Category Archive 'Racial Politics'
31 Jul 2019

Mustn’t Clean Those Sidewalks, It’s Racially Insensitive!

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Katherine Timpf, in NR,

RTWT has our daily dose of liberal insanity.

A councilman in Seattle is reportedly opposed to hosing sidewalks that reek of excrement near a local courthouse because he fears that it might be racially insensitive.

No, this is not a joke.

The area surrounding King County Superior Court includes a homeless shelter and other social-services organizations and has become an “unsanitary and potentially frightening” scene — one “that reeks of urine and excrement” — according to an article in the Seattle Times. Desperate for help with the disgusting environment, two of the court’s judges have asked the city to please power-wash the poop-covered sidewalks. That seems like a pretty reasonable request, but apparently, one councilman is worried that doing so might be a form of microaggression.

According to the Times, Councilmember Larry Gossett “said he didn’t like the idea of power-washing the sidewalks because it brought back images of the use of hoses against civil-rights activists.”

21 May 2019

Navy Changing Pilot Call Sign Protocol After Minority Aviators Report Bias

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CNN reports that the Navy is responding with new rules and “diversity and inclusion” counseling after two minority pilots who had been dropped from fighter training for inferior performance complained of Pilot Sign Protocol Bias.

The head of naval aviation has directed the creation of a new process for approving and reviewing pilots’ call signs after two African-American aviators at an F/A-18 Hornet training squadron in Virginia filed complaints alleging racial bias in the unit, from which they said they were unfairly dismissed.

In a formal endorsement letter signed May 13, Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller, commander of Naval Air Forces, said he found the two aviators, a Navy lieutenant and a Marine Corps captain, were correctly removed from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 out of Naval Air Station Oceana due to “substandard performance,” despite errors and inconsistencies discovered in the grading and ranking process.

However, Miller said he did find inappropriate conduct by instructor pilots who did not treat the pilots-in-training “with appropriate dignity and respect,” using discriminatory call signs and having inappropriate and unprofessional discussions about them on social media.

He directed the Chief of Naval Air Training to have all training command and fleet replacement squadrons in the Navy formalize a call sign assignment and review process within 90 days, including appropriate peer board representation for minority and female aviators. And he recommended that multiple officers, including a Navy captain, receive rebukes, counseling or administrative punishment for their role in events substantiated by the investigation.

Miller also ordered that VFA-106 receive training on appropriate use of social media and that the unit bring in a “diversity and inclusion expert” to train the squadron on unconscious bias and stereotype threat. Similar training, he wrote, will also be added to the curriculum for prospective commanding and executive officer courses and commander training symposia.

RTWT

30 Apr 2019

Neo-Segregation at Yale

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A report by the National Association of Scholars, written by Peter W. Wood and Dion J. Pierre.

This study of racial segregation at Yale University is part of a larger project examining neo-segregation in American higher education in the period 1964-2019. During those fifty-five years, many American colleges and universities that initially sought to achieve racial integration found themselves inadvertently on a path to a new form of racial segregation. In the old form of segregation, colleges excluded black students or severely limited the number who were admitted. Similar policies were applied to other minority groups. By contrast, in the new form of segregation (neo-segregation), colleges eagerly recruit black and other minority students, but actively foster campus arrangements that encourage these students to form separate social groups on campus. Manifestations of this policy include racially separate student orientations, racially-identified student centers, racially-identified student counseling, racially-identified academic programs, racially separate student activities, racially-specific political agendas, racially-exclusive graduation ceremonies, and racially-organized alumni groups. In some cases, colleges also encourage racially exclusive student housing.

29 Apr 2019

Latest Black Grievance

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Sarah Lewis is an Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. She is currently finishing her current book project on race and photography under contract with Harvard University Press

“We have a problem. Your jacket is lighter than your face,” the technician said from the back of the one-thousand-person amphitheater-style auditorium. “That’s going to be a problem for lighting.” …

It was an odd comment that reverberated through the auditorium, a statement of the obvious that sounded like an accusation of wrongdoing. Another technician standing next to me stopped adjusting my microphone and jolted in place. The phrase hung in the air, and I laughed to resolve the tension in the room then offered back just the facts:

“Well, everything is lighter than my face. I’m black.”

“Touché,” said the technician organizing the event. She walked toward the lighting booth. My smile dropped upon realizing that perhaps the technician was actually serious. I assessed my clothes — a light beige jacket and black pants worn many times before in similar settings.

As I walked to the greenroom, the executive running the event came over and apologized for what had just occurred, but to me, the exchange was a gift.

My work looks at how the right to be recognized justly in a democracy has been tied to the impact of images and representation in the public realm. It examines how the construction of public pictures limits and enlarges our notion of who counts in American society. It is the subject of my core curriculum class at Harvard University. It also happened to be the subject of my presentation that day. …

What had happened in this exchange? It can be hard to technically [capture] light brown skin against light colors. Yet, instead of seeking a solution, the technician had decided that my body was somehow unsuitable for the stage.

Her comment reminded me of the unconscious bias that was built into photography. By categorizing light skin as the norm and other skin tones as needing special corrective care, photography has altered how we interact with each other without us realizing it.

Photography is not just a system of calibrating light, but a technology of subjective decisions. Light skin became the chemical baseline for film technology, fulfilling the needs of its target dominant market. For example, developing color-film technology initially required what was called a Shirley card. When you sent off your film to get developed, lab technicians would use the image of a white woman with brown hair named Shirley as the measuring stick against which they calibrated the colors. Quality control meant ensuring that Shirley’s face looked good. It has translated into the color-balancing of digital technology. In the mid-1990s, Kodak created a multiracial Shirley Card with three women, one black, one white, and one Asian, and later included a Latina model, in an attempt intended to help camera operators calibrate skin tones. These were not adopted by everyone since they coincided with the rise of digital photography. The result was film emulsion technology that still carried over the social bias of earlier photographic conventions.

It took complaints from corporate furniture and chocolate manufacturers in the 1960s and 1970s for Kodak to start to fix color photography’s bias. Earl Kage, Kodak’s former manager of research and the head of Color Photo Studios, received complaints during this time from chocolate companies saying that they “weren’t getting the right brown tones on the chocolates” in the photographs. Furniture companies also were not getting enough variation between the different color woods in their advertisements. Concordia University professor Lorna Roth’s research shows that Kage had also received complaints before from parents about the quality of graduation photographs — the color contrast made it nearly impossible to capture a diverse group — but it was the chocolate and furniture companies that forced Kodak’s hand. Kage admitted, “It was never black flesh that was addressed as a serious problem at the time.”

13.4% of Americans are of African American descent. Sarah Lewis acknowledges that the manufacturers’ design choices were dictated by the market, but nonetheless ignores the entire absence of intentional bias to base an entire book of complaint about, boo hoo! the racial injustice of it all.

All this is just another case of a spokesperson for Black America identifying the reality of a majority to which it does not belong as an intrinsic injustice and affront.

The reality is, of course, that almost no one in America belongs to the perfect American majoritarian conceptual ideal. Essentially only a tiny minority of Americans of 17th Century New England descent who are rich and who attended an elite boarding school followed by an Ivy League College followed by an equally prestigious professional school, and who successfully pursued a top tier career and belong to all the right clubs is truly a privileged insider.

All the rest of us are some kind of outsider, looking in. Even if you went to Harvard or Yale, chances are that you were born Catholic or Jewish or a member of some declassé Protestant denomination, not in New England, not to a wealthy or professional family, went to public school, and have never acquired membership in the Links, the Brook, or Bohemian Grove. These days, 1579 freshman enter Yale, and only 15 get tapped for Skull and Bones.

Even Travis McGee, tall, handsome, a hero with a houseboat, complains:

I am apart. Always I have seen around me all the games and parades of life and have always envied the players and the marchers. I watch the cards they play and feel in my belly the hollowness as the big drums go by, and I smile and shrug and say, Who needs games? Who wants parades? The world seems to be masses of smiling people who hug each other and sway back and forth in front of a fire and sing old songs and laugh into each other’s faces, all truth and trust.
And I kneel at the edge of the woods, too far to feel the heat of the fire.

Everything seems to come to me in some kind of secondhand way which I cannot describe. Am I not meat and tears, bone and fears, just as they? Yet when the most deeply touched, I seem, too often, to respond with smirk or sneer, another page in my immense catalog of remorses. I seem forever on the edge of expressing the inexpressible, touching what has never been touched, but I cannot reach through the veil of apartness. I am living without being truly alive. I can love without loving. When I am in the midst of friends, when there is laughter, closeness, empathy, warmth, sometimes I can look at myself from a little way off and think that they do not really know who is with them there, what strangeness is there beside them, trying to be something else.

Once, just deep enough into the cup to be articulate about subjective things, I tried to tell Meyer all this. I shall never forget the strange expression on his face. “But we are all like that!” he said. “That’s the way it is. For everyone in the world. Didn’t you know?”

The Scarlet Ruse by John D. MacDonald, 1973

We are all like that, but some of us bitch and moan out loud a lot more than the rest of us.

25 Apr 2019

Virginia to Honor Mass Murderer

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The Commonwealth of Virginia, where statues of Confederate heroes like Lee and Jackson have recently been removed, is about to erect a monument in downtown Richmond to Nat Turner, the leader of an 1830 slave rebellion.

Richmond Times-Dispatch story

Not everyone thinks this is appropriate:

So now Nat Turner has a monument in Richmond…..a monument to a mass murderer whose band of marauders killed 61 white people, 47 of them women and children. Victims included a 3 year old child who was beheaded by a slave who had previously taken him on horseback rides and who the child trusted. Also included was the murder of the infant son of Nat Turner’s master, whose head was bashed against the fireplace wall. Women, children and old men were forced to watch as they waited their turn while others were beaten or hacked to death. Yeah….great hero, eh? So, yipppeee Richmond! Let’s commemorate”!? Let’s go celebrate a mass murderer while tearing down all those nasty Confederate statues along the way!! Today’s politicians and social justice warriors have nothing on the taliban, which, by the way, does the same kind of thing. Modern day accounts of Turner’s revolt like the one in this article will say that Nat Turner was a brave hero who fought for freedom and was eventually taken down by the superior numbers of a white militia. The truth is more embarrassing for those who would “commemorate” this monster – his revolt was actually stopped by a farmer named Blount, whose farm Turner attacked. Blount, his son, and Blount’s SLAVES actually fought off Turner’s attack. Yeah, Turner’s own people helped snuff out his “revolt.”

22 Apr 2019

Howard University Affronted by White Dog Walkers

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The neighborhood around Howard University in D.C. has been improving, i.e. more whites are moving in, and white residents have taken to walking their dogs on the University’s grassy campus.

Howard students have freaked out over this horrible invasion of Black space, and complaints about “gentrification,” “colonization,” and memories of bloodhounds pursuing Little Eva and police dogs barking at demonstrators in Birmingham are flying.

Last Friday, the President of Howard issued a statement discouraging bringing dogs, other than service animals, onto the private university’s “beautiful,sacred space that provides comfort and, in many ways, sanctuary.” Meaning sanctuary from people with insufficient melanin.

Black news and cultural sites today are filled with expressions of the most extreme sorts of group chauvinism and racial animosity related to this story. One example

20 Apr 2019

He Embraces His White Guilt

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Jarvis Dupont in the Spectator:

As a child, I was horrifyingly oblivious to what it meant to be a white male. I ignorantly assumed that skin color should never be an issue. I went around treating everyone the same regardless of gender or race. I look back on those days now and cringe. Thank goodness I ‘woke up’ so to speak!

I was lucky to grow up on a moderately large 20,000-acre estate in a 23-bedroom Georgian house which had been in my family for at least six hundred years. For the first few years of my life, I was blissfully unaware of my standing within society. This glorious childhood utopia did not last long.

At the tender age of 12, I watched a film which put it all into perspective: Ratatouille. I remember the impact this movie had on me as if it were yesterday. My mind was awash with confusion. How could a rat control a cook?! Even if it were possible, how is it doing it? It’s simply holding his hair! What method of ungodly witchcraft is being employed here?! Then it hit me. This film was an allegory of slavery. There was no actual rat, it was brilliantly symbolizing white man’s need to dominate. The fact that the ‘rat’ is hidden underneath the chef’s hat cleverly illustrates how white society in America turned a blind eye to the way black people were being exploited. The ‘rat’ is a metaphor for the detached way in which white power was used to oppress African slaves, the ‘food’ it cooks represents the benefits white Americans have enjoyed as a result of this inhumane hierarchical structure. I was gobsmacked that a children’s movie could encapsulate a complex multi-layered issue in such a devastatingly simplistic way. …

I remember that first wave of White Guilt washing over me. It was like an epiphany. I bathed in it, swam in it. Immersed my disgustingly pallid complexion in it until I was spent. Looking back, I’m not ashamed to admit it was an almost erotic experience. From then on, I was transformed. I found myself telling people to ‘educate themselves’, and would begin conversations with ‘FYI’, or ‘Dear fellow white people…’. I was using the word ‘problematic’ at least three hundred times a day, and it was wonderfully cathartic. The first time I called Father a ‘bitch-ass white cracker skank’ was an incredibly liberating experience.

I demanded to be sent to a university for the lower-orders so that I could experience poverty first-hand. After a few heated arguments, Father acquiesced, so long as he could purchase a townhouse nearby for me to live in and set up regular allowance payments to my bank account via direct debit. I reluctantly agreed to all of this on the condition that my allowance would not exceed 5k per month.

I’ve taken surprisingly well to my self-inflicted destitution and university life has proven to be ideal for my new found woke lifestyle. Many of my student chums are also aware of their White Guilt, and we regularly meet up to admonish those who do not acknowledge theirs. Only last weekend we berated a white homeless man sitting outside Taco Bell for his appalling lack of self-awareness regarding not only his own privilege, but his flagrant disrespect towards cultural appropriation. Eventually he became so violently agitated the police came along and forcibly removed him and his filthy blanket from the pavement. Of course, if he were black the police would have shot him dead, so I hope he realized just how privileged he is.

Despite my early awokening, the opulence of my youth is something which still plagues me to this day. I see racial bias all around me. The amount of opportunities I have as a white male are staggering compared to those of a BAME. We need to do more, and I am determined that when I inherit my family’s estate, I will make damn sure I only employ people of color to maintain it.

RTWT

08 Apr 2019

Identifying the Real White Privilege

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Francis Menton, Y ’72, looks at the concept of white privilege and argues that it should be defined differently.

There is “white privilege,” but it’s not what you might think. The “white privilege” consists exactly in not being looked upon or treated like someone in need of a handout or ongoing help from the grownups. It consists of being forced — or maybe the better word is “allowed” — to take responsibility in life, and to be an adult yourself.

I’m certainly not the first one to remark that members of minority groups who obtain positions in areas where affirmative action is prevalent — elite colleges and law firms being good examples — face downsides that may not have been immediately obvious to them when they got into this. At the college, you could find yourself struggling academically, and finishing at the very bottom of the class. At the law firm, you could be recognized as not up to the job within weeks or months of starting, and then being quickly turned back onto the job market without a good reference to help you. These are significant points to be considered.

But they are not the most important point. The past several weeks have shone a spotlight on the more important issue. That issue is what I would describe as the utter contempt in which the self-anointed elites of our country hold members of minority groups, most particularly African Americans. Somehow, these elites — or at least some very substantial number of them — have decided that African Americans are not capable of accepting personal responsibility in life or of being treated like adults. Therefore African Americans must be “helped” by their betters to accomplish the very basics, like staying out of trouble or earning a living.

… then we have the question of “reparations” for African Americans, suddenly ubiquitous in the news. Are you an African American who is struggling to succeed in life? (Isn’t everyone struggling to succeed in life?). We could say, man up and keep struggling until you make it. That’s what adults have to do. But now we have a better idea: no need to keep striving; just take the seemingly easy route of claiming “reparations.” The cover story is that this will be an entitlement based on mistreatment of your distant ancestors. But let’s face it, you aren’t fooled by that. The unmistakable message is that the proponents of reparations have no faith that you have any ability to make it on your own as an adult. Therefore, you will not be allowed to try, and you will be treated as a child in permanent dependency on the government.

Who are these proponents of reparations? At Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference this week, a plurality of the Democratic presidential candidates showed up, and the Rev took the occasion to demand of each of them in turn whether they support this “reparations” thing. One after the other, they said they did: Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Julian Castro. Even John Hickenlooper! Would anyone say, I think responsibility-free handouts are not a good thing, and that African Americans adults are perfectly capable of making it on their own? Not in this crowd. They are deep racists, all of them.

At least so far, whites still have the privilege — and it really is a privilege — of not being treated by those in power with this kind of disdain. But don’t count on it continuing. The entire agenda now going by the name of Democratic Socialism — free health care, free college, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed wages, protection by the government against all downside risks in life, etc., etc. — aims to take away everyone’s ability to be a self-responsible adult in life.

RTWT

HT: Bird Dog.

02 Apr 2019

Heathrow Not Very British Anymore

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Heathrow Airport Concourse.

The Zman is not a big admirer of “diversity” and “inclusion.”

The first leg of my journey was a stop in London. When booking the trip, the cheapest flight took me through Heathrow, with a half day layover. I hate having to run to make connections, as that often ends in me missing my connection, so I don’t mind a few hour gap between flights. Having almost a full day between flights was not ideal, but it beat the alternatives when I was booking the flight. My plan was to leave the airport and do a quick tour of London, but that plan got scuttled by British security.

When leaving the airport’s secure area, I was pulled aside for the rubber glove treatment by whatever they call their security forces. I was taken to a room and asked the usual questions. Then they asked to examine my phone, which got them upset, as there is nothing on it other than some classical music I loaded for the trip. I keep nothing on my phone as a rule. This one is brand new, so the browser does not even have some history on it. That lack of a information seemed to upset them.

That led them to ask to look at my laptop. I use a travel laptop, so if something happens, I’m not missing important parts of my life. This one I just setup with Linux and a new solid state drive. This only increased their anxiety, so we spent an hour or so playing Petrovich and Raskolnikov. My Russian visa did not help matters. I’ve gone through this a couple of times in American airports, but this seemed different. Maybe I’m imagining things, but I got the strong sense of being on a list. Maybe it was just the culture gap.

You see, that’s the other thing. The British Starsky and Hutch were Apu and Mustafa, two brown guys from over the rainbow. Their English was fine, but it had the hint of the exotic, suggesting they grew up speaking something other than English at home. They also had the narrowness that is typical of the South Asian. There’s always a barrier that exists between the Occidental and the Oriental, despite the degree of shared experience. There is an inscrutableness there that always leaves a degree of uncertainty between us…

After getting sprung from gaol, I was free to explore the giant shopping mall that is the Heathrow airport. The best I could tell, all of the employees were either brown people from over the horizon or Eastern Europeans. I got something to eat and all of the wait staff was not British. Given the international flavor of the passengers, you would be hard pressed to know you were in the heart of Britain. They don’t even have televisions playing the BBC or local sporting events. Heathrow is a foreign country disguised as an airport…

I’ve been in a great many airports in my life and I have a weird fascination for them. Most airports serving big cities are really just complex systems that have evolved over many years to solve evolving problems of air travel. An airport is a solution for a problem of modern life. As a result, you can learn a lot about the evolution of human organization by observing what happens at the big airports. Their design is similar everywhere, but everywhere is not the same, so the airport says something about the local culture. …

On the fight from Lagos to London, a couple of Africans were across the aisle, one row up, from where I was sitting. Both were dressed up in what Hollywood tells us is traditional African dress for African royalty. Their accents suggested Ghana to me. At some point, the male got very agitated at the person in front of him, who had reclined her chair. He started violently shaking her chair-back and hollering something. Two stewards came over and gave him a lecture about his behavior and airplane etiquette.

Watching the two of them struggle to understand how to be passengers on an airplane, I realized what it would be like to bring Stone Age people into this age. The two of them were just too dumb to navigate plane transport. They were frustrated by the food service process. They struggled to understand simple directions. When the plane landed, they got up and started walking down the aisle, while the plane was still taxiing to the gate. They are primitives incapable of existing in a modern society, without constant supervision…

Walking around Heathrow, it is easy to see why our rulers love multiculturalism. They look at the diversity you see at a big intentional airport and they think of it as the Casablanca of this age. It makes them feel worldly and sophisticated. That brown guy in their department with the perfect continental English is not just a colleague. He is a symbol of what makes them special. They are not provincials. They are worldly cosmopolitans. They never see the other side of it. They just see the good part of the transaction.

RTWT

22 Mar 2019

Race-Baiting Harvard

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Daguerrotype of Renty, 1850.

If you are on the Left, no story, however implausible, can be subject to skepticism if it serves the interests of the right people.

AP:

Harvard University has “shamelessly” turned a profit from photos of two 19th-century slaves while ignoring requests to turn the photos over to the slaves’ descendants, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

Tamara Lanier, of Norwich, Connecticut, is suing the Ivy League school for “wrongful seizure, possession and expropriation” of images she says depict two of her ancestors. Her suit, filed in Massachusetts state court, demands that Harvard immediately turn over the photos, acknowledge her ancestry and pay an unspecified sum in damages.

Harvard spokesman Jonathan Swain said the university “has not yet been served, and with that is in no position to comment on this complaint.”

At the center of the case is a series of 1850 daguerreotypes, an early type of photo, taken of two South Carolina slaves identified as Renty and his daughter, Delia. Both were posed shirtless and photographed from several angles. The images are believed to be the earliest known photos of American slaves.

They were commissioned by Harvard biologist Louis Agassiz, whose theories on racial difference were used to support slavery in the U.S. The lawsuit says Agassiz came across Renty and Delia while touring plantations in search of racially “pure” slaves born in Africa.

“To Agassiz, Renty and Delia were nothing more than research specimens,” the suit says. “The violence of compelling them to participate in a degrading exercise designed to prove their own subhuman status would not have occurred to him, let alone mattered.”

The suit attacks Harvard for its “exploitation” of Renty’s image at a 2017 conference and in other uses. It says Harvard has capitalized on the photos by demanding a “hefty” licensing fee to reproduce the images. It also draws attention to a book Harvard sells for $40 with Renty’s portrait on the cover. The book, called “From Site to Sight: Anthropology, Photography, and the Power of Imagery,” explores the use of photography in anthropology.

Among other demands, the suit asks Harvard to acknowledge that it bears responsibility for the humiliation of Renty and Delia and that Harvard “was complicit in perpetuating and justifying the institution of slavery.”

A researcher at a Harvard museum rediscovered the photos in storage in 1976. But Lanier’s case argues Agassiz never legally owned the photos because he didn’t have his subjects’ consent and that he didn’t have the right to pass them to Harvard. Instead, the suit says, Lanier is the rightful owner as Renty’s next of kin.

The suit also argues that Harvard’s continued possession of the images violates the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.

“Renty is 169 years a slave by our calculation,” civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, one of Lanier’s lawyers, said in an interview. “How long will it be before Harvard finally frees Renty?”

Lanier says she grew up hearing stories about Renty passed down from her mother. While enslaved in Columbia, South Carolina, Renty taught himself to read and later held secret Bible readings on the plantation, the suit says. He is described as “small in stature but towering in the minds of those who knew him.”

The suit says Lanier has verified her genealogical ties to Renty, whom she calls “Papa Renty.” She says he is her great-great-great-grandfather.

If given the photos, Lanier said she would tell “the true story of who Renty was.” But she also hopes her case will spark a national discussion over race and history.

“This case is important because it will test the moral climate of this country, and force this country to reckon with its long history of racism,” Lanier said at a news conference outside the Harvard Club of New York City.

Crump, her attorney, added that the case could allow Harvard to “remove the stain from its legacy” and show it has the courage “to finally atone for slavery.”

RTWT

The genealogy of African Americans is notoriously difficult to document, since Antebellum census records failed to record the names of slaves at all. But Tamara Lanier, we are to believe, has successfully documented her connection with a 1850 photographic subject, known only as “Renty.”

Not only that, she knows all sorts of interesting things about her alleged ancestor. (Hyperallergic)

How ironic it is to know that the black African chosen by a scientist to be the symbol of ignorance and racial inferiority was truly an educated and self-taught man,” Lanier told The Day. According to her family’s verbal history, Renty taught himself to read, and taught other slaves using a book called the Blue Back Webster. “My goal is to correct history and to share with all that … Renty was an educated and exceptional person.”

“Papa Renty was a proud and kind man who, like so many enslaved men, women, and children endured years of unimaginable horrors,” Lanier told the Boston Globe. “Harvard’s refusal to honor our family’s history by acknowledging our lineage and its own shameful past is an insult to Papa Renty’s life and memory.”

But, her actual familial connection to Renty, we are then told, is, after all, not that important.

A number of experts expressed to the NYT that they believe Lanier’s case may not hold up in court. Intellectual property lawyer Rick Kurnit says he believes she will have a difficult time proving ownership over the images, referencing the infamous “V-J Day in Times Square,” which belonged to the photographer rather than the sailor or the nurse who are kissing in the image. However, the NYT notes, the “V-J” image was taken in a public space.

Gregg Hecimovich, chairman of the English department at Furman University, believes Lanier’s claim to ancestral history is shaky, but Molly Rogers, the author of a book called Delia’s Tears, posits, “It’s not necessarily by blood. It could be people who take responsibility for each other. Terms, names, family relationships are very much complicated by the fact of slavery.”

Appropriately enough, she is being represented by Benjamin Crump, an African-American attorney specializing in representing racially-based claims.

Algonquin J. Calhoun was clearly unavailable.

Benjamin Crump, one of Lanier’s lawyers, calls the case “unprecedented in terms of legal theory and reclaiming property that was wrongfully taken. Renty’s descendants may be the first descendants of slave ancestors to be able to get their property rights.” In 2012, Crump represented the family of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager murdered by George Zimmerman while walking home.

14 Jan 2019

“Passing” as a Victim

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Victor Davis Hanson marvels at how things have changed. Once upon a time, Americans of immigrant or minority background Americanized their names and whitened their skins and tried hard to pass as members of the American White Anglo-Saxon Protestant majority. Today, Barack Obama’s African identity won him the presidency, the Irish “Beto” O’Rourke pretended to be Hispanic in order to win a seat in the Senate, and Elizabeth Warren leveraged imaginary Cherokee blood into a Harvard professorship.

[I]n a multiracial society like ours no one is usually quite sure of any ancestry that he claims (ancestry companies run TV ads precisely on the notion that we will all be surprised by our DNA results). And when superficial appearance is no guarantee either of minority status (given that we have not yet established DNA badges or quite reestablished Old Confederate racial purity standards), almost anyone can say he is anyone he pleases. Nor is class much help, since thankfully it has become more or less divorced from race and ethnicity. (Most white deplorables and irredeemables did not grow up in upscale neighborhoods nor did they have educated parents like those of Harris and Ocasio-Cortez.)

Is race then becoming a mere construct that we put on and take off as though it were a suit of clothes? In our collective effort to create difference where it does not always exists, we would have to invent an Elizabeth Warren or Ward Churchill if they did not exist—given the perceived advantages of white suburbanites in gaining a part time minority cachet deemed advantageous in terms of career and psychological well-being.

How odd that our establishment insists that being “white” is synonymous with unearned “white privilege,” while millions of whites in job and college applications for decades have been trying to con fake minority-identities and while upscale minorities have no desire—even when intermarried, assimilated, and integrated into the majority culture—of emphasizing the partial white ancestry that is so frequently part of their heritage. The old idea of “passing” now means hoping to be tagged as non-white, not white. The effort is certainly similar to the lunatic racial obsessions of the past, but the conditions under which advantage is measured have flipped completely. ….

Minority identity has become a brand for the upper middle class in the manner of a luxury car. One strives to drive a Mercedes or Jaguar not because it is more reliable or even all that much more drivable than a Toyota or Honda, but because it signals a particular cachet. And so too wealthy suburbanites often find emphasizing non-white identities useful even if it means occasionally constructing them.

Most of the constructed identity movement is deeply embedded within progressive and identity politics of the Left. In our strange society, a Shaun King, who appears to be as white as his birth certificate seems to suggest, is considered a more authentic African-American than a conservative and quite darker Supreme Justice Clarence Thomas, who grew up in poverty and discrimination in the Jim Crow South and yet is often despised by progressives as inauthentic. ….

In the past, immigrants of all classes and backgrounds sought to identify as Americans and did so authentically, on the premise that one left one’s old country for a reason and had no wish to replicate its failures in a new and preferred homeland.

Now many immigrants and natives often wish to distance themselves from the perception of belonging to American majority culture—but many do so as inauthentically as their less well off forefathers once authentically sought to join it.

RTWT

13 Jan 2019

White Guilt: Taxation by Minorities

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Zman is often just a rhetorically clever dispenser of self-flattering Alt Right delusions, but when he is right, he can nail it.

As a practical matter, so-called “third wave anti-racism” is really just a demand by non-whites that whites mitigate the realities of biology. They can’t say that so they have to use weird language and comical neologisms. The demand is that whites exhaust themselves maintaining a white bourgeois society, so that non-whites can enjoy first world comfort, without actually having to maintain it themselves. The new white man’s burden is whites living as despised helots in the societies they created.

For example, whites are supposed to solve the black crime problem, but not notice that black men commit a lot of crime. No one is supposed to mention that blacks don’t cooperate with police. The justification for the former is the history of racism, while the latter is excused as blacks not wanting to attract attention to the black community. Whites are supposed to work around the realities of the black community, while mitigating the realities of the black community. This is impossible and unreasonable.

Another example is how non-whites expect to be allowed into elite schools. In the name of diversity, the elite colleges decorate each class with vibrancy. The professors are expected to make sure these students graduate and never mention that they make up the bottom third of the class. Once out in the world, the process starts over as law firms hoover up non-whites to meet their diversity quota. Of course, no one is supposed to notice that these lawyers are not very good at being lawyers.

Then you have the central tenet of third wave anti-racism, which is that whites, just by being white, are a burden on non-whites. Because whites want the best for their kids and want to live in safe neighborhoods, it means they live in places without convenient bus service. This is a burden on non-whites, as they don’t have easy access to whites and the societies they create. This is so-called white privilege. The only way to eliminate this is to eliminate white behavior, which would end the modern society.

Instead, the new anti-racism regime is one where every white person is born guilty, tainted by the original sin of white racism. Therefore, just as man was condemned to toil outside of the Garden of Eden for eternity, whites are now condemned to pay the jizya in order to keep non-whites in comfortable modern lifestyles. That means open borders for formerly white countries and a metastasizing set of rules to govern the thoughts and speech of whites. The American jizya is about keeping non-whites happy.

RTWT

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