Recall that Realist’s promotion of black-or-white thinking was tracked in “First Sketch” and “Second Sketch.” Sparked by some element that upsets their experience of the status quo, black-or-white thinkers like Realist employ a simplistic “Us/Them” interpretive framework and demonizing rhetoric to give expression to perceived danger, thereby revealing the range – and limit – of their beliefs about themselves and Others.
In a context other than Reinvention, most Lounge readers would likely recognize Realist’s rhetoric for what it has been – false solutions, dehumanization, the grossly illogical placement of blame on Others. No evidence, no critical-thinking required.
Given the right conditions, many can be bewitched by demonizing rhetoric.
Think back to grad school and learning to avoid race/gender/class bias in your research. Remember, say, that seminar about the effects of “stereotype threat” in the classroom? Or the seminar where H. G. Wells’ novel War of the Worlds was read through xenophobic responses to immigration? That was all about the rhetorical construction of the subject.*
Populism-Jingoism and an “educator-centered” discourse inform Realist’s rhetoric. By using the most general terms, Realist seeks to invoke putative categories of people (professions?) and beliefs already set in place ideologically. Thus (according to Realist) somewhat trans-historical “educators” promote skills and values that enable social mobility, uphold democracy, and stimulate capitalism (which is paradoxical since educators are somewhat trans-historical); in turn, profit-driven corporations/corrupt politicians promote anti-intellectualism at CCC to enslave “Us” (presumably to the totalizing logic of capital).
For Realist, it’s American/Un-American.
Framing the stakeholders, goals, and problems related to Reinvention so broadly allows Realist to recast Reinvention as a colonization effort, a corporate takeover, and even a Civil War. When criticized for these constructions, Realist scapegoats, trivializes, invokes “freedom” (of speech/ democracy). More to the point, framing Reinvention-related issues this way enables Realist to avoid discussing anything specific (e.g., student needs, institutional problems, the relationship between business and education, effective pedagogical practices).
Don’t see that?
https://haroldlounge.com/2011/09/27/the-lounge.special-announcement/ (re: “Trojan Horse”)
SFTB asks, “If there is only one academic school left in a seven school system, who is served?” How this question gets answered need not reinforce Realist’s black-or-white thought process.
*Of course, there is no guarantee that transfer will occur (see The Read #12).