The PBS NewsHour will spotlight New York Times columns by their panelist David Brooks when they love them — like his promotional interview with President Biden, or his liberal-pleasing column “The G.O.P. Is Getting Even Worse: Trumpians are having a venomous panic attack.”
This did not happen this week, when Brooks wrote a critical column titled “The Self-Isolation of the American Left.” It’s too conservative!
For two weeks now, the Friday panelists on PBS have discussed schools and Critical Race Theory, with the liberals lying and denying CRT is taught anywhere in America. Brooks reports that the Left is sinking into a disturbing bubble:
A training for Loudoun County, Va., public school administrators taught that “fostering independence and individual achievement” is a hallmark of “white individualism.”
A Williams College professor told The Times last week, “This idea of intellectual debate and rigor as the pinnacle of intellectualism comes from a world in which white men dominated.”
Brooks warns that an ideological superstructure is taking over discussions of race. None of this analysis has come out of his mouth on PBS, and PBS isn’t bringing it up:
History is mainly the story of power struggles between oppressor and oppressed groups; the history of Western civilization involves a uniquely brutal pattern of oppression; language is frequently a weapon in this oppression and must sometimes be regulated to ensure safety; actions and statements that do not explicitly challenge systems of oppression are racist; the way to address racism is to heighten white people’s awareness of their own toxic whiteness, so they can purge it.
Today a lot of parents have trouble knowing what’s going on in their kids’ classrooms. Is it a balanced telling of history or the gospel according to Robin DiAngelo?
When they challenge what they sense is happening, they meet a few common responses. They are told, as by Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, that parents shouldn’t tell schools what to teach. They are told they are racist. Or they are blithely assured that there is nothing radical going on — when in fact there might be.
Parents and legislators often respond with a lot of nonsense about critical race theory and sometimes by legalizing their own forms of ideological censorship. But their core intuition is not crazy: One subculture is sometimes using its cultural power to try to make its views dominant, often through intimidation.
When people sense that those with cultural power are imposing ideologies on their own families, you can expect the reaction will be swift and fierce.
Brooks even mentioned the movie critics vs. the general audience for movies. He cited a Rotten Tomatoes gap. The movie Hillbilly Elegy has an 83 percent positive audience score on that website, and a 25 percent positive critics score, a 58 percent difference. The latest Dave Chappelle special on Netflix has a 96 percent positive audience score, but “A small group of people found it a moral atrocity and the current critic score is 44 percent positive. That’s a 52-point gap.” His own newspaper and his own TV family belong to this bubble.