gypsies to talk to in real life in order to figure out if “Gypsy law” actually has any relevance to their lives.

Oh, and from Penn, which I guess is technically still in the IVY League, but really shouldn’t be with shit like this: I Sometimes Don’t Want to Be White Either

Hey, there should be a comma before “either.”

“There was a time in my 20s when everything I learned about the history of racism made me hate myself, my Whiteness, my ancestors… and my descendants. I remember deciding that I couldn’t have biological children because I didn’t want to propagate my privilege biologically. …

“Maybe it felt good to distance [Dolezal] from the overwhelming oppressiveness of Whiteness — her own and that of her country and of her ancestors. But the lesson for me is remembering how deep the pain is, the pain of realizing I’m White, and that I and my ancestors are responsible for the incredible racialized mess we find ourselves in today. The pain of facing that honestly is blinding. It’s not worse than being on the receiving end of that oppression.

“Ali Michael, Ph.D., is the Director of P-12 Consulting and Professional Development at the Center for the Study of Race Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the author of Raising Race Questions: Whiteness and Inquiry in Education and co-editor of Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice. For readers interested in how White people can work towards racial justice — and still be White — or how a White person could have a positive racial identity without being a White supremacist, please pick up one of these books!”

Penn wins the WTF of the month award, despite that article about about Ruth Bader Ginsburg being a “Pop culture icon.” WTF.

In other news, Bruce Charleston reflects on, The destruction of the ‘basic instincts’, common sense and human nature – reflections on the mutational meltdown of Man

“We currently believe that general intelligence has declined by approximately two standard deviations (which is approximately 30 IQ points) since 1800 – that is, over about 8 generations. …

“Michael and I immediately recognized that the rate of change in intelligence that we were observing was too fast to be accounted for my natural selection favouring lower intelligence; although this does have a significant role.

“We soon began to recognize that the primary mechanism was likely to be mutation accumulation due to the decline in child mortality rates from more than half to about one percent – child mortality having, through human history, served as the main (but not only) selective ‘sieve’ to remove the spontaneous fitness-reducing mutations which occur with every generation.”

It’s a great post, IMO. I’ve been talking about the effects of the end of high infant mortality for a while (in conversation, not so much here, since this is a new blog and all.) I think the potential for unforseen effects is pretty high.

“In a sense, the reduction of intelligence may be one of the lesser concerns about this world of what looks increasingly like a mutational meltdown. Because mutations will also damage what might be termed the ‘basic instincts’ of the population or species.

“In particular, mutation accumulation will be expected to affect social and sexual instincts of the kind we used to call ‘common sense’ and ‘human nature’.”

To be fair, I am not so keen on endless population growth, myself. I think curbing growth is a sensible reaction to overpopulation, rather than something to be concerned about it. (Though obviously one does not want to get overwhelmed by people who don’t curb their growth.)