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Racism Goes Solar

Yesterday's solar eclipse has something to teach us about America's rancid racism.

Now you might think I'm pulling your leg, and that no one could be so far gone as to think that an eclipse of the sun has anything to do with race.

This is because you are not thoroughly acquainted with legal academia.
The Independent Journal Review reports:

Alice Ristroph, a professor at Brooklyn Law School, wants Americans to know what Monday's total solar eclipse can teach us about the country's racist past....

In a 4,500-word essay at The Atlantic, the professor asks us to ponder the eclipse's significance at a time of increasingly tense race relations. She writes:

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will arrive mid-morning on the coast of Oregon...It has been dubbed the Great American Eclipse, and along most of its path, there live almost no black people.

So even the sun is exclusionary? Of course, the...professor is not literally reifying the sun as if it were actually a solar deity. Nonetheless, her mawkish tone is palpable.

Presumably, this is not explained by the implicit bias of the solar system. It is a matter of population density, and more specifically geographic variations in population density by race, for which the sun and the moon cannot be held responsible.  [Ed. note:  The sun and moon send relieved thanks]. Still, an eclipse chaser is always tempted to believe that the skies are relaying a message. At a moment of deep disagreement about the nation's best path forward, here comes a giant round shadow, drawing a line either to cut the country in two or to unite it as one.

The "implicit bias" that the professor is referring to [refers] to a Harvard study that shows white people are prejudiced whether they know it or not. It also turns out that there is a very weak connection between implicit bias and any racist behavior, and indeed, by the study's own logic, even half of black Americans are purportedly racist against other blacks.

She concludes:

America is a nation with debts that no honest man can pay.  [Ed. note: I doubt the reference here is to some carefree smack pusher who throws acid in the face of a teenage client when she doesn't pony up]. It is too much to ask that these debts simply be forgiven. But perhaps the strange path of the eclipse suggests a need for reorganization. We have figured out, more or less, how to count every person. We have not yet found a political system in which every person counts equally.

Eric Holder once admonished us that we're a bunch of cowards (his word) because we simply turn away from discussing race.

Like quite a few other things Mr. Holder said, this, obviously, is not so.  I dare you to read Facebook or look at any national news outlet for more than five minutes and not see some discussion of race, often lurid, often gooey with victim-glomming, and even more often at least vaguely anti-American.

For years on this blog, I tried to avoid getting caught up in race obsession, for the simple reason that the blog is about crime, and crime is about how you behave not how you look.  But that, it would seem, is old-fashioned thinking.  Newly admonished, for future thoughts about crime, I shall cast my eyes skyward.

Next step in academic insight:  Astrology.


Yes, off-topic, but this weird essay does provide an insight into the weirdness of contemporary academia.

Not only is the whole topic weird, but the "almost no black people" factual premise is just wrong. The path of totality went smack through the middle of South Carolina, where the black percentage of the population is among the highest in the country.

Kent --

Just so. Charleston, the state's second largest city, is 28% black, about twice the national figure but one that mirrors the state. North Charleston, which also got the full eclipse, is almost 50% black.

The reason I put up this entry was precisely to illustrate how far the obsession with race has gone. An eclipse?? Hello!

Were it up to me, race would seldom if ever be mentioned here. Race is irrelevant to culpability or conscience and therefore irrelevant to any fair-minded theory of criminal punishment. But I do not make the world, and still less do I make the world of legal academia, in which the phrase "racial obsessing" hardly captures it. Descriptions of actual behavior might make it into a "scholarly" paper -- sometime, on a good day.

"racial obsessing"

Failure to obsess about race, but to rather focus on the
'content of one's character", is one of the great naivetés of
the theistic crowd, otherwise known as conservatives.

Just as with gender fluidity, it's whatever one wants it to be,
as undefinable as Pluto of the heavens.

Yet, one -- must -- choose -- sides in the war of the hues.

"I don't identify as African-American, I identify as black,''
she told Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Monday.

"I am part of the pan-African diaspora."
[though she never lived in Africa]

In an interview on TODAY later, Dolezal admitted she was born to white parents
but said she identified as black.
"politically there’s a black side and a white side,
and I stand unapologetically on the black side."

~ https://www.today.com/news/rachel-dolezal

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