The Sissy College Students

Last week, Y81 left a comment about the role of the “safe space” debate on college campuses in the election of Donald Trump. I poo-pooed him. I thought that events on the Yale campus and the University of Alabama wasn’t on the radar of the Trump voter.

I spent some time reading Brietbart’s education coverage last Friday. I take it back. I think that reaction to college rules about Halloween costumes and protests about race were very significant. I’m about to wade into those articles again this morning and figure out how to cover this topic for the Atlantic.

It’s not just the Alt-Right who think college kids are sissies. Even more establishement conservatives, like George Will, think the same thing.

And now there’s a Professor Watchlist.

The media and the university are under-fire.



93 thoughts on “The Sissy College Students

  1. I don’t think the reactions to those things are not significant. They are. But I think the way in which they are significant is because they are being used to provide cover and distraction for people who want to elect a racist. I don’t think there is any possible state of the universities in which these kinds of attacks don’t happen. There are thousands of universities in the country. The degree of repression required to keep one of them from doing something that looks elitist or whatever is incompatible with running a university.

    The way to counter George Will thinking I’m a sissy is not defensive posturing about every issue that comes around from Breibart. It’s to attack, always.

  2. This kind of thing, especially with Trump’s recent, in-person attack on media figures called to his office, suggests there is going to be no compromise possible that doesn’t bury the first amendment.

  3. Similar to the Hamilton craziness. Blast away on social media about “x” while they slide in all sorts of questionable appointments/policies. The rules have changed and we’re all going to have to be on top of it. No falling for the sleight of hand media management.

    “Yup, he still has no clothes. No clothes. Not a stitch of clothing over here”

  4. Seriously, I think the alt-right, president-elects who tweet about how the cast of a musical don’t like their policies, and people who get upset because their beliefs from the 1950’s are threatened are sissies. And, I’m really not joking. When I hear the white men complaining that the girls are snapping at them (Jonathan Haidt), all I hear is “waa, waaaa, everyone’s supposed to listen to me adoringly and they’re not, waaaaaah.”

    1. “waa, waaaa, everyone’s supposed to listen to me adoringly and they’re not, waaaaaah.” — I guess there’s a lot of that going around, including from people who thought they were part of a permanent elite and now find themselves about to be on the outside. If the pendulum swung far enough to alienate so very many people who had been voting Dem for years, probably the pendulum swung too far. It’s worth reading the discussions from Ohio Dems who talk about their efforts to shore up the vote there, and that they thought they were ignored by Brooklyn. One of them said his voters thought Hillary was more concerned with where people went to the bathroom than with getting jobs back.

      1. I think that’s the Southern Republicans, right, the ones who passed a law saying that the sex on your birth certificate should dictate what bathroom you use (I guess people carry around birth certificates in the South).

    2. Hah, because brown women have always been listened to adoringly, not fought for every step of their voice. Because Charlaine Hunter Galt didn’t literally have to walk through “screaming, howling mobs of students.” Because white men are now scared of snapping fingers and retreating to websites that tell them that women would be much better off if had to spend all our time doing chores and couldn’t control our fertility.

      Yes, they are sissies, who are complaining that the world is too fair, and they can no longer compete. And, you know, they’re going to lose, in the end, the people who think we can go back to a world where the opportunity was stacked against everyone else.

      Laura posted a link to a registry of transgressing [liberal] profs. I hope someone starts a parallel one of men who have harassed women (it could contain the same “this happen to me”, “I heard about it somewhere on the internet”, . . . . for sourcing).

      1. Toni Morrison has a great piece in the New Yorker.
        “In order to limit the possibility of this untenable change, and restore whiteness to its former status as a marker of national identity, a number of white Americans are sacrificing themselves. They have begun to do things they clearly don’t really want to be doing, and, to do so, they are (1) abandoning their sense of human dignity and (2) risking the appearance of cowardice. Much as they may hate their behavior, and know full well how craven it is, they are willing to kill small children attending Sunday school and slaughter churchgoers who invite a white boy to pray. Embarrassing as the obvious display of cowardice must be, they are willing to set fire to churches, and to start firing in them while the members are at prayer. And, shameful as such demonstrations of weakness are, they are willing to shoot black children in the street.
        To keep alive the perception of white superiority, these white Americans tuck their heads under cone-shaped hats and American flags and deny themselves the dignity of face-to-face confrontation, training their guns on the unarmed, the innocent, the scared, on subjects who are running away, exposing their unthreatening backs to bullets.”

        I was once running an after-school Lego Club at my kids’ elementary school, and the kids were rowdy. The librarian (in whose library we were holding Lego Club) showed me a trick to keeping the kids better behaved. She started praising those who were behaving well. Slowly but surely, the kids calmed down. She then turned to me and said that was the key–they wanted approval, so approve the behaviors you want to see.

        Any implied comparison between elementary school kids and white nationalists is totally intentional.

      2. To avoid some negative associations, I’ve found myself trying to dress more like an stereotypical academic than how I usually dress, like a stereotypical middle-aged white guy). But I’m too afraid of what Trump will do to the economy to buy much new tweed.

      3. Our local alternative (the old, good kind) newspaper defined the behavior in this election as “spiteful” (i.e. not competitive, because one would then gain an advantage by dragging others down), but just dragging the other person down.

      4. Charlayne Hunter-Gault’s experience occurred in 1961. Elena Christakis was driven from the Yale faculty in the past year. It’s as if someone read “Ivan Denisovich” and responded by recalling the St. Petersburg Massacre.

    3. Stop saying “alt-right.” Please say “white nationalists” because that is what they are. Neo-Nazis is also an appropriate term.

      1. Of course he’s lying and Wendy is right. Bannon turned Breibart (the site*) into the most prominent publisher of white nationalism news and commentary.

        * I understand the Breibart (the dead guy) was careful to avoid white nationalism.

      2. He complained about the Asians-Americans heading tech companies, in an interview with trump, on a point on which they disagree (Trump seems to be cool with Asian-American billionaires). Either we are all heirs to the American experiment or we should return the country to the original inhabitants.

      3. Wendy, you are clearly very cross about the results of this election. I think it is clouding your vision, and that you are falling into a pattern of insulting the voters who picked Trump. And that that – to the extent that the Trump-ists ever hear or notice you and those who are speaking and writing similarly – will cement people into the Trump camp. His poll numbers seem to be going UP, at this point. Here is a thumbsucker from the Post:
        not a damn thing about racism, it’s a feeling of being left out of any caring from the Dems and loss of livelihood as steel gets made in Korea and China and India and sold for prices we cannot match. Bitterness about NAFTA.
        The election was close – hell, Hillary won the popular vote – and it might easily have gone the other way. But there was an absolutely spectacular Trump ad, which may still be available on Youtube, which played on her question why she wasn’t fifty points ahead, and in which Trump said something like, ‘do you really not understand?’ in which he played on lost job themes, and Benghazi, and several other things, and they fit with the Post article better than vaporings about Neo-Nazis. So I think it would behoove people who want to win the next election to pay attention to what Trump’s voters are saying, rather than imputing base motives to them.

      4. I’m really cross about so many people who claimed to hate kleptocracy, corruption, and fascism now being totally ok with it because reasons. And by reasons, I mean really really hating to give up white supremacy and misogyny.

      5. So, Wendy and MH, I have been puzzled by your comments, because I was assuming that what you were trying to think about was, how to win the next election for the blue team. And talking about how evil the non-Hillary voters are seems non-optimal for that. But if in fact your aim is to demonstrate proggier-than-thou, virtue signalling, and to show that you are more uncompromising with the Trumpistas than are others, your reactions make sense.

      6. I think that if in the long term, you need to meet the approval of the modal Trump voter in order to win election in America, either democracy or liberalism (in the sense of individual freedom as established by the Bill of Rights) will die. I don’t understand how anybody can look at the Trump voters and think anything else without being willfully blind.

      7. To win an election, the Democrats would need to win not the modal Trump voter, but the marginal Trump voter. Do people really think that burning American flags (which seems to be the campus gesture of the month since the election) is the way to do that? Why do the faculty encourage that?

      8. Y81, seems to me that ‘modal trumpist’ is not a useful way for Dems to think. A number of different clusters of voters went Trump: the alt-rightists a very small number, many many Reeps fell in line because he had promised through his list of judges to appoint someone who would appeal to people who had liked Scalia, many working class people who see trade agreements as having screwed them, people who think political correctness is social thuggery, surprisingly large numbers who had voted for Obama in the idea that he would provide change and now voted for Trump for the same reason. The Dems didn’t pay attention to the feelings of grievance of different voter clusters which went Trump.
        I also think Hillary ran a staggeringly bad campaign and was unlucky, but that’s a topic for another day.

      9. So, what? I’m supposed to prove I never encouraged anyone to burn a flag or somehow stop it. And we’ll just all wait and see what happens with a president elect who hauls in the heads of media companies and tells them how to cover him?

        It’s fucknuts. There’s no way to win an argument under those terms. Every random jackass with a job at a university can do something that is somehow supposed to be bad enough that voting for Trump is a reasonable response, there is literally no way to win. There isn’t a defense possible and the response has got to be aggressive. Either Trump does what he says he’s going to do and he gets attacked as a very obvious threat to the republic or he doesn’t and gets attacked for defrauding the racists to help suburban upper middle class people.

      10. “I’m supposed to prove I never encouraged anyone to burn a flag or somehow stop it.”

        I think a forthright statement to the effect that you are in favor of free expression, that forcing professors from the faculty because you disagree with their perspective on Halloween costumes (!) is shameful, that burning flags is offensive (though Constitionally protected), and that a communications professor who calls for “muscle” to prevent a student newspaper reporter from covering a protest should be fired, would be entirely appropriate. I have lots of liberal friends who have no problem with those sentiments or with expressing them clearly and publicly (publicly meaning on facebook). But I don’t see that from most of the liberal commenters here: what I see is insults (“butthurt”) directed at anyone who complains about the suppression of free expression on campuses.

      11. I agree with what you said there at the start, but think “butthurt” still covers it. You’re talking about a few incidents out of millions of students. I’ve been a Republican on a college campus the first time this shit was being thrown around. I never had any problems, except the usual finishing a dissertation.

        I haven’t seen many forthright statements that this is wrong. There are very literal Nazis seeking political influence as Nazis and people in the Republican Party have clearly decided to seek their votes regardless.

  5. The Professor Watchlist crap works only if we allow these neo-Nazis to redefine America in terms of their neo-Nazi beliefs. They have no idea what America is.

    1. I’m going to say a professorial thing here (sorry): nobody has any idea what America is. It’s different things to different people, and always has been.

      The “black people aren’t surprised” meme from SNL is not just a clever SNL thing. It’s a, dude, slavery ended only 150 years ago, there were lynchings depicted on postcards only 100 years ago, and the Voting Rights Act was only 50 years ago. Stop being so impressed with yourselves, Americans.

      I always think of the contrasting reactions to Michelle Obama’s statement that when her husband was elected it was the first time she was truly proud of her country. Conservatives went nuts. Waaaah? You weren’t proud before? Now, it’s conservatives that aren’t proud: we’re not great, but we were once! And this is true not just of the horrible white nationalists, but of the non-awful Trump voters as well (like Hillary, I do believe there are some, at least half).

      1. They take that “The” seriously there. Probably someone from OSU insisted on alphabetizing it with the Ts.

        Thanks for the correction on the Wisconsin primary. So long ago, and such happy times.

  6. I do hope you write the article. I’m not familiar with movement or mainstream conservatism’s coverage of college campus politics, but have seen similar stuff showing up in Rod Dreher’s dissident conservative blog a lot over the last couple of years, and have been surprised both by the outrageousness of the coverage (screencaps of public Facebook discussions among philosophers) and of the content (some of those discussions are, frankly, pretty nutty). I wonder how much overlap there is with what you’re seeing on Breitbart?
    (cf. recent posts tagged “Yale” or “Education”)

    I do think there’s enough real story for people outside of academia to be concerned with. Johnathan Haidt’s Heterodox Academy has a lot of well-thought criticism, though sometimes I worry his career will parallel Arthur Brooks’s.

    The comment by Chris on an earlier one of your threads really did strike home: people are painfully aware that unless you pass through these institutions, your economic future is over. If you knew your kid had to listen to Baptist preachers reading from Leviticus for four years or get a low-wage, no growth job forever, you’d probably be pissed too

  7. Trying to reply to the conversation above…

    There definitely have been some situations that have happened on college campuses that, I think, went over the line. And plenty of college professors felt uncomfortable about the stiffling of their ability to challenge their students. The AAUP wrote articles about this. But, let me very clear, these were very rare events on college campuses. They were used by the alt-right to stir up the emotions of a group of people who were vulnerable and gullible.

    Point number 2. Those very rare events that were completely blown out of proportion have resulted in the election of someone who is spectacularly ill equipt to be president. He has no experience. He hasn’t shown the exemplary intelligence that would be necessary to figure out the job on the fly. In fact, he seems to have several personality disorders. He is a profoundly scary individual whose election has already done permanent damage to the integrity of our national institutions; his very election has exposed the deficiencies in a democracy.

    1. Yes, but let’s be honest: the instances of suppression of free expression on campuses vastly exceed, in number and seriousness, the instances of racism on campus. Which also get totally blown out of proportion every time they happen. For instance, the fact that (maybe) someone drove through the Missouri campus and shouted a racist epithet from a car is much less damaging to liberal ideals than the fact that a professor called for physical force to suppress newspaper coverage.

      As to our president-elect, I mostly agree, although I note that there’s a lot of ruin in a nation, and that healthy democracies also don’t elect the wives of former presidents. Or the children, for that matter, although that seems like a rot that has permeated the continent.

      1. Yah, she tried to be a twenty-first century Lurleen Wallace!

        It is my impression that the Mizzou events really did get broadcast very widely, and made mid- and lower-class people unhappy.

    2. They were used by the alt-right to stir up the emotions of a group of people who were vulnerable and gullible I think this would make a story I’d like to read. Tracking an individual story from original coverage on e.g. campus papers to reasonable commentators to alt-right click-bait would be fascinating (but probably depressing).

      I’m also interested in your second paragraph; although it’s been asserted otherwise here, I doubt–and would like to know more about–the prominence of the campus left story among voters. Certainly the college and high school friends of mine who posted a lot of right-wing stuff on Facebook during the campaign spent most of their time harping on Clinton scandals that were blown out of proportion. I’d say the campus stories got an order of magnitude less coverage (in my bubble) than kneeling athletes, and that got far less than the negative talking points about the candidate.

      1. One kind of quick and recent example of “campus left” stories is the stories about professors cancelling classes because of the election results. That one moved very quickly to the Neo-Nazi and propaganda websites.

        If only people realized how often classes are cancelled because the local team lost the Super Bowl or the World Series the night before.

      2. Interesting. I only saw the class cancellation stories (and their occasional rebuttals) on my Facebook feed, while the paleoconservative commentator I read was reporting on totally different stuff like post-election official statements or therapy sessions. And the class cancellations were about the only college story I saw on FB during the latter/post-campaign, though of course aggressive “Hide”ing may have suppressed some of what was shared.

  8. “Yes, but let’s be honest: the instances of suppression of free expression on campuses vastly exceed, in number and seriousness, the instances of racism on campus.”

    I don’t know how on earth you would assess this. As someone who follows higher ed reporting and has spent time on many college campuses (mostly teaching at middle to lower-tier schools), and now teaches at a regional state university with about 30-40% minority enrollment, I would say it’s wrong. I grant that it’s impossible to separate out the racism of fellow students, campus security, shop owners, etc., from “racism on campus,” but it’s definitely there. Racism is a fact of life for black students especially. It’s so common that the stories are boring to them, barely worth reporting. If you spend any amount of time around young black men you’ll start hearing them. And bear in mind that the ones I talk to are the ones who are working hard, talking about the classwork, involved in campus activities. They have made it, or are starting to make it.

    The Mizzou professor did something bad during a protest and was fired for it. I can’t think of any other case where a professor called for physically restraining or harming a student due to their political beliefs or actions. This was one faculty member participating in a protest (which is her right) who did something wrong, apparently on the spur of the moment. It was a bad thing; sometimes people, including professors, do bad things. She got fired. It wasn’t covered up – in fact there was probably as much coverage of this as of the murders committed by a professor a few years ago.

    Faculty, at least all the faculty I know, are very aware of the importance of allowing students to express their views on everything we discuss. It’s our job to encourage expression of different ideas, and that’s what most people do. The administration on many college campuses tends to be apolitical (and probably is mostly conservative here). The only place I’ve seen a Halloween costume discussion is on a FB page of a recent graduate.

    The one thing I do agree on is the nepotism thing. It’s bad for the country to have dynasties within either party. If GHWB and GWB had not been relatives of Jeb, their refusal to endorse (or in one case vote for) Trump would have carried much more weight.

    1. I find this very strange: on the one hand, we are told of pervasive, constant, soul-destroying racism which blights the careers of minority students; on the other, the administration at Bowdoin, for example, disciplined students for having a tequila party at which–the horror!–some students wore sombreros. Why doesn’t the administration at Bowdoin address the pervasive, constant racism, instead of worrying about party hats?

      1. I believe that it’s part human nature/part short term thinking and that the answer is in the term “pervasive”. It’s easier to get a quick “win” with the party hats rather than deal with pervasive racism. The former garners head pats while the latter will result in at a minimum, uncomfortable conversations & soul searching.

        Same with politics – easier to blame those immigrants over there rather than realize that any policy change that will bring jobs to factory towns will take time, $, and probably skip a generation til it bears fruit. No politician will get elected being honest about the complexities of such issues.

        If the rewards are short term, it’s a challenge to sustain any implementation of policies that will benefit in the long term, whether it’s government or for-profit business that reports quarterly earnings.

        Institutionally and personally we all fight the impulse to think “I’ll go for that run tomorrow” when we won’t see the improved fitness in months if not a year.

      2. They probably do both, and spend a lot more time on the former than the latter. And again, Bowdoin is a lot closer to Yale than it is to the vast majority of directional state universities and other colleges that serve mostly students in the region; you keep referring to schools that together serve probably 5% of the entire college population. I don’t know how hard it is to be a minority at places like this, but it’s probably not as easy as you keep suggesting.

        For the rest of us, there are different kinds of advising and academic programs, mostly directed at students of all races who struggle with one aspect of college or another, but occasionally focusing on a particular minority group. Mainly it’s the responsibility of faculty and advisors and student support staff to deal with things that come up day to day or week to week. These are boring, small things that constitute part of everyday college life. It would probably be dull to look at what teachers actually spend the vast majority of their time doing. But if this actually matters to you, and is not just a way of entertaining yourself, like reading celebrity gossip, it’s something you might pay attention to.

        Also, it’s easy to wave off the soul-destroying nature of having someone shout a racial slur at you, or spray paint it on a sidewalk, if there are no racial slurs that carry that weight for your race, or that scare you.

      3. Well, I admit, my experience of middle to lower tier schools is zero, and even my indirect knowledge is very limited. It is possible that at those directional U’s, we find professors who tell students that they won’t be able to handle a particular class because they’re black, or actual threats of lynching (as opposed to a professor telling someone who had a C+ in freshman history that she isn’t eligible for his senior seminar, or a Halloween display which featured tombstones, coffins, and hangman’s noose, which someone misinterpreted as a racial threat, which is what these stories usually turn out to), and that the situation is so dire that restrictions on free expression are justified. In which case, I wish someone would give us names and dates. Because I can give details from reputable published sources about the episodes at Bowdoin, or at Emory, but people like af never seem to have any actual evidence, just intimations that, oh, a great deal of evidence might be adduced, at some other time.

      4. There’s been a lot of backing and forthing about ‘virtue signalling’ lately. It seems to me a fruitful way to think about the party hats foolishness, and the every-incident-of-regretted-sex-was-rape foolishness, and Melissa Click. And about some poor bastard baker who is not thinking correctly and turns away a gay wedding cake job and the hounds of Hell descend upon him.
        The proggies have been making it their business to punish and force compliance with their agenda from small folks for small sins. It’s sort of like Giuliani’s ‘broken windows’ notion: punish the small stuff, and the big stuff is deterred. I think we would have less alienation and pushback from the effort to make the society open to all if we concentrated on making sure that Walmart would make cakes for anyone and that big employers had to have race-blind hiring.

      5. Lots of conservatives seem to be unable to separate “object to” from “punish”. Because free speech is going to be first casualty of a Republican Trump administration is proggies don’t manage to resist very firmly.

    2. I can’t even believe the gall of you people. You judge the example of Melissa Click making a questionable decision in a stressful situation as being much more important and valid and democracy-destroying that the experiences of the 100s of University of Missouri students who were protesting racism on campus. You have the nerve to say “Well, I don’t know of any racist incidents on college campuses” while bringing up Melissa Click WHO WAS SUPPORTING THE PROTEST AGAINST RACIST INCIDENTS ON CAMPUS. Jesus fucking Christ.

      1. My goodness you are grumpy this morning, Wendy. It’s early for gin, so let me recommend, first, that you take a look at and then come back. Then, you should think about what you are responding to: disagreement with my notions of what is tactically unhelpful because it will anger the voters who have demonstrated their anger by voting for Donald Trump in large numbers, or the idea that people whom you don’t know but who are also commenters here in the Greater Levendee Co-Prosperity Sphere don’t align with what you think ought to be orthodoxy.

      2. dave, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

        y81 said, “It is possible that at those directional U’s, we find professors who tell students that they won’t be able to handle a particular class because they’re black, or actual threats of lynching (as opposed to a professor telling someone who had a C+ in freshman history that she isn’t eligible for his senior seminar, or a Halloween display which featured tombstones, coffins, and hangman’s noose, which someone misinterpreted as a racial threat, which is what these stories usually turn out to),”

        In other words, he has never heard about racist incidents at universities.

        Yet he *has* heard about Melissa Click.

        But he doesn’t have a clue what Click was even doing there, that there were (and are) problems with racism on university campuses.

        This is because he, and most critics of Click, don’t really care about racist incidents on college campuses. They don’t want to believe they happen. They don’t listen when they’re told they happen. They poke their fingers in their ears and sing lalala and think that gives them the right to pretend racism on college campuses doesn’t happen. That’s bad enough but then to complain that no one tells him about racism on campus, so it’s their fault for not telling him…?

        That’s some fucking nerve.

      3. Suit yourself, Wendy. I think you are showing yourself to be a dispositional descendant of Henry Clay, when he said, “I’d rather be right than President”.

  9. Lots of conservatives seem to be unable to separate “object to” from “punish”.

    Well, Elena Christakis lost her job. Which category is that in?

    1. Private employers fire people every day because they can’t work with their clients or colleagues. What makes it this different? Or are you suggesting at-will employment should be done away with?

      1. The whole thing is a fiesta de butthurt. Particularly when it keeps coming up as a reason people, acting in defense of the First Amendment, supported Trump, who has very openly indicated he intends to use the power of his office to suppress the press.

      2. My comment was before seeing Laura’s below. I was looking in the Chicago style guide to see if “butthurt” was supposed to have a hyphen.

  10. Professor Strawman. These stories about fired professors and cancelled classes are exaggerated and not representative of the activities on MOST college campuses. If most Trump voters aren’t white nationalists, then most academics are not reactionary free speech killers.

    Alright let’s get some facts straight. Her name is Erika Christakis, not Elena. She’s still on the Yale website, so I think she’s employed there in some fashion. She has continued to defend her position, which shows that there is a healthy discussion about these issues on the college campus. She resigned from an administrative position; she wasn’t fired.

    Her editorial on the Yale incident and her defense of her position shows that debate exists. And, yes, that’s what most academics want – the debate. Lots of us went into the field because we LOVE debate and appreciate a diversity of opinions.–and-a-troubling-lesson-about-self-censorship/2016/10/28/70e55732-9b97-11e6-a0ed-ab0774c1eaa5_story.html?utm_term=.1416ade312ee

    Did some points of view get neglected in a few highly publicized incidents? Yes. But does this happen on the average college campus. No.

    And, for the record, I also don’t buy that racism is a HUGE problem on college campuses.

    Most importantly, do these childish games justify in any way the election of a crazy man? No.

  11. Erika Christakis is currently a lecturer in early childhood education at the Branford College at Yale. She has not been fired. And Nicholas Christakis still runs the Human Nature Lab at Yale. Both continue to be employed and productive researchers (more successful than most).

    Nicholas’s paper in Nature in 2015 — on the visibility of wealth is pretty fascinating. So is the recent research on cooperation/donation as a function of visible wealth (wealthier people cooperate less, donate less).


    They did both resign as heads of the residential house, but I think it would be hard to read the outcome of this event as having resulted in punishment for either Erika or Nicholas. And, I suspect that they *are* strong enough to take the hurt feelings.

    1. Who knows how hurt they are? According to the New York Times, the white working class is now more tediously willing to elaborate about how put upon it is than any group of non-starving, not actually being shot at group of people before them. New Haven is kind of rust belt-y even.

      1. Why do you assume Y81 is white? I don’t remember that he has ever said he is, in conversations in this blog?

  12. My understanding from the alumni magazine is that the Christakises (sorry about the “Elena”) were indeed angry and upset at their treatment by the Yale administration. I’m not sure what it means to be a “lecturer” at Branford, which is one of the residential colleges at Yale; I do know that those noted alt-right bastions, the New York Times and the Yale Daily News, reported that Erika Christakis “resigned from teaching” because she stated that the climate on campus was not “conducive to the civil dialogue and open inquiry required to solve our urgent societal problems.” If you don’t think that’s a problem, then I think you are part of the problem. And it isn’t just Yale. FIRE doesn’t even rank Yale as one of the worst ten schools for free expression.

      1. in this case, following links from Real Clear Politics, which is one of my regular reads these days (along with Laura, Glenn Reynolds, and Kevin Drum).

    1. Are you suggesting that members of our prized commentariat here in the Greater Levendee Co-Prosperity Sphere are not, well, normal?????

  13. None of us are normal. I’m blogging and you’re reading a blog. We’re weird.

    Yesterday, a friend of mine said that her daughter came home from school hysterically crying last week. Before class started, one kid was showing off his German skills for his classmates. Kids began throwing out words and phrases asking him for the German translation. Then one kid from the back of the room asked, “how do you say “put the Jews in the gas chamber” in German?” My friend and her daugher are Jewish. She was really upset and told administrators who eventually suspended the kid in the back of the room.

    Is that just PC garbage? Is it anti-semitism? There’s no question that the statement scared the crap out of a teenage girl, especially in an area (Long Island!) where swastikas have appeared on public buildings. Look, we’re in the midst of deciding where to the draw the lines between hate speech and free speech. Hate speech has never been protected by the SC. I think the debate is healthy.

    1. There is no Constitutional category of “hate speech.” There are certain unprotected categories of speech, of which speech that disrupts a classroom would certainly be one, as would speech that threatens a particular individual, but “hate speech” is not to be found in any Supreme Court opinion that I know of.

      If there were a category of “hate speech,” it would certainly encompass flag burning, crucifixes submerged in urine, both of which upset people and have no real purpose other than upsetting people. Fortunately, that isn’t the regime we live under.

      1. Actually, y81 seems to be correct here. I look forward to your defense of the people whose right to free expression will be violated, as promised, by the Trump administration.

    2. Well, I think it’s a teen asshole. Testosterone poisoning. My fantasy principal calls him and his parents in and says, ‘Snodgrass, you’re an asshole. You have bothered and upset people, while you are showing off. If I suspend you, you are home for two days lolling on the couch and playing video games and then you forget it until you have to check ‘yes’ on the college application forms when they ask if you have ever been suspended. What I am going to do instead is have you sit at the desk outside my office for the next two days while you write an essay about politeness. Or I can suspend you. Your choice. And by the way, an apology, if you can manage to be sincere about it, would be nice.’

      1. If the kid’s parents don’t punish him worse than the suspension, you know that he’s picked up that stuff at home and nothing the school does will stop him from following Bannon as soon as he’s old enough to get out of school.

  14. Hate speech, if it crosses the line into “fighting words,” is not protected. And there is stil great deal of disagreement about whether hate speech in a school or work environment is permitted. If the speech creates a “hostile work environment” or a “hostile school enivirnoment,” then the courts have been splitting about whether or not it is permissible.

    1. The “fighting words” doctrine has been strongly criticized by First Amendment scholars. Most (maybe all) recent cases applying the doctrine involve punishing people who curse at policemen or other authority figures. I don’t think that’s the best precedent for the Trump era.

    2. I think the distinction that’s important here is the one between government restrictions on speech and those of other actors. Because the part of this debate that I find absurd is that the actions of people running private or local government institutions are being compared to the actions proposed by a man who is about to become president of the United States. And that’s a ridiculous conflation of different institutional roles, even when the schools are public. Or would be ridiculous if it wasn’t being used as a deliberate distraction to elect the first openly practicing asshole since Reconstruction.

  15. Schools and colleges have been stricter than the courts on hate speech, not just because of the ideological reasons of administrators. They are also just scared out of their minds about law suits and bad publicity. Colleges are a business. They don’t want to appear in the press with stories about racist frat boys and all. It leads to a decline in admissions. I wonder if admissions took a plunge at Stanford after the incident with the rapist swimmer.

      1. Stamford, and the bit of it you can see from the train out of NYC, is all of Connecticut I know. I’ve also never been to Mizzou either, but my dad went there briefly.

      2. I have roots in both Stamford and Greenwich – oyster farmers and a blacksmith. Been to both towns and slightly prefer old Greenwich. The part of Stamford near the highway is such a soulless pit of corporate despair, with the lovely Ferguson Library still nestled within the downtown center as a tiny oasis.

      3. What’s also very pretty in Stamford is St. John’s Church, if you come at from the right angle, nestled in the crook (as it were) of a big L-shaped apartment complex, like a jewel in a box.

        Several of my ancestors were members of this church, although before the current building was built. Being Anglicans, they were Tories during the Revolution–how embarrassing! They are buried in the area of Stamford called Springdale.

      4. Oh, that is nice, and that apartment building is so ridiculous. Like most of downtown Stamford. Greenwich has done a better job of keeping some of the older buildings.

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