Sam M. writes, brilliantly:
One factor that I believe would possibly assist in the dialogue of the “shithole” controversy could be to think about its counterpart… the Shinola Hole.
People are taking you to job in your remark, and conflating it with racism. You have responded ably, I believe, by mentioning that it’s not about race, however fairly about tradition, and also you admit the unlucky actuality that in America, it’s all to straightforward for these items (wrongly) to function stand-ins for each other.
But MORE instructive is the very fact (and I believe it’s a truth, though I don’t have hyperlinks proper now) that you’ve got simply as many, if no more, considerations about higher-center class and elite American tradition as you do with underclass tradition.
Think about it. Would you, Rod, ship your child to board at Phillips Exeter Academy, even when he obtained a free scholarship? I guess you wouldn’t. I is likely to be flawed, however I believe I’m not. And I believe that’s since you would have grave considerations in regards to the affect that elite, aggressively secular and aggressively liberal establishments would have in your teenage children. I share that concern.
How a lot? I don’t know. If I needed to decide, would I select to ship my child to a highschool in west Baltimore or to Exeter? On the idea of security, I’d in all probability go for Exeter, actually. But the very fact is, that’s a false alternative for me, so i select neither. If I had to decide on between my small Catholic rural college system or Exeter? I select small rural Catholic 100 occasions out of 100.
Because these locations are Shinola Holes.
Shinola, as you recognize, was a shoe polish till 1960. Not leather-based. Not rubber. Stuff to make soiled sneakers look clear. Dressing. preservative in a way, positive, however principally to make issues look higher. Now? It is a life-style model peddling watches and different stuff. It’s based mostly in Detroit. I assume locals work there. Good for them, I assume, however I don’t personal any of their merchandise. According to Wikipedia, the corporate purchased the rights to the identify, buying and selling off the previous “You don’t know shit from Shinola” jab. So once more, the identify itself is intelligent window dressing.
And that’s what these establishments are, and that tradition is. Everybody is aware of that you just don’t study way more at Yale than you do at Community College. [Note: Sam M. is a Yale graduate. — RD] They don’t add an entire lot of worth. They simply take children who’re actually good within the first place, which permits them to sign their intelligence and work ethic. That’s the worth. The draw back is that the worth of that signaling creates a tradition of “merit” and peculiar striving which has, in some ways overtaken our tradition’s ambition.
I had two sisters educating in Baltimore within the mid-90s. One taught at a BAD center college in interior metropolis Baltimore. It was horrible and dysfunctional and he or she LOVED IT. She liked these children so, a lot. She labored so arduous to assist them save themselves and hardly any of them took her up on it. She had gang members carry out MacBeth. Did them turn out to be students? No. Scads of them are in jail. One of them set a trainer’s automotive on fireplace. But once more, she liked and revered them.
Another sister taught in a wise, upscale suburb, the place the children labored to get into Princeton and gained state championships at sports activities and have been usually superior at all the things. She couldn’t wait to get out of that place. The helicopter parenting, the backstabbing. No actual sense of neighborhood. It was like a caricature of Tiger Mom parenting.
Nobody who had choices would increase their children in that ghetto neighborhood. That shithole. But there are folks such as you and like me who would have actual reservations about elevating children in that Shinola gap, too. Not due to race, however as a result of I do assume it’s aggressively secular, and that my children would battle to be the folks I need them to be. So… I don’t reside in a single.
It’s not that there aren’t any good Catholics in upscale suburban neighborhoods the place children go to Princeton. Northern Virginia has LOTS of locations with conventional parishes and observant Catholics, as an example. But it’s additionally true that basically superior households handle to beat native tradition in ghettos and lift superior children there.
But I’m not a gambler. I’m not native to both place and I do know little about the way to navigate these cultures, on both finish of the spectrum. And I don’t assume it’s essential to say which means I hate black folks, or poor folks, or wealthy folks. But actually it’s true: I’d actually, actually have to think about my choices earlier than sending a child of mine off to Stanford.
That is totally the case for me too. I endorse each phrase above, and congratulate Sam on the coinage. It jogs my memory of Catholic pals who select to ship their children to state faculties fairly than Catholic universities they regard as Shinola Holes: locations that look good on the floor, however whose values they regard as corrupt and corrupting. But Shinola Holes are in all places, and don’t essentially have something to do with class. For instance, Evergreen State College is the Marianas Trench of Shinola Holes. The values that undergird and animate a tradition just like the dominant one at that place are values that I reject, and from which I might need to shield my children.
Like Sam, I don’t need to reside in both a shithole or a shinola gap. You don’t both, should you’re trustworthy with your self. One is likely to be higher than the opposite by way of private security, however that doesn’t imply you need to be a part of the tradition of the place, or to have your children fashioned by it. There is nothing flawed with saying so.