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What image comes to mind when you think of or hear the word librarian? For me that image is of a conservative person (and truth be told always a woman). By conservative, I refer not to politics or ideology (I imagine librarians have always come in a variety of ideological flavors) but instead of one with a conservative sensibility or temperament which includes a certain respect for tradition and decorum. And, that makes sense (at least to me) for those who are charged with preserving and providing access to a significant portion of our cultural heritage. In recent years, however, that image is fading fast for me.
A couple of weeks ago, the American Library Association (ALA) held its annual conference and it was a cornucopia of leftism and the stupidest aspects of today’s identity politics according to this July 10, 2019 article by Joy Pullmann at The Federalist. The leftist bent of the conference also clearly shows at the ALA’s review of said conference. The ALA seems to be entirely on board and supportive of every aspect of the LGBT agenda including, regrettably, what I call their war on childhood. The conference involved many workshops including “Creating Queer-Inclusive Elementary School Library Programming,” “Telling Stories, Expanding Boundaries: Drag Queen Storytimes in Libraries,” and “A Children’s Room to Choose: Encouraging Gender Identity and Expression in School and Public Libraries.” And, of course, these sort of endeavors are to be encouraged and undertaken by librarians and school teachers regardless of what parents may think as per the workshop “Are You Going to Tell My Parents?: The Minor’s Right to Privacy in the Library.” The conference also had the usual paeans to racialist thinking and behavior such as the workshop “Talking to Kids About Race: A ‘how-to’ workshop” which included the current racial grievance industry charges such as white supremacy is the operating system in the USA, and white fragility is a tool of white supremacy. Oh, and I am happy to report that the conference was able to approve a motion that denounced detention centers for illegal immigrants. How daring of them!More
On June 19, 1865, Union Army Major General Gordon Granger read General Orders, Number 3, to the people of Galveston, Texas. It was two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, but at last the words of freedom came to African-American slaves in Texas. This day became known as Juneteenth, and eventually became first an unofficial holiday and then a holiday recognized by some states.
General Granger wrote, in part:More
I came across this story the other day at Powerline and I thought I’d write about it here at Ricochet. It’s a now all too familiar story, that of a dead white person being expunged from our culture for some real or perceived transgression against one of the pillars of today’s identity politics (those pillars being race and sex). And that most recent transgressor is singer Kate Smith (1907-1986), most well known for her version of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America“. And what was Ms. Smith’s sin and the punishment therefor? First, the sin. It turns out that way back in 1931 she recorded the song “That’s Why Darkies Were Born”. It was a minor hit, reaching #12 on the Billboard chart. Here’s the song as performed by Ms. Smith;More
Back in the early 1970s, Camel ran a series of magazine ads featuring arrays of colorful characters, each with an amusing “gimmick.” Each, that is, except for the Camel Filters smoker, who didn’t need a gimmick: he was confident, secure, rugged, good looking, relaxed — and usually had a jacket hooked casually over his shoulder. A key on the page, or occasionally on the reverse page, named the gimmicky characters and described their particular affectations.
I loved those ads when I was a kid. (click picture to enlarge)More
Recently Alexandria Ocasio Cortez tweeted this out: “The way we reject the 0-sum idea that some communities win at the cost of others is by using opportunities to address issues intersectionally – to highlight that Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and all bigotry serve the same ends & that we prevent division by championing one another.” And the […]
One of the most disturbing aspects of the Jussie Smollett hoax is the number of good people who are comfortably using the term “hate crime”. It is Orwellian, that is, its common usage is nearly opposite to the truth. I don’t deny that hate crimes exist, or more precisely that hate regularly motivates crime. Very […]
These days wearing a poncho to the wrong halloween party can get your life ruined on Twitter due to the claim of cultural appropriation. I find the term itself to be a supercilious one used by the perpetually offended. That being said what Jussie did was attempt to capitalize on cultural elements in order to […]
Heather Mac Donald discusses the decline of the university and the rise of campus intellectual intolerance, the subjects of her important new book, The Diversity Delusion How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture. She spoke at a Manhattan Institute event in autumn 2018. Toxic ideas that originated in academia have now spread […]
From Thomas Sowell’s 2004 book, Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study: Despite incessant repetition of the word “diversity” and sweeping dogmas about its social benefits, countries that have suffered the intergroup strife which has so often accompanied the politicization of intergroup differences have then gone to great trouble to try to create enclaves […]
I’ve noticed an interesting thing following yesterday’s election: the media may not quite know how to handle Sharice Davids’ win in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District. From the Kansas City Star’s website: “Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, will be the first Native American woman to serve in Congress — a distinction she shared with New […]
This season, star soprano Anna Netrebko is singing the title role in Verdi’s Aida at the Metropolitan Opera. The opera tells the story of an Ethiopian princess (Aida) captured by the Egyptians who falls in love with their celebrated, conquering warrior. Netrebko is not Ethiopian, but Russian, and the fact that she is supposed to be portraying an Ethiopian princess is a point of contention in a few parts of the opera world.More
In politics, language matters. (Here, I must insert an obligatory Orwell reference.) Marginal theories can seep into the mainstream when marginal vocabulary seeps into the mainstream. Such is the case with identity politics — and, in particular, the trendy phrase “people of color.” I’ve noticed, even within the conservative commentariat (Reihan Salam, I’m looking at […]
I owe Unsk an apology. Many moons ago, in March, I wrote a piece about the clash between classical liberalism and historic preservation. It occasioned about a dozen comments, all thoughtful. Unsk, an architect, shared a story about his (her? . . . some names are ambiguous) experience with the Secretary of the Interior’s preservation guidelines. According […]
In a version of the “Spirit of McCain,” it’s time for a little straight talk about how conservatives, traditionalists and Republicans need to understand and approach the coming mid-term elections. The Democrats are becoming a coalition of “woke” anti-racist white progressives and various minority tribes, of non-whites and pathological whites, arrayed against the GOP’s mostly […]
John Tierney joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the First-Year Experience (FYE), a widely adopted program that indoctrinates incoming college freshmen in radicalism, identity politics, and victimology. Beginning as a response to the campus unrest of the 1960s and 1970s, the FYE originally sought to teach students to “love their university,” with a semester-long course for freshmen. Today’s FYE […]
The “occupation” of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field office for five weeks in June and July, and a violent confrontation between anarchist “Antifa” groups and a Patriot Prayer/Proud Boys group on August 4, both occurring in Portland, OR, are reminiscent of the tribalism and descent into depravity depicted in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, first published in 1954.
Golding’s classic novel depicts the fate of British schoolboys marooned on a tropical island during an unnamed war. The boys organize into two groups, one led by Ralph, assisted by bespectacled, overweight Piggy, and another led by the malevolent Jack. The two groups have conflicts over hunting, work rules, and power on their remote island.More
Heather Mac Donald joins Brian Anderson to discuss how universities and the scientific community are being pressured to alter the gender and racial balance in STEM disciplines—science, technology, engineering, and math—and the implications for America’s future. For decades, multiculturalism, quotas, and identity politics have been pervasive in humanities departments at most major universities—but not in scientific fields. Now that’s changing, as […]
Today I’m launching a new podcast, Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten, and I’d like to ask for some help from the Ricochet community in making it as successful as possible. Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten features compelling long-form conversations with exceptional thinkers and doers — primarily though not exclusively of a conservative/libertarian bent — on the most critical ideas […]
We live in a golden age of identity politics. We set people in myriad boxes and categories — racial, sexual, religious, political — and stamp our feet when a few intrepid souls dare to leave their alloted places. Our culture finds value in variety and shuns all forms of unity, save for whatever unity develops within the […]