November 18, 2007

Asimov's Revenge on O'Connell

Here's my new column.

It follows up on California school superintendent Jack O'Connell's attack on Mean White Lady schoolteacher that Nanette Asimov broke in the San Francisco Chronicle a week ago. By the way, although I titled my blog's extract from her article "Beyond Parody," that shouldn't be taken as criticism of her story, which is a model of giving a bloviating politician enough rope to hang himself.

Here's an excerpt from my new column:

Earlier, Nanette Asimov reported in the San Francisco Chronicle on California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell's initiative to close the racial achievement gap:

"He offered the example of black children who learn at church that it's good to clap, speak loudly and be a bit raucous. But doing the same thing at school, where 72 percent of teachers are white and may be unfamiliar with such customs, will get them in trouble, he said.

"The achievement gap is 'absolutely, positively not genetic,' O'Connell said.’All kids can learn. I'm saying it's racial.'"

In other words, he is blaming the gap in part on white racist schoolteachers enforcing too much discipline in California's public schools.

O'Connell's statement caused a controversy, leading him to apologize … not to white schoolteachers, of course (there wasn't any media tumult over that), but to black churches.

After the conference, O'Connell kept up his attack on white teachers, telling the Los Angeles Times:

"O'Connell concurred, talking of 'a cultural bias that impedes instruction. Well-meaning, well-educated people can unintentionally be part of perpetuating institutional racism.' The nation's schooling system, he said, 'developed to educate white children and remains most advantageous to white children.'"

… Finally, O'Connell's implication that too much classroom discipline is holding NAM students down is just barking mad.

For example, Asimov (yes, she's the niece of science fiction great Isaac Asimov) pointedly reported in the SF Chronicle on the only session out of the 125 at O'Connell's conference where real high school students were asked what would help them:

"'If the room is quiet, I can work better—but it's not gonna happen,' said Nyrysha Belion, a 16-year-old junior at Mather Youth Academy in Sacramento County, a school for students referred for problems ranging from truancy to probation.

"She was answering a question posed by a moderator: 'What works best for you at school to help you succeed?'

"Simple, elusive quiet.

"Nyrysha said if she wants to hear her teacher, she has to move away from the other students.’Half our teachers don't like to talk because no one listens.'"

After five years of Jack O'Connell as head educrat, California nearly hit rock bottom on the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress tests. California students' reading scores are horrible, with the state ranking 48th out of 50 states in 4th grade reading and 49th in 8th grade reading.

But the performance of California, home to Silicon Valley, in that universal language, mathematics, may be even more disturbing: 47th in 4th grade math, 46th in 8th grade math.

California's dim future is mostly not O'Connell's fault. The primary culprit is "demographic change"—i.e., immigration.

I suspect that the Superintendent is babbling insane nonsense because he's terrified of blurting out what he suspects is the real reason for the gap…and finding himself Watsoned out of his precious political career.

But, unfortunately, as Richard Weaver pointed out long ago, ideas have consequences …no matter how stupid the ideas are. O'Connell's ridiculous rationalizations have taken on bureaucratic momentum. He hired Glenn Singleton, a black professional diversicrat, as his racial sensitivity consultant and wants to subject white public school teachers to Singleton's system of Maoist-style self-criticism sessions (Singleton calls them "Courageous Conversations") about "white privilege."

The last thing California public schools need is for O'Connell and Singleton to wage a Cultural Revolution from above against school discipline. That would tell NAM students, in effect, to play the race card even more than they do now when they get in trouble. [MORE]

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

Steve, you got it just right. The Jesuits used to employ the formula you recommend, and it worked really well for the most part, the exception being high-IQ smart-asses who need discipline from other high-IQ smart-asses who can understand their own particular brand of delinquency.

My mom is an administrator in a very high-level private high school in CA, and I'd say where she worked if I weren't worried about her getting flak for it. I've given her the same advice and she understands that even privileged boys need a firmer hand than girls (but of course a fundamentally compassionate one). Her school is doing very well these days.

One of the biggest disasters in contemporary education - the failure of boys to achieve up to their potential - is the result of treating boys and girls as though they are the same.

I've always known you were a smart guy Steve, but being wise is what really sets you apart. Some men keep growing into themselves. That is a reassuring thing to see.

Keep at it, friend. As a father of a little boy I am deeply grateful.

Anonymous said...

And just what is the church attendance rate of the underachieving cadre of black youth? And their parents for that matter? I guess Lamarckian biology lives on in the Superintendent's office.


Anonymous said...

I am Lugash.

One minor flaw in your plan to use thick-necks to enforce discipline: What do you do when they have a brilliant troublemaker like Mychal Bell? For a lot of thick-necks winning is everything.

I am Lugash.

Anonymous said...

And this story has nothing to do with demographics, dont let me catch anyone saying otherwise:

Anonymous said...

I would venture to guess that football coaches facilitate as much delinquency as they prevent. At least that's been my experience, which would seem to be reinforced by the general thuggery of student athletes. As a college student, I was sucker punched by a black football player on campus while he was on his way to football practice. He never even got a slap on the wrist by either the coach or the college administration. This was not uncommon for the submoronic thugs, er, "athletes" that infested my campus, almost all of whom were on full-ride scholarships.

But the incident sure did open my naive liberal eyes to the reality of race relations---I was actually on my way to a civil rights rally, if you can believe that shit. I've been a race realist ever since. Despite having to work my way through college, I graduated with honors and went on to grad school, while the black football thug on a full scholarship dropped out. Ha!

Anonymous said...

A further comment: I had two retired Army NCOs as teachers in my high school (I was a JROTC nerd). I really liked them both, but they were both softies. I got away with more shit in JROTC than in any other class. One of them did teach me to be a damn fine marksman, though :) Thanks to him, I got my high school letter in riflery and an expert badge in the Army.

I'm not sure what the solution to disruptive students is, but in my (admittedly limited) experience, football coaches and Army sergeants didn't do much to instill discipline in young alpha males. Generally speaking, though, I think you are correct in saying that nice white ladies aren't going to do the job, either, and that a strong adult male who is in charge is the only thing that can control the thugs that infest some of the NAM-dominated public schools. Perhaps prison guards? With tazers?

Anonymous said...

Steve -- fantastic column. It's clear we are heading for disaster. You are the only one writing about this stuff and it's important, keep it up.

Loved the link on Tom Wolfe's writings, I will definitely check them out.

Great column once again!

Anonymous said...


I think your on the right track but you're making the assumption that there is a normative culture to provide standards and that the parents of troubled kids would permit the employment of effective measures. Unfortunately the various race hustlers and ethnic special pleaders would move heaven and earth to squash such a plan if their parochial concerns weren't paramount. I fear that we may be past the point of no return WRT public education.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer's alpha-male solution to California school chaos ironically skirts the solution, but still misses the mark entirely.

It is Mexicanization of California society that will solve the problem, Steve. Hello? Do the recent public school black-hispanic race riots not ring a bell? While you sit at your keyboard offering up theories of social order, La Raza strongmen in the trenches are actually producing realities of social order. These realities just aren't "white" realities. Which makes sense because Whitey is vacating the California public school system, so why should his/your norms predominate anyway?

The point is that the Mexicans and Central Americans have no ridiculous white guilt. They won't need your prescriptions. They will physically pound the blacks into marginalized non-existence. And in the near future they themselves will simply not matriculate in large numbers past the age of puberty. As is the norm in Mexico and other Latin America countries.

Make no mistake: There will be much less violence in any future Mexicanized California public school system. Because there will be no blacks present in significant number. And there will be much less mestizo violence because the teenage Latin males will feel increasingly free to drop out as per their cultural norm. Problem solved.

The hopelessly politically correct California public school commissars have it right for once when they claim that white cultural norms will not work for non-white students. The solution is to allow the entire system to float to a level that matches the new dominant culture.

If you had cajones grandes you'd announce that the only reality-based solution to preserving California public school education in the white western style is to deport every single illegal alien in California (and their offspring) and thereby preserve a white western student body. Otherwise your tiltings are straight out of Don Quixote.

Anonymous said...

I think Mercer and Jack are both correct, but my reasoning is a bit more complex.

I don't think Black people just woke up one day and decided, "hey let's have our young men be thugs! Wouldn't that be great?" Instead I think there are strong social requirements driving Blacks in America.

Namely, fear of assimilation and inter-marriage. Think about it, your people have survived centuries of slavery and a hundred years or so of Jim Crow. Would YOU want to inter-marry with White People? No of course not particularly since you KNOW you are better anyway. The kind of White person you see seems "soft" and incapable of surviving what your ancestors did. The Middle Passage where half the slaves died, horrific plantations, humiliations of segregations. You are descended from the hardest of hard men and have contempt for softness like a Samurai did in Edo Japan. Meanwhile immigrants from Mexico daily challenge you for control of your historic neighborhoods, and white real estate hungry folk are on the prowl for gentrification opportunities.

Black thugs and general thuggishness perform multiple functions. First it keeps intermarriage assimilation away. It's an understandable source of shame to share a genetic heritage with one's enslavers, no matter how distant in time that slavery was. Note how much constant emphasis on "acting White" and "not Black enough" is made culturally?

That is no accident and "thuggishness" is a natural reaction to celebrating "hardness" in enduring slavery/segregation and "superior" attributes compared to the "soft" enslavers.

That Black women prefer widely hypermasculine hard-men and despise "soft" men who "act all faggy" in the words of Idiocracy also plays to this tendency.

But last, Blacks face a physical struggle for who will control their neighborhood, so it's not odd that they would emphasize in effect raising their own militia. With an emphasis on toughness and brutality to compensate for small numbers (compared to the unlimited numbers of Mexicans who want their neighborhoods).

Black people are not blind to the advantages of law and order, suppression of gangs, and studying hard in school. They simply have decided that they'll forgo those advantages in favor of group survival, racial and cultural identity.

Because if they chose for all the advantages above, they'd be chased out of their neighborhoods and rapidly assimilated like Jews and Italians. From their perspective that is nothing less than a betrayal of their ancestors and so they remain as they are.

Perhaps Blacks are the Serbs of North America -- constantly struggling to survive as a group.

Anonymous said...

"...La Raza strongmen in the trenches are actually producing realities of social order. These realities just aren't "white" realities. Which makes sense because Whitey is vacating the California public school system, so why should his/your norms predominate anyway?"

Yes, this is entirely correct Cabrolet. As is the solution you propose.
Power who has and who is using it and to what end is what this issue boils down to. White politicians and bureaucrats have been on a decades long mission of self-abnegation on behalf of a cowed and misinformed people. Others not. The results have been pathetic and predictable.

Anonymous said...

Since I still haven't been fortunate to figure out the answer, here's my question from last week again:

"What is the bottom line of O'Connell's idea about eliminating the gap between minorities and nonminorities - are there any specifics/new guidelines, the teachers are suppose to follow?
If so, what are they???

Thanks for the answer! (if it arrives at this time :-)

Anonymous said...

Tracking is the solution. There is no reason why someone with mediocre grades and no interest in school should be prepped for going to college. Instead what we need to do is get the smart ones into prep courses and the dummies into some type of trade school that they can master.