"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, July 18, 2022

Diversity, Schmeversity–Beating A Dead Horse And Feeling Very, Very Good About It

The editorial room of the New York Times resembled an Old Testament wailing cabal -  mournful prayers, commiseration, and invocations.  One after another reporter in the room vetted ideas about the climate, white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, and the plight of the black man. The one that captured the Senior Editor’s attention was a climate take on the British Open.  The waters around St. Andrews and eastern Scotland were rising and soon the world’s oldest tournament at the birthplace of gold would be awash in sea water.  No mention of the storied history of the game, the evolving fashions, the special nature of a links course, a chronicle of weather, fortitude, and brilliant golf; just climate change.

Image result for images old testament pharisees

It was a tough choice, the Senior Editor later admitted, and only through a coincidence of a four handicap, a passionate interest in Scottish oysters – also threatened as warm waters flooded estuaries of delicious Scottish Rocks – and a longstanding commitment to use the bully pulpit of the Times to move society along in a progressive direction, did he choose the Open story.

It was a tough choice he said.  There was the article about how San Francisco cuisine had been influenced by the increasing homeless population in the city.  The City Council had recruited top chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Rene Redzepi to prepare meals in homeless shelters.  “Why should an unhoused San Francisco resident be deprived of the best that the City has to offer?”, the Chairwoman offered. 

Image result for images rene redzepi dishes

There was an article on trailer housing in South Carolina, heirs rights for poor black families protected from eviction by a strange legal legacy, and a tribute to ‘living off the grid’ in a neo-Transcendentalist utopia.  The photos offered by the journalist put the rattletrap trailers, falling apart, dilapidated, and off-kilter in a poetic, romantic light, were meant to show pride in place, a slice of black history, and the glories of natural living.

Finally there was a piece proposed on gay mountain climbers, a group of transgender women who had thrown off frills and La Cage Aux Folles runway wigs for pitons, picks, ropes, hooks, and heavy weather gear.  They wanted to show the world at the top of the world that women-as-men could be as heroic as the real thing.  They had headed up the north slop of Meru, one of the most challenging Himalayan mountains until blown back by a late-season storm; and although all quietly said never again, and back it would be to New Orleans and the clubs of the Quarter, they put on a happy, unbearded face.

At the New York Times, once America’s ‘Newspaper of Record’ with ‘All The News Fit To Print' and a beacon of objective reporting, now ignored what it considered outmoded, irrelevant stories on economics, finance, and international affairs. It dipped an oar back into traditional waters only when there was a ‘diversity’ angle.  For example, the Times featured a piece on how black Ukrainian refugees were being given second class treatment at the Romanian border and another on Ukrainian women prisoners who were sold into slavery by their Russian overlords.

This tendency to go fully woke, to dismiss anything but issues of race, gender, and ethnicity, has been remarkable, for it lacks few of the originating dynamics of similar progressive cabals elsewhere.  It is no surprise that old, tenured professors, recruited  in the halcyon years of American social revolt, have created politically correct cabals at universities.  They have used their seniority, their tenure, and their influence to assure the recruitment of only like-minded scholars – Derrida, Deconstruction, Post-Modern, anti-capitalist academic zealots – who would continue the school’s progressive traditions in perpetuity.

But how did the Times so quickly and radically change? (Graphs from Lexis-Nexis).

Some critics have suggested that it was the downturn in advertising revenues, revenues that gave the paper editorial tenure and allowed its journalists to print whatever they saw fit.  Now editorial staff must print only those stories which are guaranteed to get positive reader response; and since the demographics of Times readership is universally liberal, editorial decisions are easy.

The Federalist notes:

The latest developments remove any lingering doubt as to how the Times sees its modern mission: serving and pleasing the left-wing activists on its staff and the liberal activists who dominate on the news and social media. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger’s dictum when he fired the newspaper’s public editor in May 2017 had come to pass in a terrible way. Recall that, at the time, he declared that the Times’ followers on social media would “collectively serve as a modern watch- dog, more vigilant and forceful than one person could ever be.”

The Times let itself become hopelessly slanted. Captive to organized feedback on social media. Beholden to irredeemably conflicted staff members. Consumed by internal demons.

Economics, errant ownership ideals, and the political demographics of youth, doomed the Times from a fate from which it is unlikely to recover.

The Times of course is not alone.  Progressive media shills like CNN and MSNBC have been no different.  Every news item – except of course for natural disaster ‘If It Bleeds, It Leads’ journalism – is focused on race, gender, and ethnicity with a good measure of anti-capitalist cant.  Only recently as the new management at CNN announced a return to more objective reporting; but all remains to be seen.

Cultural institutions are perhaps the worst.  The Museum of American Art, the Phillips Collection, and the Corcoran have all abandoned their commitment to great art – works universally recognized for their artistic merit – and chosen to celebrate ‘women of color’, ‘works of the oppressed’, ‘The Dynamics of Soul’, and ‘Inner City Genius’. Why, amidst the universal woke clamor everywhere, these institutions also decided to forget their original purpose and inspiration and go the way of social ‘justice’, is a remarkable dereliction of responsibility. From the Phillip’s Collection website:

We unlock diversity’s power and beauty by intentionally fostering an inclusive, accessible museum fashioned upon a foundation of equity. Only by promoting and living out these values can the Phillips truly democratize belonging in our museum and set an example for our field.

The National Gallery will focus on Black Artists of the American South and, like most museums and galleries, have overlooked historical criteria for art – the criteria that have given Sargent, Whistler, Picasso, Wyeth, and the entire Renaissance Canon prominence – and gone woke

Given recent elections and current polling, over half the American electorate wants nothing to do with these woke enterprises and feel that the small progressive coastal cabals have taken over public discourse and offended many.  The more progressives ramp up their woke radicalism, the more resistant a formerly willing population will become.  Enough already! is heard everywhere, and states like Virginia, Texas, and Florida are leading the way in the rollback of liberal, woke excess.

Contrary to liberal opinion, conservative voters are not so obtuse, ignorant, and racist as progressives claim.  They know when a socio-cultural line has been crossed.  This will not stand; and the mid-term elections (2022) will likely show voter anger and resentment.

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