jacko

Au contraire


Staff at US firm Quinn Emanuel are "very angry" because a white partner criticised a black partner for not being sufficiently aware of diversity issues.

The white partner, 'LP', who is based in the London office of the dispute resolution firm, kept all 850+ of Quinn's lawyers copied in to a business-wide email exchange when he took issue with a list, of potential arbitrators for a panel, which had been circulated by his black colleague in the US.

"I am sure it's not your fault but there is an appalling lack of diversity in this list", LP told his American colleague, ‘UP’, in his email last Thursday. "There are many great women and many 'less white' candidates who would profile well against this same white male group".

Turmoil ensued, according to staff at the firm who contacted RollOnFriday.

A source said that LP "decided today that he would lecture a black partner in front of Quinn Emanuel’s ENTIRE global attorney base" with an email which was "unacceptable and shows incredibly poor judgment. It’s a disgrace and lots of people are very angry".

Another insider said the email "speaks for itself" and was "disgustingly patronizing". The emails were leaked to RollOnFriday.


quinn email

Readers unfamiliar with the rise of identity politics and critical race theory may be surprised by the reaction to LP's message.


UP responded with a reply-all email in which he thanked LP "for your separate email to me". A source said that private email took the form of a "grovelling apology".

"You raise some important points that we should address", continued UP.

"However", he said with icy diplomacy, "I do need to clear up one inaccuracy. Just last week, I sent out an email seeking input on a list of potential chairs that included women. So we did in fact consider women for this appointment".

"Regarding the lack of racial diversity", wrote UP, "I agree with you, and as a Black attorney in the legal industry, I am keenly aware of the issue. To that end, I would strongly encourage you to provide me with a list of diverse attorneys...given that you routinely practice in this area".


quinn 2 email

Scientists estimate that UP’s burn was several times hotter than the sun.


In a statement, Quinn told RollOnFriday that LP "inadvertently caused offence" by observing that UP's list lacked diversity, and said that "an apology was given for any offence caused".

However, the firm said, "arising out of that exchange", the two partners have been forced to play together "agreed to lead an initiative within the firm to try and ensure that more diverse candidates will be considered for future arbitrator and mediator candidates”.


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Comments

Anonymous 27 November 20 08:32

So this poor slob can’t make a perfectly reasonable (and polite) point on diversity because he’s white, and the colleague he’s making it to us black? Stupid, woke, Quinn arses. 

Anon 27 November 20 09:16

I bet my bottom dollar that the White English Partner did not realise that the American Partner was actually Black until after he had sent his well intentioned email on encouraging diversity. 

Many Black Americans have English/Scots-Irish/Welsh sounding names having inherited those names from their former slave masters. 

So, for example, when the White English Partner read the email sent by Ben Smith from Chicago, the White English Partner naturally assumed that Ben Smith was also a White Male Partner, just like him.

The horror on his face when he was informed of his misjudgment must have been priceless. 

 

Paul 27 November 20 09:31

I can't understand why someone would copy the whole firm in to this email.  Was it an attempt at virtue signalling that backfired?  If so, I don't have much sympathy.

Nonymouse 27 November 20 09:34

9:16: Well, quite:

*During email composition*: "Ah, an opportunity to right a social wrong! This is going to be epic! I shall be hailed as a champion! Nothing can go wrong!"

*Shortly thereafter*: see: The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893

anonymous 27 November 20 09:42

The fact he CC'd the whole firm and preceded to cudgel his colleague with the diversity hammer is a clear attempt to virtue signal. I am glad it backfired so horrendously. Get woke, go broke.

Anon 27 November 20 09:46

9:31 - quite - rarely anything positive comes out of hitting reply all to a firm-wide/ group-wide email!

Anon 27 November 20 09:48

Surely the greatest offence is playing out an argument in public, not a lack of deference to his colleague?

His email addressed concerns about the colleague's suggestions.  His colleague's colour is irrelevant to whether those criticisms were valid.

Anonymous 27 November 20 09:53

It's like watching a snake eating its own tail...

"White silence is violence! Speak up! Diversity needs to be everywhere and you need to police for it constantly in every part of your life! No! Wait, stop! Not like that! Stop speaking up! Be silent again and know your place! Don't you know that the value of your opinions is solely dependent on the skin colour of the person you are addressing?! You may only speak up about representation issues like that if you're talking to a white person! Go back to 2019 you dinosaur!"

You get a flavour of where it's all going when you watch the 'Transfolk vs The Feminists' debacle, in which two wealthy, vocal, very online, victimhood constituencies find themselves scrapping over the same patch of privilege turf*, but that's probably just the start of it.

 

*see what I did there?

ShootyMcShootyface 27 November 20 09:56

Pressing the "Reply To All" button should really bring up a prompt saying "Are you SURE you want to do this? Like, really, REALLY sure? Wouldn't you rather just reply to the sender?"

Pressing "Yes" should result in another prompt: "Ok, so, you're REALLY sure?"

Some people need protecting from themselves.

Anonymous 27 November 20 09:58

@08:32 - yes, that's exactly how it works. What are you having trouble understanding?

Have you been asleep since roughly 2015? 

 

Obviously the only reason that you would find that a difficult thing to understand, accept, and vocally express happiness about is because you are a racist trying desperately to cling to your own white privilege.

3-ducks 27 November 20 09:58

What a patronising buffoon.

Here's a thought. Maybe the black lawyer actually picked the best people for his list, based on his no doubt considerable experience in the profession, and wanting to do the best for his clients, rather than indulging in some politically correct box-ticking exercise?

Anonymous 27 November 20 10:01

I'm really confused why people use uppercase B when writing black...
 

Surely it is "black attorney" not "Black attorney"?

Anonymous 27 November 20 10:13

@10:01 - yes, it's an odd one isn't it, but apparently it's a very conscious choice that people are making these days because apparently capitalising it sends a message of some sort about the importance of 'black' as an identity (like, apparently we'd all be at risk of thinking it was less important than, say, 'Japanese' if they didn't do it that way). But obviously you shouldn't do it when you write 'white' - that would be white supremacist.

Before you start, yes of course there's a bunch of things about it that don't make sense, starting with the fact that 'black' is a somewhat vague term that doesn't really apply to a single specific geographic or historic identity (like Japanese does) and that it isn't an adjective derived from a proper noun (like Japan).

But I wouldn't say that if I was posting under my real name because apparently it's a sign of racism to even dare to question whether these kind of well-meaning but ultimately ill thought out practices are anything more than inane wastes of time that achieve nothing but making the original writer feel good about themselves (and also the muppets in HR who write tedious e-mails telling us all to start doing the same thing, whether it makes sense or not).

Yours,

Anon (hers/her/she/Ms)

Anonymous 27 November 20 10:16

@ 3-ducks

Er, excuse me, we don't do that anymore. This is 2020.

You make a list of the best people.

Then you look at the list.

Then you start arbitrarily crossing people off of it, or adding random makeweights onto it, until it has a gender and ethnic balance that matches an arbitrary set of figures and targets circulated by your HR Team.

Then someone sends you an e-mail complaining that the list doesn't meet another set of even more 'ambitious' targets that a random American posted on Twitter.

That's what fairness is.

Anonymous 27 November 20 10:23

@10:13

I completely agree with you.

I am intrigued as to whether anyone genuinely believes it is the correct way of writing black.

A Lawyer With EQ 27 November 20 10:41

Does anyone think this was the first time the US PARTNER sent an RFI on Arbitrators? No. It even states he sent one the previous week. 

So, why did the UK PARTNER choose this instance to single him out...and REPLY ALL?

If the UK Partner had a genuine issue, he could have gone back directly one-on-one. 

Instead, he tried to make a point. To show up the Black US partner as the one lacking diversity. It rightfully back-fired. 

For those who have previously commented: Using the word "woke" as a criticism, does not give anyone the right to lack awareness around racism - whether conscious or not. 

 

 

Anonymous 27 November 20 11:12

I have responded to all my marketing emails today pointing out their Black Friday deals do not interest me unless they also mailshot me with White Friday, etc...

The West is going down a dangerous path 27 November 20 11:18

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
- Martin Luther King, 28 August 1963, Washington DC.

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
- Chief Justice Roberts, "Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1", 551 U.S. 701; 127 S. Ct. 2738; 168 L. Ed. 2d 508; 75 U.S.L.W. 4577; 20 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 490.

There is no practical difference between (a) "diversity"; (b) "targets"; (c) "quotas"; (d) affirmative action; and (e) politically-motivated anti-white/anti-Asian/anti-male discrimination. They are substantially identical, the only difference between them is the level of euphemism used. We absolutely should strive to demystify professions, make them accessible to working-class children etc., and to anyone with ability, but creating de facto quotas due to left-wing political pressure is short-sighted, unfair, and will both (a) create a backlash; and (b) taint successful minority candidates with the implication that they are only 'diversity hires'. Our recruiting and promotion should be colour-blind, gender-free, meritocratic and as transparent as possible.

We risk encouraging, creating and condoning national communities in which every aspect of life - including hiring, promotion, criminal justice, and education - is allocated based on social, political and racial quotas. If we choose this option, then the West as we know it, based on meritocracy (albeit imperfect) is finished, and we continue the dark descent into Harrison Bergeron* territory.  

Regarding purported studies about the benefits of "diversity", the problem with social science is that it isn’t, well, science: you can just make up any results that you want. There are arguments that (a) differences in outcomes are simply the consequences of people making different choices; (b) those choices are legitimate; and (c) diversity is simply a smokescreen for affirmative action (which itself is a socially-acceptable - in left-wing circles - euphemism for anti-white, anti-Asian, anti-male discrimination).

Much of the material in this area has been generated by consultants, McKinsey specifically. Starting in 2007, cleverly carving out a niche in selling ‘diversity snake oil’ to corporates, McKinsey has been preaching for over a decade now about, in the words of their most famous 2015 article, “Why diversity matters”. That article is one of the primary sources for the vast array of assertions parroted across Twitter, student unions, the self-serving diversity industry, and the ‘woke police’ increasingly attempting to mandate what constitutes “wrongthink”. If someone’s job relies on fighting a social ill, it’s easy for them to become financially incentivised to ignore progress and both demonize real solutions and incite disharmony as a cynical business development exercise. For those inclined to evince even a scintilla of analytical rigour, the possibility that highly-paid consultants are conducting business development by confecting propaganda to separate credulous corporate clients from their money ought at least to be entertained. Of course, diversity propaganda is almost invariably preaching to the choir, so scepticism is almost totally absent. Not only that, a fear of being criticised for lack of political correctness renders silent anyone who may be inclined to be sceptical.

One of the most disturbing trends in the West in recent years is that many people no longer publicly say what they actually believe, they say what they feel they must say to keep their jobs. For example, contrary to the McKinsey-led bandwagon’s assertions, rigorous, peer-reviewed studies suggest that companies do *not* perform better when they have women on the board. Nor do they perform worse. Depending on which meta-analysis you read, for example, board gender diversity either has a very weak relationship with board performance or no relationship at all: https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/will-gender-diversity-boards-really-boost-company-performance. If one believes the Wharton study, McKinsey’s reports, and the incontinent stream of bandwagon-jumpers citing them, are merely 'politics by other means'.

Capitalism is ruthlessly market-orientated. If people have a strong business case to be selected they (a) will be selected; or (b) the invisible hand of the market will penalise inefficiencies and any purported discrimination. That this isn’t happening is illustrative. For example, why hasn’t a gap opened in the market for company boards, or law firms, comprised exclusively of black, female, lesbian, disabled Eskimos, with at least two self-diagnosed mental illnesses, who can bring the supposed objective benefits of diversity? If such people were genuinely being systemically discriminated against, there would be a wealth of talent ripe to be monetised. Perhaps however, the reasons we haven't see such boards/companies/firms is because there are no benefits to diversity (nor any disadvantages, either - it’s simply irrelevant). Perhaps what is actually required is objective excellence in specific areas, determined by specific demands of different boards/companies/firms. In this regard, diversity initiatives are simply smoke and noise, creating resentment and friction to no benefit to anyone (except special interest groups, and consultants seeking to monetise them).

* Harrison Bergeron is a dystopian science-fiction short story by American writer Kurt Vonnegut, first published in October 1961, which is eerily prescient of the current vogue for so-called social justice and equity. http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html

Anonymous 27 November 20 13:25

Oh, poor me, he hurt my feewings! Disbar him immediately because I feel sad and I will feel better.

Fake Partner 27 November 20 13:44

After consulting with five other defendants in a case, I just circulated a list of mediators to plaintiff's counsel. It's always difficult to get five defendants and a plaintiff to agree on a mediator. The list of mediators submitted contained the names of individuals who we knew were knowledgeable in the relevant area of law, competent, and had the personality to help get the case settled. Oddly, those factors were the only criteria we used. 

Annonymous 27 November 20 14:40

@"The West is going down a dangerous path" - there is so much dangerous misinformation in your post its difficult to debunk. It is not surprising to see such a post, however.

Do you not believe uneven outcomes can be attributed to racism/sexism?

Anon 27 November 20 14:42

Tired of that fake belief that we live in a meritocratic world. People pretending that they are entirely meritocratic lack self-awareness and are probably the same people who say they don't see colour. 

For example - I accept that you think that the only criteria for selecting people is eg knowledge, competency, etc but how you judge who has those attributes is where bias comes in. We all have different biases but we need to work at figuring out what those are and trying to address them. It takes time and work and to pretend that you don't have those issues is plainly naive. Take the first step and accept that you are (like everyone else) a little racist but you will work to be less so. 

Onanymous 27 November 20 14:51

@14:40: Do you not believe it must be reliably demonstrated in each individual case that a certain uneven outcome can be attributed to certain concrete racist or sexist behaviours in order to make that claim?

Anonymous 27 November 20 15:22

Obviously not Onanymous. That's not how diversity and inclusion processes work or should work.

You do it like this:

You look at a given set out outcomes. 

You automatically need to think about whether those outcomes are sufficiently diverse and inclusive, regardless of what they are.

So you label everyone in the sample by visible identity grouping (fyi: you don't need to know their CV's, background, or anything else about them for this - just label them black or white, or whatever, by glancing at them).

Then, if you count less of a particular identity grouping than you were expecting when you first walked into the room* you assume that whoever is responsible for the relevant outcomes is a racist who hates BAME people and/or Women and/or the EU, because that's the most likely answer. If they aren't then they have to prove it.

This is 2020 you see, and we have finally reached a state of enlightenment that eluded all previous generations.

 

 

*This is especially so if it's a grouping that you belong to yourself.

Rightosaurus 27 November 20 15:35

a white male partner who recognises a lack of diversity on a list should be celebrated not bludgeoned. What other white male partner will now want to say anything?  This is a step backwards for the diversity movement. He may not have done it perfectly but don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Quinn should be lauded for talking about these issues

The West is going down a dangerous path 27 November 20 16:27

Reply to Anonymous at 14:40 who asserted, "there is so much dangerous misinformation in your post its difficult to debunk" and then asked, "Do you not believe uneven outcomes can be attributed to racism/sexism?". On reflection, you're correct - my bad. Titania McGrath, about whom I trust I speak for all of us, has done some fantastic work so we can "educate ourselves" about racism. The TL;DR version is that "Everything is racist, and if you disagree, you are a racist." Titania's* helpful compilation is here, and each Tweet is painstakingly illustrated with the headlines of the respective story "evidencing" about how, in certain people's world view, everything is indeed racist...

 

THINGS THAT ARE RACIST (@TitaniaMcGrath)
Brave social justice activists such as myself are working tirelessly to expose *all* the racist elements within our society. Sometimes it is difficult to keep up, so I thought it would be helpful to curate a comprehensive list...
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281023987242487808

• Golf
• Bedrooms
• Jesus
• Chess
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281024006792060929

• Mahatma Gandhi
• Cartoon characters
• Milk
• Roads
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281024017311432705

• Band-Aids
• Coronavirus
• Orcs
• Rice
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281024027209928704

• Skincare products
• Nurses
• Butter
• Applause
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281024037196574720

• Mathematics
• Front lawns
• Breakfast cereals
• Finding Asian men attractive
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281024046478614529

• Soap
• Toothpaste
• White people speaking
• White people not speaking
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281024056318480385

• Hiking
• Climate change
• Ice cream snacks
• The Golden Girls
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281024066338656258

• Biological sex
• Asking “how are you?”
• The Oscars
• Knitting
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281024076342067202

• Cycling
• Breweries
• Air pollution
• Abolishing slavery
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281024097103872004

• The countryside
• The suffragette movement
• The medal for the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George
• Fish
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281024142989541378

• Pancake syrup
• Salt
• Traffic signals
• Earthquakes
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281029681614118924

• Classical music
• Horse racing
• Trying not to be racist
• Being nice
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281038798021853185

• Anglo-Saxons
• Toy Story 4
• Mary Poppins
• Jogging
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281038807618465800

• The Lake District
• Wives
• Fawlty Towers
• Reaction GIFs
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281146775118766080

• Botany
• Sandwiches
• Environmental activism
• Women
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281146782735622147

• Science
• Western philosophy
• Libraries
• Dogs
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281146791195553792

• Dieting
• Yoga
• Country music
• Scrabble
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281152183086522369

• Wine
• Shoes
• Having sex with black people
• Not having sex with black people
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281159767998836736

• Rock music
• Tipping
• Veganism
• Dr Seuss
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281379443353714689

• Robots
• Charles Dickens
• The White Cliffs of Dover
• Thomas the Tank Engine
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1281562538094862346

• Jingle Bells
• Interior Design
• Arithmetic
• Avoiding eye contact
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1284022281463828480

• Dead dogs
• Baseball
• College admissions tests
• All white artists
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1284131110256095232

• Morris dancing
• Enid Blyton
• The Smurfs
• Falling asleep
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1285331569692020737

• Church choirs
• Orchestras
• The royal family
• Surfing
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1287885764261535746

• Grammar
• Landscape architecture
• Paw Patrol
• Birds
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1290582334366978048

• Artificial intelligence
• Punctuality
• Hockey
• Worms
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1291382880502009858

• Mermaids
• Tomboys
• Cosmic objects
• Bras
Titania McGrath
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1296037165214969857

• National parks
• Smiling
• Aliens
• Beer
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1308811952592957440

• Italian fashion
• Image-cropping algorithms
• Free speech
• Uncles
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1308812172542259202

• Fried chicken
• School uniforms
• Hawaiian pizza
• Mozart
https://twitter.com/TitaniaMcGrath/status/1322766426495721474

* Actually Andrew Doyle.

Onanymous 27 November 20 16:33

Hats off, 15:22. I see the fine art of trolling with rapidly decreasing subtlety is alive and well.

Anonymous 27 November 20 16:53

Thank you Onanymous.

I measure my success each week by how quickly I can get that one guy to say something like "Actually! I think you will find that I'm Middle Eastern! So how racist is that, hmm?!"

It's like a sort of reverse Buckaroo, in that I'm trying to make the donkey jump as quickly as possible.

The West is going down a dangerous path 27 November 20 16:54

Anonymous at 14:40 deserves a rather more detailed, and evidenced response, as do the "woke police" similarly who endorse divisive nonsense. They adopted the typical response of the Left when they don't like facts: accuse their opponents or "the system" of being racist. The problem with that is that everything and everyone can be accused of racism as means of shutting down debate. Most people realise that now, so they ignore the epithet, as it's meaningless (i.e. racism now just means, "You expressed an opinion or fact that I don't like."). Here are four evidence-based examples explaining differential outcomes, four from the US, one from the UK:

1. Penn Law professor Amy Wax: higher education aggressively quashes truth
https://www.phillyvoice.com/penn-law-professor-amy-wax-higher-education-aggressively-quashes-truth/

Amy Wax was relieved of teaching duties at Penn in 2018 after she talked candidly about affirmative action. She said: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the class, & rarely, rarely, in the top half.” The embattled academic wrote a Wall Street Journal commentary headlined: 'The University of Denial'. “I can think of one or two students who scored in the first half of my required first-year Civil Procedure course. ...Universities, like other institutions, scheme relentlessly to keep facts from view... to avoid inconvenient realities.” ...The truth can be inconvenient & uncomfortable.” We are “deprived of the ability” to point out “alternative reasons for group differences” & universities hide “information relevant to such differences,” which “violates basic principles of fair play” & causes “resentment.” She noted that “[Grades] represent an objective reality, which exists independent of what people want reality to be... Those numbers are now... jealously guarded, protected by... secrecy. But they are what they are. Hiding facts is not the same as changing them."

2. City Journal, The Partner Chase: An elite law firm’s inability to promote enough minority partners exposes the unrealistic expectations of diversity mandates.
https://www.city-journal.org/exposing-diversity-mandates

In the US, 20% of new white lawyers at large firms have law school GPAs of 3.75+ , compared to only 2% of new black lawyers. The liberal partners, the strongest advocates for “diversity,” rarely practice what they preach, instead funnelling the results of diversity hiring whenever possible to someone else’s case. In private conversations, they acknowledge the diversity sham but shrug their shoulders: “What choice do we have?” Aware that they are not on the partnership track, black lawyers leave their big-firm employers at two to three times the rate of their white peers. By the time partner decisions roll around, few blacks remain in the pipeline to promote. A tax partner from another New York firm observed the same winnowing down along the partnership track. “Most large firms, including mine, are eager to diversify, and that is often reflected in hiring decisions at the entry level,” he told me. “But when they get to promoting people to partner, the merit system takes over. If people are hired for reasons other than their ability, they are not going to be able to compete in the race for partnership.”

3. Francis Menton, a partner in the Litigation Department and Co-Chair of the Business Litigation Practice Group of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2020-8-14-the-coming-round-of-affirmative-action-will-be-no-more-successful-than-prior-rounds

The current indictment issued by the woke left is that America is “systemically racist.” I understand the significance of the term to be that ongoing economic underperformance by African Americans must be attributed to fault of members of other races, even if no actual wrongful racist conduct by any individual or group of people can be identified. Instead, since individual wrongdoing can rarely be found, it follows that the racism must somehow have been built into the “system.” Therefore, we are all called upon to change the “system” by becoming “anti-racists.” [...] large commercial law firms — began a universal practice of affirmative action for the benefit of African Americans no later than the early 1970s. As an associate in the late 70s I participated in strategy meetings and recruitment efforts seeking to increase the numbers of qualified African Americans that we could attract to our firm; and those efforts only increased and intensified as the years went on. Essentially all major law firms have had similar efforts over the same period of time. The results of all these efforts have been very frustratingly slow and incremental. The tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple were only created long after the 1970s. But they all have been proclaiming commitment to affirmative action for at least a decade. I summarized the very meagre results of those efforts in a post on June 16 titled “The Woke Tech Giants Teach Us How To Deal With Systemic Racism.” (https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2020-6-15-the-hunt-for-systemic-racism). It seems that affirmative action is like socialism. Every time it is tried it fails. But that must be because it just wasn’t done right the last time. This time we finally understand it and it will work. At this point we have plenty of experience with affirmative action initiatives to know that they do not offer any quick fix to economic underperformance by African Americans. A year or two or three from now, it will be obvious that the latest round of such initiatives has been no more successful than any of the prior rounds.

4. Thomas Sowell: You shouldn't expect the same outcomes, and it's lazy sophistry to assign differences in outcome to racism. The black Harvard economist Thomas Sowell notes that an awkward question is why blacks from certain communities fail to achieve but black immigrants often do, and also why is underperformance not the case for Asians? If racism and discrimination are the reasons, black immigrants and Asians also would fail. Sowell argues that reasons include poor parenting, indulgence of gangs, lack of respect for authority, failure to work at school (because it's "Acting white"), etc. For a summary of his work please see https://www.city-journal.org/thomas-sowell-race-poverty-culture. Here are some extracts:

Sowell’s great contribution to the study of racial inequality was to reverse the explanation that has dominated mainstream thought for over a century. Intellectuals have generally assumed that in a fair society, composed of groups with equal inborn potential, we should see racially equal outcomes in wealth, occupational status, incarceration, and much else. That racial disparity is pervasive is seen either as proof that racial groups are not born with equal potential or that we don’t live in a fair society. The first position predominated among “progressive” intellectuals in the early twentieth century, who blamed racial disparity on genetic differences and prescribed eugenics as a cure. The second has dominated the academy since the 1960s and is now orthodoxy on the political Left. Democrats as moderate as Joe Biden have charged that America is “institutionally racist,” and when asked to prove it, the reply almost always points to statistical disparities between whites and blacks in wealth, incarceration, health, and in other areas.

The suppressed premise—that statistical equality would be the norm, absent racism—is rarely stated openly or challenged. In a dozen books, Sowell has challenged that premise more persuasively than anyone. One way he pressure-tests this assumption is by finding conditions in which we know, with near-certainty, that racial bias does not exist, and then seeing if outcomes are, in fact, equal. For example, between white Americans of French descent and white Americans of Russian descent, it’s safe to assume that neither group suffers more bias than the other—if for no other reason than that they’re hard to tell apart. Nevertheless, the French descendants earn only 70 cents for every dollar earned by the Russian-Americans. Why such a large gap? Sowell’s basic insight is that the question is posed backward. Why would we think that two ethnic groups with different histories, demographics, social patterns, and cultural values would nevertheless achieve identical results?

Sowell notes, too, the cases of a minority group with no political power nevertheless outperforming the dominant majority oppressing them. His favourite example was the successful Chinese minority in Southeast Asia. But he also has written about the Jews in Europe, the Igbos in Nigeria, the Germans in South America, the Lebanese in West Africa, and the Indians in East Africa. Perhaps the most striking American example is the Japanese. The Japanese peasant farmers who arrived on America’s western coast in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries faced laws barring them from landownership until 1952, in addition to suffering internment during World War II. Nevertheless, by 1960 they were out-earning white Americans.

Coleman Hughes, the author of the article above is also black - thus robbing you, and those on your side of what purports to be a debate of ad hominem attacks that anyone you don't like is a racist. Hughes notes that was the intellectual coward's response to Sowell during his career, too:

Like others with similar views on race, Sowell has encountered countless smears, though the usual avenues of attack—accusations of racism, privilege, and all the rest—have not been available. Someone should have told Aidan Byrne, who reviewed one of Sowell’s books for the London School of Economics blog. Doubtless convinced that he was delivering a devastating blow, Byrne quipped: “easy for a rich white man to say.” It’s hard not to laugh at this hapless reviewer’s expense, but many mainstream commentators differ from Byrne only in that they usually remember to check Google Images before launching their ad hominems. The prevailing notion today is that your skin colour, your chromosomes, your sexual orientation, and other markers of identity determine how you think. And it is generally those who see themselves as the most freethinking—“woke,” while the rest of us are asleep—who apply the strictest and most backward formulas.

5. Finally, I promised a UK example. It's from the bar rather than law firms, but LPC results show similar trends to BPTC results, so mutatis mutandis:

Differences in careers outcomes start at home: with parents, not with employers. The bar provides an interesting case study that is closely analogous for solicitors. Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) barristers are extremely limited, but as a practising barrister warned, this is because, "Given the current pool of candidates available, a system which solely rewards merit must necessarily come at the expense of diversity. This may be a bitter pill for the politically correct brigade to swallow, but the facts speak for themselves; the data clearly show a significant gap in the average aptitude of white and black applicants, and therefore we should EXPECT a significant gap in attainment.” Her full comment is below, and can also be found here (perhaps unsurprisingly, all comments were deleted from the article, hence needing to use an archived version): https://web.archive.org/web/20170424083501/http://www.legalcheek.com/2017/04/diversity-isnt-working-says-somali-refugee-who-beat-odds-to-become-a-barrister/

"'The lack of ‘diversity’ at the Bar can be explained by the lack of good-quality BME applicants coming through the system. This is more than evident from the BSB’s own figures:

Between 2011 and 2013, 1,963 white students completed the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). Of those, 296 (15.1%) attained a grade of ‘Outstanding’, whilst 108 (5.5%) failed the course altogether. Over the same period, 376-386* black students completed the BPTC. Of those, just 2 – 8 (0.5 – 2.1%) attained a grade of ‘Outstanding’, whilst 88 (22.8 – 23.4%) failed the course altogether. Put another way, white candidates are approximately 4x less likely to fail the BPTC than their black counterparts, and somewhere between 7 and 30x more likely to get an Outstanding. Given that the Bar Standards Board (BSB)’s own figures show that BPTC grade is a far better predictor of gaining pupillage than either degree grade or university attended, it’s little wonder that so few black students are getting pupillage.

People can argue that black people have fewer opportunities in early life and that this impacts their GCSE grades, A-level grades, University attended etc. People can likewise argue that pupillage committees are inherently biased and therefore subconsciously discriminate against black candidates. But, for all its faults, the BPTC is an extremely well-standardised course. Everyone, regardless of background, has access to the same teaching and access to the same course materials. Likewise, for the most part, everyone sits the same, blindly-marked exams. And yet, despite all of this, white candidates still significantly out-perform their black counterparts.

Clearly, therefore, any attempt to promote diversity for diversity’s sake – at least at the BPTC/Pupillage stage – is foolish and misguided. Given the current pool of candidates available, a system which solely rewards merit must necessarily come at the expense of diversity. This may be a bitter pill for the politically correct brigade to swallow, but the facts speak for themselves; the data clearly show a significant gap in the average aptitude of white and black applicants, and therefore we should EXPECT a significant gap in attainment. Now, I am not suggesting that the Bar should abandon its commendable attempts to tear down barriers and improve ACCESS to the Bar. It might be the case, for example, that for whatever reason gifted black students are simply less likely to apply to the BPTC than their white counterparts. Indeed, speaking as someone who myself comes from a ‘non-traditional background’, I have no doubt that some such barriers continue to exist; and no candidate should be led to believe that their creed, colour or gender makes them any better or worse suited to a career at the Bar. However, it’s important not to oversimplify the problem and blindly ascribe a lack of diversity in the profession to systemic prejudice. It’s likewise important to recognise that promoting ACCESS is not the same as promoting DIVERSITY. All too often people conflate the two. The first speaks to opportunity whereas the second speaks to results. Our only duty is to level the playing field, not the score.

Moreover, access aside, it is undoubtedly the case that there is a disproportionately large number of poor-quality black candidates applying to the BPTC. The figures clearly show that, whatever it is that explains the lack of good-quality black candidates, it is NOT a belief in the black community that the Bar is closed to people of colour. Therefore, we need to be very careful to ensure that we are sending the right message – namely, “the Bar is open to all people who have the ability, regardless of their colour”, NOT “we need more black candidates pursuing a career at the Bar”. In other words, what we need is a colour-blind system, NOT this ridiculous, facile, intellectually dishonest, politically-driven system we currently have, which is absolutely OBSESSED with people’s ethnicities and increasing ‘diversity’. In this regard, I am sorry to say that [Legal Cheek, the website on which this was originally published] is very much part of the problem. Every article questions why there are so few black barristers, rather than why there are so few good-quality black candidates. I have read many articles lamenting the underrepresentation of minority groups at the Bar. However, I have never read any acknowledgement whatsoever of the marked disparity in attainment between different ethnic groups at the application stage.

The BSB, Media and scorned students can whinge, whine, bleat and screech all they want, but sets of chambers will NOT start recruiting sub-par applicants simply because it promotes diversity in the profession. Unlike law firms, for example, chambers are far less invested in promoting a politically correct corporate message, and thus far more invested in recruiting candidates based on merit alone. Please abandon this relentless and myopic pursuit of ‘diversity’. And please, please, please, PLEASE, for the LOVE OF GOD, stop assuming that differences in attainment between whites/blacks, males/females, state-school/public school, northerners/southerners, gay/straight, left-handed/right-handed are always and necessarily attributable to systemic prejudice. It’s statistics 101: correlation does not imply causation, and just because any one group is underrepresented at the Bar, it does not necessarily mean that that group is discriminated against."
 

I hope that the above is useful.

Anon 27 November 20 17:55

There needs to be a character limit. I can't be reading all of these long posts. Don't you have work to do people?

Paul 27 November 20 19:49

Wow 'the West is going ...'

There's a government consultation you might be interested in 

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/ethnic-disparities-and-inequality-in-the-uk-call-for-evidence/ethnic-disparities-and-inequality-in-the-uk-call-for-evidence 

Although, somehow, I think you may have already contributed.  If not don't delay, you only have a few days left to respond.

 

Benny Goodman 28 November 20 10:44

@ The West is going down a dangerous path 27 November 20 16:54:

I fear you may be undermining rather than strengthening your argument by relying on the comments of Professor Wax. She is making an argument that black people are intellectually inferior - look her up. People with dark skin (and all kinds of hue of skin and facial features) graduate top of their class at excellent universities all around the world, including at the University of Pennsylvania.

White Privileged and Contrite 28 November 20 18:26

As a white person, these days I find it’s best to just shut up and listen rather than profess an opinion.

The West is going down a dangerous path 29 November 20 06:29

In reply to Benny Goodman on 28 November 20 at 10:44, thank you - feel free to ignore Wax. The other links remain valid however. In reply to White Privileged and Contrite on 28 November 20 at 18:26:

1. Evidence and facts matter; the manipulated emotions of an ignorant, extremist political minority do not. The latter pollute the discourse, promote division and disharmony, and should be countered with evidence and facts. 'Locking people into an unalterable hierarchy of suffering, pitting groups that we were born into against one another, nurturing persecution and offering up an overly simplistic interpretation of history all seem perfectly designed to prepare the field for [racial conflict]' (https://quillette.com/2020/11/22/kin-tribes-and-the-dark-side-of-identity).

2. Kemi Badenoch, the Equality Minister, who happens to be black, excoriated critical race theory and the 'politics of grievance' in a House of Commons speech on 20 October 2020 which can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vf7yX9ESRc. I commend it to you. Badenoch, in a subsequent interview, cited one of her influences as Thomas Sowell, a noted economist and one of America's great public intellectuals (he also happens to be black). (She specifically cited Powell's 1975 book Race and Economics.)

3. If you want to listen to other black people's views, I recommend that you read books by Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Glenn Loury, John McWhorter and Coleman Taylor. You won't have heard them, because of the unfortunate bifurcation of the US, and increasingly also the UK, media means that black conservative voices have been ignored. It's a point that Sowell himself makes: Advocates of diversity in a race or gender sense are often quite hostile to ideological diversity, when it includes traditional or "conservative" values and beliefs. I cannot understand people who say that minorities should be represented everywhere and yet are upset when there are blacks represented in the conservative movement. Not even visiting speakers with a conservative viewpoint are tolerated on many campuses. It seems incredible that there would be fears that a one-hour lecture would undo years of indoctrination. (emphasis added).

Here's a concise 2015 article by Sowell reiterating the disparate outcomes ≠ racism point:

 

The 'Equality' Racket

By Dr. Thomas Sowell, 6 January 2015, https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/01/15/the-equality-racket

Some time ago, burglars in England scrawled a message on the wall of a home they had looted: "RICH BASTARDS." Those two words captured the spirit of the politicized vision of equality — that it was a grievance when someone was better off than themselves.

That, of course, is not the only meaning of equality, but it is the predominant political meaning in practice, where economic "disparities" and "gaps" are automatically treated as "inequities." If one racial or ethnic group has a lower income than another, that is automatically called "discrimination" by many people in politics, the media and academia.

It doesn't matter how much evidence there is that some groups work harder in school, perform better and spend more postgraduate years studying to acquire valuable skills in medicine, science or engineering. If the economic end results are unequal, that is treated as a grievance against those with better outcomes, and a sign of an "unfair" society. 

The rhetoric of clever people often confuses the undeniable fact that life is unfair with the claim that a given institution or society is unfair.

Children born into families that raise them with love and with care to see that they acquire knowledge, values and discipline that will make them valuable members of society have far more chances of economic and other success in adulthood than children raised in families that lack these qualities.

Studies show that children whose parents have professional careers speak nearly twice as many words per hour to them as children with working class parents — and several times as many words per hour as children in families on welfare. There is no way that children from these different backgrounds are going to have equal chances of economic or other success in adulthood.

The fatal fallacy, however, is in collecting statistics on employees at a particular business or other institution, and treating differences in the hiring, pay or promotion of people from different groups as showing that their employer has been discriminating.

Too many gullible people buy the implicit assumption that the unfairness originated where the statistics were collected, which would be an incredible coincidence if it were true. Worse yet, some people buy the idea that politicians can correct the unfairness of life by cracking down on employers. But, by the time children raised in very different ways reach an employer, the damage has already been done. What is a problem for children raised in families and communities that do not prepare them for productive lives can be a bonanza for politicians, lawyers and assorted social messiahs who are ready to lead fierce crusades, if the price is right.

Many in the media and among the intelligentsia are all too ready to go along, in the name of seeking equality. But equality of what? Equality before the law is a fundamental value in a decent society. But equality of treatment in no way guarantees equality of outcomes. On the contrary, equality of treatment makes equality of outcomes unlikely, since virtually nobody is equal to somebody else in the whole range of skills and capabilities required in real life. When it comes to performance, the same man may not even be equal to himself on different days, much less at different periods of his life.

What may be a spontaneous confusion among the public at large about the very different meanings of the word "equality" can be a carefully cultivated confusion by politicians, lawyers and others skilled in rhetoric, who can exploit that confusion for their own benefit.

Regardless of the actual causes of different capabilities and rewards in different individuals and groups, political crusades require a villain to attack — a villain far removed from the voter or the voter's family or community. Lawyers must likewise have a villain to sue. The media and the intelligentsia are also attracted to crusades against the forces of evil.

But whether as a crusade or a racket, a confused conception of equality is a formula for never-ending strife that can tear a whole society apart — and has already done so in many countries.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is www.tsowell.com. (emphases added)

The West is going down a dangerous path 29 November 20 06:45

Here is some further reading for White Privileged and Contrite whose comment on 28 November 20 at 18:26 suggests that they are well-intentioned but ignorant.

I have already recommended the books of the black authors who I cited above, but I respect that everyone is busy, and it is easier to parrot Guardian headlines than to buy and read books. The following articles therefore provide an more immediately accessible insight into a more evidence-based view of reality than the 'politics of grievance/victimhood olympics/critical race theory' cult:

https://unherd.com/thepost/coleman-hughes-the-moral-case-against-blm

https://unherd.com/2020/06/facts-vs-feelings-in-the-blm-debate

https://unherd.com/2020/06/british-and-american-black-experience-are-not-the-same

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/i-don-t-support-blm-and-neither-should-you

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/06/08/these-protests-have-nothing-to-do-with-racism/

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/06/09/re-educate-yourself/

https://unherd.com/2020/06/the-woke-have-no-vision-of-the-future

https://unherd.com/2020/06/how-the-left-betrayed-feminism

https://quillette.com/2020/06/17/white-saviors-need-to-leave-the-room/

https://quillette.com/2020/07/03/affirmative-action-in-a-multiethnic-nation/

https://www.city-journal.org/racism-is-an-empty-thesis

https://unherd.com/2020/06/british-and-american-black-experience-are-not-the-same

https://www.salisburyreview.com/blog/the-cause-of-race-relations-has-been-set-back-decades-by-the-blm/

https://www.salisburyreview.com/blog/race-grifters-and-poverty-pimps/

https://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2020/06/david-green-johnsons-racial-inequality-inquiry-must-be-free-from-political-prejudice-here-are-my-tips-for-getting-it-right.html

https://unherd.com/2020/06/how-us-journalism-lost-its-spine

https://unherd.com/2020/06/minority-women-can-think-for-themselves

https://unherd.com/2020/06/the-danger-of-human-categories

https://unherd.com/thepost/why-capitalise-black-but-not-white/

https://lawliberty.org/the-facts-on-race-crime-and-policing-in-america/

https://lawliberty.org/justice-means-punishment/

https://areomagazine.com/2020/06/17/critical-race-theory-has-gone-mainstream/

https://newdiscourses.com/2020/06/do-better-than-critical-race-theory/

https://quillette.com/2020/06/11/racist-police-violence-reconsidered/

http://hurryupharry.org/2020/06/21/the-ethnic-minority-test-why-women-like-munira-mirza-are-doomed-to-fail/

https://areomagazine.com/2020/06/24/police-violence-and-race-why-the-data-matter-and-why-they-dont/

https://thecritic.co.uk/issues/july-august-2020/black-lives-matter-pushing-division-not-unity/

https://thecritic.co.uk/its-not-racist-not-to-support-black-lives-matter/

https://thecritic.co.uk/its-not-racist-not-to-support-black-lives-matter/

https://unherd.com/thepost/coleman-hughes-the-moral-case-against-blm

https://thecritic.co.uk/the-equalities-agenda-has-backfired/

https://www.city-journal.org/reflections-on-race-riots-and-police

https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/new-truth-rationalism-religion

https://unherd.com/2020/07/the-ugly-truth-about-the-blm-protests

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/07/cancel-culture-and-problem-woke-capitalism/614086/

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-lost-boys-the-white-working-class-is-being-left-behind

https://www.city-journal.org/conversation-on-race-and-equality

https://www.aier.org/article/systemic-racism-theory-is-the-new-tribalism/

https://nonsite.org/editorial/how-racial-disparity-does-not-help-make-sense-of-patterns-of-police-violence-2

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/07/27/the-protests-were-whiter-than-the-police-department/

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/we-are-living-in-a-post-truth-society

https://reason.com/2020/08/06/81-percent-of-black-americans-want-the-same-level-or-more-of-police-presence-gallup/

https://thecritic.co.uk/blm-racists-dont-speak-for-me/

https://unherd.com/2020/08/how-white-radicals-hijacked-portlands-protests/

https://unherd.com/2020/07/is-it-any-wonder-were-so-divided/

https://newdiscourses.com/2020/07/hurtling-toward-totalitarianism-call-action-defense-all-we-hold-dear/

https://www.city-journal.org/thomas-sowell-race-poverty-culture

https://areomagazine.com/2020/08/05/we-cant-just-oppose-racism-we-must-transcend-race/

https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/media-great-racial-awakening

https://blog.simplejustice.us/2020/08/09/which-is-to-be-master/

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/when-everything-is-racist-nothing-is

https://thecritic.co.uk/blm-is-a-politically-contentious-issue/

https://www.city-journal.org/academia-systemic-racism

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/identity-politics-has-shattered-america-h395p3gzs

https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/markets-in-everything-the-booming-industry-of-social-justice/

https://notesonliberty.com/longform-essays/systemic-racism-a-rationalist-take/

https://www.city-journal.org/marxist-revolutionaries-black-lives-matter

www.wsj.com/articles/what-islamists-and-wokeists-have-in-common-11599779507

https://www.city-journal.org/disparate-impact-analysis

https://www.city-journal.org/contributor/heather-mac-donald_122

https://thecritic.co.uk/the-myth-behind-blms-peaceful-protests/

https://quillette.com/2020/09/13/anti-racist-structuralists-and-non-racist-culturalists/

https://quillette.com/2020/09/17/black-lives-matter-and-the-mechanics-of-conformity/

https://www.city-journal.org/wells-fargo-discrimination-fallacy

https://quillette.com/2020/10/08/the-prescience-of-shelby-steele

wsj.com/articles/where-have-the-honest-liberals-gone-11602025882

https://areomagazine.com/2020/10/13/americas-racial-reckoning-a-post-mortem/

https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2020-10-13-the-washington-post-does-george-floyd-toxic-and-patronizing

https://lawliberty.org/the-duty-to-monitor-diversity-training/

https://www.takimag.com/article/our-new-religion-of-race/print

https://www.takimag.com/article/just-knock-it-off/print

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/jodi-shaw-smith-college-havel-college-staffer/

https://quillette.com/2020/08/10/how-to-fight-the-enemies-of-academic-freedom/

https://www.city-journal.org/california-voters-reject-proposition-16-racial-quotas

https://forward.com/opinion/451099/a-new-intelligentsia-is-pushing-back-against-wokeness/

https://www.cirsd.org/en/horizons/horizons-autumn-2020-issue-no-17/when-black-lives-matter---thoughts-on-the-persistence-of-racial-inequality-in-america

https://lawliberty.org/shelby-steele-and-americas-poetic-truths/

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/504569-what-killed-michael-brown-amazon/amp/

https://worldandeverything.org/2020/10/review-what-killed-michael-brown/

https://www.city-journal.org/exposing-diversity-mandates

https://www.wsj.com/articles/law-firm-clients-demand-more-black-attorneys-11604313000 (comments more informative than the article)

https://quillette.com/2020/11/15/does-racism-explain-black-disadvantage/

https://quillette.com/2020/11/17/workers-vs-wokeness-recognizing-campus-social-justice-as-a-luxury-good/

https://quillette.com/2020/11/22/kin-tribes-and-the-dark-side-of-identity

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-inauthenticity-behind-black-lives-matter-11606069287

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/kemi-badenoch-the-problem-with-critical-race-theory

Kemi Badenoch Commons speech, 20 October 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vf7yX9ESRc

Thomas Sowell's website: www.tsowell.com

Some articles by Sowell https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/01/15/the-equality-racket

"Everything is racism" - compilation of left-wing lunacy helpfully compiled by Titania McGrath: https://twitter.com/titaniamcgrath/status/1281023987242487808

 

Toby Greenlord, Freeman on the Land 29 November 20 10:35

The west is going down a dangerous path.

It certainly is.  As the wealth of the super-rich has massively increased, millions of previously securely employed people have joined the precariat and become marginalised.  And they are being encouraged to blame the world's weakest and most marginalised for problems caused by a system that is designed to hoard wealth in the hands of a few.

When ignorant shills start blaming inequality on those who campaign for equality then we must counter them and stop their lies.  If they gain any traction then decency and hope is lost.

On the bright side, the increase in their efforts is a sign of desperation.  They are losing.

Mistress Fanny Goodbody, Freewoman on the Land 29 November 20 14:53

You know it's gone a bit Pete Tong when the site's resident fascist starts setting homework.

LOL 29 November 20 16:36

At least Quinn’s London arbitration practice is managing to stay relevant, somehow. Not like that bunch has done much recently. Shame they’re only able to grab headlines these days through their complete lack of judgement. 

Anonymous 30 November 20 00:54

It's so sad that what was once a nice, if argumentative, forum like RoF has been taken over by political trolls and extremists.

Is this going to end up another place which decent people shy away from because racists with agendas spout poison and pretend there doing us a favour?

I hope not, but I'll probably start looking elsewhere for my legal news unless you clean it up.

They banned this sort of crap on my guitar forum and everyone there gets on despite diverse views - mind you I didn't see anyone posting reading lists.  Perhaps the difference is that they're sane.

The West is going down a dangerous path 30 November 20 11:03

Trevor Phillips in this morning's Times, usefully answers the evidence-free whinges of the commenters above whose feelings are hurt, and who threaten to hurl their toys in the corner because other people (a) have different opinions; and (b) unlike the woke, have invested time and effort to understand the issues and can thus adduce evidence in support of their opinions. He warns:

"The woke" wield power not as a shield but as a scourge. They demand obedience from the unorthodox and silence from the insubordinate. Fear of being denounced as sexist, racist, Islamophobic or transphobic is destroying freedoms so many have worked so long and hard to achieve. [...] there is no excuse for the grown-ups in the room to capitulate to what they must know is the return of grey, repressive, mindless conformity.

Trevor Phillips is black and professionally secure. You'll have to work harder to threaten him. The default slurs of FASCIST! (see above) or RACISM! (also see above) won't work. Your move.

 

--- The woke are gaslighting us into surrender ---

The ousting of a Guardian writer after staff outcry shows how badly institutions have lost the plot
Trevor Phillips, The Times, Monday November 30 2020, 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/the-woke-are-gaslighting-us-into-surrender-7sfszgrr9

In Gaslight, the 1944 film adaptation of Patrick Hamilton’s classic play, a young opera singer is driven slowly mad by her scheming older husband, bent on taking possession of jewels bequeathed by her aunt. Footsteps in the attic, the mysterious disappearances of valuable objects, the repeated, inexplicable flickering of the lights lead the young woman to fear that she is losing her mind. In a luminous, Oscar-winning performance, Ingrid Bergman is transformed from an accomplished, vivacious star to a timid, cowering shadow of a woman.

Today, millennials are taking their revenge and gaslighting the grown-ups. In every institution, those in authority are wilting under their j’accuse. Not even the humble full stop is safe. According to the Countdown presenter Susie Dent, replying to a young friend who has acquired a new job with the single word “Great.” might indicate resentment at her success; the proper degree of enthusiasm requires an exclamation mark, as in “Great!” (or possibly a clapping-hands emoji).

Dismayingly, those allegedly responsible for the education of young minds are caving under the pressure and abandoning principle for the quiet life. Cambridge University is proposing a change in statutes that would require staff to display respect for the views of all colleagues — inter alia misogynists, fascists, Islamists, homophobes, flat-Earthers, climate change deniers, racists and antisemites. Despite a spirited campaign led by a minority academic, Arif Ahmed, the five men and one woman who occupy the most senior roles in the university — all white — appear to have been manipulated into overturning centuries of dedication to freedom of thought and tolerance under the guise of compassion for minorities. Maybe when they read the “woke” bible White Fragility, they took the title as an instruction to deliver rather than a warning to avoid.

The defenestration of the veteran Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore marks the latest surrender (https://unherd.com/2020/11/why-i-had-to-leave-the-guardian). A letter signed by 338 colleagues declared the paper’s offices no longer a safe space for trans people, after Moore wrote a column reminding readers that trans women are trans women and not women. Until recently, power of dismissal lay in the hands of editors rather than on the keyboards of software developers, engineers and “customer optimisers”. So far, no senior person at the paper or at its owner, the Scott Trust, has owned up to leaning on Moore to leave but in an impassioned online essay the writer accused her former employers of “cowardice” and being swept along in “witch-burning”.

Some of those in authority claim that they are listening to the voices of “the kids”; actually I would say what they are hearing is their own whimpering under fire. Instead of defending progressive diversity our elites are becoming the enthusiastic enforcers of a Stalinist conformity. The woke affect concern for the vulnerable but in fact display contempt rather than compassion. Last week’s Universities UK report on racial harassment boasts that it was compiled with the support of “members drawn exclusively from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups to ensure due prominence was given to the voices of those with lived experience of racial harassment”. It drips with condescension towards people of colour, implying that we are utterly incapable of uttering a coherent sentence in the presence of our white masters.

The successful gaslighting of the grown-ups is a triumph for the narcissism of hurt feelings. Most wokery rests on unsubstantiated fears of “offence”. In the US, the adoption of the neologism “Latinx” has spread through the elite crowd in yet another genuflection to the noisy claque of trans activists who would like to erase women from every language. Yet a poll in August showed that only 3 per cent of people in America’s diverse, Hispanic heritage population use the term.

Grown-up spines might be stiffened by a viewing of Gaslight and Bergman’s chilling revenge on her tormentor, using his own tactics to condemn him to the rope. In an ironic reversal, the authorities at Eton College are being taken to task by their own pupils. Hundreds have signed a petition contesting what they say is a ruling by the head master that “anything that can be deemed ‘hostile’ by any single member of one of the school’s designated minority groups will be censored”. They make a cast-iron case for the principles of natural justice. I agree; even the most militant feminist or anti-racist should balk at trial by a jury of one. It is bizarre to find the most entitled “kids” in our nation admonishing the adults for losing the plot but, increasingly, the tide is turning.

In the few brief years when progressives had power we tried to use it to protect the vulnerable. The woke claim to be doing the same. But in fact they wield power not as a shield but as a scourge. They demand obedience from the unorthodox and silence from the insubordinate. Fear of being denounced as sexist, racist, Islamophobic or transphobic is destroying freedoms so many have worked so long and hard to achieve. I find it hard to blame the millennials for falling for the nonsense of wokery. They are too young to recall the stifling white, middle-class, patriarchal orthodoxy that Britain began to leave behind half a century ago. But there is no excuse for the grown-ups in the room to capitulate to what they must know is the return of grey, repressive, mindless conformity. (emphases added)

Anonymous 30 November 20 12:13

Oh God.

In the end human society will not be destroyed by great minds or great evil, just a bunch of basement-dwelling mummy's boys sat in front of Tesco laptops in their underpants and filling the breaks between their sessions of compulsive masturbation with fantasies of crusades, race-wars and The Great Replacement.

They'll simply bore the rest of us to death.

What a waste.

Anonymous 30 November 20 23:19

@ Anonymous 30 November 20 12:13

One can't help thinking that the reason the world is in the state it is 24 hour news looking for things to fill the spaces between advertisements and the internet making it easy for angry, paranoid idiots to find each other.

Toby Greenlord, Freeman on the Land 01 December 20 10:15

Just because David Icke thinks that the queen is a lizard doesn't mean he's wrong about everything.

It's just his opinion.  He's allowed to have it.

He might be right.

It's possible.

Nobody really knows.

Anonymous 01 December 20 17:45

It's all about George Soros making the queen farm children so that they can drink the blood.

I saw something about it on This Morning after a bit on a skateboarding pony.

Vivien 02 December 20 10:37

@The West is going down a dangerous path The fundamental issue with your argument is that you are demanding proof that adding women and "diverse" candidates on boards etc has tangible benefits compared to a predominantly white male business leadership. However, the right to not be discriminated against on the basis of race or gender/sex is not merit-based or evidence-based. It is an ethical proposition that we, as a society, have accepted we want to live by. No one should have the burden of proving, using a set of arbitrary criteria, that they are worth equal treatment. There is no way to show that in any falsifiable way and it does not serve anyone. 

Anonymous 02 December 20 16:10

On Parler, platform of choice for the right-wing nutjob, people post pictures of their own excrement if they disagree with you.

RoF needs to up its game.

Anonymous 03 December 20 06:56

I love you Toby Greenlord.

But it gives me a sad that there are people who can read the phrase "thinks the queen is a lizard" and not realise that you are mocking that ridiculous man.

You only have to look to know that Philip is the Lizard.

Toby Greenlord, Freeman on the Land 03 December 20 20:22

For anyone who doesn't get it, I find it helps to say the phrase "he thinks the queen is a lizard" in your serious voice, as if you were giving a summing up in front of one of those judges who describes pop bands as "beat music combos" (if any such judges still exist).  It doesn't take many repetitions until you dissolve into laughter.

Toby Greenlord, Freeman on the Land 03 December 20 20:23

And I say this as one who has represented himself in front of many judges and caused every single one to dissolve into laughter.

So I know what I'm talking about.

Anonymous 04 December 20 09:33

Is LP a man? Correct me if I am wrong but it doesn’t look like it’s stated. If not here is an entirely possible scenario (that arises a lot): white woman complains about lack of female representation then tacks on issue of lack of BAME to show wokeness. 

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