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April 2019

Elsewhere (290)

Dave Huber reports from the bleeding edge of intersectional scholarship:

Rutgers University’s Brittney Cooper… an associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies… says that the very concept of time itself is racially biased. In an interview with NPR last week, Cooper said that the way we “position ourselves in relationship to time comes out of histories of European and Western thought”; in other words, “white people own time.”

According to our feminist educator, time “doesn’t feel linear” for black people – all of them, presumably - because, she says, they live with “the residue of past historical trauma.” You see, for “African-American folks,” the present “feels like the past” – specifically, “narratives of race that are rooted in violence and a lack of freedom” – i.e., slavery – “can become our reality again at any moment.”

Somewhat related

And John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi ponder leftist theories of crime

Criminologists’ lack of direct contact with subjects, situations, and neighbourhoods—their propensity to abstraction—invites misunderstandings about the reality of crime… The gulf between numbers on a spreadsheet and the harsh realities of the world sometimes fosters a romanticised view of criminals as victims, making it easier for criminologists to overlook the damage that lawbreakers cause—and to advocate for more lenient policies and treatment. Evidence of the liberal tilt in criminology is widespread. Surveys show a 30:1 ratio of liberals to conservatives within the field, a spread comparable with that in other social sciences.

At which point, readers may recall a Guardian interview with lawyer and activist Clive Stafford Smith, who airily dismissed burglary as “really quite inconsequential,” thereby implying that the wellbeing of burglars is more important than the wellbeing of their numerous, often very poor, victims. Especially if the burglar is a “young black person.” According to Mr Stafford Smith and Guardian columnist Decca Aitkenhead - for whom, such things are largely theoretical and not a routine fact of life - anger at being burgled and the subsequent sense of violation are somehow trivial, plebeian and unsophisticated. And so, these enlightened creatures pretend to feel sympathy for career criminals who may prey on their neighbours for years, while disdaining the victims’ expectations of lawfulness, and justice, as “idiotic attitudes.”

Update, via the comments:

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Reheated (55)

For newcomers, more items from the archives.

Among The Little People

Feminist academic Dr Jane Bone has “intra-active encounters” with children’s furniture.

This traumatic and “haunting” experience – being a grown-up among lots of small chairs – apparently reveals “the undervalued nature of teaching young children.” A point Dr Bone underlines with an anecdote involving a teacher who, during a meeting, perched on a chair intended for children, rather than searching out a more suitably proportioned one. Damning and conclusive, I think you’ll agree. And Dr Bone’s mental reach extends beyond mere anecdote: “In order to recapture this [experience]… I went to IKEA to sit on some small chairs.”

Turf War

Charles Murray attempts to speak on campus. A riot ensues.

As one of Middlebury’s sociology professors noted, “few, if any” of the protestors had ever read Murray’s books. Evidently, he’s nonetheless someone to be ‘othered’ and to whom the students can attach the usual out-group labels – denouncing him as “sexist,” “racist,” “anti-gay” and a “white nationalist.” (As even the briefest use of Google would reveal, Murray married a Thai woman while in the Peace Corps, has mixed-race children, has tutored inner-city black children for free, and was an early advocate of gay marriage - hardly the most obvious markers of a supposedly anti-gay white nationalist.)

Feign Diabetes, It’s The Only Way

The Guardian’s Sarah Marsh is being oppressed by free cake.

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