Features, Politics, Privilege

The High Price of Stale Grievances

They tried to get me to hate white people, but someone would always come along & spoil it. ~ Thelonious Monk (Monk’s Advice, 1960)

As against our gauzy national hopes, I will teach my boys to have profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible. ~ Ekow N. Yankah (New York Times, 2017)

In the fall of 2016, I was hired to play in Rihanna’s back-up band at the MTV Video Music Awards. To my pleasant surprise, several of my friends had also gotten the call. We felt that this would be the gig of a lifetime: beautiful music, primetime TV, plus, if we were lucky, a chance to schmooze with celebrities backstage.

But as the date approached, I learned that one of my friends had been fired and replaced. The reason? He was a white Hispanic, and Rihanna’s artistic team had decided to go for an all-black aesthetic—aside from Rihanna’s steady guitarist, there would be no non-blacks on stage. Though I was disappointed on my friend’s behalf, I didn’t consider his firing as unjust at the time—and maybe it wasn’t. Is it unethical for an artist to curate the racial composition of a racially-themed performance? Perhaps; perhaps not. My personal bias leads me to favor artistic freedom, but as a society, we have yet to answer this question definitively.

One thing, however, is clear. If the races were reversed—if a black musician had been fired in order to achieve an all-white aesthetic—it would have made front page headlines. It would have been seen as an unambiguous moral infraction. The usual suspects would be outraged, calling for this event to be viewed in the context of the long history of slavery and Jim Crow in this country, and their reaction would widely be seen as justified. Public-shaming would be in order and heartfelt apologies would be made. MTV might even enact anti-bias trainings as a corrective.

Though the question seems naïve to some, it is in fact perfectly valid to ask why black people can get away with behavior that white people can’t. The progressive response to this question invariably contains some reference to history: blacks were taken from their homeland in chains, forced to work as chattel for 250 years, and then subjected to redlining, segregation, and lynchings for another century. In the face of such a brutal past, many would argue, it is simply ignorant to complain about what modern-day blacks can get away with.

Yet there we were—young black men born decades after anything that could rightly be called ‘oppression’ had ended—benefitting from a social license bequeathed to us by a history that we have only experienced through textbooks and folklore. And my white Hispanic friend (who could have had a tougher life than all of us, for all I know) paid the price. The underlying logic of using the past to justify racial double-standards in the present is rarely interrogated. What do slavery and Jim Crow have to do with modern-day blacks, who experienced neither? Do all black people have P.T.S.D from racism, as the Grammy and Emmy award-winning artist Donald Glover recently claimed? Is ancestral suffering actually transmitted to descendants? If so, how? What exactly are historical ‘ties’ made of?

We often speak and think in metaphors. For instance, life can have ups and downs and highs and lows, despite the fact that our joys and sorrows do not literally pull our bodies along a vertical axis. Similarly, modern-day black intellectuals often say things like, “We were brought here against our will,” despite the fact that they have never seen a slave ship in their lives, let alone been on one. When metaphors are made explicit—i.e., emotions are vertical, groups are individuals—it’s easy to see that they are just metaphors. Yet many black intellectuals carry on as if they were literal truths.

One such intellectual is Michael Eric Dyson, who recently shared the stage with Michelle Goldberg in a debate against Jordan Peterson and Stephen Fry. Though the debate was ostensibly about political correctness, it ranged everywhere from Marxism to ‘white privilege.’ Around halfway through the debate, Dyson said:

If you have benefitted from 300 years of holding people in servitude, thinking that you did it all on your own…”Why can’t these people work harder?” Let me see…for 300 years you ain’t had no job! So the reality is for 300 years you hold people in the bands…you refuse to give them rights. Then all of a sudden, you ‘free’ them and say, “You’re now individuals.”

Taken literally, Dyson’s claims make no sense. No person has ever suffered 300 years of joblessness because no person has ever lived for 300 years. Of course, Dyson wasn’t speaking literally. His ‘you’ refers not to identifiable, living humans, but to groups of long-deceased individuals with whom he shares nothing in common except a location on the color wheel. But by appropriating a grievance whose rightful owners died long ago, and by slipping between the metaphorical and the literal, Dyson was able to portray himself as a member of an abstract oppressed class and Peterson as a member of an abstract oppressor class. In his reply, barely audible over Dyson’s sanctimonious harangue, Peterson put his finger on this rhetorical sleight-of-hand: “Who is this ‘you’ that you’re referring to?”

Many black progressives use the myth of collective, intergenerational transfers of suffering to exempt themselves from the rules of civil discourse. Dyson, for instance, responded to Peterson’s criticism of the concept of ‘white privilege’ with the finger-wagging rebuke: “You’re a mean, mad white man!” Despite hurling this racialized insult, Dyson will likely face no consequences. The question naturally arises—what would have happened to Peterson if he had called Dyson a “mean, mad black man”? I think it’s fair to say that Peterson would have received something less pleasant than the round of applause with which Dyson was rewarded.

The celebrated journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates provides another example of the lower ethical standard to which black writers are held. In his #1 New York Times bestseller, Between the World and Me, Coates explained that the policemen and firemen who died on 9/11 “were not human to me,” but “menaces of nature.”1 This, it turned out, was because a friend of Coates had been killed by a black cop a few months earlier. In his recent essay collection, he doubled down on this pitiless sentiment: “When 9/11 happened, I wanted nothing to do with any kind of patriotism, with the broad national ceremony of mourning. I had no sympathy for the firefighters, and something bordering on hatred for the police officers who had died.”2 Meanwhile, New York Times columnist Bari Weiss—a young Jewish woman—was recently raked over the coals for tweeting, “Immigrants: They get the job done,” in praise of the Olympic ice-skater Mirai Nagasu, a second-generation Japanese-American. Accused of ‘othering’ an American citizen, Weiss came under so much fire that The Atlantic ran two separate pieces defending her. That The Atlantic saw it necessary to vigorously defend Weiss, but hasn’t had to lift a finger to defend Coates, whom they employ, evidences the racial double-standard at play. From a white writer, an innocuous tweet provokes histrionic invective. From a black writer, repeated expressions of unapologetic contempt for public servants who died trying to save the lives of others on September 11 are met with fawning praise from leftwing periodicals, plus a National Book Award and a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant.

The Rihanna incident; the Dyson-Peterson debate; the Coates comment—the thread running through all three examples is that modern-day blacks are permitted to employ language and behavior for which whites would be condemned. And wherever these racial double-standards show themselves, appeals to historical oppression, and to a metaphorical ‘we,’ follow close behind. After all, it is argued, how can Dyson and Coates be expected to abide by a so-called ‘politics of respectability’ in a country that routinely humiliates and subjugates them. Indeed, all demands to uphold colorblind standards ring hollow in view of America’s foundational plunder of ‘the black body,’ we are told. The ‘black body’? Such abstract claims are rarely met with the concrete question: to whose black body are you referring?

*          *          *

By itself, the fact that black progressives like Dyson and Coates play by a different set of rules would not amount to a great societal injustice. But the biases of the chattering classes don’t stay put; they seep out into the general populace, setting the boundaries of polite conversation, and coloring the political landscape in which laws are crafted.

Consider, for starters, the fact that racial double-standards have been enshrined in our college admissions system. A 2009 study by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade found that Asians and whites had to score 450 and 310 SAT points higher than blacks, respectively, to have the same odds of being admitted into elite universities. Although it’s possible to justify this double-standard without referencing historical oppression—for instance, by arguing that the benefits of increased ethnic diversity on campuses outweigh the costs incurred by whites and Asians—in practice, most defenses of Affirmative Action use the history of white racism as a key link in their argumentative chain. Of course, those who appeal to historical racism for this purpose gingerly sidestep the fact that Chinese-Americans were also lynched in the 19th century, Japanese-Americans were legally barred from owning land in the early 20th, and over 100,000 Japanese-Americans were forcibly interned during World War II.

When called upon to justify the fact that we make Asians work harder than whites and blacks to get into college, progressives appeal to principles like diversity and inclusion—goals which may indeed be defensible in some form. But there are good reasons to believe that these lofty principles are in fact anchored to an unthinking, reflexive bias towards blacks. In one study, participants were asked to decide between two similarly qualified hypothetical college applicants—a black student with a higher GPA, and a white student with a tougher course load. Participants chose the black applicant, citing the importance of GPA. But when researchers switched the resumes so that the white student had the higher GPA and the black student had the tougher course load, participants still chose the black applicant, this time citing the importance of taking tougher classes. In both cases, participants denied that race had anything to do with their decision.

An even cleverer study asked participants whether they would sacrifice an innocent person’s life to save the lives of one hundred. The innocent victim was either named “Tyrone Payton” (a stereotypically black name) or “Chip Ellsworth III” (a stereotypically white name.) Right-wing participants were equally likely to kill the innocent victim regardless of their perceived race. Left-wing participants, however, preferred sacrificing Chip over Tyrone. What’s more, left-wing participants were completely unaware of their pro-black bias.

But to call it a ‘pro-black bias’ slightly misses the mark. It is better described as a tacit acknowledgement that modern-day blacks must be seen through the filter of history—not as autonomous individuals living in the present, but as dominoes in a chain of causation that stretches back to the middle passage. Viewed through this historical filter, blacks cease to be agents, instead becoming “puppets at the end of a string…dangling there…waiting to be made whole,” as Brown University economist Glenn Loury has put it. Once one adopts this stance of patronage towards blacks, it makes perfect sense to admit the black applicant over the white one, and to think extra hard before sacrificing Tyrone.

But this is the wrong stance to adopt towards any person. Granted, in an ultimate philosophical sense, none of us can claim to be the prime movers of our own behavior. We don’t choose our genes and we don’t choose the environment into which we are born. Yet we have every reason to believe that genes and environment combine to create the psychological profile that determines our cognition and behavior in each moment. In this narrow sense, we are all products of an unchosen past. But this is true of all people, regardless of race. The white criminal is no more deeply responsible for the mixture of causes that led him to offend than his black counterpart. Why is it, then, that historical forces are only ever invoked to explain the behavior of blacks?

Though we have not consistently lived up to the principle, liberal democracies decided long ago that the individual was to be the primary unit of moral concern and responsibility. What happened to your parents, grandparents, or fellow tribe members is supposed to be left at the door when it comes time to judge your actions. We do not give Jewish writers free rein to incite hatred against German people because the former’s grandparents were murdered by the latter’s. As tempting as such temporal displacements of justice might be, we’ve learned that indulging them creates an unending cycle of retributive violations.

But we make an exception for blacks. Indeed, what George Orwell wrote in 1945 seems more apt today: “Almost any English intellectual would be scandalised by the claim that the white races are superior to the coloured, whereas the opposite claim would seem to him unexceptionable even if he disagreed with it.” Only a black intellectual, for instance, could write an op-ed arguing that black children should not befriend white children because “[h]istory has provided little reason for people of color to trust white people,” and get it published in the New York Times in 2017. An identical piece with the races reversed would rightly be relegated to fringe white supremacist forums. In defense of such racist drivel, it won’t suffice to repeat the platitude that ‘black people can’t be racist,’ as if redefining a word changes the ethical status of the thing that the word signifies. Progressives ought not dodge the question: Why are blacks the only ethnic group routinely and openly encouraged to nurse stale grievances back to life?

*          *          *

A critic might object that I’m selectively discussing double-standards that favor blacks while ignoring those that favor whites. That’s true. But my intent here is not to give an even-handed overview of all racial double-standards. Rather, I wish to point out the meta-double-standard in how we react to racial double-standards. When a black person is treated unfairly, our society responds swiftly and robustly. Consider, for instance, the recent incident at a Philadelphia Starbucks in which two black men were arrested while waiting for a friend. Thought by many to have been motivated by racial bias, the incident soon had #BoycottStarbucks trending on Twitter, prompting Starbucks to shut down 8,000 stores for a half-day of anti-bias trainings. By comparison, when Taco Bell infected 65 people in three different states with E. Coli, hospitalizing nine, they temporarily shut down only fifteen restaurants. Chipotle shut down only 43 restaurants in response to a similar outbreak. That Starbucks shut down fully 8,000 stores belies the idea that our society does not respond adequately to anti-black racism. To the contrary, we treat isolated incidents of alleged racism like nascent global pandemics.

While mainstream media outlets know how to talk about anti-black racism, as of yet, most of them haven’t figured out how to talk about less comfortable race-related topics—topics that don’t gel nicely with the picture of modern-day blacks as helpless functions of history. Can we speak honestly, for instance, about the fact that blacks make up 14 percent of the population but commit 52 percent of the homicides? Or to state the problem in reverse, can we speak honestly about the fact that the same percentage of America’s murder victims are black? Will purveyors of the idea that culture is irrelevant ever explain why blacks living in the same Los Angeles neighborhoods as Hispanics are nevertheless murdered at two to four times the rate?3 Do proponents of the idea that high-crime black neighborhoods are over-policed have a realistic solution to the epidemic of unsolved murders in such neighborhoods that does not involve more policing? And if they do have such a solution, will we ever be able to marshal the bipartisan coalition necessary to implement it when so many on the Left cannot even bring themselves to mention the statistics needed to describe the problem? Can we speak honestly about the social and psychological consequences of living in a community where known murderers roam free? Can we speak honestly about the economic externalities of high crime rates—the capital that is scared away; the higher prices businesses must charge to compensate for the increased risk of robbery? Or does the ever-present specter of white supremacy—and the attendant risk of trafficking in old stereotypes—really loom so large as to render frank discussion of these issues and their policy implications anathema?

At the turn of the 20th century, Italian-Americans committed crime at three times the rate of German-Americans. The issue was not danced around, to say the least. But the moment one makes this comparison, one runs into the brick wall of history. Italians, it will be argued, were not brutally enslaved and formally subjugated in America, nor were they trailing centuries of deadly stereotyping. Here again, I question not the truth, but the relevance of these appeals to history. Those who fall back on such appeals act as if they are content to live in a country where the state monopoly on violence—which has been a precondition for peace and prosperity in the developed world4—has yet to fully penetrate high-crime communities of color. They act as if they are content that homicide is the leading cause of death for black men and boys age 15-34—a fact which cannot remotely be said of any other ethnicity/age group in the country. They act as if they are content with this grim status quo, so long as we keep the abstract threat of white supremacy at bay. Of course, they are not actually happy with this status quo. But from the way in which they stonewall anyone who mentions these facts; from the way in which left-wing media choose to amplify inflated concerns about the police over under-reported concerns about crime, and from the way in which many on the Left replace honest disagreement on these topics with mind-reading accusations of racism, one could mistakenly get the impression that the Left is content to sacrifice thousands of underprivileged black men and boys per year on the altar of progressive sensibilities.

Given America’s brutal history of white racism, it is understandable that the pendulum of racial double-standards has swung in the opposite direction—indeed, it is a testament to our laudable, if naïve, desire to fix history—but the status quo cannot be maintained indefinitely. Cracks in the reparations mindset are beginning to show themselves. Whites are noticing that black leaders still use historical grievances to justify special dispensations for blacks who were born decades after the end of Jim Crow—and many whites understandably resent this. Asian students are noticing that applying to elite colleges is an uphill battle for them, and are understandably fighting for basic fairness in admissions standards. The majority of blacks themselves are noticing that bias is not the main issue they face anymore, even as blacks who dare express this view are called race traitors.

As these cracks widen, the far-Left responds by doubling down on the radical strain of black identity politics that caused these problems to begin with, and the far-Right responds with its own toxic strain of white identity politics. Stale grievances are dredged up from history and used to justify double-standards that create fresh grievances in turn. And beneath all of this lies the tacit claim that blacks are uniquely constrained by history in a way that Jewish-Americans, East Asian-Americans, Indian-Americans, and countless other historically marginalized ethnic groups are not. In the midst of this breakdown in civil discourse, we must ask ourselves—academics, journalists, activists, politicians, and concerned citizens alike—if we are on a path towards a thriving multi-ethnic democracy or a balkanized hotbed of racial and political tribalism.

 

Coleman Hughes is an undergraduate philosophy major at Columbia University. His writing has been featured on Heterodox Academy’s blog as well as in the Columbia Spectator. You can follow him on Twitter @coldxman

References:

1 Coates, Between the World and Me, 87.
2 Coates, We Were Eight Years in Power, 146.
3 Jill Leovy, Ghettoside, 10. Data analyzed by Injury and Violence Prevention Program of LA County Dept. of Health and Services and the Dept. of Public Health, Data Collection and Analysis Unit.
4 See Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature.

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291 Comments

  1. Rachel says

    You have a long, fruitful career ahead of you Coleman. And you deserve every bit of the glory coming your way. Excellent essay, again. Thank you!

    • TarsTarkas says

      Just not in the racial grievance industry. A young man who to be crude f**cking gets it.

    • RouteSixtySix says

      I wholeheartedly agree. Kudos to you, Coleman, and to your splendid future. You are exceptional!

    • Even in these well-meaning praises of the writer we can see operating a kind of corollary double standard, even among Quillette readers, which shows how ingrained these habits have become among white people (forgive me for assuming). This is a well-written, well-argued essay, no doubt, and I for one very much appreciated reading it, but it’s not saying anything unique or exceptional; these rows have been tilled thousands of times by conservative commentators. Yet, seemingly because of the biographical information in it and attached to it, white readers can’t help themselves but to heap mountains of praise on the author –notice that many of the comments are about the author himself rather than the work itself. It’s a form of condescension and is essentially the same reason why Obama was elected, but would not have been if he were just another white guy. Yes, history looms, and *is* difficult for all of us to transcend, but I long for the day when we can really treat everyone as individuals. Toward that end, let’s consider this essay on its own terms and not as especially deserving of praise, or scorn, because of the identity of the person who wrote it.

      • Mimi says

        What is pertinent, and what people are responding to is that the writer is an undergraduate (not a group known for its perspicacity), a young black male (a group that generally does not take the positions that he does), and a relative unknown (someone just starting out – but hitting the ball out of the park). I see no condescension in any of this.

      • maggie says

        How do you know that people commenting are doing what you suggest? (Heaping praise because the writer is black). You may be guilty of exactly that of which you accuse others. Many assumptions that, just perhaps, may be assumptions!

        • Arthur says

          I thought this was the best thing I read in weeks. While I’m certainly familiar with the overall theme of double standards, the analytical discussion of weaving between the metaphorical and the literal, and the pro-black implicit bias studies, were new to me.

          I had no idea the writer is black until I got to the comments after I’d formed my conclusion about the article. While I’m surprised, it does not alter my views of either the article or the writer one bit.

          I also did not know it was written by an undergraduate until I’d finished it and had formed my conclusion. That information does make me more impressed with the writer, because of his precocity, but does not change my view of the piece at all.

          • Cyrus says

            >I had no idea the writer is black

            He says so at the start of the article…

      • Jon Stubbings says

        You’re no doubt right to an extent – people like the fact that the usual thing thrown out to shut down arguments from people like Steven Pinker, Jordan Peterson, Jonathan Haidt etc. is that they are white, male blah blah blah – so even if unconsciously are just defending their own ‘privilege’ – so of course people latch on to a writer who might appear to be arguing against what appears to be their own vested interest. So people on a right love a Muslim who will criticise Islam while people on the left love a Jewish person who will attack Israel (plenty of those around of course). So I agree with your point – that an argument isn’t automatically correct just because the writer is confounding the stereotypes imposed by those who want to police identity politics.

      • Mcgee says

        The fact of the matter is that for most people the authors color does matter. That gets the author’s foot in the door with many people who wouldn’t normally read the article. He makes great points about the need to take a logical and factiaf look at problems which fall along racial lines in our country, detached from the usual racial lines. This is an important message and needs to be delivered as much and effectively as possible until it is seen through. Maybe if the author threw in 5 unnecessary commas per sentence you would’ve had greater appreciation for his prose and incisice commentary.

      • LAW says

        If you know of something equally good on a site like this, by all means share the link. I certainly haven’t read it.

      • Ron Johnson says

        Interesting comment. Just as black skin endows writers with a special victim status in the eyes of blacks and whites, the same is true of dissenters.

        The same arguments made by a pale person are often dismissed out-of-hand as historically insensitive, or even malevolent. Disregarding the reasoning and logic of the argument, the dismissal by blacks and whites hinges on pigment alone. This is unfair and illogical, but it is the reality in which we live. Few white people can endure the ostracism that accompanies the accusation of ‘white supremacy’, so whites avoid making or agreeing with this argument unless safely within their own echo chamber and even then they preface their comments with exculpatory pre-declarations that regardless of what they are about to say they are not ‘racists,’ or they risk profound misunderstanding.

        A black person making this argument, however, is taken more seriously because it is much harder to ascribe devious motivations to him. Given the logic of racial prejudice that both whites and blacks carry inside their heads, he should not exist. The fact that he does is considered noteworthy.

        The black writer is less likely to be thrown out of polite society, but he is very likely to be labeled an “Uncle Tom,” and marginalized. Given the pressure to conform to the expectations of the overwhelming majority of society, the black writer who makes the conservative/libertarian argument demonstrates extraordinary courage. For that, I give him credit.

        His essay was good, also.

    • Jenni says

      100% agreed – I couldn’t believe it when I got to the end and saw you are an undergraduate. Wow!

    • Yes, although….
      always a heavy dollop of hands washing with statements such as:
      “the right responds with its own strain of toxic white identity politics”.
      MUCH MORE meaningful if documenting some of that ‘toxicity’.
      Otherwise any marginally observant reader will conclude that “white’s”
      responses are to things like :
      “Blacks rape whites 100% to 0%”
      “Murder asians/whites 41:1 per capita”
      “Violently assault same >50:1 per capita”
      (Obama/Holder/Lynch’s USDOJ 1976-2014)
      WHAT IS the CORRECT response that would avoid “white identity politics”?

    • Womba Son of Witless says

      The excretable “journalist” Ta-Nehisi Coates, shamelessly promoted by The Atlantic, is nothing more than a reincarnated H. Rap Brown with a polysyllabic vocabulary. Coates has called for a “French Revolution type solution” to racial tensions. (Use your imagination there.) H.L. Mencken would have recognized a Coates diatribe when he defined a demagogue as “a guy who knows he is lying to people he knows are idiots”.

  2. Adam Becherer says

    How is it that you are still an undergraduate Coleman? Excellent, excellent essay. Keep it up.

  3. Very good essay until the end where everything was blamed on the left. The US does not even have a socialist party. It is a right-wing country if there ever was one. Nothing that has happened or happens in the US can be the fault of the left. Racial segregation and de-segregation all happened during the rabidly anti-communist Cold War.

    Cuba helping Angola’s left-wing government against apartheid South African and helping Namibia gain independence is the left. Brazil fighting the US to be able to produce generic AIDS drugs and then helping Mozambique to produce them, is the left. The left is first and foremost anti-imperialist.

    Identity politics is not the result of the left, but of its total absence in American politics.

    • Jake J says

      Racual segregration didn’t start until the Cold War, said the idiot who never cracked a history book.

      • BrisBen says

        Nice response Jake. Rosa must not have even read the essay, let alone a history book.

        • Jake J says

          Some people are ignorant, which is very excusable if they are willing to learn. Other people are just too mind-bogglingly and terminally stupid for words.

      • Racial segregation occurred during the Cold War, not that it started during the Cold War. But my point is that there is no left in American politics, just the Tweedledee and Tweedledum factions of the imperial right. Why blame a non-existent political force for the woes of identity politics or for anything at all that ails the US?

        The problem is that there is no countervailing, authentically left-wing political movement, and its absence makes for a convenient boogeyman.

        • brian jackson says

          Good point. To call the Democratic party left wing is a joke to the rest of the world but most Americans like to believe that the ‘free world’ begins and ends at it’s borders.Socialist parties in Europe, at least theoretically act as a bulwark against the worst excesses of corporate crony capitalism. The US government is so completely owned by corporate interests that the nearest thing to a left wing alternative it has are organizations like PIRG, direct advocacy groups that actually employ lobbyists to try to force politicians to represent the interests of their constituents in state and national congress!The European Union is heading the exact same way with US corporate lobbying firms like APCO and Baker Botts setting up shop in Brussels to subvert the democratic process just like in D.C.
          From a global perspective, this navel gazing over historical racial grievances inside a country that has murdered over 20 million people since WW2 is just that. If you need evidence of the hard core racism at the heart of the US establishment just look at it’s foreign military record, past and present.
          https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-has-killed-more-than-20-million-people-in-37-victim-nations-since-world-war-ii/5492051

          • Nick says

            Oh man. Anything with “victim nations” in the title I have to read. A whole nation of victims. Good god.

          • Supra says

            That article from Global Research.ca (and it is an article, not a study) basically claims that the U.S. is responsible for every death in every conflict zone in which it has had any hand in (financial support, weapons shipping, etc.). That’s how they get to the “20 million” number.

            By that logic, every single death in the American Revolution should only be attributed to France. Since France intervened in our own revolution. That seems like a very skewed way to view the world. The U.S. isn’t perfect, and we’ve done plenty of horrible things during our history – but so has every nation on Earth. To claim that the U.S. is unique in this way, and therefore only “right wing” is simply foolish.

          • Johan says

            @Brian Jackson. Face it…The left has lost. A century of trying and finally failing. In Europe the social democratic parties are imploding. Sometimes even disappearing.
            I live in Sweden. The country with the strongest social democratic party in history. This party is going to loose big time in the coming elections. Ethnic Swedes don’t support them. Immigrants do.
            The socialists are doomed forever Brian.
            They are a dying breed…Brian, I guess you’re an old man.

          • stevengregg says

            The Democrats probably don’t look very left wing if you’re Stalin.

          • Jeff says

            Brian,

            You are intelligent and have a lot of promise, but your perspective comes off as one-sided and lacking balance. I don’t mean to offend, but you come off as ideological and your analysis seems like a knee-jerk emotional response rather than in-depth, evidence based analysis. I had a very similar perspective to you until I exposed myself to the best minds on the other side of the debate. I’m much more moderate now and have come to realize that many of my arguments where based on an well-intended impulse toward compassion that didn’t hold up to the evidence or scrutiny. Sometimes uninformed and impulsive compassion and idealism can actually result in very horrible outcomes. For example, the hundred million deaths that resulted from communism in the 20th century.

            You have some good insights, which point to some major issues on the right, which really need to be addressed, but there is a lack of context and in-depth knowledge and analysis; I see it as a great opportunity for you to learn.

            If your think that my comment has any merit, and are interested in developing a more balanced perspective, I suggest you try what I did in order to reduce my bias. Read and watch the best minds and arguments from the other side—not Fox News or ideologues or the like—for three months exclusively without your own side’s counter arguments. This will insure that you dive deeply into the best opposing viewpoints and provide opportunities to learn. Once you’ve done this for three months, go back to reading and watch the best minds on both sides. I think you will learn a lot. Most people are unwilling to deeply consider and become educated about the other side, because it takes a lot of work and we feel like we have enough knowledge to disregard them. But you are an intelligent person, interested in ideas so I think you may want to give it a try.

            I also suggest reading Jonathan Haidts books and/or watching his YouTube to help you understand how conservatives think; the reason they hold different vaults than you do and their motives for doing so. He is a Psychologist that studies this area. It has been shown scientifically that people on the left have more difficulties understanding the way concervatives think than vise-versa. His work really helped me to understand conservatives, stop assuming they are just bad people with foolish ideas, and appreciate the necessity for both political perspectives in order for a healthy society to emerge. It also helped me to see my own blind spots. I hope you find my comment helpful and constructive rather than just critical; I apologize for any short comings in this regard.

          • JJ says

            Not everyone sees the Democratic Party a joke. A while back the leader of the Communist Party of the USA CPUSA said there was no reason for them to field candidates for office. They would in the future support the Democratic Party candidate because the party platform neatly matched the CPUSA platform to such an extent that there is no difference.

          • Johann Amadeus Metesky says

            Just 20 million victims? Socialism and socialists murdered many scores of millions of people in the 20th century. The bloody record of socialism needs no imaginary boogeyman.

        • Nick says

          Rosa,

          I think you are just making “the left” stand for the opposite of everything you don’t like. Left, right, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, Republicans are all inaccurate to the degree those words don’t represent every person or policy laying claim to those respective titles. Economically speaking and foreign policy wise there’s almost no separation between the current amalgamation of left and right. But there is an actual separation on the ground of people claiming to be left and right. This essay is about that separation, not the one inside your head, but the actual one we’re currently dealing with.

          • brian jackson says

            Johan, I am having difficulty finding words to answer your ridiculous comment. Are you special-ed or something? Did I say I was a socialist? In your tiny mind is a person either socialist or capitalist? You have merged your racist anti-immigrant ideology with your supposed ‘right wing’ values. Like many bottom feeders in your society who don’t have the intelligence to compete with the newly arrived immigrants in the job market you are running scared, whinging about your Swedish ‘ethnicity’. Thankfully your gene pool that will die out before the principles of Swedish social democracy.

          • brian jackson says

            “The U.S. isn’t perfect, and we’ve done plenty of horrible things during our history – but so has every nation on Earth. To claim that the U.S. is unique in this way, and therefore only “right wing” is simply foolish.”

            Supra, I clearly made no such claim and I referred only to a specific period in modern history, post WW2 to present day.
            Coleman Hughes’ articles show a rare insight into the futility of arguing about historical racial grievances yet here in this publication as in most US based media platforms the tired old argument rages on and on..
            The obvious truth is that American Jim Crow style racism is alive and well and lynching people on an industrial scale via cowardly drone attacks and proxy terrorist armies on foreign soil. Sadly, US nationalist indoctrination begins with the pledge of allegiance at age 4 and effectively convinces Americans that the USA is the leader of the free world that all other nations are clamouring to either emulate or destroy. The US progressive left is even more contemptible than the regressive right for it’s mealy mouthed hypocrisy, pretending concern for domestic minority interests while wholeheartedly ‘supporting the troops’ . Americans on both sides of the phony left/right ‘debate’ will focus on anything that helps them ignore the murderous arrogance of US foreign policy. It’s like focusing on Ted Bundy’s unpaid parking tickets.

        • Jack B. Nimble says

          I think Rosa’s point about the Cold War is this:

          The 1950s in the US were a time of both Brown Vs. Bd. of Education AND staunch segregationists like Orval Faubus and Herman Talmadge [both Democrats, btw].

          Segregation at home and the Cold War abroad were both projects of the US right wing, mostly Southern Republicans AND Democrats. Even some moderate Northern Democrats like JFK were Cold War warriors and ambivalent about Civil Rights legislation.

          The US govt. pursued integration at home in part because of concern that the USSR and China were using the ‘race problem’ in America as a propaganda weapon in the proxy wars that were being waged in the 1950s in Cuba, Indochina, and elsewhere.

          It is probably NOT a coincidence that efforts in the US to roll back civil rights protections intensified in the early 1990s, after the US and its allies had won the Cold War. See, for example, California’s Prop. 209 which passed in 1995. source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_Connerly

          • Rick says

            In what world is making an application colorblind a rollback of “Civil Rights.” Which Civil Right, specially, calls for certain groups to receive preference over others?

          • Steven Medina says

            Jack B –

            Southern Republicans!? In the 1950’s!?!? Are you talking about Southern California, or something; because there were no Republicans in the South in 1950. The total number of GOP senators in 1952 from the southern states, AL, AK, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC,TN, & VA was zero. Throw in TX, OK, & WV and you are still at zero.
            As for GOP members in the House:
            AL – 0 out of 9
            AK – 0 out of 7
            FL – 0 out of 6
            GA – 0 out of 10
            LA – 0 out of 8
            MS – 0 out of 7
            NC – 0 out of 12
            SC – 0 out of 6
            TN – 2 out of 10
            VA – 0 out of 9

            Just where did all those ‘Southern Republicans’ who were responsible for segregation come from?

          • “Segregation at home and the Cold War abroad were both projects of the US right wing, mostly Southern Republicans AND Democrats.”
            No. Republicans had nothing to do with segregation, period. Nothing. Zip. Zero. It was 100% the Democrats. As was the KKK and the entire Confederacy. Blaming Republicans for the historic racism of the Democrats shows either your ignorance, your indoctrination, or your dishonesty.

          • Jack B. Nimble says

            @Steven Medina

            Presumably you mean AR for Arkansas, not AK for Alaska. In the 1950s, many southern Democrats were Republican in all but name, or at a minimum equally alienated from both parties. While the mass exodus of southern Democrats to the GOP didn’t start until 1964 and Goldwater’s failed candidacy, the seeds for this event were planted in 1948, when southern Democrats formed the short-lived ‘Dixiecrat’ or States Rights Democratic Party:

            The States’ Rights Democrats did not formally declare themselves as being a new third party, but rather said that they were only “recommending” that state Democratic Parties vote for the Thurmond-Wright ticket. The goal of the party was to win the 127 electoral votes of the Solid South in the hopes of throwing the election to the Representatives. ONCE IN THE HOUSE, THE DIXIECRATS HOPED TO THROW THEIR SUPPORT TO WHICHEVER PARTY WOULD AGREE TO THEIR SEGREGATIONIST DEMANDS“. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixiecrat [emphasis added]

            SOME SOUTHERN DEMOCRATS BECAME REPUBLICANS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL, WHILE REMAINING WITH THEIR OLD PARTY IN STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Of the known Dixiecrats, only three switched parties becoming Republicans: Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and Mills E. Godwin, Jr.” Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Democrats [emphasis added]

          • Jack B. Nimble says

            @Rick

            I was talking mostly about protections, not preferences. For example, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 protected access to the ballot for racial minorities, and protection for ‘language minorities’ was added in 1975:

            ….”In the 1950s, the Civil Rights Movement increased pressure on the federal government to protect the voting rights of racial minorities. In 1957, Congress passed the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction: the Civil Rights Act of 1957…..Further protections were enacted in the Civil Rights Act of 1960,………

            Although these acts helped empower courts to remedy violations of federal voting rights, strict legal standards made it difficult for the Department of Justice to successfully pursue litigation. For example, to win a discrimination lawsuit against a state that maintained a literacy test, the Department needed to prove that the rejected voter-registration applications of racial minorities were comparable to the accepted applications of whites. This involved comparing thousands of applications in each of the state’s counties in a process that could last months. The Department’s efforts were further hampered by resistance from local election officials, who would claim to have misplaced the voter registration records of racial minorities, remove registered racial minorities from the electoral rolls, and resign so that voter registration ceased. Moreover, the Department often needed to appeal lawsuits several times before the judiciary provided relief because many federal district court judges opposed racial minority suffrage…..”
            Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_Rights_Act_of_1965

            As a result of these legal and political roadblocks, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

            The US Supreme Court, of course, partially rolled back these protections of the VRA a few years ago.

            I have previously commented over at TAC on the misuse of the ‘colorblind’ model of race relations, in reference to the notorious editorial by Profs. Wax and Alexander in the Phil. Inquirer:

            “….Wax and Alexander’s Op-Ed is a textbook example of how NOT to use history to inform present-day debates.

            I’ll restrict this comment to their misuse of Dr. ML King, Jr.’s aspirational goal of a colorblind society. Long-term aspirational goals, like curing cancer or eliminating poverty, may never be achieved, but they can help guide current efforts.

            In his later life, Dr. King became more militant and advocated for affirmative action for minorities and reparations for the descendants of slaves. He even suggested that Blacks should pool their economic power and divest from white-owned businesses. Whether these policies are right or wrong, they are color-aware, not colorblind. Dr. King saw these color-aware policies as necessary first steps on the long road to a colorblind society…..”

            Source: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/all-cultures-are-not-equal-middle-class-bourgeois/comment-page-3/#comment-8312421

          • Rick says

            @ Jack
            “I was talking mostly about protections, not preferences.”

            Except you weren’t. You specifically mentioned a proposition to remove affirmative action as a detriment to civil rights.

          • Roland F. Hirsch says

            Mr Nimble, I am utterly perplexed by your claims. Segregation was a project of the Democratic Party from its earliest days. After the Civil War the ‘right-wing’ Republicans worked hard and with considerable success on desegregation. It was President Woodrow Wilson, probably the most left-wing President ever of the U.S., who resegregated the government, promoted the KKK and had “Birth of a Nation”, the most segregationist movie of its time (all time?) shown at the White House.

            Conservative Republican President Warren Harding asked Congress to pass anti-lynching legislation twice, but the Democratic Senators blocked the bills. Harding also gave a remarkable speech in Birmingham, Alabama, which is reported, for example, at http://alabamanewscenter.com/2015/10/26/president-warren-g-hardings-birmingham-civil-rights-speech-bold-then-forgotten-today/

            “I can say to you people of the South, both white and black, that the time has passed when you are entitled to assume that the problem of races is peculiarly and particularly your problem,” Harding told the audience. “It is the problem of democracy everywhere, if we mean the things we say about democracy as the ideal political state.”
            “Whether you like it or not, our democracy is a lie unless you stand for that equality,” he added.
            The response was swift. “The segregated section of the park, where the black people were, erupted, but the white audience kind of got quiet on him,” said Ward. “This is the first speech by a sitting president about race specifically in the South, ever.”
            “Most persons thought he would deliver the usual soothing-syrup speech, mixing in just enough of something else to give it national scope,” wrote The Birmingham News. “Therefore, the surprise was greater when he vigorously championed the black race.”
            By taking on the race issue directly, Harding made national news. The president “declared that the Negro is entitled to full economic and political rights as an American citizen,” reported The New York Times.
            “In this the president made a braver, clearer utterance than Theodore Roosevelt ever dared to make or than William Taft or William McKinley ever dreamed of,” wrote civil rights leader W.E.B. DuBois.

            One more fact: From the earliest days of the Democratic Party, blacks sought to escape the Democratic-Party-run South. But ~25 years ago, when the Republicans began to dominate state governments in the South, black migration reversed, now going back to the south.

        • Jake J says

          Please, Rosa, for your own sake don’t keep digging that hole. If you keep it up, soon enough you will come out on other end, somewhere in China. You are a complete idiot, and it does you absolutely no good to keep going. I rarely tell anyone to shut up and read some books instead, but in your case I think it is something to consider.

        • If you define your terms down far enough you can claim any statement as truth Rosa.

          One might as easily say that there is no Right in this country. Position on the political spectrum is defined relatively.

          I think more likely than Rosa never cracking a book is that that’s all Rosa has done.

        • Jeff says

          You don’t sound like you come from the US or know much about it. Identity politics have completely taken over the universities; as well as, much of the mainstream media and political discourse at large. This has overwhelmingly come from the far-left, but there has been a backlash from the far-right and now identity politics are being amplified and practiced by both sides of the political spectrum. Authoritarian ideas are becoming more prevalent on both sides of the political spectrum. Tribalism has risen significantly and the enmity of both sides is getting to a dangerous level.

          Trump used identity politics during his election, so it’s not entirely a far-left phenomenon, but it is being used much more on the far-left and much more insidiously on the far-left; one example is the indoctrination of students—the same students that will make up the elite and who will be creating public policy in the near future.

          Due to the identity politics being pushed, even by the majority of the mainstream moderate-left news outlets, people are self-censoring their language, and language and thought policing has become the norm in public discourse. Many people are losing their careers based on a selective and cynical reading of a single public statement. Compelled speech has even become law in some areas. Free-speech is being challenged by the youth on the far-left and they have created a very Orwellian atmosphere in terms of speech and thought policing, where only their worldview is acceptable.

          The far-left has created a system of doctrines in the university system—such as, intersectionalism, critical-theory, social constructionism, postmodernism, and so on—that incorporate and advance these doctrines and these ideas are being adopted into public policy and law.

          I’m sorry if this offends you, but your perspective seems unidimensional, uniformed, and overly simplistic to me; it very much looks like you don’t have a in-depth knowledge of the US political situation, or have a strong ideological disposition. Are you a US citizen?

          If you simply lack knowledge but are willing to learn, I don’t see that as a problem, we all go through this process; however, if your being willing blind and refuse to get a more in-depth knowledge about the situation in the US— and are more concerned with pushing your ideological viewpoint—than I don’t think your contributions to the conversation will be very illuminating or informed.

          Of course, what I’ve presented here is not an exhaustive representation of the situation, as I only know what I know, which certainly isn’t everything about the issue. I have studied issue deeply, but there is always the issue of personal confirmation-bias and the like. I consider myself a moderate but we all have our blind spots, so feedback and dialogue are always useful. I’m open to listening and learning about anything you have evidence for and is offered in the spirit of good-will.

          • Alex Russell says

            left vs right is too simplistic to describe a person’s political beliefs – especially when left and right can mean very different things to different people. The so called ‘far-left’ of many USA universities should more properly be called the Regressive Left or Authoritarianism Left. They want a top-down dictatorship with ‘left’ ideals, and have nothing in common with a Classical Liberal or Socialist which is what left meant in the USA in the near past, and still means in much of the world.

            For example, in most of Europe and Canada the USA Democrats would be considered a Far Right party, while the Republicans would be considered Extreme Far Right Fundamentalists (no time for more adjectives now).

          • brian jackson says

            Jeff, thank you for your measured response. It makes a refreshing change from the usual ad hominem attacks and snide non sequiturs launched at those daring to question the basic assumptions of the Quillete comments claque! I will take your advice and read Haidt. To clarify though, I’m no leftist. I hold many views commonly regarded as conservative others as liberal and I find it strange to hear people identify as one or the other as if they were talking about a set of religious doctrines. While I appreciate the intentions behind your complimenting my intelligence, it comes over as a bit patronizing. Like you’ve appointed yourself judge of my cognitive abilities and found me worthy! I’d hazard a guess you are /were an educator of some description so I’ll make allowances for that particular conceit.
            However the fact that you chose to characterize my observations about US foreign policy as ” uninformed and impulsive compassion and idealism ” only proves my point about US nationalist indoctrination and that great nations startling inability to see beyond the end of it’s own nose.
            If you in turn would care to educate yourself about the very relevant issue of racist US neo colonialism as opposed to the irrelevant ‘stale racial grievance’ of it’s slave owning past please read;
            http://www.carrollquigley.net/pdf/tragedy_and_hope.pdf
            https://politicalanthro.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/nkrumah.pdf
            https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.pdf

          • Jeff,
            I don’t know whom you’re addressing in your comment, but your tone comes off as passive-aggressive and condescending.

            It’s interesting to me that most of the comments on this thread, including yours, have degenerated into right/left blaming and intellectual oneupmanship rather than any kind of analysis of Coleman’s piece, which raised some interesting points.

            One area where I disagree with him is when he states that “the left” doesn’t seem concerned about the root causes of the violence in some African-American communities. There have been numerous studies and books published about social and economic policies, like red-lining, access to capital & mortgages, that explore these underlying causes.

            Additionally, there is very interesting research about the epigenetic transmission of trauma over generations. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24029109) which would mean that even if, as an African American, you never experienced the worst of Jim Crow, the genes passed on to you from you forebears can have a psychological and even physiological impact.

            And then there’s the environment you grow up in, which most people appreciate has a role in an individual’s socio-economic future. Coleman does not give this element much weight in his piece, and it is here that his differences with Ta-NeHisi Coates and other writers and academics on the “left” seem to originate. Coates argues that the situation of African-Americans today has been shaped by economic, social and political policies implemented by all levels of government, from the federal down to the local school board. Through 1965 and beyond, these policies (formal and informal) have been highly prejudicial to African-Americans and other minorities, leading to worse housing, schools, financial prospects, health, safety, jobs, etc.

            Affirmative action was conceived as a way to level the playing field. It was not a perfect system. However, in discussions of race and racism, the focus of commenters on the “right” on admission to elite colleges is reductionist in the extreme. Only 5% of applicants get into Harvard, and most students, black, white or any other color, don’t even bother to apply. There are plenty of other universities where one can get an excellent education. Furthermore, admission to elite schools has no bearing on violence in poor minority neighborhoods and other socio-economic ills affecting communities of color and, for that matter, low-income white communities as well.

            I agree with Coleman that the focus on “stale grievances” can be damaging. Seeing everything through a lens of race takes attention and power away from the fight against economic inequality in this country, a struggle that anyone who is not in the top 10% of earners should be very concerned about. The privatization of profit and the socialization of losses – as exemplified during the 2008 financial crisis – are affecting the quality of life for all Americans who are not part of the top 1%.

            What our current president has managed to do so brilliantly is to turn the national discourse away from one about economic priorities and governance toward one about race. So when Rihanna picks all black musicians for her back-up band, her choice is in some sense a reaction to Trump and his race-baiting tweets and dog whistle speeches. It’s too bad for Coleman’s Hispanic friend, but it’s an understandable reaction and begs the question: Would she have done this if Obama were president?

            We probably won’t get an answer to that hypothetical, but it does get us thinking about our reactions to this president and the way he has shaped the public discourse. Questions of race and double-standards won’t go away any time soon, but they should not blind us to what we have in common with people of other ethnicities or political leanings. Most of us want a society that works for everyone, not just the top 10%. We can’t undo our racist past. Healing takes generations and a mindful, conscious effort on all our parts. Let’s begin right here.

        • That’s true if you ignore the entire FDR-Truman-JFK-LBJ administrations. It’s true leftists were then shut out until Obama, and for the good reason that their policies failed. Obama’s are failing also (and thankfully PDT is eliminating them one by one).

        • There is as much a left as there is a right in American politics. If there is no left, then the right is equally notional. To call the U.S. a right-wing country shows little political acumen. In actual fact, virtually all American politics revolves about a fairly narrow center. Within that narrow band, however, there is party that stands largely for the preservation of individual rights and liberties, and another whose gaze is more toward possible improvements in the equalization of social and economic standings. The latter is the political force that prides itself on its identity politics, and it is a left-ish party, however feebly so.

        • Melissa says

          So what is “authentically left-wing” to you, Rosa? Would it resemble the “feminists” in the left of center party in Sweden, who have allowed tens of thousands of muslim males to enter the country, who then go on to rape hundreds of native Swedes? The problem with so many left wingers is that they refuse to recognize the Left’s EVIL, instead proclaiming that ”Soviet Russia, Cuba, China, et al, weren’t truly Socialist or Communist, and that somehow, “you” would get it right this time.

          • @Melissa

            An authentically left party is one that is formed by, listens, and works for the poor, a party that has a plan to integrate the lower class into society, instead of having it live at the margin of services such as running water, electricity, education, and medical care. Examples of socialists who have done much for their countries are Mandela, Lula, Evo, el Sub, and fray Beto.

            It is true that European leftists had a problem recognizing the evils of Stalin, but that is a tortured Western academic thing. If Khrushchev had no compunction in saying that Stalin was a genocidal psychopath, neither do I.

        • Anthony says

          What are you talking about? Anyone with a pulse and one good eye can see that the DNC has been co-opted by communists. Wake up!

        • Hellion Bleak says

          “But my point is that there is no left in American politics, just the Tweedledee and Tweedledum factions of the imperial right.”

          How do you explain the existence of the US public education system, medicare, medicaid, food stamps, supplemental security income, earned income tax credit, housing assistance, and the billions of dollars spent on African relief?

          “Why blame a non-existent political force for the woes of identity politics or for anything at all that ails the US?”

          Because it is not a non-existent political force. The left dominates academia where it is a major influence on future policy makers. Leftist thinking exists in almost every facet of American life with maybe the exception of Goldman Sachs. Does the left have official party status? No and neither does the right.

          The left is responsible for identity politics, it’s the left that divides the population based on sex, race, sexual orientation and so on, then ranks everyone on a scale of oppression, or what the left calls “intersectionality,” then formulates policies like “equity” that discriminate against individuals who are deemed “privileged,” based solely on physical traits that they have no control over. It’s what the left calls “social justice,” and it’s the most racist, most bigoted ideology to come along since Jim Crow laws.

          It seems that the best the left can do is fight anti-black racism with anti-white racism, which is no better than trying to clean a pool with dirty water.

          • If the left means identity politics and intersectionality, then why don’t they exist in countries with strong socialist parties and socialist governments? Why are they uniquely Anglospheric phenomenons?

            Unless you want to argue that the US has become the vanguard of a world-wide socialist movement, I would go with Alex Russell’s comment that the Democratic Party is indeed considered, not just right, but far right in Europe and Gabe’s comment that Coleman used it to simplify, even when inaccurate by global standards. That is, it is a very parochial and a-historic usage of the term “left” in what is regarded world-wide as a very right wing country.

          • Hellion Bleak says

            “If the left means identity politics and intersectionality…”

            Who said that the left means identity politics? I said it is responsible for identity politics. Maybe It’s a Western phenomenon, maybe not; regardless, it is an effective strategy that the left (in the US) uses to push its egalitarian agenda. The US government spends trillions in social benefits every year—that’s socialism no matter how you look at it.

            You said that the left is “first and foremost anti-imperialist,” presumably because you hate the US and its expansion efforts around the world. The truth is the left is first and foremost totalitarian, it is intolerant of dissent and the individuals right to think and speak freely. The left achieves social progress through conflict, class warfare and blind obedience to the state, it’s an imperialism of the mind.

        • Rosa: actually, you have a point about a vacuum in American politics where the left would otherwise be. The adherents of identity politics — who I do think are dangerous and must be stopped — are nonetheless blind to the realities of class and economics in a way that (for all their faults) genuine left-wingers of previous generations were not. I’d go one step further: there’s not really a genuine conservative party in U.S. politics right now, either — among other things, the craven, bipartisan abdication of Congressional war powers shows that the GOP as a national organization is not truly in favor of limited government.

          http://www.futurerad.io/

        • Rosa, have you been outside the US? The US culture and politics is among the most post modernist and socialist in the world. Albeit US policy isn’t as post modernist and socialist as US culture and US politics.There is a disconnect between US policy and US culture/politics.

          The anti capitalist, anti globalist, trade protectionist, anti technology arguments that Americans routinely make would be laughed out of the park in Asia, Chile or Germany. Brazil is in many ways more free market and pro business than America.

          Wherever marxism, socialism and post modernism have been tried it has led to complete economic catastrophe and devastation for poor people. If you want America to become another backward developing third world country and depends on the welfare and goodwill of foreigners, that is your right. But the rest of the world doesn’t agree with you. The rest of the world benefits from a confident successful America. The rest of the world doesn’t want to have to bail a backward America out.

        • Jay says

          Rosa, the only mention of the left at the end of this article includes a counter-point regarding the right. How is Hughes heaping blame on the left? Quoted here:

          “As these cracks widen, the far-Left responds by doubling down on the radical strain of black identity politics that caused these problems to begin with, and the far-Right responds with its own toxic strain of white identity politics.”

    • Gabe says

      Hi Rosa,

      I think you make a great point. On another platform I saw Coleman say that he doesn’t mean to conflate “the left” and “the democratic party” but that Quillette and other websites that publish his work have asked him to simplify his political language. I think Coleman is very aware that the DNC is not very left-wing but still refers to them as “the left” for simplicity (even if it’s inaccurate in a global context).

      • Gonout Backson says

        Dangerous stuff. For decades now, European leftist parties have been doing their best not to be identified with Cuban totalitarianism. Now, here comes Rosa ruining all these efforts. Tut tut.

    • Dave grabovs says

      Ah yes, my favorite argument as to why the left’s misplaced focus on identity politics doesn’t actually cause more racism: the left is too useless to change anything.

    • ga gamba says

      Brazil fighting the US to be able to produce generic AIDS drugs and then helping Mozambique to produce them, is the left.

      This caught my attention. I presume Rosa is talking about Merck’s Efavirenz.

      How did this anti-retroviral drug come into being? Magic?

      Pharmaceutical companies spend on average $1.3 billion on R&D for each drug brought to market over the course of its many years of development, and, of course, many, many more never are approved, which is money spent and lost. Many more misses than hits is the nature of the beast. A few years ago the return on investment was about 10%, but in recent years it’s just bit more than 3%. That’s a lot of money at risk for poor returns.

      Brazil demanded to pay the same price as Thailand, which Merck refused. It had established a global pricing structure based on a nation’s per capita GDP, a progressive pricing strategy often advocated by the left, and Brazil is a wealthier country. It was to pay more than Thailand but less than the UK, US, and other wealthy nations. Brazil threatened to violate Merck’s IP if it wouldn’t capitulate. It claimed poverty to justify this extortion – let’s ignore the billions Brazil spent to build World Cup stadiums and facilities for the Olympics. “We gotta host two global parties to make the people happy and feel proud. The West had better fund our people’s health though. It’s their obligation.” Who can forget their joy when Brazil played Germany in the World Cup? I know I was delighted.

      Did Lula of the people forget the many Brazilian billionaires’s wealth he could have expropriated to pay for these drugs? Presumably not because he’s in prison now for corruption; the billionaires’ money went into his pocket.

      Brazil and Thailand found a way to benefit from pharmaceutical innovation at a much lower cost by demanding the licence to develop generic versions of patented drugs without the consent of pharmaceutical companies – a strategy known as compulsory licensing. They want the benefits of cutting-edge research but refuse to pay the bill – that will be paid by the foreigners ‘cuz they’re “imperialists”, right? Exorbitant drug development costs and the risk that countries like Brazil will not even pay mean some companies lose their incentive to serve these countries, won’t spend the money to research health issues important to the developing world, and may withdraw future drugs. Who can forget Brazil’s Zika babies? Would you spend the billions to R&D treatments for that knowing Brazil would simply steal your work? Further, Lula’s actions have knock-on effects to dissuade foreign direct investment by others.

      In countries such as India where this type of IP theft is rampant it made several owners of local companies copying foreigndrugs billionaires – more than a fifth of India’s 101 billionaires have pharma and health care riches. And of course the relationship between these business leaders and politicians is cozy.

      In the US some people see private businesses as a place of public rest and excretory convenience, much like a public library or park with lavatories. It doesn’t matter the owner paid for the facility, bought and installed furniture and fixtures, paid the utilities and tax, and employed people to care for all of it. These people feel they are entitled to use the business like a customer does without actually being a customer; this is the expropriation of services. Tolerate this and the demands grow ever greater.

      By Rosa’s (unprovided) definition, the US left doesn’t meet the same standard as the left everywhere else. Where though? Japan? Malaysia? Turkey? Kuwait? This may be true, but comparing the American left to Brazil’s we find both engage in the behaviour of trampling owners’ rights and threatening even worse behaviour if the owner doesn’t acquiesce. The left in the US and Brazil may differ in some ways, but they are remarkably alike in the way they rationalise mooching and theft.

      OK, Brazil rips off foreign companies. So what? They’re capitalists! Is Brazil any better for workers? There’s Lula’s aid to Mozambique using stolen IP, after all. I’ll let the far-left magazine Jacobin tell that sordid tale.

      Both during and after his two terms in office, former Brazilian president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva staked much of his legacy on Brazil’s “South-South” orientation towards Africa. . . . On his first presidential visit to Mozambique in 2003, Lula got a hero’s welcome and gave emotional speeches about the importance of Global South solidarity. He responded with empathy to the AIDS pandemic and promised Brazilian support for a project to produce affordable drugs to combat it. . . . The Brazilian entourage included Roger Agnelli, the brash banker who played a major role assessing the value of Brazil’s premier state enterprise, Companhia Vale de Rio Doce (Vale), in the run up to its privatization in 1997. Agnelli subsequently became Vale’s first president and CEO — leading a corporation that was anointed the “worst company in the world” in 2012 by activists for its labor relations, community impact, and environmental record. . . . Agnelli’s public relations team at Vale worked hard to project a spirit of South-South cooperation in sync with Lula’s rhetoric, claiming that Brazilian mining investments in the Global South would bring jobs and economic development unlike companies from the imperialist “North.” . . . . Vale’s record shows that the practices and attitudes of BRICS-based multinational corporations are no different from global mining companies linked to the core capitalist countries. . . . Lula conveyed mixed messages of solidarity on the one hand, and a sales pitch for investment by Brazilian companies on the other. . . . comments from workers capture the hollowness of Vale’s promises to create jobs for Mozambicans, while also demonstrating the strength of anti-Brazilian feelings — not so different from anti-American or anti-British sentiments where their companies set up shop. . . . The practices of emerging Brazilian or Indian or South African or Chinese capitalists are little distinguishable from the pillage of their global competitors linked to old imperial centers in Europe and North America.

      Hmm… appears the left outside the States, such as in Brazil, isn’t the left Rosa imagines. To make things clearer for all, and appease Rosa, we ought to cease using the label ‘the left’, replacing it with something more accurate. It is clear the Left is theft.

    • Rick says

      You may want to read up on your Marx before you make the claim that the left is anti-imperialist. The left is anti-capitalist and will happily colonize people to avoid the “evils of capital.” Do you have no memory of the Iron Curtain?

      Google Marx’s thoughts on British Rule in India and then tell me more about this anti-colonialism you speak of? Additionally, please explain why communists only help other communist movements (as opposed to nationalist movements for independence?) Seems weird huh.

      • ga gamba says

        You may want to read up on your Marx before you make the claim that the left is anti-imperialist. . . . Google Marx’s thoughts on British Rule in India and then tell me more about this anti-colonialism you speak of?

        Thank you for writing this, Rick.

        • GrantH says

          Not to mention of course the French communists actively sabotaging the French govt before the Nazi invasion … because thanks to the pact with Soviet Russia, the Fascists were preferable to the democratically elected capitalist government.

          For a time – the Fascists were fellow travelers with the Communists (but that is so easily forgotten – and then thieves fell out).

    • its not JUST Marxists and Communists on the left. How are the USSR and The People’s Republic of China not Imperialist? Imperialism has little to do with being on the left or the right Imperialism is Nations states subjugating other nations states (this is how Empires come to be)

      “The Left” does not mean “socialist” Anarcho-Syndiclism is also on “the left” for instance… ( Marxists always forget about the Anarchists) you are also ignoring a long history of Oppression of Cuban people by Castro’s government , and the fact that Castro when he died was a Billionaire…

      Cuba’s role in the South African Border war was pivotal and was the trigger that ended Apartheid in South Africa, Cuba’s export of Doctors around the world is a human rights Triumph but all nation states have good and bad too them, even Empires….

    • John M says

      Because your localized definition of the ‘left’ is the ‘true’ definition.

      There is a left and right in the US, the fact that the mainstream left and right in the US may not look like the mainstream left and right in your neck of the woods, does not mean it doesn’t exist.

      Lastly, I don’t think the author was looking to blame the left, it is just the left in the US that champions the view he is critiquing.

    • Lucretia Bourgeoise says

      Fantastic essay, well-reasoned and articulate. We need more thinkers like Coleman and fewer thoughtless folks like Rosa.

    • stevengregg says

      Ahem, Bernie Sanders looks awfully socialist and popular to me. So does Elizabeth Warren. The Left has always been imperialist. Go bone up on the history of the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, and Nazi Germany.

      And, yes, the Left produced and promotes identity politics. Denial does not change that.

      • LampofDiogenes says

        Ummm . . . no.

        Rosa is correct about nothing.

        Rosa is deluded about nearly (???? – I think “everything is objectively correct, but I am trying to be kind) everything.

        Rosa, please educate me. Where/when in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD have your beloved Leftist policies produced a NET positive result on ANY policy issue????? (HINT: Ain’t none.) Leftists are the ultimate Red Queens – ready to believe seven impossible things before breakfast.

        • @LampofDiogenes

          “Where/when in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD have your beloved Leftist policies produced a NET positive result on ANY policy issue?????”

          Lula da Silva’s party, the Worker’s Party, is a socialist, Trotskyist party. During his mandate, Lula was very critical of American hegemony as exercised through the global institutions it had created and controlled, such as the World Trade Organization that opposed Brazil producing its own generic AIDS drugs to address a grave health crisis. In less than a decade, and according to the World Bank, Brazil trebled its per capita GDP, lifted 30 million out of poverty, pre-paid its odious debt to the IMF, and instituted the largest transference program of the world, Bolsa Família, that reaches 13 million families.

          In Bolivia, Evo Morales from the Movement toward Socialism Party, has conducted an anti-imperialist foreign policy based on the abolition of war, rejection of foreign interventions in South America, as well as the closing of American military bases, and is firmly anti-war. In Bolivia, extreme poverty diminished from 37% of the population to 17% between 2005 and 2015; the Gini coefficient, which measures equality, descended from .60 to .47 (in the US it is .48); GDP doubled between 2005 and 2013; and, in 2009, the World Bank reclassified Bolivia from a low to a medium income country.

          Ecuador, under Rafael Correa, also maintained an anti-imperialist foreign policy based on the regional integration of South American countries and non-participation in American-led forums such as the Organization of American States. Between 2007 and 2017, poverty was lowered from 37% to 23% and the Gini coefficient from .55 to .47.

          There are other democratically elected socialists who do not have such success stories, Nicaragua under Daniel Ortega and Venezuela under Chávez and Maduro, but my point is not that all socialist governments have positive outcomes for the poor and for national sovereignty, no ideology guarantees anything, just that the horrors of Stalin and Mao are not the only possible outcome of a socialist government and that genocide is perfectly compatible with non-leftist ideologies.

          • Intents of Orwellian thought control is also perfectly compatible with liberal democracy, which is what we are currently witnessing in the US. Just because the USSR had a socialist state ideology does not mean that non-socialist countries cannot device their own, that all state ideologies are necessarily left-wing, or that all socialist governments necessarily institute them.

    • Adam says

      Similar to the anti imperialism of the Soviet Union invading Afghanistan or putting down rebellions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

    • Identity politics is the essential attribute of collectivism, which is distinctly of the Left. It’s not a result of the Left, per se, but it is inherent in, even definitive of, left-wing ideology. T’was always thus.

      Academia (as well as other institutions in this country) is deeply entrenched in the ideology of the Left. There is a very nasty, left-leaning influence that’s undermining our culture and tearing apart the fabric of our society.

      There is an American Communist Party, but in spite of its best efforts, it has never gained traction because socialism/communism is a pernicious ideology that cannot work, has failed every time it’s been implemented, and has caused the death of millions in its service.

      But, clearly, you are a True Believer.

    • Melissa says

      Rosa, a read through the KGB’s archives about their ugly desire to inflame racial tensions in America through fellow travelers in the U.S. (all of them on the Left) would leave you shame faced: that is, if you Leftists HAD any shame.

      • I do not doubt the KGB did many ugly things, but so did the CIA, in Argentina, Chile, Guatemala; things like coups, assassinations, and torture. But I am sure that you had nothing to do with any of that and that you favor your political ideology for good reasons, despite the ugliness.

        I personally do not feel any shame for any covert operation of either the defunct USSR or the US, mainly because I live in one of those countries, that when great powers fight, we provide the dead and tortured. Westerners are more in a position to be ideological.

    • BrianB says

      Sadly the left has rendered parody, one of the great joys in life, impossible.

    • Elaine says

      Really? Anti-Communist Cold War = Racial segregation, de-segregation? Also, the left is anti-imperialist only until they are the imperialists.

  4. Rich Oas says

    Great articulation of insight beyond your years. When I listen to Dyson and his pompousity….. I really do think…”you know Mr Dyson…. I am sick and tired of your single focus on my whiteness and am sick and tired of your single focus on your blackness. The Alinsky model is at work in Dyson at nearly the level it is at in Obama. They seem to want to create a race war with their unwarranted and vile generalizations about people who don’t look like them.

    • Dan says

      You went off the rails with Alinsky/Obama (who if you remember is half white). You are referring to nuttersphere Obama, who is indeed a left wing radical Muslim bent on destroying the constitution. Real world Obama is a constitutional law professor, conservative in temperment, and constitutes racial progress and grievance in the larger American project toward greater equality.

      • gda says

        I have to assume that is sarcasm. “Real World Obama”. LOL

        Of course we know now that “Real World Obama” IS an ideologue, consumed by his hatred of colonialism and of America. Someone who, applying his background of an African father, and a Chicago pol, was well on his way to creating a banana republic (an African “Big Man” society) in America, using all the political agencies of the US Government as weapons against his enemies (i.e. everyone who did not whole-heartedly support him).

        Donald Trump is just the latest to get caught up in his shenanigans. But sadly for Obama:
        1) he let the crone run, and the people rejected her, so his grasp on power has been broken.
        2) he underestimated DJT, and by doing so he made the fatal mistake of “if you strike at a king, you MUST kill him”.

        Imagine being known as the person (the out-going first BLACK President, mind you). who tried to overturn the legitimate election of the opposition candidate by scheming, spying, and destroying the lives of countless innocent persons.

        Are you proud, America, of the unprecedented criminal behaviour and shameful legacy of our first (and based on his behaviour, LAST) black President?

        • gda says

          Oh how timely. Victor Davis Hanson on the Obama Administration.

          “Obama and his team adroitly calculated that in America’s celebrity culture, what’s hip and cool is often more highly prized than what’s competent and lawful, much less crude and effective.”

          “Having engaged in illegality during the Obama administration is better on a résumé than following the law in a Trump government.”

          “Despite Obama’s recent projection that his eight-year tenure was “scandal-free,” along with the reality that the media’s biased compliance sought to make such a startling fantasy true, the Obama administration was in many respects lawless. It will eventually rank as the most scandal-ridden administration since Warren G. Harding’s.”

          Lots more zingers. Enjoy.

          https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/obama-trump-administrations-elites-value-style-over-substance/

      • Dan says

        ” constitutes racial progress and grievance in the larger American project toward greater equality”

        Really, are you THAT naïve? Obama set back race in the USE by decades with the help of the Democrat Party. He helped spread the All Whites are racist, that they can NEVER be anything else no matter what they do or believe and that their children will always be racists to. And White Privilege used to shut down ANY discussion that the Left doesn’t want to talk about. The Democrat Party is losing Whites because they are insulting them and pushing them away. Obama started that, feed on that, and supported that. And that is as racist as it is possible to be!!

    • Emblem14 says

      @Rich Oas

      I concur with Dan – Obama’s rhetoric on race wasn’t provocative in the least, unless you’re willing to say that any forthright discussion of race by the first black president that doesn’t totally gloss over America’s racist history is provocative. What, is that stuff never to be spoken of?

      He never disparaged currently-living white people as a group or engaged in moral blackmail. In fact, people like Dyson and Cornel West were exasperated by how often Obama veered into “respectability politics” when addressing black audiences.

      Obama was no radical on race. If you think he was, you’ve either lost all perspective or have been consumed by the rabid-anti-Obama/Birther conspiracy narrative.

  5. Coleman Hughes, I am staggered by the brilliance of this piece. Keep studying, keep writing, and “don’t let the bastards grind you down”!

  6. Chris Martin says

    To reference McWhorter, (as I’m sure you follow) part of the problem is white self-flagellation and atonement. This also leads to a double standard that is rightly seen as a “soft bigotry of low expectations.” To quote Frederick Douglass, [I]n regard to the colored people there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us… Do nothing with us!… Your interference is doing us positive injury.”

  7. Jake J says

    Kudos for your article, and please accept my sincere best wishes for what will be an uphill struggle if you choose an academic career. One critical problem in academia is that it has a very strong tendency, insofar as black people are concerned, to reserve its rewards for those who grind the ax of racial grievance.

    A small correction to what you wrote. Please have a look at the annual National Vital Statistics “Final Deaths” reports. It lists causes of death by all kinds of categories, including racial. I believe you will find that for every non-Hispanic white male murdered by gunshot, there are 10 non-Hispanic black males murdered by gunshot. Compare this with the disparity in arrest rates for murder by race, and you will get an idea of the disparity of case clearance.

    I say the foregoing as a retired financial analyst who spent a career working with primary data. In what I did, there was no room for cherry picking. The facts you ignored were invariably the facts that would eat you alive. Follow the facts and you will not go wrong.

    Another idea: Look at the rates of death by murder among black people in 2014, the year that “Black Lives Matter” burst on the scene during the Ferguson and Baltimore riots. Then track the same rates for 2015, 2016, and 2017. This is the cost, in black lives, of “Black Lives Matter.” I am a white man with three black nephews and a black niece. I worry about them, but there is no conceivable way that a white man can ever point any of this out. Maybe you can.

    Again, you have my sincerest best wishes. Your essay was inspiring, and gave me hope.

    • Jake J says

      Mr ,Hughes, if you have any difficulty in tracking down the numbers — it can be a challenge for the newbie — please don’t hesitate to leave a message here, and I will help you.

      Please rest assured that I do not mess around with numbers in any way. What I have mentioned, and more, is a small and deep pool, and over time I have snatched the quarter off the bottom, yet been able to connect the data to the larger picture. I would be honored to be of assistance should you need it.

      • Andrew S says

        Jake J,
        Unless I’m mistaken, Roland Fryer is publishing a study that addresses the cost of the BLM movement. Glenn Loury posted it on Facebook about weeks back. I have yet to see it gain any traction in the media.

        • Jake J says

          Andrew S,

          The cost of BLM has been a subject of interest to me for about a year and a half. My interest in the gun control issue is what first led me to the crime and death statistics, starting with the FBI/DOJ tables that Mr. Hughes’s article referenced.

          When you combine those numbers with the NVSR (“National Vital Statistics Reports”) final deaths data, which are contributed by the CDC (“Centers for Disease Control”); Census data to convert the numbers into rates per 100,000 and in some cases per 1,000,000; and a report by the Obama administration showing that the rise in murder since 2014 has occurred almost entirely among black people within the 10 cities with the largest concentrations of black residents, a stark picture emerges of the cost of BLM: several thousand black lives.

          It is an outrageous situation. With some work — which I’ve done personally, using my arithmetic aptitude and government data — it’s possible to make a reasonable approximation of how many black folks have wound up dead because Black Lives Matter caused the effective de-policing of central cities in this country.

          I can’t proceed any further than I have, because I’m not on any media speed dial lists. This is information that, while solidly factual and not an artifact of twisted data, leads to a conclusion that the media do not want to consider: that Black Lives Matter is not, and never has been, abour black lives mattering. Beyond that, I’m white, and even if I were to be quoted somewhere, my race would be used to invalidate the truth. This is highly frustrating to me, because I think there are so many honest, hard working, struggling black people who are being ignored, or worse.

          I can only hope that honest and courageous black people, including Mr. Hughes, can do the same research I did, and try to highlight the results. I’m serious when I express a willingness to help anyone who wants it to crawl through the data. A newcomer might find it a bit daunting, but I can help. There are times when I feel like Diogenes, in search of an honest man. Mr. Hughes strikes me as an honest man.

          If Mr. Hughes wants, I’d even go through the long division in a series of postings right here. I assure him, and anyone else, that I’m very far from some babbling nutcase with a tinfoil hat

          • Johan says

            @Jake J. I love your chivalrous, extremely polite way of expressing yourself. From another epoch.
            We need more of people like you. Thank you, Sir!

          • stevengregg says

            Take a look at the homicide rate in the black ghettos of the big cities. They are in the 40 and 50 death range per 100,000 people in an America where the average homicide rate is 5 / 100K. There is one black neighborhood in north Omaha which commits 90% of the homicides in Nebraska. There is a black neighborhood in St Louis that has a homicide rate of 295 / 100K.

          • “…This is information that, while solidly factual and not an artifact of twisted data, leads to a conclusion that the media do not want to consider: that Black Lives Matter is not, and never has been, about black lives mattering. …”

            I don’t believe that you can make that claim. BLM likely started out as an honest attempt to shed light on a real problem with racial bias in policing. BLM has had terrible unintended consequences because it has removed the light from a different real problem: violence in poor black communities.

            Things are always more complicated than people thing.

          • Jake J says

            @ Deafening Tone, I hope so too. I was mightily impressed by this article. It is cogent, well-reasoned, and beautifully expressed. I meant it when I wrote that it would be an honor to give any assistance to Mr. Hughes that he might need. This country needs more people like him, and (it pains me in a way to say this) especially more non-white people like him.

            And Mr. Hughes, if you haven’t yet read Shelby Steele’s The Content of Our Character, I cannot recommend it highly enough. On the other side of things, I also cannot recommend highly enough The Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison, which talks about the alienation of many black people in the 1950s. It’s been decades since I first read it, and I need to give it another shot. My guess is that a lot of it is still there, but with interesting permutations in contemporary society.

            @ Johan, thanks. I really want Mr. Hughes to have a sense of the high esteem I have for him. I hope we see much more of this young man in the future. America badly needs t hear his voice of sanity.

    • Jake J says

      @stevengregg, what is your source? I have been interested in this topic for quite a while, and would really appreciate it if you’d help me find it. Just as I told Mr. Hughes that it can be a challenge to find and work with the data I discussed, it’s now a challenge for me to track down the numbers that you have presented. I am all about the numbers, Mr. Gregg. I hope you will see this and respond.

      @seekinghealthandwisdom, I was never once impressed with Black Lives Matter. Not once. They were angry, inflammatory, divisive and unfactual from the very start. I don’t think any of them have ever once actually cared about the lives of black folks. It has always been a sad, demeaning modern minstrel show

    • Aimless says

      As in…if you’re black and live in a poor black community in a Democrat run city, you can get away with murder.

      • Jake J says

        @Aimless, tragically, this is all too often true. And >90% of the time, that black killer’s victim will be another black person, usually male, and all too often either a child in a window or happening by on the street, or an adult working hard just to get by. The situation is outrageous, horrible, and deeply saddening.

  8. Kathy says

    What a balanced and insightful description of where we find ourselves in 2018! It gives me hope that we can still reach across the nasty divide of blame and shame to deal more honestly with ‘the other’. Thank you!

  9. Mark says

    We need more people who are black, female, gay, etc. etc. speaking out against identity politics. Good article. I do enjoy reading about facts instead of feelings.

    • Jake J says

      “Identity politics” cuts both ways, and always has. Both parties love to split the otherwise peaceable population into friends and enemies. It’s obnoxious, but don’t ever kid yourself into thinking that “progressives” are the only ones who ever did it.

  10. Fantastic read. Balanced and daring. A sane voice in an increasingly crazy world.

  11. Dave says

    Wonderful clear writer and thinker! Look forward to big things from this man.

  12. Tyler Lane says

    Coates’ words on 9/11 rescuers was nauseating but well-known. However, they are not an aberration and I wish more of his ugliness was known. I was always surprised that this passage from his piece ‘A Flawed America in Context’ didn’t get more attention, because it is truly repellant. After an extended quote on horrors involving starvation and cannibalism, Coates writes,

    “That is the great C.V. Wedgwood describing the last years of the Thirty Years War, in which eight million people died, and the population of “Germany” (to the extent it existed) was reduced by a third. One of my professors followed this up by noting that ten million Russians died in the first World War, and then 15 million more died in the second.

    “When you study racism, with all its attendent woes, there is something comforting about those kind of numbers.”

    I can’t get out of my head how blasé he is towards the staggering loss of life. And why do neither he nor his professor mention the horrors of the Holocaust, a well-know number right in that timeframe? Is he aware that that is a bridge too far in callously finding comfort in the genocide? Now, lest I rob his passage of context, here’s what follows:

    “It tells you that whatever you are struggling with here is not a deviation from the human experience, but an expression of it. There is very little that “white people” have done to “black people” that I can’t imagine them doing to each other. America’s particular failings are remarkable because America is remarkable, but they are not particularly deviant or outstanding on the misery index. This is just sort of what we do. The question hanging over us though is this: Is this what we what we will always do?”

    It softens the blow a little, but still, his ‘comfort’ in the torturous annihilation of 33 million people, is revealing in the face of his own self-pity. And he seems to hint that this is a crime that whites can perpetrate, but blacks cannot. Mr Hughes, I think you’re right that such a writer can only thrive in the face of gross double-standards.

    • Thank you for providing the context for that quote, while I agree that it is still a disconcerting quote, it makes the overall message less ambiguous, essentially,’People do terrible things to each other regardless of race’.

    • Northern Observer says

      It shows what an incredible racial bubble Coats lives in. Has he read any histories of Africa that are not exclusively black nationalist? Does he have any idea how African Kingdoms, Chiefdoms and Empires have treated each other historically. The Bantu Zulu invasion of South Africa should clear up his racial prejudice in a hurry, or perhaps not; minds capable of holding these kinds of untruths are often incurable, and at best jump form one prejudice to another (from race to class for example) The Atlantic and James Fallows have a lot to answer for in promoting Coats to public prominence, but ultimately I see the long arm of TaNahisi’s father inhabiting the mind and mouth of the son. In which case, the argument we have is not personal or based on Coats moral failings but with the African American intellectual tradition as a whole. Something has gone wrong here, as when European thought came to be dominated by Marxists and Fascist thinking in the late 19th and early 20th century, so too must we assume that African American Thought has entered an illiberal dark age, a dismal period that must be argued against until it bleeds light.

      Good Luck to the Coleman Hughes of the World. They are needed now more than ever.

      • stevengregg says

        I fearlessly predict that Coleman Hughes represents the future.

      • Tyler Lane says

        I hadn’t thought of that, but it’s a great parallel.

  13. JohnJay60 says

    Mr. Hughes, I think you also miss the importance of a deep seated religious justification for black subjugation. When I grew up (white) in Florida in the 1960’s, there were many with “deeply held religious convictions”, to borrow a phrase heard in the gender equality discussion, that those with black skin were inherently, or perhaps intrinsically is the better word, inferior to all others. I will spare you the references here which are easily googled, but I remember well-meaning friends and family discussing the Mark of Cain, the Curse of Ham, and even the appalling racial philosophies of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. The Irish could become white and equals, once those of Irish descent assimilated and we non-Irish became more enlightened – but even in my childhood many I knew were speaking of black position in the world in religious terms. This is a long haul to overcome and is still whispered in homes around the country, although rarely spoken out loud.

    • Nathan says

      The interesting part religion plays in racial subjugation is so complex. What you say is exactly true–while at the same time it is true that most abolitionist movements had religious sources and grounds and that the Exodus narrative is integral to many parts of the Black freedom movement in the U.S. Amazing Grace–but then I didn’t grow up anywhere near the South.

    • A friend of mine — a black man in his 80s — told me about how, when he was in the Army, in the South, he ended up Catholic because none of the other “churches” would have him.

  14. Nickleback Blows says

    I think someone just carved themselves out a spot in the IDW. Welcome to the reasonable resistance.

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  16. Kyle Burges says

    I really enjoyed your writing. Well done.

  17. Jon E Pizza says

    It’s been pointed out, but I still have to applaud a wonderfully coherent essay. They’re getting more and more rare from any medium.

  18. Chip says

    “…young black men born decades after anything that could rightly be called ‘oppression’ had ended.”

    When did this oppression end, exactly?
    Because I am seeing black men summarily shot by police, who then walk away free.

    • OleK says

      Because you’re seeing anecdotes, with a carefully crafted narrative promoted by the mainstream media. The numbers (i.e. facts) don’t support this “oppression” you perceive.

      • Dan says

        That’s not exactly true. White people are killed by police at twice the rate of black people, despite a 5:1 population advantage. However, it’s close to 1:1 for unarmed citizens. But overall, the evidence points more to a police violence problem than to a racism problem.

    • stevengregg says

      No, you’re not. Seventy percent of black shot dead by police prompted their deaths by opening fire on the police. Some portion of the remaining 30% attacked the police without guns. The claim that cops in America are shooting black men willy nilly is a racist lie.

      • Jake Jackson says

        Mr. Gregg, please give your source. As I explained in a different reply to you, I have a longstanding and considerable interest. I am all about the numbers, and would greatly appreciate it if you could give enough information about your source that I could track it down. A link would be even better. Thanks in advance.

    • Aimless says

      Chip, when did you see anyone, much less a black man shot by police? I’m assuming never. What you do see is a great deal of time and press dedicated in the rare instances when black men are shot by police. What you don’t read about is when it happens to whites, Asians, or Hispanics. Why? Not “newsworthy”. You fail to bring up the black on black murder rate. Again, not “newsworthy”.

  19. Darren Henderson says

    Coleman (Cole?)! Please keep writing for people who like good writing – we won’t let you down. I’m in my 20s and overwhelmed by how negative my fellow young people are. It’s fucking soul-crushing. You’re a real breath of fresh air. Thanks, Cole (Coleman?). You’re the man. KEEP CRUSHING IT.

  20. derek says

    Is there racism? Yes. Are there historical events that were shameful and wrong? Yes.

    So what is to be done? We know what happens when historical grievances are used to elicit anger and resentment. There are people reading this who saw it happen, where people found justification to burn their neighbor’s home and rape their daughters. All because of historical grievances.

    If you don’t know to what I’m referring, then you really should educate yourself.

    A second point. There are communities who for various reasons are vulnerable. Come social change, economic change or pressures, they are the first to evidence the harm. The instant reaction is to blame either racism or the community, when the blame, if that is even the right word, are the changes, the policies, the cultural directions.

    In Canada, these are first evident in the native communities; for example opioid addiction rates of 80% of the population. These are catastrophes. Other communities who are more functional see the same problems at a lesser rate. Screaming racism is a waste of time; trying to figure out what is going wrong and how to sort it out is the rational response.

    Same with crime rates, violence, drug addition, family breakdown, etc. All these things are debilitating epidemics that make it impossible in some cases for communities to function, let alone rise above and prosper.

    I consider the racism focus to be a satisfying and self gratifying behavior at best, at worst a malicious and Machiavellian tactic to keep a group of people subject to you for political gain. Neither evince any concern for the individuals involved.

  21. J.N. Clark says

    Excellent. What a refreshingly sane, honest, and coherent perspective on race in America. Thank you so much, Mr. Hughes, for writing it and thanks to Quillette for publishing it.

  22. markbul says

    It’s a small thing, but other topics raised above will certainly be covered – no doubt to death. Can we stop saying this: “a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant.” There is nothing genius about it. They give money to people they like. They like affirmative action.

  23. Michelle says

    Wow! Thank you for your excellent writing and refreshing perspective!! You have an amazing ability to speak with such clarity, grace, and nuance. Keep it up!

  24. Zachary Reichert says

    Yeah, that puts a finger on it right there. ‘Patronizing’ is exactly right.

    It’s always bothered me how black people are almost infantilized by so many commentators, as if they are incapable of making their own choices like any other human being.

  25. Dennis Hayden says

    A very thoughtful and well written essay. Hopefully it will make a difference. It should.

  26. Phil says

    I trust you’re headed for graduate school in philosophy? (This philosophy professor thinks you should be, though you should consult with your own teachers.)

  27. FH says

    Dropping some TRUTH.

    Thank you. I feel like my liberal card would be revoked if I said some of these obvious and factual things in my social circle. I hope you continue to speak to the elephant in the room.

    • LAW says

      Same – my politics are liberal, but I simply cannot get on board with identity politics / “social justice”. It’s definitely a tricky dance.

      The good news is there’s a backlash building up… People are pissed, and it’s just a matter of figuring out how you can break through the cone of silence created by the identity politics people without getting personally destroyed.

  28. Alex says

    The big question, as always, what allows such system to perpetuate itself?

  29. Nathan says

    Maybe this is close to what Kanye felt but didn’t know how to put in words. I have always felt uneasy and alienated from the patronizing, pitying, and often infantilizing deference shown toward blacks by many of my white friends and colleagues. I myself share most of their ultimate goals–a society with less racism, less abject inequality, less suffering, less injustice. I don’t see, though, how thinking of other people primarily as victims, needy, exceptionally hurt and so exceptionally disempowered, deserving of entitlements like no other people, and so on–I don’t see how that is respectful or even helpful. It’s actually disparaging, and it continues a psychology and a social psychology of expected failure.

    I think that, as the U.S. continues to diversify, and young Blacks see the descendants of other groups who have suffered injustices–lynchings, immigration and labor injustice, internment camps, and so on–succeed in American society, partly by not thinking of themselves as victims, and partly by not being treated as victims by whites, then something new will break through and take hold. I think Coleman Hughes is part of this.

  30. Fleas! says

    I’ve been around a couple of other groups that passed well-polished chips on the shoulder down the line like cherished antiques and can tell you that no good comes of it.. My own family is Belfast Irish (among other things) and I married into a clan of Yugoslavians who hated Serbians and Croatians respectively, except that they occasionally intermarried and I have no idea of how anyone kept track. I know a cow was involved somehow…

  31. Johan says

    @Rosa…You are making a fool of yourself.
    People are here are intelligent.

  32. Emblem14 says

    Coleman, some friendly advice from a white jewish observer of the culture wars. If you want to establish and maintain your credibility as a non-leftist black intellectual against the constant stream of smears and dismissals that you are bound to encounter, I suggest the following for your consideration:

    — I believe your most important audience is other black people whose individuality is being smothered by progressive dogma, not whites whose primary interest in you is as game piece on the board of intra-white dispute over the legitimacy of White Guilt.

    –Don’t get too chummy with conservatives who will put you on a pedestal to buttress certain attitudes about race and public policy that may overlap with yours. Intentions matter. It’s one thing to oppose progressive racial policies because you think they actually do more harm than good for blacks, as Glenn Loury does. It’s another to oppose them because you have contempt for blacks as a class of people and don’t think they’re worth helping. The difference is important, and who you choose to associate with will determine whether you’re seen by outside observers as an independent thinker, or a “sellout”. If all you do is criticize those typically seen as wanting to help black people (the left), without offering constructive alternatives, it will be easy for your critics to question your motives, and you will be pigeonholed in the existing polarized landscape.

    –Don’t take money from shadowy billionaire patrons with their own agendas. It will undermine your credibility and give your critics all the ammo they require to dismiss you as a shill.

    –Repudiate anyone whose support or approval of your work is misappropriated for noxious ends. Because you are anti-far left, other people who are anti-far left, like the alt-right, or cynical partisan hacks like Candice Owens, will give you plaudits and promote your work, as if you’re “on the same side”. If you accept this praise uncritically, your critics will claim that these people are your friends and your fanbase. If that is not the narrative you want crafted around you, you need to explicitly push back on it, and make it clear that you are not these people’s friends. Look at the effort Peterson had to expend to fight the smear that he was an alt-right subversive because he ignored alt-right praise for too long. Don’t let that happen to you.

    –When you feel ready, try to escape the echo chamber of the IDW and engage with critics of your views on the periphery directly. I think you can be very effective at this, since you clearly know the left wing playbook on how their intellectual gatekeepers in the media attempt to marginalize heterodox intellectuals of color. You have the rhetorical and strategic instincts to counter this and hopefully bust the gate down.

    –Resist the urge to get into twitter fights. Trolls will drain your mental fortitude like leeches and don’t forget the adage about wrestling with pigs (twitter provocateurs). You both get filthy and the pig likes it.

    –Don’t get sucked into discussions about race and IQ. Just don’t. It won’t resolve anything, and it’s not worth it.

    Best of luck to you!

    • Paul katz says

      I too am a white Jewish observer of the culture wars. My parents took me to my first lunch counter sit in demonstration in Nashville in 1960. I integrated my southern university housing and led the anti war movement at my school. I have a black son in law with two advanced degrees who was paralyzed as a youth. Believe me when I say the left left does not want to “help black people”. The left wants to keep black people from succeeding by promoting narratives and policies that engender the grievance pathology and create dependence and cultural dysphoria. The people that “have contempt for blacks as a class of people and don’t think they are worth helping” are on the left. The left rejects reality and creates dystopian narratives to explain the total failure of their policies and solutions that have murdered millions and impoverished/ enslaved millions more. Coleman is. , as we used to say, “Right On.”

      • Emblem14 says

        @paul

        I say “typically seen as wanting to help black people” because I agree that the the White Left’s concern for Black Americans is not usually of the constructive sort, but rather a mixture of naive, well intentioned, “heart in the right place” albeit misguided and counterproductive racist paternalism and/or instrumentalized resentment-by-proxy for the common enemy of the powers-that-be.

        I don’t fully understand why there aren’t more Glen Lourys and Coleman Hughes in the black intelligentsia or why black people are largely content to accept a narrative of their continuing lack of agency at the hands of a white power structure – implying that their collective destiny is completely dependent on the willingness of whites to foster them into full humanity. To me, that’s a humiliating, self-esteem sapping mindset, and one that, as a jew, seems completely self-defeating considering the lessons our ethnic group took from the travails of the mid-20th century concerning both survival and prosperity. No one gives it to you. You have to take it.

        That being said, it is not wrong to say that the left at least gives every appearance of caring about people of color (despite the dismal results), while white “conservative” pundits and politicos (despite their superficial lip service) give every indication that they have, at best, no special concern for the plight of blacks, or harbor varying degrees of contempt for any suggestion that whites are in any way obligated to them whatsoever. Conservatives are constantly juggling policy prescriptions that ostensibly bolster self-reliance and personal empowerment, but conveniently absolve society at large of any responsibility to commit resources to correcting problems caused by the legacy effects of racist policies expressly designed to subjugate black people, as if Civil rights -> Clean Slate. Black people notice this and don’t consider it a sign of good faith.

        Perhaps individual and communal self-reliance is ultimately the most practical attitude for black people to internalize in order to improve their social position (as many other ethnic groups have positively modeled), but such a message can be delivered either as tough love by an emotionally invested friend, or callous dismissal by an unsympathetic stranger. The conservative attitude is generally perceived as ” enough excuses, get your shit together, and if you can’t, you’re on your own so don’t come crying to us”.

        I believe, as a matter of moral principle, America owes its black citizens some kind of recompense for fucking them over for so long. What that ought to be can be debated in the abstract.

        I also believe that, in the real world, staking your hopes on that kind of restorative justice as a crucial prerequisite to the betterment of your people is both an unrealistic pipedream and a self- emasculating kind of existential fecklessness.

        At the end of the day, the left-wing culture of victimhood doesn’t get the results people say they want, which is why it’s a fundamentally flawed approach. The conservative default of benign neglect simply isn’t helpful. It’s up to others, hopefully like Coleman, to articulate a more productive approach.

    • nocolor says

      Emblem14 you are such a know it all! you have some good points, but, very patronizing tone! i think the author has shown he’s perfectly capable of thinking on his own.

    • D.B. Cooper says

      In keeping with tradition, I feel compelled to announce my ethnic affiliations (yes, affiliations) prior to delivering my opinion.

      Unfortunately, I am not a white Jewish observer of the culture wars. No, my ancestral lineage (per 23andMe) is something closer to an incorrigible amalgamation of disparate peoples: Ashkenazi Jew, German, West African, and French, among others. Rounding out this fine accompaniment (again, per 23andMe) is a brutishly high admixture of Neanderthal variants.

      Where does this fine stock of peoples place me along the spectrum of social justice, you might ask? Well, let me be blunt…

      Being as dispassionate a party as one could be in the whole affair (you can pick your friends, not your family), I concluded (but more like realized), some time ago, and with surprising brevity – notwithstanding the trailer park that defined much of my formative years – that the level of miscegenation coursing through my veins could only (but really, should only) be characterized as white trash. If the shoe fits, as they say; but I digress…

      @Emblem14, some friendly advice from an ostensibly white-trash observer of the culture wars. If you want to establish and maintain your credibility as a non-cynical partisan, intellectual hack against the constant stream of smears and dismissals that you are bound to encounter… in the comment section of what has to be the most pedantic group of individuals this side of Sam Harris and Ben Shapiro’s love child… I suggest the following for your consideration.

      “- I believe your most important audience is other black people…”

      One of the more racist comments I’ve seen in this comment section, although that’s not what bothers me about your suggestion to Mr. Hughes. What bothers me, here, is that you appear to commit a fallacy of composition (and possibly a nadir fallacy as well).

      You are, by all accounts, an intelligent man (or, at least your prose suggests as much). In the future, if you’re going to make sweeping to generalizations about an entire group(s) of people, please do so while holding to the constraints of logic. You’re better than that.

      “- Don’t get too chummy with conservatives…”

      It’s hard to know what, precisely, this piece of advice is supposed to accomplish; unless, one assumes Mr. Hughes lacks the faculties for identifying racist behavior. Or, in this case, conservative racism. That is what you meant by “conservatives” who “have contempt for blacks as a class of people and don’t think they’re worth helping,” isn’t it?

      It’s not that I don’t agree with you. I do. In fact, I’m happy to repeat the warning. Please note the following:

      Mr. Hughes, if you happen find yourself in the company of a racist AND one who also reliably exposes conservative principles (racists on the Left will be discussed at later time and date or not at all), I humbly recommend that you disassociate yourself from the conservative in question, least you be thought of as a “sellout” which, according to white Jewish contingency at Quillette, is just about the worst thing a person such as yourself (read black person) can be.

      The problem here is that you seem to suggest, or even tacitly endorse – if such a distinction can be made – a number of things that are not simply wide-of-the-mark, but are, if you’ll excuse me, purposely obtuse to the realities that non-liberal (non-progressive) blacks face, e.g. racism from progressives (whites, blacks, Hispanics, et al.).

      “- Don’t take money from shadowy billionaire patrons with their own agendas…”

      Would this also include “shadowy billionaire patrons” whose agenda(s) matches his own (Mr. Hughes’). What about shadowy millionaire patrons? Or, what about shadowy middle-class patrons?

      Is the shadowy person’s money or agenda the issue, here? Forgive me for being reductive in my analysis, but I would presume that everyone (even the indigent) has some agenda – political or otherwise – to speak of; so, that seems particularly worrisome, no?

      “- Repudiate anyone whose support or approval of your work is misappropriated for noxious ends. Because you are anti-far left, other people who are anti-far left, like the alt-right, or cynical partisan hacks like Candice Owens, will give you plaudits and promote your work, as if you’re ‘on the same side’…”

      “Owens has taken stances against Black Lives Matter, feminism, and various other causes championed by the Left and, although she doesn’t follow the Republican party line on every issue, she has advocated for tax cuts, personal responsibility, and many other traditionally right-wing values…

      That’s why black conservatives like Owens are so threatening: their mere existence disrupts the Left’s power to enforce its taboo on dissenting thought…” (Coleman Hughes, Kanye West and the Future of Black Conservatives)

      Uh, yeah, I think Mr. Hughes might disagree with your “cynical partisan hack” description of Candace Owens. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, though.

      “- When you feel ready, try to escape the echo chamber of the IDW…”

      A solid piece of advice, if I’ve ever heard one. Strong work, Emblem14.

      “- Resist the urge to get into twitter fights…”

      I like Twain’s version better, but still, another solid piece of advice. Additionally, it may be of some benefit to include Quillette’s commentariat in your list of trolls to avoid; although it’s not clear if that would be self-defeating.

      “- Don’t get sucked into discussions about race and IQ. Just don’t. It won’t resolve anything…”

      There’s bad faith, and then there’s this.

      Emblem14, I am a simple man (by which, I mean, white-trash); so, please excuse my short-sightedness, but I cannot for the life of me see the utility in putting forth an intransigent suggestion such as this.

      No serious thinker of the first rank believes that IQ doesn’t at least play “some” role in the socio-economic inequality that we see today. Reasonable people can disagree on the latent qualities of IQ (nature/nurture), but it seems uncommonly thick to unburned ourselves from the conversation on the premise that discussing it “won’t resolve anything,” when science may suggest otherwise. Just for example: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/opinion/sunday/genetics-race.html

      I suspect, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. As I mention earlier, you give every appearance of being an intelligent man, albeit one straining to project some semblance of balance in your critique. To be sure, you’re largely failing at this. It should be said.

      I think, your IQ suggestion is coming from a place of good intentions (even if it is a rather jaundice view of the situation). You seem to be a decent guy. I mean that. But, the road to Hell is paved with… well, you know.

      Respectfully,

      • Emblem14 says

        @D.B.Cooper

        It appears my “white trash” comment further down the thread rubbed you the wrong way. I made it in response to a brazenly racist (probably trolling) comment that sounded like a stereotypical redneck lament about inner city welfare queens. I used it to shove that guy’s bias back in his face. If it was insulting to anyone who self-identifies as White Trash, I apologize.

        In response to your criticisms, it should be noted that my advice to Coleman is all predicated on a pragmatic reading of the cultural and political dynamics that surround these issues, not a declaration of normative ideals. The discourse is corrupt, but how we participate in it must be based on the way things are, not how we wish them to be. Improving the quality of discourse from its current state requires tactful rhetorical strategies that take certain social and power dynamics into account. To ignore this is self-indulgent and self-undermining.

        What prompted me to offer advice that risked coming across as condescending to an obviously intelligent, self-aware thinker? Because I’ve seen many examples of people who rise to prominence, presumably with the goal of being persuasive, only to fall into the traps I outlined above which cripple their persuasive power and cede control of their public image to cynical bad-faith actors. This happens when people don’t pay sufficient attention to the impact these traps can have on their public personas.

        Now to address your points:

        “- I believe your most important audience is other black people…”

        I think I put this in appropriate context in the sentences immediately following. I am in no way making “sweeping to generalizations about an entire group(s)” – on the contrary, I’m highlighting a particular minority within a minority to whom Coleman’s visibility might have a special relevance. I stand by what I said about the motivations of most white people’s interest.

        “- Don’t get too chummy with conservatives…”

        You’re too flippant about the danger of being painted as a sellout. If it sticks, it means a lot of people whose opinions matter become immediately deaf to your arguments. When confronted with a source of potentially uncomfortable truths that can pose a threat to one’s entire worldview and sense of self, most people prefer to resolve the cognitive dissonance by looking for anything they can use to discount and dismiss the source. One of the easiest outs is to notice associations with known enemies and threats.

        Person A says something that conflicts with my views, but he might have a point. Person B is a known enemy. Person B likes what person A says.

        Crude resolution:

        That makes person A my enemy, as anything Person B supports must be a threat to me. Even more basically, anything Person B likes is inherently untrustworthy.

        Sophisticated Resolution:

        Regardless of its’ truth value, acknowledging person A’s point will lend aid, comfort and credibility to person B. In the larger scheme, it’s more important to repress Person B’s influence than to let contestable notions of “truth” or “logic” undermine the defense of my core values, (which are suprarational), from the danger of Person B. Therefore, the Greater Good must prevail over allowing Person B to claim any more territory on the “truth” landscape. Person A, and his good point, are collateral damage.

        “- Don’t take money from shadowy billionaire patrons with their own agendas…”

        I suppose if the agenda is transparent, above-board and you agree with it, take all the money you want and defend the relationship in public. Otherwise, it’s a Faustian bargain of resources for trustworthiness. Plus, aren’t you tired of debates over public policy reducing to competing conspiracy theories of which puppet-masters, Soros or Koch Brothers, are pulling the strings?

        “- Repudiate anyone whose support or approval of your work is misappropriated for noxious ends.”

        It seems your main objection to this part is my characterization of Owens. If you like her, that’s your prerogative. Much of what she’s been saying recently is straight out of the Trump/MAGA sycophancy playbook. She isn’t exhibiting independence – she’s parroting Trump white house talking points, morphing her arguments and rhetoric as needed to reflect the incoherence of the president. If she’s auditioning for a job on Fox or right-wing radio, so be it. But it makes her a hack.

        “- Don’t get sucked into discussions about race and IQ. Just don’t. It won’t resolve anything…”

        Again, you’re confusing my pragmatic argument for a normative one. Of course scientific research will continue to expand our understanding of this subject. But, as the Harris/Klein episode demonstrated, there is not enough scientific basis to make definitive, conclusive statements on the main crux of the debate, and speculation under conditions of empirical ambiguity is just a vehicle for a priori biases. Since bias (including cryto-racist bias) is the animating force of this debate as it currently exists, it’s not worth delving into unless you want to be tainted by various strains of motivated reasoning. In other words, the jury is still out, and pretending it isn’t is good evidence of ideological thinking.

        I don’t pretend to be perfectly impartial – that would be arrogant and absurd; I have my own point of view. But I do strive for fairness and accuracy over prejudice and partisanship. In the pursuit of understanding reality better, politics has become a minefield to be navigated. Every time one of those mines is tripped, it explodes obfuscation and lies over everything in the vicinity. Trying to help Coleman avoid those mines was the impetus of my post.

        • D.B. Cooper says

          Nothing will keep a man in everlasting ignorance more than his own contempt prior to investigation.
          Herbert Spencer

          @Emblem14

          Me thinks a bit of house cleaning is in order. And so, at the risk of attenuating our discourse any further than is necessary, including our concern for it, allow me a brief moment to disabuse you of what is, apparently, a recurrent error in your thinking. And I mean that in the least condescending way possible.

          Lead Off:
          We seem to find ourselves back, here, circling this “white-trash” term… of endearment… although for very different reasons. Me, I self-subscribed to it while you promulgated presuppositions for the reasons why I would.

          Pretentious? Possibly. – Shrewd? Certainly. – Wrong? Not even.
          To discuss how wide-of-the-mark would be a tautology in grandstanding.

          But as I was saying, if subscribing to me my own motivations is still within the intellectual bounds of good form, I see no reason why we shouldn’t also weaponize our polemics with every available ethnic slur – from the obvious to the occult. For example:

          “It appears my ‘white trash’ comment further down the thread rubbed you the wrong way. I made it in response to a brazenly racist (probably trolling) comment that sounded like a stereotypical redneck lament about inner city welfare queens. I used it to shove that guy’s bias back in his face. If it was insulting to anyone who self-identifies as White Trash, I apologize.”

          No, sorry, it doesn’t appear that a further down thread rubbed me the wrong way. Emblem, I said you were a smart guy, I didn’t say you were interesting to the point that I would bird-dog your every comment in search of even the slightest provocation. I’m surprised it needs to be said, but online comments stopped having an emotional effect on my life around, oh I don’t know, adulthood. Am I in the minority here (pun intended)? Forgive me for asking, but do you normally engage with fellow travelers who are triggered by the sight of stereotypes… that are written in comment sections… by complete strangers they’ll never meet?

          There’s no need to beat this horse with more examples. The upshot is you have a penchant for unwarranted presuppositions, which you then compound by – at least outwardly appearing – to treat as self-evidently true. I don’t have a problem with people who are confident in their powers of reasoning. But when you shit the bed, in public, as you did here (with the worst still to come), you should expect to get zipped in a clown suit. It keeps us all sharp. Also, nice job on the apology. Think equal parts contempt and sincere remorse. It was perfect, probably the best part of your entire comment (it gets worse as it goes).

          Two Hole:

          If for no other reason than a good faith attempt at clarity, I was sincere, when I said that I grew up in the (deep) south. And that childhood, in a very literal sense, was accompanied by all the trappings and influences of a typical ‘white-trash’ existence: single mother, unqualified welfare dependency, multiple siblings, mobile homes, poor diet, truancy, sexual promiscuity, drug abuse, poor family cohesion and communication, etc.

          I mention this for two reasons: One, it’s true. And two, because I couldn’t help but notice that in your rush to defend the honor of “inner city welfare queens” everywhere, you also quite accurately identified the queens’ corollary: “white-trash”

          Let us speak plainly, here. Stereotypes exist for a reason. By and large, they often reflect an observed truth in some broad sense (macro level > micro level). For better or worse, people are really good at detecting patterns and this is especially true among other humans. Let me show you what I mean.

          If I were to guess your job, I would say there’s a decent chance that you’re either (A) a lawyer or (B) a psychiatrist. Maybe I got lucky, maybe, I didn’t. In either case, here’s my reasoning.

          (1) You’re an argument snob, (2) you have a large vocabulary, and (3) you have a better than average understanding of the human condition. Those personal traits plus your white “Jewness” combined with the brute fact that it is physically impossible to throw a rock in a lawyer or psychiatrist’s convention without hitting (at minimum) 8-10 white Jewish men on the fly. #stereotypes. #theywork

          Cleanup:

          With prior assumptions disconfirmed or otherwise properly placed, let’s get about the business of what I consider the most salient part of your rejoinder.

          – “Don’t get too chummy with conservatives…”

          “You’re too flippant about the danger of being painted as a sellout. If it sticks, it means a lot of people whose opinions matter become immediately deaf to your arguments.”

          Spend a lot of time with the ‘brothers’ do ya, Emblem14? I ask, because only someone who is deeply entrenched in the history of ‘keeping-it-real’ could believe something this dangerous.

          Speaking, of people who have a long history of ‘keeping-it-real,’ Glenn ‘Big-Pimpin’ Loury is as legit a brother as it gets. And, of course, John ‘Mac-Daddy’ McWhorter who is another brother from a different mother. The Columbia linguist embodies everything that is black culture. And who could forget Ben Carson and Oprah Winfrey? They lock up their seat at the “non-sellout” table a long time ago. They about that money, know what I’m saying? They real brothers and sisters who refuse to “sellout.”

          And who could forget Barack Obama, the HNIC himself. He never, ever, ever sold out. Harry Reid even highlighted one of Obama’s best “non-sellout” qualities. Describing Obama’s mastery of code switching, Reid says, “A light-skinned African American with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.” But to your point, Obama did lose some street-cred when Biden’s Kinsley gaffe, basically admitted that Obama still had a lil’ white devil in him. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

          The careful reader may begin to notice a trend – connective tissue, if you will – between the types of blacks who are typically “painted as sellouts” (Hint: they’re often accused of talking white) by the majority black community, AND the “people whose opinions matter” (Hint: they are the same people; sellouts = people whose opinion matters).

          Still not clear? Try this. Ask yourself who would be more likely to tell Mr. Hughes something like the following? The people whose opinions matter, or the other ones?

          “Our greatest power is the freedom to choose; we decide what we do, what we think, and where we go. We can be who we want to be. We develop our own future by applying persistence to the possibilities. Our future is all around us. If we seek, we will find it. If the door is closed, we must knock and keep knocking until it opens. We never give up.”

          Still having trouble identifying the opinion gatekeepers? Okay, let me speak plainly then.

          If this was just a case of backward reasoning (it is), or even a late night drunken jaunt through the absurd (it has to be) – if that were the case, then we could safely explain away this miscarriage of thought as the Rorschach shit stain of white guilt that it is, while quietly condemning the advice (with prejudice) to their proper place of ‘this shit is not even wrong’.

          But, if I’m honest (I generally hold to the principle of charity, as evidenced throughout my comment) what I really think this is – aside from the trappings of motivated reasoning – is a liberal ideology desperate to solve a non-existent problem that ironically enough is built on the false premise that truth and freedom of association cannot coexist within the black community without jeopardizing one’s membership to it.

          If any of that sounds particularly slippery, it should. Sophistry often does. Normally, you would expect to find arguments for mutually exclusive assertions. Normally, being the operative word, I’m sad to report.

          ‘Be yourself’ (read stay black) is not a governing philosophy, nor is it a reliable guide to the facts. It is a philosophical treatise on propagating a distinction without a difference. Sympathizing with yourself is a skill all too easily mastered. Trust me, I know. And I, for one, would be suspiciously surprised to find a (liberal) sympathy deficit existing within the black community. In short, it’s not at all clear why you would assume, a priori, that a scholar’s tribal affiliations are more vital to his success than something such as merit? Does this not show an amazing lack of moral clarity?

          Ask yourself, isn’t it at least conceivable that encouraging rote tribalism (don’t sellout) is to progress a particular socio-political response that is neither amenable to black success, nor productive for society at large?

          Coleman Hughes seems to suggest as much in, The Racism Treadmill:

          “In an economy increasingly based on cognitive labor, it’s hard to imagine a cultural feature more harmful than a socially-enforced taboo on academic striving. But worries about the harm caused by the ‘acting white’ epithet have been met with skepticism by progressives. An article in Vox called the acting white phenomenon a “myth” that could “shape attitudes about black people and perpetuate racism.” This gloomy prediction, typical of progressive styles of argumentation, was asserted without evidence.”

          The answer is decidedly, YES!

          * Sadly, the most interesting part of your rejoinder was your defense of pragmatism. If there was one part that I really wanted to… well, make a comment about, it was your explanations under the subtitle “Sophisticated Resolution.” I find that I’m biased (due to my natural inclinations) towards deontological ethical framework, so anytime I come across strong consequentialist arguments (ends justifying the means) my brain kind of shit’s itself and then reboots before I can adequately square the circle I’m looking at.

  33. Octagon_ says

    “Coates explained that the policemen and firemen who died on 9/11 “were not human to me,” but “menaces of nature.”1 This, it turned out, was because a friend of Coates had been killed by a black cop a few months earlier.”

    Coates, like many ‘anti-imperialist’ writers (Said), couch their baser, reptilian instincts in flowery prose. The only differences between them an some redneck yelling at kids to get of his porch are skin color and the larger vocabulary that accessorizes higher education.

  34. Christopher Chantrill says

    It is, of course, great fun to obsess on African slavery. But what about the Romans running an empire on plunder and slaves? What about the Genoese running slaves from Kaffa in the Crimea to the harems of the Middle East? What about the slaves of the Soviet Union in the Gulag? Or the slaves of Maoist China in the lao-gai system? To say nothing of the eevil Nazis.

    Sociologist Max Weber wrote that the West gave up slavery because it didn’t pay. Free labor is cheaper than slave labor, presumably because it is more productive.

  35. JB says

    Outstanding essay. Please continue to write no matter how hard the established media tries to stop your voice from being heard.

  36. Johan says

    1861 40 million serfs (slaves) were set free in Russia. 1865 around 3 million slaves were set free in the US.
    We never hear about that nowadays.

  37. hamr says

    derek,

    Possibly you mistated that statistic. 80% of CDN aboriginal people are not addicted to ‘opiod’s.

    The prevalent addicton issues within the various types of CDN aboriginal communities are: Adults – tobacco, alcohol and gambling ; Young adults – tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and gambling ; Adolescent – basically all of the above ( less so, gambling) and solvent huffing.

    In more urban, or near urban community settings, methamphetamine use is becoming a serious problem and opioid use has risen alongside the abuse of other prescription drugs.

  38. MMS says

    Nuance!!! – Thank You!

    To me, the bottom line boils down to:

    A prejudiced white person does/ says something prejudiced, as happens from time to time, it is considered categorically immoral by right thinking individuals.

    A prejudiced black person does/ says something prejudiced, as happens from time to time, it is considered categorically morally ambivalent by right thinking individuals.

    That is the foundational hypocrisy. One that must be overcome.

    • Sam says

      I think one, key, straw man here is that most minorities dont feel oppressed or discriminated against because their used to be slavery. They claim is that the racists sentiment that allowed for slavery has lingered through the generations and manifests itself in other metrics.

  39. Johan says

    Well written Coleman Hughes. There should be more people like you. Why there isn’t, is the key point.
    The main reason from the left side is pure racism.
    They don’t have the same requirements on the black community compared to the white or asian ones. The lefties don’t even know they’re racist…
    On the coloured side…The likes of Michael Eric Dyson making careers as race pimps ruins just about everything…
    But people like Coleman Hughes will change this. Of this I am sure.
    Give up the trombone Coleman!!!

  40. Coleman
    Great article, well thought out, great logic, good pacing. I have the highest hopes for you. You CLEARLY know how to write.
    Stay on track, and take Emblem14’s advice. He was right dead on.
    Here is another piece of advice: use YouTube. It is your friend.

  41. Michele Nichols says

    Malcolm Gladwell argued best the deleterious consequences of historical bias and how it affects the present. For example when the general perception is that blacks are inferior and they are then dismissed from the expectation of achievement, it punishes the outliers in the group, who are met with skepticism when they demonstrate their exceptionalism. This, places a social tax on such individuals limiting their ability to thrive. That is the link to acknowledging historical grievance, and it would be fine if Mr. Hughes had just argued that blacks must resist using the meta double standards allowing discriminatory acts on their part by justifying it with past grievances, but Mr. Hughes cuts the link between past grievances and present discrimination, and to quote Faulkner, the brilliant racist , “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

    • Nathan says

      And the past never comes without a narrative. That’s what the dispute is about.

    • LAW says

      Yes. And I can give a bit of concrete anecdotal evidence on this.

      I went to a top school, in a STEM field. And, as noted in this essay, certain minorities (and women) have a significantly lower bar to clear for admission to a place like this. When there was a group project type situation, everyone seemed to steer clear of people from underrepresented groups, myself included. They would end up disproportionately grouped amongst themselves.

      It sounds terrible, but it’s a totally rational decision if you’re vying for the best grade for yourself. Would you rather pick an asian male group mate, who definitely had to be exceptional just to be here, or someone who possibly could have just snuck over a much lower bar?

      And, as you mention, this creates a “social tax” on the people from these groups who ARE exceptional (and there are plenty of them!). It would be exhausting constantly having to prove that you are not here to fill a diversity quota. And in the example above, it would limit your exposure to some of the top people in the class, because they look at you and say “it’s too much of a gamble to work with that person, as they are held to a much lower standard than I am”. And correctly so – if you screw up and get a B+ for the group, no big deal as a decent GPA is plenty good enough to get a top job given minority status. Not so much for many others.

      IMHO, the best thing the black community could do is say “we are amazing, and expect to be held to the same standards as everyone else. And we will rise to the challenge”. I would hope to see that in my lifetime – riding on liberal guilt won’t help anyone long term, and has a clear shelf life before the inevitable backlash.

  42. I am not a psychologist but there is a theory called generational trauma (Wiki: Transgenerational trauma is trauma that is transferred from the first generation of trauma survivors to the second and further generations of offspring of the survivors via complex post-traumatic stress disorder mechanisms.) It’s also possible that prolonged trauma is passed on genetically as are many traits. That’s why we have doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, and all manner of craftsmanship in addition to leadership traits that are inherited genetically (i.e. doctors run in the family). This is not a justification for behaviors such as prejudice and other clinical behaviors that are not within the norm (i.e. the vast majority of the population is not afraid to fly or worry the airplane is going to crash but some people are unjustifiably afraid to fly). We can overcome most of our traits. I say most because a highly technical person most likely will not write a novel or be a master of language anymore than an English major will get calculus.

    I do agree with the premise of your opinion that prejudice and hatred runs both ways. Glass houses . . tough to keep windows clean let alone unbroken.

  43. Billy McKenzie says

    FUNNY! ONLY White Privilege that I’ve ever known is the Privilege of getting up every morning and going to WORK so as to see a Hefty Chunk deducted out of my Paycheck come every Friday to support yawl sorry lazy Black A***s!!!!!!

    • Emblem14 says

      As a fraction of your welfare tax dollar, far more of it goes to poor white trash on disability or opiate addictions than inner city black single moms.

      Why are you upset by the smaller percentage?

      • nocolor says

        McKenzie, what a creep you are. and Emblem14, really, you think it’s okay to call people white trash?

  44. jondaly says

    I teach at a small university in Ohio. I teach writing. The writing I get from students is astonishingly bad. It is hard to overstate just how talented this young man is compared to his peers (of any race.) And to think that he is also a professional musician. WOW.

    I worry that the Black community can no longer — given the victimization ideology that dominates black political discourse — produce writers like Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams. Clearly, I am wrong.

    This guy is terrific, but he will be vilified in the Black community if he continues to discuss unacceptable ideas. He will have to submit to the race baiters or say goodbye to his writing and music careers. Of course, some people (Sowell, Williams) are strong enough to stand their ground. But they are unusual.

  45. fredwriter1961@optonline.net says

    The entire Negro population of this country is one big grievance and victimization industry. And I blame the Democratic party for enthroning this ethic of entitlement and self pity. The same applies to gays and feminists. It’s always easy to blame other for your misfortunes instead of accepting responsibility for the consequences of ones behavior.

  46. William L Pierce says

    “We do not give Jewish writers free rein to incite hatred against German people because the former’s grandparents were murdered by the latter’s.”

    Uh yes we do, there is constant hate and extortion against Germans by jews, and if you criticize it you’re anti Semitic

  47. R O says

    One other pertinent historical fact should be the hundreds of thousands of white Union soldiers who died fighting the Confederacy with the end result being the official end of slavery. Does that not carry some weight in the long-term balance of blame and credit?

    That comes to my mind every time I read about demands for “reparations” – instead how about expressions of some gratitude from the descendants of those freed by that ultimate sacrifice, instead of harping on the “stale grievances”, as the clear-sighted Mr. Hughes puts it ?

  48. Steve Marquis says

    Good for you Coleman. You are using rational inquiry to turn over rocks and expose what’s underneath to the light. That is what empowers people. i wish you well.

  49. sestamibi says

    The urgency with which BLM and related movements are redefining “racism” to the point of attempts at thought control is explained by one glaring fact: blacks are losing market share in the US, and consequently political and economic power. Hispanics of all origins are now the largest single minority group and growing faster. Needless to say, they are not burdened by historical guilt over the legacy of slavery. Furthermore, they can legitimately point out that in certain locations (southern California, for instance) blacks are far overrepresented in government jobs than their numbers would warrant. As pointed out in the article, white guilt is becoming a spent force in politics. Together with an increasingly unsympathetic at least and hostile at most Hispanic population, blacks will have to reconfigure their political ambitions in order to fit in to a multi-racial society.

  50. Caleb Z says

    As a graduate student in philosophy, I was simply blown away by this essay. I was inspired by it when I read it yesterday and revisit it today to enjoy and affirm all of the encouragement coming from other commentators. Coleman, it’s simply inspiring to note that you are an undergraduate, and I hope that you continue in philosophy. I wish that more philosophy people would produce work like this. Also, I hope that you take Emblem14’s advice.

  51. nocolor says

    what a thoughtful article, and i am so grateful. it’s very very hard for white people to speak up for themselves on these double standards, because we immediately get attacked as being racist or white supremacist. this article just touches the surface of these double standards, they are so prevalent, it’s amazing how the same people who respond fast and angrily to racism against people of color don’t even notice or actively espouse racism against white people. it’s amazing how many people even use “white” as a pejorative. yes, i do call it racism, with or without the institutional piece racial prejudice is devastating. i grew up feeling that white people were bad and black people were better. this messaging is everywhere. has been for years, and now it has kind of gone into overdrive. the entire language of privilege is a language of shame, of race shaming. which as you pointed out may or may not have anything to do with the person’s actual real life (hint: mine was hard). this is what is driving the white backlash. i’m not disregarding the other parts of your article – the parts about black people and crime and culture – or the parts about appropriating others’ suffering and the philosophies you invoke. all important stuff. it’s just the part about white people is the thing we are not allowed to say. it’s hard, and embarrassing, to stand up for white people, but i just don’t think any person should be discriminated against on the basis of the color of their skin, even white people.

    i was crushed, infuriated, by the NYT article, the open endorsing of this kind of racism, and that article is just one of many many moments and expressions over the last year and in my lifetime.

    i’m really impressed that you are an undergraduate. wow, major kudos to you. you took a big whack at a very real, difficult, important topic. Thank You.

  52. Jacqui says

    There certainly is a double standard and to some extent one can understand it given the historical context. But when exactly does this grace period end? It does marginalized communities no good to keep looking back. One has to look forward. To do otherwise is to be mired in a well of hopelessness.
    Interesting article and comments. As a non American, I found the comments regarding BLM interesting. I had no idea it led to reduction in policing. What a crazy notion.

  53. J Ryan says

    Good work, shame they will never allow you in academia.

  54. It is true that Hughes will be a hated pariah in academia, should he choose to pursue that path.

    But, it is also true that he could be a phenomenally successful public intellectual anyway, if success is measured as one’s positive impact ameliorating the toxic social pathologies described in the article.

    We are in a cultural moment. Kanye, Candace Owens et al have broken the spell of racial demagoguery for potentially millions of people, including uncounted numbers of black Americans, leaving their audience’s third eyes wincing in the blaze of a heretofore unseen sun. With his shockingly clear and humanistic reasoning style, Hughes could be the clean-up artist who pries those third eyes open for good.

    Who would you rather be—a truth-teller who helps liberate a people, or a narcissistic half-wit in an endless ocean of narcissistic half-wits, eating rubber chicken at this week’s cookie-cutter academic conference on Marxist race theory?

  55. David Marks says

    When I read The Racism Treadmill on Quillette I wrote to the editors of RCP and said this author needs much wider distribution and readership.I have no idea if that had any impact but was pleased to see this is now his second piece to appear on RCP. (Maybe he has more but I couldn’t find any.) I don’t agree with everything he writes but he sure is damn smart and makes a compelling argument. It’s great writing and why I am now going to support Quillette. Well done!

  56. Vox Hungrily says

    @Rosa and the many respondents to her comments: “The Left” as referred to by Coleman is the clarisy that dominates academia and Hollywood. It is the clerisy much more than either political party that shapes our social zeitgeist. And the clarisy is deeply infected with hyper PC leftism. Coleman is commenting on this. The so-called IDW that is thankfully emerging is like the rebellion in the SW trilogy (I chose to ignore the movies after Return of the Jedi) fighting against the Empire.

  57. 10 years ago I read an article by Dennis Prager that made me weep. Until that article, I did not think a Jewish person could say non leftist things. Now, mind you, my brother is married to a lovely Jewish lady and she is wonderful, caring, and voted for Jill Stein. Before that she is proud to tell me she voted for Ralph Nader. But I digress. When I read that article, a wave of relief went over me. Alas, there was a Jewish mind that was not just like me but superior to me in that it lifted and elevated my own thoughts.

    Reading this, I want to hug Mr. Hughes. I want to tell him so many things. I want to celebrate his intellect and courage.

    Thank for clear thinking and not buzz words or cliques or buying into victimhood. I read the article by Ekow N. Yankah and I thought the reverse, that a white person can never be a true friend with a black person because they will always loath us, they will always or eventually fall back on blaming us for whatever happens in their lives, and they will always be victims first and people last.

    Now I see why I have a different and real relationships with my black conservative friends. Because they aren’t black first and never victims.

  58. KD says

    What I don’t understand, lacking sufficient “wokeness”, is how it contributes to society to run around saying “I am encouraging my children to be enemies of those people on the basis of their race”.

    So say I am Sinhalese and I teach this to my children, don’t you think the Tamils are eventually going to figure it out and reciprocate? How about a Tutsi? Isn’t this universally socially destructive in any context?

    Second, if we believe Coates, that there is some magical “structural white supremacy” forcefield (as distinguished from institutionalized money lending) inevitably holding Blacks down, then the only possible way to redress this problem is strict racial separatism. And I don’t see how you get a “Black only” state without the simultaneous creation of the “White only” state–its not much different from separating your socks. In other words, it would seem like the KKK is the most “woke” in Prog world.

    It isn’t very hard, once we put aside “muh feelz” in favor of the syllogism to see that Prog world is pretty sick and destructive, and morphological kissing cousins with the Alt-Right.

  59. Jay Stone says

    The writer fails (or refuses) to see that his Coates/Weiss comparison pits facts against feelings, and is thus not the gigantic own he thinks it is.

    Bari Weiss made a factual error in real time and refused to correct it. Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote about a feeling he experienced as a 25 year old man shortly after being personally shaken by the death of a friend.

    Hughes wants the Atlantic (or some other, unnamed media figures) to “hold Coates accountable” for this, but that’d be like trying to oust Jeffrey Goldberg from his post for being a young follower of Meir Kahane. As Goldberg wrote in his own memoir, “And soon enough I came across the writings of Meir Kahane, on a high shelf, and it was Kahane who provided a not un-Panther-like but specifically thSemitic model of self-defense. Kahane was the Brooklyn rabbi who founded the Jewish Defense League in 1968 to shake Jews out of their fatalistic and feminized passivity. He argued, infamously, in favor of the bat, the bomb, and the gun. (“Every Jew a .22,” he said, to the shame and horror of the Manhattan Jewish elite and to the secret joy of every beaten-down Jewboy in the tristate area.) . . . But for a time he held all the answers for me. In the locker room, I was a kike, but in the sanctuary of the library, I was a revolutionary kike, one of Kahane’s chayas, a beast, a street-fighting Jew.”

    Soldiers who return from war with scrambled minds and souls are given a wide berth by the American media, as are shaken survivors of domestic violence. Perhaps Mr. Hughes or one of his followers will jump on this thread to laugh at the implicit comparison to losing a friend to police violence or being on the receiving end of anti-Jewish bullying, (as Jeffrey Goldberg was) but I’d contend that such mockery would be a far worse look for Hughes & his fans than the comparison would for me.

  60. Reason, eloquence and evenhandedness are what I hope will see us all through to the other side of these crazy times in our political discourse. If this is what you are producing as an undergrad, it seems you will have an important role to play in that discourse.

  61. ga gamba says

    @stevengregg and @ seekinghealthandwisdom who wrote:

    I don’t believe that you can make that claim. BLM likely started out as an honest attempt to shed light on a real problem with racial bias in policing.

    OK, let’s look at the numbers. The US population is about 325 million, of which approx. 13% is black. Half of these are male, so that’s 6.5% of national population. Males of any race aged 14 to 40 are most likely to commit crime, especially violent crime, so let’s say roughly half of black males fall within this age group. This is about three per cent of national population.

    Each year approx. 12 million people are arrested by America’s roughly 1 million law enforcement officers – about 1 million arrests per month. Police have millions more face-to-face encounters with the public such a traffic stops, assistance rendered at accidents, witness statements taken, etc. The most recent data from 2008 reports about 40 million per annum, or 3.33 million per month, but these are duty contacts. Police on the beat interact with the public routinely for non-duty reasons, the kind that don’t generate a report, such as ordering lunch, giving directions, etc. I think it’s reasonable to deduce on average each police officer has at least one face-to-face encounter with the public per day whilst on duty. This is hundreds of millions of encounters with the public each year. I think 20 million face-to-face interactions for any reason with the public per month is a conservative estimate.

    In 2016 approx. 1100 Americans of all races and sexes were shot dead by police. Fifty-five of them were unarmed; most of the others had weapons such as guns and knives and some tried to run down police with their vehicles. Of these 55, 16 were unarmed black men. On average 1.33 unarmed black males were shot dead by police each month. An unarmed person can still be violent and even lethal, and has the chance to snatch the officer’s gun, but for the sake of argument let’s assume these 16 were entirely non-violent. BTW, if police hold racial bias, why aren’t they killing many more black women and black elderly too? Irrespective of age and sex, black is black, isn’t it?

    Is 16 per annum an outrageous number? Does it represent the real problem with racial bias in the policing? Or is it outlier?

    The 1.33 black males killed in a month when 1 million people are arrested is 0.00000133. That’s one-millionth of a per cent of those arrested. Some of the unarmed blacks were in the process of being arrested when they were killed. For the sake of argument let’s say they were not being arrested but having a reportable face-to-face encounter. The 1.33 killed in a month of 3.33 million police-public encounters is 0.0000004 – a number that’s usually represented by scientific e notation on a calculator.

    To put this in context with other tragic events, the death rate due to medical error is significantly greater than that – at nearly 10% [0.10] it’s the third leading cause of death in the US. I’m not going to argue racism does not exist amongst some of the police force, or anywhere else for that matter, but does 0.00000133 and 0.0000004 prove the real problem of racism? Is this the burden of proof you require to assert there’s “a real problem with racial bias in policing”? That’s very slim. Is your expectation perfection? Perhaps you are the one who holds a negative bias against police.

    “But blacks are shot disproportionately by police!” Maybe. “On the most extreme use of force – officer-involved shootings – we find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account,” reported Roland Fryer of Harvard University. So too are males shot disproportionately. And the young. Are we arguing police are guilty of misandry and ageism also? Why not? In and of itself a disproportion does not dictate a conclusion. It’s an observation. It’s up to social theorists to perform multivariate research to determine the numerous causes.

    In that 3 per cent of the national population are those who commit about 50% of the murders. They also disproportionately commit other violent crimes. Criminal activity tends to generate reports to police and responses. Is the disproportionate number of police responses evidence of racism too? “Oh, you say the victim and assailant are black. Sorry, we’ve hit our quota of responses to black crime this month. We can’t come. We’re policing equally nowadays.” Over time crime trends are found and policing is shifted to areas where crime occurs more often. These areas are disproportionately policed. Is this too evidence of racism? OK, police each area equally, be they low crime or high. Safe areas will be even safer and high crime areas will see more crime. Is this the poison you’re picking?

    Whatever your feelings about cops, the withdrawal of a city’s police force can hurt the fight against violent crime, according to Zachary Fardon, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. . . . “I also think that the fallout in public confidence—the apparent embattlement of police on all fronts—created a sense of emboldened aggressiveness among gang members, especially in Chicago’s most violence-afflicted neighborhoods,” Fardon says. “Some gang members apparently felt they could get away with more, and so more bullets start[ed] flying.” www(dot)newsweek(dot)com/2016/12/23/chicago-gangs-violence-murder-rate-532034.html

    The demands for increased and often heavy-handed policing came from the black community in the 1970s through ’90s. What we see today was birthed by this black demand: Wasn’t the safety of black law-abiding citizens a basic civil right?

    Eric Holder, who would become Barack Obama’s attorney general, may have played the most astonishing role in escalating the war on crime. During the mid-90s, when he was the United States attorney for the District of Columbia, he started Operation Ceasefire, an initiative that gave Washington police wide latitude to stop cars and search them for guns. “I’m not going to be naïve about it,” Holder said at a community meeting in 1995. “The people who will be stopped will be young black males, overwhelmingly.”

    He knew the roots of crime were complex. He said so in interviews. But his immediate concern was reducing harm in the present.
    www(dot)nytimes(dot)com/2017/04/11/books/review-locking-up-our-own-james-forman-jr.html

    The same phenomenon of disproportionate criminality by young black males is found in the UK and Canada, countries without the same history of domestic slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings, etc. How is this criminality explained? Do we simply use a univariate analysis and declare “Racism!”? If so, we might as well end further social theory research on policing and all the factors that lead to public-police encounters. We have our answer for it all: racism.

    • Emblem14 says

      So bottom line, what are you implying with all this? It seems to end with a conclusion that it is foolish to explain the “disproportionate criminality by young black males”, with a pat catch-all of “Racism”. What is the Elephant in the Subtext?

    • Except that racism itself is a complex issue that requires unpacking through multi-variate analysis.

      My working theory of racism in policing is that people with a preference for using intuition more than reason (which is almost everyone in the heat of the moment) are more inclined to listen to what their subconscious is telling them. Some policemen will have that preference at almost all times. People who have less exposure to black people, do not have as well-trained an ability to recognise the facial features of black people (their fusiform face area is less developed towards recognising black faces – for example, people of European descent look at people’s eyes to establish identity, people of African descent do not). This lack of differentiation leads to some police officers being less inclined to treat African-Americans as individuals, instead relying more on intuitive (and predominantly negative) stereotypes, not least because what exposure they have had to African-Americans has mostly been in relatively negative circumstances – something I think you alluded to. The same is probably true, albeit to a lesser extent, for people on juries.

      In the case of juries, darker-skinned blacks tend to to fair less well than lighter-skinned blacks who fair less well than whites. In this case, I think there are two things happening, over and above the above:
      1) it is easier to parse features on a lighter-skinned face, so people trying to get a “read” on the defendant find it more difficult to do so with a darker-skinned individual.
      2) People with very dark-brown irises do not have visible pupils. People (subconsciously) looking for pupil dilation as a cue to whether a defendant is telling the truth will get a hyper-normal stimulus response, and will tend to err towards an assumption of culpability.

      In addition, because black children appear more mature at a younger age, they are often deemed more culpable than age-matched white kids when it comes to relatively minor youth offences, leading to harsher, and more frequently custodial, sentences, setting them on a path for increased criminality. To give a personal example of this, my sister’s husband is from Zimbabwe; their 10 year-old daughter is taller, more adult-looking, and with a more mature-sounding voice than my 12 year-old daughter. If we take my daughter’s looks as a base-line for what a 12-year-old girl looks like, my sister’s daughter looks 16. Like I said, she’s 10. When that age difference influences whether or not a child is treated as an adult in legal proceedings, that can have a life-changing impact, both for the African-American child in question, and for their family, present and future.

  62. This is one of the most intelligent essays I have read in a long time. Great thinking. Great writing.

  63. J.N. Clark says

    I finally watched the debate, and I found it ironic that Dyson took such umbrage at Fry’s closing “snake oil huckster pulpit talk” jibe, given his earlier “mean white man” name-calling. Of course, Dyson took Fry’s jibe and immediately made it about race, as if Fry were insinuating that, because he’s black, he is forbidden from speaking intelligently or eloquently and must instead amuse the audience with a Stepin Fetchit routine. Dyson lives up to his vacuum cleaner namesake, except, instead of sucking up dust, he constantly blows out a steady stream of racially outraged hot air to scatter the white privileged dust bunnies. Does the guy have an “off” switch?

    I also found ironic how blind Dyson and Goldberg are to their ideological position of power. Dyson paraphrased David Foster Wallace’s parable of the fish not realizing they’re swimming in water and applied it to white privilege, yet he and Goldberg are oblivious to the fact that they’re among the school of big, predatorial fish swimming in a societal sea of identity politics and political correctness.

    When repeatedly pressed by Peterson to give a precise answer as to when the Left goes too far, Goldberg gave the vague answer of acts of violence and censorship, seemingly oblivious to the fact that violence and censorship are already rampant tactics of social justice activism. Indeed, political correctness is precisely censorship, often employed with the menacing threat of violence or at least defamation of character and loss of livelihood, but it seems that, to Dyson and Goldberg, it’s not censorship or violence if it’s directed against racism, sexism, and bigotry. Most likely, in their heart of hearts, Dyson and Goldberg would agree that, to paraphrase Goldwater, extremism in pursuit of equality is no vice.

    Dyson and Goldberg were both under the impression that the radical Left is an insignifcant, nebulous entity constrained to college campuses (as if that were not already a problem). In their Trump-addled hysteria, they envisaged the Left as a vulnerable, wounded fawn beset upon on all sides by ascendant fascistic wolves, itching to tear the fawn apart and inaugurate a neo-Third Reich. They were, perhaps willfully, blind to the fact that the Left has largely been victorious in the culture wars and dominates most of the organs and institutions of power, from Silicon Valley and Hollywood to journalism and academia. From their victimhood-obsessed perspective, the Left is perpetually an outmatched yet resilient David up against a massive, repugnant Goliath of white privilege – that is, until the Left finally wins absolute, uncontested power.

    Dyson maintained that the Left’s efforts were merely to share the power that has been hoarded by the white patriarchy, yet it’s clear from its coercive and demonizing tactics that the Left’s intention is not merely to dismantle the hierarchy and create a level playing field but to invert the old hierarchy and establish a new one with favored victim groups at the top and “mean white men” at the bottom. Ordinary people realize this, which is why there has been such a backlash against political correctness, which the left-leaning media breathlessly characterizes as the rise of fascism. It’s why Peterson has become so popular and so controversial and why he must constantly defend himself against claims that he’s a neo-Nazi malefactor.

    Goldberg’s condescending claim that the negative perception of political correctness merely reflects the growing pains of bigoted rubes annoyed that they can no longer tell racist jokes underscores her own ideological myopia and is undermined by the fact that this debate on political correctness was held at all. If only the deplorables of flyover country and allegedly crypto-fascist intellectuals like Peterson had a problem with political correctness, then there would be no need for a debate on the subject. Dyson and Goldberg felt that political correctness was so innocuous that they didn’t need to address it, hence why they used their time to double down on identity politics. Given the audience’s final scores of the debate, they merely demonstrated how out of touch they are.

    • Emblem14 says

      “Extremism in pursuit of equality is no vice”

      Great comment. I think Bret Weinstein said it most cogently when describing the creepy authoritarian vibes coming from the far left, and wondering why moderate leftists don’t take it more seriously. Peterson also keyed in on the central issue when he asks for a consensus on when the left “goes too far”.

      Most left-leaning liberals hold an abstract ideal of a “level playing field” where race/gender/sexuality discrimination is no longer a salient variable in data for various life outcomes. Ostensibly, at that point they would be satisfied that their work was done, and our society had finally achieved its egalitarian, secular humanist destiny with equality and liberty for all.

      The “inverters” of the Hierarchy are radical wolves in liberal sheep’s clothing, blending in among the various flavors of “the Left” because, for the moment, they’re all agitating for change on the same trajectory – toward more equality for all, and less privilege for historically dominant groups. So a coalition is natural, and illusions of solidarity are easy to swallow.

      This coalition will fracture along predictable lines – economic – when even the most obsequious, grovelling liberal realizes they have skin in the game of retributive plunder the activists ultimately want to play. When they realize what’s happening – an attempted transfer of power and wealth on a massive scale, away from them and their children and toward strangers who hold them in contempt, they’ll be looking for the first face-saving pretext to get off the ride.

      • Peterson’s call for a consensus on “when the left goes too far” is absurd given the behavior of the individual currently in the White House. Apparently the right has no problem supporting a man who fails, or is slow, to condemn fascists and racists, to the point of pardoning some. Whose history of being the defendant in thousands of court cases where the complainant is a small business that he has defrauded, or an employee that he has mistreated, should have been a disqualifier for even running, let alone winning. Whose bigoted rhetoric and contempt for, and dilution of, the role of president should be a source of perpetual shame. Instead we care about a line in the sand for leftists? Why? The biggest threat that the left poses, particularly in the US, is the strawman of it that pundits on the right present as fact.

        Any line that there may have been on the right is blurry, at best, the subject of historical revisionism, at least, and actively railed against by Trump, at worst. Indeed, note that Peterson had to reach fairly far back to find an example of this line on the right, a fact which ignores salient facts about the ongoing impact of Falwell’s fusing of Republicanism to Christianity (despite the establishment clause), the travesty that is Citizens United (that the majority of Americans, from both sides of the aisle, are against), and the poisonous, sociopathic influence of Roger Stone. The changes to the Republican party in the last decade, as a continuation of what occurred with the Dixiecrats decamping to the right in the 60s, should be of far greater concern than what’s going on with the left, instead everyone is pretending that there’s nothing to see here.

        • Emblem14 says

          Trump is a natural autocrat with a brutish authoritarian streak, infested with myriad personality disorders, thankfully being constrained by institutional checks and balances.

          His outrageousness and contempt for basic decency may understandably elicit a strong counter-reaction on the left, which is not to say that this is a GOOD thing, Escalating, mutually reinforcing extremism and polarization is not good news.

          I think a lot of centrists are more focused on the (more abstract) threat from the left than the right because
          1. most of us are not high on the list of targets for right wing persecution,
          2. Most people in the libertarian center are much more intimidated by the pervasive hostility and moral puritanism coming from the left.
          3. Left wing activists have embraced a politics of personal destruction that terrorises anyone who commits “heresy” at the wrong place and time.
          4. The reactionary right’s ability to do damage to the fabric of a free society is exaggerated and overrated by a panicky media.
          5. The left’s threat to liberty is underrated due to their dominance in media, arts, tech, high culture and academia, with the ability to supercharge activism by drawing on powerful moral narratives which have accumulated a tremendous amount of capital via consecutive victories in the culture wars.

          Peterson is inescapably biased by his entrenchment in a subculture where the left feels most unconstrained to indulge its’ excesses – Academia. His alarmism, which may be salient to those closest to “ground zero” of left wing overreach, seems more hysterical the farther you get away from that nexus. Which is not to say there is no reason to be concerned about those subcultural norms creeping ever-outward to other realms of society.

          In other words, harping on the threat of Trump and MAGA is beating a dead horse, echoing the conventional wisdom, whereas sounding alarm bells about the left is necessary precisely because the looming menace of Trump blinds most of the mainstream to the potential danger of a resurgent extremism from the left.

  64. J.N. Clark says

    “This coalition will fracture along predictable lines”

    I, too, have speculated on the inevitable disintegration of the Leftist coalition. I imagine it will occur more along the lines of the competition between the groups in the new hierarchy to determine who is the most oppressed victim group and thus most deserving of the biggest slice of the power pie, once the scapegoats of white privilege and patriarchy have been significantly reduced and the thin thread of resistance that unites these disparate groups becomes defunct. Also, the contradicting aims and essences of these mulifarious victim identities (e.g. Muslims and gays) can only lead to conflict once their common enemy has been vanquished.

    • Then again, should “the scapegoats of white privilege and patriarchy” be “significantly reduced” such that the status quo is fairer and more just, then the defenders of the status quo, i.e. the right, would have nothing to fear from the left, and the left would have no particular reasons to engage in politics, which doesn’t come naturally to them anyway.

  65. Edward Ellsworth says

    Excellent essay Mr. Hughes. May God bless you.

  66. Not Chicken Little says

    I like people of any color, who prefer living free and not on anybody else’s plantation, not in the field, not in the master’s house. And no one has to live on someone else’s plantation nowadays but many still seem to prefer it.

    I’m glad to encounter a like mind, who expresses his ideas much better than I could.

  67. Jon Burack says

    Along with Candace Owens and a few other younger blacks (with older mentors like Glenn Loury and John McWhorter), we can now add Coleman Hughes as a hopeful sign a new generation of black leadership is arising to challenge the prevailing divisive and dead-ended identity trap too many blacks have fallen into. Absolutely superb essay. Also a sign higher education is not completely dead yet. Makes my day.

  68. CS says

    Credit where credit is due. There are valid points in this article, the strongest one, in my view, being the charge of a double-standard in the treatment of blacks in the US.

    However, the article is rife with contradictions that beg the question of the author not spending the time to review it before delivery or simply didn’t care to. A careful reading of TaNehisi Coates ‘Between the World and Me’, which the author quotes, will let any careful reader of this article know that the author has either misread or simply misrepresented Coates. His attacks to the “liberal intellectual” in his article come across as if all he wanted to do was take a cheap shot.

    The worst part of this article? The charge that blacks have stale grievances because were not leaving under slavery or the Jim Crow south anymore. That we are somehow overplaying our hand because other minorities (even a white majority) are not treated or don’t expect to be treated with the deference with which blacks are treated in regards to racial matters. That we shouldn’t claim a history that doesn’t exist, that has never been a part of our present reality. The author doesn’t seem to realize (or does so very little) how weak this premise is. In wanting to dismiss (the argument from) history, the author overlooks that, banning all attempts to rewrite it, it is history that informs policy decisions that address structural injustices remaining in our midst to this day. Racism, if the author cares to approach it with keener eyes, has only morphed into a more sophisticated yet equally brutal act against minorities of color. The ultimate goal of racism is death. Black people know that history, particularly their history in the US, will never be without grievances so long as that history continues to be allowed to be played out – rewriting itself all over new generations of blacks. There are no stale grievances when it comes to black history in the US. To suggest the untethering of the present day black experience in the US from the history of black Americans is simply naive.

    I can only wonder if the author, smart as he is, might have to find himself disavowing some of his arguments by the time he goes to grad school. Especially, if he continues to have meaningful conversations with serious historians, sociologists, anthropologists and political scientists.

    • Jews will be eternally at war with Egypt because they were slaves there once. There is no possible way they can get over it.

      • Roland F. Hirsch says

        Jews are NOT at war with Egypt. Israel and Egypt are at peace and are sharing defensive systems against terrorists.

    • Emblem14 says

      As Coleman states repeatedly in the piece, the facts of history are not in dispute, only the modern-day relevance of those facts to the lives and mentalities of American blacks living today. Is it “right” or, more importantly, helpful to maintain a complex web of socio-cultural double standards for black people based on historical grievance? What constructive purpose does it serve? We know for sure it causes a good deal of division and resentment between racial groups, so any benefit it carries has to be weighed against the known costs.

      Beyond the issue of double standards, is it right or helpful to couch the essentialness of the black experience, or even moreso the setting of individual and communal expectations, in the frame of perpetual victimhood? Can one disregard the unfairness of one’s circumstances on a micro-level to inculcate the kind of stoic responsibility necessary for self improvement, without minimizing the larger impact of that unfairness, and the need to address it on a macro-level?

      People often use bad luck (and being born black in a country shaped by white supremacy is in many ways a kind of cosmic bad luck) as a justification for cynicism and apathy. But even those who succumb to this mindset know it’s a psychic albatross flying down a dead end street – what possible good can come of it? The lack of positive development and progress is the self-fulfilling result of rejecting one’s own agency and becomes the circular justification for perpetual fatalism and resentment.

      This ultimately goes back to Loury’s quote about blacks being encouraged to see themselves (by left wing intellectuals both white and black) as puppets on a string at the mercy of white dispensation. No other group is encouraged to think of themselves as so helpless and without means of self-determination. There is a possibility that this distinct ideological position, culturally generalized and psychologically internalized, has created a pathology that inhibits black potential separate from any external factors of oppression. How big the effect is would be hard to measure, but it isn’t inconceivable for there to be one.

      There are certain empirical realities that make self-imposed psychological sabotage more or less plausible. I think Coleman is rightly criticizing the PC prohibition on discussing this subject openly with nuance, if there is even a slight chance that a theory might emerge that lets white people “off the hook” for the fate of black people.

      But what that does is make the only “acceptable” narrative one that omits a potentially big chunk of interesting heterodox thought. Political Correctness is responsible for creating a distortion field that interferes with the honest pursuit of knowledge, and the process by which we clash different ideas together to test their brittleness or strength. It represents the arrogance of certitude by fiat, as well as the willingness to lie and mislead in serving some sacralized “greater good” taken as an article of faith.

      Whatever the answers may be, being forced into a politically discourse of deliberate obfuscation, manipulation and intellectual dishonesty is a deeply troubling norm and should be challenged at every turn.

  69. On a more mundane personal note: I had it on my things-to-do list to listen to at least one Rihanna tune. Not so much now feeling uninvited.

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  72. I have a solution to the current Black murder rate. It is the solution we used in solving the Italian murder rate from 1920 to 1933.

    End Prohibition you fools.

  73. Ian says

    The article challenged me a little, and had me thinking about somethings I didn’t before. Thanks.

    But I want to make a comment about the silliness of this article, and the entire US system. I am bewildered by the idea that anything useful can be discussed about people, if you put the entirety of the US population into two categories, be it left/right or Republican/Democratic.

    It seems to me that a two party system, is such a big issue that any other issue is negligible. I struggle to relate to anyone who thinks that US citizens have representation under such a system.

    I am an outsider, but if I were given voting rights as an example, I would have no acceptable option in the US.
    I have voted twice for Liberals, in the sense that they were liberal about the economy and policy, and then for Social Democrats, and next up are the communists. None of these options seem to exist in the US.

    To tie it together. I do not see how US citizens who believe in greater taxation for health, but less immigration, can be represented in the US.
    And so talking about how the left is, or how the right is, has no weight.

    • LampofDiogenes says

      Ian,

      Yes, you are an “outsider”, and basically know NOTHING about the U.S. “Left/Right” can, indeed, be misused and misapplied. Do you honestly believe that a coherent worldview does NOT compel you toward one side or the other???? If you h believe that a coherent and intelligent personal philosophy does not impelled you to one side or the other?? You do not have an intelligent or coherent worldview. Unlike some on the “Right”, I do not believe most Leftists are either evil or stupid. I believe they are very sincere, and very true to their worldview. They simply see the world through a VERY different lens than do I. Would that they would afford me the same respect.

      You are NOT “deep” or “insightful”, you are simply either ignorant or mentally confused. Come up with a COHERENT (I.e., not internally contradictory) PERSONAL philosophy, and it all becomes much simpler. My own is that human liberty is the highest possible good, and that, with few exceptions, anything that promotes human liberty is a net, objective good. If the Libertarian Party were a little bit more internally co insistent, I would be one. As it is, I prefer to consider myself a Jeffersonian (HINT: The Declaration of Independence was the single most brilliant and objectively Tue statement of political philosophy in the HISTORY of the world.).

      The Leftist worldview is objectively Fascist. Any contrary argument is blatant nonsense. There ARE “right-of-center” Fascists, and I abhor them, but the evidence is. clear – Leftists don’t want human liberty, they want humans to confront to THEIR worldview.

      • There is nothing objectively fascist about the leftist worldview, if you know what fascism is. There has been a move amongst some “intellectuals” on the right to paint fascism as leftist, but it doesn’t bear up to even the mildest scrutiny:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxv5q6JGNhw

        As to the rest of your rant at Ian, it’s really unclear what point you’re making. He seemed to be saying that politics is not a pure left/right dichotomy, which is manifestly the case, even if you only look at the four subtypes arising from social liberal/conservative and fiscal liberal/conservative. Indeed, you say you would support the Libertarians if they were coherent enough, thereby illustrating that you agree with Ian that two parties are not enough.

  74. Vox Clams says

    Coleman raises a question worth answering: why do stale grievances gain so much traction and why are some, eg., Jim Crow (a/k/a big government gone mad) more equal than others (Irish need not apply)? I have some theories, but they are only theories, and it would be informative to really get to the bottom of it if we ever are to move to a society where people can be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin:
    a) Good old-fashioned guilt brought to a national level. Perhaps Lincoln was right about the original sin nature of slavery. Apparently 400,000 Union soldiers (and another few hundred thousand Confederates) dying was not nearly enough to wipe it out. Americans of many if not all faith traditions can feel guilty about something that they had no involvement in whatsoever.
    b) Power by any means necessary. The same political party, the Democrats, that currently pushes discrimination against certain races (eg., Asian) felt only a few decades ago that government should get involved in segregating seating in buses by race. Talk about big government gone haywire.
    c) Virtue signaling sells. Every time I see a white “progressive” wearing a “Black Lives Matter” button I wonder if they think that the button makes them look cool, and less intrusive than a tattoo.
    d) Superiority complexes abound. Maybe I misread it, but whenever I see a white “progressive” lecturing someone about the 1st Amendment rights of NFL players to drive their multi-million dollar profession into the ground (and encourage the killing of police officers and those who otherwise might be protected by police officers if they were not so afraid to do their challenging jobs), I also see a certain look of perceived moral superiority. They appear to me as modern-day Pharisees. They want to tell others what to think, say and do because after all, they are smarter and more morally aware.

    I do not fully understand the causes of the current movement to instill permanent victimhood status on all African Americans, but I do see its effects. White leftists pre-judge African Americans as being unqualified or less qualified to undertake the most basic of tasks (eg., obtaining proper identification in order to vote), due to “historical and institutional racism” of course. And with all that institutional racism still out there, leftists believe that African Americans cannot be expected to perform at the level of people from other races. That kind of blatant bigotry in the name of progress must make Dr. King roll over in his grave.

    And with friends like leftists all too happy to fan the grievances of the past as justification for their own bigotry, African Americans do not need any enemies.

    I prefer to keep it simple: unless you chose the color of the skin of your parents, you should not be tagged with any positive or negative inference from the color of your own skin.

    Stated differently, I have a dream that one day Americans will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, regardless of whether their ancestors fought in the 20th Maine, 15th Alabama or neither.

    • “I prefer to keep it simple: unless you chose the color of the skin of your parents, you should not be tagged with any positive or negative inference from the color of your own skin.”

      This, of course, is the ideal, but the simple fact is that darker-skinned African-Americans are treated more harshly by the justice system than lighter-skinned African-Americans:
      https://scholar.harvard.edu/jlhochschild/publications/skin-color-paradox-and-american-racial-order

      And African-Americans (light and dark) are treated more harshly by the police on every metric except killings (though it is the killing of black people that make the news). I can’t put my hand to the particular study that found this, just now, but it is a recent report, and it was circulated to debunk the claim that more blacks being killed by the police than whites. Of course, there are five times as many whites as there are blacks in the US, so you’d expect more whites to be killed by police. However, blacks (and minorities more generally) are more than twice as likely to be shot by police, especially of they are unarmed, bizarrely:
      https://www.vox.com/cards/police-brutality-shootings-us/us-police-racism

  75. This is a nice piece and I agree with the sentiment, but I don’t see these kinds of ideas gaining much traction as long as large racial disparities persist in society (regardless of why they persist). And if you look at the school achievement of kids today, for example, there’s no sign of the achievement gap going away–and those kids will live to the end of this century. Unless you are willing to subscribe to a thesis of innate racial inferiority, there’s no alternative to believing that African Americans are hobbled by their history of mistreatment at the hands of whites and that therefore it’s not fair to hold them to similar behavioral standards as whites.

    • Then again, if the justice system was actually rehabilitative, rather than punitive, it would be a moot point.

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  78. Jihad says

    This is an article that every American should read, and an article the unfortunately may only be finished by those that already agree with its findings. Your brilliance is shown through every paragraph. Thank you.

  79. Abdisalam says

    Incredibly well-written. Very well done, Coleman.

  80. Abdisalam says

    I would just like to add that beyond just being largely irrelevant, the fact that many progressive types bring up the horrors of slavery and its immediate aftermath to justify or wave away black under-performance or misbehaviour is actually quite grotesque. To exploit the suffering and dehumanization of chattel slaves and true second-class citizens for one’s own benefit in a truly privileged era is heinous. It’s the starkest example of appropriation I can think of.

  81. Jake g says

    “Can we speak honestly, for instance, about the fact that blacks make up 14 percent of the population but commit 52 percent of the homicides? Or to state the problem in reverse, can we speak honestly about the fact that the same percentage of America’s murder victims are black?”

    I think black people ARE trying to speak honestly when they tell you, “we used to be slaves, there are still large pockets of racism inside of people and institutions in the U.S., and we are at a much larger disadvantage than man white people are willing to admit”.

    It’s almost like you want to say, “black people are violent”, without actually saying it. There are enormous contextual factors and I can’t believe the ignorance here.

    • Jake J says

      If someone were to say to me, Blacks are violent, I would answer, That’s not true. Most black people are not violent at all.

      If someone were to say to me, Too many blacks are violent, I would answer, Yes, and isn’t it a shame that no one seems to want to talk about it?

  82. Sam says

    One of, if not the best, article Ive ever encountered on the subject. It colors points made before and illuminates new or underdiscussed ones.

    At the heart of the issue, as I see it, take the example of Italian-American crime. Say twenty years ago, raising this point wouldn’t have necessarily convinced all proponents of special rules for black people, but it at least would have given some of them pause. And the open-minded would have understood the legitimacy of this comparison. What is troubling about the current climate is that the powers that be in the media, entertainment industry and body politic have all banded together to support the notion that there *must* be a reason to justify any bad behavior of black people, and this has the trickle down effect of convincing even less informed white and black people that this is simply an established fact: all black problems are historical. The discussion has become harder because at one time saying, “…but slavery” was not considered a legitimate trump card in any circumstance. Currently, alleged “intellectuals” insist it is

  83. Coleman Hughes is very brave to write this. In regard to his “white Hispanic” friend who lost his job because he didn’t look “black” (like many other Hispanics), isn’t it time we started pushing back against black gatekeepers and intellectuals who still promote the so-called “one drop rule”? If Coleman’s friend had claimed to be part-black, would he still have been fired? I have seen some “all black” productions in which we are expected to ignore the skin color of some “white elephants in the room” because they are part-black in ancestry when others who look the same but claim no black ancestry would have been turned away with disdain. If you google the words “passing for white,” you will be deluged with articles and comments from blacks (or those who THINK they are “black”) denouncing mixed-race whites and others who DARE to claim a white identity or any identity other than “black.” The blacks who constantly whine against so-called “passing for white” seem to be oblivious to the fact that they are validating the racist idea of their own genetic inferiority when they do that.

    A.D. Powell
    Author
    “Passing” for Who You Really Are: Essays in Support of Multiracial Whiteness

  84. PF says

    Last time I read something this intelligent, it was from a college kid named Ben Shapiro…

  85. Rob Steele says

    Liberals secretly believe black people are inferior and that makes the liberals do crazy things to compensate. If liberals had a speck of humility it wouldn’t be a problem but they think intellectual superiority equals superiority period and woah. Their hatred for their white intellectual inferiors forces them into cognitive dissonance.

    • …and conservatives, and especially Protestant conservatives, believe that poor people are inferior, even when they are poor themselves… now THAT is cognitive dissonance.

      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

      ― Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress

  86. Regular person says

    Ah, but those built in biases lead the author to accord “equal” status to both the far-Left and the far-Right, when the actual numbers of each are millions apart. Why even mention the few hundred thousand of so called far-Right in a “balanced” manner with the multi-millions of far-Left institutions and activists in according blame for past and present actions? The truly-center folks include many conservatives who are certainly not far-Right, and yet are so easily tarred with the same brush by careless equivalency. The author has a way to go yet to recognize his unconscious biases and weighted categorizations. He is on a better track, but blaming white folks for pushing back against toxic leftist neo-Marxist postmodernism and tribalization is not the way to achieve happy melting pot status (not multiculturalistic equivalency).

    • Then again, the American definition of far-left is pretty absurd, and that’s why it is such a large group in your eyes (speaking of biases). For example, the Democrats, in the eyes of most of us outside of America, is actually pretty centrist, if not slightly right of centre. Which is presumably why there are far more conservatives voting Republican than there are liberals voting Democrat. This is why those whose voting policy is “never-Democrat” are, by definition, quite far to the right, and there are a lot of them (somewhere in the order of 25% of the US population).

      At the same time most Americans don’t seem to realise how liberal they are:
      http://prospect.org/article/most-americans-are-liberal-even-if-they-don%E2%80%99t-know-it

  87. R M Loftus says

    Mr. Hughes: What a thoughtful essay on this subject. Thank you for the effort and insight.
    One would hope that you continue to communicate with us on other topics. I am going to share
    your essay with friends and associates. Keep Up The Good Work!

  88. Jonathan says

    Amazing article. This has been an incredibly difficult topic to dismantle, and you did an incredible job breaking it down clearly. In particular I have never before been able to understand why the left has lower standards for black people, but your explanation of them seeing black people as a domino in a history of causation as opposed to individuals living in the present really helps me understand their logic. Thank you, and I look forward to seeing more of what you write!

  89. LL says

    White privilege is Marxism, a tool of Marxism weaponized language.

  90. Mark Pukita says

    Wow! Coleman, without my making a comment on the theme of this article, this is an incredible piece of writing. I feel almost unworthy to read it. I hope and pray you have a fabulous future!

  91. Sonny Wayze says

    “Only a black intellectual, for instance, could write an op-ed arguing that black children should not befriend white children because “[h]istory has provided little reason for people of color to trust white people,” and get it published in the New York Times in 2017. An identical piece with the races reversed would rightly be relegated to fringe white supremacist forums.”

    Well, John Derbyshire wrote that very piece. Bing ‘The Talk: Nonblack Version’ if you want to read it. Derbyshire lost his job over it. Coates is still celebrated…

  92. This guy is a top-flight musician and he reasons and writes like a house afire? There ain’t no justice when it comes to talent.

  93. Mark S says

    Expanding on this excellent essay, I think that it goes beyond the idea that black racism towards whites can be justified. There is the unspoken idea, which I feel is very demeaning to blacks, that we will just accept any misbehavior on the part of blacks. One can find an example of this in a segment of the black community in which anti-semitism is entirely acceptable and not easily justified as a reaction to past white discrimination. Thus Jesse Jackson can call New York “Hymietown” and Louis Farrakhan an Rev. Wright can make outrageously evil and provocative anti-semitic statements. Perhaps no other ethnic or religious group could be so acceptably demonized as Jews, but these leaders of the black community can’t be criticized free, independent individuals, responsible for their own actions and statements.

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  95. A. Blackman says

    Are you just doing this so white people will like you? I read your little essay and i’m not impressed. Just another Tom doing what Tom’s do.

    • Emblem14 says

      What makes you say that? All the white praise he’s getting in the comments?

      Why would he need to write an essay like this one to get white people to like him? If he was a left-wing intersectionalist preaching about white privledge to audiences instead, he could probably get even more praise and deference from white people on the left. And he’d enjoy the perk of being able to play his victim card whenever it suited him, something this readership doesn’t honor.

      Either way, plenty of white people would kiss his ass. So why does this kind of essay make him a Tom?

      If you have a problem with the substance of what he’s saying, you should lay it out, instead of casting cheap insults.

      • A. Blackman says

        To be brief. He discounts things like ‘red lining’ This was the Gov policy that stoped AA people fro getting home loans. The #1 source of wealth for Americans is their home, therefore by being deprived of this AA could not build generational wealth and were subjugated to the ‘Projects and/or Hoods’. This is a really big deal that bigots like you and coons like him like to gloss over but the fact is this wealth disparity is the #1 thing hurting AA people.

        • Cheester says

          It was only a matter of time before a troll crept in. Don’t pay the toll, friends.

          • A. Blackman says

            LOL, you cant refute my argument so I am a troll? OK – Got it!

        • Emblem14 says

          Except he didn’t gloss over it, or the general case that black disadvantage is the result of institutional racism. Neither do I or most people here; with only a few exceptions everyone acknowledges the historical facts that have left black people in the aggregate with huge material deficits compared to whites. It’s empirically demonstrable that present day poverty in black communities can be traced to racist public policies generations old.

          That’s not what this column is about. The way I read it, it’s about how both white society and black people themselves should deal with the hand that history dealt. Theoretically, there are constructive ways to deal with it, that have a better chance of increasing black wellbeing going forward, and there are counter-productive ways to deal with it, that don’t hold much promise for making things better.

          Coleman is arguing that the prevailing norms are of the counter-productive nature, which you did not address…choosing instead to assume that anyone who doesn’t buy into left wing prescriptions is a bigot or a coon.

          You ever consider you might be wrong about that?

  96. Chip Ellsworth? Sorry I’m letting anyone with the name Chip Ellsworth die whatever color they are.

  97. I would self-identify as one of those pesky progressive liberals (though I tend not to use the word liberal too much, these days), and I, too, am discomfited by RiRi’s decision to go with an all black backing band. I think that overt racism towards whites, by blacks, has been necessary, mostly for illustrative (see, this is what it feels like) purposes, but it’s past its ‘best before’ date, just as Affirmative Action has outlived it’s usefulness. Invariably, when the pendulum swings the other way, it has a shorter arc, otherwise it will lead to retributions when it swings back to more or less where it started. Indeed, I think we are seeing a lot of that in America’s current political climate.

    One question does arise from this piece, however. If it is inappropriate to invoke generations past to justify present grievance, is it also inappropriate to bequeath generated wealth from the past to present households?

    Studies by Pew and Demos put the average wealth of white, non-Hispanic families at 13 and 16 times that of black families, respectively (and the numbers are almost as bad for Hispanic households). This is almost entirely down to home ownership, a status explicitly denied to African Americans, with red-lining being more recent than slavery, and even Jim Crow (just). But the repercussions of red-lining, which doubtless had its roots in the same beliefs that supported slavery and segregation, casts a long shadow. It is much harder to participate in society if you have no real stake in it, and you had to start building that stake in at least the 50s and 60s, if not the late 1800s, something that was more or less impossible for the vast majority of black households.

    I am against Affirmative Action, because it deals with the right problem, at the wrong time. It can set African-American youths up to fail, and increases antagonism between races. Rather, whilst any intervention SHOULD be in education, it should start at pre-school and continue through to high-school, and target poor areas, not just black areas. Of course, with African-Americans three time as likely to be in poverty as European-Americans who are five times the population, this will also have the benefit of catering to greater numbers of whites, whilst catering to a greater proportion of blacks, which seems appropriate. Not least because whites in poverty do experience a kind of erasure by happening to be in the same demographic as the majority of the 1%.

    Additionally, and seldom noted when it comes to education, racially diverse classrooms lead to greater exposure, which makes otherizing more difficult. This is especially necessary when it comes to White Evangelical Protestants and their tendency to self-select away from any kind of exposure, let alone integration. It is that psychological distancing that perpetuates racialized rhetoric, which merely undermines any solidarity amongst the poor in resolving the larger issue, the political class’s failure to address poverty.

    The metaphorical 300 year-old black that has been held back by racist treatment is very much reified in the actual black individual whose net worth is one-fifteenth that of someone whose family has been in the US as long as their white counterpart. Addressing the wealth issue should form part of the solution, but the emphasis must be on education for those in poverty and breaking down the intentional segregation (psychological distancing) perpetrated by certain demographics.

    • Sam says

      Breaking down the intentional segregation perpetrated by certain demographics? What could possibly be a solution to this problem that doesn’t completely contradict individual freedom? All of the solutions you’re hinting at, or directly suggesting, have never “taken root” because they would directly defy the basic principles the Constitution was founded on. You and “Ronald Wright” can patronizingly think poor people of all races are too ignorant to see they’re being abused by a system which has led to their relatively comfortable but imperfect lives, but have you two considered the possibility that the reason a poor person doesn’t see themselves as a victim in the United States is because they feel the OPPORTUNITY to climb up the food chain exists? You urge them to stand up to a system which gives the skilled and determined the chance to advance, and to instead fight for a structure which ensures the mediocre stay mediocre, and keep the better thans with them.

      Put simply, there are no longer structural impediments for black people advancing in the United States. Now that the deck is as even as it will get, the cards need to fall as they may. If you believe black people are so inferior that even with no structural barriers they will continue to have higher poverty and criminality rates than other groups until the end of time, than I can see why you feel an intervention is needed. If, like most readers of this site, you understand that black people have an equal ability to advance as white people and have their own agency, then the past is no longer worth dragging into this. At some point there needs to be a cut off. Do you not see that having a separate set of rules for white and black people will never lead to equality? It will only lead to a new set of separate rules. Slave and Master. Full citizen and partial citizen. Separate but equal. Affirmative action. Racial quotas. One set of separate rules simply justifies the next one. This is as equal as we’re going to get, so now it’s time to let individuals of any race make their own choices, however difficult, and use an open system to their advantage

  98. Paul says

    Anyone who cites thelonious monk—in pretty much any context—has my full attention. Forever. A lovely article, beautifully written. You’ve now joined the ranks of generations of honest boys noticing that the emperor is naked, and i hope you are prepared for the fallout. But regardless of how often you are Greenwalded, Voxed, or Slated, remember what Bird said: “it’s playing clean and looking for the pretty notes.” Good advice.

  99. ccscientist says

    Thomas Sowell points out that the only things that one can be directly responsible for are things that one could have done or prevented. No one can go back in time.
    The conceit that whites get all sorts of advantages is not accompanied by any examples, ever. In the old days of an aristocracy, the rich had vast land holdings which their children inherited, but this is no longer true. Kids of rich parents have to also work hard. What they do get is cultural: how to succeed. Yet there is no way to keep this a secret and many blacks have in fact adopted these values and done well (I know many).
    Yes it is true that some cops are racist when they do pull someone over. But that may be partially based at least on the fact that blacks when pulled over are far far more likely to have a warrant, to be dangerous, to be drunk, and to shoot the cop. The culture of blacks is not to their advantage but we may not speak of that. If racism is totally to blame, then why are black immigrants from Nigeria and Bermuda (as examples) earning so much over the national average? Are they magically not suffering from racism? No, the answer is that they bring a different culture with them. Why aren’t Iranians and Indians (from India) suffering from racism? Same reason.

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  101. Leftists treat black people as some sort of strange combination of pet, puppet, child, and god — as beings who are fun to have around (as long as you can escape to your gated community at will), helpless, to be condescended to, and, simultaneously, never to be questioned or challenged. Whatever the combo is, they don’t treat blacks like human beings. That’s the bottom line. Their approach is one of obsequious pandering that belies a superior attitude they don’t realize they have but which they project onto conservatives. It’s sickening to see. And highly annoying to be around when you’re the conservative.

    As an aside: Italian Americans were interned during WWII, too, and they endured lynchings (one of the biggest mass lynching in the U.S. — in New Orleans — had Italian victims). Also, the coasts of Europe were ravaged by African Muslim slave traders, with the result that thousands upon thousands of Christians were enslaved over the course of 300 or so years. Somehow, my ancestors got over it.

    • Crumpet says

      Wow, you got us. We’re just trying to use and abuse black people so we can get the POWER! We would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for you meddling conservatives!
      How did you see through our plan!?

  102. Hubert Smith says

    The Left has adopted blacks as “mascots,” much as it has womyn and Palestinians. It is Marxist class-warfare dressed up as “identity politics” – why? Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn destroyed any lingering claim Communism may have had to moral authority. What to do? Cloak the struggle in screeds which attempt to denigrate and topple an evil and racist USA – a bastion of safety, freedom, and prosperity unrivaled on the globe. They will fail and November 2016 was the beginning of their defeat.

    • Crumpet says

      So if someone wrote a book about slavery would that destroy any lingering claim capitalism may have had to moral authority?

      You’re a free-thinker! Yay!

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  104. LAW says

    This is absolutely fantastic. Well-written and well-sourced.

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  106. rjm612 says

    An excellent article. Undergraduate yes, and that shows, but to question the status quo in current social arrangements and permissions is, as they say, a good start.
    This can and should be extended to consider just how much of the world is driven by these historical grievances. Most indigenous groups (particularly in Australia); Muslims (attitude to Israel, and to the ‘west’ in general; many African states; many Asian countries.
    For the sake of the individuals these grievances must be left behind and each person given the chance to achieve for themselves and live ‘free of fear and free of pain’.

    • Crumpet says

      The author’s arguements get even weaker if you apply them on that level I reckon.

      What if China took over Tasmania?
      Twenty years go by and then it’s a “historical grievance” OK sweet, glad that’s sorted!

      Ya duffa.

  107. Writing this good–and on point–makes me feel better about Thomas Sowell’s retirement.

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  109. Ahmand P says

    No doubt this is essay is well written and thoughtful. I perhaps would struggle as an undergraduate philosophy student to be so eloquent in my writing. However, I find it less than compelling. The author does what he attacks some of the leaders airing “stale” grievances have, viz., cherry picking samples. Moreover, people like Ta-Nahisi Coates grievances are not so stale. Whereas, I cannot share Coates pessimism, he expresses well current problems. Lest the author, in the privilege of college, it’s easy to forget how hard things are upon leaving the artificial safety — and left-leaning — structure of the ivory tower.

    Employment and housing discrimination, inequitable education, poverty, police brutality, implicit racial bias, etc., are very current states of affairs. And unless this undergrad has bougut in fully to the “problem of causality” and” problem of induction” arguments, I find it quizzical ge doesn’t connext the dots with all the issues he well articulated from the past to now. I guess I’m not that much of a Humean to find them non sequitur to our problems the black community still faces.

    • Ahmand P wrote “Employment and housing discrimination, inequitable education, poverty, police brutality, implicit racial bias, etc., are very current states of affairs.”

      Is this why Asian Americans massively outperform caucasions by every socio-economic metric of performance?

      What do you think immigrant Americans, ethnic Americans, minority Americans should do to help poor less educated caucasion males?

    • Sparkletron says

      > Lest the author, in the privilege of college…

      @Ahmand P

      Privilege? More like merit. Anyone who can write this well deserves to be in academia regardless of geopolitical, socioeconomic, or racioethnic considerations.

      I imagine if this had been a white undergrad, you would have dismissed him on the basis of race alone, as lacking the “racial merit” and “racial qualifications” to make any arguments on the subject of race and discrimination.

      Being that this exceptional author identifies as a black man, you now dismiss him on the basis of academic “privilege”. The implication is that the author, cushioned in the womb of academia, can no longer “connect the dots” to arrive at your one and only truth, viz., that the way to end discrimination on the basis of race is to continue discriminating on the basis of race.

      • Crumpet says

        I disagree. I like Ahmand’s expansion of privilege from race to everything. Like the author says, “in an ultimate philosophical sense, none of us can claim to be the prime movers of our own behavior”. The capitalists will try to convince you that they earnt their wealth and status, and that the poor deserve their lot, it’s all propaganda though.

        Having said that, I doubt the “artificial safety” of college has much influence over the author’s views.

        • Sparkletron says

          > The capitalists will try to convince you that they earnt their wealth and status, and that the poor deserve their lot, it’s all propaganda though.

          Whereas socialists will try to convince you that you’re blameless. Anything bad that ever happened to you is the product of secret forces of systemic structural institutional oppression. You never made a bad decision in your life. You’re not responsible for your own choices. In fact you have no choices; you’re merely a sock-puppet controlled by a distant wealthy white male cis-heterosexual patriarchal oligarchical fascist elite.

  110. Martin Bloom says

    MHBPlus
    June 17, 2018

    It was fascinating reading this article from an Australian viewpoint. In many ways, the article was relevant to the vexed and difficult issue of the treatment of Aborigines in Australia. Arguments here are constantly raised which are based on a historical perspective dating back to 1788 (the date that the British First Fleet came to Australia), or later events irrelevant to the existing Australian nationals who have Aboriginal blood. This perspective has seriously hampered many attempts to improve the lot of that group of people due to its basis on exactly the same type of reasoning and on left wing attitudes almost identical to those described by Coleman Hughes.

    To give but one example, our local Greens Party identified, as their major target achievement for the current year, renaming 26 January (the date of the arrival of the First Fleet) as “Invasion Day” and arranging for Australia Day, traditionally celebrated on this day, to be moved. The Greens is a party which overwhelmingly consists of white inner city liberals. Their identification of this cause as a major target speaks volumes for the reasons why white mandated plans for the improvement of the lot of Aborigines have been such a spectacular failure over the past 100 years. Any attempt to attack this perspective and insist on alternative methods based on current conditions and attitudes is inevitably drowned in a shrill chorus of racism.

    • Crumpet says

      A spectacular failure over the last 100 years? They got the vote in ’62 and were counted in the population in ’67. What a spectacular failure! (You should read his other article about the racism treadmill or whatever it’s called)
      The youngest members of the stolen generation would be about 50 years old ya duffa.
      So you might have to wait a couple more years before you can start using the “tHeY wEre’Nt EvEN pERsOnaLLy aFfeCTeD” propaganda. After that it will be foolproof and you’ll win every arguement!

      Change the date, change the flag, who gives a shit, but yeah I agree, it’s not gonna make much difference to ‘the gap’, but they do have other policies that are more useful, but get less media attention:

      “Family violence and abuse addressed through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community initiatives and networks, alcohol and other substance abuse initiatives, Aboriginal Women’s Legal Services, and safe houses.”

      and heaps more!

      You’ve obviously misjudged how lefties would react to your edgy views because I’m basically a communist and I haven’t drowned you in a shrill chorus of “racism”, just a shrill chorus of “ya duffa”. (I actually think you misjudged what a leftie is, like the author did, he seems to think idpol liberal capitalists are the far left)
      I wonder why you felt like such a martyr?
      A lot of you right wing fundamentalists are acting like you’re so brave to dare speak the truth… and then you don’t say anything all that controversial, lol.
      Maybe I have validated your self-identification of martyrdom by replying to you and telling you you’re wrong, damn it.
      By the way, sorry for lumping you in with all the right wingers before, I know you’re all special free-thinking individuals. Whoops, I mean, not “you all”, just you… err… sorry!

      I agree with your first statement too, very interesting article in an Australian context.

      And always remember, COMMUNISM WILL WIN!

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