Free Speech Movement –began at UC Berkeley and I was there in 1969, several years later and I knew everyone who launched it, personally. We were all ‘radicals’ back then and I was quite forceful about the need to have ‘free speech’ and here we are, years later, students are demanding controlled speech with many restrictions that make zero sense. The ‘no free speech’ movement is being pushed by the same people pushing for Global Warming hysteria and is connected to the ‘Black Lives (Don’t) Matter’ movement.
Faculty on campuses are under fire because of these movements. They are being told what to say or not say, how to behave, what to think and all of this is now reaching insane levels. Now, media giants are calling for this to stop which is amusing since the media created these monsters. But of course, the young people who were urged to behave badly are now going to be punished: How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus – The Atlantic:
The press has typically described these developments as a resurgence of political correctness. That’s partly right, although there are important differences between what’s happening now and what happened in the 1980s and ’90s.
Actually, this began in 1969 and has several surges. I remember back then very vividly since I was dead center in the counterculture movement back then. I produced leaflets and volunteered for various things back then and was extremely active. I watched the ‘movement’ go berserk. Self-radicalization ran rampant and people began attacking each other for not being ideologically ‘correct’.
I watched people who were very bright go insane. Closing their minds and doing really, really stupid things, becoming criminals, for example. Students are very prone towards self-destruction when they get weird ideas in their heads. And we are seeing this happen today thanks to schools exploiting students for money, letting them do stupid things on campus and behave like little dictators, terrorizing staff. But not terrorizing the top people who get paid millions to run these destructive ‘schools’.
That movement (twenty years ago) sought to restrict speech (specifically hate speech aimed at marginalized groups), but it also challenged the literary, philosophical, and historical canon, seeking to widen it by including more-diverse perspectives. The current movement is largely about emotional well-being. More than the last, it presumes an extraordinary fragility of the collegiate psyche, and therefore elevates the goal of protecting students from psychological harm. The ultimate aim, it seems, is to turn campuses into “safe spaces” where young adults are shielded from words and ideas that make some uncomfortable.
And more than the last, this movement seeks to punish anyone who interferes with that aim, even accidentally. You might call this impulse vindictive protectiveness. It is creating a culture in which everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face charges of insensitivity, aggression, or worse…
Jeannie Suk’s New Yorker essay described the difficulties of teaching rape law in the age of trigger warnings. Some students, she wrote, have pressured their professors to avoid teaching the subject in order to protect themselves and their classmates from potential distress.
Most lecturers and staff at our colleges and universities are not professors, they are hired part-time staff with zero power whose job is to keep as many ‘students’ on the hook so they can be looted further. Education is the last thing schools are doing these days. This corruption of learning will cost us all dearly in the future as the burden of school debt kills the economy, destroys the ability to marry and have children and crushes children of in debt students.
And worse, these kids will be thrust into the adult economy to sink or swim after they have been loaded with debt and they will be very childish, helpless and stupid thanks to this ‘learning’ environment that treats them as fainting ninnies who will perish if asked to think on their own!
These children/adults cuss and howl and use language stevedores would blush to use and then shriek that they are fainting Victorian ladies who can’t bear to be exposed to an ankle in public, oh, the mercy! Pass the smelling salts. This psychotic duality, the hard, loud, cussing, vicious female who claims to be weak, helpless and easily bruised when hearing the wrong words…priceless as well as insane.
Tsunami Of Student Debt Will Destroy Our Economy And Even Our Civilization and this debt is being used to train them to be childish, weak, noxious and stupid. It is not ‘send them to school to learn to be adults’ but ‘send them to school to terrorize everyone and be unemployable’.
Worried that liberal readers would react wrong, the writers of the above article published this, explaining why they did the story: How The Atlantic’s September Cover Story, ‘The Coddling of the American Mind,’ Came to Be – The Atlantic
I recently became particularly alarmed by reports about new moralistic trends on college campuses. I began reading about trigger warnings and microaggressions in the spring of 2014, and just weeks later, I started encountering these issues in my own teaching at New York University.
For example, to prepare students for a class discussion on wisdom, I assigned a magazine article that described the dilemmas a physician faced as one of his patients was dying of cancer. A student complained (in the homework assignment) that I should have included a trigger warning, so that students who had lost a relative to cancer could steer clear of the article.
In another course, I lectured on weakness of the will, and I described Ulysses’s wise leadership in tying himself to the mast of his ship, so he could resist the Sirens’ song. I showed a painting of the scene in which the Sirens try but fail to lure Ulysses and his men to their death. Like most mermaids, the Sirens in the painting are topless, and this led to a complaint (in my teaching evaluations) that the painting was degrading to women, and that I was insensitive for showing it.
How Victorian! Already, honest conversations are rapidly vanishing at colleges and conservative students in particular, must be silent or else which is a total change from when I went to school. My first deed was to set up a table at the student union to sign up people to discuss the new Civil Rights Act. A mob of young right wing males came over and tried to fight me, which was funny since I am a trained fighter (sword as well as gun) but the cops came and tried to stop me and we had a big messy moment.
The thing is, I didn’t pull the ‘I’m a helpless female, I will faint if you say the wrong words’, quite the opposite. I was proud that I could hold my own around men. Most amusing for me was, when it was announced that student deferment for males would end, these very same guys came running to me to save them from being sent to Vietnam.
“When I was studying at Oberlin College,” she wrote, “a fellow student once compared me to her dog. Because my name is Simba, a name Americans associate with animals, she unhelpfully shared that her dog’s name was also Simba. She froze with embarrassment, realizing that her remark could be perceived as debasing and culturally insensitive.
“It’s a good example of what social-justice activists term microaggressions — behaviors or statements that do not necessarily reflect malicious intent but which nevertheless can inflict insult or injury. I wasn’t particularly offended by the dog comparison. I found it amusing at best and tone deaf at worst.
I had a dog, a mastiff, named Cleo and I knew a lady with this name. I doubt she would be enraged if I told her my beloved dog had the same name. These stories about super sensitive students is really sad, it isn’t going to end well for anyone. Just like Black Lives Matter are really killing black men. Here is the latest example from Chicago:
Back to the story of the UC Berkeley stupid mess. Sigh. My school, no less. Well, the school had a web page telling everyone what the rules are for behaving properly but…IT IS GONE! Removed! HAHAHA.
I did manage to find copies of this web page that students took as screen shots:
“A group of sociologists did a poll in Arizona about the new immigration law. Sixty percent said they were in favor, and 40 percent said, ‘No habla English.’”It elicited two written complaints in the spring of 2010 as ethnically offensive, and what followed was a protracted argument that eventually included the termination of his employment from the fall semester.
Administrators have also discontinued his course “City and Citizenship,” previously a requirement for graduation.
Poor man annihilated and you can bet, he will never get another job at another school, either. I would suggest he do what I did years ago: build houses instead. I made money doing that and no headaches about my language especially if I smashed my thumb.
Saberpoint: Roosevelt University’s Experiment in Stalinism: the Ordeal of Professor Robert Klein Engler. This story has the link to the professor’s pages online but I found this: 404 Not Found. He chickened out. I did manage to find information about his plight online.
Engler writes of his frustration with the unexplained charges and reason for his firing:
For months I practically begged Roosevelt University officials to provide me with at least some clue as to the nature of the “harassment complaint” lodged against me. I couldn’t imagine what it might be, but thought I at least had a right to know what someone was alleging.
But for months the University ignored my pleas.
On August 6, 2010, Mr. Maly notified me by e-mail that I was fired from the University. He claimed I wasn’t cooperating with an investigation. This was beyond absurd. For months the University stonewalled my attempts to learn even the most basic details of the allegation against me.
I know exactly what he went through because I was treated this way, too, by my employer when I worked at a major college when I caught the President’s husband drunk when he had to meet IBM for a very important meeting and IBM complained to the President about this, praising me and not her husband so she had to get rid of me, not him, of course.
HAHAHA. This is why our schools stink. They are filled with incompetence at the top, the people with the most power and money are abusing the system and exploiting the students, driving up their debts to astronomical levels while teaching them to be stupid. That is a crime and we will find reality unavoidable in the future as things fall apart.
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