Wall St. Journal caught napping . . .

. . . in a few places espied by eagle-eyed reader: 

  • “. . . dignity that comes from being recognized for who they are”? No, from being approved of, as it happens, nothing less.
  • “. . . don’t want to be listened to” but “to be heard”? Other way around! You can be heard if loud enough, listened to only if others pay attention.

— Both from “China’s Challenge to Democracy” by David Runciman, Cambridge don arguing strength of Chinese “pragmatic authoritarianism” vs. U.S. democracy, in which, unfortunately, precision limps. We expect more from such an elite venue.

Another:

  • “. . . these sorts of programs . . .” Wait. You’re talking of one sort. What others do you have in mind? And how many? Standard illogic blooper.
  • “. . . two different programs . . . “? Not two identical ones? Oh.

— Both from “Starbucks’s Troubles Can Be a Test for Anti-Bias Training: Does It Work?” by two psychologists, Christopher Chabris and Matthew Brown, discussing the race-sensitivity program to be implemented by Starbucks on a scheduled work holiday.

In which essay, the uber-common infelicities given above distract from well-aimed analysis and recommendations.

May we ask also, whatever the training program, will another side of the story be offered? Any defense at all or mitigating circumstances of allegedly unfair treatment based on race? That maybe it was not unfair at all? Such would be crucial to presenting the case to presumably teachable though untutored trainees?

You have to get them on your side to sell (convince) them. And it is a sales pitch here, like any training program calling for persuasion, not a close-ended indoctrination session.

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