A Hilarious Juxtaposition

In reply to the excellent Atlantic article, "The Coddling of the American Mind," by Greg Lukianof, of FIRE, and Jonathan Haidt, a social scientist with a dangerous streak of honesty in him, George Sachs, a clinical psychologist, writes "10 Ways White Liberals Perpetuate Racism."

Lukianof and Haidt argue that the spirit of "vindictive protectiveness" that demands punishment for people who commit alleged microaggressions actually harms the very students it claims to protect. "A campus culture devoted to policing speech and punishing speakers," they write, "is likely to engender patterns of thought that are surprisingly similar to those long identified by cognitive behavioral therapists as causes of depression and anxiety. The new protectiveness may be teaching students to think pathologically."

Sachs's counter-argument, of course, is that they should just shut up. He writes:

Perhaps you agree with The Atlantic and think that college students are just too uptight and politically correct. Most of The Atlantic readers are liberal White Americans who are doing their part to make the world a better place for all creeds and colors. Like many 40-something White liberals, I too assume I'm relatively open-minded and conscious of my white privilege. "I'm not a racist," I say to myself, when images of police brutality flash on the screen. "I'm not like those white people."

Or am I?

Like me, you probably voted for Barack Obama, were outraged by the verdicts in the Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases. You even work hard to check your white privilege at the door when going to a #blacklivesmatter protest march.


Many of you may stop reading now, thinking, "Here we go with the political correctness." You say to yourself: "I'm not perpetuating racism, and I'm certainly not invalidating people of color. Donald Trump may be, but not me.

That's what I used to think. But, right there, you're committing a microinvalidation. It's called Denial.

Yes, that's right. Denying you are racist is, as we've all suspected for so long now, proof that you are racist. Sachs then lists 10 ways white liberals are racist.

I'll summarize below the fold, but I highly recommend you just go over and read it in all of its awesome absurdity. It's well worth it.

Keep in mind, this is what they're teaching kids at school these days.

A Summary
  1. Denial hurts the feelings of people of color, which is racist.
  2. Shame & Hurt: When a person of color points out our [the white liberal's] racism, we act ashamed and hurt that they would think that of us, which hurts the feelings of the person of color, which is racist.
  3. Narcolepsy & Ignorance: When a white person is accused of racism, they shut down and go silent, which is known as "race-related narcolepsy," or they claim they didn't know, both of which make the person of color have to work harder to make the white person aware of their racism, which is racist.
  4. Masochism: Feeling guilty and trying to be punished for being a racist is racist.
  5. Apology & Faux Compassion: When confronted about their racism, saying, "I'm so sorry. I feel your pain" is racist.
  6. Defensiveness: Again, denying you are racist is racist.
  7. The Pain Game: When a Jewish person says, "You're not the only ones. My family was wiped out in the Holocaust," the Jewish person is racist.
  8. Racial Resume: When confronted with your racism (white privilege, etc.), saying, "But I voted for Obama!" or some other thing you did to support people of color is racist.
  9. White Guilt: Feeling guilty about racism but not actually bowing down and worshiping the person of color who confronted you is racist. [Sorry. The absurdity is beginning to leak through.]
  10. Intellectualization: Pointing out the progress we've made in race relations by, e.g., noting that we have a black president, is racist.
UPDATE: Slight edits for clarity.


jaed said...

Is this the first sighting of "microinvalidation"? Has a new term just been hatched?

Tom said...

Apparently it comes out of a pair of researchers at the U. of Chicago, but it may be the first popular appearance. I dunno.

Grim said...

If we truly want a different world, let's ask ourselves: Is it possible that I might unintentionally say something that might be perceived as invalidating by people of color? ... Can I simply say: "I wasn't aware my words or actions hurt you. Tell me more so I can learn?"

OK, but let's be clear on what we're learning. We aren't learning that Person X knows something Person Y doesn't know. We're learning that Person X feels something that Person Y doesn't feel. That's interesting, but it's not like learning that you hear sound waves in a range that I don't. The sound waves are really there as physical features of the world. The emotional register, by contrast, can itself be out of order. It could be that you don't have superior hearing, but a ringing in your ear.

That has to be explored separately, or instead of becoming healthier we teach everyone the disorder.

Tom said...

All we're really supposed to learn is submission.

jaed said...

"I wasn't aware my words or actions hurt you. Tell me more so I can learn?"

There is too much math in the world to waste time and brain cells learning about the feelings of over-dramatic loons with borderline personality disorder!!!

Ahem. Thank you. That felt good.

Grim said...

All right, then!

But in that case your reading assignment is Aristotle's Metaphysics, Book Mu (or 13, if you run into a numbered edition). Questions for consideration: in what way is math "in the world"? Does this explanation hold water? Do you have a better one?

jaed said...

If we define the world as "all of reality" then math is certainly in the world.

If we define the world instead as "all that is physically apprehendible [apprehendable? apprehensible?]", then math itself is not in the world, but math books and math classes and lectures and discussions about math are.

Grim said...

You're trying to skip the reading and answer off the cuff! You and Cass are just the same. :)

jaed said...

All right, all right, I'll read it. <grumble>

First impression is that my engagement with Aristotle will suffer because his definition of "mathematics" seems limited to geometry, and geometry deals with either real or imagined physical objects. So we have an immediate problem, because his question is something like "does an ideal tetrahedron exist apart from any physical tetrahedra?" and mine is more like "do patterns of logic exist, and for what meaning of 'existence'?" He addresses the problem by considering the relationship between, for example, the ideal tetrahedron and the physical one sitting in front of us - but that process of analysis isn't available to me, because my idea of math is far less bound up in physical analogs than his is.

Grim said...

Good. That's an excellent question. Actually, that's the question of books 13 and 14 taken together. To what degree does logic -- including mathematical objects -- apply to reality? That's kind of a huge problem, isn't it?

So what is his answer? We can talk about whether it's a good answer, but what does he say?

Ymar Sakar said...

Leftist R and D conducted experiments and weaponization trials with certain conditioning and mind control techniques. Patricia Hearst and Jim Jones' cult were notable examples.

Control method wise, the academics have refined their techniques and it is much more subtle now.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I commented at HuffPo: Their racism ain't nuthin' compared to the bigotry they show against the white people who disagree with them, who uh, _just happen_ to be their main competitors for cultural power. Funny how that works. So rather than taking an actual objective look at themselves, Sachs has got them straining at ever-smaller gnats, still swallowing camels. It's just a righteousness competition, proving you are a real princess because a pea disturbed you through 27 mattresses.

Tom said...

I need to start commenting there & around the blogosphere. That's where the fight is.