Letters from the prominent social scientist and the head of TED.
Wow, two guys who are so completely and totally full of shit.
Coleman Hughes was correct. TED has gone Woke.
Specifically, to combat Chris Anderson's lie: Coleman's TED Talk has less views on the TED TALK SITE specifically BECAUSE it is being throttled by the TED Talk people. If you go and look at his numbers on YouTube, you see that Hughes's talk is perfectly inline with other TED videos on that platform. So not only Chris a liar, he is using semantics in a way that is especially deceitful because it's his organization that is throttling-down the ability of people to see Hughes's talk.
As for Adam Grant... dude... NO ONE trusts your "rigorous research." No one. We know what that means in today's academic world. It means the researchers have a predetermined outcome, and any and all evidence to the contrary is purposefully not included in the final findings.
If somebody isn’t “hurt and offended” by a controversial topic, then it’s not controversial. The solution is to evaluate and correct, or perhaps change your mind. To try to shut down the “offensive” idea is a totalitarian impulse.
Adam Grant once again refuses to admit that the research he citing is actually supportive of Coleman's position. Chris Anderson refuses to accept that the conditions for posting Coleman's video have NEVER been applied to any other speaker... EVER. Gaining through the archives there are several other videos where that same approach should have been applied but was not. Why?Coleman has done a great service by calling out the hypocrisy of this once highly regarded institution.
I’m still with Dr King who urged us to judge others by the content of their character, not the colour of their skin. Words to live by.
"But the talk ended up causing more upset than we foresaw...." "So yes, there was controversy. When people on your own team feel like their identity is being attacked, it’s right to take pause."
Really? Were there more complaints from "upset" people than people giving him a standing ovation? What was the ratio of written complaints to those coming from TED itself? What was the breakdown of lefties to righties on your staff who felt that their identities were being attacked? What does that even mean anyway?
"Many people have been genuinely hurt and offended by what they heard Hughes say."
How many is "many"? How many thought it was wonderful? More or fewer than thought it was bad?
"If I could wave a wand and replace some of the anger that’s been stirred up here (on all sides) with curiosity and a desire to listen, engage, and understand, that would make me really happy."
I'll tell Anderson what I told Rafael Reif (former president of MIT): this could have been a great teaching moment. Instead, you told a howling bunch of immature people how they could disrupt the normal flow of discussion and exchange of ideas. You blew it. Stop doing that and don't do it again.
It's nice to see both Grant and Anderson respond quickly and thoughtfully to yesterday's Hughes essay. Thanks to all three for their commentary on a white-hot issue--pun intended--without devolving into TwitterXian trash talk.
I have one question, though: Adam Grant saying, "In early May, I was asked by TED to offer a confidential assessment of his talk." Is it normal for TED to back-check someone's talk? How many other speakers have been assessed by an outside agency or person? If it's routine on controversial topics, then fine, assess away. But if it's not, why would Hughes's opinion--that's what it is, his opinion based on his view of our world--be assessed in any way?
As for some of the TED staff feeling "aggressed" by Hughes's talk, grow up. There was nothing to give you a moment's ill ease. It was an opinion, and as valid a topic for a TED talk as Adam Grant making the opposite argument in a future debate with Hughes via TED, and yes, I would love to see that debate occur. Your job as staff is to carry out management's decisions as long as they're not illegal or immoral, and Hughes's video was neither.
On the one hand, they say they WANT “controversial” talks on their platform, and then on the other hand they show solidarity with people who are “offended” by the talk??? And Hughes has to jump through extra hoops to placate the emotional sensibilities of the children trapped in adult bodies who apparently work at TED. Unbelievable.
This coddling, Mommy-crying, emotional primacy bullshit has got to stop.
Grant and Anderson: your employees’ emotional states are NOT YOUR OR ANYONE ELSE’S RESPONSIBILITY.
Thanks, Bari, for promoting civil discourse, a process greatly lacking in our culture today!
Exactly the types of well thought out conversations and debates we should be having on all issues. Thanks again to the Free Press for providing a forum, and for everyone who contributes thoughtfully, it makes us all better.
Sadly, something similar happened to John McWhorter. We are beginning to see a pattern here and it is not pretty. John tweeted this today "Why no one has heard an interview I did with TED about race is a similar story. Some staffers wanted to ask me "some questions," I said ok but that I would not submit to being schooled about institutional racism - and the interview was never released."
How so can "many people be genuinely hurt" by Coleman's TED talk? I mean genuinely hurt?
How can we take seriously a response by someone who doesn't even know the definition of color blindness. He cites to an article that is fundamentally flawed because it misunderstands the principal of colorblindness. Colorblindness simply means we treat people equally. We do not discriminate based on race. It does not mean we pretend not to see race because of course we do. Coleman made this clear in his talk. Yet, the criticism of Coleman is based on this flawed idea that color blindness means pretending not to see race.
But this is to be expected. Because those like Adam Grant who believe that we should discriminate based on race can't simply come out and say that. They have to weasel around it to make their ideas more palatable. That's exactly what Adam Grant is doing here. If he wants to be honest, he needs to come out and say that he thinks we should discriminate based on race and list out the reasons why. But, he knows he'll lose that argument if he states his position clearly and honestly.
This is also what all debaters need to do when debating those who want to discriminate based on race. Hold their feet to the fire. When they say they are against color blindness then ask them "so you want to discriminate based on race?" And keep pushing them to admit that and explain how, why, and when they think racial discrimination is acceptable.
I think the fundamental idea contradicting Coleman is the false premise that if equity is not achieved then there is only racism to blame. I call BS on this. Is it racism that causes the NBA to not have equitable racial representation? No. The first thing to do is define your version of what racism is; I know it is not the inverse of equity.
"When people on your own team feel like their identity is being attacked, it’s right to take pause." Mr. Anderson, an opinion or feeling on diversity ideologies is not an identity.
Adam Grant missing the forest for the trees. He claims that the data reveal that color blindness approaches "are either ineffective or counterproductive on key outcomes," but the 'outcomes' listed may be just the nature of human interaction or the products of other multivariate collateral effects (e.g., falsely interpreting a small number of black candidates for key positions as de facto discrimination). He ends with the boilerplate regressive "I wish we could be colorblind, but people aren't, so we can't." Such a tired talking point. EDIT: It sometimes makes me cynical as I wonder if it's true.
I am a learned person myself so I hope disagreement with the erudite Adam Grant's prolix discourse is not mistaken for anti-intellectualism. I'm sorry not sorry but all the data-collection under the impressive label of "meta-analysis" does not in any sense assail the indisputable moral truth that we humans should look upon one another for what is in our hearts and character, not for the variegated shades of tan or brown on the surface of the epidermis. In short, Coleman Hughes is 100% correct.