Tag Archives: false equivalences

Fun with Cartoons

Here’s a cartoon that expresses a sentiment I’ve heard a lot of lately (pulled it off of Reddit):

Fig. 1: Things which are not analogous

I’m sad that this needs commentary.  Of the five or so things wrong with this, I think the worst is the implication that Christians, the religious majority in the United States, are oppressed, and homosexuals, a long-persecuted minority, are not.

Things that are not equivalent at all, part MMXXI

Someone at Real Clear Politics has weighed in on the Naomi Schaefer Riley firing (talked about by us here and here–see links).  Part of her defense, not the worst part sadly, involved the following equivalence:

Yet most left-of-center commentators who have weighed in — such as Atlantic editor and blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates and Center for American Progress fellow Eric Alterman — have condemned Riley and defended her firing. Their argument is that, while Riley has a right to her opinions and criticism of black studies is not racist, her post was so "lazy," "sloppy" and "ignorant" that such "know-nothing hackery" has no place on the blog of an academic publication. That's because Riley freely admits she did not read the dissertations she lampooned but relied on The Chronicle's summaries (not, as some have mistakenly claimed, the titles alone).

Is this a sloppy approach for a 520-word blogpost? First, let's turn the political tables. Suppose a left-wing academic blogger had poked fun at stupid Ph.D. dissertations from conservative Christian colleges arguing that homosexuality can be cured or that teaching evolution undermines students' morals — and based her post on a magazine's summary of the thesis topics. Would those tut-tutting at Riley's laziness demand actual perusal of such works?

Does one need to point out that there is a major difference between right-wing quackery about curing gays and the immorality of evolution and the entire academic field of Black Studies?  Apparently so.  Well, there's a difference.

What is it?  Homosexuality is not a disease and evolution is a well-established scientific theory. 

Also, black people exist.

*Bonus for reading the comments to the post at RCP: liberals apparently are the real Nazis, like Rachel Maddow.

via Washington Monthly.