Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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The Identity Cult: On the mass conversion of our institutions

The cult of identity, properly understood, consists of a series of platitudes and stereotypes invariably leading to gestures of repudiation and calls for the ritual purification of society. By definition, there can be no missionaries of identity. True believers have shown little interest in persuasion: their faith has spread not because of clever arguments but by relegating rival creeds beyond the pale of moral consideration. Hence the obsession with nomenclature—with the magical force of words.

Conversion has entailed drastically different experiences, depending on where you stand in the social pyramid. From below, at the level of the young professional and the college student, the cult provides a vision of truth and a source of meaning in a romantic struggle against the systemic evil represented by the rest of us. From above, at the level of high government and corporate officials, ostentatious adherence to the cult is a tool of control.

The dance between the generations has been awkward. Young activists are eternally on the hunt to identify and attack injustice, typically revealed by the utterance of certain taboo words. They dwell in a world of weakened religious and family ties, and their idea of community is a website. The cult of identity fills an existential void and raises up the young to be the vanguard of avenging virtue in a sinful world. This cohort is driven by the urge to purify—that is, by negation to the edge of nihilism.

Older institutional types, on the other hand, have seen their influence and authority plummet over the past decade. Of this vertiginous fall from grace, Trump was merely a symptom, not the cause. The digital age will not tolerate the steep hierarchies of the twentieth century: these will either be reconfigured or smashed. Stripped of the splendor of their titles, panicky elites have cast about for some principle that will allow them to maintain their distance from the public.

The puritanical slogans pouring out of anti-Trump protesters must have sounded, to this group, like an opportunity. They could reorganize society on woke values, with themselves in charge as high commissioners of purity. They could trade institutional authority for social control. With uneven measures of sincerity and cynicism, the cult of identity could be appropriated by power.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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‘Migrants only!’ The Greens’ plan to ban ‘organic Germans’ from a third of job vacancies in the name of diversity slammed as ‘unconstitutional’

“A green mayor makes the difference!” wrote Turkish-born Filiz Polat, the managing director of the Greens parliamentary group, in a tweet on Wednesday, which confirmed that “by the end of 2026, a third of all newly advertised positions in the city should be filled by applicants with a migration background.”

[...]

The plan has attracted criticism from political opponents who consider the proposal to be unlawful.

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, an FDP member of the Bundestag declared the plan to be “evidently unconstitutional, if I understand our Basic Law correctly.”

“What happens to the other two-thirds?” Lambsdorff asked Polat in a tweet. “Are they reserved for organic Germans?” he added, suggesting any form of discrimination in favor of either “organic Germans” or “those of a migrant background” for a particular vacancy would be unconstitutional.

The Greens are yet to outline how they would address this issue following the implementation of the scheme.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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L.A. School District Shares Video from ‘Nutritionist’ Who Says Eating Right Is Racist

Your dreams have come true, kids: French fries and pizza are now good for you, so eat up, or else: if you don’t, you might be suspected of “white supremacism.” If you thought things couldn’t possibly get any crazier, forget it: a “nutritionist” has proclaimed that “nutrition standards are rooted in whiteness,” and so like Robert E. Lee and Bull Connor, they’ve got to go. Nor is the nutritionist in question, Kéra Nyemb-Diop, some nut raving on the streetcorner; she works for Mondelez International, which is so concerned about nutrition that it produces Oreos and Chips Ahoy!. She is so well respected that the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Office of Human Relations Diversity and Equity (HRDE) just shared her eating-right-is-racism video on its Instagram account. Oh yes, they did.

It comes as no surprise, really, now that women are men and men are drag queens in primary schools, that someone who calls herself a “nutritionist” would tell us something like this and, instead of being laughed out of her profession, would be held up by what is supposed to be an organization of sane and sober educators as someone who actually has something to tell us. The video that the L.A. school district wanted those who are foolish enough to follow it on Instagram to see begins with one woman offering another a plate of doughnuts, and being absolutely baffled when they’re refused. “Are they moldy? I mean, are they poisoned?” The woman who refused a doughnut is speechless, whereupon the fatty snack pusher scolds her: “Hmm. You’re judging my food choices based on a false standard of ‘health,’ again, aren’t you?”

The refusenik says happily, “Guilty!,” but she doesn’t get off that easily. The video then cuts to Kéra Nyemb-Diop herself, identified only as “@Black.Nutritionist,” who declares: “Diet culture, fatphobia and systems of oppression have created false hierarchies of food; it shows up everywhere.” A bit later in the video, a woman appears who is identified as “@SavageXFatty.” A woman named Maya Finoh, whose tweets are protected, has that Twitter account, and here’s her Twitter bio: “cultural worker. a salone pikin from the 919. like claudia jones i’m left of marx. they/them.” In the video, she says: “We are all incorrectly taught from a young age that our size and therefore the foods that we eat are markers of our self-worth. Moralizing food can lead to harmful relationships with food and disordered eating.” See? If you say that people ought to eat right, it’ll just make them eat even worse.

Nyemb-Diop then continues: “Instead of focusing on ‘good’ and ‘bad’ choices, try to approach food with neutrality in mind.” “Neutrality” in this context means that a doughnut is as good as a plate of broccoli, a salad absolutely equivalent to a dish of ice cream. “The only foods that are bad for you,” insists @SavageXFatty, “are foods that contain allergens (intolerances), poisons, and contaminents, or foods that are spoiled or is otherwise inedible.” Nyemb-Diop concludes: “Eat without guilt regardless of what society says.”

Now, Nyemb-Diop almost certainly knows how false and dangerous this all is, especially when there is already an epidemic of obesity among people of all ages. But she appears to be a committed ideologue. She insists that “nutrition standards are rooted in whiteness” and that the “health space is FLOODED with whitewashed nutritional standards that not only forget but exclude and demonize the food of those of the GLOBAL MAJORITY.” Racist to the core, as you might expect, Nyemb-Diop railed against the racists who say it’s healthier to maintain good nutrition: “I don’t know who made these white European bodies the standard but… oh that’s right, YT [white] people did! Because there ain’t a diverse culture on the face of this earth trying to look like these mediocre white men.”

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Vitriol over Queen Elizabeth II shows many left-wingers just hate white people

It's been an eventful month in race relations. First, there was the latest hate crime hoax at Brigham Young University, which all evidence suggests was concocted by a player desirous of attention. Then, there were the utterly despicable comments by two American professors about Queen Elizabeth II's death.

The professors, both black, took to social media to disparage Queen Elizabeth II. Uju Anya, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University, displayed her bigotry by wishing the queen suffered an excruciatingly painful death in a tweet on Sept. 8. This was followed by a tweet from Zoe Samudzi, a Zimbabwean American who teaches photography at the Rhode Island School of Design. Samudzi tweeted that she would "dance on the graves of every member of the royal family."

Neither professor suffered any consequences — a privilege that most likely would not have been afforded if the professors were white and the deceased monarch black.

Their sentiments on the queen were shared by many on the Left. Others commented that the queen was an example of white supremacy, white privilege, or whatever concocted ism, phobia, or other social justice, victimization suffix you'd like to pick out of the dictionary. Such people have such a warped sense of reality that they will readily demonize anyone of European heritage who was connected to colonialism or imperialism yet always ignore the hundreds, if not thousands, of years of identical acts committed by people of African, Middle Eastern, Native American, and Asian heritage in building empires, oppressing other races, and colonizing faraway places.

Their flimsy worldview depends on the idea that history began in 1492 and that the first group of people ever to come along and develop a conscience about such activities — namely, Europeans — are the only ones who should ever be held accountable for it.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Macron pushes to send migrants to French countryside, labels plan an ‘opportunity’ during ‘demographic transition’

Macron is pushing for “better distribution” of foreign nationals across France, particularly in “rural areas, which are themselves losing population,” and where “we will have to close classes, probably schools and colleges.” The French leader then claims that these migrants will be better received in these more rural areas.

“The conditions for their reception will be much better (in rural regions) than if we put them in areas that are already densely populated, with a concentration of massive economic and social problems,” he said. Macron said he wanted to relocate migrants in particular to “rural areas that are losing population” and described it as “a tremendous opportunity” within the framework of a “demographic transition.”

However, attempts to move migrants to rural regions has already been met with fierce opposition across France. As Remix News reported earlier this year, a plan financed with millions of euros from the wealthy Cohen family is designed to place 70 refugees into the quaint French town of Callac. The family has described their desire to create what they describe as a multicultural “Noah’s Ark of modern times.” However, the decision has been met with fierce opposition from the town’s locals with protests and calls to hold a referendum on migrant relocation plans. The Cohen family, undeterred by such opposition, has since expanded their project to a wide variety of French countryside towns, with the French government’s financial support.

A citizen’s initiative looking to block the proposal wrote a letter to the town’s mayor describing why they stood in opposition:

“The objective would be to repopulate a small ‘aging’ town with migrants, to revitalize the town center and to develop economic activities. Migrants would therefore be supervised, housed, and trained, and 70 jobs would be found for them.

The arrival of 70 non-European families would totally upset the life of the municipality and the canton. Thirty-eight non-French-speaking children would be educated at the Callac school and divided into classes. This would further complicate the task of teachers.

How can you impose on the people of Callac such a project that calls into question the identity of our population and before the real cost of the project is determined?”

The citizens opposed to the plan also pointed to already high unemployment rates in their own town, and asked why jobs would be found for migrants when there are not enough jobs currently for those already living there.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Leicester and the unravelling of multiculturalism: How identity politics is whipping up hatred and violence in our communities.

There are two disturbing things about the Muslim-Hindu clashes in Leicester. The first is the violence itself. Gangs of men have clashed across the city. Hundreds of Muslim and Hindu youths in balaclavas and Covid masks – those plague-era face-coverings still have their uses, it seems – have confronted each other on normally quiet suburban streets. Glass bottles have been thrown, a knife was allegedly wielded (one man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a ‘bladed article’). It really blew up on Saturday night into Sunday morning, as the rest of the country was preparing for the queen’s funeral. You couldn’t have asked for a better, more depressing snapshot of fragmented Britain: a display of solemn unity in Westminster, violent religious streetfighting in Leicester.

The second disturbing thing is the moral evasion of the elites. The political and media establishments seem utterly unwilling to grapple, honestly, with this explosion of identitarian tension on the streets of England. Even where they do talk about Leicester’s strife, evasion remains the name of the game. It’s all the fault of outsiders, many are saying. As the Leicester Mercury summed it up, it is being ‘widely claimed’ that ‘a number of more recent migrants to the city hold far-right Hindu nationalist views’. Those backward Indians coming over here and disrupting our multicultural paradise. This is issue-avoidance on an epic scale. Blaming foreign agents for clashes in the Midlands is a desperate attempt to distract attention from the domestic ideologies that have whipped up identitarian tension. Primarily the ideology of multiculturalism, that hyper-divisive worldview. It is that ideology’s unravelling we are now witnessing in Leicester.

Easy, convenient explanations for the violence are best avoided. The tensions kicked off following the India-Pakistan cricket match in the Asia Cup in Dubai on 28 August, yet pretty much everyone will admit these clashes are not about cricket. Some say the violence represents the importation of the Kashmir conflict into communities in the UK. Leicester seems to have become a ‘mini-Kashmir’, as one writer puts it, with Pakistani-aligned youths and India-aligned youths fighting pitched battles. There’s truth in this, in the claim that the communal tensions of the subcontinent have made a grim appearance in parts of the UK. But even this speaks to the larger internal problem of multiculturalism.

After all, if young people in Leicester feel a greater affinity with Pakistan or India than they do with the country they grew up in, then clearly ‘multicultural Britain’ is failing to cohere its diverse communities around any sense of Britishness or belonging. That a mini-Kashmir erupted in Leicester at the same time as others were taking part in the shared national experience of the queen’s funeral speaks to the Balkanising impact of the homegrown ideology of multiculturalism. The problem here is not immigration or the everyday experience of diversity. It certainly isn’t the recent arrival of Modi fanatics. No, it’s the way multiculturalism, as an ideology, grates against the idea of a common culture, of national identity, and instead implicitly invites communities to live in their own cultures, their own worlds. If youths in Leicester feel more passion for Kashmir than the queen, we have a problem.

And it’s a problem that’s been a long time coming. Those startled that Leicester has been rocked by communal tensions are naive. But it’s a model multicultural city, they say. Yes, that’s the problem. Multiculturalism sowed the seeds of today’s violent grief. Community tensions are hardly new in multicultural Britain. From the Oldham riots of 2001 to the recent grooming-gang scandals, community tensions have been simmering and sometimes blowing up for years. Even in ‘model’ Leicester things were far from happy and peaceful. As the Leicester Mercury says, even before that now infamous cricket match, ‘tensions had been rising between different minority communities for quite some time’. Pinning the blame for Leicester’s woes on newly arrived Indians is cynical and ignorant. It smacks of the kind of immigrant-bashing that liberals would normally be opposed to.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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How Teachers Are Secretly Taught Critical Race Theory: A Pennsylvania father’s determined effort to find out what’s being taught to his children’s instructors.

Documents emailed from 2019 to 2021 by Pacific Educational Group to district administrators in advance of various training seminars cite critical race theory explicitly. A rubric dated Feb. 4, 2020, encourages participants to “Deconstruct the Presence and role of Whiteness” in their lives. A March 17, 2020, presentation lists “aspects and assumptions of white culture” in the U.S. Some are negative, such as “win at all costs,” “wealth = worth,” “don’t show emotion,” and in reference to food, “bland is best.” Others are seemingly universal principles such as “cause-and-effect relationships,” “objective, rational, linear thinking,” and “plan for future.”

That presentation also spells out the “5 tenets of critical race theory” to “better understand the critical intersection of race and schooling.” One tenet is the “permanence of racism,” or the idea that “racism is endemic to all our institutions, systems and structures” in the U.S. Another is “whiteness as property.” The “critique of liberalism” tenet argues that “colorblindness,” “neutrality of the law” and the “myth of meritocracy” must be “deconstructed.”

These tenets aren’t presented as abstract notions for faculty to consider, but ideas they’re meant to apply. School staff’s ability to use “critical race theory . . . to inform racial equity leadership and analysis of school policies, practices and procedures” is considered a sign of the successful “internalization and application” of Pacific Educational Group’s framework. And a chart includes “Critical Race Theory” as a step toward “Equity/Anti-Racism School Transformation Action Planning.” A Feb. 3, 2021, seminar is even titled “Using Critical Race Theory to Transform Leadership and District.”

Brian Elias, an attorney representing the school district, told us via email that these materials “were for District leadership team training only.” He insisted that materials “were not designed to train for classroom teaching” but merely to help district leaders understand “what Critical Race Theory is.” He added that “none of the training designed for core classroom teachers included a discussion of critical race theory.”

Does that mean no Tredyffrin-Easttown teachers attended Pacific Educational Group training that discussed critical race theory? Mr. Elias refused to say.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Managed Dehumanization: Our trusted experts are neither trustworthy nor competent.

People from a particular place have a connection to a specific land with a specific culture. They prefer different foods, consume different products, prioritize different goals, and may even want their children taught specific values that are incompatible with those of other cultures. All of this is terrible news for the managerial class which gains power when the landscape is dominated by McDonalds, Walmart, and standardized public education. Many have watched in shocked disbelief as the radical social agenda of universities has merged with the marketing and human resource departments of large corporations, but the goals of these two groups align more closely than one might assume. The radical left is a nexus of ideologies designed to break down the traditional structures of society. Structures like family and religion are the institutions through which troublesome regional particularities tend to be expressed and perpetuated. The deracinated individual stripped of all connection to faith, family, culture, or even gender serves as the perfect employee and consumer. Woke ideology may pay lip service to diversity but it dissolves the particularities that generate actual diversity. Total cultural homogenization is the logical consequence of progressivism and serves as the perfect medium for the fungible worker and consumer that larger managerial corporations crave.

This destruction could be justified by the political formula of the managerial elite if the large bureaucratic organizations they operated were able to deliver on the promise of ever-increasing material abundance. As long as the standard of living increased and new luxuries were made available the majority of Americans seemed content to ignore the civilizational erosion that was occurring in the background. For the last few decades, the managerial class has failed to produce the miracle of perpetual abundance. Collapsing supply chains, skyrocketing inflation, stagnant wages, and commodity and housing shortages have made that failure obvious. Grafting woke ideology into the political formula has been advantageous because it added a moral dimension to distract from the failed promise of affluence, but in the end it is also insufficient to address the system’s mounting problems.

Though the homogenization of culture is designed to give everyone a uniform experience in order to make them easier to manage, it is also a very alienating and isolating process. Humans are not interchangeable. People derive meaning by being part of a particular tradition and community. The managerial elite seek to strip away connections to things like family or faith because they create inconvenient bonds that interfere with worker productivity or create particular moral tastes that could disrupt the predictable pattern of mass homogenized consumption. The stripping away of those bonds may streamline the economic process and generate more efficiency in the short term, but in the long term it is devastating to the health of society.

The toll that this process has taken on our civilization is undeniable. The individual was told that relieving himself or herself of the duties and obligations that traditional bonds demanded would bring liberation, but instead it has created deeply unhappy people who struggle to find meaning. The liberal managerial state has attempted to fill the void with cheap substitutes for the cultural infrastructure they have demolished, but these surrogates have failed. Wokeness can never replace the meaning and identity granted to a community by religion or even communal bonds. Corporate culture and fashionable activism can never hope to replace the resilient social tie created by family.

This calamitous failure can perhaps be most easily seen in the managerial state’s current obsession with transgender ideology. Instead of understanding the shortcomings of their political formula and attempting to adapt new solutions, the managerial elite have chosen to accelerate the very aspects of their ideology that have led to social disintegration. Transgenderism is the ultimate expression of deracination, stripping the individual of all innate identity down to even the biological level, and encouraging them to remake themselves in their own image. But no one actually constructs their own identity a priori. Instead this process simply makes the individual more easy to shape into the perfect cog. A person with an identity tied to nothing, not even their own biology, can be led to believe almost anything. While solutions like transgender ideology accelerate the spiritual and social crisis caused by managerialism, they are the only ones the system can offer. Any truly meaningful solutions would endanger their political formula.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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5th Circuit upholds Texas law forbidding social media ‘censorship’ — again: The ruling is a win for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in their efforts to combat what they call censorship of conservative viewpoints by social media companies.

Netchoice and the CCIA have argued that the First Amendment protects social media platforms’ ability to curate content, much like a newspaper does.

Oldham dismissed this argument, writing in the decision, “We reject the Platforms’ attempt to extract a freewheeling censorship right from the Constitution’s free speech guarantee. The Platforms are not newspapers. Their censorship is not speech.”

Edith Jones, a Ronald Reagan appointee who concurred in the largely 2-1 decision, was even more scathing, calling NetChoice’s argument “ludicrous.”

However, Leslie Southwick, the third judge on the appeals court panel (nominated by George W. Bush), dissented, arguing that social media platforms are indeed similar to newspapers. “The First Amendment, though, is what protects the curating, moderating, or whatever else we call the Platforms’ interaction with what others are trying to say. We are in a new arena, a very extensive one, for speakers and for those who would moderate their speech. None of the precedents fit seamlessly. The majority appears assured of their approach; I am hesitant.”

Texas’ law, were it to go into effect, could drastically change the way social media companies operate by restricting their ability to police their platforms and forcing the platforms to keep up content that could violate their hate speech rules.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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FBI insiders say white supremacy threat overblown as Biden opens summit about racists, extremists

The “United We Stand” summit builds on the administration’s push to root out racially motivated domestic violent extremists. The threat sparked a sweeping strategy that included the creation of a specialized Justice Department unit to combat domestic terrorism. Mr. Biden will deliver the keynote address to highlight the administration’s response to hate and “put forward a shared vision for a more united America,” officials said.

Current and former FBI agents tell The Washington Times that the perceived threat has become overblown under the administration. They say bureau analysts and top officials are pressuring FBI agents to create domestic terrorist cases and tag people as White supremacists to meet internal metrics.

“The demand for White supremacy” coming from FBI headquarters “vastly outstrips the supply of White supremacy,” said one agent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We have more people assigned to investigate White supremacists than we can actually find.”

The agent said those driving bureau policies “have already determined that White supremacy is a problem” and set agencywide policy to elevate racially motivated domestic extremism cases as priorities.

“We are sort of the lapdogs as the actual agents doing these sorts of investigations, trying to find a crime to fit otherwise First Amendment-protected activities,” he said. “If they have a Gadsden flag and they own guns and they are mean at school board meetings, that’s probably a domestic terrorist.”

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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[Jesse Singal] How the Media Fell for A Racism Sham: A Brigham Young University paper scooped the New York Times. All the students did was practice basic journalism.

Unsurprisingly, major media outlets were all over this story. The Times’ coverage set the tone, with the Washington Post and CNN and Sports Illustrated and NPR all publishing similar articles, alongside the predictable think pieces. The incident also had consequences for BYU sports more generally. The head coach of women’s basketball at the University of South Carolina canceled its home opener against BYU. A match between Duke and Rider University’s women’s volleyball teams—scheduled to be played at the BYU arena—was moved to a nearby high school gym in order to provide both teams “the safest atmosphere,” according to Duke’s Director of Athletics, Nina King.

For millions of people watching this story unfold, this was yet another example of the ineradicable stain of American racism, of just how little progress we’ve really made.

Except it didn’t happen.

There is no evidence that the chain of events described by Richardson and her family members occurred. There isn’t even evidence a single slur was hurled at her and her teammates, let alone a terrifying onslaught of them.

All the journalists who credulously reported on this event were wrong—and it was an embarrassing kind of wrong, because the red flags were large, numerous, and flapping loudly. Richardson and her family members reported that racial slurs had been hurled with abandon, loudly and repeatedly, in a crowded gym filled with more than 5,000 people. But the journalists covering this incident never stopped to notice how odd it was that none of these vile slurs were captured by any of the thousands of little handheld cameras in the gym at the time, nor on the bigger cameras recording the match. Nor did they find it strange that in the days following the incident, not a single other eyewitness came forward—none of Richardson’s black teammates, and none of the players for either team.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Chick-fil-A is slammed as 'racist' after telling black customer his 'community' would be first to know when spicy chicken nuggets return to its menu

On September 9, the fast-food company responded to a user querying when the chain will add spicy chicken nuggets to its menus.

'Your community will be the first to know if spicy items are added to the permanent menu, Don!' Chick-fil-A wrote.

The chain was immediately hit with a flood of tweets accusing it of being racist, and with users asking whether it was referring to the black community.

'What do you mean 'your community'???????' one response reads.

'Your community?' another Tweet says. 'I'm gonna need explanation for that comment. 'Our' community wouldn't wanna think that there were some racial undertones behind that.'

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Slow-Motion Trans Wreck: The ghastly fad of genital mutilation will end when the lawsuits begin.

In January of 2022, the San Francisco-based law firm Girard Sharp, which specializes in class action lawsuits, announced its investigation into the adverse effects of puberty blockers on transgender-identified children. These adverse effects can include low bone density, psychological problems, and potentially, per a July 2022 FDA warning label, pseudotumor cerebri, a condition which can cause brain swelling, headaches, nausea, double vision, and permanent loss of vision. Across the Atlantic, as of August 2022, the U.K.’s Tavistock Centre, a gender transition clinic, is expecting a class-action lawsuit from at least 1,000 families of children who were prescribed puberty blockers. Meanwhile, Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare released in February of 2022 new guidelines on transgender medicine, recommending that doctors not prescribe puberty blockers outside of “exceptional cases,” as their use is built on “uncertain science.” The reality that so-called “gender-affirming” medicine is not safe is now becoming too obvious to deny, and its implications could not be clearer: we are entering the long-overdue lawsuit phase of the transgender movement, and it is in lawsuits that this movement ends.

That we have reached a turning point on the issue of gender ideology is beyond question, especially seeing the increasing numbers of detransitioners—those formerly identified as transgender who have now returned to identifying with their sex—publicly speak out against the medical repercussions of gender ideology and transgender healthcare. Chloe Cole was put on puberty blockers when she was just 13 years old after identifying as transgender when she was 12. At 15 she was given a double mastectomy; at 16, she became filled with regret. “I was failed by the system,” she told the New York Post in June of 2022. “I literally lost organs.” In 2019, there were over 5,000 members on the subreddit r/detrans; today, in 2022, there are over 37,000, nearly an eightfold increase in just three years.

Transgenderism is primarily driven by social contagion among younger generations, and especially among teenage girls—in the U.K. alone, for instance, there was a 4,400% increase over the last decade for girls seeking medical transition. In the U.S., a June 2022 report from the CDC found that while the 13 to 17 age group comprises only 7.6% of the population, it comprises 18.3% of all transgender-identified Americans. A remarkable 1.4% of this age group identifies as transgender, compared with 0.5% of all adults. In the near future, the number of detransitioners will grow as more young adults who were caught in social contagion begin to regret their immature decisions, cosigned and affirmed by the psycho-medico therapeutic complex—and court-ordered revelations will make clear what evils the transgender movement has wrought.

As Helena Kerschner, who identified as a transgender boy when she was a teenager, told Tucker Carlson, “we have this ideology that is especially prevalent online that says that if you have [feelings of discomfort with yourself or with your body], that means you’re trans…there are literally people who say if you don’t even like your voice on a recording…you need to go see a medical professional because you’re trans.” And of course, the medical professionals themselves are negligent at best. Without even seeing a medical doctor, Kerschner was prescribed testosterone just a few days after turning 18.

That she was just barely an adult when she began medical transition brings up an important, though often undiscussed issue regarding the difference between transgender-identified adults and transgender-identified youth. Much of the opposition to medical transition has focused on the harms done to children, and rightfully so given their vulnerability, but unfortunately, this seems to have led many opponents of gender ideology toward a somewhat libertarian attitude concerning adult transitioners: “Adults can have done on them whatever medical procedures they want; it’s children who should not be given hormones and surgeries because they do not understand the repercussions of their decisions.” But when we consider the future of transgender healthcare, we have to think beyond the consent-based ethics that has increasingly totalized and sterilized our moral discourse on everything from drug addiction to workplace relationships. In other words, consent is not enough: medically transitioning adults may in some ways be different from medically transitioning children, but the fundamental cruelty of medical transition remains the same regardless of age.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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'Woke' Department of Defense equity chief writes anti-White posts: 'Exhausted with these white folx'

The chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at the Department of Defense's education wing, who describes herself as a "woke administrator," wrote a series of disparaging posts about White people on Twitter, Fox News Digital found.

Kelisa Wing is the DEI chief at Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), which provides K-12 education to the DoD community in the U.S. and all over the world. After Fox News Digital reached out for comment, Wing's Twitter was put on private, but she did not immediately respond.

[...]

"What is White Privilege?" also encourages White kids to "unpack" their "backpack" of privilege and referenced an article by Peggy McIntosh that said that White women are "justly seen as oppressive" and "enjoy unearned skin privilege."

McIntosh's article also lamented that White students are not taught in schools to see themselves as "an oppressor," a "participant in a damaged culture" and "unfairly advantaged."

[...]

The director of DoDEA, Thomas Brady, said, "Kelisa Wing is exactly the right person to lead our efforts in building on the foundational work done to support meaningful change in our organization."

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Denmark’s left-wing government will begin sending asylum seekers to Rwanda after groundbreaking agreement

Instead of migrants waiting in Denmark for their asylum request to be processed, the country’s left-wing government will now begin deporting them to Rwanda after the African country agreed to accept them in a bilateral agreement.

The plan, which has long been a goal of Denmark’s right-wing parties, took more than a year of negotiations, but the policy goal is now closer than ever to being realized. The deal does not apply to only Rwandan migrants — instead all asylum seekers would be forced to wait in Africa until their asylum procedure is finished. The fact that the plan is being implemented by a left-leaning government points to the strange circumstances in Denmark in which the left has embraced many of the anti-immigration polices of the right.

[...]

“Every fifth young man with a non-Western background born in 1997 had broken the law before turning 21. It’s not everyone. But there are too many young men who take the freedom of others, steal children’s futures, intimidate prison guards – and leave behind a long trail of insecurity,” said the Danish prime minister.

“It has been going on for too many years. Girls who are called derogatory names because they are Danish. Or girls who are subjected to social control because they have become too Danish. A sausage cart in Brønshøj that is attacked with firecrackers because it sells pork,” she said.

[...]

Polling shows the position is popular. A YouGov poll from 2018 found that 65 percent of Danes were against accepting any more migrants. A 2019 poll from the same firm found that 31 percent of Danes believed that immigration provided absolutely no benefit to the country.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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University cancels intramural ice hockey after ‘equity audit’

A Canadian university has decided to scrub its intramural hockey program after an “equity audit” determined it needs to be more “accessible and inclusive.”

In a statement, Alberta’s Mount Royal University said:

We have recently assessed ice hockey intramurals through our Accessible and Inclusive Programs Audit, an Equity Analysis, our Program Needs Assessment, informal feedback, and observation. Many factors were considered in these assessments which included, but are not limited to, sense of belonging; participant behavior (this includes anything that may lead to a penalty during games); who the program was built by, with, without, and for; equipment requirements; skill requirements; participant fees; ice time cost; program location; staffing; learning opportunities; etc.

The school added its assessment was “crucial” in making sure “all feel they belong,” and that it is “exploring options and strategies as to whether inclusive and equitable opportunities for ice hockey will be possible in the future.”

An update to its statement intended to clear up confusion among the campus community stated “Critical areas that require improvement include [things like] equitable cost of programming [and] providing accessible programs.”

Mount Royal’s Athletics and Recreation Department said it is “committed to equity, diversity and inclusion” and is “dedicated to creating a culture of accessibility and inclusion with safe services [and] programs,” the Calgary Herald reported.

🤡

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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The tyranny of Pride: It’s time for a fightback against rainbow authoritarianism.

Imagine there was a political movement so powerful and so intolerant that you might be visited by the cops for making fun of it. A movement so dominant that desecrating its symbols came to be treated as a kind of blasphemy. A movement so fawned over by the elites that any town or village that refused to bow down to it – to wave its flag and shout its slogans – risked being written off as unsafe, and essentially as unclean. A movement so embedded in the ruling class that every wing of the establishment, from the political set to the military to the financial elite, was duty bound to display its insignia.

Well, such a movement exists, right here in 21st-century Britain. And it isn’t Toryism or ‘Brexshit’ or any of the other ideologies the liberal elite is constantly telling us to fear. It’s Pride.

We’re living under a tyranny of Pride. Its eyesore rainbow flag dominates every major highway during Pride month. Back in June London looked like a city under occupation, with vast boulevards like Regent Street festooned in this ugly new standard. Scores of them fluttered as far as the eye could see, in perfect and sinister militaristic formation. The capitalist class drapes itself in the Pride flag, too. Banks splash it across their windows, Morgan Stanley staff march behind it in the street. Even the armed wing of the state now comes in Pride colours. Cop cars have been repainted in the hues of this ideological rainbow. Top officers wear Pride-themed insignias and lanyards. The Ministry of Defence’s vast headquarters in London have been illuminated in the Pride colours. The Royal Air Force even did a flyover of the Pride march in London last year, with 10 fighter jets pumping out rainbow-coloured contrails to the whooping and cheering of the crowd below. How long before they start dropping Pride-painted bombs on their missions overseas?

And woe betide anyone who refuses to wave the Pride flag or – sin of sins – violates it in some fashion. Ockbrook and Borrowash Parish Council in Derbyshire was branded a sinful backwater when it refused to fly the flag last year. ‘Anger as Pride Month flag snubbed by Derbyshire council…’, reported a horrified BBC. As for profaning Pride and its sacred symbols – that is so serious it can become a police matter. A few weeks ago a man in Hampshire was visited by cops, and put in handcuffs, for the blasphemy of retweeting a meme showing four Pride flags arranged to look like a swastika. The literal speech police who knocked on his door accused him of ‘causing anxiety’.

Defiling Pride is to the 21st century what desecrating an image of Christ was to the 14th. Modern-day liberals puff themselves up as superior to little religious people, and yet they are far more rashly hostile to acts of iconoclasm. Most Christians let out a weary sigh when their beliefs or their book are mocked by the woke (who would never, of course, say an untoward word about Islam). It is the secular right-on who kick off when their holy symbols are befouled.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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San Diego teacher defines 'fascist' to class as 'whites,' 'heterosexuals,' and 'Christians'

A teacher from Madison High School in San Diego claimed fascists are synonymous with the "modern-day Republican Party" and "white, Christian, heterosexuals," according to a student at the school. Speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation, the high school student detailed the teacher's unhinged definition of a "fascist."

The school began the 2022-23 year on Aug. 29. The alleged incident occurred at the high school last Thursday.

"Immediately, I walk in and notice on the board, it says, 'The Republican Party is the fascist party, and it does not fit the mold of a Democratic Party,'" the student told me. "It's the first thing I saw when I came in."

The student took a picture of this and shared it with me. It read, "As it is currently constituted, the Republican Party is now a fascist organization that no longer fits the category of a conventional Democratic Party."

But the teacher didn't stop there. He continued with his radical left-wing indoctrination by listing whites, Christians, and heterosexuals as groups that are "fascist." The student took a picture during the class that shows how the teacher defined "fascist." On the classroom's white dry-erase board, the teacher wrote the word "fascist," underlined it, and listed the words: Trump, heterosexual, white, Christian, and hatred of foreigners, immigrants, and minorities, among others.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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SC Democrats call on their party’s US Senate nominee to quit

The South Carolina Democrat vying to oust Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott is facing calls from within her own party to fold her campaign, following the publication of additional leaked audio in which she appears to make disparaging remarks about her constituents.

The calls for state Rep. Krystle Matthews to withdraw just two months ahead of the general election came Thursday in reaction to leaked audio published by conservative activist group Project Veritas of Matthews speaking to one of its members, without her knowledge.

Sitting in a restaurant, Matthews, who is Black, is heard saying that she represents a “mostly white” district, adding, of white voters: “I keep them right here — like under my thumbs. ... Otherwise, they get out of control — like kids.”

“You ought to know who you’re dealing with,” Matthews goes on to say. “You’ve got to treat them like s—-. That’s the only way they’ll respect you.”

In a statement, Matthews acknowledged her voice on the recording, calling Project Veritas a “satirical MAGA Powered news outlet.”

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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And Yet It Moves: A top scientific journal places political correctness above the search for truth.

Nature Human Behavior, one of the most prestigious journals for social science research, recently published an editorial titled “Science must respect the dignity and rights of all humans.” Though short, the article generated tremendous pushback among academics and intellectuals concerned about the spread of social-justice ideology into science. Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker said the journal was “no longer a peer-reviewed scientific journal but an enforcer of a political creed,” while Greg Lukianoff, the CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, described the journal’s statement as “an epistemic catastrophe.” What did the editorial say?

In short, it took the position that scientific truth should defer to politics. The journal now considers it appropriate to suppress research that “undermines—or could reasonably be perceived to undermine—the rights and dignities” of people or groups, as well as “text or images that disparage a person or group on the basis of socially constructed human groupings.” Researchers are urged to “consider the potential implications of research on human groups defined on the basis of social characteristics” and “to contextualise their findings to minimize as much as possible potential misuse or risks of harm to the studied groups in the public sphere.” Anything that could be perceived as disparaging is now fair game for rejection or retraction.

The implications on scientific inquiry and truth-seeking are clear. As the journalist Jesse Singal observed, an empirically flawless study could be retracted under the guise of social justice. “What’s most alarming is that unless I’m missing something, research that is perfectly valid and well-executed could run afoul of these guidelines,” he wrote.

But such behavior already occurs. Sometimes, studies that offend social-justice orthodoxy are assigned a “flaw” of some kind—usually one that would be treated as minor had the results been different—and rejected on that pretextual basis. The psychologist Lee Jussim has coined the term rigorus mortus selectivus to describe the widespread practice among social scientists to denounce research one dislikes using criteria that are ostensibly scientific but never applied to politically congenial research. Other times, studies that manage to penetrate the literature (despite the best attempts of ideological gatekeepers) are seized upon by observers who scrutinize every aspect of the research using unreasonable criteria. Because no study is perfect, it is always possible to find some limitation to justify a cancellation campaign.

Consider two recent examples. One study suggested that junior female scientists benefit from collaborating with male—as compared with female—mentors. The publication of this article in Nature Communications—another journal in the prestigious Nature franchise—resulted in a social-media firestorm and prompted angry demands for retraction. Under growing pressure, the authors caved and “agreed” to retract the article on methodological grounds. As the psychologist Chris Ferguson noted, the issues discussed in the retraction note were limitations “typically handled in a comment and response format, where critics of the article publish their critiques and the authors can respond.” The authors of the mentoring study had published an earlier study in the same journal showing evidence that “ethnic diversity resulted in an impact gain” for scientific articles. This un-retracted study had used a similar methodological approach as the retracted one, but nobody objected.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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After exhaustive investigation, BYU declares Duke athlete’s racial slur claim completely fabricated

The allegation that a Brigham Young University fan continued to yell a racial slur at a Duke University volleyball player has been officially declared false by the Utah-based institution.

BYU athletics released an official statement Sept. 9 regarding its exhaustive investigation into the claim, which made national headlines and even prompted the head women’s basketball coach at the University of South Carolina to cancel a November 7 game against Brigham Young.

BYU stated there is zero evidence to corroborate the allegation:

BYU has completed its investigation into the allegation that racial heckling and slurs took place at the Duke vs. BYU women’s volleyball match on August 26. We reviewed all available video and audio recordings, including security footage and raw footage from all camera angles taken by BYUtv of the match, with broadcasting audio removed (to ensure that the noise from the stands could be heard more clearly). We also reached out to more than 50 individuals who attended the event: Duke athletic department personnel and student-athletes, BYU athletic department personnel and student-athletes, event security and management and fans who were in the arena that evening, including many of the fans in the on-court student section.

From our extensive review, we have not found any evidence to corroborate the allegation that fans engaged in racial heckling or uttered racial slurs at the event. … As a result of our investigation, we have lifted the ban on the fan who was identified as having uttered racial slurs during the match. We have not found any evidence that that individual engaged in such an activity. BYU sincerely apologizes to that fan for any hardship the ban has caused.

[...]

While the claim has been exposed as a hate-crime hoax, the damage has already been done, National Review reports:

Richardson’s allegations against BYU’s fans had resulted in a reflexive outcry from many in the media who took them at face value. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith charged BYU with “dereliction of duty,” shouting in an on-air rant that “I’m saying BYU — you did it! By allowing this to happen and not addressing expeditiously, not addressing it with a level of quickness and speed that you should’ve addressed this with.”

CNN’s Jim Acosta introduced a segment on the incident by declaring that “a Duke volleyball player is speaking out after she and other black teammates were called racist slurs and threatened during a match against Brigham Young University on Friday.”

Elsewhere on the channel, Alisyn Camerota chided BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe for having only banned one fan, noting that “sophomore Rachel Richardson said she heard more than one person using racial slurs toward the black players.”

"What does it say about the BYU community and culture that this happened?” Camerota asked Holmoe.

Even before BYU put out its statement, the allegation had been debunked by local journalists and investigators, including reporting by the conservative campus newspaper the Cougar Chronicle.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Don’t call mothers ‘she’ in advice on maternity, Stonewall urges Oxford

It told the university to post more about LGBT issues from its official social media accounts if it wanted to improve its ranking on Stonewall’s annual list of its 100 favourite UK employers.

The university had tried to keep its correspondence with the lobby group secret. However, it was ordered to release the documents after the information commissioner ruled that participation in the Workplace Equality Index allowed Stonewall to “exercise a significant degree of influence” over the policies of public organisations.

However, Simon Fanshaw, one of the founders of Stonewall, who has urged organisations to distance themselves from the scheme, said: “This sounds more like a primary school teacher marking a child’s project book and patronising them at the same time.”

Oxford University was ranked 93rd in the 2019 Workplace Equality Index. A year later, it climbed to 76th place.

The documents show that in its 2020 feedback, Stonewall took issue with Oxford referring to mothers as “she” in its maternity policies, despite its advice to make the language gender neutral.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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France: 2 teens beaten after attending Church service, aggressors shouted anti-Christian and anti-White slurs

Two unnamed underage perpetrators face criminal charges in France for attacking a 15-year-old boy and 17-year-old girl on Sunday after the victims attended a Church service in Rambouillet, on the outskirts of Paris.

Police say the alleged perpetrators assaulted the two young people in front of the Sainte Bernadette Church in Rambouillet, promising to “kill” them and screaming “dirty Christians” as they punched them several times. The victims’ mother was still inside the church when the two teens were targeted.

According to CNews journalist Amaury Bucco, the perpetrators also yelled “dirty Whites,” during the assault.

The 15-year-old boy suffered the worst of the assault, with the perpetrators spraying him with pepper spray and hitting him repeatedly in the face. Although there were reportedly six individuals involved in the attack, only two have been taken into custody.

On Tuesday, the two suspects, aged 15 and 17, appeared in court in Versailles, according to French news outlet Le Figaro. They will face a sentencing hearing in juvenile court and could be placed under judicial supervision.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Trans activists are taking the piss: That urine-soaked protest outside the EHRC might just be the nadir of the trans movement.

This was the bizarre scene yesterday outside the headquarters of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in London. An exhibitionist representing a group called ‘Pissed Off Trannies’ stood, dressed in a ballgown and balaclava, began to wet himself. He then deliberately poured a bottle of urine over himself, while shouting: ‘The EHRC has blood on its hands and piss on its streets.’ All the while, his demure lady penis was visible under his sheer dress.

As part of this ‘political action’, the small band of what might be termed ‘piss artists’ also filled 60 bottles with urine, which they then placed around the EHRC building.

A member of Pissed Off Trannies told Vice, the only outlet to cover the protest at the scene, that the point was to show ‘an extreme version of the public embarrassment that trans people experience on a daily basis, using the toilet that either doesn’t fit with their gender or using the one that does, and then facing the backlash of people’s judgement’. Essentially, this was a protest in favour of opening up women’s toilets, changing rooms and other spaces to males who identify as women.

For nearly a decade, trans-rights activists have presented themselves as being at the mercy of a hostile world. They have used their supposed victimhood to emotionally blackmail policymakers into adopting their demands. At first, women’s rights and women’s private spaces were all too readily sacrificed and opened up in the name of ‘gender self-identification’. But a backlash has been building. Even the remarkably tolerant British public is growing increasingly tired of the excesses of the trans movement. And so the government has been forced to respond.

The Pissed Off Trannies activists targeted the EHRC because it was among the first government bodies to explicitly recognise that trans rights and women’s rights can often come into conflict. In March 2021, the EHRC cut ties with trans lobby group Stonewall. In January this year, it urged the Scottish government to pause planned reforms to its gender-recognition process, citing concerns about women’s sex-based rights. And most significantly, in April this year, the EHRC released guidance clarifying that single-sex services and spaces are lawful and they do not have to be opened up to accommodate someone’s gender identity. This was later echoed last month by then attorney general Suella Braverman, who reminded public and private bodies that the rights of people who identify as trans do not trump those of the wider population.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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End D.C.: A modest proposal to eliminate the capital city

A major reason that Washington can’t be fixed is what has been called the “monoculture” that obtains throughout the government. The culture of any place breeds conformity: to refuse to assimilate to a culture is to mark yourself as an outsider. Because the presence of outsiders threatens the maintenance of any culture, cultural insiders often withhold their approval from those who don’t conform.

Imagine that a new representative is elected from the state of Delaware. He arrives in the capital as an avatar for the culture of Delaware, which is not the culture of Washington D.C. Because he shares the interests of the people of Delaware, he serves as an effective representative his constituents. But D.C. institutions have a different way of doing things: a different way of governing, socializing, doing business, and influence peddling. This creates a pressure for our representative from Delaware to adapt. After all, if he doesn’t, he won’t earn many friends—and he may even find some enemies. And if that were to happen, his tenure in Congress could be very brief. He doesn’t want that. So, the longer he is in the capital, the more he acculturates to the D.C. way of doing things. This wins him friends, donors, and more elections. After 50 years of “public service,” our regular Joe from Delaware will be almost entirely unrecognizable to the people he used to represent.

Remote government by Zoom might be the best way to break this monoculture. If all the official proceedings of the legislature were conducted virtually, this would keep the officials in the states that they represent. Not only would they be more aware of the situation in their home states (since they’d no longer spend much of the year far away), they would be more accessible to their constituents. Regular physical contact with the people who elected for them would increase the accountability of officials as they serve out their terms. This would also impede the formation of close friendships with representatives from other states, and hinder coziness between our representatives and the lobbyist and consultant class that parasitizes the body politic inside the Beltway. These friendships—which the culture of a centralized capital encourages—create an opportunity for an elected official to develop personal allegiances, obligations, and favoritism that may run counter to the interests of the people he represents.

Still, it wouldn’t be enough to simply conduct official state proceedings virtually. It would be even more important that the business of unelected bureaucrats also be moved online. Right now, the staff of the Department of State, the Internal Revenue Service, or the Environmental Protection Agency is largely composed of educated urbanites, raised in the monoculture of the university and the eastern power corridor. Imagine if the mid-level clerks at the State Department weren’t all working together in Washington, but were spread out across the country, working independently from home: one in Kalispell, Montana, another in Little Rock, Arkansas, and another in Birmingham, Alabama. There would be no more potent way to erode the influence of the monoculture in government. Bureaucrats wouldn’t have personal relationships with most of the people they work with. Further, because so many colleagues would come from outside the monoculture, they wouldn’t be able to reliably ascertain where their political loyalties lie, which would discourage internal schemes. And the fact that one could never be sure that one’s online communication wasn’t being recorded or surveilled would be a strong disincentive for conspiratorial corruption. Finally, the tedium of online communication (emails, Zoom calls, etc.) would encourage workers to eliminate almost all inessential interaction, which would undermine the informal advocacy and organization that occurs behind closed doors in D.C.

There would also be a variety of peripheral benefits to be had from eliminating a national capital. As it stands, the capital city always represents a desirable target for hostile military action—this was tragically illustrated on 9/11 and various other occasions. With all government business conducted online, enemies of the United States would be deprived of an attractive hard target. Additionally, as we have recently seen, the courts of Washington routinely serve the objectives of the state monoculture. For cases that involve the interests of the federal government (which are often tried in Washington simply because the government is located there), the outcome is all but predetermined. But if the government wasn’t physically located in Washington, some other criteria could decide where these critical cases were tried, and juries could be drawn from places other than the capital.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Harvard’s Affirmative Action Rationale Is Bogus: Defending its race-based admissions, the college attempts to appeal to originalists on the Supreme Court.

Harvard seems to be refuting this principle of colorblindness, writing that the “collective understanding” of the 39th Congress “chose ‘equal protection’ over language SFFA would have preferred and authorized numerous race-conscious measures incompatible with SFFA’s absolutist view.” But if colorblindness—that is, the removal of all distinctions based on race—is not the ideal for which the Court and the nation should strive, then what alternative does Harvard propose?

The answer is: we don’t know. More precisely, we don’t know when or under what conditions Harvard, if left to its own devices, would finally remove the racial classifications from its admissions process. Ten years from now? Twenty? A century from now? A skeptic would note that prestigious traditions tend to die hard—and that, after nearly 30 years of alleged racial discrimination against Asians, Harvard’s racial “balancing” has in fact become such a tradition.

It has long been established that Asian-Americans and whites suffer disproportionately due to Harvard’s race-based admissions, which have created an upswell of resentment from frustrated Asian and white college applicants. In his expert witness testimony, Duke University economist Peter Arcidiacono estimates that an Asian-American with a 25 percent chance of admission to Harvard would have a 33 percent chance if he or she were white, a 75 percent chance if Hispanic, and a 95 percent chance if black. Furthermore, the average Asian-American admittee to Harvard had SAT scores roughly 120 points higher than blacks admitted and 50 points higher than whites. (This is a low estimate, as a third or more of Asian applicants would have scored higher than the maximum SAT score had the maximum been increased.)

Harvard uses the word “tip” to describe its racial preferences, but the preferences are in fact massive boosts to an applicants’ admission chances. The self-described “tip” for athletes, for example, moves their chances of admission from 6 percent to 86 percent. Another “tip,” for legacy applications, moves their chances from 6 percent to 34 percent, and one for Dean’s interest list students (most likely children of significant donors to Harvard) moves their chances from 6 percent to 42 percent. And applicants receive a comparably large boost for being the right race. Harvard’s “tip” system certainly contravenes Justice Harlan’s notion that the “race line” should be removed from our institutions. If Harvard is sincerely interested in what it calls in its brief “a genuinely diverse environment,” it should consider eliminating the legacy and child-of-donor incentives that benefit children from wealthy backgrounds before it seeks to deny merit-based opportunity to Asian students.

So long as Grutter v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court case now at issue, remains precedent, Harvard will be free to discriminate on the basis of race. The Supreme Court should strike down that precedent and get America’s colorblind ideal back on track.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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TikTok suspends Remix News over video showcasing racist anti-White slurs during Denmark protest

TikTok has hit Remix News with our third suspension since we started posting on the social media giant approximately three months ago, and it is worth noting why our account was suspended this time around.

The video we posted featured Muslim men screaming a wide variety of racist and genocidal threats during a protest organized by controversial Danish right-wing politician Rasmus Paludan, who leads the Straight Course party. Paludan is a divisive figure, and he has burned the Quran in predominately Muslim neighborhoods in Sweden, a move that sparked mass riots earlier this year and made national headlines across the country. Due to the amount of property damage and the dozens of police officers injured, left-wing Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said that “integration has failed in Sweden.”

[...]

It features a variety of men, one of whom says Denmark will be outbred by brown people and “exterminated,” another who says, “This is a Brown country,” and another who uses the term: “F**king White pig.”

Even if these individuals are angry over Paludan’s past actions, their remarks directly target all Danes and White people. That is why the video is newsworthy and why Remix published it.

Truth be told, it is the type of video that tends to do very well on TikTok when the roles are reversed. Any time a random White person says anything racist anywhere and is recorded, it is often uploaded to TikTok and spread across the platform, with such videos garnering millions of views, such as this one. These videos also often feature strong language, including racial slurs. The question is why are these types of videos allowed to trend while examples of anti-White racism, of which there are many, are not?

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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[Project Veritas] exposes woke assistant principal bragging about indoctrinating kids, REFUSING to hire Catholic teachers: When asked by the Project Veritas journalist what he does if he finds out that the candidate is Catholic, Boland responded simply, "you don’t hire them."

In a new video released by Project Veritas on Tuesday, the Assistant Principle of Cos Cob Elementary School in Connecticut was captured boasting about how he doesn’t hire Catholic teachers, and how the teachers at the school sneak liberal ways of thinking into their teaching methods.

"You’re teaching them how to think. That’s it. It doesn’t matter what they think about. If they think about it in a logical, progressive way, that becomes their habit," Jeremy Boland was captured saying in an undercover conversation with a Project Veritas Journalist.

"So, you kind of like, gear them to think in a more liberal way?" the Project Veritas journalist asked.

Boland replied with a yes, before later adding, "believe it or not, the open-minded, more progressive teachers are actually more savvy about delivering a Democratic message without really ever having to mention their politics."

"It’s subtly. They’ll never say, 'oh, this is a liberal or a Democratic way of doing this.' They’ll just make that the norm. And this is how we handle things, it’s subtle," he added.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Bank of America slammed for ‘discriminatory’ preferential mortgage scheme exclusively for Blacks and Hispanics: Bank of America is making it easier for Black and Hispanic prospective homebuyers to acquire a mortgage. Whites and Asians need not apply

An American investment bank has been accused of discrimination after announcing an initiative that will see first-time homebuyers be offered a mortgage without any down payment or closing costs, but only if they’re Black or Hispanic.

The scheme, expected to be trialed in Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Miami neighborhoods, is the first of its kind, intended to provide minorities with a chance to step onto the property ladder, but critics have slammed the bank for what some call its racist program.

Former Trump campaign adviser Steve Cortes tweeted: “Hey Americans who happen to be white: You bailed out Bank of America when they (and every other big bank) nearly collapsed the economy. Now…BofA pays you back with an explicitly race-based lending program that overtly discriminates against white people. Had enough???”

[...]

In a press release announcing the plan, the bank did not address the obvious concerns of positive discrimination, or explain how disadvantaged White or Asian families could benefit from any similar scheme.

Under the program, prospective Black or Hispanic homebuyers will be able to acquire a mortgage without any down payment, no mortgage insurance, no closing costs, and no minimum credit score.

Credit default swap crisis, take two!

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Daufuskie Island business owner arrested for reporting fake hate crime

A Daufuskie Island business owner has been arrested for filing a false report after claiming she was a victim of a hate crime.

Previously, WSAV News 3 reported that a restaurant owner had been victimized in a potential hate crime incident.

According to the original report, Geneva Clines, owner of Geneva’s Joint, claimed that four white men walked into her restaurant on a Tuesday night and began using racial slurs before smashing the screen of the cash register and tearing up the small restaurant.

After the incident, police launched an investigation into the claim. During the investigation, Ms. Clines admitted that she intentionally filed a false police report about the damage to her business in order to cover up a domestic-related situation. Detectives say that she also admitted to causing damage herself. Ms. Clines provided a written statement that contained the same information.

After warrants were obtained, she turned herself into the Beaufort County Sherriff’s office on Friday.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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[Christopher F. Rufo] Unholy Alliance: In Chicago, the city’s largest children’s hospital has partnered with local school districts to promote radical gender theory.

The largest children’s hospital in Chicago has created partnerships with local school districts to promote radical gender theory, “kink,” “BDSM,” and “trans-friendly” sex toys for children.

I have obtained insider documents that reveal this troubling collaboration between gender activists at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and school administrators throughout the Chicago area. According to these documents, and a review of school district websites, Lurie Children’s Hospital has provided materials to school leaders promoting radical gender theory, trans activism, and sexually explicit materials in at least four Chicago-area public school systems: District 75, District 120, District 181, and District 204. According to a whistleblower, these documents were circulated to administrators, teachers, and other staff at the middle school and high school level as part of ongoing employee-training programs.

The primary training document, “Beyond Binary: Gender in Schools,” follows the basic narrative of academic queer theory: white, Western society has created an oppressive gender binary, falsely dividing the world into the categories of man and woman, that has resulted in “transphobia,” “cissexism,” and “systemic discrimination” against racial and sexual minorities. Versions of the document were attributed to Jennifer Leininger, associate director of Lurie’s Community Programs and Initiatives, and Hadeis Safi, a “nonbinary” gender activist who uses “they/them” pronouns and works for the hospital’s LGBTQ and Gender Inclusion program—which advertises its care for children with “gender expansive” identities and offers “gender-affirming” medical procedures, including puberty blockers for children.

The presentation encourages teachers and school administrators to support “gender diversity” in their districts, automatically “affirm” students who announce sexual transitions, and “communicate a non-binary understanding of gender” to children in the classrooms. The objective, as one version of the presentation suggests, is to disrupt the “entrenched [gender] norms in western society” and facilitate the transition to a more “gender creative” world.

In at least two districts, the activists at Lurie Children’s Hospital also recommended that teachers offer a series of sexually explicit resources to children as young as 11. At the end of the “Beyond Binary” presentation circulated to teachers in District 75 and District 120, the hospital recommended a “Binder Exchange Program” to assist teenage girls in binding their breasts, a “kid friendly website for gender affirming gear,” which sells items such as artificial penis “packers” and female-to-male “trans masc pump[s],” and an “LGBTQ friendly sex shop for teens” that sells a range of “dildos,” “vibrators,” “harnesses,” “anal toys,” “trans-friendly toys,” and “kink & BDSM” equipment. The links include graphic descriptions of sadomasochism, bondage, pornography, and transgressive sex.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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The elite’s green fantasies are finally unravelling: The desperate scramble for fossil fuels now makes the posturing of COP26 look almost otherworldly.

Today Boris Johnson is using his final speech as UK prime minister to assert the primary importance of energy security. He says the nation needs energy in the future to be ‘cheap, clean, reliable and plentiful’. And he denounces the ‘myopia’ and the ‘short-termism’ that has led the UK to not complete a single new nuclear reactor in 27 years. Johnson’s parting pledge is to build eight new nuclear reactors, at a pace of one per year.

Of course, Johnson does not name the obsession with the climate as the chief culprit – nor does he call for a rethink on unreliable renewable energy or Net Zero targets. But it is a striking change in emphasis from a PM who just nine months ago, at COP26 in Glasgow, was channelling his inner Greta, denouncing the evils of the Industrial Revolution as he tried to corral other world leaders into dismantling their energy supplies.

Behind the scenes, the u-turns are even more dizzying. We’re seeing a flurry of new drilling licences for North Sea oil and gas. Ministers are pleading with oil-and-gas firms to invest in new infrastructure, pushing against years of government policy and so-called ESG initiatives from the business world, which were designed explicitly to throttle such investment.

Meanwhile, gas-storage facilities are being brought out of retirement – such as the Rough facility in east Yorkshire, once the UK’s largest, which was closed back in 2017. And fracking, which for years has been frustrated by overzealous regulation and was suspended entirely in 2019, is expected to get the green light when the next PM assumes office.

Even coal – the most demonised of fossil fuels – is making a comeback. At least three coal plants that were due to be shut down will have their lives extended. This is despite the fact that the UK is officially committed to ending its use of coal power by 2024.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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No Whites Allowed: Pfizer Fellowship Flagrantly Violates the Law, Lawyers Say

The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer offers a prestigious fellowship that bars whites and Asians from applying. Trumpeted on the company’s website as a "Bold Move" to "create a workplace for all," civil rights lawyers are characterizing it in a different way: as a blatant violation of the law.

"This Pfizer program is so flagrantly illegal I seriously wonder how it passed internal review by its general counsel," said Adam Mortara, one of the country’s top civil rights attorneys.

Pfizer’s "Breakthrough Fellowship" offers college students multiple internships, a fully funded master's degree, and several years of employment at the pharmaceutical giant. It also restricts applications to "Black/African American, Latino/Hispanic and Native American" students, the fellowship requirements state.

[...]

Gail Heriot, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, described the fellowship as a "clear case of liability" under federal law: a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which bans racial discrimination in contracting, and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bans racial discrimination in employment.

"Major corporations seem to have forgotten that there’s such a thing as law," said Heriot, who is also a law professor at the University of San Diego. "They seem to think that as long as they’re woke, they’re bulletproof."

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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31-year-old Dutch transgender has ‘passion’ for playing football with young girls, says being allowed into girls’ dressing room was ‘the best gift I could get’: “I’m 31 years old, but I don’t feel that way. I’m full of hormones, and I feel like a 15-year-old girl”

A Dutch male-to-female transgender person, Marjolein Schepers (31), who was temporarily permitted to play with a team of under-20 girls in the Netherlands, celebrated being allowed to change in the girls’ dressing room by saying it was “the best gift I could get.”

Marjolein says playing football has always been a passion from an early age, but finding a team of young girls that welcomes 31-year-old transgender men has been a struggle, especially due to problems Marjolein has adhering to rules set by the Royal Football Association (KNVB), according to Dutch news outlet VRPO.

Marjolein, who fully transitioned two years ago and received updated gender status in her passport and official documents, has managed to register as a woman with the KNVB. She says the sport keeps her going, and that the experience of not playing football is a form of torture. The psychologist who guided her during her transition recently said that she is “on the edge of a burn out.”

“Last spring, I had the best time of my life,” she said. After a difficult time at the club in her hometown of Westerbork, she found a connection with a girls’ team in Lisse, which was 200 kilometers away. The fact that she was in the car for up to five hours to train for an hour and a half was no problem. “I was finally accepted by my teammates. I joined in.”

For the first time, she did not have to change in a separate room while playing for the team in Lisse, but was welcome in the women’s dressing room, which she described as “the best gift I could get.”

एव्री लास्त व᳴न ओफ़ थीज़ धिस्गुस्तिङ क्रीप्स शुद बी पुब्लिकली दिज़्मेम्बेर्द अन्द थॆर रीमैन्स स्त्रून अक्रौस ठ देज़ेर्त फ़ोर ठ वुल्चुर्स

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Yale receives $1 million to study ‘anti-racist problem’ of video game hair

A Yale professor will lead a team seeking to dismantle racism inherent in video games thanks to a $1 million gift, according to an announcement from the university.

Professor Theodore Kim “will lead a group that will investigate the algorithmic representation of Type 4 hair as a uniquely anti-racist problem,” the university announced. “Type 4 hair” refers to a type of hair typical of black women.

Professor Kim stated in the news release that “this research will serve as an example of how to identify the products of systemic racism in computer graphics and demonstrate how to take concrete steps to ameliorate their harm.”

“The tools and algorithms we aim to develop will allow the full range of human hair, in its elegant variation and diversity, to be faithfully represented in film and games,” he stated.

The College Fix contacted the computer science professor via email and asked what he hoped the research will do for video games in the future and if he sees any other areas where “anti-racism” and computer science intersect, but he did not respond.

“One of the physical characteristics that is most revealing of algorithmic bias is the representation of human hair,” the university stated. “Computer graphics research has historically favored the simulation and rendering of straight hair, which is racially coded as European or Caucasian hair.”

🤡🌎

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Race-Based Idolatry

There’s a tweet that made the rounds a while back ago. I don’t know who came up with it, but it goes something like this: “A black woman invented the telescope. You might disagree. You might even have some evidence of the contrary. But you have to ask yourself, is this really worth losing my job over? A black woman invented the telescope.” The aim, you see, is not to persuade, but to humiliate. It’s to break the spirit of people by forcing them to say out loud what they know to be patently untrue. It’s to remind ordinary white Americans of their subordinate place under the reigning racial hierarchy.

Of course, not all lies are maliciously told by others to humiliate or deceive us. There are also the lies we tell ourselves. There are the hopes and dreams we so want to be true that we just end up disregarding all contrary evidence. I am reminded of a passage in Thucydides: “It is a habit of mankind to entrust to careless hope that which it longs for, and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside that which it does not desire.” I think that Martin Luther King’s dream of brotherhood falls under this category.

Given our country’s very ugly history of race relations, it’s easy to see why many people would be seduced by the promise “to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.” This dream, however, is a pipe dream. Even in times of war, Americans have never united in a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. It’s also worth noting that black Americans themselves seem to advance little interest in becoming fully racially integrated with white Americans in all realms. HBCUs have no reason to exist anymore in America today, and yet they continue to thrive.

In giving up on this pipe dream of completely going beyond race, I don’t think we need to resign ourselves to a future of racial strife. We could perhaps set our sights on the much more reasonable goal of peaceful coexistence. Perhaps instead of making Martin Luther King our prophet, we might turn to another King for guidance. You may remember that when South L.A. was being burned down by riots, Rodney King famously asked, “Why can’t we all get along?” Is it really too much to hope that black and white Americans could just get along day-to-day, without however living fully intertwined lives?

Many people will surely do more. They’ll intermarry. They’ll become friends. They will serve together in the military. But I think it’s foolish to believe that the whole country will do so. Intellectual probity does compel me to acknowledge that perhaps even this goal at this point is beyond our reach. After all, the deeply ensconced, forever-metastasizing and fundamentally inegalitarian civil rights regime basically pits blacks and whites against one another. I must admit that it is beyond me how it could be reined in, much less dismantled, to say nothing of what could be done about the fanatical wokeness that pervades the entire culture.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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How Woke Put Paid to Publishing: Until the industry reclaims its allegiance to free speech over ideological orthodoxies, both readers and writers will suffer.

Books are no longer safe from woke censorship even when long in the public domain. In 2020, author and teacher Kate Clanchy won the prestigious Orwell Prize for her memoir Some Kids I Taught And What They Taught Me. Just two years later, following reader reviews accusing Clanchy of employing racial stereotypes, her publisher dropped her, and all distribution of her back catalogue of works ceased. Meanwhile, classic texts out of copyright get slapped with trigger warnings to alert students to hidden dangers contained in their words.

When all these censorious tactics fail, and a “problematic” author slips through the net, campaigners plummet to new depths. Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling has been bombarded with misogynistic abuse and death threats since speaking out in defense of women’s rights. In 2021, Rowling said that she had “received enough death threats to paper my home.” These threats should be taken seriously. Three activists moved from targeting her online to posting a photo of themselves outside her house, in the process revealing to the world the whereabouts of Rowling’s family residence. Most chilling of all was the death threat Rowling received after expressing her sympathy for Salman Rushdie on Twitter. “Don’t worry, you are next,” replied a man who had previously tweeted his support for Hadi Matar, Rushdie’s alleged attacker.

Rather than offering support to Rowling, best-selling novelist Joanne Harris, chair of the U.K.’s Society of Authors, created a Twitter poll. She asked her fellow authors if they had ever received a death threat, with potential answers being: “Yes,” “Hell, yes,” “No, never,” and “Show me, dammit.” The lighthearted nature of the poll seemed to imply that Rowling was making a fuss over nothing. After a backlash, Harris deleted the poll, only to replace it with one asking the same questions but in a slightly less jaunty tone.

Harris has since said that the dispute between her and Rowling is “fabricated,” though the two women are known to disagree on issues surrounding gender self-identification. But whereas Rowling, who believes that sex is immutable, faces social media abuse and her books being pulled from shops, Harris, who believes trans women are actually women, continues to hold one of the most influential positions in British publishing.

What should concern everyone is the message that the publishing industry is sending to young writers: transgress against the current orthodoxies and you are unlikely ever to see your work in print or on bookshop shelves. And if, somehow, you manage that feat, no one will defend you when the inevitable abuse comes your way. A cowardly reluctance to stand up for free speech now pervades publishing, to the detriment of literature, creativity, and reasoned argument.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Austin fire chaplain fired over religious beliefs sues city: I won't recant

For eight years, an Austin Fire Department chaplain answered the calls of distressed firefighters and served those serving the community. However, when Dr. Andrew Fox answered the phone on an unsuspecting evening, he learned this would be his last call.

Fox joined "America's Newsroom" Thursday after his volunteer service with the Austin Fire Department was terminated due to religious beliefs shared in a personal blog.

Fox wrote that he believed biological males should not be allowed to compete against biological females. When city officials demanded he recant his statement and apologize, Fox says he apologized to anyone who was offended but could not apologize for his faith.

"When I was fired over the phone, I felt an immediate offense there that my First Amendment rights have been violated of freedom of speech and freedom of religion in something unrelated to my job," Fox told host Dana Perino.

Since his firing, Fox has filed a lawsuit against the city of Austin for violating his constitutional rights -- specifically the freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Publisher's withdrawal of Winnetou books stirs outrage in Germany: Germany wrestles with the legacy of author Karl May, whose fictional Native American hero, Winnetou, embodies the Germans' love affair with the Wild West.

Another day, another online outrage over "cancel culture." German Twitter lit up with instant indignation this week after a German publisher announced it was pulling two children's books from its line-up amid accusations of racism and cultural appropriation.

Both books were inspired by Wild West stories from the wildly popular, and increasingly controversial, 19th-century German writer Karl May.

The books imagine the childhood of May's most famous creation: the fearless Apache brave Winnetou, a fictional Native America chief who made his first appearance in 1875 and whose adventures have been retold in numerous novels — May's books have sold around 200 million copies worldwide — as well as in several movies and even an animated series.

[...]

The publisher, Ravensburger Verlag, citing "lots of negative feedback" around the "romanticized" and "clichéd" depiction of Native Americans in the books, dropped the titles from its program and apologized if it had hurt anyone's feelings.

The blowback was quick, and predictable. #Winnetou has been a trending topic online since with the majority of posters furious over what German tabloid Bild, with characteristic restraint, termed the "woke hysteria" that was "burning the hero of our childhood at the stake".

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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The New York Times is eating itself: Why is the world’s most liberal newsroom being accused of racism?

I’m far from a statistics maven. I hew more to the line, first spoken by some dead white guy, that ‘There are lies, damned lies and statistics’. But I can’t help but notice some language games at work in the report. For instance, ‘being Hispanic’ and ‘being Black’ is said to have ‘reduced the odds of receiving high ratings’ by 60 per cent and 50 per cent respectively. Isn’t there something in statistics about correlation not indicating causation? Even the questions in the evaluations – which focus on whether employees meet undefined ‘expectations’ – seem too vague to draw too many conclusions.

So what does the wider context show us? As has been well documented, in recent years the Times has been a huge purveyor of race-based storylines (the 1619 Project being the most famous example). And it has rigidly upheld the new racial orthodoxies in its internal culture. See: the departures of James Bennet in 2020 and of Donald McNeil in 2021, who each fell afoul of the woke code espoused by a new generation of staff.

It is, of course, possible that at the same time as the United States as a whole became far less racist, the Times secretly hired a bunch of racist managers. But is it likely?

Remember, this is the same newspaper that published headlines like these: ‘Is the White Church Inherently Racist?’, ‘The Housewives of White Supremacy’ and ‘How White Women Use Themselves as Instruments of Terror’. So are we now supposed to accept at face value that this newspaper is punishing staff because of their non-white skin colour?

A far more likely explanation is that the new obsession with racism means we are discovering it in places where it probably doesn’t exist. White liberals, desperate to be seen as ‘allies’, can barely disguise their zeal to unmask the inner racists that apparently lurk deep inside us all.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Utah Teacher Who Posted Video Saying She Built Her Classroom for ‘Non-White Students’ Placed on Leave

A Utah elementary school teacher who said that she built her classroom for “non-white students” and had “no white kids represented” in the books and media in the class has been placed on leave.

The fourth grade teacher was newly hired at William Penn Elementary School.

“For the first time in my life, I’m going to be teaching at a majority-white school, and I’m kind of interested to see how students and parents react to my classroom, or if they even notice anything about it, because it’s built for nonwhite students,” the teacher said in the video.

The teacher also said that there are “no White kids represented” within the classroom, even on coloring pages.

[...]

“If you look around and you interact with some of the materials I have, you’ll notice that there’s like, no white kids represented in that,” the teacher said. “So just on like that, that very first level of multicultural education, and I don’t think, like, my new students will mind, but you know, not a single white face there.”

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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The Disastrous Push to Resegregate Health Care: A flawed study spurs a retrograde trend in medicine that will lead to worse outcomes.

Racial segregation is returning to health care, driven by a new generation of woke activists. The seminal study advocating this backward policy was released in June 2018 and revised three years ago this month. Titled “Does Diversity Matter For Health: Experimental Evidence from Oakland” and published in the American Economic Review, it argued that matching black patients with black physicians would save lives. The medical establishment immediately took up the banner of “racial concordance” between physicians and patients.

But the Oakland study is fatally flawed. In a new analysis, we show the shortcuts and un-scientific methods its authors used. No sound evidence supports resegregating health care, and taking this dangerous road will surely lead to worse health outcomes.

It’s important to realize how the Oakland study is reshaping health care, starting with the push for diversity in medical education and training. There aren’t enough minority physicians to make racial concordance a reality—so to get more nonwhite physicians, medical schools are ditching the MCAT for some minority students, while trainee assessments are being changed to minimize the documented differences in performance between white and so-called underrepresented minorities. These policies require lower standards, a direct threat to patient health.

Medical providers are also moving toward racial concordance. A February 2021 leak showed that UnitedHealth Group, the largest health-insurance company in America, supports matching patients with physicians based on their race. Activists are pushing hospitals and policymakers to follow suit. Yet these measures inherently undermine trust—a key part of health care—between patients and physicians with different skin colors.

The Oakland study does not justify this campaign. The authors conclude that racial concordance would lead to better health screening, leading to “a 19 percent reduction in the black-white male cardiovascular mortality gap and an 8 percent decline in the black-white male life expectancy gap.” The authors admit, however, that these are “back of the envelope calculations.” They should have designed a better study.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Gender Theory in Schools – Two Things the TERFs Get Right (Plus Two Things They Get Wrong): Another dispatch from our undercover teacher correspondent

Last month, I wrote another piece for Wesley’s Substack where I talked about the biggest barrier to discussing DEI programs productively: If you’re honest about what’s going on, no one will believe you, because it just sounds too crazy to be true. I imagine the same problem is going to pop up here, but what else can I do? Like it or not, the TERFs are right about this one.

Here are some solid figures: I had six classes last year, and I didn’t have a single one without multiple students who identified as transgender. Some classes had more than others, but the absolutely lowest number was two in a 26-person class. Most of these students were just non-binary, but I had least five in the midst of actual medical transition, along with quite a few more who spent their days planning how to get the process started. I’d estimate that 70% or so of these students are female, and talk about breast binding and “top surgery” are common conversation topics at lunch time. It’s hard to not step in when you hear an obviously depressed, dysfunctional teenage girl working out how she can convince her parents to approve a double mastectomy, but what can you do? If I said anything at all, I’d be fired in a heartbeat.

These children’s identities, as you might expect, are wildly unstable; I can count a total of nineteen pronoun changes requested by twelve students over just the last semester, along with six for changing names. It’s relatively common for students to transition, detransition, and transition again, especially in response to the identity shifts in their classmates. At one point, a single student’s decision to go with they/them pronouns set off a chain reaction that resulted in four more of her friends doing the same. It’s gotten so ridiculous that a neighboring teacher recommended weekly pronoun checks, just to avoid the outrage that inevitably comes with every “misgendering.”

This sort of obsessive fixation on gender is concerning enough, but the dynamic is hugely exacerbated by the administration’s willingness to outsource tedious work virtue signaling to student organizations – almost all of which are staffed entirely by the wokest of the woke. As a result, gender theory inevitably seeps into every last corner of the entire school experience. A quick example: Last March, our principal thought it would be fun to have some students from the feminism club do a short Women’s History Month profile at the end of each day’s morning announcements. How many of the thirteen women they decided to cover were transgender, would you guess? One? Maybe two?

Nope! Seven of the thirteen women who received shout-outs for Women’s History Month were actually men. Some of the usual suspects showed up, of course; we got Rachel Levine and Christine Jorgensen, along with a double dose of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. But the list also included such trailblazing luminaries as Alok Vaid-Menon, who doesn’t even identify as a woman in the first place, and Laverne Cox, whose major accomplishment was a supporting role in a mediocre Netflix series. At least students had the good sense to include Sappho, where she was described as a “queer poet” whose poetry focused on a love for “women and femmes.”

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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American Express slapped with lawsuit alleging discrimination against White employees: The former employee alleges 'anti-racism' policies at American Express fostered 'tremendous animosity'

The lawsuit alleges that amid the racial tensions roiling the U.S. in 2020, Amex implemented "anti-racism" policies throughout its corporate structure that "gave preferential treatment to individuals for being Black and unambiguously signaled to White employees that their race was an impediment to getting ahead in the company."

Netzel said such policies fostered a workplace rife with "a tremendous amount of animosity" in which White employees were unfairly punished or passed over for promotions, while some Black employees were promoted merely to meet racial quotas and employees were encouraged to "root out in McCarthy-era fashion people who didn't agree with this overall philosophy."

[...]

Netzel maintained that this created an atmosphere in which White employees were treated disparately and forced to undergo trainings in which they were told to treat Black coworkers differently.

"We weren't allowed to talk before they talked in a meeting," he said, adding that they were explicitly advised against things such as touching Black people's hair, as if it were a frequent occurrence. According to the lawsuit, "no admonishments were given to Black employees nor did the trainings direct Black employees on how they should conduct themselves around other races."

[...]

The lawsuit's claims echo previous allegations of discrimination Amex has faced. In 2021, five current and former employees told FOX Business on condition of anonymity that the company engaged in "reverse discrimination" against White employees, barring them from promotions and steeping the workplace in the tenets of critical race theory. Amex categorically denied the accusations at the time.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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[Christopher F. Rufo] Radical Gender Theory Comes to the Heartland: A Missouri school district promotes the idea that “gender is a universe.”

Last year, I reported on Springfield Public Schools’ critical race theory training program, which required teachers to locate themselves on an “oppression matrix” and watch a video of “George Floyd’s last words.” But according to new documents obtained by the Southeastern Legal Foundation as part of a civil rights lawsuit, the district’s left-wing training program was not limited to racial ideology: administrators were simultaneously promoting the principles of radical gender theory to school employees.

The training program followed the basic narrative of academic-style gender theory: Western societies have created a “heteronormative” system that marginalizes racial and sexual minorities. To start, presenters led district employees in a “land acknowledgement” censuring white settlers for conquering North America. “As we begin our training, we want to acknowledge and honor the Native and Indigenous Peoples whose land we currently gather on. Springfield Public Schools is built on ancestral territory of the Osage, Delaware and Kickapoo Nations and Peoples,” the statement read. “In doing social justice work, it is important we acknowledge the dark history and violence against Native and Indigenous People across the world. In this work, we are committed to promoting, supporting and affirming all communities, especially those that are marginalized.”

Next, Springfield Public Schools told administrators and teachers that they must understand their “privileges” and identify their position within the “cycles of oppression.” In a “matching game,” the district provides a basic glossary for critical theory, explaining that some groups—i.e., straight, white, cisgender men—have “power” and “privilege” over others based on the categories of “race,” “gender,” “identity,” and “sexual orientation.” Teachers are then asked to classify themselves on a “social identities” wheel and account for their race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. All of these social hierarchies contribute to the “cycles of oppression,” which are reinforced by institutions and result in “anger, dehumanization, guilt, collusion, ignorance, self-hatred, stress, lack of reality . . . [and] internalization of patterns of power.”

Finally, the presentation zeroed in on the principles of radical gender theory. Administrators claimed that people are given a “biological sex assigned at birth,” which often conflicts with their “gender identity” and “gender expression.” Teachers are asked to recognize and affirm identities such as “non-binary,” “gender non-conforming,” “drag queen,” “pansexual,” and “polyamorous,” which is described as having “[ethical], honest, and consensual non-monogamous relationships (i.e. relationships that may include multiple partners).” These teachers are also expected to use the “preferred gender pronouns” of their students. As part of the presentation, administrators shared a video featuring “genderqueer” and “nonbinary” children, titled “Why Gender Pronouns Matter,” which claims that “gender is a universe,” that some children “don’t have a gender,” and that “misgendering a trans person is an act of violence.” “My identity, although you can’t see it, still needs to be validated,” says one of the “non-binary” children in the video.

This kind of training program has also trickled down into some district schools. At Parkview High School, Springfield Public Schools dispatched one of its “Equity Champions,” teacher Ashley Blankinship, to explain to her colleagues that they must “acknowledge [their] privileges” and “lean into [their] discomfort” as part of the “LGBTQ+ 101” training program. Blankinship instructed teachers that they must study and affirm sexual identities such as “queer,” “pansexual,” and “gender non-conforming,” and use “they/them” pronouns for “non-binary” students. “For some folks, pronouns are non-negotiable,” the presentation reads. “Using ‘they’ is PERFECTLY GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT when referring to a single person. We use ‘they’ to describe people all the time.” Additionally, the training instructs teachers to “try not to use gender-specific terms in class,” such as “ladies and gentlemen,” and to “add your pronouns to your email signature.”

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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You can’t sit out the culture wars

Sullivan has proved to be the Cassandra of our times on this subject. If anything, he underestimated the speed and scope with which the pathologies of the campus would sweep the western world, from governments and corporations to military bureaucracies and scientific and clinical institutions. The successor ideology, which some call wokeism and I call coercive progressivism, has made such advances thanks to four conditions common to liberal societies.

[...]

There is something that has been overlooked in all this. It doesn’t detract from Sullivan’s thesis and nor is it grounds for sudden optimism among liberals. It is simply a counter-impulse worth noting. Yes, quietlife-ism is the preponderant ideology among the masses but only up to a point. There is only so far you can push even the most determined quietlife-ist and when you stray over that boundary you can drive a bystander in the culture wars to enlist on the side of your enemy.

Political, social, corporate and cultural elites may live on campus but most of the population does not and has no wish to. They shake their heads at the latest fad or inanity then shrug it off because, honestly, who needs the hassle? They do not think in the stilted, paradigmatic fashion of academics but instinctually, relying on their gut to tell them when something is tolerable and when someone is taking the piss. They know when they are being pushed around and, in some, a bloody-minded antagonism towards bullies overcomes the impulse to keep their head down. They come to realise there is no alternative but to push back.

We are in the pushback phase of what is called the ‘trans rights debate’ but is properly understood as the elite project to impose gender identity ideology, and especially self-identification, with as little debate or scrutiny as possible. Had this been a debate about arranging accommodations in public services, sport, prisons, facilities, and other areas of life for people suffering gender dysphoria, it would have been over long ago and resolved with sensitivity and compassion. It is because the object is not advancing the interests of dysphoria sufferers or accommodating their needs but the raw exercise of elite power.

Of course, there is a determination to make material reality bend to theory but there is also a certain sadism to be savoured. What could be more delicious than writing women out of womanhood and claiming the mantle of feminism as you do it? Who could forgo a wry smile at the thought of women being told both that their sex-based rights are not affected by gender ideology and that they’re bigots for even bringing those rights up? How must it feel to be able to force people to recite mantras (‘trans women are women’) that both you and they know to be untrue?

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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More hate symbols found in Atlanta, suspect 'close by,' police say

Officials are cleaning more graffiti from Atlanta's Midtown Rainbow crosswalk.

It's the second time in two days that a swastika was discovered at the intersection.

Similar symbols were discovered at the Federal Reserve building.

Police believe the same person who vandalized the Rainbow Crosswalk on Wednesday night struck again overnight.

Atlanta Police Department Interim Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said police are reviewing security cameras at nearby businesses to identify one or multiple suspects.

Place your bets, then click for image of the suspect.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Conservative publication censored by British retail giant for publishing interview with Viktor Orbán and promoting satirical LGBT cartoon

A conservative journal has been taken off the shelves in British retailer WH Smith after a single complaint was filed by a customer seemingly offended by its content, it has emerged.

The latest edition of the European Conservative, an English-language quarterly journal of philosophy, politics, and culture, featured a cartoon that satirized what it perceives to be the overenthusiastic teaching of LGBT content in schools and included a separate interview with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

In a post on the social networking platform, Instagram, the offended customer purported to be “shocked” at what they described as “fascist filth” being sold in a mainstream British retailer.

The person’s partner chimed in, insisting that they believe “we could all be more open to engaging respectfully with people we disagree with,” before calling on consumers to “consider boycotting” WH Smith until the retailer stops selling the offending magazine.

The customer, Alexi Kaye Campbell, posted a screenshot of an email exchange between himself and the chain on Saturday, in which the store confirmed it had “taken the decision to remove (the publication) from sale while we are in discussion with the publisher.”

🤡

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Black Christian denied student government role after quoting Bible

Mya Little (pictured) opened a speech at an interview session over the summer with a Bible quote, according to The Cougar, the campus newspaper. Little had applied to be an associate justice on the SGA Supreme Court.

“I read that scripture months ago and it really inspired me,” Little said, although the campus newspaper did not identify what Bible verse she quoted. “It made me realize that the world to me, and in my eyes, is made out of love.”

This use of a Bible quote led to opposition to Little being allowed on the judicial branch from the student government, particularly in the context of the reversal of Roe v. Wade in June, which had occurred just days prior to the meeting.

“I personally think it’s a little bit tone deaf given the current political climate,” Senate Speaker Aryana Azizi said at the meeting, according to the Cougar. “I don’t think now is the time to be preaching about religion given the clear lack of separation of church and state in our federal government.”

Others raised concerns. “Stressing the crucial nature of bias as it applies to the Supreme Court, [Senator Marie] McGrew asked Little how she intended to account for, and contend with, her own latent biases,” the campus newspaper reported.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Principal calls police on 4-year-old who refuses to wear face mask

A California father is calling for change after police escorted him and his son, 4, from school property for attempting to drop his son off without a mask.

The father, who is only identified as Shawn by the Daily Mail, was confronted by local police on Thursday at Theuerkauf Elementary School in Mountain View, a city in Silicon Valley.

In a video recorded by Shawn, the little boy is maskless and being escorted from school by a staff member.

[...]

On Friday, the day after the incident, Mountain View Whisman School District changed its policy, in accordance with a new CDC guideline. The students at their nine elementary and two middle schools are now no longer required to wear face masks.

However, Shawn claims the mask mandates have not gone away for good because the rule could be easily reinstated.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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University of California develops ‘anti-racism’ job performance review

The review provides 10 anti-racist principles and practices with a 1 to 5 scale that people can toggle from that ranges from “resists” on one end to “champions” on the other.

The review seeks to establish “guiding anti-racism principles and practices that can be applied uniformly across the UC system by leaders, supervisors and managers to better communicate and carry out anti-racist core values and cultivate a climate of belonging for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) staff members,” the system’s website states.

According to a version of the tool available through the UC Berkeley website, the review is meant for all employees, offering “faculty,” “staff” and “other” as available options.

[...]

Yet, if the results of an evaluation using the tool are ultimately used for purposes related to hiring or promotion, that would suggest that “the outcome” could in fact have professional consequences, once more raising the question of what happens to those who fundamentally disagree with some of the anti-racist principles upon which the tool is based or the suggestion that promoting them is inherently part of every UC employee’s job description.

The College Fix sought clarification on this matter, as well as on how widely used the tool has become since its development, from Yvette Gullatt, vice provost for equity, diversity and Inclusion and chief diversity officer for UC system. She did not respond.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Why is the political gender gap growing? Men and women are diverging on culture war issues

By 2016, a record 42% of women identified as liberal, versus 28% for men.I lack access to the raw HERI data for subsequent years but the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) surveys of 55,000 undergraduates in the top 150 colleges in 2020 and 2021 show that 61% of women lean liberal compared to 44% of men, a whopping 17-point gender gap.

If not differences in rates of attending college, what underlies the astounding gender divergence in youth attitudes? Essentially, it appears to stem from a wokeness divide. In the FIRE survey, when you control for opposition to allowing controversial speakers (on BLM, abortion and trans rights) on campus, the statistical effect of gender on ideology collapses thirteenfold in statistical power.

The graph below shows 2020 YouGov Profiles data for a sample of around 25,000 British 18 to 30 year-olds, broken down by gender, for the following question: “Thinking about political correctness, are you generally in favour of it (it protects against discrimination), or against it (it stifles freedom of speech).” Each age has thousands of responses, and the data show differences of 30 to 40 points among those aged 18 to 23 while the gap is narrower for those aged 23 to 30.

For another UK survey of 945 individuals from Prolific I conducted this year, I found that 64% of women under 30 favoured political correctness on the above question compared to 48% of men under 30. This 16-point gap dwarfed the 4-point gender gap found in the over-50s. When I asked this on an American Qualtrics survey, the gender gap was 14 points for under-30s compared to a mere 1 point for the over-50s. The gender gap among the young stands out in both cases.

It’s important not to blow the gender story out of proportion. Well over 90% of the variation in culture war attitudes, as with ideology, is within-gender rather than between genders. The gap may also close as people age and settle down. Nevertheless, gender is becoming a more important political cleavage among young people, and could emerge as more politically significant as Millennials and Gen-Z remake electorates in Britain and the United States.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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[Christopher F. Rufo] How Gender Radicalism Conquered Sacramento Schools: Sacramento City Unified School District instructs teachers to “normalize gender exploration” and promotes such identities as “genderqueer,” “polysexual,” and “two-spirit.”

I have obtained a collection of publicly accessible documents from Sacramento City Unified that traces the evolution of the district’s sexual politics. The process began a decade ago, when the district invited Elizabeth Meyer, a professor of Women’s, Gender & Queer Studies at California Polytechnic State University, to conduct presentations on how the district could adopt the principles of academic queer theory and translate them into K-12 pedagogy. The “foundational concepts” of this approach, according to Meyer’s presentation, follow the standard left-wing narrative. Western society has created a “Heterosexual Matrix,” composed of “Hegemonic Masculinity,” “Emphasized Femininity,” “Heteronormativity,” and “Heterosexism,” that underpins an oppressive system of “patriarchy,” “homophobia,” and “transphobia.” To liberate schools from this system, administrators and districts must adopt “queer pedagogy” and “anti-oppressive pedagogy,” which will disrupt the “commonsense view of the world” and replace it with queer alternatives, emphasizing “gender non-conformity” and “gender and sexual diversity.”

During this workshop, Meyer laid out a set of recommendations for administrators and teachers. Her recommendations for administrators included promoting gender-identity lessons in the curriculum, creating collections of sexuality books in school libraries, and hosting speakers and performers who address “sex, gender, and sexual orientation.” Teachers, according to Meyer, should follow different rules of classroom speech based on their own sexual identity. “If you are heterosexual, don’t state it. Allow yourself to be an ally while allowing others to be uncertain about your sexual orientation,” the presentation stated. “If you are GLBT [sic], consider coming out to your employer, and if you get their support, your students/school.” Finally, Meyer recommended that administrators work to build teacher-driven sexuality clubs and “equity task force[s]” within individual schools to promote “queer pedagogy” and “anti-oppressive pedagogy.”

Ten years later, Sacramento City Unified has adopted all these recommendations and turned academic queer theory into pedagogy. The district’s schools, including many elementary schools, have put gender-identity theory into the curriculum and created teacher-driven “Gender & Sexuality Alliance” clubs. In a recent training document titled “How to Be a Transgender Ally,” the district provides teachers and administrators with the entire range of queer theory terminology, promoting concepts and sexual identities such as “bi-gender,” “genderqueer,” “two-spirit,” “polysexual,” “pansexual,” “drag queens,” and “transsexuals.” The document instructs school staff to “normalize gender exploration and gender variance” and to “encourage exploration of options” for transgender students, who “may turn to hormones and/or surgery as validation of their emerging identity.”

Other rules in the handbook present a form of queer theory etiquette: “don’t ask a trans person what their ‘real name’ is”; “don’t ask about a trans person’s genitals”; “don’t police public restrooms”; and “don’t just add the ‘T’ without doing work,” meaning that “to be an ally to trans people, gays, lesbians and bisexuals need to examine their own gender stereotypes, their own prejudices and fears about trans people, and be willing to defend and celebrate trans lives.” Heterosexual teachers, on the other hand, are told that they must confront their “cisgender privilege” and complete a questionnaire designed to elicit guilt and facilitate the adoption of a “transgender ally” identity. The questions include: “Does the state of your genitals cause you to fear violence should they be discovered?”; “Does the government require proof of the state of your genitals in order to change information on your personal identification?”; and “Can you wait at a bus stop at noon without passers-by assuming that you are loitering for sex?”

This ideology has also influenced districtwide policy on gender transitions, bathrooms, and athletics. According to the district’s official guidelines, school employees must provide “gender transition support” to students, recognize their “lived name and/or gender marker and/or gender pronouns,” allow them to use bathrooms and participate in athletics according to their “gender identity,” and follow a strict nondisclosure policy, which includes withholding information from students’ families. “Transgender and gender non-conforming students have a right to privacy, including keeping their sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status or gender non-conforming presentation at school private,” the policy reads. “School personnel should not discuss information that may disclose a student’s transgender or gender non-conforming status to others, including parents/legal guardians and other school personnel, unless legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure.” In other words, teachers and administrators can facilitate a child’s gender or sexual transition without notifying that child’s parents; in fact, the default is to conduct this process in secrecy.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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The Atlantic magazine labels rosary beads as ‘extremist’

An article in The Atlantic by Daniel Panneton claims that the rosary has become a symbol of the political right. He argues that this is connected to the warmongering and toxic masculinity inherent in rosary beads.

“The rosary — in these hands — is anything but holy. But for millions of believers, the beads, which provide an aide-mémoire for a sequence of devotional prayers, are a widely recognized symbol of Catholicism and a source of strength. And many take genuine sustenance from Catholic theology’s concept of the Church Militant and the tradition of regarding the rosary as a weapon against Satan,” writes Panneton.

He further cites Pope Francis’ words about the rosary from a 2020 address to the faithful: “There is no path to holiness… without spiritual combat,” claiming that this means the Pope has endorsed the rosary as a weapon.

The author clearly does not possess elementary understanding of the Catholic doctrine and confuses spiritual with political realities. He argues that although Catholics are taught to love and forgive their enemies, they are also told to battle with Satan and that extremists interpret that as a permit to demonize opponents and sanctify the use of force against them.

He cites no example of this in terms of the Church’s preaching or practice — it is pure malevolent interpretation.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Society of Authors head faces mutiny for failing to condemn JK Rowling death threats: Authors resign from the union over its perceived abandonment of gender-critical writers, while others are keen to oust Joanne Harris

The Society of Authors is facing a mutiny for failing to defend JK Rowling’s transgender “wrongthink”, according to members who say the union “has capitulated to ideology”.

The UK’s largest writers’ union has faced criticism for not publicly condemning death threats made against JK Rowling after she weighed into the trans debate.

Joanne Harris, chairman of the Society of Authors’ management committee, is now facing an internal revolt over an alleged failure to defend writers like Rowling accused of “wrongthink” for going against prevailing ideology.

The Telegraph understands that leading authors are resigning their membership of the union over its perceived abandonment of gender-critical writers, and some of those who remain are hoping to oust Harris from the union’s board in future.

One source who quit the union said: “The society has capitulated to an ideology where it no longer appears to be willing to support any author whom it deems guilty of ‘wrongthink’.”

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Human Capital Mediates Natural Selection in Contemporary Humans

Natural selection has been documented in contemporary humans, but little is known about the mechanisms behind it. We test for natural selection through the association between 33 polygenic scores and fertility, across two generations, using data from UK Biobank (N = 409,629 British subjects with European ancestry). Consistently over time, polygenic scores that predict higher earnings, education and health also predict lower fertility. Selection effects are concentrated among lower SES groups, younger parents, people with more lifetime sexual partners, and people not living with a partner. The direction of natural selection is reversed among older parents, or after controlling for age at first live birth. These patterns are in line with the economic theory of fertility, in which earnings-increasing human capital may either increase or decrease fertility via income and substitution effects in the labour market. Studying natural selection can help us understand the genetic architecture of health outcomes: we find evidence in modern day Great Britain for multiple natural selection pressures that vary between subgroups in the direction and strength of their effects, that are strongly related to the socio-economic system, and that may contribute to health inequalities across income groups.

[...]

Living organisms evolve through natural selection, in which allele frequencies change in the population through differential reproduction rates. Studying the mechanisms behind natural selection can help us better understand how individual differences in complex traits and disease risk arise (Benton et al. 2021). Recent work confirms that natural selection is taking place in modern human populations, using genome-wide analysis (Barban et al. 2016; Beauchamp 2016; Conley et al. 2016; Kong et al. 2017; Sanjak et al. 2018; Fieder and Huber 2022). In particular, genetic variants associated with higher educational attainment are being selected against, although effect sizes appear small.

As yet we know little about the social mechanisms behind natural selection. The economic theory of fertility (Becker 1960) offers a potential explanation. Higher potential earnings have two opposite effects on fertility: a fertility-increasing income effect (higher income makes children more affordable), and a fertility-lowering substitution effect (time spent on childrearing has a higher cost in foregone earnings). Thus, an individual’s human capital – skills and personality traits which are valuable in labour markets – can increase or decrease their fertility. Genetic variants which are linked to human capital will then be selected for or against. Also, the economic theory predicts that the relative strength of income and substitution effects will vary systematically across different social groups.

[...]

Thus, a simple economic model can explain many of our results. Other empirical work in economics also supports the link from human capital to fertility. Caucutt et al. (2002) and Monstad et al. (2008) show that education and skills affect age at first birth and fertility. Income decreases fertility at low income levels, but increases it at higher income levels (Cohen et al. 2013). US fertility decreases faster with education among single mothers than married mothers (Baudin et al. 2015), in line with our prediction 3 and as predicted by Becker (1981). A related literature shows negative correlations between IQ and fertility (e.g. Lynn and Van Court 2004; Reeve et al. 2018).

IQ shredder go brrrrr

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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The Lumpenbourgeoisie: The price we pay for elite overproduction

Quite understandably, these young, educated professionals aspire to the upper-middle class lifestyles that they believed their college degrees promised to provide for them. But as less than a third of college degrees awarded each year are in STEM fields, they tend to lack clearly marketable skill sets. Their Comparative Literature and Political Science classes haven’t taught them how to build or design new products or how to plan and implement new business strategies. What they have in abundance, however, is cultural capital, and more specifically, its college-inculcated subvariant, moral capital.

For a couple of long stretches — during the dot com boom of the late 90s and then the pre-pandemic tech boom — many of these recently graduated job candidates found lucrative careers in the digital economy. And it wasn’t just the coders. For those who majored in the humanities and social sciences, there was a plethora of jobs in marketing, people management, and communications to fill. The tech sector, once idealistic and libertarian, came to embody the moral capital of this wave of new entrants, becoming, in a word, woke. Other, lesser industries, including my own, also did their part to absorb this surplus white collar labor, and were radically subverted in the process.

But probably no industry has scooped up more of this labor market overflow than the non-profit sector. Unlike in tech and media, in the world of progressive NGOs, there is an actual organic demand for the moral capital that these job applicants have spent four years of college accumulating. There, one’s finely calibrated sensitivity to microaggressions, one’s native fluency in the obscure grammar and lexicon of social justice speak, and one’s acute ability to discern the structures of racism in literally anything are assets rather than liabilities. And from there, one can literally create the consumer market for those talents out of thin air, simply by inventing new social problems to solve.

From the perch of one’s non-profit post, one can diagnose the rest of the world’s afflictions, perceiving the white supremacy at work in corporation X’s failure to achieve racial parity in its recruitment practices, and recognizing the misogyny and transphobia in the gender lopsidedness of industry Y’s consumer base. One can divine the contours of new marginalized communities, from “voice-hearers” to “MAPs,” each desperate for new 501(c)(3)s to protect them from their oppressors. Defense against social exclusion, it turns out, is an infinitely elastic commodity, as it takes nothing more than a college-educated imagination to discover new threats, name new villains, and then sell your remedial services to the wrongdoers in the form of audits, trainings and consultations.

The business model is simple: extortion. The non-profit world’s moral technicians scan the landscape for organizations, whether public or private, that can afford their services, diagnose them as acutely infected by some form of structural oppression or another, and then offer up their suite of services to set them on their public path to healing and redemption. As Malcom Kyeyune has noted, the ideology of wokeness operates like a political protection racket, insinuating its practitioners into every industry and enterprise as intermediaries between creators and their creations. You can run your company, you can write your screenplay, you can draft your bill, you can bring your product to market — but not without bringing in an outside team of minders to ensure that it conforms to the ideological standards of the moral intelligentsia, for a hefty fee. For a class devoid of any discernible skills of actual economic value, this parasitical function is an enviable source of political and social power.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Minneapolis teachers union contract calls for layoffs of white teachers first

After the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) and MPS struck a deal on March 25 to end a 14-day teacher strike, the two sides drew up and ratified a new collective bargaining agreement complete with various proposals.

One of the proposals dealt with “educators of color protections.” The agreement states that if a non-white teacher is subject to excess, MPS must excess a white teacher with the “next least” seniority.

“Starting with the Spring 2023 Budget Tie-Out Cycle, if excessing a teacher who is a member of a population underrepresented among licensed teachers in the site, the District shall excess the next least senior teacher, who is not a member of an underrepresented population,” the agreement reads.

According to the United Federation of Teachers, “excessing” means “reducing staff in a particular school when there is a reduction in the number of available positions in a title or license area in that school.”

The agreement adds that non-white teachers, as well as those working in various programs, “may be exempted from district-wide layoff[s] outside seniority order.” The agreement also prioritizes the reinstatement of teachers from “underrepresented populations” over white teachers.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Berkeley co-op Person of Color Theme House bans white guests from common spaces

White guests are banned from the common spaces at the Person of Color House, an off-campus housing option for Berkeley students, according to a photo of the guest rules recently posted on Reddit.

Under a section labeled “Guests in Common Spaces,” it states: “Guests are allowed in common spaces but please be mindful if there are house members in the room beforehand. White guests are not allowed in common spaces (see intro).”

The POC House intro states in part that many members moved in “to be able to avoid white violence and presence.” When students do bring a guest, the rules direct them to announce it in the house guest chat and note “if they are white.”

[...]

The Person of Color Theme House, a five-story, 30-room home that can accommodate up to 56 students, exists to serve “low-income, first generation, immigrant and marginalized students of color.”

It’s part of the Berkeley Student Cooperative, a nonprofit housing cooperative established to provide affordable housing to Bay-area college students.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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University of Utah investigated over doctoral program only open to black students

The Office for Civil Rights has a pending investigation into the “African American Doctoral Scholars Initiative,” according to a letter provided to The College Fix by Professor Mark Perry, who filed a complaint against the university.

Perry regularly files complaints against programs that potentially discriminate on the basis of race or sex.

The program, “provides a scholarly community and educational services for African American doctoral students,” according to the university. The program also provides scholarships to “full-time African American” students who “demonstrate a commitment to understanding Black life, history, and culture in the United States.” It has been in operation for five years.

The school further stated that the initiative “creates a multidisciplinary, critical mass of African American scholars dedicated to the eradication of institutional and systemic racism and oppression by addressing the inequities endured by African American people.”

The University of Utah declined to comment to The Fix because the issue is pending. A DOE spokesperson confirmed that “there is an open investigation into the University of Utah under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance from the Department of Education,” but did not elaborate further.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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[Ruy Teixeira] Hispanic Voters Are Normie Voters: Time for Woke Democrats to Wake Up

Democrats are having a great deal of trouble holding on to Hispanic voters. In 2020, running against Donald Trump for a second time, in the midst of a COVID/economic crisis and after the George Floyd summer of “racial reckoning”, Democrat Joe Biden actually did quite a bit worse among Hispanic voters than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. According to authoritative estimates from Democratic big data firm Catalist, the Democratic advantage among Hispanic voters slipped by a remarkable 16 points (two party vote) between the two elections. That doesn’t mean the Democrats lost the Hispanic vote. Far from it—they still got a solid majority of that group’s vote. But the size of their majority was whittled down considerably and appears to be falling further.

The seriousness of this problem tends to be underestimated in Democratic circles for a couple of reasons: (1) they don’t realize how big the shift has been; and (2) they don’t realize how thoroughly it undermines the most influential Democratic theory of the case for building their coalition.

On the latter, consider that most Democrats like to believe that, since a relatively conservative white, especially white working class, population is in sharp decline while a presumably liberal nonwhite population keeps growing, the course of social and demographic change should deliver an ever-growing Democratic coalition (the “rising American electorate”). It is simply a matter of getting this burgeoning nonwhite population to the polls.

But consider further that, as the Census documents, the biggest single driver of the increased nonwhite population is the growth of the Hispanic population. They are by far the largest group within the Census-designated nonwhite population (19 percent vs. 12 percent for blacks). While their representation among voters considerably lags their representation in the overall population, it is fair to say that voting trends among this group will decisively shape voting trends among nonwhites in the future since their share of voters will continue to increase while black voter share is expected to remain roughly constant.

It therefore follows that, if Hispanic voting trends continue to move steadily against the Democrats, the pro-Democratic effect of nonwhite population growth will be blunted, if not cancelled out entirely. Exactly that happened in 2020. This radically undermines the Democrats’ rising American electorate theory of the case.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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[Christopher F. Rufo] Soldiers for the Gender Revolution: Left-wing activists have smuggled radical gender theory into more than 4,000 schools.

Radical gender theory has made sudden inroads in America’s schools. Many parents have watched in confusion as their children repeat the movement’s slogans and adopt synthetic sexual identities such as “non-binary,” “pansexual,” and “genderqueer.” The next question for many families is: Where does this surge in left-wing sexual ideology come from? One answer: from a network of professional activists, who have smuggled university-style gender theory into more than 4,000 schools under the cover of “gender and sexuality” clubs, or GSAs.

The main national organization behind this campaign, the GSA Network, is a professionally staffed nonprofit with a multimillion-dollar annual budget. GSA Network serves as an umbrella organization for more than 4,000 “gender and sexuality alliances” across 40 states. Once called the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, the group rebranded in 2016, reflecting a new focus on “the limits of a binary gender system.” The individual chapters, which operate in elementary, middle, and high schools, often use the language of “LGBTQ inclusion” and “anti-bullying” in their public relations, but behind the scenes, the central organization is driven by pure left-wing radicalism that extends far beyond sexuality.

According to the organization’s publicly accessible materials and administrative documents, the GSA Network’s ideology follows the basic framework of radical gender theory: white European men created an oppressive system based on capitalism, white supremacy, and “heteronormativity”—that is, the promotion of heterosexuality, the male-female binary, and bourgeois family norms. In order to fight back, racial and sexual minorities must unite under the banner of “intersectionality” and dismantle the interlocking “systems of oppression.”

The GSA Network isn’t subtle about its political objectives. In a manifesto, the organization endorses calls for the “abolition of the police,” the “abolition of borders and ICE,” the payment of “reparations” to minorities, the “decolonization” of native lands, the end of “global white supremacy,” and the overthrow of the “cisgender heterosexual patriarchy.” The organization is also explicitly anti-capitalist: its literature is littered with references to “anti-capitalism” and, during one board meeting, its leaders fantasized about what life would be like “after capitalism falls.”

The specific practices of the GSA Network and its affiliates rely on cult-like programming techniques. A toolkit instructs children recruited into the clubs to do the “self work” of analyzing “how [their] actions, lack of actions or privileges contribute to the ongoing marginalization” of the oppressed. After establishing a baseline of identity-based guilt, the children identify their position on the intersectional hierarchy and categorize themselves as part of “groups w/ systemic power (privilege)” or “groups w/ less or no systemic power (oppressed)” along the axes of race, sex, gender, and national origin. Straight, white, cisgender male citizens are deemed the ultimate oppressor; gay, black, trans women immigrants are the ultimate oppressed.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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There’s no such thing as a nonbinary skeleton: Trans activists are trying to rewrite ancient history.

It is important that anthropologists stand up to the demands of trans activists. The practice of categorising human remains in terms of sex is hugely important, including outside of academia. For instance, forensic anthropologists who help identify crime victims are often trained by archaeologists. Many forensic anthropologists get their first hands-on experience in sex identification in archaeology classes and field schools. By abandoning skeletal sex identification, we potentially do crime victims and their families a disservice.

The presence of the trans agenda in anthropology and archaeology is part of the broader anti-Westernism pervasive in academia today. This academic anti-Westernism may present itself as ‘progressive’, elevating the values and worldviews of other societies and peoples above those of the West. But it has also led to widespread sex discrimination in archaeological facilities around the world.

For instance, anthropologists are willing to bar females from handling warrior remains if an ‘indigenous’ tribe requests it. And in field schools run by anthropologists at ‘progressive’ places, such as the University of Washington, collaboration with Native American tribes has led to rules that include excluding menstruating women, who are viewed as unclean by some Native Americans. At San José State University, where I work, protocols were put into place by archaeologists, after consultations with Native American tribes, barring ‘menstruating personnel’ from handling skeletal remains. This rule was removed when my lawyers and I pointed out that this is clearly sex discrimination.

This is why fighting the nonbinary / trans narrative in archaeology is so important – because it is a part of a battle against the regressive anti-Westernism so prevalent in academia today.

The prevalence of trans ideology and anti-Westernism in archaeology and anthropology does not just affect a small number of undergraduates. Archaeology and anthropology classes are taken by almost all American students. This shows the potential reach of this insidious woke ideology, and the influence it could be having.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Florida Student Expelled After Mom Stands Up To The Pronoun Posse Gender Identity Indoctrination

Once attending Cypress Creek High School, the daughter of Rebecca Yuengling was transferred to Sunlake High School after a complaint was filed about the survey. According to the lawsuit filed on August 5th, both Rebecca and Richard Yuengling are currently suing the Pasco County school board and sheriff’s office after their daughter was expelled without having a chance to appeal.

The survey in question asked the students their preferred pronouns and if the teachers had permission to use the same pronouns with other teachers and caregivers. While the lawsuit is ongoing, on August 8th, Judge Mary Scriven ruled that the student could return to Cypress Creek High School due to the fact that she was not given due process.

Attorney Jonathan O’Brien stated, “At the hearing, the decision was made to allow the kid to go back to school because there was no due process. The superintendent committed two constitutional violations. One, he retaliated against the mother by going after the kid and removing her from their school. That’s free speech retaliation. Then number two, when the father asked for an appeal, the superintendent incorrectly and illegally said my decision is, quote, final and non-appealable, which is in our papers and it’s exhibited. That also turned out to be false. So the kid is back in school today.”

Giving her side of the story, Rebecca Yuengling explained how the expulsion caused her daughter emotional distress as she transferred to a new school. “She said to me that she felt like she got taken from her home and her family and moved to a strange place. She knew the one over there. It’s not like the family moves or you change houses and you expect to go to a new school. She didn’t have any of that warning. It was just a letter. I’m sure she’ll say was the roughest patch of her life. For me as her mother, it was definitely the most worried I’ve ever been.”

Giving details on how Richard Yuengling was demoted while working at the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, O’Brien said, “Not only did the school district go after the kids, they went after the father. We need to get to the bottom of the extent to which the sheriff’s office colluded with the school district to take out the father essentially who was a sheriff’s deputy.”

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Woke Airline Policies Threaten Safety, Workers Say: Hiring practices driven by diversity are 'a recipe for disaster'

Faced with pandemic-related staffing shortages and pressure to add minorities, the company has changed the way it hires, trains, and disciplines workers—mostly to benefit less-qualified new hires representing the diversity rainbow, the employees say.

One Southwest flight attendant, a Hispanic female, said: “They are compromising safety for the sake of race, gender identity, and sexual preference … They’re risking people’s lives because of agendas.”

Southwest, one of America’s largest air carriers, didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.

Similar issues have spread industry-wide, according to 10 airline employees who agreed to be interviewed. Four are pilots and six are flight attendants; most have 20 or more years of experience. All of them, including two American Airlines pilots, spoke on condition of anonymity to protect their jobs.

While no one thinks the policies are causing an imminent threat of a plane falling out of the sky tomorrow, all of the interviewees agreed that each time a standard is lowered, or a less-qualified employee is hired, the risk that something can go horribly wrong inches forward a notch or two. In an industry that depends on a near-miracle integration of people, machinery, and computers, even a few deviations can culminate in catastrophe.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Massive DEI efforts have not increased grad rates for students of color: study

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that the McKinsey analysis blamed the achievement gap on “[p]oor-quality K-12 education, selective admissions practices, and a lack of faculty diversity.”

Despite the ineffectiveness of DEI initiatives over the past decades, the analysis advised colleges to “reflect on their own racist history and their campus culture, evaluate their student-recruitment strategies, and invest more in diversity efforts, such as expanding dual-enrollment programs, forgiving student debts, and partnering with minority-serving institutions,” the Chronicle reported.

How much more money needs to be spent on diversity remains to be seen, but the costs are already quite high, according to Mark Perry, a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute and professor emeritus of economics and finance at the University of Michigan Flint.

For example, the 93 employees with the University of Michigan’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion receive a combined $10.6 million in annual salaries, according to Perry’s calculations.

Such spending patterns by universities on DEI efforts can be seen nationwide. Take Columbia University, which dedicated $185 million to support DEI from 2005 to 2019. American University spent $61 million on diversity in 2019 alone.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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‘Bizarre and uncomfortable’: Adams wants photos of city job applicants

The move — which aides say will help the mayor recognize his employees in a workforce of some 330,000, and several city officials contend is entirely a diversity push — comes as Adams’ team struggles to fill an unusually high number of vacancies.

Of nine current and past officials interviewed for this story, most voiced concern that the practice is already leading to staffing decisions based more on race and ethnicity than merit, even if they said they support a diversified workforce. And nearly all of them said it has added another obstacle to an already slow hiring process.

In two emails reviewed by POLITICO, mayoral staffers advised about a dozen high-ranking employees to submit pictures of people they want to bring on board for the mayor’s review.

“Flagging that the Mayor would love all agencies upper leadership in this type of style,” reads an email an Adams staffer sent on April 19, referring to an attached template of existing pictures and job descriptions of agency brass. “Clarifying also that the avatars in the attached should be actual photos as the Mayor likes to begin to recognize folks faces.”

The new protocol, described by officials across several agencies, is widely viewed as a measure to diversify the city’s workforce — a priority for the new mayor, whose slate of City Hall deputies predominantly comprises women and people of color.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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The Corruption of Medicine: Guardians of the profession discard merit in order to alter the demographics of their field.

A key solution to this alleged oppression is identity-based preferences throughout the medical profession. The AMA strategic plan calls for the “just representation of Black, Indigenous and Latinx people in medical school admissions as well as . . . leadership ranks.” The lack of “just representation,” according to the AMA, is due to deliberate “exclusion,” which will end only when we have “prioritize[d] and integrate[d] the voices and ideas of people and communities experiencing great injustice and historically excluded, exploited, and deprived of needed resources such as people of color, women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+, and those in rural and urban communities alike.”

According to medical and STEM leaders, to be white is to be per se racist; apologies and reparations for that offending trait are now de rigueur. In June 2020, Nature identified itself as one of the culpably “white institutions that is responsible for bias in research and scholarship.” In January 2021, the editor-in-chief of Health Affairs lamented that “our own staff and leadership are overwhelmingly white.” The AMA’s strategic plan blames “white male lawmakers” for America’s systemic racism.

And so medical schools and medical societies are discarding traditional standards of merit in order to alter the demographic characteristics of their profession. That demolition of standards rests on an a priori truth: that there is no academic skills gap between whites and Asians, on the one hand, and blacks and Hispanics, on the other. No proof is needed for this proposition; it is the starting point for any discussion of racial disparities in medical personnel. Therefore, any test or evaluation on which blacks and Hispanics score worse than whites and Asians is biased and should be eliminated.

The U.S. Medical Licensing Exam is a prime offender. At the end of their second year of medical school, students take Step One of the USMLE, which measures knowledge of the body’s anatomical parts, their functioning, and their malfunctioning; topics include biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, pharmacology, and the cardiovascular system. High scores on Step One predict success in a residency; highly sought-after residency programs, such as neurosurgery and radiology, use Step One scores to help select applicants.

Black students are not admitted into competitive residencies at the same rate as whites because their average Step One test scores are a standard deviation below those of whites. Step One has already been modified to try to shrink that gap; it now includes nonscience components such as “communication and interpersonal skills.” But the standard deviation in scores has persisted. In the world of antiracism, that persistence means only one thing: the test is to blame. It is Step One that, in the language of antiracism, “disadvantages” underrepresented minorities, not any lesser degree of medical knowledge.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for August 8, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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German Greens minister wants to establish centers for neighbors to report each other for political incorrectness

Josefine Paul, the minister for children, youth, family, equality, refugees, and integration of North Rhine-Westphalia for the Greens, wants to push through a project that encourages Germans to report their fellow citizens, according to the German publication Focus.

Reports suggest that Paul intends to set up four reporting centers where people can anonymously report other people who are behaving politically incorrect through hotlines. For example, “incidents hostile to homosexuals, migrants, Muslims, blacks, and Roma” are to be reported, even those that are not criminal.

The government of the most populous federal state will spend €140,000 to establish each center. Paul, a former teacher, lives with Katja Meier, the Saxon justice minister and also a member of the Green Party.

“As I will continue to reject non-Christian gender language and gender ideology, it is already foreseeable that some zealous left-wing whistleblower will turn me in in East German Stasi-style. So be it,” responded Dirk Kalweit, vice-chairman of the CDU Christian Democracy faction in the Landtag (State Diet).

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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‘Radical chic’ and the left’s problem with race: White, middle-class left-wingers are still in thrall to age-old prejudices.

In the decades since Wolfe’s essay was published racism has diminished rapidly, while laws introduced to tackle it have increased apace. A lucrative cottage industry has become a booming global business. Think of the unemployment if ‘racism’ were truly eradicated, particularly in the public sector. What would become of this massive protection racket that has capitalists, technocrats and mediacrats fearful the mob will come for them if they don’t pay up, by way of fulfilling diversity quotas and taking the knee? These days everyone is on the bus, and no one has to give up their seat.

Yet the goalposts are forever shifting because with racism, unlike with the end of, say, segregation, there is no finish line. The remit of the term is redefined as often as the words to describe ethnic minorities are rewritten. In ‘Radical Chic’, Wolfe refers to the racial etiquette that plagues ‘cultivated persons’ on the left: ‘one says blacks, of course. It is the only word, currently, that implicitly shows one’s awareness of the dignity of the black race.’ This went the way of ‘coloured’ for a while, to be surpassed by BAME and then POC, to fully represent the diversity and solidarity of the ethnic demographic. But these are no longer au courant, such is the moveable feast that is racial etiquette. ‘Black’ has now struck out on its own again, bigger and bolder than before, with the distinguishing feature of an official capital B.

The meaning of racism has come a long way since solely being identified with evidential prejudice and discrimination. It has covered the waterfront: institutionalised racism, unwitting prejudice, systemic racism. It landed on white privilege, which is pretty much where we are now according to figures in the civil service and elsewhere. Everything from art galleries to rambling and knitting circles are racist, even though there are no Klansmen or water cannons preventing anyone from entering or participating. But actual evidence is not needed as proof when projection will suffice. Like Meghan Markle’s version of the truth, it is entirely subjective.

‘If you believe that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards’, Thomas Sowell has said, ‘that would have gotten you labelled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago, and a racist today’. A more positive development in that time is that the race debate no longer divides people along racial lines. On both sides of the divide created by identity politics, there is a crowd of diverse colours, faiths and affiliations. It’s simply that those critical of the detrimental impact of identitarianism are also diverse in their opinions and outlook. Coming out in this corner are lower-case uppity whites, Asians accused of ‘brown silence’, and Jews expecting to be subjected to anti-Semitism when, momentarily, white gentiles get a breather from being the beast of burden. Also here, black men and women – like those contenders in the Conservative leadership race – are cast as honorary honkies at best and ‘coons’ and ‘house niggers’ at worse. A white academic coined a phrase for their condition: ‘multiracial whiteness’. No, they are experiencing something black men and women have never ever intentionally subjected themselves to throughout their entire history… embarrassment. They are mortified by all that is being done in their name, and often by white people with the subtlety of the rich socialists and thick socialites Wolfe once mocked. Ralph Ellison’s words were written for a darker time, a different climate, but they strike a chord in the present with those being cast as the wrong type of black person. ‘What and how much had I lost’, he wrote, ‘by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?’.

It’s as though those on the left, so enamoured with multiculturalism and racial diversity, are equally insecure and uncertain around it. They rightly champion equality but are uncomfortable in treating ethnic groups as equals; whites are demonised and everyone else is canonised. Black is forever brilliant and beautiful; people with brown skins never do bad things. It’s a luxury, their caucasian compatriots, born on the wrong side of the tracks (for some of us – the wrong side of the Thames) don’t have. In the baby years of this century, I wrote in The Likes Of Us how the urban white working class had experienced black people as lovers, spouses, partners, neighbours, friends and carers, as well as racists, rapists, muggers and murderers. They saw in them the good, the bad and the ugly. In short, themselves.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Terry Gilliam: How I was squished by cancel culture

Terry Gilliam mimes sewing his lips shut when I ask him what happened at the Old Vic. The London theatre cancelled his production of Into the Woods in November without explanation, but amid a staff uprising over comments Gilliam had made about the #MeToo movement and on transgender rights. This is the first time he has given an interview since his “cancellation”, and he initially pretends that he will keep shtoom, before he lets rip.

“I refer to them as Neo-Calvinists,” he says of the staff who lobbied the Old Vic bosses to scrap his show. “They are totally closed-minded. [To them] there is only one truth and one way of looking at the world. Well, ‘f*** you!’ is my answer to them.”

Gilliam’s wife, Maggie Weston, a make-up artist whom he married 49 years ago, keeps telling him to avoid controversy, but that’s not his nature. “I have a head so it goes above the parapet sometimes to see what’s up there” — he peers out, pretending he has been shot — “Ow! Ow! But we’re still standing.”

[...]

What sparked the ire of Old Vic staff last year was Gilliam encouraging his Facebook followers to watch the comedian Dave Chappelle’s Netflix show, which had been criticised as transphobic. There was also his lampooning of identity politics by claiming that he was a black lesbian, and calling #MeToo a “witch-hunt”, including the claim that some of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims were “adults who made choices”.

Gilliam and Hausman say that they were never confronted by members of the Old Vic 12 — the organisation’s artistic development scheme, who were among those who raised concerns; instead all their conversations were with management. “I think it’s very sad,” Gilliam adds. “They allowed a small group of kids to dictate to them or to intimidate them. We know there’s a feeling of guilt — the [source of that] guilt just arrived back in the country.”

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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[Christopher F. Rufo] The Dismantlers: San Diego public schools want to overthrow “heteronormativity” and promote “genderqueer,” “non-binary,” “pansexual,” and “two-spirit” identities.

I have obtained a range of publicly accessible documents from San Diego Unified that reveal the district’s new ideology. The materials follow the basic premise of queer theory: white Europeans created a false “gender binary” and used the categories of “male” and “female” to dominate racial and sexual minorities. A San Diego Unified training for facilitators of LGBTQ student groups argues that this system of “heteronormativity” forces students to conform to these norms: they are “assigned” a sex at birth, pressed into the identities of “man” and “woman,” and expected to have heterosexual relationships culminating in “marriage (and kids).” This “gender binary,” however, is arbitrary, socially constructed, and harmful. It is, in the words of the presentation, a “limited system [that] excludes and oppresses trans, nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people.”

According to the district, the gender binary has created an unjust society that distributes “heterosexual and cisgender privilege,” the sexual analog to the concept of “white privilege.” In the presentation, administrators explain that “a heterosexual/cisgender person automatically receives” this privilege, which “benefits members of dominant groups at the expense of members of target groups” and “results in institutional power” for straight men and women. Furthermore, the district claims, this sexual privilege is connected to a broader range of privileges and oppressions via the theory of intersectionality. “Racism, classism, heterosexism, etc. do not exist independently,” the presentation reads. “Multiple forms of discrimination interrelate creating a system of oppression.”

What is the solution? To dismantle “heteronormativity” and break the “gender binary.” Following the principles of queer theory, San Diego Unified has created a program of gender-identity instruction with the explicit goal of undermining the traditional conception of sex and promoting a new set of boutique sexual identities, such as “transgender,” “genderqueer,” “non-binary,” “pansexual,” “asexual,” and “two-spirit,” that promise to disrupt the oppressive system of heteronormativity. A series of curriculum documents encourage students to study the basic tenets of queer theory and then examine photographs of gender-nonconforming role models, including a woman with a beard, a boy in a dress, a teenage girl with a “genderqueer” identity, a boy wearing a tiara, and an infant with a “gender neutral baby name.” In another document published by San Diego Unified, administrators celebrate “nonbinary identities,” arguing that there must be a “linguistic revolution to move beyond gender binaries,” including the adoption of the term “Latinx,” which “makes room for people who are trans, queer, agender, nonbinary, gender non-conforming or gender fluid.”

This ideology has already shifted the district’s sexual-education program. In a training produced jointly by San Diego Unified and Planned Parenthood, administrators walk teachers through the constellation of new identities and advise them to eliminate traditional language from their vocabulary. Men are to be called “people with a penis” and women are to be called “people with a vulva,” because, according to the district, some women can have penises and some men can have vulvas. Additionally, the district points out that teachers can assist in a child’s gender transition without notifying parents and that, under California law, minors of any age can consent to pregnancy testing, birth control, and abortion. Finally, the training program includes sample questions on sexuality that teachers might address in the classroom, including: “Is it okay to masturbate?”; “How do gay people have sex?”; “What is porn?”; and “What does semen taste like?” In a related presentation, the district also advises teachers on leading discussions on “how to use a condom” and how to engage in “safer oral sex” and “safer anal sex.”

For now, the continued spread of queer theory and gender ideology in districts such as San Diego Unified appears to be a foregone conclusion. It is remarkable to see the tenets of a once-obscure and controversial academic discipline translated into classroom orthodoxy for children. Parents, however, should begin pushing back. If the case against queer theory as an academic disciple is strong, the case against queer theory as a K-12 pedagogy is even stronger. The goal of dismantling “heteronormativity” is nonsensical and destructive to the basic building blocks of society. To divide the world into man and woman and to encourage the development of families and children is not “oppression,” but a basic process of human nature—one that should not be discarded under the false pretenses of academic postmodernism.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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The Left is not like Us: Progressives do not want the same things as most Americans.

Progressives pretend to live in a utopia in which the rules of economics, physics, psychology, and science are suspended as they pursue unrealistic, tactical goals. Radical left leaders understand this dichotomy. Just as they have conceded high gas prices would force the middle class to buy electric cars, they believe the other harms they cause will facilitate achieving their ultimate objectives.

The far left readily acknowledges its preference for a centrally directed government, trillions of dollars of additional spending, higher taxes, the “green new deal,” the end of fossil fuels, restorative justice, racial and gender balancing, open borders, an LGBTQ+ obsession, and shutting down conservative voices. Now that its leaders are becoming comfortable admitting to being socialists, and even “trained Marxists,” the mask is dropping on their true ambitions.

Building on The Communist Manifesto’s call for “abolition of the family,” BLM initially sought to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.” Many local chapters of BLM call for abolition of capitalism. Oregon’s Department of Education characterizes its mission as “the restructuring and dismantling of systems and institutions that create the dichotomy of beneficiaries and the oppressed and marginalized.” An initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sees its mission as “dismantling white supremacy.” The American Medical Association calls for “disrupting and dismantling existing norms.” The main trade publication for architects complains that “racism is a metastasis that is baked into every kernel, from planning and zoning to multi- and single family housing and conversations about public and private space.”

“To love capitalism is to end up loving racism,” Ibram X. Kendi opines. Rather than be guided by the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution ,and the Federalist Papers, radical leftists are guided by “social justice,” and “redistributive justice” through which government, academia and corporations extort benefits for favored minorities from the privileged.

The left’s preoccupation with defunding police, and depriving them of both lethal and non-lethal tools, restorative justice, decarceration, eliminating cash bail, decriminalizing felonies, and refusing to prosecute lower level crimes, or seek sentencing enhancements, has caused violent crime to explode in major cities, up from five to 40 percent compared to the same period last year in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The misdirect that Covid, the war in Ukraine, or tax loopholes has caused this increase is legerdemain. Criminals understand this. In Los Angeles, for example, there is a rush to obtain plea deals before the possible recall of progressive district attorney George Gascon. About 75 George Soros-linked district attorneys control the jurisdictions of 72 million Americans. With turnover exceeding 75 percent in many of these offices, experienced prosecutors are leaving, further eroding law enforcement.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Bristol festival is too 'white and middle class': Councillors claim harbour event 'represents colonialism' and celebrates 'white boating community'

The investigation into the popular Harbour Festival, which attracts 250,000 people each July, highlighted its 'whiteness' and the 'invisible barriers to members of the global majority' – a woke term used to refer to the non-white population.

It also suggested that older and disabled people, families and black and Asian residents were being put off by the 'over-consumption of alcohol and the commercial approach to food'.

The council consulted on the 50-year-old event following Black Lives Matter protests in Bristol and the toppling of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston into the harbour.

Social media users reacted with anger at the report, with one calling it 'nonsense' and another saying: 'The report asks what needs changing - Bristol city council is the only thing that needs changing.'

The Harbour Festival is an annual celebration of Bristol's maritime heritage and the importance of its docks and harbour. The event includes live music, street performances, fireworks and a variety of other live entertainment.

📯

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Federal judge agrees to expedite religious freedom lawsuit against Biden admin.

As reported by Campus Reform, President Joe Biden signed an executive order titled “Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation," which states that “children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”

Judge Roseann Ketchmark, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, decided to allow the executive order to continue, despite College of the Ozark's request to halt it, the Washington Times reports.

The college filed a lawsuit with the Alliance Defending Freedom in April challenging this executive order, claiming the executive order "forces religious schools to violate their beliefs."

“The lawsuit challenges a directive from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which forces religious schools to violate their beliefs by opening their dormitories, including dorm rooms and shared shower spaces, to members of the opposite sex,” the college's April 15 press release states.

The document adds, “The directive accomplishes this by requiring entities covered by the Fair Housing Act to not ‘discriminate’ based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Call drag queens ‘pantomime dames’ to fool protestors, librarians told

More than 100 librarians attended the training earlier this month in how to handle the fierce row with parents over a country-wide summer tour by Drag Queen Story Hour UK (DQSH).

The webinar on “managing controversial events” was organised by the national body Libraries Connected, formerly the Society of Chief Librarians, and only for library staff.

[...]

In the forum, held on July 20, librarians from across Britain shared “war-game” strategies for dealing with “really distressing” drag criticism and being “bombarded by complaints letters”.

One speaker suggested the protesters could be fooled. “We’ve always said pantomime dame because we don’t want protestors outside our building,” Ian Anstice, a librarian from Cheshire West & Chester, told the seminar.

[...]

Mr Anstice, who also runs the Public Libraries News website, showed attendees a picture of a man at a drag story event in the US wearing a “kill your local paedophile” T-shirt with an assault rifle logo. He said “this sort of thing has got its followers and adherents here in Britain” and is “pretty brutal”.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Sweden: Immigration minister wants to limit the number of non-Nordic immigrants in ‘sensitive neighborhoods’

Swedish Immigration Minister Anders Ygeman has suggested that Sweden follow the example of Denmark and seek to limit the concentration of people with an immigrant background in the most troubled areas of its cities.

In an interview with the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, Ygeman said it was a problem for Sweden that there are neighborhoods where most residents come from countries other than the fellow Nordic nations of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and Norway.

“I think it is bad to have areas where the majority are of non-Nordic descent,” he told DN.

“If you want to learn Swedish, you have to practice. If you live in an area where you can get by with the language of your native country, it becomes enormously more difficult to learn and develop the language,” Ygeman explained.

“If, in addition, you have a job where you can get by in the language of your native country, where will you practice Swedish? In that context, I think having that kind of goal can say something important,” he added.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Our woke civil service is frustrating democracy: As a former senior official, I have seen how far civil servants will go to push their own agenda.

Ministers have virtually no operational control over who leads key delivery departments. In particular, they do not control how civil servants are promoted into senior positions. With rare and mostly uninspiring exceptions, a networked group of intellectually and politically identikit candidates always seems to rise through the ranks.

In the prison service, the institution I’m most familiar with, I joined ambitious young prison governors on their path through the much-vaunted Cambridge criminology masters course, which at the time amounted to little more than a finishing school for progressives seemingly more concerned with ameliorating the pain caused to prisoners by incarceration than with how to properly command a law-enforcement agency. This was the same academic-professional cartel that allowed Usman Khan, a terrorist who was known to be high risk, to be released from prison. He then went on to murder two young graduates, Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt, at Fishmongers’ Hall in London Bridge in 2019. In the same prison that had housed Khan, barely a few weeks later, a prison officer came within seconds and millimetres of being murdered by Islamist terrorists dressed in fake suicide belts. Yet the officials running our prisons, as well as those who give advice to ministers, turned a blind eye to these dangers.

Last year, around the same time as the inquest into the Fishmongers’ Hall attack revealed catastrophic naivete in the prison system and elsewhere, newspapers reported on the prison service’s launch of ‘intersectionality toolkits’ for staff. Meanwhile, the director general of prisons was photographed ‘taking the knee’ outside a Victorian prison – one which is notoriously awash with violence and drugs, and where staff often struggle to hold the line against anarchy. Seeing all this, the then justice secretary, Robert Buckland, was said to be ‘at the end of his tether’. It became clear that senior officials were far more interested in pursuing their own politics than in tackling the real problems on the ground.

This Whitehall groupthink will be a problem for the new administration when we get our next prime minister. Many senior public-sector leaders now take their instructions on policy from internal networks of activists. This is not endemic, but it is entrenched. Myriad publicly funded pressure groups, like Stonewall, are now a part of the policymaking machine. But even the current government’s efforts to divest from them will not be enough. Officials that don’t agree are still held in thrall to these groups through fear of career-cancelling allegations of anything ending in ‘phobia’.

There’s far too much going wrong in far too many parts of the civil service to tolerate business as usual. We can’t keep letting ministers’ intentions be buried using the bureaucratic black arts. Worse still, our politicised mandarin class will recognise that with only two years of Tory government likely to be left in the tank, there could be another, perhaps more palatable, regime around the corner, which will share the civil-service consensus. Those at the top now are the sons and daughters of Blairism in its pomp, while those who disagree, like myself, are like the mad aunt boarded up in the attic.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Court Documents Reveal Canada’s Travel Ban Had No Scientific Basis: In the days leading up to the mandate, transportation officials were frantically looking for a rationale for it. They came up short.

Rickard and Harrison’s attorney, Sam Presvelos, said that all government decisions related to public health demanded transparency. “Civil servants shouldn’t hide behind a shroud of secrecy,” Presvelos told me.

The whole point of the case was to lift that shroud and cast a spotlight on the unscientific basis of the mandate.

Among other things, the court documents indicate:

  • No one in the COVID Recovery unit, including Jennifer Little, the director-general, had any formal education in epidemiology, medicine or public health.

  • Little, who has an undergraduate degree in literature from the University of Toronto, testified that there were 20 people in the unit. When Presvelos asked her whether anyone in the unit had any professional experience in public health, she said there was one person, Monique St.-Laurent. According to St.-Laurent’s LinkedIn profile, she appears to be a civil servant who briefly worked for the Public Health Agency of Canada. St.-Laurent is not a doctor, Little said.

  • (Reached on the phone, St.-Laurent confirmed that she was a member of COVID Recovery. She referred all other questions to a government spokesperson.)

  • Little suggested that a senior official in the prime minister’s Cabinet or possibly the prime minister himself had ordered COVID Recovery to impose the travel mandate. (During cross-examination, Little told Presvelos repeatedly that “discussions” about the mandate had taken place at “senior” and “very senior” levels.) But she refused to say who had given her team the order to impose the travel mandate. “I’m not at liberty to disclose anything that is subject to cabinet confidence,” she said.

  • The term “cabinet confidence” is noteworthy because it refers to the prime minister’s Cabinet. Meaning that Little could not talk about who had directed the COVID Recovery unit to impose the travel mandate because someone at the very highest levels of government was apparently behind it.

  • In the days leading up to the implementation of the travel mandate, transportation officials were frantically looking for a rationale for it. They came up short.

That was made clear by an email exchange in the latter half of October 2021 between Aaron McCrorie and Dawn Lumley-Myllari. McCrorie is the associate assistant deputy minister for safety and security in Transport Canada, the department that houses COVID Recovery. Lumley-Myllari is an official in the Public Health Agency of Canada. In the email exchange, McCrorie seemed to be casting about for a credible rationale for the travel mandate. This was less than two weeks before the mandate was set to kick in.

“To the extent that updated data exist or that there is clearer evidence of the safety benefit of vaccination on the users or other stakeholders of the transportation system, it would be helpful to assist Transport Canada supporting its measures,” McCrorie wrote.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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[Rod Dreher] ALA Guide To Grooming Young Readers: American Library Association offers tips to small-town librarians on how to secretly queer the stacks

The American Library Association has some advice for small-town librarians about how to subvert community standards. Excerpts:

Do you work for a library in a small, rural, conservative community? Are you a frontline staff member there, with no managerial or administrative authority? Do you wish you could do more to make your library more inclusive to the LGBTQIA+ community, but meet with resistance?

I hope it’s not just me! I’ve been working as a frontline staff member at a small town library for nearly a decade. I have struggled with trying to affect positive change at my library in the area of inclusivity. It can be disheartening to feel you’re not supported by your library, and by extension the community that library serves. You feel like you should just give up on advocacy. But you shouldn’t.

There all small things you can do to welcome LGBT folks into your library, small steps you can take to move your library and community progressively forward. Here are a few things I’ve done, that will hopefully inspire those in similar positions and locales to keep fighting the good fight.

More:

Sneakily fit stuff into current programs. So you’re not doing Drag Queen Storytime (yet), but you’re probably doing Regular Old Storytime, right? Try to “sneak” inclusive messages into your current programs. For instance, if you’re reading a book about a Mama bear and a Papa bear, maybe when you read it you just change it to be about 2 Papa bears! Or if you’re reading a book about a rabbit who likes to get dirty and play sports, maybe when you read it you pointedly say it’s a girl rabbit. If there are characters in a book where the gender is unidentified or irrelevant, feel free to play and change it up! Chances are kids and families won’t even notice, but for that same-sex family or gender-nonconforming child who does, it will really mean a lot to them to know their librarian has their back.

And:

Don’t give up. This is the most important lesson I can impart upon you. For instance, when you ask “Can I do a GLBT Book Month display in June?” And your supervisor says “No.” Or “Think of the children.” Or “Customers will complain.” Or “Why? There are no gay people here our town.” You could very easily be discouraged. (And angry.) (And confused. Don’t they know every Thursday is gay night at the town pub?) But don’t stop asking. Ask next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. One year they might say yes. And the year after that they might say “Sure you can do that again.” And it might become a tradition, and every year you can put up more rainbow flags than the year before. The only way you’ll find out is if you continue to be persistent. And if you’re thinking a display is a trivial example, it’s not really: A warm and friendly display can be welcoming to the LGBT folks in your community, who probably currently feel unwelcome, and it’s a simple thing to start with. Sure, you want to eventually get to Drag Queen Storytime, but you should start with something simple!

This was a few years ago. When people started to complain, the ALA removed the byline of librarian Tess Goldwasser from the piece.

Like I said, this isn't brand new, but it's still up on the ALA site, on its diversity blog, where you can find all manner of ultra-wokeness. There is, of course, no reason to believe this kind of activism has gone away. In fact, as has been well documented, now public schools have taken up the practice of secretly encouraging kids to embrace their supposed queerness.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Not a National Model—a National Warning: Gavin Newsom’s bravado about California is undermined by reality.

The central plank of Newsom’s education transformation has been, in essence, to leave poor kids behind. California ranked last of all states in reopening schools after the pandemic, and the poor suffered the most. A study by Harvard economists finds that in states like California, where remote instruction was more common during the pandemic, high-poverty schools spent an additional nine weeks in remote instruction compared with low-poverty schools. In contrast, states like Florida and Texas had much lower rates of remote instruction, and smaller differences in its overall use between high- and low-poverty districts.

Brookings researchers have also demonstrated how school closings and remote learning hurt poor students. They showed that national “test-score gaps between students in low-poverty and high-poverty elementary schools grew by approximately 20% in math and 15% in reading.” The gap grew fastest in California.

Instead of a national model, Newsom’s California is a national warning of what happens when the progressive education establishment captures a state.

The political ads Newsom ran in Florida reveal perhaps an even greater disconnect between his rhetoric and California’s reality. Newsom warned Floridians that freedom “is under attack in your state,” and urged Florida residents to “join the fight, or join us in California where we still believe in freedom.” Newsom’s messaging turns gaslighting into a political strategy. If California believes in freedom, it has an odd way of showing it. After years of mask mandates, school closures, and pervasive lockdowns, Californians must be wondering what limits exist on state government intrusion into their lives. Nonetheless, they can’t help but notice the newfound freedoms that criminals and street homeless have enjoyed in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, where the rule of law has eroded at the hands of activist district attorneys.

Meantime, Californians who vote with their feet are fleeing to Florida in record numbers. From 2010 to 2018, California lost an average of 1,000 people to Florida per year, according to IRS taxpayer migration data. Then, from 2018 to 2019, California lost 4,800 residents to Florida. And from 2019 to 2020—the first IRS data that cover the early pandemic months—California lost 11,500 residents to Florida.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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The Beginning of the End of 'Gender-Affirming Care'? Britain is closing the infamous Tavistock Centre. Finland and Sweden have radically revised their treatment guidelines. But American doctors are advertising surgeries to children on TikTok.

In a sign that they may be rethinking the “puberty blockers are safe and reversible” dogma, the Food and Drug Administration, also on Thursday, announced that it was slapping a new warning on puberty blockers. It turns out they may cause brain swelling and vision loss. But for now, the move among American medical associations, health officials and dozens of gender clinics is to double down on the affirmative approach, with the Biden administration recently asserting gender affirmation is “trauma-informed care.”

The American stance is at odds with a growing consensus in the West to exercise extreme caution when it comes to transitioning young people. Uber-progressive countries like Sweden and Finland have pushed back—firmly and unapologetically—against the affirmative approach of encouraging youth transition advocated by some transgender activists and gender clinicians.

Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare released new guidelines for treating young people with gender dysphoria earlier this year. The new guidelines state that the risks of these “gender-affirming” medical interventions “currently outweigh the possible benefits, and that the treatments should be offered only in exceptional cases.”

Finland’s Council for Choices in Health Care (COHERE) came to a similar conclusion a year earlier, noting: “The first-line intervention for gender variance during childhood and adolescent years is psychosocial support and, as necessary, gender-explorative therapy and treatment for comorbid psychiatric disorders.” And: “In light of available evidence, gender reassignment of minors is an experimental practice.” Gender reassignment medical interventions “must be done with a great deal of caution, and no irreversible treatment should be initiated.”

Both guidelines starkly contrast with those proffered by the Illinois-based World Professional Association of Transgender Health, an advocacy group made up of activists, academics, lawyers, and healthcare providers, which has set the standard when it comes to transgender care in the United States. WPATH will soon issue new standards that lower recommended ages for blockers, hormones and surgeries. (WPATH did not respond to a request for comment.)

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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[Christopher F. Rufo] In Portland, the Sexual Revolution Starts in Kindergarten: The city’s public schools teach K-5 students to subvert the sexuality of “white colonizers” and begin exploring “the infinite gender spectrum.”

I have obtained a cache of documents from a source inside Portland Public Schools that exposes the nature of this curriculum. The lessons seek to turn the principles of academic queer theory into an identity-formation program for elementary school students. The premise is simple: privileged white heterosexuals have created an oppressive gender system in order to dominate racial and sexual minorities. As the curriculum explains, “gender is colonized,” and Western societies have used language to erase alternative sexualities. “When white European people colonized different places, they brought their own ideas about gender and sexuality,” the curriculum reads. “When the United States was colonized by white settlers, their views around gender were forced upon the people already living here. Hundreds of years later, how we think and talk about gender are still impacted by this shift.” (When reached for comment, Portland Public Schools wrote: “We make certain that our curriculum is LGBTQ+ inclusive for students who identify as transgender, gender non-conforming, gender-queer, and queer to create a safe and inclusive environment for all of our students.”)

The curriculum begins in kindergarten with an anatomy lesson featuring graphic drawings of children’s genitalia. The lesson avoids the terms “boy” and “girl” in favor of the gender-neutral variants “person with a penis” and “person with a vulva,” because, according to the curriculum, some girls can have penises and some boys can have vulvas. “Any gender and kid can have any type of body,” a related presentation reads.

In first and second grade, students are introduced to the key tenets of gender-identity theory. “Gender is something adults came up with to sort people into groups,” the curriculum states. “Many people think there are only two genders, girls and boys, but this is not true. There are many ways to be a boy, a girl, both or neither. Gender identity is about how you feel about yourself inside.” Next, students work through a lesson called “Our Names, Genders, and Pronouns.” The lesson tells them that “gender is like outer space because there are as many ways to be different genders as there are stars in the sky.” Students, the curriculum explains, can “change their name to match who they are, like their gender, culture, or just what they like better.” They can be “boys,” “girls,” “cisgender,” “transgender,” or “nonbinary,” and experiment with pronouns such as “they/them” and “ze/zir,” according to their personal preferences. “Only you can know what your gender is,” they are told.

In third through fifth grade, the district begins lessons on “LGBTQIA2S+” activism. The curriculum presents the categories of “man” and “woman” as manifestations of the “dominant culture” that has used sexual norms to oppress minorities. “The culture, systems, and assumptions that everyone is straight is called heteronormative. The culture, systems, and assumptions that everyone is cisgender is called cisnormative,” the curriculum claims. “Therefore, the culture, systems, and assumptions that everyone is straight and cis is called cisheteronormativity.” This system, according to the lesson plan, is a form of “oppression” designed to benefit “white straight cis boys” and to punish “LGBTQIA2S+” people.

The solution, according to Portland Public Schools, is to obliterate the “white colonizer” conception of sexuality, with its rigid male-female binary, and encourage students to inhabit “the infinite gender spectrum.” This means destroying the system of “cisheteronormativity” and promoting “queer” and “trans” identities. Teachers are told to eliminate the terms “girls and boys,” “ladies and gentlemen,” “mom and dad,” “Mrs. Mr., Miss,” and “boyfriend, girlfriend,” in favor of terms such as “people,” “folx,” “guardians,” “Mx.,” and “themfriend.” Students are shown photographs of “gender non-conforming” individuals and encouraged to celebrate the flags for “nonbinary,” “genderqueer,” “gender fluid,” and “Two-Spirit” identities. For some students, the subversion of the gender binary might also involve a gender transition. The curriculum provides a detailed explanation of how to “pause puberty” through “hormones and/or surgeries” and advice on adopting a “nonbinary” identity and set of pronouns.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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He Made a Joke About Land Acknowledgements. Then the Trouble Began: When Professor Stuart Reges exercised his free speech rights, the University of Washington retaliated. So we're suing the school.

Reges is an now a professor of computer science at the University of Washington’s Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. At the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester, the UW published a best practices document encouraging faculty to include an “Indigenous Land Acknowledgment Statement” on their syllabi. The statement, which has been more prevalent in left-leaning institutions in recent years, is meant to acknowledge the historic presence of indigenous people on the land where the university sits.

Professor Reges doesn’t think highly of these statements. “Land acknowledgments are performative acts of conformity that should be resisted,” he said.

So last school year, instead of reprinting the university-approved language—“The University of Washington acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suqaumish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations”—Reges constructed his own disclaimer. He wrote: “I acknowledge that by the labor theory of property the Coast Salish people can claim historical ownership of almost none of the land currently occupied by the University of Washington.” This appeared on his syllabus for a computer programming course he was teaching.

Unsurprisingly, university administrators were not pleased with Reges’s take, which questions the very presupposition of the approved statement. But rather than respect his academic freedom—after all, the land acknowledgement is supposedly only a suggestion—the school retaliated.

The university unilaterally uploaded a censored version of Reges’s syllabus without any acknowledgment whatsoever and locked him from making further changes to it. Then the school established a competing class section at the eleventh hour to siphon students away from his course. Finally, the UW launched an investigation of Reges—which began four months ago and continues to this day—over his alleged violation of policies prohibiting speech deemed “unacceptable or inappropriate,” ensuring that he languishes under the threat of further punishment or dismissal.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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The Culture War Is a Myth: If we’re not fighting to “conserve” Christianity, we may as well stay home.

Andrew Breitbart said, “Politics is downstream from culture.” And yet, strangely, he didn’t go on to become a painter or a playwright or an operatic tenor. He went into politics.

I’m sure Breitbart meant it at the time. At some level, though, he must have known the truth: culture is a function of politics. In the modern world, everything is.

Just take the most recent example. Shortly after Roe v. Wade was overturned, NPR helpfully compiled the reactions of sixty-four musicians, all of them negative. Taylor Swift said she was “absolutely terrified” by the ruling. Lukas Nelson wrote a new song about a girl who’s forced to carry the child of her own father, a self-righteous, church-going hypocrite.

“F—k the Supreme Court,” Lorde said during her set at Glastonbury Festival. Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong went a little further. “F—k America,” he told another crowd of Britishers. “I’m f—king renouncing my citizenship. (Like abortion, the F-word is now an integral part of our culture.)

It’s not just the artists, though, and it’s not just the left. These days, no frat party is complete without at least one dude in a Reagan/Bush tank top. A backwoods bonfire must have at least a dozen MAGA caps. Ten years ago, every bar in the country had sports on the TV. Now, half of them show cable news. Between Kanye’s strange foray into politics, Kim’s lobbying President Trump on prison reform, and Caitlyn Jenner’s run for governor, the Kardashians have replaced the Bushes as our most important Republican dynasty.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Students pressured to celebrate 'pansexual' drag queen at school chapel as teacher resigns over misuse of pronouns

Students at Manhattan's Grace Church High School are required to attend chapel every other Wednesday, and on April 27, that meant attending a Pride event. The 6th annual Pride chapel featured a special guest: drag queen "Brita Filter," aka Jesse Havea. Students felt pressure to join in, dance, and celebrate, while Teacher Uyen Nguyen took the opportunity to announce their resignation over improper pronoun usage.

"There was tons of social pressure to dance along and pretend like it was normal for sure," a student who asked not to be named told The Post Millennial, "whether it be people tapping on shoulders and telling them to stand up or just a collective staring contest at whoever wasn't totally participating."

The event was led by the school, the reverend, and the students and faculty advisors for Spectrum, the school's LGBTQIA+ affinity group. The politically themed chapel, which was mandatory for all students in grades 9-12, apparently ran long.

[...]

One student reported that as the performer approached the altar, he was joined by more dancing students, some of them "twerking." Bringing drag into classrooms and schools has been touted by its proponents as a way to "queer" education.

"I wondered, is this really happening in a chapel?" he said. Another observed "tons of social pressure to dance along and pretend that this was normal for church."

🤡🌎

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Beyond Elves and Hobbits: The Right can and must fight the culture war.

But let us assume, as Yarvin supposes, that the Left manages to reveal the Right’s powerlessness on Dobbs, forcefully maneuvering around an apparently solid Supreme Court ruling. Yarvin implicitly assumes that this is the end of the game and only to be expected. After all, we were playing on their board, using their rules, and they set the clock.

But of course, such actions by the Left would radicalize the other side. The Right’s voters have been promised for decades that if they just showed up and voted, they could get the President who would appoint the Supreme Court justices who would repeal Roe v. Wade. After numerous Presidential elections, bruising Supreme Court confirmation fights, and judicial betrayals, those voters suddenly discovered that, even after they do everything they’re told, it doesn’t matter? That the system is, to quote a recent former President, rigged?

This realization would lead many of them to reject the system entirely, which could open up many new possibilities for action. If the hobbits realize that even when they win, they lose, they will demand another regime. As a result, the specter of well-organized hobbits who no longer accept the legitimacy of the regime will strike fear into the heart of its defenders. Yarvin is correct to say we must define wins as those that make future wins easier—but he is wrong to assume that Dobbs cannot be that kind of victory.

A similar logic underlies the appeal of Trump to many of his more sophisticated supporters. Trump was too unfocused to take control of the executive branch and “drain the swamp,” but he did make the regime reveal itself and its mechanisms of power in a way that it had not previously been forced to do. This revelation radicalized a great number of both hobbits and “dark elves” to oppose it in ways they would never have before. The establishment’s coordinated reaction to this opposition has been ferocious, but there is no reason to believe that the establishment will have the last word.

Furthermore, Yarvin’s counsel is misplaced because he himself is talking to an elite audience. Happy hobbits who just want to grill aren’t reading Yarvin—or me for that matter. He is selling quietism to the wrong audience. The pseudonymous Lomez, creator of the Passage Prize for dissident creators on the Right, captures the dynamic underlying this issue of audience by describing “a totally independent status economy” as “the counter-elite we need.” I have written about the need to develop this counter-elite at length. Yarvin also overestimates the excellence and competence of our elvish rulers. “Modern millennial progressives are emotional wrecks—unprofessional and incapable of enjoying things that don’t flatter their sadistic political urges,” as one online commenter observed.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Protesters storm first drag queen storytime for primary school children: Mothers infiltrate library event, saying: ‘We’re here to protect children’

The first drag queen “story hour” for children in a UK-wide tour of council libraries has descended into chaos after it was stormed by protesters.

Almost 70 events in 20 areas of Britain are being visited over the next two months by Drag Queen Story Hour UK, a group that hosts sessions for three to 11-year-olds.

The project is run by Sab Samuel, a 27-year-old autistic male children’s author, who performs as Aida H Dee in a sequined dress with heavy make-up.

But the first event for families at Reading Borough Council libraries erupted in a dramatic row, as Mr Samuel was given a police escort next to a riot van and demonstrators chanted “paedophile”.

[...]

It was derailed when two mothers, who had infiltrated the ticket-only class, stood up and confronted Mr Samuel. They shouted: “You’re allowing child grooming to take place, this is disgusting, do you know what autogynephilia is?”

About fucking time. As some here may know I've suggested [REDACTED] elsewhere, but this is a good start.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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There's Gonna be a War in Montana: An analysis of visible propaganda in Bozeman, Big Sky, and Three Forks

Over what? The soul of Montana of course. One-of-a-kind land. That’s nothing new. What’s new is the character of the warring factions. They aren’t who you see on TV. On one side you have global interests imputing their values, importing cheaper labor, hollowing out Montana’s attractions and selling them to an international bourgeoisie for maximum profits. On the other you have the new underclass. Not the friendly Christian country folk of times past. And not Cowboy Hat Republican Rancher Dad either. No, these are a new kind of country person. Angry, exasperated, poor, Trump-loving service-workers—the Oxy takers, the meth cookers, the eaters of Chick-Fil-A. This group is acutely aware of just who controls Bozeman and Big Sky, and believe that the same people are coming for their territory. And they’re right.

If you listen, you can hear the two groups screaming at each other in silence, waiting for their very own Gavrilo Princip to spark this thing off.

[...]

Societies with grey anocracy scores, meaning they’re somewhere in the middle of highly democratic and highly authoritarian, are susceptible to civil war. High political identitarianism—AKA nativism—is also an indicator. So this obviously raises the alarm about hot conflict in places like Montana where there is clearly grey anocracy and high nativism.

But this is a new thing. Montana has always been the site of land battles—but these warring factions are brand new. The Washington Post presents the risk as one-sided—that angry Trumpists are going to soon resort to violence because, well, that’s what they do when the modern world comes knocking. The media doesn’t notice that Trump flags are being raised in reaction to the rainbow ones, not in spite of them. The anger bubbling up from Three Forks isn’t happening because Montanans, left alone for decades, somehow developed into anachronistic bigots unready for the modern world. It’s happening because Montanans got their sh*t taken. They were intentionally shoved out, left behind. Their music, their signs, their cars, their language—they’re all born from a fresh wound.

Private equity fears nativism because nativism equals economic protectionism—no free access to markets, no distant ownership of local assets, no importation of cheap labor. Blood is thicker than water, and private equity is terrified of relationships it can’t buy. This is why it posts Live Local! on its LoMo buildings and serves frozen versions of authentic Montana cuisine. It needs to placate people just long enough to take over the land, hollow out the existing culture, and replace it with a replica that siphons the locals’ milkshake back to itself.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Joyce Carol Oates: Yes, White Authors Face Discrimination

Oates, known for “A Garden of Earthly Delights” and “Black Water”, Tweeted out the story to her 222K followers. It’s what she added, though, that may come back to haunt her.

Editor’s Note: We’re repeating her comments below in case she deletes the Tweet.

(a friend who is a literary agent told me that he cannot even get editors to read first novels by young white male writers, no matter how good; they are just not interested. this is heartbreaking for writers who may, in fact, be brilliant, & critical of their own “privilege.”)

This shouldn’t come as a shock.

This brand of discrimination powered an expose shared by Bari Weiss earlier this year. That story detailed how Hollywood is aggressively promoting diversity to the point where white male artists fear for their creative livelihoods. Howard Koch, who has been involved in the production of more than 60 movies, including such classics as “Chinatown” and “Marathon Man,” and is the former president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, said: “I’m all for LGBT and Native Americans, blacks, females, whatever minorities that have not been served correctly in the making of content, whether it’s television or movies or whatever, but I think it’s gone too far. I know a lot of very talented people that can’t get work because they’re not black, Native American, female or LGBTQ.”

We’ve seen similar accusations from the comedy ranks.

“Terror on the Prairie” star Tyler Fischer says he’s been repeatedly discriminated against for being a straight white male. The impressionist has gone so far as to sue his former representation which he claims told him directly they can’t find work for him due to his immutable characteristics.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Does the Associated Press expect journalists to lie? The new AP style guide on trans issues elevates gender ideology over the truth.

Reptiles, muckrakers or simply unscrupulous bastards – journalists are a reviled breed, trusted by the public about as much as politicians and estate agents. And yet, speak off the record to your average hack and you will discover that most of us care about our work, which is notoriously high stress and low pay. We tend to think of ourselves as motivated by lofty dreams – a desire to put facts in the public domain and to hold the powerful to account. But the new guidance on transgender issues from the Associated Press Stylebook fits a rainbow gag to the mouths of many in the profession – advising writers to respect preferred pronouns and to override facts about sex in favour of feelings about gender identity.

The ramifications of this shouldn’t be underestimated. For decades, the AP Stylebook has served as a go-to style manual for vast numbers of US news organisations. Ironically, the new ‘Topical Guide’ on transgenderism advises the use of ‘unbiased language’ and to ‘avoid false balance [by] giving a platform to unqualified claims or sources in the guise of balancing a story by including all views’. And yet, the stylebook is itself saturated in unbalanced, unscientific trans ideology.

For example, the AP guidance claims: ‘A person’s sex and gender are usually assigned at birth by parents or attendants and can turn out to be inaccurate.’ This kind of claim might be best referred to as ‘trans truth’ – ie, a lie.

Humans come in two sexes. Within the male and female categories, a tiny subsection has disorders or variations of sexual development. This biological fact can be seen across a billion years of evolution. Furthermore, external genitalia can be recognised in utero – meaning that sex can be accurately observed before birth. Sex is not randomly assigned by some Harry Potteresque sorting hat, nor is it a spectrum. It is just a biological reality.

The guide also condemns ‘deadnaming’, or referring to the previous name of someone who identifies as trans, because that ‘can be akin to using a slur and can cause feelings of gender dysphoria to resurface’. But it is not the job of journalists to spare the feelings of those who identify as trans, particularly when doing so obscures the truth. This is of vital importance when it comes to the reporting of crime.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Association of American Medical Colleges Prescribes a DEI-based curriculum...

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) just released its official Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Competencies. Designed for curriculum development, the competencies function as DEI educational standards, providing a set of ideal “diversity” and “inclusion” skills for three stages of a physician’s education. For graduating medical students, the competencies include “describ[ing] the impact of various systems of oppression on health and health care (e.g., colonization, White supremacy, acculturation, assimilation).” For graduating residents, they include “promoting social justice and engag[ing] in efforts to eliminate health care disparities,” and for faculty physicians, “teach[ing] how systems of power, privilege, and oppression inform policies and practices and how to engage with systems to disrupt oppressive practices.”

Ultimately, these new competencies provide a blueprint for infusing the themes of identity politics—“intersectionality,” “white privilege,” “microaggression,” “allyship”—into medical education. In March, the National Association of Scholars acquired and published a draft version of the competencies. A number of critics spoke up, noting how the competencies would function as an obvious threat to academic freedom and, more broadly, sound medical education.

With the publication of these official competencies, the AAMC appears to be doubling-down. The official version includes only cosmetic changes to the draft. In their op-ed introducing the competencies, the president of the AAMC and the chair of the AAMC’s Council of Deans emphatically stated their support: “We believe this topic deserves just as much attention from learners and educators at every stage of their careers as the latest scientific breakthroughs”—a truly remarkable statement of priorities from the leaders of America’s foremost medical education association.

[...]

Concepts such as “intersectionality” and “allyship” connote substantive political positions; to declare that faculty and students must embrace them clearly violates academic freedom. But perhaps more significantly, these concepts are often interpreted idiosyncratically to enforce a narrow and damaging orthodoxy. At medical schools that adopt the competencies, it will undoubtedly become harder for students and faculty to voice support for a meritocracy or skepticism toward “gender-affirming care” for minors. Such views, after all, are commonly labeled “oppressive.”

In practice, the competencies are likely to elicit a wave of highly dubious medical curricula—to say nothing of medical research. The report also lists a series of examples of how to integrate the competencies into medical education, drawing from existing medical school curricula. One notable example comes from the Center for Antiracism in Practice at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine. The report provides minimal details on the exact content of the Center’s workshops, but the school itself offers a few hints. Last year, the Icahn School of Medicine created a professional development program to train administrators at other medical schools on how to implement Icahn’s own anti-racism initiative. The program frequently invokes the so-called “Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture”—the bizarre notion that attributes such as “objectivity,” “individualism,” and “a sense of urgency” constitute white supremacy culture.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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No More Masks: Covid’s biggest danger now is not the latest variant but the risk that public health officials will overreact.

Over the past two months, new Covid cases have risen by roughly 15 percent. Covid hospitalizations have risen even more. But BA.5 does not cause more severe disease than earlier variants. In fact, the percentage of Covid cases leading to bad outcomes appears to be declining.

The hospitalization increase is likely artifactual. The severity of illness among hospitalized Covid patients has been declining since autumn 2021—both intensive-care unit admission and mortality rates have been steadily falling. The likely explanation is that many Covid-positive admissions actually entered the hospital for other reasons before testing positive on routine tests for Covid. In fact, current cases and hospitalizations are still moderate when viewed over the history of the pandemic and are far lower than previous spikes. More importantly, Covid death rates have been relatively flat for the past three months.

But these facts have not kept Los Angeles County from planning to reinstate its indoor mask mandate on July 29. Multiple California universities and school districts have already reinstated mask mandates. Gwinnett County, Georgia, employees and schools have imposed new masking requirements. And it’s always possible that enterprising officials could inflict more restrictive lockdown-type measures if cases continue rising.

Yet no evidence exists that generalized mask mandates are beneficial. A pre-pandemic systemic review by the highly regarded Cochrane Library found that medical/surgical mask-wearing made little or no difference to the outcome of influenza or influenza-like illnesses compared with not wearing a mask.

A recent review of randomized controlled trials—the gold standard for scientific studies—came to a similar conclusion. Thirteen of 14 RCTs failed to find a statistically significant benefit from mask-wearing for non-Covid respiratory infections. Two RCTs of masking effectiveness concerning Covid-19 also showed little benefit: One found that surgical masks did not provide statistically significant protection to mask wearers; a second found no benefit from cloth masks and only a tiny, marginally statistically significant, reduction in viral transmission for surgical masks.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Inside the Woke Meltdown at One Domestic Violence Organization: Women Against Abuse discouraged black domestic abuse victims from calling the police. Yes, you read that right.

It was just two months after the death of George Floyd that one of the largest domestic violence nonprofits in the United States, Women Against Abuse, brought in several diversity consultants to conduct a racial-equity audit. The goal of the audit, Women Against Abuse told staffers, was to become "a fully inclusive, multicultural, and antiracist institution."

By November 2020, the organization, which is ostensibly devoted to "serving all survivors," was offering to pay "BIPOC" employees more than their white counterparts and discouraging black abuse victims from calling the police. Its employees were also at war with each other, bickering over whether Jews are a persecuted minority group and whether there is such a thing as a non-racist white person.

Those events prompted Nicole Levitt, an attorney with the group’s legal center, to file a discrimination complaint against her employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that it "berated, humiliated, and subjected" her to "mandatory thought reform efforts."

"Women Against Abuse used to be liberal," Levitt told the Washington Free Beacon. "Now it’s illiberal."

This story is based on Levitt’s discrimination complaint, Women Against Abuse’s response to it, and materials from the equity audit that Levitt shared with the Free Beacon. It reveals how the leading domestic violence nonprofit in Philadelphia descended into dogmatism and infighting, obsessing over identity as domestic homicides in the city reached an all-time high of 43 in 2021—more than double the previous year.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Florida university removes some anti-racism statements, worrying faculty

The University of Central Florida removed statements condemning racism from several academic departments’ websites this week, prompting some faculty members to worry that school officials were self-censoring in an effort to maintain compliance with a new state law limiting what can be taught about race and identity.

Shelley Park, a professor of philosophy and cultural studies at UCF, said the statement in her department, posted amid the national reckoning on race in 2020, “stood behind diversity, equity and inclusivity — which didn’t used to be such a radical thing to say.”

Park said her understanding was that the provost had contacted deans and that the pages were temporarily removed, with additional guidance to come when faculty members return in August. The provost, Michael D. Johnson, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Wednesday.

“The university recently removed some departmental statements that could be seen as potentially inconsistent with our commitment to creating a welcoming environment — one where faculty objectively engage students in robust, scholarly discussions that expand their knowledge and empower them to freely express their views and form their own perspectives,” Chad Binette, a spokesman for the university, wrote in an email Wednesday.

“UCF is committed to building a culture that values respect, civil discourse, and creating a sense of belonging,” Binette said. “In an effort to more clearly communicate that commitment, we will be working with departments to ensure statements better align with our university values.”

Your whitepill for the day.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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Woke dance school drops ballet from auditions as it is ‘white’ and ‘elitist’

The Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD), which aims to be a “progressive institution”, has reviewed the “elitist” art form as part of a diversity drive that has seen the introduction of new policies relating to gender and race.

Ballet has been ditched as a requirement for school-entry auditions because of its “contentious nature”, with teaching staff explaining that the traditional mode of dance comes with the baggage of “white European ideas”.

The centuries-old art form was seen as being a barrier to inclusion because of the exclusionary financial burden of taking classes, and also because of its idealising of certain European body shapes, and division of roles along gender lines.

The changes come after the conservatoire undertook work to “decolonise the curriculum” and take advice from LGBT societies.

Information from the NSCD, based in Leeds, said: “We review content and have removed ballet from our audition day due to its potentially contentious nature.”

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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GoFundMe allows page for Minneapolis gunman Andrew Sundberg after axing one for NYC bodega clerk Jose Alba

GoFundMe is allowing a small fortune to be collected for kin of the Minneapolis gunman fatally shot by cops after he fired at neighbors, while hard-working Manhattan bodega clerk Jose Alba’s fund got the ax, critics rage.

The fund-raiser for the family of dead Minnesota shooter Andrew “Tekle’’ Sundberg, 20, surpassed its goal of $20,000 within three days, hitting $20,500 by Monday afternoon.

Yet the GoFundMe page for Alba — who killed an ex-con attacker in apparent self-defense at the store — got pulled a day after his case came to light.

“#GoFundMe should be ASHAMED of themselves!” a fuming critic tweeted Monday. “#JoseAlba defended himself. #TekleSundberg was shooting into a home at a mother and two young children. SHAME ON YOU!”

[...]

The GoFundMe for Sundberg’s family says, “His life was taken too soon by the Minneapolis Police Department.” Relatives have retained noted civil-rights lawyer Ben Crump.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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DeSantis' education message is winning in battleground states, teacher union poll finds

The American Federation of Teachers circulated the poll, conducted by the Democratic firm Hart Research, as a call to arms for its members and allies to emphasize more popular proposals like spending more on schools and reducing class sizes, and de-emphasize fights that center on cultural issues.

A major set of red flags in the poll for Democrats and teacher unions was a series of questions that look like they were ripped from DeSantis’s Friday speech on “critical race theory” and teaching kids about sexuality and gender identity. While the survey didn't mention DeSantis by name, it tested education messages he popularized nationally — more so than Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican who won in a Democratic-leaning state last year on a parental-rights education platform that was far less provocative than DeSantis'.

One poll question found that voters, by a 32 percentage-point margin, said they were more likely to vote for candidates who believe public schools should focus less on teaching race and more on core subjects. By 27 points, they said schools should be banned from teaching sexual orientation and gender identity to kids in kindergarten through third grade. By 28 points, they said transgender athletes should be banned from competing in girls’ sports.

The same poll suggests DeSantis has been smart about where to draw the line. Most voters said they would be less likely to back candidates who want to prosecute teachers for instructing students on critical race theory and gender identity. The same goes for candidates who want books removed from school libraries, although DeSantis on Friday bashed some books as being too sexualized, and some Florida schools are banning books.

“DeSantis has been reasonably shrewd in choosing his culture war initiatives, avoiding toxic ideas like criminally prosecuting teachers,” Guy Molyneux, one of the pollsters who conducted the survey, said in an email to NBC News.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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New archeological evidence contradicts unmarked graves narrative

New archaeological evidence from the former Kamloops Indian Residential School raises more questions about the narrative that 215 “probable burials” of Indigenous children were discovered at the site.

The evidence was unearthed by a professional architect with expertise in aerial photography and published by former anthropology professor Hymie Rubenstein in the REAL Indian Residential Schools Newsletter. The architect reported his findings under the pseudonym Kam Res to avoid retaliation. Res’ findings have not been peer-reviewed.

Other academics who have raised questions about the Kamloops graves have been cancelled and targeted by the media. Mount Royal University professor Frances Widdowson was removed from her tenured position due to being outspoken on Indigenous issues.

Aerial photography and historical documents show that the site where the graves were alleged to have been discovered has been subject to decades of archeological digs and other excavation activity which did not turn up any human remains.

The most significant of these digs took place in 1958 when a plot of over 100,000 square feet or 30% of an apple orchard just outside of the residential school was excavated for a sewage retention pond.

Off-Topic and Low-Effort CW Thread for June 27, 2022 by rwkasten in CultureWarRoundup

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[Christopher F. Rufo] The DEI Regime: Every Fortune 100 company has now adopted “diversity, equity, and inclusion” programming.

I have surveyed the programming of every Fortune 100 company and have confirmed that all of them have now adopted so-called DEI programs. These initiatives are no longer limited to high-technology firms in the coastal enclaves; they have spread to traditionally conservative sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, insurance, and oil and gas. The result is clear: every major corporation in the United States has submitted to DEI ideology and begun to make it a permanent part of its legal and human resources bureaucracy.

No doubt some of these programs are benign. Many companies adopt DEI policies out of pressure to conform. Other companies, however, use diversity, equity, and inclusion to promote the most virulent strands of critical race theory and gender ideology. I have documented many examples: Bank of America teaching employees that the United States is a system of “white supremacy”; Walmart telling workers they are guilty of “internalized racial superiority”; Lockheed Martin forcing executives to deconstruct their “white male privilege”; and Disney promising to abolish the words “boys” and “girls” in its theme parks and inject “queerness” into its children’s programming.

Three factors drive corporate executives to adopt DEI programs. First, these initiatives serve as an insurance policy against frivolous race- and sex-discrimination lawsuits. The legal department can point to mandatory trainings and policies as evidence that the company is “doing something” to prevent discrimination. Second, executives create these programs to appease internal activist groups that want to use the corporation as a platform for left-wing race and gender activism. Third, splashy DEI initiatives, such as Wal-Mart’s $100 million “Center for Racial Equity,” form part of a reputation-laundering strategy, improving a company’s public image and preempting Black Lives Matter-style protests through fashionable philanthropy. As a bonus, corporate executives, most of whom are rich but not famous, can use the associated galas, events, and junkets to boost their social status and hobnob with celebrities and political figures.

Some conservative commentators have pointed out the internal contradiction of corporate DEI policies: they don’t reflect the values of customers and don’t serve the bottom line; the political meaning of the word “equity,” for example, is predicated on an anti-capitalist worldview. But this assessment misses the broader point that, given the current political, social, and legal incentive structure, executives are making a rational decision to adopt DEI policies, even if they are doing so in bad faith.

Conservatives’ goal should not be to point out the executives’ hypocrisy but to change their incentives in order to change their behavior. This goal is eminently feasible. In recent months, Florida governor Ron DeSantis has begun to develop a model for challenging the hegemony of the DEI bureaucracy. He has abandoned the traditionally Republican premise of corporate non-intervention and embraced a more muscular, Teddy Roosevelt-style strategy for combatting corporate malfeasance. Last year, he passed the Stop W.O.K.E. Act, which prohibits companies from promoting critical race theory-style scapegoating, stereotyping, and harassment. Next, he won a high-profile fight with Walt Disney Co., stripping the company of its special governing status and dealing a significant blow to its public reputation.