Tales From The Safe Space, Part 47 – An ‘Everyday Feminism’ Thanksgiving

The Everyday Feminism “Post-Election Thanksgiving Fact Sheet to Help You Prove Oppression Exists” is so deliciously beyond parody that it almost defies analysis too.

Kim Tran, who is “finishing her Ph.D in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley” (naturally), writes:

“Thanksgiving” is a weird time when we get stuck with conservative family members who might trigger us so much that it feels almost impossible to formulate a sentence.

Especially this year – when the entire election cycle seemed dominated by not just sexism, but sexual assault and not just “colorblind” racism, but racial terror – we may find ourselves at a loss for how to make an appeal to our conservative uncles, cousins, and parents.

Trust me when I say I know how hard that can be.

Yes, there will be thousands of people twitching uncontrollably on the floor around the Thanksgiving dinner table this year, having been exposed to unwanted contradictory opinions and triggered beyond all endurance.

I’m not quite sure what Thanksgiving has done to deserve the special quotation marks in Tran’s introduction, though. Perhaps this is an allusion to the fact that the SJWs who read Everyday Feminism have little to give thanks for at the present time. And truly, one should feel sympathy for them. Previous generations of Americans who lived through the Civil War, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, two world wars and Jim Crow and still managed to celebrate Thanksgiving have no idea just how hard today’s pampered young millenials have it, or how very little they have to give thanks for now that Donald Trump is about to take possession of the White House.

Oh, and let’s note Tran’s acknowledgement of “conservative uncles”, but not of conservative aunts. What’s this? Erasing the identity and lived experience of conservative women? Tut tut, very oppressive.

I’m definitely not saying to cross boundaries of physical or emotional safety. I am, however, hoping white allies can show up really hard right now because, well, we need you. We need you to be uncomfortable so that queer folks, undocumented people, Muslims, survivors, and countless others can feel safe.

Lord, have mercy. If I was a white person in Kim Tran’s acquaintance I would sooner spend Thanksgiving shut away on my own with a cheerless $1 microwave meal for dinner than spend one of the most beautiful holidays in the American calendar being lectured by some screechy SJW about how I’m not doing enough to make people who broke federal immigration laws feel sufficiently warm, fuzzy and safe.

But it gets better:

So particularly, if you are one of the few of the cohort of white progressives/radicals/do gooders, we need you to go ahead and call-in Randy, Travis, and Becky. I’ll even give you the cold hard facts to help you feel more comfortable doing it.

Woah. So let me get this straight. Kim Tran lives and studies at the prestigious UC Berkeley in California, the golden state, finishing a PhD in “Ethnic Studies” which would be utterly useless in the real world, but will equip her perfectly for a lifetime of tenured service on a university faculty perpetrating the Cult of Social Justice and Identity Politics. Basically, she has it made. And from this lofty position she sees fit to mock people called Randy or Travis, all of whom must (to her mind) be backward, ill-educated, prejudiced, tobacco-chewing hillbillies whose presence has is graciously tolerated, once a year, by the socially and morally enlightened readers of Everyday Feminism.

In other words, Kim Tran is stuck so far up her own backside that she openly mocks and belittles other people with more Southern-sounding names and zip codes, yet still considers herself the oppressed minority in America. It doesn’t occur to her that living in the Golden State and embarking on a career where she will be paid – paid! – to churn out meaningless identity politics drivel might, just might mean that she is more privileged than the stereotypical white male trailer park inhabitant in Appalachia whom she so evidently despises. Marvellous, absolutely marvellous.

The rest of the Thanksgiving Fact Sheet is the usual blend of lies and distorted propaganda pumped out by the SJW brigade – like the idea that one in five women will be raped in their lifetime, and one in four sexually assaulted at college, both of which statistics have been debunked more times than one can count.

Then we get airy assertions about illegal immigration, like:

Lots of immigrants do different jobs from natives because they have limited English language or technical skills, or because they have insufficient exposure to the US workplace. For instance the most popular occupation for undocumented workers is “maids and housekeepers,” while the most popular occupation for native workers is “cashier.”

My emphasis in bold.

Note the insidious switching between talking about “undocumented ” workers and immigrants in general, all part of the SJW masterplan to normalise illegal immigration.

Then we get damaging claims that oppression is somehow so endemic that “people of colour” (what a stupid term – and being one myself, I can say so) shouldn’t even bother trying to succeed on their own merits:

Pulling Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps Is Almost Impossible (If You’re A Person Of Color).

The idea behind the American Dream goes a little something like this: if you work hard, you can achieve economic success and comfort. Unfortunately, that’s not true for the vast majority of people of color.

One of the first steps to this kind of “success” is school and the school to prison pipeline predetermines students of color “as violent and in need of reform.”

Note how Kim Tran strips “people of colour” (ugh) of any agency or responsibility for their own lives, decisions and circumstances. This is the true tyranny of low expectations, and will succeed only in bolstering some people’s sense that they belong to a permanent victim class, focused largely on historic injustice rather than present opportunity.

And then for dessert:

Climate Change Is Real And It Affects Communities Of Color The Most

It’s important to mention that communities of color are most impacted by climate change and human-created environmental racism.

Three quarters of hazardous waste landfill sites are in Black and Latinx neighborhoods.  Moreover, during natural disasters like the recent hurricane in Haiti, women are often the last to escape, because they tend to prioritize the safety of their family and children.

Well, Black Lives Matter UK would agree strongly, at least.

I hope you are in a good mood to celebrate Thanksgiving now, having been lectured by Kim Tran and Everyday Feminism about how everything you are, everything you do and everything you love is basically evil and oppressive. And I know that “factsheets” like this one will make you really want to reexamine your own beliefs and reach out to the other side in a spirit of mutual trust and understanding. I know I sure do. Or maybe not.

This year, #JeSuisTravis.

 

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Adults Migrants Posing As Children Make A Mockery Of British Asylum, But Pointing This Out “Offends” The Left

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Leftists do not scream “that’s offensive!” out of overwhelming, saintly concern for the supposed “victims” of free speech. They do so as part of an authoritarian ploy to shut down unwanted discussion and mockery of their own sacred values

One does not need to see the dental records of some of the people currently being brought to the UK from the soon-to-be-demolished Jungle refugee camp in Calais to know that a number of those migrants (for who can say whether most are genuine refugees?) are not, as they claim to be, under the age of eighteen.

In fact, one barely needed a functioning brain to correctly predict that a number of enterprising military-age males might seek to game the system, claiming to be both children and refugees when one or both assertions are entirely false (current figures show that two thirds of “child” refugees challenged by Home Office officials turned out to be adults).

As Peter Hitchens notes:

I confess I was rather looking forward to the arrival of the alleged ‘children’ from the Calais migrant camp.

Leftists have an oily habit of stretching the definition of this emotional word. It helps them make the exaggerated claims of suffering, by which they so often achieve their political aims.

I fully expected to see square-jawed, muscled, hairy young men of military age, and I have greatly enjoyed the embarrassment of the soppy idiots who spread and believed the propaganda about them.

Of course it’s possible that they are all really 12, and have been terribly hardened by war and suffering. But if that is so, how come they are in a crime-ridden camp in France, which exists purely to besiege our borders and launch illegal attempts to cross them?

Nobody ever asks how the inhabitants of this camp got there, because the answer in almost all cases is that they were trafficked there by well-paid crooks. What responsible parent would put an actual child in the hands of such people, notorious worldwide for their ruthlessness?

And why are we supposed to be so tear-stained that these people are stuck in France? France, the last time I looked, was one of the most civilised countries in the world. It is not a war zone. Nobody starves there. There are schools. Many fashionable British liberals own houses there. The quality of the coffee has gone down a bit in recent years, but that is no reason to stow away in a lorry or climb a 15ft fence so you can move to Tottenham or Slough.

And with so many transparently post-adolescent people being dutifully shipped across the English Channel and ushered into Britain by a credulous Home Office, it does not fall beyond the bounds of reasonable political humour to joke about the way in which British immigration and asylum rules are being so nakedly and egregiously flouted (the photo captions in this Daily Mail piece are some of the best political comedy this month).

Unless, that is, you are a thin-skinned Labour MP whose metro-leftist ideology demands that anybody and everybody who demands admittance to Britain is immediately and unquestioningly allowed in. For in such cases, joking about octogenarian “children” being rescued from the perils of France is not mere political banter – it is inherently racist for a start, and worse, it is highly offensive and triggering to those leftist MPs whose ideology and motivations are being mocked.

The Mirror reports:

A Labour shadow minister has been left upset after someone stuck up a “highly offensive” child refugees joke in her shared kitchen in Westminster.

Chi Onwurah shared the A4 sheet on Twitter after it was found this morning in the room she shares with Labour, Tory and SNP MPs.

The message mocked refugees after pundits and Tory MPs questioned the age of arrivals in Britain who said they were under 18.

It showed an old man with the message: “Just £3 from you could clothe and feed this 12-year-old Syrian child for a week”.

Highly offensive, really?

Who, exactly, does Chi Onwurah think is offended by this poster? Genuine child refugees from Syria? None of them have visited the House of Commons kitchen, or had an opportunity to see the offending poster. Genuine child refugees will have far more pressing cares and concerns on their innocent minds than a poster which mocks people who are clearly above the threshold of adulthood but trying to pass themselves off as children.

No, the only people “offended” by this poster are the virtue-signalling, bleeding heart lefties who are currently puffing themselves up with over-conspicuous compassion for people who already enjoy the shelter and protection of a safe and very pleasant country (France) because their metro-leftist ideology calls them to undermine the nation state at every turn and defy national borders wherever they exist.

And as even the MP herself emphasises to us, the main takeaway from this event is that Chi Onwurah, not any refugee or person directly connected to the migrant crisis, was left “upset” by the incident:

In other words, Onwurah – who, as an MP, is an immensely privileged and powerful member of society – was left distressed because somebody challenged and mocked her worldview in the form of a poster. That’s what we are invited to feel upset about, really. Not the genuine child refugees themselves. Screw the child refugees. Screw the adult refugees posing as children, for that matter. No, what really matters here is that a virtue-signalling Compassion Olympian like Chi Onwurah encountered some unexpected pushback against her leftist worldview, and promptly fell to pieces as a consequence.

This is – oh, how best to put it? – completely and utterly pathetic. This blog has sympathy for anybody desperate enough to traverse the continent of Europe and then rot in an improvised camp in Calais just to try to reach our shores. That sympathy does not extend to wanting to throw open our borders to anyone who seeks to abuse the asylum process to have their pick of safe European destinations – that’s not what asylum is for or how the system is supposed to work, and the nation state ceases to mean anything if everyone who fancies a life in Britain can claim one – but there is great sympathy nonetheless. And I back that concern and sympathy with action where I can, with charitable donations to appropriate organisations seeking to provide relief to genuine refugees.

But this blog has absolutely no sympathy for Chi Onwurah. I hope that with time and extensive therapy, the MP for Newcastle Central will manage to recover from the immense personal trauma of encountering a poster which contradicted and mocked her own personal worldview. It is truly a calamity of monstrous proportions, verging on torture, for a leftist MP to accidentally behold a poster which scorns her own personal belief that every last migrant seeking to gain entry to Britain is a legitimate refugee from the Syrian conflict, or that everyone who claims to be a child is actually under the age of eighteen. We may as well be honest – the person who put up this poster in the House of Commons tea room effectively mentally waterboarded poor Ms. Onwurah. There is simply no other way to put it.

And yet call me crazy, but this blog would sooner feel sympathy for those genuine refugees who have undergone untold sufferings on their voyage to Europe than for an MP who (shock, horror) experienced indirect mockery in the House of Commons – an unheard of and unprecedented indignity, I’m sure.

But this is how the modern Left operates. They have weaponised victimhood and offence-taking to such an extent that the target of any supposedly “offensive” speech no longer even has to be the victim group currently being exploited for political gain. Now, it is an equal crime to “offend” the leftist advocates of that victim group. Insulting Chi Onwurah is like insulting a vulnerable child refugee herself, according to this ridiculous mindset. To offend against a leftist white knight is to offend against their beneficiary.

The Mirror article concludes:

Directing her comments at whoever posted the image she said: “It’s a communal area, not everybody shares your sense of humour.

“There are many things I get angry about but I’m not going to force that on my work colleagues.

“I don’t think it’s funny. Not when you see what people have been through coming from Syria.

“People often share jokes but this is a communal area and I and others shouldn’t have to suffer what you think is funny.”

Ms Onwurah said her researcher took the poster down, and she was unlikely to make a formal complaint if it broke the rules because she had already highlighted it by making it public.

Again, we are invited to feel sympathy for and rend our garments in solidarity with Chi Onwurah, who has seen refugees from a distance, rather than with the refugees themselves. It is her trauma we are supposed to care about, not that of the migrants and refugees in Calais. The self-involvement of Onwurah’s complaint would be hilarious, were it not quite so sickening.

From her fainting couch, Onwurah writes that she should not have to “suffer” the sense of humour of the person who erected the poster, despite also conceding that other “people often share jokes”, seemingly without arousing her ire. In other words, Onwurah effectively sets the bar for offence within the Palace of Westminster at the low level of her own easily-triggered sensitivities.

And yet Onwurah actually believes she is being magnanimous by not reporting the incident to the House of Commons authorities (who presumably have an HR policy ready to go, just waiting for the moment when a Labour MP was triggered by a satirical poster). Onwurah clearly believes that it is perfectly within her legal and moral rights to summon the authorities and have them crash down like a ton of bricks on the head of the perpetrator – and that she is showing mercy to the perpetrator by not doing so.

Ultimately, Chi Onwurah’s complaint asks the British people to be more concerned that a home-made poster violated the safe space for leftist groupthink that is the House of Commons communal areas than we are about the plight of genuine child refugees stranded in Calais.

Leftists like Onwurah are aghast that a harmless poster mocked and contradicted their worldview, and have no compunction about assuming the same language of frailty and victimhood as the people they so ostentatiously affect to help, even though we can say with cast iron certainty that No Refugee Was Harmed In The Making Of This Poster.

And that really tells you everything you need to know about the self-involvement, decadence and moral bankruptcy of the modern Left.

 

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Bottom Image: Chi Onwurrah / Twitter

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Tales From The Safe Space, Part 41 – UCL Archaeology Students Triggered By ‘Scary Bones’

In tracking the spread of social justice/identity politics poison through the academic world, every day now seems to bring some new ridiculous example of petty intolerance or exaggerated student fragility. And each new story prompts the incredulous reaction that things can’t possibly get any more surreal, that we must surely have now reached Peak SJW. And then something even more ridiculous transpires on a Western university campus.

From the Daily Mail:

Students at UCL taking the archaeologies of modern conflict course have been told that they will encounter ‘historical events that may be disturbing, even traumatising’.

If they feel stressed, they can ‘step outside’ for the rest of the class ‘without penalty’, though they should catch up by copying the notes of another student.

Lecturer Gabriel Moshenska, who co-ordinates the UCL course on how archaeology can help unearth the truth about 20th and 21st century conflicts, said some students had been in the Armed Forces and may have suffered psychological trauma.

He admitted no one had ever complained that they found one of his talks upsetting and said the alert was ‘precautionary’.

What’s particularly concerning here is that the professor involved, Gabriel Moshenska, took the decision to add the precautionary trigger warning to his class entirely voluntarily, through his own initiative. There was no coercion to do so by angry students staging a sit-in outside his office, or through a coordinated social media campaign. Moschenska simply decided that people who had signed up to study the archaeology of modern conflict might need to be warned that they would encounter the remnants of conflict during the course of their studies.

What this shows us is that the Cult of Social Justice and Identity Politics, and its associated infantilising of students, has reached a critical mass whereby the culture of enforcing safe spaces, trigger warnings and treating grown adults like they are children takes place automatically without any further need for threats or campaigns. Professors and lecturers are capitulating to the student babies before anything is even demanded of them, either because they simply want an easy life and to avoid conflict, or because they actively support these efforts to infantilise young adults.

This is not a good development. If we thought it was bad when universities like Yale and Mizzou limply rolled over and capitulated when threatened by snarling, baby-faced SJWs with their protests and boycotts, that’s nothing compared to the further setbacks we may witness when faculty are active co-conspirators.

And this can lead nowhere good, as Brendan O’Neill laments The Spectator:

But of course there’s a major problem here: the relentless infantilisation of students, the treatment of them as overgrown children liable to be plunged by mere words or images into actual trauma (‘a disturbing experience which affects the mind or nerves of a person so as to induce hysteria or psychic conditions’: OED). The very idea of the university becomes impossible if students are presumed to be so mentally fragile that even class chatter could unhinge them psychically.

[..] This presumption of mental frailty among students, now seen as so psychically vulnerable that even F Scott Fitzgerald might traumatise them, is antithetical to the whole idea of university life, whose starting point must surely be that young adults are not only mentally competent but morally autonomous and intellectually curious. The overuse of the word ‘trauma’ to describe everything from an archaeology class to an old play shows how entrenched this view of students has become. As an American professor of psychology says, ‘When we describe misfortune, sadness or even pain as trauma… [we] turn every event into a catastrophe, leaving us helpless, broken and unable to move on’. In short, the more we tell young adults that everything is potentially traumatic, the more likely they are to experience everything as traumatic, or at least terrifying. We’re seriously teaching young people to see Shakespeare as potentially harmful to their mental health.

Strikingly, the UCL archaeology lecturer says that so far none of his students has accepted his offer to leave a ‘traumatic’ class discussion. That’s encouraging. It’s also revealing. It suggests the new campus craziness, the wild allergy to difficult debate and fear of offensive texts, doesn’t always come from students themselves. It’s been institutionalised, among actual academics, to such an extent that universities no longer instil in their students the Kantian idea that one should ‘Dare to know’ but rather tell them: ‘Sometimes it’s risky to know. What you find out might hurt you. So maybe you shouldn’t know that thing, or read that book, or listen to this lecture.’ The safety of ignorance.

Brendan O’Neill is more optimistic than I – he sees it as a positive thing that none of Nanny Moshenska’s students have yet chosen to avail themselves of their Right to Flee. And I suppose it is a good thing. But when professors provide even the option of leaving the classroom when confronted with learning material that arouses anything but positive emotions, they effectively legitimise the idea that words and ideas can cause actual physical harm, that being exposed to contrary viewpoints or shocking information is somehow dangerous, and that avoidance coping (staying away from things that upset you) actually works. In reality, there is no proof for any of these assertions, and many reasons to suspect that they are complete psychobabble hokum.

This year’s intake of Archaeologies of Modern Conflict students may be a hardy bunch (by the low standards we now set for young adults, meaning they won’t burst into tears and soil themselves at the sight of a human skull). But now that it is widely known that professors and Serious Adults consider it perfectly acceptable if students do have extreme reactions to academic material and need to flee the lecture hall, such behaviour is normalised and given the tacit approval of university authorities, making it much more likely that future students – believing it to be normal – will opt out of lectures which cause them emotional or intellectual discomfort.

In other words, academic freedom (and the reasonable expectation that students be treated like responsible adults) is now trapped in a pincer movement, with angry SJWs demanding to be infantilised on one side, and spineless collaborationist professors happy to oblige them on the other.

If there is an upside to all this, it can only be that with student populations and turncoat faculties now racing to outdo each other in their contempt for academic freedom and personal resilience, we will now reach our eventual rock bottom – wherever that may be – sooner than was previously the case.

Rejoice and be glad.

 

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Inclusive Language Week – This Is How Western Civilisation Commits Suicide

Ball pits, puppy dog videos and safe spaces – the seeds of Western civilisational decline are being sown on the university campus

Heat Street reports on the slow-motion suicide of Western civilisation:

During its “inclusive language” campaign, California State University-Northridge students lounged in a bouncy-ball pit and held forth about words that hurt their feelings in a so-called “vent tent,” Heat Street has learned after exclusively reviewing documents and video footage.

CSU-Northridge’s event stretched on for an entire week, teaching students about “potentially hurtful phrases” and cautioning that “using non-inclusive language can have a negative affect on others.”

The University Student Union, a student-led nonprofit campus organization, spent more than $1,000 in student fees on the event, according to invoices. Urging students to avoid hurtful language, USU came up with a list of offensive words — and then printed them in huge, all-caps text, hanging the poster on campus regardless of their supposedly triggering potential.

[..] USU also created a spinning wheel of the phrases it deemed offensive, hiring a videographer and prompting students to describe why a word or term could cause emotional harm and what language they’d use instead.

Most students acquiesced. Some suggested that specific words be banned outright.

The article doesn’t quite do it justice. Apparently California State University-Northridge also laid on a ball pit for their infantilised students to sit in and carp on endlessly about their feewings.

Katherine Timpf, who does an excellent job covering the social justice beat for the National Review, reports:

Students at the California State University–Northridge sat around in a big ball pit (which they a called a “vent tent”) and talked about hurtful words and their feelings as part of a school-sponsored inclusive language campaign.

According to video and documents obtained by Heat Street, the campaign lasted for a week, was put on by the University Student Union (USU), and cost more than $1,000 in student fees. It’s not clear exactly how much of that money was spent on the ball pit rental, or if there is any research supporting the idea that sitting in a ball pit while having a discussion provides any educational and/or therapeutic benefits.

Maybe Glenn Reynolds was right the first time – if these infantilised people are so desperate to be treated like children, maybe we really do need to look at temporarily removing the franchise from them by raising the voting age.

It is obscene as it is absurd that the current generation of students in the English-speaking West, living in the most prosperous and technologically advanced age in history and enjoying tools and luxuries undreamed of by their grandparents, have nonetheless been raised to be so self-involved and determined to wallow in their own confected fragility. What are we doing?

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

 

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The Cult Of Social Justice: Many Students Do Not Want To Be Coddled, But Universities Give Them No Choice

Would you rather your child went to a university which promotes rigorous debate and the search for truth, or a coddling daycare centre which seeks to shelter young adults from contradictory opinions and unpleasant facts while enthusiastically validating their every life choice?

In this short, entertaining lecture delivered to American high school seniors preparing for college, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt (and co-author of “The Coddling Of The American Mind“) switches between characters to portray two different university recruitment speakers, one representing Strengthen University and the other attempting to attract students to Coddle University.

Strengthen U. is described in these terms:

We are kind of a cult. We worship truth – this is our sacred value. We will throw anything overboard if it conflicts with this sacred value. In fact, the one act of sacrilege in our school is dishonesty.

Our motto actually comes more recently, from Thomas Jefferson: “For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.”

[..] So at Strengthen University, we offer hard classes. Everybody doesn’t get an A. You might even get some Ds, you might even fail a course. At Strengthen, we will not do anything to bolster your self esteem. We will teach you skills, we will give you opportunities to succeed, and if you do, you will feel very proud of yourself, you will deserve your self esteem. But we will not build it for you.

We will give you no safe spaces. We do not buy Play Doh and put it in safe spaces for students who feel “threatened”. We will never give you a trigger warning. When you are in a course, if the professor assigns a book we expect that you will not be destroyed by reading the book. If it has ideas you don’t like, we hope you’ll object.

At Strengthen, our sacred value is truth. And what that means is that we are very vigilant – that we never allow a climate in which our students feel they are walking on eggshells. If everybody is afraid of saying something, afraid that if they open their mouth and say what they think they’ll get pulled over by PC Principal [..] that is just death for free inquiry. So we will not allow that to happen.

So here’s the most dangerous thing you need to know about Strengthen University. Adults will not get involved in your relationships. Now think about this: what are you gonna do if somebody insults you? What are you gonna do if somebody uses a racial slur? What are you going to do if someone uses the N-word?

Now, for thousands of years – up until the 1990s – students dealt with this on their own. They might fight back, they might shame the person, they might talk to the person. Since the 1990s there have been speech codes that give adults authority to punish people who commit hate crimes or who use hate speech. What I’m telling you is that we are currently fighting the Department of Education on this, and we expect to win [..] and we expect that we will be legally allowed to stay out of your relationships. We expect you to handle it yourself.

While Coddle U. is pitched to the students in this way:

It’s a wonderful school, a very safe school, supportive school, I urge you to come. We were founded in 1965 based on the ideas of Herbert Marcuse, who was a German sociologist and political philosopher. He came to America – fleed the Nazis, did much of his work at Brandeis and many other schools.

At Coddle, our sacred value is Inclusion. We create a safe, welcoming space for all students. Any colour, any gender, any gender identity, whatever it is, we want to include you. Our sacrilege – the worst thing you can do at Coddle – is blame victims. We will not allow this, that is a violation of our sacred value. We don’t want anyone to feel excluded.

We have very good justification for this policy because the works of our founder, Dr. Marcuse. He wrote this wonderful essay in 1965, it was published in a book “A Critique of Pure Tolerance”, in which Marcuse explained why it is that things should not be tolerated if they impede “the chances of creating an existence without fear and misery”. Of course that’s our goal – don’t we all want the world to be free of fear and misery? So if certain kinds of actions and speech impede the creation of that world, why should we tolerate them?

[..] He goes on to describe what he calls “liberating tolerance”, which would mean intolerance against movements from the Right – because they are intolerant – and toleration of movements from the Left. We will make space for any movement from the Left, but we will not allow movements from the Right at Coddle University.

[..] We are based on a very simple psychology which is that people are fragile. People are so easily hurt. Anything that upsets you could trigger trauma, repressed trauma, unrepressed trauma, trauma that you somehow put up there in the closet and forgot to take – there’s trauma all over your mind and your memory. And we don’t want to trigger your trauma. That could damage you.

And this is especially true for members of the six protected classes [women, African Americans, Latinos, LGBTQ, differently abled, and Native Americans]. If you are a member of one of the six marginalised and oppressed groups you are especially vulnerable. You’ve been traumatised and oppressed your whole lives. Microaggression theory teaches us that when people repeatedly cut these little nicks, these little insults, these little exclusions, they don’t develop calluses, they bleed to death. And so we will not let you be cut while you are at Coddle. We will protect you. Now don’t try to do it yourself, that’s very dangerous. WE will protect YOU from aggression.

At Coddle University we offer access to therapists 24/7. Just dial 811 from any phone, or we have this new feature – just raise three fingers, go like this [he gestures] and we have sensors all around campus, go like this and a therapist will be airlifted right into you. We are a campus-wide safe space, there is no risk of exposure to non-progressive ideas. You will not find it in our curriculum, that would be triggering.

Watch the whole thing when you have a chance.

As amusing as this short video is, it is remarkable how little Jonathan Haidt had to exaggerate his pastiche of a modern liberal university campus. Save for the drones buzzing around, ready to winch fully-trained therapists down to soothe your emotional crisis at a moment’s notice, everything which Haidt talks about is already the norm on many campuses.

Non-progressive groups are banned or their speakers disinvited from campus.

The curriculum is mutilated in an attempt to replace the western canon with “marginalised voices” of dubious lasting value.

Those who do not go along with the progressive orthodoxy are subject to violence and intimidation.

However, there are just a few encouraging signs that we might finally be approaching Peak SJW, that the sheer intolerance of academic freedom and debate shown by the Cult of Social Justice and Identity Politics is becoming untenable within an academic environment. At the University of Missouri, scene of campus protests, sit-ins and hunger strikes in sympathy with the Black Lives Matter movement, new student enrolment is significantly down and financial crisis beckons. Turns out, many parents have qualms about sending their kids off to shrill social justice indoctrination factories when they could be getting a rigorous education elsewhere.

Jonathan Haidt’s presentation distils the issue neatly, and asks a group of young school-leavers what kind of institution they think will best serve their future interests – the overbearing, 24/7 watchfulness of Coddle U or the resilience and antifragility-building environment of Strengthen U.

It is a question which needs to be put to more school leavers as they make their decisions over which universities to apply to. Though the Cult of Social Justice and Identity Politics is hard at work subverting secondary/high schools, for now it remains the case that most school leavers will not yet have been indoctrinated into the cult. There is a narrow, precious window to reach these young people to emphasise the importance of academic freedom, and Jonathan Haidt’s lecture should be required watching for all school-leavers.

In fact, combining thought-provoking talks like this with better information as to the state of academic freedom at different institutions (as with Spiked‘s Free Speech University Rankings) could help many students make better, more informed choices about which institution they choose to spend the next three or four years of their lives.

And while a pervasive hostility to conservative ideas and contempt for free speech may matter less to most students than a lively social scene and the prospect of cheap beer, those students who value academic freedom and robust debate should be given the information to vote with their feet.

 

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