Friday, September 03, 2021

The New Puritans

Occasionally I see people complain that a wave of McCarthyist hysteria in the 1950s ruined many innocent lives. It is all a big lie, as all that happened was that a few lost their jobs because they were anti-American and supporting Communism. Communism was the great evil of the day, and its supporters were evil monsters and traitors contributing to death and oppression. But actually many of the worst Communists, such as Angela Davis, got promoted to high-status jobs.

But now there really is a hysteria that is ruining many innocent live.

The Atlantic magazine reports:

Right here in America, right now, it is possible to meet people who have lost everything—jobs, money, friends, colleagues—after violating no laws, and sometimes no workplace rules either. Instead, they have broken (or are accused of having broken) social codes having to do with race, sex, personal behavior, or even acceptable humor, which may not have existed five years ago or maybe five months ago. Some have made egregious errors of judgment. Some have done nothing at all. It is not always easy to tell. ...

David Bucci, the former chair of the Dartmouth brain-sciences department, who was named in a lawsuit against the college though he was not accused of any sexual misconduct, did kill himself after he realized he might never be able to restore his reputation.

Others have changed their attitudes toward their professions. “I wake up every morning afraid to teach,” one academic told me: The university campus that he once loved has become a hazardous jungle, full of traps. ...

More often than not, apologies will be parsed, examined for “sincerity” — and then rejected. Howard Bauchner, the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, apologized for something he’d had nothing directly to do with, after one of his colleagues made controversial comments on a podcast and on Twitter about whether communities of color were held back more by “structural racism” or by socioeconomic factors. “I remain profoundly disappointed in myself for the lapses that led to the publishing of the tweet and podcast,” Bauchner wrote. “Although I did not write or even see the tweet, or create the podcast, as editor in chief, I am ultimately responsible for them.” He wound up resigning.

The author has a new book out on authoritarianism, but I don't know if she complains about right-wing or left-wing authoritarians.

Update: Here is the article that helped destroy the new

Women’s bodies and clothing are recurring subjects for Richards. On a 2013 episode, he says that women “dress like a hooker” on Halloween; on another, he tells a story about a former Price employee who had taken up baking: “We said that we were going to have to saw her out of her room because she was going to be so giant that she wouldn’t be able to fit out the door.” When discussing weight gain, Price announcer Gray says, “There’s a lot of guys that would not be entirely upset with a petite woman that’s curvy”; Richards repeatedly uses the term “huskadoo.” He saves his praise for Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the former cohost of The View and Fox & Friends: “She’s, like, kind of my type. You know—blond, good-looking.”
None of these comments is particularly unusual or offensive. There is something seriously wrong with anyone making an issue out of them.

Here is a Wash. Post article:

Neman, whose chain of 100-plus restaurants sells salads for $10 to $15 a pop, published a LinkedIn post Tuesday suggesting that obesity is the “root cause” of health problems — including severe coronavirus infections. ...

“Yikes, this is incredibly fat-phobic,” one person commented on his LinkedIn post. “Have you considered how our healthcare system systematically underserves people who are considered to be in those groups?”

No, our healthcare system overserves those groups.

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