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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
The House Committee on Education and Labor held a hearing on April 30 to address the state of education in the United States sixty-five years after Brown v. Board of Education (1954) put an official end to legal segregation throughout the United States. When Brown came down, there was much uneasiness over whether that powerful assertion of judicial power could be justified by an appeal to what Professor Herbert Wechsler famously called the “neutral principles of constitutional law.”
Those doubts have largely vanished, but litigation in Brown was only the opening chapter of a protracted struggle that, as political science professor Gerald Rosenberg showed in his historical study of Brown, The Hollow Hope, ultimately required Congress and the Executive to overcome massive resistance from many southern states. By now, the original mission of Brown—formal desegregation—has been unquestionably achieved. There is also widespread agreement that while much progress has been made, much more work has to be done to increase educational opportunities for all students. But this consensus on ends has not been matched by a consensus on means, as was evident in the prepared testimony before the House Committee.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
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D–Texas) earlier this year introduced H.R. 40 which is intended to address “the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to study and consider a national apology and proposals for reparations for the institution of slavery.” Since that time, many Democratic presidential hopefuls have endorsed her proposal. Senator Elizabeth Warren has stated that she is in favor of government reparations “to black Americans who were economically affected by slavery.” Senator Warren also urges us to “confront . . . the [nation’s] dark history of government-sanctioned discrimination,” an odd qualification given that national and state policy for over 50 years has vigorously enforced civil rights laws in areas like employment, education, housing, and health. Other presidential candidates such as Senator Cory Booker and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke have added their support to Jackson’s proposal.
A national apology for slavery may well be overdue. But the real battle will be over reparations, which any Congressional Commission is likely endorse. There is presently no formulation in the current legislation indicating the size of the financial burden of this program or how reparations should be distributed. Noticeably absent is any effort to reconcile the policy with other proposed new entitlements, including the Green New Deal, free college tuition, and Medicare for All.More
Yesterday, @richardeaston wrote a post Affirmative Action in Inventions in which he noted that in recent years a black female, Dr. Gladys West, has been given credit for inventions associated with GPS for which the credit belongs to others. I was going to comment on Richard’s post; but, my comment got too long and I think this post can stand on its own.
Unfortunately, I don’t think what Richard found is a one-off honest mistake. Rather, there appears to be a concerted effort to overstate the accomplishments of black Americans in some fields. This becomes apparent when searching various terms using the most popular Internet search engine: Google. For example, searching the term “American Inventors” gives the following result.More
I know it seems inexcusable now, but 1977 was another era. I deeply regret any pain I may have caused. I fully acknowledge my ignorance of other people’s truth. I will redouble my efforts to restore broken trust. Okay, now here’s what really happened. As a teen caught up in a frenzy of inspiration, I […]
We’ve all heard the stereotypical “They all look alike” comments from us white folk in regard to recognizing different black faces. Sadly, blacks do tend to look similar (at least to me for blacks I don’t know personally), because I believe our genetics make us more sensitive to recognizing others of our own genetic makeup. […]
I don’t even know what to make of this story, but it seems like a 3-way collision of identity politics maybe with an icing of religion (leaving out only immigration). Two-way is spreading from the US to a lot of other places in the world…but we’re still ahead! https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46943364 More
The first time I saw the snippet of the MAGA kid / Native American drummer video, my reaction was about the same as most other people’s. “What a jerk that kid is.” More
Last week I went to Urbana, the triennial missions conference of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. (You’ve read Elisabeth Elliot’s Through Gates of Splendor? When she mentions in the first chapter that her husband Jim Elliot’s journey began after he attended “a large convention . . . at the University of Illinois for students who were interested in foreign missionary work” in 1948, I’m pretty sure she’s talking about Urbana.)
It was quite an experience: 10,000 people converged on a St. Louis convention center for five days of seminars, Bible study, praise-and-worship songs, organization fairs, and meeting people.More
She was mocked as “Fauxcahontas” long before President Trump began referring to her as “Pocahontas,” and frankly, Sen. Elizabeth Warren invited the ridicule. She is a poster child for the pitfalls of basing identity on race and reminds us of the many furies such self-definition unleashes.
What people choose to call themselves shouldn’t matter to outsiders. If I want to call myself a post-Jerseyite dog lover, no one will care, unless there is affirmative action for former Jersey residents who can’t skip dog videos on Twitter.More
I co-host an alternative music radio show and podcast called Suburban Underground (it’s on all the podcast apps, FYI. Here’s the iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/suburban-underground/id1173099110?mt=2). My co-host (a former Ricochet member) and I have been thinking a lot about the accusations of cultural appropriation being lobbed from time to time at various artists, most hilariously at Bruno […]
https://www.bbc.com/ideas/videos/the-problem-with-the-colour-nude/p06gdhfb Er….yet another possible non-problem on display. I KNOW there are fashionable products for this consumer in any pharmacy and that she is not devoid of plentiful options, with nice names but that other people can’t use. I think she is objecting to a term and its implications, which the offending companies could remedy. (OK, […]
Jacob Falkovich, of PutANumOnIt fame, published a post-mortem on the Harris-Klein debate over IQ and race in Quillette. Not just the Quillette article, but the blog post inspiring it, The Context is the Conflict, are both worth a read. As Falkovich sees it, the Harris-Klein debate was merely one example of conflicting forms of political reasoning, pitting those who see political opponents as mistaken against those who see political opposition as conflict, and also pitting cognitive decoupling against contextualizing. To summarize the story the way Falkovich sees it, Sam Harris tells Ezra Klein, “Ezra, it’s dishonest of you to be so concerned with the social implications of the data that you discount what the data has to say,” and Klein shoots right back, “Sam, it’s dishonest of you to be so concerned with what the data allegedly says that you discount its social implications,” that is, whose interest is served by treating the data in question as reputable, and whose interests are harmed.
Both Klein and Harris have a point. We on the right are fairly open in our mistrust of “scientism,” after all. We know that, no matter how much data might seem to speak for itself, the scientific validity of data can’t be entirely separated from the nonscientific interests of the ones gathering, analyzing, publishing, and popularizing the data. Who funded a study, we wonder? Would funding have biased it? Was one study widely reported on while studies contradicting it were not; reflecting media bias? We aren’t fools for asking these questions, merely fools if we take them to their paranoid extreme: at some point, data must matter, even though it’s collected and interpreted by biased humans. Nonetheless, we suspect, probably rightly, that even good science can’t be wholly divorced from its social implications once it’s fodder for political dispute.More
There are a lot of great, informative articles of which immigration patriots should be aware. Count on your pal Freesmith to bring them to the attention of my friends at Ricochet. First is Patrick McDermott’s excellent follow-up to his piece in American Renaissance, this one published in VDare. It’s called, “NY-14 Winner Ocasio-Cortez No Fluke […]
Would Trump Administration appointees be hounded out of restaurants or other public spaces if they were black? More
Before things can change we have to first imagine how things could be and that is what I write here: More