Listen now | Nancy Rommelmann is an excellent author, reporter and conversationalist. Here, we talk about the time she interviewed John Wayne Gacy, murderers, my Rachel Nichols article, and whether an adherence to Internet narrative is causing real life to collapse.
Also I'm open to hearing more about the experiment that went wrong in the bay area - but it really seems like there (and we're getting there in Portland/Seattle/Austin/Brooklyn) what we're dealing with is a total elimination of the middle class. And this is what happens when you do that. I don't think that was intentional, but certainly nobody tried to stop it.
You hit on this directly when talking about protestors, but there's an ongoing theme of the inability of the left to handle criticism. I'm not both-sidesing here, but nobody is good at handling criticism. Everyone wants their worldview to be absolute. It's easier. It's comfortable. The left might be worse about it because of the way gen-x raised most of their kids... I'm not dismissing it, I'm not willing to say it's only a serious problem among the group you're targeting.
The thing I don't know what to do about is how you acknowledge faults among your cause (eg the violent people among protestors) without doing damage to the cause.
You laugh off the idea that any criticism destroys the cause, but among anyone getting their news from fox and facebook, it does. The looter gets 100% of the coverage. The hardcore opposing faction doesn't need this reassurance. But there's no shortage of people who are bystanders on most issues catching wind of this stuff. This turns into the annoying generalizations like, don't give money to panhandlers because there's a story about one of them who drives a Mercedes.
It's a self-reinforcing problem. Our world lacks capacity for nuance. So to avoid risk of losing credibility for your personal beliefs, you can't use nuance in discussion.
I had to turn it off - two white people whining about diversity. To get a counterpoint I replayed Cardionerds podcast #135 with Dr Clyde Yancy on structural racism, it was in the field of medicine but it applies to all areas. Also with the slow dribble of NFL email leaks - the old boy network of the NFL is showing the lack of diversity in hiring.
This was a great episode. On Rachel Nichols etc. it was great to hear an honest discussion of what’s going on with race and hiring.
I have observed something similar in my professional life. Many orgs are disproportionately white for a variety of reasons (pipeline, nepotism, racism, etc) with the best jobs occupied by older white people. When they face scrutiny for lack of diversity, there is tremendous pressure to hire and promote people of color that advantages those applicants.
But in my experience, the older whites who benefited from white privilege are not the ones impacted. They already have cushy jobs. But they will try not to hire additional white people because it already looks so bad.
So there are certain fields and positions where being a young white candidate is a bummer. I’m not saying it’s wrong. In some situations, I believe it’s the right thing to do—particularly in organizations that serve the public in some way. We need Black teachers and doctors who speak Spanish. But when diversity initiatives work as intended, people aren’t wrong for observing that race mattered in a way that helped some over others.
Unrelated. Thank you for talking about the reality of crime vs. the policing discourse. Liberals on Twitter have no idea what people are experiencing on the ground. The idea that you can just send social workers to gang fights is a total fantasy.
Thank you for pointing out the silliness of Californians, particularly in the Bay Area, pointing to Republicans as the root cause of anything in this state. In the 30+ years I've been voting here I've been on the majority side of a total of 2 ballot measures or candidates. And those two measures were overturned by the state Supreme Court. Dems run everything and need to own the good and the bad.