I was invited,

… via my junk mail folder, to take a test to see if I am racist.

I didn’t see why. Since I’m white, it’s a given that I’m racist. Should have been the first question.

Still, I was curious about the questions. There were only 5.

1. Name three Black journalists you read or three Black websites you follow.
Journalists: John McWhorter, Larry Elder, Glenn Loury, Candace Owens, Charles Payne, Thomas Sowell, Jason L. Riley, Walter Williams, Star Parker, and more. Do I get extra credit?

Websites: Black Man with a Gun, Loury, McWhorter, Ayan Hirsi Ali have their name (or skin tone) on sites. These are integrated websites, though, so white people also appear and many are referenced. Does that still count? I’ve got more, if needed.

2. Name three Black authors whose books have influenced your life – and while you’re at it, three people you’ve shared those books with.
Authors: Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Larry Elder, Ayan Hirsi Ali, Shelby Steele, Octavia Butler, Frederick Douglass, Jason L. Riley, Clarence Thomas, John McWhorter, Herman Cain, Allen West, Ben Carson, Alan Keyes, Booker T. Washington, Samuel R. Delany.

Shared: Way too many to count. I didn’t just talk about or lend the books (for one definition of ’shared’), quite a few were given away.

3. Name three tenets of the Black Lives Matter movement.
1-‘All lives matter’ is a racist statement.
2-‘White lives matter’ is a racist, Nazi, colonialist, patriarchal, homophobic, climate change denier statement.
3-All funding for police should be stopped.
4-Individualism is racist.
5-As is over acheivement in answering these questions.

4. Name three aspects of Black culture that you have had to learn and adapt to in order to succeed at your job.
For the (missing) definition of black culture, I’m excluding music, cuisine, arts, and sports since those are not directly related to any job I’ve, or most people, ever held.

In a water cooler gathering I could express an opinion on the cultural value of Billie Holiday’s rendition of Summertime vs Cardi B’s Wet Ass Pussy. I could declare collard greens are less objectionable than kale because greens are less bitter. I know Clementine Hunter’s first name is pronounced ‘Clementeen.’ I could say whether I’d prefer to have a beer with Herschel Walker or LeBron James.

I could decribe my favorite Harriet Tubman $20 bill design:

None of this has much to do with career success. Oh, maybe a bit of team building, but these days such conversations are least as likely to trigger some charge of microagression as to promote camaraderie. What if someone said Colin Kaepernick should become head coach at your Alma Mater?

Perhaps a job relevant definition of black culture could be found at some ‘acceptable’ authority. Say the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Alas, I skimmed 124 blog posts containing ‘black culture,’ and couldn’t find a chart comparable to their critique of white culture. Here’s their summary of white cultural characteristics.

Among many other ‘white’ characteristics, the SNMAAHC thinks these behaviors typify “white privilege, and anti-blackness” “woven into the very fabric of American society”:
1-Objective, rational, linear thinking
2-Delayed gratification
3-Self reliance
4-Time imposing its own objective rigidity (For example, show up on time. And see 2.)

Rejecting those those ideas never helped anyone succeed in a job outside of university _________ Studies programs, BLM organizing, Soros funded arson and looting claques, or Presidential Press Secretary.

My general adaptation to those who didn’t display those ‘white’ characteristics was to explain the benefits of logical thinking, being on time, saving money, and personal responsibility no matter the melanin content of the person who seemed unaware.

Let me anticipate the objection that I have abused the Smithsonian definition. One of the intellectuals I listed earlier, Thomas Sowell, is in apparent agreement with me:

In his collection of essays, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Sowell applied these ideas for understanding various groups. He showed, for instance, that what often passes for “black culture” in the United States, with its particular language, customs, behavioral characteristics, and attitudes toward work and leisure, is in fact a collection of traits adopted from earlier white southern culture.

Sowell traces this culture to several generations of mostly Scotsmen and northern Englishmen who migrated to many of the southern American colonies in the 18th century. The outstanding features of this redneck culture, or “cracker” culture as it was called in Great Britain at that time, included “an aversion to work, proneness to violence, neglect of education, sexual promiscuity, improvidence, drunkenness, lack of entrepreneurship, reckless searches for excitement, lively music and dance, and a style of religious oratory marked by rhetoric, unbridled emotions, and abeyant imagery.” It also included “touchy pride, vanity, and boastful self-dramatization.”

Any commercial industriousness and innovation introduced in the southern states in the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries, Sowell demonstrated, primarily came from businessmen, merchants, and educators who moved there from the northern and especially the New England states. The north generally had a different culture of work, savings, personal responsibility, and forethought – that resulted in the southern United States lagging far behind much of the rest of the country – a contrast often highlighted by 19th century European visitors.

The great tragedy for much of the black population, concentrated as it was in the southern states, was that it absorbed a good deal of this white southern redneck culture, and retained it longer than the descendants of those Scottish and English immigrants. Sowell explains that in the decades following the Civil War, black schools and colleges in the south were mostly manned by white administrators and teachers from New England who, with noticeable success, worked to instill “Yankee” virtues of hard work, discipline, education, and self-reliance.

In spite of racial prejudice and legal discrimination, especially in the southern states, by the middle decades of the 20th century a growing number of black Americans were slowly but surely catching up with white Americans in terms of education, skills, and income. One of the great perversities of the second part of the 20th century, Sowell showed, is that this advancement decelerated following the enactment of the civil-rights laws of the 1960s, with the accompanying affirmative action and emphasis on respecting the “diversity” of black culture. This has delayed the movement of more black Americans into the mainstream under the false belief that “black culture” is somehow distinct and unique, when in reality it is the residue of an earlier failed white culture that retarded the south for almost 200 years.

That’s an unfortunate cultural appropriation. It can be blamed partly on whites, though. So there’s that.

And, seriously, were I to have actually adapted to that ‘black culture,’ would that not have been cultural appropriation? Would I not have had to show up late for the meeting I called with my subordinates to set an example for all the white people racists? Yeah, I know ’subordinate’ is badspeak. That programmer trainee should have had an equal vote – three votes if xir identified as black. I can see my 40 years of experience was ‘privilege.’

5. Name three racist remarks that you remember hearing, challenging, and you corrected.
1-‘All white people are racists.’
Robin D’Angelo can’t write more than one paragraph without mentioning it.
2-‘New York is Hymietown’.
-Jesse Jackson. Who may have been an inspiration for:
3-Ilhan Omar – “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

I have thoroughly castigated them all.

I’m looking forward to my score.

The content of CDC’s character

I shared this article regarding CDC vaccine distribution decisions with some friends:
Why I’m Losing Trust in the Institutions – Persuasion

RTWT, but here’s the key:

[There are] some bedrock principles on which virtually all moral philosophers have long agreed.

The first is that we should avoid “leveling down” everyone’s quality of life for the purpose of achieving equality… The second is that we should not use ascriptive characteristics like race or ethnicity to allocate medical resources… The Centers for Disease Control have just thrown both of these principles overboard in the name of social justice.

In one of the most shocking moral misjudgments by a public body I have ever seen, the CDC invoked considerations of “social justice” to recommend providing vaccinations to essential workers before older Americans even though this would, according to its own models, lead to a much greater death toll. After a massive public outcry, the agency has adopted revised recommendations. But though these are a clear improvement, they still violate the two bedrock principles of allocative justice—and are likely to cause unnecessary suffering on a significant scale…

On November 23rd, Kathleen Dooling, a public health official at the CDC, gave a presentation to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices … on who should first get access to the vaccine against Covid… Dooling recommended that 87 million essential workers—a very broad category including bankers and movie crews as well as teachers or supermarket cashiers—should get the vaccine before older Americans, even though the elderly are much more likely to die from the disease. The committee unanimously accepted the recommendations.

Dooling’s presentation laid out three different metrics for evaluating whether 87 million “essential workers” or Americans over the age of 65 should be next in line: feasibility, science, and ethics…

According to the CDC’s model, prioritizing essential workers over the elderly would … likely result in the preventable deaths of thousands of Americans.

And yet, the presentation concluded that science does not provide a reason to prioritize the elderly. For, as Kathleen Dooling wrote in one of the most jaw-dropping sentences I have ever seen in a document written by a public official, differences in expected consequences that could amount to thousands of additional deaths are “minimal.”

This allowed Dooling to focus on “ethical” principles in selecting the best course of action. Highlighting the most important consideration in red, Dooling emphasized that “racial and ethnic minority groups are underrepresented among adults > 65.” In other words, America’s elderly are too white to be considered a top priority for the distribution of the vaccine against Covid.

My emailed comment was:
Whatever your opinion of the politicization of CCP virus treatments, Hydroxychloroquine for example, the CDC decision outlined in the link is an example of callous disregard for human life in the service of Critical Race Theory. Unlike HCQ, where reasonable people could a raise cautionary hand, this was a conscious decision to increase the death toll from the CCP virus. A decision based on skin color and, probably, pressure from unions – especially the American Federation of Teachers. It is disgusting that institutions we set up and pay for have so little regard for anything beyond woke virtue signaling.

The policy undoubtedly led to more black deaths, more elderly deaths, and more black elderly deaths.

One of the email recipients asked this:
Is murder too strong a word? Worse, perhaps, than Benghazi.

To which I replied:
Benghazi was amoral indifference followed by cynical coverup. You could argue that bold faced lies told over the caskets of the people she put in harm’s way was merely another demonstration of Hillary’s horrible character. What did they expect, after all? But she had left the deaths to chance. The deaths were possible, a vile betrayal, would be embarrassing, but were not assured. A reasonable gamble for the soulless if you can get away with it.

On the other hand, CDC’s decision to withhold vaccines from the most vulnerable on the basis of race was contrary to their charter, a moral perversion of their own knowledge, but also premeditated. Excess deaths were what they approved. They thought wokeness would not only let them get away with it, but that it was a praiseworthy moral principle.

Worse than Benghazi.

Murder is not too strong a word. More specifically, geronticide.

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.

Joe Kool

President Biden’s FDA is preparing to ban menthol cigarettes.

According to NBC, 85% of black smokers use menthol cigarettes. The public health nannies are going to make sure that blacks can’t make that mistake any longer. Or, they’ll have to do it illegally.

It’s for their own good: Properly Conducted Black Lives Enforcement Matters. And it’s not like over-regulation of cigarettes can bring people into unfortunate interaction with police.

Nobody is going to figure out some home based method of flavoring cigarettes, and selling untaxed cigarettes is already against the law. Eric Garner is a perfect example. You may recall, he died when a cop used a choke hold while arresting him for selling single cigarettes, depriving the State of New York of badly need tax revenue.

Garner said “I can’t breathe,” long before George Floyd, probably as a result of selling menthol cigarettes.