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The Illusion of Inclusion
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I have been lately contemplating the utter disingenuousness of a certain genre of “viral video.” If you have had the unhealthy experience of spending any significant amount of time on social media, you’ll know exactly which one I mean. It’s the category of manufactured feel-good clips I will heretofore refer to as the “Different Drummer.”

The newest entry into the market of internet-manufactured sensations involves a charming 12-year-old boy named Trevor Bolling from the town of Dothan, Alabama. Trevor’s sixth-grade teacher posted his spontaneous outbreak of joy during the Highlands Elementary School graduation ceremony on Facebook. While the other cement-footed kids mouthed the words obligatorily to “I’m Good” by The Mowgli’s and cringed in the spotlight, Trevor sang it like he meant it. He gesticulated. He waved his hands here to there. He waved ’em like he just didn’t care.

And he belted out with unabashed feeling:

“I’m good; I’m good; I’m good; I’m good / Livin’ life just like I should / Wouldn’t change it if I could /

I’m good; I’m good; I’m good / Tryin’ to figure out who I am / Or who I’m supposed to be / Feel good about where I stand / So I can make the most of me /

… It’s been a long time livin’ this way / Worrying what people say / Feelin’ like I don’t fit in / But I won’t give up; no, I won’t give in / We’re looking for something more / What you’re really looking for / Has been with you since you were born.”

The Facebook video now has more than 4.1 million views, 82,000 likes and 16,000 comments in celebration of Trevor’s carefree performance. His teacher pushed out the hashtag “#BeLikeTrevor” and praised the middle schooler’s independence. All hail the Different Drummer, marching to his own beat:

“It didn’t matter if everyone else thought it was cool or funny,” Trevor’s teacher told the local Dothan Eagle newspaper. “He simply wanted to be himself, and that’s what we want for our students, to be themselves. They don’t have to be what they see on TikTok or other social media platforms.”

A parade of Different Drummers came before Trevor. There’s 6-year-old Loren Patterson from Dickson County, Tennessee, who stomped her feet and let the spirit take over at First Baptist while singing with her Sunday school classmates to Zach Williams’ “Old Church Choir.” Her video clip quickly racked up more than 40 million views in 2017.

Then there’s 5-year-old Lily from Ohio whose grandma taped her breaking free from the rest of her robotic, mortified preschool peers while unleashing her best dance moves to kids’ classic “Tooty Ta.” The clip topped 12 million views in 2019.


Many others have enjoyed their dizzying 15 minutes of fame, appearances on the “Today Show” and “The Tonight Show” and countless tweets of encouragement from blue-check marked celebrities toasting the kids’ fearless swimming against the tide. I want to think this phenomenon is real. Truly, I want to believe. But the ice-cold reality is that our schools, Silicon Valley, Hollywood and the corporate media are deceiving these young free spirits.

Fact check: The warm, treacly embrace of the dissident is all a big lie. The pressure to conform in Black Lives Matter-genuflecting, COVID-19 hysteria-inducing, LGBTQXYZ flag-wrapped America will crush those who dare to “break through” and “stand out.”

You can’t joke about George Floyd on a college campus.

You can’t stay in your sorority if you post a TikTok video saying, “It’s OK to be white” or, “All lives matter.”

You can’t keep your job at Space Force if you criticize Marxism.

You can’t be part of a mainstream band and praise journalist Andy Ngo for exposing violent antifa extremists.

You can’t post on Facebook if you want to share your experience as a parent of a vaccine-injured kid.

Or consider the plight of poor Caleb Kennedy, a talented 16-year-old singer from Boiling Springs, South Carolina, who had advanced to the final four on “American Idol.” Like Trevor and Loren and Lily, Caleb was a born performer with a huge personality and a mullet to match. His indie spirit and musical dreams were crushed last month, however, when an old Snapchat video of him from four years ago somehow “surfaced.” It showed him, age 12, sitting next to a friend dressed in a hooded costume mimicking a character from a horror movie they had just watched called “The Strangers: Prey at Night.”

Somehow, the producers of the show — amplified by an all-too-eager social media mob that sees “white supremacy” in every cloud, white pillowcase and OK sign — characterized Caleb’s preteen friend as a “racist, KKK” promoter and convicted poor Caleb of guilt by association. The illusion of inclusion dissolves like a mirage under scathing false accusations of racism — or any other departure from social justice orthodoxy.

Stand out in a crowd. Get run over. America 2021 is not good. Not good at all.

Michelle Malkin’s email address is [email protected]

Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate

• Category: Culture/Society 
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  1. Trevor woulda gotten his dumb ass kicked every day in school when I was a kid. He’s a fucking retard. He’s more fat chick than boy-growing-to-manhood. The soft, fat and weak are what’s celebrated today and THAT is why we’re soft, fat and weak as a nation. A nation is what it celebrates. The world is licking their chops waiting to feast on what’s left of the American hide.

    Good takes as always, Malkin.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @jamie b.
  2. Anonymous[941] • Disclaimer says:

    Did you notice the black kid behind him laughing and covering his face as he was doing it? This proves your argument is correct. These kids are used to listening to trash songs like Wet Ass Pussy, sadly.

  3. Trevor Boling: puberty blockers in 3 … 2 …

    Sure is good not to have a Fakebook account, nor a Twatter. I see what I’ve been missing, and am happy to go on missing it. “I’m good, I’m good, I’m good.”

  4. Hans says:

    Another good one, Michelle! All part of the agenda. Celebrate “acting out” and forget about learning self-control, manners, respect for others/occasions. Infantilization of the population.

  5. that’s what we want for our students, to be themselves

    I guess that’s why Phelopia and Testicleeze can disrupt class activities because they are acting out their inner self, that of a primitive savage. It’s why Dashawn and Shaniqua beat up White and Asian people.

    It’s part of their being.

    • Replies: @Realist
  6. I’ve been hearing people sing the praises of being yourself, celebrating individuality, etc all my life. It wasn’t a deeply held virtue among the peer groups in school and it’s even less so in adulthood.

    • Replies: @Realist
  7. Realist says:
    @Jim Christian

    Trevor woulda gotten his dumb ass kicked every day in school when I was a kid. He’s a fucking retard.

    So you were a bully and all about picking on weaker kids. I spent my leisure time beating the crap out of bullies.

    • Agree: jamie b.
  8. Realist says:

    It appears you want people to be cookie-cutter in their approach to life. That would eliminate innovation and scientific discovery.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  9. Mel Brooks explored this issue many many years ago in his move “The Producers.” Can you imagine any but Mel Brooks making a movie that included the catchy tune “Springtime for Hitler …” Brooks also explored it again in “Blazing Saddles.” Deviance has always been “tolerated” in society, but only if it fits into our social norms and expectations. Think “Otis” on the old Andy Griffith Show. Think comedians Foster Brooks or Paul Lynde. Would either Foster Brooks or Paul Lynde be funny today? Would Liberace’s act work today? In my grade school or junior high school back in the day, Mr. Bolling’s arctics would have been shut down by our music teacher. When we sang as a chorus, we all moved exactly the same way. That was the point of chorus. Mr. Bolling has failed that lesson. It is not a feel good video and anyone who feels good from looking at it has deep personal problems. Any person who feels good also fails to have proper expectations for education. Those places where Malkin points out deviance is not accepted are correct in blocking deviance. It was always understood that in the military you stick with the system. In business you stick with the company line. In education, you teach the accepted curriculum. Malkin does not seem to get that. If you lose the footnote wars among scholars, your position does not get taught in schools. Malkin’s view is very much out on the fringe and growing farther out all the time because she fails to engage issues intellectually.

  10. Realist says:

    I’ve been hearing people sing the praises of being yourself, celebrating individuality, etc all my life.

    Your first sentence is contradictory to your second sentence.

    It wasn’t a deeply held virtue among the peer groups in school and it’s even less so in adulthood.

    In school being an individual was not popular in cliques but for the most part, those in cliques never accomplished greatness…in school and even less so in adulthood.

    • Replies: @Sollipsist
  11. No person I’ve met who has made a point of “being themselves” or “expressing themselves” has had a self worth expressing. They’re always trying too hard to be the person who in their imagination is carefree, strong, self-confident, uninhibited and joyously larger than life. So what they do, what they “be” is a simulacrum. They’re always trying to be someone who isn’t trying to be. Hence, they are eternally frustrated. Frustrated, they cast about for some cause or outside agent for their discomfort, their dis-ease. And that someone is….you.

    • Agree: Sollipsist
  12. @Realist

    No, I want competence. I want people to prove what they claim. I want an end to the mountain of bullshit that is flung around by people that, so far, haven’t been pushed to show their work.

    Why are doctors paid no matter what? Do you pay the mechanic that doesn’t fix your car? The reason there’s so little progress in medicine is because the entire industry is rewarded for activity, not results.

    I watched a video of a marine biologist that spent a year diving from a boat with about 20 other people providing services and all sorts of high tech gear like submersibles and the end result was he caught the first videos of some fish the Japanese discovered a decade before as part of the catch from fishing nets. I’d like to know how many hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars were spent to get some guy a one year diving vacation? This is worthless.

    I want NASA shut down. They spend millions to send a craft past Pluto to snap some pictures and take some readings. They haven’t done anything in decades with the nearest celestial object, the moon, but they have plenty of money to spend on exploration that has no possible payback in the near future.

    There’s just too much currency available for highly degreed individuals to waste it on nonsense projects. The currency needs to be spent on the people and their wants and desires first before there’s some left over to spend on projects that claim to advance science. We’ve been hearing that line of shit for decades and it’s worn out on me.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @jamie b.
    , @anarchyst
  13. @Realist

    It’s meant to be contradictory, I’m sorry it wasn’t more clear. I meant to refer to the huge gap, amounting to hypocrisy, between the values that are praised and those that are actually practiced.

    Your reply made me think of the irony in the fact that the past is so often considered (in a typically liberal/mainstream view) to be a time when oppressive conformity was more the rule, and we’re supposed to recognize progress in the embrace and tolerance of personal freedoms and eccentricities… yet somehow the idea of individuality and greatness has been perverted (you might say “democratized”) into giving everybody the best possible opportunity to be acceptably mediocre in their own commodified and ultimately unimportant niche.

    • Thanks: Realist
  14. Realist says:

    No, I want competence. I want people to prove what they claim. I want an end to the mountain of bullshit that is flung around by people that, so far, haven’t been pushed to show their work.


  15. Trinity says:

    The NORMAL male in front of Trevor looks like he wants to punch that annoying sissy punk in the head. Honestly, where I went to “skoo” that probably would have happened.

    The Black kid laughing behind Trevor? I have seen it a million times. Blacks at work or school would always mock self hating white traitor trash like that. Normal people would rather be punched in the face than ridiculed or mocked, but not white traitor trash. IF a nonwhite laughs at or ridicules WTT, they get off on it. Stupid WTT think the nonwhite is laughing with them instead of laughing at them.

    Trevor is simply an annoying special kind of dorky kid.

  16. “the Highlands Elementary School graduation ceremony ”


    Elementary school “graduation” ceremony?

    All this crap isn’t “for the children”, it’s for the children occupying the ranks of teachers and administrators. Several years ago I saw a kindergarten “graduation” complete with cap and gown. It’s part and parcel with the Education/Industrial Complex ripping off the taxpayers in this inter-generational welfare program.

    Dare we update and publish Rudolph Flesch’s 1955 work as, “Why Trevor Can’t Read”?

  17. None of the yoots in these vidyas appear to be hamming it up for the camera.

    It’s natural for kids to want to move, even in a chorus. They’re not adults, they’re learning.

    Recess is no longer a thing in countless schools now. Kids are robbed of time to socialize and burn off ‘extra’ energy.

    Avoid government schools if you can. They are dream-killers, communist and anti-White.

  18. The red haired girl seems to be in excruciating pain having to be out front and mouthing this drivel. It’s as though she’d rather be getting a tooth pulled. The others in the front row seem to be going through the motions and not accepting this collectivist activity worthy of Kim Jong Un.

  19. jamie b. says:
    @Jim Christian

    Wow, do I hear wedding bells? You and little Trevor would have been made for each other.

  20. jamie b. says:

    America (still) has a critical mass of people motivated by honest curiosity about the universe they inhabit. I myself can’t imagine being outraged by the human spirit of exploration and inquiry, which I would have thought was largely responsible for creating the U.S. and the modern technological world. But your attitude is possibly winning out. So don’t fret: the U.S. will soon enough be as accomplished as any sub-Saharan nation.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  21. @jamie b.

    The US has been spending on nonsense for decades. There are whole categories of professions that haven’t produced anything of note during all that time. They are coasting and drawing a nice salary while producing not just nothing, but going negative.

    Look back at yesterday’s heroes – Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindberg, Roald Amundsen & Robert Scott, etc. What did they actually accomplish besides a stunt? Today, what they did or tried to do is routine. They risked their lives for a stunt because they were thrill seekers and publicity hounds.

    It’s the same today. We have these missions to Pluto, asteroids, etc, and these produce no real value. They are stunts. In 50 years, missions to the the moon and probably mars will be routine because the technology advanced to make it so. The engineering being done today is tremendous, but the missions themselves are worthless stunts.

    The US is bankrupt. It can no longer afford vanity projects that are put on the national credit card. If they were building projects to mine the moon for Helium 3 or minerals, at least there might be a reasonable payback in the next 10 years, but shooting past Pluto is just a waste of resources.

  22. Caleb Kennedy was good enough to win. He was kicked off the show because he was an unabashed Trump supporter.

    I agree with MM that it’s ridiculous how public school bureaucrats, who:

    • push and demand conformity 180 d @6+ hrs/d (for 10 y), and

    • turn young people’s minds into bricks,

    ballyhoo a 6th grader (he didn’t receive much real education, that’s for sure) for being independent minded, i.e. acting theatrical while standing among a bunch of bored (public education sucks the life blood out of kids), other “graduates”.


    I agree with Rotan (#21) and Jamie that NASA projects are basically all about making a splash so that the bureaucracy itself will receive higher funding. Where I differ with them is that I want to abolish NASA.

    If there’s a reason to go into space, let Musk, Bezos, etc. use their own money to prove it.

  23. jamie b. says:

    The US has been spending on nonsense for decades.

    So for every complaint you’ve lobbed at NASA, there are a thousand that you’ve lobbed against our bloated military budget, yes?

    …missions to Pluto, asteroids, etc, … They are stunts.

    Don’t project your lack of curiosity onto others.

    …building projects to mine the moon for Helium 3 or minerals…

    So we should somehow leap-frog straight to just the practical ends that you can foresee?

    As I’m sure you know, there are many, many examples of practical breakthroughs that grew out of pure research. Reality is vast and complex, and to think that we’ve already found all the hidden treasures is further evidence that you lack imagination.

    And this isn’t just a pragmatic matter. I would say that art, morality, and curiosity are the three things make our species worthy of preservation. If everyone shared your attitude, there’s be no cathedrals, no music, no exploration. We’d still be living in caves, hunting bison, and enjoying 30 yr lifespans.

  24. anarchyst says:

    You make an excellent point about scientific arrogance.
    If a so-called “scientist” doesn’t personally witness an event or discovery of a species, it just doesn’t exist, no matter how many non-scientists have witnessed or discovered as such.
    A good example of this is the claims that mariners and seafarers have made over the centuries over a “triple wave” phenomenon which has capsized sailing vessels over the centuries. Recently, such waves have been witnessed from space by satellites. Why would scientists not take the word of those who personally witnessed such phenomenon?

    There are many reports of giant “sea creatures” that have been witnessed by mariners and seafarers over the centuries which scientists always discounted as being “sea tales”. It turns out that such giant sea creatures DO exist.

    Another example of scientific arrogance and the unwillingness to take the word of “non-scientists” is that in the cases of weather phenomenon such as tornadoes. Non-scientists who have witnessed tornadoes are quite often dismissed as having “vivid imaginations” and as such, scientists have defined non-scientist witnessed tornadoes as “straight line winds” or given other nonsensical definitions.

    The current COVID-19 “plandemic” has taken science to new heights of scientific malpractice and outright criminality by prohibiting the use of two well-documented and investigated old-line drugs for COVID relief. Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin have both been proven to lessen the severity of the flu but have been prohibited for use as such by the current government medical establishment, being replaced by poisonous injections that are not effective at all and do nothing but assure future problems from extreme side-effects unrelated to the flu.

    Today’s science has not been about the quest for discovery but is run by arrogant, small-minded people with their own agendas.

    Follow the money.

  25. anarchyst says:

    You forget the “spin offs” that come from NASA and space research that have done more to advance mankind than any other form of research.
    From computers and cell phones to advanced medical devices such as MRI machines and routine heart catheterizations, we have gained a much better quality of life because of scientific research.
    I can remember in the 1960s when prominent blacks complained about the money that was going for space science and research, demanding that the money be spent on ((them)). Imagine the world today if we had followed THAT advice.
    Compared to the “military-industrial complex” spending and the amount of “foreign aid” we give to israel, spending on space science is “small potatoes”…

    • Disagree: Abolish_public_education
    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  26. @anarchyst

    There’s an old saying – ‘what have you done for me lately’.

    NASA was relevant decades ago when they actually did push the envelope by requiring technologies that didn’t exist at the time. Bravo to those good old days.

    The engineers currently designing the incredible machines flung into space deserve every accolade for their inventiveness and persistence. It’s the missions that bother me. NASA has turned into a place where the most ridiculous projects get funded with little to no payback in the foreseeable future. This might have been fine when the US was THE leading industrial power and had the spare change. Today, the US is the largest debtor nation on the planet and sinking fast.

    Space-X has run rings around NASA for years and has used market principles to reduce cost and move the engineering along. It’s time, I feel, for NASA to get out of the way by relinquishing their budget to people doing a much better job. NASA led the way for decades but then became just another bureaucracy sucking up money with little to show for it – lately.

    • Agree: anarchyst
  27. @RoatanBill

    I usually agree with you, Bill, but not this part here:

    Look back at yesterday’s heroes – Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindberg, Roald Amundsen & Robert Scott, etc. What did they actually accomplish besides a stunt? Today, what they did or tried to do is routine. They risked their lives for a stunt because they were thrill seekers and publicity hounds.

    It’s the same today. We have these missions to Pluto, asteroids, etc, and these produce no real value. They are stunts. In 50 years, missions to the the moon and probably mars will be routine because the technology advanced to make it so. The engineering being done today is tremendous, but the missions themselves are worthless stunts.

    They were not stunts. Actually DOING SOMETHING is a way of proving out technology. (Amelia Earhart, in the end, proved that dead reckoning navigation over open ocean was still very risky, especially when you don’t trust your navigator.)

    Do you know about Apollo 1 and the fire? Do you know about all those older rockets that blew up on the pad or didn’t get past 100 yards up in the early years of the space program? Hard lessons were learned. Apollo 11 followed in the footsteps of 10, 9, 8, and 7. Some of these involved achieving lunar orbit (#8) and some proved out the difficult docking maneuvers and all proved out the earth re-entry process. Do you think mission 11 would have had any good chance of success without learning from the previous missions?

    That’s how engineering and exploration work. There are failures and there are successes, and often more is learned from the failures than the successes.

    Regarding your last paragraph, yes, the US is BEYOND broke. However, compared to patrolling the sea lanes off China and keeping carrier groups in the Mediterranean to protect Israel, and then giving away hard-working Americans’ money to ghetto dwellers to raise their families with, the money is a pittance.

    PS: It may sound like a contradiction, but I do agree with your last comment – NASA is now a woke jobs program, so, yeah, it’s probably just in the way at this point.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  28. @Achmed E. Newman

    I’m an engineer. I understand the process of pushing technology further. What NASA did in the early years was cutting edge research and engineering. They forced others to innovate to provide them with the products and technologies they needed. NASA provided the reason and the funds to push the envelope. That’s all ancient history. You can’t really point at anything in recent decades that came about because NASA needed it.

    NASA hasn’t capitalized on their early successes. Instead, they went after missions that didn’t really have to prove anything. Putting up the Hubble telescope was an engineering success, but what that telescope was used for was to double down on all the bogus cosmological nonsense prevalent over the last many decades. No one has to prove anything; it’s all interpretation.

    Had they built robotic mining machines to get a real look at the Moon’s geology, that would have produced empirically verifiable results leading to another mission to maybe get some minerals or build a shelter. Space-X now has rockets that are reusable. They made a point of not wasting money because they are a for profit business.

    NASA keeps putting rovers on Mars. What are we getting in return? These machines take years to travel a few miles and what have they discovered that makes any difference? Now they want to go to Venus. Do they already know everything there is to know about the moon and have they established a colony there yet? They keep looking for impressive sounding projects but as the Wendy’s commercial said years ago, where’s the beef?

    NASA is as useless today as NATO is. It’s as useless as the Navy’s surface vessels that are still being built even when everyone knows that missiles exist. NASA is stuck in a time warp from decades and has lost focus on pushing the envelope. They are now just another bureaucracy wasting money. Their very talented engineers could easily find jobs with Space-X or some other competitor. The private sector is now far ahead of NASA on every score, so it’s time to let NASA go.

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