Reveal, a C-list NPR program with a sort of intersectionally woke/hotep bent, recently ran an episode on high school education. One of this episode’s segments followed efforts to apply integrated woke racial theory at Berkeley High School, including discussions of why the student body was resegregating along racial lines under the auspices of the school’s five parallel but separate academic tracks (separate but equal?) and how white students can be allies without being, like, obnoxious and offensive about it (something Stalin might have asked Roosevelt and Churchill during the war, too, but whatever). As Ali G always said, Integration: what is it all about? And freedom of association: what is that all about? Is it good, or is it wack? Perhaps the problem is that both of these are both at once.
Normally, woke NPR is some of the worst NPR, for blindingly White reasons, but Reveal seems to be run by people who have actual ghetto or barrio backgrounds, or at least social contacts in these neighborhoods, and are too hotep to believe that all problems in poor minority neighborhoods are Whitey’s fault. They avoid many of the pitfalls of the ally that way, and it’s a blessed thing when so much of NPR’s A list tries so hard. In this particular case, the segment on woke racial ally studies in Berkeley wasn’t just less atrocious than it would have been under the narration of the House Voice, but also a gale-force gust of fresh air (TM) after the horror show of a segment preceding it, the one following the fight between the Whitey and La Raza locals in Texas over precious admissions slots at UT and A&M.
This segment was one of the rare cases where I’m confident in saying without qualification that everything within reach has been ruined by white people. No, I’m not kidding, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating, either. Reveal followed two high school co-eds from the Dallas area. One of these is the improbably named Genesis Morales, a graduate of the even more improbably named Bryan Adams High School in Dallas proper. Ain’t no use in complainin’ about that, except that Bryan Adams the American high school is understaffed and underfunded in a way that Bryan Adams, OC OBE, etc., the Canadian signer of songs, is not. More bizarrely, Wikipedia tells me that the Bryan Adams commemorated by this school, with its textbook-to-student ratio in the range of 1:20, was a local school administrator more fully named William Jennings Bryan Adams. Jimmy quit, Jody got married, and they crucified man on that cross of gold, but at least it’s been designated a leadership academy. #WINNING. The other schoolgirl profiled by Reveal, the problematic one, is the all too probably named Grayson Rutherford, from Dallas County’s noted Highland Park Whitey Rancheria. Instead of a textbook shortage, Highland Park High has hella gifted student programming, free laptop gibs for its students, and its own planetarium. But there totally isn’t any sort of funding inequity problem in Texas public education. Let not your heart be troubled, white girl.
Is it inherently problematic to be a white girl named Grayson? No. Is it inherently problematic to be a white girl named Grayson who attends a grotesquely overfunded public school in a gerrymandered district, is a fourth-year softball letterman as well as a member of MUN (cue jackoff motion) and a founder of a Young Democrats club, and can’t name from memory all of the seventeen universities to which she has applied? Hell yes. Grayson mentioned that all these relatives of hers went to Harvard and her family is wicked down with college life, so she feels that she should go to a prestigious school, too, maybe the University of Texas, and maybe the state of Texas should rejig its automatic admissions promise to the top ten percent of every high school graduating class to let in more of Whitey, but she’s a good Democrat, so she hesitated to cut to the chase and was sure to throw a policy bone to La Raza and the Community.
Why the fuck are these people infesting my country’s main left-wing party? There was a time when the Democratic Party claimed a sincere desire to transcend this racially-tinged bourgeois privilege horseshit, but look at it now. I concur with the original Starr Report: Good God, y’all. This chick Grayson needs to outcompete everyone else in the Red Queen’s Race for college admissions so that she doesn’t get stuck at one of her safety schools, but she’s a Democrat. It’s unbelievable no matter how many times it rears its head. What will it take for this country to have a real left-wing party instead of a bourgeois supremacist center-right party of grasping technocratic overlord wannabes constantly running Nixon-goes-to-China interference on behalf of the avowedly right-wing party, its nominal enemy? My dad’s cousin went to Harvard so I deserve to go to Harvard is now a Democratic Party position. It’s never, say, my dad’s cousin has a shack tenant who shits in a trash can, so I deserve to have a milquetoast little bitch shitting in a trash can in a junkyard of my own.
The Grayson Rutherfords of this country are worse than old money–far worse, in fact–because they’re implacably convinced that they live in a meritocracy. Old money at least tends towards concessions that the system is rigged in their favor and so it’s only fair to give the poors a break now and then. These merely upper-middle-class new money types are convinced that they’re the rightful winners in a true meritocracy because they (or their children) maintain unreal GPA’s in the 4.1-4.2 range, which could only possibly be the fruit of hard work. A couple of decades ago, a GPA above 4.0 would have been impossible and unthinkable. No one expected the system to consider, let alone reward, academic performance that by some supposedly objective measurement came to 105 or 110%. A student might have perfect academic performance, but certainly not better-than-perfect performance. That wasn’t the sort of thing that teachers and administrators considered appropriate to reward. They expected their students to make some mistakes in their coursework. They expected their coursework to be too rigorous for large numbers of students to get 100% right on the first try. Many of them explicitly believed this to be one of the purposes of education.
What’s happening now is that frightened helicopter parents are extorting extreme grade inflation from schoolteachers and administrators on behalf of their harried children. Basically, we’ll make your work life hell if you don’t give Taylor straight A’s, and with luck we’ll get you fired, too. None of this means that the coursework is worth a pot of shit educationally. Rigorous chemistry tests often have class averages in the sixties because (duh) they’re fucking hard. It would be easier to memorize lists of women Bill Clinton and Jack Kennedy fucked and then regurgitate them on a Scantron form, but there’d be no point. That’s modern American public education, though. More or less, although not as fun. We’re far too self-serious to contemplate “up against the wall, signora, if you have five minutes.” Muvigga. Affluent parents and their captured school staff are hazing their children, then telling them that because they didn’t totally collapse in the face of the hazing they deserve high-end college and graduate educations and well-paid careers as their reward. Again, they are explicitly telling young people that they are better than perfect, with the half-concealed threat that they had better be better than perfect or they won’t deserve a job that allows them to make ends meet after they graduate.
This is not a fucking meritocracy. I’ve worked in meritocracies on farm crews. We weren’t hundred percent winners at picking blueberries or suckering grape vines. People in highly skilled lines of work–physicians, surgeons, computer programmers, aerospace engineers–sure as hell aren’t 110 % winners 110% of the time. No one with a lick of sense and honesty expects such a thing. The problem is that MBA’s infest productive enterprises and proclaim, or demand, 110% rockstar performances that crush the shit out of life and go around firing those who don’t either deliver or (probably more often) successfully parrot the party line about everyone being a supercharged Chad Kroeger. Without a doubt this is related to the crazymaking boiler room of competitive American education today. Jump through this set of hoops for the rest of your school and work life or you’ll end up living under a freeway overpass. I don’t think I’m amiss to believe that these assholes have made it much harder for me to get work that it would be under a truly meritocratic hiring process.
All the campus carrying-on about “safe spaces” and the “triggering” of ubiquitous “trauma” is probably in large part a displaced reaction to this faux-meritocratic hazing. It’s politically edgy to demand shelter from helicopter parents and Glengarry Glen Ross workplaces–that’s too woke–so the kids demand shelter from less politically powerful elements instead. Like, some rando at that frat house raped me over the weekend while we were both drunk to hell and super horny, but I’m totally down with whatever the administrators are looting and extorting to feather their own beds.
The other chick profiled by Reveal, Genesis Morales, had a pretty damned sympathetic story by comparison. She was attracted to UT and A&M for a while but ended up accepting a slot at Texas Women’s University, within an hour’s drive of her parents’ house, in large part on account of her father’s failing health. This is the decision-making process of a responsible adult. She was concerned that she’d be high-hatted to death at UT or A&M, too, which was probably reasonable, because there are some shit-ass preppy assholes on prestigious campuses. Traveling hundreds or thousands of miles away from home in pursuit of a perfect university experience is a luxury that only the affluent are sheltered and idealistic enough to think they can afford. You have to be a socially climbing asshole not to think that kin and community ties are worth something.
May I be transracially Chicano now? That might help me get farm jobs, in addition to sparing me the embarrassment of association with my own people. H Rap Brown shouldn’t have worried about the brothers loving that honky to death; we honkies love each other to death quite effectively without any outside help. If any of my off-race contacts want to be allies, though, please be aggressive allies. There are areas in which we badly need less deference and more shit, white boy.