That absurd “University” of Austin fakeout has been met with satire and ridicule to the point where its board of advisors is crumbling, with members realizing that they really don’t want to be tied to this boat anchor. I suspect the investors behind it aren’t too upset by it, since they have so much money it’s dribbling out of their ears and are probably fine with shifting from “saving Western civilization” to “tax write-off” — it’s all the same thing. Meanwhile, those advisors are adroitly pivoting to a different approach.
Check out FAIR, the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism. It’s got the kind of explicit, praiseworthy title, while being nothing but an anti-woke assortment of prominent defenders, that it was probably named by a Republican, who are masters of lying about their motives. It certainly has a commendable mission.
Increasingly, American institutions — colleges and universities, businesses, government, the media and even our children’s schools — are enforcing a cynical and intolerant orthodoxy. This orthodoxy requires us to identify ourselves and each other based on immutable characteristics like skin color, gender and sexual orientation. It pits us against one another, and diminishes what it means to be human.
Today, almost 70 years after Brown v. Board of Education ushered in the Civil Rights Movement, there is an urgent need to reaffirm and advance its core principles. To insist on our common humanity. To demand that we are each entitled to equality under the law. To bring about a world in which we are all judged by the content of our character and not by the color of our skin.
Wow. Martin Luther King Jr cast such a huge shadow that all kinds of vermin try to hide beneath it. It’s depressing how that ringing phrase about being “judged by the content of our character” has been adopted by the right wing as the one part of his ethos that they will accept. The first paragraph gives it all away, though. The threat of laws that say you can’t discriminate against people for their skin color, gender and sexual orientation is twisted by these assholes into a claim that we will be REQUIRED to identify ourselves by skin color, gender and sexual orientation, as if that weren’t often already obvious. How dare you notice that I am a white male cis-gender heterosexual? If you recognize that, doesn’t that mean that tomorrow you’re going to discriminate against me? After all, that’s what I’d do.
This is a demand to ignore all sexual and racial characteristics, to bury our differences in a graveyard laid out by the current lords of the status quo, rather than to celebrate them. It will work to successfully recruit the people who are so damn tired of being oppressed that they like the idea of joining the oppressors. It will definitely appeal to the dominant recipients of a system of injustice, because it’s saying that nothing needs to change.
You’re thinking I sound kind of cynical, aren’t you? We liberal lefties want to end discrimination on the basis of skin color and sex, don’t we, so why judge this organization that says the same thing? Greg Laden pointed out that their board of advisors is a rogue’s gallery of the usual suspects. It is commendably diverse, but nestled comfortably in their midst is an assortment of the standard out-and-proud white supremacists. And some of them have just flitted over from the UATX board of advisors.
Oh, look. Andrew Sullivan, Bari Weiss, Niall Ferguson, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Douglas Murray. Let’s bring in some IDW-adjacent racists for this supposedly anti-racist organization. They’ll need a new gig after UATX folds.
Megyn Kelly? Oh yeah, she’ll bring the shiny luster and glamor of Fox News. (She’s listed as a “journalist”, by the way — oh, how that noble occupation has been degraded.)
Of course Steven Pinker is there. If the organization has a transparent lefty facade but is actually intensely regressive, that’s the slime he loves to writhe around in.
If you want to end gender and sexual orientation discrimination, well, you’ve got to have Abigail Schrier on board. Transphobes welcome! Trans men and women, not so much.
They don’t want to discriminate against racists, libertarians, and white supremacists, so you can signal your open-mindedness about that by recruiting one person: Michael Shermer.
I don’t know most of the names on that list, and maybe the majority have high-minded goals. But I’m sorry, if you tolerate rubbing elbows with those awful people, you’ve already betrayed your cause. There are cuckoos in the nest. I’d find your goals more honest and believable if you were rooting them out, rather than making them comfortable.