I want to focus on this statement by Joe Biden, as quoted by Scott in his “Tangled up in Tulsa” post:
Although I have no scientific basis for what I’m about to say, but those of you who are over 50, how often did you ever see advertisements on television with black and white couples? Not a joke. I challenge you, find today when you turn on the stations, sit on one station for two hours, and I don’t how many commercials you’ll see, 8:00 to 5:00. Two to three out of five have mixed race couples in them. That’s not by accident.
They’re selling soap, man. Not a joke. Remember old Pat Caddell used to say, “You want to know what’s happening in American culture? Watch advertising,” because they want to sell what they have.
Apparently, like many old Americans, Biden is watching lots of television. I am too (almost exclusively sports), and noticed the same thing. In fact, I was thinking of writing about it.
Biden is telling the truth here. And that truth is inconsistent with the falsehoods of BLM and critical race theory.
Sure, virtue signaling accounts in part for the number of interracial couples in commercials. That number, by the way, is “inequitable” because interracial coupling, though not uncommon (a good thing), is far less prevalent in real life than in commercials. Commercials as a whole don’t “look like America.”
But, as Biden says, advertising is still about selling. If America had an “implicit bias” problem, you wouldn’t see so many ads with black/white couples. You would hardly see any. So too, if America had a “systemic racism” problem or, indeed, a serious problem of ordinary racism.
So why does Biden want to impose the Critical Race Theory education agenda including, for example, “antiracist therapy” for teachers afflicted by “Whiteness”? The answer might be that he doesn’t care and, as he watches television, is simply going along with what his lefty base wants.
Or maybe the answer can be found in this passage from Biden’s speech:
We do ourselves no favors by pretending none of this [slavery and Jim Crow] ever happened or doesn’t impact us today, because it does still impact us today. We can’t just choose to learn what we want to know and not what we should know. We should know the good, the bad, everything. That’s what great nations do. They come to terms with their dark sides. And we’re a great nation. The only way to build a common ground is to truly repair and to rebuild.
Actually, this is not what nations, great or otherwise, do. Nations in which one regime has been violently overthrown obsess about the “dark side” of the overthrown regime. Other than that, I can’t think of any nation (other than America) that doesn’t gloss over to some degree aspects of its “dark side,” and certainly none that tries to build an ideology out of it.
But that’s not the main problem with what Biden is saying. The main problem is that the U.S. has not been pretending that slavery and Jim Crow never happened. For at least 25 years (when my daughters started learning history in school), slavery and Jim Crow have had a prominent place in early, intermediate, and advanced education.
Every February (Black History Month), this “dark side” is hammered home. And because children are exposed to five (or so) months of education in black history before they learn any other type, it’s fair to say that slavery and Jim Crow dominate early education in American history.
And it’s not just slavery and Jim Crow. When one of my daughters was in fourth grade (I think), her school experimented with a new program in reading historical fiction. The reading list was exclusively about female victims. One was a book about a young black slave. One was about a Japanese-American girl interned during World War II. One was about an Indian girl on a reservation.
We would do ourselves “no favors” if we pretended that slavery, Jim Crow, internment of Japanese-American, and mistreatment of Indians never happened. But we don’t pretend these things. The first two are at the core of American education and the last two are not obscured.
The real point is that we do ourselves no favors by teaching an ideology that places our past transgressions at the forefront of our history. Doing so is almost guaranteed to demoralize and divide Americans. What’s the case for patriotism if our nation’s past is so rotten?
Yet, Democrats are hell bent on an instruction that relentlessly trashes America. And Joe Biden is going along with it.