Wente Watch

Monday, December 18, 2006

The conservative circle

Wente talks about Islamic schools in the UK. You can see the tension between her different conservative biases. On the one hand, the schools are Muslim and Wente's instinct is to decry their existence as a training school for terrorism. On the other, a good conservative seldom passes up a chance to bash secular, public schools.

So Wente writes a relatively sympathetic article. Too sympathetic. She makes the same mistake most conservative writers make about private schools - because they draw mostly from upper-income families, their outcomes (test scores, university entrance) appear higher than public schools, which must deal with all types of families, or lack thereof. If she were to compare Leicester Academy's performance with that of state schools for children from similar family incomes, would there be as much difference? We don't know, and Wente did not trouble to find out.

And she can't resist her trademark dig:

Mr. Moghal...is a strong believer in the obligation to fit in with the majority culture. He is clean-shaven, and wears an immaculate business suit and tie

As opposed to those other dirty darkies who are unkempt and unclean, no doubt. The quote reveals Wente's biases more than Moghal's. Nonwhites are welcome in her society, if and only if they dress, talk, cook, listen to music, and in all other ways behave exactly as whites do. Not merely integrate, but assimilate - give up all sense of history, identity, and culture in order to ease Wente's instinctive distrust of "other" cultures.


  • Interesting point about being clean-shaven. I'm sure Wente's circle includes lots of older, bearded non-Muslim guys whose beards she doesn't think twice about. If you wear a beard for reasons of personal vanity, that's OK, but wear it for religious reasons and you're doing something wrong. I also expect that Wente would write much the same thing about aspiring Christian poor people -- as long as they're willing to be just like her there's room for them in her world.

    By Blogger Global HQ Freelton, at December 18, 2006 2:44 p.m.  

  • Tyrone,

    It's hardly unknown for some white people to hold other groups of white people in contempt or for rich white people to hold poor, foreign born white people in contempt now is it?

    While you're busy holding someone else in contempt, your own bias is hanging out all over the place.

    By Anonymous Gibson Block, at February 13, 2007 7:18 p.m.  

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