Modest Proposals

The National Review Sensitivity Cruise

April 21, 2012

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The National Review Sensitivity Cruise

As many readers of Taki’s Mag know, America has recently experienced a nasty outbreak of white racism. While the hate-mongering culprits have been duly punished, it is clear that this stamp-out-the-brushfire approach is hardly a long-term solution. At best, white racism merely crawls underground and gestates; at worst it migrates elsewhere. Especially exasperating is that for nearly a half-century, America has tried to eliminate this pox, and even draconian measures such as compulsory sensitivity training have failed. Clearly, some fresh approaches are required.

I suggest two modest (and, I daresay, innovative) proposals.

It is well-known that conservatives are especially racism-prone, though few will publicly confess their sin. As Charles Murray observes in Coming Apart, these types live in all-white, often gated communities, send their children to schools that are at least 90% white, and otherwise avoid any contact with African Americans—especially of the Trayvon Martin variety. 

It is equally obvious, as any social-science professor will explain, that racial separatism encourages dangerous stereotypes. So how can we get these closet racists to better understand socially disadvantaged youths? I don’t mean some superficial encounter as one might have at a charity banquet where shaking hands with carefully selected youngsters is the only contact—I mean full interaction in a confined space for an extended period.

“Surely some foundation, or even the federal government itself, can sponsor 100 inner-city youths for these cruises.”

Here’s my solution. Conservative magazines such as National Review should be forced to regularly sponsor cruises in which a thousand or more socially disadvantaged and numerically underrepresented fellow travelers are rewarded the opportunity to rub elbows with in-house political pundits. These cruises usually last a week to ten days, and since everybody is in close quarters, socializing is almost 24/7.

Surely some foundation, or even the federal government itself, can sponsor 100 inner-city youths for these cruises. By social-engineering standards, the cost would be cheap—$250,000 would cover everything, including a few hundred in spending money. This is a 100% win-win arrangement: National Review raises extra money and the cruise line adds “paying” customers. Most importantly, a week is ample time to demolish dangerous stereotypes. Imagine the attitude transformation when, say, a small-town Iowa lawyer encounters an inner-city youth from Newark at the swimming pool or bar. The initial interaction might be a bit awkward, but surely after a week of drinking together and sharing chitchat about this and that, our lawyer will think twice about prejudging these youngsters. Meanwhile, this youth will gain a new appreciation for white Middle America. Both may bond when they discover that each feels “the system” exploits them, though this exploitation takes radically different forms.

My second modest proposal attempts to broaden the anti-racism war by pushing it beyond the usual blog-based condemnations and into the population more generally. The solution: a new reality show modeled after the highly rated American Idol called Who Wants to Be America’s Foremost Conservative Anti-Racist?