Friday, December 11, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: Mrs. Gates Still Doesn't Get It, Still.

CURMUDGUCATION: Mrs. Gates Still Doesn't Get It, Still.
Mrs. Gates Still Doesn't Get It, Still

Last week the New York Times decided to offer one more glowing portrait of Melinda Gates, unintentionally underlining the work of rich folk critic Anand Giridharadas and explaining, again, that she doesn't get the problem of Gates riches in education.

She opens with an Emerson quote from her valedictory high school graduation speech about success being the knowledge that one person has breathed easier because you have lived. That quote, writes David Gelles, "is still ringing in her ears." 

“That’s been my definition of success since high school,” she said. “So if I have an extra dollar, or a thousand dollars, or a million dollars, or in my case, which is absurd, a billion dollars to plow back into making the world better for other people, that’s what I’m going to do.”

This is such a Giridharadian quote-- note that she gets her vast wealth is absurd, but her thought is that she should "plow back" the money rather than contemplate, critique, and act to change the system that allowed her top extract that much money in the first place. These are our modern philanthropists--they can grasp that they have a shit ton of money, and even consider that they ought to do something useful for it, but they can't question that they deserve to have it in the first place, that it is, in fact, theirs theirs all theirs. Philanthropy is swell, but philanthropy set up so that they control their money and remain the arbiters of what should and should not be done with it.

The interview focuses primarily on the medical stuff, and there are plenty of reasons to question CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: Mrs. Gates Still Doesn't Get It, Still.