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Times Hires Harvard-Educated Honky-Hater

Look at these Sarah Jeong tweets (collected by Arvin Navabi [1]):

Who is Sarah Jeong, this rabid anti-white bigot? Why, she’s the newest member of The New York Times editorial board. The Times hired her knowing that she has this staggering history of public racial hatred, but — get this — they’re saying she was forced to do it by racists:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [4]

This is insane. Does anybody believe that a white person who tweeted this way about Asians, blacks, Jews, or gays, would stand a ghost of a chance getting a job at the Times? I believe in repentance, forgiveness, and redemption, but that is not remotely what’s going on here with Sarah Jeong. According to the Times statement, she was not expressing racism, but rather “imitating the rhetoric of her harassers.”

That’s not credible. That is, in fact, embarrassing to the Times, were it capable of being embarrassed. The more reasonable conclusion is that like many on the left, the Times sees nothing disqualifying about racial bigotry, as long as the bigotry is directed towards whites. Jeong is a graduate of Harvard Law. What is it about elite culture that cultivates this kind of racial bigotry in people?

change_me

This is actually a big deal. The Times, one of the most important left-liberal institutions, is now giving its effective imprimatur to virulent anti-white bigotry. Of course the Times is not going to say that it’s good, exactly, but as long as one of its writers claims her own bigotry was really the fault of white bigots, she gets a pass.

The Times will no doubt continue to be mystified as to why people vote for Donald Trump, despite it all.

What the Times has done in the Jeong case is basically what Woody Allen’s character does in this scene from Annie Hall:

UPDATE: I agree with Robby Soave [5]: I don’t believe that people should be ruined professionally for bad tweeting. Not even racists like Sarah Jeong. Excerpt:

A culture in which people are allowed to seek forgiveness, grow, and go on with their lives without losing their jobs is vastly preferable to one in which armies of trolls are constantly hunting for that one career-ending tweet, statement, or association.

One wonders, however, why Jeong is allowed to come out of this unscathed when the same dispensation was not granted to Quinn Norton [6], who was asked to join the New York Times editorial board as a tech specialist last February and fired immediately after her ill-advised tweets were publicized. Norton had used an anti-black slur and an anti-gay slur (she claimed she belongs to the LGBT community, so this was in-group usage), and she was friends with the alt-right hacker weev (she claimed she did not share his pro-Nazi views and hoped she could persuade him to abandon them). When these facts came to light, The New York Times and Norton went their separate ways.

Part of the problem here is that people with a special expertise in technology policy are likely to have spent a lot of time on social media, and the more time one spends on social media, the greater the opportunity to say something career-ending. Again, I don’t think anyone is solely defined by their worst moment or stupidest opinion, and both Jeong and Norton probably have much of value to contribute. The same goes for Kevin Williamson [7] (speedily dumped by The Atlantic for some offensive comments about women who have abortions) and Ben Shapiro [8] (rejected as a plausible candidate for “reasonable conservative that liberals should pay attention to,” in part because of some gross and juvenile statements he made, some of which he has renounced [9]).

I’m tempted to think there’s a pretty fundamental reason that Jeong weathered the storm, while Norton and Williamson drowned at sea. Norton and Williamson committed thought crimes against intersectional progressivism. But “white people” are not an exploited category, according to the kind of thinking popular [10] on college campuses these days, and many leftists therefore do not think it is wrong to malign them. Calling out this hypocrisy is a worthwhile exercise; supporting the lynch mob against Jeong is not.

 

365 Comments (Open | Close)

365 Comments To "Times Hires Harvard-Educated Honky-Hater"

#1 Comment By Mike Schilling On August 7, 2018 @ 2:23 am

Then they came for the white people. And I did nothing, because they’re going to be fine.

#2 Comment By First_Deacon On August 7, 2018 @ 7:38 am

No need to feel to respond, but this pleasantly surprised me

“Oh, also my best friend is Greek Orthodox (she’s first-generation Greek), though she is moderate-to-liberal politically. But her faith is a central part of her life, in a quiet but very steady way.”

At the risk of sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong, since she is your friend, you should reach out and talk to her about her faith and how that informs her life. You genuinely seem to want to understand, and want to move past just defending the tribal preconceived notions about ‘the other’. She might actually be reluctant to share, knowing your politics.

I’m an Orthodox convert, Greek Orthodox, not ethnic at all, very white northern European ancestry. Through a long path I came out of a completely secular progressive background, although I’ve left that behind almost a quarter of a century ago. Given where I am now, it makes for sometimes tense family relations. Lots of silences. And not understanding from those who stayed put.

In some ways I understand better from a visceral standpoint progressive reactions to white Republicans, and white Christians, and more intensely white Republican Christians (for bonus points tack on southern and male), than I do the reverse. Lets not fool ourselves, outside of some rare examples, any trashing of white people from the left means this subset of white people. To use a term popular on the left, it is akin to a dog whistle.

Sarah Jeong I never heard of until now, and my guess is she isn’t honest about why she wrote what she did, but it probably has something to do with getting noticed by saying transgressive but safe outrageous things that make the tribe you want to join laugh and approve of you. It looks like she succeeded, she made it to the NYT. I think it’s a stupid move for the NYT to have hired her, but they will circle the wagons on this.

#3 Comment By Kurt Gayle On August 7, 2018 @ 9:08 am

First_Deacon’s take on this Sarah Jeong thing makes a lot of sense:

“Sarah Jeong I never heard of until now, and my guess is she isn’t honest about why she wrote what she did, but it probably has something to do with getting noticed by saying transgressive but safe outrageous things that make the tribe you want to join laugh and approve of you. It looks like she succeeded, she made it to the NYT.”

#4 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 7, 2018 @ 11:22 am

You and I aren’t personally responsible for actions or policies that systematically held black Americans back and turned them into an underclass, but the U.S. government is.

That’s a good starting point. And it rules out navel gazing about “white privilege.” Its more a matter of what are WE going to do to correct the mislocations in OUR past history that continue to poison the culture and quality of life in OUR country.

I think there are two main things that can be usefully addressed:

1) Inequality in the intergenerational accumulation of capital (financial, social, cultural, occupational)

2) The very real impact of traumatic experiences, some of which tend to be concentrated in certain neighborhoods and histories, and some of which can be transferred epigenetically.

I could go into detail at great length, but I’ll leave it there for now.

#5 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 7, 2018 @ 11:38 am

I’m just a Chinese girl fighting a huge media empire that does things like this to people every day without consequence.

And that sets the CLASS framework for this, which is all I need to know. VICE are a bunch of mindless jerks who will be first against the wall when the revolution comes. (Source, Doug Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy).

#6 Comment By Erin M. On August 7, 2018 @ 12:33 pm

At the risk of sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong, since she is your friend, you should reach out and talk to her about her faith and how that informs her life. You genuinely seem to want to understand, and want to move past just defending the tribal preconceived notions about ‘the other’. She might actually be reluctant to share, knowing your politics.

It’s funny, it’s your screen name that reminded me I should mention her. The only time I ever hear the word “deacon” in real life it’s when she talks about one that she is friends with, and who she generally thinks the world of.

I do talk to her about how her faith informs her life and her beliefs. We are old, old friends at this point (met on the first day of college) and she isn’t afraid of me. She and I are both very comfortable and confident with our own beliefs, both love to argue, and are both curious and respectful arguers. It’s a lot of what our friendship has always revolved around, and includes frequent discussion of politics, social issues, religion, and faith. And we’ve each influenced the other’s thinking and changed the other’s mind about things over the years. While I won’t pretend I don’t have my own prejudices and wrongheaded notions at times–I’ve been aware of some failures and there must surely be others I don’t see–I hope it comes across here that I have plenty of respect for whoever I am talking to regardless of how different our views are or our backgrounds. Well, so long as they aren’t disrespecting me or others–that’s a big line for me.

It’s been interesting reading about Rod’s Orthodoxy, because it leads him to rather different places than my friend’s leads her, though there are certainly many commonalities as well. I don’t think she’s familiar with the Benedict Option, but I have a feeling she’d be pretty scornful of the idea that religious liberty is under any kind of threat in this country. It’s never come up in our discussions, and I’m 99% sure that’s because she thinks the idea is laughable (I’ll ask her in case I’m wrong). And she’s a sharp-as-a-whip attorney so it’s not like she isn’t aware of the legal questions around competing religious vs., say, LGBT rights. But while she gets pretty annoyed at the far left at times, she has even less patience for people who use their religion as a cudgel to try to control or judge other people. She finds that extremely offensive precisely *because* she is religious, and I’m pretty sure Rod would cross that line for her. My strong hunch is that she would have more personal sympathy for some of Rod’s social views than I do, but to her that is brightly distinct from what should and shouldn’t be protected under the law.

I’m not sure why I’ve never brought up Rod’s blog with her, but now I’m looking forward to talking to her about it and learning what she thinks. She invariably surprizes me (I can’t even reliably predict her taste in movies after all this time knowing her–though movies are another favorite topic of conversation between us) so I’m probably wrong about at least some of my predictions about her views.

Lets not fool ourselves, outside of some rare examples, any trashing of white people from the left means this subset of white people. To use a term popular on the left, it is akin to a dog whistle.

I 100% agree. And I think it’s wrong. While I never crossed the line into overtly trashing that group myself (well, at least not since I was much, much younger), I certainly shared those disdainful feelings, and still have to fight against them sometimes. Realizing my own prejudices was one of those watershed, humbling moments for me. It was an extremely up-close-and-personal view of how my own cognitive biases allowed me to be extremely illiberal and prejudicial without the least idea of it. It has made me very careful about condemning or dismissing any group without some pretty careful though (though I draw the line at the alt-right.)

Finally, while I still think it’s pretty credible that some of Sarah Jeong’s tweeting came from countertrolling, now that I’ve seen what a long time span it covered I don’t think that can be the only explanation and I think your interpretation is pretty credible. I do think her usage of “white” was intentionally transgressive regardless, and it does seem like it was a way to get attention. That said, I don’t think it’s what got her the job at the NYT. I understand she’s a very respected writer on the topic of tech, and the tweet controversy seems to have taken the NYT by suprise (I’m willing to be wrong about that–it’s my impression, in part because it’s what I hope is true).

Thanks again for the discussion 🙂

#7 Comment By Figaro On August 7, 2018 @ 1:24 pm

” I don’t believe that people should be ruined professionally for bad tweeting. Not even racists like Sarah Jeong.”

Bad tweeting? That’s your assessment of Jeong’s venomous hate-mongering rants? What’s you assessment of the Las Vegas shooter’s killing of 58 people, a temper tantrum?

The NY Times has a history of permitting such inexcusable journalistic outrages. Remember Judith Miller’s lies that
helped enable the Iraq war with its hundreds of thousands dead? Would you be equally forgiving with her?

It’s not Jeong who must be “lynched”, it’s her use of the Times to further her bigoted agenda that must be strangled
in its cradle.

#8 Comment By Kurt Gayle On August 7, 2018 @ 2:13 pm

An interesting story re Ms. Jeong and her Wikipedia piece:

“Wikipedia Editors Protect New York Times Bigot Sarah Jeong’s Anti-White Racism”

[11]

#9 Comment By JimDandy On August 7, 2018 @ 3:15 pm

“It looks like she succeeded, she made it to the NYT.”

Success–just like the NYT–ain’t what it used to be.

#10 Comment By midtown On August 7, 2018 @ 3:49 pm

Erin M., I don’t know if you are still haunting this thread, but you had asked how conservatives think about your explanation (at 8/6, 10:53 pm).

Here is my view: you are essentially saying that “white people” doesn’t mean white people; “privilege” does not mean privilege; the contempt dripping out of the left’s writings, such as Jeong’s among many other examples, isn’t really contempt; and that “racist” does not mean racist in the dictionary definition. Add to this things like the Drexel professor who wanted “white genocide” and then claimed he didn’t mean actual white genocide. Who are we to believe, the English language or liberals? Jeong is no Jonathan Swift. Are we to entrust our children’s future to people who speak like this? To many people, it sounds much too much like the dehumanization that preceded horrible events in the past. And many, many people are purchasing weapons and ammo as a defensive measure against things they perceive to be building. That is why someone asked you if you wanted a peaceful national divorce. Because the other alternative is … not peaceful. I would suggest that you take a message back to your fellow liberals that many conservatives take comments like Jeong’s very seriously and they should change their rhetoric since tensions are astronomical now. Unfortunately, in my opinion the damage has been done and trust is completely gone no matter whether liberals change their phraseology.

As for you personally, you come across as an earnest liberal who means well. I think you don’t consciously wish ill for white people but I do think you would be inclined to support policies that are detrimental to them because of the totem-pole mentality. But for the left as a whole, their comments about whites are 100% hate, and whites who can see this will have to act as a united ethnocultural interest group, the same as all other ethnic groups.

#11 Comment By VikingLS On August 7, 2018 @ 5:22 pm

@Erin M

My point was not to persuade you. It was to hold you accountable. I don’t have to read your mind to know that you know Jeong’s comments were racist.

And no you don’t get to just say “this conversation is closed.” and expect me to meekly let you get in the last word.

#12 Comment By VikingLS On August 7, 2018 @ 6:30 pm

“Here is my view: you are essentially saying that “white people” doesn’t mean white people; “privilege” does not mean privilege; the contempt dripping out of the left’s writings, such as Jeong’s among many other examples, isn’t really contempt; and that “racist” does not mean racist in the dictionary definition. Add to this things like the Drexel professor who wanted “white genocide” and then claimed he didn’t mean actual white genocide. Who are we to believe, the English language or liberals? ”

Exactly, and I honestly don’t think Erin believes a word of that.

It’s like the Catholic Hierarchy, the seminaries, and many of the left-liberal priests. They all knew they were were lying to the laity. They still are about many things. Nobody wants to talk about the fact that, even the sex abuse scandal aside, most priests spend close to a decade being trained NOT to believe in a God that answers prayers, miracles, angels, demons, and Satan, and then are expected to pastor people who do. They all know it, they won’t say it.

The liberals know they have a hateful lunatic element within the left that they won’t (I think they fear them) confront.

#13 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 7, 2018 @ 7:44 pm

Viking is being a bit thin-skinned with Erin M. I don’t know how any commenter on a blog could hold another accountable. That borders on delusion. And you do have to read someone’s mind to KNOW what they are thinking. Its reasonable to say “Your own words [op cit] reveal that… But that’s as far as the facts will sustain such an exercise.

Its true none of us gets to say “this conversation is closed.” Viking has tried that on me, JonF tried it on someone or other once. The only one who gets to say “this conversation is closed” is our gracious host, the overworked blog administrator. The rest of us can of course remain conspicuously silent in the face of anyone else’s slings and arrows.

#14 Comment By Thomas Hobbes On August 8, 2018 @ 12:52 am

VikingLS says:
The liberals know they have a hateful lunatic element within the left that they won’t (I think they fear them) confront.

Of course we have a hateful lunatic element on the left (as you do on the right). Sadly, to hear you folks or our folks talk you’d think it comprised 90% of the “other” side.

The main problem seems to be that a large portion of people on the left think that most Trump voters are racists and an increasing percentage of people on the right think that the left hates white people (despite it being mostly white).

Somehow saying “we should try to reduce illegal immigration” or “minorities face barriers that white people don’t” is now racist. Everybody is sure the other side is much worse about this and started it too.

Viking, how exactly would you like the left to confront our hateful element? What would that look like? Should we get our most prominent politician to get up and say: “You have some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people on both sides”?

#15 Comment By Guido Fawkes On November 15, 2018 @ 2:49 pm

From the UK. Those Twitter tweets would be regarded as racist hate speech in the UK, under the Racial & Religious Hatred Act 2006. If available to viewers, on the internet in the UK, I suggest they have breached UK law on racism and hate speech, and that UK readers report her for hate speech to their local police force. America seems obsessed with identity politics, enabling this type of racism. I note Sarah Jeong went to Berkeley University, world known for its neo Marxism and identity politics hate speech. Under UK law, the local police force is obliged to investigate all hate speech reports. So Twitter, get your act together, you are supporting hate speech available to be viewed in the UK.