Race

Portlandia Lives Up to Parody

Featured image Having just made a visit to Portland, Oregon, I got a fresh reminder that lots of people there think “Portlandia” is a true-to-life documentary rather than a “mockumentary.” Take for example a recent news report about a study on substance abuse commissioned by the Portland City Club. The study found that substance abuse is—wait for it—a serious problem. An epidemic even! Oregon is facing an epidemic of alcohol and drug »

Another prophet of affirmative action

Featured image In a post called “The Prophet of Affirmative Action,” John cited and quoted extensively from a letter written in 1969 by California appellate judge Macklin Fleming, a Yale Law graduate, to the dean of Yale Law School. The letter questions the wisdom of the new quota system in terms that, as John says, are remarkably prescient. I want to give credit to another, even earlier, prophet of affirmative action — »

Is the backlash over NFL kneeling racist?

Featured image The Washington Post found “experts” (its term in the paper edition) who think so. I don’t (though there must be white racists who are criticizing the kneelers, just as there must be black racists who are praising them). The Post’s experts seize on the fact that some who criticize the kneelers cite the players’ wealth and accuse them of being ungrateful. For example, Newt Gingrich said that players should be »

Is the National Anthem Racist?

Featured image There are several possible answers to this question: 1) Of course, because everything is racist. 2) It’s anyone’s guess. The word “racist” has no meaning. 3) Don’t be stupid. “Yes” isn’t really on the list. Yet the California chapter of the NAACP is trying to get rid of the National Anthem: The California NAACP is pushing to get rid of the national anthem that they’re calling racist and anti-black. “This »

Is It OK To Be White? [Updated]

Featured image A group of students at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, did something so outrageous, so transgressive, that it has roiled the campus and led to newspaper headlines: they posted signs on campus that say, “It’s OK to be white.” You might think that in a campus environment where a thousand genders are blooming, you could finish a sentence beginning “It’s OK to be…” in just about any possible manner. But »

The war on standards: Illiterate teachers edition

Featured image I missed this story at the time, but earlier this year the New York Times reported that the New York Board of Regents eliminated a requirement that aspiring teachers in the state pass a literacy test to become certified. The Board eliminated the requirement because Black and Hispanic candidates for teaching jobs passed the literacy test at significantly lower rates than white candidates. In lieu of passing the literary test, »

Frederica Wilson plays the race card

Featured image Yesterday, Rep. Frederica Wilson claimed that John Kelly’s comments about President Trump’s condolence call to the Gold Star family of Sergeant La David Johnson were an attempt to save his job as White House chief of staff. Wilson’s office then declared that she would have no further comment on this controversy. It stated: The congresswoman will not be making any further comment on the issue because the focus should be »

Bourgeois norms in black history, Robert Woodson’s take

Featured image I wrote here about an op-ed by professors Amy Wax and Larry Alexander in which the authors praised America’s 1950s “bourgeois culture.” Though acknowledging the existence of “racial discrimination, limited sex roles, and pockets of anti-Semitism” in that culture, they insisted that the modern “loss of bourgeois habits has seriously impeded the progress of disadvantaged groups.” Wax and Alexander described the habits they extolled this way: Get married before you »

Coates’s world

Featured image If you are a man or woman of the left, it is amazing what you can get away with. Not only get away with, but be celebrated for. Minnesota’s own Ilhan Omar presents a case study. Omar was recently recognized by Time in its September 18 double issue on women “Firsts” for her election to office as the first Somali legislator in the United States, I noted in this City »

Demography and the End of Diversity?

Featured image “Diversity” has become the touchstone of contemporary liberalism, rivaling even equality as its first principle, though of course the two can co-exist. Democrats have placed all their chips on diversity, seeing the rising coalition of minorities and elite white professionals as their ticket to political dominance at some point in the future (the Teixeira-Judis hypothesis). A lot of Trump’s white voters in the midwest are old and will start to »

Hiding the ball on campus rape

Featured image Race permeates the left’s analysis of almost every major domestic issue, particularly on college campuses. Why, then, is race absent from the discussion of campus sexual assault? The question is prompted by an article by Emily Yoffe in the Atlantic. The conventional narrative on campus rape holds that it’s the product of white privilege — the rich, white frat boy as sexual predator, as Petula Dvorak, a feminist columnist for »

Coates Versus Douglass

Featured image Ta-Nehesi Coates has a new essay out about Trump that is generating a lot of buzz, entitled “The First White President.” Here are a couple of excerpts about what he has to say about Trump: He is preeminently the white man’s President, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men. He is ready and willing at any time during the first year of his administration to deny, postpone, and sacrifice »

Can the left do without identity politics?

Featured image Anis Shivani argues in Slate that it’s time for the left to give up on identity politics because this approach is dragging down the progressive agenda. He acknowledges, however, that it’s too late for such a change of course. I agree. It would take decades for decades worth of indoctrination to be undone. I also question Shivani’s premise to this extent: it may well be that, for all of its »

Romanticizing the Detroit riots

Featured image This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Detroit riots of 1967. Michael Barone reminds us that the rioting went on for six nights, with some 2,500 stores looted and burnt, some 400 families displaced, and property damage estimated at around $300 million in 2017 dollars. Forty-three people, many of them innocent bystanders, were killed. More than 1,000 people were wounded. Even so, the riots were always going to be »

The war on standards — shoot the messenger edition

Featured image We have written about the war on standards. Most of the time, this war takes the form of attempts to bulldoze standards of conduct and achievement that stand in the way of equal distribution of society’s benefits and prizes to Blacks. Usually the standards are specific, as are the potential consequences of falling short. A certain test score must be attained to qualify for a job. A criminal law, if »

Is America a Seething Hotbed of Racism and Bigotry?

Featured image The premise of diversity training at places like Google (and the various identity politics departments in universities that churn out endless theories of racism, sexism, etc. that back it up) is that implicit racism, sexism and all-around bigotry is pervasive in American society. Maybe DNC members like Bull Connor no longer turn firehoses on blacks in the South, and maybe Democratic jurists like Roger Taney no longer openly proclaim white »

Durham D.A. admits ideology will influence his prosecutorial discretion

Featured image If you don’t mind feeling nauseated, check out this statement by Durham County District Attorney Roger Echols, in which he explains the factors he will consider in determining “a just resolution” to the case of those who destroyed the public monument in Durham. Echols says he will balance accountability for the destruction of property against the “climate in which these actions were undertaken.” He seems to believe that a neo-Nazi »