The Catherine Vogt Experiment on Diversity of Thought took place before the presidential election. She shared her idea secretly with her history teacher, Norma Cassin-Pountney.
When she wore the McCain shirt, she was stupid and was told to go die. One kid said she should be "crucifixed," which should prompt outrage from that student's grammar/lit teacher. Crucifixed?
One student whispered—perhaps like Winston Smith in "1984"—"I really like your shirt." But she said it quietly so no one else would hear and denounce her.
And when Catherine wore the Obama shirt? Her brains grew back and she was smart again and welcomed into polite society.
Since many liberal journalists live in Oak Park, I expect to receive many snarky reviews. My crime? I dared to illustrate, through the actions of a brave 8th-grade girl, that even high-minded liberal communities can be intolerant, no matter how many times parents gush on about "diversity" at their cocktail parties.
So much for the audacity of hope.
Here’s what’s so interesting about this story, Oak Park is generally considered to be one of the most “progressive” suburbs of Chicago. Its like the Santa Monica of Illinois.
But like all progressives enclaves, they don’t necessarily practice what they preach. Aside from young Catherine Vogt another interesting anecdote is what happened in the 1970’s.
Chicago’s west side was rapidly experiencing “white flight” and the boundaries of the ghettos were quickly coming up on Oak Park’s border. When that boundary, Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, started to go ghetto and overflow into Oak Park what did the good progressives in Oak Park do to accommodate their new neighbors?
Did they embrace them and sing the praises of their diversifying community?
Silly rabbit! They did what any good progressive would do, the used city ordnances to drive them back into the ghettos of Chicago! By passing very strict zoning ordnances they were able to enforce occupancy limits on residential structures and through the schools they were able to investigate and expel out of district students, thereby saving their progressive enclave.