April 13, 2014

Does George Will know what young people today say about race as a joke and that they now find accusations of racism "a national mirth"?

He said this on today's "Fox News Sunday":
Look, liberalism has a kind of Tourette's syndrome these days. It's just constantly saying the word "racism" and "racist."...
There is a kind of intellectual poverty now. Liberalism hasn't had a new idea since the 1960s except ObamaCare and the country doesn't like it. Foreign policy is a shambles from Russia to Iran to Syria to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And recovery is unprecedentedly bad. So what do you do? You say anyone who criticizes us is a racist. It's become a joke among young people. You go to a campus where this kind of political correctness reins [sic], and some young person will say looks like it's going to rain. The person listening says, you're a racist. I mean it's so inappropriate. The constant implication of this that it is, I think, becoming a national mirth.
Based on hearing Will's tone of voice, it's clear — I think! — that Will meant it would work amongst today's college kids to say "You're a racist" as a punchline when somebody says something obviously race-neutral (such as "looks like it's going to rain"). "You're a racist" has been overused to the point where it's not just boring or unbelievable, but a laugh line — a national mirth.

Somehow, I find it hard to believe that George Will is out and about at the colleges getting a real feel for what the young folk find amusing. I sort of find it amusing myself to hear George Will purporting to punditize on the subject of current college humor trends, but it's actually not that amusing, because an old white guy declaring the subject of race to have crossed over from serious to some kind of joke — "a national mirth" — really isn't funny.

209 comments:

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Conserve Liberty said...

OK Anne - as a denizen of one of the most leberal college campuses west of the University of Virgina (where, again, did their President come from?) is George Will correct? Have college students made the Raaaacist dog whistle a banal joke?

Michael K said...

So, you know better ? My 24 year old daughter keeps me abreast of new developments. "That's so gay !" is slipping and "racist !" is getting more common.

MayBee said...

George Will has interns, I'm sure. So yeah, I'd guess he's exposed to today's youth.

Sorun said...

"...because an old white guy declaring the subject of race to have crossed over from serious to some kind of joke — "a national mirth" — really isn't funny."

What isn't funny is someone who thinks another shouldn't express an opinion simply because of their age, sex, or race. Creepy.

Tom said...

It's a lot like antibiotic resistant bacteria - we've overused "racism" as a label far past it's utility.

Ann Althouse said...

"OK Anne - as a denizen of one of the most leberal college campuses west of the University of Virgina (where, again, did their President come from?) is George Will correct? Have college students made the Raaaacist dog whistle a banal joke?"

Even though I'm here in Madison, I would not pretend to know what works among the college kids as humor (or even what works among the law students).

Youthful humor styles are not enacted in front of the elders.

I do have the discretion to realize that the young people don't need to hear my idea of a joke, that it's just annoying or confusing or a waste of their time, and I'm sure they don't display their comic tendencies in my presence.

Mark O said...

He may well have asked around, or done something like research, or something like Obama, made it up.

MayBee said...

I see the joke made on Twitter among people of all ages.

How old is Ace? Young, right? Like 29.

Fen said...

"really isn't funny."

Because racism. Or something.

If contempt for all these false accusations of racism tires you, just wait for Hillary!

Because sexism. Or something.

harrogate said...

Sorun,

Don't be so creepy. Some might find it creepy that George Will from his insular perch seriously thinks he has something to contribute on the subject. It would be creepy to suggest they shouldn't express their opinion on this matter.

SOJO said...

Maybe he's "doing research" on reddit.

What is a lighthearted punchline among teen and 20-somethings making fun of their elder's institutionalized agenda can't be appropriated by older people. After all, they're young and cute and hanging out with and dating each other.

Unfortunately, it becomes more serious as you get older and money, power, and family position become involved. The consequences of ingrained inequality in whatever form aren't a joke then. Even the same people making those jokes now likely won't be able to make them without hitting sore spots when they are 40-something.

Fen said...

"because an old white guy"

What does his race have to do with it?

Ann Althouse said...

From what I've seen, I think young people today take race quite seriously and are concerned that there is racism lurking within some things that on the surface are not explicitly racist.

Racism is so disapproved of that you wouldn't expect to hear it expressed outright. So if it's there, it's not obvious. I think intelligent, aware young people understand that, and while they may be bothered by the over-perception of race, I don't see why that makes it funny. And taunting people who are sensitive about race doesn't seem like a decent way to behave.

So my guess is that young people around here don't think it's funny.

MayBee said...

From what I've seen, I think young people today take race quite seriously and are concerned that there is racism lurking within some things that on the surface are not explicitly racist.

What I see of youth is just the opposite. They think Baby Boomers are race-obsessed and ruin everything with all their attention to it.

At least in my liberal California city, that's how it was. Sexuality and race are no big deal. Humor should be free.

There are the overly concerned, of course, but they are a special breed of youth, concerned about everything . Maybe that's the type Althouse sees.

Humperdink said...

Ann, as an old white guy, I resent you using the term "old white guy" to describe anybody. Not only is it racist, it's ageism as well. You should be ashamed.

pm317 said...

I have never ever found George Will and his bow tie to say anything remotely interesting. The tone and style of his saying it is even more irritating. There are so many strong arguments that one could make about racebaiting in the golden age of Obama, this is the best he can muster? I rest my case.

St. George said...

It's become a gotcha game to test one's political purity.

One imagines that in Mao's China of the late 1960s people desperately struggled to keep up with the current party line. Or else.

Here, today, the slightest deviation marks one as a backsliding right-wing deviationist to be consigned to the rice paddies of oblivion.

If Obama ever gets in deep political trouble, the best thing he could do would be to reveal he's a philanderer or gay or a pre-op tranny or, best of all, all three! All would be forgiven.

Patrick O said...

College students are now 2 generations away from those who grew up in institutionalized racism.

Their grandparents grew up in it. Now, all we have is people their grandparents age (or older) talking about how the system hasn't changed, even as there is an almost unheard up difference between the 1950s and the 2010s.

Carl said...

You do know Will has a son who's a senior in college, right?

Fen said...

And taunting people who are sensitive about race doesn't seem like a decent way to behave.

Taunting people who see racism in everything is normal. Especially when the "people who are sensitive" are just race-mongerers.

So my guess is that young people around here don't think it's funny.

Interesting. You attack George Will's credibility re his statement, then you make the same mistake you claim he did:

Somehow, I find it hard to believe that Ann Althouse is out and about at the colleges getting a real feel for what the young folk find amusing

dbp said...

From what I have seen (my eldest daughter is 17) there are kids who take racism seriously. But most of the kids do see it as a joke and they see the kids who take racism seriously as humorless dorks.

MadisonMan said...

Like Obama, Geo. Will lives in the cocoon of Washington and has zero clue about what's going on on College Campuses.

Drago said...

AA: " I think young people today take race quite seriously and are concerned that there is racism lurking within some things that on the surface are not explicitly racist."

Yes, well, that is what all the cool kids studying at the feet of the leftist/liberal professiorate are teaching them.

And if you want to get a decent grade in alot of those "something-something Studies" classes, you're well advised to internalize and verbalize what your Professors are indoctrinating..er...teaching you.

Otherwise, you might get accused of being an unenlightened, privileged white person who perhaps should not realistically consider furthering your studies in that particular field.

Just ask the Duke Lacrosse team members.

They were guilty of racism.

Even though they weren't.

Perhaps ESPECIALLY because they weren't.

At least thats what 88 of the truly "best and brightest" of the academia lectured us.

Lorenzo said...

Who cares whether George Will knows what college kids think is funny? Who, besides college kids wanting to look cool to other college kids, care what college kids think is funny.

Drago said...

Humperdink: "You should be ashamed."

Shame is for the other guys.

You know, conservatives.

Or Dixiecrats.

But in AA's world, I repeat myself.

Farmer said...

George Will has a talking bow tie!

Lorenzo said...

"From what I've seen, I think young people today take race quite seriously and are concerned that there is racism lurking within some things that on the surface are not explicitly racist."

And we laugh heartily at the 1950s folks who were looking everywhere for communist influences.

AJ Lynch said...

"From what I've seen, I think young people today take race quite seriously and are concerned that there is racism lurking within some things that on the surface are not explicitly racist.
Youthful humor styles are not enacted in front of the elders."

"I do have the discretion to realize that the young people don't need to hear my idea of a joke, that it's just annoying or confusing or a waste of their time, and I'm sure they don't display their comic tendencies in my presence. "

So you claim they demonstrate their race concerns in fron of you but mask their comic and humor from you and vice versa?

Sorr Althouse, but you are obviously one of the race obsessed boomers. Maybe you should comment about the old, rich, white lady Pelosi claiming racism is behind Repubs refusal to agree with open borders immigration.

ALP said...

From what I've seen, I think young people today take race quite seriously and are concerned that there is racism lurking within some things that on the surface are not explicitly racist.
*************
You got THAT right. When I was the old fart in a bachelor's program, I described one of my former neighbors as being "Russian".

Because, you know, he was BORN in Russia.

The young woman I was speaking with said: "Isn't that racist?"

One white person pointing out the country of origin of another white person..yeah, I see the racism in that.

So they do take it seriously and see it under every rock.

Paco Wové said...

Anecdotes from my college-age daughter tend to support Will's contention.

Saint Croix said...

I think Eric Holder is a joke.

Calling random people racist without any evidence is a joke, like "women make 77 cents on the dollar" is a joke, or calling somebody a Communist became a joke. You may or may not laugh at it--the joke isn't actually funny--but people pay a price for disregarding the truth.

Low information voters may believe it. That's what makes the low information voters so annoying.

ALP said...

From what I've seen, I think young people today take race quite seriously and are concerned that there is racism lurking within some things that on the surface are not explicitly racist.
*************
You got THAT right. When I was the old fart in a bachelor's program, I described one of my former neighbors as being "Russian".

Because, you know, he was BORN in Russia.

The young woman I was speaking with said: "Isn't that racist?"

One white person pointing out the country of origin of another white person..yeah, I see the racism in that.

So they do take it seriously and see it under every rock.

rhhardin said...

The racism charge is so gay. And by gay I mean retarded.

- somebody

EDH said...

because an old white guy declaring the subject of race to have crossed over from serious to some kind of joke — "a national mirth" — really isn't funny.

It's not the "subject of race" that Will is talking about. It's the knee-jerk and reckless charge of being a racist if you dare disagree with the accuser.

That should be mocked.

AReasonableMan said...

Wishful thinking on Will's part. He can't change his party so he needs to believe that the world has changed.

Henry said...

The subject of race is not the same as the accusation of racism. Will is saying that the latter has become disconnected from the former.

I don't know about college campuses, but this disconnect certainly seems true of President Obama's knee-jerk defenders.

Big Mike said...

Here's a little thought experiment for you, Professor. Suppose someone asked whether you have lower expectations for the Black students in your classes than for white or Asians?

You might answer in the negative, asserting that your expectations are not altered by skin color

But according to the affirmative action zealots, answering that way is racist.

You might answer in the affirmative, that you do indeed have lower expectations for your Black students.

But that suggests that you believe that Blacks are inherently less capable than whites and Asians, so you would be charged with racism.

Or you could say that there are no Blacks in your classes so the point is moot.

Racist again!

So anything you answer to the hypothetical shows that you are a racist.

George F. Will thinks that's funny.

Mrs Whatsit said...

Ann, maybe you missed Will's point. He's not declaring that "the subject of race" is a joke. He's saying that it's become a joke to ACCUSE people of racism because that's been so overdone on the national stage -- and really, it has, and it's not exactly new news. I don't know about college kids, in particular, but my twenty- and thirty-something-year-old kids, nieces, nephews, friends and such have been making and laughing at jokes about their elders' obsession with race and racism for quite a while. For instance, this song by "Flight of the Conchords" has been around for years. I have yet to encounter a young person (or a middle-aged one, for that matter) who doesn't think it's hilarious (though it probably doesn't work to read it, instead of listening to it):

"Albi the Racist Dragon"

In the marmalade forest [forest]
Between the make believe trees
In a cottage cheese cottage
Lives Albi [Albi] Albi [Albi]
Albi the racist dragon

Part 6

And so all the people of the village
Chased Albi the racist dragon into
A very cold very scary cave and it
Was so cold and scary in there that
Albi began to cry dragon tears,
Which as we all know turn into jellybeans!

Anyway just at that moment he felt a
Tiny little hand rest apon his tail. And who should that little hand belong to, but the badly burnt Albanian boy from the day before.

'What are you doing here I thought I killed you yesterday'
Grumbled Albi quite racistly
'No Albi, you didn't kill me with your dragon flames, I
Crawled to safety but you did leave me very badly disfigured, '
Laughed the boy.

'Why are you crying?'
I'm crying because all of the
Villagers chased me here, I
Think it's because I'm so racist.'
'No Albi they chased me here too, when I became all disfigured like this.
They just don't like you and I. Because... well because we're different to them.

And with that, Albi cried a single tear, which turned into a jellybean all the colours of the rainbow! And Albi wasn't racist, anymore.

So they sat in the cave [cave]
And ate bubble gum pie [yum! ]
Albi the racist – well not anymore - Dragon... !

JT said...

@Ann

I'm curious how your view of the younger generation's opinion of race and the seriousness with which they take the subject is more valid than Mr. Will's.

Have you conducted a scientific study on the subject or did you form your opinion based on some anecdotal evidence as Mr. Will's statement seems to suggest he formed his?

I can say I've read and heard statements where someone calls someone else a racist over something completely unrelated to race (serving as a punchline) in the past couple year's that make me believe Mr. Will's grasp of the subject is closer to the mark than yours. Of course, my evidence is also anecdotal, and being in my mid 40s perhaps, in your view, that makes my observations as invalid Mr. Will's.

Ann Althouse said...

@Big Mike I know how to handle myself in conversations, so these imagined dialogues of yours do not sound like anything real that I have ever been involved in.

And I teach the affirmative action cases in Constitutional Law classes every year.

In my experience, students are able to study these issues and talk about them intelligently and nobody is losing their rationality or insulting anyone.

Saint Croix said...

I used to think pro-lifers were a joke, until a pro-lifer asked me if I had read Roe v. Wade.

Mrs Whatsit said...

Ann, maybe you missed Will's point. He's not declaring that "the subject of race" is a joke. He's saying that it's become a joke to be hypersensitive to racism and accuse people of racism on flimsy grounds, because that's been so overdone -- and really, it has, and it's not exactly new news. I don't know about college kids, in particular, but my twenty- and thirty-something-year-old kids, nieces, nephews, friends and such have been making jokes about their elders' obsession with race and racism for quite a while. For example, this song by "Flight of the Conchords" has been around for years. I have yet to encounter a young person (or a middle-aged one, for that matter) who doesn't think it's hilarious (though it probably doesn't work very well to read the lyrics if you've never heard it):

"Albi the Racist Dragon"

In the marmalade forest [forest]
Between the make believe trees
In a cottage cheese cottage
Lives Albi [Albi] Albi [Albi]
Albi the racist dragon

Part 6

And so all the people of the village
Chased Albi the racist dragon into
A very cold very scary cave and it
Was so cold and scary in there that
Albi began to cry dragon tears,
Which as we all know turn into jellybeans!

Anyway just at that moment he felt a
Tiny little hand rest apon his tail. And who should that little hand belong to, but the badly burnt Albanian boy from the day before.

'What are you doing here I thought I killed you yesterday'
Grumbled Albi quite racistly
'No Albi, you didn't kill me with your dragon flames, I
Crawled to safety but you did leave me very badly disfigured, '
Laughed the boy.

'Why are you crying?'
I'm crying because all of the
Villagers chased me here, I
Think it's because I'm so racist.'
'No Albi they chased me here too, when I became all disfigured like this.
They just don't like you and I. Because... well because we're different to them.

And with that, Albi cried a single tear, which turned into a jellybean all the colours of the rainbow! And Albi wasn't racist, anymore.

So they sat in the cave [cave]
And ate bubble gum pie [yum! ]
Albi the racist – well not anymore - Dragon... !

Drago said...

ARM: "He can't change his party so he needs to believe that the world has changed."

LOL

You mean in the way that obama is in denial that Russia now controls Crimea since his pals in the international community haven't "recognized" that control?

Jon Burack said...

Unlike some here who are upset at your phrase "old white guy," Ann, I am not upset at all, even though I fit that bill in toto. I am supremely indifferent to the deep hurts so many seem to lust after in their fake reactions to slights that only the most fine-tuned psychic radar could pick up on the screen. As, for instance, when one of the most contemptible old white guys going, Harry Reid, said Obama was a light-skinned and spoke well, or something on that order. I hate Reid, but think he was only speaking honestly and accurately in that instance - about Obama and about what it is people liked about Obama. Is it racist for them to like that, if they do? Is it racist to speak humorously about it instead of raging against it? Do young people roll their eyes at the humor of it or at the outrage of it? It's beyond me. All I know is I personally am sick of it all. I hope Will is right about young people, but doubt he knows, as you appear to think is the case, and doubt he is right. I just wish he were right.

Alex said...

Ann - so you are willfully blind as to what's happening in the rest of the country outside your bubble.

rhhardin said...

Derbyshire says that he is racist.

Population genetics will either put blacks above or below whites, no matter what quality you measure. The odds of absolute equality are zero.

So science is racist in every quality.

There's no ill will about it.

People are getting fired over this from time to time.

How much differing qualities matters is where the test ought to be instead.

Derbyshire happens to prize IQ but it matters less than he thinks.

So he makes that mistake, when it comes to policy ideas.

Where George Will is on this I can't tell, except that he takes racism as a broken charge.

There was an enormous amount of good will even in the 50s that is overlooked today. More than a majority.

The Crack Emcee said...

ALP,

"They do take it seriously and see it under every rock."

Which isn't preferable, to it running rampant and destroying other's lives - which aren't yours - I presume. Such a burden.

Lorenzo,

"And we laugh heartily at the 1950s folks who were looking everywhere for communist influences."

Yeah, unfortunately, since racists HAVE been an integral part of the US for most of it's history, it's not like looking for communists, but more like shooting fish in a barrel - even today:

"Dude, it's ridiculous - real racism is quiet. It's subtle. People look around first. They make sure the coast is clear. There's disclaimers like 'Dude, you know I'm not racist but, uh, there's [insert group name] followed by a fucked-up conversation ' right? That's how it goes down. It's not just some guy standing up,..."

Most racists, today, have no idea how clueless they are to their own actions. Gathering together in all-white enclaves, griping about others - without any other input - and getting angry if they hear some. Blocking out every word of MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech but the title and that "content of their character" line - because whites get to redefine black history, and black historical figures, and their message. And so much more.

The Right's future political losses are going to be epic,...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann,

@Big Mike I know how to handle myself in conversations, so these imagined dialogues of yours do not sound like anything real that I have ever been involved in.

How would you then answer the question? Out of pure curiosity, only?

Anglelyne said...

Somehow, I find it hard to believe that George Will is out and about at the colleges getting a real feel for what the young folk find amusing.

No, it's just that like most old people, he's behind the curve. Kids were doing this in my daughter's high school at least four years ago. "That's so racist" was applied to stupid hair cuts, bad fashion sense, lousy cafeteria food, etc.

...because an old white guy declaring the subject of race to have crossed over from serious to some kind of joke — "a national mirth" — really isn't funny.

Not as unfunny as old white ladies trying to dictate to young people (or old people or even other old white ladies) what they're allowed to find funny.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

Big Mike is equating/confusing an instrument, for fixing past racism, with somehow meaning blacks can't cut it. He doesn't understand blacks CAN cut it - but with the ignorance out there, such as he's displaying, there are barriers to blacks getting there in the first place, thus the need for affirmative action.

In other words, AA isn't a statement on black intellectual capabilities, but on white's,...

Ivy said...

Ann: Would you have said "some old =insert color of choice= guy" had he not been white?

Paco Wové said...

"I think young people today take race quite seriously and are concerned that there is racism lurking within some things that on the surface are not explicitly racist."

In other words, they have the exact same views that you do?

It's always interesting to see what subjects get Althouse's knees jerking.

paul a'barge said...

...an old white guy declaring the subject of race to have crossed over from serious to some kind of joke — "a national mirth" — really isn't funny.

Not funny. Really? Like, really not funny?

Ok, well then ... let's talk about an old white woman declaring what is and what is not funny. And not just some old white woman, but one who voted for Barack Obama and is constantly trying to shore up the foundation of feminism and female entitlement.

How do you get to be an old, shriveled, white woman hiding out in academia and yet persisting in demanding the rights of her and other old white women to be princesses?

Is that funny? Or is it just too over-the-top ironic to think of an old white woman using the ageist and sexist tropes to attack an old white male?

n.n said...

Young and old people alike are resisting efforts to provoke prejudice. The incorporated civil rights movement, and their affiliated political opportunists, are part of the problem. We need to leave these relics and their schemes behind. Where they once served a purpose, today they are a mass which manifests as inertia to oppose positive progress.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, maybe you missed Will's point. He's not declaring that "the subject of race" is a joke. He's saying that it's become a joke to ACCUSE people of racism because that's been so overdone on the national stage -- and really, it has, and it's not exactly new news."

I think it's pretty obvious that I understood all that.

n.n said...

Saint Croix:

Yeah, pro-lifers were right. While the pro-choice message has a certain emotional appeal, it obfuscates an unprecedented moral hazard created by advocates of abortion/murder. At the very least, it would be proper to judge the issue with objective, reproducible standards, and not with the personal prejudices of its proponents.

The Godfather said...

I don't know if Will is right or not, but I hope he is: If so, it's the best news I've heard in a long time about the "younger generation".

I do find Will's comment plausible, because when I was in college, we all thought that whatever the conventional wisdom was -- that is, what you heard on the NBC, ABC, or CBS News (no cable in the Dark Ages), or read in Time or Newsweek or US News & World Report, or heard your parents' friends say -- was stupid, unsophisticated, out of date, and groan-worthy.

Virgil Hilts said...

Thought idea inspired by Lorenzo (for what its worth):

"From what I've seen, I think young people today take [communism] quite seriously and are concerned that there [are communist sympathizers] lurking within some things that on the surface are not explicitly [communist]. . . [Communism] is so disapproved of that you wouldn't expect to hear it expressed outright. So if it's there, it's not obvious. I think intelligent, aware young people understand that, and while they may be bothered by the over-perception of [communism], I don't see why that makes it funny. And taunting people who are sensitive about [communism] doesn't seem like a decent way to behave."

Pookie Number 2 said...

I think it's pretty obvious that I understood all that.

No, what's obvious is that you don't like George Will. And that you'll try to bluster your way through that instead of honestly asking yourself whether he's made a reasonable observation.

Roughcoat said...

Does this count as part of the national conversation on race I've heard we should be having?

Michael K said...

" He can't change his party so he needs to believe that the world has changed."

Says the old white guy who sees racism under every rock.

The Godfather said...

I don't know if Will is right or not, but I hope he is: If so, it's the best news I've heard in a long time about the "younger generation".

I do find Will's comment plausible, because when I was in college, we all thought that whatever the conventional wisdom was -- that is, what you heard on the NBC, ABC, or CBS News (no cable in the Dark Ages), or read in Time or Newsweek or US News & World Report, or heard your parents' friends say -- was stupid, unsophisticated, out of date, and groan-worthy.

Virgil Hilts said...

Thought idea inspired by Lorenzo (for what its worth):

"From what I've seen, I think young people today take [communism] quite seriously and are concerned that there [are communist sympathizers] lurking within some things that on the surface are not explicitly [communist]. . . [Communism] is so disapproved of that you wouldn't expect to hear it expressed outright. So if it's there, it's not obvious. I think intelligent, aware young people understand that, and while they may be bothered by the over-perception of [communism], I don't see why that makes it funny. And taunting people who are sensitive about [communism] doesn't seem like a decent way to behave."

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Here are the That's Racist jokes that kids use online every day.

On June 27th, 2011, NPR published an article titled “’That's Racist!’ How A Serious Accusation Became A Commonplace Quip” that explained the cultural significance and origins of the catchphrase.

Paco Wové said...

"One white person pointing out the country of origin of another white person..yeah, I see the racism in that."

So, what was your follow-up? I would surmise, from that brief description, that your classmate's real problem was that she wasn't very bright — at least, I would be interested in hearing a non-stupid rendition of her train of thought.

Jupiter said...

"In my experience, students are able to study these issues and talk about them intelligently and nobody is losing their rationality or insulting anyone."

Now, that is funny! Nobody losing their rationality! I should say not, they checked at the door. Price of admission. And how can you tell that nobody is insulting anyone? Because nobody says they are insulted?

Are you sure it's OK to characterize speech as "intelligent"? Do you feel valorized to microagress against the less-intelligent by treating their utterances as less valuable? You need to reflect upon your intelligent privilege.

J Lee said...

Will has a son who turns 22 this year. So my guess is A.) David Will is passing along his campus experiences to dad; B.) David is savvy enough to know that others know who his dad is, and C.) David and his friends make sure when they use "racist" as a non-sequitur taunt it's only within the company of others they trust, in order not to run afoul of whomever the local PC police are.

Matt said...

"I sort of find it amusing myself to hear George Will purporting to punditize on the subject of current college humor trends, but it's actually not that amusing, because an old white guy declaring the subject of race to have crossed over from serious to some kind of joke — 'a national mirth' — really isn't funny."

Wrong. Not "subject of race". Instead it is the "subject of the accusation of racism".

What evidence do you have that Will's take on this is inaccurate beyond his being an "old white guy"? That seems like rather terrible supporting evidence on your part.

Anglelyne said...

ALP: So they do take it seriously and see it under every rock.

The young woman in your anecdote just sounds dumb.

Like most young people, my kids and their friends (most of whom aren't white) are pretty liberal. But what they aren't, is dumb. And they think the heresy-sniffers exist to be razzed and pranked.

Michael said...

You can be sure that it is hard to see the sentiments of most college kids because they are smart enough to keep their mouths shut around the wrong people. But have a look at the comments on college blogs or newspapers when something outrageous occurs, when a DJ is fired for playing a song objected to by a feminist in the bar who felt it "triggered" post rape syndrome amoung rape victims. You can see that the great march leftward has not been entirely successful, that a lot of young people have had it with transparent indoctrination, with speech codes.

tim in vermont said...

Being "sensitive" about something, like being "offended" is cultural aggression, and is best met with mockery.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I've never seen "mirth" used as a countable noun before. Is that something the kids are doing these days?

Hagar said...

The Professor has apparently had another attack of the prissies this week.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever."
That's hilarious in the context of the announcement, by Daniel Snyder, owner of a football team with a name that many people find offensive, that he's creating the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.


Guess Who, 3/28/14

Iconochasm said...

"Racist" is going the way of "fascist", Professor. There are many young Social Justice Warriors who see racism (and other -isms) behind every single disagreement, even as they use racism to dismiss counter-arguments... sort of like you kind of did in this post. There are many more who try to be considerate about racial issues, while still thinking the SJWs are pathetic, insane, and counter-productive.

And that's quite separate from the dilution that arises from "racism!" being used to "counter" damn near every criticism of Obama that anyone has uttered in the last 6 years.

It's gotten to the point where I think actual racism may be making a comeback among young people. It definitely is when people can be anonymous about it, though some unknown portion of that is going to be trolling.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

. . . , because an old white guy declaring the subject of race to have crossed over from serious to some kind of joke — "a national mirth" — really isn't funny.

You do realize that you are an 'old white gal', don't you?

Just checking because it is not clear that you do.

Gary Rosen said...

I have a son in high school and I would say Will's comments have some resonance (nod to Mrs. Whatsit at 1:48PM).

Bob Ellison said...

Oh, please. NPR did a story on the "That's racist" meme/joke in 2011. Try to keep up with George Will.

Ann Althouse said...

"I've never seen "mirth" used as a countable noun before. Is that something the kids are doing these days?"

I know. I went back to the DVR to check that the transcript was right. Will pauses before he says the word, as though he had a choice of words and wanted something more dignified than "joke." He looked pleased with "mirth," but the "a" didn't fit.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

BTW, what technique do you use, when commenting on something bad that a Black person is doing, to be sure you are doing so based on the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin?

Personally, I make sure I criticize the same actions when non-Blscks do it too.

This tactic is complicated, however, by the fact that there are so many many more instances of bad conduct 'while Black'. So judging only by quantity, it 'looks' bad.

This is why it must be hard for Blacks themselves to tell the difference between judgments on their character, and racism..

Fen said...

"...these imagined dialogues of yours do not sound like anything real that I have ever been involved in.

And I teach the affirmative action cases in Constitutional Law classes every year"

Students become savy on how to get through the Indoctrination of College and biased professors who will use a non-PC statement or paper to damage their GPA.

ie. they know to parrot back what you want to hear. You are not going to get a true reading of their personal postions in a classroom setting.

AReasonableMan said...


Blogger Michael K said...

Says the old white guy who sees racism under every rock.


I don't recall calling anyone racist. But, now that you bring it up, many of your posts on Trayvon Martin were unhinged racist rants, the uncensored ravings of a very troubled Id. I was too polite to mention this at the time. Maybe I erred - too much perple drank.

pm317 said...

mirth goes well with his bow tie.

Chris Lopes said...

Well the subject of over using the race card was funny enough for that bastion of right wing comedy The Daily Show to go with, but what do they know.

tim in vermont said...

Every once in a while we get to see the wannabee commissar in Althouse.

My favorites currently are Crack claiming that anti communists are secretly pro slavery, as if communism wasn't just another form of slavery.

Oh yeah, and the beards on white men are racist statements because some long forgotten collection of white men sported them.

As if one is a fascist because, well, Hitler liked dogs too.

Synova said...

My 21 year old (very liberal) 2nd born said this the other night.

"I hate it when people take something that should be an important issue and pour stupid all over it."

By no means should anyone think that the students making a joke about "that's racist" are in any way discounting racism as an important issue. Young people aren't dumb, they're smart. They can tell the difference between the issue that's important and the "stupid" that's been poured on it.

Other jokes... judging. "Don't judge me!" "I am sooooo judging you right now." etc. Trigger warnings... that too. It doesn't mean they think it's okay to be judgmental or that it's not important to consider people who might be dealing with a trauma.

They can and do make fun of the stupid poured all over everything but it doesn't mean they don't agree about the actual problems. But imagining that they don't constantly make fun of the hyper-earnestness and silliness around them is imagining that everyone on campus belongs to that hyper-earnest group, and they just don't.

dreams said...

I think Obama has hurt blacks. Obama has hurt race relations. I know I have less respect for black people like Hank Aaron and others who accuse Obama's critics of being racist or like the KKK. Where were these people during the Bush years when it was even ok to make a movie about assassinating Bush.

Michael K said...

"many of your posts on Trayvon Martin were unhinged racist rants, the uncensored ravings of a very troubled Id. I was too polite to mention this at the time. Maybe I erred - too much perple drank."

Says the old white guy who sees racism under every rock. And on top of them too.

Too bad you couldn't have personally executed Zimmerman. Of course, you would have had to fight Al Sharpton for the privilege.

Gahrie said...

And taunting people who are sensitive about race doesn't seem like a decent way to behave.


But you're fine with shotgun accusations of racism against Whites (see Crack for the last several months, and your reaction to him).

Michael K said...

Some therapeutic reading for ARM.

EARLIER this year, a column by a Harvard undergraduate named Sandra Y. L. Korn briefly achieved escape velocity from the Ivy League bubble, thanks to its daring view of how universities should approach academic freedom.
Korn proposed that such freedom was dated and destructive, and that a doctrine of “academic justice” should prevail instead. No more, she wrote, should Harvard permit its faculty to engage in “research promoting or justifying oppression” or produce work tainted by “racism, sexism, and heterosexism.”

Instead, academic culture should conform to left-wing ideas of the good, beautiful and true, and decline as a matter of principle “to put up with research that counters our goals.”


Sound good to you, ARM ?

EDH said...

Speaking of "old white guys" making "mirth"...

Happy Kyne and the Mirthmakers, Boogie Fever!

Rachel said...

Didn't read all of the comments, but yes, my 16 year old son and his white, black and Latino basketball teammates constantly use "racist" exactly in the way that George Will describes.

AReasonableMan said...

dreams said...
I think Obama has hurt blacks. Obama has hurt race relations.


Yes. Yes. It is Obama's fault that people need to express their stupid views in the press and on the internets. Why couldn't we have foreseen this? No more black Presidents for me.

With this brilliant insight we can now forestall all the sexist rantings that will accompany a Hillary presidency. Lets keep democracy safe for civil discourse and outlaw any Presidents who aren't white males.

Dave Schumann said...

Ann, when you're teaching race-related material, do you usually shut down the white kids for being white? i.e., if one were to make the comment that Will made -- "I think a lot of these racism charges have become just funny now" -- would you respond with a comment about how his race subjects him to more strict social scrutiny?

Are you yourself OK with such scrutiny? You wouldn't be offended if someone were to analyze your blog as the work of a, let's say, "typical white person" rather than trying to engage it on its own terms?

Do you think all bloggers should put their headshots up so we know whether it's safe to make fun of them for their race?

Æthelflæd said...

My kids and their friends are much less uptight about race, and that includes their friends of other races. They tease each other about things related to race that my generation would never have dared to do. They are much more sane about this stuff than their elders. It makes for more relaxed, unrestrained friendships.

eddie willers said...

I have never ever found George Will and his bow tie to say anything remotely interesting.

He once said something I thought profound.

"The four most important words in the English language are: 'up to a point'..."

Ann Althouse said...

"Happy Kyne and the Mirthmakers, Boogie Fever!"

Haven't thought about that in years, but still recognized the name.

Ann Althouse said...

"ie. they know to parrot back what you want to hear. You are not going to get a true reading of their personal postions in a classroom setting."

Oh, bullshit. You have no idea what the class is like.

The relevant "positions" are simply those taken by the different Supreme Court Justices. I have absolutely no interest in either promoting or opposing affirmative action when I teach about it.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
Sound good to you, ARM ?


I am not questioning your right to say whatever hateful evil thoughts emerge from your unconscious.

I am questioning your sanity.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, when you're teaching race-related material, do you usually shut down the white kids for being white? i.e., if one were to make the comment that Will made -- "I think a lot of these racism charges have become just funny now" -- would you respond with a comment about how his race subjects him to more strict social scrutiny?"

It's hard to picture that ever being a remark that would fit the legal subject. It's a law school class, not a light-night bull session.

"Are you yourself OK with such scrutiny? You wouldn't be offended if someone were to analyze your blog as the work of a, let's say, "typical white person" rather than trying to engage it on its own terms?"

I would have to read this proposed material to find it offensive, but why would I be reading this very boring "someone" you are positing? I acknowledge that I'm a white person and anything I write represents something I've thought as the person that I am.

"Do you think all bloggers should put their headshots up so we know whether it's safe to make fun of them for their race?"

That's not a question that flows from anything I've said.

Gabriel said...

From knowyourmeme.com, "That's Racist!":

“That’s Racist” is an expression often used in jest to point out the politically incorrect or racially insensitive nature of a post or comment online. It is typically associated with an animated reaction GIF featuring a child mouthing the phrase with the caption “That’s racist!”...

...On June 27th, 2011, NPR[9] published an article titled “’That’s Racist!’ How A Serious Accusation Became A Commonplace Quip” that explained the cultural significance and origins of the catchphrase. On November 3rd, the “Yo Is This Racist?” Tumblr[13] blog was launched, which answered submitted questions about whether something was racist or not.

The NPR article:

My editor proposed this story about "that's racist" after hearing her young son's friends using it as a joke. Just the night before, it had been a punchline on one of my favorite sitcoms, Parks And Recreation. (Someone calls sorting laundry into whites and darks racist.)

Our sense that "that's racist" was evolving into a commonplace catchphrase that only occasionally had to do with racism and race was confirmed by conversations with parents, teachers and a website that tracked how it started as an online meme. A video clip from the cult TV show Wonder Showzen showed an African-American kid with the words "that's racist" underneath. It became a virtual retort on online message boards. People started dropping it into Internet arguments, to quench or inflame them.

From there, "that's racist" used as an ironic or absurdist diss spread into the mainstream. Comedian Hannibal Buress, also a writer for the show 30 Rock says he uses it because it makes people uncomfortable. That's critical to a certain kind of comedy, that takes pokes at the cultural underbelly.


George Will has been paying attention.

n.n said...

Gabriel:

It was inevitable. While bias is a product of nature, prejudice is a product of nurture or circumstance. There are definite motives for its progress, which require active efforts or salient circumstances to develop. Aside from the professional agitators, and the occasional relics, most people do not have sufficient cause to develop that particular prejudice.

Michael said...

ARM

"many of your posts on Trayvon Martin were unhinged racist rants, the uncensored ravings of a very troubled Id. I was too polite to mention this at the time. Maybe I erred - too much perple drank."

Now note the concluding sentence, the use of black dialect in a mocking way to call another person a racist. See? This is how it is done by the leftist who could not be a racist because....leftist. But a leftist quick with the stereotype with a thin cloth of irony as a protectorant against the obvious. Progressive riding a horse named sanctimony.

30yearProf said...

"You're a racist." has certainly been over used and bandied about out of context so much as to have lost all impact. That's true.

Like the boy who "Called WOLF", the term and the race baiters who use it are, indeed, on the way to irrelevance. So, I fear, are Jews who call everyone who doesn't l-o-v-e them (individually or as a collective.

Nasty epitaphs should be reserved for truly nasty situations. Otherwise they lose their punch. To this extent, George Will sees the future.

P. S. Overuse kills impact regardless of the truth (if any) of the epitaph.

Iconochasm said...

"The relevant "positions" are simply those taken by the different Supreme Court Justices. I have absolutely no interest in either promoting or opposing affirmative action when I teach about it."

It's not necessary for you to have any such interest. Their other law professors, and their undergrad professors could easily have been enough to inculcate such a two-faced instinct. I would hope students who read your blog would know better, but those habits probably predate taking your class.

Out of curiosity, do you often see students take a serious stand on topics like opposition to AA? If not, well, it's probably impossible to separate tactical silence from general left-leaning tendencies.

Paco Wové said...

"That's not a question that flows from anything I've said."

"because an old white guy declaring the subject of race to have crossed over ... isn't funny."

Beg to differ.

Michael K said...

"George Will has been paying attention."

ARM pays attention only to the voices in his head.

My daughter, who graduated from college last year and who has a good job unlike some of her classmates, is more conservative than I am. Actually, we decided we are both libertarian.

Plus we both like C&W music although I am too old to go to Stagecoach where she will be next week.

pm317 said...

Yes. Yes. It is Obama's fault that people need to express their stupid views in the press and on the internets.

Yes. Yes. It is Obama's fault that he feels the need to go to that low life Sharpton's racebaiting conference and fan the flames with more racebaiting just like he was some low life community organizer in Chicago.

RecChief said...

except he might be right....

It has become a joke among my coworkers, and as a white guy, I'm in the minority where I work.

Audacity17 said...

I know people that when referring to some peoples' rejection of socialism revert to his meme. Laughs are had by all.

http://i2.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/002/135/sw50sw8sw578.gif

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

If there's anything Kids These Days are, it's cynical. And they mock, mercilessly, the religious fanatics, whether they're Racial Justice fanatics or Bible-thumpers.

As a 34 year old, with kids who are 12, 10, 8 and 4, I've told you repeatedly Althouse that you out yourself as an old fossil when you talk about race. You have attitudes stuck 40 years in the past. The middle of the bell curve of people my age and certainly my kids' ages are people who take racial diversity completely for granted. Occasionally there is a True Believer who earnestly crusades for Racial Justice, but those are the outliers.

The rest of us forge on happily with our rainbow-coalition families, workplaces and schools without giving racial-grievance-mongers much thought.

I suggest you get with the times.

Chef Mojo said...

Will is dead on.

Can't speak for college kids, but this is certainly true with VOTECH kids I've mentored in culinary arts.

"Order up! Duck, mid-rare, steak special, medium, 2 veggies!"

"Aw, Chef, that's totally racist!"

Hilarity ensues in a kitchen made up mostly of assorted minorities.

Or, "Replate that food, girl! It looks racist how you did that!"

Yes, I know it's anecdotal. But I've been predicting it for years. When the term racist or the concept of racism was abused (See Crack...) as a means to stifle and delegitimze speech, then a dilution of meaning occurred. The newer kids coming up see this, and they are not stupid.

RecChief said...

"And I teach the affirmative action cases in Constitutional Law classes every year."

And so the students you interact with in this setting would be serious about race. How about the Freshmen in Biology 101 who haven't even figured out a major yet? And what is the racial makeup of these classes where you interact with students? If there is even one minority, do you think that the white students in your class are more, or less, likely to appear to take the subject of race seriously? Do you interact with them at the local watering hole? how serious about race are they when surrounded by their friends, a little alcohol in them, and no professors around? Might it be that these kids, who are probably pretty smart, have figured out which conversational subjects they must take seriously and which they can joke around about? Especially in a town as liberal as Madison. Please explain further.

chickenlittle said...

George Will at his best was the time he defenestrated Andrew Sullivan's "New Confederacy Theory" on Sunday morning TV (begins at 2 min 5 sec). The notion that anyone can paint vast swaths of modern American territory as "racist" is just ludicrous.

Michael K said...

I see my link to Patterico has not survived moderation. I certainly sympathize with your desire to shield ARM from contrary views.

Here is another painful topic for devoted leftists.


Recently the British press has been rocked by a series of revelations that beloved Leftist leaders were actually pedophiles whose crimes were covered up, time and again by instructions from on high.

I will certainly understand if you judge it too harsh for him.

Besides, the Masters is almost over and it is time to walk Winston.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Old white women are so amusing.

Racist!

Paul Zrimsek said...

Nasty epitaphs

"Here lies Joe Blow. Good thing too."

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, your response to my hypothetical is a complete and utter non sequitur. Those "imagined dialogues" of mine may "not sound like anything real that [you] have ever been involved in" but that's the nature of a hypothetical is it not?

ALP said...

"One white person pointing out the country of origin of another white person..yeah, I see the racism in that."
****************
Paco Wove said:

"So, what was your follow-up? I would surmise, from that brief description, that your classmate's real problem was that she wasn't very bright — at least, I would be interested in hearing a non-stupid rendition of her train of thought."

Sigh - I wish I could say I had some brilliant comeback, but I fear my reaction to such a lack of logical thinking is "deer in the headlights". Over and over again, I give people the benefit of the doubt that they have their feet on the ground and can think rationally. When they prove me wrong, I am paralyzed by disappointment.

This took place in WA state - the Pacific NW is rife with people so worried they will offend people in the slightest (as people here have tissue thin skin and offend easily) they are constantly covering their asses JUST IN CASE someone in earshot is offended.

Someone on the Seattle City Council proposed forbidding the use of the phrase "brown bagging" (as in "no food will be provided at this meeting, please bring a brown bag lunch") because it was considered to be racist. That was a new one on ME...I shudder to think of how many racist brown bag lunches I had as a grade school kid. Who knew?

Its that kind of place.

Hagar said...

Just caught the re-run of Fox News Sunday, and Bob Woodward is full of it - again.
It is all about race because the White House and the DoJ make it all about race.
For the White House, I think it is calculated - and the people doing the calculating aren't Black - or not many of them anyway.
For Eric Holder, I think it is heartfelt, but still highly inappropriate. He is not in a fit frame of mind to hold the office of U.S. Attorney General.

Drago said...

ARM: "I am questioning your sanity."

Of course you are.

Precisely in the same way communist totalitarians do in very "peoples paradise" they create.

The soviets did it.

Castro's lunatics did it.

etc.

Utterly unsurprising that you would as well.

Saint Croix said...

On June 27th, 2011, NPR published an article titled “’That's Racist!’ How A Serious Accusation Became A Commonplace Quip” that explained the cultural significance and origins of the catchphrase.

Thanks for that link. Argument over. I haven't been hip for years so I have no idea what the kids are saying.

Somehow, I find it hard to believe that George Will is out and about at the colleges getting a real feel for what the young folk find amusing.

You owe him an apology. He was right on the money. And that NPR link is amazing, because the liberals are so clueless as to the fact that they are being mocked.

Saint Croix said...

And taunting people who are sensitive about race doesn't seem like a decent way to behave.

yes and that rock and roll music is so loud.

Ann Althouse said...

"I see my link to Patterico has not survived moderation. I certainly sympathize with your desire to shield ARM from contrary views."

Resist the persecution complex.

I didn't moderate out what you're referring to.

What is "ARM"?

C R Krieger said...

"because an old white guy"

You wouldn't say "old yellow guy", and I know for darn sure I wouldn't, so let's not use "white" for Caucasian.

White has picked up such a negative connotation.

Thanks

Regards  —  Cliff

Ann Althouse said...

I checked the acronym finder for "ARM" and there were 100s of hits.

Come on. Get out of your cocoon!

Ann Althouse said...

"@Althouse, your response to my hypothetical is a complete and utter non sequitur. Those "imagined dialogues" of mine may "not sound like anything real that [you] have ever been involved in" but that's the nature of a hypothetical is it not?"

You can assume that if someone attempted to corner me with that kind of nonsense that I would respond with questions about their assumptions that would bring the discussion to a rational place.

chickenlittle said...

ARM is a legal tool. Sort of like a "person of ordinary skill" in patent law.

/passive aggression

AReasonableMan said...

Michael said...
Now note the concluding sentence, the use of black dialect in a mocking way to call another person a racist. See? This is how it is done by the leftist who could not be a racist because....leftist. But a leftist quick with the stereotype with a thin cloth of irony as a protectorant against the obvious. Progressive riding a horse named sanctimony.


Take a deep breath Michael and step away from the keyboard. I was making a small joke about Michael K's unhinged obsession with said drink. Your meta-analysis is overwrought.

Lorenzo said...

Oops, I pulled the Crack trigger and forgot the internet was loaded.

Michael K said...

" Bob Woodward is full of it - again. "

He has his sources to protect. Everybody who reads his stuff knows he treats favorably those who leak to him.

"Resist the persecution complex.

I didn't moderate out what you're referring to.

What is "ARM"?

It's tough but I will resist the persecution complex brought on by a clueless old white man who calls himself "A reasonable man" calling me "insane." I offered to support his request to be George Zimmerman's executioner.

I'm not the only one around here who calls him "ARM."

I guess you just took a long break from moderating this scintillating blog.

I did too. A long break that is. The guys I wanted to see win the Masters didn't. That is a lot more sad than being called names by silly old men who have no arguments for their views.

I spend most days with kids under 25. Military recruits, who are are very interesting, and medical students.

By the way, I still don't see the Patterico link. Maybe you prefer the NY Times.

Hagar said...

And back to the topic.
George Will is right. "That's racist!" is joining up with "We blame George W. Bush" and "It's because of Global Warming."

William said...

I thought ARM was a shorthand way of referring to A Reasonable Man. If Althouse misses the abbreviations on her blog, it is possible that she misses the validity of Will's observation........I thought racism jumped the shark when they accused Paul Ryan of racism for a few carefully modulated comments. At any rate, when you go before Al Sharpton's organization to make accusations of racism, you're into self parody. Just because SNL and late night comics don't make fun of you, doesn't mean you're not a jerk.

Saint Croix said...

ARM is your commentator A Reasonable Man.

Fen said...

"ie. they know to parrot back what you want to hear. You are not going to get a true reading of their personal postions in a classroom setting."

Oh, bullshit.

"Why are you getting emotional? Reason is the first victim of strong emotion"

You have no idea what the class is like.

I don't need to. Because I already know what american universities are like. Doesn't matter if your class is the most unbiased and fair in the nation - the students are still conditioned to keep their beliefs to themselves or risk viewpoint discrimination by your libtard peers.

Bottom line, your anecdotes about what students *really* think, based on your classroom experiences, is comptletely irrelevant.

And you're a fool if you think they are truthful with you. You control their future. They prob read you here just to know which lines of argument to avoid and which ones to parrot back at you.

Fen said...

ARM: Take a deep breath Michael and step away from the keyboard. I was making a small joke about Michael K's unhinged obsession with said drink. Your meta-analysis is overwrought.

FTR, I was over at Legal Insurrection during their coverage of the Zimmerman trial. Best analysis on the web re that.

ARM was there beclowing himself to such an extent, he made Garage look a rational commenter acting in good faith.

Really surprised ARM would bring it up, was very embarassing for him. Maybe he's one of those people that edit their own history so they can face the mirror in the morning.

Jupiter said...

"Derbyshire happens to prize IQ but it matters less than he thinks."

I think Derbyshire believes that a full standard deviation of IQ is sufficient to explain pretty much all of the employment and education differentials that are routinely attributed to white racism, and he is tired of getting blamed for problems he had no part of.

But what really got Derb in hot water with the race denialists was his observation that black people are prone to violence, and are therefore dangerous, to themselves and others. Since supposedly "non-racist" white people are well aware of this fact, and base important life decisions upon it, this struck close to home. Their first, defensive thought was, "Well, of course I don't live around blacks, but some of my best friends...". But, no, there are problems with that formulation. Better just to say, "That's Racist!"

Mainline conservatives like Will would like very much to believe that there's nothing wrong with black people that government policies of one kind or another can't cure. Detroit is a victim of liberalism, just like San Francisco. They think racism is cruel, unfair, and low-class, and they would rather not be racists. They prefer to think that they chose the neighborhood they live in for economic reasons. I sympathize with their plight, but the scientific evidence for major racial differences in behavioral characteristics is undeniable. Or rather, it is so overwhelming that no good argument can be made against it. Therefore, outside of a few narrow academic specialties, in which it is taken for granted, it cannot be addressed, only denied.

AReasonableMan said...

Drago said...
Precisely in the same way communist totalitarians do in very "peoples paradise" they create.
The soviets did it.
Castro's lunatics did it.
etc.
Utterly unsurprising that you would as well.


I am very disappointed that you didn't manage to get Hitler into this post. After all, he's also a 'socialist'.

persiflage mahal said...

"From what I've seen, I think young people today take race quite seriously and are concerned that there is racism lurking within some things that on the surface are not explicitly racist. "

From what I've seen Will is exactly right. Young people throw around "racist!" as a punchline or light-hearted one-upper during casual banter. It simply has no sting. Perhaps it's different among the frozen chosen.

Michael K said...

I still have not seen a link to that Douthat article but, like Comrade Stalin, you have much to concern you.

"I think Derbyshire believes that a full standard deviation of IQ is sufficient to explain pretty much all of the employment and education differentials that are routinely attributed to white racism, and he is tired of getting blamed for problems he had no part of."

The firing of Derb by NRO put my support of that magazine in serious jeopardy, not that they care. I have spent more time at Taki's Magazine since he was fired than at NRO.

I think we are in an inflection point in this country's history. We are in economic malaise, social anarchy and foreign policy meltdown.

I am only reassured by my advanced age. I do have children and grandchildren but I am relieved that I will not have to live through the future that people like ARM have obtained for us.

rhhardin said...

@Jupiter What's not being accounted for is the influence of culture.

Lots of cultures are stable and dysfunctional. Stability is the trap.

The left happens to like the trap.

There are lots of ways to be smart, and any of them does well in a free market, if you're not discouraged from trying.

Can't have acting white.

AReasonableMan said...

Fen said...
ARM was there beclowing himself to such an extent


Two lies in one post, good effort. First, I never make a fool of myself. Second, you have lied about this before. As far as I can recall I have never posted on that cesspit. Point to the posts or retract the post.

Fen said...

Yes people, this is ARM's A-game, such as it is. Please be gentle. Pretend you're fencing with a handicapped person.

Ann Althouse said...

"And you're a fool if you think they are truthful with you. You control their future. They prob read you here just to know which lines of argument to avoid and which ones to parrot back at you."

No, you are a fool. My exams are blind graded. Process that.

Bruce Hayden said...

No, you are a fool. My exams are blind graded. Process that.

One of the best things about law school - I could be myself in class, and still get a good grade.

dbp said...

" an old white guy declaring the subject of race to have crossed over from serious to some kind of joke — "a national mirth" — really isn't funny."

Okay, it isn't funny. It is true though and it is actually quite a bit more pleasant to process this with humor than without.

Sorun said...

How is "racist" defined in the Urban Dictionary -- the reference of choice for old white men.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
the future that people like ARM have obtained for us.


That would be the longest average lifetimes and highest standard of living in recorded history.

Yes it's a living hell that we have created.


Tarrou said...

I can't speak to George or his reads on college culture. But I'm a grad student and my whole life is on campus, and yes, "racist" is a big joke. I've said that at least ten times in the past week in response to silly things.

"I'll be late to lab"
"That's because you're racist!"

Check Daniel Tosh's "Is it racist?" segments. The accusation of racism is being destigmatized. Too bad, perhaps, but the libs overplayed it. "Racist" now means nothing more than "a liberal couldn't think up an argument".

Saint Croix said...

the scientific evidence for major racial differences in behavioral characteristics is undeniable.

What do you say to people who don't understand free will? Pathetic dweebs with their master plans and their diagrams of humanity. And their statistics! They will drown you with statistics. They don't understand causation, or science, or proof. They're oblivious to culture. It must be the pigment. It's got to be skin color!

And we have this nasty word, "racist," to describe said people. And we have a nasty history that goes along with the nasty word. Despite all this failure, and all the evil that happened because of this stupidity, still they will not let go of their breeding theories and their master races.

Fen said...

No, you are a fool. My exams are blind graded. Process that.

What difference does that make? You really think your students are willing to risk sharing their true beliefs with you on the promise that their exams are blind-graded?

Who is the controlling authority on how your exams are graded? If its you, then you're an even bigger fool for thinking that means anything - what you grant you can take away.

And from what we've seen of your peers, its not a reach to worry that a libtard professor would break his own ethical standards to punish a student for thoughtcrime.

Gahrie said...

Yes it's a living hell that we have created.

Dude....you can move to the Worker's paradise in Cuba, North Korea, Venezula or Russia anytime you want.

Hagar said...

Well, Professor. It was a long time before P.C., but us sliderule jockeys were required to take a number of courses in "Humanities" in order to graduate. Some of these I were able to get something out of, others I took just to pile up hours at times convenient for me.
However, 10-15 years later I might meet one of these "Liberal Arts" majors again, and his eyes would go big and round and he would say, "Oh, I remember you! You are the one who argued with the professor!"

Michael K said...

"That would be the longest average lifetimes and highest standard of living in recorded history.

Yes it's a living hell that we have created."

That's the present. The future is coming. Pay attention.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
That's the present. The future is coming. Pay attention.


If it were up to you guys we would still be wandering around the desert scratching our balls, pontificating about God and performing the occasional ritual genital mutilation. Liberals made this world. Don't thank me, you are welcome.

Fen said...

What happens when ARM eventually discovers that "liberals then" is "conservatives now"? Will his head explode?

Because it sounds like he's chosen his political ideology based on what's popular, without any regard to history.

eric said...

We just took a 6 hour road trip this weekend with all four of my children in the car. At some point, we were discussing that my children are 1/128th cherokee indian. I told my wife and kids that the next census we have, it'll be 5 Native Americans in our household and 1 white guy.

My daughter, the oldest, who is 13, said, "Dad, that's wrong! That would be a lie! And we shouldn't lie."

And I said, "How would it be a lie? You're part native american."

And her response was, because she is more white than anything else and she ought to declare herself whatever the majority is.

And I said, "So you're rejecting that minority part of you? Does that seem right?"

And her response was something like, "Daaaaad."

And then I got serious. I asked my kids if they thought it was ok if they got special treatment because they were white. All of them, to my pride, said, "No!"

Then I asked them if it's ok if anyone got special treatment due to their skin color and all of them said, "No!"

Then my daughter spoke up and said, "But that's the point dad, you want us to claim ourselves Native American so we get special treatment. Which is wrong."

And I said, "Good point, but hear me out."

Then I reminded them of one of our favorite movies, the Incredibles. And I reminded them of a scene where Dash is told, "Everyone is special." and Dash responds, "If everyone is special, then no one is special."

And my kids remember that part because they agreed with it and I have talked about it before. And I asked my daughter, "Do minorities today, like women and people of color, get special treatment?" And she said, "Yeah, and it's not fair." And I said, "What if everyone were a minority?"

Then she caught on. If everyone is a minority, then no one is a minority.

And I was one proud papa, because I convinced my four children this weekend to declare themselves as their native american heritage.

Drago said...

ARM: "I am very disappointed that you didn't manage to get Hitler into this post. After all, he's also a 'socialist'"

Leftist dislike having the fact that lefty totalitarian regimes routinely label beliefs that don't align with theirs as "insanity".

Here's a link to help ARM come to grips with what leftists routinely do when they have no cogent argument against a policy preference or philosophical argument/position not to their liking:

http://www.narpa.org/MLP-IHR-ILR.pdf

snip (from page 71 of the link): "Yet, if we are to consider the well-documented history of the use of state psychiatry
in the Soviet bloc and in China, we are forced to confront the reality that, for many
years, procedural safeguards such as these were totally absent, and institutional
psychiatry was a major tool in the suppression of political dissent.4"

So yes ARM, you labeling of a different opinion as "insanity" is precisely what we come to expect from the "open and tolerant" leftists amongst us.

Closer to home are the myriad of kafkaesque "hate speech" rules with on college campus' which were enacted right about the time the leftists acquired operating control of those institutions.

Look north to Canada to see what their lefties have done to free speech.

But hey, I get it.

It's a difficult FACT to confront, what with all the evidence here and abroad.


Drago said...

ARM: "Liberals made this world."

They certainly made the Soviet Union.

And Maoist China.

And the North Korean peoples paradise.

And Castro's funville in Cuba.

Not to mention the death camps of Cambodia.

But hey, nobody bats a thousand, do they?

Omelets. Broken eggs. Some assembly required.

Gahrie said...

Liberals made this world. Don't thank me, you are welcome

The classical liberals who contributed to this culture based on Western Civilization and Christianity bear nothing in common with modern liberalism besides the name.

Larry Day said...

Sorry, Ann. Will's right, if a little late. I'm an old white guy with a 22 year old. Years ago, when my son Alex was in high school, I could say "Go clean your room" and he'd look at me with a glint in his eye and a barely concealed grin on his face and hiss "Racist!" He obviously thought it was funny as hell.

Anglelyne said...

Jupiter: he scientific evidence for major racial differences in behavioral characteristics is undeniable.

Saint Croix: What do you say to people who don't understand free will? Pathetic dweebs with their master plans and their diagrams of humanity. And their statistics! They will drown you with statistics. They don't understand causation, or science, or proof. They're oblivious to culture. It must be the pigment. It's got to be skin color!

It's always a good idea to make at least some slight acquaintance with a field before developing passionate opinions about it. Top two signs of a lack of the most basic familiarity with this particular one: 1) thinks the research is all about "skin color" and "pigment", and 2) thinks researchers in this area are "oblivious" to cultural variables, and never, ever, consider, examine, or test for them. Wait, wait, make that three top signs - thinks that anybody studying differences in human groups believes in a "master race".

Michael K said...

"Liberals made this world. Don't thank me, you are welcome."

Especially the $17 trillion debt, the social disaster in the black community, the financial collapse (Don't try to deny Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson's role. and the loss of Vietnam.

I'll give you that the Army botched Vietnam but LBJ was very prominent in that mess.

The coming financial and economic collapse will be all yours. The unemployment and economic sluggishness is yours too. The coming repudiation of national debt and public pensions, not to mention Social Security will be on your doorstep.

My older son, who voted for Obama twice, does not expect to ever see a penny of Social Security so he has no excuse. He is a lawyer, of course.

sojerofgod said...

@Ann Althouse: "I'm sure they don't display their comic tendencies in my presence."

Well of course they don't display that in front of you! your "The Man" after all... ok, "The (Wo)Man" in actuality. But still Will's point is valid about the overuse of crying RACIST at every turn, as valid as the tale of the boy who cried 'Wolf' No real discussion of race takes place in this country today which is a shame.

Trashhauler said...

Yeah, for sure. There cannot be anything some old white guy can say that makes sense or has any bearing on the world as we live in it.

mtrobertsattorney said...

What are some of these things "that on the surface are not explicitly racist" but have "racism lurking within"?

Xmas said...

Young people make racist jokes all the time.

Go take a look at 4chan (home of Anonymous) sometime. Never will you find a greater hive of scum and villainy in the universe.

PS. never go to 4chan...

Annie said...

My college aged kids do not find humor in the 'racism is everywhere' meme when they were in highschool or now at university. They find the claims unfair, stupid, and tiresome. While they have not witnessed any racism, they have seen those who have gotten hurt by false claims.

Jupiter said...

rhhardin said...
@Jupiter "What's not being accounted for is the influence of culture."

Well, the people who study these things sometimes use the term "heritable", which avoids specifying how it is that children come to resemble their parents. Are you suggesting that my awareness of the FBI's crime statistics would not be racist if I attributed the racial differences to "culture"? I think if you want to be non-racist, you have to attribute it to "oppression". Blame the victim for the crime, or you're a racist.

Phil D said...

"You're a racist has been overused", shouldn't that be "You're a racist has been over-mis-used", because it rather has been "overwhelmingly" underused against real racists.

deepelemblues said...

Regardless of George's age, "that's racist" or "you're so racist" is pretty much a meaningless friendly jibe or punchline among us millenials these days. I've never heard anyone say it in response to "looks like it's going to rain," but if used correctly it can be funny. It's overused probably but we millenials run crap into the ground fast.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Pookie Number 2 said...

I think it's pretty obvious that I understood all that.

No, what's obvious is that you don't like George Will. And that you'll try to bluster your way through that instead of honestly asking yourself whether he's made a reasonable observation.

****

Tooo...effen---shay!!!

OWWWCCHHH!!

deepelemblues said...

Regardless of George's age, "that's racist" or "you're so racist" is pretty much a meaningless friendly jibe or punchline among us millenials these days. I've never heard anyone say it in response to "looks like it's going to rain," but if used correctly it can be funny. It's overused probably but we millenials run crap into the ground fast.

Earnest Prole said...

I listen to the way my college-age children and their friends of different races talk about this, and I think George Will has it about right. But just like you, they also know how to pretend the subject of race really isn’t funny.

Jupiter said...

St. Croix says;

"What do you say to people who don't understand free will? Pathetic dweebs with their master plans and their diagrams of humanity. And their statistics! They will drown you with statistics. They don't understand causation, or science, or proof. They're oblivious to culture. It must be the pigment. It's got to be skin color!"

What indeed, do you say to people who don't understand free will? My main point was that Derbyshire's sin was not reiterating the IQ statistics that were news to no one since the publication of The Bell Curve. What got everyone's knickers in a twist was when he pointed out that White Flight occurs at the rate of one Flight per White. Say it's genetic, say it's cultural (say it's common sense), when Whitey sees the Black Man coming, he packs his traps and gets out of town. This observation is decidedly uncomfortable for the sort of white person who likes to suppose that he is not a racist. Because, while he can lie with his mouth, he tells the truth with his feet.

wholelottasplainin' said...

AReasonableMan said...

Wishful thinking on Will's part. He can't change his party so he needs to believe that the world has changed

***

Some people simply cannot come to grips with the facts, namely (a) the Republican party led the fight against slavery, (b) the Democrat party resisted the outcome of the Civil War that ended slavery by passing the Jim Crow laws, and (c) the modern Democrat party resisted the passage of the 1960's Civil Rights bills, while the great majority of Republican Congress supported them.

Scott M said...

Somehow, I find it hard to believe that George Will is out and about at the colleges getting a real feel for what the young folk find amusing.

Quite possibly. On the other hand, while his metaphor might have been arbitrary, you can look no further than this blog, or, indeed, many others in which the snark-use of "Racist." or "You're a racist." is completely dog bites man.

Scott M said...

I'm an old white guy with a 22 year old. Years ago, when my son Alex was in high school, I could say "Go clean your room" and he'd look at me with a glint in his eye and a barely concealed grin on his face and hiss "Racist!" He obviously thought it was funny as hell.

Same here. Mine's a junior in college now and have been around his friends in large groups a few times. If color (not necessarily skin color...any color of anything)is even remotely relevant to a conversation, "racist" can get dropped in as a joke.

stlcdr said...

And here we are, playing on stereotypes. Not all college age kids think alike. Likewise with the test of the population. We label groups - since it's a natural thing to do - based on our personal experiences with individuals who are identifiable of that group.

It's interesting that the phrase Old White Guy is truing to be used by Not-Old-White-Guys as a disparaging remark. Much like the identifiable phrase 'the black guy' is seen as racist - a disparagement - we have given descriptive words power, of some sort, way beyond their meaning.

Remember, wear your Old White Guy T-shirt with pride, you old white guys, you! OWG power!

OWGs were college age once - we can extrapolate. The attitude of college age kids hasn't changed, they just like to think it has.

Mark said...

As Fen repeatedly argues with Ann about whether her law students ever tell the truth in class, other commenters relate stories their kids told them or the way they act around their ultra-conservative fathers like kids never tell parents what they want to hear.

Larry makes it clear his kid said that to him, watching his face for his reaction ... But somehow this is portrayed as the ways kids talk among peers. Ok, then.

tim in vermont said...

" I never make a fool of myself." - ARM

Wow. Even Rush claims he is only right 99.9 percent of the time. ARM is always right.

He can even explain how "liberals" did everything good in the history of man, and even though our society is a witch's brew (am I allowed to say that?) of albienist , heteronormatist, toadies to the patriarchy, he can show that only liberals among them contributed anything to medicine, just to take a single example, out of the myriad contributions to out well being made by previous generations.

The guy who invented the transistor, on which our whole digital age was founded, was a flat out racists, for example. William Shockley, Google him clown.


Wow, I can't wait to hear the explanation of how he didn't actually beclown himself with those two statements side by side.

I think we ought to stop call him ARM and start calling him the "Deluded One," or "DO."

Mrs Whatsit said...

Ann, you don't really think that blind grading is enough to free your students to bare their souls in law school classrooms, do you? You really don't think they're sniffing the air trying to catch your positions whenever subjects like affirmative action come up, even though YOU may think that all you're talking about is the position of some USSCt Justice? They know better than that and I'm guessing that you do, too. The University, these days -- law school absolutely included -- is the classroom of learning what to say to whom to curry favor. And that's for the smart ones who can suss out what's really going on. For many of the rest, sadly, it's the classroom of learning what to THINK to curry favor. You know your power over your students isn't limited to the grade you'll hand out at the end of the semester, or at least, you should. They certainly do.

You might want to consider just how transparent your relations with your students really are, considering that you seem to be the only person on this thread who didn't know that "That's racist" has been a joke for years, and thought Will, that "old white guy," was out of touch for knowing that when you didn't, and also thought he was talking about jokes about the serious subject of race (obvious or not, that's what you wrote) instead of the silly subject of hyperracialism.

Carnifex said...

Said the professor who's school hasn't graduated a black basketball player in 5 years

harrogate said...

"don't need to. Because I already know what american universities are like."

Says Fen. And he does know! Because the pundits tell him so!

Rusty said...

Somehow, I find it hard to believe that Ann Althouse is out and about at the colleges getting a real feel for what the young folk find amusing

I'm pretty sure young people find old people out and about trying to devine what young people find amusing, amusing.

RecChief said...

AReasonebleMan said...
"First, I never make a fool of myself.

That is open to debate

RecChief said...

"No, you are a fool. My exams are blind graded. Process that. "

So there is no self censorship among your students based on social acceptance rather than grades? An exceptional bunch of young people for sure.

AReasonableMan said...

tim in vermont said...
The guy who invented the transistor, on which our whole digital age was founded, was a flat out racists, for example. William Shockley,


So I am giving you this. Shockley is definitely one of your guys.

It should be noted that there were two other scientists involved who actually did the theoretical and experimental work. One of them went on to win a second Nobel prize.

AReasonableMan said...

wholelottasplainin' said...
Some people simply cannot come to grips with the facts, namely (a) the Republican party led the fight against slavery, (b) the Democrat party resisted the outcome of the Civil War that ended slavery by passing the Jim Crow laws, and (c) the modern Democrat party resisted the passage of the 1960's Civil Rights bills, while the great majority of Republican Congress supported them.


Crack points this out repeatedly. It is a major reason why he was a Republican.

Unknown said...

IMHO,

recycling what others have said:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/08/13/daily_show_race_card_is_maxed_out.html

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/thats-racist

http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2011/06/27/137451481/thats-racist-how-a-serious-accusation-became-a-commonplace-quip

and finally, googling "is it racist," it's pretty clear that Will was spot on and Althouse took a swing and missed.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, you don't really think that blind grading is enough to free your students to bare their souls in law school classrooms, do you?"

No, I don't. I think there is tremendous social pressure on students, and it's something that bothered me when I was a law student circa 1980. One reason I wanted to become a law professor was to experience the free, open, wide-ranging debate I was sad not to have when I was a student.

Unfortunately, as a professor I can only try to create conditions for good debate within my class. I cannot dispel the social pressure that comes from all over.

Nevertheless, I find that when students are willing to speak, they will explore the issues raised in the cases and take all the arguments seriously, which is what I try to get them to do.

This isn't about "baring one's soul," however. It's about studying the cases and exploring the legal arguments.

The question of whether a student supports affirmative action (or abortion or whatever) is simply not relevant and it doesn't come up in class.

tim in vermont said...

"So I am giving you this. Shockley is definitely one of your guys." - ARM

There you go making a fool of yourself again.

Do you have any grasp of the most rudimentary logic or set theory? Or do you have the belief that every single person who is not a liberal is a racist? Is that how you avoid making an idiot of yourself? That kind of iron-clad logic?

I am sure that this fundamental flaw in your grasp on logic has much do do with your sloppy thinking elsewhere, thinking you use to make the ludicrous claim that you "never make a fool of yourself."

Not to mention that Shockley was only one example of someone you would not own as a liberal who made huge contributions to the well being of today's generation.

Maybe your "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" persona is convincing to you, but you are good for lots of laughs that you don't intend.

D. J. Reed said...

He's white so he must not know anything about it? Do you even read and think about what you write before you post it?

Æthelflæd said...

So blind-graders at UW-M are all 100% politically neutral? Who knew?

That being said, I am positive that yours is not the type of classroom that discourages outlying opinions, in fact, I expect it is rewarded.

Still, there are certain things said with friends that wouldn't be said in front of a whole class and the professor, however fair and balanced she may be.

My oldest attends a State U right now, and the students are all well aware of which professors will tolerate dissenting opinions and which will not. Finding that you have signed up with the former type of professor is always a relief. RateMyProfessor ratings are not reliable on this particular metric.

Big Mike said...

I know it's irrational to debate someone who, by definition, gets the last word. But I work with irrational numbers all the time (mathematician humor).

If I understand your comment posted at 6:29 yesterday evening, you would answer my hypothetical question with other questions until I was bullied into shutting up (pejorative word deliberately selected) or you found yourself answering a question you'd rather answer.

That's actually pretty smart, tactically speaking.

I suspect you really do try to encourage open and wide-ranging debate in your classes. From your responses to my comments, I wonder whether subconsciously you might discourage discussions that go where you are uncomfortable going. If you did discourage open discussion of some topics, I suspect that no one in your class -- not even you! -- would recognize it. But kudos for trying.

"The question of whether a student supports affirmative action (or abortion or whatever) is simply not relevant and it doesn't come up in class." Correct! I wouldn't want a lawyer who failed to do his or her dead level best for a client regardless of personal opinion.

AReasonableMan said...

tim in vermont said...
Not to mention that Shockley was only one example of someone you would not own as a liberal who made huge contributions to the well being of today's generation.


He was your example. I'm just working with what I am given.

tim in vermont said...

ARM,
You made the ludicrous claim that the benefits of society were pretty much exclusively provided by liberals, all I needed was one counterexample. More simple logic that is probably beyond your grasp. You might google up ways to disprove a negative, it it isn't clear to you.

But you don't make a fool of yourself, ever, despite your seeming complete ignorance of logic.

Of course it is possible that your whole shtick is a kind of reverse Colbert where you are portraying a liberal ironically. That does make a lot more sense. Thanks for the laughs either way.

MarkD said...

I would argue the accusation has become boring. Let's just call people we don't like cannibals instead. Pants nailed it when he said "The rest of us forge on happily with our rainbow-coalition families, workplaces and schools without giving racial-grievance-mongers much thought."

Who would have thought an old white guy™ like me was ahead of the curve?

AReasonableMan said...

Don't have much of a sense of humor, do you Tim. Most comedians are liberal.

Larry Day said...

Mark said: "Larry makes it clear his kid said that to him, watching his face for his reaction ... But somehow this is portrayed as the ways kids talk among peers. Ok, then." It was one example of many, Mark. And yes, I've overheard him and his friends making the same kind of joke, on numerous occasions.

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