Category Archive 'Diversity'
19 Apr 2017
Dr. Kaia Shivers, Ph.D. Rutgers University, M.A. Clark Atlanta University, B.S. Florida A&M University, Clinical Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies, New York University: “The two main objectives in teaching is…”
“Alex Southwell” (a pseudonym) shares a diversity at today’s American universities horror story.
I was appointed by the dean of General Studies [at Hudson University] to serve as the chair for a writing hiring committee, a committee charged with hiring one full-time writing professor, who not only could teach first-year writing classes but also offerings in journalism. The committee of three met late in the fall semester to discuss the first group of candidates, before undertaking the second set of Skype interviews. I mentioned that I had received an email from one of the candidates and shared it with the committee members. After reading the email aloud, I argued that the missive effectively disqualified the candidate. The writing was riddled with awkward expression, malapropisms, misplaced punctuation, and other conceptual and formal problems. Rarely had a first-year student issued an email to me that evidenced more infelicitous prose. I asked my fellow committee members how we could possibly hire someone to teach writing who had written such an email, despite the fact that it represented only a piece of occasional writing. The candidate could not write. I also pointed back to her application letter, which was similarly awkward and error-laden. My committee colleagues argued that “we do not teach grammar” in our writing classes. Sure, I thought. And a surgeon doesn’t take vital signs or draw blood. That doesn’t mean that the surgeon wouldn’t be able to do so when required. …
The committee went on to hire the woman in question. Since assuming her position, the new hire posted an official faculty profile linked from Hudson’s General Studies program page. Her faculty profile page betrays the same awkward prose, poor incorporation of quotes, and other problems of expression typical of first-year student writers, but usually not professors. The profile also includes a glaring grammatical error. I strongly believe that her official evaluations are likely as bad as her RateMyProfessors.com reviews.
To be perfectly clear, I am not arguing against the diversification of the faculty and student populations within Hudson’s General Studies program and beyond. Rather, I am suggesting that the diversity initiatives recently introduced by the university and our program have been hastily and thoughtlessly administered and mistakenly construed, to the detriment of academic integrity and real equity. Qualified academics can be found among all population groups. The university must ensure that those selected are qualified, first and foremost, not by their identities per se, but by what they know and are able to do and teach. It is sheer cynicism to suppose that qualified candidates cannot be found among minority groups. Blatant tokenism in hiring and promotion jeopardizes the integrity of higher education and also undermines the objectives that diversity initiatives aim to promote.
Advice Goddess identifies the diversity hire:
The professor mentioned — who writes “The two main objectives in teaching is …” — appears to be Kaia Shivers and the school appears to be NYU. The program is their “Liberal Studies” program.
I’ve preserved a screenshot of Kaia Shivers’ online page from NYU. …
The first line of a paper she published has a similar error in the first line — one that would disqualify a person from being my assistant. It should also disqualify a person from becoming a professor, and the notion that skin color would give a person pass is one of the most disgustingly racist things I can think of.
Negotiating Identity in Transnational Spaces: Consumption of Nollywood Films in the African Diaspora of the United States
Kaia Niambi Shivers
The only wonder is that Yale has not (so far) hired her as a dean.
Hat tip to the Barrister.
31 Mar 2017
Oldest College Daily:
English Department faculty voted Tuesday to change the requirements for the major in an effort to increase the curriculum’s diversity, represent more literary periods and make the major more flexible.
The department’s 30 voting faculty were “overwhelmingly in favor” of reform, according to English professor Leslie Brisman. The revised curriculum, which has yet to be finalized, places equal importance on every major historical period from medieval to contemporary, rather than requiring students to take three pre-1800 courses before studying modern literature, and cuts the number of required courses from 14 to 12. The proposed changes would also double the number of ways to fulfill the major’s central requirements, allowing students to take English 127 and 128, an American literature introductory sequence, in place of the long-standing “Major English Poets” sequence.
The decision, which the department has not formally announced, comes nearly one year after 160 students signed a petition calling for the department to “decolonize” its course offerings.
“The solution we ended up with makes an implicit promise to students, which the department is deeply committed to honoring: that is, that students should and will encounter a broad diversity of texts, writers and traditions within every period,” English professor Catherine Nicholson said. “The form that diversity takes will vary across time, of course, which is part of the point, but no period will simply and exclusively focus on the writing representations of aristocratic white men.”
These requirements will apply to undergraduates in the class of 2021 and onward, according to acting English Department Chair Ruth Yeazell GRD ’71.
Rather than impose a “diversity requirement” or a “contemporary literature requirement,” Brisman said, the department voted to create a new English 128 course called “World Anglophone Literature,” which may have a historical breadth as well as an emphasis on contemporary literature. He explained the decision to elevate English 127 and 128 to a status equivalent to that of English 125 and 126 was intended to “tear down the barrier between canonical and noncanonical authors” while removing poetry from its “privileged position” within the Yale English Department.
Brisman said the department aims to better respond to student interest in diversity by increasing the number of courses featuring works by women and people of color, as well as authors who wrote in English but lived in non-English speaking countries. Several courses on the early histories of racial and religious differences are in the works, Nicholson said, adding that she and a colleague are discussing a cross-period course on early female writers.
Director of Undergraduate Studies and English professor Jessica Brantley said the department periodically revises the curriculum, but the past year’s conversations have taken on “added urgency” because of campus and national discussions about inclusion. She added that the new major better reflects the work and spirit of the department as well as the needs and desires of its students.
“We’ve constructed a curriculum that has inclusion as its goal, embedded in the structures of its requirements, and I’m very excited to implement and develop that curriculum further,” Brantley said.
Previously, English majors had four historical distribution requirements: three pre-1800 and one pre-1900. The revised requirements aim to make the department’s commitment to historical range better reflect its “actual sense of what’s important and why” by including every major historical period and valuing each equally, Nicholson said.
Faculty members debated between requiring students to take four out of five historical periods — medieval, Renaissance, 18th century, 19th century and 20th/21st century — or combining the 18th and 19th centuries into a unit and requiring students to take all four periods. Nicholson said the final decision to require four out of four periods reflects the fact that faculty members want students to encounter the broadest possible range of materials and writers.
“In sum, the new requirements give further guidance to students about sampling the variety of English literature of all kinds and periods, but they also allow more choice in shaping a major that suits the student’s particular interests,” Brisman said. …
Brisman said student feedback informed the process, since faculty members acknowledged during the negotiations that requiring three pre-1800 courses and one pre-1900 course made it look as though the department valued those courses more than contemporary or diversity literature.
“We hope that the new structure of requirements will give our students a strong foundation in the history of writing in English over the millennia, while introducing them to writers and periods whose cultures and perspectives might initially seem remote from their own,” Yeazell said.
Adriana Miele ’16, one of the petition’s signatories and a former opinion columnist for the News, said her experiences as one of the few nonwhite students in the English major showed her that the department needed to broaden its approach to literature. Still, Miele said she worries that the English Department’s push for diversity may be only superficial.
“The fact that there are so few nonwhite scholars [in the department] makes me really skeptical of any advancements that can be made,” Miele said. “But it’s definitely moving in the right direction.”
English major Frances Lindemann ’19 called the change “fantastic and long overdue.” She added that it would be impossible to represent all groups of people in a semesterlong course, but requiring a single sequence and calling it “Major English Poets” falsely suggests this collection of authors is the most important and the only one worth studying. Lindemann said she would like to see the department develop a more inclusive range of prerequisite options to make students feel more welcome in the major.
Some students acknowledged that the new requirements shift attention away from poetry. Brisman said he hopes students will continue to gravitate toward classes focusing on Milton and Shakespeare, but he suspects students overall will move away from canonical authors toward other, less canonical ones.
What can one say, looking on as those specially charged with the preservation and transmission of of our civilization decline to defend it and surrender spinelessly to the whims and vanity of the barbarous young?
It obviously never occurred to any of the leading faculty members of the Yale English Department (in my day universally regarded as the best in the country, possibly in the world) to quote that notable representative of diversity W.E.B. DuBois:
I sit with Shakespeare, and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm and arm with Balzac and Dumas, where smiling men and welcoming women glide in gilded halls. From out of the caves of evening that swing between the strong-limbed Earth and the tracery of stars, I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension. So, wed with Truth, I dwell above the veil. Is this the life you grudge us, O knightly America? Is this the life you long to change into the dull red hideousness of Georgia? Are you so afraid lest peering from this high Pisgah, between Philistine and Amalekite, we sight the Promised Land?”
What a thing it is to live in a time when those appointed to the most prestigious position in the land devoted to the study of the Canon of the English Language are not prepared to tell the ignorant young that “Yes, this collection of authors really is the most important and, by far, the most worth studying. And if you do not care to study these authors, you will not receive a degree in English from this department.”
06 Feb 2017
John Nolte is perfectly correct: “Liberals eventually ruin everything.” Last night’s Superbowl featured a series of political propaganda advertising spots.
Coke and Airbnb competed in the nausea-inducing sweepstakes with ads extolling the beauties of “diversity.”
84 Lumber, whose first ad, featuring a Mexican mother and daughter dismayed at confronting Trump’s Wall, was declined by Fox as “too controversial,” ran a minute-and-a-half spot titled “The Journey Begins,” showing the same mother and daughter starting out hopefully and passing through desert, river, and mountains in the direction of El Norte, presumably in search of the land of the generous welfare check.
Audi, as Jack Baruth explicated at length, served up a lesson on the natural superiority of the community of fashion, cloaked as a lecture on Feminism.
All in all, the amount of political virtue-signalling from big, ugly fat cat corporations was simply appalling. Yesterday was one of those days where you wondered if the citizens of Hitler’s Germany were as much bombarded with get-in-line, Gleichschaltung prop as we are.
Liberal “diversity” is such a crock. I’m old enough to remember 1950s America very well. People, like myself, living outside the big cities and the South, never ran into people of other races at all, but we still had plenty of diversity. Go watch one of those old war movies in which the soon-to-be-embattled platoon is shown to be made up of the farmboy from Kansas, the guy with the thick Brooklyn accent, the strong Polack, the ready-with-his-fists Irishman, and the intellectual Jew. My own small town had a population pretty much only made up of turn-of-the-last-century Roman Catholic immigrants, and we still had more than enough diversity to fuel all the mutual dislike anybody needs.
In the old days, newly arrived immigrants came to America, lived in enclaves of their own, and took the worst jobs. Today, some Hindu or Mussulman hops of the plane from Bombay and sends his offspring to Harvard or Yale. The first generation in the country does not line up to work with a pick and shovel in the coal mines, to lay track for the railroads, or to do the heavy lifting in the mill. That first generation can be found teaching the US Constitution (from a left-wing point of view) at Yale Law School (Akhil Amar) or telling Americans what to think about Foreign Policy on CNN (Fareed Zakaria).
No wonder so many people are experiencing a wave of Nativist revulsion. Suddenly, it’s the turn of every personage of color from every remote continent or clime to be welcomed heartily to America, and granted immediate entrée to the national establishment in a way that it was never the turn of Scots Irish who’ve been living here for centuries or the Germans or the Scandinavians or the Irish and Southern and Eastern Roman Catholics who arrived somewhat later. Those people are never counted as diverse, and simply get lectured to by their betters and advised to apology for their white privilege.
27 Nov 2016
Empire News (a humor site):
In a bold move today that is sure to create controversy among fans of the company, Mattel announced its new Barbie doll; ‘Public Assistance Barbie’ will be marketed directly to inner-city youths and children of welfare recipients.
”Since 1959 Barbie dolls have been through major changes to reflect the times we live in. Today with over 40% of Americans on some sort of public assistance, we felt the time was right for ‘Public Assistance Barbie,” said Mattel spokesman Rick Reynolds. “After doing research on people receiving assistance, we have come out with what we think is a fair and sensitive portrayal of that kind of person with our new doll. Each Public Assistance Barbie will come with a new Cadillac, Puma sweats, a pack of Newports, an Obama phone, an EBT card, and a rack of Budweiser. She will also come in three styles: heavily tattooed and pierced, pregnant and smoking, and a ‘black eye’ version from when drunken Ken beat her for not paying the cable bill. Public Assistance Barbies will be on the shelves in time for your holiday purchases, and will come in special theft-deterrent boxes. EBT cards cannot be used to purchase, unfortunately.”
Read the whole thing.
25 Sep 2016
Current Head of Silliman College: Laurie Santos, Harvard ’97 A.B psychology & biology, ’03 Ph.D. psychology.
A Yale alumn I know from Silliman (I was in Berkeley myself) passes along an email:
Excerpt below from actual email I received from actual grown-up in an important position at a once-prestigious Ivy League university (“HoC Santos,” who is the new don’t-call-it-Master of Silliman). Am I just old and out of it, or is it fundamentally undignified for someone in that sort of role to adopt the tone of a perky 19-year-old sorority social-events chair at some perfectly-okay state university somewhere out in flyover country?
“Our first ever Sing-Along will take you back to the days of flannel clothing, huge scrunchies and boy bands. It will be the ultimate celebration of all things ‘90s! From the Britney to Backstreet Boys, with plenty of Alanis and Nirvana mixed in, this is how we Sillimanders do it, even as we smell like teen spirit cuz we’re livin’ la vida loca.
8-9:30pm in Silliflicks. Word to your mutha.”
There was no email, not even any PCs, back when I was an undergraduate at Yale. In those days, all Yale Residential College Masters were middle-aged White Anglo-Saxon Protestant males and distinguished scholars. In Silliman’s case, the Master was one Elias Clark, a law professor with a background which included Yale and Andover and WWII military service.
Somehow, I cannot really picture Master Clark sending out to the Silliman Salamanders of my day a mimeograph announcement of a college shindig celebrating the music and pop stars of the 1950s couched in the Beatnik vernacular of Maynard G. Krebs. Still less, his screwing up and inadvertently forwarding such a missive to graduated alumni.
Professor Santos may very likely have been specifically chosen to make the Snowflakes of Color of Silliman College feel safer from improper Halloween costuming and more comfortable and at home there, which we all learned last year is the most essential function of the heads of Yale residential colleges.
Former Associate Masters Nicholas and Erika Christakis fell afoul of diverse student sensivities, when La Christakis responded to an admonitory Intercultural Affairs Council email edict warning students sternly against such Halloween transgressions as wearing blackface, sombreros, or turbans with a skeptical email of her own wondering aloud about the propriety and necessity of such politically correct pronunciamentos.
In response to Erika Christakis’s chin-stroking email, students went absolutely wild. Nicholas Christakis was confronted, shouted down, told he was not doing his job properly, and urged to resign. An African-American dean was similarly mobbed and lectured on his responsibility to be on the side of his own people. There were marches, one of which occurred at Midnight and featured the delivery of some pretty outrageous demands to the timid Yale President Peter Salovey at his house on Hillhouse Avenue.
The Yale Administration announced that it was firmly behind the free speech rights of the Christakises, which announcement was followed by Erika’s rapid departure in under a month, immediately thereafter by husband Nicholas’s departure on sabbatical, and finally (surprise! surprise!) by the announcement of his resignation during the summer. Yale was ever so solidly behind them. Adieu! Christakises and Adieu! the title of Master itself.
President Salovey previously announced that Yale would pay $50 million in Danegeld for more privileged-victim-group faculty recruitment and development (aka remedial education) and whatever else our contemporary Danes might desire. Yale’s concessions and surrenders will be continuing.
Master of Silliman College 1962-1981, Charles Elias “Eli” Clark, Andover ’39, Yale ’43 B.A. American history, Army Air Corps pilot 1944-1945, Yale Law ’47, Yale M.A. ’58.
04 Nov 2015
Yale will devote $50 million in resources over the next five years to enhance the excellence of its faculty by building diversity university-wide, President Peter Salovey and Provost Ben Polak announced in a Nov. 3 email.
“Yale’s education and research missions are propelled forward by a faculty that stands at the forefront of scholarship, research, practice, mentoring, and teaching. An excellent faculty in all of these dimensions is a diverse faculty, and that diversity must reach across the whole of Yale — to every school and to every department,” wrote the President and Provost.
‘This commitment has been and continues to be one of the university’s most important,” they continued. “Over the past three decades several Yale initiatives helped to foster a more diverse and more inclusive faculty, and all of our schools have worked diligently in recent years to contribute toward this goal. We are grateful for this collective effort, and for the resources that have already been invested. But we can and should do more.”
Diversity is right up there with Recycling and Climate Change at the top of the hierarchy of ideas which succeed in infatuating the supposedly well-educated elites despite their obvious puerile absurdity.
“Diversity” to Yale simply means hiring more questionably qualified blacks, women, and queers specifically to teach in bogus, intellectually fraudulent fields recently invented to flatter group egos, sow group divisions, and fan the fires of group grievances.
Tuition and room and board at Yale these days (Lord!) costs $63,250 per annum. For roughly $25 million Yale could give 100 full four-year scholarships to 100 veterans of military service. The kind of Americans who serve in the military would be a lot more meaningfully “diverse” in social background, life experience, and philosophic outlook than a bunch narcissistic purveyors of cultural studies and their presence a lot more enriching.
If Yale wanted real diversity, the administration would start hiring a few conservative and Republican faculty and administrators and would give undergraduate organizations and social groups on the Right access to meeting places instead of actively persecuting them and trying to drive them out of existence.
01 Nov 2015
Cornell Faculty Political Donations 2011-2014
Arthur C. Brooks, in the New York Times of all places, questions Academia’s double-standard on diversity.
One of the great intellectual and moral epiphanies of our time is the realization that human diversity is a blessing. It has become conventional wisdom that being around those unlike ourselves makes us better people — and more productive to boot.
Scholarly studies have piled up showing that race and gender diversity in the workplace can increase creative thinking and improve performance. Meanwhile, excessive homogeneity can lead to stagnation and poor problem-solving.
Unfortunately, new research also shows that academia has itself stopped short in both the understanding and practice of true diversity — the diversity of ideas — and that the problem is taking a toll on the quality and accuracy of scholarly work. This year, a team of scholars from six universities studying ideological diversity in the behavioral sciences published a paper in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences that details a shocking level of political groupthink in academia. The authors show that for every politically conservative social psychologist in academia there are about 14 liberal social psychologists.
Why the imbalance? The researchers found evidence of discrimination and hostility within academia toward conservative researchers and their viewpoints. In one survey cited, 82 percent of social psychologists admitted they would be less likely to support hiring a conservative colleague than a liberal scholar with equivalent qualifications.
This has consequences well beyond fairness. It damages accuracy and quality. As the authors write, “Increased political diversity would improve social psychological science by reducing the impact of bias mechanisms such as confirmation bias, and by empowering dissenting minorities to improve the quality of the majority’s thinking.”
One of the study’s authors, Philip E. Tetlock of the University of Pennsylvania, put it to me more bluntly. Expecting trustworthy results on politically charged topics from an “ideologically incestuous community,” he explained, is “downright delusional.”
Read the whole thing.
Diversity with respect to supposed victim’s groups, pace Mr. Brooks, is simply a load of crap. Everyone is a victim some of the time, in some respects. The children of the very rich have, by enormously disproportionate margins, extraordinarily selfish, often really neglectful, parents and are commonly burdened with expectations and obligations which most of humanity is spared.
Imagine growing up as George W. Bush with the living image of Frank Merriwell, captain of the Yale Baseball Team, Youngest Navy Pilot in WWII, as a father. You would be expected to live up to an absolutely impossible scale of human perfection. It’s no wonder that the poor chap originally took to drink. The astonishing thing is that he ever dried out.
Being African-American, being “Hispanic”, being a sexual pervert, even if you are actually from a privileged background makes you a highly valued, eagerly recruited representative of “Diversity,” but nobody gives a good goddamn about the diversity of being of a Belgian, Finn, Ukrainian or from any kind of poor, white working class or rural background.
Go watch one of the old-time Hollywood war movies. You didn’t need Sidney Poitier to achieve American diversity. There would be the Protestant blond farmer from Iowa, the Texas cowboy, and the rustic Southerner. Then, there’d be the Catholic Polack coal-miner, the funny little Italian, the tough Mick, and the heavily-accented prole from Brooklyn. And, as the really odd man out, you’d frequently have the very different too-small, too pacifistic, too-urban, or too-intellectual Jewish member of the platoon. There was plenty of diversity, in some ways more authentically than today, back in the Bad Old Days before today’s accredited forms of diversity were recognized and officially established.
Diversity? Places like Yale will really have diversity, when in addition to the university-provided Black Student Center, Women’s Student Center, Hispanic Student Center, and LBGT Center, there is a Conservative Center, a Redneck Center, and Gun Owner’s Center.
13 Oct 2015
Yale University, founded in 1701 as a collegiate school to prepare young men for the Congregational ministry in Connecticut, I learned today, has been holding lavish Eid (the feast held at the end of a month of fasting by the followers of Mahound) Banquets for the past fourteen years.
This Buzzfeed article, written relying on slang and cultural references post-pubescents are unlikely to understand, particularly singled out female Saracens for praise, alleging that a group of young women of differing races and nationalities who posed for photographs in various traditional ethnic get-ups were “flawless,” “taking charge,” and expressing simultaneously religious convictions and a slang obscenity addressed to people questioning a supposed right to combine a Yale education with affiliation with a sect theologically committed to the forcible conversion or extermination of Congregationalists.
An African young lady named Emi Mahmoud was lauded as “the Number One Poet in the World” having been declared “champion” of the “2015 World Poetry Slam.” I looked it up and discovered that this event, held in Albuquerque, involved 72 of the “best women poets in slam” competing over two nights for a championship. Despite the presence of lots of FAQs, I was completely unable to determine what a slam is.
Bien pensant institutions like Yale absolutely preen over the diversity of it all, having representatives of all sorts of tribes and cultures on campus, studying away for credentials which operate as pass keys into the upper reaches of haute bourgeois Western consumerist society. The presence of all these exotic specimens at Yale simultaneously demonstrates the global reach of Mother Yale, the truly magnificent tolerance and condescension of her administrative authorities, and the inevitable universal triumph of their values and the system they so comfortably preside over.
Personally, I think the ten Congregationalist ministers who met in Saybrook and pooled their books to found that collegiate school in 1701 are spinning in their graves.
25 Jan 2015
Plato and Aristotle, Detail from Raphael’s The School of Athens
Rodrigo Kazuo and Meg Perret found their classroom environment at Berkeley hostile, even when their professor was lecturing on Karl Marx (!), because the Western canon is exclusively composed of works by dead, white, European males, not a single person of color or transgendered individual makes the cut.
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.
We have major concerns about social theory courses in which white men are the only authors assigned. These courses pretend that a minuscule fraction of humanity — economically privileged white males from five imperial countries (England, France, Germany, Italy and the United States) — are the only people to produce valid knowledge about the world. This is absurd. The white male syllabus excludes all knowledge produced outside this standardized canon, silencing the perspectives of the other 99 percent of humanity.
The white male canon is not sufficient for theorizing the lives of marginalized people. None of the thinkers we studied in this course had a robust analysis of gender or racial oppression. They did not even engage with the enduring legacies of European colonial expansion, the enslavement of black people and the genocide of indigenous people in the Americas. Mentions of race and gender in the white male canon are at best incomplete and at worst racist and sexist. We were required to read Hegel on the “Oriental realm” and Marx on the “Asiatic mode of production,” but not a single author from Asia. We were required to read Weber on the patriarchy, but not a single feminist author. The standardized canon is obsolete: Any introduction to social theory that aims to be relevant to today’s problems must, at the very least, address gender and racial oppression.
The exclusions on the syllabus were mirrored in the classroom. Although the professor said he wanted to make the theory relevant to present issues, the class was out of touch with the majority of students’ lives. The lectures often incorporated current events, yet none of the examples engaged critically with gender or race. The professor even failed to mention the Ferguson events, even though he lectured about prisons, normalizing discourse and the carceral archipelago in Foucault’s “Discipline and Punish” the day after the grand jury decision on the murder of Michael Brown.
Furthermore, the classroom environment felt so hostile to women, people of color, queer folks and other marginalized subjects that it was difficult for us to focus on the course material. Sometimes, we were so uncomfortable that we had to leave the classroom in the middle of lecture. For example, when lecturing on Marx’s idea of the “natural division of labor between men and women,” the professor attributed some intellectual merit to this idea because men and women are biologically distinct from each other, because women give birth while men do not. One student asked, “What about trans* people?” to which the professor retorted, “There will always be exceptions.” Then, laughing, the professor teased, “We may all be transgender in the future.” Although one might be tempted to dismiss these remarks as a harmless attempt at humor, mocking trans* people and calling them “exceptions” is unacceptable.
Read the whole thing.
Myself, I’d argue that Plato may very possibly have swung both ways, and that Michel Foucault was a commie pervert who doesn’t belong in any serious version of the Western canon, but who should qualify perfectly as an excellent (and eminently repulsive) representative of all of the “marginalized” groups there are.
I’d suggest, additionally, that if you think “Plato and Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault” came from “England, France, Germany, Italy and the United States,” you probably need to acquire greater personal familiarity with the lives and ideas (and countries of origin) of the philosophers conventionally included in the Western canon, before you will be qualified to dispute over exactly who does, and who does not, deserve to be included.
Hat tip to Campus Reform.
26 Feb 2013
Bones’ delegation, then and now. I prefer then.
The Atlantic smiles approvingly and congratulates that dreadful conspiratorial society formerly comprised nearly exclusively of elite white males for going all PC diversity.
The class of 2010 included more ethnic minorities than Caucasians; 2011’s delegation included two gay students, plus one bisexual and one transgender. Last year, women and men were equally split, according to Yalies familiar with the members.
“We try to come up with a group that is representative of the diverse social elements Yale offers,” says a Bonesman from recent years. …
The organization’s seismic shift also affects the way new members are selected. Bonesmen now actively seek out diverse candidates, in some cases to atone for their predecessors’ role in shunning them.
“Some of us wanted to undo certain attitudes of the past,” says E., a woman selected in the 2000s. “We wanted to actively negate them.”
Actually, the truth of that matter is that Bones was always eminently politically correct, in whatever sense of correctness dominated the politics of the day. One of the surest ways to get tapped for Bones for many years was to be the loudest leftist agitator on campus. The last time Bones tapped an actual known conservative was probably in 1956, when one chairman of the Party of the Right was selected for membership.
The core philosophy of Skull & Bones would be in complete accord with that of Lampedusa’s Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina, in The Leopard:
“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”
16 Nov 2012
Daniel Greenfield, in another brilliant piece, explains that Diversity is not just a moral preference for the left.
The left’s utopias are not only economically unsustainable (what else is new) but also politically and demographically unsustainable. The economics can’t be fixed, but the politics and demographics can. As with all of the left’s solutions, they involve finding ways of making things much, much worse. And their answer to the demographic and political problem is immigration. Bring in young people from elsewhere who will have lots of kids and vote the straight slanted ticket. Preferably the kind who won’t get along with the locals and will be taught to constantly complain about racism, even though back where they’re from, racism was as accepted as daylight drug deals and beheadings.
Bring them in, run their kids through the same system, add a few holidays to the calendar, enjoy the new ethnic foods and hopefully teach their kids to stop having so many kids if they want to retire at 55 and fill their house with knickknacks from their vacations in Greece and Brazil. And then fill the new gap with more immigrants. It’s a plan that makes as much economic sense as the European Union and is twice as sustainable. After all lots of people in the world want free health care and a passport from a country that won’t collapse into a murderous civil war when the price of bread goes through the minaret.
And if the assimilation program doesn’t work, well then you only have to bring in half as many immigrants next time around, because all those countries you brought those immigrants from are now in your own country. Saves on jet fuel and coast guards. Not to mention language lessons, though it usually turns out that you need them anyway because your excellent schools no longer seem to be doing such a good job of teaching your own language and what used to be your language is now an argot composed of the languages of your immigrants and bits of your own language processed into the fake street slang of rap stars. And before you know it, you’re using it too.
It’s a dead end. It’s Rome with the barbarians sorting through the loot. It’s China when the wall fell. It’s Byzantium when the Bedouin raiders poured through and began the centuries long process of tearing apart Middle Eastern Christianity, that Islam wrapped up. It’s the long fall of civilization into night with a bloody pension and a hell of a retirement plan lost somewhere in the middle of a pile of broken marble columns.
But it keeps the left alive. Without diversity, the left is a bunch of corpulent unions protecting their pensions while the young people look at brochures of London and Los Angeles and finish their fourth degree. Without it, the left eventually dries up, blows away in the wind and dies after running a few protests against austerity and then has to implement it anyway.
Diversity isn’t a moral principle. It’s oxygen for a dead movement. It’s the only way that the left can stay alive long enough to fulfill the accidental mission of every parasite by killing its host. It’s the numbers game and as long as the left can cobble together these coalitions built on the backs of immigrants and tied together with community associations and piles of free stuff, then it can go on squatting on a society, dipping its proboscis in the sweet nectar of wealth and power, and then when the nectar runs out, switching to sipping its blood.
Read the whole thing.
07 Sep 2012
David Frum departs from his usual beat to imagine (rather accurately, I thought) what a typical ordinary GOP convention delegate would think about criticisms of his party’s lack of diversity.
The polls tell me that something like 100% of black Americans will vote for Barack Obama. Are they bigots because they rally to their guy? So why are we supposed to be bigots because maybe 60% of us rally to our guy?
Like all white Americans, I’m a mutt: a little English, a little Irish, a little German. Probably got some Cherokee up there too, but you don’t hear me making a big whoop out of it for an affirmative action board, unlike some Democrats I can mention. My wife’s half-Italian. My son’s married to a Chinese girl, and my grandkids will be half Chinese. Doesn’t bother me. I just want us all to be Americans.
But let’s face it: this president has no idea what it means to be American, and I don’t care whether he was born in Hawaii or Kenya or Indonesia or Uzbeky-beky-beky-stan. To be an American means to work for everything you get. When’s he ever worked for anything? It was all handed to him! And now he wants to hand my work over to somebody else.
Read the whole thing.
Hat tip to Bird Dog.
06 Nov 2011
Samwise Gamgee attends an engineering department lecture at Boeing and finds the boasting louder about the levels of political correctness they’ve achieved than about their technical accomplishments.
I ventured over to the school of engineering today to hear a lecture from Boeing’s Chief Technological Officer. Being in a “social science,” I was looking forward to some good old fashioned capitalist talk. You know, men who wear ties and not track pants, free bottled water, profits, markets, calculus, etc?
The talk was impressive in a sense. The CTO highlighted Boeing’s technological successes by showing us videos of the materials testing they had to endure to satisfy the FAA. They basically would bend the wings of a 787 about 25 feet from the tip on each side, making the plane virtually U shaped. They would land 787’s all around the world, in freezing cold, in 35-50 mph crosswinds, loaded down with a million pounds of steel. The tests were impressive enough to earn a spontaneous round of applause from the audience of mostly engineers and faculty. Plus, you have to admit, humans went from not being able to fly in 1903 to a jet engine by the 1930’s. That’s an extraordinary rate of growth!
But then came the truly impressive portion of the talk; environmental progressivism and diversity! According to the CTO, the “most important”… let me say that again … the MOST IMPORTANT objective technologically for Boeing is environmentally progressive operations. Large portions of research dollars are devoted to bio fuels that are never to be made using drinkable water or food sources. At this point, students began to look around and some rolled their eyes. Some fat bearded grad student laughed… I won’t say who. Words like “footprint,” “carbon reduction” and “community” were used.
Finally, the whole talk was capped off by something that looked like a University of Iowa brochure that had been shoddily photo shopped. A video was shown that included a virtual ethnic tapestry of diversity; people from all races laughing, pointing at diagrams and whatnot. I looked around the room and wondered if all the nerdy Asian and white guys jived with the whole “diversity” portion of the technological presentation.
Why is it that every company feels the need to pay lip service to climate change and diversity? I wanted to ask the fella, “did someone from the government make you say these things?” Was he jumping through hoops to keep various tax incentives or to keep the FAA and other regulatory agencies happy?
01 Jun 2011
Civility and a non-hostile atmosphere are crucial, we have recently been advised by various representatives of the left, for young feminists to be able to participate equally in academic programs at major universities like Yale.
Does that mean that young conservatives are also entitled to civility? A couple of recent incidents of expression of hostility by left-wing faculty members raised the issue of equal civility toward conservatives, according to Jay Schalin of the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.
[A] campus-wide email recruiting campaign by the University of Iowa College Republicans called “Conservative Coming Out Week” so enraged one professor that she responded with a mass email of her own saying “F— You Republicans.”
The other incident occurred at Davidson College, a small, prestigious private school outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. This time it was a professor’s abusive letter to the editor of the student newspaper attacking a conservative student columnist. While it did not receive anywhere near the national attention that the Iowa episode did—possibly because no profanity was involved—it perhaps caused more of a stir on its own campus than did the Iowa episode.
The roots of this phenomenon most likely lie in the political imbalance on many campuses, which results in an atmosphere allowing left-wing professors to avoid criticism of even their most extreme views. Dissenting opinions, particularly by students fearful of lowered grades and ostracism, were once uncommon on campuses. But today there is a growing—and increasingly vocal—conservative student presence.
For the two professors involved, it appears that having their sacred political cows gored by swaggeringly aggressive conservatives on the hallowed ground of the Ivory Tower was too much to bear, and they erupted with a torrent of angry words.
The Iowa case readily illustrates these dynamics. Ellen Lewin, a women’s studies and anthropology professor who specializes in gender issues, claimed that the main reason for her fury was the College Republican’s expropriation of the term “coming out.” The Republicans’ wordplay was an obvious attempt to draw a parallel between the tendency of campus conservatives to hide their opinions from professors and fellow students and the tendency of many gays to remain in the “closet,” in both cases for fear of facing discrimination and hostility. …
At Davidson, German professor Scott Denham’s fuse burnt more slowly than did Lewin’s, but he exploded much the same. For four years, senior Bobby DesPain was a political columnist for the student newspaper, The Davidsonian. His opinions were unabashedly conservative and often unpopular on the highly liberal campus. On March 31, his column claiming that President Obama lacked leadership appeared; it was the final straw for Denham, who fired off a letter that began by asking, “Is Bobby DesPain leaving soon? We, your loyal readers, sure hope so. He gives the intellectual climate here a bad reputation.”
He continued, “This last belch of his tops most of the others I’ve read over the years on the stench-o-meter of silliness. “ He concluded the largely ad hominem assault with “We’d hate for Davidson to attract more of this sort of illogical thinker, regardless of politics.” …
The Davidson administration has declined to make any statement regarding the situation. At Iowa, university president Sally Mason issued a bland general statement about diversity and respect that avoided any specific mention of the incident.
Nor has either professor has received any sort of punishment—at least publicly. Both issued apologies that were notable for their absence of contrition. At Iowa, Lewin’s blamed “fresh outrages committed by Republicans in the government” for her profane missive.
Denham continued to attack even in his apology, blaming his “frustration and anger in public at what I find are poorly argued ideas on your part. Engaging those in detail wasn’t on my agenda, since I don’t think there is much to engage.” …
Davidson philosophy professor Sean McKeever asked in a letter to The Davidsonian whether Denham’s “contempt” for DesPain “can be consistent with our chosen vocation as educators or with the College’s mission to develop humane instincts.”
Indeed, by reacting to students’ differing opinions with such unprofessional and acrimonious emotional outbursts, one must wonder about the offending professors’ fitness for their jobs and what kind of judgment they will use in campus business such as grading and serving on search, tenure, and promotion committees.
For instance, Denham is the committee chair for the Graduate Fellowships Committee. Since, according to the committee’s website, the committee “seeks to identify early in their Davidson careers students who are likely candidates for graduate fellowships and scholarships,” can he be expected to recruit conservative students for such honors? It would appear to be unlikely.
Given that conservative beliefs on campus seem to be on the ascendance, and given that some of America’s most extreme intellectuals have long found a sanctuary in the Ivory Tower (and have grown comfortable with winning one-sided debates), we can probably expect to see more incidents like those at Iowa and Davidson.