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The ‘segregated’ playdate that led to a bomb threat Moral revolutionaries targeted my Californian community

Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle/ Getty

Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle/ Getty


September 9, 2023   7 mins

I was preparing for a work call when I heard the telltale helicopter sounds overhead. I say “telltale” because my neighbourhood gets several different types of helicopter traffic, each with its own sonic profile and emotional resonance — TV news choppers drawing wide circles in the sky, gathering footage of a backup or accident on a local freeway, which gives you a simple, selfish feeling: Glad I’m not on the freeway!; a Life Flight helicopter screaming over the rooftops toward Oakland Children’s Hospital, which can make you sad if you stop to imagine what that’s about; and the ominous, hovering-in-place sound of a police helicopter at mid-altitude, which generally means a criminal suspect is in the area, desperately trying to evade capture, which, if your teenage daughter has just left the house, can give you a little hit of worry.

This time, the motoring sound overhead said “police helicopter” and thus “desperate criminal”, and my teenage daughter had just left the house. I was getting ready to worry, but then a parent-friend texted me a local news article that might have eased my mind. There wasn’t a desperado on the loose where my daughter was out walking, according to the headline. There was merely “Major Police Activity” at our local elementary school. A dire feeling spread through my chest. For Americans, such a headline means one thing — Mass shooter. It’s happening, I thought. It’s really happening here. But then I read the article, and suddenly I wanted to do some desperate crime on whoever wrote that damn headline. There was no mass shooter at our little school. There was just a bomb threat.

The threat was false, of course. No one located a bomb hidden around the school, not even the police 1,000 feet up in a helicopter. (Generalising from the many bomb-threat stories I’m familiar with, a pretty good way to be confident you’re not going to be bombed is if you’ve just had a bomb threat.) But the bomb threat wasn’t the only trouble to visit the school that day. The school office and several school parents also received a barrage of angry and sometimes racist and threatening emails written in response to
 well, in response to a playdate.

This is what happened: someone claiming to be the parent of one or more kids at the school — which my three kids attended from 2011 to 2022 — made a Reddit post. The post lamented that, once again, the “Equity and Inclusion Committee” of the school’s parent organisation was hosting a weekend “Playdate Social for Black, Brown, and API Families” on the school’s playground. (API means “Asian and Pacific Islander”.) This parent attached the flyer for the playdate alongside his Reddit post (which has been deleted), and this flyer, along with a screenshot of his post, was picked up by the popular Twitter account Libs of TikTok.

Libs of TikTok generally tweets about things that are alien and alarming to people who have not signed on to the recent revolution in culture and morals — sexually explicit books written for young children, a transgender activist encouraging children to run away from home, a school system hiring a drag queen and accused paedophile to be its new middle-school principal. The account has 3.4 million followers, and since any collection of 3.4 million people is going to contain some number of unbalanced and violent psyches, and since Libs of TikTok followers have self-selected based on an appetite for things that make them angry and disgusted, you’d expect the typical post from this account to generate a wave of unwelcome correspondence to its starring character.

But Libs of TikTok added something extra to its tweet about our local playdate. The outrage effect of its tweets typically owes to the primary source documents they contain — videos, photographs, book pages. That’s why it’s called “Libs of Tiktok” — its moral revolutionaries beclowning themselves, no commentary needed. But in this case, it gave its own gloss on the playdate, without which there would have been far less outrage, a much smaller number of angry emails that would have been far less openly racist, and probably no bomb threat at all. “A California elementary school,” the tweet says, “reportedly held a race segregated ‘playdate social’ for all students except the white kids.”

But the flyer doesn’t say “all students except the white kids”. It says, “for Black, Brown, and API families”. I’m not trying to be clever or sophistical here. It’s true that, if you add up all the official racial and ethnic categories of family comprised by the phrase “Black, Brown, and API”, no other category is left out besides “white” (no other category that I can think of; the taxonomy here comes from diversity bureaucrats, not logicians or set theorists). But there’s a distinction in the difference that would have been meaningful to the readers of the flyer whose kids go to the school.

To put it a different way: for (white) parents in the school community it would have meant something much more pointed and hostile if the flyer had actually said “for all students except the white kids”, or “no whites families allowed”, or something similar. Since the flier didn’t say those things, since no one was seeming to aim an intentional poke in their eyes, they could go on with their day after seeing the flyer, entirely unoffended and unriled, even if in their private thoughts they lamented some aspect of this flyer, this implied logic of excluding white families, the larger mindset it expresses, the politics that issue from this mindset. They could do this not because they’re squishy Californians or moral relativists or political cowards, but because this is their community, and it was a playdate. It was families at a schoolyard on a Saturday, families they know, parents they like, kids who are in class with their kids, friends with their kids. There was literally no way to openly make those critical points that didn’t threaten to blow up — so to speak — all those relationships, to blow apart the school’s community, and there is nothing in the supposed provocation that made it minimally worthwhile to try. That’s why the guy who started all this registered his objections on a Subreddit, under a pseudonym, instead of angrily waving a sign in front of the school.

The playdate, you might say, was the harmless practice of a bad theory. Indeed, this was more or less the Redditor’s point, a man who said he himself fits in the “brown” category (his Reddit handle suggesting that, ethnically, he’s a mix of Iranian and Pakistani). He didn’t mean his post to go viral and feed a national frenzy of racist threats against his kids’ school. He wasn’t really complaining that white families were being injured by this playdate. He was speaking more abstractly. This weekend gathering was an instantiation of a bad model, which blandly self-perpetuates thanks to strong incentives, and to its unchallenged, foundational status in key institutions. It is often tolerated in practice partly because, in individual instances such as our local playdate, you have to put your First Principle glasses on and sort of squint to see what the problem is: “I suppose the effect of such an invitation is to exclude white families from the casual Saturday playdate on the Upper Yard, sort of, I guess. I hadn’t really thought of it like that before.”

In fact, these kinds of racially circumscribed gatherings are happening all the time, with no opposition or controversy, at schools all over the country. I bet they’re happening in Tennessee, in Alabama, in Louisiana, without anyone getting up in arms about them. They’re that innocuous, in themselves. The people who organise and attend them are regular parents, nice people who care about their kids and in no way deserve to be harried and threatened by faceless fanatics from other states. In organising these events as they do, explicitly including some people and leaving others unmentioned in hopes that they won’t show up and make things awkward, they’re simply practising Equity and Inclusion, contradictory as that sounds. Equity and Inclusion is simply the language of the institutions that reach out to them in their demographic specificity and say: “You are special in your worries and struggles, because of your skin colour.” As parents of school-age children, they surely do have worries and struggles, some of which may relate in some plausible way to their skin colour, and so who can blame them for accepting the terms in which their institutional patrons approach them with offers of special consideration? For my part, even though I dislike the Equity and Inclusion model, I’m way angrier about cowardly outsiders coming for my fellow Oakland school parents and my kids’ former school than I am about that weekend playdate.

Still, it is a bad model — which I’ll now give its more common name: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, or DEI. DEI is a robust form of public, society-ordering power that is exercised privately, by unelected bodies inventing and enforcing codes of affinity and behaviour rooted not in legislation but in the institutional interests and operational biases of those bodies. It works to analyse and categorise racial and ethnic difference, but also to administer it — that is to treat people differently according to which DEI category they inhabit. Because this goes against deep-seated human conceptions of fairness, DEI methods generate a steady flow of conflict and resistance, which is something else DEI personnel have deputised themselves to administer, often coercively.

And in this bureaucratic way of seeing and ordering the human subjects within its purview, the DEI model undermines the type of solidarity I felt when my fellow Oakland school parents came under attack from outsiders. This model simply can’t make sense of fully inclusive multiracial affiliations — such as “Oakland school parents” or “Americans” — except as human agglomerations to be taken apart, sectioned and set against each other according to the terms of its programming. In other words, the main paradigm by which virtually all mainstream institutions in the US understand and manage race relations actively promotes social fracture, when the country is already coming apart for other reasons.

This I know leaves me in a sort of paradox, a guy fondly invoking solidarity with a community informed by an ideology that is antagonistic to that solidarity. But I feel no need to resolve the paradox, to line up my sentiments with my pet ideas. Indeed, one of the ways in which I see myself practising solidarity with my fellow Oakland school parents is by peacefully coexisting with the paradox, choosing the people, in moments of conflict or crisis, over the ideas. Another way is by declining to take offence at a little flyer about a casual weekend playdate — unlike the email hysterics and bomb-threateners so eagerly triggered the moment a Twitter account gave them the signal — when no offence was intended.


Matt Feeney is an writer based in California and the author of Little Platoons: A defense of family in a competitive age


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Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
8 months ago

“I’m not trying to be clever or sophistical here.” Yes you are. That is exactly what you are doing. The purpose of the event was to exclude white people. Excluding white people is racist. If you support that, or try and explain it away then you are racist as well. It is really not that complicated.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Totally agree. I still can’t decipher his explanation of the difference between excluding white kids, or inviting only children of every color other than white.

Richard M
Richard M
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

“I still can’t decipher his explanation of the difference between excluding white kids, or inviting only children of every color other than white.”
The best I can do to explain what I believe the author means by this difference is to use the following analogy:
Every couple of months my wife and some of her closest girlfriends meet up for wine and a meal. I’m not invited (nor are any of the other husbands/partners) but its not really a question of me being excluded. There’s just a general understanding that its their thing and that anyone else being there would change the dynamic, which I wouldn’t want to do. I’m actively in favour of my wife getting away from all the stresses of home, kids etc and connecting with her mates.
That’s more or less how I think the author is trying to get us to view this segregated playdate. “Yes, white people aren’t included, but hey guys, if we see it from the organisers point of view and don’t let it bother us then its no big deal!”
The problem as I see it though, is that he ignores (presumably deliberately) the underpinning ideology which not only allows but basically demands a racially segregated playdate and the potential consequences of organising a society along those lines.
To go back to my analogy. I’m not excluded from the night out because I’m any sort of problem. I get on fine with my wife’s friends and have been to many of their weddings, christenings etc. If my wife is hosting the group I’ll usually pop down for 10 minutes to say hello before taking myself off to watch TV upstairs. Or I’ll come down near the end and hoover up leftover Chinese food. Or whatever.
But the segregated playdate is almost certainly founded on the modern social justice movement’s conviction that white people and whiteness are the problem. And not just in the old sense that some white people’s explicit racist actions and attitudes used to be seen as the problem, but in the modern sense that whiteness is seen as systemically the problem even if an individual white person isn’t explicitly racist.
Now of course there are people who argue this is fine. But outside of social justice warrior circles and the progressive citadels, it is to put it mildly a contested point of view and its highly questionable that public institutions should be promoting it. You also don’t have to be some ultra-sensitive conservative to figure that teaching kids that its ok to exclude one ethnic group because actually they’re the whole problem isn’t especially “kind” (to borrow their own phrase) but is likely to have some unwelcome consequences as those kids grow up. Its certainly hard to think of a historical precedent where taking such an approach has worked out well.

Last edited 8 months ago by Richard M
Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

The author knows that an only white meeting would never be permitted… this odd one sided apartheid has been around for some time now.

Last edited 8 months ago by Anna Bramwell
Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Are you not falling into their trap? The zealots are seeking to polarise society into many mutually antagonistic groups with no room for neutrals e.g. it is not sufficient to not be a racist, one has to be an “anti-racist” or accept that one is a racist etc. Mad. If one loathes this lunacy and fear where it will take us then we should reject their logic and avoid forcing everyone to take sides. I like and accept Matt’s approach even if I am inclined personally to be more vocal in my opposition (though I accept it is easier to be brave in Britain than in a suburb of San Fransisco).

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Carnegie
William Shaw
William Shaw
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

It’s ironic that the ethnic groups who fought against segregation are reviving the practice.

Kat L
Kat L
8 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Why do you think that is?

Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
8 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Actually it’s mostly white people pushing DEI. Unfortunately many people of other races see that and then believe that they are entitled to privileged treatment.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Since this is the way things are heading maybe be we should jus embrace it. Let them have their world and us have ours. The author could hardly object to that.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
8 months ago

I think you might enjoy this video. https://youtu.be/Ev373c7wSRg?si=KKjxfgYSQx4Sf-UU

Andrew F
Andrew F
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Yes, sophistry of the author is both disgusting and amazing.
Idiots like him are responsible for decline of the West.
Especially the decline of fighting spirit of the West.
I accept that African Americans were imported there against their will.
But the further influx of people with little culture, history or achievements into the West is clearly disastrous.
Does author really believe that when they become majority they would show tolerance and benevolence towards him and his family?
Just quick look towards useless shi*holes they come from will persuade you that is not the case.

Kat L
Kat L
8 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

We will find out in 20. My suggestion is to get in shape.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Thanks for dealing with the woke appeaser.

Dave Wood
Dave Wood
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

The author is part of the problem for stoking up racial divides. His mealy mouth contortions in the article is staggering.

Umar McKloskey
Umar McKloskey
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

In this case, there’s a very simple way to have your cake and eat it too.
The invite/announcement should have this:
The Equity and Inclusion Committee of the PTO invites all school families to a weekend Playdate Social.
Problem solved.

Ian 0
Ian 0
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

And I thought the ‘even if it wasn’t intended” defence was no longer accepted.by the diversity and inclusively lobby.

Someone being offended takes precedence irrespective of motive.

rod gartner
rod gartner
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

The fatal flaw of conservative criticism of liberal embrace of racial identity, despite maintaining an ideoloigcal argument against its every existence and criticizing the historical usage of the concept in society is this:
The conservative criticism is a strongly antagonistic self defense against a perceived or real encroachment on the societal and political “capitol” held by the overwhelmingly mostly white* conservative ideological conglomeration

AND YET: The argument is that *the very ethnic and racial groups whose history is full of the undeniable injustices that conservatives demand we “move on from” for the sake of the nation ARE REQUIRED TO ACCEPT the blunt fact of the injustice, and “forcibly forgive” the nation as a whole, white people as the focus or not.
White people who feel an encroachment on their political and social capitol due to perceived “innocent non-racist lifetime behavior” are *NOT*? required to give, NOT required to accept or silently move on from….Yes. Even including “what has already gone before” (and be careful: arguing about “the already dismantled state of white/conservative status and power would be an argument for when to place on the timeline the “neutral point” of the “moral arc of society”)
From the 1960s, we have images and film footage that, using colloquially and culturally recognized touchstones as for example “the police officer sicking the police dogs on civil rights protestors” or “the fire hosers”
Very real examples, both indvividually bu also representative of the broader state of the institution in the timeframe, of AVOWEDLY actively racist/racially biased, both in actions already taken and in the obvious evidence of how their thought processes and executive decision making is tainted by racist sentiment
We start from these canonical representative examples that are both real people in real life, but also purely models/references for behavior but with a real foundation.
Ok, so those police officers in their 20s or early 30s went back to work in 1966. Then each year for the next 30-40 years of their careers engaged in regular policing…. then graduated to creatiing and designing new policing methodology and training new police…. then graduating on to leadership and/or political roles within their systems.
These same police, racist as they were, still back in 1966 engaged in racist policing that created crime statistics tainted by raciosm. It would be stupid to argue that this is not the case.
Those irreparably tainted criminal stats formed the basis of the FOLLOWING YEAR’s approach and inform the approaches of regional and federal law enforcement as well. Tainted. THe next year, nothing has changed of course, so the difference is barely measurable or even WORSE
In the best case scenario, the trend very very very slowly reduces the tainted-ness of the entire system year by year, as little bits of corrupt racially biased behavior and approaches in policing are reduced
This is the most rosy and positive spin that a conservative hell bent on arguing that “thing are better now” and “the system is already or nearly at the neutral point” could possibly claim while still being rational.
And yet its still faulty….. That same hypothetical, but also completely real, police officer I described was only one of many, whose influence in police departments throughout the country was *TANGIBLE* literally into the 1990s.
“the firehose police dog sickers” were *THERE IN THE DEPARTMENT* until the late 1980s/early 1990s.
The guys who were trained by those people but were entering into the policing industry in the 1970s, with all of the social conflicts and ways and modes of thinking still strongly prevalent among society:
*THOSE GUYS* were Captains and Lieutenants about to retire *THROUGH THE ’00s.
The purpose of this has been to emphasize that the discussion of race and racism in the US need not even consider the long-deep historical depredations and the “big lie” inherent in the founding of the nation and the US constitution (ie “that all men are created equal”)
we can look to “literally yesterday” to see national systems so pervasively filled with suspect or tainted participants that there is no hope to justify a neutral background.

T Bone
T Bone
8 months ago
Reply to  rod gartner

You’re just marrying bread crumbs of truth to a ridiculous pseudo-religious philosophy of retribution masked as empathetic liberation.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
8 months ago
Reply to  rod gartner

You’re a Maoist. You didn’t need to write an essay, just admit you want a race war against whitey.

starkbreath
starkbreath
8 months ago
Reply to  rod gartner

Go back to Oberlin, snowflake.

Richard M
Richard M
8 months ago

“this implied logic of excluding white families”

The logic isn’t implied, it’s explicit. White families haven’t been left out of this playdate by accident, they’ve been left off because DEI ideology specifically identifies “whiteness” as the problem.

Whatever pretzel logic the author tries to employ, there really is no other way of reading a flyer which is deliberately inclusive of every broad racial group except white people. Especially given the prominence of DEI thinking in education in these times.

The British-Malaysian comedian Phil Wang used an excellent phrase to describe a similar situation in his podcast a few years ago: “apartheid masquerading as inclusion.”

Of course this does not justify bomb threats in any way. But let’s not pretend that white parents had to try really hard to notice they were being excluded and why.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

“Apartheid masquerading as inclusion”. Excellent. The woke should not have a monopoly on glib phrases. We need more pithy statements that puncture their deceits. Maybe UnHerd should organise a competition. Any suggestions?

Anuschka K
Anuschka K
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

I doubt the author (who lives in my community) would be so accommodating if the arguments were reversed–if instead of “Playdate Social for Black, Brown, and API Families” the flyer had said “Playdate Social for White Families.” I suspect he’d have been saddened or enraged at the bigotry of the idea. He is the embodiment of DEI’s effects on society. Otherwise unbigoted and unracialized people suddenly bend over backwards to prove they aren’t evil Whites by accepting and tolerating behavior from other ethnic groups that they would never accept or tolerate in their own. Unity flies out the window and division and partiality flourish.

Last edited 8 months ago by Anuschka K
Marian Baldwin
Marian Baldwin
8 months ago
Reply to  Anuschka K

Embodiment? I don’t know the author, and only suggest that we are all making our way through a DEI minefield.

Last edited 8 months ago by Marian Baldwin
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago
Reply to  Anuschka K

Perhaps the author will write a follow up essay after he is forced out of his community someday for his unfortunate skin color.

Waffles
Waffles
8 months ago

I’m sorry but offence was intended and the flyer was racist. If the author saw a flyer for white families only, I’m sure they wouldn’t need to squint to see the racism.

It’s the Left’s Orwellian Doublespeak that Inclusivity means excluding large numbers of people based on their race gender and beliefs.

J Bryant
J Bryant
8 months ago

I find this article deeply confusing. On one hand, the author declines to hurl abuse, or even threats, at members of his children’s school community who organize playdates that exclude white children. I understand, and agree with, his unwillingness to react in that way.
On the other hand, the author seems unwilling to challenge anti-white bias in his children’s school. He clearly understands what DEI is and, I’m inferring, the agenda motivating its proponents. But he seems willing to shrug it off as some sort of cultural anomaly, a little bump along the road of life that isn’t worth getting worked up about.
For example, the author writes, “Another way is by declining to take offence at a little flyer about a casual weekend playdate…when no offence was intended.” Perhaps it’s true that the organizers of the exclusionary event did not primarily intend to “offend” white people, but they surely sought to exclude them. And that “little flyer” about “a casual weekend playdate” is where the DEI agenda begins. It carries on through primary, secondary and tertiary education into the workplace where, at each step of the way, white people are excluded from opportunities, including professional opportunities to advance their career. That is the future the author’s children will face unless their parents take a stand, yes, even with respect to discriminatory playdates.
The author seems to believe he’s practicing a philosophy of broad-minded tolerance that balances ideological opposition to DEI without the need to take any action. I disagree. Like so many of us, he’s practicing the philosophy of the ostrich.

Chipoko
Chipoko
8 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

It seems to me he’s reflecting the philosophy of the racist!

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
8 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

He is, as they say here in Singapore, “covering backside”.

He cannot openly criticise this stuff, as he will be rejected by his (no doubt) ‘tolerant’ community. They may even attempt to link his criticisms to the bomb threat.

Last edited 8 months ago by Derek Smith
Gayle Buhler
Gayle Buhler
8 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Agree completely. White people being excluded from opportunities just because of their skin color is as bad any other ethnicity being excluded. DEI is total doublespeak and a strike at one of the founding principles of America – that is no aristocracy of blood but of ability. Meritocracy is the way to go.
Before anyone brings up slavery or past discrimination, try to remember that our founders did the best they could at the time. Society was evolving quite nicely in the West until the early 2000s when the graduates of these universities began spreading these hateful doctrines into every nook and cranny of society.

T Bone
T Bone
8 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The Author is a devout Postmodernist and Neo-Platonist that thinks everything that exists is the sum total of people acting out a performance. Like one great simulated social construct. It’s Anti-realism. He’s by definition unrestrained from principles because he doesn’t believe in a fixed set of values.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
8 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

practising the philosophy of the Ostrich? ot pushing the boundaries of the art of the possible as far as is safe in a Californian environment? I suspect the author thought he was being rather punchy by local standards and would not be surprised by retaliation.

Peter D
Peter D
8 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The guy lives in San Francisco, enough said!

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
8 months ago

The author’s tied himself in so many knots with this piece that I’m surprised he hasn’t tripped over his own shoelaces. Most of the article is just him dithering about, terrified of putting a foot wrong and upsetting the ever-sensitive masses. But here’s a thought: What would he have spluttered out if the flyer had cheekily suggested a play date just for the white kids at his school?

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jobs

A more interesting comparison might be a different kind of ‘inclusive’ apartheid invitation to ‘White, brown and API’ children. How would the author react to that? I don’t think it would go down well with the authorities, or the clearly excluded group!

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jobs

My thoughts exactly!

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jobs

Quite so, but a more interesting comparison would be an invitation to an ‘inclusive’ but segregated playdate addressed to ‘White, Brown and API’ families. What would the author say about that? And it wouldn’t have gone down well with the excluded group!

Last edited 8 months ago by Alan Tonkyn
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago

Mealy-mouthed apologetics like this are one of the principal causes of the metastasis of the cancer of anti-White racism.

Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
8 months ago

Threatening a school (or anyone) with any form of violence much less a bomb threat is morally repugnant.

Separating children or anyone by “race” is morally repugnant.

Simple (if not so erudite as the authors missive)
. One can hold more than one concept in their mind at one time


Steve Murray
Steve Murray
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

I’ve deleted this comment, since it’s been waiting nearly 24 hours “for approval”, and others have made pretty much the same point since.

Last edited 8 months ago by Steve Murray
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

The author doesn’t even describe the bomb threat. Did it explicitly refer to that playdate thing? The complete lack of detail here says something about the quality of the essay.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
8 months ago

So “all students except white kids” was a 100% accurate literal description.

You are saying that there is no problem with this because the authors of the flyer deliberately used weasel wording to do something which, if stated explicitly, would be illegal – and is blatantly racist.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
8 months ago

I wonder if you’d be so blasĂ© if you’d had to explain to your child that they weren’t invited to the play date their classmates were talking about.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
8 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Or explain to one of the children who was invited why their pale friend couldn’t come along.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
8 months ago

I don’t think you can on the one hand glibly dismiss a rightful disgust and outrage at naked racism, and on the other hand claim to be opposed to DEI and its variants.

The author explicitly admits that he’s not willing to unpick his cognitive dissonance. That’s a shame, for as someone once said, all that is required for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

That being said, bomb threats to a school is pretty pathetic.

Paul Beardsell
Paul Beardsell
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

I think the bomb threat should play no part in the reasoning over whether this racist playdate should be opposed.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
8 months ago

“I’m not trying to be clever or sophistical here.” Since my last comment was deleted by moderators I will just let the readers consider this quote and decide for themselves.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
8 months ago

I found this very interesting. I started off thinking “no you are dancing on the head of a pin trying to rationlise something that is unacceptable, the people getting angry about it are justified.”

His conclusion, the idea that reasonable people should stand with the real people and real communities that they know, against those who are angered to the point of violence by ideology, reflects my world view. Judge a man by his character not the colour of his skin (or political affiliation, or religion, or any other ‘identity’ marker.)

I understand the paradox he’s talking about and admired his justification for not picking up his pitchfork. But DIE is shaping our world.

“DEI methods generate a steady flow of conflict and resistance, which is something else DEI personnel have deputised themselves to administer, often coercively.”

Can something, at heart without reason, be fought with reason? If not, have we reasonable people already lost?

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

My answer to your second question is that we have not already lost and, though the final outcome is still in doubt, at present the pendulum is swinging back towards reason and decency – at least in the U.K.

As to the first question, my view is that Unreason can be defeated by Reason which is precisely why progressives obfuscate their arguments and avoid debate.

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Carnegie
T Bone
T Bone
8 months ago

So…if you feel no need to resolve the paradox…are you not openly practicing doublethink?

Help me resolve that paradox.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
8 months ago

Ok, no comments being published (almost 9am BST).
Anyway, I don’t really understand the point that is being made here. The author doesn’t like the “playdate”, but says one should keep quiet about it?
If you ask me, the people who organised it pretty much asked for what came next.
Personally I would add to the sh*storm the illiteracy of those who wrote the flyer as the first sentence (out of three) makes no sense.

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
8 months ago

The author’s tied himself in so many knots with this piece that I’m surprised he hasn’t tripped over his own shoelaces. Most of the article is just him dithering about, terrified of putting a foot wrong and upsetting the ever-sensitive masses. But here’s a thought: What would he have spluttered out if the flyer had cheekily suggested a play date for the white kids at his school?

Last edited 8 months ago by Steve Jobs
Derek Smith
Derek Smith
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jobs

He would have thundered against it with the kind of conviction typically seen in the late Reverend Ian Paisley. We all know this.

Marissa M
Marissa M
8 months ago

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.
Hysteria is not exclusive to the liberals.

Alan Elgey
Alan Elgey
8 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

I’m sorry, Marissa, but as the article was not in the least bit hysterical, I have no idea what you mean by this comment.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
8 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

???

Steve Underwood
Steve Underwood
8 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

Most names are not chosen to illuminate, but to obscure. Much of modern life is people doing things they are ashamed to express clearly, so they choose nice sounding names to obscure a nasty intent. I have yet to see anything DEI related that is not explicitly trying to exclude people, eliminate diversity, and stoke division. There’s a lot of money in chaos and division, so don’t expect any improvement without a fight.

Patti Dunne
Patti Dunne
8 months ago

Children feel rejected when left out of parties, playdates, etc. When they are not invited to a party or playdate parents will teach them how to deal with this disappointment with reasonable explanations. There is no way to explain this school playdate as anything other than excluding a child because of his/her race. How else would you explain it to a child so they do not take it so? It is racist on it’s very face and you don’t have to be very sophisticated to see that.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
8 months ago

Bomb threats and other idiotic threats of violence aside, the best way to handle this is a simple test. It probably has a name already, but in regards these racially segregated events, if you were to have the same event, but only allow white children to participate, would that be acceptable? If not, then don’t do it in the first place you braindead clots. Add this onto what people say about white people and other stupid forms of segregation masquerading as inclusion as a fellow commenter Richard M also pointed out.

However the author does manage to indirectly provide an insight into why California as a state is going down the pan. The naivety, submissiveness to radical progressive dogma and the meekness of its population (particularly white middle class) have ruined what was once a paradise. If it can happen there, it can happen here. We must be on our guard.

Kat L
Kat L
8 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

I think we can discern that the author is low T.

Last edited 8 months ago by Kat L
Studio Largo
Studio Largo
8 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

Maybe he’s transitioning.

Sonny Ramadhin
Sonny Ramadhin
8 months ago

How about UnHerd US and UnHerd UK?

The UK aspect was part of the appeal but of course more people equals more money. American hegemony, American politics, just like India with cricket.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
8 months ago
Reply to  Sonny Ramadhin

Seconded, and a new line of income for unherd as well!

Spare us please from American race politics.

Alan Elgey
Alan Elgey
8 months ago
Reply to  Sonny Ramadhin

But what happens in the US tends to come over here. So I find it interesting notwithstanding it is not about my country.
By the way, I loved your spin bowling. I was too young to see you ‘in your pomp’ but I did see you playing Minor Counties. Great player.

Last edited 8 months ago by Alan Elgey
Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
8 months ago
Reply to  Sonny Ramadhin

Can you explain what you mean by this comment because I don’t understand what on earth you are talking about. Thanks.

Sonny Ramadhin
Sonny Ramadhin
8 months ago

UnHerd was originally a British publication but over time more and more content has been aimed at an American audience. It is plainly obvious why this is so.

The tilt towards to US relevant content has coincided with an increase in the banal culture war output which has tainted all similar publications. Just like there is a larger audience in the US, there is a larger audience in the “Anti-Woke”.

Whereas trans, climate change and other such issues may be relevant generally to a “West” or anglosphere, this sort of race politics is inexplicably tied to the history of the United States.

As for the cricket reference, India have 1 billion people, thus receive the largest TV deals. They have used this to leverage almost total control of the sport. The power of the majority is almost never to the benefit of the minority.

Why not have a separate website where this content can be published, just as the telegraph and spectator etc. Britain has its own traditions, problems etc. These will not be heard if UnHerd tries to appeal to an Anglosphere who is primarily tied together by a supposed culture war.

David Yetter
David Yetter
8 months ago
Reply to  Sonny Ramadhin

Most of the rot coming from the herd, to which the site name UnHerd refers, is common to if not the whole West, then to the whole Anglosphere. You Brits have UnHerd, the Aussies Quillette, us Yanks don’t have any preeminent site covering the same beat, though both Bari Weiss’s and Matt Taibi’s substack sites (The Free Press and Racket News, respectively) fill in some of the same territory.
I don’t think narrowing focus helps. The problem affects us all.

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
8 months ago
Reply to  David Yetter

I read Unherd because it covers the world. Judging from recent reads, you must want a French Unherd, a Greek Unherd, an African Unherd and a Chinese Unherd too.

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
8 months ago

Wow, the choice Feeney gives us is definitely laid-back California chic. We can either ignore the offensive practices of DEI or issue bomb threats. I would think in a democracy there are many other non-violent ways to fight the DEI takeover of our schools, but you have to be willing to make waves. I assume Mr. Feeney would be against even peaceful protest of these playdates that in fact exclude whites and are segregated despite Mr. Feeny’s handwringing pretzel logic. I wonder if he would be ok with editorials in the local papers or loudly making this an issue at the next meeting of the school board. Would he be in favor of campaigning for school board members who promise to reverse DEI policies? Or would he be too afraid to offend his nice neighbors who take advantage of this nonsensical garbage.
Mr. Feeney represents the worst kind of liberal. They are the reason DEI is taking over our institutions. The ones who know it is wrong but say it isn’t really all that bad, it’s well intentioned anyway, so let’s just go along with it to keep the peace.

Last edited 8 months ago by Benjamin Greco
Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
8 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

He should stand up at the next school meeting and propose a white only playdate, and see what happens.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
8 months ago

Segregated events are not innocuous. They are insidious.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
8 months ago

I’ve just had a family visitor from Oakland. She was very keen to try and find an element of blackness in her ancestors (I have subscriptions and enjoy genealogy) and she was hoping (against hope I’m afraid) that her great grandmother on her mothers side was black because then she would be an eighth black and could be therefore considered ‘black’ (legally the case) and all would be well. Utterly creepily brainwashed.
I suppose they see the antonym of BLM as WLDM. And the movement has moved away from human decency and equality to its opposite. She is a highly educated woman and I thought at first she was joking but she wasn’t.
So I read this article bearing that experience in mind, it is very tangled stupid and confused. And quite scary.

Kat L
Kat L
8 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

WLDM?

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
8 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Do you really expect anyone to believe your racist fairytale?

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
8 months ago

Elizabeth Warren?

Chris Roberts
Chris Roberts
8 months ago

I am fascinated that the children and grandchildren of those who fought for the end of “separate but equal” policies in the USA would now be creating separate but equal playdates.

Just as an aside, I love that one commenter references DIE instead of DEI. That might have been a typo but I wonder if it more accurately describes what so-called diversity, inclusion, and equity ideas are causing us to do.

Andrzej Wasniewski
Andrzej Wasniewski
8 months ago

You are a frog and you decided to pretend that the water is not really much warmer than the last week. You will keep explaining to yourself, and unfortunately to other frogs, that it is just how complex the life is, and that living with contradictions is what mature and sophisticated people do. For example sometimes there is no reason to make big deal of open racism. And you will keep lying to yourself until the point when you are ready to be served dinner. Happy boiling.

Last edited 8 months ago by Andrzej Wasniewski
Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
8 months ago

The “Equity and Inclusion Committee” runs an exclusive event ….
“War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.” 
1984 but 40 years later

si mclardy
si mclardy
8 months ago

“I bet they’re happening in Tennessee, in Alabama, in Louisiana”. So because you imagine poor white folks in Alabama excluding black people, you justify black people excluding white people. But then you go on to delude yourself into thinking flyers excluding black kids from an all white kid party would not draw the attention of the media and more likely lawyers is enough for me to say, your wrong. I would love to see the emails you equate with the bomber. You are a good writer and have a creative mind but no. If these types of articles come to dominate Unherd, I could save a few bucks.

Chip Dennison
Chip Dennison
8 months ago
Reply to  si mclardy

Actually I took this to mean that the author believes these type of DEI events occur all over the country. I can assure you that this is not the case. I lived in SF and Seattle, but currently live in the American south and this is not a thing here. It is telling that person living in the bay area thinks this idiocy is everywhere.

Tonis Arro
Tonis Arro
8 months ago

DEI is a version of institutionalised racism.

carl taylor
carl taylor
8 months ago

Wow! The complacency in this article, from someone who appears to understand the problem with DEI – the racial dissolution of an entire country – but then just shrugs. No wonder California is turning into something out of a post-apocalyptic movie franchise.

R Wright
R Wright
8 months ago

The author is utterly deluded and attempting to use doublethink to accept the nightmarish racial quagmire he finds himself trapped in.

William Shaw
William Shaw
8 months ago

It’s easy to tell if something is racist.
Just substitute “Playdate Social for White Families” for “Playdate Social for Black, Brown, and API Families”
Yep. Racist.

Last edited 8 months ago by William Shaw
Dionne Finch
Dionne Finch
8 months ago

Kick up a stink and make a fuss. Racism against whites is not okay.

Mick Davis
Mick Davis
8 months ago
Reply to  Dionne Finch

Black Racism Matters?

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
8 months ago

The best response would be for a similar get-together, inviting only those families/children excluded from this event.

I’m sure the author here would consider it just as inconsequential!

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
8 months ago

Stockholm Syndrome on full display.

Marek Nowicki
Marek Nowicki
8 months ago

Yes, this is how crazy things are in Coastal California….the author seems to be OK with the fact that you LIST races of children ivited for the play date….

Glyn R
Glyn R
8 months ago

Albert Camus put it best: “The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.”
Tyranny doesn’t happen overnight, it creeps up on us – aided and abetted, often unwittingly – then snaps its jaws shut.
As others have pointed out the extremists reaction is repugnant but I do find that the flyer – like so much of the CRT and DEI rhetoric – is racist. Two wrongs never made right and passive acceptance will not really help as this juncture. There needs to be more rigorous debate.

Last edited 8 months ago by Glyn R
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
8 months ago

This has got to be the worst argued nonsense I have ever read. The author admits to not knowing set theory – he barely understands simple logic.

To help him along, if there’s say, 4 differing types of anything – say blue, red pink, and yellow – then to only include blue, red and pink is to exclude yellow. Yellow doesn’t have to be mentioned directly to be excluded.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
8 months ago

I wonder, why does the headline has the word “segregated” in inverted commas? Are we not supposed to take that word literally or what?

harry storm
harry storm
8 months ago

The author is trying to have his cake and eat it too, to split the difference. Yes of course, bomb threats are way over the top and unacceptable, but race-defined playdates should be unacceptable too. .

Ardath Blauvelt
Ardath Blauvelt
8 months ago

How can you be so sure, to the point of discounting white umbrage, that there was no exclusion intended? That somehow it was unintentional. Is it because the group was made up of so many discreet races who share some sort of commonality? As opposed to a single entity called white, that also consists of several different cultures? What if the flyer said “white children will be meeting, etc.”? We all know the answer. People are getting weary of the double speak, the double standards, the illusory insistence that what is, isn’t, sometimes…. Enough. Enough of demanding it both ways: racism is racism. G I v e it up. It remains poison whatever the use or reason. Instead of masks, can I recommend blindfolds?

Kat L
Kat L
8 months ago

The person who made the flyer was mentioned in the article.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago

Doesn’t everyone know about the centuries old alliance between Pacific Islanders and brown and black peoples of the world? If those pesky white folk were invited they would have had to list the time of day on the flyer.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago

Why is this ridiculous essay being so severely censored?

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
8 months ago

Thugs and cowards

Claire Dunnage
Claire Dunnage
8 months ago

I wonder what the reasoning is behind having a playdate for only black, brown and API families? How does it benefit them? What do they gain from it? I am truly puzzled by the idea.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
8 months ago
Reply to  Claire Dunnage

Particuarly as it is such a clunsy and patronising grouping.

Paul Beardsell
Paul Beardsell
8 months ago

When one is discriminated against because of one’s race then that is racial discrimination. Imagine there had been another playdate where the invitation families of every named race group but left out black families. That would cause an uproar. And correctly so! Similarly an uproar is appropriate when white families are excluded.

Andrew Morgan
Andrew Morgan
8 months ago

You’re a coward, simple.

T M Murray
T M Murray
8 months ago

“He wasn’t really complaining that white families were being injured by this playdate.” Why not argue that both white and non- white families are injured by this kind of self-perpetuated apartheid?
If it were a white-only playgroup the author wouldn’t dare condone it. No consistent principles are followed by the woke-adjacent commentators. Double standards are rife.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
8 months ago
Reply to  T M Murray

I dont see that non white grouos are being injured by excluding whites. However, Asian and East Asian grouos who gave the highest IQs in America might feel a little grouchy.

Dylan Blackhurst
Dylan Blackhurst
8 months ago

This article quite simply illustrates why the West is in a mess.

Morally bankrupt thinking.

It’s a play date. It’s just a job application. It’s just a pointless new level of bureaucracy that exists in state funded organisations and corporations.

If we continue being okay with these paradoxes society will surely unravel.

Margaret TC
Margaret TC
8 months ago

He is oddly disspassionate when he writes about ‘things that are alien and alarming to people who have not signed on to the recent revolution in culture and morals — sexually explicit books written for young children, a transgender activist encouraging children to run away from home, a school system hiring a drag queen and accused paedophile to be its new middle-school principal’.
I’d be willing to bet a lot that he would not be so dispassionate if his children were still school age!

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
8 months ago

What you were trying to say, but afraid to say clearly, is that DEI policies are more responsible for the bomb threat than Libs of TikTok. And that is true. Libs of TikTok could not exist without the insanity of Identity Politics.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
8 months ago

“There was literally no way to openly make those critical points that didn’t threaten to blow up — so to speak — all those relationships, to blow apart the school’s community”.

This is simply not true. There literally *is* such a way. It just requires a bit of guts. One way to do it would be to write an article about it in British online magazine, critiquing the zany DEI ideology whilst acknowledging differences in views & perspectives, condemning the appalling bomb threats, and calling for unity. Another would be to ask to make a representation to whatever body was responsible and politely, but firmly, articulate the view that one doesn’t fight racism with more racism, and it’s better for everyone that kids’ “playdates” are not organised on racial lines. You could call for all “playdates” to be open to everyone but note that, if a group of parents with a particular affinity wish to get together at such an event and chat about any issues that they face in common then they are more than free to do that. And unlike, say, parents of kids with asthma or dyspraxia, it should be pretty easy for them to identify who is who if that affinity is based on the colour of their skin (unless they all go in fully body bio-hazard suits to keep everyone safe which, it being California, probably isn’t beyond the bounds of possibility).

If to do that would be to risk blowing apart the school’s community, and if the presence of a white family (or a family with some white and / or mixed race members?) at a play date would “make things awkward”; well then maybe there are much bigger fish to fry? I would argue that a community isn’t a meaningful community of it cannot tolerate well-intentioned, reasonable, and respectful dissent and debate; it could more accurately be described as a cult. The first step towards leaving a cult is recognising that one is in a cult. Perhaps the author should ponder that.

Stuart Bennett
Stuart Bennett
8 months ago

Yes the bomb threat is a foolish act. This does not in any way excuse the fact that even suggesting that an event is intended for persons of a particular race or ethnicity is a racist act. It’s this kind of excuse making that has allowed this crap to take hold.

Dan Comerford
Dan Comerford
8 months ago

Mr. Feeney, It seems to me you are twisting like a pretzel to rationalize the racist intent of the play date because of the verbal framing of the organizers: i.e. including all races other than white. Your argument reminds me of a saying we had back in the old east coast neighborhood where I grew up: no matter how thin you slice it – it’s still baloney.

P N
P N
8 months ago

Careful you don’t turn yourself into a pretzel there with your mental gymnastics as you attempt to distinguish between a flyer which excludes white kids and a flyer which excludes white kids. Cynical sophistry. If this is the level of logic among Californian liberals, no wonder the place is a confusing mess of outrage and loathing.

P N
P N
8 months ago

How would the author feel if someone in response had arranged a playdate exclusively for those kids not invited to the original playdate? That would by definition be a whites only playdate.

Iwan Hughes
Iwan Hughes
8 months ago

Interesting that if a group of parents decided to organize an alternative playdate for the excluded families, and issued flyers to that effect, there would be a hell of a row.

Nuala Rosher
Nuala Rosher
8 months ago

Surely this will cause a division between children where was none.
If some of my friends held a playdate and didn’t invite me I would think they didn’t view me as a proper friend

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
8 months ago

Why are there no details given about the bomb threat? Ridiculously bad omission.

John Supino
John Supino
8 months ago

I can understand why so many commenters seem angry and confused by this article. For historical reference, there was once a form of discourse practiced in democracies called “persuasion”. One of the notable markers of “persuasion” was that it attempted to nudge those who might not agree with the writer (or speaker) a little further toward the writer’s (or speaker’s) point of view. This was often accomplished through the practice of “empathy” (a very confusing concept which I won’t focus on here), and by highlighting areas of potential common ground with one’s adversaries in debate.

In our late stage democracies today, this form of discourse has been all but forgotten on the understandable (if somewhat misguided) theory that it feels better – and is thus far easier – to simply vilify and insult all members of other tribes in a cathartic rage. The aims of this later theory are not entirely clear, but one of the unintended side effects has been the creation of internet-based forums in which commenters engage in verbal self-gratification rituals, congratulating themselves on their ideological purity.

Strange times, indeed.

Last edited 8 months ago by John Supino
Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
8 months ago
Reply to  John Supino

Agree. Maybe UnHerd hopes to reintroduce the damaged warriors of the culture wars to the joys of constructive debate? Might work.

Kat L
Kat L
8 months ago

Wow I’ve rarely seen an author twist himself into a pretzel trying to justify the oh so casual racism of his neighborhood. Here’s a thought experiment; reverse the races in that flyer and imagine what would happen


Alan B
Alan B
8 months ago

You can tell the writer is a native of CA. All newcomers have their “first principle glasses” confiscated at the border

David Yetter
David Yetter
8 months ago

A bomb threat is pretty much always the wrong response to anything. A law suit would have been more appropriate, ideally asking for a restraining order to forbid the plainly racist “playdate social” from taking place at all unless it was opened to the families of all students attending the school.
Of course, one might have had the misfortune to have the suit heard by a judge who has imbibed the wicked redefinition of “racist” by which only whites can be racist, and all whites are, and who, despite recent Supreme Court precedents affirming that no discrimination on the basis of race really means just what it sounds like it means, would have dismissed the suit, or at least refused to grant injunctive relief.

Last edited 8 months ago by David Yetter
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago

As at 0905 BST. 10.09.2023.
Where has Alex Carnegie’s erudite comment gone?

Last edited 8 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
8 months ago

I cleaned up the English a bit. I guess that made it necessary to rescreen it again for possible rabid hate crime, poor grammar or other offences. It has now reappeared but been so heavily downvoted that it appears right at the bottom. Thanks for the “erudite”.

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Carnegie
Mike SampleName
Mike SampleName
8 months ago

The author suggests that inviting everyone except whites isn’t a problem, because they specify included groups without saying “no whites”.
So by that logic, a school could run a playdate weekend for white families, right? As long as they don’t _say_ “no blacks / browns / APIs”, then we’re all good, right? It’s not like they’re saying anyone is excluded, after all.
“Ah, but that’s _different_ ” of course.

Peter Gray
Peter Gray
8 months ago

Wow. A lot of tiptoeing around only to manifest that we are slowly starting to welcome racism as morally acceptable, at least if used against some races. But the bigger issue is that we are leaning towards more polarization and balkanization or our society. Politicians love polarization because it produces committed voters. Bureaucrats love it because it makes choices simple. But is it good for everyone else?
And we are getting to the point when it becomes silly. I am slavic, my wife is Hispanic, (brown?), my, now former, daughter in law is black, my other daughter in law is Brazilian (Latin?). My wife just found out that she is part Jewish. Where, in this new brave world, do we belong?

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
8 months ago

“Since the flier didn’t say those things, since no one was seeming to aim an intentional poke in their eyes, they could go on with their day after seeing the flyer, entirely unoffended and unriled, even if in their private thoughts they lamented some aspect of this flyer, this implied logic of excluding white families, the larger mindset it expresses, the politics that issue from this mindset. “

What a load of nonsense. If a flyer advertised a “Playdate for White Families”, would parents have been “entirely unoffended and unriled”?

Tom D.
Tom D.
8 months ago

Man, I mean, man — this is exactly how the Southern Democrats used to justify segregation: logic gymnastics in an attempt to avert the blatant racist truth.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago

As at 0905 BST. 10.09. 2023:
What has happened to Alex Carnegie’s comment?

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
8 months ago

It must have been very racist if you are complaining about it being removed!

Last edited 8 months ago by Champagne Socialist
Mark HumanMode
Mark HumanMode
8 months ago

Here’s an attempt to understand the author’s position: Like many of us (and me), he doesn’t want to be forced to take sides in the radicalised culture war. He wants a return to the time where race wasn’t central to civic life, even though it could sometimes be seen in how and with whom people associated. He wants to view the race/culture-based playdate as innocuous.
The trouble for him and I is that while we may not be interested in woke, or DEI, those driving it are interested in us – and trying to label and direct our lives. Which is why this play date did not informally arise out of the parent community, but was authorised and labelled.
In response, he and I must express our dissent, and our desire for community control, respectfully – and we must act for the return to the previous normality. He should, for example, organise a playdate among his parent network, whoever they are.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
8 months ago

.

Last edited 8 months ago by Sharon Overy
Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
8 months ago

A lot of words to white-wash another bad idea. Pun intended.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
8 months ago

“…Practicing solidarity…by peacefully coexisting with the paradox..” is sort of the essence of community and adult-ness, isn’t it? Like water off a duck’s back.
Allowing one’s self to be triggered by some nonsense on Twitter is sort of the opposite.

Last edited 8 months ago by laurence scaduto
Dumetrius
Dumetrius
8 months ago

I’d assume the group to side with would be the one that rejected this kind of sheltered workshop on principle.

No one else would be worth bothering with, surely?

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
8 months ago

I disagree. There should be no such segregation.

Jennifer Terrett
Jennifer Terrett
8 months ago

Is the school funded by the taxpayer? J. Terrett

Anuschka K
Anuschka K
8 months ago

Yes, it is.

Marian Baldwin
Marian Baldwin
8 months ago

I’m surprised that there’s been no mention of what happened at Evergreen College in WA state in 2018. (from Reddit) ” At the college they hold a yearly day of absence where minorities, students and staff don’t attend the college both as a way to show their significance on campus and to have a day of reflection amongst themselves. This year the minorities have asked/demanded that the white faculty and students remove themselves from campus. Further that there have been calls for changes in hiring practices to improve diversity within faculty.
A white professor protested against the call saying that’s its different for one group to voluntarily remove themselves than it is having one group ask another to leave. This same professor also criticized the suggested changes in hiring practices saying he believes a person’s race/ethnicity shouldn’t be considered to meet acceptable diversity ratios.”
This was the explosive event that should put all educators on alert as to what is considered “inclusive” and what is considered “exclusive” and to think about what their campus policies should be. Considering what happened to Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, I do not look down on anyone who broachers this subject with caution no matter what side of the political fence that one may be on.
I know the Chabot School and have passed it many times. Following John McWhorter’s pattern when ready to introduce a contrarian opinion, I’m sure many of the parents who suggested the “playdate” are good people and well intentioned, though I would not have supported it. I am also assuming that the author wishes to remain an involved part of his community, allowing “intent”–now a dirty word in DEI–to be part of the paradox. and not letting this be the battle that he is willing to die for.

Last edited 8 months ago by Marian Baldwin
Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
8 months ago

All such people are missionaries for this own idea of the End of Days: the Great Awokening that will relieve them from their material prison within the body. ‘The soul is the prison of the body’ is the motto to recall, and as missionaries they seem fixated on saving children’s souls for their religion of the Millennium.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
8 months ago

WTF… comments not allowed again???
2:20 pm BST
The latest comment is from 5 hours ago. I take it they opened the taps for a minute only to close the again.
What is the point, really…

Chip Prehn
Chip Prehn
8 months ago

It seems that Mr. Feeney is writing at bottom about Love and the need for it.

Lang Cleg
Lang Cleg
8 months ago

I agree with a what of what’s already been said about your angels dancing on the heads of pins but take your point about solidarity.
I’d also say, the safeguarding of children matters. That means not doing bomb threats to a school. It also means, much as one might oppose them, doing aggressive and rowdy protests outside those dreadful drag story times. Children, despite what one might think of their parents, should not have to walk through aggressive adult protests that could turn nasty at any minute. Subjecting children to that is no better than subjecting them to sexualised drag.
(Will add I’m in the UK where there’s no such thing as school shootings.)

Brenda Becker
Brenda Becker
8 months ago

And…here is a great place to apply what I call my Irish Test to take the measure of the validity of my moral outrage. If a group of my tribe organized a fais with a picnic for the school’s Irish-American parents, how racist would that be? Well, we’re talking about Irish-Americans here, so at least a few would be pleased that none of “them” would be there, if you know what I mean. But it would also just serve as a convivial space to drink beer and watch little girls in wigs dance “The Stack of Barley.” A cultural celebration. And yet…I have never ever seen an Irish event advertised “for Irish families.” Everyone is [theoretically] welcome. So: The Irish Test gives that playmate flyer a “2 stars” rating, that is, “kind of racist, but innocuous enough to keep your trap shut.”

Brenda Becker
Brenda Becker
8 months ago

Wow. Someone else willing to sit at my lonely lunch table, despising DEI to its rotten, divisive core but not eager to crack open toxic canisters of “antidote” rage on actual people. Come on in, but don’t expect much company.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
8 months ago

An exceptionally sane article. I think Matt Feeney is right on both fronts: the theory of DEI and how in practice we should respond.

I not only think that seeing individuals as individuals, seeking to understand their motives and only taking offence when absolutely necessary is a satisfying rebuke to the intolerant zealots but that it is also at the core of the best way to resist and reverse this assault on Western society. 

One should never forget that DEI is only one aspect of a wider project arising from Critical Theory which is determined to split society into groups and set them against each other the better to overthrow capitalism, the patriarchy, white supremacy, heteronormativity and related hobgoblins and install 
 some unspecified utopia? It is certainly not intended to solve practical problems or make people’s lives better in the short term but instead to amplify the discontents of the “marginalised” for political purposes. As a pattern of thought it also has uncomfortable similarities with that depicted by Orwell.

As Matt suggests, one simple form of resistance to this disagreeable cult is to behave like a decent human being and treat others on the same basis. (Another cunning tactic is to describe and reveal what progressives really think and do through good journalism and good faith debate. The public then recoils. The more demented segments of the trans activist community are now in full retreat in the U.K. because the manifest lunacy and dysfunctionality of what was going on the GIDS unit at the Tavistock was exposed to public gaze. Public opinion did the rest. Sunlight is still the best disinfectant).

The article is also an implicit rebuke to those that say we must fight fire with fire and become as intolerant, aggressive and unpleasant as – behind their amiably plausible word games and insincere smiles – some of the more hard core progressives.

I look forward to the comments suggesting I am a naive optimist. Actually, I am a very very cynical optimist. It is just that – in this instance – I genuinely think the optimal tactics are to be decent, honest, inquisitive and willing to engage in debate.

Great article.

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Carnegie
Hibernian Caveman
Hibernian Caveman
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster.”

A paradox from the Old Testament:

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.

Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.

Proverbs 26:4,5

Last edited 8 months ago by Hibernian Caveman
Alta Ifland
Alta Ifland
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I too thought it was a great article, but, unfortunately, as you can see from most of the comments, sanity doesn’t necessarily prevail. Some people don’t even seem to understand the difference between a paradox and “doublethink.”

Dylan Blackhurst
Dylan Blackhurst
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I would have agreed with you once.

But for all the acronyms, the mental gymnastics, the supposed good intentions voiced in soft, warm and understanding tones, it’s still division.

It’s the thin end of a wedge.

You might be okay with it.

I am not.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
8 months ago

I am emphatically NOT okay with it. The question is how to defeat and reverse this assault on Enlightenment values and, more generally, the West. My difference with, it appears, 90% of UnHerd readers is about choice of tactics. I base my thinking on two things.

1/ The more extreme trans activists are in full retreat in the U.K. after journalists uncovered the level of dysfunctionality at the Tavistock GIDS unit. The woke may never change their mind but the public do. The pendulum has started to swing. The courts are protecting gender critical feminists. etc etc, It is even crossing the Atlantic so that the ultra progressive NYT has started to become even handed in its reporting on trans issues. This approach needs to be applied to other topics.

2/ There is a historical analogue. In the late 1940s Western Continental Europe was threatened by the communists. The problem was that social democrats and communists had been allied pre-war in “popular fronts”. The key was to drive a wedge between the two by exposing the reality of communist rule in Russia and Eastern Europe and by increasing understanding by distributing e.g. translations of 1984 and Animal Farm. It worked.

Applying these points to today, how do we drive a wedge between traditional liberals and radical progressives?

I say by encouraging good journalism and debate to inform the public and by making it as easy as possible for liberals to repudiate the progressives by minimising polarisation, taking offence uneccesarily etc,

The 90%, I assume, think it is better to shout back and launch a conservative crusade. I suggest we can see how well that would work from America where fear of Trump has kept the liberals aligned with the woke.

Obviously splitting the liberals from the progressives is only a first step. One still has to dismantle the DEI infrastructure etc. But this will be much easier if public opinion has shifted. Think the end of McCarthyism. CBS and the US Army exposed the cynicism and bullying and McCarthyism was a spent force within months.

It is easy to be a pessimist but it is not necessary.

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Carnegie
Arkadian X
Arkadian X
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

“Another cunning tactic is to describe and reveal what progressives really think and do through good journalism”

Isn’t that what libs of tiktok did? If they hadn’t said, we wouldn’t know.

starkbreath
starkbreath
8 months ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

And Libs of TikTok wouldn’t need to exist if AP, Reuters, NYT, WaPo, MSNBC, NPR, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Vox, Slate, et al. were something beside blatant propaganda outlets.

carl taylor
carl taylor
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Well, I suppose he has written an article about it. That’s a form of resistance, I suppose. But otherwise what is he proposing, having acknowledged the injustice and even the wider ramifications of DEI (that it “actively promotes social fracture”)? You don’t have to ‘fight fire with fire’ to counter this reactionary, divisive ideology, let alone phone in a bomb threat, but does he propose writing to the administration, asking other parents how they feel about it and organising a petition or backing a school board candidate in the next election? No, none of those things; he considers the messy optics of making his discomfort known and decides that the best solution is to do absolutely nothing.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

“Another cunning tactic is to describe and reveal what progressives really think and do through good journalism and good faith debate. The public then recoils”
That is delusional

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
8 months ago

Really? What about the exposes by journalists of the Tavistock unit followed by the defeats experienced by the trans activists in the U.K.?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Courtesy of Mr Caldwell
During the 1990–1991 academic year, the term “political correctness” had been introduced into American life on the covers of news magazines and at the top of nightly news broadcasts. Most people had never heard the phrase, though it had been putting down roots ever since the passage of the Civil Rights Act. In its purest form it was confined to university life and the public school system, where it prescribed ethnic- and sexual-minority curricula, politicized lessons, and various kinds of censorship and speech control. There is probably no need to go into detail, since the controversies resemble today’s, except in one particular: In the early nineties, almost no one thought the politically correct side had any chance of carrying the day, let alone of becoming a state ideology with a system of censorship to protect it. The claims were too ridiculous. The country wouldn’t tolerate it.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Didn’t I comment already?
Anyway, I said that when you say that

“Another cunning tactic is to describe and reveal what progressives really think and do through good journalism”

This seems to me what has been done in this case.

McExpat M
McExpat M
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

The key issue you seem to be glossing over is that there is no debate to be had. Proponents of DEI in its religious application are not the least bit willing to debate. They simply will not engage – in simple terms they are morally superior and correct and you are wrong. The very fact that you would suggest that debate is required proves the fact that you are a non-believer requiring reeducation and punishment. How exactly does a person interact with that?

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
8 months ago
Reply to  McExpat M

I agree about the difficulty in engaging the radical progressives in debate and the impossibility of persuading them. But the audience or public can be persuaded. As they come under more pressure I suspect even the woke will be forced to debate – or concede defeat.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
8 months ago
Reply to  McExpat M

It is Totalitarian as Orwell would say; aim to control thought, speech and action. How are the schools in the USA doing in teaching, Maths, Sciences and Languages compared to countries like Singapore and South Korea?

Andrew F
Andrew F
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Great article?
Guy is an idiot and a coward, as explained by many posts above.
Importation of savages into the West is not going to end well.
Either for white people or, as I hope, for them.
You can not accommodate people who don’t want to integrate.
Even if they wanted to integrate, it is not job of white people in the West to commit ethnic and cultural suicide through mass migration of other races.
Why do you think that people from shi*e countries would improve the West?
Their countries are in the state they are because of people like them.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

It is a nasty dilemma who someone who is in favour of harmony and keeping things as they are should deal with people who want revolution and are eagerly fomenting discord.

Thanks for offering an alternative take to everybody else.

Debra Maddrell
Debra Maddrell
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Proponents of DEI do not behave like “decent human beings,” but they, now, absolutely count on those not in (pick your niche community) to do so, and to cower in the face of what those proponents consider “justice” imposed on those not in (pick your niche community). Whether Edmund Burke was actually the one who opined about the consequences of good men doing nothing, the fact remains that people of good will, who trust that all others are equally of good will, are being steamrolled by the CRT, DEI, etc., juggernauts on a daily basis.
I don’t think you’re a naive optimist, but you oughta get out more.

Last edited 8 months ago by Debra Maddrell
Debra Maddrell
Debra Maddrell
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Proponents of DEI do not behave like “decent human beings,” but they, now, absolutely count on those not in (pick your niche community) to do so, and to cower in the face of what those proponents consider “justice” imposed on those not in (pick your niche community). Whether Edmund Burke was actually the one who opined about the consequences of good men doing nothing, the fact remains that people of good will who trust that all others equally of good will are being steamrolled by the CRT, DEI, etc., juggernauts on a daily basis.
I don’t think you’re a naive optimist, but you oughta get out more.

Stefen Langford
Stefen Langford
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I actually agree with this comment as well as the sentiment of most of the other comments. However, to take this position, if I had school age children, would be impossible. I view this situation primarily as an attack on children. If this was an adult occasion I would be no less repulsed but doing this to children…

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

And you are not convinced that his willingness to accept racism might not be a problem?
I imagine a children’s birthday party to which the whole of a class were invited except for one child (for whatever reason), that would appear to me a rather cruel thing. Of course, that child’s parents should not make bomb threats but it seems reasonable for hem to be upset on his/her behalf and to make a fuss about it.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Very well said, and to add a red flag to a bull I don’t feel threatened by DEI, and I’m white.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
8 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

That’s nice. Wonder what the late Dr King would make of this latter day segregationist crap.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

You are delusional if you think this problem is just going to go away. Most people are too stupid, credulous, and caught up in the minutia of their own lives to notice or care. I work at an organization that has a DEI office. These people are vicious ideologues. The ideology is a cancer that started at universities and has metastasized into every organization that has university graduates working at it. This includes lawyers. In 20 years our judiciary will be made up of these monsters and at that point our only chance of a peaceful exit from this madness will be lost.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

The Crown Prosecution Service, London South, is good example of where the ‘cancer’ of DEI is currently festering.
When the reckoning comes, AND it will come, it will be a case of ‘sine missione’.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

If they have not been defeated in ten years time then their position will be unassailable but at present everything is still to play for IMO.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Going along with this divisive, insidious racist crap isn’t being decent or honest. It’s sheer gutlessness. Concede nothing to these deranged tyrants or you’ll end up conceding everything to them.