Sometimes things get said so well that there’s no point in my digesting and putting my own spin on them. Today we have a few of those, which I’m just going to leave here and suggest you read.
1. 90% of prominent Climate Change deniers are linked to Exxon Mobil
A recent analysis conducted by Carbon Brief which investigated the authors of more than 900 published papers that cast doubt on the science underlying climate change, found that nine of the ten most prolific had some kind of relationship with ExxonMobil.
Links to these papers were proudly displayed on the denialist Global Warming Policy Foundation website, where they are still fanning the dying embers ofClimategate hoping something will catch, under the heading, “900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism Of ‘Man-Made’ Global Warming (AGW) Alarm.”
The top ten contributors to this list were responsible for 186 of the 938 papers cited.
Hey denialists (coughcoughcoughgrassrutecough) – want to talk some more about how climate change is just a scam? Just be aware that your position was bought and paid for by oil companies. Why don’t we look at the evidence rather than accusing each other of having some secret financial motive?
2. The appeal of the “New Racism”
The New Racism manifests itself in many ways–school choice, the obsession with property values, including the rise of Neighborhood Watch in the 1980s; the differences in prison sentences for those convicted of possessing crack as opposed to cocaine, etc.
We’ve lost an understanding of what racism means in this country. We’ve forgotten that it’s race hate combined with power. A white person being harassed in a black neighborhood is not experiencing racism–that person can call the police and get a response. My students refer to anything other than whatever they think of as Martin Luther King’s dream as racism. Like with so many other words, conservatives have won the rhetorical war. We need to define racism as what it actually is and reclaim the rhetorical ground on moving toward real equality.
To the list of code words that don’t sound racist but are, I would add ‘personal responsibility’. While personal responsibility is a good thing, its usage in discussions of race inevitably cast black and brown people as being personally irresponsible, as though some genetic flaw makes us incapable of achievement (which, in turn, explains why we deserve to be poor and why any attempt to balance the scales is ‘reverse racism’).
We all know that liberalism is for the (naive, inexperienced, foolish) young while conservatism is a natural byproduct of aging, maturing, and gaining experience with the world, right? Conventional wisdom gets it wrong yet again. The surge in popularity of objectivism and libertarianism on campus underscores how right wing ideology, not pie-in-sky liberalism, is the real fantasyland for kids who have absolutely no experience in the real world.
Yes, Ayn Rand is making a comeback among the college-aged. Objectivism is even getting some mainstream press in light of Commissar Obama frog-marching the nation toward hardcore Communism. Heroic individualists are threatening to “go galt” now that Obama has completely eliminated all incentive for anyone to work ever again, re-enacting their own version of the “producers’ strike” in Atlas Shrugged.
I’ve gotten a little more mellow in recent years, believe it or not, less keen to argue and more able to see middle ground. But there is no middle ground here, no way for us to meet halfway in intellectual compromise: If you are an Objectivist, you are retarded. This is a judgment call, and I just made it. Grow up or fuck off. Those are your two options.
So I decided to give you 1000 words on objectivism last week. Gin and Tacos gives us an… alternative take on the same position. While I’m not a fan of the use of the word ‘retarded’, the rest of the piece is worth reading. Edit: I should note that there is at least one person who is a Rand devotee and whose intelligence and opinion I respect, even if I do not agree.
4. 10 Ways the Birthers are an Object Lesson in White Privilege
Ultimately, the election of Barack Obama has provided a series of object lessons in the durability of the colorline in American life. Most pointedly, Obama’s tenure has provided an opportunity for the worst aspects of White privilege to rear their ugly head. In doing so, the continuing significance of Whiteness is made ever more clear in a moment when the old bugaboo of White racism was thought to have been slain on November 4, 2008.
To point: Imagine if Sarah Palin, a person who wallows in mediocrity and wears failure as a virtue, were any race other than White. Would a black (or Latino or Asian or Hispanic) woman with Palin’s credentials have gotten a tenth as far? Let’s entertain another counter-factual: If the Tea Party and their supporters were a group of black or brown folk, who showed up with guns at events attended by the President, threatening nullification and secession, and engaging in treasonous talk, how many seconds would pass before they were locked up and taken out by the F.B.I. as threats to the security of the State? If the Tea Party were black they would have been disappeared to Gitmo or some other secret site faster than you can say Fox News.
Earlier this week President Obama tried to be the adult in the room by surrendering his birth certificate in an effort to satisfy the Birthers and their cabal leaders Donald Trump and Pat Buchanan. Of course, his generous act does nothing to satisfy the Birther beast for it is insatiable in its madness. Nevertheless, a lesson can still be salvaged by exploring the rank bigotry which drives the Birther movement. In an era of racism without racists, the Tea Party GOP Birther brigands provide one more lesson in the permanence of the social evil known as White privilege.
Still confused about how white privilege works? Here’s a few concrete examples.
I guess I should get a tumblr or something for this stuff…
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“What if the Tea Party was Black?” Why don’t you ask Lloyd Marcus?
The article ends with “Black Conservatives are valiantly fighting along side our fellow white patriots in the Tea Party Movement”
Why would the Tea Party be solely black? The movement isn’t about race or racism. It’s a political movement about smaller government and lower taxes among other things.
For the record, I don’t deny climate change. I just question its being caused by the human race. The climate was changing long before the industrial revolution.
It’s not solely white (I’m assuming that’s what you meant). It’s overwhelmingly white. More so than would be suggested by the demographics of the class group that comprises the Tea Party. And it may not be explicitly about race, but it doesn’t have to be. Racism is the spoiled cream within the Tea Party, and their actions speak much louder than their words. Having a black guy doesn’t mean they’re not racist.
And considering how baldly partisan the Canada Free Press is, that might not be where you want to go for your news. Do you want to see how many black people voted Republican in the last handful of elections? Suggesting that there is a ‘veil’ on black conservatives is like saying there’s a ‘veil’ on physicists that don’t believe in atoms.
You’re free to believe what you want, obviously. However, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that humans are playing a causal role, and those that dissent are 90% supported by oil companies. Your position isn’t exactly standing on solid ground.
This is beyond parody. It seems pointing out anything bad a black person does counts as racism, because it’s all code words.
Look at the demographics of, say, crime, or illegitimacy, or child abuse. Or don’t, I’ll just spell it out for you: whites demonstrate more personal responsibility than blacks. It’s not a secret code. They just do.
It can’t be beyond parody, because you just parodied it. This is a Poe, right? I mean… You can’t be *that* willfully ignorant…
First off, you’re assuming that the statistics are accurate. Secondly, you seem to think that “being arrested” is solely based on “personal responsibility”. At best, you’re assuming that it *equally* accounts for the % of arrests across race. For all you know, personal responsibility accounts for 0% of the arrests of black people, and 100% of the arrests of white folk (thus making white people *less* personally responsible than blacks).
Thirdly, if we tally up the folk on death row: white people are the most populous on death row: http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/race-death-row-inmates-executed-1976
Furthermore, if we check how many are there as a result of interracial homicide:
White Defendant / Black Victim (15)
Black Defendant / White Victim (250)
Seems a little skewed, n’est pas? Surely, in a just and race-blind system, those numbers should be equal, no? (I await your bullshit rationalisation with bated breath)
Finally: assuming that your numbers are accurate *and* your causal analysis is sound (both of which I contest), then… why is it that *American* blacks show so little personal responsibility compared to blacks in other countries?
What is it about America that causes all the folk there (look at all your vaunted demographics in the context of the world) to fail so hard at personal responsibility? If your reasoning is true, the issue isn’t Black people… it’s Americans.
You, of course, agree. Don’t you?
This will be a fun exercise for readers to see how much you’ve learned. Brian has got the ball rolling, but he hasn’t quite hit the target. I’m going to hold off on my reply, and I’m asking you to see if you can find and explain the central flaw in Unamused’s argument (i.e., why he is demonstrative my point exactly – that ‘personal responsibility’ as he uses it here is simply coded racism). Trust me, it’s there 😛
Unless you’re referring to “looking at statistics *and* asking what the race of the perpetrator was” as a priori racist (at least when used as a rationalisation), I got nothing. 😦
And glad to see that your head hadn’t exploded from ‘stupid’-overload. 😛
Number 3 is like the first thing I say every morning when I wake up… Get out of my head. 😛
@ Brian: I like that — I’m just assuming that the statistics are accurate. As if their not flattering black people was reason enough to doubt them. Not really how science works.
Did I mention arrest statistics? No, I did not. The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) asks victims. Are they just lying about who attacked them in order to make black people look bad?
“For all you know, personal responsibility accounts for 0% of the arrests of black people, and 100% of the arrests of white folk…” Still not really how science works: just because you can concoct some completely ridiculous scenario where the statistics wouldn’t prove my point, doesn’t mean you’ve refuted it.
In case you’ve forgotten, whites are a majority in the USA. Blacks make up 13.5 percent of the population. The fact that whites are a majority on death row proves nothing.
I’m glad you brought up inter-racial crime. In a “just and race-blind system,” those numbers should reflect the realities of crime. See, it turns out that blacks attack whites waaaay more often than whites attack blacks. Check the NCVS, or read a summary in the section called “The data” in this article.
And that is the reason — I’m sorry, the “bullshit rationalisation” — why there are so many black murderers of white people on death row: because they deserve to be there. You just leapt to the conclusion that it must be because the justice system refuses to put white murderers of black people on death row. Bias much?
Finally, you wonder why American blacks are so much worse than foreign blacks, personal-responsibility-wise. Well, they’re not. Blacks are more criminal than whites in the UK too. (Knife violence, anyone?) And as for Africa… well, I’d like to hear you explain how the Africans are so responsible. Starting with AIDS.
Oh, and Haiti too.
@ Crommunist: Oooooh, I know. It’s because I’m saying something unflattering about black people!
Hahaha, no it goes quite a bit deeper than that. I’ll hold off until tomorrow and see if any regular readers are game for the challenge.
“Did I mention arrest statistics?”
No, you didn’t. It’s a pretty standard asshole move to make claims without evidence, thus leaving your interlocutors to do the work of trying to figure out where the bullshit is coming from.
My bad for not being able to read your mind, moron.
“Are they just lying about who attacked them in order to make black people look bad?”
Possibly, yes. Please feel free to read up on all the various reasons as to why surveys are shit on your own time.
“Still not really how science works: just because you can concoct some completely ridiculous scenario where the statistics wouldn’t prove my point, doesn’t mean you’ve refuted it.”
You’re not doing science. You are taking some raw data, and creating a story to explain the data that fits your preconceived reality-less notion.
Your argument only holds if your conclusion is *entailed* by the data (i.e. that your story is the only possible story). Providing a different story that likewise explains the data proves (in the math sense) that your conclusion is not entailed.
This is Logic. Which is, by the way, How Science Works. But feel free to be pretentious and pretend you weren’t making any claims about entailment.
“In case you’ve forgotten, whites are a majority in the USA. Blacks make up 13.5 percent of the population. The fact that whites are a majority on death row proves nothing.”
It’s data that requires explaining, moron.
“why there are so many black murderers of white people on death row: because they deserve to be there.”
You appear to be unaware of the statistics: Black people who murder white people end up on death row at a *significantly* higher rate than white people who murder black people.
Breaking that down for the hard of thinking:
Regardless of the absolute numbers of who murders who, of the black people who murder white people, x% end up on death row.
Of the white people who murder black people, y% end up on death row.
Y is lower (by several *factors*) than X.
No, I’m not providing a reference, it’s 1.40am here. You clearly have time enough on your hands to generate bullshit, go google this stuff and learn something.
“You just leapt to the conclusion that it must be because the justice system refuses to put white murderers of black people on death row.”
Making assumptions about my thinking process makes you look like an asshole, asshole. Go look at the %’s of murder groups on death row, and come back with your bullshit rationalisation.
“Blacks are more criminal than whites in the UK too. (Knife violence, anyone?)”
Cite your source.
To make these claims, it’s necessary for you to assert that the only relevant factor is “personal responsibility”.
In order to make that assertion, you need to define “personal responsibility”.
Please define your terms. Then please explain how you have managed to eliminate all other possible causal factors as explanatory mechanisms.
Hahaha, never mind, Brian got it (took you long enough :P).
You’ve created a bizarrely fallacious argument – black people are incarcerated at a greater rate than white people… THEREFORE THEY’RE IRRESPONSIBLE! The racism arises in your jump to a conclusion. As Brian points out, you’re simply looking for data that supports your a priori position, and ignoring all evidence that contradicts or complicates it. That’s not science – that’s fallacy.
I took a look at your blog. I’m not going to bother engaging with you as though you were a reasonable person (which isn’t to say I will block your comments – I just won’t bother treating you like an adult). It’s clear that you have a vested interest in promoting anti-black propaganda for reasons that only psychotherapy will be able to uncover. I’m sure you think you’re making reasonable criticisms of the behaviour of a group of people, but what you’re actually doing is making the argument that superficial attributes like race are the determining causal factor for behaviour. Your position is scientifically implausible, in addition to being racist – not that you care about that, I’m just pointing out that you are wrong because you’re wrong, not simply because you’re racist. That’s just a bonus.
And I’ll be happy to debunk your race denialism, just as soon as you get around to posting it.
Well there’s an entire year’s worth of “race denialism” (I have NO idea what that term is supposed to mean – that I don’t think race exists? That I don’t think that your race is superior? That I deny my own race?) that you can read in the archives. That should keep you busy until at least tomorrow.
Nah, I’ll wait.
Race denialism is when you deny that race is a biological reality, or that it is important, or that the races differ more than superficially.
I know! It’s because I implied that (1) not committing robbery, rape, and murder, (2) forming stable families, and (3) not abusing your children, are part of personal responsibility. A little moral relativism to excuse black dysfunction.
Did I win?
“Race denialism is when you deny that race is a biological reality, or that it is important, or that the races differ more than superficially.”
Please provide biological evidence that there is a significant difference between “whites” (which is a collection of a wide variety of ethnicities) and “blacks” (which is also a collection of a wide variety of ethnicities).
@ Brian: Whoa, take it easy there. No need to get cranky. As I said, “Look at the demographics of, say, crime, or illegitimacy, or child abuse.” Because knowing the facts is a prerequisite for participation in this discussion. Since you don’t know them, please take the opportunity to look them up. I’ll wait.
Or you can shut the fuck up, because you don’t know anything about the subject under discussion. That works too.
I found some black crime in the UK: here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Speaking of “go google this stuff and learn something”…
“Since you don’t know them, please take the opportunity to look them up.”
I am aware of the data. You have yet to create an argument that connects the data to your conclusion. The core requirement of that argument, to be taken seriously, must explain how you have managed to eliminate all other possible causal factors as explanatory mechanisms.
You have not yet done so.
“Did you know you can determine a person’s self-reported race (black, white, Hispanic, or East Asian) with 99.86 percent accurate from genes alone?”
This is not significant.
“How about different susceptibility to disease?”
This is not significant.
“How about the fact that the average black American has an IQ of 85, and the average white American, 100? This is not even scientifically controversial. It’s in introductory textbooks, like “Human Biological Variation.”
This is not significant. And it *is* scientifically controversial. Because of results like this, the IQ test has been repeated overhauled over the years. Furthermore, it is well recognised in Psychology that we have *no* *idea* what an IQ test measures, beyond “the ability to take IQ tests”.
Again, you’ve taken a piece of information, on it’s own, and then declared “see, Black people are lesser than white people. No, I don’t have an argument, just bullshit”.
“I can keep going, if you like.”
You promised a “significant” difference. I’m waiting.
“I, on the other hand, have answered all your spurious arguments.”
Answered? Yup. Just like a 6yo “answers” an argument with “oh yeah? Sez you!”: it’s an “answer”, but it’s not an intellectual engagement.
“I’ve proved race is biological.”
So what? Yes, since the “races” are based off of skin colour and bone structure, and skin colour and bone structure are biologically determined, then “race” is biologically determined. This is entirely uncontroversial.
You have, however, failed to provide any evidence at all that this is relevant to anything.
“I’ve proved blacks commit more crime than whites.”
You’ve demonstrated, repeatedly, that you don’t know what the word “prove” means.
Regarding your ignorance of what you can demonstrate regarding race, start here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/innate-acquired/
Move on to here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/information-biological/
To learn more about IQ and it’s irrelevance, go take some Psych courses. They start getting specific at the 3rd year level.
Any further comments of yours will *only* be responded to when you explain how you have managed to eliminate all other possible causal factors as explanatory mechanisms.
How about, instead of philosophy, you read and understand this post:
‘Cause I’ve already addressed all these arguments, many times. Race denialism is all pretty much the same.
lol @ IQ’s “irrelevance”
double lol @ my saying (apparently) that one race is “lesser” than another
Again, that’s the post, not that one comment.
Moving the goalposts.
explain how you have managed to eliminate all other possible causal factors as explanatory mechanisms.
“Please provide biological evidence that there is a significant difference between ‘whites’ (which is a collection of a wide variety of ethnicities) and ‘blacks’ (which is also a collection of a wide variety of ethnicities).”
It’s sad that you think this is a challenge.
Did you know you can determine a person’s self-reported race (black, white, Hispanic, or East Asian) with 99.86 percent accurate from genes alone? American Journal of Human Genetics.
How about different susceptibility to disease? Genome Biology.
How about the fact that the average black American has an IQ of 85, and the average white American, 100? This is not even scientifically controversial. It’s in introductory textbooks, like “Human Biological Variation.”
I can keep going, if you like.
@ Crommunist: Oops, look like you forgot the NCVS. It’s not just arrests, it’s victim reports too!
“superficial attributes like race” — looks like you didn’t read enough of my blog. Check out “Black and White.” It’s from a week or two ago.
I read enough to know that it’s the half-baked pseudoscience that went out of vogue around the same time as phrenology. Like I said, you’ve got your position fixed and then you look for confirmatory evidence. It doesn’t matter whether or not I showcase the multitude of errors in your scientific ‘reasoning’, because it’s not founded upon evidence. As much as you’d probably enjoy setting up one fallacious argument after another as I knock them down, all that would result is that I’d feel tired and dirty, and you’d have gotten your egotistic rocks off.
Uh huh. I can’t help but notice that you have literally no counterarguments to anything I’ve said. Not a “multitude of errors.” Not even one error. You haven’t knocked down one single piece of evidence.
It’s not rocket science, buddy.
I, on the other hand, have answered all your spurious arguments. I’ve proved race is biological. I’ve proved blacks commit more crime than whites.
Hm, maybe I’m not the one whose position is fixed…
Believe whatever you want, man. I’m not bothering because it’s a waste of my time and it isn’t fun or interesting. You haven’t proved anything that wasn’t already stipulated from the get-go.
Are black people arrested more often? Sure.
Does race have a biological component? Yup.
Does that mean anything? Not what you think it does.
I’m not so stupid as to try and convince a race-baiting troll that his bigoted fantasy is anything other than a series of post-hoc rationalizations and back-filling. It won’t go anywhere, and it would undoubtedly give you the impression that people like me take people like you seriously.
Unamused: “whites demonstrate more personal responsibility than blacks”
A few questions for you:
Was enslaving blacks responsible?
Was beating the slaves that attempted to escape responsible?
Was raping black slaves responsible?
“I’ve proved blacks commit more crime than whites”
Really? I challenge you to take into account the crimes of the past committed by whites against blacks.
Unamused, the entire human race is depraved and prone to failure. It makes no difference if your black or white.
Crommunist, you had an excellent post a while back – it was a video – about a science experiment on some students. They had to find who of their classmates they shared the most similarities using DNA if my memory serves me correctly. The students discovered that skin colour played little to no role in determining similarities. Unamused needs to see this.
Unamused, stick around, you might learn something. I know I do
I’m pretty sure centuries-old depravity has nothing to tell us about who’s more personally responsible today. Ditto crime rates.
“It makes no difference if your black or white.” It makes a huge difference, statistically speaking. Like: blacks are around 8 times more likely to commit murder than whites. Again: I’m talking about the present. Historical murder rates: not strictly relevant.
“They had to find who of their classmates they shared the most similarities using DNA if my memory serves me correctly. The students discovered that skin colour played little to no role in determining similarities.”
Mmmm, not that I don’t trust your science project there, but:
PS Race != skin color.
While I appreciate the backup, I think your efforts are wasted. It’s also important to note that slavery is not the beginning or end of the discussion when it comes to racial disparity. While it is a decent example showing that white people have not always been, as a whole, moral people, that is not under debate. I do not doubt that there were many who thought that slavery was ALWAYS repulsive. And while it did certainly set black people way back, the disadvantages did not end during Emancipation – they were propagated generations into the future.
The reason why I think you’re wasting your time is that Unamused isn’t here to discuss – he’s here to masturbate in public. I have no problem with him using this as a forum to do that, but I’m not going to touch his supremacist cock, and I’d advise against anyone else doing the same.