Monday, July 07, 2008
For those who missed it, the extraordinary Dorothy Rabinowitz from today's Wall Street Journal. IUPUI, the university of which Rabinowitz writes, is a leading backer of the AAC&U, an academic organization that captures a lot of the Group of 88's ideology, and about which I wrote a few years ago here.
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The Rabinowitz column is all at once sad, infuriating, and scary!
And it also gives a glimpse into a similar culture existing in Durham.
Many comment on these fora regarding the shocking aspect of the Lacrosse Hoax and have done so since the Spring of 2006; however....
.......take a minute......sit back and think.
That such an incident could take place in this country where a guy is merely reading a book--(or anywhere in the free world!!!)--is quite surreal.
And some want KC to stop exposing the participants in the Lacrosse Hoax?
This is KC's mission. One that found him.
This is his destiny......to spread his brilliance lavishly on this issue, lecturing and writing books which illuminate in detail the horrors of such denial of basic rights to some.
And the endless damage done.
KC has an entire library of books just waiting to be written.
(((((((() No parsimonious scholar, he.
An infinite book of excitement, our seductively fabulous KC! ())))))))
The fundamental thing to keep in mind here is that the modern academy, in all its political correctness, is both anti-intellectual AND anti-truth. It is stunning to think that a person reading a book that attacks the Ku Klux Klan would be cited at a major research university for committing a "racist" act.
Purdue is known for its engineering and math program, which supposedly would mean that much of its faculty is grounded in the scientific methodology, and also should be able to tell fact from fiction. Yet, here is Purdue -- Purdue! -- insisting that an anti-racism book is racist, and the person reading it is committing an act of racism. It boggles the mind, and also tells us that higher education is being consumed by a disease of the intellect.
Is Duke a land-grant institution/state-school?
So one wonders how could such a thing have happened? Two possibilities come immediately to mind: 1. real ignorance, and 2. devout ideology. Which is worse? Sometimes they seem to be different paths to the same desolate place.
Freedom of speech and thought is one of the First Principles of liberal education. So, how is it possible for a great University to not follow First Principles?
Here, what educated person could have the facts of this case put on their desk and still conclude that reading a book attacking the Ku Klux Klan was "harassment"?
First Principles would even allow someone to, God forbid, read a book praising the Ku Klux Klan. Or, whatever.
So, we conclude Ms. Watson is not an educated person. "Indiana is controlled by the KKK" should be a clue.
Her ability to find harassment in reading a book criticizing the KKK should, one would think, disqualify her from employment by the University. A good guess is it has not.
I recently re-read UPI. This business at IUPUI is the latest in a series of things that no longer shock me.
I miss ability and merit as hiring criteria.
On the one hand, the following story is beyond chilling, on the other hand it is, of sorts, affirming.
Where the Klan of 88 as talented as the Board and President believe, then perhaps they would have thought of this concept first. The Klan of 88 and their abettors really are amateurs.
Even so this 366 page manifesto is so shockingly stupid that I find it hard to believe that it has no roots in Durham or at Duke.
"...The 366-page guide for staff in charge of pre-school children, called Young Children and Racial Justice, warns: "Racist incidents among children in early years settings tend to be around name-calling, casual thoughtless comments and peer group relationships..."
Toddlers who dislike spicy food 'racist'
"The National Children's Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.
This could include a child of as young as three who says "yuk" in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food..."
The comment from university student 'Kevin' to several of KC's points gives me some hope. While the intellectuals ponder the real purpose of the I.U.P.U.I. and similar organization with long initials, Kevin, and no doubt his parents, are concerned about a finding a J.O.B. when he graduates from college.
Lets be certain that the group represented by Kevin is heard and appreciated.
Is Watkins a Communist?
The reason you will never see an apology to the offended student can be found in this manifesto from none other than Karla FC Holloway: Coda: Bodies of Evidence in which she proclaims....
In nearly every social context that emerged following the team's crude conduct, innocence and guilt have been assessed through a metric of race and gender. White innocence means black guilt. Men's innocence means women's guilt. These capacious categories, which were in absolute play the night of the team's drunken debacle, continue their hold on the campus and the Durham community.
The P.C. police would have had to imply that the woman reporting the event was guilty of what... "filing a false harassment report?", and the book reading student would have been what.... "innocent?" therfore it would have been an act heresy to apologize.
My Dear KC
I share your respect for Ms. Rabnowitz, but in this case, she seems to have been guilty of hyperbole. Moreover, I have great respect for your fact-checking, but in this case, I think your respect caused you to be less careful than you usually are.
This case is of course outrageous as well as absurd. The lengths to which self-deemed "people of conscience" are willing to go in suppressing free inquiry and free speech are despicable: their conscience trumps both our consciences and our rights.
But Purdue did ultimately tell Mr. Sampson directly that no "adverse disciplinary action has been or will be taken". (The relevant correspondence can be found at the online archive maintained on this case by FIRE, an estimable organization.) Ms. Rabinowitz is simply wrong to imply that he has deliberately been left in the dark.
Actually, Mr. Sampson wanted an apology and deserved an abject one. Purdue failed to make an apology of any sort. That a university deemed reading a book to be harassment and that it failed to apologize for subjecting anyone to such nonsense are disgusting enough. There is no need to make up fables that Purdue is deliberately hiding from Mr. Sampson that no sanction was ultimately imposed. Let's leave lies and false insinuations to the likes of the Klan of 87, who have no better arguments.
I would be interested in getting KC's reaction to these quotes in Ms. Rabinowitz's article.
1. This case and all its kind are worth bearing in mind for anyone pondering the hypersensitivity surrounding the issue of race today. The mindset that produces those harassment courts, those super-heated capacities for perceiving insult, is not limited to college campuses.
Its presence is evident in this election campaign, which has seen more than a touch of readiness to impute some form of racism to all tough criticisms of Barack Obama. The deranged response that greeted Bill Clinton's remark that certain of Sen. Obama's claims were "a fairy tale," told the story. No need to go into the now famous catalogue of accusations about the Clintons' "sly racist" tactics."
2. And Mr. Obama himself, the candidate of racial transcendence, has now taken a plunge of sorts to old-style race politics. In a pre-emptive dismissal of future criticism, he warned a Florida audience on June 20 of the racist tactics the Republicans planned. "We know the strategy," he said. Republicans planned to make people afraid of him. They'd say "he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?
2.All this may be far from the world of the universities. But to those aforementioned campus ideologues, the thinking is familiar
To the 7.24:
I think Rabinowitz's analysis of the academy is spot-on; I disagree with her suggestion that these ideas might be extending to the body politic. Indeed, as we learned from the Duke case, if Barack Obama were running as the candidate of the Group of 88's ideology, he'd receive around 2 percent of the popular vote.
To the 7.13:
I didn't get the same sense from the Rabinowitz article; she seemed quite clear that the university had "modified" its position to claim no punishment.
Also: as was astutely pointed out at the FIRE conference I attended the week before last, merely being investigated for months for a bogus charge is a form of punishment.
The decisions made by the underlings in this case are the fruits of PC teaching. The poor people have no knowledge, or perhaps worse, no sense of history. They grasped that the book had something to do about the Klan, were absolutely unable to figure out exactly what, and charged down the path of victimhood.
I beg your indulgence, and recommend the following site. Read especially Lord Alexander Tyler on the fall of the Athenian republic, and Gen. Patrick Cleburn on the education of our youth.
All quotations, though, are worthy of thought and reflection. Feel free to take issue with any that you might find insensitive, but at least acknowledge that they exist.
BTW, I am impressed with KC's ability for accurate quotation put into the context of the big picture. His opponents, alas, often do not recognize that there is a picture, much less a big one.
I agree with you that being considered guilty (not being investigated) of a charge of racial harassmesnt for months is indeed punishment, what the law calls "chilling" behavior. I am not trying to defend Purdue; I am trying to make the point that it does no good to exaggerate the already indefensible. If we start lying too, what difference is there between us and the Klan of 87, who will lie and defame for a cause they deem good?
I am afraid, therefore, that I cannot be as generous as you are in my reading of Ms. Rabinowitz's column. Purdue did not "clarify" (her word) or "modify" (your word) its original finding; it "replaced" it. In other words, Purdue, quite rightly and quite clearly, caved. (And the clown who made the original decision is now gone although the circumstances of the declowning are murky.)
What Ms. Rabinowitz said is that Purdue's clown said she had meant "to address 'conduct' that caused concern among his co-workers. What that conduct was ... [the clown] did not reveal."
But that is not true as can be seen by reading the clown's letter. Purdue's AAO took the position that reading a book could be harassment if the reader subjectively intended it to harass, but since there was no evidence of such intent, there was no case. I have no idea whether that is good or bad law. I have a very strong opinion that it ought not to be law if it is. But it is false that Purdue's AAO left any doubt about what they believed constituted harassment: reading with intent to harass is what was enjoined. That is ridiculous and appalling enough: no need to gild the lily.
"The '60's Begin to Fade as Liberal Professors Retire," by Patricia Cohen, published: July 3rd, 2008 in the NYT.
I watch my 20 year old son, a student at a large land grant state university, and his (multi-racial) group of friends interact with each other, and I am comforted by the thought that they are light years ahead of the "experts" in dealing with race and gender issues. If they can manage to avoid being told what to think (and where to go to bang on pots) by the adult "experts" on campus, I think they'll be just fine.
Once again, my internet skills fail, and my link above appears broken. If you would be so kind, please just cut and paste.
From the Jerusalem Post, hat tip to abb at Liestoppers:
I don't know if I can post the link, but here's a part of the article....
"Forty years have passed since that fateful Democratic national convention. During that time, American academia has been transformed into the most Marxist, postmodernist, know-nothing, anti-American, anti-military, and anti-capitalist institution in our society. It is now a bastion of situational ethics and moral relativism, and it teaches that there are no evil people in this world, only oppressed ones. American academia is now a very intolerant place. Ask Ann Coulter. She has been driven off more than one campus platform because of her conservative views. As she has knowledgeably put it, "There is free speech for thee, but not for me."
"WHEN THE Soviet Union collapsed, Marxism collapsed with it. But it survived in Western Europe and in US and Israeli universities, where politically-correct feelings are now more important than knowledge, and where politically-correct emotions are now more important than critical thinking."
This happened at IUPUI, *NOT* Purdue. They are separate institutions, with different administrations.
There is a correction in today's WSJ on p. A20
Thank you very much, Debrah, for fixing the link. As usual, you have the magic touch.
2:06 PM Bill Anderson
It just doen't seem to matter that the book was against the Klan or that it discussed a particular time in history when the Klan was confronted and ultimately repressed. This group of intellectuals like the DukeGroup88 are the new rascist and klan. There is no logic to their positions otherwise . . . they are about power and fear. The DukeGroup88 used the lacrosse case to their advantage, and to date, none have been so much as chastised or punished other than to be outed in their bigotry . . . a bigotry whom all seem to fear.
Thanks for the Jerusalem Post article, which says
"Duke University is a case in point. The chairman of one of its major departments was once asked in a radio interview if his department hired Republicans. He answered: 'No. We don't hire Republicans because they are stupid and we are not. Why should we knowingly hire stupid professors?'"
As a fellow Texan, I wonder if you remember the article by T.R. Fehrenbach, the historian emeritus of Texas, in which he pointed out the political distinction among graduate degree holders. In the "hard" sciences -- which he identified as law, medicine, science, and engineering -- most advanced degree holders vote Republican. It's only in the "soft" (let's call them what they are: "easy") sciences that the leftists predominate.
Seriously, if I see one more of these soft degree holders claim he's as or more intelligent than a lawyer, doctor, scientist, or engineer -- and they do, constantly -- I'm going to put a cattle prod on some sensitive spots. (The proof that they actually know (the smarter among them) they aren't as smart is that they won't get up on a witness stand and be examined in public by a "hard" degree holder. God, I would love to get Karla Holloway up there. LOL) As I've said before, those of us who went to college in the 1960s and 1970s owe an apology to today's students -- because we allowed the real idiots among our classmates to become professors.
Here is a related column by John Leo from April.
The most perfect Gang of 88-esque class I ever had was an elective called "Human Sexuality".
Too bad I couldn't have lucked out with someone like Duke's professor of luv Hardt.
I'm sure that this was a class duplicating much of the 88's syllabi.
The classes were Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Ninety minutes long.
Subject matter was open discussion as students sat around in a lounge type of atmosphere.
Does anyone think this professor had very much work to do to prepare for class?
One question I recall that we all had to answer was which part of our bodies did we like most? And what made us most excited?
Once, after class the professor---who was a soft-spoken pleasant man---became quite friendly with the Diva and to change the subject I said to him..."I have an older sister in south Florida you might enjoy meeting."
And he replied....."What about her sister?"
This was the kind of goofy stuff that often did and does pass as "education".
From KC's coverage of the Gang of 88, is there any doubt that much of their scholarship is quite similar to this example?
While the fact that the book was in fact critical of the KKK adds a certain ludicrous irony to the story, it's really a distraction in my view.
How, for example, would this story have played out if the book had been _Mein Kampf_? Or _The Turner Diaries_? I wonder if the forces of PC would not have been emboldened by such a scenario....
For my part, I think one has the right to read whatever book one wants -- even _Like Being Mugged By a Metaphor_ -- without having to answer for what one may or may not be thinking while reading it. But that principle seems to be obscured in part by the absurdity of this case.
Here's another example from 1999 of the confluence of extreme ignorance and poltical correctness...
This blog was featured in a story earlier this week in the N&O.
This woman does a nice and elaborate job for her cause, among other issues. She is outspoken which interested me.
And since she lives in Durham--by way of Brooklyn--I thought it might be interesting to get her take on the lacrosse case.
I emailed her, knowing that she works for Duke Press, just on the outside chance she might want to come here and post her views.
She told me that she has not commented on the case because she can't and that I might want to check out Amanda Marcotte's blog.
When I told her of our experiences with Marcotte, Spaulding was quick to say that Marcotte's views were her own and that they just cross post about various issues on occasion.
Spaulding's blog carries the primary theme of her cause; however, she touches on other topics. Her site might be interesting for readers to check out in order to get another view of residents of Durham.
Although she grew up mostly in Brooklyn, her family is from Durham......with Ken Spaulding of the former Whichard Committee being her uncle.
When you see that so many people in Durham are either working for Duke or are working in some local government capacity, it's easy to see why such an impenetrable network exists when trying to get to the bottom of anything.
Spaulding is a nice lady and it's a shame she cannot--for legal reasons--discuss this case and the behavior of so many Durham residents.
She's outspoken and thoughtful and it would, no doubt, be a provocative discussion.
"NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wachovia Corp (NYSE:WB - News), the fourth-largest U.S. bank, has narrowed its search for a new chief executive to a short list led by Treasury Undersecretary Robert Steel and GMAC LLC Chief Executive Alvaro de Molina, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday."
On the one hand were Mr. Steel moved out of a position of national responsibility it would be better for everyone, on the other hand he would still be in a position of responsibility.
I suppose Wachovia needs someone without a moral compass to steady the ship.
What in the world are Lanty Smith and company thinking? Wasn't Mr. Smith a Dukie?
Once upon a time, long, long ago, I was a newspaper reporter at two modest size daily newspapers. 'Way back then, we were expected to get a story RIGHT. We could be clever writers -- as long as we GOT IT RIGHT. Oh, we sometimes made mistakes; that was inevitable with tight deadlines and complex issues. But if we had bungled a story, especially a major story, the way the New York Times did, we would have been out on the street or on probation very quickly.
What happened at the New York Times, and all the other newspapers that reported the Durham Lacrosse Rape Hoax? Is there a new ethos in journalism now? Is it no longer about Getting It Right? Have the news and the editorial sections now been combined -- in fact if not on paper? Are newspapers now printing some sort of "meta-narrative" instead of the facts and the truth?
What has newspaper reporting come to?
At least Dorothy Rabinowitz Gets It Right. I consider her to be one of the finest reporters to pack a reporter's notebook.
Keep up the gutsy work, Dorothy!
Off topic, but the NYT once again demonstrates its inability to assess issues fairly and reliably. Yes, it is kinda like rocket science, and warm and fuzzy just won't do.
From the Society of Computerized Cardiovascular Tomography's Newsletter:
"SCCT RESPONDS TO NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE
On Sunday, June 29, 2008, the New York Times published an article entitled Weighing the Costs of a CT Scan’s Look Inside the Heart. The SCCT submitted a letter to the editor (limited to 150 words) to respond to this unbalanced article. The New York Times authors interviewed Michael Poon (President), Dan Berman (President-Elect) and James Min (Board Member) for the article. So in addition, Poon, Berman and Min also wrote a longer letter to the New York Times authors, editorial and executive staff. The letter to the editor was not published. No acknowledgement was received from the New York Times for both letters, which have now been posted on the SCCT website."
How much of this is (a) genuine political correctness run wild and (b) how much if it is a combination of flushing an student-employee that someone, probably with seniority and clout, doesn't like under pretense and (c) the university saving face for being caught not doing due dilligence and being shown up as the fool. I suspect that it's mostly b and c here.
In any case, they claim they're not acting on the psuedo-offense. But according to FIRE, they have shifted the charges to something new, undocumentented and undisclosable (apparently even to the Sampson), which is another way to say the mystery charge(s), if they really exist, would never make it passed the Reasonable Person Test in true Harassment/Discrimination Law.
Someone wanted to get Sampson. My bet is that it didn't have much to do with reading a book. And now that Plan A has painted him/her into a corner called "stupid", Someone is now *really* out to get him.
Steel is the new CEO for Wachovia??
Justice may have won the fight in Duke Hoax but I will say this:
This war is lost.
Gang88 is winning. They are moving on, to better positions within Duke and other formerly great academic institutions. Nifong and Crystal probably run (and get elected) for Congress and the next Sec. of Education and other top honchos will be picked from gang88 and their ilk.
Here's another example from 1999 of the confluence of extreme ignorance and poltical correctness...
7/9/08 11:07 AM
That article is about the D.C. government manager who was forced to resign after describing his budget as "niggardly". But that was nine years ago. Loads of new words to catch up on now. A few months ago I saw where a Hispanic lady -- and an Obama delegate no less! -- was criminally cited for using the word "monkeys" when urging her neighbor's kids to stop climbing in the trees. (And yes, KC, the Obama campaign made the woman resign her delegate position.)
Anyway, the latest addition to the growing list of words that white people cannot use is "black hole": http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2008/07/dallas-county-meeting-turns-ra.html
As for me, I've decided that from now on I will not refer to the centuries following the fall of the Western Roman Empire as "the Dark Ages". Henceforth, I will call them "the Ages of Color".
Does this mean that students taking African American history do not learn or read about the Klan? I find this hard to believe
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