“I care about social justice, but — I don’t want my kid to be a guinea pig.”

A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend about the importance of ensuring the proverbial “leg up” for our children, and I said something along the lines of, “If there was a button that killed a thousand kids in some far-away land and gave my son a Harvard Law degree at the same time, I’d push it without hesitation.” He responded, quite sensibly, that he would not do that for his daughter.

The irony of the situation is that we’ve both already done worse, and for less. Here’s proof. It costs four dollars per person to provide 20 years’ worth of clean water in Africa. My son has at least four thousand dollars’ worth of bicycles. So I’ve cheerfully doomed a thousand kids to a life without clean water so my child can finish third overall in the Gold Cup Regional Championship for 9 Novice riders. (I’m so proud of him I could almost faint, by the way.) He broke his new wheelset at the last race so I’ll be ordering another wheelset for him… that’s $800 bucks, or 200 kids without clean water. There’s no false equivalency here. I am absolutely certain that some parents have told their kids, “Hey, ride that old bike another year, and let’s do something charitable for kids who don’t have everything that you have.” I’m not going to do that.

But if a couple Gs worth of bicycles amounts to a moral choice — and it does — what about spending $40,000 a year to make sure that your child doesn’t have any blacks or Hispanics in his school? Even better, what does it mean when the people spending the money are some of the nation’s foremost voices for “social justice”?

The L.A. Times has just performed a boom headshot on “white progressive parents” who sequester their children in elite institutions even as they flood Facebook, Twitter, and other media with pronouncements of democratic solidarity.

For two years I conducted research with 30 affluent white parents and their kids in a Midwestern metropolitan area. Over and over I heard comments like Greg’s reflecting a deep ambivalence: As progressive parents, is their primary responsibility to advance societal values ­— fairness, equal opportunity and social justice — or to give their children all the advantages in life that their resources can provide?

More often than not, values lost out.

The article is worth reading, both for the hypocrisy of the “privileged” people involved and for the particular stupid blindness of the author. Only in the Bizarro World of today’s left-leaning elite could protecting your children from the violence, drama, and low standards of urban public schools be seen as “values losing out”. Every sane society from the dawn of time until now would, instead, commend those people for spending money on the safety and education of their children instead of buying another GLCES69 AMG SUV.

The kids who lived in the city but attended predominantly white private schools told me that they were smarter and better than their public schools peers. They also thought they were more likely to be a leader in the future. One boy said proudly, “My school is not for everyone” — a statement that reflected how thoroughly he’d absorbed his position in the world in relation to others.

Sounds like the kids, at least, have a solid handle on reality. But wait, there’s more. At the article’s end, the author(ess) speaks ex cathedra about what it means to be a good parent.

Being a good parent should not come at the expense of being — or raising — a good citizen. If progressive white parents are truly committed to the values they profess, they ought to consider how helping one’s own child get ahead in society may not be as big a gift as helping create a more just society for them to live in in the future.

Here is the resume of the young lady in question. As you can see, it’s full of the Imaginary Science that we just got done spoofing on this site earlier in the week. No prizes for guessing that this Authority On Good Parenting has no children, by the way. It’s obvious from reading the text that it was written by a non-parent, because only non-parents are naive and stupid enough to think that anybody other than a sociopath would damage their own child’s prospects in life so they can live that damaged life in a “a more just society”.

There is no responsibility more sacred than parenthood. God (or Dawkins, or Obama, or whomever your particular deity may be) gives you a completely defenseless creature over whom you have the literal power of life and death. What you do next speaks to your character in ways that cannot be faked. Some people beat their kids, some people neglect their kids, some people sexually abuse their kids or permit others to sexually abuse their kids. Those people are infinitely more sinful than the people who commit similar crimes against other adults, because children are powerless.

Now, there’s an obvious difference between “pimping out your own daughters at a ‘dime piece’ party” and “deciding to send your child to a racially-mixed school instead of the Los Angeles Preparatory School For The Terminally Privileged.” But the difference is not as big as some would have you think. Every single thing you do to help your child makes a difference, whether you can see it or not. When you deny your child an advantage for the “greater good”, you’re abdicating a parental responsibility. I’m not talking about giving your kid a new M6 or sending him to Europe so he can fuck around; I’m talking about education, experience, involvement, safety, happiness, contentment. The kind of things you get when you don’t have to go to Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Murder Academy.

The progressive parents in this lady’s study understand that at the molecular level, which is why they practice Diversity For Thee And Thine But Not For Me And Mine. It might be hypocritical, but hypocrisy wasn’t a sin until recently. So I’ll close this with a long quote from Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age:

“You know, when I was a young man, hypocrisy was deemed the worst of vices,” Finkle-McGraw said. “It was all because of moral relativism. You see, in that sort of a climate, you are not allowed to criticise others-after all, if there is no absolute right and wrong, then what grounds is there for criticism? … Now, this led to a good deal of general frustration, for people are naturally censorious and love nothing better than to criticise others’ shortcomings. And so it was that they seized on hypocrisy and elevated it from a ubiquitous peccadillo into the monarch of all vices. For, you see, even if there is no right and wrong, you can find grounds to criticise another person by contrasting what he has espoused with what he has actually done. In this case, you are not making any judgment whatsoever as to the correctness of his views or the morality of his behaviour-you are merely pointing out that he has said one thing and done another. Virtually all political discourse in the days of my youth was devoted to the ferreting out of hypocrisy.
.
We take a somewhat different view of hypocrisy,” Finkle-McGraw continued. “In the late-twentieth-century Weltanschauung, a hypocrite was someone who espoused high moral views as part of a planned campaign of deception-he never held these beliefs sincerely and routinely violated them in privacy. Of course, most hypocrites are not like that. Most of the time it’s a spirit-is-willing, flesh-is-weak sort of thing.”
.
“That we occasionally violate our own stated moral code,” Major Napier said, working it through, “does not imply that we are insincere in espousing that code.”
.
“Of course not,” Finkle-McGraw said. “It’s perfectly obvious, really. No one ever said that it was easy to hew to a strict code of conduct. Really, the difficulties involved-the missteps we make along the way-are what make it interesting. The internal, and eternal, struggle, between our base impulses and the rigorous demands of our own moral system is quintessentially human. It is how we conduct ourselves in that struggle that determines how we may in time be judged by a higher power.”

Here’s to you, hypocritical progressive parents! May you raise better children than yourselves!

43 Replies to ““I care about social justice, but — I don’t want my kid to be a guinea pig.””

  1. sightline

    In this specific case, I will argue that the hypocrisy *is* a sin, since by dint of professing and working for these values – namely opposing school choice / vouchers and keeping education funded locally – they are doing harm to the very children they claim to be concerned about. It’s not just about giving their own children a leg up, it’s purposefully holding others back for the purposes of virtue signaling.

    Reply
    • Baconator

      People who oppose school vouchers typically do so because they think vouchers will result in de-funding of public schools. They believe that such de-funding would make public school options even worse than they are today.

      This is not hypocrisy or virtue-signaling. It is garden-variety pudding-headed wrong: (1) A misunderstanding of how economics – and particularly incentive structures – work, and (2) based on a misplaced optimism that our public school system can be improved in its current framework.

      There are a lot of deeply-embedded issues preventing improvement the public school system (teachers’ unions, use of schools as delivery systems for non-education social services, local budgets determined by Baby Boomers with lots of free time and no kids, etc., etc.). The last 40 years of regress in literacy etc. are the proof, to me.

      But I don’t think think that people on the other side of it are “holding other people back” – they genuinely believe that they are helping, even though they are wrong.

      Jack’s conflating “avoiding public schools” with “avoiding diversity,” which in his world means race. Elite private schools have plenty of racial diversity nowadays. What they do not have is class diversity or diversity of commitment to education. They’re the melting pot that public schools (allegedly, before I was alive) used to be.

      Reply
      • sightline

        My use of “purposefully” was ill-chosen. I wasn’t suggesting that people are advocating these policies in order to hold others back – that’s breathtakingly cynical – instead I was going for “the effects of these policies are that others are held back”.

        There are lots of reasons people oppose vouchers. Some don’t want public money going to religious schools. Some (like you said) are afraid that public schools would get defunded. Some don’t want students who couldn’t afford private to be in schools with their own children. And so on.

        But yeah, in the case of Jack’s quote above about “fairness, equal opportunity and social justice”, I’m going with virtue-signaling.

        Reply
  2. hank chinaski

    Heh. A SWPL couple we know are letting their underage daughter ‘intern’ for a local, young, somewhat handsome, very liberal local politician. Wifey (mine) says to me, and I paraphrase, “yeah, he’s totally gonna bang her out”.
    I doubt the possibility ever crossed their minds.

    Since you read Unz, you’ve no doubt seen Sailer’s ‘most important graph in the world’. At some point, our choices are going to become a little more direct than just choosing where we throw or don’t throw our money. That button may be real at some point in the not so distant future.

    Reply
  3. Eric H

    If I could have gotten a “Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer” for my daughter by pushing that proverbial button I think I would have done it.

    Reply
  4. JustPassinThru

    Your responsibilities lie with your children, your family, your community and your nation/people/society – and in that order. The figure that the UN or WHO gives on clean water, IGNORES that this meager amount cannot be raised by the beneficiaries themselves, and why? We didn’t get our wealth by magic – hard work, within a stable society governed by Rule of Law, enabled those before us to get to where we are, and hopefully continue it.

    Much of the infrastructure in colonial empires now returned to the descendants of indigenous peoples, have been neglected into destruction, actively looted for scrap, or destroyed in tribal wars. So, those people who did NOT preserve what they had been given, should be given more?

    Give a man a fish, he eats today. Teach a man to fish, and he eats for all his life.

    And the lessons are all right here and in the open. Limited governance and Rule of Law – as Winston Churchill noted, the gift of the English-Speaking Peoples for five centuries, to Europe and the world.

    Reply
        • JustPassinThru

          (You’ll note, please, I said “for five centuries.” Picking up the mantle of Greco-Roman Western civilization after the collapse of the Empire)

          Reply
    • -Nate

      “Give a man a fish, he eats today. Teach a man to fish, and he eats for all his life.”

      Teach him to play golf and he won’t bother you anymore asking to borrow tools etc……

      -Nate

      Reply
      • Dirty Dingus McGee

        The version I learned was; “teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day”.

        Guess I got the redneck version of it.

        Reply
    • Joe

      Absolutely correct, poor governance by evil corrupt leaders is the responsible act that causes all of this poverty in third world nation states

      Reply
  5. Shocktastic

    “I had no idea they spoke English in Athens”

    It is hard for a Yankee to follow Southern drawl at UGA, but it’s possible.

    Reply
    • JustPassinThru

      Ah t’ink they awl speak English in Athens.

      If’n y’all mean Athens OHAHOH…ovah th’ Ohahoh Ribber…

      Reply
  6. -Nate

    “There’s no false equivalency here.”

    There most certainly is .

    Comparing your progeny to kids in who gives in Who Gives A Damistan, is absurd .

    FWIW, many parents *do* act like this ~ mine did, anyone anywhere was more worthy and got better treatment than we did, I left home because in the end I was fucking _hungry_ and they were Sending $ to Africa and eslewhere to directly support some little kids whilst ignoring me .

    Fuck that, it’s a large part of why I’m a Conservative and not some alt right hate spewing whacko either.

    -Nate

    Reply
  7. safe as milk

    here in the alternate universe of nyc, we have layers of hypocrisy. a lot of wealthy do send their kids to public schools. however, the system is gamed so that their schools are whiter and better funded than orher schools.

    an interesting development has occurred in which our sjw mayor has been calling for “equality of outcome” changes to eliminate testing in our elite high school admissions process. guess who is pushing back? the white patriarchy? nope. asians. seems the tests work just fine as far as they are concerned.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      Another interesting phenomenon in NYC (and other large diverse cities) is the desire to put poor families into middle-class and upper-class neighborhoods by forcing developers to build low income units as some proportion of new housing projects in good neighborhoods. The stated reason for such policies is to have the upper-classes provide good examples for the poor families to follow and hopefully emulate and prosper. On the other hand, when the middle/upper class move into poor neighborhoods and start upgrading their homes, bringing in new businesses to cater to their needs, lobby for better neighborhood policing and schools – then the same government officials get bent all out of shape and insist this gentrification is destroying the neighborhood for low income families. The only difference that I can see is that the first example requires government regulations, subsidies, and oversight, while the “evil” gentrification does not.

      Reply
      • -Nate

        Sort of ;

        East Los Angeles Boyle Heights neighborhood was built by the Jewish shop owners so they’d have a nice place to live just across the river from down town L.A. at the turn of the century .

        By WWII the hispanics had driven most of them out along with the thriving middle class Blacks who’d also made it their home, things went rapidly down hill from there until about 10 years ago when the yuppies and hipsters began trying to make it a decent place to live again and the Mexicans have been violently pushing back ever since in spite of the gentrification causing the government to build out a nice subway, new schools, police stations, improve the electricity, water and roads…..

        It makes little sense to destroy what you have (A.K.A. shitting where you sleep) and then complain when someone tries to make it better but that’s how it is .

        Any one who claims a word of this is either lying or clueless, maybe has never been there .

        -Nate

        Reply
      • hank chinaski

        Hizzoner is also closing Rikers, likely to ‘re-purpose’ that sweet waterfront property with high rises, and moving the jailbirds into smaller facilities scattered throughout the middle class outer boroughs.

        Reply
        • safe as milk

          “moving the jailbirds into smaller facilities scattered throughout the middle class outer boroughs.” it’s actually worse than that. part of the plan includes building a forty story prison next to chinatown. they would tear down the historic building where people go to get married at “city hall” to do it. chinatown already has “the tombs” jail complex next to the courts. the good news is that the community (which includes virtue signaling tribeca) is staunchly opposed to this plan.

          http://gothamist.com/2018/08/15/nyc_draft_plan_rikers.php

          Reply
      • safe as milk

        “forcing developers to build low income units as some proportion of new housing projects in good neighborhoods.” i know it’s reported that way in the press but that doesn’t really happen much any more. the developers have to set aside less than ten percent of the apartments to get those tax breaks. the kicker is that the pricing on the “poor” apartments still requires a middle class income to qualify. trust me, nobody on welfare is moving into these places. the days of building housing projects for poor people in nyc are long over.

        Reply
        • -Nate

          I’m old and have yet to see any low income housing built anywhere near the middle or upper classes, stop the bullshit please .

          -Nate

          Reply
          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            It is common in the Midwest to put Section 8 apartments within a few hundred yards of middle class housing communities. It’s a way for developers to balance their bottom lines.

          • Bark M

            We have it in KY. Brand new apartment complex positioned at the entrance to a middle class subdivision, proudly proclaiming “Section 8 housing!” on a shiny banner affixed to the fence. They look much, much nicer than anything I could have afforded in my twenties.

          • gtem

            Growing up, we had a number of split level duplexes that were built in the 70s across the street that were mostly the land lord living in the top half and renting the bottom, and the renters were almost exclusively Cornell post-docs and grad students. A few years ago, an enterprising Chinese guy bought the duplex directly across the street from us and rented both halves. When he couldn’t find renters at his asking price, he quickly turned to the guaranteed paycheck of section 8. Very quickly we were bearing the brunt of this. A cycle of “Urban” tenants followed.

            Tentant #1: single overweight black mom with her two kids, no problems there, just annoying when she’d refuse to shovel her driveway (land lord’s responsibility but the plow wouldn’t come until later in the morning) and inevitably get stuck in her Escort with the oil pressure light on (it crapped out soon after, replaced with a late 90s Accord). We’d be outside shoveling so we’d go over to help get the car unstuck. My dad and I were surprised when he hopped in the car to rock it out and her two kids were just sitting back there (8-10 years old). My brother and I used to help my dad push our crappy old Civic on bald all seasons up the hill (12y.o. brother behind the wheel, my dad and 9 year old me pushing). That they had no inclination or motivation to help their mom was just disconcerting. But that was nothing compared to what followed:
            Tenants 2: middle aged white lady and black fella with a young child. Guy didn’t work a day job (or any job by the look of it), but weird cars would come and go at odd hours. They drove an old 2WD expedition with blown out rear air springs and would bounce that poor 4.6 off the rev limiter late in the evening as they tried to get it out of the icy driveway.
            Tenants 3: mix of overweight white women and several black men, but you could never tell who actually lived there or didn’t everyone was constantly coming and going, same story with sketchy cars showing up at odd hours. No one seemed to have any sort of day job. I had to call the police on them once at like 2am, I got off of a 4-12am shift and was trying to sleep, they were outside very drunk/high screaming about something. An ambulance showed up for what I assume was alcohol poisoning or an overdose. Speaking of which, it seems like they called the ambulance a lot for free rides for whatever non-emergency, that and using the cab a lot (paid for by whatever welfare program I assume).

            Finally they got evicted and the land lord had to hire a local kid to spend multiple days hauling all of the filth that had accumulated over tenants #3 tenure. It was disgusting, and I think after getting his house wrecked the Chinese landlord finally wisened up. I wish I was a bit older at the time, I would have given the guy hell for what the neighborhood was having to put up with due to his little state-funded real estate income.

            The city has embraced this diversity and has moved some section 8 housing in the thick of what used to be grad student/post-doc housing on Ithaca’s East Hill. We now have things like shootings at that complex. Sad, I used to visit there and run around with my friends when we were little.

          • Dirty Dingus McGee

            It takes a different form out my way. After the “housing projects” were torn down in my little area, developers were required to set aside 10% of any development for section 8. There were also some folks who bought the homes SPECIFICALLY to rent them out that way in some of the lower price (90K-120K new price) developments. A casual acquaintance of mine tried for over a year to sell the one they had bought, and ended up losing around 20K on a 3 year old home.

  8. John C.

    I think it is completely expected to do the best for our own child. The question becomes how do we figure out if what we are paying for is doing what has to be done for them to stay ahead of the game. The biggest lefty around must look at the good Doctor Blasey Ford and wonder if her parents got what they paid for from the expensive education. The same could be said of decolonialization where the free education at the best schools for the best and the brightest available only resulted in disgusting Presidents for life with only the thinnest veneer of civilization.

    It comes down to substituting education for experience with consequences. We all do it then wonder why our children never grow up.

    Reply
  9. AoLetsGo

    Want to hear a funny story about this topic?
    We just barely held to together financially while we raised our kids in a nice town that has one of the best school systems in the state. The schools are not all white, but the minorities are mostly Asians (Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Indian).
    So what is my teenage son’s topic for his college essay?
    How he can’t wait to get out of this little bubble that he was raised in.
    Brat!

    Reply
    • stingray65

      Kids are stupid – that is why we don’t allow them to legally vote, drink, drive, etc. until they gain some maturity and perspective, but fortunately for society a lot of them eventually do come around to understand and appreciate the reasoning behind the “stupid” rules and isolating bubbles that their caring parents forced them to endure.

      Reply
    • CJinSD

      Could it be that the best public school systems in the country are just as bent on turning middle class children into the instruments of their own destruction as any other school that accepts federal funding?

      The progressives that Jack described are entirely consistent in their efforts to give their children every advantage. They aren’t content to provide their own children with every instrument and opportunity of success. They are also using their positions to make sure that there will be no competition rising from the working classes through the complete destruction of public schools and a majority of families. If social justice was justice, it would just be called justice. Anyone who advocates social justice is evil by definition. They are working against justice.

      Reply
  10. Daniel J

    I used to think underprivileged people wanted to be elevated somehow, in work, school, or social status.

    What I find more and more the case is that these people want the so called privileged to be just as miserable.

    For example, there was complaints about the better, more white and Asian schools.getting better labs and AP courses. When those classes were offered at the underprivileged schools, the kids didn’t take the courses, even the ones smart enough to take them.

    I don’t have kids, but I’d like to hope that we can have educated young adults AND those that are socially aware.

    Reply
    • dejal

      “What I find more and more the case is that these people want the so called privileged to be just as miserable.”

      I did a google search for “Kill the cow” and came up with these. The 1st is the way I’ve always remembered the joke.

      An old Russian joke tells about a poor peasant whose better-off neighbor has just gotten a cow. In his anguish, the peasant cries out to God for relief from his distress. When God replies and asks him what he wants him to do, the peasant replies, “Kill the cow.”

      And a variation

      A Czech fable: A poor farmer whose livestock is a single dairy cow goes to the field one morning to milk the cow and discovers that she’s dead. He falls to his knees and looks skyward, shaking his fists and cursing God for his misfortune. Suddenly a voice is heard from the heavens: “Your cries have reached me, my son. Tell me what you would like me to do.” The farmer gazes upward and says to God, “Please, Lord, kill my neighbor’s cow.”

      Reply
  11. Steve Taylor

    God ; what horseshit. For all of the parents planning they can no more control the child’s future than I can make it rain. Silly Fucks generally just screw it up anyway.

    Reply
  12. stingray65

    You can send your $4 to Africa to give a kid some clean water, or you can buy a new bike for your own kid that is made with components and raw materials whose production gave some African men jobs, and in a just world these men will spend their earnings to give their own children clean water, better food, and an education. Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that too often the parents of the underclass spend their incomes selfishly on themselves (i.e. cigarettes, booze, junk food, gambling, sex) rather than on bettering their children. As is often said, you need to pass a test to get a license to drive (or work in a nail salon), but any idiot with working reproductive parts can create a child.

    To those that have used the proverb about giving versus teaching a man to fish, another one comes to mind with regards to this situation: You can bring a horse to water, but you can make him drink.

    Reply
  13. S2k Chris

    Related topic you might find interesting: Great Schools, that holy bible of school ratings on the 1-10 scale that guides all us upper middle class folks in how to buy real estate with the little rating embedded in the MLS, recently changed their ratings system.

    “Among the new indicators is…An Equity Rating will communicate how the school serves different groups of students, including those from low-income families and those from racial and ethnic groups that experience “persistent negative performance gaps” according to state data, Matthew Nelson, the CEO of the nonprofit organization, said in a conference call briefing on Wednesday.”

    So basically, in my little affluent Chicagoland suburb, there are three high schools. Two more or less the same with ratings of 10, and one literally “south of the tracks” with a rating down around 6 or 7 because of an extensive ESL (read: poor Mexican) population. That one has gangs, more violence, etc. And now it’s rated higher than the other two because they are Lilly white (maybe some token Asian/upper class Indian) and that’s Bad now. Woe be unto those who don’t know how to read between the lines, or who don’t have an “unethical” real estate agent to tell them the truth.

    Source:
    https://www.educationdive.com/news/greatschools-adds-more-indicators-of-school-quality-in-new-rating-system/509816/

    Reply
  14. Chuck

    Your intro is crap. While it might be possible to help the 3rd world with a donation, it doesn’t. The west has poured a gazillion dollars into the 3rd world and it hasn’t helped. I’ve come across this ‘moral argument before’, and the key problem is ‘if’. A small donation could make a big difference in a small far away land IF it ever got there, IF it was used correctly, IF it wasn’t stolen by criminals or IF it wasn’t eaten by bureaucrats and advertising agencies.

    Reply
    • -Nate

      Indeed and one my parents didn’t bother with .

      This led to me being singularly focused on raising my Son to not be a dufus like me, I seem to have done O.K. thus proving that any idiot can raise good kids if they care to put in the work .

      -Nate

      Reply

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