Archive for the '"Diversity"' Category


I’m not saying certain ‘progressives’ harbor authoritarian tendencies, but …

Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere:

Many times I’ve riffed on a dark, delicious fantasy about rounding up Tea Bagger types and sentencing them to green re-education camps for minimum one-year terms. Not to punish per se but to expose these contemptible morons to facts, to truth, to the way things really are and how they’re being played by the rich, and the fact that Boomers have taken almost everything and that diminished lifestyles and economic security are being bequeathed to Genx and GenY for decades to come, and that the best is definitely over. The infra-structure that once provided decent, fair-minded quality of life to middle-class people in this country is disintegrating. The game is rigged. This is the fall of the Roman Empire.

All largely because of impediments to logical, intelligent governing put up by the knee-jerk, mule-like, corporate-kowtowing mentality of Tea-Bagger types and their 60 or so looney-tunes Congresspersons now in office. We’ve truly become a South American society of rightist oligarchs, angry lefties, disillusioned wage-earners, retirement-age fuddies and struggling, debt-smothered have-nots, and the rightist boobs will never understand that they’re primarily the problem. The deficit-reduction deal will almost certainly hurt growth and kill jobs, most analysts are saying. And the radical right will own this when it happens. This level of ideological denial is no longer appalling — it’s become lethal. Ignoramuses can no longer be tolerated. The right is killing this country, things have gotten really crazy, and Obama will never stand up to them.

A second Civil War would be an incredibly destructive thing, but it would feel so good.

Well then … re-education camps and civil war … I, uh … um … wow.

If you read the Reason post I culled this quote from, you can see quite a few other examples of liberals saying, basically, that the American public is too stupid to know what’s good for them, and we should just leave complicated things like the debt ceiling up to experts. “Planners,” I suppose you could call them.


The Progressive Problem With Race

Over the past several years, since Barack Obama was elected to the Presidency — and indeed even before that, during his candidacy — we have seen a lot of hand-wringing, particularly among progressives and in the press, about race. Early hopes of a fanciful and long-heralded “national conversation” about race quickly gave way to dark accusations that, in the words of former President Jimmy Carter himself, “… an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African-American.

Continue reading ‘The Progressive Problem With Race’



Megan McArdle has a great post up about bias in academia, which is a problem that most academics would like to pretend doesn’t exist. The whole article is worth reading, but here’s the money quote:

One of the things the legacy of racism has taught us is just how good dominant groups are at constructing narratives that justify their dominance.  Somehow, the problem is never them.  It’s always the out group.  Maybe the out group has some special characteristic that makes them not want to be admitted to the circle–blacks are happy-go-lucky and don’t want the responsibility of management, women wouldn’t deign to sully themselves in commerce, Jews are too interested in money to want to attend Harvard or go into public service.  These explanations always oddly ignore the fact that many members of the out-group are complaining about being excluded.

Think about that the next time someone tells you there aren’t any conservatives in academia because they’re “more interested in making money” or “would rather join the military” or, as some studies would have it, are simply too stupid and closed-minded to make the cut.


Is our children learning?


“I think it was insulting and I’m really pissed that’s being passed out on my campus because there are racist and sexist remarks in it,” said Lyons, a junior in psychology. “I have my right not to be offended as well as their right to free speech”

That was quote in The Telescope, the student newspaper of Palomar Community College in San Marcos, California, referring to The Koala, a lewd student publication.


“Put Him Back in the Fields!”

If you want to die a little bit inside, watch this video. I would say that the “best part” is where some dude suggests putting Clarence Thomas “back in the fields,” but that would be to ignore such lovely suggestions as “cut off his toes one by one and feed them to him” and “string him up.”

I’m sure Sarah Palin made them say it, or something.

Hope! Change! Undisguised racism!


Huckleberry Finn doesn’t need an ‘update’

Alternate headline: “You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable when you can edit out things that make you uncomfortable.”

NPR reports that a new version of Huckleberry Finn will be published in February conspicuously lacking “the N-word.”

According to the article, the publisher wants a version that will be more accessible to general readers and not as likely to get banned. So, the publisher’s brilliant solution to Huck Finn being banned is to … remove the parts that keep getting it banned.

But lest you think this is some attempt to play down the race issues in the book:

One of the scholars, Alan Gribben of Auburn University, tells PW that “this is not an effort to render Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn colorblind. … Race matters in these books. It’s a matter of how you express that in the 21st century.”

Well, no, not really. It’s a matter of how Mark Twain expressed that in 1884. Books, especially books written in specific time periods and addressing topical issues, become meaningless if updated to reflect current social mores.

Huckleberry Finn was banned in the 19th century for being too progressive on race issues, and it’s banned now for being too regressive. It’s always been a challenging book. It does not sit well or mellow with age or become dusty and abstract in the mind of the American reader. That’s what makes it great and worth reading more than 100 years later.

Bowdlerizing Huckleberry Finn is not only demeaning to one of the greatest American novels, but also demeaning to the readers for which the new edition is intended.

When I was a senior in high school, my English teacher* assigned us Huckleberry Finn. Before we started reading, there was a long discussion about the book, its historical context and its use of racial slurs. When she read portions to us out loud, she said “Slave Jim,” but she insisted that the book, including the stuff that is now so distressing to our ears, was still important to understand.

At worst, removing that language is an act of cowardice, an admission that we are not willing to wrestle with the book and the questions it raises in favor of remaining “comfortable.” At best, it’s laziness, indicative of teachers who either don’t believe enough in their students to challenge them or don’t want to take the time.

Over at Salon, Elon James White has some similar thoughts:

This isn’t a case of political correctness. This is a case of being racially uncomfortable.  The idea that the book would be used if it didn’t contain the word “nigger” is preposterous. The book, which deals directly with racism, is not better served by erasing the racial slur. The only purpose is to ease the tension that is felt by parents and teachers of students who would read it. To pretend this is for some higher good is to insult the intelligence of the American public. America is a society in which our ugly history is not so far gone as to allow for cold, detached analysis. Because of the mistreatment of everyone who wasn’t/isn’t white, straight and male, America is constantly defending itself instead of dealing head-on with the wrongs that it willingly played a role in.

* This same teacher was later excoriated by the local PTA and nearly fired for assigning books like Ricochet River, which were deemed “too adult” for high school students.


Quote of the Day

This is food is like… halfway between Asian and Indian… No, no, no… listen to me. I know what I’m talking about. I’ve read about it. It’s Pakistani food.

– Overheard in a restaurant about 30 minutes ago. No Pakistani food was on the menu.