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From Harper’s Bazaar, a ladies’ fashion magazine:

When Feminism Is White Supremacy in Heels

From tone policing to whitesplaining, the liberal white women’s feminism is more toxic than they realize, explains Rachel Cargle.

By Rachel Elizabeth Cargle
Aug 16, 2018

When I heard about the tragic murder of 18-year-old Nia Wilson, who was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack in Oakland last month, I could feel my heart begin to bleed. My community of black women were grieving yet again.

As we grappled with the realities of Nia’s death, I began to use Instagram to facilitate a discussion and flesh out questions like: How many more black women and girls must die before mainstream media considers it a worthy story to cover? How could they possibly take away her white male murderer so gently in handcuffs, while black men are thrown to the ground during traffic stops? Why aren’t the recorded wails of her mother and the tears of her father enough for the whole world to be demanding justice right now? And where are the voices of all my white feminist friends when a black woman had been tragically murdered?

Almost immediately, at my request, hundreds of commenters asked the white women who they saw as friends and leaders to use their platform to highlight the tragedy of Nia’s death with the same outrage of their black feminist allies. And many did—both demanding that justice be served while expressing their disbelief that such a story hadn’t gained national attention in the same way that Laci Peterson’s or JonBenét Ramsey’s had. But there were just as many white women—women whose bios claim titles like “social justice warrior” and “intersectional feminist”—that somehow took this call for solidarity as a personal attack.

Instead of sharing in the outrage of Nia’s brutal murder, they came with fury for being tagged in a post that they felt challenged their own perceived feminist accomplishments. There were grand displays of defensiveness, demands that they be acknowledged for all the things they had done for black people in the past, and a terrifying lashing out that included racial slurs and doxing.

The fragility of these women was not a surprise to me. In a crucial moment of showing up for our marginalized community, there was more concern about their feelings and ego as opposed to the fight forward for women as a whole. What could have been a much-needed and integral display of solidarity and true intersectionality quickly became a live play-by-play of the toxicity that white-centered feminism can bring to the table of activism.

And so forth and so on for quite awhile, such as

When you try to exclude yourself from the conversation of race by saying things like “I don’t see color,” or “I married a black man and have brown kids,” that’s just as irrational as a man saying there is no way he could be sexist or misogynistic because he has a daughter.

When you seek to not be lumped into the conversation about oppressive systems against marginalized people, because you view yourself as woke, you are essentially screaming “not all men.”

When you try to rationalize police brutality by saying “but black people also kill black people,” you’re coming in with the same argument that men have when they say “she shouldn’t have worn that skirt, she deserves to be raped”.

When you walk into black or brown spaces and “suggest” how they can more aptly reach white people on the topic of race you are basically mansplaining, only now it’s whitesplaining how people of color should approach their own activism.

 
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In case you were wondering whether the tyrannical Trump Administration has yet managed to deport mortgage fraud felon Ravi Ragbir (convicted of 7 counts of wire fraud in 2000 and his appeal was shot down by Judge Maryanne Trump Barry 16 years ago) back to Trinidad, from the Washington Post today:

A message to ICE: My husband is not an object ‘for removal’

August 17 at 6:07 PM

By Amy Gottlieb
Amy Gottlieb is the associate regional director of the Northeast Region of American Friends Service Committee.

This month, my husband, Ravi Ragbir, received a new appointment letter from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The reason for the appointment, the letter said, is “for removal.”

“For removal,” as if Ravi, a prominent immigrant rights activist and the person I love and have chosen to spend the rest of my life with, were a broken vacuum cleaner set out in the trash with a note for the Department of Sanitation to take him away.

An immigrant from Trinidad, Ravi has lived in the United States for almost 25 years and has faced the threat of deportation since 2006, when his green card was taken away after he completed a sentence for a wire-fraud conviction (which he is challenging in court).

Uh … His appeal was rejected 16 years ago.

Under the Trump administration, the threats of deportation have escalated.

Why the hell wasn’t this crook deported under the Bush Administration, much less the Obama Administration?

In January, he was detained during a routine check-in with ICE and was incarcerated for 18 days in a detention center under threat of immediate deportation. It was only because of massive amounts of community pressure and quick work by his lawyers that he was released. He remains in the United States because of the federal judges who recognize that he should be here with his community as his case continues….

I have been an immigrant rights attorney for 20 years, but the cold, annihilating language of “removal” chills me now more than ever. The word replaced “deportation” in 1996 as part of a large and ultimately devastating overhaul to our immigration laws signed by President Bill Clinton. The legislation made it both easier to deport people and more difficult for people to adjust their immigration status legally. …

But once I saw my husband’s appointment letter, the real meaning of “for removal” finally struck me. It stripped Ravi of his humanity, as it has for millions of others living under threat of permanent exile. We don’t remove things we love; we remove things we no longer need or want. We remove garbage. We remove unwanted furniture or things that no longer work. We remove warts, stains, problems.

Those are good descriptions of your white collar criminal husband, lady.

That, apparently, is what Ravi is to this government.

He’s an alien felon.

I believe this dehumanizing is essential to a system that allows the government to separate families without repercussion. I believe it’s what allows ICE agents to sleep at night — to ignore the terrified and heartbroken loved ones desperate to keep their families together.

Thanks to an outpouring of community support and pending legal cases, federal courts have prevented ICE from taking Ravi away, and we have tried to maintain a sense of normalcy in our lives. But the specter of losing him hovers over us every day.

As anyone who knows Ravi would agree, my husband is the type of person this country should be welcoming.

Mortgage fraud is just a job Americans won’t do anymore. There are fraudulent mortgage opportunities rotting in the files.

To do that, we need to abolish the agency that has stripped immigrants of their dignity. And we need to repeal laws that tear apart families and create an immigration system that supports our values of love, respect and community. Because, after all, no one should be treated as if they were disposable.

 
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From the Brookings Institution:

10 useful facts to know on World Population Day

Amanda Waldron Wednesday, July 11, 2018
BROOKINGS NOW …

1. The global population is rising fast now, but is expected to peak by 2070 …

2. A majority of the world’s population could soon be middle- or upper-class …

3. China’s population is expected to age rapidly between now and 2050

4. Rapid depopulation threatens Russia’s economy

5. Egypt’s population boom could pose regional or even global dangers

6. Urban populations are declining in developed economies

7. 2016 population growth in the U.S. was the lowest in 80 years

8. Young minorities are driving much of the population growth in the United States, especially in cities

9. America’s aging population is straining the federal budget

10. If every woman in the world received a secondary education, the population could be 3 billion less by 2050

And here’s One Fact Not to Know: Africa. In this article on world population, the text string “Africa” never appears.

The “global dangers” posed by “Egypt’s population boom” are singled out, but the vast African population boom goes unmentioned.

 
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From The Atlantic, which was founded in 1857 by Francis H. Underwood, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Greenleaf Whittier, and James Russell Lowell:

Swim Caps Are Keeping Black Women Out of Pools

Their limited design is yet another contributor to America’s racial disparities in swimming.

MARISSA EVANS
AUG 13, 2018

Black women used to be enterprising about their hair. The first black millionaire in America, male or female, was Madame CJ Walker, who invented the conk. But now the thinking is … why aren’t those white racist Korean black hair product entrepreneurs getting those white racist Chinese to manufacture us racially appropriate swim caps?

 
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In the New York Review of Books, white environmentalist Bill McKibben realizes that the Democratic Party is not interested in conserving guys like him, and thinks that — environment be damned — is sort of great:

… the Democrats—though compromised at the top, chummy with corporations, frustratingly split on crucial issues, and notoriously unwilling to stand their ground—are, in certain ways, sort of great. …

The first day of our work, the fifteen of us gathered in some miserable hotel ballroom and spent a solid eight hours listening to nonstop earnest testimony from different groups that wanted their viewpoints represented in the platform. I was sitting next to Representative Barbara Lee of Oakland, California, who was quick, sharp, and quite delightful. After the first forty witnesses, I leaned over to whisper: “You know what’s interesting: we haven’t heard from a white guy yet.” She took a minute to look up and down her agenda to make sure I was right, and then she flashed me a wide grin. “Now you know how it feels,” she said.

My sense, after many days of such hearings, was that the Democratic Party at its best operated as a kind of support network for the decent people who get pushed around in America—people of color, working people, disabled people, gay people, people who have to breathe the fumes from refineries.

The people who most have to breathe the fumes from refineries are the people who work there and they like getting paid. But leave that aside for the minute. Who does McKibben think is going to care about the environment in the Democratic Party when the last white guy Democrat is shunted aside? The energy companies have plenty of money to buy off the Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses.

 
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From the NYT Opinion page:

Something Not Rotten in Denmark

By Paul Krugman

Aug. 16, 2018

To be or not to be a socialist hellhole, that is the question. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Last weekend, Trish Regan, a Fox Business host, created a bit of an international incident by describing Denmark as an example of the horrors of socialism, right along with Venezuela. Denmark’s finance minister suggested that she visit his country and learn some facts….

For Denmark has indeed taken a very different path from the United States over the past few decades, veering (modestly) to the left where we’ve veered right. And it has done just fine.

American politics has been dominated by a crusade against big government; Denmark has embraced an expansive government role, with public spending more than half of G.D.P.

This would have been a cutting edge column in 1978. In 2018, it’s awfully ho-hum. In the 21st Century, Denmark has taken the lead in preserving its welfare state by resisting demographic inundation from the Third World.

Yet, I don’t see the text string “migra” anywhere in Dr. Krugman’s column, even though the Danish democracy’s fight against mass immigration has been its most noteworthy political feature since roughly 2001. If Denmark were in Central Europe, it would be constantly denounced in the NYT for leading the fight against Democracy. But because it’s a successful social democratic Nordic country, it’s cool.

 
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From Foreign Policy:

Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents

The number of informants executed in the debacle is higher than initially thought.
BY ZACH DORFMAN | AUGUST 15, 2018, 5:13 PM

It was considered one of the CIA’s worst failures in decades: Over a two-year period starting in late 2010, Chinese authorities systematically dismantled the agency’s network of agents across the country, executing dozens of suspected U.S. spies. But since then, a question has loomed over the entire debacle.

How were the Chinese able to roll up the network?

Now, nearly eight years later, it appears that the agency botched the communication system it used to interact with its sources, according to five current and former intelligence officials. The CIA had imported the system from its Middle East operations, where the online environment was considerably less hazardous, and apparently underestimated China’s ability to penetrate it.

“The attitude was that we’ve got this, we’re untouchable,” said one of the officials who, like the others, declined to be named discussing sensitive information. The former official described the attitude of those in the agency who worked on China at the time as “invincible.”

Other factors played a role as well, including China’s alleged recruitment of former CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee around the same time.

It’s almost as if Chinese intelligence ethnically profiled Jerry Chun Shing Lee.

Hey, that’s not fair!

Federal prosecutors indicted Lee earlier this year in connection with the affair. …

The former officials also said the real number of CIA assets and those in their orbit executed by China during the two-year period was around 30, though some sources spoke of higher figures.

 
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From The Daily Beast:

The Alt-Right Is Taking Over Renaissance Fairs

White supremacists and neo-Nazis are infiltrating the LARPing community and the professional sword-fighting realm to push an imagined narrative of an all-white Middle Ages utopia.

KELLY WEILL
07.27.18 11:43 AM ET

… But that Europe didn’t exist outside novels, medievalist Dorothy Kim told The Daily Beast.

“This medieval ‘white utopia’ is entirely false. In fact, the medieval past was multiracial, multifaith, and multicultural,” Kim, an associate professor of English at Brandeis University said, pointing to Indian and African immigration pre-1500, and to recent genetic testing that suggests the earliest known British skeleton had dark skin.

Who knew 7000 BC was the Middle Ages?

“It’s rather difficult to find a ‘pure white’ utopia anytime in the pre-modern, let alone ancient historical records,” she said.

And from Dangerous:

MIDDLE RAGES

WHY THE BATTLE FOR MEDIEVAL STUDIES MATTERS TO AMERICA

MILO YIANNOPOULOS

Medieval Studies is the critical study of Europe’s self-identity. No understanding of the West is possible without it. Left-wing academics want to introduce the field to gender studies and race theory. When one Chicago professor publicly celebrated the Christian identity of the Middle Ages, she was branded a ‘violent fascist’ and ‘white supremacist’ — by other medievalists. Now Medieval Studies scholars are tearing their own discipline apart with witch-hunts, name-calling, boycotts and intimidation. The damage done to academia could be incalculable.

Woke classicist Donna Zuckerberg makes several appearances in Milo’s article.

Harvard University Press will be publishing Ms. Zuckerberg’s book Not All Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age in October.

I look forward to a review by her brother Mark, an amateur Classics enthusiast.

By definition, being a Zuckerberg means you are Punching Up.

 
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The New York Times gets around to one of my recent topics:

Pelosi, Under Threat in Her Own Party, Says She Is Building Bridge to New Leaders

By Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin
Aug. 16, 2018

Nancy Pelosi is girding for a mortal challenge to her leadership of the Democratic Party after the November elections or even sooner, and in a signal of reassurance to anxious lawmakers says that she is deliberately building a “bridge” to a new generation of party leaders.

… The most perilous threat to Ms. Pelosi, for the moment, may be the impatient mood in the Congressional Black Caucus, where senior legislators have begun arguing that it is past time to elect an African-American speaker. Black lawmakers and candidates, furious about President Trump’s caustic racial politics and attacks on African-Americans, say they are determined to claim a greater role in steering their party.

The Democrats are their party.

… She is the party’s most formidable fund-raiser, and her aides say she has sturdy support from a majority of House Democrats who credit her with ushering in the policies on health care and business regulation that Republicans have attacked.

… But this weekend her imposing stature as a party leader will be on vivid display: She is gathering her financial network in Napa Valley for a conference with party luminaries like Gov. Jerry Brown of California and John F. Kerry, the former secretary of state. …

Ms. Pelosi’s fiercest supporters view much of the criticism directed at her, from both Republicans and Democrats, as anchored in bias against her gender or age.

… A diverse group of several dozen Democratic candidates, across all regions and ideological factions, have pledged to demand new leadership if they are elected.

Many of the dissenters are younger Democrats, including some prominent candidates of color who are likely to join the freshman class …

 
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A reader writes:

You might get a kick out of this passage from Noel Malcolm’s Aspects of Hobbes (2002), pp. 22-23: “Since Hobbes had, by the late 1650s, acquired the enmity of three leading scientists, it is not surprising that there was some reluctance to enlist him in the Royal Society (as it later became) when it first met in 1660. But the basic reason for his exclusion was probably not just personal animosities; he had more personal friends than enemies among its membership, and there was no provision for black-balling in its elections of new Fellows. Nor was he less of a scientist than many of the active members of that body….The underlying problem seems to have been that the aura of religious notoriety clinging to Hobbes meant that any public association with him would be a source of embarrassment to the active members of the Royal Society, given that his basic assumptions about a mechanistic physical universe were quite similar to their own. Many traditionalists still regarded such a world-view as leading inevitably to atheism; several key members of the Royal Society were highly sensitive to such criticism, and reacted in a pre-emptive and diversionary way by directing fierce criticisms of their own against Hobbes.”

A painting metaphorically describing English intellectual life in the 1660s:

From left to right: Bishops, Hobbes, Wilkins and Wallis.

 
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From MetroTimes in Detroit:

Detroit Rep. Bettie Cook Scott on Asian opponent: ‘Don’t vote for the ching-chong!’

Posted By Violet Ikonomova on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 11:09 am

More than a dozen community groups have called on Rep. Bettie Cook Scott (D-Detroit) to apologize for a series of racial slurs sources say she used to describe her primary election opponent, Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit).

Scott is alleged to have referred to Chang as “ching-chang”

It’s important to be sensitive to the gender of your racial slurs

and “the ching-chong” to multiple voters outside polling precincts during last Tuesday’s election. She’s also said to have called one of Chang’s campaign volunteers an “immigrant,” saying “you don’t belong here” and “I want you out of my country.”

Chang and Scott were running in the Democratic primary for state Sen. District 1. Chang won the election with 49 percent of the vote; Scott came in third with 11 percent of the vote. …

The various off-color remarks were heard by multiple people connected with Chang, including Chang’s husband, who spoke with Metro Times. Sean Gray says after overhearing Cook disparage Chang outside a precinct on the east side of Detroit, “I … asked her not to speak about my wife in that manner. At that time she said to the voter that ‘these immigrants from China are coming over and taking our community from us.’ Further, she said it ‘disgusts her seeing black people holding signs for these Asians and not supporting their own people.’”

Gray, who is black, says Scott then went on to call him a “fool” for marrying Chang.

‘When you hear someone that’s a minority and a woman using slurs against another minority that’s a woman, it’s just mind boggling.’

America’s ever more diverse future will boggle more than a few minds.

Why won’t somebody put a white blanket over her head, like at Oberlin, in 2013, and give everybody in Detroit a White Male hate figure to unify against?

 
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Recently, I implied that the letter “How Can I Cure My White Guilt?” from “Whitey” to the New York Times’ advice columnists Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond might have been a hoax, even though the well-known authors took it extremely seriously.

But now Titania McGrath has stepped forth to state that [pronoun unspecified] is not a troll and did write Whitey’s letter, exclaiming, “Do not deny my lived experience,” and showed this photographic proof:

Screenshot 2018-08-16 14.04.57

Other files by Titania include “I, Victim,” “Slag Badgers,” “BLM Meeting Minutes,” and “Butternut Squash Is Sexist.”

I assume that Godfrey Elfwick would weigh in on Twitter to verify Titania McGrath’s authenticity, but it turns out that Godfrey has been banned by Twitter.

My apologies to Titania, Cheryl, Steve, and the New York Times. Skepticism is a luxury we can no longer afford in these fraught times.

 
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Melbourne, Australia now has an “African gangs” problems because it’s the Current Year so of course Melbourne has an African gangs problem. Why wouldn’t it? It would be racist for Melbourne not to be plagued by black muggers.

In fact, according to the Australian Establishment, Melbourne has two African gangs problems: the African gangs of street criminals themselves, and, far worse, the Australians who have noticed and even talked about this new problem that the politicians have imported for them to endure.

From SBS News:

Melbourne mayors call for end to ‘African gangs’ talk

By Evan Young

Eight Melbourne mayors have called for unity and end to the talk about so-called “African gangs” which has repeatedly made news headlines this year.

African-Australian leaders in Victoria have said the “gang” rhetoric is an example of fear-mongering and has vilified their community to the point some now feel unwelcome in the state. …

Mayors from Melbourne’s Darebin, Moreland, Whittlesea, Hume, Yarra, Knox, Monash and Melton councils joined Australian-African community leader Maker Mayek in a public show of solidarity in the suburb of Brunswick on Monday.

“We stand together to say that we value the contribution of these residents, deeply appreciate the diversity of culture and experience they bring to our cities,” City of Moreland Mayor John Kavanagh said. …

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton made headlines in January after claiming Melbournians were “scared to go out at restaurants” at night because of “African gang” violence.

Political talk has raged at a federal, state and local government level ever since. Media coverage has also been continuous.

With Victorians set to head to the polls later this year, City of Whittlesea Mayor Kris Pavlidis accused politicians returning to the “African gang” rhetoric of turning the rift into an election issue.

How can Australia be a democracy when rifts are turned into election issues? The essence of democracy is that elections shouldn’t decide anything.

“The role of political leadership is to unite diverse communities, ensure vulnerable people are given the tools they need to thrive and to dismantle unhelpful stereotypes and prejudice – not to amplify them,” Cr Pavlidis said.

See?

 
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iSteve commenter Anon (a.k.a., Titles in Caps, etc etc) summarizes Spike Lee, whose latest movie, the celebrated but fairly terrible BlacKkKlansman, I reviewed in Taki’s this week. Spike is one of those 1980s figures like Oliver Stone who remain of interest to guys of a certain age, like me and Anon.

I’ll give one compliment to Spike Lee. He tried to be an artist. Maybe not a good one, but he tried.

He often said the only working American director he really looks up to is Martin Scorsese. Not a bad as Scorsese has been far and away the best American director since the 1970s.In style, Depalma could be just as formidable — CARLITO’S WAY, what a masterwork –, and Spielberg is second to none as showman with fireworks. But as artist, Scorsese had the best run. And even his failures are not total disasters (like some by Altman and Depalma).

So, I can appreciate Spike trying to be like Scorsese. But then, trying to be isn’t the same as being. Many tried to be like Kubrick but came nowhere close.

Lee’s problems.

1. Lack of humility. Scorsese has been a bundle of energy and must have had self-confidence to have done what he did. But he was also a man of profound humility and curiosity, great appreciation for the masters who came before him. In contrast, Lee was infected by that black megalomania, as if all the blings belong to him.

Even after Scorsese made masterpieces like RAGING BULL and GOODFELLAS, he didn’t go around saying he deserves this award, that award. He’s been very gracious to his peers.

Scorsese was pretty heavy into cocaine in the later 1970s. But he got off it and it didn’t seem to ruin either his health or his character. Cocaine seems to be a drug that seeks out character flaws and exacerbate them. But, contra Fitzgerald, Scorsese went on to enjoy a pretty spectacular second act in American life. In truth, and a third act after the Scorsese’s megalomania got out of hand with Gangs of New York, but he geared back and made more audience friendly movies.

My vague impression is that Spike is a fairly clean liver, but one who doesn’t like to preach about it to other blacks. He got criticized, not unreasonably, for leaving out drugs from his portrayal of black life in 1989′s Do the Right Thing. But when he finally turned to addressing crack in Samuel L. Jackson’s breakout role as a crack addict in 1991′s Jungle Fever, he delivered a doozy. Of course, a lot of that was Samuel L. Jackson, one of the all time great supporting character actors, finally getting a showcase role.

But Lee? Total jerk. Bitching about not winning at Cannes. Whining, bitching, and harping like a baby throwing tantrums. Lee’s basic nastiness of character prevented him from learning and developing as an artist.

I suspect so. It’s an interesting empirical question whether being a jerk hurts a career in the arts in the long run on average. It can help at the beginning of a career – within a half dozen years of his first movie, Spike was one of more famous people in America, even without a particularly popular movie. But then … his movies stopped getting better.

Every time he made a movie, he’d act like he was making an Event that everyone should pay attention to. At least Ali was a big personality, and his megalomania was fun and endearing. With kermit-faced Lee, it was like suffering Yoko Ono.

2. Preachiness + Tribalism. Moral and spiritual meanings are found in Scorsese films, but they are not preachy. Also, just because Scorsese is Italian-Americans and feels rapport with the community doesn’t make him go easy on his own people. In contrast, Lee’s films are like the works of Stanley Kramer that were heavy with the Message. Lee made movies around issues and topics than around characters and meanings. So, DO THE RIGHT THING is about Race Relations. JUNGLE FEVER is about race and sex. MO BETTER BLUES is about, well, ‘a black guy is entitled to make the best movie on jazz.’ (It doesn’t work that way.) MALCOLM X is a Black Nationalism 101. Black Spartacus. It’s like reading a magazine article on some subject or other.

Unlike Scorsese who presents tribalism as a feature of life, Lee practices tribalism as an film-maker, and this undermines even his preachiness. In DO THE RIGHT THING, the message is clear. It doesn’t matter how much Sal tries to be a nice guy. It doesn’t matter how much Raheem is a damn fool. In the end, Lee sides with blacks because he’s black.

Now, such tribalism is part of life, but an artist is supposed to dig deeper than ‘my side right or wrong’. Also, it undermines the preachy morality because Lee himself is unwilling to rise above tribalism. Why preach to us about justice when Lee’s ultimate consciousness is ‘blacks must stick together?’

3. Dishonesty. Whatever Scorsese’s real-life politics or views may be, he was honest as an artist. Sure, there were some things he couldn’t do. He couldn’t make the pimps black in TAXI DRIVER. And the Jews in WOLF OF WALL STREET had to be made more ‘white’. But there’s a sense of life with all the delirium, chaos, corruption, and venality. MEAN STREETS is raw and honest about what goes on in the underbelly of Little Italy. Sidney Lumet was comparable to Scorsese with DOG DAY AFTERNOON and PRINCE OF THE CITY, but he got progressively worse and formulaic later on.

Lee would like us to believe that he is a truth-seeker and teller-like-it-is, but there’s something essentially phony and rigged about his stories. Contrary to DTRT’s presentation of race relations, the ONLY group that caused real problems for everyone in NY were blacks. While every group may have gripes against others, it wasn’t very serious. Even Jews and Muslims pretty much get along just fine in NY except on issues of foreign policy. Whatever Mexicans and Chinese say about one another behind closed doors, they don’t cause each other trouble. The problem is blacks vs everyone else. If Lee were truly honest, he would reveal why blacks cause so much trouble. They are tougher, meaner, more aggressive, and look down on other races. But he won’t go there and just run the same old BS with black fist salutes.

4. Lack of nuance or subtlety. Now, one can be an artist without refined sensibility or much wit. But some of Lee’s stylistic antics are just plain dumb. When the kid in CROOKLYN goes to visit the suburbs, Lee goes for squeeze-frame. It’s about the most hare-brained way of conveying alienation. Spielberg with ET in the suburbs had a subtler touch than Lee with the black girl.
Another lack of subtlety is the out-and-out Negrolatry. It’s one thing to have a profound feeling for one’s people. It’s quite another to turn them into sacred objects. In CROOKLYN, the little girl is more than girl. She is black angel-goddess of the Nile. It goes beyond mere sentimentality. It’s a form of idolatry, like the use of APPALACHIAN SPRING for HE GOT GAME.
In AMERICAN HISTORY X (by Tony Kaye), the idolatry was used ironically — white anxiety wrapped in exaggerated cult of the ubermensch until the hero finally rediscovers his humanity — but Lee is too busy turning black faces and black bodies into sacred objects. Lee might have been happier as a painter or graphic art (in advertising).

Spike’s Nike ads with Michael Jordan caused a sensation three decades ago. Spike is a wealthy man and I would imagine (although I don’t know) that the majority of his earnings have come from the advertising rather than movie business.

When characters are turned into sacred relics, they are rendered boring and predictable (which is why I don’t like some of Robert Redford’s movies with its saintlike characters or holy-schmoly preachy messages; he avoided it in THE CONSPIRATOR, a good movie, but it bombed).

5. Envy. Even though Scorsese may have wished he had the box office successes of his peers, he chose his own path and stuck to it without complaint. In contrast, Lee was consumed with envy for Quentin Tarantino, not least because the latter copped things from Blaxploitation flicks of the 70s. Blaxploitation movies were big for a time in the 70s, but they vanished almost overnight around the mid 70s, and most blacks were embarrassed about most of them, just like everyone dropped disco almost overnight in the early 80s. So, when Lee came into his own, he wanted to be a serious film-maker, not some throwback to trashy 70s blaxploitation. Besides, he graduated from the prestigious NYU film school.

The Lees are Talented Tenth, or higher. Spike is a 4th generation college grad and 3rd generation Morehouse grad. His grandmother gave him $25,000 in the mid-80s to make his first film. I like Spike’s image of himself, like Francis Ford Coppola’s, as the latest paterfamilias of an old and cultured family. Of course, in real life, Spike and his father, having similar personalities, don’t get along.

But then, this kid comes along. He didn’t even go to film school. He looks like a retard and talks really funny. But he makes this movie with cool black hoodlums (copped from 70s blaxploitation films) where people (Samuel Jackson included) say the n-word a million times, and everyone loves it and calls it one of the greatest film since CITIZEN KANE.

Then, Tarantino gets even more explicit about blaxploitation and has another hit with JACKIE BROWN. Now, Lee is beside himself with envy and resentment. Here he was, a serious black director who put aside childish things and made SERIOUS-themed movies like DTRT and MALCOLM X, but this punkass white kid comes along and makes mishmash PoMo movie that blends blaxploitation with French New Wave and TV sitcom. He wins with both critics and audience.

Also, NO ONE ever said Lee’s movies were cool and hip.

Spike’s Nike ads with MJ were popular with the frequent flier set. Frequent fliers are a lucrative market, but not the coolest.

Even his jazz movie was admired for its seriousness, its ‘corrective’ as an authentic jazz movie made by a black guy. Lee was a serious guy, and critics were earnest in praising him. It was duty-bound. Good medicine for all. But it turns out that the critics weren’t really liking him and his movies all that much.

DTRT was over-praised but it was understandably why. It came after the Reagan 80s when most blacks in movies were happy sidekicks (like in GHOSTBUSTERS) or goofballs, like Eddie Murphy. So much of the black experience was hardly touched upon by Hollywood. Also, liberal directors were too goody-goody in presenting blacks as angels. Generally, black characters were either too good to be true, like the COSBIES (or BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET or COLOR PEOPLE) or thugs to be shot (like in SUDDEN IMPACT) or taught a lesson (like in ROCKY III). (Oliver Stone depicted blacks more realistically in PLATOON and BORN ON 4TH.)

So, given the record of depiction of blacks in the 80s, DTRT seemed like a necessary corrective about the real reality. And to Lee’s credit, he was willing to show the nasty side of blacks in DTRT.

In a way, Liberals were grateful to Lee for showing some of the ugly side of the black community that white directors were too afraid to show. Even as they endorsed Lee’s overall pro-black message, their subconscious was hoping that, via Lee’s airing of urban black pathologies, there could be a more honest discussion of race. (As it happened, NY got worse in the 90s under Stinkin Dinkins, and if NY got back on its feet, it required the DIRTY HARRY policies of Giuliani and Bloomberg, something NYers under DeBlasio are unwilling to admit.)

Anyway, when push came to shove, Lee chose tribalism, and there were many falsehoods throughout DTRT. Still, it made Lee’s name as a SERIOUS filmmaker, and he thought he would make a bunch of more SERIOUS movies and become admired like Scorsese.

But when Tarantino made PULP FICTION, critics flocked to him and left Lee in the dust. Tarantino made Lee feel like Jeb Bush after Trump got all the love. Lee felt like the Queen in SNOW WHITE.

Pre-PULP-FICTION, critics were respectfully sucking up to Lee even though they weren’t much enjoying his movies. (Similarly, critics always pretended to appreciate the serious movies of John Sayles when they didn’t much care. Sayles made one really good movie, BABY IT’S YOU, and it’s non-political. But stuff like MATEWAN are deadly in their preachiness and iconography of the Noble Worker. No way to make a work of art. Same thing with Beatty’s REDS. Pure ego-trip and syrupy sentimentalism of radicalism. Notice no one cares about MATEWAN or REDS. But then, the New Left lost interest in the working class anyway.)

Anyway, if anything drove Lee crazy, it was the success of Tarantino. Here, I can partly sympathize because apart from RESERVOIR DOGS, I think Tarantino has been an utterly useless director( though I admit PF and IB have flashes of brilliance and lots of inventiveness). Also, Taratino’s influence on cinema has been baleful.

Still, if rap and hip-hop were the music of the 90s, Tarantino was more into the groove of the time than Lee was. In terms of sheer sensibility, I prefer Lee’s seriousness to Tarantino’s hipster glibness. But Tarantino not only understood the Zeitgeist better but played a role (however negative) in changing the culture. For awhile, he was a one-man-redefinition of Independent Cinema, a spell that was finally broken perhaps with MULHOLLAND DR., which became the new gold standard of independent film-making and has influenced several directors since.

But in the 90s, it’s like everyone wanted to be the New Tarantino. I’m sure DJANGO UNCHAINED also pissed off Lee to no end. Again, Tarantino took elements of blaxploitation with spaghetti western and maybe what he saw on Ken Burns and made a smash hit. It was trashy but both critics and audience loved it. In contrast, Lee’s movies were being ignored by both critics and audience. He tried to be Tarantino-ish with remake of OLD BOY, but it didn’t go anywhere.

But Lee finally has his Tarantino Moment. The rise of Trump and Alt Right gave him something he can get easy A’s with. Just make a Hate-Whitey movie, and the critics will love him and shower him with endless accolades. Also, riff on blaxploitation, not least by making a movie that is set in the 70s when blacks had them bigass afros. And cook up some convoluted plot that allows for jokes and hijinks. Thus, he could be preachy as usual but also hip with some jiveass story about some cool black dude who pulls some jazzy shit to fool honkey.

 
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From Pew Research Center, March 21, 2018.

The current population of Nigeria is about 195 million. So, 74% is about 145 million who want to migrate.

The UN projects Nigeria’s population in 2100 to be 794 million. So, 74% of 794 million is, like, a lot.

And that’s one country.

Shouldn’t we be having a, you know, Conversation about the Pew numbers and the UN numbers, and how they interact?

 
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From my new column in Taki’s Magazine, my review of Spike Lee’s acclaimed film BlacKkKlansman:

Spike Lee’s KkKrazyGlue
by Steve Sailer

August 15, 2018

Spike Lee’s new movie BlacKkKlansman has received 100 percent thumbs up from 46 professional film critics aggregated by Rotten Tomatoes.

This disgraceful unanimity is more craven than even last winter’s unhinged hosannas for Black Panther. That at least was a fair to middling film, while BlacKkKlansman is a junky movie distinguished mostly by Spike’s abiding hatred for white women, which traces back to his fury at his white stepmother.

The other amusing aspect of BlacKkKlansman, a 1970s period drama about a black undercover cop with an immense Afro, is that it comes pre-parodied by the 2002 Eddie Griffin comedy Undercover Brother, which was directed by Spike’s less overpublicized cousin Malcolm D. Lee.

You could imagine that Undercover Brother was intended as an unkind satire on BlacKkKlansman, except that it came out sixteen years earlier. Perhaps old family reunions had given cousin Malcolm a preview of Spike’s enduring phobias and fixations?

Read the whole thing there.

For compare and contrast purposes, here is the trailer for Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman:

And here is the trailer for Malcolm D. Lee’s Undercover Brother:

Who is parodying whom?

 
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Thank you very much to everybody who has so far donated to my iSteve August fundraising drive. As you can see from all the posts since I started this campaign, I’ve been much encouraged by the response, both monetary and intellectual (yesterday saw 1,133 comments published).

Here are seven ways for you to contribute to me, iSteve:

First: You can use Paypal (non-tax deductible) by going to the page on my old blog here. Paypal accepts most credit cards. Contributions can be either one-time only, monthly, or annual. (Monthly is nice.)

Second: You can mail a non-tax deductible donation to:

Steve Sailer

P.O Box 4142

Valley Village, CA 91617

Third: You can make a tax deductible contribution via VDARE by clicking here.

Please don’t forget to click my name at the VDARE site so the money goes to me:


Screenshot 2017-12-23 15.25.23

VDARE has been kiboshed from use of Paypal for being, I dunno, EVIL. But you can give via credit cards, Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, check, money order, or stock.

Note: the VDARE site goes up and down on its own schedule, so if this link stops working, please let me know.

Fourth: [Warning: Does this work?] You can use Bitcoin using Coinbase. Coinbase payments are not tax deductible. Below are links to two Coinbase pages of mine. This first is if you want to enter a U.S. dollar-denominated amount to pay me.

Pay With Bitcoin (denominated in U.S. Dollars)

This second is if you want to enter a Bitcoin-denominated amount. (Remember one Bitcoin is currently worth many U.S. dollars.)

Pay With Bitcoin (denominated in Bitcoins)

Fifth: if you have a Wells Fargo bank account, you can transfer money to me (with no fees) via Wells Fargo SurePay/Zelle. Just tell WF SurePay/Zelle to send the money to my ancient AOL email address steveslrAT aol.com — replace the AT with the usual @). (Non-tax deductible.) Please note, there is no 2.9% fee like with Paypal or Google Wallet, so this is good for large contributions.

Sixth: if you have a Chase bank account (or even other bank accounts), you can transfer money to me (with no fees) via Chase QuickPay/Zelle (FAQ). Just tell Chase QuickPay/Zelle to send the money to my ancient AOL email address (steveslrATaol.com — replace the AT with the usual @). If Chase asks for the name on my account, it’s StevenSailer with an n at the end of Steven. (Non-tax deductible.) There is no 2.9% fee like with Paypal or Google Wallet, so this is also good for large contributions.

Seventh: send money via the Paypal-like Google Wallet to my Gmail address (that’s isteveslrATgmail .com — replace the AT with a @). (Non-tax deductible.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEhS9Y9HYjU

Thanks.

 
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With “classical liberalism” suddenly fashionable as an ideological self-designation among Never Trumpers, Gregory Clark takes a look at the historical record back when Classical Liberalism was triumphant in the British Parliament. From Cliometrica:

Cliometrica

Welfare reform, 1834: Did the New Poor Law in England produce significant economic gains?

Gregory Clark, Marianne E. Page

First Online: 09 August 2018

Abstract

The English Old Poor Law, which before 1834 provided welfare to the elderly, children, the improvident, and the unfortunate, was a bête noire of the new discipline of Political Economy. Smith, Bentham, Malthus, and Ricardo all claimed it created significant social costs and increased rather than reduced poverty. The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, drafted by Political Economists, cuts payments sharply. Because local rules on eligibility and provision varied greatly before the 1834 reform, we can estimate the social costs of the extensive welfare provision of the Old Poor Law. Surprisingly there is no evidence of any of the alleged social costs that prompted the harsh treatment of the poor after 1834. Political economy, it seems, was born in sin.

My impression is that the sins of the Classical Liberals were fairly well exposed in 1960s popular culture, such as the 1968. Oscar-winning Best Picture “Oliver!” (I played Oliver Twist’s wealthy grandfather Mr. Brownlow in the 1970 St. Francis de Sales elementary school production, utilizing my main theatrical talent: tallness.)

But that’s all forgotten today.

 
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From the NYT advice column:

THE SWEET SPOT

How Can I Cure My White Guilt?
The thing about privilege is that it can be used for good.

Advice by by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond

Cheryl Strayed, author of the backpacking memoir Wild, was played by Reese Witherspoon in the 2014 movie adaptation. Steve Almond has published ten books.

Aug. 14, 2018

Dear Sugars,

I’m riddled with shame. White shame. This isn’t helpful to me or to anyone, especially people of color. I feel like there is no “me” outside of my white/upper middle class/cisgender identity. I feel like my literal existence hurts people, like I’m always taking up space that should belong to someone else.

I consider myself an ally. I research proper etiquette, read writers of color, vote in a way that will not harm P.O.C. (and other vulnerable people). I engage in conversations about privilege with other white people. I take courses that will further educate me. I donated to Black Lives Matter. Yet I fear that nothing is enough. Part of my fear comes from the fact that privilege is invisible to itself. What if I’m doing or saying insensitive things without realizing it?

Another part of it is that I’m currently immersed in the whitest environment I’ve ever been in. My family has lived in the same apartment in East Harlem for four generations. Every school I attended, elementary through high school, was minority white, but I’m now attending an elite private college that is 75 percent white. I know who I am, but I realize how people perceive me and this perception feels unfair.

I don’t talk about my feelings because it’s hard to justify doing so while people of color are dying due to systemic racism and making this conversation about me would be again centering whiteness. Yet bottling it up makes me feel an existential anger that I have a hard time channeling since I don’t know my place. Instead of harnessing my privilege for greater good, I’m curled up in a ball of shame. How can I be more than my heritage?

Whitey

Personally, I find “Whitey” a little uninspired as a nom de plume for this otherwise quite accomplished missive. I think something like Yale Trollmaster (or, for short, Y.T.) would have been more imaginative.

Steve Almond: Shame and anger are powerful emotions, Whitey. And yet your central struggle is around identity. You write that you don’t know your place. In fact, your letter describes your place as a kind of prison cell of privilege. What you really feel is trapped within an identity that marks you, inescapably, as an oppressor. This feeling is especially acute right now, I suspect, because you’re suddenly immersed in a milieu that reflects your privilege back to you. We do live in a culture steeped in white supremacy and class bigotry, as well as patriarchal values. But the solution to this injustice isn’t to wallow in self-hatred. Instead, heed the words of the writer bell hooks. “Privilege is not in and of itself bad; what matters is what we do with privilege,” she writes. “We have to share our resources and take direction about how to use our privilege in ways that empower those who lack it.” You’re not going to empower others by disempowering yourself.

Cheryl Strayed: I think Steve’s onto something when he notes that your anxiety is acute now because the racial mix at your college is reflecting your privilege back to you, but I’ll go even further: My hunch is that you’re truly seeing it for the first time. You grew up in a neighborhood and attended schools where you were one of the relatively few whites. It’s possible your status as a situational racial minority gave you the illusion that you didn’t have much in the way of racial privilege. Now that you’re living in a community that, at 75 percent white, roughly mirrors that of the American population, you’re feeling the full force of what it means to be white in a white supremacist culture and it makes you feel uncomfortable because up until now, in some unconscious way, you’d exonerated yourself from it. You were the “good white person” because you grew up among people of color. Now you’re another white face in the crowd at your elite college, and ashamed of it.

Cheryl and Steve go on in this sententious vein quite a bit longer, without the slightest indication that they have any doubts about Whitey’s sincerity.

SA: As a straight white male … The rise of political actors and demagogues who promote white supremacy, misogyny and racism is, in part, an effort by the privileged to reject these truths. They’ve created an ecstatic cult of victimization and recast the pursuit of justice as an assault on their selfhood. But a nation founded on the ideal of equal opportunity will never fulfill its destiny unless those with power confront their privilege. Embrace that mission and it may become easier to accept yourself as flawed but sacred. You can’t change the story you were born into, Whitey. But you can be what bell hooks calls a “radical visionary” …

CS: You ask us how you can be more than your heritage, Whitey, but what Steve and I are suggesting is that you need to own it first. As you seem well aware, your race granted you privileges that were and are denied to people who are not white. This is true for all white people in America, no matter how racially diverse their childhood neighborhoods were or were not, no matter how much money their families had or didn’t have, no matter how difficult or easy their lives have been. Every white person should be ashamed of that injustice. Which is different than being ashamed of being white. You don’t have to relinquish your heritage to be an ally to people of color, Whitey. You have to relinquish your privilege. And part of learning how to do that is accepting that feelings of shame, anger and the sense that people are perceiving you in ways that you believe aren’t accurate or fair are part of the process that you and I and all white people must endure in order to dismantle a toxic system that has perpetuated white supremacy for centuries. …

When I was a kid, advice columnist Ann Landers would often get these letters of increasing absurdity from smartalec Yale trolls. It was such a tradition at Yale that letters to Ann Landers about actual problems would sometimes start, “I am not a Yale student and this is no joke.” (I don’t think the word “troll” had its current meaning back then; instead they were called pranksters or hoaxsters.)

Here’s one to Ann Landers in 1975 from a 52 year old girl named Esther who wants to be Ralph:

Dear Ann Landers: When I read your advice regarding the five-year-old boy whose mother put ribbons on his blonde curls and gave him a tea set for Christmas, I decided that maybe you could help me. too.

I am a girl. 52 years of age. My problems started when my father knitted me a pair of argyle sox for my fifth birthday Those sox did something to my life. Ann. From then on I wanted a crew cut. I refused to wear silk underwear like the other girls in my gym class and insisted on green jockey shorts. Now I hate dresses and I go everywhere in jeans and boots.

Lately I’ve been thinking of changing my name from Esther to Ralph But deep in my heart I want to be straight Is it too late for me?

Gay in Connecticut

By 1975, Ann Landers had wised up, replying:

Dear Gay: My spies have located you “In Connecticut” and would you believe they traced your letter to New Haven?

Look. kids. Yale is a very tough

Eventually, Ann Landers figured out that anything postmarked New Haven was likely a put-on.

It would be interesting to resend old Yale troll letters to Ann Landers to modern advice columnists and see how many get the joke. I would imagine that the 52-year-old girl who wants to be crew-cut Ralph would be treated with vast deference today.

 
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.


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