What Would We Do Without the San Francisco Unified School District?

They provided this poster to Parents Defending Education, who shared it with the Whole Wide World:

It's not new; the poster points to a possible original version here and also, in very small print, sends you to dRworksBook ("Dismantling Racism Works web workbook"). And if you want to go down that rabbit hole, good luck to you.

I noticed a few things about the tone. Disparaging "white supremacy" is key. White supremacy is marked by "fear" and "defensiveness". Cowardly chickens, they are! Also prone to superstition: the "written word" is not just valued for its utility, it's literally worshipped.

And you have to love the poster's criticism of "either/or thinking". When every other little colored rectangle on the poster exemplifies "either/or thinking".

But overall, it really sounds like a mashup of gripes from employees that just aren't functioning very well in their workplace, and blaming "white supremacy" for it.

Which brings us to Jeff Maurer's reflection on how sometimes he doesn't fit in with predominant prejudices: My Culture Involves Blasting Farts Whenever I Want.

This week, The Atlantic’s Twitter account re-upped a recent article called “Why Do Rich People Love Quiet?” The article argued that rich, white people (the words “rich” and “white” are used interchangeably in the article) value quiet spaces, while non-rich, non-white people tend to come from loud, urban areas where keeping quiet is not the norm. I thought the article was fascinating for several reasons. First, I would have thought that saying “non-white people are all poor and live in the ghetto where it’s noisy and that’s why they’re loud all the time” would be considered unbelievably racist. But apparently that’s anti-racist — who knew? I am so glad that The Atlantic hired a non-white writer with blonde hair and blue eyes to tell me how all non-white people behave.

But even more interesting were the authors’ views on culture. She didn’t just argue that there are different cultural norms about noise, which is surely correct. She argued that when people with different cultural norms mix, a zero-sum battle for cultural dominance ensues. I had always thought that when people share a space, they reach an understanding about behavioral norms — in fact, I sort of thought that understanding is what culture is! But the author sees culture as fixed, inviolable, and attached to your race in an innate way. And, remember: That view is anti-racist, even though it’s also exactly what racist people believe.

Yes. Click through for the fart jokes, they're pretty funny. But note how much of the poster above can be used to reinforce racist beliefs:

  • "Worship of the written word? Yeah, white people are more literate than you, person of color!"
  • "Sense of urgency? Yeah, white people like to get things done today, not mañana or sometime next month, person of color!"
  • "Perfectionism? Yeah, white people like things done right, not the half-assed, sloppy efforts we're likely to get from you, person of color!"
  • "Individualism? Gee, it sounds like you want to coast on the accomplishments of your team, instead of your own, person of color!"
  • "Objectivity? Well, being a pig-ignorant racist, I'm not sure what that means exactly, but it sounds like you might be averse to impartial and unbiased judgment of your work quality, person of color!"

I know, it's bad of me to even imagining to think that way. But the San Francisco Unified School District makes it way too easy.

Also of note:

  • Another alleged characteristic of white supremacy. Last row, rightmost column of that stupid poster above: "Progress is Bigger, More".

    Now, I should mention that a lot of management droids do measure their success in terms of the size of their department budget, number of employees bossed, mentions at higher levels of the pyramid.

    But in criticising progress, some have their sights at more macro levels. That deserves rebuttal as well, and Andrew Follett provides it. Degrowth is a Dead End.

    America should destroy its economy and pay climate reparations to other countries in the name of “degrowth,” because that will somehow help the environment. Or at least that is the conclusion of a suspiciously friendly interview between the New York Times and an actual professed eco-Marxist.

    The article, by New York Times book critic Jennifer Szalai, ran with the tagline: “economic growth has been ecologically costly — and so a movement in favor of ‘degrowth’ is growing.”

    Degrowth means reducing industrial civilization and turning back the clock to an era when humans allegedly affected the environment less. It’s a literal “return to nature” that often intersects with the desire to lower the human population, supposedly to reduce its harm to nature.

    “Economists like Paul Krugman and data scientists like Hannah Ritchie have maintained that technological advances mean that economic prosperity doesn’t have to lead to ecological degradation,” Szalai writes. But for degrowthers, that’s a cop-out. “We have plundered the planet instead of figuring out more egalitarian ways to live with one another.”

    Charity demands that we assume "degrowth" advocates are acting with good intentions. But, gee, you have to ignore a lot of economics and history to see their policies as anything other than condemning the world to poverty and filth.

  • Spoiler: KDW's subhed is "Pick Two". Kevin D. Williamson looks at arguably desirable product qualities: Good, Cheap, and American-Made. Skipping down a bit:

    And so the current convulsions in Washington and Brussels about Chinese EVs: Climate change is an existential emergency, they tell us, and it is essential that we mitigate the effects of vehicular emissions by switching to EVs where possible. But voters do not want to pay high prices for EVs, and domestic producers do not want to be made to compete with EVs made in places—namely China—where it is relatively cheap to make them. So, we must drive EVs, but we cannot drive either the expensive ones or the inexpensive ones. The Biden administration is putting a 100 percent tariff on Chinese EVs, the European Union is putting an almost 50 percent tariff on Chinese EVs, and Donald Trump is out there promising to outdo whatever Biden does, bigly.

    You can have your EVs and your EV mandates. You can have your EVs without imposing enormous costs on American consumers who are used to paying reasonable prices and getting excellent vehicles from good old-fashioned American manufacturers such as … Toyota and Mercedes-Benz. But what you can’t have is all that at “Made in China” prices with “Made in the USA” manufacturing costs. Cheap, good, American-made: Pick two. 

    I assume I will be driving my Impreza foreva.

  • I have dim memories of the March of Dimes. I came in on the tail end. But the organization "goes on, even though the thrill of living is gone". John Tierney draws a more general lesson about The March of Dimes Syndrome.

    In the spring of 1979, a few weeks after the partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, more than 65,000 people marched on the United States Capitol chanting “No Nukes, No Nukes.” As a young reporter at the Washington Star assigned to cover this new movement, I interviewed march organizers and noticed that all of them had previously organized protests against the Vietnam War. This struck me as curious: How had they suddenly become so passionate and knowledgeable about nuclear power?

    I later learned that a term exists for this phenomenon—the March of Dimes syndrome—and that the tendency affects many other movements, too. Why, last year, did the Human Rights Campaign declare a “national state of emergency” for LGBT people? Why was the election of the first black American president followed by the Black Lives Matter movement? Why have reports of “hate groups” risen during the same decades that racial prejudice has been plummeting? Why, during a long and steep decline in the incidence of sexual violence in America, did academics, federal officials, and the #MeToo movement discover a new “epidemic of sexual assault”?

    These supposed crises are all examples of the March of Dimes syndrome, named after the organization founded in the 1930s to combat polio. The March helped fund the vaccines that eventually ended the polio epidemics—but not the organization, which, after polio’s eradication, changed its mission to preventing birth defects. Its leaders kept their group going by finding a new cause, just as antiwar activists did after achieving their goal of ending the Vietnam War. The Three Mile Island accident offered new fund-raising opportunities and a new platform for veterans of the antiwar movement such as Jane Fonda and her husband Tom Hayden, who both addressed the crowd at that first antinuke rally.

    We could also call it the "We've gotta protect our phony baloney jobs!" Syndrome.

Last Modified 2024-06-18 5:06 PM EDT