Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Identitarian excess: Dick Gregory has to defend his book from students

Dick Gregory writes to student protesters about which battles matter most (essay):
Recently, the young brothers and sisters of MRC Student Coalition at Matteo Ricci College, Seattle University, have taken up such a fight based on curriculum concerns. This protest, however, has become personal for me, since it is in part centered on my autobiography entitled Nigger, and the fact that some students became offended when Jodi Kelly, dean of Matteo Ricci College, recommended Nigger to a student to read.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Doxing Fail: Amateur Sleuths Aim to Identify Charlottesville Marchers, but Sometimes Misfire - The New York Times

Amateur Sleuths Aim to Identify Charlottesville Marchers, but Sometimes Misfire - The New York Times: "A man at the rally had been photographed wearing an “Arkansas Engineering” shirt, and the amateur investigators found a photo of Mr. Quinn that looked somewhat similar. They were both bearded and had similar builds. By internet frenzy standards, that was proof enough."

Monday, August 7, 2017

When video exonerates men of rape

Security video outside nightclub clears USC student of rape - CBS News

There have been several cases like this one, of men who were charged with rape who were exonerated by video that showed the women gave enthusiastic consent by every objective measure. This does not mean the women were liars—there's no reason to assume they did not honestly remember what they said they forgot.

But it does mean "believe the victim" is a bad principle. The better one is "investigate every charge."

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Excellent historical overview: The Panthers Can't Save Us Now

The Panthers Can't Save Us Now:
When confronted with the figure of the white convict, Alexander has argued that he is in fact “collateral damage,” the unintended victim in what is a fundamentally anti-black War on Drugs. Even when presented with the contradiction between the Jim Crow analogy and the class dynamics of incarceration, Alexander doubles down and seems to think that referring to nonblack prisoners as collateral damage is still a politically useful approach. “When a white kid in rural Nebraska gets a prison sentence rather than drug treatment he needs but cannot afford, he’s suffering because of a drug war declared with Black folks in mind,” Alexander contends. “And by describing white people as collateral damage in the drug war it creates an opportunity for us to see the ways in which people of all colors can be harmed by race-based initiatives or attacks that are aimed at another racially defined group.”30 This is a terrible evasion, an attempt to cling to an ideological faith even when actual social conditions require a different approach. The prison expansion and the turn to militaristic hyper-policing are not motivated principally by racism. Whether in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood or the Ozark country of southern Missouri, the process of policing the poor is orchestrated by the same diverse cast of beat cops, case managers, probation officers, district attorneys, public defenders, prison guards and wardens, social reformers, conservative and liberal politicians, weapons manufacturers, lobbyists, nonprofits, and foundations: a kind of social control complex that has been growing by leaps and bounds as poverty, cynicism, and the surplus population increase and the neoliberal era grinds on.
Read it all.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Kenan Malik on the origins of identity politics

NOT ALL POLITICS IS IDENTITY POLITICS | Pandaemonium:
The origins of identity politics in the late eighteenth century lie with the reactionary right. The original politics of identity was racism and nationalism, and it developed out of the counter-Enlightenment. These early critics of the Enlightenment opposed the idea of universal human values by stressing particularist values embodied in group identities. ‘There is no such thing as Man’, wrote the French arch-reactionary Joseph de Maistre in his polemic against the concept of the Rights of Man. ‘I have seen Frenchmen, Italians and Russians… As for Man, I have never come across him anywhere.’
This is why I sometimes refer to left identitarianism and right identitarianism.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Telling Students ‘Speech is Violence’ Could Be Dangerous

Telling Students ‘Speech is Violence’ Could Be Dangerous:
Setting aside the fact that no one will ever be able to agree on what’s “abusive” versus what’s “merely offensive,” the articles Barrett links to are mostly about chronic stress — the stress elicited by, for example, spending one’s childhood in an impoverished environment of serious neglect and violence. Growing up in a dangerous neighborhood with a poor single mother who has to work so much she doesn’t have time to nurture you is not the same as being a college student at a campus where Yiannopoulos is coming to speak, and where you are free to ignore him or to protest his presence there.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Doctor Who: invasion of the identitarians | spiked

Doctor Who: invasion of the identitarians | spiked:
...when a diverse sci-fi fantasy franchise succeeds (like Wonder Woman), it is held up as proof that the public is thirsting for more diverse output, but when a diverse franchise bombs (as the Ghostbusters reboot did), it is blamed on a bigoted nerd culture. Even when a production fails, the dogma of diversity wins. The quality of the material never comes into it. 
The female Doctor isn’t a victory for women, but for the BBC. Through identity politics, and the media fuss it always generates, the BBC has created the illusion that Doctor Who is more popular and cutting edge than it is.