Friday, November 27, 2015

PC Student Demands From Across The Country

   No demands for jetpacks or monorails...but pretty eye-roll-inducing just the same.
   We've got a big problem with race in the U.S., as goes without saying. (i) I see nothing here that will mitigate the problems; (ii) there's a lot of PC totalitarian insanity here--calls for mandatory PC "diversity" re-education camp and so forth; (iii) whoever's writing these things seems to have no idea what things are really like in academia, where people routinely bend over backwards to try to mitigate the underrepresentation problem. In academia, if there are racists, they stay well-hidden. Any hint that you're racist can cause the sky to fall on you. In fact, any hint that you're insufficiently enthusiastic about anti-racism can do so.
   My own view is that academia in the U.S is on the wrong end of the causal chains to do much more than it's already doing. You can't both (a) insist that racism is an enormous, debilitating problem in every aspect of American life and (b) pretend that it's inexplicable that some groups are under-represented at universities. Or, rather: pretend that the only explanation is racism at universities.
   It's not a problem that people are arguing that we should turn our attention to these matters in a more focused and energetic way than we have been. However, demands can't be accepted simply because they're being made by black students. And the soft totalitarianism that insists on indoctrination with left-wing theories about "diversity" and so on must be summarily rejected, and in no uncertain terms. The problem is that academia is already skewed far to the left, and many academicians are terrorized by the mere thought that they might be perceived as insufficiently anti-racist. This means that honest and open discussion of these issues is difficult to say the very least.
   And that's perhaps the most important overarching problem here: the PCs are shutting down discussion by leveraging the moral/political biases of universities. Many people are genuinely terrified of being branded thoughtcriminals.
   Now...this is a complicated issue, because this is not genuine bullying. These people are not the Brownshirts. They can be stopped if people simply stand up to them and refuse to be intimidated. But they rely on the fact that most people not only can be relied upon not to do this, but, worse, very many people can be relied upon to participate in the groupthink, and participate in applying peer pressure to recalcitrant individuals.
   My own view is that all these demands should be rejected in toto. No policies should be considered until they are stripped of their totalitarian trappings and advanced in a reasonable way through reasonable channels. However, I acknowledge that this might be an overreaction.


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