Mokita is a word in the Kivila language of Papua New Guinea; it describes a truth everyone knows but agrees not to talk about or pretends doesn’t exist. There’s no comparable English word; however, mokitas are regular topics in conversations behind closed doors, around kitchen tables and office water coolers throughout America. Political correctness or “PC” demands such conversations not take place publicly or even be acknowledged. This post intrepidly addresses mokita in America.
Reality does not go away because it is unpopular, politically incorrect or even offensive. Objective realities exist despite what we want them to be, despite what political correctness demands they be and despite aggressive suppression of the truth that is a central fact of modern progressivism. Subordination of objective reality to political imperatives has always been a central tenet of totalitarian regimes.
Progressives assert benign motives for PC such as preventing loss of self-esteem. Some are willing privately to acknowledge reality but argue that the truth would be unnecessarily hurtful to protected groups. But clinging to false PC narratives does not alter the underlying facts – which John Adams famously noted are stubborn things. But lies have consequences and any society choosing fantasy over reality is at grave risk.
PC is particularly virulent when it involves groups with victim status. Of 325 million Americans, statistically 2.5%, (8 million) have an IQ two standard deviations below the norm (below 70 IQ), which means de facto retardation. Not uncoincidentally, there are about 8 million Americans in material poverty. It is incandescently obvious these two cohorts are the same; nonetheless, we delude ourselves about the cause of poverty because it is politically incorrect to blame it on low cognitive ability. To varying degrees, the same is true of homelessness, crime and even failing schools.
Mokita thrives at the University of Pennsylvania where law professor, Amy Wax, was savaged for openly criticizing Penn’s racial preference policy. Wax, intending to be supportive of blacks, noted that quotas can harm their ability to succeed by putting them in over their heads at elite schools. Penn’s law faculty and administration knew Wax was correct and never tried to refute her facts. Instead, they brutally attacked her, not for being wrong but, for violating a mokita by publicly speaking a known truth.
The Law School Admission Council has compiled data on 27,000 law students in 90% of law schools. After one year, 50% of blacks ranked in the bottom tenth versus 5% of whites. Two-thirds of blacks were in the bottom fifth while only 10% were in the top half. After 5 attempts, 22% of blacks did not pass the bar versus 3% of whites. Racial preferences are to make white liberals feel good about themselves and to create jobs for diversity, equity and inclusion bureaucrats. The beneficiaries of preferences suffer; they fail to get choice clerkships, law firm slots or even to pass the bar.
Whenever we see someone from an identity or victim group occupying a position that seems incongruous, we wonder whether it is a result of merit or quotas; whether it is due to qualifications or to political correctness; or if it stems from competence rather than from preferences or window dressing. This is grossly unfair to and demeans those members of victim groups who achieved their positions solely through merit.
Mokita is present whenever truth yields to power. Mokita is present whenever fear of reprisal yields to political correctness. Mokita is present whenever facts yield to identity or victim group politics. But, in the end, objective reality always prevails and, unlike progressive denials, it wont go away when people stop believing in it.
Our next post on September 23rd continues our discussion of the debt crisis.