Friday Ephemera
You’ll Get Your Shoes Back When You’ve Watched The Whole Thing

Elsewhere (288)

James Kirkup on modern policing and the case of Harry Miller: 

The cop said he was in possession of 30 Tweets by me. I asked if any contained criminal material. He said…. No. I asked if any came close to being criminal… and he read me a limerick. Honestly. A limerick. A cop read me a limerick over the phone. I said, I didn’t write that. He said, “Ah. But you liked it and promoted it.” I asked why he was wasting his time on a non-crime. He said, “It’s not a crime, but it will be recorded as a hate incident”… The cop repeatedly called the complainant “the victim.” I asked how there could be a victim if, as he’d established, there was no crime. He said, that’s just how it works.

Allen Farrington on when accusations of “white privilege” are revealed for what they are: 

When challenged to defend her accusation [of “white privilege”], but before she was informed by [David] Webb that he is black, [CNN analyst, Areva] Martin retorted that “this is a whole long conversation I don’t have time to get into.” But if she were confident in her position, she would be able to explain it in plain English. Instead, she assumed that by simply invoking this concept, the discussion would be resolved in her favour. Because she was using the term as an ideological cudgel and not an argument, she didn’t want to explain at all, and was noticeably annoyed when asked to do so. “By virtue of being a white male, you have white privilege” has the appearance of an explanation, but she was really just rephrasing her previous assertion using more words.

As Farrington notes, Ms Martin seems to have assumed Mr Webb’s skin colour based solely on his reference to personal responsibility, which no non-white person would ever invoke, you see. So, no racism there, clearly.

Somewhat related, the second item here

And Katherine Birbalsingh on the fallout of pretentious racial guilt:

There is a lot of white guilt in the school system… The powers-that-be look at statistics and jump to conclusions. When there are more black boys in detention at a school, it is interpreted as a sign of racism. But maybe those boys deserved that detention? And if they don’t have any discipline they could spin out of control, they could fail their GCSEs and then they’re not going to be contenders for Oxbridge. All these things are connected… The people pushing the racism discourse don’t mean any harm, but they don’t realise how harmful it is for black kids to be constantly told “the world is racist, you’re never going to get ahead.” It gives children an excuse.

Ms Birbalsingh strikes me as a formidable woman, resourceful and tenacious, and for an educator, unusually honest. But when she says, “The people pushing the racism discourse don’t mean any harm,” I think we can raise an eyebrow. If the often-paranoid racial worldview being pushed has such predictably, reliably, damaging effects, and is often difficult to distinguish from active malice - an attempt to cow white students and render them neurotic, while degrading the life-chances of their minority peers - then the motives of those propagating this discourse may warrant a second look.

Update, via the comments:

MC quotes Ms Birbalsingh’s claim that “the people pushing the racism discourse don’t mean any harm,” and adds, “I find this hard to believe... I wonder how they square the contradictions?” Well, personally, I tend to imagine lots of screeching mental feedback and the odd random sobbing fit. Though if you tell yourself continually how righteous you are, and if you surround yourself with people doing the same, and if you’re all reinforcing each other’s vanities, daily, then I suppose it’s easier to ignore certain practicalities.

And so we get Professor Melina Abdullah, who insists that calling the police is a racist and privileged act if the criminal in question happens to be black. Whereas, being granted a license to commit crime with no fear of police involvement, on account of being black, is in no way racist or a sign of privilege. Apparently, those so indulged will flourish as responsible citizens. Or Salon’s Scott Eric Kaufman, who told his readers, emphatically, that young black men “shouldn’t have to” comply with lawful instructions from the police. Mr Kaufman, who is white, dismissed any cooperation with the police as being “servile,” presumably on grounds that being combative and violent will improve the situation no end.

Examples of similarly twisted advice are not hard to come by, at least among educators and the severely educated. And so, the obvious question: If you wanted to degrade or ruin the life-chances of minorities, what would you do differently?

Oh, and we mustn’t forget this eye-widening feat of progressive education.

You see, the way to reduce disruption and violence in the classroom is to not punish the perpetrators when the perpetrators are black, thereby encouraging a sense of impunity. And when things inevitably escalate, resulting in actual riots, with students’ hair being set on fire and female teachers being punched in the face, the thing to do, obviously, is to berate the injured teachers for their insensitivity. And then hand out panic whistles. Again, the results of this policy, implemented repeatedly, were precisely what you’d expect, what any fool could anticipate, and pretty much what you’d hope for if you were trying to wreak havoc.

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