Ethics Corrupter Weekend, Part III. Williams College And Open Minds

williams-college_416x416If colleges can’t educate students about core American values and principles like freedom of speech, what good are they? It’s worse than that, though. They appear to be teaching the opposite of those values, corrupting our upcoming generations and through them, poisoning our society.

Author Suzanne Venker, a conservative  social critic who has called herself an anti-feminist, was scheduled to give a lecture at Williams College as part of a student-created “Uncomfortable Learning” series, but the group cancelled her appearance when students complained that her ideas would make them uncomfortable. The leader of the student group that created the series, Zach Wood, was subjected to protests like this:

“When you bring a misogynistic, white supremacist men’s rights activist to campus in the name of ‘dialogue’ and ‘the other side,’ you are not only causing actual mental, social, psychological, and physical harm to students, but you are also—paying—for the continued dispersal of violent ideologies that kill our black and brown (trans) femme sisters. You are giving those who spout violence the money that so desperately needs to be funneled to black and brown (trans) femme communities, to people who are leading the revolution, who are surviving in the streets, who are dying in the streets. Know, you are dipping your hands in their blood, Zach Wood.”

Physical harm! Hearing her speak would actually injure them!

Opined the student newspaper:

While free speech is important and there are problems with deeming speech unacceptable, students must not be unduly exposed to harmful stereotypes in order to live and learn here without suffering emotional injury. It is possible that some speech is too harmful to invite to campus. The College should be a safe space for students, a place where people respect others’ identities. Venker’s appearance would have been an invasion of that space.

Gee, I thought “safe” on campus today meant “safe from sexual relations that you decide after the fact were a bad idea, and that magically become rape after the fact.” My mistake. Apparently it means “Having one’s world view challenged.” Wood capitulated to the mob, demonstrating that Williams had failed to teach him and his group members integrity, the importance of keeping commitments, not to be weenies and to be willing to fight for what’s right, even when it is unpopular.Said Venker, who had already spent a lot of time crafting a provocative and thoughtful speech,

“It’s not a small thing to cancel people last minute. You don’t come up with a speech in an hour…This whole push for silencing dissent… it undermines the entire purpose of college. It makes a huge statement about your position. If you can’t even handle hearing another position, obviously you’re not comfortable with your own.”

This, of course, depends on what one thinks the purpose of college is. If students act like this and get away with it, I would argue that the purpose of college is, and has been for enough time to thoroughly warp both the educational culture and the culture of the US, is to indoctrinate upcoming generations with the biases, rigid leftist ideology and world view of faculty members, who are hostile to opposing views themselves.

After his decision was criticized by Reason among other critics, Wood changed his mind. His group  re-invited Venker to Williams, and she, to her credit, told him that she had better things to do.

The good news is that Zach Wood has proven himself to have the ideal qualifications to be a typical college administrator.

________________________

Sources: Reason 1, 2

26 thoughts on “Ethics Corrupter Weekend, Part III. Williams College And Open Minds

  1. “Gee, I thought “safe” on campus today meant “safe from sexual relations that you decide after the fact were a bad idea, and that magically become rape after the fact.” My mistake.” That was so “last week”. You need to keep up, boss.

    • It does. But duped isn’t quite right. This was confirmation bias at work. The documents were forged by an anti-Bush zealot, and because Mapes and Rather wanted them to be accurate, they didn’t do their due diligence, and didn’t follow protocol, policy and journalist ethics. They also kept trying to claim that the papers were still valid. Mapes absurdly argued at one point that the copy process changed the fonts.

      • The editorial is wrong as a matter of law.

        If drunk people can never consent, this means they can never consent to driving while intoxicated. A key element in laws against drunk driving is that the driver chose to drive while drunk. But if drunkenness vitiates consent, then there can be no guilty act arising from druink driving, as the drunk driver did not “choose” to drive drunk. Nor can the drunk driver even consent to the sobriety test.

        I have to admit that it takes a bold lawyer to argue that no one can ever be guilty of drunk driving since drunk drivers lack mens rea due to drunkenness.

        • As a matter of law you’re mostly right, in most states, what the law says is that in order for intoxication to be sufficient to remove consent, the ‘victim’ must prove that the alleged either forced her to drink, or somehow provided her with either more to drink, or something to drink that she didn’t know would inebriate her. The stunning states where you would be wrong are the ones where “yes means yes”, which as opposed to the vast majority of the world (but oddly lumping them in with theocracies like Iran) which assumes that sex is generally consensual unless certain qualities make it rape, assumes that all sex is rape until the requirement of “enthusiastic” consent is made. And Liberals said they wanted government out of the bedroom, right?

          But aside from that, because of the “Dear Colleague” letter, the administration has hinged federal spending on colleges setting up extra judicial panels to judge cases based on a much weaker burden of proof (without a reasonable doubt became preponderance of the evidence.), and while these courts can’t impose fines or jail time, even the process of being accused can take semesters to sort out, and it can seriously fuck with people’s lives. Some of the blame has to lie with the administrators who chose government lucre over people’s lives, some of the blame has to lie with the feminist harpies who screeched lies until the administration came up with this rule, but ultimately, this was yet another example on how the Obama administration, despite putting on airs about being a thoughtful, intellectual administration, is really nothing of the sort.

          • As a matter of law you’re mostly right, in most states, what the law says is that in order for intoxication to be sufficient to remove consent, the ‘victim’ must prove that the alleged either forced her to drink, or somehow provided her with either more to drink, or something to drink that she didn’t know would inebriate her.

            you are probably right. We can not have cops get around the fourth Amendment by getting people drunk.

            The stunning states where you would be wrong are the ones where “yes means yes”, which as opposed to the vast majority of the world (but oddly lumping them in with theocracies like Iran) which assumes that sex is generally consensual unless certain qualities make it rape, assumes that all sex is rape until the requirement of “enthusiastic” consent is made

            Enthusiasm has never been a necessary element of consent in any field of law. Certainly enthusiasm is not required in a Fourth Amendment context. Nor is enthusiasm necessary in mens rea.

            But aside from that, because of the “Dear Colleague” letter, the administration has hinged federal spending on colleges setting up extra judicial panels to judge cases based on a much weaker burden of proof (without a reasonable doubt became preponderance of the evidence.)

            Another disturbing thing is that the Administration interpreted law on its own, without benefit of a court.

            • Theyknow that these kinds of things will never stand in a court of law, which is why they’re replacing the court. The administration set the rule and the punishment without the court, and encouraged the colleges to create their own courts, rules, punishments – all in the name of safety and responsibility, of course! They finally reached the point where they knew they couldn’t push the law further without it breaking completely, so this is the temporary end run. Once all of these students get a little older and a little higher placed, we’ll see this all ramping up in the actual courthouses.

            • “Enthusiasm has never been a necessary element of consent in any field of law. ”

              It is according to California’s “Yes means Yes” law.

                • I cannot! I’m sorry, I think this might be one of the traps of relying on media for information without checking source statistics. The idea of enthusiastic consent is something both the critics (http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/enthusiastic-stupidity/) and proponents (http://www.xojane.com/issues/affirmative-consent-study) agreed on being in there, so I assumed that it was. However, actually reading the law, it only says “Affirmative consent” means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.”

                  This is actually heartnening to me… It means that the people pushing this law did not get what they were looking for (http://www.yesmeansyes.com/consent-0):

                  “Consent is enthusiastic
                  At Project Respect, we believe that everyone has the right to sexuality without violence and as part of that, we believe that positive sexuality begins with enthusiastic consent. This means being as excited and into someone else’s enjoyment as we are excited and into our own enjoyment. Only yes means yes – and yes should come from an engaged and enthusiastic partner.”

                  Which is… to use their terms…. problematic.

                  I’ve never been happier to be wrong.

                    • They wanted the word enthusiastic. The fact that they didn’t melt into little tantrum puddles when the law passed, and all the headlines from every side that used the word, led me to believe that the word had been included. I should know better than to assume.

                    • Sorry.. What does enthusiastic mean to the yes means yes people?

                      I shit you not… They wanted consent to be constant verbal enthusiastic affirmation. Can I take off your dress? Yes. Can I play with your boob? Yes. Bite? No. Bra? Yes. It satirized itself. Which made the satire all the more funny. College Humor did an awesome piece on YouTube that I recommend.

                • I replied, but it was link heavy, and I think temporarily held up. The tl:dr was that you’re right, and I’ve never been happier to be wrong.

      • Great. So rather than an accuser needing to meet a beyond-reasonable-doubt standard, as is right and good in such a serious matter, we’ll see a surge in vigilante retaliations against vindictive, emotionally-stunted women. This is why I think women ought to outright kill the parasites (burden of proof still applies) who actually commit such crimes, with society’s blessing.

  2. I guess academic freedom has gone by the wayside to be replaced by academic indoctrination. This is more than a little like what happened to the universities after Hitler and Stalin gained power over them. Think about that Dean Wood.

  3. What a disservice they are doing for these students. Why would liberals want their students educated in a system that does not require them to critically examine their beliefs? And goes so far as to quash alternative ideas, which they aren’t even required to listen to? You could see the end result of that system when Romney debated Obama – the first time Obama’s ideas had probably ever been seriously challenged – and all he could do was look at his shoes.

    When Ralph Nader came to my school many years ago, I went to hear him! (And 90% of what he said was dead on. The other 10% – not so much).

    • Their actions are principled. The principle is to kick away the ladder of free speech etc. once they have climbed it to a position of strength so that nobody else can climb it after them and build up strength in support of any other position. What could be a sounder operating principle?

  4. I never fail to wonder how these people are going to fare once outside of college, mixing with people from differing educational, religious, and political backgrounds. How will they deal with workplace disagreements, or any kind of conflict at all?

    • When you look at the problems in the real world, it does make you wonder how long we’re expected to coddle people on college campuses. And this at a time when students are paying so much to go to college that they have to pay back their student loans for the rest of their lives.
      That’s an extremely high price to pay for a few years of escapism.

    • Eternal, Crella: you’re mistaking Williams College For The Coddled for some kind of open university. These graduates are never likely to be “mixing with people from differing educational, religious, and political backgrounds.” Nor will they be particularly in debt (one of the largest endowments of any school allows generous financial aid and they are consistently at the highest earning levels for graduates), nor likely liberal (“liberal arts” is not the same as “liberal thought”; they leave the hallowed private grounds as they entered, elite or wannabe: privileged, class conscious and close minded.

      Forbes 2014: Williams College Ranks No. 1 On Forbes’ 7th Annual Ranking Of America’s Top Colleges

      US News 2015: Princeton, Williams Top U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings for 2016

  5. And the current graduates-of-the-‘sixties academics seem like crackpots? Wait until the current crop of whackos gets into positions of power in administrations and faculties. Sheesh. Soon enough we’ll have Tanishi Coates as the president of Howard or Williams or Princeton. Mary Mapes’s daughter will be the head of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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