‘Greeks called people “barbarians”, so how can anyone act like Apartheid was a big deal?’

Walter Williams’ recent column on comparative slavery is intellectually dishonest in general, but his misquotation of abolitionist Frederick Douglass is either an especially egregious example of that, or he’s never bothered to even glance at it in context.

Williams accurately quotes from this sentence in a speech by Douglass examining whether the original U.S. Constitution was pro- or anti-slavery:

[The three-fifths compromise] is a downright disability laid upon the slaveholding States; one which deprives those States of two-fifths of their natural basis of representation.

But as Douglass continues, it becomes clear he in no way endorses such accounting and would have preferred enslaved people not be counted at all: Continue reading ‘Greeks called people “barbarians”, so how can anyone act like Apartheid was a big deal?’

Not all burritos are made in good taste

HUMAN 1
Progressives succeed in forcing a burrito shop run by two white women to close over “cultural appropriation.”

Yeah, this is real. This is not a joke.

Now, the alleged “appropriation” comes from the fact they observed and talked to locals in Mexico on vacation. It’s a pretty common thing to ask a few basic questions on food people like at restaurants. The shops didn’t give very much info to the women. They didn’t teach them in an intensive training. The former owners simply had a few brief conversations and showed interest in the local technique. For this crime, liberals force them out of business.

This is awful. And per the patent office, traditional recipes can’t be patented.

The women took an idea—that people apparently actively didn’t want to give to them—and then behaved with respect for the cultural source akin to someone opening a wine bar with a Communion/Mass theme.

You can understand how people with a connection to the source might react critically, how that might be persuasive to folks willing to empathize with them, and how that negative reaction might convince (but not force) them it’s better closing down.

Continue reading Not all burritos are made in good taste

The Bible is large and contains multitudes: why reading diverse voices is good

Dr. Jarvis J. Williams wrote:

Privileged majority readers often attempt to make their culturally informed readings normative for every community.

However, when privileged people read and listen to racially marginalized voices and (more importantly) study the bible in the same sacred church spaces as racially marginalized voices, then those whose privilege shapes their biblical reading will be more likely to see their privileged blind spots when they humbly submit to and listen to those who don’t share their racially and socially privileged status.

Black and brown bible readers may think that certain biblical and theological truths will be worked out exactly the same way in black, brown, or multi-ethnic contexts as in majority white cultural contexts. Or they might be tempted to think that every white reading of a text is a right reading of a text and non-white readings of texts are wrong or suspicious readings of texts, until receiving a stamp of approval from someone from the white majority interpretive community. Reading black and brown authors who love the bible and labor rigorously to understand it in its original context will help white and black and brown Christians to be sensitive to, and aware of, their blind spots. Every bible interpreter has them and brings them to the text.

Continue reading The Bible is large and contains multitudes: why reading diverse voices is good

The changing connotations of words isn’t a small issue

MANY HUMANS SAID

‘This is ridiculous’. As well as a plethora of other boorish things.

I don’t understand what this person is doing wrong here. The question is a valid one: if you are trying not to be a jerk inadvertently, does it matter if a word that sounds offensive has an etymology that isn’t?

In the real world, racists use nigg* words regularly to express and signal their racism, from otherwise made-up terms to ones like niggardly, chosen solely because of its resemblance to the slur.

Continue reading The changing connotations of words isn’t a small issue

‘Civilization Does Not Civilize’ – or barbarize, either

If we pretend that culture and art are the hammers they were never meant to be, very soon we will arrive at a point which says other ideas and the people who hold them are wrong, then inferior, then dangerous, and finally as subhuman or not fit to live—or at least unfit to live around us, some illusory sense of social or culture “purity” now the goal.

Tim Miller at word and silence

I disagree with your premise. In a 2001: A Space Odyssey’ sense, we’re always trying to rid ourselves of the tribe the next hill over. Baboons and chimpanzees don’t need art criticism to break open the bones of rivals and suck out marrow in victory.

Continue reading ‘Civilization Does Not Civilize’ – or barbarize, either

‘So why can you be transgender but not transracial?’

‘Race’ isn’t real in the sense that we use it. ‘Mongoloid’, ‘Negroid’, ‘Caucasoid’ are fictions of racism that don’t align with any evidence-based reality.

Sub-Saharan African populations are more genetically diverse than the rest of the planet combined; Aboriginal Australians are separated from by 60,000 years of descent, and Tamils and Melanesians all dark-skinned therefore would be identified as ‘black’ if living a society built on racism.

Racism isn’t grounded in reality, but it creates a reality people live in.

Continue reading ‘So why can you be transgender but not transracial?’

The model makes the minority

Continued from racism and inequality.

HUMAN 1:
I think there is a misunderstanding on what the inequality with college is. It isn’t the cost. There are scholarships and people of color have easier access and thanks to affirmative action often easier standards to get in. The money isn’t the problem. The problem is affirmative action, scholarships, whatever, don’t do anything because they don’t address the problem of why they need to curve downward to increase enrollment in the first place. Which is impoverished environment. It is that they started out poor that put them behind. By the time college rolls around it is already too late. If we legit want to help poor people and minorities we need to get them out of poverty. The current system is useless.

That’s part of it, sure. We agree. And attending schools with the materials and funding to provide quality education, and being in a socio-economic life situation where you even can focus on doing homework instead of other concerns. Yeah, this is an issue that’s over-determined, absolutely.

But specifically with wealth, there are not nearly enough scholarships available that will cover the cost of tuition, books, housing, and other living expenses at a quality university. Continue reading The model makes the minority