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May 26, 2018

The not-so-great debate [KT]

Remember that long debate on political correctness featuring Jordan Peterson and three other people? It was linked in the sidebar not long ago. The actual debate starts at about 7:30 if you want to watch the whole thing. I don't think this was a debate packed with great ideas, but it provided some interesting insights into how the Left thinks of "debate". The topic of the debate was supposed to be "Political Correctness: Be It Resolved, What You Call Political Correctness, I Call Progress..."

I'm not sure that this was evident through the course of the debate. David Thompson and his commenters have some follow-up that includes two shorter clips. This post indicates that, to the debaters on the Left, the primary topic was "Be it resolved: Jordan Peterson is a Mean White Man."

I think the debate meandered quite a bit. And Michelle Goldberg started off the debate by excluding her least-favorite parts of political correctness. And by focusing on opposition to Jordan Peterson. I lost patience. So the comments here at AoSHQ and at the link above have been helpful. The stated topic of the debate did not specify White Privilege, but much of the debate seemed to be about White Privilege. Probably because that was the specialty of one of the lefty debaters.

Well, there was feminism, too. No wonder Michelle Goldberg hates bloggers and social media.

In the comments, Joan shares this short but telling clip illustrating the lofty standard of debate offered by Ms Goldberg, one of the New York Times' finest. Readers are invited to watch the clip and then join me in devising possible excuses. For instance,

"I, a professional journalist with a degree in journalism from Berkeley, didn't actually bother to watch the interview that I referred to repeatedly during a public debate and which I cited with great enthusiasm, and in which both the interviewer and interviewee make clear, pointedly and repeatedly - at least three times - that Peterson didn't say what I, a professional journalist and self-styled upholder of good manners, claimed that he said."

Of course the acid test of Ms Goldberg's integrity, such as it may be, is how she responds to the dozens of people who've tweeted her with proof of this, shall we say, error. Will there be a retraction, an admission of ineptness, an apology to Peterson?

One thing that struck me, both from the false quote and the debate in general, was the demonstration, once again, of how little the Left cares about clarity of language.


Lights of the Left on Video

Michelle Goldberg:

Michael Dyson, who seems to have forgotten that he is speaking in front of a Canadian audience:

As at AoSHQ, David Thompson's commenters have some interesting insights. Here are three that I liked:

10:00

Dyson also informs the audience that "white privilege doesn't act according to quantifiable segments," and that to ask for specifics, actual points that might be discussed and tested, is itself a sign of "white privilege," especially when such questions are asked with "lethal intensity."

Kafkatrap!

10:35:

How do you ask a question with "lethal intensity"?

Heh. I think the message being sent is something like, "If you ask me to be specific and substantiate my claims I will imply that your line of questioning encourages violence against minorities."

17:03:

"Slavery as permanent trump card, no matter how many generations have passed since it was abolished."

Well, okay then. If that's how they want to play it...

The Barbary pirates, sometimes called Barbary corsairs or Ottoman corsairs, were Ottoman pirates and privateers who operated from North Africa ... Their predation extended throughout the Mediterranean, south along West Africa's Atlantic seaboard and into the North Atlantic as far north as Iceland, but they primarily operated in the western Mediterranean. In addition to seizing merchant ships, they engaged in Razzias, raids on European coastal towns and villages, mainly in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal, but also in the British Isles, the Netherlands and as far away as Iceland. The main purpose of their attacks was to capture Christian slaves for the Ottoman slave trade as well as the general Arab slavery market in North Africa and the Middle East.

It could be argued that it was the desire to destroy this practice at its root - the slave trade within Africa - which led ultimately to the end of the Atlantic trade. The fact that the Barbary pirates were finally subdued around the late 18th/early 19th Centuries, just as abolitionism began to gain traction in the British Empire, is surely too neat to be coincidental.

But that would spoil the narrative of European original sin. And this is the really important point: it's not simply that Britain saw the error of its ways, abolishing the slave trade out of some kind of guilty conscience (and in the end managed to convince America); the British Empire was the first civilization to recognise that slavery is wrong in the first place, not just for its own people, but in principle. That's our idea, and without it there would be no guilt, just as the Berbers, the Ottomans, the Arabs, and the West Africans felt no guilt in taking slaves for themselves.

Talk about cultural appropriation...

Did you manage to watch the entire debate? Parts of it? Anything stand out in your mind?

NOTE: This is the Thread before the Gardening Thread.

Serving your mid-day open thread needs

If you're in the path of the big storm, be careful.

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:27 AM

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