Thursday, October 19, 2017

Precocious Canadian

I am fairly familiar with cognitively and verbally advanced five year olds.

The comments attributed by Tama Ward to her daughter are complete fabrications. "How Can I Raise An Enlightened Child?" is an embarrassment, and if you run across anything by this author again, you should disbelieve it on sight.(HT: Steve Sailer)


GraniteDad said...

What this parent has done to her daughter should be considered child abuse. That poor girl. And yes, she's clearly re-writing what her daughter really said. Sigh.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I think it's worse than re-writing. I think she made up the whole thing. Five-year-olds say surprising things, and one might wish that she wasn't white. But when you probed that it would be because she wanted to be a tiger, or be able to go to Melody's church or something. There would be no concept of missing anything as abstract as a culture.

It sounds like Mom is having issues and is putting words in the mouth of her daughter. That's going to work out well. The daughter might believe the story about herself for years, because we all like to hear what clever little children we are.

james said...

Unless the daughter (assuming she exists) has been in school for a couple of years already and learned the buzzwords there, I don't know where she'd have picked them up.

Donna B. said...

Oh good grief.

No doubt, 5 year old children can say things that leave adults momentarily speechless... but I agree, this one was clearly fabricated.

My oldest grandchild had an unusual and awesome kindergarten teacher who would occasionally throw things out to see what would stick. Once it was metaphors. When my grandchild responded to some adult saying "you can't have your cake and eat it too" with "is that a metaphor?"... nothing quite as quiet as a table full of speechless adults trying desperately to remember exactly what a metaphor is.

The lesson I learned from that is to never assume the 5 year old isn't going to understand, even if imperfectly. A few months later, that teacher told them about mammals. The awkward question I got (when her parents were on another continent) was "If boys can't have babies, are they mammals?" Oh so many snarky answers went through my head before I was able to answer.

jaed said...

Unless the daughter (assuming she exists) has been in school for a couple of years already and learned the buzzwords there, I don't know where she'd have picked them up.

From her parents, if we believe the mother's account. E.g. "Earlier that summer on a cross-Canada road trip, at what seemed like every historical site, I made a point of highlighting how the colonizing British had brought Indigenous culture to the edge of extinction with their foreign diseases, their land-grabbing policies and their culture-negating residential schools."

I am not as skeptical as AVI is. The wording is improbable for a five-year-old... but I can imagine that a five-year-old, immersed to an unhealthy degree in her parents' self-flagellation ("my husband and I are children of missionaries [quelle horror!] and harbour an acute guilt for the cultural imperialism of our forebears") and taught that white people have done nothing but hurt others, might very well suddenly realize that she is white, and one of those people, and be distressed. I can see it, at age five.

I do think that this is so pathologically cruel that I'm surprised the mother admits to the thought: "Is it not my moral obligation to tell her that her feelings of poor self-worth are nothing[...]?" Moral obligation.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yeah, you guys are right. The daughter did pick this stuff up and echoed it back in some way.

David Foster said...

Reminds me of something...

The late Comanche academic, Dr David Yeagley (“Bad Eagle”) wrote about a young white woman in one of his classes, who said:

““LOOK, DR. YEAGLEY, I don’t see anything about my culture to be proud of. It’s all nothing. My race is just nothing.”

The girl was white. She was tall and pretty, with amber hair and brown eyes. For convenience’ sake, let’s call her “Rachel.”

I had been leading a class on social psychology, in which we discussed patriotism – what it means to be a people or a nation. The discussion had been quite lively. But when Rachel spoke, everyone fell silent.
“Look at your culture,” she said to me. “Look at American Indian tradition. Now I think that’s really great. You have something to be proud of. My culture is nothing.”

“You’re not proud to be American?” I asked.
“Oh, I’m happy to be American, but I’m not proud of how America came about.”

Her choice of words was telling. She was “happy” to be an American. But not “proud” of it.

On one level, I wasn’t surprised. I knew the head of our American History department at Oklahoma State University-OKC, and I recognized his hackneyed liberal jargon in Rachel’s words. She had taken one of his courses, with predictable results.

Yet, I was still stunned. Her words disturbed and offended me in a way that I could not quite enunciate.”

jaed said...

Full column here. "On the surface, she was paying me a compliment. She was praising my Indian culture, at the expense of her own. Why, then, did it feel so much like a slap in the face?"