Losing the TERF War

THE WAR ON STANDARDS, WOKE U.S. ARMY EDITION

The U.S. Army apparently has decided to gender-norm scores on the test it administers for combat fitness… women will be judged based on how they perform in relation to other women.

This radical change is a response to the unsurprising fact that women are failing the Army’s combat fitness test to a disproportionate extent. The test in question evaluates soldiers in six events: dead lifts, a two-mile run, push-ups, a shuttle run, a medicine ball throw and leg tucks, in which soldiers must hang from a bar and bring their knees to their elbows. About 54 percent of women and 7 percent of men failed the test last year.

Wait a minute. If trans women ARE women, every soldier is potentially a woman. But biological females can’t compete on the same physical fitness curve as biological males?

The NCAA could not be reached for comment.

Agency: Haves and have nots

Oxford University Scholarship Online defines human agency:

Our self‐understanding as human agents includes commitment to three crucial claims about human agency: That agents must be active, that actions are part of the natural order, and that intentional actions can be explained by the agent’s reasons for acting.

I’ve written about agency in a couple of recent posts, related to the Ma’Khia Bryant tragedy, because it seems to me her most ardent defenders want to strip her of it for political gain. Oh, they grant her agency when it suits them; with implausable claims that she called 911, but they insist that all her other, documented actions are to be excused because of her age and “the system.” Many went so far as to contend teenage knife ‘fights’ are a rite of passage so common that police should ignore them. Ma’Khia lacked agency. Teenagers in general lack agency.

I came across an essay on this conveniently ambiguous attitude at the Manhattan Institute. A short time later I came across a post at Askblog. I strongly urge you to read both, and I’ll try to give you a little incentive below. They shed some light on SJW motivations and reasoning in playing the agency card.

First, a slice from Askblog reader Roger Sweeny in: The mind and moral categories

I recently read Daniel M. Wegner’ and Kurt Gray’s The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels, and Why It Matters (Viking, 2016), a book that has nothing explicitly to do with politics or wokeness. They ask the question, “Who (and what) do people believe has a mind?” A fetus? A dog? A robot? Google? God? They crunch some numbers and find that people seem to have two groups of characteristics of mindness. One is the ability to experience sensations and emotions. The other is the ability to act, to decide and do.

They tell us that entities that can feel but can’t act turn on our moral senses. Outrage at a man beating a dog. Pity for those in the hospital dying. Moreover, something in us wants to believe that those who are suffering are blameless. But we also want to find moral causes. We want to find something to blame. Best if it is something with a large capacity to act and a small capacity to suffer. Almost always, they say, there is a moral dyad. In fact, whenever there is something with a large capacity to act and a small capacity to suffer, we want to find the other half of the dyad, something relatively powerless and suffering.

Many opponents of wokeness have argued that it “denies agency” to the designated victims, that it treats them as powerless children. So far at least, that charge has not weakened the support for wokeness…

The less there is overt racial discrimination, the more there is a need to believe in a malevolent system. That may seem counter-intuitive, but so is the reality that revolutions do not occur when things are getting worse but when things are (generally) getting better.

Now we’ll turn to a long article at The Manhattan Institute: The Social Construction of Racism in the United States

This paper uses survey data to make the case that racism in America lies, in significant measure, in the eyes of the beholder. This not only concerns people’s perceptions of the prevalence of racism in society but even of their personal experience.

The quality of racism is inversely proportional to the SJW declaimed quantity. Think Jussie Smollett, he was just trying to fulfill the demand.

Tocqueville identified the reasons early on:

The hatred that men bear to privilege increases in proportion as privileges become fewer and less considerable, so that
democratic passions would seem to burn most fiercely just when
they have least fuel. . . . When all conditions are unequal,
no inequality is so great as to offend the eye, whereas the
slightest dissimilarity is odious in the midst of general
uniformity; the more complete this uniformity is, the more
insupportable the sight of such a difference becomes. Hence
it is natural that the love of equality should constantly
increase together with equality itself, and that it should
grow by what it feeds on.
– Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

In a similar vein, Coleman Hughes, in a pathbreaking 2018 essay,
remarks on Tocqueville’s paradox as it concerns racial liberalism
in America: “It seems as if every reduction in racist behavior is
met with a commensurate expansion in our definition of the concept.
Thus, racism has become a conserved quantity akin to mass or energy:
transformable but irreducible.”

This is part of an explanation for Critical Race Theory: Systemic racism is necessary, because it can be winnowed out of every object or human interaction, no matter how benign. Just move the goalposts.

There’s a reason that everything is now viewed through a racial lens. Every day in every way you are bombarded with “evidence” of racism in everything. Over time, this sways minds. Much to our detriment.

Reading a passage from critical race theory author Ta-Nehisi Coates results in a significant 15-point drop in black respondents’ belief that they have control over their lives…

Surveys showed that liberal whites are more supportive of punitive CRT postulates than blacks, who are more likely to aspire to agency and resilience. Moreover, CRT appeared to have a detrimental effect on African- Americans’ feeling of being in control of their lives. This makes CRT a poor choice for policymakers seeking to improve outcomes in the black community.

Finally, my survey results indicate that as much as half of reported racism may be ideologically or psychologically conditioned, and the rise in the proportion of Americans claiming racism to be an important problem is largely socially constructed.

Whites are more affected by social justice/social media conditioning. Blacks are more sensible. I’ll bet there is a correlation with who has read Ta-Nehisi Coates or attended a D’Angelo brainmash session.

Vox culturati

Not even a broken link to Vox. You can look for it yourself, but I’ve tried to save you the anguish. The Vox author is the aptly first-named Fabiola Cineas. Note to her parents: Fabulosa would have been perfect.

I try to keep a finger in the ground and an ear to the wind to measure the mutterings of the sinister fringe, and I just found a bit at Vox that tells me they continue to be serious about ginning up the “Ma’Khia called 911” victim-shifting nano-story. It really matters to them.

I took a look at why this hypothetical is quite improbable here, on April 28.

Fabulosa writes:

Even after it was discovered that Bryant was living in foster care, that she was in the middle of a fight with older women when police arrived, and that she was allegedly the one who summoned the police for help, people — some of the same people who called for justice in Floyd’s case — used police talking points to justify the four bullets that Reardon unloaded into Bryant’s chest. She was brandishing a knife, many pointed out, which meant the other Black women needed to be protected.

Crisis response experts noted, however, that deescalation tactics — like commanding Bryant to drop the weapon, physically getting between the women, or simply communicating with her — could have kept everyone alive. In many recorded encounters between the police and white people carrying weapons, for instance, officers didn’t shoot first or even reach for their guns — they successfully managed to peacefully apprehend the suspect.

Even after it was discovered that Bryant was living in foster care
“Even after…” – was the cop supposed to factor this into his decision before preventing a murder? … ‘Oh, maybe she’s a foster child about to knife someone? That’s different!’

“it was discovered”? Someone was trying to hide it? Foster care is an excuse for being murderously out of control? If so, her father’s arrests for nonsupport would be relevant.

she was in the middle of a fight with older women when police arrived
There was no physical fight at the time the police arrived. No danger to Ma’Khia until she charged down the driveway and initiated one. The older women were barely out of their teens, and the one she was shot in the process of stabbing was half Ma’Khia’s size.

she was allegedly the one who summoned the police for help
Did Ma’Khia call 911 because she thought the police would be accomplices in a stabbing?

‘Alleged’ by a couple of twitter loons and Joy Reid, among other deranged fringe journalists. Who made that call is pure speculation. NO INFORMATION has been released, and would probably depend on voice print comparison to resolve. This is just the SJWs quoting each other as sources.

What we do know points entirely against the idea Ma’Khia called the cops just in time watch her attempted murder.

She was brandishing a knife, many pointed out, which meant the other Black women needed to be protected.
You disagree? Black women being attacked by black girls twice their size are not to be protected?

deescalation tactics — like commanding Bryant to drop the weapon
Shouting “Get down! Get down!… Get down! Get down!” wasn’t good enough. He had to say “Drop the knife,” or it doesn’t count.

physically getting between the women
The cop tried to get between the first woman attacked and Ma’Kihia. Ma’Khia instantly went after the second woman. While Ma’Khia’s father was kicking the first.

simply communicating with her
Somehow there is a different, simpler, communication method than shouting “Get down!,” multiple times. A calm, cool thinking solution would be preferred. Yes, but you wouldn’t write such tripe if you had watched the video. Since I’m sure Ms Fabulosa did watch it, I call her screed “racism as a service.”

In many recorded encounters between the police and white people carrying weapons, for instance, officers didn’t shoot first or even reach for their guns
Who can doubt it? It’s also true that “in many recorded encounters” between the police and black people carrying weapons… officers didn’t “shoot first.” Whatever the hell “shoot first” means in this case. In 9 seconds shooting after 5 wouldn’t be “first.”

It’s even true that in encounters between black police and black subjects, at least as many unarmed black subjects are shot as by white police. This link is NPR, and it goes out of its way to make a case that the US is nonetheless a racist country. They report. You decide if that conclusion is reached by reasoning backwards from it. Like the Vox story.

Fabulosa is pretty good at her avocation. Whenever I see her name going forward I will think of Leni Riefenstahl.

Monetizing black deaths

Does it matter if Ma’Khia Bryant was the person who called 911 just before she was shot by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio?

I’ll say no.

She would have been shot anyway because of her behavior after the police arrived. And she still would have been shot multiple times because her extreme physical and verbal aggressiveness, and failure to stand down when ordered, could only be distinguished from a murder in progress by God.

The question of who called 911 arises only because some of those urging us to just let children fight with knives also strongly insist that Ma’Khia Bryant is that person.

Why? I suppose it’s an effort to reinforce Joy Reid’s trial balloon that “…what scared a 16-year-old girl enough that she felt that she had to grab a kitchen knife facing two adult women… No one’s asking what would’ve scared a kid who’s in a foster situation so much that she felt that she needed to defend herself or pick up a knife.” If she was scared she would have been better off staying that way.

If Ma’Khia is cast as a frightened child, defending herself from adults, and as a victim of her own good intent, it’s easier to blame the shooting on systemic racism than on her bad decisions. She had no choice, she isn’t well equipped to make choices anyway, and the system killed her even though she tried to do the right thing.

As noted yesterday, this is in line with stripping her of agency. As a black child she had little, and what little she mustered – calling 911 – resulted in her destruction. The system is murderously biased in its core.

But if Ma’Khia was afraid (indicated if she called 911) you’d expect she would be relieved to see a police officer 10 minutes later. Maybe even put him between herself and the people she feared? You might expect she’d have stood with a wall at her back saying, “Don’t come near me!,” rather than charging, knife in hand, at a smaller person shouting “I’m Going to Stab F**k Out of You, Bitch!”.

She didn’t welcome the police, and she acted the opposite of defensive. She not only wasn’t relieved to see the officer, but she practically ran him over in her urgency to attack “the girl in pink.”

There’s more that Joy Reid failed to consider. Perhaps because she felt her message was more important than mere facts.

The 911 caller says “This girl trying to stab us and our grandma.” It could be that Ma’Khia said that, but since she was a foster child her grandma likely didn’t live there. And who would “us” be?

There is a remote possibility of an “us.”

If you’ve seen the police body-cam video you know that a tall black man in a gray hoodie followed Ma’Khia down the driveway as she knocks a heavy set female in blue to the ground, swinging her right hand toward the woman. It’s not clear from the video if Ma’Khia is holding a knife at this point (though 5 seconds later it’s clearly in her hand).

The officer, who has just arrived, turns to his right – toward the ensuing melee taking place no more than 3 feet away.

The cop draws his gun, shouting “Get down! Get down!”. Because by now he’s seen the knife in Ma’Khia’s right hand? Everybody should be digging a foxhole at this point.

Ma’Khia jumps up and charges a girl in a pink tracksuit. Simultaneously, the man in the gray hoodie kicks the woman on the ground twice. He makes no attempt to deter Ma’Khia. He is Ma’Khia’s ally. He kicks women lying on the ground. In front of a cop.

The cop turns to his left to track Ma’Khia – she has the knife – and shouts again. Ma’Khia pins the girl in pink against a car while bringing her arm into a striking position. The cop fires 4 rounds, fatally wounding Ma’Khia.

The man in the grey hoodie cries, “You shot my baby!”. The man in the gray hoodie is Ma’Khia’s father.

He’s had a warrant out for his arrest since January, and has been arrested numerous times, including for non-support and domestic violence. He’s entitled to benefit of the doubt, but non-support and domestic violence are directly relevant here. His daughter is in foster care and he kicks supine women.

He also doesn’t live at that house. So, how did he come to be involved? Probably because Ma’Khia called him as reinforcement. If she knew he had an outstanding warrant, Ma’Khia might well have been hesitant to call 911. In any case, he knew, and he came to the scene prepared to commit assault – in front of a cop – anyway. I haven’t heard Joy Reid wondering if that was the first time he set such an example for his daughter.

None of this proves Ma’Khia was not the 911 caller, but that has nothing to do with why she died. The only reason it matters is to bolster BLM donations: She was a frightened child, and a victim of systemic racism. We will probably eventually find out who made the call, but the urgent need to embellish the neo-racist narrative supersedes the need for fact.