Category Archive: skepticism

Dec 17 2012

The best laid plans of mice and small minds

One of the fascinating aspects of the denial of privilege is the pirouettes one must turn in order to square the denial with observed fact. “Black people have just as many opportunities as white people!” “Well, here’s an assload of evidence that suggests that’s not true” “…culture of poverty! Single moms! Phrenology!” This is the …

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Dec 16 2012

A response to Lee

A commenter going by the handle ‘Lee’ has been asking some pointed questions about how to respond to claims of discrimination. I tried to give a robust answer, which ended up ballooning into a full-length post. Lee: I’ll respond by bringing the two into one. If someone claims they have been discriminated against, or they …

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Dec 06 2012

More than time needed to heal some wounds

Earlier this week, fellow FTBorg Ashley Miller told a heart-wrenching story of being disowned by her father: He was with me for Thanksgiving, to meet my mom and stepdad and brother and rest of my family.  Except my dad.  My mother, who is much wiser than me and deserves full credit for being right, told …

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Nov 26 2012

Two views of black masculinity

Circumstances have once again robbed me of the time and energy to dig too deep into blogging. Part of this is a massive paper that I have just finished – it looks at whether or not mandatory childhood vaccination is legally, ethically, and scientifically justified in a Canadian context. Part of it is prepping for …

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Nov 21 2012

Priorities: Indigeneity or Secession?


How exactly do I even begin? My language choices throughout this piece are applied conscientiously. Selection of terminology used here is neither made carelessly nor in jest. I am struggling daily with a profound and genuinely increasing sense of  dread, and this particular piece of writing is an attempt to account for this as concisely …

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Nov 15 2012

States writes

One of the most challenging aspects of anti-racism is the fact that we can only usually measure racism as an absence of a better explanation. We see an inequality and then we try to rule out the other plausible explanations, and then say “it’s got to be explained by racism”. Because there is no objective …

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Oct 29 2012

Looking at it sideways

We often use college course abbreviations to describe the various levels of social justice discussion. Someone might refer to a “101-level” conversation when we’re talking about identifying racism as a social construct rather than a biological reality. Trying to access the specific ways in which racial constructs impact the lived experiences of people might qualify …

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Oct 22 2012

Episode 3: Where the Sidewalk ends

Xavier and I got together again and recorded another episode of our podcast. This week we talked about sexy sexy teenagers and flat Earthers on the internet. The video is below the fold. Also below the fold is a plea for help with naming this damn thing. We don’t have a clue what to call it, …

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Oct 15 2012

The experiment continues, now with 50% more awesome

We recorded a second ‘episode’ of our podcast experiment this past week, and invited journalist and superstar atheist Jamila Bey to join us for a discussion of the results from a recent Pew Forum survey that shows that religious ‘nones’ represent an all-time high of 20% of the American population. The video is below the …

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Oct 10 2012

Making it count

A table from the survey

One of the most frustrating aspects of being involved in a social justice movement is coming to grips with the sheer scope of the problem. Social inequalities are grounded, more often than not, in centuries of history and the evolutionary detritus of human cognition. We can point to a handful of successes like the American …

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