Tag: social justice

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Ray Domanico joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to discuss New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza’s controversial and divisive leadership of the nation’s largest public school system. Domanico details Carranza’s emphasis on ridding schools of purported racial bias in his recent essay for City Journal, “Richard Carranza’s Deflections.” Over the past four decades, with varying levels of success, Carranza’s […]

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James R. Copland joins Rafael Mangual to discuss how activist investors are turning corporate America’s annual shareholder-meeting process into a political circus. Most of corporate America is wrapping up the 2019 “proxy season” this month—the period when most publicly traded companies hold their annual meetings. It’s at these gatherings that shareholders can (either directly or by proxy) propose […]

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Quote of the Day: Rewriting History

 

“If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we will find that we have lost the future.” – Sir Winston Spencer Churchill

Kate Smith’s statue gets covered over because of a song she sang 80 years ago. Dowling Street in Houston, named for a Confederate hero, gets renamed Emancipation. A set of paintings of George Washington are painted over because he was a slaveholder. These are just a few instances of history being erased, rewritten, or removed from the public view because standards have changed.

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I was curious if there is any way to exploit the vast swarm of Social Justice for a positive end? Could it be taxed? I hear the power to tax is the power to destroy, perhaps we could give them some of the Bernie-grade taxes they want. More

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Studio NAB (nota bene: never trust an architecture firm which calls itself a “studio”) has quite a vision for Notre-Dame’s future. As ArchDaily reports: In the aftermath of the blaze that destroyed the roof of Paris’ iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral, Studio NAB has envisioned a replacement ‘greenhouse roof.’ Described as a cathedral ‘in green for all,’ […]

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At the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, Professor Jacob Howland writes in City Journal, “a new administration has turned a once-vibrant academic institution with a $1.1 billion endowment and a national reputation in core liberal arts subjects into a glorified trade school with a social-justice agenda.” Speaking with Seth Barron, Howland describes how, in early April, TU’s new administration […]

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James A. Lindsay is a co-author of the Grievance Studies, a project designed to expose the politicized corruption within social justice geared humanities scholarship by creating bogus academic papers and submitting them to academic journals in the areas of cultural, queer, race, gender, fat, and sexuality studies. He and Bridget have a fascinating discussion about […]

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When I’m in the mood for political comedy, I often turn to the American Philosophical Association’s blog — a collection of claptrap so crazy that it must be curated by The Onion‘s editorial staff . . . or no editorial staff at all, since its pages are rife with misspellings and grammatical errors. As for its political […]

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I owe Unsk an apology. Many moons ago, in March, I wrote a piece about the clash between classical liberalism and historic preservation. It occasioned about a dozen comments, all thoughtful. Unsk, an architect, shared a story about his (her? . . . some names are ambiguous) experience with the Secretary of the Interior’s preservation guidelines. According […]

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Social-justice theory* posits the existence of a complex racial and sexual hierarchy. It also offers a corrective — the imposition of a complex racial and sexual hierarchy. The chief difference between these two hierarchies (one supposed, and one proposed), as far as I can tell, is that one is implicit whereas the other is explicit. I can, so […]

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The Problem of Social Induction

 

Scottish philosopher David Hume — a skeptic’s skeptic, and not exactly a vaunted figure around here — is famous, in part, for his criticism of inductive reasoning. (Induction involves moving from a particular (or a series of particulars) to some general conclusion.) We tend, for instance, to use inductive reasoning when linking cause and effect. If I lift a ball and let go, the ball falls. The ball behaves this way every time I release it. As far as I know, every single human who hoists a ball into the air and drops it notices the same thing. The ball invariably plunges toward the earth. I conclude, therefore, that a causal relationship exists between my letting go and the ball’s descent.

But, according to Hume, my reasoning is faulty.* No matter how many times I observe one phenomenon following another, I can never be certain that the first causes the second. To do so — to achieve certainty — would require knowledge of the principles underlying that causal chain. But I have no such knowledge. I don’t know, and can’t know, whether there is a causal chain.

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I did it. I finally did it. I started a Facebook argument (a short one, admittedly) with a fair-trade co-op worker. The tussle began when a formerly libertarian high-school friend of mine decided to write an apologetic post about his white privilege. Usually, I ignore Facebook and its associated political gobbledygook. But this piece sent […]

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Each day, I begin my morning by silencing my phone’s alarm and scrolling through BBC headlines — arguably an act of supreme masochism. Each day, then, I’m treated to a panoramic view of mankind’s ever-shrinking intuition. Each day, I witness yet more proof of the slow death of common sense. Such articles often remind me […]

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Congratulations to the talented Bruno Mars for six Grammy awards last night. His fun, catchy pop hits, accompanied by his fabulous dance moves have propelled him into a force to be reckoned within the highly competitive world of music. Yet, many are downplaying his successful night with disappointing headlines that he beat out “expected” hip […]

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“Truth Conquers All,” or Does It?

 

Lindsay Shepherd is a teaching assistant for a communications course at Wilfrid Laurier, a Canadian university whose motto translates to “Truth conquers all.” She showed her class a debate that involved Jordan Peterson and others regarding gendered pronouns that had previously aired on Canadian television. She presented the video without comment, although she later revealed that she disagrees with Prof. Peterson’s position on the issue. However, a “gendered violence” complaint from her class was lodged, triggering a review, and Ms. Shepherd was reprimanded.

Her transgression? According to her supervising professor, Prof. Rambukkana, Ms. Shepherd failed to take sides prior to showing the videotape, and that “created a toxic climate for some of the students.” Rambukkana also stated, “This is like neutrally playing a speech by Hitler,” representing just one of several references to Nazi Germany made by himself and other authority figures at the meeting.

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My Job: Not Helping Homeless People

 

I’ve been listening to the Ricochet podcast for a couple years, am a big fan, and have for awhile wanted to lend my voice to this conversation—partly because of the field in which I work, which some may describe as “social justice.”

I joined the site today and want to open with this background.

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Confederate Statues, Affirmative Action, and Cheap Racial Virtue

 

Facilitated by media manipulation and exploitation, people have lost perspective trying to outdo one another in their moral condemnation of racial supremacy witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia.

(Because the media finally found actual white racists to cover, rather than smearing white people who reject their coercive, politicized agenda as racists, this was a big story.)

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Sermon du Jour: Let My People Go

 

We had two stories from the Old Testament to choose from this morning. The first, and most fabulous, was about Moses leading the Israelites down the dry, if temporary, avenue God miraculously made for them through the waters of the Red Sea. The story holds so many marvelous images — the parting of the sea, the pillar of fire … when I was a kid, I imagined walking down a sort of hallway, with a muddy floor and the sky for a ceiling and walls of water on either side through which I could see the fish, twitching their fins and gaping in astonishment through the glassy water walls.

The other story is that of Joseph, of coat-of-many-colors fame, forgiving his brothers for selling him into slavery in Egypt. His brothers aren’t particularly forgivable — even as they grovel before him, they’re lying about the true extent of their perfidy … but Joseph does let it go.

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Implicit Bias is the New Original Sin

 

Voltaire once said that if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him. Fast forward to today, and the left has invented everything required for social control that used to be provided by religion, except a replacement for God. Their most recent innovation in this field is “implicit bias,” which acts as a stand-in for original sin.

Before we dive into the technical details, it’s worth taking a moment to review how America got here. The left in America for at least the past few generations has viewed the world with an implicit Marxian frame. That is, they view the world as consisting of groups of people who are oppressed, and other groups of people who do the oppressing. In the traditional Marxist (note the subtle difference here, between -ist and -ian) formulation, that would be the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, respectively. This was a psychologically useful delusion until the end of the Cold War decisively proved that communism is a complete failure whenever it is implemented. It’s pretty hard to convince people they should create a Worker’s Paradise in America when so many of the Worker’s Paradises look less like an actual paradise than the status quo. There’s only so many times you can say “well, nobody has really tried communism yet” before normal people smile, nod, and walk backwards toward the nearest exit.

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No, this isn’t about abortion. In a recent conversation with a friend, the subject of epigenetics came up. Realizing I didn’t know all that much about it, I did what clever, educated persons always do these days; I googled. (If you’ve never heard the term, epigenetics is the study of the influences of external factors […]

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