New study concludes no bias in NIH grant review

via Bashir-

A new paper has been published that purports to refute the conclusion of the Ginther report (also see this, this, this, this) that there exists substantial bias in the awarding of NIH grants to white versus black PIs.

Jiansheng Yang, Michael W. Vannier, Fang Wang, Yan Deng, Fengrong Ou, James Bennett, Yang Liud, Ge Wang A bibliometric analysis of academic publication and NIH funding Journal of Informetrics 7 (2013) 318– 324 [ journal link ]

My biggest concern here has to do with the sampling...otherwise I guess we should view it as data that contributes to the overall picture. Much as Ginther et al drew a host of "oh it must really be..." alternative explanations, so should this.

The authors targeted 92 medical schools (1) and selected 31 odd-number-rank schools (2). They identified white and African American faculty members (from, ah, web page pictures and, um "names". also "resumes as needed".(3)) They then did a 1:2 pairing of black with white faculty in the same discipline, with the same degree and within the same medical school (4), same sex and title/academic rank.

So. They were able to identify 130 black professors of which only 14 were funded by the NIH from 2008 to 2011(5). Two were excluded because they couldn't find matching white faculty and one for failing to have any SCI/Web of Science presence (this was used to generate h-index, citations etc).

Eleven. Eleven faculty (out of 130) members, plus an additional 22 matched white faculty, comprise the sample for the correlation of scientific productivity with grant award. Kinda thin.

They took the rankings of the medical schools from US News and World Report and divided the institutions into thirds "Tiers". Ten of the grant sample pairs came from the top third of medical schools and one from the second tier (6)

In Table 2 the paper lists the mean (7) papers, citations and a couple of productivity indices they made up (8). Black investigators had fewer papers (but not significantly different), significantly fewer citations (9) and significantly lower Pc-index.

Second, the productivity measure in terms of peers’ citations, or the Pc-index, is the sum
of the numbers of citations to one’s papers weighted by his/her a-indices respectively. While the Pr-index is useful for
immediate productivity measurement, the Pc-index is retrospective and generally more relevant.

There was no difference in the PcXImpactFactor index. Interesting how they describe the one that identified a difference as "most relevant" isn't it?

Then we move on to tables 3 and 4 in which the authors show that if you "normalize" the PIs' award funding by the various performance measures (10) there is no difference between black and white professors.

There are a few more complaints about the earlier part of the study but that isn't really focused on the grant-getting so I'll leave it for now. It reflects the entire 130 pair sample and examines the productivity measures. There are interesting tibits in the fact that they only had significant differences in the Asst professor ranks. In the larger NIH-grant picture, perhaps their excuse of too few black Full and Associate professors for analysis is highly meaningful for the overall disparity of grant award? Then there was the observation of differences only in the Assistant professors at the top one-third of medical schools but not in the bottom two thirds.

I'll end with my observations:

1) why not academic departments? what proportion of the NIH PI population is at medical schools versus regular academic departments? what about non-University institutions?

2) why not all of them?

3) really? like they never heard of passing. Also "white"? What sort of "white" are we talking here? How do we know their sample of white medical school faculty matches the overall NIH sample of white PIs?

4) so the sample had to be really narrow here because they had to find disciplinary descriptions broad enough that they even had an AfricanAmerican professors represented. This will not be the case everywhere.

5) isn't the whole issue that is at the heart of Ginther those investigators who were NOT funded by the NIH? That's what assessing the disparity is about....figuring out if there are "missing" investigators who should have been funded by were not. Right? Determining whether those funded black investigators are as good as a sample of white investigators is beside the point. I really need to chase down the exact quote but one of the ERA era leaders said something to the effect that women will enjoy true equality not when they can succeed by being better than all the men but when all they have to do is be as good as the worst men in a given workplace. The same logic applies here. The focus should be on the whole distribution of funded investigators. It is irrelevant if, say, black investigators who "should" be at Tier 2b Med school are really employed at Tier 1c Med schools. What matter is if there are black scientists who are just as good as Tier 3f Med school white investigators but are not getting the funding their counterparts are enjoying.

6) ok, whut? why this skew for the top end? if they sought to focus on the elite, why not just sample all of the schools in the top third? or once you get past this the NIH grants are few and thin on the ground? particularly for black investigators perhaps? or for both white and black professors?

7) all of a sudden the white sample is down to 11, should have been 22. I can't figure out what they did here.

8) the a-index they base much of this on seems to be an attempt to parse author credit depending on position in the author list, number of authnors, etc. yeah....that's not resting on a bunch of subfield(9) practice equivalencies, is it?

9) yeah, the disciplinary "matching" isn't working for me here. if the pairs were within Medical School and within discipline presumably this means within Department. This is almost certain to mean that the pairs differed in subdisciplinary issues like model, technical approaches, etc. Differences that can be even more significant contributors to citations than are the broad disciplinary labels. Now true, we'd want to know if there was any evidence that black investigators were more likely to be in lower citation, slower pub rate subfields...

10) This also depends on their being a direct and positive correlation between funding and "productivity". As one example, human imaging research is really expensive, generates papers slowly, rarely ends up in CNS journals and probably isn't cited that highly. People who do such work are living in the same pharmacology, psychiatry and neuroscience departments that contain bench jockey labs shiving each other in the back to race to the latest CNS scoop job. Same title, same department but....comparable? please. oh yeah, see 9) again.

156 responses so far

  • Shorter Yang et al: It's totes fair to fucke over black NIH applicants on grants, because they are also getting fucked over on everything else.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Yeah there is also that, PP. the third variable that determines all. Which of course was kind of the point of Ginther et al, particularly if you read past the abstract to where they started examining possible explanatory factors.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    ....and I gotta say. Really friggin curious about how they used "name" to resolve white vs black investigator when, one supposes, a picture wasn't sufficient (or available). Effect of highly stereotyped "black" names, seems the only possible contribution beyond noise in this one.

  • Jonathan Kaplan says:

    Wait, so, their conclusion is that the "Black" faculty members *who were funded* by the NIH, matched to "White" faculty members for similar resumes in similar fields, were not worse off than the White faculty members who were selected not on the basis of having been funded, but on the basis of having similar resumes in similar fields? I am reading that right?

    (Please do correct me if I've misread or misinterpreted your discussion of the paper. I'd look up the article myself, but it is behind a particularly robust-seeming pay-wall, and I'd have to have my library order it for me, and I don't actually want to read it that badly.)

    But if I'm reading that right, that's just an amazingly odd way to test anything. If awards were distributed *at random* within a particular researcher "quality" range (based on resume, etc.), we would expect that if one matched those who were selected on the basis of having *received* funding to those selected for being relevantly similar except for having an unknown funding status, we should really see a stark difference in funding, not a similar one! What am I missing here?

    And, a sample size of 11???

    Would anyone like to calculate the power of that study? Given the known average and variance in award sizes, the known probability of getting an award, etc., what is the minimum difference size that the study could hope to in fact find? (So: If award sizes are roughly similar, and, hypothetically, Blacks are less likely to be funded cetris paribus than are Whites, and we start with Blacks *who were funded*, how much worse would Blacks have to be doing for the difference to show up?)

  • physioprof says:

    Really friggin curious about how they used "name" to resolve white vs black investigator when, one supposes, a picture wasn't sufficient (or available).

    I wondered about that, too. Like one fucker's name was Blackie Brown, and the other's was Whitey McBlonderson?

  • drugmonkey says:

    Chad Henry McStifferson III and Lincoln Jefferson Washington one presumes.

  • drugmonkey says:

    JK- I think (going from memory now) the matched controls were funded. The point was to show that as a ratio of various productivity indicators, the African American investigators had the same level of funding. So less, but less in proportion to their production deficits.

  • Isabel says:

    aw come on now PP, you are an expert on identifying races from pictures! (and what academic doesn't have a picture available??). You are so confident in your ability that you will publicly shame young grieving, traumatized children for their excessive "whiteness". Scumbag. Using little children to make yourself appear enlightened and you achieve the opposite.

    Your ditzy friend Isis, who mocked the performance of these children at a sporting event, censored my comment defending the children! Incredible!

  • Nigel Tufnel says:

    And, a sample size of 11???

    It's one better than 10.

  • First of all, you can have a valid study with a sample of 10, if you bother to show that it is so. How? How about a power analysis (conspicuously missing from this study)?

    Second, who are these clowns? I did a brief search on some of them, and while there are stats in some of their background, its hard to do a definitive search without a lot more work, given common last names. The senior author is at least in a school of public health, but most of these people seem to be computational radiologists. I knew Michael Vannier ages ago, and I am not the least bit surprised that he would be attached to a study like this. In general any competent epi person could pokes methodological holes in this. Now there's an idea for a good study....

  • anonymous postdoc says:

    I am at a loss to understand what would motivated these people to design their study to demonstrate as much as possible the null hypothesis that racism doesn't exist. In addition to causing me to suspect the motives of these authors (no big hurdle), it is just bad science. You should be trying to disprove the null hypothesis. Try harder, because 5 minutes of living in the US should have already disproved it for you.

    I assume the motivation is "Nothing to see here, no need to preferentially fund investigators of color, thank you very much, because that will mean I won't get funding to do these shitty analyses."

  • drugmonkey says:

    I don't think we should fear additional analysis, anon postdoc. And I'm willing to credit that low numbers of African American professors make representative analyses very difficult. I just thought there were a few unexplained methodological and analytical choices here that are slightly suspicious

  • Comradde PhysioProffe says:

    Loonabel and a delusional pit bull enthusiast on the same thread together: Internet motherfucken nirvana!!!!!!!

  • WS says:

    I find it strange that people are still talking about this. Does anyone actually believe that Blacks are less successful at obtaining R01 funding, because of rampant racism among NIH review panels? I guess it is only directed at blacks and not hispanics, as they are as successful as whites, according to Ginther, in obtaining grants. I know that Ginther supposedly controlled for all sorts of variables, but the bottom line is that ON AVERAGE, blacks are writing lower quality grant applications. That could be due to lower quality writing skills, ON AVERAGE. You can attribute that to whatever you like, and it might have a lesser impact on the factors that Ginther controlled for, including publications, which (hopefully) are based on substance more than style. Regardless of the reason for the disparity, what do those who are so upset about it propose, black-only R01s? Black-only review panels for black applicants? That is not going to happen.

  • Hermitage says:

    "I know Ginther controlled for all sorts of variables but the bottom line is my vapid, unproven, and comfortable assumption, so BOOTSTRAPS!"

    There are bunch of dumbfucks (academic and nonacademic alike) who will merrily latch onto this POS study with their grubbly racist-denying little hands. It's shit science to validate shitty assumptions in the face of actual data, if people had any respect for themselves as scientists they would know better.

  • WS says:

    Well, that answers my question. Amazing.

  • Isabel says:

    " the null hypothesis that racism doesn't exist. In addition to causing me to suspect the motives of these authors (no big hurdle), it is just bad science. You should be trying to disprove the null hypothesis. Try harder, because 5 minutes of living in the US should have already disproved it for you."

    Yes 5 minutes of living in a country where traumatized, grieving child performers are publicly mocked for their skin color will do it.

  • Bashir says:

    Does anyone actually believe that Blacks are less successful at obtaining R01 funding, because of rampant racism among NIH review panels?

    Not rampant exactly. You could certainly put forth the possibility of implicit bias. The Ginther report can't get at that so it's unknown. Every time I've seen it come up the response has been something like "That's impossible because people on study section are NICE and WORK HARD". Which is just a complete and utter misunderstanding of how racial bias works. IF it is the case that there is a bias, it is unlikely manifest by a reviewer yelling out "Oh look I got one named Jamal, let's all give him low scores together". There would not be evil grins around the room as people cackled "oh I love racism". The possibility of a racial bias certainly can't be dismissed because it is uncomfortable or "kinda doesn't seem like it from what I remember"

    The likely case is that amount o racial bias in NIH reviewers is about what you'd expect from a random sample of people. Depending on your prior experiences that may seem like a lot, or a little.

  • Spiny Norman says:

    What you don't understand, Bashir, is that any thing that WS has not personally noticed cannot possibly have any influence on anyone else's life.

    Because, you know, WS is fucking omniscient.

  • Spiny Norman says:

    Hey, Isabel.

    So you're following CPP from one blog to another and berating him for being a horrible racist, and you are not providing any informative or relevant context whatsoever, so that onlookers might be able to understand (or evaluate) your accusations.

    You do realize that that makes you look at best trollish and at worst stalky, right?

  • Isabel says:

    I'm not following anybody anywhere. I just noticed his comment on Isis' blog, which I rarely read anyway. I clicked on the link after checking in here. So, it is impossible to not notice that on one blog he is saying of the Sandy Hook school chorus performing at the super bowl "Could those fucken kiddes have been any goddamn whiter?" and here is complaining about how blackness was judged in the study being discussed. It is certainly relevant to the current discussion.

    http://isisthescientist.com/2013/02/03/super-bowl-ironies/#comment-33409

    After also seeing Isis' recent post which includes a photo of herself, one might ask "ironically" if Isis could be any goddamn whiter. But f course, we all know that in reality she is a woman of color. So tell me, how do you feel about PP's assumptions and statements now that you have some context, Spiny?

  • WS says:

    Bashir,
    I guess the relevant question is how often is the applicants race known to members of the review panel. If one is going by name alone, then one can certainly more frequently identify hispanic applicants. I guess someone like spiny assumes white racists only dislike blacks and not hispanics.
    Spiny, no I am not omniscient, but what I have experienced is that knowledge that an applicant is black would, if anything, help his or her chances of getting funded, not hurt.

  • Spiny Norman says:

    @Isabel: That seems like a pretty shitty thing to say. But I did not see any of the Superbowl and have no desire to see any of it, so it's possible that I'm still missing important context.

    I don't get what you're saying about Isis at all, since I have never met her and have no idea who she is (or for that matter, whether she is a she, or a scientist, though I suspect the answers to both are "yes"). In any case, nothing I've seen her write is "ditzy." That characterization alone suggests to me that you are axe-grinding.

    @WS: The only "assumption" I'm making is that you are inferring more from sparse data than a responsible scientist should be willing to infer.

  • drugmonkey says:

    WS-

    Study sections are subfield focused. It is not unusual that the race of the applicant is known to the reviewer b/c the reviewer knows the applicant professionally. Read: meetings.

    In a subfield like mine where you can count the AfricanAmerican profs on two hands* it is even more pointed an issue.

    *maybe three

  • Isabel says:

    "so it's possible that I'm still missing important context. "

    Sure it is.

    Isis just thinks it is tacky that "they" "had" the kids perform at this event which is "ritualized violence". First of all she denies the group had any agency, as if it is a command performance. Then she equates a sporting event with a massacre in an elementary school, as if there is some connection.

    Isis is well known in this circle of bloggers as a champion of women and people of color. I remember her outrage when a pseudonymous academic blogger wrote an amusing post after graduation on how the younger grads wore the highest heels. Isis seethed that the poor (adult women mind you) were being shamed on their big day, even though no one even had any idea which uni was being discussed. So again, there's some context for you. So why is it cool for her to shame actual, known little kids on their big day on her blog, calling their performance in poor taste? because they are white? Seriously?

  • Bashir says:

    knowledge that an applicant is black would, if anything, help his or her chances of getting funded, not hurt.

    c'mon, this is just trolling.

  • Spiny Norman says:

    Isabel: I'm not going to continue the conversation that you apparently want to have as it's clear that your major interest is orthogonal to the original post.

  • physioprof says:

    Loonabel's major interests are orthogonal to reality. Now what happened to the delusional pit bull enthusiast??

  • Isabel says:

    Then why did you start discussing it with me in the first place? Sounds like you can't argue my point so you are resorting to this above-it-all attitude.

    Again, is it really orthogonal to the discussion going on in this thread? I don't think so. Well at least you admit PP's comment was shitty. I suppose I shoulld consider that a major victory.

    This kind of hypocrisy needs to be faced if we are ever going to make any progress. Public shaming and scapegoating of little children is hardly a positive approach. if people are as enlightened around here as they claim to be, why was I the only person to stand up for those kids, and why were my comments deleted and replaced with more mockery?

  • Isabel says:

    Why don't you defend your comment CPP? Let's hear it. I mean, it's not even reality based. Most of the children were dark-haired, and several of the murdered children were mixed-race. Why did you say "Could those fucken kiddes have been any goddamn whiter?" when
    1) it's incredibly cruel and insensitive, and
    2) obviously they could have been much "whiter" and you don't know what race they are any more than the authors of the study under discussion here know the race of an academic from a web page.

  • Jason says:

    Well, at least you guys are strongly reinforcing the blue collar perception of academics on this thread.

    When exactly did the humanities contaminate science?

  • I think that this discussion reflects the point of Ginther - that there are a lot of unrecognized issues going on. I don't think anyone is suggesting URM R01's or study sections. Anything that makes us think about our perceptions is useful. As one of friends said: being brown is part of who I am. I don't want you to be colorblind, I want it not to matter in the workplace.

  • anonymous postdoc says:

    All people, even scientists, love to cling to bad data when it supports their implicit biases or helps them feel more comfortable. The people like WS who say that Gintner must reflect unalloyed shittiness of black investigators on average are probably the same people who would mock dumbfucks for disbelieving global warming. In both cases, believing that the data really imply the systemic pathology would just make the denialist Fweel Baaaad.

    Study section is a stressful time where there are insufficient resources to be divided amongst "my people" versus "other people". This increases people's propensity to rely on in-group/out-group dynamics, and creates a cognitive load that would make it difficult for anyone to actively combat their implicit biases. Honestly, one fucking semester of undergraduate social psychology should be required curriculum.

    Unfortunately, if we just wait for people to shed their implicit biases we'll be waiting a long time, especially for the denialists. So the only immediate solution is on the mentoring side...oooor NIH should pick these grants up. But even NIH program and scientific review is made up of Americans with implicit biases, so I won't hold my breath.

  • WS says:

    Anonymous,
    Yes, I do mock dumbfucks for denying global warming. Are you sure that helps to make your point?
    Bashir,
    Trolling?????

  • drugmonkey says:

    WS- the trouble with your "on AVERAGE" assertion is that the only way to assess quality of the applications is via the peer review process. Bias of that process is the question at hand. So how can you conclude what you do? You can't, you've merely advanced your hypothesis. Great. Now how do we test that?

    One o the problems with the paper is the direction of causality. They wish to argue that African American profs suck and their grant success reflects this. A clear alternative is that having more difficulty getting funded makes their science suck. Certainly the time spent preparing one more grant application per year might reduce the number of manuscripts submitted by one. If we harken back to Berg's data on per-grant productivity, one grant is about 5 papers, roughly. Average reductions in grant funding are going to produce average reductions in papers. On the order of 0.20 fewer grants should meaningfully reduce papers produced .

  • WS says:

    Bias of that process is the question at hand. So how can you conclude what you do? You can't, you've merely advanced your hypothesis. Great. Now how do we test that?

    First, I don't draw any firm conclusions, but merely apply Occam's razor to suggest the most plausible model; mainly because I find it curious that otherwise intelligent people reflexively cry racism whenever there is a disparity in racial outcomes.

    How do we test the model I proposed? I suppose you could use another minority group that has been historically unpopular among white racists. Hmmm, who might that be? Oh, I know, how about Hispanics. Oh wait, Ginther did that, and there was no significant difference between white and Hispanic applicants. Interestingly, there was a significant difference between whites and Asian applicants, even though the Asian applicants were apparently more productive, but here's the kicker: That disparity disappeared when only Asians who were U.S. citizens at the time of Ph.D. receipt were included. That is again consistent with my earlier suggestion about the quality of writing in the grants being key. As I am sure you know, when you are writing about hypothetical experiments (i.e. a grant), as opposed to experiments past, you really have to be able to convincingly sell it. And sometimes idiot reviewers will still misinterpret, or otherwise ignore, what you have written.

  • drugmonkey says:

    The most plausible model, in a society in which racial disparity has been proved over and over again to be due to biases and in which extensive and learned explanations about why blacks are inferior fall flat on their face once barriers are slightly lowered, is that there are in fact unjustified biases against African American professors.

    I suppose you could use another minority group that has been historically unpopular among white racists.

    You have a very superficial, and may I suggest uneducated, view on out-group biases. They are not all the same and they do not have the same impact.

    That is again consistent with my earlier suggestion about the quality of writing in the grants being key.

    The "quality of writing" in grant applications plays a role, but not a definitive role, in the awarding of grants. Far more important are factors of seniority, pedigree, institution, research domain and prior productivity. Note that it is a highly subjective and sometimes objectively flawed* opinion that can rule the day. Given this, there is plenty of room for bias to sneak in. Remember, despite the clear evidence to the contrary, most grant reviewers are astonished when the clear disparity of scores awarded to ESI applications are pointed out to them. I find that most reviewers barely even reflect on what they are doing when it comes to the process of review.

    And sometimes idiot reviewers will still misinterpret, or otherwise ignore, what you have written.
    Is it impossible to you that what you think of as idiot reviewer behavior is not randomly distributed across applications?

    *e.g., the impression of "amazingly productive" PIs in which the impression is not divided by the number of grant dollars in hand.

  • Isabel says:

    What about the fact that most academics lean liberal, and are therefore presumably sincerely anti-racist with a conscious desire to redress past wrongs. Wouldn't that counter the implicit bias that still exists unconsciously? I find it a little surprising that people here expect that academics will be as biased as any other group. Is this more evidence of liberal progressive hypocrisy?

  • drugmonkey says:

    You should spend some time reading up on the Implicit Association literature Isabel. That's the thing about implicit biases....they aren't all that accessible to your conscious understanding. Take a look at that Wikipedia article and go to the section on predictive validity.

    As with WS and any number of NIH apologists (so you are in plentiful company) it is a mistake to obsess over how there is no evidence for overt and explicit bias so therefore there can't be any bias. It reflects a very superficial level of discourse that is either due to ignorance or a disingenuous pretense.

  • Isabel says:

    "The "quality of writing" in grant applications plays a role, but not a definitive role, in the awarding of grants. Far more important are factors of seniority, pedigree, institution, research domain and prior productivity."

    Wow, depressing. Are you serious? Obviously all people from lower socioeconomic groups will be disadvantaged then, and all young people, not just women and African-Americans. We need to start over from scratch. The NIH is broken.

  • Isabel says:

    "..they aren't all that accessible to your conscious understanding. "

    I never said they were. I know what the tests are. I took several, and according to them I am slightly biased toward blacks:)

    "As with WS and any number of NIH apologists (so you are in plentiful company) "

    I am an NIH apologist now?? You need to reread my comment. I suggested that the conscious bias could balance the unconscious bias. Why not? What is the cost of awarding a black academic a grant in someone else's department? None, and there is a reward of feeling good about oneself for helping redress past injustice. This is a strong motivation also ( also partly unconscious).

    Anyway all I am saying is that given all that it is surprising to me that in this particular educated group the unconscious racism is apparently so strong.

  • WS says:

    Sorry Drug Monkey,
    Normally I think your opinions are well thought out, but you are grasping at straws here, much like someone proposing epicycles to maintain an earth-centered universe. I like the way you simply assert that Blacks and Hispanics are not comparable minority groups and leave it at that. Why exactly? Isabel also points out explicitly what I hinted at previously. The liberal and racially sympathetic outlook of most academics is more than adequate to counteract the few reviewers who might score someone low because he/she is black. So I will put your own question back to you. You say the R01 disparity is due to racial bias. Great. Now how do we test that?

  • physioprof says:

    Is this more evidence of liberal progressive hypocrisy?

    Loonabel, *everything* is evidence of liberal progressive hypocrisy!

  • drugmonkey says:

    Wow, depressing. Are you serious?

    of course. and the science, naturally, this is also important. why should lyrical writing ability be of primary importance in selecting what grants to fund?

    We need to start over from scratch. The NIH is broken.

    Well, there are fixing options that are less severe than "starting over". But yeah, there are certainly a lot of things that need fixing. feel free to make constructive suggestions at the Rock Talk blog.

    I am an NIH apologist now??
    Saying that you are in company or expressing views similar to someone (like the KKK type, say) is not equivalent to saying you are within said class of person.

    Anyway all I am saying is that given all that it is surprising to me that in this particular educated group the unconscious racism is apparently so strong.
    I'm not really seeing why that would be surprising or unsurprising. Academics, for example, have a strong intellectual-meritocracy fallacy thing going on in addition to their generally leftward politics. It is also the case that the disparity identified in the Gither graph is derived from multiple factors many of which might be assumed to have small effect. As one example Ginther identified a lower rate of resubmission of applications which would have an effect on grant success. IMO.

    Why exactly?
    Because the sources of discrimination vary, the percept of who is in these classes varies and the nature of who qualifies under the usual Federal rules varies. In meaningful ways. If you think that all majority/minority bias is the same, you are an idiot.

    more than adequate to counteract the few reviewers who might score someone low because he/she is black.
    That is an assertion based on absolutely nothing and put forward in continuing refusal to grasp the difference between explicit and implicit bias.

    You say the R01 disparity is due to racial bias. Great. Now how do we test that?

    As you will note in my commentary on this Gither report I am almost* entirely uninterested** in the sources of the disparity of outcome. I am advocating for fixing it, just as they are fixing the bias in outcome for young/new/ES Investigators.

    **African-American applicant, section by section and IC by IC data crunching a la the Ginther study is the next place to go, IMO. we are still in the zone of needing better data on what IS, instead of jetting off into investigations of cause. but you know how the NIH hates stamp collecting and is far fonder of jetting off into investigation of mechanism before they really know what mechanism to address...

    *the reason being that the aggregate effect is coming from many factors, not all of them reasonably in the NIH's control. The thing that IS in their control is to pick up grants out of order to fix the problem. As a friend of mine is fond of asserting, there is nothing that correlates with scientific success as strongly as getting the grant money does.

  • Isabel says:

    "lyrical writing"

    who said anything about lyrical??

    So PP has wimped out. Well, there is no way he can defend his statements. What can we say about all the people who raise no objection to his comments though?

  • drugmonkey says:

    That they agree 110% with your interpretation of what he means, of course, Isaabel.

  • Isabel says:

    "what he means"?????????

    I think he was pretty clear!

    ""Could those fucken kiddes have been any goddamn whiter?""

  • miko says:

    ">2 adjacent punctuation marks" would be a good filter to have.

  • Spiny Norman says:

    Brill, Miko.

    A filter that does that and nukes any post containing >2 words that are ≥2 characters long in ALL CAPS would silence 75-85% of Internuts.

  • Isabel says:

    Only a "nut" would notice the hypocrisy of CPP's statements and call him on it. Is that what you are saying, Spiny? Well, in that case I am happy to be considered a nut by you. Yes, everyone here is okay with CPP's statement about the children. After all, who can ever completely understand the context of the superbowl (Spiny) or what Physioprof REALLY means (DM). Pretty weak, guys. Criticize my use of punctuation. Ha ha. Getting desperate I see :)

    Here's my hypothesis: Physioprof is one of these rich, powerful racist PIs that we are discussing and he is overcompensating by making offensive remarks about children he perceives as white, to convince himself and others that he is not a racist.

  • WS says:

    Well, I expected name calling (e.g. idiot) would begin once intelligent rebuttal had been exhausted. DM, your writing has degenerated from scientific to something more akin to social-science gobbledygook. Though I have to say I am impressed with how seamlessly you make the transition.

  • drugmonkey says:

    So I take it you are confessing ignorant disdain for the social sciences?

  • miko says:

    I have no idea what CPP said about what children. As you may have noticed, nothing he has ever written would pass my (or Spiny's) filter.

    Don't mistake me thinking you're crazy for agreement with whoever you happen to be arguing with at the moment.

  • Isabel says:

    "I have no idea what CPP said about what children."

    Excuse me for thinking you were following the thread.

    He said, just the other day on Isis' blog, link above:

    "Could those fucken kiddes have been any goddamn whiter?"

    based on their appearance on TV. Now he is over here being outraged that someone is judging others' races based on their photos.

  • Isabel says:

    And I am not "arguing" with anyone. I am pointing out what a morally deficient asshole PP is. And wondering why no one else ever finds his comments offensive. Why is he accepted as an anti-racist? Yes, liberal hypocrisy is a big issue for me. I think it is a major cause of the polarization in the US.

  • WS says:

    disdain, yes. I will leave the ignorance to you.

  • physioprof says:

    Yes, liberal hypocrisy is a big issue for me. I think it is a major cause of the polarization in the US.

    Loonabel, everyone knows it's those fucken dirty JEWS.

  • drugmonkey says:

    You haven't really established this supposed "liberal hypocrisy". Even supposing PP qualifies, by what evidence should we conclude he is representative of "liberals"?

  • miko says:

    "Excuse me for thinking you were following the thread."

    Yes, excuse me for derailing this thread, which is clearly about something CPP said on someone else's blog.

  • Isabel says:

    "which is clearly about something CPP said on someone else's blog."

    So if a participant on the thread actually expressed something opposite on another blog that exposes him as a hypocrite of the highest order it can't be brought up for discussion here? Is that what you are saying? I am asking seriously.

  • Isabel says:

    Why bother interjecting yourself into a conversation without reading the relevant comments and complaining that you don't know something when I just posted it is another question for Miko.

  • physioprof says:

    So if a participant on the thread actually expressed something opposite on another blog that exposes him as a hypocrite of the highest order it can't be brought up for discussion here? Is that what you are saying? I am asking seriously.

    Loonabel, you've been bringing up shitte for discussion here for fucken years, so I woudnt worry.

  • Isabel says:

    I'm not talking to you, racist child-hater. Go fuck yourself for what you said about those little kids. Maybe get some therapy for your projection and overcompensation issues.

  • Shridhar says:

    I'm afraid I'm feeding the troll but... Fine Isabel, I agree with you that CPP's comment in the post of another thread is morally reprehensible, so you're not alone. I also agree there is a contradiction between him judging race of kids in a coral from TV and him assuming the researchers in this study can't judge race from picture. So, great, you were able to prove to at least one lurker that physioprof, an anonymous internet figure, was a hypocrite. Are you satisfied?

    Dude, you're suffering from a serious case of "There's someone wrong on the internet", chill out. What exactly are you trying to accomplish? If you're trying to destroy CPPs credibility, you're doing it wrong. His authority and respect with me was asserted by the lot of good advice, not by his opinions on race, nor by his politeness. You on the other hand are just being disruptive and annoying and not adding anything to the conversation (and no, showing CPP can be a hypocrite doesn't add to this conversation on race and NIH grants).

    It seems you guys have a long story together, so I'll leave it a that.

  • Isabel says:

    " So, great, you were able to prove to at least one lurker that physioprof, an anonymous internet figure, was a hypocrite."

    Good.

    "You on the other hand are just being disruptive and annoying a"

    Fuck you all who are attacking me instead of the reprehensible racist who publicly attacked mourning children and try to shame them for the color of their skin. You are all no better than he is, because he has done this repeatedly and you all accept it, time after time. Imagine if this comment was made about non-white children. Singling out white children for public shaming should shock caring, liberal-minded progressive people, why doesn't it I wonder?

    "(and no, showing CPP can be a hypocrite doesn't add to this conversation on race and NIH grants)."

    Actually it shows that one of the participants in the discussion is a huge lying hypocrite, so yes, it does add to the discussion. That he is respected around here because he gives people advice or whatever is laughable.

    I was pissed off because not one person defended those kids from his and Isis' attacks, and when I did my comments were removed by Isis. I don't care at all what people think of me here, so save your attacks (notice how I was attacked, but not Physioprof). How hard would it have been to not constantly attack me? Then the thread would have been a lot shorter. Isn't that what you want?

    What I am doing is revealing not just his hypocrisy, but that of everyone here who doesn't mind his offensive comments because he is helpful to your careers. I think if he said those things about black children the reactions might be extremely different, and he would not be welcome here. Don't you agree? See, I am accomplishing my goals. I am not trying to fix an unfixable racist scumbag, and I am not looking for friends here. I actually derive pleasure from pointing out the incredible level of hypocrisy around these parts, something I have silently had to put up with for most of my life.

  • Spiny Norman says:

    Advice for Isabel.

  • Shridhar says:

    > I actually derive pleasure from pointing out the incredible level of hypocrisy around these parts, something I have silently had to put up with for most of my life.

    Oh, so you're somewhere between a troll and an internet tough gal.

  • physioprof says:

    See, I am accomplishing my goals.

    Gold star for Loonabel!

  • WS says:

    "Imagine if this comment was made about non-white children. Singling out white children for public shaming should shock caring, liberal-minded progressive people, why doesn't it I wonder?"

    You answer your own question in the first sentence. It is a bizarre aspect of the "liberal progressive" mind that tolerates ridicule of anything white, but goes ballistic when non-whites are moderately less successful at obtaining R01 funding. I think it comes from decades of media and Hollywood indoctrination that all whites living today are responsible for all the injustices of the past and should be punished accordingly.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Seeing as how the "liberal progressives" that permeate the NIH system from top to bottom have done zero about the grant disparity how is this "ballistic" exactly? In fact the NIH response has been your response, i.e. self-interested denial.

    It is hilarious when people opposing fairness and diversity, such as yourself, are firmly ensconced in the mainstream and still have the pure chutzpah to try to paint themselves as some sort of maverick minority view, fighting the good fight. Hilarious.

    It is also funny when people like you and Isabel do actually go "ballistic" in your imagined persecution. Sad, true. But funny.

  • Spiny Norman says:

    WS: perhaps it has not occurred to you that Americans of European descent have disproportionately economically benefitted over the course of their lives from race-based exploitation of others: black slaves, Mexican farm workers, Chinese railroad workers, etc. White folks whose parents are in the middle or upper classes STARTED with these economic benefits.

    That has nothing to do with media or hollywood, and everything to do with a solid grasp of American political and economic history. Which you, apparently, totally lack.

  • WS says:

    Wow. DM and Spiny. I must be hitting a nerve. It is interesting to see the conflict that arises when dogmatic viewpoints are confronted with inconvenient truths. I am hardly opposed to fairness and diversity, but I don't favor diversity at the expense of fairness. Yes, the NIH has done nothing about the grant disparity, because it would just be politically impossible (I think) to begin offering black-only R01s. Though I am sure many, such as yourselves, would like to. Ironically, it is the NIH (and the federal government in general) that has created this grant disparity problem through its very desire to increase diversity in science. By encouraging, or in some cases requiring, racial preferences at every level of education and employment, they have, by definition, selected a number of people who cannot compete on a level playing field. You cannot give a person a crutch throughout their lives, then suddenly kick that crutch out from underneath him/her and expect them to be competitive. I have sat on committees reviewing graduate student or faculty applications and seen offers extended to "people of color" who would not have even been discussed if white. I believe that without racial preferences, there would be fewer blacks in science, but the R01 disparity would not exist.
    "...have the pure chutzpah to try to paint themselves as some sort of maverick minority view, fighting the good fight. Hilarious. " Just look at the comments in this thread and ask yourself who is the minority viewpoint.
    "It is also funny when people like you and Isabel do actually go "ballistic" in your imagined persecution. Sad, true. But funny." Hmmm. I think I have remained calm throughout, but I can't say the same for Isabel. She's on her own, so please don't try to associate me with her. I am not quite sure what point she is trying to make.
    Spiny, your comment is almost a caricature of the white "liberal" mindset that I refer to as the Kennedy syndrome. This is the subconscious belief of many middle to upper class whites that virtually all whites enjoy the same wealth and privilege that they do and all non-whites suffer under the oppression of less progressive whites. Therefore, racial preference in education and employment is the only solution. In fact, I am a first generation American, and though I did not grow up in actual poverty, it was certainly lower-middle class. In addition, where I grew up, Latinos were the overwhelming majority. And many members of that majority had more privileged lives than mine. So perhaps you can understand why I am not a big fan of racial preferences, but I am going to go out on a limb and say probably not.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Your understanding of what is fair needs a lot of work.

  • drugmonkey says:

    X member of a suspect class had it better than Y member of the majority is the weakest sort of argument, btw. Common, yes, but deeply flawed and ignorant.

  • drugmonkey says:

    It is interesting that you would describe anyone else 's argument as a "caricature", btw. So far you are smack on the anti-affirmative action template.

  • Isabel says:

    "Oh, so you're somewhere between a troll and an internet tough gal."

    Did you actually read my post? That's all you got out of it? Wow.

    Why won't a single person on this thread respond to a single one of my points instead of calling me a troll over and over? What would have been the response around there if Physioprof had said that about 5-9-year-old children who did not appear white? Does anyone doubt that he would not be welcome here, and everyone here would hate him?

    These were very young children who had just endured the unimaginable, and he took the opportunity to publicly shame them for their skin color. And everyone here is cool with that.

  • anonymous postdoc says:

    I'm sorry, WS. How can you be so myopic? I , too, grew up white where white people were not the majority. My upbringing gave me a strong feeling, which you claim to share, that racial preferences are not beneficial to society. Thing is, now I live in a part of this country where it is a white privilege hoedown 24/7 (true of many parts of this country). I can feel the skin-tone preference which benefits me and it is wrong, just as wrong as it was when it didn't. How can you not feel that?

    In other words, it would take looking through a seriously self-interested lens to determine that the status quo is currently prioritizing "fairness" over diversity, as you would put it. This is about respecting people, and respecting that the intelligence, drive, and creativity that is important to science is not unevenly distributed by ethnicity, but that privilege comes from the way people treat you, which is unevenly distributed*. The way people treat you, the mentoring and attention that come from that, those are the things that help people get in the game, stay in the game, and finesse the hard times that come to every scientist.

    *"The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she's treated."

  • Spiny Norman says:

    WS: I would suggest that you might do better to stick to your own argument than to spend time fabricating arguments that I did not make.

  • Isabel says:

    "It is also funny when people like you and Isabel do actually go "ballistic" in your imagined persecution. Sad, true. But funny."

    What are you talking about here? I am standing up for these little kids. I am not the same person as some other commenter. I am not against diversity or AA. Try to stay focused please. Why aren't you equally outraged? Why is Physioprof still welcome here, still prominently linked to on your blog?

    Why aren't the parents here outraged? Why were none of Isis' commenters offended? Do you all secretly relish the spectacle of white children being publicly shamed for their whiteness- is it a revenge thing? Is that what is going on? Since everyone is refusing to offer any other explanation, we really have to consider this possibility.

    " I am not quite sure what point she is trying to make."

    People are pretending not to understand why it is wrong to publicly shame recently-traumatized little children for their skin color, calling them "those fucken kiddes who couldn't be any goddamn whiter" and why people who make those kinds of remarks on a regular basis shouldn't be welcome here, or in any civilized place, well I can't make it any clearer.

    And you really don't get why this should be brought up when the same asshole is meanwhile expressing outrage in the much more reasonable situation of judging race for a scientific study based on web photos?

    What I don't get is why everyone is so much more outraged that I brought it up than about his comments or about his very obvious hypocrisy.

    " Sad, true. But funny."

    Yes, this is all so hilarious.

  • physioprof says:

    Why aren't you equally outraged?

    Loonabel, you have cornered the market on outrage!

  • Dave says:

    I'm not talking to you, racist child-hater. Go fuck yourself for what you said about those little kids.

    Classic.

  • Isabel says:

    I am glad to be apparently offering all this entertainment. The message is we shouldn't be outraged when rich, privileged adults mock and shame little children for their skin color. Outrage is out: irony is in.

  • Dave says:

    Oh yeh I'm sure we are all "rich, privileged adults" on here LOL.

    You spectacularly missed the point that CPP was making in the original blog post. That's all there is to it.

  • Isabel says:

    "Outrage is out: irony is in."

    except of course if a shock jock comments on a womens' basketball team, or an academic blogs about students wearing high heels to graduation. then we can drop the ironic attitude and express endless outrage over the shaming (of adults mind you). But pale-skinned children are fair game, no matter how young, innocent or traumatized.

  • Isabel says:

    "Oh yeh I'm sure we are all "rich, privileged adults" on here LOL. "

    Please try to follow the thread. Are you people all drunk this early in the morning??

    I was referring to the person who may the comment about the children, and that is an accurate description of that particular person.

    Now, what is this point made in CPPs "original blog post"? And what blog post are you referring to?

  • WS says:

    DM, as previously you make assertions with no substantive support, and failed to intelligently rebut anything I said. "Deeply flawed and ignorant" is not an argument.

    Anonymous, Please tell me more about this "white privilege" and where I can find some of it. Please provide examples of where your skin tone has helped you in your academic career in a way that someone with more melanin could not have taken advantage of. I hope it is not necessary to provide examples of the reverse.

    "it would take looking through a seriously self-interested lens to determine that the status quo is currently prioritizing "fairness" over diversity, as you would put it." Actually, I make exactly the opposite argument.

  • Spiny Norman says:

    "Are you people all drunk this early in the morning??"

    Assuming that that is just a typo and not some sort of recursive-hypercube-question-mark, then fuck, no! I never drink in the morning. In the morning I snort up big fat lines of meth.

    That's why I'm so fucking productive.

  • Spiny Norman says:

    "In fact, I am a first generation American, and though I did not grow up in actual poverty, it was certainly lower-middle class. "

    Bully for you. We were on AFDC and I got free school lunches. So we are two of the Four Yorkshiremen. Bully for us, old boy! Good show! A pat on the back, that's what we deserve! Who'd have thought we'd be sitting here today!

    Of course, there is an alternative, and perhaps more insightful view.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Isabel, perhaps you would care to explain where PP's comment was attacking the children themselves? As opposed to a comment in their neighborhood (wealthy, exclusive by the reporting), school or selection for the choir? Or some other point he was trying to make.

  • WS says:

    Thanks for the links Spiny. And congrats on rising up so far from your roots. Even more commendable that you did that all without preferential treatment (I am assuming). I guess your family was one of the unfortunate few families of European descent that did not benefit from the exploitation of all those black slaves, Mexican farm workers, and Chinese railroad workers, etc. The four Yorkshiremen was good for a few laughs. However, the video game analogy of the straight white male? Well..., let me just paraphrase D.M. Your analogy is superficial, and may I suggest uneducated. In addition, it is deeply flawed and ignorant.
    P.S. I liked the "big fat lines of meth" quote.

  • Isabel says:

    "Isabel, perhaps you would care to explain where PP's comment was attacking the children themselves? "

    The part where he said "those fucken kids".

    "As opposed to a comment in their neighborhood (wealthy, exclusive by the reporting), school or selection for the choir? Or some other point he was trying to make."

    Ah, so he made a public comment expressing his disgust for a physical characteristic he thinks many of these little children share because he has some kind of gripe with the town?? Is that what you are suggesting? And you think that would excuse his comment? About extremely young, traumatized children?

    And are you really suggesting that they were chosen to be in the choir based on the color of their skin? Have you completely lost your mind, DM?

  • Isabel says:

    I think we need to discuss something here. How are children affected by statements that they hear that suggest that people with their skin color are evil, responsible for all the bad things in the world, and not deserving of the most basic respect given to other people?

    And we need to understand why otherwise caring, intelligent adults think it is fine for other adults to take out their anger and revenge fantasies on small children of a particular skin color.

  • Spiny Norman says:

    Isabel: Thank you for your insightful comments on bias in NIH grant review. Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Isabel says:

    Get lost, Spiny. I responded to a question posed directly to me by the blogger. And you have nothing better to do on a Sunday than whine about other peoples' conversations? Pretty pathetic. Well, I guess you are another one who idolizes PP and claims he has helped your career and that his expressions of hatred for "white" children are totally cool.

  • Spiny Norman says:

    "Well, I guess..."

    You're not a very good guesser, Isabel.

  • WS says:

    O.K. All in favor of hunting down PP and burning him at the stake, say "Aye." PP, I suggest you make this easy on yourself and surrender.

  • Isabel says:

    ""As opposed to a comment in their neighborhood (wealthy, exclusive by the reporting), school or selection for the choir? Or some other point he was trying to make.""

    Okay, I just reread your comment, because of the weird phrasing/grammar I may have (hopefully) misread it. Do you mean that PP was making a point about the fact that SHE was chosen to be invited to perform?

    This is bizarre also. The children, who were asked to perform in a show of support because they suffered such a great tragedy, should have been ultimately rejected for inclusion in the ceremony because they were not the right race, or diverse enough, or something? So it therefore looks bad on TV, and upsets everyone watching to see so many little light skinned children? Is that what you are suggesting?

  • Isabel says:

    And it is very strange that people find this topic funny.

  • physioprof says:

    Loonabel, it's not the topic that people find hilarious.

  • Shridhar says:

    No, that wasn't the only thing that I got from what you wrote, but it was the only information added in that text. Blog communities are echo chambers with its own ethos, attitudes and sets of beliefs. When you go to one of them and try to argue with these core shared beliefs, you become a troll. Even if you're right - and aren't we always right? What you're doing is no different from going to a feminist blog and talk about how feminism being sexism, or going to a pro-life blog and talk about fetuses not being yet human. Or going to a postdoc blog and saying that they're just whiners. When people in a community already has a strong prior against what you are saying, it's a fight you can't win. So what you do is repeat the same thing over and over again "exposing how wrong they are" and getting into heated and useless arguments. It won't change anything. That's trolling.

    I agree with a lot of what you said. It is wrong to talk about the whiteness of other kids in the same way that it's wrong to question the blackness of RGIII. It is particularly cruel given the context - those kids were Sandy Hook survivors. I don't buy Spiny's and DM's "maybe he meant something else" either. You're also right about the general trend of academics to align with the left, and a correlation between where you lie in the racial politics spectrum and your political affiliations. And I'm also not surprised by the reactions you're getting here.

    And I don't condemn that reaction because that's exactly how I feel if someone came to a conversation I was having and started disrupting it buy screaming truths. It's like the ex on a wedding that decides to talk about how the groom is a lying cheater. She might be right and she is exposing the groom for the bastard he is. But guess who will be the asshole kicked out of the party?

    That's why I said you're suffering from a serious case of "There's someone wrong on the internet". And that's why I said you're essentially a troll. I said CPP adds value to this side of the blogosphere from his advices and that's why you won't be able to change anyone's opinion. I don't idolize CPP but I still value a lot of what he writes, in the same way that I respect Tiger Wood's golf career despite his questionable moral integrity. Also, CPP is an anonymous dude on the internet, not someone at the game hackling the kids, so your outrage seems excessive. You may think that by exposing CPPs failings you're fixing the internet or discourse within the academic neuroscience blogosphere. You're not. You're just trolling.

  • drugmonkey says:

    I think we need to discuss something here. How are children affected by statements that they hear that suggest that people with their skin color are evil, responsible for all the bad things in the world, and not deserving of the most basic respect given to other people?

    It is hilariously astonishing how close you get to reality...and then veer right off into your paranoid faux equivalent ranting.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Shridhar-

    To be nice and clear. I am in charge of comment policy, it's a loose one and I am not one to get perturbed about allegedly off-topic commentary, thread jacking or so-called "trolling". I don't agree with you that accusing someone like Isabel of this is quite correct. Yes, she has a certain set of 3 obsessions that she applies to any thread. But she gives every evidence of sincere belief in her positions...this makes the easy out of "trolling" a bit silly in my view.

    Similarly, PP may strike a certain repetitive and provocative tone. Shrug.

    Since I have more history on where PP is coming from....well I simply don't agree with what Isabel is implying. I also agree with a great deal of sociopolitical understanding that there is no equivalency between remarks made about people in the majority in group and those on the outs. You can choose not to agree but it's a pretty confirmed, considered and formally educated view. So you know...extraordinary claims and all. Simplistic views of fairness that are blind to privilege aren't going to move the dial much.

  • Isabel says:

    "But guess who will be the asshole kicked out of the party? "

    It's not a party, it's a discussion about race. And no one has been kicked out. I think we've made progress actually. We have established that Physioprof is using actual innocent children as a scapegoat for his racism, and that others here approve.

    "I said CPP adds value to this side of the blogosphere from his advices "

    On a topic about race, even though I linked to far worse things he has posted himself in the last week than what he and others are criticizing here? You think he has value to add on the topic of racism?

    Please calm down about educating me. I know what I am doing. I don't expect to win any arguments here. And in this case I am the lone voice speaking up for these kids, and I think that's important, don't you? Maybe put people on notice once in a while that what they are doing is not cool, especially when it involves young children?

    " golf career despite his questionable moral integrity"

    all these examples I couldn't care less about, come on. We are talking about public shaming of children because of their race, not someone's love life.

    "Also, CPP is an anonymous dude on the internet, not someone at the game hackling the kids, so your outrage seems excessive. "

    Isis' blog is supposedly about women in science and she does promote herself as such, and encourages young readers, etc. Whether the remarks were addressed directly to the children or just posted on-line where anyone can see them makes a difference does it? But I bet it wouldn't if the children had been black and the comment had been about them. And Physioprof wouldn't be invited back to any of these blogs.

    But thank you for explaining that this "blog community's" ethos and shared beliefs include "mocking and shaming little kids is cool and if someone in our blog community does this it is okay or at least we will ignore it because he might have a good reason". Making things explicit in this way is one of my goals here.

  • Isabel says:

    "I also agree with a great deal of sociopolitical understanding that there is no equivalency between remarks made about people in the majority in group and those on the outs. "

    Ah, we are indeed making progress here. It is okay to call attention to the skin color of white children in disgusted tones on public forums because they are in the majority. Being little children, ages 5-8, is no defense.

    "You can choose not to agree but it's a pretty confirmed, considered and formally educated view."

    Um, I doubt it. I don't think it is an educated view that shaming children for being white and saying hateful things about them on a public forum won't harm them or society in any way, and that is okay for a supposedly enlightened, progressive person to do or shrug off when others do it.

  • Isabel says:

    "I think we need to discuss something here. How are children affected by statements that they hear that suggest that people with their skin color are evil, responsible for all the bad things in the world, and not deserving of the most basic respect given to other people?

    It is hilariously astonishing how close you get to reality...and then veer right off into your paranoid faux equivalent ranting."

    what are you talking about here? This is what he has done: he speaks openly in disgusted tones about their skin color, something that is never allowed when discussing people with other skin colors, as every schoolchild knows, all indicating that there is something really bad about white people. How do you think young children might interpret PP's statement, or a young adolescent girl who comes across the comment while reading Isis' blog? Is there something wrong with these children? Why did PP insult them in such an ugly way? How can they possibly interpret his hatred?

  • Spiny Norman says:

    "I don't buy Spiny's and DM's "maybe he meant something else" either."

    That's not all I said, Shridhar.

    CPP is nothing if not a fountain of dark humor, and while some humor can certainly be offensive and inappropriate, context is absolutely critical in deciding what a given attempt at humor means. Because I had no interest in digging into the context of CPP's comment, I repudiated his comment with the proviso that there might be more to his comment than I was willing to discover.

    That's not giving him the benefit of the doubt; it's simply an acknowledgment that some doubt exists.

  • drugmonkey says:

    The problem, Isabel, is that you are in a distinctly minority opinion that PP "mocked" or "shamed" any children. Your FoxNews style repetition does not make it any more so that he in fact did what you claim he did.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Look at it this way Isabel, if some white kid happens across PP's comment and reaches the conclusion you wish to assume...odds are good this will be the first time said kid has run across any such suggestion and it will contrast very strongly with the opposite message that they have received all their life up to that point.

    Leading the horse further to water here....

    Now consider the life of a child with nonwhite identity in this culture. Yes, including those not-white Jews you are constantly on about.

  • WS says:

    "Simplistic views of fairness that are blind to privilege aren't going to move the dial much."

    Nor will simplistic views of privilege that are blind to fairness. In fact, beliefs based on faith rarely, if ever, succumb to reason.

    Isabelle, I think you can take some solace in the fact that it is extremely unlikely that any of those kids that PP referred to will ever see or here about what he said.

  • Drugmonkey says:

    Is that your excuse for clinging tightly to your position and refusing to grapple with reality? Your faith?

  • WS says:

    Keep telling yourself that DM.

  • Isabel says:

    "The problem, Isabel, is that you are in a distinctly minority opinion"

    Two other people have agreed with me on the thread, and the rest are silent. How the heck is that a "distinctly minority opinion"???

    Sorry, you need to try harder. You haven't come up with one possible inoffensive explanation for his cruel words.

    "Your FoxNews style repetition "

    What does this even mean?

    "Yes, including those not-white Jews you are constantly on about."

    Constantly on about? When was the last time I mentioned Jews, asshole? You have no morals at all do you? Fox News? Constantly on about Jews=anti-semetic? And you do know at least one Jewish child was killed in the massacre who may have had a sibling or friend in the chorus (I heard that three of the performing children lost siblings)?

    Now you are suggesting that the children of Newtown have grown up hearing people speak openly in tones of disgust about other races and Jews, and have never heard white people disparaged in their lives? You are a sick cookie, man if you actually believe that.

  • WS says:

    Isabel,
    I URGE you to calm down and consider what it is you hope to accomplish, because right now everyone, including your boyfriend PP, is just having fun at your expense.

  • Isabel says:

    You have an extremely weird definition of fun, WS. And I am completely calm, you seem more agitated than anyone, frankly. Really, what's with all the "calm down" shit? Classic sexism if you ask me.

  • Isabel says:

    And PP, who is a disgusting, elitist pig and certainly not anyone's boyfriend, is not having fun either; he is desperately trying to distract readers from these ugly truths revealed by his racist spewing.

  • WS says:

    Well, in this case, it is the sort of fun one has when walking by a car containing a small territorial dog. As you walk by, you don't notice the dog until it barks threateningly at you. Then, for "fun," you slowly approach the dog and watch with amusement as it begins to bark ever more frantically. You don't stop until your face is right against the window, at which point you begin to wonder if the dog might literally explode.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Outside of your head (and FoxNews) where exactly are white people disparaged?

  • Isabel says:

    "begins to bark ever more frantically."

    Calm down, WS, no one is barking frantically around here except Physioprof. But he is not funny.

    Okay, DM, I am going to ignore your ludicrous question (and why do you watch Fox News?), according to you the jerk was trying to make a serious point, a point so important that it was worth publicly insulting those little kids. But what point? That Newtown is a racist town? How does he know this? Because he squinted his eyes at the screen while watching the super bowl and doesn't like the look of the kids, not brown enough for him, so time to complain loudly that they are all racists in Newtown? Are black people not welcome there? How does he conclude this? What should the racial composition of every town in America be? Can we diagnose racism by racial composition? How about every town in the world?

    Or was his point that they are too white for tv, and should have been denied participation in the event? How does complaining about the racial composition of a town or school chorus help things? This is an example of disparagement of white people by the way. Every time someone sneers that an area is too white. Should Newtown actively try to encourage more blacks to move to town? Maybe they don't want to move to a boring rural town, though those who do seem happy there. Or should some black children from somewhere else have been added to the chorus for tv consumption?

    Every way we interpret this is equally offensive. The only goal is for PP to feel better, and this will never happen, sadly. But he keeps trying. He has to move beyond hatred. As long as he imagines one particular race is the enemy, and the solution is to beat that race down as far as you can (he has stated there is "no hope for this country" until white people are a minority) you have made no progress toward enlightenment, don't you agree?

  • physioprof says:

    Loonabel, do you feel that you are continuing to accomplish your goals in this thread?

  • drugmonkey says:

    This is an example of disparagement of white people by the way. Every time someone sneers that an area is too white.

    No, it isn't. That's your paranoid persecution complex talking.

  • Isabel says:

    Yes Physioprof, thank you.

    So now DM think's it is paranoid to interpret sneering as disparagement. Too funny. Paranoid persecution complex, good one DM.

    So we conclude, if a group of kids from an area look too white on TV to a drunk, squinting sports fan, the area is obviously filled with vile racists. Loudly insulting the children in a public forum is a reasonable action for an anti-racist. The good filks at Scientopia are totally behind this kind of behavior. That'll show those kids!

    And if a person interprets a sneering remark about how "white" an area is as disparaging toward white people (with an implication that they are obviously racist perhaps, or that the area lacks culture maybe?) then that person has a paranoid persecution complex.

    haha, and you nutcases talk about the idiots who watch Fox News. You are operating at the same level.

  • Isabel says:

    It is also so pretty pathetic that black people accept this kind of condescension. yes, blacks have no agency here at all. They can't decide that they don't want to move to a snowy, rural town in New England. They must move there and comprise 12% of the population or they are obviously not wanted, and rich white dudes like PP and DM need to speak up for them. They don't even seem to realize that it is not about them when this happens, but about PPs needs.

  • Isabel says:

    "They don't even seem to realize that it is not about them when this happens"

    To be clear, I'm talking about PPs fan club here, not blacks in general.

  • Grumble says:

    With bleach.

    That's how those kids could have gotten fukken whiter.

    Next topic?

  • Isabel says:

    Haha, Grumble, you sound like you also hang out at Fox News! You definitely have the right attitude ;)

    It's the old "two sides of the same coin" thing. Thanks for helping me illustrate it.

  • WS says:

    "With Bleach." Funniest line of the thread. It worked for Michael Jackson, didn't it.
    To answer your earlier question, Isabel, when white people complain about an area being too white, it makes them feel sophisticated or enlightened. Either that or they are self-loathers.

  • Isabel says:

    "being too white, it makes them feel sophisticated or enlightened. Either that or they are self-loathers."

    All of the above are operating here. It has nothing to do with standing up for inequality. And the loudest complainers are the most privileged. Upper middle class white progressives are the worst- they are the most racist and never will acknowledge their economic advantages, they pretend all white people have them equally, or that the difference is a minor element. This spreads out the guilt in their minds. Then they take it a step further and place ALL the blame for racism on lower class whites, eg rednecks, as these two spoiled dudes do here on the blog. If only all white people were rich and spoiled like PP, then maybe they would be enlightened and there would be no more racism. Of course this makes no sense, but it's not intended to, the goal is to relieve their guilt and self-loathing. Also, it is normal for people to put down the lower social orders, but it's not really accepted to do so openly in the US. So this racism element gives them a workaround so they can freely express their disdain for lower class whites.

  • drugmonkey says:

    "Spoiled"? How so?

  • Comradde PhysioProffe says:

    Loonabel's jealous cause she drives a shitteasse redneck jalopy instead of a sweetteasse Bentley like me.

  • Drugmonkey says:

    What exactly IS a "jalopy" anyway? I've never been clear on that....

  • physioprof says:

    Itte's a shitteasse junker, like what you see the pibulls lurking around underneath in the redneck trailer park yards, waiting to maul you to death.

  • Drugmonkey says:

    Dude how old are you? That term went out of fashion around 1953

  • Spiny Norman says:

    "Redneck trailer park yards?" Hey that's just my back yard comrade. And my parents in-laws' front yard.

  • Isabel says:

    I undoubtedly have a cooler car than Physioprof, and not because of my parents money. I earned it. No more jalopies for me. But keep flaunting your privileges and you ugly snobbery and revealing the real Physioprof :)

    Such a charming, enlightened group of folks here, DM!

  • Isabel says:

    We can't be offended by Physioprof's classist statements here of course. After all, we can never fully understand the context; furthermore, he may be trying to make a point of some kind, or it may simply be black humor. Or he may be personally attacking someone who has called him out on his racist behavior, so using that person's working class background as a basis of the attack is totally understandable.

  • drugmonkey says:

    You forgot the part about making the Bichon in a parked car bark like crazy, Isabel.

  • Isabel says:

    Your characterization of my behavior here is way off, and sexist. You are on the defensive. Also, that falls under humor anyway. Why do none of these defenses work for a shock jock who makes an ironic racist statement? Why the double standard? You are using all the same excuses. Now it's okay to mock poor people because it's fun to do? That's your reasoning?

  • drugmonkey says:

    nobody made an "ironic racist statement" Isabel. You still haven't made a convincing case for that despite your FoxNews style mindless repetition of the charge.

  • Grumble says:

    This entire comment thread is truly hilarious. It makes me think of what would happen if someone hid some fulsomely redolent sausages all around a hungry dog's compound, just out of its reach.

  • Isabel says:

    It is funny isn't it how all these guys keep having tantrums because someone is challenging their deluded view of their own "progressiveness" ? Ha ha, I have been enjoying the spectacle enormously myself. I love seeing these supposedly superior beings fall back into every defense of the "other" that they define themselves as being better than. How is anyone here better than a Fox News listener? Poor DM can only envision two types of people in the entire world; people who think exactly like him and Fox News junkies.

    DM's last comment doesn't even make sense. He is just throwing out defensive phrases. I don't even know which comment he is referring to. Why would I want to make a case for an "ironic racist statement"?

  • Isabel says:

    Of course, Grumble here is probably suggesting that I am the hungry dog, and the men ganging up on me are the "fulsomely redolent" sausages. This is truly hilarious - castration anxieties maybe, Grumble? This sexist expression of fear fits with the "crazy woman" stereotype that is being used against me.

    As long as it is entertaining to a few, sexism, classism and racism are all acceptable here.

  • WS says:

    Isabel,
    I am probably more sympathetic to your viewpoint than anyone else here, but it is no more obvious to me where you get sexism out of anything said here than the rest of these guys find racism in every study, article, or comment, like some paranoid schizophrenic wearing an aluminum hat. You will notice that when an intelligent response is not an option, they ignore what has been said, or turn to discussions of jalopies. While funny, it adds nothing of substance to the topic at hand. Of course, that assumes that any of us are doing that. For example, I like to add insults like the one above, just because it feels good. I think at some level, we have a visceral belief that others participants in this blog can be persuaded by sound argument. But when it comes to the subject of race, I am not so sure. For example, I regard DM's and other's view of privilege, i.e. white = privileged, as simplistic, yet they regard my view of fairness (put simply, meritocracy) as simplistic. I can't understand their view, and they can't understand mine, even when their backgrounds should (e.g. Spiny Norman).
    I think you should realize that CPP is an idiot, and disregard everything he says. I have yet to figure out why he adds random letters to most of his words. Does anybody have the answer to that?

  • WS says:

    P.S.
    DM, I just noticed that you have more than one symbol to represent you, while the rest of us have just one. Why is that?

  • DrugMonkey says:

    That is a pressing issue? The icon?

  • DrugMonkey says:

    I mean sheesh. Icons?

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Aren't there other things to get bent about? Like all the evil that I do on the inside of Isabel's fevered imagination?

  • Isabel says:

    My icon is racist.

  • WS says:

    Good ones!

  • Comradde PhysioProffe says:

    I think at some level, we have a visceral belief that others participants in this blog can be persuaded by sound argument.

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHH!!,!,!, Dude, hook me uppe with some of thatte shitte your smokin'!!!!!!

  • Isabel says:

    Yes, I tried to explain to WS that I had no expectations when it comes to DM or PP. But lurkers are less emotionally invested and can definitely be influenced by both posts and comments.

    I enjoy exposing hypocrisy and condescension, and directly telling arrogant, spoiled brats like PP or NIDA-promoters like DM exactly what I think of them - I never had the opportunity to do so before blogs. It can be very entertaining and it lowers my blood pressure.

    Meanwhile, here's a good post on these types I have been describing.

    http://academic-jungle.blogspot.com/2013/02/disingenuously-concerned.html

    fantastic first comment by Alex :)

  • Drugmonkey says:

    Yes Isabel, it is well known that PP and I compete vigorously for "most Sensitive Person in the Room". At all times.

  • Alex says:

    Yeah, I wasn't thinking of DM when I wrote that comment.

    And I certainly wasn't thinking of Comrade "Science is not a care bears motherfucking tea party!" PhysioProf.

  • Isabel says:

    "Yeah, I wasn't thinking of DM when I wrote that comment."

    Duh. No one said you did, did they? Calm down.

    Nevertheless, it does fit perfectly. Why not?

    (I somehow knew you were going to turn up and make that protestation. I guess PP has helped your career and all).

    So you support DM and Physioprof shaming little white (supposedly) children and standing up for the poor blacks who don't get to live in CT even though they obviously want to move there. They are nothing like the people you refer to in your comment? I think it is a perfect illustration. How are they different?

  • Isabel says:

    "Proclamations of raised consciousness are often a form of signaling. The boldest proclamations don't always come from the people with the best track records of practice, and if you actually delve into the bolder proclamations there can be some patronizing subtexts."

    Thank you, Alex!

    bold proclamation - "Those fucking kids couldn't get any whiter"

    patronizing subtext - "I must speak up for the poor black people who obviously want to move to Newtown"

    signaling - "I am a special, sensitive, enlightened ally, unlike the evil racists out there (the white majority)"

    don't always come from the people with the best track records of practice - and they disproportionally come from the richer, exploitative classes.

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