MIT: Groundbreaking research on politics and racial justice

The December issue of MIT’s alumni magazine, Technology Review, arrived. this includes a special sub-magazine that is only about things that happen on the MIT campus or that are done by MIT alumni. The cover story: “MIT’s new chancellor laid a foundation for leadership through her groundbreaking research on politics and racial justice.”

What else was in the issue? “Discrimination by the numbers”:

When Phyllis Ann Wallace reached Yale University, in the mid-1940s, she was used to facing obstacles and proceeding anyway. Women weren’t expected to go into economics, especially at the graduate level, and for Black women like herself, breaking into the field decades before schools, buses, or workplaces were legally integrated was practically unheard-of.

Her book MBAs on the Fast Track chronicled how the experiences of men and women with equal education differ, and why women work longer hours for the same compensation.

She arrived [at MIT] as a visiting scholar at the Sloan School and quickly moved up to become the school’s first female professor, in 1975. In her office overlooking the Charles River, she wrote books and papers on women in the labor force, particularly Black women, often inviting students to coauthor or co-edit. She worked to ensure that male MIT students were aware of equity issues, believing that “if you can really educate them now, hopefully they will go out and bring about the revolution wherever they are.”

(Note: Americans upset by “why women work longer hours for the same compensation” and who want to work for just one hour and earn a lot more than the average MBA can refer to “Child Support Litigation without a Marriage” and/or the $2.5 million tax-free example of Hunter Biden’s plaintiff (she didn’t waste time getting an MBA!))

Anything about Science (the new capitalized-like-God version)? A brief interior article noted that David Julius, Class of ’77, “shared the 2021 Nobel in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries about how the body senses touch and temperature.” In other Nobel-ish news, a current MIT professor won the Nobel in economics.

Speaking of elite university experts on comparative victimology, “‘Rhodes Scholar’ claimed she grew up poor and abused — then her story started to unravel” (New York Post):

In November 2020, when University of Pennsylvania graduate student Mackenzie Fierceton won the prestigious and highly competitive Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford — one of just 32 scholars selected from a pool of 2,300 applicants — she was praised by the Ivy League school’s president in a newsletter.

“Mackenzie is so deserving of this prestigious opportunity,” declared president Amy Gutmann of the 23-year-old from suburban St. Louis. “As a first-generation [to go to college] low-income student and a former foster youth, Mackenzie is passionate about championing young people [and] dedicating herself to a life of public service.”

Multiple college consultants told The Post that the college application process now features more questions about overcoming obstacles. The 2021-2022 essay prompts from Common App, the organization that oversees undergrad applications for more than 900 schools, include “Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure.”

Categorizing herself as a first-generation, low-income student with a history of horrific abuse — who also earned nearly straight A’s and was student body president in high school — Fierceton certainly fit the bill. She was admitted to Penn in 2015 to study political science, then began studying for a clinical master’s degree in social work in 2018.

When Fierceton’s Rhodes Scholarship was announced, the Philadelphia Inquirer profiled the academic star in November 2020, noting that she “grew up poor, cycling through the rocky child welfare system [and] bounced from one foster home to the next.”

As Fierceton said in that story: “I would trade [the Rhodes honor] to have been adopted and have a family.”

But after that Nov. 22, 2020, profile ran, an anonymous accuser sent an email to Penn and the Rhodes Trust, claiming Fierceton’s story was “blatantly dishonest.” The email reportedly alleged that Fierceton grew up in St. Louis, Mo., with her mother, an educated radiologist; that her family was upper-middle class; and that she had attended a fancy private high school and enjoyed such high-end hobbies as horseback riding.

According to Winkelstein’s subsequent report, Fierceton was raised in an upper-middle-class household; it also notes her mother is a radiologist and that her grandfather had graduated from college.

The Penn victimological bureaucrats criticize the young student for purportedly lying, but take no responsibility for their own incompetence. These are paid full-time victimologists and they can’t distinguish between true victims and the child of a radiologist? How are ordinary Americans supposed to accept the Ivy League say-gooders as experts on social and racial justice?

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Kwanzaa stamps an expression of hate?

I went to the Post Office today to get some stamps for our New Year’s cards. It’s Florida so naturally the guy working the counter wasn’t wearing a mask and didn’t ask any customers to wear one either. A handful of stamp designs were available, one of which features a personal favorite holiday:

(A 2018 design, so apparently not a big seller. The office also had the 2020 Kwanzaa stamp.)

Is this image of an apparently mixed-gender-ID nuclear family acceptable in our 2SLGBTQQIA+ world? Or can it be considered cisgender-normative and heteronormative hate?

The image can’t be excused on the ground that what is shown is the typical Black American family structure. Wikipedia:

About 67 percent of black children are born into a single parent household.

There is no corresponding 1950s-style nuclear white family image on any modern USPS stamp that I could find, so the anti-2SLGBTQQIA+ message seems to be specifically associated with Kwanzaa.

Current Hanukkah stamps show a family of just two people, one taller than the other, i.e., potentially a single-parent family (or maybe the depicted individuals are two kids and the same-gender parents are off camera?).

What about Christmas stamps? Believe it or not, not only has the USPS removed the Christ from Christmas, the agency has removed Christmas from Christmas. There are stamps featuring snow and one depicting Santa flying, but I couldn’t find any that actually showed a religious ritual, as with the Kwanzaa and Hanukkah stamps. The Diwali stamp has a ritual lamp. The Eid stamp has an inscription in Arabic that I can’t read, but USPS says it means “May your Eid be bountiful (or blessed)”.

Note: Of course I bought one Kwanzaa stamp for every card addressed to a friend back in Maskachusetts with a BLM sign on his/her/zir/their lawn!

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Happy Kwanzaa

Happy Kwanzaa to everyone.

The holiday reminds us just how far we have to go in our quest for social justice. Shutterfly, for example, shows only one or two people with light skin as sample images for their Kwanzaa cards. The implication is that, for example, nobody who identifies as Asian celebrates this most important of world holidays:

Here’s a worksheet that a second grader was recently sentenced to fill out:

Note the Freudian slip at the bottom: “White any customs from that country that you know about.” The second-grader did not learn about which region of Africa enjoys a harvest season starting the day after Christmas. Nor, sadly, did the second grade class learn about the colorful biography of Kwanzaa’s inventor:

In 1971, [Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga (born Ronald McKinley Everett)] was sentenced to one to 10 years in prison on counts of felony assault and false imprisonment. One of the victims gave testimony of how Karenga and other men tortured her and another woman. The woman described having been stripped naked and beaten with an electrical cord. Karenga’s estranged wife, Brenda Lorraine Karenga, testified that she sat on the other woman’s stomach while another man forced water into her mouth through a hose.

From the LA Times:

Deborah Jones, who once was given the Swahili title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis’ mouth and placed against Miss Davis’ face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vise. Karenga, head of [US Organization], also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said. They also were hit on the heads with toasters.

Related:

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Jussie Smollett convicted

A friend texted me that Jussie Smollett had been convicted. I replied “Racism and homophobia in the U.S. are a lot worse than we thought.”

(How can I be sure that Mr. Smollett was innocent and, therefore, convicted unanimously by 12 jurors only because of their racism and homophobia? From our leaders…

The top reply to then-candidate Biden’s tweet:

)

Related:

  • Merry Christmas from the iPhone 12 Pro Max (Rudy Giuliani and Victoria Toensing are leaving the courtroom after arguing on behalf of Donald Trump and they get hit by a taxpayer-funded empty city bus. God meets them at the pearly gates and asks if they have any questions. … )
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Immigrant comments on the Alice Sebold/Anthony Broadwater situation

Why we need the Daily Mail:

What other news outlet would highlight the inequality of the situation? (The liar enjoys freedom (well, until the lockdowns) and a $6 million house, paid for partly from the profits of writing about the lie; the person who tells the truth goes to prison for 16 years and then tries to live and work as a convicted felon and sex offender.)

An immigrant friend sent a photo to our chat group from within this article:

The immigrant’s take on the situation?

I love this. Mask outside, reusable bag, San Francisco. So many markers of virtue. Except for putting an innocent black man in prison.

A native-born friend in Maskachusetts responded:

Saw a woman biking today with a mask on. On a rural road.

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Doctors admit stealing property, but refuse to give it back

From the American Medical Association’s Organization Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity:

We acknowledge that we are all living off the taken ancestral lands of Indigenous peoples for thousands of years.

From “Prioritizing Equity video series: Police Brutality & COVID-19” (AMA):

I am Dr. Aletha Maybank, I am chief health equity officer at the American Medical Association over the Center for Health Equity. … We work to ensure equitable opportunities and conditions and innovation for marginalized and minoritized people and communities. … So I first want to recognize and acknowledge the land in which we are all sitting on and the Indigenous people who have been here for thousands of years before us, whose land was dispossessed at the same time, able to thrive and survive till this day.

(Doctors accuse the police of “brutality” (see the title), but aren’t doctors collectively a principal reason why lower income Americans end up entangled with the police? Medical bills, oftentimes starting at 5-10X what an insurance company would have paid, lead to evictions and personal bankruptcy (see “Enforcing Eviction: As a national housing crisis approaches, the police side with property against people.” (The Nation)).)

From the American Medical Association’s Advancing Health Equity: Guide to Language, Narrative and Concepts:

The Association of American Medical Colleges’ headquarters is located in Washington, D.C., the traditional homelands of the Nacotchtank, Piscataway and Pamunkey people. The American Medical Association’s headquarters is located in the Chicago area on taken ancestral lands of indigenous tribes, such as the Council of the Three Fires, composed of the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi Nations, as well as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sac, Fox, Kickapoo and Illinois Nations.

Doctors are fairly rich. If they admit that they’re on stolen (“taken”) land, why don’t they give the land back to the nearest Native American and then pay him/her/zir/them rent?

Separately, the above language guide contains some helpful tips. It is not “individuals” but “survivors”; it is not “the obese” but “people with severe obesity” (remember that, whatever the term used, the #science-informed optimum medical response to a virus that attacks the obese is a next-to-the-fridge lockdown!):

Sometimes it is not that hard to achieve equity:

Sometimes it is, in fact, way easier than you’d think:

A revenue source by any other name would be just as lucrative?

If you hire people of only one skin color, that’s a “race-conscious” process:

How many enslaved persons show up at the typical U.S. healthcare facility?

If Justin Trudeau’s use of 2SLGBTQQIA+ has you scratching your head, turn to the glossary:

(“It is also not a term that can be used by a non-Indigenous person” yet there is no indication that a Native American contributed to this document. Isn’t putting the term in a glossary a “use” of the term?)

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Thankful for archive.org

One weekend per year devoted to being thankful doesn’t seem unduly burdensome. Today I’m expressing thanks for archive.org. Especially given the recent American tendency to rewrite history in accordance with current #Science/religion/belief/etc., where else would would we be able to find evidence of just how bad things were in the bad old days? (though the evidence might not be complete; see Web publishers can delete stuff from archive.org)

archive.org enabled at least the following blog posts here:

Harvard University attracted a bit of attention when it hosted a theatrical performance restricted to audience members of one skin color earlier this fall. Emboldened by the federal judiciary saying it was okay to discriminate against Asians, the school apparently decided that Massachusetts General Law, Section 98 did not apply (“Discrimination in admission to, or treatment in, place of public accommodation… Whoever makes any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, … in any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement, … shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty-five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, …”). The web page has been scrubbed from the theater’s web site, but it remains alive on archive.org:

We have designated this performance to be an exclusive space for Black-identifying audience members. For our non-Black allies, we appreciate your support in making this a completely Black-identifying evening. We invite you to join us at another performance during the run.

Proof of vaccination or negative test results required to attend.

A Facebook friend attended and wrote “I can now tell my grandkids that I tasted segregation first hand, just like my mom and dad.” He attached this picture that includes a sign regarding Harvard’s expressed commitment to “anti-racism” (which includes “we will not tolerate racism”) and a sign saying that prospective audience members with the wrong skin color should go elsewhere.

Note that the above-mentioned web page contains an admission that the theater is on stolen land:

A.R.T. acknowledges that its theaters are situated on the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Massachusett Tribe.

With a $53 billion endowment, Harvard apparently can’t afford to give the land back to the nearest Native Americans and then pay for a ground lease from them. If the rightful owners do show up to reclaim this land and Harvard scrubs its damaging admissions from the live pages, archive.org will be the dispossessed owners’ best friend.

Readers: What have you found on archive.org that the original authors/publishers probably wish had remained forgotten/hidden?

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What is your prediction regarding the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict?

Readers (especially those who followed the complete trial, which I did not): What is your prediction regarding the most likely verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case?

I probably shouldn’t offer an opinion because I did not watch any of the videos from the courthouse. However, since I’m asking you to guess, maybe I am obligated also to put forth my best guess…. guilty of at least one count.

My rationale for predicting a guilty verdict is not based on any of the facts in the case nor any evidence or argument that was presented at trial. My prediction is based purely on the psychology of compliance. One thing that we’ve learned from the 2020 lockdowns and the recent elections (national and California governor recall) is that Americans are generally compliant with whatever the government tells them to do. The non-compliant spirit among at least some young Americans in the 1960s is dead. In the specific case of Kyle Rittenhouse, the government is telling a group of Americans to convict him and therefore I think that he will be convicted.

Related:

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What’s going on at the Kyle Rittenhouse trial?

I have skimmed headlines regarding the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. This is not the kind of news that I follow closely, so I hope that readers will catch me up on everything important. Is it correct to say that there was a gunfight in Kenosha among a bunch of white people who had different points of view regarding Black Lives Matter? And there is photographic and/or video evidence of who was pointing guns at whom? How did this evidence come to exist? Were people holding up mobile phone cameras while guns were drawn? Or is the electronic evidence coming from surveillance cameras that happened to be on nearby buildings?

Is there so much electronic evidence that it is possible to reconstruct what happened? (Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, especially if there is a lot of drama, such as gunshots.)

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