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!