The presentation is terrible and ineffective. But there are some good and important ideas here. It’s not about whether or not the scientific method is “true”, but rather how you think the world works. And there are some huge cultural differences.
Over the years, I’ve taught a lot of Asian students, especially South Asian, and one thing I’ve gradually come to appreciate is within the terms of South Asian culture, White America is a bunch of selfish asshole parents who don’t love their kids. And there are pretty clear reasons for this:
We shut them away from adults and flip out over behaviors that are natural and normal. We put them on rigorous sleeping schedules and stick them in their own rooms when they are babies because we don’t want to be bothered with them. We leave them with strangers so we can have date nights. We don’t take them to weddings and shunt them off at Children’s Tables at holidays, like they aren’t even part of the family. We brag about a kid who takes regular naps and doesn’t bother us after bedtime, as if that was the goal the whole time.
Ironically, right when they hit the age when they need a firm hand because their mistakes matter, we abandon them. We don’t monitor their grades at school. We let them get away with crappy work when we know they could do better, because we are too lazy to sit there with them and make sure it’s done right. We let them sit around all day when they could be doing things to make their future better, safer, more secure. Instead of trying to secure a future for our kids, we talk about how pleased they are with their independence, we encourage rebelliousness. We focus, again, on what keeps them ( and us) happy at the moment, instead of worrying about the long term. We focus on innate ability (he’s just bad at math) instead of believing our children can do anything, if they work hard enough–because we don’t want to do to the work to make them.
Then, in the most critical point of their lives, we totally abandon them. We get annoyed if they are living at home past 18, because we are supposed to “get on with our lives”. We don’t save enough to send them to the best colleges, or maybe college at all: we expect them to handle it. We let them major in whatever they want. We let them date, even marry, with no guidance at all, when they are way too young to know what’s best for them, setting them and our grandchildren up for a lifetime of misery. We watch them make horrible mistakes and just let them, saying “It’s their life”. We pat ourselves on the back for letting them live their own lives, for biting our tongues, but really, mostly we are just too lazy to do the hard thing of making sure they make the right choices. We brag about being empty nesters and brag on social media about how much we are loving having the kids out of the house.
Then, when we are old, we want to go live in independent living communities with other old people because we don’t even know our kids, we have no real connection to them: random old people seem more like us than our own family. Or they can’t take care of us, because they aren’t successful, because we failed them when they were children. Either way, it’s sad.
Now, I could write this the other way, about all the damage South Asian parents do to their kids. And personally, I am raising my kid in a way a lot of South Asian parents would disagree with. But seeing this did help me understand that the way I saw the world was not the only way. So when I look at that list, while I don’t agree with all of it, I can totally see how some of those items are presented as part of the tool-kit of “white identity”. “Self-reliance, Individual Responsibility, and Independence” are treated as so unambigiously positive in our culture that it leads in some cases to looking like callous self-interest instead.