October 22, 2017

A microcosm of the maddening mix of Progressive hate, ignorance, and nonsense at an American college

Macalester an American college

Despite a small spark of rationality, Macalester College’s weekly paper displays the Progressive hate, ignorance, and nonsense at an American college.

Knowing my passion for free speech, someone sent me a small sign of hope: a link to a student-written opinion piece from the weekly student newspaper at Macalester University in Minnesota. To give a little context, in 2014 College Magazine ranked Macalester as the “Most Progressive Campus” in America. It’s also No. 10 on the Best Colleges’Most Liberal Colleges” list. In other words, it’s your average American college, right up there with some of the most prestigious, such as Yale, Harvard, or MIT, or some of the most embarrassing, such as Missouri or Pomona.

Unlike those other American colleges, however, Macalester is never in the news. I suspect this is because no student or faculty member would ever dream of inviting to the campus someone who doesn’t meet the Progressive purity scale. Without any opposing views, there is no call for violence.

It was therefore a great and pleasant surprise to discover that one young man is defending the free exchange of ideas. What moved Jacob Hill to write was the fact that the staff of the college radio station, perfectly emulating a Maoist re-education camp, grouped together to castigate a fellow employee for having dared to place on the college Facebook page a meme that “satirized the prevalence of white Adidas sneakers among women who claim not to conform to societal norms.” I’m having trouble envisioning how offensive such a meme could be but for the student’s cohorts at the radio station, it was a bridge too far. It was Mao time:

Less than 24 hours after the meme was posted, the original poster (a Mac Radio staff member) went to his WMCN staff meeting as usual. One of the commenters on the meme decided to make a speech calling him misogynistic, racist and homophobic. The speech was met with applause, and much of the WMCN staff agreed that his offensive behavior did not represent the culture of WMCN. He was not offered a chance to respond but rather asked to think about his actions for a week.

Showing a grasp of logic denied to most young Progressives, Hill points out that advancing feelings as the alpha and omega of all disputes ends rational discussion:

A later comment on the original post read: “you don’t get to decide what’s offensive to other people—if it’s offensive to them, that’s it. You don’t get to critique that fact.” This ‘fact’ is particularly what makes offense so messy. No one knows exactly what will offend others. It’s an ongoing dialogue. Macalester students, in their haste to eliminate every suggestion that may be perceived as offensive, missed the opportunity for this dialogue. I don’t personally believe that the poster had malintent, but even if he did, is calling him a racist/misogynist/homophobe really the best way to make your point? Too often, liberal Millennials believe they can end a conversation by calling out someone’s “isms.” Yes, these claims are powerful, but that is precisely why they must be backed by context, logic, and most of all, truth.

There’s more and Hill deserves kudos for every word he writes. This is a young man who, somehow, somewhere, was exposed to an intellectual world that transcends navel-gazing emotionalism that’s par for the course at an American college.

As of this writing, Hill’s short article had garnered three comments: The first agrees with and encourages respectful dialog; the third agrees with Hill and expresses surprise that The Weekly Mac published Hill’s piece; and the second . . . well, the second comment shows that the writer has embraced an authoritarian worldview that brooks no criticism:

I question the decision of the Mac Weekly to publish such a targeted opinion piece, especially as the author writes of the pitfalls of “isolating and humiliating” specific people in the name of a greater conversation. [The author did not name anybody, although it’s reasonable to assume that in a small community, most students could identify not only the daring Facebook transgressor but also his Maoist accusers.] Also: this idea of “listening politely” looks to be teetering quite close to the edge of a compulsory silence.

Hill, as I said, gave me hope. Scanning the rest of The Mac Weekly’s offerings depressed me. In just one week’s worth of writing, there are so many bad ideas. These are bad ideas arising from a solid basis of factual ignorance, unexamined bias, Marxism, Alinsky-esque thinking, self-loathing, third-wave feminism, misandry, and anti-Semitism. Here are just a couple of examples:

I mentioned that Macalester probably avoids ugly news stories, a la Middlebury or Cal, because no one would ever dream of inviting someone who is not reliably progressive to speak to the students. Mac did, however, invite Jackson Katz, a well known SJW (who, incidentally, found a niche marketing to the American military under Obama). Here’s is Katz’s bio from his website:

Jackson Katz, Ph.D., is an educator, author, filmmaker and cultural theorist who is internationally renowned for his pioneering scholarship and activism on issues of gender, race and violence. He has long been a major figure and thought leader in the growing global movement of men working to promote gender equality and prevent gender violence.

He is co-founder of Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), one of the longest-running and most widely influential gender violence prevention programs in North America, and the first major program of its kind in the sports culture and the military. MVP introduced the “bystander” approach to the sexual assault and relationship abuse fields; Katz is a key architect of this now broadly popular strategy.

Since 1997 he has run MVP Strategies, which provides gender violence prevention/leadership training to institutions in the public and private sectors in U.S. and around the world.

He is the author of two critically acclaimed books, The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How all Men Can Help, and Man Enough? Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the Politics of Presidential Masculinity.

He has published numerous academic and journalistic articles on topics as far-ranging as Eminem, the gender politics of conservative talk radio, violent white masculinity in advertising, juvenile detention, pornography, and sports metaphors in presidential politics.

He is creator, lead writer and narrator of the award-winning Tough Guise videos. He lectures and trains widely in the U.S. and around the world on violence, media and the many intersections of gender, sexual orientation and race.

What Katz doesn’t mention in his bio is that he was the first man to minor in women’s studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Here’s a video so you can get the feel for his communication style and message:

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Regarding his comments in the video, I just want to say in the world in which I grew up, a world of gentlemen and ladies, men were already discouraged from being violent against women. Interestingly, I cannot find anything Katz has written or said talking about Islam’s doctrinal support of violence against women (or gays, of course).

You can draw your own conclusions about Katz. He strikes me as a bland, generic social justice warrior casting everything in SJW victim language. (“Hey, I may be a white, Jewish male, but I’m not a member of the patriarchy and I’m rejecting my white privilege.”) All the while his core message is the old one: Gentlemen don’t strike ladies. Katz also reminds me strongly of a guy I know who studied dance at college so he could get dates. Just saying.

Anyway, even Katz’s shtick wasn’t good enough for Elizabeth Levi:

A major part of the feminist methodology is understanding how the feminine is consumed and constructed as subordinate within a patriarchy. Jackson Katz is correct in his analysis that in order for gender violence to be reduced, we need to understand how masculinity is also a part of the patriarchy and how this institution affects men in a variety of harmful ways. Yet Katz misunderstands the relationship that needs to subsequently change between feminine and masculine attributes. Katz’ advocacy for “male” leadership as a way to keep men in line and treat women with respect only further perpetuates that men’s nature is violent and that women’s nature is subordinate. This is a destructive way of treating individuals and theorizing gender violence.

Katz misses the point that feminism calls for: dismantling the idea that the feminine is passive and not as powerful or deserving as the masculine. Uplifting feminine attributes and qualities needs to happen in tandem with understanding how masculine qualities are made powerful. The goal is to remove these default assumptions, not keep them as the norm. Katz instead uses his acknowledged privilege and position to merely nod to the feminist method without understanding his position in it. The call for change that Katz advocates for is perhaps beneficial for men educating other men and inviting introspection into their lives. This call should not be mistaken, however, as a feminist method or as a mouthpiece for the work that feminist leaders have been doing for decades. I fear that Katz leadership will only further silence and subordinate women, without giving feminine voices the space to be heard in the same way he knows he can be.

This third-wave feminism is what passes for a thinking person’s education at Macalester — or at any other American college, for that matter.

And then there’s the self-loathing, hard-Left, J-Street Jewish antisemitism. With Passover in the air, four Jewish students felt that it was time to attack Israel:

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, meaning that for the past 50 years, our community has supported the horrors of the occupation while celebrating our own liberation each Passover. This year, we need to discuss the fact that an entire generation of Palestinians has spent their whole lives under occupation—that living under occupation means a constant threat of violence, a denial of civil, political and economic rights, and support for the idea that Palestinians are less deserving of freedom and dignity than their Israeli neighbors. We need to talk about the Palestinian villages being demolished, the roads being blocked and the resources being withheld from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. We need to talk about how the occupation is a daily nightmare for those who live it and a moral disaster for anyone who supports and administers it. As IfNotNow, we believe that the celebration of Passover presents an important opportunity to address American Jewish support for the occupation.

If you’re thinking that the above sounds like computer-generated antisemitic gobbledygook straight out of Hamas headquarters, you’re not far off. At the end of this screed that took four students to generate, we find these words:

Language for this article is borrowed from IfNotNow #The5thQuestion Action Guide.

IfNotNow is a relatively recent Leftist Jewish group, founded only in 2014, and targeted specifically at millennials. Its website gives no information about its financial support or its board. I was able to glean only a small amount of information about it from an article involving a rich, Leftist Jewish couple who were disappointed that the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles rejected their recommendation to fund the group:

“The Foundation was being asked to act as the vehicle to provide support for an organization that is hostile to established Jewish institutions, indirectly including The Foundation itself,” the statement read. “We concluded that such a course of action would directly conflict with our core values, requiring us to deny this recommendation.”

Additionally, JCFLA wrote of IfNotNow, “it provides only limited public transparency, including no disclosure of its board of directors or financials.” Because the organization was officially formed in 2015, its financial disclosures are not yet publicly available.

IfNotNow admits to openly challenging the Jewish establishment. The group gained national attention during Israel’s last incursion in Gaza in 2014 by reading the Mourner’s Kaddish for Palestinian victims in front of major Jewish organizations, including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in New York City, an umbrella group.

“The Foundation learned that [IfNotNow] has routinely included among the targets of its hostile activities such highly regarded Jewish organizations as the Jewish Federations of North America, with which The Foundation is affiliated, the Anti-Defamation League and Hillel International,” JCFLA wrote in its statement.

Call me cynical, but when IfNotNow releases its funding, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that there’s a Soros behind it.

The group garnered kudos from Peter Beinart, one of the young generation of hard-Left, anti-Israel “journalists”:

The millennial activism that has spawned IfNotNow is very different. It stems not from the hopes that Obama inspired, but from disillusionment with what he failed to achieve. Occupy was a response to Obama’s failure to fundamentally reform Wall Street. The “dreamer” protests were a response to his record-level deportations of undocumented immigrants. Black Lives Matter was a response to his failure to curb police violence. And IfNotNow is a response to his failure to end Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

[snip]

By bypassing Washington, D.C., politics, IfNotNow can ignore red lines that J Street must respect. J Street opposes the boycott, sanctions and divestment movement. IfNotNow does not. J Street treads cautiously when Israel goes to war in Gaza. ItNotNow stands in front of American Jewish offices and says Kaddish, the mourner’s prayer, for the dead.

Even this encomium, including the admirable fact (to Beinart) that IfNotNow members are “agnostic on Jewish statehood,” is not enough for the activists at IfNotNow. First, they were proud that Beinart publicized them; then, they realized that it just wasn’t good enough. Beinart, it appears, by comparing the group (favorably, I might add) to Black Lives Matter apparently missed the point.

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Before distancing themselves from the black folk, INN asserts its intersectional bona fides:

IfNotNow is a movement to end the American Jewish community’s support for the occupation. This work is inextricably linked to building a Jewish community that is committed to solidarity between Jews of color, Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, and White Jews, and drawing connections to fighting larger systems of anti-Black racism, anti-Arab racism, and Islamophobia.

Interesting that these proud self-loathing Jews don’t mention the intersectional needs of women (treated badly in the Muslim/Hamas/Fatah world) and the LGBTQ crowd (beaten to death, imprisoned, thrown off buildings, flayed alive, hanged, burned, etc., in the Muslim/Hamas/Fatah world).

For all this proud intersectionality, though, INN’s leaders want you to know they’re not black:

The specific way that Beinart compared IfNotNow to Black Lives Matter missed the mark and distracted from the larger, strategic point he was attempting to make. Though we are humbled by being linked to one of the most important mass movements of our time, Beinart’s article title is inappropriate for a number of reasons. First, it dismisses the existence, experience, and resistance of Black Jews, many of whom are active as leaders both in the Jewish community and Black Lives Matter Movement. Second, this comparison fails to acknowledge the difference in privilege and power dynamics within our movements — IfNotNow is a mostly white-led movement and unlike Black Lives Matter, is not a movement of those most directly impacted by the problem it seeks to address.

Beinart’s writing is and has been a source of inspiration and insight for many of us. We write about the ways his piece missed the mark in the spirit of intellectual inquiry and public challenging of our community to do better. We recognize that Beinart drew the comparison in order to highlight the dynamics between established institutions and protest movements. We see ourselves as part of an entire generation that is rising up and organizing mass movements for real change — a generation that includes those fighting for Black Lives, immigrant rights, climate justice, and economic equality.

I seem to detect a real stench of intersectional racism there.

In any event, this is what passes for knowledge and intellect at a pricey private Leftist college — mechanically repeated antisemitic screeds copied out of the Hamas playbook.

By the way, if any Macalester students somehow wander over here and say to themselves, “But Israel is evil,” I humbly recommend that they spend a few minutes watching these videos:

Moreover, if those same students can tolerate the above four videos, perhaps they would be willing to check out all the Prager U short videos on foreign policy issues. The students might then learn things they’re not teaching at Macalester. Moreover, even if the students disagree, at least that disagreement will be predicated on an honest understanding of opposing views, rather than on mindless emotionalism and Leftist tropes unrelated to facts.

Here’s the reality about America: If you want your poisonous tree, the fruit of which is trying desperately to turn America into Venezuela, look no further than American colleges.

Take scientists, for example. American scientists (which means people who work in STEM fields even if they have an aversion to the scientific method) like to contend that they are rational beings who must therefore always be believed. They forget that all modern fascist societies (societies that have almost without exception come from the Left side of the political spectrum) have relied upon scientists to support their tyrannical theories and provide their weapons of destruction.

It’s no wonder, then, that American scientists too hew to the  statist side of our political spectrum.

Why are Jews hostile to Israel? American college.

Why do Asians support the party of affirmative action, even though it locks their kids out of a quality education? American college. (Keep in mind that the Asian kids trying to get into good colleges now, and getting blocked, are second or third generation Americans, whose parents and grandparents are already products of American colleges.)

Why are media figures Democrats who hate America as she is and desperately want America to be Europe (a failing Europe, I might add)? American college.

Why are corporate executives, who ought to embrace the free market, instead hostile to it? American college. Sadly, these same grads have figured out that they can benefit from the profoundly anti-free market notion of “crony capitalism,” which is really just government favoritism, which is really just another word for fascism. Fascists, as you may recall, allowed private ownership and profit, provided that it was subordinated to, dependent on, and in cahoots with the state.

Wherever you look at a hard Left cohort, hostile to the free market, free speech, individual liberty, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the melting pot, etc., you will find one common denominator: American college.

The best thing that Donald Trump can do for America is to announce that the moment an American college or university denies free speech to a conservative, whether a student or an invited speaker, all federal funds will instantly be withdrawn. Even better, he should announce that the withdrawn funds will be redirected to trade schools.

About Bookworm 533 Articles
Bookworm came late to conservativism but embraced it with passion. She's been blogging since 2004 about anything that captures her fancy -- and that's usually politics. Her blog's motto is "Conservatives deal with facts and reach conclusions; liberals have conclusions and sell them as facts."