Given The Opportunity And The Power, Blacks Will Discriminate Against Whites, Women Will Discriminate Against Men, Gays Will Discriminate Against Straights, And Liberals Will Discriminate Against Conservatives, Because That’s What Human Beings Tend To Do. Now What? I Recommend “In The Heat OF The Night”….

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a long time, at least since February, when professional women’s basketball star Candace Wiggins, who retired from the WNBA last year after eight seasons in the league, told  reporters that she was bullied and harassed during her career because she was not gay.

“Me being heterosexual and straight and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge,” Wiggins said. “I would say 98 percent of the women in the WNBA are gay women. It was a conformist type of place. There was a whole different set of rules they [the other players] could apply.” She says it drove her out of the league and the game. The WNBA denied her allegations, and the story wasn’t around very long.  Gays don’t bully, they ARE bullied! Then, this week, ThinkProgress reported that a former University of Southern California point guard, Camille LeNoir, alleged she was denied an assistant coaching job in the New Mexico State University athletic department because she had the “wrong” sexual orientation.  She claims that she had a firm job offer when the school thought she was a lesbian, but when she announced that she no longer regarded herself as gay, the offer was rescinded. This week, a federal judge in California decided to allow her discrimination case to advance.

I don’t know whether the perceptions of either Wiggins or LeNoir are accurate, but I don’t doubt that the kind of bullying and prejudice they describe goes on. There have been similar accounts in other women’s sports, like tennis and golf. Yes, it appears that unlike the male side (with the exception of men’s figure skating), gay women dominate many if not all women’s sports. I will eschew writing something arch like, “Who would have suspected?” in favor of the more direct, “This should come as no surprise, but saying so will offend feminists, female athletes and lesbians anyway.”

One would think that when a historically oppressed and discriminated-against group gains power or perceives that it has power, it would behave toward others as it wishes it had been treated during all those years of being marginalized. Alas, the opposite is usually the case, and most of the time. In one of my worlds, professional theater, gay men dominate, and there are theaters that have the reputation of actively discriminating against straight actors. Hollywood, of course has become a workplace where being revealed as a conservative is to face virtual blacklisting. Give a minority power, and as often as not, what emerges are bullies and bigots.

The same is now being seen in academia. The University of Nebraska relieved Courtney Lawton, a graduate student instructor, from her teaching duties after she publicly flashed a middle finger to  the president of the school’s Turning Point USA chapter, Katie Mullen, while she was recruiting on campus, and along with at least two professors, identified as Prof. Amanda Gailey and Prof. Julia Schleck, verbally harassed Mullen, calling her a Nazi among other epithets, until she was reduced to tears.  Campus police arrived and affirmed her right to peacefully man the organization table, as she had been doing. The bullying by the faculty members continued, however, eventually caused Mullen to leave the event under police escort.

“Our expectations for civility were not met by the lecturer in her behavior,” the university said in a statement. Boy, I love these statements crafted to avoid  saying what they have an obligation to say.

Many professors then joined students to protest the action against Lawton. English professor Fran Kaye argued that even though the incident took place on campus, involved a university organization, and involved a teacher bullying a student, Lawton was acting as a private citizen at the time. Right. The American college campus is becoming an environment where it is considered virtuous to harass conservatives, Trump supporters and any student who does not accept majority cant.

While this post was in draft last night, I found myself watching “In the Heat of The Night,” (1967) the Oscar winning drama featuring Sidney Poitier ( “They call me Mr. Tibbs!”) as an erudite African American cop from the Northeast who assists a Southern small town police chief (Rod Steiger, establishing the stereotype of the cracker cop for all time) in a murder investigation.  Poitier is called a nigger, attacked, and generally treated by everyone in the town as a second-class human being. In the most famous scene, a wealthy and powerful citizen slaps Tibbs for daring to question him, and Tibbs slaps the white man right back. Later, the sheriff tells Tibbs that he can’t act like that in the town, and demands that he leave before he is killed. Seething with hate, Poitier shouts that given a little bit more time, “I can pull that fat cat down. I can bring him right off this hill!”

“Oh, boy…” says Steiger, who won an Academy Award for Best Actor in his role, slowly, almost smiling at the black man who has made it plain that he has utter contempt for the racist citizens and the police as well. “Man, you’re just like the rest of us, ain’t ya?”

Poitier’s expression as he realizes—shame, enlightenment, dawning humility— that he also has the capacity for bigotry is one of the great moments of eloquent acting in film history.

19 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Arts & Entertainment, Education, Gender and Sex, Popular Culture, Race, Rights, U.S. Society

19 responses to “Given The Opportunity And The Power, Blacks Will Discriminate Against Whites, Women Will Discriminate Against Men, Gays Will Discriminate Against Straights, And Liberals Will Discriminate Against Conservatives, Because That’s What Human Beings Tend To Do. Now What? I Recommend “In The Heat OF The Night”….

  1. Tippy Scales

    Having gone to a Detroit school that was 98 percent black, and having endured the quaint little tradition known as “Honkey Friday,” I can assure you blacks are perfectly capable of discriminating when they’re in the majority. Ask any white guy who goes to prison. I’ve also been in work situations where female bosses openly discriminated against men.

    The notion that we even have to discuss this is ridiculous. As if straight white males are born with an inherent “racism” gene that other groups don’t possess. But with white males being openly demonized for more than a decade, there are lots of people who actually believe and propagate this crap.

  2. Isaac

    What with the current generation being famously ignorant about just about everything and all, it’s a shame they don’t know much about the Rwandan genocide (there are countless similar tales throughout history, but Rwanda was only 25 years ago and you’d think it’d be fresh in everyone’s mind.) The oppressed can very easily, and very quickly become the oppressors.

    The Hutu were every bit the marginalized, persecuted victims. Exploited for labor by Europeans for generations, forced to obey and serve the fairer-skinned, wealthier Tutsi minority. Treated as second-class citizens. Gradually discrimination against them became illegal and the Hutu gained equal rights, and protection against discrimination. The Belgians had cleared out and the Hutu and Tutsi had a chance to treat one another as equals, share the country, and put the past behind them, which the Tutsi were for the most part willing to do. The laws were in place, there was a shared government with a Hutu majority, and the stage was set for reconciliation, but the Hutu were still, on the whole, poorer and less educated by the Tutsi. There was intense resentment among them, constant drudging up of the past, and an unwillingness to wait until time and intermingling evened things out economically. And of course, politicians and media-types willing to stir up the racial enmity for their own selfish reasons. Sounds awfully familiar.

    It’s doubtful that the next part of the story (with the mass executions, chopped-up babies, and child rapes) would play out the same way here in America…but wherever there are socialists looking for a wave of useful idiots to ride into power, there’s going to be an element calling for a “revolution” against the “oppressors” and fashioning whatever group is happiest with their lives into the role of said oppressors; the monsters for the vengeful mob to slay. It’s how the Young Turk Party worked up their miserable followers into a lather against the Armenians, how Hitler convinced Germans to feel okay about rounding up Jews…and now I’ve gone and broke Godwin’s Law.

    Whenever I see someone on social media calling on People of Color to stop being constrained by things like kindness and morality and start getting nasty against The Others because THE TIMES DEMAND IT, I recommend encouraging/trolling them with a cry of “Hutu power!” They’d have no idea what you’re talking about though.

    • JP

      For those of you who have read my post, I often relate my experiences in what happened to me in China. Before I went, I was required to read a list of books. One of them was called Wild Swans. It is the story of three generations of women who lived in China since the time of Chinese Warlords.

      The book mostly describes the rise of the People’s Party (or more commonly called The Party). Those it is told from one person’s perspective, it is certainly an interesting one. The book describes how it was the young who Mao rallied behind even when he lost face during the Great Leap Forward. It was the young who pushed his agenda, kick-started his power (again and again) and why he was able to do the things he was able to do.

      While I would not have considered this particularly noteworthy, I remember my grandpa saying something similar about Hitler during WW2. My grandpa, though not a Jew, was a teenager in German-occupied Poland at the time. He and his family were all put in a work camp because of what my grandpa suspected were a group of college-age people and their “activist activities.”

      It is said that in USSR during the cold war many people disappeared as a result of their children or their neighbors or people who just didn’t like them would report some offense to the government. I almost feel sorry for those children who didn’t have the foresight to realize what is going on. Those kinds of bring me to my point.

      I don’t want this to be a ‘millennials are bad’ kind of post. Frankly, I am not even sure it’s really their fault. We see the state of schools and academia and how they treat them. This age group is the most impressionable, most flexible, and most ideological (and perhaps most shortsighted), so it makes sense that people like Mao, Stalin, and Hitler have used them to ride to power and hold on to their power.

      Though I do not think America is to the point where of Mao, Stalin, and Hitler, and it scary to think that history could again be repeating itself. So what do we do? Well, in the words of Michelle Obama, when they go low, we have to go high. Jack said yesterday in his post regarding High Ace that he would continue to educate as long as he could. I think this is very big of him (and the right thing to do). I do not think it is suicidal to continue to show others the Golden Rule despite how much they continue to ignore it. History has shown that people will wake up to these issues, and I think that can be proven true as long as we are able to keep ethics and decency alive.

      • Isaac

        Agree 100%. I try to say things to promote harmony and egalitarianism, like, “Sorry but my White, Black, and police officer friends aren’t down for your race war,” or “Everyone should be evaluated and judged as an individual,” because statements like that are just about impossible to disagree with. If everyone just stuck with that

        However, there are Leftist talking-points in place to try to counteract the principles of harmony and egalitarianism. “Racism is prejudice plus power” is basically just a combination of “they did it first” and “Black people can’t be racist,” and it doesn’t make sense, but it IS popular on college campuses. There’s also a Leftist media campaign against the idea of being “color-blind” which we are supposed to believe is now code for “racist.”
        All of which shows how desperate the far-Left is to break through the wall presented by the decency and peaceableness of most Americans. They’ve got to convince their constituents that it’s okay, nay, necessary to unilaterally hate groups of people based on surface characteristics.

        • “Racism is prejudice plus power”

          One way to counter this, especially with young people, is to try to get them to search back and decide exactly when this “power” accrued. The great majority of people through the great majority of history have been essentially powerless, more or less at the mercy of nature. Little quotes from writings don’t reflect the experience of the average person, because people like that couldn’t read or write.

    • Arthur in Maine

      This is a COTD if I’ve ever seen one.

  3. Wayne

    All these recently coined terms “homophobic”, “white privilege”, “misogynistic” ad naseaum are designed to put whitey (especially white straight males) in their place. It doesn’t matter if you are Andrew Dice Clay, David Duke, or some innocent college student who wouldn’t hurt a fly by word or deed. You are guilty by possession of your genes and there is no escaping it.

  4. JP

    Side note: as a state senator is it unethical for him to call for the firing of these professors? I think no because it is a public school in his state and as such, he has some say so in its conduct.

  5. Racism is not all of bigotry. I propose a Grand Unified Theory of Bigotry:

    1. Bigotry consists of attributing qualities to groups without any sort of statistical basis. Norwegians may or may not be fat on average, but if you refer to “those fat Norwegians” without data to back it up, you’re a bigot.

    2. Even if you have such a statistical basis, it’s bigotry to use it in an unfair way. Even if 70% of Norwegians are fat, if you focus on the fat Norwegians while ignoring the 75% of fat Swedes and 80% of fat Danes, you’re a bigot.

    3. Unfair assertions of bigotry will cause further bigotry. Repeated unfair assertions that the Swedes hate the Danes will lead to some Swedes hardening toward the Danes, and some Danes assuming the role of victim of the Swedes.

    4. It is possible to be a bigot against a group one belongs to. This is done by the bigot mentally separating him- or herself from the group, and thereafter treating it with condescension. This process is known as “becoming a snob.”

    Comments, additions, subtractions are welcomed.

  6. Other Bill

    I think the Chris-es and the Spartys of the world are typical of their age group. As Sparty commented recently, nothing here will change her mind. She’s right and non-lefties are wrong, end of story. I think it’s an age/generational thing. Of course, I don’t know what to make of the Charles-es and Bernie Sanders-es of the world. How full grown adults can be socialists is beyond me.

    • ”How full grown adults can be socialists is beyond me.”

      Easy, they hilariously believe that after the Revolution, they’ll be, at best, the Philosopher Kings/Queens, and, at worst, their minions.

      They being amongst the great, oppressed unwashed is beyond the realm of probability. They can’t fathom they won’t be the ones establishing policy, enforcing acceptable behaviors, and…um…reeducating the holdouts.

      Why? they’re just too gosh darn smart/hip/tolerant/prescient/forward thinking for it to turn out any other way.

      There are more than a few that have helped Kim Jong-un along that now find themselves in the ranks of the ‘formerly living.’

      A “One-Party” State with laughably phony ‘elections,’ no tolerance of dissent, rife with human rights abuses, and which jails or murders its detractors.

      What could possibly go wrong?

  7. Many professors then joined students to protest the action against Lawton. English professor Fran Kaye argued that even though the incident took place on campus, involved a university organization, and involved a teacher bullying a student, Lawton was acting as a private citizen at the time. Right. The American college campus is becoming an environment where it is considered virtuous to harass conservatives, Trump supporters and any student who does not accept majority cant.

    I wonder if it is about principals, not principles.

    What would they say about this case?

    https://ethicsalarms.com/2015/03/10/ethics-quiz-abuse-free-speech-rights-or-ignore-them/

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