SATURDAY, APRIL 24, 2021
Our Town expiates its guilt: Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs of the New York Times is basically just a kid—a cub reporter.
He's completing his second year out of college (Cornell, class of 2019). He may not know any better.
He may not even have written the copy we're going to show you. Who knows? It may have come from some editor.
At any rate, Bogel-Burroughs was listed as the writer of a major report in print editions of yesterday's New York Times. The youngster is the reporter of record. As such, the striking deception found in this copy tracks to his name alone:
BOGEL-BURROUGHS (4/23/21): On Thursday, the Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy for Mr. Wright to a grieving family and city. He said he was told that Minneapolis had not seen a funeral procession so large since Prince, the musician who was born and raised in Minneapolis, had died in 2016.
“Well, we came to bury the prince of Brooklyn Center,” Mr. Sharpton said, standing before a white coffin that was covered in red roses. “We come from all over the country because you hurt one of our princes.”“You thought he was just some kid with an air freshener,” Mr. Sharpton said. “He was a prince, and all of Minneapolis has stopped today to honor the prince of Brooklyn Center.”
Mr. Wright was killed during a traffic stop for an expired registration, during which a police officer also noted the air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror as an additional violation. His death, during the Chauvin trial, set off a wave of protests in Brooklyn Center that lasted for more than a week.
“You thought he was just some kid with an air freshener,” Mr. Sharpton said. “He was a prince, and all of Minneapolis has stopped today to honor the prince of Brooklyn Center.”
We've long been fans of Sharpton. He's smarter than the average bear. Beyond that, he has a superlative sense of humor. We've seen him use it, for many years and in various settings, in humane and helpful ways.
That said, Sharpton also seems to be conning us rubes in the current circumstance. Consider:
The underlined passages in Bogel-Burroughs' copy constitute a serious act of deception. This deception plays an obvious role in the rapidly disintegrating world which pervades the streets of Our Town.
The late Daunte Wright was still very young—and young people make lots of mistakes. The same excuse from youth can be extended to Bogel-Burroughs, but his editors, assuming that any such people exist, seem to have made a choice:
In what way is that copy deceptive? Townie, please!
On the day he was shot and killed, Daunte Wright wasn't being arrested for an expired registration and misplaced air fresheners. He was being arrested on the basis of an outstanding warrant for serious alleged criminal conduct.
The warrant had been issued because Wright had failed to appear for a scheduled court date. Young people makes lots of mistakes, but the back-story isn't attractive.
Real news orgs have reported these elementary facts, if perhaps a bit apologetically. We'll offer some links below.
The New York Times still refuses to tell you what happened that day, and before. This refusal should be shocking, but let's be honest—it isn't..
In a rational world, it would be shocking to see an institution like the Times behave in such an egregious way. But that would be in a rational world.
In our world, the New York Times has long behaved as what it is—a very dumb upper-class newspaper which lost its way long ago.
You really can't believe the things you read in the New York Times. We plan to discuss these matters next week, though the overall breakdown is so vast within the news org of Our Town that it will be hard to do the current topic justice.
The current topic would be this:
Our Town's "elites" have almost completely lost their way as they seek to expiate their guilt concerning matters of race.
For the record, their guilt is extremely well earned. To help you understand that fact, we direct you to a recent report in the pages of New York magazine.
The recent non-report report concerns, or rather fails to concern, the current state of the New York City Public Schools. The report was written by Clare Malone, who seems bereft of any knowledge about any such low-income schools.
A sensible person won't blame Malone for the things she doesn't know. Someone assigned her to write this report about the New York City Public Schools—more specifically, about Richard Carranza, the school system's outgoing superintendent.
Almost surely, the person who gave Malone that assignment also doesn't know squadoosh about low-income schools. Simply put, our elites don't care about low-income schools, or about the millions of good, decent kids who attend them every day.
Our "elites" don't care—and it shows.
Malone is older than Bogel-Burroughs. She's eleven years out of college (Georgetown, class of 2009).
That said, she's only been at New York magazine for a matter of months. We see nothing in her previous work—most recently, at 538; before that, at The American Prospect—to suggest that she has ever written about low-income schools, or about public schools at all.
She has no background in the area. In her recent report, it shows.
If you care about black kids, you'll find that fact annoying. That said, there's a very good chance that you don't.
In her report, Malone repeats the standard claim that the New York City Public Schools "is among the country’s most segregated educational systems."
As evidence, she links to a prior report in New York magazine in which that (familiar) claim is never made.
In fairness to Malone, she's read that pleasing claim a thousand times in the New York Times. She doesn't know what a hall of mirrors she'll be heading down if she clicks on that newspaper's links, trying to learn what that claim even means or whether the claim is accurate.
Malone is churning standard copy when she makes that familiar claim. We'resorry, but it's the kind of claim the Times likes to make to hide the fact that they don't actually care.
That said, the truly egregious passage in Malone's report is the passage shown below. Dulce et decorum est, as the horrified poet once said:
MALONE (4/13/21): Carranza, charming and idealistic, was hired with the explicit agenda to make the schools more integrated and to fix the racial achievement gap. His supporters hailed him as an “equity warrior.” He grew up speaking Spanish in a working-class Mexican American household in Tucson and understood that schools could reproduce inequality as easily as they could provide opportunity...
Carranza was hired "to fix the racial achievement gap?" It isn't Malone's fault that she was assigned to write about this topic. But it's hard to imagine that any writer could ever create a statement that's dumber than that.
Malone knows nothing about the size of those achievement gaps. She knows nothing about this important matter because, at the New York Times, they've long agreed that Our Town must never be asked to think about so unpleasant a topic.
The New York Times refuses to discuss the size of those gaps. That too is one of the ways the Times attempts to expiate or assuage its well-earned guilt.
But this is ugly, evil work, in which children are sent, through this massive act of group silence, to the region below the bus. On the other hand, it's just a bunch of "black" kids, so who really cares about them?
More than fifty years ago Jonathan Kozol wrote this at the start of a high-profile book:
KOZOL (page 1): Stephen is eight years old. A picture of him standing in front of the bulletin board on Arab bedouins shows a little light-brown person staring with unusual concentration at a chosen spot upon the floor. Stephen is tiny, desperate, unwell. Sometimes he talks to himself. He moves his mouth as if he were talking. At other times he laughs out loud in class for no apparent reason. He is also an indescribably mild and unmalicious child. He cannot do any of his school work very well. His math and reading are poor. In Third Grade he was in a class that had substitute teachers much of the year. Most of the year before that, he had a row of substitute teachers too. He is in the Fourth Grade now but his work is barely at the level of the Second. Nobody has complained about the things that have happened to Stephen because he does not have any mother or father.
So Kozol began. Stephen, who was eight years old, was already two years behind. More than fifty years later, it's still clear that no one among the elites in Our Town actually seems to care.
That includes our "civil rights leaders," but it surely includes the New York Times, which seeks to expiate its guilt 1) by refusing to tell you why Daunte Wright was being arrested; 2) by refusing to discuss the size and the meaning of those racial achievement gaps; and 3) by offering amazingly mindless reports like this recent confessional groaner (headline included):
HARTOCOLLIS (4/18/21): After a Year of Turmoil, Elite Universities Welcome More Diverse Freshman Classes
Whether college admissions have changed for the long haul remains unclear. But early data suggests that many elite universities have admitted a higher proportion of traditionally underrepresented students this year—Black, Hispanic and those who were from lower-income communities or were the first generation in their families to go to college, or some combination—than ever before.
The gains seem to reflect a moment of national racial and social awareness not seen since the late 1960s that motivated universities to put a premium on diversity and that prodded students to expand their horizons on possible college experiences.
Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay! Based on (extremely) early data, it looks like more black kids will be going to Harvard and Yale!
(How exciting is the early apparent progress? "At N.Y.U., this year’s admitted class is about 29 percent Black or Hispanic students, up from 27 percent last year." So it says in the Times!)
When Malone (and her editor) read the Times, they may not realize that they aren't being told about the vast majority of kids in the New York City Public Schools—about all the kids in Gotham's schools who won't be going to Stuyvesant High, then moving on to Yale.
Malone may not realize that she isn't being told about the size of those achievement gaps. And no! No superintendent is going to arrive on the scene armed with some way to "fix them."
Malone was writing from groaning ignorance, an ignorance she surely share with the editor who assigned her to write that report and then reviewed her copy. But the truth behind this is very important:
Our Town's journalistic elites don't care about the nation's black kids and they never have. To expiate the well-earned guilt they creeps in on their way to the Hamptons, they refuse to tell us the truth about the attempted arrest of Wright, and they try to throw a bunch of Others in jail.
In our view, that passage in Bogel-Burroughs' report points to a remarkable fact. In matters concerning Our Town's racial guilt, The Crazy has finally found us:
Our journalistic elites have now reached Trumpian proportions in their willingness to deny basic facts and basic reality.
It's amazing to see how crazy The Others have become in recent years. But in that remarkable passage by Bogel-Burroughs, a truly remarkable fact has emerged:
The Crazy has finally come for us! More on this topic next week.
Concerning that warrant: Various news orgs have reported the nature of that warrant. The New York Times remains a refusenik.
The Times is sticking with the fresheners. Along with the attempt to claim that no black kid has ever made a mistake, this helps create a cartoonized portrait of the class of people the Times wants to send to jail.