Andrew Gutmann explains – in this brilliant letter shared by Bari Weiss – why he’s pulling his daughter from one of New York City’s elite private schools. A slice: I object to a definition of systemic racism, apparently supported by Brearley, that any educational, professional, or societal outcome where Blacks are underrepresented is prima facie evidence of the aforementioned systemic racism, or of white supremacy and oppression. Facile and unsupported beliefs such as these are the polar opposite to the intellectual and scientific truth for which Brearley claims to stand. Furthermore, I call bullshit on Brearley’s oft-stated assertion that the school welcomes and encourages the truly difficult and uncomfortable conversations regarding race and the roots of racial discrepancies. I
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I object to a definition of systemic racism, apparently supported by Brearley, that any educational, professional, or societal outcome where Blacks are underrepresented is prima facie evidence of the aforementioned systemic racism, or of white supremacy and oppression. Facile and unsupported beliefs such as these are the polar opposite to the intellectual and scientific truth for which Brearley claims to stand. Furthermore, I call bullshit on Brearley’s oft-stated assertion that the school welcomes and encourages the truly difficult and uncomfortable conversations regarding race and the roots of racial discrepancies.
I object to the idea that Blacks are unable to succeed in this country without aid from government or from whites. Brearley, by adopting critical race theory, is advocating the abhorrent viewpoint that Blacks should forever be regarded as helpless victims, and are incapable of success regardless of their skills, talents, or hard work. What Brearley is teaching our children is precisely the true and correct definition of racism.
I object to mandatory anti-racism training for parents, especially when presented by the rent-seeking charlatans of Pollyanna. These sessions, in both their content and delivery, are so sophomoric and simplistic, so unsophisticated and inane, that I would be embarrassed if they were taught to Brearley kindergarteners. They are an insult to parents and unbecoming of any educational institution, let alone one of Brearley’s caliber.
Every student at the school must also sign a “Student Life Agreement,” which requires them to aver that “the world as we understand it can be hard and extremely biased,” that they commit to “recognize and acknowledge their biases when we come to school, and interrupt those biases,” and accept that they will be “held accountable should they fall short of the agreement.” A recent faculty email chain received enthusiastic support for recommending that we “‘officially’ flag students” who appear “resistant” to the “culture we are trying to establish.”
When I questioned what form this resistance takes, examples presented by a colleague included “persisting with a colorblind ideology,” “suggesting that we treat everyone with respect,” “a belief in meritocracy,” and “just silence.” In a special assembly in February 2019, our head of school said that the impact of words and images perceived as racist — regardless of intent — is akin to “using a gun or a knife to kill or injure someone.”
Imagine being a young person in this environment. Would you risk voicing your doubts, especially if you had never heard a single teacher question it?
The progressoriat are unable to talk about their impending demise because they have already used their own institutional power over decades to drive away conservatives. They turned their academic institution into a partisan echo chamber. Residing in an echo chamber only increases your moral certitude. Now they are being given a taste of their own brutal medicine. Meantime, the new elite is acting ruthlessly and impatiently and is only happy with declarations of complete submission. Any sign of hesitation on the part of a signatory—”Maybe we should talk about free speech too?”—is met with expressions of exasperation by the all-powerful members of the victim minority faculty. No hesitation or nuance is allowed: nothing but unequivocal loyalty oaths. The progressoriat can only repeat, “I believe in the cause. I believe. I believe. Believe me I believe.”
If this echoes a Maoist take-over, that’s because it is. It passes the sniff test.
Mr. Biden’s plan also largely directs resources away from uses that would increase productivity. Improvements in roads and bridges may boost how much companies can produce, and hence growth, by making it easier to move labor and goods across the nation. But that’s a minority of the bill’s spending; other expenditures will have the opposite effect. Take the proposal to invest in expanding clean energy and electric-vehicle charging stations. This is a rather elastic interpretation of infrastructure, and a wealth-wasting one besides.
The government is not good at picking investments. President Obama promised smart green projects. What we got was the Solyndra debacle, which consumed hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars while producing little of value. Those dollars are resources that could have been invested elsewhere. What Mr. Biden proposes amounts to a great many Solyndras. That’s an enormous amount of productive capital to squander.