John McWhorter: Actually, Scalia had a point

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We live in an era where people look for reasons to be offended, and it’s killing dialogue. But here’s an excellent piece by John McWhorter: Actually, Scalia had a point. In his piece, McWhorter (who is black) addresses the data that show that Scalia makes a good point–liberal extremists can talk until they’re blue in the face about how unprepared students with lower test scores can drop into a higher level class and surpass expectations, but the data show otherwise. Liberal extremists have made it sound as if Scalia is a racist, but he was making a statement based on common sense outside of race–if a person has lower test scores and grades and extra curriculars and has had little preparation, he’s unlikely to do well. Both the data and common sense support that view.

Will Trump’s anti-Muslim statements finally retire his campaign?

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Trump has made some incredibly stupid statements in the course of his campaign, but it looks like his call to block all Muslims from entering the country could finally derail him. Instead of apologizing, he’s doubling down. Unlike anything I’ve seen in my life, world leaders are condemning him.

I don’t think he’s got a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the general election, but I hope this latest debacle kills his chances at the primary. Let’s hope Cruz goes away too. People are just too busy to deal with the divisive garbage coming from these two candidates.

What the chess community teaches us about lionization

Photo credit: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)

Alexander Alekhine–Photo credit: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)

I wanted to address a question that was raised by King and others on another thread, namely the question of when and how it is appropriate to lionize an historical figure. Much of this conversation comes from the debates surrounding the legacy of Woodrow Wilson, a U.S. President who achieved many great things but who, by modern standards, was a racist. Is it proper to have statues, buildings, and schools erected in his honor? He was not all that racist by the standards of his own time (contrary to the narratives that some “activists” are using in an effort to rewrite history right now), but by modern standards, he most definitely is. Do we take down the symbols? I think our answer can be found in the way chess players lionize former world champions.

China bars Miss Canada from Miss World Competition

Photo Credit: Ian Willms for The New York Times

Photo Credit: Ian Willms for The New York Times

Here’s an interesting one: China has effectively barred Anastasia Lin, Miss Canada, from competing in the Miss World Competition. They’ve done so by denying her a visa so that she is unable to attend the competition. Miss Lin is a Falun Gong practitioner and an outspoken critic of China’s human rights record. I’m not a big advocate of Falun Gong or any other religion, but this should be an outrage. Miss Lin isn’t competing to become Miss China; she’s competing to become Miss World. Just because it takes place in China doesn’t mean it’s suddenly a Chinese competition.

Removing Woodrow Wilson

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of these crybullying grievance collectors. The attitude is best represented by the woman in the video above: “This university owes us everything.” “We owe White people nothing.” “All of this is MINE. My people built this place.”

So they’re trying to remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from Princeton. Read the NY Times article here. The Asian American student has the best quote:

His tablemate Calvert Chan, a sophomore who is Asian-American, said, “If the criteria for naming a building for someone was that they’d be perfect, we shouldn’t name buildings.”

Jesus in India gets cancelled

Photo credit: Clarion University

Photo credit: Clarion University

I saw this story a few days ago: Cancellation of College Production of ‘Jesus in India’ Over Casting of White Actors Prompts Debate. It’s a story of how Lloyd Suh, a Korean American playwright, stopped a college production of one of his plays because the actors were White kids playing Indian people. The students at Clarion University had already begun rehearsals–Lloyd Suh first complained about the casting on November 2nd and asked the producers to change the casting on November 9th, and the performances were set to begin on November 18th. I’m assuming they also already spent lots of money on the set and promotion. In the end, they were not allowed to do the play. As you all know, I’ve spoken out against racebending before. But this is different. While I understand Lloyd Suh’s views on diversity, he made the wrong decision here. I think he hurt a lot of people with his decision, and he lost an opportunity to take the role of teacher.

The Cultural Revolution Comes to the U.S.

For anyone who thought that the communist purges that China experienced in the mid-twentieth century were crazy, that time is upon us right now (Thanks, ChineseMom). College students getting bullied, physical intimidation, extremists talking nonsense, the establishment of a racial hierarchy that allows certain people to behave badly because of race alone…it’s all here. You’re either going to get with the program and join them, or they will make your life miserable.

Look, there are some real racial problems in the U.S. This, for example, should never have happened:

There are also real complaints about microaggressions.

Where Ronda should go from here, and why MMA fighters shouldn’t stay too long

I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. But it happened to Ronda Rousey on Saturday. Not only did she lose, but she got KO’ed less than a minute into the second round. I don’t think Holm dominated, as many commentators have said, but she was definitely controlling the distance with her striking and outlanding Ronda. She was definitely winning before she got the KO. Since the fight, people have been jumping in to kick Ronda when she’s down. Trump tweeted that he was happy, as did some of Ronda’s old opponents. You shouldn’t take these seriously. But what you should consider is the validity of the hindsight advice that some in the media are giving Ronda: “She shouldn’t have tried to outbox Holly!” “The strategy was all wrong!” “It’s her coach!”

Trigger warnings affecting mental health

Image credit: Andrew B. Myers, the Atlantic

Image credit: Andrew B. Myers, the Atlantic

Thanks, E, for sending this excellent and timely article: The Coddling of the American Mind. In this Atlantic article, the author discusses how “trigger warnings” and other liberal extremist projects may be contributing to mental health problems among college students and young workers. I’ve blogged about this fanatical nonsense before. If every response to a serious question is “you’re racist” or “you better check your privilege” or “is that a threat?” or you say that the validity of basic math is “dehumanizing,” you’re not going to go anywhere with your argument. But worst of all, you’re hurting people by creating a world where young people don’t have to face reality. They can remain children their entire lives, throwing tantrums whenever they feel like it.