The Department of Education’s Next Epidemic

Flush with its success at having done what would have been unimaginable a generation ago, having untethered the concept of rape from its definition, eviscerated due process, and rammed its guidance down the throats of academia despite the absence of any lawful authority, outgoing Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has a new dragon to slay.

“Yes, we should have free speech. Yes, we should have diversity of ideas. Yes, we should be encouraging vigorous debate and all kinds of things,” Duncan told Mic. “But when young people don’t feel safe, feel absolutely isolated, feel absolutely intimidated, made to not feel welcome — that’s something else.”

“We have to make sure that kids feel they belong on campus, that they belong in this world,” he said. “And we have some work to do.”

As was accomplished under the guise of gender discrimination, where the nature of sexual interactions morphed from a putative anti-rape attack of “no means no” into an unworkable, meaningless morass of unprovable feelings and excuses under “yes means yes,” the rubric for the next assault on campus will be characterized as ending racial discrimination.

How can anyone be against ending racial discrimination?  Why, that would make opponents pro-racial discrimination, and what sane person would take that side?

If the rhetoric sounds familiar, it should.  Coming out of secret meetings with students, Duncan oozed his purpose:

“A couple of things hit me,” Duncan said. “One, how much universities are struggling with this and trying to get it right. And two, frankly, just how much pain is out there. Hearing some of these students’ stories here a couple weeks ago was powerful. Hearing some of these university presidents grapple with this stuff was powerful.”

Given how easily we succumb to gushing emotional appeals, few will notice that Duncan’s moving spiel fails to offer any clue what horrible things were done to cause “how much pain is out there.”  Have white students taken to burning crosses in front of black students’ dorm rooms, or are these “powerful” stories about how someone called America “the land of opportunity,” a well-known microaggression that can cause sensitive students to lose sleep for days?


Have colleges become hotbeds of racial discrimination?  From all outward appearances, racial tolerance and understanding has made enormous strides since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, where schools have gone to great lengths to achieve racial diversity, overcoming challenges as far back as Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, and achieving remarkable success in students’ embrace of each other, without regard to race.

So just as real rape was essentially non-existent on campus, and the solution was to redefine it to create an epidemic, the DoE is turning over rocks to look for racial discrimination, and harassment, by calling out the most innocuous, if not absurd, speech and conduct as if it was a lynching.

Aside: Speaking of lynchings, the absurdity (and stupidity) is well demonstrated by demands to rename a building on the campus of Lebanon Valley College because it was named after benefactor and former college president, Dr. Clyde A. Lynch. Look out, Loretta.

Unsurprisingly, the hugely successful playbook from the “rape epidemic” is being reprised for the next epidemic:

In addition to encouraging schools to be responsive to students’ concerns, Duncan mentioned the responsibility of the department’s civil rights division to enforce laws related to discrimination and harassment.

“We still have the enforcement arm of the Office of Civil Rights,” he said. “Since we’ve been here, we’ve had [1,000] complaints of racial harassment on campus. That’s a staggering number. So that part — we have that responsibility.”

In the context of sexual assault, the cries have been about the number of schools “under investigation.”  Not determined to have done anything wrong, mind you, but having had a complaint lodged against them with OCR.  So here, we have 1000 complaints. Of what, exactly? And their validity?  Complaints mean nothing more than accusations, which mean nothing until their specifics are revealed and their validity ascertained.

But then, as Duncan reveals, OCR plans to ramp up its internal adjudication demands, the next “Dear Colleague” letter, where it will sit as judge, juror and executioner of what constitutes racial harassment, and let us know afterward of what a great job it’s doing cleaning up the epidemic of . . . what?  Don’t ask. There are students who “feel unsafe,” and it’s their job to fix that. And your job to shut your mind and let them do their job.

And lest you think their efforts to clean up racial harassment will be limited to policing microaggressions, that’s just the start of its micromanagement of higher education:

“One of the big issues or big critiques, which is really fair coming from the students of Missouri and others, is, ‘We want a more diverse faculty,'” Duncan said. “The issue is, the pipeline doesn’t exist. We just don’t have that pipeline.”

“Some of this stuff, we can take action quickly, some of it we need to really step back,” he said. “We desperately need a more diverse faculty. Definitely need a more diverse administration. But we as a nation have not created that pipeline.”

The thrust won’t be limited to silencing speech that doesn’t conform to the demands of the most fragile teacup, and not even to dictating to universities the color of their professors and administrators, but to creating “a pipeline” so that their race-dictated “guidance” will be sustainable going forward.  The implications of this benign-sounding scheme are monstrous, where competence and quality of educators will be subject to OCR’s race-focused threats of hire black professors, regardless of competence, or lose funding.

As has happened with rape and sexual assault, questioning and challenging the lies and practice that have turned American campuses into a panacea for female gender-hatred and an arbitrary minefield for male students who have been relegated to disposable fodder, the cries of misogynist, sexist and rape-apologist will be loud and clear.  Few are willing to endure these ad hominem attacks.  This is the weapon of censorship, and it’s damn effective.

The same will be true for this next epidemic of purported racial harassment, and screams of racist will be ringing out against anyone questioning OCR’s effort to bludgeon reason into submission.  And so, time to gird the loins and prepare to suffer the slings and arrows of the terminally progressive.  To riff off Edmund Burke, all it takes for insanity to prevail is for sane people to do nothing.

And painful as it may be to endure the next, and far more disturbing, cries of racist, the options are limited.  Either call out the absurdity of the DoE’s insanity, and be called a racist for doing so, or stand idly by and let speech, thought, and anything that hurts the feelz of any fragile teacup of any hue be dictated by the powers of government.  Here we go again.

H/T The College Fix

4 thoughts on “The Department of Education’s Next Epidemic

  1. Jay

    First of all: Kids? Did I hear him say kids? Second: I don’t understand why the government feels the need to expend effort to make kids feel good about their time at college… Maybe happier kids will be more likely to pay off their loans?

    1. SHG Post author

      Feelz are the Utopian dream these days. There aren’t enough problems anymore, so the DoE has gone from real problems to every twinge of potential intolerable unpleasantness.

      1. Steven M Warshawsky

        Obviously you realize that there is more than feelz at stake here. This is part of an ideological and political movement that is gaining increasing traction. Much more powerful and serious than when “political correctness” came onto the scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Comments are closed.