by James C. Sherlock
I read an op-ed by Scott Johnston this morning in the Wall Street Journal: “Revolution Consumes New York’s Elite Dalton School.” The subtitle was “Teachers of $54,000 Zoom classes demand a lowering of standards and hiring of a dozen diversity staffers.“ It is very much worth a read. Told of an eight-page list of demands by most of the faculty and staff of the Dalton School, a hyper-expensive Upper East Side school. One of its insights was:
“It is telling that the manifesto begins with a quote from a Marxist professor named Robin Kelley, someone who professes admiration for Trotsky’s “permanent revolution.” Should the Dalton administration give in to every last demand, there will be a new list tomorrow. The goal posts move quickly in this racket.”
It reminded me that there is a secret about the race industry that corporations, government agencies, universities and school systems must understand. Most of them actually do understand but either support Critical Race Theory or seek what they think is the path of least resistance whose costs can be contained with other people’s money. Those in the “least resistance” camp are fools.
The race industry in America is in the grievance business, a very large and profitable enterprise. It is self-justifying, necessary because it says — loudly and backed with a combination of shaming and threats — it is. It is expanding daily and providing six-figure jobs for people who learned nothing positive, creative or otherwise useful in college, only grievance.
There is some level of evil genius in the Marxist academic left that created gender and race studies majors, then gave them a career path to teaching during the headlong expansion of gender and race studies, then created the “diversity and inclusion” bureaucracies in every large institution in America to absorb the rest of those graduates. Just because one hates capitalism doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its uses.
These are, however, careers based upon pessimism and regression, not optimism and progress. But then there is the money — always the money — to support the Marxist philosophy and the McMansions and cocktail parties of the players. Adherents can be Marxists with six figure incomes from those they intend to overthrow. Is America great or what?
Through grievance they seek control. And they are achieving success beyond their wildest dreams, unlike those whom they profess to champion.
So, no trend line in “systemic racism” can ever be downward. No cure can be permitted. Even mitigation of racial grievance means decline in demand.
If all of its grievances are met, then there is no industry. It has been said that diversity officers are hammers looking for nails. If there are no grievances, then the enforcers — the thought police — have no work. They won’t let that happen.
The existence of the entire race industry depends upon some people of color being told and believing they exist in a state of permanent grievance, not hope and certainly not personal agency — thus the insistence on indoctrination of the very young in schools.
So the industry can never advocate actual solutions to raise people up, only programs that keep a certain segment of people down and dependent upon the race industry itself.
Exhibit A is the very active movement to lower goals for black people from birth until death. The goal is to lower standards to meet achievement rather than raising achievement to meet standards. That is why:
- The NAACP abandoned its support for charter schools;
- The Northam administration is working overtime to drain the excellence out of Governor’s schools, magnet schools and AP classes;
- There is open support for equal educational outcomes regardless of effort — see Albemarle County’s new grading policies that eliminate downgrading students for failing to do homework, to attend school or to pass tests. Such benchmarks, of course, have been deemed racist. No word on what, exactly, these kids are supposed to do with their lives when 12th grade is over;
- The Superintendent of Public Instruction’s annual report this month to the Governor and General Assembly mentioned neither a plan for making up COVID learning losses nor the effect of youth gangs on schools. Learning losses are seen as reasons for greater funding of failed programs, not actual solutions. Gangs help daily to re-supply the inventory of failing students; and
- We see the successful push to elect left-wing prosecutors who will refuse to enforce “low level” crimes including resisting arrest, which, of course, will increase the levels of physical conflict between suspects and police leading to more charges of brutality.
It is why actual solutions such as charter schools; health enterprise zones; year-round school; the enforcement of discipline, attendance and existing anti-gang regulations in schools; and restoration of competition to health care to offer better access to the poor at lower prices cannot be tolerated.
Indeed it is why issues cannot be allowed to be posed as class problems, only race problems.
There are three underlying reasons for the widespread opposition of the race industry to solutions that will lift people up instead of keeping them down:
- Greed. The industry takes payoffs from those who make money from inequities.
- Consider the $300 million that the teachers unions donated to the NAACP before it came out against charter schools. Now the woke hate charter schools. Sometimes less disciplined elements like the Loudoun County NAACP don’t get the memo and demand charters, but they are soon brought into line.
- Consider the ongoing massive campaign donation payoffs to Virginia elected officials on the left, especially including the General Assembly Legislative Black Caucus, from the hospital industry;
- Not invented here — the solutions do not appear on lists of demands from the race industry, challenging its relevance; and
- Actual problems might be mitigated. That cannot be allowed to happen.
The race industry as the most successful instance of critical theory in action is perhaps the biggest internal threat to the republic. Under critical theory, power once gained is never to be surrendered.
If they were trying to work themselves out of a job, the legions of racial grievance would be worthy of support.
They are, however, demonstrably trying to make things worse for the people they claim to champion in order to embed themselves permanently in the corridors of power and money, thus becoming the problem itself. And ensuring the problem will never be solved.
CRT is the ultimate con. Proving you can’t cheat an honest man, look who is being conned.