Why does the embrace of social justice pedagogies seem to have gone hand in hand with deteriorating race relations on campus?
One answer is that if many students are enjoying a diet of courses on critical race theory, and employees are trained on the fine points of microaggressions, they might take to heart what they are taught and notice what they have been trained to see. Continue reading →
It was November 9, 1997. Vince McMahon, owner of the World Wrestling Federation, was as nervous as he’d ever been in his life. He was about to fuck over his World Champion on live television and shatter the casual fan’s belief in professional wrestling in an event that would be known decades later as “The Montreal Screwjob.”
The 90s were a huge boom period for the wrestling business. Every Monday night, the WWF and WCW competed for fan attention as they went head-to-head with their television shows “Raw” and “Nitro.” Both promotions regularly used underhanded tactics in an attempt to drive their rival out of business, and a favorite of WCW President Eric Bischoff was talent poaching. Continue reading →
Is there a reason why educators in Oregon believe that black students are incapable of learning math? They believe so and have put together this document, A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction, Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction, to explain it. If this were about math teachers being racist, a horrible if odd notion as if math teachers would discriminate more or differently than any other teacher, that would be one thing.
Like many people, I was enthralled by Amanda Gorman’s poem read at Biden’s inauguration, and said so at the time. While it didn’t occur to me, why wouldn’t such a wonderful poem be translated into other languages so that people around the world could enjoy and appreciate it? Then again, it didn’t occur to me that this, too, would be turned into a controversy, another racial sinkhole.
A few years back, a white person refusing to translate a poem by a black person would almost certainly have reflected racist dismissal of the black person. But that was then. This is now. Continue reading →
Do you remember Tara Reade? Joe Biden probably does, not that it’s the sort of thing he wants to talk about, and with good reason. As he brought the Title IX Avenging Angel, Catherine Lhamon into the White House and plans to undo the minimal due process created by the DeVos regs, Biden dodged that bullet with the complicity of the unduly passionate who put “believe women” far below beat Trump on the “to do” list.
The House has passed the Equality Act, which amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by prohibiting discrimination “based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system.” How one claims, or questions, such an identity is a mystery. The findings are replete with references to “gender nonbinary” people, but never define what that means or to whom it refers. It only refers once to “queer,” which it protects even if it’s just a random undefined word stuck in there after LGBT.
Discrimination can occur on the basis of the sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition of an individual, as well as because of sex-based stereotypes. Each of these factors alone can serve as the basis for discrimination, and each is a form of sex discrimination.
The “liberal paradox,” simply stated, is that liberals are so tolerant and principled with regard to the inherent virtue of freedom that they defend speech that would end their existence. Why tolerate those who would eliminate you? Because they trust that better ideas will prevail over worse ideas, freedom over fascism. It’s a bit idealistic and, perhaps, self-defeating, but that’s pretty much the point.
No, Facebook, Twitter and Google are not monopolies. They are hugely popular, at least for the moment, which gives rise to the appearance, if not the reality, that they own the new digital public square. The problem is that the square isn’t public, and it’s only the new public square because that’s where people hang out. Nobody forces people to go there. Nobody prevents people from going to the real public square. This is just what people choose to do.
And nobody elected Zuck, Jack or any other tech scion to be the defender of either free speech or protector from hate speech. To the extent they are, that’s their choice, whether because of their personal views or market conditions. You’re entitled to your views. They are too. Continue reading →
In a remarkable article, New York Times reporter Michael Powell tells the story of woke gone awry at Smith College. Between the exceptionally strong writing, incredible quotes and a story reflecting so much of what can go dangerously wrong when claims of performative emotional trauma trump facts, reality and the actual harm to actual human beings, this is one of those rare breed of “must read” articles that inexplicably made it past the editors to see daylight. Read it now, as it may well disappear when the NYT staff inform Sulzberger that it threatens their safety to have facts published in the newspaper.
This is a tale of how race, class and power collided at the elite 145-year-old liberal arts college, where tuition, room and board top $78,000 a year and where the employees who keep the school running often come from working-class enclaves beyond the school’s elegant wrought iron gates. The story highlights the tensions between a student’s deeply felt sense of personal truth and facts that are at odds with it.