RELATED: "Foundations of Whiteness and White Domination?"
The United States is a vast multiracial society that, despite multiculturalism, embraces one official language and still shares a common culture. Among the middle classes, race doesn’t matter all that much, and the society is not plagued by endemic racial and religious violence we typically see abroad.
But among the elite, where the lucrative jobs, prestige, and big money are — sports, entertainment, law, academia, medicine, high-power finance, big government and politics — our elites con each other. They often strain to find some sort of ethnic or racial or gender edge over the competition. Most Americans assume racial affinities and go about their business; elite utopians demand there be none — and then prove themselves far more racialist.
If white, the careerist elite professes to be liberal and a diversity proponent while himself conning to rely on his money, background and contacts to nullify the new diversity prejudice. Usually at universities, the white guy top administrator would surround himself with diversity appointments and talk down about the faculty’s lack of diversity. Most ignored the bottled piety and assumed the careerist dinosaur just wanted to survive. The white-guy leftist on television will talk ad nauseam about diversity on the assumption that such preemption shields him from the sort of diversity affirmative action salvo that might knock out his own job.
One of the reasons I liked farming (six contiguous neighbors — two Armenians, one Japanese, one Punjabi, one Mexican, one German) was that action not pretense mattered. And stereotypes were OK, if instantly backed by empirical evidence and if not pressed too far.
In contrast, one reason I disliked academia was that in such a dry, bored self-created landscape, pretense trumped action, and one’s tribe, not one’s essence, was the key to career advancement. I never heard a Mexican neighbor say he was Mexican or an Armenian vineyard grower talk of his vaunted heritage or the German claim privilege — they all succeeded or failed on their own ability, or lack of, to grow food at a profit.
In academic lala land, scholarship and teaching too often came second, bumper-sticker identification first — another sign that with supposed intellectual progress, so often comes moral regress.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
From Victor Davis Hanson, "We Have Race on the Brain":