keskiviikkona, elokuuta 18, 2021

Totuus aiheesta "Stop hate against Asian Americans"?

Charles Murray linkkasi twitterissä erinomaiseen kirjoitukseen aiheesta totuuden väärentäminen politiikan menetelmänä

A remarkable aspect of today’s culture war debates, across a whole range of topics, is the fact that many massively popular positions bear no resemblance to measurable truth. Many core claims of Black Lives Matter (BLM), the “systemic racism” school of sociological thought, the Stop AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) Hate movement, and, for that matter, QAnon and election fraud devotees on the political right, don’t gel at all with empirical facts. Often this is no accident. Many activists and a surprising number of academics and media figures seem to have returned to the ancient idea that truth is relative, and hard data of the Bureau of Justice Statistics variety are less valuable than individual “lived experience.” Others, so far as I can tell, simply lie to facilitate personal or political goals. The trend is a dangerous one: People who fear nonexistent demons are also likely to propose costly and unnecessary witch hunts. In the face of the new Hounds of God, empiricism must again be defended.

The risk of misdirected action based on faulty inputs is even larger when it comes to highly politicized issues, in which one or both sides have an incentive to lie or misdirect. 

Erityisesti kirjoitus käsittelee sitä, missä määrin rasismi tai rotujen välinen väkivalta on amerikkalaista yhteiskuntaa kaikkialla leimaava ongelma.  

Ensimmäinen esimerkki tulee rotujen välisen väkivallan yleisyydestä, josta puhuvat sekä oikeisto että vasemmisto:

American media is chock-full of shocking stories about cruel whites harassing or attacking people of color as we do the most basic things in our daily lives—barbecue in parks, swim in public pools, watch birds, ride the Chicago L or New York 6 train with a hijab on, or just walk home from Subway with a tuna sandwich. Basketball centimillionaire LeBron James declared last year that Black people as a group are “terrified” even to leave home because of the risk of police misconduct and white violence. The hard edge of the political right engages in a fair amount of this as well, with websites and books like White Girl Bleed a Lot and Stuff Black People Don’t Like joining the decades-old VDare and American Renaissance in chronicling almost every attack on a white pensioner.

This is all, again, empirically nonsensical. According to the 2018-19 Bureau of Justice Statistics Criminal Victimization report (table 14), the vast majority of crime is intraracial, with 70% of attackers targeting Blacks and almost 65% of those targeting whites being individuals of the same race as their victims. Violent interracial incidents involving Blacks and whites, on the other hand, make up roughly 3% of total crime: During 2018-19, there were 20,828,040 “Index” violent crimes or serious property crimes in America, 607,726 of which were violent offenses involving a white offender and a Black victim or a Black offender and a white/Caucasian victim.

Herkullisin esimerkki on ehkä vasta alkanut kampanja pysäyttää viharikokset aasialaisamerikkalaisia vastaan: 

The debate about how best to “stop AAPI hate” provides the best recent example. Following a genuine surge in shocking street attacks against people of East Asian heritage, many prominent activists and media figures attempted to tie the violence to “white supremacy” and held major Black Lives Matter-style marches to oppose this boogeyman. The actual data provides, quite literally, no support for the argument that white racism has motivated most anti-Asian attacks.

Notably, most of these attackers haven’t been white. According to the most recently available national crime data that includes Asian American victims, 27.5% of violent attackers were Black, 24.1% were white, 21.4% were Latino and “other” combined, and 24.1% were Asian. In a separate data set focused only on the 98 most prominent recent attacks on Asian Americans, a research associate and I found that 29% of the attackers who were identified in racial terms (24 out of 84) were white, while 71% (60 out of 84) were people of color.

Kolmas esimerkki ovat väitteet mustiin kohdistuvasta laajasta poliisiväkivallasta:

A well-run and large-N study from the Skeptic Research Center in February 2021 found that 54% of Americans who “identify as very liberal” believe that the average number of unarmed Black men killed annually by U.S. police is somewhere between “about 1,000” and “more than 10,000.” A major empirical survey conducted by the political scientist Eric Kaufman in April 2021 found that 80% of African Americans and 60% of educated white liberals believe that more young Black men die annually at the hands of police than in car wrecks.

OK. The actual number of unarmed Black men killed by police last year was 17. Given the grave importance of this issue, it’s worth repeating that number—17—across the tens of millions of annual police-citizen interactions. As it turns out, about 1,000 people of all races, sexes, and ages are shot to death by on-duty police officers in a typical year (1,021 in 2020), and about 250 of those are identified as Black. Even this gap—between the share of Americans who are Black (13%) and the share of police shooting victims (24%-25%)—largely vanishes when a simple adjustment is made for the gap in reported crime statistics (and thus in police encounter rates) between Blacks and whites, which was 2.4 to 1 when the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Study collected data on violent crime victims in 2019. Even leaving such academic points aside, it is clear that estimates of police violence on at least the political left are several orders of magnitude higher than reality.

Neljäs esimerkki on väite, että mustia ja latinoita on korkeakoulutetuissa ja korkeakoulutusta vaativissa tehtävissä vähemmän kuin valkoisia - ja heillä on näin huonompi palkka - siksi, että USA:ssa vallitsee laaja rakenteellinen rasismi:

Almost every time the narrative of systemic racism is subjected to empirical analysis, it collapses. The core claim of the systemic racism (or “systemic bias”) school in academia is that pervasive racism must still exist within modern society because measurable and fairly large gaps between races persist in variables such as income. At least according to such thinkers as Boston University’s Ibram X. Kendi, the “pervasive racism” explanation must be accurate because the only other potential explanation for these gaps in outcomes would be the unacceptable specter of genetic inferiority.

While some more-than-residual racism obviously remains in American society (a 2015 Gallup poll found that 8% of Americans would not vote for a well-qualified Black presidential candidate from their own party), the second part of Kendi’s famous argument is simply wrong. Roughly the same level of bias exists against many groups—Jews, Hispanics, Blacks, women—which nevertheless have dramatically different outcomes. Adjusting for other important variables that differ among racial and ethnic groups like age and region of residence, the gaps glibly attributed to prejudice all but close.

Murray on itse juuri julkaissut kirjan Facing Reality: Two Truths about Race in America tästä aiheesta. (Kirjoitin siitä englanninkielisen arvostelun/referaatin goodreadsiin, mutta pyrin kirjoittamaan aiheesta myös Sarastukseen suomeksi.)

Murray on erityisesti huolestunut siitä, että jatkuva faktoihin perustumaton valkoisten demonisointi aiheesta rakenteellinen rasismi lisää polarisaatiota amerikkalaisessa yhteiskunnassa. Erityisesti Murray on huolestunut ns. Affirmative Action-politiikan vaikutuksesta amerikkalaisten mieliin: 

Preferential racial policies have been eroding the nation’s commitment to impartiality for decades. Identity politics accelerated that erosion. The threatening new development is that Whites increasingly agree that identity politics is the way to go...  It has long been my view, first expressed in these words long ago, that aggressive affirmative action is a poison leaking into the American experiment. We are now dealing with nearly sixty years of accumulated toxin. It is not the only cause of the present crisis, but it is a central one.

Arvostettu yhteiskuntatieteilijä Timur Kuran ennustikin jo 90-luvulla kirjassaan Private truths, Public Lies, että Affirmative Action -politiikka tulee aiheuttamaan USA:ssa poliittisen räjähdyksen, koska suuri enemmistö amerikkalaisista viereastaa sitä.

tiistaina, elokuuta 17, 2021

Economist: gender kriittiset tutkijat puolustavat onnistuneesti sananvapauttaan

Brittiläinen pitkän linjan laatulehti Economist on näköjään ottamassa roolin euroopalaisen sivistyksen/valistuksen puolustajana amerikkalaista keskiaikaista menoa vastaan. USA:ssa trumpilaiset vastustavat evoluutiota, ilmastotiedettä, lääketiedettä jne. Mutta samaan aikaan vasemmalta edistetään sananvapauden supistamista tieteessä ja tieteen politisoimista.

Kuten aiemmin kerroin, Economist-lehti on kuvannut gender-aktivistien harjoittamaa painostusta lääketieteen politisoimiseksi. Economist-lehti on todennut, että lääketieteen politisoituminen on johtanut hoitokäytäntöjen muuttumiseen niin, että nuorten ihmisten terveys on vaarassa. Economist puhuu jopa lääketieteen skandaalista. Tässä asiassa gender-aktivistien toiminta on jo kuitenkin kohdannut takapakkia Euroopassa - varsinkin Suomessa, Ruotsissa ja Britanniassa.

Uusimmassa numerossa Economist-lehti kuvaa yliopistojen sananvapaus-tilannetta Britanniassa. Vaikuttaa siltä, että gender-aktivistien harjoittama mielipideterrori on alkanut joutua voimakkaan kritiikin kohteeksi. Sananvapauden kannattajat ovat järjestäytymässä. Yliopistot, jotka tähän mennessä ovat raukkamaisuuttaan taipuneet aktivistien painostuksen alla ja rajoittaneet tutkijoiden vapautta ja edistäneet tieteen poltisoitumista, ovat joutuneet taipumaan ja jopa pyytämään tekojaan anteeksi.

hours before Jo Phoenix, a professor of criminology at Britain’s Open University, was due to give a talk at Essex University about placing transgender women in women’s prisons, students threatened to barricade the hall. They complained that Ms Phoenix was a “transphobe” likely to engage in “hate speech”. A flyer with an image of a gun and text reading “shut the fuck up, terf” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist, a slur) was circulating. The university told Ms Phoenix it was postponing the event. Then the sociology department asked her for a copy of her talk. Days later it told her it had voted to rescind its invitation, and would issue no more. Ms Phoenix says she was “absolutely furious and deeply upset” about both the damage to her reputation and to academic freedom.

Essex University’s vice-chancellor asked Akua Reindorf, a lawyer who specialises in employment and discrimination law, to investigate. Eighteen months later, in mid-May, the university published Ms Reindorf’s report on its website. It said Essex had infringed Ms Phoenix’s right to freedom of expression and that its decision to “exclude and blacklist” her was also unlawful. It advised the university to apologise to Ms Phoenix and to Rosa Freedman, a professor of law at Reading University whom it had excluded from an event during Holocaust Memorial Week “because of her views on gender identity”. (Essex in the end allowed Ms Freedman to attend.)
Ms Reindorf’s report marks a challenge to the transgender dogma that originated on American campuses and has spread to universities around the English-speaking world. Its proponents hold that gender identity—the feeling that one is a man or a woman—is as important as biological sex and that trans people should in all circumstances be regarded as the gender with which they identify. This has increasingly influenced policy-makers: several places allow trans women into spaces that were once reserved for females, from sports teams to prisons and shelters for victims of domestic violence.
The opposing viewpoint, which is often described as “gender-critical”, might once have been considered mainstream. It argues that, since biological sex is unchangeable, even with hormones, surgery or any other form of treatment, the conviction that one has been born in the wrong body should not be dispositive. Gender critics argue that biological differences between the sexes make the continued provision of female-only spaces necessary. Trans activists say that trans women should have access to those places, too. “The emphasis that so-called gender-critical women place on what they describe as threats to women ignores the fact that trans women are overwhelmingly those who are threatened in single-sex spaces,” says Lisa Miracchi, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has signed open letters disapproving of gender-critical feminists.
The arguments the two sides put forward, in other words, are complex and debatable. But many trans activists think that any disagreement is tantamount to hate speech and try to suppress it. Some universities with policies that reflect the belief that trans women are women have acted on complaints about people who do nothing more than express a contrary view. In May, after students at Abertay University in Dundee reported that a student had said at a seminar that women have vaginas and men are stronger, the university launched an investigation.
In some cases, academics who have objected to “gender ideology”—the view that gender identity should trump biology—have been removed from professional posts. In April Callie Burt, an associate professor at Georgia State University, was fired from the editorial board of Feminist Criminology. She was told her presence might deter others from submitting manuscripts. The problem appears to have been her criticism of the conflation of sex and gender identity in proposed anti-discrimination legislation. Last June Kathleen Lowrey, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alberta, was removed as the chair of an undergraduate programme after students complained they felt unsafe. She says she reckons gender-critical posters on her office door were to blame.
Yet the most worrying effect is likely to be invisible. An unknown number of university employees avoid expressing their opinion for fear it will damage their career or turn them into pariahs. The report about Essex says witnesses described a “culture of fear” among those with gender-critical views. This is unlikely to be limited to one university. The report also argues that expressing the view that trans women are not women is not hate speech and is not illegal under British law, whatever university policies might suggest.

The fight back

The report is likely to embolden gender-critical academics in Britain, at least, where they are already more outspoken. There are signs that a backlash to gender ideology is building elsewhere, too. In February, when Donna Hughes, a professor of women’s studies at Rhode Island University, published an article critical of gender ideology, petitions sprouted calling for her to be fired. Her university denounced her and warned that the right to free speech was “not boundless”. Ms Hughes, who is a co-founder of the Academic Freedom Alliance (afa), which was launched in March, says her university encouraged students to file complaints. She hired an “aggressive” lawyer. In May the afa announced the university had dropped its investigations into Ms Hughes and affirmed her right to speak.

Ms Hughes’s example is striking because in America, where concerns about free speech in universities tend to focus on racial sensitivities, gender-critical views are rarely expressed publicly. This is partly 0because there is no federal legislation that specifically protects trans (or gay) people from discrimination, which lends a particular urgency to lgbt activism. Jami Taylor, a professor of political science at the University of Toledo and a trans woman, says she has experienced “transgender-related bias” throughout her career, from being called “it” by students and a colleague to being guided to the men’s bathroom.

America’s political polarisation makes it harder yet to debate such topics. Trans activists often portray gender criticism as a far-right cause. Though it is becoming that, too, it is a topic on which leftist feminists and social conservatives find agreement. In Britain most outspoken gender-critical academics are left-leaning, atheist feminists. Some in America are, too.

Their chief concern is the preservation of female-only spaces. In February Holly Lawford-Smith, a professor of philosophy at the University of Melbourne, launched a website which invited women to describe their experiences of sharing female-only spaces with trans women. It is not a research project and its reports are unverified. Most describe a feeling of discomfort rather than any form of physical assault. Soon afterwards, around 100 of her colleagues signed an open letter claiming the website promoted “harmful ideology”. It called for “swift and decisive action by the university”. Ms Lawford-Smith kept her job, but there have been at least two marches at the university decrying that. “I think people quite enjoy having a nemesis on campus,” she says

How did an ideology that brooks no dissent become so entrenched in institutions supposedly dedicated to fostering independent thinking? Pressure groups have played a big part. In Britain most universities and many public-sector bodies have joined the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme, which means they have drawn up policies that reflect the group’s position on trans identity. The report about Essex said the university’s policy “states the law as Stonewall would prefer it to be, rather than the law as it is”, and could cause the university to break the law by indirectly discriminating against women. It recommended that Essex reconsider its relationship with Stonewall. Several bodies, including the government’s equality watchdog, have since left the Champions scheme.

The influence of pressure groups exemplifies the other big reason trans ideology has gained a foothold in academia: its elision with the rights of gay people. Many organisations established to defend gay rights have morphed into trans-rights groups. Tamsin Blaxter, a research fellow at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge and a trans woman, says that academia has become a lot more welcoming to trans people, thanks largely to Stonewall. But some gay people disagree with its new focus. In 2019 some supporters split from the group, in part owing to concerns that its stance encourages gay people to redefine themselves as trans (and straight), to form the lgb Alliance. Similar groups have sprung up around the world.

Students increasingly express gender-critical views. This year a group of feminist students in Cambridge ran a “replatforming” event for gender-critical scholars who had been excluded from academic events (Ms Phoenix was among the speakers). Sophie Watson, one of the organisers, says she has lost friends over the issue. “There’s so much fear over using the wrong language—to disagree with the line that trans women are women is really considered hateful,” she says.

Campus revolt

Gender-critical academics hope that as more of them speak out, others who share their concerns but were afraid to express them will feel emboldened. When Kathleen Stock, a professor of philosophy at Sussex University and one of Britain’s most prominent gender-critical academics, was given a government award for services to education last December, hundreds of academics from around the world signed an open letter denouncing her. More than 400 signed a counter letter in her defence. But many people, she says, prefer to express their support privately.

Universities will no doubt watch how the debate evolves outside academia, especially in the courts. The dangers of eroding free speech are becoming increasingly apparent as judges rule on matters from the medical treatment of trans-identifying children to people who have been sacked after being accused of transphobia. If Maya Forstater, a British researcher who lost her job because of her gender-critical views, wins her appeal against the ruling of an employment tribunal that this was lawful, universities may become quicker to defend their gender-critical employees.

Regulation may also play a part. In February the British government announced proposals to strengthen academic freedom at universities, including the appointment of a free-speech champion. Some (though not all) gender-critical academics welcome the idea. In America lawsuits invoking free speech may make a difference. But it would be better if universities, which owe their success to a tradition of dissent and debate, did in fact defend it.

sunnuntaina, elokuuta 08, 2021

Isoviha, suomettuminen ja Kunta Kinte

Isoviha on pahin venäläisten Suomeen kohdistama agressio. Venäläisten suorittamat murhat ja raiskaukset kohdistuivat pahiten Pohjanmaahan. HS haastatteli isovihaa tutkinutta professoria Kyösti Vilkunaa:

Tsaari Pietari, jota myös ”Suureksi” kutsutaan, oli antanut Pohjois-Pohjanmaata koskevan tuhoamiskäskyn. Kaksikin. Rannikosta piti tehdä peninkulmien leveydeltä joutomaata, joka ei tarjoaisi elämisen edellytyksiä mahdollisille vihollisjoukoille eli Ruotsin armeijalle.

Nykyterminologialla ilmaisten Pietari määräsi tekemään kansanmurhan.

Pahimpia murhavuosia olivat Pohjanmaan miehityksen alkuajat, vuodet 1714—1716. Useimmat suomalaiset alueet olivat joutuneet vainolaisen kynsiin jo aiemmin, ensimmäisinä Karjalan rajamaat ja Suomenlahden rannikko.

Suomettumisen aikana oli tapana vähätellä isovihaa koska sen muistelu antoi "ystävistä" "väärän" kuvan.

Edelleenkään kouluissa ei tästä asiasta paljoa puhuta. Monen mielestä on poliittisesti muodikkaampaa puhua suomalaisten kolonialismista kuin siitä, että tuhannet suomalaiset joutuivat Venäjälle orjiksi ja edelleen myydyiksi jopa Persiaan. Mielenkiintoista on että samoihin aikoihin kun Kunta Kinte totuuspohjaisessa kirjassa ja elokuvassa Juuret otettiin orjaksi Gambiasta, 120 nuorta otettiin orjaksi yhdestä pohjalaisesta pitäjästä - Lohtajalta. Uudenkaupungin rauha antoi orjille oikeuden palata - yhdeksän lohtajalaista pääsi palaamaan.

Suomessa on ollut pyrkimyksiä vähätellä isoavihaa. Näin tapahtui etenkin suomettuneisuuden vuosikymmeninä. Silloin ei rohjettu sanoa ääneen tai haluttu ehkä edes uskoa, että neuvostoliittolaisten ystävien esivanhemmat olisivat tehneet jotain niin perin raakalaismaista.

”Ainoa mahdollisuus on vyöryttää todellisuus lukijan eteen”, Vilkuna sanoo. ”On kestämätön väite, että isoviha olisi suomalaiskansallinen myytti, että mitään erityistä ei tapahtunut. Oli pakko todistaa laajalla skaalalla, ettei tässä ollut kyse suomalaiskansallisesta valheesta.”

Tapausten vyöry tekee Vilkunan kirjoista järkyttäviä. Hirmutekoja tuntuu olevan loputtomiin, vaikka vain häviävän pieni osa on aikanaan dokumentoitu.

Siksi isoviha on sopiva sana. Se muotoutui 1700-luvun lopulla rahvaan suussa, ei herrain salongeissa.

”Vieläkin saattaa törmätä käsitykseen, että isoviha oli suomalaiskansallisen historiankirjoituksen luoma käsite”, Vilkuna sanoo. ”Ei se ole. Se oli kansan antama nimi jo 1700-luvulla, jolloin mitään suomalaisnationalismia ei ollut.”