Racism enshrined in higher ed

Is this what nurses are being taught?

It’s also revealing how white people aren’t even mentioned. We are the standard by which all are measured; our responses are assumed and we just have to mention the differences, like that blacks are inured to pain and Jews complain a lot and Indians are stoic.

I’m not too surprised to see this kind of garbage in a nursing textbook. It’s no criticism of most nurses, but there’s a heck of a lot of bad woo in nursing programs — my university’s bogus Center for Spirituality and Healing is affiliated with the nursing school, to their eternal shame.

Actually, Nazis hate teaching, period.

All of you teachers have been here. You want to get discussion going in the classroom, because that’s a really valuable way to get students involved and thinking, and you want all the students to participate. But what usually happens is that a small number of vocal, confident students dominate. That’s good for them, and you want to encourage that enthusiastic participation, but there’s always that larger group of quiet students who don’t speak up, and you want them to join in. So what do you do?

There are lots of pedagogical techniques out there. You can ignore the waving hands and call on people directly. You can have rules: once a person gets a chance to speak, they have to wait until 3 other people have spoken before they get to raise their hand again. Or maybe you’ve heard of the talking stick, where a token is passed around the room, and only the people holding it get to speak. There are lots of simple tricks like that where we try to get fair representation of all points of view, and get a better sampling of students, and get around the tyranny of the majority, or worse, the tyranny of the loudest.

One of these pedagogical tricks is called the progressive stack. You prioritize the students so that minority views are expressed first, and representatives of the majority have to wait and listen before they can express themselves. It’s a good way to flip the dominance hierarchy and get new voices to set the tenor of the discussion; it means minority views don’t get swallowed up and ignored. It doesn’t silence the majority, but it does force them to consider what others say.

I’ve rarely had to use it in my classes, because students usually don’t have strong opinions on matters of science — they just accept them and my authority. But there have been a few occasions when creationists have been in my introductory courses (they tend not to make it to the more advanced courses, or learn to keep their views totally silent, so I don’t even know they hold them), where I’ve used a version of the progressive stack. If there’s some point the creationist student urgently wants to discuss, let them go first, make their position clear, then ask if any other student wants to agree, and those students go next, and then I have to leash all the baying hounds of the majority and make them address the claims calmly and with evidence. In the humanities and social sciences, it’s got to be trickier — there are valid views by students with concerns about race and sexuality, for instance, and so you use something like the progressive stack to make sure they aren’t drowned out by all the white heterosexuals who are the majority in the class.

To my surprise, this morning I learned that Nazis are aware of this pedagogical strategy, and they hate it. Really hate it. I suspect part of it is knee-jerk idiocy at the word “progressive”, but once they learn about it, they are convinced that it’s part of liberal’s plan to commit White Genocide. The resentment is deep. I went looking for the views of non-educators on the subject, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s a lot of ignoramuses raging about the conspiracy to undermine their privilege. One of the top links returned is a video by Carl Benjamin, aka Sargon of Akkad, explaining the progressive stack, and he gets it all wrong. This is how they figure out who is more oppressed than other people, he claims, and how they determine that white middle class heterosexual men are scum. He’s a fucking moron. He actively misrepresents the subject.

No, no competent instructor is going to decide that half their class are scum who need to be silenced, and the progressive stack is not a technique to silence anyone. It’s about giving everyone an opportunity to speak, and not prioritizing a majority who already have advantages in dominating a discussion. It’s not about figuring out who is more oppressed, either — although the asshole right loves to imagine the Left holding Oppression Olympics. It’s more a matter of recognizing structural barriers that are staring you right in the face, and trying to help students get around them. It’s only a problem for people who either want to pretend the barriers are nonexistent, or want to reinforce them.

Like Nazis.

The usual crowd of internet Nazis has been casting about for more targets, and some of them have latched onto the “progressive stack” as an obvious SJW evil, and are campaigning to silence teachers who use it (I know, they’re so in favor of “free speech”, except when that speech is about equal opportunity for people who aren’t white men). One target is Stephanie McKellop, a graduate student who teaches history at the University of Pennsylvania. Here are her interests:

I am a historian of marriage and the family, with interests intersecting in areas of gender, sexuality, the body, and race. I work primarily on “vast early America,” a conceptualization which moves beyond traditional Anglophone-speaking peoples and regions into the broader, multi-empire continental landscape. I am particularly interested in popular and deviant forms of marriage and divorce; in my research on the practice of wife-selling, I focus on the blurred lines between love matches and economic bargains, the notion of slavery and race in gender dynamics, and how human trafficking and prostitution manifested within matrimonial realms. My current project looks at how popular and folk methods of marriage and divorce clashed with church and state authorities in colonial Carolina.

In the past, I have studied the history of “family history” in early America, seeking to explore how different cultures practiced and understood family through disciplines of history, competitve notions of “blood,” and gendered productions of what we have come to call genealogy, as well as issues of racial blame, immigration, and nationalism in marriage debates during the Progressive Era. Currently, I am working on several smaller projects regarding widowhood in early America as well as how folk and customary marriages informed cultural interactions in the colonial and revolutionary period. I am also working on a side project regarding trauma in history and how historians treat traumatized subjects.

That sounds interesting and relevant, but it also pushes a few alt-right buttons, obviously. So the internet Nazis have been baying for her blood, and they’ve been bombarding the university with accusations and demands. You’d think, though, that a university would pay no attention to Nazis, but noooo…you have to remember that we’re dealing with administrators who know nothing about teaching and often have little knowledge of the subjects their professors are discussing, but do have power over them, and are more likely to listen to howling yahoos and Republicans (but I repeat myself) than the employees they are supposed to represent. So the University of Pennsylvania is about to condemn McKellop, and apparently, reject a widely used teaching technique. They cancelled her classes! They’re issuing a condemnation!

Unbelievable.

Here’s a template you can use to support McKellop.

Dear Prof. [Holquist/Brown/Wenger/Troutt Powell],

It has come to my attention that Stephanie McKellop, a PhD student in UPenn’s History Department, has come under attack from white supremacists for the pedagogical approaches Stephanie uses in the classroom to support underrepresented students in class discussion. I was incredibly disappointed to hear that the university has not only refused to support a student in the face of this attack, but that the UPenn administration is preparing a statement condemning Stephanie.

I urge you to speak to your administration on Stephanie’s behalf. It’s exactly cases like these – where instructors are targeted and vilified – that require the defense of academic freedom.
I hope you will do the right thing, and lend your voice and position to defend a vulnerable member of our community.

holquist@sas.upenn.edu
kabrown@sas.upenn.edu
bwenger@sas.upenn.edu
troutt@sas.upenn.edu

I also highly recommend that everyone read this essay on how to support scholars. It’s going to be increasingly necessary. Remember, first they’re going to go after gender studies, then racial minorities, then sociology as a whole, and eventually, they’ll go after the biologists, because that’s what fucking Nazis do.

Just Asking Questions

Readers here are familiar with a deflection technique used by people with ugly views: they claim they aren’t promoting bad ideas, they’re Just Asking Questions. Asking questions is a good idea, right? We wouldn’t want to discourage people from questioning! Unfortunately, they always use the question as a framework for setting up alternatives that allow them to discuss their real agenda. Are women and black people fully human, or are they inferior subhuman knock-offs of the white man? Hey, don’t criticize me, I’m just asking a question here!

Now look at the kind of person Donald Trump tried to appoint to high office (we could also look at the people he successfully recruited). Anthony Scaramucci has been saying some interesting things on Twitter.

Hey, man, don’t give him no grief. He’s just askin’ questions here. He isn’t denying that the Nazis killed some Jews, he’s just thinkin’ we ought to be quantitative about it.

He’s not sayin’ we should murder 25 million people by setting them on fire and poisoning them with radiation. See, you can choose “no” (and most people did)! He’s just proposing some reasonable alternatives for discussion.

JAQing off isn’t the only tool in the deplorable’s toolbox. There’s also the “Just Joking” defense.

President Trump once joked that Vice President Mike Pence “wants to hang” all gay people, The New Yorker reported Monday.

The publication also reports that Trump has mocked Pence for his views opposing abortion and LGBTQ rights.

Trump jabbed at Pence after a legal scholar told the pair that if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, many states would probably legalize abortion.

“You see?” Trump reportedly said to Pence. “You’ve wasted all this time and energy on it, and it’s not going to end abortion anyway.”

And when the meeting began to focus on gay rights, Trump reportedly pointed to Pence, joking, “Don’t ask that guy — he wants to hang them all!”

I’m also kind of despising the “Devil’s Advocate” gambit. The people who deploy that one sure seem to spend a lot of time role-playing as Satan.

Is there a virus out there causing oblivious selfishness?

Let’s hear his side of the story first, shall we? A bicyclist in Spokane was cruising down a community trail when he spots some pedestrians up ahead. He yells “Hot pizza!” (what?) and smashes into them. Then he gets up, yells at them, and later writes a facebook post about how stupid they were.

So first ride without the brace and some pedestrian wouldn’t move!! Centennial trial is not yours alone pedestrians!! When someone yells on your left or hot pizza maybe turn around instead of walking 3 wife with your strollers and dogs blocking the whole trail! !! F#&@!!!!!! I wish I had my go pro to document the stupidity.

He broke a 67 year old woman’s arm. There are witnesses who state that he had room on the path to go around them. He didn’t even slow down, and he publicly admits it.

“I hate to slow down,” Haller said when asked why he didn’t. “Most of the time people move. These people wouldn’t move,” he added, noting that the moms with strollers were part of the problem, too.

Ah. So I guess next time he’ll feel justified running over babies. The little bastards are just too damn slow.

This is a guy who is absolutely in the wrong on all counts. Pedestrians have the right of way, he is expected to bike responsibly on a shared path, he came up too fast and collided with people from behind, and he was biking with an injury (from a previous accident!) that made him less effective at braking. There’s no excuse.

Yet somehow, he blames it all on the woman he injured.

It’s egregious stupidity, and I wonder where this is coming from. There seems to be an epidemic of diminished empathy sweeping across the country, and it’s having consequences that range from accidents on park trails to the Occupant of the White House.

Increasing mediocrity

Atrios nails it.

Is over the past several decades, our discourse progressed something like this:

Guys, they’re racists.

Sensible Center: No, they just believe the very important science that suggests that black people are stupid. Also, crime and poverty. Black people are poor and get arrested a lot and stop&frisk is not racist so stop saying that. QED

Guys, they’re white supremacists.

Sensible center: No, they’re just celebrating the very important heritage of the Confederacy, which is their history, even in places like Pennsylvania and Ohio, which were very important Confederate states. I don’t see any actual Klan hoods. Maybe they are white nationalists, which just means they want to preserve their culture. QED

Guys, they’re Nazis.

Sensible center: Actually, I don’t see much evidence (some, but not too much) of anti-Semitism, which seems to be an important feature of Nazism, right? I mean, the obsession with George Soros and the word globalist is simply political. Obviously they have some views about race which liberals don’t support, but it isn’t racism, and it certainly isn’t Nazism.

Nazis: hey, uh we’re Nazis.

Sensible center: No, I really don’t think you are.

Nazis: No, really, we’re fucking Nazis. Heil Hitler! Check out my Nazi tattoos! We’re Nazis!

Sensible center: This is disturbing, but Stalin was bad, too, so, really, both sides.

Having just suffered with being dragged into a twitter conversation where one of those people was seriously trying to argue that as long as rules and behaviors don’t actually, literally use the “N word”, they aren’t racist, I am familiar with this logic.

When will we learn? More importantly, when will the media learn? When someone says they’re a centrist and starts making excuses for the right, we just have to say, “Fuck that guy.”

It’s true what you suspected: all men are secret scumbags

I guess I’m going to have to read more of the traditional women’s magazines. Elle has a good writeup on the two scandals of the week.

The first is the revelation that Harvey Weinstein is a serial sexual harasser. I did not know that he recently published a mea culpa.

In a statement published by the Times in full, Weinstein writes,“I came of age in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different,” and that “I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them.” However, he’s also announced that he plans to sue the Times, with his attorney Charles Harder insisting that the story “is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein,” so it’s unclear exactly which faults Weinstein is admitting or how far his remorse goes.

Hang on there, Harvey. I came of age in the 60s and 70s, too, and that’s not true. Women did not suddenly become human beings in 1980. There were assholes then just as there are assholes now, but many of us did not treat women the way Weinstein did. Stop blaming it on the era. Harvey was and is simply one of the assholes.

And what’s with the lawsuit? It’s a NY Times article. The NY Times is always cautious and guarded and timid and surrounded with lawyers, and it’s not as if the article made shrieking claims that couldn’t be traced to sources. What exactly does he object to? I can understand why he’s being vague, though; if he gets nitpicky with some irrelevant little detail, it’s just going to make the accusations he can’t defend stand out even more.

Also, people who fling around frivolous lawsuits to silence people who criticize them are slime.

The second scandal is that dump of Breitbart emails that revealed what a gang of Nazis they are. I guess I was distracted by that repellent video of Milo vamping to “America the Beautiful” while his fans were giving him Nazi salutes that I overlooked a key fact: Milo was a front for a horde of mainstream journalists who used him to inject misogyny and racism into the discourse.

Consider that Buzzfeed article, which left so many of the women I know feeling rattled and peeved. The bulk of the article was dedicated to illuminating the hidden media ecology of the alt-right, and Breitbart’s ties to white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups. But many women were alarmed, not by what it revealed, but at the extent to which it confirmed their own suspicions about male colleagues.

The Breitbart slime machine, as per Buzzfeed, is fed by a network of “sleeper James Damores” — “vexed but silent for fear of losing their jobs or friends, kvetching to Yiannopoulos as a pressure valve.” The emails that Buzzfeed provides show Yiannopolous and his co-conspirators discussing female peers’ sex lives (Anita Sarkeesian’s ex was the topic of one e-mail), suggesting new lines of attack (tech reporter Dan Lyons questioned Zoe Quinn’s birth sex), spotlighting articles and authors that they thought were deserving of a pile-on, and otherwise using a burgeoning fascist movement to promote their apparent grudges against female and non-binary colleagues.

Besides reaching out routinely to flaming white nationalists for advice, Milo was getting voluntary input from otherwise staid journalists who let their hair down and their misogyny fly free in private emails. One of them was Mitchell Sunderland, who publicly makes noise about being a feminist while privately siccing professional misogynists on a “fat feminist”.

In one email that Buzzfeed cites, Milo is implored to “[p]lease mock this fat feminist,” a reference to feminist author and New York Times columnist Lindy West. All the emails are bad, but this one stands out because it was sent by Mitchell Sunderland, the one-time managing editor of Broadly, VICE Media’s women’s vertical. Sunderland has publicly said that one must “love feminism” to work there.

If Sunderland “loves” feminism, feminism should get a restraining order. The Buzzfeed cache suggests he used his repartee with Milo to go after feminist writers and organizations. Once, while he was still at Broadly, he sent his Breitbart contacts a Broadly video about the Satanic Temple and abortion rights; “do whatever with this on Breitbart. It’s insane,” he wrote. The next day, the smear appeared on the site: “‘Satanic Temple’ Joins Planned Parenthood in Pro-Abortion Crusade.” It’s hard to tell if Sunderland was consciously anti-choice and anti-feminist when he took the job at Broadly, but what is true is that he learned the lingo of feminism well enough to get paid for it, turning out reams of #content wherein he mocked fake male allies and critiqued the shallowness of various women’s feminism.

Mitch “Lying Sack of Shit” Sunderland has been fired. No word yet on whether the other closet sleazeballs exposed in the email have met a similar fate.

I do think it’s sweet that so many garbage humans have been exposed to the light of day by their common connection, Milo Yiannopoulos.

Chasing those sweet, sweet Dave Rubin dollars

It seems some in the atheist movement are casting an envious eye on the money to be made by pandering to the alt-right crowd. They’re easily spotted — they’re the ones protesting that they really are liberals (usually with a “classical” or “neo” as a prefix, or a ” but” as a permanently attached suffix), while they spend all their effort on chastising Leftists or Black Lives Matter activists or Progressives or anyone who is fucking pissed off at the state of the country, and ignoring Nazis and white nationalists to complain that the people who consider the treatment of black folk to be discriminatory and historically and currently oppressive are the real racists. I just wish they’d be honest and recognize that they’re aligning themselves in favor of Nazis in the name of Free Speech, while working hard against progressives, because they shouldn’ta oughtnota say them there things.

The latest repeat offender in this game is Dave Smalley, who has written another of his one-sentence-per-paragraph declarative jeremiads. How dare The Left call Ben Carson a “white supremacist”? (no attribution given). How dare The Left call Gad Saad a “Nazi”? (no attribution given). How dare a Black Lives Matter activist tell white people “Get your own damn people, and tell them to stop being racists!” (no attribution given). And then he says, Is this not prejudiced? Is this not discrimination? Is this not segregation?, only a few sentences/paragraphs later to piously declare, I didn’t call her names. I’m not labeling her as a racist. She’s just toxic. That’s better. No name calling here, no sir!

Gah. The hypocrisy and dishonesty are infuriating. Could all you guys just admit that you’re right-leaning and that you use the claim that you’re a centrist as an excuse? (While failing to note that the American version of the “center” is somewhere close to fascism everywhere else in the world.) I prefer a straightforward wingnut to these chickenshits who like to pretend they’re liberal.

Anyway, I’m not going to delve into a sentence by sentence deconstruction of this foolish sucking up to delusional deplorables since, fortunately, the Utah Outcasts did a great job taking it apart.

I’m just going to remind you all that the people who protest the loudest that they aren’t really Nazis are the ones who enable the Nazis, and all too often are hiding the fact that they identify with and sympathize with Nazis more than they do progressives. If you have to whine and cry and repeat over and over again that no, you aren’t conservative, no, you’re not on the same side with white supremacists, you might want to ask yourself why so many people that you claim to be allies with are thinking that.


That’s gonna leave a mark. Here’s another post ripping into Smalley.

Letters from an imbecile

Carrie Buck was sterilized against her will; her fight against this violation went all the way to the Supreme Court, where Oliver Wendell Holmes dismissed her rights with the remark that “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

Now you can see for yourself how imbecilic Carrie Buck was. Some of Buck’s letters have been published. Here’s one sample:

Dearest Mrs. Berry, Will write to you this A.M. This leaves me real well and getting along just fine. Mrs. Berry I have wrote to Dorris several times since I have been here and haven’t gotten any answer from it. I guess there are lots of girls going away now. I had a letter from mother here several days ago and said for me to send her some things. Will it be o.k. for me to do so or not. Will you please let me know. Give her my love and tell her I will write to her later as I haven’t got time to write now as I have got some work to do. Give Miss Vian (?) my love and all of the girls. Well I must close for now. With Love, Carrie B., Bland, Va.

That’s perfectly normal, an average human being with average human concerns having a conversation with another person. These are also scans of her letters, so you can also see that she had remarkably clear penmanship — not that penmanship is the mark of a worthy human, but it does show that she had normal skills and values.

What we did to this woman was a tragedy and a crime.

The Chocolate Ritual

I was reading about this secret Nazi convention back in my hometown of Seattle. It is, as expected, a collection of unpleasant, ignorant people, who are also prosperous young professional men, so I suspect it’s the kind of crowd Mythicist Milwaukee would love to attract, so maybe they should read it for tips.

But there’s one bit that picqued my interest. Apparently there’s a famous Nazi author lurking back home.

When I’d asked Krafft back in 2015 how many white nationalists resided in Seattle, he responded “not many.” The only local voice for white separatism was the laughably uncharismatic Harold Covington of Northwest Front, who according to Krafft, asks people for money immediately upon meeting them. Surprisingly, some white nationalist circles now hold Harold Covington in high regard. That’s especially true among younger followers (including the church Shooter Dylann Roof). His “racially aware” Northwest sci-fi novels are required reading among convention attendees. Some have read all of them. To prep for the forum, I planned on reading Covington’s best-known works. I started with a young adult novel about a delinquent and his cheerleader girlfriend in the Seattle race war, but gave up after forty pages because the book is unreadable.

“Unreadable”? That sounds like a challenge. So I looked him up on Amazon to see if any were available for free, since no way in hell was I paying for them. None are free. But some had some had fairly extensive free previews, so I could get a taste. It was not a good flavor. These things are full of misogyny, racism, and violence by smug, oblivious white men with guns.

So I started on one, called The Brigade. The beginning was not auspicious. It’s about a guy who decides to murder two women because they got a friend of his arrested and thrown into jail. He was arrested because — of course he did nothing wrong — he called his girlfriend a “dyke”. That is enough of an excuse for ZOG to throw an innocent white man into prison!

The real problem is that she was a…wait for it…a feminist.

“Oh, she was always like that, ever since she came back from the university,” said King with a shrug. “I mean, what else do you expect from U of O? I just figured she rebelled against her religious upbringing when she went to college, trying to be chic and fit in, and then she just never sort of grew out of it. I actually used to think it was kind of cute, kind of her way of retaining her youth.”

“Yeah, well, baby tarantulas grow up into big fucking poisonous spiders,” Hatfield reminded him.

Yeah, I went to the U of O, too. No wonder I turned out this way. But I have to object: tarantulas are not poisonous. Neither are feminists.

But you might be wondering what terrible thing his girlfriend did to deserve having the criminal insult of “dyke” thrown at her. He caught her in flagrante with another woman!

Which leads to a hilarious revelation.

“Strike her?” laughed King bitterly. “My God, have you seen that creature? She’s built like a bulldozer! I lost my temper is all, when I walked into my living room and found them doing–dear Christ, what they were doing–I can’t even talk about it!”

“The Chocolate Ritual,” said Hatfield. “I know. It is supposed to be for bonding between female lovers. Most people have no idea of what homosexuals actually do. You were unlucky enough to get a crash course.”

The things you will learn in this book. Unfortunately, I couldn’t read much further, because the original article is correct: this book is unreadable, and stops being funny fast. Yes, Our Hero sneaks into a house, and callously murders the two lesbians with a big gun. It kind of makes all the protestations about innocent, harmless men being unjustly accused by conniving women ring false. Not funny at all.

There’s also lots of crap about organizing paramilitary brigades, and boring details about military weapons. Not recommended, except for burning or wiping your ass.

Any lesbians reading this should chime in with an explanation of what the Chocolate Ritual might be, though, since I clearly don’t know as much about what homosexuals do as Harold Covington.