Late start to the day…
…in part as a hangover from the lively Smithsonian Associates presentation on cross examination with my sister last night. The event was completely sold out, a first among my five Smithsonian programs, and it was an intense two hours, followed by lively questioning from some participants who stayed for nearly an hour to grill us.
1. Good ethics news follow-up: Marlon Anderson, the black security guard who was fired from Madison’s West High School last week for protesting being called “nigger” by a student, thus triggering an unreasonable, brain-dead and indefensible “no-tolerance” policy, is being reinstated.
Interim Superintendent Jane Belmore rescinded the termination less than a week after Anderson was fired. The dismissal triggering intense criticism here and elsewhere, including a student walk-out. One nice thing about incompetent bureaucracies is that their lazy, thoughtless, unethical actions seldom are accompanied by any real logic or conviction, so they will usually back down, following the path of least resistance.
Still, as Ethics Alarms has asked dozens of times, how can responsible parents trust educators whose judgment is so wretched?
I also want to note that most publications reporting on the story emulated the Wisconsin State Journal, which wrote, “A black security guard who was fired from Madison’s West High School last week for repeating a racial slur a student had hurled at him, in an attempt to correct the student, will get his job back.”
Gee, which racial slur? Isn’t the particular slur an essential part of this story? Was it “negro”? “Uncle Tom”? When is it ever competent journalism to withhold relevant information from readers? Is the theory that the mere word will upset some readers more than the tales of carnage the same publications include daily without censorship? Do we read stories that report, “Someone did something really terrible to 26 people in a church using a weapon of some kind”?
In this case, withholding the crucial word at issue supports the “logic” behind the no-tolerance policy that led to the whole fiasco.
2. In more news of progressive word-policing: Massachusetts state Rep. Daniel Hunt—Guess what party he belongs to. Come on, guess! Hey, you have a 50-50 chance of being right!—-has submitted a bill to the legislature that would criminalize use of the word “bitch.” There will be a hearing today on Beacon Hill. Of course the bill is unconstitutional, but why should we expect elected representatives to be able to figure that out?
Meanwhile, the Boston Herald, supposedly the city’s conservative paper (meaning it’s not as left-biased as the Boston Globe) didn’t dare publish the word, writing instead, “the B-word — the term for a female dog that is commonly used to slander women.”
Someone should tell the Herald that calling a woman a “bitch,” no matter how unjustified, cannot possibly constitute slander.
You know, I can’t stand this idiocy much longer. I’m seriously considering finding a wood-chipper and buscemiing myself…
3. Yet another update! Naomi Wolf’s book “Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalization of Love,” has finally been canceled by the publisher, after an interviewer in Great Britain publicly confronted the feminist author with her gross research error that rendered the entire thesis of her book questionable.
4. And Another! Rachel Mckinnon, the trans athlete who has successfully used the strength and size that going through puberty as a male endowed her with to crush born-female cycling competitors on the cycling track, won a women’s world championship last week.
Representing Canada, the transitioned male won gold for the sprint event in the women’s 35-39 age category at the 2019 Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester, England. She also set a women’s world record in the qualifying event, and with no asterisks, either. McKinnon, a philosophy professor at the College of Charleston, won the same event in 2018. Here she is with a typical competitor…
Looks fair to me!
How much of this will female athletes and sports governing bodies take before common sense and survival instincts overcome “woke” biases?
5. The obligatory World Series note. The 2019 World Series begins tonight, and since the Red Sox aren’t involved, I can observe as a baseball fan without a true rooting interest. The Nationals have had a season reminiscent of the Boston “Impossible Dream” pennant of 1967, the best summer of my life. As with the Sox that year, making the Series alone will change the culture of the team forever. The Nats had buried themselves with poor play by late May, and another season of failed expectations seemed certain. Remember, neither this franchise nor its earlier incarnation, the Montreal Expos, ever reached the World Series. The previous D.C. team, the expansion AL Senators, moved to Texas before they got to the Series, and the previous Senators, now the Minnesota Twins since they moved after 1960, hadn’t won a pennant since 1933.
The odds and the rosters suggest that The Houston Astros will defeat the Nationals, but even if they do, it doesn’t matter. The D.C. team has thrilled the city, and brought it together. There are so few shared community touch points in this strange, tense impersonal city. This is a gift.
The only sour note, and I’m sorry to have to mention it, is that Washington’s majority black population is never in evidence at Nats games. It would be better, and healthier, if the Nats miracle of 2019 were a shared joy for all. I am used to the unfortunate baseball apartheid in Boston, which has always been weirdly segregated, but in D.C. it is harder to explain. The Nats have no African-American stars, and unjustly fired their black manager after the 2017 season. As in all of baseball, the costs of attending games are prohibitive, and African American interest in baseball has declined everywhere over the last 30 years.
Once the current euphoria has run its course, Major League Baseball and Nationals management should make turning the District into a multi-racial baseball town a priority.