Friday, May 22, 2020

Uncle Tom, Oreo, Kapo. "He Toms from the heart"

White "progressives" now seeing the contradictions of black chip-on-my-shoulder assimilationism. Condescending pedants who always complained are crowing in vindication.
There have been a few times in my life when I was told, by black men, that I was black, or "not white". The 21 year old who used those words said them almost as a question, because he was surprised that he could say it. The last time it was a warning from a man about my age at the end of a long day. Before he left he punched me in the chest, hard, and pointed his finger in my face. "Stay black!" I smiled, and may have laughed. Compliments can be rescinded. It didn't give me the right self-identify as black. Even if I don't quite identify as white.

Israel was founded by European Jews who identified with Europe but claimed a right to "return" to Palestine. Decades after the acceptance of Liberal Zionism we now have Liberal Garveyism. But when I ask a Zionist Ashkenazi if he's Jewish or white more often than not the response is surprise. An immediate answer is rare.

The obvious, and forgotten, parallel to Israel is Liberia, also founded in conquest. The Christian descendants of immigrant ex-slaves ruled under a system founded in Jim Crow; African-Liberians didn't get the right to vote until the 1960s. And then we can talk about skin tone.

If racism is a fact then race is a fact. Self-hatred is a fact. Political facts are facts.

I'll say it again and again: language in use does not follow the law of non-contradiction. Pedantry is anti-political.

These idiots can't even realize they're making the old argument against affirmative action. It's all just another marker of slow change.

Whiteboy would never go after one of his Jewish identitarian friends like this. Meanwhile @sadvil goes for the easy layup.

Jones deleted the tweet. She realized the trap she'd set herself.

Fang retweets a liberal Zionist political scientist and libertarian-lite think-tanker linking a paper by a light-skinned Princeton professor and neoliberal think-tanker who claims like Deleuze to have created a concept, "agenda seeding", whereby minorities influence the behavior of majorities. Needless to say they seed with their own blood but they get better results if they act like saints. Once again social science discovers the obvious. And of course Fang and Grossman mock the "wokeness" that's the desired result among majorities to minorities' complaints. Grossman links to an article in the Jewish identitarian Tablet on white savior liberalism that ends with a quote from a Jewish defender of white identity politics. And Fang is a fan of Thomas Chatterton Williams, author of Yes, Blame Hip-Hop, Hegel at Georgetown, and Unlearning Race.
[T]his cheerful manifesto of the light-skinned and well placed, carries an atmosphere of gratitude for the acceptance France has promised Williams’s children. He has assured himself that in these times of tattoos, manipulations of the body, gender subversion, transition, transformations of the self, class fantasies, and cultural smugness, not much essentialism remains in definitions of blackness. We are saved already if we but knew it; we are already well, sound, and clear; we have only to recognize it.
And yet Williams was capable once of putting it as a question. Equal in Paris?
The satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo is one such thoroughly French institution. That is what you hear again and again if you criticize the content this paper trafficked in. “But you cannot understand Charlie Hebdo if you are not French”; “Charlie Hebdo has been a pillar of the French popular culture that shaped us; It is our tradition!” dozens of friends have insisted, as if somehow all traditions are noble and worthy of upholding. One of my oldest and kindest friends from Paris, a man with a beautifully aristocratic last name, made a point the other day that seems to have become one of the default rationales: “But Charlie Hebdo offended everyone the same. My grandmother, who is a practicing Catholic, will tell you they are harsher with the Pope than with anyone else.” While this may even be true, Anatole France had the right of it when he said, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

...In the five years that I have lived in France, I have more than once been welcomed into well-furnished rooms where I have been left to silently puzzle over colonial detritus—Sambo-like dolls and figurines, thick-lipped, bug-eyed, disembodied brown porcelain heads—cavalierly displayed on illuminated shelves and marble tabletops. The first few times I saw these mementos I was jarred, though it is also possible for me to talk and laugh and drink in such spaces, because I am with friends, and I am comfortable in my status as an American who has made his home in Paris but is always free to leave. And yet, I would be lying if I denied that there is some small part of my consciousness still tender with ancestral ache, which cannot ever allow me to lose sight of these outlandish trophies and souvenirs. They seem to somehow comfort or amuse my hosts, reminding them of nothing at all or of some far less complicated and stressful past, and fit smartly in the décor alongside equestrian prints, layered “oriental” rugs, and grandfather’s antelope heads from Africa mounted on the wall.
Between Coates and Williams I'll take Coates. I'll always prefer honest contradiction, confusion and anger, to blithe superiority, snobbery and condescension.

"The greatest obstacle to success for middle-class blacks is not white racism but the allure of hip-hop culture."
N+1 has a thing for self-hating minorities/reactionaries:  Andrea Long ChuWesley Yang writes for Tablet, attacking identity politics. Even his critics, in this country, can't see the absurdity. Jews are white now. They don't have an identity politics. Amazing.
The first piece in The Souls of Yellow Folk, the collection of Wesley Yang’s journalism, goes in with a bang. “The Face of Seung-Hui Cho,” Yang’s 2008 essay on the mass shooter of Virginia Tech, is a remarkable attempt to trace the author’s kinship with a young man who, one year earlier, had killed thirty-two people and then killed himself. Outlining Cho’s abysmal, toxified, embittered half-life, Yang describes his own as well.
And we're back to Scott Aaronson and Aaron Swartz, who now finally has a tag.

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