Indoctrinating the Children

I normally pay little heed to the madness which is endemic in my home state, especially in the Puget Sound area, where the insanity of politically-correct multiculturalism is on daily display in all its glorious absurdity. But this little nugget is just too rich to pass up.

From the web site of the Seattle Public Schools:

For the first time, Seattle Public Schools are sending students from four high schools to attend the annual White Privilege Conference, sponsored by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the University of Denver, Teaching Tolerance, Study Circles Resource Center, The Matrix, Center for Judaic Studies, GLSEN, and many more organizations. Speakers include Geneva Gay, Peggy McIntosh, Joy Leary, John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas and many others who are actively engaged in anti-racism … We are very excited about this opportunity for students and teachers to grow and learn together at an intense 3-day conference. In support of increasing student voice related to school reform and equity, funding for students to attend the WPC is provided through the small learning communities grant.

The White Privilege Conference is described on the UCCS web site as follows:

The annual White Privilege Conference (WPC) serves as a yearly opportunity to examine and explore difficult issues related to white privilege, white supremacy and oppression. WPC provides a forum for critical discussions about diversity, multicultural education and leadership, social justice, race/racism, sexual orientation, gender relations, religion and other systems of privilege/oppression [emphasis mine]. WPC is recognized as a challenging, empowering and educational experience. The workshops, keynotes and institutes not only inform participants, but engage and challenge them, while providing practical tips and strategies for combating inequality.

The conference participants and presenters include corporate and non-profit community members, students, educators, activists, musicians and artists. This conference is not about beating up on white folks. This conference is about critically examining the society in which we live and working to dismantle systems of power, prejudice, privilege and oppression.

Sooo, what are the chances that this conference “is not about beating up on white folks?” (Anyone notice a bit of patronizing condescension in the description, “white folks?”) Notice this snippet from a prior year’s conference:

During the civil war, the armies of the Confederacy relied on blacks to cook for the troops and to make the implements of war they would use in battle; and likewise, the Union relied on black soldiers–around 200,000 of them–to ultimately win the war. That too, is most assuredly dependence.

And white dependence on people of color continues to this day. Each year, African Americans spend over $500 billion with white-owned companies: money that goes mostly into the pockets of the white owners, white employees, white stockholders, and white communities in which they live. And yet we say black people need us? We think they are the dependent ones, relying as we assume they do on the paltry scraps of an eviscerated welfare state? Now let \'s just cut the crap. Who would be hurt more: black folks if all welfare programs were shut down tomorrow, or white folks, if blacks decided they were through transferring half-a-trillion dollars each year to white people and were going to keep their money in their own communities?

Or what about the ongoing dependence of white businesses on the exploitation of black labor? Each year, according to estimates from the Urban Institute, over $120 billion in wages are lost to African Americans thanks to discrimination in the labor market. That \'s money that doesn \'t end up in the hands of the folks who earned it, but rather remains in the bank accounts of owners.

Whoa. One could have a field day with the logical flaws in this article alone, but why bother? When your only tool is a hammer, every problem becomes a nail; when all whites (and only whites) are racists, every situation involving whites and other races is viewed through rosy racist glasses.

I for one am glad to know that the proud tradition of engendering white guilt through liberal indoctrination of our children is alive and well. Otherwise, how would we raise the next generation of liberals to amuse us with their abject foolishness and illogical prejudices?

[HT: Orbusmax]

Moving the Ancient Boundaries – III


This is a series on the erosion of moral, cultural, and ethical boundaries in modern society:
 
 ♦ Part 1 — Moving the Ancient Boundaries

 
 ♦ Part 2 — The Rebel & the Victim

 
stone walls

Do not move the ancient boundary stone
   set up by your forefathers.

        — Proverbs 22:28 —

 
In prior posts, we began to examine some of the many ways which a society will evolve and act if it seeks to move the ancient boundaries, to chip away at absolutes, principles, and tradition in order to create a new utopia grounded in narcissism and libertinism. Here, I will continue to illustrate the means whereby an increasingly individualistic and relativistic society, having lost its moorings in faith, absolute principles, and tradition, undermines its own foundations. This post will address the undermining of civil authority and government; the next, the assault on religious authority.
 
 ♦ The Assault on Civil Authority

Authority in Western society serves — at least in theory — the people whom it governs. As embodied in government, it exists to protect, to preserve societal order and norms, and to promote the common good. It functions to protect individual members of society from harm from its renegade members, from natural dangers, such as fire or natural disasters, from large societal upheaval such as riots and civil unrest, and from threats to national security or sovereignty. This authority is embodied in both law and the necessary authorized force to restrain the destructive and centrifugal forces in society and maintain civil order.

But law and legal force alone cannot restrain such evil tendencies, short of enforcing a despotic and tyrannical rule which is the antithesis of democracy and freedom. To function optimally, authority must be based on a shared tradition of self-restraint and ethical behavior, operating under the common denominator that the good of society as a whole outweighs individual desires and priorities — and delegating the enforcement of the common good to those in authority when individual license violates societal norms and standards.

In an age of narcissistic individualism, then, authority must be undermined, for it represents a constraint and impediment to the utopian vision of ultimate human freedom posited in unrestricted individual license. For the individualist, personal gain always trumps the common good. The view of authority in such radical individualism is changed: its goal now primarily — if not exclusively — protection of the individual’s rights, and secondarily, the mitigation of the inevitable consequences of such self-centered behavior. In societies where such individualism becomes preeminent, we see the evolution of authority primarily into the guarantor of autonomy and the guarantee of relief from its effects.
Continue reading “Moving the Ancient Boundaries – III”

Moving the Ancient Boundaries – II


This is a series on the erosion of moral, cultural, and ethical boundaries in modern society:
 
 ♦ Part 1 — Moving the Ancient Boundaries

 
stone wall

Do not move the ancient boundary stone set up
   by your forefathers.

        — Proverbs 22:28 —

 
The societal trend evident today — the gradual and progressive shift from spirituality and faith-based life principles, to scientific secular rationalism, and ultimately to postmodernism, which is the triumph of tribalism, radical individualism, and emotionalism over faith and reason — has many manifestations. The frantic pace of a society filled with countless pressures and endless distractions permits us at best to focus only on the immediate details of our lives — jobs, children, hobbies and activities. Rarely do we take the time to stand back from our culture and society at large to contemplate the profound changes taking place around us. We wake up one day wondering how things have changed so profoundly, with a sense of discomfort over where we are and confusion about where we they are headed.

As our society drifts away from core principles and absolutes established by faith, culture, and tradition, it has done so in a manner which is subtle, yet highly effective. Many of the ways in which this cultural shift has taken place are ancient; many more are a function of a technologically advanced and media-saturated environment. The underlying forces which erode the safeguards which have protected and stabilized society for centuries are not new; they are, however, more rapid and effective in a culture distracted by material wealth, information saturation, and instant gratification.
Continue reading “Moving the Ancient Boundaries – II”

Half-Pint Heroes

This week’s news brought the remarkable story of Wesley Autrey, a 50 year-old Vietnam veteran who jumped in front of a subway train to save a man who had fallen onto the tracks while having a seizure.

18-year-old Cameron Hollowpeter suffered a seizure while Autrey, accompanied by his two daughters, was waiting on the platform for the subway. Hollowpeter fell to the tracks after losing his balance, as an incoming train approached the platform. Autrey jumped down to save him — as his daughters looked on — initially attempting to pull him out, but realizing with split-second judgment that there was insufficient time to extract the still-seizing man from the tracks. He threw himself over Hollowpeter, wrapping him in his body to protect his flailing arms, in the shallow ditch between the electrified rails. The train screeched to a halt after passing overhead with but inches to spare, miraculously leaving both men without serious injury.

True acts of heroism are of course newsworthy, and at once both extraordinary and sobering (would you or I have done what Wes Autrey did?) — and draw a sharp and unflattering contrast with what often passes for heroism in our modern culture.

We hear of heroes daily in the papers and on TV: the fireman who rescues a child from a burning building; the policeman shot in the line of duty; the soldier who throws himself on a grenade to save the lives of his buddies. Such acts are heroism indeed, comprised of its core virtue: the willingness to sacrifice one’s life or well-being for another. We say this although we expect such things of these men and women, for this is their chosen calling and career, one which by its nature places them in harm’s way for the benefit of others.

Cheap heroism seeps deeply into our culture like some toxic effluent, poisoning even simple principled acts with a pretension of greatness.

Yet there is increasingly a class of acts now painted as “heroism” which deserves no such depiction. Such cheap heroes — the civic equivalent of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s cheap grace Christians — seem to grow in number daily. They make no sacrifices, take no risks, suffer no losses when their “heroic” deeds are done. In a society increasing bereft of moral standards and the simplest traits of noble character and integrity, we paint a heroic stamp of approval on increasingly pathetic gestures, gilding our self-serving deeds with a thin gloss of glory.
Continue reading “Half-Pint Heroes”

The Engine of Shame – Pt II

This essay, the second of a two-part series, was originally posted in October 2005.
 
DRGWIn my previous post on guilt and shame, I discussed their nature and differences, their impact on personal and social life, and their instrumentality in much of our individual unhappiness and communal dysfunction. If indeed shame is the common thread of the human condition–fraught as it is with pain, suffering, and evil–it must be mastered and overcome if we are to bring a measure of joy to life and peace to our spirits and our social interactions.

Shame is the most private of personal emotions, thriving in the dark, secluded lairs of our souls. It is the secret never told, the fears never revealed, the dread of exposure and abandonment, our harshest judge and most merciless prosecutor. Yet like the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain is far less intimidating than his booming voice in our subconscious mind.

The power of shame is the secret; its antidote, transparency and grace. Shame thrives in the dark recesses of the mind, where its accusations are amplified by repetition without external reference. Shame becomes self-verifying, as each new negative thought or emotion reinforces the theme that we are rejected and without worth. It is only by allowing the light of openness, trust, and honesty that this vicious cycle may be broken.
 
Continue reading “The Engine of Shame – Pt II”

The Law of Rules

This is a repost of an essay from 2004.
 

In contemporary political discourse, we often discuss the Rule of Law, especially in our postmodern culture where bad behavior is often justified (and excused) by situation, upbringing, or historical injustice. But no one ever talks about the Law of Rules.

Today in the office I reviewed one of Medicare’s bulletins, clarifying (at least in intent, if not in practice) their regulations in some arcane area of reimbursement for surgical procedures. Few outside of the health care field have any idea of the complexity of regulations governing medicine. When last I checked several years ago, Medicare had about 150,000 pages of regulations in the Federal Register, approximately 3 times of the volume of the IRS tax code. American medicine is more highly regulated than Soviet state industry ever was, and getting more so by the day.

Without launching into a diatribe on the evils of government-funded and regulated medicine (perhaps another time), it strikes me that the explosive growth of rules, laws, and regulations in society as a whole is a reflection of an underlying shift in our culture, values, and individual moral integrity.
Continue reading “The Law of Rules”

Thoughts on the Long War


 
My recent post on the importance of clear-sighted understanding of Islam in the turbulence of our present world provided an opportunity to contemplate a number of issues regarding our current long war against those driven by this ideology. It is one thing to say that this is a war of ideas more than military might, or a war of absolutes; it is quite another to create clear understanding and strategy for fighting and winning such war. So I hope here–and perhaps in some subsequent posts–to provide a few thoughts about the current progress of our struggle and some ways which we as a culture must begin to address it.
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Warren Peace

coexist bumper sticker
 
David Warren, in my opinion, is one of the better writers and commentators on the web. His pieces are well-written, concise, and always thought-provoking. His latest piece, called Comparative Religion, nevertheless misses the mark, in my opinion.

The essay begins with an analogy of anger in the blind, using it as a metaphorical segue into a discussion of comparative religion, especially as it relates to Islam. He closes his essay with the following statement:

Today, a great deal of nonsense is spoken about Islam–as ever, especially by its apologists. There is a similar blindness towards a cultural tradition that includes much more than crazed jihadis. It is particularly the religious, the spiritual dimension of Islam that is incomprehensible, not only to observers who have not lived in Muslim lands, but to many “postmodern” Muslims themselves, who \'ve become as blind to “Allah, the merciful, the compassionate,” as Western postmoderns have become to the Christian understanding of He who is Love.

I am not saying there aren \'t many hard, violent passages in the Koran, and Hadiths; nor am I saying these are no better or worse than similar passages in the New Testament, or Dharmapada. For to say this is to ignore fact. But before we stare, at what may seem alien and frightening, and before we let anger make us blind, we must realize that the sincere Muslim, in his humility, is doing what we are, when we are seeking God. He is in prayer.

It seems to me that this, “we’re all praying to the same God” mentality–this brushing aside of those pesky jihadists, and searching instead for the deep, peaceful spirituality which is true Islam–is naive at best, and quite dangerous at worst. A scholarly dissection of the theology of Islam, Christianity, or any other major religion is not really the point here–although logic would dictate that the vastly disparate nature of the deity in each of these religions is fundamentally incompatible with any contention that same transcendent being is worshiped by all. One cannot doubt that the devotion of a sincere adherent of any major religion takes place in an environment of sincerity in seeking the God of their understanding. But much can be gleaned from the manifestations of religion in culture and history, and as such these fruits–the outworking of religious convictions in societies and cultures–may tell us far more than erudite discussions of theology and the relative teachings and merits of the sacred scriptures of each religion.
Continue reading “Warren Peace”