Impermissible Notions
Friday Ephemera

Just A Thought, But Hear Me Out

Maybe the racially neurotic should not be teaching children.

Say, the kinds of people who insist that maintaining discipline in class and ejecting those who seriously misbehave - thereby enabling the rest of the class to have some chance of learning something - is merely “upholding white supremacy,” and so, by implication, very, very bad. The kinds of people who, when their own words are quoted verbatim and they consequently encounter pushback, seemingly for the first time, complain about the stress of being disagreed with. 

As we’ve seen many times, when said neuroticism is made modish, statusful, and an institutional obligation, the practical results are not entirely inspiring. With six experiments in racial immunity from discipline, in six different cities, resulting in six surges in violent classroom assaults, up to and including actual riots. And with apologists for the policies doubling-down and subsequently claiming that “African-American boys” are more “physical” and “demonstrative,” and so punching teachers in the face, and groping them, and setting other students’ hair on fire, is how those students “engage in learning.”

And when educators have practised such dishonesties and have learned to perform the required mental contortions, the results can be quite eye-widening. We might, for instance, turn to Dr Albert Stabler, an assistant professor at Appalachian State University, whose thoughts are much aligned with those of our TikTok teacher linked above.

Writing in The Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, Dr Stabler confessed his innate wrongness – “I am a white teacher” – before disdaining the “white feelings” of fellow educators who objected to being punched and humiliated with increasing frequency, and with something close to impunity. Among them, our woke educator’s immediate predecessor, a female art teacher whose hair was forcibly cut by a black student. These objections were denounced by Dr Stabler as constituting “white supremacist violence,” while the actual violence – the punching and cutting and so forth - was waved aside as a display of the students’ “cultural knowledge” and “kinetic” creativity. 

Not, I think, a happy trajectory.

Update, via the comments:

Regarding Dr Stabler and his peers, and their merry mental dance, Mike says, not unreasonably,

These people aren’t just pathetic, they’re twisted.

Well, pathologically unrealistic, certainly. The term that comes to mind is pretentious degeneracy. Again, the kinds of people to whom one probably shouldn’t entrust one’s children.

The feats of mental contortion - and the sheer, practised dishonesty – are, it’s true, quite something. Oddly, it’s often the small details that give the game away. For instance, Dr Stabler’s airy dismissal of what was done to his predecessor - because she, the victim, was white and therefore, it seems, undeserving of redress. As if forcibly cutting a female teacher’s hair, leaving her in tears, wasn’t obviously done to dominate and humiliate her. As if a person’s willingness to gratuitously punch someone, or grope them, or gleefully violate them in some way, couldn’t possibly tell us quite a lot about that person’s character - and about how much, or little, their wellbeing should concern us.

Instead, these acts of (often quite ingenious) malice are construed as innocuous and forgivable, while objections to being assaulted and humiliated are framed as the real problem, the thing we must correct. All those “white emotions.” A term used repeatedly, disdainfully, and generally as a euphemism for physical safety and expectations of civilised behaviour. And so, the aggressors, being supposedly oppressed, must forever be indulged and with ever greater latitude. As if an imperviousness to normal consequences will do anything but inspire more of the same, only with more daring and inventive sociopathy.

As a blueprint for a Really Bad Situation – a demoralised and hopelessly dysfunctional environment - it’s hard to fault. A blueprint, one assumes, to be extended beyond the classroom