URLs du Jour

2021-04-27

  • Mr. Ramirez on Creating Division in America.

    [Creating Division in America]

    He's an extremely gifted artist, but here he doesn't need it to make his point.


  • Also, A Lot of Them Chafe At Pigeonholing. On a related note, Chris Stirewalt notes Americans Color Outside the Lines. He provides some history of the consternation of racial purity (um) "advocates" and their freakouts when people refused to go along.

    Indeed, the violence and hatred at the end of Jim Crow is best understood as the death spasm of that old way of thinking. The bigots who warned that desegregation would lead to the mixing of races and the end of their understanding of whiteness were quite right. The problem for them was that in the span of just a generation or two, folks just didn’t seem to care. Gregory Williams was born to parents whose marriage would have been illegal in the Virginia of his youth. He didn’t care, and neither did his white wife—his high school sweetheart from Muncie. Her parents disowned her for race mixing, but that didn’t stop them from having four mixed-race children over a marriage spanning decades. But still today, bigots and the progressive proponents of race science hold fast to the idea of fixed, measurable race and ethnicity.

    Demographer Richard Alba explores the phenomenon of mixing in his new book, The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority and the Expanding American Mainstream. Alba explains how the efforts to slice America into thinner and thinner demographic slices has missed the real story: Americans are intermarrying and producing multi-ethnic children at greater and greater rates. While the Census Bureau and professors of critical race theory are trying to salvage ideas about race from a century ago, Americans are going about their business. That means loving whomever they choose. One in five marriages are now between different racial groups. The children of mixed-race marriages take increasingly flexible views on their own racial identity. The results of the 2020 census will surely reveal that the trend is only accelerating. What else would you expect from a country where the first non-white president was half white?

    We'll see about the census thing. For the record, the Census Bureau is pretty loosey-goosey about your response:

    We understand you might have had questions about providing this [racial] information. Here were some of the guidelines for responding:

    • Your answer to this question should be based on how you identify. Each person can decide how to answer.
    • You are free to choose where to report your identity and which boxes to mark, or not to mark.
    • You are not required to mark a checkbox category in order to enter a response in one of the write-in areas. You may respond by entering your specific identity or identities in any of the write-in response areas on the race question.

    Bottom line: you can just do what you want there. I like Ramirez's answer above.


  • Other Than That, Though, It's Peachy. Peter J. Wallison has spied a couple tiny problems with Critical Race Theory. Specifically: Critical Race Theory Rejects Rational Inquiry & Objective Truth.

    On September 22, 2020, President Trump issued Executive Order 13950, “Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.” The order contained the kind of emotionally charged language about critical race theory that is seldom seen in these legalistic documents: “This ideology is rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country; that some people, simply on account of their race or sex, are oppressors; and that racial and sexual identities are more important than our common status as human beings and Americans.”

    The order quoted from training materials being used by government agencies and from statements of the agencies themselves, such as this from the Treasury Department: “Virtually all White people, regardless of how ‘woke’ they are, contribute to racism.” The department, according to the order, “instructed small group leaders to encourage employees to avoid ‘narratives’ that Americans should ‘be more color-blind’ or ‘let people’s skills and personalities be what differentiates them.’” Trump’s order was revoked by President Biden on his first day in office.

    I usually don't like claiming that people are "scared". That can be a juvenile debate tactic.

    But I can't help but observe the Woke/SJWs/CRTists really are afraid of any naysaying to their dogma.


  • Also On The Fear Front… Pierre Lemieux notes today's bluenoses: Mrs. Grundy Against Ryan Anderson’s Book.

    I used to say, half-jokingly, that the ACLU reduced life and freedom to what happened between the waist and the knees. It is true, though, that the venerable association was defending free speech, so I should have said “between the upper lip and the knees.” They were also defending the 4th and 5th Amendments. That kept me a due-paying member for a number of years. The woke movement and its LGBTQ+ wing, which are in many ways the successors of the ACLU,  reduce life to what happens between the chest and the knees (due account being taken of the skin color).

    The delisting by Amazon of Ryan Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally (Encounter Books, 2018) is revealing. As a private company, of course, Amazon has and should have the right to refuse to bake Anderson’s cake. Fortunately, more enlightened bookstores continue to sell the book. Anderson’s book is about the transgender ideology. It argues that gender is the social manifestation of sex, that drugs and surgery cannot change one’s biological sex, and that to encourage “transitioning” including among teenagers is an error paid by those who later regret it and try to “detransition.”

    That link goes to Barnes and Noble, of course. A company unafraid that their customers won't get mental cooties from a book.

    Amazon, on the other hand, continues to hold its customers in contempt. ("We can't sell them this book! Those stupid people might be convinced by its arguments!")


  • John McWhorter Gets Near-Automatic Links From Pun Salad. He wonders: Do Black People Enjoy Being Told They Are Weak And Dumb? The Elect Hope So.

    On what we need to push back against, we must first drop in on, for example, one Tom Taylor. He’s the head of the upper school at Riverdale Country Day school, and has penned an article where he serenely lays out his educational philosophy. You know the drill from the title alone: “Independent School Rhetoric and its Role in the Neoliberal Construction of Whiteness.” Some choice passages from Mr. Taylor’s opus:

    In light of the deeply embedded and largely unexamined neoliberal ideologies in the foundation of NAIS [National Association of Independent Schools] (and thus in independent schools as a broadly constructed segment of the education landscape), it would appear that such schools are fundamentally problematic spaces.

    In light of the deeply embedded and largely unexamined neoliberal ideologies in the foundation of NAIS [National Association of Independent Schools] (and thus in independent schools as a broadly constructed segment of the education landscape), it would appear that such schools are fundamentally problematic spaces.

    Get ready, though: to people like this, problematic means blasphemous, and blasphemy requires desperate, and even hostile changes of procedure.

    Neoliberalism and its attendant beliefs about the market, individual control, and meritocracy are existential elements of independent schools and, thus, any attempt at constructing an inclusive space or decolonizing community will face immediate challenges.

    That is, the problems people like Taylor have with what they call neoliberalism justify deriding the idea of anyone having control over their fate (who isn’t white), and the things we consider it a positive trait to excel in – i.e. “meritocracy.”

    Mr Taylor is (of course) one of the persons of pallor in the "leadership" tier at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx.

Thunder Force

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Thunder Force]

There are probably a lot of better movies available to me, but (never mind the details) I was in no mood to find them among a plethora of options. So I picked this Netflix streamer off their front page.

Emily and Lydia become buddies in school, where brash and combative Lydia defends shy, studious Emily from the insults and bullying from their fellow classmates. But they have a falling out, and Lydia grows up to be a dockworker (and be played by Melissa McCarthy). Emily (Octavia Spencer) has become a scientist, specializing in…

Well, never mind that, because there's a problem: One of those freaky radioactive space storms has unleashed a wave of mutations upon Earth, giving rise to the "Miscreants", super-powered bad guys. And one of them (for no apparent reason) murdered a bunch of people on a Chicago commuter train, including Emily's parents.

OK, so Emily's out for revenge. Her research leads her to develop the power of invisibility. And through a merry mixup, Lydia gets super-strength and invulnerability. And they are off to fight crime.

This is played mostly for laughs. Bobby Cannavale plays "The King", the evil head of the Miscreants gang, and Jason Bateman is one of his underlings, "The Crab". I'm fuzzy about what superpowers the Crab was supposed to have, but he does have crab claws instead of lower arms. And in one of their early battles, it becomes apparent that he and Lydia might have feelings for each other, and his heart is not entirely black.

There are a lot of goofy lines, some of which work. I can't recommend it, but you might like it if you're in the mood.


Last Modified 2021-04-27 11:19 AM EDT