The New England Journal of Medicine is one of the world’s best medical journals but, as with every other big-name medical journal, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and Lancet (see below) it’s surrendered to the ideology of Progressive Authoritarianism. The article below, which you can access free online, calls for the creation in medical schools of race-based affinity groups: moderated learning sessions consisting solely of members of self-identified ethnic groups: blacks, “all other people of color” groups, probably mostly Hispanic and surely not Asian, and white. (These sessions in fact are already being conducted at the University of California at San Francisco medical school [UCSF].)
Three things strike me about this article. First, the endeavor is probably illegal, as it in effect sets up parts of med-school curricula that are segregated: off limits to all but members of certain races. The article at bottom by Stanley Goldfarb suggests that lawsuits will be filed against med schools who try to do stuff like this.
Second, and more important, the way the article describes these groups makes them into Kendian and DiAngelo-ian sessions in which people of color are given free rein to voice their experiences as evidence of pervasive and structural racism in medicine, while the “white” affinity groups appear to be flagellation sessions in which students are informed of their guilt and complicity in white supremacy and racism, said to be pervasive in medicine and in med schools. Not surprisingly, the article gives no evidence for structural racism in med schools—that is, institutionalized practices that are implicitly racist. But similar assertions about other areas of academia also lack evidence. We’re apparently supposed to take the ubiquity of structural racism in academia as “conventional wisdom.”
Third, the curriculum comes straight out Critical Race Theory. It’s all there: pervasive oppression with race-based victims and oppressors, intersectionality, the structural nature of racism, racism as a power differential used to maintain white supremacy, and so on. In other words, the basis for the segregated curriculum is ideological and divisive.
I suggest you read the short piece yourself to see how horrifying this curriculum really is. But it’s on the way to a med school near you, only the law can stop it, and it seems to rest on the fantasies of virtue-flaunting academics who have no idea what they’re doing but feel they have to do something. Such is the craziness of today’s world.
Click the screenshot below to read the “perspective”. And don’t think that because this is a perspective, it isn’t the view of the journal itself, for the NEJM would never publish anything critical of endeavors like this:
Here are the first couple of paragraphs. See if it doesn’t sound to you like every other self-indicting area of scholarship, larded with CRT jargon. Bolding is mine.
As academic medicine begins to recognize and examine racism as the root cause of racially disparate health outcomes, we need curricula for training physicians to dismantle the systems that perpetuate these inequities. Since traditional approaches to medical education are themselves founded in inequitable systems, new approaches are essential. Racial affinity group caucuses (RAGCs) are one such approach.1 RAGCs are facilitated sessions involving participants grouped according to self-identified racial or ethnic identity to support integration of antiracism curricula into clinical practice. Used as part of a broader antiracism and antioppression curriculum, racial affinity group caucusing engages participants in critical introspection through the lens of their own racialized experience and enhances learning by building community and encouraging praxis, the integration of theory, self-reflection, and action.2,3 Such caucusing, which some Indigenous scholars believe derives from an Algonquin term meaning a group gathering for wise counsel, involves a thoughtful and purposeful approach to dialogue.
Founded on legacies of colonialism and racism, medical education has historically centered White learners and continues to perpetuate structural racism.4 Pedagogical approaches often center White learners and ignore the differential impact of content on BIPOC learners (Black, Indigenous, or people of color) with personal experiences of racism that are nuanced and have been informed by interactions and observations over their lifetimes. Immersion in the existing medical education system can therefore be retraumatizing, resulting in imposter syndrome, heightened anxiety, and a reduced sense of belonging. Especially as we seek to recruit more medical students who are BIPOC, we need to recognize this harm and encourage pedagogical approaches that support the needs of BIPOC learners [JAC: “BIPOC” apprently include both black students and “all other people of color”, presumably mostly Hispanics].
Do I really have to go through the indictment of medicine for ongoing and pervasive racism, said to perpetuate white supremacy and structural racism even today, or the accusation that medical education centers “White learners”? Where are the examples? There are many serious indictments here, but the only evidence given in the notes is that black medical students don’t do as well as white or Asian ones. That, of course, could have causes other than ongoing structural racism. (I am not denying that there are likely some racists or racist acts in medical schools, but am dubious that racism is embedded in very the structure of the curriculum and that effacing it requires “affinity groups” of the kind outlined.)
Here’s how the article discusses the three types of groups and what they do.
Black affinity groups:
RAGCs for Black learners provide a setting that centers Black experiences as the norm and celebrates diverse Black perspectives. This environment buffers participants from (often daily) experiences of micro- and macroaggressions, structural inequities, and isolating siloes in predominantly White institutions. RAGCs also allow Black learners to explore their experience of racism and contextualize their understanding of antiracism without the burden of educating or taking care of non-Black colleagues, and without facing the otherwise-common denial, gaslighting (undermining another person by causing them to doubt their own perceptions and experience), and White fragility. RAGCs are conducive to in-depth exploration of internalized racism, and they allow for individual and collective expression of everything from joy to rage without fear of repercussion.
Isolating siloes, gaslighting, and White fragility—straight out of DiAngelo. Don’t forget “praxis”, which is mentioned in other places.
“Other people of color” affinity groups
RAGCs for people of color similarly provide participants opportunities to build community, deepen their understanding of and healing from racism, and express a full range of emotions. BIPOC affinity groups acknowledge the intersectional and evolving nature of personal, racial, and cultural identities and honor each participant’s multidimensionality. With this foundation, BIPOC learners are better equipped to interrogate the impact of racism, including how their own communities perpetuate colorism, colonialism, xenophobia, and anti-Black racism.
Note in the last sentence that people of color are themselves to be taught how “their own communities perpetuate colorism, colonialism, xenophobia, and anti-Black racism.” I find this intriguing. Who thought up this kind of indictment? Are member of this group to be taught that they’re bother oppressor and oppressed?
White affinity groups.
White trainees benefit from facilitated discussions in which they consider and are challenged by frameworks for dismantling centuries of socialized misconceptions about race and racism. RAGCs for White learners differ from other White-dominated spaces in allowing participants to be held accountable without burdening or retraumatizing BIPOC colleagues who are affected by racism. In RAGCs, White participants can learn to be thoughtful allies who are less dominating in integrated spaces, to elevate the voices and leadership of BIPOC colleagues, and to iteratively reevaluate their own internalized racism and sense of superiority that can obstruct antiracist commitment and action.
This is, of course, not a “safe space” for whites, nor a place where they can affirm their identity. Rather, it’s where are told why they are responsible for racism, how they have internalized it, how they participate in white supremacy, and what they are to do about it (their goal is to become thoughtful “allies”). It really sounds like a struggle session of the Marxist stripe: a class in “J’Accuse”. Does anybody really think that this, in combination with the other two RAGCs, is going to improve the condition of minorities?
We believe that to effectively implement RAGCs, medical education programs should consider some key factors. Caucusing should occur within the context of a general antiracism curricula that is integrated into medical training. Given the often painful, emotional, and profoundly personal nature of the content, RAGCs require facilitators with the advanced skills necessary to guide people navigating these discussions and mitigate the potential for retraumatization. Facilitators must have keen awareness of how racism operates at all levels, and recognize that anti-Black racism is endemic to the culture of medicine. In our experience, successful implementation of RAGCs requires explicit support from program leadership and involvement of leadership and learners early in the planning process.
If this isn’t ideological, making a number of assumptions that are unsupported but adhere to Critical Race Theory, I don’t know what is. It distresses me that time devoted to learning how to cure people (and probably a LOT of time) is to be diverted to learning either how you’re either an oppressor or one of the oppressed. This curriculum will breed resentment in whites who are told that, even though they don’t know it, they are all Klan members on the inside; and it will embed victim mentality in BIPOC students. Is this healthy?
And if there is to be discussion, let it be among people of all groups together, who, after all, are going to have to learn how to interact with patients of all ethnicities after they leave the classroom. For doctors, the world, including clinics and hospitals, is not segregated. Putting students in isolated groups this way will simply breed in all of them—BIPOCs and whites both—a sense of anger and resentment that doesn’t bode well for anything. It is telling that although these curricula are already being used in places like UCSF Medical School, all the authors can do is report that things look okay:
In our initial review of this pedagogical approach, students and trainees indicated that RAGCs provide an improved sense of belonging and a safe space where BIPOC learners can reclaim their voices; such caucusing supports participants’ efficacy in applying an antiracism approach with their patients and colleagues.
Of course—what else could they say? Yes, maybe they have anecdotal self-report, though no data are given, but I’m not buying this approach until I see some data instead of simply enthusiasm expressed by a bunch of virtue-signaling academics.
I saw the piece below at the Free Press this morning (click to read). It reprises things we’ve talked about before, but I want to quote only one bit below. The author, Stanley Goldfarb, is involved in bringing lawsuits against schools that practice segregation in this way, and, as you can read, he’s been pretty successful. That’s because segregation is against the law.
In his discussion, Goldfarb brings up the basis for his lawsuits:
Our argument is that medical schools are engaging in racial discrimination in service to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have filed more than seventy complaints with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which exists in large part to investigate schools that discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, sex, age, and disability. Surely the radical activists never expected anyone to turn the administrative state against them, but that’s what we did. And it worked—even under the Biden administration.
He then gives examples of successes in eliminating institutionalized segregated education in med schools before mentioning the NEJM article above:
Even the highly touted New England Journal of Medicine is pushing for race-based segregation in medical schools. Last month, the journal published an article by several doctors and academics at the University of California–San Francisco and UC–Berkeley, calling for the expansion of “racial affinity group caucuses,” or RAGCs, for medical students. “In a space without White people,” the authors write, “BIPOC participants can bring their whole selves, heal from racial trauma together, and identify strategies for addressing structural racism.” The RAGCs include a caucus for white-only medical trainees, as if this would lessen objections to an agenda that has nothing to do with healing and everything to do with identity politics.
I just thought of another bad side effect of this curriculum: if it really does breed anger or resentment, you’d better pick a doctor from your own racial group.
43 thoughts on “An article in the New England Journal of Medicine proposes racially segregated “affinity groups” in med schools”
Great article! It is important to address racism in the medical field, but creating race-based affinity groups is not the solution. The curriculum outlined in this article is divisive and based on ideological assumptions unsupported by evidence. It is important to address these issues in a way that brings all groups together rather than creating isolated groups that may lead to resentment and anger.
founder of balance thy life
So you accept the premise that white racism is a serious problem in medical schools that needs to be addressed, you just oppose racially segregated affinity groups to do so?
What exactly is the genuine white racism in question you seem so willing to accept as an actual problem without any evidence presented? Is this some sort of expression progressive faith and virtue?
This is part of the problem. I call it the cancer of equivocation. People are so afraid of potentially being construed as insufficiently progressive or ‘racially sensitive’ or, heaven forfend, right of center, that they often preface any criticism of woke insanity by first expressing broad sympathy and agreement with their concerns while just having some issues with the tactics.
Obviously, any genuine white racism in medical schools should be opposed, but it’s an absurd allegation. I’m eager to evaluate any evidence supporting this claim but I’ve never seen anything other than Kendian and D’Angelo-ian arguments involving vague claims about ‘inequity’ wrapped in CRT jargon.
It reminds me of an episode of the old original Star Trek TV series when Kirk was sent back in time to Salem witch trial era New England, and there he encountered another person from the future that was trapped in that time, who pretended to believe what the locals did in the interests of self preservation.
At one point when he was concerned that he might have appeared skeptical of the existence of witches by onlookers, he cried out to nobody in particular but all within earshot “THERE ARE WITCHES!! THERE ARE!!; virtue signaling essentially.
That’s what I see here; the need to cry out “THERE IS WHITE RACISM IN MEDICAL SCHOOLS!! THERE IS!!!” lest you might appear insufficiently pious.
Perhaps the “flagellation sessions” are being modeled on the infamous “struggle sessions” of China’s not exactly praiseworthy Cultural Revolution. Ai Weiwei, the dissident artist, is by no means the only Chinese exile to have remarked upon certain troubling similarities between the fanatical Maoist zealots of yesteryear and today’s young American baizuo.
You cannot make this up! And what was all the fuss about the South African apartheid about?
This sort of thing is old hat at the University of Washington SOM. Its very busy Equity Office circulated the following memo two or three years ago.
“The Office of Healthcare Equity invites you to join our new series of Affinity and White Antiracism Groups.
Affinity groups meet quarterly to provide a supportive space to talk, be heard, connect and celebrate in community within our work environment. Registration is now open for the following groups, which were selected based on requests from colleagues who identify with these groups: Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), Black, Hispanic and Latinx, LGBTQIA+, and Mixed Race. ”
The five affinity groups specified are obviously not fit for purpose. Members of the LGBTQIA+ community exist within each racial sub-group, so each of them needs an LGBTQIA+ sub-sub-group. But then, there really is no LGBTQIA+ “community”, so we need a separate sub-sub-sub-group for each letter. And how many different sub-categories are there really in the “+” category? These difficult problems clearly require more staff in the Equity Office, with several managers and a few Assistant Deans to assist the Associate Dean.
That older affinity group looks to be voluntary, so it seems less problematical. College campuses have long hosted similar programs that students can join or not.
The newer program appears to be not voluntary. At least that is the impression.
Obviously it’s worse if it’s mandatory m, but it’s still not appropriate or helpful for the university to be promoting racial segregation and effectively pitting whites (or at least non-LGBT, non-Hispanic whites) against all others.
The narrative is clear: whites are privileged oppressors for whom the US only appropriate affinity group is one focused on their racism (hence it’s not a white affinity group but a white anti-racist affinity group); all of the other affinity groups are ‘safe space’ where the oppressed can commiserate with each other about ways to survive another dar around white people etc.
This is terrible stuff and we really need to stop feeling compelled to find ways to rationalize or minimize the toxicity of it.
This is all extremely ‘problematical’, voluntary or not.
Nothing that happens during class hours and is facilitated by faculty at medical schools is voluntary. All the curriculum is mandatory. Attendance is a test of professionalism and ability to be trusted with self-governance. (Which is fine.)
Notice how the article said that BIPOC (world’s ugliest acronym) students found the segregated sessions helpful. The white students’ reactions are not noted, perhaps not even solicited. But it would be fun to see what they could be intimidated into saying about themselves, outdoing one other. Silence is violence, remember.
From the article:
RAGCs for White learners differ from other White-dominated spaces in allowing participants to be held accountable without burdening or retraumatizing BIPOC colleagues who are affected by racism. In RAGCs, White participants can learn to be thoughtful allies who are less dominating in integrated spaces, to elevate the voices and leadership of BIPOC colleagues, and to iteratively [i.e., it never stops! — LM] reevaluate their own internalized racism and sense of superiority that can obstruct antiracist commitment and action.
No way would a white student be allowed to skip this. The TANAKHA* principle would apply. And it’s longitudinal, into residency. Like a never-ending trip to the dentist. But you might get made a cadre, maybe even a commissar. Or a hall monitor at least.
* Take a Name and Kick His Ass
I read the post title quickly and interpreted it as “opposed”. Oh well.
But yes indeed, medicine and its schools are obviously a social construct, and their colonial hegemony has minoritized other ways of knowing, favoring only white skin (e.g. optical oxygen sensors fail for Skin Of Color) – so race is definitely a power structure that othered victims must be supported in while the dismantling brings a health revolution.
This is obviously untrue. Race is a social construct and social constructs can not effect oxygen sensors.
.. just to give away the magic trick in the deliberate nonsense I confected above :
“In 2022, the journal [Nature] released a volume, titled “Racism,”[ref. 88] which includes personal accounts of several authors of perceived racism throughout STEMM, including […] medicine (citing oxygen-sensor inaccuracy in Black people), as well as more general contributions on how to confront “imperialism’s long shadows” and its racist past. ”
Ref. 88 : Racism, a special issue of Nature 610 (7932) (2022)
^^^ that entire excerpt is from :
Journal of Controversial Ideas 2023, 3(1), 1; doi : 10.35995/jci03010001
2. re: “social construct”
“So, in the technical, banal (if not vapid) sense, knowledge is a social construction, but in the more profound and meaningful sense of how people use the term, it is not. This trick is one that Social Justice turns upon over and over again.”
From James Lindsay’s analysis here : https://newdiscourses.com/tftw-social-construction/
This is a weird reply (too say the least). Either race is a ‘social construct’ (and can not possible effect oxygen sensors) or it is not. Race can’t be a ‘social construct’ when it is convenient and not a ‘social construct’ when it is not.
My Titania McGrath-style comment used “social construct” for effect.
But personally, I’d ask : what work is “social construct” doing that the knowledge of skin pigmentation is not?
We know about skin pigmentation.
We know about genetics.
We know about populations.
We know about color perception.
My specific criticism (which I’m bringing up because it is apparently being challenged) is :
What more does “social construct” do?
Does what Lindsay writes make any sense – that “social construct” is a trick?
Since pulse oximeters have come up twice now, I’ll just say that being able to non-inasively estimate arterial oxygen saturation with simple bedside equipment was a tremendous advance. Cyanosis, which we used to rely on and people were nearly dead when they turned blue, was hard to detect in dark-skinned patients, not just because of melanin but because hemoglobin levels were often low due to sickle disease and other inherited hemoglobinopathies. Widespread use of pulse oximetry undoubtedly saved lives in patients of all races, particularly under anesthesia.
But it’s only a tool. It estimates saturation of hemoglobin. which itself is only an imperfect proxy for the ability of the lungs to pass oxygen into the blood and tells nothing about the ability of tissues to extract oxygen, one of those complex physiologic processes that is difficult to master. Nonetheless, occult (hidden) hyooxemia is not something you want to miss, even though before pulse oximetry we missed it in everyone. Sudden changes that overwhelm the body’s ability to compensate are more important than absolute levels and it’s always important to ask, “”How is the patient doing?” Is “occult hypoxemia” really a thing, just because it makes sense that it would be? How many people were spared being intubated because their occult hypoxemia was “missed”?
A lot of this concern came out during the Covid pandemic when, to deal with the crush of patients, triage and discharge decisions were being made according to pulse oximetry readings in isolation, which we wouldn’t do for some arbitrary level of blood pressure, say. I can’t speak to this more directly because I was retired by then. It does bear thinking about.
WTF?????? This is so wrong, on so many levels. This has got to STOP! ASAP! They are going to kill us all.
As a (retired) white doctor, I would be thrilled to have patients avoid me if they assumed from my skin colour that I would give them poor care. I would cheerfully oblige them by having as little contact with them as possible. We can, you know. Let those who have chips on their shoulder—a minority, I have to believe—seek care from their own kind. No one needs that kind of customer. It grates that they are being taught this by the credentialing and regulatory leaders in my own profession but that is the world we live in.
Thank you for juxtaposing Dr. Goldfarb’s article. It shows all it not lost.
I would just point out that the NEJM article is a Perspective, a kind of op-ed that doesn’t necessarily reflect editorial policy of the Journal and wouldn’t have to be peer-reviewed. Still the idea that it would accept a view calling for racial segregation in medical school is profoundly disappointing. What were the mostly non-black authors thinking in writing this? Do they imagine that being allies will advance their career interests? Subscribers should watch for letters which I bet will be vitriolic in condemnation.
I see Jerry addressed the bit about it being a Perspective, which I missed reading quickly because I’d already read the article elsewhere. I guess we’d have to see if the Journal would publish a Perspective calling for dismantling of DEI or a rethink of gender-affirmative care. Bets?
This idea has been tested. ‘Woke’ medical journals are deeply hostile to any opinion that is not sufficiently PC. Two easy examples.
1. Norman Wang wrote a paper questioning affirmative action. The paper was peer-reviewed and published. No errors have ever been found (at least none that I could find). Because he dared to challenge the approved ‘woke’ religion his paper was retracted and he was fired. His (retracted) paper can still be found online. See https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1161/JAHA.120.015959.
2. An editor (two actually) questioned the impact of ‘structural racism’ in medicine. Once again a religious taboo had been violated. For daring to offend the woke gods. Dr. Bauchner resigned and Dr. Livingston’s podcast was withdrawn.
“What were the mostly non-black authors thinking in writing this? Do they imagine that being allies will advance their career interests?”
You won’t like the answer, but the answer is that they are true believers. For the authors this nonsense is bedrock ‘truth’.
Just WOW! I read the article with particular interest, both as a retired physician and a frequent patient at UCSF (after being diagnosed with a presumably genetic condition causing various complications). Statements such as “Founded on legacies of colonialism and racism, medical education has historically centered White learners and continues to perpetuate structural racism.4” made me go to the references to see what evidence supports such a statement. Alas, it was to another “perspective” by the same author, full of similar conjectures, with further references that mostly gave more opinions and conjectures, with references to various social science papers.
Admittedly, I didn’t have the energy to go down further rabbit holes. Seems it should be helpful for prestigious academic institutions to provide real data that actually validate such statements, as well as controlled studies that demonstrate that their “solutions” really work to decrease the “structural racism” that they assure us exists.
Meanwhile, like PCC, I hope the students have enough time and energy to devote to learning about complex situations like mine, which affect all races and nationalities. And I’ll continue to get care from providers of any race, sex, gender, or nationality as long as they demonstrate knowledge, competence, and concern for my best interest, while not returning to those (few) who lack one or more of those attributes.
I remember reading somewhere, perhaps here, that white medical students can have different expectations of white versus black patients. One being that black people have a higher pain threshold. So it’s not like racialization is non-existent, and it should be remedied as part of a core med school curriculum.
But jeez, this is using the nuclear option, and it is probably illegal.
“Seems it should be helpful for prestigious academic institutions to provide real data that actually validate such statements, as well as controlled studies that demonstrate that their ‘solutions’ really work to decrease the ‘structural racism’ that they assure us exists.”
Hear! hear! Let us all hold those who cry “structural racism” to prove that it exists in the particular places where they claim it does. Otherwise, the Progressive Authoritarians will continue to win the day by their overwhelming chatter, similar to the Bandar-log in Kipling’s The Jungle Book, paraphrased thusly: “We (the Woke) are great. We are right. We are wonderful. We are the most wonderful people in all the world! We all say so, so it must be true.”
As I wrote in reply to Dr Goldfarb:
Well written, Christopher, thanks for sharing! What you say about the fad for “caring physicians” has its parallels in other professions, where “emotional intelligence” had been elevated to the apex of qualifications for any job. (Now, of course, as with medicine, it’s the skin color of the applicant that’s at the apex.) What management studies started to show, though, before they were sidelined by DEI initiatives, was that the most productive members of the organization were in fact the smartest. Sure, emotional intelligence is a good thing and would definitely be a requirement in costumer service positions, but in my book it’s second to superior ability to do the job.
I’m not sure what various organizations meant by “emotional intelligence,” but my understanding is that it goes beyond being a caring, compassionate “people person” and gets into elements of what we used to call “character” — delayed gratification, self-knowledge, patience, and an ability to prioritize what needs prioritizing. Being intelligent doesn’t necessarily correlate with being wise.
These CRT- based programs do not seem very wise. The only way I see them making good sense — let alone a lasting positive difference — is by going back in time to the era immediately after the Civil War, with former slaves being accepted into formerly all-white medical schools. Implement them as is and it’s likely to do everyone good, though there would probably be less emphasis on microaggressions and more emphasis on dealing with the trauma of studying next to the son of the man who sold your mother down the river.
Ahem. The man who sold his mother down the river was almost certainly the chieftain of a rival tribe who had captured her or obtained her in tribute back in Africa. White slave-ship masters and their minions did not dare venture up-river to go a-hunting because of malaria. There was no need to, as African middlemen were happy to bring their captives down in bondage to the river mouth and row them out to the ship. And sell them. That was much more profitable for them than to march them overland to the traditional Arab markets in the east.
The ex-slave might be studying next to the son of the man who had been dispossessed by Mr. Lincoln of his legally acquired property. No hard feelings, of course.
I’ve long argued that a class/income based form of affirmative action would be much better than a race and ethnicity based system.
For one, so long as inequities exist along racial or ethnic lines, people from these groups would organically benefit disproportionately from them, and it would eliminate suspicion that can be associated with affirmative action beneficiaries’ qualifications.
You’d think this would be a way of implementing affirmative action that would be far less controversial, but believe it or not, when this sort of color blind approach to affirmative action actually has been proposed in the past, it’s typically been harshly criticized by affirmative action proponents.
Part of the reason they oppose it is that despite the inevitable claims to the contrary, it’s effectively a quota system typically intended to have the percentage of the student body that is black or Hispanic match their percentage in the general population. So it is in large measure all about race and not about helping those objectively disadvantaged. So a color blind affirmative action based on class/wealth alone doesn’t appeal to them.
Another reason is one that a lot of people aren’t comfortable acknowledging but anyone that is familiar with the history of such alternative approaches to affirmative action is aware of is that affirmative action is to some extent intended to be punitive; to not only right past wrongs but to have whites experience discrimination. This isn’t something most liberals want to think is true or are willing to acknowledge if they know it is true (though in recent years it’s become increasingly fashionable to speak this quiet part out loud; see the writings of Ibram X Kendi for a high profile example).
This leads to some absurdities, such as affluent whites of Spanish or Portuguese ancestry benefitting from racial preferences while higher qualified and less wealthy applicants of Asian, Middle Easterner, or non-Iberian white ancestry do not.
It’s truly absurd.
There is no future peace, justice or equality in punitive affirmative action. Nor in Kendi’s concept of anti-racism: all it does is prolong grievance and defer the time of true equality (which comes when we follow MLK’s example).
So, you are saying my suggestion will meet from pushback from those who want more than equal representation as decided by percentage of the population? Bring it on. It can be cloaked in the guise of radical class warfare, which no one on the left will want to be seen to be against. Surely Working Class Hero will beat Critical Race Theorist every time, at least in popular opinion?
I am on board with with your suggestion and encourage you to pursue it to whatever extent you are able. I’m just pointing out that it has been suggested before and broadly dismissed by affirmative action proponents. Another common objection by affirmative action proponents to this sort of color blind approach to affirmative action is that it ‘lets whites off the hook’ so to speak; they will explicitly argue that affluent ‘people of color’ ought to be given preference over even the poorest of whites. These aren’t good people with good intentions but bad tactics; it’s very much a retributive, racist, anti-white ideology.
One of the obstacles to mounting effective resistance to it is that in any successful resistance to this must come from the left; to the right of center here has no credibility or influence in this sphere and the far left controls all of the important institutions. Note that to this crowd even classical liberals are regarded as ‘conservative’; Jerry Coyne would be regarded as a right winger by the woke crowd for example.
But barring a sea change in attitude on the left in this area, it’s not going to happen because whenever a leftist in good standing comes out as opposed to this woke insanity they’re denounced as a ‘right winger’ and cancelled.
Just look at some of the comments on this thread and similar discussions elsewhere; people are terrified not only of being shunned or losing their job but on a psychological level they just seem to be viscerally repulsed by the prospect of sympathizing with ideas that sound ‘conservative’ to them, so even though it’s obviously true that this is in large measure an explicitly anti-white ideology, they’re not comfortable complaining about something on the basis that it’s anti-white; they’ve been conditioned to seeing that as inherently dubious and probably racist. And this in addition to the many who actually aren’t uncomfortable with the notion that anti-white racism is both real and immoral but don’t have the courage to acknowledge it publicly.
This is why in the context if these discussions it’s s common to see ‘good liberals’ say preface any criticism of Kendian nonsense by issuing a disclaimer that renders any critical remarks to follow impotent.
For example, some major institution will announce that due to the enormous danger posed by white supremacy at, say, “Liberal Medical University”, going forward, all white students must literally self flagellate themselves with a cat o nine tails while walking the campus and donate 15% of al future earnings to say, the “BIPOC Equity Fund”. instead of just pointing out how insane this is, they’ll preface any critique by saying something like “Now, I’m not saying that white supremacy isn’t a HUGE problem at Liberal Medical University that is going to require a long and hard effort to resist if BIPOCs are to survive, BUT, I’m not sure self flagellation is necessarily the best approach” etc.
Well, once you’ve co-signed the underlying insane premise, any subsequent critique of the Woke wacko approach to dealing with it has already been completely undermined and render impotent.
It’s what I call the cancer of equivocation.
Please keep the comments shorter than this please. I suggest you read the posting rules on the left-hand side of the website. Thank you.
I apologize for the excessive length; I wasn’t aware of the rule regarding response length.
You refered to rules on the left hand side of this site; on my Google Pixel 5 there is no such left side, so I didn’t have see it.
In any event I don’t want to compound the offense by writing a ridiculously long apology. I will endeavor to keep my comments as brief as possible going forward 😉.
Well said Christopher, I couldn’t agree more. Excellent comment!
Best wishes regarding your own health. It sounds like you’re in good hands.
So, the NEJM now officially endorses the view of “racism as the root cause of racially disparate health outcomes”. If racism is the root cause of the racially disparate disease of sickle cell anemia,
NEJM will presumably next advise universities and med schools to dismantle curricula that mention explanations other than racism. Specific offices, at Dean or Vice-Provost level, will be needed to remove all the lectures, slides, and textbooks which mention ß-globin, its gene, allele frequencies, and heterozygote advantage, and which set forth associated subjects such as biochemistry, genetics, and evolution. This will be a demanding project, but we can probably rely on the Equity Offices and their affinity groups to get this ball rolling.
They’re definitely departing from the concept of “evidence-based-medicine”, aren’t they. One unevidenced, faith-based, dogmatic assertion after another used as an excuse to commit acts of emotional torture. Come to think of it, this departs from the notion of “do no harm”.
The Big Lie. Just one of many.
Oh, I’m sorry. Did anyone think I was off-topic and talking of Donald Trump?
Evidence-free delusions and disgraceful behavior are officially a bipartisan affair in America. Somehow, I have more patience with the uneducated purveyors of nonsense and strife than I do with that peddled by their educated “social betters”.
In regard to Christopher Moss’ comment above: ” Surely Working Class Hero will beat Critical Race Theorist every time, at least in popular opinion”. Trouble is, popular opinion does not decide these matters in the groves of academe. There, Critical Race Theorist will win every time with Critical Race Theorists; and with the students of Critical Race Theorists; and—most of all—with those administrators and committee members who have already sunk emotional capital and time in race-based, semi-disguised quotas. It is among those that “affirmative action” in its current form has been granted the status of a divine revelation.
Agreed. All revolutions are ultimately struggles between elite factions.
Which group do you join if you are mixed race? Many people are of mixed race. Do you need to pick one?
The University of Washington SOM has, in its wisdom, a specific affinity group for Mixed Race (see #4 above). Unaccountably, however, it has not subdivided that group according to other identity criteria, but perhaps that will come next.
If there’s one think about apartheid South africa and the green book southern america that we can be thankful for, its that they admitted they were racists.
None of this ‘we’re so unracist we’re actually anti racist, and that’s why we’re segregating society by skin colour’.
John McWhorter’s book Woke Racism was aptly titled, that’s for certain.