Daybook.

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Firstly, some (boring) administration. I’ve moved back to a classic theme, because it’s easier to read everything at once. The problem with this is that I don’t post multiple times a day: instead I do a lectionary post and then pile of things that I find during the day. So… if you dislike this. Comment.

Secondarily, I’m slowly rebuilding the bookmarks. Slowly. If you have suggestions, tell me.

It appears that the woke are starting to preach identity politics, and not the gospel. This is taken down, well, by Thomas Bradsheet (hat tip to Ian Bibby, who posted this on facebook). In my experience, I do not have rhetorical privilege. Those who do can, of course, lose it.

Rhetorical privilege is the ability to assert what in content or in mood of speaking will or would offend the majority of one’s audience and yet the speaker suffers no institutional or social consequences. The most extreme form of this privilege is when the audience must assume prima facie the plausibility and even the truth of whatever the speaker asserts, and failing to do so results in adverse social, economic, and institutional consequences for those audience members.

This actually is a privilege. Having a privilege, by definition, is bearing a status that exempts one from some accepted norm (such as a law, rule, civic duty, etc.). In our society especially, there is a generally accepted norm that most speakers, as participants in public discourse in dialogue, will face certain consequences when saying what most or the principal part of the audience find offensive or by speaking in a non-discursive mood (e.g. being dictatorial such that disagreement is practically precluded). Avoiding negative consequences when speaking in these ways is a privilege.

There is far more to evangelical race rhetoric than being able to say just about anything without negative consequences. Most important about evangelical race rhetoric is the posture assumed in its delivery: it is dictatorial. By this I mean that the debates on the best causal explanations for current racial disparities, the existence of “whiteness,” the explanatory power of “implicit bias,” the effectiveness of anti-poverty policy, the effectiveness of reparations to repair race relations, the prevalence of “white supremacy” in American society, the prevalence of police brutality and racist cops, the injustice of the “war on drugs”, and so on are already treated as completely settled by evangelical race-rhetoricians; and therefore conclusions and solutions are not only assumed, but dictated and declared to their audience−viz., their speech is in a non-discursive mood. Hence, Uwan never bothered to support any of her most crucial (and apparently offensive) premises, because she operates from an environment that has moral (not empirical) certainty backing her conclusions. Assuming her most contentious claims, she prescribed for her majority white audience their required response: repent of your whiteness–a demand echoed. Of course, repenting of one’s whiteness requires one to possess it, something that was assumed from the outset.

White people  are then in a position where propositions and imperatives have been asserted upon them dictatorially. Naturally, anyone−that is, any human−would recoil from this speaker/listener relation, perhaps choosing to walk out. Walking out, after all, removes oneself not only from the content but from the dictatorial posture assumed by the speaker.

Now, we should notice that the whole rhetorical posture is designed to preclude any serious disagreement. The premises are assumed as morally obvious, meaning that disagreement is a moral matter, not an intellectual one. And when one disagrees, the response to this disagreement is often a type of kafkatrapping (i.e., disagreement on white racism is just what white people would do), or you’re accused of “indifference” or accosted for your “white fragility.

Thomas Bradsheet, Sovereign nations
via facebook

Two brief comments: Racism is not a sin, if racism is defined as loving your family, your relatives, your tribe, your neighbourhood and your nation. You should love your nation and your people. That does not mean that you think of others as less than you. It is perfectly OK to be Australian or an American, and if so to love your nation and people. But I don’t want to be either: my people are the Pakeha — NZ Europeans: though our ancestors were generally English or Scots we no longer are. Secondly promoting people because of identity causes error. The gospel is for all, not for those whom the woke deem righteous. This controversy is being driven by black women, now credentialed. I guess a third point, too obvious, is that credentials now have little meaning.

It may not be a sin to repent of a false sin if one believes it evil in error, but it would be a sin to neglect to do that which needs to be done because of this, or worse, do that which should not be done.

Do not have a twitter account. Do know how to get a screenshot.

I do have social media, though most of the time I use it to post photos to the family and catch up on writers I like (such as Mrs Hoyt and her husband). However, Scott has a very good point — when you are distressed, social media is the worst place to go.

In the interest of your own mental health, try giving it a break for a while. If you know someone who seems angrier, more irritable, more labile (moody) or just plain out of sorts when they are engaged with social media, tell them they might want to lay off. You might actually save their life.

Scott, Treasure State Psychological Services.

A fair amount of social activism consists of virtue signals and spirals of offense, using social media. Our PM is meeting with the president of France to see if this can be regulated, and that will not end well. The people running the West are a minority, disconnected with the people. When society changes, you cannot stop the signal.