The idea that Mr. Pinker, a liberal, Jewish psychology professor, is a fan of a racist, anti-Semitic online movement is absurd on its face,Note the identity politics. The assumption is that you can deduce his views from the fact that he is a Jewish professor.
The clip was deeply misleading. If you watch the whole eight-minute video from which it was culled, it’s clear that Mr. Pinker’s entire point is that the alt-right’s beliefs are false and illogical — but that the left needs to do a better job fighting against them.No, that is not Pinker's point at all. Pinker says that the Alt-Right has beliefs based on true facts, and on logical inferences from those facts.
This problem presents itself when it comes to “the often highly literate, highly intelligent people who gravitate to the alt-right: internet savvy, media savvy, who often are radicalized in that way, who ‘swallow the red pill,’ as the saying goes, the allusion from ‘The Matrix.’”Pinker's point is that intelligent ppl on the Alt-Right have swallowed the red pill, and squarely accepted truths about the real world that mainstream academics try to conceal or deny.
That’s unfortunate, Mr. Pinker argues, because while someone might use these facts to support bigoted views, that needn’t be the case, because “for each one of these facts, there are very powerful counterarguments for why they don’t license racism and sexism and anarcho-capitalism and so on.”This is an Alt-Right opinion. There is no agreement on the Alt-Right about what to do about racism and sexism. There is agreement that objective facts about race, sex, and human nature should be recognized, and addressed by policies.
Pinker has swallowed the red pill.
This is not really new, and his book The Blank Slate clearly demonstrates that he accepts aspects of human nature that his leftist colleagues prefer to ignore.
Pinker self-identifies as a Canadian-born Jewish atheist psychology professor. So it is fair to assume that his tribal sympathies lie there. Most of those on the Alt-Right have different identifications. Pinker is very hostile to Christianity, and has written that Christianity is an evil influence on the world. Some on the Alt-Right would say similar things about Judaism. So they have religious differences. That's obvious, and we don't need a NY Times op-ed to point that out.
Many on the Alt-Right expect Jews to be anti-Christian, so there is nothing remarkable there. The point here is that Pinker clearly identifies himself as someone who has taken the red pill, and that is what the Alt-Right likes to see.