This post is inspired by an Ann Coulter piece in Taki’s Mag, which you can read here: https://www.takimag.com/article/the-whole-folk-tale-and-nothing-but-the-folk-tale/
The relevant quote for my post is New York City public school teachers recently revealed that they have been instructed to reject “objectivity,” “written documentation” and “perfectionism” by Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, as part of his effort to “dismantle racism.” Carranza identified these values as tools of the “white-supremacy culture.” I guess I must have missed the memo that declared NYC public i.e. government, schools superiority over the rest of the country, or is that delusion part of rejecting objectivity? It’s likely that these teachers are referring to the mandatory “culturally responsible” training, which begins by flashing the picture of the 2008 Vogue magazine cover at the end of this post (without the King Kong meme).
The idea behind starting with that 11 year old cover was……Hell, who knows? I suppose the trainers were trying to provoke reactions, not necessarily honest ones. From Chalkbeat.org: But when that same image was projected at a different training in Manhattan, another teacher voiced how she thought criticisms of the photo were “ridiculous” and felt the room become “anti-Caucasian.” “I would have found this training a lot more helpful if I didn’t feel like I was going to get my a – – kicked during my lunch hour,” said Dawn Gallagher, a white teacher in the Bronx who was one of 100 educators responding to a Chalkbeat survey about the trainings. “It incited a lot of anger, and there was no solution to it.” No solution to inciting anger? In 2019? Who knew? Is rejecting “objectivity,” “written documentation” and “perfectionism” dismantlng racism? Or is it turning back scientific progress and rationality and fomenting yet more racial animosity? Let’s see, back when racial hatred and exploitation was being justified by slaveholders and their enablers, were their justifications “objective” or evidence-based? Or were they emotional, hypocritical, inaccurate, stereotypical, and self serving? Like the same kind of arguments against the imaginary white supremacy culture? So to banish racism, we should get rid of evidence-based thinking and return to what?
Let’s suppose that the projection of that Vogue cover was meant to demonstrate how many different opinions can come from the same picture……well actually, not from the picture, but from each person’s baggage about race and other things. It might be helpful to go back to opinions of it in 2008, and see if we’ve become more or less enlightened.
Associated Press, March 25, 2008: When Vogue announced its April cover starring LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen, the magazine noted with some fanfare that James was the first black man to grace its cover. But the image is stirring up controversy, with some commentators decrying the photo as perpetuating racial stereotypes. James strikes what some see as a gorilla-like pose, baring his teeth, with one hand dribbling a ball and the other around Bundchen’s tiny waist. It’s an image some have likened to “King Kong” and Fay Wray. “Everything my name is on is going to be criticized in a good way or bad way,” James told the paper. “Who cares what anyone says?”
But magazine analyst Samir Husni believes the photo was deliberately provocative, adding that it “screams King Kong.” Considering Vogue’s influential history, he said, covers are not something that the magazine does in a rush. “So when you have a cover that reminds people of King Kong and brings those stereotypes to the front, black man wanting white woman, it’s not innocent,” he said. “It conjures up this idea of a dangerous black man,” said Tamara Walker, 29, of Philadelphia. “James is a huge, black beautiful masculine statue and Gisele is a feminine, sexy gorgeous doll,” said Christa Thomas, 36, a black account supervisor in Los Angeles. “I didn’t see any kind of racist overtone to it,” she said. “I still don’t. I think there is such a hypersensitivity to race still in this country.”
What do you see? I see two accomplished, attractive people having a great deal of fun with the photo shoot. LeBron is hamming it up with his game face, Giselle is putting on her supermodel face. It’s fun. LeBron’s comment shows he knows that fame game. What you see is all about you, not the photo. I want to suggest a new kind of segregation, impractical as it is. I wish we could segregate the country into two parts: the people whose opinions are evidence-driven, and those whose opinions are agenda-driven. The latter: Mediated Reality establishment, most university professors, all Democrat and most Republican politicians, almost all bureaucrats, grievance hustlers, abortion and lgbtq propagandists could aggregate themselves in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Washington DC and New York City. The former would occupy the rest of the country. Those who can’t decide what they stand for could stay where they are, or move to Canada or Western Europe. Wait, maybe we already did that?