And it's also kind of funny, to watch these two big, strong men act so cowardly in the presence of big, confusing words.
As I see it, the willful, (literally) appalling ignorance on display here articulates the following common white beliefs:
- attempting to discuss racism and other forms of oppression with any degree of seriousness is "anti-American"
- only the "far left" thinks racism is much of a problem anymore (along with, presumably, race-card-carrying members of racial minority groups who "refuse to stop sucking on the public teat")
- the idea of discussing "white privilege" is so bizarre and repellent that when you use the term, it should fall out of your mouth like pieces of rotten apple
- public schools in the U.S. are hotbeds of radical left-wing indoctrination (instead of the opposite)
- incorporating discussion of privilege and oppression into school curricula can only result in a long, depressing, unrealistic sob-fest of negativity, all over things that (again) are just not a big deal anymore
- what you should do with unfamiliar multisyllabic words is hold them up for suspicion and ridicule (instead of finding out what they actually mean)
- using big, confusing words in an educational setting to describe and analyze complex and ongoing modes of oppression is a radical plot to violently shove indoctrination "down the throats" of our nation's prostrate, defenseless youth
- even though I freely admit that I don't know all that much about these things, you should still listen to me as I loudly and confidently tell you what you should think about them
- everyone should be white, heterosexual, aggressive, pugnacious and rich like me, and if they're not then that's their own damn fault, so when in the hell are they ever going to stop whining like that?!
Did I miss anything?
And, if you know people who think like this -- about attempts in educational settings to address oppression, or otherwise -- how do you deal with them?
Finally, if you've been in courses that included material of the sort that Stossel and O'Reilly are so hot and bothered about here, did it work for you?
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Stossel Matters" segment tonight: an unbelievable situation at the University of Minnesota. Apparently the school's Twin Cities campus has put together a Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Force that would require education students to accept theories like "white privilege," "institutional racism," and "the myth of meritocracy" in the United States. Here now from New York, Fox News and Business anchor John Stossel, who has been looking into the situation.
Now this isn't in place yet. 2011, they want to put it in place. But this is about as far left as it gets, and education schools are known for this. But this is really over the top. How do you see it?
JOHN STOSSEL, FOX BUSINESS ANCHOR: Yes. Ed schools are known for this. Some of it's ridiculous. This is just a discussion at this point, fortunately. I talked to the dean, one of the faculty members even suggested a course in "heteronormativity," or at least a class in that.
O'REILLY: What is that?
STOSSEL: That means that you discriminate against people who aren't straight. So, you can't do that.
STOSSEL: Heteronormativity. But look --
O'REILLY: Oh. So if I'm a heteronormative, uh, I'm, uh, homophobic?
STOSSEL: You just assume everybody else is straight, and this might make you a bad teacher if you had a lot of gay kids in your class. I don't know. I don't presume to know. But this isn't as bad as it could be. Some of these ed schools are awful. This is one of the good ones. U.S. News rates it in the top 10 percent. Are you telling me you --
O'REILLY: Then why -- if it's one of the good ones, why do they want to get out into the radical left branch? I mean, look, they want to incorporate into this curriculum "white privilege," "hegemonic masculinity." I guess that means that men have all the power.
O'REILLY: You know, "internalized oppression." What is internalized oppression? What is that?
STOSSEL: Are you telling me you don't think there is white privilege in America? I mean, Obama notwithstanding?
O'REILLY: I think there is white privilege in America, and I think it should be discussed. I don't think it should be accepted as the way it was, say 50 years ago. You know, look, if you're going to push "America's a terrible place," which is what this is all about, and you tell your students America is a terrible place, I'm going to oppose you on every front.
STOSSEL: Well, I would, too. But I don't know that they're doing this. It's one of the best ed schools in the country. Are you telling me when you were a teacher, that you or some of your colleagues might not have been helped by a cultural sensitivity course? In some Asian cultures, it's impolite to look an adult in the eye. So if the kid is looking down, the teacher may think he's not paying attention when he's just being polite. That stuff's good to know.
O'REILLY: But what this is, is a continuation -- and this is the extreme -- a continuation of the theory on college campuses that America's a bad place. Look, we got problems in America. You know, the white majority has oppressed minorities, not just African-Americans, but others. Yes. But America is the best country in the world because it affords the most amount of people the biggest opportunity to pursue happiness under the freedom and capitalistic banner. This is a bunch of garbage because it emphasizes the negative. You know, it emphasizes everything bad about America. And that's what I object to. And that's what's being taught on all, you know, all these college campuses in the ed schools. That's what they're getting rammed down their throat.
STOSSEL: They often are. And I agree with you. But what really outrages me is that prospective teachers have to go to these ed schools in the first place, that the government monopoly on K through 12 education demands these degrees, many of which are lousy. Let the schools hire anybody they want. You or I or President Obama would not be allowed to teach in a public school, because of these --
O'REILLY: Well, if you pass this certification and you get in the union, you can teach. It doesn't matter if you have an ed degree or a history degree or an English degree.
STOSSEL: But in many places, you have to take the four to six years of college, spend $100,000 at a private school, $40,000 at a public school. Shouldn't have to.
O'REILLY: Well, I think you have to have a degree to teach, and you have to pass a certification course. But the fact remains is, that there's indoctrination taking place now all across the United States, and it's left-wing indoctrination. And surely as a libertarian, you can't support a left-wing indoctrination taking place. And that's what's going on in America's public schools by and large.
STOSSEL: But 87 percent of the teachers are white. Almost half the kids are not white anymore. Some training wouldn't hurt.
O'REILLY: Training about what?
STOSSEL: Training about how races may be different, how kids from other cultures may learn differently.
O'REILLY: OK, I'll cede you that there can be that kind of a presentation. But that's not what this Minnesota thing's about. This is about America's bad, ram it down your students' throat. And you and I know it, Stossel.
STOSSEL: If that's the case, I'm with you.
O'REILLY: All right. You ought to be. You ought to be with me all the time. John Stossel, everybody.