In his best-selling book How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram Xolani Kendi (born Ibram Henry Rogers), wrote, “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” This claim, more than any other we examined on our
This was one of the most productive discussions I’ve seen you have. I wish more of my classroom discussions looked like this in college.
About Kendi’s statement — I do find it interesting how many people just parrot it without analyzing it. There’s only so many remedies you can bestow on past injustices before it becomes a futile effort.
The past happened and it can’t be changed. The best we can do is look critically at the past and present and make sure the past doesn’t happen again.
If you guys don't work harder to ridicule these people out of existence in the public sphere and relegate their books to the remainders bin of history, you might as well stay home and brood.
They just get richer every day and every day another elementary school classroom is destroying the brains of our children, and mostly their parents cheer it on with the fervor of a tent revival adherent.
You are gentle and thoughtful and wise and meanwhile the Khmer Rouge are just piling up the skulls in their wake.
How do we *really* fight back? I mean, so another generation isn't lost as we watch, sadly?
The extraordinary patience of the good teacher! Yes, you do have to convince people to think and yes, it's very worthwhile when you do. Thanks for doing this, Peter Boghossian. And how I wish these young people read Thomas Sowell.
I am going to try to steelman the Kendi position:
"The cause of racial inequity is either racist policy or racial hierarchy. The racial problem is the result of bad policies or bad people. … Either Black and Latino people are the least likely to be vaccinated against COVID-19 because there’s something wrong with them—or the inequity stems from racist policy. Either Black girls are six times as likely to be expelled from school as white girls because they misbehave more—or the inequity is caused by racist policy. To believe in racial hierarchy, to say that something is wrong with a racial group, is to express racist ideas." - Kendi
All people and cultures are exactly equal in all ways that matter is the fundamental assumption. Any disparity that exists must necessarily be the consequence of discrimination of the past. When discrimination took place in the past it disadvantaged Blacks and Latinos. Now, whites have an advantage over these groups which unearned. The disadvantage that Blacks and Latinos have is unearned as well. It is not an injustice to discriminate against someone who is advantaged for reasons outside of their control. If someone has $10 because they stole it and someone else has $10 because it was stolen from them. Then the correct thing to do is transfer the $10.
I think that if you want to be persuasive, you might need to convicingly argue that not all disparities are a consequence of historical oppression. People aren't really willing to do this.
The whole concept is ridiculous. Discrimination in itself is the action, so the idea is disingenuous. It does not create equity, it sanctions the use of hate for one demographic & that demographic dependent on physical traits. Its essentially lazy nazism. The fact this isn't considered inciting hate speech, but an overhead private conversation made public costs people their jobs it an indication of how idiotic these people are. And I don't mean it as an insult, but as a fact.
The entire statement is ridiculous and is not leading to equity. Look around. Two wrongs do not make a right! I learned that when I was 5 years old.
As I have noted in earlier commentary, as a philosopher I am predisposed to be empathetic and critical of postmodernist thought. . . . . Kendi's philosophy is based in postmodernist thought, and it is laced with numerous fallacies that are casually accepted by many people. Among these, the appeal to irrational guilt is very powerful, since its psychological effect is to create a fear and paralysis to counter-argue Neo-Racism. So, since many people don't recognize the way fallacies act as pseudo-arguments, the larger problem is the decline of good critical thinking across society. This contributes to the social turmoil that handicaps fair solutions to the corresponding conflicts. Poor critical thinking represents a great danger to society, since it often misses the critical ethical problems that underlie the public discourse about discrimination. It sets the groundwork for a continuation of conflict.
Per Plato's REPUBLIC: "It is in the interests of rulers that their subjects should be poor in spirit, and that there should be no strong bonds of friendship or community among them."
I will leave it at that. I thank Dr. Boghossian and everyone here for their contributions to this important social discussion (including my critics, who are mostly wrong). :)
J. A. VAN DE MORTEL, MIND SKILLS. Mill City Press. 2017.
James, I have to disagree with you on affirmative action. The policy looks great on paper but it is too simple of a tool to accomplish its aims.
Shifting the curve for some students but not others has the unintended effect of mismatching students with different capabilities and learning speeds, and likely different levels of study discipline and effectiveness. The result is that the students who were admitted under the affirmative action regime fall to the bottom of the class and are left trying to keep their heads above water. They change majors from pre-med or bio-engineering to communications and ethnic studies.
When California repealed affirmative action (the Dems did it) it was because it wasn’t accomplishing what it was supposed to. From what I understand long term follow ups have also found that students who went to schools that matched their scholarship acumen not only performed better at those schools but actually had better life outcomes (better jobs, home life, etc) than students who barely graduated from a school that was more challenging.
Furthermore, the existence of disparities in academic performance after affirmative action is treated as yet an even more pernicious variant of “systemic racism”. It is a very large and very embarrassing problem for many university administrators. It is however fertile ground for critical theorists to launch invective.
what a pity that your college made your life so miserable that you had no choice but to resign. their loss.
That book is as racist as it comes. If people need to read this garbage to pretend they’re not racist, that in itself is the problem. If our nation is so racist then why do thousands of blacks from Africa come here illegally through our southern border?
I have followed your previous presentations. I believe that this hits the mark in a way that best gets across the meaning and possible impact of "equity" upon America. I liken it to the attempt to make a "borg-like" society. And it operates as a sociological imperative to the point of any "resistance" to it can be treated accordingly.
I heard something recently about "cis" people owing "trans" people reparations. As the ex-wife of a man who THINKS he's a woman and claims to be 'mother' of our two sons, in documents and en plein air, I look forward to testifying in congress about the 2x financial fraud he submitted to court to get out of paying child support, while on track to become the COO of his tech database management company. I've been owed 65k in child support for years, spent 35k in legal fees--I own him?
Ute Heggen, author of In the Curated Woods, True Tales from a Grass Widow
uteheggengrasswidow.wordpress.com I sent a copy to University of Austin, hope you claim it, Peter!
What is a bit sad is that - without real-time Socratic engagement - these scenarios can seem little more than ‘more of the same’ (that is - consumerist-relativist opining [w/ painfully little recourse to Wisdom] …pretending to be thoughtfulness).
"Reverse discrimination" was also known as "affirmative action," a series of hiring and promotion polices implemented in workplaces and colleges in the 1970s and 80s, in order to make up for past discrimination against those who had suffered unequal treatment due to their race, sex or ethnicity. These policies benefited many individual members of the historically disadvantaged groups, leading to a substantially greater representation of these groups in the universities and other professions. I believe this was progress.
We can imagine how the United States would look today if there had never been a civil rights movement, or a change of policies to rectify the divisions within the working population resulting from Jim Crow segregation and discrimination.
But affirmative action alone was not sufficient to eliminate systemic racism in the United States. This simple truth allows "critical race theory" to gain substantial popularity among the college-educated sector. Unfortunately, the "critical race theory" proponents have decided they are not interested in changing government policies anew to eliminate this racism. Rather, they satisfy themselves by pursuing "cancel culture" practices to harass their fellow middle-class coworkers and subordinates.
-- James Miller, Seattle (firstname.lastname@example.org)