The pitfall of standard anti-racism is its simplistic attribution of all such disparities to systemic racism or racist policy. Simplistic analysis suggests simplistic solutions, some of which may be detrimental to black people. Heterodox thinkers challenge simple diagnoses and solutions, steering us toward constructive endeavor to achieve genuine progress.
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In order to win the undergraduates once more, the humanities have a clear course to follow. They must abandon identity politics, which only produce a tense and humorless classroom. More deeply, they must insist upon the old appeals to genius, greatness, masterpieces, beauty, and sublimity.
The opinion editor of Newsweek should be commended for striving to publish a diversity of views at the site, but its editor-in-chief committed journalistic malpractice by taking down an essay already published in order to reschedule it when it could be “balanced” by a view less challenging to the site’s readers.
Flannery O’Connor drew on her understanding of the evil within her in composing her brilliant fiction. Far from being the simple racist that recent attacks have made her out to be, she authored some of the most probing accounts of the psychology of racism in American literature.
The emerging discussion about in vitro gametogenesis and other types of multi-parent technologies demands renewed attention to why children do well with only two parents, and why those parents do best to procreate in the ordinary way, even with all its inefficiencies, burdens, and failures.
To have any chance of seriously mitigating common misperceptions of religious freedom, Evangelicals must publicly demonstrate a sincere commitment to religious pluralism and its necessary counterpart, religious literacy.
“Post-revolutionary men and women are living in ways that are profoundly unnatural for the ineradicably social creatures that we are; and many are suffering as a result, at times without even knowing the name of what ails them. This preoccupation, and the desire to do something about it, continues to shape my work.”
Public Discourse offers social conservatives precisely the type of forum that the particular challenges of our time demand. In the face of countless challenges to our familiar assumptions about politics, law, and economics, we need an honest and robust conversation among people who share the same basic moral commitments but defend widely different policies on the basis of those commitments.
Many on both the left and the right tend to speak of systemic racism simply as a 0/1 state: either the system is fundamentally and inextricably racist or it is not racist at all. But recognizing distinct mechanisms at play in a racialized system should help us see systemic racial bias as a matter of degrees—as something that can improve or worsen over time. Indeed, research suggests that racial disparities have been declining over time, though there is no guarantee of inevitable progress, and our present situation makes it clear that we still have a long way to go.
Sin corrupts every institution and every system because, one way or another, sinful human beings are involved. This means that laws, policies, habits, and customs are also corrupted by sin. We are called to do everything within our power to expunge sin from the structures of our society. Christians know that the justice of God demands that we do so. At the same time, we cannot accept that the structural manifestations of sin are the heart of the problem. No, the heart of the problem is found in the sinfulness of the individual human heart.
Christians are called not only to pray but also to act for justice, because faith without works is dead. Today, we are called to give new birth to the civil rights movement, to finally fulfill the promise of the American civil rights project for which so many fought and died.
Police killing is not the work of vigilant warriors defending society at great personal cost, and sometimes going too far. It is the day-in, day-out petty tyranny of a taxpayer-funded bureaucratic lobby group. The difference is that, unlike other public sector unions, police unions have military-grade equipment they can use to violently crush protests against their abuses, and they are legally immune from most consequences. They’re teachers’ unions, but with tanks and endless get-out-of-jail-free cards.
“Black lives matter,” taken as a sentence, is profoundly true. God made every human being in his image, which means every life on the planet, at every stage, matters. Yet that sentence is understood, nearly universally, as expressing approval of a movement rooted in critical race theory, which is grounded in destructive Marxist ideology.
Liberal justifications of liberal education are no longer effective. Teachers of humanities need a different way of defending the value of what we do and love. The Renaissance can teach us how to make a case for the study of old books that is compatible with the values of a pluralist society.
Fifty years from now, no one will care about May’s job numbers or the rocket launch. But they will remember whether—in the face of 400 years of pain and oppression—the president of the United States took decisive and bold action to heal this nation of its racist past and present through a particular and sustained national effort.
The fact is, many in positions of power and influence are oblivious or unaware of the unique challenges disproportionately facing African American communities across this country. We must now acknowledge these challenges and address these disparities that they create. The only way forward is to treat each other with the empathy and respect required of a people who have decided to share a nation—and a future.
As a nation, all citizens, regardless of color, need to respond to the persistent threat of institutional racism and persistent police brutality as if their own person was at stake. We must act to preserve life and the common good as quickly as if we were trying to preserve our own property from looting.
Accommodation and half measures—the stuff of everyday political life—will not do when we encounter the politics of mastery and subjugation. Aristotle’s “partnership of free persons” demands more.
John Ford’s America is a good deal like Ford himself—loud, brawling, and hard-charging. Ford’s Americans are also honorable, self-sacrificing, and faithful to their promises. That’s not the whole truth about America, not by a long shot. But it’s true enough that in John Ford’s films, we will forever see something of ourselves.
Integralism delivers a more realistic view of how states actually function—including states that are secular—than do models currently dominant in political and legal philosophy.
The leaked draft executive order “Make Federal Buildings Beautiful Again,” is not perfect, and it could easily be amended for the better. Still, a careful reading should not bring to mind visions of gulags. It has also given traditional and classical architects an unforeseen and unasked opportunity to promote their cause in a public forum.
The phrase “achievement gap” refers to the well-documented discrepancies between the scholastic achievements of African American and Latinos on the one hand and white students on the other. What explains the gap? My meta-analysis revealed that if an African American or Latino student was a person of faith and came from a two biological parent family, the achievement gap totally disappeared, even when adjusting for socioeconomic status.
The 1619 Project’s goal is not just reframing American history on ideological grounds, but reframing the philosophy of history itself. This in turn harms our ability to learn from history and understand our identity as Americans.
If you really must attack other conservatives, take the time to figure out what they actually said and why, and interpret them charitably, the way you would wish to be interpreted. You owe this even to your enemies, but other conservatives are not your enemies but your friends. After that, have some definite arguments.
“Virtue politics” is modeled on the phrase “virtue ethics,” an approach to moral philosophy inspired by Aristotle and elaborated by the British philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe. “Virtue politics” describes the central concerns of Renaissance political philosophy. Like the ancient Greeks, the Renaissance humanists had a richer understanding of what the state has to do in order to encourage virtue.