Saturday, October 10, 2020

Critical Thinking Is Hard, Let's Do Brunch!

This morning I saw this on Twitter:

"Migrants" is a dogwhistle, of course; as I've often pointed out, racists don't think any immigrants are legal, except for their great-grandparents.  "Civil societies" indicates that she's a bit vague as to what she's talking about; that should be singular.  And she's confirmed my increasing intolerance for  misuse of the term "third world."  It's not Witzke's fault that it has become totally meaningless, with so many leftists helping out, but she's not doing better.  

(I admit I'm being a bit disingenuous here: I know that whatever its origins, "Third World" now means "poor countries where people work for fifty cents an hour without safety precautions in order that we First Worlders may have marginally cheaper electronic devices, so keep them there because poverty is contagious."  That meaning is now drifting over to "essential workers.")

Most important, the burden of argument lies on Witzke, not on anyone rebutting her.  Numerous people stepped up with bad arguments in reply.  There were several in this form:

And this, from someone else who despite his Ph.D. doesn't know what the Third World is either:

If Witzke were as dumb as these guys think she is, she'd have posted something like "No Third World migrants can assimilate."  If she had, one or two examples of assimilation would have sufficed to refute her.  But she was canny enough to say "most."  She still needs evidence to support her claim, of course.  But the occasional success story not only doesn't prove her wrong, it's the sort of exception-that-proves-the-rule that racists use to attack less successful members of minority groups: Oprah made it, why can't you?  It's also used by more successful members to signal their allegiance to bigotry, as in Barack Obama's castigating poor people for, as he liked to think, having cell phones instead of medical insurance... But, unfortunately, being a smart, educated liberal doesn't in itself teach you basic statistics or critical thinking.

One of Witzke's defenders wasn't really helpful to her, despite being a self-identified "techie":

I'd agree that 100% assimilation is at least unlikely, but "abiding by the the law is important" is hilarious.  It seems to be well-established that immigrants have a lower crime rate than the native-born. My own observations aren't statistically valid, but I've been following police-blotter departments of local newspapers for some years, but the overwhelming majority of those arrested in Bloomington, Indiana, had Euro-American names.  In Northern Indiana, mug shots were posted on Facebook, and around 99% of them were white Euro-Americans.  They don't follow our laws and that's a problem.  Or maybe those "migrants" who break the law are just assimilating to Euro-American norms: not just among trailer dwellers and meth-lab entrepreneurs, but among our Thin Blue Line and our ruling elites. 

P.S. The liberal historian Kevin M. Kruse gleefully posted a screencap of Viet Van Nguyen's tweet.  I was relieved and gratified to see how many "third world immigrants" were critical of it in comments.