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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Little Humor Won't Kill Me

Volokh digs up the Seattle Public School system's definition of "cultural racism":
Cultural Racism:
Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as “other”, different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.
Bwahaahhahaaaa!!!! Individualism is a no-no, good grammar is a no-no. Does having a "future time orientation" mean what I think it does, i.e. thinking of future consequences of actions today and forming goals? Googling produced this definition:
Future time orientation (FTO), the degree of engagement in and concern about the future, is believed to have significant influence on a person's thoughts and behavior.
I found tons of references related to people with disabilities. It's a pyschological concept, apparently:
FTO is defined as a general capacity to organize and anticipate future events (Gjesma, 1983), and it is considered to be a favorable aspect of personality in terms of achievement, planning, and problem solving (Mischel, 1974; Teahan, 1958).
So not being a lazy, feckless schmuck is "cultural racism", according to the Seattle Public School system? I'm awed.

Man, I feel like redeeming myself into a glorious, tolerant slacker's heaven today by going on disability. To think of all those endless hours when I fought so hard to be able to form a goal and achieve it. The hardest thing for me in becoming functionally conscious was to develop the ability to form a plan (like washing the dishes) and execute it. Oh, sure, if someone else told me to wash the dishes or go take a shower I'd do it - but it was incredibly hard to learn to form the initiative to do it myself. A lot of that had to do with having no sense of time flow at all, and no consecutive memory. Life, for me, was often broken into discontiguous moments of experience. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

I had to learn to talk and write again, too - an effort that I"m sure the Seattle Public School system would find dysfunctional. Down with the tyranny of good grammar and understandable English! Thank God the Seattle Public School system didn't manage to get hold of me before I did manage to get at least halfway there. I can just imagine it crooning softly to me "Nooooo neeeeeeed tooo eeeeveeeen try, dear toooooolerant peeeeeerson." Of course, the odds are high that right after that they'd be in court suggesting I'd be better off dead....

I was once the most culturally tolerant person around, according to the Seattle School system. Of course, I was also profoundly disabled while in that condition. I wonder if this could possibly have any relevance to the efficacy of their teachings? Maybe I should ask Mamacita. Here's the abstract of an article about future time orientation and education. Here's a totally free overview of the concept relating to adolescents and human development.

Moving right along, Pedro the Quietist takes a look at that strange creature called a "Pelosi":
A strange and funny creature that is indigenous to the banquet halls and wine-tasting parties of Northern California. Its mating call is a shrill, repetitive howl; scientists have yet to decipher its meaning, but its frequency seems to be related to the proximity of television cameras. Some experts believe that the noisy, persistent call of the Pelosi really means nothing at all, but is simply a mere cry for attention.
DU is pleased that Mary Cheney is making the rounds of the media these days. As one poster puts it:
...I just want to see for myself why I despise her so much.
Whooooooeoeeeeee! (That was the cultural racism warning whistle sounding off.) The poster may have accumulated a few cultural tolerance merit badges by agreeing to hate someone without knowledge of that person's crimes, but the poster is also in danger of racking up some cultural tolerance demerit points for wanting to check it out personally. Very individualistic, that. Also, I note a suspicious use of standard English. Back to the Seattle Public School system for a refresher course!

And finally, I think we should concede with great admiration that the Seattle School system is nothing if not consistent. In their citation for the definition of institutional racism they show an admirable challenge to cultural racism itself:
Institutional Racism:
The network of institutional structures, policies, and practices that create advantages and benefits for Whites, and discrimination, oppression, and disadvantages for people from targeted racial groups. The advantages created for Whites are often invisible to them, or are considered “rights” available to everyone as opposed to “privileges” awarded to only some individuals and groups.

Source: Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, 1197 eds. Adams, Bell & Griffin
Remember this - demanding accuracy is tyranny. 1997? 1197? It would only make a difference to a WASPish, grasping, cultural imperialist who wanted to check a reference (an example of cultural intolerance itself, as Ward Churchill has explained so eloquently).

Oh, yeah. This shouldn't be funny, but it is. SC&A rant (new blog) about immigration nuttiness:
When the Irish Catholics came off the boat in New York, escaping from famine and certain death, high minded Americans beat the crap out of them because the freakin' Catholic papist evil bastards were going to ruin the country.

When the Italians and the Jews got off the boat in New York, there were those who met them at the docks and welcomed them with baseball bats- literally. Why? Because the damn Jews and more papist evil bastards Italians were going to ruin America.
It's true. But on the other hand, there is a limited number of immigrants that the country can absorb. All I want is for people who come to be able to get schooling, buy houses and get a chance to be full Americans. I also don't want people who get their hands dirty for a living to be swamped by a wave of immigration that devalues their labor. There's a lot of work in the US, and IMO almost all of the Hispanics coming in are an asset to the country. They have good values and they are nice people. But if we need their labor we must offer them a legal status - otherwise they will be used as leverage against other workers in an unfair way, because they cannot organize, don't have job mobility and are unlikely to go to the police.

During the earlier waves of immigration, some things were different. For one: American was not the plagued with the hundreds of thousands of college professors, journalists, and entertainers who take it as their life mission to undercut the society of which they are a part.

The endless propaganda emanating from this class of people acts as a strong negative toward any kind of assimilation or integration.
...I meant "not then plagued"...
Yes - once the poor immigrant learns English, the shock must be fierce. You'd think some of them would want to flee the insanity!

I think the illegal aliens are, on average, far more productive that some of these college professors. For one thing, they don't advocate mass murder generally.
Having a future time orientation is pretty well essential when it comes to studying for a test or writing a paper. So are tests and papers now things of the racist past in the Seattle School System? This is reason # 542 I don't plan to ever live in a blue state.
Those who don't acquire a "future time orientation" are vastly overrepresented in the prison population too.

You don't know whether to laugh or to cry, do you? I was imagining some poor teacher being accused of racism for telling students to plan ahead with regard to studying for tests and paper assignments!
"Future time orientation..."

You know the difference between a man and an animal? That's a big part of it, along with the ability to think in abstractions instead of feelings.

Intelligent beings can conceive the future and how their actions can influence it, both for themselves and in general. They can "look ahead" to results and consequences.

Animals are mostly-to-entirely present-oriented, living entirely in the Now, motivated by wants, needs, and feelings instead of abstractions or "future time orientations".

Want. Get. Now. Simple.

Animals, not people.

We Are Devo.

The Headless Unicorn Guy

(Came up with this insight while watching Beavis & Butthead many years ago and realizing that B&B were two-legged animals, not people. They may have been human once....)

(Check out the early chapters of the book Gifts of the Jews by Thomas Cahill(?) for another image of the same -- two-legged animals howling in rut on the steps of a ziggurat.)
Interesting that you bring up the Jews - the Jewish innovation was to accumulate law and written history that documented cause and effect playing out not just over the moment but over centuries. They created a new dimension of "future time orientation" which of course is the foundation of the Christian tradition also.

The Jews keep getting whacked for it, though. They keep telling dictators and utopians "That won't work!" It's so offensive that they keep getting killed for daring to succeed.

Do you think that I could write the Seattle Public school system and advise them that criticizing a "future time orientation" is anti-Semitic?

Abstract moral codes in religions are codifications of really long skeins of cause and effect which play out over generations. It's evenly explicitly stated in the Decalogue - i.e. "the sins of the fathers". These codes of behavior are anything but irrational - they are supremely rational and pragmatic. But these are insights and rules which cannot necessarily be proved by one lifetime's experience. Thus wondrously rational philosophies have risen and fallen while the great religions have continued to grow, thrive and bear fruit.

Not surprisingly, the rage against that "constricting" view of the universe is causing a new wave of anger at religions that contain abstract moral codes. Those who live in the moment find history and law an unbearable burden, and so they must reject moral systems.

Abstractly stated, perhaps that was the burden that Jesus lifts from our shoulders. "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest." In grace we find the strength to bear the burden of full consciousness and conscientious living. It's a burden that man has always found it hard to bear alone.
The Seattle schools' claim that prizing individual initiative or individual rights is "racist" is insulting to budding entrepreneurs, civil libertarians, and free market enthusiasts. It is kooky in the extreme.

Their claim that racism can only be committed by a white towards a minority is contrary to federal law, which recognizes that members of one minority group can victimize members of another minority group, and that whites can be victims of racism.

In City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989), the Supreme Court held that a white contractor was subjected to racial discrimination by a city's affirmative action plan.

In Bowen v. Missouri (2002), the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a white woman could sue for racist harassment by a black co-worker.

In Taxman v. Board of Education (1996), the Third Circuit held that a white woman could sue after being laid off instead of a black co-worker.

And school systems have been held liable under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for allowing black students to harass and bully Asian students.

The Seattle school district and its resident race demagogue and bully, Race Relations director Caprice Hollins, are racist, ignorant of federal law and kooky to boot.
"Kooky in the extreme" sums it up nicely.

Implicit in all such catalogues is the idea that behavioral standards are relative, depending upon the group to which the observer assigns the doer.

And it is a doctrine of education schools everywhere that racism cannot be committed by a member of an oppressed group, but only a member of a historically oppressing group.

In other words, if Chief No-Nag (brown-skinned) wants to tear around a university announcing that all white people are fundamentally inferior and morally deficient, that's allowed, and indeed no white should be allowed to contradict him. That's the standard accepted amongst the Marxist-derived academic circles who make a living off this stuff, and they adhere to it with passion.

Needless to say, Chief No-Nag considers such thinking dangerous in the extreme. His main reason for coming to the states was because of the rule of law, and he becomes very angry with those who want to destroy it. He knows of his own experience what the results of such a mindset are in practice - violence, murder, sorrow and economic destruction.

But this is not what is taught in America's "progressive" school systems and universities.
Interesting that you bring up the Jews - the Jewish innovation was to accumulate law and written history that documented cause and effect playing out not just over the moment but over centuries.

Which is the entire point of Cahill's book; that the "Gift of the Jews" -- the Torah, the concept of One God, and Linear Time -- was what enabled us to "Transcend the Animal".

(The scene of animals howling in rut on the steps of the ziggurat is a scene where he tells of the world before the Jews.)

The Headless Unicorn Guy
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