A few years ago I participated in a radio debate on “white privilege” with a certain man, whose name is unimportant, who had a Ph.D. in “ethnic studies.” At one point he introduced an argument by saying, “If whites are 80 percent of the population…,” which prompted me to interject and point out that whites (non-Hispanic) are now only 63 percent of America. Of course, you might think that someone with a doctorate in “ethnic studies” would know what the ethnic and racial composition of the country is.
While no one wants to be a real-life Cliff Clavin (of Cheers fame), mistaking trivia for intellectualism, facts matter because they’re small snippets of reality. They’re little pictures — and, as with a jigsaw puzzle — if you have enough of them, assembled properly, you can see the big picture. This is otherwise known as being in touch with reality.This is why a certain trend in that liberal bastion called education is quite interesting. Educators will often say today, “We don’t just teach kids facts [uttered dripping with derision]; we teach them how to think.” This is quite convenient. After all, it’s easy to test knowledge of facts; thus, such measures can reveal modern education as a fraudulent enterprise. But “how to think” is a bit more nebulous, and, if you define the expression of feelings-derived folderol as reason, your students cannot fail.
Yet there is a deeper reason why liberals eschew facts: they refute fiction. And since leftist agendas have no basis in reality, exposure to snippets of it is deadly; for, just as one small pin can pop a balloon, one little fact can shatter a rationalization.
This brings us back to Dr. Ethnic Studies. His field of expertise isn’t about anything as old-fashioned as facts, but he can expound at length on oppression, white privilege, critical-race theory and “micro-aggressions.” These things, you see, are the stuff of sophisticated modern men. Never mind that they’re complete fiction.
But liberals are raised on fiction. Fiction about America’s nature and Western influence; fiction about the races and sexes (not to mention “genders”), and fiction about sex; fiction about history and culture; fiction about economics; fiction about religion. Heck, with how liberals claim old fairy tales are destructive, they’re raised with fiction about fiction. This brings us to another fiction: Barack Obama as educated man.
If we were to mention, again, that he thought “Austrian” was spoken in Austria, pronounced “corpsman” “corpse-man” (three times in one speech) or that he called the “transcontinental” railroad the “intercontinental” one (Amtrak to Bangkok, anyone?), we’d obviously have to be racists. After all, anyone can make a mistake. But it’s one thing to commit a Spoonerism and say “a scoop of boy trouts” or, like Dan Quayle, correct a spelling-bee participant based upon the antiquated word form “potatoe” (which The New York Times used as recently as 1988). But then there are those mistakes indicating that, just perhaps, you don’t really possess the knowledge base one might expect from an educated Western gentleman.
And a fact about Obama’s upbringing is that it was defined by fiction. Clergyman Hosea Ballou said, “Education commences at the mother’s knee…,” but not only was Obama’s mother’s knee not around all the time, but what an odd knee it was.