17.4.17

EPISTEMICALLY CLOSED HOTHOUSES.

I refer, because refer I must, to the institutions of higher learning that somehow manage to hang onto their high U.S. News rankings, despite the accumulating evidence of self-beclownment in the name of Diversity and Inclusion.  Or Whatever.  "Censorship is winning because faculty and administrators won't fight it," notes Reason's Robby Soave.  It's gotten so bad at Wellesley, the place that put Hillary Clinton in play, that the editors of the student newspaper decided that illiteracy in the service of liberating tolerance was no vice.
Wellesley is certainly not a place for racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia or any other type of discriminatory speech. Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech. The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government. The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging.
Yes, that's the logic of Critique of Pure Tolerance, but at least that scanned well in English.  Perhaps the next passage was originally rendered in (North) Korean.
Wellesley College is an institution whose aim is to educate. Students who come to Wellesley hail from a variety of diverse backgrounds. With this diversity comes previously-held biases that are in part the products of home environments. Wellesley forces us to both recognize and grow from these beliefs, as is the mark of a good college education. However, as students, it is important to recognize that this process does not occur without bumps along the way. It is inevitable that there will be moments in this growth process where mistakes will happen and controversial statements will be said. However, we argue that these questionable claims should be mitigated by education as opposed to personal attacks.

We have all said problematic claims, the origins of which were ingrained in us by our discriminatory and biased society. Luckily, most of us have been taught by our peers and mentors at Wellesley in a productive way. It is vital that we encourage people to correct and learn from their mistakes rather than berate them for a lack of education they could not control.  While it is expected that these lessons will be difficult and often personal, holding difficult conversations for the sake of educating is very different from shaming on the basis of ignorance.

This being said, if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted. If people continue to support racist politicians or pay for speakers that prop up speech that will lead to the harm of others, then it is critical to take the appropriate measures to hold them accountable for their actions. It is important to note that our preference for education over beration regards students who may have not been given the chance to learn.
Four legs good, two legs baaaad! The mastiffs are in the next room.  And the Most Famous Recent Wellesley Graduate had no compunction about referring to normals as deplorables.

Or perhaps, in these More Enlightened Times, "the chance to learn" involves confinement to quarters on a diet of quinoa grits, basmati con pollo, and lutefisk tacos.

However the reeducation difficult conversations for the sake of education go, Mr Soave summarises the way things work.
Permission to speak on campus is no longer absolute: it is managed and restricted by an unofficial ruling class consisting of a small number of students—the aforementioned PC police—who see no difference between speech and action, and reflexively lash out at any kind of expression that might offend someone. Professors are not taking strong enough action to fight this ruling class, and administrators are often complicit in its censorship.
Some of the professors might share their student's aesthetic preferences, and they might be uncomfortable with the current reign of error.  But with universities, including the ones you might have heard of, relying increasingly on cheap and contingent labor, the remaining tenured faculty are old, and more than a few -- yes, I will be documenting this -- are heirs to the Marx - Mao - Marcuse era of verbal terrorism.  And Student Affairs?  They're hopeless. Brown, for example, doesn't ask for students to supply their pronouns on their application forms. The thick envelope is full of virtue signals. ("We congratulate your daughter on their admission!")
We would caution any student intent on attending Brown to avoid the English Department as it is clear that the university's contempt for the language has led to its corruption and the ignorance of school administrators.
Don't think of it as corrupting the language. Ignorance is Strength. And Our Strength is Our Diversity.
Brown spokesman Brian Clark writes in an email that “our admission office typically refers to applicants either by first name or by using ‘they/their’ pronouns. While the grammatical construction may read as unfamiliar to some, it has been adopted by many newsrooms and other organizations as a gender-inclusive option.”
Our universities are being run by terminally stupid people.

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