Patterico's Pontifications

1/20/2022

Allahpundit Makes the “David French Error” in Interpreting Florida’s Ban on Teachings Designed to Make People Feel Guilt Due to Their Race

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



Here we go again: a favorite writer of mine is misinterpreting laws against the new wokeism. Last time it was David French. This time it is Allahpundit, whose post is titled Does a new Florida bill prohibit schools and businesses from causing whites “discomfort” or “guilt”? and begins by answering the question in this way:

That’s how the Associated Press’s deliberately inflammatory headline frames the stakes here. Are they right?

Short answer: Not really, but sort of?

Longer answer: The bill is facially neutral as to race. It doesn’t bar schools and businesses from causing “discomfort” or “guilt” to whites specifically during instruction or training. It bars them from causing discomfort or guilt on the basis of race with respect to any race. If you uncork a white supremacist rant while addressing your staff or your classroom, you’d face consequences under this law.

That’s my bold emphasis, there to indicate that the part in bold is wrong. The Associated Press is wrong, all right, but not because the bill applies to all races and not just whites. It’s wrong because the bill itself does not bar schools and businesses from “causing discomfort or guilt on the basis of race with respect to any race” (to quote Allahpundit’s mistaken characterization). Rather, it bars schools and businesses from teaching people that they should feel discomfort or guilt because of their race.

That’s a different concept.

Don’t take my word for it. Allahpundit quotes the relevant provisions. See for yourself:

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 8.22.15 AM
Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 8.22.26 AM

The ban here is not on instruction that causes whites (or any race) to feel guilt or discomfort. The ban is on instruction that tells whites (or any race, color, sex, etc.) that they should feel guilt or discomfort on account of their race. Specifically, the law bans instruction that any individual “should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin.” I emphasize the word “should” because that is the key word.

There is a meaningful distinction between banning instruction that might cause people anguish due to the color of their skin, and teaching them that they should feel anguish due to the color of their skin. The former teaching is a potential consequence of any teaching about our country’s history of racism. The latter teaching is un-American.

The error permeates Allahpundit’s post. He says (my bold emphasis):

Where does all of that leave us? If a teacher tells his students that “white people oppressed black people for hundreds of years in the United States,” is that actionable under this statute? It might cause white students “discomfort” or “guilt” to hear whites indicted as a race that way. But how else should it be put? Saying that certain whites oppressed certain blacks wouldn’t capture the extent to which African-Americans were subjugated systematically and institutionally before the civil rights era. You can see why Dems worry that some parents acting in bad faith might try to steer schools away from teaching ugly chapters of American history altogether for fear of inadvertently landing in legal jeopardy under the bill.

The answer is no: it would not be actionable. Teaching about race that “might” cause white students to feel discomfort or guilt is not the same as teaching white students that they “should” feel discomfort or guilt due to their skin color. Teachers can manage to explain to their students that white people oppressed blacks throughout most of this nation’s history, without the need to add the observation that as a result of this history, the white kids in the class should feel bad for being white.

Allahpundit errs again when discussing the workplace restrictions:

At what point does the First Amendment protect a boss’s right to cause “discomfort” to his employee by stating a political opinion, particularly if he has facts to back it up? I’m guessing we’re eventually going to find out.

But the issue here is not an employer’s right to cause discomfort, but his right to tell his employee that the employee should feel discomfort because of the employee’s race. To me, the latter (which is what the law actually bans) is a form of race discrimination itself — but to the extent that this is unclear under current law, this bill makes it crystal clear. Such statements have no place in the workplace.

Regular readers will recall that this is the same error David French, Kmele Foster, Thomas Chatterton Williams, and some partisan lefty made in their New York Times piece on so-called “anti-CRT laws.” As I explained at the time:

If French, Foster, Williams, and Stanley were accurately characterizing the laws, I would be in agreement with them here. Our kids simply must be taught the history of slavery and Jim Crow, just like German kids need to be taught about the Holocaust. No sane person disagrees. And an accurate account of that history of governmental oppression of one race no doubt “could” and likely “would” cause many kids to feel anguish. Banning laws that “could” or “would” cause kids such anguish cannot possibly stand.

Here’s the thing, though: that’s not what the laws say. Instead, they make a very important distinction by banning teachers from teaching kids that individuals “should” (not could, not would, but should) feel anguish on account of their race or sex. In other words, the laws target the project of some anti-racists to make white people feel guilty simply because of the color of their skin.

I continue to admire David French, and I consider Allahpundit to be the best writer on the Web. But they are both misinterpreting, in a similar fashion, laws designed to fight the scourge of racism that currently operates under the misleading banner of “anti-racism.” No reasonable person wants to ban teaching about the history of racism, even though such teaching might have the incidental effect of causing some whites to feel guilt as a result of their ancestors’ actions. That is quite different from teaching people that they should feel guilt for their “white privilege” — a concept that is at the heart of a best-selling book, and which is far more prevalent than critics give it credit for.

52 Responses to “Allahpundit Makes the “David French Error” in Interpreting Florida’s Ban on Teachings Designed to Make People Feel Guilt Due to Their Race”

  1. “If French, Foster, Williams, and Stanley were accurately characterizing the laws, I would be in agreement with them here. Our kids simply must be taught the history of slavery and Jim Crow, just like German kids need to be taught about the Holocaust. No sane person disagrees. And an accurate account of that history of governmental oppression of one race no doubt “could” and likely “would” cause many kids to feel anguish. Banning laws that “could” or “would” cause kids such anguish cannot possibly stand.

    Here’s the thing, though: that’s not what the laws say. Instead, they make a very important distinction by banning teachers from teaching kids that individuals “should” (not could, not would, but should) feel anguish on account of their race or sex. In other words, the laws target the project of some anti-racists to make white people feel guilty simply because of the color of their skin.”

    You highlight an important distinction that a lot of well intended folks(such as David French) in addition to woke partisans tend to overlook or ignore. It’s thus not surprising that they end up mischaracterizing so-called anti-woke laws such as the one just enacted in FL. I’m going to take the plunge and buy that book Undoctrinate, that you linked here in your piece. Sadly, I never heard of that book until now, but am intrigued enough to want to give it a read.

    HCI (ed8ecd)

  2. Yes, this is quite clear.

    It is fine to say that “White folk enslaved people of African decent for hundred of years in the Untied States, and denied them basic human rights for the century that followed.” Mainly because it is true, which is a fine 1st Amendment defense.

    What it bans is teaching (not saying) that white people today are responsible for this injustice, or that they should be made to repent for the actions of other whites, or compensate current members of a previously victimized group, or accept discrimination or other disadvantage to even the scales.

    I do think it bans affirmative action as an employment practice. It does not ban the boss saying that white people should repent, except as far acceptance of that becomes a condition on employment. Bosses are still allowed to say stupid stuff, so long as it has no clout in the workplace.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  3. Does the focus on not having to accept disadvantage, with no mention of getting an advantage, still block affirmative action? I think it does, but I’m sure there’s another argument.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  4. I think that children “must” be taught positive things. Such as that Greeks were the first Homo Sapiens in Europe; that their 24-letter alphabet (a Greek word itself) brought universal literacy as opposed to a lifetime of learning hieroglyphics, cuneiform, and Chinese logograms; that they invented the eight-note scale, mathematics, medicine, and history, and many other things which may grant them some measure of mercy for inventing democracy.

    nk (1d9030)

  5. The key words are:

    “A required activity that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates or compels such individual to believe in any of the following concepts…”

    Espouses is intentional.

    Promotes may be inadvertent and unintentional.

    Advances doesn’t fit with the infinitive “to believe” It should be “advances…the belief in.” Can be unintentional.

    Inculcates also needs the construction “the belief” but implies intention.

    Compels is impossible. Should be “attempts to compel” Definitely intentional.

    But usually you can only use one direct object so a sentence usually matches with one, usually the last one. In this case “such individual to believe” fits with “compels” (although actually it might at most compel someone to pretend to believe.) and possibly “promotes” although “the belief” is better with that word.

    Now what Allahoundit wrote is an illustration of a “parade of horribles” that you can draw out of “promotes” and “inculcates” and especially “advances”

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  6. This might be a good time to remind people that Megan Boler’s “Feeling Power: Emotions and Education” is the influential work driving this argument from the left that children should be made to feel “uncomfortable” if they are white, (and anyone who objects is a racist or misogynist) and has been commonly assigned in university syllabi for educators for several years now. Boler is where the “pedagogy of discomfort” turns up.

    It doesn’t just start with self-loathing, neurotic white leftists like Robin DiAngelo or racist black nationalists like Kendi. This stuff goes back at least a generation and a half–Boler’s work was published in 1998 and she was simply building off of the critical theory foundations laid by those who first established critical race theory in the late 1970s.

    The whole “CRT isn’t taught in schools” is simply misdirection by the left and the media. It’s not that CRT is “taught,” it’s that the theoretical frameworks and neomarxist assumptions about race, gender, power and privilege are inculcated in the university training programs, and then applied in school districts across the country, and even cultural institutions such as federal museums.

    This is a law that’s fine for telling teachers that they can’t make white kids feel guilty for the sins of their own race, but it’s not the root cause. It would have to cleared out root and branch at universities across the country, because that’s where the indoctrination begins.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  7. I think the intention of those laws is that:

    1) The prohibited belief that is being promoted or advanced must be articulated.

    2) It must be part of a required activity.

    But interpreting such a law as saying that these beliefs must be articulated (and even more, signed on to) could actually leave a lot of what it intends to stop outside the scope of the law because they probably don’t usually get that blatant.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  8. ‘No reasonable person wants to ban teaching about the history of racism, even though such teaching might have the incidental effect of causing some whites to feel guilt as a result of their ancestors’ actions.’

    Seems more about discrimination– w/t ‘isms’ as subsets. Just as ageism, sexism and racism etc., are born out of it. But to induce shame, through hindsight, on the living for the sins of generations long dead seems absurd- and devious. American attitudes toward the British, Spanish, Japanese, Germans, Mexicans etc., are certainly different now then back in the ‘cotton-pickin’ days’ of old. Anecdotal example- never quite understood my grandmother’s fierce objections to owning anything made in Japan- from tableware to her television set. It was because of WW2, of course. But a burden she chose to keep carrying well into the 1980s. And yet, during WW1, her father – a German-born barber who spoke w/a distinctive accent- had his shop wrecked by Anglo-Irish mobs because of it- yet as an adult, most were her friends and neighbors.

    ” -Ism’s in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.” Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I’d still have to bum rides off people.” – Ferris Bueller [Matthew Broderick] ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ 1986

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  9. Rather, it bars schools and businesses from teaching people that they should feel discomfort or guilt because of their race.

    This seems clear. By “teaching” people that they should feel these things because of their race also makes it clear that people who espouse this seek to negate the critical thinking skills of those being “taught,” and that opens up another dangerous can of worms. To attempt to simultaneously say that one’s individual critical thinking and reasoning skills are not necessary because another group is instructing them on how they *should* feel has already determined the *correct* reaction is a big red flag. This should concern everyone.

    Also, this:

    7. An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other psychological distress on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin.

    What’s funny to me is that the vast majority of students being taught about the blunt reality of the horrors of slavery in our country’s history naturally respond with some level of discomfort, anguish, and maybe even guilt. I remember learning about it in school and I felt just awful. I don’t remember feeling guilty per se, but I was gutted by photos and lessons on it. I think that’s a pretty natural response. So, while the folks that want to make those kinds of reactions compulsory (or make it their goal to make sure they feel those things), I think they don’t need to work at it. Those are natural responses to something so awful. The problem isn’t the anguish, distress etc., it’s when it’s that those responses must be attached to one’s race and guilt must be assumed by the individual. Just stop it.

    Dana (5395f9)

  10. Cocaine Mitch McConnell says blacks vote as much as ameriKKKans.

    asset (11d2b8)

  11. Great post, Patterico. Thank you. I am enjoying people’s comments.

    Dana (5395f9) — 1/20/2022 @ 12:33 pm

    Those are very good observations, Dana.

    felipe (484255)

  12. asset (11d2b8) — 1/20/2022 @ 2:01 pm

    Dang, I should have typed quicker! Now I have to say that I am enjoying most of the comments…

    felipe (484255)

  13. So I can imply that whites should feel guilty…by making a one-sided or factually loaded argument…but I just can’t say “should” explicitly? So are history and social studies K-12 teachers going to stop and get legal advice about activities and presentations….or will they err on the side of being non-controversial? Patterico is likely correct on the wording…but French and Allahpundit are probably more realistic on how people will react to this. I agree with Sammy, people doing this are rarely going to be so blatant…so then the law is either irrelevant….only applying in extremely rare cases and trivially side-stepped….or its practical vagueness might end up being broader than desired.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  14. @13 you do realize teachers have long been limited in what they can say about religion

    but apparently they can navigate those waters without needing legal advice

    the law sounds pretty clear, but there are reasons why some want to make it more complicated than it is

    typically it’s because they don’t like the law’s goal

    JF (e1156d)

  15. So you agree that it is trivially side-stepped…and thus irrelevant?

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  16. @15 i’m sure there are teachers who work in digs at catholicism when discussing galileo and copernicus and the renaissance in general

    and it would be hard to pin them down on a violation

    but i think the saying “give them an inch…” applies here, and a law like this ensures they don’t take a yard

    so no, it’s not irrelevant any more than constraints on religious bias are

    or do you think those are irrelevant too?

    or, again, is your issue that you oppose the goal of the law?

    cuz i’d rather not go through the effort to explain why the law can work as intended, only to hear that your main issue is the intent

    JF (e1156d)

  17. @15 i’m sure there are teachers who work in digs at catholicism when discussing galileo and copernicus and the renaissance in general

    Fun thing to do: When a teacher talks about Galileo and Copernicus, ask them what the main scientific argument against Galileo was. It was actually a pretty strong one.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  18. I’m encouraged a bit that most of the commenters here (and particularly on this thread) seem to enjoy intelligent and well-reasoned argument.

    Even if they are so often wrong.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  19. And I feel your pain, felipe.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  20. What’s funny to me is that the vast majority of students being taught about the blunt reality of the horrors of slavery in our country’s history naturally respond with some level of discomfort, anguish, and maybe even guilt.

    What is surprising to me is that they seem to respond with more of that than the Boomers did when the whole edifice of Jim Crow and segregation came down as they were growing up. Maybe because the Boomers were participating in the down-tearing, and trying to reach over the walls their parents and grandparents had always steered clear of.

    I have said before that I would require all high school students to sit through a screening of the 1977 version of Roots and probably Roots: The Next Generations taking us through 1960. And I’ve been told that school districts would never allow it. Actual history though, presented in a compelling format, is a lot better than being guilted by people with axes to grind and very little truth at hand.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  21. Off-topic: 9th Circuit panel rules Covid shutdowns of gun stores and firing ranges in LA and Ventura counties were unconstitutional infringements on the 2nd Amendment. Particularly telling was that similarly situated stores selling other things (e.g. bicycles) were not affected by the shutdown.

    Ventura County, which shut the stores for 44 days, plans to appeal.

    https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-business-court-decisions-eric-garcetti-e0fda8d0abe484629beeaf9eb86a4a08

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  22. It occurs to me that actually there is one place where they are blatant – and if there wasn’t any place, there neever would have been laws passed against it.

    hat is in materials sent to schools and teachers, and, even more so, in published materials advocating such activities.

    This is not done by a teacher or a school acting alone. They are sold to schools (after first lobbying school boards or education supervisors to require something which these prepared materials would fulfill.)

    The law, however, probably could use a re-write.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  23. Kevin M 20.

    I have said before that I would require all high school students to sit through a screening of the 1977 version of Roots

    The book Roots is fiction (Alex Haley made stuff up)

    https://www.radiotimes.com/tv/drama/is-roots-a-true-story-why-this-tale-of-slavery-and-family-history-is-so-controversial

    but it is good as fiction. Even if the story it was based on was more true, it would still be fiction.

    They could also read a whole lot of personal narratives.

    What’s missing is the century pr century and a quarter after 1865 – the ups and downs.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  24. As a historical novel, Roots’ essential narrative echoed the experience of many African slaves and their families – but it is now widely agreed to be a novel and a work of imagination and invention

    But because the underlying story has considerable made up elements, it may get some important things wrong that Alex Haley, circa 75-200 100 years later, did not realize.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  25. I have said before that I would require all high school students to sit through a screening of the 1977 version of Roots and probably Roots: The Next Generations taking us through 1960. And I’ve been told that school districts would never allow it. Actual history though, presented in a compelling format, is a lot better than being guilted by people with axes to grind and very little truth at hand.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 1/20/2022 @ 4:09 pm

    Even Roots is sensationalized history, as the vast majority of African slaves weren’t kidnapped in ones or twos by whites with dogs and fishing nets. They were booty from raids by other African tribes, which is also how the slave market in Zanzibar became one of the largest in the world.

    Hollywood gets history right in pieces, but typically sacrifices reality for drama. Which is a shame, because the recorded history and the people who lived it are far more interesting than anything they could come up with on their own.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  26. @20. It’s the scent of… ‘reparations,’ at least in America– as the economic gaps keeps widening between generations. But branding the burden of guilt on the living for the transgressions of the long dead only fuels resentments and it certainly isn’t restricted to the U.S. Just look at the Middle East– 2,000 years of hate, taught and passed on from generation to generation. It’s madness as tradition.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  27. Fun thing to do: When a teacher talks about Galileo and Copernicus, ask them what the main scientific argument against Galileo was. It was actually a pretty strong one.

    “Faucian” Bargain– ask him: after all, he is science. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  28. but it is good as fiction. Even if the story it was based on was more true, it would still be fiction.

    So what. Shakespeare’s histories are fiction, too, yet the stories they tell are meaningful still.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  29. Hollywood gets history right in pieces, but typically sacrifices reality for drama. Which is a shame, because the recorded history and the people who lived it are far more interesting than anything they could come up with on their own.

    It may be fictionalized* but the situations and emotions and understanding it brings are what it is all about. Fictionalized history is how you bring it home to people. See “A Distant Mirror” for a fine example of this.

    Is there any one thing in that story that you would assert did not ever happen?

    ——
    * I don’t really believe that Ed Asner was a slave trader or that Chuck Conners was a rapist, but I do believe that what was depicted about the Middle Passage and the life of enslaved women was pretty spot on.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  30. So, DCSCA, you don’t know either. The other scientists posed one question to Galileo that he agreed had to be answered, but he could not answer it.

    If the Earth obits around the sun, then halfway around its orbit the direction to one or more fixed stars must change. This is called “stellar parallax” and none was observed when it should have been. They had good enough clocks, and good means of measuring small angles, or so they thought.

    The make one huge mistake, though (Galileo included). What was it?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  31. I know, but I’m not telling. And, no, it’s not this.

    nk (1d9030)

  32. I’ll take “Laws likely to generate an annoying number of phone calls about situations irrelevant to the law” for 200, Alex.

    Also “Laws likely to cause over-use of the Find/replace function” since privilege is a bad no-no word.

    And “Laws likely to reduce available debate topics in US history and government classes.”

    Nic (896fdf)

  33. The “history” that the race hustlers and grievance mongers (and I mean of all shades let me be clear about that) are fighting over is little more than a rabble rousing scam by cheap-sh!t politicians, in my opinion. Any child that has the mental capacity to benefit by education past sixth grade will develop their own view of history by the time they are old enough to participate meaningfully in civic affairs regardless of what Miss Grundy taught them. And if, by then, some of them still hate themselves for having the same skin color as Robert E. Lee or Phil Sheridan, well, shucks and gee willikers, we have some already who hate themselves for what they have between their legs!

    nk (1d9030)

  34. It may be fictionalized* but the situations and emotions and understanding it brings are what it is all about. Fictionalized history is how you bring it home to people. See “A Distant Mirror” for a fine example of this.

    The actual history is far more emotional than anything a Hollywood writer could ever come up with.

    Is there any one thing in that story that you would assert did not ever happen?

    Like I said, the vast majority of the slave trade was the result of other African tribes selling their war booty to slave traders on both sides of the continent, not individual slave catchers prowling the African coast. This wasn’t any different than how slavery had largely been practiced for most of human history.

    Roots didn’t dare explore the actual history in that instance because it would have included black Africans in the indictment on the slave trade; it’s important to remember that black nationalism was still running pretty strong through the 1970s, and talking about how African-Americans were largely in the US as a result of other Africans enslaving them to begin with would have gotten in the way of their ethnonationalist narratives.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  35. @30. Again, ask Pope Fauci.

    He is science.

    😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  36. The distinction Patterico draws between intention and result seems supported by some of the statutory language, but I don’t think it’s supported by all of it. Espousing, promoting and advancing can all be done without achieving a desired objective, but I’m skeptical the same can be said of inculcating and compelling. To my understanding, inculcate and compel — especially compel — imply not just the effort, but also the intended result.

    I wouldn’t call it a slam dunk, but ISTM that if my reading of those words is accurate, French and Allahpundit’s statutory interpretation is valid.

    lurker (59504c)

  37. To be clear, my understanding of inculcate and compel is that they imply intention and/or result. If they were properly understood to mean intention alone, or just intention and result, I think Patterico’s critique would be correct.

    lurker (59504c)

  38. The distinction Patterico draws between intention and result seems supported by some of the statutory language, but I don’t think it’s supported by all of it. Espousing, promoting and advancing can all be done without achieving a desired objective, but I’m skeptical the same can be said of inculcating and compelling. To my understanding, inculcate and compel — especially compel — imply not just the effort, but also the intended result.

    I wouldn’t call it a slam dunk, but ISTM that if my reading of those words is accurate, French and Allahpundit’s statutory interpretation is valid.

    Let me challenge that claim, which I think is a misreading of the language. Let’s take the language you are focused on. The statute bans training that inculcates or compels an individual to believe the “concept” that “[a]n individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other psychological distress on account of his or her race” etc. Allahpundit says it’s enough that the teaching incidentally makes someone feel that distress. But the language covers only teaching that (using your terms) inculcates or compels them “to believe” the “concept” that they should feel that distress.

    Patterico (e349ce)

  39. If you showed me evidence that my ancestors were slave traders, couldn’t it be said, irrespective of your intent, that what you showed me compelled me to believe I should feel guilty?

    lurker (59504c)

  40. No. It might cause you to feel guilty, but that is different from compelling you to believe you should feel guilty. Compulsion and causation are different concepts.

    Patterico (e349ce)

  41. Compulsion connotes force or a threat of force: believe this or else.

    Patterico (e349ce)

  42. Black history was not considered “real” history until recently and teachers have been punished for trying to teach it. My teacher 60 years ago was reprimanded for saying the text book was wrong in depicting John Brown as a crazy.

    asset (92578b)

  43. If you showed me evidence that my ancestors were slave traders, couldn’t it be said, irrespective of your intent, that what you showed me compelled me to believe I should feel guilty?

    If you inherited generational wealth from those same slave traders? Maybe. There have been cases where the great-great-grandchild of “planters” has found it necessary to give it all away.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  44. R.I.P. Meat Loaf, 74

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  45. But Patterico is right about compulsion. Any compulsion you might feel is generated internally.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  46. He is science.

    Nobody who plays “science” on TV is even a scientist, let alone science. Sometimes former scientists turn to popularizing science (e.g. Carl Sagan), but they are almost never doing actual science anymore.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  47. Compulsion connotes force or a threat of force: believe this or else.

    Not necessarily. Here’s a definition of “compel” with illustrative example from the Cambridge Dictionary:

    to produce a strong feeling or reaction

    Over the years her work has compelled universal admiration and trust.

    Even definitions that do denote force make it clear that the force isn’t necessarily physical, but also what’s required by any number of intangible forces, e.g., law, logic, circumstance, morality. More examples:

    Public opinion compelled her to sign the bill. (Merriam-Webster)

    The new circumstances compelled a change in policy. (Cambridge)

    His disregard of the rules compels us to dismiss him. (Dictionary.com)

    And if dictionaries are insufficiently authoritative for your taste:

    “for Christ’s love compels us” (2 Corinthians 5:14)

    Again, I don’t consider any of that dispositive. I think your reading is at minimum arguable. If I were to speculate as to what the drafters intended I’d probably give your interpretation the nod. But as a strictly textual matter, the inclusion of “compel” and “inculcate” in the statute compels me to also find merit in French and Allahpundit’s view.

    lurker (59504c)

  48. Interesting argument. Do you think “requires” might be a better word than “compels”?

    Patterico (e349ce)

  49. 25. Factory Working Orphan (2775f0) — 1/20/2022 @ 4:55 pm

    Hollywood gets history right in pieces, but typically sacrifices reality for drama.

    They are also ignorant and don’t try. It tries hardest to get the pictures right.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  50. “demands”? “coerces”?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  51. My teacher 60 years ago was reprimanded for saying the text book was wrong in depicting John Brown as a crazy.

    asset (92578b) — 1/21/2022 @ 12:46 am

    Because he was a lunatic. The man literally tried to start a race war in an effort to end slavery.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  52. Interesting argument. Do you think “requires” might be a better word than “compels”?

    Patterico (e349ce) — 1/21/2022 @ 7:45 am

    Yes.

    lurker (59504c)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1967 secs.