Friday Ephemera
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Elsewhere (15)

Stuart Taylor takes another look at Duke University, where its infamous far left faculty has dug in even deeper.

Duke’s rules define sexual misconduct so broadly and vaguely as to include any sexual activity without explicit “verbal or nonverbal” consent, which must be so “clear” as to dispel “real or perceived power differentials between individuals [that] may create an unintentional atmosphere of coercion.” The disciplinary rules deny the accused any right to have an attorney at the hearing panel or to confront his accuser. The rules also give her - but not him - the right to be treated with “sensitivity”; to make opening and closing statements; and to receive copies of investigative documents.

Jeff Goldstein notes why Duke’s infestation will persist. 

The fact is, the people who make up these activist identity groups need their “isms.” And because fighting a particular “ism” is what gives them their identity to begin with, they cannot allow the “ism” ever to be stamped out without, in effect, obviating their own identities.

As Jeff, myself and others have pointed out, the relevance and power of identity politics advocates requires a cultivation of grievance among those ostensibly being championed. The grievance narrative must never be allowed to go away, whatever the actual situation, since grievance (or professed grievance) is the principal source of leverage, influence and funding. Even if this entails exaggerating minor slights or distorting statistics, or framing the issue so tendentiously that almost any kind of dissent can be deemed oppressive and malign. See, for instance, the ludicrous campus rape claims of Barbara Barnett, formerly of Duke, or the reactions of many feminists to factual correction by Christina Hoff Sommers, or the outrageous treatment of Keith John Sampson and Thomas Thibeault.

And Ophelia Benson notes some routine moral flummery at the BBC.

It had to report on this al-Shabab guy trying to kill Kurt Westergaard so therefore it had to make sure you didn’t get the wrong idea and think it, the BBC, didn’t think Kurt Westergaard deserved it, at least a little bit.

Indeed. Yesterday morning, the BBC’s Today programme performed much the same manoeuvre, suggesting the attempt to murder the 75-year-old cartoonist with an axe showed the strength of “feeling” on the issue and the “anger that still exists over what he did.” A more realistic response might stress instead a psychotic sense of vanity and barbarous presumption – one that validates the point of Westergaard’s cartoon.

Feel free to share your own items of interest.


Karen M

The Beeb always makes sure we know the cartoons *were* "offensive". (Who says?) But they'd never describe burkas as offensive or sharia as offensive. Even jihadis with axes don't get called "offensive". Funny that.


It’s the strange moral universe of the BBC and Guardian, where the weight of a grievance – its legitimacy – depends on which Designated Victim Group you can be said to belong to. I’ve lost count of the news items and comment pieces suggesting that threats, riots and homicidal rage are a defensible response to an unflattering cartoon. The cartoons are, we’re told, “offensive,” “controversial” or “provocative” - and thus they’re the “cause” of the threats, riots and homicidal rage. Those of us who find such reactions savage and absurd don’t get quite the same coverage or sympathy.

R. Sherman

You wrote: "Even if this entails exaggerating minor slights or distorting statistics, or framing the issue so tendentiously that almost any kind of dissent can be deemed oppressive and malign."


Exhibits A-infinity: The writers at AROOO, who, most recently attempt to place "Lesbians With Children" into the victim hierarchy as against "Lesbians Without Children." Link:

As a father with an 18 year old preparing to go off to university to study --gasp-- English and German literature, I'm scared to death that this sort of thinking will infect her otherwise level-headed, logical view of the world.



The 20th and now 21st centuries with its hate-filled ideologies of resentment has revealed human nature to very different from what the post-Christian Enlightenment wished. Hate motivates. Hate succeeds. No amount of exposing the flaws, no amount of rational discussion will dislodge the anti-Semites and anti-Americans from the BBC. No amount of 'please,' no amount of 'this isn't proper for scholar' will dislodge the feminists and national socialists from Duke. Their hatred and the furies they have unleashed sustain them, and will do so until their enemies (freedom, capitalism, democracy, Jews) are obliterated.


But David, what about white privilege and heteronormativity? We must confess our guilt or we'll never be clean... ;)

"The task group also wants teachers to blame themselves. This isn't about admitting that they need to get better at teaching their subjects. In one exercise, future teachers are to reveal a "pervasive stereotype" they once held about an identity group (such as immigrants or senior citizens) and argue in a personal essay that their stereotype has been "challenged" because of experiences with that group. You see, the teachers need to rid themselves of their oppressive ideologies in order to teach math, grammar and science well."



“We must confess our guilt or we'll never be clean... ;)”

Yes, it’s quite a con and remarkably brazen. I wonder, for instance, what happens if a candidate can’t think of a suitably confessional episode in which they re-evaluated a stereotype involving a designated identity group. (Perhaps because they don’t spend their days thinking in terms of stereotypes and designated identity groups.) Will the candidate be obliged to invent an experience that complies with expectation?

And from what I can make out, confessing to having been an oppressor of one kind or another doesn’t even lead to absolution. It just corrodes a person’s probity. The nature of the hustle means those being hustled will be expected to go on announcing their sinfulness indefinitely, as and when required, thus internalising the hang-up while searching it out in others. It’s a recipe for unrealism and dishonesty.


Remember the Golden Rule for the Lefties: Whatever You Do Or However You Behave, It Is Always Someone Else's Fault


Maybe the lefties learned this guilt crap from the religious right? I attended a parochial school where one day we were instructed to relate how we were "saved". Every one but me and one other guy had some big long story about how they were headed down the road to perdition until the big JC came into their lives and turned them around. We were in the 8th grade. I had known most of those kids since the 6th grade and they were all from middle to upper-middle class backgrounds. Based on some of their stories, I couldn't image how they could have been that messed up before I had ever met them (5th graders?). I mean it was Fort Lauderdale in the 70s, but still.

virgil xenophon


Yes, this is the reason that, if one studies carefully the techniques used by N. Korean "brainwashing" techniques in the Korean War and the routine followed in AA meetings one will find a remarkable similarity. Each AA meeting begins with each participant verbally confessing: "I am an alcoholic." In the POW camps it was either : a) "I am a war criminal" or, for airmen b) "I am a Yankee Air Pirate." And of course, there is no absolution in either camp, only continuing testament serving to constantly, in your sublime usage, "corrode a person's probity." One is NEVER "cured" but in need of constant "support" in the case of AA, or incessant inforced attendance at interminable, mind-numbing propaganda sessions in the case of the Korean War POWs. And of course, the Univ. setting with Administrators as enforcers, is the next best thing to a POW camp. A very convenient arrangement....

Finally, your concluding second para. @Anna says it all. I've no need to elaborate further.


"It's a recipe for unrealism and dishonesty."

Don't forget condescension. From the Taylor article:

"Ada Gregory, director of the Duke Women's Center, said that "higher IQ" males, such as those at Duke, could be "highly manipulative and coercive.""

So Duke doesn't have lots of higher IQ females who can spot "highly manipulative and coercive" behavior?


“Don’t forget condescension.”

Well, quite. But isn’t the unspoken point of the exercise to condescend, infantilise and cultivate alienation? How else would the practitioners of identity politics maintain their own influence? Given the need to maintain the hustle, isn’t it necessary to convince students that elite campuses – which are among the most politically correct environments on Earth – are actually teeming with racists, homophobes and ultra-cunning sexual predators? And further, to convince them that there’s no way of dealing with any minor slight or clumsy sexual overture without their involvement and ideological guidance?


"convince them that there's no way of dealing with any minor slight or clumsy sexual overture without their involvement and ideological guidance"

You must never leave the plantation. We don't want to have to look for another job.


“You must never leave the plantation. We don’t want to have to look for another job.”

That’s pretty much the dynamic. It’s hard to avoid a suspicion that many practitioners of identity politics are, ideologically speaking, insatiable. Reading the claims archived here, there’s no sense that a situation could ever arise in which their “services” would no longer be required (or could be counterproductive). Presumably, such people are attempting to defer their own redundancy by making sure as many people as possible are fixated by race and gender, and by redefining racism and sexism in such a way that the ostensible problems can never be resolved.

See, for instance, Seattle’s educational race hustler Dr Caprice Hollins, who disdains individualism and long term planning as “white values,” and who’s still employed at considerable expense, despite finding no evidence whatsoever that her position is required.

See also Andrew Quinio’s experiences of “diversity” in action: “Housing students by race seemed to me an odd approach to ending racial division.”


"...race hustler Dr Caprice Hollins, who disdains individualism and long term planning as “white values,” ..."

Was it here (searched but didn't find it) or on Ace where I recently saw a story about Berkley High School planning to eliminate after/before school science labs because they were mainly used by white kids, that way more money could be spent on closing their "racial achievement gap"? It's all about market share, really...

Karen M


La Shawn Barber:

"BHS purportedly has the widest racial academic achievement gap in California, which the council deemed "unconscionable." Depriving students of science lab instruction because the labs benefit mostly white students apparently isn't unconscionable."

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