Yes, There Are Many Justifications For “White Lives Matter”

Woke World is losing what was left of its collective mind over “Ye’s” (that’s who used to be called Kanye West) stunt of using designer “White Lives Matter” T-shirts to promote his new fashion line “YZY” during Paris Fashion Week. Not only was the former Mr. Kardashian wearing the automatically offensive garment, but so was much-reviled black conservative Candace Owens.

Ye is almost certainly mentally and/or emotionally ill, but the rapper’s schtick is pushing buttons, and he does that boldly and very well. Being a little crazy probably helps. The question: Is there anything wrong with a T-shirt that says “White Lives Matter,” or unethical about wearing one?

There is one aspect of it that may be wrong: if doing so is only an intentional effort to upset people, reasonably or not, then the shirt invokes the Second Niggardly Principle:

“When an individual or group can accomplish its legitimate objectives without engaging in speech or conduct that will offend individuals whose basis for the supposed offense is emotional, mistaken or ignorant, but is not malicious and is based on well-established impulses of human nature, it is unethical to intentionally engage in such speech or conduct.”

Ye, being Kanye (or vice versa) only wants to offend, because that’s what gives him the publicity and attention that to him is like water to a fish. The shirts are not the product of deep philosophical thought. Nonetheless, the fashion writer that the New York Times sicced on the controversy m (Vanessa Friedman) is showing her bias (and you know what bias does) by writing, in a piece called “There Is No Excuse for Ye’s ‘White Lives Matter’ Shirt,”

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Race Pandering Law Of The Year, And Of Course It’s In California…

…and also of course, master progressive panderer Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it into law.

Newsom signed a bill yesterday to limiting the use of hip-hop lyrics as evidence in the criminal trials of rappers, a blatant sop to the African-American fans of the artists, inevitably black, who have an alarming record for assaulting, battering, raping or killing people

The law, welcomed by rappers, their fans, record producers, record industry executives and Black Lives Matter, is the first in the country to ensure someone’s “creative expression” is not used to “introduce stereotypes or active bias” against a defendant or be used as evidence in a trial against them. Yes, that would be because Assembly Bill 2799 is an unnecessary law that would only surface in one of the very few states so thoroughly addled by extreme Leftist ethics rot that such a monstrosity would even be considered without causing crippling laughing fits. A similar bill in New York failed earlier this year—yes, New York is one of those states.

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Ethics Quiz: The Crystal Flute

The strange episode has everything: history, a President, music, bad taste, fat-shaming, historical ignorance, and more.

Lizzo, the defiantly obese pop singer, rapper and all-around musical whiz who is also a classically trained flutist, was permitted to entertain her Washington, D.C. concert audience this week by playing a crystal flute that a French craftsman and clockmaker had made for President James Madison in 1813. She was handed the sparkling instrument from Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford, a curator at the Library of Congress, then, as described by the New York Times, “played a note, stuck out her tongue in amazement, and then played another note, trilling it as she twerked in front of thousands of cheering fans. She then carried the flute over her head, giving the crowd at Capital One Arena one last look, before handing it back to Ms. Ward-Bamford.”

“I just twerked and played James Madison’s crystal flute from the 1800s!” Lizzo told the crowd. “We just made history tonight.”

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is...

Was that an appropriate and ethical use of the historical artifact?

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“Attention Must Be Paid”: The Vanishing BYU Racial Slur Saga [Updated]

Ethics Alarms mentioned this nauseating but significant story briefly last week, here. Obviously it warrants more consideration, depressing though the conclusions might be.

At an August 26 volleyball match, match on Aug. 26, Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson’s claimed that she and her African American team mates targeted with repeated racial slurs from a crowd of more than 5,500 people the the Brigham Young University arena in Provo, Utah.  Richardson’s  godmother, Lesa Pamplin, was not at the match but still told the media that someone yelled “nigger” every single time Rachel was serving. Her father, Marvin Richardson, told The New York Times that the slur was repeatedly yelled from the stands at his daughter.

Well, they said it happened, so it must be true.

Moving with unseemly speed, BYU authorities fingered a fan pointed out by Richardson as the racist culprit and announced that he would be banned from Cougars’ sporting events evermore. Duke’s athletics director Nina King quickly said that her players “should always have the opportunity to compete in an inclusive, anti-racist environment which promotes equality and fair play.” University of South Carolina coach Dawn Staley, racing to grandstand, canceled all her team’s games against BYU, since its fans are obviously racists.

“I’m disgusted that this behavior is happening and deeply saddened if others didn’t step up to stop it,” Utah’s Republican Governor Spencer Cox tweeted on August 27 without know what happened. “As a society we have to do more to create an atmosphere where racist assholes like this never feel comfortable attacking others. ESPN resident race-baiter Stephen Smith was in high dudgeon. “I’m saying BYU- you did it!” Smith said on the air. “By allowing this to happen and not addressing expeditiously, not addressing it with a level of quickness and speed that you should’ve addressed this with.”

They banned the alleged racist before the game was over—how much faster could BYU have been?

Mike Freeman, the race and inequality editor for the sports section at USA Today, wrote a column on August 27 in which he called Richardson a “hero” and demanded an investigation. “What needs to happen next is a full investigation by BYU. If the school simply tries to move on with nothing but a statement that simply isn’t acceptable,” he wrote. “They need to interview players and coaches and the question consistently needs to be asked: why wasn’t the game stopped?”

Oopsie! They had the investigation, and found no evidence whatsoever that anyone was shouting racial slurs in the stands. Video showed that the fan BYU banned wasn’t shouting anything when Richardson was serving. Gee, the school said, we’re sorry for calling you a racist! Come back and cheer for us any time!

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Ethics Hero (Maybe): Actor John Boyega

The British star of the third “Star Wars”  trilogy films “The Force Awakens” (2015), “The Last Jedi” (2017), and “The Rise of Skywalker” (2019) launched a social media tempest when he stated in an interview with GQ,

“I only date Black…then it’s about chemistry, personality, goals. Is there a synergy? Can I help you? Can you help me?”

He’s either very frank and courageous, or extremely naive. Naturally, the Right is pointing to him as an example of the Hollywood culture’s hypocrisy. “Imagine if a white celebrity said this the other way around,” asks the conservative “Gotcha!” site “Not The Bee.” ” If you’re putting skin color above things like chemistry and personality, however,” Holly Ash writes, “I might argue that you’re technically, per the definition of the term, a little racist.” Oh? I might argue that you are using a lousy definition. Racist means that one regards one race inferior to another, to the extent of regarding individuals of the race intrinsically inferior. What Boyega is describing as a bias, and biases are innate, natural, human, unavoidable, and yes, they make us stupid. It is our duty as ethical beings to try to recognize biases and their emotional, irrational nature, and, if possible, get past them. However, preferring the company of people more like yourself than not is a a very natural bias, especially when it comes to romantic and intimate relationships. A racial bias like Boyega’s has to be kept in its proper place, just like, say, a man’s preference for attractive women. That is his right as sexual creature, but the bias is unethical if he’s hiring a staff….unless he’s directing a “Charley’s Angels” movie, or something similar. Continue reading

More “Little Mermaid” Ethics: The White Ariel Version Of The Black Ariel Version Of The White Animated Ariel

In yesterday’s post, “Stop Making Me Defend Disney!,” Ethics Alarms looked at the controversy over Disney’s live-action version of its 1989 classic animated film “The Little Mermaid” that casts a black performer, Halle Bailey (not Halle Berry) as the Hans Christian Anderson heroine. Well, this one is moving fast.

One of the many fans who object to imposing “diversity, equity and inclusion” on “The Little Mermaid” announced via Twitter that technology was now available that could digitally transform Bailey into a white, red-haired mermaid just as Disney had transformed its original Ariel into a black one:

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Stop Making Me Defend Disney!

Disney has a tough job, trying to maintain its roles as a great middle class cultural icon and celebrator of Americana in the midst of social upheaval and culture wars. It couldn’t be doing a lousier, lazier, more destructive job of it, either, but that is, as they say, neither here nor there. The issue of the day is whether Disney deserves to be pilloried for its new teaser trailer for the live-action version of its animated classic “The Little Mermaid.”

It does not.

Conservative media is now resolutely anti-House of Mouse, so it is actively gloating over the detected (but inconclusive) negative reaction to the first look at the film scheduled to hit theaters in May of 2003. Ed Driscoll at Instapundit writes, “Disney in particular absolutely loves …to both gin-up hype, and wave away large scale fan hatred of their latest reboot.” But since fans haven’t seen the film yet, since it hasn’t been finished, “large scale hatred’ is an unwarranted assumption. At The Daily Wire, it is implied that there are widespread objections to the red-headed Ariel of the 1989 animated film being played by Halle Bailey, an African-American, and that fans of the original film who don’t like the color change are being called “racists” by the Woke and wonderful.

Ugh.

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Stop Making Me Defend Jimmy Kimmel!

Boy, that’s a headline I never thought I’d write. I detest Jimmy Kimmel. I loathe him. He is the most revolting of all the Left-Licking late night and cable progressive comics, worse than Colbert, Maher, Samantha Bee, all of them. All of them combined. He is an ongoing blight on the ethics of American society, and yet he is self-righteous in the process. I long ago decided that the Emmys were even more rigged and less ethical than other award shows, so I never watch the broadcast. Kimmel was the host this year, so that made the show even less appealing, if indeed that is possible. Thus I missed an incident which, had I witnessed it in real time, would have ensured that I wrote this post before this one, from yesterday: “A Case Study Of How Race-Baiting And Race-Bullying Undermines “Diversity” And “Inclusion”: The New Yorker’s Cartoons.” 

For they are essentially about the same phenomenon.

What happened was this: Will Arnett, before presenting the nominees for best writing in a comedy series, dragged a supposedly unconscious and drunken Kimmel onto the stage with him.  Arnett told the audience that  Kimmel had lost again as a nominee in the late night comedy category, and  “he just got into the skinny margaritas back there.” The host who is chagrined at not getting a award in the show he is hosting is an old, old joke: Bob Hope used it every year at the Oscars. Kimmel was just adding a new wrinkle. Continue reading

A Case Study Of How Race-Baiting And Race-Bullying Undermines “Diversity” And “Inclusion”: The New Yorker’s Cartoons

The cartoon above is from the current issue of The New Yorker, the woke urban sophisticate’s bible, renowned for its witty, esoteric cartoons since its founding in the flapper era. And yet as woke and progressive and Democratic Party-bootlicking-addicted as it is, The New Yorker rarely includes black characters in its cartoons, and hasn’t since its inception. I checked the most recent compendium of New Yorker cartoons covering eight decades and thousands and thousand of humorous drawings. In only a handful (out of thousands and thousands) do cartoon characters of color even appear in crowd scenes and backgrounds. If they do, they look like the male character above from the only cartoon from the current New Yorker issue to show black characters at all. There were 14 cartoons in the issue, and in the outlier above, blacks are portrayed as white people with tans. I’m sure some professor somewhere will pronounce that representation as offensive anyway. Continue reading

Broadway Ethics: Greed Meets Self-Indulgence

Guess what soon-to-open Broadway musical revival’s cast members are shown above. Come on—guess!

Why, it’s “1776” of course!

Yes, the 1969 Tony-winning musical is returning to Broadway in a new–ugh!—inclusive and diverse version with apparently no unequivocal men playing the unequivocal Founding Fathers who crafted the Declaration of Independence. The cast is entirely “a racially diverse cast of women, nonbinary and trans actors.”  This, one of the co-directors tells the Times, “wakes the language up.” Oh. More quotes from the director:

  • “I want the audience to hold that dual reality, of what the founders were, but also a company of actors in 2022, who never would have been allowed inside Independence Hall.”
  • When she first read the script, she says she was shocked by the scene where Thomas Jefferson is forced to strike out the condemnation of slavery in order to get the Declaration passed. “I was unaware of that crossing out. How could I not know? That began my journey into the show. I had to reckon with my own experience of American history.”

She means her own ignorance of American history and her biases based on that ignorance. Yes, a show about a complex seminal event in American history is being crafted by people don’t know much about history, as Sam Cooke used to say.

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