Diversity advocates have abandoned poor & minority children and focus on virtue signaling to their peers
I am more heartbroken about the poor child who won't graduate high school than a twitter list
As a progressive, I believe our society must make sure every child has a fair chance of achieving the American dream. That means kids who— because of the random luck of birth— are born in poor or abusive or neglectful households have good schools, good nutrition, and good medical care. I am willing to tax the wealthy to deliver these services to poor children, and I don’t think we do enough for them.
The reason the COVID-19 response broke my heart is that I know that these children will be further left behind. They will live shorter and broken lives because our experts were too stupid to know that cutting children’s safety net is far worse than the virus.
Ultimately, all kids got COVID anyway. Most got it before they were vaccinated, but poor & minority kids were also dealt a blow to their lives. School closure also did not slow community spread. It was a total blunder. The blame rests with us— a lot on Fauci & other misguided experts— but on all of us who stood by and did nothing.
I still believe that our society can do more to equal the playing field for children, particularly poor, disadvantaged and minority, and that is why I am a true progressive.
Sadly, my peers are not.
Recently, I saw yet another online prostration that reminded me why conservatives hate liberals. It’s because we care more about optics, our image than actually tackling the problem. (PS that’s why I can admit, as a liberal progressive, that Ron DeSantis did more for children during COVID than Gavin Newsom, who failed kids— except his own— who went to in person private school).
Here is what happened:
A trainee (PS - this is undoubtedly a smart and caring clinician— this post is not about this individual but the culture of medicine) asked to crowdsource a list of good educators on twitter, he went on to tweet a list of the popular names.
His list included, by my tally: 1 medical journal (4%), 6 white men (24%), 2 white women (16%), 12 minority men (48%), and 4 minority women (8%). The list included residents of low and middle income nations; children of immigrants, and African Americans. The author of the list describes himself as the son of immigrants. Then, a day or so later:
This isn’t a unique situation. It marks the fourth or fifth time I have seen a similar mea culpa on twitter.
During the worst moments of the fall of 2020, I worked both publicly and privately to push for school re-openings— the single greatest discriminatory action in a quarter century. On #MedTwitter, a bunch of rich doctors reported “their kids were doing fine” and “it’s a pandemic, after all,” and pushed to keep schools closed. All the while, pledging support to BLM.
Now, a trainee feels the need to apologize for an impromptu, ad hoc list of people to follow on twitter, which is 64% minority, but only 32% women.
What is wrong with us?
In a forthcoming publication, I will strengthen this case, and show a pervasive pattern of medicine’s relative indifference to the plight of poor, minority children in America, and obsession with the plight of faculty members in the academy. (Paper under review), but for now let me just remind my fellow progressives that we are failing.
We are policing things that don’t matter— twitter lists posted by trainees— and ignoring things that do matter—the unsafe living conditions, poor pre-K education, and limited nutrition programs for young children. Early life course interventions matter more than a trainee who decides to recommend others to follow on twitter.
If you want to argue that this is not an either-or, we can work on both projects. First, stay tuned for our paper, and second, time is limited. Every hour of outrage about a twitter list, is less time spent on young kids. And worse: having a brain that operates so poorly that it cannot make sense of data on masking, on school closure, and thinks this kid should apologize for a random list that a handful people read— is a liability. It threatens us going forward on all issues.
It does not escape my attention that medicine drifts further from science and reasoning, and is sucked into the gravitation pull of empty virtue signaling. We pushed masks because it is a symbol— not because the evidence is good. They failed by any convention measure. Boosting children— who don’t need boosters— and vaccinating kids who had covid— who don’t need vaccines— is another example of virtue signaling over a sober analysis of data. (PS many European nations have entirely abandoned vaccinating anyone <50).
A loud contingent pushes these views to signal to their colleagues that they are the “virtuous” people. Their favorite pastime is scolding each other for not being virtuous enough. Yes, this son of immigrants’ trainee’s list was 64% minority, but it was only 32% women. Let’s spend the day discussing that rather than the catastrophic blow we delivered to children in America— the single greatest discriminatory act in 25 years.
This will destroy us
The end of progressivism is when we all sit around in our mansions sipping wine and lamenting how our colleagues aren’t pure enough, and how our promotions are unfair because the only scholarship the university values is peer reviewed and not tweets— while poor children have their futures robbed of them, and we do nothing to heal that process. This behavior is sad. It isn’t liberal. It is self-destructive.
Many people in society have failed poor minority children, but the greatest failure is the incompetent progressive who pays lip service to actually caring.