09 Jul 2020

BMS ep 129: Identity Politics Is Hurting Young People–of All Colors

Bob Murphy Show, Culture Wars 55 Comments

Audio here.

55 Responses to “BMS ep 129: Identity Politics Is Hurting Young People–of All Colors”

  1. Transformer says:

    I normally only disagree with Bob in a friendly way (even on climate change) but I actually felt quite strongly in disagreement after listening to this one. I hope I don’t misrepresent any of Bob’s points but it is hard to remember everything accurately on a podcast:

    – He claims that US schools explicitly teach an “being white is bad” ideology. Is there any non-anecdotal evidence to support this? I have 4 kids under 30 and none report this as their experience. They all went to the same high school so maybe their’s is the minority experience

    – My understanding of BLM is that its is about combating both institutional and personal racism and how better awareness of both can help to improve the black experience even with no government intervention. I may have understood incorrectly but I think I heard Bob saying that things like blindness and mental incapacity or being born in war zones like Yemen are handicap with some similarities to being black and this fact somehow invalidates attempts to prioritize opposition to racism. I’m not really getting this argument.

    – Bob dismisses the legacy of slavery because in his view slavery led to a loss in productivity sufficiently great that free whites ended up with less income than would have occurred in a slave free society so they can’t be held guilty of benefiting from slavery. This argument seems dubious to me both because it is based on an unproven empirical claim and even if the claim is true then the fact that slave-owners and people who actively supported slave-ownership made bad economic decisions about the efficiency of slavery does not get them off the hook in terms of responsibility for their actions. Do incompetent criminals get spared jail time because they made bad decisions ? (This is not to say that people – and their descendants – who had no role in institutional slavery should be held to be responsible for it in some way).

    – Similar to his claim about what high schools are teaching Bob makes the claim that it is a widely held view that ‘reverse racism’ is today held to be impossible, Can he point to real examples of where this is explicitly stated ? I do see a tendency to downplay true but non-woke views such as the fact that black-on black violence is greater in statistical terms than white-on-black violence but that really is not the same thing.

    – Finally and unimportantly Bob trots out the old chestnut about a Boys U15 soccer team beating the USWNST. He himself acknowledges that what really matter is revenue generation not subjective assessment of quality of play and there is some evidence that the women’s game is more popular in the US than the men’s game (https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/10/us-viewership-of-the-womens-world-cup-final-was-higher-than-the-mens.html)

    • Bob Murphy says:

      I’ll be brief Transformer on each point:

      – He claims that US schools explicitly teach an “being white is bad” ideology. Is there any non-anecdotal evidence to support this? I have 4 kids under 30 and none report this as their experience. They all went to the same high school so maybe their’s is the minority experience

      I only have a sample size of 2 myself, but did I specifically say high school? Did your kids go to college?

      –…I think I heard Bob saying that things like blindness and mental incapacity or being born in war zones like Yemen are handicap with some similarities to being black and this fact somehow invalidates attempts to prioritize opposition to racism.

      Jeez, no that’s not at all what I’m saying. I’m saying that it’s weird that Nathan T. looks at his success and decides to focus on those particular things. If he just in general said, “I want to make the world a better place, let me do what I can to end racism” I wouldn’t have said anything about it.

      (This is not to say that people – and their descendants – who had no role in institutional slavery should be held to be responsible for it in some way).

      You seem to be missing the argument. People will try to say they shouldn’t have to pay reparations because they personally had no role in slavery, e.g. their grandparents came to the USA in the year 1890. But then the counterargument from pro-reparations people is that whites today, even if their family immigrated in 1890, are still richer because of the legacy of slavery. So yes I agree with you it’s empirical, but if I’m right, then obviously this argument collapses.

      – Similar to his claim about what high schools are teaching Bob makes the claim that it is a widely held view that ‘reverse racism’ is today held to be impossible, Can he point to real examples of where this is explicitly stated ?

      This is standard stuff among the woke crowd. Here’s one article for example.

      – Finally and unimportantly Bob trots out the old chestnut about a Boys U15 soccer team beating the USWNST. He himself acknowledges that what really matter is revenue generation not subjective assessment of quality of play and there is some evidence that the women’s game is more popular in the US than the men’s game (https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/10/us-viewership-of-the-womens-world-cup-final-was-higher-than-the-mens.html)

      Oh my gosh Transformer. People in the USA pay more attention to the women’s final when THE USA is in it, compared to the men’s final when the USA is not in it. This proves Americans like to watch women’s soccer more than men’s?

      • Transformer says:

        Thanks for responding because I just reread my initial comment and think it was of poor quality and based more on emotion than reason.

        That said , I do have a few responses:

        – I just assumed high school. I would accept that I see more evidence of a woke agenda at the California state colleges two of them now attend, which I suppose is a bit of an issue- but overall I do not have any major concerns they are being indoctrinated (FWIW: my kids are what is referred to as ‘mixed race’).

        – On Nathan: I’m probably viewing his comments and the BLM movement in a more charitable light than you. I would like to think that he and other BLM supporters really are motivated by a “I want to make the world a better place, let me do what I can to end racism” ethos. I accept its possible I am overly optimistic on this point.

        – On the slavery issue: My view (captured in your quote from my comment) is that even if some non-slave owners did indirectly benefit from slavery then that does not make them legally liable to pay repatriations. If they are decent people however it might make them (like Nathan) want to be part of a anti-racist movement that aims to make things better.

        – On the Women’s Soccer Issue: The link I provided not only says that more people watched that particular game but that the game was the most watched soccer game ever in the US (and that women’s games overall raised more revenue than the men’s over the past few years) . I’ve really no idea on the right or wrongs of this situation – only that it is more complex than just saying “the women’s team got beat by a boys U15 team so all bets are off’ – which is more or less where you started from.

    • Porgie Tirebiter says:

      transformer wrote:

      “Similar to his claim about what high schools are teaching Bob makes the claim that it is a widely held view that ‘reverse racism’ is today held to be impossible, Can he point to real examples of where this is explicitly stated ?”

      Wow! This has been stated again and again and again for at least a decade!

      Here are a few links from the *7 million hits* I got on “reverse racism does not exist”:

      http://www.aclrc.com/myth-of-reverse-racism

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.abqjournal.com/1468024/from-my-bookshelf-to-yours-only-white-people-can-be-considered-racist.html/amp

      https://www.mndaily.com/article/2020/06/can-white-people-experience-racism-pt-ii

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/kwzjvz/dear-white-people-please-stop-pretending-reverse-racism-is-real

      How could someone so ignorant of this whole topic possibly think it appropriate to sound off on it?!

      • Harold says:

        If you read those links they all say that white people can experience racial prejudice and discrimination, but racism is systemic and they are applying the term to the society as a whole. Sometimes it is worth reading beyond the headline to see what the substance is, and then you can argue with it.

        So, do you agree with their premise?

        Personally, I can take issue with some aspects. What is the system we are discussing? if we apply it to the US as a whole it is different from looking at sub-systems. It is plausible that there could be systems within the US where the national minority holds sufficient power, and then could be said to be exercising racism against the national majority. Maybe at the level of a college, or a town, county or state. I am not sure there are examples, but it seems plausible they could exist.

        Some options for discusiion.
        1) we could agree that blacks are able to discriminate against whites based on race, and maybe the whole argument goes away if that is the point of contention.

        2) you may think that the whole idea of systemic racism makes no sense. It is not possible for a racial majority to hold power such that institutions, culture, mores, laws and practices cannot occur that disadvantage a minority.

        3) you may think it is possible, but has not happened in the USA.

        4) you could think that it did happen in the USA, but it has gone away now.

        5) Or that it did happen in the USA, it has improved, but has not gone away and has left issues that still need to be addressed if we want a society where everyone has opportunity to flourish.

        6) Or that the laws are the only thing that matters. As long as the law does not discriminate, we don’t need to worry about anything else.

        Or something else that I have not thought of. Lets have a discussion of the issues, not the semantics.

        • Porgie Tirebiter says:

          Duh, I have been familiar with this material for many years. Why in the world would you presume that I had that “read behind the headlines“?

          • Harold says:

            Thats read beyond the headlines. It is because you do not represent what is in the articles, but only what is in the headlines. If you have been famiiar with this material for years you must have known that.

  2. Harold says:

    I have not listened yet, but some comments on the discussion above.

    I saw a Ted talk recently, which discussed the issue. The crux was that we are often taught that race does exist, but it doesn’t matter. Be colour blind and treat everyone the same. The speaker proposed the opposite, race does not exist, but it does matter.

    “White is bad” ideology taught in schools. It sounds like something that could well be a myth, or a few examples used to show that the exception is the rule. It strikes me as vanishingly unlikely that this is the dominant pedagogical approach.

    “I think I heard Bob saying that things like blindness and mental incapacity or being born in war zones like Yemen are handicap with some similarities to being black.”

    I saw Peterson talk on why white privilege cannot exist because of intersectionality, which taken to its ultimate end means we are all individuals. He was wrong, of course. The argument could be applied to slaves also. There was no white privilege then because of spectra of privilege in looks, sex, attractiveness, intelligence, disability etc. etc. Why pick on race?

    “even if their family immigrated in 1890, are still richer because of the legacy of slavery.” If we turn it around and argue not that the whites are richer, but the blacks are poorer, does that alter the argument? The whole pie is smaller because of the bad choices the whites made, but the blacks have a smaller share of that smaller pie? Maybe the size of the pie does not matter. However, I think reparations are something of a side issue and not what most people are concerned about.

    Reverse racism. This comes down to a disagreement about the meaning of the word “racism”. I found an article, which says
    “It really all comes down to semantics. At some point, the actual meaning of “racism” got mixed up with other aspects of racism ― prejudice, bigotry, ignorance, and so on. It’s true: White people can experience prejudice from black people and other non-whites. Black people can have ignorant, backwards ideas about white people, as well as other non-white races. No one is trying to deny that. But racism is far more complex. ”

    This seems misguided. It is not for some people to claim they know the “real” meaning of the word”racism” and everyone else has got it wrong. This leads to talking past each other and a complete failure to communicate, as has happened here. The online dictionary has “racism” as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.” Using this definition, then clearly white people can experience racism directed against them, although it is not typical.

    The proponents of “reverse racism is impossible” are using a different definition. The article I quoted above goes on to say “But racism is a concept that operates on both an individual and institutional level. ”

    That is, it must operate at *both* levels to be racism. Another article defines prejudice as the feeling of dislike, discrimination as acting on that feeling. White people can experience both. It is prejudice and discrimination for a black interviewer not to give a job to a white person because they are white. It goes on to say:

    “Racism, however, describes patterns of discrimination that are institutionalized as “normal” throughout an entire culture.”

    This seems a definition that does not match with most people’s understanding. I think that most people would say that the white person not given the job because they were white was subject to racism. The author seems to agree with the discrimination based on race aspect, but does not agree this is racism.

    The key point is that when they say “reverse racism is not possible” they are using the term “racism” in this way. It may be the accepted usage in academia, and is perhaps a jargon term. I do not think it is particularly helpful in public discourse.

    Now we have the definition of terms out of the way, we can see why there is a widely held view (in some circles) that reverse racism is impossible. If we accept their definition, then reverse racism is an oxymoron.

    “This proves Americans like to watch women’s soccer more than men’s?” To be fair, Transformer did not claim it was “proved”, but there was some evidence for it. There is more
    [www]https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/19/us-womens-soccer-games-now-generate-more-revenue-than-mens.html

    • Porgie Tirebiter says:

      ““It really all comes down to semantics. At some point, the actual meaning of “racism” got mixed up with other aspects of racism…”

      And what’s most amazing here is the “actual meaning” was a *brand new* meaning the woke people had just made up!

      • Harold says:

        All definitions are made up.

        I suspect it was an academic understanding – effectively jargon, but I do not know where it comes from. Academics often use words differently, scientific “theory” for example. Their mistake is to claim they have the “right” definition. Dictionaries are descriptive not prescriptive. Words mean what people mean by them. Discourse is only possible when we know what they mean by them.

        I stated that I do not think it is a useful definition for public discourse. However, now the meaning is clear it behooves us to discuss the issues, not semantics. By the meaning they are using, reverse racism is impossible. That does not, nor was it ever intended to mean that prejudice and discrimination against whites in the USA is impossible. Now you know, we can continue a productive exchange of views.

        • Porgie Tirebiter says:

          Do you specialize in lecturing people who know more than you do? All definitions are conventional. Most of them are not “made up“ but evolve over time as language is used. This definition was invented in order to serve an ideological purpose.

          • Harold says:

            I agree my quip was incorrect. Definitions are agreed rather than made up. Words are made up.

            I am happy to accept “all definitions are conventional”, as I think you will see from the rest of my comment. My point was that there is no “correct” definition for all time, but people agree what words mean.

          • Harold says:

            So the “new” definition was floated at least a long ago as the 1980’s and a group of people accepted this as a convention. It was used this way within that group. It is not brand new, except in the way all changes in usage are at some point “brand new.” They had not just made it up, they have just tried to impose this as the “actual meaning.” To them it probably appears that this is the case as that is the way they use it.

    • Porgie Tirebiter says:

      ” It strikes me as vanishingly unlikely that this is the dominant pedagogical approach.”

      Then you are not paying attention! (You could actually research this, you know, rather than just going on about “what strikes you.”)

      • Harold says:

        I did. I checked out carricula, teaching aids and articles dealing with education and race and found not one example of “white is bad” or anything anywhere near it. Not even a suggestion or hint.

        Perhaps you could enlighten me with the results of your research?

        • Tel says:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTL-NcNC9TQ

          Jane Elliott, third grade school teacher (self proclaimed “Educator”) insists that “White People” believe the colour of their skin makes them perfect. Thus white people are automatically racist, but hey she gets to decide that other people are determined by the colour of their skin, meaning presumably she also declares herself as racist … at least she is consistent in that.

          How she figures that women evolved before men did, is beyond me. Skin tone comes from drinking orange juice … no really. Whack job, but also teaching the children.

          Educator.

          “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson.

          Two white people (talking about racism) declare that other white people can’t talk about racism … because white people.

          Educators.

          “White Logic, White Methods: Racism and Methodology” by Tukufu Zuberi and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva.

          Two non-white people declare the entire concept of logic and scientific methodology is racist.

          Educators, just ask them. Leading people out of ignorance, and into … ahhh fruit loop land, or somewhere exciting like that.

          Look, if they have something good, some better methodology then just use it to produce. Build a better engine, or grow a better crop of food, or do anything positive with your wonderful tools. That’s all I ask.

          Here’s another one “Critical Whiteness Studies” … believe it or not you can go to university and get some certification in that. I have no idea what you have learned, I’m certainly never hiring someone who has listed that on their CV but … yup … it’s a thing, ya know.

          The same folks will tell you that black people cannot possible be racist, because the colour of their skin magically determines what they think.

          They also tell you no one is allowed to be neutral and just getting along is not good enough … everyone must be forced to take sides.

          This is all Marxism, but I’m sure that if you really look around properly you can figure out how that works. Divide people into classes, turn people against each other, use envy and entitlement as your tools. Marxism.

          • Harold says:

            “The same folks will tell you that black people cannot possible be racist, because the colour of their skin magically determines what they think.”

            If you read the comments here you will see that this is not the case. Even those who believe reverse racism is impossible (due to their specific definition of racism) say that black people can be prejudiced against white people. They say nothing about what black people think.

  3. Harold says:

    General comments having listened. 
    You suggest that white children are being harmed by being told they are guilty of the worst sins of humanity.  You describe this as institutional racism.  You criticize Nathan for pointing out race and gender when these factors are not the only ones that give him privilege.  My suggestion is you link these two ideas together.  You feel bad about white people being wrongly accused of guilt simply because of their race.  You probably want to do something about it.  But perhaps we should wait until world hunger is solved before we address it?  Yet you made a podcast on this issue, not world hunger.

    I do detect something of a double standard generally.  Black people’s stories are not listened to – mistaken for a doorman? Could have happened to anyone.  Stopped and searched?  Well, black people do commit more crime.  Not allowed entry to somewhere?  Maybe you should have dressed better.  Black people depicted as thieves in a cartoon?  It is just a joke. Show me the statistics and the data.  White people’s stories are listened to.  Someone you know tells you they were made to feel bad because of slavery?  That is awful!

    It is clearly wrong to make children feel bad for things they are not responsible for.  I am not suggesting two wrongs make a right.  I do suggest that this could be used as a learning experience to empathise with how black people may feel when this happens to them all the time.  Then when some people choose to focus on this as an issue it may be more understandable and should not be dismissed because it is not the very worst thing in the world. 

    At 36 minutes you say that we should not just “flip it” to make white people feel bad.  This is something of a straw man, because I have not seen anyone advocate for this position, although there may be some on the extreme that do so.  If so, then most anti-racist activists are on your side here.

    Putting these two arguments in the same podcast could portrayed by the uncharitable as a classic example of white privilege. A summary would be: black people marginalized and put down, not the most serious thing in the world, lets deal with more important issues first.  White people made to feel bad -I must podcast about this!

    • Bob Murphy says:

      I’ll just be brief Harold: Your comments would totally make sense if I were responding to a black guy telling stories about why he thought white people treated him poorly. Your comments would also totally make sense if I were responding to a white guy (Nathan) making a twitter thread about why he thought there was institutional racism that should be addressed.

      But no, what actually happened is that a reporter did a story on Nathan, saying he had no credentials to explain his success, and Nathan said, “Yes I do have credentials, namely I’m white male cis who wears dress slacks.” And I thought *that* was a really weird reaction to have, and explained why.

      • Bob Murphy says:

        Let me try one more follow-up Harold: I think you are paraphrasing my argument as being: “Hey Nathan, I agree with you that institutionalized discrimination of minorities, women, and transgender people is bad, but the war in Yemen is worse so why did you pick this pet issue?”

        But that’s NOT what I was saying.

        Rather, I was saying: Hey Nathan, the fact that you’re walking around feeling privileged because you’re white male cis, is actually not a good thing, and that framework you are helping to perpetuate is causing a lot of harm in our society right now.

        • Harold says:

          ” Hey Nathan, the fact that you’re walking around feeling privileged because you’re white male cis, is actually not a good thing, and that framework you are helping to perpetuate is causing a lot of harm in our society right now.”

          What harm exactly? I did not get that from the podcast. There were lots points – this is the problem with podcasts, you can’t flick back easiy.. I will listen again.

          Got it. Over 35’s do not realise how rampant it is that in schools it is taught matter of factly that if you are white heterosexual male that there is something terribly wrong with you. That you are part of a group that is responsible for all the evils in todays world, and more insidiously you can’t do anything about it… you are instituitionaly guilty, regardless of your behaviour, and you should feel bad about that. Your evidence is that your wife told you that someone in class said that he felt bad about being white as part of an introductory talk, and this was not picked up on by the tutor. The class did not leap to his defence and say he couldn’t help how he was born. By their non-intervention, they were agreeing that it was a strike against him and he could spend the rest of his life trying to dig out of that hole. That is the hole of being born white.

          You claim this is standard stuff and specifically that it is part of the carriculum, but I have yet to see any evidence of this. If it is part of the carriculum you should be able to point me to the evidence. You again say that it is taught that you should feel bad about yourself because you are white – so that bit of the carriculum would be ideal. Or the bit that says you are guilty if the worst sins of humanity because you happen to be white. I am convinced you will not find them.

          I think you have misunderstood the carriculum. Some people may become upset when they confront difficult issues, but that does not mean we should not raise them. Nathan, feeling that he has priviege, is perpetuating the framework where white people may feel bad about having those privileges.

          I think you have the wong end of he stick about the race awareness courses. I do recommend the Chanel 4 documentary I mentioned below. There are things to disagree with in the course, but I think if you watch it you will not continue to believe that they are telling white people to be bad about themselves, but to acknowledge the fact that they have it easier in today’s multi racial society. It is not their fault, bt it is their fault if they willfully remain ignorant.

  4. Bob Murphy says:

    In these comments, Harold has dismissed my claim that white people are being told they are bad, by saying he couldn’t find a single example of anything in academia about this. More generally he thinks it must just be some anecdotes. Off the top of my head:

    1) Go review what happened at Evergreen University (it’s this affair that made Brett Weinstein famous).

    2) Here’s a Seattle training seminar for city employees to help them deal with their whiteness.

    3) Literally yesterday on Twitter, after I got attacked by a left-libertarian, in the comments another guy was throwing down with my fans, and his avatar was LITERALLY the phrase “Support White Genocide” with the anarchist symbol. Now it was a troll account, but I don’t think it was someone trying to make antifa look bad. I think it was someone who genuinely hated right-libertarians and made an exaggerated Twitter account (without his real name of course) to vent.

    • Transformer says:

      I know that wikipedia is not always accurate but it casts the Weinstein thing in a different light (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bret_Weinstein) to what is implied in the podcast, and left me wondering why Bob holds this up an example of why ‘white people are being told they are bad’. I’m genuinely interested in understanding this so if anyone can clarify I would appreciate it.

      • Transformer says:

        One thing that Weinstein says (and I think Harold touches on this too) is that the word ‘racism’ has been redefined without many people being aware that is being done. In as much as this
        new definition means ‘unconscious , learned bias’ then the kind of course Harold describes from Channel 4, and that Seattle city had its white employees take then I am fine with that.

        Weinstein describes a scenario where this new definition of ‘racism’ is being used by some groups to persecute people who fail to act in accordance with the new definition but face consequences as if they had been in violation of the old kind of open racism. Its not clear how widespread these situations are – i suspect quite rare since the ones that come to light create so much noise.

        I know (from personal experience) that is hard to accept and adjust one’s internalized biases. I also think that there are some groups out there that want to use this new definition of ‘racism’ to further their own agenda (on both the right and the left side).

        I am an anarchist and think that any state intervention is bad, but we are here on this planet together and I feel strongly that we need to look into ourselves (and the past) on the matter of racism and strive to make the future better.

        • Harold says:

          “In as much as this new definition means ‘unconscious , learned bias’ ”

          I don’t think this is quite right, or at last not the new definition I was talking about.

          The “new” definition has been around since at least the 1980’s. It is that:

          “Racism, however, describes patterns of discrimination that are institutionalized as “normal” throughout an entire culture.”

          Unconscious bias as a concept is not that new, but was brought to prominence about 20 years ago with a supposed test for it – the Implicit Association test. This claims to detect unconscious bias by measuring reaction times to certain pairings of pictures and words. As we know, when you can measure something it suddenly becomes important.

          I think the concepts of unconscious bias and racism are considered to be separate but connected.

          So you may be racist with the old definition (in part) because you have unconscious bias, but you can have unconscious bias without being racist, since unconscious bias is not belief or action.

          In the context of “reverse racism is impossible”, unconscious biases as a definition of racism does not make sense, because everyone has them.

          The “old” definition was centered around individual belief and actions. Merriam Webster’s dictionary recently updated their entry with a second definition:

          2 a: a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles.
          b: a political or social system founded on racism.

          The dictionary also says “The lexicographer’s role is to explain how words are (or have been) actually used, not how some may feel that they should be used, and they say nothing about the intrinsic nature of the thing named by a word, much less the significance it may have for individuals. When discussing concepts like racism, therefore, it is prudent to recognize that quoting from a dictionary is unlikely to either mollify or persuade the person with whom one is arguing.”

          This is why it is important to agree terms in a discussion. Not to establish the “right” definition, but just so we can understand each other.

      • Bob Murphy says:

        Transformer, have you watched footage of the students protesting at Evergreen?

        • Transformer says:

          I have now. I see a bunch of people over reacting and acting a bit hysterically in a similar way to the people trying to get Walter Block fired. This clearly is an example of a specific white person being told he is bad – but is it really an example of all ‘‘white people are being told they are bad’’ ?

  5. Harold says:

    My initial comment was in response to Transformer saying you had said “He claims that US schools explicitly teach an “being white is bad” ideology.

    Your response to this ws not “No, that was not what I meant.” but “I only have a sample size of 2 myself, but did I specifically say high school? Did your kids go to college?”

    I said ” It strikes me as vanishingly unlikely that this is the dominant pedagogical approach.” That is not quite dismissing it. It might happen to some people, it may happen to some people at school or college, but it is not part of any race awareness course or program.

    Your second link is a good example. “The training was based on the idea that all white people have a natural “implicit bias,” for which they must actively reorient their mindset and actions to overcome.”

    Firstly, I would bet a large amount that the word “natural” was not in the original material. The implict bias if it exists would not be natural, but learned. Why was that word inserted? It changes the meaning significantly. Possibly it was an unconscious use. Maybe because “white” is associated with “natural.” Or maybe it was deliberate and intended to change the meaning to persuade. I don’t want to get to hung up on that, but it did stick out like a sore thumb to me.

    There is nothing there that suggests the course was intended to make white people feel bad about being white, but learn about themselves. If you grow up in the dominant culture you have advantages and will likely absorb ideas about the members of that dominant culture. I think it is helpful if we are aware of this.

    I watched a UK channel 4 documentary “The school that tried to end racism”. They had a 3 week program for 11 year olds from a class roughy 50% white. You cannot get channel 4 in the US unless you use a VPN, but if you do, I think it is worth watching – 2 x 30 minute episodes. This is one of those courses that challenge unconscious bias. There was nothing in it that intended to make the white kids feel bad or guilty, but some did feel bad when they became aware of the ideas they had taken for granted.

    The white kids had never considered what it meant to be white. They all considered that nobody was better than anyone else because of race and that everyone should be treated equally. The black and asian kids all knew about racism and had suffered in some way from being a minority. When the white kids realised how their experience was very different from the minority kids, and they had been unaware of this, some were upset. Over the weeks they learned and grew.

    The course in your second link seems similar, although it seems impossible to complete this process in a few hours. Taking some course material out of context does not establish in any way that the purpose of the course was to make the white people feel bad or guilty. Although it may have had that effect on some, hopefully temporary.

    The evergreen incident also says nothing about whether course are designed to make white people feel bad.

    A nut on twitter does ot make your argument either.

    So far I remain unconvinced and have seen zero evidence to sway me.

  6. Jan Masek says:

    “There was nothing in it that intended to make the white kids feel bad or guilty, but some did feel bad when they became aware of the ideas they had taken for granted.”

    The idea that Henry, the 11 year old boy who broke into tears, became aware of was, to quote him: [Before I talk about race] I think about how it’s going to affect me in the future. If I say something bad, early in life, it could come back later in life.

    EVERYTHING in it was intended to make the white kids feel bad or guilty, that was the whole point, explicitly stated.

    • Harold says:

      Did you think Henry felt worse at the end? Or did he feel more informed and believed he had a greater understanding of the world?

      Can you point out where they explicitly state that everything in it was intended to make the white kids feel bad?

      • Jan Masek says:

        Well, it wasn’t tears of joy.. He did feel more informed, just not the way it was intended. What he took away, per his quote, was the idea you have to hide your feelings, otherwise it will be used against you. I think that would be wrong and tactically counter-productive even if his true feelings were reprehensible. Which they aren’t.

        As for their intention to make the kids feel bad : they did say kids at this age tend to be colourblind (which btw is somehow a bad thing according to them, there is no pleasing them) but they still have subconscious bias as demonstrated by their actions so this game was aimed at bringing the subconscious out on the surface. Or do you think I am misrepresenting their position (honest question)?

        So they intended the kids to realise that they are subconsciously being unfair. Which presumably will make them feel bad. Now I don’t think that’s why Henry cried, he cried because he was passively aggressively being accused of something he didn’t agree with but didn’t know how to defend himself from. My interpretation of course but his quote supports it.

        That would be I think quite cruel at this stage in life even if they were right about the subconscious. Which I don’t think they were and this game proved very little. I love it when psychological games tell me what I really think. It’s a neat little trick because it’s unprovable either way. Essentially it comes down to “trust the experts” or “you’re a racist because I said so”. Which is especially nasty when doing it to kids.

        • Harold says:

          To clarify then, it was not explicitly stated that the purpose was to make white kids feel bad, but you think it was implied in the way the course was run.

          There was too much focus on “unconscious bias”. The IAT was carefully called the “implicit” association test because the separation between conscious and unconscious is not clear and cannot be demonstrated in this case. The test istelf is not very repeatable – the same individual can score differently in repeats. The program really missd out by not having a control – they could have had a different class just do the test at the start and end but just do the normal lessons instead of the course.

          The problem with the colourblind approach is that people are not colourblind. Race does matter and if people can talk about it that must surely be helpful. The students of all races were much more able to talk about it at the end and seemed to me to have a much greater understanding.

          I think it is disappointing that all you got from it was that the white kids felt bad at some points.

          • Jan Masek says:

            Agreed, explicitly is too strong a word. Although I’d argue that it was implied not just from how it was run but from what they did explicitly say. They just used different words which however have the same meaning. If you’re told you subconsciously act racist, how different is it really from making you feel bad. How else are you supposed to feel.

            “Race does matter and if people can talk about it that must surely be helpful”
            I agree with that but they were going for and certainly achieved the exact opposite. Every time racist hunters say “we have to have a conversation” they mean everything but. Which is exactly what Henry (correctly) took away from it. It’s not a conversation, it’s a lecture. With potentially ruining consequences.

            As for the colour blindness – an honest question : why is that a bad thing again? They matter-of-factly say it failed. Did it though? Of course you can see someone’s black just like you can see someone’s pretty or fat or ginger. But from what did they conclude that people’s actions are (subconsciously) racist? I’ve heard some BAME people “prove” it by saying that they have been told “go home, Paki”. To which I say: so? How is that racist? People say all sorts of things if they are mad or dim-witted. If that person was overweight, they would have been called a fat ***. Or a ginger freak if they had freckles. People just use the first thing that stands out. I (an Eastern European once living in London) got physically attacked just for speaking to my friends not in English. In addition, I was called all sorts of “racist” names. Except none of it was racist, this person was looking for trouble and would have used a different excuse even if I had been speaking Queen’s English.
            So what else is there to prove people’s actions reveal their racism? A different number of blacks than 13% in every single possible subgroup of the society? A honest question.
            Btw certainly not the kind of question the Channel 4 guys were hoping to address. With 11 year-old kids, do you really believe they were going for an honest, no agenda, conversation? No, it was brainwashing. A re-education camp.

            • Harold says:

              “they have been told “go home, Paki”. To which I say: so? How is that racist? ”

              ???

              One extreme is to say everything is racist. Another extreme is to say nothing is racist.

              I am for moving beyond narrow definitions that restrict the conversation. Bigotry and xenophobia are bad whether or not they are technically racist. Saying this example is more like bigotry than racism is probably not that helpful outside academic discussions. What we have been calling in this thread the “new” definition of racism means that black people cannot be racist in the US. I have said this is not that helpful in wider conversation as that does not fit with what people understand by racism. Equally, telling someone “go home Paki” is very much racist as it is usually understood.

              On the ginger thing, I was surprised that Henry did not mention anti-redhead sentiment, but editing is a thing. I am very much in favor of educating people about anti-ginger bias and the effect it has on victims. It is not so prevalent in the US.

              “As for the colour blindness – an honest question : why is that a bad thing again?”

              Because it prevents people talking about it. It would be great if people actually were color blind, but since they are not, just pretending does not get us very far.

              • Jan Masek says:

                I wouldn’t (and didn’t) say nothing is racist. Hate on the basis of skin colour is racist but that’s usually not the case with someone shouting “go home, Paki”. Such a person, if he was a racist, would have to say “stay here, ginger friend”. Such a person is typically indiscriminate in being a jerk. Calling him automatically a racist is sloppy. Now I agree it is usually understood as racist under the current, ever-evolving definition of racism. But that’s kind of my point – I don’t agree with the “new” definition which is almost the opposite of the old one while people still pretend the term has the same meaning.
                “but since they are not [color blind]” – here it is again, the matter-of-fact statement people are racist. Sorry, I just don’t see it. At least not according to the “old” definition.
                And do you really believe we are now “talking about it”?

              • Harold says:

                “Such a person, if he was a racist, would have to say “stay here, ginger friend”.”

                I am not sure what you do mean by racist if “go home Paki” does not qualify.

                Broadly, it can mean either 1) the belief that humans can be divided into races.
                2) prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group,

                I am using it here under the second definition. Maybe xenophobia is a better word for meaning 2. I am happy to use whatever definition we can agree on, but we seem to be misunderstanding each other, as so often happens in this area.

              • Jan Masek says:

                I agree with the definition but that’s the thing: you don’t know if the person calling him Paki did it because he doesn’t like Indian looking people or because he doesn’t like all people and he was just looking for any insult and he knew calling him Paki would do the trick. I feel like I’m repeating myself.
                Also, even if he was a racist, so what. Get a life. I also lived some time in the US as a teenager and I was picked on by bullies on account of my thick accent, called a commie, physically attacked etc. That didn’t prevent me from loving the country. There are jerks everywhere.
                And the particular person I had in mind that was complaining about England being a racist country and demonstrating it by the “go home, Paki” incident, was promoted to managing director just after the firm established racial quotas and just before she went on a 9 month long fully paid maternity leave. I mean she is good and probably deserved the promotion but others did too and didn’t get it. Is that how a deeply racist society acts? Come on.
                And I’d love to talk about it but the current hysteria is the opposite of that. Which will likely make the rest of the society more hostile, not less.

              • Harold says:

                I find it hard to comprehend how prepared you are to dismiss racist abuse on the grounds that we cannot know for absolute certainty that the abuser does not hate everyone. Truly shocking.

                If I understand your example, a woman with Pakistani heritage was promoted and went on maternity leave. She was abused by someone with “go home Paki.” This is your demonstration that UK is not racist.

              • guest says:

                Jan Masek: “Also, even if he was a racist, so what. Get a life. I also lived some time in the US as a teenager and I was picked on by bullies on account of my thick accent, called a commie, physically attacked etc. That didn’t prevent me from loving the country.”

                Harold: “I find it hard to comprehend how prepared you are to dismiss racist abuse on the grounds that we cannot know for absolute certainty that the abuser does not hate everyone.”

                Woosh!

                “Bigotry and xenophobia are bad whether or not they are technically racist.”

                I disagree that they are bad, in and of themselves. Same with racism.

                As long as you don’t violate someone’s individual rights, you have every right to withhold your association and property (including refusing to sell to or buy from them) from anyone, no matter the reason. That’s how property works.

                Answer this question, Harold: Who would serve black people’s interests better, Trump or Biden?

                Yes, it’s a loaded question, and I’m going somewhere with your answer that you likely haven’t considered.

              • Harold says:

                Guest, you have put together the wrong quote from Jan Masek with my response. The correct one is:

                Jan Masek: ” you don’t know if the person calling him Paki did it because he doesn’t like Indian looking people or because he doesn’t like all people and he was just looking for any insult and he knew calling him Paki would do the trick.”

                Harold: “I find it hard to comprehend how prepared you are to dismiss racist abuse on the grounds that we cannot know for absolute certainty that the abuser does not hate everyone.”

                “I disagree that they [bigotry, racism and xenophobia] are bad, in and of themselves.”

                Good to have it in the open.

                Clearly Biden would serve black people’s interests better because he would serve almost everyone’s interests better. I am interested to see where you are going.

              • Jan Masek says:

                “I find it hard to comprehend how prepared you are to dismiss racist abuse on the grounds that we cannot know for absolute certainty that the abuser does not hate everyone. Truly shocking.”
                Quite strong words, I’ve noticed that happens a lot in conversations about racism.
                Anyway, I didn’t dismiss the notion that it’s bad (I do agree it is bad to call someone Paki, I don’t do it), I dismissed the notion that it was necessarily racist. And while we’re at it, although calling someone names is bad, it’s making a mountain out of a molehill. Which, because of trade-offs, is taking huge energy away from much, much more serious issues and therefore making molehills out of mountains.

                “If I understand your example, a woman with Pakistani heritage was promoted and went on maternity leave. She was abused by someone with “go home Paki.” This is your demonstration that UK is not racist.”

                Not quite. I didn’t (even try to) demonstrate the UK is not racist, I demonstrated (hopefully) that the anecdotal person didn’t prove the UK was. The burden of proof is on those claiming the UK is racist, not on me.
                And in the meantime I’m still waiting for the demonstration that it is, because it seems to be thrown around matter-of-factly as if it was obvious. Well, not to me. Cases of name-calling won’t cut it. What else you got? 🙂

              • guest says:

                “Guest, you have put together the wrong quote from Jan Masek with my response.”

                No, I didn’t.

                She was called names based on her accent and also was a victum of physical assault based on racist views (two different things; she is not a “victim” of name calling, as no violation of rights occurred).

                As someone who has experienced racism, she’s telling you that racism isn’t always what you think it is.

                Her perspective is not enlightening to you, why?

                “Good to have it in the open.”

                Not sure why it’s “good” to have uncontroversial things in the open.

                Thoughts are not crimes, and thoughts do not make a crime more of a crime.

                Murder and assault are wrong because they violate someone’s individual rights, not because they were motivated by racism.

                Food for thought: Minimum Wage Laws had to be created and enforced by the government to prevent blacks from pulling themselves out of poverty as they underbid white workers.

                Racism didn’t stop black advancement, government did.

                “Clearly Biden would serve black people’s interests better because he would serve almost everyone’s interests better. I am interested to see where you are going.”

                I was hoping you’d say “blacks”, unequivically. So y response will have to be modified. Thank you for that. Good job.

                (No, I’m not sorry I warned you ahead of time.)

                Socialism definitely does not serve everyone’s interests, as history has shown.

                (This is also true of Trump’s socialist policies such as tariffs, telling mask manufacturers that they *must* go back to work, attempting to bust Twitter, Facebook, et al., and attempting to ban TikTok All left-wing – even when those on the right advocate it.)

                Anyway, try to imagine what it would be like if blacks decided to become Amish.

                You’d have a huge economic disparity between blacks and non-blacks.

                Would we point to the economic disparity and say that, clearly, blacks are poorer because of white supremacy?

                No, we’d say that blacks are poorer because they live by an economic set of beliefs that are inferior to free markets.

                Well, as it so happens, blacks, in general, have adopted socialism as part of their identity. So, a far greater percentage of blacks embrace socialism than do whites.

                And since socialism doesn’t work (and racism, itself, cannot stop black advancement), the reason blacks do poorly, relative to non-blacks, is because they shoot themselves in the foot with their own socialism.

                You’re not a champion of blacks by being anti-racist.

              • Jan Masek says:

                Not that it’s relevant too much but I’m a guy. And not because I decided to be (refer to the other recent Bob Murphy episode), Jan’s equivalent in English would be John.

              • guest says:

                “Jan’s equivalent in English would be John.”

                Heh. That’s pretty much the premise of the movie EuroTrip.

              • Jan Masek says:

                guest, indeed 🙂 in Italy, Andrea is a guy!

              • Harold says:

                “No, I didn’t”

                Guest, I do know what part of Jan’s message I was responding to.

                “Thoughts are not crimes, and thoughts do not make a crime more of a crime.”

                Bad is not a synonym of crime. I think it is quite controversial to say xenophobia, bigotry and racism are not bad. Sure, they are not crimes. I think it possible that you do think bad and crime are synonymous, can you clarify?

                I find it amusing that the topic of this post was how words are damaging to white people because it makes them feel bad. These words are “hurting people of all colors.”

                Yet racist words are dismissed as not transgressing property rights.

                Sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words will break my heart. Verbal abuse is harmful, whether or not it is a crime. Words have real impacts.

                Jan’s argument that an individual incident is not proof is technically correct. “Proof” is an impossible goal, as we cannot know anything with absolute certainty. No single incident will “prove” racism. It is easy to dismiss racism for lack of proof if you wish to do so.

                It is reasonable to look at the weight of evidence and apply Occam’s Razor. If we have to multiply entities without necessity we are not using the most parsimonious explanation. Sure, all these incidents could be due to a non-racist explanations, but racism explains them in a parsimonious way and is thus the most likely, if not the only explanation.

              • guest says:

                “Guest, I do know what part of Jan’s message I was responding to.”

                So do I. And you repeated it.

                My particular arrangement still stands.

                Again, “Woosh!”

                “Bad is not a synonym of crime.”

                I didn’t say it was. I was dispelling a common myth related to the idea that racism, et al, are bad, which is that turns crimes into worse crimes.

                I did so to help remove thoughts, as such, from being something that should be focused on if one’s goal is to help the victims of racism (not a concern of mine, since color does not make the person).

                ” I think it possible that you do think bad and crime are synonymous, can you clarify?”

                Sure. Sorry for any confusion.

                I do not think bad and crime are synonymous.

                I literally think there are zero negative (or, at least, rights-violating) effects to xenophobia, bigotry, or racism, as such.

                The reason is because none of us are entitled to be perceived a certain way by someone else. No one owes us a respect for anything other than our individual rights to life and property.

                That racism, et al, does not violate rights follows logically from that.

                As well, it may be the case (as with the black community) that so many members of a class – and this is how they think of themselves, which is why they call themselves “the black community” – choose to believe similar things, or behave a certain way, that it becomes helpful to speak of them as if they all belong to that group.

                Everyone knows they do not. Such phrasing is merely meant for convenience. The phrase “white people” this and that gets thrown around – nobody needs to bother caring about that.

                This audio book chapter is relevant, in my opinion, since it makes the case that we do not own the perceptions of others, such that we may demand that they see us in a particular way:

                Defending the Undefendable (Chapter 7: The Slanderer and Libeler) by Walter Block
                [www]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3vQQBe_02s

                “I find it amusing that the topic of this post was how words are damaging to white people …”

                I didn’t listen to the episode.

                I just read stuff you post and try to find opportunities to share another side to things that might move you more in the direction of free markets.

                “Verbal abuse is harmful, whether or not it is a crime. Words have real impacts.”

                Well, threats are a form of aggression, so you should definitely prepare yourself against someone acting on a threat.

                But the term “verbal abuse” implies that an abuse has taken place, and the receiver of the words is not the only person who gets to interpret those words.

                You can feel abused all you want, but if I my intent was not to abuse you, then no abuse has happened.

                What about the frustration someone puts me through when I fell like I have to walk on egg shells because they don’t have enough of an analytical mind to put emotions aside in a discussion?

                That’s annoying as hell. It’s probably a form of abuse, too. (I made that up, but not really.)

                Learn to compartmentalize and a lot of “verbal abuse” goes away.

                Also, if you understand property rights, you understand that people are entitled to their beliefs, and you are not entitled to their property – and vice versa.

                Moreover, if you actually listen to full blown racists explain their positions, a discerning mind discovers that racism is not really about race.

                They say things like “these people do this”; and while they probably do mistakenly think literally all such people do such things, it’s really about the acts they are describing.

                “The black community” is not making a point of distinguishing between “the community” and individuals within that community – most individuals within that community identify themselves *by their community affiliation*.

                So, for the most part, they WANT to be identified as a group, and not as individuals. Their group gives them identity.

                “Sure, all these incidents could be due to a non-racist explanations, but racism explains them in a parsimonious way and is thus the most likely, if not the only explanation.”

                No, that’s not how racism works.

                You don’t get to just assume racism because race was the first thing you considered and it happened to check all the boxes.

                Multiple explanations may fit the evidence, and you have to rule all, or all but one, out.

                Starting with the presumption of malintent is not helpful.

              • Harold says:

                Remember the context of this discussion was the shouted “Go home, Paki” at a stranger.

                Using “reasonable doubt” standards, malintent is a reasonable assumption and racism is the parsimonious conclusion.

                “So, for the most part, they WANT to be identified as a group, and not as individuals. Their group gives them identity.”

                Are you a man? Do you use the gents toilet and wear conventionally male clothing? Does that mean you don’t want to be identified as an individual?

                I find your presumption to know the thoughts of a diverse group of people a touch arrogant. How do you know what “they” think? Maybe they would rather not identify as black at all, but they cannot do this because they are continually reminded they are considered black. Perhaps, in the absence of racism, they would not care to identify as a group at all.

                “that might move you more in the direction of free markets.”

                This time you are failing badly. You are reminding me of all the problems with that approach.

                Property rights are important, but when elevated to the only thing it becomes dogma.

                You equate negative effects with rights violating. That is a problem. Once you have fixated on this principle, it requires blindness to everything outside the property realm.

                People do things that have negative consequences even when they are allowed to do them. It is one thing to say “sure, that is negative, but it is not my place to stop them” and another to say “that is not negative at all because I have no right to stop them.” You seem to be using the latter.

                There are negative consequences to irrational beliefs, even if they do not infringe property rights. It is not a contradiction to acknowledge negative consequences and wish to reduce them, whilst acknowledging that there is no right to prevent people having those ideas.

                You can still hold property rights to be sacrosanct, and yet strive to reduce suffering within those boundaries, should you choose to do so.

              • guest says:

                Aside: I had some time and I’ve listened to this episode, now.

                Great episode. Ended kind of abruptly …

                “Using “reasonable doubt” standards, malintent is a reasonable assumption and racism is the parsimonious conclusion.”

                And because your parsimonious conclusion does not exhaust the possible intents, you need to wait for further information to pass a correct judgement.

                Like what happened to Michael Richards (Kramer from Seinfeld) when he used the “N” word as a pejorative to a heckler while he was doing stand-up.

                Nobody thought he was racist until he used the “N” word. Maybe, then, a more charitable assessment of his use of the “N” word is that he was trying to piss off the heckler for attemptingto ruin his time on stage, and he knew that the hecker, being black, would be triggerred by the “N” word.

                Kind of like what Jan Masek was saying earlier.

                (By the way, if you want to see hecklers get owned, check out a comedian called Steve Hofstetter. The guy is quick-witted and a genious all around.)

                ” Does that mean you don’t want to be identified as an individual?”

                When you don’t know me as an individual, and you only know my gender, yes, I would greatly appreciate it if you at least identify me by my gender – and if you do that, you also happen to be acknowledging gender roles.

                (If trans-athletes haven’t convinced you that men and women are different, and that simply attempting to identify as a different gender doesn’t make you so, then you are immune to evidence.)

                “I find your presumption to know the thoughts of a diverse group of people a touch arrogant. How do you know what “they” think?””

                By definition, a “community”, qua community, is *not* diverse.

                What makes a community is the *common* features of its members, not their diverse features.

                And they absolutely *will not* stop identifying themselves as members of the black community.

                “Maybe they would rather not identify as black at all, but they cannot do this because they are continually reminded they are considered black.”

                I actually think they would successfully choose not to identify as black, but for the fact that they are raised from infancy to think of themselves as members of the black community and to adopt socialist beliefs that would keep anyone in poverty.

                It’s well within their own power to stop identifying as members of the black community. All they have to do is stop being envious of what other people have, and reject those economic policies that prevent poor people from leveraging the many arbitrage opportunities that you’re not allowed to consider.

                Like running a business from your home without penalties due to zoning laws ang building codes.

                Or like trading labor to rent a small patch of unused land on someone else’s property that you can make modifications to as your wealth increases (again, without penalties to the land owner).

                Or renting an unused part of a business as a dwelling, without penalties to the business.

                Then there are these videos that show you what is possible with “primitive tech”, like making shelters out of holes in the ground or making clay ovens to cook your food. America has plenty of land that taxpayers pay the government for the purpose of doing absolutely nothing with it – literally, that’s the purpose (also called “preservation of wildlife”).

                Think of how many homes you can dig into the ground of so-called “federally owned” land, assuming we had that many poor people.

                And then you have laws, in some places, that make it illegal to park in one place for long periods of time that is not your property, so you can’t live in your car, even though it makes a perfectly good shelter.

                All of these stepping stones are available when you get the government out of the way.

                “Property rights are important, but when elevated to the only thing it becomes dogma.”

                For anyone interested, I would recommend this article in response:

                “Human Rights” as Property Rights
                [www]https://mises.org/library/human-rights-property-rights

                “You can still hold property rights to be sacrosanct, and yet strive to reduce suffering within those boundaries, should you choose to do so.”

                True, and you have every right to try so long as it doesn’t violate someone’s property rights. It’s your time and wealth, do what you want with it.

                But you seem to be trying to convince the rest of us that it’s a bad thing if we don’t, or that the government needs to coerce people into reducing suffering.

                It’s not bad, it just is – That’s the foundation. No one is your slave; no one owes you the effort to reduce your suffering.

                That’s the logically inverse implication of “not being a slave”, by the way – that you don’t owe anyone anything.

                I may have wanted to help you with something, but when you tell me that I’m obligated to help you, then I will resist. Because I’m not your slave.

                But if I never reduce your suffering, that’s not bad.

                If I never find a way to negate the effects of gravity, bad things will happen to victims of falling. It’s not *bad* that I haven’t found a way to do that, it just is.

                Also, consider this from Human Action:

                “From time immemorial men have prattled about the blissful conditions their ancestors enjoyed in the original “state of nature.” …”

                “… Yet nature does not generate peace and good will. The characteristic mark of the “state of nature” is irreconcilable conflict. …”

                “… The means of subsistence are scarce and do not grant survival to all. …”

                “… The source of the conflicts is always the fact that each man’s portion curtails the portions of all other men. …”

                “… What makes friendly relations between human beings possible is the higher productivity of the division of labor. It removes the natural conflict of interests. …”

                “… Because many people or even all people want bread, clothes, shoes, and cars, large-scale production of these goods becomes feasible and reduces the costs of production to such an extent that they are accessible at low prices. The fact that my fellow man wants to acquire shoes as I do, does not make it harder for me to get shoes, but easier.

                You don’t fault your iPhone for not caring about you – it is quite efficient at what you want it to do without any caring or empathy.

                Caring is not what matters most, but efficiency. And market prices, when they are not fiddled with by do-gooder public workers, are efficient expressions of consumer desires.

                The prices tell you what people want.

                Just make a profit off of people, and you’ll help them a lot more than you could by actively caring for them.

  7. Bob Murphy says:

    Harold and Transformer: Even some of the sources you link to can be used to establish that the following is clearly being taught:

    1) The US is a white supremacist, patriarchal nation that currently oppresses women, minorities, and members of LGBTQ+.

    2) Even though they may not have ever told a racist joke (let alone owned slaves), all members of the dominant class (defined by identity politics, not, say, if you are Oprah Winfrey or Barack Obama) are implicitly helping to perpetuate this system.

    3) There is nothing you can do to ever fully remove your participation in this system, but you can take steps to become an “ally” and minimize your role.

    So, your point seems to be that there is no reason the above should make white boys feel bad. I can only conclude that the two of you think systematically oppressing millions of people isn’t a bad thing.

    • Transformer says:

      I don’t think I linked to any sources on the “white people are being told they are bad” thing – I merely expressed skepticism on the point and asked for more evidence.. You later provided the references to Evergreen, the Seattle training classes for white people and that guy on your twitter discussion whose avatar the phrase “Support White Genocide”.

      None of these things seemed close to evidence that kids (or anyone else) are routinely being taught a “being white is bad” ideology.

      You now list three more things but with no context (where precisely are those things being taught?) its hard to know how to more fully respond to your absurd conclusion that you have shown that I (and Harold) think that oppressing white people is OK (I know your probably just trolling, but still!).

    • Harold says:

      The claim was that it was explicitly taught that you should feel bad about yourself and it was part of the carriculum.

      If you want to change that current educational approaches to racism implicitly results in white people feeling bad about themselves, we have sonething to go on.

      I am sure that you would not dispute that US discriminated against black people at least until recently. By this I mean that black people would experience numerous negative interactions based on the colour of their skin.

      It only takes a look at some not so old sit-coms to realise that women had similar experiences.

      What strikes me as odd is that some people apparently think that this has all stopped, and this does not happen any more.

      When did it all go away? If it did not, then black people and women can expect a greater number of negative interactions than white men, based on their race or sex.

      I am genuinely interested. I want to understand your position. Do you think that white men perhaps have other ways in which they have negative experiences based on sex and race, so it is all a wash? Or that black people and women no longer have more negative experiences? Or they never did?

      The terms used such as racist, white supremacist, oppression etc are not very helpful to reasonable discourse since they seem to mean very different things to different people.

  8. Transformer says:

    I was wondering about the Seattle thing and found this:

    https://christopherrufo.com/city-of-seattle-interrupting-internalized-racial-superiority-and-whiteness-training/

    While I can see that this is not everyone cup of tea I don’t really think it would make any white person feel bad about themselves.

    What I did find quite noticeable while looking it this is is the degree to which this training is systematically misrepresented by anti-identity-politics types (including Bob) as something other than what it is

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