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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: apl68 on March 12, 2021, 09:36:21 AM

Title: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: apl68 on March 12, 2021, 09:36:21 AM
I'm know I'm taking a real risk of stirring up the hornet's nest here.  I try for the most part  to stay out of the culture war fights.  But this one hits right where I work.

Most people by now are aware (because it blew up all over social media and the "news") that six Dr. Seuss titles have been discontinued by the publisher, for reasons of a sort commonly described as "political correctness," or, more recently, "cancel culture."  The news has resulted in a mad rush by collectors and speculators to grab all remaining copies.  The suddenly scarce works are suddenly worth a lot of money.

Public libraries in my own state have had people they've never seen before suddenly wanting to check out these titles in blatant efforts to steal them for resale.  They've also had a number of honest inquiries about purchasing them.  The State Library has advised libraries to put their copies of the titles under guard to prevent theft of what have overnight become effectively irreplaceable literary antiques.  An article about the situation made the front page of the state's leading newspaper today!  My colleagues have been reporting some truly crazy stuff.

Our own library's Facebook has blown up with questions and rumors.  I've felt it necessary to address the whole business in my weekly local newspaper column.  We're assuring patrons that we haven't purged Dr. Seuss, that most titles remain available as always, but that our copies of the suddenly scarce titles (we have three of them) will now be limited to in-library use only.  Some of the titles are among Dr. Seuss' more obscure works--but they include To Think That I Saw it On Mulberry Street, which ranks right up there with The Cat in the Hat.  I'm just glad I got a personal copy of a childhood favorite, Scrambled Eggs Super a few years ago when I happened across one.  No way I'd be able to afford one now!

A couple of years ago the American Library Association "cancelled" Laura Ingalls Wilder by removing her name from one of its leading awards.  J.K. Rowling, who for years had been an absolute darling of the "right on" crowd after misguided people challenged her Harry Potter books, has been cancelled.  Now part of the Dr. Seuss corpus (And the man was a flaming lefty in his own lifetime, too!).  Where is it going to end?

A simple decision by a publisher to discontinue a few titles shouldn't be this fraught, or lead to such an instant media and social media circus.  Or create new problems for librarians just trying to do their jobs.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 12, 2021, 10:00:07 AM
Over the years, our public library has periodically had a display about books which were historically banned, making the point that book-banning (or burning) is, in hindsight, a really bad thing. It's sad to see those same organizations now seriously contemplating removing "inappropriate" books.

Of course, many of the historical bannings have been from conservatives, and probably most librarians have seen themselves as liberal. Now that the pressure to ban is from the left, the librarians are much less willing to stand on principle.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 12, 2021, 10:07:39 AM
If J.K. Rowling has been cancelled, then how come I keep hearing about her? (And from her.) She's one of the least cancelled people I can think of, precisely because she has access to a huge megaphone. She's especially privileged, in that context, because she gets to talk despite the fact that she's extremely ignorant about the subject she wants to talk about.

I mean, look. I grew up on Astérix and Tintin, and I absolutely love them, and look forward to introducing my hatchling to them when the time comes. But there's no question that there's a hefty dose of racism in there (I think it's worse in Tintin, actually, because Astérix is about national stereotypes, although I have to say that the people who've continued the series after Uderzo and Goscinny just don't get that, and have introduced some staggeringly racist material.). When we get there, we're going to have some conversations about it. Ditto Harry Potter.

But the hatchling will be allowed to read them and enjoy them. Just like we can read and enjoy things produced by bad people, or for dubious ends. It's just that we shouldn't stop up our ears and ignore these artists' moral failings. Sometimes (but not always), those moral failings are reflected in their works, or cause you to reinterpret those works. That's OK. That's why I don't read Stephen King any more: I don't trust him, and the fact that he doesn't have my trust (qua author or implied narrator) undermines my ability to enjoy his works as an adult, because those works so often deal with the very subjects on which I don't trust him.


The Geisel estate's decision is no big deal, and it's one they're totally free to make. They get to decide what they want his legacy to look like, and what they want to be associated with. Publishers make these decisions all the time. This isn't a 'cancellation'. And it seems to me that everyone who's in such a rush to stockpile these titles should reflect on their motives for doing so. I was never into Dr. Seuss, so I don't really need to do any rethinking, just like I never liked Woody Allen's movies, so I don't need to think about my relation to those, either. I have other, better things to think about, things dearer to my heart, like Astérix and Tintin.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 12, 2021, 10:11:02 AM
Over the years, our public library has periodically had a display about books which were historically banned, making the point that book-banning (or burning) is, in hindsight, a really bad thing. It's sad to see those same organizations now seriously contemplating removing "inappropriate" books.


You might be surprised to learn about library collection 'weeding' practices...
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 12, 2021, 10:18:26 AM
Over the years, our public library has periodically had a display about books which were historically banned, making the point that book-banning (or burning) is, in hindsight, a really bad thing. It's sad to see those same organizations now seriously contemplating removing "inappropriate" books.


You might be surprised to learn about library collection 'weeding' practices...

I think Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility" is stupid and racist, but I would never tell the library they shouldn't have it. I don't think it needs some kind of warning label; posterity will determine its fate.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 12, 2021, 10:27:06 AM
Over the years, our public library has periodically had a display about books which were historically banned, making the point that book-banning (or burning) is, in hindsight, a really bad thing. It's sad to see those same organizations now seriously contemplating removing "inappropriate" books.


You might be surprised to learn about library collection 'weeding' practices...

I think Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility" is stupid and racist, but I would never tell the library they shouldn't have it. I don't think it needs some kind of warning label; posterity will determine its fate.

But when posterity decides that it doesn't think it should keep White Fragility in print--or in the local library collection, where nobody has signed it out in years--that's a cancellation, right?

If it isn't, then how is this any different?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 12, 2021, 10:38:24 AM
Over the years, our public library has periodically had a display about books which were historically banned, making the point that book-banning (or burning) is, in hindsight, a really bad thing. It's sad to see those same organizations now seriously contemplating removing "inappropriate" books.


You might be surprised to learn about library collection 'weeding' practices...

I think Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility" is stupid and racist, but I would never tell the library they shouldn't have it. I don't think it needs some kind of warning label; posterity will determine its fate.

But when posterity decides that it doesn't think it should keep White Fragility in print--or in the local library collection, where nobody has signed it out in years--that's a cancellation, right?

If it isn't, then how is this any different?

If the criteria for removing books is based on things other than content; how long since it's been signed out, the physical shape the book is in, etc., then I have no problem with that. Just like I'm not too picky about how books are chosen to be added to the collection, especially if it's pretty much that books with enough requests get added. And any book that gets dropped doesn't automatically need to be replaced; if no-one has signed it out in a decade there's no need to have it. Having any sort of gatekeeping individual or committee who decides what people ought to be able to read is the scary idea.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Langue_doc on March 12, 2021, 10:50:31 AM
The New York Public Library is keeping its collection of Dr. Seuss books and will continue to lend them out. Yay!
https://www.foxnews.com/us/new-york-public-library-dr-seuss-books
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 12, 2021, 11:03:21 AM
Basically there's just a banned Dr. Seuss books bubble, right? I can't imagine these books are actually rare. They've been in print for decades without interruption and there must be tens of thousands of copies out there. I'm sure three weeks ago you could have gotten a used copy for 5 bucks on Amazon. Obviously, some of the increased demand for used copies is real, probably mostly driven by people who want copies to make an ideological point, but I'm sure there are plenty of copies out there to meet that demand. Actually, copies don't really appear to be scarce at all, just absurdly expensive.

I can't imagine there are many people out there who are going to buy some 90s printing of a Dr. Seuss book for 200 dollars just so they can express their feelings about cancel culture. To the extent that anybody is buying these things, it is presumably in the belief that they are going to go up even more in value. The problem is that there are lots of copies sitting around in boxes in people's basements and some of those people are going to hear they might be valuable, dig them up and try to sell them and the whole thing is going to crash very quickly.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Hegemony on March 12, 2021, 11:16:14 AM
If the Seuss foundation had just quietly stopped publishing them, I doubt there would have been any outcry.

The depiction in If I Ran The Zoo is indeed problematic. I think stopping publishing a book because of the line "A Chinese man who eats with sticks" (and who, if I remember correctly is wearing one of those pointed hats) is overdoing it. But whatever. Both sides have been so riled up for so long now that it's just like poking a hornet's nest to do anything in one direction or the other.

As for J. K. Rowling, the massive vitriol directed at her is indeed a change. Any time someone on the left mentions her, there is an obligatory preface of "I used to like her, before I understood that she is a monster."
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on March 12, 2021, 11:18:09 AM
No worries. Should be available as samizdat in due course.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 12, 2021, 11:38:15 AM
I

I mean, look. I grew up on Astérix and Tintin, and I absolutely love them, and look forward to introducing my hatchling to them when the time comes. But there's no question that there's a hefty dose of racism in there (I think it's worse in Tintin,




I loved Tintin too and still have all my books. But man, they are really, really racist. And, of course, Herge was a fascist. There's a decent amount of anti-semitism miked in to Tintin as well. I wouldn't keep my kid from reading it when he gets older, but I'm not sure I'd introduce him to it. This stuff is weird, because, on one hand, I read Tintin as a kid and understood that the depictions of subservient, simple black people with giant lips and tomahawk wielding native Americans were messed up, but still enjoyed it. But I dunno. There are plenty of great graphic novels that aren't just filled with blatant racist and anti-semitic tropes and images.

I have mixed feelings. In a way, I wonder if it was useful for me as a kid to read something that I enjoyed, but contained scenes that I knew were really messed up, and reflected ideas I found repulsive.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 12, 2021, 11:44:34 AM
If the Seuss foundation had just quietly stopped publishing them, I doubt there would have been any outcry.

Not likely. But that's the double-edged sword of virtue-signalling. If you want to be recognized for rightthink, you also set yourself up to be recognized for pandering. If you simply want to do what you think is right but don't try to get publicity for it, then you aren't likely to get publicly criticized for it either.

I mean, look. I grew up on Astérix and Tintin, and I absolutely love them, and look forward to introducing my hatchling to them when the time comes. But there's no question that there's a hefty dose of racism in there (I think it's worse in Tintin,

I loved Tintin too and still have all my books. But man, they are really, really racist.

And apparently, that didn't turn either of you into flaming racists. How amazing to think that people can see inappropriate ideas and behaviour and not automatically emulate them!!!!
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 12, 2021, 11:55:41 AM

I loved Tintin too and still have all my books. But man, they are really, really racist. And, of course, Herge was a fascist. There's a decent amount of anti-semitism miked in to Tintin as well. I wouldn't keep my kid from reading it when he gets older, but I'm not sure I'd introduce him to it. This stuff is weird, because, on one hand, I read Tintin as a kid and understood that the depictions of subservient, simple black people with giant lips and tomahawk wielding native Americans were messed up, but still enjoyed it. But I dunno. There are plenty of great graphic novels that aren't just filled with blatant racist and anti-semitic tropes and images.

I have mixed feelings. In a way, I wonder if it was useful for me as a kid to read something that I enjoyed, but contained scenes that I knew were really messed up, and reflected ideas I found repulsive.

I've revisited Astérix recently, but not Tintin. That's a good reminder that I should probably have another look.



And apparently, that didn't turn either of you into flaming racists. How amazing to think that people can see inappropriate ideas and behaviour and not automatically emulate them!!!!

Straight to the heart of the periphery.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 12, 2021, 11:56:39 AM


As for J. K. Rowling, the massive vitriol directed at her is indeed a change. Any time someone on the left mentions her, there is an obligatory preface of "I used to like her, before I understood that she is a monster."

I don't think she's been the victim of some sort of massive injustice. She's a wealthy, powerful person who wrote some stupid and harmful things on Twitter. I don't really agree that it makes it some moral imperative to boycott Harry Potter or anything.

That said, sometimes knowing too much about someone can make it hard to enjoy their work. I find Mel Gibson so detestable that I don't really want to watch movies he's in. I'm not taking a moral stand, I just can't really get into a movie when he's in it because I dislike him so much.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Liquidambar on March 12, 2021, 01:43:31 PM
The depiction in If I Ran The Zoo is indeed problematic.

Yes, but IIRC it's only portions of 1-2 pictures out of the entire book.  I don't recall the words being problematic.  I'm perplexed why they didn't just start selling a revised version with the problematic pieces of those couple pictures cropped out.

Correspondingly, I used to have an old cassette with the soundtrack to the animated Aladdin movie.  The soundtrack they sell now has one problematic line from the first song updated.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 12, 2021, 02:34:55 PM
Over the years, our public library has periodically had a display about books which were historically banned, making the point that book-banning (or burning) is, in hindsight, a really bad thing. It's sad to see those same organizations now seriously contemplating removing "inappropriate" books.


You might be surprised to learn about library collection 'weeding' practices...

I think Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility" is stupid and racist, but I would never tell the library they shouldn't have it. I don't think it needs some kind of warning label; posterity will determine its fate.

If I owned a bookstore I would stock Robin d'angels's books but I would display them in the horror section.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 12, 2021, 04:24:55 PM
The depiction in If I Ran The Zoo is indeed problematic.

Yes, but IIRC it's only portions of 1-2 pictures out of the entire book.  I don't recall the words being problematic.  I'm perplexed why they didn't just start selling a revised version with the problematic pieces of those couple pictures cropped out.

Correspondingly, I used to have an old cassette with the soundtrack to the animated Aladdin movie.  The soundtrack they sell now has one problematic line from the first song updated.

That's certainly a possibility. I imagine that the book wasn't really selling well enough on its own to justify the effort
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on March 12, 2021, 04:40:24 PM
Yes, it's best to take a picture or two, or a page or two, out of such books, and replace them. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia was updated in that fashion from time to time.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 12, 2021, 04:51:52 PM
Yes, it's best to take a picture or two, or a page or two, out of such books, and replace them. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia was updated in that fashion from time to time.

I think that was Winston's job in the Ministry of Truth.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 12, 2021, 05:07:32 PM
Yes, it's best to take a picture or two, or a page or two, out of such books, and replace them. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia was updated in that fashion from time to time.

I mean that's sort of how all encyclopedias work...

In general this discussion is so strange. You guys know these are books for kindergarters right? There's a bit of a different standard in terms of troubling content than if we were talking about The Great Gatsby.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on March 12, 2021, 05:15:41 PM
Yes, it's best to take a picture or two, or a page or two, out of such books, and replace them. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia was updated in that fashion from time to time.

I mean that's sort of how all encyclopedias work...

In general this discussion is so strange. You guys know these are books for kindergarters right? There's a bit of a different standard in terms of troubling content than if we were talking about The Great Gatsby.

Depends what's on the page!

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 12, 2021, 05:42:15 PM
I mean, look. I grew up on Astérix and Tintin, and I absolutely love them, and look forward to introducing my hatchling to them when the time comes. But there's no question that there's a hefty dose of racism in there (I think it's worse in Tintin,

I loved Tintin too and still have all my books. But man, they are really, really racist. And, of course, Herge was a fascist. There's a decent amount of anti-semitism miked in to Tintin as well. I wouldn't keep my kid from reading it when he gets older, but I'm not sure I'd introduce him to it. This stuff is weird, because, on one hand, I read Tintin as a kid and understood that the depictions of subservient, simple black people with giant lips and tomahawk wielding native Americans were messed up, but still enjoyed it. But I dunno. There are plenty of great graphic novels that aren't just filled with blatant racist and anti-semitic tropes and images.

I just had this brief debate on another forum with a person who refused to believe that Seuss was racist.  Before that I argued with someone on this same forum who argued that because slavery was a historical reality, Gone With the Wind was not a racist movie.

The thing is, the Western World in general was very racist, and our pop-culture reflects this.  We will always find racism and sexism and Orientalism of all kinds if we look back.  We will find racism over and over and over.  People, including writers and artists and filmmakers, simply embraced racism in their works.

The question is whether we can conquer our own time's racism by pointing out what we already know over and over again.

Anybody remember the "‘Mary Poppins,’ and a Nanny’s Shameful Flirting With Blackface" (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/movies/mary-poppins-returns-blackface.html)?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on March 12, 2021, 05:48:44 PM
Quote
The thing is, the Western World in general was very racist ... .

The West ended slavery, at great expense to many of its members.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 12, 2021, 06:46:20 PM
Quote
The thing is, the Western World in general was very racist ... .

The West ended slavery, at great expense to many of its members.

Is this one of those cars that derails the train?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: hmaria1609 on March 12, 2021, 06:58:36 PM
During one of my annual spring conferences attendance at Pratt Library in Baltimore City, one of the library staff mentioned To Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street since the original central library was built facing Mulberry St. When I think of this book that I read as a kid, this little tidbit comes to mind!
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 13, 2021, 04:17:05 AM
Quote
The thing is, the Western World in general was very racist ... .

The West ended slavery, at great expense to many of its members.

Well, yes, the west ended slavery within its borders but has no control over what goes on in Pakistan or West Africa.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 13, 2021, 04:21:43 AM
Quote
The thing is, the Western World in general was very racist ... .

The West ended slavery, at great expense to many of its members.

Is this one of those cars that derails the train?

Before technology made it possible to bring large numbers of people to another continent, most of those enslaved looked just about like their masters. Racism was cultivated to justify enslaving people because of their race, and not merely because you can through force. For the vast majority of our history slavery was accepted as part of life.

random thought: In let's say the year 1800 the majority (white) did not believe racism was a sin, an idea that today most find ignorant and misguided. What are we doing or thinking today, en masse, that is ignorant and misguided, that will reveal itself in thirty, fifty, 150 years?

Quote
If the Seuss foundation had just quietly stopped publishing them, I doubt there would have been any outcry.

Right, they don't have to give a reason but the elect (John McWhorters' term) is just getting started with its overhaul of our entertainment and teaching culture. Perhaps by announcing the reason the publisher hopes to be looked upon more favorably as we go along. Selling books being a very competitive business. The outcry is more than offset by the desired placating of the activists. During my lifetime there has been tremendous power in an accusation of racism,  but the current phase is there is that same power in the accusation of neutrality over racism.

on edit: Wahoo, you introduced slavery to the thread. I wouldn't go accusing others of derailing just because you have prompted them to share their own thoughts.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 13, 2021, 06:16:15 AM
Yes, it's best to take a picture or two, or a page or two, out of such books, and replace them. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia was updated in that fashion from time to time.

I mean that's sort of how all encyclopedias work...

In general this discussion is so strange. You guys know these are books for kindergarters right? There's a bit of a different standard in terms of troubling content than if we were talking about The Great Gatsby.

If a children's book had one page that described Canadians as people who play hockey and eat poutine, I wouldn't have a case of the vapours and demand its banning, even though I don't do either of those things. Many people in Canada do one or both of those things, and I don't for one microsecond believe that a kid reading that book is going to have a psychic break if they visit Canada and fail to find anyone doing either of those things.

Kindergartner's books often contain magic, talking animals, and so on. Is that "troubling content"?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 13, 2021, 06:32:54 AM
Quote
The thing is, the Western World in general was very racist ... .

The West ended slavery, at great expense to many of its members.

This is one of those things people say, which, if you know anything about the history, is just totally meaningless. It is basically akin to saying that the Irish saved civilization, or Jews created the polio vaccine, although it actually has less specificity than those incredibly broad and silly claims.

Who the heck is "the west." It like a club of white leaders who you imagine met in 1830 and decided to end slavery? Because thats....not what happened. Also does "the west" include people of African descent, because they were really crucial in movements to end slavery. And where are we taking about here? Haiti, where slavery was destroyed by a massive slave revolt? The British Empire? The United States where slavery ended during a Civil War where enslaved people basically revolted against the confederacy and played a crucial part in its destruction. Just a silly statement.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 13, 2021, 06:51:11 AM
Yes, it's best to take a picture or two, or a page or two, out of such books, and replace them. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia was updated in that fashion from time to time.

I mean that's sort of how all encyclopedias work...

In general this discussion is so strange. You guys know these are books for kindergarters right? There's a bit of a different standard in terms of troubling content than if we were talking about The Great Gatsby.

If a children's book had one page that described Canadians as people who play hockey and eat poutine, I wouldn't have a case of the vapours and demand its banning, even though I don't do either of those things. Many people in Canada do one or both of those things, and I don't for one microsecond believe that a kid reading that book is going to have a psychic break if they visit Canada and fail to find anyone doing either of those things.

Kindergartner's books often contain magic, talking animals, and so on. Is that "troubling content"?

Is it really necessary for us to explain that stereotypes come in different shapes and the larger context around them matters? I'm Jewish. One stereotype of Jews is that we are all highly educated and work as doctors, lawyers and academics. If a children's book has one jewish character and he's a doctor, I might roll my eyes a bit. Couldn't the Jewish character be something else? But, well, I do know a lot of Jewish doctors, and I'm a Jewish academic, and if the character is a kindly doctor who helps people...there are worse stereotypes...

On the other hand if the Jewish doctor is only in it for the money and cheats all the other characters..can you see the difference? Playing hockey on ponds in the winter isn't generally associated with anything particularly negative. Nobody justified murders of Canadians on the basis that they played hockey on the backs of hard working Americans.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 13, 2021, 07:07:04 AM
Quote
This is one of those things people say, which, if you know anything about the history, is just totally meaningless. It is basically akin to saying that the Irish saved civilization, or Jews created the polio vaccine, although it actually has less specificity than those incredibly broad and silly claims.

Who the heck is "the west." It like a club of white leaders who you imagine met in 1830 and decided to end slavery? Because thats....not what happened. Also does "the west" include people of African descent, because they were really crucial in movements to end slavery. And where are we taking about here? Haiti, where slavery was destroyed by a massive slave revolt? The British Empire? The United States where slavery ended during a Civil War where enslaved people basically revolted against the confederacy and played a crucial part in its destruction. Just a silly statement.

May I quote you?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: apl68 on March 13, 2021, 07:08:25 AM
During one of my annual spring conferences attendance at Pratt Library in Baltimore City, one of the library staff mentioned To Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street since the original central library was built facing Mulberry St. When I think of this book that I read as a kid, this little tidbit comes to mind!

I've thought the same thing when I've seen an actual Mulberry Street.  I wonder how many real-life Mulberry Streets there are?  It's a fairly common name.  We don't have one in our town, but there is one in the county seat less than half an hour from here.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: apl68 on March 13, 2021, 07:24:09 AM
Over the years, our public library has periodically had a display about books which were historically banned, making the point that book-banning (or burning) is, in hindsight, a really bad thing. It's sad to see those same organizations now seriously contemplating removing "inappropriate" books.


You might be surprised to learn about library collection 'weeding' practices...

Just an ordinary part of doing business.  If it's not a research or archival library then it's understood that most books that come in will sooner or later outlive their usefulness and have to be removed to make way for new ones.  I prefer the analogy of "pruning" to that of "weeding."  The books removed aren't unwanted intruders in the garden.  They're no longer useful dead wood that needs to be removed for the sake of keeping the whole healthy.

Marshwiggle, there is not, to my knowledge, any movement in the library world at this time to ban certain items that are no longer welcome.  I strongly suspect that much of the ALA's leadership would dearly love to sweep away all sorts of material that they don't like.  They give the impression of being an extremely "woke" bunch of people, which is why some of us librarians out in the provinces prefer to confine our professional activity to our state organizations--we don't feel welcome at ALA.  But thus far their commitment to intellectual freedom remains firm enough and consistent enough that they don't try it.

Every librarian has had the experience of buying, cataloging, checking out, or otherwise handling items that he or she feels very strongly against.  I have books that I'd honestly rather not have in the collection cross my desk all the time on the way out to the public.  I've also often refrained from purchasing items for the collection that I'd like to have, but that I know would be unlikely to see much use by our public (The collection development budget isn't there for my personal use).  It's all a part of the job.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 13, 2021, 07:44:16 AM

Marshwiggle, there is not, to my knowledge, any movement in the library world at this time to ban certain items that are no longer welcome.  I strongly suspect that much of the ALA's leadership would dearly love to sweep away all sorts of material that they don't like.  They give the impression of being an extremely "woke" bunch of people, which is why some of us librarians out in the provinces prefer to confine our professional activity to our state organizations--we don't feel welcome at ALA.  But thus far their commitment to intellectual freedom remains firm enough and consistent enough that they don't try it.

Every librarian has had the experience of buying, cataloging, checking out, or otherwise handling items that he or she feels very strongly against.  I have books that I'd honestly rather not have in the collection cross my desk all the time on the way out to the public.  I've also often refrained from purchasing items for the collection that I'd like to have, but that I know would be unlikely to see much use by our public (The collection development budget isn't there for my personal use).  It's all a part of the job.

You have the attitude that I admire in librarians. I'm glad that you sense the comittment to intellectual freedom is still solid, since you'll obviously have a much more informed opinion than what may appear in the media. And of course, one of the reasons not to ban "offensive" material is that the ban generates more interest in it. As the legalization of cannabis has shown, making something accessible is actually a good way to make it less desirable.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: apl68 on March 13, 2021, 07:47:43 AM
Basically there's just a banned Dr. Seuss books bubble, right? I can't imagine these books are actually rare. They've been in print for decades without interruption and there must be tens of thousands of copies out there. I'm sure three weeks ago you could have gotten a used copy for 5 bucks on Amazon. Obviously, some of the increased demand for used copies is real, probably mostly driven by people who want copies to make an ideological point, but I'm sure there are plenty of copies out there to meet that demand. Actually, copies don't really appear to be scarce at all, just absurdly expensive.

I can't imagine there are many people out there who are going to buy some 90s printing of a Dr. Seuss book for 200 dollars just so they can express their feelings about cancel culture. To the extent that anybody is buying these things, it is presumably in the belief that they are going to go up even more in value. The problem is that there are lots of copies sitting around in boxes in people's basements and some of those people are going to hear they might be valuable, dig them up and try to sell them and the whole thing is going to crash very quickly.

That's probably true.  If that happens, then libraries that have pulled their copies from circulation will probably feel safe letting them go back to being normal library books. 

So, no harm done in the long run?  Probably.  In the near term, though, the hysteria and speculation that today's viral media are so effective at making more extreme than ever are creating a good deal of disruption.  And needless hurt feelings and antagonism, which will linger as part of the growing mass of such junk that pervades our society now.  A lot of people are coming out of this thing looking awfully foolish, and refusing to see or admit how foolish they've made themselves look.  Given the volatility of the cultural environment, it probably would have been best if the copyright holder had just quietly ceased production, instead of trying to use it as an opportunity for virtue signalling. 

Incidentally, we've pulled (for now) our copy of If I Ran the Circus, on the concern that it could easily be confused with the discontinued If I Ran the Zoo.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: fishbrains on March 13, 2021, 11:47:32 AM

Kindergartner's books often contain magic, talking animals, and so on. Is that "troubling content"?

Hmmm . . . I'm pretty sure I can trace a direct line from my childrens' depravity now as adults back to their watching the Muppets. Frogs kissing pigs, Gonzo f*cking chickens, that pervert Elmo wanting to be "tickled" all the time. How else did I expect them to turn out?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on March 13, 2021, 04:37:24 PM

Kindergartner's books often contain magic, talking animals, and so on. Is that "troubling content"?

Hmmm . . . I'm pretty sure I can trace a direct line from my childrens' depravity now as adults back to their watching the Muppets. Frogs kissing pigs, Gonzo f*cking chickens, that pervert Elmo wanting to be "tickled" all the time. How else did I expect them to turn out?

Muppets, schmuppets.  I am sure I can trace my now grown child's intelligence and sanity to my prompt railing against Captain Planet, who was and remains a fool. :-)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 13, 2021, 05:26:40 PM

Kindergartner's books often contain magic, talking animals, and so on. Is that "troubling content"?

Hmmm . . . I'm pretty sure I can trace a direct line from my childrens' depravity now as adults back to their watching the Muppets. Frogs kissing pigs, Gonzo f*cking chickens, that pervert Elmo wanting to be "tickled" all the time. How else did I expect them to turn out?

Muppets, schmuppets.  I am sure I can trace my now grown child's intelligence and sanity to my prompt railing against Captain Planet, who was and remains a fool. :-)

I was ruined by the Bugaloos. 
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: larryc on March 13, 2021, 07:19:55 PM
No one has been canceled--or at least not Dr. Seuss or Rowling.

Be smarter.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 14, 2021, 07:13:18 AM
I was gonna say, wisecracking, keep him around. If the left cancels everybody who might offend members of disenfranchised groups, they might run out of moves. They're not gonna win elections because people love teacher's unions. But TBT, the left knows the same thing as everyone else. Geisel was a treasure, whether with rhymes, themes or cartoons. If you have  minute, take a look at this link. These people might be wonderful, but we'd be amazed if any of the ten is another Geisel.
His gift, in my opinion, was he was never maudlin or preachy and he didn't talk down to you. He conveyed right-thinking stuff while making you laugh and drawing you into the characters. the moral lesson was there but it wasn't the whole show.
https://books.childrensbookassociation.com/top-10-psychologist-recommended-menu-03-10-21-cs?utm_source=CS&utm_campaign=%5BON%5D%2003.03.21%20-%20CS%20-%20Top%2010%20-%20Mental%20Health%20Interests&utm_medium=facebook&s1=CS&s3=%5BON%5D%2003.03.21%20-%20CS%20-%20Top%2010%20-%20Mental%20Health%20Interests&s4=facebook&cep=mxiAg_B_ix5pMYKs0iMMK3qmzJLRKF5AbhKwJRkBp-QtbFcsOR0G5vQuziOCVckcPlpNEonPoaT75tRh7Vmv5r0nXu_MF_91mb-_YKL8FA96dbXGndaiE439y2tDVXRAYBmONHaEN-btDL6bGgnGetq72-tYpC0p7f04azd-DLge7kYF8KyGMgR-Zvc7gBuRPGFoa0Ex0a9SKC-hBYb3FSXghS90MG2pr5Uz4MkxWSqgcZsIisqmR0FSlejDopznPw60WgCqzBhtJeLWne7JDFyj0yyhDDWXAg1gJ-om4AD0wH_X7N0adReLt9Wqm3-Cst8RPhSK3kXAqUYH2xuj1XjFE4XUkuEDDcI0bspZ-lmUqJ6Qq4UNuTUBc3Bz8XJU3m6YKCpgUv6ZmedDYvtZpX3OqYxDK_4CW7lbVID-6rlYfsUTkfZqDEKqYQXaSrTKfHAVslcG7Rw_sKboCl8Fx57nDzVf5hAZ8u9XtV9aYz_-IDl46pKqud3DUA8PuTXS&lptoken=163d1506733d26a40043&fbclid=IwAR0X_IOKhIZ3xezVOBpa7kmwHO3tPx1GqODipo4ih6x0I29dAFJgoOMP9Xc

Bill Maher:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DH4v6FnbvM
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on March 14, 2021, 09:37:58 AM
In this case there has not been any "cancelling" by the left, but rather a business decision by the estate to discontinue production of the books. This will probably be great for their brand in the long run: Conservatives are buying Dr. Seuss books in protest (apparently not understanding that this will enrich the publisher that cancelled their beloved racist children's books) and the publisher gets woke points for being so forward thinking. And in two weeks we'll be on to some other phony controversy and nobody will care about this.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 14, 2021, 12:01:28 PM
The left wants the controversy, but when it's not going over and instead backfiring they try to reel it in, i.e. 'you guys are making a big deal over nothing.'

This is mainstream higher education humanities professor, San Francisco, CNN, Cambridge thinking (with thanks to Wahoo redux):

'I just had this brief debate on another forum with a person who refused to believe that Seuss was racist.  Before that I argued with someone on this same forum who argued that because slavery was a historical reality, Gone With the Wind was not a racist movie.

The thing is, the Western World in general was very racist, and our pop-culture reflects this.  We will always find racism and sexism and Orientalism of all kinds if we look back.  We will find racism over and over and over.  People, including writers and artists and filmmakers, simply embraced racism in their works.

The question is whether we can conquer our own time's racism by pointing out what we already know over and over again.

Anybody remember the "‘Mary Poppins,’ and a Nanny’s Shameful Flirting With Blackface"?'



Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on March 14, 2021, 12:46:25 PM
Quote
In this case there has not been any "cancelling" by the left, but rather a business decision by the estate to discontinue production of the books.

And this business decision was wise because?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: ciao_yall on March 14, 2021, 01:09:05 PM
When I saw the images I thought they probably weren't meant to be offensive at the time. At the time, similar images were seen in National Geographic, neighborhoods filled with new immigrants, photos from people who had travelled in cultures that had not been as globalized/Westernized as they have been today.

Mr. Geisel and his publishers, likely all educated white people, probably saw the world through this lens. Do these images reduce people to "other" characteristics? Yes, they do. At best, these images seem dated and condescending by people who assumed their culture was the best, the ideal, that others were striving to achieve.

Had someone Black, Asian or otherwise pointed out at the time that these images somehow stereotyping or objectifying, one can imagine the puzzled look on the faces of Geisel and his league. "But that's what they look like, isn't it?"
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on March 14, 2021, 02:06:46 PM
Quote
In this case there has not been any "cancelling" by the left, but rather a business decision by the estate to discontinue production of the books.

And this business decision was wise because?

Because most consumers don't like racism
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on March 14, 2021, 02:22:27 PM
Quote
In this case there has not been any "cancelling" by the left, but rather a business decision by the estate to discontinue production of the books.

And this business decision was wise because?

Because most consumers don't like racism

Nah, no mention of consumers or declining sales. Rather, a response to invited experts' opinions in the form of a virtue signal. Wise business decision to prevent potential future attacks.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 14, 2021, 06:44:31 PM
Mr. Geisel and his publishers, likely all educated white people, probably saw the world through this lens.

Had someone Black, Asian or otherwise pointed out at the time that these images somehow stereotyping or objectifying, one can imagine the puzzled look on the faces of Geisel and his league. "But that's what they look like, isn't it?"

Dahl's original "Oompa Loompas" were an imaginary African tribe he made up. 

As a kid my family would take me to "Sambo's Restaurant," and I remember that I had the "Little Black Sambo" book in my bedroom when I was a child.

The Lone Ranger's kemosabe "Tonto" has a name derived from the Spanish slang for "fool" or "stupid" (but at least the original TV show hired a Native American actor and not Johnny Depp).

I'll say it again, our pop-culture used to reflect our "Western" (N.America, Brit Isles, and European imperialist) cultures' implicit racism.

We should know that this was simply the way we did things for many generations, but somehow we don't, and we seem to want to correct these outrages now.     
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on March 14, 2021, 06:53:29 PM
Quote
The Lone Ranger's kemosabe "Tonto" has a name derived from the Spanish slang for "fool" or "stupid" ... .

And from Western Apache kounʼnde (“wild rough people”).
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 14, 2021, 07:32:48 PM
Quote
We should know that this was simply the way we did things for many generations, but somehow we don't, and we seem to want to correct these outrages now.   

For example, by having the First Lady Michelle Obama declare that Beyonce, who sells pornography to the nation's children, is a role model for girls, because she's a successful black woman? Is this some kind of reparations gesture, or is Obama really that dishonest and shallow? Whatever the reason, it's gross, and the left and democrats think it's just dandy.

Thing is (1) we're in a culture war, (2) bigotry is far from the only ugly, mean or hurtful thing, and probably not the worst thing, that people do to each other, and (3) consequently fixating inordinately on theories and realities of oppression means some of the worst people will use the opportunity to aggrandize themselves. For example the professor who went ballistic when someone asked for the Women's Lingerie Floor on the elevator. And it's a mania.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/05/07/when-one-scholar’s-lame-joke-another’s-offensive-comment
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 14, 2021, 07:35:37 PM
Quote
The Lone Ranger's kemosabe "Tonto" has a name derived from the Spanish slang for "fool" or "stupid" ... .

And from Western Apache kounʼnde (“wild rough people”).

The word in Spanish is pretty specific.

My father, who came of-age in the Eisenhower era, was a very good man.  He was very intellectual.  He was also a former Army special forces officer pre-Vietnam War, and he had a very particular reaction to any criticism of American culture that was pre-Rock'n'Roll, which he hated, or tied to the military, the government, or Americana.  He was a very proud veteran and government worker who could be driven close to rage by criticisms such as those in this thread.  He once admitted to me that he saw those John Wayne films and wanted to become a war hero.  Whenever race or sexism came up his mouth went tight as a trap and I could see the steam building between his ears.

I never understood this reaction because he was very quick to denounce Southern racism or Jim Crow and considered the antebellum slave owners to be, in his own words, "the scum of the earth"...but he would get very angry if one tried to tie any of these historical facts to the United States of America.

It was a bit like the reaction of fervent religious people to criticism of their canonical beliefs.

My dad only started to question his double-think after his beloved little brother, who was a Vietnam vet, began displaying severe repressed PTSD in his 50s and 60s, and after my dad and I had had a number of superheated cultural debates, sometimes about Rock'n'Roll.

I imagine all cultures have people who feel the need to contradict anything, particularly overt evidence, that is damaging or embarrassing to the groupthink, but I don't understand it.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on March 14, 2021, 09:31:14 PM
Quote
In this case there has not been any "cancelling" by the left, but rather a business decision by the estate to discontinue production of the books.

And this business decision was wise because?

Because most consumers don't like racism

Nah, no mention of consumers or declining sales. Rather, a response to invited experts' opinions in the form of a virtue signal. Wise business decision to prevent potential future attacks.

Got it, so they cancelled themselves.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 15, 2021, 04:30:45 AM
Quote
In this case there has not been any "cancelling" by the left, but rather a business decision by the estate to discontinue production of the books.

And this business decision was wise because?

Because most consumers don't like racism

Nah, no mention of consumers or declining sales. Rather, a response to invited experts' opinions in the form of a virtue signal. Wise business decision to prevent potential future attacks.

Got it, so they cancelled themselves.

In addition to agreeing with dismalist's assessment (which I actually posted first, upthread), I'll add: it's a purging of white guilt ritual that pretty much always gets you a little bump in your bank account of bigotry-free status. Sort of like showing you've been tested for COVID before going to work. This happens regularly and is done by almost all American businesses and public figures, irrespective of whether the thing that's getting canceled has been shown to have any detrimental effect on anyone.

Re: John Wayne. We can have a field day with him over considerations for cancelling. In his day everybody smoked cigarettes in the movies. The Marlboro Man was  a Wayne knockoff. Wayne of course smoked a lot in real life and ended up with one lung. Should we cancel all the chain smokers or even just the ones who paid dearly for it: Humphrey Bogart, Nat King Cole, Arthur Godfrey, Leonard Bernstein, Johnny Carson? Or could it be that children today can watch old movies and television and simply process the experience as 'that's how we lived back then, long ago. And now things have changed.' Again, bigotry is not the only harmful thing people do and not the only thing that might influence kids in ways we don't want.

Quote
The depiction in If I Ran The Zoo is indeed problematic.

Yes, but IIRC it's only portions of 1-2 pictures out of the entire book.  I don't recall the words being problematic.
Quote
I'm perplexed why they didn't just start selling a revised version with the problematic pieces of those couple pictures cropped out.

Correspondingly, I used to have an old cassette with the soundtrack to the animated Aladdin movie.  The soundtrack they sell now has one problematic line from the first song updated.

Isn't that revisionist history? How would you feel if people did that to your work after you're dead?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 15, 2021, 05:32:39 AM
Quote
In this case there has not been any "cancelling" by the left, but rather a business decision by the estate to discontinue production of the books.

And this business decision was wise because?

Because most consumers don't like racism

Nah, no mention of consumers or declining sales. Rather, a response to invited experts' opinions in the form of a virtue signal. Wise business decision to prevent potential future attacks.

Got it, so they cancelled themselves.

How do you tell the difference between people doing this because they've actually changed their thinking and their actions are changing in consequence, versus people doing it for fear of social disapproval and/or punishment even though they have no particular change of heart?

And the history of totalitarian regimes everywhere include a big emphasis on the latter. Is the fact that it's technically "voluntary" enough to decide that it's no big deal?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 15, 2021, 07:31:59 AM
Quote
In this case there has not been any "cancelling" by the left, but rather a business decision by the estate to discontinue production of the books.

And this business decision was wise because?

Because most consumers don't like racism

Nah, no mention of consumers or declining sales. Rather, a response to invited experts' opinions in the form of a virtue signal. Wise business decision to prevent potential future attacks.

Got it, so they cancelled themselves.

How do you tell the difference between people doing this because they've actually changed their thinking and their actions are changing in consequence, versus people doing it for fear of social disapproval and/or punishment even though they have no particular change of heart?

And the history of totalitarian regimes everywhere include a big emphasis on the latter. Is the fact that it's technically "voluntary" enough to decide that it's no big deal?

It certainly makes the comparison to totalitarianism absurd.

Your basic argument seems to be that there's something new, alarming and worrying about people moderating their behavior and language based on how others are going to perceive it and the potential consequences of that perception. It's a bad faith argument. Nobody believes that. I could attach a giant swastika flag to my car if I wanted to. I'm guessing it would lead to a lot of social disapproval. The government couldn't punish me for it, but I'm betting if I took my Swastika flag car to school, I wouldn't have a job much longer.

Really, all of this is just a cover for people who are worried that their ideas are going to come to be seen as socially unacceptable. Its rather telling that rather than trying to defend those ideas or beliefs, all we get is a lot of whining about how terrible it is that someone could face social or professional consequences for saying things that others find repugnant.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 15, 2021, 07:50:39 AM
Its rather telling that rather than trying to defend those ideas or beliefs, all we get is a lot of whining about how terrible it is that someone could face social or professional consequences for saying things that others find repugnant.

I love your post, but...well...we have seen a rash of people whose careers actually are threatened by saying things like "all lives matter," which many find rightly offensive, I think, but is a topical political opinion nevertheless. 

We can't pretend there is not a PC mania out there that is ALSO dangerous.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 15, 2021, 08:06:13 AM
Really, all of this is just a cover for people who are worried that their ideas are going to come to be seen as socially unacceptable. Its rather telling that rather than trying to defend those ideas or beliefs, all we get is a lot of whining about how terrible it is that someone could face social or professional consequences for saying things that others find repugnant.

To a certain extent, that's correct. History has shown that ideas that are perfectly acceptable in one place and time may be completely beyond the pale in another.  It's a safe bet that everyone will at some point in their life hold some "socially unacceptable" belief in some context. A society that discourages hostility to people purely for the views they express, rather than for their actions, is a much better place to live than one where either the government or the mob can basically scare people into silence.

There was a column in the Globe and Mail on Saturday pointing out that many people seem more unwilling to forgive someone's inappropriate tweet than they would be to forgive previous criminal activity, including some violent crime. That is insane.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on March 15, 2021, 08:22:36 AM
Quote
In this case there has not been any "cancelling" by the left, but rather a business decision by the estate to discontinue production of the books.

And this business decision was wise because?

Because most consumers don't like racism

Nah, no mention of consumers or declining sales. Rather, a response to invited experts' opinions in the form of a virtue signal. Wise business decision to prevent potential future attacks.

Got it, so they cancelled themselves.

How do you tell the difference between people doing this because they've actually changed their thinking and their actions are changing in consequence, versus people doing it for fear of social disapproval and/or punishment even though they have no particular change of heart?

And the history of totalitarian regimes everywhere include a big emphasis on the latter. Is the fact that it's technically "voluntary" enough to decide that it's no big deal?

Totalitarianism? Lol. Get a grip man. We're talking about a publisher making a decision to stop printing new copies of racist books.

Look, the company chose to stop printing books that they decided are racially insensitive (with some advising from teachers - how scary!). They did that because they don't want to be seen as a racist company, because being seen as a racist company isn't good for sales. You can blame the left for creating an atmosphere where racism is frowned on (racism should be frowned on, of course), but none of that matters unless consumers are moved. The company thinks consumers will prefer to buy from a company that disavows racism, so they made the choice that reflects that.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 15, 2021, 08:43:57 AM


Totalitarianism? Lol. Get a grip man. We're talking about a publisher making a decision to stop printing new copies of racist books.

Look, the company chose to stop printing books that they decided are racially insensitive (with some advising from teachers - how scary!). They did that because they don't want to be seen as a racist company, because being seen as a racist company isn't good for sales. You can blame the left for creating an atmosphere where racism is frowned on (racism should be frowned on, of course), but none of that matters unless consumers are moved. The company thinks consumers will prefer to buy from a company that disavows racism, so they made the choice that reflects that.

So if a children's book in another country has a bit about Americans, and shows them in cowboy hats riding horses, is that racist? If it shows a French person wearing a beret and eating a baguette is that racist? If it shows a Pacific islander (from any number of small nations) in a fishing boat, is that racist? If shows a Canadian playing hockey, is that racist?

Is showing a woman in a dress sexist?  Is showing domestic assault as a man attacking a woman sexist?

At what point does showing an individual exhibiting some stereotypes of a particular group to which they belong count as some sort of bigotry? What kind of disclaimer would be needed to clarify that any specific individual from that group might not, in fact, exhibit any of those characteristics?


Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: ciao_yall on March 15, 2021, 08:55:55 AM

So if a children's book in another country has a bit about Americans, and shows them in cowboy hats riding horses, is that racist? If it shows a French person wearing a beret and eating a baguette is that racist? If it shows a Pacific islander (from any number of small nations) in a fishing boat, is that racist? If shows a Canadian playing hockey, is that racist?

Is showing a woman in a dress sexist?  Is showing domestic assault as a man attacking a woman sexist?

At what point does showing an individual exhibiting some stereotypes of a particular group to which they belong count as some sort of bigotry? What kind of disclaimer would be needed to clarify that any specific individual from that group might not, in fact, exhibit any of those characteristics?

When they come from a perceived place of superiority, condescending and mocking to the culture being represented.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 15, 2021, 09:11:15 AM


So if a children's book in another country has a bit about Americans, and shows them in cowboy hats riding horses, is that racist? If it shows a French person wearing a beret and eating a baguette is that racist? If it shows a Pacific islander (from any number of small nations) in a fishing boat, is that racist? If shows a Canadian playing hockey, is that racist?

Racism is prejudice or discrimination based on race. The examples you're asking about feature national stereotypes, but they don't yet show that those stereotypes are important building blocks in prejudicial or discriminatory practices. But even if they were, that wouldn't be racism, because 'American', 'French', and 'Canadian' are not races.

Can we stop pretending this is as hard as you like to pretend it is? It really isn't.

Quote
Is showing a woman in a dress sexist?  Is showing domestic assault as a man attacking a woman sexist?

Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on sex. These examples do not yet show that's what's going on. So, in and of themselves, no, they aren't sexist. But they could be, depending on the surrounding context. Again, it's really not that hard.

Quote
At what point does showing an individual exhibiting some stereotypes of a particular group to which they belong count as some sort of bigotry?

When it grounds or is grounded in prejudicial or discriminatory practices. One last time: it's really not that hard.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on March 15, 2021, 09:15:05 AM


Totalitarianism? Lol. Get a grip man. We're talking about a publisher making a decision to stop printing new copies of racist books.

Look, the company chose to stop printing books that they decided are racially insensitive (with some advising from teachers - how scary!). They did that because they don't want to be seen as a racist company, because being seen as a racist company isn't good for sales. You can blame the left for creating an atmosphere where racism is frowned on (racism should be frowned on, of course), but none of that matters unless consumers are moved. The company thinks consumers will prefer to buy from a company that disavows racism, so they made the choice that reflects that.

So if a children's book in another country has a bit about Americans, and shows them in cowboy hats riding horses, is that racist? If it shows a French person wearing a beret and eating a baguette is that racist? If it shows a Pacific islander (from any number of small nations) in a fishing boat, is that racist? If shows a Canadian playing hockey, is that racist?

Is showing a woman in a dress sexist?  Is showing domestic assault as a man attacking a woman sexist?

At what point does showing an individual exhibiting some stereotypes of a particular group to which they belong count as some sort of bigotry? What kind of disclaimer would be needed to clarify that any specific individual from that group might not, in fact, exhibit any of those characteristics?

In this country it is up to the company to decide what is best for their business, with reference to societal norms.

I also wasn't aware that Canadian is a race or that playing hockey has been historically used to belittle Canadians.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on March 15, 2021, 09:31:46 AM
Two of the six discontinued Seuss titles was among the top 20 Amazon sellers. Thus, the company is throwing away money. People don't throw away money voluntarily.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 15, 2021, 09:33:32 AM
In this country it is up to the company to decide what is best for their business, with reference to societal norms.

As it should be. But one of the "racist" items which has gotten mentioned is about "people who eat with sticks". When I was in China a few years ago, eating with sticks was pretty common. Restaurants in other countries serving Chinese food, including expensive ones, tend to serve the food with sticks, so it's hard to see how that is somehow disparaging. (In fact, I'd say that for most people in the West, being able to eat with chopsticks is associated with being more cultured; people who aren't able to eat with chopsticks are seen as backward.)

Quote
I also wasn't aware that Canadian is a race or that playing hockey has been historically used to belittle Canadians.

As people have pointed out for decades, "race" is a term that has virtually no meaning scientifically, since external physical characteristics vary due to many different genes, and so how similar two people look is very weakly correlated with their genetic (i.e. "racial") similarity.
And it also varies across time, where groups who are considered "other" at one point in history are considered part of the "normal" community at later times.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on March 15, 2021, 09:44:19 AM
In this country it is up to the company to decide what is best for their business, with reference to societal norms.

As it should be. But one of the "racist" items which has gotten mentioned is about "people who eat with sticks". When I was in China a few years ago, eating with sticks was pretty common. Restaurants in other countries serving Chinese food, including expensive ones, tend to serve the food with sticks, so it's hard to see how that is somehow disparaging. (In fact, I'd say that for most people in the West, being able to eat with chopsticks is associated with being more cultured; people who aren't able to eat with chopsticks are seen as backward.)

Quote
I also wasn't aware that Canadian is a race or that playing hockey has been historically used to belittle Canadians.

As people have pointed out for decades, "race" is a term that has virtually no meaning scientifically, since external physical characteristics vary due to many different genes, and so how similar two people look is very weakly correlated with their genetic (i.e. "racial") similarity.
And it also varies across time, where groups who are considered "other" at one point in history are considered part of the "normal" community at later times.

You are right that race is socially constructed. But it nevertheless does have a socially constructed meaning.

And you can argue till you're blue in the face that the books aren't actually racist. But it isn't up to you or to me as individuals to decide. The company thinks that the public will be put off by these books, so they stopped printing new copies of them. It is a business decision. There was no cancelling by "the left," unless the company itself is the left or a critical mass of consumers in a capitalist economy are the left.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: ergative on March 15, 2021, 09:52:20 AM
Two of the six discontinued Seuss titles was among the top 20 Amazon sellers. Thus, the company is throwing away money. People don't throw away money voluntarily.

I mean,  some do (https://www.upworthy.com/penzeys-spices-looting-its-own-store-for-racial-justice).

What are we really arguing about here? Do we want to believe that the Seuss estate/company/publisher (don't know its official status) thinks outdated racial stereotypes are Bad, Actually, and no longer want to be associated with them? Or do we want to believe that they actually are A-Ok with perpetuating racism, but are somehow incapable of discovering the Fox News viewer market to continue selling them?

If we are really Seuss Estate stans, it seems that the more charitable interpretation of the events is to say that Seuss Estate is more sympathetic to wokeness than to racism.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on March 15, 2021, 10:07:58 AM
Two of the six discontinued Seuss titles was among the top 20 Amazon sellers. Thus, the company is throwing away money. People don't throw away money voluntarily.

I mean,  some do (https://www.upworthy.com/penzeys-spices-looting-its-own-store-for-racial-justice).

What are we really arguing about here? Do we want to believe that the Seuss estate/company/publisher (don't know its official status) thinks outdated racial stereotypes are Bad, Actually, and no longer want to be associated with them? Or do we want to believe that they actually are A-Ok with perpetuating racism, but are somehow incapable of discovering the Fox News viewer market to continue selling them?

If we are really Seuss Estate stans, it seems that the more charitable interpretation of the events is to say that Seuss Estate is more sympathetic to wokeness than to racism.

Ah, Mr. Penzey is being charitable. He is giving away stuff to others. [Buys advertising, too. :-)] Seuss is destroying money -- no one has it. The income from the discontinued books is gone.

Why should one interpret Seuss, or any other company, charitably, then? They just wanna make money. Seuss feels compelled to be woke.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 15, 2021, 10:11:46 AM
So what?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on March 15, 2021, 10:15:13 AM
Sorry if this has already been cited (from Cheatseat):

The Dr. Seuss books that have been pulled were not very popular. Last year, Green Eggs and Ham sold 338,000 copies, while Oh, the Places You’ll Go! sold 513,000 copies, the New York Times reported. In comparison, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street sold 5,000 copies, while lesser-known titles like McElligot’s Pool and The Cat’s Quizzer “haven’t sold in years” through retailers BookScan tracks.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: ergative on March 15, 2021, 10:21:01 AM
Two of the six discontinued Seuss titles was among the top 20 Amazon sellers. Thus, the company is throwing away money. People don't throw away money voluntarily.

I mean,  some do (https://www.upworthy.com/penzeys-spices-looting-its-own-store-for-racial-justice).

What are we really arguing about here? Do we want to believe that the Seuss estate/company/publisher (don't know its official status) thinks outdated racial stereotypes are Bad, Actually, and no longer want to be associated with them? Or do we want to believe that they actually are A-Ok with perpetuating racism, but are somehow incapable of discovering the Fox News viewer market to continue selling them?

If we are really Seuss Estate stans, it seems that the more charitable interpretation of the events is to say that Seuss Estate is more sympathetic to wokeness than to racism.

Ah, Mr. Penzey is being charitable. He is giving away stuff to others. [Buys advertising, too. :-)] Seuss is destroying money -- no one has it. The income from the discontinued books is gone.

Why should one interpret Seuss, or any other company, charitably, then? They just wanna make money. Seuss feels compelled to be woke.

I don't fully understand your reasoning. You just said that Penzey was being charitable, but in the next line suggest that we shouldn't interpret any company's behavior as charitable. You said in a previous post that two of the six discontinued Seuss titles were among the top Amazon sellers, but then in the next post say that companies 'just wannna make money', which is inconsistent with discontinuing those top-selling titles.

 I think we can all agree that companies want to make money first, sure, but since the Seuss estate's behavior is evidently not about that, then we have to look for other reasons. And that brings us back again to the question of wokeness vs. racism: Does Seuss estate feel 'compelled to be woke' because they recognize that perpetuating racism is bad, or do they feel 'compelled to be woke' because of societal pressure against the racism they'd actually prefer to perpetuate?

Since that societal pressure has evidently not been strong enough to overcome all or even most systemically racist structures, then in the event that we adopt the second interpretation, we must also admit that the Seuss estate evidently lacks the courage of its convictions, to have folded to that pressure so quickly!
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 15, 2021, 10:25:33 AM
Two of the six discontinued Seuss titles was among the top 20 Amazon sellers. Thus, the company is throwing away money. People don't throw away money voluntarily.

I mean,  some do (https://www.upworthy.com/penzeys-spices-looting-its-own-store-for-racial-justice).

What are we really arguing about here? Do we want to believe that the Seuss estate/company/publisher (don't know its official status) thinks outdated racial stereotypes are Bad, Actually, and no longer want to be associated with them? Or do we want to believe that they actually are A-Ok with perpetuating racism, but are somehow incapable of discovering the Fox News viewer market to continue selling them?

If we are really Seuss Estate stans, it seems that the more charitable interpretation of the events is to say that Seuss Estate is more sympathetic to wokeness than to racism.

Those aren't the only two choices. There's no irrefutable evidence that the publisher thinks the images are racist or that all of the images being discussed are racist.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 15, 2021, 10:31:19 AM

 I think we can all agree that companies want to make money first, sure, but since the Seuss estate's behavior is evidently not about that, then we have to look for other reasons. And that brings us back again to the question of wokeness vs. racism: Does Seuss estate feel 'compelled to be woke' because they recognize that perpetuating racism is bad, or do they feel 'compelled to be woke' because of societal pressure against the racism they'd actually prefer to perpetuate?

This avoids the much more likely alternative to wokeness; not sympathy for racism, but the unwillingness to label basically any sort of depiction of any identifiable group of people as "racist". Other than a very small fringe, you'd be hard pressed to find people who "prefer to perpetuate racism", but you can find lots of people who would roll their eyes at the equivalent of calling the movie "White Men Can't Jump" racist.



Quote
Since that societal pressure has evidently not been strong enough to overcome all or even most systemically racist structures, then in the event that we adopt the second interpretation, we must also admit that the Seuss estate evidently lacks the courage of its convictions, to have folded to that pressure so quickly!

If the books weren't selling much, then it may have been shrewd business to discontinue them and then virtue signal to get woke points as well!
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on March 15, 2021, 10:36:16 AM
Two of the six discontinued Seuss titles was among the top 20 Amazon sellers. Thus, the company is throwing away money. People don't throw away money voluntarily.

I mean,  some do (https://www.upworthy.com/penzeys-spices-looting-its-own-store-for-racial-justice).

What are we really arguing about here? Do we want to believe that the Seuss estate/company/publisher (don't know its official status) thinks outdated racial stereotypes are Bad, Actually, and no longer want to be associated with them? Or do we want to believe that they actually are A-Ok with perpetuating racism, but are somehow incapable of discovering the Fox News viewer market to continue selling them?

If we are really Seuss Estate stans, it seems that the more charitable interpretation of the events is to say that Seuss Estate is more sympathetic to wokeness than to racism.

Ah, Mr. Penzey is being charitable. He is giving away stuff to others. [Buys advertising, too. :-)] Seuss is destroying money -- no one has it. The income from the discontinued books is gone.

Why should one interpret Seuss, or any other company, charitably, then? They just wanna make money. Seuss feels compelled to be woke.

I don't fully understand your reasoning. You just said that Penzey was being charitable, but in the next line suggest that we shouldn't interpret any company's behavior as charitable. You said in a previous post that two of the six discontinued Seuss titles were among the top Amazon sellers, but then in the next post say that companies 'just wannna make money', which is inconsistent with discontinuing those top-selling titles.

 I think we can all agree that companies want to make money first, sure, but since the Seuss estate's behavior is evidently not about that, then we have to look for other reasons. And that brings us back again to the question of wokeness vs. racism: Does Seuss estate feel 'compelled to be woke' because they recognize that perpetuating racism is bad, or do they feel 'compelled to be woke' because of societal pressure against the racism they'd actually prefer to perpetuate?

Since that societal pressure has evidently not been strong enough to overcome all or even most systemically racist structures, then in the event that we adopt the second interpretation, we must also admit that the Seuss estate evidently lacks the courage of its convictions, to have folded to that pressure so quickly!

-I said we shouldn't interpret any companies behavior charitably, talking about us, not about the companies.

-Yeah, Seuss stops some profitable lines to evade the sword of Damacles emanating from the woke crowd. It's the best Seuss can do under the circumstances.

This last is completely devoid of motive other than wanting to make money. Publicized motives are mere window dressing.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on March 15, 2021, 10:41:57 AM
Two of the six discontinued Seuss titles was among the top 20 Amazon sellers. Thus, the company is throwing away money. People don't throw away money voluntarily.

Here's a link to Amazon's top selling Children's books. I'm not seeing what you are seeing. I don't think the estate is giving up much of anything in the way of profits.

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books-Childrens/zgbs/books/4/ref=zg_bs_nav_b_1_b
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: apl68 on March 15, 2021, 10:42:31 AM
Sorry if this has already been cited (from Cheatseat):

The Dr. Seuss books that have been pulled were not very popular. Last year, Green Eggs and Ham sold 338,000 copies, while Oh, the Places You’ll Go! sold 513,000 copies, the New York Times reported. In comparison, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street sold 5,000 copies, while lesser-known titles like McElligot’s Pool and The Cat’s Quizzer “haven’t sold in years” through retailers BookScan tracks.

Very surprised to hear that To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was selling that poorly.  Relatively speaking--5,000 copies a year is not bad for a back-list title that's over 80 years old.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on March 15, 2021, 10:45:58 AM
Two of the six discontinued Seuss titles was among the top 20 Amazon sellers. Thus, the company is throwing away money. People don't throw away money voluntarily.

Here's a link to Amazon's top selling Children's books. I'm not seeing what you are seeing. I don't think the estate is giving up much of anything in the way of profits.

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books-Childrens/zgbs/books/4/ref=zg_bs_nav_b_1_b

Can't refind my source. It was an article. But if you are right, the story is even simpler:

By not publishing the books, Seuss gives up nothing. Free virtue signalling!
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: ciao_yall on March 15, 2021, 10:47:45 AM
Well, it is a good way of pointing out that there is no objectionable content in the books they continue to sell.

I loved the Little House series as well as Dr. Seuss, and those were my go-to when buying books for children, whether they be holiday or birthday presents, donations to gift drives, whatever. I was horrified to learn that there was objectively racist content in these... I didn't remember those aspects, but it bothers me that some child saw themselves reflected poorly because of my own cluelessness. I had meant well in wanting to share positive memories and stories, and, well, missed the boat.

So it's a good way of giving a "Seal of Approval" as it were, that those of us who aren't in the habit of rereading every children's book we fondly remember, that these are still good books to give to a variety of today's children who live in a multicultural world.



Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 15, 2021, 10:47:58 AM
Sorry if this has already been cited (from Cheatseat):

The Dr. Seuss books that have been pulled were not very popular. Last year, Green Eggs and Ham sold 338,000 copies, while Oh, the Places You’ll Go! sold 513,000 copies, the New York Times reported. In comparison, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street sold 5,000 copies, while lesser-known titles like McElligot’s Pool and The Cat’s Quizzer “haven’t sold in years” through retailers BookScan tracks.

Very surprised to hear that To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was selling that poorly.  Relatively speaking--5,000 copies a year is not bad for a back-list title that's over 80 years old.

But it may make sense as a "strategic withdrawal". Preemptively discontinuing it may have been worth it if they feared an eventual boycott of the entire Seuss canon. Sacrificing a single* goat on the altar of wokeness may have avoided eternal damnation of the entire flock. Not to mention licensing deals, etc.


(*or a half dozen relatively small ones)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 15, 2021, 11:38:12 AM
Its rather telling that rather than trying to defend those ideas or beliefs, all we get is a lot of whining about how terrible it is that someone could face social or professional consequences for saying things that others find repugnant.

I love your post, but...well...we have seen a rash of people whose careers actually are threatened by saying things like "all lives matter," which many find rightly offensive, I think, but is a topical political opinion nevertheless. 

We can't pretend there is not a PC mania out there that is ALSO dangerous.

I honestly see limited evidence that there is much of this happening. Mostly what you see is just being people being criticized. JK Rowling isn't in jail, nor is she ruined. Some people just don't like her anymore. For the most, the only examples you can find of people really having their careers destroyed is when they did something far beyond the pale. I thought it was telling that Andrew Cuomo tried to claim he was a victim of cancel culture. He's being accused of harassing and assaulting women.

There's also nothing that new about the idea that your employer might not appreciate being linked to ideas they don't like or they think other people won't like. Even so, it isn't like you just see lots of people getting fired from their middle management job because they tweeted "all lives mattered."
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 15, 2021, 12:08:40 PM
Its rather telling that rather than trying to defend those ideas or beliefs, all we get is a lot of whining about how terrible it is that someone could face social or professional consequences for saying things that others find repugnant.

I love your post, but...well...we have seen a rash of people whose careers actually are threatened by saying things like "all lives matter," which many find rightly offensive, I think, but is a topical political opinion nevertheless. 

We can't pretend there is not a PC mania out there that is ALSO dangerous.

I honestly see limited evidence that there is much of this happening. Mostly what you see is just being people being criticized. JK Rowling isn't in jail, nor is she ruined. Some people just don't like her anymore. For the most, the only examples you can find of people really having their careers destroyed is when they did something far beyond the pale. I thought it was telling that Andrew Cuomo tried to claim he was a victim of cancel culture. He's being accused of harassing and assaulting women.

There's also nothing that new about the idea that your employer might not appreciate being linked to ideas they don't like or they think other people won't like. Even so, it isn't like you just see lots of people getting fired from their middle management job because they tweeted "all lives mattered."

Not much of anyone dares to. But for you and any other readers who seem to have been living a fallout shelter for the last ten years, off the top of my head, here's
https://meaww.com/sandra-sellers-georgetown-law-professor-racist-comments-black-students-plain-bottom
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 15, 2021, 01:04:37 PM
Its rather telling that rather than trying to defend those ideas or beliefs, all we get is a lot of whining about how terrible it is that someone could face social or professional consequences for saying things that others find repugnant.

I love your post, but...well...we have seen a rash of people whose careers actually are threatened by saying things like "all lives matter," which many find rightly offensive, I think, but is a topical political opinion nevertheless. 

We can't pretend there is not a PC mania out there that is ALSO dangerous.

I honestly see limited evidence that there is much of this happening. Mostly what you see is just being people being criticized. JK Rowling isn't in jail, nor is she ruined. Some people just don't like her anymore. For the most, the only examples you can find of people really having their careers destroyed is when they did something far beyond the pale. I thought it was telling that Andrew Cuomo tried to claim he was a victim of cancel culture. He's being accused of harassing and assaulting women.

There's also nothing that new about the idea that your employer might not appreciate being linked to ideas they don't like or they think other people won't like. Even so, it isn't like you just see lots of people getting fired from their middle management job because they tweeted "all lives mattered."

Well, I was thinking of this which was the subject of another thread some time ago:

Principal fired for post about BLM (https://apnews.com/article/race-and-ethnicity-vermont-media-social-media-school-boards-ddb8251472b5a7bf0817faaa32010614)

Or this which was just in the news:

Professor fired for saying her worst students were black (https://www.indy100.com/news/georgetown-university-professor-fired-black-racism-b1817024)

Or this which seems perfectly preposterous to me:

Professor suspended for saying Chinese word sounds like English slur (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/09/08/professor-suspended-saying-chinese-word-sounds-english-slur)

Or this one also recently in the news:

Professor fired for racist and homophobic tweets (https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/professor-michigan-fired-racist-homophobic-tweets-76167590)

Or this one from this last summer:

Petition demands firing of NC professor for ‘racist’ tweets on George Floyd protesters (https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article243305001.html)

Which is (maybe) not the same as the UPS worker who want on what he thought was essentially a soliloquy, (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/ups-worker-seen-racist-rant-footage-while-delivering-latino-household-n1252858) not realizing that he was being recorded by a doorbell camera.

And is (maybe) not the same thing as this poor slob  Consultant fired after making racist comment during Vermont Senate Transportation Committee video call (https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/05/us/consultant-fired-after-racist-comment/index.html) because he said something during a break in the Zoom conference.

Or even this bombshell dumbazz (https://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2016/06/10/sports-reporter-fired-for-racist-remarks) who clearly has problems, but still....

And all I did was put "fired for racist" into Google.  These are only on the first couple of pages.  So with due respect, I disagree.

I totally understand that corporations do not want to be associated with people who say these sorts of things----it tarnishes their images and maybe hurts business...but we should also be aware that we are policing people's ideas, even if their ideas are really problematic and reprehensible.   
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 15, 2021, 02:04:59 PM
Its rather telling that rather than trying to defend those ideas or beliefs, all we get is a lot of whining about how terrible it is that someone could face social or professional consequences for saying things that others find repugnant.

I love your post, but...well...we have seen a rash of people whose careers actually are threatened by saying things like "all lives matter," which many find rightly offensive, I think, but is a topical political opinion nevertheless. 

We can't pretend there is not a PC mania out there that is ALSO dangerous.

I honestly see limited evidence that there is much of this happening. Mostly what you see is just being people being criticized. JK Rowling isn't in jail, nor is she ruined. Some people just don't like her anymore. For the most, the only examples you can find of people really having their careers destroyed is when they did something far beyond the pale. I thought it was telling that Andrew Cuomo tried to claim he was a victim of cancel culture. He's being accused of harassing and assaulting women.

There's also nothing that new about the idea that your employer might not appreciate being linked to ideas they don't like or they think other people won't like. Even so, it isn't like you just see lots of people getting fired from their middle management job because they tweeted "all lives mattered."

Well, I was thinking of this which was the subject of another thread some time ago:

Principal fired for post about BLM (https://apnews.com/article/race-and-ethnicity-vermont-media-social-media-school-boards-ddb8251472b5a7bf0817faaa32010614)

Or this which was just in the news:

Professor fired for saying her worst students were black (https://www.indy100.com/news/georgetown-university-professor-fired-black-racism-b1817024)

Or this which seems perfectly preposterous to me:

Professor suspended for saying Chinese word sounds like English slur (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/09/08/professor-suspended-saying-chinese-word-sounds-english-slur)

Or this one also recently in the news:

Professor fired for racist and homophobic tweets (https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/professor-michigan-fired-racist-homophobic-tweets-76167590)

Or this one from this last summer:

Petition demands firing of NC professor for ‘racist’ tweets on George Floyd protesters (https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article243305001.html)

Which is (maybe) not the same as the UPS worker who want on what he thought was essentially a soliloquy, (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/ups-worker-seen-racist-rant-footage-while-delivering-latino-household-n1252858) not realizing that he was being recorded by a doorbell camera.

And is (maybe) not the same thing as this poor slob  Consultant fired after making racist comment during Vermont Senate Transportation Committee video call (https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/05/us/consultant-fired-after-racist-comment/index.html) because he said something during a break in the Zoom conference.

Or even this bombshell dumbazz (https://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2016/06/10/sports-reporter-fired-for-racist-remarks) who clearly has problems, but still....

And all I did was put "fired for racist" into Google.  These are only on the first couple of pages.  So with due respect, I disagree.

I totally understand that corporations do not want to be associated with people who say these sorts of things----it tarnishes their images and maybe hurts business...but we should also be aware that we are policing people's ideas, even if their ideas are really problematic and reprehensible.

I think you're making my point for me. Look at those examples.

The Michigan professor tweeted that Covid was a jewish conspiracy, talked about a "jewish mafia" and called various people the N word on twitter Its actually worse than that though. Apparently, he frequently spent his classes railing about how cell phones were some sort of evil conspiracy. The only mitigating factor is it seems quite likely he has untreated mental illness. He wouldn't even meet with the dean, however. Of course they fired him. Do you think that guy should be teaching?

The UNCW guy wasn't fired, he actually retired and got a 500,000 payment from the university to go away, before committing suicide. He was a pretty unpleasant character who clearly enjoyed going right up to the line.

The contractor used a racist slur while he was on mic on a Zoom call with the legislature for his job. I don't really know what the backstory is there, but that's the sort of thing that is just going to get you fired and there's nothing new or concerning about that. Ditto for the UPS worker. Most companies don't really want their employers insulting their customers.

The sports reporter is a media personality. She gave an interview where she said a bunch of dumb stuff. Seems like a pretty easy call. Presumably, she got fired because there are plenty of Chinese, Jewish and Mexican people who watch basketball and baseball games in Florida. I can't imagine what the important principle is supposed to be here.

Some of the other things are a little less clear cut. The thing with the principal seems like an overreaction to me. The business professor thing was a bit more complicated, and he seemed clueless, but it also seemed like a misunderstanding and then a panicked overreaction by the administration. I think he was actually reinstated. The Georgetown professor thing is a little complicated.

Basically, though, you have a bunch of people who were fired for very good reasons because companies don't want to be identified with bigots. A few might have been an overreaction. None of it amounts to some massive restriction on free speech and expression.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 15, 2021, 02:29:43 PM

I think you're making my point for me. Look at those examples.


No.  I made my point. 

I know exactly what those examples are.  These people are entirely reprehensible, I agree.  But they were fired or forced out because they said the wrong things, no matter how truly awful they were.

That should send a chill.

Basically, though, you have a bunch of people who were fired for very good reasons because companies don't want to be identified with bigots. A few might have been an overreaction. None of it amounts to some massive restriction on free speech and expression.

I disagree.  "overreaction" is a problem.  And "massive restriction on free speech" is subjective.  Again, I don't feel the least bit sorry for these people, but we are on a slippery slope.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: financeguy on March 15, 2021, 02:38:27 PM
These are problematic, but what's chilling to me is that it doesn't matter if a statement is true or not, only if it is "offensive" to someone. The Georgetown example sums that up for me. She didn't draw the line to the "mismatch theory" with affirmative action policies in place, she just observed the outcome of it, which is those students not admitted primarily based on merit are....wait for it.... not at the top of the class. Shocking. But still "offensive." What she said is way less direct that what Amy Wax has said at Penn law, but she is tenured so they just removed her from teaching any required classes. She will thus only teach in her specialty.  She has made numerous comments about the race/iq debate and its effect on admissions, including some that got national headlines on Glen Loury's podcast. You might agree or disagree with the Charles Murray side of the argument on this issue that she supports, but most people who do don't care if the points are factually correct or even know what they are. You can bet any amount of money that if Wax were a 20 year adjunct like the Georgetown faculty member she'd have been out the door before the first tweet were typed.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 15, 2021, 04:10:36 PM
Many of these are horrible people...but we cannot pretend there is not a lot of this going around.

Donald Trump did not come from a void.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/03/nyregion/nypd-james-kobel-racist-fired.html

https://www.themuse.com/advice/yes-you-can-get-fired-for-your-social-media-posts-9-times-people-learned-this-lesson-the-hard-way

https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/celebrities/2020/06/19/racism-celebrities-fired-for-their-racist-comments/3208619001/

https://www.nbcmiami.com/responds/man-gets-fired-after-private-chat-about-race-goes-public/2280929/

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Albany-officer-fired-for-racist-comments-15868423.php

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/04/us/nypd-official-racist-posts-fired/index.html

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2021/01/15/professor-fired-classroom-conduct-following-racist-posts

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/arizona-man-arrested-fired-job-after-racist-rant-caught-camera-n1244978

https://news.wttw.com/2021/01/19/city-worker-fired-after-making-racist-violent-facebook-comments-during-protests-watchdog

https://www.scarymommy.com/gina-carano-fired-mandalorian-racist-posts/

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/seattle-police-officer-fired-for-racist-slur/281-e63a4d3f-e05a-4d91-b942-2f2e257db926

https://www.inman.com/2021/02/17/california-agent-fired-after-racist-verbal-attack-on-asian-woman/

https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/12/23/brooklyn-criminal-court-officer-is-fired-over-vile-racist-facebook-post/?slreturn=20210215190351

https://fortune.com/2020/06/04/racist-violent-social-media-firings-grant-napear-craig-gore/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/football-coach-fired-stacey-abrams_n_5ff73b79c5b6c0ae2e73435b

https://kutv.com/news/local/woman-fired-over-pictures-she-calls-anti-racist-but-her-employer-says-promote-violence

https://kmph.com/news/local/customer-goes-on-racist-rant-after-bar-cuts-him-off

https://www.newsweek.com/man-fired-racist-rant-slavery-lynchings-black-people-1514043

https://local12.com/news/nation-world/woman-fired-after-viral-video-shows-her-screaming-racist-and-homophobic-slurs-at-rally-07-07-2020

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/three-north-carolina-police-officers-fired-racial-slurs-video/

https://www.albanyherald.com/news/tifton-nurse-practitioner-fired-for-racist-facebook-post/article_2bf1a870-b8a2-11ea-970c-fb8001dbc58b.html

https://www.goerie.com/story/news/nation/2020/06/18/pennsylvania-police-officer-fired-racist-email-erie/3219586001/

Etc...
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Puget on March 15, 2021, 04:39:36 PM

I think you're making my point for me. Look at those examples.


No.  I made my point. 

I know exactly what those examples are.  These people are entirely reprehensible, I agree.  But they were fired or forced out because they said the wrong things, no matter how truly awful they were.

That should send a chill.

Basically, though, you have a bunch of people who were fired for very good reasons because companies don't want to be identified with bigots. A few might have been an overreaction. None of it amounts to some massive restriction on free speech and expression.

I disagree.  "overreaction" is a problem.  And "massive restriction on free speech" is subjective.  Again, I don't feel the least bit sorry for these people, but we are on a slippery slope.
The first amendment protects the right of free speech vis-a-vis the government-- it doesn't protect you from the consequences of your speech vis-a-vis other private citizens or entities.

People never have had free speech at work. If you say something at work your employer doesn't like there are consequences, and always have been.  Things get tricky if people are getting fired for things they say outside of work, but many of these incidents happened at work, where you absolutely always have and can be fired for saying something reprehensible, or just displeasing to your customers/clients/bosses.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 15, 2021, 05:00:42 PM
Quote
The first amendment protects the right of free speech vis-a-vis the government-- it doesn't protect you from the consequences of your speech vis-a-vis other private citizens or entities.

People never have had free speech at work. If you say something at work your employer doesn't like there are consequences, and always have been.  Things get tricky if people are getting fired for things they say outside of work, but many of these incidents happened at work, where you absolutely always have and can be fired for saying something reprehensible, or just displeasing to your customers/clients/bosses.

The tenured are the bosses. That's why your view is as accepted in academe as anywhere else. At least among those who were invited to participate in the poll.

Who stuck up for Professor Sandra Sellers' right to due process? (crickets)

https://abcnews.go.com/US/georgetown-law-professor-terminated-remarks-black-students/story?id=76413267
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 15, 2021, 05:12:43 PM
I could get fired for calling my dean a "crap-weasel" or saying all sorts of things having nothing to do with race, gender, orientation, social class or whatever. 

Yes, we know that about saying the wrong thing at work.  It's always been that way.

But we have a phenomenon above.  Part of my response is to the notion that there is not a lot of this going on----which is simply untrue.   

And a number of those are things that happen when people are not a work, which is very problematic.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 15, 2021, 05:17:16 PM

I think you're making my point for me. Look at those examples.


No.  I made my point. 

I know exactly what those examples are.  These people are entirely reprehensible, I agree.  But they were fired or forced out because they said the wrong things, no matter how truly awful they were.

That should send a chill.

Basically, though, you have a bunch of people who were fired for very good reasons because companies don't want to be identified with bigots. A few might have been an overreaction. None of it amounts to some massive restriction on free speech and expression.

I disagree.  "overreaction" is a problem.  And "massive restriction on free speech" is subjective.  Again, I don't feel the least bit sorry for these people, but we are on a slippery slope.

Slippery slope to what? In a lot of these cases, the speech goes directly to ability to perform the job. Police officers who write racist social media posts should be fired. Is that even in question? These are people who carry guns and are empowered by the state use lethal force if necessary .  It seems pretty alarming if they are posting on social media about their hatred for blacks and jews, no?

In the case of the catering company employee who was screaming racial slurs at a woman in a car and making references to lynching, I would assume that any sensible employer isn't going to want that guy anywhere near their workplace. When there's a lawsuit about a hostile work environment, would you want to be the person who said, "oh, well, I saw that video where he screamed at that that women that she should be a slave, but I figured he wouldn't bring his personal beliefs to the job."

Academic freedom issues are a bit trickier. It is pretty clear that posting that phones are mind control devices and cause COVID are protected by academic freedom. If you bring that stuff up in your classes, that's a different issue. At some point it also becomes a concern about your ability to do your job. Is the Jewish kid in this guy's class going to feel comfortable telling him he won't be in class on Yom Kippur? However, none of this applies to any of these other things.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 15, 2021, 05:21:33 PM
Quote
Slippery slope to what?

To flagrantly dishonest types like you running things.





Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 15, 2021, 05:30:44 PM
Quote
Slippery slope to what?

To flagrantly dishonest types like you running things.

I think you're safe from that. Can we go easy on the invective?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 15, 2021, 05:46:49 PM
Slippery slope to what?

I thought it was apparent, but maybe not.

I happily concede your points about employers which I have already alluded to several times---so no need to dredge it up again.  I also happily concede that these are terrible people with real problems----so no need to dredge that up again.

My issue is that we have entered a period of time in which people are being punished for speech and expressed beliefs.

I would think that the problem with this is fairly obvious.

I should say that this is not a black or white issue (no play on words) and I don't know what a happy medium is.

The slope should also be fairly obvious: where does it end?  Some of these people lost their jobs for off-the-job comments; some for poorly thought-out asides; some for simply expressing an opinion; some for misspeaks or mistakes; some for poorly worded phrases; some for exercising free-speech; some for private social media posts made public; some for losing their tempers; and, sure, some for being truly nasty human beings with execrable beliefs.

This strikes me both as problematic and part and parcel of the phenomenon we are seeing that produced voters who think Donald Trump is a great guy.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 15, 2021, 06:00:06 PM
Quote
Slippery slope to what?

To flagrantly dishonest types like you running things.

I think you're safe from that. Can we go easy on the invective?

Do I actually have to explain? Read the thread again. You claimed that there is not a widespread phenomenon  of people being fired for saying things that someone states makes him or her feel uncomfortable. After a mountain of examples was provided to show that you are wrong, you don't have the sense to desist. Now your tack is 'yeah, but....even though I lied and it is in fact happening, it doesn't matter because of something else.' I hope you get fired by someone who ' might be overreacting' to something you said in a private conversation or when you're socializing away from the workplace.
We are not safe from dishonest people having wide influence. That's what the mania and denial of it are. And what the conversation is about out there in the world apart from your bubble.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 15, 2021, 06:15:46 PM
Quote
Slippery slope to what?

To flagrantly dishonest types like you running things.

I think you're safe from that. Can we go easy on the invective?

Do I actually have to explain? Read the thread again. You claimed that there is not a widespread phenomenon  of people being fired for saying things that someone states makes him or her feel uncomfortable. After a mountain of examples was provided to show that you are wrong, you don't have the sense to desist. Now your tack is 'yeah, but....even though I lied and it is in fact happening, it doesn't matter because of something else.'

Believe it or not, I don't think that a bunch of random news stories turned up using google constitute compelling evidence of some widespread trend. Bear with me here, but it might reflect the things journalists and editors are interested in and what they think other people are interested in. Crazy idea, I know.

It's funny, the people on these boards who go in for the personal attacks and overheated rhetoric on here (I don't mean Wahoo, who I often disagree with but is perfectly pleasant) seem to really lose it not when people disagree with them, but when they are faced with some mild skepticism.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 15, 2021, 06:30:17 PM
No need to wreck the train, folks.

Yes, this is a trend, Caracal, as evidenced by a very simple search on Google, and evidenced by the public interest in the story----if editors are pushing these stories it means people are excited the subject matter.  And read this thread.

Look, there is no simple answer here.  I don't want to work with any of the people I linked to, and (as I've said) I don't feel a bit sorry for them.

But come on, you have to admit there is something pretty alarming about corporate and governmental entities policing what we say and about our willingness to pillory people we disagree with, no matter how terrible their beliefs.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 15, 2021, 07:10:04 PM
No need to wreck the train, folks.

Yes, this is a trend, Caracal, as evidenced by a very simple search on Google, and evidenced by the public interest in the story----if editors are pushing these stories it means people are excited the subject matter.  And read this thread.

Look, there is no simple answer here.  I don't want to work with any of the people I linked to, and (as I've said) I don't feel a bit sorry for them.

But come on, you have to admit there is something pretty alarming about corporate and governmental entities policing what we say and about our willingness to pillory people we disagree with, no matter how terrible their beliefs.
'
Remember the black church burnings in the late 90s? It was a whole thing, every time another church burned it was added to the list and drove the story. The problem was that churches burn down a lot. They are empty, nobody lives in them. That causes more of them to burn accidentally, and it also makes them a convenient target for arsonists of various sorts. It turned out there was no epidemic of church burnings. It was just that these were stories getting a lot of press.

So I dunno. Are more people getting fired now for speech? Maybe in some areas? Is it really some thing that has become particularly common? I'm pretty skeptical and I don't think news stories are a good metric for measuring it.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 15, 2021, 07:12:05 PM
Actually no, I don't remember the church burnings.

I'd say this is considerably more pronounced than that.

What would be a good metric in this context?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 15, 2021, 07:34:43 PM
Actually no, I don't remember the church burnings.

I'd say this is considerably more pronounced than that.

What would be a good metric in this context?

I don't know, out of my expertise. Probably something for the social scientists. I'm a historian and I tend to think you don't want to assume that just because there's more reporting on something means it is happening more. It's like crime. Sometimes media focus on crime has been partly driven by actual increasing crime rates. However, at other times there has been lots of focus on the supposed increasing danger from crime even when it isn't actually rising. Sometimes that's because crime becomes linked to other fears and anxieties. It can also be linked to media dynamics. Often it is both.

Regardless, I also just think too many things get scrunched together in these discussions. Police officers being fired for racist statements seems like a very different issue than food service workers.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 15, 2021, 07:50:30 PM
See, I would say that police officers being fired for saying the wrong thing and food service workers getting fired for saying the wrong thing are different in degree but not in kind. 

They are both part of a dangerous trend in our culture to overtly punish people for thinking the "wrong" thing.  Very undemocratic.

I could get fired from some of the things posted on the anonymous message board, so could Mahagony.

You would be pilloried by, say, a Tucker Carlson for your views. 

This, I would suggest, is bound up with our need to censor something like Dr. Seuss, even if I understand and even agree with the reasons I would not want my hypothetical kids to read some of the thinks Giles may have written.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 15, 2021, 08:05:06 PM
See, I would say that police officers being fired for saying the wrong thing and food service workers getting fired for saying the wrong thing are different in degree but not in kind. 

They are both part of a dangerous trend in our culture to overtly punish people for thinking the "wrong" thing.  Very undemocratic.

I could get fired from some of the things posted on the anonymous message board, so could Mahagony.

You would be pilloried by, say, a Tucker Carlson for your views. 

This, I would suggest, is bound up with our need to censor something like Dr. Seuss, even if I understand and even agree with the reasons I would not want my hypothetical kids to read some of the thinks Giles may have written.

None of these police officers got fired because they didn't agree with the BLM movement. These were people writing overtly anti-semitic and racist statements on social media. Do you really think that those are people who should be empowered by the state to enforce laws, with violence and force if necessary? It's only possible to think this is just about speech rights if you don't imagine yourself as being the potential target of a racist or anti semitic police officer.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 15, 2021, 08:32:54 PM
See, I would say that police officers being fired for saying the wrong thing and food service workers getting fired for saying the wrong thing are different in degree but not in kind. 

They are both part of a dangerous trend in our culture to overtly punish people for thinking the "wrong" thing.  Very undemocratic.

I could get fired from some of the things posted on the anonymous message board, so could Mahagony.

You would be pilloried by, say, a Tucker Carlson for your views. 

This, I would suggest, is bound up with our need to censor something like Dr. Seuss, even if I understand and even agree with the reasons I would not want my hypothetical kids to read some of the thinks Giles may have written.

None of these police officers got fired because they didn't agree with the BLM movement. These were people writing overtly anti-semitic and racist statements on social media. Do you really think that those are people who should be empowered by the state to enforce laws, with violence and force if necessary? It's only possible to think this is just about speech rights if you don't imagine yourself as being the potential target of a racist or anti semitic police officer.

Conversely, at least one (https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/505592-massachusetts-detective-fired-after-post-supporting-black-lives-matter) cop has been fired for social media posts supportive of BLM.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 15, 2021, 08:43:11 PM
Do you really think that those are people who should be empowered by the state to enforce laws, with violence and force if necessary? It's only possible to think this is just about speech rights if you don't imagine yourself as being the potential target of a racist or anti semitic police officer.

Do you really want the state to dictate what you and I can or cannot say?  It's only possible to think this if you don't imagine yourself as being the potential target of a censorious government or culture.

I understand and I acknowledge your reasoning, Caracal, but you clearly believe you know what people should be allowed to say and why.  Very, very dangerous.

Their rights to be @zz holes guarantees our rights to be @zz holes.  Don't think it is a sword with only one sharp side.  From Parasaurolophus' link:

Quote
A Massachusetts detective has been fired over a social media post last month expressing support of her niece attending a Black Lives Matter rally.

According to a report from MassLive.com, Florissa Fuentes, who had recently joined the Springfield Police Department's Special Victims Unit, was fired on June 19 after a May post she made while not on duty.

“After I posted it, I started getting calls and texts from co-workers,” Florissa Fuentes told MassLive.com.


Fuentes says she removed the Instagram post on June 1 and that she received a call from the head of the Detective Bureau, who said the police commissioner was upset with her.

“I was initially confused, but then I realized they thought I was being anti-cop. I wasn’t,” Fuentes told the news outlet. “I was just supporting my niece’s activism. I had no malicious intent, and I wouldn’t put a target on my own back. I’m out there on the streets every day like everyone else.”

The photo that Fuentes shared was reportedly from protests that happened after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 15, 2021, 08:49:18 PM
To be clear, I'm with Caracal here. It's just that to the extent the problem does exist--and I think it's fairly limited--the media narrative has the wrong end of the goat here.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: kaysixteen on March 15, 2021, 09:35:47 PM
Since it has been, oh, well about 45 years since I have read/ looked at a Seuss book, I am wondering if anyone has any links to the images that have been denounced as racist, and caused the Seuss estate to withdraw publication?

That said, however racist or offensive these images may be/ have been, there is something that is crossing my mind-- in the fulness of time, likely very much sooner rather than later, these titles will enter the public domain, and the Seuss estate's actions more or less guarantee that someone will reprint them.   And that someone will not likely be someone we like.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 16, 2021, 05:43:17 AM
Do you really think that those are people who should be empowered by the state to enforce laws, with violence and force if necessary? It's only possible to think this is just about speech rights if you don't imagine yourself as being the potential target of a racist or anti semitic police officer.

Do you really want the state to dictate what you and I can or cannot say?  It's only possible to think this if you don't imagine yourself as being the potential target of a censorious government or culture.

I understand and I acknowledge your reasoning, Caracal, but you clearly believe you know what people should be allowed to say and why.  Very, very dangerous.


Consider this scenario.

When I get class lists, I can view them with or without information about what program each student is in. For years, I have avoided looking at that information to avoid any potential unconscious bias on my part; for instance, favouring students in the major over others. Suppose that after a course is over, and grades have been submitted, I decide to view that information and it turns out that all of the students in the Spoonbending program wound up in the bottom 20% of my class. I pass this information on to the chair, and possibly our academic advisor, and possibly even the chair of the Spoonbending department so that we can figure out if there's something going on that we can improve. If this information gets out into the wild, Spoonbending students see it, and get it written up in the student newspaper about the discrimination against Spoonbending students in my Basketweaving course. They call for my apology, or preferably firing. ("Because I said Spoonbending students were stupid".)

Should I be required to apologize? Should I be fired? (If so, what was my offense?) What if Spoonbending takes in a higher percentage of some identifiable group than Basketweaving?

In our current climate, increasingly people are being fired because someone felt hurt; not because of what the people actually did.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 16, 2021, 06:57:18 AM

Consider this scenario.

When I get class lists, I can view them with or without information about what program each student is in. For years, I have avoided looking at that information to avoid any potential unconscious bias on my part; for instance, favouring students in the major over others. Suppose that after a course is over, and grades have been submitted, I decide to view that information and it turns out that all of the students in the Spoonbending program wound up in the bottom 20% of my class. I pass this information on to the chair, and possibly our academic advisor, and possibly even the chair of the Spoonbending department so that we can figure out if there's something going on that we can improve. If this information gets out into the wild, Spoonbending students see it, and get it written up in the student newspaper about the discrimination against Spoonbending students in my Basketweaving course. They call for my apology, or preferably firing. ("Because I said Spoonbending students were stupid".)

Should I be required to apologize? Should I be fired? (If so, what was my offense?) What if Spoonbending takes in a higher percentage of some identifiable group than Basketweaving?

In our current climate, increasingly people are being fired because someone felt hurt; not because of what the people actually did.

You've just given a clear example of what well-above-average scholar Writingprof observed: it is now considered bigoted to notice something going on in your midst if your speaking aloud about it is offensive (unpleasant) for someone to hear, relating to matters of race or people belonging to groups identified as marginalized. (Aside from other implications, are we going to create a world where nothing unpleasant may be experienced?)
A professor who has black students at the bottom of the class, regularly, has a problem she doesn't deserve, namely that eventually someone will notice and she'll be call racist just for doing her job. Whereas, since she's not racist, the situation drives her crazy, as she stated.* That's why the Georgetown Law school adjunct professor (adjunct) could have been defended by the tenured faculty and, instead of the stupid mess they have now, a situation could be brought to light and headed for resolution, or alternatively, understood as not great, but acceptable. And even though she apologized, they let her twist in the wind.
 Why I'm not a fan of tenure; they neglect bad situations and mistreatment of  individuals that tenure is purported to protect the institution from.

Quote
I could get fired from some of the things posted on the anonymous message board, so could Mahagony.

Thanks for the compliment! If you can't step outside groupthink there doesn't need to be a forum. Probably why writing prof left though...sad.

*she doesn't give grades; she merely records the results of the students' activity (or lack thereof)

Anyway, I still say, follow the money. Academics are in the oppression analyzing business. The more oppression there is in our culture, the higher their stock price. Why I don't expect much from this discussion, frankly.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 16, 2021, 08:31:13 AM
To be clear, I'm with Caracal here. It's just that to the extent the problem does exist--and I think it's fairly limited--the media narrative has the wrong end of the goat here.

We always blame the media which is, yes, sensationalistic but reports on what is happening in the world.  Legitimate sources fact-check, so even if editors have the impulse to follow a certain lead, facts are facts.

There are a number of Op-eds about this subject----which is a whole different can of worms.

I don't think you can really say that this conundrum is merely a "media narrative."  The proof is only a Google search away, and, yes, I would argue that Google searches are a legitimate way to gage what is happening in the world.  And there is a lot on Google; I stopped cutting-n-pasting after the 4th page.

I looked in Ebscohost for hard numbers and did not find any immediately, and with a glut of grading and prep and writing to do, I don't think I will search very hard at the moment.  But I do find a number of academic articles about the subject, which further suggests the depth of the issue.  Perhaps someone who is more tuned to social science research can find something specific.

We all want to fight bigotry in all its forms, so we resist anything that is critical of the fight.

If we pretend this is not a dangerous zeitgeist, and this wave of firings is not a symptom, I will mention a real life scenario: Our department has a minority faculty whose tenure bid was extended because of COVID.  Everyone is very relieved because this good person simply has not done the necessary work to receive tenure.  I have been urging my wife to vote for tenure no matter what happens.  We do not need accusations of racism.  We do not need our names or department launched into cyberspace with pictures of screaming students outside our building.  I don't know that that is what would happen, but still...




 
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 16, 2021, 08:38:44 AM

If we pretend this is not a dangerous zeitgeist, and this wave of firings is not a symptom, I will mention a real life scenario: Our department has a minority faculty whose tenure bid was extended because of COVID.  Everyone is very relieved because this good person simply has not done the necessary work to receive tenure.  I have been urging my wife to vote for tenure no matter what happens.  We do not need accusations of racism.  We do not need our names or department launched into cyberspace with pictures of screaming students outside our building.  I don't know that that is what would happen, but still...

I recall hearing a potential juror for the Derek Chauvin case was worried about their family being at risk due to them serving on the jury. That's  the above scenario on steroids. When there is an outcome that can be seen before the deliberation even begins as being "unacceptable", then there's a serious problem.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: ergative on March 16, 2021, 08:41:21 AM
To be clear, I'm with Caracal here. It's just that to the extent the problem does exist--and I think it's fairly limited--the media narrative has the wrong end of the goat here.

We always blame the media which is, yes, sensationalistic but reports on what is happening in the world.  Legitimate sources fact-check, so even if editors have the impulse to follow a certain lead, facts are facts.

There are a number of Op-eds about this subject----which is a whole different can of worms.

I don't think you can really say that this conundrum is merely a "media narrative."  The proof is only a Google search away, and, yes, I would argue that Google searches are a legitimate way to gage what is happening in the world.  And there is a lot on Google; I stopped cutting-n-pasting after the 4th page.

I looked in Ebscohost for hard numbers and did not find any immediately, and with a glut of grading and prep and writing to do, I don't think I will search very hard at the moment.  But I do find a number of academic articles about the subject, which further suggests the depth of the issue.  Perhaps someone who is more tuned to social science research can find something specific.

We all want to fight bigotry in all its forms, so we resist anything that is critical of the fight.

If we pretend this is not a dangerous zeitgeist, and this wave of firings is not a symptom, I will mention a real life scenario: Our department has a minority faculty whose tenure bid was extended because of COVID.  Everyone is very relieved because this good person simply has not done the necessary work to receive tenure.  I have been urging my wife to vote for tenure no matter what happens.  We do not need accusations of racism.  We do not need our names or department launched into cyberspace with pictures of screaming students outside our building.  I don't know that that is what would happen, but still...

If we accept that this is a dangerous zeitgeist, then we must also admit that it is no different a zeitgeist from previous zeitgeists, in which people could be fired for getting married, for getting pregnant, for being gay, for supporting gay people, for accepting a boss's advances, for rejecting a boss's advances, for having AIDs, for attending union meetings, for expressing support of union meetings, for being a communisst, for being accused of being a communist, for refusing to vow not to be a communist, [on edit] for serving on juries in which black people were accused of crimes  . .  .

I will grant that firing people for transgressing arbitrary societal norms in ways that don't hurt people is bad. But I will never grant that firing people for transgressing left-leaning societal norms is new and unique and worse than all the previous times when the same thing happened w/r/t right-leaning societal norms.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: eigen on March 16, 2021, 08:44:44 AM
I just wanted to toss in here that I think it's amazingly ironic that the same people I grew up with who hosted book burnings of the Harry Potter books and boycotted the local library to have them banned when I was growing up are now the people decrying "cancel culture" attacking J.K. Rowling.

There's a current hysteria and hype surrounding "cancel culture", but I honestly can't see that it's any different than any other period in our society: it's just focusing on different things now.

Similarly, the same people who are currently upset about firings with causes they disagree with are the same people who have for years supported the idea that companies don't "owe" anyone a job and should be able to fire an employee for any reason. Again, the reality hasn't changed: what's changed is who is experiencing different parts of that reality.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 16, 2021, 08:47:04 AM
Agreed, there was a different zeitgeist before this one which, I think, was much worst than the current one which is trying hard to dismantle the worst leftovers from the previous zeitgeist and in typical human fashion (perhaps) taking it too far.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: ergative on March 16, 2021, 08:48:02 AM
I just wanted to toss in here that I think it's amazingly ironic that the same people I grew up with who hosted book burnings of the Harry Potter books and boycotted the local library to have them banned when I was growing up are now the people decrying "cancel culture" attacking J.K. Rowling.

There's a current hysteria and hype surrounding "cancel culture", but I honestly can't see that it's any different than any other period in our society: it's just focusing on different things now.

Similarly, the same people who are currently upset about firings with causes they disagree with are the same people who have for years supported the idea that companies don't "owe" anyone a job and should be able to fire an employee for any reason. Again, the reality hasn't changed: what's changed is who is experiencing different parts of that reality.

Exactly.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 16, 2021, 09:04:56 AM
I just wanted to toss in here that I think it's amazingly ironic that the same people I grew up with who hosted book burnings of the Harry Potter books and boycotted the local library to have them banned when I was growing up are now the people decrying "cancel culture" attacking J.K. Rowling.


This is the point; the two sides have switched places. Now the people who derided the people burning Harry Potter books want to prevent people buying them, seeing the movies, etc.

The point isn't that this is worse, just that the hypocrisy is on both sides of the political spectrum. And this is why freedom speech as a principle is important, because a given person will quite likely find themselves on different sides of the issue during their lifetime.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 16, 2021, 09:11:44 AM
I just wanted to toss in here that I think it's amazingly ironic that the same people I grew up with who hosted book burnings of the Harry Potter books and boycotted the local library to have them banned when I was growing up are now the people decrying "cancel culture" attacking J.K. Rowling.


This is the point; the two sides have switched places. Now the people who derided the people burning Harry Potter books want to prevent people buying them, seeing the movies, etc.

The point isn't that this is worse, just that the hypocrisy is on both sides of the political spectrum. And this is why freedom speech as a principle is important, because a given person will quite likely find themselves on different sides of the issue during their lifetime.

The thought process though is if one has tenure one is only on the winning side, always.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: eigen on March 16, 2021, 09:14:26 AM
I just wanted to toss in here that I think it's amazingly ironic that the same people I grew up with who hosted book burnings of the Harry Potter books and boycotted the local library to have them banned when I was growing up are now the people decrying "cancel culture" attacking J.K. Rowling.


This is the point; the two sides have switched places. Now the people who derided the people burning Harry Potter books want to prevent people buying them, seeing the movies, etc.

The point isn't that this is worse, just that the hypocrisy is on both sides of the political spectrum. And this is why freedom speech as a principle is important, because a given person will quite likely find themselves on different sides of the issue during their lifetime.

The thought process though is if one has tenure one is only on the winning side, always.

It is really tiring that you beat this horse in every. single. thread. no matter whether it's related to the topic or not.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: eigen on March 16, 2021, 09:20:05 AM
I just wanted to toss in here that I think it's amazingly ironic that the same people I grew up with who hosted book burnings of the Harry Potter books and boycotted the local library to have them banned when I was growing up are now the people decrying "cancel culture" attacking J.K. Rowling.


This is the point; the two sides have switched places. Now the people who derided the people burning Harry Potter books want to prevent people buying them, seeing the movies, etc.

The point isn't that this is worse, just that the hypocrisy is on both sides of the political spectrum. And this is why freedom speech as a principle is important, because a given person will quite likely find themselves on different sides of the issue during their lifetime.

See, that's the thing. Freedom of speech goes both ways: burning the Harry Potter books and boycotting the library for having them is, in fact, free speech. Calling out the author because you disagree with them and want to highlight to others why you think they are wrong is, in fact, free speech. Organizing boycots of something is both free speech and free association.

"cancel culture" is the work of the free market (people applying pressure by voting with their wallets), the result of people using their right to free speech, the result of employers exercising a right to freedom of association, and the right of someone to not have forced speech.

The Seuss family estate deciding it no longer wants to publish books is a decision enshrined in their right to free speech. People who would force them to keep printing the books fall on the side of forced speech, which is not free speech.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 16, 2021, 09:42:25 AM
I just wanted to toss in here that I think it's amazingly ironic that the same people I grew up with who hosted book burnings of the Harry Potter books and boycotted the local library to have them banned when I was growing up are now the people decrying "cancel culture" attacking J.K. Rowling.


This is the point; the two sides have switched places. Now the people who derided the people burning Harry Potter books want to prevent people buying them, seeing the movies, etc.

The point isn't that this is worse, just that the hypocrisy is on both sides of the political spectrum. And this is why freedom speech as a principle is important, because a given person will quite likely find themselves on different sides of the issue during their lifetime.

The thought process though is if one has tenure one is only on the winning side, always.

It is really tiring that you beat this horse in every. single. thread. no matter whether it's related to the topic or not.

Sincere question, eigen: What do you think was the reason Professor Sellers hated to say this?

'"And you know what, I hate to say this, I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks. Happens almost every semester," Sellers said. "And it's like, 'Oh, come on.' You get some really good ones, but there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy."'

link, again, for those not yet up to speed: https://abcnews.go.com/US/georgetown-law-professor-terminated-remarks-black-students/story?id=76413267
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 16, 2021, 09:44:30 AM
"cancel culture" is the work of the free market (people applying pressure by voting with their wallets), the result of people using their right to free speech

The Seuss family estate deciding it no longer wants to publish books is a decision enshrined in their right to free speech. People who would force them to keep printing the books fall on the side of forced speech, which is not free speech.

Which are different from corporate entities telling us what we can say by threatening our livelihoods.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: eigen on March 16, 2021, 09:48:39 AM
"cancel culture" is the work of the free market (people applying pressure by voting with their wallets), the result of people using their right to free speech

The Seuss family estate deciding it no longer wants to publish books is a decision enshrined in their right to free speech. People who would force them to keep printing the books fall on the side of forced speech, which is not free speech.

Which are different from corporate entities telling us what we can say by threatening our livelihoods.

I touched on the issue with corporate entities in my post, I'm not sure why you edited that part out and then brought it up?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: eigen on March 16, 2021, 09:56:22 AM
I just wanted to toss in here that I think it's amazingly ironic that the same people I grew up with who hosted book burnings of the Harry Potter books and boycotted the local library to have them banned when I was growing up are now the people decrying "cancel culture" attacking J.K. Rowling.


This is the point; the two sides have switched places. Now the people who derided the people burning Harry Potter books want to prevent people buying them, seeing the movies, etc.

The point isn't that this is worse, just that the hypocrisy is on both sides of the political spectrum. And this is why freedom speech as a principle is important, because a given person will quite likely find themselves on different sides of the issue during their lifetime.

The thought process though is if one has tenure one is only on the winning side, always.

It is really tiring that you beat this horse in every. single. thread. no matter whether it's related to the topic or not.

Sincere question, eigen: What do you think was the reason Professor Sellers hated to say this?

'"And you know what, I hate to say this, I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks. Happens almost every semester," Sellers said. "And it's like, 'Oh, come on.' You get some really good ones, but there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy."'

link, again, for those not yet up to speed: https://abcnews.go.com/US/georgetown-law-professor-terminated-remarks-black-students/story?id=76413267

I am unsure how your question relates to my comment. I also tend to try to avoid speculating on people's motivations for doing things.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 16, 2021, 10:16:51 AM
"cancel culture" is the work of the free market (people applying pressure by voting with their wallets), the result of people using their right to free speech

The Seuss family estate deciding it no longer wants to publish books is a decision enshrined in their right to free speech. People who would force them to keep printing the books fall on the side of forced speech, which is not free speech.

Which are different from corporate entities telling us what we can say by threatening our livelihoods.

I touched on the issue with corporate entities in my post, I'm not sure why you edited that part out and then brought it up?

I was just focusing on voluntary restrictions (free speech commenting on free speech) and not on coerced restrictions (corporations forcing people to say or not say certain things off the clock).

I should have made that clear.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: eigen on March 16, 2021, 10:23:56 AM
"cancel culture" is the work of the free market (people applying pressure by voting with their wallets), the result of people using their right to free speech

The Seuss family estate deciding it no longer wants to publish books is a decision enshrined in their right to free speech. People who would force them to keep printing the books fall on the side of forced speech, which is not free speech.

Which are different from corporate entities telling us what we can say by threatening our livelihoods.

I touched on the issue with corporate entities in my post, I'm not sure why you edited that part out and then brought it up?

I was just focusing on voluntary restrictions (free speech commenting on free speech) and not on coerced restrictions (corporations forcing people to say or not say certain things off the clock).

I should have made that clear.

Ah, makes more sense now. Thanks for clarifying.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 16, 2021, 01:09:05 PM

Do you really want the state to dictate what you and I can or cannot say?  It's only possible to think this if you don't imagine yourself as being the potential target of a censorious government or culture.

I understand and I acknowledge your reasoning, Caracal, but you clearly believe you know what people should be allowed to say and why.  Very, very dangerous.

Their rights to be @zz holes guarantees our rights to be @zz holes.  Don't think it is a sword with only one sharp side.  From Parasaurolophus' link:



If I ruled the world, I'd prefer some version of this where people only get fired if their speech is going to either interfere with their future ability to do their job or suggests that they are unqualified for the job.

Suppose someone works for the Anti Defamation League and that person posts racist rants on facebook. They are almost certainly going to get fired, and for good reason. It isn't just that the ADL wouldn't want the bad publicity-being a bigot makes you unqualified to work at a group dedicated to exposing and combatting bigotry. The same thing is true for police officers. People who feel comfortable posting racist things on facebook are probably going to feel comfortable discriminating against people when are in uniform too.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 16, 2021, 01:21:36 PM

Do you really want the state to dictate what you and I can or cannot say?  It's only possible to think this if you don't imagine yourself as being the potential target of a censorious government or culture.

I understand and I acknowledge your reasoning, Caracal, but you clearly believe you know what people should be allowed to say and why.  Very, very dangerous.

Their rights to be @zz holes guarantees our rights to be @zz holes.  Don't think it is a sword with only one sharp side.  From Parasaurolophus' link:



If I ruled the world, I'd prefer some version of this where people only get fired if their speech is going to either interfere with their future ability to do their job or suggests that they are unqualified for the job.

Suppose someone works for the Anti Defamation League and that person posts racist rants on facebook. They are almost certainly going to get fired, and for good reason. It isn't just that the ADL wouldn't want the bad publicity-being a bigot makes you unqualified to work at a group dedicated to exposing and combatting bigotry. The same thing is true for police officers. People who feel comfortable posting racist things on facebook are probably going to feel comfortable discriminating against people when are in uniform too.

This logic could be used against any person whose job involves interacting with people, which basically means any job.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 16, 2021, 02:05:55 PM

Do you really want the state to dictate what you and I can or cannot say?  It's only possible to think this if you don't imagine yourself as being the potential target of a censorious government or culture.

I understand and I acknowledge your reasoning, Caracal, but you clearly believe you know what people should be allowed to say and why.  Very, very dangerous.

Their rights to be @zz holes guarantees our rights to be @zz holes.  Don't think it is a sword with only one sharp side.  From Parasaurolophus' link:



If I ruled the world, I'd prefer some version of this where people only get fired if their speech is going to either interfere with their future ability to do their job or suggests that they are unqualified for the job.

Suppose someone works for the Anti Defamation League and that person posts racist rants on facebook. They are almost certainly going to get fired, and for good reason. It isn't just that the ADL wouldn't want the bad publicity-being a bigot makes you unqualified to work at a group dedicated to exposing and combatting bigotry. The same thing is true for police officers. People who feel comfortable posting racist things on facebook are probably going to feel comfortable discriminating against people when are in uniform too.

This logic could be used against any person whose job involves interacting with people, which basically means any job.

Well, not to mention, people who feel comfortable deciding for everyone what as a racist thing to say or write, or what is not are people to beware of.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Anselm on March 16, 2021, 02:28:15 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1mqg4C0awA

Jesse Jackson reading Green Eggs and Ham.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 16, 2021, 04:10:13 PM

Do you really want the state to dictate what you and I can or cannot say?  It's only possible to think this if you don't imagine yourself as being the potential target of a censorious government or culture.

I understand and I acknowledge your reasoning, Caracal, but you clearly believe you know what people should be allowed to say and why.  Very, very dangerous.

Their rights to be @zz holes guarantees our rights to be @zz holes.  Don't think it is a sword with only one sharp side.  From Parasaurolophus' link:



If I ruled the world, I'd prefer some version of this where people only get fired if their speech is going to either interfere with their future ability to do their job or suggests that they are unqualified for the job.

Suppose someone works for the Anti Defamation League and that person posts racist rants on facebook. They are almost certainly going to get fired, and for good reason. It isn't just that the ADL wouldn't want the bad publicity-being a bigot makes you unqualified to work at a group dedicated to exposing and combatting bigotry. The same thing is true for police officers. People who feel comfortable posting racist things on facebook are probably going to feel comfortable discriminating against people when are in uniform too.

I think we are at loggerheads.  I understand your point, I really do.  You've provided a number of similar hypotheticals that illustrate how a person's beliefs might affect their ability to do their jobs when their jobs involve public perception.  They make a very good point I, and I suspect everyone else, understands.

Fair enough, you have a good point. 

There are some issues with this, some of which I have argued, namely:

1) Allowing corporations to determine what we say off-the-clock seems like one of the most pernicious things we could do.

But there are these other issues:

2) We are not talking about being kicked out of a book club; we are talking about people's livelihoods.  Should you lose a career for saying the wrong thing, no matter how terrible?  I'll point this out again: if certain very conservative people had their way, you would now be out of a job because of the beliefs you expressed on this board.  Are you sure you want to release that particular Kraken? 

3) We already have laws that protect us from people who act on their egregious beliefs. 

4) We already have axiomatic protection from people who break their employers' protocols. 

5) If we stopped at thought-policing police officers...okay...maybe.  But that small catalog of stories included all sorts of people in all sorts of careers and scenarios.  Only a few of those included law enforcement.  Several included professors. 

6) Are we the "snowflakes" that the Trumpers allege?  The world is going to be full of these people...

7) ...and do we just expect these ideas to disappear after we boot them from their jobs?  What does policing off-the-clock opinions actually accomplish?  Do we solve anything by evicting the 'bad people' from the public sphere?

8) Are you and I and all the other forumites allowed to have a private life in which we can develop our own beliefs without fear of losing everything we have worked for because we express ourselves?

9) Are the Seuss and Mary Poppins controversies a symptom of hysterical thinking?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 16, 2021, 04:39:26 PM

8) Are you and I and all the other forumites allowed to have a private life in which we can develop our own beliefs without fear of losing everything we have worked for because we express ourselves?


My sense is that Caracal doesn't ever see himself holding views which would be that dangerous to express.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on March 16, 2021, 04:48:40 PM
 
Quote
Are you and I and all the other forumites allowed to have a private life in which we can develop our own beliefs without fear of losing everything we have worked for because we express ourselves?

Yes, of course. One wit noted that in the former Soviet Union one could say whatever one liked. Just not to whomever one liked.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 16, 2021, 06:23:36 PM
Quote
The Seuss family estate deciding it no longer wants to publish books is a decision enshrined in their right to free speech. People who would force them to keep printing the books fall on the side of forced speech, which is not free speech.

The 'anti-racism' crowd are doing forced speech now, too, have been for some time already, but someone's finally challenging them with litigation.

https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/arts-letters/articles/wendy-kaminer-race-bias-training

(italics are mine)

'"William charged his school with requiring him to confess the indices of his presumed privilege—to “proclaim in class and in assignments his race, color, sex, gender and religious identities for which he in turn would receive official, derogatory labels.”'

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 16, 2021, 06:37:02 PM

8) Are you and I and all the other forumites allowed to have a private life in which we can develop our own beliefs without fear of losing everything we have worked for because we express ourselves?


My sense is that Caracal doesn't ever see himself holding views which would be that dangerous to express.

If I recall correctly Caracal has a spouse with tenure, so would most likely be safe from retribution. And the obvious, his views are lock-step with the far left majority in academia, so would likely only attract attention positively.
It's kind of hard to take people taking up arguments of principle when those principles one purports to have are only remotely likely to ever see any test. And meanwhile, others in their midst are paying big penalties.

I just wanted to toss in here that I think it's amazingly ironic that the same people I grew up with who hosted book burnings of the Harry Potter books and boycotted the local library to have them banned when I was growing up are now the people decrying "cancel culture" attacking J.K. Rowling.


This is the point; the two sides have switched places. Now the people who derided the people burning Harry Potter books want to prevent people buying them, seeing the movies, etc.

The point isn't that this is worse, just that the hypocrisy is on both sides of the political spectrum. And this is why freedom speech as a principle is important, because a given person will quite likely find themselves on different sides of the issue during their lifetime.

The thought process though is if one has tenure one is only on the winning side, always.

It is really tiring that you beat this horse in every. single. thread. no matter whether it's related to the topic or not.

It's related, and I'm not really worried about what you're tired of.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Ruralguy on March 16, 2021, 07:17:37 PM
Maybe this isn’t worth it, but could you concisely explain how it is related?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 16, 2021, 08:28:25 PM
Maybe this isn’t worth it, but could you concisely explain how it is related?
It's not worth it. But you could ruminate on anything else I have posted, in case you're tired of the tenure comment.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Ruralguy on March 16, 2021, 08:49:46 PM
Fair enough...
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 17, 2021, 08:08:08 AM

8) Are you and I and all the other forumites allowed to have a private life in which we can develop our own beliefs without fear of losing everything we have worked for because we express ourselves?


My sense is that Caracal doesn't ever see himself holding views which would be that dangerous to express.

If I recall correctly Caracal has a spouse with tenure, so would most likely be safe from retribution. And the obvious, his views are lock-step with the far left majority in academia, so would likely only attract attention positively.
It's kind of hard to take people taking up arguments of principle when those principles one purports to have are only remotely likely to ever see any test. And meanwhile, others in their midst are paying big penalties.



You really are oddly like Poly sometimes...

I don't work at the same institution as my spouse, for what that's worth. I don't have any protection from anything I've mentioned minor details about my life in these threads before, as others do. I don't think that makes it appropriate to bring those up and attribute my views to my supposed privileged status. (I'm the spouse of a college professor, not a billionaire, so its a little confusing)

Your inability to actually engage with the substance of the argument is rather telling. But I think I'm done engaging with you on this.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 17, 2021, 08:38:55 AM

8) Are you and I and all the other forumites allowed to have a private life in which we can develop our own beliefs without fear of losing everything we have worked for because we express ourselves?


My sense is that Caracal doesn't ever see himself holding views which would be that dangerous to express.

Like everyone else, I have lots of views that various people might disagree with. It's weird to me how the starting assumption for these discussions is that everyone should be able to say whatever they want in all kinds of public accessible spaces, without any fear of it biting them in the butt. I have a twitter account, but I don't post anything on it. I use other social media just to post pictures of children and dogs. Part of that is just that I don't think the world needs more people ranting about politics on facebook. I'm just somebody who reads a lot of stuff, but I don't think that means I'm really going to add anything to the world with my takes. However, I also don't really want to have to worry about everyone in the world is going to perceive my half formed thoughts on social media. I make occasional exceptions to this policy. For example, I have responded to misinformation about COVID vaccines. In that case, I think whatever risk is involved is worth it, but I'm trying to make a considered calculation.

Self censorship isn't some terrible leftist plot. It's an important skill for functional adults. People should think about what they write and how other people will view it, and that includes employers. The only thing that makes this new is that a lot more people are writing things in public spaces than used to. When I go on facebook or Twitter, I don't come away thinking "man, I wish everyone felt more free to just say whatever they were thinking, that would make this a much more healthy place."
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 17, 2021, 08:40:06 AM

8) Are you and I and all the other forumites allowed to have a private life in which we can develop our own beliefs without fear of losing everything we have worked for because we express ourselves?


My sense is that Caracal doesn't ever see himself holding views which would be that dangerous to express.

If I recall correctly Caracal has a spouse with tenure, so would most likely be safe from retribution. And the obvious, his views are lock-step with the far left majority in academia, so would likely only attract attention positively.
It's kind of hard to take people taking up arguments of principle when those principles one purports to have are only remotely likely to ever see any test. And meanwhile, others in their midst are paying big penalties.



You really are oddly like Poly sometimes...

I don't work at the same institution as my spouse, for what that's worth. I don't have any protection from anything I've mentioned minor details about my life in these threads before, as others do. I don't think that makes it appropriate to bring those up and attribute my views to my supposed privileged status. (I'm the spouse of a college professor, not a billionaire, so its a little confusing)

Your inability to actually engage with the substance of the argument is rather telling. But I think I'm done engaging with you on this.

I have engaged in the substance herein, but I think you didn't read it. #105 and a few other places.

There's nothing in anything you have posted that shows any interest in getting to the bottom of a dispute such as the one that happened at Georgetown with Professor Sandra Sellers. I find that surprising in a research scholar. Kind of lazy. But not surprising from a person who's drinking the social justice Kool-Aid being served currently. The impression you give me is that if anyone from a 'marginalized group' says they are offended by what a professor says, they should be kicked out like a football, even after apologizing, even after a 20 year track record of success in and out of the academy. I find your lack of interest bizarre. And it's also obvious that your take on the situation is, in our current political climate, the path of least resistance.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 17, 2021, 09:01:13 AM

8) Are you and I and all the other forumites allowed to have a private life in which we can develop our own beliefs without fear of losing everything we have worked for because we express ourselves?


My sense is that Caracal doesn't ever see himself holding views which would be that dangerous to express.

Like everyone else, I have lots of views that various people might disagree with. It's weird to me how the starting assumption for these discussions is that everyone should be able to say whatever they want in all kinds of public accessible spaces, without any fear of it biting them in the butt.

No-one has ever made such a broad claim. The old expression of not being allowed to yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theatre comes to mind. I can't think of anyone who has advocated absolute freedom for anyone to say anything anywhere.

In the case of Sandra Sellers, she was fired over stating an observation, which would be very easy to verify. Her colleague  was disciplined over merely listening to her and not objecting!

Do you really think that "listening in silence" ought to be a punishable offence?


Quote
Self censorship isn't some terrible leftist plot. It's an important skill for functional adults. People should think about what they write and how other people will view it, and that includes employers.

The problem is, as in the Sandra Sellers case, increasingly "what they write" includes observations of objectively verifiable facts. All it takes is for someone to not like to hear those facts expressed.

In law, the accepted ironclad defense against slander and libel charges has consisted of showing that the statement was factually correct. However, in cancel culture factual correctness is entirely irrelevant. Expressing an "inconvenient truth" is grounds for punishment.
 
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 17, 2021, 11:42:19 AM

It's weird to me how the starting assumption for these discussions is that everyone should be able to say whatever they want in all kinds of public accessible spaces, without any fear of it biting them in the butt.

Self censorship isn't some terrible leftist plot.

Never said either of those things.  Those are strawman, moving-the-goal-posts arguments.

I said...

3) We already have laws that protect us from people who act on their egregious beliefs. 

4) We already have axiomatic protection from people who break their employers' protocols. 

5) If we stopped at thought-policing police officers...okay...maybe.  But that small catalog of stories included all sorts of people in all sorts of careers and scenarios. 

*****

9) Are the Seuss and Mary Poppins controversies a symptom of hysterical thinking?

Which cover your objections above.

If I tweeted, "Caracal decapitates Muppets and buries them in Central Park" you can sue me for libel.    You can sue for a restraining order if I threaten you.  If I flunk a student because I do not like her or his Justin Bieber T-shirt I could and should lose my job.  If I tell my provost that his mustache makes him look like a walrus...well, I am not sure what would happen, but I would face the consequences.

If I tweet from my home that my university is running a form of reverse-discrimination and All Lives Matter, that is my right (although I believe neither of those, just to be clear) and I should not have to worry.

And YOU may exercise restraint on social media, but for a lot of people they see social media as their megaphone to the world.

And yeah, "everyone should be able to say whatever they want in all kinds of public accessible spaces" IS free speech, complete with its consequences. 

So yes, everyone should be able to say whatever they want in all kinds of public accessible spaces.  Yes.  Then they can then deal with the effects of their speech.

If parents want to exercise their free speech, they don't have to read Dr. Seuss to their kids.

If you want to clean the public space...

Oliver Twist is one of the most anti-Semitic and sexist books I have ever read.

Hemingway?  Piggy pig-pig-pig-piggy

Faulker's novels are an indictment of southern racism----but it is pretty clear Faulker was a southern racist if you read his interviews.

Lolita by Nabokov!?!?!  Oh lordy.

Catch-22 insults veterans, and uses all sorts of sexist ideologies and racist dialog, which make Heller's point.

Even listened to Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols?

Ever watched Pan's Labyrinth or Pulp Fiction

I'm sorry, man, but you are wrong.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: apl68 on March 17, 2021, 12:50:38 PM

If I tweeted, "Caracal decapitates Muppets and buries them in Central Park" you can sue me for libel

Caracal--it wasn't me who blabbed.  Honest!
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 17, 2021, 12:56:15 PM

If I tweeted, "Caracal decapitates Muppets and buries them in Central Park" you can sue me for libel

Caracal--it wasn't me who blabbed.  Honest!

Just so you all know, you can NEVER trust apl68 with ANYTHING!!!
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Puget on March 17, 2021, 01:15:11 PM
Quote
If parents want to exercise their free speech, they don't have to read Dr. Seuss to their kids.

And the Suess estate can exercise its free speech rights by deciding not to publish certain books any more, which is what they did.
You keep forgetting that free speech rights are vis-a-vis the government not private individuals or companies.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 17, 2021, 01:28:36 PM
Quote
If parents want to exercise their free speech, they don't have to read Dr. Seuss to their kids.

And the Suess estate can exercise its free speech rights by deciding not to publish certain books any more, which is what they did.
You keep forgetting that free speech rights are vis-a-vis the government not private individuals or companies.

I don't recall anyone suggesting that they didn't have the right to stop publishing. My criticism is for the virtue-signalling explanation, and my concern is that increasingly more organizations and individuals feel that such virtue-signalling is necessary. People expressing views they hold is good; people expressing views they pretend to hold and/or feel they are supposed to hold is a different matter. In the Seuss case, if they were concerned that even if they stopped publishing those titles, but didn't make the public statement they did that they might in future be boycotted, then it makes the point that actions matter less than perceived ideological correctness.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 17, 2021, 02:04:10 PM
Quote
If parents want to exercise their free speech, they don't have to read Dr. Seuss to their kids.

Read them Beyonce lyrics, since they need positive role models. (As the Obamas have stated).

"Driver roll up the partition please I don't need you seeing Yonce on her knees ... Monica lewinskied all on my gown"

What comes of thinking nothing produced by American black popular culture can be anything but wonderful.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 17, 2021, 02:16:15 PM
Quote
If parents want to exercise their free speech, they don't have to read Dr. Seuss to their kids.

And the Suess estate can exercise its free speech rights by deciding not to publish certain books any more, which is what they did.
You keep forgetting that free speech rights are vis-a-vis the government not private individuals or companies.

Agreed and agreed.

My point is that once we begin to allow corporate and government entities to control free expression in the public sphere we have a dangerous scenario.

I would suggest we need laws to protect our speech off-the-clock.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Puget on March 17, 2021, 03:32:48 PM
Quote
If parents want to exercise their free speech, they don't have to read Dr. Seuss to their kids.

And the Suess estate can exercise its free speech rights by deciding not to publish certain books any more, which is what they did.
You keep forgetting that free speech rights are vis-a-vis the government not private individuals or companies.

Agreed and agreed.

My point is that once we begin to allow corporate and government entities to control free expression in the public sphere we have a dangerous scenario.

I would suggest we need laws to protect our speech off-the-clock.

Since the government isn't punishing anyone* in any of these examples you've cited (that I saw), you are suggesting employment laws that would bar companies from firing or otherwise punishing an employee for off-the-clock speech? That's an interesting idea, but would be a pretty radical change from our generally at-will employment system. I think you'd also agree there would have to be some exceptions for cases where the off-the-clock speech clearly impacts the ability to do the job (including loss of public trust) or indicates lack of competence to do the job (e.g., surely you don't want your MD spouting psuedo-science?).
At any rate, it is not something covered by the 1st. Amendment and would be new legal territory in the US.

*Again, in the case of the actual topic of this thread, no one is punishing anyone- -a company made a business decision for itself, end of story.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 17, 2021, 04:48:51 PM

Since the government isn't punishing anyone* in any of these examples you've cited (that I saw), you are suggesting employment laws that would bar companies from firing or otherwise punishing an employee for off-the-clock speech? That's an interesting idea, but would be a pretty radical change from our generally at-will employment system. I think you'd also agree there would have to be some exceptions for cases where the off-the-clock speech clearly impacts the ability to do the job (including loss of public trust) or indicates lack of competence to do the job (e.g., surely you don't want your MD spouting psuedo-science?).
At any rate, it is not something covered by the 1st. Amendment and would be new legal territory in the US.


*Again, in the case of the actual topic of this thread, no one is punishing anyone- -a company made a business decision for itself, end of story.

I anticipated this response.  I almost preemptively posted but my posts tend to be too long already.

We DO protect people in the employment sphere for things that are not directly job related.

If I went to Facebook and said...

I have converted to Catholicism / Buddhism / etc....
I am gay...
I am marrying an African American / Native American / etc....
I am pregnant (impossible for me but just hypothetically speaking)...
I found out my parents are immigrants...

...and I was fired I am protected, even if a pregnant-gay-Catholic-Buddhist-African / Native-American-son-of-immigrants may damage the image of my employer in some people's eyes.

I got this idea some years ago after dinner with a colleague whose wife was one of those liberal pot-smoking lawyers who, during a discussion about a school teacher who had lost her job because some parent found Facebook party-pics from her college days, said very simply, "The laws are not keeping up."

I am sure you are right that this might be "new legal territory"...but everything above was at one point new legal territory.  Social media is new territory.  Maybe we need laws for new territories.

And no, I think an employer can take action the moment a person's beliefs affect their employment , not before.  Free expression should be sacrosanct.

The link to Dr. Seuss is the zeitgeist.  We want to anneal the effects of the past, a laudable thing.  It is perfectly legitimate for the publisher to decide not the publish a book that, in their estimation, carries a damaging message.  That is free speech.  It is another thing to demand speech to be shut down.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 18, 2021, 06:01:19 AM
Wahoo's idea is brilliant. What would follow is a challenge from the woke party, the democrats, since they currently derive a good chunk of their political effect and power from that gold mine, white guilt and fear. If a white person could say at lunch to a co-worker or in the evening on FB after a couple of scotch and sodas "immigrant people from Indiristan would be more successful if they'd pick better wage earning academic careers as opposed to the silly social justice and identity politics ones they currently like" then even if it were captured on video, easily referenceable, ready for worldwide broadcast, he still has a right to keep his job as long as he does it well enough. In other words, flawed opinionated and outspoken people still have a right to work, raise children and pay taxes in the electronic dominated era, and will get a measure of legal protection specifically for that right. This would be a loss for for the woke party. How would they respond once their hand is forced would be interesting.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 18, 2021, 09:06:12 AM
Well mahagonny, before you engage too eagerly in a revenge fantasy pertaining to the "woke crowd" (what is that anyway?) I was rather thinking of someone like myself who would agree almost point-by-point with Caracal on most things, if not this one.

Not that long ago I found myself in a raucous online debate with a grandmother who lives somewhere up there in the frozen upper Midwest.  The subject was Donald Trump.  The last thing she said to me before she logged off was, and I quote, "You'll get your comeuppance." 

She was actually fantasizing (pertaining to the woke crowd) about a civil war and military tribunals, but I absolutely guarantee you that had she had found out that I was a *dreaded-socialist- academic-who-indoctrinated-the-youth-with-Marxism-or-some-such-dross* at a state university she would have looked for my head on a platter (maybe literally). 

The internet allows us all to be tattletales and expect our own peeves to result in (yes, this is the right word) punishment.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 18, 2021, 10:31:42 AM
And lest my fears of the tattletale zeitgeist seem overblown:

Open Season on the Faculty (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/02/11/open-legislative-season-faculty-iowa-and-elsewhere)

Quote
Proposed legislation in Iowa would require the state’s Board of Regents to survey all employees of the three universities it oversees as to their political party affiliations, disaggregating the data by job classification but not by individual. The regents would deliver the information to state lawmakers by the end of the calendar year.

The bill doesn’t provide an explanation, and Jim Carlin, the Republican state senator who introduced it, didn’t respond to a request for comment. But the meaning is clear: by disaggregating employee groups, Iowa’s General Assembly could measure the political beliefs of the faculty.

In Iowa and elsewhere in recent years, Republican state lawmakers have lamented what they describe as academe’s lack of intellectual or ideological diversity.

In 2017, for instance, another Iowa Republican state legislator proposed an ultimately unsuccessful bill that would have prevented regents institutions from hiring professors who caused the “percentage of the faculty belonging to one political party to exceed by 10 percent” the share of the faculty belonging to the other dominant party. Under that bill, Iowa’s commissioner of elections was to provide voter registration data to colleges and universities once a year. Carlin’s new bill represents a new way of getting at that party affiliation data.

Quote
At the time, faculty members across Florida wondered what would happen if they refused to answer questions about their political beliefs. Would they be punished, for instance?

Quote
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education this week launched a new legal defense fund and 24-7 hotline for public college and university faculty members, citing a rise in threats of censorship and punishment for speech and research.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 18, 2021, 10:52:13 AM
And lest my fears of the tattletale zeitgeist seem overblown:

Open Season on the Faculty (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/02/11/open-legislative-season-faculty-iowa-and-elsewhere)

Quote
Proposed legislation in Iowa would require the state’s Board of Regents to survey all employees of the three universities it oversees as to their political party affiliations, disaggregating the data by job classification but not by individual. The regents would deliver the information to state lawmakers by the end of the calendar year.

The bill doesn’t provide an explanation, and Jim Carlin, the Republican state senator who introduced it, didn’t respond to a request for comment. But the meaning is clear: by disaggregating employee groups, Iowa’s General Assembly could measure the political beliefs of the faculty.

In Iowa and elsewhere in recent years, Republican state lawmakers have lamented what they describe as academe’s lack of intellectual or ideological diversity.

In 2017, for instance, another Iowa Republican state legislator proposed an ultimately unsuccessful bill that would have prevented regents institutions from hiring professors who caused the “percentage of the faculty belonging to one political party to exceed by 10 percent” the share of the faculty belonging to the other dominant party. Under that bill, Iowa’s commissioner of elections was to provide voter registration data to colleges and universities once a year. Carlin’s new bill represents a new way of getting at that party affiliation data.

Quote
At the time, faculty members across Florida wondered what would happen if they refused to answer questions about their political beliefs. Would they be punished, for instance?

Quote
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education this week launched a new legal defense fund and 24-7 hotline for public college and university faculty members, citing a rise in threats of censorship and punishment for speech and research.

And even though we come from different parts of the political spectrum, I find this just as problematic as you.  Policing people for ideology is a very bad idea, even if the supposed goal is to ensure diversity of thought.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 18, 2021, 11:02:48 AM
Well mahagonny, before you engage too eagerly in a revenge fantasy pertaining to the "woke crowd" (what is that anyway?) I was rather thinking of someone like myself who would agree almost point-by-point with Caracal on most things, if not this one.

Not that long ago I found myself in a raucous online debate with a grandmother who lives somewhere up there in the frozen upper Midwest.  The subject was Donald Trump.  The last thing she said to me before she logged off was, and I quote, "You'll get your comeuppance." 

She was actually fantasizing (pertaining to the woke crowd) about a civil war and military tribunals, but I absolutely guarantee you that had she had found out that I was a *dreaded-socialist- academic-who-indoctrinated-the-youth-with-Marxism-or-some-such-dross* at a state university she would have looked for my head on a platter (maybe literally). 

The internet allows us all to be tattletales and expect our own peeves to result in (yes, this is the right word) punishment.

Without knowing the grandmother from the midwest, I can still speculate about her possible frame of mind. For tens of millions of voters, when you (not you, wahoo, but anyone) says they must be racist because they either
didn't vote for Obama
didn't like Obama's policies, hoped they would falter and eventually be scrapped
wondered whether he was born in the USA before hearing all the available facts
voted against Hillary with certainty
are not jumping for joy because the USA now has a "woman of color" Veep
watch Rush Limbaugh
what they hear is you mean they are racist in the worst, fullest sense of the word. That they both harbor implicit, unrecognized racism, and have conscious thought level racism that they enjoy. And when you do something like that, you're playing with dynamite. And really, I can only shake my head in astonishment at people who fail to see this, or think it's responsible citizenship. And you probably never called her a racist, but it doesn't even matter at this point.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 18, 2021, 11:40:16 AM
Well M., this grandmother insists that voter fraud won Biden the job despite extensive evidence to the contrary, and she hopes that people with guns will take over the government and put people like me out of business.  We never discussed race. 

I don't know if Trump is really a racist in the generally accept definition of the term, but she sure had no trouble playing the race-implication card.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 18, 2021, 04:55:25 PM
Well M., this grandmother insists that voter fraud won Biden the job despite extensive evidence to the contrary, and she hopes that people with guns will take over the government and put people like me out of business.  We never discussed race. 

I don't know if Trump is really a racist in the generally accept definition of the term, but she sure had no trouble playing the race-implication card.

As I suspected, she's madder than a hornet for being called a racist for four years by almost everyone in the media, after being asked to vote, by the media. Common sense, man.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 18, 2021, 06:41:39 PM
Maybe she should examine her beliefs.  Common sense, you know.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: financeguy on March 19, 2021, 03:43:45 AM
Or maybe those levying that particular charge should stop expanding the use of words such that whatever is needed to score a political point becomes definitional. Remember that anyone is a racist is the definition is broadened enough. We're up to pretty much the entire white population now so at a certain point the word may cease to have any punch. It's kind of like how the F word used to shock, but now one needs to use the C word and even that's becoming commonplace. Even if your goal is to hold a race card over the head of others to score political points, the frequent and expanded use of that card is diminishing its power. Even those on the left have been saying to drop the frivolous complaints and direct that energy to real issues, but a fish is gonna swim, hatters gonna hate, and the woke will virtue signal to their own detriment.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 19, 2021, 06:57:00 AM
Maybe she should examine her beliefs.  Common sense, you know.

We all should. Just ask around and people will tell you!! Cheers
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 19, 2021, 11:23:24 AM


I anticipated this response.  I almost preemptively posted but my posts tend to be too long already.

We DO protect people in the employment sphere for things that are not directly job related.

If I went to Facebook and said...

I have converted to Catholicism / Buddhism / etc....
I am gay...
I am marrying an African American / Native American / etc....
I am pregnant (impossible for me but just hypothetically speaking)...
I found out my parents are immigrants...

...and I was fired I am protected, even if a pregnant-gay-Catholic-Buddhist-African / Native-American-son-of-immigrants may damage the image of my employer in some people's eyes.

I got this idea some years ago after dinner with a colleague whose wife was one of those liberal pot-smoking lawyers who, during a discussion about a school teacher who had lost her job because some parent found Facebook party-pics from her college days, said very simply, "The laws are not keeping up."

I am sure you are right that this might be "new legal territory"...but everything above was at one point new legal territory.  Social media is new territory.  Maybe we need laws for new territories.

And no, I think an employer can take action the moment a person's beliefs affect their employment , not before.  Free expression should be sacrosanct.


I agree with parts of this. You're right, of course, that some things are protected. That's why the legal term is protected categories. There are particular things you cannot fire people for. Everything else is allowed. You can fire someone because they pick their nose in meetings, but you can't fire them because they were a veteran.

It is really screwed up when people get fired because of some picture. I have similar feelings about the unearthing of racist tweets from when, now famous, people were seventeen. Just because we live in a world where people's casual, juvenile racism is preserved, doesn't mean we have to assume it reflects their current beliefs.

However, the problem I see with your proposal is that I can't see how you can create some clear line about what speech does affect employment and which doesn't. If we go back to the examples much earlier, I think racist speech by police officers goes directly to their suitability for their job. If I was an employer, I would certainly think that a person who screams racial abuse at strangers on the streets is probably going to not be someone you want working at your business.

I'm not sure this is a problem that can really be solved by laws-maybe some elements of it could be addressed, but I think most of this is just about the messy process of adapting to new technologies, new ideas of privacy and accessibility and chaining ideas around acceptable behavior.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 19, 2021, 11:42:18 AM

However, the problem I see with your proposal is that I can't see how you can create some clear line about what speech does affect employment and which doesn't. If we go back to the examples much earlier, I think racist speech by police officers goes directly to their suitability for their job. If I was an employer, I would certainly think that a person who screams racial abuse at strangers on the streets is probably going to not be someone you want working at your business.


This kind of hyperbole makes it difficult to have a meaningful discussion. Of course someone who screams abuse at strangers isn't a good choice for an employee; the person probably has some sort of a mental illness. But in our current society, many people would equate something like wearing a MAGA hat with screaming abuse at strangers. The total unwillingness by many to judge behaviour differently from perceived intent is the problem.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 19, 2021, 12:28:53 PM

However, the problem I see with your proposal is that I can't see how you can create some clear line about what speech does affect employment and which doesn't. If we go back to the examples much earlier, I think racist speech by police officers goes directly to their suitability for their job. If I was an employer, I would certainly think that a person who screams racial abuse at strangers on the streets is probably going to not be someone you want working at your business.


This kind of hyperbole makes it difficult to have a meaningful discussion. Of course someone who screams abuse at strangers isn't a good choice for an employee; the person probably has some sort of a mental illness. But in our current society, many people would equate something like wearing a MAGA hat with screaming abuse at strangers. The total unwillingness by many to judge behaviour differently from perceived intent is the problem.

Re: "screaming racial abuse at strangers" (which of course can only mean while against black): If you read what the some of the most dishonest leaders of the woke, 'antiracist' community write, Charles Blow at NYT et al, you can see that their attitude is if something was happening in 1960 or before, you can describe the incident with vivid drama, then connect it with a magical, seamless segue, to how we are supposed to feel about race relations today, as though it is still happening.  Good outrage need never go to waste. Evidently they think we're dumb.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 19, 2021, 01:24:42 PM

However, the problem I see with your proposal is that I can't see how you can create some clear line about what speech does affect employment and which doesn't. If we go back to the examples much earlier, I think racist speech by police officers goes directly to their suitability for their job. If I was an employer, I would certainly think that a person who screams racial abuse at strangers on the streets is probably going to not be someone you want working at your business.


This kind of hyperbole makes it difficult to have a meaningful discussion. Of course someone who screams abuse at strangers isn't a good choice for an employee; the person probably has some sort of a mental illness. But in our current society, many people would equate something like wearing a MAGA hat with screaming abuse at strangers. The total unwillingness by many to judge behaviour differently from perceived intent is the problem.

That was referencing one of the actual news articles upthread presented as an example of someone fired for their beliefs. It involved an actual person screaming racial abuse at a stranger on the street who got fired as a result. I very much doubt they would have been fired for wearing a MAGA hat...
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 19, 2021, 03:13:46 PM
However, the problem I see with your proposal is that I can't see how you can create some clear line about what speech does affect employment and which doesn't.

This is why we need laws that protect our speech off-the-clock.  How do you determine what speech is safe for your employer?  The police officer who posted support for her niece at a BLM rally----that example could not be any better.

As I said, the line should be when behavior directly affects employment on-the-clock, not before.

Your anti-racism police officer has the right to an opinion.  Even your racist police officer has a right to an opinion, like it or not.  You see your employee screaming invective on the street?----tough noogies.  That is your employee's right.  I'll say a simple idea one more time: The minute we allow corporate entities to police our language and our beliefs we are in very dangerous territory. 

I think you have ideas about what people should say and be allowed to say. 

And the bigger problem is that, yeah, the internet allows us to unearth 20-year-old adolescent behavior or our idiotic moments, and these can badly damage us.  Zeitgeist. 
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 19, 2021, 05:33:29 PM
However, the problem I see with your proposal is that I can't see how you can create some clear line about what speech does affect employment and which doesn't.

This is why we need laws that protect our speech off-the-clock.  How do you determine what speech is safe for your employer?  The police officer who posted support for her niece at a BLM rally----that example could not be any better.

As I said, the line should be when behavior directly affects employment on-the-clock, not before.

Your anti-racism police officer has the right to an opinion.  Even your racist police officer has a right to an opinion, like it or not.  You see your employee screaming invective on the street?----tough noogies.  That is your employee's right.  I'll say a simple idea one more time: The minute we allow corporate entities to police our language and our beliefs we are in very dangerous territory. 

I think you have ideas about what people should say and be allowed to say. 

And the bigger problem is that, yeah, the internet allows us to unearth 20-year-old adolescent behavior or our idiotic moments, and these can badly damage us.  Zeitgeist.

I certainly do have ideas about what people should say. I believe in free speech, but I don't believe in consequence free speech. I'm not crazy about employers policing speech as a general principal, but there are times where it would be absurd to ignore it. The problem is that it isn't just about the employer. I'm fine with working with people I disagree with about things, but I'm not ok working with a guy who screams racial invective on the street, even if I'm not the group he's targeting. As Marshwiggle said, that's an unstable person who might be a danger.

The racist police officer does have the right to his opinion, but he doesn't have the right to openly express racist ideas and be a police officer. That's a person who is a danger to many of the people he's supposed to be protecting and who pay his salary with their taxes. Now, I think there's a need for clear regulations that define what kind of speech should be protected for police officers. Those regulations should protect someone from, for example, expressing ideas about black lives matter movements, whether positive or negative, as long as those ideas aren't something like "those protestors should all be shot."

Even Academic free speech, which gives pretty broad protections, does have its limits, as it should. A professor who writes on Twitter "jews always cheat on exams" is essentially announcing that he can't be trusted to treat students fairly.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 19, 2021, 06:04:29 PM
As Marshwiggle said, that's an unstable person who might be a danger.

"might?"  Or they might NOT be "a danger." So we fire and limit people based on predictions?  Is that fair or safe? 

Again, there are many people who believe we are "a danger," maybe not in the assaultive sense (which seems to be what frightens you) but in a moral and philosophic sense.  You want to give them the power to silence us by threatening what we do for a living?

The racist police officer does have the right to his opinion, but he doesn't have the right to openly express racist ideas and be a police officer. That's a person who is a danger to many of the people he's supposed to be protecting and who pay his salary with their taxes.

So if a devout Catholic police officer expresses orthodox prolife sentiments, may we assume she or he would neglect to protect prochoice protestors?  Seems to me we cannot trust this police officer.

Now, I think there's a need for clear regulations that define what kind of speech should be protected for police officers. Those regulations should protect someone from, for example, expressing ideas about black lives matter movements, whether positive or negative, as long as those ideas aren't something like "those protestors should all be shot."

Well...specifically, that is NOT what is happening.  In fact, just exactly the opposite is happening.

Even Academic free speech, which gives pretty broad protections, does have its limits, as it should. A professor who writes on Twitter "jews always cheat on exams" is essentially announcing that he can't be trusted to treat students fairly.

Firstly, you cannot make that sort of determination, even with extreme expression as evidence.  We all say things.     

Secondly, expression is sacrosanct.  It is a cornerstone of American civilization.  It is actually more important than the possibility that someone might do something bad.  Again, we have mechanisms to rectify and combat bad people's bad actions.  Now you want to silence their ideas? 

It's interesting to think about, but did it ever occur to you that you drive these bigotries and hatreds underground.  Certainly a few crazies write something like "all jews cheat on tests," generally under a pseudonym, and some might get caught at it----but these ideas do not disappear just because you will not tolerate their expression.   

Do you think your limitations and restrictions are going to change anything for the better?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 19, 2021, 06:35:04 PM

Secondly, expression is sacrosanct.  It is a cornerstone of American civilization.  It is actually more important than the possibility that someone might do something bad.  Again, we have mechanisms to rectify and combat bad people's bad actions.  Now you want to silence their ideas? 


Do you think your limitations and restrictions are going to change anything for the better?

You keep saying you know that the first amendment just applies to governments, but then you write stuff like this and I don't now if you do. Free expression doesn't mean you can't get fired for your beliefs or for things you say. It has never meant that. There never has been some principle that everyone can say anything they want and not face consequences for it. That's not what people like J.S Mill thought. its just something you've made up.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 19, 2021, 06:51:20 PM

Professor fired for saying her worst students were black (https://www.indy100.com/news/georgetown-university-professor-fired-black-racism-b1817024)


Breaking news:  Alan Dershowitz weighs in, in Newsweek, no less. And validates us. Georgetown Law School was way around the bend on this one, and I hope there's more discussion and furor. And also, according to Dershowitz, stifling free speech by the politically correct mob has become an epidemic in academia. https://www.newsweek.com/georgetown-fires-professor-agonizing-over-black-students-grades-opinion-1576636

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 19, 2021, 08:49:50 PM

Secondly, expression is sacrosanct.  It is a cornerstone of American civilization.  It is actually more important than the possibility that someone might do something bad.  Again, we have mechanisms to rectify and combat bad people's bad actions.  Now you want to silence their ideas? 


Do you think your limitations and restrictions are going to change anything for the better?

You keep saying you know that the first amendment just applies to governments, but then you write stuff like this and I don't now if you do. Free expression doesn't mean you can't get fired for your beliefs or for things you say. It has never meant that. There never has been some principle that everyone can say anything they want and not face consequences for it. That's not what people like J.S Mill thought. its just something you've made up.

Yeeeeesssss Caracal.  Pedantry is not a debate point.  You have no esoteric understanding.

Did I ever mention the First Amendment?  Please don't strawman.

I am saying, very simply, that once we allow corporate and governmental entities, our employers, the ability to censor us outside the workplace we are in very dangerous waters.  I simply use "free speech" as a familiar concept.  I see our lack of protections from our employers as a threat to the freedoms enshrined in our contract with the government.

I am saying we need protection from employers who would censor us.

I am also saying that universities who fire professors for complaining privately about black students is in the same territory as those who demand Dr. Seuss be shut down. 

I am further saying that one think of this issue very one-dimensionally and do not seem to comprehend that you could be on the chopping block.  I am guessing you are not a MAGA hat wearing person?  Might you have expressed yourself on social media or in a private email?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 19, 2021, 09:26:07 PM
I don't much care for Dershowitz, but read the essay:

"The chilling effect on freedom of expression and freedom of belief was perhaps best reflected by the abject apologies issued by both participants in the conversation."

"Those of us who strongly believe in academic freedom, freedom of thought and expression and true diversity of ideas must fight back against the groupthink now being imposed by university administrators, at the demand of students and others who seek to censor certain ideas. Firing professors for expressing deeply felt angst and honestly believed positions on complex matters is simply un-American. Georgetown is better than that, and must do better for the sake of all Americans who have the right to hear all points of view on divisive issues."

I think, Caracal, that Dershowitz understands the First Amendment.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 20, 2021, 08:35:41 AM
I don't much care for Dershowitz, but read the essay:

"The chilling effect on freedom of expression and freedom of belief was perhaps best reflected by the abject apologies issued by both participants in the conversation."

"Those of us who strongly believe in academic freedom, freedom of thought and expression and true diversity of ideas must fight back against the groupthink now being imposed by university administrators, at the demand of students and others who seek to censor certain ideas. Firing professors for expressing deeply felt angst and honestly believed positions on complex matters is simply un-American. Georgetown is better than that, and must do better for the sake of all Americans who have the right to hear all points of view on divisive issues."

I think, Caracal, that Dershowitz understands the First Amendment.

I don't love Dershowitz either but I am thinking more 'don't look a gift horse in the mouth.' The thing was said correctly and it needed to be said by someone who gets written about when he has something to say.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on April 10, 2021, 08:30:26 AM
eBay takes the moral stand: https://www.businessinsider.com/discontinued-dr-seuss-books-with-racist-imagery-removed-by-ebay-2021-3

While continuing to make pornography available to children
https://community.ebay.com/t5/Archive-Bidding-Buying/why-does-ebay-allow-sellers-to-sell-pornography/td-p/20416984
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on April 10, 2021, 09:11:05 AM
Dershowitz is just angry that the people of Martha's Vineyard won't talk to him any more, ever since he got all Trumpy.

Why they ever bothered to be nice to a man whose first wife disappeared under suspicious circumstances and who then made it his life's work to defend men who'd definitely murdered their wives, and who was a platinum Epstein-club fanboy, I don't know.

As for campus free speech, the real threat remains the right (https://theintercept.com/2021/04/10/campus-reform-koch-young-americans-for-freedom-leadership-institute/).
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on April 10, 2021, 10:27:42 AM
Remember when Dershowitz cancelled Norm Finkelstein: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Finkelstein#Tenure_rejection_and_resignation

Funny, I don't remember conservatives complaining about that
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on April 10, 2021, 03:37:43 PM
Remember when Dershowitz cancelled Norm Finkelstein: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Finkelstein#Tenure_rejection_and_resignation

Funny, I don't remember conservatives complaining about that

Perfect example of why we need to protect freedom of expression on the campus.

As I posted before, people only imagine the sword cutting one way (and then all the bad people will have to shut up) but it's a double-edged weapon.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: pepsi_alum on April 10, 2021, 09:23:06 PM
I mostly don't post in culture war threads because I figure that people have spent their entire lives figuring out their own beliefs and that arguing about it probably isn't going to change minds. I did want to quickly weigh in here. According to WorldCat, And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street is still available at 3,007 libraries (https://www.worldcat.org/title/and-to-think-that-i-saw-it-on-mulberry-street/oclc/1091996916&referer=brief_results) and McElligot's Pool is still available at 2,232 libraries (https://www.worldcat.org/title/mcelligots-pool/oclc/894497003&referer=brief_results), including the library of several college/universities that are supposedly at the vanguard of cancel culture.

As for the issue that W_R raises about college faculty/staff being fired over spurious allegations of discriminatory behavior that have possible freedom of speech issues associated with them, I think there is an important discussion to be had there. But it will be much more productive conversation if discussed separately from Dr. Seuss.

Just my $.02. That plus $0.50 won't get you a cup of coffee anymore, but you can still use it toward your purchase of either the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal depending on your political beliefs.



PS--Not sure if you can see the location I used in WorldCat. I'm not actually in Washington state -- I just used Olympia as my location to make the point that Evergreen State College does still have a circulating copy of at least one of the Dr. Seuss books in question.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on April 11, 2021, 06:26:37 AM

As for the issue that W_R raises about college faculty/staff being fired over spurious allegations of discriminatory behavior that have possible freedom of speech issues associated with them, I think there is an important discussion to be had there. But it will be much more productive conversation if discussed separately from Dr. Seuss.


There's also the issue of students who are not to the left politically fearing getting ostracized and thus not feeling free express themselves in and out of the classroom.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/evidence-conservative-students-really-do-self-censor/606559/

'Disparaging comments about political conservatives are common.'

For the educator who worries about college faculty/staff being fired over spurious allegations of discriminatory behavior that have possible freedom of speech issues associated with them, it makes sense to focus on the student experience, since
1. Most of us don't have structural academic freedom protection anyway; the only way to cause a furor is to get the press on board, not an easy chore
2. So many faculty are largely isolated from recognition for research, promotion, etc. and are thus pointedly expendable, another mouth to feed,
3. Students, OTOH, have to be listened to because they are where the money comes from, not where it goes.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on April 11, 2021, 06:44:50 AM
I mostly don't post in culture war threads because I figure that people have spent their entire lives figuring out their own beliefs and that arguing about it probably isn't going to change minds. I did want to quickly weigh in here. According to WorldCat, And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street is still available at 3,007 libraries (https://www.worldcat.org/title/and-to-think-that-i-saw-it-on-mulberry-street/oclc/1091996916&referer=brief_results) and McElligot's Pool is still available at 2,232 libraries (https://www.worldcat.org/title/mcelligots-pool/oclc/894497003&referer=brief_results), including the library of several college/universities that are supposedly at the vanguard of cancel culture.

As for the issue that W_R raises about college faculty/staff being fired over spurious allegations of discriminatory behavior that have possible freedom of speech issues associated with them, I think there is an important discussion to be had there. But it will be much more productive conversation if discussed separately from Dr. Seuss.

Just my $.02. That plus $0.50 won't get you a cup of coffee anymore, but you can still use it toward your purchase of either the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal depending on your political beliefs.



PS--Not sure if you can see the location I used in WorldCat. I'm not actually in Washington state -- I just used Olympia as my location to make the point that Evergreen State College does still have a circulating copy of at least one of the Dr. Seuss books in question.

That's my issue with these discussions. Twenty different things get wound up into a big ball-you stick a label on it that says "cancel culture" and then start yelling about it.

This article
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/10/us/politics/kristine-hostetter-capitol.html?action=click&module=In%20Other%20News&pgtype=Homepage

is a good example of the problem. There's just no attempt by anybody here, including the reporter, to actually distinguish between the different threads of the problem and there are a lot of distinct issues which could be treated separately.

1. Was this person just in Washington participating in a political protest many people might find repugnant or were they involved in an illegal and violent attack on the capitol building.

2. The issue of this person's general behavior in the community. I'd be concerned about a fourth grade teacher who screams at families for wearing masks just as a basic issue of good judgement and acceptable treatment of others separate from all the politics behind it.

3. The more complicated issue of political affiliations and the free speech rights of public employees. Courts have held that these rights are extensive, but not absolute. For example, the upheld the firing of police officers for racist speech online or going to white supremacist conferences. Its hard to figure out how to apply that to a really overheated political climate with lots of radicalization going on.

4. The stuff about her husband, which seems not particularly germane. Ok, he seems like a bad dude, but what does that have to do with anything. You can't hold someone responsible for their spouse's actions.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: pepsi_alum on April 11, 2021, 08:05:13 AM
Totally agree, Caracal. I find the whole idea of “cancel culture” frustratingly imprecise. NBC can cancel a television show because of low ratings. I can cancel an Amazon.com shopping order that I made at 2am. The associate vice chancellor of Southern North Dakota State University at Hoople East River campus can cancel a planned speech to alumni donors because he tests positive for Covid. But I can’t “cancel” another person or text I don’t like. I can withdraw my support or choose to boycott them, but I can’t compel other people to do the same against their will, nor should I be able to.

Mahagonny: if you want to start another thread about student free speech issues, go ahead. We still may not reach a meeting of the minds, but I think we’ll find more points of common ground if we consider the issue on its own merits. (For the record, I am a political progressive but I don’t use critical pedagogy in my own classes).
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on April 11, 2021, 08:30:28 AM
Totally agree, Caracal. I find the whole idea of “cancel culture” frustratingly imprecise. NBC can cancel a television show because of low ratings. I can cancel an Amazon.com shopping order that I made at 2am. The associate vice chancellor of Southern North Dakota State University at Hoople East River campus can cancel a planned speech to alumni donors because he tests positive for Covid. But I can’t “cancel” another person or text I don’t like. I can withdraw my support or choose to boycott them, but I can’t compel other people to do the same against their will, nor should I be able to.

What they are really cancelling is your opportunity to think differently from the new liberal orthodoxy, unless you're going to deftly keep it to yourself. By adopting a black lives matter agenda a public school effectively becomes a religious school.
on edit: the student, Esther, recalled that her experience in the classroom with Hostetter was acceptably free of racism as Hostetter taught the kids to be racially colorblind. But she can't do that anymore because the school has signed on with BLM, or they're on the verge of it. So she's now officially a racist. So why would it surprise us if she feels like acting like one here and there? She's branded. The colorblind ethic of MLK is being scrapped.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on April 11, 2021, 08:52:46 AM
Totally agree, Caracal. I find the whole idea of “cancel culture” frustratingly imprecise. NBC can cancel a television show because of low ratings. I can cancel an Amazon.com shopping order that I made at 2am. The associate vice chancellor of Southern North Dakota State University at Hoople East River campus can cancel a planned speech to alumni donors because he tests positive for Covid. But I can’t “cancel” another person or text I don’t like. I can withdraw my support or choose to boycott them, but I can’t compel other people to do the same against their will, nor should I be able to.


Yeah, exactly. And NBC can also cancel a show with good ratings because they decide that they don't want to be associated with the star's politics. There's no right to have a tv show. Public employees have a limited right to express their views without retaliation.  People employed by private employees mostly don't. Faculty members with tenure have rights of academic freedom, which is a different thing. None of us get to be immune to what other people think of our speech.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on April 11, 2021, 10:00:47 AM
Remember when Dershowitz cancelled Norm Finkelstein: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Finkelstein#Tenure_rejection_and_resignation

Funny, I don't remember conservatives complaining about that

Perfect example of why we need to protect freedom of expression on the campus.

As I posted before, people only imagine the sword cutting one way (and then all the bad people will have to shut up) but it's a double-edged weapon.

Great! I'll look forward to the threads from you and others about conservative efforts to cancel people, since we both apparently agree that this is not something that is specific to liberals or Democrats. I'd start with the efforts to cancel the 1619 project, then move on to the attacks on Colin Kirkpatrick's right to free expression (and that of other athletes). If you want something more recent, how about calls by people like Moscow Mitch and Rand Paul for boycotts on MLB or Coca Cola. All of these are more chilling of speech than Dr. Seuss deciding not to print a few of their own books, each is deeply inconsistent with conservative "values," and each was actually endorsed by conservative media and/or politicians.

Looking forward to a rousing discussion of the various conservative efforts to cancel speech!

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on April 11, 2021, 10:14:03 AM
Quote
None of us get to be immune to what other people think of our speech.

Not always true anymore, by a long shot. Black rap artists and comedians are immune from what other people think about their use of 'the N-word.' If that were not true, white people would be able to say, en masse, or at least in majority, 'cut it out.' They have special identity-derived rights to passive-aggression.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: pepsi_alum on April 11, 2021, 10:14:29 AM
Totally agree, Caracal. I find the whole idea of “cancel culture” frustratingly imprecise. NBC can cancel a television show because of low ratings. I can cancel an Amazon.com shopping order that I made at 2am. The associate vice chancellor of Southern North Dakota State University at Hoople East River campus can cancel a planned speech to alumni donors because he tests positive for Covid. But I can’t “cancel” another person or text I don’t like. I can withdraw my support or choose to boycott them, but I can’t compel other people to do the same against their will, nor should I be able to.

What they are really cancelling is your opportunity to think differently from the new liberal orthodoxy, unless you're going to deftly keep it to yourself. By adopting a black lives matter agenda a public school effectively becomes a religious school.
on edit: the student, Esther, recalled that her experience in the classroom with Hostetter was acceptably free of racism as Hostetter taught the kids to be racially colorblind. But she can't do that anymore because the school has signed on with BLM, or they're on the verge of it. So she's now officially a racist. So why would it surprise us if she feels like acting like one here and there? She's branded. The colorblind ethic of MLK is being scrapped.

Mahagonny: it’s clear we’re not going to reach agreement in this thread, and that’s fine with me. I don’t have any desire to pick a personal fight with you over deeply-held personal beliefs. I have just three quick points that I would make in response. Feel free to interpret them as you will:

1) On the point about freedom of thought, I agree in principle that we can’t actively force people to believe things they don’t. As a social scientist who self-identifies as politically progressive, I don’t identify with a critical pedagogy approach to teaching, and when I mention things like critical race theory, I’m always careful to present it as one possible academic perspective rather than absolute truth. No one has ever accused me of being ideologically biased in my teaching evaluations.

2) I think the crux of our disagreement is about whether it’s epistemically possible to cancel someone in the first place. You say in your reply that “what they are really canceling is your opportunity to think differently from the new liberal orthodoxy.” I would maintain that I cannot forcibly compel anyone to change their own political beliefs against their will. But if Person 1 chooses to say “I am no longer associating with Person 2 because I find their beliefs abhorrent,” I don’t see that as canceling. I see that as the marketplace of ideas in action. Other people are still free to form their beliefs about whether or not Person 1’s reactions are justified. 

3) Finally—and I realize I’m getting into the weeds here—I would not characterize MLK Jr.’s vision of race relations as color-blind. Sections of “I Have a Dream” sound color-blind, but that notion isn’t there in later speeches like “A Time to Break Silence” or “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” I’m not aware of any serious work claiming that King personally endorsed color-blindness. (The two of white biographers who wrote the most detailed accounts of his life—Taylor Branch and David Garrow—certainly didn’t believe he was, and Branch isn’t even an academic).
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on April 11, 2021, 11:38:56 AM
Quote
None of us get to be immune to what other people think of our speech.

Not always true anymore, by a long shot. Black rap artists and comedians are immune from what other people think about their use of 'the N-word.' If that were not true, white people would be able to say, en masse, or at least in majority, 'cut it out.' They have special identity-derived rights to passive-aggression.

This is what I mean about the incoherence.

There's nothing unusual about groups using terms to refer to themselves that are derogatory when used by other people. Its so common as to be almost universal. You seem to oddly view it as about fairness, as if using the N word is some great privilege that's being denied to you even though others get to use it.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on April 11, 2021, 11:53:22 AM
Quote
None of us get to be immune to what other people think of our speech.

Not always true anymore, by a long shot. Black rap artists and comedians are immune from what other people think about their use of 'the N-word.' If that were not true, white people would be able to say, en masse, or at least in majority, 'cut it out.' They have special identity-derived rights to passive-aggression.

This is what I mean about the incoherence.

There's nothing unusual about groups using terms to refer to themselves that are derogatory when used by other people. Its so common as to be almost universal. You seem to oddly view it as about fairness, as if using the N word is some great privilege that's being denied to you even though others get to use it.

The big problem with this in in classes. If a class is studying a text, piece of music, etc., which contains those kinds of words written by someone within one of those groups, the current cultural trend is that even in that context anyone not from that group* can't use the word, even in discussing the work. And yet, those same people who would criticize anyone else using the word would be offended if the work were removed from discussion in the first place.


*Including the instructor.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on April 11, 2021, 01:13:21 PM
Quote
None of us get to be immune to what other people think of our speech.

Not always true anymore, by a long shot. Black rap artists and comedians are immune from what other people think about their use of 'the N-word.' If that were not true, white people would be able to say, en masse, or at least in majority, 'cut it out.' They have special identity-derived rights to passive-aggression.

This is what I mean about the incoherence.

There's nothing unusual about groups using terms to refer to themselves that are derogatory when used by other people. Its so common as to be almost universal. You seem to oddly view it as about fairness, as if using the N word is some great privilege that's being denied to you even though others get to use it.

Sorry; wrong.
I don't want to say it. I want everyone to stop saying it.
'The N-word' is considered the worst word in the English language. Look at all the words I can type: Lymey. Kike. Faggot. Polak. Cunt. etc. Can't do that one though. And that's why certain people love to use it. It's a white guilt inducer. Taunting.
This all ties in with the common practice of denying black animosity towards whites. And whites being too cowed to make living space for ourselves.
I don't use those words. But I don't have to listen to them either. Not very often. Whereas 'the N-word' is as common in some genres of sonic recorded entertainment (I won't say 'music') as 'love' is in an old-fashioned musical play.
John Mulaney explains....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg0UWxhJkfk
It's unhealthy for POC to be saying the word too. It's not good for them. Richard Pryor talked about that candidly, later in his career.

on edit: If I can get fired for uttering a certain word, even once, and then apologizing, I don't want to hear anyone using that word. I don't want it on the airwaves. As a courtesy. I don't want it on my brain. It's a fair request, I believe. Of course, I am crazy.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on May 08, 2021, 08:54:20 PM
Cypress College Professor suspended for comments regarding police (https://ktla.com/news/local-news/cypress-college-professor-on-leave-following-viral-video-of-heated-exchange-with-student-who-called-police-heroes-during-online-class/)

Faculty union defends her (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2021/05/06/cypress-college-criticized-faculty-union-not-defending-teacher/4971840001/)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on May 09, 2021, 05:03:44 AM
Cypress College Professor suspended for comments regarding police (https://ktla.com/news/local-news/cypress-college-professor-on-leave-following-viral-video-of-heated-exchange-with-student-who-called-police-heroes-during-online-class/)

Faculty union defends her (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2021/05/06/cypress-college-criticized-faculty-union-not-defending-teacher/4971840001/)

Unless I'm missing something here, it isn't a thing that should get anyone in trouble. I can't say I really understand what she's doing. Interrupting students in the middle of presentations could be fine if its about teaching them to respond to questions on their feet, but if you're going to do it with some students, you'd better do it with all of them, not just ones whose projects you disagree with.

The whole thing seems to be doing a poor job of modeling academic discourse. When students say something I think is wrong, poorly thought out and offensive, I focus on the poorly thought out part. Who cares what my opinions are, and what I'm offended by? My role in class is to insist that we need to back up assertions with evidence and clear arguments.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on May 09, 2021, 06:50:25 AM
Cypress College Professor suspended for comments regarding police (https://ktla.com/news/local-news/cypress-college-professor-on-leave-following-viral-video-of-heated-exchange-with-student-who-called-police-heroes-during-online-class/)

Faculty union defends her (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2021/05/06/cypress-college-criticized-faculty-union-not-defending-teacher/4971840001/)

Unless I'm missing something here, it isn't a thing that should get anyone in trouble. I can't say I really understand what she's doing. Interrupting students in the middle of presentations could be fine if its about teaching them to respond to questions on their feet, but if you're going to do it with some students, you'd better do it with all of them, not just ones whose projects you disagree with.


That's right. If instead it were a student talking in favour of BLM, and a prof kept interrupting to talk about riots, financial concerns, and so on, I doubt that the people supporting this prof would be equally supportive.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on May 09, 2021, 07:09:46 AM
Cypress College Professor suspended for comments regarding police (https://ktla.com/news/local-news/cypress-college-professor-on-leave-following-viral-video-of-heated-exchange-with-student-who-called-police-heroes-during-online-class/)

Faculty union defends her (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2021/05/06/cypress-college-criticized-faculty-union-not-defending-teacher/4971840001/)

Unless I'm missing something here, it isn't a thing that should get anyone in trouble. I can't say I really understand what she's doing. Interrupting students in the middle of presentations could be fine if its about teaching them to respond to questions on their feet, but if you're going to do it with some students, you'd better do it with all of them, not just ones whose projects you disagree with.


That's right. If instead it were a student talking in favour of BLM, and a prof kept interrupting to talk about riots, financial concerns, and so on, I doubt that the people supporting this prof would be equally supportive.

They're getting shown the door for asking people to think practically and avoid danger, even in red states.  https://nypost.com/2021/05/06/alaska-teacher-on-leave-after-racially-insensitive-george-floyd-comments/

A lot of it now is not what is being said but who as doing the talking. If a white teacher says 'don't go out dressing a certain way. Dress neatly and grown-up. Don't walk around looking like heap of laundry. You arouse suspicion.' She's considered racist. If a black teacher said 'what a pathetic country this is! Police pick on people just because of the way they're dressed but only when they are POC.' She's speaking 'truth to power.'
Whereas they are almost saying the same thing, for the standpoint of practical decision making and looking out for the students' safety.

Cypress College Professor suspended for comments regarding police (https://ktla.com/news/local-news/cypress-college-professor-on-leave-following-viral-video-of-heated-exchange-with-student-who-called-police-heroes-during-online-class/)

Faculty union defends her (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2021/05/06/cypress-college-criticized-faculty-union-not-defending-teacher/4971840001/)

Unless I'm missing something here, it isn't a thing that should get anyone in trouble. I can't say I really understand what she's doing. Interrupting students in the middle of presentations could be fine if its about teaching them to respond to questions on their feet, but if you're going to do it with some students, you'd better do it with all of them, not just ones whose projects you disagree with.

The whole thing seems to be doing a poor job of modeling academic discourse. When students say something I think is wrong, poorly thought out and offensive, I focus on the poorly thought out part. Who cares what my opinions are, and what I'm offended by? My role in class is to insist that we need to back up assertions with evidence and clear arguments.

As an aside, the question 'who cares what Professor Caracal's opinions are?' is already answered. They are the acceptable ones. They don't need reinforcing.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on May 09, 2021, 04:52:43 PM

As an aside, the question 'who cares what Professor Caracal's opinions are?' is already answered. They are the acceptable ones. They don't need reinforcing.

What a strange thing to write.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on May 09, 2021, 05:17:46 PM

As an aside, the question 'who cares what Professor Caracal's opinions are?' is already answered. They are the acceptable ones. They don't need reinforcing.

What a strange thing to write.

I think he just means that your views are standard for us "liberals" and so will not be challenged, and only be reinforced, in the academe. 
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on May 09, 2021, 06:47:34 PM

As an aside, the question 'who cares what Professor Caracal's opinions are?' is already answered. They are the acceptable ones. They don't need reinforcing.

What a strange thing to write.

I think he just means that your views are standard for us "liberals" and so will not be challenged, and only be reinforced, in the academe.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on May 10, 2021, 04:40:19 AM

As an aside, the question 'who cares what Professor Caracal's opinions are?' is already answered. They are the acceptable ones. They don't need reinforcing.

What a strange thing to write.

I think he just means that your views are standard for us "liberals" and so will not be challenged, and only be reinforced, in the academe.

Thank you.

Except we were talking about something totally different, and whatever he thinks about my views, the larger point is that they aren't particularly interesting or important to students. When I teach, I'm trying to show students how they can think with more context, perspective and rigor. I'm not sure why weird remarks about my supposedly conventional political views are appropriate...Seems like that kind of thing violates rules...
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on May 10, 2021, 06:05:08 AM
More...https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/05/10/cypress-college-faces-threats-and-allegations-failing-be-antiracist

This confrontation and fallout are heating up. Perhaps this warrants its own thread, but I won't start one, because then it will dead in the water.  Trust your instincts, forumites.

The adjunct union is faulting the administration for not being sufficiently anti-racist. Also not protecting the most vulnerable, which is (three guesses)

"District faculty members of color or those belonging to other minority groups have been disproportionately affected, the union said, as they are “more likely to become targets of white supremacist organizations, news outlets, and individuals.” Ultimately, “the failure to issue a clear and strong statement of support for faculty under the existing circumstances is a failure to be anti-racist. It is a failure to protect our most vulnerable faculty.”
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on May 10, 2021, 06:59:39 AM
More...https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/05/10/cypress-college-faces-threats-and-allegations-failing-be-antiracist


The prof's claim is that this exchange was during the Q and A after the student's presentation. I hope someone can confirm or deny that. Also, I'd like to see how the prof responded to other presentations, to see whether that degree of confrontation was unique to this student.

If the prof's actions were consistent with how all other students were treated, then it's different than if this one was singled out.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: ciao_yall on May 10, 2021, 07:10:54 AM
My classes are full of moments that, taken out of context, would give the Fox News crowd several news cycles worth of entertainment.

It's about positing alternative points of view, whether or not the instructor agrees with these points of view.

It was a debate class. It's all about putting up counterarguments no matter what the student says.

SMDH.


Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on May 10, 2021, 07:29:13 AM
My classes are full of moments that, taken out of context, would give the Fox News crowd several news cycles worth of entertainment.

It's about positing alternative points of view, whether or not the instructor agrees with these points of view.

It was a debate class. It's all about putting up counterarguments no matter what the student says.

SMDH.

Sure, that's how it ought to work. But do you intentionally put up shitty counterarguments to 'challenge' the student, like these ones? Or do you make sure there is something to them? Honestly curious.

'Salim says, “Yet, a lot of police officers have committed an atrocious crime and have gotten away with it and have never been convicted of any of it.”
Ellis says, “This is what I believe. I do support our police. We have bad people, and the people that do bad things should be brought to justice. I agree with that.”
The exchange continues, with Salim saying she has family members who are police officers, and asking if police officers belong on TV shows for children, alongside other kind of heroes. She also argues that modern policing has its roots in groups who tracked down runaway enslaved persons in South.
'
Many people have relatives who are police officers, and many academics have relatives that they can barely stand to hang out with a whole afternoon on Mothers' Day. So that's nothing.
As for the 'roots' argument I could use the same argument to claim that you should never listen to your doctor when he talks about tobacco use, since in decades past some physicians endorsed cigarette brands in commercials. Essentially a guilt by association smear. Which, BTW, describes a lot of what the 'antiracists' are doing.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on May 11, 2021, 10:13:21 AM
More...https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/05/10/cypress-college-faces-threats-and-allegations-failing-be-antiracist


The prof's claim is that this exchange was during the Q and A after the student's presentation. I hope someone can confirm or deny that. Also, I'd like to see how the prof responded to other presentations, to see whether that degree of confrontation was unique to this student.

If the prof's actions were consistent with how all other students were treated, then it's different than if this one was singled out.

The prof should still be terminated for suggesting that you can't trust the police to protect you in the event of an intruder in your home or other threat. This endangers students.
Perhaps ironically, she's only an adjunct; whereas the loopy ideas she's espousing come mostly from the liberal tenured culture who would be solidly protected in her situation. 'So it goes' as Vonnegut might have said.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on May 11, 2021, 11:37:24 AM
con't, example:

https://www.mediaite.com/news/msnbcs-eddie-glaude-says-to-prepare-for-the-reaction-of-the-police-after-chauvin-guilty-verdict/
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on June 30, 2021, 07:33:16 AM
UNC Professor with "Incendiary" Social Media Post (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/06/30/trustee-says-unc-wilmington-isnt-doing-enough-about-professors-facebook-post)

Lawyers trolling for business? (https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/don-t-let-an-employee-s-incendiary-2749546/)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on June 30, 2021, 07:18:45 PM
Interesting hypothetical:

Professor I. M. Whiteguy has a date to begin antiracism training beginning around Fall 2021. He attends through all the sessions, reporting his self-identified white man status (cisgender, heterosexual, if it involves these) and passes with flying colors. Meanwhile he goes on social media in the evening ridiculing the whole affair, play by play, without naming the school. Protected speech or not?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: waterboy on July 01, 2021, 02:26:24 PM
Certainly should be. Obnoxious speech is supposed to be protected.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on July 01, 2021, 02:56:02 PM
Certainly should be. Obnoxious speech is supposed to be protected.

Of course. How else will the terminally offended keep themselves in condition?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on August 10, 2021, 09:04:10 AM
Faculty, we have met the enemy and it is us (https://www.chronicle.com/article/faculty-we-have-met-the-enemy-and-it-is-us) from the CHE magazine.

Another academic freedom issue.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on August 11, 2021, 03:41:19 PM
Faculty, we have met the enemy and it is us (https://www.chronicle.com/article/faculty-we-have-met-the-enemy-and-it-is-us) from the CHE magazine.

Another academic freedom issue.

Even though the chronicle takes his side, they don't even bother to dispute that he was terminated legally? I thought tenure was hard to get because there are a lot of hoops to jump through. Keeping proper contact with your department chair during research leave is one of those hoops. So why should he get special allowances? All the chronicle argument alleges is that the university might have have had an ulterior motive in getting rid of him. Even if they did, that doesn't excuse him from doing his job.
He's even brazen enough to shake them down for a settlement to avoid publicity. Well, what should you expect from an 'antiracism work' scholar. One of the cool people.
https://www.oxfordeagle.com/2021/07/29/university-of-mississippi-reaches-settlement-agreement-with-former-history-professor/
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on August 16, 2021, 09:29:30 AM
I have no profound thoughts on the matter...but I did point out that censorship, government or otherwise, works both ways.  We always imagine that we will shut down the bad people with their bad ideas by, essentially, frightening them into silence----and it can happen to us to.

This is paywalled I think.  From the CHE:

‘Be Paranoid’: Professors Who Teach About Race Approach the Fall With Anxiety
Will administrators stand behind faculty members told not to discuss ‘divisive’ topics? (https://www.chronicle.com/article/be-paranoid-professors-who-teach-about-race-approach-the-fall-with-anxiety[/url)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on August 16, 2021, 12:43:40 PM
I have no profound thoughts on the matter...but I did point out that censorship, government or otherwise, works both ways.  We always imagine that we will shut down the bad people with their bad ideas by, essentially, frightening them into silence----and it can happen to us to.

This is paywalled I think.  From the CHE:

‘Be Paranoid’: Professors Who Teach About Race Approach the Fall With Anxiety
Will administrators stand behind faculty members told not to discuss ‘divisive’ topics? (https://www.chronicle.com/article/be-paranoid-professors-who-teach-about-race-approach-the-fall-with-anxiety[/url)

In the current climate around race, is there any topic that isn't ‘divisive’?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on August 16, 2021, 03:04:33 PM
I have no profound thoughts on the matter...but I did point out that censorship, government or otherwise, works both ways.  We always imagine that we will shut down the bad people with their bad ideas by, essentially, frightening them into silence----and it can happen to us to.

This is paywalled I think.  From the CHE:

‘Be Paranoid’: Professors Who Teach About Race Approach the Fall With Anxiety
Will administrators stand behind faculty members told not to discuss ‘divisive’ topics? (https://www.chronicle.com/article/be-paranoid-professors-who-teach-about-race-approach-the-fall-with-anxiety[/url)

But he's now at Yale. And being 'shut down' by a 'lesser' institution is a feather in his, and Yale's, hats, despite that he fucked up on following the simplest of rules, perhaps intentionally. And the fact that he picked up a nice booty by threatening a lawsuit (who's paying for that settlement? - let me take wild guess: parents and students who borrow money) will be seen as striking a blow for the cause of freedom, truth, and human progress. Such is the tenure track dynasty and its inability to see itself as anything other than eminently holy.
And BTW, higher ed already loves to shut down unpopular ideas. It's called 'dump the adjunct. He didn't kiss my ass properly.' That ship has sailed.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on August 17, 2021, 12:09:40 AM
I have no profound thoughts on the matter...but I did point out that censorship, government or otherwise, works both ways.  We always imagine that we will shut down the bad people with their bad ideas by, essentially, frightening them into silence----and it can happen to us to.

This is paywalled I think.  From the CHE:

‘Be Paranoid’: Professors Who Teach About Race Approach the Fall With Anxiety
Will administrators stand behind faculty members told not to discuss ‘divisive’ topics? (https://www.chronicle.com/article/be-paranoid-professors-who-teach-about-race-approach-the-fall-with-anxiety[/url)

In the current climate around race, is there any topic that isn't ‘divisive’?

see PM

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 08, 2021, 01:40:53 PM
Another professor quits in protest to intolerant academia. Or maybe just to keep his own sanity.

https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/my-university-sacrificed-ideas-for
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on September 08, 2021, 06:35:48 PM
Another professor quits in protest to intolerant academia. Or maybe just to keep his own sanity.

https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/my-university-sacrificed-ideas-for

On the one hand, this guy has performed some absolutely brilliant and hilarious stings in academic publishing----the humanities do not come across well.  Nor in these instances should they.  Instead of celebrating his brilliance, he is censured. 

On the other hand, he brings pure irrational, hatemongering nutjobs like Carl Benjamin to campus and then bemoans the irrational responses he foments.  So I dunno...

This is certainly bad press for Portland State.

I just keep posting these types of articles to push back against the notion that this sort of doesn't happen much in academia.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 08, 2021, 07:07:05 PM
Another professor quits in protest to intolerant academia. Or maybe just to keep his own sanity.

https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/my-university-sacrificed-ideas-for

On the one hand, this guy has performed some absolutely brilliant and hilarious stings in academic publishing----the humanities do not come across well.  Nor in these instances should they.  Instead of celebrating his brilliance, he is censured. 

On the other hand, he brings pure irrational, hatemongering nutjobs like Carl Benjamin to campus and then bemoans the irrational responses he foments.  So I dunno...

This is certainly bad press for Portland State.

I just keep posting these types of articles to push back against the notion that this sort of doesn't happen much in academia.

The thing about academia's role in the cancel culture of the left today is not to talk to it in order to get it to change, but to talk about it with the right people, so that hopefully something can be done. Academia itself is probably at the point of no return.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on September 08, 2021, 07:44:17 PM
Another professor quits in protest to intolerant academia. Or maybe just to keep his own sanity.

https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/my-university-sacrificed-ideas-for

On the one hand, this guy has performed some absolutely brilliant and hilarious stings in academic publishing----the humanities do not come across well.  Nor in these instances should they.  Instead of celebrating his brilliance, he is censured. 

On the other hand, he brings pure irrational, hatemongering nutjobs like Carl Benjamin to campus and then bemoans the irrational responses he foments.  So I dunno...

This is certainly bad press for Portland State.

I just keep posting these types of articles to push back against the notion that this sort of doesn't happen much in academia.

The thing about academia's role in the cancel culture of the left today is not to talk to it in order to get it to change, but to talk about it with the right people, so that hopefully something can be done. Academia itself is probably at the point of no return.

Does this guy do any real research or just troll clownish journals with fake papers?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 09, 2021, 04:29:09 AM

On the other hand, he brings pure irrational, hatemongering nutjobs like Carl Benjamin to campus and then bemoans the irrational responses he foments.  So I dunno...

This is certainly bad press for Portland State.

I just keep posting these types of articles to push back against the notion that this sort of doesn't happen much in academia.

Can you give an example of Carl Benjamin's hate speech?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on September 09, 2021, 06:09:03 AM

On the other hand, he brings pure irrational, hatemongering nutjobs like Carl Benjamin to campus and then bemoans the irrational responses he foments.  So I dunno...

This is certainly bad press for Portland State.

I just keep posting these types of articles to push back against the notion that this sort of doesn't happen much in academia.

Can you give an example of Carl Benjamin's hate speech?

I'm curious about that one as well. Carl Benjamin criticizes a lot of wokeness, but I'm not sure what he says that is either "irrational" or "hatemongering". (In fact, many of his criticisms of wokeness tend to be about the inconsistent, (i.e. "irrational"), nature of many statements or actions taken by the woke.)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 10, 2021, 10:43:14 PM

Can you give an example of Carl Benjamin's hate speech?

I'm curious about that one as well. Carl Benjamin criticizes a lot of wokeness, but I'm not sure what he says that is either "irrational" or "hatemongering". (In fact, many of his criticisms of wokeness tend to be about the inconsistent, (i.e. "irrational"), nature of many statements or actions taken by the woke.)
[/quote]

[crickets]

Quote
This is certainly bad press for Portland State.

The thing is, bad press for Portland State is good news for whomever competes with Portland State for desirable student enrollment. The endgame is always the same: some institutions may appear to be doing a poor job of upholding academic freedom here and there, but it's never a story with any traction, because the people who dominate the discussion all want the same thing, that being that tenure just ends up getting fortified. Whereas what ought to happen is people ought to realize that the tenure system, nationwide, is doing the opposite of what it advertises. It's squelching freedom of expression and consolidating an illiberal (intolerant) 'liberal' orthodoxy. It's a de facto branch of the democratic party. It intends to win the current culture war by passive aggressively casting the moderate conservative middle-right as the instigators and playing the victim.
There will be some who challenge academia to stand up and defend this professor Boghossian, but they will more often be people with no standing among the liberal elite to lose or to influence. People they've already vilified. It will be an in-crowd thing to dismiss anything they write.
https://texasnewstoday.com/piers-morgan-the-woke-destruction-of-a-great-educator-should-terrify-every-one-of-us/451938/
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on September 11, 2021, 03:20:20 PM
As far as I can tell the Portland State guy has never produced any notable scholarship and if he is tenure track (the article says he has been an assistant for ten years) would struggle to get tenure, even putting aside his research misconduct investigation. Making a big show of stepping down is a better career move than being denied tenure, I suppose. Maybe he'll get a book deal or something off his diva resignation.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 11, 2021, 03:28:48 PM
Since I'm in his discipline, I'm comfortable observing that he has no publications in any real outlets. The closest he comes are two pedagogical pubs in legitimate but very lower-tier journals. If research counts at all in tenure at PSU, then he had zero chance of getting it.

Factor in the disciplinary process against him five years ago, the fact that he's a colossal asshole, and the fact that his pedagogy is clearly irresponsible, and his file has mo redeeming features. He's a clear liability for the department.

He's a nobody who's pissed that the national news media hasn't promoted his quitlit and who hasn't yet realized that Bari Weiss is not the droid he's looking for.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 11, 2021, 03:31:49 PM
Since I'm in his discipline, I'm comfortable observing that he has no publications in any real outlets. The closest he comes are two pedagogical pubs in legitimate but very lower-tier journals. If research counts at all in tenure at PSU, then he had zero chance of getting it.

Factor in the disciplinary process against him five years ago, the fact that he's a colossal asshole, and the fact that his pedagogy is clearly irresponsible, and his file has mo redeeming features. He's a clear liability for the department.

He's a nobody who's pissed that the national news media hasn't promoted his quitlit and who hasn't yet realized that Bari Weiss is not the droid he's looking for.

Would get you a reprimand from the forum if you addressed anyone here that way, if they followed their own rules.

ETA: I suppose the professor's heart wasn't in being a lifer academic once he saw what the lay of the land was, politically.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 11, 2021, 05:59:32 PM
Since I'm in his discipline, I'm comfortable observing that he has no publications in any real outlets. The closest he comes are two pedagogical pubs in legitimate but very lower-tier journals. If research counts at all in tenure at PSU, then he had zero chance of getting it.

Factor in the disciplinary process against him five years ago, the fact that he's a colossal asshole, and the fact that his pedagogy is clearly irresponsible, and his file has mo redeeming features. He's a clear liability for the department.

He's a nobody who's pissed that the national news media hasn't promoted his quitlit and who hasn't yet realized that Bari Weiss is not the droid he's looking for.

Would get you a reprimand from the forum if you addressed anyone here that way, if they followed their own rules.

ETA: I suppose the professor's heart wasn't in being a lifer academic once he saw what the lay of the land was, politically.

It's true, I missed a trick: I should have called him a conceptual asshole.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 11, 2021, 06:51:34 PM
Since I'm in his discipline, I'm comfortable observing that he has no publications in any real outlets. The closest he comes are two pedagogical pubs in legitimate but very lower-tier journals. If research counts at all in tenure at PSU, then he had zero chance of getting it.

Factor in the disciplinary process against him five years ago, the fact that he's a colossal asshole, and the fact that his pedagogy is clearly irresponsible, and his file has mo redeeming features. He's a clear liability for the department.

He's a nobody who's pissed that the national news media hasn't promoted his quitlit and who hasn't yet realized that Bari Weiss is not the droid he's looking for.

Would get you a reprimand from the forum if you addressed anyone here that way, if they followed their own rules.

ETA: I suppose the professor's heart wasn't in being a lifer academic once he saw what the lay of the land was, politically.

It's true, I missed a trick: I should have called him a conceptual asshole.

Those of us who were paying attention during the Trump years noticed that if an asshole prevents crazy people from carrying out their plans, it's still a good thing done.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on September 11, 2021, 06:59:03 PM
Since I'm in his discipline, I'm comfortable observing that he has no publications in any real outlets. The closest he comes are two pedagogical pubs in legitimate but very lower-tier journals. If research counts at all in tenure at PSU, then he had zero chance of getting it.

Factor in the disciplinary process against him five years ago, the fact that he's a colossal asshole, and the fact that his pedagogy is clearly irresponsible, and his file has mo redeeming features. He's a clear liability for the department.

He's a nobody who's pissed that the national news media hasn't promoted his quitlit and who hasn't yet realized that Bari Weiss is not the droid he's looking for.

It is a good career move if you can't cut it as an academic: Quit your job before tenure denial, publicly, of course - be sure to cry about cancel culture and the radical left on your way out the door. And then get a bunch of attention from the conservative "news" ecosystem. From there it is a book deal and speaking engagements.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 11, 2021, 07:30:19 PM
Since I'm in his discipline, I'm comfortable observing that he has no publications in any real outlets. The closest he comes are two pedagogical pubs in legitimate but very lower-tier journals. If research counts at all in tenure at PSU, then he had zero chance of getting it.

Factor in the disciplinary process against him five years ago, the fact that he's a colossal asshole, and the fact that his pedagogy is clearly irresponsible, and his file has mo redeeming features. He's a clear liability for the department.

He's a nobody who's pissed that the national news media hasn't promoted his quitlit and who hasn't yet realized that Bari Weiss is not the droid he's looking for.

It is a good career move if you can't cut it as an academic: Quit your job before tenure denial, publicly, of course - be sure to cry about cancel culture and the radical left on your way out the door. And then get a bunch of attention from the conservative "news" ecosystem. From there it is a book deal and speaking engagements.

Oh yeah, that conservative news dynasty really has us by the short ones, doesn't it? LOL

The book deals and speaking engagements happen because listeners are drawn to the message. But you don't have to be interested in them if it's not worth your time.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on September 11, 2021, 08:45:27 PM
Since I'm in his discipline, I'm comfortable observing that he has no publications in any real outlets. The closest he comes are two pedagogical pubs in legitimate but very lower-tier journals. If research counts at all in tenure at PSU, then he had zero chance of getting it.

Factor in the disciplinary process against him five years ago, the fact that he's a colossal asshole, and the fact that his pedagogy is clearly irresponsible, and his file has mo redeeming features. He's a clear liability for the department.

He's a nobody who's pissed that the national news media hasn't promoted his quitlit and who hasn't yet realized that Bari Weiss is not the droid he's looking for.

It is a good career move if you can't cut it as an academic: Quit your job before tenure denial, publicly, of course - be sure to cry about cancel culture and the radical left on your way out the door. And then get a bunch of attention from the conservative "news" ecosystem. From there it is a book deal and speaking engagements.

Oh yeah, that conservative news dynasty really has us by the short ones, doesn't it? LOL


The book deals and speaking engagements happen because listeners are drawn to the message. But you don't have to be interested in them if it's not worth your time.

You don't think there is a conservative news ecosystem (including the Murdoch owned outlets, which are as close to a dynasty as we have in American media) that pumps up the cancel culture and "college is brainwashing our kids with scary ideas" narratives?

And look, if you like this guy from Portland State then good for you. I'm just pointing out that he is not a serious academic.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on September 11, 2021, 08:54:46 PM

On the other hand, he brings pure irrational, hatemongering nutjobs like Carl Benjamin to campus and then bemoans the irrational responses he foments.  So I dunno...

This is certainly bad press for Portland State.

I just keep posting these types of articles to push back against the notion that this sort of doesn't happen much in academia.

Can you give an example of Carl Benjamin's hate speech?

"I can be quoted as saying you can **** young boys. It’s actually not as controversial as you think."

In two videos (https://www.buzzfeed.com/markdistefano/benjamin-akkad-racial-statements) — one of which has since been deleted by YouTube — Benjamin repeatedly used the n-word. He said a YouTuber and the alt-right were “*******” and “acting like [N-word] in showing him disrespect because “white people are supposed to be polite”.

"And it drives me crazy, because – I mean, I really like, one of my favorite things is conspiracy documentaries on YouTube. I think they're ****ing brilliant. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am absolutely persuaded that the world is about to ****ing end in a firestorm of death caused by the lizard-man Obama, not really, I'm just, you know--"

"And terrorists did not bring down 3 buildings with 2 ****ing planes man. I don't know who did, but it wasn't some Arabs with boxcutters man."

"I don't want to discuss only feminism on my channel because, frankly, it can get depressing"

"Just to jump in on the car thing. As I understand it, I thought Heather Hays[sic] or Heyer, or whatever her name was, I thought she died of a heart attack."

What would be the point of inviting this guy to a campus forum?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 12, 2021, 04:17:33 AM
Quote from: Sun_Worshiper link=topic=2202.msg84184#msg84184
[b
Oh yeah, that conservative news dynasty really has us by the short ones, doesn't it? LOL
[/b]

The book deals and speaking engagements happen because listeners are drawn to the message. But you don't have to be interested in them if it's not worth your time.

You don't think there is a conservative news ecosystem (including the Murdoch owned outlets, which are as close to a dynasty as we have in American media) that pumps up the cancel culture and "college is brainwashing our kids with scary ideas" narratives?

[/quote]

Endangered species, more like, but Murdoch and company can keep going as long as it's still a free country. But it's left center biased NPR that gets our tax money, and the shifting-further-and-further left liberals by and large own not only the news outlets but professional sports, Hollywood, teachers' unions and now public school administration, of course our beloved academia, where most of the stupidest woke ideas began, and upper echelons of the military. The reason 'conservative' opinion pieces get published is mostly not Murdoch but the fact that people like to read them because they have the ring of truth to these readers, and they appreciate reading what they believe they may not say aloud for fear of being called a bigot.
 Left center biased Newsweek are not dumb. they know how to sell magazines:
https://www.newsweek.com/winning-cold-civil-war-opinion-1625148

If I say 'show me the evidence that there is systemic racism or white supremacy and then I'll believe there is' then am I a conservative? I thought asking for evidence was what critical thinkers do. Academia is its own problem.

Quote
In two videos — one of which has since been deleted by YouTube — Benjamin repeatedly used the n-word. He said a YouTuber and the alt-right were “*******” and “acting like [N-word] in showing him disrespect because “white people are supposed to be polite”.

I don't use the word, don't like it. Haven't watched these videos. However, for a little perspective, let's consider: there has been no campaign to eliminate the 'n' word from currency in American English. What there has been is a popular sonic entertainment genre that increases the frequency of use by individuals self-identified as black. This entertainment is then sold to people who identify as whites who accept that they may not use the word, while hearing it passive aggressively attributes racism to them.

Quote
Since I'm in his discipline, I'm comfortable observing that he has no publications in any real outlets. The closest he comes are two pedagogical pubs in legitimate but very lower-tier journals. If research counts at all in tenure at PSU, then he had zero chance of getting it.

Hannah-Jones doesn't measure up by these criteria either and gets hired not as a promising up-and-comer but at full tenured professor with her own program. Publishing a book that has been pointedly debunked by esteemed historians should be a red flag.



Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on September 12, 2021, 09:21:01 AM
Quote from: Sun_Worshiper link=topic=2202.msg84184#msg84184
[b
Oh yeah, that conservative news dynasty really has us by the short ones, doesn't it? LOL
[/b]

The book deals and speaking engagements happen because listeners are drawn to the message. But you don't have to be interested in them if it's not worth your time.

You don't think there is a conservative news ecosystem (including the Murdoch owned outlets, which are as close to a dynasty as we have in American media) that pumps up the cancel culture and "college is brainwashing our kids with scary ideas" narratives?


Endangered species, more like, but Murdoch and company can keep going as long as it's still a free country. But it's left center biased NPR that gets our tax money, and the shifting-further-and-further left liberals by and large own not only the news outlets but professional sports, Hollywood, teachers' unions and now public school administration, of course our beloved academia, where most of the stupidest woke ideas began, and upper echelons of the military. The reason 'conservative' opinion pieces get published is mostly not Murdoch but the fact that people like to read them because they have the ring of truth to these readers, and they appreciate reading what they believe they may not say aloud for fear of being called a bigot.
 Left center biased Newsweek are not dumb. they know how to sell magazines:
https://www.newsweek.com/winning-cold-civil-war-opinion-1625148

If I say 'show me the evidence that there is systemic racism or white supremacy and then I'll believe there is' then am I a conservative? I thought asking for evidence was what critical thinkers do. Academia is its own problem.

Great so we agree that there is a right wing ecosystem (and also apparently that the Portland State guy is a clown).

And the bolded must be a response to someone else, since it is not remotely related to my post that you quoted. But sure, asking for evidence is good. Of course, if you are actually curious about the evidence for systemic racism you could explore the vast empirical literature on this topic.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on September 12, 2021, 11:20:19 AM
You asked Wahoo for evidence of Benjamin's hate speech, and Wahoo did. The fact that you don't use the epithet is irrelevant. And, Benjamin is definitely not a part of the "a little perspective" you supplied.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on September 12, 2021, 11:57:25 AM
You asked Wahoo for evidence of Benjamin's hate speech, and Wahoo did. The fact that you don't use the epithet is irrelevant. And, Benjamin is definitely not a part of the "a little perspective" you supplied.

He doesn't care about evidence and wouldn't know what to do with it anyway, just regurgitates right wing talking points.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on September 12, 2021, 02:06:18 PM

Hannah-Jones doesn't measure up by these criteria either and gets hired not as a promising up-and-comer but at full tenured professor with her own program.

Except for that piddling little Pulitzer and years at the top of the journalism game.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on September 12, 2021, 02:25:49 PM

Hannah-Jones doesn't measure up by these criteria either and gets hired not as a promising up-and-comer but at full tenured professor with her own program.

Except for that piddling little Pulitzer and years at the top of the journalism game.

We need more diversity -- in colleges! Hire who one likes. See if students pay. :-)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: FishProf on September 13, 2021, 03:53:45 AM
Just because YOU don't understand why something was done, or why someone thinks differently from YOU, that doesn't mean (necessarily) that they are stupid.

People have reasons for what they do.  Imagining the most nefarious reasons doesn't bring you closer to understanding them, or them you.  Well, maybe we do understand you (and it isn't good).
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: FishProf on September 13, 2021, 04:17:53 AM
Damn.  That was supposed to be an aside.

Oh well, now I'll be linked to this thread forever.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 13, 2021, 04:28:47 AM
Just because YOU don't understand why something was done, or why someone thinks differently from YOU, that doesn't mean (necessarily) that they are stupid.

People have reasons for what they do.  Imagining the most nefarious reasons doesn't bring you closer to understanding them, or them you.  Well, maybe we do understand you (and it isn't good).

How does one get to be a spokesman for the fora?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on September 13, 2021, 05:12:48 AM
Just because YOU don't understand why something was done, or why someone thinks differently from YOU, that doesn't mean (necessarily) that they are stupid.

People have reasons for what they do.  Imagining the most nefarious reasons doesn't bring you closer to understanding them, or them you.  Well, maybe we do understand you (and it isn't good).

This is absolutely correct, and applies to everyone on any side of any debate.

Hannah-Jones doesn't measure up by these criteria either and gets hired not as a promising up-and-comer but at full tenured professor with her own program.

Except for that piddling little Pulitzer and years at the top of the journalism game.

So should the same rules apply for Olympic medallists, Oscar (Emmy, Tony, Grammy, etc.) winners as well? What about billionaires? In other words, should non-academic achievements basically make academic requirements unnecessary? In all fields?


Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on September 13, 2021, 07:34:17 AM
So should the same rules apply for Olympic medallists, Oscar (Emmy, Tony, Grammy, etc.) winners as well? What about billionaires? In other words, should non-academic achievements basically make academic requirements unnecessary? In all fields?

Olympic medalists are routinely top college coaches.

If you can get an Emmy, Oscar, Tony or Grammy winning artist on your faculty, by all means do!

If you can get a billionaire to teach entrepreneurship, yes, yes, yes!!!

Hanna-Jones taught journalism.  She was a top journalist.

Honestly Marshy, THINK.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 13, 2021, 07:52:03 AM
So should the same rules apply for Olympic medallists, Oscar (Emmy, Tony, Grammy, etc.) winners as well? What about billionaires? In other words, should non-academic achievements basically make academic requirements unnecessary? In all fields?

Olympic medalists are routinely top college coaches.

If you can get an Emmy, Oscar, Tony or Grammy winning artist on your faculty, by all means do!

If you can get a billionaire to teach entrepreneurship, yes, yes, yes!!!

Hanna-Jones taught journalism.  She was a top journalist.

Honestly Marshy, THINK.

I understand Marshy's question, and have a little bit to add. Why would a person who considers herself a shoe-in for tenure track appointment avoid publishing in top peer reviewed publications? One would think the Pulitzer award is another feather in one's hat when it is acquired in addition to jumping through the usual hoops.
Alternatively, publishing in top peer reviewed journals may come to be considered overrated.
If the only criterion is how many students can you draw, then that opens all kinds of doors for all kinds of people.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on September 13, 2021, 08:04:44 AM
So should the same rules apply for Olympic medallists, Oscar (Emmy, Tony, Grammy, etc.) winners as well? What about billionaires? In other words, should non-academic achievements basically make academic requirements unnecessary? In all fields?

Olympic medalists are routinely top college coaches.

If you can get an Emmy, Oscar, Tony or Grammy winning artist on your faculty, by all means do!

If you can get a billionaire to teach entrepreneurship, yes, yes, yes!!!

Hanna-Jones taught journalism.  She was a top journalist.

Honestly Marshy, THINK.

It's not about getting someone to teach a course; it's about giving a person who has not qualified academically a professional position which requires that qualification.

There are several ways that universities can recognize people:

(There's also naming a building in their honour, but given what's lately been the trend with statues and named buildings, maybe not such a good idea...)

The point is that to make a person  a tenured professor is to make them responsible for academic functions within a university. Someone who raises millions of dollars for hospitals in a developing country may be honoured, but not with a license to practice medicine. Someone who gives advice on personal finances which helps many people will not be granted a professional accountant certification.

And from another angle, if a conservative institution made Jeff Bezos (or whatever billionaire you like) a tenured professor of finance, people on the left would claim that is is unwarranted on academic grounds. (And I would agree.)

Professional license to practice in a field should not be granted for ideological reasons to people who have not completed the required professional certification process. If you want to argue the process is entirely bogus, then that's a different discussion......

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 13, 2021, 09:23:31 AM

Professional license to practice in a field should not be granted for ideological reasons to people who have not completed the required professional certification process. If you want to argue the process is entirely bogus, then that's a different discussion......

It obviously is, because we have more tenured professors in the USA than ever before, and we have a culture war that the left, whose intolerant views are not held by the majority of citizens but are nonetheless buttressed everywhere you look, does not want to replace with peace, but to win. but that's another story from the Hannah-Jones travesty.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: little bongo on September 13, 2021, 09:42:21 AM
I don't think "but Black folks use the n-word in their rappings and hip-hoppings" is an answer to any hate speech question. (I'm also pretty sure that's common knowledge.) As for awards, it's not much of a puzzle:
a) awards are splashy, rock-star things that many people look upon favorably, however:
b) are the awards a recognition of the kind of work you would want a teacher in that field to excel in?

That's it. I mean, if the answer to "b" is yes, and if everyone's amenable, then it's a win all around.

(I had to extrapolate some of the argument, as I ignore one of the participants.)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on September 13, 2021, 10:45:01 AM
I don't think "but Black folks use the n-word in their rappings and hip-hoppings" is an answer to any hate speech question. (I'm also pretty sure that's common knowledge.) As for awards, it's not much of a puzzle:
a) awards are splashy, rock-star things that many people look upon favorably, however:
b) are the awards a recognition of the kind of work you would want a teacher in that field to excel in?

That's it. I mean, if the answer to "b" is yes, and if everyone's amenable, then it's a win all around.

(I had to extrapolate some of the argument, as I ignore one of the participants.)

Is tenure purely an "award"? Presumably, a tenured professor is expected to engage in the academic life of an institution. If someone who has not risen through the ranks in academia is expected to fulfil the duties of a tenured professor,

This list could go on and on. Are all of those trivial things that someone can pick up on the fly? I recall lots of times on here people have complained about people from business being appointed as university presidents, the argument being that running a business is no preparation for running an academic institution. Why then is success in some non-academic endeavour sufficient to grant someone status as fully qualified professor?

Hiring non-academics to academic positions is marketing; it has nothing to do with academic excellence.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 13, 2021, 10:50:13 AM
Perhaps we should look around at journalism programs and see who teaches there and what their outputs and qualifications are like.

If we do that for Boghossian, we get the result that he was a shoo-in for tenure denial (and that it's hard to see how he got hired in the first place, but whatever).
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 13, 2021, 11:04:57 AM
I don't think "but Black folks use the n-word in their rappings and hip-hoppings" is an answer to any hate speech question. (I'm also pretty sure that's common knowledge.) As for awards, it's not much of a puzzle:
a) awards are splashy, rock-star things that many people look upon favorably, however:
b) are the awards a recognition of the kind of work you would want a teacher in that field to excel in?

That's it. I mean, if the answer to "b" is yes, and if everyone's amenable, then it's a win all around.

(I had to extrapolate some of the argument, as I ignore one of the participants.)

There wasn't an argument as far as that part of the discussion goes. I never claimed Carl Benjamin wasn't doing hate speech. i simply asked Wahoo for example of the speech, because I didn't know anything about him yet. Thanks for the reply, Wahoo.
The fact remains, the glorification of black American criminal sub-culture has not done black Americans any good and has done them plenty of harm, but for that matter it was never clear to me that white Americans who assisted in that glorification had in mind to benefit black people, or maybe had just not thought about the situation seriously.
Even Richard Prior said late in his career, very seriously, that he would never use the word again in performance, because it's bad for us. There are of course still plenty of people who don't get it yet, and probably more than a few making a darn good living not getting it.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 13, 2021, 03:44:50 PM
con't

Liberals have kept the word in circulation by elevating trash and criminal culture to the level of mainstream culture and even creative art. Thus George Floyd, dead beat dad and serial armed home invader, became the gentle giant family man. It's magic!
I don't know anything about Carl Benjamin, don't care a lot. If he's promoting hate, he would be on my bad side, but I'm not part of the reason people like him are saying what they are saying.
What does this mean about Boghossian? Whatever. I'm less bothered by anything about him than I am about Boston University promoting totalitarian government rule and the end of democracy and other nifty stuff liberal academia's been coming up with.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: little bongo on September 15, 2021, 07:51:27 AM
con't

Liberals have kept the word in circulation by elevating trash and criminal culture to the level of mainstream culture and even creative art. Thus George Floyd, dead beat dad and serial armed home invader, became the gentle giant family man. It's magic!
I don't know anything about Carl Benjamin, don't care a lot. If he's promoting hate, he would be on my bad side, but I'm not part of the reason people like him are saying what they are saying.
What does this mean about Boghossian? Whatever. I'm less bothered by anything about him than I am about Boston University promoting totalitarian government rule and the end of democracy and other nifty stuff liberal academia's been coming up with.

As one of my favorite professors never said, there's a lot to unpack here. You're blaming liberals for... making a genre of music popular that you don't care for very much? And then connecting that to the George Floyd case? That just doesn't fly. For something to become popular as creative art, well, it has to be... popular. That's not something liberals or conservatives cause by virtue of being liberals or conservatives. I mean, we can go into a whole music theory dive about how R&B now pretty much means hip-hop, but if you like the music, find some earbuds and go to town. You don't like it, find a station that replays Prairie Home Companion or something. (I was always a little sad that I couldn't share my Dad's great love of Prairie Home Companion.)

As for somehow linking that with Floyd, well, it's sometimes true that we overlook or blip past elements of guilt when we're looking at the big picture--either Sacco or Vanzetti probably killed that paymaster; there really were some communists in D.C. irrespective of McCarthy's bogus list. But whether that's a liberal tendency or not, there really is a big picture to keep in mind--Sacco and Vanzetti were railroaded; McCarthy was a demagogue; Floyd didn't deserve death. If there are hints of the end of democracy as we know it in the wind, such hints weren't born in "liberal academia."
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: downer on September 15, 2021, 08:05:25 AM
If we do that for Boghossian, we get the result that he was a shoo-in for tenure denial (and that it's hard to see how he got hired in the first place, but whatever).

Turns out he wasn't in a tenure track line and would have probably been renewed indefnitely if he had not resigned. And he has an EdD, not a PhD. It's on Leiter blog. Seems like there were no research expectations for him.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 15, 2021, 09:27:13 AM
con't

Liberals have kept the word in circulation by elevating trash and criminal culture to the level of mainstream culture and even creative art. Thus George Floyd, dead beat dad and serial armed home invader, became the gentle giant family man. It's magic!
I don't know anything about Carl Benjamin, don't care a lot. If he's promoting hate, he would be on my bad side, but I'm not part of the reason people like him are saying what they are saying.
What does this mean about Boghossian? Whatever. I'm less bothered by anything about him than I am about Boston University promoting totalitarian government rule and the end of democracy and other nifty stuff liberal academia's been coming up with.

As one of my favorite professors never said, there's a lot to unpack here. You're blaming liberals for... making a genre of music popular that you don't care for very much?

Nope. I am blaming them for having so much white guilt they don't even have even a modicum of moral confidence left to say 'I'm not going to consume to a type of entertainment that is full of the n-word, misogyny, glorification of crime, violence against cops, free-floating hostility, mindless obscenity, infantile narcissism and pretend that somehow it has to be considered acceptable rather than deeply unhealthy, merely because it comes from some other group's 'lived experience.' And I'm certainly not going to make college courses about how cool it is."  Sowell talks about the Americans who believe that the dregs of black American culture, as opposed to the middle America of black America, is the 'real' black culture and it mustn't be tampered with. It's called 'White liberals and black rednecks.' Quite interesting. Much of it came from Southern white culture and its European roots that held them back as well.
Floyd is another example of a menace becoming a hero for that very reason.
There is absolutely no conclusive evidence that racial animus played a role in Derek Chauvin's performance that day, BTW. You don't need racism to explain police brutality, either. There's plenty of police brutality and in order to assess whether racism is at play one would certainly have to do more than look at the skin color of the two parties. Critical thinking, remember?
Floyd is on T-shirts worn by white people because he is black and they feel guilty being white. It's really not hard to understand.
Quote
If there are hints of the end of democracy as we know it in the wind, such hints weren't born in "liberal academia."

They absolutely do. Your friend Henry Rogers, I mean Ibram X. Kendi will explain it to you:

Quote
https://www.politico.com/interactives/2019/how-to-fix-politics-in-america/inequality/pass-an-anti-racist-constitutional-amendment/

This is literal takeover of the government by non-elected, hired for life bureaucrats who can control everything according to an ideological dogma that will have then become the state religion. Uhm, freedom of speech issue? I think so. Not to mention the man is obviously a sinister character who needs to be stopped.

If we do that for Boghossian, we get the result that he was a shoo-in for tenure denial (and that it's hard to see how he got hired in the first place, but whatever).

Turns out he wasn't in a tenure track line and would have probably been renewed indefnitely if he had not resigned. And he has an EdD, not a PhD. It's on Leiter blog. Seems like there were no research expectations for him.


OOPS!!
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 15, 2021, 10:43:33 AM

If we do that for Boghossian, we get the result that he was a shoo-in for tenure denial (and that it's hard to see how he got hired in the first place, but whatever).

Turns out he wasn't in a tenure track line and would have probably been renewed indefnitely if he had not resigned. And he has an EdD, not a PhD. It's on Leiter blog. Seems like there were no research expectations for him.


OOPS!!

Actually, it looks much for him. From Leiter (https://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2021/09/peter-boghossians-resignation-from-portland-state-university.html#more):

Quote
UPDATE (9/14/21):  A faculty member at Portland State writes with some useful context and perspective:

Peter was not a tenure-line faculty at PSU. PSU has an unusual status for non- t-t faculty that they can apply for the same titles as tenure-line faculty. I believe it was 2014 that he got that title (after having been an Instructor for I believe six years before that), but because he is not on the tenure track, he could have kept it indefinitely. In fact, he did decide to apply for promotion to "Associate Professor" last year, but was denied.

The level of the University's mistreatment of him as reported in his letter might be weighed against the fact that he was re-hired every year for the past dozen years, and that he was promoted as far as he was. (It might be noted that Peter does not have a Ph.D. in philosophy; his Ed.D. is in education from PSU itself.) In the words of a colleague of mine, he had long been hoping that the University would fire him so that he could make a martyr of himself, but seeing that that was not going to happen, he had to fire himself.

Peter was in fact harassed by one particular student who filed a Title IX complaint, but I am not in a position to evaluate whether the University's response was reasonable. (As you can probably tell, I am skeptical of Peter's own interpretations of these situations.) My own overall sense is that the free-speech situation at PSU is not much different than that at most other universities. But because we are Portland, FoxNews loves to amplify any whiff of impropriety, and Peter is aware that his letter would be an effective form of self-promotion

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on September 15, 2021, 11:08:41 AM

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.

How do his qualifications compare to Nikole Hannah-Jones?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 15, 2021, 11:13:36 AM

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.

How do his qualifications compare to Nikole Hannah-Jones?

Unfavourably, I would imagine, since it turns out he has basically no qualifications whatsoever to be teaching in a philosophy department.

But I don't know what's normal in journalism programs. Which is why I suggested, upthread, that perhaps we ought to inform ourselves about that before rushing to judgement.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 15, 2021, 11:48:32 AM
Quote
My own overall sense is that the free-speech situation at PSU is not much different than that at most other universities.

In other words, 29 out of 30 academics in these kinds of departments are politically left, so teaching there when you are not politically left feels weird.

Quote
In the words of a colleague of mine, he had long been hoping that the University would fire him so that he could make a martyr of himself, but seeing that that was not going to happen, he had to fire himself.

So what.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: little bongo on September 16, 2021, 06:21:25 AM
con't

Liberals have kept the word in circulation by elevating trash and criminal culture to the level of mainstream culture and even creative art. Thus George Floyd, dead beat dad and serial armed home invader, became the gentle giant family man. It's magic!
I don't know anything about Carl Benjamin, don't care a lot. If he's promoting hate, he would be on my bad side, but I'm not part of the reason people like him are saying what they are saying.
What does this mean about Boghossian? Whatever. I'm less bothered by anything about him than I am about Boston University promoting totalitarian government rule and the end of democracy and other nifty stuff liberal academia's been coming up with.

As one of my favorite professors never said, there's a lot to unpack here. You're blaming liberals for... making a genre of music popular that you don't care for very much?

Nope. I am blaming them for having so much white guilt they don't even have even a modicum of moral confidence left to say 'I'm not going to consume to a type of entertainment that is full of the n-word, misogyny, glorification of crime, violence against cops, free-floating hostility, mindless obscenity, infantile narcissism and pretend that somehow it has to be considered acceptable rather than deeply unhealthy, merely because it comes from some other group's 'lived experience.' And I'm certainly not going to make college courses about how cool it is."  Sowell talks about the Americans who believe that the dregs of black American culture, as opposed to the middle America of black America, is the 'real' black culture and it mustn't be tampered with. It's called 'White liberals and black rednecks.' Quite interesting. Much of it came from Southern white culture and its European roots that held them back as well.
Floyd is another example of a menace becoming a hero for that very reason.
There is absolutely no conclusive evidence that racial animus played a role in Derek Chauvin's performance that day, BTW. You don't need racism to explain police brutality, either. There's plenty of police brutality and in order to assess whether racism is at play one would certainly have to do more than look at the skin color of the two parties. Critical thinking, remember?
Floyd is on T-shirts worn by white people because he is black and they feel guilty being white. It's really not hard to understand.
Quote
If there are hints of the end of democracy as we know it in the wind, such hints weren't born in "liberal academia."

They absolutely do. Your friend Henry Rogers, I mean Ibram X. Kendi will explain it to you:

Quote
https://www.politico.com/interactives/2019/how-to-fix-politics-in-america/inequality/pass-an-anti-racist-constitutional-amendment/

This is literal takeover of the government by non-elected, hired for life bureaucrats who can control everything according to an ideological dogma that will have then become the state religion. Uhm, freedom of speech issue? I think so. Not to mention the man is obviously a sinister character who needs to be stopped.

Well, no. He's proposing a watchdog organization--pretty standard, anodyne stuff. Not my friend, but he seems a good fellow. I do disagree strongly with him in one crucial area, though. Clearly, the Department of Anti-Racism should be called DOAR.

As for liberals and consuming entertainment due to while guilt, well, bushwa. Again, you're talking about personal preferences and individual taste. Unless you really do feel pressured to like or dislike something because you're "supposed" to. That makes you neither a liberal nor a conservative, it makes you a ninnyhammer.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: little bongo on September 16, 2021, 10:59:19 AM
"As for liberals and consuming entertainment due to while guilt"

I'm sorry--obviously, that should be "As for liberals and consuming entertainment due to white guilt."
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 16, 2021, 12:06:28 PM
It's not whether you're pressured to like something so much as that it is taboo to called it what it is, trash and criminal culture glorified. Although there are many whites, again, predominantly liberal, who think everything that ever came from any part of black culture, excepting maybe Bill Cosby or Clarence Thomas, is by definition divine and must be regarded with the highest praise. This is no doubt quite embarrassing to many black Americans.

Quote
Well, no. He's proposing a watchdog organization--pretty standard, anodyne stuff.

Almost standard among boneheads who look to the government to legislate on how Americans should love and respect each other., or something that works under a pretense like that.

Oh well, maybe his cancer will come back.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on September 16, 2021, 12:21:01 PM

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.

How do his qualifications compare to Nikole Hannah-Jones?

Marshy, you understand that Hannah-Jones is a practitioner who teaches what she practices, right?

I honestly can't remember the name of the novelist (Katherine Anne-Porter or Doris Lessing maybe?) who found academics funny because we are so concerned with credentialism over achievement. 

Someone like Hannah-Jones (a fav target of the reactionary Rightwing right now) works in the field at the top of the game.  Do we not think she is competent to stand in a classroom because she lacks a doctorate or some other credential?

Reading your posts I often feel like you are comparing your discipline and your experience in academia to other disciplines not your own, and things are not the same in every field.  What might be true in the sciences is not necessarily true in other academic spheres.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 16, 2021, 12:52:31 PM
It's not whether you're pressured to like something so much as that it is taboo to called it what it is, trash and criminal culture glorified.

Oh, you mean country, pop, and classic rock. Got it!
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on September 16, 2021, 01:13:28 PM

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.

How do his qualifications compare to Nikole Hannah-Jones?

Marshy, you understand that Hannah-Jones is a practitioner who teaches what she practices, right?


So should this apply to every discipline?

Should someone with a Master's degree in any subject (as I believe Hannah-Jones has in journalism) be able to get tenure in their filed as long as they've done something "notable"?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on September 16, 2021, 01:32:07 PM

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.

How do his qualifications compare to Nikole Hannah-Jones?

Marshy, you understand that Hannah-Jones is a practitioner who teaches what she practices, right?


So should this apply to every discipline?

Should someone with a Master's degree in any subject (as I believe Hannah-Jones has in journalism) be able to get tenure in their filed as long as they've done something "notable"?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We will never agree and we do not have to agree. Let each institution do what it pleases and see if it works.  À fortiori as most of college is not of substance vital to anything.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 16, 2021, 05:19:14 PM

Marshy, you understand that Hannah-Jones is a practitioner who teaches what she practices, right?


that's what the problem is. she has one endgame in mind, apart from distorting America's history. That is 'reparations for slavery.' I suspect she is smart enough to know that black America will derive zero benefit for this if it ever happens, (though it means a gold mine for herself) one reason is that is already has happened, and has brought little but the substitution of government for a permanent husband and father in the home. and the other reason, obviously, prosperity is not something you can pass around like pieces of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. It's a process in which the health, attitude and effort of the worker are by far the strongest factor for success and sustainability.

Of course, if one likes communism, just look at the grand life in the Soviet Union in decades past.

Quote
I honestly can't remember the name of the novelist (Katherine Anne-Porter or Doris Lessing maybe?) who found academics funny because we are so concerned with credentialism over achievement. 

What they're really concerned with is winning, conformity, and the influence and wealth that aggrandizement through the tenure track brings. That's what this whole situation illustrates. When someone needs to be put in his place because he challenges the establishment, they pile on to say he was an undercredentialled, uncollegial companion in the workplace (Boghossian). When someone is a winner because they promise to bring visibility to a department and consolidation of the liberal fortress of academia, the ideas about what meaningful credentials are need to be adjusted to recognize the worth of that person, and instead of being uncollegial (here's a photo of me getting drunk; kiss my ass, UNC trustees) they are 'proudly defiant'. (Hannah-Jones)

It's not whether you're pressured to like something so much as that it is taboo to called it what it is, trash and criminal culture glorified.

Oh, you mean country, pop, and classic rock. Got it!

You have a point there. The debauchery that was a defining feature (no not all of it, certainly, but much) of the rock 'n' roll culture of the 1970's and 80's didn't do Americans any good and led to significant amount of wayward living and premature death. Liberals can take credit for that too. But hip hop culture brought the decline of values to a new level. It may have been black America's attempt to get parity with white America. See? We've got our own mindless noisy debauchery that repudiates America's greatest gift to the arts, jazz music, a crowning achievement of our race. On a par with the mayhem and nihilism of people like Led Zeppelin, only more powerful, because the performers don't just denigrate women (minors) in their spare time, they do it in their 'song' lyrics.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on September 16, 2021, 05:25:36 PM
If I don't like the music, then I don't listen to it. If I don't like the college, then I don't send my kids there.

Less meddling and more ignoring would be healthy.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 16, 2021, 05:37:08 PM
If I don't like the music, then I don't listen to it. If I don't like the college, then I don't send my kids there.

Less meddling and more ignoring would be healthy.

Jes' sayin'

Do you get to ignore your school's diversity czar?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on September 16, 2021, 05:51:32 PM
If I don't like the music, then I don't listen to it. If I don't like the college, then I don't send my kids there.

Less meddling and more ignoring would be healthy.

Jes' sayin'

Do you get to ignore your school's diversity czar?

It's not about the employees, it's about the customers. One can send one's kids to places where the diversity czar is irrelevant.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 16, 2021, 09:18:43 PM

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.

How do his qualifications compare to Nikole Hannah-Jones?

Marshy, you understand that Hannah-Jones is a practitioner who teaches what she practices, right?


So should this apply to every discipline?

Should someone with a Master's degree in any subject (as I believe Hannah-Jones has in journalism) be able to get tenure in their filed as long as they've done something "notable"?

If you look up the faculty in Colimbia's journalism program, you won't find a lot of PhDs.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 17, 2021, 02:48:40 AM
If I don't like the music, then I don't listen to it. If I don't like the college, then I don't send my kids there.

Less meddling and more ignoring would be healthy.

Jes' sayin'

Do you get to ignore your school's diversity czar?

It's not about the employees, it's about the customers. One can send one's kids to places where the diversity czar is irrelevant.

How about state universities? They have to fund them with their taxes even if they find the diversity czar is out of control. Also I think it's about the employees when the employees must pay those same taxes. You have an interesting idea though. We could begin to see colleges with no diversity staff whatsoever, like the college my brother attended in the 1960's. Yet somehow he had a good career and a productive life of working, family, paying taxes. (Although he's a racist because he skips 'difficult conversations.')

Quote
Well, no. He's proposing a watchdog organization--pretty standard, anodyne stuff. Not my friend, but he seems a good fellow. I do disagree strongly with him in one crucial area, though. Clearly, the Department of Anti-Racism should be called DOAR.

What would your DOAR do about the disproportionate rate at which white Americans are murdered by black Americans? It fits the definition of something that needs to be addressed. Homicide is equally illegal for all races, but the result that statistically any random black individual (most likely male) is more likely to kill a white person than any random white individual is to kill a black person, is a 'racist' outcome for which 'the system' is responsible. Who gets to decide what the remedy is? "Black Lives Matter"? A committee appointed by Kendi? Why not Richard Spencer, since what the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, whom the government will by then have officially endorsed, is actually promoting is tribalism. What would be a reasonable timetable for resolution of the problem?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: lightning on September 17, 2021, 03:35:26 AM

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.

How do his qualifications compare to Nikole Hannah-Jones?

Marshy, you understand that Hannah-Jones is a practitioner who teaches what she practices, right?


So should this apply to every discipline?

Should someone with a Master's degree in any subject (as I believe Hannah-Jones has in journalism) be able to get tenure in their filed as long as they've done something "notable"?

Not for every discipline, but for some disciplines, yes.

There are some disciplines where traditional measures of research simply do not apply, and instead one can (and should) look to measures of truly outstanding practice as real professionals in their fields. Journalism is one. Fine Arts, Music, Dance, Theater/Film, & Creative Writing are others.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 17, 2021, 04:06:00 AM

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.

How do his qualifications compare to Nikole Hannah-Jones?

Marshy, you understand that Hannah-Jones is a practitioner who teaches what she practices, right?


So should this apply to every discipline?

Should someone with a Master's degree in any subject (as I believe Hannah-Jones has in journalism) be able to get tenure in their filed as long as they've done something "notable"?

Not for every discipline, but for some disciplines, yes.

There are some disciplines where traditional measures of research simply do not apply, and instead one can (and should) look to measures of truly outstanding practice as real professionals in their fields. Journalism is one. Fine Arts, Music, Dance, Theater/Film, & Creative Writing are others.

The only way you'd get a job on the tenure track without PhD though would usually be because you are a celebrity. Phylicia Rashad, for example. So as far as being in the running simply because you are great at what you do, forget it. Adjunctsville for you.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on September 17, 2021, 07:32:02 AM

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.

How do his qualifications compare to Nikole Hannah-Jones?

Marshy, you understand that Hannah-Jones is a practitioner who teaches what she practices, right?


So should this apply to every discipline?

Should someone with a Master's degree in any subject (as I believe Hannah-Jones has in journalism) be able to get tenure in their filed as long as they've done something "notable"?

Not for every discipline, but for some disciplines, yes.

There are some disciplines where traditional measures of research simply do not apply, and instead one can (and should) look to measures of truly outstanding practice as real professionals in their fields. Journalism is one. Fine Arts, Music, Dance, Theater/Film, & Creative Writing are others.

The only way you'd get a job on the tenure track without PhD though would usually be because you are a celebrity. Phylicia Rashad, for example. So as far as being in the running simply because you are great at what you do, forget it. Adjunctsville for you.

As lightning explained, this simply isn't true in creative fields (for many of which the doctoral credential basically doesn't exist).
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: little bongo on September 17, 2021, 10:16:05 AM

Quote
Well, no. He's proposing a watchdog organization--pretty standard, anodyne stuff. Not my friend, but he seems a good fellow. I do disagree strongly with him in one crucial area, though. Clearly, the Department of Anti-Racism should be called DOAR.

What would your DOAR do about the disproportionate rate at which white Americans are murdered by black Americans? It fits the definition of something that needs to be addressed. Homicide is equally illegal for all races, but the result that statistically any random black individual (most likely male) is more likely to kill a white person than any random white individual is to kill a black person, is a 'racist' outcome for which 'the system' is responsible. Who gets to decide what the remedy is? "Black Lives Matter"? A committee appointed by Kendi? Why not Richard Spencer, since what the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, whom the government will by then have officially endorsed, is actually promoting is tribalism. What would be a reasonable timetable for resolution of the problem?
[/quote]

You have an interesting (troubling?) habit of assigning ownership and intimacy to those with whom you are in disagreement ("your" DOAR; "your" friend, etc.). Might want to look into that.

If a person or an agency effectively combats racism, everyone benefits. A happier society is probably less violent, yeah? I don't know if the problem can be RESOLVED, exactly, especially since we're probably talking about something as old as Ogg punching Krodak in a cave somewhere because Krodak's skin was darker or something. But the overall arc is toward improvement, I think. Dr. Kendi's plan is potentially as good (or as ineffective) as any I've encountered--might be worth trying.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on September 17, 2021, 11:18:24 AM

If a person or an agency effectively combats racism, everyone benefits.

Absolutely. However, the devil is in the details.

Ministry of Truth
Ministry of Love
etc.

Be careful what you wish for.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Diogenes on September 17, 2021, 11:19:22 AM


You have a point there. The debauchery that was a defining feature (no not all of it, certainly, but much) of the rock 'n' roll culture of the 1970's and 80's didn't do Americans any good and led to significant amount of wayward living and premature death. Liberals can take credit for that too. But hip hop culture brought the decline of values to a new level. It may have been black America's attempt to get parity with white America. See? We've got our own mindless noisy debauchery that repudiates America's greatest gift to the arts, jazz music, a crowning achievement of our race. On a par with the mayhem and nihilism of people like Led Zeppelin, only more powerful, because the performers don't just denigrate women (minors) in their spare time, they do it in their 'song' lyrics.

Tired old argument with no evidence to back it. Before that it was Elvis, then R&B, then jazz, and then even ragtime getting the grumpy old man moralistic rant. Go walk up a hill. Both ways. In the snow.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on September 17, 2021, 11:36:49 AM

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.

How do his qualifications compare to Nikole Hannah-Jones?

Marshy, you understand that Hannah-Jones is a practitioner who teaches what she practices, right?


So should this apply to every discipline?

Should someone with a Master's degree in any subject (as I believe Hannah-Jones has in journalism) be able to get tenure in their filed as long as they've done something "notable"?

Not for every discipline, but for some disciplines, yes.

There are some disciplines where traditional measures of research simply do not apply, and instead one can (and should) look to measures of truly outstanding practice as real professionals in their fields. Journalism is one. Fine Arts, Music, Dance, Theater/Film, & Creative Writing are others.

The only way you'd get a job on the tenure track without PhD though would usually be because you are a celebrity. Phylicia Rashad, for example. So as far as being in the running simply because you are great at what you do, forget it. Adjunctsville for you.

As lightning explained, this simply isn't true in creative fields (for many of which the doctoral credential basically doesn't exist).

This link takes you to the Howard Department of Media, Journalism and Film. There are four full time faculty listed, three with an MA. None is a celebrity.

https://communications.howard.edu/index.php/mjfc/
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on September 17, 2021, 12:40:12 PM

So should this apply to every discipline?

Should someone with a Master's degree in any subject (as I believe Hannah-Jones has in journalism) be able to get tenure in their filed as long as they've done something "notable"?

Why not?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on September 17, 2021, 12:44:24 PM
Quote
There are some disciplines where traditional measures of research simply do not apply, and instead one can (and should) look to measures of truly outstanding practice as real professionals in their fields. Journalism is one. Fine Arts, Music, Dance, Theater/Film, & Creative Writing are others.

Such as Hospitality Management.

Why in god's name are these subjects even part of universities?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on September 17, 2021, 12:46:05 PM
Quote
There are some disciplines where traditional measures of research simply do not apply, and instead one can (and should) look to measures of truly outstanding practice as real professionals in their fields. Journalism is one. Fine Arts, Music, Dance, Theater/Film, & Creative Writing are others.

Such as Hospitality Management.

Why in god'$ name are the$e $ubject$ even part of univer$itie$?

Fixed that.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 17, 2021, 04:15:41 PM

Quote
Well, no. He's proposing a watchdog organization--pretty standard, anodyne stuff. Not my friend, but he seems a good fellow. I do disagree strongly with him in one crucial area, though. Clearly, the Department of Anti-Racism should be called DOAR.

What would your DOAR do about the disproportionate rate at which white Americans are murdered by black Americans? It fits the definition of something that needs to be addressed. Homicide is equally illegal for all races, but the result that statistically any random black individual (most likely male) is more likely to kill a white person than any random white individual is to kill a black person, is a 'racist' outcome for which 'the system' is responsible. Who gets to decide what the remedy is? "Black Lives Matter"? A committee appointed by Kendi? Why not Richard Spencer, since what the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, whom the government will by then have officially endorsed, is actually promoting is tribalism. What would be a reasonable timetable for resolution of the problem?

You have an interesting (troubling?) habit of assigning ownership and intimacy to those with whom you are in disagreement ("your" DOAR; "your" friend, etc.). Might want to look into that.

If a person or an agency effectively combats racism, everyone benefits. A happier society is probably less violent, yeah? I don't know if the problem can be RESOLVED, exactly, especially since we're probably talking about something as old as Ogg punching Krodak in a cave somewhere because Krodak's skin was darker or something. But the overall arc is toward improvement, I think. Dr. Kendi's plan is potentially as good (or as ineffective) as any I've encountered--might be worth trying.
[/quote]

OK, let's do that then.
I do recall a recent incident of blatant mass racism in which the mostly non-black voters of California voted to keep a beleaguered and clueless governor, because the alternative would have been Larry Elder, who is black. There couldn't possibly be any other reason to vote that way. If we don't get a government DOAR agency we should riot.
ETA: The black people who voted to keep Gavin Newsom were a bunch of Uncle Toms.
Point being, although a democrat-appointed DOAR would never consider such a position seriously,  anyone can decide anything is racist. There's no meeting of the minds. Only a power struggle.
ETA: The real problem that never gets resolved, but only worked on incrementally, is how can we ever get enough government bloat that favors our party?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on September 17, 2021, 04:19:58 PM
Quote
There are some disciplines where traditional measures of research simply do not apply, and instead one can (and should) look to measures of truly outstanding practice as real professionals in their fields. Journalism is one. Fine Arts, Music, Dance, Theater/Film, & Creative Writing are others.

Such as Hospitality Management.

Why in god'$ name are the$e $ubject$ even part of univer$itie$?

Fixed that.

The Indiana University Department of Journalism was established in 1911, so not exactly a recent phenomenon.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on September 17, 2021, 04:48:30 PM
Quote
There are some disciplines where traditional measures of research simply do not apply, and instead one can (and should) look to measures of truly outstanding practice as real professionals in their fields. Journalism is one. Fine Arts, Music, Dance, Theater/Film, & Creative Writing are others.

Such as Hospitality Management.

Why in god'$ name are the$e $ubject$ even part of univer$itie$?


Fixed that.

The Indiana University Department of Journalism was established in 1911, so not exactly a recent phenomenon.

Moronicity can begin earlier. I just took their admissions advice quiz. Says I'd be good for game design. They're doing a wonderful job, as a research university.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 18, 2021, 12:04:47 AM
more in response to little bongo's liberal wisdom that he reads way too much of, written by a  handful of puny academic (and other) minds:

Quote
If a person or an agency effectively combats racism, everyone benefits. A happier society is probably less violent, yeah? I don't know if the problem can be RESOLVED, exactly, especially since we're probably talking about something as old as Ogg punching Krodak in a cave somewhere because Krodak's skin was darker or something.

We don't know why Ogg punched Krodak. Maybe they need to be left alone to work out their differences or to decide punching each other isn't helping. What they don't need is a government agency that purports to love everyone while actually hating many, that steps in to regulate their behavior and thoughts by siding with the one belonging to their tribe.
Quote
But the overall arc is toward improvement, I think. Dr. Kendi's plan is potentially as good (or as ineffective) as any I've encountered--might be worth trying.

That improvement is ending largely because of demagogues like Kendi, although it starting to get momentum from the time it became de riguer to call any republican a racist. Ask anyone of either party or race. Race relations are worse than they've been in years.



Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 18, 2021, 04:35:21 AM
I meant 'de rigueur.'

BTW, Dr. Kendi  was born around the same year as one of my children. I have been antiracist longer than he has been living. But in the ensuing years the definition of racism has been expanded to the point of meaninglessness. This is intentional, as the concept of racism is weaponized for political power of the far left. As inevitably became necessary to consolidate that political agenda and the myriad allegations of racism that bolster its calls to action, certain things that  literally are racism had to be deleted from the umbrella of what racism is. They now maintain there is no such thing as black-against-white racism. You can't get a more obvious refusal to tell the truth about one's world than that. Orwellian? Yes, to a T.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on September 18, 2021, 05:58:12 AM
Quote
There are some disciplines where traditional measures of research simply do not apply, and instead one can (and should) look to measures of truly outstanding practice as real professionals in their fields. Journalism is one. Fine Arts, Music, Dance, Theater/Film, & Creative Writing are others.

Such as Hospitality Management.

Why in god'$ name are the$e $ubject$ even part of univer$itie$?


Fixed that.

The Indiana University Department of Journalism was established in 1911, so not exactly a recent phenomenon.

Moronicity can begin earlier. I just took their admissions advice quiz. Says I'd be good for game design. They're doing a wonderful job, as a research university.

Heh. I date moronity in US academia to 1897, when Harvard established a Department of Economics.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on September 18, 2021, 08:05:35 AM
Quote
There are some disciplines where traditional measures of research simply do not apply, and instead one can (and should) look to measures of truly outstanding practice as real professionals in their fields. Journalism is one. Fine Arts, Music, Dance, Theater/Film, & Creative Writing are others.

Such as Hospitality Management.

Why in god'$ name are the$e $ubject$ even part of univer$itie$?


Fixed that.

The Indiana University Department of Journalism was established in 1911, so not exactly a recent phenomenon.

Moronicity can begin earlier. I just took their admissions advice quiz. Says I'd be good for game design. They're doing a wonderful job, as a research university.

Heh. I date moronity in US academia to 1897, when Harvard established a Department of Economics.

My point above was that the main reason institutions add programs is that they think they can get enough students in them to make money. Whether the subject "belongs" at a university is less important the greater the potential financial payoff of big enrollment.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on September 18, 2021, 10:16:20 AM
Quote
There are some disciplines where traditional measures of research simply do not apply, and instead one can (and should) look to measures of truly outstanding practice as real professionals in their fields. Journalism is one. Fine Arts, Music, Dance, Theater/Film, & Creative Writing are others.

Such as Hospitality Management.

Why in god'$ name are the$e $ubject$ even part of univer$itie$?


Fixed that.

The Indiana University Department of Journalism was established in 1911, so not exactly a recent phenomenon.

Moronicity can begin earlier. I just took their admissions advice quiz. Says I'd be good for game design. They're doing a wonderful job, as a research university.

Heh. I date moronity in US academia to 1897, when Harvard established a Department of Economics.

My point above was that the main reason institutions add programs is that they think they can get enough students in them to make money. Whether the subject "belongs" at a university is less important the greater the potential financial payoff of big enrollment.

Oh, I completely agree! I was just trying to make a joke at dismalist's expense.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: little bongo on September 18, 2021, 10:50:27 AM
"The amendment would make unconstitutional racial inequity over a certain threshold, as well as racist ideas by public officials (with “racist ideas” and “public official” clearly defined). It would establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for preclearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas."

Plenty of room there for Ogg and Krodak to settle their disputes as individuals.

I've been to protests and I've been to anti-racism workshops. Some of the woke-speak is pretty doggone silly. And yes, I turn off my camera and do an eye-roll or two when the workshop leader goes into great detail as to which indigenous tribe first occupied where we're sitting right now. And sometimes I would love to tell someone, "Hi, I'm Dr. Bongo, and do you need me to yank my pants down so you can ascertain my pronouns?" But from 2017 till early 2021, I've seen what unchecked conservative id causes to happen, and I'm not impressed. I'll stick with the wokesters and the liberal wisdom created by puny minds, thanks.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on September 18, 2021, 12:01:09 PM
"The amendment would make unconstitutional racial inequity over a certain threshold, as well as racist ideas by public officials (with “racist ideas” and “public official” clearly defined). It would establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for preclearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas."


That is about the most Orwellian thing I've heard in ages. God help us.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 18, 2021, 01:13:07 PM
"The amendment would make unconstitutional racial inequity over a certain threshold, as well as racist ideas by public officials (with “racist ideas” and “public official” clearly defined). It would establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for preclearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas."

Plenty of room there for Ogg and Krodak to settle their disputes as individuals.

I've been to protests and I've been to anti-racism workshops. Some of the woke-speak is pretty doggone silly. And yes, I turn off my camera and do an eye-roll or two when the workshop leader goes into great detail as to which indigenous tribe first occupied where we're sitting right now. And sometimes I would love to tell someone, "Hi, I'm Dr. Bongo, and do you need me to yank my pants down so you can ascertain my pronouns?" But from 2017 till early 2021, I've seen what unchecked conservative id causes to happen, and I'm not impressed. I'll stick with the wokesters and the liberal wisdom created by puny minds, thanks.

I don't believe you. I find it frankly astonishing that you could be that worried about what the republicans might do, given the alternative of wokeism as federal policy.
The thing that's disappointing about Dr. Kendi is he is obviously not interested in human progress. If we were to tell him students with green skin spend, on the average, 14 hours per week high on cannabis, and spend on average three hours a day on social media, and read at a third grade level, while people with purple skin spend four hours a month high on cannabis, use social media 20 minutes per day, and read at high school senior level, and therefore, high school seniors should put down the hash pipe and cell phone and study, his only response would be you are picking on green-skinned kids. He has no interest in anything other than race as the sole arbiter. It's impossible for me to believe anyone with enough work ethic to earn a PhD, even in my field, which has a lot of fakers, does not understand he's a snake oil salesman.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on September 18, 2021, 03:02:36 PM
Quote
Heh. I date moronity in US academia to 1897, when Harvard established a Department of Economics.

Agreed! U Chicago established the first Economics Dept in the US in 1892. For five years, everything was fine, and then Harvard established its Economics Department in 1897. Downhill ever since. :-)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: little bongo on September 18, 2021, 10:19:14 PM

I don't believe you.

Now I know I have a heart. I can feel it breaking.

[/quote] I find it frankly astonishing that you could be that worried about what the republicans might do, given the alternative of wokeism as federal policy.
[/quote]

Now see, i would tell you the exact opposite: "... that you could be that worried about wokeism as federal policy, give the alternative of what the republicans might do." Some people are different than you, studhoss.

[/quote]If we were to tell him students with green skin spend, on the average, 14 hours per week high on cannabis, and spend on average three hours a day on social media, and read at a third grade level, while people with purple skin spend four hours a month high on cannabis, use social media 20 minutes per day, and read at high school senior level, and therefore, high school seniors should put down the hash pipe and cell phone and study, his only response would be you are picking on green-skinned kids.[/quote]

Wow, you took the long way around the garden path to make that (rather dubious) point.

[/quote]It's impossible for me to believe anyone with enough work ethic to earn a PhD, even in my field, which has a lot of fakers, does not understand he's a snake oil salesman.[/quote]

Look, Skeezix, I lived through the time period I mentioned, read a butt-load of presidential tweets, listened to and watched a lot of press conferences, read other related materials along the way, made some decisions and came to some conclusions. And so did you. We came to different ones. Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe you're wrong. Given what I've read of your posts over the past... pretty long time, I won't say I'm "frankly astonished" by the conclusions you've come to. But given your recent rants about rap music and garbage culture, and wishing cancer upon a controversial influential academic, I will say you've got a pair of brass ones to lecture me about what snake-oil salesman I choose to buy from, if indeed the term "snake-oil salesman" applies.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on September 19, 2021, 03:56:06 AM
OK, we are worlds apart. I can stop there at this time. We both accept that neither will persuade the other.

ETA: for what it's worth, something you don't know about me: I am scared to death of what is happening in our country.

I have only become aware of Peter Boghossian recently. This brief interview sounds like a sane, experienced person identifying real problems.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/09/17/universities-are-turning-into-ideology-mills/
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on October 23, 2021, 08:13:51 PM
NY Times:

M.I.T.’s Choice of Lecturer Ignited Criticism. So Did Its Decision to Cancel. (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/20/us/dorian-abbot-mit.html)

Quote
Dorian Abbot is a scientist who has opposed aspects of affirmative action. He is now at the center of an argument over free speech and acceptable discourse.

Quote
Some faculty members and graduate students argued that Dr. Abbot, a professor at the University of Chicago, had created harm by speaking out against aspects of affirmative action and diversity programs. In videos and opinion pieces, Dr. Abbot, who is white, has asserted that such programs treat “people as members of a group rather than as individuals, repeating the mistake that made possible the atrocities of the 20th century.” He said that he favored a diverse pool of applicants selected on merit.

Quote
Ever more fraught arguments over speech and academic freedom on American campuses have moved as a flood tide into the sciences. Biology, physics, math: All have seen fierce debates over courses, hiring and objectivity, and some on the academic left have moved to silence those who disagree on certain questions.

Quote
Dr. Abbot, for his part, said he had tenure at a grand university that valued free speech and, with luck, 30 years of teaching and research ahead of him. And yet the canceled speech carries a sting.

“There is no question that these controversies will have a negative impact on my scientific career,” he said. “But I don’t want to live in a country where instead of discussing something difficult we go and silence debate.”
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on October 23, 2021, 08:54:15 PM
NY Times:

M.I.T.’s Choice of Lecturer Ignited Criticism. So Did Its Decision to Cancel. (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/20/us/dorian-abbot-mit.html)

Quote
Dorian Abbot is a scientist who has opposed aspects of affirmative action. He is now at the center of an argument over free speech and acceptable discourse.

Quote
Some faculty members and graduate students argued that Dr. Abbot, a professor at the University of Chicago, had created harm by speaking out against aspects of affirmative action and diversity programs. In videos and opinion pieces, Dr. Abbot, who is white, has asserted that such programs treat “people as members of a group rather than as individuals, repeating the mistake that made possible the atrocities of the 20th century.” He said that he favored a diverse pool of applicants selected on merit.

Quote
Ever more fraught arguments over speech and academic freedom on American campuses have moved as a flood tide into the sciences. Biology, physics, math: All have seen fierce debates over courses, hiring and objectivity, and some on the academic left have moved to silence those who disagree on certain questions.

Quote
Dr. Abbot, for his part, said he had tenure at a grand university that valued free speech and, with luck, 30 years of teaching and research ahead of him. And yet the canceled speech carries a sting.

“There is no question that these controversies will have a negative impact on my scientific career,” he said. “But I don’t want to live in a country where instead of discussing something difficult we go and silence debate.”

The important and valuable aspect of all this nonsense is that Abbot can speak elsewhere, in this case at Princeton, about the subject he was originally invited to speak upon.

Competition is a necessary institution to discover truths. As long as we have it, fine. When we don't, it'll be all over.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on October 24, 2021, 04:51:41 PM

The important and valuable aspect of all this nonsense is that Abbot can speak elsewhere, in this case at Princeton, about the subject he was originally invited to speak upon.

Competition is a necessary institution to discover truths. As long as we have it, fine. When we don't, it'll be all over.

Under the 'Department of Antiracism' that Boston University is promoting, Abbot would not be allowed to speak anywhere, except maybe to his cellmate.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on October 24, 2021, 04:59:51 PM

The important and valuable aspect of all this nonsense is that Abbot can speak elsewhere, in this case at Princeton, about the subject he was originally invited to speak upon.

Competition is a necessary institution to discover truths. As long as we have it, fine. When we don't, it'll be all over.

Under the 'Department of Antiracism' that Boston University is promoting, Abbot would not be allowed to speak anywhere, except maybe to his cellmate.

He's speaking at Princeton. No problem, so far.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on October 25, 2021, 03:41:39 AM

The important and valuable aspect of all this nonsense is that Abbot can speak elsewhere, in this case at Princeton, about the subject he was originally invited to speak upon.

Competition is a necessary institution to discover truths. As long as we have it, fine. When we don't, it'll be all over.

Under the 'Department of Antiracism' that Boston University is promoting, Abbot would not be allowed to speak anywhere, except maybe to his cellmate.

He's speaking at Princeton. No problem, so far.

I agree, but the conundrum I see here is, does freedom of speech mean that someone can campaign against allowing freedom of speech? How about a university doing it?

ETA: just to postulate one bone-chiller: Someone in government somewhere says 'let's make August 25 Leonard Bernstein Day in the city of Lawrence, MA in recognition of his contribution to the arts.' And someone from the anti-racism think tank, who is now a salaried government staffer, says "Bernstein spent his whole career promoting white supremacy." And his crowd, thinking the fight against racism needs to be, each day, more vigorous than it was yesterday, says 'gosh darn it, I didn't think of that. You're right. This must be stopped.'
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on October 26, 2021, 07:05:54 AM

The important and valuable aspect of all this nonsense is that Abbot can speak elsewhere, in this case at Princeton, about the subject he was originally invited to speak upon.

Competition is a necessary institution to discover truths. As long as we have it, fine. When we don't, it'll be all over.

Under the 'Department of Antiracism' that Boston University is promoting, Abbot would not be allowed to speak anywhere, except maybe to his cellmate.

He's speaking at Princeton. No problem, so far.

I agree, but the conundrum I see here is, does freedom of speech mean that someone can campaign against allowing freedom of speech? How about a university doing it?

ETA: just to postulate one bone-chiller: Someone in government somewhere says 'let's make August 25 Leonard Bernstein Day in the city of Lawrence, MA in recognition of his contribution to the arts.' And someone from the anti-racism think tank, who is now a salaried government staffer, says "Bernstein spent his whole career promoting white supremacy." And his crowd, thinking the fight against racism needs to be, each day, more vigorous than it was yesterday, says 'gosh darn it, I didn't think of that. You're right. This must be stopped.'

I really am having a hard time figuring out what the argument is supposed to be here. Like a lot of cancel culture angst, it seems to rest on a fundamental misunderstanding of what free speech is. Free speech protects against government restrictions. That's it. The supposed conundrum doesn't exist because there is no right to give a lecture at a university. If the institution is public, you are welcome to go out to one of those free speech areas and say whatever you want to whoever will listen, but you don't have some right to an auditorium. In some cases public schools may be obligated to allow student groups to invite speakers of their choice, and private schools often choose to have the same rules.

However, you seem to believe that somehow criticism of the choice of speakers and pressure on a group to disinvite a speaker is a violation of free speech. John Stuart Mill would be pretty confused by this argument. He specifically argued that free speech didn't need to be regulated by the government because it could be regulated by popular opinion and fringe ideas could be marginalized.

When people whine about cancel culture, they mostly seem to want to regulate and control the criticism of speech. Take your supposed "bone chilling" example. Towns aren't required to have a day celebrating anybody. Obviously to do so is to celebrate the person. It seems strange to argue that debate about whether someone's life and career is worthy of celebration is inappropriate, wrong and dangerous. In this example, some people are arguing that Leonard Bernstein promoted white supremacy. You're welcome to argue that this doesn't make much sense. What you really want to do is to say that it shouldn't be allowed to question whether the town should celebrate some person.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on October 26, 2021, 07:16:33 AM

I really am having a hard time figuring out what the argument is supposed to be here. Like a lot of cancel culture angst, it seems to rest on a fundamental misunderstanding of what free speech is. Free speech protects against government restrictions. That's it. The supposed conundrum doesn't exist because there is no right to give a lecture at a university. If the institution is public, you are welcome to go out to one of those free speech areas and say whatever you want to whoever will listen, but you don't have some right to an auditorium. In some cases public schools may be obligated to allow student groups to invite speakers of their choice, and private schools often choose to have the same rules.


Perhaps it helps to frame the question in this way: If a group affiliated with an institution invites someone to the institution to speak, does the institution owe a duty of civility to actually allow the person to speak?

This does not preclude the institution having to approve any invitations before they are given. This seems like a reasonable expectation for an institution whose mission involves the investigation of ideas and the search for truth.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on October 26, 2021, 08:50:30 AM

I really am having a hard time figuring out what the argument is supposed to be here. Like a lot of cancel culture angst, it seems to rest on a fundamental misunderstanding of what free speech is. Free speech protects against government restrictions. That's it. The supposed conundrum doesn't exist because there is no right to give a lecture at a university. If the institution is public, you are welcome to go out to one of those free speech areas and say whatever you want to whoever will listen, but you don't have some right to an auditorium. In some cases public schools may be obligated to allow student groups to invite speakers of their choice, and private schools often choose to have the same rules.


Perhaps it helps to frame the question in this way: If a group affiliated with an institution invites someone to the institution to speak, does the institution owe a duty of civility to actually allow the person to speak?

This does not preclude the institution having to approve any invitations before they are given. This seems like a reasonable expectation for an institution whose mission involves the investigation of ideas and the search for truth.

Well, in this case, the guy was invited by a department to give a talk. There was criticism of the speaker and the department decided to rescind their invitation. You can argue about whether they should have done that, or what beliefs and ideas should be considered when deciding to invite or disinvite a speaker, but I don't really understand saying that there's something wrong because the choice was criticized and that criticism caused the department to cancel the lecture. If a department invited someone and then learned they were a holocaust denier, would you argue they shouldn't cancel the invitation?

The issue is that you don't believe criticizing affirmative action should result in someone's lecture being canceled. That's fine. Make that argument. However, you don't get to decide for everyone else. The department is allowed to decide they don't want to bring someone to campus who has ideas they don't support, or that they don't want to deal with being criticized. The center at Princeton is then allowed to decide they don't like that decision and want to invite the guy to give the talk there to make a point.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on October 26, 2021, 09:56:20 AM

Well, in this case, the guy was invited by a department to give a talk. There was criticism of the speaker and the department decided to rescind their invitation. You can argue about whether they should have done that, or what beliefs and ideas should be considered when deciding to invite or disinvite a speaker, but I don't really understand saying that there's something wrong because the choice was criticized and that criticism caused the department to cancel the lecture. If a department invited someone and then learned they were a holocaust denier, would you argue they shouldn't cancel the invitation?


If the department invited the person to speak about the Holocaust, they presumably would have known his views before inviting him. If he wasn't invited to speak about the Holocaust, it's totally irrelevant. I don't care if my plumber is a flat-earther or a climate-change denier; I care that s/he can fix my plumbing. Should I care about the plumber's position on the Israel-Palestine conflict? Team Edward or Team Jacob? Ginger or Mary Anne? Griffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin? How many dimensions of ideological purity are necessary that have nothing to do with what the person is being invited for?


Quote
The department is allowed to decide they don't want to bring someone to campus who has ideas they don't support, or that they don't want to deal with being criticized. T

That cowardliness reflects badly on the institution. As Al Gore indicated, whether the truth is convenient or not, (or whether some people may be uncomfortable hearing it or not), doesn't determine whether it needs to be discussed. That would extend to whether the person presenting the truth is in some unrelated ways unpopular or unlikable.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on October 26, 2021, 10:32:23 AM

Well, in this case, the guy was invited by a department to give a talk. There was criticism of the speaker and the department decided to rescind their invitation. You can argue about whether they should have done that, or what beliefs and ideas should be considered when deciding to invite or disinvite a speaker, but I don't really understand saying that there's something wrong because the choice was criticized and that criticism caused the department to cancel the lecture. If a department invited someone and then learned they were a holocaust denier, would you argue they shouldn't cancel the invitation?


If the department invited the person to speak about the Holocaust, they presumably would have known his views before inviting him. If he wasn't invited to speak about the Holocaust, it's totally irrelevant. I don't care if my plumber is a flat-earther or a climate-change denier; I care that s/he can fix my plumbing. Should I care about the plumber's position on the Israel-Palestine conflict? Team Edward or Team Jacob? Ginger or Mary Anne? Griffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin? How many dimensions of ideological purity are necessary that have nothing to do with what the person is being invited for?




Again, you are trying to insist that there are universal rules. I don't scour Facebook to see what sort of views a plumber might have before seeing if he can fix the drain. However, if I learned that the plumber I'd hired before was in a Neo nazi group, I'd hire a different plumber next time. You can have nazis in your house if you want, but I'd sooner not. There's no rule that says you can't choose to not invite people to give talks if you don't like things they have said about issues unrelated to the talk.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on October 26, 2021, 10:42:21 AM
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education [FIRE], to which I donate money every year, makes the point that public college must allow free speech on account the government may not prohibit speech, but that private colleges often promise they will allow free speech. It is such private colleges that FIRE goes after.

Publicizing which colleges do what concerning speech lets people sort themselves into colleges. It worries me not too much as long as there are free speech colleges left, but it worries me just enough to donate to FIRE. :-)

My impression is that speech is restricted most in trendy private colleges, but I could be wrong.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on October 26, 2021, 10:48:13 AM
I don't scour Facebook to see what sort of views a plumber might have before seeing if he can fix the drain. However, if I learned that the plumber I'd hired before was in a Neo nazi group, I'd hire a different plumber next time. You can have nazis in your house if you want, but I'd sooner not. There's no rule that says you can't choose to not invite people to give talks if you don't like things they have said about issues unrelated to the talk.

It's rescinding the invitation that they already gave that was cowardly. They're free to invite or not whoever they like. But once they invite someone, "uninviting" the personal is unprofessional and childish when it has nothing to do with the purpose for the invitation. (If they invited someone to speak on their research, and then evidence arose that their research was wrong, based on falsified data, or something of that sort, then rescinding the invitation based on the questions about the person' actual expertise on the subject at hand would be entirely reasonable.)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on October 26, 2021, 11:43:21 AM

Well, in this case, the guy was invited by a department to give a talk. There was criticism of the speaker and the department decided to rescind their invitation. You can argue about whether they should have done that, or what beliefs and ideas should be considered when deciding to invite or disinvite a speaker, but I don't really understand saying that there's something wrong because the choice was criticized and that criticism caused the department to cancel the lecture. If a department invited someone and then learned they were a holocaust denier, would you argue they shouldn't cancel the invitation?


If the department invited the person to speak about the Holocaust, they presumably would have known his views before inviting him. If he wasn't invited to speak about the Holocaust, it's totally irrelevant. I don't care if my plumber is a flat-earther or a climate-change denier; I care that s/he can fix my plumbing. Should I care about the plumber's position on the Israel-Palestine conflict? Team Edward or Team Jacob? Ginger or Mary Anne? Griffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin? How many dimensions of ideological purity are necessary that have nothing to do with what the person is being invited for?




Again, you are trying to insist that there are universal rules. I don't scour Facebook to see what sort of views a plumber might have before seeing if he can fix the drain. However, if I learned that the plumber I'd hired before was in a Neo nazi group, I'd hire a different plumber next time. You can have nazis in your house if you want, but I'd sooner not. There's no rule that says you can't choose to not invite people to give talks if you don't like things they have said about issues unrelated to the talk.

Nobody in the scenario is a Nazi.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on October 28, 2021, 10:09:05 AM
IHE:

Many Liberal Arts Students Need a Lesson in Free Speech (https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2021/10/28/are-liberal-arts-students-less-supportive-free-speech-opinion)

Quote
When asked about the acceptability of shouting down and protesting a speaker, three-quarters of students at liberal arts colleges (75 percent) said they believed such behavior is acceptable on certain occasions, based on my analysis. At teaching universities, that number dropped to 62 percent. Almost half (44 percent) of liberal arts students maintained that shouting down a speaker is always or sometimes acceptable, compared to about a third (32 percent) of those at large research universities.

A similar and more troubling pattern emerges on the issue of preventing one’s peers from hearing a speaker’s potentially controversial ideas. In the case of liberal arts colleges, over half (52 percent) of students sampled found a reason to justify blocking their peers from hearing a speaker talk, compared to roughly a third of students at large teaching (37 percent) and research (41 percent) universities.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on October 28, 2021, 10:17:24 AM
Boston Globe:

MIT to discuss academic freedom after canceling prestigious lecture over professor’s views (https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/10/27/business/mit-discuss-academic-freedom-after-canceling-prestigious-lecture-over-professors-views/)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on October 28, 2021, 10:34:15 AM
IHE:

Many Liberal Arts Students Need a Lesson in Free Speech (https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2021/10/28/are-liberal-arts-students-less-supportive-free-speech-opinion)

Quote
When asked about the acceptability of shouting down and protesting a speaker, three-quarters of students at liberal arts colleges (75 percent) said they believed such behavior is acceptable on certain occasions, based on my analysis. At teaching universities, that number dropped to 62 percent. Almost half (44 percent) of liberal arts students maintained that shouting down a speaker is always or sometimes acceptable, compared to about a third (32 percent) of those at large research universities.

A similar and more troubling pattern emerges on the issue of preventing one’s peers from hearing a speaker’s potentially controversial ideas. In the case of liberal arts colleges, over half (52 percent) of students sampled found a reason to justify blocking their peers from hearing a speaker talk, compared to roughly a third of students at large teaching (37 percent) and research (41 percent) universities.

So for the people who argue that cancel culture on campus is much less an issue than people claim, do these results confirm your position?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on October 30, 2021, 07:56:15 PM
IHE:

Many Liberal Arts Students Need a Lesson in Free Speech (https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2021/10/28/are-liberal-arts-students-less-supportive-free-speech-opinion)

Quote
When asked about the acceptability of shouting down and protesting a speaker, three-quarters of students at liberal arts colleges (75 percent) said they believed such behavior is acceptable on certain occasions, based on my analysis. At teaching universities, that number dropped to 62 percent. Almost half (44 percent) of liberal arts students maintained that shouting down a speaker is always or sometimes acceptable, compared to about a third (32 percent) of those at large research universities.

A similar and more troubling pattern emerges on the issue of preventing one’s peers from hearing a speaker’s potentially controversial ideas. In the case of liberal arts colleges, over half (52 percent) of students sampled found a reason to justify blocking their peers from hearing a speaker talk, compared to roughly a third of students at large teaching (37 percent) and research (41 percent) universities.

So for the people who argue that cancel culture on campus is much less an issue than people claim, do these results confirm your position?

They don't confirm either that cancel culture is a major problem or that it is a trivial one. Among other things: (1) The phrasing of the question leaves a lot of ambiguity ("on certain occasions"), (2) beliefs don't necessarily translate into actions, (3) details on the polling methods matter and one poll can't be looked at in isolation (that's why outlets like 538 do a poll of polls).

If you want to prove this is a serious problem and not a handful of incidents that get a lot of media coverage, then tell us how how frequently people are actually cancelled (e.g. how many speakers were canceled as a share of total invitees). My guess is that it is a very tiny percentage in only a handful of universities.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on October 30, 2021, 08:07:42 PM
you don't have to cancel people that no one dares to invite in the first place. Or others who won't draw a crowd because their politics don't align with the far left diversity staff who have their fingers in all the pots, therefore won't get the promotion.
it would impossible, absolutely impossible to get a speaker like Coleman Hughes or John McWhorter anywhere near my school.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on October 30, 2021, 08:12:43 PM
IHE:

Many Liberal Arts Students Need a Lesson in Free Speech (https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2021/10/28/are-liberal-arts-students-less-supportive-free-speech-opinion)

Quote
When asked about the acceptability of shouting down and protesting a speaker, three-quarters of students at liberal arts colleges (75 percent) said they believed such behavior is acceptable on certain occasions, based on my analysis. At teaching universities, that number dropped to 62 percent. Almost half (44 percent) of liberal arts students maintained that shouting down a speaker is always or sometimes acceptable, compared to about a third (32 percent) of those at large research universities.

A similar and more troubling pattern emerges on the issue of preventing one’s peers from hearing a speaker’s potentially controversial ideas. In the case of liberal arts colleges, over half (52 percent) of students sampled found a reason to justify blocking their peers from hearing a speaker talk, compared to roughly a third of students at large teaching (37 percent) and research (41 percent) universities.

So for the people who argue that cancel culture on campus is much less an issue than people claim, do these results confirm your position?

They don't confirm either that cancel culture is a major problem or that it is a trivial one. Among other things: (1) The phrasing of the question leaves a lot of ambiguity ("on certain occasions"), (2) beliefs don't necessarily translate into actions, (3) details on the polling methods matter and one poll can't be looked at in isolation (that's why outlets like 538 do a poll of polls).

If you want to prove this is a serious problem and not a handful of incidents that get a lot of media coverage, then tell us how how frequently people are actually cancelled (e.g. how many speakers were canceled as a share of total invitees). My guess is that it is a very tiny percentage in only a handful of universities.

Well, not tiny or handful, but virtually all the trendies, and some non-trendies. Fortunately, there are many non-trendies. I wouldn't have wanted my kid go anywhere near a cancel culture place, and she wouldn't have wanted to go!

Let the the trendies try to survive in competition. Not all will succeed. I hope to see some of them mentioned on the Colleges in Dire Financial Straits thread in the near future. The more the better.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on October 30, 2021, 08:45:59 PM
BBC:

Kathleen Stock: University of Sussex free speech row professor quits (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-sussex-59084446)

Quote
A professor accused of transphobia for her views on gender identity is quitting her post at the University of Sussex.

Philosophy professor Kathleen Stock, who rejects the claim, said she would be leaving after "a horrible time" and "difficult few years".

Earlier this month an anonymous group launched a campaign to get her sacked.

The university had defended Prof Stock, saying its staff have the right "to say and believe what they think".

The academic said on Twitter: "This has been an absolutely horrible time for me and my family. I'm putting it behind me now."

She also said she was glad to see the university upholding that bullying and harassment in the workplace was unacceptable.

Prof Stock, who recently published a book questioning the idea that gender identity is more "socially significant" than biological sex, rejects the claim that she or her work is transphobic.

Posters calling for her to be fired were reportedly put up near the campus, and an image emerged on social media of a campaigner holding a banner saying "Stock Out".

Quote
Higher and further education minister Michelle Donelan said: "It is absolutely appalling that the toxic environment at the University of Sussex has made it untenable for Professor Kathleen Stock to continue in her position there. No academic should ever have to fear for their personal safety.

"The sustained campaign of harassment and intimidation she has faced is deplorable and the situation should never have got this far."
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on October 30, 2021, 08:51:07 PM
IHE:

Many Liberal Arts Students Need a Lesson in Free Speech (https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2021/10/28/are-liberal-arts-students-less-supportive-free-speech-opinion)

Quote
When asked about the acceptability of shouting down and protesting a speaker, three-quarters of students at liberal arts colleges (75 percent) said they believed such behavior is acceptable on certain occasions, based on my analysis. At teaching universities, that number dropped to 62 percent. Almost half (44 percent) of liberal arts students maintained that shouting down a speaker is always or sometimes acceptable, compared to about a third (32 percent) of those at large research universities.

A similar and more troubling pattern emerges on the issue of preventing one’s peers from hearing a speaker’s potentially controversial ideas. In the case of liberal arts colleges, over half (52 percent) of students sampled found a reason to justify blocking their peers from hearing a speaker talk, compared to roughly a third of students at large teaching (37 percent) and research (41 percent) universities.

So for the people who argue that cancel culture on campus is much less an issue than people claim, do these results confirm your position?

They don't confirm either that cancel culture is a major problem or that it is a trivial one. Among other things: (1) The phrasing of the question leaves a lot of ambiguity ("on certain occasions"), (2) beliefs don't necessarily translate into actions, (3) details on the polling methods matter and one poll can't be looked at in isolation (that's why outlets like 538 do a poll of polls).

If you want to prove this is a serious problem and not a handful of incidents that get a lot of media coverage, then tell us how how frequently people are actually cancelled (e.g. how many speakers were canceled as a share of total invitees). My guess is that it is a very tiny percentage in only a handful of universities.

Well, not tiny or handful, but virtually all the trendies, and some non-trendies. Fortunately, there are many non-trendies. I wouldn't have wanted my kid go anywhere near a cancel culture place, and she wouldn't have wanted to go!

Let the the trendies try to survive in competition. Not all will succeed. I hope to see some of them mentioned on the Colleges in Dire Financial Straits thread in the near future. The more the better.

Feel free to show evidence that the underlined is true. Otherwise it is just a meaningless claim that will not convince anyone who isn't already wound up about this issue.

you don't have to cancel people that no one dares to invite in the first place. Or others who won't draw a crowd because their politics don't align with the far left diversity staff who have their fingers in all the pots, therefore won't get the promotion.
it would impossible, absolutely impossible to get a speaker like Coleman Hughes or John McWhorter anywhere near my school.

So conservative speakers that don't draw a crowd are being cancelled? Talk about moving the goal posts.

And the people you mention speak at universities all the time, so clearly they have not been cancelled. Maybe they don't get to visit your university, but your university seems like a weird place, where diversity staff pick the speakers and let all the adjuncts know who is not allowed to come and why. At my place (public R1) speakers are brought in by student groups, professors, centers, and deans, and we have all sorts of people who say politically incorrect things. I've never seen or heard from a diversity staff person.

But all that said, you are right that there could be a selection bias, so to speak. However, you once again need to show evidence that this is happening if you want your claims to be taken seriously.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on October 30, 2021, 09:33:41 PM
IHE:

Many Liberal Arts Students Need a Lesson in Free Speech (https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2021/10/28/are-liberal-arts-students-less-supportive-free-speech-opinion)

Quote
When asked about the acceptability of shouting down and protesting a speaker, three-quarters of students at liberal arts colleges (75 percent) said they believed such behavior is acceptable on certain occasions, based on my analysis. At teaching universities, that number dropped to 62 percent. Almost half (44 percent) of liberal arts students maintained that shouting down a speaker is always or sometimes acceptable, compared to about a third (32 percent) of those at large research universities.

A similar and more troubling pattern emerges on the issue of preventing one’s peers from hearing a speaker’s potentially controversial ideas. In the case of liberal arts colleges, over half (52 percent) of students sampled found a reason to justify blocking their peers from hearing a speaker talk, compared to roughly a third of students at large teaching (37 percent) and research (41 percent) universities.

So for the people who argue that cancel culture on campus is much less an issue than people claim, do these results confirm your position?

They don't confirm either that cancel culture is a major problem or that it is a trivial one. Among other things: (1) The phrasing of the question leaves a lot of ambiguity ("on certain occasions"), (2) beliefs don't necessarily translate into actions, (3) details on the polling methods matter and one poll can't be looked at in isolation (that's why outlets like 538 do a poll of polls).

If you want to prove this is a serious problem and not a handful of incidents that get a lot of media coverage, then tell us how how frequently people are actually cancelled (e.g. how many speakers were canceled as a share of total invitees). My guess is that it is a very tiny percentage in only a handful of universities.

Well, not tiny or handful, but virtually all the trendies, and some non-trendies. Fortunately, there are many non-trendies. I wouldn't have wanted my kid go anywhere near a cancel culture place, and she wouldn't have wanted to go!

Let the the trendies try to survive in competition. Not all will succeed. I hope to see some of them mentioned on the Colleges in Dire Financial Straits thread in the near future. The more the better.

Feel free to show evidence that the underlined is true. Otherwise it is just a meaningless claim that will not convince anyone who isn't already wound up about this issue.

you don't have to cancel people that no one dares to invite in the first place. Or others who won't draw a crowd because their politics don't align with the far left diversity staff who have their fingers in all the pots, therefore won't get the promotion.
it would impossible, absolutely impossible to get a speaker like Coleman Hughes or John McWhorter anywhere near my school.

So conservative speakers that don't draw a crowd are being cancelled? Talk about moving the goal posts.

And the people you mention speak at universities all the time, so clearly they have not been cancelled. Maybe they don't get to visit your university, but your university seems like a weird place, where diversity staff pick the speakers and let all the adjuncts know who is not allowed to come and why. At my place (public R1) speakers are brought in by student groups, professors, centers, and deans, and we have all sorts of people who say politically incorrect things. I've never seen or heard from a diversity staff person.

But all that said, you are right that there could be a selection bias, so to speak. However, you once again need to show evidence that this is happening if you want your claims to be taken seriously.

Look, I said I was not too worried about this stuff. A perusal of the FIRE document got me believing the trendies are up to this. A perusal. I could be wrong. I don't care. But no kid of mine would go to such a place, private or public.

I don't need to show evidence to anyone except myself. I needed to choose a specific institution for my kid, and not have anyone else choose for me.

Those I don't like may whither away, or they may not. I hope they whither.

No worries, mate. :-)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on October 30, 2021, 09:39:09 PM
IHE:

Many Liberal Arts Students Need a Lesson in Free Speech (https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2021/10/28/are-liberal-arts-students-less-supportive-free-speech-opinion)

Quote
When asked about the acceptability of shouting down and protesting a speaker, three-quarters of students at liberal arts colleges (75 percent) said they believed such behavior is acceptable on certain occasions, based on my analysis. At teaching universities, that number dropped to 62 percent. Almost half (44 percent) of liberal arts students maintained that shouting down a speaker is always or sometimes acceptable, compared to about a third (32 percent) of those at large research universities.

A similar and more troubling pattern emerges on the issue of preventing one’s peers from hearing a speaker’s potentially controversial ideas. In the case of liberal arts colleges, over half (52 percent) of students sampled found a reason to justify blocking their peers from hearing a speaker talk, compared to roughly a third of students at large teaching (37 percent) and research (41 percent) universities.

So for the people who argue that cancel culture on campus is much less an issue than people claim, do these results confirm your position?

They don't confirm either that cancel culture is a major problem or that it is a trivial one. Among other things: (1) The phrasing of the question leaves a lot of ambiguity ("on certain occasions"), (2) beliefs don't necessarily translate into actions, (3) details on the polling methods matter and one poll can't be looked at in isolation (that's why outlets like 538 do a poll of polls).

If you want to prove this is a serious problem and not a handful of incidents that get a lot of media coverage, then tell us how how frequently people are actually cancelled (e.g. how many speakers were canceled as a share of total invitees). My guess is that it is a very tiny percentage in only a handful of universities.

Well, not tiny or handful, but virtually all the trendies, and some non-trendies. Fortunately, there are many non-trendies. I wouldn't have wanted my kid go anywhere near a cancel culture place, and she wouldn't have wanted to go!

Let the the trendies try to survive in competition. Not all will succeed. I hope to see some of them mentioned on the Colleges in Dire Financial Straits thread in the near future. The more the better.

Feel free to show evidence that the underlined is true. Otherwise it is just a meaningless claim that will not convince anyone who isn't already wound up about this issue.

you don't have to cancel people that no one dares to invite in the first place. Or others who won't draw a crowd because their politics don't align with the far left diversity staff who have their fingers in all the pots, therefore won't get the promotion.
it would impossible, absolutely impossible to get a speaker like Coleman Hughes or John McWhorter anywhere near my school.

So conservative speakers that don't draw a crowd are being cancelled? Talk about moving the goal posts.

And the people you mention speak at universities all the time, so clearly they have not been cancelled. Maybe they don't get to visit your university, but your university seems like a weird place, where diversity staff pick the speakers and let all the adjuncts know who is not allowed to come and why. At my place (public R1) speakers are brought in by student groups, professors, centers, and deans, and we have all sorts of people who say politically incorrect things. I've never seen or heard from a diversity staff person.

But all that said, you are right that there could be a selection bias, so to speak. However, you once again need to show evidence that this is happening if you want your claims to be taken seriously.

No shit/.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on October 31, 2021, 06:43:14 AM
And on the other hand: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/579260-alabama-university-reneges-on-historians-speaking-invitation-after-anti
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Sun_Worshiper on October 31, 2021, 09:21:20 AM
IHE:

Many Liberal Arts Students Need a Lesson in Free Speech (https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2021/10/28/are-liberal-arts-students-less-supportive-free-speech-opinion)

Quote
When asked about the acceptability of shouting down and protesting a speaker, three-quarters of students at liberal arts colleges (75 percent) said they believed such behavior is acceptable on certain occasions, based on my analysis. At teaching universities, that number dropped to 62 percent. Almost half (44 percent) of liberal arts students maintained that shouting down a speaker is always or sometimes acceptable, compared to about a third (32 percent) of those at large research universities.

A similar and more troubling pattern emerges on the issue of preventing one’s peers from hearing a speaker’s potentially controversial ideas. In the case of liberal arts colleges, over half (52 percent) of students sampled found a reason to justify blocking their peers from hearing a speaker talk, compared to roughly a third of students at large teaching (37 percent) and research (41 percent) universities.

So for the people who argue that cancel culture on campus is much less an issue than people claim, do these results confirm your position?

They don't confirm either that cancel culture is a major problem or that it is a trivial one. Among other things: (1) The phrasing of the question leaves a lot of ambiguity ("on certain occasions"), (2) beliefs don't necessarily translate into actions, (3) details on the polling methods matter and one poll can't be looked at in isolation (that's why outlets like 538 do a poll of polls).

If you want to prove this is a serious problem and not a handful of incidents that get a lot of media coverage, then tell us how how frequently people are actually cancelled (e.g. how many speakers were canceled as a share of total invitees). My guess is that it is a very tiny percentage in only a handful of universities.

Well, not tiny or handful, but virtually all the trendies, and some non-trendies. Fortunately, there are many non-trendies. I wouldn't have wanted my kid go anywhere near a cancel culture place, and she wouldn't have wanted to go!

Let the the trendies try to survive in competition. Not all will succeed. I hope to see some of them mentioned on the Colleges in Dire Financial Straits thread in the near future. The more the better.

Feel free to show evidence that the underlined is true. Otherwise it is just a meaningless claim that will not convince anyone who isn't already wound up about this issue.

you don't have to cancel people that no one dares to invite in the first place. Or others who won't draw a crowd because their politics don't align with the far left diversity staff who have their fingers in all the pots, therefore won't get the promotion.
it would impossible, absolutely impossible to get a speaker like Coleman Hughes or John McWhorter anywhere near my school.

So conservative speakers that don't draw a crowd are being cancelled? Talk about moving the goal posts.

And the people you mention speak at universities all the time, so clearly they have not been cancelled. Maybe they don't get to visit your university, but your university seems like a weird place, where diversity staff pick the speakers and let all the adjuncts know who is not allowed to come and why. At my place (public R1) speakers are brought in by student groups, professors, centers, and deans, and we have all sorts of people who say politically incorrect things. I've never seen or heard from a diversity staff person.

But all that said, you are right that there could be a selection bias, so to speak. However, you once again need to show evidence that this is happening if you want your claims to be taken seriously.

Look, I said I was not too worried about this stuff. A perusal of the FIRE document got me believing the trendies are up to this. A perusal. I could be wrong. I don't care. But no kid of mine would go to such a place, private or public.

I don't need to show evidence to anyone except myself. I needed to choose a specific institution for my kid, and not have anyone else choose for me.

Those I don't like may whither away, or they may not. I hope they whither.

No worries, mate. :-)

Cool mate, send your kid wherever you want, none of us care.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on October 31, 2021, 09:35:47 AM
And on the other hand: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/579260-alabama-university-reneges-on-historians-speaking-invitation-after-anti

In a fascinating irony:
Quote
Samford University, which is a Christian institution, invited Meacham to give a lecture on the current state of civility and discourse in the U.S. as part of a series of events leading up to the inauguration of the school’s president Beck Taylor.

I don't care which end of the spectrum it comes from; it's equally sad.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on December 23, 2021, 09:13:40 PM
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/campus-democrats-are-less-tolerant-than-republicans
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: larryc on December 27, 2021, 10:08:03 PM
I saw this in a tweet the other day:

Conservatives: My views are being censored!

Me: Wait, your views in favor of lower taxes are being censored?

Conservatives: No, not those views.

Me: So is it your views in favor of less government regulation?

Conservatives: No, not those views either.

Me: So what view are being censored?

Conservatives (laugh nervously): Oh....you know.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on December 28, 2021, 06:49:42 AM
I saw this in a tweet the other day:

Conservatives: My views are being censored!

Me: Wait, your views in favor of lower taxes are being censored?

Conservatives: No, not those views.

Me: So is it your views in favor of less government regulation?

Conservatives: No, not those views either.

Me: So what view are being censored?

Conservatives (laugh nervously): Oh....you know.

What's far more common than actually being 100% censored for your views that are politically center or right-of-center is the likelihood that you censor yourself in order to remain popular enough in the academic world. I'm beginning to think it's a bad trade. People who have different views from the far left should speak out more. Here's an example of where it carried a price, but the price ended up being worth it.

From the link I posted just before LarryC:

'Last fall, Katherine Lauer at the University of Kansas was placed on probation by her sorority Kappa Alpha Theta for showing “unbecoming” conduct because she shared her conservative views on social media. The sorority ordered her to “keep track of your individual social media posts” and “assess their alignment with the Kappa Alpha Theta online social media contract” and required her to watch a video selected by the sorority’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She brought her story to Fox News: “I still don’t know exactly what I’ve done, and to me, I feel like they’re really trying to suppress me and silence me.”
'Lauer added that many of her sorority sisters thanked her for speaking out: “I’ve had actually a lot of Thetas reach out to me and thank me for my post and say that they really appreciated my bravery because a lot of the conservative friends that I have do not feel comfortable speaking their opinion.” She quit the sorority and started a NeW chapter at her school.'

Italics and bolding are mine.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: ciao_yall on December 28, 2021, 09:22:32 AM
I saw this in a tweet the other day:

Conservatives: My views are being censored!

Me: Wait, your views in favor of lower taxes are being censored?

Conservatives: No, not those views.

Me: So is it your views in favor of less government regulation?

Conservatives: No, not those views either.

Me: So what view are being censored?

Conservatives (laugh nervously): Oh....you know.

What's far more common than actually being 100% censored for your views that are politically center or right-of-center is the likelihood that you censor yourself in order to remain popular enough in the academic world. I'm beginning to think it's a bad trade. People who have different views from the far left should speak out more. Here's an example of where it carried a price, but the price ended up being worth it.

From the link I posted just before LarryC:

'Last fall, Katherine Lauer at the University of Kansas was placed on probation by her sorority Kappa Alpha Theta for showing “unbecoming” conduct because she shared her conservative views on social media. The sorority ordered her to “keep track of your individual social media posts” and “assess their alignment with the Kappa Alpha Theta online social media contract” and required her to watch a video selected by the sorority’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She brought her story to Fox News: “I still don’t know exactly what I’ve done, and to me, I feel like they’re really trying to suppress me and silence me.”
'Lauer added that many of her sorority sisters thanked her for speaking out: “I’ve had actually a lot of Thetas reach out to me and thank me for my post and say that they really appreciated my bravery because a lot of the conservative friends that I have do not feel comfortable speaking their opinion.” She quit the sorority and started a NeW chapter at her school.'

Italics and bolding are mine.

She didn't "share conservative views." She retweeted a virulent racist anti-vaxxer accusing the BLM movement of fraud with no evidence.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on December 28, 2021, 10:51:52 AM
I have not seen what she posted. Can you show us?

ETA:  Does retweeting someone else's tweet mean you agree with 100% of it? and...

I don't do twitter, but it's not an academic forum. It's just people sounding off and making conversation. My experience is on social media people get called frauds and phonies all the time. Doesn't make it libelous.

Did she purport to speak on behalf of the sorority?

My opinion, BLM has poor priorities, is pretentious and is not doing good for their community, although they are sincere. So it would be easy for me to agree that they are vastly overrated and it's well past time to hear from others, Rob Smith or Kandall Qualls, for example.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on December 28, 2021, 11:37:26 AM
These things are easy to find:

https://fox4kc.com/news/ku-sorority-member-punished-says-anti-blm-social-media-post-was-misinterpreted/

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on December 28, 2021, 12:17:18 PM
These things are easy to find:

https://fox4kc.com/news/ku-sorority-member-punished-says-anti-blm-social-media-post-was-misinterpreted/

Yes, I saw that in the interim, but because there is nothing racist in Owen's statement I thought there had to be something that I missed... Owens believes that BLM leaders have been exploiting the bleeding heart public for their own material gain, which is true.*
Of course one could choose to believe that not declaring one's wholehearted support for BLM and its activities shows that you are a racist, and one can have a sorority full of people who think that way. But then getting kicked out would be a favor to one like Lauer, more than punishment, on balance. Come out of the closet, folks!

ETA: *...and doing so while declaring you are a trained Marxist is asking for an accusation of fraud, maybe not legally, but in terms of plausibility (though I don't see the word 'fraud' in the post.)

The sorority is absolutely intolerant of these particular (popular) conservative views, which is their right I guess. True, Candace can a get a little shrill, but hey, it's show business after all.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: apl68 on December 28, 2021, 01:00:14 PM
What she re-tweeted is an egregiously foolish post, but suspending somebody from a sorority for it seems excessive--and does somewhat open them to a charge of treating support for BLM as something of a shibboleth.  This is one of those cases where it's hard to say that either side comes out looking very good.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on December 28, 2021, 01:18:25 PM
Well mahagonny, as I've posted before what worries me is when institutions, particularly employers, dictate what we say off the job or, in this case, when not participating in a social event for a social organization.

As you point out, this young woman was not specifically representing her sorority.  So what business is it of theirs what she does on her own time?

At the same time, part of free speech (acknowledging that we aren't always talking about the legal definition) is not being forced to say or agree with something we don't want to say or agree with.

It is a conundrum.

Since Kappa Alpha Theta is a social entity, and not an employer, the social interaction of their members is important, kind of like a church which has a member invoking satanic rituals.

And conservatives such as yourself would find more support if you did not distort and minimize claims such as Democrats "using the faces of dead black people" to elect white politicians and calling BLM the "most flagrantly racist organization" in America.

As long as conservatives propagandize in this manner they deserve whatever drubbing they get.  Spew hate, get hate back-----something you need to either learn to live with or stop whining about.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on December 28, 2021, 01:37:22 PM
People tend to forget that free speech is a right that only the government can't abridge. Private institutions do so with reckless abandon. A club is an even better example than a firm. I sure as hell wouldn't want lefties in my country club, e.g. Membership in a club is voluntary, and is much, much less costly to leave than a job.

If I were Katherine, I would have resigned, having learned that this club has rules or enforcement mechanisms that I don't like.

There is likely sufficient variety among existing clubs to make this a very small deal. And if not, found a new club!

This is a wonderful example of being able to live peacefully with each other even though we disagree strongly.

I am not Katherine. My actual attitude is the same as G. Marx's:

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. :-)

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on December 28, 2021, 02:17:44 PM
Well mahagonny, as I've posted before what worries me is when institutions, particularly employers, dictate what we say off the job or, in this case, when not participating in a social event for a social organization.

As you point out, this young woman was not specifically representing her sorority.  So what business is it of theirs what she does on her own time?

At the same time, part of free speech (acknowledging that we aren't always talking about the legal definition) is not being forced to say or agree with something we don't want to say or agree with.

It is a conundrum.

Since Kappa Alpha Theta is a social entity, and not an employer, the social interaction of their members is important, kind of like a church which has a member invoking satanic rituals.

And conservatives such as yourself would find more support if you did not distort and minimize claims such as Democrats "using the faces of dead black people" to elect white politicians and calling BLM the "most flagrantly racist organization" in America.


How did I distort this claim? I posted the question whether retweeting someone else's tweet means you agree with all of it, or maybe only some of it. No answer yet. I don't know the context of the exchanges in the twitter conversation. I maintain that even the shrill Candace Owens is much better grounded than most of the BLM activists. When she jumps on you she jumps with both feet. So what?
Support for BLM is on the wane. 'Defund the police' was their most noticeable blunder.

People tend to forget that free speech is a right that only the government can't abridge. Private institutions do so with reckless abandon. A club is an even better example than a firm. I sure as hell wouldn't want lefties in my country club, e.g. Membership in a club is voluntary, and is much, much less costly to leave than a job.

If I were Katherine, I would have resigned, having learned that this club has rules or enforcement mechanisms that I don't like.


I believe she did, and started a social organization of her own in the college community.

ETA: When Owens says BLM is racist, I'm pretty sure she means not that it espouses white-people hatred (though I'm sure notices that some of them do have the type of racism, but that is not primarily what she's concerned with) but that it promotes the view that black Americans are powerless to improve their lives until the mighty white man changes what he is doing. Which is crippling, insulting and false. Black Americans can put their faith in the nuclear family, stay away from drugs and crime, finish school etc. They've done it before as we know. that's what she's talking about. If you need the nuanced, genteel type of writing, check out Coleman Hughes, John McWhorter, Loury, et al.
Her expression may be antagonistic, but her spirit is optimism.
Con't
Going forward, the democrats will have to get used to fewer votes from the Hispanic community. More and more of them don't need to be "POC" victims of the system, want lower taxes and smaller government (small business entrepreneurs) and aren't in favor of uncontrolled 'immigration.' They did it the legal way and that was fine for them.
'Latinx' was the crowning achievement of botched pandering for votes. Keep 'em coming, democrats.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on December 28, 2021, 02:35:42 PM
...
People tend to forget that free speech is a right that only the government can't abridge. Private institutions do so with reckless abandon. A club is an even better example than a firm. I sure as hell wouldn't want lefties in my country club, e.g. Membership in a club is voluntary, and is much, much less costly to leave than a job.

If I were Katherine, I would have resigned, having learned that this club has rules or enforcement mechanisms that I don't like.


I believe she did, and started a social organization of her own in the college community.

Excellent! There is no problem if one respects the right of association.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on December 28, 2021, 02:58:57 PM
How did I distort this claim? I posted the question whether retweeting someone else's tweet means you agree with all of it, or maybe only some of it. No answer yet.

Fair enough. 

I was referring to the distortion in the original tweet.  This is one of those things that antagonistic, partisan people do not see and more objective people do see.  I am not about to spend any time explaining this.  BLM is a legit organization with a legit purpose that does not have good control over its members.  Calling BLM "racist" or accusing them of electing white politicians are gross distortions.

Yes, retweeting without context or comment is tacit agreement in the world of social media.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on December 28, 2021, 03:03:49 PM

Yes, retweeting without context or comment is tacit agreement in the world of social media.

Well OK thanks for giving an answer at least. I am a little surprised. I would have thought it more like showing the quotations for one's perusal. But you'd know better than I.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on December 28, 2021, 03:11:46 PM

Yes, retweeting without context or comment is tacit agreement in the world of social media.

Well OK thanks for giving an answer at least. I am a little surprised. I would have thought it more like showing the quotations for one's perusal. But you'd know better than I.

I don't necessarily know anything.  This is simply based on observation.  The scenario under discussion is a perfect example.

Why would one retweet a statement unless one were amused by it, offended by it, or in agreement with it?

I have never had a Twitter account myself.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on December 28, 2021, 03:17:38 PM

Why would one retweet a statement unless one were amused by it, offended by it, or in agreement with it?


Or drinking.

We need to approach each other with more tolerance.



Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on December 28, 2021, 03:36:15 PM
Tweets? The medium is the message.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on December 29, 2021, 10:48:57 AM

Why would one retweet a statement unless one were amused by it, offended by it, or in agreement with it?

Given these different possibilities, is there some moral imperative that someone indicate which purpose one has for each retweet?

Quote
I have never had a Twitter account myself.

Me either. Twitter kinds of seems like the cesspit of social media, which gets the most immediate and unfiltered garbage of human rantings. It is the antithesis of rational, respectful discussion.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: ciao_yall on December 29, 2021, 11:20:15 AM

Why would one retweet a statement unless one were amused by it, offended by it, or in agreement with it?

Given these different possibilities, is there some moral imperative that someone indicate which purpose one has for each retweet?


Seems reasonable.

I posted something on FB. My husband's friend's wife (HFW) replied that she disagreed with it and posted a link to an article from a respected publication that she claimed would explain her position.

I read the article and responded that the article did not say what she claimed it said - in fact, it was the opposite. She got extremely huffy with me and all my friends on the thread. Said that we were attacking her and not letting her share her point of view. I (and we) said um, the responses are open - just say what you want to say instead of going on blast.

Tried to drag our husbands into it, the whole 9 yards.

Good thing I never liked them much in the first place.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on December 29, 2021, 01:05:41 PM

Why would one retweet a statement unless one were amused by it, offended by it, or in agreement with it?

Given these different possibilities, is there some moral imperative that someone indicate which purpose one has for each retweet?

Only if you want your purpose to be clear.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on December 29, 2021, 01:38:25 PM

Why would one retweet a statement unless one were amused by it, offended by it, or in agreement with it?

Given these different possibilities, is there some moral imperative that someone indicate which purpose one has for each retweet?

Only if you want your purpose to be clear.

This is what's so destructive about social media; it's all about how popular an idea or position is, rather than how well-supported it is. The concept of someone potentially playing Devil's advocate, or presenting an idea with which they may not totally agree but which raises some important issues is blasphemy.

Visceral responses and gut reactions are all that matters. And the more instantaneous the response the better.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: ciao_yall on December 29, 2021, 02:16:26 PM

Why would one retweet a statement unless one were amused by it, offended by it, or in agreement with it?

Given these different possibilities, is there some moral imperative that someone indicate which purpose one has for each retweet?

Only if you want your purpose to be clear.

This is what's so destructive about social media; it's all about how popular an idea or position is, rather than how well-supported it is. The concept of someone potentially playing Devil's advocate, or presenting an idea with which they may not totally agree but which raises some important issues is blasphemy.

Visceral responses and gut reactions are all that matters. And the more instantaneous the response the better.

I don't know what online crowds you run with. Most posts function as echo chambers. Posters are generally assumed to agree with Tweets, Reposts, etc that they share within their own circles unless they clearly say why not up front.

If someone wants to post an alternative perspective, they are welcome to do so but should be prepared to support their positions with facts and nuance. 

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on December 29, 2021, 02:54:40 PM

Why would one retweet a statement unless one were amused by it, offended by it, or in agreement with it?

Given these different possibilities, is there some moral imperative that someone indicate which purpose one has for each retweet?

Only if you want your purpose to be clear.

This is what's so destructive about social media; it's all about how popular an idea or position is, rather than how well-supported it is. The concept of someone potentially playing Devil's advocate, or presenting an idea with which they may not totally agree but which raises some important issues is blasphemy.

Visceral responses and gut reactions are all that matters. And the more instantaneous the response the better.

You are kind of a guy who free associates with ethical considerations a lot, (accidentally) creating strawman statements.

I simply meant that if one retweets a controversial statement without some sort of explanation or context, most people will assume that one supports the original tweet whether or not one actually does.

You have a wild brain, Marshy.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on December 29, 2021, 08:00:23 PM
What she re-tweeted is an egregiously foolish post, but suspending somebody from a sorority for it seems excessive--and does somewhat open them to a charge of treating support for BLM as something of a shibboleth.  This is one of those cases where it's hard to say that either side comes out looking very good.

Respectfully disagree. Despite Candace Owens' shrill style of communications, she raises excellent points:

 What has BLM done to actually help the black community? They've raised a lot of money, and so far their only goals are to get democrats elected, again, though they have solved nothing in the cities they run, and make their executives rich. one of whom has already retired comfortably. She claims her work has been done. What work?

Does BLM actually even know what they want other than that? Abolishing the police is a fantasy. No one's going to do that, and it was only a matter of time before the phrase would become a forgotten failed slogan.

 Black Americans are feeling pain. We get that. But the question is still what to do about it. So BLM is pretty much a weak emulation of the civil rights movements of the 60's which had specific goals. It's mimicry. You almost feel sorry for them. they're fixated on how 'whiteness' is ruining their lives, while seemingly oblivious of what they might do for each other, together. Years ago 'black lives matter' was an idea that was missing. Not so today.

 As Joe Biden has admitted, people who want to vote are absolutely free to. 'Voter suppression' is more of a rallying cry from people like Stacey Abrams to get people motivated to vote. And probably works. Well, she's not stupid.

Apropos of all this: requiring people to say the phrase 'Black Lives Matter' is a pretentious power grab.
It has been a shibboleth. If you don't like Trump's combative style there's a video on youtube where the genteel Mike Pence foils the ultimatum in calm reasonable language. If they want to bait you into endorsing their ideas (no more 'nuclear family requirement, etc)  by requiring you to say the phrase 'black lives matter' the are prompting the response they get, including repudiation.
Owens has had a black lives matter leader on her show. She gives everyone a turn. Kendi refused Larry Elder's invitation, calling it a 'minstrel show.' Among other invitations. Why does one get away with being a lauded academic with striking new ideas who's afraid to defend them in a debate? That's not dissemination of knowledge. It's politics, special privilege.

I do agree with you that suspending someone from a sorority for this seems excessive. And I guess Lauer solved the problem for herself by finding like minded classmates to associate with.

Summary: the left today doesn't so much censor ideas they don't like as it intentionally drowns them out.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on December 29, 2021, 09:05:27 PM
I saw this in a tweet the other day:

Conservatives: My views are being censored!

Me: Wait, your views in favor of lower taxes are being censored?

Conservatives: No, not those views.

Me: So is it your views in favor of less government regulation?

Conservatives: No, not those views either.

Me: So what view are being censored?


Conservatives (laugh nervously): Oh....you know.

If we substitute 'punish, harass and ostracize' people for holding views that oppose popular new lefty ones for 'censor' same then this would have been a good answer:  https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2021/12/29/in_scotland_theyll_take_the_woke_road_809363.html
So I'm puzzled at what your post is meant to convey. Yes, you can express your centrist, non-leftist views if you're willing to submit to abuse and detrimental consequences in your career.

Now it's time for lawsuits.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on December 29, 2021, 10:30:18 PM

If we substitute 'punish, harass and ostracize' people for holding views that oppose popular new lefty ones for 'censor' same then this would have been a good answer: 

Now it's time for lawsuits.

As long as you also acknowledge that this is righty de facto policy too.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on December 30, 2021, 03:15:12 AM

If we substitute 'punish, harass and ostracize' people for holding views that oppose popular new lefty ones for 'censor' same then this would have been a good answer: 

Now it's time for lawsuits.

As long as you also acknowledge that this is righty de facto policy too.

If someone shows examples. Nobody among those on the right that I admire is doing anything like that. And there are plenty. McWhorter, Loury, Coleman Hughes, Owens, Kendall Qualls, Jason Whitlock, Jason Reilly, Shelby Steele, Carol Swain, Tim Scott.

As I posted, Owens' response to the controversy was to have a BLM leader on her program for what she termed 'a very important conversation.'

Bill Maher claims to be a liberal (it sounds more and more like a confession) but gives the most radical left ideas in circulation today a good healthy scrutiny, which they tend not to survive. Then he invites people on his show who promote them, AOC, for example. Where'd she go?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on December 30, 2021, 05:26:45 AM

Why would one retweet a statement unless one were amused by it, offended by it, or in agreement with it?

Given these different possibilities, is there some moral imperative that someone indicate which purpose one has for each retweet?

Only if you want your purpose to be clear.

This is what's so destructive about social media; it's all about how popular an idea or position is, rather than how well-supported it is. The concept of someone potentially playing Devil's advocate, or presenting an idea with which they may not totally agree but which raises some important issues is blasphemy.

Visceral responses and gut reactions are all that matters. And the more instantaneous the response the better.

You are kind of a guy who free associates with ethical considerations a lot, (accidentally) creating strawman statements.


I've always assumed that in any kind of academic forum, the "free association" with "ethical considerations", (a.k.a looking at the big picture and wider implications), would be kind of normal.

And if "strawman statements" means creating sample scenarios of where certain ideas, procedures, etc. might lead, again that's pretty standard acedemic debate.

Quote
I simply meant that if one retweets a controversial statement without some sort of explanation or context, most people will assume that one supports the original tweet whether or not one actually does.

And my point is that the whole idea of feeling compelled to "comment" on something by simply indicating agreement or disagreement with an idea without adding any original perspective suggests that public discourse has largely been replaced by opinion polling.
Even among academics and journalists, who used to be relied upon to make some effort at objectivity and nuance rather than simply adopting the slogans and talking points of one ideology or another.


Quote
You have a wild brain, Marshy.

Admit it. If this were an echo chamber of progressives, without any dissenting views, you'd find it boring.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: apl68 on December 30, 2021, 07:27:37 AM
Pulling back from the narrow liberal vs. conservative divide, I can't help noticing that "cancel culture" seems to have engulfed some unexpected subjects.  J.K. Rowling for one, who is nobody's definition of a cultural or political conservative apologist, has undergone a striking reversal of fortune at the hands of people who were once her admirers over one specific issue.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on December 30, 2021, 07:01:33 PM

Why would one retweet a statement unless one were amused by it, offended by it, or in agreement with it?

Given these different possibilities, is there some moral imperative that someone indicate which purpose one has for each retweet?

Only if you want your purpose to be clear.

This is what's so destructive about social media; it's all about how popular an idea or position is, rather than how well-supported it is. The concept of someone potentially playing Devil's advocate, or presenting an idea with which they may not totally agree but which raises some important issues is blasphemy.

Visceral responses and gut reactions are all that matters. And the more instantaneous the response the better.

Invoking Brandolini’s Law “The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude larger than to produce it.” That's a big understatement, by the way.

Twitter is great for the first part -- broadcasting bullshit,  and terrible for the second part -- refuting it.

Hell, even this discussion board is better than Twitter, on average! :-)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on December 30, 2021, 10:30:58 PM
Sorry if this has been posted already.

CHE: When Professors Offend Students (https://www.chronicle.com/article/when-professors-offend-students)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on December 31, 2021, 07:35:23 AM
I haven't seen the CHE article. I stopped subscribing a year ago. I did see this though: https://uswallpost.com/education/when-professors-offend-students/

It's perfectly reasonable to be sick of hearing "black lives matter," one of the reasons being  people protest that you shouldn't say 'all lives matter.' If you can say one you ought to be able to say both. And if you were to say 'white lives matter' which you are already prompted to say since the media mostly ignores killing of white people by police, consistently a higher number than blacks, some of the students and academic culture would be comparing you to Hitler. And Americans, even conservatives, vastly overestimate the number of black individuals killed by police (although liberals overestimate it much more), so 'white lives matter' would be, apparently, information that is missing, while 'black lives matter' is not by any stretch of the imagination information that is missing. It's already a matter of broad, constantly reiterated consensus.

If Professor Cope is up to having lively discussions about currents events in class (I'm grateful that I can teach without doing it; I couldn't do it) a better choice might have been to start with 'I'm sick of not being able to say "all lives matter."' But she's still have to duck.

ETA: Another aspect I find interesting: when a group of students start calling for the professor to be fired, they probably envy the person standing in front of the class, who gets called 'professor,' figuring that person has good stable job with good pay and benefits. And if they do think that, the odds are that they're wrong, and that's fine with the college.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on December 31, 2021, 09:00:28 AM
I haven't seen the CHE article. I stopped subscribing a year ago. I did see this though: https://uswallpost.com/education/when-professors-offend-students/


Thanks for the non-paywalled link.

I think I'm starting to see why lots of people on the left are getting cancelled. From the article:
Quote
So she decided to spur her class into contributing. The day’s lesson was about “cancel culture.” Students had read a few articles on the topic beforehand. Cope wanted to present them with an opinion that, at first blush, they’d object to but that would actually be more nuanced than it appeared.

The naive idea that students want nuance, rather than crystal clear ideology shows an incredible degree of cluelessness. I think some on the left really think that as long as they're coming from the "right side", they will be able to speak freely. No wonder they get destroyed.
 
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on December 31, 2021, 01:32:20 PM
I haven't seen the CHE article. I stopped subscribing a year ago. I did see this though: https://uswallpost.com/education/when-professors-offend-students/


Thanks for the non-paywalled link.

I think I'm starting to see why lots of people on the left are getting cancelled. From the article:
Quote
So she decided to spur her class into contributing. The day’s lesson was about “cancel culture.” Students had read a few articles on the topic beforehand. Cope wanted to present them with an opinion that, at first blush, they’d object to but that would actually be more nuanced than it appeared.

The naive idea that students want nuance, rather than crystal clear ideology shows an incredible degree of cluelessness. I think some on the left really think that as long as they're coming from the "right side", they will be able to speak freely. No wonder they get destroyed.

While students may lack the analytical habits and skill that they hopefully will acquire in a few years, it's not really their fault. Especially when one considers the current environment around discussions of race.
The narrative, assiduously maintained by the left media, pro sports, Hollywood, most of academia is that our nation is hopelessly racist. Whereas to say something like 'I'm tired of saying "black lives matter"' could normally arouse curiosity, as in 'I wonder why exactly the Professors says this?' instead it just pushes the students' buttons. They hastily decide 'OMG! I've just met another wolf in sheep's clothing! A white person who hates us!" And the white students' buttons have been pushed too: "It's our job to call out racism.Silence is violence."

Notice, in the article, the diversity staff attributes the whole thing to a mere shift in the racial composition in the student body. Which is bullshit. Anything to feather their nest and make themselves important. In reality, they are more the problem.

From the article:

"Debates over what’s suitable to bring up in the classroom, and how much latitude professors should be given to instruct how they wish, are nothing new. “We might be in a moment of slightly more accelerated social change,” says Jennifer Ruth, a professor of film studies at Portland State University who writes regularly about academic-freedom issues, but there “has always been discussion around what’s appropriate pedagogy.”

"That accelerated social change stems in part from higher ed’s shifting student demographics.
Over the last two decades, the share of undergraduates who identify as a race other than white has increased to about 45 percent from 30 percent. That rate of racial diversification has not been matched among the faculty. “Many of us in academia have come to learn by quote-unquote common sense what might be, like, good to say that stirs up critical thinking but doesn’t offend people,” says Hendry Ton, associate vice chancellor for health equity, diversity, and inclusion at UC Davis Health. But “we’ve learned that on a fairly homogeneous group of people … the traditional group of students that we’ve seen highly represented in our universities,” he says. As the student body changes, there’s a need to “update our sensibilities.”'



Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 04, 2022, 05:22:26 PM
Penn Law Rebukes Professor Who Said U.S. Would Be Better Off With Fewer Asians (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/penn-law-rebukes-professor-said-us-better-fewer-asians-rcna10905)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on January 04, 2022, 09:17:33 PM
Penn Law Rebukes Professor Who Said U.S. Would Be Better Off With Fewer Asians (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/penn-law-rebukes-professor-said-us-better-fewer-asians-rcna10905)

What's the specific action here that makes this a 'cancel culture' story?

The primary event in this article is the dean releasing a statement criticizing Wax's views while emphasizing that she has the right to voice them.

One linked article talks about students petitioning for the prof to be fired, but the university's statement gives no indication that they will pursue this action. They state Wax has the right to make her claims and voice her opinions, and the students have the right to petition and protest.

This article and the linked articles report on previous controversies regarding this professor's claims. They mention other faculty voicing objections and making counterclaims, but no disciplinary action. The earliest incident mentioned goes back to 2006 and yet she's still teaching at the same university so it doesn't seem she was canceled.

The closest thing to a university response going beyond criticism is the mention of Wax being barred from teaching mandatory first year classes in 2017 (you can read the dean's reasoning for that decision here: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/03/15/penn-says-amy-wax-will-no-longer-teach-required-first-year-law-courses-after-more). I don't know if this counts as disciplinary or not, and I don't know whether it goes out of bounds for the kinds of decisions deans are supposed to make.

But for this current story, it just looks like the dean felt compelled to offer some kind of commentary separating the university's policies from the opinions of a specific professor. Was that overstepping?

He does use what could be called strongly judgmental language ("anti-intellectual" "racist"). Is that the issue?

I honestly don't know enough about what a dean's role and responsibilities are to know if this is going too far. Is it atypical (or considered unethical) for a dean to publicly criticize the (publicly-stated) opinions of individual faculty?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: apl68 on January 05, 2022, 06:38:44 AM
There are good reasons for being concerned about high rates of immigration, given that societies have practical limits to how many immigrants they can absorb without running into significant economic and social issues.  But anybody who wants to voice such concerns needs to be very, very careful in phrasing them.  When somebody's as careless about this as Prof. Wax, it's entirely understandable that she would be rebuked for it.

I'm curious about a particular statistic mentioned in the article.  A commentator spoke of FBI data that shows that 19% of anti-Asian hate crimes involve black offenders, and 52% involve white.  So who commits the other 29%?  It sounds like proportionately the highest rates of anti-Asian hate crimes may be from some grouping other than black or white.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on January 05, 2022, 07:17:16 AM
I'm curious about a particular statistic mentioned in the article.  A commentator spoke of FBI data that shows that 19% of anti-Asian hate crimes involve black offenders, and 52% involve white.  So who commits the other 29%?  It sounds like proportionately the highest rates of anti-Asian hate crimes may be from some grouping other than black or white.

Can something be identified as a hate crime without any known suspect? If so, then those could be cases where the ethnicity of the perpetrator is unknown. (Such as racist graffiti or property crime.)
 
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on January 05, 2022, 08:29:02 AM
There are good reasons for being concerned about high rates of immigration, given that societies have practical limits to how many immigrants they can absorb without running into significant economic and social issues.  But anybody who wants to voice such concerns needs to be very, very careful in phrasing them.  When somebody's as careless about this as Prof. Wax, it's entirely understandable that she would be rebuked for it.


Based on her follow up statements, I don't think "careless wording" is what makes her statements worth criticizing. I think what she said is what she meant, and it wasn't concern about practical limits.

I know there are stories in which the people saying, "Wow, that's racist." are basing their judgment on exaggerations, misinterpretations, or misrepresentations of what was actually said. But I don't think this story is one of them.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on January 05, 2022, 10:07:03 AM
There are good reasons for being concerned about high rates of immigration, given that societies have practical limits to how many immigrants they can absorb without running into significant economic and social issues.  But anybody who wants to voice such concerns needs to be very, very careful in phrasing them.  When somebody's as careless about this as Prof. Wax, it's entirely understandable that she would be rebuked for it.


Based on her follow up statements, I don't think "careless wording" is what makes her statements worth criticizing. I think what she said is what she meant, and it wasn't concern about practical limits.

I know there are stories in which the people saying, "Wow, that's racist." are basing their judgment on exaggerations, misinterpretations, or misrepresentations of what was actually said. But I don't think this story is one of them.

She made the remarks on The Glenn Loury show. She has a history of making incendiary statements, and does so for headlines.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on January 05, 2022, 10:14:24 AM
Dr. Wax is concerned about the Asian population growing in the USA because, she claims they vote overwhelmingly democratic, and the democratic party lately has ideas that are bad for America. She's expressing a political belief. If she perceived that Asians were voting republican and also were more grateful for the opportunity to emigrate and had nicer things to say about our country, she would, presumably, be saying bring them in. It's a provocative way to word her point, but the point is fair. Maybe intentionally provocative.
Whenever someone complains about the attacks against them for what they say, I ask myself, did they want the attacks so they could complain?

I'm curious about a particular statistic mentioned in the article.  A commentator spoke of FBI data that shows that 19% of anti-Asian hate crimes involve black offenders, and 52% involve white.  So who commits the other 29%?  It sounds like proportionately the highest rates of anti-Asian hate crimes may be from some grouping other than black or white.

Can something be identified as a hate crime without any known suspect? If so, then those could be cases where the ethnicity of the perpetrator is unknown. (Such as racist graffiti or property crime.)
 

Sure they can. I hear about it in the news. Vandalism with graffiti particularly. Blacks are proportionally the biggest contributors to crime in the USA. Of course, most black people are not criminals and understandably hate being victimized when it happens.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on January 06, 2022, 08:09:49 AM
https://www.city-journal.org/black-lives-matter-reuters-and-the-price-of-dissent?skip=1

https://abigailshrier.substack.com/p/the-chronicle-cries-for-activist
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 07, 2022, 06:13:46 PM
ABC on Amy Wax (https://abcnews.go.com/US/students-demand-action-penn-professors-racist-comments-asians/story?id=82142091)

Quote
Penn students created a petition demanding the school take action against Wax, a tenured professor.

"I think that the university needs to suspend her from all teaching duties," said Apratim Vidyarthi, a third-year law student. "She shouldn't be allowed to come on campus, she shouldn't be allowed to interact with students while this investigation is ongoing."

The initial article I posted may not have been specifically "cancel culture," but come on, who didn't see this sort of thing coming?  Who thinks it will end here?

It is clear, BTW, that whatever her reasons, Wax is a frothing bigot and a disturbed person.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on January 07, 2022, 08:47:53 PM
ABC on Amy Wax (https://abcnews.go.com/US/students-demand-action-penn-professors-racist-comments-asians/story?id=82142091)

Quote
Penn students created a petition demanding the school take action against Wax, a tenured professor.

"I think that the university needs to suspend her from all teaching duties," said Apratim Vidyarthi, a third-year law student. "She shouldn't be allowed to come on campus, she shouldn't be allowed to interact with students while this investigation is ongoing."

The initial article I posted may not have been specifically "cancel culture," but come on, who didn't see this sort of thing coming?  Who thinks it will end here?

It is clear, BTW, that whatever her reasons, Wax is a frothing bigot and a disturbed person.

She may indeed be bigoted and if so I make no excuses for her. At the same time I speculate from afar that, regarding her claim that Asians living in the USA should be more grateful to the country they have emigrated to, there would be a range of attitudes towards the USA among people living here who were born and raised in, say India, Nigeria, the Caribbean, South Korea, and these attitudes are not necessarily identical, at all. If one were to do a study by compiling data about those attitudes they should then be able to publish that data.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on January 07, 2022, 10:06:28 PM
Yeah, students are complaining and making demands, but Wax has a decades-long history of making provocative statements and the university has a history of emphasizing that she has the right to say those things.

Wax herself is asserting there should be fewer non-whites in the country and in universities. If Wax says she doesn't want Asians in the medical schools or that most of the black students at her own university shouldn't be there, are the students doing so much worse by saying they don't want Wax there?

The university has a history of not caving in to such demands. What's different about this time? Are you expecting them to give in this time because of the relatively recent increase in 'cancel culture' fervor? Maybe they will. If so, that would be a shame.



A lot of what she says does come across as more ranting than academic argument. She talks like white vs. nonwhite is exactly the same as European vs. non-European. Then she says its not about race, its about
"culture". And then there's that armchair psychologizing she does when she "speculates" as to why an Asian-American might vote Democrat...egad. And using what party someone votes for as a proxy measure of 'objective gratitude'?

She reminds me a lot of the city council lady in Michigan who stated she wanted a "white community as much as possible." An interviewer asked her why, and she made this same its-about-culture (but-not-really) argument. When she said she wouldn't want immigrants because she wants an American community, the interviewer asked how she would feel about someone who moved to the country from Germany. She said that person would be welcome because they would be white. The interviewer tries to point out that she's contradicting herself and its like she blue screens because she can't understand what he's getting at.



A more general question:

Does there ever come a point when someone's academic work goes so far off the rails it can't be taken seriously by the rest of the field?

Like a historian who makes claims based on private interviews he swears he's conducted with long-dead historical figures who visited him in his dreams. Maybe not quite that far out, but some case in which basic principles or standards of evidence go out the window.

Is there a point far enough to warrant some kind of response from the university?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on January 07, 2022, 10:11:11 PM
Quote
A lot of what she says does come across as more ranting than academic argument. She talks like white vs. nonwhite is exactly the same as European vs. non-European. Then she says its not about race, its about
"culture". And then there's that armchair psychologizing she does when she "speculates" as to why an Asian-American might vote Democrat...egad. And using what party someone votes for as a proxy measure of 'objective gratitude'?

Normally, over the course of my already long life I would say no, but recently, pissing all over America is de rigeur for democrats, so...sure. When the shoes fits, they are welcome to wear it. Of course, to be consistent, Dr. Wax should then be calling out her fellow Jews for the same voting preferences.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 08, 2022, 12:29:25 PM
Yeah, students are complaining and making demands, but Wax has a decades-long history of making provocative statements and the university has a history of emphasizing that she has the right to say those things.

Wax herself is asserting there should be fewer non-whites in the country and in universities. If Wax says she doesn't want Asians in the medical schools or that most of the black students at her own university shouldn't be there, are the students doing so much worse by saying they don't want Wax there?

I usually post articles to keep the discussion going and to counter the claims, variously made, that "cancel culture" is not a major agent on our college campuses, and elsewhere.

I am a bit agnostic about whether Penn should haul her ass to the back door and give her a shove or not.  That's their business.  Students will avoid her classes if they can (I certainly would), and people of color should rightly be suspicious of her. 

I would be wary of false dichotomies, however, since Wax has no way of keeping Asians from her school or country----but students can and probably will keep Wax from her school.

What worries me is when people's livelihoods are in danger when they are sanctioned, stifled, and fired for activities not associated with their jobs.  This just seems like a very dangerous precedent in culture.  I do not want to be controlled by my employer when I am not at work.  No one should.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 08, 2022, 12:37:00 PM
Quote
A lot of what she says does come across as more ranting than academic argument. She talks like white vs. nonwhite is exactly the same as European vs. non-European. Then she says its not about race, its about
"culture". And then there's that armchair psychologizing she does when she "speculates" as to why an Asian-American might vote Democrat...egad. And using what party someone votes for as a proxy measure of 'objective gratitude'?

Normally, over the course of my already long life I would say no, but recently, pissing all over America is de rigeur for democrats, so...sure. When the shoes fits, they are welcome to wear it. Of course, to be consistent, Dr. Wax should then be calling out her fellow Jews for the same voting preferences.

Democrats didn't attack the capitol. 
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on January 08, 2022, 12:52:22 PM
Wax doesn’t have direct power to exclude blacks or asians, but neither do the students have direct power to remove her.

Aren’t both Wax and the students trying to influence other people's decisions through words?

The dean already issued a statement on the importance of academic freedom and Wax’s right to voice her views. Going back on that now may appease the students clamoring for her removal but just attract the ire of the ‘cancel culture’ critics, even more so than if they had fired her without first issuing that statement. It would make them hypocrites on top of everything else.

The dean did restrict her to teaching electives and not core courses back in 2017 so students could choose to avoid a situation in which Wax would have some direct authority over them. One commentator called that decision “chilling” but I find it hard to blame students who would want the option to stay clear of her courses due to concern her attitudes influence the way she treats her students.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 08, 2022, 12:58:26 PM
We will see if students (and non-students signing Change.org petitions) can actually get Wax removed.

It would not be unprecedented. 
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on January 08, 2022, 01:02:06 PM

What worries me is when people's livelihoods are in danger when they are sanctioned, stifled, and fired for activities not associated with their jobs.  This just seems like a very dangerous precedent in culture.  I do not want to be controlled by my employer when I am not at work.  No one should.

Honest question; no snark intended:

Why do you think it has lately become the case that people on the left don't seem afraid of this? It seems most progressives only imagine people getting fired for "good" reasons. (The same thing goes for why they favour all kinds of censorship, such as on social media.) It wan't that long ago that people on the left worried about their views getting censored and used against them.

I'm honestly baffled as to how this seems to have changed within a decade or less. The apparent faith of progressives on big institutions (government, tech, etc.) to be on the same side with them is amazing, especially when Trump was president until just over a year ago. How do they not see that the tide can turn, and once someone is given the power to "cancel" others, they eventually start using it for their own convenience, and they rarely give it up.

Heck, even journalists sometimes talk about appointing a "truth czar" to distinguish between real news and fake news. How do they not worry that it would someday come back to bite them????

I truly don't get it.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on January 08, 2022, 01:49:12 PM
We will see if students (and non-students signing Change.org petitions) can actually get Wax removed.

It would not be unprecedented.

I do get your concern that an employer might terminate someone unjustly due to pressure from protestors and such.

But I don’t see that the students here are somehow the only real villains of the story because they might end up convincing someone.

No, it’s not unprecedented. But neither is Wax-type rhetoric fueling and emboldening race-based hostility and discrimination. She might convince people too.

I hope the school sticks to its stated principles and doesn’t cave in, but I don’t really see why the students are so much more in the wrong here, as if only their speech is capable of threatening someone’s livelihood.

It’s not that I think the students demands should be catered to, I just don’t think its true that Wax’s statements are bigoted yet not truly harmful because she can’t personally kick specific ethnicities out of the country or the universities. It would still be less direct I guess than if she were targeting specific individuals as the petitioners are here. But…

I don’t know how clear I’m being. I’m not disagreeing with you about the reasons to be concerned by the petitioner’s demands. I just think its important not to let that completely eclipse the potential impact of the type of scapegoating Wax is trying to promote.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on January 08, 2022, 01:57:35 PM
People tend to forget that free speech is a right that only the government can't abridge. Private institutions can do so with reckless abandon.

Let universities do what they will. Students can select whether they want to be exposed to ... whatever. Faculty would choose, too.

We could have free speech universities, controlled speech universities, and ... whatever.

May the best universities win!

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 08, 2022, 02:34:53 PM
Why do you think it has lately become the case that people on the left don't seem afraid of this? It seems most progressives only imagine people getting fired for "good" reasons.

How do they not see that the tide can turn, and once someone is given the power to "cancel" others, they eventually start using it for their own convenience, and they rarely give it up.


I think it is a good question, and I am not smart enough or knowledgeable to say for sure.

I have always said that once we start policing people's thoughts other people are going to start policing ours.

But I suspect these scenarios are extreme reactions to extreme rhetoric.   The right has become a Trumpish bastion of all sorts of lies and misinformation.  And I think the Right is getting an extreme reaction in return. 

I also suspect that students and faculty cannot police the rabid race-baiting Trumpers et al. and so they police what they can, which again generates extreme reactions.  Hannity and Carlson simply lie on FOX news and there is very little any of us can do about that.  Hannity and Carlson lie and a certain percentage of the population is very receptive to their misinformation and are closed off to any other dialogue----and there is very little we can do about that.  So we police each other with extreme reactions.  The Right spews hate and gets hate in return...and this flashes back onto our campuses.  It is not so different from the rhetoric on the Left in the '70s and '80s, mind you, but the polarities have switched.

And I suspect that there is some justice in calling for a racist law professor to be removed.  Wax is very well credentialed (if you look at her CV she must be one of the best educated people in the world with a mountain of scholarship) but she does not serve her uni or her students because of (what appear to be) severe psychological problems.

Which is why I did NOT say that...

But I don’t see that the students here are somehow the only real villains of the story because they might end up convincing someone.

Wax has now diminished her role as an educator and scholar.  This is something Penn should be worried about.

There should be genuine concern about Wax's evaluation of Asian and African-American students.  Penn should take note of this.

One of my colleagues is a pacifist outspoken peacenik.  Should veterans (which we have a number) be concerned?

No, it’s not unprecedented. But neither is Wax-type rhetoric fueling and emboldening race-based hostility and discrimination. She might convince people too.

******

It’s not that I think the students demands should be catered to, I just don’t think its true that Wax’s statements are bigoted yet not truly harmful because she can’t personally kick specific ethnicities out of the country or the universities. It would still be less direct I guess than if she were targeting specific individuals as the petitioners are here. But…

I just think its important not to let that completely eclipse the potential impact of the type of scapegoating Wax is trying to promote.

Quite true.  But as Marshy points out, we are opening the can that might close us off.  There are many principles at work here.

We have a true conundrum in these scenaros.

People tend to forget that free speech is a right that only the government can't abridge. Private institutions can do so with reckless abandon.

Golly!  I never heard that one before.

Is smoking healthy?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on January 09, 2022, 05:54:27 AM
Why do you think it has lately become the case that people on the left don't seem afraid of this? It seems most progressives only imagine people getting fired for "good" reasons.

How do they not see that the tide can turn, and once someone is given the power to "cancel" others, they eventually start using it for their own convenience, and they rarely give it up.


I think it is a good question, and I am not smart enough or knowledgeable to say for sure.


One idea occurred to me. Is it possible that the "participation trophy" generation grew up so shielded from criticism that they really can't imagine themselves having the ideas someone else finds offensive? Has the effect of people having "curated" lives on social media so permeated a generation that they can't conceive ( and would be appalled at the idea) of being outside the mainstream?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on January 09, 2022, 07:05:33 AM
Apologies if there was a thread on this already. She says she was cancelled, and defamed as well. Others say she committed an egregious act for a journalist.

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/01/08/freelance-writer-ruth-shalit-barrett-sues-the-atlantic-magazine-for-1-million-526793
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 09, 2022, 07:27:37 AM
Why do you think it has lately become the case that people on the left don't seem afraid of this? It seems most progressives only imagine people getting fired for "good" reasons.

How do they not see that the tide can turn, and once someone is given the power to "cancel" others, they eventually start using it for their own convenience, and they rarely give it up.


I think it is a good question, and I am not smart enough or knowledgeable to say for sure.


One idea occurred to me. Is it possible that the "participation trophy" generation grew up so shielded from criticism that they really can't imagine themselves having the ideas someone else finds offensive? Has the effect of people having "curated" lives on social media so permeated a generation that they can't conceive ( and would be appalled at the idea) of being outside the mainstream?

No.  That's the old curmudgeon reaction, Marshy.  We ALWAYS think the kids are "pampered" or "shielded" or "entitled" or "[whatever]"-----it's just the way humans think.  Every generation says this kind of crapoloa about the younger generations.

Kids these days are post-AIDS, post-9/11, post-middle eastern wars, post-recession, post-rise of hate crimes and extremism, and in the midst of COVID and the culture wars.  They pay exorbitant amounts of tuition and have no guarantee of a social safety net.  Almost all students work and go to school at the same time these days.  We live in the midst of the Age of Information, so the kids are emphatically NOT shielded from anything.

What I read somewhere (but I can't remember) is that a great many people of color have seen images of police kneeling on a handcuffed man until he suffocated to death----and they are afraid.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on January 09, 2022, 07:48:19 AM

What I read somewhere (but I can't remember) is that a great many people of color have seen images of police kneeling on a handcuffed man until he suffocated to death----and they are afraid.

But shouldn't that make them MORE afraid of government (or institutional) oversight???

If police are agents of the state, then giving the state more freedom to suppress speech is similar to giving police more powers. Again, the optimism about institutional power doesn't make sense.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 09, 2022, 08:29:02 AM

What I read somewhere (but I can't remember) is that a great many people of color have seen images of police kneeling on a handcuffed man until he suffocated to death----and they are afraid.

But shouldn't that make them MORE afraid of government (or institutional) oversight???

If police are agents of the state, then giving the state more freedom to suppress speech is similar to giving police more powers. Again, the optimism about institutional power doesn't make sense.

I think they are afraid of institutional racism and racists in positions of authority.

But I cannot speak for the minority experience, so I should not say more really.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: larryc on January 09, 2022, 11:50:29 AM
I am going to start a rumor that Antifa is trying to cancel Sesame Street. That should get Republicans to support more funding for PBS.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 10, 2022, 03:46:11 PM
The right way to shut down bigots:

Student raises over $70K for scholarship for women after professor's viral comments (https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Living/student-raises-70k-scholarship-women-professors-viral-comments/story?id=82121466)

The typical way we try to shut down bigots:

https://www.change.org/p/students-get-bsu-to-let-go-of-scott-yenor
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on January 10, 2022, 04:02:24 PM
This is a weird sentence: "Every effort must be made not to recruit women into engineering, but rather to recruit and demand more of men to become engineers." - Yenor

Not recruiting people doesn't take effort. But he is right if he says recruiting more men into STEM fields is a fine idea, (POC!) or if he says division of labor in a marriage can also be fine. People will choose.

Do today's feminists want 'less male achievement' as Yenor claims? I don't think they can stop us, but some of them seem to never to react to anything accomplished by a man with much other than sneering about privilege. My goodness: why aren't they better liked?

Let all the people who want to raise scholarship money for their favorite group continue. Fine.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 10, 2022, 04:13:58 PM
Plenty people like feminists, mahagonny.  Nutjob hardcore conservatives don't.

Feminists do not want less male achievement; don't let an idiot like Yenor warp your mind even more.

A great many dudes, like myself, are feminists.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on January 10, 2022, 07:01:40 PM
Plenty people like feminists, mahagonny.  Nutjob hardcore conservatives don't.

Feminists do not want less male achievement; don't let an idiot like Yenor warp your mind even more.

A great many dudes, like myself, are feminists.

There's no equality of outcomes though. We can't all grow a baby in our abdomen.

Sure, I like them as individuals. We play pool, cribbage, drink together.

ETA: Here's a conversation. The feminist says they've come a long way in Scandinavia, but they're not perfect yet. What is perfection? That's what tires me out. Questions like that one. When is anything perfect, or likely to become something closer to perfect than it is now? We're lucky when things don't get worse. These people are barking up the wrong tree. Women can do anything they want. The more difficult job is deciding what you really want, and how much dues you'll pay to get there.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ddzf9Mm4hdY

In fact, your post illustrates that Prof Yenor, despite his podium and brashness, can do very little to stop women from their fulfillment.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 13, 2022, 07:31:28 AM
I don't plan on attending, but maybe someone here would be interested.

Students and Freedom of Expression on Campus (https://www.chronicle.com/events/virtual/students-and-freedom-of-expression-on-campus?cid2=gen_login_refresh&cid=gen_sign_in) CHE virtual seminar.

Quote
Upcoming, January 25, at 2 p.m., ET.

Today’s students are challenging free-speech norms and are more likely than older generations to support restrictions that limit offensive speech. What’s more, the rise of social media, new sexual-harassment policies, and demands for more racial diversity and inclusiveness have sometimes complicated free expression on campus. In this environment, how can colleges promote open inquiry and discussion while balancing changing attitudes?

Join us for a virtual forum that brings together Michael S. Roth, the president of Wesleyan University, and other experts to share their perspectives on these topics:

How is free expression evolving on college campuses?
How do college leaders respond to claims that their institutions have become unwelcoming places for certain views?
How can colleges mitigate potential conflicts when they do arise?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on January 13, 2022, 04:49:13 PM
I don't plan on attending, but maybe someone here would be interested.

Students and Freedom of Expression on Campus (https://www.chronicle.com/events/virtual/students-and-freedom-of-expression-on-campus?cid2=gen_login_refresh&cid=gen_sign_in) CHE virtual seminar.

Quote
Upcoming, January 25, at 2 p.m., ET.

Today’s students are challenging free-speech norms and are more likely than older generations to support restrictions that limit offensive speech. What’s more, the rise of social media, new sexual-harassment policies, and demands for more racial diversity and inclusiveness have sometimes complicated free expression on campus. In this environment, how can colleges promote open inquiry and discussion while balancing changing attitudes?

Join us for a virtual forum that brings together Michael S. Roth, the president of Wesleyan University, and other experts to share their perspectives on these topics:

How is free expression evolving on college campuses?
How do college leaders respond to claims that their institutions have become unwelcoming places for certain views?
How can colleges mitigate potential conflicts when they do arise?

I appreciate knowing about it, but most likely I'll be working at that time.
Prediction (I would be happy to find out I'm mistaken): If the question even comes up, it will be easy, in most cases, for the presenters to claim that students and faculty with conservative views are absolutely free to express themselves on campus. But it would be impossible in most cases to claim that respect for conservatives is fostered. This despite recent reports that liberals have some outlandishly untrue beliefs...https://theologyweb.com/campus/forum/social-studies/civics-101/1242605-police-brutality-against-black-people-happens-way-less-than-public-thinks ...which is not worthy of being reported, according to Huffpost, Mother Jones, Guardian or my schools' brilliant team of *diversity* gurus.
Cultivating willful ignorance, and the political capitalizing from it, are their plan.
So they'll just pretend the question doesn't exist.
Lefty agenda-pushing on campus is the norm. We all know that.
ETA --- Example of a 'conservative position': the Waukesha massacre was carried out by an anti-white person racist. (Which of course is obviously true, observable by anyone.)
When stating a fact identifies you as a conservative...
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: nebo113 on January 15, 2022, 06:25:23 AM

Why would one retweet a statement unless one were amused by it, offended by it, or in agreement with it?


Or drinking.

We need to approach each other with more tolerance.

Does that include those whom you referred to on another thread as "dead or in dementia" for voting for H or T in 2016?  Or like T, were you merely being humorous?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on January 15, 2022, 06:36:22 AM

Why would one retweet a statement unless one were amused by it, offended by it, or in agreement with it?


Or drinking.

We need to approach each other with more tolerance.

Does that include those whom you referred to on another thread as "dead or in dementia" for voting for H or T in 2016?  Or like T, were you merely being humorous?

That's what you thought i meant? Wow. I may have expressed myself poorly.
They were not in dementia when they voted, but in 2024, eight years later, many who voted in 2016 will either be deceased or very old and therefore less likely to vote. At the same time, many new young voters come along in eight years. So to the question 'who would vote for either Hillary or Trump in 2024 who didn't before, and who would not vote for either hillary or Trump who did in 2016' the answer could well be many 'many.' It's never really a replay.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on January 24, 2022, 10:39:56 AM
Florida School District Cancels Civil Rights Talk b/c CRT (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/florida-school-district-cancels-professors-civil-rights-lecture-critic-rcna13183)

Cancel culture cuts both ways.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on January 24, 2022, 10:59:31 AM
Florida School District Cancels Civil Rights Talk b/c CRT (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/florida-school-district-cancels-professors-civil-rights-lecture-critic-rcna13183)

Cancel culture cuts both ways.

A fascinating quotation from the article:
Quote
Less than 24 hours before Butler was informed of the cancellation, a state Senate committee advanced legislation Tuesday at the behest of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to block public schools and private businesses from making people feel “discomfort” when they’re taught about race.

The double-edged "discomfort" sword.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on January 24, 2022, 01:56:07 PM
Florida School District Cancels Civil Rights Talk b/c CRT (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/florida-school-district-cancels-professors-civil-rights-lecture-critic-rcna13183)

Cancel culture cuts both ways.

A fascinating quotation from the article:
Quote
Less than 24 hours before Butler was informed of the cancellation, a state Senate committee advanced legislation Tuesday at the behest of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to block public schools and private businesses from making people feel “discomfort” when they’re taught about race.

The double-edged "discomfort" sword.

i'm hearing about Professor Butler for the first time, so i don't know anything about him or his lecture. But the (leftist) educators who see themselves as groundbreaking with respect to the proper teaching of racial history in the USA are absolutely in favor of government controlling (censoring) speech.

https://www.politico.com/interactives/2019/how-to-fix-politics-in-america/inequality/pass-an-anti-racist-constitutional-amendment/

"The amendment would make unconstitutional racial inequity over a certain threshold, as well as racist ideas by public officials (with “racist ideas” and “public official” clearly defined). It would establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for preclearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas."
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 02, 2022, 06:09:57 AM
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/incoming-georgetown-law-official-placed-on-administrative-leave-for-tweets-about-supreme-court-pick/ar-AATkPud
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 02, 2022, 07:46:33 AM
Another news item on our topic: https://abcnews.go.com/US/whoopi-goldberg-suspended-view-weeks-holocaust-comments/story?id=82613265

If I understand correctly the issue is Goldberg saw European Jews as belonging to the same race as the German non-Jews. Whereas, she is being found wrong because the Nazis themselves considered the Jews an inferior race. I don't see why Goldberg can't express the belief that they were members of the same race when biologists reject the idea of race altogether. Of course, that would be inconsistent of her, because she's one of those who are fixated on keeping the idea of race alive in order to somehow advance the success, standard of living, etc. for American Black people. But that wouldn't make it false.
Of course, the Nazis believe the human race should not include breeding that included Jews as they were inferior genetically.

People in the USA who maintain one race is inferior to another genetically, if they exist, are practically never heard from. I can't think of any. It is true that Asians outperform Caucasians scholastically in the USA, but that is attributed to more vigorous study habits. In order to believe Caucasians are inferior to Asians genetically you would have to believe that if both 'races' studied exactly the same amount the Asians would still outperform.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 02, 2022, 07:52:35 AM
Another news item on our topic: https://abcnews.go.com/US/whoopi-goldberg-suspended-view-weeks-holocaust-comments/story?id=82613265

If I understand correctly the issue is Goldberg saw European Jews as belonging to the same race as the German non-Jews.

Even hearing her trying to explain herself is ridiculous. "THEY'RE ALL WHITE PEOPLE!!!"

"racism" = "white people good, black people bad" according to Whoopi.

To someone with only a hammer, every problem is a nail.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 02, 2022, 08:12:57 AM
Another news item on our topic: https://abcnews.go.com/US/whoopi-goldberg-suspended-view-weeks-holocaust-comments/story?id=82613265

If I understand correctly the issue is Goldberg saw European Jews as belonging to the same race as the German non-Jews.

Even hearing her trying to explain herself is ridiculous. "THEY'RE ALL WHITE PEOPLE!!!"

"racism" = "white people good, black people bad" according to Whoopi.

To someone with only a hammer, every problem is a nail.

Well, why wouldn't that apply to the Kyle Rittenhouse incident then?

But Hannity did defend her, while accusing the liberal media of intolerance of diverse viewpoints. Eventually, of course the cancel culture devours people who have seen themselves as on the same side politically.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/hannity-whoopi-goldberg-change-channel
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 02, 2022, 12:31:37 PM
Another news item on our topic: https://abcnews.go.com/US/whoopi-goldberg-suspended-view-weeks-holocaust-comments/story?id=82613265

If I understand correctly the issue is Goldberg saw European Jews as belonging to the same race as the German non-Jews.

Even hearing her trying to explain herself is ridiculous. "THEY'RE ALL WHITE PEOPLE!!!"

"racism" = "white people good, black people bad" according to Whoopi.

To someone with only a hammer, every problem is a nail.

I read her statements attempting to clarify her point. I read the article regarding the banning of the book Maus from school libraries which was what prompted the discussion. I still don't understand what she was driving at. What broader point was she trying to make?

The article about the book banning cited "vulgar" language and nudity as the reason. I don't know how saying 'the Holocaust was not about race' is supposed to speak to that (though some of the arguments supporting the ban are also worth a raised eyebrow or two).



I don't exactly consider myself well-versed in the concepts and vocabulary related to the history and sociology of racism. So every time I read a story like this, I have to puzzle over it a bit to try to understand the different viewpoints being expressed.

But my take on the objections to a dismissive statement like, 'Well, they were all white people, so it wasn't about race' is that it seems to minimize the extent to which the Nazis targeted and persecuted the Jews, as well as the reasons they did so.

I think it might have some parallels to why people get upset when someone says the American Civil War was about state's rights and not slavery?

It can be true that categorization of different races has little to no relation to biological differences. But that does not mean that the consequences of these categorizations aren't real. So saying 'racial classifications have no grounding in biology' is not equivalent to saying 'racism does not exist.'



Goldberg says something along the lines of 'well, since the difference between a white Jew and a white non-Jew can't be seen, the Nazis really had to work to identify them by digging into records and such'.  Again, I don't see why she thinks this is such an important distinction.

I suspect she would not consider something like the one-drop rule (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-drop_rule#Antebellum_conditions) as 'not about race' just because to discriminate against someone who 'passes' for white but has a black ancestor might require some record-digging.



She wasn't 'cancelled' so much as put in time-out for a couple of weeks and encouraged to use the time to 'reflect.' Perhaps it's just an empty, 'virtue-signaling' gesture, but is it really 'canceling' someone?

Hasn't Fox News also suspended hosts in the past? And don't they market themselves as the antithesis of the liberal media?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 02, 2022, 12:44:40 PM

Goldberg says something along the lines of 'well, since the difference between a white Jew and a white non-Jew can't be seen, the Nazis really had to work to identify them by digging into records and such'.  Again, I don't see why she thinks this is such an important distinction.


I would imagine part of it goes to ideas like "black people can't be racist". For her, racism is a one-way street, and clearly defined. It's literally black and white.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on February 02, 2022, 12:53:39 PM
Quote
Goldberg says something along the lines of 'well, since the difference between a white Jew and a white non-Jew can't be seen, the Nazis really had to work to identify them by digging into records and such'.  Again, I don't see why she thinks this is such an important distinction.

I don't give a flying fxxk what Goldberg thinks or says. However, there is a kernel of something contemporary in her ahistorical and uninformed statements. Nazi ideology was that "all of history is a struggle between races." The Nazis had trouble identifying German Jews on average, because Jews were highly assimilated, a cultural exchange that was a two way street, by the way. [Once the Nazis moved east, this situation no longer existed.]

Blacks in the US at the moment on average are highly culturally assimilated, and that cultural exchange is a two way street, too. Thus, anyone wishing to pursue identity politics in the US has a problem -- there is insufficient difference! Differences must be manufactured. And what's left is color of skin. Goldberg is a mirror of her milieu.

I don't care if people are green.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 02, 2022, 01:02:34 PM
Quote
Goldberg says something along the lines of 'well, since the difference between a white Jew and a white non-Jew can't be seen, the Nazis really had to work to identify them by digging into records and such'.  Again, I don't see why she thinks this is such an important distinction.

I don't give a flying fxxk what Goldberg thinks or says. However, there is a kernel of something contemporary in her ahistorical and uninformed statements. Nazi ideology was that "all of history is a struggle between races." The Nazis had trouble identifying German Jews on average, because Jews were highly assimilated, a cultural exchange that was a two way street, by the way. [Once the Nazis moved east, this situation no longer existed.]

Blacks in the US at the moment on average are highly culturally assimilated, and that cultural exchange is a two way street, too. Thus, anyone wishing to pursue identity politics in the US has a problem -- there is insufficient difference! Differences must be manufactured. And what's left is color of skin. Goldberg is a mirror of her milieu.


As Thomas Sowell points out, throughout history all over the world, slavery usually involved slaves and owners of the same or similar ethnicity. The trans-atlantic slave trade (which exploited the slave trade within Africa) was more the exception than the rule.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 02, 2022, 01:56:13 PM
Quote
Goldberg says something along the lines of 'well, since the difference between a white Jew and a white non-Jew can't be seen, the Nazis really had to work to identify them by digging into records and such'.  Again, I don't see why she thinks this is such an important distinction.

I don't give a flying fxxk what Goldberg thinks or says. However, there is a kernel of something contemporary in her ahistorical and uninformed statements. Nazi ideology was that "all of history is a struggle between races." The Nazis had trouble identifying German Jews on average, because Jews were highly assimilated, a cultural exchange that was a two way street, by the way. [Once the Nazis moved east, this situation no longer existed.]

Blacks in the US at the moment on average are highly culturally assimilated, and that cultural exchange is a two way street, too. Thus, anyone wishing to pursue identity politics in the US has a problem -- there is insufficient difference! Differences must be manufactured. And what's left is color of skin. Goldberg is a mirror of her milieu.

I don't care if people are green.

Well, that's nice.

Unfortunately, some people, who are not you, do care a great deal.

I'm not saying proponents of identity politics don't ever manufacture outrage or use divisive rhetoric, but it seems disingenuous to imply that being 'culturally assimilated' means you won't be treated poorly due to your (perceived) race.



A common narrative among minorities in America relates to the frustration of being just as American as anyone else (culturally speaking) yet still treated as an other. People speak of desperately trying to fit in, but constantly being reminded of their differences by people who see their physical characteristics (and implied racial category) above all else.

In my high school class on American government, a few of the kids refused to work on a group project with me saying, "You're a Chink, so you're probably a Commie too. What would you know about democracy?"

I was never some SJW woke-scold or anti-capitalist activist. I was shy, quiet, and mostly just kept my head down. No action on my part prompted them to say that; my face did.

This was in the 21st century (and not at all the worst example). Things were worse in my dad's generation and worse still in my granddad's.

My dad was in the Boy Scouts, is a Christian, and votes Republican. My great uncles fought for America in WWII (even after being made homeless after their father lost his job due to rising animosity towards Japanese-Americans). You think that meant they were immune to racism? Perhaps they weren't subject to as much prejudice as they would have if they hadn't been so Americanized, but it was still a recurring part of their lives.



To some extent, I sympathize when people exasperatedly say, "Why do they have to make everything about race?" There are a lot of overblown claims, hyperbolic statements, and questionable policy proposals.

But I resent the implication that racism (or sexism or hostility towards LGBTQ people) is only an issue because people talk about it. As if everything would be just hunky-dory if people would just stop complaining, because "nobody cares" about your race or sexuality or what-have-you.

It's just not true.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on February 02, 2022, 02:02:45 PM
Quote
Goldberg says something along the lines of 'well, since the difference between a white Jew and a white non-Jew can't be seen, the Nazis really had to work to identify them by digging into records and such'.  Again, I don't see why she thinks this is such an important distinction.

I don't give a flying fxxk what Goldberg thinks or says. However, there is a kernel of something contemporary in her ahistorical and uninformed statements. Nazi ideology was that "all of history is a struggle between races." The Nazis had trouble identifying German Jews on average, because Jews were highly assimilated, a cultural exchange that was a two way street, by the way. [Once the Nazis moved east, this situation no longer existed.]

Blacks in the US at the moment on average are highly culturally assimilated, and that cultural exchange is a two way street, too. Thus, anyone wishing to pursue identity politics in the US has a problem -- there is insufficient difference! Differences must be manufactured. And what's left is color of skin. Goldberg is a mirror of her milieu.

I don't care if people are green.

Well, that's nice.

Unfortunately, some people, who are not you, do care a great deal.

I'm not saying proponents of identity politics don't ever manufacture outrage or use divisive rhetoric, but it seems disingenuous to imply that being 'culturally assimilated' means you won't be treated poorly due to your (perceived) race.



A common narrative among minorities in America relates to the frustration of being just as American as anyone else (culturally speaking) yet still treated as an other. People speak of desperately trying to fit in, but constantly being reminded of their differences by people who see their physical characteristics (and implied racial category) above all else.

In my high school class on American government, a few of the kids refused to work on a group project with me saying, "You're a Chink, so you're probably a Commie too. What would you know about democracy?"

I was never some SJW woke-scold or anti-capitalist activist. I was shy, quiet, and mostly just kept my head down. No action on my part prompted them to say that; my face did.

This was in the 21st century (and not at all the worst example). Things were worse in my dad's generation and worse still in my granddad's.

My dad was in the Boy Scouts, is a Christian, and votes Republican. My great uncles fought for America in WWII (even after being made homeless after their father lost his job due to rising animosity towards Japanese-Americans). You think that meant they were immune to racism? Perhaps they weren't subject to as much prejudice as they would have if they hadn't been so Americanized, but it was still a recurring part of their lives.



To some extent, I sympathize when people exasperatedly say, "Why do they have to make everything about race?" There are a lot of overblown claims, hyperbolic statements, and questionable policy proposals.

But I resent the implication that racism (or sexism or hostility towards LGBTQ people) is only an issue because people talk about it. As if everything would be just hunky-dory if people would just stop complaining, because "nobody cares" about your race or sexuality or what-have-you.

It's just not true.

Yo! Ask the Irish, spreaders of disease in the 18th century. [Irishmen and dogs need not apply (for jobs).] Controllers of the politics of cities in the 19th. Chicago: Vote early and vote often.

When I first saw "Kiss Me, I'm Irish Buttons" on people ages ago, I knew the problem, if any, had ceased to exist.

Next we'll see "Kiss Me, I'm Black [or hadn't you noticed]".

I really don't care if you're green. Take it or leave it. 
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 02, 2022, 05:25:45 PM
I'm not saying proponents of identity politics don't ever manufacture outrage or use divisive rhetoric, but it seems disingenuous to imply that being 'culturally assimilated' means you won't be treated poorly due to your (perceived) race.

My first experience being treated differently (and with clear contempt) due to my perceived race happened at about age 11. I never forgot it. I don't dwell on it though.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: ciao_yall on February 02, 2022, 07:07:45 PM
Another news item on our topic: https://abcnews.go.com/US/whoopi-goldberg-suspended-view-weeks-holocaust-comments/story?id=82613265

If I understand correctly the issue is Goldberg saw European Jews as belonging to the same race as the German non-Jews.

Even hearing her trying to explain herself is ridiculous. "THEY'RE ALL WHITE PEOPLE!!!"

"racism" = "white people good, black people bad" according to Whoopi.

To someone with only a hammer, every problem is a nail.

To White Supremacists, Jewsish people are not White. They are Semitic/Eastern European. Just look for images and tell me they aren't seeing different physical/racial characteristics, from a "swarthy" skin color to thick curly hair and a large nose.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 02, 2022, 07:30:50 PM
If you claim to have not heard anyone espouse that non-whites are inferior you clearly are trying not to hear it, or live in an incredibly liberal/progressive place. I had friends call Arabs sand n******s, and Jews are not referred to as "mud people" by US(!!) neo-Nazis because they are perceived to be white.

And, in the Midwest every US citizen of Asian heritage is Chinese, unless you are of WWII age and they are Japanese.

Jesus wept.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 02, 2022, 08:16:38 PM
People of WWII age are mostly dead. They are not people one runs into without frequenting nursing homes where there isn't even a lot of talking. Bill Maher thinks you have 'progressophobia.'
You've never lived through an experience even remotely like the threat of the second world war, so your scrutiny of those who did is...well, comes off a bit pompous. Some got over their distrust of the Japanese and some didn't. Younger Americans today think they would have been among the most forget-and-forgiving. But it's a guess.
Mistaking a person of Korean descent for a person of Chinese descent or a Japanese American for a Japanese tourist is something that makes you look provincial, unworldly, ignorant but it doesn't necessarily signify hate. Not at all.
Sure there are some racist whites, but it's a small minority of whites, yet there's a lot of rage against white people. I feel sorry for people who delve into that rage, as do a growing number of Black Americans.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 03, 2022, 04:39:14 AM
If you claim to have not heard anyone espouse that non-whites are inferior you clearly are trying not to hear it, or live in an incredibly liberal/progressive place.

From Darrell Brooks (https://nypost.com/2021/11/24/darrell-brooks-called-for-violence-against-white-people/), the criminal who ran down several people including children and elderly ladies,
Quote
“So when we start bakk knokkin white people TF out ion wanna hear it…the old white ppl 2, KNOKK DEM TF OUT!! PERIOD,” he wrote under his rap name, MathBoi Fly, along with a middle-finger emoji.

Sadly, no ethnic group has a monopoly on members saying (and doing) hateful things, and no group is immune to being on the receiving end.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 03, 2022, 07:19:16 AM
People of WWII age are mostly dead. They are not people one runs into without frequenting nursing homes where there isn't even a lot of talking. Bill Maher thinks you have 'progressophobia.'
You've never lived through an experience even remotely like the threat of the second world war, so your scrutiny of those who did is...well, comes off a bit pompous. Some got over their distrust of the Japanese and some didn't. Younger Americans today think they would have been among the most forget-and-forgiving. But it's a guess.
Mistaking a person of Korean descent for a person of Chinese descent or a Japanese American for a Japanese tourist is something that makes you look provincial, unworldly, ignorant but it doesn't necessarily signify hate. Not at all.
Sure there are some racist whites, but it's a small minority of whites, yet there's a lot of rage against white people. I feel sorry for people who delve into that rage, as do a growing number of Black Americans.

I had seven uncles and a grandfather who faught in WWII and Korea. My father and and father in law loudly reminisced about the "gooks" in Korea in the waiting room during my son's surgery until I said one of those "gooks" might be operating on their grandson. I worked at factories in the Midwest, a highway crew, and just told you what my FRIENDS referred to Iraqis as. The language I describe is common now in Midwestern small towns.

Frankly, you don't know crap about this, but keep on with your delusions.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: apl68 on February 03, 2022, 07:43:05 AM
People of WWII age are mostly dead. They are not people one runs into without frequenting nursing homes where there isn't even a lot of talking. Bill Maher thinks you have 'progressophobia.'
You've never lived through an experience even remotely like the threat of the second world war, so your scrutiny of those who did is...well, comes off a bit pompous. Some got over their distrust of the Japanese and some didn't. Younger Americans today think they would have been among the most forget-and-forgiving. But it's a guess.
Mistaking a person of Korean descent for a person of Chinese descent or a Japanese American for a Japanese tourist is something that makes you look provincial, unworldly, ignorant but it doesn't necessarily signify hate. Not at all.
Sure there are some racist whites, but it's a small minority of whites, yet there's a lot of rage against white people. I feel sorry for people who delve into that rage, as do a growing number of Black Americans.

I had seven uncles and a grandfather who faught in WWII and Korea. My father and and father in law loudly reminisced about the "gooks" in Korea in the waiting room during my son's surgery until I said one of those "gooks" might be operating on their grandson. I worked at factories in the Midwest, a highway crew, and just told you what my FRIENDS referred to Iraqis as. The language I describe is common now in Midwestern small towns.

Frankly, you don't know crap about this, but keep on with your delusions.

Didn't know there was so much of that in the Midwest.  Here in the south I've very seldom heard racial slurs against people of Asian and Middle Eastern origin.  I heard quite a few racial slurs against black people growing up, but mostly from schoolboys who used racial slurs as part of a broader adolescent tendency to use language they knew wasn't supposed to be used in polite society.  Racial slurs were no longer respectable by the 1970s.  That's not to say that expressions of disparaging attitudes didn't, and don't, remain.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 03, 2022, 08:08:24 AM
If you claim to have not heard anyone espouse that non-whites are inferior you clearly are trying not to hear it, or live in an incredibly liberal/progressive place.

From Darrell Brooks (https://nypost.com/2021/11/24/darrell-brooks-called-for-violence-against-white-people/), the criminal who ran down several people including children and elderly ladies,
Quote
“So when we start bakk knokkin white people TF out ion wanna hear it…the old white ppl 2, KNOKK DEM TF OUT!! PERIOD,” he wrote under his rap name, MathBoi Fly, along with a middle-finger emoji.

Sadly, no ethnic group has a monopoly on members saying (and doing) hateful things, and no group is immune to being on the receiving end.

jimbogumbo’s post didn’t make the claim that only white people can be racist.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 03, 2022, 08:14:24 AM
If you claim to have not heard anyone espouse that non-whites are inferior you clearly are trying not to hear it, or live in an incredibly liberal/progressive place.

From Darrell Brooks (https://nypost.com/2021/11/24/darrell-brooks-called-for-violence-against-white-people/), the criminal who ran down several people including children and elderly ladies,
Quote
“So when we start bakk knokkin white people TF out ion wanna hear it…the old white ppl 2, KNOKK DEM TF OUT!! PERIOD,” he wrote under his rap name, MathBoi Fly, along with a middle-finger emoji.

Sadly, no ethnic group has a monopoly on members saying (and doing) hateful things, and no group is immune to being on the receiving end.

jimbogumbo’s post didn’t make the claim that only white people can be racist.

No, but the implication is common. Has any mainstream media outlet or government official even suggested that Darrell Brooks' attack was a racist action? If a white criminal had driven into a crowd of black people, would any mainstream media outlet or government official suggested it wasn't a racist action?

Calling racism has an incredible double standard.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 03, 2022, 08:30:58 AM
If you claim to have not heard anyone espouse that non-whites are inferior you clearly are trying not to hear it, or live in an incredibly liberal/progressive place.

From Darrell Brooks (https://nypost.com/2021/11/24/darrell-brooks-called-for-violence-against-white-people/), the criminal who ran down several people including children and elderly ladies,
Quote
“So when we start bakk knokkin white people TF out ion wanna hear it…the old white ppl 2, KNOKK DEM TF OUT!! PERIOD,” he wrote under his rap name, MathBoi Fly, along with a middle-finger emoji.

Sadly, no ethnic group has a monopoly on members saying (and doing) hateful things, and no group is immune to being on the receiving end.

jimbogumbo’s post didn’t make the claim that only white people can be racist.

No, but the implication is common. Has any mainstream media outlet or government official even suggested that Darrell Brooks' attack was a racist action? If a white criminal had driven into a crowd of black people, would any mainstream media outlet or government official suggested it wasn't a racist action?

Calling racism has an incredible double standard.

jimbogumbo did not make the claim, and would not. jimbogumbo has been trying politely (until a recent post) to push bacon the racism is no longer claims of some.

To apl68's post (always thoughtful and kind), no it is not polite nor common to hear racial pejoratives on the street in the Midwest. I am not claiming that, only that what small cleanrat experienced is common for citizens of Asian heritage. My state is referred to as "Southern" both in who lives here and attitude. It was largely a factory state, with workers from TN and KY who relocated here.

as to the claim there are no white supemacists, made by at least two posters, we have a KKK group 15 miles from where I've lived the past 40 years. And, in recent news from FL:

https://miami.cbslocal.com/2022/01/31/rabbi-discusses-safety-in-light-of-nazi-group-demonstrations/
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 03, 2022, 08:42:14 AM
People of WWII age are mostly dead. They are not people one runs into without frequenting nursing homes where there isn't even a lot of talking. Bill Maher thinks you have 'progressophobia.'
You've never lived through an experience even remotely like the threat of the second world war, so your scrutiny of those who did is...well, comes off a bit pompous. Some got over their distrust of the Japanese and some didn't. Younger Americans today think they would have been among the most forget-and-forgiving. But it's a guess.
Mistaking a person of Korean descent for a person of Chinese descent or a Japanese American for a Japanese tourist is something that makes you look provincial, unworldly, ignorant but it doesn't necessarily signify hate. Not at all.
Sure there are some racist whites, but it's a small minority of whites, yet there's a lot of rage against white people. I feel sorry for people who delve into that rage, as do a growing number of Black Americans.

I had seven uncles and a grandfather who faught in WWII and Korea. My father and and father in law loudly reminisced about the "gooks" in Korea in the waiting room during my son's surgery until I said one of those "gooks" might be operating on their grandson. I worked at factories in the Midwest, a highway crew, and just told you what my FRIENDS referred to Iraqis as. The language I describe is common now in Midwestern small towns.

Frankly, you don't know crap about this, but keep on with your delusions.

You have an odd family.

Quote


No, but the implication is common. Has any mainstream media outlet or government official even suggested that Darrell Brooks' attack was a racist action? If a white criminal had driven into a crowd of black people, would any mainstream media outlet or government official suggested it wasn't a racist action?

Calling racism has an incredible double standard.

Not only that, but this too. Dr. Cooper is still at Rutgers. Was there any apology or disciplinary action? I don't think so. Of course Eddie Glaude, another 'revolting race-baiter' (thank you Rod Dreher) is probably cheering.

https://nypost.com/2021/10/29/rutgers-professor-calls-white-people-villains/

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 03, 2022, 09:20:03 AM

jimbogumbo did not make the claim, and would not. jimbogumbo has been trying politely (until a recent post) to push bacon the racism is no longer claims of some.


I don't have the faintest clue what this means. Is it supposed to be
"push back on the 'racism is no longer' claims of some"?

I haven't heard anyone claim racism doesn't exist; rather that it it much less prevalent than it used to be, and it is amplified by many on the left.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 03, 2022, 09:28:23 AM
...
You've never lived through an experience even remotely like the threat of the second world war, so your scrutiny of those who did is...well, comes off a bit pompous. Some got over their distrust of the Japanese and some didn't. Younger Americans today think they would have been among the most forget-and-forgiving. But it's a guess.
...

um...so...if someone went through a difficult time involving Japanese, it is pompous to say anything against the fact that they distrust all Japanese people for decades afterward as a result?

How does something like this apply as a general rule? Honest question.

Someone's prejudices may be understandable, but does that mean they should never be criticized?

Also, if jimbogumbo could say they actually have lived through a similar experience, would that really make you more inclined to lend credence to what they are saying?


Test Cases

If a black person lived through the time of the Civil Rights movement during which there was tremendous hostility from a not-exactly-tiny number of white people who were vociferously and sometimes violently against changes towards equality...should people be understanding, not critical, if they maintain a distrust of all white people?

If a Japanese-American whose family has had to leave their homes (which, along with their possessions, had to be either sold at dirt cheap prices or else abandoned all together) to be incarcerated for years in an internment camp, even as you or your father or your brothers are fighting for the country (in a segregated unit, of course) whose government gave those orders...well, should they get any disapproval if they maintain a distrust of all white people?



Ok, someone made a mean, racist comment to you when you were eleven, but you don't dwell on it. Since the point I was making is that people are going to do things like that whether there's a noisy identity politics movement or not, what you said is not inconsistent with what I said.

Side note, how much good do you think it does not to dwell on a racist encounter if another comes along soon after? And then another. And another. And another.


I wonder if you have ever lived through an experience remotely like those I describe above. If not, would you understand if someone said your "I don't dwell on it" comment comes across as a wee bit condescending?

I wonder if you have any idea how often Japanese-Americans seeking redress after their interment were told to stop "dwelling" on the past and to get over it.

I wonder if you have any idea how often they had to hear that they should be grateful that the camps weren't like the concentration camps in Nazi Germany. Like, "Well, all that happened was you were imprisoned despite no evidence of being engaged in espionage or any other crime. It's not like you were starved or beaten or murdered en masse, so I don't know what you're griping about."



I can easily believe racist white people are a minority. I have no idea how small a minority, but even a small minority can cause a lot of harm if they are vocal and active enough.

I think anyone who states that white people are all guilty of oppression by definition is full of it. I think it is important for progressives to speak against the extremists in their midst, even if only for the sake of their own goals.

For the same reason, it disturbs me when people are dismissive of racism or sexism or what-have-you just because it's not-all-white-people or not-all-men or whatever. It doesn't have to be all or even most to be a problem.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 03, 2022, 09:44:49 AM

I think anyone who states that white people are all guilty of oppression by definition is full of it. I think it is important for progressives to speak against the extremists in their midst, even if only for the sake of their own goals.


So what you report is the face-to-face racist treatment. We agree that is awful. It hurt when it happened and it hurts when you think later that people think they should be able to get away with it. It's accepted, or at least in their circles. However a subset of minorities do this to whites too.

The idea that something called 'white supremacy' (not the actual belief that white people are genetically superior to others, but something else whose presence and nature are not even defined entities, that is concretely not that thing at thing at all, but somehow grabs the privilege to use same term) needs to be 'dismantled' is heard as an affront to white people, because it is one. It refers to something the United States worked hard to eradicate, while trying to give power to the 'white supremacy' charge by conflating distant past scenerios with present day life. It's a bad faith term.
Academics and journalists who seem to know just enough more history than the layman always try to transfer our emotional pain over the racial past to our assessment of the present with things like 'white people's reluctance to give up power over Black folks always shows up again in a new iteration as soon as any advance for Black people happens.' It's propaganda. We were taught to spot garbage like that in junior high.
It's a power grab by the democratic party. And it's quickly infiltrated corporate and higher education employment (even minimum wage retail work!), K-12 education, and if the progressives get their way, federal and state government. And people are gonna fight it like hell because it's necessary. Because now they're coming for your job, your children, your social life and the medical care you're paying for.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 03, 2022, 09:45:37 AM


Test Cases

If a black person lived through the time of the Civil Rights movement during which there was tremendous hostility from a not-exactly-tiny number of white people who were vociferously and sometimes violently against changes towards equality...should people be understanding, not critical, if they maintain a distrust of all white people?


Since this person would be at least in their 60's by now, while it might be understandable, it is much less acceptable that their children and grandchildren have the same attitudes, grounded not in their own experience, but in that long-past experience of their elders.

Quote
If a Japanese-American whose family has had to leave their homes (which, along with their possessions, had to be either sold at dirt cheap prices or else abandoned all together) to be incarcerated for years in an internment camp, even as you or your father or your brothers are fighting for the country (in a segregated unit, of course) whose government gave those orders...well, should they get any disapproval if they maintain a distrust of all white people?


Same as above, only the time scale is even longer. Many Germans immigrated to North America after WWII. Is it reasonable for people to still worry about whether their descendants are neo-Nazis, anymore than other people?

Quote


Ok, someone made a mean, racist comment to you when you were eleven, but you don't dwell on it. Since the point I was making is that people are going to do things like that whether there's a noisy identity politics movement or not, what you said is not inconsistent with what I said.

Side note, how much good do you think it does not to dwell on a racist encounter if another comes along soon after? And then another. And another. And another.


I wonder if you have ever lived through an experience remotely like those I describe above. If not, would you understand if someone said your "I don't dwell on it" comment comes across as a wee bit condescending?


The province of Quebec used to be officially bilingual. In the 70's legislation started to be introduced to make Quebec officially French, to the point of making it illegal for businesses to have signage that is not French only. (To be clear, it's not just that French has to be prominent; it's that it is wrong to include anything else.)

English in Quebec are viewed as a "privileged minority", and thus don't deserve the protection that minority status might otherwise confer.

There are lots of people (most?) who have faced discrimination of one form or another. The Oppression Olympics don't help matters by trying to determine who is the most oppressed. Trying to get everyone to treat others fairly is vastly more productive in the long run.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 03, 2022, 10:41:34 AM

jimbogumbo did not make the claim, and would not. jimbogumbo has been trying politely (until a recent post) to push bacon the racism is no longer claims of some.


I don't have the faintest clue what this means. Is it supposed to be
"push back on the 'racism is no longer' claims of some"?

I haven't heard anyone claim racism doesn't exist; rather that it it much less prevalent than it used to be, and it is amplified by many on the left.

When my chubby fingers are auto-corrected, yes, bacon=back on
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on February 03, 2022, 12:05:20 PM
It is noteworthy that public discussion of inter-group relations is couched as a discussion of racism -- rather than a discussion of discrimination.

Racism may be observed in the words people use or perhaps even the thoughts they report. Observable or not, such racism doesn't obviously hurt anyone. And it can be easily avoided by having nothing to do with racists.

Discrimination, on the other hand, is about deeds. Things that hurt others: Irishmen and dogs need not apply, e.g.

The deeds part, the discrimination part, has virtually disappeared from American life. It is in fact largely illegal. Certainly overt government discrimination has disappeared [except for minimum wage laws, which are effectively anti-black male discrimination, and the forcing of young blacks in inner cities into government run prisons called schools.]

Racism is more a state of mind than anything else. And what's observable about it is a bunch of words, nothing more.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 03, 2022, 12:34:01 PM
It is noteworthy that public discussion of inter-group relations is couched as a discussion of racism -- rather than a discussion of discrimination.

Racism may be observed in the words people use or perhaps even the thoughts they report. Observable or not, such racism doesn't obviously hurt anyone. And it can be easily avoided by having nothing to do with racists.

Discrimination, on the other hand, is about deeds. Things that hurt others: Irishmen and dogs need not apply, e.g.

The deeds part, the discrimination part, has virtually disappeared from American life. It is in fact largely illegal. Certainly overt government discrimination has disappeared [except for minimum wage laws, which are effectively anti-black male discrimination, and the forcing of young blacks in inner cities into government run prisons called schools.]

Racism is more a state of mind than anything else. And what's observable about it is a bunch of words, nothing more.

Illegal doesn't mean it doesn't happen: https://www.indystar.com/story/money/2021/05/13/indianapolis-black-homeowner-home-appraisal-discrimination-fair-housing-center-central-indiana/4936571001/
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 03, 2022, 12:35:48 PM
And, not just a Midwest thing:https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/09/business/black-homeowners-appraisal-discrimination-lawsuit/index.html
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on February 03, 2022, 12:46:39 PM
The articles are about disagreements. That's called life.

Fortunately, we have these things called courts to sort out such disagreements.

[On two separate occasions my house was appraised, once by a white man and once by a black man. The latter came out with a noticeably lower value than the former. What should I have done? Begin a lawsuit for racial discrimination?]
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 03, 2022, 12:59:14 PM
The articles are about disagreements. That's called life.

Fortunately, we have these things called courts to sort out such disagreements.

[On two separate occasions my house was appraised, once by a white man and once by a black man. The latter came out with a noticeably lower value than the former. What should I have done? Begin a lawsuit for racial discrimination?]

There were tear downs in the area of the first article I sent with higher appraisals, so while it may have been life, probably not.

If you thought you were discriminated against then yes. Although, I'm guessing you felt the odds weren't good. One reason for that (shock) is that there is no long history of redlining whites out of black neighborhoods.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on February 03, 2022, 01:08:28 PM
The articles are about disagreements. That's called life.

Fortunately, we have these things called courts to sort out such disagreements.

[On two separate occasions my house was appraised, once by a white man and once by a black man. The latter came out with a noticeably lower value than the former. What should I have done? Begin a lawsuit for racial discrimination?]

There were tear downs in the area of the first article I sent with higher appraisals, so while it may have been life, probably not.

If you thought you were discriminated against then yes. Although, I'm guessing you felt the odds weren't good. One reason for that (shock) is that there is no long history of redlining whites out of black neighborhoods.

The beginning of redlining was under the New Deal: Government policy that in effect discriminated against blacks.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 03, 2022, 01:46:23 PM
The articles are about disagreements. That's called life.

Fortunately, we have these things called courts to sort out such disagreements.

[On two separate occasions my house was appraised, once by a white man and once by a black man. The latter came out with a noticeably lower value than the former. What should I have done? Begin a lawsuit for racial discrimination?]

There were tear downs in the area of the first article I sent with higher appraisals, so while it may have been life, probably not.

If you thought you were discriminated against then yes. Although, I'm guessing you felt the odds weren't good. One reason for that (shock) is that there is no long history of redlining whites out of black neighborhoods.

The beginning of redlining was under the New Deal: Government policy that in effect discriminated against blacks.

Stuck in a hotel room, so sadly too much time on this board. I'm well aware of when and how it started. I'm also well aware of how well received the practice (and similar discrimination related practices in Farm loan programs) were.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on February 03, 2022, 01:53:03 PM
The articles are about disagreements. That's called life.

Fortunately, we have these things called courts to sort out such disagreements.

[On two separate occasions my house was appraised, once by a white man and once by a black man. The latter came out with a noticeably lower value than the former. What should I have done? Begin a lawsuit for racial discrimination?]

There were tear downs in the area of the first article I sent with higher appraisals, so while it may have been life, probably not.

If you thought you were discriminated against then yes. Although, I'm guessing you felt the odds weren't good. One reason for that (shock) is that there is no long history of redlining whites out of black neighborhoods.

The beginning of redlining was under the New Deal: Government policy that in effect discriminated against blacks.

Stuck in a hotel room, so sadly too much time on this board. I'm well aware of when and how it started. I'm also well aware of how well received the practice (and similar discrimination related practices in Farm loan programs) were.

Yes. And nowadays personal problems masquerade as political problems.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 03, 2022, 01:57:30 PM
marshwiggle, I agree with you in principle, but I think you are drawing things a little too cleanly.

Mind you, I am talking about whether prejudice is understandable, not excusable.

To start with, the experiences of one generation influence the next. If you lost your farm or your home (which may represent years or even generations of hard work and savings) because of the internment and had to start from scratch after being released, that is going to affect your kids. If your father’s brother being murdered by a lynch mob is part of your family history, and you can see how the pain of that loss still affects him, that will have an impact.

It just seems a bit too glib to say, well those horrible things didn’t happen to you specifically, so why do you care?

Secondly, it’s not like the war ends or the Civil Rights Act is passed and all the racial tension dissipates and gives the next generation a clean slate. Those children and even those grandchildren may certainly have had their own experiences, and I don’t know how easy it is to judge whether the level to which that affects them is as easy as saying ‘yes, but by then it was illegal’ or ‘yes, but by then it was less socially acceptable.’ Those are relevant factors, but I don’t know how you’d draw a clear division between ‘well, it’s understandable you are upset’ and ‘oh, please. Now you’re just being dramatic.’

There have also been periods of time since wwii when global events related to Asian nations stirred up hostility towards Asians in America.

And I don’t know if mahagonny was suggesting that since wwii vets are either dead or so old they will be soon, anti-Japanese attitudes will die with them, but that’s not the case. You think no one has used the wartime experiences of their parents or grandparents generation to deem all Japanese as evil?

I mean if you want to say ‘minorities shouldn’t be using the events of generations past to demonize all white people’, ok. If you’re going to say ‘you don’t see white people running around doing something like that’, eh…



Now, is it fair to assume that the child or grandchild of a neo-nazi harbors the same sentiments of their forebear? No. Is it unreasonable to be concerned that someone raised by a neo-nazi may be more likely to harbor neo-nazi ideology than the average person? Well…aren’t you essentially asking whether someone raised with a certain ideology is more likely to be influenced with that ideology than one who wasn’t? What do you think?



I’m not always clear why people often point out that people are discriminated against for all kinds of things in discussions about racism. It sometimes comes across as someone saying “I think it’s really important to support research that aims to reduce deaths from heart disease” and getting the response “Well, you know people die from all kinds of things, not just heart disease.” As if the first person somehow implied that research into heart disease and only heart disease was important.

Oppression Olympics don’t help matters, but neither does trying to deny or minimize other people’s experiences so you can dismiss it as too trivial to be worth caring about.

And I wasn’t trying  to make a point like oh these groups had it so much worse than those groups.

My point was if you’re going to say ‘you never went through what they went through, so who are you to judge’ then wagging your finger at other people whose experiences you yourself didn’t go through seems like an inconsistency.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 03, 2022, 02:26:18 PM
The articles are about disagreements. That's called life.

Fortunately, we have these things called courts to sort out such disagreements.

[On two separate occasions my house was appraised, once by a white man and once by a black man. The latter came out with a noticeably lower value than the former. What should I have done? Begin a lawsuit for racial discrimination?]

There were tear downs in the area of the first article I sent with higher appraisals, so while it may have been life, probably not.

If you thought you were discriminated against then yes. Although, I'm guessing you felt the odds weren't good. One reason for that (shock) is that there is no long history of redlining whites out of black neighborhoods.

The beginning of redlining was under the New Deal: Government policy that in effect discriminated against blacks.

Stuck in a hotel room, so sadly too much time on this board. I'm well aware of when and how it started. I'm also well aware of how well received the practice (and similar discrimination related practices in Farm loan programs) were.

Yes. And nowadays personal problems masquerade as political problems.

Pretty well done study attached. Doesn't appear to be just a personal problem.

https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2020/01/racial-discrimination-in-mortgage-market-persistent-over-last-four-decades/
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on February 03, 2022, 02:56:42 PM
The articles are about disagreements. That's called life.

Fortunately, we have these things called courts to sort out such disagreements.

[On two separate occasions my house was appraised, once by a white man and once by a black man. The latter came out with a noticeably lower value than the former. What should I have done? Begin a lawsuit for racial discrimination?]

There were tear downs in the area of the first article I sent with higher appraisals, so while it may have been life, probably not.

If you thought you were discriminated against then yes. Although, I'm guessing you felt the odds weren't good. One reason for that (shock) is that there is no long history of redlining whites out of black neighborhoods.

The beginning of redlining was under the New Deal: Government policy that in effect discriminated against blacks.

Stuck in a hotel room, so sadly too much time on this board. I'm well aware of when and how it started. I'm also well aware of how well received the practice (and similar discrimination related practices in Farm loan programs) were.

Yes. And nowadays personal problems masquerade as political problems.

Pretty well done study attached. Doesn't appear to be just a personal problem.

https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2020/01/racial-discrimination-in-mortgage-market-persistent-over-last-four-decades/

Sub-heading of article is: Discrimination in housing market sees decrease during same time period.

Suggests there are differences in financing terms. Nothing about causation.

It is perfectly legal to use all kinds of data about people to determine their creditworthiness, such as income, location of dwelling, and so on. Illegal to use race, gender, and so on.

Outcomes may well be different. That is neither evidence of racism nor discrimination.

It's a state of mind.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 03, 2022, 03:35:29 PM
The articles are about disagreements. That's called life.

Fortunately, we have these things called courts to sort out such disagreements.

[On two separate occasions my house was appraised, once by a white man and once by a black man. The latter came out with a noticeably lower value than the former. What should I have done? Begin a lawsuit for racial discrimination?]

There were tear downs in the area of the first article I sent with higher appraisals, so while it may have been life, probably not.

If you thought you were discriminated against then yes. Although, I'm guessing you felt the odds weren't good. One reason for that (shock) is that there is no long history of redlining whites out of black neighborhoods.

The beginning of redlining was under the New Deal: Government policy that in effect discriminated against blacks.

Stuck in a hotel room, so sadly too much time on this board. I'm well aware of when and how it started. I'm also well aware of how well received the practice (and similar discrimination related practices in Farm loan programs) were.

Yes. And nowadays personal problems masquerade as political problems.

Pretty well done study attached. Doesn't appear to be just a personal problem.

https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2020/01/racial-discrimination-in-mortgage-market-persistent-over-last-four-decades/

Sub-heading of article is: Discrimination in housing market sees decrease during same time period.

Suggests there are differences in financing terms. Nothing about causation.

It is perfectly legal to use all kinds of data about people to determine their creditworthiness, such as income, location of dwelling, and so on. Illegal to use race, gender, and so on.

Outcomes may well be different. That is neither evidence of racism nor discrimination.

It's a state of mind.

That is why it was a pretty good article?

Also says essentially steady by race over the past 40 years.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on February 03, 2022, 03:43:25 PM
What's going on here is the assumption that differences in outcomes indicate racism or discrimination. They do not.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 03, 2022, 04:13:18 PM
What's going on here is the assumption that differences in outcomes indicate racism or discrimination. They do not.

If you control for qualifications of applicants in your study what else would it be? Highly statically unlikely bad luck? Over a 40 year period?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 03, 2022, 04:14:44 PM
Sorry, marshwiggle.

I misread your point about neo-Nazis.

It’s my understanding the German immigrants during the period leading up to wwii were generally people trying to get away from Nazi Germany, not Nazis themselves. So, no. I wouldn’t suspect the child or grandchild of a non-nazi to be any more likely than anyone else to be a neo-nazi.

That doesn’t really negate what I was saying. I’m actually not sure what it’s meant to negate.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on February 03, 2022, 04:28:57 PM
What's going on here is the assumption that differences in outcomes indicate racism or discrimination. They do not.

If you control for qualifications of applicants in your study what else would it be? Highly statically unlikely bad luck? Over a 40 year period?

What I said at the outset -- minimum wages locking black males youths out of the labor market and incarcerating black youth in prisons called schools.

The bad luck dished out to blacks is government policy. Not for the motive of racism, but to buy votes of others. That's discrimination.

But as I also said, that's pretty much all that's left of discrimination.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 03, 2022, 04:39:30 PM
What's going on here is the assumption that differences in outcomes indicate racism or discrimination. They do not.

If you control for qualifications of applicants in your study what else would it be? Highly statically unlikely bad luck? Over a 40 year period?

What I said at the outset -- minimum wages locking black males youths out of the labor market and incarcerating black youth in prisons called schools.

The bad luck dished out to blacks is government policy. Not for the motive of racism, but to buy votes of others. That's discrimination.

But as I also said, that's pretty much all that's left of discrimination.

Thank you for your efforts at helping me understand your viewpoint. Where I guess we differ is that I think that's still quite a lot left.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 03, 2022, 04:44:09 PM
rest
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 04, 2022, 05:57:58 AM

It’s my understanding the German immigrants during the period leading up to wwii were generally people trying to get away from Nazi Germany, not Nazis themselves. So, no. I wouldn’t suspect the child or grandchild of a non-nazi to be any more likely than anyone else to be a neo-nazi.

Just to clarify:
Many Germans immigrated to North America after WWII. Is it reasonable for people to still worry about whether their descendants are neo-Nazis, anymore than other people?

I specifically referred to Germans who immigrated after WWII, not before. This includes people who actually fought in the German armed forces.

marshwiggle, I agree with you in principle, but I think you are drawing things a little too cleanly.

Mind you, I am talking about whether prejudice is understandable, not excusable.

To start with, the experiences of one generation influence the next. If you lost your farm or your home (which may represent years or even generations of hard work and savings) because of the internment and had to start from scratch after being released, that is going to affect your kids.

In Nanjing, there is a museum to commemorate the atrocities committed by the Japanese during WWII. Is a Chinese immigrant to North America, (or their child or grandchild), justified in being distrustful of people of Japanese descent in North America?

This is a hole with no bottom.

Quote

If your father’s brother being murdered by a lynch mob is part of your family history, and you can see how the pain of that loss still affects him, that will have an impact.

It just seems a bit too glib to say, well those horrible things didn’t happen to you specifically, so why do you care?

It's not about whether you "care", it's about the question of "What is the best way forward?"

Quote

I’m not always clear why people often point out that people are discriminated against for all kinds of things in discussions about racism. It sometimes comes across as someone saying “I think it’s really important to support research that aims to reduce deaths from heart disease” and getting the response “Well, you know people die from all kinds of things, not just heart disease.” As if the first person somehow implied that research into heart disease and only heart disease was important.

Oppression Olympics don’t help matters, but neither does trying to deny or minimize other people’s experiences so you can dismiss it as too trivial to be worth caring about.

Again, it's not about minimizing peoples' experiences; it's about treating people as human beings rather than as members of identity groups.

If a black police officer kneels on a suspect's neck until the person dies, is that not a big deal?
Is it less of a big deal than if a white person uses a racial slur against a black person?
Is it less of a big deal if a black person uses a racial slur against an Asian person than if a white person uses a racial slur against a black person?

OR

Are all of these things just simply bad, and everyone should be criticized for doing them?

For thousands of years, across lots of cultures, some variation of the Golden Rule has existed. "Treat others as you would want to be treated." That ideal has  been widely recognized, no matter how badly humans have been at trying to live up to it.

Laws should  created by looking at the ideal, rather than by trying to apportion blame according to perceptions of how many members of Group A were "oppressors" and how many of Group B were "victims", and what geographical and historical limits to consider, etc.




Quote

And I wasn’t trying  to make a point like oh these groups had it so much worse than those groups.

My point was if you’re going to say ‘you never went through what they went through, so who are you to judge’ then wagging your finger at other people whose experiences you yourself didn’t go through seems like an inconsistency.

The "lived experience" idea is another hole with no bottom. Since no two people are identical, anyone can always claim their lived experience precludes anyone else judging their behaviour. (And it's entirely self-serving to claim one's own "lived experience" is somehow more valid, instructive, etc. than someone else's.)

The only way out is to appeal to common humanity, as the Golden Rule does, which is based on the idea that mistreatment of one person by another is easy to identify; if you wouldn't want it done to you, don't do it to someone else.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 04, 2022, 07:33:30 AM
I think we are saying the same core thing.

I actually was going for ‘all of these are simply bad and everyone should be criticized for doing them.’

My point about  the generational stuff  was that there are other explanations (not justifications) to explain why some people may have formed their own prejudices. It was meant to counter the idea that it entirely comes from things that happened too long ago to have affected them.

My point about the lived experiences thing was that ‘no, you don’t have to have shared exactly the same experiences to criticize someone.’  I was making the point that if someone has criticized other people plenty even without having experienced what those people have experienced they are being inconsistent if they tell other people ‘you shouldn’t judge because you haven’t lived through what they did.’ I don’t think this should be applied to anyone, and it especially shouldn’t be applied selectively.

I’ve met so many people who do this. They tell people to be more understanding and compassionate when a white person who has suffered or been raised a certain way is acting on their prejudice, but when its a non-white they are quick enough to criticize without any of the same considerations. If its wrong to make special exceptions for non-white people to criticize white people, its wrong in the other direction too.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 04, 2022, 07:58:02 AM
I think we are saying the same core thing.


I agree.

Quote
I’ve met so many people who do this. They tell people to be more understanding and compassionate when a white person who has suffered or been raised a certain way is acting on their prejudice, but when its a non-white they are quick enough to criticize without any of the same considerations. If its wrong to make special exceptions for non-white people to criticize white people, its wrong in the other direction too.

The point I would make here is that it isn't OK to publicly say anything prejudicial about almost any group. However, politicians, journalists, and academics can publicly say horrible things about "privileged" groups, including the universal source-of-all-evil group, straight white males, and be applauded, rather than censured.

The people who most disparage potential offense to other groups routinely and gleefully engage in it in the other direction. (And of course, the most galling is the virtue-signallers like "male feminists" who self-righteously disparage their own group, implying that somehow they themselves are thereby less evil, even though just belonging to that group makes anyone else evil.)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 04, 2022, 12:29:07 PM
I think we are saying the same core thing.


I agree.

Quote
I’ve met so many people who do this. They tell people to be more understanding and compassionate when a white person who has suffered or been raised a certain way is acting on their prejudice, but when its a non-white they are quick enough to criticize without any of the same considerations. If its wrong to make special exceptions for non-white people to criticize white people, its wrong in the other direction too.

The point I would make here is that it isn't OK to publicly say anything prejudicial about almost any group. However, politicians, journalists, and academics can publicly say horrible things about "privileged" groups, including the universal source-of-all-evil group, straight white males, and be applauded, rather than censured.

The people who most disparage potential offense to other groups routinely and gleefully engage in it in the other direction. (And of course, the most galling is the virtue-signallers like "male feminists" who self-righteously disparage their own group, implying that somehow they themselves are thereby less evil, even though just belonging to that group makes anyone else evil.)

I agree there is an imbalance and that it well deserves criticism. I think the best argument against it is of the sort you describe: criticizing the whole principle of judging and condemning an entire demographic of people based on race or sex or sexuality whether the target is a ‘privileged’ class or not.

Though I don’t think this argument is well-served by many of the common talking points. This argument does not depend on the premise that there is no more injustice and everyone who says there is must be ‘manufacturing’ it. This argument stands even if we can acknowledge that things can still be better.

This is where dismissing or minimizing other people’s experiences can be relevant. If you are arguing that it is unfair to condemn all white people as evil based on things that happened before they were born, that’s one thing. If you are arguing that people are too hung up on the slavery thing because a lot of slaves were well-treated and hey, some of them got to work inside the house, that’s something else entirely.

When it comes to contemporary anger against historical injustices, I agree with the goal of acknowledging the past but focusing on moving forward. I disagree that the blame for failure to do this rests entirely on minorities. A specific act may lie in the past, but if the attitudes and prejudices which motivated those acts are still present, there’s a reason to keep talking about it.

The US government didn’t officially acknowledge the Japanese-American internment as unjust until 1988, and that required years of prodding from campaign groups for the government to investigate the matter. Decades after that, I still met people who would grumble about it, saying the internment was entirely justified. There were politicians post-9/11 talking about a registry or even internment for Muslim Americans as a matter of national security. They referred to the internment camps of wwii as a precedent in favor of the plan.

If instead of saying “Those past events were wrong. They shouldn’t have happened and we should not let them happen again.” someone (or many someones) are saying “Those past events were completely justified. I wish things could be the way they were back then.” then they are contributing to keeping the relevance of historical grievances alive.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on February 04, 2022, 01:22:37 PM
Someone on Reddit just posted this:

Quote
70 bills in 27 states and that is not counting the ones that are already laws.

Many of these have a private right of action , with bounties (this means there is an end run around constitutionality with the legislature encouraging financial lynch mobs)

The penalty can be per student.

Your school can lose funding and accreditation in attempt to regulate private schools and higher ed.

Listen to this https://www.npr.org/2022/02/03/1077878538/legislation-restricts-what-teachers-can-discuss

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/states-weigh-raft-proposed-laws-limit-race-sexuality-lessons-schools-n1288108

This not not someone getting fired after posting a video .

This is some straight up fascist ****

"Across the U.S., educators are being censored for broaching controversial topics. Since January 2021, researcher Jeffrey Sachs says, 35 states have introduced 137 bills limiting what schools can teach with regard to race, American history, politics, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Sachs has been tracking this legislation for PEN America, a writers organization dedicated to free speech. He says the recent flurry of legislation has created a "minefield" for educators trying to figure out how to teach topics such as slavery, Jim Crow laws or the Holocaust. One proposed law in South Carolina, for instance, prohibits teachers from discussing any topic that creates "discomfort, guilt or anguish" on the basis of political belief.
"
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on February 04, 2022, 01:44:01 PM
Book Ban in Texas (https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/1/27/2077191/-The-Book-Burning-Commences-in-Texas)

Harry Potter Book Burning in Tennessee and CRT military (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/book-burning-tennessee-harry-potter-b2007904.html)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 04, 2022, 02:49:14 PM
Is there a way to stop idiotic things like sorting students into groups by skin color and the having different activities for each without doing it through legislation? I ask because, democrats, here is your wake up call: It is going to be stopped, because the American people do not want it. Perhaps after this November and the thorough shellacking coming your way the wheels will start turing in some of those thick skulls. However, you have set something in motion that has a life its own. So...the time is now. Any bright ideas? Ball's in your court.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 14, 2022, 11:58:31 AM
I know we've discussed the UIC nightmare for Prof. Kilborn but this piece seems to me to be incredibly well done, with links to every important document/reference in the case: https://ericzorn.substack.com/p/the-ongoing-saga-at-uic-over-a-certain
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on February 14, 2022, 12:09:23 PM
I was reading Fox in Socks to the hatchling the other day, but the gazpacho knocked at the door and took it away.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on February 15, 2022, 06:40:33 PM
I know we've discussed the UIC nightmare for Prof. Kilborn but this piece seems to me to be incredibly well done, with links to every important document/reference in the case: https://ericzorn.substack.com/p/the-ongoing-saga-at-uic-over-a-certain

I have been reading this during breaks from grading, and it is an amazing and outrageous story.

I think there have simply been too many big news stories lately and this must have been buried.  Then again, maybe we are just getting numb to these kind of scenarios (note: most posters have fled this thread).

My father was an ex-Army paratrooper turned attorney.  He had a lot to sat about attorneys.  How are these kids in Kilborn's class going to navigate the brutal legal jungle?

I am disappointed in the Netflix sitcom "The Chair."  It would be great to see a good academic satire,  but The Chair is, I dunno, cliched and predictable in some ways and actually kind of boring.  But the one narrative thread I kind of liked concerned the professor whose in-class comments about fascism are turned into a meme and taken out of context.  The students are insistent on being outraged no matter how hard the professor works to assuage them.  Seems accurate.

Well, colleges have allowed the hysteria to fester.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 16, 2022, 05:23:16 AM
I know we've discussed the UIC nightmare for Prof. Kilborn but this piece seems to me to be incredibly well done, with links to every important document/reference in the case: https://ericzorn.substack.com/p/the-ongoing-saga-at-uic-over-a-certain

I have been reading this during breaks from grading, and it is an amazing and outrageous story.

I think there have simply been too many big news stories lately and this must have been buried.  Then again, maybe we are just getting numb to these kind of scenarios (note: most posters have fled this thread).

My father was an ex-Army paratrooper turned attorney.  He had a lot to sat about attorneys.  How are these kids in Kilborn's class going to navigate the brutal legal jungle?

I am disappointed in the Netflix sitcom "The Chair."  It would be great to see a good academic satire,  but The Chair is, I dunno, cliched and predictable in some ways and actually kind of boring.  But the one narrative thread I kind of liked concerned the professor whose in-class comments about fascism are turned into a meme and taken out of context.  The students are insistent on being outraged no matter how hard the professor works to assuage them.  Seems accurate.

Well, colleges have allowed the hysteria to fester.

Allowed? Encouraged is probably more to the point. As more faculty define themselves as "activists", outrage is increasingly fashionable and expected.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 16, 2022, 07:55:48 AM
I know we've discussed the UIC nightmare for Prof. Kilborn but this piece seems to me to be incredibly well done, with links to every important document/reference in the case: https://ericzorn.substack.com/p/the-ongoing-saga-at-uic-over-a-certain

I have been reading this during breaks from grading, and it is an amazing and outrageous story.

I think there have simply been too many big news stories lately and this must have been buried.  Then again, maybe we are just getting numb to these kind of scenarios (note: most posters have fled this thread).

My father was an ex-Army paratrooper turned attorney.  He had a lot to sat about attorneys.  How are these kids in Kilborn's class going to navigate the brutal legal jungle?

I am disappointed in the Netflix sitcom "The Chair."  It would be great to see a good academic satire,  but The Chair is, I dunno, cliched and predictable in some ways and actually kind of boring.  But the one narrative thread I kind of liked concerned the professor whose in-class comments about fascism are turned into a meme and taken out of context.  The students are insistent on being outraged no matter how hard the professor works to assuage them.  Seems accurate.

Well, colleges have allowed the hysteria to fester.

Allowed? Encouraged is probably more to the point. As more faculty define themselves as "activists", outrage is increasingly fashionable and expected.

If one believes that the recent letter from our college president is serious (and it certainly sounds like it is) then working for societal change is now required of each of us. The president now writes letters to the entire faculty jointly with the director of DIE (diversity inclusion equity). What that means specifically I don't know but you already can't get a grant without being, or pretending to be, a Lefty Koolaid guzzler. Perhaps after the November elections the democrats will get over their giddiness at having defeated Trump and there might be some effect. Right now, Black History Month, the admin is on social justice cloud nine. Or maybe a Civil War is coming. Who knows?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on February 17, 2022, 07:58:34 PM
IHE: Swiss / American law professor cluelessly lets rip a racial slur. (https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2022/02/17/professor%E2%80%99s-anti-asian-slur-creates-stir-georgetown-law)

Dunno how bonebrained this guy is.  Video linked. 

But it is a perfect example of viral rage.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on February 17, 2022, 08:31:28 PM
Even if it's not a racial slur, it would be pretty weird and rude to call someone that in French or German or, I assume, Italian...
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 17, 2022, 09:39:32 PM
It is a weird way to call on a student even if you don’t think you are using a racial slur. “You in the second row/blue shirt/with your hand up, I’m sorry, I don’t recall your name.” How hard is that?

This also seems like a fairly small ‘viral’ story. 140,000 views is a pretty small splash in the twitter bucket

The ‘outrage’ also seems relatively tame.

The letter from the student association emphasizes they are not pushing for the prof to be fired or suspended and that they acknowledge and appreciate his apology.

The tone of their objections essentially portrays the prof as someone who had no malicious intention, but should have known better (NOT as some rabid white supremacist who needs to be ridden out of town on a rail).

They do spend a good chunk of the letter explaining why the term is considered a slur and they are urging the university to consider making bias training mandatory instead of optional. So I’m sure there will still be people labeling the students oversensitive snowflakes with victim complexes.

Even so, is there no room to acknowledge degrees of severity when it comes to ‘cancel culture?’

Applying the terms ‘canceled’ or ‘outrage’ too broadly just dilutes their meanings and makes nuanced discussion more difficult. Similar to the complaints people have for overuse of terms like ‘racist’ or ‘sexist.’
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 17, 2022, 10:06:15 PM
Quote
It is a weird way to call on a student even if you don’t think you are using a racial slur. “You in the second row/blue shirt/with your hand up, I’m sorry, I don’t recall your name.” How hard is that?

Of course. I would go farther than that. Why make assumptions about someone's race at all? Your race is no one's business but your own, if you choose to 'self-identify' racially. I don't. No one knows your race. You may not even know your own. A friend of mine who always assumed he was English/Irish/Dutch got a DNA test and found out he is also Eastern European and Jewish. For people who need to concern themselves with such urgent matters, Jews are a race, as Whoopi Goldberg has learned. But it's their business, not a topic for general discussion.
Another friend of mine, a former roommate, explained that his mother was 'white' and his father was 'black.' Roommate had dark skin while his biological brother had much lighter skin. Nobody knows your race.
Of course, if we don't have races, we don't have 'white' people who are ruining life for everyone else and need to rewire their brains so they can desist, by sometime yesterday. And this will infuriate the left, because they will be left with no mentionable ideas for how to accomplish anything.
OTOH, a teacher was recently raked over the coals for accidentally calling one 'Asian' student by the name of another. And that's ridiculous. An honest, benign error.
On social media some posters look at your photo and then decree based on your appearance ('white') which common English words are off limits for you.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 17, 2022, 10:14:23 PM
Quote
It is a weird way to call on a student even if you don’t think you are using a racial slur. “You in the second row/blue shirt/with your hand up, I’m sorry, I don’t recall your name.” How hard is that?

Of course. I would go farther than that. Why make assumptions about someone's race at all?
[…]

That’s the point I was making. Referencing someone’s race to address them was inappropriate even without using a slur. It was also completely unnecessary.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 17, 2022, 10:19:04 PM
Quote
It is a weird way to call on a student even if you don’t think you are using a racial slur. “You in the second row/blue shirt/with your hand up, I’m sorry, I don’t recall your name.” How hard is that?

Of course. I would go farther than that. Why make assumptions about someone's race at all?
[…]

That’s the point I was making. Referencing someone’s race to address them was inappropriate even without using a slur. It was also completely unnecessary.

Except 'Black' and other 'non-white' people are regularly encouraged by liberals of all shades to identify 'white' people by appearance and converse about any thing relevant to that in the realm of social interaction, what is rude and not rude for the so-identified individuals. And to this group of liberals the list of words, thoughts, behaviors that warrant scrutiny, by the self-appointed group, for 'white' people is growing daily. I believe they refer to this as 'calling out.'
'White' people are the only 'race' whose 'race' is an acceptable subject for general discussion, in their presence.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 17, 2022, 10:34:50 PM
Quote
It is a weird way to call on a student even if you don’t think you are using a racial slur. “You in the second row/blue shirt/with your hand up, I’m sorry, I don’t recall your name.” How hard is that?

Of course. I would go farther than that. Why make assumptions about someone's race at all?
[…]

That’s the point I was making. Referencing someone’s race to address them was inappropriate even without using a slur. It was also completely unnecessary.

Except 'Black' and other 'non-white' people are regularly encouraged by liberals of all shades to identify 'white' people by appearance and converse about any thing relevant to that in the realm of social interaction, what is rude and not rude for the so-identified individuals. And to this group of liberals the list of words, thoughts, behaviors that warrant scrutiny, by the self-appointed group, for 'white' people is growing daily. I believe they refer to this as 'calling out.'
'White' people are the only 'race' whose 'race' is an acceptable subject for general discussion, in their presence.

Which doesn’t mean there is never anything to call out.

And recall there was discussion on this thread not too long ago about Whoopi Goldberg being ‘called out’ for her comments about the Holocaust. You don’t have to be white to be called out for ignorant statements.

I’m willing to bet the prof would still have been criticized for calling a student “Mr. Chinaman” even if he hadn’t been ‘white.’
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 17, 2022, 10:50:15 PM
Quote
It is a weird way to call on a student even if you don’t think you are using a racial slur. “You in the second row/blue shirt/with your hand up, I’m sorry, I don’t recall your name.” How hard is that?

Of course. I would go farther than that. Why make assumptions about someone's race at all?
[…]

That’s the point I was making. Referencing someone’s race to address them was inappropriate even without using a slur. It was also completely unnecessary.

Except 'Black' and other 'non-white' people are regularly encouraged by liberals of all shades to identify 'white' people by appearance and converse about any thing relevant to that in the realm of social interaction, what is rude and not rude for the so-identified individuals. And to this group of liberals the list of words, thoughts, behaviors that warrant scrutiny, by the self-appointed group, for 'white' people is growing daily. I believe they refer to this as 'calling out.'
'White' people are the only 'race' whose 'race' is an acceptable subject for general discussion, in their presence.

Which doesn’t mean there is never anything to call out.

And recall there was discussion on this thread not too long ago about Whoopi Goldberg being ‘called out’ for her comments about the Holocaust. You don’t have to be white to be called out for ignorant statements.

I’m willing to bet the prof would still have been criticized for calling a student “Mr. Chinaman” even if he hadn’t been ‘white.’

But where matters of 'race' are concerned, one group and that group alone, "white," is considered by the liberal establishment to be most often predisposed to racial aggression, hatred and desire to oppress any and all others. The left uses that supposition and the reluctance of people to stand up to the lie, to advance its self concept of superiority and its political agenda. Which is...racist.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 17, 2022, 11:49:29 PM
This is why these threads get frustrating.

The details of the individual stories factor into the discussion so little.

Sometimes a person is slandered and maligned, and suffers for a wrong they never committed.

Sometimes a person actually says or does something worth criticizing, but receives a disproportionately vicious level of backlash and punishment.

Sometimes a person says or does something worth criticizing, people criticize them, and that’s pretty much it.

Sometimes a person says or does something NOT worth criticizing, people get mad and criticize anyway, and that’s pretty much it.

No matter. General comments in the spirit of ‘the left is terrible’ and ‘nobody has it harder than white people.’ tend to dominate and eclipse discussion of specifics.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 18, 2022, 04:43:44 AM
There was no statement 'nobody has it harder than white people.' That is the statement you'd relish the opportunity to refute, but you're out of luck. The people who have it the hardest are those who've been told they are perpetual victims, and believe it. Look at the data. Data says something like 88% of black Americans voted for Joe Biden and this group has undergone the sharpest drop in his approval ratings. Conservatives self report significantly higher levels of happiness than liberals.
It's true, whiteness has been demonized by the left, but the strategy is not working. It's making them miserable, it's causing people to leave their party, it's getting school board members ousted and it's causing them to lose elections they thought they had sealed up. Articulate black conservatives from all walks of life are getting up a head of steam.
The left is terrible? Doing terribly might be your concern if you're determined to be one of them. But before you fix your messaging problem, consider this: maybe the message has been getting heard, and that's your problem.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 18, 2022, 08:52:46 AM
Another stab at humor: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/comics/strips/?name=pearls-before-swine&itid=sf_entertainment-comics
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 18, 2022, 09:34:12 AM
Saying I’d relish a chance to refute something, but I’d be out of luck implies the thing I want to refute is true. Which you just said it isn’t… So…wouldn’t I be in luck?

But my point wasn’t even about that; it was about relevance and the discussion-killing effects of hyperbole.

What does Biden’s approval rating among black voters have to do with this story?

How are students in this story “demonizing” all white people by ‘calling out’ one individual for an inappropriate remark he really did make?

It’s not my messaging problem because I have never subscribed to messages like ‘all white people are racist’ or ‘only white people deserve to be criticized for racism’ or any number of messages justifiably scorned for extremism and overgeneralization.

My message here was that students saying “Calling a student ‘Mr. Chinaman’ is inappropriate and insensitive.” are not necessarily trying to push any additional messages like ‘white men = bad’

My point wasn’t ‘the left is wonderful and white people are never treated unfairly so who cares about them.’ My point was pulling out ‘the left is terrible and demonizes white people’ comments for every single story regardless of the specific situations doesn’t help discussions like this go anywhere new or useful.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 18, 2022, 01:04:24 PM

My message here was that students saying “Calling a student ‘Mr. Chinaman’ is inappropriate and insensitive.” are not necessarily trying to push any additional messages like ‘white men = bad’


Sure, I thought we agreed on that.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 18, 2022, 02:03:54 PM
And another: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/comics/strips/?name=cornered&itid=sf_entertainment-comics
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on February 18, 2022, 06:46:54 PM
This is why these threads get frustrating.

The details of the individual stories factor into the discussion so little.

Sometimes a person is slandered and maligned, and suffers for a wrong they never committed.

Sometimes a person actually says or does something worth criticizing, but receives a disproportionately vicious level of backlash and punishment.

Sometimes a person says or does something worth criticizing, people criticize them, and that’s pretty much it.

Sometimes a person says or does something NOT worth criticizing, people get mad and criticize anyway, and that’s pretty much it.

No matter. General comments in the spirit of ‘the left is terrible’ and ‘nobody has it harder than white people.’ tend to dominate and eclipse discussion of specifics.

I ignore some commentary as pointless.

I think the points made in the commentary I did not ignore were very good.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 23, 2022, 06:45:06 AM
Cancellation nation in North Texas: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/texas-education-maga-trump-book-bans-1310603/
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: downer on February 23, 2022, 07:05:00 AM
Cancellation nation in North Texas: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/texas-education-maga-trump-book-bans-1310603/

Interesting piece. I might well use that in one of my classes.

I don't know what radical means in these contexts. Maybe telling the truth to people who believe in the myth of American exceptionalism is radicalizing. Maybe pointing out that they are still benefitting from colonialism and the racism of the past could be radicalizing too. Though mostly people believe what they want to believe.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 23, 2022, 07:13:52 AM
Cancellation nation in North Texas: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/texas-education-maga-trump-book-bans-1310603/

Interesting piece. I might well use that in one of my classes.

I don't know what radical means in these contexts. Maybe telling the truth to people who believe in the myth of American exceptionalism is radicalizing. Maybe pointing out that they are still benefitting from colonialism and the racism of the past could be radicalizing too. Though mostly people believe what they want to believe.

If a Native American person has strep throat and it is killed off by a course of penicillin, he's benefitting from colonialism of the past. Can liberal professors stand to teach true history irrespective of which political agenda it might appear to align with, or not align with?

What's radical? Example:

"Try to guess what the Princeton University students are talking about here:

We aim to decolonize our practice of ____, even as ____ remains an imperialist, colonialist, and white supremacist art form. (Answer: ballet)"

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2022/02/22/confronting_the_snake_oil_of_woke_ideology_147224.html




Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on February 23, 2022, 07:27:56 AM
But, what do you think of the article I posted, mahaggony? Are you for em or agin em?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 23, 2022, 07:30:15 AM
Maybe pointing out that they are still benefitting from colonialism and the racism of the past could be radicalizing too. Though mostly people believe what they want to believe.

If a Native American person has strep throat and it is killed off by a course of penicillin, he's benefiting from colonialism of the past.

This opens a very big can of worms. If you compare the income and/or standard of living of people in the US whose ancestors were brought here as slaves with the income and/or standard of living of the descendants of related people who remained in Africa, then there is a case to be made that the people in this generation have benefited from the slavery of their own ancestors.
 
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on February 23, 2022, 07:09:15 PM
Not sure this would be exactly classified as "cancel culture," but it is kind of funny...

SUNY prof rebuked for race / gender "progressive stacking" (https://nypost.com/2022/02/21/suny-binghamton-professor-rebuked-for-race-gender-policy/).
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on February 23, 2022, 07:46:18 PM
Maybe pointing out that they are still benefitting from colonialism and the racism of the past could be radicalizing too. Though mostly people believe what they want to believe.

If a Native American person has strep throat and it is killed off by a course of penicillin, he's benefiting from colonialism of the past.

This opens a very big can of worms. If you compare the income and/or standard of living of people in the US whose ancestors were brought here as slaves with the income and/or standard of living of the descendants of related people who remained in Africa, then there is a case to be made that the people in this generation have benefited from the slavery of their own ancestors.
 

Careful, people. Yes, it is a can of worms.

The slaves taken here who have on average benefited from being enslaved benefit from survivorship bias, many having died on the Atlantic or prematurely here. Descendants from former slaves do also. Hence, restitution would have to take into account that one would have to give one hell of a lot of money to people to voluntarily accept a gamble with such a very high chance of death.

On the other hand, slavery has been the norm in human history. It was completely moral. What is special is that the West freed the surviving slaves! One must subtract the value of freedom to the ex-slaves from any compensation to them.

Figure it out!

[My personal attitude is to invoke the principle of a statute of limitations, but, hey, people just want more and want more votes.]
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: ergative on February 24, 2022, 03:22:09 AM

On the other hand, slavery has been the norm in human history. It was completely moral. What is special is that the West freed the surviving slaves! One must subtract the value of freedom to the ex-slaves from any compensation to them.

No. What? No. Good grief, no. Just because people were shitty in the past doesn't mean we should charge their victims for the cessation of shittiness.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Langue_doc on February 24, 2022, 05:15:27 AM
Not sure this would be exactly classified as "cancel culture," but it is kind of funny...

SUNY prof rebuked for race / gender "progressive stacking" (https://nypost.com/2022/02/21/suny-binghamton-professor-rebuked-for-race-gender-policy/).

I saw this a couple of days ago. Progressive stacking? Profiling your students on the basis of skin color, gender, sexual orientation, and other attributes unrelated to being a student? Prof, what were you thinking?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10535791/Woke-Binghamton-sociology-professor-slammed-saying-gives-priority-non-white-folks.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490
Quote
In her class syllabus, she asks white males and those 'privileged by the racial and gender structures of our society' to hold off on questions
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 24, 2022, 06:01:32 AM
She's going to call on quiet people first. LOL. I have found there's a reason some people are always quiet. They aren't doing the reading so they have nothing to add. There's no harm in calling on them though. They should step up to the plate. Engage them; let them see when they need a classmate to come to their rescue. Motivation.
Picture this: a white male decides to be quiet as a mouse in order to get called on more often, which he believes he should, because, being white, he's genetically superior, and being male, he's more mentally balanced than are people who menstruate. And the professor accomodates.

Quote
Dubbed “progressive stacking,” Candela’s policy aimed to “give priority to non-white folks, to women, and to shy and quiet people who rarely raise their hands,” the syllabus read.

She's my argument against tenure. Yes, 'liberal' indoctrination.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 24, 2022, 06:03:47 AM
Not sure this would be exactly classified as "cancel culture," but it is kind of funny...

SUNY prof rebuked for race / gender "progressive stacking" (https://nypost.com/2022/02/21/suny-binghamton-professor-rebuked-for-race-gender-policy/).

I'm kind of curious abut the way in which you think it's "funny". And would it be just as "funny" if the stacking were in the reverse order? ("Regressive stacking?")
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: waterboy on February 24, 2022, 06:56:28 AM
Some of us are quiet because we prefer to hear what other's have to think and say before we offer a contribution. Not that my contributions were always particularly insightful, but this did often prevent me from saying something relatively dumb.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 24, 2022, 07:00:28 AM
Some of us are quiet because we prefer to hear what other's have to think and say before we offer a contribution. Not that my contributions were always particularly insightful, but this did often prevent me from saying something relatively dumb.

Sure, we all see that from time to time, but broadcasting your thought process as to who would you call on first is weird, and more so when your thought process is arbitrary and/or reeking of social justice superciliousness.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on February 24, 2022, 07:35:42 AM
Not sure this would be exactly classified as "cancel culture," but it is kind of funny...

SUNY prof rebuked for race / gender "progressive stacking" (https://nypost.com/2022/02/21/suny-binghamton-professor-rebuked-for-race-gender-policy/).

I'm kind of curious abut the way in which you think it's "funny". And would it be just as "funny" if the stacking were in the reverse order? ("Regressive stacking?")

Oh Marshy, you were doing so well----
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 24, 2022, 07:39:39 AM
Not sure this would be exactly classified as "cancel culture," but it is kind of funny...

SUNY prof rebuked for race / gender "progressive stacking" (https://nypost.com/2022/02/21/suny-binghamton-professor-rebuked-for-race-gender-policy/).

I'm kind of curious abut the way in which you think it's "funny". And would it be just as "funny" if the stacking were in the reverse order? ("Regressive stacking?")

Oh Marshy, you were doing so well----

But seriously, do you think the idea is funny, or is it funny the prof thought it would be a good idea? I'm genuinely curious.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on February 24, 2022, 08:55:26 AM
I thought Wahoo was perhaps referring to the term “progressive stacking” being funny, not the prof’s behavior.

It’s not a phrase you see as often as say “reverse discrimination.”

But that’s just a guess.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on February 24, 2022, 02:43:58 PM
Not sure this would be exactly classified as "cancel culture," but it is kind of funny...

SUNY prof rebuked for race / gender "progressive stacking" (https://nypost.com/2022/02/21/suny-binghamton-professor-rebuked-for-race-gender-policy/).

I'm kind of curious abut the way in which you think it's "funny". And would it be just as "funny" if the stacking were in the reverse order? ("Regressive stacking?")

Oh Marshy, you were doing so well----

But seriously, do you think the idea is funny, or is it funny the prof thought it would be a good idea? I'm genuinely curious.

"Ironic" would have been a better choice of words.

I was thinking it was "funny" not in the "ha-ha" sense but in the sense of "look at the reverse of expectations"----the progressive reformist shut down by the rules meant to foster inclusion.

And more power to SUNY.  The prof was wrong.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Langue_doc on February 25, 2022, 05:01:53 AM
Not sure this would be exactly classified as "cancel culture," but it is kind of funny...

SUNY prof rebuked for race / gender "progressive stacking" (https://nypost.com/2022/02/21/suny-binghamton-professor-rebuked-for-race-gender-policy/).

I'm kind of curious abut the way in which you think it's "funny". And would it be just as "funny" if the stacking were in the reverse order? ("Regressive stacking?")

Oh Marshy, you were doing so well----

But seriously, do you think the idea is funny, or is it funny the prof thought it would be a good idea? I'm genuinely curious.

"Ironic" would have been a better choice of words.

I was thinking it was "funny" not in the "ha-ha" sense but in the sense of "look at the reverse of expectations"----the progressive reformist shut down by the rules meant to foster inclusion.

And more power to SUNY.  The prof was wrong.

Must be something in the water in our state because we have other clueless progressive reformists in our state and city. A suggestion by one of our politicians to rename a post office has been met with outrage because the post office was named for Jeanne Manford
Quote
the first parent to march with their child in an LGBTQ parade a half century ago. She went on to found PFLAG, the country’s first LGBTQ group designed to build solidarity between parents and LGBTQ children, with support from her husband, Jules.

The progressive reformist's response? It's "typical for elected representatives to consider new names for local post offices".
Quote
A name change would “erase our history,” fumed former City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Queens), who worked with AOC’s predecessor Joseph Crowley to name the post office for the Manfords five years ago.

“Is it that she doesn’t know our history? Did they not check to see who the post office is named after right now? Does she not know who Jeanne Manford was?” Dromm said to the Daily News on Sunday.

An Ocasio-Cortez spokeswoman said it’s typical for members of Congress to consider new names for local post offices and suggestions are being sought for a Corona, Queens, post office as well.

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/new-york-elections-government/ny-aoc-queens-post-office-lgbt-20220221-j7grkp4olzc4vfw7hyiji7ksxm-story.html

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 25, 2022, 06:12:28 AM
Not sure this would be exactly classified as "cancel culture," but it is kind of funny...

SUNY prof rebuked for race / gender "progressive stacking" (https://nypost.com/2022/02/21/suny-binghamton-professor-rebuked-for-race-gender-policy/).

I'm kind of curious abut the way in which you think it's "funny". And would it be just as "funny" if the stacking were in the reverse order? ("Regressive stacking?")

Oh Marshy, you were doing so well----

But seriously, do you think the idea is funny, or is it funny the prof thought it would be a good idea? I'm genuinely curious.

"Ironic" would have been a better choice of words.

I was thinking it was "funny" not in the "ha-ha" sense but in the sense of "look at the reverse of expectations"----the progressive reformist shut down by the rules meant to foster inclusion.

And more power to SUNY.  The prof was wrong.

This illustrates what John McWhorter means about wishing ideas about discrimination could could go back to about 1992. The people who created those "rules meant to foster inclusion" had the audacity to believe that people should not be judged by external characteristics. Modern progressives would not create laws like that, since they believe it's essential to judge people by external characteristics. At least one of this prof's "academic ancestors", i.e. her supervisor or her supervisor's supervisor, no doubt believed that students shouldn't be discriminated against by their outward characteristics, but alas, they were not heeded.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on February 25, 2022, 08:46:02 AM
Not sure this would be exactly classified as "cancel culture," but it is kind of funny...

SUNY prof rebuked for race / gender "progressive stacking" (https://nypost.com/2022/02/21/suny-binghamton-professor-rebuked-for-race-gender-policy/).

I'm kind of curious abut the way in which you think it's "funny". And would it be just as "funny" if the stacking were in the reverse order? ("Regressive stacking?")

Oh Marshy, you were doing so well----

But seriously, do you think the idea is funny, or is it funny the prof thought it would be a good idea? I'm genuinely curious.

"Ironic" would have been a better choice of words.

I was thinking it was "funny" not in the "ha-ha" sense but in the sense of "look at the reverse of expectations"----the progressive reformist shut down by the rules meant to foster inclusion.

And more power to SUNY.  The prof was wrong.

This illustrates what John McWhorter means about wishing ideas about discrimination could could go back to about 1992. The people who created those "rules meant to foster inclusion" had the audacity to believe that people should not be judged by external characteristics. Modern progressives would not create laws like that, since they believe it's essential to judge people by external characteristics. At least one of this prof's "academic ancestors", i.e. her supervisor or her supervisor's supervisor, no doubt believed that students shouldn't be discriminated against by their outward characteristics, but alas, they were not heeded.

When society's supply of racism has dwindled, the activist needs to get creative to find some more.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on February 25, 2022, 04:09:11 PM
Dunno what'yer sayin' thar, Marshy.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on February 26, 2022, 05:08:54 AM
Dunno what'yer sayin' thar, Marshy.

What I'm saying is the laws that caught this prof only existed because a previous generation didn't have the same identity-obsessed view that she and most progressives have today.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 11, 2022, 08:58:29 AM
Sand Diego State Removes Professor Over Racial Slurs (https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2022/03/11/san-diego-state-removes-professor-classes-over-slurs)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: downer on March 11, 2022, 09:25:48 AM
Sand Diego State Removes Professor Over Racial Slurs (https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2022/03/11/san-diego-state-removes-professor-classes-over-slurs)

It is of course ironic that Corlett has devoted much of his career to arguing for racial justice. His website https://corlett.sdsu.edu/Corlett/Welcome.html starts off with "Black and American Indian lives certainly matter."
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 11, 2022, 10:17:20 AM
Quote
A statement from the student group says that Corlett has used a specific anti-Black slur “over 60 times” and criticizes him for using the word “rape” for sexual violence.

This one baffles me. What's wrong with using the word "rape" for sexual violence????

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 11, 2022, 12:43:55 PM
Quote
A statement from the student group says that Corlett has used a specific anti-Black slur “over 60 times” and criticizes him for using the word “rape” for sexual violence.

This one baffles me. What's wrong with using the word "rape" for sexual violence????

That new rule happened while you were sleeping. Never go to bed and you'll probably be all right.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Parasaurolophus on March 11, 2022, 01:06:26 PM
Sand Diego State Removes Professor Over Racial Slurs (https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2022/03/11/san-diego-state-removes-professor-classes-over-slurs)

Yes, as-described that seems rather overzealous. (Note, however, that the article has conflated use and mention of the slurs.)

I suspect, however, that the details we have don't quite accurately describe the case. Corlett just posted an open letter (https://leiterreports.typepad.com/files/corlett-open-letter.pdf) in response, and I have to say that what he says there raises more eyebrows and questions on my end. It's a poorly structured and argued letter, but I guess he's upset, but the way in which he describes what's necessary in his classes sounds off to me. He's leaning hard on the use/mention distinction, but unless he's counting a word's presence on a slide as a mention (and I'm not sure he should), he seems to be mentioning some slurs an awful lot.

Quote
A statement from the student group says that Corlett has used a specific anti-Black slur “over 60 times” and criticizes him for using the word “rape” for sexual violence.

This one baffles me. What's wrong with using the word "rape" for sexual violence????

If you were asking me, I'd say that rape is a specific kind of sexual violence, but doesn't exhaust the concept; it's sufficient for sexual violence, but not necessary. Plenty of sexual violence isn't rape.

But I have to assume that wasn't the nature of the complaint. So, for once, I'm as baffled as you. For me, that's another indicator that there's more to this story than what's in the public realm so far.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Juvenal on March 11, 2022, 02:20:38 PM
All this, the frothing indignation and high-horse condemnation, make me wonder.  I dunno.  It wearies me.  But, then, I am stuffed with white privilege, etc., so...  I used to think I was m.o.l. liberal, but some of these people (not all), make me wonder how I could stay in the same room with them for long.  Unless the pastries were exceptional.  There you have me.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 11, 2022, 03:07:13 PM
Wonder what would happen if Pulp Fiction were released today instead of in 1994.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 11, 2022, 03:52:32 PM
Interesting that while in one arena (Virginia) the social justice elite are saying explicitly that parents should not be involved in the decisions about what the students should (or shouldn't) be taught, and sticking to their guns against pushback, in other places the students themselves, who are younger and less educated than the parents, are saying what they should or should not be taught, and making the social justice elite listen to them instead of rebuff them. Of course where public K-12 is concerned you've already got the taxpayer's money, but the college students can choose another college.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 15, 2022, 10:02:54 AM
IHE: No Laughing Matter - Free Speech Lawsuit (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2022/03/15/judge-oks-professors-free-speech-case-against-u-north-texas)

I have IHE and CHE on my email feeds.  These types of stories are almost weekly now.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 15, 2022, 10:38:01 AM
IHE: No Laughing Matter - Free Speech Lawsuit (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2022/03/15/judge-oks-professors-free-speech-case-against-u-north-texas)

I have IHE and CHE on my email feeds.  These types of stories are almost weekly now.

Quote
When Hiers asked Schmidt what had happened, Schmidt via said via email, “Everyone makes mistakes, and I’m all for forgiveness if actions are followed by honest regret. But you very much defended your actions, and stated clearly that you are not interested in any kind of diversity training.”

Probably during the cultural revolution in China some people objected to "re-training" as well.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: downer on March 16, 2022, 02:16:38 PM
It's Not Free Speech
Race, Democracy, and the Future of Academic Freedom
Michael Bérubé And Jennifer Ruth
https://www.press.jhu.edu/books/title/12770/its-not-free-speech

I've liked some of Bérubé's past work, so I'd give this a read. I am hoping for a 5 page synopsis though.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 16, 2022, 02:48:13 PM
What's this decline of tenure that they refer to? There are more tenured professors than ever before.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 17, 2022, 09:01:51 AM
IHE: University Allegedly Fired Prof for Inviting Gay Speaker (https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2022/03/16/university-allegedly-fired-prof-inviting-gay-speaker)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 17, 2022, 09:11:02 AM
IHE: University Allegedly Fired Prof for Inviting Gay Speaker (https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2022/03/16/university-allegedly-fired-prof-inviting-gay-speaker)

The most egregious thing about this seems to be this:
Quote
Kevin Jacobs, O’Keefe’s lawyer, reportedly said that Oklahoma Christian accused his client of gross misconduct, contrary to the mission and values of the university. Jacobs added, “Letting students expect a world where you may be different is the message Mr. O’Keefe wanted his students to hear. That’s the message this speaker delivered, not an advocacy of gay rights. Unfortunately, that’s not permitted at Oklahoma Christian University today. It cost Mr. O’Keefe his job.”

Getting fired for admitting that there are different viewpoints, even without having to endorse them, is kind of the worst of cancel culture.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Langue_doc on March 20, 2022, 08:28:50 AM
And now, a petition to cancel the Emmett Till opera, because "it approaches the murder of a Black teenager through the lens of a fictional white woman".
https://playbill.com/article/more-than-8-000-sign-change-org-petition-to-cancel-planned-production-of-emmett-till-opera-its-authors-respond

https://www.nydailynews.com/snyde/ny-thousands-sign-online-petition-to-cancel-emmett-till-opera-john-jay-college-20220319-n4w6klziq5he5m2jg3fvmhg3zm-story.html
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 20, 2022, 09:28:47 AM
We want to fight racism and injustice.

We just don't know what to do anymore.

So we do things like this.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 20, 2022, 09:31:46 AM
And now, a petition to cancel the Emmett Till opera, because "it approaches the murder of a Black teenager through the lens of a fictional white woman".
https://playbill.com/article/more-than-8-000-sign-change-org-petition-to-cancel-planned-production-of-emmett-till-opera-its-authors-respond

From the petition:
Quote
"If we are going to tell the story of Emmett Till, it should only be from a Black perspective, a Black writer, and [with] permission and approval from Till's family."


So I guess unless and until such an option exists, the story shouldn't be told.....

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on March 20, 2022, 10:24:09 AM
Part of me is confused. to marshwiggle, I guess the student doesn't know that the story has already been told very powerfully in several different media, Eyes on the Prize being one.

Another part of me thinks if there is an opera, this is a pretty good lead to have: https://operacarolina.org/cast-member/robert-mack/
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 20, 2022, 10:39:10 AM
Part of me is confused. to marshwiggle, I guess the student doesn't know that the story has already been told very powerfully in several different media, Eyes on the Prize being one.

Maybe it's best if the student doesn't know that. Who knows which other versions might, on closer scrutiny, fail the purity test for one reason or another.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 21, 2022, 06:16:23 AM
U of Montana steps away form post...caught on door-cam using racial slurs (http://www.montanakaimin.com/news/um-prof-steps-away-from-spring-classes-amid-outcry-over-racist-messages/article_fd5e0294-a60a-11ec-ba68-6f1bedebb58a.html)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 21, 2022, 06:39:14 AM
U of Montana steps away form post...caught on door-cam using racial slurs (http://www.montanakaimin.com/news/um-prof-steps-away-from-spring-classes-amid-outcry-over-racist-messages/article_fd5e0294-a60a-11ec-ba68-6f1bedebb58a.html)

From the article:
Quote
Clayton Looney, a Management Information Systems (MIS) professor in the College of Business, came under fire this semester after racist remarks recorded on a door cam video and text screenshots circulated online. The video, from August 2020, shows Looney calling his daughter the n-word. The texts capture him using racist language in messages to his now ex-wife.

I would guess the door with the door cam would belong to his ex-wife. If so, then all of this is related to personal interactions with family members. (And without firsthand knowledge of the situation, how family members communicate with each other can be very "idiosyncratic", to say the least.)
 
Not even remotely work-related.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: ciao_yall on March 21, 2022, 07:02:42 AM
U of Montana steps away form post...caught on door-cam using racial slurs (http://www.montanakaimin.com/news/um-prof-steps-away-from-spring-classes-amid-outcry-over-racist-messages/article_fd5e0294-a60a-11ec-ba68-6f1bedebb58a.html)

From the article:
Quote
Clayton Looney, a Management Information Systems (MIS) professor in the College of Business, came under fire this semester after racist remarks recorded on a door cam video and text screenshots circulated online. The video, from August 2020, shows Looney calling his daughter the n-word. The texts capture him using racist language in messages to his now ex-wife.

I would guess the door with the door cam would belong to his ex-wife. If so, then all of this is related to personal interactions with family members. (And without firsthand knowledge of the situation, how family members communicate with each other can be very "idiosyncratic", to say the least.)
 
Not even remotely work-related.

He called his wife and daughter a racist slur?

Yikes.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 21, 2022, 07:22:38 AM
U of Montana steps away form post...caught on door-cam using racial slurs (http://www.montanakaimin.com/news/um-prof-steps-away-from-spring-classes-amid-outcry-over-racist-messages/article_fd5e0294-a60a-11ec-ba68-6f1bedebb58a.html)

From the article:
Quote
Clayton Looney, a Management Information Systems (MIS) professor in the College of Business, came under fire this semester after racist remarks recorded on a door cam video and text screenshots circulated online. The video, from August 2020, shows Looney calling his daughter the n-word. The texts capture him using racist language in messages to his now ex-wife.

I would guess the door with the door cam would belong to his ex-wife. If so, then all of this is related to personal interactions with family members. (And without firsthand knowledge of the situation, how family members communicate with each other can be very "idiosyncratic", to say the least.)
 
Not even remotely work-related.

He called his wife and daughter a racist slur?

Yikes.

That's terrible. It was probably in the middle of an ugly argument. He yelled something like 'you Goddamned racist slur!'

Quote
The video, from August 2020, shows Looney calling his daughter the n-word.

That's ridiculous. How can a person be a word?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 21, 2022, 07:23:26 AM
U of Montana steps away form post...caught on door-cam using racial slurs (http://www.montanakaimin.com/news/um-prof-steps-away-from-spring-classes-amid-outcry-over-racist-messages/article_fd5e0294-a60a-11ec-ba68-6f1bedebb58a.html)

From the article:
Quote
Clayton Looney, a Management Information Systems (MIS) professor in the College of Business, came under fire this semester after racist remarks recorded on a door cam video and text screenshots circulated online. The video, from August 2020, shows Looney calling his daughter the n-word. The texts capture him using racist language in messages to his now ex-wife.

I would guess the door with the door cam would belong to his ex-wife. If so, then all of this is related to personal interactions with family members. (And without firsthand knowledge of the situation, how family members communicate with each other can be very "idiosyncratic", to say the least.)
 
Not even remotely work-related.

He called his wife and daughter a racist slur?

Yikes.

This is where context really matters. Within families sometimes people have all kinds of nicknames for each other which would sound offensive to people outside, but which among the family are terms of endearment (often related to some sort of historical in-joke).

(It's also not uncommon for close friends to use similarly "odd" ways of communicating with each other; it shouldn't be judged by outsiders who aren't familiar with their normal communication patterns.)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on March 21, 2022, 09:14:07 AM
U of Montana steps away form post...caught on door-cam using racial slurs (http://www.montanakaimin.com/news/um-prof-steps-away-from-spring-classes-amid-outcry-over-racist-messages/article_fd5e0294-a60a-11ec-ba68-6f1bedebb58a.html)

From the article:
Quote
Clayton Looney, a Management Information Systems (MIS) professor in the College of Business, came under fire this semester after racist remarks recorded on a door cam video and text screenshots circulated online. The video, from August 2020, shows Looney calling his daughter the n-word. The texts capture him using racist language in messages to his now ex-wife.

I would guess the door with the door cam would belong to his ex-wife. If so, then all of this is related to personal interactions with family members. (And without firsthand knowledge of the situation, how family members communicate with each other can be very "idiosyncratic", to say the least.)
 
Not even remotely work-related.

He called his wife and daughter a racist slur?

Yikes.

This is where context really matters. Within families sometimes people have all kinds of nicknames for each other which would sound offensive to people outside, but which among the family are terms of endearment (often related to some sort of historical in-joke).

(It's also not uncommon for close friends to use similarly "odd" ways of communicating with each other; it shouldn't be judged by outsiders who aren't familiar with their normal communication patterns.)

Here is some context from an October article. Just read the second half for the flavor.

https://dailymontanan.com/2021/10/29/um-professor-discrimination-allegation-deemed-non-workplace-issue/
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 21, 2022, 09:31:28 AM

Here is some context from an October article. Just read the second half for the flavor.

https://dailymontanan.com/2021/10/29/um-professor-discrimination-allegation-deemed-non-workplace-issue/

From the article:
Quote
This week, Looney said he was cleared after a review last semester by the UM Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, which handles discrimination complaints on campus. He also said the only two people who ever complained had never met him.

“In 15 years of service, no other student complaints have been filed against me”

Former UM student Ajaysia Hill said she sent screenshots of the messages she saw on Facebook last semester to UM President Seth Bodnar, who turned them over to the Title IX Office.

Hill, who has not taken classes with Looney, said she was not informed of the outcome of any investigation. However, she said she was concerned that Looney remained on faculty given UM’s stated support for inclusion, and she said she does not believe diversity training can scrub the racism in the messages.

Translation: "I've never met this person, or had any contact, but he's clearly evil."

Some people really need hobbies.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 21, 2022, 10:42:33 AM
From the article:

Quote
In an email, Looney said the text messages in question were between him and his ex-wife, who is an African-American woman, and she posted them on Facebook when she was upset during a child custody dispute. He said the texts were not intended to be public and have been taken out of context.

Way to hand your ex an atom bomb during a war, buddy.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 21, 2022, 11:05:07 AM
From the article:

Quote
In an email, Looney said the text messages in question were between him and his ex-wife, who is an African-American woman, and she posted them on Facebook when she was upset during a child custody dispute. He said the texts were not intended to be public and have been taken out of context.

Way to hand your ex an atom bomb during a war, buddy.

But do you think they should be used to fire him from his employment?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 21, 2022, 12:09:46 PM
From the article:

Quote
In an email, Looney said the text messages in question were between him and his ex-wife, who is an African-American woman, and she posted them on Facebook when she was upset during a child custody dispute. He said the texts were not intended to be public and have been taken out of context.

Way to hand your ex an atom bomb during a war, buddy.

But do you think they should be used to fire him from his employment?

I have been stating from the get-go that it is very disturbing to me when corporate entities, including state institutions, can dictate what we say off the clock. 

In this case, however, I believe U of M issued a statement that these were events off-campus and therefore there were no Title IX or campus issues so no action was to be taken----and good for them!  Looney temporarily stepped down on his own because of student protest. 

Students claimed they felt "threatened" and challenged Looney's ability to grade fairly, even though he has a good record as an academic and was, weirdly enough, married to an African-American woman who posted his racial slurs on Facebook.

Free speech has consequences.  And for the record, I think Looney was well named for being a looney, moronic, racist, tone-deaf dumbass...but should the students have the ability to hound him from his job?...I dunno...
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 21, 2022, 12:51:16 PM


In this case, however, I believe U of M issued a statement that these were events off-campus and therefore there were no Title IX or campus issues so no action was to be taken----and good for them! 

That's what I thought you'd say; I just wanted to confirm it.

Quote

Students claimed they felt "threatened" and challenged Looney's ability to grade fairly, even though he has a good record as an academic and was, weirdly enough, married to an African-American woman who posted his racial slurs on Facebook.

This is why I keep talking about context. I have NO IDEA whether, in their relationship, BEFORE things went south, if they used those kinds of terms regularly. (As I've repeated, people often use what would normally be considered insults as terms of endearment for special people; this may or may not apply in this case.)

ETA: Yes, sometimes those terms will not be appreciated after a relationship goes bad, but so will all kinds of communication, and it still has a very different meaning (ie. in reference to their relationship) than it would used in another context.


Quote
Free speech has consequences.  And for the record, I think Looney was well named for being a looney, moronic, racist, tone-deaf dumbass...but should the students have the ability to hound him from his job?...I dunno...

The meaning of the term "racist" is pretty murky in this case given that

Tone-deaf? He only used the terms he did in private conversations with family, so had it not been for someone who had never met him digging around in his *Facebook posts, this would never have been an issue.


*I don't use Facebook or Twitter. Yes, people should know better than to ever put anything in any sort of online posting, email, etc. that could be damaging. But that's about being prudent, not about being virtuous.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on March 21, 2022, 01:14:06 PM
I would say in the context of a custody battle it was way more than tone deaf.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 21, 2022, 01:27:23 PM
I would say in the context of a custody battle it was way more than tone deaf.

In court? In the presence of lawyers? Sure. In a one-on-one conversation? The tone of that conversation is completely defined by the relationship, and anything that is said will be interpreted according to that, no matter what language is used.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on March 21, 2022, 04:11:27 PM
I would say in the context of a custody battle it was way more than tone deaf.

In court? In the presence of lawyers? Sure. In a one-on-one conversation? The tone of that conversation is completely defined by the relationship, and anything that is said will be interpreted according to that, no matter what language is used.

I am not a member of SCOTUS or any other legal organization. Of course I meant in court, and if You read the articles the reporting clearly states the custodial relationship is adversarial. So, protest all you want but this is not a team of endearment in that family, and Looney stated that in several places.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 21, 2022, 04:32:33 PM
I would say in the context of a custody battle it was way more than tone deaf.

In court? In the presence of lawyers? Sure. In a one-on-one conversation? The tone of that conversation is completely defined by the relationship, and anything that is said will be interpreted according to that, no matter what language is used.

He was stupid.

And his vindictive ex burned him but good with his stupidity and the zeitgeist.

I sure feel sorry for the daughters.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on March 21, 2022, 04:44:49 PM

In this case, however, I believe U of M issued a statement that these were events off-campus and therefore there were no Title IX or campus issues so no action was to be taken----and good for them!  Looney temporarily stepped down on his own because of student protest. 

[…]

Free speech has consequences.  And for the record, I think Looney was well named for being a looney, moronic, racist, tone-deaf dumbass...but should the students have the ability to hound him from his job?...I dunno...

Agree that the university made the right decision, but not sure what you mean by the last bit.

What specific ‘abilities’ should be curtailed and under whose authority?

Not saying the students were in the right, but also not sure what specific student actions one could point to and say “That should not be allowed.” by law or by university policy.

Direct harassment (stalking, doxxing, vandalism, threats of violence, etc.) has not been mentioned, so I’m working off the assumption Looney was not subjected to such. There’s no mention even of him directly getting nasty messages from students.

Based on the reporting on this story, student actions have been:
(1) Notifying admins of the existence of the screenshots/video (which a non-student made publicly available)
(2) A protest on campus
(3) An online petition

Should any of these actions have been banned or resulted in disciplinary measures against the students?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 21, 2022, 07:05:51 PM

In this case, however, I believe U of M issued a statement that these were events off-campus and therefore there were no Title IX or campus issues so no action was to be taken----and good for them!  Looney temporarily stepped down on his own because of student protest. 

[…]

Free speech has consequences.  And for the record, I think Looney was well named for being a looney, moronic, racist, tone-deaf dumbass...but should the students have the ability to hound him from his job?...I dunno...

Agree that the university made the right decision, but not sure what you mean by the last bit.

Well, it is pretty easy, actually.  While the university did the right thing in refusing to sanction the professor for off-campus behavior, the students have the right to voice their concerns----even if they are a bit melodramatic.  Looney took leave of his own accord because of his actions when his poor judgment and sublimated racism were brought to light.  In other words, rightly or wrongly, the professor brought this on himself.

At the same time, the guy is not one of these torchlight neo-Nazis who parade around screaming racist obscenities, so his punishment does not seem to fit the crime.

There is this frontier-style justice with the Internet which is not always wrong (anyone remember Brock Turner?) but is often intemperate and hysterical.

It's a conundrum. 
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 22, 2022, 05:00:20 AM
I would say in the context of a custody battle it was way more than tone deaf.

In court? In the presence of lawyers? Sure. In a one-on-one conversation? The tone of that conversation is completely defined by the relationship, and anything that is said will be interpreted according to that, no matter what language is used.

I am not a member of SCOTUS or any other legal organization. Of course I meant in court, and if You read the articles the reporting clearly states the custodial relationship is adversarial.

I meant that if he made those comments in court, or in the presence of lawyers, it would have been extremely stupid and bad for his case. People who are angry with each other say things all the time like "drop dead" but those aren't treated like actual death threats in court, no matter how angry the person was who said them, unless they are followed by some sort of action indicative of criminal intent.

The fact that private communications between individuals totally unrelated to the work environment of one of them was used by a third party who had no connection to the accused person in the work environment to try to get the person fired is very worrying.

Thoughtcrime is very close to a reality.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on March 22, 2022, 06:44:16 AM
I would say in the context of a custody battle it was way more than tone deaf.

In court? In the presence of lawyers? Sure. In a one-on-one conversation? The tone of that conversation is completely defined by the relationship, and anything that is said will be interpreted according to that, no matter what language is used.

I am not a member of SCOTUS or any other legal organization. Of course I meant in court, and if You read the articles the reporting clearly states the custodial relationship is adversarial.

I meant that if he made those comments in court, or in the presence of lawyers, it would have been extremely stupid and bad for his case. People who are angry with each other say things all the time like "drop dead" but those aren't treated like actual death threats in court, no matter how angry the person was who said them, unless they are followed by some sort of action indicative of criminal intent.

The fact that private communications between individuals totally unrelated to the work environment of one of them was used by a third party who had no connection to the accused person in the work environment to try to get the person fired is very worrying.

Thoughtcrime is very close to a reality.

marshwiggle, you post as though you aren't really up on the US legal system. He is not in court the way you are using the term I think. He is in Family Court. Having some experience with family members and reading a lot, it is a whole different concept. He is not being tried; the discussion is centered solely on fitness for custody, visitation rights, in addition to financial responsibility for care and child rearing expenses. Please trust that his words will be considered sole in that context in the court I'm referring to, and almost certainly will hurt him badly.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 28, 2022, 12:38:13 PM
CHE: Professor's career jeopardized by protest (and watching the video it seems appropriate to me).

The Professor and the Protester (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHF_w0gkyiI)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 28, 2022, 12:41:57 PM
CHE: State of Conflict: How a tiny protest at the U. of Nebraska turned into a proxy war for the future of campus politics


State of Conflict]

 (https://www.chronicle.com/article/state-of-conflict/)
Quote
Over the next few months, Nebraska would become the next front of a battle over what kinds of speech should be tolerated on a college campus. It was a case study in the politics of provocation and the increasingly fraught relationship between state universities and the public they serve. What started as a brief verbal clash between two women on a campus plaza ended with a drawn-out standoff between powerful institutions over what a state, and its people, should stand for.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 28, 2022, 12:43:37 PM
CHE: A University Resisted Pressure to Cancel a Controversial Speaker. But It Moved the Event Online.


Controversal Speaker Moved Online]
 (https://www.chronicle.com/article/a-university-resisted-pressure-to-cancel-a-controversial-speaker-but-it-moved-the-event-online)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on March 28, 2022, 01:42:54 PM
Wahoo: would you say a little bit more about the first one you just posted?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 28, 2022, 04:38:00 PM
Wahoo: would you say a little bit more about the first one you just posted?

D'oh!!!

OMG!!!  That link was a post for my class on "Things Fall Apart!"  My sucky university-issued computer apparently held onto the url for that presentation.

Geeze!

Apologies all.

What I meant to post was this:

https://www.chronicle.com/article/the-professor-and-the-protester
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on March 28, 2022, 04:46:25 PM
Thank God! I thought I might have permanent brain fog.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on March 28, 2022, 05:12:26 PM
Thank God! I thought I might have permanent brain fog.

Afraid the brain fog is mine...
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 28, 2022, 05:33:41 PM
Sounds to me like Oliver Baker tried to grab the sign from the counter-protester, a struggle ensued and the two of them fell to the ground, resulting in a bloody nose for the student, but there's no video evidence showing that and none of the protesters would tell the truth about what happened, because they hate the counter protester. They are a worked up mob. So the charges were either dismissed or the defendant was acquitted. The counter protester and the protesters already knew each other before that day and had argued, likely.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 29, 2022, 05:41:24 AM
The very sad underlying principle in all of these is that civility is viewed as some sort of moral failure by activists on all sides of issues. Two-year olds have tantrums; developing self-control takes a lot of time and work. Unfortunately, we live in a society where actions by someone on the right "side", (whatever that is), are lauded even when they are extreme, and by people who should know better, like educators, journalists, and politicians.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: little bongo on March 29, 2022, 07:56:44 AM
There's a point where you try to de-escalate, and there's a point where you back off and let the authorities handle it. Assistant prof seemed to mean well in dealing with a loose cannon, but grabbing the sign was an error.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 29, 2022, 09:56:30 AM
The very sad underlying principle in all of these is that civility is viewed as some sort of moral failure by activists on all sides of issues. Two-year olds have tantrums; developing self-control takes a lot of time and work. Unfortunately, we live in a society where actions by someone on the right "side", (whatever that is), are lauded even when they are extreme, and by people who should know better, like educators, journalists, and politicians.

Agreed, but at this date, is it realistic to expect college age people to behave better than their elders did during the George Floyd riots?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: D@mnD@n1el on March 30, 2022, 09:59:23 PM
What sucks is that lots of times educators are fired even if they do something right so in this case there is a UCLA prof who gets fired for a short amount of time because some of the black students ask for no test and the teacher replies that it isn't fair to the other students and what should he do if a student is half white half black.

Here is an article about it: https://www.the-sun.com/news/962623/professor-suspended-refusing-black-students-leniency-george-floyd/
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: smallcleanrat on March 30, 2022, 11:12:51 PM
What sucks is that lots of times educators are fired even if they do something right so in this case there is a UCLA prof who gets fired for a short amount of time because some of the black students ask for no test and the teacher replies that it isn't fair to the other students and what should he do if a student is half white half black.

Here is an article about it: https://www.the-sun.com/news/962623/professor-suspended-refusing-black-students-leniency-george-floyd/

He was suspended then reinstated after a few weeks.

He seems to be pursuing a lawsuit for the suspension. His description of what happened focuses largely on the actions of the particular dean who suspended him, apparently without regard to university policy.

https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/why-i-am-suing-ucla?s=r

He mentions that UCLA’s Academic Freedom Committee spoke out in his defense and that the office that handles discrimination claims stated that this incident did not warrant an investigation.

There’s a change.org petition to have the dean fired, but I don’t know that it’s getting much attention.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Caracal on March 31, 2022, 09:05:22 AM
What sucks is that lots of times educators are fired even if they do something right so in this case there is a UCLA prof who gets fired for a short amount of time because some of the black students ask for no test and the teacher replies that it isn't fair to the other students and what should he do if a student is half white half black.

Here is an article about it: https://www.the-sun.com/news/962623/professor-suspended-refusing-black-students-leniency-george-floyd/

I'll regret wading into this, but that's not really an accurate description of what happened. All he had to say in response to this email was that he understood the student's concerns, but that it would violate university rules to make a final optional for some students but not all, and simply making the final optional for everyone at the last minute isn't something he could do either. Then just add that, of course, if there were students who were struggling with this in a way that would make it difficult for them to take the exam, I would obviously work with them and allow an incomplete if possible. I might be tempted to also tell this white student that I wouldn't want to make blanket assumptions about how black students are handling this...

Instead the guy decided that this was a good moment to quote MLK and preen. I would never write something to a student in that tone-it's obnoxious and its punching down as a professor. Do I think it should have gotten him suspended? No, I don't. He was acting like a jerk, but it was within the bonds of professional and academic discourse. He's not some hero though.































































Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: D@mnD@n1el on March 31, 2022, 09:19:01 AM
What sucks is that lots of times educators are fired even if they do something right so in this case there is a UCLA prof who gets fired for a short amount of time because some of the black students ask for no test and the teacher replies that it isn't fair to the other students and what should he do if a student is half white half black.

Here is an article about it: https://www.the-sun.com/news/962623/professor-suspended-refusing-black-students-leniency-george-floyd/

I'll regret wading into this, but that's not really an accurate description of what happened. All he had to say in response to this email was that he understood the student's concerns, but that it would violate university rules to make a final optional for some students but not all, and simply making the final optional for everyone at the last minute isn't something he could do either. Then just add that, of course, if there were students who were struggling with this in a way that would make it difficult for them to take the exam, I would obviously work with them and allow an incomplete if possible. I might be tempted to also tell this white student that I wouldn't want to make blanket assumptions about how black students are handling this...

Instead the guy decided that this was a good moment to quote MLK and preen. I would never write something to a student in that tone-it's obnoxious and its punching down as a professor. Do I think it should have gotten him suspended? No, I don't. He was acting like a jerk, but it was within the bonds of professional and academic discourse. He's not some hero though.


I do agree with you Caracal about how he may have not approached things in the best manner but I believe that the main point that they shouldn't get a no harm final exam is there. So I believe that what he said was right, just the way he said it was wrong.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 31, 2022, 09:40:58 AM
What sucks is that lots of times educators are fired even if they do something right so in this case there is a UCLA prof who gets fired for a short amount of time because some of the black students ask for no test and the teacher replies that it isn't fair to the other students and what should he do if a student is half white half black.

Here is an article about it: https://www.the-sun.com/news/962623/professor-suspended-refusing-black-students-leniency-george-floyd/

I'll regret wading into this, but that's not really an accurate description of what happened. All he had to say in response to this email was that he understood the student's concerns, but that it would violate university rules to make a final optional for some students but not all, and simply making the final optional for everyone at the last minute isn't something he could do either. Then just add that, of course, if there were students who were struggling with this in a way that would make it difficult for them to take the exam, I would obviously work with them and allow an incomplete if possible. I might be tempted to also tell this white student that I wouldn't want to make blanket assumptions about how black students are handling this...


I wouldn't go that far. Back when Lady Diana died, I remember people being in tears over it; not relatives, or people who lived in the UK or had even visited there, but just had this "celebrity drama" moment. It bothers me because it cheapens the real grief of people who are entitled to it.

If a relative or close friend of George Floyd wasn't up to the exam because of grief, that would be one thing, but someone who hadn't heard his name until a few days prior but who was that *broken up is not going to be able to handle normal life.


*Many of those who claim to be are probably just trying to get out of an exam; i.e. "any port in a storm".
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 31, 2022, 09:51:25 AM
I believe if the students started playing in the wrong sandbox (and maybe even breaking the law), they deserve a little ridicule that, given the asininity of the request, was, if anything, soft pedaled. I'm one of the ones cheering when the loony left gets a dose of reality they can't handle.
Explaining why you grade as you do is part of being available to students.

This would have been an interesting plot twist: the white students pressure the professor to change his grading to more leniency because of the George Floyd incident. The professor says 'oh...all right, since you feel that strongly.'  The black students then take legal action to remedy their having been deprived of being awarded the proper grades, to which they are entitled by having paid tuition.

What sucks is that lots of times educators are fired even if they do something right so in this case there is a UCLA prof who gets fired for a short amount of time because some of the black students ask for no test and the teacher replies that it isn't fair to the other students and what should he do if a student is half white half black.

Here is an article about it: https://www.the-sun.com/news/962623/professor-suspended-refusing-black-students-leniency-george-floyd/

I'll regret wading into this, but that's not really an accurate description of what happened. All he had to say in response to this email was that he understood the student's concerns, but that it would violate university rules to make a final optional for some students but not all, and simply making the final optional for everyone at the last minute isn't something he could do either. Then just add that, of course, if there were students who were struggling with this in a way that would make it difficult for them to take the exam, I would obviously work with them and allow an incomplete if possible. I might be tempted to also tell this white student that I wouldn't want to make blanket assumptions about how black students are handling this...


I wouldn't go that far. Back when Lady Diana died, I remember people being in tears over it; not relatives, or people who lived in the UK or had even visited there, but just had this "celebrity drama" moment. It bothers me because it cheapens the real grief of people who are entitled to it.

If a relative or close friend of George Floyd wasn't up to the exam because of grief, that would be one thing, but someone who hadn't heard his name until a few days prior but who was that *broken up is not going to be able to handle normal life.


*Many of those who claim to be are probably just trying to get out of an exam; i.e. "any port in a storm".


How about the pregnant lady whose home was invaded by George Floyd and his criminal pals. If she were a student she could ask for an accommodation for the temporary stress experienced from hearing his name, after trying to move on from the trauma. Black Lives Matter, anyone?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on March 31, 2022, 10:52:20 AM
I'm making a standing offer: I will pay for whatever streaming service is best for this purpose FOR YOU for one year if you will watch (start to end, no Cliff/Spark or whatever) both of:

Eyes on the Prize
Attica


Attica was 50 years ago, and Eyes on the Prize chronicles the history of the Civil Rights movement until about the 1980s. If you cab watch either without at least some rethinking of your position I'll give up.

And yes, Black Lives Matter.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 31, 2022, 11:14:17 AM
I'm making a standing offer: I will pay for whatever streaming service is best for this purpose FOR YOU for one year if you will watch (start to end, no Cliff/Spark or whatever) both of:

Eyes on the Prize
Attica


Attica was 50 years ago, and Eyes on the Prize chronicles the history of the Civil Rights movement until about the 1980s. If you cab watch either without at least some rethinking of your position I'll give up.

And yes, Black Lives Matter.

You want to find out who I am by setting up communications. Sorry.
I can afford to rent movies.
Maybe I'll think of a homework assignment for you and we can compare notes later. But at the moment I think I've already given up.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 31, 2022, 11:47:54 AM
I'm making a standing offer: I will pay for whatever streaming service is best for this purpose FOR YOU for one year if you will watch (start to end, no Cliff/Spark or whatever) both of:

Eyes on the Prize
Attica


Attica was 50 years ago, and Eyes on the Prize chronicles the history of the Civil Rights movement until about the 1980s. If you cab watch either without at least some rethinking of your position I'll give up.


I haven't seen anyone on here complaining much about goals or achievements of the civil rights movement 40 or 50 years ago; the issue is with some of the extremes in the last couple of decades, and the the last decade in particular.
(As John McWhorter has said, he'd like to see discussions of race go back to about what they were mid '90's.)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on March 31, 2022, 12:29:15 PM
I'm making a standing offer: I will pay for whatever streaming service is best for this purpose FOR YOU for one year if you will watch (start to end, no Cliff/Spark or whatever) both of:

Eyes on the Prize
Attica


Attica was 50 years ago, and Eyes on the Prize chronicles the history of the Civil Rights movement until about the 1980s. If you cab watch either without at least some rethinking of your position I'll give up.


I haven't seen anyone on here complaining much about goals or achievements of the civil rights movement 40 or 50 years ago; the issue is with some of the extremes in the last couple of decades, and the the last decade in particular.
(As John McWhorter has said, he'd like to see discussions of race go back to about what they were mid '90's.)

Watch Attica. And if you think things have changed that much, remember that police have been exonerated in almost (almost, not all) all shootings of young Black men. They weren't convicted in the Rodney King trial. In the Eric Garner case. For shooting and killing the unarmed, not threatening anyone homeless man in LA in the early 2000s. The young man in Minnesota in his car telling them he had a carry permit. Again and again and again. At least 30 times in the past five years.

So it happens once in a case that was so heinous, so unbelievable and seen by so many and of course, everything has changed, no hard feelings.

Just keep on quoting McWhoreter. Or Sowell. Or whoever else the latest voice is. And we'll be having the same discussion 10 years from now.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on March 31, 2022, 12:38:11 PM
And if you think things have changed that much, remember that police have been exonerated in almost (almost, not all) all shootings of young Black men.

How often are police found guilty in the killing of young white men?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on March 31, 2022, 01:19:31 PM
And if you think things have changed that much, remember that police have been exonerated in almost (almost, not all) all shootings of young Black men.

How often are police found guilty in the killing of young white men?

IMO, not often enough. That, however, is beside the point re how Blacks feel in the US, and clearly has no analogue in terms of whites being discriminated against. This isn't a debate to me about whether or not we are a racist nation. We were, and things have changed for the better. The discussion has always beeb centered on what problems still exist, and how to make them better.

Do you not see that the many of the people that things were done to 50 years ago are still alive? And that even if they think things are better, they still see many of those same things happening now?
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on March 31, 2022, 04:24:14 PM
And if you think things have changed that much, remember that police have been exonerated in almost (almost, not all) all shootings of young Black men.

How often are police found guilty in the killing of young white men?

IMO, not often enough.
That, however, is beside the point re how Blacks feel in the US, and clearly has no analogue in terms of whites being discriminated against. This isn't a...

Try not to get yourself all worked up. it's bad for your blood pressure.

I would trust a random black American of any occupation more than I would trust a random contemporary full time academic to respond reasonably to true information about numbers of white, black and other Americans who are unjustly killed by police. Thing is so many are misinformed about how the numbers break down race-wise, and the more liberal you are, the more misinformed you're likely to be. Statistically, any way. One should suspect lefty academics are more likely to be dishonest or intransigent than misinformed, given their education.

Quote
Instead the guy decided that this was a good moment to quote MLK and preen. I would never write something to a student in that tone-it's obnoxious and its punching down as a professor.

Disagreeing with liberals on a college campus is punching down? Hardly.

Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on April 01, 2022, 05:18:57 AM
And if you think things have changed that much, remember that police have been exonerated in almost (almost, not all) all shootings of young Black men.

How often are police found guilty in the killing of young white men?

IMO, not often enough. That, however, is beside the point re how Blacks feel in the US, and clearly has no analogue in terms of whites being discriminated against.


If you're going to claim differential rates of criminal actions by police by race of the victim, then you have to have evidence of the different rates. Otherwise you're just making stuff up.

And how people "feel" isn't evidence.

Quote
This isn't a debate to me about whether or not we are a racist nation. We were, and things have changed for the better. The discussion has always beeb centered on what problems still exist, and how to make them better.

So is the US no longer a "racist nation"? (And if it still is, then is there any nation that isn't? And is there any finite possibility of enough change to ever happen to satisfy retiring that term, in any country with millions of residents where there will always be some who are obnoxious jerks, even if they represent a small fraction of the population?)

Quote
Do you not see that the many of the people that things were done to 50 years ago are still alive? And that even if they think things are better, they still see many of those same things happening now?

By the same logic, you could describe any nation as "a nation of" murderers, pedophiles, etc. because there will always be some of those, and people who have been victims of those things will be acutely aware of it.


Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: jimbogumbo on April 01, 2022, 07:55:42 AM
dismalist and I discussed the differential rates of police killings quite some time ago in a different thread. I posted a link to an extensive well-done study, he said it showed no difference in the rates, I pointed out something he had missed. His response was something like "damn, you're right". I'm not making up stuff related to data.

I am not talking about "any country", I'm talking about my own.

Blacks' feelings, in light of the too slow rate of change are precisely the point of how they react.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: Wahoo Redux on April 01, 2022, 10:07:41 AM
The info is easy to find, Marshy.

Just remember that black people are only 13.4% of the US population, so the per capita rate of police shootings are wildly out of proportion to the number of citizens.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/

And how people "feel" is extremely important.  If nothing else, Fat Donny should have taught us that.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: marshwiggle on April 01, 2022, 10:44:37 AM
The info is easy to find, Marshy.

Just remember that black people are only 13.4% of the US population, so the per capita rate of police shootings are wildly out of proportion to the number of citizens.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/


From 2015 to 2022

There are many variables that are important that are needed to provide context, such as location. Also, the number of shootings as a proportion of arrests may be much more relevant.

And the number of unarmed people shot by police is going to be much smaller than this. (And the same rules about context apply.)
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: dismalist on April 01, 2022, 11:09:00 AM
dismalist and I discussed the differential rates of police killings quite some time ago in a different thread. I posted a link to an extensive well-done study, he said it showed no difference in the rates, I pointed out something he had missed. His response was something like "damn, you're right". I'm not making up stuff related to data.

I am not talking about "any country", I'm talking about my own.

Blacks' feelings, in light of the too slow rate of change are precisely the point of how they react.

Yeah, that was about 911 calls, which you correctly pointed out were distributed like the racial mix of the population as a whole, whereas I had thought that blacks called 911 more frequently than Whites. The idea for using 911 calls is that the police dispatched do not know the race of the caller ex ante.

The discussion was about the share of crime perpetrated by various races. Thus, if one group were more criminal or violent than another, one would not be surprised if the police were more violent against that group.

Quote
Based on data compiled by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, it found that while Black people make up 13% of the U.S. population, they were 33% of persons arrested for non-fatal violent crime (NVC), which includes rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and other assaults. Black people were 36% of those arrested for serious non-fatal violent crimes (SNVC), including rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
 https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2021/jun/1/us-doj-statistics-race-and-ethnicity-violent-crime-perpetrators/ (https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2021/jun/1/us-doj-statistics-race-and-ethnicity-violent-crime-perpetrators/)

The National Crime Victimization data, which is meant to take care of ex ante bias  are not very different.

Black crime is overwhelmingly Black-on-Black, by the way.

It would be pure happenstance if anything corresponded to the racial distribution of the population.
Title: Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
Post by: mahagonny on April 01, 2022, 04:41:55 PM

It would be pure happenstance if anything corresponded to the racial distribution of the population.