Now We Know Who Simpson College Is Named For, I Guess.

It must be Homer, because that appears to be the level of cognition being  taught to its students, by equally dunder-headed faculty.

I’ll try to make this short, because we’ve had the same discussion recently. I have made a vow, however, to remark with disgust on such idiocy every time it raises its hole-riddled Homer-shaped head.

John Bolen, a retired professor of religion working part-time at  Simpson College, uttered the dreaded shibboleth “nigger”  during a class. He used the word to discuss the word, of course, and not as a racial epithet, but Homer and similarly handicapped students can’t make such nuanced distinctions. Bolen was using the word to make the hackneyed, stale and simplistic analogy with the Washington, D.C. pro football team’s nickname “The Redskins,” but he triggered mass outage by not using baby-talk (“N-word”) or Pig Latin (“Iggernay”) instead of English as if his audience consisted of  adults and could hear a word used to describe itself without having a psychotic episode because of the color of the speaker.

Bolen is now awash in shame and regret,  and will engage in self-exile by  teaching the rest of the course online. He has also said he will not  teach again after this semester—no great loss, that—apparently because he can not trust himself to speak in student-approved code, even for clarity’s sake, according to the Des Moines Register.  Several student groups told the administration that they wanted the professor dismissed, not for the right reason—he is a weenie and lacks the integrity and skill to explain to his charges why banning any word leaps down the slippery slope to speech censorship—but because  he didn’t realize that words are dangerous weapons, some of which should never be used without a license.

“I wish I hadn’t done it, because it communicated the wrong thing to students,” Bolen said. “I always believed in equal rights for humans. I’ve fought for that and campaigned for that.” What “wrong thing”? “Nigger” communicated that you were comparing the name “Redskins” with the epithet “nigger.” That was the RIGHT thing (well, that was a dumb argument but you communicated it the right way), you pathetic, groveling old yutz. And if you believe in “equal rights for humans,” then students’ fatuous argument that you don’t get to use words Dave Chappelle can because  of your skin color should have prompted you to take a stand, not crumple up like wet piece of newspaper. It should have prompted you to teach, dammit.

Now Simpson is planning additional bias training, perhaps involving a cage with a hungry rat in it attached to professors’ faces until they scream out their fealty to Big Brother’s word police.

Doh!

[Here is how I am tempted to  challenge an “N-word” fan if one comes within range. I’ll ask, puzzled, “N-word? What word is that?” “You know,” she’ll say. “I’m afraid I don’t,” I’ll reply. “Nebbish? Nectarine? Nebuchadnezzar? I really don’t know. Just tell me the word you’re alluding to, and I’d be happy to comment. Just say the word. I understand the context, I think, but your refusal to actually say the word you’re referring to has me confused. Isn’t the easiest thing to just say what you mean?” She’ll probably refuse to continue the conversation. If she gives in and says”nigger”, would it b cruel if I scream  out in horror, point at her, and  shout, “How DARE you say that word???”]

_________________________________

Pointer: Other Bill

17 thoughts on “Now We Know Who Simpson College Is Named For, I Guess.

  1. The old adage that a conservative is a Liberal that finally got his own pocket picked is fast becoming a fiction. Apparently, Liberals no longer fight back when they become the targets of derision they once labeled others.

  2. You mentioned this story about the University of North Texas assistant general counsel resigning after declaring that the First Amendment protects speech, and yes, even mean spirited and nasty speech:

    https://www.ntdaily.com/unt-assistant-general-counsel-resigns-a-the-day-after-saying-the-n-word-at-a-free-speech-event/?fbclid=IwAR3rv-Si4HLBn7AAvevwpIhhi6kb1YYTHq3HBRMtKYda9zHJY-knd9N0oqw

    I tried to find the Texas Lawyer Facebook page discussing the story but I couldn’t. I wanted your dear Ethics Alarms readers to witness the power of woke thinking. Now, remember, the majority of the commenters on that page are lawyers, supposedly educated and learned about laws and such. There, many an advocate openly declared that no white person (especially a white male) is permitted to utter the Word That Can’t Said, ever. Others rent their garments after getting the hooked trying to climb the Fence of the Woke and Ultra-Altruistic. If Natalie was outraged by the Word, then Robert was apoplectic, and Dave simply fainted.

    jvb

  3. Boy, I would hate to be an English literature professor teaching a class on Mark Twain at Simpson College and the dreaded *Huckleberry Finn*. I suppose to survive I would have to use N-word or Nebuchadnezzar. Of course all this would be different if I was a woke black faculty member.

  4. Good topic Jack, and your take on it was excellent. I’m from Iowa and once shook Reverend Jessie Jackson’s hand at the Fairgrounds in Des Moines. It was at a casual lobbying type event with state legislators. Rev. Jackson heard about it and came to shake hands as a candidate for President. He exuded a warm and genuine strength of some kind to me at the time.
    Partially in jest, my first description of him to my college professor wife and another faculty friend was that he was a “very large Negro”. They gasped in shock after hearing that, and I was unable to continue to relate my positive impression of him. The United Negro College Fund still exists without any shame attached, but at the college level, I guess Caucasians are not allowed certain N words under any circumstances.

  5. OK, so I think I understand: the kids go nuts when a white person, in any context, for any reason, enunciates the forbidden word. Pressure is put on officials to *take action* and — the next phase — is that no one of them can stand up to the crowd. But even the one who uttered the forbidden word cannot stand up for himself and — this is the amazing part — actually believes that he did something really wrong. But my question is: Does he really believe that? or is he taking that stance to lessen the effect of the mob’s violence against him? (And it is violence).

    If he makes the groveling statement as a measure of self-protection I think that I can understand that. He might be looking at what he has worked at — in modest circumstances — over the course of his whole life and is trying to salvage what he can.

    But then if at the *interior level* he knows the real truth — that nothing remotely wrong was done by him and the real wrong is being perpetrated by the mad mob — then it seems to me that he is in the state and condition of many that I often converse with: confused people who 1) cannot define their own interests and cannot stand up for themselves, and 2) who employ all kinds of pathological justifications to defend ‘the other’.

    Does this really have anything to do with the word iggernay? When you look at it I think it is clear that it does not. So, what is going on there? It revolves around power and the use of power. You are being unjustly accused of something — perhaps like in a Soviet or a Maoist show-trial — but what you are being accused of is entirely a pretext.

    It is hard for me to remember a specific example but I have seen it many times up in the States. Some authority who has power, even a limited power, does not like that the person they are trying to manipulate or control defends themselves with some vigor. That person is told to ‘Calm down’ Or ‘Don’t raise your voice!’ and with that there is a concealed threat: “If you do not do what I am telling you, if you do not submit to my power, I will escalate this and even bring in the (real) authority that has the power to arrest you”. I have seen this as many as a dozen times. It is a very strange *game* but one that has ramifications and implications.

    But turning back to these devilish kids: Who gave them this power?

    • It had to have been conceded to them at a certain point. The other question is What are they doing with this power? It really reminds me of zealous Chinese-Communist youth with their ‘Little Red Book’ who demand acquiescence to State power and social policies that had been established as ‘moral goods’.

      Here I think — within tightly controlled parameters of course — she describes, accurately, what goes on but not necessarily ‘why’ it is happening:

  6. I like Jack’s idea for “playing dumb” when someone uses “N-word” instead of “nigger.” That would probably work in some cases on a one-on-one (or, one-to-one) basis, when confronting a speech-oppressed (or, “woke”) person. I especially like the idea of re-educating the “re-educated” with such person-to-person social engineering. In the case of confronting oppressed “re-educated” (“woke”) persons who suffer from suppressed freedom of speech, such engineering offers revolutionary liberation. (If only the oppressed speaker would recognize it as such.)

    I also like the ideas of “re-normalization by mass action” and “legitimization via saturation.” Supporters of Simpson College’s athletic teams, for example, could speak certain things at sporting events en masse that an individual sports fan could not get away with when speaking alone. Probably today’s best known term of mass objection to a referee’s call is chanting “BULL SHIT!” That coarseness has become normalized among partisan sports crowds. I submit that it has become so normalized, its use has effectively caused mass amnesia about its coarseness, to the point where the chant is useful as an emotional “safety valve” for sports fans who need such.

    “Crowd-led social engineering” toward greater freedom of speech need not be confined to athletic events. If the students of Simpson College wanted to be REAL smart, REALLY woke, they would express justified indignation at the suppression of the cowardly professor for his use of “nigger.” They would gang-up and take a stand on his behalf. At, say, the next graduation commencement, they might chant en masse something like, “IT’S OK TO SAY ‘NIGGER!'” or “SMALL MINDS SAY ‘N-WORD;’ FREE MINDS SAY “NIGGER!” Such overt and public assertions would bypass the “hit-and-run” free-speech “vigilantism” of posting signs or flyers such as “It’s OK To Be White.” “Mass ‘blasphemy'” speaks POWER to power, and negates the oppressive powers’ crutch of censorship.

    Person-to-person communication that encourages and incentivizes others to exercise truly free speech is absolutely necessary. But we must also take full advantage of the spirit of current times, using more and more crowd-based approaches to break the ever more recognizable and currently tightening noose of censorship.

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