Desperately Seeking A Justification For The Unjustifiable Mizzou Meltdown, And Failing

protest-mizzou

Yesterday, the Washington Post’s Janelle Moss, an African American issues columnist, presented an aggressive, dishonest and insulting justification for the destructive black student protests at the University of Missouri. In an earlier essay, I described them as an “I’m mad at the world and somebody has to pay for it” tantrum. I’m sticking by that description, despite the ennobling spin being put on it by apologists, many of whom are trying to blunt the damage being done to civil rights advocacy by the events of the last several days.

[N]owhere in this still-young week has there been a better example of the tension between the conservative and liberal views of race and the politics around it than behind the podium where University of Missouri President Timothy M. Wolfe stood and resigned Monday,” she wrote.  This is setting up Wolfe’s speech as a straw man. He was forced to resign, and ordered to do it without making matters worse. He was also protecting himself, and, I believe, was a weak and inept leader. How nice to be able to take a hastily written statement by such a dubious representative of any group and declare it the exemplar of “conservative views on race.”

Moss’s introduction was smoking gun proof that this was an example of an advocate picking out evidence to support what she already was committed to supporting, and atrocious evidence at that.

“The Fix is aware that some Americans are inclined to reject, outright, the idea that some words — those that we choose to express our ideas, what we say at critical moments and that which we do not mention — have deeper, often multi-layered meaning, ” she writes.  I don’t know what she thinks she is saying. “Many Americans” reject the idea that words have meaning? “Multi-layered” meanings? Who? Who believes that? What she is trying to do is to justify her next “proof,” which is junk science.

She consulted two minority social scientists, who have clear biases of their own (but coincidentally aligned with hers)  to psychoanalyze what Wolfe said in resigning, and allowing her to use their self-serving diagnosis (one has a book out about “dog-whistle” racism; the other makes his living writing and teaching about how racist the U.S. is) of a short and quickly composed speech to read not just Wolfe’s thoughts but to attribute them to all “conservatives.” The result is, or should be embarrassing.

One of her hand-picked experts says,

“You know what I thought here? I thought about the quote the football players used — what they said in explaining why they felt they could not play. I think they referenced a line from Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail, when he wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality…” I think those students meant that. I wish that the president had read that letter at some point — or certainly today before he resigned.”

In this context, that analysis is ridiculous. King had a specific goal and cause. The students were striking because the president was supposed to “do something” to make them feel safe on campus from the random racism in the world. Not only do I doubt that most of the football players striking knew the King quote—I doubt they can read above a 7th grade level, too—it isn’t a quote meant to be taken literally, nor does it make sense except in the context of outrageous, wide-ranging injustice. But Moss and her race-industry profiting professors are attempting to imbue a silly and excessive protest with dignity and courage by associating it with a historically heroic one. The implication of their context is also sinister. Because a few students may have used “nigger” in two random incidents (and we don’t even know they are students), the hunger striking, grand-standing grad student and the extortionist football players are taking a stand against injustice “everywhere” that can only be remedied by speech suppression and other authoritarian means.

What rot.

The rest of the analysis follows in kind. Read it all, as an impressive example of journalistic left-wing bias and academic left-wing bias teaming up to make a weak argument look…well, even weaker.

The cultural anthropologist makes this discovery about Wolfe’s speech: “That last part comes pretty close to confirming that those who protested are not his friends.”  Then he goes on to show that this betrays Wolf’s misunderstanding of his role :

“The reality is that you can, very much, support a president or a leader and still encourage or demand that he or she move swiftly in a different direction, take different actions than they have before. That’s the essence of an open environment — certainly a welcoming one. That friendship and support to him seem to be consistent with silence or at least private conversations is telling. As a cultural anthropologist, this is what stood out.”

By speaking so abstractly, the professor is trying to make us forget that the resignation was in response to a specific set of facts. This wasn’t about voting rights or not being able to use public bathrooms. Wolfe was resigning because he couldn’t magically make black students “safe” from random bigots who might insult them. Take what “different actions”? A group of students demanded that Wolfe be fired or resign, and used excessive and extortive tactics—a threatened suicide and defaulting on a football game the school was obligated to play—to make him the convenient scapegoat for “injustice everywhere”… and the professor thinks it’s “telling” that Wolfe does not think of the students who lost him his job as his “friends” ?

In the excellent debate in the comments to my previous post on this topic, urbanregor, who is a respected friend and who contributes greatly to Ethics Alarms by being willing to talk openly and directly about race, agreed that the two incidents of verbal abuse would not have justified the student reaction. He wrote, in part, that “The racial issues at Mizzou appear to go far beyond ‘two unrelated instances of unidentified people using racial epithets, and what may be a hoax…’ I read it more as a tipping point, and why I’m still not convinced it was mob rule.”

I replied…

UR, I read it as a tipping point as well, but not as far as the university goes. Is it too much to expect of putative adults to require them to be able to address clearly and substantively why they are protesting? I don’t think so. When the movement, mob, whatever you want to call it, starts defaulting to grad student insurance plans when you ask “what?” I can only conclude: “They got nothing!” When the first thing the hunger-striker alludes to is “Mike Brown’s murder,” when he was not murdered, I fairly conclude, “Well, this is all based on lies, distortions and political narratives devised to cause exactly these kinds of emotions.”

That’s MY tipping point, UR. I’m a lawyer: I do not respect “my truth/ your truth” tricks. If the strike is about the racial injustice in Ferguson, which there was and is; if it is about systemic injustice, that’s important and fair—but don’t start with Mike Brown and his hands up. If the protest is really about the daily stresses and indignities of black life, don’t scapegoat Mizzou and its administrators, saying they should “do something,” when the only demands the protesters can come up with are boilerplate and eyewash that will do nothing.

Protests are powerful weapons. I have written about that in many contexts. Protesters have an ethical obligation to be fair, clear, focused, and have an immediate purpose in mind. Otherwise they can be exactly like a child with a gun, power without responsibility. Can unfocused, unfair, emotional and excessive protests “do something”? Sure, and so can an angry kid with a gun.

It’s a tipping point, I believe absolutely, because supporters of President Obama, primed by Obama himself since before he was even elected (“Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face. So what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me. “You know, he’s not patriotic enough, he’s got a funny name, you know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”) , cynically agreed that they would consistently attempt to increase his power and muzzle his critics by characterizing them as racially motivated. (And, critically, his supporters include most journalists.) If he had been even a barely competent leader, and he has not, by any fair assessment, this would not have mattered. But a group whose admiration, loyalty and identification with the first black President—and I understand that, because it is natural and human—have been told by that individual,because of his office and the history behind it, who symbolizes everything that white America is hostile to him…and thus THEM…based on color alone. After 8 years of this, no wonder they are angry and alienated. I would be, if, as Clarence Darrow in 1925 urged an all-white jury passing judgment on a black man, if I “made myself black for a moment.” Back in 2008, I predicted exactly this result, if the sick and cynical use of race-baiting didn’t stop…and here we are.

A whole generation has been convinced by a political strategy that whites are hostile to them, hence an ignorant racist insult from some asshole is a stand in, according to a Missouri student leader, for society itself. He believes all whites are like that. If I blame anything on the university, it is being so ideologically imbalanced that he wasn’t taught otherwise.

The tipping point is the product of Barack Obama poisoning race relations, maybe for decades, maybe forever, by being incompetent and arrogant, and for not having the character to accept accountability, hiding behind his race instead.

When one’s hypothesis and analysis predicts a result, and that result occurs, one tends, legitimately, to see that hypothesis confirmed.

Yes, its a tipping point, and has little to do with what happened or didn’t happen at Mizzou. A white university President, a Chancellor and two professors so far have lost their jobs because a far more competent President, or his supporters with his approval, decided to seed racial division and distrust for political gain.

If the reflex defenders of the indefensible at the University of Missouri want to exonerate the students, this gives them a solid argument.

I doubt they are ready to make it, however. It’s so much easier to blame powerless white university officials.

83 thoughts on “Desperately Seeking A Justification For The Unjustifiable Mizzou Meltdown, And Failing

  1. I think you nailed it with that response Jack, part of my comment to UG that had him writing about this not being ‘mob rule’ was:

    “It’s like… You’ve recognized problems, but instead of thinking about them, you just copied the nearest bumper sticker and pasted them into comment form. I don’t know where to start… Maybe by suggesting that you copy the comment into word, separate the sentences, and then ask yourself “And why do you think that is?” After each line.”

    So when he said

    “The racial issues at Mizzou appear to go far beyond ‘two unrelated instances of unidentified people using racial epithets, and what may be a hoax…’ I read it more as a tipping point, and why I’m still not convinced it was mob rule.”

    I just gotta ask: And why do you think that is? Why now. When we as a society are safer than we’ve ever been, when up until the violence this last year every single marker of violent crime was on the decline, and has been for the better part of a decade. Why now, when if we hear racial slurs, we’re by and large uncomfortable, instead of amused. Why now, when there are so many laws on the book that require equality under the law.

    Why now are college students, who are part of the most privileged class in America acting like their situation is worse than it has ever been before?

    • “Why now are college students, who are part of the most privileged class in America acting like their situation is worse than it has ever been before?”

      Unearned privilege breeds entitlement. I would submit that the average college kid these days, of all races and genders, has had to earn very little in their lives, most having been given everything they need. Now, here in college, facing the bleak prospects of a rough economic future of hard work and toil, it’s easier to blame others for their personal shortcomings. I’d also submit, the average white student has probably been given just a tad MORE than the average black student (who, to be fair, has also been given EVERYTHING they have, they just haven’t been given as much) creating an additional false sense of inequality. Entitled people tend to whine.

  2. A whole generation has been convinced by a political strategy that whites are hostile to them, hence an ignorant racist insult from some asshole is a stand in, according to a Missouri student leader, for society itself. He believes all whites are like that. If I blame anything on the university, it is being so ideologically imbalanced that he wasn’t taught otherwise.

    Which does beg the question.

    Why wouldn’t white people adopt full-blown racism?

    Because a few students may have used “nigger” in two random incidents (and we don’t even know they are students), the hunger striking, grand-standing grad student and the extortionist football players are taking a stand against injustice “everywhere” that can only be remedied by speech suppression and other authoritarian means.

    Do not forger this .

    Enforcement of mandatory racial awareness and inclusion curriculum for all faculty, staff and students, controlled by a board of color.

    In other words, a separate but equal board. However…

    in the field of public education, the doctrine of “separate but equal” has no place

    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, 347 U.S. 483, 495 (1954)

        • This would not be a problem if they were merely complaining of racial discrimination by the University, or even racist violence. After all, the University, being part of the state, is held to a higher standard than the general population.

          But this undermines their credibility in opposing racial slurs by private individuals.

          • Not wanting to assume, but I’m guessing that the fact that white students are separated is what you have a problem with. Is this correct?

            • Why would anyone have a problem with that?

              If white segregated places, activities and groups are dangerous, corrupting and offensive to American ideals, so are black segregated places, activities and groups, and they are.

              At this point in social history, the NAACP is exactly as offensive to the goal of a racial justice as the KKK. The same goes for the Congressional Black Caucus, the National Bar Association, and Black Student organizations. Eliminating all of these as advocating race divisions and bias would be the single mots positive step African Americans could take today.

            • Correct.

              It would not be hypocritical if they were merely objecting to racial discrimination by the University. The University, as part of the state, must be held to a higher standard in this context.

              But they were protesting private, non-violent expressions of racism. They are hypocrites.

    • “A whole generation has been convinced by a political strategy that whites are hostile to them”– Well it doesn’t take much convincing actually. However, many of today’s students reject this notion out of hand, because they have real, and lasting friendships with those of other races. While ths alone won’t make anyone blind to hostility, they’re not going to automatically assume it’s race based. But it’s hard to argue against the fact that much of it is. Free, protected speech or not, you can’t ask minorities to automatically think that microaggressions or open acts of hostility are not based on race, for the same reason you don’t want them to automatically assume that it is.

      • I don’t know how you can claim 12 years of public education alongside 25-30+ pop culture education doesn’t constitute “taking much to convince”. It’s complete brainwashing when the sensitivity is taken to the level you take it.

        • Evidenced by the fact that you consistently have to add “acts of hostility” alongside your references to “simple microaggressions” or “passive hostility”. As though your argument can’t survive without the false dichotomy.

          Believe me, none of us want open hostility and harm either. We just don’t think these “microaggressions” are everything their cracked up to be.

          • You also seem intent on insinuating that our lack of urgency about the shaky notion of microaggressions is tantamount to an approval of open season on hurting black people.

            It’s a non sequitur. And it’d be nice if you’d separate the two from each other in this discussion.

      • “You can’t ask minorities to automatically think that microaggressions or open acts of hostility are not based on race…” What? You don’t believe that. That’s the logic of bigotry.

        “You can’t ask whites to automatically think that criminal acts or open acts of anti-social behavior are not based on race…” Seriously? We better ask that.

    • “Batten down the hatches and “embrace the suck,” people; mob-ocracy is here, and it isn’t going anywhere for a long time.”

      Joe, you win my “Eeyore of the Week” award for that!

      I’ll repeat in part what I said to wyogranny yesterday, also in context of the U. of Missouri Sharptonist eruptions (re-cycling a few words from a student named Head): “Granny, you and I are well on our way to being niggerized – right-wing monsters that we are, with our simple existence being threats to (the emerging dystopian) society.”

      Janelle Moss is our drive-by epithet-shouter – or, virtual painter of Stars of David on our storefront windows – either “microaggression” fits.

      We *must* DO SOMETHING! Battening and embracing are not enough.

  3. And as this situation escalates, how long before the people picking up the bill for higher education, i.e.,the parents and the legislators, say “Enough of this b.s.”? And isn’t it interesting that in many cases the college professors are among the highest paid state employees, yet want to rant about income equality?

  4. It’s spreading. At my college we had similar demonstrations today. Some of the protestors were holding “black power” signs.

    • “Black power” signs: More microaggressions noted. Well played, to not mention your college name. But of course, some element of the Democrat Party agitprop machine will publish it. No progressive deed goes unexalted.

  5. I agree that the discussion and debate on your posts on this topic have been excellent. A friend’s daughter who is a Mizzou Freshman says it’s scary there – but kind of exciting witnessing history in the making.

    • I wonder what history it is she thinks is going on there? I don’t think its historic any more than Occupy Wall Street was historic. When your goal is unconstitutional, it’s likely to be a footnote at best. It better not be historic.

      • I’ll ask her! I think it’s because her University is filled with reporters, news vehicles and she’s getting MU alert tweets about threats/safety on campus. It gives the 17 year old Freshman an impression something big is happening. I hope its a blip. Her parents are alumni and are sick about the whole mess.

        I’m discouraged at how some reporting and faculty responses are *not* calling out the unconstitutionality of students’ and faculty actions.

  6. One of the reason’s I continue to post here is a sincere effort to engage and try to understand those who don’t share my world view or position. It’s like a modern day coffee house. I want to know why so many whites seem to feel so uncomfortable, and so offended at even the slightest implication of not understanding race, or being racist, but struggle with the fact that “microaggressions”, like microfractures, are real, painful, and if left untreated will end in a break and a far more serious problem. What I read in a lot of posts is an attitude of superiority, and a total disdain for anything blacks feel or have to say about race. It disappoints me, and at times frightens me, because while I’m quite capable of defending myself, I would rather engage peacefully. And that doesn’t mean we have to agree. But the flip side of political correctness, is putting up with microaggressions. As an example, the consistent use of the niggardly on this site is offensive to me. It’s a “microagression” that I endure because I continue to value the content on this blog. And I most certainly understand the contextual use of the word is not intended to offend, and in it’s use, can be contstrued as legitimate. But words fall out of favor for a reason. We’ve discussed this before, and have compared it to the peaceful initial meaning of the swastika. But who would adopt that symbol today, and argue its use is not offensive based on its original meaning, instead of it more common association with nazism? More later. I need to get to practice. One last word to Jack, you must continue to post on race. It’s the only way anyone learns anything, and feelings and the infamous micraggressions can heal…

    • Micro a aggression is code for “I’m going to take offense just because I know I can get away with it and calling it a microagressions on your part absolves me of any need to examine my own issues.”
      It’s a grand old strategy. Been around for years. Causes contention and discord. Gets people killed. Solves nothing. Someone gets a free pass to be a bully and it might not be who you think it is. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    • UR—I don’t dispute that “microaggressions,” a needlessly technical way of saying “I don’t think he/she/they like me”…exist, or that they are hurtful Those of us who have perceived things about ourselves we don’t feel good about, or think others don’t like—that is everyone—are prone to be hypersensitive to what may seem, due to confirmation bias, to be enmity. We assume that someone’s tone, choice of words, body language, brush manner, etc, is a reaction to what we think is the trigger in us. But it may not be. It may be in our minds. What is perceived as a micro aggression could be, and often is..

      1. A benign expression not intended to offend
      2. A cultural misunderstanding.
      3. The result of stress or factors unrelated to the individuals involved.
      4. Bad social relations skills.
      5. Bad manners unrelated to race

      I defy anyone to know which. Whoever devised the “micoaggession” theme is clever, but the fact is that every perceived “micoaggession” is not and should not be assumed to be racially significant. The theme is disigned to make it seem so, that’s all. We’re all used to snubs and social botches that make us feel bad—if we are old, fat or ugly, we assume these things are the reasons for them. They may be, but may not. That makes them a terrible topic for this debate.

      I am actively annoyed by sales clerks that sullenly grunt to me and don’t make eye-contact, say hello or thanks, and just act as if I’m ruining their day. A lot of these clerks where I live are black. I don’t think its racial bias—it could be, and I know people who think it’s a “fuck you, whitey” message. I think its a “I don’t know how to be a service employee” message, or a “I hate my life” message.

      Frankly, I’m surprised you would give the “microaggression” narrative any credence at all. I’m sure a black individual can choose to interpret every casual hostility as racist, and thinking that would drive them crazy. Why would anyone want to think that?

      • Because ultimately the narrative will become: if you don’t agree with the leftwing political solution for this nation as it regards African Americans, then you are ultimately denying your microaggressions.

        Aka: if you don’t do what I say, you’re a racist.

          • That’s only if it’s used culturally. “microaggressions” (Thank you squiggly red line) are commonly used by feminists and gay rights advocates. “microaggression” (TYSRL) theory isn’t entirely baseless, but as with so many other things that social justice gets its grubby paws on, it’s misused.

            We have identified that we percieve the other person in the room to be affected by a subliminal bias against us? What do we do?

            Perhaps we point it out, politely, and start a conversation? This could look something like: “STOP MANSPREADING YOU SHITLORD” or maybe we don’t even bring it up, maybe we attempt to positively effect their bias through good example? That might looks something like: “YOU’RE VICTIMIZING ME, WHITEY!”

      • And that’s why the overwhelming majority of microaggressions are too small to deal with. You’re also correct in that many of them could be misconstrued to be race related when in fact it’s not. But many of them are in fact race related. As an example, I often see white women clutch a purse tighter or avoid walking close to me, or cross the street. I know it’s an comfortableness that they feel related to my appearance. (Even as good lookin as I am!). I choose, as many black folks do, to blow it off, and it’s forgotten in the next instant. But it takes a toll, and can cause feelings of self doubt. Sure we all have experiences that are similar. But they’re not usually related to our color or race unless you’re brown or black. All we really want is for this fact to be acknowledged. We in fact do let most of it go, hense the “micro”. I choose to ignore them if I find value where they exist. And also to live a normal life with an ability to trust white people. Not all obviously, but a great many….

        • “As an example, I often see white women clutch a purse tighter or avoid walking close to me, or cross the street. I know it’s an uncomfortableness that they feel related tony appearance. (Even as good lookin as I am!).”

          No as a matter of fact you have absolutely NO reason to assume it’s related to your appearance. You represent exactly .000001% of that woman’s interactions in life – you don’t see how she behaves around ANYONE else, unless you are so uptight about this you watch her actively. You very well are reading false positives out of any minor twitch or subtle movement. Get over yourself.

          I’m white and some white women clutch their purses tighter when they walk by me. I’ve observed white women clutching their purses tighter randomly when NO ONE is nearby. I’ve noticed white women, hell white men. Hell PEOPLE, who don’t like walking close to other PEOPLE because that’s how American personal space works.

          If you are so conscious about this that you are actively seeking out behaviors that could be “nonaggression”, brother, I submit the problem is hypersensitivity, on YOUR part.

          “I choose, as many black folks do, to blow it off, and it’s forgotten in the next instant. But it takes a toll, and can cause feelings of self doubt.”

          Instead of “blowing it off”, try “not noticing it” as a true objective.

          To be frank, you’ve got a problem. You’ve been programmed since birth to assume every white person subtly hates you whether they realize it or not. This is a debilitating disease. Just stop it.

          • “If you are so conscious about this that you are actively seeking out behaviors that could be “nonaggression”, brother, I submit the problem is hypersensitivity, on YOUR part”

            Arg. Microaggressions corrected to nonaggression.

            • Tex, actively seeking? What are you talking about? The term “microaggression must offend you so much that you’re not understanding that the “microagressions are harmful over a long period of time. Few if any victims of them reply or react in the moment. It gives the microaggressed time to think and clarify. Most times, the end result is either “my mistake, who cares, or that’s guy/girl is a real asshole. Hypersensitivity is not part of the equation.

              I also wanted to comment about something I read earlier and can’t seem to find now, relating to the purposeful segregation of blacks and whites when discussing race. It’s actually a very useful tactic for whites who by and large don’t have to deal with issues of their own race, and can be uncomfortable when discussing race with minorities in the same room. Research has shown that it’s easier to get honesty and reach a point of understanding-not necessarily a change, if this subject is initially discussed in a segregated group. It makes perfect sense to me.

          • I am a very large man and there was a time in my life, for a variety of reasons, that I was in tremendous shape (sadly that is no longer the case), dressed shabbily, didn’t shave for days, and had occasion to walk the streets of a metropolitan area frequently at night. I saw the women clutching their purses and turning into stores that they previously had no intention of entering. Or maybe they had every intention of going there. Or maybe at the moment I passed them they were about to lose the grip on their purse. Or maybe it was because I looked suspicious. Now that I have a daughter, I would counsel her that if she saw someone like I looked like, on the street, at night, better to be safe than sorry. And if being safe means momentarily hurting the feelings of a nice guy like me by crossing the street or ducking into a store, so be it.

            .

        • But UR (it drives me nuts doing this, since I know your real name!), even that example is ambiguous. I know many microaggressions are race-based, but you can’t tell which. Maybe the woman had just had her purse stolen. Maybe she does the same thing any time anyone walks by. Maybe its a habit. Maybe she was carrying an unusual amount of money, and were nervous. Yes, it takes a toll, I know that. But how much of that toll is caused by assuming racial enmity is everywhere? I’m told the story many times here about an operetta I was directing at Georgetown Law. There were three student tenors, one black, two white. All were at call backs; one of the tenors pretty much blew the others away. I invited the two runners up to be in the chorus. The young African=American student, whom I knew and thought I had a good relationship with—he was as nice a young man as anyone could hope for, smiled when I offered him the role, and said: “I’m sorry, I can’t. I just don’t think that stuff should be part of casting.” I was puzzled. “What are you talking about?” I asked. “You know. Race. Prejudice.”

          I admit it: I was pissed off. I said…”Stop making excuses for your own shortcomings. Both those guys outsang you, and it wasn’t close. Could you not tell that you couldn’t hit the high notes in the solo without using falsetto, and John (the one I cast) could hit it full voice? You were beaten fair and square. Learn to sing better, don’t cry prejudice when you lose out because someone else is jut better. You are also impugning my competence and integrity, never mind implying that I’m a bigot. My duty as a director is to cast the best performers, and if a singer is the best one for a role, I don’t care about his color, religion, politics or criminal record. You’re using your race as a crutch and an alibi, and it’s a habit you better work hard to break.”

          I have still often thought, however, how hard it must be to never be sure whether you lost a job, a role, a romance, an opportunity, a promotion, because of a genuine mistake or weakness, or because of race prejudice. I firmly believe, however, that if you don’t know, assume its you, and take control. You can’t stop bigots. You can sometimes rise above them.

          • You can’t stop bigots but the overall community slowly and surely DOES stop bigots. It takes generations but they are marginalized. It’s the only way to stop it without creating further problems or given people an excuse to become bigots.

            • What you say makes sense to me, but the time frame (it takes generations) is ghastly. African-Americans have encountered bigotry for centuries. I’d love to speed up the marginalization of bigots. All that comes to my mind is how the TV entertainment networks introduced gays and lesbians who were just like other, ordinary folk. In one “Glee” episode, a father told his gay son that even though some of the son’s actions made the father unhappy he did not love his son any less. The studio said it received 30,000 letters in the next week, the overwhelming majority of them positive.

              • I would submit that if the mainstream has taken up whining about “microaggressions”, that the bigots are pretty well marginalized.

                The time frame isn’t much longer. Well, at least it wasn’t much longer, until the race grievance hucksters dove back into the fray to make sure the slaves stayed on the Democrat vote plantation.

              • Yes, unfortunately, speeding up evolution in human nature inevitably involves force, purges, threats, torture, re-education and indoctrination—see Stalin and Mao. And that’s what this desire is pointing to.

                • Careful, Michael: Somebody here might misjudge you for “#22-ing” (the calling-out of which, in this blog, I have come to realize sometimes means, in part, something like, “There are worse commenters than me; you are one of them.”)

                  • The original statement was:
                    “What you say makes sense to me, but the time frame (it takes generations) is ghastly. African-Americans have encountered bigotry for centuries.”

                    The follow up was:
                    “Jews had it much worse, with centuries of pogroms.”

                    I can’t think of a way to make that much more stark. So please, explain to us, to me like I’m really… really… stupid. How that ISN’T a fallacious argument? And NOT specifically a #22? And how this isn’t just you being sore over being called a bigot, trying to deflect your bigotry by calling someone else worse.

                    • To clarify this sub-thread of course, I need to distinguish between 2 things:

                      Bigots and people actively and tangibly harming others because of their bigotry.

                      Of course it is incumbent on the authorities to STOP harm as in physical or material harm enacted on another person, but that of course is entirely independent of bigotry which is merely the motivator in that case.

                      It IS NOT incumbent on the authorities however to actively STOP bigotry itself, because then you open the can of worms that leads to totalitarian societies.

                    • @Tex

                      No no, and maybe I wasn’t being clear. No one is responsible for my feelings except me, I’m not expecting anyone to tone police or censor anyone over this. Heck, half the time I don’t even comment when someone says something groan worthy…. But when it gets to the point where I feel like I should say something, the last thing I’m going to put up with is “I’m not a bigot because even though I think the way you were born is a lifestyle choice and wrong, I’m not actively throwing rocks at you and Islam is worse.” You’re still a bigot. Just not as big a one as a fundamentalist Muslim. Congrats?

                    • Ooops. Disregard that comment. I added my clarification to the end of your comment because I felt that the original response that led to this side bar may have needed clarification.

                • Obviously, I am not trying to justify discrimination against other groups merely by claiming that Jews have it worse.

                  But people have blamed social pathologies common among certain ethnic groups on discrimination and oppression. why then, do the Jews not have these same social pathologies to the same extent as those groups that oppressed them?

        • I’m old and fat and often cranky. Same thing happens to me all the time. I notice people react differently to me than they do to young slim people, people who are more personable than I am often get treated better than I do.
          Meh.

          • Yeah, it’s like: “Let’s make laws, mount lawsuits, and institute mandatory Microaggressions Studies courses in every school in every school year, to change human nature.”

      • See, that’s just it. Speaking for myself, I’ve personally encountered soooo many black people who choose to interpret every perceived slight, real and (more often) imagined as race-based “microagressions”, not to mention what happens in public discourse, that I care less and less about it with each passing day. My empathy fatigue point has long passed, for a number of reasons, but I STILL might be inclined to listen if not for the knee-jerk assumptions of racism, and especially the anger. Im not inclined to listen to someone who wants to shout, and not listen. It makes communication difficult, and it presumes there’s only one valid point of view.

    • “But the flip side of political correctness, is putting up with microaggressions. As an example, the consistent use of the niggardly on this site is offensive to me. It’s a “microagression”

      The second use of the word is in quotes. That’s the way it should be. Characterizing something as an aggression because it is offensive to you is the same as calling it … something said or done that is offensive to you. The word “microaggression” itself is an excellent example of how “political correctness” has deteriorated — or inflated — as it steadily erodes vocabulary with neologisms that reflect ONLY the listener’s subjective values or, as has been mentioned here, personal sensitivities or biases. Complaining “microagression” for any perceived insult or hurt, emotional or physical — “micro,” after all, still carries the definition of too small for the naked eye — is ripe for misuse. It says the complainer is by definition the victim and the other, implying purpose, the aggressor (there is no good antonym for “aggressor” by the way). It’s an anything-goes, help-he’s-looking-at-me-funny-he-must-be-a rapist cry.

      Okay. It’s not going away, any more than the slogans referrent to Mike Brown are (sorry, Jack; myths are often stronger than truths). Now that “microaggression” is with us, I see a good use for it; it belongs in Psychology or Sociology, in the professional jargon of the soft sciences, the ones that think statistics on human beings or human thought can substitute for empirical evidence.

      Sorry, got out of focus there for a moment, but the idea was begging to be let in. For instance, I get the point about “niggardly”; I have used it here, twice, showcased ironically. I am now burying it because it makes urbanregor uncomfortable to read in this context (too frequently, yes), as opposed perhaps to its appearance in a 19th century text, and we are both guests in this blog who need to respect each other’s voices. That’s not being politically correct, it’s merely being polite, civil, thoughtful, empathetic, gracious and a dozen other words that already exist. That they don’t carry the policing power of “politically correct” is another subject.

      p.s. “Politically Correct” is a mAcroaggression in my book, and fast becoming fightin’ words.

      • The politically correct thing would have been to not have admitted that the word makes me uncomfortable despite knowing the actual meaning and history. I could have simply ignored it, and tried hard to never think about it. Within the context of this forum, that IS politically correct. Instead, I took a chance and openly admitted that the word makes me uncomfortable. So am I to be lauded for being politically incorrect? Do the same rules not apply? My brain knows you mean no offense when you use it, and I’ve never once taken your use of the word as intending to offend anyone. But it’s a dead word that in spite of a perfectly understandable meaning, I can’t seem to shake. It hits too close to home. It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but anything less would be dishonest. I do strive to be polite and civil. I realize that much of what I post will be read with disagreement or even disdain. Some of what I write could be construed as “microaggressions” that white folks might feel. And in spite of the “microness” many on this forum respond pretty sharply, and have taken offense. Is it really any different than how others on the other side respond? I don’t think so. And you can’t simply say, “I’m smarter, and have a better position”. That’s not the point. This type of dialogue, in my mind, is worth the occasional real or imagined microaggression. I don’t think there’s anything hyper sensitive about that.

        • That’s a helpful explanation, UR. Now I’ve got to think about it. I also don’t understand how your sincere expressions here could offend anyone either. At worst, they may be depressing. The perceptions of decent people of good will and functioning bra[ns living in the same culture should not be so difficult to align.

          • I don’t understand it either. But rest assured, I don’t take offense. At least none beyond the usual overly sensitive, race card playing, Al Sharpton loving, pyche that 400 years of white hatred programming will allow!!!!!

            And thinking means we all win….

    • How on earth does the use of “niggardly” here, which accurately stands for imagined offenses based on ignorance, constitute a “microagression” to an educated man? Now we are regarding words that sound like offensive words and are used in proper context (unlike “a shipload of money”) as nonaggression? This isn’t just hypersensitivity, UT, it’s willful hypersensitivity. Have you read the three Niggardly Principles? Do you disagree with them? Can you think of a better title for guidelines involving perceived offenses based on ignroance? I’m very interested in the answers.

      • I can’t answer for UR, Jack, but you did crush one of my arguments against “microagression” which was that the word could be used only subjectively, in the mouth of the ..uh… microoffended — [thanks for wrecking my use of that word as a synonym. It can be a minor offense too, no?] — the belief of the user being that he is being attacked (deliberately), and only his feelings are being taken into account. So I’m going to try to defend offense in that context. “I was microaggressed” isn’t going to work. (yet?) But it can equate to “offended,” as in hearing the sound of “nigga” is offensive to me because my first reaction to hearing the word, even imbedded in another word that comes from Old Norse and hasn’t any relation to it is to FEEL, automatically, offended. I’m not sure it’s a get-over-it reaction. I can think of a few words or actions that still bring out the anger in me, even if I know they’re being used innocently for something other than what I thought. Being tickled used to enrage me; I felt under attack. Seeing it done to a child today brings that feeling back, even if the child is giggling about it. I have a Latina acquaintance who nearly lost her job — she was a cleaner — for shouting at her boss to stop saying he wanted everything “spic ‘n span” and explained later that she knew what it meant but she couldn’t help hearing it as an insult.

        Also, niggardly is a dead word. So one can easily assume it is being brought up for a reason other than its “miserly” definition, e.g. my past uses of it.

        There’s no saying “I’m sorry I aggressed you.”

        “Forgive me, Father, for I have microaggressed” (oops, did I step on the hem of the cassock there?)

        Stop me before I offend myself further.

    • Amazing. Incredible that other administrators are applauding their peers and subordinates as they are frog marched off the plank. So they can hire more administrators. A modest proposal: Let’s speed up this process by having all the administrators resign and replace them with students. Student administrators. That’ll take care of all the problems.

      • Mizzou now has a new, BLACK interim president.
        The score at that university now stands Bullies 1, Bullied 0 (or -2 or more).

  7. … That friendship and support to him seem to be consistent with silence or at least private conversations is telling…

    There’s an old joke that goes, “Do you know the difference between a living room and a lavatory?”, “No”, “Well, I’m not inviting you to my home, then”.

    It has often struck me that it would be constructive to transfer that to “Do you know the difference between being friendly and being pushy?”, e.g. for customer service that thinks that because friends use each other’s first names it is friendly rather than pushy to do so – uninvited. The same holds here, where this person thinks that friendship and support are INconsistent with silence and private conversations. His (or her) friendship and support are pushiness, plain and simple.

  8. This lecture by Prof. Jonathan Haidt was delivered at Yale while the Halloween costume email controversy was howling. It’s essential viewing.

    The professor explains the philosophical underpinnings of what all the safe place, etc. people are demanding. It’s all based on Herbert Marcuse’s essentially Marxist social science theories and critiques of American/capitalist society. I’ve tried reading Marcuse. I find it impenetrable gibberish. But these college kids are all hurling around Marcusian terms as if they are Molotov cocktails. I doubt they really understand much of what Marcuse has posited. (I doubt anyone does.) But I don’t think these students are attacking free speech. They’re just parroting a bunch of gibberish they’ve picked up in classes. Their and Marcuse’s objective is to radically reform society as a Marxian utopia. It’s the 1960s all over again. Perhaps these kids are rebelling against their parents who were the children of the Eisenhower generation. History repeating itself. Maybe it’s encouraging. Maybe it means these black kids have come from essentially middle-class or higher black families that are successful enough and sound enough that their kids feel a need to rebel against their parents’ world. In any event, they won’t all be able to get jobs in the government and academia. Most of them will probably have to grow up at some point and get a real job and take care of their families.

  9. Powerful stuff. I especially liked:

    “Lies stacked on top of lies create the bullshit we’re witnessing in Columbia, Missouri. Clever faculty members, in my opinion, baited a small group of misguided black students into stirring a racial shitstorm strong enough to attract Twitter-addicted journalists looking for their next relevancy hit off the Black Lives Matter crack pipe.”

    “Concerned Student 1950 needs to ask Mizzou’s liberal academics to carry them to Tyshawn Lee’s neighborhood and create a safe space there. Seriously. Assimilated, spoiled black kids showing up on modern college campuses and pretending they’re standing on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 is f—ing embarrassing. What’s worse is assimilated, spoiled black journalists selling the righteousness of their cause.”

  10. I’m not sure what your point is?

    Are you suggesting that in the face of a protest against the organization he heads, he should join in with the protesters? They were interrupting the homecoming dance because…. I can’t even make up a sarcastic reason. Maybe Homecoming is racist?

    Regardless, at this point you have a group that is apparently hostile to the administration even before the poop swastika or the drive by slurring. But this… THIS is the thing that set everything off, right? Or at the very least is indicative of why Hunt was obviously problematic to these protesters, he didn’t cave, and he didn’t immediately administer CPR when his driver ‘clipped’ (And as an aside, I watched the whole 10 minutes, I didn’t see the car bump anyone, maybe I missed it, I need a time stamp, I’m not parsing a 10 minute video to see if the car actually, or perhaps microagressively (TYSRL) clipped someone. I did see Professor Click in the line, and am so glad that vile woman resigned in shame.) someone.

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