Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The shakedown artists are coming

By Tom Woods

Attendance is mandatory at this upcoming struggle session.

I happen to know someone at the law school at the University of Wisconsin, and he showed me the dumb propaganda people have to read in preparation for it.

The sheet is called “Common Racist Attitudes and Behaviors.”

All of them, you will not be surprised to learn, are completely normal and defensible behaviors.

So for instance, if you think it’s possible for nonwhites to exhibit racial animus (a perfectly normal thing to believe, not to mention obviously true), that’s racist. You need to stay current with the ongoing changes to the meaning of “racism,” which now means racial animus backed by institutional power. Since nonwhites supposedly lack institutional power, they can’t be racist. And you’re racist to think they can.

If you say you’re color blind, that’s also racist. By saying that “you don’t see the color, you are also saying you don’t see your whiteness. This denies the people of colors’ experience of racism and your experience of privilege.”

If you say that you’ve never wronged anyone, so you should not be put upon by shakedown artists, well, that’s also wrong and racist.

If you say that you supported the original civil rights movement but you don’t support the various inanities that pass for “anti-racist” activism today, well, you guessed it: also racist. You are obligated to support whatever left-wing activists demand.

We all know this is false, yet we’re supposed to pretend it isn’t — which is a good summary of American society in 2023, I might add.

The final sheet reads:

Use this space on the front and/or back to create a timeline of significant life events around race — things that happened to you, experiences you had, decisions made, realizations you came to, news events, etc. Then add in moments about your social identities that shaped you — recognizing difference, facing discrimination, consuming media, etc. Please bring this document or a timeline on a plain sheet of paper to our second orientation anti-racism workshop, Friday 1/20.

That’s today, by the way.

We can sit here and talk about how unhealthy this obsession is, and how little resemblance it bears to reality. (I recommend reading Thomas Sowell’s Discrimination and Disparities if you need to be inoculated against it.) But that would assume that these arguments are being advanced in good faith. They are not.

You’re not allowed to think that this is enough (or, heaven forbid, too much).

I was just reading the other day about the Chinese minority in Malaysia, which has been officially discriminated against for decades, and nearly half of whom have indicated a strong desire to leave the country.

This is a country where one race dominates another.

Of the 56,576 Malaysians who renounced their citizenship between 2006 and 2016, 49,864 were Chinese.

Until 2001, an official government quota system helped keep the Chinese minority out of the university system. Since then, internal quotas have done the job.

Discrimination against the Chinese minority is officially enshrined in the Malaysian constitution. Meanwhile, Malaysian politicians have urged the Chinese to “return to China” or at least “be grateful” for their lives in Malaysia.

There’s no affirmative action for the Chinese minority; the situation is exactly the reverse. There’s no gigantic legal apparatus that can destroy a firm that has not hired Chinese-Malaysians in proportion to their representation in the population.

(Meanwhile, the Chinese minority, even as it has dwindled, has managed to dominate the economy despite the discrimination, earning incomes twice as high as the national average.)

That is what racial superiority looks like, and precisely zero people in the United States are advocating anything like such a system.

Incidentally, if this were truly a “white supremacist” society, being called a white supremacist would be a badge of honor, not a professional death sentence.

In this “white supremacist” society even the so-called “conservatives” cheer the toppling of statues that protesters dislike.

In this “white supremacist” society Japanese-American households were earning just as much as their white counterparts by 1959 — despite having been reviled during World War II — and one-third more by 1969.

Not to mention: it is surely a unique white supremacist society in which nonwhites enjoy special employment advantages, scholarships for which nobody else is eligible, and preferential treatment in academic admissions. Nobody who checks the “white” box on a college application sits in excited anticipation of all the privilege that will be coming his way.

And what does the Borg recommend today?

More of the same.

The thing is, we’ve done all this before, and it isn’t getting to the heart of the problem.

Shelby Steele, an academic now at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, once wrote: “At the university [San Jose State] where I currently teach, the dropout rate for blacks is 72 percent, despite the presence of several academic support programs, a counseling center with black counselors, an Afro-American studies department, black faculty, administrators, and staff, a general education curriculum that emphasizes ‘cultural pluralism,’ an Educational Opportunities Program, a mentor program, a black faculty and staff association, and an administration and faculty that often announce the need to do more for black students.”

More recently, a professor at UC Berkeley released a letter to the school administration — anonymously, of course (remember, this is a very weird white supremacist society, in which the slightest criticisms of the BLM narrative are likely to get you fired rather than lionized) — which read, in part:

In your recent departmental emails you mentioned our pledge to diversity, but I am increasingly alarmed by the absence of diversity of opinion on the topic of the recent protests and our community response to them. In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system. The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions….

I personally don’t dare speak out against the BLM narrative, and with this barrage of alleged unity being mass-produced by the administration, tenured professoriat, the UC administration, corporate America, and the media, the punishment for dissent is a clear danger at a time of widespread economic vulnerability. I am certain that if my name were attached to this email, I would lose my job and all future jobs, even though I believe in and can justify every word I type.

The range of allowable opinion, opinion that won’t get you demonized and called names that obviously don’t describe you but which are meant to destroy you forever, is shrinking before our eyes. If you consider this something to cheer, and a development that’s likely to contribute to greater understanding, then I get your support for BLM. It is all of a piece.

However, it is quite possible to favor genuine justice for all people without buying into a cartoonish morality play that is altogether divorced from reality.

I could save myself a lot of grief if I’d just sit still in that examining chair and let them make me repeat that 2 + 2 = 5. But I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.

If you’d prefer to avoid these struggle sessions, which are coming to those parts of the corporate world where they aren’t already, start getting one foot out of the system.

Here’s a strategy I use for my little online business, that can be employed in your spare time, to start preparing an escape route for yourself:

Tom Woods


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