Colleges Are Pressing Out Lifelong Victims
Heather Mac Donald writes at City Journal on the modern Salem Witch Trials -- "The Microaggression Farce, the latest campus fad, which sees racism everywhere." Mac Donald believes -- and I agree -- that it's creating a new generation of permanent victims.
Even the most multi-culti on campus are not safe.
UCLA education professor emeritus Val Rust was involved in multiculturalism long before the concept even existed. A pioneer in the field of comparative education, which studies different countries' educational systems, Rust has spent over four decades mentoring students from around the world and assisting in international development efforts. He has received virtually every honor awarded by the Society of Comparative and International Education.
...Rosalind Raby, director of the California Colleges for International Education, says that ..."There is no one more sensitive to the issue of cross-cultural understanding."
Again, sorry, that won't stop you from being the head du jour on the platter.
Rust had changed a student's capitalization of the word "indigenous" in her dissertation proposal to the lowercase, thus allegedly showing disrespect for the student's ideological point of view. Tensions arose over Rust's insistence that students use the more academic Chicago Manual of Style for citation format; some students felt that the less formal American Psychological Association conventions better reflected their political commitments. During one of these heated discussions, Rust reached over and patted the arm of the class's most vociferous critical race-theory advocate to try to calm him down--a gesture typical of the physically demonstrative Rust, who is prone to hugs. The student, Kenjus Watson, dramatically jerked his arm away, as a burst of nervous energy coursed through the room.
After each of these debates, the self-professed "students of color" exchanged e-mails about their treatment by the class's "whites." (Asians are not considered "persons of color" on college campuses, presumably because they are academically successful.) Finally, on November 14, 2013, the class's five "students of color," accompanied by "students of color" from elsewhere at UCLA, as well as by reporters and photographers from the campus newspaper, made their surprise entrance into Rust's class as a "collective statement of Resistance by Graduate Students of Color." The protesters formed a circle around Rust and the remaining five students (one American, two Europeans, and two Asian nationals) and read aloud their "Day of Action Statement." That statement suggests that Rust's modest efforts to help students with their writing faced obstacles too great to overcome.
The Day of Action Statement contains hardly a sentence without some awkwardness of grammar or usage. "The silence on the repeated assailment of our work by white female colleagues, our professor's failure to acknowledge and assuage the escalating hostility directed at the only Male of Color in this cohort, as well as his own repeated questioning of this male's intellectual and professional decisions all support a complacency in this hostile and unsafe climate for Scholars of Color," the manifesto asserts.
...The Ph.D. candidates who authored this statement are at the threshold of a career in academia--and not just any career in academia but one teaching teachers. The Day of Action Statement should have been a wake-up call to the school's authorities--not about UCLA's "hostile racial climate" but about their own pedagogical failure to prepare students for scholarly writing and advising. Rust is hardly the first professor to be criticized for his efforts to help students write. "Asking for better grammar is inflammatory in the school," says an occasional T.A. "You have to give an A or you're a racist."
The authorities chose a different course.
Yes -- ye olde head on platter.
This behavior is coming from students who have grown up in what, at any other time in history, would be considered luxurious comfort. And that is true of almost most people who grow up in America, even those who do not grow up in middle-class families.
I believe that so much comfort -- and the notion that even the slightest discomfort is a form of injustice -- has played a role in both many people's unwillingness to stand up for our civil liberties and in the witch hunts going on on campus. Oh, the horror that a professor would correct your grammar!
And yes, there's obviously all sorts of multi-culti victim studies-think behind this, too -- of course -- but I think the perceived "right" to comfort at all times is something we've overlooked.