Saturday, August 04, 2018

The Great Andrew Sullivan On Sarah Jeong: "When Racism Is Fit To Print"

God bless Andrew Sullivan. I don't absolutely always agree with him, and sometimes I think he's a kinda bonkers, but a whole damn lotta the time he's the voice of sweet reason.
Justa coupla bits:
...I don’t think the New York Times should fire her — in part because they largely share her views on race, gender, and oppression. Their entire hiring and editorial process is based on them. In their mind, Jeong was merely caught defending herself. As Vox writer Zack Beauchamp put it: “A lot of people on the internet today [are] confusing the expressive way antiracists and minorities talk about ‘white people’ with actual race-based hatred, for some unfathomable reason.” I have to say that word “expressive” made me chuckle out loud. (But would Beauchamp, I wonder, feel the same way if anti-racists talked about Jews in the same manner Jeong talks about whites? Aren’t Jews included in the category of whites?)
That Zack Beauchamp line is just beautiful. That's like a bumper sticker for the contemporary left. That guy ought to be reminded of that line once a year for the rest of his life. Let's pull it out and meditate on it for a second:
“A lot of people on the internet today [are] confusing the expressive way antiracists and minorities talk about ‘white people’ with actual race-based hatred, for some unfathomable reason.”

Sully's right, of course, that that 'expressive' is gold,! But just as revelatory is "for some unfathomable reason." The jig is up; he knows it. It's equivalent to: "Some people say Jeong's tweets saying 'I hate all white people' are racist. But I simply can't understand why that would be." Of course he can understand...because it's the natural interpretation. In fact it's the only interpretation. Unless there's some reason to think the tweets are satirical or somesuch thing. Which there isn't.
   But the important idea in the first passage is, of course, this one:
I don’t think the New York Times should fire her — in part because they largely share her views on race, gender, and oppression. Their entire hiring and editorial process is based on them.
   I didn't think of that, but it links up with one of my broken records, so here goes:
It's time for the remaining liberals to admit to themselves that this is what the vanguard of the contemporary left believes. It's definitionally impossible for a nonwhite person to be racist (at least against a white person, at least in places like the USA). A handy, though sloppy, way to put the more general point is: progressivism is anti-liberal leftism. Liberals, used to training all their guns rightward, must understand that there is an anti-liberal left. An anti-liberal left which is, according to me, more illiberal than your average, relatively centrist, conservative.
   Hey, maybe this is good for liberals, such as remain. It's very instructive to see what it's like to have the cultural superstructure turn against you... See what conservatives have been complaining about all this time?
   And how 'bout this:
The editors of the Verge, where Jeong still works, described any assertion of racism in Jeong’s tweets as “dishonest and outrageous,” a function of bad faith and an attack on journalism itself. Scroll through left-Twitter and you find utter incredulity that demonizing white people could in any way be offensive. That’s the extent to which loathing of and contempt for “white people” is now background noise on the left. What many don’t seem to understand is that their view of racism isn’t shared by the public at large, and that the defense of it by institutions like the New York Times will only serve to deepen the kind of resentment that gave us Trump. Last night, for instance, Fox News made the most of the Times’ excuses for race-baiting.
See...Jeong saying (in effect) I hate all white people because they are white is not only not's not only (per Beauchamp) inexplicable how anyone could think that it's "dishonest and outrageous" to even suggest it... 
   Stop and meditate on this. (contemplate this on the tree of woe...?)
   If this isn't analogous to stepping through the looking-glass, then nothing is.
   (Ha ha! How on Earth could anyone honestly think that, when Smith said 'dogs are mammals,' he meant that dogs are mammals??? Stupid! Dishonest! Outrrrraaaaaageous!!!)
   And Sully's got this bit right: "loathing of and contempt for 'white people' is now background noise on the left." This is exactly right. And it's largely why I wrote in a different post that this isn't about Jeong, really. The Jeong incident is just an occasion for discussing the larger phenomenon. The point is not Jeong's individual motives, nor getting her fired, nor anything about her, really.
   Again, liberals (such as remain) need to be clear on this: anti-male sexism and anti-white racism are central features of the contemporary progressive left--i.e. the PC or "social justice" left. I almost wrote that they are "rampant"...but that suggests they are alien or contingent features. But they're not not bugs; they're features. They're integral to the view. They're matters of principle. Racism in the rest of the political spectrum, all the way through the very conservative right, all the way through until you get to, oh, the Klan and Hitler...racism is a bug. That's a big difference.
   Finally, the anti-counterproductivity rant: I'd not include the final sentence of the final big quote from Sullivan (above). Yes, the crazy left helped give us Trump. But, bad as that is, it's way down on the list of why the crazy left is bad. The left has to learn that there are sound arguments against the left that don't have the form: This helps the right. Sullivan knows this. But many on the left don't. And failure to recognize the point helped get us the crazy left we have today.
   Blah, blah blah.
   Same rant, different day. (That is, speaking of myself, not of Sully, peace be upon him.)


Blogger Aa said...

It's interesting reading both Pharyngula and philosoraptor. Somehow I feel both are missing the full picture for different reasons, and neither are willing to seriously look at the other side's argument. So from this site's point of view...Jeong's biting sense of humor towards trolls is seriously racism, yet Trump's...foul mouthed rantings are jokes, they're just jokes. WTF?

2:07 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

C'mon, Aa, I've looked at the other side's arguments. They're cracked.

And: "Jeong's biting sense of humor towards trols"??? Doesn't that sound just a *bit* question-begging?

First, there is no evidence that she was responding to trolls. Second, that defense would *never* be acknowledged by the left if the races were reversed. Third, I've said as clearly as I can that this isn't about Sarah Jeong:

Anti-white racism and anti-male sexism are central planks in the progressive platform. They are spewed constantly by the leftist twitterati, and by acknowledged "thought" "leaders" on the left. It really doesn't matter what motivated Jeong. She's a minor representative of a Very Big View. And that view is anti-white and anti-male. Fucking Christ, they basically come right out and admit it...until people really take them seriously and get their dander up...then suddenly it's "Ha didn't take that 'kill all white people' stuff seriously, did you? Ha Ha?"

Motte and bailey, motte and bailey, repeat as necessary...

And I'm not sure what you mean by "seriously racism." Do you mean: actually, really racist? Because I don't much have a view on that. My point, really, is that the left is crazy and/or inconsistent...and it needs crazy theories about how racism isn't really racism in order to do the dance it needs to do to try to avoid those conclusions. That is, roughly: by the left's own psychotic everything-is-racist standards, Jeong should be burned at the stake. Or, rather: that would be true if they didn't have an array of laughable ad hoc defenses like: as a matter of definition, non-whites can't be racist to whites.

They are saved from being victims of their own principles only if you think their ad hoc defenses are non-laughable... But they aren't.

As I've said, I think Jeong could have all sorts of motives, or could have lost her cool in the heat of the moment, or whatever. It's the fucking bullshit morass of racism, inconsistency and special pleading on the left that disgusts me. Jeong herself is peripheral.

As for Trump: I've only said that a few things are jokes--specifically, *the things that were jokes.* Like that thing about Russia releasing Hillary's emails...and only one or two other things. *Because they were obviously fucking jokes.* Only someone with a tin ear--or someone dedicated to anti-Trumpery--could deny that they were jokes. Well, not exactly jokes...but jokey comments of a very well-known sort.

Which "foul-mouthed rantings" do you think I said were jokes that weren't?

And, yet again: I think Trump's a piece of shit. I just haven't lost my fucking mind about him.

He's a 10 on the shit scale. I just don't see why we have to pretend that the scale goes to 11.

Now, you're probably more objective about this than I am...and I gave up on pharyngula long, long seemed like madness there to me. So I can't speak to the details of their arguments. But the general description you've given of my own position doesn't sound accurate to me.

But, again: I've been very pissed off about all this for several years, so I don't completely trust my own judgment right now.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Aa, I hope you aren't talking about this embarrassing excretion:

4:34 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Goddamn it, Aa...just admit that I'm right!!!!!!!!!11111

5:03 PM  
Blogger Aa said...

No, I won't. More and more I'm convinced that the lens through which both you and Pharyngula look at things is more and more myopic. As long as it feeds the preconceived bias then it's the "truth". I don't really trust either site when it comes to objectivity...seriously, Trump was joking (I repeat, WTF????!!???)...I read both to keep some sense of balance. You're more than willing to give Trump and the right a break, or ignore them, than the left (I understand the reasons, at least I'm honest enough to say I think I do), but I will not admit you're right on this until I see some true, critical, thinking.

(if it seems i'm ignore things the next few days I'm really not, just have some personal things to deal with...sorry)

9:10 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

No, Aa, I appreciate that--and I don't think you have any obligation to be on top of this ridiculous blog all the time.

But, honestly, I don't think I'm myopic about Trump. I think the guy is awful, and basically doesn't care at all about the truth--which is basically the worst thing I can say about somebody. I'd like to see him out of office by just about any legitimate means. I just draw the line at TDS.

Anyway, I hope the personal stuff works out, man.

6:20 AM  

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