Selma

From this remarkable collection of photos of the Selma-to-Montgomery march:

Here are the people marching for dignity and respect and equality.

selma

Here are some of the white hecklers lined up alongside that march, jeering at the people fighting for social justice.

selmahecklers

Nothing has changed from 1965 to 2017, except that the hecklers are now mocking those goals online.

Be like the marchers in Selma. Don’t be like the hecklers.

Real Americans

The media is trying to figure out how Trump got elected, and one common undercurrent to this effort is finding ways to define Real Americans. Some of these efforts get mighty peculiar. Sean Davis’s criterion, for instance, is what kind of truck you drive. It’s ridiculous.

The five most popular vehicle models among Republicans, for example, are all trucks, with the ubiquitous Ford F-150 leading the way. Among Democrats, the Subaru Outback is the most popular choice. If you drive a truck, you’re probably a Republican. If you drive a Subaru, you’re probably a Democrat. Donald Trump won every single state in which the Ford F-150 is the most popular vehicle (even Pennsylvania). He won all but four of the states in which the Chevy Silverado is the most popular vehicle, including Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Hillary Clinton handily won the states where people prefer Subarus.

Which brings us to the simple question about truck ownership from John Ekdahl that drove Acela corridor progressive political journalists into a frenzy on Tuesday night: “The top 3 best selling vehicles in America are pick-ups. Question to reporters: do you personally know someone that owns one?”

Whether you drive a truck or a small car is simply a crude proxy for rural and urban. I’ve lived in that “Acela corridor”, and it would stupid to own a F-150 (although many people do), because parking is limited, on your commute you’re going to spend most of your time idling or creeping along, and they’re gas hogs. Now I live in the deepest part of rural America, and they’re still stupid, most of the time, but there are actual circumstances in which they’re useful. People here hunt and fish for recreation, and it’s impractical to use a Subaru to haul a boat, and very awkward to stuff a dead deer into one. There are also work-related reasons: when I was a young’un helping out on my uncle’s ranch, I drove a truck, too: how else do you get the hay bales out to the cattle in the far field?

I think Roy Edroso has it exactly right, though: most of the trucks you see around, especially in urban areas, were bought for symbolic reasons and as an exercise in manliness and profligate excess.

if you don’t know what it’s like to drive a truck, you ain’t a real U.S. male, sez tough guy Sean Davis of The Federalist. Davis’ angle is that “A Bunch Of Journalists Freak[ed] Out After Being Asked If They Know Anybody Who Drives A Truck.” In this case “Freak Out” means they asked, upon being questioned as to whether they owned a truck or not, what owning a truck has to do with anything. This Davis interpreted to mean that reporters are “the most cloistered and provincial class in America” and live in a “liberal media bubble.” Davis neglected to mention what sort of truck he drives, what sort of loads he hauls, or if his rig is equipped with a CB and a jaker breaker.

Actually, turns out he’s not talking about big rigs, but about Silverados and Tacomas and other such Canyoneros one sees driven by accountants and middle managers all across the fruited plain. But I suspect that is, as the saying goes, central to his point. Davis also lists a bunch of Twitter responses which he portrays as evidence of his thesis; in one of these, Jose A. DelReal says yes, he has a truck “b/c I’m from Alaska. Do any friends own one in DC or NYC? No, because they’re unnecessary here.” Davis’ response: “This person writes for Washington Post and just missed the entire point.” That point, apparently, is that in order to be unbubbled and in touch with the Real America you must have a truck, not because you need it, but because lots of Americans have them whether they actually need them to do actual hauling or not, just as many Texans wear cowboy hats whether or not they ever rode herd, or many conservatives revere the Confederate flag whether or not they ever faced the Union Army in battle.

So here’s a better spin on the difference between liberals and conservatives: liberals buy the vehicle they need that suits their purposes in a practical way, while conservatives waste money (and gas!) buying an overpriced symbol for the purpose of public posturing…virtue signaling, if you will. Which could be a sign of which would make better bureaucrats and leaders.

I drive a Honda Fit, by the way. When we were last in the market for a car, we went looking for an inexpensive, reliable vehicle for light commuting. We don’t need a Canyonero since we don’t hunt, fish, or haul firewood, and personally, I don’t feel that I have shortcomings that could be compensated for with a monster truck.

Davis wasn’t the worst, though. The NY Times ran an op-ed to explain why rural America voted for Trump. It’s because they’re such damn good virtuous people.

One recent morning, I sat near two young men at a coffee shop here whom I’ve known since they were little boys. Now about 18, they pushed away from the table, and one said: “Let’s go to work. Let the liberals sleep in.” The other nodded.

Oh. It’s not because they’re good people. It’s because they’re self-centered bigots, like those two young men.

By the way, I read that at 5am. Many of us liberals also get up early to get our work done.

They’re hard workers. As a kid, one washed dishes, took orders and swept the floor at a restaurant. Every summer, the other picked sweet corn by hand at dawn for a farm stand and for grocery stores, and then went to work all day on his parents’ farm. Now one is a welder, and the other is in his first year at a state university on an academic scholarship. They are conservative, believe in hard work, family, the military and cops, and they know that abortion and socialism are evil, that Jesus Christ is our savior, and that Donald J. Trump will be good for America.

And working hard makes them different from liberals…how? My father, a proud liberal and union member, basically worked himself to death as a mechanic, often working two jobs at a time to keep his family well. I started working when I was 12; I had a job shoveling rocks that ended up wrecking my knees. I worked my way through junior and senior high school in agricultural jobs, too, and got an academic scholarship to the state college, and wouldn’t have been able to go if I hadn’t.

I’m liberal AF. My siblings are similarly liberal, and also have had to work hard all their lives.

Back when I lived in that “Acela corridor”, I taught at an urban college, and my classes were full of first generation college kids from black families who aspired to be doctors…and they worked their asses off. They got there out of barely adequate high schools and had to play catch-up with all the kids who came there with advantages. I doubt those men and women are now Trump voters.

I know that rural, conservative kids also have to work hard — I’ve got them in my classes right now. This is a universal human condition, that we have to work to better ourselves, but it’s goddamn conservatives that try to claim it as their own, unique, special property, along with other virtues like patriotism and responsibility, while denying those virtues to others. Again, it’s not hard work that sets them apart, it’s bigotry.

It is not a good thing that those two men reflexively regard abortion and socialism as evil — they don’t know anything about either. And dare I point out that another strange property of both of those essays is that they take an exclusively male point of view? Driving big trucks and controlling women’s reproductive freedom seem to be such stereotypically masculine attitudes.

But wait! We haven’t yet met our quota of conservative bullshit! Here’s the argument that most persuaded the NY Times essayist.

“The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans believe people are fundamentally bad, while Democrats see people as fundamentally good,” said Mr. Watts, who was in the area to campaign for Senator Rand Paul. “We are born bad,” he said and added that children did not need to be taught to behave badly — they are born knowing how to do that.

“We teach them how to be good,” he said. “We become good by being reborn — born again.”

He continued: “Democrats believe that we are born good, that we create God, not that he created us. If we are our own God, as the Democrats say, then we need to look at something else to blame when things go wrong — not us.”

Mr. Watts talked about the 2015 movie theater shooting in Lafayette, La., in which two people were killed. Mr. Watts said that Republicans knew that the gunman was a bad man, doing a bad thing. Democrats, he added, “would look for other causes — that the man was basically good, but that it was the guns, society or some other place where the blame lies and then they will want to control the guns, or something else — not the man.” Republicans, he said, don’t need to look anywhere else for the blame.

Ah, so they’re bigots who believe in a dishonest caricature of Christianity. That makes it all better.

None of what Watts said is true. Liberals also think the theater shooter was a bad man. It’s just that, when you’ve got these mass murders popping up all over the place, it is short-sighted and unproductive to simply play whack-a-mole with them one by one — at some point you have to ask yourselves, why? What’s driving these crimes? What enables them? Can we get to the root causes and prevent these problems before they happen?

Conservatives apparently think it’s as simple as declaring one person to be bad, and then throwing up their hands and saying we can’t do anything about it. Fuck that attitude.

I’ve only touched on that godawful essay — I’m going to have to turn it over to the Rude Pundit to give it a more appropriate treatment.

It’s all bullshit. The rest of Leonard’s column is about how it seems like cities in red states are taken care of by their government, but not the rural parts of the state, where the roads need to be improved and there is a need for police and firefighters and EMTs: “To rural Americans, sometimes it seems our taxes mostly go to making city residents live better. We recognize that the truth is more complex, particularly when it comes to social programs, but it’s the perception that matters — certainly to the way most people vote.”

And there you have the reason why liberals are called “elitist.” We actually know that most of our taxes go to the Republican-run states. We aren’t fucking hypocrites who condemn government, elect people who want to shrink government, and then are pissed off when the government doesn’t offer enough services. We don’t get our news from conspiracy theorists and liars. Are there excesses on the left? Of course. We’re fuckin’ human. But when one group is inclusive of all races and religions and genders and sexual orientations and more, while the other pines for a time when white Christians ran everything, it’s pretty damn clear who the real elitists are.

What you’re calling “elitism” is just simply not being ignorant. We don’t have our heads shoved up Jesus’s ass. And when the left gets angry because of how fucking dumb some of the shit coming out of rural and red mouths is, we’re told we need to understand what they believe. No, we’re just gonna say that stupid is stupid.

You can stop explaining the white working class rural conservative Christian farming folk, hot-takers and self-justifiers. Instead, why don’t you explain liberalism to them? Why don’t you explain that jobs are drying up and communities are dying not because of abortion and same-sex marriage but because of Republican economic policies that have favored the wealthy, most of whom live in cities, including a certain president-elect they voted for who took advantage of those very policies in order to stay rich? Ultimately, though, it won’t matter. Because despite every fucking word to the contrary, the real problem is that those who voted for Trump are racist. They are sexist. They are Islamophobic. They are ignorant.

The whole thrust of these “let’s learn about the yokels” articles is to imply that there are real Americans and there are coastal elites. Sorry, motherfuckers. We’re all Americans. And if I have to suffer under your stupid, you have to hear about our smarts.

Preach it. It astounds me that the NY Times would publish a bad op-ed that purports to argue that conservatives aren’t bigots, they’re just hard working, when the whole foundation of that argument is an acceptance of conservative bigotry that liberals and urban folk (you know, those dark-skinned people) are lazy. Their thesis was a demonstration of the antithesis, which is an academic elitist way of saying they managed to fuck up their own shit.


At least the Washington Post recognizes where the real problem lies: How nostalgia for white Christian America drove so many Americans to vote for Trump. America is not white, so get used to it: citizenship is not defined by the color of your skin. And yeah, let’s dethrone Christianity, too.

Seriously? You’re going to blame the second law of thermodynamics for poverty?

Arguments from Natural Law are among my pet peeves — there’s nothing quite like reducing a complex sociological issue to a simplistic, naive causal relationship based on, of all things, physics. Steven Pinker commits this sin in discussing thermodynamics, which he seems to have a rather cartoonish perspective on, to the point where he decides that poverty is explained by entropy. Or rather, that poverty needs no explanation.

Poverty, too, needs no explanation. In a world governed by entropy and evolution, it is the default state of humankind. Matter does not just arrange itself into shelter or clothing, and living things do everything they can not to become our food. What needs to be explained is wealth. Yet most discussions of poverty consist of arguments about whom to blame for it.

Yeah, rather than talking about exploiters and capitalism and historical inequities and all that messy stuff, let’s instead have a caricature of a physics explanation from a psychologist who apparently gets all of his understanding of thermodynamics from creationist web sites and pop psychology magazines.

I’m just going to wash my hands of this slime and let Blake Stacey explain it all.

Science and race

The scientific conversation about race gets horribly warped in translation to the public — in general, a few right-wing crank sites are loud in their assertions that race is a biologically useful parameter, that it can be simplified into a few ‘obvious’ categories that somehow magically fall into perfect alignment with the assessment of bigots, and that culture is a relatively minor component that cannot overrule basic human nature…whatever that is. I highly recommend this article in which Agustín Fuentes and Carolyn Rouse talk about race — this is the biologically/anthropologically informed perspective.

One of the weird things I see over and over again is how recognizing the importance of human diversity is shoe-horned into simplistic categories. Rather than appreciating the complexity and ubiquity of genetic variation, it has to be mapped onto 18th and 19th century colonial perspectives, and it really doesn’t fit at all.

Agustín: There remains a strong desire to see that 0.1 percent as the “real” important part of the genome. In the United States, difference is always more important than similarity — the well-known “one-drop” racial classification categories. This is tied to the resilience of genetic determinism as an explanatory frame to make sense of social difference. There is an erroneous assumption that the variable genetic patterns in humans underlie relevant differences in health, behavior and even aptitude. This leads smack dab into the “race” issue.

Yes, different populations vary in some of the 0.1 percent of the genome that makes up much of human genetic diversity, but this variation does not represent biological races no matter how one manipulates/packages/represents it. Wade and others love to use standard data sets and compare the 0.1 percent variants in clusters of people from Nigeria, Western Europe, Beijing and Tokyo, and so on. Doing this does yield some patterned differences, but these populations do not reflect the entire continental areas of Africa, Europe and Asia, the classic “races.” A comparison of geographically separated populations within the continental areas also yields easily measurable variation of similar magnitude. Comparing 60 Nigerians to 60 European-descendant Americans to 60 people from Beijing and Tokyo gives the same level of differences in genetic variation as does comparing such clusters of people from Siberia, Tibet and Java (Asia) or from Finland, Wales and Yemen (“Europe”) or even Somalia, Liberia and South Africa (Africa). None of these comparisons give us races. Identifying a few genetic variants that are more common in some populations in some parts of some continents than they are in other populations in other parts of other continents does not come close to any biologically valid demonstration of race.

Then there are the academics that misrepresent the broader view that environment and genetics interact in complex ways that can’t be reduced to simple biological determinism. For decades, that’s been touted as the “blank slate” model, which is a total strawman, but it’s really easy to write popular essays and books that mock other academics for essentially recognizing the complexity of human behavior.

Carolyn: Some of these beliefs have been promoted for years by well-funded racist organizations such as the Pioneer Fund; this group had among its members the late Philippe Rushton, who believed that there is an inverse relationship between penis size and IQ. But there is also the more mainstream Heterodox Academy, an online forum dedicated to pushing the academy to the political right because, the group’s members believe, liberal scholars teach orthodox ideas “without any real evidence.” Listed among the entrenched, unsubstantiated orthodoxies held up for critique by the Academy is this one: “All differences between human groups are caused by differential treatment of those groups, or by differential media portrayals of group members” [11] They don’t like the idea that scholars question what actually constitutes human behavior. Notables listed on the Heterodox Academy’s advisory board in 2016 include Steven Pinker of Harvard, John McGinnis of Northwestern and John McWhorter of Columbia. It is fascinating that some scholars think evolutionary biologists who challenge the idea that humans can be neatly sorted into racial groups are doing so for political reasons.

It’s actually a pretty good recipe for getting well-known — conform to human biases, claim scientific justification, and write lots of reductionist tracts that pander to “common sense” attitudes about race. It’s especially successful in the US, I think, and then the people who know better have to write more complex dissections of reality that get ignored.

And then the lies simmer in the public consciousness and ooze up into academia. This is shocking:

While the compassion driving attempts to find genetic causes for racial health disparities can be celebrated, the insidiousness of the discourse must be noted. This can be seen in a 2016 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) article that indicates many medical students think blacks and whites have significant physical differences based on their genes [14]. The authors interviewed first-, second- and third-year med students as well as residents about biological difference. The research showed, for ex- ample, that 63 percent of first-year students believed black skin is thicker than white skin. 46 percent of first-year students believed black people’s blood coagulates more quickly than whites’. The authors conclude, “A substantial number of white laypeople and medical students and residents hold false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites and demonstrate that these beliefs predict racial bias in pain perception and treatment recommendation accuracy.” Science historian Keith Wailoo wrote a response to the article in The Daily Beast, where he noted, “The UVA study turns our gaze to one important place where race problems are manifest — medical training and physician perceptions” [15].

While I agree that the findings are horrifying, I would like to highlight two things. First, the statistics seem to point not to medical school per se, but to undergraduate preparation and to public health discourses about race and biological difference. Notably, the data show that first-year and third-year students have vastly different beliefs about race. For example, 33 percent of first-year medical students said “Blacks have stronger immune systems than whites,” whereas only 5 percent of third-year students held this belief. Similarly, 42 percent of first-year students believed “Black people’s blood coagulates more quickly than whites,” whereas 5 percent of third-year students agreed. Again, about 13 percent of first-year students believed “Blacks’ nerve endings are less sensitive than whites,” whereas 0 percent of third- year students held this belief [16].

I’ve encountered a few students who enter undergraduate studies with the idea that men have one fewer rib than women, which is a horrifying level of ignorance. That can get corrected quickly the first time they’re shown a display skeleton, though.

But medical students — they’ve already completed 4 years of undergraduate work, usually with a biology major, and they come out of it with those gross misconceptions? I’ve been trying to readjust religiously warped brains in the introductory biology class I teach with two whole lectures on creationism and misunderstandings of basic evolutionary biology, but I think I’ve been missing an entire vast category of bad folk biology assembled around misunderstandings about race. I’m going to have to drop one of my creationism sessions and replace it with a biology of race session, instead. A discussion about that PNAS article might be a good place to start.

Or we could just require every college student to take an anthropology course.

Nazi philosophers? NOW?

Brian Leiter reports on a shiny new neo-Nazi blog site…for academic philosophers. Although who knows? Most of the contributors are using pseudonyms (actually, it looks like all are hiding their identities), so no one knows what kind of unqualified riff-raff are posting there. Although judging by the excerpts Leiter has posted, they are mostly awful neo-Nazi scum. Like this.

Now, if there really are racial differences in intelligence, personality, temperament, and so forth—and there is overwhelming evidence that there are such differences between the races—and these differences contribute to (or give a flavor to, or determine, etc.) the sort of civilization that a race will create, then it is not implausible at all to suggest that Western civilization—by which we mean European civilization—can only be fully and genuinely carried on by people of European biological stock (just as, say, Jewish civilization can only be genuinely or fully carried on by people of Jewish stock). Other races that have some biological similarity to people of European stock may carry European civilization forward to some extent—we could say not genuinely (as do, for example, the Japanese, to some extent, in their appreciation of classical music). But the differences between the race groups will inevitably result in differences in the way that European civilization can be carried out, just as we would expect Europeans (that is, people of European biological stock) to be able to carry on with Japanese civilization in a limited manner but never genuinely.

That could have come straight from Houston Stewart Chamberlain, and the actual author would probably consider that a compliment.

But they can’t all be that bad, can they? Yup. I looked for myself. Here’s one arguing against affirmative action, with a lovely header image straight from the racist image collection of the alt-right.

stereotype-jew

…if we have any worries about ‘systemic’ bias and unfairness, it seems hard to deny that the massive over-representation of Jews tends to create a ‘chilly climate’ for people whose interests conflict with theirs, that Jews may tend to be a little nepotistic or even hostile to non-Jewish groups, and that this may tend to operate in the form of ‘systemic’ and often implicit bias against others. At least, if we accept the arguments along these lines meant to support claims of ‘systemic’ bias or oppression in support of generic white hegemony, similar and equally compelling arguments hold with respect to Jewish hegemony.

Thus, in deciding who to hire, the committee should always prefer any other kind of candidate over the Jew. If you’re stuck with a short list of straight white males—a bunch of SMWASPs, for example—and just one Jewish guy you should either cancel the search or, if that’s not feasible, you should throw the Jewish guy’s application in the trash without even looking at it. Maybe there should be a freeze on all hiring of Jews, or Jewish men, at least, for the next 30 years. That would open up a lot of positions for other kinds of people, even if we kept on discriminating against non-Jewish straight white males. In fact, depending on some number-crunching we have yet to do, we might well find that discrimination against the non-Jewish whites was not warranted, or that it should be much less intense than it currently is. Anyway, at the very least we should always strongly prefer the non-Jewish straight white male over the Jewish one in those regrettable cases where those are the only two options available to us.

I think someone is a wee bit obsessed with The Jews.

I wonder if they also think it would be perfectly legit to throw the application of the neo-Nazi with the bad philosophy in the trash without even looking at it? We do want to be consistent, after all.

Fake news isn’t going away

If you saw this video of a man being thrown off a Delta flight for speaking Arabic, you’ve probably been had. That video has sparked calls to boycott Delta Airlines, and while I have very little sympathy for that crappy airline, it seems to be unwarranted. The guy starring in and responsible for making the video is a known youtube prankster, who has staged racial profiling events in the past.

This is contemptible. There are real examples of bigotry and discrimination going on, and Adam Saleh has found a way to profit from fake racism while also discrediting genuine problems.

Lake Wobegon isn’t such a nice place after all

Nice, diverse, liberal Minnesota hired a black man to play Santa at the Mall of America, and some people lost their goddamned minds. The Strib has closed their comments, they got so bad, but our local CBS station still has them up. A sampling:

stgeorgeschapel
Get used to these kinds of shenaigans! Over the past year and a half, I have met thousands of Trump supporters! They are the LEAST “racist” and MOST postive people you could know. They want what is best for ALL Americans, including a whole lot of black supporters. These are the ANGRY Hillary / Soros supporters who are doing all they can to undermine Trump, so that Hillary the horrid can run against him in 4 years. There is NO END to her ambition. She wll run until she is DEAD!

“Shenanigans”? What’s so awful about hiring a black man to play Santa? And of course this is all a conspiracy by Hillary Clinton to undermine Trump. You know, sometimes a mall Santa is just a mall Santa.

Tony Johnson
Problem is, society today, as a whole, is uneducated. If you were educated you would know that Santa clause was based on a monk named St. Nicholas who was, now get this…… CAUCASIAN! I don’t care how “color blind” you think you are, that fact will never change.

The ‘historical’ St Nicholas was a man born in Asia Minor in the 3rd century AD. If you’re going to get upset about historicity, complain about the red-suited rosy-cheeked fat man who lives at the North Pole.

What color are the elves supposed to be?

Victor Edwards
I clicked on the story fully expecting that they picked a Somali to play Santa. That would be fitting for Minnesota. Have a radical muslim who hates America and the western world play Santa. Give him a gun and some knives under his red suit and when the little Christian children come sit in his lap, he can cut their throats.

Somehow, this guy transformed a mall Santa into a child-slaughtering Radical Muslim, all in his head.

John Oakman
Oooooooooh, now I can die knowing “dat Santa bees black”. What BS.

Wouldn’t be a racist roll call without someone doing dialect.

Eileen Finnin Hargrove
Is he also transgender???

Or someone bringing gender into it.

Vox Veritas
Next = One-legged, female Santa with facial piercings.

We got all the stereotypes.

Peter Morgan
Stupid. Incredibly stupid. Santa is WHITE. BOYCOTT Mall of America. Maybe they should change their name to MALL of RAGHEAD LAND.

Please do boycott all these places that treat brown people as human. It’s one way for me to get a racist-free experience.

It’s all just downhill from here.

Barry Sorretoa
FUKIN DISGUSTING
NIGERS ARE DESTROYING the NATION
EXTERMINATE the NIGER RACE
SAVE HUMANS from the MONGREL APES

Laquisha Reynolds
I hope every self respecting White parent does not take their children to this atrocity.Santa Claus was a German character from centuries ago when blacks were eating each other in Africa…this imitation of traditional White characters from TV and movies to historical figures such as HAMILTON is a cancer that must be stopped .Blacks have very very few characters that would be worthy of being replaced with Whites but if MLK were played by a White person ..blacks would try to kill him.

Yeah, everyone knows Santa is supposed to be a white positive role model.

bad-santa

I need to take a shower now.

Americans are an awful, horrible people, as they keep demonstrating to me.

So that’s what positive racism looks like

I ran across this Twitter account, Oli Nor, that strives to present a pretty, positive image of White Nationalism. You know how some people post nothing on Twitter or Facebook but adorable pictures of cats with uplifting messages? Like that. Only all the pictures are of plump, blue-eyed babies or slender, pale-complected attractive young blonde or red-haired women in demure poses. And the messages are all about the purity of the race, the proper role of women, and the horribleness of “savages”, which is, apparently, everyone who doesn’t fit their ivory-skinned ideal.

A few examples:


There is an attractively gentle allure to modesty in nationalist women that contrasts with the coarse harlotry common in modern society.

Oh, look. Misogyny. Who ever thought you’d find that coupled with racism?


The future of Whites is under siege by the globalist cabal, their imported savages, and traitors in the governments of Northern countries.

The models in the numerous photos actually are quite lovely, but I wonder if they know how their images are being used, or if they realize how ugly the text makes them.

Hint to Oli Nor: white people do not own nor did they create either beauty or culture. When you claim sole possession of those human traits, you discredit yourself.

I’m still not on the Professor Watch List

I was feeling neglected, so then I looked on the list for my fellow Minnesota liberal radicals. I was disappointed again.

There’s only one Minnesota professor on the list, Wayne Bendickson. He must be some kind of screaming fanatic if he’s so much more dangerous than me.

Wayne Bendickson is a Professor in Native American Studies at the University of Minnesota. Bendickson requires all of his students to pick a topic from a list, that includes ‘why Native American mascots should be banned from sports,’ and explain in the assignment why it is important. A counter-argument is not allowed and free thought is rejected.

They cite a source that says he required his students to take controversial stances on Native Americans issues. I don’t see anything “controversial” about having students explain why the Washington Redskins are demeaning and insulting to people — and to ask students to take a position that they disagree with (and shame on them if they do) and consider the reasoning behind it is perfectly fair.

And again, I have to take exception to the misuse of “free thought” again. It does not mean “anything goes, say all the stupid stuff you want”. It means to think outside the box of convention. Demanding that students question the standard public dogma is free thought!

Oh, and here’s the official U of M listing for Bendickson.

Sisoka Duta, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, is a Dakota Language Teaching Specialist at the University of Minnesota. His undergraduate work focused on Dakota language, culture and history. Following graduation, he worked with two fluent Dakota/Lakota speakers for four years to improve his language skills. Prior to his current position, he taught Dakota language for three years at the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. Sisoka Duta is a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton nation of South Dakota but was raised in the Twin Cities. He did not grow up speaking Dakota so he recognizes the need to acknowledge the first speakers of the language and to continue improving his own skills, so he can pass these on to his students. He sees himself as student of Dakota language and lifeways not a cultural or spiritual leader. He teaches Beginning Dakota 1121 & 1122 and Intermediate Dakota 3123 & 3124.

Why would a student taking a Dakota language class be at all interested in defending racist sports team? That suggests a great deal of contempt for a class they’re taking.