There is no longer a need for satire these days because the world ridicules itself. Modern American culture is a self-parody set on autopilot.
The latest round of nuttiness involves public education and peanut butter. The humble peanut, you see, has become politicized. It is now a “hate food.” The peanut defiantly blocks school entrances, standing in the way of a progressive putsch to enable American schoolchildren to become as physically and culturally hypersensitive as possible.
Two recent news stories—one involving a contraband peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich at an Arkansas school and the other revolving around a rotund, buffalo-faced Oregon grade-school principal who fingers peanut-butter sandwiches as emblems of “white privilege”—illustrate that our public schools are filled to the rafters with nuts who are severely allergic to reality.
In the peanut-sized town of Viola, Arkansas, a teacher confiscated a boy’s PB&J sandwich as if it was a hand grenade and sent a stern letter to the young lad’s parents explaining a school policy designed to protect a micro-minority of students afflicted with peanut allergies. This inflamed the passions of local pro-peanut parents, who launched a “School Nut Ban Discussion” group on Facebook. The kernel of the matter involves whether the “rights” of a tiny minority of peanut-averse children override those of the vast majority of kids who enjoy this high-protein, low-cost staple of the American diet.
Full disclosure: I grew up gorging on Gaucho peanut-butter cookies, Fluffernutters, Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes, and my Aunt Berle’s nonpareil peanut-butter fudge. I still enjoy the occasional Southern-styled boiled peanut and nurse a mild-to-intense skepticism about “peanut allergies,” which were unheard-of during my beardless youth.
So when I hear that some children can now die merely from smelling peanuts and that adults are filing race-and-disability-discrimination lawsuits hinging on their skin color and peanut sensitivities, I wax somewhat peanut-defensive.
Children with peanut allergies, whether real or imagined, have become the homosexuals of alternative culinary lifestyles and are said to suffer severe social ostracism and even bullying. If their school isn’t progressive enough to ban peanuts entirely, these hapless youngsters are often segregated in “Nut-Free Zones,” tiny dietary Warsaw Ghettos that highlight their difference and cultural otherness. This cripples their self-esteem, and even though there’s evidence that self-esteem and academic performance may be inversely correlated, the trained seals of modern public education never stop barking about how higher self-esteem is the cornerstone of higher learning.
Although peanut allergies aren’t entirely the nutty figments of soccer moms’ imaginations, a study in England found that four of five kids who thought they suffered from food allergies were merely trained hypochondriacs. There’s been a documented rise in peanut allergies, but the cause remains elusive. Such allergies are virtually nonexistent in Third World countries where kids face constant exposure to dirt and bacteria. One study found that peanut allergies are less prevalent in children who’ve been exposed to peanuts at a young age, suggesting that a fanatically sanitized, overprotective approach to child rearing may contribute to oversensitive kids with underperforming immune systems. So by trying to protect kids from everything, modern parents may actually be making their children more susceptible to everything.
Portland grade-school principal Verenice Gutierrez, whose bloated frame suggests she’s scarfed down two dozen peanut-butter sandwiches every day of her life, is clearly susceptible to Cultural Marxist indoctrination and appears determined to break down young Portlanders’ immunity to it.
Gutierrez—whose surname begins with the word “Gut”—presides over a school whose academic performance ranks in the state’s lowest fifteen percent, a dubious honor shared by other Portland schools that, as luck would have it, are named after Cesar Chavez and Rosa Parks.
Although the school recently lost some full-time teachers due to budget cuts, the Portland school district reportedly saw fit to fork over more than a half-million dollars to indoctrinate its teachers about how “white privilege”—rather than, say, low IQs, laziness, or widespread cultural allergies to assimilating—is the culprit for low academic achievement at her school, which is only one-quarter white.
Gutierrez, whom a Portland Tribune writer described as possessing the magical power to hear “the subtle language of racism every day,” says that peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches invidiously discriminate against “Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches.” She apparently hasn’t considered that these kids may be extremely privileged by dint of the fact that they don’t live in Somalia or Mexico.
When confronted with the fact that a parent complained that Gutierrez permits a drum club at the school whose membership is open only to black and Hispanic males, she scoffed and said:
When white people do it, it is not a problem, but if it’s for kids of color, then it’s a problem? Break it down for me. That’s your white privilege and your whiteness.
I was unaware that American whites, especially schoolchildren, are permitted to “do it” at all, but if they did attempt to form any school-sponsored organization open exclusively to whites, it would not only be a “problem,” it’d be a headline-grabbing national scandal. Such is the state of modern “white privilege.”
Gutierrez appears to believe that this invisible “white privilege” is the reason why “students of color” aren’t doing well in American schools, ignoring the fact that when left to their own devices, members of la raza aren’t exactly engines of innovation. (To be fair, the ancient Incas are credited with being peanut butter’s pioneers.)
Still, Gutierrez has resolutely tossed her formidable bulk behind the idea that the only way for Hispanic students to bridge the school-achievement gap is to Hispanically build a Hispanicist interpretation of their Hispanicity. During her tenure at another Portland public school, Gutierrez was involved with a group called Future Hispanic Leaders. On a 17-minute video, she spoke of fomenting “pride of culture, pride of heritage, and pride of language” to “empower” Hispanic students to feel “that they belong with others who look just like them.” On that video, you can actually hear her off-camera as she coaches young Hispanistudents about how feeling kinship with la raza helps them do their schoolwork (around 3:30) and how society encourages everyone to view white students as “perfect” (around 9:55).
Quetzalcoatl forbid that she would ever ask them to focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Ms. Gutierrez, you are the turd in the punchbowl of American education.
I’m going to excuse myself. I have to throw up.
Then I’m going to eat a peanut-butter sandwich.