Stephen Karlson (shkarlson) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Stephen Karlson

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Immediately after the election, Berkeley law professor Joan C. Williams wrote "What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class" for Harvard Business Review, suggesting that her Democrat buddies cool it with the condescension.  She more recently suggested that New York Times readers pipe down.

There's a collection of these short essays in White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America, Book Review No. 16.

Think of it as privilege-checking for the privileged.  Sample questions (all of these are essay titles):  Why Does the Working Class Resent Professionals But Admire the Rich?  (Spoiler alert: it's the condescension.  Don't be stupid about being smart.)  "Why Doesn't the Working Class Get With It and Go to College?"  (We could mention a shelf of books on the ways in which higher education, particularly the subprime party schools, fail to serve youngsters of modest means.)  "Don't They Understand that Manufacturing Jobs Aren't Coming Back?"  (Jobs can neither be created or destroyed, only changed in form.)  "Why Don't the People Who Benefit Most from Government Help Seem to Appreciate It?"  (Because they have to deal with condescending principals and snippy motor vehicles bureaucrats?)

Yes, I'm teasing with the last one, but it might come down to Professor Walsh is still thinking of Government as One Size Fits All, Tailored by Wise Experts in Washington City, while the services the locals benefit from are locally sourced and funded by local taxes.

So pick it up and read it, dear reader, particularly if you're disposed to condescend to people who lack your credentials or your vocabulary.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)
Tags: current events, in the media, politics

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