Ethics Quote Of The Week: Heather MacDonald [Expanded]

Swan Lake

“The destruction being carried on in this post-George Floyd moment cannot be overstated. Everything in the West’s cultural inheritance, whether in music, literature, or art, is coming down….Visual and kinetic uniformity in a corps de ballet was an aesthetic ideal; it, too, had nothing to do with race. Yet that uniformity must now fall so that no individual ballet dancer feels that her precious diversity currency is devalued.”

Social commentator Heather MacDonald, in her depressing report, “Beside the Pointe:
Diversity and bias obsessions come for ‘Swan Lake’

It’s a fascinating case study of how the George Floyd Freakout, combined with ruthless determination of minority activists to exploit that tragedy to grab power, and the utter failure of sniveling organization leaders to demonstrate the requisite spine that any institution requires in its leadership, is resulting in cultural carnage with few countervailing benefits.

The iceman cometh late for the weird world of classic ballet, as MacDonald, obviously a fan (I am not) points out:

Classical ballet has largely escaped the revisionist destruction that hit the opera and theater stages years ago. Amazingly, audiences could still see Swan Lake and La Bayadere as their choreographers and composers intended them, with all the conventions and costumes of nineteenth-century fairytale intact…. the adolescent politicizing that has been inflicted on defenseless operas has been absent from the ballet stage. That immunity has undoubtedly now ended. Expect to see classical ballets wrenched awkwardly into dumbshows about social justice.

Oh, I do, I do. She relates a race controversy from two years ago, when the Staatsballett Berlin mounted “Swan Lake,” in which white body paint has traditionally been used on the ballerinas to create the illusion that the dancers are swans. The company’s ballet mistress told the company’s one black dancer to use the body make-up like the rest of the dancers. When she protested that she’d never look white, the mistress responded, “Well, you will have to put on more than the other girls.”

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“Is It Possible To Address A Race-Related Problem Without Being Attacked As Racist?” And Other Reflections On The Holiday Mall Brawls

mall-violence

On the City Journal website, Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute writes in part,

Judging by video evidence, the participants in the violent mall brawls over the Christmas weekend were overwhelmingly black teens, though white teens were also involved. The media have assiduously ignored this fact, of course, as they have for previous violent flash mob episodes. That disproportion has significance for the next administration’s school-discipline policies, however. If Donald Trump wants to make schools safe again, he must rescind the Obama administration’s diktats regarding classroom discipline, which are based on a fantasy version of reality that is having serious real-world consequences.

The Obama Justice and Education Departments have strong-armed schools across the country to all but eliminate the suspension and expulsion of insubordinate students. The reason? Because black students are disciplined at higher rates than whites. According to Washington bureaucrats, such disproportionate suspensions can mean only one thing: teachers and administrators are racist. The Obama administration rejects the proposition that black students are more likely to assault teachers or fight with other students in class. The so-called “school to prison” pipeline is a function of bias, not of behavior, they say.

This week’s mall violence, which injured several police and security officers, is just the latest piece of evidence for how counterfactual that credo is.  A routine complaint in police-community meetings in minority areas is that large groups of teens are fighting on corners…The idea that such street behavior does not have a classroom counterpart is ludicrous. Black males between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicide at ten times the rate of white and Hispanic males of the same age. The lack of socialization that produces such a vast disparity in murder rates, as well as less lethal street violence, inevitably will show up in classroom behavior….School officials in urban areas across the country set up security corridors manned by police officers at school dismissal times to avoid gang shootings. And yet, the Obama administration would have us believe that in the classroom, black students are no more likely to disrupt order than white students.

The entire essay is here.

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