A sociologist explains

During February, it’s not uncommon to hear the refrain, “If there’s an African-American History Month, why isn’t there a white one?”

This question, and its close relative “What’s wrong with being proud of being white?” sometimes comes from people who sincerely, if oversimplistically, think racial equality should mean identical treatment for all racial identity groups.

It doesn’t?

56 comments on “A sociologist explains

  1. sometimes comes from people who sincerely, if oversimplistically, think racial equality should mean identical treatment for all racial identity groups.

    I have often thought that the architects of Apartheid failed because they did not pretend they were trying to help Blacks hard enough. If only they had insisted that equality was their goal, it is just that Blacks needed “special” schools to help them reach their full potential.

    Oversimplistically? He means that Blacks cannot compete with Whites on an even playing field and win. Well, they can if it involves running and throwing. But otherwise, not so much. It is the hidden syllogism. Oddly enough when most White people say that, people call it racism. But I guess it is different if you really really Care.

  2. Accepting, fpr the moment, his hidden assumption is that Blacks cannot at the moment – or for the foreseeable future – compete on equal terms with Whites at a whole range of tasks, and so depend on affirmative action and remedial spending of various sorts in order to achieve anything like an equal outcome ….

    Is it racist to say so?

    Why does the Left have such a problem with racists? Surely they are pretty much at the same place now. I suppose that the HBD people, and the old school racists, would say that the differences are genetic and unalterable. But on the other hand we are no closer now to ending those differences than we were a trillion dollars ago. There is no sign that educational gaps will close in the life time of anyone reading this right now. So what is the difference between “never” and “not in the life time of anyone I know”?

  3. There must be a racial hierarchy then, and while I recognise that I’m at the bottom end of the scale, it would be handy to know the relative amounts of guilt and/or deference I should feel towards distinct groupings of my otherly tinted or physiognomied brothers and sisters.

  4. I was wondering if Trump would wind up the “temporary” affirmative action programs. Is 56 years is enough time to get over Jim Crow? How much longer do they need?

  5. “It doesn’t?”

    The 90s called and they want their plain-lanugage, totally logical definition of racism back…

  6. I suppose the same answer is given to those who say “If there a Black Police Officers’ Association in the UK [which, unbelievably, there is], why isn’t there a White Police Officers’ Association?”

  7. This question, and its close relative “What’s wrong with being proud of being white?” sometimes comes from people who sincerely, if oversimplistically, think racial equality should mean identical treatment for all racial identity groups.

    You just knew this had to come from a white guy who looks like he couldn’t whip Jessica Valenti in an arm wrestling match.

    Remember everyone, listen to the nice white man… He knows what’s best for you.

    And also remember that he’s exactly the sort of white liberal that will be more than happy to tell you which blacks aren’t really black and which gays aren’t really gay… Based on a quick examination of their political beliefs.

  8. During February, it’s not uncommon to hear the refrain, “If there’s an African-American History Month, why isn’t there a white one?”

    Well, why not? I mean, I don’t care either way, but if some people want a white history month, where’s the harm in that?

    This question, and its close relative “What’s wrong with being proud of being white?”

    What’s wrong with being proud of who you are? Is it wrong to be proud of being black, brown, gay, a ginger, Welsh or normal?

    But it’s also the kind of idea you might hear from members of the self-described “alt-right” and groups with closely related beliefs

    O noes.

    That’s why it’s more important than ever to give a thorough response to their rhetoric — even things like calls for celebrations of “white pride,” white identity, and white history that many would easily laugh off as absurd.

    Mmmkay. We’ll come back to this in a sec.

    To help explain this, I spoke to Daniel Hirschman, an assistant professor of sociology at Brown University

    Right. So a brown woman and a Jewish social justice warrior are going to progsplain to me on why white identity is “absurd”.

    Even though they don’t have my lived experience, have never walked a mile in my Oxford brogues, and are culturally appropriating my people’s world wide web to do so.

    Thick.racist.pricks.

    Also, can’t think why the alt-right are winning. You’d think “shut up, white man!” would sell like gangbusters.

    Anyway, Daniel’s thoughts are pretty much what you’d expect:

    We celebrate the accomplishments of white people every day. Calls to celebrate whiteness ignore the institutionalized celebration of whiteness that’s built into the very fabric of our day-to-day lives, along with the more overt celebrations in every history textbook.

    That’ll be why we’re constantly hearing “dead white males” being disparaged, statues being protested and whatnot. Because of all the celebration.

    Not sure which history textbooks Daniel thinks include a celebrating whiteness section, the ones I read at school were about people who did stuff. Maybe it’s that damn alt-right up to its shenanigans again.

    When white nationalist and white supremacist movements call to celebrate whiteness, they claim or imply that white people are under threat from nonwhite people.

    There’s a popular internet meme with a sweating man, paused in consternation as he tries to decide which of two red buttons to press.

    I’m imagining one button labelled “OMG YOU THINK WHITE PEOPLE ARE THREATENED, BIGOT?” and the other saying “HA HA HA YOU’LL SOON BE A MINORITY BETTER GET USED TO IT BIGOTS THE FUTURE IS BROWN”

    That is a cover to justify white people’s monopoly on wealth, income, property values, prestige power, and other desirable things.

    Yes, please don’t threaten my monopoly on desireable things. I like things.

    Centuries ago, white supremacists spread the lie that slaves were both inferior and dangerous to justify slavery.

    And now we know those ignorant bigots were wrong, look at the high-tech utopias of Detroit and Compton and Baltimo— hey, look over there! A squirrel! And he’s racist!. Git him!

    And now they need to argue that Islam is an essentially and historically hateful religion

    It’s a religion of peace! And they’ll kill you if you say otherwise.

    Race and racism are real, even though they’re not biological.

    So if you’re white and your wife’s white, the only thing stopping your kids from coming out Chinese is your dang, dirty racism.

  9. @TMB

    “There must be a racial hierarchy then, and while I recognise that I’m at the bottom end of the scale, it would be handy to know the relative amounts of guilt and/or deference I should feel towards distinct groupings of my otherly tinted or physiognomied brothers and sisters”

    You could turn that into a website: sort of fantasy football for snowflakes. The games could be a crowdsourced set of opinion pieces from Vox, Slate, the Graun etc .I’d be interested, that’s for sure.

    @abacab

    “The 90s called and they want their plain-lanugage, totally logical definition of racism back…”

    No money/[prestige to be had explaining things that a re immediately understandable. But there are many columns to be writ explaining how a set of beliefs (or tacit acceptance of such) is suddenly ‘violence’ or how holding a door open is now the equivalent of rape.

  10. > “What’s wrong with being proud of being white?”

    Everything. There’s nothing to be proud of about being white, being gay, being Jewish, being from a particular town or city (I don’t give a flying fuck that someone is a proud Bristolian or a proud Cockney), or being a squirrel. Your mere existence doesn’t entitle you to pride.

    Pride comes from achievements. We award medals to war heroes for their battlefield achievements; we confer honours on worthy citizens for their charitable achievements. We don’t give out medals simply for being who you are.

  11. During February, it’s not uncommon to hear the refrain, “If there’s an African-American History Month, why isn’t there a white one?”

    Actually, I’ve never heard anyone say this, and I live in the heartland of racist ‘Merica.

    The reality is this: Outside of the sort of people who write for Vox or teach Sociology anywhere, and those corporations who choose to use their February advertising to virtue signal, nobody gives a shit about it.

    Personally, I blame Trump for that.

  12. We don’t give out medals simply for being who you are.

    Which is why Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize. Or was that just for turning up at the office in his first day?

  13. Only a self-obsessed moron would take pride in the consequences of genetics over which they had no influence or control whatsoever.

    Anyway, is there a single problem or fault in Western society and culture which hasn’t been caused by Sociology?

  14. A question I have often asked myself: why are Sociologists taken seriously but astrologers are laughed at?

  15. “Everything. There’s nothing to be proud of about being white, being gay, being Jewish, being from a particular town or city”

    Wait. So people from Leicester shouldn’t be proud that “their team” won the premier league championship?

    I’m of course asking about couch potatoes from Leicester, not the 20-odd players who actually won football matches.

  16. “He means that Blacks cannot compete with Whites on an even playing field and win. Well, they can if it involves running and throwing. But otherwise, not so much.”

    That is demonstrably false. 100% of black presidential candidates won the US elections. Under 50% of white candidates managed it.

  17. synp,
    People from Leicester don’t have a fancy adjective, like Liverpuddlian or Scouse. Therefore not only should they not feel pride for something that two dozen unrelated adults achieved; the language provides no means for them to do so.

  18. But if black people in general reached the same level of attainment as everyone else there would be little use for the equality workers.
    So allow blacks into college with substandard exam results, and when they fail due to poor preparation tell them it’s racism.
    Give them crap schools so they don’t get prepared, telling them that it’s racist to expect them to learn anything.
    Lo you have a permanent client class for socialists to care about.

  19. Dunno. Being proud of who you are sounds healthier than being ashamed of it. Unless you identify as an anal rapist or a lawyer or something disreputable like that.

    We can Spergtron 2000 about how, ackshually there’s nothing to be proud of in unearned non-achievements such as being Irish or a Spurs fan or having once touched Noel Edmondses surprisingly soft beard. But that misses the point.

    Humans like identifying with a wider community – tribe, nation, race, religion, sports team, the Tufty the Squirrel Fan Club, whatever…. and there’s nothing necessarily wrong in glomming on to the achievements of others, particularly if it inspires you to succeed.

    As long as you don’t take things too far and use it as an excuse to wage squirrely jihad against the followers of the Green Cross Code man.

  20. I’m not particularly proud that I’m a white, heterosexual, non-Muslim male, but I’m so effing grateful that I am.

  21. Sigh. The problem here is complicated because taking vicarious credit and pride and inspiration, aye and umbrage out of the various rightly or wrongly attributed deeds of long dead individuals is a large part of what history is.

    Take Sir Walter Raleigh who lived a few hundred years ago,He was an interesting historical figure. However he was by the standards of the time quite seriously white, although we should not attribute fault to that, it really was quite normal. Nevertheless that’s no excuse. We need to find another interesting historical character who is black and founded Virginia, shagged queen Elizabeth, gave the Spanish a headache, stole their gold and circumnavigated the world, and if we can’t find an individual we’ll need to drop the requirements until we do (Francis really unnecessarily overachieved didn’t he?).

  22. I’m also so grateful that I’m a Spurs fan, it means I’m not one of those irredeemably scummy, dull-witted Chelsea, Arsenal or Millwall imbeciles.

  23. I suspect all whites must be subject to slavery for 200 years, only then will karma be restored, penance be done, the force be balanced.

  24. > Humans like identifying with a wider community – tribe, nation, race, religion, sports team, the Tufty the Squirrel Fan Club, whatever…

    Fair point. Let me re-write my argument:

    You can’t expect the rest of society to adjust to accommodate your (likely misplaced) sense of pride. Despite the demands of Fat Pride, lardbuckets still have to pay for two airline seats.

  25. @ Ben S
    At no time have all blacks been slaves, only a minority, and a minority that was allowed to breed.
    Whites have been experiencing slavery at the hands of the Barbary pirates for a millennia, but were not allowed to breed.

  26. Synp: That is demonstrably false. 100% of black presidential candidates won the US elections. Under 50% of white candidates managed it.

    Ah yes, but 100% of black presidential candidates are 50% white.

  27. Barack Obama could only be considered black in a country where white sociologists explain to white liberals why – hypothetically – white trash would want a white history month.

  28. ‘think racial equality should mean identical treatment for all racial identity groups’

    Coz, ya see, whites can’t be in a group.

    Unless female.

    Unless LSMFT.

    The Left is all about groups, not people.

  29. @Ben S

    “I suspect all whites must be subject to slavery for 200 years, only then will karma be restored, penance be done, the force be balanced.”

    Even if that were to happen, I suspect we’d be told that our slavery was considerably easier than theirs because it was somehow more privileged.

    (Actually, if a predominantly white working population is forced to pay tax to keep a predominantly black population fed, clothed and in receipt of food- say via a legal entitlement such as welfare payments…. what does that sound like to you?)

  30. Fuck off, Mr Socioligist, I didn’t invent the phrase ” Racial Equalty” you did.

    And if you chose to use a phrase that does not adequately reflect the true position, it’s your stupidity, not mine.

  31. It might be that it only takes a month to teach Black History, White history on the over hand will take much more than a month to teach… How about the other 11 months of the year etc.

  32. Don’t make it complicated.
    The minority is allowed to keep its identity, by means of social clubs, sports teams, etc..
    The majority is not allowed to exclude the minority from its clubs.
    Everyone is happy, no?

  33. That’s over at the ASI. They specifically ask that I don’t cover the same things here and there.

  34. If nobody’s allowed to feel pride for the history of their social group then they also can’t be made to feel shame or guilt for it either.

  35. What about a left hander’s month. The most persecuted group in the world.
    All doors should be bi-handed!
    Equality for violin players.
    Shake hands non sinister .

  36. Can someone explain to me in simple words why it is that people can change sex but they cannot change race, especially as we are told that sex is determined genetically whilst race is a “social construct.”

  37. Dennis the Peasant – “And also remember that he’s exactly the sort of white liberal that will be more than happy to tell you which blacks aren’t really black and which gays aren’t really gay… Based on a quick examination of their political beliefs.”

    I have been campaigning for Le Pen on the basis that it is time to have a female Head of State in France. And while Le Pen might not be ideal as a candidate she will open doors for other women and serve as a role model and all that bullsh!t.

    I was told in no uncertain terms that Le Pen is not a real woman because she does not campaign as a woman. What the approved female style of campaigning is I do not know but I suspect it involves abortion. Which Le Pen is probably in favour of come to think of it. So there you go, having two X chromosomes and a vagina doesn’t make you a real woman.

    Anyway, I don’t much care about the femalenss of Marine Le Pen. Although I am sure she would be an outstanding President of France. Marion Le Pen on the other hand is another matter.

  38. TJ – “It might be that it only takes a month to teach Black History, White history on the over hand will take much more than a month to teach… How about the other 11 months of the year etc.”

    One of the things we are not allowed to notice, much less say, is that Black History Month is a joke. Mainly because Blacks haven’t been doing much lately that anyone in their right mind would want to celebrate. White men built nuclear weapons and sent a man to the Moon. Black men have invented …. the Supersoaker? Hardly enough for a whole month. So High School students in America have to learn about the 37 different types of peanut butter George Washington Carver didn’t actually invent. Every year.

    Because there is nothing else much to teach.

    For the same reason British school children have to learn about the mainly fantasy life of Mary Seacole but aren’t allowed to learn about Florence Nightingale. I mean what is the alternative? Virtually every other famous Black person is a street thug.

  39. Magnusw:
    “If nobody’s allowed to feel pride for the history of their social group then they also can’t be made to feel shame or guilt for it either.”

    +100

    I’m saving this for my email sig.

  40. Paul Carlton,

    > why it is that people can change sex but they cannot change race

    Michael Jackson, Rachel Dolezal, Elizabeth Warren – take your pick. Skin-lightening cream is popular in India and in Latin America; fake tan was once fashionable in the west.

  41. Dennis the Peasant

    ‘Personally, I blame Trump for that.’

    I had a particularly rough morning today – I was wondering whether to blame Brexit or Trump – or indeed a combination of the two…

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