AS301: Angry Black Rant and Jake Farr-Wharton!

Two more great guests for part 2 of the 3 part episode 300 spectacular! First up is Ishmael Brown of the Angry Black Rant podcast. Ishmael is someone I really enjoy speaking to because he’s thoughtful, provocative, and hilarious all in one. We talk about whitelash, Colin Kaepernick, and other post-Trump victory issues facing our nation!

Next up is Jake Farr-Wharton of the Imaginary Friends Show!! (or iFriends). Jake and I go way back and I’m so thrilled to have him on to celebrate 300 episodes. Jake brings a very interesting story about an Australian hate speech law that would violate our 1st Amendment here in the US, and yet might seem to be a net benefit… It’s an interesting utilitarian problem to look at. Is free speech absolutely fundamental or is hate speech worth banning? Jakes gives us a peek into those questions.

9 thoughts on “AS301: Angry Black Rant and Jake Farr-Wharton!”

  1. I really liked the insight you had this episode about the apparent contradiction in reading Trump’s electoral college victory as evidence that extreme PC culture, oversensitivity, and blanket accusations of racism drove people away from liberalism, while maintaining that the effect of extreme anti-PC culture, overt racism, and blanket accusations of authoritarianism/special-snowflake-ism isn’t viewed as relevant or meaningful.

    I think you and Ishmael were right to note that this argument seems to be put forward by a certain sort of center-left liberal who wants it to be acceptable to hold certain conservative views. That said, I think it’s important to not just view this as some kind of wolf in sheep’s clothing accusation about lacking ideological purity/consistency. This is speculative and anecdotal, but when I try to get into the headspace of someone who’s upset about participation trophies, BLM, and the potential backlash of PC culture, the feeling that screams out at me is anxiety.

    I suspect, when it comes from a moderate-liberal place, the white-lash argument is self-consciousness disguised as common-sense. The concern seems to be “how do we manage the perception of what it is to be a liberal so as to not give conservatives an excuse to dismiss us?”

    I also think this explains why they’re more apt to criticize liberals (e.g., having much stronger and blunter opinions about BLM’s tactics than they do about police reform, which they recognize as complicated). Extreme and objectionable actions from conservatives are confirmation of our opinions that they are wrong, whereas extreme and objectionable actions on the part of liberals might be held against us, so it’s important that we speak out against them.

    Then again, I think being in the “skeptic community,” we tend to hear more often from people who’ve turned reason into a fetish, and it “feels” very reasonable to draw arbitrary lines between your behavior and the actions of extreme/silly people.

    As to Australia and free speech laws, I think it’d be worthwhile to hear you and Andrew discuss speech in America. I don’t remember if it was on one of your many podcasts, but I’ve recently started hearing the aphorism “the constitution is not a suicide pact.” I’d love to hear more about the practical impact of the first amendment, the reasoning behind its creation/continued implementation, and how we’ve addressed, or failed to address, problems that result from our adherence to this principle.

    1. No one associated with this podcast can rightfully claim to be part of the skeptic community. I haven’t found a higher concentration of dyed in the wool kool aid drinkers than the clowns Thomas has assembled here.

      Eli Bosnic is a skeptic? Fuck me sideways that’s HILARIOUS.

      I think someone spiked your Kool-Aid.

      Thomas has openly asserted (or had his guests assert) enough times that everything happening around the west when it comes to the rejection of his new shiny religion that I totally believe him now.

      Just kidding. You’re turning into lolcows. The delusions coming out of this podcast…it’s honestly like watching Ray Comfort try to explain the atheists dilemma. you’re totally right…it’s not you guys….it’s whitelash.

      because that’s not retarded.

      1. This is trolling, right? I’m supposed to get real mad because you’re calling me religious and then topping it off by completely misidentifying what white-lash is and who’s proposing it as an explanation?

        You got me. I’m real mad now.

        Honestly, have you read Orwell? The man was a deeply compassionate man who was, for lack of a better word, obsessed with the idea of behaving decently to others. It crushed him to see the ways indifference to human suffering turned every political ideology into something fascistic and brutal.

        1. And yet he wrote animal farm.

          It’s almost like he didn’t buy the argument that “for the good of the oppressed” was enough justification to support oppressors becuase they deemed themselves to be on the right side of history.

          No, he was anti authoritarian. The likes of feminism/blm/collectivism/social justice are authoritarian nightmares. Please, don’t think for a second you get to claim Orwell.

          1984 wasn’t a guide book.

          newspeak wasn’t a template for ‘fixing’ language (remember racism now = power + privilege).

          stawp. He was warning us of the very thing we’re walking into. Not just Trump but the nightmare that awaits us if people like Bosnic EVER get their way (which, thankfully, won’t happen while I’m alive to stop it).


          1. If your takeaway from Animal Farm is that people need to behave less humanely, I think you need to give it a second pass.

            If your takeaway from 1984 is that language must be policed to keep people from engaging more deeply, communicating more complicated ideas, and challenging the social narratives that preserve inequality and oppression, you should probably give that one another look as well.

            I’m not the person who slapped Orwell on myself. You know, he wrote more than just those two books, right? Try The Road to Wigan Pier, if you want to see how he felt about thuggish appeals to power at the expense of vulnerable people, Homage to Catalonia, if you want to see where his political disappointments and cynicism are based, and Keep the Aspidistra Flying and The Clergyman’s Daughter, if you want to glean his view on the very real effects of internalized narratives about economic disparity and patriarchal religious belief.

            Or not. Do what you want.

            Pretend that he was a prophet, that he had special insights, and that you can decipher his stories’ true meaning, even when that meaning contradicts what he actually wrote. Not like that’s ever gone bad.

          2. Yep, a movement that focuses on reducing law enforcement power is authoritarian.


            And I’d suggest you rethink any of these movements (besides collectivism) are necessarily or largely authoritarian. There are a lot of anarchist and left-libertarian movements that hold feminism, anti-racism, anti-homophobia, anti-transphobia as core to their ideology.

            Utilizing a label for a term that is potentially more helpful in an academic useage compared to its colloquial useage is not authoritarian, lest we think that scientists who use “theory” rigorously are authoritarians.

  2. Yes, it’s time to throw our heads back and let out a hearty fake laugh at anyone who thought Social Justice Warriors or Political Correctness dogmatists could make a mistake or have a wrong idea. The notion is absurd! We all know in our hearts that SJW/PC folks are infallible by definition. They certainly know it in their hearts. Just ask them. One problem with being infallible, though, is that you spend a lot of time as a victim. It seems that in real life infallible people fuck up at least as often as just plain folks, but since it couldn’t have been due to anything the infallible ones said or did or where ignorant of or just fucking got wrong—they are infallible after all—they must have been the victims of some evil doers or unforeseeable circumstance or maybe just an uncaring, unsympathetic universe that doesn’t give a shit.

    What we need to do next time to prove that we were right all along and that we had the One True Candidate the whole time, is to run Hillary again in 2020. It could be a Hillary vs. Donald grudge match. It would prove that nothing the Social Justice Warrior movement or the Political Rectitude At Any Cost crowd did, said or fatally failed to be cognizant of had anything to do with our loss in 2016. It will prove it was all somebody else’s fault, even if we can’t put a definitive finger on who that was. It would put a snotty, indifferent universe in it’s place for good! And, by then, social justice and political correctness will be such moot points that we can just pretend it wasn’t us who ever espoused them.

    1. You recognize that there’s a lot of space between “SJW’s are infallible” and “there’s no compelling evidence for the white-lash argument,” right? I can think that sexism had a lot to do with Clinton losing without, in turn, holding the opinion that she was a perfect candidate. I wilfully acknowledge that I do not have perfect knowledge about anything, but when deciding whose opinion I trust on a specific issue, I can reasonably give more weight to someone who’s directly impacted than someone who’s casually musing about how they believe the world works. And, if things don’t go as I’d hoped they would, I can reject the paranoid notion that the universe is punishing me for my hubris. You see how those things are possible, right?

      There’s no requirement that you hold some sort of pollyannaish denial about the universe being indifferent to human suffering to have some investment in making society less shitty. And, just because someone doesn’t think you’re right, that doesn’t mean they’re certain that they can’t be wrong.

      As to your accusations of moral certainty, cultish devotion to Clinton, and refusal to internalize harsh reality, I guess I have to ask which podcast are you listening to?

      Here’s a metaphor that came up in this episode. Black Lives Matter wants to protest the police department for failing to respond to one of their officers shooting a black person without justifiable cause, so BLM holds a protest. Some smug, self-styled moderate-liberal gets caught in traffic as a result, misses the first half of an episode of NCIS he forgot to DVR, and decides his time is best spent complaining online about how BLM is alienating people like him who otherwise would have supported them, but now feel betrayed by their movement. He starts tweeting about “BLM thinking they own the goddamn streets, and who are they to decide who’s racist, and shouldn’t they be trying to reach out to white people, and how come nobody’s listening to all my smart insights when all I want to do is fix their dumb problems for them?!”

      Right now, you sound like that guy. You’ve got frustration and anger, and for some reason you seem to be directing it at pretend enemies on the left instead of the white supremacists, moderate conservatives who overlooked Trump’s glaring inadequacies, and the politically apathetic cynics who decided it was safe to sit this one out.

      Not to put too fine a button on it, but couldn’t your whole post be just as easily directed at the anti-PC crowd who insist that their mealy-mouthed capitulations and refusal to admit that other people also live in the real world and make valid inferences about society can’t be to blame for weakening the liberal argument they have convinced themselves they stand for, despite all evidence to the contrary?

      1. My evidence for “whitelash” is what I saw and heard in person working off-and-on for four decades plus in the Corporate American military/industrial complex: AT&T, EG&G, Sandia National Laboratories, US DoE, Goodrich Aerospace, Honeywell, General Electric, UTC. The corporate “cultures” of these companies were, of course, steeped and stewed in political correctness, they have to be to get and keep government contracts, but the PC was skin deep. As soon as there were no bosses, women, minorities or HR Ladies (yes, they were always ladies) in the room, the white males, most of whom were, by the nineties, listening to Rush Limbaugh on their lunch hour, could talk freely about what a bunch of horseshit political correctness and Affirmative Action was and how much they loathed Hillary Clinton. As I have said over and over again: the guys I knew personally, the guys I talked to and heard talk to others, never took PC or Affirmative Action to heart; they simply learned to shut up about it. Which they did until November 8th. This isn’t conjecture on my part; this is what I saw and heard.

        A lot, maybe most, of these guys are intelligent enough to know what a huge turd of a human being Donald Trump is, but we ran the exact wrong candidate, the one they specifically hated more than anyone, including Donald Trump. And, no, there is nothing rational about it, there never was. Their hatred of Hillary Clinton as the personification of the far left is visceral and only visceral, but all-consuming.

        And you have to admit we got it wrong. We lost. We gave them (the voters) exactly what they told us over and over again they did not want. Some voted with their heads for the lesser of two massive evils and some voted “fuck you” with their guts. In their minds there wasn’t enough contrast between Hillary and Trump. With any other democratic candidate there would have been.

        As infallible as we believe ourselves to be, the reality is: we did fuck up—big time. I’m just afraid that by 2020, and certainly by 2024, the new political landscape in the US and the world will have rendered everything we’re talking about here completely irrelevant. Political Correctness will be a thing of the past and a foundering working class will choose economic survival over social justice every time. I’d say that we had better stick our heads out of our Regressive Left echo chambers and try to see outside of our bubbles, but right now my gut tells me it won’t even matter.

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