David Thompson
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January 30, 2020

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David

From the Steven Malanga piece:

A training session for Seattle government workers illustrates how such ideas are helping to redefine behaviour. Titled “Dropped or Pushed Out,” it presents employees with a scenario: an African-American 15-year-old girl, Gayl, has gotten pregnant after having sex with her 15-year-old Latino boyfriend Diego. Gayl tries to stay in school while raising the child; Diego goes to work at a gas station. When Gayl falls behind on her schoolwork, she meets with a white female social worker and her teacher Carlos, a Filipino. Sympathetic to her situation, the adults offer a range of programmes to help, but they also say that they can do little if she doesn’t complete the required work. Carlos tells her, too, that Diego, recently busted for selling pot, “may be more part of your problem than a solution for you.”

After employees contemplate this little story, the training manual asks them: What are the instances of individual racism, institutional racism, and structural racism in Gayl and Diego’s predicament? The assumption is that some discrimination must be at work — though, by traditional definitions of the term, that’s not obvious. At the same time, the training programme makes no effort to think about the behaviour and choices of the young people, who might, after all, bear some responsibility for their problems.

Here, “makes no effort to think about” can be read as studiously avoids.

Joan

Ovaryaction

That. :-)

Adam

The scenario is phony. Schools today provide prenatal care and daycare facilities for students. Gas stations do not employ teenagers for odd jobs. They are convenience stores where the employees stock shelves and run the till.

That said, the racism of Amerikkka is totally clear.

Squires

Gas stations do not employ teenagers for odd jobs.

Not in most of the country. Back in Jersey being a pump jockey could be surprisingly lucrative for teenagers and (legal or illegal, English-speaking or not) immigrants.

Some of us really do tip everybody.

Liz

question-begging “equity” and its corrosive effects

Like teaching kids to be irresponsible.

David

Like teaching kids to be irresponsible.

Absolutely. It’s a doctrine of irresponsibility, the supposed beneficiaries of which are told that variations in academic performance, life outcomes, etc., are always – must be – someone’s else’s fault. Whatever the problem or alleged problem is, it’s supposedly “systemic” and “institutional,” a matter of “bias,” “privilege” and “white supremacy.” Not the fact that you didn’t study or couldn’t be arsed to turn up on time. Hardly a recipe for success or satisfaction. Just endless excuses and unearned resentment.

See, for instance, Ballou High School, Washington, DC, where, thanks to “equity” policies and lots of “social justice,” students who are barely literate and rarely seen in class were all somehow graduated, if only in name, and with no evidence whatsoever of any learning taking place. This, it seems, is the end point of “equity.” A short-cut to the appearance of achievement – so long as you pretend - but without the tiresome bother of actually achieving anything.

And all you have to do is abandon any discernible standards, academic or behavioural, and make no distinction between those who study and those who don’t even turn up. And hey, who needs integrity?

Governor Squid

A panel, labeled “equality,” shows three boys of different heights trying to peer over a fence to watch a baseball game, with each standing on a box; the shortest boy can’t quite see over the fence. In the next panel, “equity,” the shortest boy gets two boxes, so that he can watch the game, too, while the tallest boy, who can see the game without a box, has none.

I've seen this cartoon, and it's fiendishly clever. (I'm assuming it's by accident, because I doubt the cartoonist has the intrinsic cleverness required.)

See, the tall kid/short kid metaphor runs directly contrary to the argument they constantly make, which is that all of our kids are equal. If the cartoon accurately reflected their central argument, then the three boys would be of equal height, the white kid would have two boxes (probably with 'PRIVILEGE' stenciled on them, given the subtlety of most political cartooning), the brown kid one, and the black kid none.

Of course, this would make their plans too obvious, as taking a box from the white kid and giving it to the black kid would leave all three of them unable to peer over the fence, and invite questions from the community like, "Isn't the job of the school to teach kids to make their own boxes and get over obstacles on their own?" And we simply can't encourage that sort of thinking.

Sam

I cannot shake the belief that true equality (as best as our species can realistically hope for anyway) was achieved in the decades following WW2 and the racial and gender lunacy is a response to the fact that certain groups stubbornly lag behind others in key metrics of success, and as such have little excuse for their performance. Hence the ever-more absurd excuses and logical contortions required to shift blame, now devolving into altering the very definitions of words such as "equality" and "fairness".

Of course, viewing people as individuals and not slaves to an immutable monolith would solve this tension, as individuals are the only ones that can be held responsible for poor choices or lack of talent. But that would undermine the very worldview of people who can only see humans as categories to be either championed or vilified in the pursuit of power and moral vanity.

Sam

Will our society ever advance to the point that we look back at the rampant bigotry of low expectations that guides so much modern culture and government policy as the pernicious evil that so often proves to be? Will we mature enough to view this sort of thinking as equivalent to 18th century masters claiming their slaves don't actually wish to be free?

There's not much difference to me, though modern leftists claim not only blacks, but basically everyone who's not a straight white male is afraid of freedom, and cannot be trusted to navigate its choppy waters without their kind guidance.

They make me f*cking sick.

David

The same neurotic racial fixation was on show at Birmingham University, where no evidence of prejudice against women or minorities has been found, despite repeated efforts to that end, and where a taxpayer-funded scheme to unearth “unconscious bias” is nonetheless underway, with the stated goal of making white staff “feel uncomfortable” about their presumed, albeit invisible, racial animus. Again, guilt is simply presumed – it’s the alpha and omega. Because otherwise the whole thing will fall apart, and the motives of its proponents revealed for what they are.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

A bit OT (ok, rather a lot), but over at the Comics Curmudgeon, a commenter pointed me to "Alex," a strip about London investment bankers, who last year introduced a transgender character that's actually funny and not preachy. How did this get past the SJW moderators?

This is a major problem with cancel culture, how egregious behavior by one person is ignored or excused or not even recognized when it is repeated. They're having an auto-da-fé over "American Dirt," a novel set almost entirely in Mexico, set entirely among migrants, while its author is a member of the pale tribe.

Meanwhile, Claire O'Dell, an equally pale female from Cambridge, Mass., has written not just one, but two novels in which Sherlock Holmes and Watson are portrayed as black lesbians (set in a future after Trump causes a civil war).

I wish I could see her intersectional scorecard that lets her get away with that.

Governor Squid

Oh, good -- Malanga covers the St. Paul debacle. We're only now getting over the worst damage from that Utopian experiment, as the most damaged students have had time to grow out of the system (for better or worse).

As I mentioned last time, the effect of Dr. Silva's system wasn't just to give all the black kids free hits; it also incentivized teachers to come down hard on white kids for the smallest infractions, because every time they punished a white kid, it gave them ammunition to discipline a black kid without running afoul of "disparate impact" policies.

When one group knows it can get away with murder, and another group knows it'll be nailed to the wall for the smallest reason, you can only imagine the inter-group dynamics that come into play. They essentially took a group of kids who were ill-behaved and resentful and gave them free rein to terrorize students and staff alike. At the same time, they took another group of kids who were more-or-less functional and turned them into resentful little shits.

The schools are back at it this year, with lots of NGOs advertising the disparity in educational outcomes in the State. I notice that not one of these PSAs references the study showing that Asian kids study 13 hours a week, while white students average 5.6 hours, Hispanics 4.6 hours, and black kids 3.4 hours. They also don't reference how students who do their homework are torn down by their classmates for "acting white." They do spend a lot of time advocating that we throw a few billion more dollars into to bottomless pit that is our school system.

Sometimes I think they're more interested in getting paid to complain about conditions than they are at improving conditions. Hmmm...

Sam

It's quite disgusting, once you see these self-proclaimed "bleeding hearts" for the bigots they are. Take the newest Dr. Who stupidity, where a black woman turns out to be the real Doctor all along. In the showrunner's mind they are balancing the scales of cosmic justice with this casting, but what they've done is, in effect, identify the lowest form of human they can think of - an overweight black female - and announce their unique moral goodness to the world in elevating this mere "debris" to an iconic TV role. They spit in the faces of those they claim to help, and the saddest thing is those being spat on smiling and pretending it's long overdue rain.

WTP

When one group knows it can get away with murder, and another group knows it'll be nailed to the wall for the smallest reason, you can only imagine the inter-group dynamics that come into play.

Now apply this policy to the wider domain of news, political reporting, etc.

Adam

A law is needed forbidding any student from studying more than 4 hours per week, because equity.

Free college. No studying. We are almost there!

I am old. I recall studying 2 - 3 hours per night 6 days a week in high school, and up to 8 hours a day in college on days when I didn’t have classes. White privilege.

David

A law is needed forbidding any student from studying more than 4 hours per week, because equity.

When someone disdains expectations of effort and hopes of achievement as “unconsciously racist,” and claims that East Asian students tend to do well only because they’re in “proximity to white privilege” and “benefit from white supremacy” – when in fact they tend to study more and misbehave less, by quite some margin - facts that must be ignored - then raised eyebrows, indeed ridicule, seem appropriate.

Along with the mass firing of these pernicious little clowns.

Richard

Can someone explain this idea of equal outcomes? If Bob hangs around and doesn't do anything and Billy works his ass off and gets ahead, by what reasoning should the outcome be the same? if Bob works his ass off at the wrong thing and Billy works on the right thing, why should the outcome be the same?

Why is it so difficult to understand that people get paid and promoted when they contribute productivity to the goals of the enterprise? And do not get paid or promoted when they fail to contribute productivity to the goals of the enterprise. What is the hard part?

BrassG

I've long held the opinion that the word "fair" should be restricted exclusively to sporting fields. When used in any other venue it is merely self-deceptive fantasy. I often refer to it as the "the four-letter f-word."

Lady Cutekitten

https://www.quora.com/q/beflabbergasted/Hilariously-Threatening-Warning-Signs?ch=99&share=8955988c&srid=1Pk3x

Hal

https://www.quora.com/q/beflabbergasted/Hila . . . . .

The classic threat, as I recall . . .

pst314

Can someone explain this idea of equal outcomes?

I think the madness began in the mid 1960's, when all the education reform programs failed to eliminate the achievement gap between white kids and black kids. Arthur Jensen was asked by Harvard to review the literature and concluded that given the dismal outcomes it was possible that the gap was due to genetics. The left went utterly insane. Others suggested that culture was to blame and black kids would not succeed in life like white and Asian kids until black culture changed radically. (Remember "acting white"?) That made the left even more insane. Now, after about 60 years, the gap remains and the left gets more deranged every year. We were all supposed to be equal by now, dammit, and by God Marx they're going to make us equal if it kills us.

pst314

The left thought that the human mind was a blank slate upon which anything could be written, and that with the proper education they would be able to create a world without inequalities. That dream proved to be a fantasy, and they cannot accept this.

To paraphrase Gene Wolfe, "You wish for equality? The left have it. They are deafened by it, crazed by the death of Marxism till they are ready to accept Satan and the rest as gods."

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Nothing like focusing on the important things.

pst314

Nothing like focusing on the important things.

The best thing the left could do would be to get on board the Golgafrincham Ark B.

David

The left went utterly insane.

I think of peddlers of “equity,” and woke educators generally, as living in a state of practised neuroticism, in which they’re obliged to contrive elaborate, often absurd explanations for aggregate variations of behaviour and cognitive wherewithal - phenomena that they mustn’t acknowledge directly, and which are manifest right in front of them on a daily basis.

Or as Amy Wax put it,

On the one hand, all good people are for affirmative action. That’s a sign of virtue. On the other hand, to talk about the predicate, the reason that affirmative action is needed, which is that there are these gaps in educational achievement and proficiency, is verboten. So, we kind of twisted ourselves in knots that we have to embrace something but deny the factual underpinning of it.

A learned unrealism.

TDK

This is not unknown in the UK

For some time, there has been concern that the ratio of BME visiting the Lake District is below the proportion in the country. The fact that BME ratios are much higher in urban centres is not worthy of comment, nor the corollary that perhaps proximity might be a relevant factor.

pst314

For some time, there has been concern that the ratio of BME visiting the Lake District is below the proportion in the country...

There is a related phenomenon in the USA, where a love of wilderness and a desire to visit national parks is a "white" thing. One can find black "thinkers" who therefore condemn government spending on parks and monuments as racism.

Chester Draws

Nothing like focusing on the important things.

Having ranted and raged that Trump was racist and sexist, and that no self-respecting person of colour or femaleness should work with him, they then complain about the lack of coloured people and women who will work with him!

Half the country are Republican, but I doubt Obama had many of them in any of his cabinets. "Diversity" only goes so far!

pst314

“I think of peddlers of ‘equity,’ and woke educators generally, as living in a state of practised neuroticism,”

More like psychosis.

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