Amelia Hamilton writes: We live in the age of inclusion where we are to be welcomed and treated equally, but, paradoxically, we are all to be labeled clearly so that everyone knows what status we may embody. Take college campuses, the incubator of liberalism gone amok. So-called “diversity training” has attempted to make students painfully aware of all of their differences (well, all differences but ones of opinion, since diversity of thought has become intolerable in academia).
“know your kind and stick to it. Don’t risk offending people from other backgrounds by trying to understand their worldviews.”
Student Carrie Pritt recently wrote of her experience as an incoming freshman at Princeton University, where different labels (white, male, wealthy) were rattled off and students were asked to stand if they identified with that group. “But what did it really accomplish?” she asked. “In compressing us into isolated communities based on our race, religion or gender, the minister belittled every other piece of our identities.” He faced a crowd of singular young adults and essentially told them that their heritage outweighed their humanity.
The message was clear: “know your kind and stick to it. Don’t risk offending people from other backgrounds by trying to understand their worldviews.” Although she understands that the university was trying to do something good, Carrie wonders, “Why were the university administrators, who speak so highly of diversity, choosing to strip us of our individuality?” It’s a good question. Read the rest of this entry »
Sol Stern: The Unfree Speech Movement
How did this Orwellian inversion occur? It happened in part because the Free Speech Movement’s fight for free speech was always a charade.
“I realized years later that this moment may have been the beginning of the 1960s radicals’ perversion of ordinary political language, like the spelling “Amerika” or seeing hope and progress in Third World dictatorships.”
Sol Stern writes: This fall the University of California at Berkeley is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, a student-led protest against campus restrictions on political activities that made headlines and inspired imitators around the country. I played a small part in the Free Speech Movement, and some of those returning for the reunion were once my friends, but I won’t be joining them.
“‘Tenured radicals,’ in New Criterion editor Roger Kimball’s phrase, now dominate most professional organizations in the humanities and social studies.”
Though the movement promised greater intellectual and political freedom on campus, the result has been the opposite. The great irony is that while Berkeley now honors the memory of the Free Speech Movement, it exercises more thought control over students than the hated institution that we rose up against half a century ago.
“Unlike our old liberal professors, who dealt respectfully with the ideas advanced by my generation of New Left students, today’s radical professors insist on ideological conformity and don’t take kindly to dissent by conservative students.”
We early-1960s radicals believed ourselves anointed as a new “tell it like it is” generation. We promised to transcend the “smelly old orthodoxies” (in George Orwell’s phrase) of Cold War liberalism and class-based, authoritarian leftism.
Leading students into the university administration building for the first mass protest, Mario Savio, the Free Speech Movement’s brilliant leader from Queens, New York, famously said: “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. . . . . And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”
“Visits by speakers who might not toe the liberal line—recently including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Islamism critic Aayan Hirsi Ali —spark protests and letter-writing campaigns by students in tandem with their professors until the speaker withdraws or the invitation is canceled.”
The Berkeley “machine” now promotes Free Speech Movement kitsch. The steps in front of Sproul Hall, the central administration building where more than 700 students were arrested on Dec. 2, 1964, have been renamed the Mario Savio Steps. One of the campus dining halls is called the Free Speech Movement Café, its walls covered with photographs and mementos of the glorious semester of struggle. The university requires freshmen to read an admiring biography of Savio, who died in 1996, written by New York University professor and Berkeley graduate Robert Cohen.
“by contrast, one of the honored speakers at the Free Speech Movement anniversary rally on Sproul Plaza will be Bettina Aptheker, who is now a feminist-studies professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz.”
Yet intellectual diversity is hardly embraced. Every undergraduate undergoes a form of indoctrination with a required course on the “theoretical or analytical issues relevant to understanding race, culture, and ethnicity in American society,” administered by the university’s Division of Equity and Inclusion. Read the rest of this entry »
The press release from the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s office is here. For more on the case, see here. Perhaps the incident will indeed “set a good example for [the professor’s] students” (the professor’s views, stated to the police, of what she was doing) — or at least teach them a good lesson — though perhaps not in the way the professor intended.
Here’s the alleged assailant:
Defendant: UCSB Professor Mireille Miller-Young
Areas of Study: Pornography; Sex Work; Black Film, Popular Culture and Art; Feminist & Queer Theory; African American & African Diaspora Studies; Visual Archives; New Media; Ethnography; Oral History
Education: PhD. New York University (American History and History of the African Dispora)
M.A. New York University (American History and History of the African Dispora)
B.A. Emory University (History)…read more…
Theft, Assault, and Vandalism Charges: The People vs. Mireille Miller-Young
— Glenn Reynolds
From the news report in the independent.com:
Joan said that at around 11 a.m., Dr. Mireille Miller-Young — an associate professor with UCSB’s Feminist Studies Department — approached the demonstration site and exchanged heated words with the group, taking issue with their pro-life proselytizing and use of disturbing photographs. Joan claimed Miller-Young, accompanied by a few of her students, led the gathering crowd in a chant of “Tear down the sign! Tear down the sign!” before grabbing one of the banners and walking with it across campus….
This is why a future president might finally do away with the practice of nominating a top political donor to be an ambassador.
Here’s how the White House described wealthy executive George Tsunis when President Barack Obama nominated him to be the top U.S. diplomat in Norway in September 2013:
“George J. Tsunis is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chartwell Hotels, LLC. From 1999 to 2009, Mr. Tsunis was of counsel at Rivkin Radler, LLP and served as partner since 2005. Mr. Tsunis was Special Counsel to the Town of Huntington Committee on Open Space Preservation as well as Counsel to the Dix Hills Water District from 2003 to 2009. From 1998 to 1999, he practiced law at Goldberg & Cohen in Brooklyn, NY. From 1996 to 1998, he was a Legislative Attorney at the New York City Council. Mr. Tsunis received a B.A. from New York University and a J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law.”
The re-edited story will air on “60 Minutes” Feb. 9 on CBS
For Variety, Francesca Bacardi reports: In the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, “60 Minutes” will rebroadcast a 2006 interview conducted by Steve Kroft in which Hoffman discusses his problems with drug addiction. It will be re-edited to include previously un-broadcast material, including more from the actor about the rehabilitation he underwent as a young man that he credited with saving his life.
Sophie Beach posts: Exiled activist Chen Guangcheng has announced that he will become a fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, NJ, a think tank which focuses on conservative causes, including opposition to gay marriage and abortion. From Reuters:
Chen will become a distinguished fellow in human rights at Witherspoon, which is based in Princeton, New Jersey, for the next three years. He will also be affiliated with The Catholic University of America and the more liberal-leaning Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice, Luis Tellez, Witherspoon’s president, said in a telephone interview.
[…] Witherspoon, which Tellez says is guided by Catholic principles, is best known for its articles and studies opposing abortion, stem-cell research and same-sex marriage.
[…] He said Chen, who is not a Christian, would not be expected to espouse or even share Witherspoon’s views on social issues.
“I do not know Mr. Chen’s views on same-sex marriage,” Tellez said. “I never asked him. I don’t intend to ask him.” [Source]
Before arriving in the U.S., Chen, who is blind, was an advocate for victims of civil rights abuses in China, including forced abortions. Earlier this year, Chen left New York University, which had hosted him after he fled illegal house arrest, under a cloud of controversy and amid allegations that his agenda was being manipulated by influential members of the religious right.
Back in China, Chen’s relatives in his hometown of Linyi, Shandong, have been continually targeted by local authorities. Last week, Chen spoke to reporters about his family’s situation. Read the rest of this entry »