Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Xenophobia

How the Alt-Right Works

There’s a video of an Alt-Right rally doing the rounds on the web. The Atlantic posted it on YouTube:

Most people who share this video are just looking to say “wow, how disgusting is that”. And that’s worth saying. But let’s also take this opportunity to pick apart how this horrifying view works and what we can do to prevent more people from adopting it.

Read the rest of this entry »

The False Dichotomy Between Economics and Racism

In the wake of the Trump victory, some pundits have written pieces arguing that Trump’s win was not down to economic distress, but instead due to hostility to immigration, diversity, and social change. In some cases these pundits explicitly call the election result a “whitelash” and accuse Trump supporters of racism and xenophobia. Unfortunately the dichotomy they are drawing between economic explanations and racial explanations is deeply misleading, and stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of the ways class and race intersect, both in America and throughout the western world.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hillary Clinton Started the Whole “Obama is a Muslim” Thing

Over the last week, republican candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson have been taking a lot of heat–Trump for refusing to deny that Obama is a Muslim foreigner, Carson for explicitly stating that Muslims should not be president. We’ll discuss what both of them said, but I want to remind everyone of something we seem to have forgotten–it was Hillary Clinton who started this, and any person who supports Clinton while criticizing Trump or Carson is at best deeply ignorant of Clinton’s past and at worst a naked hypocrite.

Read the rest of this entry »

Is Birthright Citizenship a Good Policy?

Recently, we’ve been seeing a lot of republican presidential candidates come out against birthright citizenship. Trump, Walker, Jindal, Graham, Christie, Santorum, Paul, Carson, and Cruz are against it. Rubio, Fiorina, Bush, Huckabee, Kasich, Pataki, Perry, and Gilmore support it. Who has it right? Let’s investigate.

Read the rest of this entry »

Theresa May’s Wretched Plan to Expel Talented Young People from Britain

UK Home Secretary Theresa May has a new proposal that would force international students at British universities to leave the country immediately after graduating, making it far more difficult for them to get work visas and remain in the UK. I was reluctant to write about this because I myself could be personally affected–I’m starting a PhD at Cambridge this autumn, and I am certainly interested in the possibility that I might get a job in the UK when I finish. I generally try to avoid topics where I have a significant personal stake that might bias my analysis. But in this case, the arguments against the policy are too clear and too definitive. Even if you ignore the interests of foreign students like me, this is an irrational policy that does unequivocal, quantifiable harm to Britain.

Read the rest of this entry »