21 Comments

As long as this nation of millions can sustain conversations which are indeed race-focused then we will always be subjected to doctrinaire arguments about how many racists can dance on the head of a pin. Until a significant majority understands that race is only a useful shortcut and inherently dehumanizing, we cannot truly blame people who use race and talk about race for being inherently dehumanizing.

I'm not saying you can't say 'black' and you can't say 'white' but you can't expect them to mean as much as you want them to mean. Again, who is going to tell us we cannot use these racial terms, who is going to admit that they are not these racial terms? Only a few.

I've seen scores of racial commentators overstep, backtrack, apologize, re-iterate, sidestep. This is inevitable because all racial traffic are houses built on sandy soil. One truthquake and the houses collapse. I think what commentators need to do is make a complete break between race and culture and be proper cultural critics with the understanding that culture is fluid and multidimensional.

But if the aim is not towards increasing knowledge about what is true about all mankind, nothing adaptively transient, like our social definitions of race, are of any substantial use. In 1946, the debate that raged was whether or not Negro men had the intelligence to drive trucks with manual transmissions. Much was made in the Negro press that the fraction capable of this feat was growing every year. These are the things people hang their dignity on, so is it any surprise that they are fragile?

I happen to be one of the few folks I know who has debated with VDare people and those on the left and right - with blogging history that goes back decades dealing with the likes of John Derbyshire, Adam Serwer and Tim Wise. I have fortunately learned the very real downside of approaching any absolutes when dealing with the connotations of race. I neither see the causalities nor need to see causalities between racial identity / membership and social virtues or vices.

The hard part here is dealing with those who transgress in their free speech. I say far too many Americans have a very difficult time keeping the word 'reckoning' out of their vocabulary, which always implies the use of power to reward or punish speech. This is and always will be wed in America to our democratic politics, so it's always a power game. But unless the transgression is a crime, it cannot be a matter of justice.

So ultimately every citizen has to ask, in service of justice, are we ready to legislate new crimes, police new crimes, make arrests, prosecutions, judgements and sentences. It's already clear that is the current process in the 'court of public opinion'. How's that working out? Do ya want more?

I don't trust America to make the right decision today.

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Whats pertinent here is that in an actual free society with people willing to listen to each other, almost everything he wrote should be allowed. Indeed what he wrote is being whispered across a thousand dinner tables daily, PARTICULARLY in non African American, non white families.

I mean, why can't the Woke engage? Even if some of the ideas seem mean, or are, or are dumb, or offend. Engage for gods sake. Discuss.

But no. We cancel. Fire. Scream. Insult.

Forced genuflections will lead us nowhere.

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Oct 20, 2023·edited Oct 20, 2023Liked by Free Black Thought

Personally, I am not big on apologies. If someone believes he has made errors, he should state his errors and attempt to make amends. Then, evaluate his new ideas based on their merit. Some of the questions which Hoste posed invited answers. "Why do Blacks always end up on the bottom?" has a simple answer, "They don't."

Here is a real problem -- our unwillingness to discuss the present day impact of breeding slaves for certain purposes.

Similarly but not as sensitive, would be: How do immigrants tend to be smarter and more capable than those who stayed behind or is this a false belief? Do not certain cultural traits make it easier to be successful in certain societies without regard to race? If Whites believe that Blacks are inferior, why do so many Whites throw stumbling blocks in the paths of Blacks?

One huge problem with Wokeism is that is has one simplistic answer for everything- racism. That shuts down thinking, investigation, research, while making society dumber and promoting polarizing cancel culture

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Oct 20, 2023Liked by Free Black Thought

I agree. "Suck" is NOT the correct way to view his past words. "Horrifying", "vile", "obscene", "sickening" better describe the purposeful dehumanizing of a massive group of fellow humans for having a different skin color.

That said, I admit I've read and liked his past work from Substack (which obviously had nothing to indicate his racist past). I'll add that the central part of his reasoning in the apology was not addressed in this otherwise very comprehensive article; I believe he was a teen at the time. As I remember it his point was that these were the views of a child who has since grown, gotten educated, and changed his mind.

But the rest of the article is right, I don't know how to take the apology. There's something off about it. I applaud many of Hanania's articles that seem to celebrate classical liberalism and individual rights, but he's veered from that at times with his support of IQ studies and some strange genetic determinism.

So in the end I agree with the author that this is someone to watch carefully. I don't think someone should blacklisted forever for views they held as a child; IF he has repudiated them. But has he really? I don't know.

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Here's my response about Richard Hanania: He's an unapologtic bigot. He doesn't represent any compassionate, unbiased person. And though he is obviously a thoughtful man, he presumes from subjectively-rendered data points to produce the results he desires. Stay away from him.

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Oct 20, 2023Liked by Free Black Thought

His craving for attention seems insatiable. I see no need to indulge him. I am not for canceling him but I would never trust him.

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Oct 20, 2023Liked by Free Black Thought

Richard “Hoste” Hanania is - by way of your detailed description of his past and current writings - a liar, or severely deluded about his own beliefs. I wouldn’t believe anything he says. If you’re going to really change, make a deep dive into your past and make amends wherever needed you need to be honest with yourself and others. He is neither and not worth the time to follow.

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