The social justice doctor will see you now
This week the FAIR Substack features a reprinted piece by FAIR in Medicine Fellow Dr. Aida Cerundolo about the dangers of patients being viewed through a racial lens.
Reducing barriers to treatment is necessary to improve healthcare delivery and minimize disparities. But linking immutable characteristics such as skin color with power and privilege in the medical setting rationalizes the distribution of care based on arbitrary factors in the name of a greater good called social justice. This hazards some patients with negatively designated characteristics as being viewed as less valuable than others, potentially impeding the care they need.
It’s Okay to Stop Talking About the War
For his Substack Deeply Problematic, FAIR Advisor Jonathan Kay writes about how sometimes, the wiser course is to disengage rather than allow a vicious news cycle to become all-consuming.
But while I have no problem calling out antisemites, it’s quite another thing to go further and demand that those around us express solidarity with Israel. That gets us into the domain of compelled speech, or even “virtue signaling.” I wouldn’t be particularly happy about my neighbour flying a Hamas flag. But that doesn’t mean he needs to fly the Magen David. As noted above, the demand that one choose sides in the Middle East sounds a lot like Kendi’s insistence that we all need to adopt the posture of anti-racist warrior, as “there’s no such thing as a ‘not racist’ or ‘race neutral’ policy.”
It should be acceptable for friends, colleagues, and relatives to freely admit that they have no strong opinions whatsoever about the ongoing conflict in Gaza—or to concede that they haven’t even kept up with the news. Some friends have admitted to me that they’re actually quite tired of hearing news from this small corner of the world. Saying that should be okay, too.
Universities Are Failing at Inclusion
For the New York Times, David Brooks writes about how universities are supposed to be centers of inquiry and curiosity, but too many have become brutalizing ideological war zones instead.
The right intellectual framework for effective diversity work is pluralism. Pluralism starts with a celebration of the fact that we live in one of the most diverse societies in history. The job of the university is to help young people from different backgrounds learn to work and live together. (Would you really want to hire someone who spent his college years learning how to demonize, demean and divide?)
Pluralists seek to replace the demonizing, demeaning and dividing ethos with one that encourages respect, relationships and cooperation. Pluralists believe that people’s identities are complex and shifting, that most human beings shouldn’t be divided into good/evil categories, that we become wise as we enter into many different points of view. Patel says that universities shouldn’t be battlefields but potluck dinners, where all guests bring their own cuisines to the common table.
Coleman Hughes: The Struggle for Black Freedom Has Nothing to Do with Israel
For The Free Press, Coleman Hughes writes about why the belief that Israel is analogous to apartheid South Africa or Jim Crow America has no basis in history.
When ideologues co-opt the African American freedom struggle and compare it to the Palestinian national movement, they do black Americans a grave disservice. Black Americans (aside from a fringe) did not seek to dominate and destroy white society, as Martin Luther King Jr. emphasized frequently in his speeches. African Americans pursued equality before the law and better economic circumstances. In black history, you can find the occasional Nat Turner, the slave who led a rebellion and advocated killing all whites. But compared to the leaders of the struggle—giants like Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King—radicals like Turner amount to a footnote in the black American struggle for equality.
Free speech is still worth fighting for
For UnHerd, Jonathan Sumption writes about why no one is entitled to intellectual safety.
The difference between violence and words is obvious. Violence is coercive. Words, even if offensive, are not coercive except in those cases where they are calculated to provoke violence. Yet in North America, Britain and much of the Anglosphere, this notion of harm has captured institutions. Recent research in the United States suggests that 29% of university professors have been pressured by university authorities into avoiding controversial subjects; 16% have either been disciplined or threatened with discipline for their words, their teaching or their academic research, while another 7% say that they have been investigated. Those working on any subject involving ethnic or religious sensitivities are particularly vulnerable. More than 80% of students report that they self-censor their work for fear of stepping out of line.
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