Does anybody care except the occasional blog? More specifically, has any Presidential candidate condemned these incidents?
At Everett Middle School in the Mission District in San Francisco:
Principal Lena Van Haren decided to withhold the results of the school’s Oct. 9 student council election for more than a week, because she felt the results weren’t diverse enough. She said that the school community needed to figure out how to have a more representative government. There were no Latino or black candidates chosen for the top four spots.“This is complex, but as a parent and a principal, I truly believe it behooves us to be thoughtful about our next steps here so that we can have a diverse student council that is truly representative of all voices at Everett,” she told parents in an e-mail Thursday.
They reacted furiously, indignantly and correctly, accusing her of tampering with a fair and free election. Her response was unethical, dishonest, rationalized, and idiotic.
“We paused to have a conversation. [You withheld the results.] I never, ever said we wouldn’t share the results or they weren’t good enough. [If they were good enough, why the need for a “conversation”?] This is middle school. It’s not a presidential election. [ It was supposedly an election for the student leadership of the school, and thus as close to a Presidential election as a middle school gets. What’s your point, that its OK to manipulate elections for lesser offices?] It was not about hurting democracy or putting diversity over democracy. [ Funny, it sure looked like that’s exactly what it was about.]
Then she said that she wanted to wait until there was a plan created with student input to increase diversity among student leaders, perhaps by adding positions.
The students apparently paid no attention to race and ethnicity in their voting. That’s the objective, isn’t it? The principal want to perpetuate group identification and divisions, even if the students have educated themselves to understand that neither should matter. Adding positions to make it easier to have token “diversity” makes a sham out of any election. What other brilliant solutions does this principal have? Special representatives of every race and ethnic group? Quotas? Giving minority groups bonus votes? Forcing minorities to run for the council? Forcing whites not to?
Schools have elections to teach them about democracy. This principal is teaching them that democracy and the will of voters must meet progressive agendas, or it is “wrong.” She’s also teaching them to lie. Withholding results sent a message that the students had done something wrong by not considering race and ethnicity as qualifications for office that should take precedence over skill and demonstrated ability. Her denials were obvious and made no sense.
This how the extreme leftist educational establishment indoctrinates students to progressively weaken our democracy. Responsible parents should not accept [Correction note: The “not” was inadvertently omitted in the initial post.]such transparently dishonest excuses for it. If this could happen, the entire school and school system needs to be overhauled.
Wesleyan University’s students decided to take revenge on its twice-weekly student-run newspaper The Argus for daring to critique the racist, anti-police group Black Lives Matter (recently endorsed by the Democratic National Committee) in a column last month.
Many students at the prestigious college feel the free speech is only valuable if it advances their far left ideology, so they circulated a petition asking the Wesleyan Student Assembly to remove The Argus’s funding until it understood that it should only print The Truth—presumably that Mike Brown had his hands up, that white police are out to kill black men and that the African American community shares no responsibility for its problems. The specific demands included mandatory diversity training for Argus staff, work-study positions to increase minority employment at The Argus, and a dedicated space in the paper for minority pundits.
Some 170 members of the Wesleyan community signed the petition. That’s not a very large percentage, but it was enough for WSA member Alexander Garcia to introduce a resolution to cut The Argus’s print budget from $30,000 to $13,000 in order to pay for work-study positions at minority campus publications that print less frequently. The resolution was approved last week by a vote of 27-0.
Garcia, an aspiring progressive weasel based on this episode, characterized the funding cut as a measure to increasing diversity and, hilariously, environmental sustainability. His proposal says that the printing run of The Argus will “reduce paper waste.”
The petitioners also employed this cynical deceit, vowing to gather copies of The Argus and “recycle” them—that is, destroy them so no one can read the Argus’s mind-poison.
Even progressives—some of them—admitted that this was the equivalent of censorship. Wrote the Daily Beast…
It remains the case that Wesleyan is an overwhelmingly liberal campus where actual diversity would require a dilution of liberal voices, not a campaign to give them special attention on the front page. The Argus’s decision to allow a conservative perspective to appear in the paper arguably demonstrated a stronger commitment to diversity than the WSA has managed.
I don’t want to hear another sophist make the excuse that as a private institution, Wesleyan can’t be guilty of violating the Right of Free Speech. It’s a college, and a college, private or public, is obligated to teach its students values. Respecting dissent and free expression is a crucial value in this nation, and punishing unpopular views must be condemned as threatening democracy, society and freedom itself.
Wesleyan President Michael Roth weighed in with a column in the Hartford Courent,with a disgusting set of rationalizations and institutional spin, saying that “contrary to what has been reported in the press, the student newspaper has not been defunded.” Understand now why this happened at Wesleyan? No, the paper hasn’t been “de-funded,” it’s just been punished for publishing a conservative opinion—though why opposing a racist organization is considered “conservative,” I’ll never understand–and its student council has unanimously voted to cut (but not ‘defund’!) its budget for a manifestly fake reason. Then Roth teaches his students how to rationalize:
“Commentators, perhaps weary of their impotence in the face of the perversion of free expression in politics by means of wealth (1), have weighed in on this so-called threat (2) to free speech on college campuses. “What’s the matter with kids today,” these self-righteous critics ask, “don’t they realize that America depends on freedom of expression?” While economic freedom and political participation are evaporating into the new normal of radical inequality (3), while legislators call for arming college students to make them safer (4), puffed-up pundits turn their negative attention to what they see as dangerous calls to make campuses safer places for students vulnerable to discrimination (5). But are these calls really where the biggest threat to free expression lies? (6) I fear that those who seize upon this so-called danger will succeed in diverting attention from far more dangerous threats.”
What an unapologetic progressive hack!
Regarding the footnotes above…
(1) Another Citizen’s United complaint, with bumper sticker facts. Censoring a student paper by threatening to take away its funding is exactly what the anti-Citizens United mob wants to do despite the First Amendment; constrain political speech. Is there any doubt that this guy supported the defunding threat?
(2) So called threat! Right–where’s the threat in punishing newspapers for unpopular opinions? After all, it’s for the Greater Good!
(3) Now we have the income inequality pitch. What’s radical inequality? I guess it justifies radical income redistribution–you know, socialism. Of course it also justifies censorship. A small price to pay…
(4) A gun control call! Let’s see what other irrelevant progressive agenda items Ross can link to this episode…
(5) Censorship makes students safe….like trigger warnings and speech codes [ “The university’s speech codes directly contradict these statements by placing substantial restrictions on students’ expressive rights”—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education]
(6) Rationalization #22, “It’s not the worst thing.” Translation: “How dare these conservatives get upset about slapping down a non-conforming newspaper—threatening free speech is just a “so-called” danger—when have to put up with their atrocities like equal treatment under the law, the right to bear arms, law enforcement, and democracy?”
I could make an argument that the middle-school and high school proto-totalitarians do less damage than radical progressive activists masquerading as educators at the college level, like Wesleyan’s Michael Ross. After all, his students arrive at a leftist school like his pre-indoctrinated and with closed minds; all he has to do is spin and cover for them, and let them change the world. If he and his faculty were competent and ethical, he’d understand that his duty is to open those prematurely biased minds, not to allow them to censor arguments so they stay shut.
32 thoughts on “More Nascent Totalitarianism In Middle School And College”
Mindless drones. Ideological sycophants of any mystical pronouncements from the far and what is now even the moderate left. Put everyone on the defensive with “Sexist,” “Racist,” “Ageist” and “BSist.” I have friends on the left (yes – I do have friends) who are old school in that this approach turns them inside out. They are rapidly becoming fossilized by their younger and far more unbalanced newbies.
Oh, colleges teach values all right, they’re just overwhelmingly liberal ones, have been since a lot of folks extended their student deferments to avoid Vietnam, and ever will be since now those folks are tenured and deciding who to hire next. If you are unlucky enough to be the red pepper flake in the sea of blueberry jam that is college, your best bet is to keep your head down and concentrate on learning what you are there to learn, because it’s a finite period with a goal – getting your degree, in mind.
What really got me about the Everett story was that the population at large in the school was 80% minority. That means that in order to have a larger white representation in the executive, the kids either had to buck group identification politics or be unaware of them. That’s so cool. I think it shows that kids come into life with a basic understanding that all people are people, and then the adults around them fuck it all up.
Wait, so the principal was essentially telling the minority students not to vote for white candidates?
The underlying worldview is rather inane on its face, but I’ll wager that the principal either is too superficial to have realized how she sees the world, or is too afraid to appear any different to the parents. The principal believes, or is trying to appear to believe, that an elected representative cannot faithfully represent the interests of someone from a different ethnic group. If this were true, then ethnic groups would effectively be different countries, and would elect their own delegates to some sort of multi-cultural council instead of belonging to a common pool of voters.
However, the basis of the American representative democracy is that people generally have the same values, and the only real problem is balancing all the different interests in order to create policies which optimally help everyone get as much of what they want as possible without unduly inconveniencing others. You can’t have it both ways. If every culture in a population must be represented by their own people, fine. Just so long as the leaders could communicate with each other, it might help people trust the leaders more.
But let that be official; don’t try to shoehorn the effects of that system into the decision-making process of a system based on the idea that leaders should and can do a decent job of representing all their constituents, or the idea that the constituents are not really that different from each other in the first place. Let’s have an honest system, the underlying assumptions of which everyone can see and critique.
When I call the shots, they will teach identification of underlying assumptions in elementary school. So many people assume that disagreements can’t be peacefully worked out, simply because they never learned assumption identification and don’t have the perception to figure it out on their own.
What is truly frustrating, is that Wesleyan’s initial reaction was truly commendable. The student government issued statements that the Argus should not be punished for publishing unpopular views. The President of Wesleyan has spoken out early about the need for exposure to difficult ideas, and to avoid actions that censor. His Sunday editorial continued to emphasize that, although the misleading statement about “not defunding” is disturbing. The Argus, for its part, has refused to apologize for publishing the piece.
Several decades ago, the Daily Campus at UConn voted to become independent of the student government, instead having its own funding structure. This might be a move the Argus needs to explore.
What respectable American college HAS to issue statements supporting free expression?
At this point? All of them. There’s a generation of kids entering college with high expectations, little context, and without wisdom, and instead of losing the first one and gaining the latter two, they’re being empowered in this progressive, authoritarian circle-jerk. Kudos to any institution that gives them a rhetorical swat upside the head and tells them to think.
God I sound old.
I FEEL old. The first thing I thought of at the end of your comment was The Circle Jerks. The second was bacon.
It makes you sympathetic and angry at McCarthy. There WERE Communists everywhere, and now we can see the results of their influence in Hollywood and academia. His methods were illegal and as un-American as theirs, but it wasn’t a minor threat to America that they posed. His ant-Communist vendetta put a stain on anyone opposed to Communism and made it anti-intellectual.
All of this PC garbage began with and was spread by the campus Communist crowd. Now, we have ‘State Media Outlets’ and all other opinions are labelled ‘partisan’. Now we have regular calls for ending Constitutional civil rights, and ‘civil rights’ only belong to chosen groups. We have politicians stating that they will give the people all the health care they need, for free. They will give them all the education they need, for free. They will give the people all the housing they need, for free. They will give them all the money they need, for free. We need to remember we had a state that gave everyone in it all the health care, education, housing, and food they needed for free. This state guaranteed everyone a job for life. This state was slavery. Remember, the Soviet Union’s definition of a citizen was the same as US slave states’ definition of a slave. If we depend on the state for everything and we are only allowed what the state allows us, how is that freedom?
The problem is that one can’t defend McCarthy without defending totalitarian methods and “the ends justify the means.” Her defense of McCarthy was what made be realize that Ann Coulter was worthless.
I didn’t say defend, but sympathetic and angry. I am sympathetic that he saw a great threat to democracy and tried to stop it. I am angry at him because his method of stopping it was itself a great threat to democracy and resulted in the triumph of the very forces he opposed.
I’m sure the commies of his day, just like today’s, knew full well that they would one day utilize the methods he did. I’m personally only sorry that he handed them a victory thusly. I wish he had found another way. I’m fully aware that that puts me on shaky unethical ground, but this cancer is threatening my children.
I heard a rumor that children in this country were one assigned to schools based on race and ethnicity. Is there anywhere I can go to verify whether or not this rumor is true?
I read the comments in the SFGate web site.
Fortunately, the comments are near-unanimous against the principal.
That is stunning, considering the region, especially its close proximity to Berkeley.
Ask Berkley students about “Al Gore”. There are mercifully some ironies that are not lost, even if buried under layers of muck.
Jack: Second sentence of about your 6th paragraph – “Responsible parents should accept such transparently dishonest excuses for it.” Don’t you mean to say “…should not accept…?”
Yup. Thanks, E. Reminds me of my late Mom Eleanor, who tayped all my papers in college, and never had typos EXCEPT dropping or adding “not” and “no.”
I still type with my nose-pickers. Nor do I write in cursive, thanks to that temporary withdrawal from school I mentioned some time ago. I’m overdue for typing lessons.
Jack, did you hear about Jesse Watters on Fox News, interviewing students on the campus of Cornell University – just checking, to verify what a hotbed of ideological diversity exists there? (I know you didn’t see it.) It aired last night. Watters was kicked off the campus – his interviews were not permitted “at that time.” That Bill O’Reilly and Watters, I tell you – those two are mortal threats to democracy. They MUST be “defunded.”
Ideological diversity? Look here; not all diversity is good. Kind of like how there’s a good touch, and a bad touch.
I agree with you, Joe. But, sometimes, we of more sound minds must permit the kooks to enjoy a share of the oxygen (and CO2), even when they are on the “higher education” plane, lest stupidity metastasize by way of simple ignorance. Just wait and see – it’s coming: arrests and detentions on college campi for a re-defined “ideational apraxia.” Like “good touch” and “bad touch,” the re-defined apraxia will serve to describe a sort of post-Soviet, post-Constitutional “dissidence” that will be deemed in the DSM to confirm mental illness on the part of certain “contrarian” speakers and writers. Contrarian, that is, to the prevailing ideology which, of course, will be the Goodthink of correct ideation – reflected by the use of genderless pronouns (for example). Remember, Joe: You and I are male, therefore we are rapists – guilty, of the original sin of maleness (a permanently unprotected class). Any touch by one of us is a bad touch. That truth is taught in colleges now.
The good news is that this necessarily restricts the breeding habits of liberals and essentially removes them from the gene pool.
My comment was sarcasm, but I agree with you, especially regarding CO2 (minus the 2). And yes, the DSM will evolve to reflect current norms, as deviation from the mean, no matter what the mean represents, is often used in criterion for mental illness. Funny how that works. Anyway, Seeing as Im already a rapist, I’d may as well get to it. I’m off to Wal-Mart.
Yup, there may be reeducation camps at some point, or some variation of the general theme. Maybe by then, it will take the form of a shot, coupled with some sort of aversion therapy, where pictures of republican presidents, pro-capitalism slogans, the founders, gasoline-powered cars, hamburgers, Murray Rothbard, etc, etc will be screened in a theater, accompanied by patriotic music, while technicians administer saline drops to our pried-open “glazzies”.
” forced to watch nasty little bits of ultra-conservatism, O my brothers”
400 pound women in spandex. Have fun, Joe!
The name “Wesleyan” suggests Methodist sponsorship. Has anyone queried the church leadership as to their position on this?
It’s here in Middletown, CT. Source-level liberalism.