Professor “joins the lowercase ‘movement'” (sic) to reject the “symbols of hierarcy”.
Let’s forget for a moment that she’s keeping the “Doctor” in front of her name – as noxious a symbol of hierarchy as there is.
But let’s dig a little further.
Writing in pure lower case is the sort of stylistic affectation afforded almost exclusively to “artists”, from the wonderful e.e.cummings to a raft of “quirky” and almost invariably tiresome cartoonists, “writers” and other “artists” – almost all of whom get whatever legitimacy they claim from being part of the academy or some genus of counterculture or another…
…all of which is another term for classprivilege.
Wonder if I can find a “lowercase movement” meeting somewhere?
Also – it’d be interesting to run a poll of indigenous Americans to see if professors affecting lower case helps them, and how much…
The late Nick Coleman used to accuse my fellow Northern Alliance bloggers and I of trying to “burn down the public schools“ for suggesting that maybe, just maybe, the teachers union and the administrative/industrial complex weren’t necessarily working in kids best interests.
Enrollment in public schools nationwide declined by 3 percent last year. But it was the numbers for kindergarten enrollment that should chill the blood of teachers’ unions and school district officials. Kindergarten enrollment tanked by 13 percent last year, and it’s only expected to get worse this year.
One school district in Brooklyn, New York, has seen its rosters fall from 345 students in 2018–19 to a projected 225 this September, with kindergarten enrollment collapsing from 76 to 37. Because school funding is pegged to enrollment, that school stands to lose a sizable chunk of its funding — funds to pay teachers and other support staff.
And yes, it’s not the pandemic itself that’s causing the collapse in enrollment. It’s the policies put in place to assuage the desires of teachers.
All of which would be another reason to view 2020–21 to be the apex of teachers union power, to be followed by inexorable descent. They got their work-at-home carveouts, their school closures, their preferred party running the federal government, their vaccine fast-tracking, their fingerprints all over the “science,” and their hundreds of billions in federal largesse. And as a result of all that influence, they created a product that’s literally repellant to millions of parents, even at the cost of free. Their ranks will almost certainly thin.
If I had known what I was doing, I would’ve spent a lot more time and effort trying to put together some sort of “homeschool pod“ when my kids were that age – sharing the effort with some of the other parents who had gotten disgusted, even back then, with the system.
Modern American “progressivism”, like all its many forebears in the past 200 years, has been all about rallying people against boogeymen. From “monarchists” in the French Revolution, to “Wreckers” in Stalin’s USSR to the Wobbly’s “Bosses”, up through “the patriarchy” and “the man” and “counterrevolutionaries” in Red China and San Francisco in the sixties and seventies, and if you have a hard time distinguishing between ’em, join the club.
Today, the boogeymen…er, boogiepeople on the left are pretty much all the things that people who are included are told to be “anti”. “Anti-Racism” “Anti-Misogyny” (not just sexism, anymore – it’s the more active, more malevolent noun these days), “Anti-Fascism”, “Anti-Transphobia”, and on and on – all of which sounds like good things to be “anti”…
…and, unsurprisingly, when you dig into the “Root Causes” of all those nouns, all things trace back to “Western Civilization” in all its particulars: the Judeo-Christian value on the individual and their worth, value, rights and responsibilities and potential of each and every person, as a person with a mind, a point of view, and at the end of the day an indivisible soul of personal, societal, political, intellectual and metaphysical worth.
Those aspects of humanity are anathema to progressivism in all its flavors. The focus is on the group – the Marxists “classes”, the Nazi’s irreducible focus on race, the modern academic Left’s obsession with a byzantine network of intersectional identity groups. The individual is nothing but a vote (for now), an appetite, a widget to be moved through the production line of life (like Obamacare’s awful caricature of Progressive humanity, “Julia”). Progressivism is “Materialist”. Souls, individual intellects and thoughts and reams, all are ephemeral; humans are widgets that consume and produce, and whose worth and value (to those in power) is expressed via their membership in the collective.
Those widgets have a term. “Bodies”. Not people. Not brains. Not souls.
She’s “a gun owner herself” – which might be seen in several ways. Is “P”M moderating? Are they realizing that the culture war has slipped far enough away from them, especially over this past year, that they have to start speaking to people who need to be convinced?
And she’s apparently incredibly famous, since she apparently just goes by “Rashmi”. I’ve turned “Protect” Minnesota’s website, Facebook feed and other social media upside down, and not been able to find any reference to a last name, which is Seneviratne, by the way.
But even during the reign of the serial fabulist the Reverend Nord Bence, “Protect” MN wasn’t nearly extreme enough in its hatred of guns and (law-abiding) gun owners, enough for some people.
“P”M spawned a breakway group, “Survivors Lead” – basically a woman, Rachel Joseph, with a long history of progressive activism and a story; an aunt who was murdered, according to Ms. Joseph’s story, by a gun.
Quick aside: I don’t minimize anyone’s trauma over having a loved one murdered. But in the many times I’ve heard Ms. Joseph’s story, she’s never once mentioned a perpetrator, someone actually holding and using the gun that killed her aunt; that persons evil motivation, the legal fallout from the murder, whether that person was sentenced or not. It’d be wrong to crack wise – “what, did the gun animate itself?” – but omitting a perpetrator, his/her motives and the like from the conversation is incredibly intellectually dishonest.
Anyway – “Rashmi” and her apparent moderation are not going over well with “Survivors Lead”:
The extreme heckling the not-as-extreme about getting less extreme. That qualifies as “dog bites man”, at the very most.
Rather less so? There followed some more, er, ethnically pointed traffic on one social media feed (from which I’ve long been blocked) or another.
After which “P”M – operating through its usual social media persona, the omniscient third person that used to be Martens and Nord Bence – responded:
On the one hand, watching the agents of Big Left eating each other is one of my favorite spectator sports.
And if the biggest semi-organic anti-gun group in MInnesota (shaddap about Moms Want Action already) is pivoting from pushing Linda Slocum’s gun grab bill to highlighting the inequity of gun control (“Race, class and geography all play into who gets to have a gun and who doesn’t” – which is something every Second Amendment activist has known for 50 years) and speaking in the first “person” to the prudence of victims of violence to arm up, then in culture war terms that’s the sound of the first tank crossing the pontoon bridge at Remagen.
But…”white bodied privilege?”
What the flaming hootie hoo?
I thought for a moment – is this a shot back at the Rachel Dolezals and Elizabeth Warrens of the world, with their flip-flopping identities, by “actual” “people of color”, reinforcing the idea that while you might “identify” with one degree melanin or another, your apparent appearance still wins out in the great privilege lottery (which will, I suspect, get pilloried hard by the Trans crowd, for whom perceived identity is everything? I’ll let the fight that one out).
But no. It’s much less hilarious than that.
It’s “inclusion language” – slang or argot that one class of people use to track who is in, and who is “out” – to be sure. That’s part of it, and people are noticing:
Referring to people as bodies is a reminder, writer Elizabeth Barnes says in an interview, that “racism isn’t just about the ideas that you have in your head.” Barnes is the author of “The Minority Body: A Theory of Disability, The Girl Behind the Wall.” In intellectual discussions, theories about social oppression sound almost disembodied; “we talk about prejudice,” Barnes says, “like it’s just a matter of ideas.” The point is to emphasize the physical violence done to black people through slavery, lynching, and police brutality. In the case of women, the term “bodies” highlights “what happens to women’s bodies in health care contexts, in sexual contexts, in reproductive contexts.”
But behond that?
It’s a nod to the materialism of the left – that the mind, the thoughts, the indivisible soul of the indivisual human being is not merely irrelevant, but inconvenient to the obsession with identity.
Your melanin defines you.
In some ways its a cheap ad hominem – “of course you’d think that, you are (add a reference to your target’s melanin, or lack thereof)”. But pointing logical fallacies out to the foot soldiers of Big Left is a little like arguing salinity with sharks; it’s just part of the water they swim in.
So – gun groups eating each other? Good.
The debate contributing to the ongoing hijacking of the language? Bad.
The whole thing participating, in its own little way, in the further erosion of one of the ideals that’s made Western Civilization the most successful, and humane , civilization in human history?
What do you bet she rode the Affirmative Action express all the way up? “Black” woman applying to college and then to grad school – guaranteed admission. “Black” woman doing “research” for a Ph.D – easier grading, more help, less criticism. “Black” woman academic with excellent grades applying to be college professor – the script writes itself.
The news story compares her to Rachel Dolezal, the White woman who pretended to be Black to get a white-collar job (running a branch office of the NAACP). True, but oddly, the story makes no mention of Elizabeth Warren, the White woman who pretended to be an American Indian so she could ride the Affirmative Action escalator into a professorship at Harvard.
That’s all fine, this woman confessed, she’s out in the open, and then . . . well, then what? The college says they can’t comment on personnel matters, which implies she’s still working there. She didn’t quit? She didn’t give back the job she gained under false pretenses, the money that should have gone to another, more morally deserving person?
Evergreen State College – the ultra-“progressive” school in Washington State that’s spent the past couple years in an orgy of virtue-signaling and PC-witchhunting – has seen its enrollment projections drop by 20% this year – and its budget is accordingly in freefall:’
Both announcements come nearly a year after the college endured persistent riots following former professor Bret Weinstein’s decision to question the “day of absence,” an initiative that asked white students to leave campus for a day of off-campus diversity workshops, while people of color participated in on-campus workshops.
Carmichael warned employees that “it is impossible” to make a budget cut of such magnitude without “affecting some programs and services,” noting that the college “can’t afford” things like “theatrical productions in the Experimental Theater.”
Evergreen has been “experimental theater” for some time now.
But back on point – it almost seems like people looking for an education these days would prefer less pompous, often threatening and sometimes violent virtue-signaling and more…
Students at the University of Wisconson’s Stout Campus must prove they’ve absorbed the PC narrative to Big Brother’s satisfaction before being granted a diploma:
In order to fulfill the requirement, students must complete at least six credits from a list of approved courses that address at least two out of four categories: Global Self-Awareness, Global Knowledge, Global Viewpoint, and Global Engagement.
“Global self-awareness” courses, for instance, focus on embracing the “values of diverse others,” helping students to “develop appreciation for diverse voices and stories and the contributions of cultures and countries different from one’s own.”
The “global knowledge” goal, meanwhile, addresses “the deeply interconnected nature of the world,” with courses exploring concepts like how “the impact of globalized capitalism and neoliberalism on economic systems, inter and intra-societal stratification, civil and human rights, and sustainability” form the “historical roots” of inequities around the world.
The “global viewpoint” category aims to introduce students to different cultural and historical perspectives, while the “global engagement” element teaches students to “take effective critical action” on the basis of their new knowledge by “contributing to positive change in globally diverse, interconnected, and interdependent natural, social, and business environments.”
The Feminist Business School, founded by Evergreen State College graduate Jennifer Armbrust, teaches that capitalism is an “economy that values masculine traits” such as “meritocracy,” “competition,” and “individualism.” The California-based site recently launched two more online courses to coach aspiring businesswomen on how to “topple the patriarchy” and promote a more “feminist economy.”
Shunning the “profit seeking motive” of traditional commerce, the Feminist Business School advocates that businesswomen adopt more “feminine traits” such as “gratitude,” “intimacy,” and “connecting with nature.”
Failed former Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges has left the US, dodging the opprobrium from progressives outraged over what her mismanagement of Minneapolis did not only to the city, but to the reputation of American progressivism.
“It’s not completely justice, but it’s a start” said Ramona Beel-Zebab, spokeswoman for The Association Of Progressive Associations”.
When last heard Hodges … was… was…
Oh, I can’t keep a straight face.
No, Betsy Hodges isn’t running from her legacy. And good heavens, no, progs aren’t gut-checking their movement over the misery it’s caused.
No, they’re making it part of the next generation’s playbook:
The Harvard Institute of Politics announced Betsy Hodges will be among its 2018 resident fellows.
Her study group will focus on racial equality, policing and local governance.
Some of you may be asking – which half of this post is the parody?
A crminiology prof at Eastern Carolina University found out that:
After assessing the bias of students before and after the course—using prompts such as “a woman should worry less about their rights and more about becoming good wives and mothers” and “if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites”—Stacey found that the course hadn’t altered students’ attitudes towards race or gender.
Only their attitudes towards homosexuality had changed, she found.
“The results of the t-test indicate that the only significant change over time in the scales was in attitudes toward homosexuality generally,” Stacey reports. “This would suggest that the course has no effect on [attitudes towards women], symbolic racism, or attitudes toward gays/lesbians specifically.”
that’s actually better than I expected; I’d have figured the courses would make matters worse.
This email was circulated at Berkeley earlier this week, according to an acquaintance of mine:
“Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
This fall, the issue of free speech will once more engage our community in powerful and complex ways. Events in Charlottesville, with their racism, bigotry, violence and mayhem, make the issue of free speech even more tense. The law is very clear; public institutions like UC Berkeley must permit speakers invited in accordance with campus policies to speak, without discrimination in regard to point of view. The United States has the strongest free speech protections of any liberal democracy; the First Amendment protects even speech that most of us would find hateful, abhorrent and odious, and the courts have consistently upheld these protections.
But the most powerful argument for free speech is not one of legal constraint—that we’re required to allow it—but of value. The public expression of many sharply divergent points of view is fundamental both to our democracy and to our mission as a university. The philosophical justification underlying free speech, most powerfully articulated by John Stuart Mill in his book On Liberty, rests on two basic assumptions. The first is that truth is of such power that it will always ultimately prevail; any abridgement of argument therefore compromises the opportunity of exchanging error for truth. The second is an extreme skepticism about the right of any authority to determine which opinions are noxious or abhorrent. Once you embark on the path to censorship, you make your own speech vulnerable to it.
Berkeley, as you know, is the home of the Free Speech Movement, where students on the right and students on the left united to fight for the right to advocate political views on campus. Particularly now, it is critical that the Berkeley community come together once again to protect this right. It is who we are.
Nonetheless, defending the right of free speech for those whose ideas we find offensive is not easy. It often conflicts with the values we hold as a community—tolerance, inclusion, reason and diversity. Some constitutionally-protected speech attacks the very identity of particular groups of individuals in ways that are deeply hurtful. However, the right response is not the heckler’s veto, or what some call platform denial. Call toxic speech out for what it is, don’t shout it down, for in shouting it down, you collude in the narrative that universities are not open to all speech. Respond to hate speech with more speech.
We all desire safe space, where we can be ourselves and find support for our identities. You have the right at Berkeley to expect the university to keep you physically safe. But we would be providing students with a less valuable education, preparing them less well for the world after graduation, if we tried to shelter them from ideas that many find wrong, even dangerous. We must show that we can choose what to listen to, that we can cultivate our own arguments and that we can develop inner resilience, which is the surest form of safe space. These are not easy tasks, and we will offer support services for those who desire them.
This September, Ben Shapiro and Milo Yiannopoulos have both been invited by student groups to speak at Berkeley. The university has the responsibility to provide safety and security for its community and guests, and we will invest the necessary resources to achieve that goal. If you choose to protest, do so peacefully. That is your right, and we will defend it with vigor. We will not tolerate violence, and we will hold anyone accountable who engages in it.
We will have many opportunities this year to come together as a Berkeley community over the issue of free speech; it will be a free speech year. We have already planned a student panel, a faculty panel and several book talks. Bridge USA and the Center for New Media will hold a day-long conference on October 5; PEN, the international writers’ organization, will hold a free speech convening in Berkeley on October 23. We are planning a series in which people with sharply divergent points of view will meet for a moderated discussion. Free speech is our legacy, and we have the power once more to shape this narrative.
In between the lines, it looks like the Chancellor is trying to reboot Berkeley’s policy to disallow violent suppression of dissenting opinions. This is a marked contrast from the University’s behavior over the winter.
Of course, the real bellwether would be “how do the campus’s tiny conservative minority fare in day to day interactions”. That’s the part I’m most intrested in.
But it’ll be interesting to see if this announcement is followed up with effective execution – and if any other schools follow suit.
While overt sexism and homophobia are less common than historically, they still play out in ways that are subtle and, therefore, insidious and hard to combat. How do you see this happening in the sciences, and how do you deal with it?
One of the biggest sources of sexism and homophobia is lodged in the epistemology of science. How we think, and what we think, matter in determining what we know and don’t know, and affects our workplace interactions in very negative ways. We think that we eliminate bias by keeping our “personal lives” – some aspects of ourselves – out of the lab, classroom, or office. But actually this is how we allow implicit bias to seep in and saturate everything we do, because that which is male, straight, white, able-bodied, monied, is not left behind in the practice of science and engineering – it is just so normative that lots of us don’t notice.
The story came out on Saturday. I can only hope it’s an April Fool prank – perhaps the most insanely brillaint one o al time.
BERG: Hardly. It’s a conservative institution. Many of its students are shooters. The campus 2nd Amendment group is large and active, and shootings sports are popular among students. It’s not unreasonable to assume that a shooting-sports-friendly campus is going to be a draw for students who are, like most Liberty students, to the right of center.
BIRKENSTOCK: But guns on campus! Isn’t that just kind of weird? Shouldn’t school be a place of non-violence?
BERG: Non-violence? You mean like “gun-free” Virginia Tech?
BERG: Where a gunman killed 32 students and faculty?
BIRKENSTOCK: Don’t confuse me with irrelevant details.
BERG: Er, right. So – why should Liberty not provide that facility, if it’s an obvious marketing spiff for them?
BIRKENSTOCK: There should be no guns at places of higher learning.
BERG: Question for you, Moonbeam: should colleges teach abstinence only sex education?
BIRKENSTOCK: Good heavens, no. That never works!
BERG: Because people naturally gravitate toward things they enjoy?
BERG: So abstinence only education can not work when it comes to sex, but is the only acceptable solution when it comes to guns?
BIRKENSTOCK: Why do you hate women and minorities?
Students in the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania took down a portrait of Shakespeare and replaced it with a portrait of that other one. You know, that author whose works have passed-the-test-of-time, delighted billions around the globe. What’s the name again?
Help me out here, it’s that famous writer. The one you’ve heard of, whose books you read in school, everybody read them. Dang, it’s on the tip of my tongue: Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Twain, Hemmingway . . . aw, I can’t believe this, how could I forget?
Look, it’s the English Department. They put up portraits of the greatest writers of all time just like the mural outside Barnes and Noble. They’re the most influential, most enduring, the authors whose literature is literally timeless. I can’t believe I’m blanking on this one.
Shelley, Proust, Solzhenitsyn, Homer? Agggh. You know, the greatest writer of all time, obviously, since the writings are deemed worthy to replace Shakespeare. Practically the foundation of the entire canon of literature in western civilization. Way more well-known than that famous black professor who every cop knows on sight.
Looking at the chart, there appears to be some overlap in causes since the percentages work out to 114% and even under Common Core math, that’s not a reasonable answer. But just looking at the top three responses, I think I detect a pattern.
40% said “We moved.” I wonder why they moved? Better job outside the district? Seems unlikely, the economy isn’t that robust. Maybe they moved to GET outside the district? But why would they do that? Who’d want to leave the vibrant diversity of Frogtown to live in monochrome, monoculture Woodbury?
36% said “the school was unsafe.” But St. Paul just adopted new discipline policies to let Children Whose Lives Matter run wild. That’ll cut down on reported discipline statistics which will be a big help, won’t it? After the news accounts of violence in the last two years and the “don’t-bother-to-catch-go-straight-to-release” policy in effect, why would families think schools would be unsafe?
30% said “child was harassed/bullied.” Well that’s just whining. All kids are harassed and bullied, especially kids with Privilege who deserve it. That’s no excuse to leave the school. Pulling your kids out of our school costs us pupil-day money and that’s a racist hate crime.
Yep, it’s a total mystery why parents are pulling their kids out of St. Paul schools. Luckily, there are paid consultants to offer possible suggestions, some cited in the article. More arts classes might help. Different languages, smaller class sizes, better special education. Maybe training, to teach parents not to expect so much from schools like order, discipline, learning.
I hope they figure it out soon. A child’s education is not an experiment you can do over if it fails the first time, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to avoid a life of misery. All those minds would be a terrible thing to waste on fantasy feel-good foolishness.
I’m not saying “Making the schools crappy” was a diabolical DFL plot to make conservative-leaning people leave Minneapolis and Saint Paul, to consolidate control forever in the hands of the DFL.
But if it were their plan, how would it be working any differently?
“That means minor crimes that take place at school, such as trespassing, truancy, theft and drug use, she said, would be “dealt with more appropriately in other ways” that don’t involve arrest and prosecution.”
All crimes? Or only crimes committed by Students Whose Lives Matter, to make the statistics come out better?
A student on a school bus, seeing another student pointing a gun at a third student, wrestled the would be shooter to the ground, almost certainly saving the intended victim’s life.
The school administration reacted… Well, you’ve read this blog for a few years, right? How do you think they reacted?
A Florida high school hero who wrestled a loaded gun away from a football player threatening to shoot a teammate was himself suspended for three days.
The 16-year-old, from Cypress Lake High School in Fort Myers, was punished for his part in disarming the boy who wanted to blast another student on the school bus ride home…
…But, instead of rewarding the heroic teen who put his own life at risk, school authorities suspended him “for his role in an incident where a weapon was present”.
Good is punished as if it’s evil.
And they say schools aren’t mindless indoctrination centers.
The current Campus Crybaby Crisis is explained by Reynold’s Law:
“The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.”
If fewer people were able to afford college, degrees would become valuable again. Plus, young people wouldn’t be saddled with a mountain of unpayable and non-dischargeable debt, so they could afford to buy houses and start families.
Student loans: end them, don’t mend them.
Along with making education about, well, education, rather than schooling (to say nothing of indoctrination).
Oberlin College – which is sort of the UC Berkeley of small private schools, the school that spawned Lena Dunham, the place where the affirmative checklist for student sex was invented, which has led the academic world in “trigger warning” R&D, a place that makes Carlton or Macalester look like Hillsdale – has been on the “dodgy” list for it’s weaselly approach to free speech on campus.
Two teachers at Washington State University will lower grades for students who say “illegal alien” or “male” or “female” or if they fail to “defer” to non-white students. Tuition and fees range from $15,000 (in-state) to $25,000 (out-state).