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Home/Rod Dreher/The Bigot Ate Their Homework

The Bigot Ate Their Homework

Sara Bafo, president of Goldsmiths Students' Union, and leader of the campaign to institute racist double standards for exam-taking (Goldsmithsssu.org)

This clip has gone viral on social media, and it’s easy to understand why (for those not in the know, “Titania McGrath” is a parody account making fun of woke militants; the video clip, though, is real):

Meanwhile, in Titania’s country, Great Britain:

Goldsmiths University in London is to allow students to delay sitting their exams or apply for assignment extensions if they have suffered ‘racial trauma’

The institution has changed its policy after a proposal from the students’ union, updating the list of circumstances students can cite when applying for extensions for exams or essays to include race-based trauma.

Students at the university in New Cross, south-east London, will have to write to academics explaining why they want a postponement.

It will then be considered by officials, who will decide whether to allow the delay through a process called ‘self-certification’.

The university is thought to be the first university in the UK to allow black and people of colour [PoC] students to defer taking exams because of racism.

Sara Bafo, president of Goldsmiths Students’ Union, tweeted that the university had agreed to the union’s proposals to include racial trauma as a reason to delay exams and essays for ethnic minority students.

“The bigot ate my homework” is now a valid excuse at Goldsmiths University, which is just the latest institution to abandon standards in capitulation to soft totalitarianism. Take a look at Sara Bafo’s ultrawoke campaign platform when she was running for Goldsmiths Students’ Union president.

Where do the people who run Goldsmiths University think this is going to go? What kind of Britain do they think they are creating by forcing white students to live up to higher standards of work and diligence, while giving a pass to students of color, because of some vaporous claim of “racial trauma”? It stands to reason that when all these graduates go into the workforce, there will be pressure to establish separate standards for people of color, and whites; that is, whites will formally have to work harder, while non-whites enjoy the privilege of having to do less, because of “racial trauma.”

Where does it end? I tell you where it ends: in racism and violence.

I don’t think these fools think about it at all — that is, the resentment they are creating. And if these wokesters have succeeded at Goldsmiths, their comrades in other universities will start pushing it there. Is there any reason to think that the leaders of educational institutions will stand firm in the face of these attacks?

Do these idiots recognize that a society in which people in positions of responsibility are allowed to perform with mediocrity because they are in ideological favor is one in which things will not work? Where things will not get done, because people aren’t rewarded for what they do; they are rewarded for who they are?

These passages from Live Not By Lies bear contemplation in light of this news. As Milosz said, the students and the administrators busily tearing down these institutions don’t care, because they are dazzled by a longing for utopia:

It’s possible to miss the onslaught of totalitarianism, precisely because we have a misunderstanding of how its power works. In 1951, poet and literary critic Czesław Miłosz, exiled to the West from his native Poland as an anti-communist dissident, wrote that Western people misunderstand the nature of communism because they think of it only in terms of “might and coercion.”

“That is wrong,” he wrote. “There is an internal longing for harmony and happiness that lies deeper than ordinary fear or the desire to escape misery or physical destruction.”

In The Captive Mind, Miłosz said that communist ideology filled a void that had opened in the lives of early twentieth-century intellectuals, most of whom had ceased to believe in religion.

Today’s left-wing totalitarianism once again appeals to an internal hunger, specifically the hunger for a just society, one that vindicates and liberates the historical victims of oppression. It masquerades as kindness, demonizing dissenters and disfavored demographic groups to protect the feelings of “victims” to bring about “social justice.”

The contemporary cult of social justice identifies members of certain social groups as victimizers, as scapegoats, and calls for their suppression as a matter of righteousness. In this way, the so-called social justice warriors, (aka SJWs), who started out as liberals animated by an urgent compassion, end by abandoning authentic liberalism and embracing an aggressive and punitive politics that resembles Bolshevism, as the Soviet style of communism was first called.

At the turn of the twenty-first century, the cultural critic René Girard prophetically warned: “The current process of spiritual demagoguery and rhetorical overkill has transformed the concern for victims into a totalitarian command and a permanent inquisition.”

This is what the survivors of communism are saying to us: liberalism’s admirable care for the weak and marginalized is fast turning into a monstrous ideology that, if it is not stopped, will transform liberal democracy into a softer, therapeutic form of totalitarianism.

You also need to know that the capture of institutions is part of a long-term strategy that is going to affect you and your children. More from Live Not By Lies:

In our populist era, politicians and talk-radio polemicists can rile up a crowd by denouncing elites. Nevertheless, in most societies, intellectual and cultural elites determine its long-term direction. “[T]he key actor in history is not individual genius but rather the network and the new institutions that are created out of those networks,” writes sociologist James Davison Hunter. Though a revolutionary idea might emerge from the masses, says Hunter, “it does not gain traction until it is embraced and propagated by elites” working through their “well-developed networks and powerful institutions.”

This is why it is critically important to keep an eye on intellectual discourse. Those who do not will leave the gates unguarded. As the Polish dissident and émigré Czesław Miłosz put it, “It was only toward the middle of the twentieth century that the inhabitants of many European countries came, in general unpleasantly, to the realization that their fate could be influenced directly by intricate and abstruse books of philosophy.”

Arendt warns that the twentieth-century totalitarian experience shows how a determined and skillful minority can come to rule over an indifferent and disengaged majority. In our time, most people regard the politically correct insanity of campus radicals as not worthy of attention. They mock them as “snowflakes” and “social justice warriors.”

This is a serious mistake. In radicalizing the broader class of elites, social justice warriors (SJWs) are playing a similar historic role to the Bolsheviks in prerevolutionary Russia. SJW ranks are full of middle-class, secular, educated young people wracked by guilt and anxiety over their own privilege, alienated from their own traditions, and desperate to identify with something, or someone, to give them a sense of wholeness and purpose. For them, the ideology of social justice—as defined not by church teaching but by critical theorists in the academy—functions as a pseudo-religion. Far from being confined to campuses and dry intellectual journals, SJW ideals are transforming elite institutions and networks of power and influence.

If you haven’t yet, please read the book. It is essential to understanding what it happening, why we have to fight hard to save our free societies from it, and — if we fail to do so — how to live with integrity in the face of evil.

This report from The New York Times, from the once-beautiful Washington Square Park, in the heart of lower Manhattan, vividly illustrates the cost of cowardice. Excerpts:

Erika Sumner stood on the steps of her house this month with her pet parrot perched on her head and surveyed the scene across the street, the entrance to Washington Square Park, as if assessing the damage left by a tornado.

The park’s iconic Roman arch had been scrawled over, the fountain gurgled with some kind of detergent stuffed in one of its nozzles, and glass shards, needles and pizza boxes littered the ground.

Just a day and a half earlier, late on a Saturday night, the police had swarmed around the marble arch to start clearing the park of partying visitors who had overstayed a new 10 p.m. curfew. But the revelers, many dancing and drinking as music boomed from amplifiers, did not want to leave.

A raucous confrontation ensued, as officers in riot gear pushed into the crowd while people threw bottles and chanted anti-police slogans at them. By night’s end, 23 people had been arrested and eight officers had been injured.

“It felt like war,” said Ms. Sumner, who is the head of the Washington Square Association and whose family has lived in the same house for nearly five decades.

More:

The trouble in the park — and the question of what to do about it — has prompted hand-wringing among residents who live nearby. They consider themselves liberal, but now find themselves weighing their concern about the scene in the park against their own ambivalence about the police.

Many of them said they were in favor of having a stronger, more consistent police presence in the neighborhood but were worried that if they aired their views publicly, it would somehow make them appear less progressive.

Well, there you are. If you won’t defend civilization, you will lose it. Simple as that. And we are losing it. I lived in New York City from 1998-2003, and it was a wonderful, wonderful place. The year my wife and I moved there, people told us all the time some version of, I’m not a Republican, but Mayor Giuliani has done a great job cleaning up the city. You can’t imagine how much nicer it is to live here now. Those five years in that glorious city were among the happiest of my life. It hurts to see it return to squalor and violence. I remember thinking back then that there was no way New Yorkers would allow the city to devolve back to what it had been in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s. Clearly I was wrong. There’s nothing that wokeness can’t do.

If we don’t stop this now, we have two futures ahead of us:

  1. Severe political reaction, including the possibility of violence, and even a chance of the institution of authoritarian policies that may or may not be constitutional (but most people will not care; they will just want order back); or
  2. The institution by leftist and liberal elites (governmental, business, and otherwise) of a social credit system in an attempt to impose order back while mandating progressive goals, and suppressing reaction by punishing dissenters.

 

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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