Revolver Analysis: In New Podcast, The New York Times Castigates “Nice White Parents” For Caring About Their Children
August 20, 2020 (2y ago)

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The latest podcast series from the New York Times, Nice White Parents, marks a significant escalation in the newspaper’s transformation from a milquetoast, polite, liberal institution into something much darker, more extreme, and dangerous. The podcast doesn’t simply repeat boring old liberal pieties as the paper has done for decades. Instead, it actively stokes racial hatred, targeting the ordinary white families who constitute the paper’s own subscriber base.

It is impossible to imagine Nice White Parents coming out a decade ago, when elite liberalism still superficially cared about colorblindness. Its release marks a clear evolution in the tone, and ideology, of the times. The Times has traditionally been called “The Gray Lady,” but its latest incarnation might just as well be called “The Pink Haired Activist of Ambiguous Gender.”

Just like how Joe Biden is a doddering figurehead for a radical agenda that will be spearheaded by his more-functional veep pick, one can imagine the The New York Times’ old time liberals drooling in a basement while younger, frothing radicals turn the aging “paper of record” to a platform for anti-white racial defamation.

Whatever the views of the paper’s senior leadership, its rank-and-file reporters adhere more and more to extreme ideologies. They aren’t 90s liberals. They’re modern-day Maoists. They want everyone to be very aware of race; they have to be, because that is how people can be rewarded or punished based on skin color. And Nice White Parents aims to show how those punishments can be doled out.

Nice White Parents is the newest production from the team behind Serial, the “investigative journalism” podcast that every woman under 40 listened to in 2014. The three seasons of that program all focused on the U.S. justice system in one form or another, but Nice White Parents turns its attention to the U.S. school system. Specifically, the podcast takes aim at the group that is blamed and vilified for all the enduring problems of American schools: White parents who want the best for their children.

Four episodes of Nice White Parents are already out, and the series is ranking high on the podcast charts. But virtually nothing has been said about it on the right, which is shameful, because what the series is saying about “white parents,” and their efforts to raise their children as best they can, matters a great deal.

Nice White Parents focuses on the School for International Studies in Brooklyn. Like most New York public schools, the school was predominantly non-white, until 2015, when dozens of white parents chose to enroll their children there all at once. The plan was that, by acting in concert, the parents could convince the school to use its additional funding on desired programs, like French language instruction. The plan succeeded, and soon even more white students began to arrive.

In Nice White Parents, all of this is explicitly framed as a bad thing. White parents trying to influence their children’s education is bad enough, but soon, things get even worse: One newly-arrived parent was an experienced fundraiser, and created a special fundraising committee to raise tens of thousands of dollars for the school. This is portrayed negatively, because the existing PTA didn’t get to dictate how the money, which otherwise wouldn’t be available to the school at all, would be spent. One non-white member of the PTA described the white parents as “annoying.” 

At one point in the first episode, narrator Chana Joffe-Walt suggests another sin committed by whites: Existing where non-whites don’t want them. 

“White families, showing up in large numbers, taking over stores [and] familiar spots. There’s a word for that: Gentrification. But I noticed that no one was using that word about the school. What was happening here was diversity … Diversity is a good thing, something you’re supposed to be okay with.”

Chana Joffe-Walt

This is the theme of Nice White Parents: No matter what these white parents do, it’s always bad. It’s bad when they transfer into a non-white school, as in the first episode. But in the second and third episodes, they are vilified for not attending these schools as well. In the third episode, an amorphous blob of “white parents” are attacked for getting a gifted program created at a New York middle school. According to Joffe-Walt, non-white students were kept out by “biased questions” on tests, though not one such question is ever read for the listener.

This tone persists throughout all of Nice White Parents. Not a tone of hatred, per se, but one of disgust, and collective race-based condemnation. White families are “unreliable;” they “pay no attention to the actual voices and needs of families of color.” They are greedy: at one point Joffe-Walt says the key question for fixing schools is “how do we stop white parents from hoarding all the resources?”

Of course, this question is itself a lie; black public schools have no funding disadvantage compared to white ones, and haven’t for decades. In fact Joffe-Walt even explicitly notes that poor-performing schools in New York received special funding boosts, but she continues to plow ahead to attack white parents for “hoarding.” Each example taken alone is unremarkable, but when strung out over hours of podcast, the ominous tone of racial denunciation is impossible to miss.

Pictured: Artist’s depiction of an NYT reporter.

A year ago, Kamala Harris implied Joe Biden was racist because he opposed school busing, a demented social-engineering scheme that failed and was hated by almost everybody. But in Nice White Parents, Joffe-Walt laments that busing and other schemes aren’t imposed on white parents, and that instead New York public schools have tried to win over parents with carrots rather than sticks. This desire to win over parents, Joffe-Walt argues, is the root of continued achievement gaps in New York schools.

Joffe-Walt’s pre-determined conclusion is stated at the end of the third episode: That to improve schools, it is necessary for parents of a certain skin color to be attacked, and reduced to submission:

“Nice white parents shape public schools even in our absence, because public schools are maniacally loyal to white families, even when that loyalty is rarely returned back to the public schools. Just the very idea of us, the threat of our displeasure, warps the whole system … The only way you equalize schools is by recognizing this fact, and trying wherever possible to suppress the power of white parents. Since no one is forcing us to give up power, we white parents are gonna have to do it voluntarily.”

Even here, Joffe-Walt’s tone is revealing. If only someone would force white people into doing what they don’t want to do, she implies. Sadly, that won’t happen, so instead they must be pressured into it, by threatening to libel them as racists if they don’t do so. However it happens, though, the message remains the same: Schools will only improve by disempowering people based on skin color.

The implications are easy to imagine, once this idea spreads around the country to lawmakers. It may require a return of school busing, strict racial quotas for magnet schools and advanced classes, an abolition of school discipline to mirror the abolition of police, and more. Right now, homeschooling is surging in popularity thanks to the coronavirus. it is very easy to imagine Joffe-Walt arguing that homeschooling is just another way “nice white parents” manage to “hoard” a good education for themselves. 

Episode 4 of Nice White Parents came out last week, with an explanation of how parents of the wrong race can be targeted and convinced to give up power. It’s every bit as disturbing as the episodes that came before. Revolver will update you on it very soon, because other conservative outlets won’t, and somebody needs to stick up for America’s parents, no matter their race.

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