We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Well, this year, (Mrs.) Zuckerberg noted, the magazine would aim to make sure that “at least [at least] 70 percent of our contributors be women and 20 percent of our writers be poc,” i.e., “people of color,” i.e., not white. (But isn’t race merely a “social construction”? No, silly, that was last year.) And just how are those percentages going to be achieved? Well, going forward, Eidolon will ask people pitching stories for “demographics,” i.e., are you black or white? Male or female? “I have no interest,” Zuckerberg sermonized, “in providing bland and false reassurances that we only care about good ideas and good writing and not who our authors are.” Who would doubt it? And what about merit? “[A]ppeals to merit,” she said, are “often . . . white supremacist dog-whistles.” So: “If you’re white and we publish you, you will know, for maybe the first time in your career, that it was because of the merit of your idea and not because you’re white.”
We’d like to know if there are any cases of anyone anywhere being published in a classics journal because he (or even she) was white. Still, Zuckerberg’s destruction of Eidolon as a serious journal does raise an interesting question about the level of masochism among white classicists, especially white male classicists. Why would anyone of that description who was not a masochist submit work to a journal that is self-confessedly hostile to them? Indeed, why would anyone not a masochist read it?
It is not that race being regarded as a social construction one year and a real thing the next is only a matter of fashion. The incompatible ideas are held at a deep level and the rationalisations are subtle. Ultimately dishonest, but subtle. Because white people created and perpetuated the idea of race, it does exist in every world culture now, some more than others. It is partly true. The most dangerous lies usually are. Slavery had become illegal in Europe, but suddenly there was all this money to be made after 1500 buying and selling Africans (from other Africans, who were also buying and selling Europeans, but that is a different story). As one could not enslave another human being, the Africans needed to be defined as something less. That is true, and shoddy. However, it is no longer 1500, and the idea of races has persisted for other reasons, and we now know that there are indeed underlying differences, continent to continent. Appearance is a shortcut clue that everyone uses, therefore people who want to accuse others of racism can have it both ways.
Helping black people is never the issue. Getting to accuse people of being badwhites, and therefore identifying oneself as a goodwhite, is the whole point.
Assistant Village Idiot
This is racism pure and simple. It is accepted in some communities because they have convinced themselves they are right. Having lived in Mississippi in the 60's I can tell you that the racist back then believed exactly the same thing; that they were right and all their peers agreed.
I'm curious: Who is going to decide which ideas have merit? For example, I would like to send all of the black people back to Africa, and I've got some really good ideas on how it could be done.
Should I pitch the idea as a white person? Or as a Jew? Or maybe I'll have a better chance if I tell them that I'm trans-gendered.
Actually, I don't think that the merit of an idea should even be considered. I think that blacks should automatically be published, even if they can't rub two sticks together; which is usually the case. I would love to see a magazine full of chicken scratch. It would be an avant garde victory.