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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Ve’re askink ze qvestions!”

Last Wednesday, Jodi Shaw received a Hero of Intellectual Freedom Award – and got to rap on-stage in NYC, four years after Smith College told her she couldn’t because rapping while white was racist.

The freedom to rap while white is a form of free speech it has never occurred to me to pursue, but something Jodi said struck me.

“These terms are never defined … It’s just ‘social justice’.”

“And you’re afraid to ask,” she added, because “that might put a spotlight on you,” and people will think you are racist … According to Shaw, there was an “ever-present terror” at Smith “that any unverified student allegation of racism, or any other ‘-ism,’ has the power to crush our reputations, ruin our livelihood, and even endanger the physical safety of ourselves or our family members.”

It’s not the first time a movement has refused to define its central idea.

Himmler vehemently directed “not to issue any decree concerning the definition of the term ‘Jew’ … with all these foolish commitments we will only be tying our hands.” (The quote is from Himmler’s letter to Berger, July 28th 1942, Nuremberg Document No. 626.)

Identify a respected institution. Kill it. Gut it. Wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect. I’ve seen that spot-on description of how the woke operate applied so many times – to institutions. But it’s just as true of ideas. Totalitarians always gut the ideas they proclaim of all actual meaning. The woke wear the murdered carcass of words like racism (structural racism) or justice (social justice) as a skin suit, while demanding respect.

19 comments to “Ve’re askink ze qvestions!”

  • Paul Marks

    The “White Privilege” if this lady was, for a time, to be busking in the New York metro – in order to have money to pay bills.

    A young Martin Luther King (yes I know this man was not the saint he is normally painted as – but that is not relevant to this comment) did indeed have a summer job near Smith College up in Massachusetts in order to pay college bills, and he remembered how many white people in New England made a point of treating everyone the same regardless of skin colour – an old educated New England Yankee tradition (going all the way back to John Adams and so on). Now this tradition is under terrible attack.

    People must NOT be treated as the same, say the people who rule Smith College (and so on), we must all be taught to “see color” and to treat people DIFFERENTLY on the basis of their skin tone.

    What was once, and correctly, denounced as racism – is now presented as “anti” racism.

    Yes “Social Justice” is the opposite of justice – “Social Justice” is looting and rule by terror, and talk of “Institutional Racism” or “Structural Racism” turns out to be an excuse to IMPOSE RACISM under the mask of opposing racism.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    “The woke wear the murdered carcass of words like racism (structural racism) or justice (social justice) as a skin suit, while demanding respect.”

    See also: “liberalism”

  • Paul Marks

    Natalie – the word “liberalism” was the first casualty.

    Even in the 19th century the “New Liberals” in the United Kingdom were pushing bigger (rather than smaller) government.

    In the United States by the 1920s supporters of the totalitarian Soviet Union were calling themselves “liberals” and getting away with it.

    Part of the problem was the English language itself – it which the word “liberal” does not just have connections to liberty (as it does in French), but also has connections to the concepts of “broad”, “generous”.

    For example, as far back as 1911, in the Concise Oxford Dictionary, an example given for the word “liberal” is a liberal view of the Constitution – meaning a view that gives more (not less – more) power to the Federal Government.

    By the way, in 1911 the Concise Oxford Dictionary was still associating such a “broad” “liberal” view of Federal power with the Republican (rather than the Democratic) Party.

    To some extent they were correct – for example Republican President Garfield wanted to create a Civil Service (oblivious to how this would undermine elected control of the government), and even wanted to create a Federal government school system for the entire country (using the supposed justification that otherwise black people would become a “peasant class” – some might say that President Garfield’s faith in Federal Government schooling was touching, I would say it was touched). However, President Garfield’s chief opponent (at least on the creation of a Civil Service) was also a Republican – Senator Conkling of New York.

    When looking at a politician what they support and what they oppose was much more important than whether they had an “R” or a “D” after their name. There were plenty of Big Government Democrats in 1911 – including in the South, where Populist Racism and Big Government “Social Reform” often went hand in hand.

  • Marshall

    Rapping while white is an obvious Ad Eminem insult to people of colour.

  • Rapping while white is an obvious Ad Eminem insult to people of colour.

    That really is pretty damn funny 😀

  • Paul Marks

    Governor Noel of Mississippi is a good example of a Big Government Democrat from 1911.

    Lots of new regulations, pushing of government education and government health care, and the banning of alcohol (Mississippi was also the last State to give up Prohibition – it lingered there till 1967).

    Race? Whilst not as viciously racist as Governor Bilbo, Governor Noel certainly believed that black people should be excluded from normal life – although, as long as they were submissive, he would allow them to live.

    The modern Democrats hate white people, rather than hate black people, but it is still racial hatred – group politics. The self hatred (how white Democrats hate white people) is an interesting twist.

    Mayor Curley of Boston was an example from the north – British representatives in the First World War were surprised at the friendly reception that Mayor Curley gave them, but he explained that he wanted “English” people in Boston (no matter how many generations your family had been in America you were still “English” to Mayor Curley) to join the British Army – in the hopes that they would be KILLED (and thus not return to Boston).

    In local government, Mayor Curley is remembered for the “Curley Effect”.

    The “Curley Effect” is to deliberately undermine the economy of a place, by wild government spending, taxes, and regulations – the idea being to make the population dependent on government and thus more likely to vote for Big Government candidates.

    This was more than a century ago, yet it is still being done by Democrats in many cities.

    A thinly disguised version of Mayor Curley was played by Spencer Tracy in a film – Hollywood seemed to think that the, utterly despicable, Mayor Curley was a charming rogue who “helped the people”.

  • JohnK


    The “Curley Effect” seems to be the leitmotif of the Scottish national socialists, and so far they seem to be getting away with it. How long that would last without subsidy from Westminster is another matter.

  • Roué le Jour

    Indeed. Why did nobody mention the rich, middle aged white Democrat?

  • Fraser Orr

    The “Curley Effect” seems to be the leitmotif of the Scottish national socialists

    I’m curious John, which government is it NOT the “leitmotif” of? The purpose of both the politician and the civil servant is to pretend they care about significant problems and convince you they are trying to solve them while at the same time creating problems and half solving them to make you vote for them again because they are fixing the problem they created in the first place.

    Remember that the goal of politicians and civil servants is to get re-elected and to grow the power and budgets of their department. That is what their core goal is, and let’s be clear, they are very, very successful by that measure.

    The thing that most politicians fear the most is that we realize how little we actually need them. We might, you know, get on with our lives and not think about these self absorbed narcists. I clearly remember Tom Daschle, who was a the senate leader in the early 2000s after the election of 2002 that he was excited for the 107th congress to get back to work solving the problems of the American people. My thought was “107th congress? 107 tries? Aren’t you done yet?”

  • John Kallinicos


    Very good points, especially about Daschle. I seem to recall that Bill Clinton also said he needed to get back to work for the “American people” during the Lewinsky affair. All things considered, I feel the American people would have done just fine if he’d spent his time in the Oval Office getting serviced by “that woman, Miss Lewinsky”, and not interfering with their lives.

    I think that the Scottish national socialists are a very good example of the “Curley effect” in modern politics. Their only aim is so-called independence, “so-called” because their desire is to re-join the EU at the first opportunity.

    To promote “independence” they continually stir up anti-English racism, they pass laws for no reason other than to be different from England, and the standard of their incompetent governance can be seen in every area where they have power, health, education policing etc. Yet it is never their fault, it is always the “Tories” in Westminster. The worse things get in Scotland, the more it is the fault of the Jews, sorry, the “Tories”, who seem to have a malicious hatred of the fine people of Scotland.

    The Scottish national socialists epitomise the “Curley effect”. The worse things get, the better it seems to be for them. Odd, but it makes a twisted kind of sense. They are shockers though.

  • Steve

    Jodi Shaw is a really good musician. She has a youtube channel for her music, I don’t think she pursues that career anymore but she put out some really nice albums when she was doing it.

  • Paul Marks

    John Kallinicos.

    How much of what the SNP does is done to deliberately make things worse, and how much out of a twisted (“educated”) idealism? I just do not know.

    Some have suggested that even Mayor Curley himself sincerely believed that his policies “helped the people” – but that is going a bit far. Mayor Curley does seem to have known that his Progressive policies would make Boston a worse place – with more poverty, and so on, than would be the case if he did not follow Progressive policies.

    I generally hold that politicians and Civil Servants do what they do out of a sincere belief that their horrible policies are “doing good”, but both for Mayor Curley and for the SNP that does seem a bit of a stretch.

    For example, what the SNP have done to Scottish education and Scots Law, does seem to have been a deliberate (and horribly successful) effort to do harm. Not to gain votes – but out of a sense of devilment, the desire to do harm for the sake of doing harm.

  • bobby b

    Paul Marks
    June 21, 2022 at 8:35 am

    “I generally hold that politicians and Civil Servants do what they do out of a sincere belief that their horrible policies are “doing good” . . . “

    Who are you and what have you done with the real Paul Marks?

    No one with an iota of sense and scientific training could possibly truly believe in the fable of global warming. No one with intelligence could have failed to at least facially question the vaccine efforts, the firings, the cancellations, the quelling of free speech, the US election results . . .

    The only way I could accept that these people are truly attempting to “do good” would be to also assume that bank robbers actually believe they are entitled to stolen funds and thus qualify as having tried to “do good.” That’s all a bridge too far. They were attempting to boost their tribe and vanquish dissenters, not to “do good”. Just because they think the world would be better off were I dead doesn’t get them that “doing good” label when they kill me.

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b – I was recently given some evidence that supports your point of view and UNDERMINES mine, so it is only fair that I share it with you and others here (although you may already know).

    The State of California is closing down some power stations in the State and signing agreements to import power (at great expense) from hundreds of miles away – as far away as Wyoming, from their coal powered power stations.

    This will INCREASE C02 emissions – as much power will be lost via sending the power hundreds of miles on cables.

    There is no way that even the most “educated” politicians and officials can possibly think they are doing good by doing this.

  • No one with an iota of sense and scientific training could possibly truly believe in the fable of global warming. (bobby b, June 22, 2022 at 4:33 am)

    I agree with the factual accuracy of this statement (Niall pedant Kilmartin would probably say something milder than ‘an iota of’). I qualify it, without denying it, by observing that ‘truly’ believe leaves space for both clear and less clear psychological understanding in ‘science-trained’ warmenists. Look, for example, at Mann, Jones and Briffa’s emails when perpetrating the hockey struck fraud, and contrast them with the later “I almost hope Global Warming isn’t stopped, so they’ll be sorry” remark. It could be they can believe their own propaganda lies, as Goebbels could, or can switch knowledge of fact on and of in their heads, as Hitler could. Or it could be they avoid too deep an understanding of what they are doing.

    Keith has-clearly-watched-too-many-mobster-movies Briffa wrote an email to Jones that can be summarised as:

    “Nice graph you and Mann have got there. Shame if anything were to happen to its credibility. On another topic, I have no research gig lined up for next year.”

    But he phrases it more carefully, more ‘avoid making my meaning even that overt’, although he and the others are clearly not expecting their emails to be made public. (They knew of the UK’s freedom of information act but declare their intent of deleting emails if an attempt to get them should ever be made, and in the event just ordered their IT admin to disobey the FOIA request that came in years later. The arrogant researchers seem to have been very much taken by surprise when someone in IT – as authorised in the FOIA law – disobeyed them instead of the law.)

    My point is that the ability to add 2 and 2 to make 4 can depend on calling 2 ‘two’ rather than ‘a western oppressive concept’ or whatever. The language used in the climategate emails around the whole hockey stick ‘trick’ seems designed to minimise the doers’ awareness of what they were doing rather than unanticipated later ‘denialists’ ability to see what they were doing, and while the aim is to reduce their moral awareness of what they were doing, I think it also reduced their intellectual awareness.

    So (finally getting to the point), bobby b’s

    No one with sense and scientific training could possibly truly believe in the fable of global warming.

    is correct but is also compatible not only with politicians who lack sense or scientific training or both, but also with training its possessors call ‘scientific’ (they went to a university, they worked in labs, they got bits of paper) yet which does not make them reason from “we hid some of the counter-evidence” to “global warming on a scale to make them sorry (for pointing out we hid some of the counter-evidence) is not likely”.

  • Mark Helme

    Re Himmler: well, up to a point; more than 60% of the minutes of the Wansee Conference dealt with exactly this question, due to intermarriage and so on. You don’t need to ask too closely when you are kicking people in the street but when you are murdering them in extermination camps you might want to be thought by your co-conspirators to have addressed this question a little more carefully.

  • Mark Helme, June 22, 2022 at 5:14 pm, yes, when round-ups were going on, they issued directives on which mischlinge to include on what occasions, etc. However IIUC such decisions were part of the increasing number of secret laws and regulations that governed Nazi Germany but were not made public (nor always applied consistently in private). Himmler wanted to decide who was to be arrested when, and did not want any definition of the word Jew issued for others to quote against whatever had been decided. From liaising with the Foreign Office on whether and when to arrest Jews with particular foreign passports, to being overruled by Goebbels over the SS’ desire to shoot the women involved in the Rosenstrasse protest, Himmler and his subordinates were always having to define and redefine whom they would target at given moments; all the more therefore did they want to keep knowledge of the internal SS discussions of how far to go at a given time secret confined to higher Nazi circles.