Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Kevin Drum, Racism, "White Supremacy," and PC Hyperbole

   I complain about this periodically. It's dumb. But the PC left is addicted to hyperbole--often to the point of flaming falsehood. There's typically no reasoning with them, but it's good to register their errors--both because truth is important, and also so that reasonable people who are on the fence don't get sucked into their BS.
   Racism is not the same thing as white supremac...ism? (The folks in question would write 'white supremacy' there, but it obviously doesn't work out grammatically...) Anyway: being a racist isn't the same thing as being a white supremacist. Obviously. And the (as Drum correctly puts it) fad of misusing 'white supremacy' to mean racism is crap for a lot of obvious reasons. And, as Drum also notes, we get a kind of double escalation given the combination of:
(a) The left calls everybody and everything in sight 'racist'
(b) The left says 'white supremacy' instead of 'racism'
So now we get this this kind of outlandish nonsense such that if your grandma isn't to clear on this weeks trendiest jargon and maybe even--heaven forfend!--says 'colored person' instead of 'person of color'...well...she's not merely a racist, she's a white supremacist! Goddamn, grandma!
   This is basically a kind of case study in the fatuousness of the PC left. Sometimes people are just too far gone to reason with. I'm not saying that someone might not get sucked into this stuff because it's trendy on Tumblr, or because they heard it in their women's studies class, or whatever... People often just parrot the lingo and orthodoxy of their peer group. And someone might even be torn about it. But anyone who can look at this situation and not understand that there's a big problem here probably can't be reasoned with. They're probably just too far gone. If you don't at least smell a rat, and see that PC's got some 'splainin' to do... Well, I certainly can't do anything for you.
   Drum suggests that this misuse of the term got started with Ta-Nahisi Coates. If so, that would explain it. Not because Coates is prone to such errors, but because of the internet left's Ta-Nahisi Coates worship. I mean, I generally like the guy's stuff, but damn, I really don't get the adoration with which he is regarded by the leftosphere. (And his well-known piece on the "social construction" of race is all wrong...but that's another thing...)
   Anyway, much of PC confusion is based in terminological errors, but it's no secret that it's often hard to tell whether people are making terminological errors or factual ones. Perhaps PCs just can't resist terminological escalation: they've become so used to calling everybody else racist that they want a new drug--and 'white supremacist' is so much worse/better! Or maybe they really do believe that your grandma is in the Klan...so there's that possibility... Usually people drawn to the PC left don't think clearly enough to draw such distinctions, though. It's common for people to fall into confusion in some indeterminate way--they're not exactly making this mistake, they're not exactly making that mistake...they're lost in a twilight zone in between. And the indeterminacy of their beliefs is one of the things that trips them up.
   But, anyway, it's good to see Drum saying something about this. I get the feeling that he's too reasonable not to be onto the looniness of the PC left...but he usually sticks to wonkier / policy-er issues. Smart man. But he could do a lot of good but speaking up on these points a little more often, sez me.


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