I’d logged onto Twitter for my daily briefing, and was now having to justify my existence to a girl called Chelsea who was tweeting angrily at me for being born in her country.

“India is a backwards shit-heap,” she said, “and wherever Indians go, they make a mess.”

It’s tense debating someone who regards you as subhuman. You feel jittery and vertiginous, because your opponent is trying to point out flaws not just in your argument, but in your very DNA.

She tweeted again. “You ruined your own countries, now you come here and ruin mine.”

I don’t call people “racist,” because it’s an ad hominem fallacy that has never actually stopped anyone being racist. So, instead, I just tried to be reasonable, and listened (looked?).

She said the savagery of non-whites was clear in Sweden’s “rapefugee crisis.”

I told her I had nothing to do with that.

I could almost feel her indignation through my phone-screen. She said it was simple: brown people are genetically predisposed to aggression.

I told her I didn’t feel especially aggressive.

She said my feelings were irrelevant. Brown people in the US and UK commit substantially more violent crime than whites. And we only had to look at all the war-torn Asian and African countries to see that brown people are more violent. She added, “White countries are richer, cleaner, safer and more cultured. That’s why you come to live in our countries.”

I agreed that white civilizations have generally led the world for the last 300 years. But much of humanity’s 200,000 year history has been led by non-white cultures like the Mesopotamians and the Indus Valley civilization, while non-white nations like India and China will probably lead the future.

She stopped tweeting for a while, possibly to Google.

I was confident that in a debate or email discussion I could’ve held my own against Chelsea. However, at that time I was limited to Twitter on my phone, and, unfortunately, I’m not good at addressing civilizational crises in 140 characters. As a result, I could only provide vague responses to Chelsea’s pithy certainties.

As I fumbled with autocorrect to say something that was nuanced and not gibberish, Chelsea, confident and apparently armed with a full keyboard, began to avalanche me in white power tweets:

“Whites created the modern world.”

[Picture of elegant European architecture]

“Whites invented the Internet, which you’re using right now.”

[Inexplicable picture of Bill Gates]

“Just because the truth hurts, it doesn’t make it any less true.”

[Meme saying “Fuck your feelings”]

Chelsea’s profile picture showed a well-groomed twenty-something gazing out with an empathic smile while cradling a baby. It was hard for me to reconcile the photo with the vitriol I was reading, and I wondered if that made me as prejudiced as her.

“You’ve gone quiet,” she wrote. “I’m sorry if you don’t like it, but these things have to be said.”

She continued her fusillade, her tweets rumbling my phone and sending jolts through my hand. “We whites are too generous for our own good. We open our doors to anyone, even killers.

“And you ARE killers. The crime figures prove it. You commit more murders, you steal, you rape.

“Blacks are the worst. That’s not me talking. It’s the crime rates.

“Blacks statistically commit half of all murders but make up ten percent of the population.

“And you brown people are not much better. Look what you’ve done to Sweden. You’re imposing Sharia and turning white women into sex slaves.” Anger-emoji.

Chelsea’s outpouring of white pride had quickly darkened into bitterness, and she soon began lamenting the death of pale complexion on the altar of political correctness. She said anyone who tried to speak up for the dying white race was labelled a racist and shut out of society.

I reminded her that I hadn’t called her a racist.

She said I wasn’t really the problem. It was the “Jew-controlled globalist elites” like Angela Merkel, who were actively destroying the white gene pool by letting in tides of brown refugees, and censoring any who questioned it.

“If this doesn’t end,” she said, “there will be a race war.”

I suggested that a race war might be an overreaction. Perhaps Merkel opened Germany’s borders not to hurt white people, or even to help brown people, but for mostly pragmatic reasons: Germany has an aging population due to decreasing birth-rates, and seeks to replenish its labor force and boost its economy with immigration.

“This is white genocide,” she said. “We’re dying and you’re taking our place.”

I could only offer her a shrug-emoji. The obvious solution to an aging white population was more white babies. But all Europe-born people even brown onesare having fewer babies than immigrants from low-literacy countries. Female education decreases fertility; as migrants are assimilated into a host country, and adopt its ways, they have fewer children on average.

But it wasn’t just women who were losing fertility in the West; a meta-analysis of studies found that the sperm counts of Western men had halved between 1973 and 2011, while that of non-Western men hadn’t shown any significant change.

Chelsea asked why only people in the West were affected. I didn’t know. (Nor did scientists, although they have hypothesized it could involve atmospheric pollutants, mobile phones, or unhealthy lifestyles.)

I suspected Chelsea would assume it was part of a dastardly Jewish plot to destroy the white race, so I emphasized that the fall in fertility had affected all races in the West, including Jews themselves.

I explained that, whatever the causes, the result was a drop in the working-age population, and as this fell, so would GDP. In a hypercompetitive, capitalist world, maintaining a strong economy is essential for countries that wish to stay financially afloat, and the only feasible way to make up the deficit, at least for now, is immigration.

Chelsea said that the economic benefits of immigration were a lie told by the globalists. She said that migrants actually stole jobs from indigenous populations, and drove down wages for everyone.

I pointed out that the economic benefits of migration are well-documented; studies by both government departments and independent think-tanks have found that migrants do not put natives out of work, but actually create jobs for them. Another study by Oxford University found that, although migrants can slightly drive down wages for similarly-skilled natives in the short term, they increase wages for all in the long term by boosting the economy through labour, taxes and purchases, and also by creating businesses that create jobs and contributing to the knowledge economy.

Despite this, I conceded that migration couldn’t solve every problem, and it was essential that we investigated why Westerners were having fewer children.

As we spoke about fertility, and immigration, I noticed that my dispassionate, hateless approach became contagious. Chelsea soon apologized for her earlier racial abuse, and stressed that she didn’t hate “my people,” she just loved her own, and was upset because the world she had known was fading, and she couldn’t mourn it without being labelled a monster.

It seemed clear to me that her hatred wasn’t motivated by malice, but by fear and desperation. Her grip may have felt like a stranglehold, but she was just holding on for dear life.

I asked her about this world she had spoken of, which was supposedly fading. She seemed unable to define it, but kept using the term “traditional white culture.”

I told Chelsea that there is no such thing as “white culture,” because there are countless white cultures, from Hungarian Magyar to Russian Cossack to French Huguenot.

With effort, Chelsea managed to narrow down her fading world to “traditional English culture” — an equally meaningless term, given that all traditions were once innovations. Was she talking about Celtic culture, or Norman, or Tudor? I suspected she was talking about an age she had never experienced, one that didn’t evoke nostalgia but was an evocation of it, a tapestry of dreams and half-remembered history. Even so, I employed the principle of charity, and assumed her “traditional English culture” referred simply to the UK before the Second World War and resultant mass immigration.

I told her that, even though Western birth-rates were declining, there was no immediate danger to traditional English culture. The country’s history was still being taught in schools, and romanticized in books and movies. “Traditional” festivals, from Lent to Christmas, were still being celebrated everywhere. Castles and forts of old were still standing, and large swathes of land called heritage sites were dedicated solely to preserving the past.

“That’s not what I mean,” she said. “We’re losing our connection to our ancestors. It’s being stolen from us. Everything they fought for…”

(Fought for, Chelsea? You mean, like, freedom from fascism?)

I told Chelsea that she could probably trace her ancestry back to the Middle Ages, and to specific towns. In contrast, a descendant of slaves living in the US would have great difficulty tracing his ancestry further than two centuries. He would likely have no knowledge of his ancestral culture, and hence be forced to seek pride in being black rather than being, say, Mandinka or Hausa. (His ancestry could be considered stolen, but not yours, dear Chelsea.)

There was no reply from Chelsea for a while. Then, after a few minutes, she wrote, “Belgian chocolate Haagen Dazs is nothing compared to strawberry cheesecake.”

I suspected she was employing some grand metaphor about race, but then realized she was referencing a tweet I’d posted weeks ago championing Belgian chocolate Haagen Dazs, and she’d taken exception to it on the grounds that strawberry cheesecake was tastier. Apparently, the salted caramel and coffee flavors were also superior.

Normally, I would have been unsettled by someone making comments about my tweet history, but in Chelsea’s case it was oddly comforting. She had taken an interest in the minutiae of my life, and frivolously mentioned it to lighten the tone of the debate. Most crucially, within her bathetic remark was the assumption that I could appreciate her humor — that I was, in fact, not completely alien. This was progress.

Alas, I told Chelsea I had to go. She said she appreciated the discussion, and knew that not all non-white people were bad, but she still didn’t think they were ultimately compatible with whites. In her view, crime rates didn’t lie. I reflexively promised her some answers.

Some may ask why I wished to waste so much time on a petty Twitter exchange, but Chelsea’s worldview mattered, because it is quickly spreading; the recent chaos in Charlottesville was just another symptom of an epidemic of hatred that is resurgent across the West, gradually increasing its electoral share in Europe, encroaching into the cultural mainstream of countries such as Poland, and corresponding with bad omens like increased far-right violence in Germany and increased referrals for far-right extremism in the UK. Even New Zealand seems to be affected. Meanwhile, online, Twitter users who self-identify as white nationalists and Neo-Nazis have increased over 600% since 2012.

These growing demographics contribute significantly to the populist anti-immigrant, pro-free-speech movement, the alt-right, which is exerting a significant influence on Western politics, including on the President of the United States, and now threatens to supplant libertarian conservatism as the principal movement of the right.

Riding the alt-right’s backlash against political correctness are a new breed of fashionably edgy white nationalists like Richard Spencer and Lana Lokteff. They call themselves “Identitarians,” champion straight-talking and white skin, and, most dangerously of all, are polished and mild-mannered (as epitomized by the name of Spencer’s organization, the “National Policy Institute”).

One reason the new Identitarian movement is growing so fast is that no one will bother addressing its arguments. Mainstream commentators shrug it off as racist, seemingly unaware that its anger is made of accusations of racism; Identitarians regard “PC culture” as a system employed by the globalists (i.e. Jews) to suppress the truth about the evils of multiracialism.

This was why I wanted to address Chelsea’s views; dismissing them would only vindicate her. Instead, I would carefully research answers to her accusations, and present them for her consideration.

One claim she had made was that Jews were weakening white people through forced miscegenation. I found that there is no evidence that interracial reproduction produces weaker offspring. In fact, it may actually produce stronger offspring.

But even if Chelsea accepted this, she still considered non-white people to be more prone to violence than white people. Was she right?

One thing Chelsea said had stuck in my mind: “Black people are the worst.” In her view, humans didn’t get any more criminal than blacks. I felt this compelled me to defend them more than my fellow south Asians. If I could convince her that “the worst” were just like her, I could get her to see it of anyone.

Chelsea had said that blacks, despite making up only ten percent of the population, committed half of all murders. After some research, I found her claims were supported by a Freedom of Information request by the Sunday Telegraph to the Metropolitan Police, which revealed that 12% of London’s men are black, yet make up 54% of the city’s reported street crimes committed by men, along with 46% of the knife crimes and 67% of the gun crimes.

Similar figures can be found in the US, where the Department of Justice claims that blacks, despite making up 13% of the US population, were convicted of 52% of all the country’s homicides between 1980 and 2008.

Clearly, this had to be explained.

I carefully considered the line of defense to take.

There was, of course, the issue of racism. Crime rates of blacks do not account for the harsher scrutiny that black people currently receive from police and juries, as evidenced by the fact that they are far more likely to be unduly stopped and searched, far more likely to be wrongfully convicted of murder, and far more likely to have killings counted as homicides. Crime rates don’t measure crime; they measure convictions. (And convictions are skewed by the kind of prejudice you favor, Chelsea.)

However, racism alone was not a sufficient explanation for the disparity in crime rates, because it could not explain why the Department of Justice’s figures for crime rates closely match the figures provided by victims themselves to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).

A better explanation for black crime rates would’ve been to argue that criminality is hugely affected by non-genetic factors, such as poverty and alienation, which are a particular problem for black communities due to ghettoization and other relics of segregation (gang warfare in ghettos not only helps explain why blacks are more likely to be convicted of murder, but also why they are six times more likely than whites to be victims of murder).

Was that enough to explain the racial crime disparity? No, because too few studies in this area have been conducted, and those that have offer contradictory results. And herein lay the problem with this approach: it hinged on disproving Chelsea’s assertion that non-whites were inherently more violent — when I couldn’t be certain that she was wrong.

Average racial differences in behavior are well within the possibilities of evolutionary psychology. The postmodern left have tried to argue that race and behavior are purely social constructs, but they have no evidence for their claims, and have resorted to obscuring their epistemic nudity behind screens of psychobabble. (Their silhouettes are interpreted by the paranoid alt-right as conniving hunchbacked Jews trying to suppress the truth about race.)

Clearly, the postmodern strategy of dismissing facts is not just futile but counterproductive, because it not only fails to address crime disparities, but it also reinforces the white supremacist narrative.

And what if, one day, someone found incontrovertible proof that non-whites really were more violent? In that scenario, the case that we should treat all races equally because they’re all the same would collapse.

The cure to Chelsea’s hatred, then, lay not in denying the possibility of racial differences, but championing equal treatment in spite of them.

I first of all wanted to assure Chelsea that non-whites in general were not a threat. Differences between individuals of the same race are far greater than differences between races, and it is impossible to accurately predict anything about a person by recourse to race alone. The same report that claimed blacks accounted for 52% of homicides also found that the total homicide rate of blacks was 34 per 100,000 people, or 0.034%. It would be safe to say that, excluding poor, fatherless black people, this number would be much smaller. So, regardless of the causes of the crime disparity, the fact remains that the overwhelming majority of blacks are peaceful and law-abiding, and any fear of them based on crime rates is as rational as fearing chocolate due to the off-chance of choking.

I planned to supplement my more substantive points with some good-natured wisecracks (Hey Chelsea, you know who has a higher violent crime rate than blacks? Far-right activists). She would obviously concoct some answers to this, and I would have been happy to hear them, because I was confident that the more I made Chelsea explain her beliefs to me, the more she would realize the irrationality of her hatred, and the less extreme she would become. It wasn’t a fool’s hope; it is actually supported by studies. Apparently, no one can convince someone of their own ignorance better than themselves.

But would that be enough to end her racism? No. For that, I had another strategy.

The best evidence that there was no Jewish conspiracy to stifle the truth about race lay not in anything I could say, but in the fact we were discussing it at all. And the best evidence that non-whites were human lay not in my arguments, but my behavior (Actions speak louder, a picture tells a thousand, etc). I therefore decided to approach the debate not as a rhetorician, but as a pretty cool guy. I also planned to involve in the debate a black friend of mine, whose calm and considerate nature would help remind Chelsea that statistics could not articulate the nuances of individuals.

This was the central part of my plan; I would debate Chelsea honestly, but my ultimate gambit was not any particular argument — it was the act of polite debate itself, which by its very existence disproved her conspiracy theory more eloquently than anything I could say.

The next day, I gathered all my links to academic sources. I’d researched all night, and felt I had an answer to anything Chelsea could throw at me.

I logged onto Twitter. I clicked on Chelsea’s profile page.

Her account had been suspended for breach of terms and conditions.

I slapped my forehead.

This is how the far-right grows online; by Twitter and other social networks’ efforts to suppress it. Chelsea spoke of a conspiracy of silence, and was silenced. Now embittered, locked out of the arena of ideas, her fears of censorship confirmed, she’ll seek sanctuary in far-right corners of the Web, where her opinions will boomerang back at her, and her howls of rage will echo in a chorus of comments that proclaim, “To hell with the globalist Jewish thought-police! We won’t be silent anymore!”

Globalist Jewish thought-police, if you’re monitoring this: you didn’t protect me from Chelsea’s views. You protected Chelsea’s views from me.

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  1. Good piece.

    I encounter people like this online from time to time. Sometime they’re the real mccoy, sometimes they seem to be troll accounts purposely LARPing as alt-righty racists.

    I tend to think the ones that hew too-closely to stereotype are fake; but then, its Poe’s law. It makes little difference in the end. They still create the appearance of far greater-numbers than exist in reality.


    Data for ~50 or so years have shown declining incidence of racist beliefs. Of course skeptics argue that ‘no one actually admits to being racist’, but that’s apparently belied by encounters like this. The amount of proxy indicators showing this decline in racial prejudice are overwhelming and consistent.


    Of course the response has been to simultaneously redefine racism more-broadly, such that its always a perpetual-crisis. As soon as people agreed Confederate Flags were probably offensive, that expanded to ‘any confederate monument at all’, and within months there were editorials suggesting “maybe Christopher Columbus should go too”. Racism simply becomes a social hydra, and no matter how many heads you cut off, new ones simply grow in their place.

    I think the reality is that there are indeed fewer and fewer ‘real racists’, but those that remain are more-vocal because of the anonymity afforded by the internet.

    But i think the internet has a way of making panic over racists in many cases worse than the reality of racists. Much like the moral-panic about “incels” after the Toronto van-attack: a group of people that existed in no form more substantial than a single 4-chan board or subreddit, was suddenly turned into the social-crisis du jour by a media desperate for a new scare-narrative to pump. So too has the Trump presidency produced 100s of thinkpieces about the potential return to Jim Crow

    I don’t mean to be overly dismissive; i am just as worried about the potential emergence of a real ‘white identity movement’ similar to the way right-politics has historically leaned in Europe. But i don’t see that happening right now; just small clusters of people increasingly talking that way online. I agree that the best way to ensure this sort of thing remains in the decline is to let people speak their minds and keep them engaged, so they don’t fall back to claims of victimhood to sustain themselves.

    Thanks for your effort here, and hope to see more from you.

  2. Brilliant, Mr.Bhogal, simply brilliant. Others have dispensed with any minor quibbling I may have entertained, leaving me free to simply express my compliments on a well composed and written article. More importantly, you are one of very few voices that I have yet heard that understands and implements the only practical method with which hearts and minds may be opened to deeper understanding. Your photograph will now take its place alongside the coach in Gainsborough who engaged a confused neo-nazi with reason and kindness during the demonstration there, prompting the requisite self doubt that leads to acceptance. “Why do you hate me, dog?” said the coach, hugging the would-be fascist. “I don’t know,” the suddenly confused bigot replied.

    As you have observed, the vast majority of the new far-right are people who are disenfranchised to begin with, and then led to embrace moronic identitarian positions as a result of demonization induced by the color of their skin and/or their (quite often incorrectly) perceived socioeconomic status.

    Speaking as one who heavily engaged in proselytizing against the excesses of authoritarian American conservatism in the early 1970’s I heartily concur with the premise that the rationalization of unnecessarily adversarial viewpoints is most reliably effected by means of engagement and discourse on an individual personal level wherein “staying on message” is discarded in favor of conceding and exploring the genesis of key facts that contribute to embracing a set ideology that is steeped in hatred of the “other.”


  3. “I don’t call people “racist,” because it’s an ad hominem fallacy that has never actually stopped anyone being racist.”

    No it is not. Ad hominem fallacy is:

    “argumentum ad hominem, is an argumentative strategy whereby an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.”

    If someone is a racist then they are a racist. Referring to a racist as racist is not fallacious.

    – –

    Yes. In such discourse it is not smart to trot it out even if it true but that is beside the point.

  4. Excellent article, and thank you for trying to engage with Chelsea! She is obviously misguided, but those of us on the left need to recognize that beneath the vitriol there are real concerns that need to be addressed (e.g. how to ensure European cultures are preserved with all the migration, why crime rates are so disparate, and so on).

    But as someone else pointed out, there is one flaw in your remarks, namely, you suggested she could probably trace her ancestry back to the middle ages. Now, maybe most English people can do that; I don’t really know. I do know that many of us white Americans cannot. We often have some idea where our ancestors came from, but frequently there’s been a lot of mixing and uncertainty. In my own case, I know my mother’s mother’s family was Irish. But were they pure Irish? They’d lived in North America for some generations; there may well have been mixing. My mother’s father is Swedish, at least in part. But I have no idea how much; he may have been half Swedish, etc. On my father’s side, I have no idea; I am guessing Dutch or English based on my last name. However, that could be the result of one great-great-grandfather in a paternal line, and every other ancestor might be of a different ethnicity.

    I think trying to pin too much on racial identity is a bad idea, but the fact remains that I only know my own racial identity as ‘white.’ There is very little I can say beyond that except that I am a bit Irish and a bit Swedish.

  5. Great article. It’s extremely rare to see someone not-of-the-right engage with these arguments, which, as you point out, is probably why these ideas are growing in popularity. As a disillusioned lefty, I can only tear at my hair in frustration when I see endless thinkpieces dismissing these people as lunatics and bigots without substantively addressing their issues, preferring heavy-handed tactics like namecalling and censorship to reasoned debate.

    One minor point of contention I have is with the extremely optimistic view on immigration presented by the author. While I will concede that most people speaking on this subject are very much likeminded and positive about mass-immigration, they do have their critics (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bkm2Vfj42FY). Furthermore, the picture they paint lacks nuance in the sense that it largely overlooks the class dynamics at play between mostly-poor immigrants and the lower classes of natives with whom they end up competing for jobs. It’s all very well to cite migrants’ impact on the DOW Jones, but if you are a poor person without a stock portfolio, whether the DOW goes up or down has next to no impact on your life. Whether you or Rashid gets the job *does*.
    So I would say the identitarians’ concerns about immigration have more validity than this article gives them credit for, and the fact that no one in the media wants to address these concerns fairly is one reason why their movement and conspiratorial outlook are being reinforced.

  6. I have rarely come across such a sensitive and intelligent approach to people with views different from our own.

    Everything you say concerning this discussion and the person you are discussing with is true, and how racism is promoted by the very ways antiracists act.

    Two points of (slight) disagreement:

    1) in a world which is self-destructing through “progress”, I am not sure that “more growth thanks to immigration” (or to anything else) is all that good.

    2) I think what makes an enormous difference – as a resident in Florence’s multiethnic Oltrarno district – is people actually knowing each other, learning to do things together, offline, hands-on, with their children growing together.

    Commoning is the only way to really heal separations like that: you can never discuss Chelsea into changing her mind, but if you are planting a tree together, everything changes.

  7. I really liked the way recounted the interaction but in the text you put the murder rate among black people as evidence that ‘the overwhelming majority of blacks are peaceful and law-abiding’. I have 2 points of critique on this:
    1 – The rate of 38 murders per 100.000 inhabitants amongst the black US population is a terrible rate, worse than any country of the world. The murder rate for the whole of the US is less than 5 and any rate above 20 is comparable to the rates what were ‘normal’ in European countries before the start of the colonial expansion. A rate of more than 20 per 100.000 inhabitants also implies that among this group there is virtually no individual who doesnt´s personally know a perpetrator or victim of murder or doesn´t have one in their extended family. Statistics for worldwide murder rates are easy enough to find, and the historic perspective, evolution and how they impact a society are exposed in Steven Pinkers excellent book ‘The better Anges of our Nature’
    2 – How you finish this argument by ironically analogizing the fear of being a victim of violence by a black offender as being as ‘rational as fearing chocolate due to the off-chance of choking’ is a non-argument similar of the ‘not al moslems’ when talking about terrorism by comparing it with the chance of dying in a traffic accident. I´d think it disingenuous to dismiss these fears in on swoop for there are clearly parts of the world and the US where it is more likely to die by violence than choking on chocolate. The mere fact of comparing those causes leads you nowhere close to the conclusion, in fact, it´s a lazy and dismissive argument, vor in the end isn´t it just the same as saying ,Hey, we´ll all die someday, so does it really matter when and how’.
    Instead of this finiish it would be more interesting i=f you tried to pinpoint some of the alluded to causes of the giant disparity of violence and murder among black people if compared with the population as a whole.

  8. I think this is a really great piece but it would be considering the following:

    1) As someone with a history and politics background who taught in primary education in the UK. Chelsea as a point about not being taught history well. But it’s not a conspiracy so much as poorly thought out and implemented progressive educational policies that went on a “skills are more important than knowledge” bent.

    I’d unconsciously been plugging this for my classes because I had the subject knowledge and could. It was only when I analysed the history curriculum for a school I worked in that it hit me that others wouldn’t be able to do and probably didn’t.

    There is a movement towards a more knowledge based curriculum precisely because it wasn’t been taught (long story short – hysteria over authoritarianism and what caused it in the 1960s, assumption that if you’ve been taught = brainwashing, solution – either don’t teach it or teach what you do want children to be “brainwashed” with).

    2) The jingoistic teaching of colonial history in the UK gave way to the opposite extreme where it became, not about studying it rationally and with evidence (which by any stretch of the imagination shows it and slavery were bad) to inducing an emotional response. Brown victims of whites. Neither was any of this contextualised in the course of history. Also see conflation of US and UK histories which is unhelpful and doesn’t lead to correct analysis.

    This seems to me partly a response to this.

    3) “Racism explains everything” is no better than “genetics explains everything” as far as the crime rate goes. An analysis of all the reasonable variables needs to be taken into account. There are times when this has thrown up things that progressives or liberals don’t like – e.g. attack on marriage and family – they never took into account the positives so they supported an increase in single parent families which did not address the issues of why relationships go wrong/are abusive, or prevent them. The state can financially replace the missing parent but it can’t emotionally, psychologically and socially. Too often liberals, when faced with the negative consequences of their policies, double down on them instead of trying to work out how to make a better policy. What started out as helping a person becomes an ideological battle. The latter is of no use to real people. The fact that this causes harm to the very groups you wanted to help is a painful lesson but one that has to be learnt.

    Do I think black people were deliberately left off the curriculum in the US – yes the evidence points to that. Do I think that happened in the UK? No I don’t. We have a different history of mass schooling, curriculum development and immigration/demographics. By conflating the two histories one doesn’t get a true picture, one gets a distorted one.

    4) The idea that teaching identity in school is a good idea is not backed by the evidence. It does not show that such teaching leads to higher self-esteem and even when it does show some it’s short not long term. It doesn’t show that it’s built on anything positive (my ancestors were victims). In my experience it will always be a futile exercise as no group has a solid group identity in such a way as it can be taught in a school. Those who don’t belong to the community don’t know the internal debates and struggles and too often in the UK they select those they think are representative but the danger is that it becomes about a particular lobby group pushing a particular idea of what they think that group should be not what they are. This only occurred to me when I was teaching Nigerian children who, like me from an Indian background, had an identity – so why was I teaching them that their “identity” should be constructed by a critical race theorist who knew nothing about them?

    This has inadvertently led to a different type of stereotyping, which also has a negative impact.

    Race theory has never been challenged robustly and the challenge that does exist (let’s swap who is evil and who is good) is no better. Human characteristics can not be divvyed up between different categories of people at will or the stroke of a pen. Such notions may leave some feeling superior and others inferior based on biology but it’s still pseudoscientific no matter what one feels.

    If we want to see a more just society then we need to look at where the issue lies – personal, group, social, political, etc. By lumping everything together we get a simple reductionist theory but rarely solutions to the problem.

    As much as some historical injustices burn we have to make a decision at some point here – if we are going to move forward together we are going to have make a trade-off between the past and present. If Rwandans can attempt to do this after the genocide then I think it is possible both in the US and UK to do it. Otherwise we are locked into our pasts with no hope.

    I have no time for racists but I feel strongly that in order to feel good, we are accepting ideas and theories that are not based in reality. I would rather accept a painful truth than hand a single one to the racists to exploit and it’s in this spirit that I’ve written the above.

  9. Well played sir. That’s the kind of discussions people need to have in order to change minds.
    If I may quibble though. You stated: “I told Chelsea that she could probably trace her ancestry back to the Middle Ages, and to specific towns. In contrast, a descendant of slaves living in the US would have great difficulty tracing his ancestry further than two centuries”. I’d strongly disagree with that. Most white people cannot trace that far back. Most of us are the product of “white mixing” from various poor, illiterate families. All we know is that we are white. There is no “back home” and any attempt to connect with our past is basically some sort of historical fiction. I think that’s what Chelsea finds threatening. The basic “white” identity is much like “black” identity: it is amorphous and based on only in contrast to other colours. When white people are together they split into their own tribes based on whatever ethnic background they may have ties to (Italian, Greek, Slav, Polish, etc.) and the white identity dissolves. Those who cannot find this past identity are left with just “white”. I think that it’s this rather fragile “white” identity that stokes the fear of the white nationalist. Blacks and whites have more in common than they’d like to admit.

  10. “The relationship [between single-parent families and crime] is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime. This conclusion shows up time and again in the literature. The nation’s mayors, as well as police officers, social workers, probation officers, and court officials, consistently point to family break up as the most important source of rising rates of crime.”

  11. “Was that enough to explain the racial crime disparity? No, because too few studies in this area have been conducted, and those that have offer contradictory results.”

    Not so sure I agree with this. Care to list some references?

    Many thanks.

  12. Do you not think that Chelsea’s issue is with her own culture? It’s been deracinated by technological change, by isolation at work and in small families, by consumerism. But it’s also been uncelebrated in education and sidelined by multiculturalism. Pulling down is much easier, and easier to teach, than building up. Telling one side of a story takes much less than half the time it takes to tell both sides: & given that time is short and it’s where their hearts lie, left wing teachers teach the guilty side.

    On top of that, the ideas underlying Western culture – rights, obligations, logic – have always been elusive and abstract.

    It’s impossible to have a culture on your own, or as a weekend activity. So Chelsea, seeing clearly what barbarism looks like, comes fumbling out, trying to sift the lies and half-truths she’s undoubtedly been told (or why would there be so many government failures?), and the truths not told her (why all the indignation at her asking?), hungry for history and nuance. Unfortunately, modern political reality is so outrageous that outrageous explanations seem viable.

    If I can speak for Chelsea, I’d say her main observation is that culture has a very long reach. It reaches down generations, it can flare up where it appears to have died out. Culture is persistent enough, can persist over millennia, that it may get intertwined with biology, with intelligence or disposition. Cultures may be compatible and mix fruitfully, or they may not. Therefore the prudent course is to not stir them together as a matter of policy. Having a full and nuanced knowledge of her own culture is only the #2 priority for Chelsea.

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