Category Archive 'Identity Politics'

22 Sep 2018

NYRB Editor Forced Out By Social Media Mob

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Ian Buruma

Ian Buruma, the 66-year-old Dutch-born writer and only the third editor in the history of the New York Review of Books, was forced to resign this week.

His crime? Buruma published a self-pitying essay by Jian Ghomeshi, a Canadian musician, writer, and talk show host of Iranian descent, who lost his job in 2014 when an ex-girlfriend accused him of non-consensual rough sex.

Buruma was quickly mobbed on social media where critics complained about the absence of fact-checking (NYRB employs no fact checkers), pointing out that, even though Ghomeshi was acquitted in court, a large number of women had come forward to accuse him of similar bad behavior and that one case was dropped on the condition that he apologize and post a peace bond promising to avoid future misbehavior.

Buruma told Slate:

    I’m no judge of the rights and wrongs of every allegation. How can I be? All I know is that in a court of law he was acquitted, and there is no proof he committed a crime. The exact nature of his behaviour — how much consent was involved — I have no idea, nor is it really my concern. My concern is what happens to somebody who has not been found guilty in any criminal sense but who perhaps deserves social opprobrium, but how long should that last, what form it should take, etc.

In the end, Buruma chose to fall upon his sword for the good of the publication when university publishers, whose advertising was vital to NYRB, began talking about a boycott.

Toby Young, at Spectator USA, notes the left’s insanity, but seems to blame it on their 2016 defeat.

My own theory is that a small minority on the identitarian Left have used various Maoist tactics, including public shaming on social media, to persuade people that their doctrinaire positions on #MeToo allegations and a range of other issues … are much more ubiquitous than they really are, thereby stifling dissent. …

Who knows how long this paranoid atmosphere will continue. America seems to go through periodic bouts of hysterical puritanism, which partly accounts for the enduring appeal of The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s play about the Salem Witch Trials. I think it largely depends on what happens in the mid-terms. If the Democrats emerge the victors, Trump Derangement Syndrome will start to fade and reason may creep back into America’s liberal institutions. But if the Republicans win the day, the Democrats will likely descend into civil war and the identitarian Left may capture the Party, just as it’s captured the UK’s Labour Party. If that happens, don’t expect this hysteria to die down any time soon.

I don’t think the left’s appetite for blood is the result of losing. I think it comes from too much winning. The radical left flagrantly abuses the power it enjoys due to the cowardly spinelessness of the liberal establishment because it can. The more the American institutional establishment grovels to its demands the more extravagant those demands are going to get. Leftist Reigns of Terror do not stop because the Left side won an election. They only stop after the Revolution is done devouring its own.

02 May 2018

One Prom Dress and the Left’s Insane Identity Politics

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Keziah Daum wore this quite becoming Cheongsam dress to her Utah High School Prom, and proudly tweeted some photos. And why not?

But the dress offended SJW Jeremy Lam, who reprovingly tweeted:

Note: 41,958 retweets — 178,771 likes !

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Iowahawk observed sharply in reply:

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And the editorials are still flying, days later. David French is perfectly correct.

As you survey pop culture, the academy, and American corporations, which side has the upper hand? Which side is defining American discourse? America’s most prominent culture-makers obsess over identity. They elevate prom dress choices to matters of national debate. And that’s why people who still possess a sense of reason, proportion, and manners (on both sides of the political aisle) need to push back. Reason can’t cede the public square to rage. Sometimes a prom dress is just a prom dress. But Lam’s tweet wasn’t “just” a tweet. It was a symbol of the incoherent anger that is tearing this nation apart.

25 Apr 2018

J.K. Rowling is a TERF!

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Tranny Phaylen Fairchild has not actually even read the Harry Potter books, but he/she/it somehow knows what they are really all about.

[T]he world of Harry Potter parallels our own. You have those bad guys with power and prestige versus the underdogs, those whose freedoms and civil rights are at risk. In every form and fashion, Harry Potter is an allegory, and perhaps more relevant today than when it was published two decades ago. There is a reason that many Harry potter fans identify as LGBT… it is one of the few pieces of literary fiction that provides us access and underscores the emotional and psychological trials of being an undesirable, an outcast.

And he/she/it is on top of every minute expression of opinion on Rowling’s part relevant to his/her/its politics of identity, and it seems that J.K. Rowling, more than once, indulged in politically-unbecoming female solidarity, “liking” some tweets on Twitter denying that real femininity can be achieved through personal choice in defiance of biological reality.

Oh, my god!

I do know who Rowling is, though, and I admired her as an artist; As a purveyor of all things good; A proverbial speck of light in an encroaching political darkness that she could have very well written about. As a writer myself, she was a beacon of hope. As a Trans person, I admired her decision to use her platform to reach across the boundaries of the Have and Have-Nots and provide us a line of defense that’s not typical of celebrities. Most are terrified of ruffling feathers or polarizing their fan base. I believed that Rowling had a distinct appreciation for the struggles we face here on the ground, and when she spoke it was not simple word-candy, but from an authentic place. Rowling had once been down here with rest of us who do the doggy paddle to stay afloat, all the while pleading for acceptance, inclusion and basic survival, lest we are swept away by the current of indifference.

It’s not the first time that someone has exhibited outspoken allegiance with women, people of color and gay men, but felt that embracing the Transgender community was stepping too far outside their comfort zone. We see it in politics all the time. There are those who supported the legalization of gay marriage, but those same people also feel Transgender individuals shouldn’t be allowed in public bathrooms. I didn’t expect to see J.K. Rowling reveal herself to be one of them.

Spokesmen for the writer were soon apologizing and crawfishing, but you know how it is: Hell hath no fury like a Social Justice Warrior with a grievance. And he/she/it is unforgiving and determined to lower the boom, concluding: J.K. Rowling is a “TERF- A Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist.”

It’s fun watching lefties fight.

RTWT

14 Aug 2017

Charlottesville: The Left, not the Alt-Right, Was to Blame

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No police intervention occurred even when black ANTIFA counter-demonstrators used aerosol flame-throwers.

My various left-wing correspondents are all energized by the violence in Charlottesville, and are demanding that those of us on the Right take the blame, apologize, and get busy denouncing all those racists and White Supremacists.

It’s sad to see left-right violence, including pepper spray and baseball bats, on American streets, reminding us all a bit of Weimar Germany. But it was obviously not the Conservative Movement, not even the Alt-Right, that brought about these kinds of poisonous national divisions, that fostered all the chauvinistic identity politics, and that provoked the violence.

Our friends on the Left are demanding that we denounce all the demonstrators protesting the removal of the Lee Statue and that we agree to identify all of them as “White Supremacists” and dismiss their motivations as “racism.” There were clearly some fringe group crazies participating in the demonstrations and some unsavory people were present, but that doesn’t make everyone who demonstrated a Nazi, a Klan member, or a White Supremacist.

I don’t recall any time I have ever heard our friends on the Left denouncing the most extreme communist radicals responsible for violence. Actually, they offer excuses, blame the anger of their radical extremists on America and the rest of us, and when their bomb-building murderers get out of jail, they give them teaching positions at universities.

So, sorry, I have no intention of identifying the generality of demonstrators as White Supremacists. I think they were mostly normal people defending their regional and cultural identity, who had been at last pushed too far, who were finally fed up with being insulted and marginalized.

I don’t think most people there had any connection at all to the crazy person from Ohio who drove his car into the counter-demonstrators or to the zanies carrying Swastika flags. And it seems obvious to me that left-wing local and state government took a partisan role, instructing state and city police to stand aside and let ANTIFA thugs intimidate and rough up the demonstrators trying to defend the monument.

The Left, today, is playing its usual propaganda games, trying to stigmatize and shame the opposition, but I think they fail to understand that they’ve been using the same tactics and techniques too long. The Alt-Right is reading Saul Alinsky, too. Their pet media has lost credibility with much of the country, and a lot of us are just completely tired of having the Left play the Race Card.

16 Jul 2017

“Do Not Cite Research By White Men”

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Carrie Mott

Washington Times:

Two feminist geographers are encouraging their colleagues to be more mindful about citing the research of white males because doing so contributes to “the reproduction of white heteromasculinity of geographical thought and scholarship.”

Writing in “Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography,” Carrie Mott and Daniel Cockayne argue that considering an author’s gender, race or sexuality prior to citation can be an effective “feminist and anti-racist technology of resistance that demonstrates engagement with those authors and voices we want to carry forward.”

The authors point out that whether an academic’s research is cited by his peers has significant implications for promotion, tenure and influence. Therefore, to cite only white men “does a disservice to researchers and writers who are othered by white heteromasculinism.”

The authors define “white heteromasculinism” as “an intersectional system of oppression describing on-going processes that bolster the status of those who are white, male, able-bodied, economically privileged, heterosexual, and cisgendered.”

Academics should practice “conscientious engagement” when citing research, the feminists assert, “as a way to self-consciously draw attention to those whose work is being reproduced.”

04 Dec 2016

Identity

yalemarchofresilience1

Enzo Selvaggi via Phillip Willian DeVous

“Identity politics is a product of individualism, and individualism is a cornerstone of Anglo-Saxon Western civilization. People used to identify with intellectual identities that were conceived in the higher self – they would say they were Christian and Jewish, capitalist and socialist, working class and job creators, nationalists. But now they are identifying with their lower animal functions – LGBT (who they prefer sexually), vegetarians (what they prefer to eat), white and black (colours that we are born into and have no intrinsic value), gender and sex (which genitals they have), millennials and non-millennials (not youthfulness, but ageism), the music genres they listen to. And these accidental identities are shaping their behaviour, their life decisions, their dress, and their relationships. This is the true Fall of man, the fall from the higher self to the lower self, from the mind and the spirit to food, genitals, and worldliness.”

26 Jul 2016

Last Night’s Democrat Convention

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DNC1

Watchdog.org:

The DNC list of “communities” — 14 in all — include African-Americans, Americans with Disabilities, European and Mediterranean Americans, a First Caucus and Faith Caucus, a gay and lesbian caucus and a Latino caucus, a caucus for youth, for seniors and for women.

All-inclusive, right? Of course, as long as you’re, uh, included.

The Pew Research Center — in a poll of 2,373 registered voters this spring — found women, in general, supported President Obama, 53 percent to 40 percent. Among 221 black people — it did not delineate between black men and black women — 95 percent favored Obama. The poll had a margin of error of 2.1 percentage points.

But the inclusion makes an important omission: white men, particularly those of working age, say between 30 and 64.

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Even former-Conservative now-Progressive, turncoat Andrew Sullivan, convention-blogging at New York Magazine, grew uncomfortable early on last night with all the identity-group pandering.

9:15 p.m. A reader is exactly where I am:

    I left the Republican party last week after 20 years of voting for, working for, and giving to its candidates. I forgot why I was for it. I heard nothing about the rule of law, limited government, or free enterprise. It has become a grotesque alternation between ambiguous bigotry and overt bigotry; I wanted nothing to do with it. I almost forgot why I am a conservative.

    Tonight it is all coming rushing back to me. Is there nowhere to go for someone who is pro-immigrant and pro-rule of law? Also, this parade of identity politics is condescending and embarrassing for everyone participating. Why can’t we just treat people like people? It would be nice if the Democrats had some African-Americans, Hispanics, gays, or women speak who did not think that their race/orientation/sex was the only interesting thing about themselves or even the most interesting thing about themselves. Couldn’t they have had a disabled girl who was not so entirely predictably and tediously just another flavor of victim?

    I remain politically homeless.

Me too.

Of course, this did not actually keep Andrew from instantly reversing himself and reaffirming his loyalty to leftism.

But we nonetheless have to back the Clintons this time. The survival of liberal democracy is in the balance.

22 Oct 2012

McGovern and the Politics of Group Identity

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James Taranto, in the Wall Street Journal, defines George McGovern’s contribution to American politics.

One might say McGovern reinvented the Democratic Party by putting identity politics at its center–by encouraging members to think of themselves first in terms of sex or age or skin color (or, later, by sexual orientation). E pluribus, multis.

In the 1973 book “Sexual Suicide,” George Gilder speculated that such an approach “would find its reductio ad absurdum in a President who is an exact ethnic and sexual composite of the American demography–some kind of multiracial hermaphrodite from Kansas City.”

When Gilder wrote that, Barack Obama was 12.

Hat tip to Clarice Feldman.

28 May 2009

Sotomayor’s Identity-Based Justice

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Janós Blaschke, The Goddess Themis, 1786

Justice is conventionally depicted in countless engraved, painted, or sculpted representations displayed at courthouses and in judicial chambers at every administrative level around the European world in the form of the goddess known to the Greeks as Themis, to the Romans as Iustitia. Justice carries a sword and a balance, and is blindfolded.

Themis’ blindfold signifies not her lack of access to reality or to the facts of the cases she is adjudicating, but her indifference to persons or affiliations, her impartiality and objectivity. Themis was not the goddess of justice as an expression of human whim or desire, but of justice in accordance with the divine order.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor, in delivering the Judge Mario G. Olmos Memorial Lecture in 2001 at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, expressed a very different, more contemporary view of justice.

Judge (Miriam) Cedarbaum expresses concern with any analysis of women and presumably again people of color on the bench, which begins and presumably ends with the conclusion that women or minorities are different from men generally. She sees danger in presuming that judging should be gender or anything else based. She rightly points out that the perception of the differences between men and women is what led to many paternalistic laws and to the denial to women of the right to vote because we were described then “as not capable of reasoning or thinking logically” but instead of “acting intuitively.” …

While recognizing the potential effect of individual experiences on perception, Judge Cedarbaum nevertheless believes that judges must transcend their personal sympathies and prejudices and aspire to achieve a greater degree of fairness and integrity based on the reason of law. Although I agree with and attempt to work toward Judge Cedarbaum’s aspiration, I wonder whether achieving that goal is possible in all or even in most cases. And I wonder whether by ignoring our differences as women or men of color we do a disservice both to the law and society. ….

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life. …

[O]ne must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage. …

Each day on the bench I learn something new about the judicial process and about being a professional Latina woman in a world that sometimes looks at me with suspicion. I am reminded each day that I render decisions that affect people concretely and that I owe them constant and complete vigilance in checking my assumptions, presumptions and perspectives and ensuring that to the extent that my limited abilities and capabilities permit me, that I reevaluate them and change as circumstances and cases before me requires. I can and do aspire to be greater than the sum total of my experiences but I accept my limitations. I willingly accept that we who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experience and heritage but attempt, as the Supreme Court suggests, continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate.

There is always a danger embedded in relative morality, but since judging is a series of choices that we must make, that I am forced to make, I hope that I can make them by informing myself on the questions I must not avoid asking and continuously pondering.

In her lecture, Judge Sotomayor acknowledges the existence of an ideal of impartiality, but implicitly rejects the concept of an objective legal or moral order. She additionally denies that human beings are really capable of impartiality and objectivity.

In the place of the Natural Law, which guided the Greeks and Romans and the framers of the United States, Sonia Sotomayer enshrines the left’s identity politics, its narrative of the victimhood of certain groups, its indifference or hostility to others. As a judge, Sotomayor denies the possibility of transcending human partiality and prejudice. Her openly expressed relativism denies that any real distinction between justice and injustice exists in any case.

In place of justice, “as circumstances and cases require,” Sotomayor proposes to substitute personal emotion.

Her cherished personal emotions, of course, amount really to ethnic and gender-based chauvinism combined with carefully cultivated group and class grievances. Instead of believing that judges should strive to emulate the divine, modern liberalism encourages its representatives in the judiciary to sink and become “all too human,” to be their worst, their most self-infatuated and partisan selves rather than to transcend their own prejudices and animosities. The liberal judge does not aspire to be a disinterested servant of the law. The liberal judge proposes to pursue the interests of groups or persons he or she feels to be specially deserving of advocacy and assistance.

Thomas Sowell describes how Judge Sotomayor’s jurisprudence actually works when applied in reality.

Empathy” for particular groups can be reconciled with “equal justice under law” — the motto over the entrance to the Supreme Court — only with smooth words. But not in reality. Obama used those smooth words in introducing Judge Sotomayor but words do not change realities.

Nothing demonstrates the fatal dangers from judicial “empathy” more than Sotomayor’s decision in a 2008 case involving firemen who took an exam for promotion. After the racial mix of those who passed that test turned out to be predominantly white, with only a few blacks and Hispanics, the results were thrown out.

When this action by the local civil service authorities was taken to court and eventually reached the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, Sotomayor did not give the case even the courtesy of a spelling out of the issues. She backed those who threw out the test results. Apparently she didn’t have “empathy” with those predominantly white males who had been cheated out of promotions they had earned.

In judging, better to have Themis than Thersites.

12 Mar 2009

How is Q Different From LGBT Exactly?

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[T]here are more than five sexes and only demotic Greek seems to distinguish among them. The sexual provender that lies to hand is staggering in its variety and its profusion. You would never mistake it for a happy place.
–Lawrence Durrell on Alexandria in Justine (1957).

Heather McDonald
comments on the antics of Yale’s Administration in catering to the demands of its Gay (in all its permutations) constituency and on the ironies of the contemporary approaches to paideia.

In 2007, at the behest of feminist students, Yale added yet another layer of costly bureaucracy-the Sexual Harassment and Assault Resources and Education Center-to its already generous sexual assault infrastructure. I asked physics professor Peter Parker, convenor of the college’s Sexual Harassment Grievance Board and a sponsor of the new S.H.A.R.E. Center, how many sexual assaults on students there were at Yale. He said that he had “no idea.” (In fact, the number of reported unconfirmed assaults can usually be counted on one hand.) So if students came to the administration demanding a malaria treatment center, would Yale build it without first determining the prevalence of malaria on campus? I asked him. “We didn’t make our judgment based on numbers, but based on concern by students in the community,” he answered.

Faced with such a pliant oppressor, students have to get quite creative in manufacturing new causes of grievance. At the opening ceremonies for the new Office of LGBTQ Resources, junior Rachel Schiff, a coordinator for the LGBT Co-op, complained: “The fact that we don’t actually have a physical space says lots about Yale’s stance towards LGBT life on the ground at a metaphorical level.”…

Today’s solipsistic university… allows students to answer the “Who am I?” question exclusively, rather than inclusively. Identity politics defines the self by its difference from as many other people as possible, so as to increase the underdog status of one’s chosen identity group.

Actually, as far back as the early 1980s, I was startled to learn from undergraduates that the Yale Political Union was not allowed to solicit members by advertising in the prematriculation Freshman mailing packet, but Yale’s LGBT organization was.

Clearly, where I went wrong was in failing to demand a special house provided at university expense, and a special curriculum focused on Redneck Polack Deer Hunter (RPDH) studies.

Hat tip to Scott Drum.


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