This would be funny, if it were not so ominous. In fact, it already was funny, many years ago when monologist/author Garrison Keillor (now cancelled for alleged sexual harassment: he doesn’t exist any more) introduced the fictional Minnesota community where so many of his shaggy dog stories were set, with “Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average!” [Laughter from the NPR audience.] All but the most dim-witted could get the joke in the last part, for it is impossible for everyone in any group to be above average.
Ah, but that was before The Great Stupid spread over the land like one of the Egyptian plagues in the Bible. Neither irony nor logic flickered in the brains of the Charlottesville, Virginia’s school board, which is patting itself on its mass back for the achievement of identifying 86% of its students as “gifted.” This qualifies those brilliant students for the system’s special, theoretically challenging, gifted classes.
The revelation was made during a Charlottesville school board meeting last week, and the members were thrilled. This was, obviously, impressive progress. Of course, one doesn’t have to be gifted to figure out what’s going on here. As in the memorable past cases of Washington D.C.’s rogue mayor Marion Barry telling the media that D.C.’s crime rate was pretty low as long as you didn’t count all the murders, and rogue President of the United States Bill Clinton explaining that he did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky, because oral sex isn’t sex, Charlottesville is adopting the now epidemic Rationalization #64, Yoo’s Rationalization or “It isn’t what it is.”
We had seen many signs that this was coming, notably in the efforts of New York city’s communist mayor, Bill de Blasio, to change the admission standards of the New York City’s elite specialized high schools because not enough minority students (except for Asian-Americans of course) were getting in. It is also an extension—heh, I almost said “logical extension”!—of the woke fundamentalist article of faith that skin color itself should be considered a qualification on par with, indeed above, such characteristics as skill, knowledge, achievements, experience, character and intelligence—thus resulting in Kamala Harris becoming Vice-President of the United States.
The hilarious Charlotttesville “gifted” program, however, is perfect. It is the ultimate expression of The Great Stupid, which, as you should know, is the byproduct of The George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck, Black Lives Matter and Critical Race Theory combined with frenzied virtue-signaling, the expansion of the term “racism” to include anything and everything that does not work to the advantage of someone “of color,” rhetorical legerdemain weaponizing such terms as “diversity”, “inclusiveness” and “antiracism,” and most important of all, the passive, craven submissiveness of those who know exactly how wrong and destructive all of this is, but who don’t have the guts to oppose it.
The statements coming out of Charlottesville are wonderful, and by that I mean wonderfully idiotic. Historically, less than one-fifth of students have been part of the gifted program. In 2018, white students made up 73% of the gifted program while representing 43% of the division overall in the 2018-19 school year. This was unacceptable, said Beverly Catlin, the division’s gifted coordinator (but obviously not a gifted gifted coordinator unless one uses Charlottesville’s definition of “gifted,” which means “maybe not too far below average ability) made clear in her remarks.
“For our first year of implementation … an inclusive identification process has helped us make great strides in having an equitable representation of students identified as gifted,” she said. It is indicative of the power of the Great Stupid that nobody stood up and screamed, “But you don’t make children gifted by calling them gifted! What’s the matter with you people?’ Or as Dana put it in “Poltergeist”:
But nobody did. Because, you see, that would mean they were racist.
There is a tipping point, presumably, where a critical mass of the American public will see such absurdities, wake up, realize what’s happening, and finally be responsible. That’s why I welcome the Charlottesville episode, a crystallization of woke insanity. It would help us reach this tipping point if most news organizations wouldn’t hide such incidents in the hope that public won’t find out just how crazy the Left has become. But the tipping point is coming.
Do I really have to tick off how this “gifted program” is unethical? Oh, all right: it’s dishonest, incompetent, irresponsible, unfair and cowardly—cowardly, because if you want to eliminate the gifted program, you eliminate the gifted program. Deciding to call almost every student “gifted’ is a silly dodge to avoid being transparent…unless, of course, you really believe that calling a child gifted makes that child gifted.
Pointer: Dr. Emilio Lizardo