We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

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

Samizdata quote of the day – bad ideas lead to worse places

The playdate, you might say, was the harmless practice of a bad theory. Indeed, this was more or less the Redditor’s point, a man who said he himself fits in the “brown” category (his Reddit handle suggesting that, ethnically, he’s a mix of Iranian and Pakistani). He didn’t mean his post to go viral and feed a national frenzy of racist threats against his kids’ school. He wasn’t really complaining that white families were being injured by this playdate. He was speaking more abstractly. This weekend gathering was an instantiation of a bad model, which blandly self-perpetuates thanks to strong incentives, and to its unchallenged, foundational status in key institutions. It is often tolerated in practice partly because, in individual instances such as our local playdate, you have to put your First Principle glasses on and sort of squint to see what the problem is: “I suppose the effect of such an invitation is to exclude white families from the casual Saturday playdate on the Upper Yard, sort of, I guess. I hadn’t really thought of it like that before.”

Matt Feeney

15 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – bad ideas lead to worse places

  • Fraser Orr

    Although I enjoyed reading this piece, I think the author is missing two important points.

    First of all these “diversity” groups, which are in fact “exclusionary” groups do actual harm to both the people included and those excluded. The only solution to racial harmony in Oakland is for everybody to be judged on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Every group based on the color of the skin propagates the opposite of this goal. Each little dark skinned boy who is put in such a group is forced to think of himself as oppressed, each little light skinned girl is forced to think of him as different. This causes actual long term harm to these kids (and their parents.)

    Second, imagine, if you will, the parents who had been excluded sent out a flyer for a meeting to discuss “The challenges of exclusion from DEI groups — please, white parents for this discussion only”. I imagine that the fire department and some ambulances would be required to deal with such a thing, especially in Oakland.

    To be clear, people have a right to free association (or non association), but just because you can or have a right to, doesn’t mean it is beneficial or profitable to do so.

    The way to get equality and fair treatment in a society is to treat individuals fairly and equally. However, the way to make a fortune, and feel a massive sense of self righteousness, is to advocate for the DEI agenda. And let’s be clear, those who make their livelihoods off of such an agenda — the LAST thing they want is a resolution of racism in America.

  • george m weinberg

    Fraser, I think you’re giving the author way too much credit. There is nothing remotely “well intentioned” about having an “everybody but whites” play date.

  • Barbarus

    It’s interesting that Matt Feeney says “I feel no need to resolve the paradox” of disliking DEI while, in the interests of getting along with its beneficiaries, not opposing it. Effectively he is complicit in his own oppression. From the fact he swims in a sea of DEI and even brings up children there, he may even – emotionally – see himself as the oppressor.

  • bobby b

    I grew up in a south sprawl of Los Angeles, a burb called Compton. I was one of the very few white kids in the area. Everybody played with everybody. (Y’all probably played Tag when you were kids. We played La Migra.)

    Thinking back, I can’t imagine a better way to ensure that your minority kid has fewer friends than he might than to start limiting him to kids of your own minority.

    Plus, he’s going to grow up with whites as a very distinct and separate “better” race in his mind, once he sees that he must be protected from them.

    Heck, in this multi-lingual age, you’re going to limit your kid to his own language-group and deny him the chance to pick up one or more new languages by doing this.

  • Paul Marks.

    I read the post – and it is not very clear, so I clicked on the link.

    The link leads to an article that seems to be about racially segregated events for children, racially segregated events for children (inviting children of a certain race or races to an event on the basis of their race) are a bad idea – so are racially segregated events for adults.

    The article also mentions the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, DEI, agenda without explaining that it is from Frankfurt School Marxism and, like everything from Frankfurt School Marxism, the idea is to undermine and destroy what is left of the Western world.

  • Ferox

    The article, and apparently all the commenters, take the people putting on a “no-whites” playdate at their word; i.e. that they were sincerely trying to organize such an event.

    But that’s silly. Of course they knew exactly what sort of reaction that “everybody but whites” playdate would provoke. The reaction was the point. It was bait. Now that they have gotten their reaction, they get to play at being “oppressed”.

  • Paul Marks.


    There have been such events in other places – both for children and for adults.

    Sorry – but the “no whites” events have happened, they are real.

    They are about promoting racial hatred against white people and against “capitalist society” in general.

    Frankfurt School Marxism is not some sort of “conspiracy” – it is quite blatant, out in the open, and it increasingly dominates institutions – public and private.

  • Ferox

    Paul – I believe that they happen.

    I just don’t believe that the people organizing them are actually threatened by the presence of white people, thus feeling the need to create a separate space for themselves.

    What they feel is a need to validate their victimhood, so they arrange these things in order to create the fuss that allows them to top off on victim juice.

  • Stonyground

    So have we changed our collective minds about segregation now then. Back in the 1960s people were campaigning to abolish it but now it’s the way to go. I’ve Just been watching the BBC coverage of the Great North Run, there was a guy who has been fighting racism by starting a black runners running club.

  • sonny wayz

    I bet they’re happening in Tennessee, in Alabama, in Louisiana, without anyone getting up in arms about them.

    No cite offered, though…

  • Fraser Orr

    The point the original article is definitely one to think about, if we can calm our rage a little. The point the author made was that there is a difference between an event for black, asian, latino and pacific islander kids and an event which is “no white people allowed”, even if mathematics suggests that the set of resulting attendees is the same. The difference is one of emphasis and purpose.

    I think a parallel example to consider is “ladies night out.” Although strictly a “ladies night out” means “no men allowed”, it isn’t meant to be an aggressive exclusion of men, but rather the emphasis is on a group with a particular shared experience and interest that is outside of the realm of “men” and may even be constricted or distracted by the presence of men. It is a gathering of people who have a shared experience and shared interests, and they want to do that. I think the parallel with diversity groups is worth at least considering. There is little doubt that people of different ethnic backgrounds and specifically a country built around the culture of white people, a shared experience of being outside that, is not an entirely unreasonable justification for a narrowly focused group.

    Now, as it happens, I think it does way more harm than good in these ethnic groupings. The solution of racial equality is treating people of all races the same, in fact, not even considering race but considering the person. I think the ladies have a permanent distinctiveness arising out of biology, and not something I think any but the crazy few would want to destroy. And that makes ladies night a good thing.

    I’m sure this comment will make a lot of you enraged. But I think it is worth at least trying to see it from the other person’s perspective.

  • bobby b

    Definitely didn’t enrage me, but the author fails to impress me with his logic.

    He sees a difference between “no whites allowed”, and a listing of every other race as being allowed. He says – I think – that the distinction is important, as it is inclusionary rather than exclusionary. This is . . . kinda dumb, a reaching for some moral merit.

    There’s a canon of legal interpretation used to discern meaning in careful language – called the Negative-Implication Canon – that holds that the expression of one thing implies the exclusion of others (expressio unius est exclusio alterius). If I list all colors except blue, my writing must be interpreted to exclude blue. Sounds simple, but he’s ignoring it in an attempt to defend the honor of his neighbors. (“They’re not being anti-white – merely pro-everyone else.”)

    His slur on our South – Tennessee, etc – means that there are white-only confabs all over where the hicks and rednecks live and no one complains, while his poor Oakland gets persecuted for the same thing. My experience has been that true racism is found in HIS communities, while the American South is far more easily integrated than any northern city.

    So, this essay left me unimpressed. But not enraged.

  • Van_Patten

    Fraser makes the essential point in his first post and Paul picks it up as ever.

    Would anyone, anywhere in the UK or US put out an event targeted specifically at ‘Whites only’ – you don’t need an ability to predict the future to imagine the reaction of the ‘x’erati and every single ‘progressive’ with an axe to grind.

    The exclusion of Whites is quite deliberate, quite targeted and has a long term agenda – the completed destruction of the Western world. DEI advocates are well on the way to acheiving it.

  • Paco Wove

    “From the fact he swims in a sea of DEI and even brings up children there, he may even – emotionally – see himself as the oppressor.”

    More likely, he sees the Bad Whites in the South as the oppressor, and himself as the friend of the oppressed.

  • Paul Marks.

    Ferox – yes they do not really feel threatened by white people, the people behind this movement are Frankfurt School Marxists who just use race as a weapon against what is left of “capitalist culture”.

    bobby b – agreed, I was also underwhelmed by the article (as you point out – the article is weak or logic and is not accurate about the South).

    But one must remember the modern context – people who say what they actually believe, as I do, are on the road to destruction – and we know it, we will be “cancelled” at some point. In my own case I was put on the front page of the Guardian newspaper, an invitation for leftists to hunt me down and kill me, and was betrayed, suspended for a year, by the political party I had faithfully served, unpaid, for some 40 years – so it is only natural for the author to write the article in such a way that, he hopes, will cover his backside.

    Note how careful he is NOT to say that this is Frankfurt School Marxism – he knows that it is (it is from Herbert Marcuse), but he never says so. Because that would mark him out as a “right wing Conspiracy Theorist” – and “right wing Conspiracy Theorists” get punished.