Can’t Stand Cant

I can’t stand any more cant -- the hypocritical, sanctimonious blather so common to our public and private educational institutions, the media, politicians, interest groups and corporations. Neither can more and more people -- and this week, across a variety of fields, they are hitting back at it. It’s as if the giant fog beclouding minds is beginning to disperse.

Hero of the Week: Andrew Gutmann

I like private schools. I think that for those who can afford them, they can provide an 'out' from the poor educations available at too many government-sponsored schools. I have, however, been horrified to read letters from heads of otherwise very good ones, endorsing -- if not openly, then subtly -- critical race theory, Black Lives Matter, and the very notion of  “systemic racism.” So I was delighted to read the letter by Andrew Gutmann, father of a student at Brearley, a very high-priced New York school, who attacks the school leadership for their “cowardly and appalling lack of leadership by appeasing an anti-intellectual, illiberal mob, and then allowing the school to be captured by that same mob.”  I can only give you a summary of its highlights, but please read it all. (What he says is equally applicable to the same hypocrisy evident in far too many colleges and universities around the country.)

He says he “cannot tolerate a school that not only judges my daughter by the color of her skin, but encourages and instructs her to prejudge others by theirs,” something he correctly argues desecrates the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders. As for systemic racism, Gutmann denies there is any such thing, and that there has not been any in the U.S. for more than 50 years. “To state otherwise is a flat-out misrepresentation of our country’s history and adds no understanding to any of today’s societal issues.” Differences in outcome are not evidence of “systemic racism,” he notes. “Facile and unsupported beliefs such as these are the polar opposite to the intellectual and scientific truth for which Brearley claims to stand.” As for the often-heard calls for “conversations about race,” he is just as blunt. They do not want an honest conversation about race, they want only to propagandize the false notion that blacks are helpless victims who, no matter their skills, talent or hard work, cannot succeed. In fact, he correctly tags such beliefs “racism.”

Best of all, he calls out the school’s “vacuous, inappropriate and fanatical use of words such as ‘equity’ and ‘diversity’ “as utter hypocrisy, pointing out if that really were its aims, it would scratch policies like preferences for legacies, siblings, and the children of the wealthy. And if it cared really about inclusiveness it would stop teaching “the extraordinarily divisive idea that there are only, and always, two groups in the country: victims and oppressors.”

As for the assertion by the school that its greatest concern should be education, not its stated goal as safety, something he says (with good reason) “damages the mental health and resiliency of the students.”

As if to prove this point, here’s the school’s response, a piece of fluffy faddish words strung together (“inclusive, antiracist, diverse”), contending that the dears were “frightened and intimidated” by Gutmann’s critical comments.

Gutmann also correctly characterized BLM as a “Marxist, anti-family, heterophobic, anti-Asian and anti-Semitic organization that neither speaks for the majority of the Black community in this country, nor in any way, shape or form, represents their best interests.”

Right on cue, Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of BLM proves his point, as Larry Elder reports

“The first thing, I think, is that we actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia [Garza, BLM co-founder] in particular are trained organizers.”

Cullors also said: “We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories. And I think that what we really tried to do is build a movement that could be utilized by many, many black folk.”

She’s doing well for herself, not so well for the intended beneficiaries. She’s been buying up real estate, three homes in Los Angeles, her latest a $1.4-million dollar home in tony Topanga Canyon, California. BLM Global Network received $90 million last year. Only $500 of that went to the family of Michael Brown, whose death in Ferguson, Missoouri set off a series of BLM demonstrations and riots.

In fact, the head of BLM Greater New York, not affiliated with the Global Network, has asked for “an independent investigation” of Cullors’ outfit, asking “If you go around calling yourself a socialist, you have to ask how much of her own personal money is going to charitable causes.” 

Cullors reponded, “I do understand why people expect [grants] from us,” she said. “But I think it’s important that people recognize there are other places they can also get grants. There are other places they can also get resources. And, most importantly, our target should be the United States government. Our target should be calling on Congress to pass reparations.” And she justifies her pelf and real estate investments with this:  “I see my money as not my own. I see it as my family’s money as well.”

Political Cant

And then there’s political cant of which President Biden is a master. As the border crisis explodes and public disagreement with open borders grows, Biden flails about and offers up immediately discredited solutions.

First, he said the border portfolio was being handled by Vice President Kamala Harris, who, not an utter fool, denied that instantly. Then a White House official claimed that the president had secured agreements with Central American countries to address the border crisis. 

Almost immediately thereafter, a State department spokeswoman said that no such agreements exist. Also contradicting the White House claim are northern triangle Special Envoy Ricardo Zuniga and Honduras Foreign Affairs Minister Lisandro Rosales.

Suspected terrorists and gang members have been apprehended, and border crossings in March hit a 15-year high, as an understaffed border patrol struggles to address the varied humanitarian and security problems that come with a massive influx of illegal immigration.

The Biden plan is to have no one in charge as the humanitarian crisis explodes and simply to lie about it .

Environmentalist Cant

Two items this week establish beyond doubt that those opposing fossil fuels are utterly ignorant or lying virtue signalers. 

Here’s a short video in which we learn that solar panels are made of quartz which rips up the land in the quarrying of it and requires lots of coal to heat it and turn it into silicon. And that the energy they provide is intermittent and unreliable and conventional fossil fuel and nuclear-powered generation is necessary to supplement it. 

Watch it to see how the promoters of solar panels ignore or lie about the production process.

It’s of a piece with a contretemps between Innovex, an oil and gas services company, and North Face, a producer of trendy outdoor fashions. Innovex wanted to present employees with North Face jackets with Innovex insignia, North Face refused the sale because it abhors fossil fuel production. The CEO points out how much depends on fossil fuel production and how it has reduced CO2 emissions, and such, and noted to the idiots at North Face “everything North Face produces depends on oil and gas.”

Social Media Cant

Last but not least is Facebook cant. A month ago, it bruited how ethical it is, something so many people who express opinions and cite facts in disagreement with the Zuckerberg-established preferences would dispute.

“Our goal is for Facebook, as a business and a platform, to be a place for equality, safety, dignity and free speech -- the core principles of human rights -- and to build systems that respect human rights and guidance of the UNGPs [UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights].”

Nevertheless, it obtains revenue from ads by companies in China selling hair it admits are cut from Uyghurs, against whom the CCP is committing genocide and other crimes against humanity.  When confronted about the gap between their stated support for human rights and the continued running of these ads, Facebook declined comment.

It would be naive to believe the flood of cant can be stemmed, but let’s work to cut it to a much smaller trickle.

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