Blake Neff notes the exquisite sensitivities on display at another $50,000-a-year educational institution:
Hampshire College in Massachusetts has announced that it will no longer fly the US flag at all in response to an incident where the flag was taken down and burned. The president of the college says that by getting rid of the flag the school will be able to focus on other issues like halting Islamophobia and promoting gay rights.
Because focusing on “Islamophobia” and gay rights, prioritising these things, is what a college is supposed to do, obviously. And it simply can’t be done while the national flag is visible anywhere on campus.
Demographics were now driving immigration policy, not vice versa. State and city jurisdictions with large numbers of illegal aliens passed law after law to minimise or eliminate the distinction between legal and illegal status. The most egregious of those policies — and the ones that jump-started Trump’s campaign — were so-called sanctuary laws. These rules forbid state and city employees to co-operate with the already listless efforts of federal officials to enforce the immigration laws, shielding even convicted criminals from any possible risk of deportation.
Although local activists had complained about sanctuary policies for years, no one with power paid attention — until a young woman was fatally shot in July 2015 on the San Francisco Embarcadero by a Mexican drug dealer with seven felony convictions and five previous deportations. Kate Steinle’s murderer had recently been released from jail back onto the streets by the San Francisco sheriff, despite a request from federal immigration agents to detain him for deportation proceedings. Yet despite the belated national outrage directed at San Francisco for its sanctuary ordinance, the city reaffirmed that ordinance in May 2016 in a breath-taking demonstration of the rule that immigration demographics are political destiny — at least until now.
Tim Blair spies an intriguing way to combat bullying:
Victoria’s controversial Safe Schools founder Roz Ward has been photographed harassing a bystander while marching in a Melbourne rally protesting against the election of Donald Trump as US president. Images obtained by The Australian show the high-profile LGBTI rights and anti-bullying campaigner trying to remove a cap from a man wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “Trump 2016.” Ms Ward, who is carrying several copies of the Marxist newspaper Red Flag, is seen smirking while the distressed man tries to pull away and shield himself from her.
Victoria Stroup reports a harrowing turn of events at Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin:
Staff from the student conduct, human resources, Title IX, and diversity offices were brought together so they could decide how to respond to the “hateful message.” According to [Vice President for Student development, Tony] Chambers, “the group determined that the message constituted a hate crime, based on guidelines from the Jeanne Clery Act and state law.” He adds the group acted according to college policy and reported the incident to the Madison, Wisconsin Police Department, which is currently investigating it as a “hate crime,” and that it is also being investigated through the college’s Student Conduct Process.
The item deemed so incendiary and deserving of endless meetings and even police involvement? Amid post-election campus hysteria, some wag had left a pink Post-It note on a window, bearing four words: “Suck it up, pussies.”
Here’s a footnote to Monday’s post on Ben Shapiro’s attempts to discuss free speech with Christina Hoff Sommers at DePaul University. And specifically, the claim that his visit would be dangerous, and therefore impermissible, because the university doesn’t have sufficient security staff to protect either the speakers or their audience from harassment and thuggery by its own students.
Well, it turns out that DePaul did manage to scrape together 30 burly chaps in order to repel, as Shapiro puts it, “a 5’9” Jewish guy.” You see, in modern academia, you mustn’t be allowed to discuss censorship and intolerance in modern academia. Because of “security concerns.” At a lecture with no visible protesters. In case you’re wondering, Mr Shapiro ended up having to Skype Dr Sommers from several blocks away, at which point they had a brief online chat for the benefit of the audience, before relocating the event, along with the audience, to a nearby off-campus theatre, where the discussion could take place as intended. The Skype chat starts around 32:38.
And do note the YouTube warning, informing us that the video is “unlisted” and that you should therefore “think twice before sharing.”
Here’s more of Mr Shapiro, filmed last night at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where things got lively. And where leftist protestors tried to prevent non-students from attending the lecture, and then blocked the stage, before finally conveying their righteousness by pounding on the floor. And note Shapiro’s comment about the protestors’ evident privilege when it comes to disruption and impunity. Do we think that a conservative protest against a leftist speaker, with protestors acting in the same manner, using the same tactics and comparable language, would be accommodated in a similar fashion? Without consequences?
DePaul University’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom says they will defy an administration ban on “controversial” speakers, and go ahead with an event next week at the Chicago school featuring conservative speaker Ben Shapiro and “Based Mom” Christina Hoff Sommers. Late Friday, YAF issued an open letter to DePaul University’s administration, noting that they could no longer accept DePaul’s argument that Shapiro did not “substantively contribute” to campus discourse, and that “security concerns” warranted keeping him off campus. DePaul’s Vice President of Facilities, Bob Janis, issued the ban in August, telling YAF students that they could not host the author... [because] DePaul’s modest security forces simply could not handle the ensuing chaos.
“Given the experiences and security concerns that some other schools have had with Ben Shapiro speaking on their campuses, DePaul cannot agree to allow him to speak on our campus at this time,” Mr Janis wrote. Since then, however, Shapiro has spoken at several schools, including Yale and UT Austin, without incident — as has Milo Yiannopolous, whose “Dangerous Faggot” tour has criss-crossed several states. YAF argues that it’s DePaul’s students, and not its invited speakers, that create the problem. DePaul’s YAF branch also note that DePaul claims to have doubled down on its commitment to free speech and the open exchange of ideas on campus, creating a “free speech” speaker series that did not feature any conservative speakers. Hosting Shapiro, they contend, would be well in line with that commitment.
So, to recap. The university’s stated rationale for censorship is that it can’t protect either the speakers or their audience from disruption and thuggery by its own students, which is quite an admission, really. And as we’ve seen, the threat of physical intimidation and mob harassment – by these would-be intellectuals of the left – is quite real. What the university doesn’t admit, however, is that this problem won’t be solved by banning any speakers deemed remotely controversial – in this case, two speakers who prefer evidence and debate over threats and hysteria. It seems to me that the problem will only be addressed, or begin to be addressed, when leftist students no longer feel that mob censorship and physical intimidation are things they can get away with, and get away with repeatedly, without facing consequences. Say, being expelled.
Given the rich seam of psychodrama hinted at above, in which victimhood is professed with rumblings of mob intimidation, and “diversity” comes to mean intolerant mental conformity, it’s perhaps worth revisiting this earlier episode at California State University, Los Angeles, where Mr Shapiro was attempting to speak, and noting both the level of student thuggery and the participation of faculty. Specifically, one Dr Robert Weide, an assistant professor of sociology - a grown man who spends his time tearing down flyers for events he doesn’t like, who denounces those who disagree with him as “fascists” and “white supremacists,” and who offers to fight dissenting students in the university gym, boasting, “I lift bro.” Several videos of Dr Weide’s progressive protégés and their, um, physical vigorousness can be found here.
Melissa Fabello, the managing editor of Everyday Feminism, the one who told her readers that feminism is a Joy-Bringing Total Explanation For Everything In The World, is once again unhappy:
When you’re a human being of any combination of marginalised identities making your way through the world, a funny thing happens: People want to fight with you a lot. And I don’t necessarily mean physical fights… but rather, the seemingly innocuous form of fighting known as “debating.”
Yes, Ms Fabello, our graduate, educator and publishing powerhouse, is also “a combination of marginalised identities” - all sadly unspecified - and is continually assailed by the life-threatening outrage that is People Who Disagree With Her. Specifically, people who don’t regard Ms Fabello’s “lived experience,” i.e., her pantomime of victimhood, as the rhetorical full stop, the decisive hand of cards, that she wishes it to be. Put another way, if Ms Fabello says she’s oppressed, then you mustn’t talk back or offer facts to the contrary. Because claims of “lived experience,” however theatrical, embellished or self-flattering they may be, are The Last Word, a triumphant “End Of,” to which no reply is welcome, or decent, or permitted.
If you’ve ever been a marginalised person on the internet, you may recognise this phenomenon as “The Facebook Comment Thread Effect” – and it’s the reason why so many people choose to bow out of these arguments entirely: not because they can’t defend themselves, but because they shouldn’t have to.
Note the conflation of defending a stated position - a not unreasonable expectation, even today, even on Facebook - with defending oneself, and the implication of an assault on one’s very being, or at least one’s ego, which is apparently unfair. This, remember, is a woman paid to edit feminist polemic in order to make it more convincing.
But these absurd arguments happen because there’s always at least one person who just can’t admit that they have no fucking idea what they’re talking about.
I’ll just leave that one there, I think.
It’s most frequently the people with the most privilege in any given situation who want to engage in “debate” with me and others. And that’s not because I expect more of, say, straight, white, cis men – because I most certainly do not.
See, that wholesale embrace of “social justice” really does swell the heart and sharpen the mind, making it nimble, attuned to nuance. Not at all stiffened by presumption and the casual dismissal of entire notional categories of humankind.
To the contrary, I expect this desperate attempt at domination because that’s how oppression works on an individual level.
Ah, so let’s be clear. When straight, white, cis men disagree with feminists and those who imagine themselves “marginalised,” and therefore pious, this is an evil act, a “desperate attempt at domination.”
Students at the University of California, Berkeley held a violent protest on campus Friday to demand additional segregated “spaces of colour” for non-white students. A video of the protest shows demonstrators repeatedly heckling white passers-by, barring them entry to a key bridge on campus by forming a human chain while simultaneously allowing students of colour to pass unmolested. Time and again, white students and professors were denied entry to the bridge as they were surrounded by aggressive protesters shouting “go around!” At one point, the video shows a protester refusing to allow an older white man to cross the bridge, eventually directing him to cross by way of a creek that flows underneath the bridge.
When protesters were asked about the motive for their demonstration, they refused to be recorded, leaving little to no explanation for the rationale behind such an aggressive protest.
If you can endure this five-minute video of the protesters being theatrical and unpleasant, you may discern the usual inchoate rumblings of oppression, and outrage at the unfairness of being expected to pay one’s bills as agreed in writing. Apparently, the entire campus and surrounding streets now belong to them, i.e., a tiny subset of leftwing students, which conveniently excuses all manner of exciting behaviour, including harassing other students, to whom the campus presumably doesn’t belong. There’s also some anti-capitalist fervour aimed at local businesses and the on-campus student store, the mere existence of which is deemed an affront to socialist piety, prompting threats of further disruption, escalating in vehemence, “with the goal of eliminating any revenue generation.”
Such kind and lovely creatures. Not narcissistic at all.
However, the heaviest, most pressing grievance appears to be this:
Protesters were angered because one of their “safe spaces” was relocated to the basement of a building where it had previously occupied the fifth floor.
If, being sane, that doesn’t sound like something that could credibly justify two hours of shouting, shoving and screaming, let alone the obstruction of traffic, both on campus and at a nearby public intersection, to say nothing of thuggish behaviour and blatantly racist harassment, then you may be missing the point. Which is, that these things allow vain, vindictive mediocrities to exert power over others. All while cloaked by the moral anonymity of the mob dynamic, which allows those so inclined to behave in antisocial ways and get away with stuff. Everything else is window dressing. Including the protestors’ claims that the failure to provide a “safe space” of suitable commodiousness, befitting their self-imagined importance, is “part of the structural racism of UC Berkeley.”
Free speech, like the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence, is a procedural virtue, which is why fanatics and revolutionaries hate it… Defenders of free speech are arguing not only for free speech as an abstraction, but a wider culture of honest debate, factual argument, respectful disagreement, and civilised co-existence with people who see the world very differently from us. Complaints about attacks on free speech can be seen as proxies for concerns about the maintenance of this culture, particularly in the context of the university. So in a sense, free speech isn’t one thing. It’s many things. It’s a whole network of overlapping norms about the exchange of ideas. One thing that people commonly mean when they say “free speech” is “if I’m invited to give a talk somewhere I should be allowed to do so without intimidation, interruption or threat, and people who want to come and listen to me should be able to do so.”
There are plenty of subjects that merit satire today – the diversity industry, with its shakedowns and professional bullshit artists is a rich seam, as is the transgender movement. But these areas really are too edgy for satirists, most of whom – like the vast majority of influential people in the arts – hold quite uncontroversial (left-liberal) political views and also fear the next wave of revolutionaries more than they do the ancien régime. That’s why they make jokes about the ancien régime. In fact there is plenty of edgy comedy these days – but it tends to be told in private.
According to a just-released study [by the Centre for Public Integrity], more than 96 percent of donations from media figures to either of the two major-party presidential candidates went to Hillary Clinton… Anyone who has spent a moment around elite reporters or studied their output knows that they tend to be left of centre. In 1981, S. Robert Lichter and Stanley Rothman surveyed 240 leading journalists and found that 94 percent of them voted for Lyndon Johnson in 1964, 81 percent voted for George McGovern in 1972, and 81 percent voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976. Only 19 percent placed themselves on the right side of the political spectrum. Does anyone think the media have become less liberal since then? None of this means liberals — or conservatives — can’t be good reporters, but the idea that media bias is non-existent is ludicrous.
In the video below, filmed at the University of Cape Town, members of the science faculty meet with student protestors who wish to “decolonise” the university and not pay their bills. During the meeting, one of the staff, one of the “science people,” points out that, contrary to claims being made by a student protestor, witchcraft doesn’t in fact allow Africans to throw lightning at their enemies. He is promptly scolded for “disrespecting the sacredness of the space,” which is a “progressive space,” and is told either to apologise or leave. The offended speaker, the one claiming that Africans can in fact throw lightning at each other - and who disdains “Western knowledge” as “very pathetic” - then uses the apparently scandalous reference to reality as the sole explanation for why she is “not in the science faculty.”
The socialisation of men is such that even a good man – a supportive man, a respectful man, a trusted man – has within him the potential for violence and harm because these behaviours are normalised through patriarchy.
For those who find the above less than compelling, Ms Fabello and Ms Khan obligingly link to an earlier Everyday Feminism article, in which a male contributor, Jamie Utt, a “diversity and inclusion consultant,” recounts slamming a table in exasperation and consequently being chastised by his female partner, before rending his garments and rushing to the conclusion that,
My actions exist in the context of patriarchy. And patriarchy is violent. Full stop.
This is followed by a series of equally adamant reiterations – “Cis-masculinity is fundamentally oppressive and violent” says he. Apparently, a single incident of exasperated table-slamming is damning evidence of patriarchal brainwashing, proof that the author has been “socialised to be abusive,” along with all other men. However, the gender-damning meaning of female table-slamming, or door-slamming, or general fits of irritation, or any number of aggressive and passive-aggressive displays indulged in by women, remains oddly unexplored. Instead, Mr Utt equates this apparently all-pervasive patriarchy with “related systems of oppression like white supremacy.” Adding, “It’s important that I situate myself within my positionality.”
This being Everyday Feminism, Ms Fabello and Ms Khan are no less bold in their statements:
We know that even the men that we love, never mind random men who we don’t know, have the potential to be dangerous.