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In the Name of God بسم الله
Haydar Husayn

Blacks against Black Lives Matter [MATURE]

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For those who don't know who he is, he has quite an interesting biography:

Thomas Sowell (/soʊl/; born June 30, 1930) is an American economist and social theorist who is currently a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

Sowell was born in North Carolina but grew up in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of Stuyvesant High School and served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He received a bachelor's degree, graduating magna cum laude[1] from Harvard University in 1958 and a master's degree from Columbia University in 1959. In 1968, he earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago.

Sowell has served on the faculties of several universities, including Cornell University and University of California, Los Angeles. He has also worked for think tanks such as the Urban Institute. Since 1980, he has worked at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He writes from a libertarian conservative perspective. Sowell has written more than thirty books (a number of which have been reprinted in revised editions), and his work has been widely anthologized.

Early life
Sowell was born in Gastonia, North Carolina, near the border with South Carolina. His father died shortly before he was born, leaving behind Sowell's mother, a housemaid, who already had four children. A great-aunt and her two grown daughters adopted Sowell and raised him.[2] In his autobiography, A Personal Odyssey, Sowell wrote that his childhood encounters with white people were so limited that he did not know that blond was a hair color.[3] When Sowell was 9, his family moved from Charlotte, North Carolina to Harlem, New York City for greater opportunities—as part of the Great Migration of African Americans from the American South to the North.

He qualified for Stuyvesant High School, a prestigious academic high school in New York City; he was the first in his family to study beyond the sixth grade. However, he was forced to drop out at age 17 because of financial difficulties and problems in his home.[2] Sowell held a number of positions, including one at a machine shop and another as a delivery man for Western Union;[4] he tried out for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948.[5] He was drafted into the military in 1951, during the Korean War, and was assigned to the United States Marine Corps. Because of his experience in photography, Sowell became a Marine Corps photographer.[2]

Higher education and early career
After his discharge, Sowell worked a civil service job in Washington, DC, and attended night classes at Howard University, a historically black college. His high scores on the College Board exams and recommendations by two professors helped him gain admission to Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics.[2][6] He earned a Master's degree from Columbia University the following year.[6]

Sowell has said that he was a Marxist "during the decade of my 20s;" accordingly, one of his earliest professional publications was a sympathetic examination of Marxist thought vs. Marxist–Leninist practice.[7] However, his experience working as a federal government intern during the summer of 1960 caused him to reject Marxian economics in favor of free market economic theory. During his work, Sowell discovered an association between the rise of mandated minimum wages for workers in the sugar industry of Puerto Rico and the rise of unemployment in that industry. Studying the patterns led Sowell to theorize that the government employees who administered the minimum wage law cared more about their own jobs than the plight of the poor.[8]

Sowell received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in economics from the University of Chicago in 1968.[6] His dissertation was titled "Say's Law and the General Glut Controversy".[9] Sowell had initially chosen Columbia University to study under George Stigler, who would later receive the Nobel Prize in Economics. When he learned that Stigler had moved to the University of Chicago, he followed him there.[10]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Sowell

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Philonise Floyd testified recently to the House Judiciary Committee about the death of his brother George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. “People of all backgrounds, genders and race have come together to demand change,” Floyd said. Pleading for comprehensive policing reform, Floyd asked Congress to “teach them what it means to treat people with empathy and respect. Teach them what necessary force is. Teach them that deadly force should be used rarely and only when life is at risk.” Unfortunately, Philonise Floyd’s earnest call for reform has been drowned out by an elite-driven narrative about race relations that is empirically weak, counterproductive, and not reflective of most black Americans’ attitudes and wishes.

According to a popular theory of institutionalized white supremacy, history functions not simply as context but as cause. White Americans, on this view, are born in sin—because of the nation’s original sin, slavery—and, for the most part, irredeemable. At birth, all African-Americans are caught in a historical vise that crushes freedom, joy, and (all too often) life itself. Progress is only a prelude to punishment. African-Americans exist without agency or effectiveness—except when achieving objectives or employing means endorsed by adherents of this view. The Black Panthers represented true emancipatory politics, the theory holds, while black anti-crime activism is either a fiction invented by reactionary social scientists or an indication of the reproductive force of white supremacy.

This theory cannot be falsified or verified; as with any dogmatic belief system, to challenge it is to affirm it. Simply to object to the premises of contemporary antiracism becomes a threat tantamount to violence, born of ignorance or ill will. Heterogeneity within and across nonwhite communities is immaterial, a diversion raised by defenders of the status quo. Capitalism, patriarchy, and homophobia are significant in as much as they constitute distinct levers of racialized social control. Analysis of racism has been transformed from a set of observations and falsifiable propositions into its own epistemology: a way of knowing that bends reality to its will and distorts everything it encounters.

[...]

Neither the actual incidence of police-involved killings, nor black public opinion, justifies discriminatory law-enforcement strategies or brutality. Nevertheless, they undermine the dominant narrative and the totalizing racial theory that undergirds it. Though aware of, concerned about, and opposed to “state violence,” African-Americans are far more worried about bread-and-butter issues, like jobs, housing, education, and health care. And public safety is also a bread-and-butter issue. Black people consider violence and some street crimes threats to their pursuit of the good life, as they define it. At times, they have even endorsed draconian measures and aggressive strategies to meet that threat. Instead of relating these comprehensible complexities, “explainers” at Vox and opinion pieces in major newspapers have doubled down on a deeply flawed pop sociology that demands the erasure or marginalization of these black perspectives.

We are witnessing the embourgeoisement of racial politics. A reading public not long ago captivated by Hillbilly Elegy is now obsessed with White Fragility. Each day, college-educated millennials race to social media to practice the rituals of wokeness by condemning various cultural artifacts as racist and policing the discourse. Statues are coming down, and the “b” in black is being capitalized. Corporations, private schools, and major philanthropic organizations are declaring that “black lives matter.”

Elite institutions have committed themselves to a theory, program, and performance increasingly detached from the aspirations, worldviews, and everyday concerns of millions of blacks. Activists have secured pledges to “defund” or “dismantle” police departments, but black Americans haven’t received concrete, alternative public-safety plans to curb violence. Most African-Americans clearly desire police reform over abolition. They echo Philonise Floyd’s mournful call. Their perspectives deserve consideration. Any “antiracist” movement that disregards how working and middle-class African-Americans define and pursue the good life is not worth its name.

https://www.city-journal.org/hearing-what-black-voices-really-say-about-police

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UC Berkeley History Professor's Open Letter Against BLM, Police Brutality and Cultural Orthodoxy

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.

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/anonymous-berkeley-professor-shreds-blm-injustice-narrative-damning-stats-and-logic

It's shameful that a black history professor feels unable to say this stuff in public, out of fear of the deranged reaction he would receive. So much for freedom of speech.

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A relatively long interview, but I found it fascinating. I don't know much about Candace Owens, but based on the little I did know, and impressions I had gleaned from the media, I had assumed she was a complete fruitcake. And I am sure that on certain (or maybe most?) issues, like Islam for example, she probably is. But on this topic, which she clearly knows something about, she held up incredibly well against a university professor and media personality who himself seems quite knowledgeable on the subject matter. One of the things that impressed me the most about this interview/debate was how two people who disagree on virtually everything can have a perfectly civil conversation without calling each other names, or trying to portray the other one as evil. They both certainly pushed back against each other, but the conversation never became uncomfortable. In the era of safe spaces and cancel culture it's incredibly rare to see this, and deserves to be applauded.

Overall, I think Owens probably scored more points than Hill (which I didn't at all expect before watching this), but she did have the advantage of being the interviewer, and it takes less effort to ask lots of questions than it does to answer them. There were many interesting mini-debates in this interview, but probably the most surprising moment was when Hill himself said that when you control for all the variables the evidence shows black men are not disproportionately killed by the police, which I think would be news to most people watching this. Owens also knew this and was probably hoping he would have tried to argue the opposite so that she could catch him out on it. On the other hand, Hill did say that the evidence also suggests that black and latino men are more likely to be the victims of police violence. Given that he was more informed on this subject than Owens was, she wasn't able to counter, and it was probably one of her weakest moments. The section on the transgender issue at the end was quite funny, and I wasn't really convinced that Hill was a true believer on this subject, but rather was just reciting the new orthodoxy. Overall, I think it's worth watching, because debates between people of different views are always interesting, and are usually more informative than a monologue, but I'd probably recommend using x1.5 speed to cut down on the length of time.

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Sowell is an ideologue, he has no notable contributions to economic research given how famous he is on the right. He is another one of those intellectuals trumped up by the Chicago school of economics as a mouth piece for Hayek/Friedman inspired market obsessed propaganda, backing policies that pretty much destroyed Latin America.  I would take anything he says with a grain of salt.  Candace Owens is another typical attention seeking media personality the right loves to prop up.  Some of the messages these people bring forward are somewhat useful although unoriginal, the problem is they simply lack credibility just like most other personalities on the mainstream airwaves.

Edited by King

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1 hour ago, King said:

Sowell is an ideologue, he has no notable contributions to economic research given how famous he is on the right. He is another one of those intellectuals trumped up by the Chicago school of economics as a mouth piece for Hayek/Friedman inspired market obsessed propaganda, backing policies that pretty much destroyed Latin America.  I would take anything he says with a grain of salt.  Candace Owens is another typical attention seeking media personality the right loves to prop up.  Some of the messages these people bring forward are somewhat useful although unoriginal, the problem is they simply lack credibility just like most other personalities on the mainstream airwaves.

I don’t necessarily disagree with this, but why is it that when discussing black voices on the right, their ideology is always relevant, but not so much with black voices on the left? The reality is that a person’s worldview is going to impact how they see everything, including race. And there is always a tendency for anyone to highlight the facts that support their ideology, and downplay the ones that don’t. That’s just human nature.

The problem is that people tend to take at face value the claims made by the black (and white) voices propped up by the mainstream media, and usually aren’t even aware that there are other viewpoints within the black community.

My purpose here is not to endorse everything that the people in these videos or articles say (and God knows I disagree with them on plenty of things,  especially since the likes of Sowell and Owens tend to be outright Islamophobes). But rather it’s to show that things aren’t as simple as many believe, and that bringing up certain facts or making certain arguments don’t make someone a racist, just because they don’t hear these things on CNN or the BBC, or in the New York Times and the Guardian.

I would disagree with you a bit on the messages being ‘unoriginal’. Of course strictly speaking that is true, but the reality is that for most people who get their information from the mainstream media and the books endorsed by that media, these are arguments they may never have heard, other than perhaps from racists or people that they consider to be racist.

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On 7/12/2020 at 8:54 AM, Haydar Husayn said:

My purpose here is not to endorse everything that the people in these videos or articles say (and God knows I disagree with them on plenty of things,  especially since the likes of Sowell and Owens tend to be outright Islamophobes). But rather it’s to show that things aren’t as simple as many believe, and that bringing up certain facts or making certain arguments don’t make someone a racist, just because they don’t hear these things on CNN or the BBC, or in the New York Times and the Guardian.

When it comes to the personalities in question things are indeed simple.  You only really have to hear their viewpoint on a couple of topics and you can easily deduce their point of view on virtually every other political topic.  They also get a lot of exposure on the other side of the mainstream spectrum.  Sowell and Ovens would be celebrated as guests on Fox which still has the most viewership of any network.

I do agree that the non mainstream voices are suppressed though but that is by design and is pretty much the case in most troubled societies on earth.

Edited by King

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1 hour ago, King said:

When it comes to the personalities in question things are indeed simple.  You only really have to hear their viewpoint on a couple of topics and you can easily deduce their point of view on virtually every other political topic. 

Sure, but unfortunately that is also true of most people on both sides of the political aisle these days. That in itself doesn’t invalidate their viewpoint on this particular issue. One thing that counts in their favour is that their position isn’t self-serving. I’m pretty sure someone with Sowell’s background would have experienced more racism than the average black person born in the last few decades, but he doesn’t blame all the problems of the black community on racism. What I meant by things not being so simple is there is more than one narrative that can be drawn here.

It does also happen that you have people with completely predictable and boring opinions on almost everything, because they are just regurgitating other people’s opinions, but on the one or two topics which they happen to know something about, they are worth listening to. Even if their opinions are informed by their worldview (which is inevitable), at least they can back them up with facts.

1 hour ago, King said:

They also get a lot of exposure on the other side of the mainstream spectrum.  Sowell and Ovens would be celebrated as guests on Fox which still has the most viewership of any network.

Opinion makers don’t care about Fox. The influence of a media outlet isn’t so much determined by how many people read or watch it, but by who. In the UK, hardly anyone buys the Guardian, but it’s very influential due to the fact that the people who do read it tend to be academics, people in media, teachers, civil servants, and politicians.

Now, it is true that Trump is very much influenced by Fox, and I’m sure the same is true for many people in his government, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s irrelevant. The direction society heads in isn’t so much determined by this or that election, or the views of this or they leader. It’s much more influenced by the permanent societal institutions. And by and large the people at the top of those aren’t influenced by Fox.

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36 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Sure, but unfortunately that is also true of most people on both sides of the political aisle these days. That in itself doesn’t invalidate their viewpoint on this particular issue. One thing that counts in their favour is that their position isn’t self-serving. I’m pretty sure someone with Sowell’s background would have experienced more racism than the average black person born in the last few decades, but he doesn’t blame all the problems of the black community on racism. What I meant by things not being so simple is there is more than one narrative that can be drawn here.

It does also happen that you have people with completely predictable and boring opinions on almost everything, because they are just regurgitating other people’s opinions, but on the one or two topics which they happen to know something about, they are worth listening to. Even if their opinions are informed by their worldview (which is inevitable), at least they can back them up with facts.

Opinion makers don’t care about Fox. The influence of a media outlet isn’t so much determined by how many people read or watch it, but by who. In the UK, hardly anyone buys the Guardian, but it’s very influential due to the fact that the people who do read it tend to be academics, people in media, teachers, civil servants, and politicians.

Now, it is true that Trump is very much influenced by Fox, and I’m sure the same is true for many people in his government, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s irrelevant. The direction society heads in isn’t so much determined by this or that election, or the views of this or they leader. It’s much more influenced by the permanent societal institutions. And by and large the people at the top of those aren’t influenced by Fox.

I don't see how Sowell's position isn't self serving though, it is part of the same ideology he parrots which encourages servitude to the rich, it gives him enormous credibility and backing from a major centre of power in the US.  

People like Sowell are pretty dangerous though, because they are so selective with their 'facts'.  For example he will go on to talk about how government intervention post the great depression hindered recovery because the unemployment rate didn't change, completely ignoring all the relevant context.  It is very easy to cherry pick facts on a small discussion on TV.

As far as people like Candace and her opinions being valid, sure in some context they are valid, but she isn't interested in improving the black community. It is blatantly obvious because the black community isn't receptive to her.  Her job is to satisfy the audience on the right that is already on her side, just that they get to see a black person validate their positions.

Not sure what you mean by influencing the top? I don't think anything influences them other than their own greed, they set the agenda whether it is for fox news or NY Times.  It is true NY Times serves as a paper to keep the elite somewhat informed, but so does the Wall St journal on the right, since the US is after all a business run society.

All this focus on individual rights and responsibilities sounds nice but its primary purpose is to suppress any collective efforts to create movements from below that can drive change. Outlets like Fox news play a major role in keeping people segregated and fragmented.

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40 minutes ago, King said:

I don't see how Sowell's position isn't self serving though, it is part of the same ideology he parrots which encourages servitude to the rich, it gives him enormous credibility and backing from a major centre of power in the US.  

People like Sowell are pretty dangerous though, because they are so selective with their 'facts'.  For example he will go on to talk about how government intervention post the great depression hindered recovery because the unemployment rate didn't change, completely ignoring all the relevant context.  It is very easy to cherry pick facts on a small discussion on TV.

Again I don’t disagree with you, and I don’t necessarily agree with his views on economics. However, in my view pretty much everyone is selective with the facts. The vast majority of people begin with a conclusion, and then go looking for the facts that support that conclusion. There are exceptions, but they are rare. So I don’t see why Sowell should be singled out for it in particular.

But like I said, in the context of this discussion, I’m primarily interested in his work on race, rather than economics (although obviously they overlap to some extent). And personally I think his main point that relative performance of different ethnic groups has more to do with culture than oppression or genetics is a valid one.  But whether that is the case or not, what is valuable is for people to realise that there are black people with these kinds of views, and not everyone subscribed to the oppression-centric viewpoints that we mostly hear in the media and academia.

40 minutes ago, King said:

As far as people like Candace and her opinions being valid, sure in some context they are valid, but she isn't interested in improving the black community. It is blatantly obvious because the black community isn't receptive to her.  Her job is to satisfy the audience on the right that is already on her side, just that they get to see a black person validate their positions.

Possibly, but it’s not clearly to me how we know how receptive the black community is or isn’t to her. Certainly the members of the black community who’s voices are amplified by the media aren’t receptive, but I don’t know if that would be the case for everyone (although I’m sure the average person is also influenced by these voices, just as I was). When I watched that discussion she had with Marc Lamont Hill, I could certainly imagine a fair number of normal people agreeing with her over him on many issues. For example, look at that video I posted earlier of a black pastor preaching to his congregation. I’m pretty sure a fair number of people in that room would agree with her on many things, assuming they didn’t already have preconceived notions of what to think of her.

But even if for argument’s sake we accept that the black community doesn’t like her, it doesn’t necessarily mean that she isn’t interested in improving the black community. It could just be that her view of how the black community should improve isn’t popular. Having a minority opinion shouldn’t lead others to questions her motives, just because her opinions happen to be popular with those of the right.

Notice by the way that Coleman Hughes, who seems like quite a thoughtful commentator on the race and the black community isn’t a fan of Owens’, but not so much because of her views on race, but because she is not a serious person when it comes to other issues like climate change. Broadly, he seems to agree with her on race.

40 minutes ago, King said:

Not sure what you mean by influencing the top? I don't think anything influences them other than their own greed, they set the agenda whether it is for fox news or NY Times.  It is true NY Times serves as a paper to keep the elite somewhat informed, but so does the Wall St journal on the right, since the US is after all a business run society.

I think this is a slightly simplistic view. There are many ways for greedy people to run society, so certain choices still have to be made. Although as it happens, I do think the current path we are headed down suits those people at the top perfectly.

40 minutes ago, King said:

All this focus on individual rights and responsibilities sounds nice but its primary purpose is to suppress any collective efforts to create movements from below that can drive change. Outlets like Fox news play a major role in keeping people segregated and fragmented.

Again, I wouldn’t disagree with you on Fox. It’s a joke of a news channel. Others are perhaps just as bad in my view (eg the whole Russiagate nonsense on MSNBC and CNN), but at least they have the decency to at least pretend to abide by basic journalistic standards. Fox is like Press TV. Shameless.

However, as bad as Fox is, I can’t see how it is a bigger culprit when it comes to keeping people segregated and fragmented than those pushing identity politics. I’m not sure there had ever been a better tool for the job of splitting people apart.

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