Patterico's Pontifications

3/26/2016

Shall We Talk about Emory? Sure, Let’s Talk about Emory!

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:59 pm



[guest post by JVW]

In the never-ending chronicle of campus lunacy, we have this week’s developments from Emory University in Atlanta (fun fact: Emory is the academic partner for the nearby Carter Center). Students awoke last Monday to find that someone had chalked graffiti supporting a certain Presidential candidate on several sidewalks and walls about the peaceful and bucolic (yet urban) campus. Not unexpectedly, a certain subset of the campus activist culture found this calcium carbonate-based advocacy to be absolutely terrifying. From the campus newspaper:

Students protested yesterday at the Emory Administration Building following a series of overnight, apparent pro-Donald Trump for president chalkings throughout campus.

[. . .]

“I’m supposed to feel comfortable and safe [here],” one student said. “But this man is being supported by students on our campus and our administration shows that they, by their silence, support it as well … I don’t deserve to feel afraid at my school,” she added.

[. . .]

Grievances were not restricted to shortcomings of the administration. “[Faculty] are supporting this rhetoric by not ending it,” said one student, who went on to say that “people of color are struggling academically because they are so focused on trying to have a safe community and focus on these issues [related to having safe spaces on campus].”

The article then goes on to add that the activists presented the usual list of demands, including more minority faculty hires and the creation of safe spaces. Emory President James Wagner, who surprisingly appears to have initially defended free speech rights, was later bullied into sending a mealy-mouthed email message to the campus community promising to review procedures for advocacy postings and increase “social justice opportunities” throughout Emory. The administration at first promised to review security footage to see what dastardly rapscallions may have had the temerity to sully the campus grounds with chalk, but it appears that they have since backed down and now consider the matter closed.

Reaction, as one might imagine, was swift and generally withering. Emory and its cowardly leadership were lampooned far and wide, with unmerciful scorn coming from all quarters, from the obnoxious right to the insufferable left and all points between. Conor Friedersdorf devoted his usual 10,000 words (jeeze, I’m one to talk!) on the topic, centered around the off-campus leftist consensus that these students might be well intentioned, but they were making progressives look silly by carrying on so.

And right now, Emory’s chalk-focused activists and its president are the worst allies imaginable for anti-Trumpism. They’re not just ineffective, they’re doing all harm and no good. They’re focused on how Trump supporters make them feel rather than opposing his rise as effectively as possible. And their abandonment of liberal values bolsters the false belief of Trump supporters that such values are only ever invoked cynically.

That is fuel for more illiberalism. And insofar as America becomes a zero-sum game to see who can do the most to suppress the speech of whom, the campus left will not win. Why aren’t more tenured faculty members who understand that speaking up?

Because it just seems self-evident to the left that their opponents will gladly adopt these same anti-Constitutional tactics should they be given half a chance, despite there being virtually no evidence suggesting that this is so, apart from one candidate’s bizarre and fatuous claims that he is going to make the media pay for their insolence.

These crybully kerfuffles, whether at Mizzou or Claremont or Yale or Amherst or points yonder and afar all seem to have the same defining characteristic: students understand that in the 21st Century campus climate, grievance-mongering works! Have you ever been in a store and seen some young child whining for some toy? It’s easy to look at the kid and think, “Man, what a little brat,” but if you knew that the kid had a perfect record of having his parents give in and buy him the toy you might feel a little more understanding of the power structure dynamic at play. That’s exactly what we are seeing on campus today. Sure the crybullies are annoying and pathetic, but this goes on because there are far too many adult authority figures on campus who will eventually reward the whining. Emory is fixing to be just the latest overmatched and lily-livered parent helplessly shelling out for the toy that the kid demands.

– JVW

44 Responses to “Shall We Talk about Emory? Sure, Let’s Talk about Emory!”

  1. Snowflakes suck.

    Rodney King's Spirit (a089dc)

  2. We haven’t heard campus lunacy from the Pacific Northwest yet. Where do you think it will rear its ugly head? I’ll set initial odds on the following:

    Reed College 7:2
    U. of Washington 4:1
    U. of Oregon 4:1
    Lewis & Clark College 9:2
    Portland State 5:1
    Oregon State 6:1
    Washington State 10:1
    Rest of Field 5:1

    JVW (9e3c77)

  3. Reed. It’s a commie school.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  4. Yeah, that’s why I gave them the best odds. But keep in mind that the state schools are much larger and therefore may have more potential for agitation in terms of raw numbers.

    JVW (9e3c77)

  5. But I think I should have probably set Reed at more like 3:1 or even 5:2.

    JVW (9e3c77)

  6. I blame the matriarchy for spoiling America’s youth rotten.

    nk (dbc370)

  7. Yes, point well taken. And with thousands more students at the big state schools, there’s greater potential for ‘mob’ type mentality.
    Evergreen State College is kind of a hippie school. If anyone from ‘rest of field’ is going to make some noise, it could be them.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  8. Where I teach, JVW, I have the following story.

    I was asked to be a “response team” for acts of bias and hate. I didn’t yet have tenure, so I added my white male heteronormative presence to the crew. I *don’t* care for racist nonsense, after all.

    At one meeting, a faculty member said that there had been an act of “racialist” (whatever that means) speech in our library.

    Someone had written FREEDOM IS SLAVERY on a whiteboard.

    I laughed out loud.

    Everyone turned and looked at me. I was told that this kind of business wasn’t funny.

    I told them they were being trolled by too-clever students. It didn’t occur to them it was from Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty Four.” I suspect (and said so) that they students were trying to get the committee to overreact, for fun.

    The first real casualty of political correctness is a sense of humor, I suspect.

    Simon Jester (325754)

  9. I expected this at oberlin or reed as you say, then again my alma mater, didn’t find anything initially wrong with an isis student organization, who gets the role of Syme,

    narciso (732bc0)

  10. I don’t deserve to feel afraid at my school,” she added.

    Yes, honey, you do. Because you want to feel afraid and what baby wants, baby gets. Is snookums afraid enough or can mommy get you some more afraid?

    nk (dbc370)

  11. Is Humboldt State far enough north to qualify as “Pacific Northwest”? Although, many of their students may be too stoned to go out in the quad and demand safe space. They might be content with the safety of their dorm room couch, while snuggling with White Castle burgers, a bag of Cheetos, and their cup of chai tea.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  12. we are never getting to luna federation this way, but nehemiah scudder might be summoned sooner,

    narciso (732bc0)

  13. I told them they were being trolled by too-clever students. It didn’t occur to them it was from Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty Four.” I suspect (and said so) that they students were trying to get the committee to overreact, for fun.

    Why does this not surprise me at all, Simon? I would love to find out via some secret test how many college administrators have either never read 1984 or don’t understand it. Or even worse, think it’s an instructional manual.

    JVW (9e3c77)

  14. Um, where I used to teach, a professor of English Literature was unaware that Eric Blair was George Orwell’s real name.

    But boy howdy did he know all about Herbert Marcuse.

    Simon Jester (325754)

  15. der untergang, that german for doom, when the malware has taken completely over,

    narciso (732bc0)

  16. As an employer all I can say is I would hire somebody who attended the Lincoln Technical Insitute or some similar trade school or somebocy just out of the military before I’d hire one of these snowlfakes.

    “You learned how to weld or you learned how to wrench on Cummins diesel engines at UTI? Welcome aboard. Ivy league f’ off.”

    I don’t really care what position I’m hiring for.

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  17. By the way, narciso, I always enjoy your RAH comments. Oh, to be Prof.

    Simon Jester (325754)

  18. Steve, you aren’t wrong, but here is the problem: there are great students who aren’t like these silly crybullies. Problem is all the press is about these nutjobs. It hurts the good students who work hard.

    I don’t have a solution. At least one that doesn’t involve a time machine.

    Simon Jester (325754)

  19. well we’re knee deep in the ‘crazy years’, so they seem appropriate,

    narciso (732bc0)

  20. Um, where I used to teach, a professor of English Literature was unaware that Eric Blair was George Orwell’s real name.

    I remember hearing recently that a professor of literature at a British university had no idea that George Eliot was actually a woman. A professor. Of literature. At a British university.

    JVW (9e3c77)

  21. I don’t know about Reed — it’s pretty cocooned. I think that Christians in the area need a day pass to enter Portland. I mean there’s a chance that someone might scrawl “Ready for Hillary” or some other rightist slogan, but Trump supporters in Portland? It’s like worrying about Milosevic in Phoenix.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  22. that was a vox editor, dalton and harvard grad, I find that eerily plausible, even though it would be a point for diversity,

    narciso (732bc0)

  23. If you really want to see a reaction to some Trumpish activity, how about Cal State LA?

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  24. it’s like the air raid klaxons in time machine, eloi can’t take the chance, the alert is false,

    narciso (732bc0)

  25. As an employer all I can say is I would hire somebody who attended the Lincoln Technical Insitute or some similar trade school or somebocy just out of the military before I’d hire one of these snowlfakes.

    and then

    Steve, you aren’t wrong, but here is the problem: there are great students who aren’t like these silly crybullies. Problem is all the press is about these nutjobs. It hurts the good students who work hard.

    The best thing is that these silly crybully students are so comfortable in their vacuousness that they have no problem letting the world know their names when the various media hordes descend upon their campuses. So I’ll bet you within a few years that Wendy Whiner from Overrated University and Bobby Big Baby from Mediocre College are going to apply for jobs, be Googled by a prospective boss, have their shrill campus activism come up, and be passed over for an interview. And they will never even know why.

    JVW (9e3c77)

  26. Why does this not surprise me at all, Simon? I would love to find out via some secret test how many college administrators have either never read 1984 or don’t understand it. Or even worse, think it’s an instructional manual.

    At the very least they can watch the truly excellent Michael Radford film. made that year with John Hurt and Richard Burton.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  27. SJ @18 I realize I’m painting with a broad brush. But these administrators need to be slapped down hard and the only way I can think of doing it through market forces.

    Steve57 (08b8c6)

  28. Oh, I agree, Steve. I make sure my own research students understand this kind of thing. Some get it. Some don’t. I do my best to help them.

    Simon Jester (325754)

  29. there are great students who aren’t like these silly crybullies

    not enough of the students involved are named in the emory wheel report

    it’s all “one student” said this and “one student” said that

    so for hiring purposes all you can do is assume they’re all whiny fascist trash

    happyfeet (831175)

  30. I’d like to add Eastern Washington, Western Washington, and Washington State, with Eastern the most likely to burst onto Drudge. But even Washington State has a nasty and festering infestation of lefty dogmatists. And Simon’s tale about FREEDOM IS SLAVERY is just another affirmation that the academy is slouching into total irrelevancy. It is unimaginable that anyone would encourage their child to attend one of these cesspools given that the end result, assuming a successful completion of their studies, will be the award of a credential that most likely will open the door to positions like that of parole officer, and the requirement to begin payments on a massive student loan debt that approaches a mortgage on a starter home in a small community. Oh, and did I mention, Federal Marshall now have SWAT teams that track down ex-students whose debt has been sold to collection agencies? A fellow in Houston was dragged downtown over a 1987 student loan of $1500. The six Marshalls overawed him and he went peacefully, although I’m sure they were prepared and looking forward to gunning him down if offered any resistance. He was released when he signed a repayment plan that satisfied a federal magistrate. Presumably, it’s not Slavery if you survive your encounter with our regulators. But between taxes and student loan payments, the future sure doesn’t look like Freedom for the next generation.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  31. #29: Good grief, slap me beside the head! I agree with something hf said.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  32. And clarice’s latest shows what happens when the Thuggees come to power.

    narciso (732bc0)

  33. Steve57, I am fairly sure that the students taking real majors are not the snowflakes. Dollars to gluten-free doughnuts, the snowflakes are “studies” mahors.

    The Gentle Grizzly (f4d71f)

  34. 31.#29: Good grief, slap me beside the head! I agree with something hf said.

    It happens to me occasionally, BobStewartatHome. Usually I sit down with a tall Knob Creek bourbon and ponder Desiderata over and over in my head till I pass out.

    Rev. Hoagie ™ (e4fcd6)

  35. Perhaps the security footage will reveal an SJW agent provocateur, similar to the Kerri Dunn hoax at Claremont in 2004
    . Trump fans must love it every time someone makes the Trump-Nazi analogy. I’m convinced Obama’s people encouraged the crypto-Muslim talk in 2008.

    Golden Eagle (552ded)

  36. Presumably, it’s not Slavery if you survive your encounter with our regulators. But between taxes and student loan payments, the future sure doesn’t look like Freedom for the next generation.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe) — 3/26/2016 @ 11:43 pm

    That’s OK, BS@H. Special Snowflake’s hope comes alive again with Sanders’ campaign. He’s gonna make the 1%, the banks, Wall Street and eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil megacorporations pay for it all. You won’t feel a thing- he promised.

    Bill H (dcdd7b)

  37. And a dozen other examples that come to mind.

    narciso (732bc0)

  38. The graffiti was probably written by the same leftists that are acting all bent out of shape. It’s a thing they like to do.

    Usually they paint swastikas with poop or hang a noose with writing the n-word nearby. So the idea is that you are supposed to associate Trump with those things now because psychology.

    Jcurtis (d564ab)

  39. centered around the off-campus leftist consensus that these students might be well intentioned, but they were making progressives look silly by carrying on so.

    How many of that same bunch will become no less upset if (as has occurred previously at other schools) a woman of the Islamic faith were invited to the campus to give a lecture on the unpleasant socio-cultural aspects of Islamism?

    The left were fools about Communism during the height of the Iron Curtain (Qualifier: See current US president touting Communism in 2016 to students in Argentina a few days ago) and are fools about Muhammad’s religion today.

    Idiotic about totalitarianism from the extreme left, idiotic about totalitarianism from the extreme right. (See: Current US president; See: Former Secretary of State blaming a Youtube video for Benghazi—to parents of killed soldiers, no less)

    It really isn’t sarcasm to describe liberalism as a form of mental illness.

    Mark (23b32d)

  40. #26: Kevin, I liked Brazil with Robert De Niro. The plumbers were an inspiration, the music was uplifting, but alas …

    Where’s a good plumber when you need one?

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  41. Are we Tuttle or hurtle.

    narciso (df834f)

  42. #6 NK, true that.

    Rodney King's Spirit (a089dc)

  43. They backed down on review of security cameras? That can possibly mean they DIDN’T back down on use of security cameras, and observed stunt-trumping in action (i.e., persons “testing” campus reaction to chalk Trump support.)

    SarahW (67599f)

  44. 33. Steve57, I am fairly sure that the students taking real majors are not the snowflakes. Dollars to gluten-free doughnuts, the snowflakes are “studies” mahors.

    The Gentle Grizzly (f4d71f) — 3/27/2016 @ 6:00 am

    But those other educational loan recipients are poisoning the real students’ futures. And the administrators are aiding and abetting this. The real students need to file a class action suit charging breach of contrsct. Or something.

    Steve57 (08b8c6)


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