Friday Ephemera
Friday Ephemera

Elsewhere (301)

FIRE report on the fallout of a class on global trade: 

As it has in earlier years, [adjunct professor Richard] Taylor’s instruction focused on early global trade, including trade in silver and potatoes. As part of the class, he also covered the more pernicious aspects of early trade, such as slavery, the abuse of indigenous populations, and the spreading of disease. On his final slide was a discussion prompt: “Do the positives outweigh the negatives?” A lively discussion ensued. One student said slavery could never be justified. According to Taylor, he clarified that no one is justifying slavery and asked students to consider global trade as a whole, including lives lost to disease and lives saved from famine.

None of which proved sufficient to prevent Professor Taylor being removed from his classroom and found guilty of “bias” - without appeal, without reference to any specific violations of policy, and without seeing any evidence of misconduct. Activist students, who seemingly prioritised activism over learning, accused the professor of committing a “heinous crime,” and of posing a “threat to the safety of our BIPOC [black, indigenous and people of colour] community.” For which, they insist, he should be “terminated fully.”

At which point, readers may wish to consider the possibility that “social justice” activism – in this case, waging a spiteful, nakedly dishonest smear campaign in order to destroy a man’s livelihood and thereby feel powerful – is much more exciting than studying, especially if you’re not particularly equipped for academic activity – a demographic from which such activists are very often drawn - and much more likely to gratify any malevolent inclinations.

That left-leaning educators and campus administrators generally pretend that these aren’t the kind of variables to consider when weighing accusations of “bias” - and a somewhat improbable “threat to the safety of our BIPOC community” - says quite a lot about the kind of people they are too, and the kind of environment they inhabit.*

Thom Nickels notes a scandalous development: 

Philadelphia Weekly, one of the city’s most venerable leftist “alternative” newsweeklies, has rocked the local journalism scene with its announcement that, starting next year, it will provide Philly readers with a different kind of alternative: it will change its editorial outlook from hard-liberal to conservative.

And Craig Frisby on what isn’t racism:

Modern progressives… interpret reality as if there cannot be any average differences between human subpopulations that have any relevance for social outcomes… Since this reality [of average differences] is unacceptable to progressives in America, then objective ability, behavioural, and skill performance standards must be maligned, lowered, altered, or abandoned altogether… in areas as diverse as higher education admissions, public school discipline policies, civil service exams, teacher certification exams, and gifted education entrance requirements in public schools. In some public schools, gifted education programs are simply shut down altogether because the racial disproportionalities in enrolment embarrass educators.

In the piece, examples abound. And regarding school discipline policies, this eye-widening illustration may be worth revisiting

*Expanded via the comments.

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