A great extended quote from ‘Matter of Opinion’

Y’all may remember that years ago — like, pre-COVID — I happily shared with y’all the fact that I had finally figured out something painfully obvious: that the best time to listen to podcasts, which I had been meaning to do, was during my long walks each day.

Anyway, at the time, I mentioned that one of my favorites up to that point was “The Argument,” a New York Times podcast. In fact, I linked to a specific episode from those days. That program was very good when it featured David Leonhardt, Ross Douthat and Michelle Goldberg. Then those people started falling away from it, and the topics started to be things that didn’t interest me, and I got out of the habit.

I’m only recently discovered an adequate substitute for it. It’s called “Matter of Opinion,” with Michelle Cottle, Ross Douthat, Carlos Lozada and Lydia Polgreen. It has only one former Argument participant — Douthat — but it very much has the same kind of thoughtfulness and intellectual heft that The Argument once had. And it has one other essential ingredient: civility. Here are people who are about as wide apart as you can get on issue after issue, and yet they not only discuss these differences in a civil manner, but they enjoy each other’s company. It’s rather like another NYT feature in that regard: “The Conversation,” featuring Gail Collins and Bret Stephens.

In other words, it offers the kind of vibe I am determined to have on this blog.

Anyway, the most recent one was headlined, “The Woke Burnout Is Real — and Politics Is Catching Up.” I frankly did not fully understand the phrase “woke burnout” at first, partly because it didn’t start with any sort of formal statement of the topic. Who was burned out? The right? The left? And why? (I very much hoped it would be for good reasons.) But I think what is meant is what is said in the subhed, “It’s time to start asking if the culture wars actually matter to voters.”

Then, when I looked at it on my PC — seeking the transcript — I found this intro:

Classrooms have been a key battleground in the so-called woke wars for years now. But could the debate over how schools teach history, race, gender and sexuality be coming to an end?

That explained it.

And part of it was wonderful. Especially when Carlos Lozada said that:

… for the last couple of days I’ve had this deep dread and despair weighing on me, knowing we were going to talk about this. The discussions over woke, and anti-woke, and culture wars are soul sucking to me. I think it’s good to have specific debates over affirmative action in college admissions, the problems with boys, the way we teach history. I mean, that’s terrific. And we’ve had that on this podcast, and we should continue to have it. But when we talk about the culture war, that’s not about debating issues. The culture war is about joining a side. It is about picking a team. And the problem with picking a team in the culture wars is that you inevitably end up with lunatics on your team. And the craziest ones are often the captains of the team. And they may want to go much further than you might want to go.

Carlos Lozada

But you’re on the team, and you don’t want the other side to win. So you end up supporting what the team is defending. So you end up fighting vociferously over things you may not know a lot about. You end up policing language and dogma with the zeal of the convert.

And you end up speaking not just for yourself, but for this amorphous community that never necessarily granted you the rights to speak for it. There’s so many great writers and thinkers who get baited into this, and then they have difficulty writing about anything else because they’re no longer making an argument or exploring an issue. They are defending turf.

The irony of the culture war is that the purpose of the war is not to win it. It is to continue to wage it. You are never going to hear a culture war activist saying, you know what? The cause is won. The fight is over. Let’s close up shop. I don’t need any more funding. It’s like a business lobbyist saying, our profits are pretty healthy. I don’t need more loopholes in the tax code. That’s not a thing that happens in a culture war. The fight is never over. The stakes are always rising. There’s a new front, a new trench you have to dig, a new hill you have to die on.

And it becomes a reason for being. It becomes your emotional, and your financial, and your intellectual sustenance. And that’s why I limit the amount of time I write about this or think about this because it is incredibly frustrating to me…

I heard all that as I was arriving back at my house from a walk, so I didn’t hear the rest of the podcast. I need to go back and do so, but there are so many things in the world I keep saying that I need to go back and do that I may not.

But before this fades from my memory, I wanted to share with you what Lozada said. Almost every line of it is a view I deeply hold, and it goes to the heart of why I say so many things I say on this blog. In fact, these ideas are pretty central to why the blog exists. So I wanted to make sure I shared them with you, before I move on to the next subject…

38 thoughts on “A great extended quote from ‘Matter of Opinion’

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I haven’t watched your video, but the headline — “Why Culture Wars Matter” — echoes what Ross Douthat said in response to Mr. Lozada. Since I didn’t finish listening to the podcast, I didn’t see it until I looked at the transcript in writing this post:

      On the larger point though, of course I agree with you, Carlos, that these things are brain breaking. They put people on the side of the looniest activists of left and right, and you can get trapped in endless cycles of pointless recrimination. That is true.

      At the same time, the reason that these issues recur in this way is that they’re actually really important. And people really care about them, like who we are as Americans, the stories we tell about our national history, what we think about the Civil War, the statues that we put up, what we think about religion in schools and prayer in schools, and so on. If you look back at the sweep of American history, we remember the culture war battles much more than we remember a lot of arguments about tariffs, and trade, and economic policy. Everyone remembers the great culture war over alcohol. Everyone remembers prohibition. Many fewer people remember Warren G. Harding’s economic policy.

      And that’s because these things are legitimately important. And it’s not just a sort of, oh, no, the schools are getting politicized. What should politics be about if not the schools that are run by the government that teach the children who will be future Americans? So I’m an apologist. I am an apologist for —

      At that point, another participant jumped in to interrupt him.

      Douthat makes good points as well — and, let me add, makes them in a civil, grownup manner. But I’m much more with Carlos on this one. The real issues Ross cites have become signifiers of which side you’re on. They’re like uniforms soldiers wear in battle, so you can immediately see which ones you want to attack and destroy, and which ones you want to defend no matter what.

      Of COURSE history is of enormous importance, as you will frequently hear me say. But if you mention CRT in any way whatsoever, the ears of both sides — neither of which possesses what I would call a deep understanding of history — perk up, and both sides leap into action. One side goes, “He’s one of THOSE — attack, attack, attack!” The other doesn’t so much defend you as attack the attackers. Because that’s what it’s about…

      1. Barry

        I disagree with Douthat on most of what he said here.

        I don’t think most of this stuff is important. Many culture war issues were never topics of discussions between political opponents, or regular people before 5-7 years ago. They were either irrelevant, or not worth discussing with measures already in place to handle them in a dignified manner, even if not everyone agreed on the outcome.

        Most of it was engineered for political campaign purposes. Douthat certainly knows that.

        As just one example, the culture war fight over trans students in sports in high school. Before the esteemed South Carolina legislature took up this “fight,” the SC High School League said that they had exactly 4 applications for students identifying as trans in the history of South Carolina high school sports. Only 2 of the 4 were approved- with no noted objections by the high schools themselves. The governing board of the high school league discussed the exemptions, voted on it, and it was a non-issue.

        There are very, very, very few trans students – and even fewer that play sports- in 99% of schools in the state, no trans student has every tried to play a sport.. Despite all the coverage of sports in our state, the great majority of kids in middle and high school don’t play sports.

        None other than Rep Micah Caskey (someone I almost always disagree with) said the effort was a solution in search of a problem.

        Yet, in some circles, this has been a non-ending discussion and debate point that – if one listens to talk radio in South Carolina – or pays attention to certain political groups on social media- or certain politicians or certain political parties or interest groups, one would think this issue impacts everyone in the state every single minute of every single day.

  1. Doug T

    When the Dobbs decision came down, there was a collective GOP “gulp!!” The dog caught the car to use a tired cliche. Campaign money-raising in peril, not to mention riling up Dems.

    I really don’t understand all the book banning, curriculum changing etc. I thought it was the GOP’s mantra to get decision-making down to the local level. That’s local School Boards, right? Why is Ted Cruz and Rand(y) Paul telling us how to educate our children?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Well, frankly I get the impression that no Culture Warriors ever want their issue to go away.

      As for Dobbs, it was just like Roe in this respect — neither was a solution to this country’s problems with the abortion issue.

      Don’t ask me to say what the answer IS, because I don’t know how to get there. But as I said before, Nikki Haley recently took a stumbling step in the direction of where the solution lies. And I don’t often say things like that about Nikki Haley…

      She doesn’t know how to get there, either, but at least she correctly identified the problem as a failure to seek consensus.

      Of course, my use of that word inspires bitter laughter on all sides. That’s because neither “side” has the slightest interest in pursuing it.

      But that’s where the solution lies…

  2. bud

    The so called “culture wars” are how social progress is achieved. Once upon a time women’s suffrage would have been regarded as a culture war issue. Same with cilil rights. Rosa Parks was a culture warrior. Many of today’s right wing culture fights are about denying various groups hard fought rights. I take strong issue with the false equivalency notion that we are divided into tribes that are led by equally crazy advocate. Liberals are fighting to advance social justice while conservatives want to ban books and drag shows and other reactionary policies. I would suggest liberals are the true patriots in this important fight. So rather than all this hand wringing from the false equivalency warriors wouldn’t it more productive to get on the right side of history and make this country a more inclusive place for all. After all isn’t that what our country was founded on?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, I know a lot of culture warriors think that way.

      And I know you think it’s “false equivalency,” but I hear that kind of “there is only one side, and it is the right one” from both sides.

      And both side are very sincere when they say it…

      But you’re missing the point — Lozada’s point, and mine: It isn’t about the issues. It’s about being on a side, and fighting fiercely for the side, and deciding whether you respect a person or despise him based on which side he’s on (or which side he is PERCEIVED as being on).

      And that’s what’s wrong…

      1. bud

        No Brad, I’m not missing the point. I’m just pointing out that you’re wrong. And I take umbrage with that condescending comment. You and Lozada are falsely creating this pox on all their houses narrative because that is not something you regard as important. But you’re wrong. The Roe decision was the right decision and that should have been the end of that. No consensus on that is really possible. Dobbs is having real impacts on women. Schools are NOT teaching CRT in schools. Drag shows are NOT harmful to kids. These are important issues only because CONSERVATIVES have made them so. One more attempt to convey a very important message. Liberals are focused on social justice and making the world a better place. Conservatives are all about grievance. They have some phony worldview that America was a better place at some time in the past that restricted freedoms for groups that they regard as inferior or actives they regard as immoral. The bottom line is this, liberals have usually been on the right side of history. False equivalency warriors not so much.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          OK, Bud, I didn’t mean to condescend. I meant you were focusing on something that was not the point of what Lozada was saying, with which I was enthusiastically agreeing. And I was enthusiastic because it seems that far, far, far too few people focus on this important point.

          I wasn’t accusing you of lacking perception. I was simply trying to get you to focus on what he was saying, and what I was saying about it. Which wasn’t what you were reacting to.

          But you believed I was being insulting, and that irritated you. Which is something that happens to me sometimes — quite frequently, in fact. So you said that I was wrong, and the position I was taking was false. Well, I didn’t say a single thing that was false, and everything I’ve seen in my life indicates that I was not wrong.

          But we’re here to discuss things, and learn from each other, so I’m open to good arguments to the contrary.

          However, in the latter part of your comment, you were again off the original point. You were defending your “side” and its position on several issues. Which actually kind of illustrated the point that Lozada was making.

          At the end, you defended liberalism. Well, I’m certainly with you there. I wouldn’t put it that way, in terms of “right side of history,” because I don’t think in Marxist terms. But I do appreciate the role that the United States has played since the 18th century in terms of advancing liberalism, and becoming more and more of a bulwark of such values, at home and abroad.

          And of course I’m using liberalism in the political science sense, of pluralism, freedom of conscience, and the rest. What liberalism is NOT is “my side seizing power and forcing our point of view on people who disagree.” Which is what both teams embrace in this binary battle in which our country is so bitterly engaged.

          Liberalism is the set of habits and speech and action to which we must return if we are to continue to play a laudable and worthy purpose in, well, history.

          Now to shift gears… that’s probably the biggest reason I support Joe Biden. He gets that, and embraces it.

        2. Doug Ross

          “Drag shows are NOT harmful to kids.”

          They don’t belong on any public school grounds or public facility whether kids are.

          Unless you’re also okay with a group of strippers from Platinum Plus performing down at the local elementary School?

          It’s amazing that liberals think that pushing drag queens on kids is a winning strategy.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Yes, it is rather surprising.

            But see, that’s what happens. Twenty or thirty years ago, that wouldn’t have happened. But after the last couple of decades, we got to the point where if someone on the OTHER side takes a position against it, then you HAVE TO support it as a great idea. In this case, if someone you have decided to define as a horrible, hateful bigot objects to it, then you have to embrace that thing to show you’re one of the good, tolerant people.

            In that atmosphere, it doesn’t occur to people to think — gee, kids have enough trouble just getting through the latent period, without throwing drag queens and stripper at them…

          2. Barry

            Drag shows and strip shows are two different things. They are not remotely the same thing. It’s ludicrous to suggest they are the same thing.

            are minor high school cheerleaders in tiny skirts on the sideline at a high school football game also strippers? They are often wearing skirts that do not fully cover their undergarments. Such a skirt would NEVER be allowed in any public school during the day except on “football friday” or at a pep rally. Yet at a public football game with hundreds of kids present, there they are being celebrated.

            are the male cheerleaders that lift them up by placing their hand firmly between their legs committing sexual assault while hundreds of people watch on any given Friday night? Or is there a recognition that those can be two different things?

            over 60 years ago, Bob Hope, Tny Randall Milton and others use to regularly dress in drag, with the huge fake breasts, the slit skirts, the sexually suggestive talk, the over the top makeup, and they spent years being celebrated for it, and now it’s an honored part of American entertainment history. These were not “adults only” shows.

            But, right wingers had no issue with it and were most likely to be tuning in and watching.

            a gay person and a pedophile are two different things.- even though a segment of right wingers try very hard to equate the two all the time.

            Public spaces are for everyone, not just people that don’t want to see things they don’t like.

            parents can be parents unless you choose to excuse them from their responsibility.

            It’s amazing that some Conservatives can’t’ and simply won’t make a distinction between two things that are not the same.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          No, it isn’t.

          But it’s true that it is enormously difficult for me to engage constructively with such viewpoints. It always has been. I never had to do it before I started blogging. (It never really came up in the real world, except with Sanford, and you know how that turned out — for me, and for pretty much everybody in the State House.) And I’ve tried hard. But I haven’t always succeeded — to my satisfaction, or to yours.

          And I’m quite sorry about that. I’m not sorry for disagreeing with you — I’d be disappointed in myself if I didn’t. But I’m sorry I’ve failed so often to hold my disdain for such views in check.

          It always made me happy to agree with libertarians on hate crime laws. It irritated the hell out of plenty of other folks, but it pleased me to find common ground with folks I’m so often at odds with…

          1. Barry

            Libertarian thought never remotely interested me. Never saw any value in it at all. Still don’t.

            I disagree with them- and you- on hate crime laws. In fact, it would be impossible to disagree with you more. Of course, I have family members that have been personally impacted by such issues and that has a way of opening ones eyes. I see how crimes have impacted them- and others that were not directly involved. But again, I’ll never agree with your view. Thankfully, most of the country does and even in South Carolina, we have a federal hate crime law that can be used.

            But back at it – Libertarian opinions and basic beliefs are totally foreign to me. Oh, I have listened to them and read them, but their “solutions” aren’t solutions and only create more problems for other people. So I have dismissed it -as most people have.

            The few that I have personally engaged with over discussions were totally fruitless and a waste of time.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Who said anything about fence-sitting? I, for one, usually do make up my mind. (As anyone noted a lack of opinions here?) Although I’ll admit I DO work a bit harder at it than does someone who only asks “What’s MY side’s position on this?”

          Seriously, that may be my greatest beef with binary thinking — the lack of thought…

  3. Doug Ross

    An easy start would be to require commenters to use their real names. Until you do that, you’re not trying to do improve the discourse. Just because you may know some of their true identities doesn’t help.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I used to think that was the answer. Evidence that has cropped up over the last few years has convinced me that it’s more complicated than that.

      But yes, I will always urge all of y’all to use your full names.

      I think it helps some. But it’s not a cure-all…

      All of that said, if my current, latest efforts to clear the air are not successful, my next step will be to GREATLY limit comments by registration or some similar device. And for that, I will likely require full names.

      But giving me your full name won’t be enough. I will require full names AND consistent civility…

  4. bud

    I find it interesting that people can be so dismissive of the passion of others when they don’t find the issues in question relevant to them. Yet Brad is as strident as anyone that Trump doesn’t belong in the White House. No nuance there.

  5. Ken

    My “teams“ include “Team Democracy,” “Team Anti-Ignorance-and-Intolerance,” “Team Openness,” “Team Curiousness” and “Team Inclusion,” among others. They’re teams I’m proud to be a member of and defend against opponents.

  6. Ken

    As for the matter of “woke,” here’s what a different WaPost columnist, Perry Bacon, had to say in lamenting anti-woke centrism:

    “this kind of centrism isn’t usually described with that term by the people who practice it. Instead, they cast themselves as nonideological and neutral, while arguing that those who criticize them are dogmatic and nonobjective.
    [W]hen we have a left that is pushing America to finish the work of the 1960s and create a true multicultural democracy and a right that is banning Black intellectual ideas from public schools, it’s a huge mistake for powerful non-Republicans in society to spend so much time bashing the left. This anti-woke centrism often sounds as though people are auditioning to be today’s version of the ‘white moderates’ the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. castigated six decades ago.
    It is disappointing that some … people in the country think the problem in America is that people are too critical of the police and insufficiently critical of transgender activists. I can’t tell if the anti-woke don’t understand what’s actually happening in America — or if they actively oppose a more equitable country.”

    Quite so.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oh, a couple of other things…

      “Centrism” is a really problematic word, although I sometimes use it for convenience. We need to come up with a better term. I know how inadequate it is in my case. On one issue, I might be as conservative (actually conservative, not the way the word is misused today) as can be. On another — say, single-payer health care — I’ve tended to the “left” (as though that term meant anything) of most Democrats.

      What I try to do, and to advocate, is to think about each issue on its own terms.

      That’s one point. Here’s another….

      This post is not about being to the left or to the right. It’s about intelligent people of good will — such as the people of varied views on this panel — being able to come together in mutual respect and good will to speak freely and actually listen to each other.

      Of course, more directly, it’s about what Lozada said about the “teams” thing. But he said this because of what I said in the previous graf — he was in a conversation in which people feel free to question and challenge things, including the premise of the discussion. And in explaining his discomfort with the topic, he said the best thing in the whole discussion…

    2. bud

      Well said. Consider the issue of requiring black citizens to ride in the back of the bus. The false equivalency crowd would have done all this hand wringing about the “extremists” on both sides. Arguing that consensus should be the goal, decrying the intolerance from both sides. Shouting a need to reject one’s and zeros thinking. Perhaps even proposing a solution: let’s allow black citizens to ride in the middle of the bus! Problem solved!

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Wow. This statement is completely untrue: “The false equivalency crowd would have done all this hand wringing about the “extremists” on both sides.”

        Do you really not understand the problem we have today. Rosa Parks? Are you kidding? That was a time in which you could bring a clear problem to the public’s attention, and it would have been addressed, which is what eventually happened.

        We can’t do that anymore. Our society is paralyzed, because all the people who are most involved in public “discussion” care more about fighting for their side — and hating the other side — than they do solving the problem that they say they’re concerned about.

        And you think the world was like that in 1955? Hell, no! It was not!

        And of course, that is what this conversation is about. I don’t know why you and Ken have so much trouble addressing that.

        Let me give you a couple of examples that may make the point clearer, so you can address the point.

        Let’s talk impeachment, since that’s on people’s minds today. The yahoos who are pushing to impeach Biden actually think there is some sort of equivalence (and here’s where we’re actually talking about a FALSE equivalence) between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Their attitude seems to be, You impeached our guy, so we’ll impeach yours, because the two situations are exactly the same!

        They really, truly believe that the Trump impeachments were purely about partisan politics. They really do. And how did they talk themselves into this absurd way of thinking? Through the kinds of processes that Lozada is talking about:

        It is about picking a team. And the problem with picking a team in the culture wars is that you inevitably end up with lunatics on your team. And the craziest ones are often the captains of the team. And they may want to go much further than you might want to go.

        But you’re on the team, and you don’t want the other side to win. So you end up supporting what the team is defending….

        This insanity is a product of a madness that has infected the politics of this country (and of other liberal democracies) in THIS century. It would have been unthinkable in the second half of the 20th (although we were starting to stumble a bit in this direction in the 90s).

        You cited 1955. Let’s cite a later time. As the Watergate scandal developed, at first you saw Republicans defend Nixon — in fact, you saw the whole country overwhelmingly re-elect him before the full picture of Watergate emerged. Now THAT was normal partisan side-taking. People think that’s what we’re seeing now, but it isn’t.

        Eventually, as the investigation and the hearings wore on, his support even among Republicans eroded, and it became clear that Nixon was going to be impeached. So he did the right thing, with what honor and dignity he had left — he resigned.

        The same would certainly have happened if Nixon was charged with doing what led to Trump’s first impeachment. In fact, if he was found to have threatened, say, Willy Brandt that he would withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in needed support from West Germany unless Willy helped him come up with some dirt on McGovern, he would have lost the 1972 election. Practically NO ONE would have been satisfied by him defending it as a “perfect conversation” once he was caught.

        And how fast do you think the boom would have come down on him if he had incited a riot that ended with the occupation of the Capitol?…

        That’s what we’re talking about here…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          And of course, I’ve just broken my own rule. I’ve wasted a bunch of time trying desperately to have a civil conversation free of insults and unfounded accusations (such as taking “false” positions, or lacking the moral fortitude the see the wrongness in confining people to the back of the bus).

          I’ve done that by trying, yet again, to explain what the post is about so that we can have a civil conversation about the issues being offered.

          And I’m really, really not going to do that anymore in response to people who are insistently doing what Lozada is talking about — heaping calumny upon anyone who dares to point out the problems with seeing everything as dualistic.

          That’s what you’re going to see here, because that’s what this blog is about. If you want to fling insults in defense of your own orthodoxy, do it somewhere else. I’m going to say it one more time: You should have NO trouble finding a place on the web that welcomes your approach. This blog is, quite deliberately, a venue for taking a very different approach…

          If your comments offer any evidence of being an effort to undermine this approach, they will NOT be approved…

          1. bud

            Brad I appreciate your effort to make this a place for civil discussion of important issues. But in this particular post you missed the mark. I felt it was important to point that out.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              I thank you for that, Bud. I’m just saying that suggesting we “false” folks who see both sides would keep black folks at the back of the bus isn’t the best way to promote civility. And I appreciate that you appreciate it…

  7. Ken

    To continue:

    In an address to teachers in the mid-1960s, James Baldwin said

    “… you must understand that in the attempt to correct so many generations of bad faith and cruelty, you will meet the most fantastic, the most brutal, and the most determined resistance. There is no point in pretending that this won’t happen.”

    He continued

    “It is not really a ‘Negro revolution’ that is upsetting this country. What is upsetting this country is a sense of its own identity. If, for example, one managed to change the curriculum in all the schools so that Negroes learned more about themselves and their real contributions to this culture, you would be liberating not only Negroes, you’d be liberating white people who know nothing about their own history. And the reason is that if you are compelled to lie about anybody’s history, you must lie about it all.”

    Then, in his essay, “The White Man’s Guilt,” he wrote that

    “ … it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations. And it is with great pain and terror that one begins to realize this. In great pain and terror one begins to assess the history which has placed one where one is, and formed one’s point of view. In great pain and terror because, thereafter, one enters into battle with that historical creation, Oneself, and attempts to re-create oneself according to a principle more humane and more liberating: one begins the attempt to achieve a level of personal maturity and freedom which robs history of its tyrannical power, and also changes history.”

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Wow, that’s an interesting historical quotation.

      Here’s another:

      GALLIA est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt.

      Gallos ab Aquitanis Garumna flumen, a Belgis Matrona et Sequana dividit.

      Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae, propterea quod a cultu atque humanitate provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque ad eos mercatores saepe commeant atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important, proximique sunt Germanis, qui trans Rhenum incolunt, quibuscum continenter bellum gerunt. Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt, quod fere cotidianis proeliis cum Germanis contendunt, cum aut suis finibus eos prohibent aut ipsi in eorum finibus bellum gerunt….

      Of course, neither has anything to do with what we’re talking about.

      1. Ken

        Yeah, I doubt Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic Wars has much to do with this post. But what James Baldwin wrote certainly does. Why? Because one of the matters at issue — in addition to the the thing about “teams” — is wokism. And Baldwin’s comments to teachers is directly relevant to the current debate over school curricula and, more broadly, to the wider debate about American identity — which underlies the hate directed at the so-called “woke agenda.”

        Bill certainly got that right with the video at the top.


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