Time Magazine Details the ‘Shadow Campaign’ Against Trump

There are lots of articles detailing the Time Magazine story about the “fortification” of the election. Since when is ‘fortification’ and euphemism for ‘stealing?’ But I digress. Here is one such article – an opinion piece from The Epoch Times:

Opinion: Time Magazine Details the ‘Shadow Campaign’ Against Trump

Commentary

In a surprisingly brazen article, “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election,” Time magazine chronicles a myriad of pre- and post-election actions taken by a loose coalition of Democratic operatives, grassroots activists, mainstream media, tech companies, and corporate CEOs before and after the 2020 presidential election.

According to the article, the effort consisted of “a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information.”

In the post-election days, the author refers to this disparate grouping of players as a “conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs” resulting in an “informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans.”

Although the words “cabal” and “conspiracy” are used to describe the sweeping activities of these groups, collectively referred to as the Shadow Campaign, the article’s author takes pains to note that these efforts weren’t aimed at “rigging the election; they were fortifying it.”

Indeed, throughout the article, there is the repeated claim that these efforts were made not with the intention of subverting the election, but rather as part of a heroic grassroots movement intent on salvaging our democracy and preserving the integrity of this and future elections.

“The scenario the shadow campaigners were desperate to stop was not a Trump victory. It was an election so calamitous that no result could be discerned at all, a failure of the central act of democratic self-governance that has been a hallmark of America since its founding,” the article reads.

Although the article treats the actions taken by this “Shadow Campaign” as necessary steps towards saving our democracy, a more objective reader of events might make the case that our democracy was actually trampled underfoot.

According to the players in this saga, the perceived threat to our democracy was so consequential that it would require “an effort of unprecedented scale” and a measure of cooperation heretofore not seen during an election process. And one that would encompass a surprisingly broad coalition of interests that would include “Congress, Silicon Valley and the nation’s statehouses.”

As the article notes, the efforts of this cabal “touched every aspect of the election” including our election laws. These groups engaged in a unified legal front to “change voting systems and laws” at the state level, often unconstitutionally bypassing state legislatures and shifting power to the states’ governors in the process. Conservative efforts to fight against this process were euphemistically termed as “voter-suppression lawsuits.”

The terminology and framing of issues bring us to a peculiar characteristic of the article. It’s written as though 75 million Trump voters simply don’t exist—as though a nation was somehow wholly united against a self-imposed second term of a Trump presidency. There is no acknowledgment that President Donald Trump enjoyed support from a large segment of the population. When the term “voters” is used, it’s always in reference to those who were voting against Trump and for Biden.

Other than a few short paragraphs, the reader could be forgiven for thinking the election was ever even in question.

While an intense focus on the Trump campaign is present in the article, there’s an almost surprising lack of discussion regarding the Biden campaign. As the article states, the Shadow Campaign was “separate from the Biden campaign and crossed ideological lines.” Indeed, Biden is mentioned in the article only a handful of times and never in direct relation to anything he or his campaign was doing to prepare for the election.

Media Framing, Online Efforts and Tech Companies

In tandem with the focus on Trump, there is another almost unifying theme of gaslighting that traces its way throughout the article. Any activity, position, or response from conservatives or the Trump administration was automatically labeled and then framed as inherently nefarious, even villainous. Meanwhile, a notion of false nobility was attached to every action taken by the left.

Pre-election warnings from the Trump campaign “and his henchmen” on the risks from an unprecedented shift to mail-in ballots were, according to the article, designed to “spoil the election.” Conservative legal pushback against the unconstitutional changes to state election law was termed as “spurious.” Despite being the legal instigators, the article stated that “Democratic lawyers battled a historic tide of pre-election litigation.”

Meanwhile, information from the right was repeatedly deemed to be “Trump’s lies,” “conspiracy theories” or “Bad actors spreading false information.” According to the article, these efforts, along with “the involvement of foreign meddlers made disinformation a broader, deeper threat to the 2020 vote.”

In contrast, when leftist organizations such as the Voting Rights Lab and IntoAction created “state-specific memes and graphics” designed to claim that mail-in voting was safe and not subject to fraud, their actions were framed as “battling bad information.” Nor was this any small effort. As the article notes, these memes and graphics were “widely disseminated by email, text, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok” and were viewed “more than 1 billion times.”

Another focus of this campaign was to convince the public that election results would be delayed, perhaps for a number of days. These efforts were designed to condition the voting public to not expect, or even accept, an outcome on election night. As the article notes, the “organization’s tracking polls found the message was being heard: the percentage of the public that didn’t expect to know the winner on election night gradually rose until by late October, it was over 70 percent. A majority also believed that a prolonged count wasn’t a sign of problems.”

Perceptions and information are crucial in an election and in recognition of this, Democratic operatives “successfully pressured social media companies” in advance of the election. These efforts were largely successful as large numbers of conservative accounts were deplatformed and crucial stories that might injure the Biden campaign were suppressed, while the media relentlessly attacked the Trump campaign.

While acknowledging the involvement of technology companies in the effort, the article portrays the resulting suppression of information and conservative deplatforming in a positive light. When stories such as the ones regarding Hunter Biden’s business activities in China were dismissed or simply not covered by the mainstream media, these tactics were labeled as taking a “harder line against disinformation” in an ongoing effort to “fight viral smears.”

There is a side question raised by the participation of the tech companies in online suppression. If accounts were deplatformed from places such as YouTube and Twitter purely for political ends, does this not raise the specter of a meaningful breach of fiduciary duty to the companies’ stockholders?

Mail-In Ballots and Shadow-Campaign Funding

These groups also engaged in large-scale “national public-awareness campaigns” designed to convince Americans that “the vote count would unfold over days or weeks” as an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots were systematically flooding into our electoral system.

With 100 million mail-in ballots sent out in an effort to get “millions of people to vote by mail for the first time,” the coalition recruited “armies of poll workers” to deal with the influx of absentee ballots. Large amounts of money would be required to deal with the processing and in preparation for this, the group “helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding.”

This money had two material sources. The first, surprisingly, came from the first round of COVID-relief packages in March 2020. As the article notes, activists lobbied Congress in March 2020, “seeking $2 billion in election funding.” This effort was led by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Although the group didn’t get anywhere close to their lofty $2 billion goal, they were still wildly successful. When the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act passed in March, it contained “$400 million in grants to state election administrators.”

From there, the informal group turned to private funding for additional sources; Silicon Valley tech companies were the primary focus. According to the Time article, an “assortment of foundations contributed tens of millions in election-administration funding. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative chipped in $300 million.”

These contributions were framed as an effort to fill “funding gaps” left by the federal government, while ignoring that it was Democratic operatives who were pushing the mail-in vote efforts.

Indeed, focus groups were held by the Voter Participation Center (VPC), designed to “find out what would get people to vote by mail.” Several months later, the VPC would send out ballot applications to “15 million people in key states.” The group followed up with mailing campaigns and digital ads urging these targeted voters to “not wait for Election Day.”

These efforts were historically successful and transformative. As the article notes, “In the end, nearly half the electorate cast ballots by mail in 2020, practically a revolution in how people vote. About a quarter voted early in person. Only a quarter of voters cast their ballots the traditional way: in person on Election Day.”

The Left’s Control of the Mobs

There are several material admissions made in the article, not the least being that the left actually did control the activities of groups such as Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and others that rioted throughout the election year. As the article notes, “Many of those organizers were part of [Mike] Podhorzer’s network” the man credited in Time’s article as being “The Architect” of the entire election effort.

The article notes that more than 150 liberal groups joined the “Protect the Results” coalition and stated that “The group’s now-defunct website had a map listing 400 planned post-election demonstrations, to be activated via text message as soon as Nov. 4. To stop the coup they feared, the left was ready to flood the streets.”

There’s another unspoken admission here as well. The trigger for the pre-planned riots was a Biden loss, not a “stolen election.” Or said another way, the left would determine what comprised a stolen election only by its outcome.

This matter was further highlighted in a recounting of election night events after Fox News called Arizona for Joe Biden. Angela Peoples, director for the Democracy Defense Coalition, told Time that “We wanted to be mindful of when was the right time to call for moving masses of people into the street.”

But after Fox called Arizona for Biden, a decision was made to “stand down.” As Podhorzor noted, “They had spent so much time getting ready to hit the streets on Wednesday. But they did it … there was not a single Antifa vs. Proud Boys incident.”

In other words, Podhorzor and his crew effectively controlled the actions of Antifa and Black Lives Matter—if not completely, then at the very least during these critical moments and days.

The Importance of Fox’s Arizona Call

The description surrounding election night, while short, is telling and raises further questions. Despite the overall tone of the article, it seems clear that Democrats thought they had lost the election in the later hours of Nov. 3th, 2020:

“Election night began with many Democrats despairing. Trump was running ahead of pre-election polling, winning Florida, Ohio, and Texas easily and keeping Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania too close to call.”

According to the article, the “liberal alliance gathered for an 11 p.m. Zoom call. Hundreds joined; many were freaking out.” While Podhorzor was speaking, Fox News “surprised everyone by calling Arizona for Biden.”

The Fox News call changed everything. As the article put it, “The public-awareness campaign had worked: TV anchors were bending over backward to counsel caution and frame the vote count accurately. The question then became what to do next.”

There is another related item of note as well. Podhorzor was sharing his data regarding a “Blue Shift”—the term used to describe a late surge in Democrat votes from mail-in voting—with “media organizations who would be calling the election.”

One analyst, described as a “member of a major network’s political unit who spoke with Podhorzer before Election Day” told Time that having access to Pordhorzor’s data and being able to “document how big the absentee wave would be and the variance by state was essential.”

Arnon Mishkin, an outside contractor and a Democrat, was the individual at Fox who reportedly made the call on Arizona at 11:20 p.m. New York time. According to one report, “No announcement was made until anchor Bill Hemmer, reviewing the latest status of an electoral map that was looking positive for Trump, glanced at the southwest, where the decision desk had left its yellow check mark on Arizona awarding the state to Biden.”

After making his call on Arizona, Mishkin stated that Trump was “likely to only get about 44% of the outstanding votes that are there.” Mishkin was wrong. Trump got a significantly higher percentage of the remaining votes, and although the Arizona call ultimately stood, it was far closer than Mishkin had forecast. Indeed, there’s currently a parallel audit underway in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous county.

Post-Election Impact

While voters on the right protested in seemingly unorganized groups, the left appeared to be far more prepared. At roughly 10 p.m. local time on election night, a bus carrying Republican election observers arrived at Detroit’s TCF Center. The article provides a rather biased description, stating that Republican observers “were crowding the vote-counting tables, refusing to wear masks, heckling the mostly Black workers.”

When the Republican observers arrived, Art Reyes III, leader of ‘We the People Michigan’ “sent word to his network.

“Within 45 minutes, dozens of reinforcements had arrived. As they entered the arena to provide a counterweight to the GOP observers inside, Reyes took down their cell-phone numbers and added them to a massive text chain.”

Election boards were another “pressure point.” Activists called “attention to the racial implications of disenfranchising Black Detroiters. They flooded the Wayne County canvassing board’s Nov. 17 certification meeting with on-message testimony.” Detroit’s vote was certified by the Republican board members.

Finally, the pressure on state legislatures was intense. On Nov. 20, Trump invited the Republican leaders of the Michigan legislature to the White House. According to the article, a “full-court press” was launched by the left and “Protect Democracy’s local contacts researched the lawmakers’ personal and political motives.”

Reyes’s activists rallied at departure and arrival terminals for the Republican state lawmakers’ trip to DC.

The final step in certifying the Michigan vote was a vote from the state canvassing board, which was comprised of two Republicans and two Democrats. “Reyes’s activists flooded the livestream and filled Twitter with their hashtag, #alleyesonmi. A board accustomed to attendance in the single digits suddenly faced an audience of thousands.”

The vote was certified 3-0, with one Republican abstaining.

Shadow Campaign Wants You to Know

The in-your-face detailing of events in the Time article leads to one somewhat alarming conclusion. The leaders of the Shadow Campaign want you to know what they did. Whether this stems from hubris or a position of power isn’t entirely clear, but there are some important people who were willing to contribute to this article. And to be openly quoted.

In addition to Podhorzer, Norman Eisen is quoted at several points in the article. In addition to recruiting members for the Voter Protection Program, Eisen is one of the architects and authors of two Brookings Reports that were written during the Mueller investigation.

Brookings produced a 108-page report, “Presidential Obstruction of Justice: The Case of Donald J. Trump,” authored by Barry Berke, Noah Bookbinder, and Eisen, on Oct. 10, 2017. They followed up with a 177-page second edition on Aug. 22, 2018, which also came with a lengthy appendix.

Eisen, a senior fellow at Brookings, served as White House special counsel for ethics and government reform under former President Barack Obama and is the founder of CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics) in Washington. Eisen, according to his Brookings profile page, advised Obama “on lobbying regulation, campaign finance law, and open government issues,” according to his CREW bio. He also served as the ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2011 to 2014.

Eisen and Berke were later retained by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) on a consulting basis as special oversight counsels to the Democratic majority staff.

As Nadler noted in an announcement, the two men had a particular focus on reviewing Mueller’s investigation and would be advising the committee. It also appears Nadler intended for the two lawyers to question Attorney General William Barr, who ultimately declined to attend the hearing—leading to a Democratic vote to hold Barr in contempt.

Ill-Fated Jan. 6 Rally

On Jan 6, thousands of Trump supporters came to D.C. for what would be an ill-fated rally, culminating in an assault on the Capitol building. The fallout from this event would be severe and the full effect has yet to be fully determined.

The new administration, along with many in Congress, appear to making domestic terrorism threats a top priority. Biden’s newly installed U.S. Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas has stated publicly that “one of the greatest threats that we face currently on our homeland … is the threat of domestic terrorism.”

Despite the expectations of many, there didn’t appear to be a material presence of counter-demonstrators from the left at the Jan. 6 rally.

The author of the Time article appears to have been in continued contact with members of the “Shadow Campaign,” including Podhorzer, the group’s “architect.” On the morning of Jan. 6, Podhorzer texted her, noting that the activist left was “strenuously discouraging counter activity.”

Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He is a CFA® Charterholder and worked for 20 years as an analyst and portfolio manager in the high-yield bond market. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.

Racism from a Different Point of View

Here is an interesting article by a Bo Wagner, southern pastor on racism. Emphasis by me

Coming as it was from one of the most well known pastors in the world, I could not have been more disappointed with what I was listening to. To actually hear the (no doubt very well-meaning) words “As a white pastor, I am part of the problem” from the pulpit, ostensibly as part of a Biblical sermon, was bewildering.

I would assume that most readers of my column are aware of my background, but please allow me to clear one thing up right at the outset for those who perhaps are not. I am not “some white guy indignant at being confronted with my inherent sin.” I am actually a “brownish” guy, half Puerto Rican, one quarter Lebanese, one quarter French. So kindly spare me any white guilt lectures; my tanned tribe of one took a vote and isn’t interested in hearing it.

No, it is not my skin color that makes me so sick at what I listened to; it is my loyalty to Christ and my belief in the transformative power of salvation and Scripture that does that when confronted by such tripe.

When I was a young boy I heard a great many preachers, almost all of them white. Some of them were solid, Biblical men. Some, though, were unabashedly racist. They taught that black people were inferior and even inherently wicked because of the color of their skin. They even went so far as to say that there was no use even taking them the gospel, because God could never change them. Now at fifty years of age I awaken to find that the exact same racist heresy is still very much alive and well, only with white substituted for black. That isn’t progress; it is wickedness. And as to the preachers saying it, if they simply stood and said “I am a racist,” I would not have an issue with them; they know themselves better than anyone. But they invariably quickly move away from “I” to “we” and then settle in for the long term at “you.” If that were not, in fact, the real focus, then the pastor would simply resign without even finishing the message and thereby immediately eliminate the self-identified “problem.”

One of the things that bothers me about all of the angst and white guilt being displayed by a few luminaries is that it is excellent proof of how much focus they have on themselves and how little attention they actually pay to others. It is as if they themselves are finally for the first time ever discovering how wrong it was to view blacks in such a poor light, and not even beginning to realize how many people are already decades ahead of them. I have watched with keen interest a radical, God-powered transformation of churches all across the southern United States over the past five decades. I now literally do not know of a single formerly white-only church anywhere that is not sincerely welcoming to a person of any race. I am sure they are probably still out there, but if so they are hidden as well as Waldo himself. The battle was fought and won on the basis of Scripture, and people moved on. The devil lost at maintaining that racial hatred toward blacks, and now has turned his attention to stirring up hatred toward whites, which will accomplish the exact same work of causing a schism in the body of Christ.

But the thing that bothers me even more about all of it is that it is an insult to both the blood and the Book. When black people get saved, they become “new creatures in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17) which is also exactly what happens to white people when they get saved. “Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new,” the verse goes on to say. When anything is somehow removed from that umbrella and taken into the pulpit to “fix a sin so innate that the gospel cannot change it,” it is both pride and blasphemy, not a sign of introspection and humility. Furthermore, when Christ has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12), forgiven us all trespasses (Colossians 2:13), and imputed his own righteousness to our account (Romans 4:24), how dare anyone “lay anything to the charge of God’s elect”? (Romans 8:23).

I have spent my lifetime preaching about how very wicked racism is. I mean that literally; I started preaching at twelve years old, and that has been one of my most consistent messages. I (apparently very naively) thought that people had gotten the message by now. How mortifying, then, to find it achieving mainstream acceptance once more, just with a different target.

Preachers, preach fervently and consistently that racism is wrong, no matter who engages in it, and no matter to whom it is directed. But also preach that we are all of one blood (Acts 17:26) and that God made every person the color he made them because it pleased him to do so (Revelation 4:11). Tell white people to hold their heads up high and view themselves as “fearfully and wonderfully made,” (Psalm 139:14) just like black people. Tell black people to hold their heads up high and view themselves as being “made in God’s image” just like white people (Genesis 1:26). And tell everyone of every race that they are neither responsible for the sins of their forefathers, nor somehow genetically bound to follow in those footsteps due to the amount of melanin in their skin; each person makes his own choices and will give an account of himself to God, period (Romans 14:12).

Lastly, rather than teaching people to hold onto grudges past, teach everyone to forgive others as Christ has forgiven them (Ephesians 4:32). No one can undo a single wrong from generations past; and that is what makes forgiveness the world’s most powerful eraser. People should not be encouraged to maintain grievances, they should be directed toward the liberty that only comes from saying “Christ freely forgave me all of my wrongs when I had no way to pay, and I will just as freely forgive everyone else all of theirs.”

Well-meaning racism is still heresy, even when it has fancy stage lighting, smoke machines, and cutting edge graphics to make it look good, and a low-melanin target to make it palatable to a new generation.

Bo Wagner – A shiny new package for the old heresy or racism – https://www.yourdailyjournal.com/opinion/98331/bo-wagner-a-shiny-new-package-for-the-old-heresy-of-racism

Our Obsession with Equity has Created a New American Caste System Based on Census Categories

Mark Perry finds another gem for his Quotation of the day. This is from Alyssa Ahlgren.

American exceptionalism derives from the concept of equality of opportunity. Such equality has been diluted in meaning as the rise of woke ideology has taken over the culture and our major institutions. Calls for equality have turned into demands for equity — a goal that requires extraordinary lengths of unequal treatment and yet will never be achieved.
….
The replacement of the word “equality” for “equity” was a subtle yet deliberate move by politicians, activists, the mainstream media, and the rest of the ruling class in the hopes that people would think the terms hold the same meaning. Equality and equity are not synonymous. In fact, they are in direct conflict. Equity requires uniform outcome and uniform outcome requires unequal standards — certain rules apply to some but not to others.

Our obsession with equity has created a caste system that actively segregates, discriminates, and judges based on sex, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity. Your individual characteristics, of which you have no control over, are now either your greatest asset or biggest downfall. In order to justify the logic of discriminating based on superficial characteristics, you must buy into the notion that our entire country is entrenched in a system of oppression towards minorities in each of these categories. If this were true, then no amount of equity councils or policy changes could rectify the unjust system. The system cannot cure itself if the very system is the problem — the system itself must be destroyed.
…..
Inequality and unequal treatment are the foundation of equity, and discrimination and racism are the building blocks. Equity is a house that will never cease to be under construction. We can keep trying to take those building blocks and stack them as high as we want, yet we will never see a world where disparity does not exist and outcome is uniform. We will only continue to teach our children that the most important thing about them is their skin color or sexual orientation, and that the content of their character, individual choices, and abilities are of no consequence. We will continue to give the system power to alleviate “problems” that every individual, regardless of identity, has the power to alleviate themselves.

Equal treatment, equality under the law, and equality of opportunity must all come crumbling down in order to keep the dream of equity alive. Liberty, meritocracy, and individual responsibility must die in order to sustain a system run on the misguided view of social justice. However, equity will always be a dream and justice will never come.

https://alphanewsmn.com/ahlgren-the-bigotry-of-equity/

Mark sums up the Equality/Equity difference this way:

1. Equality = Everybody is Treated Equally, Regardless of Census Category

2. Equity = Some Census Categories Are MORE Equal Than Others

If – By Rudyard Kipling

I’ve seen this poem before and have always liked it. I saw it this morning in a video about President Trump and I wanted to post it here…

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Here’s the video – not that I expect the the radical left to leave access to it…

Walter Williams on Indoctrination

As a professor, I have never used my class for proselytizing students, as so many professors do. I do think that’s academic dishonesty. Personally, I want students to share my conviction that personal liberty, along with free markets, is morally superior to other forms of human organization. The most effective means of getting them to share it is to give them the tools to be rigorous, tough-minded thinkers.

Walter Williams via Cafe Hayek

Walter Williams on Discrimination and Prejudice

A little more than a week before he died, Walter Williams posted the following on Discrimination and Prejudice. I don’t know where I heard it, but “WORDS MEAN THINGS.” But we keep bastardizing the language to suit our needs, or propel an agenda. Before long, the word doesn’t mean what it used to mean. It does, but it doesn’t to the majority of the country. Like discrimination and prejudice.

Discrimination and Prejudice

Some of the confusion in thinking about matters of race stems from the ambiguity in the terms that we use. I am going to take a stab at suggesting operational definitions for a couple terms in our discussion of race. Good analytical thinking requires that we do not confuse one behavioral phenomenon with another.

Let’s start with “discrimination.” Discrimination is the act of choice, and choice is a necessary fact of life. Our lives are spent discriminating for or against different activities and people. Some people shop at Wegmans and thus discriminate against Food Giant. Some students discriminate against George Mason University in favor of attending Temple University. Many people racially discriminate by marrying within their own race rather than seeking partners of other races. People discriminate in many ways in forming contracts and other interrelationships. In each case, one person is benefitted by discrimination and another is harmed or has reduced opportunities.

What about prejudice? Prejudice is a useful term that is often misused. Its Latin root is praejudicium, meaning “an opinion or judgment formed … without due examination.” Thus, we might define a prejudicial act as one where a decision is made on the basis of incomplete information. The decision-maker might use stereotypes as a substitute for more complete information.

We find that in a world of costly information, people seek to economize on information costs. Here is a simple yet intuitively appealing example. You are headed off to work. When you open your front door and step out, you are greeted by a full-grown tiger. The uninteresting prediction is that the average person would endeavor to leave the area in great dispatch. Why he would do so is more interesting. It is unlikely that the person’s fear and decision to seek safety is based on any detailed information held about that particular tiger. More likely, his decision to seek safety is based on tiger folklore, what he has been told about tigers or how he has seen other tigers behave. He prejudges that tiger. He makes his decision based on incomplete information. He uses tiger stereotypes.

If a person did not prejudge that tiger, then he would endeavor to seek more information prior to his decision to run. He might attempt to pet the tiger, talk to him and seek safety only if the tiger responded in a menacing fashion. The average person probably would not choose that strategy. He would surmise that the expected cost of getting more information about the tiger is greater than the expected benefit. He would probably conclude, “All I need to know is he’s a tiger, and he’s probably like the rest of them.” By observing this person’s behavior, there’s no way one can say unambiguously whether the person likes or dislikes tigers.

Similarly, the cheaply observed fact that an individual is short, an amputee, black, or a woman provides what some people deem sufficient information for decision-making or predicting the presence of some other attribute that’s more costly to observe. For example, if asked to identify individuals with doctorate degrees in physics only by observing race and sex, most of us would assign a higher probability that white or Asian men would have such degrees than black men or women. Suppose you are a police chief and you’re trying to find the culprits breaking into cars, would you spend any of your resources investigating people in senior citizen homes? Using an observable attribute as a proxy for an unobservable or costly-to-observe attribute lies at the heart of decision theory.

Lastly, is there a moral dimension to discrimination and prejudice? Should one be indifferent about whether he attends Temple University or George Mason University and thus makes his decision by flipping a coin? Is it more righteous to use the same technique when choosing to marry within or outside his race? Is it morally superior to be indifferent with respect to race in marriage, employment and socializing? Can one make a rigorous moral case for government coercion to determine whether one attends Temple University or George Mason University, marries outside of his race, or is indifferent about the racial characteristics of whom he employs?

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at http://www.creators.com.

http://walterewilliams.com/discrimination-and-prejudice/

Quotation of the day on wokeness, structural racism, and critical race theory….

Mark Perry combined a quote from Andrew Sullivan’s post, “Why Is Wokeness Winning? The astonishing and continuing success of left illiberalism“ and combined it with a graph which drives the point home further. Here is Mark’s post in its entirety:

The second reason for the triumph of Critical Race Theory (CRT) is that it’s super-easy. Social [and income] inequalities are extremely complicated things. A huge variety of factors may be in play: class, family structure, education, neighborhood, sex, biology, genetics and culture are some of them (see chart above). Untangling this empirically in order to figure out what might actually work to improve things is hard work. But when you can simply dismiss all of these factors and cite “structural racism” as the only reason for any racial inequality, and also cover yourself in moral righteousness, you’re home-free. Those who raise objections or complications or cite nuances can be dismissed by the same easy method.

Then there’s the deep relationship between CRT and one of the most powerful human drives: tribalism. What antiracism brilliantly does is adopt all the instincts of racism and sexism — seeing someone and instantly judging them by the color of their skin, or sex — and drape them with a veil of virtue. You don’t have to correct yourself when your tribal psyche makes you more cognizant of someone’s visible racial differences, and pre-judges them. You don’t have to resist this any more. You can give in to your core nature, and feel pride, rather than shame. You get to have all the feels of judging people entirely by their involuntary characteristics, while actually dismantling racism and sexism! What’s not to like?

“End Racisim”

It’s a wonderful sentiment.  But how do you end racism when we’ve reduced racism to an opinion? Racism was not an opinion when Dr. Martin Luther King and his generation fought discriminatory laws, laws that denied access. 

Racism is now an opinion. People have the opinion that Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck because of racism. Incompetence is a more likely explanation. People have the opinion that racism explains why Breonna Taylor was shot. Her boyfriend shooting a policeman is a more likely explanation. 

Any negative interaction between black and white people is defined as racism when the black person is the victim. When a white person is the victim, it’s not racism. Or if a white liberal does something racist, it’s not racism. It’s just an honest mistake. 

How can you end a one-sided opinion?

Throughout history, when people have engaged with each other, there have been negative encounters. As long as there are negative encounters, the race baiters will always have a chance to define them as racist. 

It’s like COVID deaths. If you want to blame every death on COVID, you can find a coroner or doctor willing to list the cause as COVID. There’s money to be made blaming COVID. 

Jason Whitlock, https://www.outkick.com/whitlock-nfl-truths-trio-of-quarterbacks-are-fading-fast/?utm_source=aimtell&utm_medium=push&utm_campaign=campaign-2493

“Systemic Racism”

“Systemic racism” is an assertion made reflexively by Democrats that is never accompanied by evidence. For good reason. Systemic racism has been outlawed in America since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If there were actual instances of systemic racism in 2020, there would be lawsuits – plenty of them. Even making the racist assumption, which the Identity Politics crowd does make, that all white people are white supremacists by dint of their skin color, there are tens of thousands of black lawyers, prosecutors, district attorneys, attorneys general, and elected officials who would be filing lawsuits over a practice that is illegal. You never hear of massive lawsuits over systemic racism, because “systemic racism” is a myth. The myth lives because it is an indispensable weapon wielded by Democrats to advance their anti-democratic agendas and quests for power.

David Horowitz, https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/11/fighting-words-by-david-horowitz.php