Optimistic Parent

“Can My Children Be Friends With White People?” (nytimes) is by a law school professor who can’t get over the Rejection of Hillary:

My oldest son, wrestling with a 4-year-old’s happy struggles … Donald Trump’s election has made it clear that I will teach my boys the lesson generations old, one that I for the most part nearly escaped. I will teach them to be cautious, I will teach them suspicion, and I will teach them distrust. Much sooner than I thought I would, I will have to discuss with my boys whether they can truly be friends with white people. … I will teach my boys to have profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible.

This is spectacular example of the nurture assumption (demonstrated to be false by research summarized in The Nurture Assumption).

[Separately, if this guy and the NYT editors who published him are correct and the nurture assumption is true, maybe they can teach us how to teach our 4-year-old about the virtues of sharing…]


  1. Mark

    November 14, 2017 @ 2:59 pm


    Living in the hinterlands, I am forced to pay for an online subscription to the NYT. After the referenced piece in your post, I won’t have to worry about paying any more.

  2. George

    November 14, 2017 @ 4:49 pm


    There is a widespread belief that racism is caused by bigoted parents teaching bigoted ideas to their kids, and that public schools and Disney movies can end this with suitable anti-racism messages. Not likely.

  3. George

    November 14, 2017 @ 5:38 pm


    Here is another frustrated parent:

    I Don’t Know If I Can Raise A Good Man
    Trying to raise a feminist has always been a battle; has it always felt like a losing one?
    By Emily McCombs

    Of course, we all want to raise feminist sons. I wrote an article a few months ago detailing the ways I try to do just that. But my efforts are starting to seem like grains of sand against a steady wave-crash of misogyny and rape culture. …
    And yet, my son loves Power Rangers, “except the pink and the yellow ones.” He scoffs also at the pink Wonder Woman shirt he used to wear before he started school and began picking up gender stereotypes like a communal cold. He seemed to enjoy a dance he was doing at school, until he found out it was ballet, which, he shouted angrily, he doesn’t like.

  4. philg

    November 14, 2017 @ 8:00 pm


    George: Thanks for the link. I like it that one of her worst nightmares is a world where her son “blithely argues against the existence of male privilege”.

    I like it that she is surprised that the men who talk to her are “carefully choosing their words.”

    Also, “Emily” (the author) is going to have a gender transition pretty soon because she’s “close to having a man-to-man real talk moment with a 6-year-old.”

    But I question the overall premise of the article. How does she know that her “son” will one day identify as a “man”?

  5. Jack D

    November 14, 2017 @ 9:13 pm


    It turns out that the author of this piece lives in Greenwich Village, which is maybe 90+% white (including his “biracial” wife who by all appearances is white) so if his children don’t have white friends then they won’t have many friends at all. Luckily, children never do what their parents tell them to do anyway.

    This is all part of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome). Trump has driven many “liberals” over the edge of sanity. Maybe all those nice white neighbors who shovel your sidewalk when it snows are secretly Trump voters – how can you know for sure?

    I keep waiting for the Left to come up with a reason to do away with the secret ballot so they can distinguish goodwhites from badwhites. Many badwhites are already under deep cover at work after what happened to Damore and many others.

  6. George

    November 14, 2017 @ 9:13 pm


    Phil, you are way ahead of the curve. Next you will be questioning the binary cis-gendered assumptions.

  7. Vince

    November 15, 2017 @ 12:41 pm


    Trump derangement is a myth. Polling showed that Hillary Clinton underestimated the number of bigots among Trump voters. She said that they made up half of his support. Polls showed it was 60%. Trump’s own racism has been well documented. So 100% of Trump voters voted for a racist.

  8. philg

    November 15, 2017 @ 1:04 pm


    Vince: The author of the NYT piece explicitly states “Donald Trump’s election has made it clear…” So whether or not one wants to call it “derangement” (I don’t think that is accurate because it is not deranged to achieve extra cash and fame via being published in the NYT), clearly the author’s thinking has been motivated by the election of Trump (and therefore also by the failure of Hillary to win election; unless you want to posit that the guy is a libertarian (like me!) and would have preferred someone else rather than Hillary).

    I think you may be wrong about the percentage of racists in this country. Anyone who disagrees with me about anything is a bigot and a racist. Therefore approximately 99.99% of Americans, e.g., those who refuse to accept my assertion that Elvis Presley was our greatest citizen ever, or those who refuse to accept that driving a minivan is awesome, are bigots and racists.

  9. ScarletNumber

    November 16, 2017 @ 8:03 am


    @George 3

    > Emily McCombs: there are people who will think [her son] is less valuable because of his brown skin

    > Emily McCombs: To be intimate with these men

    Emily seems to enjoy a diverse lifestyle

  10. Anon

    November 16, 2017 @ 8:40 am

  11. Vince

    November 16, 2017 @ 10:46 am



    I’m pleased that you agreement with me that Trump Derangement. However, there’s no useful purpose in making up your own definitions of bigotry and racism. Your statement would probably be applauded by those people who were screaming about Jews and blacks in Charlottesville. If you’re trying to make a point, you might try being more explicit.

Log in