May 23, 2011

American exceptionalism "is infused with racialized hierarchies — normative whiteness and masculinity still marking the 'worthiest' inheritors of the American dream."

Writes lawprof Patricia J. Williams, in a collection of essays in the NYT responding to a new study indicating that white people think discrimination against white people is more of a problem than discrimination against black people.
Through much of American history, blacks have been viewed as low on the competence index (negative feelings), but warm enough to be pitied (which is usually felt not as a negative but a protective, “pro-black” fuzzy emotion). As blacks have made greater symbolic strides in the last few decades, that ranking seems to have shifted: there is envy, suspicion, resentment — despite numbers, despite empirical documentation to the contrary — that blacks are “taking over” as the recipients not of due process but of undue “favoritism.”

This projected fear is a danger to the nation.
ADDED: Williams is applying this template:
1. Those stereotyped as high competence and high warmth are met with pride and admiration (like most white people).
2. Groups who rank as high warmth and low competence are treated with pity, sympathy, paternalism (like the elderly).
3. Those stereotyped as high competence and low warmth are met with envy (like Jews and Asians).
4. Those perceived as low competence and low warmth are greeted with contempt, anger and resentment (like the homeless).
You've got to admit that's provocative. Think deeply about it before you comment.

292 comments:

1 – 200 of 292   Newer›   Newest»
Maguro said...

Maybe if the government didn't discriminate against white people, white people wouldn't think discrimination against white people was a problem.

Just sayin'.

Fred4Pres said...

Where do these idiots come from? Let me guess, the author of this tripe is caucasian?

And while there certainly some perception of unfairness with affirmative action, how is that tied into American Exceptionalism? I guess you have to be a leftist to get there from here.

Robert Cook said...

I see at least two people didn't follow your advice to "think deeply before answering."

Fred4Pres said...

If we are supposedly against racism, shouldn't we start with not picking people based on race? If you want to help disadvantaged persons, why not give them the basics (like decent safe school options) and let them figure it out on their own. Do you think disadvantaged persons cannot make it on their own?

TosaGuy said...

Just because something is considered provocative doesn't mean it's thoughtful. That template struck me as rather simplistic.

Shouting Thomas said...

The unthinking, knee-jerk commie, Cookie, accusing others of being unthinking.

Cookie, you are a caricature of doofus.

TWM said...

"but warm enough to be pitied (which is usually felt not as a negative but a protective, “pro-black” fuzzy emotion)."

That's the normal white liberal response.

Fred4Pres said...

The author appears to be "high yellow," which in black culture is perceived as "high arrogance and low warmth."

Shouting Thomas said...

... discrimination against white people is more of a problem than discrimination against black people.

This is true.

The quota systems punish white hetero males and reward blacks, women and gays.

I did not "think" about this. I "observed" the reality.

Milwaukee said...

Has this professor never heard of "Affirmative-Action"? Yes, there are Blacks in jobs because they are Black, and not because they are qualified but because they are not qualified. Duh.

Our government workforce has a higher proportion of Blacks than the private sector because the government workforce is more open to affirmative action hiring. This has had huge costs on society which are, dare I say it, Unsustainable.

This is getting more and more ridiculous. Illegal immigrants are getting affirmative action benefits. Inter-racial mating (sorry for the crude term, but marriage rates are declining) means fewer and fewer "pure African" descendants. At some point in time merit is going to need to win out. I don't support discrimination against any group, and that includes discriminating against Whites. Heck, Eric Holder's 4 grandparents were from the Caribbean. Is he still "African-American"?

Quayle said...

Her model is as flawed as it is self righteous.

She's sure she knows how "people" react to "other people." (And this is supposed to pass as lofty academic thought?)

Here is Dallas (Dallas, of all places!), all races sit together at the stadium and we all get along fine.

But this know-it-all is sure that we don't, so she's got a 'guhmint' plan to fix that, which is to force us all to do what they tell us to do, and hire who they tell us to hire, and admit who they tell us to admit.

And it is this 'guhmint' force and coercion that is keeping this issue alive, and feeding the resentment, not our supposed bad feelings for each other.

Jana said...

"Just because something is considered provocative doesn't mean it's thoughtful. That template struck me as rather simplistic."

This.

Ann Althouse said...

"Let me guess, the author of this tripe is caucasian?"

You guessed wrong.

The author is a former colleague of mine. Quite brilliant. Feel free to disagree with her, but read with understanding and think. Don't just pop off reflexively here.

Fred4Pres said...

I watched "To Sir, With Love" the other night. It is a bit dated, but it holds up well after 45 years.

Mike said...

When you get right down to it, the real meat in the law professor's post was not written by her. She was simply reporting a template authored by a psychologist. Why qoute the secondary source rather than going directly to Ms. Fiske?
A waste of time and a misdirection.

That said, reading all of the essays in the collection is worthwhile, whether you agree with them or not.

madAsHell said...

1. Does Ms. Williams work in HR?

2. When did I start to envy Jews, and Asians?

It must be tough to sell newspapers these days.

Milwaukee said...

Ann: Patricia J. Williams, according to Wikipedia, once served as an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, and "... its department of women's studies." Golly, did you know her then? Any personal perspectives?

Shouting Thomas said...

If the Times is so damned thoughtful, how did they manage to assemble a set of essays on quotas, without a single one of those essays opposing quotas?

The starting point of their thoughtfulness is that the quota systems cannot be challenged... except by bigots.

So, fuck their thoughtfulness.

Fred4Pres said...

Ann, I did guess wrong, hence my follow up popping off on high yellow. Which was sarcasm.

That she is your friend is fine, but I am not buying this nonsense. The United State, thanks to the civil rights movement, is one of the more fluid societies when it comes to hierarchies.

E.M. Davis said...

And here I always thought American exceptionalism was due to the architecture of our freedom.

And yes, we've had to alter that architecture on more than one occasion. Hell, we even went to war with one another to change it.

Everyone remember when the white, masculine Irish were spat upon? Does she (the template creator)?

Scott M said...

Don't just pop off reflexively here.

I did that once, but I never got a second date with her.

Pastafarian said...

I'm not sure why the author concludes that blacks' "symbolic strides in the last few decades" have caused a backlash.

What's her evidence? The fact that 43% of whites voted for Obama, despite his lack of experience, socialist past, and promises to make energy prices "necessarily skyrocket" and to raise taxes even if it made revenues fall? (While a whopping 3% of blacks voted for McCain.)

Why does she assume that these strides have hurt blacks' "warmth index" rather than bumping up their "competence index"? It seems to me as though her conclusion was pre-ordained and her reasoning was forced to fit it. Why should I think deeply about such obvious horse shit?

Kirby Olson said...

Can anything be done about competence? think deeply before responding.

madAsHell said...

Sooooo....this has become a contest for deepest thinker??

Is the deepest thinker the one that parrots back what the teacher says??

That might cause a "Teutonic" shift in the comments!

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Moose said...

Lots of things go unsaid in "polite" company. These may be amongst those. The thing is - what if they are more than stereotypes? In every stereotype there are grains of truth. Sometimes more than just grains.
This strikes me as just another attempt to reframe the the language of how people see each other to improve the condition of one class at the expense of another.
Much like feminism in general, we are asked to relearn the way we think not out of a greater grasp of the subject, but rather to take ourselves down a notch.
Did you get that I'm white and male?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The competence/warmth incompetent/unwarmth dichotomy and perception has nothing to do with race. It is a function of society as a whole.

Even if the particular society consists of completely ethnically homogeneous humans, the group would still perceive certain people in the group as more valuable and less valuable based on their contributions to the group as a whole. The Irish or Swedes come to mind. Very homogeneous but still have the stratification of society.

Some people are just more productive, more valuable and less of a drag on the group/society than others.

That is just the way it is. Racial differences may or may not exacerbate the effect. There is a way to counter the effect......quit being a drag on society and become more competent and demonstrate your value.

Where do these idiots come from

New York East Coast elites who have been indoctrinated with artificial guilt and vindictive feminist values. I hold them to be in the low competence and low warmth category no matter what gender or ethnicity.

cahlmeeishmael said...

Williams recites stereotypes she believes white people see and act on. That recitation itself amounts to a stereotyped perception of whites held by some intellectuals, especially many African-American intellectuals. Many stereotypes begin with a small kernel of truth, and this one probably does as well. But it has no more general validity than other stereotypes, including those demeaning to African-Americans. Williams, who no doubt regards herself as an intellectual, ought to be able to see that. Shame on her. Her piece amounts to racial polemics.

Shouting Thomas said...

I did read the essay, Althouse.

This woman is "brilliant?"

You must be surrounded by quota beneficiaries. The bar for "brilliance" is evidently pretty low where you live.

Williams spouts the usual HR Diversity bullshit. She must be a quota baby.

David said...

Disturbing Facts

1. Affirmative action (however defined and implemented) does have the effect of promoting less competent blacks over whites in some instances. This taints the accomplishments of black people who advance on merit.

2. Black kids absorb the message that they are destined to relative failure because of discrimination unless they are handed some advantage. This enables some to avoid personal responsibility, and causes others to devalue their own success and the success of others. It may even lead some to question their own talents and worth.

3. Black kids deride other kids for "going white." This is a programmed disrespect for the so called middle class values of thrift, diligence and honor which have been traditional paths to upward mobility.

4. Black youth much more likely to define selves as "not white" than white youths as "not black."

Conclusion

In the case of this essay, the diagnosis is actually the disease. Blacks and their supposed friends still see further change in white beliefs and attitudes as crucial to black freedom and success. In truth the beliefs and attitudes of blacks themselves (and especially black youth) are all that matter. "We shall overcome" does not require an elimination of race stereotyping.

BT said...

Williams also writes for The Nation and seems to me to be an orthodox lefty who's world view falls well within acceptable norms for the academy and intellectuals. She pretty much represents everything that is wrong with higher education today. As for AA being a scourge on this country and being a source of angst among whites, we have no better example of that than our beloved president.

Milwaukee said...

One of the problems is that "Whites" are not a monolithic group. One study I saw reported 17 mutually exclusive, distinct subgroups. I would bet the number and proportion of Mormon-Catholic marriages is far smaller than Black-White or Hispanic-White marriages, for example. Just because I self identify as "White" doesn't mean I'm a member of the more favored and privileged parts of the White group. (The last time I played golf was 10 years ago on a par-3 course in Florida, the club rental was a dollar-a-club, and there were alligators in the water hazards.)

Does the African-American community think that Affirmative Action will last forever? Why? I don't mind asking for a single answer, since they vote in a monolithic block. Just tell me what 90% of African-Americans think.

Quite interesting that Babe Ruth was 1/4th Black, by his mother's father. The Babe denied it, and pretended he was White. Thus some irony when racists were upset by Hank Aaron, a Black man, was besting his home run record. (What's the best way to pitch to Hank Aaron? With the bases empty.)

Triangle Man said...

Think deeply about it before you comment.

I prefer to make predictable half-baked comments based on my biases without reading the text at the link. However, I will make an exception here because you have made a specific request.

First I am interested to know if commenters here generally believe the "notion of American exceptionalism".

One thing I find peculiar about this piece is the idea that what whites are ostensibly angry about is losing some priority as "inheritors of the American dream". I am interested to know what her idea of the American dream is. I never thought of it as something that one inherits.

As pointed out, much of the meat of the piece, the "template", was developed by a Psychologist, Susan Fiske. The provocative part would seem to be that for the purposes of the opinion piece is that it assumes that one is evaluating individuals (or applying the template to individuals) based on their membership in a particular group. In other words, racism is assumed.

Phil 3:14 said...

Is she a Law professor or a Sociology professor? The theoretical framework presented is fine and interesting. I wonder if its based on actual research data or just conjecture. It makes sense but unfortunately it was presented within the context/assumption of white racism.

When will we get comfortable talking about racism regardless of who's "in power" and who's not?

How does this framework work in Rwanda?

I'd add that this headline says as much about American racial attitudes as this editorial. So America's first black president visits Ireland and visits his ancestral village.

Shouting Thomas said...

Really, Althouse, this is the dumbest fucking thing you've posting in a long time.

And, you are usually a pretty reasonable person.

Williams' essay is just another fucking repetition of the two primary liberals axioms:

o You're a bigot if you disagree with me
o You're a racist if you oppose the quotas

Can you explain what in the fuck seems interesting or new about this shit?

edutcher said...

Frankly, she sounds as if she's barfing up the same old Lefty stereotypes of everybody who ain't them, particularly points 1 through 3 - witness Cook's reaction.

She also shoots herself by describing blacks as part of point 2, but discriminated against, not "treated with pity, sympathy, paternalism".

The issue of discrimination, however, is very real. When I worked at the IRS, one of the programmers aspired to becoming a supervisor and was reminded by one of the rest of us (not me), "You don't wear a skirt", noting only women were supervisors in our unit.

The pecking order may be different in some areas of private industry, but, in my experience, if you were good enough, you could get the job, regardless of outward factors.

PS This, of course, the business of "office politics" which is more about who scratches what back.

WV "hafful" How the optimistic drunk sees the shot glass.

MarkG said...

She's brilliant like Obama is brilliant: brilliantly clean and articulate.

Henry said...

The original study sounds completely abstract. Here's the description:

The researchers contacted a random national sample of 209 whites and 208 blacks, and asked them how much discrimination each group faced, on a scale of one to ten, for each decade since the 1950s.

I'd be wary of building any theory on a test so abstract. The authors' leap from a game of numbers to assignment of motives is especially tendentious.

But Ms. Williams theory doesn't really need the study, does it?

Kent said...

Here's some major evidence refuting Williams: the great enthusiasm and admiration of Southern whites for their state universities' mostly black football and basketball heroes, despite a pre-1970s history of exclusion of blacks. Her's more major evidence: no sign of disaffected whites demanding that major sports teams reserve a certain percentage of slots for whites. Yes, there's a lot of disaffection about nonwhites getting admitted to universities with lower test scores. But a reasonable person (which I would have hoped a lawprof would be) would at least entertain the hypothesis that white support for competition on merit remains strong even while support for reverse discrimination is slipping.

Titus said...

Hi discriminate based on the size of the tit.

Big tits also get preferential treatment in my book.

windbag said...

I guess that template works if you accept the premise behind the template: function follows form, meaning white people are inherently racist.

I do not think reverse discrimination is any better/worse than discrimination. They're both inexcusable. The problem is that reverse discrimination is tolerated and excused (e.g. rapper Common who opposes "mixed" relationships).

The discussion of race is DOA. You can't discuss the issue anymore without being labeled "racist." Hell, Gingrich couldn't discuss the record number of food stamp recipients w/o being called a racist.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Why bother judging people's beliefs on their merits when you can save yourself the effort of marshaling facts-- and get yourself quoted approvingly by people who ought to know better-- by psychologizing them instead?

TWM said...

"The author is a former colleague of mine. Quite brilliant. Feel free to disagree with her, but read with understanding and think. Don't just pop off reflexively here."

I'll have to trust you on the brilliance part, because after reading twice, I'm not seeing it.

anony said...

This statement in her article bothers me: "white Americans remain the most privileged human beings on the planet. "

All Americans are the most privileged human beings on the planet. If she's going to categorize by color, then so will I. If you compare black Americans to blacks in Africa, even the poorest black Americans have air conditioning, shelter from the elements, their government giving them money for food, and shelter. Black Africans don't have that. I could make the same comparison with Asians in America compared to citizens of China. And Mexicans in Mexico compared to living here. Why did she have to put the "white" in there?

I think she's partially right, when she talks about envy, suspicion and resentment. All of the video of Obama voters, saying Obama is going to fill their gas tank from his stash. White America knows that 90% of blacks voted for the black guy, that seeps into the psyche of the culture.

Moose said...

Can't argue with Titus on this one.

Blair said...

If you start with a set of assumptions about society ie. most people see the world as you do - in terms of race/gender/sexual orientation - then the research you do is going to be biased from the start. You are going to see things in people's responses that they did not intend.

Even if a person is discriminated against on race, it can be hard to tell. As a white male, I am often discriminated against, but I tend to assume it is based on merit, because I have no preconceived notion that people discriminate on the basis of my white maleness. Were I black, perhaps I would wonder about such discrimination more. I could choose to be charitable, "it was a merit decision" or uncharitable, "they are treating me this way because I am black". And the reality is that unless someone is wearing a white sheet and spraying the N word about, it's almost impossible to know.

My personal view is that institutional racism has largely been left behind in modern society, and there is far more worrying about racism than actual racism itself.

Roger von Oech said...

Althouse said:

"Read with understanding and think. Don't just pop off reflexively here."

This comment feels patronizing.

Titus said...

"I" discriminate, not Hi Discriminate.

I believe big tits are a part of American exceptionalism.

ironrailsironweights said...

Big tits also get preferential treatment in my book.

You all know what women would get preferential treatment from me. Not that there are very many of those women left today, of course :(

Peter

Pastafarian said...

I can agree with this much of what the author says: She's right when she says that blacks have been "treated with pity, sympathy, paternalism".

By white liberals, like you, Althouse.

Oh, and if you don't like how I put that period outside of the quotation marks -- in my book, the period is strong enough to stand on his own. He doesn't need to be sheltered by those condescending fucking quotation marks.

Pastafarian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

What about liberals? They're low competence and high warmth.

Yet they're mocked.

TosaGuy said...

Also, calling something "thoughtful" or "provocative" these days is simply a rhetorical tool used to insulate the idea from healthy skepticism and define what type of criticism is acceptable. It's usually done when ideas can't withstand reasonable scrutiny.

William said...

She doesn't balance the equation. I can agree that racism is a powerful and pervasive force in American life and that it distorts the judgement of white people. But she doesn't document what it does to black people. If feelings of racial superiority breed arrogance, feelings of inferiority breed resentment. These feelings of resentment can engender just as many hateful and damaging acts as those of arrogance....The subtext of her argument is that if white people were perfect, the world would be a better place. OK, but the world would be an even better place if other peoples joined in this quest for perfection.

C R Krieger said...

So is prejudice inherent in humans?  If so, are Blacks prejudiced?  If so, against who?

On the other hand, what percentage of Caucasians need to exhibit these characteristics of prejudice for us to generalize about "Whites"?

I don't think this advanced the ball down the field.

Regards  —  Cliff

ironrailsironweights said...

Those stereotyped as high competence and high warmth are met with pride and admiration (like most white people).

White people for the most part are not stereotyped as having high warmth. I have no idea what Williams has in mind.

Peter

MarkG said...

To demonstrate brilliance, she can explain why Asian Indians are the most prosperous ethnic group, per capita, in the US. Of course, she should do this within her lefty dogma.

dbp said...

This is I think the key and main weakness of her argument:

"As blacks have made greater symbolic strides in the last few decades, that ranking seems to have shifted: there is envy, suspicion, resentment"

Is there any data to back up that tell-tale seams?

Alex said...

You guessed wrong.

The author is a former colleague of mine. Quite brilliant. Feel free to disagree with her, but read with understanding and think. Don't just pop off reflexively here.


You have to be joking. Tell me this is some impostor.

Alex said...

This professor reeks of racism and Althouse endorses her? I can't believe what I'm reading!

chuckR said...

The finding that white Americans see blacks’ progress as an insult or a diminishment of their status is not entirely surprising.

I'm not insulted or diminished by black progress. I am insulted by a sense of entitlement coupled with a disinclination to take advantage of the discriminatory opportunities granted by law and custom over the past half century. The marketing of these opportunities has been mishandled from the beginning. The message should have been - look, we are trying to redress slavery and Jim Crow and for a while you'll have an advantage, but not forever. Instead we have a liberal racist attitude that it is essential that these poor benighted dears have permanent entitlement and that it be termed as such. The recipients are diminished by that attitude and so is our country. Plus, it ain't gonna fly permanently.

rcocean said...

One man's "Provocative" is another man's mindless bullshit. To think deeply about BS is impossible.

The whole article's just a string of buzz words, cant, Times-speak and jargon, playing to beliefs and prejudices of the average NYT reader.

Milwaukee said...

Athletics have been good for the country in terms of integration. Tiger Woods has, or had, many White fans. Michael Jordan had many White fans. If a person demonstrates they have game and can bring it, good people celebrate that.

Triangle Man said "One thing I find peculiar about this piece is the idea that what whites are ostensibly angry about is losing some priority as "inheritors of the American dream". I am interested to know what her idea of the American dream is. I never thought of it as something that one inherits. "

I don't think us White people, who don't vote in large blocs, think that. I think it is about the sense of people being promoted who don't deserve it. Some president was quoted as saying that the problem with promoting a crony is that you annoy all the qualified people who could have done the job. If a qualified person gets the job, then the qualified person who didn't get the job as least feels like the job went to a worthy person.

In the film Glory Road the problem of racism in college basketball is explored. At the time the expression was "Only play 3 blacks when you're at home, 4 if you're on the road or 5 if you are behind." I resent that. If 5 win the game, play 5. Don't wait until you're behind and you need them to save your sorry ass.

When Aaron was young he didn't have a baseball coach, and he had his hands switched. When he finally got some coaching they had him put his hands in the "right" way. Usually right handers have the left hand on top, reversed for left handers. His wrists were lightening quick. He was, and is, one classy guy.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm pretty fucking fed up, Althouse, with "brilliant" assholes explaining to me why I should continue to be punished by the quota systems.

You're a white women who grew up in suburban prosperity. It's no wonder that that quota systems don't bother you, since you can (and perhaps did) benefit from them.

I never talk to any of these "brilliant" assholes face-to-face because I would be moved to punch them in the nose. The quota systems are an insult to me and my family.

Your continuing support for these assholes makes me wonder how many quota babies reside in the faculty of your law school.

Perhaps your definition of "brilliant" is the ability to manipulate the quota system to one's own benefit.

This shit pisses me off, Althouse. I know that it seems like an abstract intellectual debate to you. To me, it's about assholes telling me that I should take it up the ass... and that I shouldn't fuss over it.

Sorry about that, Tight Ass.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

she can explain why Asian Indians are the most prosperous ethnic group, per capita, in the US.

Strong family ties and business organization within the family.

Also judicious usage of accelerated depreciation and a good understanding on how to take advantage of the IRS morass.

:-D

Scott M said...

Oh, come on. Stereotypes are full of information. Why, just this weekend, I took my daughters into a McDonald's playground area (against my will). Already inside was a two-mommy kid who's "mom's" were so decked out in diesel-dyke-lesbian fashion as to be walking cartoon caricatures. Both with the same haircut, both wearing shorts (with wallet chains), both with long-sleeve printed shirts...not flannel, but made to look so.

It could very well be that one loves horror movies while the other hates them...but who cares to drive down below the crusty, laughably uniform lesbian exterior?

Stereotypes, like "Asians" (does she have any idea how large an area that defines and how ridiculously diverse that area is...even if only counting the "oriental" biological characteristics?) are short-hand for day to day, but have no place, I would think (deeply) in supposedly learned studies.

I agree with someone upthread. Just over 200 people in a given "racial" group is way, way too small to draw any conclusion other than "we need more data".

edutcher said...

Kent said...

Here's some major evidence refuting Williams: the great enthusiasm and admiration of Southern whites for their state universities' mostly black football and basketball heroes, despite a pre-1970s history of exclusion of blacks.

I appreciate your point, but I'll play Devil's Advocate.

The "admiration" is only based on seeing blacks as entertainers, not as full equals in society. When the debating team or the Chemistry Society, dominated by blacks, gets that kind of opprobrium (if it hasn't happened already), that would be viewing them as equals.

Fred4Pres said...

The author appears to be "high yellow," which in black culture is perceived as "high arrogance and low warmth."

No offense, Fred (the term may be OK where you come from), but I've heard it used by some of most arrant racists I've ever known and think it's despicable.

Trapper Townshend said...

The author of the piece you quote prefers to view the country on the basis of race and gender -- indeed, opts to carve up society on the basis of race and gender. As opposed to considering/analyzing differences in worldview, culture, behaviors, etc. I disagree that there's evidence of brilliance here, because the fascination with the superficial difference of race suggests, instead, a more feeble mind. (And I would argue that gender is also a superficial difference when compared to differences in culture, worldview, belief, etc.)

The piece is another boring liberal envisioning of society that emphasizes and underlines the least significant and least intellectually fertile aspects of us Americans -- differences that are highly visible, surface differences, like skin color.

Alex said...

Affirmative action was bound to fail. It gave unfair advantages based on race while telling minorities that whitey is still evil. So they got a job they didn't deserve + kept the racial hatreds stoked the whole time. A recipe for disaster. But Althouse thinks it's brilliant.

Scott M said...

But she doesn't document what it does to black people.

Could be a two-part study. She might be savvy enough, if AA is right about her brilliance, to float this first part and get a public reaction before dropping the other shoe, so to speak.

Alex said...

if AA is right about her brilliance, to float this first part and get a public reaction before dropping the other shoe, so to speak.

Don't count on it. Williams smells like another race hustler. File under "Jesse Jackson".

Scott M said...

Don't count on it. Williams smells like another race hustler. File under "Jesse Jackson".

Granted, but I'm trying to give her high competence and high warmth...just to see how it feels.

Rialby said...

"Zero-sum formulations of prejudice tend to emerge in lean economic times, fueling cultural or historical rivalries of all sorts."

Wow, I couldn't even get past the first paragraph. Ummm, who the fuck are the ones that practice zero-sum formulations all the time? I hear people on the Right say - make the pie grow bigger and I hear people on the Left say "GIVE ME A BIGGER PIECE OF PIE".

ironrailsironweights said...

she can explain why Asian Indians are the most prosperous ethnic group, per capita, in the US.

Strong family ties and business organization within the family.

What may be an even bigger factor is that most Indian immigrants to the United States come from India's socioeconomic elite. The cost and difficulty of such a long journey, not to mention all the immigration red tape, makes coming to America completely impossible for the vast majority of Indians.

It will be interesting to see whether India's economic growth may lead to the country's best and brightest staying home, and to a decline in the quality of Indian immigrants.

Peter

The Crack Emcee said...

Damn it:

I'm still dealing with "it's always the females who are wronged."

MnMark said...

A huge flaw in the liberal worldview is the belief that it is possible and desireable to pretend that things like gender, ethnicity, race, culture, and sexual orientation don't matter: that they have no true effect on how people think or behave or what their capabilities are, and that if people feel a natural affinity or connectedness with others of the same gender, race, sexual orientation, culture, etc, that it is a primitive, maleable thing that a "progressive" should work to eliminate. ESPECIALLY if the person feeling an affinity is white, male, American, and straight - then feeling that affinity borders (in the mind of a progressive) on being criminal.

"American exceptionalism" is "infused" with whiteness and maleness because it was WHITE MALES who thought of the concept in the first place. It was WHITE MALES who were the primary people who gave a shit about America, who wrested the land from the indigenes, who built it. America was conceived by, built by, formed by, and built FOR white males and the white females and children they cared for. SO GET OVER IT ALREADY.

Rialby said...

"The world is changing, however, and the realignment of wealth, power, jobs and resources has been deeply challenging to the notion of American exceptionalism. That exceptionalism, consciously or unconsciously, is infused with racialized hierarchies -- normative whiteness and masculinity still marking the “worthiest” inheritors of the American dream."

Next point - Black Americans like Ms. Williams have to start recognizing that if America sinks into the mire, they're just as fucked as the rest of us, whether we're white, brown or yellow.

Robert Cook said...

"It was WHITE MALES...who wrested the land from the indigenes...."

A rather tidy way of saying ""who committed mass murder to steal the land from those who occupied it."

Fen said...

For all the gains of the civil rights movement, blacks remain among the poorest, most segregated and most unemployed of all Americans.

They are also the most racist demographic in America (see" FBI hate crime stats).

Americans are weary of racial favoritism. And if you've ever wondered why the Federal Gov is so inefficient, its because its next to impossible to fire subpar employees that are black. They raise EEO complaints to the slightest criticism. Managers who get 3 complaints, REGARDLESS of whether they are valid, see their own promotion opportunities ended. So, the blacks are instead promoted to another department to become someone else's problem.

blacks remain among the poorest, most segregated and most unemployed of all Americans

Because liberals have placed the collar of low expectations around their neck. Look at our current president.

The Crack Emcee said...

Feel proud, everybody:

We're nothing compared to France.

And I'll bet you, dollars to doughnuts, whoever wrote this would LOVE to go there for it's "sophistication".

Ignorance and hypocrisy - coupled with a grudge - are motherfuckers.

Maguro said...

Althouse buys into this diversity stuff because she's in one of those special snowflake jobs where quotas and disparate impact lawsuits don't really apply. It'd be a different story if she lost out on a promotion to Law Professor 1st Class because Patricia Williams started out 20 diversity points ahead.

In that alternate universe, we'd be talking about Althouse vs. UW-Madison instead of Ricci vs New Haven .

Shouting Thomas said...

I've got to say, Althouse, this statement is the most condescending bit you've ever written:

You've got to admit that's provocative. Think deeply about it before you comment.

In other words, don't pop off like an "angry white man" in your comments section.

White men are never supposed to be angry, even when they're being fucked over.

But, the "Raging Grannies" are quite fashionable.

Depends on which side you're on, doesn't it?

You don't ever encounter a white man who's pissed off about the quota systems at your law school, do you? We're pretty effectively excluded, aren't we? Even whispering opposition to the quota systems is the kiss of death in your institution, Althouse.

What does that tell you?

Erik said...

"Don't just pop off reflexively here."

The piece doesn't deserve much thought, it's so inane. How can anyone take this tripe seriously?

Scott M said...

Steal is such an ugly word. How about conquered?

roesch-voltaire said...

I read The Alchemy of Race and Rights while she was still a professor here and had a shift in consciousness as I read her description of how whites wanted to visit a black church in Harlem and seem to do think little of their request because they considered themselves invisible and somehow objective viewers of "the other." After traveling a great deal these last ten years, I feel that America is exceptional , but in specific ways, as other countries are exceptional in specific ways as well, and it seems most folks from other countries find that to be the case-- so how much of this is racilaized-- well ask the Chinese youth...

Rialby said...

"The language of “us” versus “them” dominates far too much of our radio and television discourse."

I agree. That's the best way to describe the tactics of the Left, most recently on view in this commercial from Dan Adler (DEMOCRAT).

J said...

Miss A--house, you ought to get rid of these rude, insulting oafs (who just happen to be WASPS, mostly tweeker-yokel sort)

Then we can discuss your friend's essay--pros and cons as it were.

Titus said...

India is a major caste system as well.

Rich Indians and Poor Indians dislike each other immensely.

Even it their is a hot poor Indian the Rich Indian won't do them.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It will be interesting to see whether India's economic growth may lead to the country's best and brightest staying home, and to a decline in the quality of Indian immigrants.



This appears to already be the case. Many students who come from India to study the fields of science, technical studies and business management are not staying in the US and are returning to their native country because the opportunities for growth in business and career advancement are much better.

Our poor economy due to government regulations and interference with business is just one of the factors.

So highly qualified people with energy and ambition are leaving our country in droves. While we encourage uneducated illegals to flood across the border who will be a drain on society by either taking jobs at sub par wages or stressing our already overloaded welfare system.

Our loss.....India's gain.

Frankly, I think our country is committing slow suicide.

edutcher said...

Rialby said...

Next point - Black Americans like Ms. Williams have to start recognizing that if America sinks into the mire, they're just as fucked as the rest of us, whether we're white, brown or yellow.

That's the point, isn't it? Little Zero and his friends think they'll be safe in their gated communities behind the "moat with alligators"(Freudian slip?) when the crash comes after they've destroyed the country.

They don't seem to get they'll lose as much as anyone else.

Trapper Townshend said...

A huge flaw in the liberal worldview is the belief that it is possible and desireable to pretend that things like gender, ethnicity, race, culture, and sexual orientation don't matter: that they have no true effect on how people think or behave or what their capabilities are, and that if people feel a natural affinity or connectedness with others of the same gender, race, sexual orientation, culture, etc, that it is a primitive, maleable thing that a "progressive" should work to eliminate.

First of all, liberals don't pretend that these things don't matter -- they think they matter very much. Why do you think the Democratic party has its elaborate system of quotas at its national conventions, strictly determining how many delegates from each race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. must be present?

Secondly, your lumping-together/conflation of "race" with "culture" is empty-headed. Some of the items in your list are mere skin-deep accidents of birth; others are tremendously significant qualities which effect virtually every decision a person makes in life.

Robert said...

This wasn't the most offensive opinion among those published in the Times. For the life of me I have no idea why anyone would pay attention to the opinions of professors, especially law professors, in connection with the beliefs of the American citizenry. Hard to imagine a group more at odds with, if not downright contemptuous of, the opinions of, dare I say it, ordinary Americans.

traditionalguy said...

Her research seems like re-cycled group think to me. Sorry, but the affirmative action theory that she uses to justify robbery is over today. She cannot take us back to the 1967 boundaries and start renegotiating her haul of booty anymore. It's over. Mind control only works on the minds that are willing to be controlled.

Fen said...

A rather tidy way of saying ""who committed mass murder to steal the land from those who occupied it."

The same can be said of the natives who were occupying it when we landed.

Look to Central America, look to Africa. For all their history, it was the Anglos that created a world in which minorities get the same Liberty as everyone else. Its the Anglo culture that has evolved the most.

And the africans are still selling slaves...

If you are free today, thank a white man.

Bart said...

There are values leading to success, and values leading to failure. The good woman has correctly identified them as both ends of a spectrum.

People who are both competent and warm tend to succeed. That's why we hire such types in our business.

People who are incompetent and cold, tend to fail, unless pushed forward by a system designed to insulate them from the consequences of their dysfunction.

To twist the tail a bit, Barack Obama is neither competent nor warm, and it shows.

The issue is not race, it is values, and it is not the fault of successful white people -- nor unsuccessful ones for that matter -- that a depressing majority of "African - Americans" have opted for the values of failure.

Libbie said...

Friend of Althouse. CHECK.
Lawyer. CHECK
Black. CHECK.
Female. CHECK.

BRILLIANT DEEP THINKER THE LIKE OF Jack Handey. NOT SO CHECK.

Sorry Ann, tripe is tripe. Friend or not this woman is a joke.

MarkG said...

"For all the gains of the civil rights movement, blacks remain among the poorest, most segregated and most unemployed of all Americans."

Academia should try a new angle: Focus not on white people for once, but on black people. Maybe some original research will result.

Rialby said...

"A house divided cannot stand."

150k Union soldiers died in combat for the cause of this country. My own ancestors went to battle never knowing if they'd see their farms or families again. And this woman uses Lincoln's words as a punchline in this screed about affirmative action and how we're all still a bunch of racists? BLAH.

Fen said...

But Libbie, she's so "articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking gal" (Biden, 1-31-2007)

Shouting Thomas said...

The worst thing about white people is that we produce a lot of morons like Robert Cook.

It must be some sort of genetic disorder.

Titus said...

The best and brightest in India are already staying home or even now going back to India. Read the book India Calling.

The opportunities are endless for them and the salaries are growing rapidly.

The cost of living is considerably less than anywhere in the U.S. especially on the coasts, where you find many of the Punies.

They can rent a great apartment in Mumbai or Bangalore for 300.00 a month. That same apartment would cost 2800 in Boston. And today they are making about the same salary in India that they would be making in the U.S.

Lastly, they have many more vegetarian options at the restaurants and they love their quinoa.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

The author is a former colleague of mine. Quite brilliant.

But still trapped in a dated mindset.

I guess "brilliant" nowadays is defined by the ability to write tripe in a manner that sounds smart - using big words like "hierarchies" - while what she's actually saying has no basis in reality. Like when I say I think it's "brilliant" she can get away with it.

And, hey, isn't she getting away with it because a white liberal - you - have lead her to believe it's "brilliant"?

She should study that.

J said...

UH oh time for the daily brainfart from Fen-tard. He just finished his pearl diver shift at the Tulsa IHOP, tweeeked up, and now it's time for politicizin', goldangit.


Give the hicks the boot, Annie (even Roody Giuliani wd agree, most likely). Then....we talk. Invite yr professor galpal, A.

mccullough said...

At the end of the civil war, blacks were 40 percent of the US population. Today they are 12 percent. Immigration has been the basis for US growth. Various white ethnic groups have come to the US and over time assimilated and integrated.

In 1965, 25 percent of blacks were born to single moms. Today, it's 70 percent. Affirmative action is to help the black middle class. If we did affirmative action based on socio economic alone, there would be few blacks at Ivy League schools. They would have to settle for state schools. Most of those at state schools would have to start in community college.

Latinos are the largest immigrants to the US over the last few generations. Most of them or their parents immigrated here illegally. When the white Europeans came over in droves, the US was open borders. 50 percent if Latino kids are born to single moms. Today, 25 percent of white kids are born to single moms.

Asians have the lowest out of marriage birth rates. They are also immigrants/children of immigrants and are the biggest beneficiaries of the US legal immigration policies.

There is nothing brilliant about American exceptionalism or white privilege. If the US is to exist in the future, much less prosper and thrive in the future, we need to mimic the values of Asian Americans. Everything else written about
race in the US is dross. We should be asking the Asian Americans what they want and need and what we should do as a country. In the US, blacks and Latinos are a lost cause. The productive ones should miscegnate with the whites and Asians.

Libbie said...

How are blacks doing in school?

Think about that really really deeply before posting knew jerk liberal nonsense.

point, game, set, match.

I know, I know, the black, (former colleague, law prof)is BRILLLLLLIANT!!!!

Titus said...

Did you know in India they feed the fucking cow before they eat.

They fucking worship the cow.

And you can't swing a cat without hitting a Gandhi sculpture, even though it has now been reported that he was a big fag.

Skyler said...

How deep does one need to think, before concluding that it's racist to lump people into racial categories and insist that others have as their legitimate purpose to do so as well.

Judge on the content of their character, not on the color of their skin.

Anything else is racism.

pduggie said...

Interesting. Kinda in a Chris Rock observation that white people have gotten less crazy, I think there is a dichotomy now in how white people categorize blacks. They've wized up the fact that there are two black Americas.

One incompetent and lukewarm (the ghetto) and one competent and lukewarm (people like Prof Williams.)

Whites in the USA see what the talented tenth of blacks has been able to accomplish, passing 'white' tests and becoming middle class, etc. And they see the need for help for the bottom half of ghetto blacks.

But the problem comes when the help for the bottom gets extended to those who need to pass the tests. if a black is only as competent as me, they shouldn't get an 'edge' in hiring.

Or when those on the bottom who need help want the tests thrown out so they can get what the whites have. if a black isn't as competent as me they shoudn't be able to denigrate my competence by throwing out the test.

Whites I know aren't afraid of nice looking black folks. They are afraid of angry black youths who look like toughs and are obviously poor and undereducated.

Peter said...

Somehow you'd just love to see a debate between Shelby Steele (author of "White Guilt" **) and Patricia J. Williams.

The problem I have with Ms Williams is, I just don't see anything original here- this looks like standard academic race/class/gender boilerplate (perhaps with a bit of Leonard Jeffries*** tossed in).

** http://www.amazon.com/White-Guilt-Together-Destroyed-Promise/dp/0060578629

*** Leonard Jeffries, prof. of Black Studies at CIty University of New York, is parhaps best known for his theory that white people are (cold, violent) "ice people" and black people are (warm, feeling) "sun people).

Titus said...

The people in India are also really fucking happy.

They constantly giggle and they are loud as hell at restaurants.

They also piss in the streets. I saw a woman squatting right at a main intersection. She was smiling as we passed her by. I wanted to take a pic but the husband wouldn't let me.

Shouting Thomas said...

And you can't swing a cat without hitting a Gandhi sculpture, even though it has now been reported that he was a big fag.

Come on, Tight Ass, I want some proof.

Gandhi was a fag! You've got to be kidding.

Do they have any cats to swing in India?

Pogo said...

"despite numbers, despite empirical documentation to the contrary — that blacks are “taking over” as the recipients not of due process but of undue “favoritism.”"


I'd like to see that evidence to the contrary.

In the last 40 years it has become glaringly obvious that the Approved Victim Classes are the recipients of undue favoritism, and that merit and due process -the core of American exceptionalism- are dead.

It's not a brilliant piece.

It's just boilerplate left-liberal diversity claptrap, reproduced a million times over in newspapers, government publications and college term papers, year in and year out since 1965.

Skyler said...

The election of our current president proves that white people by and large are not racists, but black people are.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Libbie said...

Yep. Patricia Williams is about as DEEP as this.

Barack Obama wrote this poem as an undergraduate:

Underground

Under water grottos, caverns
Filled with apes
That eat figs.
Stepping on the figs
That the apes
Eat, they crunch.
The apes howl, bare
Their fangs, dance,
Tumble in the
Rushing water,
Musty, wet pelts
Glistening in the blue

Think before dismissing this tripe as tripe.

MarkG said...

The "racial politics" tag is perfectly appropriate for this article.

The Crack Emcee said...

Robert Cook,

"It was WHITE MALES...who wrested the land from the indigenes...."

A rather tidy way of saying ""who committed mass murder to steal the land from those who occupied it."


Who killed and stole it from those before them, and so on.

Jesus, dude, you're a loser.

Shouting Thomas said...

I've asked these questions indirectly several times, Althouse. Now, I'll ask directly:

o Can you name one faculty member at WI law who openly opposes the quota systems?

o Can you name one faculty member at WI law who doesn't refer to the quota systems with the bullshit euphemism... affirmative action?

o Is it possible to attain a tenured position at WI law if a candidate is known to openly oppose the quota systems?

Oxbay said...

Williams hates white people. She wants to genocide the white race like many of the chatteratti one way or the other. This "study" is part of the process.

The Crack Emcee said...

ST,

White men are never supposed to be angry, even when they're being fucked over.

Wrong - no man is ever supposed to get angry - and especially not when they're being fucked over.

I've been telling you guys that from Day One.

SMGalbraith said...

Well, Dr. Williams is throwing a lot out there to think about. Let's try this.

America has just gone through - or is still emerging from - the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Many people have lost most of their retirement funds it not their jobs.

Despite that there has been no increase in violent crime, no attacks against immigrants or "The Other", no increases in hate crimes or other acts of nativism or xenophobia or bigotry. No scapegoating of non-whites.

If America is infused with "normative whiteness" (whatever that really means) and celebration of the "worthiest" and denunciation of the "less worthy", certainly some of that should be showing up, no? And not just in polls or surveys.

In his book "Affirmative Action around the World", Thomas Sowell documented the effects of race-based policies and how it deepened racial animosities and division. It's not pretty; but also not surprising. Human beings like to blame others for their failures.

As Sowell showed, what Dr. Williams is describing here isn't unique to America. People react negatively when they think that one group is being favored over another. This is not new.

What is new, as I noted above, is that this hasn't manifested itself in acts of violence.

I'll conclude with Walter Rusell Mead, probably the smartest commentator about politics today:

By historical standards, the average American is actually ahead of his or her ancestors. Today’s average Americans are smarter, more sophisticated, better educated, less racist and more tolerant than ever before. Immigrants face less prejudice in the United States than ever before in our history. Religious, ethnic and sexual minorities are more free to live their own lives more openly with less fear than ever before.

The America of Dr. Williams isn't one I recognize.

William said...

Our history is what it is, and racial prejudice is part of it. However, it seems fair to note that malleability is as much a part of the American character as feelings of racial superiority. More than most people, Americans change as they move through time. We have moved away from blatant racism in a way that, say, Africans have not moved away from their pernicious sexism.....I think a sociological study should be done to document why intellectuals like Prof Williams are so blind to the shortcomings of men like Sharpe James, Coleman Young, and Marion Barry and so alive to the flaws of people like Clarence Thomas and Condi Rice. Further study is needed to explain the intricacy and dimensions of her stupidity.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Shouting Thomas said...

Do they have any cats to swing in India?

My step-great-nieces (I think I got that relationship right) from India are fascinated by cats when they come here to visit. They want to pet the cats, but are also afraid of them.

So I did a little research. Cats are apparently a big draw at "exotic" pet shows in India. There's a growing trend in cat ownership, but they're still relatively scarce.

Shouting Thomas said...

Wrong - no man is ever supposed to get angry - and especially not when they're being fucked over.

As usually, Crack, you're right.

Hagar said...

The "American Dream" is, or was, that this was a place where you could make it or go under by dint of your own individual enterprise or sheer dumb luck or misfortune.

"Affirmative action" was supposed to be a temporary measure to "level the playing field," so that Blacks, who had been discriminated against, would get that same opportunity to make it or not without any organized hindrances against them.

The Crack Emcee said...

ST,

Yes, Gandhi was gay and a perv - had a major thing for a body builder - not that I'm equating his gayness with being a perv. He just was.

Weird man.

ironrailsironweights said...

They also piss in the streets. I saw a woman squatting right at a main intersection. She was smiling as we passed her by.

Not just in India. Videos like that from right here in America are a familiar staple on You Porn. Note: I think I might have stumbled across that site once or twice purely by accident.

Peter

Pogo said...

To remain so ignorant of the damage wrought by factionalism and favoritism requires years of intense study.

The Crack Emcee said...

ST,

As usually, Crack, you're right.

Now is that "high warmth" or "high competence"?

And, since I know you're white, this must be a trick to oppress me, right? But how? I'll be up all night tripping on this shit.

And THAT's the problem with how this woman thinks:

She's jabbering about, and convinced of, nonsense she never should've given the time of day.

The Crack Emcee said...

Sixty Grit,

"Special" in French-speak means "retarded".

Are you getting the impression Europeans don't say what they mean?

chuckR said...

ironrailsironweights said

What may be an even bigger factor is that most Indian immigrants to the United States come from India's socioeconomic elite.

Or they come from a merit elite. After a doctoral defense, a coworker commented to the Indian candidate that his father must be proud of him. The guy looked sad and replied that his father couldn't fathom the simplest things he did, as the father had spent his life looking at the wrong end of a bullock.

Scott M said...

as the father had spent his life looking at the wrong end of a bullock

If it was a dog's bolluck, I thought that was a good thing.

SMGalbraith said...

If a nation - any one of them - enacts race-based policies (however well-intended), during an economic downturn people will point to those as an excuse for their own failures. There's just going to be a backlash; it's human nature.

That this backlash in America has been so mild is, well, exceptional.

As to her view that American exceptionalism "is infused" with racial thinking, I think that was certainly true to an extent in our past (Manifest Destiny et cetera) but has little truth today.

bagoh20 said...

"You've got to admit that's provocative."

Is there anything in our culture that has jumped the shark as much as being provocative? It's so damned boring.

bagoh20 said...

People of all types are discriminated against all the time for all kinds of reasons. Get over it. We're doing it to you and you're doing to someone else. Big effin deal.

Robert Cook said...

"Who killed and stole it from those before them, and so on."

Did I say otherwise?

However, we prefer to mythologize ourselves as being something special, something different and better than all other humans or societies that have prededed us or who live today in other lands. Rather than recognize plainly that we murdered those living here before us in order to take the land for ourselves, and that we put the surviving dregs into concentration camps, we like to view ourselves as having "wrested the land from the indigenes", as if we were engaged in a great and honorable (and fair) struggle with others to claim the land for ourselves, a struggle we won because of our presumed "exceptionalism--our god-given specialness and wonderfulness. Or we prefer even more to see the indigenous peoples who were here before us as savages, their only aim to kill us and take our women, and thus an evil to be stamped out...as always, we're the good guys, the other the bad guys.

We are just like all other humans who have ever lived--we are just as savage and predatory--and it is only our Constitutional system of laws that can be said to lend us even a hope of being exceptional. Of course, we have been violating our Constitutional rule of law from the start. Again, in that we are no different or better than any other society that has ever been.

Kirby Olson said...

I don't think the perception of competence is always hated. I like Asians and Jews for their competence.

I wish everybody could be more competent. Why are there some groups that aren't competent?

How do you become competent?

Asians have a very small divorce rate: about 3%.

Does that help?

WASPs have a fairly small divorce rate.

Don't know about Jews, but they have strong families.

I don't buy the Bell Curve although some groups don't have fathers so often as some other groups. Having a dad around can probably give you all kinds of competence, in everything from how to throw a ball, to what to do when the ball breaks a window.

Scott M said...

That's an awfully broad brush you're painting with there, Cook. I notice we have a lack of death camps and ovens. Moral equivalence will get you exactly nowhere.

"Which society is best?"
"There is no best."

Bullshit, it's just a moving target and we have to struggle to stay in the bullseye.

Carol_Herman said...

You know, I could care less what the media publishes. It's all PRAVDA, now. It's all just propaganda. And, ya know what? The russians learned to live with it; why can't you?

bagoh20 said...

Exceptionalism does not mean perfection or free of sins.

David said...

and this behavior is different from other cultures how? Do Arabs have the same "condition" when it comes to "Jews" -- or are the Arabs now a protected class where their actions are forgiven and rationalized.
Seems to me this template represents standard human behavior.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

OK, despite my general rule about never reading the Times (other than Tierney)... Since you asked, I read it.

I thought about it.

I thought deeply about it.

It's tripe.

Unsupported assertions, unquestioned dogma, and -- though I doubt she'd see the irony -- rank prejudice.

If I needed an example to justify my No Times policy, this would be a pretty good one.

Phil 3:14 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil 3:14 said...

Not to be too politically incorrect but why is it that the descendants of the victims of slavery are better off than their ancestors who remained in Africa?

Correlary question: Why are the citizens of the nations started by liberated slaves (Haiti and Liberia) doing so poorly as compared to black citizens of slave holding nations that ultimately ended slavery (i.e. US, Brazil)?

SMGalbraith said...

Separation of church and state, self-government, federalism, religious freedom, minority rights, pluralism, e pluribus unum....

No, America hasn't always lived up to those principles. But those contributions to the world, among other things, have made us exceptional.

Perfect? Of course not. Exceptional? Indeed.

bagoh20 said...

University scholarship is infused with racialized hierarchies — normative whiteness and femininism now marking the 'worthiest' inheritors of the American dream.

SMGalbraith said...

We all should know by now that our friend Cook looks at American history and singles out all of the bad things we have done.

And to be sure, we have done some terrible things.

But others look at our history and sees all of the good things we've done.

And thinks that those far outweigh the bad.

Cook thinks otherwise; the bad outnumber the good.

Thus distinguishing the left and the non-left.

Triangle Man said...

Exceptionalism does not mean perfection or free of sins.

Nor does it even mean superiority.

Class factotum said...

A huge flaw in the liberal worldview is the belief that it is possible and desireable to pretend that things like gender, ethnicity, race, culture, and sexual orientation don't matter: that they have no true effect on how people think or behave

Unless you are talking about Supreme Court appointments, in which case it is important to have a Wise Latina who looks at things differently from an ordinary white guy.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

If Williams is brilliant, she is hiding it quite well.

And the study is a steaming pile of crap.

cold pizza said...

42. -cp

wv: "putto" (my pinoy nickname)

Titus said...

Can we call Cracky Token?

Would that be wrong?

The Crack Emcee said...

Carol_Herman,

You know, I could care less what the media publishes. It's all PRAVDA, now. It's all just propaganda. And, ya know what? The russians learned to live with it; why can't you?

Spoken like a Leftist - when Leftists are in charge!

Fucking hilarious.

ricpic said...

Life is very short and most want to live out their short time here among those they can read. They can't be bothered with putting up with the friction of constant contact with those they can't read. The effort is ridiculous given the payback. The friction is inevitable and is depleting. So it is only natural that whites want to live out their lives among whites and blacks want to live out their lives among blacks and neither wants to celebrate diversity. Let the professors celebrate that false hell and then go tell it on the mountain but leave it up there, way up there on the mountain where the rest of us can only aspire to it but never *hallelujah* have to endure it.

SGT Ted said...

The essay starts with a huge flaw; that everyone see's themselves as members of their skin color competing against other skin colored groups. This flawed worldview is exclusive to race hustlers and leftists who apply a cultural Marxism template to races, substituting skin color for economic class in order to promote strife, division and cultural warfare between groups who aren't really competing at all, except maybe as individuals.

This is the new left revolutionaries attempt to justify their hatred and contempt for the American Ideals of Individual Liberty and economic freedom and to sow division and discord in order to justify the change to failed neo-communist collectivism and schemes to make this happen, like affirmative action and wealth transfers.

Not very brilliant at all, rather it is fairly ordinary cultural marxist propaganda.

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leora said...

While the competence/warmth heirarchy might be thought provoking if raised by a psychologist or sociologist, I find it frightening when raised by a law professor. I might accept it as appropriate as part of a caution that all need to be treated eqaully before the law, but the intent seems to be the opposite.

SGT Ted said...

oh yea, the other groups that so ferverently extoll skin color difference are racists, but them again so are affirmative action proponents, they just pick a different skin color to worship and place above others.

garage mahal said...

New Left Leftist Cultural Marxist Neo-Communist Collective Mercenaries.

You can't stop them, you can only hope to contain them!

Lucius said...

Will somebody explain what this "warmth" business is? To ask the question (with suitable stereotyped racist examples):

Is it what the observer feels about the observed: "These Asians are so smart, but I just feel sort of cold about them"; "Blacks don't inspire me, but I feel sort of cuddly and protective of them"?

Or is it what the observer claims is the emotional temperature of the observed: "Asians are so smart but, damn, they are some frigid SOBs"; "Blacks don't contribute much, but they're so *soulful* and warm"?

This is hardcore social science, right? So there should be some really logical air-tight definition of this whole "warmth" category.

Fen said...

Cook: we prefer to mythologize ourselves as being something special, something different and better than all other humans or societies that have prededed us or who live today in other lands

We are.

I think its funny that socialist scum like you prefer to live in America instead of all the other nations you pretend are equal to us.

Put up or shut up.

You have to admit, for a nation thats only 230+ years old, our culture has evolved much more rapidly than anyone else. All those concepts you like to use as a weapon against us, like human rights, equality, equal protection? They're American.

The Crack Emcee said...

Titus,

Can we call Cracky Token?

Would that be wrong?


If I was a lib, yeah, it would probably be seen that way. But I'm a conservative, and have spent so much time around whites I don't even think about it - even while I'm alone enough, by race, to warrant the term - but, so long as I'm not mistreated, I don't care enough for it to be "wrong".

I even like Token on South Park.

Also, I'm not the only black on Althouse, just the only one who uses a photo that reveals it.

And so it goes,...

John Lynch said...

It's not about warmth. It's just nationalism. Not race, nation. Americans are so conditioned to think about nation and race as totally separate that we have trouble seeing what's obvious in any other context.

The US is a de facto empire. It's not a nation-state. If an American can look like anyone from any part of the world, speak any language, have any religion, and have any cultural practice, then 'American' isn't a nationality. I think that's a good thing, BTW.

Nation states are about drawing lines on a map and filling them in with one national group. Anyone else will be forced out or mistreated.

Empires tend to have a dominant nation, but the most successful are those that can harness every component nation toward common goals. Empires are much more powerful and successful than nation states, so much so that history is the story of 40 or 50 empires.

Being an empire is nothing to be ashamed of. Being a good empire is the hard part.

The problems of how to rule a nation with many different nationalities are easy for us to see in other countries, but Americans for the most part refuse to admit we have the same problems.

Amartel said...

This is true of the mainstream culture which has internalized and prioritized racial/tribal constructions - has stubbornly and historically refused to judge an individual by the content of his/her character. Accordingly, it's all gotten so complicated that the center cannot hold and the status quo is an iffy proposition - for example, a woman of African ancestry can no longer assume the benefit of the warm fuzzies. This makes her, and a lot of other people, very very very uncomfortable and maybe that's a good thing.

Sofa King said...

Separation of church and state, self-government, federalism, religious freedom, minority rights, pluralism, e pluribus unum....

Exactly the sort of "normative whiteness and masculinity" we ought to be ashamed of!

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

There are hard sciences, and then there are soft sciences.

Cushy, marshmallowy, puffy, fluffy soft sciences.

J said...

Were the A -house regs held to their criteria of "no generalizations", and required to substantiate any and all empirical claims--these comboxes would be empty. The usual conservative blowhards---Edu, Shouting Tommy, Crack, Maguro, Kirby Olson-- wouldn't have sh*t to write about.

Freeman Hunt said...

Articles like this are Lady Boomer feed.

Fen said...

J thinks we've all forgotten about his racist meltdown last month...

Robert Cook said...

"We all should know by now that our friend Cook looks at American history and singles out all of the bad things we have done.

"And to be sure, we have done some terrible things.

"But others look at our history and sees all of the good things we've done.

"And thinks that those far outweigh the bad.

"Cook thinks otherwise; the bad outnumber the good."


Not at all. I merely try to point out to the many who refuse to see our failings that we are not uniquely virtuous and that we should alway see our behavior as a nation as driven by self-interest...as is true of all people and all nations. We must always be skeptical of those who claim our behavior on the world stage is motivated by altruism or is in defense of "freedom", as often--usually--it is not.

We cannot make sound decisions as citizens if we do not have a clearer picture of who we really are or are not. We cannot remedy the ills of our nation if we cannot see where we go wrong, as a body cannot fight off dangerous infection it if lacks white blood cells. We, as citizens, must all always be white blood cells of the body politic.

We are not history's good guys, just the latest (and not last) among societies that have arisen to dominate their place and era, and our time of dominance will end.

TMink said...

Two of the people I most esteem are black people of outstanding discipline and achievement. I just like that sort of people. Hard working folks who love their family.

Race does not enter into that. Race now is just something for Al Sharpton to use to justify his lack of honest work. There is so much interest about race now because it is in the death throws of it's utility as a scam.

Trey

Chuck66 said...

I worked for a large corporation that had "goals" when it came to hiring. Blacks, gays, women, asians, africans.

They did a major restructering. Then allowed those "impacted" to apply for different jobs in the company. Many did find jobs and were able to stay.

It didn't hit me until I started talking to those who were able to stay, and those who could not find a position and were finally gone.

If you were a minority or woman, you tended to find a new job within the company. If you were a white male, you tended to be gone. Co-incidence? Maybe. Or maybe this is how this company reached its "goals". It was a very PC company.

Freeman Hunt said...

At least Williams recognizes that paternalistic (or maternalistic) pity for blacks is racism.

Aside from that, I see many flaws and not much to recommend.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
windbag said...

We've pretty handily deconstructed Williams's tripe. Turning our attention to our hostesses's comments, focus on her parting comment: You've got to admit that's provocative. Think deeply about it before you comment.

We HAVE to admit...really??? Or else what??? If we don't admit it, we're stupid? The phrase assumes a hostile audience. The tone insinuates hostility.

We must be instructed to think before talking. Of course, we're unsophisticated, so we must be instructed to think before commenting, just like we have to be told that we HAVE to admit that our hostess is right, to begin with.

Of course, our hostess has offered no evidence to support her declaration of Williams's brilliance (It IS obvious to thinking people). She answers to no one, least of all people who have to be instructed TO think, WHAT to think, and WHEN to think.

J said...

Fen tard---the appearance of Reason (like being required to prove things) sort of scares you eh? Then I suspect your last writing exercise was yr "Favorite heroes of the Confederacy" essay back in Selma Jr. High or something.

Being opposed to the AIPAC mob, or WASP morons (or fundies of any type) does not a racist make.

Pogo said...

"I merely try to point out to the many who refuse to see our failings.."
Gosh!
That's must be the first time ever this has been pointed out!

"that we are not uniquely virtuous and that we should alway see our behavior as a nation as driven by self-interest."
The Founding Fathers mentioned self-interest as an immutable fact of life, hence the superior form of government they envisioned.

"We, as citizens, must all always be white blood cells of the body politic."
Instead, the left has become its HIV.

"We are not history's good guys"
Oh bullshit. On a comparative scale, the US has been very good indeed. And the communists Cook supports have been mass murderers of more than 100 million.

The Crack Emcee said...

Fen,

J thinks we've all forgotten about his racist meltdown last month...

Ooh, I missed that. Do tell. Tell. TELL.

Pogo said...

'"I merely try to point out to the many who refuse to see our failings.."
Criminey, Cook.
After 70 years of the left endlessly trumpeting our failings in universities, movies, TV, radio, music, newspapers, government regs and pronouncements, public schools, and religious institutions, could there be even four people left who refuse to see our failings?

Three?

Foobarista said...

Where does she get her thesis from? Sure, you can find anything on the Internet if you look hard enough, but this thesis sounds like she pulled it out of, er, the air.

If she's going to bash "American exceptionalism" and its ickier bits, she needs to define it first.

Drew said...

Those stereotyped as high competence and high warmth are met with pride and admiration . . .

Yes, yes I can see that . . .

(like most white people).

Oh, hell no.

MarkG said...

"At least Williams recognizes that paternalistic (or maternalistic) pity for blacks is racism."

She should be careful. She writes in the NYT and The Nation, so that pretty much describes the attitude of her readership.

AJ Lynch said...

Follow da money.

Robert Cook said...

"...could there be even four people left who refuse to see our failings?"

Virtually everyone here does.

John Lynch said...

OK, let's say the US isn't unique.

We're not uniquely good. The converse is that we aren't uniquely bad.

If we look at it that way, the American imperial expansion is no different than what many other empires have done, and there's nothing uniquely bad about it. It's just normal human behavior. Empires rise and fall.

In fact, the United States has become very powerful at relatively small cost to itself or the world. I doubt a Chinese empire of equal strength would be nearly as pleasant. The Russians certainly were not.

So what's the big deal? The US isn't exceptional, so why all the hate?

I think that American exceptionialism is just as much an idea for the left as for the right. If there's nothing special about America then there's not nearly as much to object to. And that's really what it's about.

Pogo said...

Disagreeing with your conclusions does not constitute a refusal to see our failings.

Alex said...

I noticed a strange lack of economics-related postings on this blog. Is it a subject Althouse is uncomfortable with?

jimbino said...

I'm a natural born Amerikan White Hispanic. Because of affirmative action, I got the Hispanic scholarship for my law school class, easy since I graduated National Merit Scholar from a superb suburban Chicago high school that had almost no Blacks, Jews or Hispanics among 4400 students.

What my fellow Amerikans of the liberal persuasion don't seem to comprehend is that our real historical discrimination against minorities and women, together with whatever cultural and other disadvantages they may have suffered, means that they are perforce inferior, on average, to White males at all subsequent levels, whether at the point of college application, graduate and law school admissions or employment.

So simple logic would force us to conclude that any achievement of "equality" in hiring or school admissions is a clear and direct indication of discrimination against White males.

Here in Austin, TX, the fire department is struggling to hire minorities and women, having had to nullify test results that of course consistently show White males to be by far the most qualified for cadet training.

Revenant said...

Maybe white people feel discriminated against because anti-white discrimination is both overt and legal, whereas anti-black discrimination is covert and illegal?

Even if anti-black discrimination is worse (and I don't know if it is or not), it isn't openly advertised the way "affirmative action" and minority set-asides are.

Milwaukee said...

I just wish Ann would go back and mark those comments that she thinks were written with deep thoughts before they were posted. Then the rest of us would know what the Prof is looking for. Maybe then we could think better and deeper thoughts.

Sofa King said...


Virtually everyone here does.


*facepalm*

Fred4Pres said...

Roger von Oech said...
Althouse said:

"Read with understanding and think. Don't just pop off reflexively here."

This comment feels patronizing.

5/23/11 10:46 AM


I did pop off, so I did not take it as condescending.

As far as this: edutcher said:

No offense, Fred (the term [high yellow] may be OK where you come from), but I've heard it used by some of most arrant racists I've ever known and think it's despicable.

5/23/11 10:56 AM


None taken edutcher. You are entitled to your views, but I like some of Spike Lee's work regardless. I think he is a gifted director.

Titus said...

I think the U.S. does big tits better than any other country.

Therefore, we are exceptional. Because big tits are exceptional.

Triangle Man said...

I noticed a strange lack of economics-related postings on this blog. Is it a subject Althouse is uncomfortable with?

Alex demands conformity! You must blog about economics and bacon Althouse! Everyone knows that.

chickenlittle said...

African Americans make up some 20% of the Federal work force. link.

I think Williams has some 'splainin' to do if she wants to be taken seriously regarding job discrimination.

John M Auston said...

Interfering in the economic sphere's meritocracy, with affirmative action efforts, is just as disastrous there as it would be if it were done to a Professional Football team.

There is disparate impact, everywhere. Get used to it. Adapt. Play the hand you're dealt.

Why is this so hard to understand?

Milwaukee said...

Cook:
Yes, we have our faults. The indigenous people were killing each other, so we just took the place of one more tribe, and we were better at killing them than they were at killing us or each other. They were leading pretty barbaric lives.

To paraphrase Colin Powell, at the end of World War II we had assembled the most powerful fighting forces known on the face of the earth, and all we asked for was space to bury our dead. We liberated the world and rather than conquering it, we just wanted to go home. Our system has had, and still has some flaws, but the over all design is one that allows individuals to flourish. They don't do that anywhere else as well as we do that here. Our "oppressed" are in better shape than the oppressed else where.

Before the Liberal war on poverty, Blacks had higher marriage rates, lower divorce rates and fewer children born out of wedlock than Whites. Nothing the Klan ever did to Blacks compares to what Planned Parenthood and the Democratic Party have done to Blacks. Racism is bad in all forms, especially the one of low expectations.

Some of those wounds are self-inflicted. The achievement gap between young males that are Black and White can be explained by poverty alone. In which case, all those Black students missing from AP courses are not necessarily Whities fault.

Kent said...

eDutcher: sorry, I missed your comment before, questioning whether Southern white admiration for local black sports stars only suggests appreciation as "entertainers"?

First, sports stars are too admired by Southern white males (and most other males) to be classified as mere "entertainers". Second, Williams claimed that the "top" category is people "stereotyped as high competence and high warmth", and suggested that is racially charged, but sports stars are generally viewed as highly competent and warm and they are disproportionately black.

Again, my point wasn't to deny residual racism but simply to adduce major evidence refuting William's sweeping generalizations.

Palladian said...

"You've got to admit that's provocative."

Sure. So is a drunk person pooping on the sidewalk, which I observed the other evening. In my experience, provocation is often a method of drawing attention to something that doesn't otherwise merit attention.

I'd be more interested if these academics began their essays with an informed and scientific explanation of what "race" is.

RichardS said...

Are Jews seen as lacking in warmth? Are are they simply seen as keeping too much to themselves. WASPs are certainly seen as cold. Hence the stereotype of "God's frozen people." Are Jews seen that way? Or are they seen as having some Mediterranean ethnic traits? One stereotype is the Jewish commedian. Is that profession associated with lacking in warmth?

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