David Thompson
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August 01, 2012

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Mike James

That outcome based policy on school discipline--it has to be a bold, transgressive public arts project, an attempt to explore the relationships of subcultural hermeneutics of the power dynamic of racial horseshit I can't do this anymore.

Sigh. From the link above:

“African Americans lack equal access to highly effective teachers and principals, safe schools, and challenging college-preparatory classes, and they disproportionately experience school discipline,”

The safe schools and disproportionate discipline parts of that are their own damned fault. Challenging college preparatory classes? Try it, I dare you. These things won't get better if white and asian kids are punished at a rate to boost the self-esteem of the black kids.

Gee, it's almost as if Obama were trying to whip up bad blood between the races right around election time. Or perhaps I'm being overwrought.

mojo

Joan Collins is Satan in high heels.

Mags

Joan Collins is Satan in high heels.

Yes, but she was in Dynasty.

And I’ll thank you not to judge me.

Think again, Mr Thompson.

AmbushPredator

I must say, though I'm not usually find of remakes or reboots, I am quite looking forward to seeing the new 'Dallas'...

David

Mike James,

“These things won’t get better if white and Asian kids are punished at a rate to boost the self-esteem of the black kids.”

No, attempting to change disruptive and violent behaviour in school by punishing it less doesn’t seem likely to work. If the culprits are made less responsible for their actions, all in the name of “equity” and “self-esteem,” harmony and learning don’t seem likely consequences for anyone. Double standards for misbehaviour, even violence, aren’t a recipe for good times. But if you think of it as a policy designed to sow resentment and tribalism, and of course generate any number of lawsuits, then I imagine it will work quite well. The point, I suppose, is that it will make Obama and his cheerleaders look as though they care, at least among moral idiots, which, for some, is what really matters.

See also this by Heather Mac Donald:

Tucson’s administrators explain their disciplinary quota pressure on the ground that students removed from class lose valuable learning time, exacerbating the already great ethnic academic achievement gap. Such thinking ignores the students who are not disrupting class or threatening teachers and who also lose valuable learning time when unruly or violent students remain in the classroom. Surely those students have a greater claim to “equity” in school resources than gang members do.

The administrators want local principals to examine disparate suspension rates “in detail for root causes.” I can save them some time: the root cause of disparate rates of suspension is disparate rates of bad behaviour. As for the root cause of that bad behaviour, the biggest one is single parenting. If the Tucson school board wants to publicise the essential role of fathers in raising law-abiding children, it might start solving the problem of disciplinary imbalance. But until then, it should let schools resolve their discipline problems in a colour-blind fashion, without worrying about a visit from an “Equity Team.”

Hairy Harry

I remember reading that Baywatch and Bergerac were some of the few programmes allowed on East German television. Among other things, the nightly sights of bronzed titties bouncing on golden beaches and classic oversized British motorcars being driven on inappropriately small island roads would have demonstrated that the Trabi and bread queues weren't the shining utopia the Politburo said it was.

carbon based lifeform

Mr Bragg - who once told listeners of Radio 4 that he had “learned all of his politics from pop music” - went on to claim that English sports fans dislike their national teams losing because of a “hangover from an imperial past.” More prosaic explanations were not entertained.

Lefties and sport- never a good mix.

David

Carbon,

“Lefties and sport- never a good mix.”

Well, watching hardcore lefties struggle with the combination of sport and national sentiment can be entertaining. A few years ago, the Guardian’s deputy comment editor Joseph Harker insinuated that “England flag-wavers” must be supporters of the BNP “celebrating their racial pride.” (According to Harker, it’s a very bad thing to celebrate any aspect of one’s ethnicity or culture. Unless, of course, it’s a non-white ethnicity and culture, in which case it must be asserted vigorously at all times.) This is the same Joseph Harker who insisted, repeatedly, that “all white people are racist,” at least “subliminally,” but that he can’t ever be racist, on account of not being white. And being scrupulously leftwing.

And not long ago, Laurie Penny was telling us very seriously that while “not everyone who displays an England flag is a fascist,” football is nonetheless “commodified nationalism” played by “misogynist jocks” indulging in “organised sadism.” The World Cup, she wrote, is not about football at all, but “only and always about men.” It’s a “month of corporate-sponsored quasi-xenophobia,” one that “violently excludes more than half the people.” Apparently competitive sports are terrible things, turning us into a nation of xenophobes and flag-waving fascists.

That Harker and Penny are both laughably unrealistic is of course beside the point. It’s important – at least to them – to show their disapproval, and thereby their credentials.

TDK

Equal punishments is the state recreating the institution of 'whipping boys'. This was a system where the a prince could not be punished. Instead whenever they misbehaved a whipping boy was beaten instead.

And so well behaved groups will be punished disproportionately compared to their sins compared to badly behaved groups.

Anna

And so well behaved groups will be punished disproportionately compared to their sins compared to badly behaved groups.

I denounce TDK as an enemy of progress.

Dr Cromarty

I get the Impression from the quotes above that Laurie Penny was shit at games at school.

Oh, and that she's an idiot.

AC1

Was Laurie Penny lucky in her "choice" of vagina to fall out of?

clazy8

"Apparently competitive sports are terrible things, turning us into a nation of xenophobes and flag-waving fascists."

Not at all, David; I think you've got it exactly wrong. Ms. Penny is actually saying that xenophobia and flag-waving fascism are wholesome pursuits that engender a sense of community and ensure a healthy body politic.

David

“Lefties and sport- never a good mix.”

Oh, and don’t forget our tenured Marxist, Terry Eagleton:

If the Cameron government is bad news for those seeking radical change, the World Cup is even worse. If every rightwing think-tank came up with a scheme to distract the populace from political injustice and compensate them for lives of hard labour, the solution in each case would be the same - football.

The thing is, I’m not a sports fan – I’m sure that’s a shock to you all – and I’m pretty hopeless at most of the ones I’ve tried, except swimming and, er, table tennis. But I nonetheless get why other people like them. I don’t see the need to invoke airy theory or claims of “false consciousness” to explain it all away while feeling superior. As Gagdad Bob once said, “Without sports, [boys] might try to exert power and dominance in inappropriate ways, such as left wing politics.”

David Gillies

I read recently that movies of Steinbeck novels were permitted in the Eastern Bloc as they were meant to portray the gritty realism of the proletariat groaning under the boot-heel of the capitalist exploiters or somesuch nonsense. Instead people saw that even Depression-era workers had cars and houses and thought, "hmm, I could do with a bit more exploitation myself."

I'm boycotting the Olympics because I think they actually are quasi-fascist, the IOC is rotten to the core and the cost is disgraceful in these straitened times. Laurie Penny is still an idiot, though.

dcardno

These things won't get better if white and asian kids are punished at a rate to boost the self-esteem of the black kids.

But it's not to raise the self-esteem of the black kids - to a good first approximation, nothing a school administrator does will change that. The goal is to reduce the self-esteem of the white and asian kids, who are both socialized to seek administrative approval, and require it to the extent that their eligibility for post-secondary education may depend on -say- not being suspended in the pursuit of equal outcomes across racial groups.

Henry

'As Gagdad Bob once said, “Without sports, [boys] might try to exert power and dominance in inappropriate ways, such as left wing politics.”'

Exactly right. And as for Eagleton's rather brainless conjecture that, without the distraction of sport, people would be fighting 'political injustice', I think it's as likely they'd be finding other expressions of our differences and identities.

I think back to all the conversations I've had with people about sport. It means a great deal to a great many. As Desmond Morris pointed out decades ago, supporting a sports team gives us a relatively quiet way of sharing a kind of 'tribal identity'. It's part of human nature - not shared by everyone to the same degree, but the number of sports fans watching the olympics should testify to how many do share it.

The same applies to patriotism. Looking at the jubilee celebrations, it thankfully seems unlikely to disappear, no matter how much the Guardian 'educate' us about how it's all imperialism, or the same thing as BNP-style thuggery.

That said I did see evidence of a Guardian-style patriotism in the comments after the Olympic ceremony. Different from my patriotism, but it seems to be there. So the readership hold on to it despite the messages they're getting from their rag

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

I read recently that movies of Steinbeck novels were permitted in the Eastern Bloc as they were meant to portray the gritty realism of the proletariat groaning under the boot-heel of the capitalist exploiters or somesuch nonsense. Instead people saw that even Depression-era workers had cars and houses and thought, "hmm, I could do with a bit more exploitation myself."

I don't know about Steinbeck, but I've read that Norman Wisdom was incredibly popular in Albania because the communist authorities their allowed his comedies to be shown, thinking they were commentaries on the oppressiveness of capitalist bosses. The people took the movies for what they were, which is simple comedy.

Squires

"...I think they actually are quasi-fascist, the IOC is rotten to the core..."

What could ever give one that idea?

http://babalublog.com/2012/07/my-name-is-guri-weinberg-and-i-am-the-son-of-moshe-weinberg-the-wrestling-coach-murdered-at-the-1972-olympics-i-am-not-going-away/

Gilady informed us that a moment of silence was not possible because if the IOC had a moment of silence for the Israeli athletes, they would also have to do the same for the Palestinians who died at the Olympics in 1972.

My mother said, "But no Palestinian athletes died."

Gilady responded, "Well, there were Palestinians who died at the 1972 Olympics."

I heard one of the widows say to Gilady, "Are you equating the murder of my husband to the terrorists that killed him?"

Silence.

Then Ilana Romano burst out with a cry that has haunted me to this day.

David

Related to the Greg Lukianoff link, see also Janice Fiamengo on academic groupthink:

I still remember my surprise at the uniformity of opinion I discovered in that [English] department. Expecting to find open, civil debate — every one of my colleagues, after all, held a doctorate and was a published author accustomed to defending his or her research in public forums — I was struck by the timorousness of many of my colleagues in discussion and the aura of the forbidden sacrosanct that seemed to gather around many subjects.

Nigel

"...I think they actually are quasi-fascist, the IOC is rotten to the core..."

I agree with David's distaste for vandalism but...

http://globalstreetart.com/post/28118523304/an-interview-on-injustice-please-come-with-us-ser

John D

Double standards for misbehaviour, even violence, aren’t a recipe for good times.

Obama: Pushing race relations backwards since 2008…

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