It's Getting Harder and Harder to Distinguish Satire from Earnest Wokeness

If you've seen the Smithsonian American History Museum's "white culture" graphic, you know what I mean.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

I've reprinted it below, in all it's glory. After widespread ridicule, the Museum has apparently disowned the graphic, but likely not the ideology behind it. To add a perhaps superfluous comment, the notion that the U.S., spread across thousands of miles with multiple ethnic and religious groups and subgroups, has a single "white culture" should strike anyone with even a slight acquaintance with anthropology or sociology as inherently ridiculous. Which is not to take away from the ridiculousness of how that white culture is described.


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  1. The characteristics listed on the poster have nothing to do with being white, and everything to do with being successful in a free country. Those who embrace them succeed, regardless of race. Those who do not, get what they deserve for being idiots. Suck it up!

  2. I’m sorry…but was this Smithsonian stuff Mad Magazine material? If not, it should be. Can’t believe this s**t. /smh

  3. It’s Getting Harder and Harder to Distinguish Satire from Earnest Wokeness

    In the new age of attention whoring, it’s a distinction without a difference.

    1. “We live in a post-joke world.”

      1. Poe’s Law becomes more true every day, it seems.

  4. Satire is white privilege you evil fascist genocidealist.

    1. Your brain is vomiting again.

      1. Poe’s law on that one.

  5. FYI, most liberals are as offended by this as you are.

    Oddly, the chart is accurate and comprehensive in one sense: it shows how racist whites view themselves, in contradistinction to people with dark skin.

    1. I’ll retire when someone writes how people of color don’t rely on rugged individualism because they are waiting for communal benefits from politicians. Or something. Anything.

      Same for most of the other points.

    2. Oddly, the chart is accurate and comprehensive in one sense: it shows how racist whites view themselves, in contradistinction to people with dark skin.

      No, actually it is a far better indicator of the strawman built by progressives about what other folks must think in order to rationalize a cognitively dissonant worldview.

      1. The White Supremacists are calling from inside the house.

        1. One day they’ll realize that their pussyhat has always really been a Klan hood.

    3. How do you know what “most liberals” think? I would think that august institutions staffed by people with recognizable credentials, like the Smithsonian, would be more representative than random anonymous internet commenters.

      1. How do you know what “most liberals” think?

        I have a poster. It’s all set out on there.

    4. That’s not surprising, since the “woke” crowd are leftist, NOT liberal.

  6. The graphic is copyright 1990, not exactly a breaking new development.

    1. The date it graphic was generated is not relevant. It was recently posted on a Smithsonian Institution’s website and removed because it was racists. So yes it is current even if the racist propaganda was generated two decades ago.

      1. 2020 – 1990 = 30 years = 3 decades

        1. Wow! You passed arithmetic.

          1. That’s so white of him.

            1. You forgot to capitalize White.

            2. Some whites respect arithmetic. Some whites disdain science, prefer Tea Party spelling, and use random capitalization to signal solidarity with elite-rejecting, disaffected, backwater America.

              Different strokes.

              Also, different levels of satisfaction as America progresses.

              1. Some whites pose as phony clergy on the internet.

        2. 2020 – 1990 = 30 years = 3 decades

          It’s a pity that your reading comprehension is not as strong as your 2nd grade math skills.

    2. PCU came out in 1994. This is cultural Groundhog Day, we’ll relive this over, and over again.

      There’s a great Simpsons episode “Last Exit to Springfield” in which Mr. Burns has a flashback to when he was a kid, watching his Grandfather mistreat workers. A boy threatens: “You can’t treat the working man this way. One day we’ll form a union and get the fair and equitable treatment we deserve. Then we’ll go too far, and get corrupt and shiftless and the Japanese will eat us alive!” All movements are like this.

      1. I recall an old episode, coincidentally where Lisa is talking to Apu, vegetarian brothers they are. She laments to him, “When will people realize eating animals is wrong, and you should only eat vegetables, eggs, and cheese?”

        Apu says he doesn’t eat eggs. Lisa gets all panicky, “OH NO! You must think I’m some kind of horrible monster!”

        The follow up is also lost on the left. Apu: “Yes I do! But [we also have learned to live and let live].”

        1. The left has some blind spots, but the good news is that so long as the right clings to bigotry, ignorance, dogma, and backwardness the American mainstream has little reason for existential concern.

          1. “The left has some blind spots”

            Being unwilling/unable to differentiate between men and women is a “blind spot”? Or failing to recognize that a fetus her with unique DNA is her own individual person? Or asserting that racism causes cancer*? Might wanna sit this one out, Rev.

            *”Whereas, a multitude of studies connect racism to inequitable health outcomes for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), including cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high infant and maternal mortality rates demonstrating that racism is the root cause ofsocial determinants of health” –

            1. racism is the root cause

              Now that’s some good, old fashioned reification.

          2. Was hoping you were on vacation or had fallen into the Potomac and been eaten by snakeheads.

        2. Lisa the Vegetarian. One of the best episodes of all time. Sure Lisa, a magic animal.

    3. The source of the information is a book from 1990. The graphic itself is new.

    4. Well, no, the graphic is much more recent. It claims to be based on data from a paper published in 1990. The paper doesn’t even show up in Google Scholar so I’m guessing it’s not very influential. Can’t find it in any other citation index either. And regardless, the paper’s title includes “… Assumptions …” making me strongly suspect that the graphic does not accurately reflect even that paper’s actual findings.

      1. You’re misreading ‘assumptions’. These are assumptions ‘made by whiteness’. Ie, that it’s problematic we expect these things.

    5. This is how the WaPo reported the story on July 17, 2020: “The National Museum of African American History and Culture removed a graphic that attempted to describe “aspects and assumptions about white culture” from its website Thursday after criticism from conservatives that it was racist.”

      Note that there is no hint of criticism whatsoever. The story must just as well as have been reported as “those darn racist conservatives complained and that’s why we can’t have woke things any longer.” The same reporter had written the story on the larger project a month and a half earlier on June 1, when (we can assume) she saw the same poster and thought nothing of it.

      1. “after criticism from conservatives”

        Its never the thing, its the rights reaction to the thing.

        “Conservatives pounce” basically.

    6. Well spotted. The thing that jumps out at me is that the first graphic looks like a Black man in a wrestling onesie holding half a barbell. Puzzling.

      1. “Here’a a graphic of white culture.”

        “Must be diverse. Put in a picture of a black guy.”

        “That doesn’t make sense in this context, especially if the context is criticism.”

        “SHUT UP!”

        “If that’s a sledge hammer, is it suggesting John Henry?”


  7. the notion that the U.S., spread across thousands of miles with multiple ethnic and religious groups and subgroups, has a single “white culture” should strike anyone with even a slight acquaintance with anthropology or sociology as inherently ridiculous.

    I agree totally with this, but let’s not by any means overlook the fact that this notion of “white culture,” with many of the listed characteristics, is quite popular with a lot of right-wingers – the types who like to go on about “real Americans” and so on.

    So let’s spread the ridicule around a bit, shall we?

    1. Sure, it’s popular with us: We don’t want to be losers. Most of the things listed are just how not to end up a loser; I’m surprised “Regularly brush your teeth” didn’t make the list.

      I mean, some of this stuff is just stupid stereotypes, like “Bland is best”. Right, that’s why I have a bottle of hot sauce at my desk, because I like bland food. And my ancestors, who came here during the potato famine, really loved that British empire! But most of it is just a well established recipe for not ending up poor and ignorant, successful blacks, too, plan for the future, are polite, and value rationality.

      This is just the latest incarnation of “ebonics”, really; Trying to excuse the self destructive habits of poor people, black and white, as a respectable alternate culture.

      1. Most of the things listed are just how not to end up a loser;

        Some are, but whether you agree with the sentiment or not, there are plenty who think that those particular aspects are inherent to whites, or northern Europeans or whatever.

        My point is simply that if Bernstein wants to ridicule those who define a “white culture,” especially this way, and we do hear that around here sometimes, then he shouldn’t restrict himself to those on the left who do so.

        I mean, what’s all that grumbling your about how come “white history” isn’t taught?

        1. But, what we mean by “white history” not being taught, is that some educational institutions are deliberately going out of their way to avoid teaching history involving whites. I mean, look at that art director who got fired, not because he said he wouldn’t buy paintings by non-whites, but because he said he wouldn’t stop buying paintings by whites!

          Inclusion is not the same thing as just changing who is excluded.

          1. “Inclusion is not the same thing as just changing who is excluded.”

            Not to you, but to a certain segment of woke leftist including many journalists, its all about punishing whites in revenge to real and imagined prior slights.

          2. Oh well. One art director. I wasn’t aware his supervisors controlled the US educational system.

            Most of the history taught in schools is “white history,” in that it deals with what white people did. It’s not being suppressed. Now it is true that the dishonest parts – about the glory of the Confederacy and so on – are having a hard time, but surely it’s good to try to stop teaching clearcut lies.

            1. We “Whites” call that sort of thing an “example”.

            2. Agreed. And the axioms of intersectionality are all clearcut lies.

        2. there are plenty who think that those particular aspects are inherent to whites, or northern Europeans or whatever

          Define “inherent” and “plenty.”

          1. Get a dictionary.

            1. I think he means as it relates to this conversation. Specifically.

        3. I associate most of those traits as more with Asians than Whites.

          I should be worried about accusations of racism because I’m not associating them with Blacks too, but the Smithsonian has my back. Besides I actually most strongly associate those traits with successful professionals and entrepreneurs regardless of race, it’s just that a higher percentage of Asians I know are successful compared to both Whites and Blacks, and their lack of adequate representation in homeless populations supports that.

        4. “whether you agree with the sentiment or not, there are plenty who think that those particular aspects are inherent to whites”

          Yes; namely, white supremacists and the “woke” Left.

        5. there are plenty who think that those particular aspects are inherent to whites

          Yeah, the ones who actually did the study in 1990, and put the poster together (whenever that was).

      2. But most of it is just a well established recipe for not ending up poor and ignorant, successful blacks, too, plan for the future, are polite, and value rationality.

        OK. But then put yourself in the position of just such a black who sees this graphic. Here he is, having done all those things that made him successful. Worked hard, stayed out of trouble, planned for the future, got an education, etc.

        And now someone is telling him that this is all “white culture,” that it has nothing to do with blacks, because they don’t have those attitudes. Gee, I can imagine him getting a little pissed, and feeling like the graphic was racist.

        Is that really incomprehensibly foolish? I mean you yourself say the information is wrong.

        1. Yes, I can certainly see why he’d think the graphic was racist. *I* think it’s racist. Most of that isn’t “white” culture, it’s “not a loser” culture. With a few stupid things thrown in for flavor, like bland food.

          But who’s saying that is “white culture”? It’s not David Duke, it’s some moron at the Smithsonian.

    2. Indeed bernard, point well taken.
      I don’t know if you watch any “black” tv programming. Many are rather gross racial stereotyping. I am surprised that most American blacks don’t find them offensive. I’d be interested to learn what recent African immigrants think of them.

        1. If that weren’t put together by black people, there would be calls for the head of the person who did put it together.

    3. The infographic is racist, in that it implies that other races are incapable of say, logical scientific thinking.

      However, in reference to Nico’s comment and the black desire to “keep it real”, unlike other groups, black Americans have not integrated to the dominant American culture, which (for now) is white and does represent aspects of that infographic. This would explain “The Persisting Subordinate Position of Blacks in the United States” according to black economist Glenn Loury (who also points out that American blacks are still the richest and most powerful and influential population of African descent on the planet).

      My high school civics teacher way back in the 1990s said it was because they didn’t intermarry, like the Irish or Italians. But that’s only part of it.

      1. unlike other groups, black Americans have not integrated to the dominant American culture,

        Wonder why not?

        1. That was Booker T. Washington’s goal as explained in his book Up From Slavery and in the famous Atlanta address. But certain riots made him question the possibility that white America wouldn’t allow it. WEB DeBois and others who disagreed said it was white America’s job to adapt to blacks.

          Historically, by the time white America was willing to allow Booker T’s version of integration, the DeBois viewpoint became dominant and that’s where we are today.

          1. Jesus.
            This take from 1950.

            You’re mixing up integration with assimilation. MLK wrote a letter that more or less destroyed that idea.

          2. You took my question seriously?

            certain riots made [Washington] question the possibility that white America wouldn’t allow it.

            What riots? Do you mean he started to think whites wouldn’t allow it? Without arguing about conditions today that was clearly true for many decades, centuries even, including a big chunk of my lifetime.

            And whites certainly do need to “adapt to blacks” if that means accepting them as people with equal rights.

            1. I am not taking Sarcastro seriously, he has no idea of the thought history behind this, and it’s from black intellectuals themselves.

              Benard: In short, Booker T saw the degraded state of a race kept ignorant and uneducated from centuries of slavery, and his goal was to make to economically assimilate black America, and this would happen through the cultural values of blacks emulating whites. His “cast down your bucket where you are” speech was to point out to white America to stop bringing in white immigrants to diminish down black economic power. That wildly popular speech, in 1895 in Atlanta showed a way ahead and was one white America mostly accepted.

              But the 1906 Atlanta race riot (in particular), where whites destroyed the economically successful black neighborhood, with the whites by most accounts doing so out of the same jealousy that we see blacks looting a Target today, cast a serious shadow over the possibility of Booker T’s vision of assimilation and integration.

              1. But it’s still the only real way forward.

                1. Oh I agree. It’s sad, really. The Gen X crowd, born past segregation, and inculcated since birth with race neutral teaching, who made heroes or millionaires of black stars of all sorts (sports, music, actors, etc.) were ready to move to as close to MLK’s public appeal as a diverse society could ever get.

                  But after MLK, and even MLK’s later writings, moved onto reparations and a demands for special treatment and set asides. By the time of the Great Awokening, the dominant black intellectual thinking isn’t that blacks assimilate to the dominant culture, but that the dominant culture needs to be torn down.

                  1. It was impatience. Previously disadvantaged groups had taken generations to win their way to social and economic equity after getting legal equality, MLK wanted to see it much, much quicker. He wasn’t getting any younger, and didn’t want to emulate Moses, dying before the promised land was reached.

                    But there is no quicker road, social and especially economic equality are gained and anchored by the very cultural changes produced by the work to win them. Like thinking you can get pumped up without putting in hard hours in the gym. You can’t raise people from poverty in a durable way by giving them things.

                    And worse, the measures he promoted to try to artificially accelerate that progress actually compromised the legal equality themselves, by demanding racially discriminatory actions.

                    1. I cannot really disagree with anything you say in that last comment. And I won’t add anything to it to detract.

                    2. We were ON a quicker road, until LBJ brought it to a screeching halt by creating the Great Society welfare state. Thomas Sowell has studied this and has video still up at Youtube explaining how this destroyed the motivation of many blacks to make something of themselves. Repeal those programs and they’ll be better off.

              2. LOL, my high school drilled Garvey and Booker T and DeBois and King into us. I have not stopped learning since then.

                Your narrative is spot on the 1950s northern racist take on blacks.
                MLK said of this: I began thinking about the fact that I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self respect and a sense of “somebodiness” that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses.

                Plus, of course, your original statement that blacks have not integrated into America is itself racist as all hell. Which is what bernard11’s question was getting at.

                1. LOL indeed, that you think one MLK letter “demolished” centuries of philosophical back and forth between leading lights in the black community. MLK is just one star amongst the heavens, albeit a bright one. In particular, he’s a favorite of whites as he’s so non-threatening. In fact, he’s the Will Smith of this issue.

                  Blacks have not assimilated, but they’ve integrated. Do you understand the difference?

                  1. Yeah, I think it did. You don’t see a lot of black leaders citing Booker T. these days.

                    Still plenty of white folks doing so though!

                    1. That time Booker T. Washington invited eugenicists to Tuskegee to prove black people weren’t inferior.


                    2. Demolished? Naw, in your subjective opinion. MLK was just a single part of a trend that started with DeBois before him, really riding a wave rather than creating it. Booker T’s vision had been overshadowed long before MLK. Thanks for proving my point that you think that way.

                      Actually, more whites are citing F. Douglas these days, about letting the black man stand on his own. heh. Poor Booker T. is almost forgotten.

                    3. Again, your linked article (Buzzfeed, really?) and that you’re even linking to it shows your knowledge in this area is a mile wide, but an inch deep. MLK’s typology was myopic. It ignored the wider debate going on amongst whites and black on this subject, and shoehorns the solution upon whites only.

                    4. MLK and Malcom X in the 1960s changed the course of blacks’ seeking civil rights and were quickly remarkably successful.

                      Whites have mostly come around that MLK’s approach was pretty legit and has been validated by history.

                      You’re pushing a retrograde view of both the goals and methods of civil rights.

                      Keep saying you’re smarter than me. Very convincing.

    4. but let’s not by any means overlook the fact that this notion of “white culture,” with many of the listed characteristics, is quite popular with a lot of right-wingers – the types who like to go on about “real Americans” and so on.

      What deserves the most ridicule is idiot comments like the one above. It’s not the right that has declared any of those things to be attributes particular to “white culture” (whatever the hell that even is). It’s you and the clowns on your side of the aisle who are too dim-witted to recognize your own hypocrisy.

  8. “The chart came from a 1978 book, ‘White Awareness: Handbook for Anti-Racism Training’ by Judy H. Katz, according to the museum. It lists about 50 attributes white people used to describe their culture. These attributes, it said, ‘have been normalized over time and are now considered standard practices in the United States. And since white people still hold most of the institutional power in America, we all have internalized some aspects of white culture, including people of color.’”

    Yeah, the museum could have done a better job and at least tried to use more recent material.

    1. Forgot to include the quote is from the WaPo story.

    2. 1978. So then maybe it’s not the “wokeness” that is new, but instead the satire is new.

      1. No, what’s new is that they reached the point where they’d publish this. Stupidity is always around, it’s not always embraced by the Smithsonian.

        1. They embraced it with Langley vs the Wright Bros. They’ve been parochial partisans for a long time.

        2. Ten years ago I was working for a fortune 500 company that ran an inclusion program for the technology department by the same Kaleen Jamison Consulting Group. They were talking about the same types of things like analyzing one’s own personal psychology and sociology to get along better with others.

    3. So they are blaming white people for the expectation that people show up on time?

      What point ARE they trying to make with this?

  9. Man, picking up on the latest right-wing swarm only a couple of days late!

    This is a silly sign, but I still find that the word ‘assumptions’ means that these factors are not supposed to be taken as actual facts about whiteness, but rather social perceptions of such.

    1. I still find that the word ‘assumptions’ means that these factors are not supposed to be taken as actual facts about whiteness, but rather social perceptions of such.

      I think this is wrong, but it’s hard to tell what with that typical sarcastroan limited hangout ambiguity you deploy.

      What “assumptions” means, I assert with considerable confidence, is the assumptions that are held by whities.

      Aspects of White Culture are those characteristics of White Culture that we can observe, by watching them behave.

      Assumptions of White Culture are the small rodents running round on little wheels in whitey heads – the premises or beliefs that provoke them to behave in the way they do.

      Whether the latter constitutes “social perceptions about whiteness” only Sarcastro will be able to tell us.

      1. So the sign is a factual description of assumptions whites hold about themselves collectively. In as much as it implies some white people have an overly broad sense of what white means, I suppose it’s not a good look for white people…

        But I remain confused – what is incorrect about the text, given the title?

        Like if we flipped it to be about assumptions and aspects blacks see about black culture, it’d no doubt have some offensive stuff on it, but it would still be a factual examination of the sometimes nonsense black people can believe about themselves. Again, I don’t think that’s silly or racist.

        1. So the sign is a factual description of assumptions whites hold about themselves collectively.

          Factual in the sense of the author’s assertion of the facts.

          What is incorrect ? That it asserts stuff about whiteys as if whiteys were a homogeneous group. Similar groupist assertions about black folk would be incorrect for the same reason.

          Which is not to say that all groupist comments must necessarily be nonsense. Perfectly reasonable generalisations can be made, properly hedged about by qualifiers and appeals to statistics. In this case what are offered as aspects and assumptions of whiteys circa 1990, are for the most part – if you had polled then – probably not a bad jumble of aspirations or admired attributes that a majority, or at least a healthy plurality of whiteys might have said yes to. Whether their forbears came from Sweden or Italy. But you’d have got a pretty good scores from non whiteys too.

          But you’d also have got heaping piles of dissent from lots of whiteys too. “The individual is the primary unit” ? What happend to all those folk who think nothing happens without that damn village sticking its oar in ?

          As statement of aspects and aspirations of White Culture circa 1990, it might get a B in a 9th grade project.

          But as Brett has pointed out, the aspirations and aspects listed that aren’t just silly – like bland food – are mostly a list of how not to be a loser, available to and implemented by, non losers of all races, sexes and other demographic groups imagined by those who like to view the world from a groupist perspective.

          1. Bland food is a cultural legacy of a cold climate. If it’s warm you need strong sauces and condiments to disguise the smell of meat that is past its sell by date. If you live on one of the cold damp islands that stick out into the North Atlantic – islands whence the forbears of many Americans came – you don’t need to worry so much about your meat going off.

            Of course, some cold climate cultures have developed spicy food – eg kimchi – but that’s not to disguise the taste of bad meat, it’s to take your mind off the fact that your toes are about to freeze.

          2. It’s interesting – and correct – that Brett summarised the list as containing reminders of how not to be a loser.

            But that is not quite the same as how to be a winner. Though working hard is necessary for winning, just as much as it is for not losing, winning usually involves a number of attributes that are not particularly favored under the Protestant work ethic. Like taking risks, embracing the new, borrowing, failing and trying again, thinking big, letting a few admin details take care of themselves for a bit.

            US culture – white, black or orange – has a far bigger element of this entrepreneurial spirit than is currently observable in Northern Europe. Maybe the Brits and the other ocean rovers had a bit of this when they started out around the world, but now not so much.

            So it’s interesting that the White Culture poster seems to completely ignore one element of American exceptionalism. Lots of Americans are not satisfied with not losing. They want to win, and winning involves not just hard work, but a willingness to spin the wheel. That doesn’t quite fit on the poster.

            1. You forgot — or decided not to mention — inheritance and other unearned privilege.

              1. Inheritance is unearned on the part of the receiver, certainly. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t an expression of the rights of the one bequeathing it.

                As for “privilege”, I have none. I have rights, which I think everybody should share. “Privilege” implies they could rightfully be taken away, rather than extended to those who now don’t enjoy them.

                1. Inheritance is unearned on the part of the receiver, certainly. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t an expression of the rights of the one bequeathing it.

                  One should not think of inheritance purely in terms of wealth. There are other forms of inheritance that do not pass down by virtue of parental “rights” but by the natural algorithms of life. This btw is why socialists who are serious about their work are never satisfied with equalising wealth, and always want to go for the deeper roots of inequality – the family.

                  There are a few examples of Dad’s good pot of wealth being handed down to Son, who turns it into a yuuge pot of wealth, but it’s commoner – certainly these days – for yuuge pots of wealth to be created out of thin air by people whose parents were not wealthy. Which is not to say that some family resources are irrelevant. It’s much easier to vault to billionairedom from a middle class background than from a family mired in the welfare system.

                  But inheritance of genes – contributing to intelligence, and perhaps persistence; and inheritance of behaviors and experience derived from the family are more convincing “inherited” contributors to success than money. No doubt William Lawrence Bragg was a very smart cookie, and fully deserved his half share in a Nobel Prize won at age 25. But it’s hard to believe that having as his Dad, William Henry Bragg – who won the other half of that Nobel Prize – didn’t give Young Willie a bit of a head start.

                  Sarcastro’s favorite book, The Bell Curve, references studies demonstrating that finishing up in the higher percentiles of wealth is more closely correlated with parental IQ than with parental socio-economic status. IQ and socio-economic status are obviously correlated with each other, and they are both “familial” – ie to some extent passed down from one generation to the next, whether by genetic or environmental means. But it seems that inheriting brains is a surer path to success, at least success measured in money, than inheriting money itself.

            2. No, I agree, that list doesn’t summarize how to win big, just how not to fail. Winning big takes things that are, frankly, beyond most people. Not failing? Well within the reach of better than 90% of the population.

              But the person who lacks the habits necessary to not fail, isn’t going to win big, either. Winning big builds on not failing.

          3. It asserts that white people have dumb ideas that include treating whites like a homogeneous group. Certainly some white people do – I’ve seen it argued on this very blog.

            If you’re making a generalization, one must make sure it’s cabined as a generalization, not a truth or anything that should ever be applied to individuals. When someone starts talking about racial heuristics, I know it’s gonna turn into eugenics in like 2 posts.

            I mean, I overgeneralize and think about groups that is certainly inaccurate; humans are a pattern-matching people in a patternistic world. But we are also smart enough to keep from getting carried away. So I do work not to do that, and to apologize when I do.

            The 1990s point is a great one, and does by itself make this sign as silly proceduraly as it looks substantively.

            I do not think this list should be taken as aspirational. It’s far too narrow, for all races and groups.

            1. It asserts that white people have dumb ideas that include treating whites like a homogeneous group.

              LOL! Let’s see how long it takes for the idiocy of that comment to seep in through that chunk of concrete you call a skull…assuming it ever does.

              1. You’re saying black people have dumb ideas as well? Zounds – that belongs in a museum!

                1. He’s right about the concrete. Try this, instead:

                  “It asserts that some white people have dumb ideas that include treating whites like a homogeneous group.”

                  Your version, conspicuously, treated whites like a homogeneous group… Then merely noted that you’d seen only some whites conform to that.

    2. Is one allowed to comment negatively on anyone else’s culture?
      In the realm of moral relativism, isn’t each culture of equal value, and must not be labeled as inferior?
      So the descendants of northern europeans have their unassailable culture, currently called whiteness, descendants of pre-columbian north american’s have their culture of native americanness, and so on. And as race, sex and other formerly immutable characteristics are now maleable, anyone is free to join any culture they like.

      1. I’ve not heard any liberals argue that all cultures are of equal value. That’s a strawman.

        Comment on your culture. Comment on other cultures as well. Drag those Mayans for their human sacrifice!
        But don’t think you culture is tied genetically to your race.

        1. Then you have not been paying attention.

          It is an article of faith among many on the left that no culture can be “superior” or “inferior” to another. To think otherwise or use that sort of terminology is racist, ethnocentric, or both.

          If no culture is superior to any other, then they are all by definition of equal value. They may be different, but have the same value.

          1. Nope. Strawman.

            Prove me wrong; bring a cite.

            1. How about this from the HuffnPuff:


              The title of the article is “Cultures Are Not Superior and Inferior”

            2. I did my PhD in folklore studies, which is as lefty, crunchy-granola relativistic as can be, and I can confirm that it is an article of faith there that any comparative studies that assert relative rankings are an evil, imperialist endeavor. Of course not everyone believes it, but when in a graduate seminar we read _The Seven Visions of Bill Lodge_ which describes ritual human sacrifice and self-mutilation, the professor teaching the class couldn’t even get *mild* expressions of discomfort from the students, who mouthed pabulum about “not judging”. The professor was actually kind of disgusted by the lack of response. Finally, I decided to put the turd on the table, and asked “ok, if it’s all ok, would you let you daughter date Bull Lodge?” And then all hell broke loose and other students roundly condemned me for even asking such a question. The professor, however, later thanked me, because it was the first time he’d seen some of the students face the implications of their blind adherence to a feel-good multiculturalism. A few other students later thanked me as well and told me that they hadn’t said anything earlier because of the normative assumption that you’d have to be racist to even dare question someone else’s culture.

              So Ridgeway is absolutely correct in what he says. It isn’t universal, and the smarter scholars out there don’t accept an unquestioning relativism. But a lot of left-leaning academics do and consider questioning it to be anathema. There is no faster way to be branded a leper, outcast and unclean, than to publicly dissent from that orthodoxy.

        2. In re-reading the comments, it is clear that only Sarcastro has applied the word liberal. Just a flat out fabrication on his part.

        3. I’ve not heard…

          I would imagine that having your head lodged so far up your own nether regions makes it very difficult for you to hear much of anything save for the sounds of your digestive tract.

    3. What are ‘actual facts about whiteness’, when whiteness is an academic construct of a supposedly social phenomenon? At best, whiteness is nothing more than social perception?

      1. I agree – a list of actual facts about whiteness that’s just a list of attributes would be silly, as would actual facts about blackness or any other race or group.

        You could always get meta and talk about the factual benefits being perceived as certain races/genders gets you…;-P

    4. It doesn’t say assumptions about white culture, it says assumptions of white culture, i.e., these are things that white people assume about the world, such as that if you work hard you will succeed, not things that others assume about white people.

      1. That is not how I read it. It is not a paean to the Protestant Work Ethic.

        1. You’re probably not as trained in close reading as I am. That doesn’t make you a bad person.

        2. That is not how I read it.

          Of course not…even though it quite literally says “ASPECTS & ASSUMPTIONS OF WHITE CULTURE”.

        3. You seem to read everything wrong and not know anything about this field, but it doesn’t stop you from waxing ineloquent about them. Y81’s reading is exactly what it’s saying. This is *entirely* about what the creators of the poster are asserting are the underlying operative assumptions of white culture that other cultures may not share. But how you would get anything about a “paean to the Protestant ethic” is beyond me. It’s not saying others believe this about whites or that whites should or should not believe this. On its face it isn’t even criticizing these beliefs, but simply saying that mainstream white culture accepts these things as norms of behavior and belief. I do think there is an implied criticism here, but nothing in this is a paean to anything and your reading is simply not supported by the poster itself.

  10. S-0,
    “Man, picking up on the latest right-wing swarm only a couple of days late!”
    I am not sure what you’re getting at with that comment. Those who have eliminated WaPo from their reading would not have heard of this.

    1. It was on my talk radio (WAMU) on Monday morning.
      I also heard about it on twitter on Monday afternoon.

      It was also in the Times on Monday.

      It made NPR during my shower yesterday morning.

      My main point is that what’s happening here is partisan advocacy, not analysis.

      1. If there is partisanship here, it’s being a partisan of reason against gross stupidity.

        1. I didn’t follow the trajectory of the controversy to know who loudly criticized and why, but if the critics were predominately right-wing, so much worse for the left. Personally, I heard about it from a Matt Taibi column.

          1. but if the critics were predominately right-wing, so much worse for the left.

            Well, captcrisis assures us that ” most liberals are as offended by this as you are”, so surely there must be plenty of examples of the left voicing their having taken offense at it….right?

      2. S-0
        I agree that almost all comments reflect a gross partisanship: a kind of flashing of knives before a street fight. Or if you’d prefer a more gentle image, unzipping before a pissing match.

        1. I’d amplify that pissing matches generally inspiring ever more piss. The level “urea-toxicity” is why I finally unsubscribed from WaPo and only comment here occasionally.

          One other point, I suggest detoxing from all news for a week or two. Your blood pressure will go down and you’ll see the world through less yellow-tinted lenses.

        2. I dunno about a week, but I’ve had days when comments got me angry rather than bemused and I closed the window and started looking up reviews of Star Trek episodes or something instead.

          Too much of anything gets toxic over time, no doubt.

          1. Do try a week.
            I can tell you from experience plus daily measurements that your blood pressure will improve.

          2. Too much of anything gets toxic over time

            Your non-stop hypocrisy and dishonesty, for instance. Both have extremely low R50 values.

            1. Wuz, maybe stop with the empty name-calling.

  11. Left Arm: NMAAHC

    Right Arm: White Supremacists

    Clasp: Many positive attributes are inherently white

    You know the meme.

  12. Gonna bring in this post from Squirreloid since it’s on topic and presents a take I don’t think has shown up yet:

    …[Sarcastr0] You’re not used to reading the kind of literature this graphic is referencing, are you.

    In short: these are the things *whiteness assumes*, according to the author(s). To the extent they’re ‘not necessarily true’ of people, they’re ‘problematic’. (Particularly, I’m certain the authors would say that non-white people end up being ‘unfairly discriminated against’ for failing to live up to these assumptions). In short, it’s an attack on any society having any values whatsoever, because those are ‘unreasonable’ assumptions.

    What’s not necessarily true here isn’t what you seem to think it is – ie, the authors are asserting that being logical (or on time, or whatever) is not a virtue, but the expectation (or ‘assumption’) of those things is systemic oppression by whiteness.

  13. From the Smithsonian’s web site, an offered resource:
    “Four Ways White People Can Process Their Emotions Without Bringing the White Tears”

    Would this work for woke people if written as:
    “Four Ways Black People Can Process Their Emotions Without Bringing the Black Tears” or perhaps “Four Ways Red People Can Process Their Emotions Without Bringing the Red Tears”
    Yeah, I didn’t think so.

    1. I’ve heard the black one about processing the emotions stemming from being black in a white space.

  14. I really can’t decide who’s more intellectually crippled. People who advocate that this representative of all/most cultures of White people or people who will inevitably read this as attributes exclusive to White people or in contrast to non-White people.

    1. I mean, it’s pretty clearly neither of those things, right?

      I believe I heard some black people found it offensive, which does not make me understand any better.

      1. I’m hoping said black people found it offensive because they didn’t find attributes like timeliness or hard work or logical thought as things which made them ‘less black’, or whatever. But my optimism is often disappointed.

        1. A lot of the “cultural” points made in this publication are also the ones that are made by white separatists (i.e. “white culture” is incompatible with “other cultures” type argument.)

  15. Yeah this was a real gem of a publication. It is based off of actual beliefs. The kind of stuff they teach in critical theory in colleges.

    I’ve had more than one professor tell me the concept of “being on time” originated out of southern slave culture. Or that property rights were just code for “laws protecting white people.” Or that diverse communities believe in different types of “justice.”

    So as much as this would make a quality Onion piece (back when the Onion did cutting edge humor) it is actually based upon real theory published and taught by the people AK will call our “betters” in higher education.

    1. Being on time comes from southern slave culture? And here I thought that the broad importance of time keeping came from industrial revolution England’s development of shift work and timing bells. That’s been explored for a long time and much of the emphasis on time keeping does arise first in industrial settings.

      Asserting it arose from Southern slave culture is a special kind of stupidity.

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