Are We Sure It Can’t It Happen Here?

One runs a risk whenever one cites the 20th century’s great terror states while discussing current ominous developments in the western democracies. Apparent comparisons of the United States or western and central European countries to Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia will inevitably be hooted down with accusations of alarmist conspiracy-mongering and worse, shameful ahistoricity. Nevertheless, that must not keep us from noticing and pointing to contemporary events that bear an eerie resemblance, however slight, to things that went on in those totalitarian terror states.

Language, Intent, & Bigotry

Racism/sexism/bigotry are allegations of intent. If a strong wind blows and sticks align to spell “Cunt,” we wouldn’t think the wind is sexist because the wind holds no intent. If a woman were offended, we would properly say that she is attributing false intent to random events.

Defining Anti-Semitism, Threatening Free Speech

In May the benign-sounding Anti-Semitism Awareness Act appeared before the U.S Congress “to provide for consideration a definition of anti-Semitism for the enforcement of Federal antidiscrimination laws concerning education programs or activities.” No big deal? Let us see. S. 2940 is sponsored by Republican Sen. Tim Scott and has four co-sponsors: Republican Lindsey Graham and…

On Gender Expression II

I hold no issue with or bigotry toward anyone expressing themselves however they see fit. I think it’s important that each of us find a way to be comfortable in our own skin. You do you, and I’ll do me. Human expression is beautifully diverse. I also think it’s important that each of us are honest with ourselves and others about what we are.

Simplistic to the Point of Absurdity

When someone proclaims to have a certain philosophy, belief, or disposition, do you believe them? Let’s imagine they say they are charitable, but rarely give to charity. Let’s imagine they say they are an altruist, but they have two kidneys in a world where people die for not having one. Let’s imagine they say support the “metoo” movement, but they rape women for sport. What do you think of these people?

Discrimination Should Be Left Legally Alone

Despite my skepticism about fairness, I’m in favor of everyone doing their best to make others feel as though fairness is real. There’s really only one way to do this. Just stay out of the way and let everyone exercise their right to choose who to do business with. Both as a provider and as a customer. Don’t infringe anyone’s right of association.

We Are All Bigots

I strongly believe that the current language and concepts we use to discuss issues of race and gender lead to vastly more bigotry and it largely explains the growth of white nationalism from a couple of losers to a couple more losers. It seems impossible to believe that the shift in language has done anything productive towards getting better treatment for anyone.