While this sort of conduct (forget the substance of the lecture) directed at relatively conservative speakers on American campuses today barely qualifies as news, it is frequently overlooked that there are students on both sides of the issue.
Why Are College Students So Afraid of Me? Because adults at places like Bucknell and Holy Cross have convinced them they are oppressed. By Heather Mac Donald Nov. 26, 2019 6:47 pm ET
Few things upset American college students more than being told they aren’t oppressed. I recently spoke at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. I argued that American undergraduates are among the most privileged individuals in history by virtue of their unfettered access to knowledge. Far from being discriminated against, students are surrounded by well-meaning faculty who want all of them to succeed.
About 15 minutes into my talk, as I was discussing Renaissance humanism, a majority of the audience in the packed auditorium stood up and started chanting: “My oppression is not a delusion!” The chanters then declared that my sexism, racism and homophobia weren’t welcome on campus. “You are not welcome,” they added, as if I didn’t know.
The protesters drowned out my response before filing slowly out of the room, still loudly announcing their victimhood and leaving dozens of seats empty that could have been filled by students who had been turned away for lack of space. (The protesters had hoped to occupy the entire auditorium before vacating it, so no one else could hear me speak.)
In a subsequent open letter, a senior claimed that I came to Holy Cross to “discredit, humiliate, and deny the existence of minority students.” In fact, I came to urge the entire student body to seize their boundless opportunities for learning with joy and gratitude.
The maudlin self-pity on display at Holy Cross doesn’t arise spontaneously. It is actively cultivated by adults on campus. A few days before the Holy Cross protest, faculty and administrators at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., convened a therapeutic “scholars” panel to take place during another talk of mine. The goal was to inoculate the university against the violence that I allegedly represented.
Bucknell’s interpersonal violence prevention coordinator; the director of its Women’s Resource Center; the interim associate provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion; a women’s and gender studies professor; and an economics professor discussed rape culture, trauma and racism. Students and faculty were then invited to join in painting “self-care” rocks.
This craft activity, in which participants write feel-good messages on stones, was originally designed for K-5 classrooms. It may not be what parents paying Bucknell’s $72,000 annual tuition and fees had in mind. No matter. According to Bucknell’s interpersonal violence prevention coordinator, it was “especially important” for students who had attended my talk to come to the scholars “space” afterward and practice self-care. The interim associate provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion said that the administration’s willingness to let my talk proceed shows that it values free speech more than the community’s trauma.
In anticipation of my Bucknell talk, student journalists had claimed that “‘free speech’” merely amplifies “hate speech,” and that hate speech such as mine was intended to “attack students of color” and “survivors of sexual assault.” An English professor cheered them on. The Bucknell Faculty and Staff of Color Working Group urged colleagues to support those whose “first-hand experiences with injustice” at Bucknell were “invalidated and perpetuated” by my arguments.
Bucknell’s Democratic Socialists of America organized a protest at which participants—in between chants of “Hey hey! Ho Ho! Heather Mac has got to go!” and “No justice! No peace!”—were encouraged to share their personal experiences of injustice at Bucknell. Sadly, there is no available record of what the protesters came up with.
Students who can be persuaded to see oppression on an American college campus—where traits that still lead to ostracism and even death outside the West are not just tolerated but celebrated—can be persuaded to see oppression anywhere. The claim that American universities, and the U.S. in general, are defined by white supremacy is the one unifying idea on college campuses today, in the absence of a shared curriculum dedicated to civilization’s greatest works. And that idea is spreading. School systems across the country are training teachers and administrators that colorblind standards and the work ethic are instruments of white privilege. Any private institution without proportional representation of minorities and females is vulnerable to attack, since bigotry is the only allowable explanation for the lack of sex and race “diversity.”
The promiscuous labeling of disagreement as hate speech and the equation of such speech with violence will gain traction in the public arena, as college graduates take more positions of power. The former managing editor of Time has already advocated in the Washington Post for allowing states to define and penalize hate speech; potential censors wait in the wings.
Certain ideas are now taboo in the academy—above all, the idea that behavior and culture better explain socioeconomic disparities in the U.S. than bigotry. A Bucknell student protester claimed that my sin is to force “this elementary conversation about whether structural racism even exists.”
Most Americans are eager and ready for a post-racial country. The perpetual invocation of racial oppression on college campuses and beyond, however, keeps race relations fraught.
After the Holy Cross protest, the co-president of the Black Student Union, which organized the walkout with an assist from the student government, told the campus newspaper: “The fact that we pulled this off is actually amazing. I feel so empowered now, and this is just the beginning. This is the start of something more.”
About that, she is undoubtedly right.
Ms. Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of “The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.”
For those with access to the WSJ, the comments to this article are particularly interesting.
When weakness is displayed, intolerance becomes more comfortable (including increasingly embraced by faculty and administration), intelligent and respectful discourse declines across the entire spectrum of ideas, and the community suffers.
Dean, this thread is clearly political. To wit: There is more to this thread than merely a discussion of free speech and lack of tolerance for differing opinions. There is a political subtext in this thread that concerns those that might find MacDonald's comments outrageous and racially self serving. MacDonald's letter blatantly promotes her abhorrent political/cultural views. Her attempt to discredit the feelings of oppression by some students can and will be viewed by many as another example of white paternalism and supremacy. At this point I will stop with the suggestion and hope that the Dean might shut down this thread. LoveHC
If you would like copies of the countless numbers of photographs taken in which members of the 90-Wide are meaningfully engaged with wide numbers of our African-American student-athletes on the Crusader Football team, please feel free to send me an email at email@example.com and I welcome sharing. Additionally, I welcome sharing our 90W Impact Report with personal messages of gratitude from an array of Crusaders over the last ten years and across the entire racial spectrum.
Only posted the link as an FYI because it’s an oped about HC in a major US newspaper. I also would certainly post a link to a differing oped or straight news piece published in any major newspaper that relates to HC.
Not sure I would characterize it as being in the news as it is the speaker presenting her point-of-view in the OpEd, but Holy Cross is involved, so will not lock the thread as long as the conversation remains civil without name calling.
Believe that my point on the other thread remains ...
A. MacDonald - a woman who has a point-of-view quite different from most of the HC administration & faculty - was invited to speak by a student organization B. The college did not prevent it and gave her a space to speak C. The students interrupted the talk with protest and left or were removed - their loss. E. The talk finished
Seems to me this is the way it's supposed to work.
Finally, I think the 3 letters linked to by hcpride pretty much says everything that needs to be said on the topic, but will not lock it for now.
Actually, I agree that minds do need to be open. This would include not only the students' minds but the minds of MacDonal and her followers, possibly including those members of the Fenwick Society, too. All minds open to all kinds of diversity and diverse points of view. LoveHC
I agree. What exactly did McDonald or the Fenwick Society do that shows they believe otherwise? I have not heard oof them staging demonstrations at HC or silencing people with views that differ from theirs.
Heather MacDonald was a guest on NY WOR (710) radio today (11:15 am). The interview was all about what happened at HC. She came across very well. The interviewer was less than objective. He, in passing, referred to the demonstrators as "entitled idiots." What happened has upset some HC supporters who will be withholding donations and at least one wants to know how to cancel a bequest to HC in a will. I feel that is overreaction, but I do hope the demonstrators understand their"choreographed" demonstration may have unintended consequences.
IMO, she is not the best messenger for her message that meritocracy should always govern, given that she grew up as a child of great privilege. ____________ She is an atheist, and has a rather dim view of those who practice their religion.
While there is no doubt she attended Yale (BA), Cambridge (MA), and Stanford (JD) she might argue she gained admission 'on the merits' and may not be a subscriber to all the nuances of the evolving 'privilege theory'.
(The jury is still out amongst the 'privilege theory' adherents as to how many privilege points a left-handed white female with educated parents might have v a right-handed Asian male with uneducated parents v a deaf Native American v a wealthy black male v a poor white gay man v.... etc. Her point at HC might have been that all HC students are ipso-facto privileged regardless of a privilege point scoring breakdown or lack thereof.)
Last Edit: Nov 27, 2019 14:28:53 GMT -5 by hcpride
My random thoughts on some of the student responses
Ms. Mac Donald made her purpose known when she her began her speech with immediate attempts to discredit, humiliate, and deny the existence of minority students.
I wasn't there, but I'd wager that no one on either end of the political spectrum, including the speaker, denies the existence of minority students
What I do not agree with, and will aim to disprove, is her assertion that every student on this campus has the same access to resources and educational opportunities. For example, every alumnus of Holy Cross is allowed to get married in the St. Joseph Memorial Chapel…unless they are LGBTQ. Any student on this campus is allowed to apply to become a resident assistant… but accepting that position can negatively impact the financial aid a student receives. And, speaking of financial aid, Holy Cross very quietly decided last year to shift its admissions criteria from need-blind to need-aware, which will disproportionately disadvantage students of color seeking admittance into the College. Inequality is ingrained into the culture and administration on this campus.
1) The St Joseph comment is interesting. I am not surprised to read that LGBTQ people cannot get married in the chapel. I'm actually a little surprised that anyone else can. The building is a Catholic church. If the sacrament of matrimony is occurring - probably during a Mass - sure, I would assume any alum could get married there. On the other hand, if there was a heterosexual couple who were atheists, would they be allowed to walk down that aisle and be married by a justice of the peace. I don't know the answer and am sincerely asking since it was brought up. The same question applies even to a religious ceremony for denominations other than Roman Catholic. For what it's worth, every wedding I've been to in the chapel has been attached to a Mass
2) At most schools, RA's are paid - or at least get discounted room and board. The financial aid formula calculates what the family can pay and makes up the rest. If the cost of tuition, room, and board goes down because of a job as an RA, that doesn't affect family contribution. You could make an argument that a student of limited means can't take a job as an RA because they need a job at a non school affiliated business so any money earned can go to family contribution, but I don't think that implies ingrained inequality
3) Yup, the bottom 10 percent (IIRC) of the class is now admitted need aware. I believe they're still guaranteed full need, but a marginal applicant is more likely to get into the school if the family can pay. I think this is more about limited resources than ingrained inequality. If the writer has a better, more equitable way to allocate limited resources, let's hear it
The bigger question to me is, if the political left is supposed to be the “tolerant party” and all about inclusivity, why do they tell people with opposing viewpoints that “they are not welcome” on our campus and try to silence them? How are we as a College and as a society supposed to find common ground if we cannot even listen to each other and have open discussions in hopes of understanding different perspectives?
I liked that third article. The writer also came across as not agreeing with the speaker's points saying "when the Q & A with students began, her lack of substance became obvious. On several points, she was unable to back up her statements with facts". Someone who doesn't want to exclude a person with a differing viewpoint
Small clarification..the marriage is performed by the couple themselves when they exchange vows. The. priest, etc. are officially witnesses to their exchange of vows.
Absolutely true when discussing the sacrament of marriage. Is it also true of a civil marriage? In my example of two atheists and the JP, when there is no sacrament involved, does the JP marry the couple or is just a witness?
Everyone should harken back to when they were 17,18,19 year olds. Their perspective is certainly different from someone who is in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s,70’s and beyond God willing for each of us.
At that younger age, one may have felt disenfranchised and oppressed based on their personal and family experiences when they are only 2 decades old. As you age, and achieve through life, hopefully you breakthrough the psychology barrier that seems to be trapping you. It is a search that each of us most go through. Some of our now most illustrious alumni certainly came from backgrounds that their immediate ancestors and families were certainly not privileged. They may not be “oppressed now”, but were when they were in their late teens or early 20”s and a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior at HC.
While Ms MacDonald has impressive academic credentials, including being an alumna of a University that my daughter is also an alumna, her individual perspective is only her individual perspective. Since she is not a trained social scientist, psychologist or psychiatrist her observations may lack empirical and scientific validity.
Sounds like she is doing what successful authors attempt to do....find a controversial premise and topic, latch onto it, write some prose, weaponize the topic, find a publisher, find acolytes to adhere to your premise, find a PR firm to promote your book, make the topic even more controversial, go on a book or speaking tour to generate a buzz and click bait to your website and to the publishers web site, watch your bank account go up due to the gullible that buy your book, laugh as you read your latest bank statement from the publisher and PR firm that arranges your tour and speaking fees. Six months later the premise is debunked by a new author and the cycle starts again, and unfortunately the same people become outraged, while the authors laugh at the gullible who read their diatribes. The only people that win are the suppliers, and not the consumers of these websites and books.
So relax fellows, you too were young and in college. Think back to when you received your draft card. Did you feel oppressed? Unless you were in ROTC, which I wanted to join, but could not pass the physical, you too may have felt oppressed by events that you could not control. In summation, oppression is a series of factors that one cannot control. The ultimate physical suppression will happen to all of us, the moment you take your last earthly breath.
On that thought, I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving and the privilege you now enjoy. One of them being an Alumnus to an elite and outstanding institution of higher learning. You have been trained to enjoy Socratic dialogue.
Last Edit: Nov 27, 2019 21:06:02 GMT -5 by Crucis#1
Equilibrium in motion regarding unintended consequences, while one may exclude HC in their bequest, another may now include.
Maybe Michael Bloomberg, a former resident of the commonwealth born in Brighton and certainly familiar with Holy Cross, will now consider a contribution to HC, as he did to Johns Hopkins. He would certainly be most welcomed in endowing a scholarship program.
Situations like this (and much worse) arise on US campuses when a speaker who rejects 'privilege theory' is invited to speak.
"Privilege Theory", which was not around when most of us were undergraduates, holds that American white males are born into the most privilege and either Native Americans or African Americans (the theory varies on this particular point) are born with the least privilege in the US. Every other US inhabitant is placed somewhere between them on a notional, infinite, and inescapable 'privilege' scale based on race. Gender and sexual orientation privilege rankings may be integrated (the theories vary on this complicating practice often labelled 'intersectionality') into the basic racial construct. Those at the top end in the "Privilege Theory " construct are oppressors and those at the bottom end are the oppressed.
Obviously, for those who believe this theory (and by now this is the prevailing orthodoxy on US campuses) programs (race-based admissions for starters) must be enacted (and expanded) to aid the oppressed and combat the entrenched racist/sexist/homophobic status quo. A moral imperative. Just as obviously (for those who believe this theory) those who don't buy the theory are embracing 'white privilege', embracing the oppression of the oppressed, reinforcing de-facto racism/sexism/homophobia, and engaging in hate speech - which must be silenced.
Ms. MacDonald publicly rejects 'privilege theory' and the reaction is as predictable as night following day.
(Note: In his insightful essay written four years ago, David Marcus opined specifically on privilege theory: "...those who question it are delegitimized as backwards, privileged bigots whose opinions should be at best ignored and at worst banned.")
On that thought, I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving and the privilege you now enjoy. One of them being an Alumnus to an elite and outstanding institution of higher learning. You have been trained to enjoy Socratic dialogue.
Privileged white upper-class males (such as Socrates) from slave-holding societies are only to be condemned. And those who praise Socrates are reinforcing white male hegemony and are also to be condemned. Such praise is hate speech.
Socratic dialog is rejected and replaced with chanting and pre-emptive disruption.
And, 'privilege' is a born and primarily race-based characteristic...the most basic tenet of 'privilege theory'.
I haven’t read MacDonald’s book it heard her speak.
I reject a generalized “anyone who is not a white male” is “oppressed” theory. In fact, I reject most generalizations which is the same as stereotyping.
That said, let me share a story that I may have posted years ago here.
I was the defecto COO of a smaller subsidiary of a multi-billion dollar insurance company.
The CEO was having a chat with me in my office when the Orthodox Jewish Marketing Director barges in and says: “we have to fire Ms. X!!” who had been with the company many more years than him. Mr. CEO and I are shocked as she was a high performer historically. What happened! “She’s a LESBIAN!” he fairly shouted. CEO and I both knew that and it was not news to us. CEO says “what did she do?” Marketing guy said “didn’t you hear me, she’s a lesbian!” Our response was yeah, we know, what did she do? Marketing guy is a lawyer by profession and then explains that lesbians are NOT a protected class and we can just fire her.
Both of us tell him that’s not going to happen (I wad the one that formed a team to create our company Diversity plan that was the nucleus for the larger enterprise plan.
If the Marketing guy was in charge, this lady would have been terminated.
Post by KY Crusader 75 on Nov 28, 2019 10:26:08 GMT -5
On another thread we talked about Berea College here in Kentucky. It caters to first generation college students from the poorest counties of Appalachia in Kentucky and from outside the state as well. From a write-up on the web: "The school gives low-income students the opportunity to pursue higher education while participating in a labor program, and so “produces well-rounded, hardworking students fully prepared for grad school or the workforce.”
Berea's white students comprise 60% of the student body. They come from Kentucky counties like Wolfe, Clay, Magoffin, Breathit, and Owsley where average per capita incomes are under $11,000 per year, but privilege theory" would tell us that they are white and thus have every advantage known to man. Berea is tuition-free for all students but the privilege theory adherents would probably suggest that Berea should start charging tuition to these kids from Appalachia as, being white, they likely have hidden trust funds and limitless resources.