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The Unbearable Whiteness of the New York Times - Elf M. Sternberg
The Unbearable Whiteness of the New York Times
That Edsall article is the gift that keeps on giving. Here's another observation:
The differing consequences for those at the top and those at the bottom are visible in the class-based responses to a key element of individualization: changing sexual mores. After a period of turbulence and high divorce rates in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, the well educated are coming to terms with the sexual revolution by postponing marriage and delaying fertility as divorce rates for this class have stabilized or declined. The children of the affluent are, in turn, prospering. Conversely, the less well off – from all backgrounds — have struggled with high levels of family dissolution, father absence and worklessness, leaving their own prospects, and those of their children, bleak.
Edsall curiously keeps referring to "class" when the paper off of which his thoughts pivot very deliberately says that class is outmoded in an "individualized" society.

I could go into another rant about how this is the classic Red Sex/Blue Sex dichotomy, but there's something else in that paragraph that makes me take notice.

The unbearable whiteness of the New York Times.

Go take a look at the hand-wringing throughout the 1970s and all the way through the present about "inner city" familial turbulence, and all the finger pointing by white editorialists when accusing the black communities they supposedly served of failing their moral and familial duties. Suddenly, issues of family instability and dissolution due to economic pressures is something the NY Times wants urgently to talk about, and they do because it's happening to white people.

The risk that Frum gleefully talked about (see previous post) has now revealed its ugly downside: the demoralization and de-legitimization of the very cultural values the conservatives love to talk about. David Brooks loves to finger point this way; it's one of his signature topics. And every time he does it, the counterpunditocracy points out that Brooks is still one of the five stupidest men alive for claiming that moral training will overcome and organize any socioeconomic hardship. Brooks, Frum, Edsall-- ineed the entire NY Times opinion pool-- regards with alarm the rising chaos within white families, because suddenly the problem is on their doorstep, may affect their children. Brooks' latest is literally a "if only poor people had rich people's values, then they could be rich too." Not really, though; they'd just be less troubling to Brooks and his peers.

It's not genetic. It's not cultural. It's purely economic. And it's been caused by people who accepted aid and comfort from Frum, and Brooks, and Douthat. The poor didn't have to be victimized; they didn't have to become rabble. But the New York Times never really spoke truth to power, never really cared that much about the rabble. And now they have to live in fear of the rabble. Their rabble. Pitchforks and all.

Current Mood: grateful grateful

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