Category Archive 'Ressentiment'
19 May 2022

Larry Tribe and the Current Supreme Court

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Larry Tribe.

Isaac Chotiner interviews the Left’s favorite law professor, Larry Tribe, for the New Yorker, seeking his response to the lamentable circumstance of the country finding itself with a conservative, Originalist majority on Supreme Court, an apparent majority perfectly prepared to reverse Roe v. wade.

Larry is obviously not happy.

How has your thinking about the Supreme Court as an institution changed over the past fifty years?

I would say that because I am part of the generation that grew up in the glow of Brown v. Board of Education and of the Warren and Brennan Court, and identified the Court really with making representative government work better through the reapportionment decisions and protecting minorities of various kinds. I saw the Court through rather rose-tinted glasses for a while. As I taught the Court for decades, I came to spend more time on the dark periods of the Court’s history, thinking about how the Court really preserved and protected corporate power and wealth more than it protected minorities through much of our history, and how it essentially gutted the efforts at Reconstruction, and I focussed more on cases like Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson and Korematsu.

And in recent years, as the Court has turned back to its characteristic posture of protecting those who don’t need much protection from the political process but who already have lots of political power, I became more and more concerned about its anti-democratic and anti-human-rights record. I continued to want to make sense of the Court’s doctrines. I wrote a treatise that got very frequently cited around the world and that shaped my teaching about how the Court’s ideas in various areas could be pulled together. But then, after I had done the second edition of that treatise, and it became relied on by a lot of people, I decided [after the first volume] of the third edition, basically, to stop that project.

What were you arguing in the first two editions?

The first was the first effort in probably a hundred years to pull together all of constitutional law. And it led to a rebirth, or flowering, of lots of writing about constitutional law, and writing more focussed on methodology, with different forms of interpretation. I was very excited about that project, and [the second edition] continued it. Most of what I did was to see connections among different areas. I would be writing about commercial regulation, and I would see themes that popped up in areas of civil rights and civil liberties. Or I’d be writing about separation of powers, and I would see problems that arose elsewhere.

And I was always trying to find coherence, because my background in mathematics had led me to be very interested in the deep structures of things. I was working on a Ph.D. in algebraic topology when I rather abruptly shifted from mathematics to law. And so, in my treatise, I developed what I thought of as seven different models of constitutional law. I’m always fascinated by different perspectives and lenses and models. I’ve never thought of law and politics as strictly separate, and efforts by people like Steve Breyer to say that we shouldn’t concede that constitutional law is largely political have always seemed to me to be misleading. That said, I still saw efforts at consistency and concerns about avoiding hypocrisy from the Court. But those things began getting harder to take seriously.

And then Steve Breyer wrote me a long letter saying, “When are you going to finish the third edition of your treatise?” And I wrote him a letter back, which then was published in various places, saying, “I’m not going to keep doing it. And here’s why.” It was a letter that described how I thought constitutional law had really lost its coherence.

At one level, you’re saying something really changed with the Court. But earlier you said that the Court has always had some history of protecting the powerful and not protecting minority rights or the powerless. So did something change, or did the Court just have this brief period, after the Second World War, when you saw it as different before returning to its normal posture?

I think there’s always been a powerful ideological stream, but the ascendant ideology in the nineteen-sixties and seventies was one that I could easily identify with. It was the ideology that said the relatively powerless deserve protection, by an independent branch of government, from those who would trample on them.

Right. The Warren Court was also ideological; it just happened to be an ideology that you or I might agree with.

Exactly. No question. It was quite ideological. Justice Brennan had a project whose architecture was really driven by his sense of the purposes of the law, and those purposes were moral and political. No question about it. I’m not saying that somehow the liberal take on constitutional law is free of ideology. There was, however, an intellectually coherent effort to connect the ideology with the whole theory of what the Constitution was for and what the Court was for. Mainly, the Court is an anti-majoritarian branch, and it’s there to protect minorities and make sure that people are fairly represented. I could identify with that ideology. It made sense to me, and I could see elements of it in various areas of doctrine. But as that fell apart, and as the Court reverted to a very different ideology, one in which the Court was essentially there to protect propertied interests and to protect corporations and to keep the masses at bay—that’s an ideology, too, but it was not being elaborated in doctrine in a way that I found even coherent, let alone attractive.

Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I see more internal contradiction and inconsistency in the strands of doctrine of the people who came back into power with the Reagan Administration and the Federalist Society. I’m not the person to make sense of what they’re doing, because it doesn’t hang together for me. Even if I could play the role that I think I did play with a version that I find more morally attractive, it’s a project that I would regard as somewhat evil and wouldn’t want to take part in.

I’m not trying to paint the picture that says everything was pure logic and mathematics and apolitical and morally neutral in the good days of the Warren Era, and incoherent and ideologically driven in other times. I think that would be an unfair contrast. So I hope what I’ve said to you makes it a little clearer.

You wrote a rather striking piece in The New York Review of Books recently, called “Politicians in Robes,” where you take issue with Breyer essentially still believing that the Court can be apolitical. How should we view the Court now? I think that there is a tendency to say, “These guys are politicians, and they make partisan choices the way anyone else does.”

I guess I think citizens should look at the Court as an inherently political institution, which ideally would, however, offset the aspects of politics in which those who already have power accumulate more of it at the expense of ordinary people and people who are downtrodden or subordinated or subjugated. And people should be critical of the Court when it departs from that function, because then they should say to themselves, “Who are these guys, who essentially were not elected, are independent, are secure and protected? What’s the point of protecting them if they are simply protecting those in power already?” Their independence is of value precisely when they perform an important function: both making democracy work better and protecting those who can’t protect themselves effectively through the political process. People should say to themselves, “When they’re not performing that function, then we really ought not to respect their work and give it a lot of weight.”

Now you or I (unworthy reactionaries that we are) may be inclined to think that the Supreme Court’s job is to interpret the law correctly, strictly in accordance with the Constitution.

Professor Tribe, as we see above, has a completely different theory. In his view, the Supreme Court’s real purpose is to afflict the powerful and enforce, at any cost, the interests of minorities, the “downtrodden or subordinated or subjugated.”

Professor Tribe is indifferent, or actively hostile, to the actual text and meaning of the Constitution, it being obviously in his view the work of dead white males bent only upon protecting the interests of rich white men exactly like themselves.

Professor Tribe’s sympathy for, and emotional identification with, minorities, the poor, and the oppressed, his post-observant-Judaic reflexive Leftism, in his view, apparently rises to a level of significance more worthy of enforcement than the authentic meaning of the Constitution’s text or the intentions of the framers. Pardon me for finding this more than a little intellectually self-indulgent.

More than merely self-indulgent, personally, I tend to look upon the vice-like-grip of representatives of the Elite Gentry Left, like Professor Tribe, upon the cause of “the poor, minorities, and the oppressed,” to be in reality in the nature of a self-interested tactic.

It would obviously be unbecoming for rich fat cats comfortably ensconced in the most prestigious positions in Society to be found asking for greater powers, more privileges, more authority for themselves. The peasants might respond with indignation. But, when, you see, they point to a category of victims, defined specifically as less well off than everybody else, more miserable and more wronged than the rest of all you nobodies, and appoint themselves as the champions and protectors of these lepers and untouchables, it’s a whole new ballgame: the sky’s the limit what they can demand. It’s a very old con game, and a very effective one. That’s why so many play it.

12 May 2022

WaPo Editorial: “Rename George Washington U.!”

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The Washington Post follows the standard elite media policy of publishing (with apparent approval) the most outrageous and irrational expressions of Black racial chauvinism, insolence, and entitlement. The author was a senior of color.

Last year, George Washington University’s Cloyd Heck Marvin Center — named for a segregationist — was renamed the University Student Center in response to student calls for a name change. The name change streamlined with calls for racial justice in a modern era in which students across the country are demanding change. As our nation’s history of slavery, Jim Crow, red lining and other discriminatory policies toward African Americans has never been fully addressed or atoned for, these pleas for racial justice are a reflection of a shifting paradigm in American politics in which compromise and intolerance are no longer an option. However, the renaming of the University Student Center falls short in addressing the main issues of systemic racism and inequality still present on campus.

Racism has always been a problem at GW. At the university’s founding in 1821, enrollment was restricted to White men. In 1954, then-university president Marvin employed numerous efforts to preserve segregation, arguing for a “homogenous” group of White students. In 1987, Black students organized to demand more visibility in a predominantly Black city where Black students were outnumbered by huge majorities. Today, with Black enrollment at about 10 percent, Black students on campus continue to struggle for community. Despite alleged efforts by administration to enhance diversity, the admissions office continues to fail to ensure a student body with adequate minority representation.

Black professorship also remains low, especially in the university’s International Affairs program. Limited Black professors teaching African and African American courses and the continued neglect of Black academia and Black professorship create a campus culture in which European studies and White perspectives are favored over Black perspectives. No African languages are taught at the university, and calls for reforms are often ignored.

These problems are rooted in systemic racism, institutional inequality and white supremacy. There are at least four ways the university could achieve progress: Decolonized university curriculum, increased Black enrollment, the renaming of the university and the selection of an African American President.

In the university’s 200-year history, GW has never had an African American president. The search for a replacement for interim president Mark S. Wrighton is the perfect opportunity for the university to dissociate with its racist history by selecting a strong Black leader.

RTWT

The goal of Liberalism in combating segregation was presumably a color-blind America with good will toward all men. Liberalism more recently has metastasized into a depraved and rancid Leftism which masochistically endorses the grievance-based revision of American History, the cancellation of of our national heroes, and the limitless flattery of minority vanity and egotism to the point of the replacement of the majority population and the whole of Western Civilization. Couldn’t these people just commit suicide without bothering the rest of us if the burden of guilt they bear for history past is just too much?

28 Oct 2021

Yale Begins Three-Day Guilt Orgy Over 270-Years-Back Slavery

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Connecticut Hall on Yale’s Old Campus was completed in 1752.

Yale Officialdom ought to feel ashamed for its hypocrisy on Free Speech, its swooning embrace of Left-wing Intolerance and Mob Rule, its eagerness to climb onboard any form of fashionable irrationality and hysteria.

Yale should apologize for letting a mob of snowflakes hound the Master of Silliman and his wife out of office. Yale should apologize for renaming Calhoun College, for modifying the College Master title, and for naming one of two new colleges for a mentally-disordered radical nobody not a communist had ever heard of.

If we want to go back historically, Yale ought to be ashamed at supporting the Communist subjugation and enslavement of Indochina (which still persists) and the subsequent genocide in Cambodia. Yale should be ashamed for closing down the two ROTC programs, tearing down both their buildings, and selling the French 75mm Field Gun awarded to the Yale Artillery Battalion by the French Government in commemoration of their service in WWI for scrap. Yale ought to look at the history of Kingman Brewster saying that the Panthers couldn’t get a fair trial and being proven correct in an ironical sense when acquittals and a few slap on the wrist convictions were handed down by a New Haven jury to the accused unquestionably guilty of murder and torture.

But, no, Peter Salovey thinks we ought to feel simply awful over there being Negro slaves in Colonial New Haven almost three centuries ago. It also requires investigation, and regret, that Yale circa 1915 actually participated in a general era of National Reconciliation during a time in which the last combatants in the War Between the States were passing from the scene.

In the Gothic and Georgian lunatic asylum bordering New Haven’s Green, so thoroughly has the Left’s absolute obsession with Identity Group Victimhood taken possession of the inmates and staff that professional scholars no longer view certain particular aspects and periods of History with objectivity and detachment. Instead, they might as well adopt period costumes because they are fanatically determined to connect with that History as active partisans and they are equally determined to inflict injury upon and punish their long-deceased (and, at this point, essentially imaginary) opponents.

Yale News:

For the past year, Yale scholars, librarians, New Haven community members, and student researchers have been digging through Yale’s own past for a deeper understanding of the university’s historical relationship with slavery and its legacy.

During a three-day academic conference starting Oct. 28, experts from across Yale and the nation will discuss what they’ve learned so far, including new insights into the construction of Connecticut Hall, an iconic Old Campus structure built in part by enslaved Africans, and the “reconciliationist” approach to Yale’s Civil War memorial in Woolsey Hall. …

Salovey has described the “Yale & Slavery” project — part of an ongoing national discussion about racism and discrimination — as an urgent reckoning with the university’s history, and an important opportunity to analyze, understand, and publicly communicate it.

“Like many of America’s oldest institutions, Yale has seldom, if ever, recognized the labor, the experiences, and the contributions of enslaved people and their descendants to our university’s history or our present,” Salovey said. “For generations, we have looked away from what is in plain sight. But now we are acknowledging that slavery, the slave trade, and abolition are part of Yale’s history.

“It is important we shine a light into every concealed corner of our past, because moving forward requires an honest reckoning with our history, and because the purpose of our university is to create, preserve, and disseminate knowledge. The fundamental work we all share applies as much to Yale’s past as anyone’s.”

The conference is hosted by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, part of the MacMillan Center at Yale. Founded in 1998, the Gilder Lehrman Center is the first such center in the world to study such international historical questions.

Topics during the conference will include the university’s 18th-century theological roots; the economics of slavery-created wealth; the place of Southern slaveholders at Yale during its first two centuries; medical and scientific legacies of race at Yale; forces of abolition at the university; the history of labor in building the campus; and why the inclusion of Confederate veterans was central to the purpose of the university’s Civil War memorial when it was created in 1915.

RTWT

10 Sep 2021

Liberal Artistic Patronage Meets Identity Group Entitlement

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Jill Louise Busby.

LithHub specializes in publishing and linking striking examples of exactly what’s wrong with contemporary pseudo-intellectual culture.

Yesterday’s email compendium prominently featured a book excerpt in which the above female person of color, reacts to having received a generously-funded writing residency at a posh country estate.

Ms. Busby clearly operates on the basis of a sense of artistic grandeur and identity group entitlement that upon encountering the patron/artist relationship causes her to react to her benefactors a lot differently from the way artists like Michelangelo, Shakespeare, and Bach did in the dear dead days of yore.

Busby does not sing her benefactors’ praises or dedicate a grand work to them. No, la Busby instead composes a carefully crafted personal response consisting of a full-throated outpouring of envy, snark, and contempt for her white liberal benefactors.

Previous classical literary representatives of underclass malice, envy, ingratitude, and insolence, Thersites, Caliban, Uriah Heep, never even came close to her.

That night, we are all welcomed to the coast by a man from the arts foundation. He smiles when he talks, apologizes for things that don’t matter. We offer back to him things he gave us in the first place—a seat, a plate of the catered food, a bottle of water. He says he just wants to get out of there and leave us to it, whatever it is, but he’ll see us on Saturday for the community Q&A.

“The people who live here are so happy to have you, and they’re very excited to hear all about your art,” he says.

Jill, we can’t wait to hear all about how our racism influences your art.
If you make us feel guilty enough, we’ll call you brave for your efforts.
You can’t make us love blackness, but you can make us love the way you use it.
How will you use it?

On the walls are childhood photos of the homeowner’s now-adult children. They spent their summers here, their growth spurts recorded on the door frame in permanent marker, meant to stay.

After he leaves, we convene in the yellow house for dinner. We sit around the dining room table with the curtains wide open on a window that belongs to them but is temporarily full of us instead: the screenwriter, the painter, the muralist, the illustrator, the actress, the performance artist, the mixed-media artist, and the essayist.

We squeeze in close, make just enough room for everyone to have a seat. We eat our catered food off their cobalt blue ceramic dishes, drink donated red wine out of their cups.

As it grows dark outside, the ocean view becomes implied, and we become less implied. We are reflected back to ourselves in the glass under the dim light of a low-hanging fixture, more easily seen by the neighbors walking their dogs or walking themselves around the neighborhood. We leave rings of donated red wine on their real-wood tabletop, talk and laugh so loudly that the porcelain teacups and family heirlooms rattle nervously in the cabinet, unused to so much vitality and bass.

We sit on display, swirl the wine, talk about what it means to be black artists (preservation).

They use us, steal our work, force us to compromise.
But how else can we get our art out into the world?
How else can our story be heard?
I mean, we have to do it, right?
Yeah, we have to do it.
It just sucks that we have to do it like this.
It does. It really does.
But it’s worth it.
Oh, it’s totally worth it.
All we have to do is take the cheese without disturbing the trap.
Easy.

We talk about what it’s like to be nice white liberals (speculation). To live in this town without having a real big special talent, influence, or fame. To live here not as a somebody but as an anybody.

RTWT

28 Jul 2021

A Modest Request From the Dallas “Black Lives Matter” Group

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Last year, in Houston, several white liberals knelt and asked forgiveness of a group of blacks.

Tyler O’Neil, at PJM, has the best outrageous Leftism story of the week.

[P]arents in Dallas just got a wake-up call. The local Black Lives Matter group Dallas Justice Now launched a new campaign, urging white parents in wealthy Highland Park to sign a pledge to keep their children from applying to America’s top colleges — in the name of “equity.” The organization’s letter to parents lays the guilt on thick.

“We are writing to you because we understand you are white and live within the Highland Park Independent School District and thus benefit from the enormous privileges taken at the expense of communities of color,” Dallas Justice Now writes to parents in the area. “You live in the whitest and wealthiest neighborhood in Dallas. Whether you know it or not, you earned or inherited your money through oppressing people of color.”

“However, it is also our understanding that you are a Democrat and supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement which makes you one of our white allies and puts you in a position to help correct these cruel injustices,” the letter continues. “We need you to step up and back up your words with action and truly sacrifice to make our segregated city more just.”…

“We are asking you to pledge that your children will not apply or attend any Ivy League School or US News & World Report Top 50 School. If you do not have children under 18 then we ask you to pledge to hold your white privileged friends, family, and neighbors with children to this standard,” the letter demands. “These schools have afforded white families privilege for generations. Having your children attend these schools takes away spaces from students of color who really need the job opportunities, education and influence that these schools provide.”

“We know that this sounds like a tough commitment to make. But it is truly disheartening to see wealthy white folks sending charitable donations, posting #BlackLivesMatter on social media, or putting up yard signs as if to say that minimal effort is all they are prepared to do in the fight for racial justice,” the letter adds.

The pledge reads as follows:

    As a white person with privilege both from my whiteness and my neighborhood I recognize the need to make sacrifices for the purpose of correcting hundreds of years of murder, slavery, discrimination, and lack of educational and economic opportunities perpetrated upon people of color. I understand that access to top schools is a key component in economic and social advancement. Therefore, I commit that my children will not apply to or attend any Ivy League School or US News & World Report Top 50 School so that position at that school is available for people of color to help correct historical wrongs. If I do not have children under 18 then I will commit to encouraging my white privileged friends, neighbors, and family members with children to sign the pledge and holding them accountable until they do so.

RTWT

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Update: This story has been denounced as a spoof by the liberal Dallas Observer. They are suspicious because efforts to locate “Dallas Justice” and its principals were not successful.

I think we’ll know more tomorrow. The Observer could be right, but the story is not really that implausible. Equally outrageous demands and proposals are advanced all the time these days.

20 Jun 2021

Racism of the Week

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The Macy Gray flag.

Sharing the same country with a large percentage of black Americans is very much like having a dangerously crazy ex-girlfriend constantly boiling your rabbit.

African Americans are frequently exceptionaily gifted in musical or athletic ability, but their greatest talent clearly lies in a different direction. No other known group could possibly compete with them in vanity and in the ability to fabricate grievances. They are what? 12% of the population? but everything, all the time, is entirely about them and how they have suffered. They always have to be the center and focus of it all. It’s racist injustice that they didn’t found the country and are not the national majority.

But the reality is: they are the people obsessed with Race. They are the racial chauvinists who value group identity over everything else and who habitually judge people by the color of their skin.

Now, two federal holidays aren’t enough. Macy Gray wants the American flag changed!

The Confederate battle flag, which was crafted as a symbol of opposition to the abolishment of slavery, is just recently tired. We don’t see it much anymore. However, on the 6th, when the stormers rained on the nation’s most precious hut, waving Old Glory — the memo was received: the American flag is its replacement.

President Biden, Madame Harris and members of Congress: the American flag has been hijacked as code for a specific belief. God bless those believers, they can have it. Like the Confederate, it is tattered, dated, divisive, and incorrect. It no longer represents democracy and freedom. It no longer represents ALL of us. It’s not fair to be forced to honor it. It’s time for a new flag.

Incorrect? Let’s look to the stars. There are 50, where there should be 52. D.C. and Puerto Rico have been lobbying for statehood for decades. Both have been denied, since statehood would allow each territory’s elected officials seats in the house.

Assuming D.C. reps would be African-American and Puerto Rican reps would be Hispanic, the ultimate assumption is that these elected officials would be Democratic. That alone is racist.

On to the stripes. The Smithsonian documents that the “white” stripes represent purity and innocence. America is great. It is beautiful. Pure, it ain’t. It is broken and in pieces.

What if the stripes were OFF-white? What if there were 52 stars to include D.C. and Puerto Rico? What if the stars were the colors of ALL of us — your skin tone and mine — like the melanin scale? The blue square represents vigilance and perseverance; and the red stripes stand for valor. America is all of those things. So, what if those elements on the flag remained? What if the flag looked like this? …

Sixty-two years later, in 2021, we have changed and it’s time for a reset, a transformation. One that represents all states and all of us.

RTWT

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

, , ,

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

, , , , ,

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!

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