Late Friday Reads: Why are y’all all up in my business?
Posted: March 30, 2018 | Author: dakinikat | Filed under: Afternoon Reads | Tags: bigotry |
I’m a little late on this. Keely and I hopped on the St Claude Avenue bus and headed to the Vet at The Healing Center! It’s been part of a Main Street revitalization program and has really come to life. This place is a shopping centre of very small and eclectic local businesses.
There are at least two distinct Americas these days and I have come to the point I want nothing to do with the other one. I’m always looking over at posts and tweets from people I grew up with that didn’t flee as fast as they could like most of my friends who couldn’t get out fast enough. The folks that stayed are physically aging in the same hermetically sealed (sigh, white people) bottle.
I point out some thing really isn’t funny but quite racist and try to explain things like the historical roots of saggin’ and it falls on deaf ears and instead of being told I’m a humorless feminist, I get told I need to just lighten up and the fact the preschooler in that picture is a white boy telling a young black man that he can teach him how to pull his pants up would mean the same if the races of the individuals were flipped. Just like when I’m sitting on a crowded bus with my 8 lb kitten in a very secure cat carrier the only person who asks me if that’s a small dog in there and are they allowed on the buses is a bottle dyed red middle aged white woman all up in my business. All I say is “it’s a kitten” and “ask the bus driver”. Then, I shake my head and sigh. “White people.” I mumble and the black man behind me pulls off his earphones and says “what?” I repeat it louder and he laughs like crazy.
We need conversations with each other. I hear folks say that all the time. But, when these conversation start up, I realize we live in completely different realities. I’m the racial minority in my city. My dissertation chair is a devout Muslim. My eldest daughter married an American of Indian descent who was raised Hindu. I’m not threatened by “other”. I ruffle at stupidity. I present examples.
“Hillary Clinton fires back at critics: No one told a man who lost an election to shut up” (but I sure wish they’d try it on Mitt Romney.)
Hillary Clinton is striking back at critics telling her to “shut up” following her 2016 loss, saying, “They never said that to any man who was not elected.”
“I was really struck by how people said that to me – you know, mostly people in the press, for whatever reason – mostly, ‘Go away, go away,'” Clinton said Thursday during an event at Rutgers University.
“And I had one of the young people who works for me go back and do a bit of research. They never said that to any man who was not elected. I was kind of struck by that,” Clinton said.
Clinton’s remarks came in response to a question from Eagleton Institute of Politics’ director Ruth Mandel about the former Democratic presidential nominee’s reaction to those who say she should “get off the public stage and shut up.”
“I’m really glad that, you know, Al Gore didn’t stop talking about climate change,” Clinton said to applause.
“And I’m really glad John Kerry went to the Senate and became an excellent secretary of State,” the former first lady continued. “And I’m really glad John McCain kept speaking out and standing up and saying what he had to say. And for heavens sakes, Mitt Romney is running for the Senate,” Clinton said.
And that would be sexism. Guess that makes me humorless and too PC these days. Truth seems ethereal these days for some people. It’s too abstract. Truth is only what they desperately want it to be. Hence, lying, crooked, racist, misogynist, xenophobic, homophobic KKKremlin Caligula.
In Trump’s America, half the population lives in a world where the “crooked media” tells “fake news” made up of “alternative facts,” while the other half fights to maintain public trust in traditional media.
Much of the conflict stems from the parallel online universe that led up to the 2016 election: Clinton and Trump supporters really don’t listen to each otheron Twitter, according to an analysis from the Electome project at the MIT Media Lab provided exclusively to VICE News.
“At least on Twitter, we see that there is a separation of where the journalists, and who the journalists are following, and no one is really listening or plugged into this Trump supporter graph.” Eugene Yi, a data-scientists at the lab told VICE News.
Political opinions have always been polarizing, but the 2016 election saw the divide grow as formerly fringe bloggers, like Milo Yiannopolus and Mike Cernovich, seized the golden opportunity to speak directly to Trump supporters, flooding the internet with false information.
And on a larger level, the now-infamous data targeting company Cambridge Analytica allegedly used mass amounts of personal information on the internet to manipulate voters and spread pro-Trump news, no matter the factual evidence, which may have helped win the election for him.
With Trump in office, the conservative news media and the mainstream are now at war over who constitutes “fake news,” as Americans’ trust the press hit a record low of 32 percent. And President Trump’s personal crusade against the traditional press is only deepening the public divide.
The background to Harris’s shot at me is that last year, Harris had Charles Murray on his podcast. Murray is a popular conservative intellectual best known for co-writing The Bell Curve, which posited, in a controversial section, a genetic basis for the observed difference between black and white IQs.
Harris’s invitation came in the aftermath of Murray being shouted down, and his academic chaperone assaulted, as he tried to give an invited address on an unrelated topic at Middlebury College. The aftermath of the incident had made Murray a martyr for free speech, and Harris brought him on the show in part as a statement of disgust with the illiberalism that had greeted Murray on campus.
And enter churlish Andrew Sullivan in response to all of the above if you follow that link to Klein and Vox and read.
Klein cannot seem to hold the following two thoughts in his brain at the same time: that past racism and sexism are foul, disgusting, and have wrought enormous damage and pain and that unavoidable natural differences between races and genders can still exist.
I know this is a touchy, fraught, difficult subject. I completely understand the reluctance to discuss it, and the hideous history of similar ideas in the past. But when people seeking the truth are immediately targeted for abuse and stigma, it matters. When genetics are in a golden age, when neuroscience is maturing as a discipline, and when the truth about these things will emerge soon enough, it matters that we establish a liberalism that is immune to such genetic revelations, that can strive for equality of opportunity, and can affirm the moral and civic equality of every human being on the planet. Liberalism has never promised equality of outcomes, merely equality of rights. It’s a procedural political philosophy rooted in means, not a substantive one justified by achieving certain ends.
That liberalism is integral to our future as a free society — and it should not falsely be made contingent on something that can be empirically disproven. It must allow for the truth of genetics to be embraced, while drawing the firmest of lines against any moral or political abuse of it. When that classical liberalism is tarred as inherently racist because it cannot guarantee equality of outcomes, and when scientific research is under attack for revealing the fuller truth about our world, we are in deep trouble. Because we are robbing liberalism of the knowledge and the moderation it will soon desperately need to defend itself.
And let’s just jump in it all over at the NYT: “Anti-Semitism Is Rising.”
When the Anti-Defamation League, a century-old institution founded to combat anti-Semitism, released its guide to the “Alt Right and Alt Lite” last year, Ohio’s Republican state treasurer, Josh Mandel, who is Jewish, actually expressed support for two of the people on the list: Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec, conservative provocateurs who have found notoriety in the Trump era. “Sad to see @ADL_National become a partisan witch hunt group targeting people for political beliefs. I stand with @Cernovich & @JackPosobiec,” Mr. Mandel proclaimed on Twitter above a link to Mr. Cernovich’s screed charging that the league was trying to have him killed
Mr. Cernovich advocates I.Q. tests for immigrants and “no white guilt,” and is an unapologetic misogynist. Last summer, he circulated a cartoon depicting H. R. McMaster, the White House national security adviser, as a dancing marionette with George Soros pulling his strings and a disembodied, wrinkled hand labeled “Rothschilds” controlling strings attached to Mr. Soros.
Mr. Posobiec has been one of the promulgators of fake news, including the “Pizzagate” story that claimed that Hillary Clinton helped run a child sex-trafficking ring out of a pizza parlor and the claim that a young Democratic National Committee staff member, Seth Rich, was murdered by the Clinton campaign.
And, yet, David Hogg successfully bit back at hate shark Laura Ingraham.
Republican strategist Steve Schmidt said it came down to one characteristic that led Parkland, Florida, school shooting survivor and gun control activist David Hogg to get an apology from Fox News host Laura Ingraham: fearlessness.
“Maybe that’s what happens after you’ve been down range of an AR-15 that kills your classmates and comes close to killing you,” Schmidt said Thursday on Nicolle Wallace’s MSNBC show.
“You lose all fear. Because this kid’s not scared. He’s not scared of the NRA. He’s not intimidated and scared by Laura Ingraham.”Schmidt said that Hogg and his classmates are not like the elected Republican officials who are “scared to death of Fox News, of Laura Ingraham, of Rush Limbaugh.
”Schmidt’s comments came as several advertisers announced they would pull their commercials from Ingraham’s Fox News show after she mocked Hogg on Twitter for not getting into certain colleges.
Hogg and his 14-year-old sister, Lauren, responded to Ingraham’s attackWednesday night, calling out the Fox News host for cyberbullying students.“Coming from a 14-year-old, please grow up,” Lauren tweeted, while her brother called for an advertiser boycott.
I’m going to harken back to 2016 and a study: “Who You Hate Depends on How Smart You Are, Study Finds. According to a new study, people with both high and low intelligence are prejudiced—the difference is just who they are prejudiced against.”
Past researchers have found that people of lower cognitive ability are more likely to be prejudiced, but prejudice isn’t exclusive to dim bulbs. A new study finds that people at both high and low ends of the intelligence spectrum actually express equal levels of prejudice—the difference is just what they’re prejudiced against.
The researchers, social psychologists Mark Brandt and Jarret Crawford, analyzed 5,914 subjects in their experiment, “Answering Unresolved Questions About the Relationship Between Cognitive Ability and Prejudice.” Removing value judgments about whether a specific prejudice is justified or not, they measured the amount of prejudice present in groups of higher cognitive ability and lower cognitive ability. They gauged the cognitive ability of their subjects using a wordsum test, which is considered to be correlated to an individual’s intelligence quotient (IQ). Brandt and Crawford replicated previous findings that people of low cognitive ability tend to be prejudiced against non-conventional or liberal groups, as well as groups that have “low choice” in their status—groups defined by their race or gender or sexual orientation, for example. According to their research, this tendency inverted among people of high cognitive ability. In other words, the smarter subjects in their study were likely to be prejudiced against groups considered conventional or conservative—groups perceived to have “high choice” in their associations.”
I fully embrace my bigotry against the mean and the stupid. That study is my justification and I’m sticking with it.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
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The (Andrew Sullivan and others) BS about human differences being unavoidable and nobody can guarnatee equality of outcomes.
That’s straw man nonsense. Yes differences are there. Of course they are. It’s how you react to them that matters.
You can provide the social support necessary to compensate for them, so that differences in outcome are based on actual ability.
Or you can do nothing and use them as an excuse to exclude whole classes of people from the competition.
There’s no natural law that requires option #2. That’s a *choice* made by the Sullivans of the world to try to (unfairly) reduce their competitors. (Which, being rather mediocre, they know in their bones they’d lose against.)
This is the most important thing:
“Race Is a Social Construct, Scientists Argue
Racial categories are weak proxies for genetic diversity and need to be phased out ”
Megan Gannon, LiveScience on February 5, 2016
THIS is the Journal of SCIENCE
THIS is the actual GENETIC research.
I disagree, dak. Not that race isn’t a social construct in the sense that you mean it, but that that is the most important thing.
The most important thing remains: what society considers a good reaction to differences. It doesn’t matter if they’re merely perceived and totally unreal, or real but a lot more fluid than useful categories, or even 100% biological (eg cerebral palsy). What matters is whether society reacts in a way that lets everybody learn from and benefit by their differences, or whether it uses them as an excuse to keep some groups of people down.
We humans have categorizing minds. You can’t stop people making categories any more than you can stop them using language. That’s one of the things that bothers me about the people trying the “race is a social construct” tack. Yes and no. Races are denser parts of a diffuse cloud of characteristics that have lots of overlap. But those identifiable denser centers do exist biologically. That’s why it’s important for medical research to include different races to make sure the results are actually widely applicable. Whether the biological factors have any useful social implications is another point entirely. The answer to that is pretty clearly no.
You can try to make sure people’s categories are as reality-based as possible. And you can definitely tell them what’s an acceptable approach to other people. That’s what socialization is.
I’m pretty sure we’re saying the same thing, using different words.
My understanding is that human DNA between individuals is so similar that there is not enough difference for those groups to merit the label of race.
Yes, there are groups of related people who have higher risk for this or that characteristic. Yes, we need continuing study into markers for tolerance to or super-fast metabolization of medication X, or whatever the trait is. Sometimes these traits present in persons related to 1st to, say, 3rd degree, but rarely in persons 4th to further degree away. Or the trait is correlated with a certain skin color. But I would argue that such a trait is not enough by itself to make a group a separate race.
Domestic cats come in various colors and coat types and # of digits per paw, yet they are all Felis catus. Or Felis silvestris catus depending on which reference I check.
My medical dictionary doesn’t even have an entry for “race” — that shows how nonexistent is the concept of race in medicine.
Anyhoo, we all know I.Q. tests mainly show how well socialized you are in the dominant culture. Give me an I.Q. test designed for indigenous people in the Peruvian mountains and I’d score as cognitively dysfunctional.
Erm, Luna, you must have read pharmaceutical studies where drug effects were poorly understood because of under-representation of groups in the research? It’s a big problem. It’s not only races, usually even more significant differences in drug reactions in women, or for that matter age groups, since drugs can have different effects as biologies change with age.
This stuff is actually my professional field: evolutionary biology and species concepts. Yes, we’re all very much the same species. Species and “race”, whatever anyone means by the latter, are not synonymous. “Race” is even lower on the scale of being well-defined than “variety.” (The hierarchy differs a bit between botanists and zoologists, but it’s pretty much species, subspecies, variety, and form. The way people use race, it falls –biologically — somewhere between variety and form.)
And you’re right, Luna, that race can just about be construed as a more expansive version of genetically-related family. If everybody on earth is at least a 60th degree cousin to everyone else, then people who share more physical characteristics with each other are more closely related than, say, 20th cousins. These things are a continuum. Like a spectrum of light. Overlap doesn’t mean you can’t recognize variations within the continuum.
All of that is about *biology* Don’t get me started on the idiocy of IQ tests. And that’s precisely the point I was trying to make: People use differences, whether they generate them with IQ tests or by drawing lines on a continuum of skin color, and then use them to discriminate. That’s the problem. That’s where we need the change.
Differences are useful, enlightening, and interesting. We should be facilitating them. Not discriminating against them. And not trying to make them go away, either by definition or by discrimination.
I’m thinking I should do a tl:dr; on that comment….
1) Differences exist. (Saying otherwise is really climate denial territory. C’mon people!)
2) what matters is how we address differences.
3) Difference is good, essential even. The good response is to facilitate / enable / promote (not finding the perfect word!) difference.
(Sheesh. My problem is I have a life and can’t be bothered finding out what Sully imagines is going on in what passes for his mind. Apparently he’s convinced that IQ tests show racial differences in intelligence. Good God. That was debunked forty goddamn years ago. Maybe it’s fifty by now. I can’t keep track. Likewise with male-female IQ differences. Likewise with every single other attempt to say My-brain-good–Your-brain-bad. Yes, identical twin studies show a heritable component to intelligence, very boradly defined. There has never been one single study that doesn’t show huge within-group differences that swamp all between-group differences, no matter how you define the group or intelligence. Anyway. I’ll shut up now.)
Yup. They’re discussing RACE and IQ again! That’s like well debunked. It’s no inheriting a cycle cell gene or ovarian cancer or specific neurological diseases because clusters of certain folks settling in certain places and the interbreedling led to the dominant presence of that anomaly like the type of cancer that Gilda Radner got that’s frequently found in Ashkenazi or Tay Sachs or something like that.
Oh, yes, that’s clear. We both agree such traits produce differences. But those differences in drug metabolism effects — or whatever causes the different effects — can occur between siblings. That aspect makes me think those difference are not significant enough to make Offspring 1 a different “race” from Offspring 2.
I think where you and I are disagreeing is the nomenclature. We both agree that “race” is not well defined in lay language. My own impression is that laypeople use it to mean roughly about “subspecies.”
And we both agree on the “idiocy of IQ tests.”
I suspect that in medical disciplines the (non)concept of race must be different from that held in botanical disciplines. That’s probably all that causes us to disagree. Lol. Specialists arguing about nomenclature!
NBC News: Trump ally detained, served with Mueller subpoena at Boston airport
Detained by the Deep State! Bwaha!
ABC News: EXCLUSIVE: Pruitt’s EPA security broke down door to lobbyist condo
They’re all corrupt scammers, and the GOP is just fine with this. Will our country ever be able to undo this? I wonder.
Go Tammy! She is so great.
Wow. She can zing!
Ignoramus here. I just thought it was one of those trends that kids follow. About 1/3 of the ones I’ve seen doing that around here are white. Would you tell me more?
I honestly don’t understand why the woman’s question marked her as white as opposed to a somewhat nosy person, or someone who might have wanted to take her little dog on the bus but thought she couldn’t. And wait a minute! Middle-aged women shouldn’t dye their hair red? I’ve seen some at work or in the neighborhood who go violet- or blue- or green-haired and carry it off in style. I’ve admired them; not sure I’m daring enough to try that.
according to the good old urbandictionary.com, besides the sagging pants aspect, someone noticed it spells n*ggas backward and so it became derogatory. Anyway, I’m like you, didn’t realize there was a racist connotation, so also need explanation.
Myself, I’m waiting to get so far ahead of the game I can wear blue hair with my purple hat!
It was a slavery practice called breaking the buck. You can Google that. It’s a symbol of black male emasculation. It was brought back up when the prison population was banned from wearing belts and the oversized pants fell. Rappers in the 1990s picked it up to protest the large number of black men in prison and wore it as a sign of solidarity against the practices of black male emasculation before it was culturally appropriated by white kids.
Oh. And as to the woman, you’d have to hear the tone of her voice I really didn’t take it as just a simple question. And I’ve put red highlights in my hair before. Just a description
Oh. *recoils from idea of the violence of reinforcing heartbreaking powerlessness* on prisoners and the tremendous racial bias in prison penalties between blacks and whites. Knowing the historical perspective makes such a difference. Thanks for filling me in.
We could both go blue — or purple — at the same time!
Holy fuck? I missed a shitload of disgusting crap these past few days. Kat I love the pictures you shared. I miss living down in West Tampa. I see my old childhood friends posting pictures of their lives …the ones who still live in the houses they grew up in, and it is amazing how many still do…
It makes me jealous. All that diversity.
What is this disgusting crap whereof you speak? Not on this blog. I love your posts.
As for missing diversity, I lived for a while in a snow white suburb for my sins. I’d never lived in a place like that and it only took a couple of weeks before I was yammering to myself, “Gawd, something, anything, maybe just a Greek perhaps? Is that asking too much?”
It gave me the same feeling as driving through those hundreds of miles of genetically identical cornfields in the Midwest. Like those dystopian futures where thousands of clones surround you. Just set my teeth on edge.
All of which is just to say I know what you mean!
Q, the past few days I’ve been out of touch. Haven’t read the blog or the news or twits …nothing. So reading these few blog post tonight was basically catching up on everything. And I missed a lot of crap the last few days. Also I see there was a iPhone correction that changed missed to issued. I fixed it.