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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Caliper Claire Lehmann, still mourning the loss of statues that glorify white supremacy

Claire Lehmann founded the last bastion for phrenology apologists, Quillette, and is in constant turmoil recently along with other members of the Intellectual Dark Web, over the removal of monuments to white supremacy.

And as you can see in the image, Lehmann is trying to use love of white supremacist imagery to rally her troops, the defenders of race science, against Kevin Bird.

Free speech panics in Academia are a favorite tactic of the right-wing free speech grifters so memorably discussed in the GQ article The Free Speech Grifters.

And now Caliper Claire is going to make Stephen Hsu her latest "free speech" cause.

Per Kevin Bird's web site:
Against a backdrop of protests, uprisings against police brutality, and calls for real reform and racial justice, the Particles for Justice collective began an initiative to #ShutDownStem and #ShutDownAcademia to take a day to focus on issues of racial equity in the academy. https://www.particlesforjustice.org/ 
A group of faculty and graduate students began discussing what to do to make tangible change. The topic of Stephen Hsu’s role as Senior Vice President of Research & Innovation came up (note: It was incorrectly thought his title was Vice President of Research & Graduate Studies; his title had recently changed). 
Hsu’s views had been brought up before as a problem, but there had never been a concrete sense of what could or should be done. In line with the focus of the day, which was to discuss and uproot racism and structures that protect racism in the university culture, the group turned its attention towards gathering publicity and public knowledge around Hsu’s views. 
Acacia Ackles (GEU Vice President of Organizing & Outreach), as part of the group, brought me (Kevin Bird, GEU President) into the discussions, because of my experience with addressing the recent resurgence of scientific racism (my efforts in this area were recently highlighted in a 2018 New York Times article). The group gathered evidence from Hsu’s blog and past tweets regarding his publication of views which the group believes to be racist, sexist, eugenicist and anti-scientific, and his promotion of known white supremacists and Holocaust deniers, along with evidence that he failed to uphold conflict of interest protocols regarding his status as a co-founder, shareholder and board member of Genomic Prediction Inc. The following Twitter thread was published. The tweets went live at 5:23 PM on June 10th. See Tweets and Unrolled. The thread immediately gained support from MSU faculty, staff, and students who are familiar with Hsu, and within the broader scientific community, where many are aware of Hsu’s conduct and beliefs. Another account of Hsu’s conduct was published shortly after by MSU professor John Jackson, who studies the history of scientific racism.

Predictably Hsu threatened to sue his critics.

Free speech champion Caliper Claire once suggested to Sam Harris that he sue the Southern Poverty Law Center because they truthfully and accurately reported on Harris's influence on the alt-right.

Meanwhile, as explained by John Jackson on his indispensable Fardels Bear web site:
It has been six days since my post on Stephen Hsu hosting a Holocaust denier on his podcast. He has not responded in any way and certainly not apologized. It has been four days since he has threatened a lawsuit against his critics, including graduate students at his own university. He has not explained or apologized for that threat. 
There is a right-wing, online magazine called Quillette that is a home for people to publish their ideas about how race is real and black people are just dumber than white people, how scientists are afraid to talk about it, and regurgitate segregationist ideas about how the “equalitarian conspiracy” covers up the truth about racial differences. Naturally, they have now decided to ride to Hsu’s rescue. Hsu claims to be agnostic, on race differences in intelligence. But he seems to happily accept support from those who do believe in those differences. He claims everyone should be treated equally, but people who reject that idea rally around him. In their call to defend Hsu, Quillette simply recycles ancient arguments against racial egalitarianism that have been floating around the racist right for half a century. This time the strategy is what I like to call the “Lysenkoist Exchange.”
Stephen Hsu, among other questionable features, considers himself a friend of racist and Holocaust-denying crackpot Ron Unz. I wrote about Unz in detail here. Professional racist Steve Sailer also considers Ron Unz a friend. 

Kevin Bird is a graduate student, and it looks like Lehmann is trying to smear Bird by pointing out his opposition to the glorification of white supremacy through statuary.

Claire Lehmann's hypocrisy strikes me once again - I criticized Bo Winegard's race science mongerism in Quillette two years ago on my personal blog (and continue to do so on this blog) and Lehmann had a meltdown about it, screaming I was " bullying and smearing" him, a wee little grad student.

I "smeared and bullied" Winegard by truthfully recounting his beliefs and expressing my contempt for same. Lehmann is trying to smear Bird by noting he's opposed to public art that glorifies slavers and white supremacists. But that doesn't actually smear him, except with the right-wingers and racists who adore Claire Lehmann.

To get a really good idea of the racist bubble Claire Lehmann lives in, observe her tweet about the statues to white supremacists and slavers:

"No-one" meaning no-one among the race science mongers and white supremacists and Confederacy apologists and eugenic fans and Koch-funded libertarians that comprise Claire Lehmann's social and professional world.

There is a grassroots organization in New Orleans devoted to removing statues raised to the glory of the Confederacy called Take 'Em Down NOLA which has been around since at least 2015.  And of course the Southern Poverty Law Center, but I guess Lehmann doesn't think of them unless she's urging someone to baselessly sue them. 

Certainly none of them count as "someone" in the book of failed human being Claire Lehmann.

Bo Winegard is supporting the cause of his boss.

I wonder if Winegard feels that he has to kiss up to his boss even more than before, Quillette recently put hard-core hereditarian Colin Wright on its payroll and Winegard has some competition.

I think Quillette has become the gateway drug to the wingnut welfare system so beloved of rightwingers.

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