April 15, 2014
Further to the Dartmouth “micro-aggression” saga, Victor Davis Hanson notes the comforts and privilege of our campus role-players:
President Hanlon apparently felt the students’ pain of what they had called “micro-aggressions,” or the day-to-day psychodramatic angst that these young elites feel are their own versions of the world of the Wal-Mart checker, the roofer in Delano who nails in 105 degree August heat, or the tractor driver who has disked half-mile long rows day in and day out on the farm. If you have never done such things, and you have $60,000 a year to spend on Dartmouth, then I suppose you could conceivably dream up a micro-aggression of being tortured to read ‘women’ for womyn, or having to use either the boys’ or girls’ bathroom…
They and their faculties enjoy privileges undreamed of by 99.9% of the population. DeVry and Phoenix trade schools cannot afford to offer Dartmouth-like race, class, and gender courses to contextualise their accounting, computer programming and nursing programmes because none of their students have the cash for such psychodramatic indulgences. Our aggrieved .01% can play act that they are embattled, precisely because free market capitalism gave them those dramatic opportunities in a way unknown in Mexico or the Congo.
And as we’ve seen, the longer and more ostentatiously this role-play is indulged, the more bonkers it becomes. Seven years of it can really leave a person beyond the reach of reason.
Larry Sand on children’s education versus teachers’ job security:
In the last ten years, only 91 teachers out of about 300,000 (.003 percent) who have attained ‘permanence’ [tenure] lost their jobs in California. Of those, only 19 (.0007 percent) have been dismissed for poor performance. Is it possible that Golden State teachers are that good? Such an astronomical permanence rate doesn’t square with the performance of California’s fourth- and eighth-graders, whose scores on National Assessment of Educational Progress tests persistently rank near the bottom.
And Steven Malanga notes some more academic high-mindedness:
Readers can perhaps get a sense of the current state of the anthropology field by considering the most absurd claim against [Napoleon] Chagnon: that he was a McCarthyite. The evidence for this was little more than [an] observation that Chagnon grew up in the 1950s in a rural area of Michigan, where “anti-Communist feeling ran high, and where Senator Joseph McCarthy enjoyed strong support.” Critics also sniped at Chagnon for being… “a free-market advocate.”
As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments.