Category Archive 'Left Think'
24 Jun 2017

Leftism Dead, But Refusing to Lie Down

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Bret Stevens contends that we are living in a time of broken politics because the Left petulantly refuses to face the reality that its ideas have all failed.

[T]he Left is playing a new game which involves trying to mentally separate the concepts of “neoliberalism” from the rest of the Left. They do not want to own the disaster they created, so they came up with a scapegoat: capitalism. In Leftist symbolic reality, capitalism took over the Left and created “neoliberalism,” where True Leftists resisted.

Perhaps the bigger story is that they do not want to point out that they created a managerial society, applying the tactics of business and the military toward ordering people around. This is what the Left do, because they are oriented toward control, or everyone doing the same things all the time so that those in power are secure.

This is typical of the one-dimensional categorical order in which Leftists think. To them, there are the True Believers who know what is right and must be done, and then the masses who must be ordered around. Instead of a hierarchy with multiple levels, for them there are only the controllers and the controlled.

Their strategy is utilitarianism, which is the opposite of having purpose. Utilitarians ask people what will make them happy, and people respond with short-term answers, scapegoats, justifications and the other products of the usual flow of neurotic insanity. They never connect the dots and see that having a thriving, stable civilization is what they need, and everything else are personal problems that they as individuals need to fix. Government cannot do that.

19 Jun 2017

Recurring Cycle

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17 Jun 2017

The Solution to Left-Wing Violence

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17 Jun 2017

Not Too Much for HuffPo

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CNN reported:

Doctors caring for released North Korea detainee Otto Warmbier said he has not spoken or moved on his own since he arrived in the United States on Tuesday, a condition they described as “unresponsive wakefulness” or persistent vegetative state.

The 22-year-old has suffered extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of the brain, doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said in a news conference Thursday.

Also known as persistent vegetative state, the syndrome’s symptoms include no voluntary movement or awareness of surroundings. Warmbier opens his eyes and blinks spontaneously but shows no signs of understanding language or responding to verbal commands, said Dr. Daniel Kanter, professor of neurology and director of the Neurocritical Care Program.

The news shed light on the Warmbier family’s statement that their son suffered severe brain damage at some point in his 17 months of detention.

His parents said they learned of their son’s condition — what North Korea called a coma — only last week.

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On HuffPo, La Sha posted this humanitarian response.

[Otto Warmbier is a] young white man who went to an Asian country and violated their laws, and learned that the shield his cis white male identity provides here in America is not teflon abroad.

As shocked as I am by the sentence handed down to Warmbier, I am even more shocked that a grown man, an American citizen, would not only voluntarily enter North Korea but also commit what’s been described a “college-style prank.” That kind of reckless gall is an unfortunate side effect of being socialized first as a white boy, and then as a white man in this country. Every economic, academic, legal and social system in this country has for more than three centuries functioned with the implicit purpose of ensuring that white men are the primary benefactors of all privilege. The kind of arrogance bred by that kind of conditioning is pathogenic, causing its host to develop a subconscious yet no less obnoxious perception that the rules do not apply to him, or at least that their application is negotiable.

Headline after headline has highlighted that Otto Warmbier is a student. His LinkedIn profile states that he is majoring Economics with a minor in Global Sustainability and is a Managing Director of an “alternative investment fund.” A man reared in this country who studies the globe as a part of his higher education curriculum must have been at least passingly aware of the notoriously strained relationship between the United States and North Korea. Surely he had read the stories of Jeffrey Fowle and Matthew Miller, other white American men arrested in North Korea for “petty crimes” who were subsequently sentenced to hard labor.

Yeah, I’m willing to bet my last dollar that he was aware of the political climate in that country, but privilege is a hell of a drug. The high of privilege told him that North Korea’s history of making examples out of American citizens who dare challenge their rigid legal system in any way was no match for his alabaster American privilege. When you can watch a white man who entered a theatre and killed a dozen people come out unscathed, you start to believe you’re invincible. When you see a white man taken to Burger King in a bulletproof vest after he killed nine people in a church, you learn that the world will always protect you.

Coming from a country filled with citizens who lambaste black victims of state sanctioned violence by telling us that if we obey the law, we wouldn’t have to face the consequences, Warmbier should’ve listened. If he had obeyed North Korea’s laws, he would be home now. In fact, if he had heeded the U.S. Department of State’s strong advisement against travel to North Korea, he would be home right now. And if Eric Garner is to be blamed for his own death for selling loose cigarettes or if Sandra Bland is dead because she failed to signal when changing lanes, then Otto Warmbier is now facing a decade and a half of hard labor because he lacked both good judgment and respect for the national autonomy of a country which has made its hatred for and vendetta against America unequivocally clear.

And while I don’t blame his parents for pressuring the State Department to negotiate his release, I wonder where they were when their son was planning a trip to the DPRK. Didn’t they impress upon him the hostile climate that awaited him? Didn’t they rear him to respect law and order? Did they not teach him the importance of obeying authority?

What a mind-blowing moment it must be to realize after 21 years of being pedestaled by the world simply because your DNA coding produced the favorable phenotype that such favor is not absolute. What a bummer to realize that even the State Department with all its influence and power cannot assure your pardon. What a wake-up call it is to realize that your tears are met with indifference.

As I’ve said, living 15 years performing manual labor in North Korea is unimaginable, but so is going to a place I know I’m unwelcome and violating their laws. I’m a black woman though. The hopeless fear Warmbier is now experiencing is my daily reality living in a country where white men like him are willfully oblivious to my suffering even as they are complicit in maintaining the power structures which ensure their supremacy at my expense. He is now an outsider at the mercy of a government unfazed by his cries for help. I get it.


La Sha

It’s always a bit astonishing for a normally sane person to discover just how vehemently racist some African Americans are, and a bit appalling as well to catch a glimpse of the lurid and extravagant thought world of self-indulgent paranoid fantasy that many of them inhabit.

And it is obviously a very bad thing that so many people make a habit of seeking self-gratification by wallowing in delusions of persecution and projecting vicious prejudices onto everyone unlike themselves, but the kind of people guilty of this sort of thing, at least, have the excuse of being enabled and encouraged by a kind of pathological group think. I don’t see though how anyone can excuse the editors at places like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and Huffington Post who routinely publish these kind of hydrophobic ravings, treating them as some kind of legitimate editorial perspective,

17 Jun 2017

Too Much For HuffPo (At Least in the Context of the Alexandria Shootings…)

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Washington Times:

An op-ed posted June 11 by Huffington Post contributor Jason Fuller was pulled by the website after Wednesday’s attack on congressional Republicans.

“Impeachment Is No Longer Enough; Donald Trump Must Face Justice,” a call for the prosecution and execution of the president, was published just three days before 66-year-old gunman James Hodgkinson shot Rep. Steve Scalise and three others on an Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field. A reporter for The Daily Caller noticed the deletion late Wednesday and found a cached version still available.

“Trump’s impeachment and removal from office are no longer enough,” the HuffPo contributor wrote. “Draining the swamp means not only ejecting Trump from the presidency, but also bringing himself and everyone assisting in his agenda up on charges of treason. They must be convicted (there is little room to doubt their guilt). And then —  upon receiving guilty verdicts  —  they must all be executed under the law. Anything less than capital punishment  — or at least life imprisonment without parole in a maximum security detention facility  — would send yet another message to the world that America has lost its moral compass.”

The writer then asserted that Republican leadership should face the same fate.

“Nothing would do more than to convict them of the highest offense defined by our Constitution, and then to deliver the ultimate punishment. Donald Trump deserves nothing less,” the author wrote. “Mitch McConnell, Steve Bannon, and Paul Ryan should also share Donald Trump’s fate, for they have done more than practically anyone to protect him and to throw our country under the proverbial bus. In order to survive, we as a nation must deliver the ultimate punishment under the law to all involved in its current destruction.”

Jason Fuller was mendacious, but not repentant, in the aftermath of the removal of his posting. Medium

04 Jun 2017

Liberals Respond to Muslim Attacks

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Ed Straker collects classic examples of liberal explanations for, and solutions to, the problem of jihadist attacks on unarmed civilians in London.

When Muslims kill people “in the name of Allah,” how do liberals react? We know they don’t equate the terrorist act with the Islamic religion. So what do they say? Because it is important to know how liberals think, I have donned a hazmat suit and dived deeply into the comments section of the HuffPo and the WaPo to enlighten you.

    Pat Dayton Neff • Knightdale, North Carolina

    Another sad chapter in our current world history. What will it take for all of us to realize all life is important

All of us? We can see the creeping moral equivalence here. Are there also Christians and Buddhists going around running people down in cars and stabbing them?

    Stephen Haydel • Senior Software Engineer at Self Employed – Independent Contractor

    Hate breads Violence.

Is it hate that really “breads” violence? Or is it more specifically Islamic terrorism? It is curious how Mr. Haydel generalizes the causes of violence while relying on pastries to explain the issue.

    Zanna T Laws • City of London Polytechnic

    I suspect it is not even terrorism anymore – simply unevolved males leaping at the chance to be randomly violent.

It’s not Islam, it’s men’s fault! Do you think Zanna is an “evolved” female? If so, does that mean she pays for her own abortions?

    Sharon Perkins

    Joblessness leads to dispair anger and fatalism….the economic imbalances – pervasive world wide – are boiling over into the lives of the everyday person. Until the elite 1-percent) and their heirs are also targetted global economics will be managed without regard to our everyday lives.

The unemployed are doing the killing! Except they are not unemployed. But Sharon Perkins prefers to blame the “one percent” when Muslims come a knockin.’

    Yuseff Hilton

    Simple put, anywhere there is a heavy flow of pedestrian traffic needs to havw barrier erected between the road and the sidewalk, it will mitigate this sort of attack, and reduce Jay-walking.

I think Yuseff is onto something. All we need are concrete barriers on every road in London, and such attacks will never occur again. Except outside of London. And excluding knife and bomb attacks. I guess it’s a lot easier to put barriers on every road than to consider the source of these attacks, isn’t it?

    Pilar Navarro

    And how many people die from gun violence in America every day? Oops! Thats not terrorism, its gun rights for a few privileged

Ooops! I think Pilar went a little off topic. Guns didn’t kill anyone. Muslims did. How Pilar makes the jump from Muslims killing people with knives, to the right to own a firearm is unknown.

    Brian Dodge • Michigan State University

    I wonder if the xenophobic Brexit vote has increased the antipathy felt by terrorists leaning nuts – more people feel they have nothing to lose?

When the British voted to leave the EU, they only made Muslims madder!

    Dennis Umphrey

    Criminals will always commit crimes, the ISIS criminals just use Islam as a excuse to carry out those crimes, true Muslims would not take another life, but then again they have become to terror rock stars because of the Islamophobia to scare the Republican voters into voting for Republican candidates to keep them safe

1) Islamists kill British people. Therefore,

2) Liberals blame Islamophobia.

    Rick Shaw • Sydney, Australia

    It’s time England banned Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other social media used by terrorists to radicalise young muslims.

Rick is right; the problem is Facebook and Twitter, not Islam.

    sdc512

    No nation is more responsible for the export of the type of fundamentalism that underlies Islamist extremism than Saudi Arabia. If all of us who decry radical Islamist terrorism would lessen our dependency on oil, we could accomplish more to end that fundamentalist regime, and thereby terrorism, than anything else we could do.

I knew somehow, somewhere, someone would find a way to blame us for terrorism. It’s because we buy oil from Arab countries! That justifies terrorism, in this person’s “mind.”

    AdrianMole

    Trump wastes no time trying to exploit this in order to push his disgusting travel ban. A real president would have confined himself, for now, to expressing concern for the victims.

Trump is to blame! I knew it!

RTWT

15 May 2017

“Trump is an Embarrassment to Statism”

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Jeffrey A. Tucker explains exactly why Donald Trump is driving liberals batty.

This frenzy even has a name: Trump Derangement Syndrome. It is an identifying state of mind. It has particular symptoms.

To be sure, I read these pieces and don’t entirely disagree with the particulars of the analysis. In none of our lifetimes have we seen anything like this. The stodgy, serious, protocol-driven attempt to bring high dignity to this office has been a main concern of government. When it came out that Bill Clinton was using his power and office for private pleasures, it rattled the establishment, not because of his sins but because his behavior elicited ridicule from the public. …

But there is something off about this center-left tendency. These commentators are driven to wild apoplexy by Trump, but not for the reasons I would normally cite. I don’t like his trade theories, his views on immigration, his shabby understanding of the problem with American health insurance, his ramping up of the police state, or his foreign policy. I was calling him out on all of this as early as July 2015.

Their complaints are contradictory. They, on the other hand, seem to object to the very existence of Trump, his every utterance, his actions no matter what they are, and everything related to this new administration.

Their complaints are contradictory. He is terrible because he is doing terrible things! He is terrible because he is not really doing anything! This presidency is destroying the world! This presidency is all sound and fury and nothing else!

It finally struck me why. For this crowd, all their hopes and dreams are bound up with particular political processes, outcomes, and institutions. The state is their favorite tool for all the good they aspire to do in this world. It must be protected, guarded, defended, celebrated. The illusion that the government is not a taker but a giver and the source of all good things must be maintained. The gloss of the democratic process must be constantly refurbished so that the essential sanctity of the public sector can be constantly cited as the highest calling.

The center-left has at least one hundred years of work and resources invested in the state’s health, well being, reputation, and exalted moral status. Nothing must be allowed to threaten it or take it down a peg or two. Any failures must be deemed as temporary setbacks. The slightest sign of some success must be trumpeted constantly. The population must be subjected to unrelenting homilies on the essential holiness of the public sector.

Their education told them this. Their degrees and ruling-class pedigree were hard earned. This is what has inspired them. They believe so strongly that they can make the world a better place through the managerial state that it has become their religion. It’s their very core!

Above all else, the president is supposed to represent. His duty is to reflect and broadcast this sensibility.

Writing in 1944, Ludwig von Mises wrote that the debate over the future of freedom is not only about beating back socialism, communism, fascism, interventionism, and so on. There is broader discussion to be had. The core problem is the ideology of statism, a word he took from the French term etatism. It identified a view that the state should always and in everything be the central power, organizing principle, and spiritual core of any society. It must be the final judge, the final arbiter, the center of our loyalties, the one indispensable institution because it alone is deserving of our highest devotion and ideal. It must be forever built, larger and larger, taking on ever more responsibility and taking ever more money and power from the rest of us.

The president is supposed to at least pretend to be the high priest of the statist religion. That’s his job, according to this outlook.

Everything seemed to being going so well under the Obama administration, which was so earnest, so decorous, so civil. He was funny, smart, respectful of process, and sincere in his pronouncements. He ran on hope and change but governed as the person who kept hope for a new freedom and any radical change at bay.

Trump has profoundly disturbed the balance. He overthrew the respective establishments of two parties, tore right into the legitimacy of the national press, humiliated every expert who predicted his demise, and is now stumbling around Washington like a bum in a jewelry store. He is not actually cutting back on the size of the state; he is doing something even more terrifying from the center-left point of view: he is ruining the mystery of the state, and thereby discrediting their holy institutions.

After the election, I wrote that this might be our 1989. What I meant is that major aspects of what we always thought would be true were suddenly not true any more. New possibilities have opened up. An older establishment has been discredited if not overthrown. What comes next is another matter.

Trump is not a liberator in any sense. His temperament suggests the opposite. It was he who famously said in the campaign: “The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony.” Moreover, and in many ways, the deep state has regrouped and bitten back to avoid losing power and influence in Washington.

Even so, he is everything that the center-left fears most, a person who works, despite himself, to discredit the thing they love the most. He has demoralized them beyond consoling. Now we are seeing talk of impeachment. This seems to be some people’s last hope for saving the old faith.

29 Apr 2017

Yale Snowflakes Confront Administration With Symbolic Hunger Strike

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The Free Beacon explains to the confused that a “Symbolic Hunger Strike” is a Hunger Strike in which the activist striker is allowed to take time out of Hunger Striking and get a bite to eat while a replacement striker fills in for him on the hunger line.

A group of Yale University graduate students announced Tuesday evening that they would be undertaking a hunger strike to pressure the administration into granting them better union benefits. The strike is taking place in front of University President Peter Salovey’s home.

“Yale wants to make us wait and wait and wait … until we give up and go away,” the eight members of the graduate student union Local 33 announced. “We have committed ourselves to waiting without eating.”

Yale doctoral students currently earn a stipend $30,000 a year, receive free health care, and have their $40,000 tuition paid in full, according to Yale News. The university administration said in a statement that they understood the students concerns, but “strongly [urge] that students not put their health at risk or encourage others to do so.”

As it turns out, the hunger strike might not put anyone’s health in peril. According to a pamphlet posted on Twitter by a former Yale student, the hunger strike is “symbolic” and protesters can leave and get food when they can no longer go on.

RTWT

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UPDATE:

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

25 Apr 2017

Civil War Skirmishing in South Burlington, Vermont

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Ethan Allen (a rebel) demands the surrender of Fort Ticonderoga, “In the Name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!”

It’s easier to understand why South Carolina and other Southern States desired to secede and get away from ideologically-crazed crybully left-wing Abolitionists. The Civil War has been over for more than a century and a half. The North won. Slavery was abolished. The South was invaded, burned, conquered, occupied and forcibly Reconstructed.

The Secessionists are dead, ask a college student about the Battle of Gettysburg and he’ll say: Huh? but today, the Left has resumed fighting. Monuments to Southern heroes are being removed, the Confederate Battle Flag (now, really just an amorphous symbol of undefined Southern geography, Redneck identity, or unfocused rebelliousness) is being outlawed, and even the high school in South Burlington, Vermont, land of Bernie Sanders, has become a New Civil War battleground.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

In 1961, when education leaders in South Burlington decided that a newly built high school should be nicknamed the Rebels, nobody batted an eyelash. After all, this community was founded when it split from greater Burlington about 150 years ago.

Yet this city on the shores of Lake Champlain has never seen anything quite like the current revolt under way. Three months ago, the Board of School Directors decided the Rebels moniker had offensive connotations and, therefore, needed to go.

Those Vermonters who didn’t agree with the decision reacted like, well, Vermonters.

“I don’t think constantly caving in to political correctness is appropriate in this day and age,” says Linus Leavens, a 1972 South Burlington High School graduate and the father of a student there. “I think a lot of America feels that way; there was an election recently that showed that.”

In the opinion of Mr. Leavens, a gallery manager for a fine-arts auctioneer, “Vermont has been full of rebels for a long time.”

To protest the decision, local opponents have twice helped vote down the nearly $50 million school district budget. Signs saying, “Be a Rebel. Vote No” dotted yards. Plans for a third vote on the budget are in the works.

“I can’t remember anything that has caused this much emotion and division.” says Diane Bugbee, 52 years old. She has a son who is a senior at South Burlington High and backs a new school nickname. Rebels, she says, has too much baggage: “There are just some things that can’t be rebranded.”

17 Apr 2017

HuffPo Removed Column Urging White Men Be Disenfranchised

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“Shelley Garland” — Not a real person

Not surprisingly, the recent HuffPo South Africa editorial calling for white men to be denied the vote was pulled, Milo Yiannopoulos reports, apparently because HuffPo finally figured out that Google turned up no such person and the alleged photo of “Shelley Garland” didn’t look like a real human being at all.

The Huffington Post has retracted a column suggesting white men should not be allowed to vote, claiming the piece’s author “appears not to exist.”

…[T]he original article (archived here), titled “Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?” was credited to a HuffPo contributor by the name of Shelley Garland.

Garland’s profile – which has since been deleted – described her as an “activist and feminist” who is “working on ways to smash the patriarchy.”

Her article suggested denying “toxic white males” the right to vote for 20 to 30 years as a means of “seeing a decline in the influence of reactionary and neo-liberal ideology in the world.”

Describing the article as “extremely sexist and racist,” Breitbart’s Oliver JJ Lane states that it quickly received backlash from several people. …

Huffington Post SA [South Africa] has removed the blog ‘Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?’ published on our site on April 13, 2017,” it reads.

“We have done this because the blog submission from an individual who called herself Shelley Garland, who claimed to be an MA student at UCT, cannot be traced and appears not to exist.”

The statement goes on to declare that the Huffington Post has now “strengthened” its standards related to identification.

HuffPo goes on to state that it will be submitting the problematic article to an ombudsman for analysis of its opinion.

The statement also includes an excerpt from the South Africa Press Code decrying the use of “discrimination and hate speech,” although the Huffington Post’s statement does not explicitly describe the problematic article as such.

“We apologise [sic] for the oversight,” the statement concludes. “We welcome further discussion. Please email blogs@huffpostsa.com.”

This retraction comes following Huffington Post South Africa’s Editor In Chief Verashni Pillay actually defended the article’s place on the site.


Verashni Pillay, Huffington Post South Africa’s Editor In Chief

Pillay stated, “we hope, as reads continue to rack up on this blog, that those who are tempted to fire off an angry email to us would first engage with the underlying analysis in Garland’s blog.”

Pillay also declared that “Garland’s underlying analysis about the uneven distribution of wealth and power in the world is pretty standard for feminist theory.”

Despite SA HuffPo’s Editor-in-Chief’s agreement with the editorial’s thesis, my own guess is that the editorial was written by some Alt-Right troll to pull HuffPo’s chain.

17 Apr 2017

Would “They” Go There?

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The Wall Street Journal reports that the Brown Admissions Office has lost its marbles.

Brown University in Providence, R.I. houses one of the country’s most selective undergraduate colleges. The Brown Daily Herald, a student-run newspaper, cites Dean of Admission Logan Powell in reporting that the school received a record-high 32,724 applications this year, and admitted just 8.3% of applicants.

Among those lucky few is the daughter of a Journal reader who is still trying to make sense of a letter the family received this week from Mr. Powell. Our reader’s bright daughter had already received news of her acceptance when a letter arrived that was addressed to her “Parent/Guardian.”

Oddly, the note referred to the accepted student not as “she” but as “they.” Dean Powell’s letter also stated that our reader’s daughter had no doubt worked hard and made positive contributions to “their” school and community. Our reader reports that his perplexed family initially thought that Brown had made a word-processing error. That was before they listened to a voice mail message from the school congratulating his daughter and referring to her as “them.”…

It turns out that the errors were intentional. Brown spokesman Brian Clark writes in an email that “our admission office typically refers to applicants either by first name or by using ‘they/their’ pronouns. While the grammatical construction may read as unfamiliar to some, it has been adopted by many newsrooms and other organizations as a gender-inclusive option.”

RTWT

15 Apr 2017

Clemson: Expecting Punctuality is Racist

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The Daily Wire reports that one university is now teaching people that expecting punctuality in the workplace is racist.

According to diversity training materials being disseminated at publicly-funded Clemson University, expecting people from other cultures to show up on time is racist.

Yup, racist.

The university spent nearly $27,000 on diversity training materials from a company called Workplace Answers. …

One of the online slides depicted two groups, which included foreign professors and students, showing up to a scheduled event at 9 a.m.; one group came 15 minutes early and the other came 10 minutes late. The slide made the assertion that it would not be the inclusive thing to do to chastise the group that was late, since people must “recognize cultural differences that may impact the meeting and adjust accordingly.”

The Daily Caller reports:

    One slide features a guy named Alejandro who plans a meeting between two groups. Each group contains foreign professors and students. One group shows up 15 minutes early. The second group shows up 10 minutes late.

    A question-and-answer section then instructs Clemson’s professors that Alejandro would be insufficiently “inclusive” if he were to “politely ask the second group to apologize.” Alejandro would also be wrong to advise the straggling, late people who aren’t respecting everyone else’s time that “in our country, 9:00 a.m. means 9:00 a.m.”

    The “inclusive” thing for Alejandro to do, the taxpayer-funded diversity materials instruct Clemson professors, is to “recognize cultural differences that may impact the meeting and adjust accordingly.” Alejandro must understand “that his cultural perspective regarding time is neither more nor less valid than any other.”

In other words, some foreigners are incapable of being on time and Americans need to shut up and accept it in the name of diversity, or something. Of course, such low expectations of those from other cultures is truly infantilizing stuff, but this is how the Left views any minority group.

These ingenuous and expensive slides were reportedly approved by Clemson Chief Diversity Officer Lee Gill. It’s unclear what a “chief diversity officer” actually does, but Gill apparently gets paid big bucks for the position, raking in over $185,000 in tax-payer funds annually.

RTWT

15 Apr 2017

Alleged South African Grad Student Proposes Disenfranchising White Men

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“Shelley Garland” looks like a transgender specimen to me.

The South African edition of Huffington Post recently featured an interesting editorial proposal offering a glimpse of just where the radical left will be going in the future internationally.

Some of the biggest blows to the progressive cause in the past year have often been due to the votes of white men. If white men were not allowed to vote, it is unlikely that the United Kingdom would be leaving the European Union, it is unlikely that Donald Trump would now be the President of the United States, and it is unlikely that the Democratic Alliance would now be governing four of South Africa’s biggest cities.

If white men no longer had the vote, the progressive cause would be strengthened. It would not be necessary to deny white men indefinitely – the denial of the vote to white men for 20 years (just less than a generation) would go some way to seeing a decline in the influence of reactionary and neo-liberal ideology in the world. The influence of reckless white males were one of the primary reasons that led to the Great Recession which began in 2008. This would also strike a blow against toxic white masculinity, one that is long needed.

At the same time, a denial of the franchise to white men, could see a redistribution of global assets to their rightful owners. After all, white men have used the imposition of Western legal systems around the world to reinforce modern capitalism. A period of twenty years without white men in the world’s parliaments and voting booths will allow legislation to be passed which could see the world’s wealth far more equitably shared. The violence of white male wealth and income inequality will be a thing of the past.

This redistribution of the world’s wealth is long overdue, and it is not just South Africa where white males own a disproportionate amount of wealth. While in South Africa 90 percent of the country’s land is in the hands of whites (it is safe to assume these are mainly men), along with 97 percent of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, this is also the norm in the rest of the world. Namibia has similar statistics with regard to land distribution and one can assume this holds for other assets too. As Oxfam notes eight men control as much as wealth as the poorest 50 percent of the world’s population. In the United States ten percent of the population (nearly all white) own 90 percent of all assets – it is likely that these assets are largely in the hands of males. Although statistics by race are difficult to find from other parts of the world, it is very likely that the majority of the world’s assets are in the hands of white males, despite them making up less than 10 percent of the world’s population.

It is obvious that this violent status quo will not change without a struggle, and the only way to do so will be through the expropriation of these various assets and equitably distribute them to those who need them. This will not only make the world a more equitable place, but will also go some way to paying the debt that white males owe the world. Over the past 500 years colonialism, slavery, and various aggressive wars and genocides, have been due to the actions of white men. Redistributing some of their assets will go some way to paying the historical debt that they owe society.

It is no surprise that liberalism – and its ideological offshoots of conservatism and libertarianism – are the most popular ideologies among white males. These ideologies with their focus on individuals and individual responsibility, rather than group affiliation, allow white men to ignore the debt that they owe society, and from acknowledging that most of their assets, wealth, and privilege are the result of theft and violence.

Some may argue that this is unfair. Let’s be clear, it may be unfair, but a moratorium on the franchise for white males for a period of between 20 and 30 years is a small price to pay for the pain inflicted by white males on others, particularly those with black, female-identifying bodies. In addition, white men should not be stripped of their other rights, and this withholding of the franchise should only be a temporary measure, as the world rights the wrongs of the past.

A withholding of the franchise from white males, along with the passing of legislation in this period to redistribute some of their assets, will also, to a degree, act as the reparations for slavery, colonialism, and apartheid, which the world is crying out for to be paid.

RTWT if you can stand it.

11 Apr 2017

Face It, The Red Gods Hate Minorities

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Writing in Everyday Feminism, “Raging Bisexual” Emily Zak explains that Googles and Yahoos do not recreate themselves in the out-of-doors as much as white folks, and it’s all your fault!

Ambreen Tariq runs Brown People Camping, an Instagram account that promotes diversity in public lands. She says she can feel like an outsider hiking and camping as a Muslim woman of color and immigrant.

“I felt like I had to establish myself – ‘Yeah, I’m a camper, I’m a hiker’ – that other people don’t do as much because they don’t have to question their belonging in that space,” Tariq tells Outside.

“Not only did I not have an authentic background doing activities in the outdoors, but my family didn’t do it, and I don’t have the legacy of being connected to a piece of land because we were always moving.”

We need to acknowledge outdoor recreation’s lack of diversity and inclusion.

Without understanding what’s keeping folks home, we blame oppressed individuals for “not taking initiative,” rather than addressing what may be preventing them from participating in certain activities.

To encourage people to take their own adventures, we might say well-meaning things like, “Anybody can do this if they’re motivated enough.”

This can be inspirational to someone who has the resources and leisurely time to explore the outdoors and needs a kick in the butt to do so. However, the message can be draining for folks who are raring to explore, but can’t.

We forget that society’s hierarchies of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, body size, and economic class don’t magically disappear in the forest. We deny that society actively discourages millions from playing outside, possibly stopping budding conservation activists.

As Tariq notes, “The more of us who can connect to it, the more we can protect it together.”

Here are a few barriers that marginalize people have to overcome to experience nature.

1. You Need Equipment

Our society treats nature as something we can enjoy independent of capitalism.

Theoretically, we go there to escape, and all we need are some sturdy shoes and maybe a sleeping bag.

The reality is more complicated. In the United States, outdoor recreation is a $646 billion industry. Open the pages of outdoor magazines, and you’ll find $150 trail running shoes, $500 tents and $4,000 mountain bikes.

We’ve created a culture of elitism around the outdoors, led by wealthy gear heads.

The Minnesota Land Trust’s Hansi Johnson, who’s white, recalls how he used to see people wearing jeans and flannel cross-country skiing growing up – a rare sight today.

Even if folks push past mainstream narratives and seek more affordable gear, cost is still a factor for low-income people.

If deals on used equipment or borrowing from a friend aren’t feasible in someone’s area, gear for a no-frills camping trip can still cost $500. Forget the cost of a car and gas to get to the campsite.

While do-it-yourself fixes for gear do exist – anybody else try cooking on a beer can camp stove? – they’re not universally known outside of backpacking circles. Ditto on cheap gear websites.

Those who make outdoor activities cheap often have a support system behind them.

As a freelancer with a college education, I’m perpetually broke, not poor. I couldn’t camp comfortably if I didn’t have the gear my parents gifted me back in high school.

No wonder 40% of participants in outdoor activities make $75,000-plus salaries a year.

The paradox that being poor is expensive is true: If you want to participate in a no-cost outdoor activity, you need to have money to invest in the gear initially.

This system reveals deeply entrenched classism. Ignoring it isn’t going to make it go away.

2. Outdoor Gear Doesn’t Fit Everyone

Cost is just one hurdle. Outdoor gear needs to fit.

Fitness culture overall reeks of fat-shaming, for one, which is reflected in workout clothing offerings.

Ultra-marathoner and cross-country coach Mirna Valerio says on Fat Girl Running that she struggles to find functional, flattering outfits that don’t pinch or cost a lot. In fact, most sportswear goes up to just a size twelve.

For those who’d prefer cycling: Only last year did anyone think to build a bike for someone who’s heavier than 300 pounds.

As with disability access, if the equipment isn’t readily available, people aren’t as likely to think that the outdoors are theirs to explore.

If we truly believe that everyone should be outside, we need to hold companies accountable for their limited views on body size.

3. Access to Natural Spaces Is Tangled in Historic Privilege and Oppression

In principle, public lands belong to all of us. In reality, select people get to enjoy it.

Carolyn Finney, geographer and author of Black Faces, White Spaces, explains about how national parks contribute to a larger story about who we are as a country, which historically excludes Black folks.

On Tavis Smiley, a PBS show hosted by Tavis Smiley, Finney reminds us that people of color do have a connection to natural spaces, but some of that land was stolen from them:

    ” …whether it’s the 400,000 acres of land that were originally given to freed enslaved Africans and then taken away, whether it’s all the native people that had to be removed from land in order for the Homestead Act to make sense, and then give it to European immigrants so that they could have their own plot of land.”

Finney continues, “This is part of the legacy of who we are and our issues of land and ownership and connection.”

Today, 80% of communities of color live “in areas where the proportion of remaining natural area is lower than the state average.” According to a study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, low-income neighborhoods are four and a half times less likely to have recreation facilities like parks in some states.

Furthermore, what we consider “untouched wilderness” is anything but.

As Kimberly Fanshier notes for Everyday Feminism, this concept centers around white people’s perspective and erases Indigenous populations who lived there for centuries before.

Many national parks and public lands were built on colonized lands. Even US National Parks reflect colonialism, where white leaders ignored Indigenous people in the area to establish.

Our society leverages natural spaces as a tool for capitalism and colonialism, while at the same time touted them as apolitical, free, and pure.

It goes on.

Personally I thought urban minorities do a pretty good job of stealing other people’s bicycles, so why wouldn’t they be adequately equipped for mountain biking?

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