Seems college isn’t about college anymore – at least at Oberlin. The shot:
A recent piece in The New Yorker examines the effects of a new wave of student activism at Oberlin College, a small, private liberal arts institution in Ohio, and it’s pretty eye-opening.
According to writer Nathan Heller, Oberlin is “at the center of the current storm” of activism on college campuses, with students heavily involved in issues including classroom diversity, safe spaces, racial inequality and social injustice.
Due to the intense focus on those issues, many progressive students are dropping out.
They claim that their activism is getting in the way of their studies, and other students, the faculty and the administration have made it impossible to live on campus.
Heller spoke to self-identified “Afro-Latinx” student Megan Bautista, who said that she was upset that the school refused her demand to erase any grades below Cs.
“A lot of us worked alongside community members in Cleveland who were protesting (the death of Tamir Rice in the fall of 2014 – ed.). But we needed to organize on campus as well—it wasn’t sustainable to keep driving forty minutes away. A lot of us started suffering academically.” In 1970, Oberlin had modified its grading standards to accommodate activism around the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings, and Bautista had hoped for something similar. More than thirteen hundred students signed a petition calling for the college to eliminate any grade lower than a C for the semester, but to no avail. “Students felt really unsupported in their endeavors to engage with the world outside Oberlin,” she told me.
But that’s not the real world even if it is the world the students feel they need to embrace.
It’s funny to me. You go to college and you essentially make a commitment to that college to take classes you choose and to perform well enough to get a good grade. Then … squirrel! Suddenly that commitment is put on the back burner as you discover a new and more important one. Well, more important to you. The old, “I want my cake and I want to eat it too” selfishness of a child who has always gotten their spoiled way.
And who is supposed to suddenly change the rules because you’ve decided on this new commitment and thrown over the old one? Oh, yeah, the institution you made the previous commitment too.
Students should feel “really unsupported” by the school because they’ve reneged on their commitment to the school. Why should the school feel obligated to support them if they don’t feel obligated to their commitment to the school?
Mature folk actually know the right answer to that question. The immature? See above.
Maybe they should offer a Maturity 101 course for these children.
Still fascinated by all of this. This mossy little sub-culture that suddenly sprouted all these oversensitive and whiny little crybabies in the one institution where they ought to be trying on their big boy and girl pants fascinates me. Kind of like a bacteria culture fascinates a bacteriologist. And besides, what’s to say about Trump and Clinton? A con man and a crook are likely to be the nominees, brought to you by … “democracy”.
Anyway, now, apparently, there is hell to be paid at the University of Washington because the “cheer team” (what we used to call “cheerleaders”) offended some of the overweight and pasty womyn who populate gender and feminist studies. They apparently had the gall to notify those who were interested in the “cheer team” what was expected.
Cheerleaders, it turns out, are expected to have a certain look.
“U-Dub” students (hey, that’s just one letter away from U Dumb!) were unloading on social media, crying to counselors and fleeing to safe spaces after the cheer team posted an infographic describing the look to strive for if you’re planning to try out for the squad. (In the routinely craven manner of all universities, the UW spirit program ordered the graphic removed and called in nine tons of smelling salts for those affected.)
I repeat: The graphic was aimed only at young women seeking to be cheerleaders. Pasty-faced Womyn’s Struggles majors attending rallies in shapeless sweatshirts, and black-clad Emily Dickinson fans emoting agonized coffeehouse verse were not the target audience.
So, the graphic apparently “offended” the “uninterested” (i.e. those who had no intention of joining the cheer team but had no problem whatsoever passing judgement on their methods) to the point that they became interested because …
“I can’t believe this is real,” Jazmine Perez, the student government’s director of programming told the Seattle Times. “One of the first things that comes to mind is objectification and idealization of Western beauty,” she harrumphed.
Signe Burchim, a UW senior, added, “I think it’s really upsetting and kind of disheartening the way it’s basically asking these women who want to try out to perform their femininity — but not too much.” She said men would never be subjected to such a message while trying out for a sport.
The worldly Signe Burchim, UW senior, and person with so much knowledge of what goes on out in the real world absolutely and positively knows this to be a fact … well, according to her woman studies prof. Men are never asked to meet the standards of some group or team they would like to join (I assume there are men on the “cheer team”). Ever.
As for Ms. Perez and her attempt to make this about race, sorry, a swing and a miss. As the NY Post points out:
Contrary to Ms. Perez — who reminds us that college is a place where you pay $50,000 a year to unlearn the obvious — female beauty standards like facial symmetry and waist-hip ratio are pretty much universal. But here’s the thing she missed: The graphic made no demand that cheerleaders be pretty. Everything illustrated has to do with styling and presentation, not your actual attractiveness. And no, it isn’t racist: Race is nowhere mentioned or implied.
Tailoring your look to a group’s standards is how almost everything works. You don’t show up to play baseball in a scuba suit. You don’t show up for a business meeting in board shorts and flip-flops, unless you work in Silicon Valley, in which case you don’t show up in a tie and wingtips. And you don’t wear Goth makeup, “Born To Be Bad” tats and fishnet tights to a cheerleading tryout — unless you’re doing a performance art piece, which might actually be funny.
If you want to be a cheerleader, your hair should have “volume” and your eyelashes should be “false,” because that’s how cheerleaders roll. You don’t like it? Fine, do what everyone who feels the same way has been doing for decades: Sit in the bleachers, roll your eyes, make snarky jokes and stew in your jealousy.
But hey, these precious snowflakes have learned that almost anything that doesn’t make them feel happy is likely to have something to do with the patriarchy, racism, sexism, miscegenation, white privilege or some other yet to be identified shortcoming of the dominant culture. Don’t believe they learn it at school? Check out this email from a professor at the University of Missouri before it all went in the ditch:
Dr. Tim Evans, an associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathology, writes to his colleagues: “I applaud the support provided to our protesting students who, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with them, are using what they have learned in the classroom and putting it to practice.”
If what Dr. Evans says is true, what a profound disservice the faculties of these schools are doing to their students. As I’ve said any number of times, they’re letting the inmates run the asylum, and make no mistake, given the level of this sort of nonsense now ongoing at various schools, they more closely resemble asylums than they do institutions of higher learning.
But there’s a backlash building and the University of Missouri is only the tip of that iceberg. Parents recognized the inmates were in charge and pulled their kids or decided against sending them to that university. Money talks, SJW BS walks.
It is indeed going to be both fascinating and entertaining watching how this all finally sorts itself out. But I can’t at all help observe it all with glee as the very people who taught and enabled this generation of whiners and crybabies are the first it consumes.
Yes, I’m fascinated by this incident primarily because of the outcome or consequences. As more and more information comes out about the background, the more one sees that it wasn’t the administration (although it had a big role in the failure there) or whites who were the problem there (and yes, I’m sure that makes me a “racist” to the SJWs). It was the activists. There was a culture of fear all right, but it wasn’t white students who were responsible. You can sum up the problem with this Tweet:
Now whether or not this person was a Mizzou student or not, the fact that the tweet got 16 retweets and 3 likes speaks volumes. It is an attitude and how that attitude is represented on campus. For instance, a white student wrote to the Chancellor that he attempted to engage in a dialogue with some of his peers who apparently were black. The result?
I tried to foster peaceful, civilized discussion with a few peers. What I received was a combination of personal and racial attacks, with direct quotes such as “You can’t have an opinion on this because you are white,” “You have no right to speak,” and “Get the f*** out of the lounge.” I will not fill out a bias report on this because it has been made perfectly clear to me by both faculty and students that my skin color apparently gives me immunity from racial harassment, and I can only be treated as the aggressor in these situations.”
Note where he points out that his belief about his inability to get redress via a “bias report” has been fostered not only by students, but by a faculty which apparently has wholly bought into the myth that only whites can exhibit bias.
That sort of non-support translated into other problems. Increasing problems. Can anyone guess what they were? Here’s what a mother wrote to the administration out of concern for her daughter’s safety.
My white female student is being mobbed on her way to class and shouted at while being pushed claiming she’s a racist solely because of the color of her skin. . . . In the last 2 days she’s had 3 cancelled classes so her teachers could participate in this nonsense. So we’re paying for our child’s teachers to protest instead of educate?
Instead of standing up to what they supposedly hate and won’t tolerate – namely pure old racism – they ignored it and allowed it to continue because, apparently, they’re more afraid of a word than doing their jobs. As a result, their mission – education – suffered at the hands of out-of-control racist students. And yes, I’m more than happy to call them precisely what they are.
Additionally, their not addressing the intolerance of the activists only encouraged more of it.
So there is one reason students decided not to attend the University of Missouri this fall. There are many more. For instance:
On November 9, the vice president for human resources, Betsy Rodriguez, wrote to Missouri’s president, Tim Wolfe, saying that she thought he needed to see some videos being circulated on Twitter under the hashtag #ConcernedStudent1950. One video posted under that hashtag portrays a protester singling out people on campus, shouting, “If you’re uncomfortable, I did my job.” In the background, other protestors shout “power,” raising their fists.
“There are at least 2 [such Twitter videos] from Griffiths society today, and 2 from the dining halls (one of those — Plaza 900) included visiting high school students,” Rodriguez wrote. “The protestors are increasing in aggression and disruption. These are pretty scarey [sic].”
That’s right … visiting high school seniors were treated to the spectacle as well and made to feel unwelcome, especially if they were white. You can see the videos at the above link. Instead of being “oppressed” and “silenced”, it appears the protesters pretty much had the run of the place.
But had the administration grown a pair and stepped in to stop the nonsense, they might of avoided what happened in the near term and what has now happened as a consequence. But they didn’t. A day after the videos above surfaced, this discussion took place between two high ranking members of the administration:
A conversation later that day between Rodriguez and Michael Kateman, the university’s director of internal communications, raised other “collective thoughts” on the protesters’ behavior. “Even students not involved in the protests are getting agitated, fearful, and concerned,” their notes said, pointing out an incident where outsiders drove two hours to join the protests on the University of Missouri’s campus. “The protestors are willing to interrupt non-related events to protest. . . . Our concern is that the longer we wait to have mtg [to address the situation], the more we risk violence. The longer we wait, the greater the risk of violence.”
As you’re most likely aware, they waited too long. They let outside agitators establish themselves, and they had sympathetic faculty who made it worse while making fools of themselves. And the leadership? Absent.
It’s not like they couldn’t see this coming. Well before the events which caused all the consequences, they were made aware of the problem. A student wrote the former chancellor describing an encounter with this movement:
“Everyone has freedom of speech and expression,” she wrote. “But this was a large group of people. I know I’m not alone in saying that I felt very unsafe and targeted when I encountered them. . . . people screaming at me from the sidewalk.” She wrote that “all lives matter and discrimination should be fought against,” but she feared “that group brought more division, hostility, and discrimination than that one man [yelling racial slurs] could have.
But the immediate problem was ignored and allowed to grow. And instead of taking charge of the campus and it’s environment, the administration allowed it to become a place which people feared others simply because of the color of their skin. Here an employee of the University writes the former Chancellor:
My fear is that things are going to get out of hand and something very bad is going to happen,” she wrote. “My husband is a Sgt. for the University Police and he is having to be in the middle of this mess and having someone like Melissa Click do everything in her power to incite a riot will make things go from bad to worse. I normally take walks around the campus a couple of times a day but currently am afraid to do so because I am white. My daughter goes to school at Mizzou, has some night classes, and she is now afraid to walk around campus and go to class because she is white.
Racism … pure and simple. The protesters and activists were what they denounced. And they had created a climate of oppression and fear.
They must have been very proud of themselves.
The good news is the institution that ignored it and allowed it to happen is suffering the consequences of its inaction (or in many cases, its enabling). It is well deserved. And, hopefully, other academic institutions will learn from the experience, heed any warning signs and take appropriate action. The fact that a relatively small population of students and activists were able to make this sort of impact on a major university because they weren’t confronted immediately certainly should teach a lesson.
But then it seems in this age and time, lessons aren’t heeded and history repeats. I fully expect to see this happen again at least once, if not numerous times, in the not too distant future.
I guess what strikes me as so interesting is the sense of entitlement in the following as well as demanding someone else pay for their demands, both monetarily and with their time. It begins like this:
Just days after protesting students defenestrated the University of Missouri’s president and chancellor late last year, interim leadership issued a statement lauding “our brave students who sacrificed their own needs to do the work that should have been done long before they joined our community.”
“The students tenting/demonstrating are asking for a generator for their campsite,” wrote Chief Diversity Officer Noor Azizan-Gardner on the morning of Nov. 6, four days into Jonathan Butler’s hunger strike. “Is there any way that we can help with this? Let me know if this is even possible.”
“We got them power this morning,” wrote Gary Ward, the vice chancellor for operations and chief operating officer at MU, two minutes later.
So power provided as requested even though no generator was put out there. Result? Sorry, not good enough. Less than 4 hours later:
“I just heard from the students that they have one power strip with 8 outlets on it and it’s connected to one of the power sources on the quad,” writes Azizan-Gardner, copying Chancellor Bowen Loftin, in addition to Ward. “The students are concerned that they may trip the circuitry if they overload it. So, they have texted me that they need to have more power outlets and/or a small generator so that they can have heat and refrigeration this weekend. Please let me know how we can provide this for them.”
Heat and refrigeration. Because, you know, protesting should have all the comforts of home paid for by the institution against which they’re protesting. No wonder there are so many feeling the “Bern” on campus.
This time, Gary Ward wasn’t quite as into helping:
Ward responded less than enthusiastically: “That is all we have and I had folks come in first thing to get that. I am very concerned with providing a gas generator for safety concerns. That also requires us to have a person come in and keep them in gas. I very much appreciate our students and their right to protest but they are right now killing grass and putting stakes in the ground where we have underground sprinkler system. No other group or individual have been allowed to set up home on our quad. Typically when a tent request comes in the request needs a [procurement code] to pay for all the associated expenses. I request they move off our quad that many of our folks have worked very hard to make enjoyable for the entire university community. It really was not designed for a campsite.”
Sanity! Hey, the quad does not belong to them, they’re making demands that no one has ever made and they should be moved off. And oh, by the way, those that do set up tent camps usually pay “for all the associated expenses”.
The answer from the administration? A giant cave:
The administration then briefly deliberated whether a resolution could be reached with the protestors soon. After one notes the enormous national news coverage, Chancellor Loftin recommends “that we handle power by providing a generator of our own or access to more power from campus.”
“Will do,” Ward responds.
Ward is being the “good soldier”, but the administration simply ignored their own rules and took the easy way out because they didn’t have the stomach to facedown the protesters like the administration at Ohio State did recently. Result? Well, when you give an inch, you can expect them to ask for a mile … especially if they’re not paying for it:
About an hour later, Ward writes back: “The generator is set up. They want a fire pit.”
Freakin’ hilarious if it wasn’t so sad a statement on many students and the administrations of many academic institutions. Protest and demand that others not only heed your demands but pay for the amenities of your protest as you imagine them.
And on the other side, just lay down and let these people run over the rules of the institution and cave into their absurd demands.
What kind of life lesson is that? While this may work at Mizzou, they’ll be standing in an unemployment like faster than you can say SJW if they tried to pull this nonsense at work. Of course there are many corporations out there caving in to racial extortion, so that’s not quite as true a statement as it once was. But you get the point.
No wonder Mizzou is closing dorms this coming fall semester. The administration there deserves everything they’ve gotten … and frankly should have suffered even more for their wormy conduct.
That’s no way to run a University.
First, the University of Missouri, where the SJWs, with the help of a professor who didn’t think much of the 1st Amendment and was fine with committing battery to deny it, is having a rough year. Consequences from this bit of nonsense have really hit the bottom line:
Following a drop in students applying for housing, the University of Missouri will not be placing students in two dorms for the fall 2016 semester.
Mizzou will be closing the Respect and Excellence halls (ironic names, given the circumstances) in order to utilize dorm space “in the most efficient manner” to keep costs down.
In March, the university announced that it saw a sharp drop in admissions for the coming school year, and will have 1,500 fewer students. This will lead to a $32 million budget shortfall for the school, prompting the need to close the dorms in order to save money.
“Dear university community,” wrote interim chancellor Hank Foley in an email to the school back in March. “I am writing to you today to confirm that we project a very significant budget shortfall due to an unexpected sharp decline in first-year enrollments and student retention this coming fall. I wish I had better news.”
You see, those who are looking for a college have alternatives. And when they see a college or university that they perceive, right or wrong, to be out of control, they are likely to take their business elsewhere. Afterall, they’re paying the bill. So, take note all you institutions of higher learning who tend to fold like a wet paper box when a few students protest, you too may end up closing a couple of dorms if it goes the way of Mizzou. Fair warning.
Oh, and speaking of alternatives, New York government has decided to be “wonderful” with other people’s money and has hiked the minimum wage to $15 (over a time period). That’s double the wage of today. White Castle, an NY institution, isn’t taking that well since it will have a very heavy impact on their profitability (they make a 1 to 2% profit after expenses, including labor). White Castle’s CEO says there are few alternatives. If it was about price increases only, they’d have to increase their prices by 50%. He’s pretty sure that’s a no-go because of competition for dining out dollars. So, what’s he left with?
In the hyper-competitive restaurant industry, margins are slim — Richardson says that, in a typical year, White Castle hopes to achieve a net profit of between 1 and 2 percent — and if labor costs go up, many restaurants will turn toward labor-cost-cutting automation or business models that don’t require many employees. That means a lot of kids won’t get that first job. After decades of baggage check-in kiosks at airports, ATMs, and self-check-out lines at the supermarket, is it really so hard to imagine automation replacing the kid behind the counter at burger joints?
And what is lost to more young, inexperienced and thereby low-wage workers?
“We know that Millennials aren’t thinking they’ll stay at White Castle for 30 years,” Richardson says. “We view it as the start of the path. That’s true if you stay at White Castle or move on to something else. The skills you gain, you can take to the next role: learning how to apply for and get a job, learning how to show up, learning a work ethic, making a paycheck, and having fun.”
But this is about more than wages — White Castle has offered benefits and retirement programs for decades. It’s about the opportunity to work, to take the first step up the ladder of life, to get started.
“Out-of-work kids who don’t have an opportunity to work get in trouble. We want to offer kids jobs, offer kids work,” Richardson says. “There’s dignity in that.”
Somehow, though, the concept of starter jobs that pay low wages (and with the minimum wage, it’s usually more than they are worth) has become lost in all of this and we see government stepping in to make them “career” jobs for some idiotic and economically unsound reason. The result is predictable, although it will likely be hidden. You won’t see numbers because the numbers in question are those who are never hired because the wage floor is too high. And they’re going to be the “out-of-work” kids who don’t get that first chance to experience a job and what it takes to succeed.
Instead an alternative will do the work. A kiosk will greet the customer, takes his order and money and do so at a price point well below a $15 an hour worker. This isn’t rocket science and the math isn’t hard at all – $15 times 0 hours equals what?
Under the banner, “you can’t make this stuff up”, enjoy the following bit of idiocy:
Southwestern University in Texas has canceled its annual production of “The Vagina Monologues” because its author, Eve Ensler, is white — and featuring a performance written by a white lady would just not be inclusive to women of other races.
Instead, the school will host a performance of “We are Women,” which promises to “address similar experiences while emphasizing women of color,” according an article in the Megaphone, the school’s official newspaper.
Well, it promotes “similar experiences” except for white women I guess. Who knew “women of color” didn’t have vaginas?
Yes, this is indeed patently absurd. The Vagina Monologues was written as a feminist play to emphasize the supposed problems of women. Thus it was totally inclusive of … women. But not inclusive enough for The New Red Guard.
Cancelling performances of “The Vagina Monologues” has become a bit of a trend on college campuses these days. For example, just last year, all-women’s Mount Holyoke College canceled its own performance on the grounds that the production was not “inclusive” enough to people who identify as women but do not have actual vaginas.
No, really … it’s all about their definition of “inclusivity” and a feminist play, if written by a white woman, just doesn’t make the grade anymore.
You have to laugh at this sort of nonsense to remain sane. The one sterling good coming out of all of this is at whom many of these attacks are aimed. Leftists. Old Guard leftists. And a more deserving group I cannot imagine.
But the real point here is the implied claim that whites, no matter their gender, have nothing of value to say or add. This isn’t new by any stretch, it’s just become more common. For instance, this from early last year from The New Red Guard at, yeah, Berkeley:
We are calling for an occupation of syllabi in the social sciences and humanities. This call to action was instigated by our experience last semester as students in an upper-division course on classical social theory. Grades were based primarily on multiple-choice quizzes on assigned readings. The course syllabus employed a standardized canon of theory that began with Plato and Aristotle, then jumped to modern philosophers: Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault, all of whom are white men. The syllabus did not include a single woman or person of color.
Of course, if you look closely, it’s not just “white men” they’re shooting at, it is the foundational philosophies of the West. Apparently they believe that if there were women and persons of color writing philosophy during the same eras, they must have had something just as important to say, seeing as how their cultures matured equally with that of the West (and yeah, I know that some of the dead white dudes were not especially enamored of the West’s culture at the time). What the TNRG don’t seem to understand is they live in Western culture and the class is about “classical social theory” and thus likely wouldn’t include philosophers who had no impact on that “classical society” or those who lived outside of it and had no impact.
But this is all about gender and skin color … not context or logic.
Speaking of context and logic, James Lileks adds them:
College, apparently, is now a place where the notions of people freshly matriculated from high school must be handled with oven mitts and lightly buffed with soft cloth lest their orthodoxies suffer the slightest abrasion. Like the school that canceled the annual performance of The Vagina Monologues because it othered non-traditional women who lacked the titular orifice, it’s a delightful example of leftist autophagy. Marx is in foul order in Berkeley not for his ideas, or the heaps of corpses accumulated in his name, but because he had a prostate.
Yes, indeed. Oh, and because he was white.
It’s almost as if Donald Trump is a Democratic operative:
Hillary Clinton had a gaffe-filled, staggeringly bad week last week. It started with her politicizing Nancy Reagan’s funeral and ended with more explosive allegations that her informal adviser Sidney Blumenthal had directly cut and pasted classified intelligence into an unsecured personal e-mail account. But you wouldn’t know it from media campaign coverage, which has been far more occupied with the GOP primary and the escalation of violent incidents at rallies.
Oh, it got a mention here and there, but the Trump thing (the Trump thing as a whole) has sucked all the oxygen out of the news cycle – and it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s purposefully being done by the media. You know, I’d be “shocked, shocked I tell you!”
The intolerant New Red Guard were at it at Emory University this week:
Students protested yesterday at the Emory Administration Building following a series of overnight, apparent pro-Donald Trump for president chalkings throughout campus.
Roughly 40 students gathered shortly after 4:30 p.m. in the outdoors space between the Administration Building and Goodrich C. White Hall; many students carried signs featuring slogans such as “Stop Trump” or “Stop Hate” and an antiphonal chant addressed to University administration, led by College sophomore Jonathan Peraza, resounded “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!” throughout the Quad.
Yes, friends, chalk markings on the sidewalk put them in PAIN! Pain I tell you. They needed protected and the only acceptable way to protect them … the usual, stifle speech and set the university up they way they prefer.
Thankfully a student at Emory understands the danger of pandering to these intolerant crybabies. Amelia Sims writes:
I agree with the protesters: Donald Trump has neither the character, temperament, nor policy knowledge to assume the presidency.
However, classifying support for a major presidential candidate as “hate speech” endangers the democracy that we hold so dear.
Universities do not exist to create insulated echo boxes, which shelter students from ideas that provoke offense or discomfort. In class, professors assign ideologically offensive texts so that students may learn to analyze and challenge these arguments.
Quelling discomforting thoughts prevents a free exchange of ideas. It fosters an environment where resentment and radicalism fester and metastasize.
Students certainly have the right to protest, but I worry about a campus environment that frequently turns to shouting and censorship to defeat offensive ideas.
When protests become increasingly dominated by trivial concerns and histrionic displays, Orwellian newspeak and thought control begin to take hold.
Now if college presidents and administrators would grow a spine and follow her lead, maybe TNRG can call it a day and go back to whining about their grades instead.
Meanwhile, the Idiot-in-chief has been playing footsie with Commie dictators in Cuba. Michael Totten brings a little reality to the gig:
The Cuban people, Castro says, won’t “relinquish what they have gained through great sacrifice.” What he really means is that the government won’t relinquish the power it has gained through bloodshed and repression.
No serious person believes there will be riots in the streets of Havana if people are allowed to earn more than 20 dollars a month. Not even the most ardent Castro apologist thinks Cubans will go into open rebellion if they’re allowed to vote for more than one party. Not a soul fears they’ll yearn to relocate to North Korea if they suddenly find themselves with freedom of speech and assembly.
During Monday’s press conference, Castro lashed out when CNN journalist Jim Acosta asked him about political prisoners. “If there are political prisoners,” the dictator said, “give me a list, right now. What political prisoners? Give me their names, and if there are political prisoners, they will be free by tonight.”
Oh, please. Just yesterday—a few hours before Obama landed in Havana—the regime arrested more than 20 people at a Ladies in White demonstration. Secret policemen dragged women to a police bus and threw men onto the ground and handcuffed them. The Ladies in White is an all-women movement of sisters, wives, and daughters of male political prisoners. What does Castro expect us to believe they’re protesting for?
Read the whole thing. Totten has been to Cuba several times and doesn’t at all play the politically correct game Obama and crowd would prefer. He calls Cuba what it is, a shipwrecked state that oppresses its people.
The latest excuse for false racial charges? Why they “open up conversations”.
Falsely accusing someone of a crime is never okay and society should never excuse it. Sadly, today’s culture allows anyone to accuse someone of rape or racism and seek forgiveness by claiming the false accuser just wanted to “start a dialogue.”
In the recent race hoax at State University of New York at Albany, where three black women started a fight on a bus and accused a dozen white people of attacking them for being black, a professor at the school claimed they were justified because they started a conversation on race.
“My white students have said this has opened up conversations,” said Sami Schalk, an assistant professor in SUNY Albany’s English department. “Things that are inadvertent, small, but that these white students have no experience with, not being a person of color on this campus.”
That’s a bit like saying all Black Lives Matter wants to do is “start a conversation on race”. It is the cult of the victim desperately looking for victimhood … so, one supposes, they can feel both oppressed and special.
An interesting take on why so many Muslims, especially the young, are becoming radicalized:
As a young Muslim boy growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, it was impossible for me to look up a hadith unless I traveled to an Islamic library, something I would have never thought to do. For all intents and purposes, if I wanted to know about the traditions of Muhammad, I had to ask imams or elders in my tradition of Islam. That is no longer the case today. Just as radical Islamists may spread their message far and wide online, so, too, the Internet has made the traditions of Muhammad readily available for whoever wishes to look them up, even in English. When everyday Muslims investigate the Quran and hadith for themselves, bypassing centuries of tradition and their imams’ interpretations, they are confronted with the reality of violent jihad in the very foundations of their faith.
The Quran itself reveals a trajectory of jihad reflected in the almost 23 years of Muhammad’s prophetic career. As I demonstrate carefully in my book, Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward, starting with peaceful teachings and proclamations of monotheism, Muhammad’s message featured violence with increasing intensity, culminating in surah 9, chronologically the last major chapter of the Quran, and its most expansively violent teaching. Throughout history, Muslim theologians have understood and taught this progression, that the message of the Quran culminates in its ninth chapter.
Surah 9 is a command to disavow all treaties with polytheists and to subjugate Jews and Christians (9.29) so that Islam may “prevail over all religions” (9.33). It is fair to wonder whether any non-Muslims in the world are immune from being attacked, subdued or assimilated under this command. Muslims must fight, according to this final chapter of the Quran, and if they do not, then their faith is called into question and they are counted among the hypocrites (9.44-45). If they do fight, they are promised one of two rewards, either spoils of war or heaven through martyrdom. Allah has made a bargain with the mujahid who obeys: Kill or be killed in battle, and paradise awaits (9.111).
Muslim thought leaders agree that the Quran promotes such violence. Maajid Nawaz, co-founder of the Quilliam Foundation in the United Kingdom, has said, “We Muslims must admit there are challenging Koranic passages that require reinterpretation today. … Only by rejecting vacuous literalism are we able to condemn, in principle, ISIS-style slavery, beheading, lashing, amputation & other medieval practices forever (all of which are in the Quran). … Reformers either win, and get religion-neutral politics, or lose, and get ISIL-style theocracy.” In other words, Muslims must depart from the literal reading of the Quran in order to create a jihad-free Islamic world.
Interesting that the solution is to “reject literalism”. That and the fact that the Quran is now available to everyone without the buffer of an imam’s interpretation. Of course there are also plenty of imams who push this very Surah as the reason Muslims must become activists. Read the whole thing.
Our final insanity comes from a known place of insanity, UC Berkeley, where students have a demand:
The University of California in Berkeley administration must decide whether to provide abortions on campus to students who deem their uninterrupted education more important than the lives of their unborn children.
The Berkeley student senate has passed a resolution demanding that abortion, referred to as “medication abortion,” be made available on-campus so that female undergraduate and graduate students could “continue their education with little disruption.”
The resolution explains that the university’s Tang Center used to perform abortions in the 1980s, but now there are no longer trained abortionists at the center. Abortion is a right, their logic goes, and so abortion access is a right, too.
The resolution does not suggest how to fund its demand. But Aanchal Chugh, primary sponsor of the bill, told Campus Reform that school administrators should be willing to take pay cuts in order to fund on-campus abortion services. Students, she says, should not bear any financial burden.
You have to wonder how these spoiled children would feel if they knew their parents had had so little regard for their lives that they’d made the same demand in their day? Of course, such a demand in their parents day would have received a raucous horselaugh (well, maybe not a Berkeley). It’s all about their convenience. They don’t want to have to leave campus to abort their child:
There are five abortion providers within 15 miles of the Berkeley campus, all of which accept MediCal health insurance. FPA Women’s Health, four miles from the campus, performs free abortions for women who lack health coverage for the procedure.
And, of course, they don’t want to pay for it. Prototypical Bernie Sanders voters.
Have a great weekend!
This is what happens when you let the inmates run the asylum:
Some St. Paul public schools are unsafe for students and teachers, writes Katherine Kersten, a senior policy fellow at the Center for the American Experiment, in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
A Central High teacher was “choked and body-slammed by a student and hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury,” while another teacher was knocked down and suffered a concussion while trying to stop a fight between fifth-grade girls. There have been six high school riots or brawls this school year.
Hoping to close the racial suspension gap, the district has spent millions of dollars on “white privilege” and “cultural competency” training for teachers and “positive behavior” training, an anti-suspension behavior modification program, writes Kersten.
Misbehavior is initially tolerated and as it is, it become endemic and epidemic. What’s the penalty for doing so? Well, teachers are punished with “white privilege”, “cultural competency” and “positive behavior” classes.
Meanwhile where the problem is centered, i.e. with the students, nothing changes. In fact, the “authorities” then make the problem even worse:
When that didn’t work, “they lowered behavior standards and, in many cases, essentially abandoned meaningful penalties,” she writes. Students can’t be suspended for “continual willful disobedience” any more. Often, students “chat briefly with a ‘behavior specialist’ or are simply moved to another classroom or school where they are likely to misbehave again.”
Behavior has gotten worse, wrote Aaron Benner, a veteran elementary teacher, in the Pioneer Press. “On a daily basis, I saw students cussing at their teachers, running out of class, yelling and screaming in the halls, and fighting.”
Again, this isn’t rocket science. The problem students, knowing they aren’t going to be punished for their behavior, continue to replicate it and push the envelope even more. All the liberal psychobabble that has led to this point has had inevitable result that teachers live in fear.
Teachers say they’re afraid, writes Pioneer Press columnist Ruben Rosario. He quotes a letter from an anonymous teacher, who says teacher are told there are no alternative placements for violent or disruptive K-8 students.
“(Teachers) have no way to discipline. If a child is running around screaming, we let them run around and scream. If a student throws a chair at the Smart Board we remove the other students and call for help. If a student shouts obscenities, we simply use kind words to remind them to use kind words themselves. I am not kidding. . . .
The only consequence at the elementary level is taking away recess or sending the offending student to a ‘buddy classroom’ for a few minutes.”
Who are the victims? Well, obviously the teachers. But there are even more victims which the dominant philosophy within this school district seems to simply ignore:
At this teacher’s high-poverty, highly diverse school, “I have many students in my class who are very respectful, work hard and care about doing well in school,” the teacher writes. “The disruptive, violent children are ruining the education of these fantastic, deserving children.”
No kidding. So what has increasing tolerance, lower behavioral standards and the refusal to discipline brought this school system? Failure. It has failed the teachers who are left to deal with increasingly violent behavior. It has failed the good students who have their ability to learn and succeed hampered by disruptive students who go unpunished. And, in reality, they fail the disruptive students, who are never taught the hard lesson that certain behavior is unacceptable and will be punished.
Because, you know, that’s just outmoded thinking.
Oh. And “race”:
On March 9, a veteran high school teacher was suspended for social media posts complaining about the discipline policy, when Black Lives Matter activists charged him with racism.
Theo Olson, a special education teacher at Como Park High, wrote that teachers “now have no backup, no functional location to send kids who won’t quit gaming, setting up fights, selling drugs, whoring trains, or cyber bullying, we’re screwed, just designing our own classroom rules.”
He did not mention race.
Black Lives Matter had threatened a “shut-down action” at the school if Olson was not fired.
That’s just pitiful. And the results of such poor leadership within that district are inevitable:
The same day Olson was put on leave, another Como Park teacher was attacked by two students, suffering a concussion. “The two entered the classroom to assault another student over a marijuana transaction gone bad,” an associate principal told the Star-Tribune. Two 16-year-olds face felony assault charges.
Welcome to the blue education model in action.
There’s something very interesting going on in conjunction with the Trump protests recently in Chicago, St. Louis, etc. It reveals how intolerant the left is, again, and it also points to where this sort of vile and violent behavior is born:
College students now are growing up on campuses strongly influenced by the radicals of the 1960s, which has been fertile ground for an increasingly illiberal and disorderly definition of “peaceful protest.” . . .
Trying to silence speakers they don’t like, along with using human chains and other protest tactics to take over central spaces, violates a norm cherished all the way up to the Supreme Court: that a person who has rented an auditorium has a right to speak, no matter how atrocious the sentiment expressed.
Well, except when lefties are “triggered” by the speech. Then the speech is deemed illegitimate and rightfully, as they see it, suppressed. The irony, of course, is they and the media call Trump Hitler while it is the protesters demonstrating all the foul attributes of the Nazis.
Interestingly, it comes as as surprise to some members of the media that Trump’s supporters see through the media spin on this and aren’t blaming the left’s actions on Trump. They think it has to do with ignorance or agreement. Instead, it likely has to do with seeing through the charade that both the media and the left have put together.
Now it is certainly one thing to protest a candidate peacefully (everyone has that right), but when protesters are committed to violence and confrontation, they’re likely to find it. You have to remember, the protesters had to travel to the Trump rally to get what they wanted. No one sought them out for that. The protesters have also admitted organizing to shut down Trump. Again, they made a conscious decision to interfere in the other side’s right to hear their candidate. And they did it precisely like they’ve done it countless times on the college campus where someone had the temerity to invite a speaker who disagreed with their views.
Heather MacDonald lays out the case for the left being the source of the divisiveness we now suffer and are suffering during this political season. It’s just in their DNA it seems, and as pointed out above, it has its roots in radical academia:
To the mainstream media, Black Lives Matter’s claims and academic identity politics are not “divisive,” they are simple truth. But if you don’t accept those truth claims — and the data refute them — the vitriolic anti-cop rhetoric of the last year and a half, and its underpinning in academic victimology, easily match the alleged divisiveness of anything that Trump has said.
Anyone … from whence were most of the “media” birthed? Of course they don’t see them as a problem for the left. They’ve been raised in the culture of left academia and leftist propaganda is their “normal”. Naturally they don’t see anything inflammatory in the rhetoric of the left or the left’s political candidates.
The rhetoric of Democratic presidential contenders is just as incendiary. Hillary Clinton says it’s a “reality” that cops see black lives as “cheap.” Bernie Sanders says the killing of unarmed black people by police officers has been going on “decade after decade after decade.” In fact, among the 36 “unarmed” black men killed by the police last year (compared with 31 unarmed white men), a large percentage had been trying to grab the officer’s gun, were pummeling the officer with his own equipment, or were otherwise so viciously fighting with the arresting officer as to legitimately put him in fear for his life.
This is the result of the Bill Ayres faction taking over our colleges and universities. They’ve spawned “The New Red Guard”, and The New Red Guard is now moving out into the streets.
I remember the Civil Rights era very well. I was a teenager then and I remember the giants of the movement pushing the society they lived in to be treated as equal citizens. They wanted “desegregation” and they wanted, as Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, to be judged by the content of the character, not the color of the skin. They wanted to be a part of mainstream America, not “separate but ‘equal'”.
And that’s, deservedly, what they finally won.
Racial segregation is back. That scourge of the 20th century, with its racialised drinking fountains and buses with whites-only seats, is staggering back to life, zombie-like. Only now its loudest cheerleaders are not old-fashioned racists with a Bible in one hand and lit torch in the other. No, it’s the right-on, small-l liberals, those who, in a serious abuse of the English language, call themselves “progressive”. Welcome to the era of PC segregation.
The question you have to have is “why”? Why would those who supposedly were in the vanguard of destroying racial segregation now be a proponent of reestablishing it? How in the world do you justify using skin color to segregate certain elements of our citizenry?
What we’re witnessing, not only in Australia but in other Western nations too, is the reawakening of the segregationist mindset. Segregationism has been given a makeover, turned from something that once made us wince — try looking at photos of an American “Coloured Drinking Fountain” without feeling horrified — to something that is treated as acceptable, even good: a “special measure” that can benefit certain groups.
The fashion for PC segregation is especially strong on Western campuses. In the US, students who think of themselves as decent, right-minded, left-of-centre people are openly demanding segregated spaces.
At Oberlin College in Ohio, student protesters are agitating for “safe spaces” for “Africana-identifying students”. At New York University, a student campaign is underway to create “an entire floor of the mixed-use building… to be dedicated to students of colour.” Students at UCLA want a floor of the student union building to be made African-American-only, on the basis that there needs to be a “safe space for black students”.
Ah, yes … dependency. The plantation beckons. These delicate snowflakes need “protection”. And segregation is the answer (as is historical illiteracy). Separate them and wall them off. Bull Conner and the boys would heartily agree with this approach.
So what happened to flip the focus from the content of one’s character back to the color of one’s skin (or gender, or culture, or ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc)?
Why? Identity politics as pushed by the new Red Guard of “progressives” on campus:
This is what the politics of identity has wrought. As the old left-right divide has become emptied of real meaning, and as we enter what some refer to as a post-ideological era, more and more of us are defining ourselves by our race, gender or sexuality rather than by our moral convictions. And this has nurtured a really divisive dynamic.
Where once progressive politics was about “the common man”, about the shared interests of people of various colours and of both sexes, now it’s about the apparently different experiences and outlooks of whites, blacks, gays, women, trans people, and so on. Universal ideals are being subsumed by the relentless rise of a deeply sectional politics of identity.
The end result? Segregation. Although now it’s dolled up as a “safe space”. How long before we create a blacks-only zone on buses in the name of having a “safe space for black people”? We must fight anew against racial thinking, and restate the case for character being the only criterion on which we should judge our fellow humans.
This deeply divisive concept has fragmented a society, or is at least in the process of doing so, that was learning to pull together. Make no mistake, identity politics is a child of multiculturalism which is entirely from and embraced by the left.
So we now have a complete reversal of what was a laudable goal … desegregation and equal treatment/opportunity for all Americans.
What is to become of these delicate snowflakes on campus that must have segregated “safe spaces” to survive?
The world is a cruel place; it’s impossible to make it through life without hearing something that offends every fibre of your being. It’s impossible to make it through without your feelings being hurt, without something piquing your anxiety, and without strongly disagreeing with other people’s ideas. Outside the comfort of your campus safe space, there are people who will inevitably trample all over your delicate sensibilities, and most of them won’t care. There will be no counselor to baby you through the sexist joke you overheard your coworker telling, and no place for you in the company should you require time off to address your mental state every time your boss doesn’t use the correct gender pronouns. You will find yourself unemployed and unable to afford anything when you decide activism is more important than being an adult and making smart decisions.
They are going to fail miserably. And it will be your fault, because society, outside of academia is systemically (pick your favorite “ist” description concerning race, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity and insert here) and no one cares about their delicate feelings.
Well, yeah, that’s right about the lack of caring. When you’re a 21 year old adult, you’re going to be treated like one and expected to be tough enough to endure the uncompromising reality presented by “the real world”. This isn’t the dorm, you’re no longer in the echo chamber and not everyone agrees with your take on life, or your sentiments concerning segregation, safe spaces or race and gender. “The real world” doesn’t much care what you think about these things, it expects you to produce and earn your way. If you can’t or won’t then they don’t want you. And no, it most likely won’t be because you’re whatever race, gender or sexual preference you are. It’ll be because you have no skills, are immature and have no concept of what is required by “the real world” to survive.
Of course, there’s always academia to fall back upon. Go back and infest the hallowed halls with your nonsense, only this time as part of the establishment. And wait for the next generation of special snowflakes to show up and do to you exactly what you’re doing to this generation of “establishment” progressives in those ivy covered halls.
There is an alternative, however.
You could just grow up.