Simplicity itself

3. Academics almost never say things so offensive that they deserve to be fired.

I don’t ever recall hearing an academic saying things as offensive as the garbage Trump spews out. And yet 42% of Americans support Trump. I’m not comfortable with speech codes that say 42% of Americans cannot hold certain jobs unless they keep their mouths shut.

That is from Scott Sumner.  And here are further thoughts by Scott.


False equivalence.
Trump is cool.
Academics are not.

he just ate your soul,
bite by bite.

LOL you have a baby brain!

A dick is a tool but you people would have no idea about that since you don’t have them.

You Trump types are quite thin skinned, are you not?

He’s rude and coarse and you have that in common with him. Remember: Trump just had to be better than the alternative, Hillary, and he was.

Truman and Eisenhower?? ha ha ha ha

Critical legal studies' hey day was in the "80s and never had any foothold in the federal judiciary.

Is it possible you don’t know enough about what is taught in law schools, currently?

Trump is certainly to the “left” of icons like Truman and Eisenhower on one thing: gay rights, including gay marriage. But probably others too.

My point stands I believe. Trump has flip flopped back and forth between Democrat and Republican multiple times, because he’s non ideological. His main slogan MAGA is about returning America to more upbeat days, essentially the world of Truman and/or Eisenhower.

OT question: is Trump a classical liberal? If not, why not?

Because he's physically repulsive?

"is Trump a classical liberal?"

No. If classical liberal means anything, it means someone who subscribes to most of the following:

- Free trade
- Rule of law and separation of powers
- A prohibition on the usage of the army for law enforcement purposes, except when the survival of the country or the ability of the federal government and federal courts to perform their basic functions are under attack
- Restrictions on the use of libel law to protect political figures and government officials
- Due process rights and civil liberties for all accused criminals, not just one's political allies

And then there is Trump's latest threat to (unconstitutionally) override Section 230 of the CDA through executive order. This probably was a mistake on his part as he is one of the first people to be de-platformed if he succeeds -- why would Facebook or Twitter risk having a loose cannon like Trump on their platforms if they can be sued in court for the consequences of Trump's posts? The problems that conservatives complain about -- left-leaning tech companies policing the speech of users -- would get exponentially worse without Section 230 as legal teams would have a serious obligation to censor content that puts the firm in any risk of litigation. Not very classical liberal-ish at all to use the court system to encourage and reward private censorship.

No one who spent 5 min in Chicagoland would refer to Obama as a " predominantly street fighting Chicago Dem"

"I don’t ever recall hearing an academic saying things as offensive as the garbage Trump spews out."

This guy is totally full of you-know-what. I've read tweets and have seen videos of academics saying things that are rabidly anti-Semitic, racist, and vile. Does this Scott Sumner live in a self-congratulatory bubble, his own special echo chamber?

Just about every major university in America has a foaming-at-the-mouth progressive saying outrageous things all the time. But noooooooooo, Trump is the problem.

Give me a break. This shtick gets so old.

He says academics say offensive things in #1. When you comment on something click the link, read passed the headline, do whatever you have to do to educate yourself. I want to help you.

😂 LOL 😂 you are such a baby to be defending Scott Sumner after he viciously attacked the President. What a pathetic baby you are!

Like what? When academics say things in an unprofessional tone, they do suffer career consequences even if they are progressive—see Steven Salaita. And yes, Trump is the problem because Trump actually has power. If a random academic says something offensive you’re free to not take his class or follow him on Twitter and that academic will cease to have any impact on your life. Trump turns his offensive views into law and you can’t ignore the law.

You’re a baby brain 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂

Are you kidding? Salaita won his lawsuit against the university that withdrew its employment offer to him, got almost a million dollars out of it, never apologized for what he said, and the dean who withdrew the offer resigned in disgrace. Every time he says something controversial, his colleagues, rather than demanding his resignation, circle the wagon and wrIte letters condemning administrators for attacking academic freedom for even gently criticizing his remarks even as said administrators adamantly defend his academic freedom.

The Salaita affair is if anything a good example of academia’s asymmetric tolerance for atrocious and bigoted views. It’s very difficult in academia to go too far in hating the ‘right’ people.

The rule in Academia seems to be trashing White people is ,more than fine, it is compulsory. You can say what you like, in fact you more or less have to, as long as it is biased against the majority of Western civilization. But you cannot, even by inference, even if it is true, say anything that might upset a minority.

Jews are an interesting case. Are they part of the dominant majority - as is clearly the case in modern America where Jews hold a large number of important positions - or are they a minority with a history of oppression? I think they are like Shroedinger's cat.

Salaita made the mistake of attacking Israel which provoked America's Jewish community to respond. As did Norman Finkelstein. So it is a dilemma for universities. They treated Israel as a special case in Salaita's case. He could have said all that about France and no one would have cared. It is more or less required to say it about America.

Legal Insurrection recently mentioned a Dean at some university who was denied promotion or fired or whatever because she was a part of the Boycott movement. It is interesting that they framed this as a victory for Academic freedom. Of course it is not. It is a victory for a wealthy and influential group that sees itself as an oppressed minority. With some, but weakening, justification. But a repulsive woman did lose her academic job because of her views.

On the other hand MeToo has disproportionately hit members of the Jewish community. Mostly on the Left. No one seems to think that is anti-semitic.

So it all comes down to who is doing to criticizing.

When did ... I swear to god, the Republican party has become a personality cult, and it is really fucking depressing.

These people, Alex, Sumner, they are practically conservative. They believe in free trade, less regulation, etc ... and yet when they correctly point out the fact that Trump says idiotic shit they get attacked in the comments of this blog.

And hell I agree Scott can explode somewhat immaturity at times. But this isn't one of them.

At this point, I think the best thing that can happen for my party is we lose narrowly in November and rebuild around actual ideas and not man.

Sumner is not claiming Trump says some idiotic things. He is claiming Trump says some uniquely vile things. And he is comparing them to academics. You know, the people who insist that all Whites are racists neo-Nazis who probably abuse their children and beat their wives.

There is simply no standard for vileness when it comes to the Tweets of a great many academics. And now their positions have become mainstream. Trump is simply crass from time to time. He has never suggested that all Democrats are responsible for gassing Jews for instance. The sort of comment that is par for the course in academia.

These people are not particularly conservative. They are economists so they know liberal economics works. Otherwise they are on the side of the Social Justice warriors on a great many issues.

> You know, the people who insist that all Whites are racists neo-Nazis who probably abuse their children and beat their wives.

Even if there is a kernel of truth to this but it is incredibly hyperbolic strawman of the actual leftist position.

You don't actually have to exaggerate anything trump says (of course, the left does frequently do so anyways) when trying to characterize him as vile.

Scott also jumps from "Trump has offensive things" to "his supporters say offensive things", which is bizarre.

Or is Charles Murray not an academic? How about Ward Churchill - do former academics count?

And it isn't nice, in these troubled times, that at least one court has found that public universities have "quasi-judicial immunity"?

I agree with what Scott is saying, but would believe him more if my comments on ECONLOG didn't get put into an automatic time out or just get deleted altogether. I say nothing offensive, but point out when he's straw-manning or just making up new definitions to words.

Econlog is one of the most intolerant sites on the web. Henderson is a good guy but he should be embarrassed to be there.

I forgot whether I got banned on Econtalk or Econlog, too. The last time was for referring to the Chicoms. Imagine that, not showing proper respect to the Commies who run China.

SS has had such a bad case of TDS for years that he can’t think straight.

I read Sumner because he has moments of brilliance, but more than any other blogger he says incredibly stupid things as well.

He just gets unhinged about 15% of the time. Usually about politics. I guess he can’t control his emotions.

What a 👶 you are defending fellow 👶 Scott Sumner.

Interesting, I think the exact opposite. I consider Summer a very clear and rational thinker; like Bryan Caplan, his writing is admirably succinct and organized. But while his average post quality is good, there are fewer peaks of brilliance. I often read and enjoy his work, but I don’t bookmark nearly as many posts as I do with, say, Robin Hanson.

I agree but views shouldn’t be allowed or censored based on how many people hold them. If anything, it is more important to ensure protection for views that are held by 0.42% of the population than ones held by 42% because censorship against the former is far more likely to succeed as they claim less public sympathy or alternative outlets for their views.

👋🍆 💦

That’s not really at odds with what he’s saying. Suppose ideologies exist along a distribution, where centrist ideas are in the middle with 50% to the left and 50% to the right. If we define our extremism threshold as 20%, where the left and right 20% of the distribution are excluded, then by definition we’re excluding the 0.2% too. It would be strange to say, “it’s not so important to protect people with conservative or progressive views, they can always go write for the National Review or the Times, but we must protect our fascist and communist faculty, for they have nowhere else to turn.”

Most of this debate boils down to where to draw the line, and almost everyone implicitly accepts there must be a line (e.g. few people believe a Nazi professor should be protected I’d guess). Anyone who believes 40% most extreme are too extreme to be tolerated obviously believes the .4% most extreme are too extreme as well, so this argument will fall on deaf ears.

Because Nazi's glorify one of the most hellish and cruel social actions ever undertaken by humans.

Because Nazi's glorify one of the most hellish and cruel social actions ever undertaken by humans.

Noam Chomsky defended the Khmer Rouge - undoubtedly worse - and he still holds his academic job. Defending Stalin or Mao is routine for Western academics and they were both at least as bad as Hitler.

So this is more or less missing the point. There is publicly acceptable genocide and then there is unacceptable genocide. I don't see why snobbery about mass murder should determine if someone is allowed to hold a job. Neither or both.

This is absolutely false. Germany was a word leader in all manner of sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Psychology,etc) and arts heading into WW1. They squandered a good bit of that advantage during WW1, and then gave themselves a coup-de-grace in WW2. They killed, expelled, or scared away all of their talent. The Nazis took a world leading nation in science and arts and basically handed the mantle over to the United States. So, thank you, Nazis!

Werner von Braun, a former Nazi aerospace engineer, was the main architect of the Saturn V rocket that allowed landing on the moon. And this is just one example. The VW bug was also developed under Nazi rule, and the first autobahns were built in Nazi Germany.

"few people believe a Nazi professor should be protected"

Protected from what? If a chemistry professor happens to be a Nazi, should he be protected from being censored? fired? beaten? killed?

Zaua, "views" aren't protected, individuals' speech rights are.

Since every individual is an individual, more or less protection for any one individual would be inequitable. You do not get fewer or greater speech rights as an individual for holding an opinion that is more or less frequent.

An approach that protected "views" rather than individual rights would functionally be protecting speech rights of social factions, which would be inequitable of course.

And yet Tyler decides to quote him approvingly. Tyler’s a real dumb dumb too who is still blinded by his hatred of the President even after all these years 😂 😂 😂

I am wondering this morning about the people who managed to keep this in their head:

"Sure, the president is a complete imbecile. But I was smart to vote for him."

Maybe not.

Most of them who know he's an idiot still preferred that to Clinton. It's not complicated.

Does Uhlig deserve to be fired for staying out past midnight (nothing good can come of a teen who stays out past midnight, and nothing good can come of an academic who posts on Twitter)? My older brother smacked me in the face when I stayed out past midnight. Somebody needs to smack Uhlig for staying out past midnight.

I do find this to be the best comment here. Rare for Rayward.

"I don’t ever recall hearing an academic saying things as offensive as the garbage Trump spews out."

I have, they do it all the time. And not just worse — much, much worse. Nobody notices, of course, because they're careful to only say these things about groups you're allowed to talk about this way.

To be fair, it is very possible he doesn't consider Masters of Arts in Grievance Studies to be academics.

I think what Sumner meant to say is, "3. Academics almost never say things so offensive that they ACTUALLY GET fired."

Otherwise, #3 doesn't reconcile with #2 (actually click the link).

Are you kidding, have you heard Eric Weinstein's many talks on the state of academia? Ever watch the 3-part documentary on Evergreen College?

Nah I don’t watch tubby 💩 🧠 s

"I’m not comfortable with speech codes that say 42% of Americans cannot hold certain jobs unless they keep their mouths shut."

HELP!!! Am I reading this wrong or is Scott suggesting that everyone should be able to talk like Trump and keep their jobs?

If so, that should clearly not be allowed. Encouraging homophobia, racism, ignorance, insensitivity and conspiracy should not be the function of workers. Of course corporations can do whatever they wish, but it still must occur within the confines of the law -- specifically the tax code and civil rights act, and fair employment laws. Allowing employees to traffic in Trumpism is a recipe for creating a shadow impact for your company that runs in violation of these laws.

Employees who aggressively espouse these views should be fired for being unprofessional and also for the risk they pose to the company's good legal standing.... Unless of course, you are a media outlet like OANN or something...its fine for them to do it because it is part of the revenue model. But no way Cocacola employees should be talking like 45 in the open.

I interpreted this to mean that people shouldn’t be fired for expressing offensive views on their own time, such as on private social media accounts.

If someone talks like Trump at the office in a way that disrupts co-workers or in an official capacity where their words are associated with the company and damage the company’s reputation, then that would seem to be a legitimate basis for firing.

But at what point does the private life veil need to be pierced? For example, if the cocacola employee is a member of the KKK in his freetime then maybe you let this slide. But if he is the grand wizard and makes media appearances, then should you let it slide also?? I would say no.

Trump supporters actively traffic hate, and do so loudly and in public. It is not only that they hold these views privately, but they actively try to push them on others and seek out recognition for doing so.

If I was a member of the Black panther party in my free time, I would EXPECT that my job would fire me because my views and personal life would be incompatible with the company's goals and values and present a risk to their goal of maximizing shareholder wealth. With trump supporters, who are another extremist group of individuals, they actually expect that their jobs should be protected. Its entitled and privileged to think this is ok. Its wrong. Its backwards. Its....just like the world we now live in.

SO again, I ask... When is it ok for an employer to pierce the veil of an employees private life?

I think it could be okay if the employee was actually drawing negative publicity to the company, whether because the employee had a very public side job like Grand Wizard of the KKK or was in a PR or high-level role at the company.

But I don’t think anyone should ever be fired because of their privately held political views, even if they are a white supremacist. There is just too much room for McCarthyism then.

You call Hillary wicked, but you are cool with Trump in office.


OMG 😂 😂 😂 You’re a See You See Kay. 😂 😂

Hillary's signature foreign policy initiative reestablished slave markets in North Africa. I'd say that anything Trump does is better that what that fool would have done.

I don’t ever recall hearing an academic saying things as offensive as the garbage Trump spews out. And yet 42% of Americans support Trump. I’m not comfortable with speech codes that say 42% of Americans cannot hold certain jobs unless they keep their mouths shut

That's because you don't have much critical distance from your own utterances and studiously avoid noticing what comes out of various and sundry departments here there and the next place.

💩 Jackson

of course, politicians is the one job where everyone gets a chance to decide whether to fire him or not

* at least in theory

"What happened to sane Democrats?"

pfft - sane democrats will vote for Trump. You can defund the police, have unlimited open boards and let China rape the US in a Trade war . . . or you can deal with potty mouth.

Tough call.

Or they will vote for a reasonable moderate Democrat like Joe Biden who defeated his left-wing opponents in the Democratic primaries because they just don’t want to see militarized cops shoving 75-year-olds on the pavement, Americans’ families separated by immigration bans, and starting trade wars out of a foolish view that economies are zero-sum...

Remind me again which party controls Buffalo? The mayor is a Republican is he? How about Minneapolis?

If people don't like militarized police shoving 75 year old activists who then fall over, perhaps they might like to vote Republican? You don't see a lot of police misconduct in areas controlled by the GOP.

Biden, by the way, voted for all this stuff. He sat in the Senate for decades and voted for the police to gear up.

It's a reasonable inference Gugino took a fall deliberately.

It looks a lot like the Covington children all over again.

The left is very destructive of social norms. This sort of cynical exploitation of video footage makes everyone less trusting.

It's also a reasonable inference that 75-year-olds don't have the greatest reaction time or balance and that most of them have enough of a sense of self-preservation to not fall deliberately. A family member of mine who was a few years younger at the time fell down (on the grass, not on pavement or concrete) while doing yardwork and needed major surgery involving putting bones back together with metal screws followed by months of recovery. The human body cannot take much punishment at that age and I imagine most people at that age are acutely aware of this fact.

And having your head bounce off of concrete at any age is just about the worst thing that can happen to you. People much younger than 75 die all of the time from this.

As an outsider, it seems obvious to me that these 'protests' will ensure a Republican will be elected POTUS. Does any one doubt that this is why they are happening?

It's really hard to take down an incumbent POTUS. Trump was going to win anyway.

These riots are just a hail-marry pass from a desperate left hoping they can goad Trump into a critical error.

They are not, as you hypothesize, spring from any action from team trump or the right.

How does electing Biden do anything about police? Or are we blaming Trump for local police in solid blue cities in solid blue states?

What? Is Biden gonna crack down on the Police Unions? No. But we will get him attending the funerals of people like George Floyd: A Meth Head, a convicted violent felon, and a father of abandoned children. He's a hero? He's who we should lionize? We should tell Black kids to look up to him?

Why? Because some Cop he worked security with at a Strip club later decided to murder him?

I can imagine Biden's most significant executive action being to tear down Jefferson statues to erect George Floyd ones.

What’s not normal about Joe Biden? He seems pretty normal. He’s just old. I don’t think too many people are going to hold that against him. A lot of people would frankly prefer a sleepier President who doesn’t do a whole lot and lets us go about our lives.

‘Cuz that’s what he and his staff and his party will do, let us go about our lives.


Here's a letter from a black Berkeley professor that he thinks would get him fired.

UC Berkeley History Professor's Open Letter Against BLM, Police Brutality and Cultural Orthodoxy

Dear profs X, Y, Z

I am one of your colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. I have met you both personally but do not know you closely, and am contacting you anonymously, with apologies. I am worried that writing this email publicly might lead to me losing my job, and likely all future jobs in my field.

In your recent departmental emails you mentioned our pledge to diversity, but I am increasingly alarmed by the absence of diversity of opinion on the topic of the recent protests and our community response to them.

In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system. The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions.

Many cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly. These people are not racists or ‘Uncle Toms’. They are intelligent scholars who reject a narrative that strips black people of agency and systematically externalizes the problems of the black community onto outsiders. Their view is entirely absent from the departmental and UCB-wide communiques.

The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians. Instead, it is being treated as an axiomatic and actionable truth without serious consideration of its profound flaws, or its worrying implication of total black impotence. This hypothesis is transforming our institution and our culture, without any space for dissent outside of a tightly policed, narrow discourse.

A counternarrative exists. If you have time, please consider examining some of the documents I attach at the end of this email. Overwhelmingly, the reasoning provided by BLM and allies is either primarily anecdotal (as in the case with the bulk of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ undeniably moving article) or it is transparently motivated. As an example of the latter problem, consider the proportion of black incarcerated Americans. This proportion is often used to characterize the criminal justice system as anti-black. However, if we use the precise same methodology, we would have to conclude that the criminal justice system is even more anti-male than it is anti-black.

Would we characterize criminal justice as a systemically misandrist conspiracy against innocent American men? I hope you see that this type of reasoning is flawed, and requires a significant suspension of our rational faculties. Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates than their involvement in violent crime would predict. This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries.

And yet, I see my department uncritically reproducing a narrative that diminishes black agency in favor of a white-centric explanation that appeals to the department’s apparent desire to shoulder the ‘white man’s burden’ and to promote a narrative of white guilt.

If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans? This is a funny sort of white supremacy. Even Jewish Americans are incarcerated less than gentile whites. I think it’s fair to say that your average white supremacist disapproves of Jews. And yet, these alleged white supremacists incarcerate gentiles at vastly higher rates than Jews. None of this is addressed in your literature. None of this is explained, beyond hand-waving and ad hominems. “Those are racist dogwhistles”. “The model minority myth is white supremacist”. “Only fascists talk about black-on-black crime”, ad nauseam.

These types of statements do not amount to counterarguments: they are simply arbitrary offensive classifications, intended to silence and oppress discourse. Any serious historian will recognize these for the silencing orthodoxy tactics they are, common to suppressive regimes, doctrines, and religions throughout time and space. They are intended to crush real diversity and permanently exile the culture of robust criticism from our department.

Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM’s problematic view of history, and the department is being presented as unified on the matter. In particular, ethnic minorities are being aggressively marshaled into a single position. Any apparent unity is surely a function of the fact that dissent could almost certainly lead to expulsion or cancellation for those of us in a precarious position, which is no small number.

I personally don’t dare speak out against the BLM narrative, and with this barrage of alleged unity being mass-produced by the administration, tenured professoriat, the UC administration, corporate America, and the media, the punishment for dissent is a clear danger at a time of widespread economic vulnerability. I am certain that if my name were attached to this email, I would lose my job and all future jobs, even though I believe in and can justify every word I type.

The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people. There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is.

No discussion is permitted for nonblack victims of black violence, who proportionally outnumber black victims of nonblack violence. This is especially bitter in the Bay Area, where Asian victimization by black assailants has reached epidemic proportions, to the point that the SF police chief has advised Asians to stop hanging good-luck charms on their doors, as this attracts the attention of (overwhelmingly black) home invaders. Home invaders like George Floyd. For this actual, lived, physically experienced reality of violence in the USA, there are no marches, no tearful emails from departmental heads, no support from McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. For the History department, our silence is not a mere abrogation of our duty to shed light on the truth: it is a rejection of it.

The claim that black intraracial violence is the product of redlining, slavery, and other injustices is a largely historical claim. It is for historians, therefore, to explain why Japanese internment or the massacre of European Jewry hasn’t led to equivalent rates of dysfunction and low SES performance among Japanese and Jewish Americans respectively. Arab Americans have been viciously demonized since 9/11, as have Chinese Americans more recently. However, both groups outperform white Americans on nearly all SES indices – as do Nigerian Americans, who incidentally have black skin. It is for historians to point out and discuss these anomalies. However, no real discussion is possible in the current climate at our department. The explanation is provided to us, disagreement with it is racist, and the job of historians is to further explore additional ways in which the explanation is additionally correct. This is a mockery of the historical profession.

Most troublingly, our department appears to have been entirely captured by the interests of the Democratic National Convention, and the Democratic Party more broadly. To explain what I mean, consider what happens if you choose to donate to Black Lives Matter, an organization UCB History has explicitly promoted in its recent mailers. All donations to the official BLM website are immediately redirected to ActBlue Charities, an organization primarily concerned with bankrolling election campaigns for Democrat candidates. Donating to BLM today is to indirectly donate to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. This is grotesque given the fact that the American cities with the worst rates of black-on-black violence and police-on-black violence are overwhelmingly Democrat-run. Minneapolis itself has been entirely in the hands of Democrats for over five decades; the ‘systemic racism’ there was built by successive Democrat administrations.

The patronizing and condescending attitudes of Democrat leaders towards the black community, exemplified by nearly every Biden statement on the black race, all but guarantee a perpetual state of misery, resentment, poverty, and the attendant grievance politics which are simultaneously annihilating American political discourse and black lives. And yet, donating to BLM is bankrolling the election campaigns of men like Mayor Frey, who saw their cities devolve into violence. This is a grotesque capture of a good-faith movement for necessary police reform, and of our department, by a political party. Even worse, there are virtually no avenues for dissent in academic circles. I refuse to serve the Party, and so should you.

The total alliance of major corporations involved in human exploitation with BLM should be a warning flag to us, and yet this damning evidence goes unnoticed, purposefully ignored, or perversely celebrated. We are the useful idiots of the wealthiest classes, carrying water for Jeff Bezos and other actual, real, modern-day slavers. Starbucks, an organisation using literal black slaves in its coffee plantation suppliers, is in favor of BLM. Sony, an organisation using cobalt mined by yet more literal black slaves, many of whom are children, is in favor of BLM. And so, apparently, are we. The absence of counter-narrative enables this obscenity. Fiat lux, indeed.

There also exists a large constituency of what can only be called ‘race hustlers’: hucksters of all colors who benefit from stoking the fires of racial conflict to secure administrative jobs, charity management positions, academic jobs and advancement, or personal political entrepreneurship.

Given the direction our history department appears to be taking far from any commitment to truth, we can regard ourselves as a formative training institution for this brand of snake-oil salespeople. Their activities are corrosive, demolishing any hope at harmonious racial coexistence in our nation and colonizing our political and institutional life. Many of their voices are unironically segregationist.

MLK would likely be called an Uncle Tom if he spoke on our campus today. We are training leaders who intend, explicitly, to destroy one of the only truly successful ethnically diverse societies in modern history. As the PRC, an ethnonationalist and aggressively racially chauvinist national polity with null immigration and no concept of jus solis increasingly presents itself as the global political alternative to the US, I ask you: Is this wise? Are we really doing the right thing?

As a final point, our university and department has made multiple statements celebrating and eulogizing George Floyd. Floyd was a multiple felon who once held a pregnant black woman at gunpoint. He broke into her home with a gang of men and pointed a gun at her pregnant stomach. He terrorized the women in his community. He sired and abandoned multiple children, playing no part in their support or upbringing, failing one of the most basic tests of decency for a human being. He was a drug-addict and sometime drug-dealer, a swindler who preyed upon his honest and hard-working neighbors.

And yet, the regents of UC and the historians of the UCB History department are celebrating this violent criminal, elevating his name to virtual sainthood. A man who hurt women. A man who hurt black women. With the full collaboration of the UCB history department, corporate America, most mainstream media outlets, and some of the wealthiest and most privileged opinion-shaping elites of the USA, he has become a culture hero, buried in a golden casket, his (recognized) family showered with gifts and praise. Americans are being socially pressured into kneeling for this violent, abusive misogynist. A generation of black men are being coerced into identifying with George Floyd, the absolute worst specimen of our race and species.

I’m ashamed of my department. I would say that I’m ashamed of both of you, but perhaps you agree with me, and are simply afraid, as I am, of the backlash of speaking the truth. It’s hard to know what kneeling means, when you have to kneel to keep your job.

It shouldn’t affect the strength of my argument above, but for the record, I write as a person of color. My family have been personally victimized by men like Floyd. We are aware of the condescending depredations of the Democrat party against our race. The humiliating assumption that we are too stupid to do STEM, that we need special help and lower requirements to get ahead in life, is richly familiar to us. I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to deal with open fascists, who at least would be straightforward in calling me a subhuman, and who are unlikely to share my race.

The ever-present soft bigotry of low expectations and the permanent claim that the solutions to the plight of my people rest exclusively on the goodwill of whites rather than on our own hard work is psychologically devastating. No other group in America is systematically demoralized in this way by its alleged allies. A whole generation of black children are being taught that only by begging and weeping and screaming will they get handouts from guilt-ridden whites.

No message will more surely devastate their futures, especially if whites run out of guilt, or indeed if America runs out of whites. If this had been done to Japanese Americans, or Jewish Americans, or Chinese Americans, then Chinatown and Japantown would surely be no different to the roughest parts of Baltimore and East St. Louis today. The History department of UCB is now an integral institutional promulgator of a destructive and denigrating fallacy about the black race.

I hope you appreciate the frustration behind this message. I do not support BLM. I do not support the Democrat grievance agenda and the Party’s uncontested capture of our department. I do not support the Party co-opting my race, as Biden recently did in his disturbing interview, claiming that voting Democrat and being black are isomorphic. I condemn the manner of George Floyd’s death and join you in calling for greater police accountability and police reform. However, I will not pretend that George Floyd was anything other than a violent misogynist, a brutal man who met a predictably brutal end.

I also want to protect the practice of history. Cleo is no grovelling handmaiden to politicians and corporations. Like us, she is free.

Impressively well-argued text.

Is there some confirmation that it comes, at the text itself claims, from a black history professor at Berkeley? That seems contradictory to the stated fact that the author wants to remain anonymous. According to a quick look at the faculty pages of that department, there are only two black professors (a man and a woman), so it would be easy to identify who is the author with some little search.

Not a bad letter, not that I agree with much of it but it raises good questions. Way way over-long.

If I had to guess, the author is not in Berkeley's history department at all. There are very few black people in that department, even after we include grad students, so they could instantly deduce who wrote this -- if indeed one of them wrote it, which I doubt.

Very likely Waldo Martin, a longtime member of the UCB history department, and whose other work is similarly superbly written. Not too long! All worth reading.

I suspect this was written by a white person who is a Republican.

There are indeed important salient points raised, and argued in a manner unlike contemporary Republicans seem able to do.

It's a complex multi-facted problem, and in the hyperfocus by all sides on BLM, these points do seem to get overlooked in our attraction to myopic singular narratives.

Yet the "tell" that this may not be what it claims to be, is the lack of acknowledgement of the core critique by BLM, the utter absence of any acknowledgement of systemic and institutional racism, or that these might have a role in the obstacles and culture, no acknowledgement of common cause whatsoever, and finally and importantly the seeming gratuitous complaints about money being directed to the DNC.

You have to read a little more closely, but the essay is still basically a bullet-pointed list of right wing greivaces, whataboutisms, and talking points. It's all there: black on black crime, political correctness at universities, elite and patronzing Democrats, Democratic fundraising conspiracies, what about the Japanese, right wing battered entitlement victim syndrome, complaints about corporate cultural abdication, complaints about back bulls "siring" bastard children, and more.

Yes, it is possible that a black author might write this nevertheless, and the views might even be authentic and personal (rather than some sort of invented collage). But if so, he is most assuredly a Republican. The intent of the letter is almost certainly not to appeal to his colleagues, but to find itself passed around on right-wing blogs as some sort of "proof" of something.

Yet the "tell" that this may not be what it claims to be, is the lack of acknowledgement of the core critique by BLM, the utter absence of any acknowledgement of systemic and institutional racism, or that these might have a role in the obstacles and culture, no acknowledgement of common cause whatsoever, and finally and importantly the seeming gratuitous complaints about money being directed to the DNC.

Fraud is not gratuitous. It is something that decent people should be concerned about.

You need to go back and read it again. Because you have understood nothing. The entire letter is pointing out that there is no systemic discrimination in America. That there is no institutional racism. Or at least there is no evidence for any of these things. They are just the modern version of a Witch hunt - if your cow dies, blame the Jews!

Oh yes indeed - fraud, illegitimate children, intraracial violence - these are all legitimate concerns, which is why I acknowledged that in my post.

Neverthless, the appearance of this particular list of concerns, when organized in the order and context they have been collected here, reads remarkably like a typical right wing blog post, just absent the vitriol.

So yes, fraud is indeed very much a concern here.

"Everyone who disagrees with me is a vicious right wing troll!" is not a position worthy of respect. It is not a position at all. It is an evasion.

We have no idea who this man is, although I suspect people will spend a lot of time finding out and then firing him. Your prejudices about the right, about Black men, and about Black men on the right contributes nothing.

lol. I am not using prejudice. I am profiling...

As someone who is neither white nor Republican, what exactly is "systemic and institutional racism"?

How do I measure it?

After all, I work with a lot of systems. How do I tell which of these is more racist? How do I tell which is more racist? Is it the courts where I have been deemed an expert with more relevant experience than white colleagues? Is it the local EMS where I am treated at all times with respect with my opinion being actively solicited?

Is it nothing more than a fancy way to say disparate impact? Yet what exactly should I do with real patients? After all my African American patients have statistically worse outcomes. But they are also are worse at everything from comorbidities to medication compliance to closed loop communication. Is my medical practice systemically racist?

But I can delineate far better predictors of medical outcomes. My wealthy black patients have outcomes that much more closely resemble those of my wealth white patients. Similarly my poor white patients or my drug using white patients are most similar to my poor black patients.

Whatever one wants to say about the letter, it is my experience that for all the talk of structural or institutional racism, I have trouble spotting it whereas I have had zilch for difficulty finding personal racism when people say or do racist things.

Until I can have some semblance of objectivity, "structural and institutional racism" sounds an awful lot like special pleading to say "not liberal enough".

So do tell, how should I quantify this structural and institutional racism when I encounter it in daily life?

I think the idea is that it's the systemic result of a parlay that got squelched when they took back a guy's 40 acres and mule. Or maybe even earlier when they enslaved a guy.

Where you would encounter it in daily life would be where you ran a stop sign and they didn't kneel on your neck. Difficult to quantify, as you point out.

First I don't run stop signs. Second were an officer to detain me I would ask simple, pointed questions about their intentions and should they wish to arrest me I would not be resisting.

I treat the jail prisoners so I know the utter futility of doing even passive resistance. Calling my lawyer will get me far more results far more quickly than anything else.

Cops treat me well in spite of my skin because I have money. And I have a veteran's license plate. And I can add "MD" after my name.

Virtually everything I see people ascribing to race seems far more sufficiently explained by class and money. I am treated far closer to a white doctor than I am to black day laborer (let alone a drug dealer).

Which is why I find it so hard to take "structural racism" seriously. My grandparents, they had flaming crosses in the yard. And I could buy systemic racism by employers, publishers, and the rest because there was great evidence.

But today? There is literally nothing I cannot do by waiving around the same sort of money as a white guy. Maybe there are people out there who will do stuff to me for skin reasons, but I have met few of them and nothing to suggest they hold any systemic power.

Now I have met unbelievable numbers of people who are anti-poor. Many of them highly educated in liberal. And that I suspect is by far the biggest difference. I have education, status, and money that does far more than any lack of melanin could ever manage.

Naw, first is not the stop sign, it's taking back the forty acres and the mule. I think the theoretical systemic racism spreads out from there. You got no mule to trade for your own shovel and a train ticket to your free 160 acres in Nebraska, so you don't get the homestead they maybe wouldn't have let you apply for anyway, so you couldn't send your kid to chiropractic school, so he couldn't pile up some money to wave around or use GI money to buy a house and build up equity because he was red-lined plus maybe the banker didn't like his face, and when his grandson applied to college he found that Jared got the slot. Systemic, you understand, this is all thought by some to seep out into and infuse the some version of the system. It makes a certain sort of sense if you let it.

And don't get too pointed with those questions. There are bad apples out there.

You are describing my literal family history. My family did not get the acres and the mule. They were red-lined in the South. My folks did not pay for my medical school.

I had my dreams when I was young, so I signed on with the military. They paid for my medical school.

And at that medical school I made the grandchild of slaves. His grandparents had gone to the gulag where they were slave labor. One of his grandfathers was literally worked to death. His parents left the country with nothing. He grew up poor and worked his tail off, far harder than me. And he should have gone to a higher tier medical school. Yet his skin was whiter than white. Exactly how was race the systemic factor here?

Systemic anti-poor bias? Oh absolutely. Medical schools give bonus points if you have any number of things that just so happen to be easy to get if you have parents in the guild and hard if not. The whole system runs off a bunch of recommendations that just so happen to be easier to manage if your parents have the right sort of friends.

But skin color? Far less important across the board. The rich black kids, even those descended from literal African royalty who came here with wealth, they were far less like me or my Russian friend than they were like the other kids of the wealthy. My Russian friend, in turn was far more like the handful of us (Asian, African American, or the rest) who had grown up poor.

Failure of Reconstruction made African Americans poor and that was largely racist. But at this point? The system is just rigged toward the well educated and their children. Race seems to be a huge distraction from the fact that the rules are just different for the wealthy.

I think pretty much everyone comes out of hard times somewhere along the line, it's a mathematical certainty. And race, if we even think it exists, is biologically negligible. I'm willing to accept, though, that the poverty spun off from the failure of Reconstruction, or wherever you think it starts, might now be reasonably called systemic. You could possibly adjust for that by figuring out a way to give all those poor folks wider slots at the trough, sweeping along a few who got systematically screwed. Maybe everything would settle down a bit. Might have to give the Russians a free ride, but worse things have happened, and almost certainly will happen.

Literal African royalty means, in the part of Africa I'm familiar with, that your family owns a fly-whisk and a couple of stools, and some of your uncles are pretty good at poisoning people. Someone with a few acres and a mule in east Texas is way ahead of that game.

No doubts about it, the failure of Reconstruction really did destroy the ability of a lot of folks to escape grinding poverty without significantly more luck/drive/smarts than others.

But at this point? Pretty much all of it seems to be driven by the poverty angle. Poor people are more likely to be criminals, more likely to have troubles adhering to working norms, and more likely to be black. The African royalty I knew controlled significant mineral resources and managed to have access to diplomatic license plates. Poor, benighted, and held back he was not.

The day I am treated more like my poor peers rather than like my coworkers is the day I will consider that any systemic racism is left. As is, I think we just need to burn down the edifice of modern meritocracy and bureaucratic oversight in order to allow for something where the ever more intrusive means are used to get "fair" outcomes, which just so happen to reserve slots of power and at least decent status for the children of the lower upper class urban liberals.

There seems to be a major typo or dropped connecting thought in that last paragraph. But burning something down sounds good. You could do it, I think, with very high taxes on the top end, with a beat-down by mean cops and jail time in the former shelter of George Town or Valletta for non-compliance. Confiscate the money and make every third person a county tulip gardener or municipal bee-keeper, plus everybody gets a free bus pass.

I don't get "ever more intrusive means", but maybe they snuck up on me and I didn't notice. I don't get how the words urban or liberal help explain anything. I'll take a break and think about it.

Try this: wherever you hear "systemic racism," insert "political correctness."

Be ready to have your mind blown.

Whenever you hear "systemic racism" say "Jewish conspiracy" and your mind won't be blown because it will sound the same. There is no actual evidence for either.

There is a lot of evidence for political correctness ranging from speech codes to new textbooks. It is systemic racism that means I am not supposed to refer to the Wuhan virus?

ok, kewl.

systemic racism = does not exist

political correctness = massive liberal infiltration, way worse than the global communist conspiracy.

poe = purity of essence

I am willing to accept that systemic racism may exist. But I would like to see some evidence. There is more evidence of an International Jewish conspiracy[tm] - which is to say there is very little evidence of that. Simply claiming that Black people are oppressed because White people invented time keeping or correct grammar is not evidence of systemic anything.

But of course you are right. Political correctness is a massive liberal infiltration.

I wouldn't focus on using logic. "So Much For Subtlety" also thinks there was a wide-ranging international conspiracy involving most governments in the world as well as all 49 state governors from both political parties to implement covid-19-related restrictions on businesses to damage the image of Donald Trump. Oh, and the captain of the USS Roosevelt was probably part of the conspiracy, too.

He is right on when he says the pledge to foster diversity doesn’t extend to diversity of opinions.
Academia is turning willingly or unwillingly into an intolerant orthodoxy. No dissent allowed if you want to work there.

"No dissent allowed if you want to work there."

lol sounds like the Trump administration

No. It doesn’t. The Trump administration does not pretend to foster a diversity of opinion, nor necessarily should it.

"I don’t ever recall hearing an academic saying things as offensive as the garbage Trump spews out."

What a sheltered life he must have led. Don't you have commie academics in the US?

Georgetown professor (2018): Kavanaugh supporters "deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes."

I don't care for Trump myself but this is just frothing at the mouth TDS.

Intellectual Yet Idiot (IYI): The inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policy making “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think and 5) who to vote for.

This looks like a comment created by a machine learning algorithm that has been fed all of Taleb's writings as training data.

The amount of antisemitism on campus today is frightening. We have professors tweeting anti-semetic garbage all the time. From memes talking about the Rothschilds to far, far worse. We have members of our government (dems) that have insisted the jews control the weather and far worse. Listen to the words that flow from a white liberal's mouth when they encounter a black person that leans republican. Again, all over campus you can see this.

Watch this video to see just how accepted this racism from the left is. This is UCSD.

Oh boo-boo. There’s some anti-Zionist sentiment on campuses. Big deal. The congress and the presidency are well over 90% bought-and-paid-for pro-Zionist.

Also: I fact-checked the thing about Jews controlling the weather and that is very questionable. But they do dominate the media and Hollywood.

More lies from Tyler. Here is a man who, you will recall, said that he didn't know enough about events at faraway places like Middlebury and Yale to comment about the situations of Alison Stanger and Erika Christakis, yet today he knows for sure that academics never say anything as offensive as Trump.

So much idiotic partisan bickering here. We all should be able to agree that a future ruled under a "who, whom" legal/social regime must be avoided no matter who is empowered to ask the question.

Will GMU be instituting compulsory White Fragility training seminars for its faculty and staff? Will it be over Zoom?

I'll comment because New Zealand was mentioned as one of the far away places where BLM demo's have taken place.

Well, these happened for us because BLM is symbolic of being in opposition to the 'system' ie the established 'hierarchy' of powers that be.

The protestors at our demo's tend to be comfortable young people but who feel empathy for the comparatively disenfranchised or excluded from social advancement (especially themselves). This tends to irritate adults who don't have an interest in having a 'finger of the scales (ie a motive for using such protests to achieve changes they want).

The US obsession with sacking racists for racism outside of work settings is strange because:

1. It doesn't solve the problem.
2. It is cruel in a nation where unemployment can be particularly harsh and cruelty all too often begets cruelty.
3. Unemployed racist people have been known to cause problems. Weimar Republic anyone?

Now I've read the comments I have a better idea of what is going on. Political moves are being made using BLM. I went back to some writing by Robert Sapolsky (the book "Behave" chpt 9) which seems to be pertinent wrt 'black on black violence'. Those at the bottom of a social hierarchy relieve their [life abreviating] stress by assaulting their peers and more particularly those weaker than themselves.

Is this why BLM is calling out 'systemic racism'? Surely it must apply to all poor people? Or is this not allowed to be said? That suggests the BLM just want to insert themselves high into your system.

If you beat up rangas specifically because they are rangas, they are going to say, "Stop beating up rangas." They are not going to say, "All hair colours are equally valid, so you shouldn't beat rangas." People don't work that way.

+1 bucketful of harvard level sophistry
only in sociologyland would assaulting peers&the weak be rationalized by
"stress relief"

I guess I can’t help myself on the worst comment section of MR I’ve read. Maybe the Chinese are spamming this blog?

“Obviously the death was a horrible injustice, but the world is full of horrible injustices”

I still can’t believe GF got more protests than the anti-shutdown folks. I personally think wires got crossed as mainstream media portrayed the anti lock downs as racist and that most of these GF protesters (who are white and 18years old) were protesting lockdown but pretending to protest GF so they could pretend to be woke. They will all be conservatives in a few years when they get that 40% tax bill.

Where are the protests for our tax rates? I mean 50 cents of every dollar we make goes to someone else! This is the big injustice! Why aren’t Americans protesting our tax rate! I get it that it sucks for a couple people to die, but what about everyone giving away half of their income?

Here is something “offensive” you won’t hear from Trump or a LD academic: the US would be better off if voting was still restricted to property owners.

US tax revenue is around 25% of GDP. Maybe you need a new accountant if you are paying 50 cents from every dollar you make.

We have a “progressive” federal tax. I’m not rich enough to live off gains. 35 federal, 8 sales, + employment tax = 50 for most working Americans.

Okay, but a marginal tax rate of 50% is very different from "50 cents of every dollar we make goes to someone else." In Australia the solution to having a high marginal tax rate is to get richer. It may sound counterproductive to set things up that way, but the process is character building. I'd even say the financial discipline required will set a good example for your children, but if you have financial discipline you're not going to have any of those.

"Most working Americans" do not even pay marginal rates of 35 federal nor 8 state. So even if you understood marginal tax rates, which you don't, you are talking only about high earners.

What a LD. Everyone pays the piper.

Every pro-choice academic (and remember, Planned Parenthood aborts black babies at multiple rates to their abortion rates victimizing white babies).... every pro-choice academic says racists things that are worse things than anything Trump has ever said every single time the pro-choice academic defends Planned Parenthood.

Everybody knows that.

Most Trump supporters would prefer Trump tone down the rhetoric. You don’t appreciate how offended many Trump supporters are of Progressive/Democrat arrogance toward’s them. All the talk of deplorables and “cling to their guns and religion”-particularly, their assault on Judeo Christianity is deeply offensive. If Obama had run as he talked like he would during the 2008 campaign, Trump would very likely not be President. But Obama decided “elections have consequences” and went left.

You seem to forget the 2012 election, in which Obama was reelected pretty convincingly, including wins in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

It was obvious to most people at the time but recent events add new perspective on Obama's "leftist" policies. Obama's stimulus package and auto bailout pale in comparison to recent legislation passed by Republican legislators and signed by a Republican President, putting to lie the notion that these were "leftist" measures to begin with. And, quibble with the details, but some sort of health care-related safety net for the working class and middle class continues to be extremely popular with the public.

"I don’t ever recall hearing an academic saying things as offensive as the garbage Trump spews out."
Then Scott hasn't spent much time around humanities professors.

Bingo. Hell back when UWM had a three credits of mandatory diversity requirement for all undergrad degrees (no idea if that still exists, I went a long time ago) my intersectionality class (not that it was called that then) teacher made Trump look like Mother Teresa in comparison.

Scott sumner and Bryan Caplan we’re virgins until their late twenties. It explains everything about them.

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