Althouse | category: race consciousness | (page 2 of 63)



an endless succession of beans and nuts.

"For a long time, the dominant thinking about Latinos was that they complicated the Black-white binary that has defined race in the United States."

"Recently, though, some Afro-Latinos have argued that Latinos have reinforced it. There are Black Latinos and white Latinos, who each experience the world differently. [Nancy López, an Afro-Dominican sociologist at the University of New Mexico] has argued that Latinos’ different experiences stem from their 'street race,' meaning how they are perceived when they walk down the street.... 'Now we’re just gonna mix race, ethnicity, and origin, everything,' she told me. 'It’s all the same. We’re all the same color. No, that’s not the reality. And to say otherwise is to eradicate our ability to document inequities based on what you look like.'... [I]t is hard to imagine what the shared racial characteristics of Latinos are. Proponents of the combined question say that the experience of anti-Latino discrimination defines Latinos as a race. This seems to grant too much power to non-Latinos to define who Latinos are, and doesn’t acknowledge how Latinos, even if they are racialized, are racialized differently depending on factors such as skin color and class background...."

"How Rod Dreher's Blog Got a Little 'Too Weird' for The American Conservative."

I'm reading this Vanity Fair article by Caleb Ecarma. Subtitle: "The right-wing commentator’s columns, which were unedited and bankrolled by a single donor, will be shuttered Friday after a 12-year run. Sources say it was ultimately a diatribe on circumcision that was a bridge too far."
Over the last 12 years, Dreher... has built a cult following with some of the most bizarre diatribes in opinion journalism. He has warned that so-called sissy hypnosis porn is “profoundly evil;” detailed the “formal” Catholic exorcism of a friend’s suicidal wife; and recalled—in unsettling detail—the time he witnessed a Black classmate's uncircumcised penis....

Howard Ahmanson Jr., the heir to a California banking fortune [was] the sole benefactor of Dreher’s six-figure salary.... This unique funding arrangement—a single donor choosing to cover one writer’s entire salary—was paired with an even more unusual editorial arrangement: Dreher was allowed to publish directly on TAC’s site without any revisions or legal oversight.... 

That is, I would say, Dreher was allowed to write a real blog. And he got real money for blogging the real way. It's appropriate that a writer be paid. But all the money came from one guy. How can you write like that?! I guess it depends on the guy. You'd have to think about whether this one guy is getting what he wants... or enough of what he wants... to keep the money flowing.

Ahmanson must have loved Dreher, so where did Dreher go wrong? Sources tell Vanity Fair it was that post about circumcision. Dreher wrote:

“All us boys wanted to stare at his primitive root wiener when we were at the urinal during recess, because it was monstrous. Nobody told us that wieners could look like that.” 

I took a moment to look up Ahmanson. From his Wikipedia page, check out his "occupation": 

"Heir, idle rich, financier." Oh, Wikipedia!

It wasn't just calling a black man's uncircumcised penis a "primitive root wiener."

Some of Dreher’s commentary on the gay and transgender communities also proved off-putting to Ahmanson, such as his lurid musings on anal sex, rectal bleeding, and the “partially rotted off” nose of a gay man who contracted monkeypox. 
“At some point, he basically decided, 'This is too weird,’” the source, paraphrasing Ahmanson, explained to me. “‘I don’t want to read this or pay for this anymore.’”

The problem was either that or the fact that Dreher, who lives in Hungary, revealed that the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán said NATO is "in a war with Russia" and he wants out of the European Union. That caused a stir.

In his final TAC post, Dreher closed by saying to his readers: “All you Mongoloids were the Primitive Root Wiener in my Lucky Dog, and I love you very much.” I'm sure his closest readers understood all the references. I only get "Primitive Root Wiener" and it's hard to fathom why he would write that... other than that to blog well you have to take chances and say some unusual things. I'm going to guess that Dreher will be better off on his own at Substack with the money coming from a multitude of readers and not from one man — who, of course, had to worry about having his own reputation wedded to the words of a blogger.

"When California was drawing up its Constitution to join the Union, the state debated excluding Black people."

"The delegate who brought forth an exclusion resolution said that with migrating free Black people, the state could find itself 'flooded with a population of free Negroes,' which would be 'the greatest calamity that could befall California.' In that way, what [Scott] Adams said, while racist, was less outside the bounds of America’s troubled ideological canon and more in step with it on the question of having a functional, egalitarian, pluralistic society."

The last 2 paragraphs of "The ‘Dilbert’ Cartoonist and the Durability of White-Flight Thinking" by Charles Blow (in the NYT).

"Twitter and Tesla chief Elon Musk defended Scott Adams... in a series of tweets Sunday, blasting media organizations for dropping his comic strip..."

I'm reading "Musk defends 'Dilbert' creator, says media is 'racist against whites'/The Tesla and Twitter chief blasted media outlets for dropping Scott Adams’s comic strip after the cartoonist’s rant against Black people" by Will Oremus (WaPo).
Replying to tweets about the controversy, Musk said it is actually the media that is “racist against whites & Asians.”... 
In further tweets Sunday, Musk agreed with a tweet that said “Adams’ comments weren’t good” but there’s “an element of truth” to them, and suggested in a reply that media organizations promote a “false narrative” by giving more coverage to unarmed Black victims of police violence than they do to unarmed White victims of police violence.... 

Here's the Musk tweet, responding to someone who tweeted that the MSM had concluded that Adams is racist:

The media is racist

Musk then added:

For a *very* long time, US media was racist against non-white people, now they’re racist against whites & Asians. 

Same thing happened with elite colleges & high schools in America.

Maybe they can try not being racist.

And when someone tweeted...

Adams' comments weren't good. But there's an element of truth to's complicated. Mainly we've leaned into identity with predictable results, and power today is complicated. We were on the right path with colorblindness and need to return to it.

... Musk responded:


I used boldface to identify text that is not in the WaPo article. That is, the WaPo writer does not open up the question whether identity politics is a tragic mistake and colorblindness could be the right answer.

"Newspapers across the United States have pulled... 'Dilbert'... after the cartoonist called Black Americans a 'hate group' and said White people should 'get the hell away from' them...."

"The once widely celebrated cartoonist, who has been entertaining extreme-right ideologies and conspiracy theories for several years, was upset Wednesday by a Rasmussen poll that found a thin majority of Black Americans agreed with the statement 'It’s okay to be White.'... [O]n his YouTube show Saturday... [Scott Adams] offered a long, quasi-Socratic defense of his comments, which he said were taken out of context, and seemed to define racism as essentially any political activity. 'Any tax code change is racist,' he said at one point in the show. He denounced racism against 'individuals' and racist laws, but said, 'You should absolutely be racist whenever it’s to your advantage. Every one of you should be open to making a racist personal career decision.' In the same show, Adams suggested that he had done irreparable harm to a once-sterling career. 'Most of my income will be gone by next week,' he told about 3,000 live-stream viewers. 'My reputation for the rest of my life is destroyed. You can’t come back from this, am I right? There’s no way you can come back from this.'"

Here is today's episode, the one with what WaPo calls "a long, quasi-Socratic defense." You can judge for yourself:

"When I graduated with a medical degree in 1973, a Black woman in a class of mostly White men, there was a real sense that the days of obsessing over skin color..."

"... and making race-based assumptions about our fellow human beings was finally fading — and, hopefully, soon gone for good. Apparently not. That racial obsession has come rushing back — in academia, politics, business and even in my beloved medical profession. But now it’s coming from the opposite direction...."

"I reject the unscientific accusation that people are defined by their race, not by their individual beliefs and choices. It is little consolation that studies are finding implicit bias training has no effect on its intended targets, and might even make matters worse. Think about the message this mandate sends to Black physicians. It suggests that I should be wary of my White colleagues because, after all, they’re biased against people like me. Sure, they can undergo frequent training, but their bias is always going to be there, beneath the surface, threatening to rear its ugly, racist head.... Since I became a physician, I have seen exactly one instance of racism in health care — and it was from a patient, not a fellow physician. As for my colleagues, I have been consistently impressed with the conscientious, individualized care they have provided to patients of every race and culture... [T]he message to patients is much worse. Black people are, in effect, being told that White physicians are likely to quite literally damage our health...."

She's getting trashed in the comments over there.

"Many of the changes to Dahl’s books seem minor: 'I’d knock her flat' becomes the much more diplomatic 'I’d give her a right talking to,' for instance."

"'You saucy beast!' becomes 'You trickster!' Other changes are just patronising. The Witches once imagined a woman 'working as a cashier in a supermarket or typing letters for a businessman.' Now she might be 'working as a top scientist or running a business.' Are there no women cashiers now? Rather than going  white as a shee,' the Queen’s maid in The BFG now goes 'still as a statue.' Dahl can’t even poke fun at a tortoise any more. In Esio Trot, tortoises can only read backwards because they are 'very backwards creatures.' How rude! Now they can only read backwards ... just because. And when Boggis, Bunce and Bean set out on their tractors to destroy the foxes’ home once and for all in Fantastic Mr Fox, the animals once noted in terror that 'The machines were black. They were murderous, brutal-looking monsters.' The tractors are no longer black, just in case a fox was being racist."

Writes Laura Hackett, in "Censoring Roald Dahl? I’ll be keeping my original copies/The author’s books have been edited for fear of offending. Kids should be allowed to read them in their full, nasty, colourful glory" (London Times).

I already blogged about this travesty yesterday. I'm blogging again because this has new examples of the awful wreckage.

"Once I’d finished this brief summary of my impostor syndrome... my dinner companion, another white female academic, replied curtly, 'That’s such a white-lady thing to say.'"

Writes Leslie Jamison, in "Why Everyone Feels Like They’re Faking It/The concept of Impostor Syndrome has become ubiquitous. Critics, and even the idea’s originators, question its value" (The New Yorker).
In the wake of her comment, the table quieted a bit as people sensed—the way a constellation of strangers often can—the presence of some minor friction. My seatmate and I turned to the only woman of color at the table, a Black professor, so that she could, presumably, tell us what to think about the whiteness of impostor syndrome....

Yikes. You're not supposed to do that! Bad etiquette! 

... though perhaps there were things she wanted to do (like finish eating dinner) more than she wanted to mediate a spat between two white ladies about whether we were saying white-lady things or not. She graciously explained that she didn’t particularly identify with the experience. She hadn’t often felt like an impostor, because she had more frequently found herself in situations where her competence or intelligence had been underestimated than in ones where it was taken for granted. 
In the years since then, I’ve heard many women of color—friends, colleagues, students, and people I’ve interviewed on the subject—articulate some version of this sentiment. Lisa Factora-Borchers, a Filipinx American author...


... and activist, told me, “Whenever I’d hear white friends talk about impostor syndrome, I’d wonder, How can you think you’re an impostor when every mold was made for you? When you see mirror reflections of yourself everywhere, and versions of what your success might look like?”


"One of the sad facts about anti-Black racism is that Black people ourselves are not immune to its pernicious effects."

Writes Van Jones in "The police who killed Tyre Nichols were Black. But they might still have been driven by racism" (CNN).
Society’s message that Black people are inferior, unworthy and dangerous is pervasive. Over many decades, numerous experiments have shown that these ideas can infiltrate Black minds as well as White. Self-hatred is a real thing. That’s why a Black store owner might regard customers of his same race with suspicion, while treating his White patrons with deference. 
Black people can harbor anti-Black sentiments and can act on those feelings in harmful ways. Black cops are often socialized in police departments that view certain neighborhoods as war zones. In those departments, few officers get disciplined for dishing out “street justice” in certain precincts — often populated by Black, brown or low-income people — where there is a tacit understanding that the “rulebook” simply doesn’t apply.... 
Back in 1989, the rap group NWA highlighted the problem in a classic hip-hop anthem, in which Ice Cube rapped: “But don’t let it be a Black and White (cop)/ Coz they’ll slam ya/ Down to the street top/ Black police showing out for the White cop.”...

Some people are over-reacting to this column and seem as if they were hoping that because the 5 police officers who killed Tyre Nichols are black, we can proceed directly to color-blindness. Too soon! Too easy! Let's look straightforwardly at reality and not coddle ourselves.

"How Rod Dreher's Blog Got a Little 'Too Weird' for The American Conservative.""Newspapers across the United States have pulled... 'Dilbert'... after the cartoonist called Black Americans a 'hate group' and said White people should 'get the hell away from' them...."

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