Monday, January 21, 2019

Max Hyams: "Truth And Disfavored Identities"

Right on the money.
Footage has since emerged that provides a fuller picture of the incident, and it now appears that this narrative is almost entirely untrue. It seems that it was Phillips who approached the boys, beating his drum while they were minding their own business, chanting their high school cheer, and awaiting instructions from their chaperone. In every video of the incident that I have watched, the boys’ behaviour is arguably rowdy and insensitive, but I have yet to see any evidence that supports the far more egregious charge of racism. That is, unless we are prepared to accept that any confrontation between a Native American and a white youth is ipso facto racist, no matter who instigated it or why. Even then, the specific accusations made about the boys’ behavior seem to be false.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, he still feels the need to hedge and say the boys' behavior was insensitive. This is unnecessary and best I can tell completely untrue. They defended gays and minorities and refused to escalate the scene even with a guy literally banging a drum in their face. The fact that journalists still feel the need to do anything but praise these kids disturbs me.

Second, he makes the usual claim that this is caused by political polarization, but that term needs to be recognized as out-of-date, because it implies symmetric moves to the extremes. That's not what we're seeing anymore. One thing people don't want to recognize is the conservative coalition has actually moderated considerably. They are now a pretty strong opposition to needless war, are largely mellowed on entitlements which can actually bring about some compromise, and have been doing decent work with criminal justice reform. What has happened is the conservative coalition has reprioritized anti-PC and immigration enforcement to the top of their list, but neither are right wing. The anti-PC arguments are in fact usually made in explicitly liberal terms, and if it were 5 years ago, the immigration arguments would have been consensus. During the Bush years, we would actually have seen the Right making their own version of religious right PC, but those days are completely gone.

I actually think the real issue, and this incident really exposes it, is so simple it's impossible for people to admit but no one wants to. The Left, since the late 80s, has settled on a strategy of demonizing their opposition as racists and bigots to attain power, using the residual moral authority of the civil rights movement as a way to push much more severe and damaging egalitarian goals. It started to emerge with PC v1 in the 90s, but it's reached full-flower now. The inculcation of this view of status and politics is accomplished in the university and reinforced afterwards by the media, both of which have been completely captured. Since the people who are most shaped by those institutions are the elites, it has basically completely perverted the leadership in our country. We can talk about PC as a sort of system of belief, but really its a political survival strategy for an increasingly obsolete and damaged Left post-USSR/Mao to rehabilitate itself in a diversifying America by pitting minorities against the majority and pretending like they are saints for slandering as many people as is politically possible. The people arranging this are pros, so it was mostly undercover except for unique instances like BLM. Then Trump was elected and they made the (hopefully) supreme miscalculation of thinking this strategy can be shouted loud and proud. Hence La Resistance.

Part of the effects of this strategy is that they've successfully duped most people operating at an elite level into a presumption of some residual racism whenever a white person is in the news cycle (hence all the conservative commentators rushing to condemn the kids too without proper skepticism, remember it's perverting all elites, not just those who explicitly accept it). The other effect is that it has forced the right to adapt to the strategy building more and more strength. We saw that with people electing Trump as a hail mary in 2016, but we're also seeing it strengthening the right as a more robust opposition to PC and media malevolence emerges with each of these stories.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I'll have to think more about the other stuff, but you're right that "right on the money" was too strong, in particular because he does claim that the boys are "insensitive" (egad!) when even that fairly minimal claim isn't clear from what I've seen.

I skipped right over the polarization part of what he said.

Thanks, Anon, very interesting.

2:03 PM  

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