Friday Ephemera
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John Staddon on Ethnic Studies standards

The anonymous sociologist’s claim that empirical facts are irrelevant… raises an important question: if theories in the social sciences are not constrained by empirical facts, what are they constrained by? The answer seems to be that theories in Race and Ethnic Studies sociology are mainly constrained by the political opinions prevailing in that branch of the field… [‘Race theorist’] Eduardo Bonilla-Silva scorns the very idea [of truth], speaking of the “devil of ‘objectivity’” (note the scare quotes). Without the possibility of objectivity, there is no science. Has sociology become, then, just political activism? To some extent, yes. According to Tukufu Zuberi and Bonilla-Silva: “The aim is to attain epistemic liberation from White logic.” 

Professor Bonilla-Silva and his nasty, paranoid contortions have been mentioned here before. When not denouncing objectivity and “white logic” - or complaining that his employer, Duke University, “oozes whiteness,” which is, it goes without saying, a terrible thing to ooze - the professor equates critics of affirmative action with 19th century supporters of slavery. He also claims that non-racial ‘colour-blind’ attitudes and policies are merely a “way of calling minorities niggers, Spics or Chinks.”

One of the more bizarre indicators of Bonilla-Silva’s mental state is his written insistence - published in a course syllabus - that students must control their “body language” and avoid any “irresponsible contestation” of his arguments. Black students who disagreed with the professor’s lurid racialist theories have been denounced by him as “Uncle Toms.” Oh, and Professor Bonilla-Silva, a grown man, a tenured academic with a six-figure salary, refers to the United States, in class, as “Gringoland” and “AmeriKKKa.”

Further to this recent hoaxing drama, James Lindsay on laundering hokum

‘Critical race theory’ is a mess, for example. It’s an explicitly political situation, in which ‘whiteness’ has to be bad and therefore can’t do anything right, and they take these ideas and launder them through the academic process. And these departments exist specifically to launder these ideas, to put them through the academic process and give them the appearance of being rigorous studies, so then activists can go and say, “Oh, a study has shown…”

For more on so-called “critical race theory,” see also this

At Colorado State University, where “inclusive excellence” is a goal stated many, many times, matters of great import are being decided:

The school’s guidelines urge those who are posting about the university: “Avoid gendered emojis when possible. Instead use one of the variations of the yellow smiley faces or object emojis.” The guide also suggests that individuals “use inclusive pronouns” such as “they/them/theirs.”

For further illustrations of “inclusive excellence,” and the delightful, not-at-all-unhinged people it attracts, see also this

And while I find the term “intellectual dark web” faintly silly, David Fuller’s interview with Douglas Murray is not without its moments

It is preposterous that almost everything that is true is so hard to say in public, and so controversial to say in public. And so disputed, and so howled against. I think everybody who’s been described as a member of the ‘intellectual dark web’ probably has one thing in common, which is that they’re all used to being howled at for saying things that are self-evident - howled at in public - only to then discover that the public come up to them in private and say, “Thank you so much for saying what we think.” […]

Somebody came up to me after the event in London [with Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson] and they had a copy of that day’s New York Times, and page one, two and three, I think, were about something to do with trans [issues]. And this person said, “This is why people are here.” I said, I’m not sure they’re here because of the New York Times running so much about trans, and we didn’t address anything to do with that, but I got what he meant. We’re being given really weird, quite fringe stuff, all the time, as our diet, and we’re starting to rebel.

As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.