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April 2021

Don’t Oppress My People With Your Acceptance And Compliments

In the pages of the Guardian, an elaborate humblebrag, care of race-grifter Natalie Morris

It’s often hard to articulate why something that sounds like a compliment can be so harmful. On the racism scale, being told that you’re beautiful is hardly the worst thing that can happen. But just because something presents as a positive on the surface, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t dig deeper into the wider implications of this phenomenon.

Being found attractive is, we’re assured, terribly “problematic.” Though the aforementioned difficulties of articulating why will soon become apparent. We learn, for instance, that celebrities who are difficult to racially categorise are merely,

cherry-picking the elements of Blackness that suit their brand without any of the uncomfortable or disadvantageous implications of actually living as Black.

Quite what this magic “Blackness” might be is, alas, left to the imagination. Likewise, the phrase “living as Black” is delivered portentously but just left to hang there, devoid of particulars. Instead, we’re treated to vague, erratic rumblings about “proximity to whiteness” - a term that is itself not so much an explanation as an incantation, a marker of status. It seems we should just know these things, or nod as if we do. We are nonetheless informed, quite firmly, that,

it’s impossible to see the rise of mixed beauty ideals as a positive thing, because at its heart sits an unsettling insistence on white superiority.

It’s impossible, you see. Again, how Ms Morris arrived at this assertion is less than clear. Though, this being the Guardian, it does have an air of inevitability, of predestination. A book-plugging detour into anecdotes concerning dating and racial fetishism does little to help matters, beyond suggesting that sometimes compliments can be informed by niche racial kinks, and that some kinks are more common than others. Not much of a foundation for sad songs of collective oppression. As if determined to be unobvious, Ms Morris shares this:

In the 1930s and 1940s, there were groups warning about the dangers of “race crossing”; there were calls for mixed people to be sterilised; we were denigrated as deviant, stupid, contaminated, undesirable. Isn’t the contemporary idealisation of mixedness – the suggestion that we are more beautiful or have “the best of both” – simply the other side of the same coin?

Wanting to sterilise people and not wanting to sterilise them are two sides of the same coin, apparently.

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Friday Ephemera

I see the machine uprising has begun. || Today’s word is entourage. || The road to hell. || Local stars. (h/t, Elephants Gerald) || Window seat. || Just like normal people. || Neighbours’ dispute of note. || I think he was impressed. || That’s the spot. || Pasta engineering. || An impressive length. || Camel’s eye. || Miniatures and model-making for film, a video collection. (h/t, Things) || King Kong Vs Godzilla, 1962. || The thrill of bread cutter restoration. || Continue the research. || The thrill of retail. (h/t, pst324) || Fighting “the toxic whiteness of musical theatre.” (h/t, Darleen) || His job is more fiddlesome than yours. (h/t, Elephants Gerald) || And finally, majestically, the dominant lifeform on planet Earth.

Things That Tell Us Who They Are

John Sexton at Hot Air

Elisa Parrett teaches at a public technical college outside of Seattle called the Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Last June 19, in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the school held an event called Courageous Conversations which was based partly on Robin DiAngelo’s book White Fragility

In short, a two-hour racial struggle session based on stupefying woo

Dr Parrett used the session, attended by close to 200 educators, to air some fairly obvious concerns, regarding tribalism, zealotry, and the racially segregated nature of the gathering, speaking for a total of four minutes. A summary of Dr Parrett’s comments can be found at the link above and here, where Jesse Singal shares a longer, more detailed account. Readers are invited to search out anything particularly scandalous.

Five days later, Parrett got an email from President Amy Morrison… It read in part, “Because of your egregious behaviour which has led to substantial harm to hundreds of colleagues on campus, I have asked [Vice President of Instruction, Suzanne] Ames, Dean Doug Emory, and [executive director of H.R.] Meena Park to meet with you in the next few days to have a serious conversation about how successful you can possibly be on campus in the future.” Two days later, Parrett was placed on administrative leave… A disciplinary complaint was filed against Parrett by the vice president… The complaint alleged Parrett had behaved in a “corrupt, insolent and insubordinate manner.”

And because this is Clown World, where there’s always more,

When [Jesse] Singal emailed the Vice President about the story, she doubled down and claimed that Parrett had been “aggressively yelling at folks in the meeting.” At the time, she was apparently unaware that Singal had the audio of the entire session. When he sent her a copy and asked her to point out where Parrett had yelled at anyone, a university spokesperson suggested Parrett’s “visible anger” wasn’t conveyed by the audio.

It was, it seems, a kind of aggressive yelling that was radiated at inaudible frequencies and which therefore cannot be captured by mortal recording devices.

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Dark Comedy

It’s impossible to envision a world without race for the Democratic Party. For such people, it’s impossible to envision a world that gets beyond race because their bread and butter, their bottom line, their raison d'être, and everything that they’re trying to do depends upon people being kept in these boxes.

Professor Glenn Loury.

Martin Durkin’s new documentary, The Great American Race Game.

Mr Durkin’s films, which I strongly recommend, have been mentioned before.

Also, open thread.

Friday Ephemera

I’m sensing a theme. || Today’s word is entrepreneur. || God’s power detected. || Party scenes. || “What happens if you put your head in a particle accelerator?” || For hiding stains. || “The Indiana Bell Telephone Company headquarters was moved 15 inches an hour, all while 600 employees still worked inside.” || Marketing of note. (h/t, Julia) || In crime news. || Tense negotiation. || Now, now, we mustn’t judge. || Today’s other word is literally. She’s an educator, you know. || Beast identified. (h/t, Damian) || And yet you want one. || Alien On Stage. || Just like normal people. || Eruption, from above. || There’s a time and a place for everything. (h/t, Darleen) || And finally, in feminist news, shots fired.