3 votes

Is there still room for debate?

9 comments

  1. [5]
    dubteedub
    Link
    So right off the bat the author of this piece compares efforts of promoting anti-racism to the brutal enforcement of Soviet-era communism by the state. That is certainly an interesting choice to...
    • Exemplary

    So right off the bat the author of this piece compares efforts of promoting anti-racism to the brutal enforcement of Soviet-era communism by the state. That is certainly an interesting choice to take. He also complains of the "purges of alleged racists," of course without referencing any of them in particular.

    From there the author says America's new orthodoxy is one of "moral clarity" that America is a systemically racist institution founded on white supremacy, and that this orthodoxy does not allow debate of that fact.

    I have to ask, what world does the author live in? Our President and most conservatives in this country seem pretty hellbent on rejecting the view that America is now or in some cases has ever been racist. It still seems to very much be up for debate from a national perspective. Just because many educated people understand and accept this reality, does not mean its not up for debate.

    Looking at Pew's research on Race in America 2019, only 56% of white people think that race relations in the U.S. are bad, only 58% of white people think the legacy of slavery affects black people today, and 77% of Republicans think that Americans often see discrimination where it does not exist.

    I also don't see how any of these points raised by the author negate the fact that America's institutions are founded on white supremacy and continue to uphold white racial hegemony.

    And a country that actively seeks immigrants who are now 82 percent nonwhite is not primarily defined by white supremacy. Nor is a country that has seen the historic growth of a black middle and upper class, increasing gains for black women in education and the workplace, a revered two-term black president, a thriving black intelligentsia, successful black mayors and governors and members of Congress, and popular and high culture strongly defined by the African-American experience. Nor is a country where nonwhite immigrants are fast catching up with whites in income and where some minority groups now outearn whites.

    On immigrants, our President is trying to ban muslims and is separating families at the border in an act that could be defined as racial genocide.

    Our white and black middle classes are living entirely different experiences from one another. The federal reserve reports that the median wealth for a white family was $171,000 in 2016, while Black and Latino families were at only number $17,600 and $20,700 respectively.

    America literally does not have a single black governor today and only has three sitting black Senators out of a grand total of ten in the entire history of the United States.

    This author is just completely disingenuous throughout the entire piece and constantly uses weasel words to suggest facts that are pretty intellectually dishonest. I am just gonna give up here and just say that I don't believe that the author's view is based in reality.

    18 votes
    1. [4]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It's Andrew Sullivan... it kinda goes without saying he's out of touch with reality, since he time and time again finds himself on the wrong side of history. He's basically the older, only...

      I am just gonna give up here and just say that I don't believe that the author's view is based in reality.

      It's Andrew Sullivan... it kinda goes without saying he's out of touch with reality, since he time and time again finds himself on the wrong side of history. He's basically the older, only slightly less obnoxious version of Milo Yiannopoulos. He has in the past published excerpts from The Bell Curve (AKA the big book of "scientific" racism) and thinks it "is a subject worth exploring". He staunchly supported the War in Iraq, and War on Terror, though much like Hitchens, at least he realized he was wrong afterwards as well. And recently he has also started taking some rather strong anti-immigration stances as well. About the only thing I somewhat agree with him on is LGBT rights as far as marriage equality goes (which he supports), but even there he is backwards in most other respects, since he opposes hate crimes laws (which he claims violate free speech), anti-discrimination laws (which he thinks are pointless), and his views on transgender rights are borderline TERF-ish as well.

      12 votes
      1. [3]
        dubteedub
        Link Parent
        Lol, I had honestly never heard of this guy before. I saw the piece was on nymag and was just kinda dumbstruck by how shit a take it was from literally the first sentence. christ. I saw him...

        Lol, I had honestly never heard of this guy before. I saw the piece was on nymag and was just kinda dumbstruck by how shit a take it was from literally the first sentence.

        He has in the past published excerpts from The Bell Curve (AKA the big book of "scientific" racism) and thinks it "is a subject worth exploring".

        christ. I saw him vaguely mention racial IQ in this article and just had hoped that I was misinterpreting that.

        So what I am getting from all of this is that affirmative action is real, it's just actually for out of touch conservative white guys getting overpaid columns at media outlets.

        5 votes
        1. patience_limited
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Yes, it is precisely a matter of Haven't bothered with Sullivan for years, largely due to the issues /u/cfabbro mentioned above. In a way, it's almost reassuring to see that he's remained true to...

          Yes, it is precisely a matter of

          out of touch conservative white guys getting overpaid columns at media outlets.

          Haven't bothered with Sullivan for years, largely due to the issues /u/cfabbro mentioned above. In a way, it's almost reassuring to see that he's remained true to form, and that the old Emerson quote about "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" is still apropos in Sullivan's case.

          At least Matt Taibbi made the effort to document a specific case where he felt anti-racist zealotry was having untoward consequences; this article is just Sullivan referencing himself, other paid pundits, and some questionably characterised statistics offered without context.

          5 votes
        2. cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Sullivan is pretty infamous in the LGBT community (at least amongst my age group). Him and Dan Savage were pretty much the LGBT political icons of the 2000s. Dan on the left, and Sullivan on the...

          Sullivan is pretty infamous in the LGBT community (at least amongst my age group). Him and Dan Savage were pretty much the LGBT political icons of the 2000s. Dan on the left, and Sullivan on the right... which is why Sullivan is generally not well liked.

          4 votes
  2. spctrvl
    Link
    While this is an ideal to fight for, it's also so far removed from our current reality that I don't see how acting as though it were already the case would be productive. Just as an obvious...

    Liberalism is not just a set of rules. There’s a spirit to it. A spirit that believes that there are whole spheres of human life that lie beyond ideology — friendship, art, love, sex, scholarship, family.

    While this is an ideal to fight for, it's also so far removed from our current reality that I don't see how acting as though it were already the case would be productive. Just as an obvious example, LGBT+ people have been and are to this day negatively impacted by ideology in each and every one of these areas. Of course, this is by decidedly illiberal ideologies, but I think that by placing relationships in these areas beyond ideological reproach, advocates of social progress would hamper themselves, and end up suffering from the paradox of tolerance.

    7 votes
  3. [3]
    frailtomato
    Link
    He has some good points. I would tend to agree that “America is a white supremacist nation” is an exaggeration (it’s certainly systemically racist, though). Unfortunately his good points are...

    He has some good points. I would tend to agree that “America is a white supremacist nation” is an exaggeration (it’s certainly systemically racist, though). Unfortunately his good points are nearly completely drowned out by absolute nonsense. He makes very few references to real events when saying things like

    We have human-resources departments that have adopted this ideology whole and are imposing it as a condition for employment.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      dubteedub
      Link Parent
      I mean the language that he takes issue with is "That America is systemically racist, and a white-supremacist project from the start." I do think that is true. America was literally built on...

      I mean the language that he takes issue with is "That America is systemically racist, and a white-supremacist project from the start." I do think that is true. America was literally built on chattel slavery of black people. The founding text of our country literally valued black lives 3/5ths as much as white ones. I don't know how much more explicit we could get than that.

      8 votes
      1. frailtomato
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        No doubt, but as of today I would say that it’s a country with a massive hangover from that starting point. I would argue that to say it’s still explicitly “white-supremacist” is to ignore the...

        No doubt, but as of today I would say that it’s a country with a massive hangover from that starting point. I would argue that to say it’s still explicitly “white-supremacist” is to ignore the progress of the last 150 years (slow and unsteady though it is).

        I’m not suggesting it’s there yet, but it’s undeniably better to be black in America today than it was in 1920, or 1820, or 1720. Of course progress is rarely linear no matter the measure or the timeframe of said measure, so there are dips, like the words and actions current President.

        I just want to acknowledge how grossly understated the word “dips” is in that last sentence. I don’t want to trivialise the experience of other people. It’s 7.30am where I am, and it was only word I could find.

        Edit: I realise I didn’t really say part of what I wanted to. Systemically racist, yes. But a white supremacist country would not have universal suffrage, minority-owned businesses, minority leaders, or an immigration policy/trend that shows latinos outnumbering whites in the near future. Though I guess that last one could be true depending on the structure of society.

        5 votes