There is a dumb joke in an old “I Love Lucy” episode that this story brings to mind.
Lucy is outraged when she reads that there is am all- filly race at the local race track and misunderstands. Horrified, she erupts, “How long has this been going on? They’re racing little girls at Churchill Downs!” Ricky promptly explains why she was being an alarmist.
I hope that somehow the news item’s reporter got the facts wrong or I am missing something, because this story is far worse than racing little girls, and nowhere near as funny.
The University of Arizona is accepting student applications for what administrators call “social justice advocates.” The job requires the students to “report any bias incidents or claims to appropriate Residence Life staff,” and pays the student workers $10 an hour. They’re expected to work 15 hours a week, earning $600 a month in taxpayer funds—this is a public university—to police their fellow students speech and conduct.
Part of the job description reads:
“The position also aims to increase understanding of one’s own self through critical reflection of power and privilege, identity and intersectionality, systems of socialization, cultural competency and allyship as they pertain to the acknowledgement, understanding and acceptance of differences. Finally, this position intends to increase a student staff member’s ability to openly lead conversations, discuss differences and confront diversely insensitive behavior.”
Their #1 job, however, is to report “bias claims” so the student miscreant involved can face a Star Chamber, or the university equivalent. Such a claim can be what someone regards as an outright act of “racism,’ which presumably could include anything from using a racial epithet to saying Maxine Waters is an idiot, to “microaggressions” like “cultural misappropriation,” or calling a transgender student by the wrong pronoun. The social justice advocate’s job will also include “fostering dialogue” related to “diversity, multiculturalism and social justice”—in other words, to be a full time left-wing scold— and to “increase awareness of diverse identities” while “promoting inclusive communities.”
I wonder if being stuffed in a closet or hung on a hook will be considered a “biased incident” by these paid political correctness snitches? That is, after all, what would happen to them on a healthy campus. Will they have little badges and whistles? I think they should get badges and whistles. Or get a uniform like Rolf at the climax of “The Sound of Music.”
They’re racing little girls at Churchill Downs!
This can’t be real, could it? Campus culture has not become this perverted, this totalitarian, this nuts, has it? Maybe this is a clever experiment by the University…sure, that has to be what’s going on. The school wants to see if students can tell real “1984”-style, Soviet indoctrination tactics and distinguish them from the lesser, more tolerable outrages the progressives are trying to use to strangle liberty and free expression in 2017. This is brilliant! The University wants to know how many student-weasel hybrids will sign up to spy on fellow students, and the applicants will be required to take some special training in “The Core Values Of The United States,” “The Constitution, ” and “How Not To Be A Dick.” Maybe they want to see how long it takes for a student march on the administration building protesting this oppression and harassment.
That better be the explanation, but I fear it is not. Just this week, the Washington Post editorialized that colleges should “make crystal clear that racist signs, symbols and speech are off-limits.” This is the censorship and speech-policing that what we once called the liberal side of our political spectrum has embraced to its disgrace and the nation’s endangerment.
In the same paper, Prof. Eugene Volokh correctly calls the Post’s exhortation what it is: an attack on free expression and academic freedom on college campuses:
This is an editorial, the product of carefully considered labor on the part of a group of people, not an extemporaneous remark; when it says “racist … speech” (especially right after a sentence talking about political advocacy during a presidential campaign), I assume it means what it’s saying.
And the editorial’s proposal is an awful idea. At public universities, it would violate the First Amendment; at private universities, it would violate many of the universities’ stated commitments to open debate, as well as basic principles of academic freedom.
1. The Supreme Court has made “crystal clear” that the government may not discriminate based on viewpoint, even in limited public fora such as university open spaces (or for that matter even university programs for funding student speech). Lower courts have consistently struck down campus speech codes aimed at supposedly bigoted speech. See, e.g., Dambrot v. Central Michigan Univ., 55 F.3d 1177, 1184-85 (6th Cir. 1995); DeJohn v. Temple Univ., 537 F.3d 301, 316-17, 320 (3d Cir. 2008); McCauley v. Univ. of V.I., 618 F.3d 232, 237-38, 250 (3d Cir. 2010); Iota Xi Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity v. George Mason Univ., 993 F.3d 386, 388-89, 391, 393 (4th Cir. 1993); College Republicans v. Reed, 523 F. Supp. 2d 1005, 1010-11, 1021 (N.D. Cal. 2007); Roberts v. Haragan, 346 F. Supp. 2d 853, 870-72 (N.D. Tex. 2004); Bair v. Shippensburg Univ., 280 F. Supp. 2d 357, 373 (M.D. Pa. 2003); Booher v. Bd. of Regents of N. Ky. Univ., 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11404, *28-*31 (E.D. Ky. 1998); UWM Post, Inc. v. Regents, 774 F. Supp. 1163, 1165-66, 1173, 1177 (E.D. Wis. 1991); Doe v. Univ. of Mich., 721 F. Supp. 852, 856, 864-66 (E.D. Mich. 1989). And in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (2010), the Court gave students’ freedom to “express any viewpoint they wish — including a discriminatory one” as an example of “this Court’s tradition of protect[ing] the freedom to express the thought that we hate” (quotation marks omitted). There is no First Amendment exception for “hate speech” or “racist signs, symbols and speech.”
2. And beyond their unconstitutionality, bans on “racist … speech” would, of course, extend far beyond just threats or even epithets. Many substantive claims may be easily labeled racist, in the sense of being generalizations that express a negative claim about a racial group, whether they are claims about blacks being criminals, whites being an oppressor race, Hispanic immigration being bad for the country (ethnicity is generally treated much like race in legal rules and university policies), and so on. And of course many other claims are routinely labeled racist as well, even if they focus not on race but on religion (condemnation of Islam is routinely labeled “racist”), immigration (calls to deport illegal aliens, or otherwise limit immigration, are routinely labeled “racist” even if they call for broad enforcement of the law), foreign nations (harsh condemnation of Israel is often labeled anti-Semitic, in the sense of being hostile to Jews as an ethnic group) and so on. Some such advocacy may be motivated by racial or ethnic hostility, while some might not be; but all such advocacy that runs against university administrators’ political views would be deterred when “university administrators” “make crystal clear” that “racist … speech” — racist in the views of whatever disciplinary committee is making decisions — is “off-limits.”
Plus of course bans on racist speech would hardly stay limited to speech that is hostile based on race, or on ethnicity. Naturally there would then be calls for similar bans on sexist speech, speech critical of particular religions, anti-gay speech, anti-transgender speech, and so on — and those would suppress an even broader range of debate.
The Post editorial and the U. of A.’s hired PC enforcers spring from the same dread sickness in the culture wars. If you encounter someone who defends this movement, fear them. Rebuke them. They threaten everything great about this nation.
The odds are also 100 to 1 that they think President Trump firing James Comey proves that he should be impeached. Just ask them.
23 thoughts on “Indoctrination And Intimidation At The University Of Arizona: Who Will Say, “So What’s The Matter With That?””
Five “freaking” minutes after I read the link below and I see this post by Jack. With the Boston protest I may just attend the next one despite the fact there will be an excessive amount of wingnuts.
Jack, as usual, an enlightening post.
Am genuinely amazed by the knowledge and skills you bring forth in arguing your points in all the articles you post. Where do you find the time??
Wish I had some of the knowledge and skills, as well as time, to counter a few of those views that I find objectionable.
Nonetheless, I appreciate the time and effort which you put in, and learn greatly not only from you, but from all those who take the time to respond to you.
In regards Freedom of Speech, Should not one consider its effects on others, on the possible consequences resulting from one’s liberty to say whatever one wants, to whomever one chooses to say this to? Protecting and policing any such speech is often times not so very straightforward, but the common good, and not only an individual’s right, should be balanced into the equation. The manner of policing which The University of Arizona choose to do so in this case is amateurish.
Short answer: Ethics dictates that one should not cause gratuitous and needless pain through expression, but the freedom to express ideas, however unwelcome, is a foundation of this culture and human enlightenment. Everyone has the option of self-censorship; no one has the right to censor others. The remedy to speech thought offensive or wrong is more speech, not suppression.
Thank you for your kind words. Positive feedback helps me keep going, and it isn’t that frequently expressed.
Jack, appreciate your response.
Any thoughts on how Charismatic Hitler’s booming influential anti-Jewish rhetoric could have been countered prior to the German slaughter not only of Jews, but Slavs, and the Roma as well.
The allies should not have beggared Germany, which set the society up for fascism to take over.
By speaking in defense of the Judenvolk and the Roma-which Hitler did not allow.
This question opens up into a suppressed conversation, and one that one is not allowed to have in almost any forum, anywhere. One is not allowed to speak in any trenchant way of Judaism and Europe, nor is one allowed to speak or to think in terms of race-differences and a growing set of issues and questions. And God protect you if you do this anywhere within America. In fact, there is a whole range of topics which are off-limits and suppressed. This is all very obvious when one examines the Left-Progressive pole within politics and commentary. But what is also true is that the so-called Conservative end of the spectrum — this is my own opinion of course — patrols the borders of acceptable speech and thought and effectively ‘self-censors’ itself.
What I have noticed is that — I express it in this way — *the suppressed idea and its articulation goes underground*. This is a parallel to a psychological process of suppression where an untoward idea — and idea that cannot be accepted by the conscious personality — gets drived down into a submerged psycholgical domain. It is there, suppressed, and there it festers. To understand what people are really thinking, and what is really going on (in America and in society and politcs) one has to visit those forbidden spaces in the underground where people feel free to express their ideas and how they think things really are. It is a chaos, this I will admit.
How Things Are Said To Be and How Things Really Are: these are not united domains. The System that exists, that everyone says exists, the view of What Is, is not! What people are forced to say that America is, is not what America is. This points to intricate, complex, labyrinthian and inter-connected systems of lies that determine perception. The surface does not reveal truth, it reveals a constructed view which is forced to be upheld (by the conscious attitude). Meanwhile, other truths circulate out of sight.
Blogs, websites, discussion groups, sites that are condemned by the SPLC and other enforcement groups (allied to the State in strange symbiosis), and people who force themselves to say what they really think, not what they are supposed to think, very certainly exist.
The University — especially the State University — is the logical and even the necessary zone for the enforcement of Politically Correct thinking in order to uphold the superficial vision. It is an ideological enforcement-zone of consequence in that border-zone between the suppressed content (what people really think) and the surface-zone where people parrot what must be said, where not to do so results in social banishment, destruction of one’s economy, open attack on oneself, one’s family, one’s very being and existence. This is all magnified in a electronic social world with Media tools at its disposal. A Tweet can lead to one’s destruction.
This is why, in my view, an understanding of The Present requires a full examination of the suppressed voices. This takes years.
RomanBW- Do you think speeches alone could cause the death of millions? It seems in order for such an event to happen FAR more than speeches are involved including finance, propaganda via media, and collusion between elites. While I agree a speech or several could influence thought, ultimately a network of aspects must combine to convert someone into buying into murder…I think of the new tide of eugenics happening now. Everyday people die from purposeful slow kill- yet there are no speeches…for now.
Jack, your incredible work ethic is admired and appreciated. So much in so many posts!
“Where do you find the time??”
Jack has a twin a la “the Prestige” so they get a lot done. No one is the wiser.
Following the link to the U of A’s web site reveals the following: “This position is currently closed. We are in the process of reviewing the title and responsibilities.”
Bears watching, though, because it might just reappear with some weaselly wording to make it look okay, 1st amendment wise.
I hope this means there are still some adults on campus up in Tucson and this doesn’t merely mean the positions have all been filled and the brown shirts are being deployed across campus as we speak.
Raise your hand if you think bias incidents would have been reported, or responded to, in an even-handed manner.
The Washington Post editorial that Volokh mentioned pointed this out.
Sanctuary spaces for minorities. I heard a rumor that was all the rage up until; the 1960’s or so. I wonder if Martin Luther King, Jr. would have had a problem with that.
Could liberty and American-values oriented students sign up and report on Left-wing teachers who indoctrinate (but I repeat myself)…?
Another article on this issue.
Well I’m relieved that the University of Arizona has decided to set up their own chapter of the Hitler Youth or Young Pioneers to police the “racists” on campus who engage in hideous microagressions. Perhaps they should consider public shaming for the guilty with introduction of the stocks and dunce caps.
Another brick in the ongoing construction of a ”Nation Of Assholes.”
My Alma Mater, the U.W. Madison (GO BADGERS!) is ahead of the curve on this.
There do appear to some exemptions: select “incidences” like the, and I quote, “brainchild” of “entrepreneur” Eneale Pickett.
That “brainchild?” A hoodie that proudly proclaims “All White People Are Racist.”
There is a bit of irony in that hoodie.
Any resident of a fact-based Universe would slog mightily to navigate that viscid, chest-deep incongruity.
Unburdened by the constraints of reality, special snowFLAKES would flit past blissfully clueless.
Eneale Pickett is living in a psychological prison of his own creation. If all white people are racists (he may be bullshitting us!) how in the hell did he get into U.W. Madison? Somehow I don’t think it was because of his excellent grades in high school. Of course he would rebut me by saying I’m a racist! I say that he is a clown and not a funny one.
That should be “say” not “saw”. I’m tired.
Also “saying” and not “saving.” Fixed them both. You WERE tired.
A link relayed to this issue.