Sunday, May 04, 2008

Accusations and Actions

What I want to ask the A-List Blogger Boyz who are all so sure that Hillary is such a racist and her supporters are such racists and the only reason their Precious can lose is because of the evil racists out there who just aren't ready for a black president, who are looking for a reason to vote against Obama is this:

Where do you send your kids to school?

WKJM, you live in New York City. Will you be sending your son Sam and your baby-on-the-way to NYC public schools? Kos, where does your daughter go to school? You don't need to name the exact location, but is it public or private? What is the racial mix? What is the socio-economic mix?

Hannah Arendt, my favorite political theorist, has been excoriated as a racist for pointing out that integration and post-racial sociality is not such a big deal when the person being integrated is already part of your socio-economic class, remains a numerical minority within your enclave, and is no threat to your social standing or economic power. When these conditions are not met, integration becomes exponentially more difficult. Call it the "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" syndrome.

It is also the case that the higher up the socio-economic ladder you are, the more ability you have to opt out of conditions where you and your family would be placed in conflict with people who are not like yourself. Part of it is just snob appeal. I have a relative who complains that she didn't like going into Trader Joe's to buy Kashi brand cereal because it wasn't a "nice" place to shop and atttracted all kinds of unpleasant people, and was relieved that some boutique grocer in her area had begun to carry it. (And, yes, she's a San Fransisco liberal.) This kind of behavior is obnoxious snobbery (It's also just dumb - Trader's is great! Yay for Two-buck Chuck!), but it points to the ways in which subtle markers, like where you buy your breakfast cereal and whether you make salads from arugula, serve to demarcate the right from the wrong kinds of people.

When it comes to schooling and creating a path to wealth and socio-economic success for their kids, people don't tend to be too subtle.

If you can afford to buy a house in La Jolla rather than San Diego, your kids will go to a public school that is an academic powerhouse, and sends many students off to the Ivy Leagues and the top public research universities. Most of these kids are from "creative class" families, and more than a few are the sproglets of University of Califonia, San Diego professors and administrators. And, if you don't like the public school, there are two similarly advantaged private schools right in town.

If you are in the San Diego Unified District, your kid probably sits in a classroom of 35-40 students, a significant number of whom are ESL, coming from as many ethnic backgrounds as you can shake a stick at, and performing at varying levels of academic ability. I have a few friends who teach in this school district. In some areas of the region, there may be gang activity. These kids ride large yellow buses or even City buses for up to an hour each way to get where they are going. There are some target schools, and one has received an education grant from Microsoft to beef up the computer infrastructure. I ride the City bus downtown some days to do work with customers and I sit with these kids and listen to them talk in seven languages (that I can identify). These are the kids who skipped school - the older ones at least - to help organize rallies in San Diego opposing oppressive immigration law. They're good kids, as good as any I went to school with.

What, WKJM, Kos, you mean you wouldn't want to put your kids into that wonderful, diverse, polyglot, culturally dynamic situation? Why ever not?

You wouldn't be racist, would you?



Shainzona said...

Please let us know when they answer - HA!

janicen said...

The liberal elite lose the attention of middle America when they start telling us how to live our lives.

We should conserve natural resources while they fly from place to place in private jets. We are all racists because we don't support Barack Obama but they have their kids in all-white private schools and live in all-white gated communities.

Tom Hanks and Oprah tell us we should support the "change candidate" but their lives will not change one bit no matter who is president.

The blogger boyz and their supporters need to understand that the vast majority of Americans are just doing the best they can. They don't need to be told their doing it all wrong by someone who cannot possibly relate.

Anonymous said...

We all send our kids to the best schools we can afford. Does it make us racist? The answer is yes to a limited degree. (Two of mine so educated are for Obama and one with the old man are for Hillary. There is absolutely no acrimony in the long discussions; it can be done.)

Schooling of kids is not, however, the litmus test for racism or leftism. The boyz are racist and no European leftist will ever agree with them on much. That's the real problem.

As you have precisely put in a recent post, the boyz and the rest of the elite are Northerners, well educated, well off (relatively) and profoundly (my word) racist.

There is however another part to that I want to add. The American left is interested in: foreign policy, Republicans, health care to a degree, the environment and energy policy. They care very little about workers, unions, equality in education, workers issues, etc.

The Nation, long the leading magazine of the American left almost en masse went for Obama. How could they support an elitist, a person who doesn't even realize that there are blue collar workers.

The boyz and the rest of the elite are not leftists; they are simply racists.

Stella said...

You hit it on the head. They are not just elitist, they are what I call meritocrats. The people who allegedly did it on their merit, are now and have been in the process of locking in the merits to their children. That involves capturing every advantage for their children. Diversity is acceptable, but only among people of their socioeconomic group. Education is the center of inequity and embedded class difference in America.

I know all the folks who kept their kids from going to our public schools, "because there are dissruptive children" (code words) all have Obama signs on their lawns. I remember having events to get them interested to come to the public schools to no avail.

They will have all kinds of "reasons' why their precious cannot go to public schools. If they go to public schools, they try to divert resources to their precious.

Cathy said...

Overly quick comment to a complex post (but it's really late). Basically, I'm not sure racist is the right, or certainly not only one, word to describe the blogger boyz. I prefer incredibly insulated and not particularly deep in their so-called intelligence.

[Further wanting the best for you kids doesn't always make you a racist. My mom sacrificed everything to put us through Catholic school to make sure we had chance to attend college.]

However, you hit on the exact same conversation that my partner and I had all weekend. [Note: we live in Bay Area.]

It struck us when Hillary spoke about people who don't have to worry about how much they spend at the grocery. As DINKs (double income, no kids) that fits us a to tee.

We also watched Top Chef episode where chefs had to cook for four with just ten dollars. That made me realize what my mom accomplished all the years she spent raising three kids. Again we realized our good fortune.

That's why we see as a responsibility to support Hillary despite fitting Obama's demographic (down to inter-racial couple with advanced degrees). Putting aside morality, which is actually our driving force, we each know society can't survive in a widening chasm. However, much like the idiots who brought us the dot-com "economy" the blogger boyz believe that they can "change" everything and ignore both market and historical forces.

Steve Gilliard, whom I miss dearly, used to have a field day describing these types of idiot. He would rail about they were younger versions of Bush's cronies. [Disclaimer: I have no idea how he would have seen this election.] It so angered him to see folks continually seek out these idiots' opinions, much less continue to give them money. That's what I see happening with MSM pundits and blogger boyz.

Cathy said...

Quick follow up. I hear what you are saying Stella. I would just point out that my Catholic schools - actually in So-Cal - were far more diverse than most private schools now.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

I never knew what a badge of honor it is to have no freakin' idea what "arugula" is. I've never seen it in my grocery store and I wouldn't know it if you threw it at me.

My kids will be going to private school. Yeah - I'm grabbing what I can for them. But you sure as hell won't see me looking down my nose at the public school kids (black, white, hispanic, & asian) or their parents who have to fight among each other for the left-over public school scraps.

And it's Hillary who's putting forward specific proposals so that parents like myself can't grab all the goodies for our kids. She wants to make higher education more accessible to lower income folk so that my kids will face stiff job competition from people who otherwise would only have a high school diploma. Obama - I have no idea. I guess he's got a plan to put arugula on the lunch school menu.

I know there's a lot of "white guilt" driving the liberal elite Obama supporters. Well, I'll tell you my guilt: knowing that many of the advantages I grab for my kids come at the expense of other kids (if mine aren't in public schools, fewer dollars are going to public schools).

I'm hoping Hillary can do something so that my kids don't have so many unfair advantages. Hillary might actually sock it to me in this regard, whereas I'm pretty sure I'll make out like a bandit w/ Obama.

I mean - that's the whole deal, right? Rich white liberals vote for Obama, and in return he absolves our "race guilt" and lets us keep all our goodies (like obscenely better education for our kids).

CMike said...

Chinaberry Turtle writes:
I mean - that's the whole deal, right? Rich white liberals vote for Obama, and in return he absolves our "race guilt" and lets us keep all our goodies (like obscenely better education for our kids).

Outstanding comment CT.

gendergappers said...

This won't make them squirm with guilt - that emotion has been scrapped to give more impetus to snobbery and bitterness.

Pat Johnson said...

This party in the end is going to be pretty fractured. We have seen the viciousness of the comments that have been posted to various blogs and I cannot see much healing taking place by November. I am a staunch Hillary supporter but I do see him getting the nomination. We have no idea what strings, strong arming, and deals are being done on his behalf behind the scenes and as much as I want to believe otherwise, the momentum to achieve this is in his favor.

We can only question why these super delegates have been rushing to proclaim support for him before all states have voted. We have seen the tactics being played out to discount the FL and MI primaries. We have seen the MSM fall in line behind him en masse while leaving her out to dry against the scurrilousness of the attacks. We have seen the race card being played by his side against her with few voices raised in her support. Sorry to say but it appears to me that the fix is in, the deal completed.

You have to question why all this support being heaped on a candidate with such a thin resume and lack of any experience to know that something does not smell right. She may have some baggage but she comes fully equipped to take on the job. This guy has huge holes in his resume and very little else o recommend him to the highest job in the land.

What all this has accomplished is the alienation of some of us. While I could never vote for McCain neither can I seriously consider voting for someone I do not believe deserves it. He has shown me nothing but rhetoric and his supporters have turned me off. But this party will never be the same.

Sorry, but I no longer feel like a member and will change my affiliation to Independent if he does secure the nod. Let the DNC, whom I personally hold responsible for much of this mess, find other donors. I'm gone.

No Blood for Hubris said...

The Man Who Would Be [Prom] King is not the left.

Faux-left Manichaean Naderites are not the left.

I'm the left.

We're the left.

Shainzona said...

OK, I may get blasted out of the water on this one...but I have a serious question and I'm asking it of a group of people whom I trust and value your opinions.

Here goes: I can't vote for Obama. So my choices are not to vote; vote downticket only; and in both of those scenarios, write-in HIllary (I can...I live in AZ and BO will never win here).

Of course, I keep getting screamed at that this means President McCain (personally, I think that we'll have that if BO steals the nomination...but I can't convince the screamers of that!)

I have lived a long time (62 years) and have seen some really really bad presidents (our current one the most horrible, IMHO). But we survive and will continue to survive. McCain the worst possible thing that can happen?

I guess what I'm saying is that I am actually, truthfully, more worried about a President Obama than I am about a President McCain.

There, I've said it.

I'd like to hear you thoughts.

Pat Johnson said...

Shainzona, I will be voting only the dowticket if it comes to that. I cannot in all conscience vote McCain but I won't cast my vote for somebody I do no believe deserves it. Obama is a loser however you cut it. If the downticket succeeds in replacing many of those Repub morons in congress then the Dem side is stacked enough to forestall any idiocy McCain proposes. That is the only saving grace to this mess. And I agree, Obama would be a disaster.

Horselover Fat said...


I live in AZ and understand write-ins are ignored unless for an "authorized" write in candidate, which I am sure HRC would never allow herself to be.

If Obama is the nominee I will vote a third party to be sure my vote is counted without going to either McCain or Obama.

Shainzona said...

"If the downticket succeeds in replacing many of those Repub morons in congress then the Dem side is stacked enough to forestall any idiocy McCain proposes."

That's been my reply to the screamers about the Supremes, war, etc....the only concern I have is that the Dem Congress has been so pitiful, I worry that they might not make big gains.

alibe said...

I do think if Obama would get elected, it would be worse than McCain. I feel that Obama is the chosen One by the monied set to oversee a bad depression in this country. He will be the guy who will oversee draconian measures aimed at the poor and middle class. He will over see the dismantling of the safety net and the Democrats and the left will be unable to muster a defense against "one of our own". All the while the rich and the mega rich will be unscathed. Obama is no liberal. But he plays one on TV. He is not presidential timber, but he did sleep in a Holliday Inn Express. And this will be the guy to give us the medicine...with a smile and a shiv. If Mccain is president, at least the left will have a target and can play defense. Obama will just sell us out like the Rev. Wright. And God help us when really hard times hit and we don't have FDR, but a Vichy in the White House.

Shainzona said...

Thanks Horselover...I'll check that out IF I NEED it.

I still want Hillary to kick their asses and I'll be right behind her in line!

PM Summer said...


I agree with you. I worry far more about an Obama presidency than a McCain one.

For one thing, under Obama, the Democrats lose the House and Senate in 2010, and the White House in 2012 (to Jeb Bush? shudder, but with great Hispanic appeal).

The Democratic Party will hemorrhage badly as it veers into Obamaland, with his muddled policies, corrupt connections, and rabid "so-far-left-they-are-right" supporters.

But if Obama is the nominee (60/40 chance I think), and he were to win the GE (30/70 chance), it would be symptomatic of the much bigger problem we are facing: the disintegration of the United States of America. As my daughter once said, "Hello, Roman Empire".

I live in a state much like Arizona, where growing Hispanic voters are threatening to turn a Red State into a Purple one. But the DNC and the CheetohEaters don't realize what an entirely different voting block the legal Hispanic Commun ity is from the AA Community. I'll either write in Hillary, or if the race is somehow close here, vote McCain. Downticket, I won't vote for any Democrat who I know supported Obama in the Primary/Caucus mess here, or before the nominee has been chosen.

I'm through with them.

Horselover Fat said...

I do think Obama might well be worse than McCain, likely to be a Trojan Horse regarding health insurance (the Jim Cooper ties) and SS (the investment banker support).

I think this is moot, though - I believe he has a 0% likelihood of being inaugurated in January if he does get the nomination.

gendergappers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gendergappers said...

Hope I get it right this time - A picture worth a thousand words - to take some of the tension out of tomorrow.

No Blood for Hubris said...

Great graphic.

Wendy said...

WKJM's kid is very young, and so is Kos' daughter, but Kos's son goes to a Spanish preschool of some sort. I forget (I read Mother Talkers, where Kos' wife blogs about parenting).

I am fascinated by the issues of education and class and privilege. This is a real tough one. Megan McCardle has gone off on liberals more than once for being racist by avoiding inner-city schools.

Common Sense Gram said...

Cathy- I laughed and laughed about tha episode of Top Chef. My mom could do it and I still can!!! One of the standing family stories is about my son calling to ask how to make that awesome hamburger helper stuff- "you know the one you make Mom, not the box one!"
And that is where Obama just does not get it- we get it and we get by. Anyway we can, but we get by. There is in this country, in the end, a solid citizen base, that carries us, generation to generation. Presidents come and go, politicians flare up and then fade away. The working class goes on and on, for better for worse, in sickness and in health.
I think I am not the only one expanding my garden this year. If Hillary wins, I will have a lot to donate to the food pantry and soup kitchen. if not, I will be able to provide for my family and friends. We are the base, and we will survive. The liberal elite will die out, like the roman upper class did. (The bread and circus thing didn't do them any good in the long run, just prolonged the agony.)

alibe said...

Strange graphic of Barack Obama. It captures his aloof look....or as my friend calls it, his dictator pose.

Murphy said...

all of your posts are at the highest level. This one is exceptional though, even by that standard. You raise so many important and confounding points. People of conscience struggle with the challenges you identified every day. Most of them try to live up to their own sense of justice and fairness wrt to diversity and multiculturalism, and most of them end up failing. by moving to the suburbs or coughing up the tuition for private schools. and really, I find it hard to blame them for that choice. But when those same people turn around and treat Obama like the second coming I DO blame them. You think the Precious' children are attending Chicago public schools? Well, ok they're the children of a US senator, so it's understandable they should be in private school. But I would bet a million dollars that if Barack and Michelle were private citizens, working in Chicago in non-profits and putting their ivy league educations to good and humane use (as I have no doubt they would be if he wasnt a politician) their kids would be in the finest private schools they could afford. and again, I wouldnt blame THEM. It's not the fault of hardworking parents that the public schools in big cities are dogshit places that you wouldnt want any relative of yours attending. It's the fault of government-- local, municipal, and federal.
I dont know what Hillary can do to help urban public schools, but I DO know that I trust her a helluva lot more than I do him to be able to even understand and respond to the deeply affecting and profoundly important conundrums you bring up in your post.
and the shithead Boiz with their kids in fancypants schools and their knickers in a twist about their unity pony being put down just before the finish line? FUCK them.

Anglachel said...


No, you won't get blasted. My plan is to vote for Hillary in November, whether I fill in the spot next to her name or write her in on the ballot. I will also vote for all Democrats downticket unless they've done something really rotten in local politics, which, give San Diego's general state of corruption, is definitely a problem.

I have made clear my opinion of the race. If Hillary is nominated, we will win the White House. If Obama is nominated, we will lose the White House in a huge way and we will lose other races we should have won due to the smears that will be run against Obama and those who endorsed him.


Anonymous said...

If Obama is nominated, we will also look back on the days of 77 cents on the male dollar as the high watermark. Let's also remember that.

As to the rest of the post -- the armchair quarterbacks of race relations, I'm tellin ya.