Monday Morning Tabs

Some links to peruse.

From the start, VMI’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts have been derided by some donors and alumni deeply wedded to the school’s traditions and 183-year history. Some have assailed VMI’s first chief diversity officer, Jamica Love, the college’s highest-ranking Black woman, and accused VMI of embracing critical race theory — a suggestion Wins blasted this year as “categorically false.”

If DEI efforts challenge your institution’s traditions, it might be a cause to pause and exam those traditions.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Sleeping Dog says:

    Re: Colonial America is a Myth, it is always good to remember that history is written by the victors, while the revisionist echo will reflect the POV of the losers.

  2. Joe says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    In one of my favorite movie scenes, from Dances with Wolves the chief, Ten Bears, pulls a conquistador’s helmet out of his bag to explain how long the Lakota have been fighting the white man.

  3. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve always felt that there is a type of liberal racism wherein all agency is given to white Europeans, that other races and ethnic groups are simply victims.

  4. mattbernius says:

    Via WaPo: Former surgeon general faces his wife’s cancer — and the ‘Trump Effect’. Well, if you are going to work for an authoritarian wannabe who supported an insurrection aimed as disrupting the peaceful transfer of power you might find getting a job a bit difficult. Being the Surgeon General during the Trump administration’s tragic and unserious response to the Covid-19 pandemic likely doesn’t help, either.

    Honestly, I suspect that the latter might even be more important than the former.

  5. mattbernius says:


    I’ve always felt that there is a type of liberal racism wherein all agency is given to white Europeans, that other races and ethnic groups are simply victims.

    While there is some truth to this, I think we also need to acknowledge that in the interactions between Native Americans or Chattle Slaves and White Colonialists, there was a tremendous gap in overall structural agency.

    Could the history be told with more nuance? Yes, particularly with a focus on the topic of resistance (or in some cases collaboration). But the reality remains, that from a structural perspective, White settlers in aggregate did have far, far more agency.

    Or if I’m missing something, let me know.

  6. dazedandconfused says:


    It’s a terrible scene historically though. The plains natives did not fight the Spanish. The French early traders had a problem competing with the Spanish for the good graces of the southern plains natives because all the French would bring was knives and axes to trade but the Spanish offered iron kettles and muskets. As far down the road as Lewis and Clark it was fairly easy to get along if you showed a bit of respect and had things they were interested in trading for. It was the settlers and miners that started troubles in the north. The Aztecs and Incans were doomed by having a lot of gold to steal. The nomadic stone-age peoples of the north? Nothing worth looting.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Tell me of a situation where the white Europeans were oppressed by the native populations.

  8. Gustopher says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Custer’s Last Stand.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @mattbernius: I don’t actually know. I’m interested in reading the books the author wrote.

    Some things I do know: some Indigenous tribes were as expansionist and bloodthirsty and cruel as anything the colonialists came up with. The classic case is the genocidal Spanish coming up against the genocidal Incan Empire. Sure, the Spanish technically won, but the concept of individual human rights were going to lose no matter the outcome. Lesser known is the Cherokee Nation. As cruel and bloodthirsty and warlike as the Mongols, who wiped out 11% of the population of Europe.

    Like it or not, the concept of territorial integrity and individual rights has not been the norm in the entirety of human history.

  10. Kathy says:


    The thing to keep in mind is the people living in the western hemisphere before the Europeans arrived, were as equally human in their goals and motivations as, well, all the other people on Earth.

    The Aztecs were so despised by the subjects in their empire, Cortez found no shortage of allies and collaborators. It wasn’t all “guns, germs, and steel.”

  11. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Late tap in tonight, doc, but I’m fascinated that no one comments on VMI. I’ve been following this for a while, and the majority of the complaints about the direction attempted boil down to “uppity **clang**!!”. The rest seem to be thinly veiled race baiting. Was Wins hopelessly naive thinking change was possible, or just another deluded fool?

  12. JohnSF says:

    Is this exclusive to North America, or can any continent play?