8 votes

John McWhorter: ‘Woke racism’ has betrayed Black America

59 comments

  1. [35]
    dubteedub
    Link
    I find it a lot easier to engage in articles rather than videos for heavy subjects like this one. Here is an article on Reason.com that delves into this subject further and gets much quicker to...
    • Exemplary

    I find it a lot easier to engage in articles rather than videos for heavy subjects like this one. Here is an article on Reason.com that delves into this subject further and gets much quicker to the point of why Reason is promoting this video.

    Ultimately, much of the arguments here seem to be strawmen that the author believes them to be, rather than what they actually are. For instance, here is one line from the article:

    In my new video, he gives this example: "There is a disproportionate number of suspensions of black boys in schools for violence. [Kendi says] that must be racist…a stereotype of black men as violent. But…the data makes it very clear that black boys do commit more violent acts in schools. If you don't suspend those boys, the violence is being perpetrated [mostly] against other black kids."

    This is an extremely gross over-simplified argument for what Critical Race Theorists view towards the overrepresentation of punishment for black boys in the public education system, typically discussed as the "school-to-prison" pipeline.

    For instance, some studies examine how systemic racism perpetuated by our government institutions has led to black children being disproportionately impoverished and increasingly subjected to intergenerational trauma that leads to higher rates of interpersonal violence and posttraumatic stress disorder. The public education system is not designed to handle children with these issues and instead punishes them through zero tolerance policies and issues suspensions and expulsions, further increasing the education gap. Black kids are also more often suspended for nonviolent behavior such as being disrespectful or disruptive.

    Other studies look at how educators are primarily middle-class white women that as a population have likely had little interaction with these communities before teaching in them and how that low cultural competency impacts education and discipline. Other studies look at the unequal funding for schools of majority black kids than white kids providing unequal access to education.

    My point is that there is a huge mountain of evidence that has been assembled that better understands why and how Black kids are disproportionately punished in public education. In addition, its incredibly racist to just say that its because "they are more violent" as if there is some genetic disposition towards violence or criminality among black people.

    The author does the exact same thing with a variety of other aspects right after this.

    Kendi and DiAngelo call most every disparity between races "systemic racism."

    White people live longer than black people? Racism.

    Income inequality? Racism.

    White and Asian students get higher test scores? Systemic racism.

    The point of this article and the broader video is to downplay racism to pretend that our government has not spent tens or hundreds of years oppressing black people. The goal is to ignore that there is any sort of continued effects of this oppression from red-lining preventing access to housing and underfunding schools, from the Drug War targeting and incarcerating black men and breaking up families, from black communities being torn up and divided during urban renewal projects, or any of the multitude of other injustices perpetrated by our government.

    Instead they want their readers to just think its because black people are just predisposed to violence or "just dim" as the author refers to Ibram Kendi at one point. They want their readers to think acknowledging or understanding past prejudices is the actual racism and just accept the status quo because actually * doing * something about it would require further government intervention which they are diametrically opposed to.

    25 votes
    1. [34]
      grungegun
      Link Parent
      McWhorter's position on this is that the increased violence is a cultural factor, not a genetic one - his point is that the word racism is often given multiple, confused meanings. Your statement...
      • Exemplary

      In addition, its incredibly racist to just say that its because "they are more violent" as if there is some genetic disposition towards violence or criminality among black people.

      McWhorter's position on this is that the increased violence is a cultural factor, not a genetic one - his point is that the word racism is often given multiple, confused meanings. Your statement flippantly dismisses his position as racism while earlier you accuse him of making 'gross over-simplifications' about CRT. I believe you are raising McWhorter to a higher standard than you are holding to in your post.

      It may be better to read his own words about this. Though I found reading more than just one article helped me understand his worldview more completely

      10 votes
      1. [31]
        Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        Have you ever considered that cultures do not exist in a vacuum and are influenced by the cultures in which they interact with? While calling it genetic ignores outside influences to a greater...
        • Exemplary

        increased violence is a cultural factor

        Have you ever considered that cultures do not exist in a vacuum and are influenced by the cultures in which they interact with? While calling it genetic ignores outside influences to a greater extent than calling it cultural, both shift the blame to the people being affected rather than understanding the impact of outside influences.

        Pointing out this disconnect and redirecting the focus on society is not a flippant dismissal - it's a commentary on the depth of thought being presented. Nearly any modern social science is focused on the interaction between cultures and societies and how that affects the people who exist within the system. Almost the entirety of public health is focused on how to undo some of these issues and how disparities are created in medical education, medical treatment and care, and aversion to the medical system. You simply cannot make an argument about any culture or society without examining the system within which it exists and how these factors affect it... Especially when it's so clear that these disparities almost entirely disappear when you see what appears to be almost the same culture in different places in the world existing in different systems of interaction or when intervention is made to correct the disparities present. Making this kind of statement while ignoring entire fields of science is ignorant at best, purposefully racist at worst. Regardless of where it sits, to back a claim of it being culturally influenced whilst ignoring the field of science devoted to understanding the interaction of cultures is grossly negligent.

        14 votes
        1. [27]
          streblo
          Link Parent
          The original claim was Is this even true? Can we get a quote or passage? It doesn't make sense to me to wax poetic about very abstract statements we are constructing in our minds -- we have no...
          • Exemplary

          The original claim was

          McWhorter's position on this is that the increased violence is a cultural factor, not a genetic one

          Is this even true? Can we get a quote or passage?

          It doesn't make sense to me to wax poetic about very abstract statements we are constructing in our minds -- we have no idea what we're even debating at this point or if the statement is in good faith or even if it exists at all! The statement as I have quoted above could very well be anything. It's certainly possible to ascribe something onto culture while acknowledging the existence of systemic affects on cultures and interactions between cultures; it's also possible that's it's intentionally grossly misleading-- but we have no idea! Without details and context we're not actually discussing anything at all we're just projecting what we want to hear onto opposing arguments which is even worse than just avoiding this discussion altogether.

          8 votes
          1. [24]
            Gaywallet
            Link Parent
            I don't really care whether it's McWhorter's position or not - I'm replying to someone interpreting it this way and explaining why this position is unfounded. Blaming a culture is not a new tactic...

            I don't really care whether it's McWhorter's position or not - I'm replying to someone interpreting it this way and explaining why this position is unfounded. Blaming a culture is not a new tactic and it has been employed for thousands of years to discriminate against ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender, chosen activity/hobby, standing in society (such as castes), and just about any characteristic that can become a culture. I think it's important to take a stand against this line of reasoning whenever it comes up because it is used to suppress and discriminate. This kind of thinking causes real harm to society and shifts blame away from where the problems are actually located, leading to the harm continuing rather than providing insight as to where resources can be diverted to make things more equitable.

            8 votes
            1. [23]
              streblo
              Link Parent
              I agree with all of that but can you point out any examples of this happening in this thread? This is exactly what I'm talking about -- discussions occurring in a context void just end up with...

              Blaming a culture is not a new tactic and it has been employed for thousands of years to discriminate against ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender, chosen activity/hobby, standing in society (such as castes), and just about any characteristic that can become a culture.

              I agree with all of that but can you point out any examples of this happening in this thread?

              This is exactly what I'm talking about -- discussions occurring in a context void just end up with people projecting whatever they want onto the other side of the argument (regardless of what their intent is) and it's not productive.

              11 votes
              1. [22]
                Gaywallet
                Link Parent
                I mean, literally the first reply to a lengthy, well sourced, highly regarded reply which has an exemplary label was a few sentences ignoring and/or not addressing anything else in the post to say...

                I agree with all of that but can you point out any examples of this happening in this thread?

                I mean, literally the first reply to a lengthy, well sourced, highly regarded reply which has an exemplary label was a few sentences ignoring and/or not addressing anything else in the post to say that this person was saying the violence was being ascribed to the culture and not the ethnicity.

                Does this not raise red flags to you?

                I can't speak on behalf of others, but the very first thought I have when someone takes a lengthy response and ignores the content to redirect to a separate question or to highlight something which was not regarded and happens to also be problematic is not a happy one. My thought is not "wow this thread is going well" or "I really feel validated and safe and secure right now". How many times have we seen something like this play out on the internet where the intentions were not good?

                If you want me to default to assuming the best of intentions when the world does not, you need to understand the disparities and the discrimination that minorities already receive. The fact that they are emotionally fucking exhausted of interacting with content like this on the internet. You need to come and reply and spend some time building up your own credit - you need to help other people to understand where you stand on an issue and that you support their well-being and rights before you spend time pontificating about a distinction about an argument or point that someone is making in the context of a problematic viewpoint.

                People have emotions and certain topics are emotionally charged. I beg of you to consider the emotional state of others when discussing these topics because this isn't about projecting what I want into the void... I could not care less what intolerant people think about me. This is about me wanting minorities to stay on this website and ignoring their emotional well-being is going to drive them away. Please, remember the human.

                9 votes
                1. [6]
                  meff
                  Link Parent
                  I am a dark-skinned POC and I think you're being too harsh. An assumption of good faith helps keep a conversation grounded and allows participants to discuss sensitive issues without descending...

                  If you want me to default to assuming the best of intentions when the world does not, you need to understand the disparities and the discrimination that minorities already receive. The fact that they are emotionally fucking exhausted of interacting with content like this on the internet. You need to come and reply and spend some time building up your own credit - you need to help other people to understand where you stand on an issue and that you support their well-being and rights before you spend time pontificating about a distinction about an argument or point that someone is making in the context of a problematic viewpoint.

                  I am a dark-skinned POC and I think you're being too harsh. An assumption of good faith helps keep a conversation grounded and allows participants to discuss sensitive issues without descending into low-level discourse casting doubt on a speaker. Raising concerns with the assumptions of good-faith of a post is an important part of discourse on sensitive topics, but to discard good-faith altogether because of the harshness of society seems to do more harm than good to any attempt to come to shared understanding, IMO.

                  I do not speak on behalf of all dark-skinned POCs, POCs who identify as my race, or really anyone here but myself.

                  10 votes
                  1. [5]
                    Gaywallet
                    Link Parent
                    I completely agree, but I find it very hard to assume good faith when we're talking in the context of replies to someone pointing out where the author makes claims like 'black people are just...

                    An assumption of good faith helps keep a conversation grounded and allows participants to discuss sensitive issues without descending into low-level discourse casting doubt on a speaker. Raising concerns with the assumptions of good-faith of a post is an important part of discourse on sensitive topics, but to discard good-faith altogether because of the harshness of society seems to do more harm than good to any attempt to come to shared understanding, IMO.

                    I completely agree, but I find it very hard to assume good faith when we're talking in the context of replies to someone pointing out where the author makes claims like 'black people are just predisposed to violence or "just dim"'.

                    7 votes
                    1. [4]
                      meff
                      Link Parent
                      This reads like a much stronger claim than what I picked up from any of the proponents in this thread, though perhaps that is the difference between applying good faith or not. I think we'll have...

                      author makes claims like 'black people are just predisposed to violence or "just dim"'.

                      This reads like a much stronger claim than what I picked up from any of the proponents in this thread, though perhaps that is the difference between applying good faith or not. I think we'll have to agree to disagree.

                      5 votes
                      1. [3]
                        Gaywallet
                        Link Parent
                        That's directly quoted from @dubteedub, the very start of this comment chain.

                        That's directly quoted from @dubteedub, the very start of this comment chain.

                        3 votes
                        1. [2]
                          meff
                          Link Parent
                          I'm unclear about what the point of contention here is. @dubteedub asserted that: while @grungegun claims: Are you claiming that any objection to @dubteedub's statement is necessarily made in bad...

                          I'm unclear about what the point of contention here is. @dubteedub asserted that:

                          Instead they want their readers to just think its because black people are just predisposed to violence or "just dim" as the author refers to Ibram Kendi at one point. They want their readers to think acknowledging or understanding past prejudices is the actual racism and just accept the status quo because actually * doing * something about it would require further government intervention which they are diametrically opposed to.

                          while @grungegun claims:

                          Your statement flippantly dismisses his position as racism while earlier you accuse him of making 'gross over-simplifications' about CRT. I believe you are raising McWhorter to a higher standard than you are holding to in your post.

                          Are you claiming that any objection to @dubteedub's statement is necessarily made in bad faith? I disagree with that. Otherwise, I'm not sure what the matter is. I think disagreement/discussion chain is fine, and based on my own experiences as a dark-skinned POC I don't think such categorical statements (of asserting that any criticism of CRT should always imply that "black people are just predisposed to violence or "just dim") are always nuanced enough to apply appropriately to all experiences.

                          7 votes
                          1. Gaywallet
                            Link Parent
                            A dismissal of this context of racism to shift away from the argument that it wasn't a criticism of race but actually a criticism of culture without addressing anything else in the post raised red...

                            A dismissal of this context of racism to shift away from the argument that it wasn't a criticism of race but actually a criticism of culture without addressing anything else in the post raised red flags to me. It compelled me to expand upon the subject because it wasn't in the reply. To be clear, I wasn't assuming any bad faith on behalf of the person replying either, but it was simply enough to compel me to add context. I then expanded upon why I thought this context was necessary and why I think it's necessary to do a little extra work proving your own good faith when engaging with potentially problematic discussion material because this is a problem I've seen repeatedly on the internet.

                            4 votes
                2. [14]
                  streblo
                  Link Parent
                  We have no context! The original reply you have a problem with provided none, and says very little beyond resting behind someone else's assertions. What are those assertions? Are they problematic?...

                  in the context of a problematic viewpoint.

                  We have no context! The original reply you have a problem with provided none, and says very little beyond resting behind someone else's assertions. What are those assertions? Are they problematic? We don't know! I'm not really interested in defending the comment because it doesn't really add anything to the discussion without that context but there's nothing inherently wrong with the reply at face value, assuming McWhorter does make that argument as described and in good faith. I've never read any of his stuff, maybe the guy is an asshole. But if we're going to discuss his work let's actually discuss it and not debate these third hand accounts of what he might or might not be saying.

                  People have emotions and certain topics are emotionally charged. I beg of you to consider the emotional state of others when discussing these topics

                  The emotional state of all possible readers is not a sword that needs to hang above every reasonable discussion on the internet, least of all the ~humanities board on a website overwhelmingly populated by reasonable people.

                  6 votes
                  1. [13]
                    Gaywallet
                    Link Parent
                    I'm simply trying to explain to you why I felt the need to reply. You may not have the same set of values as I do, and that's okay! I'm not trying to explain to you how you must interact with the...

                    I'm simply trying to explain to you why I felt the need to reply. You may not have the same set of values as I do, and that's okay! I'm not trying to explain to you how you must interact with the website.

                    What I can tell you, however, is that when I see a potentially problematic take, I'm compelled to respond and add context explaining why a take is problematic. I do this because I care about making this space inviting to the people I want to see on this website.

                    I'm asking you and others to do the same, because I want these people on this website. I literally used the word beg and plead, I cannot fathom how asking humbly is equivalent to hanging a sword above your discussion and I think it's unfair to paint me as some aggressive or violent responder when I'm asking for civility and respecting the emotions of others. But I am also stuck in my own head and cannot possibly understand your thought process. Can you help explain to me how what I am doing is hanging a metaphorical sword over your head or this discussion?

                    You are of course welcome to disagree and you are also welcome to suggest this adds nothing to the conversation, but I am not going to stop asking for others to be compassionate.

                    8 votes
                    1. [12]
                      streblo
                      Link Parent
                      I guess step one would be determining how we can determine something is problematic without actually seeing it. Like I said, I'm not familiar enough with McWhorter to know one way or another re:...

                      What I can tell you, however, is that when I see a potentially problematic take, I'm compelled to respond and add context explaining why a take is problematic. I do this because I care about making this space inviting to the people I want to see on this website.

                      I guess step one would be determining how we can determine something is problematic without actually seeing it. Like I said, I'm not familiar enough with McWhorter to know one way or another re: the original statement but I have read a column or two of his in the NYT and I know enough to know at least some of his arguments aren't entirely without merit. I understand you don't care about McWhorter and were just responding to the claim of the claim but at that point everything is so nebulous that discussion isn't useful -- it's better to ask for context than to assume it. Not to pick on you, but as an example of what I mean re: context void I'm going to quote another of your replies:

                      I completely agree, but I find it very hard to assume good faith when we're talking in the context of replies to someone pointing out where the author makes claims like 'black people are just predisposed to violence or "just dim"'.

                      McWhorter doesn't make those claims!

                      He writes

                      But…the data makes it very clear that black boys do commit more violent acts in schools.

                      and from the article

                      The media label Kendi and DiAngelo "leading scholars," but their arguments are rarely tested in the marketplace of ideas. Both refuse to debate opponents. McWhorter calls their work far from scholarly—"more like a toxic religion, a cult."

                      In fact, he adds, "Kendi is dim."

                      Getting these sorts of things correct is important -- people just want to engage topics at a surface level by reading the headline and the comments which just further drives this lack of all nuance and context when incorrect assumptions get picked up and carried far and wide.

                      But I am also stuck in my own head and cannot possibly understand your thought process. Can you help explain to me how what I am doing is hanging a metaphorical sword over your head or this discussion?

                      The sword analogy isn't trying to paint you as violent, sorry for that. But taking into consideration the entire emotional impact of the audience of an internet post is hugely different than just asking people to be polite, respectful and discuss in good faith. I can't possibly know who's going to read my comments or if they're going to be offended in some way, so beyond being respectful and polite (OK, still working on that) and arguing in good faith I pretty much draw the line unless someone requests otherwise. But I don't see how any of this previous discussion would warrant such a request, so blanket requests on these topics seems stifling to me.

                      I took a CRT class more than a decade ago (way before it was cool). I read Charles Mills' The Racial Contract from cover to cover and really enjoyed the class. It was provocative, taught by a black American and truly shifted my perspective of the world. But we didn't just cover critical theories -- we also explored the topic from within more liberal frameworks and looked at a lot of criticism as well. The discourse was a little different at the time, but something like an argument similar to what I've read from McWhorter wouldn't be out of place. There has to be room to explore these topics without worrying about the reactions from the entire Internet writ large. Part of that is going to involve reading the other side of the argument before we assume what they're saying.

                      8 votes
                      1. [11]
                        Gaywallet
                        Link Parent
                        Apologies if it was not clear, the request was in the context of a short reply to a long, well sourced, well thought out reply. The reply hyper-focused on one aspect of the detailed response and...

                        I don't see how any of this previous discussion would warrant such a request, so blanket requests on these topics seems stifling to me.

                        Apologies if it was not clear, the request was in the context of a short reply to a long, well sourced, well thought out reply. The reply hyper-focused on one aspect of the detailed response and did not address anything else in the post. If the reply had at the very least acknowledged the heart of the response or even had a very short "I agree with what you're saying, but...", then I don't think it would have triggered any kind of response to me.

                        I think the class is a good example of how to do it right. Surely they spent time on the subject, evaluating the nuances and exploring in depth what evidence supported the current theory. This is an appropriate place to broach these kinds of topics because everyone is on the same field and an expert is around to answer questions. Pontificating on the internet can also be a place to gain knowledge, have conversations, and learn from others, but the playing field is very different - we can't treat the two in the same way or even evaluate the two through the same lens.

                        2 votes
                        1. [7]
                          FlippantGod
                          (edited )
                          Link Parent
                          Hi, I'm not at all a part of this discussion, but we recently spoke, and I thought I might be in a position to discuss some of your concerns regarding post/reply length and hyper-focus on a single...

                          Hi, I'm not at all a part of this discussion, but we recently spoke, and I thought I might be in a position to discuss some of your concerns regarding post/reply length and hyper-focus on a single aspect.

                          I believe you mentioned in our previous discussion that short replies to thorough posts - as well as focusing in on one aspect and disregarding the rest - raises some warning flags, which is the situation here.

                          I don't know what I can do to help prevent this aside from a little more personal introspection when posting on sensitive subjects. More contentiously, while I imagine promoting a more mindful, thorough level of discourse is aligned with Tildes' goals and probably a net benefit, I also believe it could have severe negative consequences.

                          I touched on this previously, but I feel that requiring anyone responding to go through an entire lengthy post and address each topic is a massive barrier to entry. Due to personal reasons, I currently have a larger online presence which I have found drives a higher level of interaction from me, and I am concerned might stifle users who have less time to participate.

                          There are other reasons it can be a barrier to entry; other than time commitment, writing meaningfully about each point in a post might be near impossible if someone more or less agrees with everything or has nothing else to add. Even a simple acknowledgement of such might be impossible due to the exact nature of their agreement. Perhaps they have reached similar conclusions for different reasons, or agrees but not strongly, or is neutral on some things and is not interested in getting into the weeds of it.

                          I believe that discourse naturally selects for the subset of talking material that has the most to discuss, and requiring everyone to address everything, especially when the site is already selecting for especially lengthy content, it overwhelming. There are side effects beyond barriers to entry as well.

                          This comment adresses only a single thing, but includes a hopefully polite and conversational adress, a brief explanation of what I will talk about, and then several statements to explain my position. By the end of it, it is a monstrous comment. In fact, I think anyone attempting to address each of my points would find it difficult and time consuming, due to the nature of online communication if not the strength of my position (which is rather haphazard).

                          Furthermore, communication online, in play-by-post fashion, is difficult. Misunderstandings, misinterpretations, misinformation, actually missing parts of a text when reading it, and many other forms of miscommunication abound. Adding words and length and talking points to a comment generally serves to muddy the waters and confuse the audience. In the event that the user in question had explored the potential merits of the rest of the post, beyond just adressing one item, it would have invited engagements and responses to any and all areas of their comment, beyond the area they were interested in pursuing. In fact, by your standards, everyone engaging with their original talking point would also need to address each of their other statements. This balloons in complexity!

                          Normally, I would never post something as conversational as this. It is lengthy and unwieldy and imprecise and not at all succinct. By all accounts, this is a bad comment. It is not one I want to see on this site. It only addresses a single one of your talking points and yet derails the conversation from the thread's main subject.

                          But I would challenge you to address each and every thing I have written, in a manner that anyone else can in turn engage with each and every one of your points, without being turned away by the demanding nature of the task.

                          Edit: I cannot label myself? so someone please label this off-topic.

                          Edit 2: You state that even a general agreement with the rest of the comment could have been enough to assuage your concerns, but unless this has changed from our last discussion, I am not sure if that is actually the case. In any event, I think my argument still stands because someone might not generally agree with the rest of the comment. They might be entirely neutral or disagree but not strongly enough to argue the other points. And you might rightfully find such an argument disagreeable to your sensibilities, but that is kind of the point. I don't think not acknowledging the rest of a comment is enough to assume the responder feels a particular way about the unmentioned content, however.

                          5 votes
                          1. [6]
                            Gaywallet
                            (edited )
                            Link Parent
                            I'm not entirely certain how to make it much clearer - I'm not asking for an extremely in-depth play by play. Really all I'm looking for someone to signal clearly that they are not a bigot, or not...

                            I'm not entirely certain how to make it much clearer - I'm not asking for an extremely in-depth play by play. Really all I'm looking for someone to signal clearly that they are not a bigot, or not treating this in bad faith. I thought I stated it pretty clearly when I said the following:

                            If the reply had at the very least acknowledged the heart of the response or even had a very short "I agree with what you're saying, but...", then I don't think it would have triggered any kind of response to me.

                            I mean this quite literally- if @grungegun had the exact same post but had inserted those 7 words, I would not have replied the same way because it's a clear indicator that they aren't being dismissive of everything else posted.

                            The problem is that online I don't have any way of knowing that this person is, in fact, not a bigot and when the only interaction I have with this person is seeing them reply to a long comment which is criticizing an author for not understanding modern science and is placing blame on an ethnicity or culture with a criticism of their reply, it's impossible for me to know where they stand. While I didn't immediately assume bad faith, it puts me on the defensive because I don't want the thread derailing into people seeing this as a signal that they can enter and spread malicious beliefs. I don't want the very people I've been talking about not wishing to continue to exist on this website or seeing this post and left thinking "oh this doesn't seem to be a very welcoming place for people like me".

                            I'm hyper vigilant about this kind of behavior because as much as Tildes claims to remember the human, in the last two years of this website we've done a fantastic job at driving off a lot of the minorities which I knew and loved with exactly this kind of behavior. I also don't want people like @dubteedub feeling like they spent a bunch of time to create a lengthy, well-sourced, awesome reply only to think "why the hell did I bother" when someone comes in and basically ignores the vast majority of what's there. I don't think it's fair in the least to say 'this is an unfair barrier to entry' but to ignore or not respect the time and thought that this wonderful contributor put into their reply.

                            4 votes
                            1. [4]
                              FlippantGod
                              Link Parent
                              You don't want @dubteedub feeling that way. But do you want @grungegun feeling like that because in your opinion their post was not lengthy, well-sourced, or awesome? Concerning length, you might...

                              You don't want @dubteedub feeling that way.

                              But do you want @grungegun feeling like that because in your opinion their post was not lengthy, well-sourced, or awesome?

                              Concerning length, you might be using length as a marker for effort and/or quality, which I believe is unfounded and mistaken.

                              Concerning well-sourced, @grungegun's comment appears appropriately sourced for its context, and concerns @dubteedub's use of a source/context. While I agree that @dubteedub's comment also appears well sourced, I don't feel that I am qualified to attest to the comparitive quality, and I think you might be biased in this regard.

                              As for awesome, this is clearly subjective.

                              So you feel that users who meet your criteria for a good post deserve praise, while users who do not meet your criteria for a good post should be called out for their shortcomings.

                              Am I mistaken? As for whether or not feelings were hurt, I can't say, and while I find your endeavor to promote a healthy environment admirable, I can't help but feel that pursuing it in this fashion in a public space is not especially beneficial.

                              It might be hostile, and at the very least callouse of me to say this, but I personally feel that users should not expect token praise for their effort. Tildes isn't here to be an addictive circlejerk upvote farm (I know this isn't what you want either, but it is what I imagine would happen), it is here for intelligent, polite discourse. I think.

                              When you feel inspired or driven to praise a quality comment, that is great, and we also have the exemplary label if you think it is meritious. But in my opinion it isn't fair to hold or coerce other users to your standards or behaviours.

                              3 votes
                              1. [2]
                                dubteedub
                                Link Parent
                                I felt that Grungegun's response to my comment was extremely dismissive and disrespectful, which is why I responded asking if he even read the link I shared. It felt like his response was...

                                But do you want @grungegun feeling like that because in your opinion their post was not lengthy, well-sourced, or awesome?

                                I felt that Grungegun's response to my comment was extremely dismissive and disrespectful, which is why I responded asking if he even read the link I shared. It felt like his response was belittling and focused on one minor line in my entire comment. He has also not engaged substantially with a single issue I raised other than to shift the conversation and move goal posts.

                                Concerning well-sourced, @grungegun's comment appears appropriately sourced for its context, and concerns @dubteedub's use of a source/context. While I agree that @dubteedub's comment also appears well sourced, I don't feel that I am qualified to attest to the comparitive quality, and I think you might be biased in this regard.

                                If you are not qualified to respond then maybe listen to those who are? or maybe do some actual research into the topic instead of butting in half-cocked and tagging me multiple ties? I am about to graduate with a masters in public policy and have been studying race and social equity specifically for many years. I feel very equipped to comment on this topic and it is very frustrating that a bunch of folks in this thread have inserted themselves when they admit they are not knowledgeable on the issue.

                                5 votes
                                1. FlippantGod
                                  (edited )
                                  Link Parent
                                  Okay. I am sorry if you felt like I was justifying his response. In truth, I've only skimmed the discussion and was trying to engage with Gaywallet over post length. If you've felt belittled and...

                                  I felt that Grungegun's response to my comment was extremely dismissive and disrespectful

                                  Okay. I am sorry if you felt like I was justifying his response. In truth, I've only skimmed the discussion and was trying to engage with Gaywallet over post length. If you've felt belittled and extremely dismissed and disrespected like this than Gaywallet was obviously justified.

                                  As I wouldn't know what about the comment read this way, how much did the fact that the user focused on one minor line cause it to read as belittling, extremely dismissive and/or disrespectful, versus other elements, and behaviors they later exhibited?

                                  For reference, I don't see focusing on one part of a post as a reflection of my regard for the quality of a post or user, and generally not as nitpicking, which can be associated with bullying, rather than practicality online.

                                  If you are not qualified to respond, then maybe listen to those who are?

                                  Edit: real quick, everything below this point needs an edit. I was under the impression you were invalidating my opinion, when in reality you were referencing me discussing my qualifications. I don't think this actually changes anything, but I need to check it over and probably adjust some of my language. I will preserve it for posterity's sake.

                                  Do you truly want to get into a argument about validating opinions with me? Please think very careful about whether or not your pursuit of higher education in a relevant field means I have no room by which to suggest that someone online may not be able to make a verdict as to a superiority of sources provided between two parties without bias.

                                  As for butting in, I explicitly am not trying to participate in the thread's discussion! I only wanted to talk more with Gaywallet about barriers to entry on posting! Wow! I wanted to see if they were applying a double standard on who has a post that can receive praise or criticism by the criteria they presented.

                                  If someone's sources were in fact qualitatively worse, this would suggest that Gaywallet was not, in fact, providing a bias on that criteria, and was justified in commenting. Instead, you just butted in and told me that you supposedly have a higher education in exactly this area and I magically should have known not to question Gaywallet's judgment. Does this sound dismissive? It should! You entirely dismissed my opinion on the grounds that you believe I am not qualified enough to speak!

                                  As for tagging you a bunch of times, sorry! The comment I was responding to tagged a user, so I figured it would be polite to tag users I was mentioning as well. I don't know if tagging someone multiple times makes any difference, or if it is a faux pas, but I only needed to tag once in any case.

                                  Edit 2: I still feel my point stands, albeit less outraged by the silliness. I didn't say I was unqualified to respond, and am amazed you felt I was. It was entirely in the context of establishing some superiority of sources without bias. And there is still merit in examining whether or not Gaywallet was unconsciously and/or biasedly assuming some superiority of sources. Although I wasn't even trying to establish whether or not there was such a bias (although as stated I had doubts) but that it might play into double standards. Sheesh.

                                  If you feel frustrated by people without your level of education in the area you have dedicated years of your life to rigorous academic study of, welcome to the club. Also, kindly get over yourself? I can't put this nicely, but you sounded a bit like a prick. Again, to reiterate, I wasn't even providing commentary on the thread's topics.

                                  2 votes
                              2. Gaywallet
                                Link Parent
                                When did I call the user out? I simply expanded upon a thought I felt was missing from their post. Then it devolved into this long meta discussion about what is appropriate. I'm helping you and...

                                So you feel that users who meet your criteria for a good post deserve praise, while users who do not meet your criteria for a good post should be called out for their shortcomings.

                                When did I call the user out? I simply expanded upon a thought I felt was missing from their post. Then it devolved into this long meta discussion about what is appropriate.

                                I'm helping you and others understand what motivates me to post. I'm not telling you how you should post, just explaining what makes me go on the defensive and help you and others like you to understand how others might feel when they see a post like the first reply in this thread.

                                I can't help but feel that pursuing it in this fashion in a public space is not especially beneficial.

                                Then send me a DM instead of replying to me in the thread and let me know your thoughts. I'm replying here because that's where the conversation is happening.

                                it is here for intelligent, polite discourse

                                Completely agreed here, which is why my reply was focused on enhancing the discourse by providing context and explaining why a point, which was brought up by a user, is damaging to society.

                                it isn't fair to hold or coerce other users to your standards or behaviours

                                Where am I doing this? I would like to highlight again that I was literally pleading and begging. This isn't coercion - this is me asking that others behave in a manner which I believe is more civil. Whether you choose to act this way in the future or not is entirely up to you. I'm simply here to explain how I felt when I saw this comment and what inspired me to act and how this kind of conversation might be avoided in the future with some fairly minimal changes in behavior.

                                4 votes
                            2. FlippantGod
                              Link Parent
                              I did miss that bit of your comment initially, and addressed it somewhat in a belated, tack-on edit. As mentioned, I observe that this was not your standard at our last interaction, and wonder if...

                              I did miss that bit of your comment initially, and addressed it somewhat in a belated, tack-on edit. As mentioned, I observe that this was not your standard at our last interaction, and wonder if you genuinely would have accepted it, or if you are shifting the goalposts to suite your argument.

                              Edit: again, since I missed it, everything before edit 2 is in the context of our last discussion, where an opening statement finding something generally quite good was insufficient for your purposes.

                        2. [3]
                          streblo
                          Link Parent
                          OK thanks for clarifying -- I think that's a fair statement. I will add though that often times when I address a single detail of a post I'm not doing it to undermine but rather I'm implicitly...

                          Apologies if it was not clear, the request was in the context of a short reply to a long, well sourced, well thought out reply. The reply hyper-focused on one aspect of the detailed response and did not address anything else in the post. If the reply had at the very least acknowledged the heart of the response or even had a very short "I agree with what you're saying, but...", then I don't think it would have triggered any kind of response to me.

                          OK thanks for clarifying -- I think that's a fair statement. I will add though that often times when I address a single detail of a post I'm not doing it to undermine but rather I'm implicitly agreeing with the points I'm not addressing. I can try to make the more explicit in the future.

                          I think the class is a good example of how to do it right. Surely they spent time on the subject, evaluating the nuances and exploring in depth what evidence supported the current theory. This is an appropriate place to broach these kinds of topics because everyone is on the same field and an expert is around to answer questions. Pontificating on the internet can also be a place to gain knowledge, have conversations, and learn from others, but the playing field is very different - we can't treat the two in the same way or even evaluate the two through the same lens.

                          I hear what you're saying because yes, the classroom is probably more ideal than a forum but I think limiting these discussions to university campuses under the supervision of an adult is both elitist and assumes far too little of the participants. Yes, audience and context are important. I'm not going to try and discuss these topics in the comments of a YT video but I see no reason why we shouldn't be able to discuss them here. We have a decent tool to combat people who would act in bad faith -- a reasonable and responsive administrator and an ability to ban/suspend accounts. We also have the advantage of a very small audience -- we're just not going to attract the level of bad faith actors that exist on other parts of the internet.

                          3 votes
                          1. [2]
                            Gaywallet
                            Link Parent
                            I'm not saying we can't, I'm trying to establish standards so that we can have these kind of conversations effectively and still create an environment which encourages diversity. I'd like you to...

                            I see no reason why we shouldn't be able to discuss them here.

                            I'm not saying we can't, I'm trying to establish standards so that we can have these kind of conversations effectively and still create an environment which encourages diversity. I'd like you to keep in mind that while yourself and others like you have come to interact with my comment in this thread, the kind of people who don't want to see the initial comment on this website at all because it alienates them or makes them upset have already fled this thread and are already less likely to interact with the website. There's a kind of selection bias going on right now that the people willing to engage with this meta conversation self select into the conversation and the kind of people that don't want to see this on the website are not around to voice their opinion (at least not here... I've already received several DMs and had meta-conversations about this thread through other outlets).

                            we're just not going to attract the level of bad faith actors that exist on other parts of the internet.

                            This is provably false - users have been banned from this website for acting in bad faith. So long as we have a new stream of users, it's impossible to avoid some bad faith actors and the lower the percentage of users we recognize by name. So we need to be vigilant at all times, less we encourage this kind of behavior to exist. By having this conversation we are setting cultural norms of what is and is not okay on this website, and users pick up on it even if they do not choose to comment or interact simply by observing.

                            2 votes
                            1. streblo
                              Link Parent
                              Which is chiefly where we disagree I think. I don't think the original reply was out of bounds (at least without knowing what McWhorter said). If people don't want to interact with this thread...

                              the kind of people who don't want to see the initial comment on this website at all because it alienates them or makes them upset have already fled this thread and are already less likely to interact with the website.

                              Which is chiefly where we disagree I think. I don't think the original reply was out of bounds (at least without knowing what McWhorter said). If people don't want to interact with this thread over that that's fine but this is ~humanities, those kinds of discussions are relevant. I don't think we should not have them in the interest of making ~humanities a totally safe space.

                              This is provably false - users have been banned from this website for acting in bad faith.

                              I never said no one has been banned -- but without knowing exactly how many people have been banned and given how many users we have currently there would have to have been a lot of bans for us to have the same level of bad faith actors as say, Reddit.

                              1 vote
                3. grungegun
                  Link Parent
                  I can address that. My roommates and I invite international students, refugees, minorities, and anyone else who feels alone over - we started doing that this year. In my day to day life, I strive...

                  I can address that. My roommates and I invite international students, refugees, minorities, and anyone else who feels alone over - we started doing that this year. In my day to day life, I strive to be a friend to everyone I meet regardless of background, culture, or ethnicity. I regard, John McWhorter highly and hope that his views are well represented, though I don't care about reason.com or ReasonTV and have never heard of them until today.

                  1 vote
          2. [2]
            grungegun
            Link Parent
            This was pulled from this article. Separately he connects school dropout rates to violence. McWhorter's position is more complex than what I stated. He does acknowledge the effects of the police...

            a strong tendency toward Anti-intellectualism at all levels of the black community. Founded in the roots of the culture in poverty and disenfranchisement, this tendency has now become a culture-internal infection nurtured by a distrust of the former oppressor.

            This was pulled from this article. Separately he connects school dropout rates to violence.

            McWhorter's position is more complex than what I stated. He does acknowledge the effects of the police on black communities and he also connects what he terms 'wokeness' to some present day behaviours. I am not fully confident in explaining his views. However, I would encourage people to read him directly.

            2 votes
            1. streblo
              Link Parent
              I don't really see that statement as supporting your original statement. However, it also leads me to believe that his descriptions of culture does at least reference culture as an environmental...

              I don't really see that statement as supporting your original statement. However, it also leads me to believe that his descriptions of culture does at least reference culture as an environmental product; although I'm sure many reasonable people could disagree with the work 'former' is doing that in his sentence.

              Anyways, discussing something specific without specificity is never productive. I think we should do better to add context to our discussions rather than strip it. This isn't directed just at you but to Tildes as a whole.

              5 votes
        2. [3]
          grungegun
          Link Parent
          I was restating McWhorter's claim more carefully. These statements seem opposed to me. In the first you say that cultures are integral parts of the surrounding contexts in which they exist, so it...

          I was restating McWhorter's claim more carefully.

          You simply cannot make an argument about any culture or society without examining the system within which it exists and how these factors affect it

          these disparities almost entirely disappear when you see what appears to be almost the same culture in different places in the world existing in different systems of interaction or when intervention is made to correct the disparities present.

          These statements seem opposed to me. In the first you say that cultures are integral parts of the surrounding contexts in which they exist, so it is incoherent to consider a culture as separate from its context. In the second you appear to say that if we consider cultures that are the same in different contexts, we see the disparities disappear.

          I'd be happy to set some time aside to read about examples where identical subcultures in different contexts get along swimmingly. I've heard the UK used as an example, though I'm not convinced that the subcultures in the US and UK are similar enough to compare directly.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            Gaywallet
            Link Parent
            To be clear the second statement explains the first in the context of how people typically consider "culture". To piggyback on your example, black culture in the US and UK are different....

            To be clear the second statement explains the first in the context of how people typically consider "culture". To piggyback on your example, black culture in the US and UK are different. Similarly, black culture is different between either of these and in other places in the world such as Africa. You cannot ascribe characteristics to a culture in a void - levels of violence differ in all these societies and to claim it's because there's something inherently violent about black culture ignores how these black cultures interact with the cultures present around them in these various locations.

            5 votes
            1. grungegun
              Link Parent
              Also to be clear, I am not saying that black cultures are inherently violent. Neither am I saying black cultures in general are violent. However, (this is my view, not McWhorter's) I think it is...

              Also to be clear, I am not saying that black cultures are inherently violent. Neither am I saying black cultures in general are violent. However, (this is my view, not McWhorter's) I think it is clear that something went wrong when healing inter-cultural tensions, especially compared with so-called model minorities. Where I agree with McWhorter is that there are facets in typical woke approaches that do more harm than good.

              For instance, racially adjusted admissions on the college level could be discouraging in my mind, similar to how I made the mistake when playing foosball of trying to level the playing field by playing with one hand. Me hobbling myself didn't make my opponents feel better when they scored more points, it made them feel worse, because they could see that the playing field was being adjusted. Instead, helping them get better with 1-1 help would have been better - addressing the inequality at the root.

              5 votes
      2. [2]
        dubteedub
        Link Parent
        Did you read the article I liked? It is very brief. The quote is from the article's author John Stossel who wrote the piece as part of his weekly column for Reason discussing John McWhorter's...

        Did you read the article I liked? It is very brief. The quote is from the article's author John Stossel who wrote the piece as part of his weekly column for Reason discussing John McWhorter's views and quoting him throughout. Again, I posted this article as an illustration for why Reason is promoting McWhorter's work and this perspective, which you would understand if you opened the link and read it.

        In this instance, Stossel blaming Black violence on Black culture is virtually no different than blaming it on genetics. It is an assumption that there is something inherently different about Black people that has created these outcomes and yes, it is a very racist viewpoint.

        A critical race theory perspective on this topic would again look at the underlying contexts and systemic reasons for why these differences exist, again point towards government created inequities in housing access, policing, the justice system, mental health services, healthcare in general, education, etc.

        Critical race theory is a systems perspective focus on the institutions that create racial and social inequities. The link you shared is McWhorter's views on Robin DiAngelo's book White Fragility, which is more focused on personal racial biases, which I think is a very different topic. That link also does not talk about violence and its only education-based commentary is at the end where McWhorter makes an unsubstantiated claim that race is taught in public school curriculums by linking to a Manhattan Institute report that claims fifth graders are taught anti-capitalism through their math class. The report does not mention race at all. Also, surprise surprise, but the Manhattan Institute is just another libertarian think tank.

        9 votes
        1. grungegun
          Link Parent
          I read the article. The title of the post suggested to me that the focus was on McWhorter. Interacting with Stossel rather than McWhorter seems to me to be shifting from a harder target to an...

          I read the article. The title of the post suggested to me that the focus was on McWhorter. Interacting with Stossel rather than McWhorter seems to me to be shifting from a harder target to an easier one, since reason.com seems to be a political tabloid. I tend to adhere to the idea that it is good to focus on the hard issues presented by a conflicting viewpoint (McWhorter) rather than Stossel who is an easier target.

          I take McWhorter's view on the White Fragility book to be interesting and it motivates his views on the racial divide and violence in America even though it does not address violence directly.

          4 votes
  2. [6]
    mtset
    Link
    Either I don't understand what people mean by "woke" or this is deeply incoherent - everyone I know who could reasonably be critiqued as "too woke" supports all these things, with the exception...

    His shortlist for what would most help black America? "There should be no war on drugs; society should get behind teaching everybody to read the right way; and we should make solid vocational training as easy to obtain as a college education."

    Either I don't understand what people mean by "woke" or this is deeply incoherent - everyone I know who could reasonably be critiqued as "too woke" supports all these things, with the exception that "read[ing] the right way" is... not something all linguists agree on. However, ending the war on drugs, making college cheaper and vocational training more readily available, and increasing literacy are goals every left-leaning person I know definitely share.

    20 votes
    1. [5]
      dubteedub
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It helps to understand that Reason is a libertarian Think Tank that has both a magazine and YouTube channel now apparently. One of their biggest policy issues since the 2000s has been the Drug War...

      It helps to understand that Reason is a libertarian Think Tank that has both a magazine and YouTube channel now apparently. One of their biggest policy issues since the 2000s has been the Drug War so this is just another way for them to both continue that message while attacking leftists.

      If you look at the other videos on their channel they are mostly defending big tech, cryptocurrency, and private industry and attacking environmentalism and "communism". One of their videos is literally "Why We Shouldn’t Fear a Climate Apocalypse". Their last video on racism was "A Racial Diversity Program That Brings People Together" by Chloe Valdary who is another black critic of Critical Race Theory and anti-racism efforts.

      That should help give you a better idea on what their ultimate goals are through videos like this one.

      22 votes
      1. krg
        Link Parent
        Decidedly leftist publications have published similar views as well, for what it’s worth. It’s actually kinda funny that McWhorter attributes shallow corporate woke-ism/virtue-signalling to the...

        Decidedly leftist publications have published similar views as well, for what it’s worth. It’s actually kinda funny that McWhorter attributes shallow corporate woke-ism/virtue-signalling to the “hard, hard left” when much of the leftist media I’ve consumed criticizes that very same thing (not that they deny race is an issue, of course… just that there can be a cynical use of this issue by people in power). I think this is where the one-dimensional left/right attribution really breaks down. Hell, I feel like even that whole two-dimensional political-compass deal doesn’t due justice to diverse view sets people have. Ah, but I digress, maybe…

        12 votes
      2. [3]
        vegai
        Link Parent
        Their (Reason Foundation) mission statement is "Advancing a free society by developing, applying, and promoting libertarian principles, including individual liberty, free markets, and the rule of...

        That should help give you a better idea on what their ultimate goals are through videos like this one.

        Their (Reason Foundation) mission statement is "Advancing a free society by developing, applying, and promoting libertarian principles, including individual liberty, free markets, and the rule of law" -- do you think there's some underlying more sinister mission there or rather that these already are sinister?

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          Kuromantis
          Link Parent
          Generally speaking, Libertarianism's fault lies in the complete lack of methods and desire to address inequality or basically any problem that occurs in a systemic level (read: most problems),...

          Generally speaking, Libertarianism's fault lies in the complete lack of methods and desire to address inequality or basically any problem that occurs in a systemic level (read: most problems), believing in the idea that if you just make the government smaller (the idea is that all the intelligence agencies and law enforcement and whatever get budget cuts, but what's actually carried out by conservatives is cutting welfare, and Libertarians support this measure) and the strength and willpower and whatever of the best individuals will make them rise to the top in a meritocractic fashion, as if everyone has the same starting conditions and as if that's the only objective of life.

          16 votes
          1. vegai
            Link Parent
            I don't think that's exactly correct. Some of them certainly care about properly correcting for historical causes of inequality....

            Libertarianism's fault lies in the complete lack of methods and desire to address inequality or basically any problem that occurs in a systemic level

            I don't think that's exactly correct. Some of them certainly care about properly correcting for historical causes of inequality. https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/libertarian-thinking-redistribution

            They seem to lean more heavily towards the thought that existing structures pile on the previous ones, increasingly benefitting the rich and those already well off, even when the written goals of the structures might be opposite. Therefore cutting down those structures is their cure for many things.

            2 votes
  3. [18]
    rosco
    Link
    Does anyone else feel there is a recent trend towards opinion pieces and content like this in mainstream media creating the narrative that progressive ideals are driving the issues they are...

    Does anyone else feel there is a recent trend towards opinion pieces and content like this in mainstream media creating the narrative that progressive ideals are driving the issues they are working to solve? This feels very akin to the "Blue States, you're the problem" piece that popped up last week.

    This time it is how the "woke progressive agenda" is exacerbating issues in marginalized spaces. I agree with @mtset, who are these woke folks who don't agree with ending the war on drugs, making education more equitable, or providing additional vocational training?

    12 votes
    1. [3]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      I don’t watch political videos, but yes, there has been a lot of anti-woke backlash for quite a while now. To me it’s something like listening to one end of a phone call and trying to guess what’s...

      I don’t watch political videos, but yes, there has been a lot of anti-woke backlash for quite a while now.

      To me it’s something like listening to one end of a phone call and trying to guess what’s on the other end, because I wouldn’t know anything of the things they are complaining of if it weren’t for the reaction pieces. This is a problem with reaction pieces in general. If it’s not something you have personal experience with, and you don’t necessarily trust the reactions you happen to read, what are you left with?

      This is compounded by vague terms. “Woke” means whoever you think of when you hear that term, and it’s surely different for each person, based on who you’ve interacted with and what you’ve read about. When it has meaning, it’s mostly from context of how it’s used.

      While I think true objectivity is a myth, it would be nice to see some more neutral and specific reporting of what’s going on in the world with a minimum of telling you how you should feel about it.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        IMHO these kinds of articles exist specifically to increase fear of social change that potentially disadvantages specific classes of people, and of course it’s usually white heterosexual men....

        IMHO these kinds of articles exist specifically to increase fear of social change that potentially disadvantages specific classes of people, and of course it’s usually white heterosexual men.

        Remember all of those articles about how conservative professors were all in danger because of liberal snowflake students? It’s the same thing.

        Note that all of the claims they are making are incredibly vague and there is no way to confirm the scale or frequency in which these kinds of claims actually happen. These are not news stories. They cannot be confirmed in any meaningful way. In reality I don’t think any respectable outlet should be publishing this kind of thing.

        12 votes
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          I think some could be checked more than others, in theory, but often the general reader isn't in a position to do so. As an example of how easy it is to make uncheckable claims, how could your or...

          I think some could be checked more than others, in theory, but often the general reader isn't in a position to do so.

          As an example of how easy it is to make uncheckable claims, how could your or my comments be checked? Without knowing which articles you mean, it's not like we can go through the list and figure out the genders and races of the authors, let alone understand their motivations. And how likely is it that they're all written for the same reasons?

          2 votes
    2. [7]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      It doesn't sound like he's saying they disagree with these things, but rather criticizing where the focus, energy, and resources are being applied. Which seems to be disproportionately towards...

      This time it is how the "woke progressive agenda" is exacerbating issues in marginalized spaces. I agree with @mtset, who are these woke folks who don't agree with ending the war on drugs, making education more equitable, or providing additional vocational training?

      It doesn't sound like he's saying they disagree with these things, but rather criticizing where the focus, energy, and resources are being applied. Which seems to be disproportionately towards this kind of "cosmetic" stuff and not with much seriousness towards the practical stuff beyond the level of sloganeering.

      4 votes
      1. [6]
        rosco
        Link Parent
        And while that't true, it leaves out an important pieces of the equation: The non 'woke' folks make it incredibly difficult to pass anything meaningful with bi-partisan support and push the more...

        And while that't true, it leaves out an important pieces of the equation: The non 'woke' folks make it incredibly difficult to pass anything meaningful with bi-partisan support and push the more progressive agenda to the right. That leaves us with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Shumer kneeing with Kente Cloths. Is it ridiculous and unhelpful? Absolutely! Is it the main reason black Americans aren't getting the resources and legislation they need? I don't think so. It does make for a nice, embarrassing thing to point to for conservative pundits who can then say "It's their fault, they don't really care!!!" while actively pushing for racist policy like austerity funding of social benefits, redistricting school districts, and silencing black votes with gerrymandering. I don't believe ReasonTV is interested at looking at why black folks are underserved, I think they want a strawman to take attention away from their own incredibly racist policy goals.

        15 votes
        1. [5]
          NaraVara
          Link Parent
          Reason's just interviewing the author of a book. So yeah the magazine probably doesn't care but McWhorter's deal seems to be more that this posture towards virtue signaling/language policing is...

          Reason's just interviewing the author of a book. So yeah the magazine probably doesn't care but McWhorter's deal seems to be more that this posture towards virtue signaling/language policing is self-destructive/self-defeating for the people and groups involved too much with it. He frames it as a retreat from engagement with the real issues in favor of stuff that doesn't require material, only emotional sacrifices.

          One of the problems with talking about it is that nobody actually seems to know what or who anyone else is talking about. It's hard to parse how much denialism is the result of cope, self-interested attempts to cover up problematic behaviors, people being in a filter bubble where they don't see the problematic behaviors, or people who simply do not see the behaviors are problematic or unhealthy.

          4 votes
          1. [4]
            rosco
            Link Parent
            I'm not sure many of us, even in this thread, are in denial about this. Yes, there are tons of folks who only engage with the fluffy, feel good 'woke' content. I think we all got a really good...

            One of the problems with talking about it is that nobody actually seems to know what or who anyone else is talking about. It's hard to parse how much denialism is the result of cope, self-interested attempts to cover up problematic behaviors, people being in a filter bubble where they don't see the problematic behaviors, or people who simply do not see the behaviors are problematic or unhealthy.

            I'm not sure many of us, even in this thread, are in denial about this. Yes, there are tons of folks who only engage with the fluffy, feel good 'woke' content. I think we all got a really good look at that May and June of 2020. I agree with McWhorter, there is a lot of condescension, 'holier than thou', and cringey behavior in general from this group. While it's incredibly frustrating and not particularly helpful, it feels like the framing of that conversation is that it is to blame these people for inaction on these broader issues (I mean, "Woke Racism has betrayed Black America is pretty" is pretty on the nose). I think that is where I'm finding fault with this. I have two main thoughts about that.

            First, I think that it can be helpful when that many people, even if just virtue signaling, make something popular to be associated with. It becomes politically viable to associate yourself with a movement or back new legislation. I work a little bit in the policy world, though it sounds like much less than you do, so it's very possible I'm just wrong on this front. To me, we're still living in the neo-liberal world (not where I want to be, but it's where we are) and the incremental change bullshit is still a thing. Have we addressed the core issues he brings up in that conversation? No, but hopefully we're setting the stage for it. It's like COP26, a crazy amount of greenwashing and FF lobbying, but we're getting close to hitting a popular perception might push us to real change. However, to your point, I still see tons of blue lives matter stickers/signs/flags while most of the Black Lives Matter materials have since been removed. So maybe it didn't do anything except open a very narrow policy window that only let through easy, not particularly helpful bills/reform.

            Second, and again why I think ReasonTV has put this up, is because it can act as a strawman for those actively working against core, progressive legislation. I think the virtue signalers are likely to vote for progressive legislation, particularly core tenets like education reform or work programs, that comes up on ballots. Anecdotally, my apathetic friends who were all over instagram during the George Floyd protests do still vote progressively when it's time to punch the ballots. I also don't think they directly cause opposition to those bills. The right wing media will find something to point at, if it wasn't the virtue signalers it would be something else.

            I might be being naive but I'm hoping all of this superficial tweeting/instagraming/tiktoking shows that there is a majority of folks who want to see changes and emboldens politicians to act.

            1 vote
            1. [3]
              NaraVara
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              That’s where we differ because I think these sites are the problem. They privilege exactly the kinds of judgey and unproductive non-engagement that is problematic. And generally these people are...

              I might be being naive but I'm hoping all of this superficial tweeting/instagraming/tiktoking shows that there is a majority of folks who want to see changes and emboldens politicians to act.

              That’s where we differ because I think these sites are the problem. They privilege exactly the kinds of judgey and unproductive non-engagement that is problematic. And generally these people are just stirring tempests in teapots so it’s not objectively a big deal. But it ends up being a big deal because they end up getting in the faces and consciousnesses of everyone else which leads them to overreact in response. Those overreactions take a variety of forms ranging from chilling their own speech to avoid provoking them, mistreating already ill treated adjuncts and flunkies as sacrificial lambs to appease outrage mobs, flipping out in the other direction and radicalizing into hard intolerance, checking out of discourse on this stuff entirely, or being vulnerable to cynical propaganda from political operatives.

              It’s frustrating because the people engaging in this stuff are a slim subset of the population who were basically exiled from Tumblr when they banned porn and other noxious behavior. They don’t matter much, but since nobody can ignore them they end up dominating the conversation. Them and the counter reactions against them have turned all political discourse into vacuous culture war bullshit and there’s no escaping it because our main venues for having discourse profit from keeping it that way.

              2 votes
              1. rosco
                Link Parent
                Sorry, i just saw this response. It may clear up the disconnect we're having. I think our definition of "woke" people is different. I think of them as the rarely and superficially engaged. They...

                Sorry, i just saw this response. It may clear up the disconnect we're having. I think our definition of "woke" people is different. I think of them as the rarely and superficially engaged. They put up a black square on instagram for BLM that isn't helpful and shows they support it with almost no effort. Low effort, little damage.

                It sounds like yours is more akin to social justice warriors (feel free to correct me if I got that wrong). I put them in the woke category too, but as a small subset of a much larger group. I agree with your points in regards to these folks. Sorry if that was apparent earlier and I missed it.

                Edit: I see you literally called it out.

                1 vote
              2. mtset
                Link Parent
                I fail to see how this is related.

                a slim subset of the population who were basically exiled from Tumblr when they banned porn

                I fail to see how this is related.

                2 votes
    3. [7]
      nukeman
      Link Parent
      I think they agree with the items listed, but they are instead prioritizing items which are low-impact, high-attention, and highly polarizing.

      I think they agree with the items listed, but they are instead prioritizing items which are low-impact, high-attention, and highly polarizing.

      2 votes
      1. [6]
        mtset
        Link Parent
        I'm curious why you think that - which activist and lobbying groups do you see pushing policies that prioritize, say, inclusive language over prison reform or drug decriminalization? That is not...

        I'm curious why you think that - which activist and lobbying groups do you see pushing policies that prioritize, say, inclusive language over prison reform or drug decriminalization? That is not something I've seen in my work with ICIRR and the JCUA, two very "woke" orgs (pronouns and land acknowledgements at the beginning of meeting, the works.)

        8 votes
        1. [5]
          NaraVara
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Most people aren't interacting with activist and lobbying groups. They're interacting with this stuff via their company's HR memos and their 20 year old niblings at Thanksgiving. It's especially...

          which activist and lobbying groups do you see pushing policies that prioritize, say, inclusive language over prison reform or drug decriminalization

          Most people aren't interacting with activist and lobbying groups. They're interacting with this stuff via their company's HR memos and their 20 year old niblings at Thanksgiving. It's especially rife in the media industry, which is why none of these people can shut up about it. They're basically having a little, high school clique slap-fight within the incestuous worlds of elite media/academia and dressing it up as some grand matter of principle because nobody will read their Mean Girls burn-book tier gossip otherwise.

          The tell is that you see the same criticisms from Lefty influencers when it comes to stuff like "corporate pride," but if someone tweaks the jargon and word choice to express a largely similar sentiment, many of the same people will act like you're basically Bari Weiss. And the "muh free speech" crowd will complain about cancel culture while sending emails to peoples' bosses if they say something mean about them on Twitter (cough Bret Stephens cough). The fuzziness of the labels ('woke' and 'cancel' and 'CRT') are all convenient for disguising personal vendettas as principles in this way.

          I can get why these media and influencer grifter people do it, but I wish everyone else didn't get so invested in parasocial relationships with these people that they take this stuff seriously. McWhorter, for his part, at least seems to get that there's a broad consensus on these things socially that isn't reflected in all the acrimony that manifests in the media.

          8 votes
          1. [4]
            mtset
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I genuinely have no idea what you're saying here, I'm sorry. I don't think it's fair or productive to criticize progressive activists and politically active Leftists because some people who are...

            I genuinely have no idea what you're saying here, I'm sorry. I don't think it's fair or productive to criticize progressive activists and politically active Leftists because some people who are vaguely aligned with us aren't on message sometimes. I can't control what your sister's 20-year-old nonbinary child does, and if it annoys you that much, that seems like a you problem.

            In another comment, you say:

            criticizing where the focus, energy, and resources are being applied. Which seems to be disproportionately towards this kind of "cosmetic" stuff

            But again - that's not true! Everyone I see applying effort and resources are doing it toward what they think is material change; we can talk about whether they're right, but nobody's out here trying to make misgendering trans people a hate crime instead of pursuing healthcare reform; nobody's out here trying to get the term "latin@" used in legislation instead of pursuing immigration reform.

            It might be more productive to hear what you think a better allocation of resources would be, starting by looking at how progressive orgs currently actually apply their resources.

            8 votes
            1. [3]
              NaraVara
              Link Parent
              Life isn't fair. The messaging progressive activists are doing is percolating out into the mainstream in weird ways that people find unproductive. That suggests maybe the activists aren't adopting...

              I don't think it's fair or productive to criticize progressive activists and politically active Leftists because some people who are vaguely aligned with us aren't on message sometimes.

              Life isn't fair. The messaging progressive activists are doing is percolating out into the mainstream in weird ways that people find unproductive. That suggests maybe the activists aren't adopting an effective strategy and when this is borne out in negative political outcomes that's an everyone problem.

              Everyone I see applying effort and resources are doing it toward what they think is material change; we can talk about whether they're right

              McWhorter here is talking about whether they're right and deeming it wrong. He doesn't mention making misgendering a hate crime or anything in his book, he focuses specifically on a culture of being hyperfixated on jargon policing and theory rather than anything useful. This is certainly the case in most of the corporate HR type seminars I've been exposed to where it mostly just seems like a way for Robin DiAngelo to collect consulting fees.

              7 votes
              1. [2]
                mtset
                Link Parent
                Okay. Fair enough. I'm a progressive activist who does progressive activism in progressive spaces. How is this actionable for me?

                The messaging progressive activists are doing is percolating out into the mainstream in weird ways that people find unproductive.

                Okay. Fair enough. I'm a progressive activist who does progressive activism in progressive spaces.

                How is this actionable for me?

                5 votes
                1. NaraVara
                  Link Parent
                  The main thing is probably just to be more aware of what it is about the various shitheads in the culture that normies find appealing. Most progressive spaces I've been in tend to dismiss them...

                  The main thing is probably just to be more aware of what it is about the various shitheads in the culture that normies find appealing. Most progressive spaces I've been in tend to dismiss them entirely as rubes, which I think just cedes too much strategic ground and guarantees always being on the back foot.

                  5 votes