TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2023
...a favorite Quaker fought back: Down through the annals of time, the forces of which we speak are undefeated.
We speak of tribal True Belief. We speak of the power of Dumb.
Our story starts with an accurate statement made by Kevin Drum. Alas! When Drum made a perfectly accurate statement, our tribal spear-chuckers fought back.
Drum's statement concerned the actual text of Florida's childishly-named Stop W.O.K.E. Act. Writing in yesterday's Washington Post, reporter Brittany Shammas had paraphrased the provision in question in the standard blue tribe way.
According to Shammas, the famous act had decreed "[t]hat instruction should be tailored so no student would feel guilt or 'psychological distress' over past actions by members of the same race."
According to Drum, that formulation is wrong. Specifically, Kevin wrote this:
DRUM (9/25/23): This is a myth that won't die. Florida law only bars teachers from telling students they must feel guilt over historical events...The law says nothing about "tailoring" history instruction to make sure that no one is ever uncomfortable.
In fact, Drum had made an accurate statement. As has happened down through the annals of time, the boldly anonymous tribal Furies quickly began to fight back.
For starters, let's get clear on the basic facts. Way back on September 7, Drum had actually quoted the relevant part of the law!
He'd produced an actual quotation! (Can you remember behavior like that?) Clear as a warning bell in the night, the proviso in question says this:
A person should not be instructed that he or she must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress for actions, in which he or she played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.
That's what the proviso actually says. That said, the paraphrase offered by Shammas is completely standard among forces of our own (failing) blue tribe.
As we began to note during Campaign 2000, paraphrase is hard! That said, it's perfectly clear that the law in question actually says what Drum has now said that it says:
It says that kids shouldn't be taught or told that they must feel guilt about things other people did in the past.
More specifically, it says they shouldn't be taught that they must feel guilt about such people's horrible conduct just because they're members of the same so-called "race."
That's what the ballyhooed law actually says. In a slightly more rational world, discussion of the law's wisdom, or of the law's alleged effects, would proceed from there.
That is what would happen in theory, in a slightly more rational world. In practice, what has happened in our world is this:
Every Tribal (and his or her crazy aunt or uncle) has paraphrased the relevant provision of the law in the way the Post reporter did.
In comment threads, our Tribals anonymously stand and shout about how vile their paraphrase of the provision is. We never get around to saying what the provision actually says.
In comments to Kevin's new post, you can see the tribals do this. One of our long-time favorites—a Quaker no less!—even marched off to war saying this:
QUAKERINBASEMENT: Somerby has been grinding this same axe for the last week or two...
Self-identified Quaker, please! Actually, we've been calling attention to this matter for something like the past year.
We've been "grinding this same axe" for well over two weeks! But as we noted in a reply, "Somerby has been grinding this same axe for the last week or two" actually means this:
Somerby has been grinding this same axe for the last week or two.
Somerby has been making this same accurate statement for the last week or two.
That's what the Quaker's statement meant. The problem is, at times of war, all accurate statements must die.
Warning! If you read through the angry replies to Drum's heresy, you'll encounter a large amount of Scripted / Dumb / Stupid / Unhelpful.
A lot of people will be saying what the provision actually "means." A lot of people will be explaining how the provision has allegedly affected Florida teachers.
Because the great god Stupid is in charge, the obvious point won't occur to these yokels:
The best way to produce such bad effects is to repeatedly misparaphrase what the provision in question actually says—to keep misstating the basic facts about what the provision forbids.
Alas! All of us are currently living in a time of war. For that reason, our tribals insist on overstating what the Florida law actually says.
In doing so, we insist on drumming a misapprehension into everyone's head. This is very stupid behavior, but as we noted above, the great gods known as Anger, Dumb and Tribal Belief are undefeated down through the annals of time.
The great god Stupid rules our tribals much as he rules theirs. One anonymous Quaker, locked in a basement, is eager to march off to war!
The last century's greatest anthropologist described this syndrome with admirable precision. He came to us in humble garb, proceeded to offer this:
Where I come from, we just talk for a little while. After that, we start to hit.
We start to hit at accurate statements! We don't have time for accurate statements. We want our favorite war cries.
Drum reported what the law in question says. Back on September 7, he actually quoted the relevant provision!
Yesterday, he began to grind the same axe. As always, the undefeated and mighty god Dumb quickly took over from there.
Tomorrow: A different manifestation
This afternoon: More from Drum's September 7 post