Good evening, everyone!
(This morning was completely unmanageable…)
1. This day in history..April 14 belongs with December 7, November 22 and September 11 as the four evil dates in American history, for Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on this day in 1865, yanking the course of events into a new riverbed. Who knows where we might be today if Booth had been foiled?
2. Oh, yeah, them…The New York Times is suddenly including more obituaries of women in its pages, the result of a ridiculously late realization last month that the paper’s stories of death warranting special note had been overwhelmingly male from the paper’s birth. In March, the paper confessed,
Since 1851, The New York Times has published thousands of obituaries: of heads of state, opera singers, the inventor of Stove Top stuffing and the namer of the Slinky. The vast majority chronicled the lives of men, mostly white ones.
Charlotte Brontë wrote “Jane Eyre”; Emily Warren Roebling oversaw construction of the Brooklyn Bridge when her husband fell ill; Madhubala transfixed Bollywood; Ida B. Wells campaigned against lynching. Yet all of their deaths went unremarked in our pages, until now.
It is a welcome reform. The Times is also looking back over history to remedy the past bias and injustice, launching a special project to publish, a bit late, many of those obituaries that it had failed to write when remarkable women died. You can find the latest additions here.
3. What’s going on here? Wall Street billionaire Stephen A. Schwarzman agreed to give $25 million to the Abington, Pennsylvania high school he attended in the 1960s. The money would finance a massive upgrade in the facility. The school, in return, agreed to name the school in his honor, hang a portrait of him in the building, honor his twin brothers elsewhere in the school, and give him the right to review the project’s contractors and approve a new school logo.
Then the deal was announced. Local residents appeared at a standing-room-only, five-hour school board meeting last week to protest. There was an online petition (naturally), and calls for school officials to resign. And what was it about the quid pro quo that the people objected to? The quote from Robert Durham, who works at the local Chevrolet dealership and sent two sons through Abington Senior High School is explanatory as any:
“I just think there’s too much influence about big money, Wall Street money, in our society,” he told reporters.
The school officials reneged on the deal, and announced that now Schwarzman’s name would only be on the new science and technology center. To his credit, the wealthy alum gave the money anyway. In some respects, I wish he had pulled his donation after this display of childish ingratitude, emotion over reason and politics over common sense. If the good people of Abington think that improving a school facility and enhancing the educational support of generations of children isn’t worth naming a high school after someone who has made an honest living and succeeded in his life’s work because of their ideological biases, then let them, and their children, live with that irresponsible choice. Schwartzman isn’t a criminal, nor has he led a life that deserves anything less than admiration. He is a bona fide philanthropist, who has given hundreds of millions of dollars to worthy causes. Any rational community unpoisoned by bias and unalienated toward American values would be proud to have his name on a public building.
Then again, he supported President Trump in the election, so there’s that: he uncleeeeeean.
I was a non-profit fundraiser as my primary occupation for the better part of a decade; I have raised funds for non-profits frequently ever since. I would have accepted Schwartzman’s conditions for a $25 million donation for any group or institution I was ever involved in so fast, his check would have singed around the edges. If he had offered such a grant to my late theater company, the American Century Theater, I would have thrown in daily full-body massages and a nightly turn-down service.
What’s going on here? Absurdly-priced virtue-signaling and warped values, that’s what’s going on.
4. Yes, this is part of the legacy of Barack Obama. From a student newspaper at Scripps College:
Organized by Scripps’s Latinx group “Cafe con Leche”, the event was announced via Facebook (click here for archived description) under the claim of being the “first ever POC [person of color] pool party in [Clare]mont”.
The three-hour use of Scripps’ Sallie Tiernan House Pool is aimed at the creation of “a safe space for 5C students that identify as POC to come together and build community,” and will be open to only students identifying as POC attending the Claremont Colleges, a consortium which also includes Pomona College, Claremont McKenna College, Pitzer College, and Harvey Mudd College. The event is set to take place between 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM, after the pool’s normal hours of operation.
Cafe con Leche also advertised the event on its own Facebook page, adding in its post that the pool party will be “POC ONLYYYY.” Cafe con Leche is a registered student club at Scripps College. Its stated goal is to “provide a forum for the discussion of social, political, and economic issues that affect women, particularly those of Latinx decent.” The group also claims to be welcoming of all members of the Scripps College community…
Nice. I cannot imagine any student group trying to get away with this even ten years ago. That was progress. This isn’t. Oddly, the mainstream news media didn’t think this segregated pool party right out of the Jim Crow era was newsworthy. See, conservative websites have their uses: Legal Insurrection, The Blaze, Campus Reform,The College Fix, and eventually The Drudge Report publicized the story. There followed sufficient pushback on social media that the apartheid pool party was “postponed.” Here’s my favorite part: Scripps College President Lara Tiedens sent an email to students noting postponement “due to concerns about student safety in the wake of numerous phone calls and emails from the public expressing hostility and threatening physical violence.”
You see, it was all the fault of those mean, right-wing critics who object to segregation, the bigots.