18 Comments
Dec 22, 2021Liked by Free Black Thought

The book also casually gets WEB Du Bois’s birthplace wrong, listing it as Amherst when he was born in Great Barrington. This is a pretty trivial error but made me wonder: “if they didn’t even fact check that, what, if anything, did they fact check?”

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If someone isn't looking for the devil in the details...

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Whenever I read something which starts out generally along the lines of “all back people” or “all Hispanic people” or particularly “all LGBT” people, I brace myself to discount most of what is being said because writers frequently, possibly intentionally confuse or misinterpret correlation with causation. I remember laughing out loud when a friend started chatting about the dearth of Black Olympic swimmers and wondering about their specific gravity compared to white people. I said “reconsider your question by family economic status and you’ll see immediately what’s happening”.

I wish we could start speaking more about economic class than race, because while race is intrinsically non-quantifiable, economic class is. What is Jewish? What is Latino? What is Asian? What is “mixed race?”

Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio - what race is he? Enrique is not wealthy. What race is Tiger Woods? Tiger Woods is extremely wealthy. What’s the real issue?

The Southern Poverty Law Center in its name best targets the most pressing issue, systemic multigenerational economic disadvantages.

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Dec 22, 2021Liked by Free Black Thought

TY (thank You) Ms. Patwardhan,

Excellent and well-written research. Appreciate the optimism at end. TYTY.

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Dec 22, 2021Liked by Free Black Thought

If the last 5 years have taught us anything it is that there is no real source for objective commentary...

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Dec 24, 2021Liked by Free Black Thought

I was very happy to read this review, given that I had a similar experience with Isabel Wilkerson's two books: I loved "the Warmth of Other Suns" but felt sullied and dirty in reading "Caste". I was asking myself: What happened to the author? She had connected to human experience in her earlier book, but in the latter, she had become an ideologue who lacked all human connection, except to those who believe in their own victimhood and can no longer connect to anyone who does not so identify.

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Dec 31, 2021Liked by Free Black Thought

Any reactions to recent polls showing that latino voters are evenly split between Trump and Pres Biden?

Why do people think this is?

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author

We think Ruy Teixeira is the answer-man for this question: https://theliberalpatriot.substack.com/p/the-democrats-hispanic-voter-problem-dfc

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Dec 22, 2021Liked by Free Black Thought

I enjoyed the book but somehow missed these obvious flaws. Clearly data was cherry picked to prove a racist backlash against President Obama.

Other flaws are found in the telling of the Nazi myth of an Aryan race. The Nazis may have believed this but their only allies were peoples not considered Aryan in southern and eastern Europe and Japan.

Wilkerson was more realistic than other purveyors of identity politics when describing how Latin and Asian immigrants are in a subcaste. Though I don't agree that we are separate, I see these new immigrant groups as moving into the mainstream as fast as we can. Others on both the right and left assume that these groups are included with "black and brown" people and will push the nation left. Democrats can't help pushing these folks away while smart republicans try to attract them.

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Jan 9, 2022Liked by Free Black Thought

Thank you for an interesting, well-researched article

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Dec 22, 2021Liked by Free Black Thought

"Wilkerson makes it sound as though white voters abandoned Democrats when Obama was running. But the two Democratic presidents who preceded Obama over the previous four decades also won relatively low percentages..."

I apologize if I missed something, but where does she that claim, or make it sound as if that were the case? In the passage quoted she presents the voting data to contrast reality with the rhetoric of the time, stating

"Even as they proclaimed a new post-racial world, the majority of white Americans did not vote for the country's first black president."

To me that's not making it sound as though whites abandoned Democrats when Obama ran, but pouring cold water on rhetoric that was rampant after his election and, in retrospect, was patently wrong and today seems rather silly.

Am I missing something?

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Dec 22, 2021Liked by Free Black Thought

Because Wilkerson is attributing to race what is more appropriately attributed to political affiliation.

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author

Exactly. Wilkerson makes race appear to be the relevant factor. Ms. Patwardhan's analysis shows that it wasn't a relevant factor. Obama did as well or better than any Dem before or since.

Wilkerson further assumes and implies that we could say white voters had become less racist *only if* more of them had voted for Obama than had ever voted for any Dem candidate. But this is to equate "not racist" with "votes for (black) Dem." However, it's perfectly possible both to be non-racist AND to prefer Republican candidates.

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Dec 22, 2021Liked by Free Black Thought

Patwardhan states that “Wilkerson makes it sound that white voters abandoned Democrats when Obama was running….” but Patwardhan does not provide any evidence that Wilkerson does, in fact, make that claim. “Makes it sound that” always raises red flags for me - let’s analyze the explicit claims made, not conjecture.

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The point is, Wilkerson presents Obama's election in terms of the race of the voters. By presenting it this way, she makes it sound as if the race of the voters mattered. But it *didn't* matter, as Ms. Patwardhan's analysis shows. Obama did just as well (or better) among white voters as any Dem before or since.

By presenting Obama's election in terms of the race of the voters, Wilkerson also seeks to show that the claim that the US is "post-racial" is false.

She says things like this: "Obama’s victory did not occur because most voters in the dominant caste had become more open-minded and enamored of him."

Her unstated premises here are (1) that we could claim to be post-racial *only if* white voters suddenly shifted from the Republican party and voted for Obama and, even less supportably, (2) that voting for a Dem (or a black Dem) is the way you demonstrate that you are post-racial. What if the voters weren't racist but simply preferred Republican policies?

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Look at the sentence quoted from Wilkerson which begins "Even as they proclaimed a new post-racial world..." There's no other way to interpret that sentence other than "These people are claiming not to be racist, but look how they voted in the two Obama elections." When in fact almost everyone just voted by party as everyone almost always does, and in fact Obama over-performed for a Democrat.

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Yes, and an important part of that sentence's deviousness lies in the way it asks you to equate "voting for Obama" with "not being racist." But there's no particular connection between those two things at all.

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I would suggest looking into how “hate group” is defined, especially by SPLC. They labeled Moms for Liberty a “hate group” for going against the un Democratic enforcement of gender ideology in schools and for fighting to remove books with graphic images from schools. They labeled Erin Friday, a mother who wrested her daughter from the clutches of gender ideologues a “hate”activist. “Hate” group designation likely rose during Trump due to the racial hysteria. Defining what “hate” actually means is as vital as defining “justice.” Social Justice is not just, for example.

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