So, I'm glad Biden named white supremacy as "terrorism" and pointed to systemic racism in law enforcement, but I do want to keep in mind the purposes for doing so. In my mind, Biden has no other choice but to use this language to name the problem.
I'm pointing this out because the actions he's taking do not align with the rhetoric he is using. If white supremacy was as much a terrorist threat as Bin Laden, whose specter he invoked earlier, I would think that Biden would seek to mobilize resources sufficient to the task.
Moreover, his observation would recognize the breadth of white supremacist ideology not simply as a terrorist threat, or as a problem in law enforcement, which organizes our perceptions of how white supremacy works, but as an organizing principle that directs policy.
He would, based on his past rhetoric re: other terrorist threats, identify the ideologies that animate such terrorists and position those ideologies as existential threats to America in the same way he did with Al Qaeda. Now, he came close with his reference to the insurrection.
However, he stopped short of making the necessary step of connecting the Jan 6. insurrection with white supremacist ideology, with the terrorism he identified. Now, we might imply that he intends the insurrectionists, but I am not so charitable.
Especially not when Biden has the rhetorical skill to position China as an existential threat through the narrative of competition on the global stage, and when he clearly has the rhetorical skill to deploy Bin Laden in service of his aim.
So, all I'm saying is that we shouldn't get too excited to hear a sitting president name white supremacy and systemic racism, to hear him name other kinds of institutional oppression, when he fails to connect them to the actions of the people he claims to govern.
And, to be clear, for all of his language about pushing LGBTQ equality bills, I did not hear him once condemn the anti-trans bills floating through statehouses across the country.

Pretty words won't change the world, Joe. You should know this by now.

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More from @shengokai

29 Apr
Me listening to this Biden speech.
Positioning of the need to cultivate an educated workforce to combat China as an existential threat to America?

That certainly won't do anything to stem the tide of violence against AAPI folks.
Touting DARPA like it is a hub of scientific ingenuity and not some engine of the military industrial complex?

Acting as if the space race was some massive scientific endeavor and not driven by nationalism and military interests?

That's some revisionist fucking history there.
Read 4 tweets
27 Apr
It is EXTREMELY risky for early-career people to specialize in LCT philosophies, not simply for the reasons that @BryanVanNorden pointed out in his retweet, but because of the way that departments and the field doesn't invest in LCT philosophies.
An example is how departments advertise for specialists in LCT philosophies. "Non-western," for example, is used as a catchall for "not-anglophone," and even when it is disambiguated into something like "Asian Philosophy," they're not specific as to which Asian Philosophy.
Thus, you have specialists in Chinese traditions competing with specialists in Indian traditions and Japanese traditions all for the same job. And this doesn't get into what happens when ads ask for "non-western" as code for "non-anglophone."
Read 12 tweets
27 Apr
Right, so. Let me talk about the disciplinary implications of Singer's statement here:
@Helenreflects has a good meditation on this at the Philosopher's Cocoon, linked below. I largely agree with Helen's observations, but I thing we should take a broader view: rather than treat Singer's position as being "his" position, we should treat it as the field's position.
To be clear, while Singer's individual ignorance is unfortunate (but unsurprising), it stands to reason that his position is reproduced and institutionalized fieldwide. Singer actually gives us good reason to think this is the case.
Read 15 tweets
1 Feb
Okay, this point is worth taking up. Jen is right that we have to use our eyes and brains to determine plagiarism, however, these critiques of using TurnItIn in this way smell like bullshit to me when a great many of these faculty likely use TurnItIn to assess student work. (1/n)
As I have said before: defenders of Stock and company routinely play fast and loose with the norms of the discipline. To quote one Harold Finch, "your rules have changed every time it was convenient for you." This is yet another example of a change in rules. (2/n)
By this I mean that when TurnItIn is used in the assessment of student work, it stands as acceptable "proof" of poor scholarship; when TurnItIn is used in the assessment of Stock's work, it "is not itself a reliable indicator of plagiarism." (3/n)
Read 5 tweets
1 Feb
For those of you concerned about the "damage" done to the field and academic freedom by the push to cancel transphobes in philosophy, I have this to say (1/n):

The above is from Gen. Sherman on what is necessary to restore the Union during the Civil War, the sentiment is apt for my position on philosophy: if we are to have an inclusive field and the structure of the field prevents that, then that structure must be destroyed. (2/n)
Now, I understand that this sounds harsh, but consider why it sounds harsh: so much of the pushback against transphobia in philosophy, and the recommendations made to address transphobia in philosophy sounds like "damage" to philosophy by established philosophers. (3/n)
Read 18 tweets
1 Feb
Putting the plagiarism aside (which is something I never thought I'd write) we need to keep in mind that this is expert testimony submitted to government on an issue that affects the lives of an incredibly vulnerable population and would subject them to further violence. (1/n)
I point out that this is EXPERT TESTIMONY because much of the defenses offered by Stock et al, Leiter, and their associates, and those who circulate and sign on to open letters in their defense, is based on the argument that the scholarship does not and will cause harm. (2/n)
That is, they assume that the scholarship remains within the confines of the academy and has no detrimental effect on the lived experience of the subjects of Stock and co.'s "research." To this end, they can say that they're just "doing inquiry" into valuable subjects. (3/n)
Read 11 tweets

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