14 October 2019

Victimization Whack-a-Mole

(We are offline due to a much-needed research period at the moment, so we've decided to re-publish some earlier pieces you might have missed the first time.)




[Re-post, original post here.]


In the 1982 comedy 'Tootsie,' actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) is desperate for work.  A casting director tells him what's wrong:



The reading was fine. You're the wrong height.
   I can be taller.
No. We're looking for somebody shorter.
   Look, I don't have to be this tall. See, I'm wearing lifts. I can be shorter.
I know, but we're looking for somebody different.
   I can be different.
We're looking for somebody else.


Some people, in a word, cannot be satisfied. Trying to please them is like playing whack-a-mole: their unhappiness has no remedy. You're sure you've nipped it in the bud, but no, it pops up again, and then over there, and over there... is there any way to nab it once and for all?

In our blank-slatist world, where all groups are presumed equal, puzzling 'performance gaps' leave some feeling outraged. Rather than shake their fist at Mother Nature (the real source of disparities), they continue to demand action that they are sure will Close the Gap.  When it doesn't, the target changes. Then changes again, and again...  This endless merry-go-round of finger-pointing is a clue that what they seek cannot be found. Has all logic gone down the mole hole?  Pick up your mallet and follow us...



09 September 2019

Why We Profile

(We are offline due to a much-needed research period at the moment, so we've decided to re-publish some earlier pieces you might have missed the first time.)



Calling 911 on black people may soon be a crime in parts of Michigan, Oregon and New York (h/t Steve Sailer ).  Why are Afro-Americans profiled so endlessly? We took a look at the data, and here's what we found.

[Re-post, original post here.]


In the outcry following the recent acquittal of Floridian George Zimmerman in the shooting death of an Afro teenager, many in the black community have voiced their displeasure.  Canadian graduate student Matthew Simmermon-Gomes is one:


What I do know is what it’s like to be a Trayvon Martin. To be suspect. I do know what it’s like to be followed by staff in a nice clothing store; to be stopped by police for walking down the street; to endure the thousand micro-aggressions and the hundred fearful looks, the patronising astonishment coupled with quiet indignation at my education or erudition. I know, in other words, what it is to be a person of colour in a world that privileges whiteness.

20 July 2019

Reacting to Spree Killings--Progressively

(We are offline due to a much-needed research period this spring/summer, so we've decided to re-publish some earlier pieces you might have missed the first time.)



The recent Christchurch spree killer has claimed he was inspired by Dylann Roof, the young man who gunned down black worshipers at a church in South Carolina. This piece was published in the wake of Roof's massacre.

[Re-post, original post here.]




Of the many things Progressives are known for, number one is being on the right side of history.

So in the wake of this latest U.S. spree killing, we turn to our leading leftist voices to help us make sense of the madness.

Having studied their recent corpus on the question of the spree-killer-for-a-cause, we believe we've found some progressive principles to light our way.


I. Do not make generalizations about his group

16 June 2019

Being A Progressive, Yesterday: Embracing Eugenics

(We are offline due to a much-needed research period this winter/spring, so we've decided to re-publish some earlier pieces you might have missed the first time.)




[Re-post, original post here.]


It is one of our vanities to imagine that if we'd been born in centuries past, we alone would have stood up against the rampant injustices of the age (slavery, colonialism, religious persecution, etc.) instead of going with the flow like most people did.  Unlike others, we're in no way molded by our era--our righteousness is ageless. (The host's tut-tutting in this otherwise fascinating podcast on slavery is but one example.)

Another point of view is that those of a progressive bent in 2012, had they magically existed in 1912, would have likely followed the leftist causes du jour.  Ditto conservatives.  So what was the progressive doctrine in 1912 that today's liberal can be fairly sure he'd have fervently believed and agitated for?

Eugenics.




Darwin's 1859 work landed in the Western conscience like a rock heaved into a pond.  Nothing would ever be the same.  The idea that such social ills as insanity, mental retardation, and psychopathy were heritable began to seep into the popular mind.  One reason was Francis Galton (cousin of Darwin), who coined the term 'eugenics' and wrote tirelessly about it for decades.

Many in the late 19th century had an almost childlike faith that science could solve humanity's woes.  And it was thought then that some of humanity's woes were:

  • The retarded and insane, a burden on the private and public purse, were having retarded and insane children.
  • The stupid and dysfunctional poor were having many more children than the intelligent and functional rich.
  • (In the U.S:) South and East European immigrants, less intelligent and functional, were hurting the racial stock of the country.

The word 'dysgenics' was coined in 1915 by British physician Caleb Saleeby.  Biologist Julian Huxley, founding member of World Wildlife Fund and first director of UNESCO, described the threat thusly:

In the first of these [addresses to the British Eugenics Society] he reaffirmed that natural selection had become greatly relaxed in contemporary civilizations, noting that “the elimination of natural selection is largely, though of course by no means wholly, rendered inoperative by medicine, charity, and the social services” and that dysgenic fertility was leading to “the tendency to degradation of the germ plasm, ” the result of which will be that “humanity will gradually destroy itself from within, will decay in its very core and essence, if this slow but insidious relentless process is not checked.  (1)


09 May 2019

Being a Progressive, Yesterday: Race

(We are offline due to a much-needed research period this winter/spring, so we've decided to re-publish some earlier pieces you might have missed the first time.)

Votes for women-- white women only, please

'The Conservative is afraid of the future,' goes the old trope, 'and the Progressive is afraid of the past.'

What the Progressive especially fears is his own past—that is, his fellow travelers of yesteryear. As Joe Biden is learning, what passed for 'leftist thought' 30 or 40 or 100 years ago can turn a modern-day liberal's ears scarlet. We hope you find this stroll down memory lane as fascinating as we did.

*     *     *

[Re-post, original post here.]


Slate ran a series a few years back, 'Liberal Creationism,' after the brouhaha over James Watson's remark that Afros were less intelligent than other groups.  In this prescient piece, the author warns that many of the old 'racialist' tropes are likely to soon be proved true, and that the average progressive should mentally steel himself for it:


If this suggestion makes you angry—if you find the idea of genetic racial advantages outrageous, socially corrosive, and unthinkable—you're not the first to feel that way. Many Christians are going through a similar struggle over evolution. Their faith in human dignity rests on a literal belief in Genesis. To them, evolution isn't just another fact; it's a threat to their whole value system. 
The same values—equality, hope, and brotherhood—are under scientific threat today. But this time, the threat is racial genetics, and the people struggling with it are liberals. ... You can try to reconcile evidence of racial differences with a more sophisticated understanding of equality and opportunity. Or you can fight the evidence and hope it doesn't break your faith.

The proof is at this point hard to ignore, even if thought leaders are doing their level best to conceal it. As blogger JayMan asks from atop his mountain of scientific data, How much hard evidence do you need?  It is likely that in the next several years some lab finding will 'clinch' the question once and for all, pushing HBD into the mainstream as it has germ theory or heliocentrism.

Microbes and Planets: The skeptics had to be convinced


At that point, what is a sincere progressive to do?  The notion of cognitive or behavioral differences between ethnic groups is, for him, deeply repugnant.

One is tempted to hand him the same 'deal with it' doled out by his ilk to those who found the monkey-to-man mythos unpalatable:


But it may be more kind to invite such folks to spend some time with their own forebears--the Progressives of the late 19th / early 20th centuries.  People who like themselves were born with a desire to make the world a better place, but who unlike themselves did not shy away from the realities of human biodiversity.

So who is this creature, the Progressive?  What did he once believe and may believe again?


06 April 2019

Reparations for Slavery: Fair or Folly?

We are offline due to a much-needed research period this winter/spring, so we've decided to re-publish some earlier pieces that you might have missed the first time.

With 'reparations for slavery' back in the news thanks to presidential hopefuls such as Kamala HarrisFrancis 'Beto' O'Rourke, and Liz Warren, here is some data we were able to find on the subject back when Ta-Nehisi Coates last floated it. We hope you find it as interesting as we did.  


*     *     *


[Re-post, original post here.]


Having addressed Atlantic editor Ta-Nehisi Coates' wish for reparations for red-lining, we now turn to another of his claims: That descendents of U.S. slaves deserve cash payouts for their forebears' suffering.

There is the question of both a) the legitimacy and b) the practicality of such a scheme. We shall only discuss the former, because if it is truly worthwhile, the latter can always be worked out.


Poring through Coates' 17-page article, we have guessed that he objects to U.S. chattel slavery on the following grounds:  1) Its very existence was unconscionable, 2) It was unusually inhumane, 3) It destroyed the Afro family, and 4) It helped create the large black-white wealth gap we see today.

We shall address his points one by one.



11 February 2019

Reparations for Redlining?

We are offline due to a much-needed research period this winter, so we've decided to re-publish some earlier pieces that you might have missed the first time.

With 'reparations for red-lining' back in the news thanks to the plucky Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, here is the data we were able to find on this thorny question back when Ta-Nehisi Coates last tossed it in the punch bowl. We hope you find it as interesting as we did.  


*     *     *





'Ingenious and powerful,' 'important and compelling''stunningly ambitious;' it has 'broken traffic records and vanished from newsstands,' 'setting ablaze' social media.  What is it?

It is 'The Case for Reparations,' Atlantic's June 2014 cover story by editor Ta-Nehisi Coates.



The idea has been tossed around since Emancipation, falling out of fashion as of late. Coates brings it roaring back in this long-form piece, calling on Euro-Americans to 1) publicly express their guilt about past oppression, and 2) pay reparation money to their Afro countrymen.  Does his argument hold water?

The 17-page article covers much ground, but it seems Coates seeks redress for three major wrongs:

  • Slavery
  • Land theft
  • Red-lining

They are three quite different topics, and should be treated as such.  We shall begin by addressing the most recent: so-called 'redlining.'

Coates tells the story of Clyde Ross, son of Mississipi sharecroppers who came to Chicago in the Great Migration:
'Three months after Clyde Ross moved into his house, the boiler blew out. This would normally be a homeowner’s responsibility, but in fact, Ross was not really a homeowner. His payments were made to the seller, not the bank. And Ross had not signed a normal mortgage. He’d bought “on contract”: a predatory agreement that combined all the responsibilities of homeownership with all the disadvantages of renting—while offering the benefits of neither. 
Ross had bought his house for $27,500. The seller, not the previous homeowner but a new kind of middleman, had bought it for only $12,000 six months before selling it to Ross. In a contract sale, the seller kept the deed until the contract was paid in full—and, unlike with a normal mortgage, Ross would acquire no equity in the meantime.'

Why was Ross obliged to buy a house 'on contract'? Because he could secure no regular mortgage financing. Chances are, in large part because he was Afro-American.