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Thread: Racism

  1. Link to Post #441
    UK Avalon Member Mac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Even babies are altruistic " Amen to that. Nothing to say further think w're on the same page. 8)

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    My remedies to the current situation won't resonate with you at all because I don't view western civilization as being an inherently evil, patriarchal society run by white supremacists. But it mostly involves facing what's in front of us (reality) with courage and strength(not inventing subjective narratives to avoid it), cultivating virtue, and embracing personal responsibility instead of blaming everyone and everything for one's issues (hey I warned you that it wouldn't resonate with you! lol)
    I understand exactly where you are coming from. Thank you for sharing your perspective in the thread.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)

    Quote "...but I saw, in 2016-17, overt racism infecting Project Avalon, and wanted to stop it. In my mind, Project Avalon was never a place where lowbrows had a pulpit to spew racism/prejudice with a "first amendment" unfettered privilege, it was a place for people who were thinking outside the mainstream babble, people who saw deeper than their programming, and people breaking free from the programming - such as being ok with "acceptable" racism, ignoring systemic racism in the US, or excusing the US president's racism due to some perceived good thing that trumps Trump's racism..."
    It started here earlier. It was August 4th, 2014. Henrik Palmgren and Red Ice radio. He hosted John Lash and we discussed it here a small bit. Froze my soul and I knew the AltCom was changed forever.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 26th February 2020 at 20:02. Reason: grammar

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    Default Re: Racism

    That's a whole other ball of mess Mark, and people like him are never helpful. Like most religions they have their issues,plus the unhealthy tribalism of some the non religious among them. Understandable fear but best left for them to sort themselves. The treatment the Palestinians receive is shocking and taking the above route stops the legitimate criticism. Anyway best thought I'd add that before I removed myself, as most people who supported Corbyn were deemed ant semites/enablers. It's beneath contempt heh.

    Edit: Mark thought this was an interesting chat. I haven't many thoughts on the matter as still digesting it and halfway through. Initial reaction, he's a bit short sighted.
    Won't have time to comment further as busy but thought worth sharing here.
    R.Brand is a good interviewer imo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvAhquRJf_A
    Last edited by Mac; 26th February 2020 at 22:25. Reason: add on

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  9. Link to Post #445
    United States Avalon Member Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Mark/Rahkyt (here)
    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    My remedies to the current situation won't resonate with you at all because I don't view western civilization as being an inherently evil, patriarchal society run by white supremacists. But it mostly involves facing what's in front of us (reality) with courage and strength(not inventing subjective narratives to avoid it), cultivating virtue, and embracing personal responsibility instead of blaming everyone and everything for one's issues (hey I warned you that it wouldn't resonate with you! lol)
    I understand exactly where you are coming from. Thank you for sharing your perspective in the thread.


    respectfully, i don't think you do. i think you still imagine that you're the good guy and i'm the bad guy. am i wrong?

    do i believe in systemic, or institutional racism? i do! but i don't think it's responsible for every single little disparity we see out there. it's all vastly layered and complex.

    the racism that's most prevalent currently is a form of generational racism, or echoing attitudes that get passed down thru families. we all get a dose of that - white, black, chinese, indian, etc

    the only way to remedy it is thru education (fact based education) and personal responsibility. you can't legislate thoughts and attitudes. and you damn well can't genuinely change anyone's racism thru so called 'sensitivity training'. all that does is cause more bitterness and resentment. people that refuse to do it will be labeled racist, and the people who do it will only be doing it for fear of being labeled racist. it's a bad game all the way around.

    i'm just as horrified about our racial history as you and Dennis are! all i'm saying here is that it's wrong to ascribe all disparities to some form of discrimination, and it is wrong to try to correct those disparities thru reverse discrimination.

    those kids at evergreen get to sleep in till noon and have warm meals whenever they want at the school cafeteria. they have heat and air conditioned rooms. they're getting drunk and dancing and partying and f#cking and having a grand old time. they probably drive better cars than i do. one of those kids referred to himself as a "slave". that's an unforgivable insult to all real slaves, the ones we had here in america and the ones all around the world throughout history. and the ones that still exist today.

    their required reading should begin with the book 'the gulag archipelago', by alexander solzenitsyn. first he was on the russian front in world war 2, and then he wound up in the dreaded gulags for 10 years, doing the most brutal forms of forced labor imaginable.

    those kids think they have problems? no. that guy had f#ckin problems.

    they don't know what real problems are. and it's not even really their fault. they're too young to know what real problems are. they'll know what a real problem is the moment they enter the work force. they'll know what a real problem is the moment the rent is due and they can't pay it, or when they are too broke to buy groceries. or when they get a terminal illness.

    the postmodernists have a point - and you made it earlier - and that is that the world is open to a near infinite number of interpretations. fair enough! i will grant you that. it's very hard to rank order those in terms of quality. i'll grant you that too. but then they cross the line by saying therefore there are no qualitative distinctions between modes of interpretation. that's where they go too far. there is a finite set of viable interpretations. and i say that because that is self evident, and you can't have a dialogue with someone if they won't acknowledge what is self evident...

    ...like this character here. this is that video i told you about where the professor claims there's no biological differences between the sexes. he mentions it almost immediately:
    Last edited by Mike; 29th February 2020 at 02:29.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    respectfully, i don't think you do. i think you still imagine that you're the good guy and i'm the bad guy. am i wrong?
    Not at all. Good and bad are relative positions. It is how the world works. I do understand where you are coming from. Your good. Blessings to you and yours.

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  13. Link to Post #447
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Mac (here)
    That's a whole other ball of mess Mark, and people like him are never helpful. Like most religions they have their issues,plus the unhealthy tribalism of some the non religious among them. Understandable fear but best left for them to sort themselves. The treatment the Palestinians receive is shocking and taking the above route stops the legitimate criticism. Anyway best thought I'd add that before I removed myself, as most people who supported Corbyn were deemed ant semites/enablers. It's beneath contempt heh.
    I hear you.

    I was a supporter, a fan of Red Ice radio, listened to them regularly, and John Lash and his work with Gaia-Sophia before that day. After that day I could no longer countenance his work nor visit that site as it felt heavy and Archon-laden, which was something that was very, very prevalent throughout the AltCom during that time. I can remember the feel of the energies here at PA, at another site I built and worked at also, we were going through it, there were psychic attacks and the shift of intention began to push me away until I had to go, for a couple of years, until the energies shifted again. I'd check the site every few months or so for news, but it took this thread to bring me back, as I've mentioned before.

    Quote Posted by Mac (here)
    Mark thought this was an interesting chat. I haven't many thoughts on the matter as still digesting it and halfway through. Initial reaction, he's a bit short sighted.
    Won't have time to comment further as busy but thought worth sharing here.
    R.Brand is a good interviewer imo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvAhquRJf_A
    Thank you for sharing, I'll check it out. And thank you for adding your thoughts to this record, it is timely and much needed. Anytime you want to contribute further, feel free. Blessings.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 27th February 2020 at 15:25. Reason: grammar

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    Default Re: Racism

    Ouch, Mike. Those Evergreen kids really got under your skin. You have strong opinions, but you're presenting them as facts.

    Think of the absurdity of a white guy declaring what the most prevalent form of racism is currently, and multiply that by a thousand when declaring it to someone non-white. Kinda like a guy lecturing women on menstrual periods.

    The gender issue is a dilutant to this thread, which is already (at its inception) blended with or compared with culture-clash.


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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    Quote Posted by Mark/Rahkyt (here)
    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    My remedies to the current situation won't resonate with you at all because I don't view western civilization as being an inherently evil, patriarchal society run by white supremacists. But it mostly involves facing what's in front of us (reality) with courage and strength(not inventing subjective narratives to avoid it), cultivating virtue, and embracing personal responsibility instead of blaming everyone and everything for one's issues (hey I warned you that it wouldn't resonate with you! lol)
    I understand exactly where you are coming from. Thank you for sharing your perspective in the thread.


    respectfully, i don't think you do. i think you still imagine that you're the good guy and i'm the bad guy. am i wrong?

    First, Mark is a good guy and I hope we all know(not imagine) this is true.

    Second, I supremely dislike what you are doing here with this statement. Like pick up artist level debate tactic. Dont you see yourself as the good guy?

    Are you the bad guy? No. Why would you think that anyone here thinks that? Are some of your points not what others think? Clearly yes we all do not agree on everything. We have a difference of opinions on some things and that is why we are here discussing. This doesnt mean that you are the bad guy in any sense.

    This feels like projection mike. Why try to pivot to the victim stance?

    Reverse Racism is a white nationalist dog whistle.

    It doesnt exist. There is racism.

    When a black person says "**** crackers, not allowed here" That isnt reverse racism. It is racism full stop. If a Mexican calls me snow white, it is racist full stop.

    Reverse racism is a perspective that only ethnonationalist have because think of how it shifts the perspective. It makes them now the victim.

    All racism is wrong no matter who it is directed at and where it came from. Humans are humans.

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    Default Re: Racism

    In order to render a bit of this recent discussion a bit less obtuse, here are some considerations from someone who worked for the National Review - hence the subtle-yet-present ideological slant - that shed a light on some of these issues we've been discussing, particularly the impact of the Postmodern revolution on college campuses and in the Liberal Arts tradition. This is related to our world in general but also to our topic in particular in how Critical Race Theory (I'll post on that next) intersects and furthers the Postmodern impetus driving societies toward a deeper understanding of what makes them tick.

    The Predicament of Contemporary Academia

    Introduction

    In 1987, when the Reverend Jesse Jackson led hundreds of student protestors at Stanford University, chanting “Western civilization has got to go,” it was a perplexing spectacle for many outside observers. Why would students at Stanford—presumably an exemplary testament to the moral, philosophical and cultural accomplishments of the West—be so ardently opposed to our civilization’s very existence? In the context of the 1987 protests, Stanford’s requirement that all its students take certain classes in the study of the Western tradition (a common, eminently reasonable expectation at liberal arts universities throughout the West) was the source of student outrage. However, the larger antipathy towards the idea of Western civilization itself, which animated the Stanford protests, is a sentiment that now pervades contemporary academia, extending even to include reports last week of Yale discontinuing an introductory art history class over concerns about artists taught being, “overwhelmingly white, straight, European and male.”

    In the modern liberal arts, the Western tradition is increasingly regarded as a symbol of oppression and suffering, and its major achievements are all thought to be emblematic of this inherently oppressive character. When the Stanford protestors petitioned their university to abolish any mandated engagement with the intellectual inheritance of the West, this was the underlying objection: the conviction that Western civilization, particularly for historically marginalized groups, is irredeemably marred by a history of racism, sexism, and any number of other mortal sins. In the context of the modern liberal arts, the consequences of this tectonic shift are difficult to overstate.

    The Rise of Critical Theory

    The West is experiencing a crisis of confidence; this is more apparent in our current moment than it was in 1987, though events like the Stanford protests were a foreboding warning to anyone who was paying close attention. One of the most significant causes of this pervasive cynicism is the transformation of the modern university, pursuant to a radical shift in the dominant conception of the purpose of a liberal arts education. In contrast to the classical understanding of a university education as an initiation into the intellectual inheritance of Western civilization, a new conception of the liberal arts began to emerge in tandem with the popularization of the “oppressive” understanding of the West; the liberal arts, argued the proponents of this new understanding, must be transformed into a tool for liberation from the Western inheritance. The result was various iterations of “critical theory,” from the neo-Marxism of Antonio Gramsci to the postmodernism of Michel Foucault, and it sought to replace the ancient Platonic formulation of education as a search for the good, the true, and the beautiful.

    Quote Simultaneously, a Socratic love of wisdom (the traditional guiding principle of liberal education) was superseded by a critical skepticism, which saw its preeminent task as deconstructing and attacking the philosophical convictions of the past, rather than engaging with them as potential sources of wisdom.

    The new conception of liberal arts learning understands its fundamental goal to be, in the words of Robert P. George, “liberation from traditional social constraints and norms of morality—the beliefs, principles, and structures by which earlier generations had been taught to govern their conduct,” resulting from a belief, “that the traditional norms and structures are irrational – vestiges of superstition and phobia that impede the free development of personalities by restricting people’s capacities to act on their desires.” The liberal arts was no longer to be an engagement with one’s intellectual heritage but, rather, a training in its rejection. Simultaneously, a Socratic love of wisdom (the traditional guiding principle of liberal education) was superseded by a critical skepticism, which saw its preeminent task as deconstructing and attacking the philosophical convictions of the past, rather than engaging with them as potential sources of wisdom.


    Newly emergent ideas of “critical theory,” which regard inherited traditions, habits, and forms of knowledge as objects of suspicion rather than as genuine achievements are the ascendant causes of this radical shift in the liberal arts. In particular, the postmodern theories of fashionable philosophers like Foucault transformed the way that academics viewed the world around them: every aspect of our social conditions, in Foucauldian thought, is the cumulative result of concealed systems of power and domination. Consequently, in contemporary intellectual life, the critical impulse that began in the ancient Socratic search for wisdom and truth has assumed its own rigidly ideological character; in short, the initial emphasis on resisting dogma—sapere aude!—has become a dogma in and of itself. In the pursuit of liberation from the antiquated assumptions of the past, the liberal arts has taken on a new set of assumptions and convictions, increasingly viewing every aspect of the history and thought produced by Western civilization as deserving perpetual critique.

    The Rationalist Challenge

    In searching for an explanation of the predicament that contemporary academia finds itself in, we should direct our attention to two major intellectual trends that have emerged and taken hold in the liberal arts since the advent of the Enlightenment. The first of these influential factors is rationalism—specifically, the modern Enlightenment iteration of the rationalist impulse, which possesses a near-limitless optimism about the capability of human reason to remake the world in its image, viewing every imperfection in the human condition as a mathematical problem to be solved and eventually overcome by a particular method or formula. This rationalist mode of examination is skeptical of everything but its own skepticism, which it ironically accepts without question; subsequently, for the rationalist, the quest for wisdom is no longer a contemplative endeavor to locate the eternal and transcendent but, rather, the perpetual accumulation of data and methodologies in an attempt to apply the precepts of rationalist inquiry to every question of human existence. In the words of the political philosopher Michael Oakeshott, the rationalist thinker, “has no sense of the cumulation of experience, only of the readiness of experience when it has been converted into a formula: the past is significant to him only as an encumbrance.” In attempting to understand the critical condition of the modern university, one immediately finds a culprit in the spread of this reductionist mode of inquiry.

    The impulse to place all of one’s inheritance under the microscope of dispassionate scientific inquiry makes liberal learning a cold and joyless affair. It also foments a distinctly critical attitude towards the object of one’s study—specifically, in the context of the humanities, this disposition has resulted in a deep suspicion towards many of the political and philosophical achievements that characterize Western civilization. For this suspicion, too, rationalism is at least partially to blame; in the mind of the rationalist, Oakeshott writes, “nothing is of value merely because it exists (and certainly not because it has existed for many generations), familiarity has no worth, and nothing is to be left standing for want of scrutiny.”2 The Enlightenment rationalist project, which strives to study politics and philosophy in the same way that one might study mathematics has resulted in a strong dislike for inherited habits and traditions of ideas. In contrast to the classical liberal arts practice of engaging in conversation with these philosophical traditions, rationalism is irritably impatient of them. Consequently, as the rationalist disposition became predominant in intellectual life, the liberal arts became similarly displeased with its intellectual inheritance. In this way, the modern scholar’s rejection of his own civilization is a testament to rationalism’s influence on institutions of higher education in the post-Enlightenment West.

    Downwards to Nihilism

    Despite its undeniable influence on contemporary intellectual thought, rationalism is not the sole culprit in the predicament of the modern university. Although modern rationalism presents significant challenges to the integrity of the academy, many of the achievements of Western academia were made possible by the Enlightenment project’s emphasis on free inquiry and the use of individual reason. In many ways, the more insidious foe of the traditional liberal arts ideal is nihilism, a radical philosophical innovation borne out of the rationalist tradition but simultaneously at odds with it. Rationalism, though reducing intellectual inquiry to the pursuit of methodological perfection, still affirms the possibility of universal truth and a natural right accessible to human reason. Nihilism, on the other hand, possesses no such confidence.

    Quote “God is dead,” Nietzsche tells us, and with him dies the possibility of anything beyond the temporality of our mortal state of being.

    The nihilist sees himself as daring to take philosophy to the place that the rationalist could not stomach, transforming the rationalist’s focus on the materially quantifiable into a radical disavowal of the possibility of anything existing at all beyond our material realm. The infamous introduction of this epoch of nihilistic disillusionment was the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s proclamation that “Gott ist tot,” a prophetic warning of the Enlightenment project’s destruction of the possibility of religious belief.3 Whereas rationalism had cast doubt on the idea of a religious faith inaccessible to pure reason or formulaic measurement, nihilism took this skepticism and applied it to the possibility of any transcendent or universal truth of the cosmic order; “God is dead,” Nietzsche tells us, and with him dies the possibility of anything beyond the temporality of our mortal state of being.

    As a voice crying out in the wilderness, Nietzsche completed the descent from Enlightenment rationalism into the nihilism of what has often been called, “the historical point of view.” Specifically, Nietzsche radicalized the rationalist emphasis on historical situatedness and proclaimed all aspects of the human experience relative to the context of historical time and place, devoid of intrinsic meaning or eternal significance. In the words of Leo Strauss, this “historical insight” claims that “all ideals are the outcome of human creative acts, of free human projects that form that horizon within which specific cultures were possible; they do not order themselves into a system; and there is no possibility of a genuine synthesis of them. Yet all known ideals claimed to have an objective support: in nature or in god or in reason. The historical insight [therefore] destroys that claim and therewith all known ideals.”4

    Though antithetical to the utopian optimism of Enlightenment rationalism, nihilism is in some ways the final stage of a trend in post-Enlightenment thought within which rationalism was a way-station; particularly in the context of political philosophy, rationalism is at least partially to blame for its own demise. The rationalist reduction of political and moral questions to a series of technical problems removed the contemplation of the transcendent from political thought; with the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution, a focus on the here-and-now—the material realm accessible to human reason—became the preeminent concern of intellectual life. This shift in emphasis was concomitant with the emergence of a heightened historical awareness; that is, the success of rationalism was the simultaneous downfall of a concern for anything that might rise above the historical context of the current conditions of material existence. Increasingly, the study of politics, philosophy, and history was conducted with an emphasis on the historical context of a particular moment, rather than the contemplation of eternity. This was an inevitable development: The eternal is of little use to the rationalist, who instead prefers that which conforms to formula and logical discernment. Tragically, however, rationalism’s assumptions regarding the significance of this historical context were to eventually spell its own demise.

    As the Enlightenment rationalist had proclaimed the historicist insight to be the precursor to the perfection of human nature, seeing nature as infinitely malleable to the political and social conditions of the time, Nietzsche turned this insight on its head: The terrible truth of historicism, he argued, was its destruction of any objective notion of “perfection” itself, along with an overturning of the ancient belief in good and evil, right and wrong, and eternal truth. The rationalist project was done in by the very insights it had produced.

    The Death of Metaphysics

    With the rise of Nietzschean nihilism (wherein the idea of truth itself was postulated to be merely relative to historical context), the idea of metaphysics itself was also destroyed; if everything is merely relative to the context of our historical situation, then nothing can exist beyond or above the material realm. Contemporary life has been corrupted by the nihilistic destruction of the metaphysical, which lurks beneath much of our modern intellectual inquiry—often unacknowledged but nonetheless exercising enormous influence over the state of political and philosophical thought. Herein lies the core challenge of our time: We moderns possess a distinct, pervasive mistrust of any lingering attachments to the eternal. In the Sisyphean quest to subjugate nature to the tribunal of individual reason, we have instead found ourselves lost in the barren wilderness of a cosmos that appears altogether more incomprehensible to us than it once did; the human race has been forsaken by its own ambition.

    Under this new nihilistic regime of disbelief in the very possibility of belief, liberal education is no longer a quest for wisdom or truth but a prolonged apprenticeship in the trade of metaphysical despair, rejecting the very idea that any transcendent wisdom or universal truth exists at all. Rationalism (though still predominant in the liberal arts) is no longer fortified by its previous confidence in the truth of what it claims to pursue; as Strauss writes, “modern western man no longer knows what he wants—he no longer believes that he can know what is good and bad, [or] what is right and wrong.”5 The scientific skepticism of the rationalist remains omnipresent in the university, but its bold proclamations of being one data set away from Utopia are less pronounced than they once were.

    Nihilism destroyed the possibility of completing the utopian Enlightenment project, but the present-day scholar has found no satisfactory replacement to the rationalist mode of inquiry. Quixotically, rationalism continues to predominate the university experience despite a newfound uncertainty in its own claims. Instead, rationalism in the post-modern world becomes a sort of distraction—a manic search for existential meaning in the endless pursuit of formulaic solutions to the material problems of the moment, haunted by the ever-present spectre of nihilistic dread. The desperate state of the liberal arts is a testament to this condition.

    Modernity and the Liberal Arts

    The predicament of contemporary academia, then, might be understood as the odd marriage of rationalist optimism and nihilistic despair. In the experience of today’s liberal arts education, one notices a distinct loss of faith in the metaphysical assumptions of the Enlightenment paired with a recommitment to its material ambitions. Man naturally seeks meaning beyond his mortal temporality; constantly in search of reprieve from the inescapable nature of time-bound existence, the human condition is thus oriented towards the transcendent. The death of God has left contemporary man with little hope of meaning beyond the material experience of the moment. Therefore, despite a newfound lack of confidence in the rationalist project to remake the world, the modern intellectual has no choice but to recommit himself to this dream, hoping to find some kernel of meaning therein but simultaneously despairing of the possibility of ever doing so.

    This is, perhaps, an explanation for a resurgence of emphasis on political activism in the university in recent years. Activism, once understood as having little place in any reputable institution of liberal learning, has become ubiquitous on university campuses throughout the West. Man’s search for meaning, no longer satisfied in religious belief or the philosophic quest for wisdom, has been relocated to the pursuit of a political program. As a result, liberal arts education has been dragged down into the world that it previously resisted, subjugating honest intellectual inquiry to cheap ideological attachments and the profanities of political activity. In this new formulation, the academic no longer merely attempts to understand the world he inhabits, instead actively seeking to change it. This particular phenomenon is a testament to the continued influence of rationalism in the liberal arts: Political activism in the university is the result of the rationalist’s displeasure with the state of existing social arrangements, and it exhibits rationalism’s utopian confidence in the ability of the well-trained mind to discard the asymmetrical imperfections of a given provinciality in favor of uniformly imposed revisions. However, due to the failures of the utopian projects in the twentieth century, the bright-eyed activist with the infallible political program is less certain of himself than he once was; he continues to see the world as a series of mathematical problems, but now doubts his own authority in prescribing valid solutions.

    Quote …the flower children of the 1960’s have been replaced by the youthful anger of a generation that already feels betrayed by the world it inhabits.

    Following upon the heels of this new doubt, a cloud of apocalyptic sentiment has overtaken the liberal arts experience. Hopelessness, paired with a bitter anger at a world that refuses to conform to utopian aspiration, pervades the academy. Activism is angrier and more petulant than it once was; the flower children of the 1960’s have been replaced by the youthful anger of a generation that already feels betrayed by the world it inhabits. Greta Thunberg thunders that her generation “will never forgive” their elders for the sins of inaction on climate change, Black Lives Matter protestors chant “what do we want? Dead cops!”, and presidential candidates tell newly arrived refugees that America is a nation infected to its core by white supremacy; everywhere, one encounters a hysterical anger at the state of existence.

    The classroom, too, is not immune to this: The project of “deconstructing” Western civilization, revealing the hidden organs of political power concealed beneath every aspect of the Western tradition, still dominates the social sciences—but the revolutionary aspirations of the rationalist no longer have a future utopia to look towards. Rather, the university has found itself in a state of endless revolution, perpetually attacking the world it inhabits without a semblance of an idea of the world it desires. The old rationalist desire to tear down existing social arrangements in order to start anew has been abridged, and the post-modern program only seeks to deconstruct and dismantle, with little hope for the subsequent reconstruction of a perfected future.

    What is colloquially referred to as “safe space culture” is undoubtedly a reaction to this new despair engulfing the university; having torn down all objects of social affection, rejected any notions of gratitude as mere parochialisms, and deconstructed the mystic chords of memory that bind a civilization together, the post-modern intellectual finds himself adrift. He has little confidence in the scientific “reason” that his Enlightenment predecessors championed as the tool with which men would become gods, and yet he continues to regard the cosmic order with the skeptical eye of the Baconian method. Having encountered the terrible truth of nihilism (yet still hopelessly engaged in the endless revolution of the rationalist), the contemporary scholar turns to comfort as a last resort. As the doctor administers morphine to the chronically ill patient on the verge of death, the child-proofing of the university is an attempt to make the futility of the post-nihilist state of intellectual inquiry more bearable.

    Trigger warnings, safe spaces, the rise in emphasis on “holistic” pedagogies and increased concern for mental health, demands for the censorship of sentiments that make students feel “unsafe” and the intolerance of any cause for offense or discomfort: all are the result of an unspoken disillusionment that now pervades the liberal arts. This coddling of the university has been written about at length, but critics of such trends often blame the emotional immaturity of younger generations or particular radical ideologies for these developments. While such indictments might contain some truth, they are surface-level indicators of a significantly deeper issue: an attempt to contend with the nihilistic predicament.

    Conclusion

    Liberation, that vaguely defined but perpetually overemployed neologism, continues to be the dominant goal in contemporary understandings of liberal arts education. No longer attached to a specific political program, modern liberative efforts instead pursue the rejection of all social mores, traditions and habits, viewing the abolition of all constraints on individual behavior as a necessary precursor to true freedom. The contemporary academic, suspicious of any political program that claims to possess the final truth of human association, now rejects truth itself as an unbearable imposition on his desire, “to live each day as if it were his first.”6 The critical impulse that predominates today’s liberal arts experience is a result of this development: Liberation, once understood as the rationalist project of remaking the world in pursuit of perfection, now doubts its own ambitions. A dislike for the existing state of the world remains, but any claims regarding utopian truth are now seen as similarly suspicious; instead, liberation is now concomitant with destruction—a rejection of all that is.

    In the context of liberal arts education, however, liberation was not always understood as the radical rejection of one’s heritage. Instead, Robert George writes:

    “According to the classical liberal arts ideal, learning promises liberation, but it is not liberation from demanding moral ideals and social norms – it is, rather, liberation from slavery to self…Our critical engagement with great thinkers enriches our understanding and enables us to grasp, or grasp more fully, great truths – truths that, when we appropriate them and integrate them into our lives, liberate us from what is merely vulgar, coarse, or base. These are soul-shaping, humanizing truths – truths whose appreciation and secure possession elevate reason above passion or appetite, enabling us to direct our desires and our wills to what is truly good, truly beautiful, truly worthy of human beings as possessors of profound and inherent dignity.”7

    Liberation, in this understanding, is the result of engagement with the legacy of our intellectual tradition rather than a rejection of it. This understanding must be pursued once again in the liberal arts. This is no easy task, for the dominance of historicism and nihilism in our current moment cannot be entirely escaped; it must instead be reconciled with. Men cannot be forced to believe once again in God, nor can the ancient conception of knowledge as timeless and universal be entirely recovered. A recuperation from this predicament instead requires a more humble proposition: A restored gratitude and respect for our inheritance as participants in the Western tradition. To anyone who cares to notice, the limitations of the historical point of view are revealed when one encounters the wisdom of the greatest thinkers in this tradition, in the revelation that Plato’s The Republic or Hobbes’ Leviathan still have something valuable to tell us about our current situation. Entering into a conversation with the wisdom of past epochs, we realize that the human condition is not wholly confined to the circumstances of its historical context—transcendence is possible, if only we regain the inclination to search for it once again.

    Nate Hochman is a student at Colorado College and a former editorial intern at National Review.
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    Default Re: Racism

    A concise description of how Critical Race Theory developed. These intellectual stances, as described in this and the last post, are the critical parameters for the perspectives that have been proselytized by those folks have been calling Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) in recent years. It has become a perjorative, when, in fact, it is a necessary evolution of a system of thought that spans centuries. Intellectual stasis is anathema to human beingness, from these clashes in the Academy further insights develop that increase the cohesion and coherence of society.

    That is the goal, at least. We will see what results from these forays into the intellectual wilds.

    What is Critical Race Theory?

    The Theory.

    Critical Race Theory was developed out of legal scholarship. It provides a critical analysis of race and racism from a legal point of view. Since its inception within legal scholarship CRT has spread to many disciplines. CRT has basic tenets that guide its framework. These tenets are interdisciplinary and can be approached from different branches of learning.

    CRT recognizes that racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the American society. The individual racist need not exist to note that institutional racism is pervasive in the dominant culture. This is the analytical lens that CRT uses in examining existing power structures. CRT identifies that these power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the marginalization of people of color. CRT also rejects the traditions of liberalism and meritocracy. Legal discourse says that the law is neutral and colorblind, however, CRT challenges this legal “truth” by examining liberalism and meritocracy as a vehicle for self-interest, power, and privilege. CRT also recognizes that liberalism and meritocracy are often stories heard from those with wealth, power, and privilege. These stories paint a false picture of meritocracy; everyone who works hard can attain wealth, power, and privilege while ignoring the systemic inequalities that institutional racism provides.

    Intersectionality within CRT points to the multidimensionality of oppressions and recognizes that race alone cannot account for disempowerment. “Intersectionality means the examination of race, sex, class, national origin, and sexual orientation, and how their combination plays out in various settings.” This is an important tenet in pointing out that CRT is critical of the many oppressions facing people of color and does not allow for a one–dimensional approach of the complexities of our world.

    Narratives or counterstories, as mentioned before, contribute to the centrality of the experiences of people of color. These stories challenge the story of white supremacy and continue to give a voice to those that have been silenced by white supremacy. Counterstories take their cue from larger cultural traditions of oral histories, cuentos, family histories and parables. This is very important in preserving the history of marginalized groups whose experiences have never been legitimized within the master narrative. It challenges the notion of liberalism and meritocracy as colorblind or “value-neutral” within society while exposing racism as a main thread in the fabric of the American foundation.

    Another component to CRT is the commitment to Social justice and active role scholars take in working toward “eliminating racial oppression as a broad goal of ending all forms of oppression”. This is the eventual goal of CRT and the work that most CRT scholars pursue as academics and activists.

    The Movement.

    The Critical Race Theory movement can be seen as a group of interdisciplinary scholars and activists interested in studying and changing the relationship between race, racism and power. This is crucial to understand in order to fully realize the goals of CRS in SPA. CRT is an amalgamation of concepts that have been derived from the Civil Rights and ethnic studies discourses. In the 1970s, a number of lawyers, activists, and scholars saw the work of the Civil Rights as being stalled and in many instances negated. They also saw the liberal and positivist views of laws as being colorblind and ignorant of the racism that is pervasive in the law.

    The works of Derrick Bell and Alan Freeman have been attributed to the start of CRT. Bell and Freeman were frustrated with the slow pace of racial reform in the United Sates. They argued that the traditional approaches of combating racism were producing smaller gains than in previous years. Thus, Critical Race Theory is an outgrowth of Critical Legal Studies (CLS), which was a leftist movement that challenged traditional legal scholarship. These CRT scholars continued forward and were joined by Richard Delgado. In 1989, they held their first conference in Madison, Wisconsin. This was the beginning of the CRT as movement.

    CRT has more recently had some spin-offs from the original movement. Latina/o Critical Theory (LatCrit), feisty queer-crit interest group, and Asian American Legal Scholarship are examples of the sub-disciplines within CRT. These sub-disciplines address specific issues that affect each unique community. For LatCrit and Asian American scholars they examine language and immigration policies, whereas, a small emerging group of Indian scholars examine indigenous people’s sovereignty and claims to land. This displays the diversity even within the CRT disciplines that hold CRT to maintain its multidisciplinary approach.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 27th February 2020 at 15:22. Reason: formatting

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    Ouch, Mike. Those Evergreen kids really got under your skin. You have strong opinions, but you're presenting them as facts.

    Think of the absurdity of a white guy declaring what the most prevalent form of racism is currently, and multiply that by a thousand when declaring it to someone non-white. Kinda like a guy lecturing women on menstrual periods.

    The gender issue is a dilutant to this thread, which is already (at its inception) blended with or compared with culture-clash.


    It's not just the evergreen kids themselves, it's that they represent a microcosm of a much bigger problem. What happened there is what's happening on campuses all across the country, and it's finding it's way into corporate culture too. That's why it's so important. But if you haven't watched the videos then I wouldn't expect you to feel the same urgency I do. It's not just the students behavior that was so abhorrent, it was the faculty and staff as well. Small witch hunt cultures become big ones, and then it becomes authoritarianism. That's what's happening in our country today. Good people were unfairly accused of racism and bigotry at evergreen, and they lost their jobs as a result. i don't think that's a trend either of us wants to see continue

    Re gender issues: fair enough, I'll let them go. My bad. Just trying to demonstrate that in some conditions, alleged racism is really just postmodernism masquerading as racism...just like other "equity" seeking phenomena. The connections are vital to have a comprehensive view of the picture. Respectfully, I don't think you really understand what postmodernism is, and it's causing you to kind of miss my points entirely.

    I don't pretend to know exactly what we should do about racism, but the evergreen events and others like it, and the stuff that happened with James Damore at Google, make it pretty damn clear what we shouldn't do.

    We shouldn't force "equity" on other people when it is really just a power game resulting in reverse discrimination. That's the answer that evergreen students and faculty suggested, and the answer Google was suggesting with the Damore debacle. Mark doesn't seem to have any issue with it at all either, so it appears it's his answer for it too. The whole thing is an insidious idea that will only make a bad problem worse.

    And its ok to have opinions on what racism is. Thats partially the point of the thread. Mark's been sharing his on this thread all over the place. If you imagine its noble of you to continue to offer up yours with delicate subservience, by all means continue.

    If you think the equity doctrine is the answer to all this mess, fair enough, ..we can make intellectual peace with each other right now, and not address it any further. Happy to do that.
    Last edited by Mike; 28th February 2020 at 01:23.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    You have strong opinions, but you're presenting them as facts.
    You do the same thing though don't you? You are one of our resident masters of expressing opinion, I'd like to see you pick apart his post. I'm not saying this as a jab, I'm genuinely interested. He was basically dismissed and that's not fair.

    Maybe off topic but I don't see the value in speaking my mind on the matter anymore. It seems as though you are shoved into 1 side or the other. I go out 1-2x per week and I never have issues with other cultures or they with me. So how does it benefit me talking these issues over? It causes more harm than good. I think it's better to just hang out with my friends, be a good person and let the issue slowly wither away and die.
    Just as every cop is a criminal
    And all the sinners saints

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    We shouldn't force "equity" on other people when it is really just a power game resulting in reverse discrimination. That's the answer that evergreen students and faculty suggested, and the answer Google was suggesting with the Damore debacle. Mark doesn't seem to have any issue with it at all either, so it appears it's his answer for it too.

    And its ok to have opinions on what racism is. Thats partially the point of the thread. Mark's been sharing his on this thread all over the place.
    All you've offered, thus far, is opinion, Mike. It is appreciated as it is one that many share and we need all representative voices present and accounted for, so thank you for that. I've been sharing a bit more than opinion on this thread. I appreciate your presence but will not rise to your continuous offering of passive aggressive asides and poisonous bait.

    ¤=[Post Update]=¤

    Quote Posted by Strat (here)
    Maybe off topic but I don't see the value in speaking my mind on the matter anymore. It seems as though you are shoved into 1 side or the other. I go out 1-2x per week and I never have issues with other cultures or they with me. So how does it benefit me talking these issues over? It causes more harm than good. I think it's better to just hang out with my friends, be a good person and let the issue slowly wither away and die.
    Love it. Real talk. Another valuable opinion, although I obviously disagree that it causes more harm than good. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, regardless.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Mark I've offered everyone the perfect case study to demonstrate what's actually happening in the country at the moment. That's what I've offered.

    As I suspected, you think I'm the bad guy here, and you imagine yourself the calm purveyor of wisdom and truth. Sorry, I'm calling bullsh!t on that.

    Much of what you're offering is also opinion, masquerading as fact. And I don't mind your opinions at all. Totally cool. Fair game. But your passive aggression lies in your assumption that you are morally and factually correct at every turn, and we just all need to cuddle up to the campfire and learn. Sorry dude, im not playing that game. You need to learn too. We all do.

    I'm not here to stop you, or make your life difficult. I actually appreciate the back n forth, even though you've ignored some really important things I've said, like the fact that we couldn't have this dialogue on evergreen. Anyone that watches those videos knows that this is obvious. Not opinion.

    I want to stress this again because it's important. I know you're a good dude. If we met over beers and chatted, I think we'd walk away friends. I think Dennis is a man of total integrity. I really do. But I resent the moral sermonizing and the assumption of moral high ground. It's not productive man.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    I want to stress this again because it's important. I know you're a good dude. If we met over beers and chatted, I think we'd walk away friends. I think Dennis is a man of total integrity. I really do. But I resent the moral sermonizing and the assumption of moral high ground. It's not productive man.
    Projection is the bane of higher thought and movement in many areas of human endeavor. You've sermonized since you entered this thread and you brought your resentment with you, I did not cause it nor have I done anything to increase it, as its quotient was already sky-high. Perhaps you should check yourself and also the foundations of your understanding.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 27th February 2020 at 17:35. Reason: add discussion

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Mark/Rahkyt (here)
    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    I want to stress this again because it's important. I know you're a good dude. If we met over beers and chatted, I think we'd walk away friends. I think Dennis is a man of total integrity. I really do. But I resent the moral sermonizing and the assumption of moral high ground. It's not productive man.
    Projection is the bane of higher thought and movement in many areas of human endeavor. You've sermonized since you entered this thread and you brought your resentment with you, I did not cause it nor have I done anything to increase it, as its quotient was already sky-high. Perhaps you should check yourself and also the foundations of your understanding.


    I'll check myself if you do the same.

    Equity baby!! See now we're making progress

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    Default Re: Racism

    It is good to have a cultural understanding of what we are talking about and its origins in the West. This concise rending of the historicity of racism gets the point across and gives us a shared point to jump off from in further discussions.

    The Historical Origins and Development of Racism

    by George M. Fredrickson

    Racism exists when one ethnic group or historical collectivity dominates, excludes, or seeks to eliminate another on the basis of differences that it believes are hereditary and unalterable. An ideological basis for explicit racism came to a unique fruition in the West during the modern period. No clear and unequivocal evidence of racism has been found in other cultures or in Europe before the Middle Ages. The identification of the Jews with the devil and witchcraft in the popular mind of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries was perhaps the first sign of a racist view of the world. Official sanction for such attitudes came in sixteenth century Spain when Jews who had converted to Christianity and their descendents became the victims of a pattern of discrimination and exclusion.

    The period of the Renaissance and Reformation was also the time when Europeans were coming into increasing contact with people of darker pigmentation in Africa, Asia, and the Americas and were making judgments about them. The official rationale for enslaving Africans was that they were heathens, but slave traders and slave owners sometimes interpreted a passage in the book of Genesis as their justification. Ham, they maintained, committed a sin against his father Noah that condemned his supposedly black descendants to be "servants unto servants." When Virginia decreed in 1667 that converted slaves could be kept in bondage, not because they were actual heathens but because they had heathen ancestry, the justification for black servitude was thus changed from religious status to something approaching race. Beginning in the late seventeenth century laws were also passed in English North America forbidding marriage between whites and blacks and discriminating against the mixed offspring of informal liaisons. Without clearly saying so, such laws implied that blacks were unalterably alien and inferior.

    During the Enlightenment, a secular or scientific theory of race moved the subject away from the Bible, with its insistence on the essential unity of the human race. Eighteenth century ethnologists began to think of human beings as part of the natural world and subdivided them into three to five races, usually considered as varieties of a single human species. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, however, an increasing number of writers, especially those committed to the defense of slavery, maintained that the races constituted separate species.

    The Nineteenth century was an age of emancipation, nationalism, and imperialism--all of which contributed to the growth and intensification of ideological racism in Europe and the United States. Although the emancipation of blacks from slavery and Jews from the ghettoes received most of its support from religious or secular believers in an essential human equality, the consequence of these reforms was to intensify rather than diminish racism. Race relations became less paternalistic and more competitive. The insecurities of a burgeoning industrial capitalism created a need for scapegoats. The Darwinian emphasis on "the struggle for existence" and concern for "the survival of the fittest" was conducive to the development of a new and more credible scientific racism in an era that increasingly viewed race relations as an arena for conflict rather than as a stable hierarchy.

    The growth of nationalism, especially romantic cultural nationalism, encouraged the growth of a culture-coded variant of racist thought, especially in Germany. Beginning in the late 1870s and early 1880s, the coiners of the term "antisemitism" made explicit what some cultural nationalists had previously implied--that to be Jewish in Germany was not simply to adhere to a set of religious beliefs or cultural practices but meant belonging to a race that was the antithesis of the race to which true Germans belonged.

    The climax of Western imperialism in the late nineteenth century "scramble for Africa" and parts of Asia and the Pacific represented an assertion of the competitive ethnic nationalism that existed among European nations (and which, as a result of the Spanish-American War came to include the United States). It also constituted a claim, allegedly based on science, that Europeans had the right to rule over Africans and Asians.

    The climax of the history of racism came in the twentieth century in the rise and fall of what might be called overtly racist regimes. In the American South, the passage of racial segregation laws and restrictions on black voting rights reduced African Americans to lower caste status. Extreme racist propaganda, which represented black males as ravening beasts lusting after white women, served to rationalize the practice of lynching. A key feature of the racist regime maintained by state law in the South was a fear of sexual contamination through rape or intermarriage, which led to efforts to prevent the conjugal union of whites with those with any known or discernable African ancestry.

    Racist ideology was eventually of course carried to its extreme in Nazi Germany. It took Hitler and his cohorts to attempt the extermination of an entire ethnic group on the basis of a racist ideology. Hitler, it has been said, gave racism a bad name. The moral revulsion of people throughout the world against what the Nazis did, reinforced by scientific studies undermining racist genetics (or eugenics), served to discredit the scientific racism that had been respectable and influential in the United States and Europe before the Second World War.

    Explicit racism also came under devastating attack from the new nations resulting from the decolonization of Africa and Asia and their representatives in the United Nations. The Civil Rights movement in the United States, which succeeded in outlawing legalized racial segregation and discrimination in the 1960s drew crucial support from the growing sense that national interests were threatened when blacks in the United States were mistreated and abused. In the competition with the Soviet Union for "the hearts and minds" of independent Africans and Asians, Jim Crow and the ideology that sustained it became a national embarrassment with possible strategic consequences.

    The one racist regime that survived the Second World War and the Cold War was the South African in 1948. The laws passed banning all marriage and sexual relations between different "population groups" and requiring separate residential areas for people of mixed race ("Coloreds"), as well as for Africans, signified the same obsession with "race purity" that characterized the other racist regimes. However the climate of world opinion in the wake of the Holocaust induced apologists for apartheid to avoid, for the most part, straightforward biological racism and rest their case for "separate development" mainly on cultural rather than physical differences.

    The defeat of Nazi Germany, the desegregation of the American South in the 1960s, and the establishment of majority rule in South Africa suggest that regimes based on biological racism or its cultural essentialist equivalent are a thing of the past. But racism does not require the full and explicit support of the state and the law. Nor does it require an ideology centered on the concept of biological inequality. Discrimination by institutions and individuals against those perceived as racially different can long persist and even flourish under the illusion of non-racism, as historians of Brazil have recently discovered. The use of allegedly deep-seated cultural differences as a justification for hostility and discrimination against newcomers from the Third World in several European countries has led to allegations of a new "cultural racism." Recent examples of a functionally racist cultural determinism are not in fact unprecedented. They rather represent a reversion to the way that the differences between groups could be made to seem indelible and unbridgeable before the articulation of a scientific or naturalistic conception of race in the eighteenth century.

    George M. Fredrickson is Edgar E. Robinson Professor Emeritus of United States History at Stanford University.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 27th February 2020 at 18:33. Reason: add discussion

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    Default Re: Racism

    Indian Schools and the clash of nations. Reservations and cultural assimilation. I did not know this history before today, an interesting and currently relevant revelation. Relatively good intentions were present here, the idea of bringing people into the Christian fold. Then, institutionalization and the invariably accompanying abuse, the depradations of dark human nature. Will time and continuing attention and this trial and error process result in positive ends, if there is no end at all?

    The Ugly, Fascinating History Of The Word 'Racism'

    GENE DEMBY



    The Oxford English Dictionary's first recorded utterance of the word racism was by a man named Richard Henry Pratt in 1902. Pratt was railing against the evils of racial segregation.

    Quote Segregating any class or race of people apart from the rest of the people kills the progress of the segregated people or makes their growth very slow. Association of races and classes is necessary to destroy racism and classism.
    Although Pratt might have been the first person to inveigh against racism and its deleterious effects by name, he is much better-remembered for a very different coinage: Kill the Indian...save the man.

    "A great general has said that the only good Indian is a dead one," Pratt said. "In a sense, I agree with the sentiment, but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him, and save the man."

    We're still living with the after-effects of what Pratt thought and did. His story serves as a useful parable for why discussions of racism remain so deeply contentious even now.

    But let's back up a bit.

    Beginning in the 1880s, a group of well-heeled white men would travel to upstate New York each year to attend the Lake Mohonk Conference Of The Friend Of the Indian. Their primary focus was a solution to "the Indian problem," the need for the government to deal with the Native American groups living in lands that had been forcibly seized from them. The Plains Wars had decimated the Native American population, but they were coming to an end. There was a general feeling among these men and other U.S. leaders that the remaining Native Americans would be wiped out within a generation or two, destroyed by disease and starvation.

    The Lake Mohonk attendees wanted to stop that from happening, and they pressed lawmakers to change the government's policies toward Indians. Pratt, in particular, was a staunch advocate of folding Native Americans into white life — assimilation through education.


    Top: A group of Chiricahua Apache students on their first day at Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, Pa. Bottom: The same students four months later.
    John N. Choate/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
    He persuaded Congress to let him test out his ideas, and they gave him an abandoned military post in Carlisle, Pa., to set up a boarding school for Native children. He was also able to convince many Native Americans, including some tribal leaders, to send their children far away from home, and leave them in his charge. (They had reasons to be skeptical of Pratt, given the dubious history of white promises to Indians.)

    "These [chiefs] were smart men," said Grace Chaillier, a professor of Native American studies at Northern Michigan University. "They saw the handwriting on the wall. They knew their children were going to need to be educated in the ways of the dominant culture or they weren't going to survive."

    For many Natives, Chaillier said, this wrenching decision came down to a grim arithmetic: the boarding school would provide their children with food and shelter, which were hard to come by on the reservations. "The reservations were becoming very, very sad places to be," she said. "These were places of daunting poverty. People were starving."

    The Carlisle Indian Industrial School would become a model for dozens of other unaffiliated boarding schools for Indian children. But Pratt's plans had lasting, disastrous ramifications.

    He pushed for the total erasure of Native cultures among his students. "No bilingualism was accommodated at these boarding schools," said Christina Snyder, a historian at Indiana University. The students' native tongues were strictly forbidden — a rule that was enforced through beating. Since they were rounded up from different tribes, the only way they could communicate with each other at the schools was in English.

    "In Indian civilization I am a Baptist," Pratt once told a convention of Baptist ministers, "because I believe in immersing the Indians in our civilization and when we get them under, holding them there until they are thoroughly soaked."

    "The most significant consequence of this policy is the loss of languages," Snyder says. "All native languages are [now] endangered and some of them are extinct."

    Pratt also saw to it that his charges were Christianized. Carlisle students had to attend church each Sunday, although he allowed each student to choose the denomination to which she would belong.

    When students would return home to the reservations — which Pratt objected to, because he felt it would slow down their assimilation — there was a huge cultural gap between them and their families. They dressed differently. They had a new religion. And they spoke a different language.

    "These kids coming from the boarding schools were literally unable to speak with their parents and grandparents," Chaillier said. "In many cases, they were ashamed of them, because their grandparents and parents were living a life that nobody should aspire to live."

    But Pratt's idea to assimilate Native Americans gained traction, and the government began to make attendance at Indian boarding schools compulsory. Families who didn't comply were punished by the government. "For a period in the 1890s, federal Indian agents could withhold rations [from families] to kind of forcibly starve someone out," Snyder says.

    Tsianina Lomawaima, who heads of the American Indian Studies program at the University of Arizona, told our colleague Charla Bear that the government's schooling policy had more cynical aims.

    Quote "They very specifically targeted Native nations that were the most recently hostile," Lomawaima says. "There was a very conscious effort to recruit the children of leaders, and this was also explicit, essentially to hold those children hostage. The idea was it would be much easier to keep those communities pacified with their children held in a school somewhere far away."
    Unhappy, homesick students regularly ran away from the schools, and authorities were sent out to apprehend deserters, who were sometimes given asylum by Native communities who protested the mandatory school laws.

    But since there was little oversight of the boarding schools, the students were often subjected to horrific mistreatment. Many were regularly beaten. Chaillier said that some of the schools were rife with sexual abuse. Tuberculosis or trachoma, a preventable disease causes blindness, were rampant. All of the boarding schools, she said, had their own cemeteries.

    Chaillier said that Pratt wasn't always aware of these conditions. But these were the consequences of the popularity of his philosophies.

    Chaillier, who is Lakota, told me a story that her mother often shared with her about her Indian school experience. One day, according to her mother's story, a young student snuck out from his room at night, fell into a hole being dug for a well on the school grounds, broke his neck and died. His body was put on display and the students were assembled, forced to view their schoolmate's corpse as a reminder of what happened to students who were disobedient.

    But Chaillier's mother insisted that she didn't attend one of the bad Indian boarding schools. And she wanted Chaillier to attend one, as well. "If you were Indian, you went to Indian school," she said, describing her mother's feelings. Her mother felt that the Indian schools were a net good, even as they were calamitous for Indian cultures.

    It's that ambivalence that makes Pratt's legacy so hard to neatly characterize.

    "Richard Henry Pratt was an incredibly complex individual in many ways," Chaillier said. "Some of the worst outcomes that have happened in society have started out with someone thinking they were doing something good."

    "For his time, Pratt was definitely a progressive," Snyder said. Indeed, he thought his ideas were the only thing keeping Native peoples from being entirely wiped out by disease and starvation. "That's one of the dirty little secrets of American progressivism — that [progress] was still shaped around ideas of whiteness."

    Snyder said that Pratt replaced the popular idea that some *groups *were natively inferior to others with the idea that some *cultures *that were the problem, and needed to be corrected or destroyed. In other words, he swapped biological determinism for cultural imperialism.

    Given the sheer scale of the physical and cultural violence he helped set in motion, was Pratt himself a practitioner of the very ill he decried at the Lake Mohonk convention? Was he a racist?

    Over a century after he was first recorded using the word, we still ask that question — is she or isn't she racist? — in situations where no clear answer would ever present itself. We argue about the composition of the accused's soul and the fundamental goodness or badness therein. But those are things we can't possibly know. And as we litigate that question, other more meaningful questions become obscured.

    Racism remains a force of enormous consequence in American life, yet no one can be accused of perpetrating it without a kicking up a grand fight. No one ever says, "Yeah, I was a little bit racist. I'm sorry." That's in part because racists, in our cultural conversations, have become inhuman. They're fairy-tale villains, and thus can't be real.

    There's no nuance to these public fights, as a veteran crisis manager told my colleague, Hansi Lo Wang. Someone is either a racist and therefore an inhuman monster, or they're an actual, complex human being, and therefore, by definition, incapable of being a racist.

    Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic, who often writes about race, is one of several writers and thinkers who has drawn attention to this paradox:

    Quote The idea that America has lots of racism but few actual racists is not a new one. Philip Dray titled his seminal history of lynching At the Hands of Persons Unknown because most "investigations" of lynchings in the South turned up no actual lynchers. Both David Duke and George Wallace insisted that they weren't racists. That's because in the popular vocabulary, the racist is not so much an actual person but a monster, an outcast thug who leads the lynch mob and keeps *Mein Kampf *in his back pocket.
    We can ask whether Richard Henry Pratt was himself racist even as he decried racism. But that question distracts from the concrete and lingering realities of his legacy. It's far more valuable to wrestle with these two ideas at once: Pratt probably improved the material lives of many individual Native American children who lived in poverty and were at risk of starving. He also aggressively campaigned to destroy their cultures and subjected them to a panoply of miseries and privations.

    Last Monday, a woman named Emily Johnson Dickerson died. She was the last person in the world who spoke only the Chickasaw language. That's a reality interlaced with the difficult legacy of Richard Henry Pratt.

    In the century since Pratt used the word racism, the term has become an abstraction. But always buried somewhere underneath it are actions with real consequences. Sometimes those outcomes are intended. Sometimes they're not. But it's the outcomes, not the intentions, that matter most in the end.

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    Default Re: Racism

    The author does not come to a very optimistic conclusion, but the attempt must be made. The text of the article is only 5 pages long so it is not that dense, but it is quite illuminating for anyone interested in examining the:

    Psychological and Physiological Origins of Racism and Other Social Discrimination


    Quote In his book "White Over Black," the historian Winthrop Jordan, has documented much of the early developmental course and some of the dynamics of American racism. He laboriously gathered and creatively organized his data so that they show, graphically and in considerable detail, that European whites, upon encountering blacks, imputed to the blacks all the group-threatening characteristics which the whites were attempting to renounce and repress in themselves. By the psychological mechanism of projection they purged and purified their image of themselves as thev
    dumped their undesirable characteristics upon their image of blacks, and thereby created a pro-white, anti-black paranoia. Role relationships, philosophies, economies, politics, education, and all other aspects of culture and social structure were then altered to support and to conform to these false beliefs which aggrandized whites and denigrated blacks.

    Shakespeare beautifully reflected these 17th century social dynamics in the play "Othello" when he depicted the crafty white Iago systematically undermining and destroying"the dignity, the man-hood, the confidence, the initiative, the self-esteem, the capacity for love and trust, and eventually the life of the black Othello.
    Last edited by Mark/Rahkyt; 27th February 2020 at 19:40. Reason: add discussion

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