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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

You and Your Racist Friend

Do They Might Be Giants make
Gideon Lewis-Kraus sad?

I wrote a critique of Gideon Lewis-Kraus' New Yorker piece on Kathryn Paige Harden
and I also emailed Lewis-Kraus a link to my post, saying I was disappointed with his take. And to my surprise, he wrote back.

Wow, and I thought I was disappointed in him before.

We went back and forth via email several times and among other things I pointed out that Razib Khan considers Harden a friend (Lewis-Kraus' article quotes the review in which Khan says this) and I said I would like to know what Harden thought of that and whether she considered Khan a friend. I said I wished Lewis-Kraus had asked her for the article.

His response:

No, she doesn't consider him a friend, but maybe one difference between us is that I don't have political litmus tests for my friends, and the prospect of a world in which people did that would be very depressing.

I can only assume Lewis-Kraus finds the song "You and Your Racist Friend" by They Might Be Giants horribly depressing.
This is where the party ends
I can't stand here listening to you
And your racist friend
I know politics bore you
But I feel like a hypocrite talking to you
And your racist friend
I mean, what a bullshit response. I'm sure he would not be friends with a Nazi. And Razib Khan is very close to that - a professional race-monger who agrees with Charles Murray that if we don't face the "truth" about Black American inferiority, we face DISASTER.
Lewis-Kraus' article prompted some of the racists and race-mongers on Twitter to remove all doubt that theirs is a political movement with straightforward goals. For instance, Quillette author Nathan Cofnas.

Gosh, what would "social justice" look like if we accepted unsupported hereditarian beliefs in the innate inferiority of Black Americans? Have there been any historical precedents for that?

Please note that Michael Shermer is in full agreement with Cofnas about race-based inferiority, the only quarrel is what form "social justice" should take.

One of the people who liked the first of the tweets above is a character who goes by the Twitter handle Indian Bronson, who, in December 2019, revealed he works for the Koch-funded AEI

Why would any non-racists be friends with people like this?

I believe Razib Khan and most other professional hereditarians got into race-mongering because wingnut welfare is lucrative and easy. 

But I'll be damned if I'll stop making it as unpleasant as I possibly can for them.

Now it should be noted that Lewis-Kraus also said:
Razib Khan is an irrelevant idiot. He has terrible views...
But is he irrelevant? He was relevant enough for Lewis-Kraus to quote him - giving him even more mainstream credibility (which Khan is happy to publicize) - in the Harden piece, and we know Khan has received money from rightwing extremist Ron Unz.

But there was something else that Lewis-Kraus wrote to me that makes me wonder if, in spite of it all, he is in denial about the threat in mainstreaming race pseudoscience. I'll discuss that next.