False equivalence is one of those annoying things that is hard to demonstrate because it is usually a shade of grey. To show that one side was more to blame than the other usually requires statistics which, as everyone knows, are boring and have to be carried around in your head – unless you want to keep interrupting your argument to consult your smart phone.
What got me thinking about this was a conversation I had this week at work. I said that even though most of the violence at Trump rallies during the election campaign of 2016 was perpetrated by leftists and antifas out to break up the rallies, you wouldn’t have known this from the way it was reported in the media. A usual headline was ‘More violence at Trump rally’ and the reader was left with the mysterious impression that violence always erupted when Trump was around. Presumably his supporters got into such an anti-immigrant frenzy that these waddling middle-agers, with their bright T shirts and tiny stars and stripes flags, started attacking each other.
Yet whenever I saw footage of the skirmishes it always involved black-clad youths with face masks taunting and sometimes attacking overweight office workers and shop workers who were either making their way to, or coming from, their rally. I simply didn’t hear about right-wingers going to break up a Hillary Clinton rally. This is either because it never happened or because the media hushed it up as a favour to Trump. However, I don’t think even Hillary supporters would claim something that unlikely. (Trump supporters have now slowly got wise to these attacks and started organising better and carrying weapons of their own to defend themselves.)
Anyway, my assertion that there was an asymmetry both in the reporting and in who was committing the violence prompted my colleague to say she thought that there was violence on both sides so there was basically nothing to choose between them.
My own opinion is that it is very rare to find two opposing parties that are equally to blame. I think Hitler was more to blame for World War II than other actors though I do have some sympathy with his grievances. That is, I think World War II was a direct consequence of the reparations imposed upon Germany for its role in World War I and I’m just not sure that Germany was unilaterally to blame for that conflagration. Clearly Hitler was a bit upset about something.
I think the left is generally more hateful than the right, as Julie Burchill opines here and more violent, as Pat Buchanan writes here. It’s not unusual for ‘Tory scum’ to have things thrown at them while Labour politicians can generally walk the streets unmolested. (There are, of course, exceptions).
So even though my colleague said nothing about equivalences in general and might agree with some of my examples here, I wanted to write down some equivalences I consider false.
First up is that men of all races and religions commit rape, therefore Muslim men are no more likely to rape, either as part of a child-grooming gang, or as gang rapists, or just as common-or-garden rapists than, say, Norwegian Christian males. Therefore we should let them into our countries in their millions.
Eight years ago this Christian killed an abortion clinic doctor. It thus follows that Islam is no more inherently violent than other religions, nor are its adherents any more likely to resort to violence to further their agenda than say, a man from the Amish community. At various times we have had Irish Catholic terrorists, Japanese cults who put sarin gas on trains and Jews who place bombs in hotels. There is therefore nothing uniquely dangerous about modern day Muslims and we should let them into our countries in their millions.
This idiotic white man played the knock-out game on a black man which shows that the knock-out game is played equally by all races. To claim otherwise is racist.
Britain is a land of immigrants. Haven’t you heard about the 50,000 well-educated French Protestant Huguenot craftsmen and their families who came to Britain over a period of a century or so during the 17th and 18th centuries and integrated well into Protestant Britain? So what makes you think there is anything different about that same number of poorly educated Pakistani and Somali Muslims arriving in Britain not once but every few months for the past couple of decades? You need to learn some history you racist.
We are all immigrants (except Africans, Native Americans and Australian Aborigines who have been where they are forever. A couple of centuries or even a couple of millennia don’t count.) Thus Mr. Hugo Rimmington-Smythe, whose family traces itself back to the Domesday Book and whose DNA geneticists have found are typical of those people around in Britain in 4,000 BC is no more British than the Muslim from Pakistan who got off the plane at Heathrow the day before yesterday.
The present mainly Muslim migrants are no different from the high IQ, Europeanised Jewish refugees who tried to flee Nazi Germany. Those Jews were just as picky about the level of welfare they would receive in the country they fled to and also frequently slit the throats and bombed the people who took them in. Just the same.
People of all races commit every crime under the sun and no one race has a monopoly on crime. Therefore races commit crime in equal numbers. People who claim that in America blacks commit more crime than Hispanics, Hispanics more crime than whites, and whites more crime than east Asians are either flat-out racist or unhealthily obsessed with government statistics. They should get out more and enjoy the company of some of the wonderfully diverse people of the world and stop looking for patterns where none exist.
UK crime statistics show that blacks are 6 times more likely than whites to commit murder, they commit over 7 times the gun crime and 3.7 times the rapes and though they only make up 3.3% of the population, commit a quarter of all robberies. But hey, they are probably just angry because they are discriminated against, especially by the police, who probably made up all those supposed ‘statistics’ in the first place. And we know the police stop and search blacks at a higher rate than whites so blacks are bound to be arrested more often. QED, there’s no difference in crime rates and anyone who says there is is a racist.
All races contributed equally to societal and technological progress. Or if Al Sharpton or some Muslims are to be believed, Blacks (or Muslims) invented the modern world and all its gadgets. Any white person who claims that whites played a leading role in world exploration, medicine, the concept of human rights, democracy, modern forms of transport and the sciences is probably a white supremacist. The truth is that the Chinese invented paper, Indians the number zero, the Arabs Arabic numerals and sub-Saharan Africans goat curry, so no race can claim predominance in creating the modern world. We all did it equally. Apart from the development of deadly nuclear weapons which were, of course, a purely white invention.
Both liberals and conservatives work in academia so there can’t be a pro-liberal bias in universities and schools. If there were then the BBC, which also has no political or cultural liberal bias, would have exposed it.
Both native whites and immigrants claim welfare so it is both untrue and racist to claim that immigrants are over-represented as welfare claimants. However, it is not untrue to say that the NHS would grind to a halt if all immigrants went home. Nor is it an exaggeration to say that nurses working for the NHS are literally angels.
Barack Obama and Thomas Sowell are intelligent black men and there are lots of stupid white men around so it is therefore untrue to say that black people have a lower average IQ than whites. And if for some reason the average IQ of blacks does turn out to be lower than that of whites, this is either because IQ tests are inaccurate, or because they are racist, or because black people don’t come from a culture of doing such pointless, stupid tests. And ‘Why don’t they have such a culture?’ is a racist question.
Still, there are times when equivalences are not correct. For example, it’s sort of okay to say that east Asians and Jews have higher average IQs than whites. And it is certainly okay, even good, to note that black people are on average better athletes than whites. However, to say that they are also better dancers and have natural rhythm is not okay. That’s racist. I’m not sure if it’s okay to say that blacks are not very good swimmers. Maybe it is because it probably isn’t part of their culture.
Though all people throughout history and in all places have traded in slaves, white people, especially white Americans, are more guilty than others. Sure, blacks had been happily catching each other and Arabs had been happily trading those unhappy captives since at least 650 AD. The Arabs captured over a million whites and sold them into slavery, too. Never heard of the Barbary Pirates? In fact the trade in white slaves possibly outstripped the Atlantic slave trade at one point. And though it was mainly the British and Americans who finally decided slavery was wrong and abolished it it is still right that we concentrate only on the role played by whites in the slave trade because…well, just because.
Colonialism by European empires was much worse than that of the Ottoman Empire, the Soviet Empire, the Han Dynasty or the Ashanti Empire. Despite being white, the Soviets were not as bad as other white colonialists, partly because they didn’t colonise black or brown countries, and partly because they were socialists, who are basically good people.
Most serial killers in America are white. There is no need for equivalence here. This is just a fact. (Well, kind of. Yes, most serial killers in America are white for the same reason that most serial killers in Nigeria are black. However, 20% of serial killers in America are black, even though they make up only 12% of the population.)
Though men and women both commit crime it is okay to say that men commit more crime than women. This does not show an unhealthy interest in statistics, it merely shows some basic common sense, which in this particular case is allowed.
And finally, between around 18 mins 44 secs and 29 mins 35 secs of his podcast, John Derbyshire dissects the media claim that there is a moral equivalence between the Welshman who drove his van into a crowd of Muslims and the various Muslim attacks on Britons, a claim that sees ‘hate’ as being to blame for the current carnage rather than insane levels of Muslim immigration into traditionally white Christian countries. Derbyshire sees an asymmetry between the plight of a people being invaded and terrorised by in incoming group and the people doing the invading and terrorising who have just suffering a single act of retaliation. He states that if things ever got really bad, Muslims could easily return to the countries that either they, or their parents, came from. But where are Britons supposed to go? And why are Europeans the only people who aren’t supposed to mind large-scale, unasked for immigration into their countries?