29.4.08

KEEPING THE POOR POOR. Over the weekend, Senator Obama's minister gave some speeches, including a Detroit keynote address, that have drawn angry responses from commentators left and right.

Here's a Jonah Goldberg summary.

On Sunday in Detroit, he explained to 10,000 people at the Fight for Freedom Fund dinner of the NAACP -- an organization adept at taking offense at far less racist comments from nonblacks -- that whites have an inherent "left-brain cognitive, object-oriented learning style. Logical and analytical," while blacks "learn not from an object but from a subject. They are right-brain, subject-oriented in their learning style. That means creative and intuitive. The two worlds have different ways of learning."

Blacks even have better rhythm, Wright explained.

I watched some of the speech, and that's not exactly what the preacher said. (He did cross the line attempting to bundle scales and rhythms with ethnicities. I learned at a young age that it was bad music theory to equate "black keys" with "Chinese" music, yet another source of pentatonic scales, and while it is true that Prussian common time is LINKS zwei DREI vier, there are pieces in common time with emphasis on the second and fourth beat. Would the reverend accept ONE two three four as Native American common time? And as long as I'm griping, Lyndon Johnson's speech patterns were an object of mockery, although probably not in the preacher's social circle.)

What he did say was pernicious, but only for its effect on the future miseducation of children. The less incendiary bits of the speech, which the commentariat have let pass, made reference to the suspect research on differences in learning, including but not limited to learning styles or identity-politics corollaries to "womens' ways of knowing." By endorsing that research, the reverend pushes back the day when parents whose children are most mis-served by deaducationist fads will say Enough.

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