Sunday, January 24, 2016

"Whiteness Awareness Month" at Central Washington University

   Wanna see lots of the major confusions and prejudices about race on the left in one package? Here ya go!
   We get race as a "social construct"...and once you've gone down that incoherent road, you can basically say whatever you want, as it takes you into the realm of very, very bad philosophy rather than very, very bad social science, so there are no appreciable empirical constraints on theorizing.
   With all options on the table, the PCs then unsurprisingly go for the essence of whiteness is oppression, which is really one of their quasi-esoteric doctrines--if/when it become exoteric, it won't be received very well, I predict...  But mostly that will be because it's insulting. It should be ridiculed because it's idiotic...but you know how that goes...  Then, of course, there's the pretense that this is some analog of Black History Month...though BHM is (justifiably) laudatory, whereas, of course, "Whiteness Awareness Month" is about how white people are all literally Hitler...or Satan...or Cthulhu maybe...and need to be aware of their "privilege" and so forth and so on.
   So much little desire on my part to shred it...
   Seriously. One tactic of irrationalism and illiberalism is to just throw so much bullshit on the table that it can't all be shoveled neatly away in a reasonable amount of time with a reasonable amount of effort...
   But: if I were going to hit one source of confusion in all that, I'd go for "social constructionism" as the root of much of this nonsense. Whiteness is not a social role, ergo its essence is not oppression (it probably doesn't have an essence, since its a natural kind, a biological category. (For folks who shriek incessantly about the evils of "essentialism"--a view they don't understand at all--they click back into it readily enough when it suits them...) When the Japanese have periodically oppressed their neighbors, they did not thereby become white. I've never oppressed anyone to the best of my knowledge, but I'm white nevertheless.
   Conclusion: very stupid theory is very stupid.
   The defenders of that theory might push things up to the collective level and mumble something about it not applying at the individual level. That ad hoc defense can be rejected out of hand as inconsistent with the fact that individuals have races. But even if we focus on the aggregate/social level, the same arguments defeat the position at that level.
   The real problem is that social construction is (roughly) an incoherent idea. I've gone on about this a zillion times, so won't do so again. The idea is used too indiscriminately, in too many different mutually inconsistent ways. It's an equivocation machine. Which suits the political correctness / "social justice" movement just fine.
   This incoherent far-left nonsense has no business being pushed by a public university, anymore than incoherent, far-right nonsense does. It's indoctrination. Sadly, I am more and more concerned that universities are being used by the illiberal left to a non-trivial extent as tools for brainwashing students. Political correctness simultaneously attempts to prevent ideas to the right of PC from even being aired by visiting speakers, while using the authority of the institution to present far left ideas as unquestioned orthodoxy, spoken ex cathedra in the voice of the institution--undoubtedly with little or no chance for objections to be aired.
   Liberalism is opposed to such a thing. Whether liberals will be remains to be seen.


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