Tag: Racism

White-on-white crime is a bigger problem than “immigrant crime”: Why doesn’t Trump care?

Donald Trump gave a television broadcast in support of his wall last night with his typical mix of anecdotes, exaggerations and outright lies all mixed into a demagogic gloop and served in a tiring Trump voice. It has been called “an insult to the nation’s intelligence” by Vox’s Zack Beauchamp and a “wet fart Oval Office address” by The Daily Beast‘s Rick Wilson, while Mark Thiessen called the speech “presidential” in The Washington Post.

His main message was, as usual, that illegal immigrants are responsible for a massive crime wave. The message is wrong on multiple levels. Illegal immigration has declined precipitously since Obama took office. Most research shows that immigrants (both legal and illegal) commit crimes at a lower rate than American-born citizens. That is why Trump and his fellow opponents of immigration (both legal and illegal) always have to cite anecdotes so viciously.

But they always ignore anecdotes about Americans murdering each other, especially if those Americans are white Americans. It’s the same old story. In the run-up to the 2016 election, Breitbart fear-mongered about refugee children having committed a crime against a white girl (and lied in order to trump up the details), but the outlet entirely ignored a murder that took place in the same city Breitbart sent its writers to report from. Because the logic is the same, I now present the article I wrote on it, originally published at Medium:

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The conservative case for why Sarah Jeong isn’t racist

After Sarah Jeong was hired by The New York Times, the alt-right attacked her by surfacing controversial years-old tweets and calling for her firing. The mainstream right, while not involved in direct racism against her, did advance the narrative that Jeong’s tweets were “racist” and put pressure on the Times.


”Dumbass fucking white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants,” the shared tweets said.

’Just think what SJWs would do if a white person said that about black people!!!’ the cliched response goes.

Well, excuse me for being a dumbass fucking white person* sharing his opinion online, but calling Jeong “racist” and calling for her to be fired is an overreaction and isn’t even defensible from a laissez faire conservative perspective. (*Although (((I))) am not actually a fucking white person, according to the alt-right…)

Over the past few years, conservatives have wielded the torch of “free speech” against “political correctness.” It was supposedly one of the reasons Donald Trump won the electoral college vote. He was the only one fearless enough to say that Hispanics are not qualified to judge cases impartially and that “#WhiteGenocide” is happening.

Easily-offended right-wing SJWs tweeting angry attacks at Jeong after her tweets went viral.

Alt-right took Jeong tweets out of context

Trump, you see, expressed actually racist thoughts. Jeong, by contrast, was mostly responding to racism directed at her (directly as an individual and indirectly as a member of a targeted ethnicity) and other minority groups.

The idea of “#WhiteGenocide” is illustrative. It is, as I have written, “the idea that diversity is bad because it increases the population of minority ethnic groups in the United States and thus decreases the percentage of whites.” According to the alt-right narrative, America is a white country and should remain that way. Any change of demographics, due to immigration, intermarriage, or group differences in birth rates, is considered “genocide,” because it, in some small way, changes the demographic characteristics of the country. Demographic change in the country, where the percentage of white children born is now less than half of all children, was a factor in Trump’s election.

Thus, when Jeong tweeted to “@RepDanMode,” a racist account that has since been suspended,

.@RepDanMode White people have stopped breeding. You’ll all go extinct soon. This was my plan all along. 😈

complete with a devil emoji, she was mocking the racist idea of “#WhiteGenocide.”

The idea that she individually—or minorities as a group—could have some kind of conspiratorial plan to decrease the fertility rate of members of the white ethnic group is hilariously stupid. Jeong was responding to something racist Mr. “Mode” said and treating it with the contempt it deserved. If anyone thinks she seriously has a plan to stop white people from breeding, they need to learn what sarcasm is.

See the difference? Arguing for banning immigration on the grounds of race is racist. Arguing against the racist idea that immigration should be banned isn’t racist. Using hyperbolic sarcasm to respond to racism is not the same thing as racism.

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How left-wing smears about racism come back to bite them

One of the most often heard complaints about politically correct liberals is that they try to smear everyone with whom they disagree as bigots. “Racist,” “sexist,” “transphobe,” “transmisogynistic”… The terms are thrown around so often that many people stop listening.

Often people disagree about what constitutes bigotry. But just as often people disagree about the context and what was actually said. While I was listening to the podcast Undisclosed, I was treated to an example of how casually self-righteous liberals can fabricate racially-charged accusations, perhaps without even being conscious of it.

Undisclosed operates in seasons that usually take on cases of someone whom the team of three lawyers, Rabia Chaudry, Colin Miller, and Susan Simpson, thinks was wrongly convicted of a crime. They present the story and the evidence, as they see it, and argue why the convict wasn’t guilty. For the past few months, however, the story they are presenting is different: They are arguing why they think the Baltimore police officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray are guilty.

It’s a bit of an interesting turn for the attorneys, who usually argue someone’s innocence, to take a hard stance against people who were charged with crimes on shaky grounds. Maybe it shows the group is focused on the politics of identity–race and power structures–rather than defending the civil rights of anyone accused of a crime. Or maybe they are just continuing their mission of defending the public against heavy-handed tactics of the corrupt police and justice system that, in their view, mistreated and killed an innocent man. Either way, they ought not make up lies about subjects involved.

On episode 14, when talking about the protests that turned into riots, the host stated, “The nation saw the mayor unable to communicate to her own city, awkwardly trying to say that she respects civil liberties but then referring to protesters as ‘thugs’.”

“Referring to protesters as ‘thugs’…” Does anyone remember when Baltimore Mayor Stefanie Rawlings-Blake, a liberal Democrat and an African-American woman, said that? I seem to recall exactly the quote they were thinking of, and she didn’t at all refer to “protesters” as “thugs.”

Just to make sure I was remembering right, I looked it up:

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My latest long essay for Quillette

Not a traditional subject for a light weekend reading. I apologise.


Burkini ban and an honest debate about the C word

Stop blaming Colonialism for every social ills. It’s frankly embarrassing. 

The terrible liberal secular tyranny that engulfed France leading to thousands of disillusioned, shocked and scared humans, crossing hundreds of miles to flee Europe and seek refuge in the bosom of distant cultures and faraway lands was finally overturned by the French supreme court. Yes, I am talking about the ill-defined, and frankly idiotic Burkini ban and the reaction to it. And no, of course no one fled Europe, or was even remotely planning to, as far as recorded knowledge goes, though no one will blame you if you felt the opposite from the social media reaction to this entire issue. One hypothesis, yet to be tested in a proper social science experiment, could be that most vicious protests against classical European liberalism comes from a section of the commentariat, who for all practical purposes would never live anywhere other than Western Europe if given a chance.

But that’s beyond the point of this post.

As a political scientist, this entire episode was a fascinating natural experiment to watch, one of social media confirmation bias and simplistic narrative causal generalisation in journalism and a certain section of academe. A single google search will result in dozens of articles, which analysed the Burkini ban from the binary of either feminism and women’s rights, or colonialism and racism inspired by colonialism. The first argument of feminism, comparatively makes a lot more sense, although it is prudent to add for the sake of academic balance, that it has been disputed by some. Notable Arab feminists, either supported the Burkini ban or were straightforward about the right “not to wear a Burkini”.

It is the colonial angle which was far more baffling.

Churning out anti-colonialism as a narrative is nothing new, obviously. And, honestly, there are ample reasons for it. Lamentably, however, it is a causal ascription, which is significantly on the rise, for issues which are far more complex and far beyond the explanatory prowess of such juvenile linear narrative. Examples range from Burkini ban, to devastating terror attacks in France. Team GB won Olympic medals and you’re celebrating? Must be deeply entrenched colonialism that we need to be joylessly vocal about. Black Lives Matter protests? Against colonialism. White actors playing in Asian films, characters which are White?! You guessed it. Western women wearing Bindis? My Ganesha, the savagery of the cultural appropriation. Gender abolition and homophobia? C…

This is beyond exasperating. 

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Is racism really on the rise after Brexit?

Post Brexit, this is the question on everyone’s lips: Is racism on the rise in UK? Certainly, people will be more aware of it and are eagerly looking for any evidence to support their fears. Extremists play on fear. They weaponize it. Which is why we should not allow any far right cynical agitation, to actually agitate us. Ukip and Farage did not win Brexit. Boris Johnson, Gisela Stuart and Andrea Leadsom did. I believe that with Brexit, we can we fight rising Euro Neo-fascism head on.

The far right has been in the ascendant in the European Union for many years. It has been facilitated by EU open boarders and compounded by the refugee crisis.  A vote to Remain would not have stopped this. Brexit, however, just might. It makes Farage and Ukip redundant.

Many liberals however do not see this opportunity, they are having too much fun indulging their hysteria. They consistently dismiss Brexit voters as ignorant peasants. It’s precisely this attitude which has been their undoing.

The danger in their refusal to listen to the issues of grass roots, working class voters is the danger that when people see themselves being labelled racist and xenophobic (when they aren’t) is that they then believe the racists and the xenophobes are the only ones who will listen to them. And very often, for political ends, they are.

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LSE, Angelina Jolie, sexism and the death of Expertise

Full disclosure, I didn’t come up with the phrase, “death of expertise”, thanks to Prof Nichols for that (Buy his book! Really!).

I am, however, fully sympathetic to the stand, that in this age of interdisciplinarity, expertise is usually dead. Education has turned to a business, and the more marketable a name, the more saleable a university or college is, regardless of what they churn.

But, giving the role of a professor to Angelina Jolie stretches the limit and as usual led me to this long twitter debate. On the plus side, it was a civil discussion, which is unthinkable, given the norm of Twitter discourse these days. On the negative side, it was maddening as only academic debates could be.

So, here’re the basic premise of the question.

  1. Why Jolie?
  2. Is it sexist to oppose Jolie’s position as a Prof?

The answer to the first question is here, by Drezner and Shepherd.

The answer to the second question is “are you F-in joking?!” 

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Weekly Reading List: Paris Attack, Israel-Palestine and Hopelessness

We all know the feeling, when the lines between good and evil fades, black and white turns grey. It is easy to be in a news room or at a conference analyzing war in Syria, a land far away, but when the war hits home, in the streets of a city seven hours drive from yours, things get blurry.

Narratives get smudged, paranoia reigns, fear increases, not just of more attacks, but of reprisals. Western Europe hasn’t seen urban warfare of this scale on her streets since Second World War. All that changed overnight with Paris under curfew, the first time since 1941.

The Eiffel Tower went dark, like a Nazi bombing raid. And with the massacre inside Bataclan, and the stories of people being butchered one by one, the mind raced back to another winter night in Mumbai seven years back; same modus operandi, same style, same result.

However, the work of a Political Scientist is to analyse, being bereft of emotions. So here’s a recap of my primary predictions regarding Paris attacks, in my first column of the week.

On the other hand, it is just hopeless in Israel and Palestine, where the two state solution is probably dead for good. My second column of the week.

In sadness, on behalf of the team from B&D. I Hope your weekend is better.


Short post on the Yale Racism issue

So, this happened in Yale.

Now, I don’t know how to categorise this…brings up so many questions…not just for me, I believe.

When I was young, I grew up in the late 90s, we used to cringe if parents, School, Uni try to make us follow rules. What went wrong in the matter of 20 years? How did everyone turn to such frail fairies?!

To be honest, it is an American thing…thankfully not that much in Europe, England, New Zealand, and definitely not in China or India. (Pro-Tip…if you go and cry in India because your fee-fees are hurt, goodluck…you just killed your chances to be ever taken seriously, until you essentially move to a different job, timezone, postal code, and hope no one from your past life finds out. Yes, it is a tough country for overly sensitive people.)

The thing is, sensitivity is subjective. Ethics are mutating. Rules are never good, as they can be misused, and ever increasing. Banning is never an option, safe spaces make people perpetually weak, echo chambers just reinforce the same views, and make a student completely unprepared for real world, which is brutal.

Here’s something personal.

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