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The Anti-Social Media

University of Missouri professor Cynthia Frisby writes about her experiences with racism on and around campus. [1] Excerpt:

I have had a student who said he couldn’t call me Dr. Frisby because that would mean that he thinks I am smart, and he was told that blacks are not smart and do not earn degrees without affirmative action. Yes, true story. I have so many stories to share that it just doesn’t make sense to put them all here.

What I am responding to is the frequent question I have been asked all week: How have I endured these many hateful experiences for over 17 years, and why am I still here?

I endured because God allows me to see the good and cup half full. I endured because I know my life is in God’s hands, and I do not walk alone. I endured because I find these to be teachable moments that I use in my classroom with my students. I endured (or better yet endure) because I have an amazing support system.

I endure because there are far too many of my white friends that have a heart of gold, love people of any color with a passion and who have a strong trust in and love for the Lord. I endure because I have friends who are white and daily show me that there are people who can hurt when I do and who sincerely want to make this culture a better place. I endure because I look to the Lord to help me grow and be the best person I can be.

I endure because I CHOSE AND CHOOSE to endure and overcome, and I choose to overlook ignorance. Choosing to overlook these idiots doesn’t make me a “sell-out” or an Uncle Tom. I choose to endure because my mom and civil rights leaders taught me to never run but stand straight, tall and do not run.

What a brave and inspiring woman. She continues, addressing the recent protests:

I understand the anger. I understand that we’ve had enough. I also understand and agree with my friend Traci Wilson-Kleekamp when she wrote, “Jonathan L. Butler and ‪#‎ConcernedStudent1950‬ please give space for mistakes, listening, learning and dialogue. This on the job training thing is powerful because it is SO VERY PUBLIC.” I not only see this as on-the-job training for our administrators at MU, but I also see it as training for some of my very educated white friends.

change_me

The saddest of all things for me is to see how a few of my white friends are responding to these events and basic conflicts in race relations in our nation (i.e., police shootings, the President, etc). It hurts my heart when I see posts from these friends who make fun of us because we find things hurtful like dressing up in black face costumes or Confederate flags flying high in my neighborhood. … What bothers me is that the few of my white friends who feel this way have not taken time or energy to reach out to me and ask me why these things hurt or to understand what is going on or even send an email saying they are confused.

I think Dr. Frisby is right: many, probably most, white people do not see what black people see. Some of it is deliberate; much of it is not intentional, is my guess. I could be wrong. I don’t know, because in my experience, white people don’t talk about this stuff among ourselves, unless we can be absolutely sure that everybody in the group already believes what we believe. Nobody wants to be called a racist, or thought of as a racist. In many middle-class professional circles — even all-white ones — to say something that somebody might construe as racist is to take on taint that can never be shaken off. You are much better off staying quiet, keeping your potentially controversial opinions to yourself. There is nothing to gain from questioning the orthodoxy, and potentially a great deal to lose.

Last night, I received an e-mail from a young academic who has, early in his career, learned to keep his/her mouth shut and his head down, because, he/she says, there is no arguing with the SJW opinions in his department. The academic is right: to utter an opinion that might in some way be taken as dissenting from racial/sexual/gender orthodoxy is to identify oneself as Unreliable, and possibly even an Enemy.

This academic is starting to consider leaving the academy entirely, rather than face an entire career in fear of saying the wrong thing. This is a serious thing. If I were a young journalist just starting out, I would be thinking the same thing.

Obviously I don’t know Dr. Frisby’s friends, and I accept her expression of puzzlement as sincere. I would ask her to consider, though, that more than a few of those friends haven’t reached out to her because they are afraid to say the wrong thing. I have been in that place many times, wanting to know more, wanting to have an exchange of views, but not taking the risk of reaching out, because the risk was too great if it blew up in my face. I am confident that there are things that I did not know about the black experience that I would have benefited from knowing, and that I was not by any means closed to knowing. But it is simply too risky to make oneself vulnerable in this way.

There was a situation in one of the newsrooms where I worked in which I referred to Islamic terrorists as “savages,” triggering a complaint by a minority colleague to management that I had created a “hostile work environment” by using that word. I folded completely after that, because I knew where this would go if I stood up for myself: to the human resources department, where it would become a Thing, and the company would probably find some way to demonstrate its Commitment To Diversity™ by easing the right-wing white guy out of his job, or at least sending me to internal re-education. All this for using the word “savages” to refer to Islamic terrorists. You think I’m eager to reach out and talk to minorities I don’t know and trust as friends about these issues? You have to be out of your mind.

It is never going to be easy to talk about race in this country, given our history. We know this. But liberals (black, white, and otherwise) ought to understand that they have raised the stakes so high in this conversation that they have rendered an honest dialogue impossible. “Diversity” is a sham, an Orwellian term used to describe mandatory abasement before Social Justice orthodoxy.

Look at what’s happening at Yale. The perfectly reasonable letter from the assistant master of a college, questioning whether or not the university ought to be policing the Halloween costumes of its students, has caused mass hysteria, and the predictable groveling of university authorities [2]before the emotional demands of students. If I were Nicholas or Erika Christakis, I would worry about my job. And to think that the entire row was sparked by a letter as anodyne as Erika’s (which, if you haven’t read it, here it is [3]).

The campus is freaking out over that letter. Worse, at Mizzou, campus police have just sent out a letter this morning urging students to call them if they hear “hurtful speech.” [4]I am dead serious. They want kids to call the cops if they hear words that hurts their feelings:

Meanwhile, The New York Times reports on the free speech clash [8], and includes three November 9 tweets from the black group that instigated the campus protests — tweets that have now been deleted, apparently:

There were media personnel who were very hostile toward us when we asked to have certain spaces respected. — ConcernedStudent1950 (@CS_1950)

It’s typically white media who don’t understand the importance of respecting black spaces. — ConcernedStudent1950 (@CS_1950)

If you have a problem with us wanting to have our spaces that we create respected, leave! — ConcernedStudent1950 (@CS_1950)

This is not a movement for liberty. This is about left-wing fascism. In this environment, you would have to be brave or crazy as a white person to open your mouth to express anything but total solidarity with the mob. Here’s what it’s really about:

I would pull my student out of Mizzou at the end of this semester or academic year. A university where the campus police have empowered every thin-skinned malcontent to intimidate free speech is no longer a place where education can take place.

The only place I can imagine the kind of conversation Dr. Frisby wants to have is within the church, where all, white and black, can admit that they are sinners. The church would be the only conceivable safe space — and even then, with social media, you’d have to be extremely trusting, if not downright naive, to say anything you wouldn’t want broadcast on Twitter.

I started this post out planning to write about the church as safe space for having cross-racial conversations. As I was writing it, the Mizzou campus police thing broke, and I realized that the campus police do not seem to have any interest in protecting the First Amendment rights of journalists on campus, but rather intimidating opponents of the SJWs into silence. And so, I had second thoughts about “church as safe space.” I realized that people like me would be fools not to assume that everything we said in church can and would be used against us in the court of social media.

And then I would turn around and go home.

Social media, the Social Justice Warriors, and the craven authorities who accommodate them are the most anti-social force today.

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87 Comments To "The Anti-Social Media"

#1 Comment By JohnE_o On November 10, 2015 @ 6:26 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong, but was Rod just in the past few days agreeing with a poster who asked ‘how do we know these racial slurs from a pickup truck are really happening’?

The U of Miz Police are attempting to get folks to document these sorts of alleged racially motivated incidents and Rod reacts as if Stalinesque purges were being implemented.

In the spirit of Unmerited Impossibility:

It cant be proven to have happened and if you ask people to document and report it you’re worse than Stalin.

#2 Comment By panda On November 10, 2015 @ 6:28 pm

“But I also do not believe her anecdote. And even if it were true the Venn diagram overlap of non-physicians who insist on a “Doctor” honorific and douchenozzles is expansive.”

In that context ,it’s pretty clear she was asking her students to call her Dr. This is very appropriate, not only because we academics are ego-hounds, but because students need to learn to use formal language when communicating with strangers in the adult world. In any other context,yeah people who demand to be called Dr. should get wedgies.

#3 Comment By panda On November 10, 2015 @ 6:30 pm

“When I see someone who has no interest whatsoever in entering into an ACTUAL relationship of dialogue with another but instead just wants to project power and demand the other’s subservience, then there is a demonic, diabolical spirit at work. When I see a society that is rapidly breaking apart into factions, tribes, in-groups and out-groups, I see the topography of hell being built”

Oh for God’s sake. Show me a single time when American society was not divided into “factions, tribes, in-groups and out-groups”? The closest it ever came was in the 1950s, and that unity had a glaring omission or two…

#4 Comment By BCaldwell On November 10, 2015 @ 6:44 pm

Rod
a lot of investigation on all of this foolishness at Mizzou is being done on sport websites. In particular by a sportswriter at the Tennessean and Fox Sports named Clay Travis who has gotten some background information on Jonathan Butler the hunger striker. Check it out. He’s not what you think.

#5 Comment By Junior On November 10, 2015 @ 6:46 pm

I read an interesting article in which the author deals with the very topic that Mr. Dreher brings up in this piece. His solution is that Left-wing-fascism must be fought by challenging them with the use of liberty, freedom, and the American ideals on which America was intended from its inception. He says that “Classical Liberalism” is the way to do it and criticizes the use of “Cultural Conservatism” as an ineffective reactionary tool. It made me think of this article when I saw a commenter refer to Mr. Dreher as a “Culture Class Warrior”, I THINK was how the commenter referred to him but I couldn’t find the comment for the exact wording. It seems to me that this use of “Classic Liberalism” IS a much more effective tool for battling Left-fascism because it is more inclusive.

But both sides need to get together to fight Left-fascism and not allow them to silence us because otherwise we’ve already lost. I think that the authors use of the analogy of popping a bully in the mouth to stop them, which is a code that I’ve tried to follow since kindergarten, IS the way to stop it and speaks to the concerns that Mr. Dreher voiced in this piece about dealing with repercussions of speaking out.

“Universities should push back against Left-fascism. It will take great courage because the red (fascist) guards will come for the heads of the new vanguard of intellectual freedom. This vanguard will be called sexist. Members will be called racist. But the thing is, at this point everyone knows (everyone) that in most instances the people who are called sexist or racist aren’t actually sexist or racist.

The Left-fascists bank on the fear of everyday people who know the real deal but don’t dare speak out and on liberals in academia, journalism, and government who basically know the real deal but who don’t want to betray their “class.” (What history professor at any respectable college wants to be seen as anti-progressive by his or her peers? You can forget ever making tenure – in most instances – if you are seen as an enemy of PC.) This is the key point of cultural leverage for Left-fascists. And it is very tenuous. More tenuous than most understand.

Push through this fear and the bullies will crumble. Like I said the Left-fascists know fundamentally that their entire worldview is excrement. They know this on a deep visceral level. There was a time when most of the PC crowd wasn’t in the cult. They remember what sense is even if they can’t acknowledge it any longer.

And as we’ve said before, bullies back down after you give them a shot in the teeth. How much more so for a bully which is delusional?

It is time now to counter Left-fascism and to call it what it is, Left-fascism. Don’t counter these people with cultural conservatism though. They know how to deal with that for the most part. Challenge them on the ideals of liberty, truth, beauty, self actualization, privacy, self expression, and intellectual curiosity. Challenge the Left-fascists with CLASSICAL LIBERALISM and then tell them to slink back into the dustbin of history like the fascists of another era.”

[11]

#6 Comment By Baptiste On November 10, 2015 @ 7:32 pm

[NFR: No, I never was under the impression that you thought it possible for someone like me to desire an honest discussion about race. Whence this post. In a perfect world, your son could have been wrongly pulled over for Driving While Black, and I would find that wrong and offensive (which I do), but that does not mean that All Whites Don’t Get It, nor does it mean that Whatever Blacks Think Is True. — RD]

I guess if I said that all whites don’t get it and whatever blacks think is true, that would be silly. But of course I didn’t say that.

FWIW, I don’t think the president should have resigned. I think he is the scapegoat for every indignity that those black students have endured. I believe these young people are drunk on power, and the administration is incapable of defusing the situation. It makes me sad that the football team’s power was used for such a small infraction. It makes me sad that this episode will be used to ignore the serious issues regarding the continuing racial inequality in this country.

Reading this post, and many of its comments, does not give me hope that anything will get better. This country is devolving into tribalism – liberals v. conservative, black v. white, rural v. urban, etc., etc. I honestly don’t see a solution.

#7 Comment By Another Matt On November 10, 2015 @ 7:36 pm

Jennifer:

You’re leaving out part of the story here.

The university asked people to be mindful of giving racial offense when choosing costumes (for example, please avoid wearing blackface). The university did not require anyone to wear or not wear anything, nor did it threaten anyone with sanctions should they choose not to heed this perfectly reasonable suggestion of avoiding racist costumes. I assume that the university issues this request because people had worn offensive costumes in the past, and they feel an obligation to ensure all students on campus feel as though they are being treated with fairness and consideration.

Some students complained to Erika Christakis that the letter was imposing too many restrictions. So, she wrote her own note in response, essentially saying that the right of some people to wear racist costumes was greater than the right of black and other minority students not to be mocked and demeaned. She chose to side with those who think their right to give offense is more important than being considerate of the feelings of others, particularly people who are in the minority on a campus that has had a lengthy history of racial problems.

You’ve said nothing about the emotional demands of students who want to wear offensive costumes, even though their complaints started the whole controversy. You call Chrisakis’s letter “perfectly reasonable” but say no such thing about the university’s very reasonable request that people try not to wear racist costumes.

This is a situation where we actually can have it both ways. Erika Christakis did not choose to “side” with anyone. Her first point was that getting administration involved with enforcing social norms is not a good idea. Like just about everyone I agree with this up to a point; there can be reasonable disagreements about where the limit is that triggers administration involvement. Her second point was that absent agreement on that limit, we ought to err on the side of free expression come what may, and then deal with the fallout situationally.

I think we want to be able to ask people to be sensitive, and to be free to say to anyone who ignores the request (or even more ridiculously anyone who was actually offended by the request), “hey, stop being a dick.” But I don’t think anyone should be fired for suggesting that some moron who wants to wear blackface should be free to do so and then pay the social price for their imbecility… And I think it’s possible to do this without that implying that you approve of the offending costume and without denying the pain of the marginalized students who feel the brunt of that behavior. They obviously should be supported. What I’m not clear on is what they are saying the institution should do about an incident of an offensive halloween costume.

A sophomore at Yale wrote a wonderful [12] about this episode, which I thought was on point the entire way through. Some excerpts:

The view of many students was, in effect, that the important thing about an action is how it is received, not the intention behind it.
This view’s main problem is its lack of charity. By divorcing action from actor, it gives a general warrant for people to judge what others say and mean on completely arbitrary and expansive grounds. Was Christakis authorizing students to wear offensive costumes, or making minority students unsafe? Or was she expressing that perhaps certain costumes are, even if in poor taste, meant in jest, rather than in harm? A plain reading of her email yields the latter interpretation. And we consider people’s intentions all the time in everyday life.

I still think there is something to the view that racism is a matter of reception, rather than intent. Further, those who hold this view and are in pain now deserve acknowledgement. No good discussion can occur without their input. But people who hold that view cannot be permitted to shut down other people from expressing their views simply because they offend. Then, a debate becomes a shouting match, and justice becomes the advantage of those who feel the most strongly. If a difficult discussion leads to cursing and insults, then Yale has failed to instill its students with a respect for the pursuit of truth.

Yale has to proceed along two paths. Too many feel too much hurt. Many students’ wounds need binding. But a wound is not itself an argument. This doesn’t mean it isn’t important: it’s cruel and wrong to tell a suffering friend their feelings don’t matter. But Yale needs a vision for moving past ameliorating pain and toward developing a university based on inquiry and respect. That requires malice toward none, and charity for all.

#8 Comment By Jennifer On November 10, 2015 @ 10:14 pm

Another Matt: “I think we want to be able to ask people to be sensitive, and to be free to say to anyone who ignores the request (or even more ridiculously anyone who was actually offended by the request), “hey, stop being a dick.” But I don’t think anyone should be fired for suggesting that some moron who wants to wear blackface should be free to do so and then pay the social price for their imbecility…”

I don’t think Christiakis should be fired for what she wrote. I think she is drastically underestimating how demeaning, upsetting, and hostile it feels to black students on a mostly white campus to see their classmates wearing blackface. She is also putting the burden of fighting back against this kind of racism on the victims of it, while basically excusing the obnoxiousness of those who would wear such costumes (e.g. her point that shouldn’t college be a time where kids can be transgressive, etc.). Seems to me she’s pretty clearly taking a side here, and it isn’t the side of those offended by racist costumes.

From the Yale article: “The view of many students was, in effect, that the important thing about an action is how it is received, not the intention behind it.This view’s main problem is its lack of charity….. Was Christakis authorizing students to wear offensive costumes, or making minority students unsafe? Or was she expressing that perhaps certain costumes are, even if in poor taste, meant in jest, rather than in harm?”

So, it’s OK to wear blackface as long as you’re only kidding? How much charity can one reasonably expect a person to extend to someone who thinks the ugly history behind blackface et al is a joke?

What’s really absurd to me is that we’re talking about Halloween costumes. Why does it mean so much to some people to be able to wear offensive costumes when it hurts other people? What would they lose in refraining from this? And why did it mean so much to them that they actually complained to Christiakis about it?

Lastly, again, the university did not ban anyone from wearing whatever costume they want. They continue to be absolutely free to do so after the administration released their letter. So if Chrstiakis suggested that the university was actually banning the costumes, she’s not being honest.

#9 Comment By Thursday On November 10, 2015 @ 11:21 pm

What’s really absurd to me is that we’re talking about Halloween costumes.

Exactly. But that cuts both ways.

Why does it mean so much to some people to be able to wear offensive costumes when it hurts other people?

Why is it the job of Yale University to police these things?

#10 Comment By Thursday On November 10, 2015 @ 11:24 pm

I guess if I said that all whites don’t get it and whatever blacks think is true, that would be silly. But of course I didn’t say that.

Of course you wouldn’t say that, just practice it.

#11 Comment By Thursday On November 10, 2015 @ 11:35 pm

Oh for God’s sake. Show me a single time when American society was not divided into “factions, tribes, in-groups and out-groups”? The closest it ever came was in the 1950s, and that unity had a glaring omission or two…

You liberals were supposed to be making this better. But apparently not.

#12 Comment By MikeCA On November 10, 2015 @ 11:52 pm

Baptiste,I find the discourse on this to be as dismal as you do. Advocating “Kent State” solutions? Why not go for it and wish for a repeat of 1968 or the Rodney King riots? I have a very uneasy feeling about where we are as a nation,especially in the midst of national election season.

#13 Comment By Eamus Catuli On November 10, 2015 @ 11:55 pm

JohnE_o:

The U of Miz Police are attempting to get folks to document these sorts of alleged racially motivated incidents and Rod reacts as if Stalinesque purges were being implemented.

I hope you’re right, and if that’s all it is, I withdraw my earlier criticism. They might consider putting out a statement explaining their intention, though. Any mixing up of police with opinion and public expression obviously raises some red flags.

[NFR: There is no way to justify this. The police are inviting students to call them if they got their feelings hurt. For one, these reports would be useless, because there may be no way to investigate them to determine if they are true. For another, good grief, you cannot even give the appearance of criminalizing legal speech (as opposed to shouting fire in a crowded theater). This is Civil Liberties 101. The fact that there has not been a student and faculty protest movement against what has been done on the Mizzou campus is more disgusting to me than the actual left-wing takeover. — RD]

#14 Comment By Another Matt On November 11, 2015 @ 12:15 am

I think she is drastically underestimating how demeaning, upsetting, and hostile it feels to black students on a mostly white campus to see their classmates wearing blackface.

Yes, I agree with this, and I’m sure I’m not capable of properly estimating it either, which is why my default is to shut up and listen. But a couple’s livelihood is at stake, and I know that as an aspiring professor myself I’ll have no time to immerse myself in critical race theory and I won’t know where the mines are. That’s where charity comes in, hopefully.

She is also putting the burden of fighting back against this kind of racism on the victims of it, while basically excusing the obnoxiousness of those who would wear such costumes (e.g. her point that shouldn’t college be a time where kids can be transgressive, etc.).

This is where it gets murky, and where intention matters. She’s putting the burden of fighting back against racism on the community and the student body as a whole, not just on the victims. That’s what makes this whole thing weird: the administration wasn’t banning anything outright, Christakis wrote her letter pushing back against the idea of administration enforcing social norms (which it wasn’t), and then the reaction is to say, what exactly? That it shouldn’t be up to the students alone (I agree – professors should definitely push back against racist costumes)? That it shouldn’t be up to the students at all? What is the solution? Christakis, for her part, never said she wanted to make it safe for people to wear blackface, but only that she wasn’t competent to judge what counted as cultural appropriation, and that by implication the administration also was not.

So, it’s OK to wear blackface as long as you’re only kidding? How much charity can one reasonably expect a person to extend to someone who thinks the ugly history behind blackface et al is a joke?

Yes, he botched this point by referring to jest, I think, although I can think of (tacky, probably inappropriate) costumes that refer to current events of the year. It’s not hard to imagine a white college girl thinking it would be hilarious to go as Rachel Dolezal for Halloween in order to mock her, or some white dude going as Ahmed with a clock thinking he was being supportive. It’s not at all hard to see that those would backfire on them, but that’s the point, isn’t it? Social norming works best as a corrective when it’s actually allowed to work socially, and it’s not daft to question the administration’s ability to do it right even on behalf of the students who are currently protesting.

Finally, there’s one thing I’d love to see discussion on: lost in the tumult is the idea that play-acting in the role of a minority or otherwise marginalized group seems no longer to be an appropriate way of learning to see something through those person’s eyes. A “Black Like Me” experience would be totally taboo (yesno?), as would be the social education scenario where someone puts on a fat suit for a day, or wears a blindfold and walks with a white cane, or rolls about in a wheelchair to see what it’s like. Intent matters in all of those scenarios; it’s not hard to imagine someone doing those things with malice, either.

I can’t understand your experience until I walk a mile in your shoes, but unless you’re willing to trust me enough to lend me your shoes for a bit, I’ll just never understand your experience.

#15 Comment By Ben H On November 11, 2015 @ 1:11 am

“I think Dr. Frisby is right: many, probably most, white people do not see what black people see.”

Black people tend to believe that they are constantly surrounded with people who think about race constantly, as they do, and adopt an openly antagonistic, racist mode of behavior towards them. This is a sincere belief, its not a pose. They’re sensitive. Their sensitivities should be taken seriously and should be personally respected.

However, they’re wrong. No one not black obsesses about race all that much, except weirdos and the kind of white people who are making a buck off pathetic self-haters. And if blacks encounter some hard feeling, well as blacks have without a doubt corporately suffered under the hands of cruel whites over many years (particularly in the South), they’ve also corporately visited plenty of suffering upon others in recent years (particularly in the North). That does not make anti-black attitudes right but it does make them understandable (the same way many black people feel understandably angry feelings toward whites).

#16 Comment By Michael Guarino On November 11, 2015 @ 1:12 am

Of course, the main reason for the urgency is that Black Americans are doing so poorly (comparitively) on most measure of well-being, and no one seems to know exactly why, given how large scale interventions haven’t seemed to do much good. So, we get an obsessive focus on the smallest of small stuff.

It is not just that they are doing poorly (which is a huge understatement, the situation in the black community is really catastrophic). They are on the decline at the worst possible time, with globalization introducing extreme competition in the first world and removing productive low-skill jobs.

And there is the real nasty wrinkle: that a sober account of what has gone on in the black community is endogenous to it, or imports from their liberal allies.

#17 Comment By Ben H On November 11, 2015 @ 1:18 am

The church may not be a ‘safe space’ for discussion but it really is the only hope of reconciling among peoples. Its the place where there is the possibility of true forgiveness which is based in repentance not power or force, sentimentality or weakness.

The world does not have forgiveness. It does have justice which can never be gotten in a truly satisfying way. It does have weakness which allows under the pretense of forgiveness. These things only lead to more conflict though, in the long run.

#18 Comment By Charles Cosimano On November 11, 2015 @ 2:39 am

Debate is a waste of time. Aggressive legal action works much better.

#19 Comment By Eamus Catuli On November 11, 2015 @ 4:18 am

A few things:

Ohio Nat’l Guard, Class of 1970, where are you? There’s a campus in dire need of your attention.
…..
I’m from Northeast Ohio and I have a degree from Kent State. You said it before I did, but I was certainly thinking it.

Ah, two calls for armed violence and death from our friends on (I take it) the right. I mention this for the benefit of those who insist that the thugs on one’s “own side” need to be called out. Well, please proceed!

Of course, the main reason for the urgency is that Black Americans are doing so poorly (comparitively) on most measure of well-being, and no one seems to know exactly why, given how large scale interventions haven’t seemed to do much good. So, we get an obsessive focus on the smallest of small stuff.

Thursday, I believe, is correct about this, and also is describing one of the more important dynamics that’s driving the situations we’re talking about. There’s a widespread sense of frustration and hopelessness about the possibilities for solving certain very difficult problems through normal political give-and-take.

I feel like I’m in some kind of bizarre nightmare and things are spiraling out of control so quickly that it’s shocking. College kids screaming AGAINST free speech?!

Junior, for what it’s worth, I saw this happening already in the late ’70s when I was an undergrad and the editor of the college newspaper. It was somewhat more ragtag and disorganized back then, perhaps, but the illiberal instincts of college students were plenty close to the surface.

Also, thanks for noting the article about fighting left-fascism. I’m a little uncomfortable with the term “fascism,” partly because these people are not exalting the nation-state or the national “folk” the way classic fascists did; most of them, in fact, would be severe critics of America — both government and society. But I agree that the best answer is to reassert genuinely liberal values, like freedom of speech and the press. It’s not to call in troops to shoot people, as some of our friends here are idiotically suggesting.

#20 Comment By JonF On November 11, 2015 @ 6:00 am

Re: the SJWs and special snowflakes have access to real power.

Huh? They’re mainly a gang of pampered college students living off their parents’ dime (and assorted loans that will be like millstones around their neck). Where’s the power in that? Mainly you’re confusing power with fifteen minutes of celebrity?

#21 Comment By JonF On November 11, 2015 @ 6:04 am

Re: ’d bet the farm that, just like every other community in this country, whites are much more likely to be the victims of black violence than the other way around. Why can’t we ever talk about that?

Because it’s not true. Criminals, especially the violent kind, mainly victimize people of the same race (when weighted for population stats) as themselves– mostly because crime is a local thing and often enough involves people who are acquainted. Familiarity breeds opportunity.

#22 Comment By Fran Macadam On November 11, 2015 @ 6:15 am

“Why does it mean so much to some people to be able to wear offensive costumes when it hurts other people? What would they lose in refraining from this?”

I take it then you are not “Je suis Charlie Hebdo.”

#23 Comment By Sands On November 11, 2015 @ 8:01 am

“Because it’s not true. Criminals, especially the violent kind, mainly victimize people of the same race (when weighted for population stats) as themselves– mostly because crime is a local thing and often enough involves people who are acquainted. Familiarity breeds opportunity.”

It’s true, and you absolutely know it’s true. I’m not talking about black on black or white on white crime. A white person is much more likely to be a victim of black violence than a black person being the victim of white violence. It’s been that way for decades.

#24 Comment By A,K, On November 11, 2015 @ 8:18 am

I don’t always agree with the desire in mainstream progressive circles to shut down debate on certain topics, usually related to sexuality, gender identity, race.

But I pretty much never agree with the conservatives who insist it’s liberals and elites and SJW’s who are making certain points of view off limits in polite discussion as if conservatives do not have their own untouchable sacred cows. From what I can tell, your side does not fail to hesitate to enforce it’s own norms and beliefs in speech in all of the spaces it effectively controls. Conservatives control talk radio and the most widely viewed television news outlet. Unfortunately for them, liberal beliefs happen to hold sway in Hollywood and higher education. But you can always console yourself with the knowledge that conservative groupthink is loud and proud in the police force and the military rank and file.

[NFR: Are you serious? Conservatives dominate talk radio not because they refuse to let liberals compete, but because liberal competitors have failed (Air America, anyone?). I don’t know why this is, and I don’t listen to talk radio, but it’s certainly not because Rush has blackballed liberal talk shows. On the matter of Fox News, for one thing, Fox News is not friendly to social conservatives, and for another, I would gladly trade you Fox for ABC, NBC, CBS, and all the rest. [13] The three nightly network newscasts combined get [14] The lowest rated, CBS Evening News, gets 7.6 million, slightly less than THREE TIMES what Fox draws. So, don’t come at me with this false equivalence. — RD]

#25 Comment By TB On November 11, 2015 @ 9:01 am

DR’s pearl clutch for Nov. 1, 2015: “There are no spaces safe for open dialogue. SJWs, Twittermob have seen to that.”
___________________

The American Conservative (and the rest of the media and twitterverse) notwithstanding.

#26 Comment By TB On November 11, 2015 @ 9:02 am

Should have been “Nov. 11, 2015”.

#27 Comment By M_Young On November 11, 2015 @ 9:26 am

“Of course, the main reason for the urgency is that Black Americans are doing so poorly (comparitively) on most measure of well-being, and no one seems to know exactly why,”

We all, deep down, know why. And that is the real root of the rage.

#28 Comment By Jake V On November 11, 2015 @ 9:32 am

>>From the article: “I have had a student who said he couldn’t call me Dr. Frisby because that would mean that he thinks I am smart, and he was told that blacks are not smart and do not earn degrees without affirmative action.”<<

Unfortunately, the way America has implemented Affirmative Action has taught generations of Americans that blacks are not capable of performing at the same standards as whites and so, for them, the standards must be lowered. My experience is that blacks are just as capable as whites. What they lack (together with whites who live in poor areas) is adequate education, which they will never get in cities like Detroit and Baltimore (at least until the Left that has controlled those cities for most of the past century are replaced).

#29 Comment By M_Young On November 11, 2015 @ 9:37 am

” Where’s the power in that? Mainly you’re confusing power with fifteen minutes of celebrity?”

I’m willing to bet that at Yale, like at just about every other university, there is an Africana studies department with a real budget and real faculty slots, a ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ directorate. I would bet even money there are courses based around ‘critical white studies’. These are all manifestations of power. And you watch, the fallout from this episode will be the expansion of all of the above –i.e. more power.

#30 Comment By M_Young On November 11, 2015 @ 9:44 am

“Re: ’d bet the farm that, just like every other community in this country, whites are much more likely to be the victims of black violence than the other way around. Why can’t we ever talk about that?

Because it’s not true. Criminals, especially the violent kind, mainly victimize people of the same race (when weighted for population stats) as themselves– mostly because crime is a local thing and often enough involves people who are acquainted. Familiarity breeds opportunity.”

What part of ‘than the other way around’ do you not understand.

The point is that white on black crime (or non-crime, such as justified police violence) often generates huge headlines lasting weeks, whereas, say, oh, a autistic white kid gets shot and killed and his father gets critically wounded by some black cops and NPR takes 3 minutes into the story to mention the race of the parties. No ‘reputable’ news organization that I know of is clamoring for the bodycam video. The Civil Rights industrial complex has yet to be heard from (though I suspect the Obama DOJ will investigate).

And yet we maintain that ‘whites are privileged’.

#31 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 11, 2015 @ 10:08 am

It is very difficult to “take sides” on this stuff, because everybody has a point, and everyone who is being really loud is exemplifying a bit of narcissism also.

It is to Rod’s credit that he quoted at length from Dr. Frisby’s comments. Anyone who doubts that the sort of thing she describes could have happened to her is living in a bubble as impervious as the one created by the White House. The fact that someone with the nuanced insight she offers has sympathy with the 1950 actions suggests that there is some substance behind the initial complaints.

And incidentally, any conservative who supports traditional norms and restoring respect for Authority should absolutely support this lady’s students addressing her as “Dr.”

Huh? They’re mainly a gang of pampered college students living off their parents’ dime (and assorted loans that will be like millstones around their neck). Where’s the power in that? Mainly you’re confusing power with fifteen minutes of celebrity?

+1000

#32 Comment By Baptiste On November 11, 2015 @ 11:04 am

The point is that white on black crime (or non-crime, such as justified police violence) often generates huge headlines lasting weeks, whereas, say, oh, a autistic white kid gets shot and killed and his father gets critically wounded by some black cops and NPR takes 3 minutes into the story to mention the race of the parties. No ‘reputable’ news organization that I know of is clamoring for the bodycam video. The Civil Rights industrial complex has yet to be heard from (though I suspect the Obama DOJ will investigate).

Uhh, because the cops were arrested. The sheriff in charge said he was horrified by the video, and again, the cops were charged with murder.

MYoung: “Of course, the main reason for the urgency is that Black Americans are doing so poorly (comparitively) on most measure of well-being, and no one seems to know exactly why,”

We all, deep down, know why. And that is the real root of the rage.

I must be missing the conservatives on this blog standing up to MYoung’s constant assertion that blacks are inherently more violent and less intelligent.

#33 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On November 11, 2015 @ 11:14 am

Police pursuing thoughtcrime and actively looking for delators.

Isn’t this the very core of totalitarianism?

It’s not by chance that this happens in a democracy.

The perfect ideal of a pluralist democracy can only be achieved by suppressing any actual pluralism.

#34 Comment By Thursday On November 11, 2015 @ 1:41 pm

We all, deep down, know why. And that is the real root of the rage.

(Average) genetic differences in intelligence and temperament?

#35 Comment By Pilgrim On November 11, 2015 @ 10:06 pm

Well, Baptiste, I think M. Young’s comment is awful, and I wish it had been filtered.
*****
Like Ben H., I have hope in the churches out in Missouri. Some people are going to have to trust, listen, and be willing to get hurt.
On a somewhat related note, it is time for these colleges to quit making huge amounts of money off these athletes without paying them more than in-kind college benefits. So many college athletes are members of minority groups. It’s not surprising they don’t feel respected in that situation. That perception has to carry over to other areas of campus life.
******
One interesting sentence of the Christakis email, to me, was her statement that no one on the Yale campus seems to care about offending conservative religious people by dressing immodestly.

#36 Comment By Tasio On November 13, 2015 @ 7:26 am

I have a job where I serve a lot of Libyan clients (all of them Muslims), and I often talk with them about what’s going on in their country now. Every one of them would agree 100% with Rod’s choice of describing Islamists like Daesh as “savages”.

It’s funny how a person living in his or her first world bubble can be so quick to self-righteously toot his or her own premature, uneducated opinion on a such an issue without considering the people who are the ACTUAL VICTIMS undergoing ACTUAL SUFFERING.

#37 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 13, 2015 @ 8:04 pm

It’s funny how a person living in his or her first world bubble can be so quick to self-righteously toot his or her own premature, uneducated opinion on a such an issue without considering the people who are the ACTUAL VICTIMS undergoing ACTUAL SUFFERING.

+1000