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The Racism of New York Times Reporter Sarah Jeong

Racism is an ugly thing, one that can have enormously harmful effects on society. One would hope that this would be recognized by people on all sides, but sadly this is not often the case.

In recent years, I have noticed an increase in racism. First, there has been an increase in antisemitic language on various sites that appear to be associated with people who identify as the alt-right.  Second, there has been an increase in anti-white language from people, especially minorities, on the left.

Both trends are disturbing. But I find the latter trend to be more dangerous in one important way. While the racists on the alt-right are generally condemned by “respectable” society, the racists on the left are often tolerated by the left wing part of such society.

There is no justification for this differential treatment. Racism – hatred of racial groups rather than of individuals for their actions – is pernicious. Since humans are so group-oriented, racism appears to be tempting, but that means that social norms need to condemn it strongly and consistently.

The most recent, high visible toleration of left wing racism is by the New York Times, which hired Sarah Jeong. Jeong has a first-rate left-wing resume, but her Twitter feed is filled with outrageously racist tweets, such as “Oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men” and “Dumbass fucking white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants.”

If these were tweets of a white person or a right winger, the New York Times would never, ever hire that person. Why would they hire Jeong?

Her public apology for the tweets is very weak – it suggests she did it in retaliation of harassment, but it does not appear all of the tweets were in response to such actions.

This is sad. I am not one who looks back on a golden age of the New York Times when it was a neutral newspaper. But I have to admit things appear to have gotten much worse in recent years.  This type of action not only harms society, but also harms the reputation of an institution which it is hard to respect, despite it being the “leading newspaper in the nation.”

Update: The more I find out about this person, the less I like her.  Or the New York Times for hiring her.   See here  for her attempts to get others fired for their views.

Reader Discussion

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on August 03, 2018 at 10:19:37 am

I think it's good that Sarah and the NYT have legitimized and normalized "racism." The whole racism industry has gotten way out of hand. Now, when the rest of us want to be racist against, say blacks or hispanics, we're entitled to. Thanks Sarah!

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MikeyParks
on August 03, 2018 at 14:25:21 pm

Racism is an ugly thing, one that can have enormously harmful effects on society….

Racism – hatred of racial groups rather than of individuals for their actions – is pernicious. Since humans are so group-oriented, racism appears to be tempting, but that means that social norms need to condemn it strongly and consistently.

I know I have a reputation for mindless contrarianism, so this time I thought … why not go with my strengths, yeah? So let’s defend racism!

Research has revealed a long list of known cognitive biases. Racism is just one more entry in the list. I’m reminded of George Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words” sketch: Does it really make sense to attach so much stigma just to this one?

I understand the instrumentalist argument that consistent sanctions help people transcend unwanted patterns. I have a colleague who transitioned to female. Do I screw up the pronouns? All the time. I don’t do it out of malice, and she knows that. But if she didn’t wince every time I do that, I’d NEVER learn. And now I’m learning.

At the same time, I’d like to encourage compassion. See, I have a dream—a dream that one day we’ll treat racism like other cognitive weakness such as innumeracy: “Hey, since you paid for parking, let me pick up the tip. But Julie, would you calculate it for me? Hell, if I could do math, I’d have been an engineer like you! Plus, our waitress is Arab, and ever since I got back from Desert Storm—well, you know how I feel. So it’s better if I just let others make those judgments about the appropriate tip….”

No defensive denials; no shame. Easy peasy, right? I know we’re not there yet—but a guy can dream….

P.S. And another thing about FISA warrants.... :-)

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nobody.really
on August 03, 2018 at 15:56:30 pm

Yeah, did those FISA warrants say anything about racism? And did the enclosed justifications support or criticize racism? Heck, nobody knows!

Seriously, however, I could not give a hoot who the NY times hires or doesn't hire. As my parrot died a good number of years ago, I no longer have any need for bird cage liner. plus Lucifer the parrot complained about all the extra sh*t that was being added to his cage. Tidy sort, that Lucifer!

Let the Times fascination with, and promotion of all the latest social justice propaganda be made evident!
Folks can decide for themselves what weight to give to this decision and correspondingly on other editorial puffery.

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gabe
on August 03, 2018 at 16:33:09 pm

As my parrot died a good number of years ago....

Oh gabe, I'm so sorry. Have you considered getting a replacement?

(You surely knew this was coming...)

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nobody.really
on August 03, 2018 at 18:11:38 pm

I suspected as much. Luvv'd it!

BTW: My favorite Monthy Python may be "The Ministry of Silly Walks" - of course, nowadays the crew would probably be arrested for their insensitivity!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV2ViNJFZC8

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gabe
on August 04, 2018 at 13:58:18 pm

Maybe this is a dumb question, but can't her State Bar Association take disciplinary action against her law license for her vert racism?

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Frank
on August 05, 2018 at 11:39:18 am

Sometimes it seems that everybody is a racist, and big hearted liberals jump into the fray, it appears these Heroes save the day, unfortunately the Heroes have rude manners and wake up in the morning castigating the lesser mortals . Perhaps we could convince the Heroes to at least stop insulting us. not everybody is an Immortal !

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john t
on August 05, 2018 at 16:03:31 pm

not everybody is an Immortal !

"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ‘ordinary’ people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption."

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

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nobody.really
on August 05, 2018 at 16:10:10 pm

Nicely done, my friend!

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gabe
on August 05, 2018 at 22:41:09 pm

The problem with the word "racism" is that it apparently means something, but no one is quite sure what. If one takes the contexts of current usage, it seems to mean "an indirect allegation that certain persons, ideas or activities are beyond criticism." Thus, persons of a designated minority group who say something that is disapproved of by other members of the exact same group can be accused of racism. People of one identifiable group who reference another, regardless of the context, can be accused of racism, even of the groups do not strictly refer to race, or the reference is otherwise innocuous. Thus, "cultural appropriation" is claimed to be racist, and criticism of religious customs is subject to the same claim.

The concept of racism has devolved into rhetorical whack-a-mole (n.b. Moles are not a race) in which the term "racist" is constantly being loaded with ideological freight, with common sense being offloaded to make room. Racism is fluidly defined, such that only persons bearing certain racial traits can engage in it, and others, having different traits can be harmed by it. It is variously defined by such terms as "power" and "oppression," terms themselves having little to do with heritable traits or geographic origin, or anything, really, that is predetermined because of racial traits. (I use the term "racial traits" because almost no one, strictly speaking belongs to a discrete race).

To the extent that racism is understood to be an evil, if "activists" can be bothered to leave the definition alone so that it retains some usefulness, it is because of the chance that an individual person will be treated unfairly, or unjustly solely because of that person's racial appearance. And that is all it is. If everyone simply treated the person in front of them fairly, and justly, as dignified person to dignified person, all other considerations of race would have little to do, and would atrophy from non-use. Everything else, no matter how urgent or legitimate it is made to appear, is noise.

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z9z99

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