Sunday, November 14, 2021

Intersectionality - The Art of Gaining Power Through the Unthought 'Ohh!'

Previously, we've covered the Semantic Deception at the heart of modern education; how that defines the nature of SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) and its chief promoter, CASEL. The last post, looked at how the 'CASEL 5 Competencies' evades or undermines the fundamentals of sound character by teaching more
The fourth of five posts making up the substance of a presentation I gave to parents in the Lindbergh School District
politically useful activities of activism. Although SEL itself is but 26yrs old, the ideals and intentions animating it have been central to modernist education for at least a dozen decades - the only thing new today is how open they've become about what their beliefs are, and that new-found openness should concern you. I find it concerning, because despite having succeeded in their long march through the institutions, the Left wasn't able to fully capitalize on the power they had - with the popular quip in mind that's fittingly misattributed to Voltaire, that: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize”, note that until very recently the Left's ideals of Political Correctness were routinely made into punchlines by late-night comedians from Johnny Carson to Jimmy Fallon, because the Left had no real power amongst the American people outside of its core institutions. And yet today, of our several late-night comedians, each one is wokier than the last, and all are visibly afraid of misspeaking themselves into the crosshairs of cancel culture.

What's changed? How did the opinions of ludicrous nobodies armed only with the obscure dregs of humanities degrees, become relevant - feared even - by CEO's and Comedians, with ideas that endanger students and even threaten their parents?

Short answer: Intersectionality put the poke in woke. As James Lindsay details it, Intersectionality is the means by which academia 'Forged the Woke One Ring’, and together with SEL's tool of DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), their combined power is being focused through the lens of race/gender/sexuality/etc., to decenter and consume the jewels of The West (philosophy, knowledge, virtue, justice and the Rule of Law). If you are foolish enough to laugh that off, or worse, take their bait and try and oppose them on the grounds of race/gender/sexuality/etc. - which they so desperately want you to do - you'll be consumed by them too.

Don't take the bait. Fix your Semantic Deception detection goggles securely in place, and in looking past the surfaces, you'll see that nothing *Woke* is what it appears to be, and that it endangers even those appearances of fairness and decency which are used to attract people to it. No longer a punchline, but a serious threat, you need to understand what it is, what its threat is, and understand what fear it has of you - which is what we're doing here.

What Intersectionality is
Kimberle Crenshaw, who identifies as being a black lesbian woman (in that order), is the academic that devised Intersectionality, and she's also, along with her mentor Derrick Bell, one of the co-creators of Critical Race Theory - she's the one who named it that. The Intersectionality which she devised in response to a SCOTUS discrimination case involving women and minorities, one of which, DeGraffenreid vs General Motors, concluded:
"...Title VII does not indicate that the goal of the statute was to create a new classification of "black women" who would have greater standing than, for example, a black male. The prospect of the creation of new classes of protected minorities, governed only by the mathematical principles of permutation and combination, clearly raises the prospect of opening the hackneyed Pandora's box..."
, and Crenshaw, seemingly liking the idea of opening Pandora's Box, devised Intersectionality on that model of creating special classes, and it turned out to be a remarkably exploitable wedge for getting people to nod along with your position, while at the same time turning them against the essentials of their own positions.

Taking a page from the *Woke* who believe that the narrative is more important than facts, I think Intersectionality's impact can first be best grasped through a visual narrative, rather than by description alone, through an old political cartoon (I couldn't find it, but this is the gist of it), which immediately conveys the sense that Crenshaw intended intersectionality to invoke:
Intersectional Narrative: The Unthought 'Ohh!'
You feel the shock of the secretary struck at the intersection of being a woman & a minority, you get that immediate 'Ohh!' which a powerful argument might argue you into, you feel as if you understand her position and the need to solve it. But the reality is that you haven't yet thought about her position at all, or how to solve it; you've heard no argument, and you have only been presented with an image of one, and those unthought feelings & assumptions, are what Intersectionality is intended to provoke in people (to begin with), with the 'Unthought 'Ohh!' of:
"Clearly [...insert aggrieved group here...] is oppressed by our society and justice demands [...insert action here...] now!".
Sure, just as getting struck by circumstances beyond your control would be bad enough, getting hit at the intersection of two or more circumstances of identity that're beyond your control, would be worse. That can be a valid point, but Intersectionality not only doesn't stop there - except as cover for what it hopes most people won't look past, it doesn't even start there. Intersectionality doesn't seek (or want) justice for an individual 'run over' at the intersection of the identities of being a minority, a lesbian, and a woman, etc., etc., etc., what it seeks is to stir up enough impassioned popular opinion so that those in govt can use that popular uproar as justification for exercising power on behalf of all such identities, regardless of whether or not they've actually been wronged, and it does so in full awareness that such actions are incompatible with, and directly undermine, the foundations of the Western understanding of Law and our Constitution's support for Individual Rights in general, and of Property in particular. Undermining and eliminating those foundations and features, is Intersectionality's stated purpose (you need only read her papers to see the truth of that).

The 1st paper that Crenshaw wrote on it in 1989, Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics, made an impact, but her 1993 paper "Mapping the Margins“, unlocked the power of passionate activism which has surged well beyond any legal points it might've made. For those inclined to Marxist sentiments, it dialectically shifts the center of power from out of the narrow binary of haves vs have-nots, and expands it into a more fluid oppressor/oppressed matrix that is then easily made central to any & all relationships, and becomes a means of injecting activism into an unlimited number of social situations, each invoked with no more argument than the Unthought 'Ohh!' of framing the opposition of identities.

What Lindsay focuses on in particular, is Crenshaw's footnote #9, which might not appear to be much to look at:
  • "...9. I consider intersectionality a provisional concept linking contemporary politics with postmodern theory. In mapping the intersections of race and gender, the concept does engage dominant assumptions that race and gender are essentially separate categories. By tracing the categories to their intersections, I hope to suggest a methodology that will ultimately disrupt the tendencies to see race and gender as exclusive or separable. While the primary intersections that between race and gender, the concept can and should be expanded by factoring in issues such as class, sexual orientation, age, and color.”
, but as that first sentence lays out the strategy for employing it, and is what Lindsay identifies as being “The birthplace of Wokeness”, it's worth taking a 2nd look at:
  • "I consider intersectionality a provisional concept linking contemporary politics with postmodern theory
What Intersectionality's threat is
Granted, it may not look like much, but in action that line formulates the philosophical napalm that's been setting our world on fire since it was introduced by linking law, and social activism, up with post-modernism. One reason that's such a flammable combination, is that a core technique of Post-Modernism is the brazen use of reframing and equivocation in order to misidentify & redefine terms into what they once were not (see Jacques Derrida "“Structure, Sign, and Play"), and then using that accompanying loss of clarity as a means of gaining power over what they're referring to (See Foucault). Interestingly, the mechanics of the process bears more than a passing resemblance to Zeno's Paradoxes from ancient Greece, as with the 'lived experience' of the fleetfooted Achilles being unable to overtake a tortoise, because:
"...The tortoise has a head start, so if Achilles hopes to overtake it, he must run at least as far as the place where the tortoise presently is, but by the time he arrives there, it will have crawled to a new place, so then Achilles must run at least to this new place, but the tortoise meanwhile will have crawled on, and so forth. Achilles will never catch the tortoise..."
, Zeno showed how easy it is for an artful reframing (shifting your focus from a continuous race, to a division of successive halves) and equivocation (the speed which runners move through a single distance, is made equivalent with a static comparison of each runners separate progress through divided distances) can trap you with your own intellect, make you question whether running is faster than crawling, and whether or not motion itself is even possible (self-defense tip: Don't step into the frame). Similarly, Post-Modernist's use framing and equivocation to verbally blur one position into a very different position altogether, through elaborately critical descriptions which alter the meanings of key cultural terms (hello 'Birthing People', goodbye 'Mother') - Foucault once authored an article arguing that there is no such thing as an author - and then they belittle you for still believing 'the old' meaning... that's postmodernism in a nutshall, and it's not only in our schools, but is now moving rapidly through our laws, and drives those who're agitating for what both of those should be.

What began with Crenshaw's intersection of race and gender', quickly "...expanded by factoring in issues such as class, sexual orientation, age, and color...", and its having been taken up by every grievance group imaginable has led to the 'exasperated etc.,' of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, native language speaker, disabled, etc., etc., etc.,. The *Woke* disavow the concept of a person being conceived of as a single individual who possesses several identifiable traits, but prefers instead to 'think' of them as an intersectional point in the collective identities of Black, Female, Lesbian, etc., a process that has even worked its way into National Carreer Day Development:
  • “…A privileged position and identity inherently benefits from oppression. Further, oppression is experienced differently depending on a person’s identities. People can simultaneously hold a privileged position and oppressed identity depending on where their identities fall on the axes of privilege….”
, and identifying the intersections of those identities, has become something like the ‘compound interest’ of *wokeness*, where the varieties of ‘oppressor/oppressed’ are compounded into a viable currency of power, first by tallying up how much less power that each of those identities have had because of our society systemically oppressing them, and then by framing all attention upon those aggrieved identities (Diversity), to transform them into tangible unit measures of how much preference & privilege that society now owes them in order to equalize their social power balance sheets (Equity), to determine how best Govt should forcibly redistribute the owed powers to the aggrieved in order to produce 'Fairness' (Inclusion).

That Intersectional calculation of DEI is the same process that is encouraged when you go along with a school's efforts to have 'equitable programs' and 'promote diversity' and to 'be more inclusive' or 'antiracist', and by which advanced classes are taken away from everyone because some aren't qualified, and it's how businesses and people are being cancelled from their jobs and from their lives, under the pressure of the impassioned activism that is provoked by the Intersectional unthought 'Ohhh!'.

SEL's Diversity Equity and Inclusion, is CRT's Intersectionality in action, and not just in academia, it's abusing people throughout all aspects of our lives. It's that ideological firehose of Intersectionality, that power-washed away the old siloed definitions and arguments of progressivism that once contained the radical left within the obscure haunts of various policy wonks and set them loose into popular opinion through the action of the unthought 'Ohh!', so that where once the Late-Night comics relentlessly and hilariously lampooned every aspect of Political Correctness, they now shudder in the fear of not appearing to be *Woke* enough.

There's an almost 'mystical' sense to the unthought 'Ohh!' of 'knowing' of identities without individuals, without logic, or judgement, or reasons for them, which only the authentically *Woke* are quickly installed as the gurus of what that 'knowing' really feels like, and all others must submit to their revealed perceptions. Towards that end, the *Woke* begin calculating a 'persons' intersectional value with the help of DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - which CASEL has injected into SEL in order to support Social Justice), splitting a 'persons' identity into a legion of oppressor/oppressed identities (People Of Color (POC), homosexual, non-binary, ‘differently abled’, non-Christian, Socialist, Trans, etc.). And like the cartoon, it requires no thought to 'get' it, and it provides a righteous, thoughtless sense of power and superiority to those who do somehow 'get' it, and act on it, absolving you of any burden of having to explain it with a simple 'you just don't get it, only the authentically oppressed [race/gender/sexuality/etc.,] can!'. Where the old 'liberal' Left required engaging in a reasonable argument, Intersectionality provides the power of 'being right' simply by being authentically *Woke*.

The conceptual vandalism that's emerged from Crenshaw's footnote #9, has disrupted our society at every turn, through something very much like what Marx had in mind when advising the use of ‘unrelenting criticism to dismantle society’, to the point that our concepts, our customs, our perceptions, are being reduced to a muddle - from 'birthing people', to toxic-masculinity, to logic & merit as signs of 'white supremacy', and 'it's only property' - so that our customs and our laws now pose neither a barrier nor a threat to their progress. Our schools which have 'legitimized' this dialectic through various '___ Studies' programs and degrees based upon them, has freed the *Woke* from our cultural constraints, and has left us without a conceptual ground to stand upon that's anymore solid than quicksand.

These are not simply word games, they particularly 'play' with the words we use to restrain power and violence with, and those lives lost through the riots of 2020, lay fully at the door of decades of this poison flowing through our schools. As will the horrors that will follow from them in the very near future, if we don't start taking it as being the lethally serious threat that it is

When challenged about the furor and backlash that intersectionality has created, Crenshaw, with the same degree of duplicity as Gloria Ladson-Billings telling NPR that 'I don't know that it [CRT] does apply to the classroom' (despite having written 'Toward a Critical Race Theory of Education' in order to import CRT into Teachers Colleges, so that all teachers would be trained to teach their students from the standpoint of Critical Race Theory), Crenshaw cheerfully feigns an 'aw shucks' face over it, as she does in this Vox article on her:
"...Crenshaw has watched all this with no small measure of surprise. “This is what happens when an idea travels beyond the context and the content,” she said."..."
What her idea was, she insists, was only a simple legal theory. Maybe so... but someone really ought to question what type of law that is a theory of, when those studying it, such as this former graduate student of Crenshaw's, have come to believe notions such as what Vox article notes:
"...Minofu described Crenshaw’s understanding of intersectionality as “not really concerned with shallow questions of identity and representation but ... more interested in the deep structural and systemic questions about discrimination and inequality..."
Note that Identity and Representation are rather central to our society and to our system of law, and yet her student demeans identifying whether and why something is, as being 'shallow', while the perception of the thoughtless 'Ohhh! is to be treated as having real substance. It's important to realize that they think that, not because it makes sense to, but because that is how they've decided to see that, and our society, and their role in it. To them, it is the ideals of impartial justice and equality before the law, which are:
"... a delusion as comforting as it was dangerous. Crenshaw didn’t believe racism ceased to exist in 1965 with the passage of the Civil Rights Act, nor that racism was a mere multi-century aberration that, once corrected through legislative action, would no longer impact the law or the people who rely upon it..."
Again, she's not interested in targeting bad law, what she is targeting is the idea of a neutral, benign state, where lady Justice is expected to be blindfolded against improper influence, what she is targeting is the use of objective judgement and reasoning, which are central to our Constitutional ideal of Law - those are what is bad and unjust to the *Woke*. Her position necessarily requires exiling Justice and Truth from the legal process altogether, and reducing our understanding of the Rule of Law, to a power-based bartering of positions between the lords of various popular pressure groups. A just sense of Justice, is of no value to any flavor of Social Justice, because Social Justice requires the engine of race/gender/sexuality/etc and intersectional ideology to declare what is authentically 'fair', and the nightmarishly un-Western world that will necessarily accompany that, is what it is all about. To accomplish that, requires educating the American out of Americans, and that is the reason why CRT & SEL are in our schools. They've spent decades stating exactly that in their nauseatingly numerous policy papers and expensive gatherings, secure in the knowledge that no normal people would ever pay attention to what they said and did there, and we are paying the price for our negligence now.

What your threat is to them - seeing through the Semantic Deception
What they do their very best to appear to not see, is the circular reasoning inherent in their positions, as the author of the Vox article seems to be oblivious to:
"...There was no “rational” explanation for the racial wealth gap that existed in 1982 and persists today, or for minority underrepresentation in spaces that were purportedly based on “colorblind” standards. Rather, as Crenshaw wrote, discrimination remains because of the “stubborn endurance of the structures of white dominance” — in other words, the American legal and socioeconomic order was largely built on racism.

Before the arguments raised by the originators of critical race theory, there wasn’t much criticism describing the way structures of law and society could be intrinsically racist, rather than simply distorted by racism while otherwise untainted with its stain. So there weren’t many tools for understanding how race worked in those institutions."
Even as they ridicule the Right (and the old Left, as well) for living in an imaginary world, their root assumption, or the pretext for it anyway, is that the only *rational* explanation is to assume that their conclusions must be so because otherwise they wouldn't make sense, that there is a 'racial wealth gap', because there must be oppression of race/gender/sexuality/etc - or else there wouldn't be one and their ideas wouldn't work, which to them would be cra-cra-zy. So of course the American legal and 'socioeconomic order' is built upon racism - that is what 'systemic racism' means. The narrative demands that it be asserted as fact, no matter what an objective view of the facts might indicate ('narrative is more important than facts').

Yes, that is running circular rings around circular reasoning, yes it is irrational, and yes it seems insane - but there's more to it than that, and honestly, its worse than simply being insane.

They do understand that being Rational requires paying attention to facts, and drawing conclusions that are logically derivable from them. It's not that Crenshaw and her fellow woke folk don't see that, but that they won't abide by that. It's not as if they somehow lack the intellectual capacity to reason well, it's worse than that - they choose and have chosen a very different toolset to employ their intellectual capacity with, and they do so not in order to build, but in order to tear down. If you read the woke folk's articles in law reviews and in educational journals, and if you read their footnotes (which they fervently hope that you will not do) you will see a frequent, consistent, openly stated refusal to engage in, what they deride as 'epistemic adequacy' - the process of paying objective attention to what is real and true. Crenshaw's articles alone contain explicit references to such papers, including multiple references to "Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance", and the importance of society discarding the concept of objectivity and epistemic adequacy, for a 'social epistemology', in order to tear down the 'liberal order' of the West in general, and of America in particular.

Ibrahim X. Kendi famously offers 'definitions' of antiracism, and systemic racism, that are blatantly circular to the point of being ludicrous - he wrote them as headings in his book, and his editors presumably reviewed what he wrote, and they still published it, as is. He even repeated his circular definitions of racism and antiracism in an interview where the baffled interviewer repeatedly attempts to help him extricate himself from it, yet Kendi gave not an inch towards reason and 'epistemic adequacy'.

The reality is that the refusal of Crenshaw and all of the others to credit truth, and facts, is deliberate, and she and they consciously choose to lie about that. Why? Because objective truth and epistemic adequacy are viewed by them as being 'The Master's Tools', which, as activist Audre Lorde declared:
“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”
, and the Master's House is the Greco-Roman/Judeo-Christian culture of Western Civilization in general, and of America in particular, and the Master's Tools are a respect for reality, reason, logic, individual rights, property, and the Rule of Law which secures them to individuals in society. It is with that in mind, that Kendi, Crenshaw, and all of the other truly *Woke*, are using the most barbarically brutal response of unreasoning power that they can muster.

They are not trying to make a more reasonable argument, and they are not seeking to 'reveal' a hidden truth - they are forcibly asserting a statement which they expect everyone else to cower before and submit to, on the basis of appearances only (appearances which are deliberately constructed to hide the destruction they are intent upon), with the explicit message: Don't think, accept and submit.

IOW: The use of exceedingly poor reasoning which marks their endless papers, is not a sign of their incompetence at reasoning, but a demonstration of both their goal of, and of the tools they are using, for tearing down 'The Master's House' of Greco-Roman/Judeo-Christian civilization.

And they would like nothing more than to draw you into their distraction of race/gender/sexuality/etc., so that your outrage can be made to aid their efforts, and man o man do they make it enticing and easy to do. Resist the temptation.

Again: It's not about race, it's not about reasoning, it is all about power, and any argument which you might make that engages with their strategy, invariably becomes distorted, as all such views formed within that frame must. Don't let yourself get sucked into arguing over the unfairness of race/gender/sexuality/etc., of individuals - their only interest in individuals and their various traits is as bait for provoking you - they're only interested in them for the power which their group identities give them access to. Unfortunately for us all, the 'tolerant right' typically do take the race bait, and they bite on it with an odd mixture of patronizing groveling, coupled with a condescending nod of granting 'some truth' to their positions, and the moment the *Woke* detect that little nibble on their line, these monstrously skillful fishers of men give a sharp flick to their woke fishing pole, and as the sharpened points formed from your own words sink into your throat, the bait falls away and reveals it to be less of a fishing hook of tolerance/militance (different sides of the same fool's gold coin), than a rhetorical grappling hook of raw power, which they use to climb up and over you and your position, to triumphantly plant their boot upon your face.

National Review author David French is one of the 'tolerant right', and he has been reeled in by the intersectional bait more times than I can count, as in this instance where the same Vox article recounts French telling the author that:
"... An African American man is going to experience the world differently than an African American woman,” French told me. “Somebody who is LGBT is going to experience the world differently than somebody who’s straight. Somebody who’s LGBT and African American is going to experience the world differently than somebody who’s LGBT and Latina. It’s sort of this commonsense notion that different categories of people have different kinds of experience.”

What many conservatives object to is not the term but its application on college campuses and beyond. Conservatives believe that it could be (or is being) used against them, making them the victims, in a sense, of a new form of overlapping oppression. To them, intersectionality isn’t just describing a hierarchy of oppression but, in practice, an inversion of it, such that being a white straight cisgender man is made anathema.
As French bites the worm of race/gender/sexuality/etc., he's hooked and the Vox author reels him in with the very next line:
“Where the fight begins,” French said, “is when intersectionality moves from descriptive to prescriptive.” It is as if intersectionality were a language with which conservatives had no real problem, until it was spoken...."
, French is hooked, reeled in, and tossed into the bucket as the catch-of-the-day.

The power of the thoughtless 'Ohhh!', is the appearance of something sensible, even in its absence, which lures in those who're unwary of what the semantic deception is hiding, and those who react with a 'Well of course there are racists, but...', have unwittingly traded away reality and reason, for their framed mirror image of it. But just as a picture is not a thousand words, experiences are not reasons or reasoning, and treating them as if they had a reasonable point, is transformed into hooks and spears to impale you upon, the instant that you bite into it.

Lived Experiences aren't rational reasons, they're frames which become rough hewn bludgeons for beating you down with, and we must not forget that the moment you toss the protection of reason aside, you cannot just pick it back up. It's gone. Whether you do so through dainty tolerance as French does, or more come back with a more militant response of something like 'Look around you - all these woke people are tearing white people down to get what they want, and I'm sick of it - stop bashing white people!", they'll do a little happy dance inside in thanks for your complete and total surrender, because that is what you've done. Once you bite, they reel you in, as Crenshaw does here in response to French's comment:
"...When you’re going to sign on to a particular critique by rolling out your identity, exactly how was your identity politics different from what you’re trying to critique?” Crenshaw said. “It’s just a matter of who it is, that’s what you seem to be most concerned about.”
The reality is that when you obligingly make the discussion into a power struggle, the more brutal party will 'win' every time. You'll probably want to reply 'That's not fair, the reason why...', but sorry, no, when you step into the frame they've arranged for you, and engaged with its mindlessness as if either their frame, or any statements within it, were or could be reasonable, then before you know it you've fallen into the old intelligence trap of thinking where Achilles is being beaten by a tortoise, and there's no ability to build a reasonable argument within that unreasonable frame.

Don't allow absurdities to blind you to their real intentions
If you play Crenshaw's game, you become ruled by her rules. As Crenshaw notes in a paper celebrating the twentieth anniversary of her original paper mapping the margins,
"...In short, the key feature of the story rests not on the uniqueness of the critiques themselves, but on the rapid unraveling of liberal reform and the rule of law as guarantor of racial progress..."
, and where by 'liberal', she means blindfolded justice, against which:
"...Intersectionality operates as both the observance and analysis of power imbalances, and the tool by which those power imbalances could be eliminated altogether..."
, and by imbalances she means what result from respecting and rewarding individual rights, ability and merit.

If you still have any doubts that Intersectionality is intended to undo the foundations of America in particular, and of the West in general, simply reading through her footnote references should put an end to those doubts, as they repeatedly repudiate those foundations and assert the need to eliminate those:
"... liberal principles, including the distinctions between law and politics, and knowledge and power..."
, meaning that she wants to turn our courtrooms into political theater, so that truth can be made to yeild to narrative - good lord, look at the Rittenhouse trial! That circus, and that prosecutor, are their ideal - facts be damned, long live the narrative! She repeatedly declares that the roots of our Rule of Law are:
"... flawed due to the fact that they are based on a mechanistic 17th century metaphysics ... "
, and how awful even attempting to be objective is,
"...detailing how ideologies of objectivity presumed by the rule of law created a stance of “perspectivelessness” that presented students of color with particular burdens in the classroom..."
By 'perspectivelessness' she means the epistemic adequacy of facts, logic, merit, an indifference to race, and all of the other symptoms of 'white supremacy'.

For those who wonder why I'm always harping on Philosophy (the love of wisdom) and metaphysics & epistemology especially, it's because those people, such as America's Founders, whose own personal operating systems were formed through their understanding of what 17th century metaphysics still understood, realized that reality exists, and that what is true, does matter, and that what is Right & Wrong has to be abided by. The *Woke* deride that period and deny them, because understanding the philosophy that preceded and led up to 17th century metaphysics, exposes the ludicrousness of the misosophy (hatred of wisdom) which came after it through the pens of Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx, etc. and which all of their notions depend upon.

For the woke folk like Crenshaw to make their points, they have to rid society of those Western ideas altogether, and that is the point of a paper that Crenshaw makes multiple references to, "Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance", one of its many insane (by Western standards) passages, states that:
"...Tenth, and finally, the point of trying to understand white ignorance is, of course, normative and not merely sociological—hence the emphasis on the continuity with classic epistemology—the goal of trying to reduce or eliminate it. In classic individualist epistemology, one seeks not merely to eliminate false belief but to develop an understanding, wariness, and avoidance of the cognitive processes that typically produce false belief. For a social epistemology, where the focus is on supra-individual processes, and the individual’s interaction with them, the aim is to understand how certain social structures tend to promote these crucially flawed processes, how to personally extricate oneself from them (insofar as that is possible), and to do one’s part in undermining them in the broader cognitive sphere...."
That ability "... to develop an understanding, wariness, and avoidance of the cognitive processes that typically produce false belief..." is seen as 'crucially flawed processes', which are only attained through attention to the content of reality, and by reasoning towards what is true, and so respecting the rights of the individual, is the basis of Western thought, and what Education is (was) intended to develop. That content is what Social and Emotional Learning pointedly minimizes or eliminates from our classrooms, and focuses attention instead upon conforming students behavior to the social narratives of Intersectionality, CRT, and Critical Theory in general, so as to undermine, collapse, and eliminate the Greco/Roman-Judeo/Christian civilization of the West.

That is their purpose, that is what they are doing, and that is why the *Woke* always target reason, reality, and true identity, and everything else that the West is founded in, through, and upon, time after time after time:
"...criticizing Western philosophy for its lack of attention to issues of race and exploring the role of race in standard areas of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics...
"... the failure of western philosophy to consider issues of race...
"...exploring the epistemology of white ignorance and the ways in which such ignorance—the lack of knowledge or incorrect knowledge—is maintained...
They seek to flip reality and the role of the rule of law from having to prove what is real and true, into being a means of imposing raw power, which your rulers will use to determine what will be accepted and submitted to - and who is the Ruler?

As the faux-Voltaire quipster noted: Those you aren't permitted to mock (see DEI for reference).

That is why Crenshaw and the *Woke* focus upon 'decentering' (destroying) epistemology - the science of knowing what you know (which enables you to actually know 'what the meaning of the word 'is', is), which is a direct threat to the absurdities they wish to impose upon us:
"...Thus, the critique of the apolitical character of law merged with a concrete critique of the epistemological claims of the Enlightenment tradition more generally.177
, and,
In other words, the epistemological critique was not simply a “philosophical” one, but was also a practical component to claims that no neutral concept of merit justified the lack of minority law professors at elite law schools...'
Everywhere in the writings of Linda Darling-Hammond, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Dereck Bell, Crenshaw, Delgado, and others, their goal is as stated in ‘Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, first edition (2001), by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic:
  • "... critical race theory calls into question the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and the neutral principles of constitutional law.”
By questioning the 'liberal order', they mean overturning Liberty, and the Western concepts such as Equality before the law which make that liberty possible, are to be overturned in favor of the Inequality of identities, being ‘remedied’ into ‘equitable outcomes’,
  • "...openly advocating identity politics over liberal universalism, which had sought to remove the social significance of identity categories and treat people equally regardless of identity..."
, but more than that, it is the means of openly denying reality. Literally. Crenshaw explicitly rejects the concept objectivity itself. And again, by 'identity' she doesn't mean an individual's identity, but only how the collective identities are represented in the oppressor/oppressed power matrix.

The End Game
This is where the people of The West are under the most deadly dangerous attack launched upon it since Lepanto, made even more dangerous by the fact that the barbarians aren’t invading from without the gates, but from within, and they are streaming down upon us from the perceived high ground of 'Education' and our own laws.

It is both fact, and bait, that the Wheel of Intersectionality is a pretext for extracting and turning power back upon those who have the power they desire. They don't target the White, Male, Cisgender (normal heterosexual), or Christian, who has (been disarmed by) a College Degree because of any of their identities, but because they've determined, in much the same way that a thief selects the richest and least threatening victim to mug, that people with those traits have the power they desire (Gollum), and Intersectionality, CRT, SEL, DEI, etc., etc., etc., form the 'societal narrative' which is the means they're using to flip your world with.

Don't allow yourself to be distracted into minimizing their absurd sounding tactics because they seem absurd. It's important to keep in mind a quote that actually did come from Voltaire, that "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.", and the 20th Century is a blood drenched testament to that.

It is impossible to overstate the significance of this, that deriding what is objectively true, is the strategic action that’s being employed to dismantle the Greco/Roman-Judeo/Christian culture of Western Civilization, and realizing Marx’s idea of ‘unrelenting criticism to dismantle society’, that is what CRT & SEL and the Praxis/Activism they promote, is all about.

And ultimately what you need to know most of all, is that what they fear most of all, is your learning what their real game is - because the power of their Semantic Deception in a snap, once you are no longer deceived by its appearances - quite literally, the truth will set you free.

Next we'll review and put all of the pieces together, and how to break them apart.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

For Our Veterans on Veterans Day - Thank You For Persisting 'The Harder Right', Across Time

Commemorating Veterans Day once again with two earlier memories; one from six years ago now, which was itself remembering this day from 5 years before that, and doing so recalls what persists across time on this day, our fellows who choose 'the harder right' by volunteering to serve in our military. No matter where they may end up being stationed, when they volunteer to serve they are volunteering to put their lives on the line, period. There is no assurance that they won't at some point be sent to physically put their lives at risk, be injured, or be killed. None. Whether their service ends up being given entirely stateside in administrative duties, or repeatedly at hazard in war zones, the worst case is risked by all at that moment when they sign their lives on the dotted line. In pledging their lives to support and defend our Constitution, they serve to secure to us the ability to live lives worth living (should we choose to).

To all of our Veterans - Thank You.

[And now, back to 2015:]

[For Veterans Day this year, I'm going with a re-post from four years ago, which isn't - for me or others - the typical Veterans Day post, but for me it really goes to the heart of the occasion. This post came back into mind a couple days ago when a 'Memories' app popped up some pictures from the 2011 Veterans Day parade in St. Louis that I took part in with Chris & Dana Loesch, "Patch" Po/ed Patriot and our kids [Patch just confirmed my sketchy pictureless memory, Stacy Washington was with us too). The memories were a nice tug - I mostly only see Patch online now, and the Loesch's have since moved to Dallas (catch "Dana" on the BlazeTV), but more than the sentimental value, was the point of this post, well illustrated in the movie clip, of the importance of choosing the Harder Right - not only in the sense of putting your life on the line for it, but the importance of choosing the harder right to a life worth living, and that is what I associate most with our Veterans.

Our Veterans volunteer their lives onto the line, and in pledging their lives to support and defend our Constitution, they serve to secure to us the ability to live a life worth living, should we also take the harder right, and choose to.

To our Veterans - Thank You.

[And now, back to 2011:]

For Veterans Day, a clip that doesn't at first appear to have anything to do with Veterans or Veterans Day. It's the climactic scene of a movie that's really grown on me over the years, The Emperor's Club. In this, the point of not only an Education, but of a life well lived - or squandered - is conveyed in just a few moments.

The now aging Mr. Hundert, a Classics Professor, is found in the restroom after a debate competition, by his former student, Sedgewick Bell, who is now grown and launching a campaign for the Senate. Bell was a student he'd tried far more than he should have to help, and Hundert has realized that Sedgewick has yet again cheated in the "Mr. Julius Caesar" debate, which Mr. Hundert was moderating.

He lets his former student know that he knows he tried to cheat, again...
Mr. Hundert:"I'm a teacher Sedgwick, and I failed you. But I'll give you one last lecture, if I may. All of us, at some point, are forced to look at ourselves in the mirror, and see who we really are, and when that day comes for Sedgewick, you'll be confronted with a life lived without virtue, without principle - for that I pity you. End of lesson."

Sedgewick Bell:"What can I say Mr. Hundert? Who gives a shit. Honestly, who out there gives a shit about your principles and your virtues. I mean, look at you, what do you have to show for yourself? I live in the real world, where people do what they need to do to get what they want, and if that means lying, and cheating... then so be it.
So I am going to go out there, and I am going to win that election Mr. Hundert, and you will see me EVERYwhere! And I'll worry about my 'contribution' later.
(Sound of a toilet flushing, stall opens, Sedgewick's little boy comes out, stares at his dad in disgust)
Sedgewick Bell:"Robert? Robert...."
(Robert turns and leaves)
Sedgewick stares after him, stares down, glances at Mr. Hundert, and leaves.
What Mr. Hundert has, he has without need of power, position or wealth... what Cedric threw away, he can't replace through any amount of power, position or wealth.

The best things in life are free... but you've got to earn them, and sometimes fight for them; and some worthy few even choose to risk their lives for your chance to enjoy them.

Thank you to all those who chose the harder right, and especially the Veterans who agreed to risk their lives for it, if need be.

UPDATE - Pictures from the St. Louis Veterans Day Parade
Special thanks to Dana Loesh for inviting us to march with her crew in the parade, my daughter & I were honored to show our support.

Dana Loesh (in a strep throat burqa), Me, Patch Adams and Chris Loesch , ready to roll

... coming around the corner... (pic swiped from Patch Adams)
Parading past Soldiers Memorial
The best message of all!

Patch posted a video that should be an alarming shame in contrasts to all. For those who did turn out for the parade yesterday, thank you, your quality isn't questioned, but for the quantities of others who couldn't be bothered, shame on you.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Not just 'educational reform', but a new and separate beginning: UATX

I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for an action such as this. Homeschooling is always good to see. Micro-Schools and Learning Pods have been encouraging. Parents fighting back against school boards and starting their own private schools, has been a boost for the soul. But here, a group of exceptional people, from Niall Ferguson, to Peter Boghossian, to Leon Kass - this is a group to be reckoned with - and they are not just 'fighting back!' against an educational system that's devolved into a hatred of wisdom, they're doing what must be done: They've stopped waiting for reform, and are starting anew with a university that doesn't conform to the current design, established outside the existing system, and based upon what it should be: The pursuit of understanding and truth for its own sake.

"We are done waiting for the legacy universities to right themselves. And so we are building anew."


From their announcement:
"...But we are done waiting. We are done waiting for the legacy universities to right themselves. And so we are building anew. I mean that quite literally.

As I write this, I am sitting in my new office (boxes still waiting to be unpacked) in balmy Austin, Texas, where I moved three months ago from my previous post as president of St. John’s College in Annapolis.

I am not alone.

Our project began with a small gathering of those concerned about the state of higher education—Niall Ferguson, Bari Weiss, Heather Heying, Joe Lonsdale, Arthur Brooks, and I—and we have since been joined by many others, including the brave professors mentioned above, Kathleen Stock, Dorian Abbot and Peter Boghossian.

We count among our numbers university presidents: Robert Zimmer, Larry Summers, John Nunes, and Gordon Gee, and leading academics, such as Steven Pinker, Deirdre McCloskey, Leon Kass, Jonathan Haidt, Glenn Loury, Joshua Katz, Vickie Sullivan, Geoffrey Stone, Bill McClay, and Tyler Cowen.

We are also joined by journalists, artists, philanthropists, researchers, and public intellectuals, including Lex Fridman, Andrew Sullivan, Rob Henderson, Caitlin Flanagan, David Mamet, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sohrab Ahmari, Stacy Hock, Jonathan Rauch, and Nadine Strossen. We are a dedicated crew that grows by the day. Our backgrounds and experiences are diverse; our political views differ. What unites us is a common dismay at the state of modern academia and a recognition that we can no longer wait for the cavalry. And so we must be the cavalry. It will surely seem retro—perhaps even countercultural—in an era of massive open online courses and distance learning to build an actual school in an actual building with as few screens as possible. But sometimes there is wisdom in things that have endured.

The university as we know it today is an institution that originated in 11th-century Europe. The fact that there have been universities for nearly a thousand years—despite all the extraordinary changes in the nature of knowledge and communications technology in that time—tells us something important.

We believe human beings think and learn better when they gather in dedicated locations, where they are, to some extent, insulated from the quotidian struggle to make ends meet, and where there is no fundamental distinction between those who teach and those who learn, beyond the extent of their knowledge and wisdom.

We believe that the purpose of education is not simply employment, but human flourishing, which includes meaningful employment. We are therefore also reconceiving the relationship between a liberal education and the demands of our dynamic and fluid professional world. Our rigorous curriculum will be the first designed in partnership not only with great teachers but also society’s great doers—founders of daring ventures, dissidents who have stood up to authoritarianism, pioneers in tech, and the leading lights in engineering and the natural sciences. Our students will be exposed to the deepest wisdom of civilization and learn to encounter works not as dead traditions but as fierce contests of timeless significance that help human beings distinguish between what is true and false, good and bad, beautiful and ugly. Students will come to see such open inquiry as a lifetime activity that demands of them a brave, sometimes discomfiting, search for enduring truths...."
From their FAQs:
What do you stand for?
In a word: truth.

In a few more words: the fearless pursuit of truth.

But perhaps you'd like a slightly longer answer:

UATX is committed to freedom of inquiry as the precondition for the pursuit of truth. Others have abandoned this core mission of the university. It is the very foundation of our school and the reason we believe the most curious, innovative scholars and students will want to join us.
Do you have a physical location?
Yes. Our headquarters are located in central Austin: 2112 Rio Grande Street, Austin, TX 78705

We are in the process of securing land in the Austin area for a campus.
Land? Are you serious?
Indeed. We are old school. We believe human beings think and learn better when they gather in dedicated locations, where they are, to some extent, insulated from the quotidian struggle to make ends meet, and where there is no fundamental distinction between those who teach and those who learn, beyond the extent of their knowledge and wisdom.
Does the university have any political or religious affiliations?
No. The University will be fiercely independent in all matters.
Is UATX public or private? Non-profit or for-profit?
UATX is a private, non-profit institution. We are fiscally sponsored by Cicero Research, which is an exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Why Austin?
If it's good enough for Elon Musk and Joe Rogan, it's good enough for us.

But seriously: Texas is experiencing a historic boom in talent and capital. Austin, in particular, is a hub for builders, mavericks and creators—the kind of people our university aims to attract and from whom we want to receive guidance.
No doubt there are points in their plans that I'd take issue with, but if they hold to their aim that will correct itself and the fact that they are doing what they are doing, is the brightest light that I've seen in... oh such a very, very, long time.

Monday, November 08, 2021

School Board Candidate Workshop

If you live in Missouri, and you're interested in learning what school boards can and should do, and perhaps becoming a candidate yourself, these people (Dr. Mary Byrne is one of the speakers) know what you should know.
Join United for Principled Politics to learn about important issues facing school boards and how to run a successful campaign.
Date and timeSat, November 13, 2021
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM CST
LocationHyVee Community Room in Jefferson City

3721 West Truman Boulevard

Jefferson City, MO 65109
Invited & Confirmed Speakers:
Dr. Mary Byrne, Ed.D.Co-founder of the grassroots network MO Coalition Against Common Core and Exposing CRT speaking tour, speaking on the politics of school boards, DESE, MSBA, administrations, unions, and how we got to this point
Ernest Trakas, Attorney at law specializing in education litigation, speaking on state laws school boards
Maryam Mohammedkani,Springfield, MO R-12 school board, speaking on the realities of school boards
Rachel Blackmore,Grassroots Activist “in Chief,” speaking on running a winning campaign from start to finish