He’s just 17 years old? ‘No one need ever forgive him’
Get ready for four years of virtue signaling. Wisconsin’s new lieutenant governor Mandela Barnes gives every evidence he will be Gov. Tony Evers’ designated scolder. Worthy successor to Barack Obama, complete with lecturing finger.
Barnes passed judgment swift and certain that the boys from Covington KY — white, pro-life and wearing Trump MAGA caps — at the foot of Lincoln Memorial are guilty as charged. According to the WI State Journal, Barnes on Monday called the Native American drum-pounder Nathan Phillips, an “American hero” and the teenagers a “mob” who surrounded and taunted him.
As a Man of Color, Phillips is presumed — pre-judged — to be the victim in the Great Liberal Victim eschatology. The white boys, predators. The slaver DNA still percolating in their veins.
Punch that kid in the face!
For once, the usually milquetoast-ed David Brooks of the New York Times captures the zeitgeist of identity politics. The headline of his column will make you weep: “How We Destroy Lives Today.”
You had a gentle, 64-year-old Native American man being swarmed by white (boo!), male (boo!), preppy (double boo!) Trump supporters (infinite boo!). If you are trying to rub the pleasure centers of a liberal audience, this is truly a story too good to check.
Saturday was a day of liberal vindication. See! This is what those people do! This is who they really are. Reza Aslan, the religious scholar, tweeted a photo of the main Covington boy and asked, “Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?” The filmmaker Michael Green showed the same image and tweeted: “A face like that never changes. This image will define his life. No one need ever forgive him.”
The institutions in charge of serving the boys did what institutions always do in the face of a social media mob. They cratered. The school and archdiocese apologized. The mayor of Covington denounced them.
On Sunday several longer videos emerged showing that most of what Phillips had told the media was inaccurate. The incident actually started when members of the hate cult — the Black Hebrew Israelites — started hurling racist and homophobic slurs at the boys.
Here be the larger video:
We circle back to Madison where the City’s racial equity coordinator blames “white supremacist B.S.” for her failure to get enough signatures to get on the ballot. Her job, near as we can figure, is to conduct implicit bias training.
Heather Mac Donald tells us that “Implicit bias has spawned a multimillion-dollar consulting industry, along with a movement to remove the concept of individual agency from the law. … Nearly 200 CEOs signed a pledge to pack their employees off to implicit-bias training, … President Obama sent federal law-enforcement personnel to implicit-bias training; many local police departments are doing the same, spending millions of dollars that could be used instead to improve officers’ tactical and communication skills.”
Only problem is, this bias training increasingly is being viewed as voodo science. We turn to a professor of social psychology at Rutgers University and a former fellow and consulting scholar at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. In Psychology Today, Dr. Lee Jussim writes:
Almost everything about implicit bias is controversial in scientific circles. It is not clear what most implicit methods actually measure; their ability to predict discrimination is modest at best, their reliability is low; early claims about their power and immutability have proven unjustified. And yet colleges and corporations have been rushing to institute implicit bias trainings in (misguided and unlikely to be effective) attempts to reduce discrimination.
The overselling of implicit bias has, in my view, along with several other wildly oversold concepts (micro-aggressions, stereotype threat, white privilege), contributed to the toxic environment on many campuses and in some corporations in which speech is considered violnece and which, if you say the wrong thing, you can be denounced, ostracized, and even fired.
David Brooks’ Bottom Line: “The Covington case was such a blatant rush to judgment — it was powered by such crude prejudice and social stereotyping — I’m hoping it will be an important pivot point.”