Denver Mayor’s pricey trip to Paris attracts little attention

Remember when the media was obsessed with Scott Pruitt’s travel expenses and whether he flew business class or coach? To be sure, those are valid questions to investigate in case taxpayer dollars are being abused, but the story wound up mostly hitting a dead end. Still, if there are any other government officials out there wondering about how they can fly with the elites and not have to reach into their own pockets, they might want to have a chat with Denver’s Democratic mayor, Michael Hancock.

An investigation by the local CBS affiliate found that Hancock, his staff, and a number of officials from the Denver International Airport (DIA) took a very nice trip to France recently and ran up quite the tab. Much of the expense can be attributed to the fact that virtually everyone on the non-stop trip to Paris and beyond flew business class rather than coach and most of the tickets were booked at the last minute, driving up the already hefty fares even further.

A CBS4 Investigation has found some business class flights to Paris last month for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, his appointees and Denver International Airport administrators cost between $7,000 to $9,000 with some roundtrip tickets running nearly $16,000.

“These flights are expensive, and we acknowledge that,” said Stacey Stegman, a spokesperson for Denver International Airport.

CBS4 found two newer DIA employees on the trip, office manager Katie Halbert and DIA travel administrator Katie Houlmiere, flew to Paris on Lufthansa business class at a cost of $8,917.80 each. Their return flights on Lufthansa business class from Paris to Frankfurt to Denver cost $6,734. Meaning the two mid-level administrators round trip flights from Denver to Paris cost $15,651.80.

The stated purpose of the trip was claimed to be (irony alert!) to “celebrate the inaugural trip of low cost airline Norwegian Air, which …offers fares as low as $300 from Denver to Paris.” This trip went to Paris first, ostensibly to receive economic briefings and meet with French industry leaders. The gang then flew to Brest, finishing up with a trip to Normany to visit Omaha Beach. When you add up the cost of this five-night jaunt for 15 municipal government and DIA employees it approaches a quarter million dollars.

Now that CBS has exposed the expenses, this will surely be coming to a stop, right? Perish the thought. The DIA spokesperson says that the policy remains in place and business class flights are required so that the travelers can be “well rested” when they arrive and to ensure they have “time to relax” on the way back.

The Mayor, while admitting the trip was expensive, is quick to point out that “no taxpayer money was involved.” But that’s only true in a very limited and direct view. The airport is an “enterprise” as described in the state constitution and is, in theory, responsible for generating its own revenue and doesn’t rely on taxpayer dollars. But that’s something of a smokescreen because the airlines and all the airports rely on government largesse and their infrastructure needs are almost always covered by the taxpayer. And the airport is owned by Denver’s Department of Aviation and governed by the City and County of Denver.

Even if that weren’t the case, the Mayor and all of his staff and DIA cronies aren’t paying for these tickets themselves. They essentially arranged for more than a dozen officials to have a lovely, five-day holiday in France with top level amenities and didn’t have to lay out a dime for it.

Nice work if you can get it.

The post Denver Mayor’s pricey trip to Paris attracts little attention appeared first on Hot Air.

Read more from Hot Air…

Grieving athletes can turn grief to relief with wondrous, sometimes cathartic feats.

MAY 15: Stephen Piscotty #25 of the Oakland Athletics high fives Marcus Semien #10 after Piscotty’s solo home run in the second inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on May 15, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. If you caught a glimpse of Stephen Piscotty’s home run on Tuesday night, well, you’re probably wondering when your chill bumps will calm down.

Read more from Bob Davis…

The Unexpected Upside of a Homeschooled Education

The people who know what’s best for their kids aren’t politicians, but parents.

By Hannah Long

I was a bundle of nerves and insecurities, clutching a packed lunch. I kept repeating the location of my first classroom as I wandered haplessly around the new, strange educational environment.

It was my first day of school. I was 18.

God must have a sense of humor about homeschoolers. English 101 had been moved from its original room, twice. By the time I finally tracked it down, I was considering chucking college to be a barista.

I collapsed into a chair, nervous that I’d missed something. I hadn’t… The teacher spent the first class reading from an arcane document called a “syllabus” and employing mysterious jargon like “semester” and “term.” My panic began to ebb. I wasn’t sure what it all meant, but I could Google it later.

Googling is a great tool when you go to school at home and don’t have schoolmates. Growing up, it was my No. 1 method for translating unfamiliar peer slang. Thanks to Urban Dictionary, I often learned more than I bargained for. (If you’re unfamiliar with that particular resource, imagine the wall of a high-school bathroom stall, but crowdsourced by the entire Internet.)

Once I was dumped into a class of disaffected college students, I was not the least bit shy. I sat at the front and asked an obnoxious number of questions. I felt like I was on safari in a strange land.

What were normal students like? Would I fit in? When would the dreaded Marxist Indoctrination begin? (I had watched Fox News – I knew the score.)

For the record, the answers are:

  • Pretty much the same as me.
  • As much as I ever will.
  • About two weeks into the semester, Comrade.

I usually don’t confess I was homeschooled until I’ve known people for a while. The revelation provokes curious, shifty glances that show they’re wondering whether I’ve been sufficiently socialized or educated. One man, unsubtly, dropped pop quiz questions into our conversations… “So, what do you know about evolution?

It’s easier to homeschool a child than you might think. Although – as in public schools – it depends on the student, the parents, the teacher, and the week.

My homeschool schedule went like so: I woke up in the mornings, rambled downstairs to get breakfast, rambled back upstairs and did my schoolwork in bed. There were reading assignments of varying difficulty – I looked forward to My Man Jeeves more than Moby Dick.

Math took more time. My family used a math software package that included lectures and practice problems. By the time I got into the higher maths, the subject ate into larger and larger portions of my day, as did biology, chemistry, and physics. My father is an engineer, so he could usually help me with homework, but the Internet makes getting access to tutors easy.

Some days, I’d get it all done by noon and have the rest of the day to myself. I spent hours typing away at a clunky computer, writing what I thought was the next great fantasy novel, but was really mediocre Tolkien fan fiction.

During the warmer months, I could get outside and lose myself in the woodlands surrounding our house. I must have looked like a walking cliché – a scraggly, pony-tailed Appalachian teenager in overalls, holding a metal bucket and clambering up hillsides looking for black raspberries. The only discordant notes in this Tom Sawyer image were the earbuds snaking up into my ears, transmitting, usually, a Ravi Zacharias evangelical Christian podcast.

I was able to live unstructured and unplugged, enjoying learning for its own sake. In that, I count myself lucky.

The best part was the freedom of it. Book report deadlines and standardized testing didn’t dominate my childhood. I was able to live unstructured and unplugged, enjoying learning for its own sake. In that, I count myself lucky.

Homeschooling worked well for me. But any attempt to describe it in general terms is difficult because homeschooling is so intensely individual. I’m an introverted nerdy sort… I flourished with self-motivated, solitary study.

On the other hand, I know extroverts who couldn’t handle the seclusion. I know timid homeschoolers who “broke bad” when they were finally exposed to the great Babylon of university campuses. But I also know sensitive people who would have been crushed by the pettiness and assembly-line mentality of public education.

Of course, that raises the question: Am I introverted because I’m homeschooled or homeschooled because I’m introverted? It’s a rephrased formulation of the nature-vs-nurture debate, and your answer will probably come from your preconceived notions about education and humanity.

I’m going to cheat on that question. The biggest influence on who I am has nothing to do with school, and everything to do with my parents. I’d take a step further and say that’s true for most people. Shy and hesitant in social encounters? Sounds remarkably like my dad’s description of his college days. Loud and opinionated? Sounds quite like my mother.

What I have to say here probably won’t satisfy a sound-bite society. In an age of easy absolutes, homeschooled kids must either be hothouse flowers, sheltered from the character-building agora of junior high, or overachieving honor students kept pure from the filthy masses. The reality’s more like real life. Some are hardened by adversity, others draw strength from privacy and family. Some wilt away in isolation, others love crowds. Ultimately, the best people to ask what’s best for kids aren’t their politicians, but their parents.

As for me, school and society are significantly less intimidating now, both because I’ve grown stronger, but also because I’ve learned that everyone else is just as uncertain and awkward and socially clueless as I am.

C.S. Lewis said once that friendship begins when one person looks at the other and says, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.” Or, as that conversation usually goes in college, when one person looks at the other and says, “Oh, crap – that was due today?”

Read more from American Consequences…

Five Things To Know About Alabama’s Juicy New Political Scandal

If you were wondering how Alabama could possibly top the tawdry, successive sagas of “Luv Gov” Robert Bentley and “teen dream” Roy Moore, a shuttered nonprofit and a retiring state representative may have just delivered the thing you were waiting for. Republican Kay Ivey, who replaced Bentley after his resignation over a sex scandal and cover-up, is trying to win a full term in the governor’s mansion.

Read more from Roy Moore…

Galaxy S8 app issues: how to fix Instagram won’t refresh, how to log out of Facebook Messenger

Hello and welcome back to another #GalaxyS8 troubleshooting episode. We want to address two common questions that a lot of users are wondering about: how to fix Instagram won’t refresh, and how to log out of Facebook Messenger. We hope you’ll find our …

Read more from Facebook Messenger…

Just How Crazy Can Some Liberals Get?

One wonders how much trouble we’re going to get into, letting liberals raise children.

On Australian TV a few days ago, “relationship expert” Deanne Carson—she comes complete with pink hair—exhorted parents to “set up a culture of consent in the home” by making sure to get the baby’s consent before changing his diaper. [YouTube Video]

Just because she’s crazy doesn’t mean she honestly doesn’t know a three-month-old infant can’t say, “Sure, Mom, I’d kind of like a clean diaper!” What she wants you to do is to read the baby’s body language. Then you’ll know you’ve got consent to remove the dirty diaper. And those who criticize her, she warns, are “negating the voices of those brave survivors of abuse.” Just because she has pink hair doesn’t mean she can’t take herself very seriously indeed.

This opens up the prospect of a whole new world of disastrous child-rearing. As the baby grows into a toddler, and so on, his consent will be required for more and more parental actions. Sweetums, can I put you to bed now? No, I wanna watch TV all night. Junior, is it okay for me to serve you vegetables with your supper? Vegetables? No way! I want cake! Precious, I need your consent to send you off to school. School, schmool, I’m stayin’ home with my video games! Like, can you even imagine the character development of such a child? It’s probably the best way yet discovered to create a monster.

But if you think that’s as loopy as it gets, you haven’t seen the special Mother’s Day ad put out by America’s most reliable source of far-left loopiness: Democrats. And you thought they’d never dream up a way to politicize Mother’s Day. [YouTube Video]

Here we have an all-American mom wistfully wondering where she went wrong. It seems her son started going bad in middle school, robbing “less fortunate” kids. She has kept a framed picture of him assaulting some poor kid at school. Somehow I can’t imagine my mother displaying such a picture on the bookshelf in the living room.

Well, she sent him off to college, because every ninny goes to college, and—wouldn’t you know it?—college turns him pro-life! In what galaxy far, far away is the college that does that? She’s got a picture of Junior terrorizing a defenseless pregnant woman by brandishing a sign that says “Baby Killer,” it looks like he’s about to clout her over the head with it. Why did Mom save that picture? But her crowning disappointment came when she got an eyeful of his “college buddies,” neo-Nazis parading around with torches. She keeps that picture, too. I wonder what her family photo album looks like.

Her closing remark, delivered to the audience: “This Mother’s Day, talk to your children about the GOP. I wish I had.” And then she downs a swig of vodka, which does shed some light on her mind-set.

Believe it or not, there are a few Democrats out there who think this ad might backfire on them, I guess by letting normal people know how much Dems hate them. That’s something they might do better to conceal, although these days they seem to be taking less and less trouble to do that. There’s not much fun in being a liberal fat-head if you have to conceal your contempt for the human race.

What is it about family that leftists find so off-putting? Is it just because family, church, and voluntary associations compete with the state for the individual’s allegiance and affections? Do they truly believe that everyone who’s not a Democrat must be a Nazi?

Yeah, probably.

These are the people who want to rule our country: who want ever-increasing powers to interfere in our lives, because they think they’re wiser and better than the rest of us. Really, it’s for our own good, we’ll thank them for it later. You bet.

We must never again allow them to gain power in America. And we must strip them of the power that they have already.

I have discussed these and other topics throughout the week on my blog, http://leeduigon.com/ . Stop in and visit. A single click will take you there.

© 2018 Lee Duigon – All Rights Reserved

E-Mail Lee Duigon: [email protected]

Read more from News With Views…

Race is an Illusion

Bruce Baum, The Rise and Fall of the Caucasian Race: The Political History of Racial Identity, New York University Press, 2006, 341 pp., $45.00.

It would be difficult to think of a subject on which more foolishness has been written than race. Many of the books published on race today are so wrongheaded it is hard to believe normally functioning humans actually wrote, edited, proofread, printed, and tried to sell them. The Rise and Fall of the Caucasian Race is a good example.

The Rise and Fall of the Caucasian Race by Bruce Baum

The author, Bruce Baum, is an assistant professor of political science at the University of British Columbia. Like all academics these days, he claims there is no such thing as race, but he goes farther: He wants to show us where this false idea came from, and just how nefarious were the motives of the white men who invented it. His view—widely shared by social scientists in North America and laughed at by everyone else—is that people are not born with race but are “racialized” by society. The people we know as “Caucasians” “racialized” themselves as “white,” and “racialized” Africans as “black,” Asians as “Asians,” etc., and in so doing justified their own oppression of other “races.”

Even if only as an attempt to solve an intellectual riddle, it is worth trying to puzzle out what this means. The idea seems to be that what we call “race” is based on physical differences so trivial no healthy person would even notice them. Having fastened upon these meaningless, superficial differences, “white” people then rigged the world so that people they “racialized” as non-white ended up on the bottom.

Sometimes we get the impression that there need not even be physical differences between groups for some people to be “racialized” and oppressed. Prof. Baum quotes someone named Kenan Malik: “It is not ‘race’ that gives rise to inequality, but inequality that gives rise to race.” Prof. Baum adds: “The nature of modern society has created inequalities between different groups and these have come to be perceived in racial terms.” “Groups of people have been made into ‘blacks’ and ‘whites,’ ” he explains, “and this was a social and political process.”

Race, in other words, has no independent existence. Certain bad people somehow got the better of certain unoffending and almost indistinguishable other people and then declared, “We’re Caucasians and you’re not.” They then went on, generation after generation, to use this who-is/who-isn’t trick to grind down the ones who weren’t.

As Prof. Baum tries to explain, “While there are no white and black races in the biological sense, there have been (and still are) white and black racialized groups, and these racialized group identities have had and continue to have enormous social, cultural, and material consequences.” Somehow, the people whites have “racialized as dominant” stay dominant, and the people they have “racialized as inferior,” stay inferior.

We will return later to just how silly all this is, but we must negotiate much silliness in order to grasp what people like Prof. Baum are saying. Race, he says, was literally invented by white people in the 16th and 17th centuries as a justification for mistreating other people, and he will tell us how.

Where Race Came From

Prof. Baum reluctantly concedes that people other than whites have occasionally noticed group differences and disliked strangers. He insists, however, that this was mere ethnic prejudice, which is not nearly so vicious as full-blown racism, which was invented by whites. Hutus and Tutsis may massacre each other, but this is only “ethnic prejudice.”

According to Prof. Baum, whites probably invented race as a way to justify slavery. He quotes a fellow student of the subject who puts it bluntly: “Slavery produced racism.” It was the Atlantic slave trade that drove whites to the delusion that they were white and Africans were black, and “this divide was arguably the pivot on which racial thought was further elaborated.” Once whites got a taste for dominance, “all that remained for the full elaboration of the concept of race was for intellectuals and scientists working in the fields of ‘natural history’ and biology to use the term to classify supposedly distinct types of human beings in a systematic way.” The stage was set for centuries of racism.

Much of this book is a history of racial classification, and especially of the origins of the term “Caucasian.” Prof. Baum reports that the word “race” is first found in Italian and Spanish in the late 1300s, and meant “of common origin or descent.” He adds that the Frenchman Francois Bernier (1625-88), an avid world traveler and popular travel writer, was the first to use the word in something like the modern sense to mean varieties of humans. His contemporary, the British philosopher and admirer of Bacon, William Petty (1623-87), was typical of the pioneering generation of early race scholars. He noted that Europeans and Africans differed remarkably in skin color, type of hair, and shape of nose, lips, cheeks, and skull. “They differ also in their Naturall Manners, & in the internall Qualities of their Minds,” he added.

As science progressed, classifications became more refined. The celebrated Swedish taxonomist Carl Linnaeus (1707-78) first published his Systems of Nature in 1735. As he updated it through 10 editions, Linnaeus tried out several sets of categories for human classification but eventually settled on four “varieties:” Americanus, Europaeus, Asiaticus, and Afer. He categorized people, just as he did plants and animals, and his descriptions of appearance and behavior include the details any careful observer of the period would have thought significant.

Where did the term “Caucasian” come from? It is usually associated with the German naturalist Johann Blumenbach, but Prof. Baum reports that it was another German, Christoph Meiners (1747-1810), who first used the expression in 1785, when he divided man into two great branches, Caucasian and Mongolian. It is not entirely clear why Meiners called white people Caucasian, but it was widely believed in Europe that after the Flood, the Ark came to rest not far from the Caucasus, and that this was where Europeans originated. Like many people who later promoted the term “Caucasian,” Meiners also thought the Georgian people who lived in the area were especially beautiful.

It was the far better known Blumenbach (1752-1840), however, who popularized the term “Caucasian,” when he used it in the 1795 edition of On the Natural Variety of Mankind. Like Meiners, he considered Georgians and Ossetians especially handsome. He studied skull shapes as a part of racial classification, and thought the skull of a Georgian female was the most beautiful in his collection. Blumenbach was unusual for his time in expressly rejecting the idea that races differed in mental abilities.

The French naturalist Georges Cuvier (1767-1832) adopted and promoted the term “Caucasian”—along with the idea that Georgians were beautiful—as did the American Samuel George Morton (1799-1851). Like Blumenbach, Morton studied skulls, and found racial differences in cranial capacity that corresponded to differences in intelligence. Within a generation, therefore, the term “Caucasian” became widespread, and men like John Stewart Mill and Charles Darwin used it.

Whether or not they adopted the term “Caucasian,” Immanuel Kant, George Buffon, John Locke, and David Hume all wrote intelligently about human biological differences, which they referred to as race. Kant, for example, concluded that racial characteristics were irreducibly biological, given that these characteristics persist from generation to generation, and that racial mixes produce what are clearly half-breeds. Like most men of his time, Kant did not think highly of Africans, concluding that they “have by nature no feeling that rises above the trifling.”

As for calling whites “Caucasians,” it was not long before scientists began to point out the geographical eccentricity of applying this term to Europeans, and to suggest that Georgians weren’t all that good-looking anyway. For a time, according to Prof. Baum, the idea of a Caucasian race fell into relative eclipse, as Europeans turned upon themselves the urge to classify. (Prof. Baum takes the absurd position that this was in order to “racialize” European class differences.) The invention of the cephalic index, calculated by dividing the breadth of the skull by its width and multiplying by 100, was one of the bases for dividing whites into Nordics, Alpines, and Mediterraneans. The American race scholar Madison Grant was greatly taken with this typology, which nevertheless fell out of favor by the 1930s or 1940s.

Prof. Baum writes derisively about the work of these pioneering scholars, emphasizing their disagreements and occasional contradictions. Despite his sneering, however, it is clear that they were simply trying to understand their world. As Europeans explored more obscure corners of the earth they discovered unfamiliar peoples, and were naturally curious about their origins and how they might be related to each other. It was also natural that they should consider themselves superior to these primitives.

Some of their assumptions and disputes—Voltaire thought blacks and whites were a different species; there was disagreement over whether whites had developed from non-white ancestors or whether non-whites had degenerated from early white ancestors—may seem odd today, but were entirely understandable at a time before paleo-anthropology or genetics.

More to the point, Prof. Baum provides no evidence that any of the men he discusses were trying to justify slavery or any kind of mistreatment of non-whites by classifying varieties of man. His assertion that they had impure or non-scientific motives appears to reflect his refusal to recognize the value of human taxonomy and his deep suspicion of anyone who would study race.

There are, of course, heroes in this book: people such as Franz Boas, Ashley Montague, and Stephen Gould, who downplayed race and were among the first to promote the idea that race is a myth. Naturally, Montague gets a lot of attention, along with his 1942 claim that “the idea of ‘race’ represents one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of errors of our times, and the most tragic.” Even Montague, however, does not quite measure up because he showed some grip on reality by writing, “Truth will not be advanced by denying the existence of large groups of mankind characterized more or less, by distinctive inherited traits.” Prof. Baum thinks this gives the idea of race too much credit.

What, in Prof. Baum’s view, brought the race scientists around at last to the view that race is unimportant? Here he admits that pure science had very little to do with it, noting that from the 1930s onwards, people injected egalitarian ideas from other fields into the study of race. In other words, the currently fashionable view that race is irrelevant is the result of deliberate attempts to subvert science through ideology. After claiming, and failing to prove, that the early scholars had non-scientific motives, Prof. Baum confesses that his heroes deliberately bent their research to political ends.

Prof. Baum therefore takes the view that race has never been studied objectively. He simply happens to like the race-is-a myth fad because it fits his ideology, and even admits he thinks ideology is what leads to truth: “Democratizing” movements such as feminism, decolonization, and anti-racism “have often revealed limitations of existing theories about the world and generated advances in human knowledge.” He cites no examples of such advances.

For a book that claims there is no such thing as biological race, The Rise and Fall of the Caucasian Race devotes almost no space to this subject. Prof. Baum’s only “scientific” argument is the old chestnut that there is more genetic variety within populations than between them. He then goes on to draw the incorrect conclusion that this means a black could be more genetically similar to a white than to other blacks (see “Race Denial: The Power of a Delusion,” AR, June 2003; “The Genetics of Race,” AR, July 2006). He even argues that although race can sometimes be a useful medical category—it is now well established that there are distinct population differences in how certain drugs work and certain diseases develop—this is only because race “provides information about the social circumstances and lifestyles of patients.” He insists that as groups become more equal, race will become medically meaningless. We are left wondering why the heart-failure drug BiDil, which does not work on whites, nevertheless works on blacks who have high incomes, are married, and speak standard English just as well as it works on ghetto miscreants.

Prof. Baum is relieved that Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, the Stanford geneticist who has done pioneering work in charting the genetic distances between populations, rejects the use of the word “race.” He fails to point out, however, that Cavalli-Sforza’s “populations” and the genetic distances between them correspond almost perfectly with the findings of physical anthropologists who freely used the R-word (see review of Cavalli-Sforza’s Genes, Peoples, and Languages, AR, August 2000).

Prof. Baum also makes much of the fact that students of race have seldom agreed on how many races there are, and draws from this disagreement the non sequitur conclusion that race must not exist. In any discipline, there are lumpers and splitters, that is to say, people who like large, inclusive categories, and people who like fine distinctions. What is the best way to classify motor vehicles? Some people would be satisfied with a division between cars and trucks. But then where would you put school buses? Other people would insist that convertibles, two-seaters, and SUVs were distinct classes, while others might say they were all cars. There would be disagreement on how to classify motorcycles and whether even to include gas-powered golf carts. Prof. Baum would say that these disagreements mean there are no meaningful categories of motor vehicles and that all motor vehicles are really the same.

Tangles

Prof. Baum gets into tangles like this because he will not face the obvious. He would insist that all races or human groups are equal; but if that is so, how did whites manage to enslave blacks and not the other way around? And how did whites manage to paralyze entire races for centuries simply by “racializing” them as inferior? The moment whites said they were black, Africans apparently collapsed into helplessness from which they have yet to recover. The truth, of course, is that Africans and Australian Aborigines were primitive long before any white man came along to “racialize” them, and would have stayed primitive with or without white men.

Even more fundamentally, if there is no such thing as biological race, how do white people tell themselves apart from the people they are trying to “racialize” and dominate? Might it be that people are born with physical traits so striking and unmistakable it is natural to group them by these traits?

Prof. Baum would probably admit that he can distinguish unerringly between Pygmies and Danes. He would perhaps admit that if Danes keep marrying Danes and Pygmies keep marrying Pygmies, they will look just as different 1,000 years from now as they do today. Prof. Baum is adamant that these striking differences do not amount to something we should call race. What, then, should we call them? Is it evil even to notice them? And why is it wrong to wonder whether the hundreds of thousands of years of separate evolution that produced those differences did not also produce mental differences?

Ultimately, the race deniers fear the truth might knock the props out from under their illusions. Ideology comes first, and then the facts, and we can tell from how he writes how slavishly Prof. Baum hews to ideology.

According to Prof. Baum, Columbus did not discover America; he “discovered” it. It is not European natives but European “natives” who resist non-white immigration. Prof. Baum even feels compelled to assert his ideological superiority over authors he cites with approval. He quotes a 1937 passage from one of his heroes, Frankfurt School founder Max Horkheimer, about “the world which is given to the individual and which he [sic] must accept . . .” Prof. Baum would have written “he or she,” and wants to be sure we know it. He quotes another passage about the “major ethnic groups of man [sic].” Correct ideology comes even before common sense, much less inconvenient facts.

“Planetary Humanism”

What are Prof. Baum’s policy recommendations? In his circle, there is a brisk debate over whether the word and concept of race should be completely junked because any talk of it, even of the most earnestly anti-racist kind, might “reify” a false concept. As Prof. Baum frets, “There are risks involved in using racial categories in efforts to overcome racism—most important, this practice may perpetuate racialist thinking despite the most vigilant efforts to critique ‘race.’ ”

Prof. Baum finally concludes, however, that the risks must be run. Colorblindness will only perpetuate inequality and let “racists” off the hook. Anti-racists must therefore face the demon head-on: “People who have been racialized as Caucasians must acknowledge our historically racialized identities as Caucasian—along with the social and material advantages it entails—even as we work with others to end the myth of a ‘Caucasian race.’ ”

But how would we know we had destroyed the myth? Prof. Baum doesn’t say. He does urge upon us the goal of “planetary humanism,” but when he finally descends from abstractions to practical advice, he says only that whites should support racial preferences for non-whites. Or should they? Racial preferences are based on race, which we know is an illusion. He says classifying by race is as irrational as classifying people as witches, but how do we know whether the university has admitted enough blacks and American Indians if we don’t classify by race? It is hard to know how to fight racism when there is no such thing as race.

The best stance may simply be to adopt Prof. Baum’s basic contempt for whites. He writes that the race that called itself “Caucasian” is “bound up with various crimes against humanity during the past two centuries, even if it has not yet been called into account for its role in these crimes,” so anything that hurts or insults whites can presumably be seen as calling them to account. Prof. Baum also believes that aside from the invention of racism, there is probably nothing of cultural value that could be characterized as white. Whites could conceivably disappear and little of value would be lost.

Some day, academics will look back on books like this and see them for the insulting nonsense they are. In the meantime, they are the sort of thing university presses publish and employees of the state teach to our children.

The post Race is an Illusion appeared first on American Renaissance.

Read more from American Renaissance…

Dick’s Sporting Goods hires gun control lobbyists

Dick’s Sporting Goods was among retailers who caved into the demands of gun control activists by making the minimum age to sell firearms 21, along with other changes. To a large degree, bending over to lefty demands has backfired on Dick’s, and I’m wondering how much of this is an attempt to get the federal government to basically force their own rules on competitors to artificially level the sporting goods playing field: Dick’s Sporting Goods, which announced in February it would no longer sell rifles to anyone under the age of 21, hired three Beltway lobbyists to lobby Congress for gun control, according to federal records reviewed by The Federalist.

Read more from Glover Park Group Topics…