June 14, 2006

Racist? Or learned via diversity training?

New Castle County Councilman Jea Street received a less-than-flattering voicemail recording, according to today's Wilmington News Journal. According to Street, the tape features a man ID'ing himself as a paramedic. He left a brief message, but apparently didn't hang up the phone all the way when he was through. The recording picks up the continued conversation of the [supposed] paramedic and another person discussing Street's comments regarding minority recruitment (or lack thereof) in the paramedic field. The News Journal writes:

One of the voices on the message repeats a portion of Street's statement in the newspaper, then the other voice says, "Culturally, they don't like to do that kind of work." The man compares paramedic recruitment to hiring an Italian employee to work in an Italian restaurant.

"They make a good sandwich," the man said, referring to Italians. The message is four minutes and 20 seconds long.

Now, the subheadline of the article states "Street says paramedics left racist comments." I'd tend to agree that the comment, if not overtly racist, is indeed stereotypical and insulting. Street said "When I first heard the message, I was infuriated. I had to walk outside."

Would Mr. Street consider just as infuriating the comments by the likes of Jonathan Kozol that black students are not responsible for their bad behavior? Maybe these [supposed] paramedics had "cultural sensitivity" training similar to this? Or especially this?

Therein lies the conundrum, as I've often said. Certain stereotypes are proffered by the cultural sensitivity trainers (or edu-babblers, or whatever the hell you want to call them) as reasons (they're excuses, really) why minorities do not do as well academically or are disciplined more often. I like to dub these "positive" stereotypes. Only edu-babblers and the like really believe in them; layfolk and clear-thinking people view them as what I said: Excuses.

But on the other hand, these very same people cry "racism" whenever someone like this [supposed] paramedic makes a claim that "Culturally, they (minorities) don't like to do that kind of work." But how is this comment substantially any different from what the edu-babblers offer? The answer is simple: It isn't!

To be clear, I am not claiming that Mr. Street himself believes in what the edu-babblers claim are "cultural" attributes. I am merely pointing to -- again -- the incredible logical maze EBs (edu-babblers) put themselves in with their claims of "positive" cultural dispositions.

Posted by Felix at June 14, 2006 04:31 PM | TrackBack

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