Friday, November 13, 2015

The College Mess

I've got to admit to being a bit conflicted about the insanity going on across various college campae across the country.  Things like the racially motivated protests at  Mizzou, Yale, and even tiny Claremont McKenna College.

My first reaction is just the outright schadenfreude of watching "what goes around comes around" with the way young students are being brought up.  The protests at Yale started out being centered around an email about what costumes to wear for Halloween:
Erika Christakis reflected on the frustrations of the students, drew on her scholarship and career experience, and composed an email inviting the community to think about the controversy through an intellectual lens that few if any had considered. Her message was a model of relevant, thoughtful, civil engagement.

For her trouble, a faction of students are now trying to get the couple removed from their residential positions, which is to say, censured and ousted from their home on campus. Hundreds of Yale students are attacking them, some with hateful insults, shouted epithets, and a campaign of public shaming. In doing so, they have shown an illiberal streak that flows from flaws in their well-intentioned ideology.
It's fun watching the academic twits being out-idioted by the idiots they've been training to do exactly what they're doing.  It's heartening to see journalism professor Melissa Click forced to resign for trying to run an independent journalist off campus - if anyone on campus should know the jobs of the student journalists and their first amendment rights to cover a story, it's the j-school professor!
(Chip Bok Cartoons)

On the other hand there's potential for real trouble here.  I mean, do these last few years remind you of the late 1960s or what?  Considering that many of these protests are left against left, because the targets aren't far enough left, how far are we from a repeat of the Chicago Democratic Convention in 1968 next year at their convention?  It seems the last few years have duplicated all of the worst of the '60s, except for the assassinations.  I guess that shouldn't be a surprise with a bunch of wrinkled, washed-up, old, 60s hippies influenced by commies like Bill Ayers and Frank Marshall Davis running the country. 

Roger Simon writes an interesting piece for PJ Media comparing what's going on in these demonstrations to the Chinese Cultural Revolution under Chairman Mao, where millions were killed and up to a hundred million displaced or otherwise affected.
Recent events at the University of Missouri and Yale (where I attended graduate school), plus now other institutions, have only increased my apprehension. It’s not  at the level of the Cultural Revolution — professors haven’t been asked to wear dunce caps yet and no one (to my knowledge) has been killed — but the portents are not reassuring.

Mob rule, not anything close to democracy, is at play. The so-called SJWs (Social Justice Warriors) seem to be functioning as early avatars of the infamous Red Guard, bullying and then threatening violence to anyone whose thoughts run outside what is deemed to be correct.

College professors and administrators quiver in their path. In the case of Mizzou, the president resigned before any concrete evidence of racism was made manifest. It still hasn’t been days later. At dear old Yale, it’s even more bizarre because there were no imputations of racism in the first place, only that there might have been or might be. Forget Bull Connor and the KKK, inappropriate Halloween costumes were the new danger. It was all about having a “safe space” so feelings wouldn’t be hurt, as if the world could be perfect and the human species remade for an extraordinarily fragile generation of coddled students.
Saving the pull quote for last words (as I often do), Simon says:
Some people ridicule these students as “snowflakes” unable to stand up to the slightest discomfiting words or images. But it is far worse than that. These so-called “snowflakes” are the potential shock troops of the aforementioned Red Guard, American style. There is a fine line between the extreme entitlement that demands to be warned before reading Ovid’s Metamorphoses (as happened recently at Columbia) and a kind of narcissistic rage acting out against any presumed enemy in its path. How do you think the CR actually happened in China? Yes, the country was significantly poorer, but the psychological evolution was strikingly similar.
 (comrade Click, from PJ Media)


  1. That which is allowed will flourish. What the colleges, citizens and governments should do is allow the students to do anything that is legal and constitutional and prevent or after the fact punish them for doing anything illegal. I would advise to not use force in general except to prevent force or injury to innocent people. But rather use their high tech against them. Go through the videos and social sites and identify those who broke laws from simple assault to property destruction and than simply serve them a subpeona to testify or a warrant for arrest and do this at their residence/room/dorm and not when they are in a crowd of supporters.

    The president of Mizzou should have allowed the football team to forfeit that game and then in response fired the coach and revoked the scholarships of the striking players.

    My feeling is to let people do what they will and when they break the law to treat them 'equally' just as they would you or I if we break the law.

  2. Absolutely! If they're not breaking laws, there's nothing to go after them about. I'm not even remotely trying to imply a "Minority Report" movie-style pre-crime arrest. An idiot like the journalism professor raises the problem of academic tenure; once a professor like (Dr.?) Click has tenure the school ordinarily can't just fire them. But if she displays such epic stupidity about the laws she's supposed to be teaching about, perhaps they take her tenure away and put her on probation. It's my understanding she resigned, anyway.

    The thing about the football team is that the school kinda can't just forfeit because then they owe the other team money for breach of contract. I've heard "a million dollars" which may or may not be true.

    With Mizzou this year, it would be hard to tell if they were just lying down and not really playing.

  3. I do understand the problem that academic tenure creates not just in terminating someone who breaks laws but also simply to get rid of bad teachers. However the school willingly or under pressure agrees to tenure. It is a civil contract, nothing more and nothing less. So my advice to schools and governments everywhere is grow some balls and when you negotiate contracts don't negotiate everything away!!! Would the unions strike and cause havoc? Sure, so what. Let the contracts expire and take lots of video, charge and prosecute those who break the law and take back control of the schools. Does anyone really believe this is what the taxpayers want or expect from public schools? As an alternative I would advise voters/taxpayers (not usually the same people sadly) to stop funding schools and government agencies held hostage by unions and the far left. Imagine the uproar if the citizens put up an inititive to close and defund Mizzou and the students were sent home and professors sent to the unemployment office. Maybe then they would get it. Desperate times require desperate measures.

  4. I hate to break this to you, Anonymous at 12:46 PM, but the hive dwellers in this country DO want and expect this from public schools. And with the way elections in this country are run today, rampant with corruption and fraud, they control the votes.

  5. Yes, sadly I know that most voters and the vast majority of voters on the left want the gravy train of free stuff to continue and fear any suggestion that we return to a constitutional republic where we are all responsible for our own selves and all government institutions including schools exist at our pleasure. But that fact does not change the solution to our current problems. Fixing this is hard and I don't see a lot of people who are willing to sacrifice to fix it. So therefore it will continue to get worse until we like Rome are over run by the Barbarians and destroyed.

  6. Democracy IS mob rule.

    That is a fact.


  7. The blatant hypocrisy of students who are so easily offended hammering their targets with vitriolic hate mail and protests should be grounds for expulsion. They want "safe spaces" for themselves, but not those who disagree with them. Thinking of the '68 Dem Convention, I'd love to see a repeat on these students, as was performed by Chicago's "Finest" JBTs. (sarc off)

    Now _I'm_ being hypocritical - or I would be if I weren't being facetious. It would be enough for the school to make note of everyone who attacked another person's free speech and expel the attackers. Especially since the author is correct, this is closer to Mao's Cultural Revolution than to the protests of the '60s. But, when you invite Marxists like Herbert Marcuse and and hire scum like Bernadette Dohrn to lecture to the student body, what do you expect?