A new book shows how universities first embraced a system of social punishment that now pervades our everyday lives.
Leaked documents related to the trans shooter of a Christian school show she used words like “white privilege” and “cracker” in referring to her victims. Truly a hate crime, but the truth was suppressed.
“Just three days later, a counter-letter titled “A More Specific Letter on Justice and Open Debate” was published online with 150 signatures of its own, including anonymous journalists from the likes of NPR, The New York Times, and Politico. “
Why “anonymous journalists”? Are they afraid of something?
The timing for this book is perfect. Greg is a legend for growing FIRE over the past two decades. However, the Long March through the institutions has steamrolled with minimal resistance for over half a century. The concentration of cancel culture at "elite" universities is why we should call them the Demoralized DIEvy League. Only the trustees have the power to effect change, but do they have the courage? Have the endowments hoovered up enough of their cash to carry on without them? https://yuribezmenov.substack.com/p/how-to-get-into-harvard-open-letter-to-trustees
We have created a kind of perverse cultural currency that derives value from our ability to be offended and, in so doing, have become a nation of the aggrieved. We then use our self-declared victimhood to excuse our atrocious behavior. This isn’t a recent phenomenon, “Mein Kampf '' is literally 400 pages of whinging. True evil is, and always has been, a byproduct of righteous fury.
On a tangential topic related to endowments: Taxpayer Bailouts for Student Loan Debtors. With the $932 BILLION of endowments mentioned in the article (comprised of marketable securities not old campus bldgs.) why on earth wouldn’t the almost $1 TRILLION of endowment funds be used as the first tranche of debt forgiveness?
Think of it as a warranty of sorts. If you can’t pay back education loans, the ‘education’ you purchased must be a bit lacking right? It’s the sellers responsibility, not the Federal Govt, to deal with their flawed ‘product’. Of course, that’s completely ignoring any personal responsibility and blaming everything on external factors . . . .
I often say out loud that I am for FREE SPEECH. I invite people to have conversations with me in a respectful manner. But everyone is afraid. They think their ideas and opinions will create conflict and cause disruption. They aren't willing to take a chance. I continue to represent the far middle and charismatic, respectful, engaging, even charming conversation.
Thanks for this wonderful book. On my way to buy a copy.
I find myself wanting to shout from the rooftops: I am a proud right winger- and I am more tolerant, worldly and realistic then the drivel who are happy to see the death of free speech. These spoiled, ignorant minions truly have no idea the world they are ushering in.
Can't wait to buy & read this book!! Excellent rebuke of cancel culture, but I'm looking forward to the "yet there is hope" part. These social justice warriors are so convinced of their righteousness and mesmerized by online propaganda. If letters from writers and editorials from the NYT and even Riley Gaines can't sway them, what can?
Anything that makes you angry deserves a closer look in the mirror.
“Free speech” is a misused term. The First Amendment does not prohibit private citizens or nongovernmental actors from suppressing or punishing the words or opinions of others.
There is not, and has never been, a right to say what you like without any consequences. First, there was a time in this country when, if you said something somebody didn’t like, you might be challenged to a duel; Andrew Jackson is said to have fought nine duels, and Alexander Hamilton died in a duel with Aaron Burr. Even after dueling died off, it has long been possible to get fired from a job, or to be punched in the nose, for saying the wrong thing to the wrong person. The difference between then and now is that formerly one might antagonize only one person, whereas today, the social media mob summons its self-righteousness into a critical mass and descends on someone guilty of holding an opinion which is unacceptable to them and tries to rend him limb from limb.
Many people seem to have a compulsion to expose their mental processes to others. We don’t live in a civil society. Except in exceptional circumstances, making one’s thoughts public is not likely to affect the course of human events, but is more than likely to affect the course of one’s own life. Some philosopher once said “words are deeds.” So, as another philosopher said “shut up, she explained.”
Hmm. Seems like this article should have been written years ago. But it's only coming out now that some in universities are criticizing Israel and supporting the Palestinian people. Hmm.
What these people don't understand is that when you shut down entire groups of people or entire ways of thought, those people still think and speak. They do it underground, with rage and contempt. That is dangerous.
The authors speak of the Harper letter raising concerns about suppression of free speech and an almost immediate letter published in counter-response...
"In the face of backlash, historian and Tufts University professor Kerri Greenidge even asked for her name to be removed from the original letter and tweeted, “I do not endorse this @harpers letter,” before adding her name to the counter-letter.""
Of course I had never heard of Ms. Greenidge and attempted to look up her X/Twitter account to get a sense of her because - frankly - it made no sense that a professor should have such a change of position in so short a period of time (three days between the first letter and the counter-response). Did she not read the first letter? Does she have a habit of signing public statements without giving any due consideration? How could she have agree on Day 1 but reject and indeed take on an opposite opinion on Day 3?
Hmmmm. How odd. Her X/Twitter account is locked down with only "approved followers" having access to her wit and wisdom. I would like to think that Tufts University is embarrassed by this, but I suspect not.
The inventors of Critical Bullshit, The Frankfurt School, arrived at the same time as Marcuse. Those "Red Scares" got their numbers well wrong and well short. The Civil Rights Movement was knee-deep in Communist subversives from Parks to MLK and all around them. Fascism and Nazism were recognised as flavours of Left-Wing Socialist Revolution (They always declared themselves such; Molotov-Ribbentrop was hardly an accident) along with Marxist-Leninist Bolshevism until FDR, administration seemingly overun with folk adjecent, run by, or actually operating out of, the USSR's embassy, switched the script. China was lost when the US strongarmed the ROC into calling off the Battle of Harbin; the US Army shrank to something like 4 divisions combat-ready; Korea was an implausible draw. In retrospect Harry Truman was making East and South East Asia "Safe for Communism". The UN was a Communist creation and Stalin wangled 2 seats for himself. The history of the 20th century makes a lot more sense when the President is for all intents and purposes Stalin's bitch. J. Edgar turned out to be a very Queer fellow when very Queer stood you in all sorts of danger of compromise. In all probability you had a red fox guarding the hen-house for fifty-odd years.
President Trump better be channeling Herakles - he has rather an Augean Stables on steroids to clean.
This excerpt purports to be about the problem in universities, but much of the action seems to take place on social media. When people in academia take a stand on free expression, it's a Twitter mob that slaps them down.
My daughter is in STEM and just applied to a university listed on FIRE’s top five list for free speech. We are taking the tack of change-from-within.
Sidebar: the application didn’t ask for SAT or letter of reference. Her present counselor (and I’ve heard other high school counselors doing same) are all pressing the importance of the essay portion that asks for a student to describe/share themselves.
Nothing seems merit based and the acceptance rate is extremely high. Gone are the days where a student is nervously waiting to see if their hard work paid off in an acceptance letter from their dream college.