Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/22/18: Nanoo Nanoo, And The Oxford Comma

Good Morning!

1 . From the “Oh, Come on!” files. As I have mentioned here several times, Georgetown Law professor Professor Paul Butler decided to ambush me with a cheap shot on NPR last year, interjecting “Oh come on!” as I was explaining how a celebrity or prominent man’s inappropriate sexual advances could be initially welcome to a female subordinate, and then later, after, say, the same celebrity is regarded as toxic by that woman’s peer group, what were originally “welcome” (or not unwelcome) attentions could become retroactively unwelcome, prompting an accusation of sexual harassment. I was 100% correct. Last month, in an email exchange on ten topic with the NPR host, I was told that both she and the professor thought I was making excuses for Donald Trump.

Thus does Trump hate and bias make intelligent discourse increasingly difficult. If I had used Al Franken as my example instead of the President, I presume my commentary would not have been kneecapped. But I digress…

In jaw-dropping revelations in a new book coming out in May, actress Pam Dawber and others describe how co-star Robin Williams often treated her and other actresses on the set of “Mork and Mindy.” The book discusses Williams’ “improvisations”…

[M]any of these additions were sexual and directed at the women in the cast, such as when he goosed the actress who played Mindy’s grandmother with a cane.

[Director Howard] Storm said: ‘I’m standing there watching this and I’m thinking, “oh my god” and I just laughed. I thought she was going to turn and say: “How dare you stick a cane in a woman’s ass?” That sweet old lady.’There was nothing lascivious about it, in his mind. It was just Robin being Robin, and he thought it would be funny. He could get away with murder.’

Other times Williams would grab Dawber’s bottom or her breasts simply because he was ‘bored.’ 

‘He’d be doing a paragraph and in the middle of it he would just turn and grab her ass. Or grab a breast. And we’d start again. I’d say, “Robin, there’s nothing in the script that says you grab Pam’s ass.” And he’d say: “Oh, ok,”‘ Storm added.  

Garry Marshall, the producer of the show, said: ‘He would take all his clothes off, he would be standing there totally naked and she was trying to act. His aim in life was to make Pam Dawber blush.’

But Dawber remained unfazed, she admits: ‘I had the grossest things done to me – by him. And I never took offense. I mean I was flashed, humped, bumped, grabbed. I think he probably did it to a lot of people…but it was so much fun.

‘Somehow he had that magic. If you put it on paper you would be appalled. But somehow he had this guileless little thing that he would do – those sparkly eyes. He’d look at you, really playful, like a puppy, all of a sudden. And then he’d grab your tits and then run away. And somehow he could get away with it. It was the Seventies, after all’.

Wait: if it was the 70’s, does that mean that in the parallel universe where Robin Williams has conquered his demons and is running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican (those parallel universes are funky, let me tell you), Dawber couldn’t come out and destroy his candidacy by describing his outrageous behavior? Does it mean everyone would say that she was being unfair, and that she wouldn’t be lionized as another #MeToo hero?

Other observations:
  • I don’t care when it was: a director and producer who allow that kind of conduct in the workplace are enabling criminal behavior.
  • You wondered how Louis C.K. got te idea that masturbating in front of women was OK? Wonder no longer.
  • So charming that Williams could get away with literally anything! Let me be precise: any Hollywood actor or actress who feigned shock and disgust at Donald Trump’s recorded “grab them by the pussy” remarks is a liar and a hypocrite…and by that I mean that if they expressed it, they were feigning it. For this is the culture they made, lived in, worked in, enabled and facilitated.
  • And this is the King’s Pass and the Star Syndrome, ladies and gentlemen! Without Williams, a unique talent and unquestionably irreplaceable, “Mork and Mindy” would cease to exist, Dawber, Marshall, director Storm and “the sweet old lady” would be out of work. So they all allowed him to terrorize the set, and Williams took his license to the max.
  • I didn’t quote the part where Dawber said that Williams would intentionally fart on her.
  • Once Kevin Spacey had been jettisoned from “House of Cards” and it was clear that his chances of rising again were worse than Dracula’s, actors and techies on that show described that show as one where the star was allowed to run amuck. This will not change in Hollywood, despite the current grandstanding, posturing and virtue-signalling.  If there is a successful show depednent on a unique talent who abuses his or her power, the abuse will be enabled by those in charge and the victims.

2. I could say that this result would make me less likely to vote for a woman, but that would be wrong. A poll of college students sponsored by the American Council on Education, the Charles Koch Foundation, and the Stanton Foundation asked students about how important free speech was on campuses.  A majorities of the students polled said they supported both free speech and “inclusion and diversity.” When asked which was more important, 53 percent said inclusion and diversity and only 46 percent said free speech. Among men, 61% favored free speech, and only 35% of women did so.

The growing partisan gender gap is widely being represented in the media as a split between knuckle-dragging, gun-toting, toxic, authoritarian, patriarchal pussy-grabbers and the smarter, gentler, non-violent fairer sex.  This poll suggests otherwise. It also tells me that if a majority of college students don’t value freedom of speech above “inclusion and diversity,” which are useful weasel words that can mean, and often do, quotas, political correctness bullying and reverse-discrimination, then our colleges are indoctrinating their charges in anti-American values.

3. I wonder where she went to school? Chloe Angyal, deputy opinion editor of The Huffington Post, used a series of tweets to communicate this  last week:

Month two of @HuffPost Opinion is almost done. This month we published: 63% women, inc. trans women; 53% writers of colour.Our goals for this month were: less than 50% white authors (check!), Asian representation that matches or exceeds the US population (check!), more trans and non-binary authors (check, but I want to do better).We also wanted to raise Latinx representation to match or exceed the US population. We didn’t achieve that goal, but we’re moving firmly in the right direction.I check our numbers at the end of every week, because it’s easy to lose track or imagine you’re doing better than you really are, and the numbers don’t lie… (The numbers also don’t tell the whole story — about disability, geography, socioeconomics and more).But the work is not onerous and it’s definitely not impossible. If we can do it, every other opinion page can do it, too.And if you have an oped to pitch, here’s how you can do that. We pay, we edit with care and we are anti-Oxford comma.

She’s a bigot, and a publication that permits this kind of bias to be celebrated should be shunned. (I seldom use HuffPo any more.) Striving for diversity of opinion is one thing; making group identification a criteria for publication is unethical.

And not using the Oxford comma is just stupid.

 

54 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Humor and Satire, Popular Culture, Workplace

54 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/22/18: Nanoo Nanoo, And The Oxford Comma

  1. 1. First, we had Godwin’s Law and now Marshall’s Law (ML). With ML eventually, any differing opinion will have Trump placed firmly in play to dismiss any debate. Gee….I miss the good old days where plain “Your a racist” would suffice.

  2. Let me be precise: any Hollywood actor or actress who feigned shock and disgust at Donald Trump’s recorded “grab them by the pussy” remarks is a liar and a hypocrite

    That is hardly news.

    Many of them embraced the “It’s only about sex” rationalization in the 1990’s.

  3. Alex

    I’ll quote myself from an old exchange with a friend on grammar: “The Oxford comma is not a matter of style. It is a matter of correctness.”

    • Other Bill

      The comma that mystifies me is the one placed outside of close quotation marks by Brits and non-US academics writing in English.

      • Alex

        AAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!! 😀

        No. Unless the quoted subject is speaking the comma, it should go outside.

        Consider the case where the quote is at the end of a sentence:

        Fred said, “Good morning.”
        vs.
        Fred said, “Good morning”.

        They both look the same and mean the same thing. (Also notice that the comma after said is outside the quotation marks, but this is a minor point)

        Now let’s get excited:

        Fred said, “Good morning!”
        vs.
        Fred said, “Good morning”!

        In the first case, Fred is excitedly greeting; in the second I am excitedly reporting Fred’s greeting. When we swap it around:

        “Good morning,” said Fred.

        The pause is there because I am reporting what Fred said, not because he paused after saying good morning (which he may have, but unless you want to explicitly report that pause, it should go outside).

        I learned the rule when I learned English, and while I follow it in my writing, I find it jarring.

  4. 1. “[A show] where the star was allowed to run amuck…will not change in Hollywood, despite the current grandstanding, posturing and virtue-signalling. If there is a successful show dependent on a unique talent who abuses his or her power, the abuse will be enabled by those in charge and the victims.”

    That, I hope, is the most saddening, pathetic, and damning truth I will read all day. But, it probably won’t be.

    Everybody will start doing it AGAIN, eventually.
    And so Jack’s Rationalization #1 will rise from the dead (or, from the grave Jack has dug for it). And “Wrong is Right!” will TRIUMPH and RULE!

    (To get away with future crimes, especially sex crimes, you just have to make sure that you are “in” with the right group of “goodthinkers.”)

  5. JP

    “But I don’t want your drama
    If you really wanna
    Leave out that Oxford comma”

    Weird Al

  6. Steve-O-in-NJ

    It’s hard for me to properly articulate the disgust I feel in light of Pam Dawber’s revelations. I was in Europe on vacation when Robin Williams took his own life, and I felt like the world had become that much sadder of a place, as one very bright light of laughter dimmed and one very loud voice for the resiliency of humanity fell silent. It was a supreme irony as the one man who could make everyone laugh couldn’t conquer his own internal sadness.

    Still, the fact is that feeling was as much due to a legend as to any kind of truth. The fact is that Robin Williams, like Jim Carrey, like George Carlin, and like any number of other successful humorists, leaned a little too far into the realm of self-importance and played a bit fast and loose with facts. Most of us remember the silly Orkan expressions and manic behavior of Mork from Ork. Most of us don’t remember that after the hilarious slapstick first season the series tried to become not only a romance but to take on every social issue from racism to guns, and the ratings sagged like an old burlap sack.

    Most of us remember Patch Adams putting on a clown nose and teaching that laughter is the best medicine and Adrian Cronauer shouting “Gooooooooood morning Vietnam!’ before putting on the latest popular songs, when in reality Adams is viewed as something of a quack on the level of anti-vaxxers and Cronauer neither attempted to be funny on the radio nor butted heads with the leadership in Vietnam. We don’t remember the faux-profound “What Dreams May Come” or his ill-conceived attempt to bring humor to the Holocaust with “Jakob the Liar.”

    Frankly, the latter two efforts, together with Jim Carrey’s attempt to be profoundly serious with “The Majestic” should never have seen the light of day, but because the two actors had been successful at making audiences laugh, doors opened that maybe shouldn’t have. I accepted all of this, though, thinking that’s just the way Hollywood works and big stars get big breaks, so just take what you like and ignore what you don’t.

    With this revelation, though, I can’t view Williams as anything other than a pig. He wasn’t a talented guy who overreached a little with his talent and thought a little too highly of himself. He was no different than the football player or the good-looking rich kid who knows he’s good looking, who abused the privilege that came with it. Not only did he abuse it, he abused it more than most. This wasn’t asking uninterested women who’d made it clear they were uninterested out on dates. This wasn’t asking awkward questions. This wasn’t even annoying, creepy, but not actually assaultive behavior like leering. Hell, this wasn’t even a gray area. This was living out every fourteen-year-old’s wet dream or daydream fantasy of just reaching out and squeezing whatever you felt like squeezing whenever you felt like squeezing it and getting away with it. Apparently that wasn’t enough, either, he also had to act like an asshole toward those who held no sexual interest for him.

    My question is, even if the cast and crew of the show just bit their tongues because they didn’t want to lose their meal tickets, where were the families/significant others of the people he abused? I know Pam Dawber wasn’t married at the time, but I refuse to believe she didn’t have boyfriends. I refuse to believe the other cast members didn’t have families. Why didn’t they do something? What Williams did to Dawber merits a significant other waiting for him in the parking lot with a tire iron, and it merits his memory being, if not erased, significantly downgraded, based on the whole record, not just the legend.

    2 and 3 are just par for the course now. #3 especially should come as no surprise, considering that the editorial board of Huffpo consists only of women, presumably women of similar mind to Arianna Huffington.

    • Your comment is COTD caliber, and a good foil to what I was writing at the same time below.

    • A.M. Golden

      “My question is, even if the cast and crew of the show just bit their tongues because they didn’t want to lose their meal tickets, where were the families/significant others of the people he abused? I know Pam Dawber wasn’t married at the time, but I refuse to believe she didn’t have boyfriends. I refuse to believe the other cast members didn’t have families. Why didn’t they do something? What Williams did to Dawber merits a significant other waiting for him in the parking lot with a tire iron, and it merits his memory being, if not erased, significantly downgraded, based on the whole record, not just the legend.”

      Steve, in an ordinary business, that might have been the case, but a boyfriend with a tire iron would have merited the same response as Pam slapping Robin across the face. Robin was the bread-winner; he got away with it. In Hollywood, if you make money, you are the one in charge, whether you’re Bill Cosby, Robin Williams or 10-year old Gary Coleman. They’ll put up with anything from you as long as you keep bringing in the dough.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Ironically, in the first episode of M&M, Mindy meets Mork walking on a lonely road after she fends off an attempt by her latest boyfriend to “jump from poetry to rock and roll,” after which he pushes her out of the car and drives off in a huff.

  7. Robin Williams was not allowed to ‘get away’ with things, he was impossible to prevent from doing those things, if he was not unconscious. Let me demonstrate:

    I once saw a live ‘Now’ with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric interview in which Robin took over the show. He ‘made’ Katie pet him like he was a dog and hid (from Tom) under her dress; he laid his head in Tom’s lap; he effectively fired the director and took over the camera crews, directing the shots while he instructed the audience to perform The Wave. He did not stop for commercial breaks, nor did he answer questions… at least, not past the first sentence, whereupon he went in whatever direction he pleased. He was totally out of control, out of order, and indescribably funny.

    I could see what Tom was thinking as his face struggled to hide his anger: “Never again will I go on air live with this moron.” Which made everything even more funny.

    I am not shocked that Robin acted as he did on set. Robin did whatever he thought the audience would think was funny, and he was seldom wrong. He was so guileless that he could get away with things that these days would get him arrested. Call it the ‘Jester’s Pass,’ if you will. I have never heard of another voice actor who the director just told a general story line and then recorded whatever came out of the actor’s mouth, spur of the moment. This is how the Genie’s monologues came into being on Disney’s Aladdin: Robin being Robin.

    Ethics is a general answer for particular situations. This means there will be exceptions in certain circumstances. Robin Williams was those exceptional circumstances, where the rules did not apply. Maybe a form of ethics incompleteness?

    • Eternal optometrist

      I never got robin williams – I found him exhausting to watch. I loved him in awakenings and dead poets society though – underrated dramatic actor.

      You can’t start giving exceptions. Are we going to excise cosbys indiscretions as bill being bill? (Not comparing the actions mind you). Harvey being Harvey? If you’re bored and looking for a laugh, and you have to resort to violating women, find another line of work.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      I tried to be impossible to stop too. My brother and I were 10 and 8 and would play off each other with the old joke about what’s red, green and goes about a hundred miles an hour. After the answer – a frog in a blender, which is gross enough- we would then ask what was red, green, and went about a hundred miles an hour backwards. When the target was stumped, we would both then do a strong inhale, indicating the answer was snot, which is sometimes streaked with dried blood. Our parents would try to stop us, but once we got going, good luck. Finally the joke had cycled through all the family and friends and was retired.

      I also tried to be unstoppable when I was first starting out and had read the original “Truly Tasteless Jokes” too many times. I had a huge arsenal of racist, sexist, anti-gay, transgressive (i.e. jokes about deaths, disasters, etc.), and gross-out jokes, together with at least a dozen bad foreign accents, and all I needed was an opportunity to cut loose. If I was criticized I would just say I was an equal opportunity hater who hated everyone. Unfortunately, I did not meet with the same level of success, and eventually had to rein myself in when I became a career public servant. Robin Williams is the one guy who never reined himself in and got away with it.

  8. 1. “Dawber? I just met her!” Did he ever use that one? I like to think that he did.

  9. Chris

    2. I can’t even express how much it dismays me that “inclusion and diversity” and “free speech” were represented as ideals in opposition to each other in that poll. If a campus is truly inclusive and diverse, it must be a place that tolerates free speech. If a campus truly tolerates free speech, it will be inclusive and diverse. I don’t blame the polling company, as many people do see these values as conflicting with one another, but that is because so many people do not understand what these values truly are.

    3. By the same token, I think you are positing “diversity” as a value in conflict with publishing the best writing without taking into account group identification; I don’t think those two ideals need to conflict, nor do I think anything in Angyal’s statement necessarily demonstrates that they are conflicting at HuffPo.

    • I think that if you hold diversity as a value, it almost per se stands in opposition to a merit based process, because merit based processes don’t tend to value diversity.

      I mean… This should be self evidently true… Even the people setting themselves up as champions of diversity don’t believe that equality of opportunity leads to representative diversity, I mean… If they believed that, they’d just manage their departments fairly and diversity would happen, right? In treating diversity like a culture that must be cultivated, managed, and maintained, they put lie to the idea that it would occur naturally.

      • Chris

        Jesus Christ.

        Humble Talent, there are two conclusions one could draw from what you just wrote

        1) That you don’t think different races, genders, or orientations naturally have similar levels of intelligence and skill.

        2) That you didn’t think about what you wrote very hard.

        Since I know you, I’m 99% confident the second conclusion is the right one.

        Yes, diversity absolutely would happen naturally in merit-based processes in the United States if it were not for unnatural systems of bias and discrimination that already exist in the United States. Diversity must be cultivated, managed, and maintained as a counterweight to these pre-existing systems of bias.

        • Do I think different races, genders or orientations have similar levels of intelligence or skill? I mean… Almost certainly not.

          No really… Sign me up for number 1. I’m not going to touch the biological aspect of that sentence with a twenty foot pole, because I’m not a biologist, but there’s the world we want and the world we live in, and in the world we live in, minorities have a lower average educational attainment than white Americans, and men still outnumber women in STEM more than 3 to 1. If all things were equal, then we’d be able to look at whether there was a biological component at play, but all things aren’t equal. There is no universe where the graduation rates are what they are and minorities and women are on average as skilled as the average worker, and there’s no reason to assume otherwise.

          We can talk about fixing the culture that creates that truth, but by the time people enter the workforce they’re part of the statistics, and aiming at proportional representation from a population that was not educated in a proportional way is asinine. There almost certainly is an actual racial skills gap.

          • Chris

            Sign me up for number 1. I’m not going to touch the biological aspect of that sentence with a twenty foot pole, because I’m not a biologist, but there’s the world we want and the world we live in, and in the world we live in, minorities have a lower average educational attainment than white Americans, and men still outnumber women in STEM more than 3 to 1. If all things were equal, then we’d be able to look at whether there was a biological component at play, but all things aren’t equal. There is no universe where the graduation rates are what they are and minorities and women are on average as skilled as the average worker, and there’s no reason to assume otherwise.

            We can talk about fixing the culture that creates that truth, but by the time people enter the workforce they’re part of the statistics, and aiming at proportional representation from a population that was not educated in a proportional way is asinine. There almost certainly is an actual racial skills gap.

            Here you seem to be acknowledging that the gap is likely due mostly to culture, not nature, but that is very different from what your original comment implied, which was that diversity “would not occur naturally.” So yeah, you didn’t think about what you were saying in your original comment.

            Fixing the culture that creates that gap would absolutely require holding diversity as a value and believing in merit-based processes–actual ones, not ones already stacked against women and minorities. So you’re making my point for me.

            • Again… I’m not willing to say there ISN’T a biological reason in play… Especially among genders, there’s so much evidence that hormonal differences effect behavior that I’d be surprised if there wasn’t SOME effect on life choices…. But I don’t particularly want to make that argument because it’s really far outside my wheelhouse, and frankly I don’t need to because the world we live in has all these cultural differences that create obvious inequality before we get within a country mile of trying to explain why those cultures might be what they are.

              Because we live in the real world, and because in the real world there is almost certainly a skills gap between minorities and white people, and men and women, there is no way for “diversity” and “merit” to order themselves. Pushing for diversity will deviate from merit because merit isn’t diverse.

              • Chris

                So what’s the solution? Obviously making a special effort to recruit meritorious minorities and women is out in your book. So what do you propose we do to counteract the cultural forces preventing minorities and women from competing in merit-based systems? Nothing?

                • The problem with progressives is that they think there is an answer to every problem, and just coincidentally, those answers invariably involve a crippling level of bureaucracy.

                  Look, merely employing people will not in and of itself give them more merit…. In a lot of ways, this is a generational problem, and it has to be treated that way, we have to encourage the young, give them all the advantages they need to get on in life, they need better opportunities than their parents had. Am I writing off the current generation of adults? In a lot of ways, yes, you aren’t ever going to take uneducated, unemployed people of any demographic and en masse raise them to boardrooms…. But you might get their kids there, or their grandkids. When my grandparents, dirt farmers, stepped off the boat, they knew that the rest of their lives would be spent working hard so that their kids would do better, my father, who never graduated high school, worked full time as a Postal worker and farmed in the Summer, on weekends in the winter, he worked for contractors renovating houses, I am the first person in my family to get a post secondary education EVER. That hope for future generations gave their lives meaning.

                  • Chris

                    The problem with progressives is that they think there is an answer to every problem, and just coincidentally, those answers invariably involve a crippling level of bureaucracy.

                    Racism is a problem created by humans. It stands to reason that humans can create solutions to that problem.

                    Look, merely employing people will not in and of itself give them more merit…. In a lot of ways, this is a generational problem, and it has to be treated that way, we have to encourage the young, give them all the advantages they need to get on in life, they need better opportunities than their parents had.

                    Agreed. How?

                    • This is the point in the conversation that starts to depress me. I don’t know. We have so many single babies raising babies. Single motherhood is a blight, and it’s a statistic that’s getting worse. Without a nuclear family arrangement, or failing that, even a healthy communal support system, I don’t know what a solution looks like, because whatever house is built on that foundation of sand is so fragile, and I’d argue that using the government as a stand-in for that support system is almost a worse solution.

                    • Chris writes: Racism is a problem created by humans. It stands to reason that humans can create solutions to that problem.

                      This is a strangely false statement. It sounds good, that is, it conforms to correct ideology, and yet it is totally false when more closely examined. First, the word ‘racism’ and ‘racist’ have to be pulled out of their ideological tower and the profound ideological imposition in the word exposed to the light of day:

                      The term “racist” can be used in all sorts of different ways. In one statement it will refer to ungodly hatred or murder based solely on race; in another, it will refer to believing that race exists; in another, it will refer to any advocacy of white interests (e.g. a White Student Union); in another, it will refer to noticing that someone belongs to a particular race; in another, it will refer to any treatment of people that differs according to race (e.g. an immigration policy); in another, it will refer to any treatment of people that does not suitably differ according to race (e.g. non-affirmative action hiring); in another, it will refer to any joke that references a person’s race, unless he’s white; in another, it will refer to believing that whites are better at anything than non-whites; in another, it will refer to any preference a person has for his own race rather than another, if the culprit is white; in another, it will refer to any whites who are not sufficiently genuflective or penitent towards non-whites; and so on. Notwithstanding its ever-changing meaning – or rather, precisely because of it – the term’s practical utility consists in its crushing any promotion of European interests, especially European Christian interests, as if with the wave of a wand. Ever since the term was first popularized by communist Leon Trotsky, “racist” has become a favorite word in the arsenal of both liberals and conservatives. But any accuser of racism, for his charge to stick, must prove two claims: (1) that “racism,” as he is employing the term, is a sin, and (2) that the men accused of “racism,” as he defines it, are guilty of that act. Often an accuser of racism can establish either (1) or (2), but a case cannot be made to establish both (1) and (2) against our website or the principles we and our cohorts promote.

                      It is not ‘consciousness of difference’ that has been ‘created, Comrade Chris, but rahter that the term ‘racism’ has been created by those who serve various ideological masters. A bit of critical self-analysis is in order, comrade!

                      The ideology was created with specific though often hidden ideological purposes in order to socially engineer communities of people for specific ends. This corresponds, I’d imagine, to the ‘outcome based’ education-process which, I gather, your use in the California classroom. The real and the true ideological ‘problem’ is that the term ‘racist’ and ‘racism’ have become weapons for devious processes which, as I do not ever tire in repeating, have to be seen and exposed. Then, the whole ‘project’ of ‘create solutions to that problem’ will be seen in a different light as the business-end of a specific ideology and ideological imposition.

                      As you begin to de-construct these false edifices, comrade, always know that you can rely on me for emotional and intellectual support…

                      Smash Cultural Marxism! And do it with a 😉

                    • Humble Talon: Look, merely employing people will not in and of itself give them more merit…. In a lot of ways, this is a generational problem, and it has to be treated that way, we have to encourage the young, give them all the advantages they need to get on in life, they need better opportunities than their parents had.

                      Chris: Agreed. How?

                      :::: raises hand excitedly ::::

                      I know, I know! Teach them how to think about and how to see their world!

        • What does diversity mean, it your supposition? That members of each race/nationality/gender would be represented more often, in more occupations? Or that the representation would fall closer to the overall representation of the US?

        • Comrade Chris writes: 1) That you don’t think different races, genders, or orientations naturally have similar levels of intelligence and skill.

          2) That you didn’t think about what you wrote very hard.

          During the Cultural Revolution in China I’d imagine that one cadre challenged another cadre to ‘Do a little critical self-analysis, comrade!’ The second cadre would take the admonition in great seriousness because, if he did not, he could be ‘denounced’.

          What is stated in 1) is a statement that comes from an ‘ideological imposition’. Madison Grant, a laywer and a Harvard alumnus, just a few short years ago wrote openly and directly about race and culture issues in the United States. He wrote in clear, honest prose and he expressed ideas that were based in honest analysis and a realistic perspective. He wrote in the 20s and 30s (for example ‘The Passing of the Great Race’ which was a very popular title). It is a very good book and worth reading. But it is actually, in America, a prohibited title. Maybe at the library you’d have to get a special permit or permission to check it? But what is more likely is that it was taken off the shelves…

          But over the course of a very short period of time — I suggest because of the introduction of a forced ideological imposition — the understandings expressed therein were reverse-engineered and made to seem morally wrong. This all happened during certain specific years: from 1930-1960. A new intellectual directorate entered on the scene. New powers, new backing from government, but especially the backing and the boosterism from the radicals now ensconsed in the Academy. You know, those who have socially engineered the culture from top to bottom. Again, this is all *your generation* (if you are a Boomer) who has allowed all this to happen.)

          The ‘science’ is then made to follow the New Ideology and cannot deviate from it for reasons similar to why the second cadre must take the first cadres admonitions seriously: big trouble for those who deviate from the Party Line. If in this one instance a given person can see and understand how shame-based and threat-based Ideological Imposition works, then it stands to reason that they could begin to see how it operates in many different areas, and how this ties in with a destruction of essential intellectual capacities. You have to learn how not to see what you clearly see with your own two eyes. Or, you have to be trained from the start to *see* in accord with ideological impositions.

          This problem, I am coming to understand, is grave and pervasive. It is not just the ‘progressive’ who is the victim of this anti-intellectual indoctrination, but it is also evident in those neo-progressives who reside just a wee bit right of the established center. Many ‘conservatives’ have abandoned honest, solid analysis under pressure from the guilt-slinging progressive and they fear being ‘denounced’ in our modern version of a Show Trial.

          The cure? It is really a complex endeavor with many ramification. But begin to reclaim the intellect by deliberate truth-telling at least internally. And then repeat to oneself: I know that I cannot say this publically, and to protect myself from retribution I won’t, but at least internally I can hold to an honest statement of truth. It has to do with a recovery of intellectual integrity, surely, but also in establsihing and re-establishing the former moral base which has been debased.

          The undermining of our very selves as perceivers and actors is what is at stake. And the enemy is a form of ideological totalitarianism.

          Smash Cultural Marxism! 😉

    • Junkmailfolder

      Chris:

      “nor do I think anything in Angyal’s statement necessarily demonstrates that they are conflicting at HuffPo.”

      Angyal:

      “Our goals for this month were: less than 50% white authors…”

      I would like to hear an interpretation of this statement that does not include them basing publication decisions on anything other than the race of the writer.

      • Chris

        “Our goals for this month were: less than 50% white authors…”

        I would like to hear an interpretation of this statement that does not include them basing publication decisions on anything other than the race of the writer.

        That’s easy: nowhere in that statement does she say or imply that the race of the writer is the sole criteria. Do you really believe they’re accepting low-quality work from minority writers instead of high-quality work by white writers? That in itself is a biased assumption. The point is that they believe there is a lot of high-quality work from minority writers that is overlooked because of bias within the industry. That isn’t bigotry.

        • Junkmailfolder

          Perhaps my point was made too strongly–they certainly don’t have to be using race as the sole criterion, but the quote explicitly states they’re taking race into account.

          If their goal is to make sure that minorities are not overlooked because of historical bias, then they can simply make sure minorities are not overlooked; they can make a point to read more submissions from minority writers than they otherwise would. But setting result-oriented goals means that they’re practicing equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity, which is in direct conflict with merit-based judgment.

          • Chris

            If their goal is to make sure that minorities are not overlooked because of historical bias, then they can simply make sure minorities are not overlooked; they can make a point to read more submissions from minority writers than they otherwise would.

            There is not a doubt in my mind that the conservatives here would complain about that too. It’s still a form of affirmative action, and if they’re reading more submissions from minority writers than they otherwise would, that means they’re also reading less submissions from white writers. They’re still taking race into account. There isn’t any real difference here.

            • Junkmailfolder

              “and if they’re reading more submissions from minority writers than they otherwise would, that means they’re also reading less submissions from white writers.”

              Not necessarily true.

              Your argument seems to be that minority writers are equal in skill but more often ignored than white writers due to bias. If my analysis is incorrect, you can ignore the rest of this comment.

              Ignoring the fact that you’re implicitly accusing these editors of that same bias without any evidence, the obvious solution to this bias is to make a conscious decision to read more submissions from minority writers. That would, presumably, negate the inequality of opportunity that you espouse. As long as race isn’t taken into consideration on creating the results, it’s merit based. Unless there are too many submissions to read all of them, in which case giving a preference to minority writers would be a system of affirmative action.

              You also seem to be moving the goalposts here. You argued that her statement didn’t necessarily mean that she took race into account over skill, but I don’t see how you’ve argued that at all.

              • Chris

                Ignoring the fact that you’re implicitly accusing these editors of that same bias without any evidence,

                I don’t think I did that.

                the obvious solution to this bias is to make a conscious decision to read more submissions from minority writers. That would, presumably, negate the inequality of opportunity that you espouse. As long as race isn’t taken into consideration on creating the results, it’s merit based. Unless there are too many submissions to read all of them, in which case giving a preference to minority writers would be a system of affirmative action.

                There are always too many submissions in the writing industry. They can’t read everything. Making an effort to read more minority writers would absolutely mean reading fewer white writers.

                I also think it’s important to note that Angyal said they did not meet all of their goals. So they’re not putting a firm quota on these group identifications; if they were prioritizing race over quality, then they could have easily met all their goals.
                I

                • Junkmailfolder

                  If the editors are not biased, they wouldn’t need to take into account anything but quality of writing, and the results would be perfectly diverse. Unless you’re arguing that minorities are poorer writers than whites, in which case the editors are prioritizing minority status over skill.

                  • Chris

                    I suspect the editors would probably say that they are biased, at least on an unconscious level, and that they set these goals to fight against those biases.

                    Though blind submissions would probably be better–they seem to make a difference in job applications, from the research I’ve seen.

                • Junkmailfolder

                  “I also think it’s important to note that Angyal said they did not meet all of their goals. So they’re not putting a firm quota on these group identifications; if they were prioritizing race over quality, then they could have easily met all their goals.”

                  Not necessarily true either. If their goal is 10% LGBT writers, and they want to publish 1000 pieces a month, but only get 80 pieces submitted by LGBT writers, they can’t possibly meet their goals even while prioritizing minority status over quality.

            • Junkmailfolder wrote: If their goal is to make sure that minorities are not overlooked because of historical bias, then they can simply make sure minorities are not overlooked; they can make a point to read more submissions from minority writers than they otherwise would.

              Chris responds: There is not a doubt in my mind that the conservatives here would complain about that too. It’s still a form of affirmative action, and if they’re reading more submissions from minority writers than they otherwise would, that means they’re also reading less submissions from white writers. They’re still taking race into account. There isn’t any real difference here.

              All of this misses the more important point: the deliberate social engineering which has taken place in the US leading to the increase of the colored population since approximately 1965 and the social and cultural conflict that is clearly arising from it. It is completely normal that such conflict will arise. I mean, predictable.

              The issue then has to do with these dramatic cultural shifts and also that the rising population will certainly use democratic political power to ‘see its will enacted’.

              If ‘conservatives’ complain they do so very very weakly. In fact, and as I say, they do so not as conservatives really but as cripto-progressives. They integrate, in essence, the progressive ideology but hold to a ‘slightly conservative’ (perhaps ‘less radical’ is the word?) interpretation. But they are bound to not to actually see the main and the real issue: what is happening in the country, and what will continue to happen in the country, as a new and non-white demographic clamors for power and influence.

              I suppose it must be a terribly shocking statement to say that the ‘original demographic’, the demographic that built the country and the one that is capable of maintaining it, must choose, consciously, to reassert themselves in such a manner that they manage to stem the tide that will render themselves a minority. This requires a really difficult inner transformation which is directly tied to resisting ‘imposed ideology’. It can be done though and it is being done.

              The issue in America dove-tails with political and demographic issues in Europe and throughout the white world, but especially in the English speaking world.

              One of the first step, in my own opinion, is in reversing the vilifying accusation that is brought our against people who think in terms of preservation of their culture and identity. The reversal takes place through a clear analysis that those who engineered these changes, did so with devious intentions. (Faith and Heritage dotcom is a good resource to be able to see — even if one disagrees of course — how this couner-movement is being initiated).

              If I can help — if you have any questions — please let me know!

        • You have to be kidding. “Do you really believe they’re accepting low-quality work from minority writers instead of high-quality work by white writers?”

          Not “low-quality,” just a lot of not as good quality getting published over equal or better submissions by white males. That’s what affirmative action is, unless you really believe that race-blind submissions would yield this same %, meaning that minority writers are superior.

          • Chris

            Not “low-quality,” just a lot of not as good quality getting published over equal of better submission by white males. That’s what affirmative action is, unless you really believe that race-blind submissions would yield this same %, meaning that minority writers are superior.

            My understanding is that affirmative action generally works by comparing minorities and whites of roughly equal merit and giving the minorities the advantage.

            But as I said, I think race-blind submissions would be better.

            • ARGHH! Once again, quoted along with a typo! There’s gotta be an ethics rule against that…

              Having been involved in one affirmative action program at a grad school, I can say as fact rather than supposition that it often works like this: there is a cut-off point for whites and a cut-off for minorities. There’s a total score based on multiple factors, mostly grades, LSATs, essays, activities and recommendations. Let’s say a top score is 100, and anyone who gets that is in. Any non-whites who score 80 are also in. That means some whites between 80-100 don’t get in while non-whites in that range automatically do. Let’s say that all whites must hit 60 to be in the running at all. The cut-off for non-whites is set at 40. That means students under 60 don’t get in if they are white, but non-whites with a score between 40 and 60 can.

              In quota systems, the non-white and the whites don’t technically compete against each other.

  10. Mrs. Q

    #3. Humble Talent, Chris, and Junkmailfolder’s (can I call you Junky?) comments made me think. How do we as a society make things more fair for a variety of minorities, based on a history of unnecessary biases?

    I don’t think it’s possible to make everything equal for everyone forever and always. It’s a nice idea but I’m called to remember the book The Lathe of Heaven where the therapist manipulates his patient into “making the world a better place” with disastrous results. For example in trying to solve overpopulation, millions die. In another, an attempt at solving racism turns everyone grey.

    The song by Tears for Fears Everybody wants to rule the World highlights another dilemma in attempting to make things as we wish:

    All for freedom and for pleasure
    Nothing ever lasts forever

    There is simply no way to obliterate prejudice. There will always be poor folks, enslaved folks, downtrodden folks, and people who get treated like crap for one reason or another. Obviously this doesn’t mean we stop caring or making effort to be kinder people, which includes examining institutional racism, homophobia, etc. However any “peace” we make won’t last in the next generation or the one after that because some other disparity will always present itself. This is the way of life and the evidence of history from the Egyptians to the Jews to women today being trafficked. So how do we balance the scales for minorities here in the US?

    Foremost is we listen, even when we disagree. We also stop assuming because we want “better” for minorities that we know how to achieve it. Any modern attempt to “balance” usually results in megalomania, pandering, and short sighted prejudices of another sort. For example when my wife or I get into conversations with self-identified members of the resistance, the chatter usually stops the minute we admit we don’t hate Trump. We don’t like him either but merely pointing out a policy we like of his has literally stopped the conversation. Just today I had a white trans person literally walk away from me when I asked how shipping recycling to China was eco-friendly.

    If you’re a minority and don’t hold to the new Left’s party lines ie. Obama good/Trump bad, abortions good/guns bad, environmentalism good/conservation bad – you will be dismissed. Having an opinion as a minority means you have to sign off on cultural Marxism or you’ll be ignored or told you don’t know what you’re talking about or that you’re a pawn being used by conservatives. Or simply treated rudely, as I have experienced on EA, by those who claim to speak for minority rights the most here.

    So much for honoring minority voices.

    If someone were to ask me “what do you want most from our society today?” I’d answer, to have people mind their own business, not assume I’m needing a leg up, and honor those who honor family, faith, and free thought. Because minority quotas only serve those who need to feel good about their own efforts at making the world a better place. This so called diversity and inclusion is a surface, skin deep only kind of paradigm that creates an internal self-reverence for the ally, not actual justice for soul in front of them. It’s about using how minorities may look to foster another kind of conformity…thought conformity.

    And as I’ve learned since the 2016 election, there is nothing that feels more enslaving, prejudiced, and discounting, than being told I have to think a certain way because of my skin color, marital partner, sex, and ability. Having just spent several days in a small town in Idaho I can say, I felt more free than I ever do in the ultra liberal Portland. No one looked at us funny or cared how we voted. We were treated as true equals and it was achieved without a single diversity/inclusion virtue signal…and it was the most peace I’ve had in many months. That peace is how we change things for the better, at least for a little while.

    • “We also stop assuming because we want “better” for minorities that we know how to achieve it. Any modern attempt to “balance” usually results in megalomania, pandering, and short sighted prejudices of another sort.”

      “Having an opinion as a minority means you have to sign off on cultural Marxism or you’ll be ignored or told you don’t know what you’re talking about or that you’re a pawn being used by conservatives.”

      “I’d answer, to have people mind their own business, not assume I’m needing a leg up…Because minority quotas only serve those who need to feel good about their own efforts at making the world a better place…It’s about using how minorities may look to foster another kind of conformity…thought conformity”

      My…GOSH. I know it gets said often, but I love reading what you write, Mrs. Q. Not becasue you say what Im thinking (which is like a cheap sugar high)…but, that you say things that I wish I had thought of, and phrase it in ways that I wish I had phrased the things I wish I thought of. Reading you is like a burst of healthy Vitamin C for my brain.

      • Junkmailfolder

        It’s hard to parse in my mind the admiration I have for a comment like this due to agreeing with it vs it simply being a well written, thought provoking comment. Well done, as usual Mrs Q!

  11. Paul W. Schlecht

    3- “I wonder where she went to school?”

    Mount Holyoke?

    ”All-Women’s College Tells Faculty Not To Call Students ‘Women’ To Avoid ‘Misgendering’.”

    “A guide issued recently by Mount Holyoke College, an all-women’s school, instructs professors to avoid calling students ‘women’ in order to promote a ‘gender neutral’ classroom environment.”

    Hmmm; do they stay away from Vegan fare to eliminate “White Masculinity?”

    Put down that designer carrot almondine, the heirloom tomato souffle, and the organic squarsh pilaf! There’s another thing about which you NEED to feel guilty.

    “A North Carolina State University sociology instructor contends that vegan and vegetarian men are guilty of ‘upholding the gender binary’ and perpetuating ‘white masculinity.’ ”

    https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=10669

  12. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Also, “Latinx”?” WTF? The proper term is Latino for male or mixed, Latina for female. It’s not enough to make every English sentence one-third longer by adding “or her” after every pronoun, now other languages have to be bent and twisted too?

  13. In Massachusetts, we have MCAS which is the state-wide testing of students. The testing is broken down into various groupings and what I did about 20 years ago out of curiosity is check how Black, Hispanic, and White students from two-parent college-educated families performed. No real difference. That, of course, is just achievement and then comes opportunity.

    I had two careers – one in education and the other in DPS (Dreaded Private Section). In education, I was once on a committee to interview candidates and we had a directive to give attention to minority applicants. Our system was “White Heavy” with a 40% minority population. Several minorities were hired despite other candidates having better credentials – education/experience. I am a merit-based person, so I found that a bit unsettling.

    I questioned a friend of color on my apprehension and his statements were “Rick – you think White!” That the folks of color simply had a rougher path to follow and that “Whites are like cats – they always land on their feet.” I can understand the idea, but merit still rolls around or does it?

    In the DPS I was often placed in decision making regarding hirings and firings. I had two candidates for a position of shift supervisor and one was White and the other Black. The White was more qualified. More years of supervisory experience, college degree, a substantial list of accomplishments, but I went to the Black. Why? Was it color? He was still qualified – no doubt of that – but the White was single and rather carefree. The black applicant was still in school, had just bought a home, had two children and just had a need for the job. I was 100% convinced the White would be hired elsewhere. My choice was approved and eventually proved very beneficial to the company. A decision made on need and not color.

    In 2008 I voted for Obama. My reasoning – flawed as it may be – was that McCain was better suited for POTUS, but Obama was needed more. Now I have come to regret that one.

  14. Jack writes: ”The growing partisan gender gap is widely being represented in the media as a split between knuckle-dragging, gun-toting, toxic, authoritarian, patriarchal pussy-grabbers and the smarter, gentler, non-violent fairer sex. This poll suggests otherwise. It also tells me that if a majority of college students don’t value freedom of speech above “inclusion and diversity,” which are useful weasel words that can mean, and often do, quotas, political correctness bullying and reverse-discrimination, then our colleges are indoctrinating their charges in anti-American values.”

    Better to indoctrinate them in American values, of course!

    Right now, American ‘values’ are in a total crisis. Not a slight crisis, not a partial crisis, but in a total crisis. To be able to make this statement requires taking a position against ‘American values’ arrived at through indoctrination. In order to see the truth and say the truth one is forced to encounter the edifice of ‘indoctrination’, one way or another.

    The thing that should be taught, which requires a properly-ordered teacher in order to do it, is not ‘American values’ but ‘values’: axiology. And it should be stated right at the beginning: We will examine values, what they are, how they were arrived at, and if we discover that to do this we must turn against any enforced thinking, any politically-correct ideological intrusion, and any coerced patriotic indoctrinated view, we will be fearless in doing it.

    This would amount to a step toward the re-establishment of sound educational practices but would involve an uphill, tooth-and-claw battle against the Maoist forces that occupy the mind of the intellectual classes. The horrifying damage that has been done in our present has not only been done ‘to American’ and in America, it is something that originated in a pan-European intellectual class. But certainly in America this class, and their ‘lovely work’, needs to be exposed.

    But if ‘true intellect is valued, and if real learning is exhalted, those who learn must also be given permission to challenge patriotic indocrination, and of that sort which has come to make up the American civil religion. If as a result of this, in one generation or in numbers of generations, modifications are made to America, Americanism or the Americanopolis, that certainly cannot be understood to be bad. What is bad is living under any anti-intellectual and coerced ideology and indoctrination that functions against ‘truth’.

    In my view, a living person must serve first a higher authority, but to do that one must be capable of defining what one means: not at all easy now. And second to service to Higher Authority is patriotic service. The second cannot preceed the first and when it does perversions arise.

    The conservative establishment is infected with a false patriotism that (seems to, or in my opinion) blinds them to truth. This leads to a divided allegience and to that horrifying outcome that is ‘American hypocricy’.

    The new teachers, were they to appear, would not be either of the left-progressive or of the right-conservative camp as such. They would be open-minded truth-seekers with wide familiarity with European paideia.

  15. Chris E. Boy

    Re: Huff Post: If you were a teacher, with a class of 20, and only 8 students ever responded to questions, would you ever make an effort to include the other students? If the vocal students were white males, would you be fairly accused of being a bigot for encouraging non-whites and women to participate? Are you satisfied with a discourse in 2018 that is predominantly white and male? If so, come out plainly for that. If not, shouldn’t you encourage the sort of goals to which HuffPost aspires? She never said she accepted inferior product in the cause of diversity; the clear implication is that, among worthy options, a diverse point of view has been sought. I’m sorry that you think that’s so outrageous — and it occurs to me that most of your published comments are posted with male signifiers. To the regressive baracades! Keep the world safe for white male privilege! (I’ll happily join you, however, at the barricades in defense of the Oxford comma.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.