Friday Ephemera
Defending Maidens

Elsewhere (295)

Rod Dreher on Bad Whitey, Corrupter Of All Things: 

In New Jersey, two high school boys stand accused of racially harassing and intimidating four younger black girls. The accused are of South Asian (Indian) descent. You might think that this ugly display is a reminder that the sin of racism is a universal part of the fallen human condition. You would be wrong, according to Princeton historian Nell Irvin Painter. Writing in the New York Times, the L’Osservatore Romano of the Cult of Social Justice, Painter tells us that it’s really whitey’s fault… Even when racist harassers are brown-skinned, they’re really white, and their alleged actions are the fault of white people… I remind you that this racist screed was written by a Princeton professor, writing on the op-ed page of the most important newspaper in the world.

You see, when members of one racial minority assault and degrade members of another racial minority, they are, we’re told, merely “enacting American whiteness,” something seemingly akin to demonic possession. This, and only this, is apparently “what matters.” Such, then, are the standards of Princeton employees.

And Steve Salerno on woke education - and mediocrity for all: 

It should be apparent that implementing [‘Social-Emotional Learning Theory’] necessarily presupposes some dilution of the traditional nuts-and-bolts curriculum — the diversion of finite class time to topics and methodologies that have nothing to do with mastering, say, long division. The gurus of SEL make no apologies for this. Rather, as [New York mayor, Bill] de Blasio insists in his Fortune piece, “These are hard skills... just like reading and math, that must be taught, practised, and strengthened over time.” SEL’s unflinching emphasis on the so-called “non-cognitive factors” in cognition is bad news for all supporters of no-nonsense education — that is, the kind that doesn’t encourage students to devote class time to communicating their current emotional status to their peers via emojis, as has happened in some SEL implementations. 

Because the way to encourage mastery of a subject is to do away with red-pen corrections, which are “stigmatising,” and to embrace “individual” spelling - as opposed to the stuffy and outdated kind, with its rules and whatnot, and thus the possibility of being wrong. Presumably, on grounds that being precise, articulate and in possession of one’s thoughts – or just knowing the difference between ask and axe - is terribly racist.

Update, via the comments:

I’ve mentioned before how at my own state school there were several educators who felt that teaching basic grammar was insufficiently forward-looking and therefore unnecessary, positively beneath them. Consequently, at secondary school, my long-suffering German teacher was amazed to find that his ‘A’ stream students had no idea what a subordinate clause was and had almost no formal knowledge of grammar at all. As a result, the poor chap ended up spending large chunks of every lesson, for months, providing remedial English tuition to some of the brightest kids in school. So that we could eventually learn some German.

Similar views are still propagated by, among others, the Marxist, poet and BBC regular Michael Rosen, who tells fellow Guardian readers that “there’s no such thing as correct grammar.” For Rosen - whose own grammar is of course carefully crafted - learning the rules of the national language is both oppressive and inegalitarian and should therefore be frowned upon. Presumably, Mr Rosen doesn’t believe that other people – poorer people or people with browner skin – should be offered the same tools to get on in life – the tools he employs. Perhaps they’re expected to compensate with proletarian gusto and ethnic charm.

And this is the standard posture, the inevitable dishonesty. Readers may recall the taxpayer-funded race hustler Dr Caprice Hollins, who was paid $86,000 a year to tell Seattle educators that “students of colour” needn’t learn the grammar and fluency that she herself enjoys and with which she signals her own intellectual status. Apparently, those job applications needn’t be grammatical, and any spelling will do, however incomprehensible. Basic skills and attitudes, including foresight and punctuality, are apparently “white values,” and expectations thereof constitute “cultural racism.” We must, she said, see brown people as “racial beings,” but we mustn’t expect them to turn up on time.

I’m trying to imagine how the conscientious parents of a “student of colour” might feel on learning that this is the kind of attitude being propagated in many state schools, at their expense. And at the expense of their children.

As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.