Long read, scary information... SJWs are a religious cult

 https://www.battleswarmblog.com/?p=45535

Excerpts:

Remember how shocked Bret Weinstein was at finding that Social Justice Warriors at Evergreen College not only rejected the enlightenment, but the very idea of enlightenment. To them, capitalism, democracy, the rule of law, critical thinking, logic and the scientific method are not just flawed, they are inherently racist systems of oppression that must be destroyed and replaced by Social Justice.

Social Justice isn’t at war with “oppression” or even “whiteness,” it is at war with the entirety of western civilization.

And:

But there’s one key difference between Communism and Social Justice. Marx cloaked his theory in the language of science as “scientific socialism.” Social Justice Warriors reject the scientific method as a system of oppression. The basis of modern civilization is just another instance of the “master’s tools” to be cast down.

Social Justice cannot measure an electron’s charge or whether a load-bearing concrete pillar can support a floor’s weight, but only whether those things are racist or not. 

A long read, but worth it.

 

The Totalitarian Epistemological Closure of Social Justice

I have this ginormous post on Social Justice that just keeps getting bigger and bigger, with more and more links, and I’ll never finish it unless I start breaking it down into smaller chunks. So this post focuses on two meaty pieces about the theoretical underpinnings of Social Justice, and how it suffers from epistemological closure.

First up: James Lindsay on why the woke will not debate you:

There are a number of points within Critical Social Justice Theory that would see having a debate or conversation with people of opposing views as unacceptable, and they all combine to create a mindset where that wouldn’t be something that adherents to the Theory are likely or even willing to do in general. This reticence, if not unwillingness, to converse with anyone who disagrees actually has a few pretty deep reasons behind it, and they’re interrelated but not quite the same. They combine, however, to produce the first thing everyone needs to understand about this ideology: it is a complete worldview with its own ethics, epistemology, and morality, and theirs is not the same worldview the rest of us use. Theirs is, very much in particular, not liberal. In fact, theirs advances itself rather parasitically or virally by depending upon us to play the liberal game while taking advantage of its openings. That’s not the same thing as being willing to play the liberal game themselves, however, including to have thoughtful dialogue with people who oppose them and their view of the world. Conversation and debate are part of our game, and they are not part of their game.

The first thing to understand about the way adherents to Critical Social Justice view the world is just how deeply they have accepted the belief that we operate within a wholly systemically oppressive system. That system extends to literally everything, not just material structures, institutions, law, policies, and so on, but also into cultures, mindsets, ways of thinking, and how we determine what is and isn’t true about the world. In their view, the broadly liberal approach to knowledge and society is, in fact, rotted through with “white, Western, male (and so on) biases,” and this is such a profound departure from how the rest of us—broadly, liberals—think about the world that it is almost impossible to understand just how deeply and profoundly they mean this.

In a 2014 paper by the black feminist epistemology heavyweight Kristie Dotson, she explains that our entire epistemic landscape is itself profoundly unequal. Indeed, she argues that it is intrinsically and “irreducibly” so, meaning that it is not possible from within the prevailing system of knowledge and understanding to understand or know that the system itself is unfairly biased toward certain ways of knowing (white, Western, Eurocentric, male, etc.) and thus exclusionary of other ways of knowing (be those what they may). That is, Dotson explains that when we look across identity groups, not only do we find a profound lack of “shared epistemic resources” by which people can come to understand things in the same way as one another, but also that the lack extends to the ability to know that that dismal state of affairs is the case at all. This, she refers to as “irreducible” epistemic oppression, which she assigns to the third and most severe order of forms of epistemic oppression, and says that it requires a “third-order change” to the “organizational schemata” of society (i.e., a complete epistemic revolution that removes the old epistemologies and replaces them with new ones) in order to find repair.

This view is then echoed and amplified, for example, in a lesser-read 2017 paper by the Theorist Alison Bailey. Therein she invokes explicitly that in the neo-Marxist “critical” tradition, which is not to be mistaken for the “critical thinking” tradition of the Western canon, critical thinking itself and that which is seen to produce and legitimize it are part of the “master’s tools” that black feminist Audre Lorde wrote “will never dismantle the master’s house.” Since nobody ever believes me that she really writes this, here’s the quote:

The critical-thinking tradition is concerned primarily with epistemic adequacy. To be critical is to show good judgment in recognizing when arguments are faulty, assertions lack evidence, truth claims appeal to unreliable sources, or concepts are sloppily crafted and applied. For critical thinkers, the problem is that people fail to “examine the assumptions, commitments, and logic of daily life… the basic problem is irrational, illogical, and unexamined living.” In this tradition sloppy claims can be identified and fixed by learning to apply the tools of formal and informal logic correctly.

Critical pedagogy begins from a different set of assumptions rooted in the neo-Marxian literature on critical theory commonly associated with the Frankfurt School. Here, the critical learner is someone who is empowered and motivated to seek justice and emancipation. Critical pedagogy regards the claims that students make in response to social-justice issues not as propositions to be assessed for their truth value, but as expressions of power that function to re-inscribe and perpetuate social inequalities. Its mission is to teach students ways of identifying and mapping how power shapes our understandings of the world. This is the first step toward resisting and transforming social injustices. By interrogating the politics of knowledge-production, this tradition also calls into question the uses of the accepted critical-thinking toolkit to determine epistemic adequacy. To extend Audre Lorde’s classic metaphor, the tools of the critical-thinking tradition (for example, validity, soundness, conceptual clarity) cannot dismantle the master’s house: they can temporarily beat the master at his own game, but they can never bring about any enduring structural change. They fail because the critical thinker’s toolkit is commonly invoked in particular settings, at particular times to reassert power: those adept with the tools often use them to restore an order that assures their comfort. They can be habitually invoked to defend our epistemic home terrains. (pp. 881–882) .

Here, the “master’s tools” are explicitly named by Bailey as including soundness and validity of argument, conceptual clarity, and epistemic adequacy (i.e., knowing what you’re talking about) and can easily be extended to science, reason, and rationality, and thus also to conversation and debate. The “master’s house” is the “organizational schemata” laid out by Kristie Dotson as the prevailing knowing system. Her claim is that these tools—essentially all of the liberal ones—cannot dismantle liberal societies from within, which is their goal, because they are the very tools that build and keep building it.

Bailey’s point is clear: the usual tools by which we identify provisional truths and settle scholarly disagreements are part of the hegemonically dominant system that, by definition, cannot be sufficiently radical to create real revolutionary change (a “third-order” change, as Dotson has it). That is, they can’t reorder society in the radical way they deem necessary. The belief, as both scholars explain in different ways, is that to play by the existing rules (like conversation and debate as a means to better understand society and advance truth) is to automatically be co-opted by those rules and to support their legitimacy, beside one deeper problem that’s even more significant.

The deeper, more significant aspect of this problem is that by participating in something like conversation or debate about scholarly, ethical, or other disagreements, not only do the radical Critical Social Justice scholars have to tacitly endorse the existing system, they also have to be willing to agree to participate in a system in which they truly believe they cannot win. This isn’t the same as saying they know they’d lose the debate because they know their methods are weak. It’s saying that they believe their tools are extremely good but not welcome in the currently dominant system, which is a different belief based on different assumptions. Again, their game is not our game, and they don’t want to play our game at all; they want to disrupt and dismantle it.

Their analysis would insist that their methods aren’t weak; it’s that the dominant system treats them unfairly. By being forced to participate in the dominant system, they therefore believe, they’re being cheated of the full force of their cause. To them, if we set the legitimization of the system part aside, to engage in scholarly conversation or debate is like a boxer stepping into an MMA match in which kicks, punches, throwing, and grappling are all on the table for the MMA fighter whereas gloved punches are the only thing the boxer is allowed to use, only far worse.

Debate and conversation, especially when they rely upon reason, rationality, science, evidence, epistemic adequacy, and other Enlightenment-based tools of persuasion are the very thing they think produced injustice in the world in the first place. Those are not their methods and they reject them. Their methods are, instead, storytelling and counter-storytelling, appealing to emotions and subjectively interpreted lived experience, and problematizing arguments morally, on their moral terms. Because they know the dominant liberal order values those things sense far less than rigor, evidence, and reasoned argument, they believe the whole conversation and debate game is intrinsically rigged against them in a way that not only leads to their certain loss but also that props up the existing system and then further delegitimizes the approaches they advance in their place. Critical Social Justice Theorists genuinely believe getting away from the “master’s tools” is necessary to break the hegemony of the dominant modes of thought. Debate is a no-win for them.

Therefore, you’ll find them resistant to engaging in debate because they fully believe that engaging in debate or other kinds of conversation forces them to do their work in a system that has been rigged so that they cannot possibly win, no matter how well they do. They literally believe, in some sense, that the system itself hates people like them and has always been rigged to keep them and their views out. Even the concepts of civil debate (instead of screaming, reeeee!) and methodological rigor (instead of appealing to subjective claims and emotions) are considered this way, as approaches that only have superiority within the dominant paradigm, which was in turn illegitimately installed through political processes designed to advance the interests of powerful white, Western men (especially rich ones) through the exclusion of all others. And, yes, they really think this way.

For adherents to Critical Social Justice Theory, then, there’s just no point to engaging in conversation or debate with people with whom they disagree. They reject the premise that such a thing is possible at all, because what is discussed or debated are, if changeable, in some sense matters of opinion. They don’t see the world this way at all, though. “Racism is not a matter of opinion” is, after all, one of their thought-stopping mantras. For them, disagreements across a stratifying axis of social power are a matter of being, experience, reality, and even life and death. These are not matters to be debated; they’re far too important for that.

Snip.

Secondly, the organizing principle of their worldview is that two things structure society: discourses and systems of power maintained by discourses. Regarding the systems of power, their underlying belief is genuinely that of the Critical Theorists: society is divided into oppressors versus oppressed, and the oppressors condition the beliefs and culture of society such that neither they nor the oppressed are aware of the realities of their oppression. That is, everyone who isn’t “Woke” to the realities of systemic oppression lives in a form of false consciousness. Members of dominant groups have internalized their dominance by accepting it as normal, natural, earned, and justified and therefore are unaware of the oppression they create. Members of “minoritized” groups have often internalized their oppression by accepting it as normal, natural, and just the way things are and are therefore unaware of the extent of the oppression they suffer or its true sources. In both cases, though in different ways and to different ends, the falsely conscious need to be awakened to a critical consciousness, i.e., become Critical Theorists.

Adherents to this worldview will not want to have conversations or debate with people who do not possess a critical consciousness because there’s basically no point to doing such a thing. Unless they can wake their debate or conversation partner up to Wokeness on the spot, they’d see it as though they’re talking to zombies who can’t even think for themselves. Unwoke people are stuck thinking in the ways dominant and elite powers in society have socialized them into thinking (you could consider this a kind of conditioning or brainwashing by the very machinations of society and how it thinks).

Much discussion of Foucault postmodernism snipped.

The knowledge principle is that knowledge is socially constructed and the result of political processes, and therefore objective truth is unattainable and irrelevant except in that some people make unjustified claims upon having access to it. The political principle is that these unjustified claims create a form of hegemonic dominance that needs to be deconstructed and dismantled through manipulations within the discourses at the level of the meanings of ideas.

You really do have to understand this like a religious view, very much like a Holy Spirit that is the Word, where the “Word” is the prevailing discourses, and the “Spirit” isn’t really holy: it’s systems of power and attempts at their disruption. Power is viewed to work through all people at all times as a result of the discourses that they accept and participate in, and so participating in conversation or debate with people who uphold the dominant discourses causes that power to work through you as well. That makes you complicit in the dominant discourses, even if you think you reject them, which makes having a conversation with the wrong person tantamount to a sin. This attitude is overwhelmingly present in the critical whiteness literature, which devotes a considerable portion of all of its proliferation to pointing out that white progressives who try to help out are the worst kind of racists because they no longer think that they’re equally significant conduits of the problematic dominant discourses and systems of society.

Snip.

Thirdly, adding to this is a theme we draw out significantly in the eighth chapter of Cynical Theories: they believe all disagreement with them to be illegitimate. If we followed from Dotson in the paper named above and another slightly earlier one (2011) about “epistemic violence,” it could be pinned on what she calls “pernicious ignorance.” Robin DiAngelo would call it “white fragility” to disagree. Alison Bailey refers to it as an attempt to preserve one’s privilege under the kind of term George Carlin lived to make fun of: “privilege-preserving epistemic pushback” (four words, twelve syllables, one hyphen). Further, Bailey said all attempts to criticize Critical Social Justice thought, because they come from that “critical thinking” and not the “critical theory” tradition (within which they’d obviously agree), generate “shadow texts” that follow along but don’t truly engage (in the correctly “critical” way; i.e., agreement with her). Barbara Applebaum said similar in her 2010 book, Being White, Being Good, wherein she explains that the only legitimate way to disagree with Critical Social Justice education in the classroom is to ask questions for clarification until one agrees (which, you might notice, isn’t disagreeing at all).

In general, as mentioned a bit earlier in the essay, if you disagree, you either have false consciousness or the willful intention to oppress, and so your disagreement isn’t genuine. Only disagreement that comes from a Critical Theory perspective would be genuine, but this isn’t actually disagreement with the Woke worldview, only with superficial aspects of how it is playing out. The Woke view genuinely is that unless you agree with the Woke worldview, you haven’t disagreed with the Woke worldview in an authentic way, and therefore your disagreement cannot be legitimate. Read it again: unless you actually agree, you didn’t disagree correctly.

Remember how shocked Bret Weinstein was at finding that Social Justice Warriors at Evergreen College not only rejected the enlightenment, but the very idea of enlightenment. To them, capitalism, democracy, the rule of law, critical thinking, logic and the scientific method are not just flawed, they are inherently racist systems of oppression that must be destroyed and replaced by Social Justice.

Social Justice isn’t at war with “oppression” or even “whiteness,” it is at war with the entirety of western civilization.

Remember my post about Social Justice as sick religion? Here Bradley Campbell expounds upon the religion theme:

The “snowflake” language fails to capture the moral seriousness of social justice activists. If you understand them mainly as undisciplined and self-absorbed, you’ll expect the movement to fizzle out, but it’s clear that’s not happening, and won’t happen anytime soon. The activists’ seriousness is better captured by critics who see them as adherents of something like a new religion. John McWhorter has written about what he calls the new religion of anti-racism, with its own notions of sin and Judgment Day and its own rituals. For example, anti-racist classes and seminars commonly teach whites to regularly acknowledge their privilege, which McWhorter sees as a “self-standing, totemic act… based on the same justification as… fundamental sinfulness is as a Christian.”

This is closer to the mark, but the problem with many of these comparisons is that they’re coming from those who have negative views of both the social justice movement and religion. McWhorter says that some of the key anti-racist ideas aren’t very well thought out, but that this is a feature of religion: “It is inherent to a religion that one is to accept certain suspensions of disbelief. Certain questions are not to be asked, or if asked, only politely—and the answer one gets, despite being somewhat half-cocked, is to be accepted as doing the job.” Others may point to the “cancel culture” aspects of the social justice movement and compare it to religious people persecuting heretics, apostates, and unbelievers. This is all fine as it goes, but it is limited to criticism as opposed to analysis, and it overlooks a more fundamental aspect of the social justice movement: that social justice culture is a moral culture, similar in some ways and different in others to other moral cultures. It also overlooks other, more positive ways the movement resembles religious movements.

In 2014 Jason Manning and I first wrote about the rise of a new moral culture. We called it victimhood culture because among those who embrace it, victimhood comes to act as a kind of moral status. While there are right-wing versions of it, most of the activists embracing this new culture are on the Left, and they see themselves as pursuing social justice. This culture, then, which can also be called social justice culture, is a moral framework concerned primarily with documenting and fighting oppression.

This new moral culture differs from prior ones, particularly in dealing with conflict. The honor cultures of many traditional societies valued bravery above all else, and in these societies people needed to stand up for themselves, often by engaging in violence, to demonstrate they weren’t cowards and wouldn’t let others take advantage of them or insult them. A duel over an insult, which seems so strange to most of us, made sense in this context. Surely if someone calls me a liar, we might think, our firing guns at one another doesn’t prove I’m not a liar. But what it does prove is that I’m not willing to let such an insult stand without a fight, that I’m willing to risk death to try avenging it. It may not prove I’m honest, but it does demonstrate my bravery, which may be more consequential.

In the United States and elsewhere, honor culture eventually gave way to dignity culture. It became more important to recognize one’s own and others’ inherent worth, so reputations weren’t so important. People came to believe they should let most insults stand, and that they should rely on the legal system for solving more serious disputes.

Social justice culture is similar to honor culture in that people might be concerned even with small slights and insults (microaggressions) that would be ignored by people in a dignity culture, but it’s similar to dignity culture in that people often appeal to authorities and other third parties rather than handling the slights themselves. The elevation of one virtue over others—from demonstrating bravery in honor cultures, to recognizing the worth of every individual in dignity cultures, and opposing oppression in social justice cultures—occurs along with different ways of conceiving of and responding to transgressions. It is important to note in this context that people immersed in different moral cultures commonly find each other’s behavior offensive or incomprehensible. And just as those in dignity cultures object to the violence of honor cultures as being foolish and cruel, and just as those in honor cultures object to the avoidance of conflict or the appeal to law in dignity cultures as cowardly and weak, those in dignity cultures sometimes see social justice activists as self-absorbed and childish—snowflakes. What they miss is that their behavior makes sense given their assumptions. That doesn’t mean it’s always sincere—people don’t always have pure motives when they express moral outrage and condemn wrongdoing—but it seems it often is, and it’s probably as sincere as that of any other activist group.

That the activists are usually sincere doesn’t mean that they’re right. I have been writing for some time about the threats the new culture poses to free speech and due process. But those who are concerned about problems arising from the new culture would do well to understand that these problems don’t come because people just haven’t learned how to be adults, or how to live in the real world. Problems that arise come from the culture’s elevation of social justice concerns above all else and from the interpretation of nearly all human interaction and all social institutions in terms of oppression and victimhood.

As part of its axiomatic tenets, Social Justice decrees that cannot be criticized from any viewpoint outside Social Justice. By automatically and schematically rejecting all outside critiques, Social justice is a totalitarian system suffering epistemological closure. Where no outside critique is possible, no change is possible. In decrying every competing system as a system of repression, it becomes a system of totalitarian repression itself, in which every challenge to its own power is illegitimate. As a religion substitute, its axioms are not debatable, but unchanging and unchangeable dogma.

Like Communism, its totalitarian ancestor, Social Justice decrees that it is the only true path to building utopia on earth. Like Communism, all opposing systems, institutions and viewpoints must be destroyed. Like Communism, those who reject its tenets, or just embrace them too weakly, must be made to renounce their sins, and those who refuse to do so must be destroyed. (“For those outside the Party, nothing. For those inside the Party, everything.”) “If you want to know what the future looks like, imagine everyone in the world forced to denounce themselves in a perpetual struggle session…forever.”

But there’s one key difference between Communism and Social Justice. Marx cloaked his theory in the language of science as “scientific socialism.” Social Justice Warriors reject the scientific method as a system of oppression. The basis of modern civilization is just another instance of the “master’s tools” to be cast down.

Social Justice cannot measure an electron’s charge or whether a load-bearing concrete pillar can support a floor’s weight, but only whether those things are racist or not.

To quote Lindsay again:

One of the biggest mistakes we keep making as liberals who do value debate, dialogue, conversation, reason, evidence, epistemic adequacy, fairness, civility, charity of argument, and all these other “master’s tools” is that we can expect that advocates of Critical Social Justice also value them. They don’t. Or, we make the mistake that we can possibly pin Critical Social Justice advocates into having to defend their views in debate or conversation. We can’t.

These principles and values are rejected to their very roots within the Critical Social Justice worldview, and so the request for an advocate to have a debate or conversation with someone who disagrees will, to the degree they have adopted the Critical Social Justice Theoretical ideology/faith, be a complete nonstarter. It’s literally a request to do the exact opposite of everything their ideology instructs with regard to how the world and “systemic oppression” within it operates—to participate in their own oppression and maintain oppression of the people they claim to speak for.

Social Justice cannot be reasoned with. It can only be isolated, quarantined, fought and destroyed.

Words from a UC Berkeley professor of History

A twitter thread - great read.

https://threader.app/thread/1271219776606687233

Thread: I was sent this and felt the need to thread it here on Twitter. It will be long. It is purported to be an anonymous, open letter from a professor at UK Berkeley in the History Department. The only comment I will make is to say it is worth every moment of the read.

C Berkeley History Professor's Open Letter Against BLM, Police Brutality and Cultural Orthodoxy

Dear profs X, Y, Z

I am one of your colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. I have met you both personally but do not know you closely, and am contacting you

anonymously, with apologies. I am worried that writing this email publicly might lead to me losing my job, and likely all future jobs in my field.

In your recent departmental emails you mentioned our pledge to diversity, but I am increasingly alarmed by the absence of diversity

of opinion on the topic of the recent protests and our community response to them.

In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of

black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system. The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not

physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions.

Many cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as Thomas Sowell

and Wilfred Reilly. These people are not racists or 'Uncle Toms'. They are intelligent scholars who reject a narrative that strips black people of agency and systematically externalizes the problems of the black community onto outsiders.

Their view is entirely absent from the departmental and UCB-wide communiques.

The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of

white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians. Instead, it is being treated as an axiomatic and actionable truth without serious consideration of its profound flaws, or its worrying implication of total black impotence.

This hypothesis is transforming our institution and our culture, without any space for dissent outside of a tightly policed, narrow discourse.

A counternarrative exists. If you have time, please consider examining some of the documents I attach at the end of this email.

Overwhelmingly, the reasoning provided by BLM and allies is either primarily anecdotal (as in the case with the bulk of Ta-Nehisi Coates' undeniably moving article) or it is transparently motivated. As an example of the latter problem, consider the proportion of

black incarcerated Americans. This proportion is often used to characterize the criminal justice system as anti-black. However, if we use the precise same methodology, we would have to conclude that the criminal justice system is even more anti-male than it is anti-black.

Would we characterize criminal justice as a systemically misandrist conspiracy against innocent American men? I hope you see that this type of reasoning is flawed, and requires a significant suspension of our rational faculties. Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates

than their involvement in violent crime would predict. This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries. And yet, I see my department uncritically reproducing a narrative that diminishes black agency in favor of a white-centric

explanation that appeals to the department's apparent desire to shoulder the 'white man's burden' and to promote a narrative of white guilt.

If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian

Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans? This is a funny sort of white supremacy. Even Jewish Americans are incarcerated less than gentile whites. I think it's fair to say that your average white supremacist disapproves of Jews. And yet, these

alleged white supremacists incarcerate gentiles at vastly higher rates than Jews. None of this is addressed in your literature. None of this is explained, beyond hand-waving and ad hominems. "Those are racist dogwhistles". "The model minority myth is white supremacist".

"Only fascists talk about black-on-black crime", ad nauseam. These types of statements do not amount to counterarguments: they are simply arbitrary offensive classifications, intended to silence and oppress discourse. Any serious historian will recognize these for the silencing

orthodoxy tactics they are, common to suppressive regimes, doctrines, and religions throughout time and space. They are intended to crush real diversity and permanently exile the culture of robust criticism from our department.

Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM's problematic view of history, and the department is being presented as unified on the matter. In particular, ethnic minorities are being aggressively marshaled into a single position. Any apparent unity is

surely a function of the fact that dissent could almost certainly lead to expulsion or cancellation for those of us in a precarious position, which is no small number.

I personally don't dare speak out against the BLM narrative, and with this barrage of alleged unity being

mass-produced by the administration, tenured professoriat, the UC administration, corporate America, and the media, the punishment for dissent is a clear danger at a time of widespread economic vulnerability. I am certain that if my name were attached to this email, I would lose

my job and all future jobs, even though I believe in and can justify every word I type.

The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people. There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences,

no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution.

Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is.

No discussion is permitted for nonblack victims of black violence, who proportionally outnumber black victims of nonblack violence. This is especially bitter in the Bay Area, where

Asian victimization by black assailants has reached epidemic proportions, to the point that the SF police chief has advised Asians to stop hanging good-luck charms on their doors, as this attracts the attention of (overwhelmingly black) home invaders.

Home invaders like George Floyd. For this actual, lived, physically experienced reality of violence in the USA, there are no marches, no tearful emails from departmental heads, no support from McDonald's and Wal-Mart.

For the History department, our silence is not a mere abrogation of our duty to shed light on the truth: it is a rejection of it.

The claim that black intraracial violence is the product of redlining, slavery, and other injustices is a largely historical claim.

It is for historians, therefore, to explain why Japanese internment or the massacre of European Jewry hasn't led to equivalent rates of dysfunction and low SES performance among Japanese and Jewish Americans respectively. Arab Americans have been viciously demonized since 9/11,

as have Chinese Americans more recently. However, both groups outperform white Americans on nearly all SES indices - as do Nigerian Americans, who incidentally have black skin. It is for historians to point out and discuss these anomalies. However, no real discussion is possible

in the current climate at our department. The explanation is provided to us, disagreement with it is racist, and the job of historians is to further explore additional ways in which the explanation is additionally correct. This is a mockery of the historical profession.

Most troublingly, our department appears to have been entirely captured by the interests of the Democratic National Convention, and the Democratic Party more broadly. To explain what I mean, consider what happens if you choose to donate to Black Lives Matter, an organization

UCB History has explicitly promoted in its recent mailers. All donations to the official BLM website are immediately redirected to ActBlue Charities, an organization primarily concerned with bankrolling election campaigns for Democrat candidates. Donating to BLM today is

to indirectly donate to Joe Biden's 2020 campaign. This is grotesque given the fact that the American cities with the worst rates of black-on-black violence and police-on-black violence are overwhelmingly Democrat-run. Minneapolis itself has been entirely in the hands of

Democrats for over five decades; the 'systemic racism' there was built by successive Democrat administrations.

The patronizing and condescending attitudes of Democrat leaders towards the black community, exemplified by nearly every Biden statement on the black race,

all but guarantee a perpetual state of misery, resentment, poverty, and the attendant grievance politics which are simultaneously annihilating American political discourse and black lives. And yet, donating to BLM is bankrolling the election campaigns of men like Mayor Frey,

who saw their cities devolve into violence. This is a grotesque capture of a good-faith movement for necessary police reform, and of our department, by a political party. Even worse, there are virtually no avenues for dissent in academic circles. I refuse to serve the Party,

and so should you. The total alliance of major corporations involved in human exploitation with BLM should be a warning flag to us, and yet this damning evidence goes unnoticed, purposefully ignored, or perversely celebrated. We are the useful idiots of the wealthiest classes,

carrying water for Jeff Bezos and other actual, real, modern-day slavers. Starbucks, an organisation using literal black slaves in its coffee plantation suppliers, is in favor of BLM. Sony, an organisation using cobalt mined by yet more literal black slaves, many of whom are

children, is in favor of BLM. And so, apparently, are we. The absence of counter-narrative enables this obscenity. Fiat lux, indeed.

There also exists a large constituency of what can only be called 'race hustlers': hucksters of all colors who benefit from stoking the fires

of racial conflict to secure administrative jobs, charity management positions, academic jobs and advancement, or personal political entrepreneurship.

Given the direction our history department appears to be taking far from any commitment to truth, we can regard ourselves as a

formative training institution for this brand of snake-oil salespeople. Their activities are corrosive, demolishing any hope at harmonious racial coexistence in our nation and colonizing our political and institutional life. Many of their voices are unironically segregationist.

MLK would likely be called an Uncle Tom if he spoke on our campus today. We are training leaders who intend, explicitly, to destroy one of the only truly successful ethnically diverse societies in modern history. As the PRC, an ethnonationalist and aggressively racially

chauvinist national polity with null immigration and no concept of jus solis increasingly presents itself as the global political alternative to the US, I ask you: Is this wise? Are we really doing the right thing?

As a final point, our university and department has made multiple statements celebrating and eulogizing George Floyd. Floyd was a multiple felon who once held a pregnant black woman at gunpoint. He broke into her home with a gang of men and pointed a gun at her pregnant stomach.

He terrorized the women in his community. He sired and abandoned multiple children, playing no part in their support or upbringing, failing one of the most basic tests of decency for a human being. He was a drug-addict and sometime drug-dealer, a swindler who preyed upon his

honest and hard-working neighbors.

And yet, the regents of UC and the historians of the UCB History department are celebrating this violent criminal, elevating his name to virtual sainthood. A man who hurt women. A man who hurt black women. With the full collaboration of the

UCB history department, corporate America, most mainstream media outlets, and some of the wealthiest and most privileged opinion-shaping elites of the USA, he has become a culture hero, buried in a golden casket, his (recognized) family showered with gifts and praise. Americans

are being socially pressured into kneeling for this violent, abusive misogynist. A generation of black men are being coerced into identifying with George Floyd, the absolute worst specimen of our race and species. I'm ashamed of my department. I would say that I'm ashamed of both

of you, but perhaps you agree with me, and are simply afraid, as I am, of the backlash of speaking the truth. It's hard to know what kneeling means, when you have to kneel to keep your job.

It shouldn't affect the strength of my argument above, but for the record, I write as a

person of color. My family have been personally victimized by men like Floyd. We are aware of the condescending depredations of the Democrat party against our race. The humiliating assumption that we are too stupid to do STEM, that we need special help and lower requirements to

get ahead in life, is richly familiar to us. I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't be easier to deal with open fascists, who at least would be straightforward in calling me a subhuman, and who are unlikely to share my race.

The ever-present soft bigotry of low expectations and the permanent claim that the solutions to the plight of my people rest exclusively on the goodwill of whites rather than on our own hard work is psychologically devastating.

No other group in America is systematically demoralized in this way by its alleged allies. A whole generation of black children are being taught that only by begging and weeping and screaming will they get handouts from guilt-ridden whites.

No message will more surely devastate their futures, especially if whites run out of guilt, or indeed if America runs out of whites. If this had been done to Japanese Americans, or Jewish Americans, or Chinese Americans, then Chinatown and Japantown would surely be no different

to the roughest parts of Baltimore and East St. Louis today. The History department of UCB is now an integral institutional promulgator of a destructive and denigrating fallacy about the black race.

I hope you appreciate the frustration behind this message. I do not support BLM

I do not support the Democrat grievance agenda and the Party's uncontested capture of our department. I do not support the Party co-opting my race, as Biden recently did in his disturbing interview, claiming that voting Democrat and being black are isomorphic.

I condemn the manner of George Floyd's death and join you in calling for greater police accountability and police reform. However, I will not pretend that George Floyd was anything other than a violent misogynist, a brutal man who met a predictably brutal end.

I also want to protect the practice of history. Cleo is no grovelling handmaiden to politicians and corporations. Like us, she is free. /end  https://pastebin.com/WBzAFDgA 


You can follow @tracybeanz.

Teacher's pet

Just a thought I will expand on later:  Politics and the teacher's pet.  Some groups are the pet and certain parties treat them as such.

Still OK

While our TP count is still OK, we do need eggs, and milk by the end of the weekend.  Not worried about those - they can be found.

What I can't find is either Lysol or hand sanitiser.  We have a supply of both, but when it is gone it is gone.

Mentally - we are OK.  I get to drive K to work and sometimes I take a bit of a tour going home.  Yesterday drove around Disneyland - vacant as a ghost town.

Heroes - one of our favorite places ever - is literally boarded up.  While Jack is doing OK money wise, he shut everything down for the duration... not even take out.

Hopefully, by the end of the day, K will still be 'essential' and things continue on.

jc

Here's Why Herd Immunity Won't Save Us From The COVID-19 Pandemic

https://www.sciencealert.com/why-herd-immunity-will-not-save-us-from-the-covid-19-pandemic

Here's Why Herd Immunity Won't Save Us From The COVID-19 Pandemic

GIDEON MEYEROWITZ-KATZ
30 MARCH 2020
It's hard to predict things in a pandemic. The situation changes so much on a daily basis that everything you thought you knew last week is wrong by the end of the day. Things are changing so fast that even the solid certainties that we thought we were sure of – the reproductive rate, the symptoms of the infection, the key to making a good quarantine – are suspect and need to be re-evaluated.
But among all this uncertainty, I can say for sure that there is one thing that I would never have seen coming: the discussion about herd immunity. It is so out of the blue that the first time a journalist asked my opinion on whether it was effective for the coronavirus, I literally laughed out loud because I assumed they were joking.
And yet, here we are. Countless articles and think-pieces on the COVID-19 virus are making the argument that, albeit potentially risky, achieving herd immunity could be one response to our crisis. Many of them frame herd immunity as a preventive strategy that may stall the tidal wave of disease so many are predicting.
All of this is simply nonsense. Herd immunity without a vaccine is by definition not a preventative measure.
Let me explain.
Herd immunity is an epidemiological concept that describes the state where a population – usually of people – is sufficiently immune to a disease that the infection will not spread within that group. In other words, enough people can't get the disease – either through vaccination or natural immunity – that the people who are vulnerable are protected.
For example, let's think about mumps. Mumps is a very infectious disease that, while relatively benign, is very uncomfortable and sometimes causes nasty life-long complications. It's also vaccine-preventable, with a highly effective vaccine that has made the disease incredibly rare in the modern age.
Mumps has a basic reproductive rate (R0) of 10-12, which means that in a population which is entirely susceptible – meaning no one is immune to the virus – every person who is infected will pass the disease on to 10-12 people.
This means that without vaccination roughly 95 percent of the population gets infected over time. But even with something that is this infectious, there are still some people – 5 percent of the population – who don't get sick, because once everyone else is immune there's no one to catch the disease from.
We can increase that number by vaccinating, because vaccination makes people immune to infection, but it also stops infected people passing on the disease to everyone that they otherwise would. If we can get enough people immune to the disease, then it will stop spreading in the population.
And that's herd immunity, in a nutshell.
For mumps, you need 92 percent of the population to be immune for the disease to stop spreading entirely. This is what's known as the herd immunity threshold. COVID-19 is, fortunately, much less infectious than mumps, with an estimated R0 of roughly 3.
With this number, the proportion of people who need to be infected is lower but still high, sitting at around 70 percent of the entire population.
Which brings us to why herd immunity could never be considered a preventative measure.
If 70 percent of your population is infected with a disease, it is by definition not prevention. How can it be? Most of the people in your country are sick! And the hopeful nonsense that you can reach that 70 percent by just infecting young people is simply absurd. If only young people are immune, you'd have clusters of older people with no immunity at all, making it incredibly risky for anyone over a certain age to leave their house lest they get infected, forever.
It's also worth thinking about the repercussions of this disastrous scenario – the best estimates put COVID-19 infection fatality rate at around 0.5-1 percent. If 70 percent of an entire population gets sick, that means that between 0.35-0.7 percent of everyone in a country could die, which is a catastrophic outcome.
With something like 10 percent of all infections needing to be hospitalised, you'd also see an enormous number of people very sick, which has huge implications for the country as well.
The sad fact is that herd immunity just isn't a solution to our pandemic woes. Yes, it may eventually happen anyway, but hoping that it will save us all is just not realistic. The time to discuss herd immunity is when we have a vaccine developed, and not one second earlier, because at that point we will be able to really stop the epidemic in its tracks.
Until we have a vaccine, anyone talking about herd immunity as a preventative strategy for COVID-19 is simply wrong. Fortunately, there are other ways of preventing infections from spreading, which all boil down to avoiding people who are sick.
So stay home, stay safe, and practice physical distancing as much as possible.
Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz is an epidemiologist working in chronic disease in Sydney, Australia. He writes a regular health blog covering science communication, public health, and what that new study you've read about actually means.
Opinions expressed in this article don't necessarily reflect the views of ScienceAlert editorial staff.

A birthday message from the Blogger himself.

Just checking in...
With two teenage girls and no school or Disneyland or Knotts or... anything... we seem to be holding up.

With a few clear but cold days I was able to get some yard work done - lots of leaves to be shredded and moved around and I had my Dad's tiller to make quick work of getting that mulch dug into the clay.  Growing food - tomatoes, sunflowers, pumpkins, carrots, basil and oregano are sprouting right now.  Victory Garden part 2...

The girls will be out of school until May, but checking in online daily.  The hardest part is convincing them that they need to keep a schedule and maintain regularity.  Sleeping in and PJs all day are very appealing to teenagers.  Appealing to old guys too, but I must resist the temptation.  I can already feel some extra pounds piling on.  My goal next week is to have them outside and online - we have the technology - we can do it.

jc