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Author Topic: Mizzou President resigns
JoshCrow
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University of Missouri president steps down

Well, they did it! They successfully ended racism on campus by cutting off its head, the evil president Tim "The Man" Wolfe, who was personally holding back the tide of change and beaming racism-rays from his eyes straight into the hearts of students on campus.

Now we can all rest easy. They'll find someone new. People on campus will listen a few more "sensitivity" videos, and there will be no more racism on campus. And if there is, we can always sack the next prez.

Good work, guys! I salute your bravery. Your aim was true. You are like the MLK Jr's of your generation. Let us usher in a new era of appeasing the volcano by occasionally throwing a white guy into it so we can all feel we did some social justice work.

... in other, in-no-way-related news, 10 more racists were created today reading about these events. The newfound racists report that this event has catalyzed them into their newly acquired hatred, and that they look forward to attending Mizzou some day as students.

[ November 09, 2015, 12:40 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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NobleHunter
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So there wasn't a problem with racism on the campus? Is not the president responsible for anything that happens on campus? I don't know if Tim Wolfe was a proper target but I don't see why it warrants this level of sarcasm.
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philnotfil
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Black players on the football team weren't happy about the official response to incidents of racism on campus and went on strike.

The president resigned today.

espn.com

quote:
President Tim Wolfe said his resignation was effective immediately. He made the announcement at the start of what had been expected to be a lengthy closed-door meeting of the school's governing board. He largely pre-empted that session in a halting statement that was simultaneously apologetic, clumsy and defiant.

"This is not the way change comes about," he said, alluding to recent protests. "We stopped listening to each other."

quote:
For months, black student groups have complained of racial slurs and other slights on the overwhelmingly white flagship campus of the state's four-college system. Frustrations flared during a homecoming parade Oct. 10 when black protesters blocked Wolfe's car, and he did not get out and talk to them. They were removed by police.

Black members of the football team joined the outcry on Saturday night. By Sunday, a campus sit-in had grown in size, graduate student groups planned walkouts and politicians began to weigh in.


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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
So there wasn't a problem with racism on the campus? Is not the president responsible for anything that happens on campus? I don't know if Tim Wolfe was a proper target but I don't see why it warrants this level of sarcasm.

A president is responsible for policies - not "for everything that happens on campus". He is no more responsible for racist behavior on a campus than President Obama is for what some jackass in the USA decides to do.

If you DO feel a president is responsible for what their students do, maybe we shouldn't call them "presidents" anymore and instead we should call them "scapegoats" or maybe "effigies".

And if you don't know if Mr. Wolfe was responsible, you shouldn't support him losing his job over it - period. He could have been anyone, really. Mr. Wolfe could have been Mother Theresa or the reincarnation of MLK Jr. for all anyone knows. I doubt very much that he was actually "the problem", hence my sarcasm. I think in fact this event as it transpired creates racists, rather than combats them.

[ November 09, 2015, 12:57 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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NobleHunter
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If there was a problem with racism on campus, and many students seem to think there was, shouldn't there have been policies dealing with it? If there were policies and they were ineffective, is he not responsible for improving them? He may not be responsible for the actions of students but he would be responsible for the administration's response to them. Unless one assumes the students were totally irrational, they targeted the president because of what the admin did or did not do in response to the actions of students.

I don't know if he was responsible because the first thing I heard about this was the football players threatening a strike. Considering it's been a local issue for months, I was hoping the sarcasm indicated a greater level of knowledge about this.

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Fenring
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The bit where Wolfe is asked to define "systemic racism" is obviously a disingenuous trap because he is cornered into the dilemma of producing their precise definition - which they will take as proof that he knows the truth and has failed to do anything about it - or of producing any other definition in which case he'll be accused of ignorance and not taking the oppression seriously enough. When he predictably presented an answer not verbatim what they wanted it happened to include the word "believe" and they jumped all over that and accused him of blaming them and their beliefs for the situation.

As with JoshCrow I am not impressed with hearing about this kind of Orwellian crypto-Soviet mindset.

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D.W.
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I think a news report I heard this morning summed it up nicely. Paraphrasing but;
“Does the school like Tim enough to jepordize a (multi?) million dollar football deal?”

Loved the volcano comment Josh. [Smile]

It seems we’ve decided that a ridiculously high paid (generalizing) scapegoat is necessary for out big businesses today; and this includes our schools. They are the pressure release seal on the well oiled machine. When things go bad, the seal is sacrificed and replaced and the machine is running good (or bad) as new in no time.

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AI Wessex
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I've tried to follow the story, but the details are a little unclear as to the extent of racism and the lack of a formal response. Racism exists everywhere, and Missouri has had its share of problems and public exposure lately.

I'm sure there is racism on that campus to some degree, and I'm sure it's not addressed as aggressively as it could be, but how is it different on that campus than on others, and how serious a problem is it?

Assuming it rose to the level where the President was blocking meaningful resolution of the long-standing issue, what should the new President do and how will s/he be held accountable? I lived there for 6 years and know that this is *not* a bleeding heart liberal state.

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D.W.
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Even if he was addressing it through policy AI, and I'm not sure whether he was or not, what he wasn't doing was making public statements about it and addressing the problem and generating publicity about it sufficiently enough for a vocal group, including in particular a significant portion their football team.

That alone seems to be trending towards justification for public relation hostage taking if not scapegoat firings.

The anecdotal incidents cited were quite bad in the report I heard. What a president could do to dissuade them I don't know. People put a high premium on being told convincingly everything is going to be OK.

[ November 09, 2015, 01:29 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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NobleHunter
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The students seem to believe quite strongly that Wolfe was responsible for something and not just the usual suspects from the more... activism oriented faculties. I wouldn't think a college football team was a hangout of radical social justice types.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
The students seem to believe quite strongly that Wolfe was responsible for something and not just the usual suspects from the more... activism oriented faculties. I wouldn't think a college football team was a hangout of radical social justice types.

Well, such is the power of identity politics in the 21st century. It's hard to resist the pull.

Check out this letter from the Student Association calling for Mr. Wolfe's resignation. A surface reading wouldn't alert anybody, but a close reading reveals a lot of manipulation of language.

[ November 09, 2015, 01:55 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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D.W.
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Let's just hope that those students learn the real lesson in all this. They have power.

Now if they use that power to demand more than a figurehead who parrots what they want to hear, maybe things will change for the better.

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NobleHunter
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I can't read the letter right now but I would assume there is some substance to the Student Association's complaint since they managed to attract support from a fair number of students.

I don't think it's fair to dismiss this as identity politics. At my university there was always someone banging on a drum (sometimes literally) for the administration to do something or for whomever to resign. It never got anywhere because almost all students had something better to do. Outrage mongering is part of the background noise at university and people aren't going to commit to something as drastic (wince) as withdrawing from football because the social activist majors have their knickers in a twist again.

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JoshCrow
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Well, if you'll recall my last thread was on the Culture of Victimhood (which dovetails with identity politics). In the past there was no sense of needing "safe spaces" - not because there were less racists, but because people dealt with it differently. Now, we have "racism without racists", which they call "systemic racism" and it is essentially the act of a disaffected group claiming the moral high ground and using their power (and it IS powerful, as D.W. notes) to do things that are, in my view, actively working against racial harmony.

And of course, the most pernicious thing about it is that you cannot reason with it, because its main tool is kafkatrapping whereby a dissenting voice is evidence of the problem to begin with.

Mr. Wolfe made the right decision to step down - but not for the reasons the Student Association would agree with. I think he stepped down because he realized there was no way to fight back against a kafkatrap, and I hope people look at him now and see not some racist but in fact a reasonable person who was removed to no avail.

[ November 09, 2015, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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D.W.
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It was a critique of a policy of radio silence in the face of demands for action.

Not saying that isn't a legit gripe, but there is no "smoking gun". The guy just failed to act when people thought he should.

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Pete at Home
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Patterns within law and other institutional forces that, taken indicidually or in collusion, tend to exacerbate or to preserve racial inequities.

For example, a bridge in New York City was intentionally built at a height which prevented city busses from crossing into Harlem, thus preventing a black majority area from public transport access to a number of city jobs. The height of busses and bridges is not in itself racist, but the architect's intent was, and the effect was systemic racism.

How did I do? Do I get lynched?

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JoshCrow
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Pete - if that was the architect's intent, it was plausibly "racism", but not "systemic racism". Intent is the thing.
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NobleHunter
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Failure to act is to implicitly support the status quo. Whether or not that is sufficient to warrant summary dismissal is another question.
quote:
In the past there was no sense of needing "safe spaces" - not because there were less racists, but because people dealt with it differently.
Or because drawing attention to safe spaces were a good way to make sure ******** showed up to cause trouble. So rather there have always been a need for safe spaces but dialogue about them changes depending on how sympathetic the authorities are perceived to be.
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D.W.
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What does "safe spaces" translate to in actionable policy? Was the school negligent as far as actual physical security?

Is this rather a request to be sheltered from negative or hate speech? Did actions or words go unpunished when they crossed a line or were they dealt with but not publicly and loudly condemned?

To me this seems a group utilizing their political power because an individual refused to utilize their political power. You can't say that public relations is just nonsense feel good rubbish. It did after all just get a man fired. It is obviously an instrument of change.

Also I'd like to note that, "Failure to act is to implicitly support the status quo." is an exceedingly irritating statement to anyone who was brainwashed early on with themes of personal responsibility. Facing repercussions for things you do wrong comes with an implicit understanding (though naïve) that you aren't punished for wrong things you didn't do. I get that inaction can, in some cases be cowardly, but the theme of "You're either with us or against us" is permeating (and corrupting) nearly every aspect of our lives. But that's probably just my privilege talking. [Razz]

[ November 09, 2015, 02:48 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
In the past there was no sense of needing "safe spaces" - not because there were less racists, but because people dealt with it differently.

What past are you talking about and what do you mean by "dealt with differently"?
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
I can't read the letter right now but I would assume there is some substance to the Student Association's complaint since they managed to attract support from a fair number of students.

I don't think it's fair to dismiss this as identity politics.

The letter itself makes precisely one specific reference to what Wolfe failed to do:

"We have asked the University to create spaces of healing and it has failed to do so. Every student's ability to learn is now affected and threatened by the campus climate. "

The second sentence, grammatically, implies that the simple act of failing to create safe zones (or whatever they're called) makes the campus threatening. Like hell this isn't about identity politics. How about this gem:

"Tim Wolfe [...] symbolizes the leadership of this community. This leadership has undeniably failed us and the students that we represent. He has not only enabled a culture of racism since the start of his tenure in 2012, but blatantly ignored and disrespected the concerns of the students."

So since he's a "symbol" he has to resign. A nice symbolic firing. And let's not forget he's enabled a culture of racism as well...they don't go as far as to call him a racist verbatim but they certainly imply it. It sounds me to me like this guy was basically lynched for not giving them their precious safe space. If this is the case then it's simple hostage mentality: say and do exactly what we want or there will be trouble. Crypto-Soviet control dogma: check.

quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
And of course, the most pernicious thing about it is that you cannot reason with it, because its main tool is kafkatrapping whereby a dissenting voice is evidence of the problem to begin with.

For reference:

http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2122

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NobleHunter
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See, the language is why I think there's actual substance to the complaints about the atmosphere on campus. Blathering about "spaces of healing" and "enabling a culture of racism" hardly seems likely to mobilize football players. And the timing suggests it was the football players that caused the resignation, not the SA's letter. This was apparently going on for months but the national media only noticed when the football players threatened to strike.
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D.W.
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Because suddenly it was a financial issue for the school. They were on the hook for an upcoming event which would cost them in the form of a fine if the game didn't happen.

It sounds like there ARE issues on campus that are getting out of hand. The question is if firing the president is a proper response because HE SPECIFICALY was an obstruction to what needs to happen.

Was this a well targeted expression of power or a lashing out at the most visible target out of frustration?

The act of "doing SOMETHING" is seductive, regardless of if it ends up being something effective.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
In the past there was no sense of needing "safe spaces" - not because there were less racists, but because people dealt with it differently.

What past are you talking about and what do you mean by "dealt with differently"?
I'm talking mostly about the time I grew up in (the 90's-early aughts), pre social-networking and the current wave of social justice advocacy.

By "dealt with it differently" I mean "dealt directly with the offenders" (i.e. the people who hurled the ephithets / drew the swastikas), either through confrontation or adjudication (where laws were broken) or even just managing somehow to get by despite there being jerks in the world. That was a Culture of Dignity response. We are now in a Culture of Victimhood.

[ November 09, 2015, 03:10 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Blathering about "spaces of healing" and "enabling a culture of racism" hardly seems likely to mobilize football players.

See, that offends me. You think just because I'm a football player doesn't mean I can think about these things?

You, sir, are using lazy stereotypes about football players. I demand you resign, at once, for failing to create a safe space for me on this thread.

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JoshCrow
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A more detailed timeline of events.
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D.W.
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quote:
October 1 -- A second "Racism Lives Here rally" is held on campus. "White silence is violence, no justice no peace," protesters chanted, according to a report by the Columbia Missourian newspaper.
quote:
Loftin issues a statement the next day, saying "racism is clearly alive at Mizzou." "What we have done is not enough. Every member of our community must help us change our culture," he said.
What we were talking about. But then there's this relating to them blocking his car trying to force him to respond, which he did not:
quote:
Head, the student body president, later posted that Wolfe "smiled and laughed" during the protest. "He laughed," Head wrote. "In our faces. This is your president. This is America. 2015."
The last part at least, is directly targeting him for something he did wrong. Assuming he was laughing AT them rather than trying to enjoy the parade despite this confrontation? No clue on the details here. Maybe he is tonedeaf and ignorant of or dismissive of those he is suppose to be serving. The coverage and demands seem to allow for any old scapegoat to be interchangeable.

[ November 09, 2015, 03:35 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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Pete at Home
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"Head, the student body president, later posted that Wolfe "smiled and laughed" during the protest. "He laughed," Head wrote. "In our faces. This is your president. This is America. 2015."

That sounds like one dangerous son of a bitch. Cut from the same cloth as kkk lynchers, Robbespierre, and Pol Pot. That's a huge leap of violent logic from supposed body language. This ****er is saying pay attention to us and take us seriously or we will crucify you.

""White silence is violence''

Is there no reasonable point of origin to this story? because from what's posted here it looks like a group is protesting because college leadership has failed to grovel sufficiently and learn all the mantras.

[ November 09, 2015, 03:46 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
The last part at least, is directly targeting him for something he did wrong. Assuming he was laughing AT them rather than trying to enjoy the parade despite this confrontation? No clue on the details here. Maybe he is tonedeaf and ignorant of or dismissive of those he is suppose to be serving. The coverage and demands seem to allow for any old scapegoat to be interchangeable.

I can easily imagine a school president getting out of their car in the face of an angry group and smiling and chuckling to try to de-escalate. In fact I would call it a natural (and dare I say diplomatic) human response of somebody confronted by any protesting group - you try to meet it with lightness, not your own anger or annoyance. If he had come out of his car grousing or upset - would that have been better? I submit that any response he made short of immediately surrendering would have made this Head guy upset. This is a guy who had ephithets thrown at him from some guys in a pickup truck and was so deeply affected he felt he could no longer function at school.
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JoshCrow
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Pete, I assume you didn't mean ****er with an 'n', but rather, you meant ****er with an 'f'. You ought to be cautious about such things - I almost fell out of my seat in horror when I read that post.
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D.W.
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Accept he refused to get out of the car. In fact they nudged someone out of the way with the car... Police cleared the area eventually I think.

No clue if the counter part of this clash of personalities was present but that brush off was a defeat of sorts. The crime of embarrassing them through dismissiveness was probably greater than any failure to enact policies.

But that's all just rambling speculation on my part.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
Pete - if that was the architect's intent, it was plausibly "racism", but not "systemic racism". Intent is the thing.

My understanding is that there was direct evidence, that the architect or planner bragged inh personal correspondence that the bridge height was set to prevent bussing to Harlem.
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D.W.
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
Pete - if that was the architect's intent, it was plausibly "racism", but not "systemic racism". Intent is the thing.

My understanding is that there was direct evidence, that the architect or planner bragged inh personal correspondence that the bridge height was set to prevent bussing to Harlem.
Suddenly all these ADA codes make a bit more sense given that context. Who knew us architects and engineers were such an untrustworthy spiteful lot? [Razz]
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NobleHunter
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Blathering about "spaces of healing" and "enabling a culture of racism" hardly seems likely to mobilize football players.

See, that offends me. You think just because I'm a football player doesn't mean I can think about these things?

You, sir, are using lazy stereotypes about football players. I demand you resign, at once, for failing to create a safe space for me on this thread.

JoshCrow, was that intended to demonstrate anything other than it's easy to caricaturize the language of social justice?
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
That sounds like one dangerous son of a bitch. Cut from the same cloth as kkk lynchers, Robbespierre, and Pol Pot. That's a huge leap of violent logic from supposed body language. This ****er is saying pay attention to us and take us seriously or we will crucify you.

This was my impression as well.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
Check out this letter from the Student Association calling for Mr. Wolfe's resignation. A surface reading wouldn't alert anybody, but a close reading reveals a lot of manipulation of language.

That letter was utter garbage, outrage and accusation without any wrongdoing.
quote:
For example, a bridge in New York City was intentionally built at a height which prevented city busses from crossing into Harlem, thus preventing a black majority area from public transport access to a number of city jobs. The height of busses and bridges is not in itself racist, but the architect's intent was, and the effect was systemic racism.

How did I do? Do I get lynched?

For example, five identical bridges are built in NYC, one that serves black majority Harlem and the others serving white majority areas. Wait, that's racist, don't you know there are less cars in Harlem that your are systematically discriminating against us by providing more value to the white neighborhoods?

What, you're also going to increase the public transit across the bridge to Harlem at the same time. Don't you know that you are being racist with your offensive conclusion that there are less cars in Harlem and more need for public transport (nevermind what I just said above).

What, you've decided to reallocate those funds into a low interest loan program to fund more cars in Harlem? Don't you know its racist to ask about income and ability to repay, and by the way it's racist to give us cars when Harlem is systematically underserved by parking garages, and this is just a way to impose additional parking fees and fines that you're disproportionately imposing in Harlem.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
JoshCrow, was that intended to demonstrate anything other than it's easy to caricaturize the language of social justice?

Actually I thought it served to demonstrate how easily one can run afoul of them. Your comment, which I trust you felt was innocuous, was actually stereotyping football players - a very real stereotype that they deal with! I teach athletes in an engineering program, and believe me, they hear this all the time. Even you, who are ostensibly here (I think) in defense of a social justice warrior activity, could find yourself impaled on their very arguments.
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kmbboots
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3 Lessons From University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe’s Resignation
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Pete at Home
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Indeed. NH's tendency towards reasonableness and responding to what the other side are actually saying may cause him trouble with the leftwing. And truth be told, though on this forum I struggle more with some lefties, I lost my own professorship because of a conservative jerk vice dean who was pissed I'd protested the firing of a pro choice professor. Dishonest powermongering jagoff.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
3 Lessons From University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe’s Resignation

thank you, Kate!

Josh, from my perspective Kate is kicking your butt in this argument. some of the early assertions are weak on backup but there's still enough there to mop you up here.

But I hope that students dont do the Bush mission accomplished dance. If what the Nation described really is their struggle, then Tom Wolfe is just a token victory. Neither necessary nor in the long run significant. This isnt a game won by scoring points.

[ November 09, 2015, 04:37 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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