nobody cares, work harder
I feel increasingly like I’m surrounded by competing moral panics and prefer to just opt out of the panic war altogether. I don’t see how to get invested in this CRT issue without getting sucked into one moral panic or another. I do think the anti CRT hysteria is a moral panic. Yeah I get it, there are some repugnant things that could be taught under a true CRT-dictated curriculum but just no part of me actually believes that my kids are going to be taught any of this in a disciplined way. I really do think that things will mostly go on same as they ever were, with most of school being watered down basics aimed at a level some common denominator of kids can get, with some teachers teaching some weird shit (which they ALWAYS HAVE, just usually from a markedly dishonest pro american exceptionalism perspective) that will probably not really stick with most kids anyway. Their main influence will continue to be their own pop culture which is now social media. This honestly reminds me of the sex ed panic that happened when I was in school myself. My own parents opted me out so that I wouldn’t have the school overriding their parenting. Guess what, didn’t work - I had sex before marriage, use birth control and support abortion and gay people. I mean maybe my parents were reacting to some genuinely weird stuff going on in some parts of the curriculum or training, but overall teaching kids about sex and making condoms available didn’t turn kids into sex maniacs and it did lower the teen pregnancy rate and make gay kids more accepted. I just see the most likely path of “CRT” influence in curriculum not as a bunch of white kids feeling suicidal over whiteness, but just a generally more racially progressive curriculum which I don’t see as a bad thing over all, or at the least neutral compared with curriculums historically.
To be fair I also see the hysteria over white supremacy in our current culture as a bit of a moral panic as well. Not that racism isn’t real or anything like that. It is and it continues to harm people and cause inequalities. But the focus on language and micro aggressions and the “safety” of the highest economic and social class of people in their elite institutions is absolutely a moral panic.
I really hate Twitter. It has absolutely made liberals its bitch. It's basically an Evangelical church for the Left. The toxic social incentives are strikingly similar.
So Dems, get the fuck outta there and start talking to average people (of all races and genders) if you want to start winning again.
The "that isn't AcKSHuaLLy CRT" defense, so popular on Twitter, was strangely ineffective with actual voters in Virginia for some mysterious reason. Some blue check strategist might want to dig deeper on that one.
I caved and became a paid subscriber just to comment here:
There are two possible explanations for why Progressives keep doing this tap dance. The first one is, as you describe, is for their own self-glorification. The second is because they realize that CRT is bad news (kinda like Defund the Police) and feel the need to defend themselves without actually changing their policy positions.
What you'd hear from Progressives after George Floyd is "Defund the Police doesn't REALLY mean defunding the police..." (meanwhile there were plenty of people who meant: nope, we mean defund and abolish the police). Same thing here: "There is no CRT/intersectionality in schools!" (meanwhile there is plenty of evidence that both are either taught directly, or used as frameworks).
The solution is the same in both cases: put or or shut up. Put up, meaning justify your position and not lie about it (or at least lie about it better, as Republicans seem to do), or: shut up and stop saying stupid things. My guess is neither will happen; self-denial pulls powerfully on humans and resisting it is tough for political movements, especially radical ones.
As I said elsewhere vis-a-vis the "CRT is akshually..." thing: the left, or at least that part of it, has gotten too used to Motte and Bailey defenses. It helps them control territory in academia, because there's an expectation of honest debate, and debating the motte is supposed to be hard.
But -- to extend the metaphor, which doesn't always work, but I think does here -- Republican politicians come to academia as raiders, not conquerors. Their objective is to plunder the bailey for the juiciest quotes and clips, and their goals and interests mean they suffer no penalty for ignoring the motte entirely. Those whining impotently from within the motte have simply forgotten how to fight on an open field against an enemy whose incentives are so different from their own.
There's some truth to the notion that Chris Rufo was one individual who drove a major shift in the political landscape across the country. Why would someone whine about that instead of learning lessons from his success to apply to their own preferred cause?
Why has Rufo succeeded? He started with a message that resonated with a lot of people, practiced strong message discipline, and used the power of slogans to his advantage.
It's easy to contrast that to something like BLM, which had #1 and #3 working in its favor, but lost its way on #2 and blunted its impact despite infinitely greater resources than Rufo.
Reminds me of Obama et al constantly complaining about McConnell obstructing bills, blocking the Supreme Court nomination, etc. Like, yeah, fuck the GOP. But complaining about process doesn't so anything, you gotta actually win at some point
Is this to some extent an appeal to the HR/university administrators/tech companies that many seem to want to set up as arbiters of what's true and what isn't? I feel like this is part of the general trend of labelling something as 'misinformation' in the hope that Facebook or whoever will ban it.
I think you're onto someone. The other day I saw a plumbers van and on the back were "All Lives Matter" "Police Lives Matter" and "Trump 2020" bumper stickers. That guy is obviously one of those conservatives who are motivated by a respect for authority. As was traditionally the case with the left being anti-authoritarian.
These days however it seems like a libertarian disrespect for authority has spread on the right while the those on the left are beholden to a certain received wisdom. It goes along with the "front of the class" aspect of the current debate. If they've been taught something in a formal setting it's true and accepted without question. I think we've all known super eager students who are really into whatever they've just been taught.
I know who Tom Scocca is. But, I think one of my first awarenesses of a generational divide was being perplexed about Tom Scocca.
'What it the purpose of a Tom Scocca?'
'What does a Tom Scocca do?'
'Why does a Tom Scocca exist?'
A Tom Scocca is stridently Left wing, is ironic and smug, has lots of takes, and somehow manages to get attention by riding social media churn and injecting themselves, at least tangentially, into the news cycle.
That said, Tom Scocca writing isn't good and Tom Scocca takes aren't that interesting or thoughtful. There's the standard flavor of Gawker alum commentary written from the perch of the keen observer. But the observer isn't that keen. And often writing from the burned out husk of some decrepit zombie legacy media property burning bucks from some tech oligarch or dead tech oligarch's wife.
The meta-irony with the Gawker alum is that the mean spirited irony if not malevolence has been turned back on them. 'So you thought you were going to have a cool career? Lol.'
It's crazy to me that so many people / media outlets are saying CRT isn't real and isn't in K-12 settings, when it most certainly is both.
Two NYT articles today about the recent lessons for Dems failed to mention anything about CRT, anti-racism, DEI training, wokeness etc. Neither of my (short, civil) comments pointing out this apparent oversight were approved by moderators, despite them approving many similar ones yesterday.
Is anyone else a NYT subscriber and seeing the comments about race, wokeness, etc. missing from today's articles? It's almost as if an internal memo went out that they are going to double-down on the gaslighting that CRT is not real and that wokeness is not a problem for Dems. Trying not to be too paranoid or conspiratorial here, but it has me wondering...
It does seem like they imagine that if you say racism enough, the ref will come by and give the other person a red card. You only have to keep saying "racism." It's funny because it doesn't even work that way in sports. Sometimes the player rolls around on the ground all he wants and the ref doesn't give his opponent a red card.
Side note, I read an old style thinkpiece years ago, from before we were absolutely overloaded with thinkpieces, about how maybe the detached authority of refs in most american sports is a bad image for kids to see, and euro kids are better prepared for life by watching soccer refs, who can't even pretend they're catching every bad thing going on or making scientifically correct calls.
I just checked this page now and otherwise have a general anon-nobody Twitter account but wondered why I couldn’t read this sub-thread on Twitter. Why would a blue-check block a random nobody like me?
Then I came here and saw the tweet in the picture and recognized it as the one I gave a:
“After reading this article now I can’t un-think why Dems didn’t just drop CRT to undercut the Right’s (rare) success with CRT-framing” and I had linked your article (as it wasn’t my original thought); but was blocked for even linking you!
You solved both the mystery of “why did this stranger block me” AND also happened to have written an article on the exact Twitter thread I couldn’t access!
The 'rise of Christopher Rufo' is kinda a testament to how dense Republicans are. They found themselves in a situation where the vast majority of Americans agree with them on something and it actually took them years to figure out how to use it. Eventually some sharper-than-your-average-Trump-fan guy got on Fox News and gave everyone a tutorial and now they finally have a crude but effective hammer. God only knows what they could do if they ever started approaching these issues with any real sophistication.
Is this the same guy who wrote the article that was like "I don't think people have genetic differences, if you do you're a phrenologists, but also like duh of course people have genetic differences.
CRT has gotten all the social media heat.
However, what probably sunk the Dems was an incoherent COVID policy, failure to make it appear that anyone was working competently to mitigate supply chain issues, the interminable foot dragging with getting schools open, and worsening inflation which is best understood as a wealth transfer.
Whether a Tom Scocca would have anything interesting to say on those issues of much greater societal importance is irrelevant because of what a Tom Scocca is.