Category Archive 'Racial Politics'
11 May 2021
Nautilus looks at the left’s obsession: victimhood through the lens of social science.
In a polarized nation, victimhood is a badge of honor. It gives people strength. “The victim has become among the most important identity positions in American politics,” wrote Robert B. Horwitz, a communications professor at the University of California, San Diego.
Horwitz published his study, “Politics as Victimhood, Victimhood as Politics,” in 2018.1 He focused on social currents that drove victimhood to the fore of American political life, arguing it “emerged from the contentious politics of the 1960s, specifically the civil rights movement and its aftermath.” What lodges victimhood in human psychology?
In 2020, researchers in Israel, led by Rahav Gabray, a doctor of psychology at Tel Aviv University, conducted a series of empirical studies to come up with an answer.2 They identify a negative personality trait they call TIV or Tendency toward Interpersonal Victimhood. People who score high on a TIV test have an “enduring feeling that the self is a victim in different kinds of interpersonal relationships,” they write.
The study of TIV is built around four pillars. The first pillar is a relentless need for one’s victimhood to be clearly and unequivocally acknowledged by both the offender and the society at large. The second is “moral elitism,” the conviction that the victim has the moral high ground, an “immaculate morality,” while “the other” is inherently immoral. The third pillar is a lack of empathy, especially an inability to see life from another perspective, with the result that the victim feels entitled to act selfishly in response. The fourth pillar is Rumination—a tendency to dwell on the details of an assault on self-esteem.
You only need to spend only a few minutes watching or reading the news, in any country, to hear and see victimhood raging. We caught up with Gabray to get the science behind the headlines.
Is TIV an aberration in the personality?
Sometimes it may be, if one is high on the TIV scale. But we didn’t research clinical patients. That’s not what interested me. I’m interested in how this tendency appears in normal people, not those with a personality disorder. What we found was that like in a bell curve, most people who experience TIV appear in the middle range.
You found a correlation between TIV and what you referred to as “anxious attachment style”, as opposed to “secure and avoidant” styles. What is the anxious style?
Another way to say it is an “ambivalent attachment style.” So when a child is very young, and care is uncertain, perhaps the caregiver, or the male figures in the child’s life, don’t act consistently, sometimes they may act very aggressively without warning, or they don’t notice that the child needs care. That’s when the anxious attachment style or ambivalent attachment style is created.
So victimhood is a learned behavior after a certain age.
Yes, normally children internalize the empathetic and soothing reactions of their parents, they learn not to need others from outside to soothe themselves. But people with high TIV cannot soothe themselves. This is partly why they experience perceived offenses for long-term periods. They tend to ruminate about the offense. They keep mentioning they are hurt, remembering and reflecting on what happened, and also they keep dwelling on the negative feelings associated with the offense: hopelessness, insult, anger, frustration.
14 Apr 2021
Titus Andronicus: Ira Aldridge (1807-67) as Aaron the Moor.
David Cole brilliantly identifies the essence of the current racial problem in America: “The Curse of Aaron.”
If you ask a casual Shakespeare fan to name the Bard’s most villainous character, odds are the answer will be Richard III. And that’s not a bad response. Richard is indeed a murderous scoundrel. But the thing is, from the very first scene, Richard tells the audience exactly who he is, what he’s planning to do, and why.
There’s no mystery to Richard.
Now, Iago, on the other hand, presents a more complex puzzle. Why does Iago feel the need to destroy Othello? Well, throughout the course of the play, via his interactions with other characters and his soliloquies, Iago offers many possible reasons. Racial animus, professional envy, sexual jealousy. The audience is left with several possible motives to ponder.
But then we come to Aaron, the villainous Moor from Titus Andronicus. …
Whereas Iago is a white guy who torments a black, Aaron is a black guy who torments, well, everyone. He’s the lover and consigliere of Tamora, the Goth queen who marries the Roman Emperor Saturninus. Aaron is firmly in the catbird seat; he has the ear and affection of the empress, who dominates the weak and ineffectual emperor. Aaron’s got power, riches, and babes. And yet…he’s unsatisfied. Material success is not what matters to him. He despises the whites, foes and allies alike, and he’s driven by a compulsion to destroy their society. He arranges brutal rapes, horrific mutilations, and sadistic murders (he even tricks Titus into cutting off his own hand). He foments the unrest that will eventually bring down his own house. Aaron is, in the words of Titus’ brother Marcus, the “chief architect and plotter of these woes.”
Unlike in the case of Richard III, in which the audience is given a clear motive for the character’s villainy, and unlike in the case of Iago, in which the audience is given a choice of possible motives, Shakespeare never offers a glimpse into what makes Aaron tick. No monologue or soliloquy about wrongs done to him in the past or evils perpetrated by whites that made him the monster he is. Aaron is very defensive about his race; he defiantly throws it in the face of other characters. But throughout the course of the play, no one oppresses him because of his race. Indeed, his race does not hinder his estimable success.
You look at Aaron, living the high life—adviser and lover to the empress, a black man basking in luxury among whites…respected, feared, obeyed by those in power, and yet everything he does is geared toward punishing those who elevated him and destabilizing the society that allowed him to achieve influence—and you just want to say to the guy…what the fuck is your problem? You have it so good! Why the need to burn down the system and harm those around you?
Tamora asks that very question:
My lovely Aaron, wherefore look’st thou sad,
When every thing doth make a gleeful boast?
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
But why? Why the anger and hatred? By not answering that question, Shakespeare has inadvertently given us the most relevant 21st-century black character of any playwright in history. A character living in a society in which he is afforded all possible opportunities, while—even as he takes advantage of those opportunities—he harbors nothing but hostility toward the majority population, even if he can point to no specific reason why they deserve such enmity. His very identity is based upon hatred of whites. There’s no tidy origin story, no specific wrong that’s being avenged or injury that served as a catalyst for the rage. There’s just an angry black man who looks gift horses in the mouth and yanks their teeth for pleasure. A black man who finds more satisfaction in being at war than he does from achieving success.
A black man who feels entitled to that war, even if he cannot name a single concrete reason why he should be.
Behold the black New York Times and Washington Post and MSNBC journalists and the black Biden administration officials and the black Hollywood producers and the black athletes and academics who live lives that would make most people green with envy, yet who seem to find fulfillment only in antiwhite, anti-West rage.
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
If you could hear the innermost thoughts of someone like the NYT’s Nikole Hannah-Jones, that’s exactly what would be playing on a loop.
Meghan Markle is Aaron in a way that’s almost too on-the-nose. Accepted into a royal house, she proceeded to destroy it from within, in the name of a righteous anger based on nothing more than a belief that she’s racially entitled to be destructive. Presented with a life of luxury and influence, she found greater satisfaction in sowing discord. …
For the leftist blacks, whites, and Jews who view themselves as shepherds of the black community, Aaron is the ideal, the goal of all the social engineering and propagandizing. Perpetually furious, blindly hateful, vengeful though not for any wrongs actually incurred, unmollified by opportunity or success, and obsessively focused on “tearing it down” while having no idea what to replace “it” with.
30 Mar 2021
The Daily Mail records the latest Woke insanity, a particularly impressive example.
The University of Oxford is considering scrapping sheet music for being ‘too colonial’ after staff raised concerns about the ‘complicity in white supremacy’ in music curriculums.
Professors are set to reform their music courses to move away from the classic repertoire, which includes the likes of Beethoven and Mozart, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
University staff have argued that the current curriculum focuses on ‘white European music from the slave period. …
Documents seen by the [Telegraph] indicate proposed reforms to target undergraduate courses.
It claimed that teaching musical notation had ‘not shaken off its connection to its colonial past’ and would be ‘a slap in the face’ to some students.
And it added that musical skills should no longer be compulsory because the current repertoire’s focus on ‘white European music’ causes ‘students of colour great distress’.
21 Mar 2021
Ed Driscoll calls it precisely: WE’VE DESCENDED INTO SOME SORT OF BIZARRE HELL-WORLD IN WHICH ANDREW SULLIVAN IS A VOICE OF SANITY.
[The Atlanta massage parlor shootings] story has… been deeply instructive about our national discourse and the state of the American mainstream and elite media. This story’s coverage is proof, it seems to me, that American journalists have officially abandoned the habit of attempting any kind of “objectivity” in reporting these stories. We are now in the enlightened social justice world of “moral clarity” and “narrative-shaping.”
Here’s the truth: We don’t yet know why this man did these horrible things. It’s probably complicated, or, as my therapist used to say, “multi-determined.” That’s why we have thorough investigations and trials in America. We only have one solid piece of information as to motive, which is the confession by the mass killer to law enforcement: that he was a religious fundamentalist who was determined to live up to chastity and repeatedly failed, as is often the case. Like the 9/11 bombers or the mass murderer at the Pulse nightclub, he took out his angst on the source of what he saw as his temptation, and committed mass murder. This is evil in the classic fundamentalist sense: a perversion of religion and sexual repression into violence.
We should not take the killer’s confession as definitive, of course. But we can probe it — and indeed, his story is backed up by acquaintances and friends and family. The New York Times originally ran one piece reporting this out. The Washington Post also followed up, with one piece citing contemporaneous evidence of the man’s “religious mania” and sexual compulsion. It appears that the man frequented at least two of the spas he attacked. He chose the spas, his ex roommates said, because he thought they were safer than other ways to get easy sex. Just this morning, the NYT ran a second piece which confirms that the killer had indeed been in rehab for sexual impulses, was a religious fanatic, and his next target was going to be “a business tied to the pornography industry.”
We have yet to find any credible evidence of anti-Asian hatred or bigotry in this man’s history. Maybe we will. We can’t rule it out. But we do know that his roommates say they once asked him if he picked the spas for sex because the women were Asian. And they say he denied it, saying he thought those spas were just the safest way to have quick sex. That needs to be checked out more. But the only piece of evidence about possible anti-Asian bias points away, not toward it.
And yet. Well, you know what’s coming. Accompanying one original piece on the known facts, the NYT ran nine — nine! — separate stories about the incident as part of the narrative that this was an anti-Asian hate crime, fueled by white supremacy and/or misogyny. Not to be outdone, the WaPo ran sixteen separate stories on the incident as an anti-Asian white supremacist hate crime. Sixteen! One story for the facts; sixteen stories on how critical race theory would interpret the event regardless of the facts. For good measure, one of their columnists denounced reporting of law enforcement’s version of events in the newspaper, because it distracted attention from the “real” motives. Today, the NYT ran yet another full-on critical theory piece disguised as news on how these murders are proof of structural racism and sexism — because some activists say they are.
22 Feb 2021
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Matthew Fontaine Maury 1806-1873 was a Virginian and an officer in the US Navy, who resigned his commission rather than serve against his native state. He had been seriously injured early in his naval career, and rendered permanently unfit for sea duty, so he devoted his career to the application of science to naval affairs. His studies of winds and ocean currents became the foundation of the fields of Oceanography and Naval Meteorology. In addition to his intellectual services to the Confederacy during the War, Maury played an important role in promoting the founding the National Observatory, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Virginia Tech.
The Independent reports that the management of James Madison University has seen fit to cancel Matthew Fontaine Maury.
James Madison University has renamed three prominent buildings for African Americans who made significant contributions to the public institution in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, culminating a process of historical reckoning that began last summer when officials removed the names of Confederate leaders from the halls.
The buildings, all on the quad of the campus in Harrisonburg, now honour elements of the school’s past that had long been overlooked under a plan the JMU governing board approved Friday.
The action “is part of our deliberate effort to underscore JMU’s commitment to being a welcoming and inclusive institution”, the university’s president, Jonathan Alger, said in a statement.
“These names help us to tell a more complete history of our institution. They highlight and celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of important individuals and groups who have historically been underrepresented in prominent campus namings.
“Collectively they represent faculty, staff, students, alumni and prominent members of our local community.”
What had been Maury Hall, honouring a Confederate naval officer, is now Gabbin Hall. Its new name honours Joanne Gabbin and Alexander Gabbin, a married couple who are longtime members of the university faculty. Joanne Gabbin is an English professor and Alexander Gabbin an accounting professor.
Lieutenant General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson 1824-1863, of course, was one of the greatest military commanders in history, particularly famed for his decisive role in reversing the outcome of the First Battle of Bull Run, for his brilliant campaign in defense of the Valley of Virginia in 1862, and for playing the key role in planning and executing the flank attack at Chancellorsville, in the course of which battle he was mortally wounded.
The former Jackson Hall, named for Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, is now Darcus Johnson Hall.
Sheary Darcus Johnson was the first black graduate of what is now JMU, earning a bachelor’s degree in library science from Madison College in 1970 and a master’s degree in elementary education in 1974.
Brigadier General Turner Ashby 1828-1862 was General Jackson’s cavalry commander. In his relatively brief military career, he nonetheless left an extraordinary record of military efficiency, chivalry, and bravery, and was regarded as “the Bayard of the Confederacy. He was shot through the heart, and killed instantly, rallying his men for a charge, while commanding Jackson’s Army’s rear guard, June 6, 1862, near Harrisonburg.
The former Ashby Hall, named for a Confederate cavalry officer, is now Harper Allen-Lee Hall. Its new name honours Doris Harper Allen, who worked as a cook for a Madison College president … as well as Robert Walker Lee, who provided janitorial and maintenance service at the school in the early 20th century and was believed to be its first black employee.
What can one possibly say?
We are experiencing a cultural revolution featuring an astonishing and reprehensible inversion of values that causes three heroes, men numbered among the greatest, most noble figures in the history of their native state and the nation, two of them especially associated with the specific region of the university, and who gave their lives in defense of their native state, to be cancelled, rejected, dishonored and discarded in favor of a cook and a janitor(!), a recent perfectly ordinary student, and a couple of minor and obscure current academics, all of whom possess no claim to distinction whatsoever beyond their membership in a particular identity group.
06 Jan 2021
The military is different from civilian life. Officers in the course of their careers face a very real prospect of being forced to make life-or-death decisions, including decisions to sacrifice lives including their own, intentionally. Officers must be prepared to follow orders at any cost. And the word, the testimony, of an officer must be absolutely reliable.
The service academies are different from ordinary colleges. College students, in general, are having the time of their lives, partying, dating, experimenting with drugs, while service academy cadets are living monastic lives regulated by iron discipline.
A military officer’s career involves great responsibility and is held exceptionally in honor. Cadets traditionally pay a very serious four-year price for entry into the profession of arms.
There have in the past, on infrequent occasions, been service academy scandals, incidents of cadets cheating on exams and the like. Read about them in the newspapers, we civilians have invariably shuddered and experienced a sense of pity at the rigor and mercilessness of the service academies’ honor code. Similar behavior would almost certainly have gone utterly undetected at our own elite schools and, even had someone been caught, his punishment would most likely have been less severe.
Apparently, now, all that is over with. The famous West Point Honor Code is now just empty rhetoric.
There’s been a new West Point cheating scandal involving 73 cadets and a math test. Most of the guilty parties are described as athletes. The news accounts features the recognizable pause-and-throat-clearing before the code word. “Athletes” here is obviously the equivalent of “teens” in current news stories of looting and violent urban crime. Athletes means minority beneficiaries of affirmative action admission.
In past incidents, being detected cheating meant doom. Cheaters were expelled, period. Not today. Not for “athletes.” 55 of the guilty parties will be receiving “rehabilitation.”
John Hinderaker explains what has happened.
Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, the superintendent at West Point, offered a guarded explanation in a memo to the faculty. He said the Academy’s honor code “has resulted in an inequitable application of consequences and developmental opportunities for select groups of cadets.”
But what is “inequitable” about expelling all cadets caught cheating on an exam? The honor code applies to all cadets regardless of “class.” The past practice of expelling violators applies equally to all cheaters regardless of “class.” This is a classic neutral rule.
Clearly, Williams is concerned that application of the neutral rule has a “disparate impact” on particular subgroups of cadets. That’s why he’s departing from past practice.
Williams didn’t specify which groups of cadets he’s talking about. Conceivably he was talking about athletes. Fifty-five of the accused cheaters play sports for West Point. Nearly half of that group is on the football team.
However, I doubt that athletes are the main “select group” Williams is concerned about. I suspect that the primary concern of Williams is with the impact of enforcing the honor code on Black cadets. I can’t say this for certain. It’s not even certain that a disproportionate number of the cheaters are Black.
But there are sound reasons to believe that Williams, who is Black, had race in mind when he decided not to expel the cheating cadets. Rod Dreher explains the grounds for this suspicion in a post for The American Conservative.
He points out that when someone talks about “equity” these days in the context of unequal outcomes, he is usually talking about race. As Dreher says, “if [Williams] is not talking about race here, then what is he talking about?” Equity for football players? That would be a new one.
The notion that there’s inequity when neutral rules adversely affect Blacks in disproportionate numbers is a key element of “critical race theory.” And critical race theory has spread to West Point.
Gramsci’s Long March Through the Institutions has even marched right through West Point.
20 Dec 2020
Lowering the Bar reports that some enterprising Moors are giving them the opportunity.
Just a quick warning to let you know that if someone knocks on your door and says you have to move out immediately, and that person is wearing a fez (see above), you probably don’t need to pack your things right away. Some investigation would be warranted even if the person isn’t wearing a fez, but unless you live in Morocco, maybe, the fez should serve as an additional red flag.
Sources report that last week, several homeowners in the Seattle area received surprise visits from strangers who informed them that they (the strangers) were in fact the legal owners of the properties and asked them (the homeowners) to vacate immediately. “Today is the day!” one apparently kept repeating. Why was today the day? That didn’t seem to be clear.
Also, why were they wearing fezzes? There did seem to be an explanation for that.
The “today is the day” visitor eventually handed the homeowner some official-looking federal-government paperwork and left. But looking a little more closely at that paperwork revealed that the federal government in question was not that of the United States of America, but rather the “Moorish National Republic.” Although I guess that depends who you ask, because the “Moorish National Republic” claims to be the true government of the United States of America, and that it owns all the property in North America. There are a variety of “Moorish” groups in the U.S., most if not all of which are offshoots of the “sovereign citizen” movement, something that has appeared on this site many times given its followers’ penchant for making utterly baffling legal-type claims. See, e.g., “Judge Rejects Man’s Claim to Be ‘Some Sort of Agricultural Product” (Oct. 4, 2017); “King of Australia Says He’s Testing Its Court System” (Sept. 13, 2017); “Judge Finds Alleged Indian Tribe to Be ‘Complete Sham’” (May 13, 2008). Many of these claims involve property, sometimes the claimants’ own property and sometimes the property of another. In Seattle it appears to be the latter.
The claims typically involve official-looking but entirely bogus documents, and jargon-filled legal pleadings that might also appear from a distance to be valid but on closer inspection are pretty ridiculous. So a lot like the Trump team’s recent filings, actually, except the Trump team’s grammar is generally a little better. Also, the sovereigns have a tendency to make up their own grammar and magical symbols, something the Kraken hasn’t tried yet, as far as I know.
According to an expert quoted by the Daily Beast, the Moorish offshoot of the sovereign movement also believes it isn’t bound by the same laws as other citizens, but it has different reasons for thinking that. “Some believe they have diplomatic immunity because they’re members of these North American fictitious tribes, that they’re descended from them,” the expert said. “They believe they were the first inhabitants of the Americas, and that therefore they own everything.” There’s no legal basis for any of this, of course, even if you set aside the historical problems, which are significant.
There also seem to be some problems explaining their adoption of the fez, which so far as I can tell has no connection with any of the tribes indigenous to North America (or at least they became indigenous after walking here from Asia thousands of years ago, as I understand it). According to the SPLC, some members of “Moorish” groups believe they migrated here from North Africa, and that a 1787 treaty between the U.S. and Morocco grants them “sovereign immunity.” (That wouldn’t be true even if that treaty existed, which it doesn’t.) The fez apparently originated or at least became popularized in the Ottoman Empire, which controlled parts of northern Africa for a while, and the term “Moor” is or was sometimes used to refer to various Muslim inhabitants of that area. So that might explain the association.
Or maybe they just like the way it looks. Who the hell knows?
20 Dec 2020
The New York Post reports that Dalton may be about to go Woke and therefore go broke.
One of NYC’s poshest private schools is in an uproar over an anti-racist manifesto signed by dozens of faculty members with a sweeping list of demands.
The Dalton School — which boasts stars Anderson Cooper, Christian Slater and Claire Danes as alumni — is wrestling with eight pages of “proposals” to overhaul the staffing, curriculum and treatment of black students.
Yearly tuition for grades K-12 at the Upper East Side institution is $54,180 a year.
The proposals — first reported this week by The Naked Dollar blog — grew out of the George Floyd police-brutality protests and long-simmering student complaints of racism at the prestigious school.
But some parents say the backlash has become oppressive.
“My ancestors experienced white supremacy by being slaughtered,” a Jewish parent told The Post. “The idea that being white automatically means you are privileged or a white supremacist is ridiculous. My child comes from people who had to fight for everything they got.
“It’s just about skin color now.”
Those who disagree remain silent, the insider said. “Parents are terrified to speak up for fear of retribution. Parents are acting like spineless wimps.”
One Dalton father, who said he’s removed his children from the school as a result of the manifesto, said Dalton “has totally failed in its mission to uplift the very people it professes to help.
“It’s completely absurd and a total step backwards,” the father, who did not want to be identified, told the Post.
“This supposed anti-racist agenda is asking everyone to look at black kids and treat them differently because of the color of their skin,” he said. “The school is more focused on virtue-signaling this nonsense than it is in actually helping students of color. More parents are going to be pulling their kids out.”
The wide-ranging faculty demands include:
Hiring 12 full-time diversity officers, and multiple psychologists to support students “coping with race-based traumatic stress.”
Assigning a staffer dedicated to black students who have “complaints or face disciplinary action,” and a full-time advocate to help black kids “navigate a predominantly white institution.”
Paying the student debt of black staffers upon hiring them.
Requiring courses that focus on “Black liberation” and “challenges to white supremacy.”
Compensating any student of color who appears in Dalton promotional material.
Abolishing high-level academic courses by 2023 if the performance of black students is not on par with non-blacks.
Requiring “anti-racism” statements from all staffers.
Overhauling the entire curriculum, reading lists and student plays to reflect diversity and social justice themes.
Divesting from companies that “criminalize or dehumanize” black people, including private prisons and tech firms that manufacture police equipment or weapons.
Donating 50 percent of all fundraising dollars to NYC public schools if Dalton is not representative of the city in terms of gender, race, socioeconomic background, and immigration status by 2025.
Dalton officials said the document is just “a set of thought-starters created last summer by a group of faculty and staff responding to Dalton’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist institution.
“The school does not support all the language or actions it contains.” it added.
“Dalton’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism is grounded in our deep appreciation for the dignity of all community members, an understanding of differing life backgrounds, empathy for one another, and the ability to engage and listen with respect across differences,” the school said in a statement to The Post.
But Naked Dollar blogger Scott Johnston, who first revealed the manifesto Thursday, said of the demands: “Dalton’s teachers are refusing to come back until they are met.”
The Dalton spokesman rebutted, “We’re expecting all teachers to return after winter break.”
Johnston — the author of “Campusland,” a humorous novel about the “woke” college climate — said the “meltdown” at Dalton reflects the angst and self-imposed guilt of elite private schools across the country. …
the Dalton parent who spoke to The Post predicted that 30 to 40 percent of parents of kids in the Class of 2025 will pull them out of the school and transfer them as a result of the manifesto.
Making the situation more tense, some Dalton parents are fuming over the school’s resistance to reopening classrooms since the COVID-19 outbreak, remaining fully remote while other private and public schools have resumed some or all in-person instruction.
07 Dec 2020
The Virginia Military Institute began work Monday to remove a prominent statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, an effort initiated this fall after allegations of systemic racism roiled the school.
A crew was inspecting the statue at the public military college in Lexington, poised to haul away the figure of Jackson that some cadets were required to salute until several years ago. A small crowd gathered amid snow flurries to look on.
VMI’s board voted to remove the statue in late October after The Washington Post published a story that described an “atmosphere of hostility and cultural insensitivity” at VMI. …
VMI’s board voted to remove the statue in late October after The Washington Post published a story that described an “atmosphere of hostility and cultural insensitivity” at VMI. …
The Post’s story also led to the ouster of VMI’s superintendent, retired Army Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III, and prompted state officials to commit to hiring an outside firm to investigate the students’ allegations.
The statue had been a subject of controversy for years, but the school had committed to keeping it in place in front of VMI’s historic barracks as recently as July. VMI said it will be relocated to a nearby Civil War museum at a battlefield where dozens of VMI cadets were killed or wounded.
Amid a wave of Confederate monument removals around the country in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis, some VMI students and graduates called for the statue’s removal.
Peay said at the time that the school would change some of its longstanding traditions, such as relocating an oath ceremony from the Civil War battlefield. But he said it would not remove the statue of Jackson, who owned enslaved people, or rethink the names of buildings honoring Confederate leaders.
“Unlike many communities who are grappling with icons of the past, VMI has direct ties to many of the historical figures that are the subject of the current unrest. Stonewall Jackson was a professor at VMI, a West Point graduate who served in combat in the Mexican War, a military genius, a staunch Christian, and yes, a Confederate General,” Peay wrote in July. …
Since Peay’s departure, VMI announced Cedric Wins, a retired U.S. Army major general, will serve as its interim superintendent. Wins will be the first Black leader to serve in that role. The school’s board has also committed to other changes, including creating a permanent diversity office.
Wins said in a statement on Monday that “it is an understatement to say the relocation of the statue has evoked strong opinions on both sides of the issue.”
“The history of VMI over the past 181 years is well documented. Stonewall Jackson’s ties to Lexington and the Institute as an instructor are part of that history,” Wins said. But “VMI does not define itself by this statue and that is why this move is appropriate,” he added.
The contemporary American establishment would rather define itself by its groveling to adolescent snowflakes with a headful of phony grievances. What an utter disgrace!
26 Oct 2020
Back in the 1830s, Lord Melbourne declared he liked the Order of the Garter best of all his titles because there was â€œnone of that damned nonsense about merit” connected to it.
The elite community of fashion’s current enthusiasm for what is referred to as “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion” has a basic similarity to Lord Melbourne’s perspective, except his merit-free inclusion in the Garter Order was based on a supposed inherited excellence, while the Identity Groups singled out for special treatment under DEI base their claims to special privilege upon ressentiment.
David Swenson has a long record of achieving superior returns by his management of Yale’s endowment. Apparently, he now has decided either that other goals are more important or that anyone can achieve the same.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Americaâ€™s most prominent endowment chief has a message for the firms that manage the schoolâ€™s money: Hire more women and minorities, or possibly lose the universityâ€™s backing.
David Swensen is the veteran investment chief of Yale Universityâ€™s $31.2 billion endowment. Earlier this month, he told the dozens of firms that manage Yaleâ€™s money they would be measured on their progress increasing the diversity of their investment staffs. Mr. Swensen said the Yale Investments Office would be working to improve its own teamâ€™s composition, too.
It is hilarious the way people like this talk about Meritocracy, but their idea of Meritocracy has a heavy thumb on the scale in several class cases.
The old-time Jewish quota (which I strongly suspect still exists) is denounced, but the Asian quota is defended vigorously in court. Certain groups absolutely must be awarded super-proportional representation, at any cost, on the basis of historical disadvantage. But, other outsider groups, Appalachians and working class ethnic Catholics, for instance, also conspicuously historically little represented in Ivy League admissions and in elite financial circles are completely overlooked, simply due to their failure to agitate and complain. The hypocrisy and irrationality is astonishing.
20 Oct 2020
Asher Liftin â€™21 admiring the new portrait of Edward Bouchet, Y’ 1874.
If you were born white, in order to have your portrait painted and hung in one of Yale’s residential colleges, you would need to have been an exceptionally important and renowned scholar who had made major contributions to his field.
If you were African-American, the standard is just a little easier. All you have to have done is be supposedly the first representative of your identity group to attend Yale.
Yale News piously propagandizes:
[A] committee established by Head of [Saybrook] College Thomas Near … recommended commissioning Bouchetâ€™s portrait. Near, the students, and some of their fellow residents in Saybrook College had been having conversations about how to more fully represent Yaleâ€™s history in the dining hall.
â€œIn the very Gothic space, we have a collection of portraits that were loaned from the Yale University Art Gallery in 1933 when the college opened,â€ said Near. â€œWe also have a set of what I call â€˜family portraitsâ€™ â€” those who served Saybrook as the heads and deans of the college and their spouses. All of the people pictured are white, which is not representative of Yaleâ€™s true history.â€
The addition of the Bouchet portrait is just the start of bringing â€œthe narratives of people who have for too long been ignored, overlooked, and marginalized, to come to the surfaceâ€ to campus spaces, Near said at the unveiling. â€œIn North America there is no history that is not Black history, and this is absolutely true for the history of Yale.â€
Edward Bouchet is very probably the only Yale alumnus with merely a pedestrian career as a high school teacher to be so honored.
Unfortunately, on top of everything else, the powers that be at Yale, and at Saybrook College, are just plain wrong. Edward Bouchet, Class of 1874, was not the first student of color to graduate from Yale. That distinction belongs to Confederate Brigadier General, later Congressman and Senator from Louisiana, Randall Lee Gibson, valedictorian of the Yale Class of 1853.
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