Apr 20Liked by Steve QJ

At the end of this thought-provoking and challenging article, you state, "The next big conversation about race is how to move beyond it."

How to move beyond race?

By practicing the call, the admonition, found in the Bible, at Matthew 7:12 --- "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets," or alternatively, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets," or, “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets."

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Apr 21·edited Apr 21Liked by Steve QJ

Excuse me for this joke, but I think it is related.

Two communists are having a conversation.

If you had two houses, would you give one to me?

Of course, comrade.

If you had two cars, would you give me one?

Yes of course, comrade.

If you had two chickens, would you give me one?


Why not?

I have two chickens.

The difference in people talking the talk and walking the walk. Privilege is when you have two chickens.

How we discuss "issues" can bring corrective action or resentment and make things worse. Having worked for the government and corporations I've gone thru several versions of race relations training.

Incredibly, the first round included white people touching black people's hair. The last diluted black people with inclusion of white women and the WIFI password before the T was added which some black people resented. Who creates the curriculum for this stuff?

A question - what would be the best approach? Or approaches since different tribes have different issues, and sometimes they have two chickens.

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😂Love this joke. It may well find its way into an article at some point.

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Another great article!

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Apr 20Liked by Steve QJ

Thank you again Steve QJ. Agreed legacy admissions need to go. To move beyond race, treat people as individuals, expand your circle. All people are created equal.

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> "All people are created equal"

That's a great poetic concept, but in the real world of course we are not created equal, and humans differ greatly in their proclivities and abilities. There is a place for poetic framings, but we need to be anchored in truth if we want positive results from our policies.

I'm not disagreeing with your conclusion though, just suggesting a framing I find more clear. I think it would be more apt to assert that "Eliminating legacy admissions moves us closer to a world of equal opportunity without an undue degree of unintended side effects". And I would agree with that. And I agree about treating people as individuals.

In a world which is relatively more equal opportunities, individuals born with different abilities and proclivities will still have different outcomes based on those same differences, rather than having the same outcomes. Siblings raised in the same family under stable conditions still have widely disparate outcomes in many cases - which would not happen if they were really born equal.

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Apr 20Liked by Steve QJ

We should treat all people as if they have the same status regardless of their proclivities and abilities. The core issue in all of this is status and it needs to be eliminated or suppressed.

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Legacy admissions have become increasingly offensive as rich kids have turned into such lumpen brats

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“Inclusion” is a red flag. The goal should be non-discrimination; past that is only fanatical compulsion. You allude to this above; every department is not going to be the precise ratios of ethnicities found in the population.

If Harvard admissions were based on merit alone, the student body would look like Hong Kong. Whether or not that would be fair is too big a topic for a simple response

But when I think of DEI, I think of “trans” and “nonbinary,” not of race. And this is where “nclusion” has brought us to the bag in the airplane seat. Academic tenure is gated by a tyrannical orthodoxy around gender ideology, which is doing the fundamentally good idea a lot of harm.

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"“Inclusion” is a red flag. The goal should be non-discrimination; past that is only fanatical compulsion."

Yeah, this is where it's tricky. Of course, I agree; the goal is a non-discriminatory society. But when there are many people in a society who still discriminate, isn't it necessary to give them a push if you want that non-discriminatory society to actually appear?

DEI is far from the only (or correct) way to give that push. I think it's all a huge mess. But I understand the impulse that led to this place.

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I've always been in favor of small "d" diversity. It means both non-discrimination and having a goal to bring in people from a broad variety of backgrounds and creeds, not just the same old white middle class educated types. This was an important step for our society. But the "D" in DEI seems to be more about superficially plucking from non-white racial groups, LGBT, and disabled in a surface way who may all belong to the same progressive world view while completely ignoring a diversity of viewpoints.

I am for equality of opportunity, not equity. While I think affirmative action at the college or career level is way too late to make a difference, I can see having it applied in early childhood and elementary school. To achieve equality we need a revolution in early childhood and elementary education to ensure that kids from all races and socioeconomic backgrounds have access to high quality schools and teachers, and that those children whose parents are unable to keep them on track with homework and tests get extra tutoring or time after school to do their work and use school computers and facilities.

As others have pointed out, in practice the "I" in DEI often means "excluding or censoring the right people" in order to be more "inclusive." "Inclusion" is a deceptively innocent sounding term. Who wouldn't want to include everyone? But once again it is used in a way that is the opposite of how it sounds.

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"I am for equality of opportunity, not equity. While I think affirmative action at the college or career level is way too late to make a difference, I can see having it applied in early childhood and elementary school."

Yep, I absolutely agree. This sone of the main reasons I full agree with the decision to strike down affirmative action in college admissions. If anything, I think this makes matters worse for minorities. I don't think constantly monitoring the proportions of black/white/asian people in various fields is the anti-racist utopia we all want. But as you say, there are ways to at least improve equal access to opportunity.

I saw a great video a while ago on the topic of education inequality (https://youtu.be/hNDgcjVGHIw?si=ENL33PJ4Y1LTiLlT&t=559). I'm going to write something on this topic soon. So many of the levers to pull here are incredibly obvious. It's just that wealthy people who have the system rigged in their favour don't want anybody pulling them.

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Yes! I had watched that video. Really good and really obvious. John McWhorter also says some great things about how to make education more equal.

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While as always you make some good points, Steve, I think some parts need to be better distilled.

First off, "Affirmative Action" is often the term used in the US for the concept more accurately called "Positive Discrimination" sometimes in the UK. The concept is that intentional, official discrimination now and into the future, is a helpful part of the cure for both official and unofficial discrimination in the past or present. Since technically, "Affirmative Action" can also include non-discrimination, and is specific to only the US, let's use the more accurate term for the concept - "Positive Discrimination". That acknowledges that it is indeed discrimination, while asserting that it's for a positive intention.

In much more recent times, some have used the term "DEI" as a sloppy alias for PD (or for AA). Again, it's sloppy because "DEI" is a much broader movement, and PD is at most one component.

So when we are discussing PD specifically, lets use the term PD (Positive Discrimination), not AA which is both broader (including non-PD facets) as well a narrower (AA is only applicable to the US, PD is a philosophy used in many nations). And using "DEI" as a synonym for PD is even worse.

An example. Positive Discrimination is by definition not race neutral or "color blind". You can't do "positive" discrimination on the basis of race, while being racially neutral or colorblind. So when you say "Affirmative Action, at least on paper, was meant to be colourblind" the only logical interpretation I can take is that the non-discriminatory (non-PD) subset of the broader thing called Affirmative Action was colorblind, even if the PD component was inherent color conscious. Since the topic was PD (or the PD subset of AA), that is just confounding clarity.

OK, let's move from clarifying the terminology to dealing with the content.

The original sales case for PD (then as a component of the Affirmative Action umbrella) was to suggest that if you have two candidates (for employment or admission) who were virtually equally qualified, the minority candidate should be chosen. That is, PD would consist of only a very light thumb on the scales of meritocratic selection.

Alas, many suspect that the need to meet informal quotas has resulted in a PD culture of "place as much weight on the scale as it takes to achieve the numerical outcome targets". And the selectors (for jobs, contracts or admissions) have tended to be extremely opaque about how much "thumb on the scale" they are actually using to achieve their goals - how much they are compromising merit to achieve informal quotas. The very fact that the administrators of PD are so uniformly secretive, combined with anecdotes of hiring incompetents (anecdotes do not generalize to statistics), has led to suspicion that quality has been more severely compromised than the administrators want to admit, to appease the "equal outcomes not equal opportunity" pressures.

Actually, there are two ways such Positive Discrimination (when implemented by the lowering of standards) can operate: selectively and universally. In the former, the standards are lowered ONLY for those favored by the PD; in the latter, the standards are lowered for everyone. An example of selective lowering of standards it the proposal to grade Black math students differently than white or Asian students; and example of the latter was when Oregon removed the requirement of passing some ability tests to graduate High School, on the grounds that there were too many people of color failing the tests - but the removal of that requirement was for everybody, not just people of color.

Being concerned about slippage of quality control is not the same motive as wanting to keep minorities oppressed, no matter how much Critical Social Justice ideologues try to tactically conflate those two, so they can dismiss ANY question of lowered standards as simply an expression of some ism or phobia.

So the people calling perceived incompetence being a "DEI xxxxxx" are basically asserting (in a terminologically problematic way that I have already critiqued) their perception that certain people are getting positions they are unqualified for based on meeting quotas without sufficient concern for competence.

Let's just say that a hypothesis that substantial reduction in merit based or competence based filtering is occurring in order to meet external quota goals ("a workforce more representative of the nation's demographics") is NOT prima facie ridiculous, immediately dismissible as impossible. I would like to hope that hypothesis is wrong, but hoping doesn't make that true.

But the way to show it is wrong is to show real world data to validate the opposite (no meaningful increase in incompetence based on quota filling), rather than trying to silence/excommunicate the questioner as a racist/sexist/etc. Supporters of PD almost always question the questioners' motive, while preventing any real unbiased assessment of the degree of statistical truth behind the assertion.

This question of prioritizing demographic outcomes over merit is separate from the argument over whether intentional official discrimination is a feasible path to ending or redressing the human tendency to unofficially discriminate, which you and Coleman reference. I think it's important not to suggest that anybody questioning such a well-intended strategy must be a racist right winger.

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Apr 20·edited Apr 20Liked by Steve QJ

Handicapping like in chess, golf or sports betting is to give a inferior player or team a somewhat equal chance against a superior player or team. Those are charged words (inferior/superior) that lead to the idea of the unqualified being placed over the qualified but jobs, promotions and educational opportunities are not a game. AA/DEI/PD are seen as handicapping at best or loaded dice at worst. Affirmative action was needed years ago, is it still?

It is hard to argue against the idea that using equity of results as a measure of equality of opportunity has an element of injustice for whomever is getting discriminated against. [Edited]

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The core problem here is the pursuit of equity. Black people spent centuries being excluded from public life. And the discrimination that resulted from that was never going to be overcome by *just* saying "okay guys, you can't discriminate anymore." Some "affirmative action" was necessary to give black people a chance to enter society.

I'd argue that those efforts have mostly been failures and have even been counterproductive at times. And yes, conflating equity with equality (where most people think of opportunity) is the source of a lot of that counterprodctivity.

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Dave, could you rephrase your last sentence to have somewhat fewer negatives?

As I try to unravel it, I suspect that there may be an extra and unintended negation. I think you may intend to say there there likely IS an element of injustice, but the plain structure of the sentence appears to say that there is no element of perceived injustice.

I want to note that I was NOT exploring perceived unfairness among the disfavored, I was exploring societal dysfunction which can affect all. At one end of the spectrum could be a doctor or pilot or civil engineer whose political elevation beyond their ability could cause harm to many - but there can also be widespread decrease in competence in a hundred thousand smaller ways. For example, many of the "computer errors" which afflict us in interacting with systems are really data entry errors among humans feeding the software its inputs.

It's clear that "thumb on the scale" PD based employment offers, admissions or contracts is far from the only sources of incompetence affecting society, but to the degree that it's widespread, it could potentially add significantly to the overall toll.

Note that nowhere am I in any way suggesting that people of any population group are innately more or less incompetent purely on the basis of group membership. My critique, if this is a real trend, would be of the system which yet further reduces the signal to noise ratio of merit, not on the individuals upon which such a system bestows its favors.

As an example, Claudine Gay appears to have been a mediocre scholar who would have been very unlikely to become president of a premier educational institution on her own merits - even without the unsurprising degree of plagiarism that was easy for others to find once the filters were off. In this case, the meritocratic distortion did not appear to come from nepotism, random chance, or quid pro quo with a major donor - but from a significant PD "thumb on the scale" in the selection process based on her intersectional demographic. In any case, I would find the fault not in Gay for going through the doors opened for her, but on the system causing those doors to be selectively opened for the sake of a particular vision of social justice, a vision which I believe in the end will set back rather than advance the better society. Good intentions need not lead to good outcomes.

I DO NOT know how widespread such a factor really is in society overall. I am just reporting on the assertions, and the effects if true - in regard to the hypothesis of positive discrimination potentially reducing the degree to which merit is justly assessed and used in assigning positions of authority.

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“ Dave, could you rephrase your last sentence to have somewhat fewer negatives?”

The council failed to overturn the ban.

For that, I need to draw a diagram. Dave’s sentence would hard to reduce.

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When typing on a cellphone it is easy to miss something when going back to rephrase something.

As for the virtue of brevity, when relating an incident (story telling) it is easy to become long winded, but when directly trying to express an idea, less can be more.

When taking a multiple-choice test with answer choices that are a bit verbose, the shortest answer is often correct for example.

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“Created equal” is sloppy wording. It means “ possess identical rights under law” but phrases it as an obvious falsehood.

How much dispute we could have avoided with a few minutes reflection on the wording.

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Apr 21·edited Apr 21Author

"Affirmative Action" is often the term used in the US for the concept more accurately called "Positive Discrimination" sometimes in the UK. The concept is that intentional, official discrimination now and into the future, is a helpful part of the cure for both official and unofficial discrimination in the past or present"

Yes, sadly there's a lot of confusion around the terminology. So much so that it's often used incorrectly. Affirmative action, properly speaking, is the name for efforts to make hiring and admission practices colourblind. As you can see in the legislation from which it came, the idea was to hire people "without regard to race, national origin, etc." It was about recognising that racial bias was a thing and simply ending the practice of *excluding* black people wouldn't be enough.

But as I mention, there soon came the question of how to ensure that "affirmative action" was being taken. Do you just take employers' word for it? In such a racist climate, that would be foolish. So quotas and concepts like diversity began to creep in as a way of checking that concrete efforts were being made. Not terrible ideas in and of themselves, but clearly a slippery slope. Positive discrimination is a little different, the UK's racial issues are different from those in the US, but similar in end result.

Eventually, those checks became synonymous with the anti-discrimination. And that's when the metaphorical thumb began to sit heavier and heavier on the scale. Organisations that couldn't get enough black people or women had to find ways of engineering the result. And so, there were lowered entry requirements, treating race as a positive factor, and somewhere along this timeline is where I would place the switch from AA to DEI.

AA and DEI are often used synonymously but they shouldn't be. The presence of the word "equity" in the initialism is the clearest evidence of this.

I didn't suggest that concern about lowering standards was a desire to keep minorities oppressed. Not sure if that was directed at me specifically. But the people talking about "DEI ..." are clearly not just expressing their concern for lowered standards. The accusation of being a DEI mayor, for example, IS prima facie ridiculous, and would never be levelled at an elected official who wasn't black. And, of course, there's the fact that there are many, many people who are incompetent at their jobs or who just make mistakes, many of them white, who are rarely if ever accused of not deserving their position. And never accused of attaining it on the basis of their skin colour by the people railing against DEI. The double standard should be obvious.

Perhaps the fundamental mistake here is the idea that prior to AA or even DEI, hiring/admissions practices were purely merit based. This is incredibly obviously not true. I have no problem with people objecting to unfair race-based hiring practices as regards DEI. I object to them too. But I do definitely look askance at people who think that the only example of unfair hiring practices based on race are found in DEI. Or who are deafeningly silent except on the issue of practices designed to benefit minorities.

So if they find themselves being "excommunicated" for questioning DEI, which, obviously, I object to (both the excommunication and the discriminatory aspects of DEI), it might benefit them to ask themselves whether the reason people call them racist/sexist is that they never, ever, *ever* bring that same vigour and thirst for fairness to practices that benefit white men like themselves. Because the fact remains, even today, that the only reason we need to talk about these practices is that minorities do face obstacles in many areas. And let's not forget, the overwhelming majority of them get no benefit from DEI.

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What are some ways we could end "practices that benefit white men"? Definitely end legacy admissions. But what are some other examples and ways around them?

I like the idea of color blind admissions and job applications, but as I said in another comment, the inequality begins in early childhood with an unequal school system and unequal resources at home, and it compounds every year. By the time it comes time to apply for college, the gap is far too wide and color blind admissions would result in underrepresentation of black and latino people.

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As politely as I can, Passion, I would really appreciate a little work on brevity; this is far, far, far from the first time.

I’m reading on my phone with failing vision but I read to the end because you make good points but I wager you could make them with a quarter the length.

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Amen. How these basic principles are beyond the grasp of so many is disheartening to me.

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I don't get the opportunity to do this in Toronto, because racial relations are a lot less weird here, but I think if I were to move back to the US I would just treat black people with the same carelessness I do here (and they do to me). And if folks didn't like it I'd say, "This is what equality looks like."

Toronto isn't a racial paradise but it's a helluva lot better than any American city I've lived in.

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You can't force people to be virtuous. The entire apparatus of state-sanctioned violence will not make people voluntarily behave the "right" way, especially if they don't want to. And it's not skin color itself; skin color is just such an easy proxy for cultural differences (and the associated xenophobia). I hate to sound callous to the people who are hurt by racism, but it's a gradual process; generation by generation, people get more and more used to being in proximity, and culture blends us together.

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"You can't force people to be virtuous. The entire apparatus of state-sanctioned violence will not make people voluntarily behave the "right" way, especially if they don't want to."

This isn't true. Desegregation is a perfect example of this.

As I touch on in the article, people didn't want to desegregate schools. There were violent protests, the national guard had to be called in just so black kids could get safely to their classes, they faced bullying by students and teachers while they were there. But nonetheless, "state-sanctioned violence" was used to force the racists to "behave the right way."

And now, while the situation is far from perfect, there are no more protests and threats of lynchings when a black kid goes to a majority white school. This change would very likely never have occurred without that "state-sanctioned violence." Or let's call it, "affirmative action." Because they never would have been in close enough proximity to get used to it. As Martin Luther King put it:

"...it may be true that you can’t legislate integration, but you can legislate desegregation. It may be true that morality cannot be legislated but behavior can be regulated. It maybe true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless. It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, religion and education will have to do that, but it can restrain him from lynching me. And I think that’s pretty important also."

He also had something to say to the people who argued that time would heal racism's ills:

"First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection [...]

Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation."

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...and when schools got integrated, white people fled the district. (Because ultimately, race is downstream of class.) You're right that laws are necessary to maintain neutrality. Unfortunately, all they can do is establish tolerance. (Which is a great improvement over intolerance). Acceptance is a generational project. And as long as we have an undeclared class war, race will always be a problem, because it's so easy to exploit. Top-down intervention solves closed problems ("we don't hire X") but not open problems (sure you hired X...and now everyone's uncomfortable around them). Wish there was a better way, but the more history I read, the more I wonder how much "the inherent worth and dignity of every human being" is the aberration, and Wilhoit's Law is the (closer to nature) law of things. I want to live in the first example, and try to personally embody that idea, but humanity is big, and people are tribalistic.

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The problem is the scope of how you are trying to move beyond racism.

Much of what is called race is also cultural.

Maybe the problem is the great melting pot was not realistic let alone a good idea.

You’re implying that the melting pot just needs a good douse of beyond racism stirring.

I propose that the melting pot never was and was a bias idea. Better to have vibrant cultures in commodities of like minded people. What’s stopping Black Wall Street from emerging today?

Too much of the discussion assumes some goal of a homogeneous United States that has no elements of preference for people culture and their natural instinct to want to preserve their culture and community.

Have the federal government act as the big stick wielding nun forcing some higher goal morality on everybody is and always was a ridiculous concept. The federal governments role in the issues is what’s divided the country.

How about a community based concept? Is there a single community in the country you would hold up as the “beyond racism” example? Think about that. If you can’t achieve it in a community, what makes you believe it’s possible to achieve at a state or federal level.

Start thinking about moving power from the federal government to states and communities.

The gay world has created significant change by building gay communities. The states and federal government should have never dived into it. Gay marriage was necessary to achieve the same federal rights as str8 marriage. It should never have been more than that - ie position that a gay couple is the same as a str8 couple. But the politics couldn’t avoid trying to make gay part of the big melting pot.

I believe the melting pot is curdling and will never be the silky universal delicacy you and others are looking for!

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“I believe the melting pot is curdling and will never be the silky universal delicacy you and others are looking for!”

I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about.

It feels lately like you only ever enter my comments section with the express intention of disagreeing with me. Which would be fine (if a little tiresome) if you at least seemed to understand the case I’m making.

Instead, you have a habit of making up an argument, telling me it’s mine, and then arguing against that.

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I wonder if straw men are the result of people believing that they can read minds and uncover hidden motivation or the assign people to a tribe and attaché generalizations of the tribe on people. I was accused of saying something that I didn't say yesterday on Medium. Who has time to write an opus magnum of disclaimers to accompany a simple thought?

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Apr 24·edited Apr 24Author

I think it's mostly intellectual laziness. Though yes, that leads to the mind-reading we so often see.

Some people don't want to think or have their views challenged. They just want to feel that they're "right." And what better way to do that than to only ever argue against an imaginary argument that you can easily defeat? Or failing that, to decide that everybody who disagrees with you is evil and/or stupid. Genuinely addressing the content of people's arguments means you risk discovering that you're the one missing something.

Who has time for that?!🙄

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Its amusing that you and I seem to miss each other's points.

My first line: "The problem is the scope of how you are trying to move beyond racism."

When you write about your position, it seems you're writing about the United States. You don't say it explicitly but given the incidents you site, I can implicitly assume that.

My point is that you have some image of the country that is referred to as the United States and what move beyond racism would be for that entity.

I don't even refer to the country as the United States anymore. I call it the divided states. Because that is reality. There is nothing united about the divided states except the momentum that got the country to where it is. A large majority of the people in the country believe the federal government is broken and the country is broken.

Writing about moving beyond racism or how to treat everybody without respect to their colour is idealistic if your context of "move beyond" is some measure of whether the divided states has moved beyond. Its purely an intellectual exercise that has no practical implementation. Is that all you are trying to convey in your articles - purely intellectual concepts.

I'm extremely pragmatic. If an intellectual concept doesn't have a pragmatic implementation plan that can be measured, I see no point to the intellectual concept except for entertainment sake. I own my own company. It would be meaningless for me to just intellectualized about ideas about my company.

If you really are interested in "moving beyond racism" or getting to "how to treat everybody without respect to their colour" should start where you live. Has your family moved beyond racism? If you go to church, has your church? How about the community you live in? What is your community doing to move beyond racism?

I see no real person commitments from you that are pragmatic. They are all intellectual exercises.

Maybe you're right, there is no point for me to read or comment on your articles. I'm not really interested in just mental masturbation.

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"A large majority of the people in the country believe the federal government is broken and the country is broken."

I still have no real idea what you're getting at, but no, I don't think this is true. And as usual, you've offered no evidence or data to back up your claim. Just a proclamation that your feelings reflect the feelings of millions of people. Most people in most countries believe their governments have issues. Because governments in almost all countries have issues. That's a far cry from being "broken." Whatever that even means.

As for moving beyond racism, America, whatever degree of flaws you ascribe to it, has come a significant way toward that goal in the past 80 years or so. This is absolutely undeniable. The vast majority of people are far less concerned about race than they were 80 years ago. Poll after poll supports this. Industry after industry supports this. A look out of your window supports this. In 80 more years, I think people will be even further.

So I don't find your pessimism on this topic to be compelling or based in reality. My goal is to make people think about these topics. I'm delighted to say I'm frequently told I succeed at that. The laws, by and large already require people to treat each other without regard to race. The hard work that remains is to change the way people, both black and white, think about these topics. And that, yes, is an intellectual, or maybe philosophical, exercise.

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You must live in a cave.


I have a business in SF. I have a very simple request for people who espouse idealism like you. San Fran is the most progressive (i.e. move beyond race) city in the country. Would San Franciscans hold up San Francisco as a beacon of what progressive ideals can do if implemented at a divided states level.

Your "have no real idea" statements are deflections from moving from idealism to practical reality. You deflect rather than addressing the point. Specifically address the pew poll on trust in the government.

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Apr 24·edited Apr 24Author

"You must live in a cave."

I find it so amusing that people who've been read my writing for years think I've suddenly lost the ability to think or do research when they disagree with me. Doesn't it give you the slightest moment of pause that the poll basically reiterates what I said?

Anyway, yes, I'll happily address the poll.

The poll asked the following question: "How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Washington to do what is right?"

In the latest round, 61% of people said "some of the time," 15% said "most of the time," 1% said "just about always" and 22% said "never."

If you want to argue that the 22% of people who said "never" believe the federal government is "broken," fair enough. That's not a large majority. Or even a majority.

Whereas the 77% of people who think the government is right "some of the time" or better, might well think the government has issues, as I said. But that's not nearly the same as saying the government is "broken." And says nothing about whether a large majority of people think the *country* is broken.

Yes, San Francisco is very progressive. But no, progressive doesn't mean move beyond race. Quite the contrary. Progressive means "antiracist" in the Kendi, DiAngelo sense of the word. Which is actually an obsessive and essentialist focus on race that is barely any different in flavour to the KKK (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev373c7wSRg). It's just that progressives think they're the good guys while they do it. You can pretty much pick a "progressive" policy at random, look at the mess and division it's invariably created, and use it as an argument for the colourblind approach I'm advocating for.

So no, "you have no real idea" statements, at least when used honestly, are not deflections. They point out that the speaker is allowing themselves to be guided by their feelings instead of an actual understanding of the subject matter. That they're making un- or poorly evidenced claims, and using straw man arguments because they want to "win" instead of think.

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Apr 24·edited Apr 24

I love your positive spin on trust in the government. I don't believe its going to change anything. I think its clear we live in a divided country. Republicans hate the government when Democrats control. Democrats hate the government when Republicans control. Trying to create initiatives to move beyond race (which I'm totally on board with) are problematic because there is zero empathy for the other. That's what I see.

I'm not trying to "win" anything. As I said, I'm 99% pragmatic. I look for reality in implementation. After four years of DEI, Kendi produced nothing with all the millions he spent. Business that have implemented DEI have very little value to show for it. Biden has further divided the country with his emphasis on DEI.

Affirmative Action was making progress and the right focus. Harvard didn't stay true to affirmative action. They started changing what "qualification" meant to change the "race based" balance.

Am I guided by my feelings? I don't believe you have any argument to make that statement. All indications are the country is divided. No one respects congress. Trust in the federal government is at an all time low. The federal government controls the biggest pot of money in the world. All politics is about who gets to control that bucket of money. The only real answer (from my perspective) is to break up the bucket of money. Move power to states and communities and let communities figure it out. San Francisco hasn't figured it out. What community would you point to in the country that is succeeding on "moving beyond race". I would posit that after all the race based legislation and discussions over the last 60 years, if no community is there, maybe the concept is idealistic and race is just part of the human condition. People feel more comfortable with people who are like them - culturally and how they look. Its likely genetically based. There is evidence to suggest that the pension for being religious was promoted as a genetic advantage by evolution.

Maybe its just that you and I see the world through totally different lenses. That you have no ability to see my point of view speaks to the truth of my perspective. Its more than just putting out idealistic concepts. They need to be ground in the genetics and culture of the human condition.

If it helps and you see value in Meyers-Briggs. I'm an ENTJ.

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deletedApr 24Liked by Steve QJ
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"the cold fact is that the poverty rate among blacks fell from 87 percent in 1940 to 47 percent by 1960. This was before any of those programs began."

Yep, agreed. I haven't claimed otherwise. Efforts to "help" black people have largely failed and in many cases have made matters worse. That doesn't mean the desire to make those efforts was flawed. Just the methods used.

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I think that a critical element of helping any group is to not stop them of their dignity.

Fifty plus years ago there was the 235 program that subsidized the price of a home and payment for poor people. It was widely believed that it was just for black people but that was not true. My mother got a home thru that program.

When I lived in Georgia I saw a "black" 235 neighborhood. A neatly kept nice neighborhood. I believe that the difference was pride in ownership where the housing projects in St Louis where I grew up failed.

DEI, or whatever name is given to such things need to be free of stigma. I in no way think that is easy since people are quick to claim tokenism. If nothing else, like 235, it gave opportunity for the poor or black people to prove themselves.

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