Agreed, it’s not just a Southern thing

I mentioned how my Yankee education didn’t praise slavery, it just kind of ignored it. But someone on Twitter pointed out that we get some egregious racism in the Northern schools, too.

The investigation began after the assignment on Feb. 1 presented sixth-grade students at Patrick Marsh Middle School [in Madison, Wisconsin] with the following scenario: “A slave stands before you. This slave has disrespected his master by telling him, ‘You are not my master!’ How will you punish this slave?”

The report said the assignment also “included other offensive questions.”

Please don’t ask students to imagine themselves in the role of slavemasters. Also — do I need to say this? — don’t ask them to role play being a Nazi concentration camp guard. It’s asking them to empathize, even temporarily, with horrible human beings.

Bad textbooks are the reason we need Critical Race Theory

I’ve been involved in textbook battles for decades — conservatives/creationists have been smart, and worked to undermine elementary school education, and it’s been effective. The Texas Board of Education has been a running sore on science education for years. Check out the NCSE!

I’ve mainly been focused on science textbooks, but the rot goes all the way through to everything. To show that, Michael Harriot did something absolutely brilliant: he looked into the educational background of those prominent Republican opponents of critical race theory, and asked what these people were actually taught as kids. There’s a lot of work here, but it’s all public information. He just looked up where and when certain Republicans went to school, and then looked up what textbooks were in use, and read how they treated race in America.

It’s horrifying.

Read it if you really want to know what kind of crap poisoned the young minds of Marsha Blackburn, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham, John Kennedy, Mitch McConnell, Tommy Tuberville, and Tim Scott. The Daughters of the Confederacy were busy shaping children’s plastic little brains. Here, for example, is what Moscow Mitch was taught.

After moving to Louisville, Ky., and attending duPont Manual High School, McConnell would have learned from an education department that provides grants to Kentucky Educational Television for Kentucky’s Story, which still teaches this about slavery in Kentucky:

Because many owners and servants worked side by side or had frequent contact, the bond between them was more patriarchal than was the relationship shared by slaves and masters in other states. While exceptions can be noted, it is generally believed that Kentucky’s slaves experienced a less harsh life than did those living elsewhere…

Many aspects of the slaves’ lives resembled those of white laborers…In addition to these evening and Sunday activities, masters encouraged their chattels to engage in recreational activities, such as dancing and singing, that provided emotional release; happy slaves worked better than did discontented ones.

Religion also played an important role in the slaves’ existence. Churches encouraged masters to treat their people kindly and urged slaves to be good Christians, to serve their earthly masters as they would their heavenly father and to look for rewards in the hereafter for services rendered on earth.

It’s weird. There’s also this strange vibe where each state, in addition to claiming that they really treated slaves nicely, has to explain they were really so much better than those other Confederate, slave-holding states. They all had happy slaves, but our slaves were the happiest.

Unfortunately, Harriott doesn’t get around to analyzing Yankee textbooks — but there’s a fair amount of work in what he did cover, so I understand. I was educated in Washington state, a part of the country that wasn’t even a state at the time of the Civil War, and I have no recollection of learning anything about black people or civil rights. We sure learned about Lewis and Clark and the Whitman Massacre and Chief Joseph, though, which meant we were inculcated with the idea of the Noble Indian who had to fade away to make room for the heroic white destiny. There was also some mention of the Japanese internment, but, you know, we had to win the war. It was such a shock to learn that Jimi Hendrix was from Seattle. There are black people in Seattle? They didn’t teach us that, I had to find out for myself!

In my education, the schools committed the sin of omission, but at least my teachers skipped over the dancing, singing slaves and their kindly masters.

We also didn’t do horrifying in-class exercises like these:

Slavery was just like being denied recess!

Why are you afraid of critical race theory?

I don’t get it. As a white man, I love critical race theory — it explains so much, helps me understand my failings, and yet also provides a framework for comprehending my role in American racism that doesn’t condemn me (I know, it’s a selfish way to think about it, but that’s what’s great — it should appeal to people who only think of themselves). Yet, somehow, it gives Republicans the heebie-jeebies.

Schools across the country are working to address systemic racism and inject an anti-racist mind-set into campus life. But where advocates see racial progress, opponents see an effort to shame White teachers and sometimes students for being part of an oppressive system.

In particular, conservatives have seized on the idea that schools are promoting critical race theory, a decades-old academic framework that examines how policies and the law perpetuate systemic racism. It holds in part that racism is woven into the fabric of the nation’s history and life — a product of the system and not just individual bad actors.

Critics say this approach injects race into what should be, in their view, a colorblind system. Proponents counter that U.S. schools have never been colorblind and insist they aren’t pushing critical race theory anyway. The equity work is critical, they say, to address systemic barriers holding back students of color and to create schools that are truly inclusive.

Look at the peculiar twist in there. Conservatives see it as a tool to “shame white teachers”, but CRT teaches that racism is “a product of the system and not just individual bad actors”. I have benefited from historical biases in education and employment, but that doesn’t mean I have to be ashamed of who I am — it means I have a responsibility to work to change the system, so that everyone has the same opportunities I did.

What’s so terrible about that? Other than the generations of people denied those opportunities, of course.

That conservatives oppose CRT tells me something: that they oppose any change to a pattern of systemic oppression, because they benefit from the system. Breaking that pattern might liberate millions of people, but it hurts the profits of an extraordinarily wealthy minority. So the rich are hurling money and propaganda at the idea because they don’t want you to know you are living under an oppressive system. It’s their system, you know.

And that’s why Tucker Carlson exists. He is an openly racist white supremacist who peddles flagrant misinformation, and he’s not going to be fired. He feeds fear to build a base, and has the money from rich media owners to thrive.

“He’s a good example of how much you can get away with at Fox if your ratings are high,” one current network staffer told The Daily Beast. “Aside from that, he just perpetuates the right’s catastrophe platform. They cannot win with their supposed limited government, fiscal conservatism, because not even they really believe in it. So all they do is fear monger.”

To this point, Carlson has seemingly delighted in his ability to see just how far he can push the envelope, bouncing from one controversy to the next only to see his status and influence grow at Fox News and among the right-wing mediaverse at large.

That’s systemic racism at work. You also won’t fix it by firing Carlson, because he’s a cheap, low-talent goon who would just be replaced by a different cheap, low-talent goon…Jesse Watters, for instance, or some Republican congress-slime, like Kelly Loeffler. They’re fungible. CRT is telling you to stop looking at the tips of the tentacles and instead target the whole dang supra-esophageal mass up there in the head, and that makes the perpetrators of the system afraid.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call out the tentacles, though, especially when they’re so ripe for ridicule. Watch Joy Reid (you know, “the race lady” in Carlson’s parlance) tear into his schtick.

Next, though, we have to tear into Rupert Murdoch and the other wealthy assholes who continue to enable Carlson, no matter how stupid he is.

Where are our conspiracy theories?

I’m feeling left out. I just encountered yet another story of a shadowy cabal conspiring to destroy humanity by promoting transgenderism, and it got me wondering why we don’t have our own silly conspiracy theories.

While prominent Jewish transgender activists like Jazz Jennings and Jennifer Pritzker, and Jewish-themed shows like Transparent, serve as one face of this imagined conspiracy, white nationalists believe the real power is wielded behind the scenes by Jewish billionaires, talent managers, media and entertainment executives, journalists, and advocacy groups like the Anti-Defamation League. They think this shadow network is working patiently to normalize transgender acceptance in popular culture; as another Occidental Observer writer put it, “the stunningly disproportionate Jewish involvement in the ‘transgender rights’ movement reveals it as yet another form of Jewish ethnic warfare.”

This Jewish activism, they are convinced, is laser-focused on attacking white, Western society at its most vulnerable and sacrosanct point: the sexuality of children.

As Henrik Palmgren, leader of the white nationalist multimedia company Red Ice said in 2015, the Jewish parents of Jazz Jennings, by supporting their young daughter to become a trailblazing advocate for trans empowerment and acceptance, were enacting “one of the most disturbing agendas the Zionist elite have ever created.” This attempt at “normalizing the abnormal,” Palmgren wrote, “will sacrifice the physical and mental health of numerous children for decades to come.”

I mean, look at that! Why? Who gets together in meetings and schemes to cripple children? What loon would think that the “most vulnerable point” of Western society is allowing a tiny minority of young people to define their own sexuality? It’s not an effective strategy, and I also can’t believe that any subgroup that acquires “real power” would be interested in destroying the culture they are succeeding in. If anything, history tells us that the powerful tend to work to maintain the status quo.

That got me wondering, though, if I believe in any conspiracies. I don’t know; I think billionaires are the most horrible, disruptive force in society, but I don’t think they’re intentionally working together to nefarious ends — they’re just selfish people who are exploiting the system independently. Republicans are doing great evils, but again, it’s not a plot. It’s just ignorant people mired in fallacious dogma. Creationists are just pathetic. There’s no one on the other side I’d consider an evil mastermind, the other side seems to be full of bumbling, incompetent human beings, just like my side.

That’s a problem, maybe. It would all be so much easier if we could identify a distinguishable group to demonize, but instead, they is us.

“Professor” Edward Dutton is a fraud

Unsurprisingly, that ugly racist, Edward Dutton, who calls himself a “professor”…isn’t. The University of Oulu seems to be a bit embarrassed by him.

That’s from 2019. If you follow the Twitter thread, you will be entertained by a series of pissed off racists.

They crossed the streams!

Sorry in advance, everyone, I got sucked into a dark hole and I’ve got to purge myself onto you. Somehow, I stumbled onto this unsavory character, Edward Dutton, who calls himself the “Jolly Heretic” — he’s not very jolly, and he seems to have embraced good ol’ mainstream 19th century pseudoscientific racism, so he’s not very heretical, either. Here’s a brief bio:

Edward Dutton is a prolific vlogger and author whose books have been published by Arktos Media, a Budapest-based white nationalist publishing house, and Richard Spencer’s Washington Summit Publishers. Dutton is listed as part of the “Editorial Circle” for Spencer’s online publication Radix Journal. He also sits on the advisory board of Mankind Quarterly, a pseudo-academic journal that traffics in scientific racism.

Unsurprisingly Dutton was denounced as a “white supremacist” in an op-ed for The Gaudie, the student newspaper of Dutton’s alma mater Aberdeen University, over his racist rants and associations with antisemites and white nationalists. Indeed, Dutton has made appearances on multiple white nationalist shows where he’s claimed white people have higher IQs than nonwhites and fretted over declining white birthrates.

In a jovial discussion of racial differences during a Dec. 2020 livestream with Richard Spencer, Dutton claimed that “white-Black” marriages are the “least likely.” He explained that “Black females are penalized because they are not particularly feminine looking,” but that “it’s Asian women that of course everyone wants” because they “have these child-like features” which are a “sign of good genes.”

Of course he’s on YouTube. He has over 50,000 subscribers.

He calls himself “Professor” Dutton, which was hard to believe — what legitimate university would hire someone this disreputable? Apparently, though, he actually is an adjunct professor of the Anthropology of Religion and Finnish Culture at Oulu University in Finland, and is also a professor of evolutionary psychology at Asbiro University in Łódź, Poland. How he got these appointments is a mystery, but I’ll just guess that there are racists lurking in all the odd corners of academia, and he got these presumably nominal appointments through friends in very low places.

What also got my interest is that this screamingly vile racist pig not only has a successful YouTube channel, and some peculiar academic appointments, but has also cultivated associations with transphobes. It’s so amazingly repellent that I couldn’t look away. Would you believe Ray Blanchard appeared on Dutton’s channel? I’d never heard of Dutton before, but Blanchard…there’s a guy beloved by transphobes, and also possessing genuine credentials as a professor at the University of Toronto. Why would he agree to appear with a known white supremacist and all-around repugnant racist? What’s the connection?

During the Feb. 25, 2021 livestream Blanchard promoted his claim that trans women — whom he repeatedly referred to as “biological males” — can be divided into two basic categories.

The first category, Blanchard said, consists of trans women who “could be thought of as just extremely effeminate homosexual males who went the extra step to conclude that they actually are women, and that they want to be living as women.” He further described them as “drag queens who take their work seriously.”

The second category, according to Blanchard, is made up of people who begin as “fetishistic crossdressers” who, at a young age, engage in “masturbatory activities around women’s clothes,” a practice which “gradually gives rise to a more generalized sense of being … women.”

Blanchard coined the term “autogynephilia” to describe this latter category, though it is not widely accepted as a reason for why trans women experience gender dysphoria or choose to transition.

So that’s why Blanchard was willing to hang out with a flaming racist: it was an opportunity to peddle his bogus, discredited ‘theory’ of autogynephilia to a a gullible, biased host who’d happily let him babble, and would nod in agreement. I’d say “ugh”, but I guess it’s good that slime attracts slime and make each other even more disgusting.

Also bizarre was this little interlude:

Later in the livestream Blanchard defended asking transgender people invasive questions about their genitals.

“As far as them being touchy about people asking questions about their genitals, all I can say is there are many shibboleths around that transsexuals impose because they have a fragile story that they want maintained,” Blanchard said. “And if people ask too many pointed questions it becomes threatening.”

Blanchard told Dutton that he had seen “many, many times the outrage you’re describing when people wonder what genitals a transsexual has,” and that “their rant is always ‘How dare you wonder what my genitals are.’”

He added, “In reality, 99.99% of normal, straight normies who meet a transsexual are wondering ‘Gee, what’s between their legs?’ That’s what’s going on in the head of most people. But transsexuals don’t want this question raised, and so they act as if it’s some gross breach of etiquette that only you and your stupidity were ignorant of.”

I, a straight normie, must be in the elite 0.01% because no, that’s not going on in my head. I also don’t ponder the genitals of cis people I meet. I particularly don’t quiz anyone, cis or trans, about the appearance of their genitals, and would consider it a gross breach of etiquette if you were to start asking about mine. That’s not mere prudishness: my interactions with almost every other person on the planet simply don’t involve genitals, so it’s an irrelevant concern, and obsessing over them is an alarming social signal. So why is Ray Blanchard focusing on them?

Is it because he’s a perverse creep?

He also can’t be all that bright. He apparently didn’t even consider the optics of so blatantly merging his transphobic cause with far-right racism. I do wonder if all the JK Rowling fans out there are at all perturbed by this association, or if they’re just all going to coalesce into a whirlwind of indiscriminate hate?

George Floyd’s murderer: GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY

For once, maybe justice has been served. The jury found Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts.

I was prepared for the worst, because all day the news has been full of stories about Minneapolis bracing for the verdict, windows being boarded up, new concrete barriers being installed, etc. Now all we have to be ready for is grateful crowds of citizens solemnly appreciating a righteous decision…oh, and roving gangs of cops looking for any excuse to bash heads in revenge.

Why do we give these incompetent asshats guns anyway?

Unbelievable.

A police officer fatally shot a Black man, identified as Daunte Wright, after he was pulled over in a Minneapolis suburb Sunday, leading to clashes between protesters and law enforcement. On Monday, the police chief for the city of Brooklyn Center said the unidentified officer intended to use her Taser but instead grabbed her gun and shot Wright.

During a press conference, police released bodycam video of the shooting. In the video, the officer who shot Wright shouted “Taser” multiple times before firing her gun at Wright at close range while Wright was in the driver’s seat.

“I just shot him,” the officer said as the car drove away.

This officer should not have been armed. She should not have been on the street. She just murdered a man “by accident”, only it’s not an accident if you are so badly trained that you blast away with a firearm when you “intended” to use a taser.

Why do the police need guns to make traffic stops? Why did she even need to use a taser against him?

FTP

Shut these cops down.

The police murdered another black man in a suburb of Minneapolis yesterday. You’d think they’d learn: the cops are on trial in this state for the murder of George Floyd, so you’d think the word would come down to not shoot anyone for a traffic violation, at least until everyone calms down and we can get back to mindless obedience to the status quo, but no. Daunte Wright was stopped for something trivial, and it ended up with him dead in the street.

In a statement, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota denounced the shooting and called for a thorough and transparent investigation by an agency other than Brooklyn Center police or the BCA and for the release of all body-worn camera and dash-camera footage.

“The ACLU-MN has deep concerns that police here appear to have used dangling air fresheners as an excuse for making a pretextual stop, something police do all too often to target Black people. The warrant appears to be for a non-felony,” the statement said.

“While we are waiting to learn more, we must reiterate that police violence and killings of people of color must end, as must the over-policing and racial profiling that are endemic to our white supremacist system of policing.”

That actually wasn’t the end of it. The photo above is of a squad of Officer Friendlies descending on the neighborhood to bring their condolences to the community. And of course our governor tweeted that his prayers were with the bereaved.

Then we got the usual sensitivity from the police.

Do they ever stop to wonder if they might be the baddies?

They could have predicted how the community would react.

Then comes the usual smoke and fire and rage.

Gee, I wonder if it was worth it to keep our roads free of dangling air fresheners?

This is the first I’ve heard that air fresheners are illegal in the state of Minnesota. Apparently the Minnesota police use the presence of air fresheners as a pretext to search cars for drugs. So now you can apparently get shot for keeping the inside of your car pine-fresh.

Stop praying, Governor Walz, and disarm your thugs.