How I triggered Bill Maher by writing about white supremacy and standardized tests
Bill Maher is mad at me.
And I’ve never even met the man.
I guess you could say we’re from different worlds.
He’s on the West Coast. I’m on the East.
He’s a political comedian. I’m a public school teacher.
He’s a multimillionaire. I can barely make ends meet.
What could I possibly do to provoke the ire of this man so much so that he took aim at me on his HBO TV show?
As near as I can tell, it started when I wrote a blog.
Then people read that blog.
It got popular and was republished throughout the Internet.
And Maher disagrees with what I wrote.
In fact, the very idea annoyed him as a prime example of namby-pamby liberals taking their agenda too far.
What did I write in the article?Only that standardized testing is a tool of white supremacy .In fact, that was the title of the article, which seems to be about as far as Bill read because he ignored any arguments, facts or historical citations in the piece.On his show, “Real Time with Bill Maher” this week, he posted the title of the article and the graphic that appeared with it when it was republished on commondreams.org .What he didn’t post was my name. I am the author, after all, but I guess that’s not important.The crucial bit was how triggered Bill was by my assertion.By connecting such allegedly alien concepts as standardized testing and racism, Maher thinks I devalued the meaning of “white supremacy.”Maher never actually examined my claim or what I wrote backing it up. Never mind the arguments I made in favor of my point, the sources I cited, the examples of actual bias or the documented history of standardized testing as a creation of the eugenicist movement. He was content to speak in a smarmy tone and make a pretty lame joke about what a racially biased test question might look like.In fact, that’s probably why he (and his staff) picked my piece in the first place. They saw it as an opportunity to make a joke and whiffed at it pretty terribly.Here’s the relevant bit of his monologue: “In 2010 the New York Times used the term “White Supremacist” on 75 occasions. Last year, over 700 times. Now some of that to be sure is because Trump came along and emboldened the faction of this country that is truly white supremacist. It is of course still a real thing. But it shouldn’t apply to something like – as more than a few have suggested – getting rid of the SAT test. Now if we find the SAT test is slanted in such a way as to stack the deck in favor of Caucasians, if there are questions like Biff and Chip are sailing a yacht traveling at 12 knots to an Ed Sheeran concert on Catalina – if Catalina is 12 miles away, how many White Claws should they bring? Yes, then maybe. But of course the SAT doesn’t have questions like that so it becomes a kind […]