Patterico's Pontifications

11/19/2020

They Didn’t Say “Lecture” Trump Supporters, Wajahat Ali

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



Wajahat Ali has a piece in the New York Times titled: ‘Reach Out to Trump Supporters,’ They Said. I Tried. The deck headline says: “I give up.”

I’m not entirely sure this fellow has it in him to try to understand other people, and my suspicions are confirmed in the piece, which does not reveal a very sincere attempt to listen, but rather a desire to lecture. This part struck me:

In 2017, I was invited by the Aspen Institute — which hosts a festival known for attracting the wealthy and powerful — to discuss racism in America. At a private dinner after the event, I was introduced to a donor who I learned was a Trump supporter. As soon as I said “white privilege,” she began shooting me passive aggressive quips about the virtues of meritocracy and hard work. She recommended I read “Hillbilly Elegy” — the best-selling book that has been criticized by those living in Appalachia as glorified poverty porn promoting simplistic stereotypes about a diverse region.

I did not hear the allegedly passive aggressive quips, but the sense I get is that Ali is disdainful of the virtues of hard work, or any discussion of meritocracy. His goal is to lecture you about “white privilege” and if you don’t agree, then you are simply unable to get past your own white privilege.

Do you think Wajahat Ali has read “Hillbilly Elegy”? I don’t. It seems clear from that passage he hasn’t. I’m not sure what “glorified poverty porn” is even supposed to mean. But I read the book. It’s written by someone who grew up in Appalachia, and knows firsthand what it was like. The book illustrates that some subcultures in this country have pathological aspects to them — prevalent drug addiction, a disdain for education, a culture of violent response to insult, a hostility to work and a tendency to accept public assistance — and that such cultures are certainly not limited to any one race. It’s hard to see the denizens of Appalachia as benefiting from “white privilege” — especially when stacked up against privileged young black students from wealthy families who are preferentially admitted to prestigious universities and will convert that education into lucrative careers as professors, writers, and the like, denouncing racism and “white privilege.”

As for hard work and meritocracy, that’s another discussion, with some subtle aspects. I recently heard an excellent podcast where Sam Harris interviewed a critic of meritocracy named Daniel Markovits. Rather than proceeding on the arrogant assumption that if you disagreed with him you are simply unfeeling and unworthy, Morkovits went to the trouble of acknowledging the benefits of meritocracy and made a reasonable argument that some of what we consider merit (not all!) is not something we can claim credit for, like our genes, upbringing, unique talents, good fortune, and so forth. On the other hand, people who oppose meritocracy need to realize that most rich people in this country actually work very very hard, and that there is a virtue in hard work and that it does get you ahead for the most part, at some sacrifice. To be dismissive of this, as Ali obviously was, is to miss something.

Ali certainly did encounter his share of cretinous behavior. After all, he was dealing with Trump supporters, and they are a collection that includes reasonable people who support Trump for defensible reasons, and unreasonable superfans who adore and praise Trump’s worst character traits. Deal with enough of them and you’ll find examples of actual deplorable behavior, and if you want to focus on that in your New York Times op-ed, you can, I guess.

In the end, I think Wajahat Ali should read “Hillbilly Elegy.” He should reflect on the fact that a healthy respect for hard work is a good thing. He should wonder why he denigrates someone who read a book he hasn’t read, and who has a respect for hard work that he apparently lacks (judging from his dismissive attitude), as an example of the type of Trump supporter who simply can’t be reasoned with. Maybe she just didn’t want a lecture from Wajahat Ali. Maybe she wanted to have the conversation that he claims he sought, but actually didn’t.

59 Responses to “They Didn’t Say “Lecture” Trump Supporters, Wajahat Ali”

  1. A healthy respect for hard work doesn’t really seem compatible with support of Trump. He currently is skulking in the White House probably tweeting more about how he really won the election while outside the epidemic continues to get worse and his minions wait for him to let them start an actual transition proceeding.

    He reminds me of Aesop’s dog in the manger, unable (or in T’s case unwilling) to eat the straw but determined that nobody else will either.

    Victor (4959fb)

  2. Good post. Thank you.

    DRJ (aede82)

  3. In the end, I think Wajahat Ali should read “Hillbilly Elegy.” He should reflect on the fact that a healthy respect for hard work is a good thing. He should wonder why he denigrates someone who read a book he hasn’t read, and who has a respect for hard work that he apparently lacks (judging from his dismissive attitude), as an example of the type of Trump supporter who simply can’t be reasoned with.

    I loved Hillbilly Elegy, and think everyone should read it. Apparently, Ali lacks curiosity about the world around him, and that in turn limits his understanding of views different from his and the people that hold them. In other words, that sort of laziness that often breeds narrow-minded bigotry.

    Dana (6995e0)

  4. Wajahat Ali, unfortunately, sounds like a lot of progressives I know.

    Hoi Polloi (7cefeb)

  5. I thought the most amusing part of the piece was the end:

    Just as in 2016, I don’t need Trump supporters to be humiliated to feel great again. I want them to have health insurance, decent paying jobs and security for their family. I do not want them to suffer, but I also refuse to spend any more time trying to understand and help the architects of my oppression.

    I will move forward along with the majority who want progress, equality and justice for all Americans. If Trump supporters decide they want the same, they can always reach out to me. They know where to find me. Ahead of them.

    The guy sniffs that all his efforts didn’t succeed in changing any Trump-lover’s mind. If the mindset that justifies Trump’s insult that he could commit cold-blooded murder without losing their support were superficially held and easily changed, these people would have figured out what Trump is shoveling on their own, a long time ago. It does not require second-order predicate logic or pointy-headed intellectualism.

    The true believers don’t keep the faith because Trump is right; they keep the faith because they wish he was right.

    Dave (1bb933)

  6. Among all political groups, unfortunately, there are certain topics that are deemed not open to debate.

    I see infinitely more of that among the Left and die hard Trump critics. The fact that Trump supporters must guard what they say in public much more than others, and find themselves on black lists, would seem to buttress that view.

    “White privilege”, once thought novel, has already safely achieved “not open to debate” status in public discourse. Ali doesn’t look at it as a lecture any more than informing someone the earth is round.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  7. Ali doesn’t look at it as a lecture any more than informing someone the earth is round.

    While “white privilege” means a lot of things to different people, after blacks were enslaved by whites for 250 years in this country, and then – under color of law – denied education, economic opportunity and basic civil rights for another hundred, is the intervening fifty years sufficient, in your estimation, to erase all consequences of that?

    Dave (1bb933)

  8. Here’s an example of “white privilege” (or at least the expectation thereof). There aren’t a lot of people would would walk up to a phalanx of cops in riot gear and start waving a finger at them. And of course the guy is stunned when it doesn’t work out.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o12MMyNZx0

    BTW, the cops were disciplined for not respecting the white privilege.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. I try hard to understand those I disagree with. At some point, though, I don’t care. I don’t want to know why Nazis or Maoists are the way they are, or how they think. But absent the extreme, I do take the time. I may, in the end, not give a sh1t, and I am there now with Trump dead-enders.

    But I get why Trump won in 2016 and I am saddened that Trump was so pitifully incompetent (and possibly disingenuous) that most of their grievances remain unaddressed. At best they got an hiatus in the assault. Biden will open up the floodgates again on their woes.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  10. When you take a look at Wajat Ali’s website, it becomes clear that so much of his own self-identification revolves around being a minority bravely trying to get by in a world dominated by white folks. Here are some of the things you see on the site:

    “brownish dad” – a self-description in his bio

    “universal narratives told through a culturally specific lens” – sounds like every grievance study professor specializing in Critical Race Theory

    “knows what it feels like to be the token minority in the classroom and the darkest person in a boardroom” – oh, the trials and tribulations he has suffered in his parents’ adopted homeland!

    “the cultural ambassador of an entire group of people, those who are often marginalized, silenced, or reduced to stereotypes” – one imagines him indignantly informing a group of white progressives that it is not his job to be their conduit to the Pakistani-American community (that’s the job of Kumail Nanjiani, by the way

    In short, he’s a professional racial grievance monger. And though he actually might have some salient points to make, his choice to pursue his sort of vocation and Patterico’s illustration of Mr. Ali’s dismissal of ideas that exist outside of his ideology means that I don’t really feel any obligation to take him seriously as an intellectual.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  11. is the intervening fifty years sufficient, in your estimation, to erase all consequences of that?

    All consequences? Probably not. Is a hundred years enough? What is the magic number?

    As with the whites of Appalachia, is it valid to assume privilege status based on pigment? At my multi-national company, managers are rewarded for hiring underrepresented minorities, and would get that reward (and often do — this is not a theoretical exercise) by hiring a recent immigrant from (pick a country in Sub-Sahara Africa) with no experience of which you describe as opposed to the white kid from the WV boondocks.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  12. is the intervening fifty years sufficient, in your estimation, to erase all consequences of that?

    We have tried, though affirmative action which has its issues. Not so much that it raises people up, but that it pushes others down who had no part in the harm.

    OTOH, so many fortunes that were made on the backs of the enslaved remain in the hands of descendants. Breaking up the old plantations into forty acres and a mule in 1867 would have been a better plan, and fairer, than trying to sort it out now. I find it risible that JFK thought that the dying man’s vote to acquit Andrew Jackson and thwart the Radical Republicans was a “Profile in Courage.” Much would be different if Thaddeus Stevens had had his way.

    Short of Reparations, probably the best thing we can do now is to stop with the substandard education the majority of Blacks get. It’s not a money thing, it’s a quality thing. Throwing more money at the current big city public schools seems only to enrich administrators and vendors. Very little actually gets to the kids. This may be why so many Blacks support alternatives to the public schools, since promises to fix them have rung hollow every years since 1965.

    And we may get to Reparations, some day. I hope that, should we go there, we do something transformative (my suggestion: a generation of tuition to any college they can get in to) but without good K-12 schools, most Blacks will remain at a disadvantage.

    Sorry about the ramble.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  13. Shorter: Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is fine, if you have bootstraps.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  14. “knows what it feels like to be the token minority in the classroom and the darkest person in a boardroom”

    I have, at times, been the only white person in a roomful of people. The first time was truly weird. After a while it’s not. After a longer while it doesn’t matter.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. Morkovits went to the trouble of acknowledging the benefits of meritocracy and made a reasonable argument that some of what we consider merit (not all!) is not something we can claim credit for, like our genes, upbringing, unique talents, good fortune, and so forth.

    Genes, upbringing, unique talents, and good fortune are what I define as merit and wish I personally had more of. There is no shame in honest work, as my mother used to say, however the essential value of a human being is not his capacity for productive labor and Marx did not mean it in a good way when he criticized that value system.

    As for “white privilege”, I won’t go so far as to say that it’s chickens trying to shame the eagle for his wings. Nope. It’s turkeys. I am what I am, not what I do, compadres, and that’s all that I am.

    nk (1d9030)

  16. I bottle up a lot of my views on folks, and tend to unload them in politics debate. I’m not sure if others do that too. I am the last person to explain how to build a bridge between Trump fans and critics, but I know we need people to do it.

    Trump support is a reflection, and some people are pros at sneering, fully aware they are keeping these problems alive.

    Maybe I’ll get this Hillbilly Elegy book.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  17. Sorry about the ramble.

    I thought it was a great comment.

    I am totally opposed to affirmative action discrimination of any kind. And I don’t think reparations are a sensible approach either.

    We should focus on giving a helping hand to anyone left behind by poor schools, economic dislocation and other circumstances that an individual has no control over. To the extent blacks are disproportionately represented in these disadvantaged groups (and due to the legacy of slavery and discrimination, they surely are) they benefit disproportionately in like measure.

    This is what we are encouraged to do in UC admissions (recognize that coming from an economically or educationally disadvantaged background – regardless of race – affects ostensibly “objective” factors like standardized test scores).

    Dave (1bb933)

  18. *since promises to fix them have rung hollow every years since 1965.

    1865.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  19. *Andrew Jackson

    Johnson.

    *Sheesh!*

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  20. You’re gonna endure a lot of noisy static about ‘white privilege’ over the next few months- as names surface and producers fully cast ‘The Joe Show’. The star has already made it known: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me [Biden] or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  21. White privilege can mean several things.

    It can mean good public schools, safe neighborhoods, decent cops and good services. These one takes for granted. It can be hard to imagine there are folks who don’t have these things. There is nothing here that any person would not want for their own family, so it shouldn’t be seen as a sin.

    It can also mean an expectation that they will not be treated like *those* people, conscious or not. The example I show in #8 is one such, where a white guy does something that NO black guy would do, expecting to be treated special. And when he isn’t, the cops get punished.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  22. the essential value of a human being is not his capacity for productive labor and Marx did not mean it in a good way when he criticized that value system.

    Party has no use for your sentimentality, comrade.

    All right-thinking comrades understand that inexorable tensions between classes are engine that drives history forward to inevitable victory of proletariat (and comfortable lifestyle for vanguard party nomenklatura).

    Individual has no agency or identity distinct from class, as you would know if you had ever read Marx and Lenin, comrade, and to suggest otherwise is to promote false consciousness and objectively join ranks of capitalist running dog assassins.

    Dave (1bb933)

  23. @10. I don’t really feel any obligation to take him seriously as an intellectual.

    Ol’Joe may very well ask him which 7-11 he ran. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  24. Ol’Joe may very well ask him which 7-11 he ran.

    It would be a perfect Joeism to conflate Pakistanis and Indians.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  25. @24 Much easier if you just refer to all of them as “sh*thole countries,” I guess.

    Dave (1bb933)

  26. @24. Indeed.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  27. @22 speaking of marxism, I’d encourage everyone to read this:
    https://quillette.com/2020/08/16/the-challenge-of-marxism/

    Key points:

    We can describe Marx’s political framework as follows:

    1. Oppressor and oppressed
    Marx argues that, as an empirical matter, people invariably form themselves into cohesive groups (he calls them classes), which exploit one another to the extent they are able. A liberal political order is no different in this from any other, and it tends toward two classes, one of which owns and controls pretty much everything (the oppressor); while the other is exploited, and the fruit of its labor appropriated, so that it does not advance and, in fact, remains forever enslaved (the oppressed). In addition, Marx sees the state itself, its laws and its mechanisms of enforcement, as a tool that the oppressor class uses to keep the regime of oppression in place and to assist in carrying out this work.

    2. False consciousness
    Marx recognizes that the liberal businessmen, politicians, lawyers, and intellectuals who keep this system in place are unaware that they are the oppressors, and that what they think of as progress has only established new conditions of oppression. Indeed, even the working class may not know that they are exploited and oppressed. This is because they all think in terms of liberal categories (e.g., the individual’s right to freely sell his labor) which obscure the systematic oppression that is taking place. This ignorance of the fact that one is an oppressor or oppressed is called the ruling ideology (Engels later coined the phrase false consciousness to describe it), and it is only overcome when one is awakened to what is happening and learns to recognize reality using true categories.

    3. Revolutionary reconstitution of society
    Marx suggests that, historically, oppressed classes have materially improved their conditions only through a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large—that is, through the destruction of the oppressor class, and of the social norms and ideas that hold the regime of systematic oppression in place. He even specifies that liberals will supply the oppressed with the tools needed to overthrow them. There is a period of “more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution” and the “violent overthrow” of the liberal oppressors. At this point, the oppressed seize control of the state.

    4. Total disappearance of class antagonisms
    Marx promises that after the oppressed underclass takes control of the state, the exploitation of individuals by other individuals will be “put to an end” and the antagonism between classes of individuals will totally disappear. How this is to be done is not specified.

    …and this:

    Thus the endless dance of liberalism and Marxism, which goes like this:

    1. Liberals declare that henceforth all will be free and equal, emphasizing that reason (not tradition) will determine the content of each individual’s rights.

    2. Marxists, exercising reason, point to many genuine instances of unfreedom and inequality in society, decrying them as oppression and demanding new rights.

    3. Liberals, embarrassed by the presence of unfreedom and inequality after having declared that all would be free and equal, adopt some of the Marxists’ demands for new rights.

    4. Return to #1 above and repeat.

    Of course, not all liberals give in to the Marxists’ demands—and certainly not on every occasion. Nevertheless, the dance is real. As a generalized view of what happens over time, this picture is accurate, as we’ve seen throughout the democratic world over the last 70 years. Liberals progressively adopt the critical theories of the Marxists over time, whether the subject is God and religion, man and woman, honor and duty, family, nation, or anything else.

    …and succinctly stated:

    Simply put, the Marxist framework and democratic political theory are opposed to one another in principle. A Marxist cannot grant legitimacy to liberal or conservative points of view without giving up the heart of Marxist theory, which is that these points of view are inextricably bound up with systematic injustice and must be overthrown, by violence if necessary. This is why the very idea that a dissenting opinion—one that is not “Progressive” or “Anti-Racist”—could be considered legitimate has disappeared from liberal institutions as Marxists have gained power. At first, liberals capitulated to their Marxist colleagues’ demand that conservative viewpoints be considered illegitimate (because conservatives are “authoritarian” or “fascist”). This was the dynamic that brought about the elimination of conservatives from most of the leading universities and media outlets in America.

    whembly (ef8c84)

  28. Here’s another attempt to reach out.

    Click on the below link and scroll down to a short MUST WATCH VIDEO currently running on Youtube. It is titled: THE MOST RACIST VIDEO EVER SEEN.

    https://www.infowars.com/posts/rock-bottom-boulder-to-be-removed-after-students-complained-it-is-racist/

    Harrison Smith describes it as: Black folks talk about white supremacy – What white supremacy means to them.

    Note the laughter.

    It is a hateful VIDEO. It is a racist VIDEO.

    Double Standards? This is proof positive that there are DOUBLE STANDARDS plied by the Far Left, the Dem party, Tech Platforms, Lame Stream Media & Hollywood celebs.

    And Who on the left will condemn this? Joe Biden? Kamala Harris? Nancy Pelosi? Chuck Schumer? Barack Obama? Michelle Obama? Hillary Clinton? Bill Clinton? Eric Holder? Loretta Lynch? Jesse Jackson? Al Sharpton? ABC? CBS? 60 Minutes? NBC? MSNBC? CNN? NY Times? WaPo? LA Times, etc.?
    Most probably, that video will not even be reported on or mentioned, by any of the above.
    CRICKETS …………………………………………………..

    Now ask yourself, Why this is not even mentioned by the LAME STREAM MEDIA? by the BIG TECH PLATFORMS? Anyone in the Dem party? Any Hollywood celebs?

    Stop. Now reverse the WHITE for BLACK.

    Now ask yourself, If that could happen today? and if it did, would the reaction(s) be the same?

    No. And YOU know it would not be the same. YOU know if it was made it would be vehemently condemned. And the makers would be condemned – if not charged with a hate crime.

    Now ask yourself, WHO would make this VIDEO? WHY would someone make this VIDEO?

    Now ask yourself, HOW & WHY these people can get away with this – if there is equality in America? truth in America? Justice in America.

    Now ask yourself, What happened to Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream Speech – that he dreamed that his children would grow up and be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skins.

    This VIDEO spits on the life and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King.

    This VIDEO is a racist diatribe. This VIDEO is a hate crime – and it is being celebrated.

    This is what giving license to hate Donald Trump has unleashed.

    This VDIEO is no different than what was done to the Jews in NAZI Germany by Paul Joseph Goebbels – the German Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945.

    The smallest minority is – the individual.

    Recall the quote from German Cleric Martin Niemoller:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
    — Martin Niemöller
    ________________________________

    Now ask yourself, What are YOU going to do to stop this HATRED? This RACISM? This IGNORANCE? This BULLYING? This LAUGHTER?

    Now ask yourself, Is this the America YOU want to live in?

    Recall also, this quote by Dr. Martin Luther King – Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.

    Liberty & Truth require constant vigilance. GLZ.

    Gary L. Zerman (a1521c)

  29. I’m going to guess that a donor attending dinner at the Aspen Institute doesn’t have much experience with deep inter-generational poverty and her use of that issue as a shield seems… in poor taste. However, as an immigrant from the Bay Area, I would guess that he also hasn’t had much experience with white deep inter-generational poverty and dismissing it seems… unnecessary. Basically, both of the issues they brought up can be a problem and neither was willing to deal with the other person’s issue. (though in truth I doubt the donor spends much time working on the issue of deep poverty).

    @11 There have been a fair number of studies regarding access to housing and jobs that do show a bias away from specific minority groups. There was one where they send in basically identical resumes mostly just changing the names to more or less ethnic ones and colleges of equal standing but identified as more or less ethnic and the people with less ethnic names and colleges got significantly more call backs. There was also a housing one where they sent similarly dressed couples in to talk to apartment managers and relatively often if they sent a Latino couple in 1st the manager would claim they didn’t have anything to rent and then when the white couple went in not that long afterward there would suddenly be an apartment available.

    @12 The college scholarship version of reparations is also the one I think would be the best choice if it comes to that. After all, the 40 acres and a mule idea was intended as a way to help the former slaves make a living and a good college education would be the modern equivalent of that.

    Nic (896fdf)

  30. Reparation for what specifically?

    I was born in the late 70’s, and yes for my parents and grandparents…institutional racism like Jim Crowism and the like are still “living memory”.

    However, I grew up through affirmative actions…school desegration programs (me being white was shipped to city schools)…saw the Foodstamps transition to EBT…witnessed blacks getting preferential treatment in job hires/promotions over me…race-based scholarships…and so on.

    Before we discuss any sort of “reparation”, how bout at least some acknowledgements from those minorities that society HAS given them a lot so far.

    whembly (ef8c84)

  31. @24 Much easier if you just refer to all of them as “sh*thole countries,” I guess.

    Now Dave, haven’t we had the talk about always invoking Trump in comparison to other politicians?

    JVW (ee64e4)

  32. I’ve run across enough liberals like Ali on left-wing threads to suspect his motives, and I’m sure the people he ran across also had those same suspicions. Ali didn’t realize that they could smell his insincerity a mile away, probably because he overestimated his intelligence and underestimated theirs.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  33. I have not read Hillbilly Elegy and don’t intend to. It’s not the sort of book that interests me.

    I have read The Millionaire Next Door, by Stanley and Danko. These two PhDs set out to study actual millionaires. They went by net worth and were shocked at what they found.

    Net worth is defined as (income + assets) minus (debts + liabilities). An asset generates income, while a liability generates debt. In the end of the equation, if income and assets exceeds debts and liabilities by $1 million, that person is a millionaire.

    Most of these people (80%) are small business owners. They didn’t go to college, or if they did attend college, they didn’t graduate. But yet they’re millionaires.

    Do you know what the three careers are that have the least likelihood of making you a millionaire? It’s the status jobs–doctor, lawyer, professor. The reason why is because these jobs require certification and debt.

    My mother never went to college. But she was a self made millionaire by the age of 45. Don’t talk to me about it. I lived it.

    You know, she once sent me to Rio Grande City to find a lot for a Whataburger, when I was sixteen. I’d never been to Rio Grande City in my life; it was 80 miles away. So I drove into town and all there was was strip mall. So I’m looking around, thinking I’ve been driving for like forever, and there was this vacant lot across from the strip mall. I’m hungry, I’m tired, I need food and a drink. Where do I go?

    So I recommended this vacant lot. And you know what? Whataburger bought it!

    Yep, when you drive into Rio Grande City, and you come to that Whataburger, I put it there.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  34. @24. Screened presser again; Ol’Joe just said it again- ‘a dark winter ahead.’

    Perhaps less a reference about Covid and more about ‘white privilege’ as The Joe Show gets cast.

    Again says he will ‘shut down the virus.’ WTF?! Keeps referencing ‘we’– says “we’ve” selected Treasury Secretary. And calls the press screener his ‘boss.’ Discussed w/governors ‘national mask mandate’… a ‘patriotic duty.’

    Joe Biden’s America; say hello to “patriot” Cynthia:

    https://www.ispot.tv/ad/nBpP/geico-involved-hoa

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  35. … and Xi smiled; Vlad is just laughing.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  36. “More blacks have died of Covid than whites.” – Biden.

    Does that even matter? Only to Racist Joe.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  37. Now Dave, haven’t we had the talk about always invoking Trump in comparison to other politicians?

    Which politician’s name appears in the title of the thread?

    Which politician’s supporters are the subject of the quoted and linked editorial, and much of the preceding discussion (before the infantile Deezy-eska Biden derail, which you leapt to your feet to applaud)?

    Dave (1bb933)

  38. @37. Feel the Bern, Davey.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  39. Which politician’s name appears in the title of the thread?

    Oh, you were just steering us back to the subject of the post? Well then, I guess — thanks?

    JVW (ee64e4)

  40. @30. I was born in the late 70’s, and yes for my parents and grandparents…institutional racism like Jim Crowism and the like are still “living memory”.

    For me it’s the 50’s and the color of ‘institutional racism’ is clear in the likes, language and patronizing comments by Ol’Scranton Joe over the years [or is it Wilmington this week]; it’s exactly like that of my late, Pennsylvania-born grandfather. It’s a generational thing.

    And minorities will and have rejected being told of being ‘given’ anything- rather it is ‘earned’ and ‘deserved.’ But reparations is just idiotic and a base money grab. All of us could claim reparations of some value for some wrong in the past.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  41. White privilege can mean several things.

    Having been involved in a book club with well-educated progressives who hold critical race theory as gospel, they would tell you it doesn’t matter what you have accomplished, what suffering you have endured, what sacrifices you have made to reach your place of success because, if you are white, you are privileged. Period. End of the story. Even if you wound up penniless, homeless, and lost to drug addiction or alcoholism or depression, and live on the streets, you would still have white privilege because you are not black. No ifs, and or buts. You are white, therefore you have what a black person does not and cannot have. There is no middle ground.

    Dana (6995e0)

  42. “the best thing we can do now is to stop with the substandard education the majority of Blacks get. It’s not a money thing, it’s a quality thing.”

    Well, first let’s acknowledge that progressives have dominated K-12 inner city education and must in substantial part own the stagnation and outcome. Second, let’s acknowledge that conservative’s theme of “choice” has not exactly resonated with inner city voters. Appeals to “the classics”, preparing citizens, and discipline are great but how have they fared in practice in inner cities? Hard to say, right? Let’s face it, it’s challenging to attract and keep good teachers in many inner city schools. Yes, it can be dangerous, but it’s also the angry, disruptive, and disrespectful students who aren’t ready to learn. School becomes about social services and not the 3 R’s. Pregnancies, truancy, drop outs, chaos at home, gangs and drugs. Look at the numbers and where do you start? There’s no quick fix to eliminate generational poverty and more money won’t keep Johnny in his seat doing his exercises. You have to change the culture and provide a path out of poverty. I’m just not sure I’ve heard a great strategy that gets buy-in from the key players. And so it goes….

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  43. Why don’t we acknowledge that half of the population will neither acquire nor see a need to put to use, not ever, any formal education beyond sixth grade, and said education, beyond sixth grade, for them, is more the product of child labor laws and a way to keep idle teenagers occupied and supervised than it is anything else?

    (Well, ok, it’s also workfare for the education racket, but they’re not protected by the child labor laws and why can’t we make basketball shoes over here and not in China?)

    nk (1d9030)

  44. What kind of jobs can you get without a high school diploma….this ain’t the ’50’s where you could go work in the steel mills….and afford to raise a family

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  45. My position is that the high school diploma is an artificial requirement, entirely unnecessary for any job that half the population will ever be able to do, with it or without it.

    Middle school, too, and I’m not entirely sure that “All I ever needed to know I learned in Kindergarten” might not contain more that a little bit of truth.

    nk (1d9030)

  46. @45 6th grade is too low, they don’t have the reading, writing, math, history, science, or analytical skills that they would need to be at all socially functional. They could get most of the very basics by the end of 8th grade, but the brain development isn’t there until after about 13/14 yrs old to learn some necessities (kids transition from concrete to abstract reasoning at around 13, it’s why we don’t teach algebra to 4th graders).

    Right now, a graduating senior who has scraped by meeting the bare minimum has about a 10th grade education (and we have dragged them through kicking and screaming). That’s really about the minimum you need to function at all in society. OTOH a graduating senior who has maximized their educational opportunities at a good school is functionally somewhere around a beginning to mid sophomore in college. There is probably a better way to deal with kids between the ages of 16-18, but our modern society isn’t set up for that.

    Nic (896fdf)

  47. That’s really about the minimum you need to function at all in society.

    Sorry, I’m more persuaded by W. Somerset Maugham’s “The Verger”.

    nk (1d9030)

  48. @49 It isn’t the 19th or early 20th C. any more. You can’t function in society if you can’t read, and even the protagonist of that lovely essay had someone to read and write for him. You have to be able to read and write to move beyond basic manual labor.

    Nic (896fdf)

  49. Literacy is a wonderful thing but the artificial barriers and false hopes to promote a meretricious egalitarianism are not worth the price in either the waste of societal resources or the waste of the children’s youth.

    nk (1d9030)

  50. Furthermore, no amount of education is a substitute for innate capability but innate capability can overcome any gap in education.

    nk (1d9030)

  51. @52 That isn’t entirely true. Obviously no one is going to make an Einstein out of someone with an 80 IQ, but you can teach someone with dyslexia to read using the right strategies while it is very difficult to learn advanced math without having a strong math foundation and a good teacher.

    Nic (896fdf)

  52. I don’t believe in dyslexia, either, sorry. I like another of my mother’s expressions — “they don’t take to letters”. It doesn’t mean they’re dumb, or socially dysfunctional, it’s just not their bag. And not to dismiss your math example, but math is also a variant of symbolic speech, like literacy, with different symbols and rules of construction, and there are real life people like Dustin Hoffman’s character in “Rain Man”.

    nk (1d9030)

  53. @54 You can choose not believe in the processing disorder generally referred by laypeople as dyslexia, but it exists. It’s a measurable processing disorder. It has fairly consistent observable symptoms and we can test for it. And there are very few savants. Very very few. It’s a very strange brain thing.

    Nic (896fdf)

  54. Okay, I’ll stop. And thank you for your patience.

    nk (1d9030)

  55. 😛

    Nic (896fdf)

  56. If you actually want to have a conversation with Trump supporters on a different basis than the “You’re a stupid racist” tack like MR Ali attempted, you might try to ask why they felt “Trump” was preferable to some other Republican candidate. You’d follow that up with “Do you think that Trump was effective in addressing those concerns?” After that the conversation might converge or diverge, but it would not be due to your open hostility.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  57. @58 Most of my friends and family are Trump supporters. I believe he won them over by talking bluntly and in an entertaining way about immigration, trade, the swamp, and the MSM. To get Trump supporters off the train, these issues need to be acknowledged as valid concerns.

    norcal (a5428a)

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