« Commentary Magazine Podcast

What George Orwell Knew About Wokeness

2021-10-19 | 🔗
Wilfred Reilly joins the podcast today to talk about his essential article, "The Whiteness of Wokeness." As we discuss the phenomenon of well-to-do Caucasians supposedly speaking on behalf of the needs of African-Americans and those of color, we delve into the brilliant observations of George Orwell 85 years ago in his book, The Road to Wigan Pier. Then we talk about the Virginia governor's race. Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the commentary magazine. Billy podcast today is Tuesday October nineteen, twenty twenty one, I'm John by words the editor of Commentary magazine with me, as always: executive, editor, Greenwell, Pio hygiene. Souci had editor no rough, and I know I join and senior rather Christine rose high, Christine Icon and joining us today, the first in a series of guest appearances, we're gonna have in the past over the next week to ten days of the authors who are included in our very
important special issue November special issue now available at commentary. Dot Org woke the threat. A compendium of articles that it to detail. Why it is that welcome as travel, define weakness and then explain why it is a threat to speech to language, to the jewish people, to education, to Carmody and to the good working so border, the United States and one of the authors in that compendium of pieces is with us today. Wilfred Reilly, associate professor of political science of CAN Kentucky State and a frequent contributor to commentary will welcome back to the podcast bridge, be back okay. So, let's talk about your piece, which is, I would say more of a
theology of wilderness. Then it is a analysis or observe a deep plumbing of the problems. Openness, the peace, is called the whiteness of weakness and one I use What it is that you focus on her serve traded, The zoo men on as a quality of this new revolutionary idea. Sure. Well like a lot of things, I write this actually had a pretty direct inspiration, Emma casual friends with Andy. No, these sort of guns or better say independent journalists, and I was look through his Antiphon Mug series online, it's a whole series of images where he documents the people. They were actually arrested for any serious crimes at Antiphon, be alarms. Wanna bet.
and it struck me that at least in the Pacific northwest they were all white and that that was a bit bizarre, because a lot of the event specifically had black lives matter in the title, and I started looking at the extent to which people indifferent demographic groups as a political and to support some of the things that we associate with kind of the modern rise of woke movement and a consistent. We kept finding that the group that supported this stuff, the most often the only group that supported it, was upper middle class. Why? urban liberals, particularly liberal women, so there's a lot of this broken Down as I ought to do, for commentaries empirically in peace, I mean we look at these funds The police. There is a great large and Paul. It was done recently voted on by Newsweek pretty well. That found that
one per cent of actual black peoples. The Fraser comes about African Americans articulated city, you want more police it, they want either. The police first currently patrolling their neighborhood. This was the phrasing to remain exactly the same in size or they wanted to increase, and, I believed second was more common, so support for defending the police was concentrated almost entirely the among white people on the left living in cities and their words. for a couple. Other examples of this kind of thing I mean so cancel culture is obviously discussed, and I give summit our greatest examples. Among the soccer player, one of the. U S is top soccer stars wherever that's worth, but this The player who was fired for because his wife posted an insensitive
means about writing online. And then I look at the data and who approved of this kind of thing, and it turns out that political correctness is rejected by members of almost every group. Blacks rejected it by almost exactly the same percentages: whites within three present except again, white urban liberals, especially liberal women. So I started discuss this phenomenon that you see with a lot of weakness. In a sense. What you see is that kind of the rising demands of the proletariat or something like that. What you see is people that have a very coherent leftist agenda within kind of the pre existing white left, trying to paint the same kind. We need to become a bit more socializing state government level is something like that as saving.
or serving minorities, and when you often find is that, although many minorities is particularly blacks view both for the Democratic Party actual black in hispanic people, certainly asian Americans are arab. Americans are really interesting. This kind of thing, transgender rights insults so that I gotta be was an interesting one. In eight, it's gonna become a major problem. Should they win for the left's kind of coalition of four of the fringes down the road? There is very little that
Currently many these groups have in common. It struck me as far as I was listening to you, that term revolutionary movements of all stripes have this quality, which is to say that they speak in the name of others who, it is said, are too politically weak, sociologically, weak or maybe literally two week from excessive labour and suffering to speak for themselves and that day than the revolutionary purposes to deliver the oppressed from their oppression. But the deliverers never come from the class of people who are going to provide that deliverance. Announce a classic. The Khmer Rouge were all
I'll highly educated members of the upper crust of Cambodia in society who went to the Sorbonne they weren't labourers in the fields of Cambodia? Who then you now saw that life was just you know, unthinkable and, of course, Karl Marx and Friedrich angles being maybe the two greatest examples of this but Lenin Trotzky. These are all intellectuals embracing violent change many ways in the name of people who are either to suffering or too stupid to know that they meet it. Does that mean that the edit that's a classic and recognise tendency? Has it, some members, the panel now in political science in particular, I mean resolute it that's. The point is almost a joke and revolutions began. The guilty bourgeoisie in solid down the line every revolution
Harry leader has come from the upper middle class in an angry at their father. Do you think the exact Adele parties, but we do see it in practice and its I think really, the the point between our our statements is kind of been made me what what we, with with a lot of this stuff, like the campaigns for funding the police. This is this is the probably ultimate example of this is support. Among almost the cliff Shea Revolutionary laughed. I mean lower upper class urban, mostly caucasian ivy, your big and so on. Individuals and the groupings open for is blacks. Very often are the poor or something like that, which we see I hispanic emigrant now sort of moving into this category in a favoured mascots the issue. Is that the things being advocated for very often art supported by members in these groups. I mean I could have put this.
Only in the peace quite easily. Blaming the majority of hispanic legal immigrants who are one of the hardest working of traditional groups in the country strongly oppose illegal immigration. so burning. The ending wine of the peace is simply You're interested in knowing what people think among the working class are among black Americans are thing like that? I mean you can go to Jim or church and work and ask You don't necessarily need to hear the spokespeople of this group are the self appointed spokespeople his group and mean going back to solid linsky. A lot of the spokespeople for these groups have nothing in what kind of the main line mean average and the group of it. If you look at the black lives matter website a platform for the movement for black live which people. At least I know your enemy ground should take a look at I mean it's over
and has a range of upper class left wing advocacy positions- I mean free palestine- is on their that's what I specifically checked for, but I mean transgender rides to break the nuclear family that about off last month, but the percentage of black men that are interested in further destroying the black urban white nuclear family, because desirable at so the advocacy position is very, very different from any position held by the people being advocated for and we can distantly see this problem over it. Over I mean your line is a good when the revolutionary speaks in the name of others. It might be a good idea to ask the other rather than the revolutionary. Well, that's isn't that option I am of two minds of this constantly because on Sundays, it's too terrifying the threat to the social fabric and wants to remain the social order from the ground up and at other times is terribly self destructive and ineffective as a result, so cannot you're describing as this interracial impulse it you ve, seen consistently from progressive reforms, movements in the nineteenth century. It was
Toynbee Hall, where they would send university men to settling in the stand in educating the proletariat and in proletarian causes. It was the neighbourhood guild in the United States sort of detergents have idea of revolutionary young college students descending on the peasantry to inculcate class consciousness in them and that sort of Oda feature this movement as well, but another pronounced one, because if you were to do what they did in the neighborhood guild and settle in these in these areas and talk to people in inculcate revolutionary consciousness, your gentrifying you're part of the problem right. So you have to but to adhere to these in these principles, you have to be solar you have to itself segregate, which makes you a less less of a threat is also another weird contract. and in the way that this movement is played out now versus, then I'm glad we'll will that you, you mentioned that their largely white women, white, progressive women here in DC during all of the last matter, protests of the past
You would have these bizarre moments where these angry white female college students were screaming an african american cops and telling them they were oppressors is bizarre, but but there's a lot of self hatred to right because they're all these books being published by activists of color calling white women, the enemy sang white women are the problem. They elected trump. In a week, they ve ruined feminism for everyone else, so there's theirs it requirement for how to AIDS the end of the day, a man he feathers exactly said there, the problem, but they're kind of embracing this idea of themselves as oppressors and then going out in telling the people who they believe should be oppressed. What to do its bit strange, I mean. I think that that is its the motivating factor. I mean this. This is why it is ultimately about them where we were the revolution that that vague, that they have that they're interested in is, is not at the end of the day about
those for whom they claim to speak. It is about them, it is about expatiating their guilt. It is, then, that is, it is their entirely focused on themselves, but well, it's not as though there is a kind of popular front here in this sense, which is that we want what we're detailing is that the public opinion polls suggests that these issues are particular residence to a certain type of educated white person, but obviously We have politicians like Jamal Bomb and denial of my honour, Presley and Johan Omar and and India were Walden who's running for mayor and buffaloes Causa kerfuffle in New York state, because the democratic airman still state the chairman, the State Democratic Party, finding her extremely ill tray with decided. He wanted to do without
experiment and say, look you're saying I should to support at any by Democrat, because their democratic. What if David do came to town and said he was a democratic, was running for Maersk Schenectady. Should we support him and then like all this? How dare he comparing the Walden to David Duke and this guy Jacobs is now in trouble, but I mean it's not as though this doesn't serve the interests of a certain, again Vanguard class of african american politician right. I don't quite know had it, because the Bernie Sanders may be served like the Parrot diplomatic american leftist of of the moment, but he is not
fashionable american leftist at the moment that would be a sea or in other squad around oppress later people like that a well. What are you? What do you mean? I gather that the profound disparity between what you're, describing as the meeting point of view among African Americans, the spanish and the total lack of that point of view being expressed anywhere on the centre left media. What you're saying, I think, will alot of this gets into class division in the EU states of America and classes, the giant and ignored rhinoceros in the room, and U S society, to the extent that virtually the entire discursive media, including me to some extent, a manner women central woollen from Chicago level, bunch a college degree, but virtually everyone is no upper middle too low.
Upper class. Everything I just described actually mean postal Urban College, educated, mostly wife, that doesn't really matter so I'm down the line, so that in general, is a problem of representation throughout american conversational I've actually grubbing was born on the south. I moved the east but a nearby roared and the perspective the ordinary working class people, like those that I knew generally not express anywhere. Conservative media does actually a better job of this, but I think when you're too, about the rising ill Hano MAR sort of cadre of minority leaders on the left. Among the damn, specifically many,
people, although Omar to some extent actually does don't represent men, look, don't represent majority minority communities very often, and most of the time don't represent the majority perspective in those committees that takes on the black church. For example, I think that trend minority far left leaders are often popular because they appeal to an audience of the white people where describing here, two subjects I mean when you look at the vet means moving into my own academic row, because I haven't fought each one of these politicians. I mean I would say that the audiences that hire, for example, Dr Ibrahim, Jenny, are probably on average eighty five to ninety percent. Why? So? The appeal is not necessarily the best, percent his saying exactly what working class minorities think they're made
some of that when it comes to largely incorrect perceptions of racism. Being everywhere I made last, I looked. Twenty five percent of African Americans believe AIDS was invented in the lab to kill us, but there's almost none of that when it gets into typical black user, say policing of one of the things I mentioned article frankly, homosexuality in Trans rights, the up the pitch of care. You're, specifically Robin Angelo, and anyone in this job is to white people in the potentially revolutionary class, and I went out I agree, that there is a lot of confusion, and I want to single out of that sector ribbon, especially among white women, account of the younger into this range about where they fall. Or whether they are oppressor or oppressed. So if you actually read one of Robin Be Angelos books, which has an interest exercise- and I mean I reviewed one of them- it lays down. The whole thing is a constant
discussion of how to minimize you're late and racism, how to control the advantages you have to the point where you can get the impression that she's a bit racist herself ass, she makes a lot of Roddy. It says like how did you the question is: how do you respond when you're on a date? You want to start telling black jokes? Are you wanna, be you want your black date to be aware that it does not? Quite what do you want your black date to be aware that you're not going to make black drugs you're? Aware of, I think, of the question, and it really than that's? That's, not a bunch of an exaggeration if any at all, I mean she goes through a whole scene where she's on a date with this pleasant, young african american guy. If I recall this correctly- and she said she kept wanting- tell him about the races, Merv per family, you don't have one liner she was aware of, but she wouldn't use its on. It struck me as the most painfully awkward steed, but no one I know black or white would ever conceive of even mentally you just can't eat your state. Can save you like the present one
The debate was, I'm afraid, she's treating them like her confessor right. That's what we put yeah now. I think that's correct. I think that in There's gonna be there. I think that for a lot of white people in this group in again in political science and not a psychologist, but the ideas used to be that minorities, black people, specifically our kind of the unique real sort of expressing human beings, and that you, of course you are red smarter than then this is consistently conveyed by the echelon ever under this generates bite, you none the less as you teach them, about the programmes that they really want. You want their approval of you as an authentic sexual expressive, social being
because they are the real avatars of a different type of humanity. I think that's pretty close to it. You know what they actually want, which is labour unions or some such sites. They Tommy Crampton environments and several hundred you, but as you teach them, if you want their approval of you, as you know, anti racist set, sensual socially active here and that that's the dichotomy you see with a lot of young activists even into intimate relationship, but certainly about it. I wanted this is. This is gonna, be a longest aggression, but it's really fit. This point to a t the other week I mentioned George Orwell's the road to Wigan Peer witches, a book he published in
one thousand, eight hundred and thirty six about the british working class- and there is absolutely astonishing passage that I thought I would share with you guys because Orwell at the time dubbed himself a socialist and he he wants, and he puts it this way in in chapter eleven of this remarkable book. He says I believe that the present intensely stupid handling of the class issue may stampede quantities of potential social into fascism. Ok, what does he mean by this? He says the following: I'm arguing for socialism not against it, but for the moment I am on the part of the ugly I making out a case for the sort of person who is in sympathy with the funding.
the aims of socialism but who, in practice always takes to flight. When socialism is mentioned, question a person of this type and you will often get the semi frivolous answer. I dont objective socialism, but I do objectives Socialists, logically, is a poor argument about carries weight with many people, as with the christian religion. The worst advertisement for socialism is its adherents, and this is We substitute woke ism for socialism. Here you can. You can see how this is. Gonna go the first thing that, strike any outside observer is that socialism, in its developed form, is a fury confined entirely to the middle classes. The typical socialist is not as tremulous old Ladys. Imagine a ferocious looking working men with greasy overalls and raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob Bolshevik, who, in five years time will play probably have made a wealthy marriage and income.
it's a roman Catholicism or still more typically, a prim little man with a white collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings. This type is surprisingly com. When in socialist parties of every shaded has perhaps been taken over on blood from the liberal party. In addition to this, there is the horrible the really disquieting prevalence of cranks. Whenever socialist,
gathered together now think of Andy knows photographs and what went on in Portland One sometimes get the impression that the mere words socialism and communism we can welcome here as retirement draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit juice drinker noticed sandal, where sex, maniac, Quaker Nature cure Clack, pacifist and feminist in England one day the summer. I was writing through Letchworth when the bus stop into dreadful looking old men down onto what they arose about sixty boats, very short, pink and chubby. In both hatless they were dressed in pistachio, colored, shirts, cocky shorts into a hedge, their huge bottoms, workroom so tightly. You could study every dimple, their appearance created a mild stir of hard on top of the bus, the men. Next to me, a commercial traveller, I should take glanced at me at them and back at me and murmured socialists. He was probably right, but the point is that to him as an ordinary man, a crank meant a socialist and a socialist meant a crank any so
Hosty, probably felt could be counted and have something eccentric about him. To this you have got to add the ugly fact that most middle class socialist, while basically pining for class with society, cling like glue to their miserable fragments of social prestige for every person of this sort, bears the worst stigmata of Snaefell, middle class superiority if a real work, Madame Reiner, dirty from the pet, for instance, had suddenly walked into their midst. They would have been embarrassed, angry and disgusted. You can see the same ten see and socialist literature which, even when there's not a openly written the autumn, ball is also completely remove from the working class in idiom and manner of thought, for it must be remembered that working
so long as he remains a genuine working. Man is never or seldom a socialists in the complete logically consistent sense. He might vote labour or even communist if it gets the chance, but his conception of socialism is quite different to the ordinary working man. Type you would mean in any Papa saturnine. Socialism does not mean much more than better wages and shorter hours, and nobody bossing you about the more revolutionary type. The word is a sort of rallying cry against the forces of oppression, of vague threat of future violence, but so far, as my experience goes, no genuine working men grasps the deeper implications of socialism. So in nineteen thirty six, which is what is that, eighty five years ago, George Orwell saw Woke ISM incredulous form in what we now thinking
kind of labour socialism in its you now in its in it, some deprived depression era form as a as a matter of the class struggle of the of the bourgeoisie. Not the class struggle of the working class, which I think is an interesting wrinkle on this because it is the site- has exactly the same shit, which is accepted now we have these people and they are in charge of the higher there there. They are in charge of the high the high water mark of our of our culture right there in charge of media there in charge of universities there in charge of the clergy, their charge of non profit world, and so their reach is much larger and their cultural impact, as we ve seen from Hell
Quickly, reputations can be destroyed and lives can be ruin. You know in the matter of hours, do the social media for seven new cycle, just how powerful such a such a set of assumptions can be when, whereas but for they might really have remained in the in the area of quackery fruit juice
vegetarians, who squeeze into overly short short pants right click on it. You know, there's something else that so many revolutionary movements haven't common aside from that, then the people behind them and not being connected to those they day day. Speaker on behalf of is that the outcomes that they propose in this debt or are there other policies they propose rather, and this this applies to welcome the outcomes of these policies- may be great for them further for it for the for the woke, but not so great for those parties that that they claim to be
so concerned about or or I or will it be great for the woke, I mean that's the interesting question, so I guess you're right it if what they wanted, an oral gets it this bit is is some something is is to say so, about who they are and if they are status, conscious, which is a big part of the current woke movement. Yet they they they get to display their virtue and and and they do not, then they get to expiate there, their sins and and so yeah
they loved, but there, but there's a weird sort of wearing a strange moment. I think culturally, where there is an opportunity for more of these. The emperor has no clothes revelations on the part of people, both spoken about by the Woke or on behalf of the work, and you know fellow elites to say too much enough. No now elections. Obviously one way to do this, but those are much more complicated, but I do think that there is, when you speak, of status there is a sense in which some of the elite better get it better curve. making and saying all the right things and trying to to be worked. Probably don't ultimately believe what their parroting they're doing it because they have fear, but if enough of that fear can be if they see an alternative to two being cancelled, for example, if they see that more and more companies like Netflix, stand up to the twitter bullies and say you know we don't care were keeping David about if more of that happens, and it exposes the hollowness of the
life even as it shows that whatever they're arguing becomes more and more extremist, and I do think we were going to talk about the Virginia elections and in the second half of the hour. I know there are ways this plays out in the public sphere, but I think among the Ali, you're seeing that go on right now at Yale LAW School there's a big controversy about this- there are theirs push back and when the elites start to become confused about how their reacting people see that- and I think that's actually is something we should be up to mystic about. Looking ahead, will you you teach at a historically black lamb, grim, universally Kentucky state? So your students are, on the one hand, people who training to be part of the american Elite College educated, middle class upper middle class professionals had a day. How did they fit in to s general understanding of woken up. How I mean how much of a role
the display on your your campus, that's fascinating. I mean first in terms of that description, you just read. I think it's fascinating. How appreciate that is and how much it applies today I mean, if you go through this description. The advocates of the left parties in the EU as the UK is vegetarian feminists from the cities who keep boring you of their sex lives? And so I mean yeah, that's that's pretty applicable now. So does very quick Canada that before getting enter your your question is clearly making some fairly key points in every one of the one of the ones that stands out to me as the idea that there is often a choice. It you're an authentic Lee Working class person between socialism and fascism or something close to it. You look see that even too I mean you would assume that be genuine all great writers or the proud boys. As a group or something like that are recruiting
from populations very similar to those that socialists like to think they speak, do and there are their obvious reasons for that. If Europe working poor guy, the idea of having improved healthcare is going to appeal to you, but so are alive. Of common sense, tough talk ideas like maybe we need to get the damn cops back in the street or why? Why are all these people who were not covered, tested, flooding across the border? Many things that are clear and obvious, but that you're not supposed to discuss in middle were upper class life. To be frank, so the issue with Appeal of socialism today ended this feeds directly into the question, or the appeal of weakness today really is what he described as being in nineteen thirty sexually, many of the advocate seem to be lunatics and that Idea of this is a conflict within the bourgeoisie. It's not a conflict involving the proletariat is very correct. The Abbe. The reality is that woke ideas, current gender-
how'd you, for example, and socialist ideas. Actual communism in the past have generally been thought of as the most interesting radical, I'll tray ideas. You can have their things to shop. Your father, as famous all mining, Steinem, maybe one of the early feminist. So that idea of shocking your pair showing you are rabble showing your difference is always something that has been part of the peal of the far left for guilty bourgeois kids until you a very large number of guilty, bourgeois kids represented among the people. Advocating these ideas, I mean that that's all, the entire population of those identifying, as, for example, envy. I'm not by an area gender terms and engender queer any of this Today, I would guess I haven't actually Paul, but that route tends to dry radically- turned off a lot of normal working class citizens who have to get up the morgue.
After the meeting, and go to a nine our job as a master carpenter. It's also understood to some extent A lot of your bourgeois current allies are going to be permanent allies if you're working class, black or rather large and white, or something like that American I mean that in the peace there's that description most of these people in five years will have made a marriage for wealth and converted to traditional Roman Catholicism. Aren't we very much see that today I mean that the main recruiter from these ideally campuses, like Brown, is Mackenzie. I mean the the major player. we're in the Chicago business. Even I was there Goldman Group on solid they're going to be there regretting for what are fairly senior executive track position.
So after five years working on a trading. Why are you still going to be taught me about your nine by an airy, feminist gender identity and saw it probably not, and the average working class person knows that and to some extent now it cares. You it's an interesting banks, because, like many good but not say, pop twenty ranked schools are students are smart people from across the sort of the class Joel Spectra, so we have a lot of students that are working class kids from tough blackened obliging communities. They want to be cops, but have no patients for any of this. We also have a lot of students and I, like both its fund ever mixer kids in the classroom. Restaurants are general bad but we also have people that are the sons of say. African American are increasingly caucasian doctors from the Detroit suburbs, and that's where you see more
there's an there will often be a conflict between the two groups of students, the mirrors, what Orwell described where someone will say something like well as a minnow, bisexual, while men who has had extra matic experience in my life, I feel like you need to respect my pronouns and the common response to that from some black work. Turkey guy, who wants to be a police officer might be either openly or suddenly. I think that's nonsense, so I dont think that one. This has made many inroads among the working class in Kentucky or really anywhere else. I think the Orwell problem, as I mentally debate, continues so to some extent that's a good thing I I'm in, I think that the real issue here as we keep coming back to is there is a certain element of risk
Barnes to what has gone on over the last year and a half where some but will say: ok, look what happened with George Floyd was, it was a harsher was Horror show is a nightmare. We can allow the sort of thing to happen if we need to change certain. the rules and procedures involving the supervision of of police officers and how they and how their potential misconduct handled within the justice system. Maybe that's something that needs to be looked at, that sort of like a common sense response, that doesn't isn't that doesn't serve globalize or universal lies this one case to everything, and then there is the we need to define the police. We need to be criminal crime. We need to release people from prisons on mass and that sort of thing to which
many people who might be attracted to the first. Then here the second and say: well it all you pay! You people are all crazy that that's that's crazy talk. What's the matter with you, you know there are some bad cops in Minneapolis that need to be dealt with. say that everyone needs to be let out a prism. Are you insane like where's the sanity here and that also serve what Orwell himself as an intellectual figure and then what he is describing here is in our hee hee famously said some ideas are so stupid. Only an intellectual could believe them, and then the other thing he said was the thing to which we after calling as to a life belt, is that it is possible to be in normal decent person and yet to be fully alive, that you don't have to be in a revolutionary stance in opposition to the to the larger culture, in order to be an authentic person who can live a good and
decent life- and these are increasingly being challenged by this notion. That everything from the most essential part of our humanity, which is how our dna is combined into either being having to access or relax, or why is up for discussion that fundamental threat posed by boldness right? That's what makes it a revolutionary thus. Is that its its elements that are inviolable, moral precepts that you can't compromise on the item? You don't need to persuade people to adopt them. You can force them to adopt them, or at least to be silent about their dissent and which is what renders at a revolutionary idea and a threatening idea, not just sort of a fashion right. Let me just pull back permitted and talk to you about our advertiser today. Aura
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Jack Wertheimer and SAM Abrams and Michael J, Louis and others. Please, James Jim mags commentary, dot org few free weeds. You subscribe. Scribe now, you're listener this podcast, and if your playing. This is one of the ways we keep the lights on. Through your subscriptions were a five hundred and one c three non profit. We rely on you to help support us and please do let's move on to the more let's say temporary politics of the present moment. We are a couple of weeks away from the mid term, Simon, a mid term right, it's their twenty nineteen first year off. I go election in which the two big prizes are the governor ships of New Jersey and Virginia, and that interesting thing that is now happening in Virginia though it's really hard to believe is that there is that there is an absolute barn burner of a race,
between the Republican when young in and the Democratic, Terry Mccall of former governor of Virginia twenty? Thirteen to twenty? Seventeen Virginia governor, someone term in one term only for weird, it's weird system, but that that that's all you get emerging as a single terms. So Mccall is now running for a really couldn't run for reelection right after his election, but he can run. You know, discontinue asleep and he released a commercial yesterday. That indicates to me that he is scared out of his wits that he is been a lose this race in which, according to the pole, averages he's. By about two and a half points it was in the debate between him and young can a couple weeks ago that pressed on a matter involving critical race there,
education and what's going on and local school wards and counties, he said something like he. That did not believe that parents had a role to play in educating their kids. Her parents should not have hey. Man hang their kids and he put out a commercial yesterday with pictures of himself and his wife and his children and Europe handing along as you know, but having the dresser with all the photos of the family, saying he was taken out of context when politics has to run a commercial saying that he was taken out of context because, after all, the quote comes out of his own mouth. Now, it's not as though he didn't say the words, the yunkers, quoting him saying in commercial, and that all these third party people are helping trying to get young collector saying in their commercials and all that he said it. So he now has to say that what he said was taken out of context. Of course he believes the parents of world.
I am advocating their children all that, but writ large what the caliph was saying as I am on the side of teachers, I'm on the side of teachers, I'm on the side of administrators and all these people who are making trouble in relation to their kids, education. You know at the the elementary intermediate and high skill levels. These are all troublemakers and it's none of their business, they don't know anything, they don't know how to educate people and they should stay out of it. I mean it's almost worse than that. He sent his kids to private school so not only as you telling parents that they have to trust the d, the union's that back his candidacy and an elite technocrats like him, because they know what's best for people who send their kids to public school. He didn't even and his own kids to public school so did the delete ism, which is, I think, what people were bonded to and were angry about he's not even addressing I mean you could do a commercial
you said. You know what I said this in here's. What I meant by it I mean you still look desperate and you still look like you're flailing in the in the weeks leading up to your election, but it would be more honest to me what he's doing now is trying to say that I was misunderstood, but he wasn't. He was very clear and he's been consistent, both in his policy statements and in his in his tone. When he talks about parents, parents or angry and their justifiably angry for a number of reasons and he's not engaging their concerns. He's he's either. You know just tell to be quiet and behave or he's saying? Actually we a better and neither those messages gonna resonate with those parents. I think there's another weakness with it, but the approach with commercial, which has had its it's an implicit acknowledgement that young can is shaping the terms of debate and is setting the
cream for the whole thing in that so he's just operating within within the boundaries that that young and have it has established a match that just makes you look for in a week and reactive again, he said it. I mean the key to understanding. What happened here is that the words came. His mouth, they didn't come on a young kinsman. They didn't commodity. The questioners mounted the debate. They didn't come out of an editorial written to support young it. It's not a bank shot issue, as often seems to happen where people say. Oh well, you know Mccall if may lose, because Biden is unpopular, Democratic Europe. S of this will happen. That'll happen, This is a real test of a candidate own viability based on a kinsley, Gaff Kingsley gaff term relating
the former editor of the New Republic and Colonists Michael Kingsley, who said in Washington gaff as when someone inadvertently speaks the truth instead of now prevaricating or be no offering you know, stems and cliches to get from point a to point B. The call in the middle of of the first real explosion of in the school wars of a kind of populist anger. That has many sources I mean. Could people are focusing this uncritical race theory but it has to do with schools being opener clothes. The way teachers and administrators behave, particularly in the northern Virginia suburbs, where it was particularly bad, where the whole point was that they acted as though the health and the safety and security of the staff at the school
the most important element of what was going on during the school year, not the education of the children of the school, while everybody else understood that everyone's health and security and safety had to be tended to the purpose of schooling and working in schools, is to educate children, and it was adamantly clear, particularly, I think in Fairfax County, which I think is the most populous County Virginia in the end Washington suburbs that the administrators in the teachers basically could give a damn about the kids that wasn't what was going on here at all that everything needed to be structured to make their lives as easy as possible. Given the ISIS that things were under and parents saw this and resented at and resented the idea particularly say the working class parents again to get to this, all of whom were going to work.
Because they were, the ones were making the economy go. While the thought workers could stay at home and and do their work on zoom, it's not as though the parents and Fairfax Handy who didn't live in Maclean and the rich areas of the kind. they are the ones who actually like, send their kids, that you know like work in the restaurants and Ex County or allowing county or whatever they were going to work every day in masks for nine hours a day,
all of that and and and nobody seemed to give a damn about them yet did. This is probably my only comment on this, but one of the things that I'm hearing from parents about this particular quote. I was at the parents unite conference, but a week in a half back, although others came after that, but this ties in to one of the things that we were talking about as part of the discussion of the wilderness. Peace, which is this idea of respecting the designated experts, which John just sort of touched on The idea that you know less about your kids, then the teachers in the schools, because someone with a ba an elementary education is now part of this ever expected. I don't mean to make fun of effort. Is now part of this ever expanding expert professional glass? You can't critique my expert at my expert knowledge of this field, because I am a primary school teacher and I think that a lot of people, a lot of parents. Bluntly, probably think you know I
got a better as eighty or Georgi score than most of the people and many of these fields that are now being told the listen to buy a pretty substantial margin. If you look at the averages and I'm getting sick of hearing this crap, if your managing a restaurant, you Bobby kill, you know at least as much about life in your trial as someone in these positions and in Virginia and me we're things without extending this we're things. Some pretty dramatic evidence of this, a Meda Loudon County Virginia. There was the entire question about whether the designated Expert School Board should change, The rules regarding bathroom access and a number of Things in a situation that turned out to involve the sexual abuse of a cat, so a lot of parents are looking at this and thinking at some level. These people were any it. I dont need more of these designated professionals,
politicians in early life educators on telling me what to do in my life. I let the powerful blow against many of the movements on the political left right now. It wouldn't be a new phenomenon if this was the technical technocratic impulse were saying. Here was just focus on a particular interpretation of how to teach arithmetic, cabotage science, how to teach grammar and English what we're seeing scholastic system it is. It is the imposition of a dogma on students, mine, neighborhoods out speaking with my neighbour the other day you gotta believe Eleven year old girl, and there is a duty caning, an issue with the school, because the school has relied on a CNN teaching aid too.
promote to educate until tinted supplement. I guess what they can do any more in the classroom, which actually teach and part of the problem is that their using this to teach civics now civics that their teaching isn't the separation of powers of the constitution on the civics that their teaching begins with raw begins with row, at which point you have to now come home and talk your kid about what abortion is and what sir That's an how babies are made, and this is the sort of thing other, like ok, warming, the kids old enough to know what this sort of thing. But it's not your place to do this and it has nothing to do with academics. You don't get you don't start civics with row, but that's ideology, not not actual academic processes, and I am that's that's what's new and that's what's enraging if we were just talking about common core, it be a very different commerce.
Asian and much less lively. Conversational year, even there there I mean there's some discussion about funding for all languages on began as as an educator. What many teachers will say is that, because they have the the technocratic, if you will degree in teaching, they are experts in the education of children full stop, and that can extend You think so that that's part of the gender discussion like if your child is taught in school about the one about gender options and they I don't buy as transgender at eight twelve. Does the school have a duty to tell you this than the current export position is now. Look in nineteen. Eighty three, the education issue in the United States became a national prices as a result of the release of a report called a nation at risk that showed that american children were more poorly educated than children and other advance industrial economy that was almost forty years ago. Those numbers have not reverse themselves. The indictment indignation at risk was of the existing sitting.
Education system to generations ago, and how badly it was doing at its job. We are now in twenty twenty one. There are two parties and one of the parties Is impossible, it is illegal, it is considered immoral and wrong to say blew about the low quality of american education as though the out comes in american education are any better relative to Finland and Singapore and South Korea in particular just tonight three, but I mean there are countries all over the world in which our outcomes are really not that great, and we are in that there is now this kind of sentimental shibboleth about how educators are all heroes and were also to celebrate them because their also wonderful, because their wonderful, because they represent the largest single class
of unionized employee in the United States and they vote overwhelmingly for one party as opposed to the other, Christine you're. Well, I think, tis. Where, though, I'm glad you brought this up, because this is where the woke philosophy becomes a very useful excuse making device right. So when you see these terrible outcomes, and particularly for minority children in this country, the DE responses and while we're really socket teaching, and we need to rethink our doing all of this. The answer is: this is evidence of systemic racism, so we It more wildness piled on top of bad test course, or we need to get rid of the gifted and talented programmes or get rid of admissions test for public computer public icicles, because those that's all part of the systemic racism. So I think in a way it gives them rationale for not doing the hard work of figuring out. Why far too many american children test below grade level for reading in math and basic skills
firstly, the early elementary level when these skills are very crucial for for later success in school, it is much easier to just talk about systemic races issues and politicians do this to they certainly do with education, but look another example of of the governors race becoming very desperate of retirement. Is that he's got Stacy Abrams out there screaming and yelling about how she wasn't entitled. In her state to become governor entitled, it was a really interesting but the time one of those that Kinsey gas. I think because she's like I come for me, stay where I was entitled to become governor and I'm fighting for everybody, so that you know the right person to be elected its desperation because it eat
yes, that they're not actually tackling the problems that voters or parents care about- and I also think what's the point here is reason word dedicate this segment to this. Is that Mccall, if made the ad Duncan, didn't make the ad Mccall of is attempting to stanch a wound or cauterize a wound a couple of weeks before the election to see what he can do, because blood is flowing out of the wound and is weakening his campaign based on something that he said, that was regulatory and efforts are gonna be made. Should young can pull this rabbit out of the hat and win an election in what is now a very blue state that his predecessor, Ralph Northern one by nine points in that Biden, one
the ten points should he actually manage to prevail in winter, even come incredibly close, the instant thing that people are going to refer to is while this is all about race, its white people. You know being driven by this theory that said local race theories, but they don't even know accredit race theory. Is this just it's just the sort of marker point four race and the Republican Party is giving up our problem with race, rather than examining the question of. Oh, my god. Something really interesting in a populist direction happen here that post speed So, what's going on with binding and the Democrats and how Heather behaving with power in twenty twenty one and this set of issues that seem to be alienating the people who gravitated toward them we're not gonna enough. That's gonna happen until election day, but but call a fish you're acting like he is worried that it is going to happen able or that fish interesting. Think I mean, I think his big mistake is you went all in on this kind of romantic line. John the you'd that you're talking about that
teachers are the unsung heroes at a time when I think no part, did themselves more damage during the pandemic, then teachers or then than now it was a but school administrators teachers they the whole MAGIC notion that teachers are thee, unsung underpaid hero, Two are you know out there doing doing that doing the tough work that took the biggest blow of all, I think during during the pandemic, which is why, in part, I think it's through its ground zero for the Anti woke. Push back, I mean, I think, you're exactly right. That is one thing to say: oh my god, you, our heroes, are nurses and our first responders and even like the over its people who brought food. While we couldn't go out to a restaurant or you know, people work and Amazon, warehouses, employment,
apple teacher sitting in their own apartments, not having to go to work or supervise kids in a classroom. Like that look, we all went to school. I went I haven't going to private schools. I went to extremely good schools. I got to make that I know my parents got to make that choice, so terrible calls me and I went to extremely good private schools and they were fantastic and was all great, and you know how many good teachers I had in those you know. Twelve years when I was in school, I don't know six, I mean you, and this is a great private schools taught by Vietnam draft dodgers, who were all you know like staying out of the military by going to graduate school to, there were twenty eight or twenty nine, and their draft number was high enough that they didn't have to think they could leave graduate school and then take a job because they weren't going to go off to Vietnam, so they were highly educated. They were very nice, they were very small.
And they taught really well- and I learned a lot from now but again, like twelve set, you know six, seven really remember teachers in my entire life, and that that's going to the best schools that cause an arm and a leg like I didn't go to some bad they're gonna, like middling public school everyone in America went to school. Do people think that their teachers and the administrators that supervise them we're just heroes? I told the territory with four on that on my cast, but at the height of the pen enjoy a year, which is the States teachers union. But at this commercial immune
eight mood in my state New Jersey, celebrating teachers and what they're doing working from home and how difficult times are for them and how their struggling through it and serving your children. Then you should be thankful for them, LA blah blah and the teachers portrait that they decided to use to exemplify this condition. Was this very young woman working on a laptop from her house in pyjamas? Now I work from home. I don't sit at my desk unless I've showered and shaved and put myself together but It's a job. You behave like you are at work to me. This was so off putting, and I can imagine that, I'm alone, that this is the sort of the status quo now that we were except we were, I stood that standards were lower here, so standards could be lower elsewhere too right. We all just had to reduce our expectations little, but the fact that saying nothing of I mean people forgotten all the nonsense that teacher maybe the burden. Perhaps they haven't forgotten all the nonsense of teachers, pull
during this we're not gonna come back until hours are saved, is guaranteed. Ok, safety is guaranteed, we're not gonna, come back until these social justice criteria are met. You know about that and then becomes in the work is on the whole, media this. This came out of several teachers, unions, the whole wide. Ray of Social Justice demands being met. What on earth has that to do with their responsibility and obligate? Did you get kids? I should say anything worried the Labour Union, senators, individual teachers, I'm sure what that's exceptions but the organisation that's to blame here. Are they the unions and organise labour? But I mean that's an important point that gets also backed up to two wills point, which is that the loss Angeles Teachers Union that had that has that crazy woman who runs at who made all those demands. You know I'm sure that half that
sure? Is it not? More of you know who were actually who are actually work in the LOS Angeles sitting. Schools are not loony text like her I mean there are, I don't have there- are four five million teachers in the United States and am sure they come in all kinds of qualities with all kinds of different views and all this and that a lot of this, as you know, they ve been reduced to this kind of cultural stereotype. On the right of all being these kind of grasping hung in a grasping, greedy living off the public, we can now living serve chewing the public cod, while their lounging in their pajamas, but you know such as such is life like this is
the nature of what happens in american politics when, when system start to fail and Clare Lineage, and then I will say sorry to interrupt, but I mean I had many these conversations, bus with shallow parents and end with some of my kids teachers. Last year we make he's, got a public school in DC, very blue city, obviously very, very liberal, very power, pretty powerful teachers unions. So when parents would push back, an individual teachers and be like so what's the deal for you guys got back Sunday two months ago, why didn't? Why aren't schools coming back or pressing the principal, as I did have my kids high school? The response was always well. You know we'd love to, but it's
ministers are or the union has said, we really can't do that an end. I think for parents it was a realisation that will, if you really want to do this, you could so stop blaming this institution, which you are you are you I need to get, will resign and such a moral caught exactly exactly so that there was a real moment where parents, especially parents, who had who, as we said, had to get up and go into dangerous public facing jobs before backs. There were vaccines and had to go to work How did you all those things they have no taller to that end, they shouldn't, because the job of the teacher was to educate, and yes, there was a lot of tolerance for figuring out a system that would work during the lockdown it's always supposed to be an end in sight, and I I hate to say it, but it continues into this school year which the parents, people, when your kids go back to school. If what your hearing is alot of critical race theory nonsense, The teachers still have this idea that they should have one day off a week as they did in my school district last year. It becomes intolerant.
For? The parents are like what are you doing in there not getting response there, not getting a reasonable response to that question and we are also doing paid more features are getting paid more than working class than the parents of working collects. Kids, It's a simple matter of fact, so the administrators in my school district may make well over a thousand dollars which is not what the average DC resident makes. So imagine What we have here is the question of whether or not welcome this awoke there was some version of wilderness. Is facing its first real electoral test in Virginia? I mean it's very complicated and their allotted different factors are going into this and I still think
it's odds on that Mccall. If this out out and winds, I just don't know that there are therein republican voters in the state to let it referred to be possible for young and to prevail. But you know that surprises can happen and, as I say that the most important data point here is that Mccall found it necessary to make a commercial disavowing. The thing that he said by saying he didn't really say at, or he said it, but he was taken out of context and when and when your explaining you're losing like that's just a classic classic rules. That will really thank you so much for joining us, his peace, the whiteness of wilderness as I have been telling, you is a commentary dot org in our woke the threat issue. Go there, read it subscribe, and if you subscribe, you will see more Wilfred Riley. Who has? I think this is probably your seventh piece in the last three or four years adds one of our one of our more exciting
acquisition semi acquisitions argue as of as of as a regular contributor and the end. One of the many virtues of the magazine for its subscribers has been able to read Wilfred Riley's, commonsensical application of political science theory and just like what the hell are you talking about good, looking to a range of problems ranging from crime to civil rights, to all kinds of things, including the whiteness above. So thanks for joining us, we'll be back tomorrow with Heavy Troy, who will be talking about the Woke, a revolution in medicine and what kind of threat that poses? Thursday. We should be hearing from David Zocor, the director of airplane, the writer of airplane, the naked gun and
various other things, basketball, who is right, by comedy and weakness and Friday. I think we're gonna have very wise on with her he's on cowardice, encouragement, comes to welcome it. So it's a pretty exciting weak. Please join us we'll be back tomorrow for a pristine, an hour and will really my words. Keep.
Transcript generated on 2021-10-20.