What Is Actually Happening

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To cleanse your palate after that, an article by a friend's daughter.

AMDG

On a cheerful note, almost nothing seems to have been posted to the site for half a year.

The top post says 2 months ago, but still, that's a long time on the internet. And the other posts are much older. I hadn't noticed that.

Good for your friend's daughter, Janet. The Emory situation is pretty bizarre, and yet those kids are deadly serious. "It fosters an environment where resentment and radicalism fester and metastasize." A feature, not a bug, from the "social justice" point of view.

It almost makes you miss the 60s & 70s. At least there were some issues at stake besides me, myself and I.

AMDG

Just what I need!

"It almost makes you miss the 60s & 70s."

I know. That's pretty disturbing!

"To “throw shade” is to belittle someone inadvertently through looks, comments, gestures…"

LOL!

Yeah, their causes and complaints seem trivial in comparison to, say, trying to stop the war in Vietnam. But their goal is major: to make it impossible for anyone to disagree publicly with them. That's very much in the tradition of '60s radicals, but back then they were the out-group and so they agitated for free speech. Now they're part of the in-group, albeit still at the fringe, and want, and get, the help of administrators in shutting down their opposition. We all know that Christians offended by whatever who tried similar tactics would at best be given a stern lecture on tolerance and at worst punished.

But their goal is major: to make it impossible for anyone to disagree publicly with them

We watched an episode of Blue Bloods tonight that was pretty much along those lines--that and their intolerance. The people behind that show are really amazing in their willingness to show the underside of liberalism. Aside from one season where they went berserk, it's been good.

AMDG

Yeah, there is definitely some uneasiness among some liberals about this. I saw, but did not stop to read, a story about Bill Maher lambasting the Emory sensitives.

I wouldn't classify this as a liberal show at all. That's what is weird to me--that there can be a show that isn't liberal on CBS.

AMDG

And Maher says: "I so badly want to dropkick these kids into a place where there is actual pain and suffering. What happened in this country?"

It is what I like about Maher, despite his aggressive anti-Religion stance, he cannot always be categorized on the "crazy liberal" side.

Yeah, I give him credit for not just falling in with the party line. Really, a lot of older (by which I mean over 45 or so) liberals ought to be disgusted by this stuff, because the need to speak out over establishment objections, even to deliberately offend, was a big part of their approach to things (Lenny Bruce, George Carlin...).

Re Bluebloods, Janet, I wasn't necessarily thinking that the show was liberal in an explicitly message-y sort of way, but just that the writers are most likely of the liberal faith. But they say there's a certain number of closet conservatives in Hollywood.

And of course a good artist won't distort the truth as he sees it for ideological reasons. That was an impressive thing about The Wire: the show's creator, David Simon, is definitely a liberal, but the show (for the most part) didn't hesitate to depict realities that are somewhat incompatible with liberal doctrine.

Although "microaggressions" do seem very silly, they are somewhat complicated by the racial aspects of many of them. Maybe some students actually have been the object of hateful attacks, even while others may simply be "social justice" provocateurs. No excuse for banning speech, though.

I doubt that real hateful racial attacks occur very often at all on American college campuses. That's part of the reason why microaggressions need (from that point of view) to be made into a big deal. Most of the examples I've seen are insensitive but not really malicious, and the kind of thing that a healthy person would just try to shrug off.

I will say that I think black student, black people in general, deserve some understanding for being hyper-sensitive, in light of the country's history. But it's better for them as well as everybody else if they try to keep things in perspective, and reserve public outrage for serious cases. Sure, "insensitivity" could be a symptom of hostility. But you just can't expect to excavate and purify every psyche.

I'm thinking about a "racial incident" that happened at the college I worked for. Maybe it would be called a microaggression now--this was fifteen years or more ago. As best I could make out from accounts in the student paper, the cafeteria was serving barbecue one day. A couple of white students walked in and said "smells like barbecue." They happened to be passing a table occupied by black students, who took it as a racial remark directed at them. I was kind of shocked at this because I've never associated barbecue with race particularly. At least where I come from it's equally popular among whites and blacks.

And the sensitivity can have serious consequences. In my city, after midnight, some white college students asked a black woman idling a car if she was a jitney (i.e. cab for hire). She went inside and told her friends that she had been the target of a racial slur; when they came out, there was gunfire and the college student who used the word 'jitney' was shot dead.

[stunned shock]

Well, you know someone I know well got his pay cut about 25% for something like this, only it was chicken instead of barbecue, so I tend to get more angry than annoyed. At least he didn't get shot.

AMDG

Yeah, there is that to consider.

Now and then there's a report in the media about a survey showing that black people think there is more racism on the part of white people than white people do. The conclusion is that white people are not sensitive to their own prejudices, "there's still a lot of work to do", etc., which is no doubt true in many cases. It doesn't seem to cross the minds of the reporters that sometimes black people see racism where it doesn't exist.

It's so frustrating because it's self-perpetuating. How do you break the cycle?

AMDG

It requires good will on both sides, including willingness to assume it on the other side unless there's really good reason not to. Apparently not what some people want to do (and I don't mean "some people" on one side alone).

As I said when we were discussing this a while back, it helps to remind oneself about all the situations in which conflict is *not* happening.

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