DISCLAIMER: I am probably the last person you should listen to for advice about major investments. Please do lots and lots of your own research before buying anything big. Please take this post in the entertaining thought experiment style it is intended.
I’d like to start with an interesting story about Poland’s most famous daughter, Marie Curie, and her family:
Marie was born in 1867 in what was then the Russian part of partitioned Poland. (Russia, Prussia, and Austria had carved up Poland into pieces back in the 1700s.) Her mother, father and grandfather were teachers–unsurprisingly, her father taught math and science. When the Russians decided to shut down science laboratories in Polish highschools, her father simply brought all of his equipment home and taught his kids how to use it instead.
Because of the Russian occupation and interference in the local schools, the Poles began operating their own, underground university known as the Flying University (there’s a name for you). As a woman, Marie couldn’t attend the official colleges in Warsaw, but was accepted to Flying U.
Marie’s sister wanted to study medicine in Paris, but unfortunately their parents and grandparents had lost all their money supporting Polish nationalist uprisings, and the girls were left to support themselves. So Marie and her sister had an agreement: Marie would work and send money to Paris while her sister studied, and then her sister would work and send Marie money while she finished her education.
Marie went to work as a governess for some distant relatives, and fell in love with one of the young men of the family, Kazimierz Żorawski, future mathematician. Unfortunately for the starry-eyed couple, his parents rejected the match on the grounds that Marie was penniless.
Żorawski went on to become a professor of mathematics at Krakow University and later Warsaw Polytecnic. Marie went to Paris, married Pierre Curie, won two Nobel prizes, and founded the Radium Institute at Warsaw Polytecnic. A statue of Marie was erected here, and as an old man, Żorawski would come and sit before the image of his young love.
Poland has had a rough couple of centuries. According to Wikipedia:
Poland was unfortunately situated for both WWI and WWII, losing 1/5th of its population in the latter. The aftermath–occupation by the Soviets–wasn’t much better, as Ian Frazier recounts in his book, Travels in Siberia:
As Russia retook Poland, many Poles once again wound up in the gulag. Some who had lived through the Nazi occupation said Hitler was nothing compared to this, and they now wished they had fought on Hitler’s side. A prisoner who had survived Dachau hanged himself when he was shipped to Kolyma. Gulag prisoners who knew the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin regretted that fate had put them in thsi time and place, and not in slavery in the American South, a hundred years before. As Negro slaves, they reasoned, at least they would have lived someplace warm, and would have been whipped and branded but not worked to death outright. In 1945, news reached the camps that the United States now possessed the atomic bomb. According to Solzhenitsyn, this unexpected development gave hope to many prisoners, who began to pray for atomic war.
But despite all of these troubles, Poland remains one of the world’s better countries–it’s ranked 36th out of 188 nations on the Human Development Index, and has an average IQ of 99, the same as its neighbors, Germany and Finland.
Despite this, Poland is ranked only 68th in per capita GDP ($27,700, lower than Puerto Rico, which isn’t even a country,) and has had a net negative migration rate (that is, more people have left than arrived) for most of the past 60 years. (Poland lost a net of almost 74,000 in 2015, most of them to other EU countries.)
In sum, Poland is a country with high human capital whose economy was probably artificially depressed by Communism, but has been steadily improving since 1990.
Net immigration increases the number of people in a country*, putting pressure on the local housing market and raising land prices. Net emigration decreases pressure on housing, leading to lower prices.
Poles have emigrated to countries like Germany and the UK because of their stronger economies, but if Poland’s economy continues to improve relative to the rest of Europe, Brexit goes forward, etc., Poland may become a more attractive employment destination, attracting back its migrant diaspora.
All of which leads me to suspect that Polish land is probably undervalued relative to places with similar long-term potential.
HMC employs financial professionals to manage the approximately 12,000 funds that constitute the endowment. The company directly manages about one third of the total endowment portfolio while working closely with the external companies that manage the rest. …
Jack Meyer managed HMC from 1990 to September 30, 2005, beginning with an endowment worth $4.8 billion and ending with a value of $25.9 billion (including new contributions). During the last decade of his tenure, the endowment earned an annualized return of 15.9%. …
The university hired Mohamed El-Erian to succeed Meyer as HMC’s next president and CEO. … He announced his leaving September 12, 2007 to return to PIMCO after guiding the endowment to a one-year return of 23%.
But these colleges aren’t just rich. Harvard is a brand–a famous brand.
The big-name colleges are famous for their alumni, the wealthy people whose donations to their alma maters go back into their voluminous coffers, to be invested in the stock market and pay HMC’s multi-million dollar salaries:
Jane L. Mendillo, president and CEO: $9.6 million ($4.8 million)
Stephen Blyth, head of public markets: $11.5 million ($5.3 million)
Alvaro Aguirre-Simunovic, natural-resources portfolio manager: $9.6 million ($6.6 million)
Andrew G. Wiltshire, head of alternative assets: $8.5 million ($7.9 million)
Daniel Cummings, real-estate portfolio manager: $5.4 million ($4.2 million)
Marco Barrozo, fixed-income portfolio manager: $4.8 million
Numbers for fiscal year 2013; numbers in ( ) for 2012.
All this, and colleges are still taxed as non-profits.
Getting the right students, then, is critical. What interest has Harvard (or Stanford, Yale, or Princeton, for that matter) in accepting ordinary, hard-working Americans–even exceptionally intelligent ones–who will not become rich or famous? Harvard wants future Kennedies, Bushes, Obamas and Paulsons (John A. Paulson, founder of Paulson and Co., recently gave Harvard $400 million.) Best case scenario, their students absorb Harvard’s particular brand of secular Puritanism, furthering its spread. Worst case scenario, they get a Scalia, who doesn’t share their values but still increases the value of their brand.
(Okay, the actual worst-case scenario is a Nixon, who studied at podunk Whittier College, CA, and thus didn’t help their brand at all. I’m sure you’re all familiar with how the Cathedral treated Nixon.)
People discuss Affirmative Action as though universities had some sort of obligation to–or interest in–providing education for the good of the general populace. The point of the university, though, is to make money and promote the university’s brand. Low-class universities do this via sports, pumping billions into their football programs. High-class universities do this by attaching themselves to future leaders, like Harvard graduates Sebastian Pinera, President of Chile (2010,) Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, Pakistani PM Benazir Bhutto, three Mexican presidents, Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, Tanzanian PM Frederick Sumaye, etc. According to Foreign Policy Journal:
From 1945 through early 2010, 71 heads of state and government from 41 countries have attended, or earned degrees, or held a variety of special scholarships and fellowships at Harvard or Oxford. …
In the second half of the 20th century, Harvard educated more than 11 percent of the top national American political elite, compared to Yale’s less than seven percent. One Harvard program alone, the Law School, produced 37 national leaders, in contrast with the 38 who graduated from all of Yale’s colleges combined (author and M. A. Simon The Social Science Journal, 2007).
The University of Chicago trained the now-famous “Chicago Boys,” a group a Chilean economists who went on to greatly influence that country’s monetary policy. …
The State Department and private groups keep running lists of foreign dignitaries who studied at American schools of higher education, a list that includes a king in Jordan, a crown prince in Norway and a crown princess in Japan. In some countries, the links can be extensive. When Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who got a master’s degree at Missouri’s Webster University, convenes his Cabinet, the group includes alumni of the University of California, Berkeley (defense minister), American University (justice minister), the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania (finance minister), UC-Davis (trade minister) and the University of Colorado School of Mines (energy minister). …
In the 2010-11 school year, the number of foreign students in U.S. schools shot up to 723,277, an increase of 5 percent from the previous year, Institute of International Education reported. It has increased each of the past five years, and has risen 32 percent over the past decade. …
Chinese students accounted for much of the recent growth, with the total number from the burgeoning Asian power increasing by 23 percent overall and by 43 percent at the undergraduate level.
In the 2010-11 school year, 157,558 Chinese were studying at American schools, far more than from the No. 2 country, India, which had 103,895. Other nations with rocky relationships with the U.S. — Russia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, among others — also have sent their young people to the U.S.
Even if the most powerful guy in Jordan or the Philippines is an idiot (and I’m not saying he is–I’m drawing countries out of a hat,) it’s still more in Harvard’s interest to say he went to Harvard than some random American of equal IQ. The same is true at home: it’s more important for the most powerful black guy in the country to have gone to Harvard than for the second-most powerful white guy. The big universities of course want smart people, but they want powerful people even more.
In 2015, seven students–Fernando Rojas, Munira Khalif, Stefan Stoykov, Victor Agbafe, Pooja Chandrashekar, Harold Ekeh, and Alexander Roman–got into all eight Ivy League colleges. These students have one thing in common: they’re all immigrants.
(Since the Daily Mail is written by idiots, the writer didn’t realize that MIT is actually more prestigious than most of the Ivies.)
Kwasi Enin, another immigrant, was accepted into all eight Ivies in 2014 with a 2250 on his SAT (you can also read his essay here,) which is equivalent to a 1490 on the old, 1600-max score SAT. For comparison’s sake, if I had scored a 1490 on my SAT, my parents would have demanded to know what went wrong during the test.
To be fair, the immigrants likely have one thing in their favor independent of Harvard’s preferences: many of them grew up in poorer neighborhoods, unable to buy their way into the “good” school districts, where it was easier to out-shine their less-intelligent peers. While Americans labor under the illusion that schools make a significant difference in how smart students are, immigrants tend to believe that your parents making you study makes you smart.
But keep in mind that every year, Harvard rejects students with perfect SAT. The chances of getting into all 8 Ivy League schools is astronomically low; the chances that all 8 students who did so happen to also be immigrants/the children of immigrants is even lower, unless the Ivies are specifically selecting for them–and many of these immigrants are then used to fill the universities’ Affirmative Action quotas, because it is easier to find high-scoring Nigerians, Kenyans and upper-caste Indians than high-scoring African Americans.
In short: Universities want Affirmative Action because it benefits their bottom lines.
To summarize, our current generous welfare system is making it increasingly difficult for hard working members of society to afford to have children. Lazy and incapable people meanwhile are continuing to have children without restriction, courtesy of those hard working people. Its more than likely that average intelligence is falling as a result of these pressures.
Ever since someone proposed the idea of eguenic (ie, good) breeding, people have been concerned by the possibility of dysgenic (bad) breeding. If traits are heritable (as, indeed, they are,) then you can breed for more of that trait or less of that trait. Anyone who has ever raised livestock or puppies knows as much–the past 10,000 years of animal husbandry have been devoted to producing superior stock, long before anyone knew anything about “genes.”
Historically–that is, before 1900–the world was harsh and survival far from guaranteed. Infant and childhood mortality were high, women often died in childbirth, famines were frequent, land (in Europe) was scarce, and warfare + polygamy probably prevented the majority of men from ever reproducing. In those days, at least in Western Europe, the upper classes tended to have more (surviving) children than the lower classes, leading to a gradual replacement of the lower classes.
The situation today is, obviously, radically different. Diseases–genetic or pathogenic–kill far fewer people. We can cure Bubonic Plague with penicillin, have wiped out Smallpox, and can perform heart surgery on newborns whose hearts were improperly formed. Welfare prevents people from starving in the streets and the post-WWII prosperity led to an unprecedented percent of men marrying and raising families. (The percent of women who married and raised families probably didn’t change that much.)
All of these pleasant events raise concerns that, long-term, prosperity could result in the survival of people whose immune systems are weak, carry rare but debilitating genetic mutations, or are just plain dumb.
So how is Western fertility? Are the dumb outbreeding the smart, or should we be grateful that the “gender studies” sorts are selecting themselves out of the population? And with negative fertility rates + unprecedented levels of immigration, how smart are our immigrants (and their children?)
Data on these questions is not the easiest to find. Jayman has data on African American fertility (dysgenic,) but white American fertility may be currently eugenic (after several decades of dysgenics.) Jayman also notes a peculiar gender difference in these trends: female fertility is strongly dysgenic, while male is eugenic (for both whites and blacks). Given that historically, about 80% of women reproduced vs. only 40% of males, I think it likely that this pattern has always been true: women only want to marry intelligent, high-performing males, while males are okay with marrying dumb women. (Note: the female ability to detect intelligence may be broken by modern society.)
Counter-Currents has a review of Lynn’s Dysgenics with some less hopeful statistics, like an estimation that Greece lost 5 IQ points during the Baby Boom, which would account for their current economic woes. (Overall, I think the Baby Boom had some definite negative effects on the gene pool that are now working their way out.)
Richwine estimates the IQ of our immigrant Hispanic-American population at 89.2, with a slight increase for second and third-generation kids raised here. Since the average American IQ is 98 and Hispanics are our fastest-growing ethnic group, this is strongly dysgenic. (The rest of our immigrants, from countries like China, are likely to be higher-IQ than Americans.) However, since Hispanic labor is typically used to avoid African American (reported 85 average IQ) labor, the replacement of African Americans with Mexicans is locally eugenic–hence the demand for Hispanic labor.
Without better data, none of this conclusively proves whether fertility in the West is currently eugenic or dysgenic, but I can propose three main factors that should be watched for their potentially negative effects:
Welfare–I suspect the greater black reliance on welfare may be diving black dysgenics, but some other factor like crime could actually be at play.
I’m going to focus on the last one because it’s the only one that hasn’t already been explained in great detail elsewhere.
For American women, childbearing is low-class and isolating.
For all our fancy talk about maternity leave, supporting working moms, etc., America is not a child-friendly place. Society frowns on loud, rambunctious children running around in public, and don’t get me started on how public schools deal with boys. Just try to find something entertaining for both kids and grown-ups that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg for larger families–admission to the local zoo for my family costs over $50 and requires over an hour, round trip, of driving. (And it isn’t even a very good zoo.) Now try to find an activity your childless friends would also like to do with you.
Young women are constantly told that getting pregnant will ruin their lives (most vocally by their own parents,) and that if they want to stay home and raise children, they are social parasites. (Yes, literally.) We see child-rearing, like tomato picking, as a task best performed by low-wage immigrant daycare workers.
I am reminded here of a mom’s essay I read about the difference in attitudes toward children in the US and Israel, the only Western nation with a positive native fertility rate. Israel, as she put it, is a place where children are valued and “kids can be kids.” I’ve never been to Israel, so I’ll just have to trust her:
How Israelis love kids, anyone’s kids. The country is a free-for-all for the youngest set, something I truly appreciated only once I started bringing my own children there. When I was a teenager visiting Israel from the States, I noticed how people there just don’t allow a child to cry. One pout, one sob, and out comes candy, trinkets and eager smiles to turn a kid around. That would never happen back home—a stranger give a child candy?!—but in Israel, in a nation that still harbors a post-Holocaust mentality, there is no reason that a Jewish child should ever cry again, if someone can help it.
Incidentally, if you qualify under Israeli health care law, you can get a free, state-funded abortion. Abortion doesn’t appear to have destroyed Israel’s fertility.
Since male fertility is (probably) already eugenic, then the obvious place to focus is female fertility: make your country a place where children are actively valued and intelligent women are encouraged instead of insulted for wanting them, and–hopefully–things can improve.
People frequently get into these verbal messes where one person makes a generalized statement–say, “Cats poop in litterboxes,” and someone else counters (often very agitated) with “Not all cats! Some poop in my flowers!” And the first person invariably responds, “YES I KNOW.”
The American political debate this election cycle has devolved into one, long, continuous discussion of this nature. Trump says something about a group of people–Mexicans, illegal immigrants, Muslims–and Dems respond with “But not all X!”
This is exemplified by the Democrats inviting the parents of fallen American soldier Humayun S.M. Khan to speak at their convention:
To summarize this debate in internet terms, the Trump side is saying, “Muslims are terrorists,” (and “Illegal immigrants are criminals.”) The Hillary side is responding, “Not all Muslims–some Muslims are patriotic war heroes who died for America.” (Also, “Not all illegal immigrants.”)
Of course, given that there are 3.3 million Muslims in the US, it would be very strange indeed if none of them were brave and heroic. Even Donald Trump can probably do the math on that and figure out that it is statistically very likely that some Muslims are in the military and some have died there.
This is not the real argument.
It is obvious that the majority of Muslims are not terrorists (and the majority of illegal immigrants are not criminals or rapists, except for obviously having broken immigration law,) because if they were, we’d have about 2 million terrorists on our hands, and again, even Donald Trump (and his supporters,) can tell that we don’t have 2 million terrorists.
The Trumpian argument, therefore: Illegal immigration is, on net, bad for Americans, because illegal immigrants are disproportionately uneducated and criminal compared to Americans and legal immigrants. Islamic immigration is, on net, bad for Americans, because Muslims are disproportionately likely to commit terrorist attacks.
Likewise, the Dem’s response of “Not all Muslims” (and illegal immigrants) is not their true response. As has been pointed out, if someone handed you a bag of M&Ms and told you that only one of them was poisoned, you probably wouldn’t proclaim, “Not all M&Ms!” and proceed to eat them. Likewise, if I told you that most of the people sitting in the next room were perfectly nice people, but one of them was a serial killer, you would not be eager to enter that room. Even Hillary Clinton wouldn’t want to go in there, and wold probably call the police and ask them to thoroughly investigate everyone in that room. And the guy with the M&Ms.
The Dems’ real argument: Muslim immigration is, on net, positive for society. More generally, all immigration, (legal and illegal,) is a net positive for society.
We could of course test such suppositions–first we would have to assess the environmental and long-term impacts on the present population of adding, say, a million more people living at first world levels, which according to all of the environmentalists I’ve ever talked to, must be considered a net loss to humanity due to increased fossil fuel consumption.
Too many people when discussing immigration seem to default to an “infinite growth is best!” model, which obviously does not account for the fact that we live on a finite planet with finite resources. Even if we suppose that we could live in much more cramped environs than we currently do (people in suburban America could cram themselves into Tokyo-style apartments,) I don’t really want to, and I consider having much less space a massive decrease in my quality of life. So merely adding people for people’s sake is not, IMO, a good idea.
But by the same token, trying to freeze all of the world’s populations exactly where they are probably isn’t a good or worthwhile idea–at the very least, some of those folks out there are probably excellent folks whose presence in my country would be of great benefit to me.
So we also have to compare adding a million people from Group X to adding a million of some other group–say, Pygmy refugees, British doctors, Iranian atheists, Venezuelan beauty queens, mathematicians of any nationality, Mormon Americans, etc.
But such arguments tend to make people uncomfortable, first because they are technical arguments that don’t appeal to the emotions, and second because trying to enumerate the worth of people strikes too close to valuing some people more than others just because of their ethnicity, which most Americans are very opposed to. (Even if, in fact, the average American would be better off with an immigration policy that specifically preferenced certain traits.) So we are left with one side proclaiming “[Group] does X!” and the other side strenuously opposing, “Not all X!”
No “open borders;” decrease low-IQ immigration in favor of high-IQ immigration
Decrease paperwork/bureaucracy/over-legalization/unnecessary government (or civil) intrusions into people’s lives
1 & 3 have been priorities for approximately forever; on point 2, I’ve changed over the past decade from favoring the libertarian position of fully open borders to favoring the “Hive Mind” hypothesis that the nation’s well-being depends on our % of smart people.
Number 3 may require explanation–there is just a tremendous amount of overhead gumming up everything. I think small business owners get this–every new regulation ends up being yet another hour they devote to paperwork instead of business. The net result is that regulations are, effectively, a form of taxation–a tax on time and ability to act.
I don’t think the general impression that it is nigh-impossible to get stuff done these days is just an illusion.
Imagine, for a moment, running a small business in the late 1800s. There were no payroll taxes, no insurance requirements, no pensions to keep track of, no deductions, no environmental impact surveys, no chance of getting sued over the ethnic/gender composition of your workforce, far fewer licensing requirements, etc.
Not that I want to die in a fire or from drinking polluted, feces-laden water, but there is a cost-benefit tradeoff to every regulation.
The Empire State Building, for example, was built in little more than a year, between January 22, 1930 and April 11, 1931. Wikipedia does not tell how much time–if any–was spent getting building permits prior to construction, but does note that the architectural plans were drawn up in two weeks.
By contrast, after the 9-11 attacks, folks began drawing up architectural plans for the new WTC building in 2002 and finally finished their plans, 3 years later, in 2005. Construction began a year later, in 2006, and finished in 2013. Tenants were finally allowed to move in yet another year later, in 2014–a mere 12 years after the project began.
The WTC cost an estimated 3.9 billion, or about $1,500 per square foot (in 2007). The Empire State Building cost $637,172,100 in 2016 dollars, or $283 per square foot. (Assuming square footage is calculated the same way for both buildings.)
On the plus side, it looks like no one died in the construction of the new WTC, whereas 5 people died building the ESB (though it looks like two people almost died and had to be rescued by the fire department.)
In a more mundane example, we frequent a local park with a new playground and a lovely, unoccupied restaurant building. It has stood unoccupied for several years, ever since the park opened. Every day hundreds of children and their parents play here; all summer thirsty children and their parents would love to buy lemonade and hot dogs and snow cones, but no one sells them.
Finally an enterprising Mexican appeared with a cart, selling corn on the cob and lemonade. Why corn? I don’t know, but it was good corn. Did he have a license? Was he legally allowed to have his cart there? Probably not; he disappeared after a couple of months.
Now there is no one selling lemonade; the restaurant is still empty.
The legal/judicial system is horribly inefficient. Consider the time, expense, and stress endured by a person falsely accused of wrongdoing in attempting to establish their innocence. False accusations should not destroy innocent people’s lives, but they do.
A female acquaintance of mine was accused of domestic violence and arrested by the police. The whole matter was bogus and the police dropped the case without even going to trial, but in the meanwhile she lost her job, was evicted from her apartment, lost numerous friends, had to spend a tremendous amount of money (and time) dealing with the case, and faced the possibility of actually going to prison. Basically, it ruined her life.
A friend who had started a small tech company was sued by a much larger company for patent infringement. The friend won the case, because none of the tech they used had anything to do with the patents in question, but the expense (and time they had to spend on it,) nearly destroyed the company.
The average person has neither the skills nor the expertise to defend themselves in a patent case; they must hire a lawyer, and lawyers aren’t cheap. Larger corporations can afford to throw bogus IP infringement cases at smaller companies until the cows come home or the smaller companies are driven out of business–obviously not how we want free-market economic competition to work.
As for #1: I don’t want to die in Syria. I don’t want my friends or relatives to die in Syria. I don’t want other Americans to die in Syria.
I also don’t want to die fighting Russia.
I suspect the chance of war is, from lowest to highest:
Sanders < Clinton < Trump < other Republicans
Trump has a belligerent personality, which makes me worry that he’d start or get involved in a war, but from what I’ve seen so far of the debates, he is ironically less inclined to get into a war than the other Republican candidates.
My impression of Open Borders sentiment:
Trump < other Republicans < Sanders < Clinton
Trump’s plan to build a wall seems a bit 30 years too late if you’re worried about Mexican immigration, (and enforcement might cost more than the migrants, anyway,) but Clinton and Sanders seem likely to greatly expand low-IQ immigration.
Nobody campaigns on an anti-paperwork platform, but Trump seems like the kind of guy who’d hate regulations on businesses.
The Democrats have the good luck to have two candidates they can feel truly enthusiastic about–Hillary as the first serious female presidential candidate; Sanders as the first Socialist. After all, when’s the last time you heard someone say, “I’m a Democrat, but I don’t believe in female empowerment/expanding social programs to help the poor”?
Republicans, by contrast, are amusingly divided over Trump. Sure, he’s the front-runner (as of when I wrote this,) with a fairly sizeable lead over the other candidates. And Trump’s supporters tend to be very enthusiastic, which is a good thing for getting your votes to actually make it to the polls come election day.
But the Republican leadership appears to be losing its shit over the matter.
If the Trump contingent should succeed in this endeavor, the party would not emerge refreshed or improved; it would be summarily returned to where it was languishing back in early 2009. And if that should happen? Well, suffice it to say that it would be an unmitigated, unalloyed, potentially unsalvageable disaster. For the first time in years, the Right’s defenses would be completely destroyed, perhaps never to be rebuilt. …
Now is the time to throw everything at Trump, and to stop this disaster in its tracks. Will our children wonder why we were so reluctant?
Incidentally, when I say “everything,” I really do mean everything. Tomorrow night, as they stand on either side of Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz must find their resolve and all-but-machine-gun the man to the floor.
I feel like the author needs a reassuring pat on the head. Don’t worry, your children really won’t care who you voted for in the primaries when they were five.
A group of Republicans is moving quickly to research ballot-access requirements for independent candidates in case Trump wraps up the GOP nomination next month.
Sure, Trump is loud and rude and disreputable, but more importantly, he came out of nowhere to upset the Republican front-runners simply by loudly opposing illegal immigration from Mexico.
Speaking naively, the odd thing is not that Trump opposes illegal immigration, (which is, after all, illegal because people oppose it,) but that no one else was making it a prominent part of their platforms. But in retrospect, in a field where the establishment darlings were Cruz, Rubio, and Jeb–two Hispanics and one guy married to an Hispanic–it seems clear that the Republican elites had decided on a strategy of courting Hispanics.
After all, if Dems have black voters, why shouldn’t Repubs have Hispanics? Hispanics are 17% of the population (compared to Blacks at 12 or 13%)–nothing to sneeze at, demographically.
The problem with this strategy is that while liberal whites may get excited about the prospect of voting for a suitable black or female president, conservative whites aren’t excited about the prospect of voting for the nation’s first Hispanic. The Hispanic Vote might “save” the Republican party by helping it to victory in future elections, but conservative whites care more about their own self-interest than the continued existence of a particular political organization. Let it go the way of the Whigs; life will go on regardless.
The Republican field before Trump entered the race was almost shockingly dull and uninteresting–not good for winning. While I have nothing against (or for) Jeb as a person, who in their right mind would consider him for president? Is the party so lacking in leadership and foresight that the best they can come up with is literally the little brother of the previous Republican president and son of the Repub. before that? No, a good leader should go to waste just because other members of his family were also talented, but there are a great many positions besides president in which a truly talented person can serve his country–Secretary of State, Attorney General, Supreme Court Justice, governor, etc.
That people find the Trump’s success at all surprising is, well, strange. What, Republican voters aren’t keen on illegal immigration? I am shocked, absolutely shocked! It is like discovering that Democrats think that Black Lives Matter. What else shall we learn, that Libertarians favor individual freedom?
The Republican leadership is in direct opposition to its own base. The leaders want to promote their pro-Hispanic strategy; the base is anti-immigration. Hypothetically, Hispanic voters who are legally in the country might resent people who break the law to do what they jumped through hoops and worked to do legally, but as a practical matter:
People who oppose illegal immigration often oppose legal immigration;
People who oppose illegal immigration are often opposed to Hispanic migrants in general;
Hispanics immigrants may simply desire more Hispanic immigration, without caring about the legal details.
All of which makes the Trump campaign potentially problematic for the Republican elites.
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:
Massively overhaul the immigration bureaucracy (this I actually agree with–bureaucratic systems tend to be awful.)
Let in all of the “distress migrants.”
Westerners should stop the wars in foreign countries (how, exactly?)
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.)
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:
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.
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.”
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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:
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.
Oxford, Rhodes, and Syria
Hey, did you hear about the “Rhodes Must Fall” protests at Oxford?
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
“To every action, there is always opposed an equal reaction” –Newton’s Third Law of Physics.
Ever since the Paris attacks, the usually illogical and ill-informed status-signalling that passes for political discussion in this country has gotten even worse.
This is partly because people are afraid, and partly because they are not familiar yet with the other sides arguments, and so constructing and attacking particularly bad straw men.
I recently watched a speech in which President Obama claimed that his opponents were afraid of “three year old orphan refugees.”
Then we had this going on over on Twitter:
According to Wikipedia, this is at least the story that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is circulating about himself. I don’t know if anyone has actually checked the graduation records at U of B, though contemporaries describe him as a “religious scholar,” and he used to live in a small room attached to a mosque.
I screencapped this from a guy who posted it in response to The Economist’s statement, but forgot to write down his name so I could properly credit him. I am sorry, whoever you were. If you see this, let me know and I’ll credit you properly.
Okay. Let’s start with Obama. No, no one is afraid of three year olds. I know that lying about your opponents and posturing for your base is a big part of politics, but this seems particularly blatant.
People are afraid of ISIS. They are afraid of grown-up terrorists with guns and bombs pretending to be refugees and sneaking into the country.
ISIS puts out a lot of extremely graphic videos of itself beheading people, blowing them up, drowning them in cages, etc., with very clear statements about their intention to come after the West and do the same thing to all of us. If you haven’t noticed, you haven’t been paying attention.
The Novermber 13 terrorist attacks that left 130 people dead were not committed by 3 year olds wandering around the streets of Paris with guns and explosives.
“By 16 November, the focus of the French and Belgian investigation turned to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the radical jihadist they believed was the leader of the plot. Abaaoud, a Belgian of Moroccan origin, had escaped to Syria after having been suspected in other plots in Belgium and France, including the thwarted 2015 Thalys train attack. Abaaoud had recruited an extensive network of accomplices, including two brothers, Brahim Abdeslam and Salah Abdeslam, to execute terrorist attacks. …
Bilal Hadfi, a 20-year-old French citizen who had been living in Belgium. … He fought with ISIL in Syria for more than a year and was a supporter of the Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram. …Belgian prosecutors knew Hadfi had gone to fight in Syria but did not know of his return to the EU.
M. al-Mahmod, who had entered the EU with Syrian refugees via the Greek island of Leros on 3 October.
The final bomber carried a passport belonging to a 25-year-old Syrian named Ahmad al-Mohammad. A passport-holder claiming to be a Syrian refugee with that name was registered on Leros in October upon his arrival from Turkey. The dead attacker’s fingerprints matched those taken at the registration on Leros. …
Brahim Abdeslam, a 31-year-old French member of the Molenbeek terror cell living in Belgium, carried out shootings in the 10th and 11th arrondissements. Shortly afterwards, he blew himself up at the Comptoir Voltaire restaurant on the boulevard Voltaire.
An attacker suspected to be Abdelhamid Abaaoud.
Samy Amimour, a 28-year-old from Paris who fought in Yemen and was known to the intelligence services, had reportedly been on the run from police since 2012 due to being wanted over terrorism related charges.
Omar Ismail Mostefai, a 29-year-old from the Paris suburb of Courcouronnes, travelled to Syria in 2013 and may have spent time in Algeria. In 2010, the French authorities put Mostefai on a database of suspected Islamic radicals. He was identified by a severed finger found inside the Bataclan.
And two unidentified suspects.
To sum: At least two of these guys got into Europe by posing as refugees. The rest were “French” and “EU” citizens, which means they either immigrated and then were granted citizenship or their parents were immigrants, much like the Tsarnaev brothers, discussed above.
The left seems unable to understand that the right does not particularly care whether the terrorists were “refugees”, “immigrants,” “asylees,” or the children of refugees/immigrants/asylees. The right’s opinion toward all of these groups is exactly the same, though if you want to make a critique, you might note that the right has indeed been rhetorically emphasizing “refugees” when what they really mean is “all Muslims.”
Of course, if you’re the sort to critique the right, then you probably don’t want it to broaden its language.
Why is the right specifically emphasizing refugees, instead of all the folks it really means?
Honestly, it’s because people tend to get mentally stuck on ideas or things that are prominent in their environment. The massive European refugee crisis was (and still is) in the news when November 13 happened, and two of the terrorists appear to have used the crisis to get into France. To be fair, 130 French people would probably still be dead even if it Merkel hadn’t thrown open the EU’s borders–the majority of the terrorists (or their parents) got in under earlier immigration laws–but the refugee crisis itself is connected to these earlier laws.
The Republicans are offering over-simplified talking points, but the general point they are trying to make–that the government should try to figure out ways to protect its citizens from attacks like the one in France and make sure that the immigrants we do get are folks who will be compatible with the local society–is reasonable. And I don’t hear anyone on the left proposing anything useful on those points.
The immigration situations in Europe and the US are very different, but we may still find the European example instructive. America’s immigrants come primarily from Mexico; Europe’s come primarily from Africa (though each individual European country receives a lot of immigrants from other European countries.) The African migrants are predominantly Muslim, but I suspect that African Christians, African Vodun practitioners, etc., are pretty similar.
The exact criminality of America’s Hispanic population is unknown (due to the FBI historically not keeping track of it,) but informed estimates place it somewhere between the white rate (low) and the black rate (high.) This creates an unfortunate dynamic as employers would generally rather import and hire Mexicans (friendly, less aggressive) than the blacks who already live here.
According to a 2011 report by Statistics Norway, in 2009 first,-generation immigrants from Africa were three times more likely than ethnic Norwegians (or rather individuals who are neither first- nor second-generation immigrants) to be convicted of a felony while Somali immigrants in particular being 4.4 times more likely to be convicted of a felony than an ethnic Norwegian was.
Note that Somalis are one of the groups the US makes a special point of accepting as “refugees.”
Similarly, Iraqis and Pakistanis were found to have rates of conviction for felonies greater than ethnic Norwegians by a factor of 3 and 2.6 respectively. Another finding was that second-generation African and Asian immigrants had a higher rate of convictions for felonies than first-generation immigrants….
of 131 individuals charged with the 152 rapes in which the perpetrator could be identified, 45.8% were of African, Middle Eastern or Asian origin while 54.2% were of Norwegian, other European or American origin.
… Spanish National Statistics Institute (INE) published a study that analyzes records in the Register of Convicted in 2008. The data show that immigrants are overrepresented in the crime statistics: 70% of all crimes were committed by Spaniards and 30% by foreigners. Foreigners make up 15% of the population.
In Switzerland, 69.7% of prison population did not have Swiss citizenship, compared to 22.1% of total resident population (as of 2008). … a special report was compiled by the Federal Department of Justice and Police (published in 2001) which for the year 1998 found an arrest rate per 1000 adult population of 2.3 for Swiss citizens, 4.2 for legally resident aliens and 32 for asylum seekers. … [bold mine]
In 2010, a statistic was published which listed delinquency by nationality (based on 2009 data). To avoid distortions due to demographic structure, only the male population aged between 18 and 34 was considered for each group. … immigrants from Germany, France and Austria had a significantly lower crime rate than Swiss citizens (60% to 80%), while immigrants from Angola, Nigeria and Algeria had a crime rate of above 600% of that of Swiss population. …
A report studying 4.4 million Swedes between the ages of 15 and 51 during the period 1997-2001 found that 25% of crimes were committed by foreign-born individuals while and additional 20% were committed by individuals born to foreign-born parents. … Findings from a previous study published by the Swedish government in 1996 determined that between 1985 and 1989 individuals born in Iraq, North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia), and Africa (excluding Uganda and the North African countries) were convicted of rape at rates 20, 23, and 17 greater than individuals born in Sweden respectively.
According to a report on prison population statistics published by the [UK] Ministry of Justice, in 2013 blacks made up 13.2% of the prison population and 2.8% of the general population. Given that whites make up 88.3% of the total population but only 73.8% of the prison population, it follows that blacks are 5.6 times more likely to be incarcerated than whites. Similarly, in 2013 Muslims made up 13.1% of the prison population but just 4% of the general population meaning that they are 3.3 times more likely to be incarcerated than a member of the general population.
In other words, African immigrants to Europe commit crimes at rates similar to our own African population.
But our African population was forcefully imported against its will–Europe let its in because it asked nicely. Or not so nicely, as the case may be.
Who are the refugees? According to the Dept. of Homeland Security Citizenship and Immigration website:
Under United States law, a refugee is someone who:
Is located outside of the United States
Is of special humanitarian concern to the United States
Demonstrates that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group
Is not firmly resettled in another country
Is admissible to the United States
Points two and three could apply to virtually anyone throughout the third world. How many countries have civil wars, gangs, terrorist groups, government repression, or violence against women, gays, or other minorities?
There isn’t a lot of data either way about whether refugees–or asylees–in the US are particularly criminal. Compared to the 320 million or so of us already here, these groups are pretty small (unless you happen to live near them.) I have been hearing a fair amount of chatter, though, about crime among the Somali population.
The Somalis are, indeed, a good example of exactly how the US refugee process can go wrong.
Why are there so many Somalis, in particular, when so many other countries have similar rates of violence? Somalia got special concern status after–as far as I can tell–the US noticed that it was unable to master the basics of state formation and so was embroiled in savage anarchy and civil war. The US decided to invade and “restore order,” and promptly got its butt kicked by a bunch of Somalis who didn’t appreciate getting invaded. Since the US can’t fix Somalia’s problems over in Somalia, I guess we decided to bring them over here and try again.
There are wars that come and go, and wars that do not. Sometimes countries invade or disintegrate. These are temporary states of affairs, and it is reasonable for the international community to find ways to get the innocent out of harm’s way until the violence subsides and they can go home. Other places, however, are simply constant war zones. The violence will, for the foreseeable future, always be high, and since aggression has a large genetic component, moving people away from the conflict just leads to violence in a new location.
There are a billion or two more people in the world who would like to move to the West than the West can possibly hold, and most of them come, indeed, from countries with high levels of violence and poverty. (After all, who wants to leave rich, peaceful countries?) But societies are, on the whole, the products of the people who make them. Europeans do not have magical pixie dust that makes their countries peaceful and prosperous; they’re peaceful and prosperous mostly because Europeans don’t kill each other very often, don’t commit a lot of fraud or nepotism, and do well at academics. Same for a variety of other countries, like Japan and Taiwan.
Violent, low-trust societies that people find unpleasant to live in and want to leave are violent and low-trust because they are full of people who are violent and low-trust. High-trust societies like Sweden function because everyone involved is a default-cooperator who wouldn’t even think of cheating others. Hell, when they translate articles about government corruption and nepotism into Swedish, they have to explain the concepts because the Swedish language doesn’t have words for such practices. In other countries, helping out your family over the interests of strangers is seen as moral; nepotism and “corruption” are the default, and this strange, immoral practice of treating strangers like family members has to be explained.
People can only handle so much complexity. You, me, everyone. The society a group of people creates depends on their collective ability to handle complexity. If you can handle a lot of complexity, default cooperate with strangers, and can repress the urge to stab your cubicle mate when he starts humming off-key again, you can create a society with a big economy and a lot of working infrastructure. If you can’t handle complexity, defect on strangers, and get aggressive with people, your economy will be small and your infrastructure will be crap.
This does not mean that immigrants will automatically set up a miniature version of their home society–most immigrants are not representative of their home population, as migration takes a lot of guts and know-how. It does mean that different groups of people will set up different societies, and if you do not select your immigrants carefully, you could end up with folks who think things should be run very differently than you do.
Somalia falls into the category of “War for the foreseeable future,” not “temporary violence.” Somalia is not a regular country having temporary difficulties; it is a country-shaped hole in the map where no state exists. If we are going to take Somalis, we might as well take the entire population of Africa and much of Latin America. It’s not like Zimbabwe’s violence rates and civil organization are much better, and the murder rate in Honduras is sky-high. Pretty much anyone in Honduras could make a good case that they’re likely to get murdered.
Of course, moving all of the Hondurans to the US just means they’re likely to murder each other over here.
To be fair, though, the process of becoming a refugee and eventually getting settled in the US is long and a pain in the butt–it apparently takes a good two years. This does actually sort out a lot of the undesirables. Your average Al Qaeda operative would have an easier time just walking across the Mexican border.
What about the refugees in Europe?
As usual, things are rather different over there, especially since they decided to abandon the whole “try to select good migrants” policy in favor of “take everyone who shows up.” A lot of the refugees are, in fact, Syrians, who are fleeing a legitimately terrifying enemy (and to everyone fleeing ISIS, I wish you the best of luck,) but a rather large percent are opportunistic economic migrants from elsewhere in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East:
Moroccan Merouance Missaoua lives and works in Vienna. In his free time, he interprets for refugees at the Westbahnhof [train station]. … “In all honesty — I believe, it is my personal estimate, because I have been here day in and day out, that a quarter of the people I have met are not refugees.
“I have met people from Morocco and from Algeria. I can discover that, because I speak their dialect too and I recognize the accent immediately. Yesterday, for example, two Egyptians came to me. I said to them: ‘You are not Syrian; what are you doing?’ — [They replied] ‘Yes, it’s now or never, get into Europe free. It’s now or never.‘”
What, someone would cheat? Who could have ever predicted that?
Probably not the Swedes.
And very, very few of them are toddler orphans. Rather:
Nearly 500,000 people have reached Europe illegally by sea in 2015 (as of Sept.)
Sweden has finally–tearfully–rescinded its open borders policy. Not because of the terrorist attacks in France, but because they ran out of money for refugees.
Apparently no one in the Swedish government realized just how many people there are in the rest of the world, but suddenly receiving 10,000 migrants a week gave them a clue.
Of course, it would have been far more economical and practical to build nice refugee camps in Turkey and Saudi Arabia (which is super rich and doesn’t even need any help international help building refugee camps, they could just put all of the refugees in the temporary housing they have set up for the Hajj.) There are a lot of refugees already in Turkey, but none in Saudi Arabia. These camps would be easy to reach and be able to serve far more people than expensive housing in Berlin.
Unsurprisingly, the sudden influx of refugees has brought a lot of crime with it. (See the “Crashing the Gates” link for a litany.)
On Wednesday night and early Thursday, violence broke out at two refugee centers in the northern city of Hamburg, including one incident involving 100 migrants wielding wooden planks as weapons, according to Hamburg police. …
Some in Germany also worry that they are importing ethnic and religious tensions from the refugees’ homelands. German police unions, for instance, are calling for separate housing for asylum seekers along religious or ethnic lines after what officials described as an “attempted lynching” of a 25-year-old Afghan Christian in the central city of Suhl in August. A group of Afghan, Iraqi and Syrian men, officials say, chased the Christian man after he tried to flush pages of the Koran down the toilet at a refugee center. Six police officers were wounded trying to stop the mob.
“This has been a big shock,” said Fred Jaeger, the Suhl police spokesman. “Never before have our police been physically attacked like this.” [source]
Back in the mid-1800s, Mikhail Bakunin observed that there would never be an anarchist revolution in Germany because the Germans are the “statiest of people.” Hey, Germans: other people don’t respect the police as much as you guys do.
ETA: Started getting a lot of reports dribbling out of Germany about violent sexual assaults, robberies, and attempted kidnappings on New Year’s Eve. The first reports said “40 men” in the Cologne station had assaulted at least 30 women; now the news is reporting “1,000 men.” From the BBC, “Germany shocked by Cologne New Year gang assaults on women” (h/t With the thoughts you’d be thinkin):
“The scale of the attacks on women at the city’s central railway station has shocked Germany. About 1,000 drunk and aggressive young men were involved.
City police chief Wolfgang Albers called it “a completely new dimension of crime”. The men were of Arab or North African appearance, he said. …
What is particularly disturbing is that the attacks appear to have been organised. Around 1,000 young men arrived in large groups, seemingly with the specific intention of carrying out attacks on women.
Police in Hamburg are now reporting similar incidents on New Year’s Eve in the party area of St Pauli. …
A British woman visiting Cologne said fireworks had been thrown at her group by men who spoke neither German nor English. “They were trying to hug us, kiss us. One man stole my friend’s bag,” she told the BBC. “Another tried to get us into his ‘private taxi’. I’ve been in scary and even life-threatening situations and I’ve never experienced anything like that.”
Of course, “The justice minister warned against linking the crimes to the issue of migrants and refugees.” (See the comments at the end of the post for more sources on this story.)
In the aftermath of November 13, liberals have doubled-down on their anti-racist, open borders philosophy.
One of the weirdest things about this whole business is that a lot of the people advocating most strongly for open borders are the folks who have the most to lose from it. A coalition of gays, atheists, Jews, Puritans, feminists, and blacks has very little to gain from immigration. Blacks get economically displaced by Mexican workers. Muslims are not generally pro-gay rights, pro-abortion, or pro-feminism. Most Mexicans aren’t, either.
The right, while it may thrash around like a wounded turkey that cannot articulate itself, has at least some idea of where its self-interests lie. (Unfortunately, Republican politicians see their interests in importing more cheap labor so they can destroy unions, make more money, and avoid hiring blacks. Hey liberals, it’s a win-win for you!)
Additionally, if you genuinely think America is a seething hotbed of racism and discrimination, why would you encourage people who are going to get discriminated against to move here? Wouldn’t they they be better off almost anywhere else on Earth? If you are simultaneously posting about how much you hate Donald Trump and about why you want Syrian refugees to move to the US, aren’t you concerned that all of those people who love Donald Trump will mistreat the refugees you invited in?
You can’t just tell the Trump supporters to leave. They’re already here, and whether you like them or not, they have as much right to vote for their interests and to make communities they like as you do. And making up a bunch of straw men about how they’re afraid of three year old orphans is not helping matters.
If you really care about Syrian refugees, then support measures that will find them safe homes without risking your neighbor’s lives in the process. If you don’t care, then by all means, continue politically posturing on Facebook about how everyone else is politically inferior to you because they’re afraid of toddlers.
(Oh, and don’t give me that, “If you’re so concerned about homeless veterans, why don’t you volunteer with the homeless?” crap. I do volunteer with the homeless. Every day, in fact.) There may not actually be anything that I or anyone else can do about the number of homeless veterans (some people are going to be homeless, and some of those are going to be veterans,) but I understand the broader point: there are a lot of truly, desperately poor people who are already in the US, and they would like government money to go to them before it goes to foreigners.
Tell a poor person who is already not scraping by on minimum wage that you want to increase the pool of low-wage workers. Explain how the laws of supply and demand mean that the expanding supply of labor will push down its value, so the poor person will be making even less money than before, but that some economists have figured out that if we just let in a billion or two people, it will all work out in the end. Then tell me if you get punched.
Thing is, no one polite is talking about any of this. Oh, sure, you might get entertaining statements out of Trump, but Trump is not polite. The only reason Trump has any chance at winning the presidency is because we let low-class people vote in this country. No one polite is keeping records on Somali crime, or the immigrant crisis in Europe, or the impact of immigration on everyone who isn’t rich. In fact, merely being in the class of people who are negatively impacted by job competition from Mexico automatically makes you, by definition, one of the low-class, impolite people.
Garden variety reaction is growing. Donald Trump’s candidacy–and popularity–is one reaction. People burning down refugee centers or creating White Student Unions on Facebook are another. The increasing percentage of Americans ready to outright abandon democracy in favor of autocracy or military dictatorship is a third.
Reaction only makes the news when it does something ugly, because no one listens when poor people try to point out that they are already hurting economically and can’t afford more labor competition.
Listen to each other while you still have the chance.