Linda Goudsmit
July 30, 2017
The merit of the meritocracy
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By Linda Goudsmit

In a stunning display of reverse discrimination Columbia University's Teachers College organized a conference exploring the "problem of whiteness" and how to combat whiteness.

300 participants mostly K-12 teachers and principals were "reeducated" in ways to frame being white as the primary social problem to be addressed in elementary schools. Workshops and presentations titled "Whiteness in Schools," "Three Ways to Face White Privilege in the Classroom," "Teaching for Social Justice" are representative of the blatant prejudice and reverse discrimination intrinsic in the conference designed to "Reimagine Education."

Black history exposes how black children were made to feel ashamed of being black. How does making white children feel ashamed of being white remedy the situation? It can't.

Similarly, at a diversity conference for employees at Jesuit colleges Dr. Kris Sealey, associate professor of philosophy at Fairfield University, spoke about race in the university classroom. She has taught race based courses such as "Black Lives Matter" and "Critical Race Theory."

"So more and more, the courses that I teach on race have become courses in which I expect my students to engage in the hegemonic power of whiteness." Really?

Let's discuss hegemonic theory. Early 19th century Italian political theorist Antonio Gramsci was made famous by his theory of cultural hegemony which posits that the state and ruling class (the bourgeoisie in Italy) use cultural institutions to maintain power in capitalist societies. Hegemony is just another word for dominance. The ruling class uses ideology rather than military force to achieve compliance to its cultural norms. The idea is that the lessons of accepted normative behavior are repeated and reinforced at home, at school, and at worship. The cultural norms become codified into laws which further enforce the cultural norms and thus cultural hegemony rather than force is used to maintain power.

Dr. Sealey and the presenters at Teachers College are criticizing cultural hegemony as the evil method used for maintaining white power while they are hypocritically attempting to reformat American cultural institutions with reverse discrimination to establish cultural hegemony and establish black power. Reverse discrimination is still discrimination and cannot remedy the problem of discrimination it can only exacerbate it.

Reverse racism taken to its extreme will necessarily end in a race war – the white population will not submit without a fight. The social chaos of a race war will not end well for America. The police force will be nationalized and the federal government will declare martial law and all individual freedoms will be suspended.

There is an alternative.

America's judicial system was created with the dream of blind justice. This meant that the judicial system would focus exclusively on the WHAT of behavior and ignore the WHO. To realize the dream of fairness requires a commitment to the ideal of the meritocracy not a campaign to institutionalize reverse racism. Racism and reverse racism are the opposite of fairness because they focus on the WHO of behavior not on the WHAT of behavior.

Consider the blind auditions for orchestras. They are the fairest system and yield the most talented artists for positions in the orchestra. Musicians sitting behind a screen play for judges – there is only the music – it does not matter if the musician is white, black, hispanic, Asian, old, young, Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. Only the music matters. The competence and achievement of the musician is measured – not the color of his/her skin.

The meritocracy is the structure of fairness that supports the American dream of upward mobility. The meritocracy focuses exclusively on the WHAT of behavior and ignores the WHO.

Fairness is a stabilizing principle. People will stand in line quietly and peacefully for hours until someone cuts the line. The unfairness of someone cutting the line provokes anger that can quickly escalate into violence. Fairness is a principle we need to recommit ourselves to.

So, why is there a movement to completely dismantle the meritocracy rather than a commitment to abide by it to make America truly egalitarian? Why are elementary schools, universities, and black race hucksters attempting to destroy the meritocracy of our educational system and replace it with an institutionalized curriculum that indoctrinates American youth toward reverse racism in schools?

The answer can be found in Shelby Steele's extraordinary book titled "White Guilt" that explores the emotional power of white guilt being exploited by black political race hustlers in the United States hoping to transform America into socialism. Steel argues that the primary focus of the civil rights movement was the legitimate undertaking to remove racial barriers and achieve equality through equal opportunity. Without racial barriers the black community would become equal and active participants in the American meritocracy and Martin Luther King's dreams for racial equality would come true. America would finally be color-blind and function like the blind auditions for orchestras.

That was not to be the case. Instead, the counterculture movement of the 60s merged with the civil rights movement and instead of empowering the black community through the avenues of personal responsibility and the meritocracy the black power movement embraced an angry narrative of blame insuring perpetual victimhood for the black community. Rather than creating a climate of equality among races based on equal rights, equal opportunity, and equal protections under the law white guilt was exploited to reverse racial discrimination and blame white privilege for the black community's condition and an industry for race hustlers was created.

Shelby Steele understands that being a victim is the position of powerlessness – the net effect of the intersectionality of race hustlers, the black power movement, and the counterculture selling permanent victim status has been 50 more years of hardship for the black community. Shelby Steele argues that the black community has exchanged free stuff for their freedom – a very bad trade. A commitment to the meritocracy is the pathway for survival and upward mobility. Competence elevates the black community. An education fostering competence, skills, and achievement is necessary for success not an indoctrination in blame, permanent victimhood, and powerlessness.

Racial harmony requires a commitment to equal opportunity and the meritocracy where all behavior and achievement are judged on competence not who is competing. The meritocracy is the system that can make Martin Luther King's dreams come true. So, why are radical educators, race hustlers, and their left-wing liberal supporters trying to dismantle it?

The radical educators, race hustlers and Leftist believe that socialism will provide social justice and income equality. The problem with socialism as Margaret Thatcher explained is that "Eventually you run out of other people's money."

Socialism is the opposite of the meritocracy. Socialism steals individual freedom. Socialism is the fiction that you can have freedom without responsibility. That is why socialism inevitably fails.

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© Linda Goudsmit

 

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Linda Goudsmit

Linda Goudsmit is a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She and her husband Rob owned and operated a girls clothing store in Michigan for 40 years and are now retired on the beach in sunny Florida.

Linda graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, earning a B.A. in English literature. Having a lifelong commitment to learning, she is an avid reader and observer of life.

She has shared her thoughts, observations, and philosophy of behavior in her book DEAR AMERICA Who's Driving the Bus? Linda is currently working on a children's book series titled Mimi's STRATEGY that offers helpful problem solving techniques encouraging resourcefulness and critical thinking skills for kids.

See Linda's Pundicity page

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