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Extend the Sphere of Identity Politics

Our identity politics could use some Madisonian wisdom.

In an earlier post, I argued that our current legal regime, which has created protected and non-protected classes of Americans, is one important source of our current political alignment and a reason why we have “identity politics.”

Since at least Plato and Aristotle, political scientists have recognized that laws exert something like a gravitational pull on political culture and coalitions. It is not a coincidence that we get a “coalition of the ascendant” a few decades after having created protected classes, and a simultaneous (and growing) backlash among Americans pushing the notion of a “white” identity (Irish may apply). Our new cultural binary—minorities or out-groups (protected classes), versus “the whites”—springs at least in significant part from our legal regime.

This situation is bad. The intersectional Left, and, I fear, the “Alt-Right” and parts of the Trump coalition, have concluded that it is in fact a civil war. There are said to be two groups (which, I suppose, we can call “minorities” and “non-minorities”) and we must choose between them. More moderately minded people such as Dennis Prager have even started to say we are in a cultural civil war—between those who support bourgeois norms and those who oppose them. That professors like Amy Wax are denounced as “racist” for defending bourgeois norms suggests there is, alas, something to this view.

Some far-seeing observers have been worried about precisely this development for quite some time. The sociologist James D. Hunter discussed it in his 1991 book The Culture Wars and his 1994 book Before the Shooting Begins.

Our friends from the French Enlightenment may give us insight into our situation. James Madison, according to his William Cabel Rives, was fond of quoting one famous bit from the writings of Voltaire. In 1731, the French philosopher wrote:

If one religion only were allowed in England, the government would very possibly become arbitrary; if there were but two, the people would cut one another’s throats; but, as there is such a multitude, they all live happy, and in peace.

Applying Voltaire’s logic to the cultural/political divisions of contemporary America, we seem to be in danger of settling into having “but two,” with the ominous ramifications Voltaire anticipated.

His insight mirrors the logic of the famous “extended sphere” from Federalist 10. In Federalist 51, when Madison recurs to the extended sphere argument, he highlights the problem of religious factions. That suggests he was reading Voltaire, perhaps in addition to David Hume, when formulating his argument for extending the sphere.

The extended sphere was the solution to the problem of faction. “By a faction,” said Madison in Federalist 10, “I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”

The challenge was to ensure that legislation would be made in service of the common good, not merely the good of particular factions. Madison argued that an extended republic would do so better than a small republic. The problem was particularly acute in what we call “representative democracy.” What if the majority wants something that is not, in fact, the common good? To prevent a “majority faction,” which would tyrannically impose its will on the rest, from forming:

Either the existence of the same passion or interest in a majority, at the same time, must be prevented; or the majority, having such co-existent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression. If the impulse and the opportunity be suffered to coincide, we well know, that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control.

In a republic that is larger rather than smaller, it is unlikely that there will be a majority for anything other than the common good. Writes Madison:

Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other. Besides other impediments, it may be remarked, that where there is a consciousness of unjust or dishonourable purposes, communication is always checked by distrust, in proportion to the number whose concurrence is necessary.

In sum, those setting up such a government will use “the extent and proper structure of the union” to ensure “a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government.”

If my conjecture about the impact of our regime of protected and non-protected classes is correct, it is our laws that have narrowed the sphere, or perhaps I should say created the political and cultural conditions in which that is more likely. We have, I fear, put in place political conditions that push us toward an “intersectional” civil war between two factions: protected “minorities” and “whites.”

To secure peace, it might be necessary to extend the identity sphere. But how?

One idea would be to get rid of, or at least modify, our regime of protected and non-protected groups. At the moment, we hire swarms of diversity bureaucrats whose job it is to ensure that our work environments follow the simple non-protected/protected binary. Fear of lawsuits, and a desire to do what the law tells us is just, reinforces their efforts, leading more and more of us, it seems, to internalize this binary way of looking at ourselves. This simplistic division is a major factor that is impelling us toward culture war. It is one reason why the tragic death of Treyvon Martin, who was killed in 2012 by a man who is Latino, black, and white, somehow became a black-white issue, inflaming racial tensions in America.

There is, after all, nothing natural in the brute distinction of “white” and “non-white.” America certainly has some history along that line, but it is more complicated than many think. The category of Latino, for example, contains many Mexican Americans and others who happen to consider themselves “white” not “minority,” as Peter Skerry noted in his 1993 book Mexican Americans: The Ambivalent Minority.

Then there are Italian Americans. Sometimes I show the first scene of the movie The Godfather in class, drawing upon Paul Rahe’s fine essay on that scene. “Why did the undertaker’s daughter not get justice in court?” I ask. One student replied, “Italians used to be a minority.”

A fascinating comment. And as Joseph Bottum pointed out in a recent essay, the Columbus Day holiday was created back in 1892, as a symbolic rejection of bigotry, “as the nation recoiled from the horror of 11 Italians lynched in New Orleans” the year before. There is no reason why the same process of assimilation may not happen more largely in America. Our racial lines are not set in stone. They are established by law.

At the moment, our official documents ask us to classify ourselves according to a racial “pentagon”: black, white, “Hispanic,” Asian, Native American. Our laws treat all but one of them as a protected class. But, we may ask, is the kind of discrimination that Asians have faced in the United States comparable to the discrimination that blacks have faced? Does the category “Asian” make sense at all, or are the histories of, for example, people from India and people from Korea too different?

Then, too, if people of Indian descent deserve special treatment, is this equally true for people whose ancestors were Brahmans as for those whose ancestors were Untouchables? Is it reasonable to treat descendants of Spanish feudal lords and descendants of the indigenous Meso-Americans they exploited the same? Given the diverse history of the peoples in Spanish-speaking parts of the Americas, is the category “Hispanic” coherent?

And for that matter, is the discrimination that Irish, Italian, and Polish people faced in the United States in an earlier time really so different from that encountered by people from, for example, Korea? As recently as the 1980s, Polish jokes were a big deal, after all.

Maybe it’s time for the U.S. Census, and other official and non-official forms, to reflect the glorious mosaic that is America. End the tyranny of the racial pentagon, and replace it with a more open-ended list. Ask us to write in our ancestors’ country (or more likely, countries of origin) and/or ethnicity or race of origin. By doing that, we might begin to break free of the narrow confines of the racial pentagon, pushing back against an anachronistic legal simplification.

Because so much of the legal apparatus is based upon statistics—you will be sued if you don’t have X percent of each minority in your school or your company—such a change might force our civil rights litigation to focus on actual cases of discrimination rather than on statistical anomalies.

Highlighting Americans’ great variety of countries of origin—that is, extending the identity politics sphere—would free us from the imperialism that imposes false racial categories on us. The government has helped to create today’s situation by establishing an artificially narrow list of “official” racial identities. Allowing our official classifications to reflect the broadest historical and cultural truth would be an essential step in reversing course.

In so doing, we would be deploying a republican remedy for the vices of identity politics.

Reader Discussion

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on September 19, 2017 at 09:23:18 am

I've seen this coming for nearly 15 years. The 'melting pot' society we have has been discarded in favor of a chef's salad. Each item has it's own unique flavor and interests, and though it's part of something much larger...it's the eggs or the tomatoes that really make the Salad Great.

Populism and Nationalism are rooted in having a strong feeling towards the nation and the Constitituion. These people who claim to be Populists and Nationalists don't fit the traditional mode of conservative or liberal. They're all over the place ideologically. I'm just hopeful that capitalism will still have a role in American society in another 30 years.

If the Nation can't swear allegiance the flag, perhaps we can at least swear allegiance to the US Constitution. Even those who dismiss the Founding Fathers as rich white slave owners have to eventually admit that this document and the ideals behind it are what have given them the right to doth protest too much without ridicule or sanction.

I for one am going to call my own school board and get a copy of the curriculum they use in middle school and high school...and even elementary school. If there are things in there that they're trying to hide, I suspect the response to my inquiry will be like a slow boat to China.

We each have a role to play in making our society civil and productive. Engaging one another in constructive debate and gathering political coalitions that protect against the slippery slope of Progressivism and Socialism is our duty, and it's my honor.

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Eric from Minnesota
on September 19, 2017 at 11:22:55 am

Madison did not foresee that an internet would give dispersed factions the ability to organize across a vast continent and thus increase perceived grievance

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Steve walser
on September 19, 2017 at 12:01:55 pm

The essayist left out one other contributing factor to the "binary" world thesis.

ONE Party has, for electoral advantage, been the driving force behind the new binary construct. Can you guess which Party.

BTW: I do get a kick out of the use of the term "Latino" to classify certain persons / groups.
Why would anyone want to assume the name of their "ancient conquerors" - all of these folks were either conquered by Rome (Latin speaking empire) or a millennia later conquered by those who were conquered by Rome.

Heck, I am Italian - why am I not a "Latino" - you should see me after two days in the sunshine - Ha!

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gabe
on September 19, 2017 at 14:05:49 pm

If I remember correctly, terms such as "Latino" and many others were developed for a purpose. They served to divide residents of the United States, both citizens and visitors. For many the former designation, " American", seemed to lose its appeal. Traditions, cultural celebrations, that once united all who came to this land (yes, we know, they were not perfect) were no longer observed by all. We seemed to lose our cultural memory.

People were encouraged to identify themselves with others of one or another ethnic origin. The "common good" was seen as an illusion. All must work against all for advantage.

This change in language and custom yielded the desired effect, as we now see.

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Linda Smith
on September 19, 2017 at 17:23:44 pm

"...were developed for a purpose" - and that purpose may best be explained by Democrat Party politics.

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gabe
on September 19, 2017 at 18:03:26 pm

So, where on that “red, brown, yellow, black, and white” pentagon (to borrow a line from a popular Christian children's song) do people of Middle Eastern decent (e.g., Israelis, Arabs, and Turks) fall? They're not Native Americans; they're not Hispanic; they're not Asian (I think); they're not of African descent; and they're not Caucasian.

Yeah, this whole “identity politics” thing has gotten out of hand. My own preference would be to push for more “color blindness” in the laws, letting things like “content of character” take precedence over “color of skin” in the eyes of the law. But if we must have identity politics, I agree with the writer's proposal of expanding the sphere.

Of course, those benefitting from the current arrangement aren't likely to want it to change.

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Jonathan Lang
on September 20, 2017 at 07:38:07 am

Can it be that "they knew not what they were doing"? A dramatic change took place within the Democrat Party. Prof. Daniel Mahoney has written about it. He mentions a "hermeneutic of suspicion" which replaced the former "hermeneutic".

Before finding "systematic injustices" under every rock and behind every bush, our common effort as Americans was directed toward finding a balance; a best possible working model. This "trust' had to be in touch with reality; it had to be seasoned with recognition of human weakness. Protections had to be in place. And terrible injustices occurred in spite of those protections. Still until recent time we did press on, as Americans, in hope that we might do better, correct our errors. and make a better day. And we can never repeat often enough that people of good will did know that injustice existed and stood in need of correction.

But Daniel Mahoney writes that our former 'articles of peace" were replaced with a "hermeneutic of suspicion". He writes: "Put simply this means that nothing is as it seems. Seemingly benign ideas (such as 'justice' and 'due process') must be exposed as cynical bourgeois ploys that serve to disguise systematic injustices." The battle of "all against all" began.

Now we find ourselves a divided people; suspicion of others is the order of the day. But perhaps the ideology of suspicion developed by the empassioned Marxist Gramsci was missing an essential element. Those who believe themselves part of one or another embattled "minority" do not apply the "hermeneutic of suspicion" to themselves. They charge others with power-seeking, as they themselves seek and often seem intoxicated with their desire for what they see as revenge. Also their desire for power.

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Linda Smith
on September 20, 2017 at 11:34:56 am

Samuelson continues his philosophical ruminations on suspect class. I call these ruminations “philosophical” because they seem almost completely untethered to reality and collapse upon the lightest inspection. I offered extensive—and still uncontested—critiques of his prior post , but I will boil them down to this:

If the legal designation of “protected classes” created our social problems, then presumably we could look to the world prior to the creation of protected classes to find an idyllic land free from the problems Samuelson complains of. Yet even the most cursory review of real evidence will reveal that the world of 1963 (or before the Missouri Compromise of 1820) was awash in discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, physical mobility, etc. It is as if the serpent tried to tempt Eve to taste the first apple, and Eve responded by offering to share a slice of her mother’s home-made apple pie.

So, how does Samuelson account for this state of sin that pre-dates the Original Sin? Two posts into his series, he has yet to address the question. I eagerly await Samuelson’s next post: “I’ve discovered that hospitals are full of sick people! Ergo hospitals must be the source of all maladies!”

That said….

While it is absurd to suggest that hospitals are the source of all maladies, it is appropriate to observe that hospitals do spread infections, and to explore whether we can revise our hospital practices to minimize the risks. Likewise, while it is absurd to suggest that our civil rights regime invented undue discrimination, it is appropriate to explore whether we can devise better ways to promote civil rights.

To this end, Samuelson offers two modest suggestions. As strategies for relieving the US of the burdens of identity politics, these suggestions are modest indeed. And as practical proposals, they grow more modest still.

First, he suggests that the U.S. Census stop asking people to identify themselves on the basis of fixed racial categories, and instead identify themselves on the basis of an “open-ended list.” To be sure, there is an extensive literature on the challenges posed by forms that ask people to identify themselves as belonging to certain presumptively mutually-exclusive categories. But did Samuelson bother to discuss with any Census personnel his idea of letting people draft their own self-identifying categories on the census forms, and the logistical challenges of compiling such data? If so, his writing reveals no evidence of it.

Second, Samuelson suggests eliminating the use of statistics as a means for establishing a prima facie case for undue discrimination, and instead “forc[ing] our civil rights litigation to focus on actual cases of discrimination rather than on statistical anomalies.” I previously noted the crucial role of statistics in undue discrimination cases. So how does Samuelson propose such cases proceed in the absence of statistics? He doesn’t say. And did Samuelson discuss his suggestion with any civil rights attorneys to explore the practical consequences of such a proposal? Again, his writing reveals no evidence of it.

Give the man credit for this: In his commitment to the purity of his philosophy, Samuelson has ably protected it from any sullying contact with the real world.

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nobody.really
on September 20, 2017 at 12:39:19 pm

In his song "Imagine," John Lennon speculates on how the world would look without affiliations such as religions and nations. It's a lovely vision--but I suspect an incorrect one. A world in which people did not affiliate on the basis of nations or religions is just a world in with people's other affiliations--racial, class, etc.--would have a freer rein.

So if you succumb to the idea that people are going to affiliate, then arguably the safest world is a world in which people affiliate on LOTS of bases, and form interlocking grids of affiliations. Yes, I'm an American, but I'm also Islamic, and a North Dakotan, and Asian, and left-handed, and a master gardener, and.... And when any one affiliation calls on me, I don't feel as if I have to capitulate. I have multiple other affiliations. So if my nation calls me to participate in a bogus war, my religion may call on me to resist. And if my religion calls upon me to engage in a bogus war, my nation may call on me to resist. I can shift the weight I give to each allegiance without feeling as if I'm betraying my identity, because I have a multi-faceted identity.

That said, if I had to pick an identity that seems least pernicious, I guess nationalism would be it. Nationalism tells me to love my neighbor--where my love is likely to do the most good--and to hate the people who are far away from me--where my hate is likely to do the least harm.

Thus, even if (as some libertarians suggest) nationhood is an ephemeral, romanticized connection, it's desirable precisely because of those qualities. How much better to rally around something so simple, even vapid, than something like race, class, or religion? What could be less exclusionary that to ask people to pledge allegiance to a content-less concept?

(Some nations even have vapid, talking-head figures such as titular monarchs to rally around. Alas, in the US, we don't. Thus, US presidents are able to attack their opponents for being "unpatriotic." But in the US, so long as you praise the Queen, you can attack the Prime Minister as viciously as you like and still be regarded as a member of the "loyal opposition.")

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nobody.really
on September 20, 2017 at 12:42:56 pm

(Correction: In the UK, so long as you praise the Queen, you can attack the Prime Minster as viciously as you like....)

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nobody.really
on September 20, 2017 at 12:54:19 pm

When I visited the "Latino" community of San Luis, Colorado, the preferred term was "Spaniard."

And who is to say who is a descendant of a conquered person, and who is a descendant of a conqueror? In many cases, I expect people are both. Likewise, the descendants of slaves are often also the descendants of slave owners. And the English trace their national story to the Battle of Hastings in 1066, which was basically a battle between the descendants of three separate Vikings clans. To characterize the results as the Norman Conquest of England is an odd term, since the Normans were just the descendants of Vikings who had come from England to Normandy a few generations before.

Moral: A sense of identity is real. The attributes you choose to fixate on as your identity are arbitrary.

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nobody.really
on September 20, 2017 at 16:11:54 pm

Nobody:

Couldn't agree more.
When i wish to raise some hackles among certain types, I recount the history of my Sicilian forebears and then announce that I, too, am African american as my ancestors were, in turn, conquered by the Greeks, North African Berbers, Muslims and a host of other characters.

But as you say, I ain;t fixated on any of it - but am rather thankful that my family ended up on these shores.

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gabe
on September 20, 2017 at 16:15:11 pm

Hey sister:

did you ever consider that the "enshrinement" of these protected classes has only exacerbated what was then a diminishing problem?

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gabe
on September 20, 2017 at 21:45:07 pm

Always a possibility. Got any evidence?

Alternatively, sister: did you ever consider that the duty to recognize the rights of people who were not already members of the dominant class is a big inconvenience to members of the dominant class--and thus they have an incentive to minimize the need for recognizing those rights? That they have the incentive to claim that no problems exist? And when the contradictory evidence becomes so overwhelming as to render that strategy inoperative, they have the incentive to acknowledge that the problems existed, but to conjecture that social remedies were really unnecessary because the problems were magically on track to remedy themselves at precisely the moment that social remedies were implemented?

Recall MLK's Letter from a Birmingham Jail: The fight for civil rights is rarely considered convenient by those who already enjoy those rights. T'was ever thus.

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nobody.really
on September 21, 2017 at 10:27:11 am

So whose "speculation" shall we accept / advance?

I cannot escape the feeling that, at times, I am listening to sports radio, where the commentator engages in endless speculation regarding a) the motivation of the athletes (psycho-babble) and b) dissecting a fault in the offensive line and attributing that to one particular lineman WITHOUT knowing what the blocking scheme was - or whether anyone was *blocking* at all.

Nobody - who was supposed to be blocking the non-dominant defensive lineman, here?

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gabe
on September 21, 2017 at 11:08:46 am

So whose “speculation” shall we accept / advance?

How 'bout neither?

My point is that, when discussing matters in which people have obvious biases, we are foolish to rely on "gut feelings" or "intuitions."

• "We do not embrace reason at the expense of emotion. We embrace it at the expense of self-deception." Herbert Muschamp

• "Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies." Friedrich Nietzsche

• "For every human problem, there is a neat, simple solution; and it is always wrong." H. L. Mencken

Rather, we should seek evidence.

So, as evidence for the proposition that we need civil rights enforcement, I sight the fact that prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 the world was awash in all kinds of undue discrimination. If you doubt this proposition and need documentation, I'm sure I could find some--but the example of LGBT status should be clear enough for anyone.

Samuelson suggests that we could achieve the same benefits without defending suspect categories--but offers nothing but wishful thinking in support. What would cause anyone to believe such a view--other than the fact the belief would tend to advance the interests of the believer?

You suggest that the world was magically going to cure itself of undue discrimination just as we got around to passing the 1964 Act--but again, without support. Again, what would cause anyone to believe such a view--other than the fact the belief would tend to advance the interests of the believer?

As Upton Sinclair observed, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." We are all prone to motivated reasoning. Knowing this, we should subject our own views to empirical scrutiny when we know we are discussing topics in which we are emotionally invested. Let us not lead ourselves into temptation.

Let us rely less on the courage of our convictions, and rely more on the courage for an attack upon our convictions. That is the path to growth.

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nobody.really
on September 21, 2017 at 11:18:29 am

Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread. I know. But, just one comment. After the Civil Rights struggle and passage of the Civil Rights Act, "undue discrimination" was actually getting better - "on the ground" - where people really lived.

This beginning, this recognition of wrongdoing, of offenses against all that is right and decent, had awakened among the many, many people of good will of this nation.

Why was the this process reversed? Persons with various agendas created a new "narrative" as we now say. I do not think there was any one beneficiary of this process. Still we need to learn the history; to investigate carefully each thread, each change of direction. If we understand it, we might have a chance to renew the original inspiration. Perhaps not. But we should try.

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Linda Smith
on September 21, 2017 at 13:23:35 pm

"You suggest that the world was magically going to cure itself of undue discrimination just as we got around to passing the 1964 Act–but again, without support."

I suggest NO SUCH THING!

I remark only upon the fact that relations both between and among the *dominant* and the *non-dominant* (your terminology, not mine) have deteriorated. In cannot be disputed that some of this deterioration is due, in large measure, to the constant, insistent and reckless demands made by many of these "protected" classes. Add to that the never ending barrage of assault, verbal, economic and, yes, sometimes physical, upon the *dominant* group by the so-called oppressed, and it becomes clear that the deterioration is not solely the fault of the *dominant group*. Rather look to all the legal actions initiated by the *protected classes* for an answer.

Ahhh, Yes! We can, of course, blame this on "white privilege", an epistemological condition supposedly imbued in Caucasians by defective DNA, I suppose.
Actually, what it amounts to is a *clever* attempt to overcome the age old admonition that "The sins of the Fathers shall not be visited upon the Sons"; how else can one overcome this sage ancient wisdom. What is this? some retroactive perverted form of attainder / corruption of blood. Gee, I thought COTUS had outlawed that!

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gabe
on September 21, 2017 at 14:40:52 pm

My point is that, when discussing matters in which people have obvious biases, we are foolish to rely on “gut feelings” or “intuitions.”

….Rather, we should seek evidence.

….You suggest that the world was magically going to cure itself of undue discrimination just as we got around to passing the 1964 Act–but again, without support. Again, what would cause anyone to believe such a view…?

I suggest NO SUCH THING!

I remark only upon the fact that relations both between and among the *dominant* and the *non-dominant* (your terminology, not mine) have deteriorated.

Very well; let’s take this as a test case. Can we find evidence for the proposition that “relations both between and among the *dominant* and the *non-dominant* … have deteriorated”?

I suspect that evidence may turn a pissing match into an opportunity for growth. Let’s find out.

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nobody.really
on September 21, 2017 at 14:59:21 pm

Gee, no need for any intensive research on the matter.
Just look to, and listen to all the commentary from the SJW's and the Congressional Black Caucus, among others, who, if they are to be believed, provide evidence that the USA is MORE racist, more hostile, less willing to listen / ameliorate minority complaints, homophobic, etc.etc.etc.

And as further evidence, I submit this:

"Pissing Match" - It has now been *scientifically* determined by some Australian and American Social *scientists* that the act of male urination, standing at the urinal, is an act of oppression / aggression and that young males who engage in contests to see who can hit the highest mark on a wall are doing irreparable psychic damage to females.

Now, seriously, nobody really believes that this would not cause friction among groups nor cause the *oppressor* to want nothing more than for the *oppressed* to simply go away and shut up.

A great way to "win friends and influence enemies" wouldn't you say?

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gabe
on September 21, 2017 at 15:08:09 pm

And then there is this, just in case you missed it while listening to NPR:

https://pjmedia.com/parenting/2017/09/21/fla-teacher-tells-11-year-olds-call-gender-neutral-pronoun-mx/

wherein kindergartners are being required to use new gender pronouns - all in support of the new gender *diaspora* -
OR, a story from two weeks ago when a California teacher, without parents consent, required 5 - 6 year olds to undergo Transgender education.

The follow up to the story was told by the mother of a young 5 year old girl, who during a bath administered by the mother, suddenly began to cry and shake uncontrollably. Upon inquiring of the child what was wrong, the little girl pointed to her flattened and wet hair and imploringly asked the mother, "Mommy, am I going to become a boy? I don't want to become a boy."

Now don;t tell me that the actions of these *oppressed* groups occur in a vacuum and that there is no adverse reaction. Da ya tink that this may cause relations to deteriorate - or are you unable to fairly and accurately OBSERVE the world around you, blinded as you may be by your own ideological predilections.

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gabe
on September 21, 2017 at 15:40:00 pm

Very well; let’s take this as a test case. Can we find evidence for the proposition that “relations both between and among the *dominant* and the *non-dominant* … have deteriorated”?

[blah blah blah]

In other words: No, you can't cite any actual data?

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nobody.really
on September 21, 2017 at 16:16:02 pm

"In other words: No, you can’t cite any actual data?"

In light of what is in front of one's nose, if only one would look, I can only respond by saying that the above implied assertion is something so ridiculous that only an academic [or government minion] would support.

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gabe
on September 21, 2017 at 16:19:38 pm

And then there is this AND I would think that a listener of NPR would find it credible evidence as it comes from the NY Times wherein even Times liberal readers think *IT* has gone too far:

https://hotair.com/archives/2017/09/21/must-baker-provide-gay-couples-wedding-cake-surprising-number-ny-times-readers-say-no/

And hey, you are the one who likes polls - not me!

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gabe
on September 21, 2017 at 16:49:51 pm

And lastly, if not even the plight and confused cries of a young girl can penetrate the "mellifluous bubble" that you and others like you have encapsulated yourselves within, mutually congratulating yourselves on your progressive thinking, your "right-side of history" posturing and your own superior virtue and moral qualities, then nothing can.

But be aware, that bubbles exude gases, and we on the outside of the bubble *react* to these gaseous irritants; indeed, it is a prime reason why The Trumpster has ascended to High Office.

Oh, I guess that is not evidence - but you and your ilk constantly claim that The Trumpster's electoral victory is an indication that a) his supporters are racist alt-right and b) that it is only because race / minority / gender relations have deteriorated that he won.

Can't have it both ways, sister!

Only a government compliance officer could exhibit such obtuseness. Then again, THAT is a bubble of a higher order.

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gabe
on September 21, 2017 at 17:10:36 pm

Very well; let’s take this as a test case. Can we find evidence for the proposition that “relations both between and among the *dominant* and the *non-dominant* … have deteriorated”?

[blah blah blah]

In other words: No, you can’t cite any actual data?

[blah blah blah]

Nothing? No evidence of lynchings? or murders generally? or violent crime generally? or ... anything?

You can't think of a single thing you could measure to support your assertion?

That's a shame. Because if we can't look to data, then we're left to pick and choose among anecdotes, finding the ones that confirm our prior assumptions, ignoring the others, and ridiculing anyone who doesn't share our "self-evident" prior assumptions. Kind of like, well ... what you've been doing here instead of citing data.

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nobody.really
on September 21, 2017 at 17:23:49 pm

[E]ven Times liberal readers think *IT* has gone too far:

https://hotair.com/archives/2017/09/21/must-baker-provide-gay-couples-wedding-cake-surprising-number-ny-times-readers-say-no/

And hey, you are the one who likes polls – not me!

1. You might learn to like polls if you learned what polls are. The article you linked to did not describe any polling.

2. For what it’s worth, I’ve previously offered extensive comments on addressing the gay wedding cake issue, and related issues. But I must warn you, my comments may not conform to your preconceived assumptions. Proceed at your own risk.

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nobody.really
on September 21, 2017 at 18:50:58 pm

"...instead of citing data."

Ahhh, Yes! - the usual refrain from an *expert* voice - let us collect data. Did it ever occur to you that data comes in many forms - not just statistical data, which incidentally is subject to manipulation by those same *experts* to suit their own purposes.

Moreover, the obsessive compulsion for data risks losing sight of what is plainly before us - an ever increasing gap between groups that is constantly exacerbated by the incessant and unreasonable demands of the "self-identifying" *victims* of white / male / hetero-normative / fat shaming, etc miscreants who if your ilk is to be believed DOMINATE the culture.

Find whatever numbers you want - you may be surprised to learn that the dissatisfaction with the current regime of SJW's has and is growing and then use them as your type usually does - as a means of attempting to shut down the opposition viewpoint which may not have such data at their fingertips, or chooses to not engage in dueling polls / studies, etc. The demand for data is the battlecry of those who would wish to deny what is plainly before their eyes by means of statistical obfuscation.

As for me, I will stick with Bob Dylan: " I don't need [the data of] weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Now, I could expound upon how the demand for data is indicative of one who believes that mankind is to be reduced to mere statistical or economic units while concurrently denying the experiential aspects of human interchange - but i would be wasting my time, now wouldn't I?
It simply would not penetrate your mellifluous bubble wherein we jiggle numbers and data sets around while presenting oneself as some Swiftian caricature of the Professor who with one eye pointed towards the heavens (the envisioned Utopia you seek) and the other eye fixed firmly on the ground (all the better to see the LOW behavior of "miscreant souls such as I) WHILST before your very nose Life goes on -Ooh Blah Dee, Oh Blah Dah, La La La, Life goes on!

Some long haired crooners said that!

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gabe
on September 21, 2017 at 19:03:16 pm

Three Cheers! Even more: Bravo. Thank you.

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Linda Smith
on September 21, 2017 at 19:43:14 pm

Elvis HAS left the building - and will begin consuming some good Walla Walla Valley Cabernet and like most other deplorables will watch the NFL - you know the one that oppresses all those highly (outrageously) paid athletes!

take care

Outta here!

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gabe
on September 21, 2017 at 21:06:58 pm

Very well; let’s take this as a test case. Can we find evidence for the proposition that “relations both between and among the *dominant* and the *non-dominant* … have deteriorated”?

[blah blah blah]

In other words: No, you can’t cite any actual data?

[blah blah blah]

Nothing? No evidence of lynchings? or murders generally? or violent crime generally? or … anything?

You can’t think of a single thing you could measure to support your assertion?

[blah blah blah]

I feel like Charlie Brown having a conversation with a schoolteacher.

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nobody.really

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