31 December, 2014

race “science” and shoulds | Fredrik deBoer

race “science” and shoulds | Fredrik deBoer:

The response that I both respect the most, and which discourages me
the most, is this one: black people should not have to debate their
intellectual equality. And indeed, it’s true. They shouldn’t have to.
But I don’t know what that “should” means. I don’t know what it refers
to. I don’t know what valence it has. What does should have to do with
anything? Eric Garner should be alive. Chelsea Manning should be free.
The poor should be clothed and fed. Racism should be over. Of course
black people shouldn’t have to debate their intellectual equality, and
it’s nice that in progressive environs, they largely don’t have to. But
America writ large does not operate by the social norms of lefty
Twitter, and the effects of the presumption of black stupidity are
pernicious and destructive, and so that should has no meaning, to me.
Lots of things should be, and aren’t, and so you are forced to deal with
the world as it is.

The word “should” is the worst thing that ever happened to the left.
“Should” has become a virus in the contemporary left, a word that is
more effective at defeating left-wing resistance than any right-wing
argument ever could be. It seems like every day I read fellow leftists
telling me what they should and shouldn’t have to do, rather than what
they are compelled by injustice to do.