Hat tip to Stephen Green.
J.T. Zealy, Renty, A Congolese slave on plantation of B.F. Taylor, Columbia, S.C., Daguerrotype photograph taken for Louis Agassiz’s study on Polygenism, March 1850.
Harvard Magazine reports that Harvard recently invited professional race-baiter Ta-Nehisi Coates to deliver the keynote address at a day-long liberal guiltfest over the century-and-a-half extinct institution which (regrettably) brought Coates’ ancestors to American shores.
The above 19th century daguerrotype served as poster-image for the conference because the wicked and nefarious naturalist Louis Agassiz, while working at Harvard, had caused that image to be captured for use in his studies of taxonomy and human etiology. That racist bastard Agassiz working in the first half of the 19th century (Can you imagine?) actually took the differences in skin color and physiognomy exhibited in this image as evidence supporting a significant taxonomic distinction between Sub-Saharan Africans and Europeans.
The audience of Harvards trembled guiltily on their seats as Ta-Nehisi Coates demanded reparations, telling his open-mouthed listeners that “We talk about enslavement as if it were a bump in the road. And I tell people: it’s the road. It’s the actual road.”
Daniel Coquillette, Harvard Law School’s Warren visiting professor of American legal history, and the author of the 2015 book, On the Battlefield of Merit: Harvard Law School, the First Century, gave an account of Isaac Royall, whose bequest led to the 1817 founding of the law school and whose newly revealed slave legacy roiled the campus last year with intense protest and controversy. A West Indian planter and strikingly cruel man, Royall owned a sugar plantation on the island of Antigua during the eighteenth century. Sending gasps through the audience, Coquillette described how Royall brutally suppressed a major slave revolt there in 1736. More than 350 slaves had mobilized, but “at the last moment,” Coquillette said, they were betrayed. After it was over, 77 slaves were burned at the stake, and six others were drawn and quartered. The leader of the uprising, a slave named “King” Court, was gibbeted alive.
Following student-led protests, organized under the name Royall Must Fall, the law school decided last spring to change its shield, which was based on the Royall family crest. At the same time, professor Janet Halley, who is the school’s Royall professor—one of the country’s oldest named chairs—began taking first-year law students on tours of the slave quarters at Royall’s home in Medford, as a way of engaging the University’s heritage.
Read the whole thing.
Calhoun College, Elihu Yale, Peter Salovey, Political Correctness, Racial Politics, Ressentiment, Roger Kimball, Yale
John Caldwell Calhoun (1782-1850), Yale Class of 1804, 7th Vice President of the United States 1825-1832.
Peter Salovey’s hand-picked committee of Social Justice Warriors has deliberated and, what do you know? They decided that John C. Calhoun should be singled out among all nine slave-owner and slavery defender namesakes of three quarters of the original twelve Yale residential colleges for elimination.
A University task force has recommended that Calhoun College be renamed, according to Yale officials with knowledge of the group’s report.
The recommendation from the task force, which was charged with applying the University’s newly created principles on renaming to the Calhoun debate, positions the Yale Corporation to rename the college when it meets the weekend of Feb. 10 and 11.
University President Peter Salovey formed the Calhoun task force in December, after the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming released its report. The task force consisted of two faculty members, history professor John Gaddis and English and African American Studies professor Jacqueline Goldsby GRD ’98, and one alumnus, G. Leonard Baker ’64. Both Gaddis and Goldsby signed a faculty petition last spring calling for the renaming of Calhoun, named after slavery proponent John C. Calhoun, class of 1804.
On Jan. 13, the task force submitted its recommendation — which came in the form of a report running less than 10 pages — to Salovey, who will present it to the Corporation at the February meeting.
Last month, Salovey told the News that he did not plan to release the recommendation until after that meeting. Salovey was not involved in the task force’s deliberations, although he did have some input on the final draft of the report.
“The task force did their work independently, and their analysis and recommendations are their own,” Salovey said in January. “They gave me the courtesy of letting me see a next-to-final draft of their report, and make some comments. But my comments to them were really only about sort of clarifying the way their findings were expressed.”
If the Corporation accepts the task force’s recommendation, the University trustees would be voting to reverse their decision last April to keep Calhoun’s name. The April renaming decision incited months of student and faculty backlash, and helped unite Yale activists and New Haven community members in a growing “change the name” movement.
Last August, primarily in response to faculty criticism of the decision to keep the name of Calhoun, Salovey charged the CEPR with outlining broad guidelines for all renaming disputes at the University, starting with Calhoun. The committee released its 24-page report on Dec. 2, calling on administrators to consider historical context as they determine whether the legacies of controversial namesakes like Calhoun justify renaming campus buildings.
Vice President for Communications Eileen O’Connor declined to comment on the nature of the task force’s recommendation, but said the Corporation will decide the Calhoun issue at its meeting later this month.
“We have a process, we’re following the process, and we’ll take all the information into account when we make a decision in the best interests of the University,” O’Connor said.
Why stop there? Roger Kimball asked last August in the WSJ:
I have unhappy news for Mr. Salovey. In the great racism sweepstakes, John Calhoun was an amateur. Far more egregious was Elihu Yale, the philanthropist whose benefactions helped found the university. As an administrator in India, he was deeply involved in the slave trade. He always made sure that ships leaving his jurisdiction for Europe carried at least 10 slaves. I propose that the committee on renaming table the issue of Calhoun College and concentrate on the far more flagrant name “Yale.”
Elihu Yale had a little black page.
One could — we must — wonder whether at the root of this paradigm of a victim-centered vision of the world might not lie the worst of history in general and of religion in particular: competing Adams, infinitesimal differences that have generated infinite rivalry among Edom, Jacob, and Ishmael. From Edom to Adam, says the Talmud, what is there but an additional letter, a vav — the red, bloody vav that is the matrix of a war set to become eternal?
Not to mention the thorough indecency of the quest for victim status, an indecency that is the unacknowledged correlate of the competition — its perversity, born in the mud of Auschwitz and repackaged, banalized, metered out in small doses to allow everyone a little slice of the cake of victimhood, just enough to affirm their identity and to clear away, if possible, any singularity that might mar the purity of their martyr status. How pathetic and grotesque this reduction of human essence to a bare suffering that becomes humanity’s sole definition, its sole glory, while simultaneously purging it of anything resembling intellectualism, culture, literature, philosophy, concepts, reason, truth, remembrance, and, especially, religion and prophecy: all of these useless adornments, these now-secondary qualities that appear to have been there only to obscure deprivation and to prevent people from relishing their status as victims.
Remember, too, that underpinning the competition, at its origin and at its apex, is hatred — yes, hatred once again, a pure and unadulterated hatred: Once you give in to it, you never get out. Hatred for the victim whom one intends to unseat, of course, but also for the victim whom one is endeavoring to hoist onto the pedestal to be covered in the bird droppings of the competitor’s sad passion. Oh, how the iron indifference of the “pro-Palestinians” to the Palestinians of flesh and blood recalls Genet’s contempt for the fedayeen whose eulogist he strove to be and for the other dispossessed, Arab and black alike, who were no more than cards in his deck!
Daniel Greenfield describes the underlying dynamic of ressentiment moral jiu jitsu.
There are no more personal failures, whether economic or marital or ethical, only collective ones– and the strong are responsible for their own failures and for everyone else’s, while the weak are not even responsible for their own failures.
On the collective scale, choice is nearly irrelevant. Only people with power have choices. The idea that the man waiting in the alley with a knife has a choice is a heresy because he is not a man with a knife, he is a collection of social statistics which assign him an automatic level of responsibility based on his race, gender, socioeconomic status and all the other variables. Whether or not he stabs someone with a knife, is not up to him, it’s up to how society treats him.
Similarly financial troubles are not personal, they are social. Whether you can pay your bills has nothing to do with you, but with your race and class. If you succeed when the statistics say that you should fail, then you are an outlier. A rogue exception that only goes to prove the rule. Likewise if you fail when the statistics say that you should succeed. Individual actions can never disprove the collective snapshot of how society is.
If every person is wired into society like a giant bank of servers, then every individual malfunction is actually a social malfunction. If a man kills, then it’s because his connection with society was bad. To understand why it was bad, the left examines the nature of the connection. If it was a privileged connection, then he was warped by his excessive access to the innate racism, sexism, classism and all the other bad “isms” of the society. If it was an underprivileged connection, then he was warped by his lack of access to the benefits that society had to offer him and being marginalized, he went off the reservation.
Since all responsibility ultimately devolves to the society, not to the individual, and since the degree of individual responsibility depends on the degree of his connection with the society– the less the connection, the less the responsibility. The man driving to work from the suburbs is more responsible for a murder in the ghetto than the actual murderer because he has helped create the conditions that led to the murder.
Read the whole thing.
When I was a boy, National Geographic was a notable locus of normal sexuality, being the one respectable publication, available in every doctor’s and dentist’s office, where a fellow could pore over photographs of naked (albeit dark-skinned) breasts.
The Left’s Long March Through the Institutions and the Culture marked another major milestone this month, when National Geographic put the photograph of a 9-year-old female impersonator on its cover, and piously patted itself on the back for jumping on board the Radical Left’s crackpot ideology of Gender and starting “thoughtful conversations about how far we have come on this topic—and how far we have left to go.”
One consoles oneself with the thought that every age is marked by mass madnesses. But, why, I often complain to myself, did I have to be born to live in the time noteworthy for the sanctimonious submission to ressentiment in every form? I’ll take the massacre of heretics and the burning of witches over this kind of contemptible bleating any day.
Life is full of ironies, of course. And the justice of the gods grinds slowly and wondrous fine. It would not be surprising, if, say, 15 years down the road, we were to read about a twenty-four-year-old male Avery Jackson suing National Geographic for many millions for ruining his life by exploiting him, and publishing a shameful childhood image, promoting psychological disorder and sexual abnormality. I hope he wins.
Up at Yale yesterday, they renamed the dining hall of Calhoun College for Roosevelt Thompson, a Yale student of color of the Class of 1984 who got killed in a car crash his senior year.
John C. Calhoun, a non-colored Yale graduate of the Class of 1804, was originally the namesake of the Yale residential college and dining hall which opened in 1933. Calhoun was singled out for that honor on the basis of having been Vice President of the United States, and thus being, as the college’s Wikipedia entry notes, “the only Yale graduate to be elected to a federal executive office in the school’s first two centuries, until the election of U.S. President William Howard Taft in 1909.”
John C. Calhoun served additionally as Secretary of State and Secretary of War. He was elected four times to the House of Representatives, and twice to the U.S. Senate. In the Senate, the strength of his ideas and his rhetorical powers won Calhoun the very exceptional place in History of being traditionally regarded as one of the three all-time giants, along with Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, as the “Great Triumvirate” or the “Immortal Trio,” of that legislative chamber.
John C. Calhoun, beyond his political career, was distinguished as the greatest and most influential writer on Political Philosophy ever produced by Yale. Calhoun was on the losing side of history, as a supporter of Secession and States’ Rights, and as an agrarian defender of Slavery as a benevolent institution and a positive good. His opinions on those issues were defeated on the battlefield, and History has turned the page, but his spirited defense of the rights of minorities to be protected as “concurrent majorities” by limitations on the numerical power of the majority still deserves contemporary consideration and respect.
Roosevelt Thompson is demonstrably considered worthier of (so far, only) Calhoun’s Dining Hall simply on the bases of being born with melanin in his skin, being a popular and successful student, and having died young. Whether the appropriation of John C. Calhoun’s honors at Yale stops with the dining hall remains to be seen. Yale President Peter Salovey mendaciously announced last April that Calhoun College would be keeping its name, then, in late summer, announced the appointment of a “Committee to Establish Principles of Renaming.” Salovey’s Stalinist Renaming Committee is stocked fully with Social Justice Warriors and opponents of hierarchy, Southern Agrarianism, States’ Rights, and John C. Calhoun, so the fix is in.
Glenn Reynolds lists some of the infantilizing responses of universities across the nation to Donald Trump’s untoward election, and it is an amazing list. This large-scale attempt at playing-the-victim is, of course, one more example of the standard leftist technique in which moral jiu jitsu is used to marginalize and intimidate the majority.
Trump’s substantial victory, when most progressives expected a Hillary landslide, came as a shock to many. That shock seems to have been multiplied in academe, where few people seem to know any Trump supporters — or, at least, any Trump supporters who’ll admit to it.
The response to the shock has been to turn campuses into kindergarten. The University of Michigan Law School announced a ”post-election self-care” event with “food and play,” including “coloring sheets, play dough [sic], positive card-making, Legos and bubbles with your fellow law students.” (Embarrassed by the attention, UM Law scrubbed the announcement from its website, perhaps concerned that people would wonder if its graduates would require Legos and bubbles in the event of stressful litigation.)
Stanford emailed its students and faculty that psychological counseling was available for those experiencing “uncertainty, anger, anxiety and/or fear” following the election. So did the University of Michigan’s Flint campus.
Meanwhile, even the Ivy League wasn’t immune, with Penn (Trump’s alma mater) creating a post-election safe space with puppies and coloring books:
Student Daniel Tancredi reported that the people who attended were “fearful” about the results of the election.
“For the most part, students just hung out and ate snacks and made small talk,” Tancredi told The College Fix. “Of course, that was in addition to coloring and playing with the animals.”
At Cornell, meanwhile, students held a “Cry-in.”
As the event took place, students — roughly 20 or so, according to the Sun’s video — wrote their reactions and emotions on poster boards with colored markers, or with chalk on the ground. A chilly day on the Ithaca campus, at one point the demonstrators huddled together as what appeared to be a barista brought them warm drinks. Several adults, most likely professors, stood around the group. The event appeared to take on the atmosphere of a funeral wake.
Yale had a ”group scream.”
At Tufts, the university offered arts and crafts, while the University of Kansas reminded students that there were plenty of “therapy dogs” available. At other schools, exams were cancelled and professors expressed their sympathy to traumatized students.
It’s easy to mock this as juvenile silliness — because, well, it is juvenile silliness of the sort documented in Frank Furedi’s What Happened To The University? But that’s not all it is. It’s also exactly what these schools purport to abhor: An effort to marginalize and silence part of the university community.
In an email to students, the University of Michigan’s President, Mark Schlissel, wrote: “Our responsibility is to remain committed to education, discovery and intellectual honesty — and to diversity, equity and inclusion. We are at our best when we come together to engage respectfully across our ideological differences; to support ALL who feel marginalized, threatened or unwelcome; and to pursue knowledge and understanding.”
But when you treat an election in which the “wrong” candidate wins as a traumatic event on a par with the 9/11 attacks, calling for counseling and safe spaces, you’re implicitly saying that everyone who supported that “wrong” candidate is, well, unsafe. Despite the talk about diversity and inclusion, this is really sending the signal that people who supported Trump — and Trump carried the state of Michigan, so there are probably quite a few on campus — aren’t really included in acceptable campus culture. It’s not promoting diversity, it’s enforcing uniformity. It’s not promoting inclusion, it’s practicing exclusion. And, though it pretends to be about nurturing, it’s actually about being mean to those who don’t fall in the nurtured class. Schlissel says he wants the University of Michigan to be “a welcoming place for all members of society,” but how welcome can students who backed Trump feel in the wake of this performance?
Read the whole thing.
Stacey Patton, obviously an assistant professor of multimedia journalism at Morgan State University purely on the basis of racial favoritism, in the Washington Post, blames all the problems and misbehavior of Black America on white people and rejects Hillary Clinton’s recent call for reconciliation and national unity.
Asking black people to participate in this reconciliation process … suggests that we bear responsibility in this mess. But we didn’t invent the concept of race. We didn’t create and don’t sustain institutionalized racism. And we surely don’t benefit from it.
Rhetorical calls for unity won’t address the fundamental sources of inequality: mass incarceration, employment discrimination, militarized policing, the school-to-prison pipeline, divestment in communities of color, political disenfranchisement, displacement of poor and working-class people of color from gentrifying cities. The emphasis on unity makes no room for discussion about growing white resentment and feelings of victimization, and it presumes that black folks bear responsibility for the entrenched problem of a “colorblind” white America that denies racism even exists.
And while Clinton may not have intended it this way, what the message of unity winds up doing is blaming communities of color for failing to assimilate, rather than acknowledging that the very fabric of this nation is built upon a diabolical, calculated and constantly evolving system of racism.
It’s really time for major national newspapers to stop pandering, and granting legitimacy and publication space, to this kind of offensive, insolent, and infantile leftist poppycock.
Pimps and drug dealers are not criminals because somebody else discriminated against them in employment. The illiterate underclass is the underclass because its members prefer the pursuit of intoxication and sex to gainful employment, not because somebody else took away their upper-middle class professional status. The world does not owe inner-city communities of thugs living in state-supplied housing who’ve ruined their own neighborhoods outside investment.
The author’s own history demonstrates that very modest cooperation with the universal free education system in this country will currently easily gain African Americans status and employment well above their actual deserts.
Ms. Patton’s expressed world-view constitutes a pathological, self-defeating fantasy of perennial victimization, and is really nothing other than one more manifestation of the long-entrenched African-American habit of using Angry Black Person dramaturgy to elevate their own personal status and to shakedown more free goodies from the liberal suckers in charge of the system. These days, if Ms. Patton writes enough of this kind of thing in sufficiently hysterical tones containing precisely this kind of bold-faced insult and accusation, white liberal masochists at the Atlantic will probably give her a really well-paying and prestigious gig helping Ta-Nehisi Coates take another poke at whitey every month.
College Masters, Edward Harkness, Harvard, Orwellian Language Purges, Political Correctness, Racial Politics, Ressentiment, Yale
The Oldest College Daily happily reports that Yale is currently well along in the process of following the examples set by Harvard and Princeton in eliminating the title of Master for the heads of undergraduate residential colleges or houses.
Apparently, a majority of current students have gradually fallen into line in support of the demands of the radical lunatic fringe that the title be changed. In their wake, hastening to come on board, can be found the actual adults making up both the Yale Administration and the Yale Corporation.
A small racially-obsessed group of leftists, quite recently, decided that 150 years after the elimination of Slavery in the United States, it must be actively painful and humiliating for students-of-color to have occasion to address a head of college as “Master.” The memories and associations, you see, are just too painful. (sob!)
At Yale, the nonsense started last year, when the current Master of Pierson College, a hyper-sensitive creep named Stephen Davis found his new title unacceptable, and sent a letter to the college urging students to eschew tradition and address him merely as “Dr.” or “Professor” Davis.
One has to bear in mind that the title of Master has nothing whatsoever to do with Antebellum Slavery. It has everything to do with Anglophilic tradition and Pretension.
19th century Yale students were members of a single college (Yale College) or (if banausic) of the Sheffield Scientific School. The poor lived off-campus in rented hovels, the better-off in rooms in college residential buildings called “halls,” then much resembling architecturally orphanages or reformatories.
Where the Master business came from was via the philanthropy of Edward Harkness, a member of the Class of 1897. Harkness was the scion of a Standard Oil fortune. He had money like God has money, and cheerfully volunteered to pay for the transformation of both Harvard and Yale into residential colleges, i.e., fantasy imitations of the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, designed at Yale by his classmate James Gamble Rogers. Yale’s student body was divided among ten (later twelve) residential college and its grim Victorian architecture was augmented by a new campus of whimsical Tudor and Georgian design.
The heads of Yale residential colleges and Harvard houses were called “Masters” in pure imitation of the practice of the majority of Oxbridge Colleges. Master, in this case, is a purely academical title, an anglicized version of the Latin “Magister.” It has no connection to Slavery. Nor does it imply domination of anything. A College Master at Yale has traditionally been a distinguished senior faculty member who lives in a mansion associated with a residential college and who functions essentially as that college’s master of ceremonies. The College Master is formally administrative head of the college, but he has a Dean and a bunch of secretaries and student aids to do all the shit work. The Master smiles at students, presides over functions, throws parties, and thinks up new, nice things he can do for the benefit of the undergraduates in his college.
There would be no opportunity for this particular politically correct grand gesture today, of course, had the presidents of Yale and Harvard in the early 1930s possessed crystal balls. They would then have foreseen all this, and taken care to call heads of residential colleges (or houses) “Rector” instead (as is the practice at Exeter College, Oxford and King’s College, Cambridge) or “Warden” (All Souls College, Oxford and Robinson College, Cambridge). Upon reflection, though, having to address the head of one’s housing unit as “Warden” could very possibly also have become a major issue for contemporary Ivy League students-of-color.
Andrew Jackson was a hero. While still a boy and a prisoner of war captured by the British, he stubbornly refused to clean an enemy officer’s boots, suffering instead a retaliatory slash with a sabre, which left scars on his hand, face, and psyche which he bore all his life.
Orphaned at he age of 14, he educated himself, reading law while working at a saddle-maker’s shop. He taught school, practiced law, and his extraordinary abilities soon manifested themselves. He rose, even as a young man, quickly to every kind of leadership position in frontier Tennessee. in 1796, he became that new state’s first representative in Congress, and the next year was promoted to the Senate. He became commander of the state’s militia in 1801.
In 1814, he defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. And in January of 1815, he won perhaps the most astonishing and decisive American military victory of all-time at New Orleans. Outnumbered by more than two-to-one by veteran elite British officers and regulars fresh from the Peninsular War, where they had defeated the same French infantry which had conquered all of Europe, Jackson carefully deployed an extremely mixed force made up of American regulars; Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana militia; and even Baratarian pirates behind three hastily constructed lines of earthworks. Jackson successfully obliged the British to attack frontally, and arranged to take the advancing British under indirect fire before they were even within sight of his position. The results were astonishing. The British took more than 2000 casualties. Both the Commanding General Pakenham and his second-in-command were mortally wounded. The American side had 62 casualties, and only 13 killed. Never elsewhere in history did such an apparently disadvantageous mismatch of forces deliver such a one-sided victory for the underdog.
Later, in national politics, Jackson led a libertarian, populist revolution, capturing the presidency, reining in Federal expansion in favor of individual and state’s rights, facing down nullification and secessionism, shutting down the second US Bank, and establishing a long 30 years of political dominance by his party, which ended only with the election of Lincoln, Civil War, and the armed conquest of the Southern states by the Federal government.
Barack Obama is proving himself once again the vengeful upstart of mixed race determined to punish white America by supplanting its heroes and symbols with black replacements and icons of the radical left.
Jackson is to be set aside in favor of Harriet Tubman, an unprofitable and unsaleable family servant from Maryland who preferred to decamp from her domestic chores to New York State, where she could instead give speeches, be fawned over, and live on the bounty of Northern radicals. Tubman was illiterate and the few factual details known of her life did not prevent the publication in recent decades of a whole series of hagiographic biographies intended to inflate her into a major national figure. It has been remarked, more than once, that school children today are likely to hear a lot more about Harriet Tubman than about George Washington.
The announcement that Tubman’s unattractive visage would be replacing General Jackson’s on the $20 was widely hailed by Quisling conservatives, eager to avoid becoming the objects of racial accusation, as a victory for private gun possession (apparently, when leading some of her relatives out of Maryland, Harriet Tubman carried a revolver which she used to threaten to execute on the spot any of her liberated beneficiaries who happened to try to change their minds about relocating to the North) and Republicanism, carefully overlooking the obvious fact that the Republican Party of the 1850s was the party of radicalism, statism, and leftism, precisely what the Democrat Party is today; while today’s Republican Party is the party of limited government, of individual and states’ rights, of strict constructionism, in fact, the true heir to the philosophy of Andrew Jackson.
Today’s college students ponder the question.
Ty Cobb would have kicked his Asiatic ass.
Jay Caspian Kang, delivers for the New York Times, one of those insolent and offensive expressions of the support for minority vulgarity and vices as a perverse kind of contrarian opposition to the values and culture of the European-descended American majority.
By instinct, honed reflex and general contrarianism, I root for all “flashy” “showboats” who are “disgraces to the game.” It has been this way since I left Boston at age 10 to move to North Carolina, a state with no notable baseball team save the minor-league Durham Bulls, who, at least when I was growing up, seemed more a Hollywood relic than a ball club. Freed from having to like the Red Sox, I began to root for Rickey Henderson of the Oakland Athletics, mostly because I liked how deeply he squatted while taking a lead off first base. He seemed as if he were taunting the pitcher. As I grew older and started feeling alienated from my white classmates, I gravitated toward athletes who, in some way, flouted the white, stoic traditions of American sports — Allen Iverson, Ken Griffey Jr., Rasheed Wallace, Pedro Martinez. I felt as if this was a moral choice.
Read the whole thing.
Nothing guarantees acceptance and applause by prestige publications in the community of fashion than some vigorous expressions of racial and cultural treason.