David Thompson
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October 18, 2009

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mlrosty

The title says it all. Not "Are You Racist?" but "How Racist *Are* You?"

Pete

Thanks for the warning, I'll know to avoid Channel 4 for that one! What I'm looking forward to is the BNP on Question Time this week. It will be fun to watch the current shower, sans principals, moral authority or backbone, trying to smackdown a wind up merchant like Griffin.

Elrond Hubbard

People who sit passively and listen to Ms Elliott's vile crap are the real problem and they deserve everything they get.

Jason Bontrager

Someone should arrange a debate between Ms. Elliott and Andrew Dice Clay. That would be amusing:-)

Hannon

In all seriousness, is it possible to be racist against yourself? Isn't that the message these bitter women [all women-- note to self] ultimately arrive at? For white folks? "How Racist Are You Against Yourself? Is It Enough?"

David

Pete,

“It will be fun to watch the current shower, sans principals, moral authority or backbone, trying to smackdown a wind up merchant like Griffin.”

I suppose that’s one way of putting it. But, yes, it might be interesting to see one kind of bad faith colliding with another.

mlrosty,

During her various engagements, Elliott has said that while racism “isn’t innate” (i.e. innate in “white folk”), it is something that “all white people” have learned and perpetuate, consciously or otherwise. Racism, she claims, is something that “white people” invented. (I’d imagine some actual historians will be entertained by this “discovery”.) She also claims that IQ tests are racist and that white people are “parasitic” and have “stolen” almost every modern convenience – even English itself - from darker, and presumably nobler, cultures.

As with so many stars of the identity politics racket, Elliott is reluctant to acknowledge how mainstream society has changed within her own lifetime and she seems to believe we still live in the 1920s. Like her fellow hustlers, she’s fixated with tribalism and group victimhood, and largely indifferent to the individual *as* an individual, whatever their pigmentation. The combination of historical ignorance, arrogant presumption and sheer derangement is quite staggering. It’s a wonder she isn’t laughed out of every room she enters.

A nasty, vindictive, pernicious old harridan.

mlrosty

"Jane Elliott has lived through revolutionary cultural changes without taking note of any. She teaches only helplessness and despair to blacks and only blood-guilt and self-contempt to whites."

But it mustn't ever get better. She's got to keep those bookings rolling in.

David

mlrosty,

“But it mustn’t ever get better. She’s got to keep those bookings rolling in.”

In 2000, Elliott was being paid for her “diversity training” to the tune of around $6000 a day. Behold your tax dollars at work.

But we’ve seen this hustle before too. Remember Dr Caprice Hollins, the Director of Equity, Race & Learning Support for Seattle’s public schools? Hollins famously dismissed individualism, long-term planning (or “future time orientation”) and the speaking of grammatical English as “white values.” The expectation among teachers that all students should be responsible individuals and meet certain linguistic and organisational standards is, according to Dr Hollins, a form of “cultural racism.”

Speaking of her appointment in 2004, Hollins announced, “Now I’ll be part of a system that some people see as an oppressive system… I have the role of dismantling that institutional racism… They wouldn’t have hired me if there wasn’t a need. I just need to find out what that need is.”

Some three years later, Hollins admitted to the Seattle Times that she had in fact managed to find *no evidence whatsoever* of institutional racism in Seattle’s public schools. Dr Hollins is of course still employed and still claiming her $86,000 salary. Without a flicker of irony or embarrassment, Hollins has subsequently extended her mission beyond the school gates. In order to find unspeakable wickedness “within the school system,” she’s now reduced to turning over stones in children’s summer holidays, which, she claims, constitute “an example of systemic problems.”

http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2008/01/feel-my-rebelli.html

JuliaM

"She describes herself as the “resident bitch for the day,” and speaks to the blue-eyed contingent as though they were criminally stupid or stupidly criminal. “Keep your fucking mouth shut,” she tells one smiling blue-eyed young man. “I don’t play second banana.”.."

So she squares up to (and deliberately taunts) someone she knows cannot treat her in the same fashion? Very brave.

Try that somewhere else, with someone else, and you'll in trouble, Ms Elliot. But then, these types never do, do they?

David

Julia,

“So she squares up to (and deliberately taunts) someone she knows cannot treat her in the same fashion? Very brave.”

Exactly. If you sit through videos of her in action, you’ll see how much she relishes the role. It’s egomaniacal and openly sadistic. Evidently, Elliott enjoys humiliating people who are very often there against their will and obliged to comply.

If you watch the “Blue Eyed” documentary linked below, you’ll see Elliott loads her absurd “exercise” from the very start. (See the guy with the name tag around 3:25 and ask yourself how you’d react to this woman.) She treats the participants with condescension and contempt before they even begin, then exploits the inevitable build-up of resentment as if it somehow validated her crusade. It’s pure shameless hucksterism and utterly fatuous. Yet Elliott has done the same schtick at hundreds of colleges and company training sessions and is acclaimed for her services to “social justice.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xtdmwi-WUAA

Elliott also clearly has severe personal issues, most obviously regarding men. She sticks her fingers in men’s faces and lectures them preemptively, seizing every opportunity to harangue and patronise. (See how she treats the guy around 7:00 in.) The more polite the men are, the more offensive she becomes. It’s continual provocation. It’s a wonder no-one has propelled her head through the nearest wall. And note that the default hostility begins before the participants have been assigned their roles and continues long after the “exercise” has ended. Whatever the claims of being “an inoculation against racism,” this is about Elliott’s own personal psychodrama. And at around $6000 a day, it’s not a bad scam.

AntiCitizenOne

The BNP will thank her greatly for making reducing racism to a joke.

anon

> “We don't have at present very good long-term outcome measures to see what kinds of effects these training initiatives are having, if indeed any effects at all," says Louise Pendry of Exeter University. In fact, some courses could even do more harm than good. Tracie Stewart, a professor at Georgia University who looks into the causes and effects of ethnic stereotyping, says people turn the anger on themselves because of their own prejudices. In some courses, she says, participants' frustration about their inability to change can even lead to a "backlash" or "victim blame", where they actually begin to harbour resentment against other minority groups for the way they feel."

> "Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn, a cultural historian in the US, argues awareness of racism has made people increasingly anxious about not wanting to cause offence. This, in turn, drives the need for more instruction in the correct "racial etiquette". Even the mildest incidents and jokes can be deemed offensive and inflate tensions in the office. Diversity training, it's claimed, actually reinforces the sense of difference between people rather than bringing them closer."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4521244.stm

carbon based lifeform

I just watched the first part of the video. I can't believe what I've just seen. She's seriously screwed up.

TDK

From Reason:

"Nichols calls his science of value systems "axiology," and he believes that if managers and administrators understand these cultural differences, they can manage more effectively, understanding why, according to him, blacks attach no importance to being on time, while whites are compulsive about it. Whites are logical; blacks are intuitive and empathetic. Whites are frigid; blacks are warm and spontaneous. Whites are relentlessly acquisitive; nonwhites are in harmony with nature."
...and many others...

What strikes me about this is the wafer thin gap between him and Nick Griffin. Both share a deterministic understanding of race and identity and both make gross generalisations. They are both race essentialists whose only difference is that one uses progressive language to obfuscate his message.

Perhaps the BNP can start promoting Axiology.?

David

TDK,

“Both share a deterministic understanding of race and identity and both make gross generalisations.”

Exactly. If you want to see blatant racism and absurd caricature, peddlers of “diversity training” are often a very good place to start. That, or academia - e.g., Wahneema Lubiano, Noel Ignatiev, Caprice Hollins, etc.

George

It is becoming mind-numblingly obvious that one now can only wear one's inevitable racism with pride and that it is in fact any potential victims that should de facto apologise in advance.

KRW

I was once held captive at one of these training "seminars" back in the 90's and we were fed several urban legends that were racist and sexist themselves. If the stories we were fed were to be believed, women were not buying trucks simply because there was no "make-up mirror" on the driver's side visor and that people in Africa were so illiterate (and stupid) that since they couldn't read, they thought a picture of a human baby on a can of baby food indicated that what was in the can was ground-up human babies. This class was being taught by black women. I rolled my eyes too many times and got kept after class and given a lecture (and a business card for someone to contact to "help" me with my "issues"). It was so absurd, when I mentioned it to my (conservative-minded) doctor, he didn't believe me and wanted to speak to my wife about my sanity. So now after 12 years of this nonsense, I finally have some video evidence. Not that it matters anymore, as I am resigned to my padded room future...

Wm T Sherman

I confess to an urge to oppress Jane Elliot. I would like to reeducate her buttocks by whipping them with a car antenna.

I must pummel these thoughts from my mind, pummel them...

TimT

It is becoming mind-numblingly obvious that one now can only wear one's inevitable racism with pride and that it is in fact any potential victims that should de facto apologise in advance.

That's the pity of racial evangelists like Elliott - their rhetoric is so totalising, their ideology so complete, that it makes no allowances for evidence. Result: real examples of racial animosity are wilfully equated with non-existent examples of racial animosity. Decent folk are victimised while extreme racists, nationalists, and the like are let off the hook.

SG

> And note that the default hostility begins before the participants have been assigned their roles and continues long after the "exercise" has ended. Whatever the claims of being "an inoculation against racism," this is about Elliott’s own personal psychodrama. And at around $6000 a day, it’s not a bad scam. <

Does she single people out because they "look" racist?

Ralph

"Decent folk are victimised while extreme racists, nationalists, and the like are let off the hook."

Extreme racists get jobs in the "diversity" industry.

David

SG,

“Does she single people out because they ‘look’ racist?”

Heh. Well, the attempts to degrade are meant to be part of the “exercise” but she can’t help being vindictive beforehand and afterwards, especially towards certain targets. Much of the sadism is obviously gratuitous and instinctive. Perhaps it’s a compulsion. I suspect she’s just damaged. After all, what kind of personality would be so drawn to authoritarian re-education of a most intimate kind? Whether it’s called “training,” “facilitation” or an “inoculation,” that is what we’re talking about.

It’s interesting that the publicity material for “Blue Eyed” admits that Elliott “does not intellectualise highly emotionally charged or challenging topics.” Instead, “she uses participants’ own emotions to make them feel discomfort, guilt, shame, embarrassment and humiliation.” And there’s the rub. Forcing people to take part in a pantomime of emotion will make them less coherent, less questioning and more accepting of her premise. Elliott loads her foolish and sadistic “exercise” before she starts; she stresses and humiliates people, makes cartoonish claims about what this means, and then pretends that their distress and resentment validate her point. It doesn’t, of course. Watch the videos and see how almost everything she says and does is inaccurate, wrong-headed or inexcusably tendentious. It’s hokum.

What Elliott peddles is essentially a vicarious payback fantasy. It relies on the presumptive “we” and goes something like this: “We” have abused black people – all black people, for all time – it’s basically what “we” white people do, and have always done. We steal, enslave and bully, whether we realise it or not. (Our minds are not our own. Except for Jane, of course.) So “we” must be bullied in order to learn empathy and sensitivity. (There being no other way.) This empathy will be achieved by continual provocation, revisionist history and lurid caricature. Once “we” feel the appropriate level of humiliation and hallucinatory shame, “we” can spend the rest of our lives being vigilant, pretentious and/or neurotic.

Bad medicine.

TimT

This is what gets me. How is she able to argue that the English language did not come from white people originally?

'White people' is a useless term anyway, meaning either Anglo or Celtic or European or European-American or colonial European or something else, usually depending on what the speaker wants it to mean for their rhetoric to be effective. But granted that Elliott means something like 'people of an Anglo-Saxon background', the argument is still dumb.

David

Tim,

You’ll see she frequently uses terms ambiguously and/or tendentiously. When she tells her victims that “black” people were in America 600 years before white people, what does she mean? Native Americans? Yupiks? Inuits? Africans? It isn’t clear. She uses the term “black” to mean anyone who isn’t Caucasian – i.e., to mean People Better Than You. But the point of the “exercise” isn’t to be clear or rigorous or coherent. (See her excuses and evasions when Andrew Anthony points out that the “exercise” doesn’t actually work.) It’s about making people feel bad – “We stole those ideas from other people” - “White” equals “parasite” and “oppressor,” etc. And it’s about making people do as they’re told. It’s a control fetish masquerading as “social justice.” Think Mao in a trouser suit.

David Gillies

I'm a bit intrigued by the idea that white people didn't create English. From a linguistic standpoint, the best you can do is parse the 'Indo' out of 'Indo-European' to say that the progenitors of the language group were a bit swarthier than your average Saxon. Of course, like so much in the flabbier reaches of the social sciences this has the joint properties of being true but uninteresting (the other salient combination being interesting nonsense).

People like Elliott are grotesquely parasitical. She is a leech on productive society. Nothing that she does is illuminative, or edifying, or useful. If her existence were to be erased by fiat tomorrow, the world would be almost unaltered (except inasmuch as it would have been nudged a quantum in the direction of being a more pleasant place). The problem is we're too afraid to tackle these people. Disdain, derision, hooting mockery: all of these should be deployed against cultural terrorists like Elliott. I won't knuckle under. I'm a libertarian minarchocapitalist. I've been called a Nazi, to my face, by people like this. My response is very akin to that of William F. Buckley when accused of being such by the loathsome Gore Vidal.

David

David G,

“The problem is we’re too afraid to tackle these people.”

There is, I think, a depressing inhibition, even when it becomes clear just how sinister she is.

There’s no conclusive long-term evidence that Elliott’s pantomime actually reduces prejudice (as opposed to, say, inflaming it). And there’s no evidence that any alleged benefits outweigh the distress and humiliation she inflicts with such enthusiasm. Yet the money, including public money, continues to roll in. But what’s most sinister is how inhibited commentators are and how little has been said about the arrogance and profound immorality of what she does. (The children in her original “exercise” weren’t told beforehand what it was meant to achieve, which suggests an extraordinary disregard for the children and their parents.)

I think Andrew Anthony is much too forgiving of Elliott, but he still registers a “nagging suspicion that she’s more excited by white fear than she is by black success.” After watching her in action, this conclusion is hard to avoid. What drives her is not benign. And the basic question remains unanswered. On what grounds does she feel entitled to indulge her sadistic urges? When did it become acceptable to impose “correction” of this kind on people against their will? Are they criminals? If the number of bigots and imbeciles isn’t shrinking as quickly as you’d like, does this give you license to resort to totalitarian hokum?

Stuck-Record

'The problem is we're too afraid to tackle these people."

Quite. But there is a sound reason for this.

These psychopathic loons have the magic 'witchcraft' button. All they need to do is press it and you become a non-person. Any argument, any logic goes out the window. You are A BAD PERSON.

This doesn't just destroy any argument you may be having but can destroy friendships and work life. People can (and have) lost everything by having the modern Witchfinder Generals point a twitching finger at them.

Welcome to the 21st century Salem witch trials.

Bessie

"She told the students that if they were angry at her, they should write letters, but that they must do so without paper, alphabet, or numbers, all of which were invented by people of colour."

The one historical episode of racism from white Europeans that causes me shame is the 18th-century practice of acquiring slaves to send to the colonies. And this was inflicted on people who did *not* invent writing systems, writing media, or number systems that we could borrow. In fact, it was probably the West Africans' unfortunate lack of such useful past inventions that led Europeans to the erroneous belief that they were fit only to work on plantations.

So I'm mystified as to why Jane Elliott thinks it's relevant to force her victims to consider the achievements of China, India and the Middle East. We have long acknowledged them.

I'm similarly mystified about the language issue. OK -- according to the most influential theory, the Indo-European language family may have 'surfed' into Europe on the wave of agricultural revolution that started in the Middle East. But that makes it a by-product, not a deliberate borrowing. So what's her point?

(Unless she's suggesting a process of deliberate creolization, analogous to the development of the language Tok Pisin from English. But that would be a *very* sophisticated argument. I'm not holding my breath.)

tehag

From the article:

"For one thing," she says, "the main thing, white people are rapidly losing their numerical majority in the United States of America. And so people of colour are going to be the people in positions in power in the future. White people are finally beginning to realise that. Some of them are scared to death."

So Elliot admits that Enoch Powell was right: once whites aren't a majority, rivers of [white] blood will flow as Elliot's students re-educate ineducable whites?

anon

Stuck-Record,

"People can (and have) lost everything by having the modern Witchfinder Generals point a twitching finger at them."

Read this (and weep):

"The exercise should strike most people as manipulative and sadistic. But to Elliott and fellow trainers, everyone is better off for having undergone it… Its main premise, that whites require remedial measures to expunge their inherent racial bias, has won converts throughout the top echelons of corporate life… The "blue eyes-brown eyes" exercise, and its underlying thinking, is also the coin of the realm among leaders in government, philanthropy and higher education. Even skeptics among them (assuming they still exist) have learned for the most part to put aside their misgivings and play along, lest they invite a reputation for racial insensitivity and maybe a lawsuit."

http://97.74.65.51/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=1019

David

There’s also this, from the same article:

“Government agencies likewise rely on Elliott’s methods to train employees. Diversity sessions at the Federal Aviation Administration, for example, have included segments in which dissenting, or potentially dissenting, employees were tormented by peers. At one point, white males were verbally abused by black co-workers and then forced to walk a gauntlet, aggressively fondled by female workers.”

And,

“Psychologist Edwin J. Nichols, who heads a Washington, D.C. training firm, has performed Jane Elliott-inspired seminars and full-scale cultural audits for at least a half-dozen cabinet-level departments, three branches of the armed services, the Federal Reserve Bank, the FBI, the IRS, NASA, the Goddard Space Center, plus any number of state and local government agencies. Whites, he believes, are emotionally cold people, the result of their evolution since the Ice Age…”

http://97.74.65.51/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=1019

Just how creepy is it now?

pt591

"When did it become acceptable to impose "correction" of this kind on people against their will? Are they criminals?"

Yes, thought criminals. Any one of them could be thinking impure thoughts.

Don Sharpe

I just picture her at a Rodney Carrington show lifting up her shirt as he sings, "Show Them To Me".
There, get that mental image out of your head!
Seriously, you gotta laugh at a teacher that is this fuckin' scary.
Imagine the trauma she would have caused thousands of schoolchildren if she'd stayed a teacher.
Canadian Witchfinder Richard Warman would have been teachers pet, for sure.

David Gillies

After further thought, I think I have found why Elliott's tactics are so objectionable. It is that there is no counter to them. I know I wrote that we are afraid to tackle people like her, but really the problem is that even a full-blooded assault avails us nothing. Something as intellectually vacuous as Elliott's universal racism doesn't give any handle by which it can be grasped and engaged in argument. It's shadow-boxing. You can't land a blow. One could call it the Mandy Rice-Davies defence: where all purported points of logic and ratiocination are waved away with a, "well, he would, wouldn't he?" followed by a titter from the crowd in the courtroom. It has never ceased to be a source of amazement and chagrin to me that the fact of having, say, gay or black or Jewish friends cannot be adduced in evidence against one's being bigoted against members of such groups. WHY is the 'some of my best friends are X' defence dismissed tout court? If this is, in point of fact, the case, then it is not special pleading. It is mitigation. If a good-faith attempt to plead one's case is negated at every turn by doctrinaire victimology, then where is justice? It's traditional at this point to mention Kafka or Orwell. Big yawns all round. Yeah, been there, read that (or more likely these days, heard it narrated by Julia Ormond). But just because "some of my dystopian nightmares were written by X" does not rob them of their salience.

David

David G,

“One could call it the Mandy Rice-Davies defence: where all purported points of logic and ratiocination are waved away with a, ‘well, he would, wouldn’t he?’”

It is rather impervious to argument. But then bad faith usually is. She’s not alone in this and I’ve encountered other traffickers in guilt who regard virtually any opposition as proving their righteousness. The very act of dissenting confirms just how racist / patriarchal / wicked the dissenter is - and how badly “correction” is needed. It’s a common enough dishonesty. (See, for instance, Margaret Jamison, who’s elevated the manoeuvre almost to an art form.)

Elliott is fixated with milking feelings (at least of a certain kind) and is openly dismissive of “intellectualising” her actions – by which she means attempts to explain why her work is tendentious hokum. She simply doesn’t engage with factual errors or serious criticism (see the Observer interview) – her only weapon is emotional manipulation. As I said, if you can stress people enough in a particular way, they’ll tend to be less questioning, more compliant and more susceptible to the premise. Even a ludicrous one. The irrational and distressing environment Elliott creates makes calm debate quite difficult, which is precisely why she does it. As well as having issues with men, I suspect she also has issues regarding intelligence and her own inadequacies. Which is just the kind of hang-up you want in a school teacher…

TDK

I read an article a while ago which reported that focusing education on the wrongs done by majorities upon minorities didn't actually empower the minorities but in fact just increased resentment and reinforced educational underachievement. They mentioned initiatives like Black History Month. If you teach young blacks that their history consists mainly of being the perpetual victims of white injustice then that acts as a disincentive to effort, not an encouragement.

It follows that if you teach young whites that their history consists mainly of being the victimisers of minorities, and moreover that this need not be even a conscious act, then it seems an insurmountable problem. It makes interracial interaction more difficult because being racist (via giving offence) appears inevitable - it is just a matter of time. Most people feel awkward in that situation and not unreasonably take steps to avoid it where possible. It reduces interaction and undermines integration.

Critics like Shelby Steele and Thomas Sewell have pointed out the fact that efforts to improve interracial understanding like black history months tend to focus attention on the negative interactions that have held minorities back rather than the positive achievements of certain minority figures. So Booker T Washington is diminished at the expense of minor agitators. In the British context Mary Seacole is mentioned not because of her achievements in nursing, but because Florence Nightingale stole her place in the history books.

Thomas Sewell writes about this here http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell022702.asp

He makes an interesting observation: "Shelby Steele has pointed out that whites are desperate to escape guilt and blacks are desperate to escape implications of inferiority."

This is what is going on at the moment. People can see the nonsense that Elliott represents but everyone is terrified to challenge her. However, I do think this will change, if only because as China and India grow as world powers the temporary ascendency of the west will end. Already in the pantheon of wicked people, Jews and Japanese are honorary whites. As more and more Asians reach the same level, the reductionist argument: "white people are the source of all evil" becomes unsustainable.

Anna

TDK,

Best line -

"…for many people, an excuse is better than an achievement. That is because an achievement, no matter how great, leaves you having to prove yourself again in the future. But an excuse can last for life."

That's what Elliott's selling –an excuse. Just stay bitter kids!

David

“Perception is everything… If someone perceives something as racist then I am responsible for not saying that thing.”

It’s worth pointing out that Elliott’s comments, quoted above, reflect an attitude that’s remarkably common in certain circles - this “perception is everything” crap. I’ve just been listening to Radio 4’s Media Show and one of the topics was the recent Daily Mail article about Stephen Gately. The Guardian’s Emily Bell was asked whether she felt the article was homophobic. After umming quite a bit, her eventual reply was that she didn’t feel *entitled* to an opinion because she isn’t gay. That, she felt, was for gay people to decide (or words to that effect).

Now I’m not interested in whether the article was homophobic or not. What’s interesting is the readiness to surrender all judgment to some notional “community” or Designated Victim Group. (Or whichever member of that group is prepared to shout loudest.) Again, the particulars didn’t seem to matter – because it’s up to the Designated Victim Group to decide, unilaterally, what constitutes “phobia” or oppression or whatever. It’s a kind of moral cowardice.

KRW

I've been arguing against this "perception is reality" crap for nearly 15 years, after it was first presented to me as "fact" by a psychiatrist/marriage counselor. It is impossible to argue because it is implicit to the argument that you are starting from different (potentially multiply different) premises. When I pointed out to the shrink that if I accepted his argument (which I would not) it was then my "perception" that perception was NOT reality, well...I was the one just being silly. It was at this point that my wife joined forces with me against him and then refused to go to any more sessions.

It didn't solve anything for us, as we continued to have the same issues (which magically went away after onset of menopause and her eventual hysterectomy). However I went back to him one last time, alone, to wrap up some issues I still had and found that unlike his previous complete complicity with everything she had to say, he had now turned against her. He started pointing out all the terrible things she had said to me (typical PMS flair-ups common in the battle of the sexes context). Yet he had been totally silent when she made them and would even nod his head as if in agreement. Through it all, he was never flummoxed by any point raised by me because there were never any "right" answers except as how he would define them after the fact.

David

KRW,

“I’ve been arguing against this ‘perception is reality’ crap for nearly 15 years…”

In my experience those who insist “perception is everything” don’t seem troubled by what that logically entails and which roads it leads us down. Applied in practice, as Elliott demands, it leads to scenarios like this: If I say something that a Designated Victim takes exception to, I’m “obviously” to blame. Whatever my intention, whatever I actually said, whatever misunderstanding took place, whatever the truth of what was said… it’s entirely my fault. Because - to paraphrase Elliott - I should have known better and should have kept quiet. If someone takes exception (for whatever reason, valid or not), I no longer get any say in the matter. And truth is no defence because... well, I should have known better.

It’s an abandonment of reason and morality in favour of tribalism and role-play. And it’s a license for malicious opportunism. (“I’m losing the argument… He’s hurting my feelings… Make him shut up… Make him pay…”)

Amos

I watched the video and I really can't believe people hire her. Why do they go along with it? She's just a hateful old bitch.

David

Amos,

“Why do they go along with it?”

In many cases, if not most, because they have little choice (or feel they have little choice). Refusal can be construed as signifying racism or a disregard for workplace impropriety. For some, there are issues of liability and public relations. “Diversity training” is either mandatory or practically mandatory in many government departments and throughout large swathes of academia, and “diversity” programmes are often a condition of winning government contracts. Don’t forget Elliott’s “exercise” is meant to be compulsory to have its intended effect. It’s about hurting people emotionally, demoralising them, infantilising them and compromising their probity. Elliott’s brand of “diversity facilitation” may be extreme but her influence is enormous and many less overtly abusive approaches share much the same premise and similar assumptions.

KRW

David,
"It’s an abandonment of reason and morality in favour of tribalism and role-play"...but it's even worse than that. Tribalism and role-play are at least something that conceptually can be addressed. The abandonment of reason is the rub. It's as if our language lacks terms to describe the problem accurately from the outside of the problem space...if that makes sense...hence the problem. Either you or perhaps it was another blog, can't find it now, referenced an ancient Greek philosopher who raised the conundrum that there are some problems that language simply cannot describe. Been trying to find it as it also pertains to certain complex software solutions.

Amos & David, Believe me as someone who has tried repeatedly to get out of this nonsense, as one individual your only choice in these matters will put your job on the line. What is really sad is many of the people who privately object to this nonsense are they types that don't like to make a fuss (I used to be one of them myself) and will distance themselves from those who attempt to deal with the matter (either that, or they lie privately about their objections).

Ted S., Catskills, NY

My response to the "perception is everything" excuse is to turn it around and tell the person using it that I perceive them to be a racist, and a bully to boot -- because it's almost always used as a reaction to the facts not supporting the allegation of racism.

Needless to say, most such bullies don't like having this pointed out to them.

svh

"what drives her is not benign."

Amen. Thank you, David. Great post and thread.

gg

"It didn't solve anything for us, as we continued to have the same issues (which magically went away after onset of menopause and her eventual hysterectomy)". Really KRW? Your post could have made your point well, but it's kind of just a rant and all 'poor me'.

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