Category Archives: Education

UPDATE III (4/9): NEW COLUMN: The Wussification Of The West: Will We Ban Shakespeare For Othello And Shylock?

Argument, Comedy & Humor, Conservatism, Education, English, Free Speech, Left-Liberalism, Literature, Race, Racism, The West

The The Argument from Freedom means arguing process, not content.–ilana

NEW COLUMN IS either “The Wussification Of The West: Will We Ban Shakespeare For Othello And Shylock?” Or, “How Tucker Could Have Crushed His Dr. Seuss Segment,” currently on WND.COM, the Unz ReviewTownhall.com.

How Tucker Could Have Crushed His Dr. Seuss Segment” is on CNS.News, too.

And American Renaissance, where the conversation is lively.

And, the great American Greatness, the voice of next-generation conservatism.

Watch a video version of this column on YouTube.

And excerpt:

… Tucker’s mistake was his contents-driven defense of these kiddie books:

“Dr. Seuss was not a racist. He was an evangelist against bigotry,” pleaded Tucker. “He wrote an entire shelf of books against racism, and not in a subtle way. They were clearly, explicitly against racism. That was the whole point of writing them, to teach children not to be racist.”

Yawn.

Even if Dr. Seuss was the pedagogic, sanctimonious bore Tucker makes him out to be—actual racism in the targeted literature should be a peripheral issue, or no issue at all.

The Argument from Freedom means arguing process, not content.

Whether he intended it or not, the premise of Tucker’s defense of Dr. Seuss is that if we do detect “legitimate” racism in literature—there is a case for banning it. (Now, Tucker might not have meant it that way, but, this is what the structure of his argument portends.)

By contrast, freedom makes the case for an unfettered free market in ideas, good and bad. Freedom argues for politically impolite books to be published and read freely.

Banning books, moreover, assumes a lack of choice and agency among individual human beings. It’s also predicated on a higher authority that decides for the rest of us which cultural products are fit for our consumption.

The Argument from Freedom means arguing not over the contents of Mein Kampf or McElligot’s Pool, but for their publication irrespective of their content.

Which is why I say freedom’s argument is an argument from process, and not content.

Mein Kampf, and any offensive literature, needs to be available in a free society to free men and women who want it. And not because of history; so that we don’t forget it or repeat it (blah, blah, blah, as I heard it enunciated by Seattle’s radio mouth, Jason Rantz, the other day).

Alas, in the face of the cancellation of people and publications, cancelled conservatives just keep these logically weak and, frankly, loser mea culpas coming. Like the Argument from Hitler, which is a kind of “WhatAboutism”:

“Amazon and eBay sell Mein Kampf, why not Dr. Seuss? I want what Hitler got, Amazon and eBay. Me too. Boo-hoo.”

Tweeted “Musil Protégé”: “Conservatives [inadvertently] condone presentism. As Audrey says in Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan: ‘Has it ever occurred to you that our world judged by the standards of Jane Austen’s time would (look ridiculous)?’”

Most great literature doesn’t meet the sub-intelligent standards of the woke illiterati, who control the intellectual means of production—the schools (primary, secondary, tertiary), the press, publishing houses, think tanks, Deep Tech and the Deep State. …

NEW COLUMN IS either “The Wussification Of The West: Will We Ban Shakespeare For Othello And Shylock?” Or, “How Tucker Could Have Crushed His Dr. Seuss Segment,” currently on WND.COM, the Unz Review and Townhall.com.

How Tucker Could Have Crushed His Dr. Seuss Segment” is on CNS.News and American Renaissance as well.

Watch a video version of this column on YouTube.

UPDATE II (3/16): Facebook
Ray McClendon:

I’m a big Tucker fan too Ilana. Your article pointing out his arguments along with others who made the same argument give rise to mixed emotions. On the one hand, he (and they) are not wrong. There is some validity to their logic. After all, truth is often multifaceted. Plus, we’re all on the same side fighting side by side as allies in a common cause. On the other hand, you perform a great service when you point out there are far more substantive, powerful, and relevant arguments to be made, reminding me of that axiom, “Great minds may think alike, but greater minds think alone.” It’s why you’ve always been in a class by yourself. Thank you…

Ilana Mercer

No! I point to he fact that the argument from racism is irreverent if one is arguing classical liberal freedoms. Tucker, whom I love, was arguing from the leftist premise. The End. No argument. You can both love Tucker, and agree he presented a weak case for freedom. I do. That’s not wrong.

UPDATE III (4/9): When Adult humor is allowed:

Ed Powell:
“You are my favorite African-American.”
Me:
“That’s good ‘adult humor’. I am an African-American Jew.”
MrSweetaz:
“@ILANAMERCER, LOL, Hitler wouldn’t have known what the hell to do with you.”
Me:
“I think he would.”

Dr. Seuss And The Wussification Of The West

Argument, Education, English, Literature, Logic, Race, Racism, Reason, The West

Tucker Carlson’s defense of some purged Dr. Seuss books is plain wrong: “Seuss was not a racist” was the gist of Tucker’s defense.

But before deconstructing the TV host’s conservative, typically defeatist argument, here is the latest in the saga of Dr. Seuss and the wussification of the West, from the New York Times:

Six Dr. Seuss books will no longer be published because of their use of offensive imagery, according to the business that oversees the estate of the children’s author and illustrator.

In a statement on Tuesday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises said that it had decided last year to end publication and licensing of the books by Theodor Seuss Geisel. The titles include his first book writing under the pen name Dr. Seuss, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” (1937), and “If I Ran the Zoo” (1950).

“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises said in the statement. The business said the decision came after working with a panel of experts, including educators, and reviewing its catalog of titles.

Mr. Geisel, whose whimsical stories have entertained millions of children and adults worldwide, died in 1991. The other books that will no longer be published are “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!” “Scrambled Eggs Super!” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”

In “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” a character described as “a Chinaman” has lines for eyes, wears a pointed hat, and carries chopsticks and a bowl of rice. (Editions published in the 1970s changed the reference from “a Chinaman” to “a Chinese man.”) In “If I Ran the Zoo,” two characters from “the African island of Yerka” are depicted as shirtless, shoeless and resembling monkeys.

A school district in Virginia said over the weekend that it had advised schools to de-emphasize Dr. Seuss books on “Read Across America Day,” a national literacy program that takes place each year on March 2, the anniversary of Mr. Geisel’s birth.

“Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss,” according to the statement by the district, Loudoun County Public Schools.

An example of “wussification,” namely the melding of “wimp” and “pussy” to make a wussy, is this fretful headline: “Parents grapple with racist images in Dr. Seuss books.”

You “grapple” with a shortage of food; with the fact that your kids are not learning to speak, read and write English proficiently. You “grapple” with footage of Kamala Harris, swallowed whole and  subjected to the peristaltic movements of a python snake, as he digests her—to pull or to publish the ostensibly upsetting images?

But you don’t “grapple” with Dr. Seuss content.

And, yes, Dr. Seuss Enterprises rolled over, conceding to cancelling its own books.

Tucker’s defense:

“Dr. Seuss was not a racist,” Carlson asserted. “He was an evangelist against bigotry. He wrote an entire shelf of books against racism, and not in a subtle way. They were clearly, explicitly against racism. That was the whole point of writing them, to teach children not to be racist.”

Actual racism in the targeted literature should be a peripheral issue, or no issue at all.

The Argument from Freedom means arguing process, not substance.

Whether he intended it or not, the premise of Tucker’s defense is that if we do detect legitimate racism in literature—there is a case for banning it. (Tucker didn’t mean it that way comes the counter-argument. This, however, is what the structure of his argument portends. The premise of Tucker’s argument is precisely that.)

And freedom means that politically impolite books may be published and read freely. Freedom means no book banning. Period!

Moreover, banning books demands a higher authority that decides for the rest of us. As does banning  assume a lack of choice and agency among individual human beings.

It’s called freedom. The Argument from freedom means arguing for Mein Kampf as well as for McElligots Pool. A free market in ideas.

And not because of history, blah, blah, blah; namely, so that we don’t forget it or repeat it, as I heard it enunciated by radio mouth Jason Rantz, the other day. Mein Kampf, and any literature, needs to be available in a free society to free men and women who want it.

In the face of the cancellation of conservatives, the latter invariably just keep making these logically impoverished “arguments.” In this case, it’s the Argument from Hitler: “I want what Hitler got, Ebay. Me too, Amazon.” Or, call it a kind of “WhatAboutism”: Amazon sells Hitler’s book, why not Dr. Seuss’s?

“Conservatives,” tweets “Musil Protege,” “start arguments by legitimizing the premises of stupid questions. Then they condone presentism. As Audrey says in Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan: “Has it ever occurred to you that our world judged by the standards of Jane Austen’s time would (look ridiculous)?”

Most great literature doesn’t meet the sub-standards of the woke illiterate who control the means of intellectual production, these being schools (primary, secondary, tertiary), press, publishing print, think tanks, Deep Tech and Deep State.

Much of the literary canon—the greatest works of literature—is guaranteed to violate woke racial dogma.

Shall we ban Shakespeare for Othello?

*(Christopher Dolan/The Times-Tribune via AP)

East Asian Countries Believe In, OMG, Ability (IQ, Too), Not Equity

Affirmative Action, America, Asia, China, Education, Egalitarianism, Government, Human Accomplishment, Intelligence

While America is working at propelling the dumbest people to the top, in the name of equity, the latest buzzword for such an idiotic endeavor; while the US is cultivating a slumdog culture—the East Asian countries are sticking to more Confucian principles, like … merit.

Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and China have “one feature in common.” Via The Economist:

… a belief in strong government institutions run by the best and the brightest. This emphasis on meritocracy also has deep roots in Confucian culture. The entry bar to the Chinese Communist Party is set very high: only the top graduating students are admitted. Equally importantly, the rising levels of competent governance are both fuelled by, and contribute to, rising levels of cultural confidence. All this is gradually eroding the deference to the West that used to be the norm in Asia.

Government is always coercive. America’s has the added “benefit” of being both dumb and coercive. See this week’s column: “Systemic, Institutional Rot: From Big Freeze In Texas To Fires In Cali.

MORE by KISHORE MAHBUBANI (Apr 20th 2020)

MATH: The Problem With Conservatives? They Run From Racial Reality

Affirmative Action, Ancient History, Conservatism, Education, Intelligence, Race, Racism, Reason, Science, The West

The problem with math is that it can be—how shall we put it?—mean to certain minorities. The problem with conservatives? They run from such racial realities.

Math as racist is not a new angle in the war for egalitarianism in aptitude.

Some people can do math well; others less so. Still others not at all. There are aggregate discrepancies between the sexes and between the races in the facility with mathematics.

(There has been a link to the work of La Griffe du Lion, on the ilanamercer.com Resources page (Junk Science category), since the website’s inception. His explosive work was allowed back then.)

These days, however, kids are being taught that, given enough Kale, care and instruction from formative figures—everyone has a chance at achieving a similar aptitude. “You can do anything you put your mind to,” goes the parental and pedagogic refrain.

No wonder anger rises among the less proficient when reality bites and puts the lie to the fiction of an egalitarian distribution of talent.

If some fail miserably in certain fields, why, the deficit is said to be not in the child but in the “system,” the teacher, the topic, or the particular discipline.

And if patterns of failure correlate with racial groupings; voila! It’s systemic. See, “‘Systemic Racism’ Or Systemic Rubbish?” Video included (for those who, unlike me, do not prefer text).

Anti-white activists—let us call them what they are, please—are now claiming math is a white supremacist discipline, not least because it is also an objective science with right or wrong answers. There is no relativism to it; no, “Hey Johnny, that’s an interesting answer, why don’t you try that new equation in the next bridge you design?

Trust conservatives to never cop to the fact that complex math was the invention of Westerners. Oh, no!

As is the wont of conservatives, they apologize for any white involvement in such greatness as is math.

Tucker Carlson’s guest takes the tired conservative tack. Denounce and deprecate Western achievement:

“Math is not a white discipline, how absurd,” says Tucker’s guest.

Okay, Miss obsequious.

More advanced mathematics can be traced to ancient Greece over 2,500 years ago. Ancient mathematician Pythagoras had questions about the sides of a right triangle. His questioning, research, and testing led to a basic understanding of triangles we still study today, known as the Pythagorean Theorem.
Most experts agree that it was around this time (2,500 years ago) in ancient Greece that mathematics first became an organized science.

If it’s me, I’m owning it.

Beginning in the 6th century BC with the Pythagoreans, with Greek mathematics the Ancient Greeks began a systematic study of mathematics as a subject in its own right. Around 300 BC, Euclid introduced the axiomatic method still used in mathematics today, consisting of definition, axiom, theorem, and proof.

Wikipedia.

Next, Miss Millennial parrots the exhausted cliche about “the soft bigotry of lowered expectations,” namely the “myth” that students of color can’t achieve to standards, and therefore the standards must be lowered.

Both host and guest feel safe in their sanctimony, ignoring the well-established and enduring “racial achievement gap in the United States” in mathematics.

 

UPDATED (2/22): NTSB, so nerdy and white.