From The “Nation Of Assholes” Files: Now President Trump Has Driven The Sociologists Mad

That fake tweet above? It was created by the Southern Sociological Society as promotion for its conference this week. It is also, amusingly, accurate. Based on the conference, titled “Racial Theory, Analysis, and Politics in Trump America,” you can’t trust sociologists any more. Like so many other professional, including among them historians, lawyer, journalists, educators, ethicists and psychiatrists, this group has decided to abandon professional ethics and standards of objectivity and civility for juvenile virtue-signaling and partisan name-calling.

At first I thought this was an Onion parody. From Campus Reform:

…The conference program features two full-color illustrations that crudely depict the President as a baby, six sketches employing similar themes, and nine satirical presidential tweets (each of which comes with a disclaimer alerting the sociologists that it is “not an actual tweet”). The front cover shows the president as a grotesque and overweight infant, sitting in a soiled diaper on top of an image of hooded Klansmen while playing with missiles and nuclear bombs. His outstretched left arm, replete with a tiny hand, may be an attempt to depict him performing the Nazi salute.

A cross superimposed on a series of concentric circles appears above the word “Trump” in the conference title, suggesting the crosshairs on a rifle site…The back cover depicts a similarly-styled Trump, this time with his diaper sagging down and kneeling in a pool of urine inside his crib. Black and white sketches scattered throughout the program, meanwhile, depict Trump in various other unflattering ways, with one showing him urinating on the floor while holding what appears to be a balloon labeled “WW3,” while another drawing portrays him smashing the EPA and healthcare.

The conference schedule indicates that there will be 32 workshops, papers, lectures, discussions, and other sessions that explicitly deal with Trump, including a discussion about “Approaching Resistance to TrumpAmerica” and a session on “How to Talk About Current Events in the Classroom in the Age of Trump without Getting Fired.”

Some sessions, such as “Organizing a Campus-Wide Social Justice Event,” appear to advise professors on how to use their positions to influence campus politics.

What kind of “professional association”  acts like this? The Southern Sociological Society claims to promote “the development of sociology as a profession” and “the maintenance of high academic professional and ethical standards,” including “valid and reliable methods and research.” Eighteen sociology departments among its members, including East Carolina University, Mississippi State University, the University of Houston, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, the University of Memphis, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Virginia Tech. Several university departments are also listed as sponsors of the conference, such as Mississippi State University, Winthrop University, and the University of Memphis.

I am aghast. The graphics, which you can sample at the Campus Reform site, would be inappropriate in a high school newspaper. They are visual hate nothing more; grotesque insults calculated to appeal to members and attendees whose animus for the President has blotted out all reason and proportion. This is the antithesis of professionalism, and yet here are sociologists so marinated in progressive attitudes and rhetoric that they can no longer perceive how wrong this is, both as professional conduct and as citizens. The association also presumes that its membership is monolithic in political orientation and lack of civility, and that no attendee will be alienated by a conference motivated and fueled by partisan fury.

The serial surrender of our professions to emotion and bias exposes their veneer of superior discipline and public service for what it is and always was, apparently: a false pretense, based on the illusion that their character was strengthened and enhanced by a competent ethical foundation  and competent, non-ideological training. Thus we know that these alleged professionals are not trustworthy, which means they are no professionals at all.

In writing my September, 2015 post warning that electing Donald Trump as President would lower ethical standards among the young and society at large,  I never for a moment considered that among those whose behavior and communications would descend into assholery would be our professionals, who are supposed to be role models, not ethics corrupters. And I will not blame Trump for this.

The are the ones who were not who they promised to be.

32 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Character, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Professions, Research and Scholarship

32 responses to “From The “Nation Of Assholes” Files: Now President Trump Has Driven The Sociologists Mad

  1. Imagine if a sociological society’s conference program used racial caricatures of President Obama as an illustration.

    • Chris

      Strained analogy. The caricatures of Trump are crude and inappropriate, but there isn’t anything racial about them.

      • Pennagain

        The analogy is simple: They are both deliberately “crude and inappropriate,” as well as disrespectful caricatures of any aspectof the person or position of the President of the United States that insults and inflames the feelings, intellects and decisions of a major portion of that society. The only difference is that a caricature of Obama can depict him two ways, as a demeaning picture of a negative stereotype or a powerful figure playing up an already disaffiliated minority group. That of Trump simply ignores any aspects of the person than the negative and exaggerates that negative as maliciously as it can.

        Both are/would be examples of non-professional and nationally divisive behavior. Thus is Hanlon’s Razor sharpened on both sides, aka an interpretation of Heinlein’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don’t rule out malice.”

  2. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Unfortunately, I don’t think another GOP president will be able to govern after this. Once the prime representative of a political party has become a target for this kind of hate, it’s impossible for the haters to do anything but continue to hate more and more, lest you be accused of going soft.

    I also think the professional organizations have doomed themselves. Once you engage in outrageous behavior and everyone sees it, it’s impossible to erase that image.

  3. joed68

    “What kind of “professional association” acts like this? ”
    One comprised of leftists.

  4. Sue Dunim

    I’m reminded of some of the very non PC Disney cartoons of WWII.

    That’s not an excuse. It was understandable then. Similar behaviour is understandable now, but with rather less reason. Understandable, perhaps even forgivable, but wrong.

    I had hoped we’d grown up a bit. Obviously not.

    The times are not normal. That means we should hold ourselves to a higher standard and not fall into the gutter of tawdry partisan bad manners.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      Do you want me to wait till Jack points out Rationalization #28, “these are not ordinary times,” or will my pointing it out do it? Your comparison of the propaganda cartoons of WWII to this pure juvenile hate is apples and oranges. Jack talked elsewhere about demonization of the enemy in a war. He can jump in and correct me if I remember wrong, but I believe he wrote, and I agree with, something along the lines of that in a war, we want the people fighting it and the people supporting them to have the will to defeat and destroy the enemy, and dehumanizing or demonizing the enemy is one way to do that. Frankly in the world wars it was pretty easy to do that, as the Central Powers and the Axis powers both did some very evil things: the Rape of Belgium, the genocide of the non-Turks, Pearl Harbor, the Bataan Death March, the Rape of Nanking, the Blitz, and the granddaddy of all evils, the Holocaust. The allies were fighting for survival against this evil, and it was important that the will to win not break, because the alternative was just too terrible to contemplate. I might add we didn’t stop there, we weren’t afraid to demonize the other side in the Cold War either, though it never quite reached that level. God forbid we demonize radical Islam though, the wrong person might get OFFENDED…

      This ridiculousness is not demonization of an already evil enemy in a war where we are fighting for survival. This is demonization, both of the evil and the gross-out kind, of our own president, who ran, was duly elected within the rules, and, so far, hasn’t done anything to justify removing him from office. “Engaging in policies unapproved of by the political left” is not a high crime or misdemeanor. “Being a less than perfect human being” is not a high crime or misdemeanor. “Displaying poor discretion when tweeting” is not a high crime or misdemeanor. “Having a less than perfect personal life before being elected” is not a high crime or misdemeanor. If any of these things were, we’d be hard-pressed to find a qualified president, and we can’t function like that.

      What is more, the people who are writing and drawing this stuff aren’t just-barely-old-enough-to-vote students with little real-world experience who think that harsh insults mean you win. They aren’t latter day hippies who grew gray ponytails and beards instead of growing up. They aren’t Antifa thugs who live and breathe hate, disruption, and violence. They are, at least supposedly, scholars. These are people who spent years studying and learning, and are supposed to have made original contributions to their field. These are people who are supposed to teach the next generation to function as adults. This includes tact, discretion, good judgment, emotional control, and some idea of scholarly decorum. The Trump phenomenon might indeed merit study, since it does represent a sea change in American politics as well as the biggest upset election since Truman held up the Chicago Tribune in 1948, showing that they had jumped the gun. It does not merit insulting cartoons and ivory-tower, hate-filled prescriptions for the undoing of a properly-held election and a return to the days of Obama, when the leftist academia could act all smug and self-satisfied, as quickly as possible. This is just proof, or additional proof that, like journalism, academia has lost its original mission. Instead of objective study and inquiry, its mission is now to destroy Trump, by any means possible.

      • Well done and thanks for this. I wanted to respond, but so many of these initial posts seem like drive by shake up things then leave with no further engagement.

      • luckyesteeyoreman

        Seconding the well-done and thanks. Ideology now trumps objectivity.

      • Chris

        It wasn’t a rationalization; Sue made it clear that she was not defending the behavior and was in fact condemning it.

        • Sue Dunim

          Yes. But no matter. It’s all too human to read what you know it must say, rather than what it actually says.

          • Sue Dunim

            Talking about which – did you read what Steve in NJ actually wrote?
            Ok, the personal attack, but after that, a metric ton of well written exposition.

            Where I curtly wrote “with rather less reason”, he wrote paragraph after paragraph saying the same thing, but in much greater detail, with supportive arguments and rational discourse. Rather more valuable than my own sound byte.

            I’ll give him a pass on the Islamic stuff afterwards, just as I’ll give him a pass on the personal attack beforehand.

            Regarding High Crimes and Misdemeanors.. even a $25 million fraud committed before taking office doesn’t qualify. We’re in territory that explores the meaning of that phrase. Indirectly causing the death of someone by quite legally not installing sprinklers due to grandfather clauses? Nope. Having policies as CEO that led to no working smoke alarms in the building? Any illegality there would be difficult to prove, and would best be investigated after his term of office, when the political bias on both sides is less relevant.

            Ordering the military to deliberately commit war crimes? There’s no evidence of that, he merely asked why they weren’t doing that, and encouraged them to do so in future.

            Racketeering and violation of the RICO act and electoral finance laws? Still under investigation, but even hypothetically, is that a High Crime or merely a criminal felony? That would be up to Congress to decide, alas, on party lines rather than on the merits.

            There is at the least a prima facie case that impeachment is not appropriate.

  5. Sue Dunim

    In short – we’re supposed to be better than Trump. If we’re not, well, Trump may be the trigger, but the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our Reality TV stars, but in ourselves.

  6. Zanshin

    If one reads the meetings Call for Paper it consists of presupposition-loaded claims and questions but these questions are certainly relevant from a sociological perspective and the language used still reads as a kind of academic style language,

    Theme: Our SSS 2018 theme for the New Orleans meeting is “Racial Theory, Analysis, and Politics in TrumpAmerica.”
    We want all Trump related sociological analysis to be the focus of attention as our nation (and other nations) needs answers and explanations.
    How did a patently unqualified person like Trump got elected?
    Why did we not predict his election?
    Why did so many whites support him?
    Why did non-whites support him?
    Is Trump’s election a short-term development or a political egg that has been hatching for a long time?
    What is our analysis of Trump’s core supporters?
    Were his core supporters just expressing their “class anxieties”?
    What are the politics needed to undo TrumpAmerica?
    Will Democrats cave in to the idea that to get back to the White House they need to stop relying on “identity politics”?

    And also the President’s Welcome Message of Eduardo Bonilla-Silva from Duke University is again biased but reasonable in tone.

    The theme for this year’s meeting is Racial Theory, Analysis, and Politics in TrumpAmerica.
    When I met in October 2016 with few SSS colleagues to discuss this meeting, I had selected a theme in line with my work on color-blind racism. Then, on November 2016, Donald J. Trump became our 45th President. His election seems to have changed everything! His crudeness, authoritarianism, lack of knowledge, and childishness mixed with his immense entertainment value (the man is funny) have disoriented all of us as we do not seem to know what is up or down. Hence, I changed my theme as I thought sociologists desperately needed to investigate, analyze, theorize, and even rant about this major development in American history.

    If the graphics designer of the brochure took this welcome message as her briefing (crudeness, childishness, entertainment value, disoriented) combined with a simplistic interpretation of the racial-part of the theme I can kind of understand why she draws the lamp shades on the back cover image as they are.

    • Zanshin

      … why she drew the lamp shades on the back cover image as she did, as hoods of the KKK.

      That reminded me of the Rosemary Baby scene, “Aren’t You His Mother?” with the inverted cross above the baby crib.

      Which led my free flow to the saying, “Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan”.

      And that led to the I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!

      And yes, instead of shouting out of the window, so 80s, we now twitter, but before we all twitter something like, “Trump is President and I’m as mad as hell!” we all should start with twitting,

      I’m too a father of Trump

      • Zanshin

        And of course, it goes without saying that ‘twitting’ should be written as ‘tweeting’, thank you very much.

    • Michael R.

      As Jack said “The association also presumes that its membership is monolithic in political orientation and lack of civility, and that no attendee will be alienated by a conference motivated and fueled by partisan fury.” This is because these fields have eliminated all conservatives (or moderates). You can neatly exclude conservatives from any field you want by requiring liberal values in the Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) you put in your (hard to find) assessment plan filed with the assessment agency. As an example, in education, if a school institutes a SLO of “All Teacher Candidates will Demonstrate Teaching for Social Justice” (a not uncommon SLO), all teacher candidates must be evaluated to see if they are social justice warriors. If not, the students can be dropped from the program for not meeting the SLO.

      For an example of how better to force teacher candidates to teach social justice: https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2016/01/ed-school-students-must-become-social-justice-warriors-to-gain-licensure/ and https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ988204.pdf

  7. luckyesteeyoreman

    Those sociologists were already mad. Trump didn’t “drive” them there.
    Indeed, and thankfully, and sadly, their madness exceeds Trump’s.

      • HA! Where DO you find these gems!

        • Paul W. Schlecht

          “Where DO you find these gems!”

          It’s a gift that keeps me going during the day, and a curse that shakes me awake in the middle of the night…

          Anywho, allow me to toss it over to Michael Gold (Jeff Goldblum in “The Big Chill”).

          His classic reply to a condescending inquiry from the husband of Karen Bowens (JoBeth Williams) about how Gold & his employer (People Magazine) secured an interview with a 14-year-old blind baton twirler:

          “It’s just good investigative journalism.”

          Goldblum/Gold had another gem with an all-encompassing, if blunt, assessment of the origins of ALL human behavior:

          “Everyone does everything just to get laid.”

          • luckyesteeyoreman

            Now I gotta watch that movie again!
            Obviously, the sociologists want to get laid – by bonobos, or poodles.

  8. Michael R.

    I would suggest that the election of Trump did nothing to these people. It hasn’t lowered their ethical standards, it didn’t change what they believe or how they think. What it did do, is show us who they are and who they have always been. In other words, I would suggest that you think these people have changed because what you believed about them was a lie. The election of Donald Trump has exposed that lie.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      “Fraid so. The left has always believed they were right and that anyone else needed to disappear. Obama’s time gave them a taste of the power to do that, Trump’s gave them the motivation to try to acquire that power permanently.

  9. luckyesteeyoreman

    The more I think about this conference founded on indulgence in smug cruelty, the more I wish I could crash it, along with about 50 to 100 more people like me – storming into the venue with every imaginable kind of disruption – visual, aural, gesticulational. Yeah, I’m a tit-for-tat retaliator. No apologies. Those assholes deserve to stew in the shit they’re propagating. So what an honor it would be, to give them a taste of their own shitholery.

    • Sue Dunim

      With or without AR-15s blazing?
      Or would you prefer flamethrowers a la Fahrenheit 451?

      Apparently neither.

      Even in your imaginings, your hate apparently has bounds. You speak of every imaginable disruption, visual, aural, gesticulational, but not with tyre irons, baseball bats, axe handles, let alone firearms.. You remain rational, civilised, even in your fantasies.

      That is much to your credit. May your tribe increase.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Thanks, we’ll leave that kind of thing to Antifa and the like, but if they take it to the next step – Belfast 1973.

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