The anonymous letter, which can be regarded as in the public domain (it’s been fully tweeted, line by line, for instance), is from a purported History Professor “of color” (she means black) at Berkeley. We can anticipate the author’s enemies will dispute her (I don’t know if it’s a man or woman) bona fides.
These are immaterial. It doesn’t matter who wrote the letter. It doesn’t matter if it’s a giant troll, which I suspect (but I am very distrustful). Only the content counts. The argument within is well familiar, but stated in brilliant icy clarity. For that reason alone it must be read.
If the writer is a genuine Berkeley professor, then the hunt for her must be on already. It can’t be too difficult to track down an “of color” historian, or limit the number of suspects. Five full seconds of searching reveals four possibilities, with one being the most obvious. This also gives weight to the idea the writer is not who she says she is. She couldn’t have really expected to remain anonymous when there are spies and traitors around every corner.
Given leftists swim in sea of paranoia, if this is a troll, it must be designed to set the faculty against each other. Clever, though hard on the actual “of colors” who will come under the deepest suspicion. But then the whites would suspect it’s really a white masquerading as an “of color”.
It’s wrong to suggest this ploy (even if the letter is genuine) be used at other institutions with “Letters In Sympathy And Accord”. It would encourage faculty to eat each other, ratting each other out in a shark’s frenzy of denunciations. Lovely, lovely.
But never mind. The letter may be genuine. Fans of fallacies will recall the genetic, and realize they have to attach the ideas, not the origin.
Have at it.
Oh, since times are tough, I have decided to accept limited advertising to help defray blog expenses. I won’t let it grow too obtrusive. Today’s post is sponsored by this CEO.
Corporate pandering is out of control. I’ve had enough of it. Have you? pic.twitter.com/bmnJ2Yqzwq
— Damani Felder (@TheDamaniFelder) June 13, 2020
Dear profs X, Y, Z,
I am one of your colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. I have met you both personally but do not know you closely, and am contacting you anonymously, with apologies. I am worried that writing this email publicly might lead to me losing my job, and likely all future jobs in my field.
In your recent departmental emails you mentioned our pledge to diversity, but I am increasingly alarmed by the absence of diversity of opinion on the topic of the recent protests and our community response to them. In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system. The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions.
Many cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly. These people are not racists or ‘Uncle Toms’. They are intelligent scholars who reject a narrative that strips black people of agency and systematically externalizes the problems of the black community onto outsiders. Their view is entirely absent from the departmental and UCB-wide communiques.
The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians. Instead, it is being treated as an axiomatic and actionable truth without serious consideration of its profound flaws, or its worrying implication of total black impotence. This hypothesis is transforming our institution and our culture, without any space for dissent outside of a tightly policed, narrow discourse.
A counter-narrative exists. If you have time, please consider examining some of the documents I attach at the end of this email. Overwhelmingly, the reasoning provided by BLM and allies is either primarily anecdotal (as in the case with the bulk of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ undeniably moving article) or it is transparently motivated. As an example of the latter problem, consider the proportion of black incarcerated Americans. This proportion is often used to characterize the criminal justice system as anti-black. However, if we use the precise same methodology, we would have to conclude that the criminal justice system is even more anti-male than it is anti-black.
Would we characterize criminal justice as a systemically misandrist conspiracy against innocent American men? I hope you see that this type of reasoning is flawed, and requires a significant suspension of our rational faculties. Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates than their involvement in violent crime would predict. This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries. And yet, I see my department uncritically reproducing a narrative that diminishes black agency in favor of a white-centric explanation that appeals to the department’s apparent desire to shoulder the ‘white man’s burden’ and to promote a narrative of white guilt.
If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans? This is a funny sort of white supremacy. Even Jewish Americans are incarcerated less than gentile whites. I think it’s fair to say that your average white supremacist disapproves of Jews. And yet, these alleged white supremacists incarcerate gentiles at vastly higher rates than Jews.
None of this is addressed in your literature. None of this is explained, beyond hand-waving and ad hominems. “Those are racist dogwhistles”. “The model minority myth is white supremacist”. “Only fascists talk about black-on-black crime”, ad nauseam. These types of statements do not amount to counterarguments: they are simply arbitrary offensive classifications, intended to silence and oppress discourse. Any serious historian will recognize these for the silencing orthodoxy tactics they are, common to suppressive regimes, doctrines, and religions throughout time and space. They are intended to crush real diversity and permanently exile the culture of robust criticism from our department.
Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM’s problematic view of history, and the department is being presented as unified on the matter. In particular, ethnic minorities are being aggressively marshaled into a single position. Any apparent unity is surely a function of the fact that dissent could almost certainly lead to expulsion or cancellation for those of us in a precarious position, which is no small number.
I personally don’t dare speak out against the BLM narrative, and with this barrage of alleged unity being mass-produced by the administration, tenured professoriat, the UC administration, corporate America, and the media, the punishment for dissent is a clear danger at a time of widespread economic vulnerability. I am certain that if my name were attached to this email, I would lose my job and all future jobs, even though I believe in and can justify every word I type.
The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people. There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution.
Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is. No discussion is permitted for non-black victims of black violence, who proportionally outnumber black victims of non-black violence. This is especially bitter in the Bay Area, where Asian victimization by black assailants has reached epidemic proportions, to the point that the SF police chief has advised Asians to stop hanging good-luck charms on their doors, as this attracts the attention of (overwhelmingly black) home invaders. Home invaders like George Floyd.
For this actual, lived, physically experienced reality of violence in the USA, there are no marches, no tearful emails from departmental heads, no support from McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. For the History department, our silence is not a mere abrogation of our duty to shed light on the truth: it is a rejection of it.
The claim that black interracial violence is the product of redlining, slavery, and other injustices is a largely historical claim. It is for historians, therefore, to explain why Japanese internment or the massacre of European Jewry hasn’t led to equivalent rates of dysfunction and low SES performance among Japanese and Jewish Americans respectively. Arab Americans have been viciously demonized since 9/11, as have Chinese Americans more recently. However, both groups outperform white Americans on nearly all SES indices – as do Nigerian Americans, who incidentally have black skin. It is for historians to point out and discuss these anomalies. However, no real discussion is possible in the current climate at our department. The explanation is provided to us, disagreement with it is racist, and the job of historians is to further explore additional ways in which the explanation is additionally correct. This is a mockery of the historical profession.
Most troublingly, our department appears to have been entirely captured by the interests of the Democratic National Convention, and the Democratic Party more broadly. To explain what I mean, consider what happens if you choose to donate to Black Lives Matter, an organization UCB History has explicitly promoted in its recent mailers. All donations to the official BLM website are immediately redirected to ActBlue Charities, an organization primarily concerned with bankrolling election campaigns for Democrat candidates. Donating to BLM today is to indirectly donate to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. This is grotesque given the fact that the American cities with the worst rates of black-on-black violence and police-on-black violence are overwhelmingly Democrat-run. Minneapolis itself has been entirely in the hands of Democrats for over five decades; the ‘systemic racism’ there was built by successive Democrat administrations.
The patronizing and condescending attitudes of Democrat leaders towards the black community, exemplified by nearly every Biden statement on the black race,
all but guarantee a perpetual state of misery, resentment, poverty, and the attendant grievance politics which are simultaneously annihilating American political discourse and black lives. And yet, donating to BLM is bankrolling the election campaigns of men like Mayor Frey, who saw their cities devolve into violence. This is a grotesque capture of a good-faith movement for necessary police reform, and of our department, by a political party. Even worse, there are virtually no avenues for dissent in academic circles. I refuse to serve the Party, and so should you.
The total alliance of major corporations involved in human exploitation with BLM should be a warning flag to us, and yet this damning evidence goes unnoticed, purposefully ignored, or perversely celebrated. We are the useful idiots of the wealthiest classes, carrying water for Jeff Bezos and other actual, real, modern-day slavers. Starbucks, an organisation using literal black slaves in its coffee plantation suppliers, is in favor of BLM. Sony, an organisation using cobalt mined by yet more literal black slaves, many of whom are children, is in favor of BLM. And so, apparently, are we. The absence of counter-narrative enables this obscenity. Fiat lux, indeed.
There also exists a large constituency of what can only be called ‘race hustlers’: hucksters of all colors who benefit from stoking the fires of racial conflict to secure administrative jobs, charity management positions, academic jobs and advancement, or personal political entrepreneurship. Given the direction our history department appears to be taking far from any commitment to truth, we can regard ourselves as a formative training institution for this brand of snake-oil salespeople. Their activities are corrosive, demolishing any hope at harmonious racial coexistence in our nation and colonizing our political and institutional life. Many of their voices are unironically segregationist.
MLK would likely be called an Uncle Tom if he spoke on our campus today. We are training leaders who intend, explicitly, to destroy one of the only truly successful ethnically diverse societies in modern history. As the PRC, an ethnonationalist and aggressively racially chauvinist national polity with null immigration and no concept of jus solis increasingly presents itself as the global political alternative to the US, I ask you: Is this wise? Are we really doing the right thing?
As a final point, our university and department has made multiple statements celebrating and eulogizing George Floyd. Floyd was a multiple felon who once held a pregnant black woman at gunpoint. He broke into her home with a gang of men and pointed a gun at her pregnant stomach. He terrorized the women in his community. He sired and abandoned multiple children, playing no part in their support or upbringing, failing one of the most basic tests of decency for a human being. He was a drug-addict and sometime drug-dealer, a swindler who preyed upon his honest and hard-working neighbors. And yet, the regents of UC and the historians of the UCB History department are celebrating this violent criminal, elevating his name to virtual sainthood. A man who hurt women. A man who hurt black women. With the full collaboration of the UCB history department, corporate America, most mainstream media outlets, and some of the wealthiest and most privileged opinion-shaping elites of the USA, he has become a culture hero, buried in a golden casket, his (recognized) family showered with gifts and praise.
Americans are being socially pressured into kneeling for this violent, abusive misogynist. A generation of black men are being coerced into identifying with George Floyd, the absolute worst specimen of our race and species. I’m ashamed of my department. I would say that I’m ashamed of both of you, but perhaps you agree with me, and are simply afraid, as I am, of the backlash of speaking the truth. It’s hard to know what kneeling means, when you have to kneel to keep your job.
It shouldn’t affect the strength of my argument above, but for the record, I write as a person of color. My family have been personally victimized by men like Floyd. We are aware of the condescending depredations of the Democrat party against our race. The humiliating assumption that we are too stupid to do STEM, that we need special help and lower requirements to get ahead in life, is richly familiar to us. I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to deal with open fascists, who at least would be straightforward in calling me a subhuman, and who are unlikely to share my race.
The ever-present soft bigotry of low expectations and the permanent claim that the solutions to the plight of my people rest exclusively on the goodwill of whites rather than on our own hard work is psychologically devastating. No other group in America is systematically demoralized in this way by its alleged allies. A whole generation of black children are being taught that only by begging and weeping and screaming will they get handouts from guilt-ridden whites.
No message will more surely devastate their futures, especially if whites run out of guilt, or indeed if America runs out of whites. If this had been done to Japanese Americans, or Jewish Americans, or Chinese Americans, then Chinatown and Japantown would surely be no different to the roughest parts of Baltimore and East St. Louis today. The History department of UCB is now an integral institutional promulgator of a destructive and denigrating fallacy about the black race.
I hope you appreciate the frustration behind this message. I do not support BLM. I do not support the Democrat grievance agenda and the Party’s uncontested capture of our department. I do not support the Party co-opting my race, as Biden recently did in his disturbing interview, claiming that voting Democrat and being black are isomorphic.
I condemn the manner of George Floyd’s death and join you in calling for greater police accountability and police reform. However, I will not pretend that George Floyd was anything other than a violent misogynist, a brutal man who met a predictably brutal end. I also want to protect the practice of history. Cleo is no grovelling handmaiden to politicians and corporations. Like us, she is free.
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Whoever wrote it, it is very well written. Compulsory reading for all media – oh forget that, the cynic in me has just awakened.
I think the author is brave to have posted it – even if anonymously. Having a reasonable discussion on this matter is as hard as having a reasoned discussion on WuFlu or Climate Change. And so goes our world. So Sad.
One comment *against the provenance of the document* :
There also exists a large constituency of what can only be called ‘race hustlers’: hucksters of all colors who benefit from stoking the fires of racial conflict to secure administrative jobs, charity management positions, academic jobs and advancement, or personal political entrepreneurship.
As a historian, wouldn’t ‘she’ have figured out how to insert “carpet bagging” into that paragraph?
It is well written and true.
It will be denounced as heresy.
It will change nothing.
The line, “bigotry of low expectations” (or something very similar) came out of the G. W. Bush administration.
I am happy to see someone else who understands that the writer is immaterial, ONLY THE CONTENT is what counts.
As the email writer points out, racism can even be using one’s own race against others of the same race. The goal is to destroy the “enemy” and avoid responsibility for one’s own actions. Actual color is irrelevant.
This is important and lost on 99% of the population: YOU WANT THINGS TO BE YOUR FAULT. To have everything be “somone else’s fault” is to make oneself a SLAVE, not a free person. If it’s your fault, you can correct or fix it. So, freedom or slavery? 99% of the population choses slavery…..(White guilt is not “it being your own fault”, by the way. It’s stupidity and cowardice.)
Black lives matter only when politically useful. You can murder 100 overnight and no one will blink if it can’t be turned into a riot. If killed by other blacks or illegal aliens, NO ONE will say a word. Not a word. Ever.
I’m surprised the Asians are not armed. Korean shopkeepers were very effective during the Rodney King riots.
Japanese, Jews, Arabs—none sold their souls to Satan in return for the lies of their masters. Blacks sold their souls and did it early on. They would do anything to be considered “victims” and make everything everyone else’s fault. It made them the ideal choice for racist promotion—willing, stupid, loser victims. They volunteered to live in hell on earth.
Corporations are simply evil. What more can one say? You may be forced to buy what you need, but never buy any luxury items. Buy used or do not buy at all. Never shop a store if a second hand store will do or you can make the item mostly on your own. You may have to barter for or buy second hand the materials, but never, ever buy new if you can avoid it. Never buy a new car when a used will do. Buy nothing as much as possible. A counter narrative is useless at this point. It’s too late. Just stop supporting by buying from these evil creatures.
Over half the incidents of police killing a suspect involve someone who did not do as told. They are defiant and obnoxious and threatening to the police. THIS IS BECAUSE THEY ARE JERKS AND NEED TO BE SLAPPED DOWN EARLY IN LIFE. The other half are the atrocious lack of training and the hiring of male egotists to work in police work, plus stupid, worthless XX gender Barbie police chefs. Want to destroy law and order? Put frigging Barbie in charge.
The message is excellent, but I sincerely doubt the origin as stated. This is far too enlightened to be written by someone on a college faculty. The cognitive dissonance would have caused a head explosion long ago.
As I pointed out a couple of days ago, Candace Owens has been saying the same thing out loud and not anonymously. At least the message is being distributed if not heard.
But then she supports Trump so is obviously insane if not pure evil.
The other half are the atrocious lack of training and the hiring of male egotists to work in police work
You apparently have never run into the FEMALE jerks and egotists.
Ken: No, LBJ and the sixties. Probably FDR is the origin, but it didn’t take on that run.
DAV: Apologies. I certainly did not mean to imply men are the only egotists. I just see them more in police work. The FEMALE jerks seem to stick to running for governor and setting up their own dicatatorships, or destroying males in corporations. I am no fan of women.
Oh, “dog whistle” is an interesting term. If only the blacks can hear it, doesn’t that make them the dogs?
Sheri, I always thought Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) was the source of the quote. Oh for the days of the loyal opposition! Today, he would be cancelled as a reactionary bigot.
Nobody should be afraid to say something. Nobody should be losing their jobs for a post full of WORDS. Sometimes, people artistically say things to get a good message out. It doesn’t mean the person identifies or will carry out the message. Even if someone says black lives don’t matter, they should have the freedom to say so and not lose anything because of it.
People sometimes ARTISTICALLY send messages to get something GOOD happening. Because, after all, words are only worth the effects they cause aren’t they?
I could post this: “Poop tastes good.”
It’s a formulation of words that doesn’t need to mean for people to start eating poop…
I don’t even think it tastes good…
People should be judged by their actions, not their words. This letter calls out the most important thing about this whole BLM movement. Having a different opinion and being able to freely state it. Having it meaning, you may not even be on EITHER SIDE YET!! You’re just stating the opposite opinion so it can be looked at!
People won’t even ALLOW a discussion!
Are these people so fragile? So egotistical?
So protected by the self esteem movement?
Listen to this: French fries help rollercoasters fly through the ground by exploding rockets with ice water glasses taped to tiny elephants.
Another artistic statement, albeit way over the top.
People can have other intentions besides the words they speak. Stop making people in fear of speaking WORDS!
I speak here to anyone who reads this.
Thank you for bringing us Good News Professor Briggs.
Regarding the manner of writing, it looks authentic, someone who’s been marking essays on the subject for a long time. A female author, too. Can’t quite explain why in few words.
Perhaps now, organised media, have finally insulted the canny intellect of those they use, just once too often. When it becomes ridiculous they do the work of their enemy.
To construe the manner of Floyd’s unnecessary death as racist is blatant dishonesty by media who know better. Note some of the anchors are ex-lawyers. They know how the manipulation of public minds can work. Particularly where group think and crowd sourcing is involved. Most people, I contend, are still in command of their senses. The media tricks are getting old.
What dastardly things will they think of next?
Despite public’s the emotion, horror, of watching “snuff clips” on the news on an hourly basis. There are plenty of very well adjusted individuals of “minority communities”, who can see through all the fakery.
Re: Dominque Samuels. Below are two of her interviews, (shortened.)
It aired on Sky, the second one, so I caught her name. Note the entire interview is cut. Never assume there isn’t a network of similar minded people.
Furthermore, Boris is in hot water today for daring to imply he’s about to make a similar appeal to proper discourse. They’re reading into what he hasn’t actually yet said. Preparing the phoney outrage.
Sorry I meant this one which was much longer and she mentioned some of the fallacies of reporting of statistics which have been cut. Perhaps the full thing’s somewhere else but it was embarrassing for the Anchor so not surprised it’s been edited.
There’s a typo in the last paragraph of the letter. “Cleo” should be “Clio” (also spelled Klio or Kleio), the muse of history.
Ah, yes, this old man remembers: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”, and I live by that. I am a man. I have agency. God gave me life. Jesus gives me no fear. I strive to live in reality, not fantasy. Seeing possibilities is fine, so far as it goes; yet “make it happen, cap’n”, is so much better.
Amazing how the truth resonates…
Seattle is roughly 65% white and 7 % black and so it makes perfect sense that big city would have a black woman as its top cop.
Remember that black General in N’Awlings (Honore?) responding to stupid questions from the press ‘ You can’t fix stupid
Seattle is very liberal and as a city it thinks there would be no bad consequences resulting from its decision to have a black woman as its top cop. You can’t fix liberalism.
One just has to get as far away from them as is possible, get out of Dodge, and dodge the ineluctable devastation and destruction that results from them gaining power from voters.
But go ahead and vote. This next national election (like the seventeen before it) will be the most important ever and we can see the results of voters choices the previous sixteen national elections.
Do you think Tucker Carlson would ever – EVER? – point out that having a black woman as a big city cop was asking for mayhem?
Yes, very excellent presentation of the truth. I first read this letter at the following link which was sent to us by our daughter.
My comment is there in the comments section, and here it is now. The use of “Uncle Tom” as used in the article is the crux of my comment as it appears that perhaps most who use the name disparagingly, have not read Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Dear Author, Great article!! Thank you!! I noticed that twice the name, Uncle Tom, was used in apparently, the apparently common derogatory usage. My question is, have you read the book named Uncle Tom’s Cabin? I did read it a few months ago because I wondered how awful must the character have been in the story. But, it turns out, that Uncle Tom was a very good, kind, generous, loving family man, who even in the midst of terribly difficult trials, called upon Jesus for help so that he would be loving with God’s love always.
It would be an immense good if the reading of this book was done by the many in the black community. Yes, the horrors of slavery are well told in it, but that the love of God is beautifully related throughout Uncle Tom’s life as his succor for help so desperately needed . At the least, if it is widely read by influential members, the truth of Uncle Tom will be known and his name will be used for good.
God bless, CMarie
Up From Slavery Booker T. Washington another good read .
“It would be an immense good if the reading of this book was done by the many in the black community”
Very true, and so it will never ever be suggested. Any action that does not inflate black sense of oppression by whites will never be taken, because the route evil people take to power relies on that perception of oppression and blacks not taking ownership of their own problems.
God bless, C-Marie
ABS is that Amateur being the operative word?
Peter Hitchens preached your message of ‘don’t bother to vote’. It was about the time he said he was writing an obituary for England. He was proved quite wrong. He’s a Protestant as you no doubt know, but otherwise his argument was similar to yours of degradation of a nation and pointless voting. I often agree with what he says but surely the way to vote is in the direction of travel which is nearer to where you want to end up?
America is not an Empire, either. That label is a throw back to the anti colonialists who also support the rewriting of history.
The US is a superpower.
As if being Christian Catholic or no, means you have to choose not to vote.
The only certain way to loose is not to play. Michael 2 once said.
Dear Joy. Yes, Amateur is operational
The only certainty about voting is one knows the man he voted for will be breaking all of his promises once elected and we know from the O.T. (Kings) that the moral or immoral behavior of the leader of a country will end up being either a blessing or a curse upon his people.
Hitchens was right about England. It no longer exists – have you been to London in the last 20 years?
American support for the four sins crying to Heaven means that God’s Infinite Justice will be actualised via the gangs who end up destroying America being unknowing instruments of His will.
It’s nice to see someone doesn’t take offence at gentle humour.
Have I been to London in the last twenty years? yes.
Shame you don’t think Trump has done any good so far. I think he’s been tremendous.
If he does nothing else he will have done a tremendous job, for free speech. Or just plain talking.
He hasn’t broken all promises. Some, but not all. That makes him roughly 1000x better than Hilary. (God help us if she had been granted the opportunity to fulfill some promises by more people like you!)
England does still exist, compromised but still exists. I don’t expect perfection in this world. Hitchens can be great but requires the grain of salt. I think it’s his brand of protestantism, and tragic familial influence….the guy loves Cromwell I’m pretty sure I remember reading. Chilling.
Didn’t know that about Cromwell. I’d be surprised he hasn’t changed his mind since saying it.
The battle is always on, it seems. Some Catholics can’t believe they were “robbed”, so join arms with ANY of our enemies to play Golem. So many enemies, so little cause for such a a tiny insignificant Island, as Putin said, recently.
Many would take that, if people meant it. Leave us to be. Smaller in ambition but that does mean leave us alone. Therein lies the eternal problem for the sceptre’d Isle.
An eternally circular situation.
Our monarchy is only there by the Grace of God. Our enemies think they’ve worked us out but the ravens are thriving at the tower, still like writing desks, so they’ll always be an England.