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Some in the commentariat are saying that “woke” has faded as an issue this summer. Certainly, the w-word has. I suspect Ron DeSantis’s inept, overripe attempts to run an entire presidential campaign on anti-wokery have proven to be a bit too heavy metal for suburban moderates. Meanwhile, there has been a successful campaign from the left to stifle the very use of the word. Politicians are asked what it means and very few respond with any clarity. But that’s nonsense. The “woke” sensibility exists. It has to do with the aggrandizement of political correctness and identity politics at the expense of sanity. You know it when you see it. Like the turmoil at the Sierra Club, an organization convulsed by Diversity, Equity and Inclusion nonsense. The Washington Post reports that former NAACP President Ben Jealous took over as president of Sierra and hired a women named Aida Davis as the director of Sierra’s “People” Department:
In an interview, Davis said the Sierra Club’s past equity work had “harmed” employees of color, although she declined to provide a specific example, citing confidentiality concerns. “We have so many data points on how the most oppressed and marginalized folks were not just underserved but harmed in the previous attempts at this work,” she said. “There are a lot of pieces of evidence that are public that demonstrate that Sierra Club was moving in a performative, superficial, and harmful way.”
Davis added that as a Black woman, she had personally experienced disrespectful behavior from staffers. “I have never felt more undermined, gaslit and disrespected, and my dignity diminished, than I have in this role,” she said.
Really? Her dignity diminished? At the Sierra Club? Oh dear. Trigger warning: I’m going to be very, very disdainful here, so fasten your diapers. Indeed, this is precisely the scenario that comes to mind when people—and not just right-wing nutters—talk about wokery run amok. Institutionalized wimpitude is the default position in academia, publishing, philanthropy and the identity ghettos that fester in left-liberal America. It is a form of mental weakness, the inability to respond to an adverse situation. It is a dodge, an excuse for the lack of intellectual rigor. An insult, or being called by the “wrong” pronoun—or worse, not being chosen for a coveted job even though you may be a differently-abled Inuit feminist—should not diminish “the dignity” of any healthy member of our society. Responding effectively to an insult, or a rejection, is a sign of strength. Of course, the very notion of “strength” seems suspiciously masculine in the precincts where people like Aida Davis toil and worry their little hearts out about pronouns and bathrooms. Heaven forfend if our democracy ever comes under serious threat: these coddled fools will be hopeless. They will be trampled.
Later in The Washington Post piece, it is reported that forty environmental groups joined together to navel-gaze at their own diversity. And thus,
White workers account for 59.5 percent of full-time staff, the survey found, followed by 11 percent of workers identifying as Hispanic or Latino, 9.9 percent Black or African American, and 7.2 percent Asian. Among senior staff, 61.8 percent of workers identify as White, while among chief executives, 69 percent are White.
Shocking, yes? Uhh, no. Good gracious: only 9.9% of staffers—note the diminutory fraction rather than a more supple 10%—are black…in a country where 12% of the electorate is African-American. Clearly, some nefarious form of structural racial elitism is running rampant among the tree-huggers.
Yes, I know these environmental groups are non-governmental and have the privilege of wasting their money any way they want, but the Biden Administration has misspent hundred of millions, maybe more, on diversity, equity and inclusion programs. That money could have gone to a nationwide system of boot camps for the identity-addled—call it the Sticks and Stones Project— where those poor sensitive souls would be toughened up for life in a democracy, where people are allowed to express harsh and differing opinions. You can bet that the Republicans will find a way to highlight the more egregious examples of left-liberal Human Resources malarkey in 2024.
Not put too fine a point on it, but I suspect that DEI is a scam perpetrated against guilty white liberals. We are a permanently and gloriously diverse society, getting more diverse every day without official interventions; we are not going back to the blind whiteness that existed before. We might even exhale, and congratulate ourselves on all the progress we’ve made these past 50 years.
Charlie Sykes reports Mike Huckabee said this:
“If these tactics [i.e. the law suits] end up working to keep Trump from winning or even running in 2024, it is going to be the last American election that will be decided by ballots rather than bullets,”
Only someone who has never faced the business end of a bullet could say this. Trumpers play fast and loose with the threat of violence because most of them have never experienced it. It is gratifying that those who did—the January 6 idiots—are now looking at serious jail time, some weepily. It should always remembered: Trump is facing these court cases because he tried to overthrow the U.S. government—that’s the most important charge in the most important case, Jack Smith’s effort to prosecute the fake elector scheme. I have my doubts about the efficacy of the legal campaign to hold Trump accountable for his misdeeds. I’d much rather see him crushed at the ballot box.
But Huckabee contemplates violence in support of someone who tried to overthrow our government. That makes him a traitor, as well as a fool.
Speaking of Fools…
“The head of the Chicago Teachers Union is facing backlash for sending her eldest child to a private high school, a decision she says represents a stark statement about disinvestment in public schools and drives home why the fight to fully fund neighborhood schools is so important,” the Chicago Sun Times reports.
Said Stacy Davis Gates: “In many of our schools on the South Side and the West Side, the course offerings are very marginal and limited. Then the other thing, and it was a very strong priority, was his ability to participate in co-curricular and extracurricular activities, which quite frankly, don’t exist in many of the schools, high schools in particular.”
This is the same woman who once called public Charter Schools “fascistic.” There is overwhelming evidence that Charters do far better than union-run schools when it comes to educating the inner city poor. If Davis weren’t an ideologue, she might send her son to one—in the neighborhood.
“Disinvestment” is a straw man. Ever since the Coleman Report in 1968, most educational experts have acknowledged that school-funding has only marginal impact on educational results. It would be nice if the Chicago public schools devoted some of the exorbitant amounts spent on union-imposed fol-de-rol to fund music and art and athletic programs, but parental involvement is the most important factor when it comes to success in school.
The city of Chicago, whose mayor is a member of, and controlled by, the teachers union, slips toward chaos…even as the Democrats intend to locate their 2024 nominating convention there. What a bad idea.
Maureen on Margaritaville
Maureen Dowd can be snarky, as we—and I especially—know. But she went and got herself a masters in English Literature at Columbia, and her native cynicism has been leavened by an appreciation for the gorgeous in recent years; it’s a late-life act of humility for a professional word-slinger, and it seems to be going around: Peggy Noonan spent the summer with Tolstoy. I am, currently, drunk on the great Irish novelist Sebastian Barry; each of his sentences is a poem. Words well wrought are such a narcotic. So, as an annual visitor to Key West, I really appreciated Maureen’s eulogy for Jimmy Buffett. The breezes down there come rhyming, they sway with phrases. You watch the sun set, have a drink, wait for the gummy to kick in, listen to Island Radio, the local Buffett-inspired station. Lots of reggae, New Orleans and drink-umbrellas…and when you are a writer, the words come, unbidden, and they are kind.
More Better Polling
John Ellis has added a new feature to his Political News Items, a regular survey called Polls in One Place. Like everything else Ellis does, this is high-quality stuff, essential for political junkies. He has an eye for the overlooked, like this:
Black adults and older adults have a more positive outlook on upward mobility compared to the rest of the public. Black adults are more likely than white adults to report that having a good standard of living (43% vs. 28%), raising a family (33% vs. 16%), and owning a home (37% vs. 22%) have become easier for them to achieve compared to their parents.
Somehow black adults have managed to remain optimistic, despite a history of white racist outrages. Somehow they’ve managed to maintain their “dignity” and keep their eyes on the prize. Somehow, most of them aren’t crushed by pronouns or who goes to which bathroom; they worry about crime and inflation, and support school choice. Maybe that’s why they’re losing patience with the Democratic Party.
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