Urban Progressive Privilege: In Which I Defend A Cake-Eating Private School

Around the time of the Chauvin verdict, and in the wake of the Brooklyn Center shooting, a group of students at posh Creti\-Derham Hall – a private Catholic school in Saint Paul – held a walkout.

Now, that’s fine. It’s a foreign concept to me, of course – in my day, at my high school, with its principal who’d served as a Marine fighter pilot in World War 2, it was pretty well understood a student’s place was in his damn desk. I honestly think both approaches have their merits.

Now, with Cretin-Derham Hall (henceforth CDH) which charges $14,765 a year in tuition (which, even after adjusting for inflation, is about 40% more than I spent for undergrad college at a private four-year institution), there’s the added imperative with one suspects at least a few parents, to spend more time on learning and less on the social-justice chatter one sees being substituted for “Education” in the public system.

They Doth Protest Too Much

So – was it OK for the students at CDH to walk out? That’s between the students, the faculty and the ATM machines. Er, parents.

What can not be considered OK is the alleged behavior by some of the students, as related in the Pioneer Press’s story on the subject (emphasis added by me):

As the group gathered back at the school, a student organizer used a school megaphone to lead an anti-police, “F— 12” chant, which administrators quickly sought to shut down.

Meanwhile, a group of girls recorded a video taunting a police officer’s son, who stayed home from school on Monday.

Students told the Pioneer Press that at least six students of various ethnicities were suspended.

Into the fray steps a woman – a “Chicano Studies” professor at the U of M, and not only a CDH graduate, but a second generation alum – with an open letter to CDH’s administration (and, of course, all the social media) with the social justice verdict on the subject. Here’s the letter – I’ll leave it to you to read it, if you want. I’ll pullquote it in case it disappears, not that the professor (who I won’t name, because why?) wijll face any consequences for writing it.

She repeats, several times, that she was a “student of color” at CDH -but also mentions that her father also graduated from CDH, that she’s gone onto an academic career including a PhD from UC Santa Barbara and a position at the U of M teaching in a discipline ending with “…Studies”, which I present with no further comment, other than to say that if she was oppressed (as she claims repeatedly in the letter, although generally in the form of “microaggressions”), it’s not apparent from her implied curriculum vitae. Not only did someone spend an awful lot of money to send her to school – implying at least one generation cared about her education pretty profoundly – but someone did the same for her father, somehow.

Failure To Communicate

Her letter is…

…well, about what you’d expect from someone who’s a professor of anything ending in “studies”. But there are a couple of bits that:

  • Show the parlous state of higher educations today
  • Given the amount of cheerleading support the professor got on social media, show the dismal state of logic in society today.

The first part:

Your call to understand “BOTH” sides, and that “we can be politically conservative or liberal or somewhere on the broad continuum of thought AND coexist in a respectful environment built on common values,” [Bold is original] fails to understand what is currently happening in our city, state, and nation. This is not a matter of hearing each other out. This is a matter of life and death. Black people are killed by police at alarming rates

Have you noticed how often sentences that says a statement “…fails to understand” something almost inevitably deflect someone’s perfect understanding of a situation?

And what actions, that the public knows about, crossed any sort of ideological line? The protests?

No. It was the six kids that allegedly bullied the cop’s kid.

While CDH wouldn’t specifically comment on the nature of the six suspensions, the school confirmed to me that no students were suspended for protesting legitimately. Who does thjat leave? There are only so many possibilities.

So – not only is she saying there are not multiple sides of this issue, and there is not room for multiple perspectives, but that if you think there are you clearly favor killing black people; accusing people of racism for supporting a dialog about issues is bad enough.

But she’s bringing that accusation to bear to support six alleged bullies. Criticizing, not the protests, but the bullying that sprang from them, is racist!

As Dennis Prager points out, it takes an elite education something something something. I forget thje rest.

Speaking of Consequences

Later, apparently criticizing the suspension of (I’ll say it again) six kids who made a video harassing someone for being the son of a policeman, she writes (and I add empjasis):

As educators we must impede the school to prison pipeline. Taking this type of disciplinary action as opposed to teaching, listening, and engaging with these young people is not only a missed opportunity, but continues the same punitive action that this present moment is fighting against.

The professor apparently would have you believe that suspending students at a posh private school for allegedly bullying a fellow student is:

  • Going on the students criminal records
  • On a moral par with not only being killed by the police, but killed for no cause whatsoever.

The galling part about this is not that someone who teaches our kids is writing this sort of stuff with a straight face. This sort of thought would appear to be the water in which PhDs in anything ending in “…Studies” swim.

The galling part was, when someone posted the letter on a neighborhood social media page, watching the locals – it was in Highland Park – tripping over each other to compliment the writer’s wisdom. And when questioned in any way, how many of them reverted immediately to…

Because Trump.

Moral vacuity is a barrel that has no bottom to scrape in Saint Paul.

Quick Note: Any commenter that asks “So, you’re ok withj black people being summarily executed” will be blocked, forever, and urged to go pay penance for being the moral plaque on societies arteries that you are.

Another Quick Note: “What, Berg – you’re a conservative, riffing on private schools? ”

No. I’m riffing on Cretin-Derham Hall. What the Ivies are to the nation, CDH is to Saint Paul, and I don’t entirely mean that in a good way. There’s a CDH. mafia ijn this town. Which makes the professor’s letter doubly ironic; if CDH grads are “oppressed” in the Twin CIties, it’s because they’ve worked hard to feel oppressed.

9 thoughts on “Urban Progressive Privilege: In Which I Defend A Cake-Eating Private School

  1. Another great example of a member of our supposedly educated elite who believes that his/her opinion is somehow a “fact.”
    And any attempt to argue against the opinion is considered proof that is a fact!
    These people are like deranged children.

  2. “Students told the Pioneer Press that at least six students of various ethnicities were suspended.”

    Translation: Blacks and Mexicans. Nakima Levy “Thousand” Pounds in 10…9…8…

    Now, when Mrs. Strunk and her sisters attended Derham Hall High School it was all White, and all girls…so it was pretty quiet. Pretty sure St. Luke’s was too during grammar school…combined CDH was pretty quiet throughout the 90’s-00’s. What in the world could have changed??

    BTW, we’d be remiss not to observe that at $14,765, students eat cake for a lot less money than TC public schools do at $20K +

  3. Remember the good and honorable Frau Doktorprofessor Lopez Lyman is duty bound to defend the 6 miscreants, where else will she recruit the next wave of Sturmabteilung for the cause? It is important that these 6 miscreants are allowed to proceed unhindered to collect the credentials necessary so that they may take their place alongside the honorable Frau Doktorprofessor Lopez Lyman in the march toward the glorious workers paradise. After all the Sturmabteilung need not be solely peopled by the lumpen proletariat.

  4. Powerline’s John Hinderaker has a sort bit on Proect Veritas defamation suit against the NY Times.
    The NY Times wrote that one of its videos was deceptive & probably part of a disinformation campaign.
    The Times defense against the suit is that it was not stating this as a “fact,” but as an “opinion.” The article in question was placed in the news section of the paper, not the opinion section.
    Yet strangely enough the times’ “opinion” about Project Veritas was cited as a fact by liberal fact checkers.
    We sometimes think that we live in a world made up of facts that is occasionally intruded upon by pesky opinions. It is the other way around.

  5. That St Paul policeman’s son is now going to St Thomas Academy. He’s the son of a cop and no cake eater.

    We sent our son to school there and never knew of any racism that we could tell. But that was seven years ago. What’s considered racism today in education? Who knows. Every one was treated with respect.

    But the donors on both sides of the argument will be holding back a lot of donations I fear. Those donations help a cop’s kid, and many low income people of color, go to CDH.

  6. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 04.30.21 : The Other McCain

  7. More information on the deep badness of dishonesty of the NY Times story about Proect Veritas:

    In September 2020, Project Veritas ran a story featuring unedited video clips of Mr. Liban Mohamed, a Minneapolis political operative working for Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, conducting an illegal ballot-harvesting racket and bragging about it in his native language of Somali. The videos, taken and uploaded to social media by Mr. Mohamed himself, feature stacks of ballots in his vehicle as he boasts “numbers dont lie!” and “All these here are absentee ballots. Can’t you see? Look at these — my car is full.” “Money is the king in this world … and a campaign is driven by money.” In another video, Mr. Mohamed flaunts a stack of ballots in his hand as he burns the midnight oil: “Two in the morning. Still hustling.”

    In response, Maggie Astor of the NYT wrote an article claiming that the “deceptive video” made claims “through unidentified sources and with no verifiable evidence” and “was probably part of a coordinated disinformation effort.” The article also contained false claims about the legality of ballot-harvesting, despite Minneapolis law stating that no person may be a designated agent for more than three voters to handle their ballots. The article was placed in the “A” news section and subsequently transmitted these defamatory claims to tens of millions of direct readers.

    The damage did not stop there. The article was subsequently quoted by USA Today and other “independent fact-checkers” used by Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other “Big Tech” companies, which drew up notifications, red flags, ranking penalties, and other tools to suppress and delegitimize the voter fraud story while defaming Project Veritas.

    Publicly, the NYT stood by its journalism, but under oath, its agents admitted that there was no journalism. “Defendants admit that Ms. Astor, her editors, and The Times did not reach out to Mr. Mohammed, Mr. Jamal, or Mr. Awed for comment” despite their being required to by their own Editorial Standards and Guidelines on Integrity.

    Guidelines, indeed.

    The NYT also admitted knowing that ballot-harvesting in Minnesota is illegal despite saying otherwise in its article. Additionally, the “Times’s lawyers asserted that certain challenged statements in the Astor Article were plainly opinion and not actionable as a matter of law,” yet the article did not appear in the opinion section. The NYT “admit that Ms. Astor is not an opinion writer for The Times and is a political reporter.”

    The most stunning admission by the NYT was its defense against Project Veritas’s assertion that its reporters and editors acted with reckless or actual malice in their haste to publish the defamatory story. “The court finds that the documentary evidence submitted by Defendants fails to refute plaintiff’s factual allegations. Notably, Veritas documented in its complaint metadata and screen shots that demonstrate the unlikelihood that Ms. Astor read and digested the EIP report/blog post, reviewed news reports on Minnesota ballot issues, viewed the Video online, obtained comment from Alex Stamos, wrote her own Article, submitted it to her editors, and had it posted online, all within 63 minutes.”

  8. As educators we must impede the school to prison pipeline.

    We could ask the students and their parents at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School how they felt about how Nicolas Cruz being treated as a disciplinary problem to be “handled” by the school district, versus a criminal offender that should have been turned over to local law enforcement?

    Just not, you know, all of them.

  9. No one ever brings up the 64,000 ton gorilla in the room

    The vast majority of police shootings, of all races, started because someone committed a crime, and escalated because that someone did something which caused police to escalate their force.

    George Floyd took fatal doses of drugs, passed counterfeit money, and resisted arrest.

    Daunte Wright attempted to flee from police because he had an outstanding warrant for aggravated armed robbery.

    That 13 year old had a gun (out at 2:30am…excellent parenting).

    Ma’Khia Bryant literally had her arm cocked pre-swing into trying to stab another teenager.

    NONE of these people are “victims”. There is no “victim blaming” here.

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