Here are Humble Talent’s observations, a Comment of the Day, regarding the matter of math textbooks and teaching being used as a method to seed “social justice” constructs, which was discussed in the post, “Ethics Verdict: Non-Math Propaganda Does Not Belong In Math Textbooks”:
What’s been interesting to me recently is the fundamental lack of self awareness exhibited from progressives in these cases.
I get it. They’re bubbled. They do a disproportionate amount of their communication either with people who already think like them or with strangers on platforms that filter their already tilted perspectives through algorithms or self curation. But at some point it beggars belief.
I wrote about CRT last June (https://humbletalent.substack.com/p/critical-race-theory?s=w), and predicted that it would be the issue we’d still be talking about in 2022. It’s a racial issue, which progressives feel very strongly about. It’s an issue where they are wrong, but refuse to reflect on. And it’s an issue with a *very* interested and entrenched demographic involved (parents).
What I said then, and expand on now, is that “CRT” carries a whole lot of semantic overload. Activists usually have a point when they say that things being called CRT are not actually CRT, but they don’t have a whole lot of room to gripe on the topic because that’s what they themselves were calling the broad activities that parents are finding objectionable. Parents are in essence saying “We don’t really care what you call it, these lesson plans are unacceptable. But we’re calling it CRT because you called it CRT, and we’re holding you accountable.” This is, by and large, a new experience for progressive activists who are more used to a game of rhetorical whack-a-mole with labels.
Fast forward almost a year, and we’re still talking about the issue, and progressives just don’t seem to understand how their position here is deeply unpopular, particularly among parents. This is a huge miscalculation. Parents (particularly parents of K-12 students) tend to be younger adults, they may or may not have ever voted before in their lives, and they’re being turned into a right-of-center voting bloc. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
It’s even crossing racial lines. Progressives now deride “Replacement Theory” as racist, but I’m old enough to remember when “Demographics are Destiny” was a popular talking point in Democrat circles. Hell, James Carville wrote a book that said the quiet part out loud after Obama cobbled his coalition together in 2008 in “40 More Years: How Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation.” You can’t simultaneously say that “minorities tend to vote Democrat”, “The increasing diversity of America will fundamentally change American values” and “The only reason Republicans oppose unrestricted immigration is racism,” without completely giving up the game. But it ended up not mattering: Minorities are not buying the new narratives like the good little voting blocks they’re supposed to be.
I have theories on why that is. Regardless of whether I’m right or wrong, the answer is going to be extremely multifaceted, but if I had to put my finger on one thing that I think more heavily weighs the scale here, it’s that fundamentally, it takes privilege to have the ability to care about the issues that progressives are preoccupied with, and the people we’re talking about aren’t privileged. This is even an argument progressives might make about damn near anything else, and it’s one that I made about Canadian Politics during the last election:
Picture a person who’s struggling. They’re having a hard time keeping food on the table. Bills are piling up. They have a health issue that regardless of their ability to afford care is still keeping them down. They’re caring for a family member. They’re experiencing depression from social isolation from Covid lockdowns. It doesn’t really matter why. What’s important is that they’re feeling pressure and they’re on the edge of disaster: how deeply do you think they care about the Democratic Party’s top issues? How much do you think they care if Lia Thomas gets to swim with the girls? How much do you think they care if groomer teachers get to talk to kids, theirs or otherwise, about sexual orientation or identity? How much do you think they care about CRT struggle sessions? Caring about someone else’s problems is higher up Maslow’s Hierarchy than caring about your own. That’s not greedy, that’s not entitled; it’s survival. And mocking their cncerns as “white”, “male”, “straight” or “cis” privilege won’t change anything except their perception of you. Democrats have basically abandoned the platforms their middle class, blue collar base identified with, things like union support, or universal healthcare.
Democrats would balk at accepting that, but I’d ask them to be honest: The media will run anything to distract from Biden. When’s the last time they talked about health care? And while similarly it might be hard for those struggling people to care about right-of-center issues like the withdrawal from Afghanistan or Ukraine, they sure as hell feel the price of gas. They are acutely aware of empty shelves, and messaging from Democrats has been horrible on both: For inflation, the journey from “There is no inflation” to “the inflation is transitory” to “inflation is actually good” to “the inflation is Russia’s fault” would be comical if it weren’t so serious. Jen Psaki sneering about how you’re going to have to wait a little while longer for your Peloton won’t keep the dairy shelves full.
And yet… Reality keeps asserting itself, and attention returns the things regular citizens talk about and care about, as well as the fact that the Left is focused on something else.
The fundamental lack of self awareness being exhibited now by progressives means they deserve to lose.