Earpiece Conspiracy Goes Viral Before Debate

This was reported today by Ryan Teague Beckwith of Bloomberg on MSN News:

A conspiracy theory that Biden plans to use a hidden earpiece during Tuesday night’s presidential debate is thriving on the internet, despite denials from the Democratic nominee’s campaign.

The rumor has gained thousands of shares on Facebook and Twitter and has been circulated by the right-wing conspiracy group, QAnon. It has also been discussed by right-media outlets, including Fox News and Breitbart News Network.

Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director, issued a statement Tuesday saying that Biden’s handlers had agreed to a pre-debate inspection for electronic earpieces, only to abruptly reverse themselves. The Biden campaign denied the allegations as little more than a “distraction.”

The conspiracy theory is part of a torrent of false claims as the presidential campaign nears its final month.

Read more.

Note the use of the term “conspiracy theory” in this report, and the linkage to the “right-wing conspiracy group, QAnon,” in order to totally discredit any possibility of Joe Biden lying or cheating to gain an advantage over President Trump in the debate. We all know how the Trump team and Q are peddlers of nothing but disinformation, easily debunked by accredited progressive fact-checkers, while Biden’s integrity and mental acuity are beyond reproach. It is laughable to think that Mr. Biden would need an earpiece to cheat against someone so poorly prepared for both the debate and four more years of the presidency as Mr.Trump. Who does Q think would be whispering to him in his ear? Would it be Dr. Jill, perhaps?

From Lefticon:

Conspiracy theory – an alternative, unproven, amateur explanation of a significant event or events which differs from the approved official version, and purports to expose the secret collusion of hidden players and their motives. Someone who expresses belief in a conspiracy theory is a conspiracy theorist.

The term conspiracy theory came into common usage in 1967 after the Clandestine Services (CS) unit of the CIA, in a dispatch to its section chiefs, suggested methods to discredit criticism of the Warren Report findings regarding the assassination of President Kennedy. Variations of the suggested methods are still used today. They include:

      • claiming that it would be impossible for all the participants in a conspiracy to keep the secret;
      • involving elite politicians and newspaper editors in the coverup;
      • having the media refute the theories; claiming the theory is old news and that no significant new evidence has emerged;
      • blaming Communist propaganda;
      • using other propaganda assets to refute the theories;
      • claiming that eyewitness testimony is unreliable; and
      • accusing conspiracy theorists of being irresponsible and politically or financially motivated.

Conspiracy theorists inhabit both ends of the political spectrum. They tend to be highly motivated and some are at least as intelligent as accredited reporters, politicians, and bureaucrats. They are adept at accessing open-source information, including that obtained by whistleblowers and hackers. They typically attempt to explain so-called inconsistencies, anomalies, coincidences, synchronicities, and contradictions in the official versions of reported events.

Most conspiracy theories remain unproven. Because they usually involve an agency or agencies of the government, the facts that would prove or disprove them are protected from disclosure by the simple measure of classifying them as secret, or by the sealing of relevant court documents by a compliant judge. This has led to multiple theories for a single event, a single theory for a pattern of events, a single theory for a single event, a single theory for multiple events, multiple theories for a pattern of events, or multiple theories for multiple events. Among such a hodgepodge of theories, some will be plausible, and some will be absurd. By conflating the absurd with the plausible, it is possible to discredit all of them.

Note:  Conspiracy theorist and the related term truther have become dismissive labels nearly as effective as racist or sexist in terminating a discussion. Overuse of this term, however, can result in dismissing the real conspiracies of the Deep State, the military-industrial complex, financial capitalism, and their neoconservative and neoliberal collaborators.

Mars drops Uncle Ben’s, reveals new name for rice brand

This was reported today by Alexandra Olson of ABC News:

NEW YORK — The Uncle Ben’s rice brand is getting a new name: Ben’s Original.

Parent firm Mars Inc. unveiled the change Wednesday for the 70-year-old brand, the latest company to drop a logo criticized as a racial stereotype. Packaging with the new name will hit stores next year.

“We listened to our associates and our customers and the time is right to make meaningful changes across society,” said Fiona Dawson, global president for Mars Food, multisales and global customers. “When you are making these changes, you are not going to please everyone. But it’s about doing the right thing, not the easy thing.”

Several companies have retired racial imagery from their branding in recent months, a ripple effect from the Black Lives Matters protests over the police killing of George Floyd and other African Americans.

Quaker Oats announced in June that it would drop Aunt Jemima from syrup and pancake packages, responding to criticism that the character’s origins were based the “mammy,” a black woman content to serve her white masters. Quaker said packages without the Aunt Jemima image will start to appear in stores by the end of the year, although the company has not revealed the new logo.

The owner of Eskimo Pie has also said it will change its name and marketing of the nearly century-old chocolate-covered ice cream bar. Beyond food brands, the Washington NFL franchise dropped the “Redskins” name and Indian head logo amid pressure from sponsors including FedEx, Nike, Pepsi and Bank of America.  […]

Dawson said months of conversations with employees, customer studies and other stakeholders led the company to settle on “Ben’s Original. She said the company is still deciding on an image to accompany the new name.

Mars also announced several other initiatives, including a $2 million investment in culinary scholarships for aspiring Black chefs in partnership with the National Urban League. It also is planning a $2.5 million investment in nutritional and education programs for students in Greenville, Mississippi, the majority African-American city where the rice brand has been produced for more than 40 years.

Mars said it has set a goal of increasing the ranks of racial minorities in U.S. management positions by 40%. The company did not give a timeframe for reaching that number.

Read more.

It appears that Mars is finally doing something meaningful and it’s about time. It was always abundantly clear that Uncle Ben was an Uncle Tom, just like Aunt Jemima was … well, an Aunt Jemima. Both sold out their own culture to lend their names to consumer capitalism run by hegemonic white supremacist systemic racists. They were both victims of internalized oppression and should never have been memorialized by corporations like Mars and Quaker Oats, which were much too happy to engage in cultural appropriation when it enhanced their bottom line. Enough is enough.

From Lefticon:

Meaningful – having meaning in the sense of importance, significance, or purpose, as opposed to meaningless or trivial.

Meaningful is one of the most useful adjectives in the postmodern liberal lexicon, used to emphasize the serious nature of all things liberal, especially those that are meaningless.

Nouns which go well with meaningful include action, conversation, change, dialogue, discourse, job, life, moment, reform, relationship, tribute, way, and so on.

Uncle Tom – a term used by blacks for a black man who adopts the values, norms, and lifestyle of a white; also used by progressives to describe a conservative or apolitical black.

The original Uncle Tom was the subservient but heroic main character in the 1852 anti-slavery novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In its contemporary derogatory usage, an Uncle Tom rejects black culture and is anything but heroic.

Uncle Toms are clearly victims of internalized oppression. The corresponding term for a black woman is Aunt Jemima.

Aunt Jemima – a term used by blacks and progressives for a black woman who willingly adopts a subservient role in her relationship to whites.

Such women are clearly victims of internalized oppression. The equivalent derogatory term for a black man is Uncle Tom.

The original Aunt Jemima was a popular character in nineteenth century minstrel shows, portrayed by white women in blackface in an obvious display of cultural appropriation. She became the trademark of the Aunt Jemima pancake mix of the Quaker Oats Company, which employed a succession of unwitting, matronly black women to promote their capitalist product.

Internalized oppression – hatred, dislike, or disapproval of one’s own group.

Also called self-hatred, internalized oppression refers to acceptance by a minority of the norms of the dominant majority, negatively stereotyping one’s own group, acculturation, and assimilation. It can lead to the use of the oppressive techniques of the dominant majority on others of one’s own minority.

Although usually a phenomenon affecting minorities, internalized oppression can also occur within an oppressor group, such as when a white male develops a hatred of whites and maleness. The social outcome can be quite favorable if he rejects his white male hegemony and supremacy, sincerely apologizes to people of color, and struggles to make amends for their oppression by his race.

See Oppression. Self-hatred. Stereotype. Acculturation. Assimilation. Whiteness. White hegemony. White male hegemony. White supremacy.

Internalized racism – hatred, dislike, or disapproval of one’s own minority race

Internalized racism can result in a feeling of racial inferiority, racist attitudes, and a desire to be more like the majority race.

Cultural appropriation – the adoption or exploitation of cultural elements of an oppressed minority by a dominant majority, without the approval and consent of the minority.

Examples: a white rapper with dreadlocks; a white female twerking; a white musician playing jazz; a white actress playing the role of a geisha; a non-Asian with tattoos of Chinese calligraphy; a sport team with the name of a Native American tribe; cheerleaders of said team, performing “tribal” dances; white children dressed like Native Americans in a school play.

Some examples from the past were white minstrels in blackface, British colonials in India wearing jodhpurs, and Lawrence of Arabia dressing like an Arab and trying to live like one. From the progressive point of view, the foregoing examples of cultural appropriation are highly offensive.

Sometimes a fine line of distinction between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation exists in individual situations, as when a person of hybrid identity with intersecting elements of oppressor and oppressed is accused of cultural appropriation but claims cultural appreciation. A case in point was when a white, female, high school senior wore a traditional Chinese dress (cheongsam) to her senior prom and was accused of cultural appropriation in the Internet social media by Asian females. She, of course, claimed cultural appreciation. In cases such as this, the adjudication must be by the appropriated (or appreciated) minority. In her case, other Asian females came to her defense, but doubts remained. If she were a black, transgender, female lesbian, this conflict could not have occurred, since non-hybrid minorities are not capable of cultural appropriation.

Note:  Only members of a dominant majority are capable of cultural appropriation. When a minority adopts elements of the culture of the majority, it is called acculturation and is acceptable unless they also adopt repressive elements of the dominant culture.


Seattle pays convicted pimp $150,000 to be its ‘Street Czar’

This was reported today by Rachel Sharp in the Daily Mail:

A pimp turned activist who once vowed to ‘go to war’ with Seattle is being paid $150,000 by the city to work as a ‘street czar’ and come up with ‘alternatives to policing’ because he said he can talk to ‘gang members, pimps and prostitutes who won’t sit down with anybody else’.

Andrè Taylor, who set up nonprofit Not This Time after his brother Che Taylor was shot dead by Seattle cops in 2016, signed a deal with the city on July 27 to work as its community liaison, according to the contract published by PubliCola last week. 

As part of the $12,500 a month deal, Taylor will provide recommendations to the city on de-escalation, community engagement, and alternatives to policing as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan aims to improve relations between law enforcement and community members in the wake of multiple cop killings of black men and women across America. 

Taylor, who was convicted of being a pimp back in 2000, has a mixed past with City Hall, promising to wage ‘war’ after his brother’s death before emerging as an ally and vocal critic of the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) zone this year. 

He publicly sided with Mayor Durkan in calls to dismantle the zone after two people were shot dead but was then exposed in a secret recording urging occupiers to ‘leave with something’ and offering to negotiate a million-dollar financial package with the city on their behalf. 

Taylor’s $12,500 a month contract, which includes an office in Seattle’s Municipal Tower, and his new title as the city’s ‘street czar’ was his idea, reported Seattle Times. 

He told the news outlet he is the man for the job because ‘not too many people can go talk to gangbangers in their territory, and then go talk to the government in their territory.’ 

Taylor said he has ‘particular genius in a particular area’ and can talk to ‘gang members, pimps and prostitutes’ who ‘won’t sit down with anybody else,’ reported KOMO News.

‘Black people as a whole have not been in a place to be compensated for their genius or their work for a very, very long time,’ he said.  

Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office did not immediately return DailyMail.com’s request for comment but told the Seattle Times the partnership would ‘help de-escalate the ongoing situation’ by allowing the city to tap into Taylor’s ‘lived experience with the criminal legal system’.

‘The City’s Department of Neighborhoods entered into a contract with Not This Time so that the organization could help de-escalate the ongoing situation in and around Cal Anderson Park,’ spokesperson Kelsey Nyland said in the statement.

‘The City sought a contract with Not This Time because of our existing working partnership… but also because of the organization’s lived experience with the criminal legal system, and their history of successful advocacy and activism on issues of policing and dismantling systemic racism.’ 

The mayor’s office said the city has also entered into similar contracts with other community groups. 

Not This Time is also developing a program to support the mental health of black people leaving prison as they reintegrate into the community. 

The nonprofit also worked with the city in 2019 on a $100,000 contract to host a speaker series called ‘Conversation with the Streets’. 

Read more.

Seattle is very fortunate to have a mayor who is a living tribute to wokeness. Mayor Durkan had the wisdom to tap into the lived experience of a certified criminal in her dealings with the other criminals who took part of her city hostage. She obviously got a win-win in her salary negotiations with Mr. Taylor. As a professional human trafficking and prostitution entrepreneur, he certainly could be earning far more than a paltry $150,000/year, but he sees this as a stepping stone to another career. With his credentials and more experience, he can easily become another Al Sharpton.

From Lefticon:

Lived experience – knowledge that is direct and personal, resulting in common sense, intuition, and conventional wisdom.

Experiential knowledge from lived experience is distinct from that obtained from the analysis of aggregated data prevalent in the social sciences, economics, and climate science. It is preferable to statistical knowledge, which is prone to manipulation, perceived as the tool of white male statisticians, and less available to minoritized people of color with their limited educational resources.

Unlike statistical knowledge, lived experience encompasses subjective feelings which are an essential part of objective reality. It is expressed in anecdotes and narratives rather than scholarly papers.

Standpoint epistemology – the theory that one cannot fully understand and appreciate oppression unless one has experienced or lived it.

Feminists apply standpoint epistemology to patriarchal oppression, though it has universal applicability to any oppression like racism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, ableism, slavery, genocide, anti-Semitism, Communism, and the like.

If someone has a hybrid identity with intersecting oppressor and oppressed components, they are pre-certified as experts in their lived-in oppression(s) only.

Note:  Some of the most devout anti-Communists are those who once lived in one of the Communist-bloc countries before the fall of the USSR, or in Castro’s Cuba. They make the best case for standpoint epistemology.

Identity epistemology – the theory that one cannot fully understand and appreciate oppression unless one belongs to and identifies with an oppressed group.

This concept differs from standpoint epistemology which requires the direct personal experience of oppression. In identity epistemology, even being the unoppressed member of an oppressed group is enough to qualify for the victimhood benefits and legal protections extended to oppressed minorities.

Identity epistemology is compatible with transgenerational trauma, while standpoint epistemology is not.


Bloomberg raises millions to help Florida felons vote

This was reported today by Brendan Farrington of the Associated Press:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Just days after after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won a court victory to keep felons from voting until they’ve paid off fines, restitution and court fees, billionaire Mike Bloomberg has stepped in to help them pay off the debts.

The former Democratic presidential candidate has helped raise more than $20 million so that felons who completed their prison sentences can vote in the presidential election. Bloomberg also has pledged $100 million to help Joe Biden win Florida.

“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right. Working together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, we are determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it,” Bloomberg said in a written statement.

A federal appellate court ruled on Sept. 11 that in addition to serving their sentences, Florida felons must pay all fines, restitution and legal fees before they can regain their right to vote. The case could have broad implications for the November elections. Florida has 29 electoral college votes that are crucial to President Donald Trump’s hopes of staying in the White House.  […]

The Florida Rights Restitution Coalition had raised about $5 million before Bloomberg made calls to raise almost $17 million more, according to Bloomberg staffers.

The money is targeted for felons who registered to vote while the law was in question and who owe $1,500 or less. That accounts for about 31,100 people, the staffers said. In a state that decided the 2000 presidential election by 537 votes, that could be critical in a year when polls show Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden in a dead heat.  […]

The group said other donors include John Legend, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, Ben & Jerry’s, Levi Strauss & Co., the Miami Dolphins, the Orlando Magic, the Miami Heat and Stephen Spielberg.

Read more.

Of course, these felons deserve the right to vote. They suffered greatly during their incarceration and were often employed as prison labor, performing low-skilled tasks at far below the minimum wage to produce a marketable product for the state, such as automotive license plates. Many were victims of racist police brutality. They should not be responsible for “fines, restitution and legal fees,”—which sound a lot like poll taxes in the old Jim Crow south—but they should be paid an adjusted compensation for their prison labor. They have more than paid their due to society for whatever crimes they committed.

Three cheers for Mayor Bloomberg and the other donors. They are true heroes of the left. Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!

From Lefticon:

Right to vote -the right of a citizen to vote for their choice of candidate for public office in a democratic election; also known collectively as voting rights.

The right to vote is integral to the democratic process, and inclusive of all citizens, but it was not always so.

Though the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution abolished slavery in 1865, blacks were not granted citizenship until the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) and did not have the unrestricted right to vote until the Fifteenth Amendment (1870). These three amendments, ratified during the Reconstruction Period after the Civil War, are known as the Reconstruction Amendments. However, state and local governments in the former Confederate states found ways to disenfranchise the black voter through poll taxes, literacy tests, and voter intimidation. It took the heroic struggle of a Civil Rights Movement, led by progressives, to bring about the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and restore social justice.

Curiously, women took even longer to get the right to vote in national elections. First-wave feminists, known as suffragettes, struggled for women’s suffrage (right to vote) as far back as the 1840s. They had limited success on a state-by-state basis but were thwarted nationally by the hegemonic (white male) power structures.

Attitudes changed internationally after the First World War and the exemplary performance of women in holding up the “home front” in multiple countries during the war. It had been the first large-scale inroad of women into jobs traditionally dominated by men. Finally, the suffragettes got the recognition they deserved with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution in 1920, which granted women the right to vote.

Note:  Despite the historic (and heroic) progress in securing voting rights for all citizens, particularly blacks and women, there remains a large segment of the population without that basic right, namely noncitizen permanent residents, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, and convicted felons. Depriving anyone of their voting rights is a social injustice which is gradually being corrected by progressive legislators on a state-by-state level in the United States.

Disenfranchisement – denial of a right of citizenship or of representation in the political process.

In the progressive lexicon, disenfranchisement applies mainly to the right to vote. Requiring proof of citizenship, or even some form of identification, is held to be a denial of that right. A conviction for a felony can forfeit that right.

There are many other forms of disenfranchisement which are not contested by progressives.  These include denial of the right to life of an unborn fetus; or of the right to free speech if in violation of political correctness; or of the right to bear arms when infringed by gun-control legislation; or of the right to private property when abridged by taxation, asset forfeiture, civil penalties, and eminent domain.

Several students report gathering outside Vanderbilt dorms

This was reported by Stassy Olmos on August 31,2020 on WKRN.com:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Several students reported a gathering of 50-150 people at times on the lawn outside of the freshmen dorms at Vanderbilt University Saturday night. The university said this could result in students losing their semester.

Students told News 2, freshmen started to gather in small groups outside of the Ingram Commons dorm early Saturday night.

Freshman Sydney Braunstein said, “There was 150 to 200 people there, there were a lot of students there who were just not following protocols.”

Vanderbilt University was very serious when they allowed students back on campus. requiring every student to sign “Return To Campus” guidelines that stated they would follow rules including wearing a mask on campus, and not gathering in groups larger than 10.

The consequences for breaking the rules can result in sanctions, up to and including, probation, suspension and expulsion.

Braunstein told News 2 that she and several of her friends repeatedly reported the gathering on the ‘VandySafe’ app, but “the VU police came over and they didn’t really do a whole lot,” she said, “They told people to distance and move away from each other which worked for maybe 5 minutes and then everyone just kind of came back. So, we continued to report it for probably about two hours because anything actually got done about it.”

She says the groups were out there until about 12:30 a.m. […]

 “It’s frustrating because there are the people who understand it and want to do it, but aren’t doing it and it’s just unfair that you’re putting other people at risk because you just want to go out and party and have a social life,” Braunstein said, “Where the rest of us are trying to keep as safe as possible…. it just seems so selfish to me.”

Read more.

This courageous student, Ms. Sydney Braunstein, should be commended for doing the right thing and reporting her fellow students to the campus police for violating coronavirus social distancing guidelines. It was obvious to her that they were putting themselves and the collective in grave danger from this lethal virus. At the risk of censure and ostracization, her concern for their well-being was selfless and exemplary. She obviously put the good of the collective over her own. Felix Dzerzhinsky would have approved.

From Lefticon:

Social distancing – the practice of maintaining a fixed distance between individuals for the purpose of thwarting the transmission of an infectious disease.

This term came to common use during the coronavirus pandemic of 2019-20, when an arbitrary distance of six feet was set by government diktat. Despite the lack of scientific evidence for its efficacy, there was no questioning or criticism in the mainstream media; in fact, there was nothing but full support. It was noted, though, that the distancing was more physical than social, since social contact was still possible through various modes of electronic connectivity.

The success or failure of social distancing is a convenient indicator of the receptivity of the masses to control by an authoritarian state and the efficacy of the media in manufacturing their consent.

Authoritarianism – a belief in the coercive power of government to control the people and suppress individual rights.

All governments are authoritarian to the extent necessary to enforce laws, collect taxes, defend against enemies, and maintain internal stability. A fully authoritarian, totalitarian government does all that and more, through the unopposed and uncontrolled power of a monarch, dictator, or the central committee of a single political party. In such a government, there is minimal tolerance, if any, for political opposition or dissent.

Even in the developed countries of North America and Western Europe, which virtue-signal their liberty, individual freedom, and human rights, there is a particularly intrusive form of authoritarianism that goes with large bureaucracies empowered by the state to write regulations and enforce them coercively with penalties, fines, asset confiscation, and even incarceration. In the US, the Internal Revenue Service is a case in point.

During the 2019-2020 coronavirus pandemic, the governors of many States in the US and heads of state of many countries throughout the world revealed their authoritarian credentials by imposing draconian restrictions on the freedom of their citizens disproportionate to the medical necessity.

Note:  Some countries, especially those based on ideology, religion, or ethnocentrism, need a strong authoritarian government to suppress reactionary or counter-revolutionary elements.

Manufactured consent – agreement of the masses with the agenda of the ruling class, achieved through propaganda widely disseminated by the corporate media.

In their landmark exposé, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky described how the corporate media changed from seekers of objective truth to a propaganda model, generating popular support for the agendas of the government and corporate elites.

Published in 1988, their observations are still valid today if not more so.


Trump says schools teaching NY Times’ 1619 Project ‘will not be funded’

This was reported yesterday by Mark Moore in the New York Post:

President Trump on Sunday said the Department of Education was investigating whether California public schools will teach a curriculum based on the New York Times’ controversial “1619 Project” — and threatened to defund them.

“Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded!” the president wrote on Twitter, linking to a post that said California had implemented the program.

The New York Times Magazine ran the series in 2019 to mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first slave ship in America, purporting to “reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

The newspaper was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for its collection of essays, and the Pulitzer Center was named an education partner to develop resources for schools to teach the project.

But the series has come under fire by some scholars for factual errors.

GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas called it a “revisionist account of history that denies the noble principles of freedom and equality on which our nation was founded,” and in July introduced legislation that would prevent schools from teaching the 1619 project.

It “would prohibit the use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project by K-12 schools or school districts. Schools that teach the 1619 Project would also be ineligible for federal professional-development grants.”

From Lefticon:

Project 1619 – a project of the New York Times to change the historical date of the founding of the United States from 1776 to 1619, and to “place the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country.”

This ongoing project was initiated in 2019, on the 400th anniversary of the arrival in 1619 of the first twenty African slaves in the English colony of Virginia. Envisioned by a staff writer, Nikole Hannah-Jones, it was embraced by editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein and introduced with a special edition of the NY Times Magazine featuring essays by other staff writers and literary contributions by black authors. It is fully compatible with neo-Marxist critical race theory and the history of intergenerational systemic racism during 400 years of a white-dominated American culture.

Like other courageous attempts at revisionist history, this project was not the product of accredited historians, but of writers without historical training or background. It has been criticized by a few less-woke academic historians on the political right.

Revisionist history – history that differs from the established, conventional, peer-reviewed narrative accepted by credentialed historians.

Real history is found in newspaper archives, academic journals, textbooks, and books written by real historians relying on primary sources. Revisionist history is an unaccredited counternarrative found in books by non-historians or discredited historians, and in the Internet blogosphere. It is often iconoclastic and conspiratorial; conspiracy theories thrive on revisionist history.

Note:  Revisionist history is to real history what fake news is to real news. While real history is reliable and immutable, revisionist history is unreliable and falsifiable as new evidence emerges.

Trump to Feds: Stop ‘Anti-American’ Training on ‘Critical Race Theory’

As reported yesterday by Philip Wegmann in RealClearPolitics:

On a Friday evening and as November looms, the White House has opened another front in the culture war. At the direction of the president, the Office of Management and Budget is ordering all federal agencies to “cease and desist” any government training programs that include any reference to “critical race theory” or “white privilege,” RealClearPolitics has exclusively learned.

The theory has long been in vogue within academics. Trump now seeks to root it out within the administrative state. Among the ideas underpinning CRT, now formally condemned by the White House, is that the law and all accompanying legal institutions are inherently racist, and that race itself has no biological grounds. The concept of ethnicity is, instead, the product of a white society that uses systems and institutions to advance its own interests at the expense of minorities.

Why does this academic thesis matter? Because it drives government action. And because, during this summer of unrest following George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, the president has been asked numerous times if he believes that systemic racism is a problem in America. His answer has been no, and a clearer picture of his thinking comes in the form of a memo authored by OMB Director Russ Vought.

“It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date ‘training’ government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda,” Vought writes in the memo, obtained first by RCP.

“For example, according to press reports, employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend trainings where they are told that ‘virtually all White people contribute to racism’ or where they are required to say that they ‘benefit from racism,’” he continued.

As the country grapples with questions of race and equality in policing, Trump has ordered that any programing relating to “white privilege” end immediately. According to the White House, such ideas are “divisive, anti-American propaganda.”

The crossover between academic theory and federal work training programs, Vought writes, is “counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our nation has stood since its inception” and also “engenders division and resentment within the federal workforce.”

“We cannot accept our employees receiving training that seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce,” the memo to all federal agencies reads.

Agencies are instructed to identify any contracts or agency spending that funds programs teaching federal employees about critical race theory and/or white privilege. This includes, RCP has learned, any effort to teach or suggest that either “the United States is an inherently racist or evil country” or that “any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.”

The memo comes after complaints have surfaced about government-led initiatives that seek to correct long-standing beliefs on race that have recently been deemed offensive. As Fox News reports, NASA announced that it would strip all references to phrases such as the “Eskimo Nebula” and the “Siamese Twins Galaxy.” And earlier in the year, the National Museum of African American History & Culture was publicly ridiculed for a graphic that related such concepts as the “nuclear family” and “self-reliance” to so-called white culture.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has made combating systemic racism a part of his campaign, and he has released a detailed plan to carry out that mission.

“It is about justice,” Biden said in July. “For generations, Americans who are Black, brown, Native American, immigrant, haven’t always been fully included in our democracy or our economy.”

Read more

Trigger warning: The next paragraph has two links to right-wing sources, which some readers may find offensive or disturbing.

Politico fails to relate the President’s action to the interview by Tucker Carlson of Christopher Rufo, an investigative journalist. Rufo called attention to the diversity/sensitivity training industry, which is based on neo-Marxist “critical race theory,” white supremacy, and systemic racism. He has an informative article on this topic in City Journal, where he is an editor.

Most of the related topics are also covered in Lefticon:

Critical Theory a philosophical critique of all social structures and institutions within a culture.

Critical Theory is the application of Marxian dialectical methods to expose the contradictions of capitalist societies, with the goal of cultural and socio-political transformation. It is a major contribution of the neo-Marxist, neo-Freudian Frankfurt School and the basis of their success in the cultural transformation of Western Europe and North America. It is as much a contribution to social science and law as to philosophy.

There is no place for proof or disproof in Critical Theory; in that way, it has no resemblance to a scientific theory. In fact, it is a methodology rather than a theory and calling it otherwise is a misnomer.

Note:  Although there were lesser critical theories dating back to Aristotle, neo-Marxist Critical Theory is often capitalized out of respect for its preeminence, much like totalitarian Communism as distinct from generic communism, or the monotheistic God (G-d, Allah) vis-à-vis polytheistic or pagan gods.

Critical race theory (CRT) – the application of the philosophy and techniques of Critical Theory and critical legal studies to the study of race.

Critical race theory developed in law schools in the 1980s as a reaction to a perceived deficiency in critical legal studies. Its early proponents were critical legal scholars who felt marginalized when other critical legal scholars failed to focus sufficiently on race as it interfaced with law and politics. Because of this transcendent importance to concerned social activists, critical race theory has become its own discipline in the social sciences.

Critical race theory seeks out and identifies specific manifestations of the pervasive systemic racism in our dominant culture, with its power structures built on whiteness, white privilege, white hegemony, and white supremacy. It characterizes racial groups as either oppressor (white) or oppressed (all others but especially black).

In the presence of systemic racial inequalities, critical race theory challenges biological essentialism and the repressive values of meritocracy and objectivity. In a system so heavily skewed in favor of whites, it conceptualizes racial identity as a social construct without a necessary basis in biology or genetics, and racism as a multidimensional oppression which, through intersectionality, can coexist with other oppressions, such as sexism and homophobia, and thereby further synergize the disempowerment of people of color, especially blacks.

Narratives of personal experiences by victims of racism are used widely in CRT research and presentations. Through anecdotal counternarratives of lived experience, CRT empowers people of color and challenges them to find centrality and commonality in their experiences and to respond to the prevailing narratives of white supremacy. Any individual experiences outside the approved narrative, however, are actively rejected as perpetuating racism.

Systemic racism – the maintenance of racism as a cultural norm by a dominant white majority using established systemic and institutional power structures.

Much like original sin in Christianity, systemic racism is heritable and present in all whites. One of the fundamental tenets of critical race theory, it manifests itself in the oppression of blacks and Hispanics, and to a lesser degree Asians.

White supremacy – the concept that whites are superior to nonwhites.

In critical race theory, white supremacy means the special advantages and privileges of whites in a racially mixed society. It includes political and socioeconomic domination by whites and their subordination of nonwhite races and ethnic groups.

Those who believe in white supremacy are called white supremacists. This term has replaced racist as the preferred descriptor of those who oppose diversity, open borders, the free flow of immigration, and voting rights. They are, of course, also racists, but the accusation of racism has become less effective from overuse, and white supremacist suggests  an unsavory alliance with Nazis, neo-Nazis, fascists, skinheads, and the lunatic fringe of the alt-right.

Diversity training – formal indoctrination into the benefits of diversity.

Diversity training focuses on the appreciation of racial, ethnic, cultural, and gender differences, with the goals of social acceptance, fairness, harmony, and togetherness in the workplace, campus, healthcare facility, police force, agency, bureau, or military unit. It attempts to change the mindset of the dominant majority toward acceptance of the values, norms, and behavior of minorities.

Diversity training seminars can be conducted by social activists, educators, human resource managers, and motivational public speakers. Generally, they are more hortatory and less intense than the sensitivity training available to higher levels of management.

Since most workers consider diversity a contrived topic that is inherently boring, few will attend such sessions voluntarily. Accordingly, attendance must be mandatory for targeted groups. Compulsion, however, can bring resentment and an anti-diversity sentiment in some employees. Any such outcome can be remedied by the termination of those employees resistant to indoctrination.

With licensed professionals (physicians, nurses, therapists, dentists, accountants, morticians, dietitians, barbers, cosmetologists, etc.) license renewal or accreditation can be contingent on completion of compulsory diversity training.

Note:  Diversity training is always directed at the white hegemonic majority. There are no seminars attempting to change the mindset of minorities toward acceptance of the behavioral norms of the dominant majority. To maintain diversity, minorities are exempted from behavioral change and discouraged from assimilation. The few “Uncle Toms” and “Aunt Jemimas” who accept the values, norms, and lifestyles of whites are stigmatized as victims of internalized oppression.

Sensitivity training – a form of group therapy to improve behavior and interpersonal communication within an organization, overcome bias, replace incorrect values, and facilitate cultural change.

Sensitivity training utilizes encounter groups, human awareness groups, and T-groups (T for therapy). The techniques are like those used in group psychotherapy for behavior modification. They often involve the use of isolation, sleep deprivation, humiliation, and stress to modify an individual’s personality, with its old values and norms, and replace it with a new personality with new values and norms.

The first such therapy groups were used at the Tavistock Clinic in England to treat First World War veterans for shell-shock, the term then used for post-traumatic stress disorder. The noted psychologist Kurt Lewin, of the Frankfurt School, treated patients at the Tavistock Clinic and its related Institute in the 1930s. He brought their methods to the United States via the Teachers College of Columbia University. Continuing his collaboration with Tavistock, he went to MIT, where he founded the Research Center for Group Dynamics. In 1946, he co-founded, with the US Office of Naval Research and the National Education Association (NEA), the National Training Laboratories Institute for Applied Behavioral Science (also known as the NTL Institute) in Bethel, Maine. He also established programs at the Wharton School and Stanford University, with funding from the Rockefellers and multiple charitable foundations.

The NTL Institute has become the leading sensitivity trainer of executives and managers in both the public and private sectors in the United States, molding their minds for leadership roles supportive of racial diversity, gender equality, and globalization.

Note:  MK Ultra was a project of the CIA in the mid twentieth century which studied mind control, using techniques like those now used in sensitivity training, along with psychotropic drugs and physical pain.