Urgently important new essay by @steevqj:

The Race To Focus On Race:
What happens when the narrative outpaces the truth?

"You’ve probably heard that on March 16th, Robert Long attacked two massage parlours in Atlanta killing eight people & seriously injuring another...


"You’ve also likely heard that six of the eight victims were Asian women. In the days following the attack, news outlets published a string of reports blaming Long’s actions on racism.

Trevor Noah made the case more clearly than most:

" '…The Atlanta shooter blamed a specific race of people for his problems and then murdered them because of it. If that’s not racism, then the word has no meaning.'

There’s no arguing with Noah’s logic here. The problem is, what he’s saying isn’t true.

"Long didn’t blame a specific race for his problems. Instead, as far as anybody currently knows, he attacked the massage parlours because he saw them as an outlet for a sexual addiction that was causing him to “fall out of God’s grace”. Long was specifically asked...

"...whether the attack was racially motivated and said no. But we have more than his word to go on.

In '19, Long shared a room in a halfway house for recovering addicts with a man [who] has come forward to reveal that Long had been visiting the parlours for years before...

"...he attacked them, despite struggling with 'a deep feeling of remorse and shame' whenever he did so. [He] confirmed that Long used massage parlours because they were 'safer than paying for sex elsewhere', and not because of the ethnicity of the people who worked there.

"But despite all this, the media seems desperate to ignore these facts in favour of a racial narrative.

'So what?'

Why should we care if a few details are wrong? What’s wrong with highlighting racial injustice whenever possible?

"Who cares if this particular shooting wasn’t racially motivated when a wave of anti-Asian crime is sweeping America? These are important questions, to which there are two answers.

"The first is that if you treat the news like a story, the people who don’t fit the plot are edited out of it. The white man & woman who were murdered have families & loved ones too.

There’s a second, more costly consequence of leaning into false narratives: if we don’t...

"...correctly identify the cause of a problem, we risk creating solutions that do more harm than good. This exact scenario played out in Minneapolis last year.

In the aftermath of Floyd’s murder, the narrative was that the police were an existential threat to black lives.

"The perception was enough to inspire calls to abolish the police entirely, and Minneapolis City council unanimously approved a proposal to eliminate the city’s PD. Over 100 police officers left the force in response, leading to a surge in violent crime.

"The council then backtracked, but not before homicides rates increased by 50% , leading to 32 more deaths than the previous year.

The most frustrating thing about this move is that it came despite the objections of the black community it was supposed to protect.

"That Minneapolis City council only listened to their citizens when they were dying in the streets is a perfect example of the harm that false racial narratives can cause. The stories we weave from them are so powerful that the truth rarely stands a chance.

"One would hope this would go without saying, but one should also know better. So here it is: none of this is an attempt to minimise the violence plaguing the Asian-American community or racial violence in general.

"This eagerness to apply a racial filter to tragedies erases the victims who don’t fit the story. It obscures the motivations of the criminals. Worst of all, it tempts us to weigh the value of human life in racial terms.

"The urgency with which we approach racial issues today can be a good thing. God knows they need to be addressed. But we give ourselves the best chance of doing so when we resist the temptation to put the narrative before the truth."

Read it here: medium.com/illumination-c…

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More from @FreeBlckThought

3 Apr
Spotlight on the UK:

@buffsoldier_96 in @unherd:

"Political blackness was born in [an] era where 'coloureds were treated as part of a de facto underclass. Institutional racism meant they occupied menial jobs, were denied decent housing and education and were excluded...


"...from many social spaces due to the 'colour bar'.

In this context, it made sense for descendants of Britain’s colonies to band together.

But political blackness is now a fossil. [I]t flattens out the diffs btw blacks & S. Asians into an abstract non-white identity.

"At the same time, the emergence of identity politics has had the effect of breaking up what was once a unified 'black struggle' into ethnic & religious fragments.

The Tories are the political group best equipped to appeal to an increasingly diverse electorate.
Read 10 tweets
31 Mar

British gov't has released the report of its Commission on Race & Ethnic Disparities (CRED).

"Put simply we no longer see a Britain where the system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities. The impediments & disparities do exist, they are varied, and ironically... Image

"...very few of them are directly to do w/ racism. Too often ‘racism’ is the catch-all explanation, and can be simply implicitly accepted rather than explicitly examined.

The evidence shows that geography, family influence, socio-economic background, culture & religion...

"...have more significant impact on life chances than the existence of racism. That said, we take the reality of racism seriously and we do not deny that it is a real force in the UK."

Read it here:
Read 12 tweets
31 Mar
Lovely piece on the misused, abused, and sainted for all the wrong reasons Frantz Fanon, by @tomowolade:

"St. Frantz is a mirage. As his biographer David Macey puts it: 'there were other Frantz Fanons', apart from his status as a prophet of Third World revolution."



"On the very first page of 'Black Skin, White Masks' Fanon states: 'I’m not the bearer of absolute truths'. Which doesn’t sound very saintly. He was trying to emphasise his humanity instead of being seen solely for his race."

"Fanon, in his book, is trying to affirm the universal brotherhood of man. In one passage, he states: 'we must recall our aim is to enable better relations between Blacks and Whites'. It is no surprise, then, he is sensitive about anti-Semitism."
Read 9 tweets
30 Mar
On the occasion of the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, by @Hebro_Steele:

"Ideology blinds us to humanity while the act of witnessing reveals.

We see this blindness more than ever in today’s identity-politics-choked America."

1/ Image

"To be a witness does not mean the surrendering of one’s values & principles; it only means understanding & empathy. The act of witnessing allows one to absorb the experiences of another human, allowing one to grow wiser."

"We cannot guess what went through Chauvin’s mind...

"...as he kneeled on Floyd, but his hands in his pockets & his defiant stare revealed a man blinded to the man beneath his knee. When Al Sharpton declares 'America is on trial,' he blinds himself to the progress that countless Blacks have made in America.
Read 5 tweets
28 Mar
"The Good News They Won’t Tell You About Race in America," by @wil_da_beast630 in @Commentary:

"In 2021 America, it is not, objectively speaking, extraordinarily hard for a person of any skin tone to 'make it'."

A thread for non-subscribers.


"Seven of the wealthiest eight ethnic groups in the U.S. today are populations of color, even as affirmative action broadly defined serves as a counterbalance to much of the residual bigotry within society.

"In the real world, simply adjusting mathematically for mundane characteristics such as median age and study time closes almost all of the large racial—and gender—performance gaps glibly attributed to bigotry or genetics.
Read 25 tweets
27 Mar

Philosopher Charles Mills on liberalism:

"Liberalism is attractive on both principled & strategic grounds. If liberalism has never lived up to its ostensible principles & values, that goes no way in proving that the principles & values are themselves unattractive ones.

"The illuminating way to understand violations of (ideal) liberal norms [is] as a manifestation of the corrupting results of group power, whether of the privileged classes, men, or the dominant race, for liberal theory & practice.

"But we can appeal to the idealized, non-group-restricted versions of liberal principles and values to critique the exclusionary versions—indeed, that is precisely what most American progressive social movements have historically done.
Read 7 tweets

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