Unethical Quote Of The Month: Virginia Tech Instructor Crystal Duncan Lane (And There Goes My Head!)

jackheadexplosion

“I am a Caucasian cisgender female and first-generation college student from Appalachia who is of Scottish, British and Norwegian heritage. I am married to a cisgender male, and we are middle class. While I did not ‘ask’ for the many privileges in my life: I have benefited from them and will continue to benefit from them whether I like it or not. This is injustice. I am and will continue to work on a daily basis to be antiracist and confront the innate racism within myself that is the reality and history of white people. I want to be better: Every day. I will transform: Every day. This work terrifies me: Every day. I invite my white students to join me on this journey. And to my students of color: I apologize for the inexcusable horrors within our shared history.”

—Virginia Tech instructor Dr. Crystal Duncan Lane in her course syllabus

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Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/6/2020: It’s An Ethics Outrage STAMPEDE!!!

I don’t know whether to say “Good morning!” or “ARRRRRGHHHH!”

I’m not sure I have ever had so many ethically provocative events, issues and quotes on my list. I would spend all day discussing and analyzing this stuff, if I didn’t have to pay the mortgage and eat.

1. Relatively trivial, but still disgusting and wrong. The Discovery Channel is using Mike Tyson to promote “Shark Week.” The former heavyweight champion, habitual felon, convicted rapist and lifetime sociopath is having a grand time in the promotional spot, which he ends it by smiling at the camera, as his gold tooth twinkles, and saying “Someone’s gonna get BIT!” HAHAHAHA! Get it? Mike Tyson bit part of Evander Holyfield’s ear off in what should have been his last fight, getting him temporarily banned from boxing—why not permanently, nobody can explain—and costing Tyson 3 million dollars in fines. He also should have been locked up.  The Discovery Channel thinks mayhem is funny!

Next, let’s see David Berkowitz do promotional spots for the Westminster Dog Show.

2. OK, I officially do not understand what the rules are. Here is a celebratory video about Freeman Vines of  Fountain, North Carolina,  a black man who makes guitars from wood taken from a tree used to lynch blacks. His work is called “deeply moving” and is the subject of a new photography book, Hanging Tree GuitarsRyan Reynold and Ashley Tinsdale felt they had to fall all over themselves apologizing for using  a former plantation as the venue for their wedding, but this guy openly profits from lynchings—after all, there would be nothing unique about his guitars without them, and that’s OK? And Reynolds, presumably, could buy one of those guitars and have everyone dancing and clapping as he played “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead!” (but not “Swanee”!) on a musical instrument deliberately made from an instrument of racism?

The nation has agreed to a game of Calvinball with the Woke and Angry Left.

I won’t play.

3.  Golden Rule? What Golden Rule? Arlinda Johns was kicked off an American Airlines flight for boarding dressed like this:

That’s reversed, for some reason, and blurred, because the news media  treats us like children. Her mask says “Fuck 12” and the T-shirt says, “Black Lives Matter.’”

The self-described activist initially changed masks (“Fuck 12” means “Fuck the police”), but kept the shirt, and later put the obscene mask on again. The plane returned to the terminal, and she was escorted off by marshals. Continue reading

From The “Don’t Confuse Us With Facts, Our Minds Are Made Up!” Files: A 19-Year-Old Sikh Immigrant Rebuts “Systemic Racism”

His argument deserves a debate. So far, the strategy has been to ignore him.

The conservative New York tabloid, the New York Post, published an opinion piece  last Sunday with the headline “The Fallacy of White Privilege.” The author was Rav Arora,  a 19-year-old Sikh immigrant, brought by his parents to Canada from India at the age of 4. “[M]y family suffered tremendous economic hardships and cultural challenges,” he wrote. “My father drove a taxi at night and my mom worked many menial jobs as a cook, housecleaner, barista and motel cleaner.” Ultimately, he says, the family escaped poverty to become successful and financially secure. Rav himself is obviously well-educated and adept at critical thinking.

He writes in part,

Rising from poverty to economic prosperity is a common narrative for immigrants from all backgrounds in the West. For example, after the communist takeover of Cuba in 1959, many refugees fled to America, leaving most of their wealth behind and having to start from the bottom. But by 1990, second-generation Cuban Americans were twice as likely to earn an annual salary of $50,000 than non-Hispanic whites in the United States. The notion of white privilege stems from the idea that white people have benefited in American history relative to “people of color”…[but]  the concept of white privilege can’t explain why several historically marginalized groups out-perform whites today.

In the rest of his essay,  Arora uses  government statistics to cast doubt on the “white privilege” narrative. For example,

“[T]he concept of white privilege can’t explain why several historically marginalized groups out-perform whites today. Take Japanese Americans, for example: For nearly four decades in the 20th century (1913 – 1952), this group was legally prevented from owning land and property in over a dozen American states. Moreover, 120,000 Japanese Americans were interned during World War II. But by 1959, the income disparity between Japanese Americans and white Americans nearly vanished. Today, Japanese Americans outperform whites by large margins in income statistics, education outcomes, test scores and incarceration rates.”

Asian-Americans in general undermine the “white supremacy” narrative, so they are conveniently stuffed into the “POC” category as activists hope nobody asks embarrassing questions.

“According to median household income statistics from the US Census Bureau, several minority groups substantially out-earn whites. These groups include Pakistani Americans, Lebanese Americans, South African Americans, Filipino Americans, Sri Lankan Americans and Iranian Americans (in addition to several others). Indians, the group I belong to, are the highest-earning ethnic group the census keeps track of, with almost double the household median income of whites.”

Gee, that’s interesting! Why isn’t Arora being featured on today’s talking head shows, as panels of experts huminahumina* attempted explanations about why this doesn’t explode the whole white privilege narrative? I’m not saying they couldn’t show his argument is flawed. I’m asking why they won’t try.

“[S]everal black immigrant groups such as Nigerians, Barbadians, Ghanaians and Trinidadians & Tobagonians have a median household income well above the American average. Ghanian Americans, to take one example, earn more than several specific white groups such as Dutch Americans, French Americans, Polish Americans, British Americans and Russian Americans. Do Ghanaians have some kind of sub-Saharan African privilege?”

In one of my periodic enlightening conversations with immigrant cab drivers, a loquacious cabbie from Africa told me, unsolicited, “There’s no prejudice in the country against blacks. There’s a prejudice against native American blacks. I always feel respected here. I think it is my accent and my work habits.”

“[S]uicide rates are disproportionately high among the white population. In 2018, whites had the highest suicide rate of 16.03 per 100,000. The New York Times has reported that whites are dying faster than they are being born in a majority of US states — in large part due to high rates of substance abuse and suicide. In comparison, black Americans had a suicide rate less than half of whites (6.96). . . .”

To this he adds,

“If we look at health outcomes reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we find that African Americans are less likely than whites to die of several health conditions such as bladder cancer, leukemia, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, . . . brain cancer and skin cancer, to take a few arbitrary examples. But no one in their right mind would protest any ‘health privilege’ enjoyed by African Americans in these instances.”

There is more. It’s a brave and provocative piece. Too bad the people who need to read it won’t.

_________________________

* I’m going to add “huminahumina” to the  Concepts and Special Terms list. It refers to what poor, perpetual screw-up Ralph Kramden (played by Jackie Gleason) would babble incoherently when he was caught, as he often was, in a lie or an embarrassing situation that he couldn’t talk his way out of, on the old TV sitcom, “The Honeymooners.” (It is often, and incorrectly, referred to as “hominahomina.”)

Today, it was used as a verb.

Comment Of The Day (#3): KABOOM! Anti-White Stereotyping At The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture”

Not all Comments of the Day have to be epics. Sometimes a spare, eloquent, short comment makes a crucial point as well as it can be made.

Here is Isaac’s Comment of the Day on the Comment of the Day bonanza that is “KABOOM! Anti-White Stereotyping At The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture”:

It wasn’t meant to make sense. These are not unique European or White values. Europeans didn’t invent nuclear families or hard work. These values are not absent in Africa or any other continent. They are just found in varying proportions.

Most of them are just plain “good” values. That they are more uniquely tied to Europe is solely because Europe happened to fully embrace Christianity (specifically Protestantism and the written Bible) before the rest of the world.

What we’re seeing is just the devil’s mask slipping. It’s a thinly veiled attempt by Marxists to hollow out the African American subculture and wear it like a skin. And Marxism is itself a thinly veiled attempt to erase Christianity and kill its adherents.

KABOOM! Anti-White Stereotyping At The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

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

High Noon Ethics Showdown, 7/14/2020

“High Noon” is an ethics movie to be sure, but a very strange one. I put it on a list of ethics movies in 2016, but as I wrote then,

“High Noon” is a Western that shows the American people at their worst, refusing to help a single law man threatened on his wedding day, and cringing in fear and denial when their values need to be fought for.

I have long felt that the movie is like a “Twilight Zone” episode, or a Western version of “Invasion of the Body-Snatchers.” What’s wrong with those people? However, it feels less like a Rod Serling parable now, when I find myself thinking “What’s wrong with those people?” several times a day as I surf the news feeds.

It is reported that John Wayne was offered the role of the desperate law man, eventually played by the Duke’s friend, Gary Cooper. Wayne, who was always protective of the heroic character he had created over the course of his career, hated the script, and turned it down. I cannot imagine John Wayne running around a town begging for help as four gunfighters are on the way to seek revenge, and apparently neither could he. In response to “High Noon,” Wayne and Howard Hawks made “Rio Bravo,” about a sheriff who keeps refusing assistance as a rancher hires gunfighters to free the sheriff’s prisoner, his brother.  At every turn, people keep saving the sheriff anyway.

I think one reason Wayne wanted to star in “True Grit” so much is that Rooster Cogburn, old and fat, takes on four villains by himself, charging them on horseback with the reins in his teeth and guns blazing.

1. It’s amazing that everyone isn’t sick of this yet. The latest Times “fact check” of President Trump, like so many others, relies on an interpretations of the notoriously sloppy-speaking POTUS that nobody fair and attentive could possible  think was his intended meaning. The statement at issue was that “99% of which are totally harmless.”

By “totally harmless,” the hyperbole addicted President meant “aren’t fatal.” The game, however, is to pretend the Presidents words, whatever they are, are lies. (The Washington Post just updated its hilarious Trump lie database. I challenge anyone to pick ten entries at random that even include a majority of “lies.”)

The Times even writes, “Studies that have calculated the death rate based on broader antibody testing that takes these silent cases into consideration suggest an infection death rate of less than 1 percent, said Dr. Ashish K. Jha, the faculty director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.” Continue reading

The “I’d Say ‘Thank God It’s Friday,’ But In A Home Office During A Pandemic Friday’s Just A Name” Ethics Grab Bag, 7/10/2020

1. Re: Privilege and bit more on the Harper’s letter fiasco. At the Volokh Conspiracy, David Bernstein flags this tweet by New York Times reporter Farnaz Fassihi:

A few thoughts:

  • Why do I subscribe to a paper that would employ someone like this? I forget.
  • She’s a bigot. I just wrote a bit on the “privileged smear” on another thread:

I have to say again that I do not comprehend the “privilege” line of thought at all. In the hands of most who wield it, I find the tactic the equivalent of Butch Cassidy kicking huge Harvey Logan in the balls to start their knife fight….

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The White Privilege Escape Room

The white privilege trope has raised its obnoxious head in some recent Ethics Alarms threads, so this  is timely. In “The Privilege of Escape,” a new public art project by Risa Puno at Onassis USA, the recent escape room fad (you know about escape rooms, right?), participants discover after their “escape” that some participants were given easier challenges than others. From the approving review by Times critic :

“As we reunite with the second group, we discover that they didn’t escape in time — not because their members lacked skills or intelligence, but because of the room they were in. Simply put, they were forced to play with a major handicap, whose challenges they were unaware of because it was presented as part of the game. (When asked for feedback, someone from that group jokingly called the experience “hell.”) Meanwhile, we had the privilege of perfect conditions, which allowed us to achieve our full potential and escape.”

Ah! I see! A perfect metaphor for life in the U.S., where social injustice and bigotry create uneven playing fields, meaning that those who are successful  haven’t earned their success, and those who fail never had a chance! More: Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/16/19: Blacks With White Privilege, A Home Trump Derangement Test, Defending “Hamilton,” And More…

Got up on the wrong side of the bed today..

…and trying to recover.

1. Finally! The Ultimate Trump Derangement Home Test! This is wonderful, and we owe a debt to CNN for making this available. NeverTrump neocon Max Boot, who has been a “rseistance” ally since the 2016 election and who also writes op-eds for the Washington Post, presented this hilarious—but don’t tell anyone you are using the to test hilarious—visual aid to his recent Post screed:

Isn’t that great? I initially thought it was a Saturday Night Live parody, but how could that be, when SNL is all Trump Derangement All The Time itself? All you have to do is show this to a suspected TDS sufferer, and wait for the response. Hearty laughter followed by something along the lines of,” Wow! I didn’t think even CNN would stoop this low, but there it is!”, and you know your friend or family member has escaped the jaws of madness. If the subject’s reaction is to point and shout, “See! See! I told you the election was rigged!”, then it’s time for cold compresses and a 911 call.

Once again, I miss the fevered passion of the self-exiled Trump Deranged commenters on Ethics Alarms, to see exactly how far gone they are, if they are. Hilarity was bound to ensue.

I was tempted to do a whole post showing how every one of Boot’s “reasons” are strained circumstantial evidence at best or utter nonsense at worst, but two words, “confirmation bias,” pretty much covers it, along with a third, “desperation.” Meanwhile, just as self-amusement, I’m working on the list of reasons why Max Boot might be a Russian agent. So far I have Dilbert’s Scott Adams’ observation that while the pitiful Russian fake news on social media couldn’t divide the country, hysterical anti-Trump conspiracy theorists are doing a good job serving Russian interests by undermining the Presidency; Max’s “Boot” code name, which evokes George Orwell’s’ famous metaphor for Communist totalitarianism; and that Curly Howard hair cut, the choice of international anti-democracy villains in James Bond films,  “The Man From U.N.C.L.E,” TV’s “The Black List” and everything in between.

That’s only three, though. Suggestions welcome.

2. Is this good news or bad news? “Family Guy,” Seth McFarland’s nastier, cheaper, uglier rip-off of “The Simpsons,” has announced that it will be “phasing out” homophobic jokes. It’s certainly good news if this includes the disgusting and unfunny running gag about the old man next door to “The Family Guy” who has sexual designs on Peter’s idiot son, I guess. The problem is that the only feature of “The Family Guy” that made its intentionally tasteless and offensive humor excusable was that the show was cruel and unfair to everyone, pretty much equally. If the show is now bowing to victim-group pressure, how long will it be before its only targets are white men, conservatives, Fox News and Donald Trump?

If McFarland and the show are now afraid of being politically incorrect when political incorrectness is a career death sentence for everyone else, then it should just kill the show, rather than wander the airwaves hollowed out and submissive like the brainwashed Winston Smith at the end of “1984.”

Oh-oh. Second Orwell reference already today… Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Week: Dan Rather, Ex-Respected Journalist

See, if Dan didn’t have that habit of using his ear as a pencil sharpener, he wouldn’t say silly things like this…

“When Trump criticizes “all types of racism” he’s using false equivalence to wink at those who peddle in the distortions of white grievance. It makes a mockery of our history and our present. It’s not calming and unifying. it’s provocative and divisive. And it’s intentional.”

—Dan Rather, in a recent tweet, signaling his virtuous acceptance of the convenient falsehood that anti-white racism isn’t racism at all.

Rather is saying it is “false equivalence” to call all forms of racism equally wrong. The level of ethical obtuseness required to make this statement is high and airless. For one thing, it is based on consequentialism, the fallacious but common misconception that the consequences of an unethical act make it more or less ethical. No one would seriously dispute that anti-black racism has more than lapped the field regarding the pain, harm and death that it has caused. That historical fact does not make anti-white racism any better, or an even-handed condemnation of both a “false equivalence.” Rather’s reasoning is poisoned  with rationalizations, like “it’s not the worst thing” and “they had it coming.”

What is dangerously “provocative and divisive” is the double standard enablers and apologists for anti-white racism are trying to justify.

Jonah Goldberg exposes ethical obtuseness of Rather and his compatriots, writing in the LA Times: Continue reading