October 19, 2016
I was in one of my graduate school classes, and naturally, then commenced a bashing of all things conservative and American. About twenty students plus a professor, and only one, myself, trying to explain that the conservative party and America wasn’t arrantly racist and sexist.
I feel like I won, but you can’t beat the perpetually and vicariously victimized at anything really. They will forever win because losing is winning to them.
At a certain point in the conversation, I laughed and said, “If I wasn’t in this room, what would you guys debate? Would you just point at each other and say, ‘You are right!’ ‘No, you are right.’ ‘Now you are making me mad! I said, you were right!'”
What a wonderfully diverse class we had regarding skin tone, sexual orientation, and so forth. I really think that this is rather neat and cool, it is why one picks his domicile in NYC. But mentally, my classmates are just a horde of copies, downloaded software, no original thought was there or really possible regarding the political.
But when the class did step outside of politics, when they relayed some of their unique hobbies and disclosed these quirky intellectual byways they liked to saunter down, it was revealed why they were at such a decent university. They can think very well. How sad. For these interesting discussions were as rare as an atheist ceding he experienced a miracle.
While sitting in this class, I began thinking of my very good friend who runs a dance troupe in Harlem. She has an extraordinarily eclectic herd of dancers: white, black, Asian, Hispanic, Indian, tall, short, thin, big boned, shaved heads, long hair, male, female, one tranny (I’m sorry I don’t know if that is appropriate or not), bi-sexual, lesbian, gay for sure (it is dance after all), and so on. But! when the music starts this pied farrago of humans all move in the most precise unison. It’s fun (and envy-inducing for those of us without a rhythm bone in our bodies) to watch!
Likewise, when the music starts on any important political discussion, this entire class at my graduate school might as well be an externally diverse yet choreographed dance team. But this isn’t fun to watch, and does not engender envy. It’s robotic, zombie-like, artificial intelligence. The class reminds me of the 2008 Olympic opening ceremony, that stunningly awesome and eerie display of synchronicity by the host nation China.
Diversity can indeed be important and live up to its hype as a stimulant on campuses. When it works, it is glorious and a sort of steeping in the vicarious. Without getting to etymologically tangled, you feel as if the universe is at your university, as well as a great dose of universal humanity. For instance, there was a woman from a poisoned state in Africa, another gay man from South America, a Lesbian from the Middle East, a Persian, and several African-American and Hispanic students from various inner-cities. What is it like to come from a country where Boko Harem is running wild? Another woman from Romania lived under the North Korean styled Ceausescu long ago – what was that like?^ What is it like to live in “Chiraq” within the Grand Theft Auto like violence?
Just as you would get hooked on their discourse, it would all end. Over. They couldn’t hold these topics for long at all, they lost their grip on sanity, and had to retread to their mostly irrational bête noire, America, often using a contortionist’s skill in blaming the US for any problems their country or city had, no matter how far back they had to go in the annals to find it. No matter how loosely the facts or stats corresponded to their abstractions, they were dedicated believers.
I want to convey just how much the class awfulized the United States. Even the Holocaust was in a roundabout way blamed on the USA! The eugenics law here in 1924, was in fact what Nazi Germany perused to make their own laws to legalize genocide. That’s interesting to know, no doubt, but as if that legislation had any real impact on what Hitler was going to horrendously accomplish? Because the Führer’s attorneys checked out one of America’s unwitting – and that is key here, unwitting – backward laws from the 1920s?
Worse, there was zero interest in the fight for the Pacific or Europe. The class – and again, the professor – knew absolutely nothing (as far as I could tell) about any of those decisive battles for freedom, and didn’t really seem to care.
Academics are obsessed with studying people in the “margins” of history. They claim to do this to bequeath these people a voice – I believe them. They do care, and those on the Right shouldn’t put them down for that. A terrible miscalculation is that the Left believes certain things merely to “get votes” now or in the future from the growing minority class. No – their compassion feels as real to them as it is possible to feel something real. (Never mind that their psychic radar also can’t detect the sickly self-righteousness permeating nearly all they say and do).
But they also trot along the fringes of history, and don’t admit it, because they are looking for ways to make their name in something not explored. It is not unlike the motivation of the genius academic Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. He was reputedly irate that he had been born in a time when most of the grand scientific discoveries had already been made. His brilliant mind wasted on filling in little gaps in the great theories and laws already found.
I’m not comparing my classmates to that terrorist of course, but this frustrated drive to be original can blind and actuate people in different ways. My partners in learning really had no idea how slavery ended, but they did know a lot about the Underground Railroad – I’m not saying to forgo the latter at all! I’m saying we need to know the fulcrums of history along with the moral underdogs. Likewise, no doubt the role and experience of women in World War II, such as working hard labor jobs in factories is fascinating to spelunk, but you shouldn’t investigate feminism to such an extent that doing so is done at the expense of being radically ignorant of the more important fighting by men in France and on Pelileu. No?
Society back then was sexist and women had a difficult time entering most professions, I think most can agree on that, but it is also true that these same “sexist” American men that killed the Germans and the Japanese prevented who knows what abuses that would have visited European women from 1940 onwards under the Reich.
I must admit, for a moment, I began thinking, well maybe the United States is evil. Maybe my classmates are right. After all, these people, from horrid countries and cities, had so much ire for the US – more than they seemed to have for the despotisms they and/or their parents fled. I mean think about it! Not their experiences under the tyranny of theocracies, not in their villages with sporadic access to plumbing and electricity, nor even beneath the bare grocery shelves of communism, or being arms-length from Islamic radical groups had stifled their disdain for America. In every one of our two hour classes, I honestly cannot recall one thing said positively about the land of the brave that did not come from my mouth! Not one topic that was broached – school, hospitals and doctors, the economy, prisons, police, teachers, all foreign policy, any war, food, Hollywood, universities, every bit of American history, every Founder, every Republican, every law, immigration, birth, sex, drugs, death, sports, entertainment, country, rock music, taxes, Wall Street, corporations, business, movies, – that these scholar-Lefists didn’t see as infested with the monsters of bigotry and American wickedness.
It’s like many of them decided to leave one of Dante’s upper rings of hell in their motherland, to go to a lower ring in America – I guess to try to make it better? (Ironic, that most of them on student visas are constantly castigating America and Americans for interfering in other nations’ business, but I digress.)
Of course, I know better – that this nation is wonderful though flawed. I also know that my classmates are simply addicted to the Don Quixote feeling of inhabiting a world bepopulate with monsters and dragons, the childlike zeal of feigning knighthood.
The Left in America has made the foreign students in my class hate America before they even came here. My native born classmates may not declare their disgust outright, but imagine I told you I loved my wife after going on for six hours about all of her faults – you might not believe me when I confessed my devotion, or you might say I am deluding myself.
The Right often talks about the failure of “assimilation” in those that come here from elsewhere. Sure it is a problem. But the more complex problem that I see is that we have, again “natives”, not assimilating either. The “on-boarding” process in this nation for new-borns and new-arrivals are both failing.
At any rate, if you suck out all of the patriotism from the country as if it were a poison, if you pretend that true patriotism is only being anti-American and expressed in vitriolic protest, then you produce a counter-reaction and what we now see on the Right. You produce another set of robots, a new type of group think, an extreme patriotism morphing to nationalism – in short, another dance company. Lots of Civil Wars begin as two choreographed, unthinking dance groups facing off, don’t they?
^I actually met her outside of the class, but at the school.