The True Nature of That Gorilla by Rhiain


The True Nature of That Gorilla by Rhiain

No, this post isn’t about Harambe. Let’s talk about the real gorilla in the room: tokenism.

A friend of mine lamented about his status as a “Special Token Minority” guest at a con earlier this week. My advice to him was cavalier yet, shall we say, deadly accurate. I’ll confess, dear readers, that I was getting more pissed with every acerbic comment I added to the thread in our discussion about this con. My friend was decidedly unhappy because he’d apparently been promoted by the ConCom to “Special Guest” status due to being non-white.

My advice to him follows, paraphrased (and edited for clean copy – because I needed to emphasize my point without, ya know, all the more colorful language):

What I almost started doing a couple years ago was respond to people like K. Tempest Bradford with my ethnicity, before I realized how much of a trap that was. I wasn’t going to be one of those non-white people who proved herself by validating my opinions with “I’m not white, therefore what I’m about to say has more value than, say, Brad Torgersen, because he’s of paler complexion.”

I caught myself doing it when responding to some SJW last year during the ConCarolinas controversy on John Ringo’s Facebook wall, and that’s when I told myself that I’m not going there. Ever. Again.

But if some idiot at the con wants to make a big deal about you being brown, then I say let them.

And then completely destroy their assumptions so that they never make that mistake again.
At least about you.

Tokenism has existed for at least as long as white privilege, if the zealots are to be believed. It’s so pervasive that non-white content creators, or even those “who pass as white,” are uncomfortable when they’re put on the spot for whatever the outrage du jour is. It’s especially disconcerting when the token minority’s remarks are elevated above anyone else’s views in the room, and anyone else in the room is as white as the good, non-Native senator from Massachusetts, and that token has no experience or expertise regarding the issue at hand.

I do have to wonder if the zealots are really that oblivious to the irony of their own conceits. “Diversity!” they cry. “We must have more of it! Not just in this specific field, no, we must have it in everything!”

The other size of that coin, ya dolts, is tokenism. Head, diversity. Tail, token.

When the means to an end isn’t coming to pass fast enough for them, anybody who passably fits the profile of the “means” will do to achieve that end.
And yet the goalposts change regularly in their hierarchy, contingent on their need for even more Diversity and Inclusion. My non-white friend will no longer be as Diverse as they would like in two months, because he’s “Asian” and therefore too successful and…wait, he’s not Asian. No, he’s actually white. (That would be a surprise to him and me, but humor me here.) The circular justifications continue as they argue about who actually qualifies as a “minority” while dying for a touch of that distant mirage, “Diversity.”

And if you’re one of those people who happens to look non-Caucasian, like me, or like my friend, and you’re wondering if you’ll ever become the Token at your job, or in your circle of friends, or, hell, even in your family, I’ll offer this one little spark of hope:

It doesn’t have to be like this.

Almost nine years ago I was hired by a small(ish) business of about 250 people. To this day I’m one of two people in the main office who isn’t white.

Last summer I attended a con banquet, looked around, and realized I was the only guest seated who wasn’t white.

And I get pissed when I notice details like this, because about four years ago it wasn’t a telltale sign of anything of note. It’s so recent a development to me that it shouldn’t signify anything. It still doesn’t.

Because I refuse to let myself turn into that person.

Understand that tokenism is so widespread that there are certain non-whites who have decided to identify as nothing else, which means others around them walk on eggshells because the signal’s so loud that ignoring it is not an option. I’ve taken note of my skin color in the above situations, and irritably realize that I’ve noticed it, and then moved on because I refused to let it bother me. In heavily blue areas, this unfortunate signal cannot be turned off because you’re not the only one aware of it and then the gorilla manifests itself semi-permanently. I say semi-permanently because it’s such a recent signal that I haven’t given up hope it can go away again. And I should note, too, that refusing to become that Token Minority person irritates the zealots because it trips up their narrative.

This doesn’t make me “race-blind,” like the idiot zealots claim. What does that even mean, anyway? If I’m “race-blind,” does this mean I’ve violated some social norm where I’m supposed to take note of every person’s skin color and/or race during an interaction with that person? Since when did that become a social norm?

I don’t know about you, dear readers, but that’s not a feature that I want normalized in our culture. It’s a bug that needs to be stamped out as quickly as possible, before my children are ingrained with this idea that one of them has more value than the other since she’s not as pale as her sibling.

If we ever reach that point, my friend, the zealots will have much to answer for.

230 thoughts on “The True Nature of That Gorilla by Rhiain

  1. My nephew is Ute, although not a tribal member. I was surprised when there were so many comments when I took him to lunch. Someone asked him if he was looking for a sugar mama. To me he is family. I am whiter than white and also have blonde hair and blue eyes. To him, I’m just his auntie.

  2. Even the sjw darlings complain about being the token. I think it was Jemsin who complained about being the go-to minority any time someone wanted a POC opinion on anything. I’ve seen a couple of other similar remarks in various places.

      1. I was about to say the same thing. Jemsin complaining about being the token is a classic example of biting the hand that feeds you.

          1. I’m sure she is.

            I suspect that is the source of a lot of anger we’re seeing from POC and even women, both as professionals and students.

            They are afraid they are tokens and they’re angry so they are lashing out at others who might have the same thoughts.

            1. No. They, at some level, KNOW they are tokens. They know because it is impossible to hang around the Progressive/Left without learning, bone deep (no matter how hard you try to ignore it) that they are caucasian bigots. For them, it isn’t just checking off all the obsessions du jure. If you aren’t caucasian, belonging to a long lone of the Socially Active Rich, you are on sufferance. And they cow a great many people that way. The reason my Father scared the sh*t out of them was that as the adipted son of a Southern Methodist who grew up in Denver, he was supposed to cowtow to their wonderful selves, and not only didn’t he, his scholarship showed them to be the dilettantes they were. He not only knew more about his field than they did, he all to often knew more about THEIR field than they did.

              These vermin always infest the upper levels of society. The only difference recently (say, since 1800) is that they denounce hereditary influence while relying on it.

              Every once in a while we get one who is moderately honest, like TR. Most of them, though, are more like Woodrow Wilson.


              And the people who are trying so HARD to fit the mold know that they are tokens. And they hate it. But since it isn’t SAFE to hate the Upper Classes until the Upper Classes are on their uppers, they hate the rest of the world, and themselves most of all for lacking the courage to quit thegamemand strike out for freedom.

              1. “They, at some level, KNOW they are tokens.”

                Win the Hugo once, you’re a real winner. Win it three times in a row? For the same series? Yeah, she knows she’s a token.

                But -I- am a racist for not knowing and not caring a damn what colour the author is. Black, white, beige, I don’t care. Tell me a goddamn story!

                Therefore the only thing to do is ignore the shitweasel SJWs as hard as possible. If you see somebody being mobbed by SJWs, buy their book.

          1. If she hates it, she shouldn’t make Hugo speeches demanding authority on the basis of her skin.

            Of course it is difficult to grow as a writer if you feel.that way about yourself, and don’t love anyone else, either.

            1. What? You expect her to forego something merely because it’s inherently because logically incompatible with something else?

  3. My normal comeback to that is would you rather drive over a bridge everyday designed and built by diversity quota graduate, or an engineer who’d actually passed all the courses and had actual experience. Being retired military, I don’t care about ethnicity, I care about the person themselves. THAT is more important than anything else.

    1. Math/Physics doesn’t care. Much as “show me the code” is about the machine doesn’t care.

      It works or it don’t, and what sex/color/religion/whatever of the designer/builder doesn’t move the needle either way. If a black Hispanic neopagan lesbian can design a bridge that stays up, great. If the code runs correctly, great. If the adjectives are all that matter? Well, part of my “identifying as mythical” is to mock such nonsense.

      1. And that’s the thing. When you hire an engineer, it should be a given that he, she, or it knows the stuff needed. It should not matter what the engineer is — other than a qualified engineer.

        1. And that is how they make racists of us all through their cargo cult policies. We no longer assume an engineer was qualified regardless of colour/ethnicity/gender.

          Simply put, if your doctor is Asian-American male, the odds are that, compared to a white, brown, or black man — or to a woman of whatever ethnicity — he cleared more and higher hurdles to get into college, to get into medical school, to get through residency and into practice. Those challenges made him stronger, albeit in ways that may not correlate well to the practice of medicine. But having the paths of “historically oppressed” minorities paved and strewn with rose petals undoubtedly makes them weaker.

          And as the screamer notes: it should not matter what the engineer who designed that pedestrian bridge “was” — but now we cannot help but be aware that it does.

          1. The hard part of all this “We need to celebrate diversity over merit!” is putting aside tokenism when we investigate when something went wrong. If we trace a collapsed bridge to an incompetent engineer, it’s important to remember that we need to recognize it was the engineer’s incompetence, rather than the tokenization of the engineer, that caused the bridge to be poorly designed.

            And above all else, we need to remember the rule: if it’s the kind of thing that *no* engineer would have foreseen, then the engineer wasn’t incompetent — the *only* time the engineer is incompetent, is if this had happened before, and was well-known as a problem to other engineers.

            1. The problem in the real world is when it is an engineer who could have been a token who causes a disaster from incompetent it is reasonable to assume his being a token is how his incompetence was not discovered and used to shunt him out of the field.

              From there it is a small leap to the risk calculation of realizing tokenization means tokenized groups provide a higher odds, even if just slightly, of incompetence while also lowering, even if just slightly, the odds of incompetence of non-tokenized groups.

              After all, if I would have gotten 89 green engineers and 11 purple ones if I rank ordered but I had to take 87 green and 13 purple to have correct representation then my green engineers have the two most likely incompetents removed from the sample and my purple ones have two more likely incompetents ones added.

              Thus, when assigning projects those that have more downside cost, the other side of risk calculations, are better assigned to my green engineers because the expected loss will be lower.

              Tokenism makes it rational to include potential token status in anything downstream of where the tokenism occurs because once it occurs it does affect the distribution of competence. That far and away the majority of those disadvantaged are not incompetent is an expected (and I think by AA pushers often a desired) outcome.

              1. Sigh. It’s issues like this that make me wonder whatever happened to “Judge a person by the content of his character, not the color of his skin!”

                Tokenism (and particularly Affirmative Action) turns this completely on its head.

                1. “But that’s raaaaacisss!”

                  I admit that due to my various “privileges”, I also have trouble following the rabbit down that logic hole…

                2. What happened to it? The Beautiful People decided it was more fun to play Radical Chic games, probably because no affermative action token was,going to threaten them by showing them to be the work-shy bums they are.

                  If we had INSISTED on Dr. King’s standards, the status quo could have gotten VERY seasick.

                  1. As we are seeing play out in Virginia, judging Progressives by the content of their character(s) does not work well for them.

                    Progressives: Lowering Standards Everywhere They Influence

                3. Simple: The progs/SJWs know that if people judged them by their character, they’d be driven out/rejected. So they try things like skin color, gender, sexual orientation, etc. to hide their very poor character.

                4. Re: “affirmative action”. It’s an evil phrase like “social justice” designed to deceive from its very origins. I’m old enough to have lived through the Bakke case, and reading the actual details (not the press reports) made my blood boil. I, like many, thought affirmative action was a good idea. At the time getting into med school was so ridiculously hard as to be arbitrary. They were turning down people who made straight A’s throughout college, so I thought it would make sense to admit otherwise qualified minorities. That, however, was never the practice. Note that: “Bakke’s MCAT score overall was 72; the average applicant to UC Davis scored a 69 and the average applicant under the special program a 33.”

                  AA is racism straight up and allows racists to continue to feel superior to those of other races despite their accomplishments. May God have mercy on the souls of those who perpetrated these nightmares. Heaven knows I find it hard to.

                5. What? Don’t people of a historically oppressed class get an automatic 10 point bonus for character because of what as done to their ancestor’s class, while those of an oppressor class get an automatic 10 point penalty because of what their ancestor’s class did? Unless the special rules for persecution of religious minorities apply.

                    1. and quicker, too … after all, points for leading the Twitter pile-on require getting to the accusation FIRST.

      2. The frightening thing is some of these people are so convinced that all reality is subjective they do not believe that is true. They think current science, math, and engineering are “white science”, “white math”, and “white engineering” and that alternate ethnic and sexual versions exist:

        1. I’m all for those types “abolishing science” since beyond that they are against me and mine. Them being fools will just make it easier when issues with them go sideways. Doesn’t matter how much they believe, their ghost dance or whatever won’t actually protect them from my engineering.

          1. If I didn’t think the power of the state will be used to allow them to create bridges, buildings, and other things I need to trust while hiding from me which is which I’d agree with you.

            However, I do think the power of the state will be used that way which makes them a danger to me and mine.

        2. I have heard it argued that the world actually has cause to be grateful that the NSDAP was so racist they wouldn’t even accept “Jewish logic” or “Jewish mathematics,” because otherwise they might then have been able to hold onto Albert Einstein and might thus have been the first to develop the atomic bomb.

        3. About a year and a half ago, a feminist academic from the Netherlands proposed combining intersectionalism and quantum mechanics. A cursory review of her article suggests that she does discuss safe spaces. Now, if these were known to be a variety of vector spaces, this *might* *possibly* make sense, but otherwise there is precious little discussion of mechanics. Who would have guessed that Cyborg and Post Colonial Theory would include the study of differential equations and linear algebra?

    2. The great case that allowed affirmative action, Regents of the Univ. of Cal. v. Bakke turned out to be a prime example of the danger of the diversity quota graduate. Because of the nature of the program the Davis School of Medicine used it is possible to identify the exact applicant who was bumped ahead of Alan Bakke. It is was a gentleman named Patrick Chavis.

      Dr. Chavis had a less than distinguished medical career. I wonder if supporters of tokenism and diversity would say Tammaria Cotton, looking back on how Dr. Chavis advanced minority physician, would think it was worth it thus echoing supporter Edward Kennedy’s projection of their affections onto Mary Jo Kopechne.

      I am afraid if pushed they would.

      1. Keep in mind that these are people who loudly proclaim they would rather be dragged down a flight of stairs by a “Innie Firefighter” than carried by a “Outie Firefighter” — not that they, in particular, are at any risk of being so dragged. I am confident that if caught in a burning building, they would expect to be carried by two (2) firefighters of whatever plumbing while less exalted important occupants were left to burn with the building.

        1. I think a number of them would need an engine company just to drag them. And yes there is a size where removing the building is the better option.

      1. Florida International University.
        Archiecture school designed an . umm … interersting pedestrian bridge.
        Had enough concrete to pave Indiana, along with weird non-functional
        decorative cable stays.

        1. There was some minority stuff going on (IIRC, the contractor was minority owned, and the project manager was a woman, but the main finger pointing seems to be headed at the (formerly) well respected designer of the (formerly) well respected design firm.

          There was a huge cluster f*ck when the cracking was discovered and a) somebody decided to put it in place anyway, and b) when it was worse, try to correct it by tightening cables that weren’t there for that purpose while c) LEAVING TRAFFIC FLOWING WHILE THEY WERE DOING THE &*&*$%T!!!*! PROCEDURE.

          Somebody is likely to be wearing an orange jumpsuit when it’s done, and several others will be broke as hell. But, I don’t think AA played a key role in that one.

    3. I remember a cartoon years ago that went, “The commissar of mathematics wants this to equal 27” or something along those lines. I fear we are getting to that point.

        1. The Pi bill, IIRC, was a joke all around. OTOH, we did recently have someone who managed to get a whole nunch of signatures on a bill to ban either Dihydrogen Monoxide or Hydrogen Hydroxide- I forget which. And somewhere in the back of my mind I recall a story where a student measured the waste output of a chemical plant at a pH of 7.0, pointed out to a local pol that pH went from 0-14, and got him to issue a statement that he was going to see to it that all discharges from chemical plants got as close to zero as possible….

          1. The issues with and attempts to ban Dihydrogen Monoxide have been around for a while. I remember seeing it when I was in college. It’s entertaining, but has always been understood to be a joke to those in the know. I fear that we are getting to the point where that cartoon is prophetic.

            1. IT started out as a kid’s sciencefair project, actually entitled ‘how gullible are we?” He worked up a lot of the base line “dihydrogen monoxide” schtick then went around Berkley trying to get it banned. Used the data in the project.

          2. My father was part of a team of USAF researchers examining the use of nitrogen inerting in air fuel cells. During testing, when the aircraft was approaching for landing, they’d release all the excess nitrogen into the air. Some people complained about the AF adding pure nitrogen into the air they breathe…..

  4. Oh, and I found myself wanting to point at you, probably around the same time frame, in a “her opinion is law because ethnicity” sort of way, and I hated the feeling of that, too. It’s a toxic and awful battle field to be fighting on. Let me go over here and get my POC friend to tell you that you’re wrong, oh and this guy is Pacific Islander so STFU. Right? For all the times some sjw white chick (including relatives) has called in the “moral authority” of a POC friend who can’t be questioned in order to win an argument with me, it sure FEELS like depersoning more than anything else. And yet, danged if a person doesn’t want to rub their noses in it good and hard anyway.

    If someone has any notion how to refuse the paradigm and the toxic results without ceding the field to that toxicity, I’d sure like to know.

    1. The problem is, the only counter to a race card being played, is to oppose it with a race card; because we’re dealing with the perceptions and feelz. Facts are irrelevant.

      When you have Camel Harris claiming all women have to be believed, you have to have another woman saying she’s full of digestive end product. Or Cory Booker claiming he’s Spartacus, Kirk Douglas standing on his crutches saying he’s a fraud. Or Farrakhan screaming White Privilege, we need a Thomas Sowell standing up and telling him to get off his lazy con artist butt and actually do some useful work for a change.

      1. Of course, the counter to that is because it’s all about the feelz rather than the facts, it almost doesn’t matter if you play your own race card. No matter how “minority” your responder might be, the Leftist will find some way to dismiss him/her as “not real.” A woman who doesn’t march in lockstep with the Women’s March is “not a real woman” and “someone should take her vagina.” Blacks who think Al Sharpton is full of it are race traitors. The LGB folks who think the “T”s may be taking it a bit too far are White Supremacists. And I know that last one makes no sense, but like I said, it’s all about the feelings and facts are irrelevant.

        1. I never got the “take her vagina”.

          How does that work. I can see how you can take male genitals, but how does one take a vagina.

              1. Well, Virginia Woolf did write all about the importance of having a womb of one’s own.

          1. I think it was merely meant metaphorically, but given that the “her” in question for that particular insult was Ayaan Hirsi Ali, there were definitely some unfortunate implications about it…

          2. I believe the technical term is “Female Genital Mutilation”, and it isn’t voluntary.

            Remember the Islamic resident who thought that giving her Jewish patients the wrong meds was just dandy? I’m sure she and her fellow Islamist practitioners would be happy to handle anyone dragged in.

        2. the Leftist will find some way to dismiss him/her as `not real.`

          The term in use is “inauthentic.”

          Where anybody gets off declaring themselves arbiters of authenticity remains a puzzle. I am sure it derives somehow from hypocritical racist theorizing but I do not care to waste my time nor risk my sanity sussing out the explanation.

          They exposed their true selves back in 2008 when they put bumper stickers on their cars declaring that “Sarah Palin Is Not A Woman, She’s A Republican.”

          I guess the symbol of the Democrat Party is not a mule, it’s an ass.

        3. The LGB – no T people are getting called “TERFs”; Trans-exclusive-radical-feminists. They already had the RF down, but the TE portion seems like a glimmering of sanity. OTOH, any sympathetic feelings get overwhelmed by a desire for more popcorn.

      2. Actually, the fix to believe all women is just get a Democrat accused.

        See Lt. Gov Fairfax of VA and WP reporting on him for details.

    2. If someone has any notion how to refuse the paradigm and the toxic results without ceding the field to that toxicity, I’d sure like to know.

      It is not a great solution but here is mine:

      1. I don’t talk about this stuff in person. Period. I just STFU and let them destroy the world their children get (I have that luxury because no children).

      2. I don’t interact with people much. I wasn’t kidding in a comment a few weeks back about misanthropy being an honorable profession to which I aspire.

      3. I don’t talk about this much online except here and occasionally the comments section at Instapudnit and PJ Media.

      4. I keep my powder dry for when the backlash hits to protect me and mine. For me it is mostly gay and gender non-confirming friends I worry about needing to protect, but yeah, when the winds change those same white girl SJWs demanding you STFU because their POC/gay/trans friends says ‘foo’ will be screaming for the heads of POC/gays/trans people because that’s where the fashion is.

      That is when I will actively oppose them.

      1. I have kids, and I plan on living a LONG time. Long enough to have to live through the damage caused by these nutcases. So I have to oppose, defend against, fight against them.

    3. Sadly, not a new problem. We’ve got three thousand year old advice poetry about it:

      Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
      Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

      -Proverbs 26:4-5

      1. Between that and 17 (He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.), Proverbs 26 really covers a lot.

  5. Gorilla? Could you be even more racist, you racist McHitler you?!?!?! I literally can’t even, I’m so triggered

  6. Possibly off-topic, but I once knew a writer who was driving herself crazy with the possibility that she might be fetishizing her own FICTIONAL alien race.

    As in, an alien race she had personally invented and (presumably) crafted, either consciously or unconsciously or both, to appeal to her own tastes.

    But was she a bad person because she found them too attractive/was describing them as too attractive???

      1. “Okay, I’ve put in an imaginary character of an approved type, but what if my character is a sterotype or a magical (insert), or – gasp – too sexy?”

        1. If someone starts worrying about “too sexy” they have problems that I can’t fix.

          Total off-topic tangent but there is a serious undercurrent of anti-humanity in a lot of the current rhetoric in a lot of different places. Anti-child. Anti-sex. Anti-biology. Anti-reproduction. The so-called “sex positive” movements aren’t even particularly positive. You’re not supposed to judge anyone for what they choose to do, but darn tootin’ you judge them for wanting to do it at all. Notice boobs? Bad you. Notice that humans are sexual creatures? Bad you. We’re supposed to be sexless neuters… but totally free to have whatever sort of sex that we want and with whoever we want it but curiously not allowed to not-want or to have actual preferences for attraction, such as being attracted to a male body and not a female one, or be more attracted to someone who’s fit rather than lumpy or someone who is visibly healthy rather than not-so-much. Hips for child-bearing? omg. We like us some lust, of course, but it has to be as abstract and detached from biology as possible.

          I can’t be the only one that has noticed this or who finds it both curious and sort of appalling.

          1. A lot of weirdness in fiction too. I read one (work in progress) where the male MC falls in love with a female of an alien species, but only later learns that the species permaneantly switches sexes from male to female and from female to male at some point. He’s fine with it, and the notion that he might be outraged that the then-female might have pursued and encouraged the relationship under false pretenses (I’m still in love with you, but now your biology is totally different and I’m confused!) is treated as bigotry.

            1. It’s common in real life. I am aware of three lesbians who became “men”. They were all in stable relationships – until afterward. Of course their former partners are bigots, not women who are just not attracted to men. The “who used to be women” part is irrelevant.

              The stupid, it burns.

                1. If you say “trans advocates” I’ll agree with you. Actual trans *people* that I know seem pretty realistic about how the world works and what their path in life means. But then there are those, often *not* trans, people who think that it’s reasonable to insist that it’s bigoted to have preferences and that teenaged girls who don’t want to see penises in the locker-room are bigots, that sports are segregated by gender rather than sex, and that elementary school children should have the power decide to destroy their future reproductive possibilities because they have a thorough understanding of the life, universe, and everything.

                  1. I guess NOLA had the loonier trans folks then, but by definition “I’m going to ignore my genes and have someone dangerously mutilate my body for mental reasons” isn’t the most stable thing to begin with. Their advocates often are just leftoids being leftoids.

                    1. We had a young sales”lady” direct us to another register last night with a voice deeper than mine. The older black lady checking us out mentioned “she” hadn’t had the chopadickoffme procedure yet, and clearly expressed she was none too happy having “her” around. Note: there were no supervisors within earshot. Being unhappy around them is a firing offense as we all know.

                      Until “she” talked- my daughter I didn’t notice. A closer look revealed some tells. Adams apple, shoulders, etc…..

                    2. One I knew, works/ed for Continental Airlines. Ops agent I think. Ed Asner in drag.
                      His son worked for a fueling company. Not proud of dad, nor all that stable mentally himself. Told he was always that far off plumb from a girl who knew the family since childhood, and dad’s attempt to become a second mom did little to change son’s issues.

            1. It is the idea that everything good for you has to taste like medicine and feel unpleasant. Otherwise, you don’t show virtue.

              Of course, this is how you get groomed for rape by your “mentors” and ” woke friends.”

          2. I have a suspicion that the sex positive movement advocates consider themselves to have free license to do what they want with xir bodies, but you deplorable Drumph-lovers better not show any signs of sexual inclinations whatsoever beyond abject praise for whatever hesheit is doing/has done. In short, tyranny, yet again.

            If this goes on…

          3. I’ve found a way it makes sense, in a horrific way.

            Masturbation, basically– sterile, under your control, involving NOTHING but you, demanding nothing of others.

            It’s supposed to never result in offspring, preferably it involves a literal barrier between you and the other half, and noticing ANYTHING about another human is BadThink.

            1. Well of course! Isn’t that what poor old Winston Smith had to do until he got into a relationship with Julia?

              1984 is disturbingly prophetic. Look at the camera monitors and voice controls for homes nowadays, and doesn’t that just smack of the telescreens Big Brother used to monitor everyone? Want to bet that the Left wants such things to be mandatory in all homes in the next few years? And just guess who will have the ability to turn them on whenever they want?

    1. I’m not surprised given we’ve reached the point when people are afraid they are fetishizing and viewing as a sexual object the person they regularly have sexual relations with.

      The Victorians tremble at the power of SJWs to make people guilty about sex.

      1. I remember there being quite a to-do back in the Eighties when Pope John Paul II warned against making a sex object of your spouse. IIRC, he was cautioning against blinding oneself to your spouse’s humanity and using their sexual nature for your own (as opposed to mutual) gratification.

        Regularity of sexual relations is no shield against objectifying your partner; indeed, it might increase the risk. This seems particularly so if you are participant in a culture which emphasizes a partner’s “duty” to gratify the spouse.

        1. I understand Pope John Paul II’s statement, but that is not what I’m talking about.

          What I hearing is more part and parcel of the attempt to make preferring a body type or not wanting to have sex with a trans person (most specifically lesbians rejecting transwomen, especially pre-op ones) akin to racism.

          Do I like thinking of my partners as objects ? Not in the John Paul sense.

          Do I like it when a partner dresses up in lingerie or gets dolled up for me? Yes of course.

          And that is what we’re trying to make people guilty for liking.

          1. The Progressives have an amazing knack for taking a basically sensible principle and pushing it far beyond any boundaries of reason. A comprehensive list of such contortions would exhaust me.

          2. To reiterate a comment from above:

            “A lot of weirdness in fiction too. I read one (work in progress) where the male MC falls in love with a female of an alien species, but only later learns that the species permaneantly switches sexes from male to female and from female to male at some point. He’s fine with it, and the notion that he might be outraged that the then-female might have pursued and encouraged the relationship under false pretenses (I’m still in love with you, but now your biology is totally different and I’m confused!) is treated as bigotry.”

            You’re in love, right? You should be able to transfer that love – erotic and all – if the other person’s biology wildly changes without warning, right?

            1. I guess that depends . . . are they going to also change into a personality you will want to shoot to get it out of your misery after the process?

              1. Human sex is tied to reproduction, and presumably the same thing with this alien species. So why is it the human’s responsibility to change preferences, and not the alien’s responsibility to take a sex change control pill?

                More logically, wouldn’t this logically be a case of irreconcilable differences? Why would the alien not be weirded out by the human?

                1. I went back and looked at the WIP. Okay: I wasn’t being fair.

                  The female alien is part of an amphibious species. She was in a relationship with the male, but she wanted to participate in her species’ regular spawning to pass on her genes. It can be a pretty impersonal process, where if you’re not in a relationship and bringing a partner, you can just show up and hook up.

                  The sex change thing is actually somewhat rare, occurring as a result of hormonal changes during the spawning. In this case, it happened to her.

                  But the male MC still adjusts pretty quickly.

                  1. And he doesn’t get legitimately upset with the female-turned-male for not informing him that a permanent sex-change was a possible side-effect of participating in the spawning ritual.

                    1. Well, she (before she was a he) and the human couldn’t breed. That’s why she went back to her own planet to spawn with someone of her own species. So kids weren’t a factor with the male MC. It was the unexpected sex-change side effect that was the problem.

          1. I understand the impulse, but you don’t have to own a car to know that driving at high speed in bad weather at night is a bad idea, or to warn others against it.

            “Only those with a personal stake in an issue can legitimately opine about it” has been used for too many bad-faith silencings (q.v. any pro-life supporter who happens not to possess a uterus) for me to take it without a grain of salt or two.

            1. “I understand the impulse, but you don’t have to own a car to know that driving at high speed in bad weather at night is a bad idea, or to warn others against it.” Unfortunately, not all drivers KNOW that, or else they don’t believe it applies to THEM.

            2. No, but if humans were good at learning from just being told or reading, then we’d have a whole lot fewer “here hold my beer” incidents. Experience really is one of the best teachers because it’s so often accompanied by PAIN.

              1. True, but experience is also one of the hardest teachers because it gives the test first and the lesson afterwards. And instructive as pain can be, it has a distressing tendency to teach the wrong lesson if left to itself. “Get back on the horse,” for example, is not what the first fall tends to teach most would-be riders on its own hook.

                In practice most people do learn from instruction first. The “Hold my beer” incidents stand out precisely because they’re exceptions to the normal course of sensible learning.

                1. Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, and scare in that. Benjamin Franklin.

          2. Funny, a bunch of the gals on the ship said the same when I suggested that using dudes as buzz-toys that might buy dinner and definitely bought drinks wasn’t a wise route to long term happiness.

            The suicide rate suggests that the celibate was correct.

            Guess that’s a fallacy for a reason– even before you figure in that the second biggest part of the job of being a priest is to listen to confessions.

            Chesterton used this as a plot-point in a quite readable way.

          3. OTOH, as meinheer Grant has noted, priests may run across more weirdness in confessional than you’d believe, and by not having, as they say, a horse in the race may be able to approach the matter from a disinterested perspective.

            1. It might also be noted that JPII’s advice was not actually about sex, but about building healthy relationships. You might find it reasonable to doubt his experience of relationships, but if you insist it is about sex you are proving his point.


    From the paper, basically race is what you consider yourself, and what people looking, listening, and reading you consider you to be. And they often don’t agree with each other. The exception being U.S. government recognition of your Native American tribal association.

    So basically, this pale guy with almost exclusively northern European ancestors for the past 6 generations could claim that he’s African because that’s where humans originated, or Native American of no tribal affiliation because this is where he was born, or white because he has straight brown hair, blue eyes, fair skin, and talks like he’s from the Northeast.

    1. I am Jewish, of Baltic ancestry, a person of pallor. But Jews did not originate in the Baltic states, they emigrated there from Spain — which means I am Hispanic, a “Brown” person. Of course, Jews dd not originate in Spain, either; they emigrated there from the Middle East where, so we are told, David and Jesus were African (process too convolutedly contorted to summarise), meaning I am a “Black” person.

      Additionally, as we “know” the ten lost tribes of Israel are believed to have emigrated across the Bering Strait (Boy, was they ever lost!) into North America and thence throughout the Western hemisphere (is that designation “Hemispherist” or merely an expression of “Compass Imperialism”?), becoming commingled with the aboriginal peoples of the continents, qualifying them (and me) as “Red” people.

      I’m a frickin’ rainbow!!!

      1. Sorry, but I believe your claim to rainbow status is gender appropriation in accordance with the rantings of the fanatical LGTBQxyz group.

          1. Fluffy is always glad to give a BBQ. You’ve not had REAL BBQ until it’s done by having a dragon curl around the meat.

      2. Boy was they ever lost? For f*ck’s sake these are the same people who got lost in a desert for forty years that should have taken something like a month to cross.
        I get my sense of direction — get lost in own living room — from my Jewish ancestry, obviously.

        1. What’s weird is I have a particular meditation where I can usually pick out North, but it takes a while, so if I’m driving somewhere, I have no idea what direction I’m going, or where I am in relation to anything else.

          1. maybe twice in my life I have stopped and thought or said “I can’t tell what direction North is.” Once was in heavy fog in the Hills of Tennessee, for another I can’t really recall, but I know once for certain, and . . I recall now, the valley I camped in in West Virginia I was a bit surprised at the direction of my campsite in relation to the sun in the morning.
            I think, in fact, my sleeping is best with my head north, followed by head west. Whenever I have done head south or east, I end up tossing more and sleeping worse and worse until I move position or the bed.
            Yes, I know I am odd.

            1. That isn’t strange. It is magnetic iron in our noses that gives part of our sense of direction, and that can get messed up by fast travel or iron deposits in the mountains.

              1. Fast travel in that fog, for sure. It was foggy enough I got vertigo as well. I had to stop and take a nap from the disorientation.
                The campground was this site here:
                It was overcast, and the trees etc, so I set the tent thinking I was head west and the sun would rise in my eyes to wake me, then it got DARK when the sun went behind the hill I thought was south. But I slept head north so score!

        2. I figure that God wanted the slaves he rescued dead before he let their children into the promised land. To reference one of the greats, You cannot liberate a slave. The slave has to do that himself. The most you can do is to hold his beer while he does it.

          1. The usual explanation is that the original slaves lost their chance to enter the promised land when they demonstrated lack of faith in the golden-calf incident. So the children inherited.
            If all emigrants had to pass that stringent a test, there’d be very little immigration, of any kind!

            1. Well, there certainly seemed to be a fair amount of interest in driving that Egyptian crypt fluid a few years back, so maybe they wouldn’t worry about YOU, but they might should have to worry about other folks. Worry for their sanity, if nothing else.

                1. I never worry about what isn’t there.

                  Except stairs. I worry about absent treads in dark stairways.

        3. On the other hand, it’s possible to have a poor sense of direction without being Jewish. I could get lost in my own museum!

  8. When the most significant thing you observe about a person is their melanin/ethnicity/bone structure then you just might be a racist.

    And yes, they condition us all to flinch at the thought. You become aware of the mine field into which you’re treading … even after such time as you’ve decided you don’t give a damn where you step because the a-holes who’ve planted those mines aren’t important to you (this is commonly an expression of grumpy old person privilege.)

    I long ago learned that what ultimately matters to me about others isn’t the pink matter, the black matter, the brown matter or the yellow matter, it is the gray matter. The package is not the content. I have a set of five thumb drives in jewel tones; does anybody think that the colour of each is what is most important about those?

    1. Walter J Williams, when guest hosting for Rush Limbaugh, would frequently spend an hour in discussion with friend and colleague Thomas Sowell, during which they would inevitably give thanks for having earned their PhD.s before Affirmative Action could make that achievement suspect.

      And that points to the true harm such tokenism perpetrates: it is a theft of achievement. It takes what should — and could, given the chance — have been earned and makes it, instead, bequeathed. You did not earn that degree, it was given to you. You did not earn those book sales, they were gifts. You did not earn that seat on the Supreme Court, you ungrateful wretch.

      And there is the other irony of this “help” that doesn’t help: the people least inclined to express gratitude are the most insistent on receiving it.

      1. Even proponents of Affirmative Action know this because they routinely use it to try and discredit Justice Thomas.

        All the while arguing for more of it.

        That, my friends, is about as racist as it gets.

        1. Not so much racist as just evil. It shows what they really want out of affirmative action, to cripple peoples self confidence.

      2. as bad, or worse: it creates a totally reasonable suspicion that you were given those achievements, and no way to prove the negative… even if YOU know otherwise.

        1. I’m still not sure how much of what happened in the Navy was because I was a chick– especially since I KNOW the first big reward I got was because I was the only female with zero infraction issues, mostly because she was pissed she couldn’t pick a minority. (Insanely racist, sexist and age-biased command master chief, who went on to torment children as a grade school principle. She might actually ahve been better at that, she sure liked to pretend 20 year old sailors were infants.)

      3. Bob Parks (formerly Black&Right, later Black&Blonde) has said he only ever felt he earned a job when he was working for a conservative. Any employment for a leftoid type left him feeling he was just a tic in a box, and was treated as less than fully capable.

      4. I once got into an online argument with someone who insisted that Sowell WAS an AA beneficiary and then insisted that since he got letters of recommendation from whites, that was the same thing.

    2. Well, I do tend to buy purple thumb drives if I can, so for me the color of thumb drives matters.

      As for purple women, I’ve only met one. Girl named Violet, no I’m not kidding, at a Joan Jett concert. Purple mohawk. purple tank, purple leather skirt, purple fishnets, purple boots, and…

      Purple skin…yep, she’d dyed herself. Said it last a few days so she could do on Friday and then have to scrub Sunday night. Forget what she used (she told me, but this was 35 years ago).

      She was cute, too.

      1. I came up with the idea years ago for a shower attachment / skin dye system, but I don’t have the chemistry/biology chops to come up with a workable dye. I wanted something that would dye skin, but would not dye hair or nails. I always thought it would be awesome! Wanna be blue? Be blue. Wanna be purple? Be purple.

        Then I was called a racist because (if I was ever able to create the product) someone MIGHT use it to make themselves brown, and that would be racist.

        Well… I guess I might not have handled it very well, because I replied “IF YOU WANT TO (expletive) BE BROWN! (expletive) BE BROWN!” Because who gives a flying fork? if people would just quit focusing on brown/not brown, and start focusing on “The content of a person’s character” instead. The world would be a better place.

        BTW… Cute purple girl YES!!!!

        1. Kool-aid works for skin-dye. I’m not sure about the concentration/water-to-Kool-aid ratio, but a friend of mine belly-dances with a woman who will dye her skin for performances by taking a bath in Kool-aid. She says it lasts for about 3 days.

          1. I suspect that is what Violet used…I know back then it was common to use it for hair (kids today with their Manic Panic…when I was in HS…)

            1. I tried using koolaid for hair dye once (hey, I was bored and maybe a little self destructive. I’m sure, had I succeeded, the beating from my father would have been epic). It didn’t work for me, although I admit I was going by instructions hastily given by a girl I knew, who may or may not have known how to make it work. Medium blonde hair at the time, didn’t show any color when I was done.

          2. I use a blue dye when I’m spraying weeds (found at finer farm and ranch stores where you live). I had a bottle freeze over winter and in cleaning the mess discovered that the dye is quite intense. When used at the 1 ounce of highlighter per 15 gallons of other stuff mixture,(approx 1:2000) it’ll give a slight blue tinge and will wear off quickly. (It’s also sensitive to UV; plants I spray will be blue only for an hour or two on a bright day), but if you get the full concentrate on your skin, it’s good for a week or so.

            Yes, I was a member of the blue hand group.

        2. I remember SF Books where people dyed their skin different colors. They had had many wars about skin color and decided to stop them by having people dye their skin thus no one knew any body’s real skin color.
          As I remember they were aliens not humans.

      2. Good Gawd, Man!!! Are you insane???? Have you never read Daredevil, or seen the Netflix “Jessica Jones” series?

        Beware Purple People!

      3. well, it wasn’t ever her skin, but I knew a girl (named Holley, as in carburetor) in the 80’s who had purple hair. A co-worker was dating her sister and she was always shy and quiet. I asked her once if all her hair was purple, got a slight slap, and 5 minutes later a quiet “Maybe, if there is more.” and although I never got to really find out, she did always smile and say hello to me from then on. She was going to college to be an undertaker.

    3. > And yes, they condition us all to flinch at the thought

      Me? Flinch?

      John Astin played Gomez Addams in the old Addams Family TV series, and virtually the same chartacter in Night Court and Brisco County Jr. Exuberant, enthusiastic, and absolutely unheeding of what anyone else might think.

      I have no idea what Mr. Astin’s off-screen personality was like, but I aspire to be like his portrayal of Gomez, Buddy, and Professor Wickwire…

  9. There’s another thing that bothers me about tokenism: because so many people do it, whenever someone gets a position because of their merit, they are accused of being put in that position to be a token.

    I have been in a position where I was on a committee, and we had someone of Asian decent come to the convention the year before. Because of his qualifications, we put him on a lot of panels, and everyone loved him! So the next year, we decided to highlight him in our promotions.

    We then hit some controversy about race and representation, and because some of the promotional material came out at the same time, we were accused of choosing this Asian-American because of tokenism. The accusations were annoying, but we weren’t able to complain too much, because we needed to keep the details of the situation to ourselves. Even now, I don’t think it’s safe yet to discuss the details.

    It also makes me wonder, however: were there committee members who chose to highlight this person because we could have a minority person to highlight?

    The biggest irony of all of this is that the person who is being accused of a token, politically, is probably more politically aligned to me concerning the controversy at the time, while the people who are *more* likely to have put him on as a token, are more politically aligned against the person in question, in that particular controversy…

  10. Yah. It seems that nowadays, claiming race blindness – is racist. I guess because you are not acknowledging/celebrating the race of the person in question.

      1. I haven’t thought of Berne’s book in a while, but I have mined it in the past for characterizations and plotting.

    1. I think that the meaning of the word “racist” has changed. It now merely means, You disagree with me.

      1. Been saying for years that racist/sexist/homophobic and now transphobic merely mean “I can find a liberal black/female/gay person/transwoman who disagrees with you” (disagreeing with a non-liberal member of those groups is not racist, but woke).

    2. SJWs have actually developed a vocabulary on that. To be “color-blind” is to be racists. Instead, one is to seek ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusivity’ by being “color-brave”.

      1. It’s their usual co-opting of language, to give themselves rhetorical edge. “Color-blind” used to be the good thing.

    3. To be accused of racism– no “seems” about it.

      Folks here are probably familiar with Jagi, and how she’s probably the nicest thing since an aimed-at-5-year-olds anime protagonist.

      I couldn’t get Bing to bring up her side of it, but here’s an attack on her for not fixating on the race of those she associates with:
      Right here.

      As if “race” was an objective metric.

            1. Not sure if you know Jagi, just figure “supernaturally nice” if you don’t, but several of the links I skipped included the usual ‘I refuse to engage with her until she stops being disrespectful to PoC,’ which as best I can see involved not agreeing she’s a horrible bigot for not classifying by skin color first.

              1. I refuse to engage with her until she stops being disrespectful to PoC,

                Translation: I refuse to engage with her until she concedes.

  11. I am where I am due to a likely token. Granted it was a CEO, but she didn’t seem very qualified to me, and many of her decisions were just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. But, after relocating me, and hunting down someone to “merge” with, they shuffled her out of the way.

  12. Semi-related.

    On The View today Joy Behr admitted to wearing when she was 29 a Halloween costume of a “beautiful black women” including make-up that darkened her skin. She even showed a picture.

    Anyone want to pick the day this month when the media will start called blackface a tribute to POC to save the Gov of VA and avoid having a GOP governor (the AG is down, the Lt. Gov will probably be gone by Monday, and next in line is the GOP Speaker of the Assembly if Northam resigns).

    1. The real question is: are there any white Democrats who *haven’t* worn blackface?

        1. Well, don’t want to use her name, but MW did something right. She said “I hope nobody watches the state of address given by Trump. Everyone should just turn off him off.”

          I NEVER watch political speeches. I watched. Every. Minute. I thought it was good. I think the SJW’s were & are kook-o-crazy, idiots.

          1. $SPOUSE skipped the speech, but I was following two live-blogs. I think that’s the first SOTU I’ve followed in detail.

        1. Dang it, I like wearing Edwardian white during the summer. And I was doing it long before HRC’s campaign.

          Those [censored] twits ruin everything. Snarl, hisssssssss.

          1. Me, I love wearing long swishy Edwardian/late Victorian skirts with a flounced petticoat underneath (for that extra swish!) when I do an author event, and put on my period costume. (Complete with spectacular hat, and lace-up/button up boots.) It is purely amazing how gentlemanly the modern male can be, when being gallant to a lady, properly attired for the century before the last…

            1. …it’s mostly a matter of how appreciative the modern male can be when presented with unambiguous signals that the lady wants to be treated as one. Fun for both parties!

      1. I imagine Democrat political consultants around the country are working 24/7 to find a picture of any Republican politician in blackface. Any Republican politician, even a dogcatcher in Dogpatch or Podunk would do for them. That we have’t seen any as of now means such pictures are somewhere between incredibly rare and non-existent.

        1. Virginia is a generous state:

          State Sen. Tommy Norment, another Virginia politician, caught up in blackface scandal
          The Republican majority leader of Virginia’s state Senate was the managing editor of a college yearbook featuring photos of people in blackface alongside other racist snapshots and slurs, according to a new report.

          The revelation comes as the state’s Democratic leadership is in crisis, with Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring both facing calls to resign after they admitted to wearing blackface while they were college students in the 1980s.

          State Sen. Tommy Norment oversaw the Virginia Military Institute’s “The Bomb” yearbook in 1968 — the same year the college first allowed black students to enroll, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

          The yearbook includes several photos of people in blackface — including one at a costume party, and another of two men in the racist makeup while holding a football — as well as the N-word and a student from Thailand who is referred to as a “Chink,” the paper reports.

          A photo of one man is captioned: “He was known as the ‘Barracks Jew’ having his fingers in the finances of the entire Corps.”

          Norment refused to talk about the yearbook when queried by reporters Thursday, saying he would only discuss the state budget, according to the Pilot. …

        2. The problem with lower level local elections are they are non-party specified. So, good luck!!!

          Agree. They are scrambling. Guarantee not finding them in college or HS, or they’d be sprung by now. Guess they are now digging through the grade school & pre-school year books now …

  13. My wife is non-status native (among the mix of various flavours of Brit, Nordic, French, Turkish, Jewish, etc – can you say North American mutt?) though she doesn’t look it. It’s scary how peoples’ attitudes toward her become much warmer when they find this out.

    She’ll use it to her advantage (a lot of the kids she deals with are native), but it’s insane.

    1. One of the kids in our neighborhood, a year behind son in school, so on the younger combined teams hubby coached him. Has a job that is for a non-profit for those of native decent that have been kicked off the tribal rolls … because they don’t meet the tribal enrollment percentages, or can’t prove it.

      Brief break … tribes, at least locally, are removing individuals because of the age old white privilege reasons … money payouts from the casinos & other high roll monetary reasons … isn’t that cultural appropriation? But I digress …

      Anyway. Kid (well adult now) is someone that you’d look at & presume stereotypical Scottish/Irish … red head with the skin tone to go with it. His mother is blond. But they have the family tree, with the names, birth/death/marriage & tribal affiliations. He is about 25% native by birthright. But by tribal affiliation, nothing is more than 1/16 by tribal affiliation. Well below the tribal affiliation recognized by most tribes.

      How long ago that if you had a drop of native or African blood, any ancestor, you were native or black, no option, that is what went on your birth certificate; AND it was not considered good?

      1. I have my grandparents’ birth certificates: Grandfather’s 1910, Michigan, states race, father’s occupation, address, etc. Grandmother’s 1919, New York, does not. Hers has parents’ names, baby’s name and (I think) sex. (Not at home, can’t check.)

        I’m sure the geniologists prefer Grandfather’s, but I think Grandmother’s has all the appropriate and necessary information.

  14. Synova, I’d say the best strategy for countering “us/them” divisions of any stripe is to expand the definition of “us” until it encompasses all possible values of “them,” and then watch the squirming begin.

    Easy to say, hard to do. But, I think, possible.

    On a side note, anyone here have the problem of _knowing_ what you want to write about, and how to write it, but as soon as you look directly at it everything scatters back to the peripheral vision? Man, I hate this.

    1. I’d say the best strategy involves removing, with prejudice if possible, those creating that division. We are allowed to with one kind of divider, but not others because our country is still in that awkward stage.

  15. I read this today (re: Fauxahontas): “… the idea that race is determined by blood—a bedrock principle for white supremacists and others who believe in racial hierarchies.”

    a) In other words “white supremacists and SJWs”
    b) if not by blood, then what IS it determined by?

    1. If not by blood, then by … dark makeup, maybe?
      (or just maybe, it’s a wrongly used synonym for ‘culture’ )

    2. if not by blood …

      If by blood, by genetic destiny, then you are what you are and Trannies are wrong. So, obviously, by Feelz, by Intersectionality … and Rachel Dolezal was down with the struggle and authentic as all heck.

    3. The amount of parallel thinking between the wokest of folks and with old style white supremacists and chauvinists is striking.

      And once those parallels are seen they can’t be unseen.

      1. We’ve gone back to the “one drop” rule of racial identity. It wasn’t good the first time around, and it’s still not good.

    4. The Left has been using racial lines for decades in an attempt to divide and control people, and it has worked for them. It’s a tool they use. They are now looking for a way to enhance that tool by changing the way race is defined to make it easier to cover for their own inherent racism, and easier to point out racism in their opponents whether it is there or not. Is this a surprise to anyone?

  16. We need to make sure our kids know that they are more than just a skin color so they can reject this literally skin-deep identity politics crap.

  17. Last summer I attended a con banquet, looked around, and realized I was the only guest seated who wasn’t white.

    This one always cracks me up, because it’s FUN to see what ‘tells’ someone has for someone being “white” or not– like Valorie Jarret, where the first hint I had she wasn’t at least half Persian was when there was all the “it’s ‘cus I’m BLACK!” shtick.

    Contrast with the Puerto Rican gal in boot camp who was solidly pissed they’d identified her as “black” and at risk for sickle cell, because she’s Puerto Rican.

    Or you could look at my homeschool group; I’m either the only white gal left (former leader was a knock-out blonde whose husband PCSed) or we’re all “white,” and various shades in between. Lots of Mexican ancestry, obviously, but also some famil(ies/y) from the Caribbean, at least three flavors of Asian if you include the PI, and at least two where I still can’t figure out how to ask “So, where did your family come from?” (I know it’s MY fandom, not everyone’s.)

  18. Talking about race reminds me of one of the peculiarities of race in the United States: we intermingle like crazy. It’s estimated that, if we aren’t there already, 1 in 7 of us will have mixed race ancestry.

    I have yet to see the documentary, but one that discusses it is called “How Jack Became Black”.

    I really wish there were an option “American Mutt” on “What race are you?” questionnaires. That probably describes far more Americans than any other category. (Even me, who is mostly European, has a good mix of European heritage — English (including a relationship to John Locke, of all people!), Scottish, Irish, French, Danish, and Swiss, among other people — a mix that you would likely be *very* hard-pressed to find in any given European country!

    1. And come to think about it, when you consider that a simple category like “Asian” includes Japanese, Chinese and Koreans — three groups that *hate* each other (which can, for that matter, be said of English, French and Germanic people), I can’t help but wonder: why are we giving any credence to race at all?

      1. British, Scottish, Irish? That’s just one big island, historically they sure haven’t gotten along, even if they are all under one flag (for) now.

        Pretty sure that’s what 23 & me would show for me, if it is good enough to distinguish between the three.

        1. My mother’s background turned up mostly Irish, a fair chunk of English — 1% unknown, and 1% Finnish/Russian.

    2. Is there an “I don’t know” option? I’ll take that one.

      OTOH how many generations do you have to be here to be “native”? I mean the recognized natives came here from somewhere else too.

      At least 4 generations in Oregon. That many in Montana. Both sides trace back to American Revolution via marriage certificates, & they weren’t “johnny come lately’s” then. Although I don’t think we go as far back as the Mayflower, or other super early settlements.

      1. I talked about this to my daughter, a couple of times. Three of my four grandparents were British, or Scots-Irish, and immigrated to the US in the early part of the 20th century. The fourth, though – Granny Jessie: her family were Quakers and took up a Penn land grant in the late 1600s. Not Mayflower, but transported in one of the close-following boats. And … a late 19th-century descendant did a whole genealogy research project up to the turn of the last century. All of Granny Jessie’s ancestors were properly married in established Quaker meeting format. Which meant that they had to be accepted in an established congregation, so the possibility of black or Native blood lurking in the Smedley family tree is vanishingly small.

        1. Native, native, not in my background either. Just very early settlers. Well one johnny come lately in the late 1800’s from Scotland, great grandfather on dads side. OTOH Grandma used to joke the only way her mother could get married was someone “not from around here”. Even grandma says she was in HS before she had classes with someone not a cousin or sibling. For her mother it was worse.

  19. Russell Means, when he was running for the Libertarian Party nomination for POTUS, addressed our State convention and asked, “How many of you were born on this continent? Congratulations; you are native Americans. *I* am an American Indian.”

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