In my previous essay, I discussed my experiences as a faculty member at an American academic institution that has a far-left radical administration, faculty, and students, and how the social justice hysteria was affecting what was going on in the school. Having finished the first round of months-long “sensitivity trainings” and webinars, I’d like to briefly comment on that and summarize and conclude with respect to where things are going at my institution on these topics, which is reflective of academia in general.
The curriculum of my institution is to be changed to prioritize “social justice” over all else; indeed, we have been told that we need to de-emphasize actual scholarship, the teaching of objective facts, and providing a truly enlightened liberal arts education in favor of politicized far-left talking points. The entire curriculum is to be subordinated to radical anti-White propaganda. Please note that this trend in American academia is not restricted only to undergraduate education, but also extends into post-graduate education of all sorts: graduate school, law school, medical school, etc. With respect to the latter, the scientifically illiterate and hyper-politicized hysterics of the AMA are used to justify curriculum changes at the level of medical education; one set of political hacks justifies the lies and distortions of another group, and vice versa. All of these academic and professional organizations are completely dominated by the Left. Therefore, as a result, the doctors of tomorrow’s America may not know how to conduct a physical exam, diagnose or treat a disorder, and they may have no idea about the anatomical or molecular underpinnings of disease, but, have no fear, they will be well versed in “social justice” and they will be activists in “promoting racial justice and social change.” Be prepared to have to travel overseas to be a “medical tourist” in order to obtain effective medical care in the not-too-distant future.
“Training” about Title IX typically involves either feminist harridans, or blubbery White “men” constantly apologizing for their “privilege” and groveling to others, and making absurd distinctions between equality (bad), equity (good), and justice (best). You see, treating people equally is no good because “systemic discrimination” (designed to benefit “dudes who look like me,” cries the flabby White “man”) holds the oppressed down, and so they must be given special advantages to rise to the same level as their privileged oppressors, and that is termed “equity.” But, optimally, we all must tear down the systemic discrimination, and this would be “justice.” Note that this all makes three fundamental assumptions — that absolute equity is desirable and would not completely abrogate freedom (assuming that they care about freedom), that differences in outcomes must be due to discrimination and influenced by innate differences in ability and behavior, and that we must ignore the previous half-century of endless efforts to achieve equity, efforts that have discriminated against Whites, particularly White men, and have failed to achieve that ever-elusive equity.
One must be amused at the crude cartoons they use to illustrate the distinction between “equality” and “equity.” One involves people standing on boxes to peer over a fence to watch a ballgame (if ballgame attendance requires the purchase of tickets, then one can question the ethics of their behavior, but never mind). All have boxes to stand on, but, alas, the shortest individual cannot see over the fence even with his box; he requires a bigger box, you see. Giving everyone the same size box — equality — “harms” the person who requires a bigger box. Thus, to ensure equal outcomes — equity — people must be treated unequally, and some must be given special advantages.
This is all very interesting. First, as alluded to above, this analogy completely ignores the decades of special advantages given to some groups in order to reach equity, advantages that have failed to achieve their objectives. Redrawing that “standing-on-boxes” cartoon to be historically accurate would entail having the shortest person given a box so tall that they are higher than the ballpark’s upper deck, but, being too stupid and lazy to be able to climb to the top, they still fail to see the ballgame. Second, and more fundamentally, note that they are using an innate characteristic like height to illustrate the point. Is it the fault of the taller person that another person is shorter? Does society have an obligation to bolster the efforts of those lacking the prerequisites to achieve? Should dwarves be fitted with spring-loaded stilts so as to compete in the NBA? Should small and thin men be fitted with atomic-powered exoskeletons to win “strongman” competitions? More directly, should individuals and races that are cognitively and behaviorally deficient be artificially boosted? Why not apply this to individual student grades? If Joe gets a 100 on an exam, and Jim gets a 60, equality means that Joe gets an A and Jim gets a D. But I suppose that equity means that Jim is given 40 free points to bring his grade up to 100, so as to get an A as well. And I suppose that “justice” means eliminating the exam altogether, or making it pass/fail, or dumbing it down to the extent that even roadkill would be capable of getting an A. Can any advanced civilization survive such a process? Can any nation that prioritizes such misguided efforts compete with nations that are meritocracies?
Getting back to Title IX, interestingly but not surprisingly, some students, particularly female students “of color,” object to the Trump administration’s changes in Title IX law to give the accused the same rights as the accuser; for example — gasp! — the accused should actually be told what they are charged with and who has accused them and have the right to face their accuser (and have their representative question the accuser or their representative) at the hearing.
But, alas, treating people equally violates equity and is not consistent with justice, according to these students, since the accused (always assumed to be a White man) is coming from a place of privilege and hence giving the accused the same rights as the accuser (assumed to be a woman, typically assumed to be one of “color”) disadvantages the accuser. Therefore, this equal treatment of accuser and accused is not equity and therefore violates justice; according to students, justice means enforcing equity by treatment that is intentionally unequal, harming the accused (and other such “privileged” people) and granting special status to the accuser. Thus, the alleged “privilege” of the accused manifests in being treated unfairly and denied equal rights, and the alleged “disadvantaged” status of the accuser manifests in being given special privileges and better-than-equal treatment. This illogical nonsense is, according to the Left, reflective of justice leading to equity.
I believe that this newest leftist paradigm of “equity over equality” needs to be taken seriously by the Right. This is the current intellectual justification for setting up a caste system privileging “oppressed” groups like non-Whites, women, and homosexuals over “dominant” groups like Whites, men, and heterosexuals. We are told that “equal treatment is not equality” because “it doesn’t lead to equity” and is therefore “not consistent with justice.” The Right may scoff at the absurd and Orwellian nature of this nonsense, but scoffing does not make it go away, or become any less dangerous. It is time for the Right to focus on and vigorously oppose this now, instead of just doing nothing (as usual) and seeing this newest meme become part of normal societal discourse (and, no doubt, one day championed and defended by the Mainstream Right as “conservative values”).
“Racial sensitivity” training typically continues to be handled by obnoxious, intellectually vacuous, and physically unattractive (but with the self-esteem to call themselves “beautiful” to a captive audience that attempts to ignore the evidence of their lying eyes) Black women, who spew the vilest anti-White nonsense imaginable. Interesting, these Black women claim that their captive White audiences are the ones with “privilege and power,” while the Black women running the sessions are “powerless” “women of color.” So, the person who is running a mandatory meeting, getting paid well for doing so, and is subjecting the audience to abuse, is “powerless”; while the captive audience, being forced against their will to listen to offensive and humiliating racial abuse, are the ones with “power.” Does that make sense to you?
In these brainwashing sessions, we then learn that trauma is not about White people, only people of color experience trauma, Whites are trauma-free, and of course only non-Whites experience racism (with Whites being the ones who dish out the racism and the trauma to the poor, persecuted non-Whites). So, dear reader, if you are White and you think you have experienced trauma in your life, you are, of course, wrong. Have you experienced racism? Impossible!
And then we are told that saintly non-Whites don’t want to hear White apologies, but want Whites to move heaven and earth to sacrifice themselves for non-White interests. And if anyone objects, then that is not consistent with employment at any academic institution. How that totalitarian dogma is consistent with the institution’s academic freedom policy and with federal law concerning employee rights is unclear.
We also learn about the dreaded malady of “Black Fatigue” — the horrendous cost to Black well-being because Blacks have to put up with constant White racism. What is unclear to me is why non-Whites want to live with Whites if the latter are so horribly racist toward the former. For example, if some person was abusive to me, I would want to get as far away from them as possible. I would not be constantly clamoring to live with them, I would not use the government to force myself upon them, I would not chase after them like a deranged stalker if they move away from me.
Non-Whites complain about how they are being, literally, killed by White racism, they are being traumatized on a daily basis and their mental and physical health therefore impaired, they are discriminated against and tormented by Whites in innumerable ways, and yet they consider access to Whites as some sort of fundamental human right. White nations are horribly racist, yet countless of millions of non-Whites immigrate, legally and illegally, to those nations. Whites are racist and abusive, yet non-Whites use the coercive power of the federal government to enforce racial integration with Whites, using “fair housing” laws to obtain access to White neighborhoods, constantly chasing after Whites when Whites flee in so-called “White flight.”
It’s almost as if — who knows? — non-Whites really don’t believe their own nonsense and simply use it as a cudgel to bludgeon Whites with. In addition non-Whites are likely aware that without Whites and White largesse, non-White standards of living would be, at best, at Third World levels (due to White racism of course). The only people being abused in this relationship are Whites, who are constantly being told how horrible they are, while being forced to support those attacking them, and being unable to flee from those who claim that Whites are persecuting them. When the alleged persecuted attach themselves to the alleged persecutors with all the tenacity of an intestinal tapeworm, one must wonder who really is the persecuted and who the persecutor really is. One could of course propose the existence of White Fatigue — aka Diversity Fatigue — the very real and wearisome harm to White well-being imposed by mandatory multiculturalism and the ever-present resultant “vibrancy” that all rational Whites loathe (whether or not they are honest enough to admit it).
In these sessions, we were also told that we have a personal obligation to be “change agents” for “social justice.” I wasn’t aware that it is the place of an academic institution to tell its employees what their personal obligations are, what to believe in with respect to the personal lives and beliefs, and what kind of activism they should or should not engage in on their own private time. But that’s the definition of totalitarianism — the ideology is total, it affects all aspects of society, including the private lives of citizens. Indeed, having a track record of social justice has been proposed as a criterion for hiring, retention, and promotion some universities.
(Editor’s note: having a track record of social justice has been proposed as a criterion for retention tenure, and promotion in the College of Liberal Arts at California State University-Long Beach: “Increase the College’s Community Impact in Social Justice — review and revise the [retention, tenure & promotion] document to better define service that has local, regional, national, and international impact on social justice as well as to provide clearer criteria for evaluating community engagement as [counting toward retention, tenure, and promotion].” Can anyone doubt that social justice activism (not just assertions of approval) will be required for hiring as well?)
I would like to make one other point about these training sessions, particularly those hosted by Blacks (typically, Black women). Not only is the ideological content objectionable, but the actual quality of the presentations are (predictably) terrible. You have people who don’t know how to use a computer, whose presentations run overtime (sometimes suddenly ending components of the presentations mid-way because of time over-runs), whose slides are formatted inconsistently, and who cannot even correctly read and interpret the data on their own slides (assuming they actually put together their own flawed slide presentations). Some of these people apparently are incapable of counting, e.g., saying that “this is the third presentation of the series” while it is actually the second, etc. Thus, even within the confines of their specialized (and useless) social justice activities, Blacks are utterly incompetent.
Liberal Whites respond to these displays of monumental ineptness by smiling benignly and stating how “wonderful the presentation is.” It’s comical. To any honest person, these sessions, ironically enough, actually undermine and delegitimize their ostensible purpose. To any objective observer, the comical ineptitude of the presenters demonstrates that, e.g., Blacks contribute nothing positive to society and simply manifest as an endless series of problems, issues, grievances, etc., with demands for “equity” that do not in any way correlate to any qualifications or merits other than their race itself. The only meaning to these individuals is their Blackness, they have nothing else to offer other than their monumental obsession with their own racial identities.
That student performances tend to mimic that of these presenters goes without saying. Exams and quizzes must continuously be dumbed down so as to allow certain groups achieve a passing level of “achievement.” Administration turns a blind eye to student cheating if the students happen to be of the “right” demography — allowing cheating may fit in to the special advantages given to some to achieve. Cheating is equity! Justice! Any more subjective evaluation — essays and essay questions, student presentations, etc. — have to be graded on a racial curve, so that low-achieving groups are graded more leniently than others. Otherwise, the grades would be consistently correlated to race and equity would be more elusive than ever.
Of course, this erodes standards for everyone. A century ago, high school students were learning Latin and Greek; today, college students are functionally illiterate and need to take remedial English (and here I refer to students for whom English is their native language). One of the most unpleasant aspects of the current hysteria is the behavior of White employees, including people who really should know better. People who, in private, will whisper agreement that political correctness has gone too far, and who will admit in private the facts about differences between racial groups, speak completely differently in public. It is testament to the power of the mob to enforce group-think on cowards who believe that their personal interests lie in betraying the truth and, ultimately, betraying themselves.
The Whites who actually openly comment in these sessions — those who feel free to comment — openly agonize about how to talk to bad Whites who deny “the truth” (similar to a religious cult these types equate their bizarre beliefs with objective “truth”) about “systemic racism” and “social justice.” Not surprisingly, these hysterical leftist Whites are invariably individuals born and raised in predominantly White areas, individuals whose only real contact with Blacks and other non-Whites is with students or other institutional employees. Whites opposed to the “social justice” agenda are, instead, invariably those born and raised in “diverse” and “vibrant” areas. It is almost as if exposure to “diversity” immunizes Whites against the “social justice” hysteria, while those not previously exposed to all of the “vibrancy” are vulnerable to leftist memetic infection.
One other comment needs to be made about the reactions of faculty to all of this. The lack of critical thinking among well-educated PhDs is astonishing, and that includes science/STEM PhDs who you would think should know better. You may argue that the blind acceptance of the social justice dogma by the faculty is due to political reasons; they are either “true believers” or they are being coerced by fear of retaliation and fear of “cancel culture.” While that no doubt contributes to part of the problem, I believe that something deeper is going on here, since the same absolute lack of critical thinking and the same blind acceptance of nonsense manifests for non-political issues as well. For example, faculty may get “training” on various components of their education and research efforts, typically from presenters who look like founding members of Seattle’s CHOP/CHAZ autonomous zone, and whose presentations are incredibly illogical, inconsistent, non-factual, and disjointed. And yet, no matter how bad the presentations are, no matter how obviously wrong the information provided is, and no matter how transparently illogical and inconsistent it all is, I note that my colleagues, with few exceptions, accept it all without question and parrot the most astonishing nonsense without the slightest hesitation or question.
I note as well a strong correlation between those who blindly accept non-political nonsense without question and those who swallow the political social justice nonsense also without question. Amusingly, all of these dogmatic and conformist leftists, without the slightest shred of irony or self-awareness, decry the “closeminded” and “rigid” and “unthinking” attitudes of all those dastardly (White, of course) people out there (all living in trailer parks, no doubt) who oppose the social justice agenda. Less amusing is the enthusiastic willingness of these leftist Whites to publicly denounce their own family members for not sharing in the great “awokening,” oozing with contempt at the alleged crudity and “lack of empathy” of their ‘racist” parents and siblings. All of these leftist Whites are budding Pavliks, no doubt.
It is indeed a very serious error to over-estimate the independent thinking and critical reasoning abilities of academics; they are at least as naively accepting and rigidly conformist as anyone else (if not more so). As noted above, that there is a correlation between comic naiveté and blind acceptance of the most outrageous non-political nonsense on the one hand, and acceptance of social justice insanity on the other, will come as no surprise to us; and the converse is true — those who shake their heads sadly at the non-political nonsense and see through the incompetence of the presenters are, not surprisingly, the same people whose adherence to facts and whose ability to exhibit critical reasoning allows them to reject social justice indoctrination. Unfortunately, this latter group is a decided minority in academia.
Indeed, it is always instructive to go to the Federal Election Commission individual contribution database and look up the ideological spectrum of contributions from any academic institution. I have done so for mine and the results were as expected. Exactly how an academic institution has a healthy diversity of opinion when, say, 98-100% of political contributions go to the Left is an open question. Related to this are the constant 501C3 violations coming from alleged “non-partisan” “not-for-profit” institutions and the constant political commentary from school administration, as well as the training sessions, including remarks about the pro-Trump Washington DC protest of this past January, which, we are told, was characterized as “brutal examples of hatred” and a “lack of proper conflict resolution” (apparently, the preceding months of Left protests, including attempted mass murder in Portland, demonstrate peaceful and loving effective conflict resolution). The administration are typically hard Left and retaliate against any employees who do not toe the line.
Of related interest are the videos of Jodi Shaw, a progressive, liberal, White woman previously employed at Smith College who, despite being of the Left, opposes the anti-White Critical Race Theory garbage foisted on employees at her institution and, of course, virtually all other academic institutions in America. Shaw had to resign from Smith College due to what seems to be an anti-White hostile working environment (more on the Smith college fiasco can be read here.) Then we have the persecution of Dr. Aaron Kindsvatter at The University of Vermont. The leftist hysteria and hypocritical double-think is well summarized by: “The freedom of free thought is not what is being restricted here, it’s the fact that Aaron Kindsvatter is using his position of power and authority as a platform for spewing these ideologies.” So, on the one hand, they are not restricting “the freedom of free thought” — but only insofar as Kindsvatter’s “free thought” perfectly coincides with their own “free thought” and he spews his ideologies in his closet so that others aren’t infected by them. Otherwise, he is “spewing” negative ideologies and must be censored and must resign.
The similarity with free speech censors the world over is obvious, European “hate speech” laws being a prime example. First, they state their “commitment to free speech, free thought, and free expression,” before immediately following that by stating that any speech, thought, or expression of which they disapprove is outlawed. It is not clear if these people understand what the word “free” means or whether they understand that in this context “free” is normally expected to include everyone, not just those who happen to agree with the particular ideologies that the censors themselves “spew.” Orwell’s Big Brother is alive and well—and becoming ever more pervasive in the culture of the West: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
It is because of such outrages that groups like the Academic Freedom Alliance have come into being. See more here. Imagine that — it is now necessary for reasonable academics, including some from the Left, to band together to fight a desperate rearguard action to attempt to stem to the tide of the devastating “woke” tidal wave, fully realized that they will be ostracized or worse for their efforts. Will a Part III of my essay be necessary? Who knows? As the academic madness continues to unfold, I may well have more to report, which will undoubtedly be more bad news.