UC Berkeley History Professor’s Open Letter Against BLM, Police Brutality and Cultural Orthodoxy
Anonymous Berkeley Professor Shreds BLM Injustice Narrative
By Katy Grimes, June 14, 2020 8:05 am
An anonymous professor of history at U.C. Berkeley wrote open letter to colleagues lambasting the current narratives of “racial injustice” and “institutional racism” claimed by the BLM movement, and ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd.
Zero hedge reports, “Its authenticity was confirmed by Kentucky State University Assistant Professor of Political Science, Wilfred Reilley, who says he was sent a copy of the letter along with Stanford University economist Thomas Sowell.”
I can confirm that the letter in the thread below was sent to me and Tom Sowell. It's really worth reading, in a time of widespread panic. https://t.co/bknCdO39c3
— Wilfred Reilly (@wil_da_beast630) June 12, 2020
Dear profs X, Y, Z
I am one of your colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. I have met you both personally but do not know you closely, and am contacting you anonymously, with apologies. I am worried that writing this email publicly might lead to me losing my job, and likely all future jobs in my field.
In your recent departmental emails you mentioned our pledge to diversity, but I am increasingly alarmed by the absence of diversity of opinion on the topic of the recent protests and our community response to them.
In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system. The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions.
Many cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly. These people are not racists or ‘Uncle Toms’. They are intelligent scholars who reject a narrative that strips black people of agency and systematically externalizes the problems of the black community onto outsiders. Their view is entirely absent from the departmental and UCB-wide communiques.
The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians. Instead, it is being treated as an axiomatic and actionable truth without serious consideration of its profound flaws, or its worrying implication of total black impotence. This hypothesis is transforming our institution and our culture, without any space for dissent outside of a tightly policed, narrow discourse.
A counternarrative exists. If you have time, please consider examining some of the documents I attach at the end of this email. Overwhelmingly, the reasoning provided by BLM and allies is either primarily anecdotal (as in the case with the bulk of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ undeniably moving article) or it is transparently motivated. As an example of the latter problem, consider the proportion of black incarcerated Americans. This proportion is often used to characterize the criminal justice system as anti-black. However, if we use the precise same methodology, we would have to conclude that the criminal justice system is even more anti-male than it is anti-black.
Would we characterize criminal justice as a systemically misandrist conspiracy against innocent American men? I hope you see that this type of reasoning is flawed, and requires a significant suspension of our rational faculties. Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates than their involvement in violent crime would predict. This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries.
And yet, I see my department uncritically reproducing a narrative that diminishes black agency in favor of a white-centric explanation that appeals to the department’s apparent desire to shoulder the ‘white man’s burden’ and to promote a narrative of white guilt.
If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans? This is a funny sort of white supremacy. Even Jewish Americans are incarcerated less than gentile whites. I think it’s fair to say that your average white supremacist disapproves of Jews. And yet, these alleged white supremacists incarcerate gentiles at vastly higher rates than Jews. None of this is addressed in your literature. None of this is explained, beyond hand-waving and ad hominems. “Those are racist dogwhistles”. “The model minority myth is white supremacist”. “Only fascists talk about black-on-black crime”, ad nauseam.
These types of statements do not amount to counterarguments: they are simply arbitrary offensive classifications, intended to silence and oppress discourse. Any serious historian will recognize these for the silencing orthodoxy tactics they are, common to suppressive regimes, doctrines, and religions throughout time and space. They are intended to crush real diversity and permanently exile the culture of robust criticism from our department.
Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM’s problematic view of history, and the department is being presented as unified on the matter. In particular, ethnic minorities are being aggressively marshaled into a single position. Any apparent unity is surely a function of the fact that dissent could almost certainly lead to expulsion or cancellation for those of us in a precarious position, which is no small number.
I personally don’t dare speak out against the BLM narrative, and with this barrage of alleged unity being mass-produced by the administration, tenured professoriat, the UC administration, corporate America, and the media, the punishment for dissent is a clear danger at a time of widespread economic vulnerability. I am certain that if my name were attached to this email, I would lose my job and all future jobs, even though I believe in and can justify every word I type.
The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people. There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is.
No discussion is permitted for nonblack victims of black violence, who proportionally outnumber black victims of nonblack violence. This is especially bitter in the Bay Area, where Asian victimization by black assailants has reached epidemic proportions, to the point that the SF police chief has advised Asians to stop hanging good-luck charms on their doors, as this attracts the attention of (overwhelmingly black) home invaders. Home invaders like George Floyd. For this actual, lived, physically experienced reality of violence in the USA, there are no marches, no tearful emails from departmental heads, no support from McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. For the History department, our silence is not a mere abrogation of our duty to shed light on the truth: it is a rejection of it.
The claim that black intraracial violence is the product of redlining, slavery, and other injustices is a largely historical claim. It is for historians, therefore, to explain why Japanese internment or the massacre of European Jewry hasn’t led to equivalent rates of dysfunction and low SES performance among Japanese and Jewish Americans respectively. Arab Americans have been viciously demonized since 9/11, as have Chinese Americans more recently. However, both groups outperform white Americans on nearly all SES indices – as do Nigerian Americans, who incidentally have black skin. It is for historians to point out and discuss these anomalies. However, no real discussion is possible in the current climate at our department. The explanation is provided to us, disagreement with it is racist, and the job of historians is to further explore additional ways in which the explanation is additionally correct. This is a mockery of the historical profession.
Most troublingly, our department appears to have been entirely captured by the interests of the Democratic National Convention, and the Democratic Party more broadly. To explain what I mean, consider what happens if you choose to donate to Black Lives Matter, an organization UCB History has explicitly promoted in its recent mailers. All donations to the official BLM website are immediately redirected to ActBlue Charities, an organization primarily concerned with bankrolling election campaigns for Democrat candidates. Donating to BLM today is to indirectly donate to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. This is grotesque given the fact that the American cities with the worst rates of black-on-black violence and police-on-black violence are overwhelmingly Democrat-run. Minneapolis itself has been entirely in the hands of Democrats for over five decades; the ‘systemic racism’ there was built by successive Democrat administrations.
The patronizing and condescending attitudes of Democrat leaders towards the black community, exemplified by nearly every Biden statement on the black race, all but guarantee a perpetual state of misery, resentment, poverty, and the attendant grievance politics which are simultaneously annihilating American political discourse and black lives. And yet, donating to BLM is bankrolling the election campaigns of men like Mayor Frey, who saw their cities devolve into violence. This is a grotesque capture of a good-faith movement for necessary police reform, and of our department, by a political party. Even worse, there are virtually no avenues for dissent in academic circles. I refuse to serve the Party, and so should you.
The total alliance of major corporations involved in human exploitation with BLM should be a warning flag to us, and yet this damning evidence goes unnoticed, purposefully ignored, or perversely celebrated. We are the useful idiots of the wealthiest classes, carrying water for Jeff Bezos and other actual, real, modern-day slavers. Starbucks, an organisation using literal black slaves in its coffee plantation suppliers, is in favor of BLM. Sony, an organisation using cobalt mined by yet more literal black slaves, many of whom are children, is in favor of BLM. And so, apparently, are we. The absence of counter-narrative enables this obscenity. Fiat lux, indeed.
There also exists a large constituency of what can only be called ‘race hustlers’: hucksters of all colors who benefit from stoking the fires of racial conflict to secure administrative jobs, charity management positions, academic jobs and advancement, or personal political entrepreneurship.
Given the direction our history department appears to be taking far from any commitment to truth, we can regard ourselves as a formative training institution for this brand of snake-oil salespeople. Their activities are corrosive, demolishing any hope at harmonious racial coexistence in our nation and colonizing our political and institutional life. Many of their voices are unironically segregationist.
MLK would likely be called an Uncle Tom if he spoke on our campus today. We are training leaders who intend, explicitly, to destroy one of the only truly successful ethnically diverse societies in modern history. As the PRC, an ethnonationalist and aggressively racially chauvinist national polity with null immigration and no concept of jus solis increasingly presents itself as the global political alternative to the US, I ask you: Is this wise? Are we really doing the right thing?
As a final point, our university and department has made multiple statements celebrating and eulogizing George Floyd. Floyd was a multiple felon who once held a pregnant black woman at gunpoint. He broke into her home with a gang of men and pointed a gun at her pregnant stomach. He terrorized the women in his community. He sired and abandoned multiple children, playing no part in their support or upbringing, failing one of the most basic tests of decency for a human being. He was a drug-addict and sometime drug-dealer, a swindler who preyed upon his honest and hard-working neighbors.
And yet, the regents of UC and the historians of the UCB History department are celebrating this violent criminal, elevating his name to virtual sainthood. A man who hurt women. A man who hurt black women. With the full collaboration of the UCB history department, corporate America, most mainstream media outlets, and some of the wealthiest and most privileged opinion-shaping elites of the USA, he has become a culture hero, buried in a golden casket, his (recognized) family showered with gifts and praise. Americans are being socially pressured into kneeling for this violent, abusive misogynist. A generation of black men are being coerced into identifying with George Floyd, the absolute worst specimen of our race and species.
I’m ashamed of my department. I would say that I’m ashamed of both of you, but perhaps you agree with me, and are simply afraid, as I am, of the backlash of speaking the truth. It’s hard to know what kneeling means, when you have to kneel to keep your job.
It shouldn’t affect the strength of my argument above, but for the record, I write as a person of color. My family have been personally victimized by men like Floyd. We are aware of the condescending depredations of the Democrat party against our race. The humiliating assumption that we are too stupid to do STEM, that we need special help and lower requirements to get ahead in life, is richly familiar to us. I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to deal with open fascists, who at least would be straightforward in calling me a subhuman, and who are unlikely to share my race.
The ever-present soft bigotry of low expectations and the permanent claim that the solutions to the plight of my people rest exclusively on the goodwill of whites rather than on our own hard work is psychologically devastating. No other group in America is systematically demoralized in this way by its alleged allies. A whole generation of black children are being taught that only by begging and weeping and screaming will they get handouts from guilt-ridden whites.
No message will more surely devastate their futures, especially if whites run out of guilt, or indeed if America runs out of whites. If this had been done to Japanese Americans, or Jewish Americans, or Chinese Americans, then Chinatown and Japantown would surely be no different to the roughest parts of Baltimore and East St. Louis today. The History department of UCB is now an integral institutional promulgator of a destructive and denigrating fallacy about the black race.
I hope you appreciate the frustration behind this message. I do not support BLM. I do not support the Democrat grievance agenda and the Party’s uncontested capture of our department. I do not support the Party co-opting my race, as Biden recently did in his disturbing interview, claiming that voting Democrat and being black are isomorphic. I condemn the manner of George Floyd’s death and join you in calling for greater police accountability and police reform. However, I will not pretend that George Floyd was anything other than a violent misogynist, a brutal man who met a predictably brutal end.
I also want to protect the practice of history. Cleo is no grovelling handmaiden to politicians and corporations. Like us, she is free.
Reprinted in its entirety by Zero Hedge (emphasis Zero Hedge) via @tracybeanz:
U.C. Berkeley’s history department issued a statement regarding the anonymous letter, and instead of addressing – or inviting a vigorous debate over its content, Berkeley’s response validates one of the letter’s core claims that dissent outside “a tightly policed, narrow discourse” is not welcome.
An anonymous letter has been circulating, purportedly written by a @UCBHistory professor. We have no evidence that this letter was written by a History faculty member. We condemn this letter: it goes against our values as a department and our commitment to equity and inclusion.
— UC Berkeley History (@UCBHistory) June 13, 2020
66 thoughts on “UC Berkeley History Professor’s Open Letter Against BLM, Police Brutality and Cultural Orthodoxy”
You believe that fact check focusing on the word “directly”??? I don’t believe there is any honesty in any fact checking today because they refuse to use evidence to support their claims that would stand up in a court of law and instead use information taken from hand picked experts whom share the sites political views never offering to actually perform real investigative reporting, something no mainstream news outlet does in America anymore.
Anonymous speaks the truth! There is no tolerance of any thoughtful and objective examination of facts on any subject these days. “White privilege” oppression has manifested itself in my company and I was revolted by recent corporate communication where a person declared his “racist tendencies”. I look forward to relinquishing my management position and plan my exit from a company I once thought of as my best career experience. Until then I am force to silently “kneel” to keep my job.
Anonymous speaks not only for his/her fellow professors who must remain silent but also for those who are silenced in their personal lives and other sectors. I commend UCB Anonymous for speaking out, it is a shame it has to be in that format.
I am grateful that this letter was written and shared. The first amendment is fundamentally important to higher learning and our democratic republic, the United States of America.
Berkeley is not alone. Racism against people speaking out in bi-partisan discussions has fomented in the colleges nationwide. There is no discussion….only accusations of racism. People getting fired for their opinions is racism. Racism in all forms is reflective of intolerance for open discussions by both sides, allowing for a decent conclusion that is all inclusive!
Thought provoking letter. How disgusting those Democrats are? It’s great that America is still a place to speak different options, at least in anonymous.
Facts? Heaven forbid that facts ever interfere with leftist agendas. Facts are met with rage, hate and violence by those who can’t handle the truth.
Brave man to tell the truth even anomalously as you can bet there are thousands at Berkeley who are itching to lynch this person for telling the truth.
An extremely intelligent letter, a breath of fresh air in a fetid swamp of politically correct nonsense, a letter that makes important arguments and observations about recent events at a crucial time (it doesn’t really matter WHO wrote it), that opens up a discussion that anyone who wants to can participate in if they like, which I thought was the main purpose of attending a university and seeking a Liberal Arts Degree, is met by the esteemed (not) Dept of History at UC Berkeley with the statement: “We condemn this letter: it goes against our values as a department and our commitment to equity and inclusion.”
Well, I guess the discussion is over, then!
What else do you need to know about the Dept of History at UC Berkeley?
I am so glad to finally read something that every fiber in my body tells me that I am hearing the truth.
You are correct!
I concur with your comment. The teachings of college educators is now appearing in our cities nationwide. No tolerance for the constitution, no responsibility for actions, no repercussions, no reprimands, no arrests. Berkeley and their ILK has created the actions of those on the streets in our cities. Berkley professors are too opinionated, do no follow the proper syllabuses, work 3 hours per week, if that and are grossly over paid. This pertains to educators across the nation.
So UC Berkeley called the police for this? The department they want to defund? Should they call social service instead?
De-fund the University of California.
Well the college is named after a Bishop who felt slavery was appropriate for the education and salvation of the blacks. How many in their History are curious about that?
“The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people.
There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads.
The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is.”
Finally…an esteemed person of color who is truly “color-blind” by the facts.
This UC professor is tired of being demoralized by society “lowering the bar” for blacks, refuses to idolize criminals like Floyd and is sincerely concerned about historians re-writing history to meet its agenda–A political campaign for Joe Biden, Democrat.
Well the college is named after a Bishop who felt slavery was appropriate for the education and salvation of the blacks. How many in their History are curious about that?
If that is true, they need to change the name of Berkeley. Where are the riots to do so?
This is a good story
Dear Anonymous UC Berkeley History Professor,
You have a bright future ahead of you.
I clearly see your letter going viral, and turning into a well-done documentary (not supported by Netflix, of course), along with a best-selling book.
If only Stephen Spielberg was a Republican…He would be the best one to make your movie.
But, he is a smart, gifted guy who might see through the smoke and mirrors of BLM’s pressure on the public and want the truth to be known on both sides of this coin, who knows?
I’ll buy the popcorn.
When UC Berkeley does their “witch hunt” and uncovers you–Then fires you, you will then go down in history by taking THEM to the Supreme Court. It is not only unconstitutional to fire anyone for free speech, but it is the same play book used in communist countries as well.
Find a good lawyer now and document your innocence along with their BLM donations going to a political institution (without notifying their donors) before they cover it up.
We know many Republicans who support BLM and wouldn’t appreciate their donations going to Biden.
Meanwhile your multi-million dollar book deal , “How I saved America,” will be in the works.
Another title for your book? “The Black Emperor has no clothes.”
(Make sure your book is written before your interviews, OK?)
Professor, it is people like YOU who will help change the false narrative of BLM to the truth that must be told clearly and factually so that African Americans can truly heal and become independent.
I applaud you and wish you the very best of success for standing up for not only black Americans to be freed from all the “enablers” but for ALL Americans as well.
Thank you, Professor!
Man, I hope he or she reads this comment. Right on, Marci
Hello to anyone reading this! I am a recent graduate of Yale engaging with the sentiment of this letter and starting a larger discourse around the points it brings up. I am excited for the opportunity to engage in deeper conversation. (Sadly I cannot put hyperlinks here, but I will try to make my references Google-able)
The first thing that jumps out to me is that this professor is insinuating that there is no real evidence that the criminal justice system is disproportionately unfair to Black people. There are, in fact, MANY quantitative sociology and other studies that measure this disproportionate impact and effect. There is quite a body of evidence. I will reach out to my professor to get more articles, but I would start by reading pages 5-9 of the report “Reducing Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System” by The Sentencing Project. Pages 5-9 are on the Causes of Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System and they include the argument that Black people commit more crime. It’s a good summary, albeit a bit dated. Once again, there is an IMMENSE body of scientific published research on racial disparity in the criminal justice system. Can you still argue with a scientific study? Absolutely! But there are some good studies out there about how many specific criminal justice practices and policies disproportionately affect Black people. This article “Everyday Risk: Disparate Exposure and Racial Inequality in Police Violence” by Laurel Eckhouse is a thorough study that examines the relationship between a community’s exposure to police and shootings.
In regards to acknowledging Black agency, YES! Yes, Black people have agency. And the way different individuals use that agency, and the way different individuals experience challenges to their agency, is complicated. Read the introduction to Locking Up Our Own by James Forman. It will add some nuance to this guy’s argument.
To be honest, this is one of the least nuanced views on violence within Black communities that I have ever seen:
“The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people. There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is.”
This is the most hypocritical moment in the whole paper. He takes a simple (and true) statistic, that the vast majority of violence “visited” on the Black community is committed by Black people, and uses that fact solely to denounce the Black Lives Matter movement for not leading a protest every time gang violence takes another innocent life. To me, this is clearly a person who has not interacted closely with a Black community experiencing violence. He does not ask, “Where is violence within Black communities coming from?” He does not ask, “WHY do I not hear about Black on Black violence in the media?” He does not ask, “Why is gang membership so high?” He does not acknowledge how much work Black people are doing to address violence in their communities. You cannot denounce BLM simply because it has become more popular than the decades of efforts to make safe streets and the memorials to victims of gun violence in Black neighborhoods. To insinuate that “Black lives only matter when whites take them” ignores decades of organizing and advocacy work for safe streets, it ignores decades of pain felt by Black families and Black communities when they lose a child to the streets. He did not even ask the obvious question, “WHY ARE YOUNG BLACK PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY YOUNG BLACK MEN, KILLING EACH OTHER?”
Institutionally, he has a point. Powerful institutions like UC and corporations need to care about Black people ALL THE TIME, not just when one is killed by police. So let’s talk about how institutions can address some underlying issues. How much does UC Berkeley contribute to the low-income neighborhoods around it? (To be clear, students were not counted in this survey). Same goes for Yale and Johns Hopkins and so many other colleges.
Next, NO ONE IS SAYING DEMOCRATS/Liberals ARE INNOCENT. From Lincoln to Lyndon B Johnson, even Obama has implemented and upheld ideologies and policies that perpetuate the idea that Black people are not equal to White people – they have manifested that idea in our physical and political environment, in our housing, in our healthcare, in our criminal justice system. Democrats have been essential in creating inequality. For God’s sake, no one is saying Democrats are innocent. And do your research and donate to a Black-run community organization if you are worried about BLM’s funding structure – most young Liberals I know have been donating directly to Black-run community mutual aid funds. Furthermore, anyone that really believes that Black Lives Matter is doing their research, and therefore would know to boycott corporations like Starbucks who are only posting messages of solidarity for publicity. Starbucks uses slaves and prison labor. We know. We are boycotting.
In regards to George Floyd’s criminal record, watch Dave Chappelle’s special 8:46 on YouTube for free. Black people aren’t celebrating George Floyd. They’re saying they can’t stand watching public uninterrupted murder of Black people anymore. Black people did not choose George Floyd to be their hero – the police chose to kill George Floyd. And America said they weren’t willing to sit quietly and watch another person be killed by the people who are supposed to protect us.
“A whole generation of black children are being taught that only by begging and weeping and screaming will they get handouts from guilt-ridden whites.”
1. Why is he unilaterally characterizing political organizing, demonstration, advocacy, and policy change as begging, weeping, and screaming? Seriously. What is the purpose of this rhetoric? Why is it necessary?
2. Does he assume that because he had bootstraps to pull himself up by, everyone else does too? Dismantling systemic racism is not about giving everyone a handout, it is about giving them access to bootstraps (an equal stand in American public policy and public systems) so they CAN pull themselves up. Even if you were able to do it with only one bootstrap, wouldn’t you want better for your children? Some people don’t. Some people are so bought into the narrative of working for everything you have that they want their children to struggle, even if it is because of discriminatory policies.
Finally, BLM is dangerous? Has this man investigated how dangerous Conservative propaganda is?
He brings up George Floyd’s criminal record, citing his assault of a Black woman. He doesn’t acknowledge that Viral Facebook posts are circulating saying that George Floyd assaulted a White/Latinx woman, and explicitly uses that as justification for his murder. Now tell me… what does that narrative remind you of? Centuries of lynching Black men to “protect” white women.
I feel that this letter either misses the point (i.e., we already know Democrats are bad), or hypocritically fails to use evidence. Please feel free to respond to the points I made here. I hope it enriches our discourse and understanding of these issues.
When was the last time there were marches protesting black on black violence? Never. Blacks celebrate violence, misogyny and crime and even come down on other blacks who work and live crime free lives as selling out or being white. Blacks are more likely to be incarcerated because they commit more crimes which is a simple fact that can’t be “nuanced” away. Spend some time in the real world rather than the leftist echo chamber of academia!
I work on the ground in Black public housing communities and with former gang members, explicitly because I was frustrated with academia and wanted to learn from the real world. Here are just a few Black-led initiatives that combat black on black violence:
How can you be a Yale student? Shame on you. You did not list even one fact or study to support your argument. You have messy logic.
Are you in law school ?
Cherry picking comments completely negates the point/tone of the letter. If you want to cherry pick than explain these two statements as well: “Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans?” – Nigerian Americans last I checked are black. “Asian victimization by black assailants has reached epidemic proportions, to the point that the SF police chief has advised Asians to stop hanging good-luck charms on their doors, as this attracts the attention of (overwhelmingly black) home invaders.” – I guess this doesn’t matter because the evil whites aren’t involved. Explain the overwhelming success of the Asian and Jewish communities in spite of historic, and current, racism and persecution. Data/statistics only help illustrate whatever point you are trying to make and can be easily manipulated to paint a picture (Simpson’s Paradox etc.). Sometimes, especially nowadays (lol), people tend to go with what “feels” right. Just through general observation, talking with friends etc., and just living my life this letter just feels right. I remember getting that same feeling when I read a paper by John McWhorter years ago about the “cult of victimology” in the black community. I definitely don’t have the answers, but I can say with absolute certaintity unlearning years of public indoctrination (education, tv/movies, news, social media etc.) is the first step. Everything, and I mean absolutely everything, we are exposed to is biased…even the science, lol.
It’s funny you mention Simpson’s Paradox, because that’s exactly what the author of this email has done here. Nigerian-American actually refers to a migratory period during the 1960s, where a culture imbued with the notion that education propagates fiscal success dominates, and then went on to become full-scale emigration after military coups and spouts of civilian rule. Also funnily enough, there was no mass enslaving of Asians or Jews in America – only the spurring of mass Chinese immigration because of gold deposits found in California. The most you could consider would be the ‘credit-ticket system’. Actually, Chinese immigrants chose to do so because their projected earnings would be much higher in America than in China (19th Century). So, whilst both suffered from racial prejudices of the American population (which can be viewed through the ‘anecdotal’ evidence of opposing forces to Chinese immigration in the 19th century), neither suffered the mass institutionalised oppression that took form in the denial of rights such as pay (Chinese immigrants were paid, furthermore their children born in America were nationalised as American).
It’s good you’re aware there’s bias in the world; it’s a shame you’re not nuanced enough to research far enough to understand the biases of even Katy Grimes, the author of this article who also authored “California’s War Against Donald Trump: Who Wins? Who Loses?” which even states in its synopsis: ‘ from a perspective that agrees with Trump that California is “out of control,” ‘ despite positing to be originated from “hundreds of sources cited”. Essentially the same poor methodology that outlines Thomas Sowell’s work. Oops, Simpson’s Paradox at it again.
Disparate Impact analysis is just badly done statistics. Apparently, your education is just beginning – for a proper understanding of the problems with such analysis I would consult the amazing resources Thomas Sowell has provided and of course a solid understanding of statistics would have prevented these logical fallacies from being propagated. Unless of course you believe that white players are underrepresented in the NBA, which is what happens when you don’t understand how to correctly designate a “population” in statistical analysis.
Angel Papi, yale no longer lets facts cloud “truth”, and only leftists know the “truth”. Paraphrasing Ronald Reagan, “It’s not that liberals don’t know anything, it’s that so much of what they know is false.” The recent Yale grad is a perfect example of the death of intellect in American universities. These kids were never taught the scientific method, but they can sure gulp the Kool Aid.
“” “There are, in fact, MANY quantitative sociology and other studies that measure this disproportionate impact and effect.”
Actually, no. The real studies don’t show that. Here is a typical real study. The source is R. Fryer (Harvard, NBER, Black)
“Using data from Houston, Texas – where we have both officer-involved shootings and a randomly chosen set of potential interactions with police where lethal force may have been justified – we find, after controlling for suspect demographics, officer demographics, encounter characteristics, suspect weapon and year fixed effects, that blacks are 27.4 percent less likely to be shot at by police relative to non-black, non-Hispanics.”
So the police do discriminate, by disproportionately shooting white people.
The paper is “An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force” by Roland G. Fryer, Jr (NBER Working Paper No. 22399). The abstract reads.
“This paper explores racial differences in police use of force. On non-lethal uses of force, blacks and Hispanics are more than fifty percent more likely to experience some form of force in interactions with police. Adding controls that account for important context and civilian behavior reduces, but cannot fully explain, these disparities. On the most extreme use of force – officer-involved shootings–we find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account. We argue that the patterns in the data are consistent with a model in which police officers are utility maximizers, a fraction of which have a preference for discrimination, who incur relatively high expected costs of officer-involved shootings.”
The claim that “studies” of the criminal justice system show discrimination is just PC BS. The so-called “studies” (with rare exceptions) ignore actual crime rates. The “Reducing Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System” in fact goes to pains to ignore the vast (and well-established) differences in criminality.
“Once again, there is an IMMENSE body of scientific published research on racial disparity in the criminal justice system.”
Actually, no there isn’t. A typical “study” showed that there was a “disparity” in how a computerized bail system treated blacks and white. Once prior criminal records were taken into account, the “disparity” disappeared. The computer system was in fact, just as accurate in predicting criminal activity (while out on bail) for whites as for blacks.
“He does not ask, “Where is violence within Black communities coming from?””
Sure he does and he answers it. Quote
“The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people”
“He does not ask, “WHY do I not hear about Black on Black violence in the media?””
Sure he does and he answers it. Quote
“The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is.”
You state “He does not acknowledge how much work Black people are doing to address violence in their communities.”. That’s actually true. America has suffered (or benefited) from years of protests, riots, looting, arson, etc. against black on black violence. How did we miss them when they occurred so often? It was easy because they never actually happened.
“He did not even ask the obvious question, “WHY ARE YOUNG BLACK PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY YOUNG BLACK MEN, KILLING EACH OTHER?””
Sure he does and he answers it.
“The ever-present soft bigotry of low expectations and the permanent claim that the solutions to the plight of my people rest exclusively on the goodwill of whites rather than on our own hard work is psychologically devastating. No other group in America is systematically demoralized in this way by its alleged allies. A whole generation of black children are being taught that only by begging and weeping and screaming will they get handouts from guilt-ridden whites. No message will more surely devastate their futures, especially if whites run out of guilt, or indeed if America runs out of whites.”
“You cannot denounce BLM simply because it has become more popular than the decades of efforts to make safe streets and the memorials to victims of gun violence in Black neighborhoods.”
Sure you can. Let me quote from Joe Hick (deceased Black activist).
“Last week — last week, three people were walking out a liquor store in San Bernardino — people are familiar with San Bernardino because that’s where the massacre took place. Two black men and a 9-year- old boy walking out of a liquor store mowed down by a black suspect. Where was Black Lives Matter? Did you guys mobilize in San Bernardino?”
Does BLM care about dead black children? Of course, not.
“To insinuate that “Black lives only matter when whites take them” ignores decades of organizing and advocacy work for safe streets,”
Sure, America has suffered (or benefited) from years of protests, riots, looting, arson, etc. against black on black violence. How did we miss them when they occurred so often? It was easy because they never actually happened.
“even Obama has implemented and upheld ideologies and policies that perpetuate the idea that Black people are not equal to White people”
Actually, Obama had the racial arsonist Al Sharpton (quote from Orlando Paterson) over to the White House over 80 times and lied about what actually happened in Ferguson.
“They’re saying they can’t stand watching public uninterrupted murder of Black people anymore. Black people did not choose George Floyd to be their hero – the police chose to kill George Floyd.”
Did BLM protest when the police killed Tony Timpa when he was killed? Of course not, he was white. Did BLM protest when Justine Diamond was killed? Of course not. She was white and her police killer wasn’t. Did white people riot after each killing? Of course, not.
“Dismantling systemic racism is not about giving everyone a handout”
“Systematic racism” is PC nonsense. Did you miss the part about
“Even Jewish Americans are incarcerated less than gentile whites. I think it’s fair to say that your average white supremacist disapproves of Jews. And yet, these alleged white supremacists incarcerate gentiles at vastly higher rates than Jews.”
I could also point out that all of richest ethnic groups in America are non-white and Jews are considerably better off than non-Jews.
LB, you stated: “Next, NO ONE IS SAYING DEMOCRATS/Liberals ARE INNOCENT. From Lincoln to Lyndon B Johnson, even Obama has implemented and upheld ideologies and policies that perpetuate the idea that Black people are not equal to White people – they have manifested that idea in our physical and political environment, in our housing, in our healthcare, in our criminal justice system. Democrats have been essential in creating inequality.”
Comment: Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President. Interesting that so many think he was a Democrat.
Thank you good sir after reading this response I read through the articles and plan on buying James Foreman’s book. Continue to engage in rational discourse! Be open minded. Too many people looking to confirm their own views with a few catchy phrases and analogies. Having a real conversation about this is the only way forward. Horrible that he feels he will lose his job if it wasn’t for anonymity. I wish he could reply to this comment as I’d be interested to see how he defends his view in lieu of these clearly stated viewpoints, facts, and stories of racial bias in the criminal justice system. He’s a well versed individual on the subject and we need to have conversations like this to get anywhere close to progressing as a society.
Have you seen that #CancelYale is trending on Twitter right now? Not even the institution you graduated from is safe from this ideology that devours its own. I suggest you branch out in your education to get a bigger picture of what’s going on here. This extends far beyond -lightyears beyond BLM.
Uh, 1. Citing you come from Yale, is a shameless mistake. You’re simply trying to convey the notion that “I think I’m intelligent, therefore you should act according to the presumption that my words carry weight!” 2. I was very disappointed. The extent of your arguments, even the fact that you attempted to argue certain points that are easily refuted simply by reading this alone, tells me that going to Yale does not necessitate intelligence. For example: “…explicitly uses that as justification for his murder.” Uh, no. Never, did he justify his murder, he noted that the world, particularly organizations that literally don’t care, and use slave labor themselves, ARE LITERALLY CELEBRATING HIM AS A REMARKABLE MAN. He’s tired of people making him out to be a saint in the most hypocritical way possible. Now, I’m not going to go through your entire reply and piece by piece break it down and refute it unless requested, but this is far from the only nonsense I saw, and quite frankly, can’t even believe a Yale student would think some of your arguments stand.
LB, “Has this man investigated how dangerous Conservative propaganda is?”
Never ask a question you don’t know the answer to.
Have faith in God and Christ and uphold religious values.
Don’t care or want to know what color your skin is, and recognize you cannot demand to be recognized by your skin color and then expect not to be judged for it. only racist see skin color.
Uphold family values.
Uphold the value of education but recognize our university system is broken and indoctrinates young naive minds into the liberal agenda by not allowing open discussion of opposing views, something even your highly esteemed Yale is guilty of.
Hold our country as the best country on this planet, while not perfect in any way, acknowledging that no other country on this planet has done more for the betterment of humanity or human rights on this planet than the USA
Don’t agree that abortion should be used as birth control, life is a blessing from God, all lives matter, only racists see skin color.
Uphold community values
Uphold the rights of the individual over society, ( we are a representative Republic, not a Democracy )
Believe that less government is better government.
Do not believe in systemic racism in our country as every ethnic group on this planet has been on the wrong side of slavery at one point in time and blaming others for your position in life is a cop out for failing to use the free will God gave you.
Respect other peoples property.
Respect other peoples lives
Respect other peoples right to hold their own unique views, no matter how much you may disagree with it or them.
I could go on and on and on and on, but this last one, Do not condone rioting, looting and pillaging in any way and when conservatives hold protests they never turn violent unless hate groups show up and attack the conservatives. Conservatives also clean up after their protests…
Conservative believe that history is important to maintain and preserve so that humanity can learn from it’s past mistakes. Destroying historical artifacts is nothing more than an attempt to hide the truth instead of learning from it.
Please list some honest and factual conservative propaganda that is dangerous, because the above mentioned ideals promote peace and love and unity while embracing individuality, rights and life, nothing at all like the divide and conquer, hate and intolerance of opposing views the current progressive liberal movement has propagated on our universities.
4500 years ago Egypt Africa enslaved Hebrews to build the Pyramids. One hundred years ago, on February 24th, 1920 the NAZI party was founded in Munich Germany resulting in the genocide of millions of Jews and many others. The Jews do not demand that the monuments of those atrocities be taken down, quite the contrary, they demand they be left for all of humanity to see and learn from, a very noble and humble position worthy of praise for the clear message of love and peace it carries. A saying comes to mind…. Judge a tree by the fruit it bears……
Conservatives believe BLM needs to go away along with it’s tainted message of racism, hate and division, as does your troll position ignoring the above honest facts.
Hey LB I noticed that you expertly ignored the most significant theme of the letter. That is, it was penned anonymously as the author fears
He will lose his job if his identity is revealed. That is your political movement/party doing that. Not hyperbole, it is actually happening as a means to quell dissent…in America! Let that sink in please…
Thank you for pointing that out. That actually wasn’t an intentional omission – I was very focused on the content of the letter, as I worry that (ironically) it is not actually grounded in evidence and might be misleading. You make a very good point, though, and I do believe he should be able to speak his mind publically. I also find it hypocritical that institutions like universities might fire a professor for writing a letter like this when they are unwilling to own up to their own much larger roles in perpetuating racism in the United States. However, as an educator of History at a renowned research institution, I also think this professor should be responsible for defending his points with evidence.
Professor in UCLA spoke publicly and now has no job and getting life threats.
And his statement was unshakable!
Is blm dangerous? What don’t you ask the white woman who was kidnapped and raped by three of them in Minnesota as she was getting into her car to go home from work. Why don’t you ask her?
Oh wait you can’t. They KILLED her after.
Maybe you can speak with her family and tell them how great blm is.
Did I answer your question?
You people make me absolutely sick.
LB, thanks for making a decent effort at opposing the views of the author and of many here. Though Black Lives Matter meant well in trying to change things for the betterment of blacks, it does so by demanding whites to change their behavior while ignoring black responsibility to change as well. It seems to me, you are more interested in defending blacks against legitimate criticisms than in finding lasting solutions to black problems.
Can’t you see that the only lasting solution to black problems is for blacks themselves to change their behavioral and mental habits? What have you, the Black Lives matter movement, and black leaders done to promote better habits in the black community? Ignoring personal responsibility and being hostile to criticisms are not good habits.
“Ignoring personal responsibility and being hostile to criticisms are not good habits.” YES.
Democrats are losing this battle, and it’s a poor sight. The harder they try to prove themselves as being righteous and socially correct, the more people become put off by their ideology. Using emotions to try to institute a state of “white guilt” and manipulate the public is wrong. I feel that is the point of this letter – respectful, logical discourse is not allowed anymore. It’s only about racist vs non racist. I will NEVER devote a dime of my money or time to the BLM movement because it is violent and promotes victimhood. Sorry.
I want to point out it is tragic of UC Berkeley History Department to condemn this e-mail. There are many reasons why this person decided to keep anonymous, it is a pretty sensitive topic that talks contrary to the media’s propaganda. If this professor would go no-anonymous, he could receive a lot hate threats and most likely loose his job since a majority would disagree with him. UC Berkeley is doing that right now by condemning this e-mail, without researching if it was really written by one of their faculty workers. UC Berkeley, you are turning people down, shutting them down. The opinion of minorities don’t count, although there is no any racism or any discrimination in this message. You purposely do that to not people believe this e-mail, so less and less people will take this professor’s message. You are embarrassed of thought someone decided to speak out, be a critical thinker and not buy the presidential propaganda.
You know who the president is, right?
Equity, with respect, it is the left that has attempted to shut down debate on many fronts over the past 40+ years. The left, ironically, have truly become the modern day fascists, is that even possible? Why suffer the ignominy of failed multigenerational policy initiatives when it is far easier to simply cry racism and avoid the debate altogether? Cancel culture is the opposite of tolerance and is antithetical to American ideals (free speech, self determination, etc).
Recall that the Democrats spent an entire century creating real systemic racism (Jim Crow, Redlining, Underfunded Schools, Great Society and it’s related soft bigotry, etc.) before becoming the self-proclaimed party of tolerance and racial equality. This despite significant efforts expended to defeat the Civil Rights Act. Current state, Democrats have convinced the black community that only they can save them, and in return the Dems have enjoyed a near monopoly on the black vote. Today, the definition of “systemic racism” and/or “institutional racism” has been purposefully redefined for an incurious audience using illogical statistical correlations. There is certainly racism and there likely will always be racism. But it is extremely dishonest to argue that we are currently witness to systemic racism.
I’m not going to defend Donald Trump’s boorish public persona, nor will I defend current Republican plank in all facets. Tax policy has been hijacked by people that have a general lack of understanding of why Reagan’s tax cuts spurred economic growth. I am a former Republican and currently a registered independent. The Neo-cons and the Tea Party killed my loyalty. Having said all of that, the anti-Trump narrative is largely fabricated. Fortunately, It’s only a matter of time before someone jumps into the very wide center of the political spectrum to finally create a viable third party. Was hoping it would be Mark Cuban this year, but alas, it was not meant to be.
The question of police shootings of minorities has been looked at by folks other than R. Fryer. See
“Is There Evidence of Racial Disparity in Police Use of Deadly Force? Analyses of Officer-Involved Fatal Shootings in 2015–2016”
The abstract reads
“Is there evidence of a Black–White disparity in death by police gunfire in the United States? This is commonly answered by comparing the odds of being fatally shot for Blacks and Whites, with odds benchmarked against each group’s population proportion. However, adjusting for population values has questionable assumptions given the context of deadly force decisions. We benchmark 2 years of fatal shooting data on 16 crime rate estimates. When adjusting for crime, we find no systematic evidence of anti-Black disparities in fatal shootings, fatal shootings of unarmed citizens, or fatal shootings involving misidentification of harmless objects. Multiverse analyses showed only one significant anti-Black disparity of 144 possible tests. Exposure to police given crime rate differences likely accounts for the higher per capita rate of fatal police shootings for Blacks, at least when analyzing all shootings. For unarmed shootings or misidentification shootings, data are too uncertain to be conclusive.”
Much of the controversy and interest in this topic stems from the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson back in 2014. The death of Michael Brown was intensively investigated by Obama’s justice department Obama’s justice department found that Michael Brown attacked the police officer and that his death was justified. BLM was (like it or not) founded on a fraud.
That’s a meme, no one going to talk about UC Berkeley’s percentage Fall admission of African American students?
May I ask where I can find credible resources to back all this info and claim? He keeps stating that the opposing opinion has no facts to support their argument, but where are his?
Thank you very much for posting all this, both the initial poster, and the commenters. I’m very familiar with the information and perspectives. I also give much thanks to Glen Loury, Jason Riley, Shelby Steele, Candace Owens, Thomas Sowell,…. and more.
Have you seen that #CancelYale is trending on Twitter right now? Not even the institution you graduated from is safe from this ideology that devours its own. I suggest you branch out in your education to get a bigger picture of what’s going on here. This extends far beyond -lightyears beyond BLM.
I hope and pray that June 14, 2020 will be recognized some day as the date when a brave intellectual stood up and fired the verbal shot that was heard around the world, that turned the tide against hatred, intolerance, coercion, and manipulation and freed Americans to start thinking and reasoning again. Let justice roll down like a mighty river, sweeping away Marxist lies and corruption and leaving in its cleansing wake a renewed hope. and faith in the divine truth that all of us are created equal.
Thank you for your article. You are a rare bright light in a dark field of conformity.
My son will be attending UC Berkeley this fall (Covid permitting). Unfortunately he will not be able to know who you are since your job security would be at risk. My kids are tri-racial, and I married my wife long before every cereal add and car commercial brandished interracial couples. They have grown up in a climate where everything has been about race, racial preferences, racial victimhood, and selective entitlement: To the point where I fear racial relations have retrograded at least 2 generations. I remember about 9 years ago, my son coming home (from 4th grade) and asking “Hey dad, is it bad that I am part white?” In the ’70’s and ’80’s we never gave a thought to race. I fear this this will cause an immense backlash in the near future; perhaps that chaos is the true intent of BLM.
In the article, I most respect you stating that the black community needs to take its future into its own hands and not rely on whitey (I’m white so its ok) or left leaning politicians. While this requires some to take responsibility, it is also incredibly empowering. And not until the black community truly believes in itself, and that it is as capable as any other, can it truly make forward progress. To this end, the only item I wish you had mentioned is that Black Fathers Matter. I know how difficult it has been to raise a boy into a [young] man, and I can’t fathom a single parent being able to do it. When 70% of black children are being raised by a single parent, what chance to they really have?
I “Believe“ the author wrote an excellent prose, and I “believe” if any of it is true then discourse should take place to understand why the counter argument exists. I “believe“ than it it true that College and world in general should not squash dissenting opinion. The author however make claims like Blacks lives taken by white is the only thing that gets traction for example, but ignores that the discussion is around the fact that when this violence happens with those charged with our protection, or when they have affluenza, or are “standing their ground”, the Racial systems of oppression pushed by ALEC and the ruling plutocracy let’s them off. The violence in the hood gets punished at higher rates with higher sentences. So justice is “rightly” served. What I don’t “believe” is like I did above is that the author provided no sources to support theses statements of fact. If we can not create discourse with fact and data then we will change no hearts or minds. A quote regarding climate is applicable to black lives. We only preserve that which we love, we only love that which we know, we only know that which we are taught. Black lives matter is a misunderstood idea. The entire premise of the narrative is not addressing the fact that we witnessed a modern day lynching with the countless lives taken without due process.
read this reply, Anon Y. Mous June 17, 2020 at 6:56, and this one, Troy June 17, 2020 at 7:34 pm .
You ignore honest facts and rely on the intentional misuse of statistics. When there are over 10 million criminal arrests a year and there are roughly 1000 incidents of reported excessive use of force, 1/1000th of one percent is not a systemic problem.
Of the lethal attacks made on police officers every year, 44.3% were African-American males in spite of the fact African-American males make up only 6% of the U.S. population. Assuming that attacks by African-American males are no more or less lethal than attacks by persons of other races and sexes, we can assume that 44.3% of all knife and gun assaults on officers are committed by black males. This would mean we should anticipate about 1,452 legally justified lethal force incidents against African-American men each year.with over 800,000 peace officers policing a national population of over 320 million people:
An average of 429 deaths from police use of force actually occur annually
An average of 112 deaths of African-American men from police use of force actually occur annually….
Your point is not supported by honest facts. A person whom is a violent offender, a person with a criminal record, how a person interacts with officers, lawyers and judges, where you commit crimes, who you commit crimes against are all variables plus thousands of others that affect sentencing, along with recognizing that most prosecutors and judges in the inner cities are appointed by the Democrats leading politics in most problematic inner cities,
yet you rely on using race to be the only explanation……….
You miss the point of the paper…..
What was he talking about when he wrote “Cleo is no grovelling handmaiden to politicians and corporations. Like us, she is free.” What is “Cleo?” Other than the fact that I don’t understand that statement, I thought this letter gives a lot of needed insight into what is going on today.
I am not a black citizen but I am a woman. This article reminds of the time when a white male manager was complaining about the waste of time sexual harrassment course he had to attend. His own report had been moved to a different area because my manager was harassing her. My manager was also harassing me. My manager left the company when I finally complained to upper management. Many people came to me and apologized for not helping me when it was so obvious I was being harassed.
Was my agency being taken from me, when my employer investigated my complaint? Would harassment by women nullify harassment by a man? Was that other manager correct when he said training on sexual harrassment was a waste of time, as it happened under his very nose? Could I, one person, single handedly correct an injustice perpetrated against countless women in countless workplaces over many decades?
I know woman who will gleefully report that they have never been victims of sexual harrassment. Does that mean it never happens? Does it mean that woman would be a heroine for stating sexual harrassment doesn’t exist, because it never happened them personally?
There will always be people who will tell you what you want to hear. That should automatically put you on guard if you have any intellectual honesty.
As you might guess I am not buying any of this based on my own experience of life. Sad to say, I think some of the comments here reflect a deep desire to believe in a convenient and self serving narrative which is victim blaming dressed up in a really outstanding vocabulary. Sign me, disgusted with lies, liars and people who rejoice with lies and liars.