Don't Label Me
* “Establish the other party’s worth before making claims about your own.”
Source: Brené Brown, “The Anatomy of Trust,” OWN Super Soul Sessions, June 6, 2018, 17:20 onwards.
Brown notes that you don’t build trust merely by offering to help or even by delivering on the offer. You build trust first and foremost by asking for help. Why? Because if you’re the only party in a relationship who’s doing the helping, you’re implicitly demeaning the other party. Asking for help dignifies the other.
* “‘The reaction to POOP time has been has been great,’ he wrote me.”
Source: Email dated June 3, 2018.
* “He denied having any. ‘You must remember… that my most famous work, On the Origin of Species, stopped short of discussing human origins.'”
Note: Lily’s fictitious discussion with Charles Darwin is based on facts about Darwin as reported in Adam Gopnik, Angels and Ages: A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life (New York: Vintage, 2009). All additional quotes attributed to Darwin in this chapter come from that source.
* “In taking our message to the next generation, let’s proceed as if we’re right, then let’s listen as if we’re wrong.”
Note: This sentence paraphrases Karl Weick, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.
* “Of course, by the now the industries that make bank from clumping and targeting all of you have begun eyeing the post-millennial generation, dubbing them the ‘plurals.'”
Source and note: Michael Hais and Morley Winograd, “A New Generation Debuts: Plurals,” The Huffington Post, July 7, 2012.
For voices that dissent with the notion of branding an entire generation, see Jonah Engel Bromwich, “We Asked Generation Z to Pick a Name. It Wasn’t Generation Z,” The New York Times, January 31, 2018.
* “‘All too often, people treat their relationships with allies as a transaction of political goods.'”
Brie Loskota, executive director of the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, interviewed by me, Los Angeles, California, November 20, 2017.
* “I speak mainly of those individuals in the 1930s and ’40s who have been heralded as the ‘Greatest Generation.’ They braved sixteen years of austerity, withstanding the Depression and winning World War II. Afterward, the survivors let loose as consumers.”
Note: David Brooks, a traditional conservative if ever there was one, makes a similar point about the indulgent consumerism of the Greatest Generation in his bestseller, The Road to Character (New York: Random House, 2016), p. 245.
* “… Malcolm Harris writes that ‘we’ – you – ‘didn’t happen by accident… Over the past forty years we have witnessed an accelerated and historically unprecedented pace of change as capitalism emerged as the single dominant mode of organizing society.'”
Source: Malcolm Harris, Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials (New York: Little Brown and Company), pp. 4-5.
Colonized by CCRAP?
* “‘… there’s no jazz without European instruments or African polyrhythms.'”
Source: Cornel West, “Diverse New World,” in Paul Berman, ed., Debating P.C.: The Controversy over Political Correctness on College Campuses (New York: Dell Publishing, 1992), p. 328.
* “Brother West urges us to ‘give up all quest for pure traditions or pristine heritages’…”
* “According to his biographer, Shiki claimed that this approach ‘promised an unlimited source of new materials and themes, as varied as reality itself.'”
Source: Janine Beichman, “Masaoka Shiki” in Sarah Pendergast and Tom Pendergast eds., Reference Guide to World Literature, 3rd ed., vol. 1. (Farmington Hills, MI: St. James Press, 2003), pp. 667-668.
* “… the Statue of Liberty, constructed in France, has an Arab pedigree.”
Source: Michael B. Oren, Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present (New York: W.W. Norton, 2007), pp. 268-270.
* “Thomas Jefferson profoundly admired Cyrus.”
Source: Richard N. Frye and Afshin Zand, “Jefferson and Cyrus,” synopsis of forthcoming book (February-March 2014), p. 4.
* “In May 2018, a Utah student attended her high school prom in a traditional Chinese dress.”
Source: Among others, see “Teen defends Chinese prom dress that sparked cultural appropriation debate: ‘I would wear it again,'” ABC News, May 2, 2018.
* “… ‘Reedies Against Racism’ (RAR) proposed that white students fork over $5 apiece before heading in the the school ball.”
Source: Chris Bodenner, “The Surprising Revolt at the Most Liberal College in the Country,” The Atlantic, November 2, 2017.
You Are Not Alone
* “Why would the results be any different in a post-human landscape, where algorithms will reproduce the prejudices of people?”
Source: Cathy O’Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy (New York: Crown, 2016.)
There’s a growing compendium of analysis about the ethics of artificial intelligence — and it’s meant for the engaged citizen, not the specialist scholar. See, for example, Latoya Peterson, “Why journalists need to understand artificial intelligence,” Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative, September 26, 2018.
Honest Diversity, Step by Step
* “‘Everybody cheated to turbo their performance, to gain that edge…'”
Source: Phone conversation with Scott Mercier on March 16, 2018.
* “…’Giving yourself time and space to think and feel is crucial to your existence.'”
Source: Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (New York: Knopf, 2010), p. 21.
* “According to psychologists, it’s wise to reiterate your Other’s position so that they know you’re listening.”
Source: See, among others, Tali Sharot, The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2017).
* “Try to articulate your opponent’s view without sarcasm or hyperbole.”
Source: Brie Loskota, executive director of the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, interviewed by me, Los Angeles, California, November 20, 2017.
* “Research shows that people will forget most of what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.”
Source: Tali Sharot, The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2017).
* “According to a recent study, the people you regard as friends don’t necessarily feel the same about you.”
Almaatouq A, Radaelli L, Pentland A, Shmueli E (2016) “Are You Your Friends’ Friend? Poor Perception of Friendship Ties Limits the Ability to Promote Behavioral Change,” PLoS ONE 11(3): e0151588.
* “The human species crawls with conspiracy theorists, psychopaths, and bullies.”
Note: In this context, I highly recommend reading Isabelle Robinson, “I Tried to Befriend Nikolas Cruz. He Still Killed My Friends,” The New York Times, March 27, 2018.
* “It’s not personal; it’s dispositional.”
Source: Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (New York: Broadway Books, 2012).
Educating for Honest Diversity
* “Mama and I recognize the academy’s attempt at pluralism: ‘intersectionality.'”
Note: For me, the most lucid and capacious account of intersectionality – before it was labeled “intersectionality” – came from Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa eds. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings of Radical Women of Color, Fourth Edition (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press 2015).
Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the term “intersectionality,” describes it as “the urgent project of uniting the battles for race and gender justice.” See her essay, “We Still Haven’t Learned From Anita Hill’s Testimony,” The New York Times, September 27, 2018.
The theory of intersectionality has penetrated thinking at the highest pedagogical levels. See, for example, Joy Koyama, The Elusive and Exclusive Global Citizen: A UNESCO Working Paper for The Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, December 2015. Koyama even adopts the emotional blueprint intersectional activists — outrage: “As an idealized world resident, the global citizen… is outraged by outraged by social injustices within a worldwide democratic public sphere.” (p. 3)