Guilt

Mark Steyn:
Calling Out Around the World

All jihad is local, but all “Islamophobia” is global. So, if a Muslim of Afghan origin shoots up a gay nightclub in Florida and kills 49 people, that’s just one crazed loner and no broader lessons can be discerned from his act. On the other hand, if a white guy shoots up two mosques in New Zealand and kills 50 people, that indicts us all, and we need to impose worldwide restraints on free speech to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’m ecumenical enough to mourn the dead in both gay clubs and mosques, but I wonder why we are so conditioned to accept Islamic terror as (in the famous words of London mayor Sadiq Khan) “part and parcel of living in a big city” that it is only the exceptions to the rule that prompt industrial-scale moral preening from politicians and media.

Western cultural guilt: That’s a point I didn’t make yesterday in comparing the reaction to Islamist church massacres with the attacks of deranged individual Westerners on houses of worship.  Islamists don’t feel guilty.

RTWT.

Religious wars

On Thursday, I listened to a few minutes of NPR because I couldn’t find any other radio stations that weren’t worse. The subject was the insane Aussie fascist who perpetrated mass murder at mosques in New Zealand. The segment was an interview with a woman who continually referred to “mosque attacks.” At first I heard her saying “mass attacks.”

But she was implying “mosque attacks” happen in Western democracies quite frequently. “They mean this. They mean that. They demonstrate societal Islamophobia.”

So when I stumbled across an article from the Associated Press:
A look at attacks on houses of worship over last decade

… it seemed like “mosque attacks” are a thing, but in majority Muslim countries. So, I started comparing the number of Islamist attacks on mosques to the attacks on houses of worship overall. Sixteen of the incidents AP listed were attacks on mosques by organized Islamist groups. ISIS, Al-shabaab, etc.. Four were attacks on other religions by organized Islamists. Two were attacks on mosques by white supremacist individuals. One was an attack on a Synagogue by a white supremacist individual. One was an attack on a Synagogue by Islamists. One was an attack on a black church by a white supremacist. One was an attack on a Baptist church by a deranged atheist. One was an attack on a Sikh temple by a white supremacist.

Where the AP incident descriptions below are not completely clear about who committed the crimes, I have linked to complete stories that support my classification.

Green are attacks on any religion that took place in a Western democracy.

77% of all these attacks were committed by Islamists.  70% of those were attacks on other Muslims.  They all were committed in the name of Islamic terrorist organizations.

Attacker-Attacked Incident
Islam-Christian Oct. 31, 2010: Al-Qaida in Iraq militants attack Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church in Baghdad during Sunday night mass, killing 58 people in the deadliest assault targeting Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion there. Al-Qaida in Iraq later became the Islamic State group.
Islam-Islam Dec. 15, 2010: Two suicide bombers from the Sunni extremist group Jundallah blow themselves up near a mosque in southeastern Iran, including six Revolutionary Guard commanders.
Islam-Islam July 16, 2010: Jundallah group kills 27 and injures 270 after it carries out a double suicide bombing against another Shiite mosque in southeastern Iran.
Islam-Christian Oct. 31, 2010: Al-Qaida in Iraq militants attack Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church in Baghdad during Sunday night mass, killing 58 people in the deadliest assault targeting Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion there. Al-Qaida in Iraq later became the Islamic State group.
Islam-Islam Dec. 15, 2010: Two suicide bombers from the Sunni extremist group Jundallah blow themselves up near a mosque in southeastern Iran, including six Revolutionary Guard commanders.
White Supremacist-Sikh Aug. 5, 2012: Six members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, in Oak Creek, are fatally shot by a white supremacist, Wade Michael Page. Page was shot by a responding officer and later killed himself.
Islam-Judaism Nov. 18, 2014: Two Palestinians using axes, knives and a gun kill four Jewish worshippers and an Israeli police officer in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue.
Islam-Islam Jan. 30, 2015: Suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque in the Pakistani town of Shikarpur kills 71. Jundullah claims responsibility.
Islam-Islam March 20, 2015: Islamic State suicide bombers attack a pair of mosques in Yemen’s capital, unleashing monstrous blasts that ripped through worshippers and killed 137 people.
White Supremacist-Black Christians June 17, 2015: Nine black worshippers including a pastor are killed by Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist, after he prayed with them in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof was convicted of federal hate-crime and obstruction-of-religion charges and sentenced to death.
Islam-Islam Sept. 24, 2015: A suicide bomber strikes a mosque in Yemen’s rebel-held capital, killing 25 worshippers during prayers for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
Islam-Islam Nov. 12, 2016: Suicide bomber from Islamic State group kills over 50 at the shrine of Shah Noorani, in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.
Islam-Christian Dec. 11, 2016: Suicide bomber strikes inside a Cairo chapel adjacent to St. Mark’s Cathedral, seat of Egypt’s ancient Coptic Orthodox Church. The Islamic State group claimed the attack, which killed at least 25 people.
White Supremacist-Islam Jan. 29, 2017: A gunman killed six men during evening prayers at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City. Alexandre Bissonnette pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and attempted murder charges and was sentenced to serve 40 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
Islam-Islam Feb. 16, 2017: Suicide bomber detonates his explosives vest among the devotees at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Pakistan’s Sindh province, killing 98.
Islam-Islam April 9, 2017: Twin suicide bombings rock churches in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria and Tanta, killing at least 45 people. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.
Islam-Islam June 15, 2017: A suicide bomber kills four people at a Shiite mosque in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul. Among the dead is a leader of Afghanistan’s ethnic Hazaras, who are mostly Shiite Muslims.
Islam-Islam Aug. 1, 2017: A suicide bomber storms into the largest Shiite mosque in Afghanistan’s western Herat province, opening fire on worshippers before blowing himself up, killing at least 90 people. Hundreds more were wounded in the attack, which happened during evening prayers.
Islam-Islam Aug. 25, 2017: Militants storm a packed Shiite mosque in Kabul during Friday prayers. The attack ends with at least 28 worshippers killed and 50 wounded, many of them children. Two of the assailants blow themselves up and another two are shot dead by Afghan security forces.
Islam-Islam Sept. 29, 2017: A suicide bomber blows himself up outside a Shiite mosque in Kabul, killing five. The attack took place as worshippers were leaving the mosque after Friday prayers.
Islam-Islam Oct. 20, 2017: The Islamic State group claims a suicide bomber attack, killing 31 and wounding 29 people, at a Shiite mosque in Kabul.
Deranged atheist-Christian Nov. 5, 2017: Dressed in black tactical-style gear and armed with an assault weapon, 26-year-old Devin Kelley opened fire at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and wounding about 20 others.
Islam-Islam Nov. 24, 2017: Militants kill 311 worshippers in a mosque attack in north Sinai, the deadliest such terrorist attack in Egypt’s modern history.
Islam-Islam Dec. 17, 2017: Islamic State attack on a church in Pakistani city of Quetta kills 16 people.
Islam-Islam Aug. 3, 2018: Suicide bombers disguised in burqa robes attack a Shiite mosque in eastern Afghanistan, killing 27 people.
White Supremacist-Judaism Oct. 27, 2018: A gunman believed to have spewed anti-Semitic slurs and rhetoric on social media entered Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Pittsburgh and opened fire, killing 11 and wounding six, including four police officers.
Islam-Christian Jan. 27, 2019: Two suicide attackers detonate two bombs during a Mass in a Roman Catholic cathedral on the largely Muslim island of Jolo in the southern Philippines, killing 23 and wounding about 100 others. Three days later, an attacker hurls a grenade in a mosque in nearby Zamboanga city, killing two religious teachers.
White Supremacist-Islam March 15, 2019: At least 40 people are killed in an attack at mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

This is AP’s list, and they acknowledge elsewhere that it is incomplete:

A U.N. report released in November documented 51 attacks on places of worship in Afghanistan since January 2016 that killed more than 270 civilians and wounded hundreds more.

(Update Mar 18: And here’s another one they missed: The 2014 firebombing of Bergisch Synagogue in Wuppertal, Germany, by three Palestinian immigrants. German courts declared this to be anti-Israel, and not to be antisemitic. Sounds like Ilhan Omar.)

It’s highly likely that U.N. list skews to Islam-Islam atrocities, but calculating the increased Islam-Islam attack percentage isn’t the point of this post.

We can condemn the New Zealand attack without blaming it on Western democracies, or Tweets by Chelsea Clinton castigating Ilhan Omar for anti-semitism. One might note there are no listed attacks on mosques in Israel.

For one thing, like most of the group-organized attacks listed above, those 51 did originate from the culture. The white supremacist attacks all appear to have been single individuals, outside the culture. For another thing, all those individuals have been caught and have/will face(d) punishment under Western rules of law. This is not true of the Islamist attacks on Muslims.  Finally, there is no question that the Islamist attacks were all motivated by religion.

If, as the SJWs contend, all cultures are equal, then all cultures should be equally condemned when such atrocities take place. That they are not tells us something about these Western critics of Western values. We find mass murder abhorrent, and an affront to our values, no matter who the victims. Islamists do not.

Defending Omar

Jim Clyburn’s defense: Ilhan Omar’s experience is ‘more personal’ than Jews who had parents in the Holocaust

As Democrats line up to defend Rep. Ilhan Omar and come up with her excuses for her anti-Semitism, House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., tried to minimize her comments by arguing that she escaped violence in Somalia, so her experience was “more personal” than Jews who merely had parents survive the Holocaust.

If he had bothered to look for similar experience that did not result in anti-Semitism, he might have mentioned Ayaan Hirsi Ali; like Ilhan Omar a Somali refugee. And whose experience with discrimination, death threats, and, yes, even Twitter attacks, is at least as personal as Ms. Omar’s.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the Preaching of Islam and the Left’s Alliance with Islamists (2018, 22:59, the following starts 10 minutes in)


“Anti-semitism is back because of Islam.”

Hirsi Ali says she had never heard of the Holocaust until she arrived in the Netherlands in 1992. She was 24.

Ms. Omar arrived in the United States in 1995 at the age of 14. I wonder if someone will ask Ms. Omar when she first heard of the Holocaust. Even given the state of the American public school system, one would think she’s heard of it by now.

Ilhan Omar represents the district where over 60 Somalis have joined, or have been arrested for attempting to join, ISIS and al-Shabaab. Even NPR took notice of the phenomenon as long ago as 2009. The Somali-Minneapolis Terrorist Axis.

Ilhan Omar is an apologist for at least some of those Minnesota terrorist aspirants. One of whom said “I was not going there to pass out medical kits or food. I was going strictly to fight and kill on behalf of the Islamic State.” Of that man she wrote to the sentencing judge,

“A long-term prison sentence for one who chose violence to combat direct marginalization is a statement that our justice system misunderstands the guilty. A restorative approach to justice assesses the lure of criminality and addresses it.”

He got 30 years. Maybe as a result of that appalling appeal to forgive choosing violence, (mostly against other Muslims).  Or maybe because of Omar’s contention that our justice system misunderstands guilt unless it supports her cause.  You can’t doubt she is asking for different treatment for Somali terrorists who live in the US.

Go inside ‘Little Mogadishu,’ the Somali capital of America for a view of how well assimilation is working.  See also, Somali Gangs Battle in Minneapolis; Somalis Demand That Cops Do Something

Ayaan Hirsi Ali makes the observation that the majority of the followers of Islam conflate politics and law with religion. Freedom of, or from, religion is problematic for those Muslims who insist on Sharia as State policy.

Here’s a thoughtful look at why Islamic politics/law and religion are congruent from Shadi Hamid, contributing editor at The Atlantic and a senior fellow at the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution:

Is Islam ‘Exceptional’?

How events from 14 centuries ago still shape the religion’s relationship to politics, and what that means for the future of the Middle East

[W]here theologians like Martin Luther famously fashioned a dialectic between faith and good works, these two things are inextricably tied together in Islam. Faith is often expressed through the observance of the law. The failure to follow Islamic law is a reflection of the believer’s lack of faith and unwillingness to submit to God. Salvation is impossible without law. This has implications for the nature of the Islamic state. If following the sharia—for example, refraining from alcohol and adultery, observing the fast, and praying five times a day—is a precondition for salvation, then political leaders and clerics alike have a role in encouraging the good and forbidding evil, a role they played, to various degrees, for the entirety of the pre-modern period…

Muslims are, of course, not bound to Islam’s founding moment, but neither can they fully escape it. The prophet Muhammad was a theologian, a politician, a warrior, a preacher, and a merchant, all at once. Importantly, he was also the builder of a new state. It is difficult to know when he was acting in one role rather than the other (which has led to endless debates over whether some of the prophet’s actions in certain domains were, in fact, prophetic). Some religious thinkers—including Sudan’s Mahmoud Mohamed Taha and, later, his student Abdullahi an-Na’im—have tried to separate these different prophetic legacies, arguing that the Quran contains two messages. The first message, based on the verses revealed while the prophet was establishing a new political community in Medina, includes particulars of Islamic law that may have been appropriate for seventh-century Arabia but are not applicable outside that context. The second message of Islam, revealed in Mecca before the prophet’s emigration to Medina, encompasses the eternal principles of Islam, which are meant to be updated according to the demands of time and place…

One could go further and advocate not only for a progressive interpretation of Islamic law but also for its basic irrelevance to public life—that the separation of religion from politics forms the foundation of any pluralistic post-Enlightenment liberal society.

Here’s some discussion of sharia.  This video is not in focus, but it is still worth listening to.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali Responds to Questions at Ohio University (2011, 13:43)


The response to the guy with a head full of intersectional cultural relativism at 9:22 is priceless.

Democrats should listen to that.

2020 Democrats normalize anti-Semitism by defending Ilhan Omar

Democrats seeking the party’s 2020 presidential nomination are starting to come out in defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar, and in the process, they are normalizing anti-Semitism.

Leading Democratic candidates Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren have all come out defending Omar and pointing fingers at her critics, despite a series of statements she has made targeting American Jews…

[Bernie Sanders] “We must develop an evenhanded Middle East policy which brings Israelis and Palestinians together for a lasting peace. What I fear is going on in the House now is an effort to target Congresswoman Omar as a way of stifling that debate.”

[Kamala] Harris… “There is a difference between criticism of policy or political leaders, and anti-Semitism” and also arguing, “I am concerned that the spotlight being put on Congresswoman Omar may put her at risk.”

[Elizabeth] Warren… “Branding criticism of Israel as automatically anti-Semitic has a chilling effect on our public discourse and makes it harder to achieve a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians.”

The debate has not been stifled, it has been shifted in order to redefine long standing anti-Semitic tropes as political criticisms. Which are considered religious tenents.

More worth reading:
Victor Davis Hanson
The New, New Anti-Semitism

2020 Democrats normalize anti-Semitism by defending Ilhan Omar

Where neopronouns lead

The word “science” is being made into a joke; the word “fair,” a travesty.

This is the hill on which the transgenderist attack on women must die, lest sports, science and fairness become meaningless words, and academiot unreality escapes into the wild.

Canadian sports “experts” embrace misogynist practices to please trans activists­

See also:
Not the ‘fairest’ sex, if the powerful logical and emotional arguments against men competing, at their whim, with women in sports does not galvanize resistance to the SJW idea of “equity,” then nothing will.

Here’s just one implication, Free Speech: People are being kicked off social media for “misgendering” men who think they are women. Let them think it, but don’t put them in the 100 yard dash with chromosomal women.

Governments are beginning to compel use of made up pronouns on University Campuses. If the transgenderists are allowed to destroy sports, they’ll force that on the rest of us.

Burdensome

Nancy Pelosi defending Ilhan Omar:

“I think she has a different experience in the use of words, and doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning that [she] didn’t realize, but nonetheless that we had to address,” Pelosi said.

Omar most recently came under fire after she accused Jewish Americans of having “allegiance to a foreign power.”

Pelosi made a similar statement on Thursday, when she told reporters at a press conference that she believes Omar didn’t understand “the full weight” of how other people understood her words.

“When you cross that threshold into Congress, your words weigh much more than when you’re shouting at somebody outside, and I feel confident that her words were not based on any anti-Semitic attitude, but that she didn’t have a full appreciation of how they landed on other people, where these words have a history and cultural impact that may have been unknown to her,” Pelosi said.

Nancy’s excuse for Omar is certainly absurd. It’s also condescending, imperialist, and culturally supremacist. Poor little Muslim girl doesn’t have the background to understand her own words. She’s only been in the United States for 24 years.

I guess that’s the white woman’s burden, Pelosi style. I can’t understand why all the woke Twitter users haven’t declared a fatwa on the Speaker.

Obviously…

…she should have immediately identified as a man.

“A breakaway female cyclist was forced to stop during a prestigious race in Belgium after she started to catch up with the men’s competition, which had started 10 minutes earlier.”

The people running this race were idiots, and deserve the roasting they’re sure to get from Left and Right.

Bait and switch

Google Finds It’s Underpaying Many Men as It Addresses Wage Equity

Here is the core point from that NYT article:

When Google conducted a study recently to determine whether the company was underpaying women and members of minority groups, it found, to the surprise of just about everyone, that men were paid less money than women for doing similar work.

Now, that’s a blockbuster, right? Feminists should be rejoicing. They aren’t. They are still whining, and the goalposts are being adjusted as you read this.

From Google’s point of view these results are a happy thing. If you wanted to spike some private suits, fire a shot across the bow of crazed employees, and stick a finger in the eye of the Labor Department all at once… you might want a study just like this.

For example:

The Labor Department is investigating whether the company systematically underpays women. It has been sued by former employees who claim they were paid less than men with the same qualifications.

However, according to critics, it isn’t enough that Google has been paying women more for equivalent work – they were started at lower salaries.

Google’s critics say it doesn’t come close to matching what a woman would make if she had been assigned to the appropriate pay grade in the first place…

This is a strange objection, because the data imply the opposite: Either men are started at lower salaries than they should be, or women get more substantial raises more quickly. Otherwise, how is it that men at Google are more likely to be underpaid?

Men disproportionately received raises and bonuses. Google apparently found that it’s men who are hired at lower than “equitable” salaries. Italics mine:

The company has done the study every year since 2012. At the end of 2017, it adjusted 228 employees’ salaries by a combined total of about $270,000. This year, new hires were included in the analysis for the first time, which Google said probably explained the big change in numbers.

Those who don’t get that relationship are probably not good candidates for high level software engineering jobs. They do better at diversity consulting.

Joelle Emerson, CEO of a company which profits by convincing its clients ‘increasing diversity’ is so hard it can’t be done without ‘woke’ consultants, explains:

Google seems to be advancing a “flawed and incomplete sense of equality” by making sure men and women receive similar salaries for similar work, said Joelle Emerson, chief executive of Paradigm, a consulting company that advises companies on strategies for increasing diversity. That is not the same as addressing “equity,” she said, which would involve examining the structural hurdles that women face as engineers.

Google, “by making sure men and women receive similar salaries for similar work” is doing it wrong.  It needs to hire Ms. Emerson’s consultants.

You have to admit this is a nice twist on planned obsolescence. The “structural hurdles” will never be exhausted in the search for equality of outcome and the righteous battle to prevent diversity of thought.

A good example of Ms. Emerson’s definition of diversity would appear to be equal pay outcomes for those who can’t code, but only if they are female, or members of some other identity group not white or male.

“Equity” is a code word for equal outcome. In the ’60s, it was equal opportunity that drew sensible people to support changes in how women were treated. That’s all gone.

See also: Asymmetries in the workplace do not necessarily reflect gender discrimination for more examples of denialism from the Feminists:

  1. In countries with little to no institutional barriers to employment on the basis of identity, men and women often make choices (involving their own family and vocational priorities) that result in asymmetries in workplace representation and earnings (whether among Uber drivers or graduatesof prestigious MBA programs).

  2. Men overwhelmingly outnumber women in the most dangerous jobs. This also doesn’t indicate that discrimination has taken place.

  3. While unequal treatment before the law and corruption should not be tolerated, different career and family choices (as well as preferences and aptitudes) that result in asymmetries in workplace representation and earnings neither result from conspiracies nor from oppression.

RTWT.

Emperors undressed

The Rise of the Ungovernables

2019 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Francis Fukuyama’s seminal essay for the National Interest “The End of History?” Its central hypothesis was that we were witnessing “the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” That looked plausible in 1989, particularly when the Berlin Wall fell just months after the essay’s release. Thirty years later—not so much.

To be fair to Fukuyama, he never suggested that the world had seen the end of geopolitical conflict or that democracies would experience no more of Macmillan’s “events.” Today, he continues to view liberal democracy as the best form of government, but he is less optimistic about its robustness. It’s hard to disagree with him. The Brexit chaos, the Trump presidency, the collapse of support for centrist parties across Europe, and the pervasive rise of populism and nationalism, all point to the growing fragility of liberal democracy.

Why is this happening now? The usual response is to blame it all on the politicians. Leaders like Orban and Trump are subverting the institutions at the heart of liberal democracy. Political parties like Alternative für Deutschland and the National Rally are promoting illiberal and xenophobic policies. If only we had better leaders, democracy would flourish—so goes the argument.

That last sentence is exactly the same excuse Socialists and Communists use for state failures in the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, Cambodia, North Korea, et. al.. A majority of voters in this country agree with it, even as they are split on policy.

That last sentence describes the danger of the Imperial Presidency – something that connects Obama and Trump (they’re hardly alone, but it became an art form under their tender care).

That last sentence describes voters’ aspirations.  It explains Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, and Donald Trump.  Not that they all share policy ideas, but that a sufficient number of voters see them as saviors.  This is a terrible way to think about public employees.

The Obamaists and the Trumpists both revere the Man, not the Law.  Their Emperor’s ideas are fully clothed in their own narcissism.

Read the whole article, it presents some good ideas about cultural changes contributing to the problem and the related role of social media.

Victor Davis Hanson, call your office

It seems that the plan is to reduce University course selection to just one subject:
Victim Group Studies.

How I was Kicked Out of the Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting

Mary Frances Williams is a courageous person.  Reading about her experience tells us much about the modern Academy. Here is a long quote about the heart of the matter, but I recommend reading the whole thing to understand why Williams felt any need to make these common sense points.

I only wanted to make four very brief points, but I felt compelled to state at the beginning that we could not abandon the ancient languages because then we would have nothing left of our field—of all the egregiously shocking things I had just heard, that seemed to be the one that most cried out to be challenged. I then attempted to say the following:

1) It is important to stand up for Classics as a discipline, and promote it as the political, literary, historical, philosophical, rhetorical, and artistic foundation of Western Civilization, and the basis of European history, tradition, culture, and religion. It gave us the concepts of liberty, equality, and democracy, which we should teach and promote. We should not apologize for our field;

2) It is important to go back to teaching undergraduates about the great classical authors—Cicero, the Athenian dramatists, Homer, Demosthenes, the Greek and Roman historians, Plato, and Aristotle—in English translation in introductory courses;

3) One way of promoting Classics is to offer more survey courses that cover many subject areas (epic, tragedy, comedy, rhetoric, philosophy, history, political theory, and art history), or to concentrate on one area such as in Freshmen seminars, or through western civilization classes;

4) It should help with securing funding from administrators to argue that such survey courses are highly cost-effective: a student could learn a tremendous amount even if such a survey were the only Classics course taken. On the other hand, a seminar that concentrated on the close reading of a few texts would prove beneficial for all students.

Unfortunately, I was interrupted in the middle of my first point by Sarah Bond, who forcefully insisted: “We are not Western Civilization!”

What can one say to that? I didn’t respond; but as I then attempted to move on and make my second point, I was interrupted by her and others, and not permitted to finish what I had hoped would be four very brief statements. A member of the audience with no connection to the panel, Michael Gagarin (University of Texas Emeritus) rose, came over to me, and told me I wasn’t allowed to speak.

I had never been at an academic conference where a member of an audience had the power to forbid another audience member from speaking. I continued: “We don’t teach Homer. We don’t teach Cicero… Why don’t we teach Thucydides and Herodotus?… So I’m saying: Cicero has value. Homer has value. Demosthenes has value, because it will teach you about defending Democracy.” (Sarah Bond pointed out that these writers were “all men” and seemed to think she’d scored a devastating point at my expense.)

I then went on to say that I believe the journals publish articles on the basis of merit, not because of the race or ethnicity of the authors. Padilla then challenged me since I was clearly disagreeing with his argument, namely, that only black people and Hispanics should be able to publish in academic journals.

In the hope of making my position clearer—that race should not be a determining factor when it comes to assessing the value of scholarship—I said to Padilla, “You may have got your job because you’re black, but I’d prefer to think you got your job because of merit.” Admittedly, I was under stress and did not express myself as clearly as I might have done, but what I was trying to convey is that the principle he was advocating clearly didn’t apply to hiring decisions—and nor should it—because he had got his job on merit, not because he’s black. Indeed, if I thought the opposite, and I imagined there was a chance of him saying, “You’re right, I was only hired because I’m black,” that would have contradicted the point I was trying to make, which is that it would have been wrong to hire him based only on his race, just as it would be wrong for an academic journal to publish an article based on the race of its author.

Williams was attacked for her ideas in a supposedly academic discussion, and told to shut up. There’s lots of offensiveness to go around.

She quotes her offending phrase.  We can assume, since it is not flattering, that it is accurate; and can see why it could cause offense. But, as we’ll also see, Professor Peralta thinks he should have been hired simply because of his melanin content. A white person is not allowed to infelicitously agree with that, though.

And Williams is right, it would have contradicted her argument.  So, I think she didn’t mean it the way she said it.

From the comments: “There is nothing political in learning how to conjugate a Latin verb, for example.”  That’s actually the point Williams was trying to make.  But, there something political in it now.

In fact, that’s the whole point: Latin speakers were patriarchal, white, colonialists. Further, conjugation is simply a way to ‘otherize’ minorities by suggesting rigorous study is required for Classics students.

See, critical-theory intersectionality is easy. If you can write plainly.

For a Masters degree in the single University study SJWs are promoting, however, you have to be able to translate this (which is about STEM syllabi, though that’s irrelevant):

“…the curricular inclusion of Indigenous perspectives is differentially problematic if we cannot also attend to the taken-for-granted and naturalized epistemological, ontological, and axiological commitments and enactments of what we are including perspectives into.”

Finally, let’s let Professor Dan-el Padilla Peralta, confirm that he hopes his perception of what Mary Frances Williams meant is true. Italics in original.  I think we can reasonably ask if he might have been more offended if Williams had said, “You didn’t get your job because you’re black.”

Seeing as no one in that room or in the conference corridors afterwards rallied to the defense of blackness as a cornerstone of my merit, I will now have to repeat an argument that will be familiar to critical race scholars of higher education but that is barely legible to the denizens of #classicssowhite. I should have been hired because I was black: because my Afro-Latinity is the rock-solid foundation upon which the edifice of what I have accomplished and everything I hope to accomplish rests; because my black body’s vulnerability challenges and chastizes the universalizing pretensions of color-blind classics; because my black being-in-the-world makes it possible for me to ask new and different questions within the field, to inhabit new and different approaches to answering them, and to forge alliances with other scholars past and present whose black being-in-the-world has cleared the way for my leap into the breach.

“Into the breach” is cultural appropriation.

“Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’”

Not the ‘fairest’ sex

Transgender sprinters finish 1st, 2nd at Connecticut girls indoor track championships

In a February 20th post, Emoticon debate, I wrote about the differences between rational and emotional arguments, defining the latter as “appeal[ing] to deeply held moral intuitions.

I went on to take “a … look at … the benefits of individual responsibility and a peek at the biological basis for moral intuitions of fairness.

Intuitions about fairness are among our most fundamental.

“This deeply held moral intuition starts with biology and spreads to culturally enforced norms. It is not, as postmodernists would have it, solely about dominance and submission carving us into identity groups. The idea that power is everything informs much of the Left’s claims that they’re compassionate…”

Compassion for transgender males trumps compassion for feminism.  That’s about the relative power of identity groups, and explains the TERF war.

These boys set state records in a girls competition. That’s about the inherent biological power advantage of their legs.

Where’s a big, fat asterisk when you need one?

Where’s Title IX when you need it?

One of their competitors, Selina Soule, says the issue is about fairness on the track with wider implications. The Glastonbury High School junior finished eighth in the 55, missing out on qualifying for the New England regionals by two spots.

Soule believes that had Miller and Yearwood not run, she would be on her way to race in Boston in front of more college coaches.

If there was ever a winning combination of rational, science-based argument and primal emotional appeal, it would be that transgender males should be excluded from physical competition with females.

Yet that powerful combination has apparently lost the debate to irrationality combined with a Newspeak perception of fairness that is opposite to our basic instincts.

Could he have imagined this, Kurt Vonnegut would surely have written a section in Harrison Bergeron, where these males competing as females had 50 pound weights chained to their ankles to make it “fair.”  But the idea was too absurd even for the author of Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons.