Tuesday, January 31, 2012

When an Idiot Endorses a Racist

you get David Brooks' column on Charles Murray. Murray's racist nonsense on i.q. has long since been debunked and his general ignorance detfly exposed and the place of his argument in the history of racist clap trap made clear. Today Brooks, one assumes  inadvertently, exposes his own racist assumptions about the world. He suggests that when it comes to the issue of "behavioral differences" between rich and poor people is where
Murray is at his best, and he’s mostly using data on white Americans, so the effects of race and other complicating factors don’t come into play.
The horrid little man thinks that 1) white isn't a race or its a "normal" race or the racial effects of being white are good or that blacks are so fundamentally different that we can't discuss similarly situated whites and blacks, 2) racial determinates trump all else or genetics is destiny, and 3) Murry ought to be taken seriously.[1]

Brooks makes sure to mention that the vast and growing inequality of income and wealth aren't the main drivers of unequal and unjust outcomes but rather it is the failure of the poors to act bourgeois. This retrograde neoconservative bladerdash finds its roots in the intellectually bankrupt tradition of Gertrude Himmelfarb and the nonsense of Diedre McCloskey. This notion that the poors are poor because they want moral virtue is an old lie perpetuated by the haves to give a gloss to their power. In Victorian England, for example, the poors were notorious for their failure to marry and general promiscuity, sound familiar? Well it wasn't true then and it isn't true now. You can read all about the old lies here.

Just like Murray's desperate and doomed attempt to reanimate the corpse of "scientific racism," Brooks' attempt to insist that the our unjust and unequal society hinges on the moral turpitude of the poors is more bullshit and squid ink designed to keep meaningful change at bay. Brooks, in one short column, has managed to conflate racist nonsense with historical fantasies to create a festering stew of ignorance that, as his policy proposal suggests, offers nothing other than more of the same misery to the many attended bycontinued opulence for the few.

What a wretched little man.

[1] If you want to object that Brooks really means that America's fundamental racism makes  it impossible to treat blacks and whites alike in a sociological study, I say 1) bullshit and 2) then he ought to have the "courage" to say so.

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