Friday, 11 May 2018

White is the new black

I have come to the conclusion that like Judas it would be better if certain subjects had never been born. At least Judas played a necessary part in the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus. But it is hard to see what benefit arises from the existence of sociology. If Judas is placed in the innermost circle of hell despite the benefit that arose from his life, where do we place the sociology department that not only gives us no benefit, but more importantly does much harm?

A white raven : it's hard being different, among the gray masses

A serious subject is one that allows a variety of opposing views. The debate between these views is determined by reason or else by experience. The theory about the world being flat is falsified by our being able to sail around it, while the theory that bachelors can be married is falsified by our reason and our understanding of simple words like “bachelor” and “married”.

Sociology on the other hand is about taking ordinary words and changing their meaning so that they mean something other than they did previously. The crucial point to realise however is that just because a sociologist at some point invented some theory, it doesn’t follow that this theory is true. This is especially the case when this theory is both contrary to reason and contrary to experience.

Sociologists invented the supposed distinction between gender and sex. Until this point there had been no distinction. Throughout human history the sex of a child was in almost all cases a completely straightforward matter that was determined at the moment of the child’s birth. This was the basic building block of humanity.

But as soon as a distinction is invented between gender and sex all sorts of possibilities arise to subvert how people understand themselves and those around them. All becomes unclear. Is your baby a boy? I’ve no idea. We’re going to have to wait until he/she/ze/it tells us in a few years.

Who proved that there was a distinction between gender and sex? Was it proved by experience? Did someone see this distinction? Was it proven by means of reason? No. All that happened is that someone at some point decided that two words “gender” and “sex” which until that point had been synonymous like “bachelor” and “unmarried” in fact were different in meaning.  If this sort of reasoning is allowed, we can easily prove that some bachelors are married. But if we can prove this, then we can frankly prove anything. If words mean what I want them to mean I am through the looking glass where anything can happen. But this isn’t to use reason it is to subvert it.

Until relatively recently it would have been considered ludicrous to suppose that a man could literally become a woman or indeed that a man could marry a man. But by inventing or annulling distinctions the Left with the help of sociology professors chips away at our understanding until we reach a point where we must affirm what once was considered to be impossible or else be charged with a hate crime. The Left at this point has succeeded in remaking us so that we are willing to do what we are told. At this point socialism/sociology becomes possible, because humanity has been reborn in the Left’s image. We then will actually be able to see that 2+2 = 5 just as we can see that a man can be a woman. Black quite literally becomes white.

It sometimes takes decades of chipping away before we reach the point where something that was considered an objective fact that can’t be changed becomes first possible and then obligatory.

A while ago many of will have come across the story of Rachel Dolezal (apparently now calling herself Nkechi Amare Diallo) a woman who had for a long time portrayed herself as being black while in fact her parents were white. She was teaching African studies at a university in Washington State, but was subsequently dismissed from this position.

Most people responded to this story with bemusement because we assume that race, just like sex is something fixed and objective, caused by where we are from and who are parents are. But I strongly suspect that a few years from now Dolezal will be seen as a martyr for her cause. The reason for this is that sociologists don’t think that race is something objective. It is a social construct.

How can this be? We are still in the bemused state. But we were in that state with regard to sex just a few years ago. Until recently if a little boy thought that he was in fact a girl you we would have laughed and told him not to be silly. If you do that nowadays social services are liable to take “her” away.

In a few years anyone will be able to say that they are whatever race they choose to be. A person with blond hair and blue eyes and the palest skin imaginable will be able to claim that they are Black or Asian or a Native American. They will be able to do this even though it will be possible objectively to prove that they are none of these things.

I came across a story recently about an Aboriginal Australian cricket tour. The idea is to follow in the footsteps of some Aboriginal cricketers who came to Britain 150 years ago.

 The BBC describes this nineteenth century tour as unheralded, but I am far from being a cricket follower, but I had read about it long ago.

But it immediately becomes obvious when we compare the tour that took place 150 years ago with the one that is to take place this year that there is something rather different.

 The captain of both the women’s team and the men’s team are no doubt descended from aboriginals but if they wandered around Helsinki they might find the locals expecting them to be able to speak Finnish.

Can anyone be an aboriginal? Isn’t it something that can be determined objectively by genetic testing? Apparently not. I came across a site which tried to explain the issue.

Proposals of genetic testing as a means of proving one’s Aboriginality have been dismissed on the grounds that ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ are social, cultural and political constructs   which cannot be tested objectively.

The site continues to explain that “It should be emphasised that Aboriginal identity no longer has anything to do with the colour of the skin.”

Aboriginals in Australia have suffered great prejudice and are frequently poorer than other Australians. The Australian Government has been trying to make up for this. There are grants and various programmes open to aboriginals, but not to anyone else.

I’m not on the whole a great fan of what the Americans call “affirmative action”. Letting someone into Harvard with worse grades than someone else because they have different colour skin is just as much a form of racism as saying you can’t sit on this bench because you are black. I would prefer that we could work towards the day when we didn’t give a damn about race rather than viewing everything through the lens of skin colour. But clearly if there is to be positive discrimination there have to be objective ways of determining who is and who is not to gain from it.  If anyone can get into Harvard without the required grades just by stating that they are black the whole concept of “affirmative action” will rapidly collapse.

But if you don’t use genetics and you don’t use appearance how can it be determined whether someone is an Aboriginal?

According to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, “Your Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage is something that is personal to you. You do not need a letter of confirmation to identify as an Indigenous person.”

But then can just anyone gain the advantages of being an aboriginal just by saying that they are one?

It becomes a little more complex. There are three criteria:

Being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent
Identifying as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person
Being accepted as such by the community in which you live, or formerly lived.

But how is someone to show that these criteria apply in a particular case. The Institute explains.

“Doing your family history may help you obtain proof of your heritage. You might find a birth, death or marriage record that traces your family to a particular Aboriginal station or reserve. Or you might have oral history stories that can connect you to a particular area or person or photograph.”

The key then is to be accepted by other aboriginals and to find either an aboriginal ancestor or some sort of oral history that suggests there was such an ancestor.  
It would appear that even one aboriginal ancestor no matter how long ago is enough to make someone an aboriginal. But this is rather similar to the idea that used to apply in the Southern States of the USA that even one drop of black blood made a person black.

Ava Gardner plays Julie Laverne in Showboat (1951). It only takes one drop
But why depend on oral history when it is possible to use DNA samples to objectively show a person’s ancestry? The problem is that if we analyse the DNA of a white person from Britain we will probably find that we are each descended from people from all over the world. I have not done such a test, but it is probable that I have an ancestor who came from Africa. If there are four generations per century, there are forty between now and William the Conqueror. That means I have a 1099511627776 grandparents since 1066, which is more than the population of the world today. The absurdity of genealogy is that each of us in fact is related to everyone else. You are related to Napoleon. Everyone is. So it is entirely possible that I have an ancestor who was an aboriginal from Australia. Does that mean that if I can prove that I have such ancestry I can go to Australia and claim various grants? Would not my DNA be enough to make up for my lack of oral history?

This is all going to become very silly very quickly. If Rachel Dolezal can find a black ancestor, then she can legitimately claim that she is black. If she used DNA testing then she almost certainly could find a gene that comes from Africa. Moreover if her identification as being black is simply a personal matter, then it is outrageous that she was dismissed from her job. She was black simply because she said it. Moreover she had been accepted into the black community and she quite possibly could have found people from that community who could orally confirm her black descent. But anyway if race is just a social construct then it needs no more objective proof than I need to claim that I am a man despite my DNA saying that I am a woman. If I can ignore DNA with regard to sex, why on earth can I not ignore it with regard to race?

The Left suggests that because I am white it is “cultural appropriation” for me to wear a Mexican hat or a Chinese dress. But very soon I will simply respond, “But I am Mexican, I am Chinese.” The Left wants women’s only shortlists to increase women’s representation into Parliament and complains when women cricketers don’t earn the same as men. But the men’s team can say that we are in fact women, just as John Humphreys can say he is really Joanna meaning that it is in fact men who are paid less for presenting the Today Programme.

At some point in the near future we will have to accept that a white man is in fact a black woman soon after that we will all have to believe that a square has three sides. Alternatively we can accept that someone who looks white is white even if one ancestor hundreds of years ago was black and that objective qualities like race and sex are fixed rather than matters of choice and subjectivity. Only at this point will we come back from the land beyond the looking glass where words mean what I want them to mean and anyone can be anything. At this point too we might cease to be quite so obsessed with issues of race and sex and that what really matters about a person is “the content of their character.”


  1. Political Correctness/cultural-Marxism/Progressivism filled the vacuum left by the rejection of Christianity in the mid-twentieth century. It is a shoddy, synthetic, evolving morality that is no replacement for the foundation of the West. The choice is now between Christ and absurdity.

    1. As opposed to the set of postulated ideologies including the alternatives of Political Incorrectness, Uncultural-Marxism, or Regressivism ...

    2. No- the choice is between religious superstition on the one hand and reason, logic and evidence on the other.

    3. As opposed, presumably, to non-religious superstition?

    4. One thinks of, for example, the ethics of Ayn Rand, the metaphysics of Richard Dawkins, the economics of Freddie Hayek, or the ethnography of Enoch Powell.

  2. I wonder how much exposure you have had to Sociology (for the record I have an Honours degree from GU and a PhD - GU again, which was largely Sociological in content)? To argue that "just because a sociologist at some point invented some theory, it doesn’t follow that this theory is true." is not so much pushing on an open door as a door that isn't there. I can tell you without fear of contradiction that Sociologists are amongst the most disputatious people on earth. Disproving someone else's theory is core to the discipline.
    Also, do you dispute there is any distinction between sex and gender? There are some individuals with features of both sexes. There are those individuals who would prefer to live as the other sex - should we stop them? I could agree that in some places, in some instances at some times this might have been taken further than really it should does not mean there is no distinction. The rest of your piece is little more than a shoddy, prejudiced extension of ignoring that fundamental truth. Try a little modulation, if you know what the word means.

  3. Had my Mother (a clergyman's wife and keen embroiderer) been spared, she would have laughed uproariously at this exuberantly fact-free parody of an uneducated attack on her academic discipline. Obviously, Effie herself doesn't subscribe to this nonsense since, as a Classicist she knows all about Tiresias, the Lex Canuleia, et hoc one genus.

    Like Richard, I do not believe in Political Correctness; neither do I believe in Flying Saucers, Darby O'Gill and the Little People, the Elders of Zion, the Illuminati, or Extraterrestrial Lizards from Babylon.

    1. ' ... et hoc omne genus ...'


  4. It's plain enough, soccer doc, that your diagnosis is spot-on: this could only be a parody. After all, Effie, as an educated person, would hardly flaunt such grade-A ignorance to the discerning public. Apart from all the elementary factual howlers, blaming sociologists for the phenomena that they study would be like blaming zoologists for birth, copulation, and death; geologists for erosion, earthquakes, and stratification; astronomers for asteroids, quasars, and red shifts; or mathematicians for the fact that 2+2=4.