What’s Wrong With This Picture?

 

This screenshot is from The New York Times website on April 25, 2019. It was nestled among other stories. So, how do you think this lede got by the brain of the person who posted it alongside this photograph? Really?

You are looking at the school principal. Look at her. Now read the last sentence of the summary, intended to induce you to click and read more. “The dress code has been criticized as racist and elitist.” Roll that around your tongue. Swish to get all the flavor notes.

Consider the description of the clothing banned. Does it really describe poor white garb, rather than poor black or Latino? Think for just a moment.

Let’s make that image a bit bigger. Now look at the picture. Now look at the text. Who are you going to believe, The New York Times writers, or your lying eyes?

If you fight your way past this insulting nonsense, and read the article closely, you will find a gem of a principal. She has been a proven leader in improving learning outcomes for students. That is why she is in this new school. The students need her help, and so, apparently, do some of the parents. What appears to be going on here is a local swamp resisting the change students and the community need, if they are to have a better future.

Do read “A Houston High School Has a New Dress Code. For Parents.” Consider the facts sandwiched among the assertions. Is the Times blowing a white supremacist or classist dog whistle? Suggesting that poor folk cannot take a little pride in themselves, their children, and their school — sure seems like “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

Published in Journalism
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There are 27 comments.

  1. RightAngles Member

    It’s become an intellect-free reflex to label anything they don’t like as “racist.” The term is losing all meaning. And you can buy a Ralph Lauren ladies’ shirt for $9 at Good Will.

    • #1
    • April 25, 2019, at 3:05 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  2. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    I bought a couple of name brand polo shirts from the Deseret Industries thrift store for $6 a piece. Six to ten dollars and you have the shirt you need to be taken seriously as an adult. Ten dollars in the same place gets you a decent pair of long pants. I know, I know, a grown man might actually walk out looking like a grown man, instead of an arrested adolescent in scruffy cargo shorts. 

    • #2
    • April 25, 2019, at 3:23 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  3. Seawriter Member

    I am working for an airline headquartered in downtown Houston. They have pictures from the 1930s through 1950s taken around their airlines. On the floor I work there is a photo of Dwight Eisenhower descending the stairs from what is probably a DC-6. The photo was probably taken circa 1948-1951 when he was president of Columbia University. He is in a three-piece civilian suit, with a tie and a fedora set at an angle on his head. He has one hand in his pants pocket as he leans the other elbow on the railing, posing for the photographer.

    Despite the formal attire, he looks comfortable. He looks incredibly dapper. He is not in a military posture, but he exudes confidence and command authority, a man comfortable in his own skin.

    Take a turn around the block of the building I work in. On the street even the professionals are wearing jeans and ratty polos. It makes me wonder where all the adults went.

    • #3
    • April 25, 2019, at 4:24 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  4. Arahant Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    It makes me wonder where all the adults went.

    Hiding in caves, mostly.

    • #4
    • April 25, 2019, at 4:35 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  5. Saint Augustine Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    It makes me wonder where all the adults went.

    Hiding in caves, mostly.

    Yeah, that’s where I hide most of the time.

    • #5
    • April 25, 2019, at 4:44 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    I am working for an airline headquartered in downtown Houston. They have pictures from the 1930s through 1950s taken around their airlines. On the floor I work there is a photo of Dwight Eisenhower descending the stairs from what is probably a DC-6. The photo was probably taken circa 1948-1951 when he was president of Columbia University. He is in a three-piece civilian suit, with a tie and a fedora set at an angle on his head. He has one hand in his pants pocket as he leans the other elbow on the railing, posing for the photographer.

    Despite the formal attire, he looks comfortable. He looks incredibly dapper. He is not in a military posture, but he exudes confidence and command authority, a man comfortable in his own skin.

    Take a turn around the block of the building I work in. On the street even the professionals are wearing jeans and ratty polos. It makes me wonder where all the adults went.

    Arizona has its own dress code; yet, I got comments after a veterans’ group monthly meeting because I wore a collared shirt and a casual tie. “You showed you took the meeting seriously.” Several years ago, a woman wrote about dressing to the higher end of business casual when she flew—so that the gate agents would treat her favorably when she needed or wanted help.

    • #6
    • April 25, 2019, at 4:53 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  7. Boss Mongo Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    …in scruffy cargo shorts. 

    Hey, I resemble that remark!

    • #7
    • April 25, 2019, at 5:23 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  8. Jim McConnell Member

    I see it as another example of the fair and objective news reporting for which the NYT has recently become famous. 

    • #8
    • April 25, 2019, at 7:53 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  9. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    The #2 NFL 2019 Draft pick gets it:

    He also has been sensible on politics and culture.

    • #9
    • April 25, 2019, at 8:10 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. I Walton Member

    These seemingly very small matters make a difference especially among sensitive poor children. Many serious private schools requires uniforms which make life easier in the right direction. Or consider Giuliani’s small changes in New York which were part of a much larger plan. The current mayor is undoing it all as part of his successful efforts to carry out something in his mind. Liberals want to mob folks with independent views on just about everything, and impose uniformity, but relish variety on small personal matters they dismiss. Why is that?

    • #10
    • April 26, 2019, at 5:38 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. Percival Thatcher

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    It makes me wonder where all the adults went.

    Hiding in caves, mostly.

    Yeah, that’s where I hide most of the time.

    Yeah, but you are there for Plato’s light show.

    • #11
    • April 26, 2019, at 6:51 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. Western Chauvinist Member

    Clifford A. Brown: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

    Blacks can’t be racist?

    • #12
    • April 26, 2019, at 7:29 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    It’s become an intellect-free reflex to label anything they don’t like as “racist.”

    Agreed. Just like the old charge against anything a stoner doesn’t like, “That’s fascist, man!”

    • #13
    • April 26, 2019, at 10:47 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  14. Henry Castaigne Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    …in scruffy cargo shorts.

    Hey, I resemble that remark!

    Well your from Florida. It’s different there.

    • #14
    • April 26, 2019, at 11:20 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. Boss Mongo Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Well your from Florida. It’s different there.

    I do now be known as Florida Man.

    • #15
    • April 26, 2019, at 4:33 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Henry Castaigne Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Well your from Florida. It’s different there.

    I do now be known as Florida Man.

    Is that like being a hilly billy Oppenheimer or red-neck Vishnu? 

    • #16
    • April 26, 2019, at 5:06 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

    Blacks can’t be racist?

    A bit hard to get to that, I think, especially as I wrote it. The claims of “racist” are being thrown at a black woman by leftist journalists, implying that the group of parents are themselves black. The NYT would never offer up the suggestion that a black woman was discriminating against white parents, and I point to the words that discredit any surface implication of “poor white” subculture attire.

    That is, the words and the picture simply do not match.

    • #17
    • April 26, 2019, at 5:28 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Western Chauvinist Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

    Blacks can’t be racist?

    A bit hard to get to that, I think, especially as I wrote it. The claims of “racist” are being thrown at a black woman by leftist journalists, implying that the group of parents are themselves black. The NYT would never offer up the suggestion that a black woman was discriminating against white parents, and I point to the words that discredit any surface implication of “poor white” subculture attire.

    That is, the words and the picture simply do not match.

    Yeah, I was joking about the incoherence of NYT leftist thinking. 

    • #18
    • April 26, 2019, at 5:42 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

    Blacks can’t be racist?

    A bit hard to get to that, I think, especially as I wrote it. The claims of “racist” are being thrown at a black woman by leftist journalists, implying that the group of parents are themselves black. The NYT would never offer up the suggestion that a black woman was discriminating against white parents, and I point to the words that discredit any surface implication of “poor white” subculture attire.

    That is, the words and the picture simply do not match.

    Yeah, I was joking about the incoherence of NYT leftist thinking.

    Yes, and you are likely right on the face of the words you used. That is, there is a better-than-even chance the NYT writer accepts the claim that “racism” is impossible without “power,” and that black women, by definition don’t have “power.”

    • #19
    • April 26, 2019, at 5:53 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chri… Coolidge

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

    Blacks can’t be racist?

    A bit hard to get to that, I think, especially as I wrote it. The claims of “racist” are being thrown at a black woman by leftist journalists, implying that the group of parents are themselves black. The NYT would never offer up the suggestion that a black woman was discriminating against white parents, and I point to the words that discredit any surface implication of “poor white” subculture attire.

    That is, the words and the picture simply do not match.

    Yeah, I was joking about the incoherence of NYT leftist thinking.

    Yes, and you are likely right on the face of the words you used. That is, there is a better-than-even chance the NYT writer accepts the claim that “racism” is impossible without “power,” and that black women, by definition don’t have “power.”

    It seems like there’s one hell of a lot of energy constructing reasons why people think they’re being excluded or prevented or in some way held back. I’d think that time could be spent on something more constructive.

    Weird how we’re always finding reasons to paint ourselves in certain ways. I’m not sure what the end state of that is, other than yet another racially- or class-based society, which is purported to be the antithesis of their stated goals. In other words, when they propagate separation or difference, how would that possibly help create conditions where those things don’t matter anymore?

    I’m probably reading too far into the post that spawned the OP here, but still.

     

    • #20
    • April 27, 2019, at 7:35 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    Chris Campion (View Comment):
    It seems like there’s one hell of a lot of energy constructing reasons why people think they’re being excluded or prevented or in some way held back. I’d think that time could be spent on something more constructive.

    Yes, one would think so. We currently live in a society that has put victimhood on a pedestal. There is seemingly nothing more noble than to be a victim, so people from all walks of life are trying to find a way to paint themselves as one of the oppressed. You could be a world-famous actress who is rich and beloved by millions of fans and still give a speech where you are trying to make people feel sorry for you. If Meryl Streep can be a victim, surely we should feel sorry for people who choose to dress like slobs.

    • #21
    • April 27, 2019, at 7:48 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  22. Henry Castaigne Member

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Chris Campion (View Comment):
    It seems like there’s one hell of a lot of energy constructing reasons why people think they’re being excluded or prevented or in some way held back. I’d think that time could be spent on something more constructive.

    Yes, one would think so. We currently live in a society that has put victimhood on a pedestal. There is seemingly nothing more noble than to be a victim, so people from all walks of life are trying to find a way to paint themselves as one of the oppressed. You could be a world-famous actress who is rich and beloved by millions of fans and still give a speech where you are trying to make people feel sorry for you. If Meryl Streep can be a victim, surely we should feel sorry for people who choose to dress like slobs.

    I think this a perversion of Christianity. The idea is that Christ is noble because he endured suffering and he was a blameless victim so if I am a blameless victim than I am victim I will be good.

    This false notion is prominent in the women characters in Brothers Karamazov. 

    • #22
    • April 27, 2019, at 2:14 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Django Member

    I don’t know the exact term for the role I served, but it was at the Eagle Scout ceremony for my best friend’s son. His grandmother didn’t feel up to the task for health reasons, so I stood in for her. I thought it was a big deal, so I wore a navy blazer, white shirt and a tie, dark grey pants and polished shoes. A lot of the other “honored guests” came in t-shirts and sneakers. And I thought Kentuckians were supposed to be the ones lacking style. 

    • #23
    • April 27, 2019, at 3:08 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. Boss Mongo Member

    Django (View Comment):

    I don’t know the exact term for the role I served, but it was at the Eagle Scout ceremony for my best friend’s son. His grandmother didn’t feel up to the task for health reasons, so I stood in for her. I thought it was a big deal, so I wore a navy blazer, white shirt and a tie, dark grey pants and polished shoes. A lot of the other “honored guests” came in t-shirts and sneakers. And I thought Kentuckians were supposed to be the ones lacking style.

    You did it exactly right. Outstanding.

    • #24
    • April 27, 2019, at 7:43 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Boss Mongo Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Well your from Florida. It’s different there.

    I do now be known as Florida Man.

    Not to quote myself (uh, except that’s exactly what I’m doing) but it seems like everyone be hatin’ on Florida Man. 

    • #25
    • April 28, 2019, at 5:25 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Arahant Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    Not to quote myself (uh, except that’s exactly what I’m doing) but it seems like everyone be hatin’ on Florida Man. 

    Hatin’? Nah, best entertainment in the papers.

    • #26
    • April 28, 2019, at 5:27 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  27. Boss Mongo Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    Not to quote myself (uh, except that’s exactly what I’m doing) but it seems like everyone be hatin’ on Florida Man.

    Hatin’? Nah, best entertainment in the papers.

    My current & adopted state never fails to supply the giggles.

    • #27
    • April 28, 2019, at 5:29 PM PDT
    • 3 likes