TUESDAY, APRIL 4, 2023
Florida culture war ends: Last evening, UConn defeated San Diego State in a national championship basketball clash spoiled by the failure to taunt the losing team after the game was over.
In a related matter, Kevin Drum has called attention to a dual headline from The Guardian. As you can see in Drum's post, The Guardian's headlines say this:
Ruby Bridges: how a 90s Disney movie about racism caused a culture war
A 1998 movie about school segregation has led to a white mother worrying about her child feeling guilty about racism
Drum's thoroughly sensible point is this. It's amazing to see what some news orgs will describe as "a culture war" at this point in time.
For our money, the most instructive part of Drum's post involves the dull-witted reactions of fiery commenters from our own blue tribe.
In truth, there has been very little definitive reporting about the actual outlook of the "white mother" who stated a view about the appropriate use of the film in this matter. On the whole, Drum's fiery, highly self-assured commenters don't seem to have noticed this fact.
Instead, self-assured commenters describe this person as a white jerk—as a privileged, stupid Karen who is advancing a white supremacist grievance against uppity blacks. They describe her as a poor little snowflake whose complaint is "just another variation of exactly the same story as is in the film."
They simply assume that they understand the substance of her suggestion / complaint. Reading their comments, we think again of how amazingly unsophisticated our self-impressed blue tribe often is. Also, of the way our non-artificial human intelligence tends to run on the rocket fuel known as preferred Storyline.
According to the Tampa Bay Tribune, the film in question has been cleared for continued use, including with second graders, at the Florida grade school in question. The following comment strikes us as well-intentioned but not especially insightful:
SOLOCHEK (4/3/23): “It demonstrates that here in St. Petersburg, all of American history is important to be taught to our scholars,” [Terri] Lipsey Scott said outside the school. “It saddens me that we even had to have a meeting.”
What a shame that we had to pay attention to someone else's view! Meanwhile, all of American history should be taught and presented to all our "scholars?" Even to first and second graders?
Surely, no one could really believe that. And yet, we've seen such comments, again and again and again and again, whenever our tribe makes its latest attempt to discuss such matters. This is a striking example of the way human (not artificial) intelligence tends to run on memorized script and internalized Storyline.
Later in the report, the school board's vice chair gives voice to the type of mature reaction which is rarely on display in the comments to Drum's post. This is what she said:
SOLOCHEK: [Laura] Hine, the school board’s vice chairperson, said she was pleased that the district process for reviewing challenged materials worked properly. She said she was proud of North Shore, where her children attend, for demonstrating that the procedure can be done fairly and democratically.
She said the school’s second grade parents have taken the needed next step, reaching out to [Emily] Conklin to let her know that they respect her voice and welcome her family.
“Our society has got to come to a place where we can have a conversation, disagree and then stand together,” Hine said.
In that way, Hine threw a bone to the white supremacist Karen. In the comments to Drum's post, a rather familiar type of mob was running through the streets.