The Confederacy, Statues, and the Charlottesville Incident

I really don’t want to make this post. I haven’t logged on Facebook for a week because I’m sick of seeing what everybody has to say about the recent debacle in Virginia; and I’m a millennial, so you know that refraining from social media took a tremendous amount of willpower on my part. So this is going to be another list of random points that I think are relevant and/or pertinent, to be lost in the fray of other useless social commentary flooding the internet. In no particular order . . .


1.) White supremacy is bad. What a shock. White separatism is a slightly nicer idea but would pretty much entail the same tactics of white supremacy if the white separatists ever got their way and started segregating things. There’s no functional difference between the two even if the ideologies deviate ever so slightly.

2.) Tiki torches are not intimidating.

3.) If you’re going to judge the Unite the Right march for some of its participants carrying confederate and Nazi flags, I’d like to see some consistency here. Stalinist Russia was just as murderously awful as both of the aforementioned political regimes, so perhaps the hammer-and-sickle flag I’ve seen at many left leaning gatherings (both in person and in pictures) should be judged as a negative statement as well.

4.) Tearing down statues of people you don’t like is a stupid tactic. It just makes it seem like you’re in favor of revisionist history and, coming from someone who is actually interested in history, smacks of the genre-blind virtue signaling of people who have no idea what they’re talking about but are really sure that they’re angry about it.

A statue of Robert E. Lee being the focal point of the contention is a perfect example of this. Robert E. Lee didn’t want the South to secede, thought the war was a stupid idea, and saw slavery as a moral evil he’d rather see the end of. That’s not to say he was some forward thinking progressive, but he wasn’t the personification of Evil White Racism that people are making him out to be. Lincoln actually approached Lee to lead the Northern army first, but Lee took a good long time to get back to him before ultimately refusing the offer because, even though he correctly thought the North would win, he couldn’t bring himself to lead a war against his own home state of Virginia. He wasn’t just some evil racist who wanted to keep the institution of slavery going at all costs. All this does is encourage the typical American lack of interest in history.

5.) Where does this “get rid of the monuments of people who fail by our current moral judgement” notion end, exactly? The first president of our country, the dude who wrote the Constitution, and the dude who started the American financial system, all had a hand in slavery. Are we going to boycott the Hamilton play, tear down the Washington monument, and take Jefferson’s name off of courthouses because of that? This is easy to do for literally anyone. To all the feminists who want to take down statues of those evil men and replace them with female icons from history: Good luck finding a first-wave or second-wave feminist who wasn’t racist as hell. Gandhi was also really racist. Unrelated, but true. The founder’s of modern medicine were sexists and homophobes.  The first people to walk on the moon were also sexist. All those founding gay rights activists? Racist too. Where does your ideological purity test for who “deserves” to have a monument begin and end? You’re going to have one difficult fucking time finding someone who fits all your current year standards for moral conduct, is all I’m saying.

6.) The left has learned nothing and is doing nothing to help the situation. The rising tide of white nationalism in America is dangerous. You know what’s feeding into it, though? You know what’s making these white collectivism sentiments mainstream and popular? The rising tide of rhetoric about how white people are a collective that comes from liberal camps: When you have politicians building their entire platform on telling the whites the STFU, and you have controversy after controversy on college campuses where racism against white people is deemed acceptable, when you have multiple examples of left-wing crowds cheering when they hear that white people may one day be a minority in America, this is what you fucking get. You get white collectivists who are tired of being shit on and who act just as insane and idiotic and violent as the other racial collectivists we already have (unless you forgot the last race riot).

7.) Responding to the Unite the Right march by going on to do more of the thing that they were protesting (in this case, officially removing more statues) doesn’t seem like that great of an idea. Go do a social experiment: Walk around the streets of Charlottesville and ask people what statues are there. And if they don’t know, tell them, and then ask them what those people being enshrined in brass actually did. I would be shocked if people actually knew. This isn’t me calling anyone dumb: This is me pointing out the very real fact that these monuments are very much in the background. They are part of the backdrop. Charlottesville is not some white supremacist haven because it has statues of people who fought on the losing side of the Civil War.

For example, the elementary school I went to was named after Robert E. Lee. The elementary school on the other side of town was named after Abraham Lincoln. I did not know either of those things as a child. I legit thought my school was called Roberty Lee Elementary. I thought Lincoln Elementary was just named after the street it was on. The average person is not taking the names of things to heart. The average person isn’t looking at vague statues of military guys they don’t know the name of because they’ve never looked at the plaque underneath, feeling the warm glow of racial supremacy in their bosom. The average person doesn’t give two fucks about this either way, and it’s yet another fucking sign of how cut off from average society these people are that they think everyone is going around naval gazing about these things. They’re aren’t.


The end.

 

Playing Catch Up: the North Korean Google Apocalypse

Hey, guys! As the title suggests, I’m going to play some catch up and address the two and a half big stories happening right now. This’ll be a quick one.


North Korea: First Blood, Part I

This is another George W. Bush situation. I believe that poor Dubya would have been a passingly fine president had nothing happened while he was in charge of the country. Yeah, he passed No Child Left Behind, which is shit, but the American education system was shit before he touched it and it continued to be shit afterwards, so even that wasn’t as awful as it could have been. It was just his poor luck that a major natural disaster and a terrorist attack happened under his watch and forced him to have to do things. He wasn’t all that great at doing things.

It’s just America’s poor fortune that the Great Leader of True Korea decided to start making threats whilst the leader of our country is little more than a petulant child who’s version of international diplomacy with hostile forces is to tell them catch deez hands if dey step to us!!111!!!1! Cash me outside, beeotch!!!!11!1!

The North Korea problem is an extremely complicated one that I will not delve into here because that is literally a thesis topic that you can’t ramble on about forever. Essentially, North Korea itself is not as much of an international threat as the fallout of trying to fight North Korea would be. North Korea does not exist in a vacuum: It exists in a very tremulous East Asian political landscape where literally none of the countries involved like each other even a little bit except for North Korea’s weird buddy-buddy relationship with China. There are already shit tons of conflicts (both military and political) going on between Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, North Korea, and ASEAN–to the point where many scholars of that area think that the tension between China and Japan is enough to qualify as an actual cold war. There’s a reason South Koreans give no fucks about North Korea–they know they’re not going to be the ones getting bombed if their neighbors to the north get a wild hair up their collective ass and decide to do something–it’ll be Japan, who South Korea isn’t keen on aiding. Stirring that pot would be disastrous, and our president rifling through the kitchen drawers looking for a big enough spoon is very worrying.

That said, China has recently released a statement saying that it would not support North Korea if it ever attacked America or any of our territories, which is very heartening. How China would react to an American-instigated war with North Korea–either a Cold or Hot one–would be the true source of East Asia imploding, if and when that happened. My main fear was that China would use the conflict with North Korea as an excuse to a.) do some actual fighting over South China Sea maritime territory with Japan and, to a lesser extent, the Philippines; and/or b.) use the conflict as another means to propagandize anti-imperialism and pro-unification rhetoric to its populace that it oftentimes uses to justify its military threats to ASEAN, Japan, and Taiwan. But since China has overtly come out saying that it’s not going to support North Korea, I can sleep easier. Hopefully the petulant man-child in charge of North Korea will realize that his main bargaining chip–China’s support–being thrown out the window means that he should leave the unnecessary airstriking to ‘Murka and go back to starving his citizens in peace. And hopefully Trump will respond to that by not completely and utterly going against his election platform and starting yet another international conflict even though he said we were going to be more isolationist. I’m still fucking mad about that, Donny.


North Korea: First Blood, Part II–I For One Welcome Our New Google Overlords

Palling in comparison to the whole “Trump and Un are competing to see who the bigger idiot is” news coverage, however, is the controversy with Google and “diversity.” Does this mean that the American news media has really weird priorities? If the coverage was an astute and in-depth look at corporate culture and the political make-up of Silicon Valley and how that effects its products and employees, I’d say no. But that’s not the coverage topic: The topic is essentially all about how Google’s “anti-diversity” memo was bad and mean and sexist and how “tech has a problem because look at this mean sexist who said women are biologically inferior to men.” So yes, priorities are fucking skewed.

This is coming right on the heels of Google throwing itself face-first into political bipartisanship by announcing the news that videos that don’t violate the terms of service or break any rules can still be blacklisted from viewership or audience interaction if the content of the video is just something the Google AI . . . finds distasteful, I guess. It’s times like these that I get really scared and paranoid about the fact that Google pretty much owns the internet, especially considering how Facebook is all but overtly aligned with Google’s own hyper-specific politics as well, with Patreon’s founders being brought into the fold as well.

Hey, at least Amazon‘s still just good ole’ fashioned evil and not “we’re gonna throw all the things that commit thought crimes down the memory hole” evil. There’s still hope!

None of this surprises me. The big-name tech companies have made it pretty clear where they fall politically, and they’ve made it very clear that they’re more than willing to let their politics effect how their business is run. Google specifically is incredibly cultish and has been for as long as I can remember hearing about its internal antics. I have lots of friends who have worked for Google or, at the very least, interviewed with them. I say “have worked” because almost all of them quit, not because the work itself was too difficult but because the work environment was so stressful to be in.

One of my best friends (who is a woman, by the way) majored in computer science and computer engineering, and she avoids tech jobs like the fucking plague despite that being her area of interest and expertise. She avoids them because Silicon Valley tech companies–the big names and the start-ups that only exist to hopefully be bought up by the big names–are places where she felt like she was on trial all the time for every single benign thing she did. I’m not talking, “Oh, we have a smart casual dress code, and this is a nut-free environment so we can accommodate people with allergies.” According to her and multiple other people I’ve talked with, it’s more along the lines of, “I see you’re wearing a t-shirt under that blazer instead of Under Amour. Hmmm, interesting. Oh, and that snack food you brought to put in your desk drawer really isn’t what we eat here, if you know what I mean. It’s just not what we prefer, so maybe change it. Oh, you’re listening to that band while you work. That’s okay, I guess . . .”

Every single little thing you do has to be “how Google does things,” apparently. So was I surprised to hear that that extends to politics and opinions on topical subjects? Of course fucking not. I read the memo. I’m not going over it here because I don’t feel the need to. I don’t agree with every single point he makes and thinks he could have explained some things much better or left some things out. But overall, it was fine. It was well informed. It was the least offensive thing on the face of the fucking planet. The fact that it’s being called the “anti-diversity” memo by the mainstream press is rather telling seeing as how it is in no way against diversity, simply questioning the current means by which Google as a company was trying to achieve it and trying to offer some potential explainations as to why it wasn’t as diverse as they wanted it to be.

Although, I must say I find it rather hilarious that feminists are screeching about how he says women are inferior to men when, in reality, all he said was that women on average are biologically less inclined towards mathematical reasoning than men. That apparently means “inferior” now. Way to project your own insecurities onto benign statements. I wonder if they would freak out over the misandry of saying, “Men on average are less inclined toward verbal reasoning than women.” Probably not, but a girl can dream.


So the world’s gonna end, guys! North Korea is gonna blow us up right before the Google AI starts tracking all our movements and killing wrong-thinkers. The end is nigh! Buy gold!

 

Some Thoughts on Trump and the Transgender Military Ban

This will be a bullet point list, because I’m busy doing stuff I actually enjoy.

Anyway . . . !


1.) I don’t hate the idea of President Trump as much as most people. I still get annoyed when media outlets decide to trash him for innocuous bullshit and/or straight-up lie about what he thinks or does just because they’re all aboard the 24/7 Hate Train for the dude. Actually being fake news is not the best way to fight against the whole “fake news” thing, is all I’m saying. Looking at you, “memes incite violence against the press” CNN.

2.) Generally, I think most of the things he’s done probably looked fine of paper but were put into practice with the skill and subtle practice of a schizophrenic chimpanzee in the process of being immolated with a ‘Nam-style blowtorch. Temporary travel ban on countries connected to terrorist threats? Sure, not the worst idea. That list of countries making little sense in an American security context and being enacted by borderline-detaining people who legally arrived at the airport because they can’t be allowed to leave now? That’s pretty shitty. And that was something that could be partially blamed on ideas drafted up by the Obama administration. That’s not even including things that are totally the Trump admin’s doing like . . . touting isolationist policies that focus on domestic interests and then almost immediately sanctioning another bout of drone bombing, taking more funding away from our comparatively minuscule education and domestic enrichment programs to increase our already over-bloated and misused military budget, enforcing stricter immigration policies by encouraging broken window policing strategies, and getting rid of the current flawed health care system and replacing it with something that didn’t fix any of the bad parts and added more issues on top of them.

3.) And he’s done it again. Trump was the first real Republican candidate who showed open and explicit support of the LGBT community during his campaign run, which I gave him credit for, unlike many liberals who insisted he was homophobic . . . for reasons? I’m not sure, actually. He’s pretty much rolled back on that, though, with the statement he’s just issued:

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, the US government with not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgenders in the military would entail. Thank you.”

There are very, very many parts of this that genuinely confuse the ever loving fuck out of me. I’m not sure if I’m at the morally outraged levels that lots of people are, but I’m definitely bewildered.

Let’s talk about why.

4.) Why is this something he’s chosen to spend time on? Trump definitely knows what a giant can o’ worms the trans issue is. No one was asking for this. No one was complaining on the internet, prompting an official statement on the issue of trans people in the military to be made. He just came out with this one day. Why? With his controversy-laden presidency, keeping chicks with dicks out of the armed forces was really something he decided to make a priority?

5.) This is essentially just an even more regressive version of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. At least that mandate let them serve as long as they kept quiet about it. This one just flat out bans people entirely. I guess it’s good to know that I can go back to arguing against pseudo-evangelical pandering to right-wing demographics regarding LGBT issues again. I thought we were over that in *insert current year,* but okay.

6.) As has been readily pointed out, it’s rather hypocritical to act like the surely infinitesimal percentage of trans people in the military are going to cause some huge undue burden of medical costs for the military when one of the largest medical cost the military currently has is its Viagra budget. Yeah, that’s not an undue health cost at all.

7.) That being said, it’s not the American military’s job to pay for transition surgeries, hormones, or other medications. I wasn’t aware of the huge epidemic of transgender people joining the military for free sex-reassignment surgery, but if you want to cover all your bases and make sure medical exploitation doesn’t happen, fine. If the argument was “Trans people still currently transitioning and in need of consistent medical visits/evaluations/treatments will not be allowed into the military because that leads to superfluous health costs that we are not obligated to cover,” I’d actually understand.

That is not what is being said, though. It just bans trans people as a group, outright. What if they’re not physically transitioning and don’t plan to until after they get done serving? What if they’ve already physically transitioned before applying? What tremendous undue health cost are those trans people causing?

8.) You could say that trans people are more prone to things like anxiety and depression than cisgender people, therefore that is an undue medical risk the government would be taking on. But that law of averages isn’t applied to any other demographics. You don’t see Native Americans being denied entry into the military because they’re more prone to substance addictions, or white males being denied because they make up the largest percentage of sociopaths. The military has psychiatric and physical evaluations that must be passed before you can even hope to go to Boot Camp, let alone actually be deployed anywhere. If someone gets past those initial evaluations, I see no reason why there should be an issue. A trans person who suffers from depression and anxiety should not be allowed in the military, but acting like all trans people are going to come with that baggage by default and therefore should be overlooked as even potential applicants seems rather disingenuous.

9.) You could say that people with mental health issues should not be allowed in the military, which would conceivably exclude trans people. This is a slippery argument to make, though. Transgenderism is a sub-type of body dysmorphia, which is indeed a type of thought disorder, but I’m not sure how solid that argument is once you get past the surface level. Men in the military (as with the rest of very physical scenes like law enforcement or sports) are very prone to developing eating disorders and, yes, signs of body dysmorphia regarding their physiques. This is common amongst men in the military, who passed the psyche evaluation and are serving or about to serve. So . . . what? Samuel wanting to be called Samantha is enough of a disorder to disqualify her from military service entirely, but Calvin unhealthily obsessing over his body mass isn’t enough to disqualify him from military service?

10.) I’ve known people with schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, clinical depression, former drug addictions, and anxiety disorder who have all nevertheless been allowed to serve in the armed forces. Whatever you think about that topic, no one’s kicked up a fuss about it. No one’s making a political issue out of it. No one’s been overly bothered by the fact that my schizophrenic friend was allowed into the Army. Can we just talk about how little fucks the US Military usually gives about the mental health of its soldiers in general? How little support there is for people who have mental issues or develop them later on? Can we talk about how current military training is essentially designed to get people to circumvent human empathy and natural emotional reactions, and then discharged officers are given almost nothing to help them readjust to normal society afterward? Can we talk about how being discharged for having PTSD is seen as a black mark on someone’s military record? But nope! We don’t care about mental health and the military until someone with enough patriotism to want to go out and fight for their country turns out to be a tranny. Then mental health is a huge issue.

11.) And you’re not letting them into any military post? I have a friend who works for the armed forces and their job consist entirely of sitting behind a computer screen doing math all day. Can a transgender person not even do that job? They’d still just be far too disruptive for their own good?

12.) Then there’s the point about “disruption.” The same thing was said about letting gay people serve openly in the military, because the presence of fags would just be too distracting for our boys overseas. The same thing was said about letting women into the armed forces; they have periods you know, which means they’re just too emotional and effeminate to be trusted with any security measures. Hell, the same thing was said about post-WWII generals supporting the idea of racially integrated squadrons. I’d like to know what they think “disruptive” means in this context. I seriously doubt it’s the other normal troops getting the short end of the stick in “disruptive” situations that may arise. The point I’m trying to beat into your head is that someone’s presence being “too disruptive” has always been the go-to cop-out argument for this kind of thing.

13.) But you have to acknowledge the idea a bit more. Because it would be disruptive. A point that many people in support of this legislation have brought up is that the troops have to take the dreaded sensitivity class, and those classes are just way too expensive, and that’s the tremendous cost Trump is referring to. I have lots of problems with sensitivity training–namely that it doesn’t work at all, and usually makes the work environment more uncomfortable, not less–but that’s not an argument against letting transgender people into the military. That’s an argument against the current flawed methods we use to ease their transition into that environment. Pun totally intended. If you want to make an argument against the type of “diversity training” that is currently indulged in in that sphere, I will be right with you on that. But the answer to that problem isn’t “We wouldn’t need stupid, ineffective diversity training if there wasn’t any diversity . . .” *taps forehead and smiles*

14.) There are people saying that this is stupid because the military shouldn’t be involved in gender politics, and I actually disagree on that point. It’s not that I think the military should be involved in gender politics, but it is. It just is. The military is, in most respects, a very hyper-masculine social sphere. When divergent groups go into that sphere–like women, like gay men, like transgender people–it’s going to cause friction because the stereotypical idea of those groups (not necessarily the actual individuals involved, but just the particular demographic identity they belong to) doesn’t mesh well with the stereotypical hyper-masculine space they are in. Sexual harassment and sexual assault are legitimate issues, made worse by them happening in a place where reporting them or getting perpetrators in trouble for it actually is discouraged (because getting someone dishonorably discharged makes you the bad guy).

So this is not me saying that it’ll totally be smooth sailing and that transgender people being in the military will cause no issues whatsoever and that anyone who thinks it’ll cause issues is just being a bigot. But people who point out the problems it may cause as justification for them being banned from serving are doing their reasoning in reverse. They’re using the abuse that trans people very well may face in the military as an excuse for why trans people should just stay away, using the euphemism “disruptive,” instead of actually addressing the issue of mistreatment.

15.) And all that’s operating under the pretense that we don’t already have transgender people in the military, which we do. From the ones who have spoken out about their experience, they seem to have varying experiences with it ranging from totally positive to really negative, as is the case for anyone else who joins the military, I assume. Are those people going to be discharged now? How’s that going to work?

16.) What happened to supporting the troops and shit? The people I see who are waving the American flag talking about how much they respect the people going overseas to fight for ‘Murka seem to have a huge overlap with people who are glad to see this legislation get passed. So what, you respect the troops and have the highest opinion of anyone who goes out and protects American values . . . unless they’re trannies? Way to be consistent.


 

In summary:

Transgender people are not inherently unstable lunatics (at least no more than anyone else with some issues who still wants to join up) and should be be allowed to serve in the military as long as they meet the same mental and physical specifications set for everyone else. The military is not and should not be obligated to fund the medical bills associated with transitioning, and I’d suggest that anyone still in that process put off applying for the military for later. The fact that their presence would take some getting used to is not an excuse for why they shouldn’t be allowed in, and there are trans people serving in the military already, so I imagine some people are already well used to it.

The Alt-Right, White Nationalism, and Calling out Bullshit

A very common criticism that those in the ‘classical liberal/skeptic/whatever the fuck you want to call it’ sphere of social critique get is “If you’re so fair and rational, why don’t you call out the right more?” Dave Rubin (who I still like very much) has been running into the issue of not holding right-leaning guests’ feet to the fire nearly as much as his left leaning guests. Sargon’s gotten into hot water for not criticizing Trump and/or not taking the bad things Trump does seriously. In short: I think the critics have a legitimate point when they say the ones who paint themselves as rational centrists should attack both ends of the horseshoe instead of just focusing on one.

I also do this–out of the very many posts on Disorderly Politics, I’ve rarely dissected right-wing ideologues. My reasoning is that I would like to see the left reform itself into something more respectable, and speaking up and trying to keep the poison out of the well as a fellow leftist is the only way to do that. The right is not my team, and while I could throw rocks at it from the other side of the line if I wanted to, people have done that so often and so thoroughly, I don’t think my rock would add much to the fray. Plus, the upsurge of progressivism has led to right wing ideas and talking points being very unfairly lambasted and those who lean right being painted as automatically under-educated at best and racist/sexist/xenophobes at worst.

Right wing politics aren’t without their legitimate points, and it would do modern-day progressives some good to acknowledge that. Those on the left are very prone to that kind of elitism–and you wonder why self-proclaimed Republicans dislike universities when, as far as the media is concerned, they just seem to churn out elitist snobs who look down on anyone who isn’t a part of the intelligentsia as an apparently sociopathic idiot? And that’s on top of the fact that many social media and news sites seem to think that anything remotely right-leaning (or not even left-leaning enough) is inherently controversial and therefore bad. For that reason, I understand why the ‘skeptics’ have allied themselves with many people on the right end of the spectrum and why right-leaning ideas haven’t been criticized as much. I understand why they want to give these ideas platforms and give people with those ideas a chance to have their voice heard in a context where they will not immediately be negatively judged or seen as less intelligent.

With that huge disclaimer out of the way, though: let’s talk about the alt-right and how much it blows, shall we?


 

In order to talk about the alt-right, you have to talk about them in relation to progressives. Since I want this post to focus on the former, though, I’ll get that talking point out of the way quickly. I think progressive ideology is largely at fault for the rise of the alt-right–both the ironic alt-righters on YouTube who are harmless and just want to trigger feminists, and the legitimate ones who actually believe in alt-right ideals. What do you get when you go around insisting that white people need to see themselves as a distinct social class, insist that the White Social Class needs so sit down and shut up, that all those within the White Social Class have it better than everyone else by default, that the White Social Class needs to own and bare responsibility solely for negative historical happenings, and that racism towards the White Social Class is not only acceptable but not even racism at all? Bibbidi Bobbidi Boop! You get white nationalist alt-righters: white people who decided that if they were going to own the actions of their ancestors, then they were going to own the cool parts. That’s not to say that white nationalism didn’t exist until SJWs started poisoning our social rhetoric, but they weren’t a mainstream thing until that happened. This is the monster that progressives have created, and it’s really up to the rest of us to slay it, because they’re sure as hell are not going to.

Even worse, typical SJW rhetoric has made it incredibly difficult to address the alt-right at all because of their overuse of the term ‘racist.’ Progressives use that word to describe normal people so fucking much that my default reaction to hearing that someone is racist is to think, “Oh, they’re probably a cool, reasonable person who did nothing wrong.” That is the thing I think first because that word has been rendered so utterly toothless by progressive talking heads. Whenever anything legitimately racist goes down, there’s no longer a word you can use for it that accurately impresses the meaning you want without sounding like leftist propaganda.

So when I say that white nationalism has undertones, overtones, and a few shameless indulgences in racism, there will be a large subsection of people who think I’m just whining about nothing and making mountains out of molehills. Thanks, SJWs! But hey, don’t let my shitting all over SJWs fool you–me not being convinced of the wonderful purity of ethno-states automatically makes me a liberal SJW cuck, doncha know?


So onto the alt-right themselves, and the common talking points you hear from them. Note: this is what I have gleaned mainly from researching individual alt-right thinkers or internet comments supporting the alt-right. It’s strangely difficult to just find a list of their beliefs and social/political opinions.

1.) White/European pride. A very large facet of the alt-right is racial pride (whether than extends to specific ethnic European ancestry or just race seems to very). For some examples of comments I’ve seen: “What’s wrong with having pride in your race?”; “Let’s just keep ridiculing anyone with a sense of nationalism or ethnic pride. They must all be nazi edgelords.” ; “The alt right stands for white identity and grouping around that identity in order to improve the group’s standing in a world that is polarized and ruled by identity.”

It is, by nature, very collectivist, as it entails a strong identification with others and strong identification with the accomplishments of others based upon shared race/ethnicity. Some of the more cringe-tastic memes from this sphere typically include making comparisons between classical European architecture and ambiguously African mudhuts to show how much cooler and how much more innovative white people are, for example. I see little point in this. I suppose I understand having a certain amount of cultural pride. The fact that these cultural products are so often conflated with race, however, kind of ruins it.

While I agree that it shouldn’t be seen as racist for a white person to strongly identify and have pride in their race (just as I don’t think it’s racist for anyone else of any other race to do so), I do think it’s a rather flimsy and insecure thing to have pride in or see as a huge identity marker. To me, someone telling me they take pride in their race might as well be saying, “I haven’t done anything of note personally, and am very insecure about my worth as a person, so I latch onto group identity to feel larger than I am and more secure.”

2.) White nationalism and ethno-states. This is not to be confused with white supremacy. From what I’ve seen, there are very many people who identify as white nationalists who also abhor the idea of racial supremacy of any kind. That being said, this idea oftentimes reminds me of social justice warriors in practice.

“I’m not racist, I’m just happy that more non-white babies are being born in this country.” vs. “I’m not racist, I’m just sad that more non-white babies are being born in this country.”

The general idea is that ethnic/racial homogeneity is good and leads to a more stable society and that “white nations” should remain “white nations” in order to preserve their heritage, culture, and some vague notion of purity. The same goes for other nations–black nations should stay black, Asian ones Asian, etc. While this is technically true–it’s hard to have racial tension or race disparities when there’s only one race *taps forehead and smiles*–many white nationalists seem to have a very unrealistic and idealized notion of what an ethno-state would be like.

For instance, they laud Japan as this beautiful, first world, ethno-state that’s 99% Japanese, and doesn’t let in too many of those awful immigrants, and cares about preserving its race and culture, and is full of high-IQed people with pride in their heritage. Japan is, in many cases, their go-to example of the ideal ethno-state. They seem to have forgotten that Japan’s inverted triangle population is on the fast track to screwing over its entire economy because more people are aging out of the workforce than going in. It’s elderly population is draining the country’s federal resources, all while adding nothing to them, with many elderly people living in abject poverty and going without health treatment because there aren’t enough health care professionals to take care of them, and many small towns are turning into financially useless ghost towns after their geriatric populace all dies off. Abe made strides to encourage more women to enter the workforce not because he’s some paragon of meritocracy and gender equality but because Japan’s workforce size was plummeting to the point of financial ruin in many sectors, so having women enter the workforce became necessary to keep things afloat. Many universities were shut down because there just aren’t enough young people in the country to justify their existence, and the ones that still exist are in the process of desperately trying to appeal to international students in order to bring in more youth to enter the Japanese workforce long-term. Meanwhile, its piss-poor relationship with South Korea and China on both a political level and on an interpersonal racism level has made the situation even worse: The two countries nearest them who could provide them with immigrants with relatively similar cultural values (i. e., who wouldn’t cause many cultural tensions) don’t want anything to do with them because Japan is so discriminatory towards other East Asians, largely because of an uptick in Japanese nationalism stirred up by Abe over the last decade.

But, yes, it’s the perfect ethno-state that proves just how successful ethno-states can be.

3.) White genocide. This is where the things that make you raise your eyebrows over how maybe-racist they are come to a crashing halt and fly face-first into full-on Racism. This is the first among many points where you see the alt-right conflation with race and culture, with the essential idea being that white people being bred out of existence will be the end of “white” or European culture. I’m part of the white genocide, I guess, me being a filthy half-breed polluting the good white genes of my matrilineal side. Oh no, it’s even worse–I didn’t even come out with pale skin. How am I going to continue white culture now?! The blacks won.

First, this is unlikely to happen. Yes, immigrants have lots of kids, but not to the point where they’re going to outbreed the native white populations of places like Sweden or Germany. At least not anytime soon. This also ignores that immigrant birth rates tend to decline steadily after that initial boom in numbers, making the chances of them outnumbering the native population even less likely.

This makes even less sense in the US, where alt-righters are freaking out over white people becoming a minority in “their own country.” (Because it’s not like the Native Americans exist–no the country has just always been white.) It literally just groups all the non-white people together and acts like ‘Minority’ is a class in of its own. Newsflash: If minorities became more than 50% of the American population, white people would still be the majority race–‘minorities’ are at the very least comprised of four different racial groups.

For a comment example: “I cant get over the idea that europeans may one day be minorities in their own countries. how does this ‘community’ reconcile this fact or are you not bothered? am i just a racist for believing that european nations should stay european?” What does ‘European’ mean, random YouTube commentor? Because to talk to an alt-righter, the impression you get is that a European can never be anyone who isn’t racially white. There is a conflation with race and culture here that cannot be ignored. I once dated a guy who was the most stereotypically British person on the face of the planet: he had a posh London accent, he was deadpan and sarcastic, he loved tea, he idolized Stephen Fry, he disliked food with seasoning, he modeled his personal philosophy after Sherlock Holmes and British thinkers. He was a quintessential Englishman. He also had darker skin and an ethnic-sounding surname on account of his parents’ parents being from India. So would his existence help keep England English? Would his existence help to uphold the UK as a British nation? Or would his brown skin and presence in a white nation make him part of the genocide of British culture?

4.) Race realism. It’s the IQ argument: “Brown people have lower average IQs than white people, and that’s why we need white ethno-states, but I guess it would be okay to have some Asian immigrants because they have high IQs.” It’s a stupid argument.

My thesis paper was actually all about how important it is to test what you actually think you are testing before you make empirical claims. That is a criticism that has been leveled at the IQ test since its very conception, for good reason. Cultural and social factors have far too varying of an effect on IQ scores to use them to say anything about capacity for intelligence based strictly off of racial demographics. If you go to a poor neighborhood, the people there will likely demonstrate lower IQs on average than test takers in the Palisades, regardless of race.

That’s not to say that race and genetics do not have any effect on IQ (the IQ of the parents oftentimes correlates to that of the child, for instance), but since culture and early upbringing is such a significant mitigating factor in determining what one’s IQ is, it’s rather disingenuous to act as though race is the most important thing to consider. It’s also statistically illiterate–the problem with bellcurves and averages is that outliers screw them up something fierce.

While the IQs of different races aren’t made exactly the same when you account for statistically insignificant outliers–East Asians still have a slightly higher average than whites, African Americans slightly lower–the disparity between them isn’t nearly as wide. And seeing as how it’s a disparity that can be bridged by cultivating a culture that values education and strict self-control and mental discipline more, I do not see how acting like IQ is inherently connected to race helps all that much. There are stupid white people mooching off the state and living off of welfare too, so where do they factor into this?

Also, the last time I checked, my IQ was 135. So am I smart enough to be allowed into your white ethno-state even though my dad is black, or does the extra melanin in my skin disqualify me from being a contributing member of your idealized society because people of my skin tone are less intelligent on average? Just asking.

5.) Anti-Multiculturalism and Anti-Immigration. For example: “Why do whites continue to shame their own kind while sticking up for nonwhite immigration? What are the benefits of that exactly??” ; “Only whites are not allowed to protect their identity today, it is a scary and valid concern in the world of anti-racism , immigration and diversity today.”

This one has a legitimate point to make. According to leftists at least, majority white cultures are the only ones that should be bothered with multi-culturalism. And I do think there is a level of unfairness in the idea that white people are apparently the only ones who have to be okay with their culture being taken or changed by others and that white people can’t have the desire to keep their cultural heritage intact and isolated without being deemed a racist for not sharing. It is legitimately not fair. It is a double standard. I’ll give you that.

When I was in Japan, I met a black woman from Nigeria who had lived and worked in Japan for 30+ years, had children and raised them there, etc.. She expressed a good deal of sadness with the fact that her daughter identified as Japanese more than Nigerian and didn’t care all that much about upholding Nigerian traditions. Personally, I didn’t like how she was trying to enforce her own values and cultural identity onto her child who didn’t want them. But if she can be sad about a loss of cultural connection in her own family, then white people should be allowed to be sad about a loss of cultural connection in their own countries. (Is that black teenager Japanese, by the way? Question for the ages.)

While I’m no hardliner on the idea that “you shouldn’t let non-whites immigrate here,” I understand why it’s so prominent. The cultural clash between European nations and immigrants from different cultural landscapes with distinctly different value systems has caused many, many problems. That mass immigration was not handled well at all, the ‘mass’ part of it being the main issue. While I wouldn’t take it so far as the alt-righters, who seem to think that any and all immigration is bad and that ethnic minorities should be kept in the low single-digits, if any are allowed to live and work in the country at all, I understand the general idea of wanting controlled borders and a firm hand on who immigrates and when. You can’t really escape the racist under/overtones of “We don’t want brown people in our country,” though, no matter how hard you try. If you made it less about race and more about culture, I’d be on your side with this one. But the continued importance of skin tone to the argumentation kills any legitimate point to be had about the importance of maintaining a nation’s values in the face of mass immigration from dissimilar places.

6.) Expediency and Peaceful Transitions. A very common idea I’ve seen floating around alt-right circles is that there’s no time for principles. There is no time for a peaceful resolution to anything. White people are being genocided! If you disagree with us on any of these points, then you support rape of innocent white women! For example: “Classical liberalism will not save you from the impending demographic changes.” ; “I fail to see how ‘classical liberalism’ will protect German girls from Muslim child rapists.” A lot of those incredibly intelligent Asians are Muslim, by the way. ASEAN exists. There are also white Muslims–would they have a place in your ethno-state?

The notion that we don’t have time to treat people equally when we’re faced with such huge issues is a very obvious slippery slope that they don’t defend very well. They just seem to think authoritarianism is awful when it’s forced upon them by other ideological groups, but it’s okay–not only okay, but necessary for the good of humanity–when they do it. Sound familiar? The hypocrisy is very annoying to me. They insist that “classical liberals” are too idealistic: meritocracy is too idealistic, having a racially/ethnically heterogeneous society is too idealistic, being okay with any amount of foreign immigration is too idealistic. But the supposed end goal of the alt-right movement–a white ethno-state–is totes realistic and attainable.

The majority of them, in what seems like a way to further distance themselves from white supremacy, will insist up and down that they want their ideas to be enacted peacefully. I refuse to believe that any of them are so stupid as to think that the formation of an ethno-state in 21st century, first world, Western Europe or North America will be in any way peaceful.

Maybe you could do this with refugees (both the real and the so-called ones) who, by definition of being refugees, are supposed to leave the country eventually. But what about the ethnic minorities who actually live there? Do you think they’re going to just smile and nod while you kick them out of their country of residence? You are going to have to force people to leave, whether that means using federal power to deport law-abiding citizens for no other reason than their race or just physically forcing them out. Either way, that’s not going to be “peaceful,” and I doubt the rest of the world would be okay with it. And that’s assuming that all the ethnic minorities are immigrants–what about the ones born there, who are legal citizens of that country. At that point, you’re literally pointing to legal citizens and forcing them out for no other reason than being the wrong race. And you wonder why people think the alt-right is synonymous with white supremacy?

That’s also ignoring what the ethno-state would even entail: I know you’d want all the browns and most of the Asians gone, but what about different ethnicities of white people? Being mutually white doesn’t stop racism and in-fighting among different ethnic groups, so how is this ethno-state going to work? Are you also going to kick out all the white people whose ancestors don’t come from certain countries specifically?

The last time someone in Western Europe decided to ethnically cleanse the country “for the good of the people,” a world war happened. Hell, the last time an ethno-state was founded, it caused violent conflict that is still happening sixty years later. What about the formation of a white ethno-state is going to go well in the mind of the alt-right? I am honestly asking that question. This is not me calling the alt-right Nazis, this is me pointing out the logical necessity of force to achieve their desired end-goal.


This is something that needs to be called out for the stupidity it is. They may be the enemies of social justice warriors, but that doesn’t make them our friends. They are collectivist, anti-meritocratic ideologues who don’t see the difference between culture and physical appearance, who are apparently fine with authoritarian measures being taken as long as they’re against the people they don’t like. Agreeing with them that borders are a good thing and that mass immigration is bad for the native populace in most cases and believing that their voice shouldn’t be censored is not the same thing as being allied with them.

We shouldn’t be so open minded that our brains fall out. Wanting free speech and open dialogue for ideas that have been written off/censored/automatically demonized by leftists doesn’t mean we can’t address those ideas as bad ones. There is no reason to tolerate alt-right sentiments in the “classical liberal” thinktank just because they internet real good and their voices have been suppressed by progressives too. There is no reason to ignore alt-right rhetoric bouncing around in the “community” like it’s somehow not just as toxic of an idea system as the one we dislike. And while there have been plenty of big names who have spoken out against white nationalist sentiments, I also think it’s important to hold their feet to the fire more consistently than we do.

I’m fine with speaking to them and interviewing them and all of that. I’m one of the people who asked Dave Rubin to interview Richard Spencer. That being said, I’m going to take a page from Maajid Nawaz and emphasize the existence of the minorities within minorities. I’m a biracial woman. I don’t really care what political label I’m given: “classical liberal,” “cultural libertarian,” “independent,” whatever. What is important is that I believe that people should be regarded as individuals, seen for their own merit and their own value, no one else’s. Groups are made out of individuals, after all. With an individualistic mindset, in order to justify hurting a group, you have to justify hurting every single one of its members first. Collectivism makes mistreatment easier that way.

I greatly enjoy the “classical liberal” sphere of dialogue–don’t plan on leaving it any time soon–and there are plenty of minorities in the minority like me, who have similar ideas. And there is a real risk that those people, the ones progressives call coons and Uncle Toms and porch monkeys and race traitors, will be turned away from classical liberalism because so many classical liberals seem content to make strange bedfellows with people who, just like the progressives, don’t respect them as individual people.

Political Compass Result Dump

Hey, guys! I was extremely bored and suffering from a bout of post-work insomnia. So I took every single pseudo-legitimate political compass test that my single Google search could muster and made a collage of the results. I’m not really a fan of any of the tests I took–I don’t tend to like the Agree/Disagree scale most often used for political compass tests, and the ones with more specific answers are oftentimes worded very oddly. That being said, a “write your political views in this box here” test wouldn’t be much of a poll, and it would royally suck to code in the answers for anything resembling an accurate result for anyone but the most stereotypical of political actors.

So, here is my collage. As you can see, I fall pretty squarely in the “liberal” category, give or take a few minor fluctuations. I decided to put this here to counter the notion that anyone who disagrees with progressives is “alt-right” by default, or even a vague Nazi. It also counters the increasingly more popular idea that people with my general political tastes are all secretly right-leaning libertarians or moderate conservatives just hiding behind a liberal label. No. I’m pretty much a liberal. If random quizzes on the internet say so, it must be definitive.

 

PolQuiz

So legit, so lefty.

What is Political Correctness: Responding to David Packman

Hey, guys! Long time no see. Over the last month, I’ve started writing a hundred different Disorderly blog posts and trashed them all. There’s just not that much I’ve wanted to respond to. Either someone else has done it better already or I have nothing new to add. But David Packman has literally just released a video that I think would be fun to respond to called The Truth About Political Correctness that is highly critical of the term and its usage. I’m subscribed to Packman–I think he makes good videos most of the time. While I wouldn’t call this video bad (it’s a topic that needed to be brought up, for sure), there are points where he delves into inaccuracy or “liberal condescension,” as it has so accurately been described.

I want to respond to it in one fell swoop, so get your coffee. It lasts a while.


Political correctness (PC) is a complicated issue, and there are serious misconceptions about it. And the term, much like ‘regressive left,’ is often used by conservatives to criticize realities that they simply do not like.

I agree. I don’t use the terms ‘regressive left’ or ‘political correctness’ all that often mostly because I think they’ve been overused by right-leaning commenters to describe anything that is vaguely liberal. A comment I received on my post about how I used to be more entrenched in SJW-culture was saddened because “I got it, but I didn’t really get it,” ie, I didn’t flat out become a conservative after leaving that scene. It’s just as condescending as the liberals who assume some kind of moral and/or intellectual deficiency in those who disagree with their talking points. I even unsubscribed from The Rebel Media largely because it’s fallen into the “everything vaguely liberal is just PC nonsense” trap.

I’m going to discuss what PC really means, and how we can make productive distinctions between overbearing PC and mere social norms that encourage us to treat each other with respect and common decency.

This is where he starts playing the part of the condescending liberal who implicitly associates his politics with basic human decency. A large part of Packman’s argument is that he questions how much empathy anti-PC folks have for other people who aren’t like them. Yet he rather blatantly makes no attempt to explicate the opinions of people who aren’t like him. He just says they are selfish and stubborn and lack basic human compassion. If you’re going to hinge the video around how important empathy for other points of view is, it would help to at least try to explain the opposing points of view, as opposed to just calling their politics on the matter bad and moving on. The original video is 15 minutes long. It’s not like he was trying to keep it brief.

The first uses of the term ‘PC’ in the US were by right-wing ideologues in the latter part of the 20th century merely to criticize the left. The concept of PC was originally just a ruse by conservatives to belittle progressive attitudes and policies. They said, “Oh, you’re just being politically correct if you support things like environmentalism, gun control, social safety nets, or if you’re anti-war or anti-death penalty.”

I have personally never operated under the delusion that political correctness is a left-wing phenomenon. While I think left-wing brand political correctness has more political clout now, I’m of the opinion that the uptick in leftist PC rhetoric should be seen as an over-corrective response to the huge amounts of right-wing PC rhetoric that dominated the discourse in the preceding decades. The left-leaning social justice warriors obsessed with -isms are nearly identical to the right-leaning pearl-clutchers obsessed with vague immorality. I have no love for either of them. Both of them are censorship-happy, dictatorial moralizers who use think-of-the-children rhetoric and offense as weapons, and who have a tendency to go after media that I like for “promoting bad morals/being problematic.” And, yes, ‘political correctness’ was originally thought up by post-McCarthyism Republicans to refer to hippies, mental health advocates, and racial integrationists. It’s questionable origin doesn’t exclude it from being a useful term, though.

It was a trick, a way of saying the mainstream media is liberal and conservatives are victims and progressives are just trying to control the conversation. The term is still used in that way today. Outlets like Fox News overuse the term to try to fool their conservative audiences to believe that the left is out to get them, that by opposing progressive ideas rather than phrases or vocabulary, they will be fighting the good fight doing a great dead.

Well, as of right now, the mainstream media is liberal, for the most part. What major news sources are right-leaning? There’s Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, and sometimes the Economist. The rest of the big, relevant news outlets are overtly left-leaning. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are–fairly unabashedly–in support of left-leaning politics and political commentary and against more conservative talking points. Packman has criticized the current state of media/social media before, so I’m not sure why he’s acting like the criticism of progressive’s having too much media influence is laughable and wholly unfounded. That being said, I do strongly dislike Fox News and its tendency to stoke its audience’s victim complex. Fox News, though, is definitely not the only news source that loves promoting inaccurate victim narratives to a biased audience obsessed with political labels.

I have to point out the irony that conservatives are just as guilty of promoting PC when it suits them, including language policing and so-called offensive speech. The War on Christmas, where Christian conservatives get ‘triggered’ when somebody says “Happy Holidays” or shows deference to the fact that not everybody celebrates Christmas, or when conservatives respond to critiques of our foreign policy or economic system by saying, “Oh, that’s anti-Capitalist or anti-American, or “You don’t support the troops.” This is the right-wing equivalent of shutting down debate by saying, “That’s offensive!”, something conservatives slam progressives for doing.

I agree. Right-wing pearl-clutching at its finest. Recent events have shown very clearly the hypocrisy in many anti-SJW individuals who love freedom of speech until the Republican party is put under the microscope. You have the Cathy Griffin incident, the controversy of a few right-wingers ruining a play they thought was problematic, the Hamilton incident where right-wingers wanted the cast punished for addressing Mike Pence, the typical evangelical aversion towards other religions being given the same pedestal as Christianity, and not to mention all of those #BoycottSomeRandomThing campaigns that both lefties and righties seem to have a mutual love for.

When people start getting confused about PC is when PC is conflated with simple decency. The idea of calling a transgender person “him” or “her,” based on what they prefer to be called, is not PC, it’s just not being a prick. If you meet someone named Timothy who prefers to be called Tim, but you continue to call him Timothy, you are now a jackass. How is it going to hurt you or hurt society if you address people how they want to be addressed, or treat them how they want to be treated, if what they’re asking is reasonable and imposes no undue burden upon you?

Yeah . . .

To get it out of the way before I get accused of not having simple decency: I have no issue with trans people. I think calling people the pronoun they want to be called is a polite, accommodating thing to do that typically isn’t too much trouble. I’ll even call someone ‘they’ if I know that that is what they prefer. Most trans people are not internet snowflakes who make no attempt to pass as the gender they want to be called, yet still expect people to get it right. Every trans person I’ve ever met has clearly presented as their preferred gender, making referring to them by their preferred gender relatively easy. I’m on his side, okay?

To provide the other POV: most of the people I’ve talked to who, as a rule, refuse to refer to trans people as their preferred pronoun do it because they believe that it legitimizes an unhealthy mental issue. If a woman has body dysmorphia that makes her obsess over how fat she is even if she’s only 110 lbs soaking wet, you wouldn’t indulge that and say, “Yeah, you’re so fat.” So there actually is an argument to be had and legitimate need for explanation to be given about why transgenderism, as an extreme sub-type of body dysmorphia, is regarded differently and treated as something that should have our support. In short, writing off critics of the preferred pronoun idea as “people who don’t empathy no good” doesn’t seem to be all that accurate seeing as how, from their perspective, they’re trying not to enable a mental illness that gives people lots of distress.

I agree with David that we should call people what they’d like to be called, but where does he think the line between basic politeness and political correctness should be drawn here? That is the problem with political correctness. Packman mentions multiple times that he’s against “overbearing” political correctness, but I’m not sure what that entails. Is intentionally misgendering a trans person something that can be taken to the HR department? To the legal courts? Is it harassment? Verbal abuse? A gender-based hate crime? How about unintentionally misgendering them? Is an employer who doesn’t fire someone who misgendered one of his trans co-workers participating in institutionalized marginalization? Should someone who called a trans person ‘tranny ‘ on reddit have his real-life place of employment contacted? Is legally compelled language imposing a burden on other people? Is it politically incorrect to point out that the majority of teenagers who call themselves transgender eventually wind up dropping the label by early adulthood? I would agree that just calling a trans person what they want to be called is the nice thing to do and shouldn’t be scoffed at a political correctness, but what about everything after that?

Your rights aren’t curtailed, nor your freedom of speech restricted, if you call someone a little person instead of a midget if that’s what they want to be called. It doesn’t change any conversation. It doesn’t oppress you. These are just matters of treating someone with dignity, not a matter of manipulating discourse or controversies in an overbearing or oppressive way.

The key term here is ‘if that’s what they want to be called.’ In so many instances of political correctness, everybody but the oppressed group of the hour was offended by the use of a mean word. In so many instances, people try so fervently to “treat others with dignity” that they forget that maybe they should ask what those others actually think about something before white knighting for them. For instance, one of my co-workers was a midget who absolutely hated the term ‘little person’ and who had to be brought into the HR office one day to explain that he didn’t care if people referred to him as a ‘midget’ because some anonymous third-party overheard him get called that and decided to take offense on his behalf and run to HR. Is that political correctness, by the way?

It’s no skin off your back if you call someone Inuit instead of Eskimo, if you call someone Native American instead of Indian, if you call someone transgender instead of tranny. Do you think it’s a bad thing that we no longer say ‘colored people’ or use the n-word and instead say ‘black people’ or ‘African American?’ No reasonable person would say it’s a terrible thing that we don’t call people Negroes anymore. The fact that we don’t use that word anymore isn’t because the left is trying to control society and manipulate people’s thinking. It’s because black people don’t want to be called Negroes, and because that term and the n-word are linked to a horrifying and undeniable reality of our country’s past called slavery.

Ugh, I gritted my teeth so hard at this part. Firstly, the correct terminology is “people of color” now, ya silly racist. *sarcasm* The irony of how close that is to “colored people” has not been lost on the whole of society.

I hate identity politics. You know I do. Anyone’s who spends two seconds on this blog will have that made very clear to them. So know that I do this with the utmost reluctance: David, can you please not sit there as a white guy and lecture your viewers on what black people want to be called? Please and thank you? For a little history lesson: ‘Negro’ and ‘colored’ fell out of style as the default term for black people explicitly for political/politicized reasons. “African American” wasn’t even pushed for by the black community, it was something thought up mainly by white Democratic politicians in the 1970s to appeal to the rising popularity of Afro-culture among their black voter base, and it wound up being cemented by becoming the official racial category on the American census. There are lots of black people now, myself included, who do not identify as African American on account of having absolutely no connection to Africa. I personally really hate the term and would rather just be called an American. The same census-related racial category renaming could also be said for ‘Native American,’ many of whom prefer the term Indian. I also find it personally very annoying that David says ‘the n-word,’ like saying the word ‘nigger’ when referring to the word ‘nigger’ is gonna summon Voldemort. To paraphrase Louis CK, if you’re going to make everyone think the word, you might as well say the fucking word.

The issue of ‘politically correct’ linguistics is very interesting. Linguistics is a huge part of what I majored in while in college, by the way. I’m not just talking out of my ass here. This is how it works: The typical cycle is that a word will have an official, clinically correct usage (like ‘cripple’ or ‘idiot’), that will eventually gain a negative connotation within the field it is used in but not the wider public (medicine and psychiatry, respectively). The term will then become outdated in the official sense but be shunted into public vernacular as the commonly understood terminology, the public not aware or not concerned with the new clinical word (the new politically correct terms within the fields being ‘invalid’ or ‘retarded’). The old words will then shift to more generalized meanings independent from their original clinical definitions and eventually no longer connotative of that original clinical definition because it’s taken on a strictly vernacular connotation. ‘Idiot’ is no longer automatically indicative of someone with a cognitive disorder, it just means someone generally stupid and it loses the association with cognitive disorders. ‘Cripple’ is no longer someone with degenerative bones, it means anyone who isn’t mobile for whatever reason and bone degeneration isn’t automatically implied. The “new and improved” official terminology will then be deemed by the institutions to be too negatively connotative as well, and the process will start all over again, with the old words either fading into obscurity as archaic slang or becoming more cemented as typical vernacular English.

I bring this up to show that language is a constantly evolving thing, with that constant evolution oftentimes depending upon words falling out of usage in one context and being picked up in another, gaining new meaning and connotations. I point this out because, later on in the video, David seems to be operating under the pretense that a word like ‘gay’ or ‘retard’ still invokes it’s tier-one connotation after moving on to the stage of common vernacular, when it usually doesn’t. I understand why he and many people think that because there’s usually a generational gap between what words’ connotations are considered to be. For someone David’s or my age and older, if you don’t regularly use ‘gay’ or ‘retard’ in their current slang form, chances are you’ll still associate them with homosexuality and mental handicaps, respectively. I am against automatically labeling the use of these terms as homophobic or able-ist, however, because they’re both at that point in their linguistic evolution where it’s highly indeterminate what their default connotation is. I’m not saying that they can’t be used in a homophobic or generally insulting context, but it’s really the context that is key at this point in time. ‘Gay’ and ‘retard’ can just mean ‘stupid’ without any deeper invocations, and labeling them as inherently offensive terms no matter what kind of just ignores how language works.

There were absolutely people decades ago complaining about how America had gotten ‘too politically correct’ when this word [Negro] started going away, and those people are analogous to those today who say they’re not going to call a transgender person “him” or “her” because it doesn’t sit right with them and they don’t want to change.

Okay, I know what he’s trying to say here–they’re a bunch of old fuddyduddies behind the times–but this is not the civil right’s movement. Black Lives Matter can in no way be compared to the original civil rights movement, and they’re in the same ballpark of talking about race issues. Comparing the transgender fight to be taken seriously as a demographic in the Western world with historical race issues where people didn’t have basic freedoms is rather tasteless, in my opinion. If anything, it’s comparable to the push for gay rights in the late 20th century where they campaigned against homosexuality being seen as a sexual disorder. And yes, there were people who went against that too. I once again feel inclined to point out that many black people at the time were critical of the obvious political pandering involved in shifting away from ‘Negro’ as a term. Were they a bunch of behind-the-times grumps too?

Who really cares? Just treat people with respect. Right now, we’re at a point in society where the transgender community is getting support and acceptance for the first time, in many ways. Calling people by their preferred pronouns doesn’t stifle your speech. Allowing people to define themselves doesn’t shut down political discussion. The result is a society that is more inviting to everyone, no matter who they are. We can see these changes from generation to generation. People have become more tolerant and pluralistic–less bigoted–over time, because of so-called political correctness. It requires the most modest of efforts to give a damn about other people.

Again: What does ‘respect’ mean? Does ‘respect’ entail giving someone legal recourse to punish someone who was too mean to them? Also, David is once again conflating his politics with ‘giving a damn about other people,’ which is not helping his case. I am as liberal as the come, and even I can at least acknowledge that people who are more socially conservative *gasp* think they’re doing the right thing and aren’t just being sociopathic assholes. And this is coming from someone who agrees with him that many anti-SJW’s views on trans people are uncomfortable and, dare I say, bigoted.

I still don’t know what so-called political correctness refers to. Yes, people have generally become less dickish towards those who are different from them (though, according to Buzzfeed’s low-hanging opinion, things are pretty much the same now as they were in the 1800s). Even so, after a certain point, his ‘so-called political correctness’ just muddies the waters. Insisting that black people are ‘people of color’ now does nothing to confront racist ideas or policies. A racist who learns to use the currently correct word-of-the-year isn’t going to stop being a racist. And the language policing that has been a key aspect of political correctness since its conception–for both the left and the right–has never done anything but turn arguments about legitimate issues into spats about what words you’re supposed to say. David says that language policing is the kind of detrimental political correctness he doesn’t like, but he makes no real distinction about what ‘language policing’ entails and where that line is drawn, and doesn’t seem to have any issue with it when he brings it up in regards to ‘gay’ and ‘retard.’ So is policing stupid slang only ‘so-called PC’ behavior? Who knows?

Doing otherwise usually just presents your mere lack of understanding of what it’s like to be someone else. Many people simply cannot imagine what it’s like to be black or gay or female, whatever. Anti-PC people often advocate for social justice for their own group, but not for others.

That horse you came in on to save me is a real beaut, David. Thanks.

You want to talk some more about how my skin tone and what’s in between my legs makes me such an alien creature that no other human could possibly understand me? News flash–everyone has a lack of understanding of what it’s like to be someone else, because other people are not them. Most people don’t even understand themselves. I am a black woman. I don’t know what it’s like walking around in the shoes of other black women, because our mutual melanin and vagina doesn’t make us interchangeable people with no significant differences. I’m no more difficult for you to understand than anyone else who isn’t you. Does David have a perfect understanding of the psyche and mental life of every other white guy there is because they’re oh-so-similar? This is what I fucking hate about liberals.

To get away from that rant, I agree that plenty of anti-PC people on the internet are hypocrites who deride identity politics, collective group rights, and privileges unless it’s their group benefiting from it. The rising tide of white nationalists who (rightly) hate white people being collectively stereotyped and homogenized by left-wing rhetoric but (wrongly) readily do that with other races is a good example.

People who spend all of their time talking about political correctness also often get confused about the idea of free speech. Many of them invoke the First Amendment in situations where it just doesn’t apply. The Amendment protects Americans against censorship by the government. A private citizen asking you to speak a certain way doesn’t violate your First Amendment rights.

Once again, I agree that there are plenty of MAGA hats running around shouting “FREE SPEECH!!!” every time they say something that gets them in social hot water. If you really want to push it you can say it violates their right to religious practice, if they’re so inclined to be against transgenderism for religious reasons. I haven’t heard that argument anywhere, though.

Even so, I’m getting a bit worn out with this “define the First Amendment” argument because it so often smacks of hypocrisy. Maybe not in David’s case, but in many others. To deviate from pronouns for a moment, the free speech issue is often brought up with social media ‘censorship’ and people being shouted down from their given platforms. All the people saying, “Well, it’s not technically a violation of First Amendment freedom of speech because it’s not the government doing it” would likely be singing a different tune much more concerned with the principle of the matter if it was a bunch of leftists Twitter accounts and college speakers being no-platformed by obviously right-leaning media figures and social networks. You would not hear the end about how their opinions were being censored and silenced and marginalized by their political opponents. But when it’s anything that doesn’t toe a very particular left-leaning line, “Oh, well there’s technically no censorship going on here.”

But even if you use a broader definition of censorship or free speech, like when it comes to censorship by non-government institutions, corporations, colleges, other administrative bodies . . . that sort of censorship can sometimes be overbearing too. But there is a difference between censorship and PC. The consequences of violating censorship are institutional and official. The consequences of violating PC are social. If you say “That’s so gay!” or “What a retard!” people may judge you and give you funny looks, but that is not censorship, that’s a social expectation about civility and empathy.

Does someone who says “What a retard!” in a private conversation outside of the workplace deserve to lose their job after someone overhears and calls their boss about it? Should a man who makes a stupid dick joke privately to one of his friends get fired from his job after a woman overhears them and gets offended? Should a 65-year-old woman who says some insensitive comments about the blacks in a Wal-Mart grocer line be dragged through the mud by millions of people and socially blacklisted and deplored as everything wrong with this country after multiple major networks decide to report on the video footage as ‘news’? Should a high schooler who got accepted into Harvard get that acceptance revoked because someone found out about a private joke between him and his friends? Should a college fraternity shut down and made to write an apology for promoting rape culture all because they have a pin-up calendar hung up in their frat house? Should a scientist be brought to tears on national television for wearing a shirt someone thought was insensitive? Should a video game developer have all press for his game taken away because years ago he tweeted that he wasn’t a feminist? I’m just wondering if these examples fall under people “getting funny looks” and being subjected to the totally acceptable social expectation of civility and empathy.

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of that speech.

Who decides what consequences are measured and proportionate? Who? This line has been beaten into people’s heads over and over again, but almost no one who has parroted it has brought up the situation of the consequences not being warranted.

And there are gray areas. We can have a conversation about the ‘ze’ and ‘zir’ pronouns and Canadian laws regarding speech and transgender issues there. I see the controversy there. There are some institutional, civic implications with regards to free speech, compelled, speech, with the government telling people what to say and what not to say. I understand why people have a problem with that, and I wouldn’t call someone bigoted for wanted to explore those issues.

Good.

But too much so-called PC, that isn’t by institutions and is just between individuals, arises organically and has been a natural part of our social history, just out of simple courtesy to others and their feelings.

What about offensive things that are just said between individuals? I hate to bring up the list again, but if the senile old lady talking about how she isn’t used to being around black people in a store said that in a one-on-one conversation between individuals, why is it the rest of the fucking world’s business to get offended by it and give her “funny looks?”

We’ve stopped using offensive terms to refer to minorities, women, and mentally disabled people. I have to question your basic capability to empathize with other human beings if you say those changes are censorship and are inhibiting your ability to speak freely. It isn’t thought policing. We’re talking about natural changes of lexicon and speaking habits.

Calling them “offensive terms” is a misnomer in the overwhelming majority of cases. ‘Negro’ wasn’t an offensive term for black people until it stopped being the term for black people. ‘Retarded’ wasn’t an offensive world for mentally handicapped people until someone decided to swap it out with another word. ‘Queer’ wasn’t an offensive word for gay people until people decided that they liked ‘gay’ better. David’s acting like these terms are inherently offensive and have always held the same connotation even when they were in popular usage. No, they’re only ‘offensive’ in retrospect, and it’s unwise to look back to the times when the terminology was commonly accepted and act like it was being used in an offensive context because now we’re smart enough to know not to say things like anymore.

There are people within those oh-so-alien marginalized groups who are also resistant to changes in language and the new ‘acceptable’ terms. When ‘post traumatic stress disorder’ became the new accepted nomenclature, the war veterans still called it ‘shell shock.’ There was an entire campaign in the early 2000s of people on the autistic spectrum telling everyone to stop caring so much about how mean the word ‘retarded’ was and start supporting organizations that helped mentally disabled people find jobs. There’s a video out right now of a bunch of gay 20-somethings scratching their heads over what LGBTQIA+ means. For someone so concerned with empathizing with people, he seems oddly oblivious to the idea that he’s ignoring the people that he’s derided other people for ignoring.

Once again, dude, stop implying that the people who don’t use the words you’d like them to use are sociopaths. Being slow to change and not being up-to-date on the constantly changing linguistics of personal identity rhetoric isn’t automatically indicative of someone just not giving a fuck about other humans.

Here is the fundamental question to explore with those who are endlessly up in arms about the so-called disastrous impact of PC: What is it that you truly want to say that you’re not able to say, because of PC?

“Black people commit more crime than other races.” “I don’t agree with feminism.” “Islam is causing some problems.” “Men are also victims of sexism sometimes.” “I don’t think race-based affirmative action should still exist.” “I don’t think diversity is important.”

Granted, I have the ability to say those things. But if I wanted to work in the video game or film industry, I sure as shit better not get caught on record saying any of them. Even in non-leftist circles, bringing up sexism faced by men gets you laughed out of the room or given dirty looks, and just try saying either of those comments about race to your typical black person. One who has never been on a college campus a day in their life would slap the shit out of you and call you an Uncle Tom. And on a college campus (at least the one I went to) all of these talking points are bound to get you labeled as the local alt-righter and have nothing you say be taken seriously ever again. So political correctness isn’t physically stopping me from saying those things, but it does stop me from being able to get a word in after I say them and even potentially ruins my chances at employment or recognition if the industry I want to get into catches wind of me not toeing the line.

And to appease the need for fairness: I can’t say that I’m an atheist whenever I’m back home. Because my home is the South, and I’ve lost friends and made people gasp in shock and been kicked out of houses for being offensive or being a “bad influence” just based off of saying that one sentence out loud.

There are still ways of speaking and not speaking that are just inherently growing out of our improving tolerance towards groups that have been marginalized historically. I also don’t understand why there are people who call themselves liberal and spend 99% of their time complaining about PC on the internet. Even if their complaints about PC are sometimes justified, it’s low-hanging fruit. Yeah, PC is sometimes a problem, and it’s sometimes used to warp debates or stop them all together. But, in of itself, it’s not the paramount issue that some make it out to be, and ‘solving’ PC, whatever that even means, is not going to improve the rights of Americans or other people of the world as much as tackling other issues would.

I don’t spend 99% of my time whinging about political correctness. The thing about it, though, is that when your criticize left-leaning politics, that is often what it comes back around to. You can’t talk about Islam, something I’m sure David agrees is a big issue, without talking about political correctness. You can’t talk about poverty in America without eventually having to discuss the political correctness it is steeped in regarded what needs to be done to fix inner-city ghettos and whether or not people should give a fuck about rural poverty at all. You can’t talk about domestic violence without eventually bringing up political correctness. You can’t talk about mental illness without eventually bringing up political correctness. You can’t talk about how to fix America’s broken two-party political system without bringing up how each party utilizes political correctness. You can’t talk about America’s education system without talking about the politically correct politics that go into school curriculum and affect teaching methods. You can’t talk about America’s skewed and untrustworthy media outlets without talking about how their stories are often shaped by, you guessed it, political correctness. I’m with David. I don’t want to talk about this shit anymore either, but it keeps popping up as a relevant facet that effects every “real problem” I feel like addressing–unless education, mental health advocacy, domestic abuse, wanting representative politics, the effects of poverty, terrorism, and media bias are all a bunch of non-issues now.

How about a little personal, anecdotal story to show David why I personally think political correctness is harmful? I just graduated from college, and I’m looking for jobs and the process gives me genuine anxiety attacks. Applying for colleges did too, for the same reason: I am a perfectionist with an absolute fear of failure and incompetency–I acknowledge those flaws about myself–and that insecurity is stoked to the nth degree whenever I apply to anything because I have the constant fear that I only get hired/accepted/recognized “because diversity.” If I get accepted into a program or am given a job interview or awarded a grant, there’s always a part of my brain that tells me, “You didn’t really earn this. You’re not really good enough. You don’t meet their high standards. You’re not as competent as everyone else they accepted. You’re the diversity hire. You’re the one they bring on board so they can tell all two people who care that they’ve got a black woman now.” That is what I think every single fucking time I achieve anything impressive. And it’s all thanks to a bunch of well-meaning, politically correct leftists insisting that I, as a black woman, probably wasn’t going to achieve anything of note unless affirmative action pushed me through the door. So I’m sorry for being so overly talkative about the thing that fucked me up mentally. I’ll try to talk about other things.

 

We also have to discuss the smokescreen of hiding behind the title of ‘classical liberal,’ and no I’m not calling out Dave Rubin here. Some so-called classical liberals have the idea that they’re the ‘real, original liberal.’ They bastardize the term ‘classical liberal’ and use it as an excuse to rant endlessly about PC and identity politics without seriously dealing with other issues. I also suspect that many of these people are just closeted right-wing libertarians and conservatives who want to hang out to their Liberal membership card and mask their social conservatism behind a word that sounds good like ‘classical liberal.’ Classical liberalism means free market capitalism, free trade, individual liberty–the ideas of John Locke, Adam Smith, and Thomas Jefferson. Classical liberalism does not directly translate to “Feminism is dumb, and I’ll call transgender women ‘he.'”

I don’t call myself a classical liberal. I’m sick of political labels at this point–I will call myself a liberal for expediency, but that’s about it. Something tells me that David had one Twitter run-in with a particularly vitriolic anti-SJW who didn’t want to use trans people’s preferred pronouns, calling David “a PC cuck” when David argued with him, and he decided to make this entire video in response. I also have no idea who he’s talking about or criticizing here, so I can’t really comment. He seems to be talking about particular people who are secretly conservative but just won’t admit to it, but I wouldn’t know who.

Domineering political correctness and identity politics are problems. I’ve talked about them. No doubt. But we have to understand what domineering PC is. PC Cultural creates a problem when it prevents us from having honest conversations about . . . Islam and terrorism for example. It creates an atmosphere where people are afraid to talk about the realities of things like martyrdom and religious dogma. That slows down human progress. It becomes counterproductive.

I agree.

However, letting people use whatever bathroom they want does not limit your individual liberty. Calling a person in a wheelchair disabled instead of a cripple does not repress intellectual freedom. Just like refraining from using ethnic slurs doesn’t either. Claiming that you’re a victim of the PC Police doesn’t exonerate you from being an ignoramus.

What is with this idea that people who decry political correctness are secretly just chomping at the bit, just foaming spittle and blood from the mouth, desperately wanting to hurl around racial slurs?

Refering to everything as PC makes the term lose its meaning like so many other terms already have so that it doesn’t have any power whenever its use is truly warranted.

I agree. That’s generally why I refrain from using that exact term unless it’s absolutely warranted.

Even more important, ridicule and demean people who abuse power, corrupt politicians, people who deserve it, not people who are just less fortunate or in a marginalized group.

Is the black woman who got a man fired for making a dick joke that she happened to overhear someone who counts as a “less fortunate, marginalized person?” The problem with this is that anyone can say that you’ve ridiculed and demeaned them, with it being very unclear as to when that statement should be taken as a serious offense against human decency and when it should be deemed actual political correctness. Unless David suddenly agrees that Muslims complaining about criticisms of Islam as being hateful are totally in the right and the person being labeled as an Islamophobe is just experiencing the justified consequences of free speech. The Muslims are a bunch of marginalized brown people, doncha know? Stop punching down, David. You’re a good liberal. You should know better.

Cultural Appropriation, TexMex Edition

皆さん、こんにちは!    今日に、文化的歳出について書きますね。楽しい事実で, cultural appropriationのたまに, 良い翻訳がないと思います。だからその言葉を英語で書いたのです。面白いですね。文化的歳出とは何ですか。さて、私は皆さんに見せてあげます。行きましょう!

* * *

So, why did I just write an intro in a language that’s only spoken by 125 million people on the other side of the world? Besides the fact that my language skills have been floundering ever since I left campus and I’m desperate to make sure I maintain at least a middle-school level of literacy, I did it to make a point.

I am a twenty-two year old biracial chick from bumfuck nowhere South who up and decided to learn the Japanese language because “why not.” To make Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles had to travel to another country for months to learn about musical instruments that you can now sample in Garage Band for free. Post-WWII, Julia Child became famous for bringing French cuisine to American culinary tastes–French cuisine you can now learn about on the internet after a quick Google search. In the 1960s, black American kung fu stars had to travel to and live in China in order to learn martial arts. Fast forward to the present day when having a dojo in your local mini-mall has become a cliche. One of the best places to get Thai food in the US is a place in Nashville, Tennessee right across from a BBQ restaurant and a Greek diner. If you watch one K-Pop music video on YouTube, your recommended videos will be flooded with K-drama clips and BIGBANG interviews for days.

The point that I’m trying to get across is that it’s far easier now than it has ever been to take part in the products of other cultures. The geographical divide that used to keep vastly different cultures relatively separate has been bridged by technology and accessible travel options. And with that cultural bridge comes the inevitable cultural mixing. That’s how you get things like pineapple pizza and Latin jazz and Bollywood superhero movies and kick-ass cartoons written by a Russian guy about a Japanese samurai voiced by a black man fighting an evil demon overlord and a scatting robot based off of Sammy Davis Jr.. Watch Samurai Jack–it’s an awesome show.

It’s not like all cultural mixing is a good thing–the forced introduction of hierarchy-based religions into previously polytheistic or animistic societies lead to new forms of religiously-justified social inequalities that weren’t there previously, for example. But the good thing about modern-day culture mixing, with its roots in voluntary tourism and internet culture, is that it tends to only care about the cool parts–the aesthetically appealing, the interesting, the fun. No one’s going over to Japan and saying, “You know what’s awesome? A work culture so intense it breeds alcoholism, social isolation, and suicide. Let’s bring that shit over here!” But maybe they’ll be inspired to go back home and start a karaoke bar (karaoke is a Japanese invention, you know), or put a rock garden in their backyard, or take up ink painting (which in of itself is a Chinese invention that the Japanese just added a few more techniques to).

According to Jagger Blaec from the Portland Mercury, doing any of the above things would be awful because cultural appropriation *insert the Indiana Jones clip of people’s faces melting off here.* Her article is entitled “This Week in Appropriation: Kooks Burritos and Williamette Week,” and it is just . . . I don’t want to say it’s the worst thing ever, but I would rather wake up at 7am to go stand in line at the DMV than read it again. So, a couple of hipster-douche white girls went to Mexico, decided that they really liked tortilla-making, and opened a food truck making tortilla-based foods in Portland, Oregon. This is apparently worse than the Holocaust.

I’m actually not going to go through her article point-by-point because I have discussed cultural appropriation before multiple times and would just be rehashing myself. I’ve made plenty of points in the three articles linked above that I will not bother re-stating here. I’m just going to be responding to some select excerpts to try to say something new on this ridiculous, ridiculous subject. To start off, I’m going to compile a few instances of this totally-not-racist writer being totally-not-racist.

  • “This week in ‘white nonsense’.”
  • The existence of a list of blacklisted restaurants, blacklisted because they’re “ethnic” restaurants owned and operated by white people.
  • Openly celebrating the fact that the women got their new business shut down.

It’s good to see the social hierarchy in social justice circles make itself clear. Brown people are at least a few rungs above women when it comes to who is the most oppressed. Those two young, entrepreneurial women starting their own business in the male-dominated sphere of restauranteering must be stopped! Fighting the patriarchy isn’t as important as fighting white supremacy, guys. Remember that.

I will now compile the instances of this writer conflating two women opening a taco truck to violence, murder, and general malicious intent:

  • ‘they colonized this style of food’
  • ‘The “they” she was referring to were probably the Mexican “abuelitas” these two women preyed upon in order to appropriate the secrets of their livelihood.’
  • ‘This is where things go from quirky to predatory.’
  • ‘These two white women went to Mexico, ate tacos, and then decided they would just take what the locals clearly didn’t want to give them. If that wasn’t bad enough, they decided to pack up all their stolen intellectual property and repackage it.’
  • ‘Week after week people of color in Portland bear witness to the hijacking of their cultures.’
  • ‘. . . birthed as a result of curious white people going to a foreign country, or an international venture, and poaching as many trade secrets, customs, recipes as possible, and then coming back to Portland to claim it as their own and score a tidy profit.’

How two women opening a food truck in a city across the fucking globe ruins the livelihoods of a bunch of old women in Mexico is truly a riddle for the ages. As many people have pointed out, tortillas are a culinary staple–they’re a simple recipe with a simple cooking technique, owned by no one. Tortillas are not intellectual property. The girls themselves overtly said that they had to come up with their own recipes and techniques since they only learned the basics while they were in Mexico. This is how food sharing works.

When something is poached or preyed upon, as you so hyperbolically put it, it is dead: The elephant that gets poached for its ivory doesn’t have tusks anymore once those poachers are done with it. The owl that preys upon chipmunks eats them alive. The grifter that prays upon people’s stupidity takes something from them, leaving them worse for wear at the end of the encounter.

No one was hurt by what these women did. Their food truck in Portland, Oregon didn’t put those women in Mexico out of work. Those women in Mexico aren’t losing money because a food truck opened across the world selling what they also make. Those women in Mexico didn’t lose the resources and ability to make tortillas because two white girls are doing it now. If anything, they were momentarily annoyed by two tourists who wanted to be taught how to make a certain kind of food even though they didn’t have time to teach them.

You know who did leave this situation having lost something? Having been overtly targeted by people trying to take away their chance at a livelihood? The two girls who had their business shut down because someone on the internet decided that they were too pale to be making the food they wanted to make. You are accusing these random hipsters of doing something that you yourself are perpetrating. You and people like you, with your blacklists and your internet hate-mobs forcing people to quit, actually are “preying upon” businesses that you don’t think have the right to exist. And you don’t even see the fucking irony. The projection is astounding.

* * *

This is ridiculous, and, to super-liberal Portland’s credit, almost all of the comments on the original article are very straightforward about that. All hope is not lost. People are starting to get fed up with this mentality, and it’s starting to show, slowly but surely. The funniest part is that the writer, after overtly applauding the fact that someone’s business was forced to close, has the gall to say that “cultures are meant to be shared.”

The hilarious thing about this entire situation is that it is made extremely evident to anyone who has half a fucking idea what they’re talking about that Miss Jagger Blaec and the people getting up-in-arms with her are nothing but armchair activists. They are getting mad about the “cultural appropriation” perpetuated by the creation of a burrito stand.

Burritos . . . an American food. It’s called Tex-Mex for a reason–burritos are a Southwestern American food item. So are tacos and nachos. Burritos weren’t even a named, recognizable thing until the mid-twentieth century, for crying out loud. If you go to Mexico, the only burrito stands you’ll find are ones for tourists. They’re not a Mexican food. These people are getting pissed off about two American women opening a food truck selling American food. This is even funnier than SJWs getting mad about college Cinco de Mayo parties, totally ignoring the fact that Mexico considers Cinco de Mayo nothing but a corporatized holiday not even worth taking the whole day off for, only celebrated at all because the Corona beer company thought that it’d be a good marketing gimmick to make a drink for specific days. What are you going to complain about next? Are you going to bitch and moan about how fortune cookies aren’t authentically Chinese?

If you ever find yourself in Japan, Ms. Blaec, do not go to a Sushi Roll restaurant. The horrible, horrible sushi-based abominations in that place would make your head explode. That is a company in Japan, owned by Japanese people, and it appropriates everyone with its culinary creations: from its East Asian neighbors, to ASEAN, to Europe, to Australia, to the US. Have you ever had fish n’ chips sushi? How about bacon and scrambled eggs sushi? Kimchi sushi? Fried rice sushi? Orange chicken sushi? I have, all thanks to Sushi Roll. Are you gonna get up in arms about that? Japan did try to colonize China, Korea, and parts of South East Asia, after all. The existence of kimchi sushi should just be considered culinary poaching and theft, am I right?

Hell, what about this one burger place I went to all the time when I lived in Japan–owned and operated by some Japanese hipster dude with dreadlocks and a fedora, making dirty profit off of American food in a country where Americans are an oppressed minority making up less than 1% of the population. Yes, Westerners actually are oppressed by the usual social justice standard–they are tokenized and hindered from being able to advance in the workplace. Western English teachers are often just their for show, unable to promote any actual English-learning. Housing discrimination against anyone non-Japanese is prevalent, and places, especially restaurants, sometimes charge Westerners more by default. Just check the differences between the prices on the Japanese and English menus in tourist cities. With that background of exploitation and erasure, how dare he ask Americans for burger recipes from their home-states?! He stole our food, and now he’s exploiting us even further by making us active participants in that theft?

Holy shit, I just remembered that when I was in Krakow I went to a pizza shop owned by a bunch of Arabs who made “Polish pizzas” with things like potatoes and blood sausage on them. With Poland’s history of being taken over and colonized by outside forces ten ways to Sunday, I gotta call appropriation on that too.

Seriously, guys. Travel the world. It’s the best cure for the cultural separatism and solipsism being promoted by Ms. Blaec and her friends.

* * *

The thing about cultural appropriation is that is assumes that culture is a sacred thing that can only be engaged in one “good” way.  I don’t think that people understand just how dangerous that idea is. That intellectual hard-lining about “doing things the right way” is how you get the Westboro Baptist Church and its lamentation that other Christians have become too weak and “worldly” to promote God’s true will. This conflation of culture with ethnicity and skin tone is how you get white nationalists who insist that a brown person can never truly be “part of their culture” simply because only white people can have “white culture.” The leftist idea of cultural appropriation sounds exactly like the white nationalist idea about how whites need to “protect their culture from outside invaders who want to steal it.” Good to see those on the left finally extending a hand across the aisle and breaking bread with new types of people. It’s very open-minded of them.

So, Jagger Blaec and her friends can live in their boring-ass world where cultures are irreparably separated by skin tone if they want to. While they’re off making a manifesto about the morals of fusion cuisine, I’ll be off caring about actual problems and enjoying the aspects and facets of cultures that are good and beautiful and worth taking part in and ignoring the bad parts.