<< ARI WatchCtrl +  or    enlarges or reduces text size.

The Ascension of Jason Hill

For several years now ARI has been promoting Jason Hill, a Jamaican immigrant, mulatto, homosexual, and professor of philosophy at DePaul University.

Elan Journo writes at ARI’s blog “Voices of Reason” in a post called “How Ayn Rand’s Books Change Lives” (2 May 2014):

“If you haven’t yet read Jason Hill’s article at Salon.com [link to “Jamaican, gay and Ayn Rand made it OK: My amazing ‘Atlas Shrugged’ love story”], head over there now. It’s an engrossing story about how Hill, now a professor at De Paul University, first encountered Ayn Rand’s ideas growing up in Jamaica. A thoughtful young gay man in a society antagonistic to gays, an atheist in a deeply religious culture, Hall found inspiration in Rand’s individualist vision of life and man’s potential. Rand’s ideas armed Hill with, as he puts it, a ‘rational and comprehensive guide to living on earth’. That galvanized him to overcome the obstacles and grinding hardships he faced, to define his own path in life, to find the career he’s passionate about, to pursue his own happiness.”
Which involved moving to America.  Eventually Mr. Hill learned to sling Objectivist phrases to get what he wants at your expense.  In Mr. Hill’s own blog (also at Salon.com) on 27 July 2012 he reprints his op-ed originally published in the Chicago Sun-Times (15 January 2010):
“As a huge fan of Barack Obama, I was filled with pride at his election. But that pride flowed not from the similarity of our skin tones. Rather it was in the capacity of the people of the United States to move beyond its traditional limitations, to show the world that the U.S. has the ability continually renew itself and fully abide by the fundamental principles of its constitution.

“It was, first and foremost, rational pride I felt in America and in the collective ability of a majority of voters to transcend its own clannish ways in choosing a new leader to take us forward. It is America and the American people that deserve praise for executing this extraordinary historic phenomenon. ...

“It was a collective achievement that proved itself eminently worthy of emulation. Perhaps this realization on the part of the American people has made other noteworthy political firsts possible with minimal fanfare. For example, the recent election of Annise Parker as the first openly gay mayor of Houston ...”

Judging from the above and his other writing, Mr. Hill and ARI would agree that whites who realize they have a common self-interest in ending non-white immigration – and keeping out such as Mr. Hill – are morally depraved.

Mr. Hill’s votng for Obama was part of a pattern. In an interview with Jack Weinstein on 10 August 2014 he said  “I voted for Obama, I voted for John Kerry, and I voted for Al Gore, so I’ve always voted for the liberal party.”  Come 2016 it would be a good bet he voted for Hillary Clinton.

In his book Becoming a Cosmopolitan (2000) Mr. Hill calls himself a “moral cosmopolitan.” Besides the normalization of “same-sex marriage” one of his goals is to end what he calls purity and privilege. From the book’s Introduction:

“Moral cosmopolitans are out to detribalize the world. Hybridization is a moral goal because it destabilizes zones of purity and privilege.”
He doesn’t define “hybridization” but in a later chapter he uses the word to refer to mixed-race marriage, or rather the mental attitude that might result from it. And he writes in the Preface:
“There are those who would say that the United States is not a tribal society. ¶ It is. ¶ So long as heads still turn when a black man walks arm-in-arm with a white woman; [he goes on to list other items in that line I don’t have the stomach to repeat] ... then we are living in a highly tribalistic society.”
If this be tribalism make the most of it !

I’ve only skimmed the book but one thing is clear:  Jason Hill hates a white America and won’t be happy until it is completely destroyed.

Those who object to their destruction get called hard names. Mr. Hill’s more recent book Civil Disobedience and the Politics of Identity (2013), besides promoting homosexuality and the idea of same-sex “marriage,” lectures us on the turning heads:

“Here we begin to see ... the common threads between the assimilaphobe and the xenophobe. A staple value held by both as a prerequisite for the preservation of the culture is the taboo against intermarriage. If ever there was a practice that could ... [in their eyes] destroy the preservationist ethic, dissolve a culture and bring about irreparable loss or painful compromise to the integrity of a culture, it would be the practice of exogamy.”
After speaking of “suspicion of the Other” he says (emphasis his):
“Regardless of the sociological explanations for how, such as in the case of blacks affected by racism, this mistrust came about, at the heart of the anti-intermarriage-on-principle phenomenon adopted by the assimilaphobe and the xenophobe lies an antisocial suspicion of the outsider to take care of one in one's basic humanity. This means that the anti-intermarriage convictions of the xenophobe and assimilaphobe are the consequence of a life lived according to a doctrine of biological collectivism.”
Anyone who thinks black-white marriage repugnant is a racist.

Mr. Hill contributed to the anthology (edited by Tina Fernandes Botts) Philosophy and the Mixed Race Experience, “a collection of essays by mixed race philosophers about the mixed race experience.” His contribution is titled “In Praise of the Virtuous Cosmopolitan.”

He finds Immanuel Kant on the side of open borders in “The Right to Permanent Residency as a Human Right: A Kantian Inquiry,” published in the anthology International Perspectives on Pragmatism.  From his website: “In this paper, I defend the rights of refugees and stateless persons to permanent residency from a Kantian perspective.”

On 15 November 2014 he took part in a panel discussion of the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference held at Depaul University, organized by one Gino Pellegrini. In a blog entry two days before the conference, headed “An Introduction: Egalitarian, Humanist, and Cosmopolitan Approaches to Mixed Race,” Mr. Pellegrini wrote:

“All three approaches are skeptical of biological race. All see race as an illogical and harmful social construct. To various degrees, all frown on notions of ethnic or racial group pride, and on the politics of conserving the culture and identity of particular ethnic or racial groups. Yet, all view as justifiable the provisional use of racial or ethnic identities and narratives for strategic, political purposes – so as to counteract racist beliefs and practices, and other forms of social injustice that target oppressed groups. Finally, all highlight individual harms, rights, justice, and duties vis-a-vis racialization, the politics of identity, and the history of white supremacy.”
Mr. Hill’s contribution was titled  “Who is Afraid of Racial and Ethnic Self-Cleansing? In Defense of the Virtuous Cosmopolitan.”

In 2015 Mr. Hill began work on a book about the lives and suicides of two 20th century poets, to be called Goddesses of Death: Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath and the Moral Meaning of Suicide. [*]  In an interview titled “A conversation on suicide with Jason Hill” (Jamaica Observer, 26 April 2015) Mr. Hill said of the two women:

“They offer several insights; some metaphysical and some social. To begin with, suicide is a most radical exercise of freedom because, in choosing your death day, you are irrevocably retracting yourself from the human project, one which is inextricably bound up with the lives of others. ... Plath and Sexton shed light on this tragic phenomenon in our time: They killed themselves for, among other reasons, the fact that it is almost impossible to pursue long-term purpose and meaning in a short-term society, and one cannot today really develop and sustain a life identity and history in a world composed of episodes and fragments.”
It doesn’t make a lot of sense. Later, after speaking of parents harming their children with unwarranted expectations:
“I really don’t believe in ultimately blaming capitalism: It is the symptom not the cause of an arrested development in human value systems. We all made capitalism possible by our endless needs and desires and wants. I see capitalism as the genie out of the bottle. But we let it out. We summoned it when we rightly demanded that women be emancipated from the kitchen, that peasants be made wage-independent from the Lord of the manor, and that middle-class people have a birthright to indeterminate wealth acquisition. Suicide does not always come from a place of darkness. Quite the contrary. He/she sees all too clearly the inescapable lifelessness of a dead planet and chooses to ...”
Why quote more, you get the idea:  not exactly an Ayn Rand sort of person.

The Spring 2014 edition of ARI’s undergraduate newspaper The Undercurrent echoed Mr. Journo’s praise of Jason Hill’s Salon article with a glowing recommendation:  “A Professor’s Tribute to Ayn Rand is a Dramatic Reminder of the Value of Individualism.”  Like Mr. Hill, ARI writers know how to put your destruction in terms of reason, morality and individualism.

A brief note on The Objective Standard’s website dated 4 May 2014 by the magazine’s editor, Craig Biddle, called the article “beautiful” and said “Hopefully we will see more articles accurately depicting Rand’s ideas at Salon in the future.”

Andrew Bernstein has a BlogTalk radio show called “Objectively Speaking.” The show on 21 May 2014 was “How do Ayn Rand's ideas impact one’s life – a discussion with Jason Hill.”

A year and a half later, on 6 November 2015 Yaron Brook posted a link to the Salon article on his Facebook page, which included its side by side photos of Jason Hill and Ayn Rand.

Two days later – 8 November 2015 – Onkar Ghate (ARI), Gregory Salmieri (Anthem Foundation, controlled by ARI), and Jason Hill made up a panel called “General Q&A on Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand.”  This was part of a Leven Foundation Student Conference called “The Morality of Value Creation and Trade” (November 7-8) presented by a branch of ARI called STRIVE – Students for Reason, Individualism, Value pursuit, and Enterprise.  (Besides organizing conferences STRIVE publishes the campus newspaper The Undercurrent and sponsors Objectivist campus clubs.)

Jason Hill spoke at the Ayn Rand Society session of the American Philosophical Society’s Eastern Division annual meeting (6-9 January 2016). His talk was “Biological Collectivism and the Politics of Racial Identity.”  Joining him were Gregory Salmieri (Anthem Foundation) and James Lennox. At least four of the five ARS steering committee members are associated with ARI.

A blurb by Mr. Hill graces the back cover of Salmieri and Gotthelf’s A Companion to Ayn Rand (2016).

ARI featured Mr. Hill in two panel discussions at the Ayn Rand Student Conference 2016, sponsored by ARI / STRIVE, Nov. 4-6.

ARI’s webpage for the book Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism by Elan Journo and Onkar Ghate quotes Jason Hill praising the book:  a “moral tour de force.”  Mr. Journo thought Mr. Hill’s endorsement valuable enough to quote again on ARI’s blog “Voices of Reason,” the entry dated 6 December 2016.

On 31 March 2017 ARI published a video recording of Mr. Hill’s first panel discussion at the Ayn Rand Student Conference 2016 mentioned above. On 30 May 2017 ARI published a video recording of the second.

In a tweet of 10 May 2018 Mr. Hill praised Amy Peikoff’s podcast radio show (frequently co-hosted with Yaron Brook). She retweeted it the same day, adding:  “ Thanks so much, Jason ! 

Mr. Brook had Mr. Hill on his Yaron Brook Show podcast of 15 July 2018. Mr. Hill says one reason he likes the so-called Civil Rights Act of 1964 is that

“it went to the point of making private citizens unable to discriminate against blacks.”
So much for private property. Apparently he approves of another piece of Leftist handiwork, affirmative action in education:
“... when I look out at America I see a progressive America that if you are a black man or a black woman we have a progressive environment in which universities will welcome you with open arms.”
And affirmative action in law enforcement. After saying:
“We have progressed beyond a certain pale of racism in this country where [that is, so that] to be black is to command an enormous amount of social power.”
he urges us to look at the Starbucks case in Philadelphia and the firing of Erica Walker in Memphis. The reason for Mr. Brook’s interview is that Mr. Hill’s book We Have Overcome: An Immigrant’s Letter to the American People had just been published, with its lofty and virtuous attitude. This sentence stands out:
“This is America, where a Third Founding (taking Lincoln’s promise at Gettysburg as the second) was achieved in the Civil Rights Movement and the momentous passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”
He celebrates the end of freedom of association. With Objectivists like this who needs Leftists?

On its website 14 March 2019 The Objective Standard praised this book as well.

The people at ARI showcase Jason Hill as an admirer of Ayn Rand, a man whose life she had changed.  They’re pushing one nasty piece of work.

*  Since the interview Amy Winehouse has been added so that the forthcoming book’s title is now Goddesses of Death: Amy Winehouse, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton and the Moral Meaning of Suicide.

He is also working on a book to be called Cosmopolitanism: A Short Introduction to World Citizenship.