Saturday, April 06, 2013

Obama, beauty, and sexism

I had to laugh when I learned that Barack Obama who has often benefited from political correctness has been caught to the PC trap himself. A very loud third of the Americans – the batshit crazy Americans – apparently think that the following comment about Kamala Harris is "sexist".
“You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you'd want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake. She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country — Kamala Harris is here.  (Applause.)  It's true.  Come on.  (Laughter.)  And she is a great friend and has just been a great supporter for many, many years.”
You can't make it up.

The most comical aspect of this "scandal" is that Barack Obama said these things because he wanted to be even nicer and even more politically correct than some people around him. But too much political correctness, much like too little political correctness and a medium amount of political correctness, may turn out to be politically incorrect.

Let me elaborate on my claim that he actually wanted to be more Catholic than the Pope. Including the things in between the lines, Obama meant the following:
“While your experience certainly suggests that there are fewer extraordinarily talented lawyers displaying a natural authority between women than between men and some extra trouble may arise when relatively young women face difficult tasks, you have to be careful in this case. First of all, she is brilliant. Second of all, she is dedicated and third of all, she is tough. And she is exactly what you'd want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake. Although her ethnic background – she is an Asian Indian American – may look more crazy than mine, she also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country — Kamala Harris is here.  (Applause.)  It's true.  Come on.  (Laughter.)  And she is a great friend and has just been a great supporter for many, many years.”
Now, because Obama called her "best-looking AG", he is considered sexist. PC is tough and treacherous. It is – more precisely the people driving it are – so insane that you just can't ever know where and when it strikes.

In the competition of old men, it's not a shocking fact that Kamala Harris is the best-looking U.S. attorney general. We should still be careful because the adjective "best-looking" is subjective. In particular, there may be a bias because heterosexual male subjects are more likely to consider women good-looking while the ordering is reversed for homosexual subjects and it may be reverted for female subjects once again.

Despite this subjective nature of the "good-looking" adjective, I think that there could be some neutral, asexual, consensus-based evaluation of who is good-looking and Kamala Harris could still win in this particular race.

May a woman get offended in such a context? Well, the only woman who has at least some remote reasons to be offended by the comment above is Michelle Obama. But as long as a possible romance between Obama and Harris will remain invisible, even Michelle Obama should be doing fine. Otherwise women – whether they're attorney generals or not – care about their looks and Kamala Harris is demonstrably not an exception. So chances are high that she was flattered.

On the contrary, she could be – and she should be – insulted and hurt by the comments that Obama's appraisal was sexist. Why? Because the people who say that Obama's judgement was sexist implicitly claim that he only said that she was best-looking because she was a woman – i.e. because of her female organs – while the official reason behind Obama's statement is that she is a pretty woman – or, I could even say, because she is a pretty person.

The public/media reactions to these things is substantially different in my country. Thank God. Let me mention an example.

The official billboard of Public Affairs, a small Prague-based centrist party, now defunct. It said "Release the boys into the water: vote for our girls." Ms Karolína Peake is the second babe from the right. She survived the death of the Public Affairs and created an even smaller would-be party, LIDEM (Liberal Democracy; the acronym also means "to the people"), that helped to save the center-right government in one of the no-confidence votes.

A few months ago, PM Petr Nečas proposed her as the next defense minister. President Klaus made it clear that this would be a problem with him. He smiled and said that he really, but really couldn't "imagine how the sturdy soldiers would accept this little girl as their commander". Of course, there wasn't a sign of a genuine opposition to Klaus' remarks. Pretty much everyone thinks that he was right and/or made an important point. One can play various games but the soldiers still have some values, opinions, and priorities, and if their motivation to follow orders and fight for the country gets diminished by something, the safety of the country may be at risk. These are serious matters that should never be beaten by infantile politically correct speech codes. (That's also why I think it's unwise to insist on flooding the military by 4% of proud and loud gays – and similar things.) And it's much simpler – and more democratic! – to choose a minister who will be acceptable for the soldiers than to try to "reeducate" the soldiers.

I was in agreement with Klaus despite the fact that I consider her a sort of talented politician - a Western-style modern politician, not the kind of politicians I would enthusiastically vote for, but I think she would score well in some global competition. (Incidentally, her husband, Charles Peake, is an Australian manager of Czech-Chinese origin. Her maiden name, Kvačková, is as Czech as you can get.)

"Release us to the water here." A center-right ODS party's answer to the girls' billboard.

The current president, Miloš Zeman, was in somewhat hotter water for his witticism during the presidential campaign. He was suggesting that his competitor, Prince Schwarzenberg, came from a degenerated dynasty (Schwarzenberg reacted pleasantly: this comment made Schwarzenberg younger because it reminded him of the 1950s when the princes were labeled "degenerated" as well). But Zeman – which means a member of lower, countryside-based nobility, gentry – added a much more detailed explanation why Zeman was less degenerated than the Prince. Centuries ago, Princes enjoyed the "right of the first night" (it's probably a superstition, but let's ignore it) so they had the right to terminate the virginity of their serfs' maiden daughters. This made their sexual life simpler which is why (according to Zeman's modified genetics) they got degenerated. On the contrary, "Zemen" had to rape the girls they had crush on. They needed to spend energy and train for that etc. So with this training, they didn't degenerate.

Even I could guess that this was a potentially tough, marginally perverse joke and there were several feminists who tried to say it was bad. But these feminists are so totally marginal in our society that it would be silly to talk about any real scandal. There wasn't any. It's just a joke cleverly built on Schwarzenberg's aristocratic origin and Zeman's surname.

Even those of us in Czechia who sometimes consider ourselves "socially conservative" often view Americans as similarly puritanical, controlled by taboos and medieval speech codes as the people in the Muslim countries look to the Americans. In some situations, the difference between Americans and the fundamentalist Muslims is actually rather modest and the "liberals", despite their being left-wing, tend to make this proximity even more self-evident.

If America can't protect people like Obama from blackmailing, libels, and intimidation by insane folks such as those who think that he was "sexist", i.e. from pressure that forbids to say certain things in practice, then its constitution along with the amendments are de facto just pieces of a dirty toilet paper.


  1. I would think that Harris' background should be enough to protect Obama from any sexism ;-).

  2. If your sturdy soldiers cannot accept a woman as their commander they are both sexist and unprofessional.

    What does your 4% mean? My stepson spent a year as an officer on the USS Nimitz, the first of our Nimitz-class supercarriers, and, of the 3200 male and females on board, 25-30% were gay. Everyone knew it and nobody cared. Czechia does seem a little retarded in this regard.

  3. Politicians, at least in the US, have to be politically correct to survive. It’s sad but true.

  4. How did he know they were gay ?

  5. In France too, big time! That's why politicians don't know how to call a spade a spade.

  6. Marshall EubanksApr 7, 2013, 12:58:00 AM

    This (in the USA) is another fictitious second order* controversy, intended to occupy the news for a few cycles. It will cause a lot of heavy breathing and then be forgotten once it has served its purpose. (*By second order, I mean that the people with the vapors pretend to be upset because other people they don't know might be actually offended.)

  7. Having served on an aircraft carrier, population 5500 including air wing, I could believe 2.5 - 3.0% and not any higher.

    Kamala is good looking - no denying it, but I voted against her because of her liberal political views.

  8. Gays look twice at attractive members of their own sex; heterosexuals look twice at attractive members of the other sex. Just watch the eyes carefully; the glances can be very subtle. Of course you can’t always tell and frequently there are no sexy people around to run the test.
    The percentage of gays on the Nimitz was over twice the percentage in the population as a whole, which I think, is roughly ten percent. You can speculate on why that might be. Life on shipboard tends to produce a lot of horny people, naturally.

  9. Harris should have a brilliant political future but every time I say that about someone they flame out.

  10. Don't you people know that men and women are identical in all respects, have completely equal abilities in all fields and that any "so-called" differences should never be mentioned because, after all, there are no differences? Well, now you know....
    PC strikes yet again...makes one want to be a hermit.

  11. Dear Gene, I don't believe you that a USS with 3200 people had 25-30% of gays and I do believe that a ship with this composition of the crew would be in trouble during a conflict soon.

    No one cares about someone's being gay here either - we're indeed a much more tolerant nation in this respect than the Americans, so your attempt to place yourself "above" us is unjustifiable and preposterous.

    But we still realize that there are some laws of Nature and women and gays are much more likely to caress pets than to physically confront an enemy which is why their percentage in a healthy army is inevitably lower than their percentage in the general population - e.g. below 4% of gays among men in the army - and even this low percentage is a source of trouble among the typical soldiers which is why they shouldn't try to be "boasting" their identity within the army.

    The U.S. may perhaps afford to hire 25-30% of soldiers whose net contribution to the safety is zero or negative but Czechia can't afford and shouldn't afford it.

    Finally, let me say that the soldiers are also citizens and they have the right for their opinion about the contributions of gays, their lifestyle, and anything else. Their professionality is measured by their ability to deal with weapons etc. If you want to measure their "professionalism" by their opinions about homosexuality, then I can't avoid to mention that your appraisals of people isn't meritocratic but is heavily distorted by an ideology - a perverse one, in this case.

  12. The 3200 on the Nimitz includes the air wing, of course. They did more than 10,000 traps while he served. Do you even know what a “trap” is? Your number, 5500, is absurd. Are you on meds?
    I am simply relaying his estimate; I have no experience but he is a very astute man and I believe him. Your number, 2.5 to 3.0% is a fantasy.
    We agree that Kamala is gorgeous; at least we agree on something.

  13. Dear Gene, could you please be more concrete about the reasons/calculations that lead you believe that the percentage of gays is 25-30% over there?

    You surely know that the percentage of open gays in the U.S. military as a whole - since DADT was abolished - is about 2%, don't you? So you sure do understand why someone expects the figure to be similar on USS Nimitz, right?

    I don't quite understand the origin of the self-confidence with which you defend this seemingly preposterous percentage 25-30%. To me, this looks like a fairy-tale, a self-evidently untrue legend designed to strengthen some viewpoint or way of thinking. One may shout such random numbers in order to look interesting or in order to push the point that gays are critical everywhere. But if you're writing this percentage as a serious estimate, you surely know that extraordinary claims deserve extraordinary evidence, right?

  14. Gene, these two sites:

    Both give 3200 company and 2480 air wing. Doesn't this give total of 5680? I've never been on any of these ships, so maybe I don't understand the numbers correctly.

  15. What does your 4% mean?

    That's a good question, but I doubt that it goes well for your claim about the Nimitz. Assuming that you are right, either the gay percentage of the entire U.S. Navy FAR exceeds the gay percentage of the U.S. population, or Navy gays have a substantial ability to to congregate on the Nimitz or on aircraft carriers, or the probability that you're right is extremely tiny.

  16. Right I have similar conclusions.

    Just to be sure, the adjective "4%" is a Bohemism, a not-so-authentic English of mine. In Czech, the adjective "4%" is used pretty much in the same way as "gay' in English - to refer to homosexuals without being too explicit.

  17. I'm held back just a little by the fact that 50-60 years ago and earlier the old Women's Army Corps (WACs) was widely believed to have a very high percentage of lesbians, and the Navy to have a pretty high percentage of male homosexuals (higher than the other services). In fact, the "queer sailor" was a cultural meme (whatever) to some extent, appearing in jokes and works of fiction.

  18. Dear Gene, there is also what is called "situational homosexuality" when mammals are segregated by gender, though I believe political correctness working the other way suppresses this.

    I had a rude awakening back when I was 18 years old and taken to the Bronx zoo, a fresh Fulbright student in the US. There was a cage with small monkeys, 20 cm or so in height, running up and down a tree in a cage. The shock came when I realized they were all males, and very many of them were in various excited states many playing sex games with each other !

    I am sure evolution has not developed predominantly homosexual small monkeys.

    Boredom leads many people to onanism so an extension in a boring mainly one sex environment might just be an extension of this which will disappear in a free environment. Your step son might have been describing behavior and not real orientation.

  19. The 25-30% came as a shock to me as well but my stepson is a mature, insightful man of 41 years who has a deep understanding of human nature. If the number is is correct it would imply a selection mechanism that can double (at least) the gay percentage on shipboard. That seems possible to me in a volunteer navy.

  20. I am pretty sure that the gay percentage in any whole (male) population is ten percent or a bit higher. I really don’t know about lesbians; I have known only a few. Hell, I can’t even understand women.

  21. I don’t think so, Anna. He was definitely talking about orientation.
    All of my life experience has convinced me that sexual orientation is an unchangeable characteristic in individuals. It is not optional even though bisexuals certainly do exist. That is also unchangeable.
    I am aware of the propensity of monkeys to masturbate themselves and each other and sex games likely occur do on shipboard but that is another issue.

  22. You are right. I forgot the numbers that I got from my stepson and then I mis-read the Wiki article.

  23. You are very rarely wrong, Lubos, but when you (or Klaus) assert that a large gay contingent would necessarily degrade fighting ability you are just wrong.
    On the other hand I should not make claims about Czechia and I do admit my ignorance there. I would point out that attitudes are changing quickly in the US, however. A majority now supports gay marriage and the percentage accepting homosexuality as a part of society is larger but the fraction depends on your definition of "accepting”.

  24. Thanks for your explanations, Gene. Quite generally, I think it's somewhat dangerous if opinions of the whole society are changing too quickly. This is perhaps a part of my being a conservative.

    Be sure that I am personally no bully who would have a trouble with a female commander etc. But I am forming my opinions about the reactions based on people like my nephew James/Kuba who was also thinking about becoming a soldier. It's absolutely clear to me that any kind of missing manliness of a commander would be a huge problem for his morale and confidence.

    Even at the tolerable reasonable level, the kind of enthusiastic tolerance towards unusual patterns such as female commanders or open gay warriors depend on a certain intelligence - detachment from instincts - and I just don't imagine the armies to be an intellectual part of the population in this sense. If they were, then I think every occupation would have to be but that's just not possible because there is still a lot (majority) of people who aren't "intellectual" in this sense and who simply follow various tested recipes and "stereotypes" that have sort of worked for quite some time and that are supported by biological instincts, too.

    In ancient Greece, it's said that they wanted the soldiers to be gay because it was believed they're more ready to sacrifice themselves for other men etc. It is an interesting counter-argument except that it may be a myth that they want to sacrifice; and it may be a myth that the Greeks liked gay soldiers, too. For many centuries, it was certainly a near-taboo for soldiers to be openly gay. In the communist army, and this has nothing really to do with communism, the open gays in the army would be fired. They were treated in much worse ways during Nazism, of course.

    These were not anomalous attitudes of some ideology but they reflected what the bulk of the army thought was right and people just don't change completely.

  25. Dear Gene, with all my respect to your stepson, I don't think it's enough to be mature and insightful to be able to quantify the number of gays in a population of 3,000-6,000 and the suspicion triples if the announced result is so huge. Wouldn't you agree that you haven't provided us with evidence that your stepson has any credible methodology to count them at all?

    What I am kind of amazed by are the amazing double standards here. When there's a clear selection mechanism that makes the number of men among physicists 5-20 times higher than the number of women, it's being attacked and questioned although it's very clear what this mechanism is.

    But when you suggest that there is an analogous mechanism that happens to multiply the number of gays on shipboards by 10, should we just trust you it is a natural hypothesis even though you didn't show us a tiny glimpse of how this superstrong shipboard-gayification mechanism could work? Bizarre!


  27. Gene Day

    Unfortunately (for you), your opinion means, in this case, nothing.

    In this research, 10% of homosexual men, 47% of bisexual men, 64% of homosexual women and 65% of bisexual women changed their orientation over 10 years:

    In this research:

    there is clearly stated:

    "A majority of women in lesbian couples (58%) and a third of women in heterosexual couples reported choosing the orientation of their current sexual relationship."

    I have personally met in my life a couple of ex-lesbians and an ex-homosexual-male. So your "expirience" is either expirience of a blind man, or just nothing more than an ill propaganda.

  28. Incidentally, Gene, I forgot to mention that the Czech Republic is #1 in many gay disciplines. For example, we have found the world's first gay caveman:

  29. Luboš Motl

    Dear Lubos, I think that 4% is overestimated.

    Australia: homosexual - 1.6%;jsessionid=FFEC61E1AF021002442B4D11B5968DBF.d04t03

    Canada: 1.3%

    New Zaeland: 0.8%

    UK: 0.9%:

  30. I did not dispute your figure of 3200. I served on the Big "E" during Vietnam when the ship's company was @3600 and the accompanying air wings were @ 2000. If you have ever read a press release about the accident on the Enterprise in 1969, the number of fatalities, injuries (of which I was one), and crew came from me.

    Because of reorganization, 3200 including air wing on the Nimitz is believable.

    What are "traps"? Dunno. I guess it refers to aircraft landings and maybe aircraft launchings. I was a "blackshoe", i.e. ship's company in the Engineering Dept. so I am not familiar with "airdale" lingo.

  31. I bet a much lower percentage of the men than of the women were homosexual.

  32. Yeah, there's a selection mechanism, that's why those flat tops are called "love boats." That "Sexual orientation was and is totally irrelevant" is a curious evaluation considering the reported pregnancy plague in the navy and the reported male on female rapes in the services in general (including male on male and female on female rapes). I chalk up your gender neutral fantasy with the other myths of a value neutral social science and gender norming physical requirements. It occurs to me that the only people I've ever experienced where sexual orientation or gender was irrelevant were the dead, the catatonic, and people with lobotomies, and even their gender was taken into account by the living normal folks.

  33. There's no doubt that political correctness is one of the more stupid social behavioural problems of the current era, but Obummer was nevertheless stupid to make such a comment. If the chick is good-looking, everybody knows it anyway. There is no need to make it worse for the ugly ones by pointing it out.

  34. Well if 30% of the US military is gay then it will be 100% gay in a generation or so. I will have to change my perception of the US military personnel as virile redneck patriots into something more like virile gay bodybuilders.

  35. Gene, you are so full of shit your eyes are brown.

  36. Not that I think there's any hope with trying to change your mind (about anything, really), but I can't resist:

    1) It seems like you are more concerned with political correctness than you are with the actual way-more-serious problems it is attempting to fight, i.e. the fact that American/Western society is set up to keep the power concentrated in the hands of a bunch of rich white men. Isn't political correctness (which seems to be in this case synonymous with "notifying assholes that they're being assholes") more of a side issue?

    2) It's pretty ridiculous how in this post you assume that you understand the issues facing every woman.

    "Well, the only woman who has at least some remote reasons to be offended by the comment above is Michelle Obama."

    While I agree that Obama's comment was relatively innocent and harmless compared to some of the shit in, for instance, the previous comments on this blog post, maybe you haven't considered the fact that some women would really like to just go about their lives without constantly being reminded that their physical attractiveness is, to many people, the most/only relevant part of themselves? That's just the first reason off the top of my head that a woman might not feel comfortable having female government officials' looks be a part of the public discourse. Maybe if I were, say, actually female and had to deal with sexist assholes every day, I would be able to come up with a few others. Your assumption that you are in complete understanding of the situation is just an incredibly white-male thing.

    3) A lot of people who follow this blog have really seriously screwed-up far-right views. Just saying.

    4) I actually ended up here while looking for info about Gromov-Witten invariants of quintic threefolds. Back to that now...

  37. 1) Hi, I deeply care about the political correctness but you are absolutely right that what I care even more about are the actual revolutionary attempts to "take the power from a group of old white men". My country has been crippled twice in the 20th century by similar "revolutionary ideologies" trying to build the very basics of the society from scratch and I simply won't allow anything like that to happen again,.

    People who see something wrong with the fact that most power in the world belong to white men - which is how the Western civilization has worked from the very beginning and which has very good reasons - are on par with the Nazis and communists and they're my enemies.

    2) You may criticize me for suggesting what reasons may legitimately offend someone but you are doing the same thing all the time. I can imagine that someone is offended by different things than I would expect but it is still *critically important* for the society to agree that if certain things offend a person, it's her or his problem and it gives her or him zero right to harass or restrict others. So if someone who obviously tries to look attractive is told that she looks attractive and she's offended by it, she may look for the help of a psychiatrist but that's it. Any other declared allowed solution would undermine basic features of our civilization.

    Obama's comment clearly said that there were many things that were more important than (listed before) her attractiveness but for many other people, her attractiveness is the number 1 thing about her which is not too surprising because she hasn't achieved much except for being at various functions like this but lower caliber. Again, there's nothing wrong if attractiveness is the #1 thing to notice about attractive women - and it's indeed the right sorting for a vast majority of attractive women.

    3) I don't have any far-right views.

    4) You may have looked for Gromov-Witten invariants but you still prefer to harass people who aren't unhinged extreme leftists like you, don't you?

  38. I think maybe we're coming from backgrounds too different to have a directed discussion. You seem to think I have a lot of crazy beliefs, so perhaps what I said was poorly worded. Here are a few problems in the US that many people are unaware of, though they are non-controversial among social scientists.

    1) There is actual systematic (not historical) racism in hiring and education at every level.

    2) There is systematic sex discrimination in hiring for, among many other things, academic jobs and high-level corporate jobs.

    So when I say that it's a problem that power is in the hands of a group of white men, I'm not arguing on some sort of principle. I'm saying that this discrimination is against the interests of society.

    And how exactly did you get the idea that I think those in power should have it forceably taken away? ``Sent to a Gulag?'' ``Nazis and
    communists?!'' What sort of people are you used to talking to?

    And finally, obviously I was only pointing out how I got to your website as a side comment. But thank you for making it clear that the reason you actually responded was to insult my ``moral value'' rather than to actually consider anything I said.

    P.S. I'm not sure what you meant by saying that there are "very good reasons" that the power in western civilization is in the hands of white men, but if you meant that women and non-whites are inherently less qualified than white men to hold power, then you can disregard the rest of this post, because you're really not worth talking to. (And feel free to interpret this as a comment about your moral value in this case.)

  39. Hi,

    1) and what? This is just a law of biology. Humans are, among other things, carriers of genes and they have evolved for billions of years to spread themselves against others. Being shocked that there may be "genuine" racism somewhere shows the same silliness as the fact that men mostly prefer to sleep with women. One can improve the situation by various laws, certain things may be criminalized, but in any non-totalitarian country, there's inevitably a threshold beneath which one must have a right for his or her decisions regardless of speculations about the causes.

    2) The same thing except that corporations aren't driven primarily by biological instincts - they act to maximize the profit so this behavior *proves* that given the best evidence they have, the folks in the corporations think that they will do better if they hire men. You can protest it but that's the last thing you can do against this fact unless, once again, you want to cripple the basic freedom of humans to collaborate with whomever they want to collaborate and not collaborate with someone else.

    Where do you take the arrogance to claim that your far left ideological delusions - and the proposed "cures worse than any disease" such as affirmative action - are in the "interests of the society"? As mentioned above, they're clearly not in the interests of the individuals and corporations they make decisions and their wealth. If everyone gets poorer, how can the society get better? As Thatcher was saying, there is no such thing as a society. Indeed, this phrase is used mainly by the likes of you to defend policies that hurt pretty much every individual - or at least, their damages exceed the benefits.

    ...but if you meant that women and non-whites are inherently less qualified than white men to hold power...

    They are, as groups, *statistically* less qualified to hold power and indeed, this property is inherent. The reality proves that this is the case. People like you are complete deniers of reality who will never hesitate to sacrifice other people's well-being, freedom, and - indeed - life to defend your misconceptions and lies about the mankind and to push disgusting revolutionary perverse deformation of the functioning of countries at every level that are known to hurt and hurt badly but obsessed people like you just don't fucking care.

  40. One last comment. (Oh, this is so silly.) Just a minor point about your little "reality proves that this is the case." I think you'll find that actually the scientific mainstream - which you seem to enjoy ignoring if and only if what they say goes against your strange worldview - has not in fact found that this is the case (despite all those discredited studies from fifty years ago). I don't think I'm the one who is denying reality. The rest of your post seemed pretty content-free when I skimmed it. (Something along the lines of "racism and sexism don't affect me so much, so I'll just say they're not a big problem for anyone else.) (Also, I get to claim moral superiority whether you like it or not. Teehee! I feel much more comfortable doing so after your last post.)

  41. "Scientific mainstream", give me a break with this garbage. Only unhinged pseudoscientists such as professional feminists in "women's studies" departments and similar crackpots are ready and eager to deny the obvious. You don't see how preposterous these things are because you're a part of this junk yourself.

    It's been enough and I am placing you on the black list.

  42. As a point of clarification, I am curious what you mean by "this property is inherent." It seems that this may have become confused. Do you mean that "non-whites" are (statistically) genetically predisposed to be less intelligent, creative, capable of leadership, etc. (as RS seems to have understood you)? Or do you mean that non-whites are (statistically) less educated, capable of leadership, etc. due to some combination of socioeconomic causes?

  43. I am convinced that the underlying reason is the former but even if it were the latter or some combination, the impact is effectively the same because what matters is that there's no "fix" in any foreseeable future. Not even 40 years of reverse racism could have changed anything about the underlying asymmetries.