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August 2016
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October 2016

September 2016

Free Hits

Katherine Kersten on racial discipline quotas in schools - and their ugly consequences: 

On [superintendent Valeria] Silva’s watch, the city’s high schools have become menacing places where gangs of out-of-control teens prowl the halls, and “classroom invasions” by students settling private disputes are commonplace. Today, fights that “might have been between two individuals” can grow into “mêlées involving up to 40 or 50 people,” according to Steve Linders, a St Paul police spokesman. Roving packs often attack individuals, and police have had to use chemical irritants to break up what they call “riots.” […] One high school has issued emergency whistles to teachers and assigned a guard to every floor. A teacher who was crushed into a shelf in a classroom invasion now instructs her students to use a “secret knock” to enter her classroom.

The discipline policies that gave rise to this chaos sprang from Silva’s embrace of “racial equity” ideology. In St Paul, as across the nation, black students as a group are referred for discipline at higher rates than their peers. Silva made eliminating this racial gap a top priority. In Silva’s view, the gap is caused by teachers’ racial bias and cultural insensitivity, not by higher rates of misconduct by black students. She mandated “white privilege” training for all district personnel, eliminated “continual wilful disobedience” as a suspendable offence, and shifted many special education students with behaviour problems — students who are disproportionately black — to mainstream classrooms.

As Silva’s new discipline regime took hold, reading and math scores dropped and headlines about assaults on teachers appeared with disturbing frequency. Yet instead of reconsidering, her administration moved quickly to control public relations damage. For example, district officials attempted to silence critics by accusing them of having “issues with racial equity,” one veteran teacher told City Pages. In December 2015, teachers threatened to strike over mounting safety concerns… Meanwhile, St Paul families of all races began flooding into charter and suburban public schools, taking millions of dollars in state aid with them. 

What’s remarkable here isn’t that young thugs and budding sociopaths will quickly exploit immunity from punishment based solely on their race, but the fact that grown adults, supposed professionals, many of whom will be parents, either didn’t see this coming or realised what would happen and went ahead anyway, thereby screwing everyone else. Including, of course, children with browner skin who somehow manage not to indulge in routine fits of thuggery. Readers may recall this rather startling article by Paul Sperry on how similar policies of racial favouritism in six other cities promptly resulted in six surges in violent classroom assaults. With apologists for the policies in effect claiming that “African-American boys” are more “physical” and “demonstrative,” and just can’t help punching teachers in the face, or groping them, or setting other students’ hair on fire. Because it’s how black Americans “engage in learning.”

Also relevant, the first item here and the links immediately following it. 

Never My Fault

In case there was any doubt about the appeal of bedlamite feminism and the kinds of personalities who find it congenial

I often joke with people that feminism has been like a born-again religion for me – that once I found it and let it into my life, my entire perspective shifted in such a way that suddenly, everything made sense – and that I feel compelled to spread that gospel. See, because when I first started discovering feminism, I realised how many of the bad things that have happened in my life, big and small, have been part of a larger social system. And coming to understand that it was never my fault or about me individually gave me space to start an immense healing process.

Yes, it’s Melissa Fabello, whose neurotic contortions have been noted here previously

Apparently, “intersectional feminism” not only explains “what had gone wrong” in Ms Fabello’s life, all of it, but also “every awful thing in the world.”

Friday Ephemera

One lucky dog. (h/t, Damian) // Public transport. // Christopher Lee reads five horror classics. // Can bats swim? // British artist stranded out at sea. (h/t, Albino Finger) // The unmaking of gelatin sweets. // The (post)modern scholar. // New York, 1940s. // Everything wrong with Citizen Kane. // Hong Kong density. // What dad did. // What cats do. (h/t, Julia) // Upscale fashion show of yore. (h/t, Coudal) // Refresh the ramsophone. // Ancient Roman dinner party etiquette. // The triggering. // Time travel radio. // Classic Trek antagonists, ranked. // Autonomous tractor. // Freediving under ice isn’t for the faint-hearted. // A dragon made of flowers. // And finally, on the art of choosing band names. I do like French Toast Emergency. And Librarians In Uproar.

Just Stand There Silently While I Scold You

Colleges to avoid, #124:

New students at Pomona College, Claremont, California, were welcomed to campus with posters in their dorms… stating that all white people are racist. The signs state white people should “acknowledge your privilege” and “apologise if you’ve offended someone,” adding that offensive language includes words like “sassy” and “riot,” which are “racially coded.” “Understand that you are white, so it is inevitable that you have unconsciously learned racism,” it asserts. “Your unearned advantage must be acknowledged and your racism unlearned.” Further, the poster claims that white people should “just listen!” rather than explaining their own perspective.

Don’t talk back. Dialogue is oppressive. Unilateral racial scolding is where it’s at. Because, for people of pallor, your very existence is something to atone for – and no-one would ever take advantage of free hits. After much “unlearning,” and suitably chastened and humiliated, you will then take your place in the new and glorious progressive pecking order.

Volk Politics

Further to recent rumblings in the comments, here’s Jeff Goldstein on the ‘alt-right’ manifesto:

This counter-trend [to the identity politics of the left], make no mistake, is every bit as identitarian as anything Edward Said ever wrote, and just as toxic. Said enormously influenced Western academics. His Orientalism laid out the case for identity politics, declaring who controls particular group narratives and how, and who and what comes to count as “authentic” and thus permitted to represent a given identity group and its (collectivist) narrative. Identity politics necessarily brackets and minimises individualism. As with much of the left, the alt-right remains policed by a kind of mob shaming and an enforced intellectual correctness that is linguistically incoherent. […] 

It is an identity movement on a par with Black Lives Matter, La Raza, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and other tribal products of the kernel assumptions that inform cultural Marxism. That it pretends to throw off some of those trappings — it enforces an anti-PC ethos in a way that creates yet another tenor of the same PC, this time attached to white nationalism instead of multiculturalism — is but camouflage.

Worth reading in full. In the comments at the Federalist and on Twitter, things get lively, and a little strange.  

Elsewhere (213)

Heather Mac Donald on the world’s real unsafe spaces: 

Because Albinos’ body parts are believed to carry magical powers, their limbs are highly marketable — once obtained, of course, through mutilation or murder. Attending school for sisters Bibiana and Tindi Mashamba was a nightmare; not only did other children throw rocks and spit on them and teachers beat them, but the threat of murder was ever-present. So, like many Third World girls, they simply stayed home. But even such a retreat from the public realm couldn’t protect them. The day after their father’s funeral, Bibiana’s leg and two fingers were hacked off in the hope of a lucrative sale.

Good Samaritans brought the girls to the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles so as to provide Bibiana with a new prosthetic leg. And then students from USC’s law school started an asylum appeal for them. Did those law students seek to get them asylum in Nigeria, say, or Haiti, so that they wouldn’t be oppressed by white privilege? No, oddly, they targeted their asylum petition at the U.S. government, the place where victims of the brutality, superstition, and hatred that characterise so many Third World countries flee to (along with equally reviled Western Europe). The petition was successful, and now Bibiana and Tindi are students in Ojai, California, where they are eager to catch up on their lost schooling and go on to college. There are no reports as of yet of the girls being stoned in Ojai.

Seth Barron on the unmentionable costs of illegal immigration: 

New York’s Health + Hospitals Corporation, which runs the city’s massive public health infrastructure, takes it as its mission to provide care to anyone who needs it, without regard for immigration status. This policy is a major reason why HHC is on constant verge of financial collapse. During the last fiscal year, HHC needed an emergency allocation of $337 million from the city [i.e., taxpayers] just to keep its doors open, and the prognosis for the future is even worse. At an April press conference, Dr Ram Raju, president of HHC, said that caring for illegals consumes about one-third of his $7.6 billion annual budget. Rounding down, that means that $2.5 billion — of which the city is picking up an increasingly large chunk every year, as state and federal aid dries up — goes toward providing health care to illegal aliens in New York.

And Cathy Young on the alleged gender politics of headphone use:  

Back in 2013, Dan Bacon posted a piece titled “How to Talk to a Woman Who Is Wearing Headphones.” This three-year-old blogpost was dug up and pilloried by a Twitter activist named Brandon Evers, whose Twitter bio states, “I support intersectional feminism, but only women can decide if I’m a feminist” and helpfully clarifies that his personal pronouns are “he/him,” and whose Twitter feed is mostly one long exercise in ‘look how progressive and pro-feminist I am’ moral posturing. Brandon’s tweet quickly went viral with 18,000 retweets, and the outrage machine kicked in, with BustleSlate, and numerous other sites denouncing [Bacon’s] post as a creepy and misogynistic call to sexual harassment and boundary violation. Revelist, a publication for millennial women, compared Dan Bacon to mass murderer Elliott Rodger, who killed six people (four of them men) in 2014 because he was mad about being rejected by women.

Feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments. It’s what these posts are for.

We Live In Strange Times

Katherine Timpf:

Rachel Dolezal, the white lady who got busted pretending to be a black lady, has somehow managed to get herself invited to be a feature at a rally for natural black hair.

But of course there’s a rally for natural black hair. And of course the star turn is a blackface enthusiast who, being white, doesn’t have any.

Naturally Isis is a black hair salon founded by Isis Brantley, a “natural hair stylist” who, according to the description on her salon’s website, “has been a vibrant spokeswoman for black ancestral culture for over thirty years” and has been “actively involved in the fight for preserving cultural identity for African Americans.”

Says Ms Dolezal, 

It’s a justice issue and I’ve been a social justice activist for years. It’s really that simple.

That is all. Carry on.

Friday Ephemera

At last, pre-distressed sneakers, only $590. // One for the high-culture cineastes among you. // Oh, the humanities. // The soft, autonomous robots are coming. // Sir Anthony Hopkins is having a spot of bother with his legions of pleasure-giving robots. // It’s a bourbon-chocolate sauce, obviously. // Blank windows. // The many pauses of Gene Wilder. // First woman on the Moon. (h/t, dicentra) // A little project for the weekend. // Always clean things with lasers. Except, perhaps, your face. // A dog’s life. // A well done burger drop. // You goat mail. // For making things. // On radiation dosage. // This. // “Social justice” in action. // It’s meatier than the average slug. // On stop-motion. // If you think you’ve had a rough day. // And finally, a personal one-seat anti-insect tent.

Elsewhere (212)

Ashe Schow on the dishonesties of “social justice” warriors:

A group allegedly dedicated to stopping online harassment and abuse used the same tactics it claimed to abhor to harass those it disagreed with politically. Crash Override Network, founded by Zoe Quinn… used tactics such as doxing (by which a person’s private contact information is published online in order to intimidate them) to harass people... For example, the group discussed trying to contact the superior officer of a Purple Heart recipient who had expressed support of Gamergate to try to silence him. The group also discussed contacting Google in an attempt to get an employee, Justine Tunney, fired after she also voiced support for Gamergate… Members of CON, including Quinn, have spoken out against online bullying before the United Nations, and have also worked with Google and Twitter allegedly to stop online harassment, all while engaging in the very same harassment.

The predictably sordid details can be found here

And – this is a good one - Brandon Morse and Lauren Southern on when “social justice” scolding is caught on camera, in all its glory: 

A social justice warrior named Annaliese Nielsen got into a Lyft car, spotted a Hawaiian bobblehead doll on the dashboard, and began to berate and threaten the driver unless he took the bobblehead doll down. According to her, it was offensive to Hawaiian people, and thus this man was in clear violation of her made-up social justice laws.

Comedy of a sort ensues, followed by threats, projection and abuse, and – outrageously - the polite driver’s sacking. This in turn is followed by his vindication and reinstatement, and then, for dear sweet Annaliese, a kind of payback. If, on watching the video, the word bitch comes to mind, I won’t be at all surprised.

Feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments. It’s what these posts are for.