No Minister

The Struggle Sessions – Back to Academia

Back to the world where it all started – Academia. The following article from Aero magazine, Listening at the Great Awokening, has a concise but comprehensive take on what Woke Politics is doing to American universities.

All the accents and cadences of critical race theory can be identified. Williams, Sarah Lawrence, Evergreen and Yale could really be Any Residential College in Any Town.

As such I’d be interested to know how much of this crap is slipping into New Zealand universities.

But that article deals with a lot of student protest. Here are two specific stories of how actual academic research is being screwed up as a result of the Great Woke Fest. First up is how two academics withdrew a study they’d conducted on police shootings. After studying “917 fatal police shootings of civilians from 2015 to test whether the race of the officer or the civilian predicted fatal police shootings“, they had reached the conclusion that there was:

“no significant evidence of anti-black disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by the police.”

The two researchers from the University of Maryland made it clear that they stood by their analysis and findings and there has been no dispute about such. So why withdraw it?

Politics! Right-Wing attorney and Police researcher Heather MacDonald had cited it during her testimony before Congress in September 2019 as well as in a City-Journal article, although the shit did not really hit the fan until she wrote another article on June 3rd of this year for the WSJ. In the post-Floyd era such thoughts were unacceptable. As MacDonald wrote in a subsequent WSJ article:

My June 3 Journal op-ed quoted the PNAS article’s conclusion verbatim. It set off a firestorm at Michigan State. The university’s Graduate Employees Union pressured the MSU press office to apologize for the “harm it caused” by mentioning my article in a newsletter. The union targeted physicist Steve Hsu, who had approved funding for Mr. Cesario’s research. MSU sacked Mr. Hsu from his administrative position. PNAS editorialized that Messrs. Cesario and Johnson had “poorly framed” their article—the one that got through the journal’s three levels of editorial and peer review.

Mr. Cesario told this page that Mr. Hsu’s dismissal could narrow the “kinds of topics people can talk about, or what kinds of conclusions people can come to.” Now he and Mr. Johnson have themselves jeopardized the possibility of politically neutral scholarship. On Monday they retracted their paper. They say they stand behind its conclusion and statistical approach but complain about its “misuse,” specifically mentioning my op-eds.

They did not explain exactly how it had been “misused”. A better explanation was that they were saving their own necks, and to aid that they also tried throwing MacDonald under the bus, as she described:

The authors don’t say how I misused their work. Instead, they attribute to me a position I have never taken: that the “probability of being shot by police did not differ between Black and White Americans.” To the contrary, I have, like them, stressed that racial disparities in policing reflect differences in violent crime rates. The only thing wrong with their article, and my citation of it, is that its conclusion is unacceptable in our current political climate.

The “political climate” in American universities that those authors are terrified of is also seen with this from NorthWestern University Law School in Chicago, one of the most prestigious in the nation.

If you think that my description of all this as a Maoist Struggle Session is exaggerated then just look the chat stuff on this screen capture of a Tweet.

There had been a similar example around the same time from the world of political science, courtesy of a Democrat political consultant, David Shor, who Tweeted some advice as the George Floyd riots were cranking up:

“Post-MLK-assasination race riots reduced Democratic vote share in surrounding counties by 2%, which was enough to tip the 1968 election to Nixon. Non-violent protests *increase* Dem vote, mainly by encouraging warm elite discourse and media coverage.”

He even cited a very dense Poli-Sci paper by a Princeton political scientist,  “Agenda Seeding: How 1960s Black Protests Moved Elites, Public Opinion and Voting.”. Clearly he was worried about his Party, but others did not see it that way. The most popular Tweet response: “white dems to black people in 2020: ‘could you die more quietly? We have an election to win,’” 

Shor was fired within days. He must have been pissed off when, a few months later, CNN mouthbreather Don Lemon said the following:

“Guess what, the rioting has to stop….Chris, as you and I know, it’s showing up in the polls, it’s showing up in focus groups. It’s the only thing right now that’s sticking.”

Last I heard Lemon still has his job, but that’s because by then the Democrats had figured out that the riots were not their magic bullet in defeating Trump.

But the following example is worse, because the academic concerned had to write a “secret” letter to some – but only some – of his colleagues.

Dear profs X, Y, Z

I am one of your colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. I have met you both personally but do not know you closely, and am contacting you anonymously, with apologies. I am worried that writing this email publicly might lead to me losing my job, and likely all future jobs in my field.

What a great learning and teaching environment to exist in. And he’s not wrong.

In your recent departmental emails you mentioned our pledge to diversity, but I am increasingly alarmed by the absence of diversity of opinion on the topic of the recent protests and our community response to them.

I’m getting vibes of “If only Stalin knew”. This poor bastard still believes the “diversity” schtick, even as he raises a question that answers itself:

In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system.

Not one alternative eh? Well duh!

The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions.

It’s a mystery!

The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians.

I feel so sorry for this guy. He actually thinks that modern universities are places where academic research into socio-political questions is still academic rather than political and ideological. And he really does not understand that his next comment will be greeted with “Yeah? And?

Instead, it is being treated as an axiomatic and actionable truth without serious consideration of its profound flaws, or its worrying implication of total black impotence. This hypothesis is transforming our institution and our culture, without any space for dissent outside of a tightly policed, narrow discourse.

He goes on to examine this axiom in some detail, applying the sort of research powers you’d expect, including noting how much of these truths are based on anecdote or “transparently motivated“. You can read it for yourself but some of his key points are as follows:

  • If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans?
  • None of this is explained, beyond hand-waving and ad hominems. “Those are racist dogwhistles”.
  • Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM’s problematic view of history, and the department is being presented as unified on the matter,

He also could have looked at non-crime stuff for evidence of a lack of White Supremacy in the USA.

So fanatical are these people that even legal and financial punishment won’t dissuade them, as was seen with the hits taken by the formerly prestigious Liberal Arts university, Oberlin College in the middle of last year:

The jury handed down a staggering $11 million verdict against Oberlin for a smear campaign against a local business and awarded another $33 million in punitive damages to the targeted mom-and-pop store, Gibson’s Food Market and Bakery.

The bakery, which had served Oberlin students for decades, had got a couple of shop-lifting university students arrested. Unlike past ages when shame meant something, they counter-attacked by accusing the bakery of racism. This was whole-heartedly backed by the university, which launched an all-out attack to destroy the bakery’s business via cancelled business, public attacks and protests that fully involved the staff. The lawsuit loss came as a shock..

Oberlin’s defenses — it was neutral in the dispute between its students and the store — were shredded at trial (admirably covered in detail by the Web site Legal Insurrection).

… but obviously not enough of one:

I received an even more defiant letter from Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Ambar on June 14 vowing that “this is not the final outcome.” Ambar warns of a “lengthy and complex legal process.” Indeed, I’m now hearing from infuriated Oberlin insiders this week that the college persists in treating the Gibson family horribly and refuses to end the horror show, all while blithely assuring alumni that “we value our relationship with the town and region that are our home.”

Oberlin alum Beth Kontrabecki Walters summed it well for me in her reflections on campus life and the Gibson’s verdict: “What was once considered a forward-thinking and prestigious institution has now become the poster child for intolerant, myopic crybabies. Oberlin should not appeal this decision. … The multimillion-dollar reward to Gibson’s is the public’s way of sending a message; it’s high time these insulated left-wing incubators put an end to the out-of-control politically correct culture

The article documents examples over three decades of how Oberlin has been pulling this shit on the local community and students. But I don’t think they, or most of these universities can change themselves given how embedded this racist crap is, as can be seen by this official student categorisation system used by the University of California:

I’ve seen this somewhere before:

In 1984, for example, “518 coloureds became white, 2 whites became Chinese, 1 white became Indian, 1 white became coloured, 89 coloureds became black.

Surely U-Cal is not far away from undertaking the same steps as Apartheid South Africa. It would hardly be less crazy and racist than what they’ve got. The only real solution will be public de-funding and/or the loss of students until even tenured professors get fired, as has happened at Evergreen University. In fact the greatest impact has been from the impact of the Chinese Sinus Rot.

Every disaster has a silver lining, but this one needs to be much brighter and stronger – looking at those numbers I’d guess at least 3 million stronger.

One Response

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  1. I have a theory that much of the leftward swing in universities around the world is mainly due to two factors: a vast increase in the number of women in the faculty and a desire to be politically palatable to the chinese communist party and therefore attract foreign students which are a major cash cow.
    Re. US racial issues, David Cole had a good line “[A]ny ‘lock up criminals’ policies will inevitably lead to a disproportionate number of locked-up blacks. Expecting otherwise is like expecting to mount a Broadway musical without encountering gays.” – David Cole https://www.takimag.com/article/soros-soars-gop-cowards-cower/

    fredonas

    January 25, 2021 at 8:23 am


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