This is a historic moment for Ethics Alarms. Glenn Logan has scored three (3) Comments of the Day in a row, and has a fourth that will not be consecutive idling on the runway. Today is is particularly well-timed, as it prepares us for the horrors to come today on this space. Be warned.
The “plaint above” that he refers to at the outset is this, Glenn’s earlier COTD on the same post.
Here is the follow-up to that comment, and Glenn Logan’s Comment of the Day on the post, “KABOOM! Anti-White Stereotyping At The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture”:
You know, after I wrote the plaint above, I forgot once again to consider the ethics of this matter. As this is an ethics blog and not a political site or repository for polemics against … whatever insult heaped upon our collective sensibilities today (and cranial detonations are certainly polemic-worthy), I guess I need to offer whatever my meager brain can conjure regarding the subject matter of Jack’s home on the Internet.
I wonder what ethical principle allows non-whites to hold the descendants of this country’s founders in contempt for the practices, language, and culture they adopted and adapted for their own? I know the New York Times wants to argue that black people founded and built this country under the whips of white masters, but the objective, historical truth is far different from their bizarre, revisionist perspective.
When did it become the ethical duty of white people to learn other languages, change their culture to fit the sensibilities of minority immigrants and former slaves, reject the founding principles of the country founded by majority white Anglo-Saxon descendants? Is this true of just the USA, or are all former slave-holding countries bound to do this? Or does this apply only to majority white countries. What guiding ethical principle provides for this self-immolation? Continue reading
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) endured only a day of searing criticism before it removed its racist chart on “whiteness” from its website. The site replaced the graphic, which Ethics Alarms reproduced here and here and never wants to see again, with this statement:
At the National Museum of African American History and Culture, we believe that any productive conversation on race must start with honesty, respect for others, and an openness to ideas and information that provide new perspectives. In that context, we recently unveiled “Talking About Race,” an online portal providing research, studies, and other academic materials from the fields of history, education, psychology, and human development.Our goal in doing so was to contribute to a discussion on this vitally important subject that millions of Americans are grappling with. Since yesterday, certain content in the “Talking About Race” portal has been the subject of questions that we have taken seriously. We have listened to public sentiment and have removed a chart that does not contribute to the productive discussion we had intended. The site’s intent and purpose are to foster and cultivate conversations that are respectful and constructive and provide increased understanding. As an educational institution, we value meaningful dialogue and believe that we are stronger when we can pause, listen, and reflect—even when it challenges us to reconsider our approach. We hope that this portal will be an ever-evolving place that will continue to grow, develop, and ensure that we listen to one another in a spirit of civility and common cause.
Observations: Continue reading
After a brief pause in eligible Comments of the Day, I am suddenly inundated with candidates, with blogging veteran Glenn Logan at the fore with two more to follow on his recent post. These, and another non-Logan COTD on the runway, were sparked by the Ethics Alarms post about the above content on a Smithsonian website, which threatens all records for “well-intentioned “racial stereotyping.
Here’s Glenn’s Comment of the Day #2 of three, (with the next coming up later today. Three is a row is a record!) on the post, “KABOOM! Anti-White Stereotyping At The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture”: Continue reading
Now this is res ipsa loquitur.
My head exploded when I saw what you will see below, so you are warned. The racist chart is from the anti-white section of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s web page.
The page and its agitprop are also anti-black: hard work, punctuality, believing in cause and effect, “rational thinking,” respect for authority, and civility are all manifestations of “whiteness”, according to the museum. Writes Rod Dreher, obviously post head-explosion…
Did David Duke write this stuff? It’s crazy! If a white man said that black people are lazy, can’t keep to a schedule, have no respect for authority, can’t think straight, are rude, etc. — he would be rightly criticized as racist. But there it is, at the taxpayer-funded National Museum of African American History and Culture. Why? Why do we pay for this racist propaganda? …
The museum teaches black people that being on time for work is racist oppression. Don’t believe me? Look. … I can’t get over this. If you assume that everything these curators say below is true, then you can explain a great deal of the chronic problems within black America. What kind of neighborhood would you expect to have if most of the people in it devalued hard work, rejected the idea that they needed to be on time, refused to defer gratification, did not respect authority, sought out conflict, laughed at politeness, rejected the traditional family model, and so forth? You’d have communities that were beset by crime and generational poverty, without the cultural tools to overcome the chaos. There are plenty of white people in this country who live by similar rules — and they’re chronically poor too.
Hold on to your skull! Here is the chart: Continue reading
Let’s begin with this: what’s racist about Uncle Ben?
Yesterday we discussed PepsiCo dumping Aunt Jemima on the silly pretense that doing so would “make progress toward racial equality,” thus grabbing the lead in the breakfast food grovel sweepstakes. Even though Aunt Jemima no longer looks like a “mammy,” the idea was that she began as an offensive racist stereotype, and once a stereotype, always a stereotype. First they came for Aunt Jemima…and then it was Mrs. Butterworth. Like Althouse, who blogged about Mrs. B yesterday, I never thought of the female-shaped syrup container as having any race at all. An article in the New York Post claimed that the bottle was modeled after Butterfly McQueen, the black actress who played the mentally-challenged slave Prissy in “Gone With The Wind.” That’s odd: I don’t recall Prissy being filled with syrup. This is one more example (among many) of activists desperately searching for things to be offended about to bend individuals and companies to their will at a time when so many of those with power appear to be ready to agree to anything to prove how woke they are.
Now we learn that Mars is going to rebrand Uncle Ben’s Rice because Ben evokes a racist stereotype. What would that be? Uncle Ben appears to be a middle aged-black guy in a bow tie, and that’s how he’s always looked. What’s the theory here?
The clue may be the Cream of Wheat man, who never had a name that I was aware of.
Reportedly he’s on the chopping block too. Is it because he’s a chef? Is it because he’s smiling? Is it because he had a relationship with Aunt Jemima? Continue reading
I’m not going to make a habit of it, but today I’m doing a second short form post. First, I’m backed up, thanks to losing a day; second, There was no warm-up for this date, since I posted yesterday’s overview this afternoon; third, I’m not feeling so hot, after all the tests, anxiety, and no sleep at all.
1. Hospital items.
- What’s the ethical way to handle people like this? My night nurse, whom I saw a LOT of and who was terrific, saw me watching “Jurassic Park III” on the hospital room TV and commented that she loved dinosaurs. Then she said that it must have been hard for the people living in caves to survive with all the raptors running around, and that it was a good thing the Great Flood killed the dinos off.
In the past, I have tried to explain—nicely—that this kind of fake natural history is nonsense and impossible in too many ways to count, discussed the timeline and the fossil record, and tried to bring them into something approaching enlightenment. This has never done any good at all if my audience was over 30, and usually just made them angry and convinced that I’m the idiot as well as a pagan.
Yet ignorance is a social disease, especially this particular variety. I don’t think it’s responsible or kind to enable the spread of misinformation.
- That picture above is part of the NIH stroke protocol, which I now know by heart having been subjected to it several times. When was it drawn, 1958?
Could it be more gender stereotyped?
- About half the hospital personnel under 35 had unpronounceable foreign names, recalling this article which I read last week, Once upon a time, immigrants coming to the U.S. wanted to have American-sounding names. It signaled a desire to commit to the culture, just like learning the language and adopting American values. My mother’s bothers and sister had Greek first names, but outside the home the family used the Anglicized versions of them. My mother was Helena, and called herself Eleanor.
This was, culturally, a much healthier tradition than what we have now—unifying, respectful, responsible. I see ostentatiously foreign-sounding names as defiant, and signaling a determination to avoid assimilation, to enjoy the rights and privileges here, without fully committing to them. I definitely regard any problems and inconvenience resulting from keeping the names Ngongsa or Ijeoma entirely self-inflicted. Continue reading
2. This is what happens when a country doesn’t have a First Amendment…A law goes into effect in Great Britain making it illegal for advertisements to include “gender stereotypes which are likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offense.” Complaints will be assessed by the Advertising Standards Authority. British broadcasters are bound by the terms of their licenses to comply with its rulings.
The aim, we are told, is not to ban all gender stereotypes, just the harmful ones, because, said a spokesman, “put simply, we found that some portrayals in ads can, over time, play a part in limiting people’s potential.”
- This also shows why progressives in the U.S. see the First Amendment as an impediment to their objectives.
- Writes Jazz Shaw,
These guidelines don’t provide much to go on. They make reference to images that might suggest women do most of the housework and men being clueless about similar tasks. So I guess you’re no longer allowed to hire a female actress for any advertisements involving vacuuming, filling the dishwasher or operating the washing machine? This should indeed provide new employment opportunities for male actors, but somehow I don’t think that’s what they were going for here. Besides, won’t you just raise a new generation of kids who grow up thinking only men do chores around the house?
Oh, the unintended consequences of controlling what ideas and norms the pop culture can put into people’s heads are marvelous to behold.
- The best part, you see, is that “authorities” get to decide which portrayals of stereotypes are “harmful.” In the U.S., such a law would be void for vagueness.
I like to keep these kinds of stories within reach when someone arguing for nationalized health care or a death penalty ban uses the “the U.S. is the only first world country that…” tactic. Yes, the U.S. is different.
3. Signature significance for a sociopath. Alternate title: “One more reason to stay away from Twitter.” O.J. Simpson has joined Twitter, saying in a video link,
“Hey Twitter world, this is yours truly. Coming soon to Twitter you’ll get to read all my thoughts and opinions on just about everything. Now, there’s a lot of fake O.J. accounts out there, so this one @TheRealOJ32, is the only official one. So, it should be a lot of fun — I’ve got a little getting even to do.”
And you know what O’J’ does when he decides to get even…
This is signature significance. A normal person in O.J.’s circumstances just doesn’t act like this. Then again, no normal person murders his ex-wife and her boyfriend with a hunting knife.
I don’t understand how O.J. can be active on Twitter and still hunt down the real killer, though…
4. Unethical Quote Of The Month That Doesn’t Deserve The Prominence Of A Stand-Alone Post: Newly Elected Denver City Council member Candi CdeBaca.
“I don’t believe our current economic system actually works. Um, capitalism by design is extractive and in order to generate profit in a capitalist system, something has to be exploited, that’s land, labor or resources. And I think that we’re in late phase capitalism and we know it doesn’t work and we have to move into something new, and I believe in community ownership of land, labor, resources and distribution of those resources. And whatever that morphs into is I think what will serve community the best and I’m excited to usher it in by any means necessary.”
“By any means necessary.”
Yes, she’s a communist. Imagine: Nearly all the communist nations ended up with their economies in ruins, with the larger ones engaging in murder and political oppression on an epic scale, and this woman proclaims that system superior to capitalism while calling the failed ideology “new.” What kind of American votes for someone like this?
1. Are fake media stereotypes ethical if they are benign stereotypes? When my son was a young child, I watched a lot of children’s programming, and immediately noticed that almost every show had a computer nerd, tech genius character, and that character was almost invariably black. I get it: the idea was to fight pernicious stereotypes with opposite stereotypes, but neither stereotype was accurate. (Lots of prime time movies and TV shows for adults also perpetuated the black tech genius trope, like “Die Hard,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and many others.)
Now Madison Avenue or their corporate clients apparently want American to believe that inter-racial marriage is the norm. I literally could not care less who people marry, but I just sat through four TV ads in a row featuring black and white couples. I failed at my admittedly limited attempt to find out what current percentage of American married couples are bi-racial, but the last study, which is nine years old, found that less than 9% of married couples consisted of a white and an African American spouse. That’s great, but the popular culture should be reflecting society, not using its power to manipulate it according to its own agenda.
2. Take this, for example:
This is part of new “woke” Gillette campaign. “Go out there and slay the day!” says the corporate tweet accompanying the photo.
Funny, I’ve been told that obesity has become a serious public health problem in the U.S. Fat-shaming is wrong—the Woke still constantly insult the President by calling him fat, and that babe in the photo makes him look like Chris Sale—but fat glorification is irresponsible. But hey, what’s consistency when the idea is to virtue-signal like crazy? “[We’re]committed to representing beautiful women of all shapes, sizes, and skin types because ALL types of beautiful skin deserve to be shown. We love Anna because she lives out loud and loves her skin no matter how the “rules” say she should display” says Gillette. Continue reading
Winging off to San Diego in a couple of hours, so be on the alert for an Open Forum while I’m in the air. It’s amazing: I’m going to spend two and a half days of air travel and hanging around a hotel and airports to give a 75 minute legal ethics presentation, albeit to a mob of over 600 lawyers.
1. From the Ethics Alarms double standards files…
Let’s see: this film has gross black stereotypes and a man in drag, but not in a good, transgender way. I assume nobody will disagree that if this film was made by a white man, it would be received with horror and declared racist, and the white filmmaker would be apologizing to everyone and everything in sight.
2. The return of Plan C! As most recently noted here, Plan C is the obscure and outdated Emoluments Clause. In a series of tweets reviving the specious accusation President Trump is violating the Constitution by owning businesses while he is President, something never anticipated by the Founders and an issue that was barely discussed by the news media during the campaign, Walter Shaub, a former director of the Office of Government Ethics who long ago declared himself a “resistance” ally,condemned the Embassy of Kuwait’s decision to celebrate its National Liberation Day at the hotel on Feb. 27. He wrote,
“Kuwait got the message. Turkey got the message. Saudi Arabia got the message. The Philippines got the message. The question is: Which of our allies will stand with the American people, and which will seek to enrich our corrupt President? We will watch. We will remember.”
Oh, eat a bug. Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 9, Paragraph 8) stipulates that no federal officeholders “shall receive gifts or payments from foreign state or rulers without the consent of Congress.” But payments obviously means pay-offs, and payment for services isn’t a gift. Not are Trump organization receipts payments to the President. I note that Shaub is now a fellow at The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which I used to write about more before I got sick of it. It is the political equivalent of Media Matters, posing as an ethics watchdog when it’s agenda and biases are flagrantly partisan. I regard Shaub using his prior position as authority a breach of ethics: he’s posing as an objective analyst, and he’s not. Indeed, resorting to the silly Emoluments Clause to attack Trump is signature significance. Continue reading