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Author Topic: Mizzou President resigns
Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Your questions looked like good ones, unfortunately that means I might actualyl have to take some time to try and help you find answers, while it's easier to jot off quick responses to Josh and Jason.

AS to non-answers, I'm answering the best I can given the material I'm given. Better questions get better answers.

My question #2 requires some research so I certainly couldn't fault you for delaying on that or ignoring it. That being said it's probably the most important question in the thread, in my opinion. Questions 1 and 3 don't require research, just your off-the-cuff opinion.
Okay, I'll go back and see if I missed something. The post from you that I had in mind is the one where you asked about security and brought up thinks like the KKK hoax, which I'd have to research to actually provide substantial answers to (including an idea of who perpetrated the hoax, since that's actively relevant to whether it was inherently threatening or not)
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D.W.
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quote:
Ah, so wanting to be safe from attacks and degradation is "childish"? Akin to being in grade school? Might you consider that that comparison is just a bit insulting and degrading, even without getting into how it demonstrates a lack of understand of the issue and the need to establish a baseline sense of security?
It IS childish. It is the reaction of a child. Something is unpleasant, I am powerless, I should flee. When we grow up, we (hopefully) realize that confrontation is sometimes necessary. I have ZERO problem with the students being confrontational and using their political power (and economic power) to achieve their goals. When their goal is to be provided the opportunity to retreat however I go all, <heavy sigh> "I'm disappointed in you kids."

I am an unrepentant jerk when it comes to other's sense of emotional security. I won't judge you by your sex, sexuality or skin color. I will however judge you (and harshly) if I think you are emotionally weak / thin skinned. I probably won't act on it but I will quickly loose respect for you and it's likely that will color our interaction. I realize that is a character flaw given the vast number of interactions it has impact on.

Physical security is entirely different. I'm with ya, nobody should be afraid they will be physically harmed or killed for being who they are, speaking their mind or just walking around campus. You see harm and harm. I see harm and a failure of character.

That's not to say you should just "suck it up" when people are being emotionally abusive. But we've seen the students take action. They KNOW they don't have to just take it. However the demands seem to be at odds to the catalyst.

I would never say, "I don't understand how and why this would be beneficial.” It doesn’t even occur to me to ask as I jump right to explain why it’s wrong. The idea that someone would humor me and treat me like a child by trying to let me think my way out of a flawed response is equally insulting to me. But, these ARE kids. They are there to learn. Maybe letting them reach that conclusion themselves IS valuable in this context.

Also influencing my rather abrasive response on this is there is no REAL WORLD equivalent to a "safe space". Sure we could carve them out on a campus. Then you graduate and what? Think back for the rest of your life on how grand it was those short years when you felt safe? That is depressing **** right there.

[ November 13, 2015, 03:56 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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Gaoics79
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quote:
If a group of white kids want to form and exclusive club they want, so long as it doesn't become a vehicle for essential access to university events and resources, they're already free to do so without any special need for institutional support.
So if white students began a "whites only" club on campus you would be okay with that? I find that exceedingly hard to believe.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Okay, I'll go back and see if I missed something. The post from you that I had in mind is the one where you asked about security and brought up thinks like the KKK hoax, which I'd have to research to actually provide substantial answers to (including an idea of who perpetrated the hoax, since that's actively relevant to whether it was inherently threatening or not)

I made a larger post a couple of pages back where I detailed the cited security threat, yes. My more recent post on page 9 incorporated an abbreviated version of that post as well as concerns raised by JoshCrow and jasonr.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
1) Josh is a professor at a university where you are President. He disagrees with you on this topic vehemently and will say so in public. Now I'll add one premise that was the case here: Some students don't like what Josh is saying and demand his resignation. NOW the question is: What do you do? Do you make him resign to appease them? Do you support your staff member's right to his opinion and tell them to back off? Or do you do nothing and let them fight it out?
Is what he's saying relevant to the classes he's teaching? If he's saying such things as part of an academic function, then my actions would be to ensure that none of his courses are required for any given degree that anyone might want to attain, such that no one is forced to listen to him and that he''s otherwise not put in a position where he has a captive audience. I would also make sure that the content of his classes was clearly indicated so that students could properly make informed decisions about whether to attend them.

If he was RAndomly grabbing a soapbox in the public square and doing so completely outside his professional obligations, then I imagine that there would be issues in the university code of conduct/anti harassment policy that might have to be brought to bear,the same as they would need to be for someone who I happened to agree with that was using harassment and implied institutional authority in a similar way.

quote:
3) Why do you think it's ok to tell people like Josh that he's a white supremacist when he's said nothing of the kind?
White supremacy is a consequence of behavoir that asserts racial supremacy favoring whites. You don't have to cop to identify in a movement that names itself for intentionally pursuing that as a goal to engage in behaviors that support and reinforce it. The consequences and implications of his actions have nothing to do with his identification or intent.

quote:
People on the blogosphere seem ok with telling the unspecified public "you are all racists", but are you aware that writing about a specific individual that his goal is to make others bow down to whites is libelous?
I'm not saying that his goal is to do that. I'm saying that his attempt to tell others how to act has that effect whether he intends it to or not, hopefully so that he can make more informed choices in his behavoir in the future. Far from not giving him credit, I am actively giving him credit that he does not intend to convey that message and that the understanding of what he's doing will help him find better ways to engage that don't accidentally aggravate the issue.

And to try to anticipate and address teh next question here, I given the protestors the credit of understanding that their actions create discomfort and tension, and may even incense racial prejudices in the short term because that's the fundamental nature and part of the intentional mechanism involved in what they're doing. I attribute Josh's action to ignorance worthy of corrective criticism because it's manifest effect is at odds with his stated and seeming intended goals, so there's value in trying to inspire sufficient discomfort in him to create the potential for positive change; something that can't happen if I Smile, nod, and confirm his impression that he's acting in the best possible way.

And, I mean, I get where he's coming from. I used to make arguments just like that, I acted similarly defensive in the face of criticism, first due to self-centered confidence that I had to be right, eventually out of the perception that admission that I was mistake would be a mark of shame, until the preponderance of evidence finally convinced me to overcome that and allowed me to work toward understanding instead of scorn.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
quote:
If a group of white kids want to form and exclusive club they want, so long as it doesn't become a vehicle for essential access to university events and resources, they're already free to do so without any special need for institutional support.
So if white students began a "whites only" club on campus you would be okay with that? I find that exceedingly hard to believe.
Have you seen most campus clubs at white majority universities? Are you suggesting that I'd try to require every club to have at least some minority representation such that they weren't de facto whites only clubs out of the gate?
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Gaoics79
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
quote:
If a group of white kids want to form and exclusive club they want, so long as it doesn't become a vehicle for essential access to university events and resources, they're already free to do so without any special need for institutional support.
So if white students began a "whites only" club on campus you would be okay with that? I find that exceedingly hard to believe.
Have you seen most campus clubs at white majority universities? Are you suggesting that I'd try to require every club to have at least some minority representation such that they weren't de facto whites only clubs out of the gate?
Okay Pyr we're done. Adios.
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D.W.
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You see no difference between demographics and interest dictating the makeup of a club and someone being told they aren't welcome because they make the others feel unsafe?
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Is what he's saying relevant to the classes he's teaching? If he's saying such things as part of an academic function, then my actions would be to ensure that none of his courses are required for any given degree that anyone might want to attain, such that no one is forced to listen to him and that he''s otherwise not put in a position where he has a captive audience. I would also make sure that the content of his classes was clearly indicated so that students could properly make informed decisions about whether to attend them.

If he was RAndomly grabbing a soapbox in the public square and doing so completely outside his professional obligations, then I imagine that there would be issues in the university code of conduct/anti harassment policy that might have to be brought to bear,the same as they would need to be for someone who I happened to agree with that was using harassment and implied institutional authority in a similar way.

For the purposes of the question it's irrelevant whether JoshCrow is speaking about matters directly related to the material of his courses or not. If he was a medical teacher and decided to hold a lecture on some racial studies topic then maybe you could say he was operating outside the guidelines of his official capacity, which is just another way of saying he's speaking his mind as a citizen and member of the college community, rather than as a teacher. But if he was teaching in an arts program (like for instance English or poly sci) you'd be hard pressed to demonstrate that social issues like race relations are "off topic" since frankly all liberal arts topics intersect with each other at a certain point.

The bottom line is not whether you think he'd be out of line to speak 'on a soapbox' about his thoughts on the matter. Actually your view on his comments isn't the question. The question is that some students don't like what he's saying and they feel it's threatening them and making them feel unsafe. They are calling for his firing/resignation and the football team is on strike over it. What's your play? Time is running out. You can't answer with something other than a) support Josh, b) give in to the demands, c) ignore it. And you can't initiate long-term plans to help race awareness on campus, you need to address this crisis RIGHT NOW. What do you do?

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D.W.
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Jack Bower, college president. <boop> <beep> <boop> <beep> <commercial break>
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TomDavidson
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Okay, let me step in here and discuss the tricky nature of college clubs.

You have the following issues:
1) Does being listed in the college activity catalog, using college resources, and receiving activity funds constitute the college's endorsement of the club? If the college has funded a "Southern Heritage" club for years without any problems, does it bear any responsibility if the club's elected president one year says something about how much better things would be if blacks still couldn't vote?

2) Let's say you create a club for, say, "Survivors of Sexual Assault." After the first couple of years, a handful of men -- survivors of sexual assault -- join. This makes some of the current female members uncomfortable, but they suck it up. The next year, a man joins who says he's never experienced assault, but wants to better understand the issue. He spends a great deal of his time trying to collect the phone numbers of women in the group. How do you deal with him?

3) Let's say you create a club for Macintosh aficionados. A bunch of IBM PC fanboys wanting to troll you sign up and, within weeks, drive away enough of the actual Mac fans to have a voting majority. They amuse themselves by voting every month on resolutions about how much Macs suck and how the campus should get rid of them. Do you, as the founder of the club, have any recourse?

None of these issues are purely hypothetical, although the details have clearly been tweaked. And some of them have given rise to exactly the discussion of "safe spaces" that we now see in this protest arena; after all, if rape survivors cannot be given an environment free of skeevy players even long enough to try to discuss and heal from their experience, what's the point? But if you can keep skeevy guys out of a rape survivor's forum, why can't you keep white people out of a minority experiences group, or black people out of a White Pride group?

There are nuanced answers to these questions, and ridiculing the framework in which they're asked isn't useful.

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D.W.
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Understanding the framework in which they're asked is useful though. Thanks
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
quote:
Ah, so wanting to be safe from attacks and degradation is "childish"? Akin to being in grade school? Might you consider that that comparison is just a bit insulting and degrading, even without getting into how it demonstrates a lack of understand of the issue and the need to establish a baseline sense of security?
It IS childish. It is the reaction of a child. Something is unpleasant, I am powerless, I should flee.

No it's not. It's the rational reaction of someone who realizes that they're overwhelmed an outmatched. The fact that children do it intuitively until a culturally instilled meme of machismo leads some of them to act foolishly or recklessly doesn't make it childish.

quote:
When we grow up, we (hopefully) realize that confrontation is sometimes necessary.
And we learn how to chose out battles- to understand when confrontation is necessary and productive and when it does more harm than goods. We also, in theory learn when we're too wounded and worn down to fight effectively and that we need to take time to rest and heal until we're strong enough to carry on. Or else we end up dead with nothing accomplished.

quote:
I have ZERO problem with the students being confrontational and using their political power (and economic power) to achieve their goals. When their goal is to be provided the opportunity to retreat however I go all, <heavy sigh> "I'm disappointed in you kids."
Ah, so you'd respect them more if they were outright suicidal? Or if they were just nice enough to keep their heads don't and continue to be properly conditioned into a second class role?

quote:
I am an unrepentant jerk when it comes to other's sense of emotional security. I won't judge you by your sex, sexuality or skin color. I will however judge you (and harshly) if I think you are emotionally weak / thin skinned. I probably won't act on it but I will quickly loose respect for you and it's likely that will color our interaction. I realize that is a character flaw given the vast number of interactions it has impact on.
If you can acknowledge that much, then perhaps you should use that as evidence that you're perhaps not the best judge of what the emotional needs of others are. Especially when they're requesting a solution that, when properly implemented works very well to improve emotional resilience and ability to stand up to attacks and abuse from the world at large.

quote:
I see harm and a failure of character.
Sure, you can cast it that way if you like, but again, maybe you should stop and think about what it takes to actually build that element of character. Look into what's been tried and what produces the best results. People build emotional resilience when they can rest, free from attacks. Constant attacks on them wear down resilience until they become fragile and eventually break.

quote:
That's not to say you should just "suck it up" when people are being emotionally abusive. But we've seen the students take action. They KNOW they don't have to just take it. However the demands seem to be at odds to the catalyst.
Does that change at all if you consider that they view what they're asking for as a tool to help build emotional resilience rather than as a shelter for fragility? You don't have to agree that it's true, but if you take for granted that they believe that, then doesn't their request suddenly make much more sense, with the more productive discussion being about whether or not that's true rather than whether they're childish for asking for it?

quote:
I would never say, "I don't understand how and why this would be beneficial.” It doesn’t even occur to me to ask as I jump right to explain why it’s wrong.
And this is what I'm referring to when I talk about arguing from ignorance. When you hit something that you don't understand but feel you disagree with,, instead of trying to learn enough to make an informed argument, you instead engage judgmentally, a kind of behavoir that tends to be pretty unproductive, if not outright demeaning to those that you assert that you know better than.

I can't stop you from doing it, to be sure, but that's not going to stop me from pointing it out even if (and, frankly, in large part because) if may make you feel uncomfortable for doing so.

quote:
The idea that someone would humor me and treat me like a child by trying to let me think my way out of a flawed response is equally insulting to me. But, these ARE kids. They are there to learn. Maybe letting them reach that conclusion themselves IS valuable in this context.
Do you really want me to try to walk you though why is seems strange to equate trying to understand things that are unfamiliar to you to be childish? I mean, I haven't exactly been ambiguous about why the responses are flawed, I've done my best to express exactly why they're not productive. And you're saying this in the context of suggesting that, when you don't understand something to research it or ask others questions that might help you understand it.

quote:
Also influencing my rather abrasive response on this is there is no REAL WORLD equivalent to a "safe space".
That's simply not true. How often, on a day to day basis do you find yourself forced to ask yourself if you're being mistreated because of your race? If you're indager of harassment or attack because of your appearance? Except in a few narrow circumstances, you can likely go for days, weeks, or even moths at a time without coming up against such unless you choose to put yourself in an environment where you may be subject to them. Unless you chose to visit a majority black neighborhood, or choose to engage in an online discussion where such issues may be brought up. As a white person you have a gigantic safe zone (In regard specifically to race, not in regard to other traits that you may have the would involve discriminatory action) that comes as the benefit of being part of the majority and you have almost full control of when you are or are not in it.

quote:
Sure we could carve them out on a campus. Then you graduate and what? Think back for the rest of your life on how grand it was those short years when you felt safe? That is depressing **** right there.
But at least you'd have an ideal to work for, and more mental and emotional stability from which to try to achieve it. THink of the alternative- one where you never had that experience and instead accepted crushing oppression as your lot in life without the experience or energy to work for anything else?
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
I'm not saying that his goal is to do that. I'm saying that his attempt to tell others how to act

For the last time, I am telling nobody how to act. Your efforts to make me out to be a dictator is really in bad faith in a conversation.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
The bottom line is not whether you think he'd be out of line to speak 'on a soapbox' about his thoughts on the matter. Actually your view on his comments isn't the question. The question is that some students don't like what he's saying and they feel it's threatening them and making them feel unsafe. They are calling for his firing/resignation and the football team is on strike over it. What's your play? Time is running out. You can't answer with something other than a) support Josh, b) give in to the demands, c) ignore it. And you can't initiate long-term plans to help race awareness on campus, you need to address this crisis RIGHT NOW. What do you do?
I'd look into cannon on how Kirk dealt with the Kobayashi Maru and hack the simulator to provide a realistic scenario instead of one deliberately manufactured to force the answer you want.

In this case I would have taken these actions and worked the issue out long before it rose to the level of a protest action instead of ignoring it until I was up against the wall as your scenario requires I'd have had to do.

[ November 13, 2015, 05:07 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
I'm not saying that his goal is to do that. I'm saying that his attempt to tell others how to act

For the last time, I am telling nobody how to act. Your efforts to make me out to be a dictator is really in bad faith in a conversation.
you yourself said:
quote:
Your post attempts to change/erase my point rather than reword it - so I think you understand that my very point was my suggestion of "what black students should do about it". I can only assume I was right and that you consider this opinion to be an "attack" regardless of how it is presented.
So in other words, you're telling them how they should act, but you're also not telling them how they should act? You don't get it both ways. IF you're point was "I think this is how they should act" then you are, in effect, telling them how you think they should behave. And, in particular, you are suggesting that they behave in a submissive and subservient manner. That they put the comfort and desires of white people above their own under the threat that they'll just inspire more prejudice by not following your suggestion.

To address the other part of this, since I missed it:
quote:
I wonder if I found black people who agreed with me and espoused this viewpoint if you would feel like the argument suddenly has some merit. I submit that you would not, but maybe you will tell me otherwise.
Then they'd be fully welcome to apply their own principles on how to try to affect change to their own issues. They'd eventually learn, as every other successful civil rights movement has, that they have to make people uncomfortable to affect change, but that's speculative, to be fair. It wouldn't excuse them being insulting or suggesting that the protestors be more submissive as a rational way to ask for equal treatment.

This is effectively reiterating the point from the story I paraphrased- In effect saying "You shouldn't sass the master" instead of focusing on the injustice and actual concerns at play.

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D.W.
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quote:
Ah, so you'd respect them more if they were outright suicidal? Or if they were just nice enough to keep their heads don't and continue to be properly conditioned into a second class role?
Are the **** smearing vandals or trucks of people yelling insults likely to start beheading people? If they don’t believe the police can or are willing to prevent this, I’d start there.

quote:
Does that change at all if you consider that they view what they're asking for as a tool to help build emotional resilience rather than as a shelter for fragility? You don't have to agree that it's true, but if you take for granted that they believe that, then doesn't their request suddenly make much more sense, with the more productive discussion being about whether or not that's true rather than whether they're childish for asking for it?
Not much. I get that is the intent. What I don’t understand is the need for it to be formalized. Why ask for something nobody is stopping you from doing? Now if you are telling me that any attempt to form up in a group and take shelter from an implied constant emotional assault was being actively thwarted by the administration; that paints the whole situation at the campus differently.

quote:
And this is what I'm referring to when I talk about arguing from ignorance.
Yet here you assume ignorance on my part (which is probable I’ll admit) and fail to consider that I may just hold a view that is informed yet still incompatible with the conclusions you reach with the same data.
quote:
I can't stop you from doing it, to be sure, but that's not going to stop me from pointing it out even if (and, frankly, in large part because) if may make you feel uncomfortable for doing so.
Please don’t. I wouldn’t find any value in this forum if I felt everyone thought as I did.
quote:
And you're saying this in the context of suggesting that, when you don't understand something to research it or ask others questions that might help you understand it.
I was suggesting that your style of “Inform yourself” is insulting. As social creatures (when things aren’t a mess) we lean on each other. If you KNOW something I don’t and see me reaching a bad conclusion, inform me. If I KNOW someone is reaching a bad conclusion and I know something they don’t seem to, I inform them.

You suggest that not assuming the other person KNOWS is insulting to them and we should be mindful of their feelings. I suggest that you serve them better by risking insulting them by imparting your perspective. If they then refute your conclusions by giving you further data, YOU gain knowledge. One method is polite stagnation, the other is progress.

quote:
As a white person you have a gigantic safe zone
OK, but what about a black person? Do they also have this? That was my point. That I THINK you are reinforcing. They don’t. Does a temporary sanctuary during collage make a difference? I would think that collages (I’m making an assumption as I didn’t attend one) are more open than the surrounding societies. Relatively speaking, it IS safer if not safe. Using this environment to maximize exposure to others (in this case the white majority) is beneficial. Avoiding potential friction or outright confrontation may be more peaceful and relaxing but it’s an illusion and a temporary one.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Not much. I get that is the intent. What I don’t understand is the need for it to be formalized. Why ask for something nobody is stopping you from doing? Now if you are telling me that any attempt to form up in a group and take shelter from an implied constant emotional assault was being actively thwarted by the administration; that paints the whole situation at the campus differently.

It requires at le3ast some buy-in from the administration. Specifically a clear commitment to actively listen to issues raised and to work from there to help implement institutional changes to improve the situations. A safe zone isn't the final goal, it's what was asked for as a collaborative starting point to help work on the problem.

quote:
Yet here you assume ignorance on my part (which is probable I’ll admit) and fail to consider that I may just hold a view that is informed yet still incompatible with the conclusions you reach with the same data.
I don't assume that- I draw that directly from your statement that you'd jump in with attacks on something you didn't understand rather than asking questions to try to understand it. A lack of understanding is precisely what ignorance means.

quote:
. I wouldn’t find any value in this forum if I felt everyone thought as I did.
Treating people with respect and expressing honest curiosity are completely orthogonal to how you think. I'm not asking you to change how you think, but rather suggesting that you'd do better to ask earnest questions instead of jumping to insults.

quote:
You suggest that not assuming the other person KNOWS is insulting to them and we should be mindful of their feelings. I suggest that you serve them better by risking insulting them by imparting your perspective. If they then refute your conclusions by giving you further data, YOU gain knowledge. One method is polite stagnation, the other is progress.
Assuming you know more that someone else is insulting to them. As is pushing unsolicited advice onto them. Short of a matter of real danger of imminent physical harm, if you feel like you might have more experience on a matter, the very least you can to to be respectful is to ask if they want your advice.

quote:
OK, but what about a black person? Do they also have this? That was my point. That I THINK you are reinforcing. They don’t. Does a temporary sanctuary during collage make a difference?
It makes a huge difference. It gives them a change to build resilience and prepare themselves to face a world that doesn't offer the same protection in a productive manner.

quote:
Avoiding potential friction or outright confrontation may be more peaceful and relaxing but it’s an illusion and a temporary one.
It builds willpower and emotional resilience.

I mean, how would you build a better foundation for a house? Pour concrete and let id cure under the ideal conditions until it was solid, or pour it and then constantly take a jackhammer to it while it diresto ensure that it can stand up to the the pressures of the real world?

Safety and security are very low on the overall hierarchy of needs. The more we do to ensure that people get as much of them as possible, the stronger and more well adjusted they become in the long run. The less you allow them the more fragile and desperate they become.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
I'd look into cannon on how Kirk dealt with the Kobayashi Maru and hack the simulator to provide a realistic scenario instead of one deliberately manufactured to force the answer you want.

In this case I would have taken these actions and worked the issue out long before it rose to the level of a protest action instead of ignoring it until I was up against the wall as your scenario requires I'd have had to do.

If you think I've given you the Kobeyashi Maru then you truly know nothing about administering a school. Having to give in to the demands of students/parents or sticking up for your staff in sticky situations is extremely common and there is seldom a simple correct answer. The typical result of this these days is that administrations throw the teachers under the bus in favor of giving in to every complaint no matter how spurious or at least contentious. In this case it's the President of the college himself who was thrown under the bus but the situation is not much different; he was forced to sacrifice himself whereas in other cases it's the staff who are sacrificed. Obviously this is harder to do with tenured staff but David Mamet's play Oleanna is about exactly this issue. If you haven't read it I'd at least recommend seeing the film version with William H. Macy.

You can reject my scenario all you want, but the actual reality we saw was very similar. Instead of a prof it was the President; big deal. If you're not prepared to stick your neck out and make the big call what business do you have berating others for their position? Make a call, dude. You can do it even though it will feel like all options are bad ones. That's life a lot of the time. WHAT DO YOU DO?

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D.W.
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So I decided to scan back through my posts here to see how I jumped right into attacking.
I suggested they fired a scapegoat and in doing so implied that this may not change anything.
I suggested the protesters were flexing power yet unsure what to do with it. (relates to the first point)
I said there was a "rule" of "making some damn sense" in regards to spelling out what the president did or did not do that warrants firing, and in regards to demanding actionable change.

The rest were focused inward on our discussion here rather than on the protests on the campus.
I suggested that one aspect of identity politics involves shaming anyone who questions their message, even if just to ask for clarification.
Then I singled out some of your thinking as "absurd" and later the desire to retreat to a sheltered place of segregated isolation as childish.

Interesting what you are able to deduce from my attacks. More so how you imply that's all I've done.

Thanks KM and Tom for answering some of the questions and supplying further context to the discussion. Pyr either missed the questions or felt answering them would deprive me of a teachable moment.

I'm no psychologist. I'm skeptical of the good a few years of this would do if you revived little to no emotional sanctuary previously and can expect little to no emotional sanctuary in the future. Again, this is a formative time for these kids so maybe I'm undervaluing it.

That line of discussion is oddly enough, exactly the type of info that I find informative. I use the tools I've found effective in the past. I could give horndog analogies a shot I suppose...

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Gaoics79
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quote:
2) Let's say you create a club for, say, "Survivors of Sexual Assault." After the first couple of years, a handful of men -- survivors of sexual assault -- join. This makes some of the current female members uncomfortable, but they suck it up. The next year, a man joins who says he's never experienced assault, but wants to better understand the issue. He spends a great deal of his time trying to collect the phone numbers of women in the group. How do you deal with him?

3) Let's say you create a club for Macintosh aficionados. A bunch of IBM PC fanboys wanting to troll you sign up and, within weeks, drive away enough of the actual Mac fans to have a voting majority. They amuse themselves by voting every month on resolutions about how much Macs suck and how the campus should get rid of them. Do you, as the founder of the club, have any recourse?

None of these issues are purely hypothetical, although the details have clearly been tweaked. And some of them have given rise to exactly the discussion of "safe spaces" that we now see in this protest arena; after all, if rape survivors cannot be given an environment free of skeevy players even long enough to try to discuss and heal from their experience, what's the point? But if you can keep skeevy guys out of a rape survivor's forum, why can't you keep white people out of a minority experiences group, or black people out of a White Pride group?

There are nuanced answers to these questions, and ridiculing the framework in which they're asked isn't useful. [/QB]

I'm just wondering, is the prevalence of creepy men crashing sex survivor assault groups that great? Do alot of single guys show up at these groups looking to pick up girls? I'm a little skeptical that this is a large problem.

But regardless, is it not reasonable to simply have rules in place to clearly ban this sort of behaviour? Surely each group has a charter of rules or a statement of guiding principles that can be tailored to fit the group's needs and to screen applicants.

If the university and student body exercise the power to create "safe spaces", surely they have the power to enact rules targeting anti social behaviour like what you're describing, which is a far less intrusive solution.

It also seems to me that the idea of the "safe space" is certainly not confined to a club (i.e. a building or a structure of any kind) but exists across campus.

It's one thing to say that women in a sex survivor group should be able to screen unverified or potentially anti social men from their clubhouse; it is another thing to suggest that they can do so from campus or from general public spaces, let alone dictate what students across campus are allowed to say and not say.

It seems like certain groups with specific political objectives feel entitled to create a miasma of silence around themselves and across campus, screening out and expelling views they personally find offensive. Sort of like those kids' in that Season 2 STNG episode whose immune systems would leave their bodies and pre-emptively attack potential invaders, thereby killing everyone around them.

Would you approve if I showed up on Ornery tomorrow and declared feminist viewpoints anathema, on the grounds that feminism is inherently anti male (and bigoted) and demanded that all posters be screened accordingly? How long would the forum last if I was able to implement that? This place would be a ghost town in short order.

I have a pretty good sense of what the Pyrtolins of the world would like to see and how a campus run by them would look like - what would YOU implement if you had the power? I'm curious. It really is difficult to tell where you stand on this thread.

[ November 13, 2015, 07:55 PM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
But regardless, is it not reasonable to simply have rules in place to clearly ban this sort of behaviour?
What sort? How would you distinguish between creepy behavior and curiosity?

quote:
It also seems to me that the idea of the "safe space" is certainly not confined to a club (i.e. a building or a structure of any kind) but exists across campus.
Oh, absolutely. Read what I wrote more closely. The reason "safe spaces" are being extended is the idea that colleges, in acting in loco parentis (as they now are, in law, as of the '90s), should represent "home ground" to their students and should be universally safe. It's not, I believe, a practical goal, but it's a logical enough extension.

quote:
It really is difficult to tell where you stand on this thread.
That's because standing stubbornly on principle is generally pretty damn stupid in almost all human interactions.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
I'm not saying that his goal is to do that. I'm saying that his attempt to tell others how to act

For the last time, I am telling nobody how to act. Your efforts to make me out to be a dictator is really in bad faith in a conversation.
you yourself said:
quote:
Your post attempts to change/erase my point rather than reword it - so I think you understand that my very point was my suggestion of "what black students should do about it". I can only assume I was right and that you consider this opinion to be an "attack" regardless of how it is presented.
So in other words, you're telling them how they should act, but you're also not telling them how they should act? You don't get it both ways. IF you're point was "I think this is how they should act" then you are, in effect, telling them how you think they should behave. And, in particular, you are suggesting that they behave in a submissive and subservient manner. That they put the comfort and desires of white people above their own under the threat that they'll just inspire more prejudice by not following your suggestion.


Submissive and subservient? No - strong and resolute and proud, like I am. Unless YOU think they are subservient and submissive, which would be your problem, not theirs.

BTW, you are compounding the error of mischaracterizing my words (offer advice/suggest => tell == dictate) by adding the word "threat". I really think you are manipulating language past its breaking point. You should run for office.

quote:


To address the other part of this, since I missed it:
quote:
I wonder if I found black people who agreed with me and espoused this viewpoint if you would feel like the argument suddenly has some merit. I submit that you would not, but maybe you will tell me otherwise.
Then they'd be fully welcome to apply their own principles on how to try to affect change to their own issues. They'd eventually learn, as every other successful civil rights movement has, that they have to make people uncomfortable to affect change, but that's speculative, to be fair. It wouldn't excuse them being insulting or suggesting that the protestors be more submissive as a rational way to ask for equal treatment.
If they did possess my philosophy and outlook, they would not see taunting as worth becoming upset over - it would be just noise, more indicative of the taunter's own emotional weaknesses than reflective of them. In essence, if they're out there (and I'm sure they are), they would be invisible in this conversation, because they are not moved to action by the "problem", having essentially none. They would be getting on with their lives, empowered and uninterested in moral crusades against some trouble-making small-minded bigots.
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Gaoics79
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quote:
That's because standing stubbornly on principle is generally pretty damn stupid in almost all human interactions.
What "principle" do you say is being stubbornly stood on and who do you say is standing on it?

I know you have an opinion on this issue - indeed you just stated: "It's not, I believe, a practical goal, but it's a logical enough extension" which coupled with your "tilting at windmills" comment, suggests you are more aligned with JoshCrow et al. then you are with Pyrtolin.

Nevertheless, you seem compelled to snipe at us while ignoring Pyrtolin which suggests you are (if not aligned with him) sympathetic with his goals. The question is why?

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Gaoics79
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Incidentally, I think you do recognize that Pyrtolin's belief system is not confined in any way to "campus" or to the university system. You also can see the totalitarian impulse in this type of thinking. So why would you support it, even tacitly?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
The question is why?
Pyr is punching up. You guys are punching down. It makes you less attractive.

quote:
You also can see the totalitarian impulse in this type of thinking. So why would you support it, even tacitly?
Because there are totalitarian impulses everywhere. An arrogant emphasis on self-reliance is no more healthy in the extreme. But the truth is that neither impulse is ever likely to be practiced in the extreme, so worrying about what it would be like in an extreme case isn't useful.

In practice, it's good to keep these impulses fighting against each other, without dismissing either.

[ November 13, 2015, 08:27 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
The question is why?
Pyr is punching up. You guys are punching down. It makes you less attractive.

I can live with being more ugly but more correct.
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TomDavidson
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Being correct is not necessarily the same thing as being right.
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JoshCrow
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Very well. I can live with being more ugly but more right. [Wink]

[ November 13, 2015, 09:24 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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TomDavidson
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See, in all seriousness, that's the trick: there are many people out there who, when they hear about a problem, leap in to try to "fix" it in the briefest, most efficient, most targeted way. And if it can't be fixed, they suggest that everyone just learn to live with it or work around it, then wash their hands of it. And they consider this perfectly normal and healthy and accurate.

But try that with your wife some time. She'll talk to you about work, and bring up a problem she's having with a coworker or a project, and you'll offer a "fix" -- and she'll suddenly get quiet and oddly defensive. Because she wasn't really wanting a laundry list of things that she might be able to do to fix her problem, only a few of which she hasn't already tried. She was just sharing the problem with you, looking for sympathy and understanding.

What you're doing here is tantamount to saying that looking for sympathy is stupid and doesn't fix anything. Which may be correct, but just try that line of argument on your wife, some time.

Being correct is not the same thing as being right, and being right is not the same thing as being good. When you say you can "live" with being right, that's hardly a sacrifice: you are self-absorbed and self-contained enough that the regard of others doesn't particularly matter to you, as long as you believe you are correct.

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JoshCrow
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Your point is well made, Tom - I get what you mean. But at its heart, what you're saying is an appeal to consequences - and it implies that one should be prepared to not only hear and acknowledge grievances without question, but to enthusiastically concur lest you be seen as part of the problem. Imagine if you listen intently to your wife's problems, but rather than pretend to take her side, you are suddenly stuck because you don't want to be dishonest. You avoid the topic, maybe, but soon she forces your hand. "Well, don't you think my boss was a fool?"
"Sure, honey".
An argument ensues. She wanted you to take her side - but you don't agree! You politely try to offer her suggestions, but she'll have none of it - "why don't you just agree"? She gets angrier and angrier, now suspecting you don't agree in fact at all, and throws a plate in anger before stomping off.

... and one minor thing I'd mention: the regard of others does matter to me - certainly for people I have come to respect. It's probably closer to the truth to say that the regard of individual strangers matters nothing to me (although again I would say the regard of the general public is something else entirely).

[ November 13, 2015, 09:53 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
it implies that one should be prepared to not only hear and acknowledge grievances without question, but to enthusiastically concur lest you be seen as part of the problem
No, you don't need to concur. Believe it or not, there's actually a framework for discussion that works quite well for this kind of thing, and one issue "SJW"s have when dealing with others -- especially inherently cynical, hostile others -- is that they aren't familiar with that framework and don't know how to use it.

The problem, of course, is that no one is going to get a hostile interviewer to essentially play "yes, and..." in a drum circle to work out their differences.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Pyr is punching up. You guys are punching down. It makes you less attractive.

This is true but it's also a cheat. Why? Because one can paint a few lines of power as one sees it, which despite Pyrtolin's claims is neither simple nor objective in any sense. Once one has done this all one has to do is systematically avoid any thoughts or comments about the "down" direction and then make any kinds of claims whatever in the "up" direction and - presto! You are a crusader. Except for one small detail: Not only should the lines of power in the premise be up for debate (which in social justice circles right now they vehemently are not) but the actual claims which move in an 'upward' direction also need to be verified as being valid.

So I can say, for instance, that since Joe had power over Max that Max was fully entitled when he felt oppressed to call Joe names, get him fired, and then chant about his righteousness. But I think anyone with sense would ask me to wait and explain for a minute whether Joe really had power over Max, and further, whether Max's reaction was reasonable even if he did. Maybe you'll say that getting someone fired is ok, that's not so bad. Ok then, maybe Max punched Joe in the face instead, or killed him. Is that ok? Well, the answer would come, normally it's not ok but Max was being oppressed and when cornered you do anything you can to get out.

So now we have the basic premise which is shaky, and lumped on that we allow behavior that would not be reasonable except for the supposed oppressed status of those who did it, and finally, we lose sight altogether on what exactly is a proportional response, in terms of quantitative force offered, if some sort of oppression is going on and some sort of response is needed. But when any aspect of these premises is questioned the response is indignant anger and dismissal we find it very hard to accept the normally unacceptable response without explanation. When asked why no explanation is given the answer is "you just don't understand," or "if you bothered to learn about it you'd know already." (another form of Kafkatrap)

The result of all this is a creeping permissiveness of behaviors and enforced ideas that would not have been accepted before, but which is piecemeal permitted into discourse because of the "oppression" argument and leeway given. So actually it's the good grace of those who don't understand, if anything, that is allowing this creep in the first place, since no one wants to take an aggressive stand against people who claim to be helping others. That's actually the trick to get the foot in the door in this area - daring people to challenge you when you claim to be helping others. It's like those anti-terrorist bills; do you dare oppose them and be put in the position of looking like you 'don't oppose terrorism'?

Tom, I know you think there is some wisdom in taking the middle path and playing both sides against each other. It can perhaps strike balance in the long run; it can allow you to avoid choosing sides prior to your being certain which one is best; and for the purposes of a forum it can allow you to add in to heated debates without necessarily becoming embroiled in annoying back-and-forths. However this is the real world we're talking about, and it's not at all clear cut that the two sides are in a stalemate. As I see it the Kafkatrappers are gaining ground right now, and only because it so closely resembles top-down Soviet control mechanisms do some of us wonder whether a neo-Marxist movement is underfoot. Surely in the wake of Occupy and the 1% movement this would be a good time, and it aligns nicely with an era where oligarchs are truly getting the better of everyone. But the solution to oligarchy isn't and never was fascism, even though people in the 20's and 30's truly and completely failed to understand this. They somehow thought it would save them even though it was evil incarnate.

Your nuanced questions about University clubs were very good and I agree with your line there entirely. This is the sort of debate that can and should happen. But I can actually take all of your questions and reduce them to one: what are we to do about the oddball total a*****e who makes everyone crazy and scared? What are we to do with that rare sociopath or bigot who makes life miserable? This has been the question of the ages going back forever. "Mean old crazy farmer Sam, don't go near him, he'll hit you with his shovel!" The balance to strike is about how much you can 'stop' annoying and destructive people while not ruining things for everyone else. Can you ban them? Must you include them and suffer the consequences? Must you adopt arcane and convoluted social systems to weed these people out unofficially without resorting to top-down rule-making? We both know there's no simple answer. But my question about the events at Mizzou during the last year is aimed at getting at whether this is an epidemic or a few bad seeds. If the former, why can I find no mention of all the bad things that have happened? And if the latter, I see no solution other than to be vigilant and make arrests when crimes are broken. 3-4 bad incidents are sad to hear about, but painting them as campus-wide and needing a new campus culture may be an extreme overreation. Of course that's our perspective; we're not there. It's just that since the mentality going into the crusade against the ex-Prez is the exact same one as in campuses across the country and online as well, we can't take this as an isolated incident. Pyr really sounds like he would endorse a bipartite system of rules on campus, and perhaps of laws in a society. Different laws depending on whether you are part of an oppressed class or not, however that's determined. Because there are only two option: the same rules and laws for everyone (no double standards), or different laws depending on your skin color, like Jim Crow but in reverse.

Don't you care what becomes of your country, and doesn't it matter to you if it's going down a potentially dark path? Things don't always balance out. Sometimes a long, dark patch arrives and things are not good for a while. Why allow that when it can be prevented through steadfast vigilance to what one knows are good civic virtues? I know you share some of my concerns about oligarchs, so surely you also know that the typical result historically when oligarchs are challenged is that they are replaced with other oligarchs. Or as Frank Herbert put it, "Rebels are always closet aristocrats." This doesn't have to be true by definition, but it tends to be true. The means used by those who would oust the power structure need to be held to the highest rigor; as Ghandi said, resistance cannot be offered using the tools of the oppressors if real change is to happen.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
As I see it the Kafkatrappers are gaining ground right now, and only because it so closely resembles top-down Soviet control mechanisms do some of us wonder whether a neo-Marxist movement is underfoot.
Yes, but this is profoundly stupid, alarmist and reactionary. This worry is dumb and does not deserve to be entertained. It is, in fact, precisely what underlies the popularity of Donald Trump, which we can all agree is one of the great tragicomic political developments of our time.

quote:
Don't you care what becomes of your country, and doesn't it matter to you if it's going down a potentially dark path?
Of all the potentially dark paths to worry about right now, the idea that we need to be worried about potentially oversensitive college students is something that I find so baffling and absolutely -- no exaggeration -- laughable. I live in a state that is having its power structures and social safety nets systematically dismantled by a single runaway group of idiots literally bought and paid for by wealthy, ideologically extreme oligarchs, and yet not a single one of the people here worried about whether college campuses are too oppressive has posted in opposition to, say, the Wisconsin legislature's repeated attacks on good governance.

If you guys are really, really worried that touchy-feely "social justice warriors" are going to somehow run roughshod over American freedoms, you haven't thought it through. It's just a stupid, stupid thing to worry about.

[ November 13, 2015, 11:33 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Fenring
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Ah but you're right; the dangerous parties right now are the ones you mention. And what is more inevitable than a group on one side generating a counter-movement on the other?

There are many kinds of dangers that threaten a democracy. One is special interests dominating the rest of the populace; another is the subversion of the system of Congress by those interests. These are systemic threats and have to do with organization and structure. But systemic threats aren't the only kind possible. After all, how could oligarchs have gained so much ground except for the laxity of the need for real representation among the people? How could piecemeal steps take the controls of government further and further away from people unless their will to oppose it was likewise eroded? What if life becomes so comfortable for most that the idea of risking that life in favor of confrontation is almost unthinkable?

This is how the systemic controls are shifted over from one group to another. That, and secrecy. But once the will of the group is eroded; once civic virtue is replaced by a demand for civic comfort, other threats become possible, such as the threat of altering language and the nature of discourse. It's another oligarchic tool, ultimately, but of a different variety. It involves changing thinking rather than changing government. And no side of the political spectrum has a monopoly on the war to win minds. I'm hoping you take Orwell seriously as a political thinker; if so one may note that the change leading to the events in the book doesn't at all have to occur violently or even aggressively. It can come about with smiles and happy thoughts more easily than any other way. It's not the sentiment behind changes that matters; is the mechanism by which they are brought about. 1984 is all about the mechanisms themselves, not any particulars about what people think about them. There are so many elements in U.S. culture beginning to resemble 1984 in small ways; still small, but creeping. The signs of this in the neverending war with Eurasia should be clear enough, although certainly this aspect can be attributed mostly to the Bush admin for the time being. I don't really want to expand further on this, except to say that desiring to nip a thing in the bud may risk being ridiculed for going after buds; but one doesn't want to learn the hard way that going after the fully grown Audrey plant is far more serious a prospect.

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Pete at Home
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"
Of all the potentially dark paths to worry about right now, the idea that we need to be worried about potentially oversensitive college students is something that I find so baffling and absolutely -- no exaggeration ,"

That's right, I forget that Americans don't get any sort of world history. You probably didn't get what the Chinese were so afraid of at Tiananmen ...

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Pete at Home
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"White supremacy is a consequence of behavoir that asserts racial supremacy favoring whites"

That's dangerous stupidity and a rank subversion of Martin Luther King's message. Have you looked at all at all's discussion of white supremacy? It is the doctrine propounded by Calhoun. To dupe poor whites into accepting poverty by believing in their legal and moral superiority over blacks. No, you don't get to move that target to fit your cause de jour.

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Gaoics79
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Tom I'm disappointed in you. You must be familiar with 20th century history and the role played by student movements in some of its darkest chapters. Like Fenring I am looking at methods more than ideology, although that is relevent too.

Lightning rarely strikes twice so I agree that the chances of this developing into something really nasty are still small. But the seeds are there abd it's aleady plenty ugly.

But even if this never develops into real oppression my simpler motive is that I find these social justice types nauseating and repulsive. They're on par with evangelicals in my mind except they're not a spent force.

[ November 14, 2015, 07:29 AM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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Pete at Home
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"Tom I'm disappointed in you. You must be familiar with 20th century history and the role played by student movements in some of its darkest chapters"

Don't be surprised. Americans are shockingly provincial and incurious when it comes to world history where American boots weren't on the ground. Most wouldn't know the history of the Red Guards if it [sexual metaphor removed*]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
You must be familiar with 20th century history and the role played by student movements in some of its darkest chapters.
Sure. What parallels do you see here, exactly? Which of the students in that video strike you as the type to start riding around in cars with AKs, shooting people dead on sidewalks for not conforming?

Get off it. It's not a concern, and it is actively, offensively stupid to be concerned about it.

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