A Letter Smuggled Out From The Berkeley Gulag

I present the following letter as I found it. I cannot verify its authenticity. However, it was also sent directly by the author to two people I follow online, Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly. I believe it is genuine.

Regardless of authorship, I can absolutely verify its veracity. Read to the end.

Best to all,

w.

are colleges too liberal?


UC Berkeley History Professor’s Open Letter Against BLM, Police Brutality and Cultural Orthodoxy

Dear Profs X, Y

I am one of your colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. I have met you both personally but do not know you closely, and am contacting you anonymously, with apologies. I am worried that writing this email publicly might lead to me losing my job, and likely all future jobs in my field.

In your recent departmental emails you mentioned our pledge to diversity, but I am increasingly alarmed by the absence of diversity of opinion on the topic of the recent protests and our community response to them.

In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system.

The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions.

Many cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly. These people are not racists or ‘Uncle Toms’. They are intelligent scholars who reject a narrative that strips black people of agency and systematically externalizes the problems of the black community onto outsiders.

Their view is entirely absent from the departmental and UCB-wide communiques.

The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians. Instead, it is being treated as an axiomatic and actionable truth without serious consideration of its profound flaws, or its worrying implication of total black impotence.

This hypothesis is transforming our institution and our culture, without any space for dissent outside of a tightly policed, narrow discourse.

A counternarrative exists.

Overwhelmingly, the reasoning provided by BLM and allies is either primarily anecdotal (as in the case with the bulk of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ undeniably moving article) or it is transparently motivated. As an example of the latter problem, consider the proportion of black incarcerated Americans. This proportion is often used to characterize the criminal justice system as anti-black. However, if we use the precise same methodology, we would have to conclude that the criminal justice system is even more anti-male than it is anti-black.

Would we characterize criminal justice as a systemically misandrist conspiracy against innocent American men? I hope you see that this type of reasoning is flawed, and requires a significant suspension of our rational faculties. Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates than their involvement in violent crime would predict. This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries. And yet, I see my department uncritically reproducing a narrative that diminishes black agency in favor of a white-centric explanation that appeals to the department’s apparent desire to shoulder the ‘white man’s burden’ and to promote a narrative of white guilt.

If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans? This is a funny sort of white supremacy. Even Jewish Americans are incarcerated less than gentile whites. I think it’s fair to say that your average white supremacist disapproves of Jews. And yet, these alleged white supremacists incarcerate gentiles at vastly higher rates than Jews. None of this is addressed in your literature. None of this is explained, beyond hand-waving and ad hominems. “Those are racist dogwhistles”. “The model minority myth is white supremacist”. “Only fascists talk about black-on-black crime”, ad nauseam. These types of statements do not amount to counterarguments: they are simply arbitrary offensive classifications, intended to silence and oppress discourse.

Any serious historian will recognize these for the silencing orthodoxy tactics they are, common to suppressive regimes, doctrines, and religions throughout time and space. They are intended to crush real diversity and permanently exile the culture of robust criticism from our department.

Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM’s problematic view of history, and the department is being presented as unified on the matter. In particular, ethnic minorities are being aggressively marshaled into a single position. Any apparent unity is surely a function of the fact that dissent could almost certainly lead to expulsion or cancellation for those of us in a precarious position, which is no small number.

I personally don’t dare speak out against the BLM narrative, and with this barrage of alleged unity being mass-produced by the administration, tenured professoriat, the UC administration, corporate America, and the media, the punishment for dissent is a clear danger at a time of widespread economic vulnerability. I am certain that if my name were attached to this email, I would lose my job and all future jobs, even though I believe in and can justify every word I type.
The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people. There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution.

Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is.

No discussion is permitted for nonblack victims of black violence, who proportionally outnumber black victims of nonblack violence. This is especially bitter in the Bay Area, where Asian victimization by black assailants has reached epidemic proportions, to the point that the SF police chief has advised Asians to stop hanging good-luck charms on their doors, as this attracts the attention of (overwhelmingly black) home invaders.

Home invaders like George Floyd. For this actual, lived, physically experienced reality of violence in the USA, there are no marches, no tearful emails from departmental heads, no support from McDonald’s and Wal-Mart.

For the History department, our silence is not a mere abrogation of our duty to shed light on the truth: it is a rejection of it.

The claim that black intraracial violence is the product of redlining, slavery, and other injustices is a largely historical claim. It is for historians, therefore, to explain why Japanese internment or the massacre of European Jewry hasn’t led to equivalent rates of dysfunction and low SES performance among Japanese and Jewish Americans respectively. Arab Americans have been viciously demonized since 9/11, as have Chinese Americans more recently. However, both groups outperform white Americans on nearly all SES indices – as do Nigerian Americans, who incidentally have black skin. It is for historians to point out and discuss these anomalies.

However, no real discussion is possible in the current climate at our department. The explanation is provided to us, disagreement with it is racist, and the job of historians is to further explore additional ways in which the explanation is additionally correct. This is a mockery of the historical profession.

Most troublingly, our department appears to have been entirely captured by the interests of the Democratic National Convention, and the Democratic Party more broadly. To explain what I mean, consider what happens if you choose to donate to Black Lives Matter, an organization UCB History has explicitly promoted in its recent mailers. All donations to the official BLM website are immediately redirected to ActBlue Charities, an organization primarily concerned with bankrolling election campaigns for Democrat candidates. Donating to BLM today is to indirectly donate to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign.

This is grotesque given the fact that the American cities with the worst rates of black-on-black violence and police-on-black violence are overwhelmingly Democrat-run. Minneapolis itself has been entirely in the hands of Democrats for over five decades; the ‘systemic racism’ there was built by successive Democrat administrations.

The patronizing and condescending attitudes of Democrat leaders towards the black community, exemplified by nearly every Biden statement on the black race, all but guarantee a perpetual state of misery, resentment, poverty, and the attendant grievance politics which are simultaneously annihilating American political discourse and black lives. And yet, donating to BLM is bankrolling the election campaigns of men like Mayor Frey, who saw their cities devolve into violence. This is a grotesque capture of a good-faith movement for necessary police reform, and of our department, by a political party.

Even worse, there are virtually no avenues for dissent in academic circles. I refuse to serve the Party, and so should you. The total alliance of major corporations involved in human exploitation with BLM should be a warning flag to us, and yet this damning evidence goes unnoticed, purposefully ignored, or perversely celebrated. We are the useful idiots of the wealthiest classes, carrying water for Jeff Bezos and other actual, real, modern-day slavers. Starbucks, an organisation using literal black slaves in its coffee plantation suppliers, is in favor of BLM. Sony, an organisation using cobalt mined by yet more literal black slaves, many of whom are children, is in favor of BLM. And so, apparently, are we. The absence of counter-narrative enables this obscenity. Fiat lux, indeed.

There also exists a large constituency of what can only be called ‘race hustlers’: hucksters of all colors who benefit from stoking the fires of racial conflict to secure administrative jobs, charity management positions, academic jobs and advancement, or personal political entrepreneurship.

Given the direction our history department appears to be taking far from any commitment to truth, we can regard ourselves as a formative training institution for this brand of snake-oil salespeople. Their activities are corrosive, demolishing any hope at harmonious racial coexistence in our nation and colonizing our political and institutional life. Many of their voices are unironically segregationist.

MLK would likely be called an Uncle Tom if he spoke on our campus today. We are training leaders who intend, explicitly, to destroy one of the only truly successful ethnically diverse societies in modern history.

As the PRC, an ethnonationalist and aggressively racially chauvinist national polity with null immigration and no concept of jus solis increasingly presents itself as the global political alternative to the US, I ask you: Is this wise? Are we really doing the right thing?

As a final point, our university and department has made multiple statements celebrating and eulogizing George Floyd. Floyd was a multiple felon who once held a pregnant black woman at gunpoint. He broke into her home with a gang of men and pointed a gun at her pregnant stomach. He terrorized the women in his community. He sired and abandoned multiple children, playing no part in their support or upbringing, failing one of the most basic tests of decency for a human being. He was a drug-addict and sometime drug-dealer, a swindler who preyed upon his honest and hard-working neighbors.

And yet, the regents of UC and the historians of the UCB History department are celebrating this violent criminal, elevating his name to virtual sainthood. A man who hurt women. A man who hurt black women. With the full collaboration of the UCB history department, corporate America, most mainstream media outlets, and some of the wealthiest and most privileged opinion-shaping elites of the USA, he has become a culture hero, buried in a golden casket, his (recognized) family showered with gifts and praise. Americans are being socially pressured into kneeling for this violent, abusive misogynist. A generation of black men are being coerced into identifying with George Floyd, the absolute worst specimen of our race and species. I’m ashamed of my department. I would say that I’m ashamed of both of you, but perhaps you agree with me, and are simply afraid, as I am, of the backlash of speaking the truth. It’s hard to know what kneeling means, when you have to kneel to keep your job.

It shouldn’t affect the strength of my argument above, but for the record, I write as a person of color. My family have been personally victimized by men like Floyd. We are aware of the condescending depredations of the Democrat party against our race. The humiliating assumption that we are too stupid to do STEM, that we need special help and lower requirements to get ahead in life, is richly familiar to us. I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to deal with open fascists, who at least would be straightforward in calling me a subhuman, and who are unlikely to share my race.

The ever-present soft bigotry of low expectations and the permanent claim that the solutions to the plight of my people rest exclusively on the goodwill of whites rather than on our own hard work is psychologically devastating.

No other group in America is systematically demoralized in this way by its alleged allies. A whole generation of black children are being taught that only by begging and weeping and screaming will they get handouts from guilt-ridden whites.

No message will more surely devastate their futures, especially if whites run out of guilt, or indeed if America runs out of whites. If this had been done to Japanese Americans, or Jewish Americans, or Chinese Americans, then Chinatown and Japantown would surely be no different to the roughest parts of Baltimore and East St. Louis today.

The History department of UCB is now an integral institutional promulgator of a destructive and denigrating fallacy about the black race.

I hope you appreciate the frustration behind this message. I do not support BLM

I do not support the Democrat grievance agenda and the Party’s uncontested capture of our department. I do not support the Party co-opting my race, as Biden recently did in his disturbing interview, claiming that voting Democrat and being black are isomorphic.

I condemn the manner of George Floyd’s death and join you in calling for greater police accountability and police reform. However, I will not pretend that George Floyd was anything other than a violent misogynist, a brutal man who met a predictably brutal end.
I also want to protect the practice of history. Cleo is no grovelling handmaiden to politicians and corporations. Like us, she is free. /end


 

31 thoughts on “A Letter Smuggled Out From The Berkeley Gulag

  1. “…the permanent claim that the solutions to the plight of my people rest exclusively on the goodwill of whites rather than on our own hard work is psychologically devastating.”

    Amen to that!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal … ” [The Declaration of Independence] Please act like equals.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In real estate they say the three most important things are location, location and location. For a groups success it’s culture, culture, culture. Thomas Sowell pointed out that things were improving for African Americans even with segregation until the government tried to “help” them in the 60’s. And no, segregation was wrong.

    Like

  4. > The patronizing and condescending attitudes of Democrat leaders towards the black community,

    I love it when conservative argue that black people are too stupid to know how to vote in their own best interests. With such a winning strategy, it’s a wonder why the Republican Party gets so little AA votes.

    Like

  5. There’s no racial disparity in aggravated assaults among young men. In rural areas, there is no racial disparity in homicides.

    Hmmm.

    I wonder why that is?

    Like

  6. Salute!

    @Josh
    In rural areas most folks are surrounded by other folks that exercise self reliance and base success upon hard work and ability and not color of their skin or ethnic origin. That is why.

    We see the terrible destruction of the black family versus no significant comparison with other groups because the blacks have been the focus of a certain political party since LBJ told a group of congressional folks that his party could get the black vote for a hundred years if they passed some of the civil rights bills and “great society” programs that destroyed the black family example that I grew up with in the deep south, segregation or not. Sickens me. We had no statistics as we have now, and the number of single black moms was zilch.

    So, Josh? Explain some of the stats that Williams, Sowell, Elder and other repressed blacks present.

    Gums sends…

    Like

    • Hi Gums –

      > Explain some of the stats that Williams, Sowell, Elder and other repressed blacks present.

      Don’t know that I can exactly explain it. But I do have some thoughts. The marginal cost for committing a violent crime for a young urban black mail is pretty low. Chances are that he has a fairly low standard of living and doesn’t really have much prospect of raising it. And there’s a relatively good chance that he’s going to get shot or wind up in prison at some point in his life. Maybe he’s killing someone or committing an assault because he’s preventing someone from killing or assaulting him. He lives in a violent world. He more or less expects to be involved in some kind of violent activity. The more dangerous his world, the more likely he is to engage in violence. In short, the value of life is discounted in such an environment.

      In many communities, the marginal cost of killing someone can be extremely high, and the marginal gain extremely low. In some communities, those marginal differences are smaller.

      That kind of calculus isn’t unique to communities of young men of color in the US. We see higher rates of violence in other communities communities in a parallel fashion.

      Now I happen to disagree with the author of that letter, because I happen to think that the historical context is very important for understanding why the marginal differences for an act of violence are smaller for young black men in urban environments.

      Some people think that it’s a matter of a “culture of violence.” Well, I don’t think that goes very far as an explanation. Nor do I think that merely being poor, or unemployed, or living in a high density community, or growing up in a single-parent household provide a very robust explanation, although they are predictive measures and their could well be some causality – especially when we consider the additive effect of those influences.

      But I happen to think that there is another important factor as I described, and that it would be positively absurd to argue that the 400 years of discriminatory conditions are irrelevant to that factor.

      Like

      • Salute!

        I do not believe that the U.S. treatment of blacks was the first 400 years of what we call slavery in the “civilized” world, and even in some areas not so “civilized”. So that’s a bogus factor. The U.S. did not invent slavery the day some folks landed on Plymouth rock or Chris set foot on a small island in the Bahamas.

        The dramatic change in the criminal behaviour of young blacks and the destruction of the American black family started in the late 1960’s. So what happened? Voting rights were greatly expanded and programs like affirmative action were adopted all over the place to “make up” for past discrimination. No other racial/ethnic group garnered that amount of attention in the history of the U.S.

        So what happened?

        Somebody has to explain to me what happened and why.

        Gums asks…

        Like

        • Gums –

          > I do not believe that the U.S. treatment of blacks was the first 400 years of what we call slavery in the “civilized” world, and even in some areas not so “civilized”. So that’s a bogus factor. The U.S. did not invent slavery the day some folks landed on Plymouth rock or Chris set foot on a small island in the Bahamas.

          No, the U.S. didn’t invent slavery. What does that have to do with the impact?

          > The dramatic change in the criminal behaviour of young blacks and the destruction of the American black family started in the late 1960’s

          Good data on offenders in murders doesn’t go that far back, but it likely tracks pretty well with victimization in murders, and as far back as the 1910s, blacks were 5 times more likely to be murdered than whites (it fluctuated after – as high as 10 times in the 1920s, then back down again). So I think the causality you assigned needs a more robust evidence basis. Beware narratives that fit too closely with your preferred ideogical orientation. Remember that you are the easiest person for you to fool.

          I’d suggest that assigning causality got crime rates is a complicated business, and that the likely causal mechanism is multifactorial.

          Like

          • Salute!

            “No, the U.S. didn’t invent slavery. What does that have to do with the impact?”

            Slavery and its abolition did not cause black crime to increase, decrease or stay where it was. But many activists harp on remnants of slavery as a root cause of present day problems.
            That was my point.

            It’s a fact that slavery has exited for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The folks crossing the Atlantic to get to the “colonies” brought a lotta social and religious and legal baggage. The liberals claiming that “it” all started 400 years ago here in America when “white” men brought slaves are ignorant.

            Slavery and its abolition here was 160 freaking years ago. A bitter, bloody war was fought about the slavery issue and state’s rights and less important issues. It’s over!!!

            The aftermath of the war between the states left a lotta hard feelings in the south when the reconstruction folks crammed laws and social changes down their throat. By the time I grew up, there was not a lot of resentment, but there certainly existed a general racist view of the blacks by many, including some in my own family. My own Mom and Dad were neutral. My grandparents and a few uncles were not. The blacks were not very smart, they smelled bad and were only gonna be good for hard, physical labor.

            I left home to pursue my dream of reaching the stars. or at least Mars! So in the military, we all shed the same color blood, and we were recognized by accomplishments and not race, color or anything else. We white boys from down south roomed, trained, flew and fought with black dudes from South Chicago. And you lknow what? We would even joke about all the stereotypes others thought about of all of us. My roomie was a no-kidding Cherokee and celebrated 25 June every year – it was the day that “they” won and kicked the U.S. cavalry’s ass at Little Big Horn!
            =============
            So my main point is the plethora of laws and programs and efforts since the 60’s have not resulted in an widespread feeling by the blacks that they have a level playing field, equal rights, voting rights, etc., etc. etc. The race-baiting folks that we all know continue to harp on isolated incidents to create mayhem, and somehow we have riots and businesses being burned down. God, how I miss MLK from the 60’s.

            I do not see a great resolution to our currect situation for many years.

            Gums opines…

            Like

          • Hi Gums –

            > Slavery and its abolition did not cause black crime to increase, decrease or stay where it was. But many activists harp on remnants of slavery as a root cause of present day problems.
            That was my point.

            I think that a lower value on life, in a sense, is part of what leads to greater violence in some black communities. That’s what I meant be lower marginal cost to shooting someone.

            I think that 400 years of having a lower value for black lives officially encoded in law in a society explains why such a lower value of life exists in those communities.

            > The liberals claiming that “it” all started 400 years ago here in America when “white” men brought slaves are ignorant.

            Yeah, well I’m not sure who claimed that. Can you give an example? But that isn’t relevant to the argument I’m making.

            > Slavery and its abolition here was 160 freaking years ago.

            A lower value on black lives was encoded in law far past abolition.

            > The aftermath of the war between the states left a lotta hard feelings in the south when the reconstruction folks crammed laws and social changes down their throat.

            Yeah. Hard feelings about no longer being legal to own slaves. My heart goes out to them.

            > So my main point is the plethora of laws and programs and efforts since the 60’s have not resulted in an widespread feeling by the blacks that they have a level playing field, equal rights, voting rights, etc., etc. etc.

            Yes. I think that many of “the blacks” think that there is a legacy to those hundreds of years of laws encoding a lower value on black lives, and that the playing field is not yet level. There is a lot of evidence to support that view.

            > I do not see a great resolution to our currect situation for many years.

            Well, I agree with you there. But I think there is potential for marginal imorivent due to recent events.

            Like

  7. According to a ‘Darkhorse’ podcast yesterday, the letter is genuine. Heather Hines and Bret Weinstein are ex academics and have contacts in the system, so I tend to believe them on this issue.

    Like

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