Category Archive 'Princeton'
11 Dec 2021

Abigail Schrier Tells Princeton Students to Defy the Left and Speak the Truth

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Abigail Schrier, famed for having her book on the impact of the fashion for Transgenderism on children, Irreversible Damage, banned by Amazon, recently delivered a brave and inspiring talk to the undergraduates at Priceton.

Every dating app pushes us toward the same few attractive mate choices; Spotify presses us to like the same music; Amazon pushes us to purchase specific books and away from others. If you’re under the impression that the books Amazon recommends to you are based solely on a content-neutral algorithm, I can disabuse you of that fiction right now. I once asked one of my sources at Amazon, who was concerned about the ways the search results were being manipulated, whether he’d ever seen a book deliberately boosted. Yes, he said. Becoming by Michelle Obama. When that book came out – he told me – virtually every search you did led to the recommendation to buy the former First Lady’s book. And the opposite is also true. There are books that are never recommended by the Amazon algorithm, irrespective of how well they’ve sold or how likely a specific shopper is to buy them. Or, at least, there’s one such book. I’ll let you try and guess what it is.

But the larger point is, your will is being toyed with, subverted, manipulated. And in a fairly insidious manner. None of you will be shocked to hear that Google promotes certain search results in order to lead us to a certain perspective. But did you know that, for contested entries, Wikipedia assigns editors, some of whom are ideologically committed activists, many of whom have very particular views they want you to walk away with.

If you form views based on those Wikipedia articles or reports by corrupt fact-checkers, if you act based on them, are you exercising freedom of will? Given that you’ve been spun and prodded along to a pre-determined conclusion by hidden persuaders, perhaps you aren’t. Perhaps you’re left in the same sorry state as the Moor of Venice: toyed with, subverted, manipulated. Acting out someone else’s plan, pointed in the direction that he wants you to walk.

We’ve spent a lot of time in the past few years debating whether this kind of manipulation is at the root of our political divisions, but I don’t think we’ve paid enough attention to an even more basic question: how it has interfered with freedom of conscience and ultimately free will.

When polled, nearly two out of three Americans (62%) say they are afraid to express an unpopular opinion. That doesn’t sound like a free people in a free country. We are, each day, force-fed falsehoods we are all expected to take seriously, on pain of forfeiting esteem and professional opportunity:

    “Some men have periods and get pregnant.” “Hard work and objectivity are hallmarks of whiteness.” “Only a child knows her own true gender.” “Transwomen don’t have an unfair advantage when playing girls’ sports.”

I know why students keep their heads down. They are hoping for that Goldman or New York Times internship, which they don’t want to put in jeopardy. Well, any institution that takes our brightest, most capable young people—Princeton graduates!—and tells you can only work here if you think like we tell you to and keep your mouth shut, that isn’t really Goldman Sachs and it isn’t the paper of record. It’s the husk of a once-great institution, and it’s not worth grasping for. Talk to alums at these institutions: they sound like those living under communist regimes. That’s the America that awaits you if you will not speak up.

You who are studying at one of the greatest academic institutions in the country only to be told that after graduation, you must think as we tell you and recite from this script—why were you born? What’s the point of being alive? Computers are vastly better at number crunching. They’ll soon be better at all kinds of more complex tasks. What they cannot do is stand on principle. What a computer cannot do is refuse to lend credibility to a rigged competition—to refuse to strengthen its coercion—making it that much harder for the next female athlete to speak up. What the computer cannot know is the glorious exertion of the human will when it refuses to truckle in the face of lies and instead publicly speaks the truth.

RTWT

09 Dec 2021

The Ivy League Liars’ Club

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John Witherspoon statue at Princeton.

Princetonian Scott Newman spills the beans. Those elite colleges’ Wokery is only a hypocritical form of virtue-signaling. The little supposed revolutionaries are really the swiftest and most ambitious rats in the race, running all out for the status and the bucks.

[Elite colleges’] progressive ideals are mostly for show—as evidenced by the fact that the actual career paths of typical Princeton graduates are guided by a hunger for status and security, not social justice. No one I know mentioned “Goldman Sachs” or “McKinsey” in their admissions essays. But year after year, they flock to places like these.

What I’m describing is a kind of liar’s club. Hopeful high school students lie about their commitment to social justice in a bid to gain admission, while the universities themselves lie about all the risk-taking, world-changing mavericks they’re looking to nurture. Neither side dares to speak the grubby truth, which is that the undergraduate experience will be a pro forma exercise in leftist indoctrination that precedes a march into the hallowed halls of investment banks and management consultancies.

RTWT — This one is a good read.

09 Apr 2021

Next Princeton Class Admits Only 129 White Males

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Princeton alumni must love this. Paul Mirengoff, at Power-Line,

Princeton has offered admission to its class of 2025 to 1,498 applicants. According to numbers provided by the University, around fourteen percent of them are white American males.

14 percent of the admitted applicants identify as international students. 68 percent of the admitted applicants from the U.S. identify as “persons of color.” 52 percent are female. 48 percent are male.

Putting these numbers together, we see that only around 28 percent of admittees are white Americans. Less than half of that relatively small group are male.

Whites make up much more than one-third of American students. Thus, whites are severely underrepresented in the group of American students Princeton has admitted to the class of 2025. Princeton’s class of domestic students won’t “look like America,” as the saying goes.

RTWT

Yale’s numbers won’t be terribly different, I’m sure.

After all, those 18th century clergymen who founded these great schools obviously looked forwarded to the happy day when their schools would be educating girls, Chinamen, and the offspring of all sorts of recently arrived foreign immigrants who came here to take over and replace their own descendants.

There was an unjust old model in which immigrants came to America and took the worst jobs at the lowest pay and built their own schools and churches. They and their children worked in the dark Satanic mills or the coal mines, and after long years in which their sons and grandsons had served in the military and fought in America’s wars, their third generation descendants sometimes went on to college and joined the Upper Middle Class.

In today’s so-much-more-enlightened America, immigrants from exotic non-European backgrounds simply step ashore off the banana boat, and their children matriculate at Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, and then go on to write editorials on public policy for the New York Times, teach Constitutional Law, or (even with lesser academic credentials) sleep their way to the Vice Presidency.

18 Dec 2018

Michelle Obama at Princeton

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Zoltan Newberry, an older Princeton alumn, commented on Michelle Obama’s Princeton career on Quora.

Like Michelle Obama, I was a very fortunate high school student who got into Princeton. When I visited for my admissions interview I couldn’t believe how beautiful the campus was and how smart all the students looked. It just got better and better once I was there, and as I discovered nooks and crannies and trails and fields and meadows which made the campus a wonderful place to relax under a tree with a book. My family refused to apply for a scholarship and went without vacations, dining out and even went without butter for four years. I had a job selling tickets for Princeton games, and worked every summer in restaurants or on construction crews. I wasn’t well prepared for the academic rigors of a top university. My freshman year, a professor told me I couldn’t write, so I learned how to organize and write a serious essay, junior paper and even scored honors on my Senior Thesis about the Russian emigre author, Ivan Bunin. The best part was making friends with so many bright people at Princeton and at ‘sister schools’ like Vassar. Some of my friends came from wealthy families and were graduates of great prep schools like Groton and Andover. Most of my friends were middle class like me or very needy scholarship students who sent their dirty laundry home because it was cheaper that way. Many of them were expected to work for their scholarships at exhausting jobs serving meals at our dining commons. They had to get up super early to serve us breakfast and then go on to class.

About 20 years after I graduated, along came Michelle Obama on a full boat scholarship which came with spending money and no campus work requirements. Her first thought upon arriving at that beautiful campus was not, “Am I a lucky kid, or what?” Instead, her first thought was, “Where is MY trust fund?” It went downhill from there. Her social life was confined to only the kids she met at “The Third World Club” . She made no effort to get along with the many undergraduates who were sincere believers in civil rights, some of whom had parents like me who demonstrated for Civil Rights in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. She took gut courses in ‘Black Studies’ and Sociology, and according to the late, great and very liberal writer, Christopher Hitchens, her mandatory senior thesis was “written in SOME UNKNOWN LANGUAGE”…. It was a long winded, word salad, complaining about how Princeton was such a terrible place for black kids who could never feel at home there.

Never mind how different and how pleasant her education could have been, had she only known how to be open and friendly… if only she understood how important it is to be grateful when other non related people do wonderful things for you.

She assumed the vast majority of her fellow students were irredeemable racists, and she still seems obsessed with race to this day. Instead of feeling very thankful about getting to go to one of the world’s greatest universities for free, she was bitter, and she remains bitter.

Now, she has public relations staffers, publicists, and image consultants who try to create a fake image of a wise and loving woman who really cares about all people. But her racialist and separatist slip keeps showing with the bitter things which slip from her lips in her speeches and interviews, especially at historically black colleges where she tells wonderful, aspiring young people that they’ll face endemic racism everywhere. This was especially evident in her weird trip to Target with a large entourage when she was our First Lady…Shortly after maybe her first ever visit as an adult to a discount department store, (she and her girls are well known customers at J Crew), she went on one of those vapid morning TV shows, and complained bitterly about all the ‘racism’ she endured during her 30 minute visit to Target..

Maybe her sudden promotion to the elite and super rich in America can be some kind of lesson about how ridiculous this nonsense about ‘racism’ really is.. She’s one of the super rich now… She owns great mansions in Chicago and D.C…. Yet, she still has no clue that her wealth and status would not exist without millions of white people who believed in her con man husband and her, voted for him, and sent her to Princeton on a “full boat’ scholarship when she was still a very ungrateful girl.

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My posting, like Dinesh D’Souza’s tweet, was prompted by Michelle’s recent book tour remark: “I have been at every powerful table you can think of…They are not that smart”

06 Dec 2018

Princeton Tigertones Drop Disney Song Over “Toxic Masculinity”

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The Western Journal reports on the latest victory of Woke Feminism down at Princeton U.

An a cappella group at Princeton University has agreed to stop performing a song from “The Little Mermaid” thanks to an angry feminist who claimed the performance was a “heteronormative attack” on women’s rights.

According to Inside Higher Ed, the Princeton Tigertones made the decision last week after a performance of the song “Kiss the Girl” by the all-male singing group.

In a typical performance, the Tigertones pick a random female from the audience to represent Ariel, the main character and subject of the song. They “playfully” dance with the female volunteer before calling up a male volunteer to represent the Prince Eric character, Inside Higher Ed reported.

In the course of the song, the Tigertones urge the two to kiss, which usually ends with a harmless peck on the cheek.

But in an era when liberals get triggered by “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” it was only a matter of time before an uptight feminist would target this performance.

Last week, Princeton student Noa Wollstein slammed the performance as “problematic” in Princeton’s student newspaper, The Daily Princetonian.

“Despite the fact that an evil sea-witch cursed Ariel’s voice away, making verbal consent impossible, the song is clearly problematic from the get-go,” Wollstein wrote in a piece published Nov. 26.

This is reminiscent of the outrage over “Snow White.” In that movie, Snow White was cursed with eternal sleep until Prince Charming lifted the curse with a kiss. Liberals were angry that Prince Charming didn’t receive consent from the cursed princess.

The issue of “consent” seems to make up the majority of Wollstein’s complaints regarding “Kiss the Girl.”

“Lyrics such as, ‘It’s possible she wants you too/There’s one way to ask her/It don’t take a word, not a single word/Go on and kiss the girl, kiss the girl,’ and ‘she won’t say a word/Until you kiss that girl,’ unambiguously encourage men to make physical advances on women without obtaining their clear consent,” Wollstein wrote.

In the ideal liberal world, Prince Eric would have gotten Ariel to sign a written consent form notarized by his lawyer before attempting to kiss her. However, he would first need to get Ariel to sign a separate consent form to hold her hand.

“The song launches a heteronormative attack on women’s right to oppose the romantic and sexual liberties taken by men, further inundating the listener with themes of toxic masculinity,” Wollstein claimed.

RTWT

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21 Sep 2017

“Shut Up!” Argued the Daily Princetonian’s Top Editors

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As they disbanded the independent editorial board for publishing editorials dissenting from the Progressive Social Justice Warrior party-line.

The College Fix:

The first conservative-leaning editorial that caused controversy came last fall, when the board criticized the women’s center for programming that solely advanced a radical feminist ideology.

Sarah Sakha, the current editor in chief of the Princetonian who led the decision to disband the board, had written an op-ed at the time denouncing the board’s criticism.

“The Board fails to acknowledge and recognize the valid intersectionality of racism and sexism. In fact, by branding such programming as singularly liberal, the Board perpetuates the harmful politicization of basic questions of human dignity and identity, which lie at the core of these issues,” Sakha wrote last fall.

Sakha, who also contributed to the Princeton Progressive, the Ivy League institution’s left-leaning political publication, became editor in chief of the mainstream Princetonian in February of this year.

Since then, the independent editorial board continued to publish right-of-center opinions.

In March, an editorial agreed upon by a majority of the board defended free speech and critiqued “collective punishment” in the wake of a scandal in which the men’s swimming and diving team was suspended for “several materials” deemed “vulgar and offensive, as well as misogynistic and racist in nature. …

RTWT

12 Nov 2016

Best Liberal Reactions to Election Contest, 3: Marni Morse Freaking Out at Princeton

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marnimorse
Marni Morse

Paul Mirengoff forwards poignant excerpts from a student letter to the Daily Princetonian.

. . .I crawled into bed and cried for reasons I still [can’t] quite put into words, falling asleep before the election was called.

In the morning, I woke up to a New York Times news alert and social media feeds filled with disappointment. The United States had democratically elected a man who, among so many other despicable qualities and policies, is accused of and boasts about committing sexual assault.

As a woman passionate about gender equality, women’s leadership, and ending sexual violence; as someone dedicated to the Clinton campaign and ready to make history; and, quite frankly, as a human being, I didn’t know how to process this.

I still don’t. I felt for my friends and anyone who feels that this result puts their safety and their loved ones’ safety at risk, acknowledging that I am not the person this outcome will affect the most.

I didn’t leave my room Wednesday morning. I sat and sobbed and I still have the tissues all over my floor to prove it. When I absolutely had to get up for class, I put on my “Dare to say the F-word: Feminism” t-shirt and my “A woman belongs in the House and the Senate” sweatshirt to make myself feel stronger. Still crying, I left my room.

Ironically, she titled her letter “Stronger Together.”

27 Nov 2015

Worse than Yale’s Silliman College Shrieking Girl

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NassauHall

I haven’t got a lot of respect for Princeton President Christopher Eisengruber’s principles or integrity, but I do admire his self-restraint. I would never have been able to listen to the young lady’s diatribe in the second video without correcting her.

The finger-snapping accompanying all the insolent assertions and demands becomes downright sinister at times. It kind of reminded me of jungle drumbeats or the threatening rattling of spears as the tribe of angry natives menaces the British district officer in one of those 1930s Sanders of the River movies.

22 Nov 2015

Who Will Be Next?

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WoodrowWilson

Geoffrey R. Stone wonders out loud:

[I]f Woodrow Wilson is to be obliterated from Princeton because his views about race were backward and offensive by contemporary standards, then what are we to do with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and Andrew Jackson, all of whom actually owned slaves? What are we to do with Abraham Lincoln, who declared in 1958 that “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races,” and that “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people”?

What are we to do with Franklin Roosevelt, who ordered the internment of 120,000 persons of Japanese descent? With Dwight Eisenhower, who issued an Executive Order declaring homosexuals a serious security risk? With Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act? With Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both of whom opposed the legalization of same-sex marriage?

And what are we to do with Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who once opined in a case involving compulsory sterilization that “three generations of imbeciles is enough”? With Leland Stanford, after whom Stanford University is named who, as governor of California, lobbied for the restriction of Chinese immigration, explaining to the state legislature in 1862 that “the presence of numbers of that degraded and distinct people would exercise a deleterious effect upon the superior race”?

And what are we do with all of the presidents, politicians, academic leaders, industrial leaders, jurists, and social reformers who at one time or another in American history denied women’s right to equality, opposed women’s suffrage, and insisted that a woman’s proper place was “in the home”? And on and on and on.

06 Jan 2015

Microaggressions at Princeton

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keep-calm-youre-so-whipped

Newby Parton is a freshman at Princeton. Coming from an old-fashioned region of the country, he habitually pronounces wh-, in the Gothic manner, as hw-. He consequently came in for a bit of mockery at school.

The light of Ivy League learning falling upon Mr. Parton’s provincial mind, he was thus led to editorialize agin’ these kind of cussed aggravatin’ microaggressions. So he was.

Each time I grow a bit more self-conscious. Very few people like to have their speech mocked.

Now, I am sure the others never mean their offense. Therefore, I will play along and let them have their laugh. You wouldn’t know it from my columns, but I avoid confrontation when I can. Besides, this is not very important to me. I am a male and I am white, so I get less than my fair share of discrimination. I am ashamed to say that I have complained when I have had such fortune, but I must confess that I did. A friend of mine whom I quite like had put me through the “Cool Whip” routine, so I waited awhile and texted her this: “Making fun of regional speech is a microaggression.”

Again, I am ashamed of that text. But I learned a lot from her response. “Better put that on TM,” she said, referring to the Tiger Microaggressions page notorious for posting inoffensive “aggressions.” There came no apology or retraction. She really did not understand that she had caused any offense, even after I had plainly told her so. That is fine with me, and I don’t blame her one bit. If I were her, I am afraid I would not have understood either.

I mean it when I say I am afraid. I am afraid that I have spent eighteen years not understanding when I have said something offensive. I am afraid that I have unwittingly hurt the feelings of people so accustomed to microaggression that they did not bother to speak up. I am afraid that I would not have taken those people seriously if they had made a stand. And I am afraid I will do it all again. I am afraid because microaggressions aren’t harmless — there’s research to show that they cause anxiety and binge drinking among the minority students who are targeted.

The whole thing.

Somehow when I reflect on all this, it occurs to me that Owen Johnson‘s Tennessee Shad must inevitably have encountered mockery at the hands of Yankees for his regional accent at Lawrenceville School a bit over a century ago. But the Shad would have responded by whipping the asses of his tormentors (and simultaneously carefully purging his own speech of provincial features), instead of whining about it and promising to be PC holier-than-thou himself in the college newspaper.

Membership in the community of fashion elite these days inevitably seems to require a certificate of gelding accompanying the college application.

Via Katherine Timpf.

13 May 2014

Latest Media Obsession: Checking Your Privilege

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CheckYourPrivilege

Tal Fortgang‘s rejection of collective guilt (“I have checked my privilege. And I apologize for nothing.”) in the Princeton Tory last month, provoked a Tsunami of media discussion.

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The classic condescending left-wing rejoinder, explaining to Fortgang that, just “because your ancestors dealt with some shit,” he is not allowed to forget that he is still just the “fully abled person in a race against a man with only one leg” came from “Violet Baudelaire” at Jezebel.

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Phoebe Maltz Bovy, in the Atlantic, for instance, took the position that Fortgang just didn’t understand.

A certain sort of self-deprecating privilege awareness has become, in effect, upper- or upper-middle-class good manners, maybe even a new form of noblesse oblige, reinforcing class divides. When Fortgang’s classmates admonish him to check his privilege, what they’re really doing is socializing him into the culture of the class he’ll enter as a Princeton graduate. Failure to acknowledge privilege is very gauche, maybe even nouveau riche.

Besides Fortgang, she contends, is taking it too seriously. Privilege-checking really only amounts to a method of class affirmation, combined with (what used to be called) One-Upsmanship.

The self-deprecatory, class-signaling approach might (but rarely does) serve as a first step towards genuine self-examination and, in turn, some broader social-justice commitment. But the main result of privilege talk is scrappiness one-upmanship among the privileged.

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Daniel D’Addario, in Salon, described the practice of even questioning leftwing PC as producing “an unsavory debate,” and then (descending to crude utilitarianism) scolded Fortgang for bad PR.

Princeton cannot control the public statements made by its students (and parents of students), and nor should it try to. But it’s amazing how neatly these unofficial spokespeople keep stepping into the school’s pop cultural caricature as a status-obsessed carnival of eating clubs and lawn parties. What Princeton seems to do uniquely well is to train people to say “I went to Princeton.” (Consider Reagan’s Secretary of State George Shultz — he of the Princeton tiger tattoo!) And it hardly seems ideal that the university’s place in the public conversation right now has absolutely nothing to do with academics and everything to do with embarrassing op-eds. “Princeton” is an adjective attached to a woman urging other women to compete for the most successful men in order to enjoy comfortable lives. And now, to a teenager bragging in print about how his ancestors had the unique idea to work hard, one other people’s ancestors evidently didn’t. Check your privilege, Princeton. Or at least: check your PR strategy.

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The only possible PC-response from the male white heterosexual is here:

21 May 2012

“I Went to Princeton, Bitch”

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A rap take off on “Where I Went to School” Oneupmanship.

Very funny.

Hat tip to Bird Dog.

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