Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Quillette and racist white identity politics

Good piece by Alex Leo in The Daily Beast focusing on the IDW gang: Quillette, Ben Shapiro, and the Myth of Conservative ‘Facts’

It gets into just how bad Quillette articles really are. 
Quillette, a site that fancies itself intellectually contrarian but mostly publishes right-wing talking points couched in grievance politics, recently published a piece by Richard Hanania, a research fellow at Columbia University, called “It Isn’t Your Imagination: Twitter Treats Conservatives More Harshly Than Liberals"... 
“...I began my analysis by compiling a list of every prominent individual or political party known to have been banned from Twitter since its founding,” Hanania writes. One would expect this to be quite an undertaking since Twitter has suspended thousands of users in its decade of existence, but when you opened the supporting evidence, it was merely a list of 22 cherry-picked names. 
And if I were a conservative, I would be offended by those he claimed to own that label. David Duke is a Klansman. George Zimmerman a killer. Tila Tequila is a reality show “star” who dresses in Nazi cosplay. Other people on the list like Baked Alaska, Richard Spencer, and James Allsup are prominent members of the alt-right, also known as neo-Nazis. The tacit admission that modern conservatism is inextricably linked to racist white identity politics should not go unnoticed.
Done. I noticed it.

And Jerry Coyne even gets a shout-out:
So why would Quillette, a site atheist Jerry Coyne instructed his readers to “think of it as Slate, but more serious, more intellectual, and without any Regressive Leftism,” publish such a fact-free, embarrassing piece? Why would Claire Lehmann, a woman who embraces the label of “intellectual dark web,” get behind it?
That's a good question. Maybe it's because they are political operatives rather than people who care about data science? Because they are incapable of seeing the logical disconnect, just as I speculated was a possible for reason for Steven Pinker's obtuseness?

Leo appears to think that the Yale study of conservatives holds the key:
In 2017, Yale professors did a study and found they could turn conservatives into liberals by allaying fears for their safety. By giving them a thought exercise of imagining they were completely safe and protected from threats, Republicans became significantly more liberal when asked about their stances on social issues. Now we see why Shapiro and his ilk are so invested in fear mongering about the radical left with intellectual dishonesty.
I referenced the same or similar study on Twitter while doing battle with Claire Lehmann's flying monkeys sent to falsely accuse the Canadian academic of creating a blacklist. You want to come up with something reasonable-sounding for why right-wingers do what they do. Concluding "because they are evil and they like to be evil" just feels so medieval.

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