Radicalized

I was talking to a friend about books and suggested an author I thought she might enjoy.

“What does he look like?” the friend asked. I immediately knew she was asking about his race.

Before you judge my friend, you need to know that she’s an immigrant from a very poor country. As immigrants, we have to learn about a country where we come from people who live here. It takes a long time of living here, a lot of cultural competence, and a sense of intellectual authority to question what everybody around you is saying, what’s on the TV and in the press. If you hear constantly that this is a terribly racist place, why wouldn’t you believe it? And once you believe it, you’ll see proof everywhere.

I’m afraid my friend is getting radicalized and will soon tell me that we can’t be friends anymore because of how I look. This is a recent thing with her but it’s getting stronger at a very rapid pace.

13 thoughts on “Radicalized”

  1. I really don’t like this new custom of talking about race in that way. I realize how it is meant and so on but as in this example, it has people talking about race obsessively while also hiding this. Next we’ll get to the Latin American situation where good-looking is a euphemism for white and nobody will admit it

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  2. I’m flummoxed by the runaway appeal of wokesterism, because all of the people I see who are really into it seem to be thoroughly miserable.

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    1. Exactly. My friend was a very happy person. Nothing changed in her life but she’s now very miserable. She’s crying all the time, terrified. But I don’t blame her because if I heard on the news that there was a hunting season on Jews or Ukrainians, I would be scared, too.

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  3. I’m afraid my friend is getting radicalized and will soon tell me that we can’t be friends anymore because of how I look.
    For your sake, I hope you’re all wrong, instead of all right or one to two-thirds wrong.

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    1. She never had a white friend before. We are friends because we have so much in common. We are immigrants, our kids are the same age, we are both multilingual but dedicated to bring up our kids as English-speakers, she emigrated to Canada first and then to the US. Our experiences growing up are very similar, we love books, we love cooking. It really works. But now it’s getting not so good.

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  4. “will soon tell me that we can’t be friends anymore because of how I look”

    Surely, you cannot seriously mean it?!!

    May be, she would tell you this if you recommended Tucker plus Douglas Murray’s “Strange Death of Europe” & “The Madness of Crowds” to her at once, without prior preparation, but leaving a friend because of skin color? (Suppose hers isn’t white if you worry about that.)

    You’ve always been against American hobby of apocalyptic thinking. See: Rod Dreher as an example. Are you sure things are always as extreme as may seem from media and working in a very special woke-wise environment of academia?

    “what everybody around you is saying, what’s on the TV and in the press. If you hear constantly that this is a terribly racist place, why wouldn’t you believe it?”

    Don’t you want to talk to her, offer her some (moderately unwoke) books or media to provide another view? Even if not all at once, which may be extreme to her, but something, a tiny bit. Otherwise, how can she know different views exist and have a basis? From your blog, one gets the impression of somebody with strong views who won’t be capable of hiding them one minute.

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    1. I recommended Ta-Nehisi Coates, actually. So the right look, the right ideas, everything.

      This is somebody I’ve known for a while. We never had the slightest problem. But now this is all she ever wants to talk about. And then she always starts crying and after every such conversation I feel shattered because I can see she’s suffering.

      But let’s say you were sharing with a non-Jewish friend some experiences of anti-Semitism and how you have been reading about the Holocaust and it impacted you heavily. What can a friend say? I don’t agree? Surely, it’s not that bad? All I know is we used to have a great time and now she’s completely indifferent to anything that isn’t race relations.

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      1. “I recommended Ta-Nehisi Coates, actually”

        I can’t imagine a black person reading him and ever wanting to look at a white person again, much less be their friend.
        He’s one of the super-spreaders of the current malaise….

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          1. What are these horrible books?

            I’ve read some pretty terrible books myself. Ones that made me want to throw them at the wall with great force.

            There may be something going on in her life that you don’t know about or she doesn’t talk about with you. People rarely have some kind of sea change just based on books.

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      2. // But let’s say you were sharing with a non-Jewish friend some experiences of anti-Semitism and how you have been reading about the Holocaust and it impacted you heavily. What can a friend say?

        I see the complexity better now. Is she also religious? If yes, what about books like

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