George Will: So Wrong Even When He's Kind of Right:
In his latest column (if by "column," you mean, "the asthmatic wheezes of dying generation of supposedly 'rational' conservatives"), George Will goes on a tear about various things in education what piss him off mightily. It's "conciousness-raising" propaganda, goddamnit, that the U.S. guv'mint is a-teachin' to the chillens. And George Will ain't no-how, no-way gonna stand by and let that pass without comment.
Leaping onto a minor conspiracy theory that really is propaganda, just spread by Right Blogsylvania, Will accuses the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction of using a document from the Americorps*VISTA website that encourages educators to urge "white students to wear white wristbands 'as a reminder about your privilege, and as a personal commitment to explain why you wear the wristband.'"
The problem is that the Wisconsin DPI categorically denies that anything of the sort ever happened: "[N]o DPI official, or any VISTA volunteer has used, requested, or encouraged anyone in any school to use the wristbands as ‘reported’ and shared by external groups that thrive on spreading rumors and misinformation. The bottom-line is that there is no wristband program in Wisconsin." The DPI says that a document in a packet of "Additional Resources" mentioned it, but that's it. (If you want to read the document, you can see it at Alex Jones' Infowars, but that's a rabbit hole you don't wanna go down.)
That's not good enough for Will, who cites outraged bloggers at the conservative Port-a-John known as Townhall.com as his proof of how outrageous this non-existent white wristband-wearing is. But, really, what Will wants to do is attack any "taxpayer-funded indoctrination" where students might actually deal with questions of white privilege in America. To some of us, that's known as "teaching critical thinking skills." But, as we know, critical thinking is to modern conservatives as Copernicus was to geocentrism.
Will, who wraps a bowtie tightly around his balls so his dick can look like an intellectual dandy, thinks it's ridiculous that college students would be assigned a reading titled "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." Apparently, questioning one's position in society and how one benefits or is harmed by it is beyond the pale for students. He calls it "distractions from the study of calculus and literature." To which the Rude Pundit needs to play his professor card and say, "Um, have you been in a literature class lately, you pinheaded motherfucker? It ain't just Alexander Pope appreciation courses."
But amidst his retro attack on pluralism and diversity, the kind of thing that gives Allan Bloom's dessicated corpse a boner, Will hits on something that is a problem across all levels of education: there's too many goddamn administrators: "Today, the school systems in 20 states employ more non-teachers than teachers." And he rightly points out that too many education dollars are sucked up by redundant administrators. Hell, teachers' unions agree with Will.
And while Will thinks the problem in universities is administrators who deal in diversity or other conservative bugaboos, it ain't. It's actually the corporatization of education that's done this. The administrators exist to take care of the external demands, of testing, of funding, of all the rubric-laden bullshit that's been layered onto just fuckin' teaching students, even white ones.