Colleges Have Become An Existential Threat To Free Speech, Thought, And Democracy. They Have To Be Opposed And Reformed [CORRECTED]

From the cover of Ben Shapiro’s book. Of course, most campuses won’t allow Shapiro to speak there, and explain how students are being brainwashed…

And that will take determination, character, and guts.

Two horrifying stories from our campuses illustrate the urgency of concerted, relentless opposition.  Warning: the second is even worse than the first:

1.University of Connecticut

The president and vice president of the University of Connecticut’s Undergraduate Student Government rejected the will of the students who voted them them into their positions four months ago, and announced that they were resigning. The reason, they said, was that it was inherently racist for white people to lead. Of course, it is racist by definition to claim that one race or another is more qualified to do anything, but this is the apparent quality of a UConn education on display.

VP Alex Ose , according to The Daily Campus,  quit while citing “the climate and incidents of racial injustice across the country and at the university,” and added,

I feel that it is my duty to step down from my position to make space for BIPOC (black, indigineous and people of color) voices to truly rise and be heard. It is my responsibility to make space, not to create an echo.

Fascinating. The fact that she is so devoid of critical thinking skills as to state something like this publicly is, ironically, a good reason for her to resign, but wanting to “make space” for “black, indigineous and people of color”—she misspelled indigenous—regardless of their qualifications, intelligence, judgment ability and experience is not.

As noted here earlier, this is the emerging “answer” to Question 13 (“What is the “systemic reform regarding race in America” that the George Floyd protests purport to be seeking?“): installing a color-based system that excludes merit, and designating whites as a subordinate class. UConn has apparently done an excellent job indoctrinating white students into accepting that second-class status. Go Huskies!

President Joshua Crow’s explanation for his resignation was slightly less idiotic, but still entirely based on race rather than any rational distinction. He said, “It is important in this time to ensure that marginalized groups have the platforms they need.”

Whatever that means. Need to do what? President of the student government isn’t a platform, it’s a job. What does “ensure” mean? Apparently it means ignoring the votes of students, and deciding what is “needed” by edict. If white people are marginalizing themselves, does that still make marginalizing unethical?

To be fair, college students have the excuse that they are young, inexperienced, prone to being influenced by emotion and peer pressure, and, as this nauseating display of virtue-signaling shows, badly educated. College administrators and faculty, however, have no such excuse, which is why the next account is even worse.

2. Cornell

Cornell law professor William Jacobson, who earlier revealed how his non-conforming (and correct) views regarding the George Floyd Freakout and Black Lives Matter have put his job in jeopardy, delivered this news about Cornell’s open endorsement of viewpoint indoctrination as its educational mission.

These are part of the professor’s “highlights” from “Additional actions to create a more just and equitable Cornell,” an announcement to the campus by Cornell University’s President Martha Pollack. The bolding is his:

A little more than a month ago, I announced a set of actions to enhance our existing programs to promote racial justice. While it was important to take immediate steps in the wake of the racialized violence in our nation, we realize that there is much more to do….

At the core of our institution lies our primary mission to provide the exceptional education, cutting-edge research and public engagement to shape our world for generations to come, and we must embed anti-racism across these activities. Our world-class faculty play the critical role in defining and advancing our academic mission. Several of the initiatives proposed by our students are the responsibility of our faculty, and, as such, I have asked the Faculty Senate to take the following up as soon as possible:

  • The creation and implementation of a for-credit, educational requirement on racism, bias and equity for all Cornell students.
  • A systematic review of the curriculum in each of our colleges and schools to ensure that courses reflect, represent and include the contributions of all people. Several colleges/schools and departments already have this work underway.
  • Amplification of Cornell’s existing scholarship on anti-racism, through the creation of an Anti-Racism Center that further strengthens our research and education on systems and structures that perpetuate racism and inequality, and on policies and interventions that break that cycle. Cornell already has outstanding academic units and faculty that address these critical issues, including: the Africana Studies and Research Center; the American Indian and Indigenous Studies program (AIISP); Latina/o Studies, Asian American Studies, as well as programs within American, Jewish, Near Eastern, and Feminist Gender and Sexuality studies, and centers such as the Center for the Study of Inequality, the Cornell Center for Health Equity, the Program in Ethics and Public Life and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, as well as others that are not listed but contribute valuable scholarship. Our vision is to ensure that we are a national leader in this critical area.
  • Development of a new set of programs focusing on the history of race, racism and colonialism in the United States, designed to ensure understanding of how inherited social and historical forces have shaped our society today, and how they affect interactions inside and outside of our classrooms, laboratories and studios. All faculty would be expected to participate in this programming and follow-on discussions in their departments. The programs would complement our existing anti-bias programs for faculty, such as those from the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity, the Cornell Interactive Theatre Ensemble, Intergroup Dialogue Programs for Faculty, and the Faculty Institute for Diversity….
  • Launch an institution-wide, themed semester, during which our campus community will focus on issues of racism in the U.S. through relevant readings and discussions. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we will consider the best semester to launch this initiative.

Jacobson sees little hope that Cornell’s far left faculty will do anything more than rubber-stamp her program of indoctrination.  He writes,

There is no middle ground in this paradigm — you are either an antiracism activist on their terms, or you are a racist. Speaking out against this juggernaut will take courage and willingness to be a target of cancel culture. While the specifics of these requirements, particularly those placed on faculty, require more steps before implementation, it is clear that Cornell has taken a major step towards compulsory racial activism for faculty and students.

Undoubtedly. The professor is correct that it will require widespread courage and willingness to be a target of cancel culture to save freedom of expression and basic civil rights from totalitarians like the president of Cornell. Society has to find that courage. The responsibility is now on donors and alumni to oppose this distortion of the college’s mission–it’s called education— by directly confronting the university’s Board. Students, those who have managed to survive Cornell’s ideological marinating process, also have  an obligation that is as much self-preservation as a duty to the nation and  society.

Earlier in his post, Jacobson notes how the rhetoric of the George Floyd Freakout is designed to stifle dissent, quoting his comments in an interview on the Mark Levin show:

The students who are organizing against me have on their Facebook page, that Silence is Violence. Think about that. What happens? I studied about the Soviet Union. I actually studied in the Soviet Union. And what would happen is you could not be left out of politics. You had to attend the meeting at your factory, where they would praise the leadership and failing to show up was considered a counterrevolutionary act. And that’s where we’re going. It used to be, if you were on campus as a student, you could stick to your studies, stay out of politics, keep your mouth shut. They would leave you alone. You will not be left alone anymore. You must participate in the revolution going on. And I hope all your listeners understand that this time it is different and people need to speak up.

He is again correct: people need to speak up. Certainly he is speaking up. OK, there are risks involved, but about 900,000 American soldiers have given their lives to protect our liberties, and millions more have risked a lot more than “cancellation.”

The citizens of this country have to decide if they have the character and conviction to fight for American values and the Constitution, or if they will allow Catch-22 slogans like “black lives matter” and “silence is violence” cancel history, democracy, and common sense.

34 thoughts on “Colleges Have Become An Existential Threat To Free Speech, Thought, And Democracy. They Have To Be Opposed And Reformed [CORRECTED]

  1. “I feel that it is my duty to step down from my position to make space for BIPOC (black, indigineous and people of color) voices to truly rise and be heard. It is my responsibility to make space, not to create an echo.”

    I wonder if that’s the speech Biden will be forced to make when he steps down in March of 2021 to make way for his VP.

    American parents need to stop funding the educations of their children at institutions like these. I often wonder if these unfairly maligned researchers, professors and journalists might band together and form their own university where facts matter and diverse opinions are actually permitted to exist.

  2. I have to point out the the UConn undergraduate student government doesn’t actually represent anybody. It is a self-perpetuating autocracy, and has been for decades.

    I have never “voted” in an election. Nobody I know has. If you wanted to be your dorm’s representative, you just signed up, because no one would challenge you. If you wanted to run for “president”, tough. Candidates are not allowed to campaign, except for putting up posters. If a candidate so much as shows up at a USG event, they are disqualified by the “judiciary committee”. Coincidentally, the incombent or his groomed successor gets reelected. I watched this for four years. The student newspaper, the Daily Campus, even reported on this (the DC also reported one year that the USG spent 100,000+ plus on T-shirts). I’ve never rubber stamped these shannigans by “voting” for the last candidate standing.

    • Pretty funny, Rich. Kind of makes me wonder whether any appropriately skinned people will even want to ascend to these vaunted positions.

  3. My wife is an avid birdwatcher, and we have long supported the Cornell school of Ornithology by membership and subscribing to their magazine (which does have some great bird photography). This all ended when the most recent issue of the magazine arrived in which the editor wrote that they were go grateful that their granddaughter “will now be able to realize that black lives matter”.

    The renewal went into the trashcan as will all going forward correspondence from them.

    I then went to the websites of all charities that we support, and not one of them (I am happy to say) referred to the current freakout… (we traditionally disburse from our charitable giving fund in July and December and I wanted to be sure that no one that supported blm got a dime.)

    Cheers, Mike

    • I hated the new logo, and still don’t like it (Dual Champions 2013 softened my opinion of it…), but managed to miss this bugaboo altogether.

      • My Dear departed Golden Girl Hurley won our NCAA Men’s BB Pool in 2011 and 2014 with her No Cats Allowed bracket picking method.

        To no one’s surprise, she took the Top Prize each year by selecting the Huskies.

        Her ~ $800 winnings were all donated and split among the Iron County Food (WI) Pantry, the Iron County Historical Museum, and the Ironwood, MI H.O.P.E. Animal Center.

        • After forty years of dogs (excluding our respective childhood dogs), Mrs. OB and I have been dog free for about three years now. At our advanced age, it’s just too hard having to, inevitably, put them down.

  4. “All faculty would be expected to participate in this programming…”

    Well, at least they’re using the right terminology. It definitely is “programming” they’re trying to do.

  5. I think the problem began in the ’60s when reasonable people stopped pursuing degrees in the liberal arts and social sciences and went into business and law and other gainful lines of work. The lefties took over the academy from there on. Frankly, I’m afraid resistance is futile. I read somewhere a day or so ago that 99 percent of the Harvard faculty identify as liberal and one percent identify as conservative. The faculties run the colleges and universities, bullying the administrators into doing their bidding. Short of shutting down schools, I see no way to reform them. There are no, or certainly insufficient numbers of, Ph.Ds coming down the pipeline to re-constitute the radicalized faculties, even if the boards of trustees or regents or whatever were inclined to address this problem. I fear it’s a colossal, insoluble problem.

    I know for a fact Bill Jacobson has given up on Hamilton College, our undergraduate school.

  6. 1) Well, at least the jobs of President and Vice President of a college student government have no real job or impact, anyway. They’re gigs to which people too homely to become Homecoming King and Queen can aspire.

    2) It’s William JACOBSON, not Josephson. I know you know that. Typos happen.

  7. 2. “All faculty would be expected to participate in this programming…”

    Well at least they’re admitting this is about programming people rather than educating them.

    Also why would racial minority students need a required anti-racism class. I thought the assumption is such people are already overwhelmingly familiar with these issues.

    1. I also wonder if students who are in fact racial minorities but appear otherwise will be given preference for leadership roles. Colorism I suspect will get worse at these schools.

    • Re: No. 2:

      Yes, that language was alarming. Dr. Jacobson posted this a few minutes after his main blog:

      UPDATE 7-17-2020 — STAFF

      I just realized that there is a chilling message to staff in this announcement. “Performance Dialogues” are the university’s staff performance reviews. Now, commitment to the agenda in the presidential announcement is part of that process (emphasis added):

      Finally, we recognize that staff are the lifeblood of Cornell, enabling us to deliver on our educational, research and engagement mission. The support that our staff provides is what makes learning possible. We must therefore enhance the commitment that we make to recruiting and retaining an exceptional staff that reflects the diversity of our students. Specific steps we will take are as follows:

      Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Mary Opperman will create new professional development programs with a focus on staff of color, including leadership development, mentorship, and pipeline and succession programs, to help diverse staff advance into key institutional leadership roles;
      We will make work on diversity, equity and inclusion part of the performance dialogue process at Cornell;
      All staff will be required to complete a series, being developed in partnership with eCornell, focused on equity and cultural competency that will become available beginning this September; ….

      Staff are the most vulnerable at Cornell, because the upstate NY Southern Tier does not provide many job opportunities. Now staff who may not be on board with this agenda will either have to play along, or risk their jobs or career advancement.

      I have updated the title of this post to reflect the mandates as to staff.

      The main post is here:

      https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/07/cornell-university-takes-a-major-step-towards-compulsory-racial-activism-for-faculty-and-students/

      jvb

    • Well at least they’re admitting this is about programming people rather than educating them.

      May I make a few strong assertions and then offer a couple of comments? I think it has relevancy though it will seem far-fetched*. But I have to start with something I repeat often: In order to understand our present, and everything going on in it, and indeed our relation to it, we have to *back-track* into considerations of causation.

      You mention programming. I suggest this is a crucial concept and it is surprisingly complex. To talk about this we have to mention that we live now in a Marxian present. In the sense that Marxism is an utterly materialist philosophy of life, of being, and of epistemology, everything comprising and composing Man has been redescribed as arising strictly within materialism. *Mind* and thus idea, ideal, idealism and all else related to metaphysic concepts, has been supplanted by strictly material notions. What this means is that it becomes imperative to control mind insofar as mind (and Man) is really just a process within nature and material conditions. That is Marxism’s ultimate reduction if it is understood at a philosophical level.

      The control of populations (‘the managerial revolution’), the endeavor in itself, because of the predominance of a strict material philosophy (either conscious or unconscious of Marxism’s core predicates and what it will always eventuate in) has now become, largely, an issue of material management. It is no longer actually understood to have a connect to *the higher purposes of man* simply because those higher purposes have had that *meaning* excavated out from under them. The reason is that *higher purpose* *God-given right* and all other ideas relation to metaphysical notions and of course to idealistic notions, are now understood to be false. This is the power of strict materialism as a philosophy whether it is understood in detail or simply *absorbed*.

      So, if once upon a time the education of children was understood to be fundamentally an idealistic enterprise — to teach children about the existence of and the purposes of *higher metaphysical orders* (God, spirit and all the rest) — this is no longer the case. When once the purpose of education was to elicit from the child a will of assent, a will to agree, a will to cooperate with these *higher purposes* that were understood to be metaphysical and were the recognized *higer purposes of Man and of mankind* — well, now we should recognize that all of that is now understood, generally though perhaps unconsciously, as no longer real.

      Therefore, society itself — the mechanisms of society and the *systems* of society which have now become so infused with technological mechanics — has now become an enterprise, essentially, of material management. And because man is (if you agree to follow my line of thought) no longer either psyche (soul) or spirit (pneuma) in essence, he is simply an epiphenomenon to be controlled, manipulated and managed.

      What are the limits of this controlling activity? There are no limits! If a mechanism of control can be devised that assists in and aids the manager’s activity, and if that mechanism is controlled essentially by pure material interests, then it is not hard to understand a super-surveillance state as a logical consequence of a specific set of epistemological assertions.

      Therefore, the notion of *programming* takes on a special poignancy.

      At the very center of the notion of *education* must exist and can only exist the notion of a person’s soul (psyche) and Man as a free agent in the sense of possession a spirit (pneuma) and having a connection to *higher metaphysical orders*. I am gaining the understanding that this is why the education of the young was always understood to be *a holy task* and why our Occidental paideia had always been, at its essence, understood to be a calling out to the soul, or an awakening of the soul in a Platonic sense.

      The materialistic philosophy — or here I might say the materialistic programming! — of our age has increased in intensity. It is the *machine* that now is gaining controlling power and this fits in with the artificial intelligence revolution, which means the interposition of machines and mechanism into the System’s control of human life.

      I do not think that we can *see* it, because it occurs within incremental advances, but one major on-going process is or seems to be an encroachment upon Man him self. That is to say the *hollowing out” of man from the inside out.

      This is the essential problem of our age. It is essentially spiritual. The reversal of it can only be a spiritual revolution.

  8. I’m going to take many of Cornell’s president’s main points one at a time:

    While it was important to take immediate steps in the wake of the racialized violence in our nation, we realize that there is much more to do….

    Observations: What she did not say is that all the violence is being created not by white supremacists or other hate groups, but by black activists and their white accomplices against ordinary citizens. Yes, anarchy-motivated groups like Antifa are adding a lot of the more egregious actions, but the BLM movement is enabling and taking advantage of any violence sown by the anarchists.

    So the racial violence is against ordinary Americans, not by American racists against blacks. It is all one-way, and science showing police violence against blacks, ostensibly the genesis of the current freakout, is not any more prevalent than against other races, and is suppressed as racist in itself.

    At the core of our institution lies our primary mission to provide the exceptional education, cutting-edge research and public engagement to shape our world for generations to come, and we must embed anti-racism across these activities.

    Observations: Anti-racism does not mean what she thinks it means. What she is talking about is embedding racist thought disguised and re-defined as anti-racism.

    The creation and implementation of a for-credit, educational requirement on racism, bias and equity for all Cornell students.

    Observations: This is straight-up indoctrination. The only difference between this and the “re-education camps” of Red Dawn are the fact that the students are in college by choice, not at gunpoint behind barbed-wire fences. But it is nonetheless indoctrination and “re-education.”

    A systematic review of the curriculum in each of our colleges and schools to ensure that courses reflect, represent and include the contributions of all people. Several colleges/schools and departments already have this work underway.

    Observations: There is nothing inherently objectionable about this, except in the context surrounding it. Based on the previous statements, it is clear that this will be done with a heavy hand, favoring minorities even if their contributions were nominally too minor to bear mention. It is the diminishing of critical resources and time in service of “woke,” and can only result in confusion, error, and reduced educational quality.

    But it isn’t about actual quality, is it? It’s about meeting the requirements of “anti-racism,” which is simply a restatement of, “You are either with us, or against us. There is no middle ground.”

    Anytime we are forced to accept a false dichotomy or be “canceled,” we know the ethics of the matter is no longer a component being considered.

    Amplification of Cornell’s existing scholarship on anti-racism, through the creation of an Anti-Racism Center that further strengthens our research and education on systems and structures that perpetuate racism and inequality, and on policies and interventions that break that cycle.

    Development of a new set of programs focusing on the history of race, racism and colonialism in the United States … All faculty would be expected to participate in this programming and follow-on discussions in their departments.

    Observations: Again, nominally laudable and unobjectionable, except for the “all or nothing” definition of “anti-racism” Connecticut has embraced. That renders the entire enterprise little more than unethical speech-chilling and “re-education.”

    Didn’t the Soviets require people to attend Communist Party meetings and punish those who did not? This is clearly modeled after Soviet “political meetings.” Are none of these people old enough to remember this? Can none of them see what they are doing?

    Once again, for emphasis (quoting Jacobson):

    There is no middle ground in this paradigm — you are either an antiracism activist on their terms, or you are a racist.

    Can you say Hobson’s Choice, false dichotomy and “With us or against us,” boys and girls?

    I knew you could.

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