Category Archive 'Ressentiment'
12 Jun 2021

Guardian Article Condemns Apple Pie as “Food Injustice”

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Bolshevik-Nonsense-Wallah Raj Patel, in the Guardian, tells us that apple pie is baked up from a recipe of historic crimes involving ” stolen land, wealth and labour.”

This is what results from admitting exotic, Third World immigrants to advanced Western democratic countries, and educating their offspring at elite institutions like Balliol College, London School of Economics, and Cornell.

Apples were first domesticated in central Asia, making the journey along the Silk Road to the Mediterranean four thousand years ago. Apples traveled to the western hemisphere with Spanish colonists in the 1500s in what used to be called the Columbian Exchange, but is now better understood as a vast and ongoing genocide of Indigenous people. …

Not that the recipe for apple pie is uniquely American. It’s a variant on an English pumpkin recipe. By the time the English colonized the new world, apple trees had become markers of civilization, which is to say property. In Virginia, apple trees were used to demonstrate to the state that land had been improved. John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, took these markers of colonized property to the frontiers of US expansion where his trees stood as symbols that Indigenous communities had been extirpated.

RTWT

24 May 2021

“No Race Has Ever Done More for Another Race than White Americans Have Done for Black Americans”

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Vasko Kohlmayer, who grew up in Czechoslovakia under Communism, has the effrontery to confront directly our age’s biggest lie.

The notion that Blacks in America are oppressed by White people is a complete lie. The exact opposite is, in fact, the case. Rather than being discriminated against, American Blacks enjoy special rights, privileges, and advantages that are unavailable to White Americans. These advantages extend into every aspect of America’s public life and can be traced to legislation passed back in the 1960s.

As Paul Craig Roberts put it recently:

    “A system of racial privileges for blacks was forced on universities, employers, and the population. Less qualified blacks were given preference over more qualified whites in university admissions, employment and promotion. Freezes are used against white admissions, employment, and promotion until racial balance is achieved.”

Rather than being institutionally oppressed, American Blacks have been accorded a whole array of institutional advantages over Whites.

This represents a truly remarkable state of affairs because it stands as the only known instance in history whereby a racial majority in power has voluntarily agreed to relinquish its standing and allow discrimination against themselves in favor of a racial minority.

We urge you to pause and spend some time contemplating the profound significance of this. Never before has such a thing happened in the annals of mankind.

Can you conceive of any other race that would ever do such a thing? Can you imagine an Arab majority voluntarily discriminating against themselves in favor of Blacks? Can you imagine the Chinese doing this? Or Indians? As far as Blacks themselves they have been known – when in power – to be among some of the most ruthless oppressors of other races and ethnicities. Can you imagine a ruling Black majority in any country relinquishing its power and discriminating against themselves in favor of a minority? This is simply unimaginable.

And yet White Americans have done precisely this. They are the only racial group in history about whom such a thing can be said. This is a historic achievement and a powerful testimony to the intrinsic kindness and goodwill of White Americans.

The help that White Americans have extended to Blacks is not limited to voluntary self-abnegation, reverse discrimination, and preferential treatment. In 2012, for example, nearly half of the Black population have been on some kind of federal means-tested program. According to the data provided by the United States Census Bureau, “at 41.6 percent, blacks were more likely to participate in government assistance programs in an average month” than any other racial demographic. As a point of comparison, Black participation in these programs was three times the rate of non-Hispanic Whites.

Thus, over the years, trillions of dollars have been pumped into the Black community through various government initiatives. From nearly thirty trillion spent on the war on poverty, a disproportionate share has flowed into the Black community. According to the analysis by Independent Institute:

    The estimated aggregate cost of the War on Poverty is nearly $28 trillion, which is three and a half times higher than the $8 trillion total price tag of every major war since the American Revolution.

If we make the assumption that the rate of Black participation in the War on Poverty related programs has historically been around 40 percent (see here), Black people would have received more than 10 trillion dollars in government transfer payments as part of this initiative alone. Reparations, anyone?

And do you remember Barrack Obama, a Black man, who was elected President of the United States almost solely because of the color of his skin? Were Mr. Obama White, he would have stood no chance of being catapulted to the highest office in the land given his rather limited accomplishments at the time of his candidacy. Furthermore, Barrack Obama was elected president not once but twice with most of his votes coming from White people.

RTWT

11 May 2021

Victimhood

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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.

RTWT

13 Feb 2021

Mathematical Equity

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Fox News:

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) recently encouraged teachers to register for training that encourages “ethnomathematics” and argues, among other things, that White supremacy manifests itself in the focus on finding the right answer.

An ODE newsletter sent last week advertises a Feb. 21 “Pathway to Math Equity Micro-Course,” which is designed for middle school teachers to make use of a toolkit for “dismantling racism in mathematics.” The event website identifies the event as a partnership between California’s San Mateo County Office of Education, The Education Trust-West and others.

Part of the toolkit includes a list of ways “white supremacy culture” allegedly “infiltrates math classrooms.” Those include “the focus is on getting the ‘right’ answer,” students being “required to ‘show their work,'” and other alleged manifestations.

“The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so,” the document for the “Equitable Math” toolkit reads. “Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict.”

The ODE, led by Colt Gill, confirmed the letter to Fox News. ODE Communications Director Marc Siegel also defended the “Equitable Math” educational program, saying it “helps educators learn key tools for engagement, develop strategies to improve equitable outcomes for Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, and join communities of practice.”

RTWT

Presumably, kiddies will get to learn “one, two, many” as the new ethnomath.

20 Dec 2020

The Revolution Arrives at Dalton

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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.

RTWT

07 Dec 2020

VMI Removes Stonewall Jackson Statue

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AP:

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.

RTWT

The contemporary American establishment would rather define itself by its groveling to adolescent snowflakes with a headful of phony grievances. What an utter disgrace!

08 Aug 2020

Unusual Atrocities and Insanities of the Left: 3. “Stop Marginalizing Roundworms!”

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Caenorhabditis elegans.

The Daily Beast reports on academic activists rallying to the defense of the latest recognized marginalized minority.

Michael Eisen, editor of eLife—a well-regarded open access scientific journal for the biomedical and life sciences—made a joke about a humble roundworm, thereby cracking open the seventh seal and ushering forth… wormageddon. …

Most people took the joke in stride, or used it as an opportunity to spread the good word about nematodes. But the worm gang runs deep. Multiple researchers were not amused by Dr. Eisen’s joke, and their responses spiraled off in increasingly disproportionate directions. Some of these were scoldings about the propriety of using the word “fuck” in a public context, and whether “Academic Twitter” upholds appropriate levels of professionalism by accepting “frat boy” humor. One team went so far as to publicly reconsider submitting a paper to eLife. Others complained that the editor of a journal was publicly disparaging a study species. …

[A] day after Eisen had opened the can of titular worms, and amid the flood of C. elegans jokes washing around Twitter—things had escalated in a bizarre direction. As mystified observers raised the question over whether C. elegans researchers were taking the whole thing a bit seriously, a small handful of researchers responded by arguing that jokes about worms were in some way equivalent to jokes about women and people of color. …

By far the most prolific poster in this vein was Ahna Skop, associate professor of genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and previous recipient of a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion-based award in 2018. Dr. Skop—who did not respond to a request for comment by The Daily Beast—argued extensively that making jokes about worms was merely the tip of the iceberg when it came to making jokes about marginalized identities, or an example of a ‘bystander effect’, a psychological theory arguing that individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim in a crowd. (For is it not said: First they came for the worm people, and I said nothing, as I was not a worm person?)

In the resulting threads, Dr. Skop—who identifies as “part Eastern Band Cherokee” and “disabled with EDS”—and others consistently failed to publicly respond to Black scientists like herpetologist Chelsea Connor, who tried to point out that this was a ridiculous conflation. In a private communication Connor shared with The Daily Beast, Skop doubled down, arguing that as she had previously been harmed by entrenched sexism, her concerns regarding the worm joke were justified.

RTWT

17 Jul 2020

“None of That Damned Nonsense About Merit”

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NYT Classical Music Critic Anthony Tommasini says “ensembles [need] to reflect the communities they serve, [and] the [hiring] audition process [for musicians] should take into account race, gender and other factors.”

During the tumultuous summer of 1969, two Black musicians accused the New York Philharmonic of discrimination. Earl Madison, a cellist, and J. Arthur Davis, a bassist, said they had been rejected for positions because of their race.

The city’s Commission on Human Rights decided against the musicians, but found that aspects of the orchestra’s hiring system, especially regarding substitute and extra players, functioned as an old boys’ network and were discriminatory. The ruling helped prod American orchestras, finally, to try and deal with the biases that had kept them overwhelmingly white and male. The Philharmonic, and many other ensembles, began to hold auditions behind a screen, so that factors like race and gender wouldn’t influence strictly musical appraisals.

Blind auditions, as they became known, proved transformative. The percentage of women in orchestras, which hovered under 6 percent in 1970, grew. Today, women make up a third of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and they are half the New York Philharmonic. Blind auditions changed the face of American orchestras.

But not enough.

American orchestras remain among the nation’s least racially diverse institutions, especially in regard to Black and Latino artists. In a 2014 study, only 1.8 percent of the players in top ensembles were Black; just 2.5 percent were Latino. At the time of the Philharmonic’s 1969 discrimination case, it had one Black player, the first it ever hired: Sanford Allen, a violinist. Today, in a city that is a quarter Black, just one out of 106 full-time players is Black: Anthony McGill, the principal clarinet.

The status quo is not working. If things are to change, ensembles must be able to take proactive steps to address the appalling racial imbalance that remains in their ranks. Blind auditions are no longer tenable.

RTWT

Can there be any notion more preposterous, more incapable of surviving intellectual scrutiny, than today’s liberal shibboleth of “Diversity”?

Diversity requires abandonment of standards of merit, achievement, and genuine equality of opportunity, accompanied by lots of rationalizations, denial, and outright lying about what is needed to produce sufficient representation of members of various privileged victim identity groups. Note how Mr. Tommasini assures NYT readers that there is

    remarkably little difference between players at the top tier. There is an athletic component to playing an instrument, and as with sprinters, gymnasts and tennis pros, the basic level of technical skill among American instrumentalists has steadily risen. A typical orchestral audition might end up attracting dozens of people who are essentially indistinguishable in their musicianship and technique.

But this begs the question: are there actually many representatives of underclass minorities in that “top tier”? Obviously, there are not, because, if there were, then blind auditions would work to achieve their hiring just fine.

Mr. Tommasini fails also to explain why “diversity” in the sense of more African-Americans in classical orchestras is an urgent problem, while massive over-representation of African-Americans in professional sports is no problem at all.

Why, I often wonder, are blacks, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, and homosexuals important for “Diversity” but not Finns, Ukrainians, or Belgians? If the answer is that a sob story about past hardships is required, then how come Jews, Appalachian hillbillies, and all those ethnic Catholic blue collar communities count for nothing in the Diversity sweepstakes? Tell us, Mr. Tommasini: what percentage of classical orchestra ensembles are made up of Southern Italians from the Outer Boroughs of New York?

————-

You can imagine what I thought when I looked up Mr. Tommasini and found that he is a Yale classmate of mine.

05 Jul 2020

A Modest Proposal

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Nebal Maysaud

Now here is something downright exceptional from last year.

Nebal Maysaud (a Lebanese composer of the Sodomitical persuasion) complains that Western Classical Music oppresses persons of color and colonizes Third World cultures operating as an agent of cultural change. All this is the fault of Capitalism. (Personally, I thought most of the really good Classical Music was created by the patronage of pre-capitalist monarchs and aristocrats. Prince Esterhazy did not engage in trade.)

There comes a point in some abusive relationships where the victim wakes up out of their Stockholm syndrome and learns that they need to plan an escape. As you communicate with others and you get a taste of freedom, you learn that the force you thought was protecting you is in truth keeping you in danger.

For those who haven’t encountered abusive relationships, you may support the abuser, or wonder why the victim doesn’t just leave. But you don’t know what it’s like to live in a world where you can’t tell truth from myth.

For the victims who aren’t ready, you may have an urge to push away those of us seeking to help you and stay with your abuser, believing them to be a source of protection.

Unfortunately, not everyone can escape. But having the knowledge that your abuser is an abuser itself can be freeing. It can help you find the next step in your journey towards liberation. But you need a community to fall back on. You need people to talk to so that they can keep you safe, so that they can help you understand the truth, and so that they can teach you the abuser’s techniques and how to fight them.

My fellow musicians of color: it is time to accept that we are in an abusive relationship with classical music.

In my previous articles, I laid out my experiences and reasoning for coming to this conclusion. I started with “Am I Not a Minority?” to explain the everyday racism people of color experience and how it manifests on an institutional level. If you haven’t read it already, I encourage you to explore how institutions uphold their power by choosing which minorities to give access to.

The few scraps given to minorities are overwhelmingly white–occupied by white cisgender women or LGBT+ individuals. The few PoC who are given access to institutional space are most often light skinned and non-Black while also exoticised and tokenised.

And that led me to my second article, “Escaping the Mold of Oriental Fantasy“–a personal history of isolation and colonization, of how Western classical music participates in the act of destroying culture and replaces it with its own white supremacist narrative.

Finally, I shared my attempts at reviving my culture and my tradition, along with the barriers I faced on this journey. My third article, “I’m Learning Middle Eastern Music the Wrong Way,” chronicles the difficulties (and the near impossibility) of engaging with my own cultural musical practices in a proper, authentic way.

From three angles I shared my attempts at being an authentic composer. These articles bring to light the many ways in which the dreams of low-income people of color are obstructed in the Western classical tradition.

Western classical music is not about culture. It’s about whiteness. It’s a combination of European traditions which serve the specious belief that whiteness has a culture—one that is superior to all others. Its main purpose is to be a cultural anchor for the myth of white supremacy. In that regard, people of color can never truly be pioneers of Western classical music. The best we can be are exotic guests: entertainment for the white audiences and an example of how Western classical music is more elite than the cultures of people of color.

RTWT

After the Revolution, you see, a benevolent Central Committee will see to it that persons of color, like Nebal here — and whites as well (!) –, are amply funded to produce music in their native cultural traditions. Everyone will be liberated!

Unless, of course, the State is having production problems, and all those aspiring creatives are marched off to labor camps to mine salt.

18 Feb 2020

The Salovey Administration Destroys Another Great Yale Department

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The late Vincent Scully lecturing Eurocentrically years ago.

Heather MacDonald, BK ’70, demolishes the cant being used to justify remodeling Yale’s once-illustrious History of Art Department into a distribution center for Marxist agitprop and Multicultural Identity Stroking.

By 1974, when I enrolled at Yale, its faculty had long since abdicated one of its primary intellectual responsibilities. It observed a chaste silence about what undergraduates needed to study in order to have any hope of becoming even minimally educated; curricular selections, outside of a few broad distribution requirements, were left to students, who by definition did not know enough to choose wisely, except by accident. So it was that I graduated without having taken a single history course (outside of one distribution-fulfilling intellectual history class), despite easy access to arguably the strongest American history faculty in the country. Scully’s fall semester introductory art history course has been my anchor to the past, providing visual grounding in the development of Western civilization, around which it is possible to develop a broader sense of history.

But now, the art history department is junking the entire two-semester sequence, as the Yale Daily News reported last month. Given the role that these two courses have played in exposing Yale undergraduates to the joys of scholarship and knowledge, one would think that the department would have amassed overwhelmingly compelling grounds for eliminating them. To the contrary, the reasons given are either laughably weak or at odds with the facts. The first reason is the most absurd: the course titles (“Introduction to the History of Art: Prehistory to the Renaissance” and “Introduction to the History of Art: Renaissance to the Present”). Art history chair Tim Barringer apparently thinks students will be fooled by those titles into thinking that other traditions don’t exist. “I don’t mistake a history of European painting for the history of all art in all places,” he primly told the Daily News. No one else would, either. But if the titles are such a trap for the Eurocentric unwary, the department could have simply added the word “European” before “Art” and been done with it. (Barringer, whose specialities include post-colonial and gender studies as well as Victorian visual culture, has been teaching the doomed second semester course—a classic example of the fox guarding the henhouse.)

Barringer also claims that it was “problematic” to put European art on a pedestal when so many other regions and traditions were “equally deserving of study.” The courses that will replace the surveys will not claim to “be the mainstream with everything else pushed to the margins,” he told the Daily News. Leave aside for the moment whether the European tradition may legitimately form the core of an art history education in an American university. The premise of Barringer’s statement—that previously European art was put on a pedestal and everything else was pushed to the margins—is blatantly false. The department requires art history majors to take two introductory-level one-semester survey courses. Since at least 2012, the department has offered courses in non-Western art that can fulfill that requirement in lieu of the European surveys. Those classes include “Introduction to the History of Art: Buddhist Art and Architecture”; “Introduction to the History of Art: Sacred Art and Architecture”; “Global Decorative Arts”; “The Politics of Representation”; and “The Classical Buddhist World.” No one was forced into the two Western art courses.

Nor would anyone surveying the art history catalogue think that Yale was “privileging” the West, as they say in theoryspeak. That catalogue is awash in non-European courses. In addition to the introductory classes mentioned above, the department offers “Japan’s Classics in Text and Image”; “Introduction to Islamic Architecture”; “The Migrant Image”; “Sacred Space in South Asia”; “Visual Storytelling in South Asia”; “Aztec Art & Architecture”; “Black Atlantic Photography”; “Black British Art and Culture”; “Art and Architecture of Mesoamerica”; “The Mexican Cultural Renaissance, 1920– 1940”; “Painting and Poetry in Islamic Art”; “Aesthetics and Meaning in African Arts and Cultures”; “Korean Art and Culture”; “African American Art, 1963 to the Present”; “Art and Architecture of Japan”; “Textiles of Asia, 800–1800 C.E.”; and “Art and Politics in the Modern Middle East,” among other courses. The Western tradition is just one among many. Nevertheless, Marissa Bass, the director of undergraduate studies in the department, echoed Barringer’s accusation of Eurocentrism. The changes recognize “an essential truth: that there has never been just one story of the history of art,” Bass told the Daily News. But Yale does not tell just one story of the history of art. Department leaders have created a parody of their own department simply in order to kill off the Western survey courses.

Those courses must also be sacked because it is impossible to cover the “entire field—and its varied cultural backgrounds—in one course,” as the Daily News put it. If this statement means that the span of time covered in each of the one-semester Western art classes is too large, non-Western survey courses are as broad or broader. “Chinese Painting and Culture” covers 16 centuries. “Power, Gender, and Ritual in African Art” covers nearly two millennia. “Introduction to the History of Art: Buddhist Art and Architecture” covers seven centuries. “Introduction to the History of Art: Sacred Art and Architecture” covers several millennia. None of these courses is facing extinction.

Barringer promises that the replacement surveys will subject European art to a variety of deconstructive readings designed to pull that tradition down from its alleged pedestal. The new classes will consider Western art in relation to “questions of gender, class, and ‘race,’” he told the Daily News in an email, carefully putting scare quotes around “race” to signal his adherence to the creed that race is a social construct. The new courses will discuss the involvement of Western art with capitalism. Most intriguingly, the relationship between Western art and climate change will be a “key theme,” he wrote.

Barringer’s proposed deconstruction of Western art illustrates a central feature of modern academia: The hermeneutics of suspicion (Paul Ricoeur’s term for the demystifying impulse that took over the humanities in the late 20 century) applies only to the Western canon. Western academics continue to interpret non-Western traditions with sympathy and respect; those interpreters seek to faithfully convey the intentions of non-Western creators and to help students understand what makes non-Western works great. So, while the replacement European art survey courses will, in Marissa Bass’s words, “challenge, rethink, and rewrite” art historical narratives, the department will not be cancelling its Buddhist art and architecture class due to the low representation of female artists and architects, nor will it “interrogate” (as High Theory puts it) African arts and cultures for their relationship to genocidal tribal warfare, or Aztec art and architecture for their relationship to murderous misogyny.

A must-read.

29 Jan 2020

Yale’s Latest PC Gesture Makes the Spectator

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cole_thomas_the_course_of_e
Thomas Cole, The Course of Empire: Destruction, 1833-1836, New York Historical Society.

James Panero tells us that Yale imported a Cambridge bolshie to “decolonize” the History of Art Department.

Are we in our own revolutionary moment? Many of our leading institutions clearly believe so. Yale University has been working overtime to prove it is on the right side of history. ‘Problematic’ colleges have been renamed. ‘Offensive’ stained-glass windows have been knocked out. Only the leadership of an Ivy League school could spread such a poisonous rash. Heading the charge against the Dead White Male has been a progressive Yale bureaucracy that is, for the most part, pale and stale.

Now the task of dismantling Yale’s famous art history survey course has fallen to a scholar I respect, Tim Barringer. British-born, Barringer is the Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art at Yale University and has been a leading curator at the Metropolitan Museum. He even mounted the Met’s exceptional 2018 exhibition on Thomas Cole.

Following a 2017 mandate to ‘decolonize’ Yale’s Department of English, Barringer is giving over the keys of Yale’s famous art survey course to the identity vandals. According to the Yale Daily News, instead of one class that will tell the story of art from ‘Renaissance to the Present’, new courses will, Barringer says, be devised to consider art in relation to a five-step history lesson, ‘questions of gender, class and race’, with further discussion of art’s ‘involvement with Western capitalism’. Of course, ‘climate change’ will also be a ‘key theme’.

Art doesn’t fare well in revolutionary times. Likewise, revolutionary sentiments are often revealed in the treatment of art. If only Professor Barringer had looked more carefully at another five-step history lesson, Thomas Cole’s ‘Course of Empire’ tableau (1833-36), he might have seen how civilizations burn down from decadence as well as assault.

RTWT

That whirring sound you hear in the background is grand old Yale Art History professors, men like Sumner Crosby who taught the Gothic Cathedral course and Charles Seymour who taught the Italian Renaissance Art course, who fished for salmon together every summer on the Upsalquitch, spinning in their graves at 78 RPM.

15 Dec 2019

How Marxists Invented “Hispanics”

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In a must-read article in Claremont Review, Mike Gonzalez explains how the Marxist Left successfully created a second imaginary racial category of victims and turned White Mexicans brown.

I know a Spanish count, a grandee of Spain and a descendant of the Hapsburgs, who got into Yale as a Hispanic victim of White European Oppression. He thought it was hilarious.

America’s surging politics of victimhood and identitarian division did not emerge organically or inevitably, as many believe. Nor are these practices the result of irrepressible demands by minorities for recognition, or for redress of past wrongs, as we are constantly told. Those explanations are myths, spread by the activists, intellectuals, and philanthropists who set out deliberately, beginning at mid-century, to redefine our country. Their goal was mass mobilization for political ends, and one of their earliest targets was the Mexican-American community. These activists strived purposefully to turn Americans of this community (who mostly resided in the Southwestern states) against their countrymen, teaching them first to see themselves as a racial minority and then to think of themselves as the core of a pan-ethnic victim group of “Hispanics”—a fabricated term with no basis in ethnicity, culture, or race.

This transformation took effort—because many Mexican Americans had traditionally seen themselves as white. When the 1930 Census classified “Mexican American” as a race, leaders of the community protested vehemently and had the classification changed back to white in the very next census. …

They had the law on their side: a federal district court ruled in In Re Ricardo Rodríguez (1896) that Mexican Americans were to be considered white for the purposes of citizenship concerns. …
And so as late as 1947, the judge in another federal case (Mendez v. Westminster) ruled that segregating Mexican-American students in remedial schools in Orange County was unconstitutional because it represented social disadvantage, not racial discrimination. At that time Mexican Americans were as white before the law as they were in their own estimation.

Half a century later, many Mexican Americans had been persuaded of a very different origin story. Among the persuaders-in-chief was Paul Ylvisaker, head of the Public Affairs Program at New York’s wealthy Ford Foundation during the 1950s and ’60s. Though little-known today, he wielded great power and influence to advance a particular vision of social justice inspired partly by socialism and its politics of resentment. Ylvisaker hoped, as he later put it in a 1991 essay, “The Future of Hispanic Nonprofits,” that Mexican Americans could be organized into a “united front.” That concept, formulated in 1922 by the Comintern, implied a union of disparate groups on the Left into what the Comintern’s 4th World Congress called “a common struggle to defend the immediate, basic interests of the working class against the bourgeoisie.”

Ylvisaker, who saw philanthropy as “the passing gear” of social change, set off to find out if something similar was possible with Mexican Americans. In 1968, he poured $2.2 million in seed funding into the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), a national advocacy conglomerate whose headquarters still buzz with activity in Los Angeles today.

He built on foundations laid by the organizing guru Saul Alinsky, who had begun the effort to consolidate the Mexican-American vote during Ed Roybal’s 1949 L.A. City Council election. Roybal, an army veteran and distant descendant of New Mexico’s Spanish settlers, was one of many Democrats at the time whose success in local politics owed much to Alinsky’s organizing tactics. Alinsky’s groups also trained men like Herman Gallegos, Julian Samora, and Ernesto Galarza—Chicano Movement intellectuals who used Ylvisaker’s Ford Foundation money (starting with a one-year grant of $630,000) to found the interest group La Raza in 1968.

What all these radicals sought—and were quite successful at eventually achieving—was to analogize the experience of black Americans to that of Latinos. The term La Raza, literally “the race,” by itself epitomized this process of racialization. Ylvisaker was direct on this point. In 1964 he handed UCLA researchers the then-goodly sum of $647,999 for a deep survey of Mexican Americans in the Southwest. One of the things he wanted this survey to find out was in what respect the Mexican-American experience was comparable to that of “Negroes today.”

RTWT

If you look at any university today, you’ll find that the same bad guys have also got Asian kids brainwashed into signing on as another whiny victim group fighting against White Male Oppression, quite ironically since the only real modern discrimination against Asians consists of college admission quotas created and enforced by the very same Left-Wing Establishment that leads them around by the nose.

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