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 iSteve Blog

What with it being December and all, another baseball statistics essay is not at all relevant, but I came up with a baseball statistic that I’d never heard of before: a pitcher’s ratio of the number of batters he hit with his pitches to the number of wild pitches he threw to the backstop.

This ratio offers a certain amount of insight into famous pitchers’ strategies and attitudes.

Baseballs are hard. Getting hit by a pitched ball hurts and can be very dangerous. A big leaguer was killed by a pitch in 1920, and other ballplayers have never been the same after getting hit in the head, such as Mickey Cochrane, Tony Conigliaro, and Kirby Puckett.

In contrast to the famously entertaining Nolan Ryan-Robin Ventura video above, here’s a video of Giancarlo Stanton getting hit in the face by a pitch in 2014 that’s not entertaining at all: warning, not for the squeamish.

A simple but useful ratio for getting a flavor of the personalities of different baseball pitchers is their career numbers for batters hit by their pitches and their wild pitches.

A wild pitch is one thrown so inaccurately (usually in the dirt but sometimes in the air) that the catcher can’t grab it and a baserunner advances.

If a pitch hits the batter, the pitcher is penalized by awarding the batter a free pass to first base.

So, both HBPs and WPs correlate with a pitcher’s lack of “control” or accuracy. But Hit By Pitches also correlates with how aggressively a pitcher challenges batters who try to get close to the plate or just feel unafraid at bat (not to mention how often a pitcher intentionally throws at batters). The more a pitcher feels entitled to throw inside the more he’ll now and then hit a batter.

In contrast, pitchers who aim low tend to have more wild pitches.

The overall major league average per team has floated up and down over time. In the Dead Ball 1919 season before Ray Chapman was killed the next year by a Carl Mays pitch, the average team hit 33 batters and threw 23 wild pitches. (By the way, if you are wondering about Mays, his ratio was 89 HBP to 34 WP, so, yeah, he was kind of mean.)

Then the cultural norms changed against pitching inside. In 1941, the average team hit only 19 batters and threw 30 wild pitches.

By 1968, the Year of the Pitcher, the average per team was 39 HBPs and 50 WPs.

In 2016, the average team hit 55 opposing batters with pitches and threw 60 wild pitches over the course of a 162 game season. This would seem to reflect the frequent observation that pitchers tend to go more all out on each pitch these days than in the past, so they suffer more glitches as well.

But it also could be that the fact that batters are better armored these days (Barry Bonds looked as if he were dressed for a firefight in a Schwarzenegger movie) means that pitchers feel more entitled to throw inside.

So Hit By Pitches and Wild Pitches have generally been pretty similar in frequency. At present the average pitcher has a ratio of almost 1 to 1 for HBPs and WPs. There are a lot of influences on the two numbers (I would guess that sinkerball pitchers throw more wild pitches, all else being equal: e.g., Tommy John was 98 HBP to 187 WP), but it’s not all that unreasonable to say that a pitcher who hits twice as many batters as he throws wild pitches is, shall we say, aggressive, while a pitcher who hits only half as many batters as he throws wild pitches is cautious and gentlemanly.

There are a lot of legends and mythmaking about mean pitchers who throw inside. For example, the 1960s pitching legend Bob Gibson has a huge reputation for having thrown at batters. Fans love to congratulate Gibson at nostalgia events for being so vicious.

Among 1960s National League superstars:

Bob Gibson 102 batters hit by pitches to 108 wild pitches

Juan Marichal 40 / 51

Sandy Koufax 18 / 87

Don Drysdale 154 / 82

Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) 160 / 47

A few comments: As Joe Posnanski wrote last year, Gibson’s reputation as a headhunter is overstated, somewhat, and perhaps Gibson encouraged it. Gibson hit quite a few batters by the standards of the 1920s through 1950s, but not as many as Don Drysdale or Jim Bunning. But he didn’t mind a reputation for ferocity that kept righthanded batters from digging in against him with much confidence. The great man had played on the Harlem Globetrotters and presumably took notes on showmanship.

Marichal of the Giants had such pinpoint accuracy that when he did knock somebody down, the other team assumed it was not an accident, but personal. The longest brawl I ever saw was in September 1971 when Bill Singer of the Dodgers hit Willie Mays, so Marichal retaliated by knocking down Singer and Maury Wills, and then hit hot-headed Bill Buckner who charged the mound. It took the umpires close to a half hour to restart the game.

The ratios of the Dodger Hall of Famers, Drysdale and Koufax, are instructive. Under his affable exterior, Drysdale was a crafty, determined competitor. In 1956 he studied under the tutelage of veteran teammate Sal “The Barber” Maglie how to throw inside. Maglie didn’t hit that many batters by 1960s standards, never more than 10 in a season, but he came close a lot. Maglie had a career record of 44 HBPs to only 18 WPs, which was scandalous by norms of the day.

In Drysdale’s defense, 1956 was the year the National League ordered batters to wear helmets, although the rule wasn’t much enforced and helmets weren’t as effective as they are now. Drysdale led the league in HBP from 1958 through 1961, and his career-high of 20 in 1961 was the most in the major leagues since 1923. The 6′-5″ Drysdale threw sidearm and so the ball started out way behind the heads of righthanded batters and the knowledge that Drysdale wasn’t going to lose sleep over hitting you was a reminder that the feeling of danger wasn’t just an optical illusion.

In contrast, it’s clear from Koufax’s tiny number of hit batsman that he was actively trying not to hit batters with his dangerous fastball. Koufax had some remarkable seasons, such as in 1958 before he found his control hitting only 1 batter while throwing a league leading 17 wild pitches.

When I wrote a Taki’s column about Koufax last summer, it occurred that I couldn’t recall any anecdotes of Koufax ever outsmarting opponents or doing anything ethically marginal to get an advantage, while I knew lots of such stories about Drysdale. Koufax really was like a Gary Cooper character in the movies who didn’t connive for an unsporting edge, but just went strength against strength. I think that helps explain the Brooklyn-born Koufax’s unparalleled magnetism to this day among Jewish sports fans: he was this strong, silent cowboy movie hero-type.

The top current pitcher Clayton Kershaw has a HBP to WP ratio of 29 to 67 — not quite as gentlemanly as Koufax, but impressive.

Another fine present day pitcher Zack Greinke has an interesting story. In his first two seasons in the majors, he hit 21 batters to only 5 wild pitches. The next season he suffered an emotional breakdown and took a mental health leave from baseball for awhile. In the ten seasons since his successful return, his ratio has been a more neighborly 38 to 63. That may just be random noise, but the stats might be relevant.

Current day pitchers with high HBP to WP ratios include Johnny Cueto (91 to 26) and Chris Sale (63 to 29).

I found a sabermetrician calling himself Gee Walker who calculated HBP / WP ratios for many pitchers back in 2009.

The hard throwing Nolan Ryan hit 158 batters and threw 277 wild pitches (the most wild pitches since 1901).

The video at the top of the post is of 46-year-old Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers hitting Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox in 1993. Ryan denied it but it looks like an intentional message pitch aimed at a less dangerous part of the anatomy and not thrown full velocity. However, the umpire didn’t throw Ryan out of the game, judging it an accident.

George W. Bush claimed he was going to storm on to the field from his owner’s box to defend Nolan but then he saw Bo Jackson lumbering out of the White Sox dugout and thought better of it. Also, Nolan didn’t need any defending.

The anti-Ryan, super-accurate soft-throwing reliever Dan Quizenberry hit 7 and walked 5 in his entire career.

Some highly competitive pitchers didn’t hit people much. Steve Carlton was 53 and 183, while Jack Morris was 58 and 206.

Bob Feller, the fastball king of WWII era was 60 and 69 despite walking huge numbers of batters.

Of the Big 4 all-time great pitchers of the end of the 20th Century, most were pretty aggressive:

Pedro Martinez 141 / 62

Greg Maddux 137 / 70

Randy Johnson 190 / 109

Roger Clemens 159 / 143

How about middle aged junk baller Jamie Moyer who stayed in the majors until he was 49? Was he a nice guy? Nah: 146 / 57.

What about potential senatorial candidate Curt Schilling? Was he in the brushback tradition of Jim Bunning?

Nope, Schilling was 52 / 72.

Anyway, it’s a pretty interesting statistic. There are a lot of technical influences (e.g., sinker pitchers will probably throw more wild pitches, all else being equal), but for a very simple ratio it offers some insights into pitchers.

 

The New York Times is trying to stir up a diplomatic spat between the U.S. and China:

Trump Speaks With Taiwan’s Leader, Likely Upsetting China

By MARK LANDLER 6:02 PM ET

President-elect Donald J. Trump spoke by telephone with Taiwan’s president on Friday, a striking break with diplomatic practice that could create a rift with China.

He is believed to be the first president or president-elect who has spoken to a Taiwanese leader since 1979.

Now it could be that Trump is playing 5-D chess or, more likely, he was just being friendly.

Last year I identified China-Taiwan as a topic on which Trump’s shoot-from-hip common sense is a poor fit. As I wrote on September 6, 2015 when the first poll ever came out showing Trump in the lead over Hillary:

The Statue of Liberty once stood for an American’s right to say what he felt was true. Now the Statue of Liberty has been repurposed as an icon of how Americans had better shut up about immigration and diversity.

Donald J. Trump is the living embodiment of the First Amendment.

On the other hand, there are a lot of foreign policy issues on which the President really shouldn’t mouth off. For example, the official stance of the United States government since February 1972 has been that China and Taiwan are one country that should be under one government; we just won’t say which one.

Now that I think about that, I have that wrong: that was the 1972-1978 policy dreamed up by those devious machiavels Nixon, Kissinger, and Chou. Then Carter cut formal ties with Taiwan. Then Congress retaliated by passing a law creating de facto ties with Taiwan.

In reality, both China and Taiwan are independent countries, but these diplomatic fictions have their reasons.

Granted, that’s ridiculous, but, at least so far it has worked. And therefore the President shouldn’t say it’s ridiculous even though everybody knows it is.

I don’t see any indication that Trump did this, but diplomatic relations have all sorts of abstruse protocols that that a president should follow unless he has a particularly carefully thought out reason not to.

A low energy guy like Obama, who more or less was raised to be some kind of Foreign Service diplomat, is probably not going to tell an interviewer that of course China and Taiwan are separate countries: everybody knows that. But a President Trump might.

In contrast, domestic policy (e.g., immigration policy) should be far more of a free for all than it is under the current rules of what’s respectable. Obama’s diplomatic Blank Screen approach where nobody is supposed to get the joke about why we elected this guy President has been a slow-moving disaster. I suspect that deep down Obama feels bad about how his Administration has, in effect, agitated blacks to murder each other, all in the name of #BlackLivesMatter. But “personnel is policy” and a lot of Obama’s appointees, such as Eric Holder, have been too dim to figure out what they are doing to America.

When it comes to domestic policy, Congress and the courts have huge says, so the President using his bully pulpit is a good thing: the embodiment of democracy.

But much of foreign policy, perhaps too much, is handed over to the President under the guise of the National Security state. So the President has less freedom to spout off his opinion about whatever comes to his attention… Trump has a little under a year and a half to grow into the job. It’s a challenge, but not impossible. Mostly, he needs to get across that he’s not going to upset settled foreign policy just for fun.

Trump should get himself a stuffed shirt Secretary of State in the William Rogers mode.

 

Back in August, I asked “If the latest Milwaukee riot isn’t Hillary’s Sister Souljah Moment, what would be?

From Slate in October, an explanation that due to changes in the electorate, Democrats don’t have to stoop anymore to the indignity of pretending that they don’t agree with identity politics extremists like Bill Clinton did in 1992 by denouncing a rapper.

The Democratic Party’s Racial Reckoning

In 1992, Bill Clinton had to pander to white bigots to win the presidency. In 2016, Hillary can call them what they are.

By Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is Slate’s chief political correspondent.

Sister Souljah and Bill Clinton in 1992, Hillary in 2016

The day after the first presidential debate, all anyone wanted to talk about was the coup de grace: Alicia Machado, “Miss Housekeeping,” “Where did you find this? Where did you find this?” But the most remarkable exchange of that night had come earlier, when with a few blunt words Hillary Clinton reduced Donald Trump to peevish incoherence and, remarkably, conveyed the distance her party has traveled in the past quarter-century. If you listened carefully, you would have heard a kind of Sister Souljah moment, in reverse.

 

It happened after moderator Lester Holt pressed Trump on his birtherism. “Mr. Trump,” he said, “for five years you perpetuated a false claim of the nation’s first black president was not a natural-born citizen. You questioned his legitimacy. In the last couple weeks, you acknowledged what most Americans have accepted for years: the president was born in the United States. Can you tell us what took you so long?”

Trump tried to shift blame, pinning birtherism on the Clinton camp and its conduct during the 2008 Democratic primary. This is false. But more interesting than Trump’s answer was Clinton’s response. She didn’t just dismiss his claim. She pushed back in the strongest way possible. Trump “has really started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen,” Clinton said.

“There was absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted.” She continued, tying the birtherism to a larger critique: “[R]emember, Donald started his career back in 1973 being sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination, because he would not rent apartments in one of his developments to African Americans, and he made sure that the people who worked for him understood that was the policy. He actually was sued twice by the Justice Department. So he has a long record of engaging in racist behavior.”

Clinton’s message was simple: From the beginning of his business career to the launch of his political one, Trump swam in a rank pool of prejudice and racist insinuation. And then, with Trump established as both a beneficiary and catalyst of American bigotry, she dropped the story of Machado, a former Miss Universe, on his head. “[O]ne of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest,” Clinton said. “He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman ‘Miss Piggy.’ Then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping,’ because she was Latina.”

In the narrative of this election, Donald Trump is the “politically incorrect” one in the race. He says what “people are thinking” and isn’t afraid of the reaction. For the most part this is nonsense. Trump’s political incorrectness is just a cover for run-of-the-mill prejudice. If people don’t blame Mexico for “sending rapists” over the border, it’s not because they’re cowed; it’s because it isn’t true.

If there’s an actual norm restricting honest discussion for fear of giving offense, it’s around white racism.

Hence the storm of criticism for Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment, condemned because it violated political custom—don’t attack the other side’s voters—not because it was untrue. “No. 1 rule of presidential politics. Okay to mock your opponent. Never a good idea to mock the electorate,” said Michael Barbaro of the New York Times on Twitter.

Clinton’s gaffe was to talk about bigotry plainly, without euphemism. And what’s striking, given that backlash, is that she’s continued to name and shame Trump’s racism.

It’s no small thing to call birtherism a “racist lie” in front of the largest-ever debate audience. Presidential candidates slam opponents for almost everything under the sun. But not racism. Not because it isn’t present, but because it risks alienating white voters who aren’t comfortable with accusations of racial prejudice or racist intent. But last week, facing an estimated 85 million viewers, Clinton did just that, in a way that wasn’t imaginable four years ago (when Barack Obama ran against Mitt Romney and his veiled racial appeals), eight years ago (when Sarah Palin fueled her nascent celebrity with raw white resentment), and certainly 30 years ago, when George H.W. Bush and the Republican Party stoked white fears of black crime for political gain, crushing Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis in the process.

What changed to make Clinton—a woman of profound political caution, the virtual avatar of modern-day Democratic centrism—willing to name racism when she sees it? To describe millions of voters as “deplorables” with racist and misogynistic views? To call the things what they are, even if it alienates voters?

The answer is straightforward. Clinton may represent the middle way of Democratic politics, but that middle way is substantively and electorally different from the middle way of the 1990s, when her husband was in office. Clinton can talk openly about white racism because she doesn’t need the old Democratic electorate.

In the 1990s, Democrats needed white voters and struggled to pull them into the fold, in part because of the party’s liberalism and its strong identification with black Americans and black political interests. …

Running in 1992, Clinton danced a two-step. He tied himself to black voters and black communities, winning huge support through deft use of cultural affinity. He emphasized his Southern heritage: Here was a poor boy from Arkansas who could relate, personally, to the lives of many black Americans. At the same time, however, Clinton made a direct play to the cultural anxieties and political resentments of those whites who’d abandoned Dukakis for Bush. …

His most infamous move in this two-step came later, when Clinton agreed to speak at Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition conference that summer. In addition to Clinton, Jackson had also invited Sister Souljah, a rapper and activist then in the news for her heated remarks about the riots in Los Angeles. “If black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?” she said in an interview with the Washington Post. Her music featured similar sentiments, all the more controversial given larger public concern with the rise of hip-hop as a mainstream cultural product. Clinton used the conference to condemn Souljah and distance himself from Jackson, in a direct play for white moderates. “If you took the words white and black, and you reversed them, you might think David Duke was giving that speech,” said Clinton of Souljah’s rhetoric.

Both moves would help Clinton win skeptical white workers and professionals, who worried that the Democratic Party was beholden to black voters. And in office, Clinton would continue the dance, pushing a controversial anti-crime bill and signing welfare reform in an effort to end “dependency” among low-income blacks.

It was a politics indexed to white anxiety. The Democratic Party of Bill Clinton relied on voters who were unfriendly—even hostile—to racial liberalism. And it moved accordingly. Bolstered by the economy as well as these cultural moves, Clinton would claim the center of American politics, winning an easy re-election and eventually ending his term as one of the most popular presidents in recent memory, despite scandal and an impeachment attempt.

But that was then. …

Hillary demonstrated her distance from racists just as her husband used Sister Souljah to demonstrate his independence from black interests.
Bill Clinton distanced himself from anything that smacked of identity politics or traditional liberalism. Hillary Clinton has not. This speaks to a larger reality in American politics. Racism—either virulent or implicit—is the enemy of progressive political coalitions. It’s either an obstacle to building those coalitions in the first place, or it’s a part of the process that unravels them. White departure from the Democratic Party cost it the Oval Office for nearly 20 years, and the effort to win those whites back yielded a disappointing and myopic centrism. But now those whites aren’t as central to Democratic presidential fortunes, and it has given many in the party the space they need to move in a more liberal direction. And looking at the tenor of Democratic policy debates over the past year—debates over how the welfare state should expand, not if it should—they have. Which is to say that the great upside of this shift is for the blacks, Latinos, and young people who form a critical part of the Democratic Party’s national electorate. Their demands for criminal justice reform, immigration reform, and broader economic reform—as channeled through the primary campaign of Bernie Sanders—aren’t a deal-breaker for national Democratic politicians.

… A Democratic Party that doesn’t need to win more than a modest minority of working-class white men is one that can lean further toward racial liberalism, to mobilize its black and Latino supporters and to win over those culturally liberal whites. It can embrace comprehensive immigration reform, champion LGBTQ rights, and assail implicit bias without threatening its ability to win national elections. National Democrats can even dance a different kind of two-step, baiting prejudiced opponents into expressing that prejudice and condemning them for all the world to see. Not just to slam their opponents, but to mobilize their supporters. To show which side they’re on, and that they aren’t pandering to the wrong voters.

It’s what Clinton did with “deplorables,” and it’s what she did a week ago, demonstrating for nonwhite voters her distance from the racist corners of the electorate just as surely as her husband, in 1992, used Sister Souljah to demonstrate his independence from black interests. And it’s only possible because the Democratic Party of President Clinton is gone, replaced by the one built by President Obama and his allies. It’s a more liberal and more cosmopolitan Democratic Party, one that doesn’t see a national future in winning white workers from the GOP.

Hillary Clinton is still on track to win this presidential election. And barring an extraordinary—and unlikely—collapse in Trump’s support, she will do so with a revamped Obama coalition, comprising nonwhites; young voters; and an unprecedented number of moderate, suburban whites. She will have claimed the center of American politics, not by pandering to popular prejudices, but by rejecting them.

 

Robby Soave of Reason has reported that the name of the course requiring a group project on microaggressions that Ohio State’s Stabby Somali, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was taking was named “Crossing Identity Boundaries.”

This would appear to be the class’s website. Here are excerpts:

Multicultural Center

The Ohio State University

Crossing Identity Boundaries (ES HESA 2577)

Crossing Identity Boundaries: A Journey Towards Intercultural Leadership is a three-credit course designed to bring together students from different cultural and social identity groups in a facilitated learning environment. Interactive dialogues engage students in exploring issues of diversity and inequality as well as their personal and social responsibility for building a more just university and society. Students gain valuable leadership skills that they can effectively utilize long beyond the classroom. …

ES HESA 2577 courses are carefully structured to explore social group identity, conflict, community, and social justice. Overall, the course will be guided throughout by the following questions:

How have you come to learn about race/gender/sexuality/religion? How has this shaped your world view?

In what ways can you use the information gained in this course to become an actively engaged, socially just global citizen within the Buckeye, Columbus, and greater communities?

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

- Identify micro-aggressions within their daily lives and within society as a whole.
- Define power, privilege, value systems and difference and be able to identify their different forms.
- Recognize the commonalities and differences that exist among people and cultures and how these factors influence their relationship with others.
- Demonstrate a personal ethic geared towards civic responsibility.
- Identify ways in which they can challenge or address systems of power and privilege.
- Demonstrate an appreciation for other points of view and other cultures…
- Discuss how they will be socially just global citizenship as part of their lifelong learning.

Why is racism always a black/white thing? Am I expected to represent everyone in my group? Are guys always expected to pay on a date? Spend the semester exploring these and many other questions in the Multicultural Center’s three credit hour course. Classes meet twice a week and aim to expand self-awareness and develop valuable dialogue skills. Receive credit for the Leadership Minor and/or the Social Diversity in the U.S. GE while examining and discussing issues and experiences relevant to Ohio State and society.

And here are excerpts from this course’s syllabus:

The Ohio State University

College of Education and Human Ecology

Department of Educational Studies

ES HESA 2577 Crossing Identity Boundaries: A Journal Towards Intercultural Leadership

3 credits, Undergraduate …

I. Course Description

This course is built on intellectual and experiential engagement with issues of difference, diversity, social justice, and alliance building. In a multicultural society that is culturally diverse yet socially stratified, discussions about difference, community and conflict are important to facilitate understanding among different social and cultural groups. …

The course is focused on all aspects of social identity, including but not limited to race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, and national origin. We will explore the topics of identity, social justice, and diversity through these various lenses.

Overall, the course will be guided by the following questions:

  1. How have you come to learn about race/gender/sexual orientation/religion/nationality? How has this shaped your worldview?
  2. In what ways can you use the information gained in this course to become an actively engaged, socially just global citizen/leader within the Buckeye, Columbus, and greater communities?

This course will meet a General Education (GE) requirement for Diversity: Social Diversity in the United States. This course also fulfills the requirement for the leadership minor.

II. Course Objectives: …

Students will begin to develop an understanding of major social justice concepts (e.g., power, privilege, difference, microaggressions).

Through writing as well as individual and group reflections based on readings assignments and class discussions, students will able to:

  • Identify microaggressions within their daily lives and within society as a whole.
  • Identify ways in which they can challenge or address systems of power and privilege.
  • Define power, privilege, value systems and difference and be able to identify their different forms. …

Students will grasp their role within greater society and how they can work to create social justice.

III. Course Readings

Adams, M., Blumenfied, W. J., Castañeda, C., Hackman, H. W., Peters, M. L., & Zuñiga, X. (Eds.). (2013). Readings for diversity and social justice (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.

$152 in hard cover, but only $59.35 in paperback.

I’m going to put in a page break here, but the course readings below it are pretty funny.

Warning: What follows is not a parody.

Here are a few excerpts from below the fold:

… You will be graded on the following criteria:

Quality of microaggressions chosen (Do you clearly articulate why they are microaggressions and which group is targeted?)

Quality of response (Do you address the microaggression in an appropriate and meaningful way?) …

Remember, kids, it’s not just the quantity of microaggressions, it’s the quality.

*Meiner, J. C. (2000). Memoirs of a gay fraternity brother. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice: An anthology on racism, antisemitism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and classism (pp. 299-301). New York, NY: Routledge. ….

*McIntosh, P. (1990). White privilege: unpacking the invisible knapsack.*Vega, T. (2014). Students see many slights as racial microaggressions. New York Times

*King, J. (2015). Here’s the perfect explanation for why White people need to stop saying #AllLivesMatter. …

*Bouie, J. (2014). Why do millennials not understand racism? Retrieved from http://www.slate.com

*Kuo, R. (2015). 6 reasons we need to dismantle the model minority myth of those ‘hard-working’ Asians. Retrieved from http://everydayfeminism.com… …

*Cicero, L. (2012). Secret agent – Why queer invisibility matters. Retrieved from http://www.undercoverinthesuburbs.com/2012/04/09/secret-agent-why-queer-invisibility-matters/

*Lim-Hing, S. (2000). Dragon ladies, snow queens, and Asian-American dykes: Reflections on race and sexuality. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice: An anthology on racism, antisemitism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and classism(pp. 296-299). New York, NY: Routledge.

*Ferguson, S. (2014). 3 examples of everyday cissexism. Retrieved from http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/03/everyday-cissexism/

*Resnick, B. (2015). The science behind why people fear refugees. Retrieved from http://www.vox.com

Nasir, N. S. & Al-Amin, J. (2013). Creating identity-safe spaces on college campuses for Muslim students. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 301-305). New York, NY: Routledge.

 

 

… You will complete a total of 7 journals for this class. …

  1. Respond directly to one of the readings for class. How did the reading change your thinking, if at all? What did you learn? What questions do you still have about the topic? How does this reading relate to your life experience and identity? …
  2. Write about your activities from a recent day in your life. What actions did you take? Where did you go? Who were you with? Now pick one aspect of the social identity wheel. Choose a trait from that wheel that you do not already have (e.g. if you are Christian, pick being Muslim; if you are male, pick being female). Retrace your day and your actions while reflecting on how this new identity would have impacted your day. What challenges would you have? How would others have treated you differently? What privileges might you have gained? Full credit will be given to those journals that fully explore an identity and can relate it to one’s daily life activities
  3. Describe a recent incident where you have seen power/privilege in your life. Reflect on that experience. How did you react in that moment? Why did you react that way and was that an appropriate way to react? How did your social identities play into this experience? Full credit will be given to those entries that reflect deeply about the experience and demonstrate an understanding of how identity impacts power and privilege. Incorporate at least one reading into your response.
  4. Choose one section from the identity wheel. Write a reflection on your childhood memories and experiences that helped shape the identities you chose. What messages, both covert and overt, did you receive about these identities growing up? What are some positive and negative experiences you had with these identities and how have they shaped how you see that identity today? You should use a different identity than you wrote about in the Who Am I? paper. Incorporate at least one reading into your response.
  5. Take two Implicit Bias tests at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/selectatest.html. Write about how you felt when you took the test. Reflect on your results of the test. What surprised or didn’t surprise you? Why do you think you got the result you did? How do these tests and their results relate to what we have learned in class? What implications do these tests have for society? Incorporate at least one reading into your response. Full credit will be given to journals that relate the tests to at least one reading, demonstrate an understanding of how these tests relate to larger social justice issues, and incorporate personal experience.
  6. Learn more about a resource on campus that could further your understanding on the topic(s) of this class (e.g. diversity, specific identities, etc.). You CANNOT use the Multicultural Center. …
  7. The goal of this activity is to help students illustrate how diversity and social justice impact life outside of the classroom. Attend one DICE event sponsored by the Multicultural Center. A list of possible programs can be found at (http://mcc.osu.edu/events.aspx) – programs that can count for this journal will be labeled with “DICE” after the title of the program. Reflect on your experience at the program. What did you learn? How can you use the information in the future? How did the program relate to the course?

Who am I? Paper (5%)

For this 2-3 page paper, you will further explore your social identities. Use the social identity wheel as a starting point. Discuss 1-2 of your social identities. How did you come to learn about those identities? What kind of messages (both positive and negative) have you been given about those identities? What aspects of your identity do you hope to learn more about in the course? Full credit will be given to papers that demonstrate an in-depth and serious reflection that is grounded in personal experiences and to papers that explain fully what you want to learn from the course. This paper is due on September 7.

Microaggressions Group Presentation and Reflective Paper (15%)

The goal of this assignment is for you to evaluate the impact that power and privilege have within social media and to provide a rationale on how you would react to different microaggressions. You will be assigned to groups for this project. Find at least 12 examples of microaggressions using at least 3 different types of social media (e.g., Yik Yak, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest). Explain who the target of the microaggression is and why your group believes it is an example of a negative remark. Provide an example of how you might respond to such a comment. Your presentation should be between 15 – 20 minutes long and each member of the group should speak at least once during the presentation. Your presentation must also use PowerPoint or Prezi. Your classmates will also be providing feedback for you on your presentation. Your instructors will provide you with more information and an example presentation as the deadline approaches. …

You will be graded on the following criteria:

  • Quality of microaggressions chosen (Do you clearly articulate why they are microaggressions and which group is targeted?)
  • Quality of response (Do you address the microaggression in an appropriate and meaningful way?)
  • Use of PPT etiquette and adherence to general assignment guidelines (Did everyone speak? Did you use two different types of social media? Did you follow the time limit?)
  • Feedback from peer reviews
  • Overall quality of presentation

The presentation will count for 10% of your overall grade. Additionally, you are expected to write a 2-3 page reflective paper on your experience in the group. In this paper, you are expected to discuss how you were engaged in the group. What impact did your social identities have on the group dynamics? If there were conflicts, how were they resolved? …

Course Outline – Session Objectives, Readings, and Assignments

Class Session 1

August 24

  • Introduction to Course

Assignments Due

  • Complete online survey before next class

Class Session 2

August 29

  • Class Norms and Introduction to Social Identities

Assignments Due:

Readings Due:

  • Kirk, G., & Okazawa-Rey, M. (2013). Identities and social locations: Who am I? Who are my people. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 9-15). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Armino, J. (2013). Waking up White: What it means to accept your legacy, for better and worse. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 125-126). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Fayad, M. (2013). The Arab woman and I. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 114-115). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • *Meiner, J. C. (2000). Memoirs of a gay fraternity brother. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice: An anthology on racism, antisemitism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and classism (pp. 299-301). New York, NY: Routledge.

Class Session 3

August 31

  • Unpacking Power and Privilege

Assignments Due:

Readings Due:

  • Johnson, A. G. (2013). The social construction of difference. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 15-21). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Harro, B. (2013). The cycle of socialization. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 45-51). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • *McIntosh, P. (1990). White privilege: unpacking the invisible knapsack.Retrieved from http://www.feministezine.com/feminist/modern/WhitePrivilege-MalePrivilege.html

Class Session 4

September 7

  • Microaggressions

Assignments Due

  • Who Am I? Paper

Readings Due:

Class Session 5

September 12

  • Understanding Race/Ethnicity

Assignments Due:

Readings Due:

  • *Prewitt, K. (2013) Fix the census’ archaic racial categories. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/opinion/fix-the-census-archaic-racial-categories.html
  • Dalmage, H. (2013). Patrolling racial borders: Discrimination against mixed race people. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice: An anthology on racism, antisemitism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and classism (pp. 96-101). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Williams, P. J. (2013). The Emperor’s New Clothes. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 119-124). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • *TEDx Talk: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race: …

Class Session 6

September 14

  • Racism

Assignments Due

  • Journal #1

Readings Due:

Class Session 7

September 19

  • Understanding Sex, Gender Roles, and Sexism

Assignments Due:

Readings Due:

  • Hackman, H. W. (2013). Introduction: Sexism. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 317-322). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Lorber, J. (2013). Night to his day: the social construction of gender. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 323-329). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • hooks, b. (2013). Feminism: A movement to end sexist oppression. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 340-341). New York, NY: Routledge.

Class Session 8

September 21

  • Understanding Sexism

Assignments Due:

  • Journal #2

Readings Due:

  • Johnson, A. G. (2013). Patriarchy, the system: An it, not a he, a them, or an us. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 334-339). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Bernstein, A. (2013). Women’s pay: Why the gap remains a chasm. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 349-350). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • *Truth, S. (1851). Ain’t I a woman?. Retrieved from: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/womens-history-month/videos/aint-i-a-woman

Class Session 9

September 26

  • Understanding Sexual Orientation

Assignments Due:

Readings Due:

Class Session 10

September 28

  • Heterosexism and Homophobia

Assignments Due:

  • Journal #3

Readings Due:

  • Carbado, D. W. (2013). Privilege. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 391-397). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Blumenfeld, W. J. (2013). How homophobia hurts everyone. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 379-387). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • *Editorial Board. (2015). The challenges that remain after marriage equality. The New York Times.
  • *Madden, E. Breaking the cycle of gay shame. Retrieved from http://goqnotes.com/oped/oped_021007a.html

Class Session 11

October 3

  • Understanding Gender Identity and Transgender Identities

Assignments Due:

Readings Due:

Class Session 12

October 5

  • Genderism, Cissexism, and Transphobia

Assignments Due:

  • Journal #4

Readings Due:

  • *Ferguson, S. (2014). 3 examples of everyday cissexism. Retrieved from http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/03/everyday-cissexism/
  • Kirk, G. & Okazawa-Rey, M. (2013). He works, she works, but what different impressions they make. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 355-356). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Neely, R. (2013). Promises made. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 356-358). New York, NY: Routledge.

Class Session 13

October 10

  • Understanding Class

Assignments Due:

Readings Due

  • *Cottom, T.M. (2013). Why do poor people ‘waste’ money on luxury goods? Retrieved from http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/why-do-poor-people-waste-money-on-luxury-goods
  • Jaffe, S. (2013). Is the near-trillion dollar student loan bubble about to pop? In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 176-180). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • hooks, b. (2013). White poverty: The politics of invisibility. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 199-202). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Kochar, R., Fry, R., Taylor, P. (2013). Wealth gaps to rise to record highs between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics: Twenty-to-one. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 190-192). New York, NY: Routledge.

Class Session 14

October 12

  • Classism

Assignments Due:

Readings Due:

  • Pittleman, K & Resource Generation. (2013). Deep thoughts about class privilege. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 221-225). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • *Leonhardt, D. (2013). In climbing the income ladder, location matters. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com

My initial response to Raj Chetty’s study.

Class Session 15

October 17

  • Understanding Ability

Assignments Due:

Readings Due:

  • *TED talk: I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much https://www.ted.com/talks/stella_young_i_m_not_your_inspiration_thank_you_very_much?language=en
  • Wendell, S. (2013). The social construction of disability. . In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 481-485). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Wolanin, T. R. (2013). Students with disabilities: Financial aid policy issues. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 180-182). New York, NY: Routledge.

Class Session 16

October 19

  • Ableism

Assignments Due:

  • Journal #6

Readings Due:

Class Session 17

October 24

  • Unpacking National Origin

Assignments Due:

Readings Due:

Short answer: It has nothing, NOTHING to do with Stabby Somalis.

Class Session 18

October 26

  • Unpacking National Origin

Assignments Due:

Readings Due:

  • *Hernandez, I., Mendoza, F., Lio, M., Latthi, J., & Eusebio, C. (2011). Things I’ll Never Say: Stories of Growing Up Undocumented in the United States. Harvard Educational Review, 81(3), 500-508.
  • *Infographic: Growing Up American and Undocumented: http://visual.ly/growing-american-and-undocumented
  • National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. (2013). Injustice for all: The rise of the U.S. immigration policing regime. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 102-109). New York, NY: Routledge.

Class Session 19

October 31

  • Unpacking Religion

Assignments Due:

Readings Due:

  • *Pew Foundation U.S. Religious Landscape Survey
  • Nasir, N. S. & Al-Amin, J. (2013). Creating identity-safe spaces on college campuses for Muslim students. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 301-305). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Whittaker, C. R., Salend, S., & Elhoweris, H. (2013). Religious diversity in schools: addressing the issues. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 305-309). New York, NY: Routledge.

Class Session 20

November 2

  • Unpacking Religious Oppression

Assignments Due:

Readings Due:

  • Schlosser, L. Z. (2013). Christian privilege: Breaking a sacred taboo. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 243-244). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Eck, D. (2013). Working it out & See you in court. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 270-277). New York, NY: Routledge.

Class Session 21

November 7

  • What does all of this mean?

Assignments Due:

Readings Due:

  • Harro, B. (2013). The cycle of liberation. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 618-625). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • West, C. (2013). Courage. M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 625-627). New York, NY: Routledge.

Class Session 22

November 9

  • Civic Engagement

Assignments Due:

Readings Due:

  • Johnson, A. G. (2013). What can we do? In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 612-618). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • WireTap (2013). Top youth activism victories of 2009. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 641-645). New York, NY: Routledge.

Class Session 23

November 14

  • Civic Engagement

Assignments Due:

  • Civic Responsibility Paper

Readings Due:

  • Smith, R. (2013). Social struggle. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 630-634). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Anzaldua, G. (2013). Allies. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, C. R. Castaneda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, & X. Zuniga (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 627-629). New York, NY: Routledge.

Class Session 24

November 16

  • Group Presentations

Assignments Due:

  • Microaggressions Project (half of the groups)

Class Session 25

November 21

  • Group Presentations

Assignments Due:

  • Microaggressions Project (half of the groups)

Class Session 26

November 28

  • Global Citizenship

Assignments Due:

  • Group Reflection Papers

Readings Due:

· *Olds, K. (2012). Global citizenship – what are we talking about and why does it matter? Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/globalhighered/global-citizenship-%E2%80%93-what-are-we-talking-about-and-why-does-it-matter

· *TEDx Talk: What’s Wrong with Volunteer Travel? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYWl6Wz2NB8

Class Session 27

November 30

  • Global Citizenship

Assignments Due:

  • Journal #7

Readings Due:

· *McGovern, E. (1998, December). Doing good work. About Campus, pp. 28-30.

· *Illich, I. (1968). To hell with good intentions. Retrieved from http://www.swaraj.org/illich_hell.htm

Class Session 28

December 5

  • Where do we go from here?

Assignments Due: Final Paper due December 9 by 5:00

 
• Tags: Stabby Somali 

From the NYT:

POSTCARD FROM BEIJING

In China, Eugenics Determines Who Plays in School Bands

By DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW DEC. 1, 2016

“We’ve chosen your children according to their physical attributes,” the leader told a group of parents at a Beijing public elementary school. …

Yet we had been called in to hear about the school’s music band, not a mission to Mars. So what was Teacher Wang talking about?

Eugenics for music, it turns out. Teacher Wang proceeded to describe a program by which a group of 8-year-olds, selected purely on the basis of physical characteristics rather than interest, would build the best band in the world that would travel overseas and wow audiences with the flower of Chinese youth. Freaky enough, without a one-way ticket to Mars.

“For the best band, we’ve chosen the best students and the best teachers,” Teacher Wang continued. …

“I’ve looked at their teeth, at their arms, their height, everything, very carefully,” Teacher Wang said. “We don’t want anyone with asthma, or heart problems, or eye problems. And we want the smart kids; the quick learners.”

“Your kids were chosen not because they want to play this or that instrument, but because they have long arms, or the right lips, or are the right height, say for the trumpet, or the drums,” he said.

… During my years in China I’d learned about ideas on a person’s “quality,” or “suzhi,” — concepts that are widely accepted here but would probably discomfort liberal parents elsewhere. …

Two other non-Chinese, 8-year-old friends of my daughter were among the chosen. The Italian mother of one said her daughter had been chosen for saxophone because the girl was strongly built.

“The other girl playing the sax is a Russian, and she’s also pretty built up and strong,” said my friend. (I have omitted their names out of respect for their privacy and that of their children.)

My friend recalled that some of the parents had asked Teacher Wang why he was choosing children in grade 2 now, rather than earlier when they were in grade 1. Teacher Wang’s reply: “Because in grade 1 their teeth are falling out,” she said. My friend said that Teacher Wang had personally inspected each child’s teeth, as if, she said, “they were horses in the market.”

There was discussion of what kind of lips worked best for the trumpet.

And in a statement that shocked both of us profoundly, Teacher Wang said something about how Africans had long arms and so would be good at particular instruments, such as the cello.

David Epstein’s book The Sports Gene, which President Obama recently discoursed upon in Laos (see “Barack Obama Links US Olympic Success To Genetic Diversity“), gives a lot of data on how one big factor in black domination of the NBA is longer wingspan relative to height than is typically found in whites. (See my review of Epstein’s book in Taki’s: “White Men Can’t Reach.”)

The American father of the third girl said a dentist had visited the school to see which students’ teeth were best suited to play wind instruments. His daughter, braces-free, passed and is learning to play the clarinet.

My daughter, who has some wonky teeth and braces, is a drummer. Apart from the teeth, I can see why; she has the mad energy of Animal in The Muppets and loves what the Chinese call “renao,” or “hot noise,” excitement.

To many Chinese, “hot and noisy” is like “home, sweet home” to the English.

As a parent who found the eugenics of it disturbing, what was Ito do? Everyone, including the parents of “long-armed” children, seemed O.K. with it.

My daughter was pushing hard to be part of it.

I gave in. And she loves it.

This reminds me of an interview a few Olympiads ago with a Chinese lady weightlifter. She said she’d been picked out as small (but large) child to be an Olympic lady weightlifter. She didn’t like weightlifting, but she had been promised that if she won a gold medal, she would be allowed to go to veterinary school.

 

Thomas Edsall mulls over Hillary’s strategic blunders in the NYT:

The difference in the rhetorical strategy of Hillary Clinton and Theresa May is one of stress and underscoring. While May made sure her identity group stands were secondary to her pronounced commitment to the working men and women of England generally, Clinton frequently placed her focus on identity groups.

Take her speech in Nevada a week before the state’s caucuses in February:

“Not everything is about an economic theory, right?” Clinton told a gathering in Henderson:

“If we broke up the big banks tomorrow — and I will, if they deserve it, if they pose a systemic risk, I will — would that end racism?”

“No,” the audience replied.

“Would that end sexism?”

“No.”

“Would that end discrimination against the LGBT community?”

“No.”

“Would that make people feel more welcoming to immigrants overnight?”

“No.” …

Every campaign seeks to mobilize specific constituencies. Identity politics are, and have always been, a fact of life. The issue is what takes precedence: those constituency-specific appeals or a sustained emphasis on a more encompassing appeal to a broad economic class.

Donald Trump won the presidency on an identity politics counterpunch: the mobilization of angry white voters, most of them men. White men supported Trump over Hillary Clinton 62 percent to 31 percent, while white women supported Trump by a more modest margin, 52 to 43. Clinton’s emphasis on her gender appears to have helped Trump in key battlegrounds.

The approach developed by May and her staff, and by the Obama and Bill Clinton campaigns before her, addresses a question that nags at Democratic strategists: How do you establish a commonweal when everyone is looking to have his or her own concerns ratified?

The tried and true way for a politician to market a coalitional regime amid a cacophony of particularistic demands is to forcefully assert the primacy of the whole. This worked for the Obama insurgency in 2008 because his coalition members were willing to temporarily suspend their immediate demands in favor of a more encompassing victory.

Looking toward the future, Democrats might turn the tables on the Republicans and explicitly demonize Trump and his party as proponents of an exclusionary politics of white male identity.

But it is also legitimate to ask whether the age of identity politics is coming to an end. One lesson of 2016 is that opposition to multiculturalism has become an extraordinarily powerful mobilizing tool for the right. It has spurred the emergence of a white lower- and middle-income Republican party while simultaneously invigorating the formerly insignificant alt-right and white supremacists generally.

It would be simplistic to make identity politics the sole culprit of this year’s Democratic defeat, especially in light of Clinton’s 2.4 million popular vote margin. While universalistic appeals have a certain allure in the face of particularistic clamor, it is unlikely that either identity politics or its hyperactive watchdog, political correctness — the current whipping boys of postelection analysis — will disappear anytime soon. …

Should the Democrats strive for more subtle, sophisticated and ingenious appeals to their party’s cross-section of identities, including a revivification of the idea of the commonweal? I would say emphatically yes. Trump’s recent victory notwithstanding, the debate over how to do this needs to move forward on a higher plane, without the name calling, if it is to have any chance of success.

I’d like that to happen for the good of the country, but my guess is that more likely will be that the anti-straight white gentile maleism that was such a driving force for Democrats over the last few years now has in Donald Trump, the Blond Beast himself, Haven Monahan’s Bad Dad, a physical embodiment of their years of hate whom they conjured up with their rage.

President Trump is like the emergence of the Stay-Puft Marshallow Man as The Destroyer at the end of Ghostbusters, except for one guy conjuring up the thought in his head, most of our cultural elite has been dreaming/dreading/exploiting the fear of the Coming of the Blond Beast for decades to justify their domination of power and thought. The counter-revolution of Emonahanal Havenstein has triumphed.

 

Screenshot 2016-12-01 00.51.09

Above is the graph of 8th graders in math scores on the 2015 TIMSS international test. There are also scores for 4th graders in math and both grades in science.

TIMSS’s rival PISA will release their scores on December 6th. Over the years, I’ve read up more on the PISA test. Anybody out there know much on comparing their strengths and weaknesses?

Here’s a 2015 paper by Heiner Rindermann comparing the two.

TIMSS tasks were seen as more curriculum-related and requiring more school knowledge than PISA tasks. For solving PISA tasks, thinking/reasoning ability and general intelligence were rated as being more important (d = 0.36).

In general, it’s not that hard to get a testing process so its scores are fairly accurate, but you run into diminishing marginal returns in reliability the more subtle the type of judgments you want to make. For example, averaging the two tests across both grades and all subjects tends to give a more reliable rank ordering of countries than trying to tease out more specific questions like why did Finland’s 8th grade science score go or up down.

 

From The Atlantic:

What Makes Today’s America Different From the Country That Incarcerated the Japanese?

A conversation with a historian about the slow creep of discrimination, from the U.S. government to church groups

EMMA GREEN NOV 29, 2016 POLITICS

When Donald Trump and other Republican legislators proposed a ban on Muslim immigration to the United States last November, many commentators turned to history. My colleague Matt Ford argued that the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, along with the jurisprudence initially used to justify it, shows why these kinds of ethnic- or religious-based policies are flawed. More recently, Trump and his aides have spoken in favor of reviving a registry for Muslims entering the United States and undertaking “extreme vetting” of Muslims fleeing persecution, including potentially creating holding areas for them outside of the United States. …

Looking back historically, the situation with Japan was obviously a little bit different in that there were political tensions growing between the two countries.

Here’s a video of “political tensions growing:”

Green: What would you say is the takeaway from all of this as we look ahead to more years of discrimination against different minority groups in the United States?

Blankenship: Japanese incarceration was completely based on racial prejudice and economic competition.

It had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor. Nothing!

I suspect it’s only a matter of years until FDR is banished from the dime the way Andrew Jackson is getting removed from the $20 bill. Another couple of decades, and the only thing that will be remembered of Franklin Roosevelt is redlining, Japanese internment, and not letting in the St. Louis.

The hysteria that led to the West Coast Japanese internment in 1942 was somewhat similar ideologically to the center-left anti-Russian hysteria peddled by Hillary Clinton in 2016. It was feared at the time that Fascists were trying to conquer the world. (One difference is that the Axis more or less was.)

In retrospect, it turned out that all you had to do was ask Japanese people which side they were on. If they swore loyalty, you could rely on their oath. If they swore undying fealty to the Emperor, as about 5,000 did, well, you could rely on those guys to be a handful. The Japanese in 1940s America didn’t seem to have much concept of taqiyya.

But mistakes get made in wartime, especially right after the biggest defeat in American history. FDR had a lot of decisions to make in 1942. Rounding up Japanese American citizens on the West Coast was one he screwed up.

Big leaguers Vince, Joe, and Dom DiMaggio

Something that has been almost completely forgotten is how much persecution there was by the Roosevelt Administration in 1941-42 of Italians in Northern California. I had never heard of it until I was reading an article about 2000 about the campaign by old Red Sox ballplayer Dom DiMaggio, Joe D’s high IQ brother, to get people to remember the abuses.

It doesn’t fit into modern obsessions so it’s forgotten. But here’s an interesting Los Angeles Times article from 2010:

State apologizes for mistreatment of Italian residents during WWII

Legislature passes resolution expressing ‘deepest regret’ for the wartime internment, curfews, confiscations and other indignities that thousands of Italian and Italian American families faced.

August 23, 2010|By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Monterey — When Mike Maiorana was a boy during World War II, his family was like a lot of others in his Monterey neighborhood.

In 1942, his mother was declared an “enemy alien,” along with 600,000 other Italians and half a million Germans and Japanese who weren’t U.S. citizens. More than once, men in suits searched the Maiorana house for guns, flashlights, cameras, shortwave radios — anything that could be used to signal the enemy.

Like 10,000 others up and down the California coast, the family was suddenly forced to uproot. At their new place in Salinas, they had to be home by 8 p.m. or face arrest. And when the government seized fishing boats for the war effort, Maiorana’s dad, a naturalized U.S. citizen, saw his livelihood go down the drain.

“He was on the skids for the rest of his life,” said Maiorana, 75, who owns a boatyard and marina on the harbor where his father’s boat — as well as those of his uncles and several dozen other Italian fishermen — were confiscated.

Families like the Maioranas last week received a formal acknowledgement from California. A measure that swiftly made its way through the Legislature expresses the state’s “deepest regrets” over the mistreatment of Italians and Italian Americans during World War II. Not nearly as severe or long-lasting as the internment of Japanese Americans, the wartime restrictions are still little-known throughout California, where they were the most heavily enforced. …

No comparable measure has been passed by the state or federal government on behalf of more than 11,000 interned Germans, including some Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler.

Even before war broke out, the FBI had compiled lists of immigrants who were considered dangerous. Among the Italians, there were journalists, language teachers and men active in an Italian veterans group. After Pearl Harbor, about 250 were sent to camps in Montana and elsewhere. …

In New York, the FBI incarcerated Metropolitan Opera star Ezio Pinza and released him, without charge, three months later. In San Francisco, Joe DiMaggio’s father Giuseppe couldn’t visit the family restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf: As an enemy alien, he could not travel more than five miles without permission.

Enforcement was chaotic. On the East Coast, with its massive Italian population, there was no forced relocation. In California, the mandate hit Northern California harder than the Los Angeles area.

In the Bay Area, Pittsburg was home to Camp Stoneman, a jumping-off point for Pacific-bound troops. About 2,000 Italians were ousted from the community, with the burden falling most on elderly people who didn’t speak much English and hadn’t become citizens. …

Then there was the confiscation of fishing boats from California’s mostly Italian fleet. Paying their owners a nominal fee, the government used them to haul targets and refuel PT boats. But the cost of postwar repairs and a vanishing sardine fishery spelled disaster for many.

Angelo Maiorana, Mike’s father, owned the 95-foot Dux, which was returned to him in bad shape after four years in the Philippines.

“They gave him a $20,000 check, but it cost him $46,000 to get the boat back into condition,” his son said. “He was on his back, flat broke.” …

Most of the measures ended within a year.

The excessive treatment of Italians in Northern California was particularly strange because, unlike the Japanese aircraft carriers, which ran amok from 12/7/41 to 6/4/42, there was no conceivable way for Mussolini’s fleet to get to San Francisco. (Besides, the Italian Navy had largely been sunk by the British in a Pearl Harbor preview at Taranto in late 1940.)

It made sense on December 8, 1941 as part of the anti-Fascist hysteria of the time, but who can remember there ever was such a thing?

The funny thing is that by the end of the war, America was entering a long love affair with most things Italian that went on and on (until the cultural climate changed with the Sixties).

 

Charles C. Johnson of GotNews has found a tweet from a classmate of that stabby Somali who ran amok this week at Ohio State showing they were supposed to be working on a group project on “microaggressions.”

I’m not sure that the more stabby Somalis quite grasp that keeping your aggressions micro is a good thing.

 
• Tags: Stabby Somali 

Screenshot 2016-11-30 00.21.16

 

Just before the election, Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner cost himself $3 million in a seemingly easy-to-win libel suit by a U. of Virginia administrator by de-retracting much of Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s notorious hate hoax article “A Rape on Campus.”

The day after the election, Obama welcomed Wenner to the Oval Office for an interview in Rolling Stone and they got to talking about fake news:

One of the challenges that we’ve been talking about now is the way social media and the Internet have changed what people receive as news. I was just talking to my political director, David Simas. He was looking at his Facebook page and some links from high school friends of his, some of whom were now passing around crazy stuff about, you know, Obama has banned the Pledge of Allegiance.

In contrast, there’s sane stuff like fraternity initiation gang rape rituals on broken glass.

Seriously, is there any social price Wenner will have to pay, such as not getting another Oval Office one-on-one, for sponsoring the climate of hate that led to the most lurid fake news fiasco of the last few years?

 

We read constantly in the press about about efforts by the Establishment to hunt down and bayonet the last redoubts of male dominance. For example, the New York Times is currently worked up over astronomy departments being too male. As we all know, he who controls the astronomy department controls the world!

But in reality, the Big Three of powerful professional schools — law schools, medical schools, and business schools — opened up to women students a long time ago, with near sex equality occurring in enrollments with relatively little resistance over the course of the 1970s.

From the New York Times:

More Law Degrees for Women, but Fewer Good Jobs
By ELIZABETH OLSON NOV. 30, 2016

Women currently occupy nearly half of all the seats in American law schools, gaining credentials for a professional career once all but reserved for men. But their large presence on campus does not mean women have the same job prospects as men.

New research indicates that female law students are clustered in lower-ranked schools, and fewer women are enrolled in the country’s most prestigious institutions. …

This means women “start at a disadvantage” that may well continue throughout their professional lives, Ms. Merritt said. Despite the high numbers with law degrees, women hold fewer than 20 percent of partnerships at law firms and are underrepresented in the higher echelons of law, including the ranks of judges, corporate counsel, law school deans and professors.

Ms. Merritt and Kyle McEntee, executive director of the nonprofit group Law School Transparency, decided to examine American Bar Association data and other official statistics to see why fewer qualified women made it into the legal profession’s highest rungs even though there has been general numerical equality in law school enrollment for more than two decades.

They found that the disadvantage for women was created by more than overall numbers; it began even before law school, when a smaller percentage of female college graduates applied to law school compared with similarly credentialed men.

Even though women earn 57 percent of college degrees, they account for just under 51 percent of law school applicants. And when they do apply, they are less likely to be accepted. For 2015, for example, 75.8 percent of applications from women were accepted compared with 79.5 percent of applications by men, according to figures from the Law School Admission Council, which collects data on the gender and ethnicity of applicants.

There is also a gap depending on a law school’s national ranking or its job placement success, according to the study.

Over all, 49.4 percent of the country’s nearly 114,000 law school students are women, but that percentage drops at the top 50 nationally ranked schools. Top-tier schools, in the 2015-16 academic year, enrolled just over 47 percent of women as students compared with lower-ranked or unranked law schools, which enrolled 53.5 percent women as students, according to study data. …

In contrast, the lowest-performing schools — the ones that listed fewer than 40 percent of their graduates in jobs that require bar passage — had noticeably higher female enrollment, at 55.9 percent of students. …

One reason for the gender gap, Ms. Merritt and Mr. McEntee said in the report, was that the national rankings have become so important that the 50 highest-ranked schools “increasingly stress LSAT (Law School Admission Test) scores over other admissions factors as they fight for better rankings. This disadvantages women, who have lower LSAT scores (on average) than men.”

Women score an average of two points lower than men on the LSAT, which is still the key admissions number.

Women who take the LSAT average about a quarter standard deviation lower than men who take the LSAT. When you get out to the Top 14 law schools, that’s starting to make a noticeable difference.

Here’s a graph from the Law School Admissions Council on LSAT score distributions in 2011-12:

Screenshot 2016-11-29 22.43.46

As part of the 21st Century effort to make graphs harder to read, girls are blue, boys are red. When you get out to, say, 170, the fraction of males is notably larger than the fraction of females.

It’s Larry Summers 101: men have broader, flatter IQ distributions than women. The left end of the bell curve doesn’t take the LSAT, so there are more men who do very well on it.

 

From my new movie review in Taki’s Magazine:

Moana, the new Polynesian-princess animated feature from Disney, is like a less on-the-nose version of Interstellar, the 2014 Christopher Nolan science-fiction epic set on a dying Earth that has cravenly given up on space exploration.

Nolan’s characters complain overtly that humanity has lost its urge to settle new worlds (an implicit criticism of the smallness of current identity politics). But in Moana, Disney’s veteran directing team of Ron Clements and John Musker more artfully turn to the astonishing history of Polynesian settlement of the vast Pacific as an optimistic metaphor suggesting that humanity’s current stagnation in space won’t endure.

This is the third Clements-Musker movie with a nautical setting, following The Little Mermaid in 1989, which inaugurated Disney’s animation renaissance, and Treasure Planet in 2002, their outer-space version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s pirate tale Treasure Island. While Treasure Planet was the least profitable of their seven films, it may have been the closest to their hearts.

Perhaps the best analogue so far in human history to settling the galaxy has been the Polynesians’ audacious colonization of the far-flung islands of the Pacific.

Read the whole thing there.

 

From The Telegraph:

Russian police use dogs cloned by Korean scientist trying to revive the woolly mammoth

South Korean researchers donated the cloned dogs to handlers in Yakutsk

29 NOVEMBER 2016 • 3:40PM

Russia’s security services are to use cloned sniffer dogs to hunt down drugs and explosives following a donation of experimental puppies from a Korean scientist trying to recreate the woolly mammoth.

Tom, Mark, and Jack were donated by Dr Hwang Woo Suk of the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, a South Korean genetics lab, to a branch of the Russian Military-Historical Society in Yakutia, the remote republic in Russia’s far northeast.

The three Belgian Malinois, reputedly cloned from some of Korea’s best sniff dogs, arrived on Monday and were formally unveiled in public at the Yakutsk mammoth museum on Tuesday.

“They’re in good shape after the flight, and they’ve undergone veterinary examination. They have a good appetites and are constantly playing. But they’re not yet used to the cold here. We took them out for a walk but they ran straight back inside. I think they’ll get used to it though,” said Valery Chiugunov, the head of the regional branch of the society. …

In Nature vs. Nurture angles:

The dogs have already undergone basic handling training, but will have to be retrained to take orders in Russian instead of Korean.

Dr Hwang and Sooam Biotech are working closely with scientists in Yakutia on a project to clone woolly mammoths from surviving genetic material preserved in the Siberian permafrost. …

Cloned dogs already serve as sniffer dogs and in counter terrorism roles in the Korean, Chinese, and US security services, Interfax reported.

I did not know that …

Why go to all the trouble of cloning dogs when people hundreds of years ago simply bred them? Has anybody invented a useful new breed in the last half-century? What was the last new breed to have a new behavioral skill?

 

One development of this decade as identity politics has become ever more extensive has been the pattern of seeing long strings of words pinned together to specify the Bad Guys: e.g., Cisgendered Straight White Males. We don’t just have a Flight from White, we have people trying to shed their deplorable Core identities by ever finer distinctions of non-coreness.

What’s the longest string used non-satirically (i.e., Godfrey Elfwick concoctions don’t count)? And what’s the longest string used by a prestigious mainstream character like Hillary or Obama?

The rewards will be the approbation of your fellow commenters.

 

Screenshot 2016-11-29 14.28.57

From the top of NYTimes.com

It would be interesting to know when this kind of Extinctionist rhetoric became normalized in the respectable media.

My impression is that there was a big inflection upwards the day after the 2012 election, but I could be wrong.

 

From The Guardian:

Alt-right’ online poison nearly turned me into a racist
Anonymous

It started with Sam Harris, moved on to Milo Yiannopoulos and almost led to full-scale Islamophobia. If it can happen to a lifelong liberal, it could happen to anyone

Monday 28 November 2016 07.00 EST

I am a happily married, young white man. I grew up in a happy, Conservative household. I’ve spent my entire life – save the last four months – as a progressive liberal. All of my friends are very liberal or left-leaning centrists. I have always voted Liberal Democrat or Green. I voted remain in the referendum. The thought of racism in any form has always been abhorrent to me. When leave won, I was devastated.

I was curious as to the motives of leave voters. Surely they were not all racist, bigoted or hateful? I watched some debates on YouTube. Obvious points of concern about terrorism were brought up. A leaver cited Sam Harris as a source. I looked him up: this “intellectual, free-thinker” was very critical of Islam. Naturally my liberal kneejerk reaction was to be shocked, but I listened to his concerns and some of his debates.

This, I think, is where YouTube’s “suggested videos” can lead you down a rabbit hole. Moving on from Harris, I unlocked the Pandora’s box of “It’s not racist to criticise Islam!” content. Eventually I was introduced, by YouTube algorithms, to Milo Yiannopoulos and various “anti-SJW” videos (SJW, or social justice warrior, is a pejorative directed at progressives). They were shocking at first, but always presented as innocuous criticism from people claiming to be liberals themselves, or centrists, sometimes “just a regular conservative” – but never, ever identifying as the dreaded “alt-right”.

For three months I watched this stuff grow steadily more fearful of Islam. “Not Muslims,” they would usually say, “individual Muslims are fine.” But Islam was presented as a “threat to western civilisation”. Fear-mongering content was presented in a compelling way by charismatic people who would distance themselves from the very movement of which they were a part.

At the same time, the anti-SJW stuff also moved on to anti-feminism, men’s rights activists – all that stuff. I followed a lot of these people on Twitter, but never shared any of it. I just passively consumed it, because, deep down, I knew I was ashamed of what I was doing. I’d started to roll my eyes when my friends talked about liberal, progressive things. What was wrong with them? Did they not understand what being a real liberal was? All my friends were just SJWs. They didn’t know that free speech was under threat and that politically correct culture and censorship were the true problem.

On one occasion I even, I am ashamed to admit, very diplomatically expressed negative sentiments on Islam to my wife. Nothing “overtly racist”, just some of the “innocuous” type of things the YouTubers had presented: “Islam isn’t compatible with western civilisation.”

She was taken aback: “Isn’t that a bit … rightwing?”

I justified it: “Well, I’m more a left-leaning centrist. PC culture has gone too far, we should be able to discuss these things without shutting down the conversation by calling people racist, or bigots.”

The indoctrination was complete.

About a week before the US election, I heard one of these YouTubers use the phrase “red-pilled” – a term from the film The Matrix – in reference to people being awakened to the truth about the world and SJWs. Suddenly I thought: “This is exactly like a cult. What am I doing? I’m turning into an arsehole.”

I unsubscribed and unfollowed from everything, and told myself outright: “You’re becoming a racist. What you’re doing is turning you into a terrible, hateful person.” Until that moment I hadn’t even realised that “alt-right” was what I was becoming; I just thought I was a more open-minded person for tolerating these views.

It would take every swearword under the sun to describe how I now feel about tolerating such content and gradually accepting it as truth. I’ve spent every day since feeling shameful for being so blind and so easily coerced. …

It hit me like a ton of bricks. Online radicalisation of young white men. It’s here, it’s serious, and I was lucky to be able to snap out of it when I did. …

• The author was not paid a fee for this piece

Today on Twitter, Godrey Elfwick claims credit for writing this. Elfwick went on to produce some (although not conclusive) evidence for his claim.

Back in June 2015, when transgenderist Caitlin Jenner and transracialist Rachel Dolezal were all over the news, I wrote in Taki’s Magazine:

Several media outlets, such as the BBC and USA Today, fell for a meme tweeted by Godfrey Elfwick:

My name is Godfrey.
I am WrongSkin.
You may not have heard of that but means I was born to white parents and have white skin but I identify as being black.
It’s not a joke.
It’s not OK to mock us.
It’s not easy to live like this.

Our struggle is your struggle.
#WrongSkin

When challenged, Elfwick (who describes “xirself” as “Genderqueer Muslim atheist. Born white in the #WrongSkin. Itinerant jongleur. Xir, Xirs Xirself. Filters life through the lens of minority issues”) triumphantly retorted on Twitter:

Skin color has nothing to do with the color of a person’s skin.

Granted, it was embarrassing to USA Today when they had to append to their story “People respond to NAACP incident with #wrongskin” the following message:

Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of this story misstated the intentions of a tweet by @GodfreyElfwick. He operates a parody account.

But in defense of USA Today and the BBC, how in tarnation is anybody supposed to know these days how to distinguish between the latest moral mania and satire? For example, the ongoing World War T was launched in May 2013 with a crusading New York Times article about how society is oppressing male-born mixed-martial-arts fighter Fallon Fox by not letting him her beat up women for money. How is anybody supposed to know that Godfrey Elfwick is parody and Fallon Fox isn’t?

 

Back on November 16, I joked that California would finish counting its votes “by, at the latest, Thanksgiving. Or, worst case scenario, by Cyber Monday. Tops.”

But, Cyber Monday has come and gone. Yet, from the New York Times:

California Official Says Trump’s Claim of Voter Fraud Is ‘Absurd’
By ADAM NAGOURNEY NOV. 28, 2016

… As of Saturday, Mrs. Clinton had 8.1 million votes in California, compared with 4.2 million for Mr. Trump, according to the secretary of state’s office. It was not clear when the vote count might be concluded.

The count, and outcome, has been no surprise to anyone in a state with a history of slow vote-counting. …

Mr. Padilla is the highest-ranking Latino elected to state office in California. Mr. Trump’s poor showing here, many Democrats and Republicans said, came in no small part because of his attacks on what he described as the threat of illegal immigration — particularly by Mexicans. About 40 percent of California’s population is Latino.

“It appears that Mr. Trump is troubled by the fact that a growing majority of Americans did not vote for him,” Mr. Padilla said.

I’m troubled that California’s government can’t get the vote counted by Thanksgiving.

 

From the New York Times:

What Is the Color of Beauty?

A multibillion-dollar industry of skin-whitening products dominates the West African beauty market, creating a world of mixed messages for the women who live there.

By HELENE COOPER NOV. 26, 2016

ACCRA, Ghana — … Here in the heart of the multibillion-dollar industry of products in West Africa that are meant to whiten skin, it is a world of mixed messages. Women are now being told that it is wrong, and even illegal, to bleach their skin. At the same time, they are flooded with messages — and not even subliminal ones — that tell them that white is beautiful.

On Aug. 1, Ghana’s Food and Drug Authority began a ban on certain skin-whitening products that include hydroquinone, a topical ingredient that disrupts the synthesis and production of the melanin that can protect skin in the intense West African sunshine. With some estimates putting the number of women in West Africa using lightening cream at 70 percent in some places, officials say they are worried there could be a sharp uptick in skin cancer because these products attack the skin’s natural protective melanin.

But the ban in Ghana hasn’t extended to removing the countless billboard advertisements on how to get “perfect white” skin. Nor have the creams and lotions disappeared from stores. In the Makola Market here, endless shops and stalls had walls filled with potions dedicated to the lightening of skin. There is Ultra Fair Super Whitenizer

“Whitenizer” is a great word. I feel deprived that I’ve never seen it before.

by Caring Chemistry promising “restorative ultrafast action whitening” and Grace White 100% Double Action Whitening Body Lotion by Grace White Cosmetique that even features helpful before-and-after photos; the “before” photo is a light-brown pair of legs, crossed, while the “after” shot shows white legs.

Nor, for that matter, have men here suddenly abandoned their decades-long pursuit of light-skinned women. Most of them won’t say so. But it’s long been the case here that the higher in society the man, the more likely his wife or girlfriend will have light skin. Do a Google-image search of “wives of African presidents” (“professional football players” and “wealthy businessmen” can also be substituted). …

For my part, I am a native of Liberia, but a descendant of the freed American slaves who colonized the country in 1822 and who had mated at one point or another with American whites, so I’m more of a coffee with milk, considered light-skinned by West African standards.

This isn’t a bad article as far as these kind of things go, but it is pretty funny how women journalists of color like to slip in a mention of how they aren’t actually quite so dark. For example, also from the NYT:

A Latina Disney Movie Princess? The Wait Isn’t Over

By MONICA CASTILLO NOV. 25, 2016 …

When it came to Disney princess movies, my sister and I had very different experiences. It was always easier to find a princess who looked the way I do, because I was born with much paler skin than anyone in our family.

 

From City Journal:

Democrats, Not Trump, Racialize Our Politics
A party obsessed with race won’t have much luck reaching out to non-elite whites.
Heather Mac Donald
November 27, 2016

… The most absurd Democratic meme to emerge from the party’s ballot-box defeat is the claim that it is Donald Trump, rather than Democrats, who engages in “aggressive, racialized discourse,” in the words of a Los Angeles Times op-ed. By contrast, President Barack Obama sought a “post-racial, bridge-building society,” according to New York Times reporter Peter Baker. Obama’s post-racial efforts have now “given way to an angry, jeering, us-against-them nation,” writes Baker, in a front-page “news” story.

Tell that valedictory for “post-racial bridge-building” to police officers, who have been living through two years of racialized hatred directed at them in the streets, to the applause of many Democratic politicians. …

President Obama welcomed Black Lives Matter activists several times to the White House. He racialized the entire criminal-justice system, repeatedly accusing it of discriminating, often lethally, against blacks.

… Obama put Brittany Packnett, a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement, on his President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. … Packnett’s plaint about crushing racial oppression echoes media darling Ta-Nehesi Coates, whose locus classicus of maudlin racial victimology, Between the World and Me, won a prominent place on Obama’s 2015 summer reading list. Coates has received almost every prize that the elite establishment can bestow; Between the World and Me is now a staple of college summer reading lists.

According to Coates, police officers who kill black men are not “uniquely evil”; rather, their evil is the essence of America itself. These “destroyers” (i.e., police officers) are “merely men enforcing the whims of our country, correctly interpreting its heritage and legacy. This legacy aspires to the shackling of black bodies.” In America, Mr. Coates claims, “it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage.”

Coates’s melodramatic rhetoric comes right out of the academy, the inexhaustible source of Democratic identity politics. The Democratic Party is now merely an extension of left-wing campus culture; few institutions exist wherein the skew toward Democratic allegiance is more pronounced.

I’ve been looking for a way to measure this question for awhile. My impression of the history is that in roughly 2009-2011, both parties edge movements — the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street — were fairly strenuously non-identity politics and instead concerned themselves with economic ideology, while the Democratic mainstream was obsessed with gay marriage, which was of little interest to blacks. My recollection is the tipping point came in the late winter of 2012 when the Obama Campaign adopted feminism and black anger over Trayvon to turn out the vote. This was pretty successful in 2012, and intimidated the GOP Establishment. Finally, Donald Trump emerged in June 2015.

But I could be biased. Does anybody have suggestions for a quantitative way to test the history?

 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, VDARE.com columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.


Past
Classics
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Hundreds of POWs may have been left to die in Vietnam, abandoned by their government—and our media.