Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Archive for June 10th, 2007

The Class Is Half Full or Half Empty

Posted by Mark on June 10, 2007

I’ve just finished reading an OUTSTANDING article at the NY website (I know…can you believe it?) But I encourage everyone to read it. If the website blocks you for not being a member, just Google the exact title: The Class-Consciousness Raiser. This allows you to pull up the article, ‘back door’, without having to sign on as a member.

At the heart of [Ruby] Payne’s philosophy is a one-page chart, titled “Hidden Rules Among Classes,” which appears in most of her books. There are three columns, for poverty, middle class and wealth, and 15 rows, covering everything from time to love to money to language. In a few words, Payne explains how each class sees each concept. Humor in poverty? About people and sex. In the middle class? About situations. In wealth? About social faux pas. In poverty, the present is most important. In the middle class, it’s the future. In wealth, it’s the past. The key question about food in poverty: Did you have enough? In the middle class: Did you like it? In wealth: Was it presented well?

Your class, Payne says, determines everything: your eating habits, your speech patterns, your family relations. It is possible to move out of the class you were born into, either up or down, she says, but the transition almost always means a great disruption to your sense of self.

And you can ascend the class ladder only if you are willing to sacrifice many of your relationships and most of your values — and only if you first devote yourself to careful study of the hidden rules of the class you hope to enter.

As I began to read the article….I found myself drawn to her insights. I thought to myself…wait a sec’….this is IN THE NY TIMES! Ah….then I was relieved to read this:

Payne’s work in the schools has attracted a growing chorus of criticism, mostly from academia. Although Payne says that her only goal is to help poor students, her critics claim that her work is in fact an assault on those students. By teaching them middle-class practices, critics say, she is engaging in “classism” and racism.

I knew it.

Liberals and moonbats waiting to play the race card. Has anyone noticed that in America, NO ONE…and I mean no one….can have a frank discussion about anything without being labeled. We cannot discuss or criticize homosexuality without being labeled a ‘homophobic’. We cannot discuss or criticize illegal immigration without being called a bigot or a ‘racist’. The list goes on and on.

And now Ms. Payne is a racist because she tries to articulate the DIFFERENCES between the three classes: lower, middle, and upper. Differences that are distinct and obvious. All she is doing is stating the obvious- without apology.

To their credit, the NY Times put it out there. But as usual, they had to throw in a disclaimer at the end. As if to say….well you know…”ACADEMIA doesn’t approve of Ms. Payne.”

Well… frickin’ hoo.

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