Living in Paradise

A Degree of Madness

A Degree of Madness

My amazing and wonderful granddaughter graduated from college today. In four years, no less, and in spite of a pandemic. I’m very proud of her, and I mean that sincerely.

Even though I didn’t attend my own college graduation because I had a job to go to and no life-after-college subsidy from my parents, I was happy to see her in her cap and gown. I could tell she was excited.

She’s a great kid and her parents gave her the best college graduation present of all: no student debt. Mine did the same thing for me half a century ago, although hers probably spent over $200,000 and mine less than $15,000. It’s the value of money thing.

My daughter sent my ex and me a link to the ceremony on a three-way text. My ex and I, being of like mind on most things, decided to critique the ceremony in our own private texts.

My granddaughter’s college is one of those east coast liberal establishments where the phrase points of view rarely has an “s” included. Even in Florida, when I tell my friends which school she attended, they smile sympathetically and give me a little pat on the back.

Before I talk about the ceremony, I want to share that it was about a year ago that my granddaughter renounced her white privilege on Facebook and then later called for the police to be defunded. I’m sure all of the fresh-faced and masked graduates also sitting in the building named after Barbara Walters shared her feelings.

So, I had expectations and, well, I guess I wasn’t disappointed.

The university president Cristle Collins Judd (it seems to me that only elitists and serial killers use their full names) appeared to be a genuine person that young people could relate to. She talked a lot about meeting new students and having marshmallow roasts with them but skipped over the part about filling their brains with a one-manifesto-fits-all way of thinking.

I went to the kitchen to fix myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich after 25 minutes and came back to hear one of the students talking about the “senior gift.” I don’t know, but I’m guessing that the senior gift was a financial contribution made by graduates to the school. It was not a collection of the works of William F. Buckley Jr. or Ronald Reagan for future use.

We wouldn’t want fresh young minds to have different perspectives to consider as they move on in life.

I texted my ex: They are already talking about money. I was wondering if I should warn my granddaughter that it would get worse. Think about how much they got out of Barbara Walters for the fancy new building that bears her name, The Barb.

The commencement speaker was Congressman Jamaal Bowman, an educator newly elected to House of Representatives from New York’s 16th district. My daughter said my granddaughter was eager to work for him. My ex knew who he was. I think we both shuddered but I couldn’t see his reaction.

I was actually enjoying his remarks about “unlocking the brilliance” of children from all backgrounds and classes by giving them the same opportunity to do great things. Then he said the words white supremacists. Not once but twice. I think he threw in a racist or two; I stopped assimilating his words.

Why did he have to sully his remarks with the same old song we’ve been subjected to recently. Does he really think this country is full of white supremacists? Has he forgotten that nearly 600,000 northerners lost their lives or were imprisoned fighting against slavery in the Civil War?  Was the civil rights movement just so much bunk?

My ex did not take kindly to the remark, nor did I.

I was sharing Bowman’s comments with a friend who observed: “The Marxists tried to divide people by class. When that didn’t work, they decided to use race.”

Then he mentioned the announcement by the American Medical Association – the largest organization representing physicians and medical students across the nation – that it will replace meritocracy with “racial justice.”

In simpler terms, the American Medical Association is now embracing critical race theory.

Earlier this week, the association released an 86-page three-year roadmap outlining how the group will use its influence to dismantle “structural and institutional racism” and advance “social and racial justice” throughout the healthcare system.

And, silly me, I was hoping they would be devoting themselves to learning their craft and taking good care of all of us. Some of them could use more medical practice.

In a world that feels like it is suffering from madness, I’m hoping that my newly-graduated granddaughter is able to overcome the far-left ideology she has been subjected to for too many years now and thrive as a free thinker who understands and embraces all points of view, without prejudice. I pray that is possible. I’m not holding my breath.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the university to which my children paid almost a quarter of million dollars couldn’t be bothered to pronounce my granddaughter’s last name properly.


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