More idiocy in the college wars

December 20, 2015 • 12:15 pm

I swear, I thought this was an Onion piece when I first saw it in the New York Post (click on headline to go to article):

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What caused the offense here was not just the lack of fried chicken per se (black students are demanding that it be a permanent feature of Sunday’s dinner menu), but also the fact that the chicken in General Tso’s chicken at Oberlin College (PC Mecca), was not fried, as it should have been. It was—horrors—STEAMED, a big offense to Chinese students. (Never mind that that dish is an American-Chinese concoction, and is unknown in China.) And there was all manner of mis-cooked food that, to the students, constituted cultural offense and appropriation—a big microagression:

Students at an ultra-liberal Ohio college are in an uproar over the fried chicken, sushi and Vietnamese sandwiches served in the school cafeterias, complaining the dishes are “insensitive” and “culturally inappropriate.”

Gastronomically correct students at Oberlin College — alma mater of Lena Dunham — are filling the school newspaper with complaints and demanding meetings with campus dining officials and even the college president.

General Tso’s chicken was made with steamed chicken instead of fried — which is not authentically Chinese, and simply “weird,” one student bellyached in the Oberlin Review.

Others were up in arms over banh mi Vietnamese sandwiches served with coleslaw instead of pickled vegetables, and on ciabatta bread, rather than the traditional French baguette.

“It was ridiculous,” gripes Diep Nguyen, a freshman who is a Vietnam native.

Worse, the sushi rice was undercooked in a way that was, according to one student, “disrespectful” of her culture. Tomoyo Joshi, a junior from Japan, was highly offended by this flagrant violation of her rice. “I f people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative,” she said. [JAC: was it ever really represented as “authentic”?]

. . . Oberlin’s black student union joined in the fray this month by staging a protest outside Afrikan Heritage House, an on-campus dorm.

The cafeteria there wasn’t serving enough vegan and vegetarian options and had failed to make fried chicken a permanent feature on the Sunday night menu, the school newspaper reported.

Those students started a petition that also recommends the reduction of cream used in dishes, because “black American food doesn’t have much cream in it,” according to the Review.

If you click on the link to the Oberlin Review story, you’ll see that this issue is not a joke. And it’s seriously ridiculous: cafeteria food is notoriously bad, and sometimes there is necessary “fusion”, like banh mi with coleslaw. Seriously, must the students beef about cibatta bread and coleslaw? That’s what I call a non-issue. Oy! If I were there, I’d DEMAND my right to have bagels, lox, and a schmear every Sunday.

But, as expected, Oberlin officials are treating this very seriously, with dietitians meeting with the students and making changes so the food will be gastronomically (and therefore politically) correct. Michile Gross, director of Oberlin’s Business Operations and Dining Services, responded pusillanimously:

In line with Miyagaki’s hopes for collaboration, Gross said she is planning on setting up a meeting in upcoming weeks to discuss these issues. “It’s important to us that students feel comfortable when they are here,” Gross said.

If cole slaw instead of pickled vegetables make these students uncomfortable, imagine what they’ll face when they leave PC heaven and enter the real world. . .

Meanwhile, the student demands continue, and expand exponentially. The Oberlin College Black Student Union has issued a fourteen-page set of demands, which, as usual, are a mixture of the sublime and the ridiculous.  But the latter far outnumber the former The list of fifty demands is prefaced by this threat:

As you will see these are not polite requests, but concrete and unmalleable demands. Failure to meet them will result in a full and forceful response from the community you fail to support. Our demands are as follows:
Unmalleable! Non-negotiable! What do they want?
Some demands seem reasonable, though I worry they’ll be a bit divisive. Here’s one:
But most of the demands are less justifiable, and some seem arrogant, like the following DEMAND that the grading system be changed (clearly so that the complainants get better grades):
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Or a more amenable curriculum:
Or a more balanced Jazz Department:
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 Or more safe spaces:
Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 10.35.51 AMOr IMMEDIATE tenure for named faculty:
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 It goes on and on, and you can read all 14 pages for yourself, but the demand below is the most ridiculous: the students want to be paid $8.20 per hour for organizing demonstrations against the college!
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Can you imagine Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. demanding that the U.S. government pay him and his fellows a stipend for organizing civil rights protests in the Sixties? Would he submit a big bill for giving his “I have a dream” speech?

My heart sinks when I read this kind of stuff. Why don’t the students just organize their own college instead of trying to take over every aspect of running Oberlin, including the naming of buildings, the grading system, the promotion of faculty, and even the menus? Yes, they have a right to kvetch, but not to demand changes under threat.

 

145 thoughts on “More idiocy in the college wars

    1. The inclusion of black students demanding fried chicken every Sunday is a red flag for me: at least part of this is probably a joke. Color me skeptical.

      (Don’t believe ‘skeptical’ is a color? Welcome!)

      1. I vaguely remember a huge stramash a few years ago when Tiger Woods first came to prominence around someone suggesting the need to add fried chicken to the menu of some golf club. That was (quite correctly) considered racist stereotyping. I guess this is appropriating the stereotype.

    1. We DEMAND that the cafeteria feature the Panda Express menu for our students of Chinese heritage, and that fortune cookies be provided with the entree.

    1. I’m Irish, and I promise you that no one is going to be demanding boiled potatoes and cabbage or mutton (also boiled OF COURSE). However, I am greatly offended by people who make Irish coffee with Baileys instead of whiskey. According to my culture, if I see this happening on campus I should be entitled to punch the offender in the face and curse them harshly for their ignorance. As long as I feel guilty about it for the next week or so, and perhaps go to confession, I should not face any sanctions from my University.

      1. According to my culture, if I see this happening on campus I should be entitled to punch the offender in the face and curse them harshly …

        As one who married into a big shanty-Irish clan, and as one whose own matrilineal ancestors derive from the sod itself, let me ask this 🙂 —

        – What’s this about the Irish having “culture”?

        – When has an Irishman ever not been entitled to start swearing and throwing punches?

        You’re absolutely right about Irish coffee, though — no Bailey’s, just Bushmills or Jameson’s.

  1. I was not aware that Oberlin is now known as “Lena Dunham’s college.” I googled, and several newspapers have headlines using that name. Is that a temporary thing, or does Oberlin plan on permanently changing its name?

      1. I see Scalia recently used the phrase to mock Breyer and Ginsburg in Glossip v Gross, claiming their opposition to the death penalty represents opposition to the Enlightenment and an out-of-touchness on the part of federal judges that’s akin to Marie-Antoinette.

        http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/06/antonin-scalia-lethal-injection-breyer

        Really? Would Scalia also argue that safe spaces represent the Enlightenment values of the People and criticism of the People (snowflake student bodies) is akin to out-of-touch French elitism?

          1. Fascinating, thanks. I just caught the similarity of his first name to Marie-Antoinette’s.

            (On the side, Ken, yesterday you mentioned English having been your minor. What was your major?)

            1. Psy. 🙁 (Don’t ask me why, Charleen; a lot of things are hazy from those days. I probably ended up with more lit courses than psy courses, anyway.)

              Law school was like Lourdes for humanities majors, though; it cleansed us of the stigma of our undergraduate years.

              1. Thanks, Ken.

                No shame for psychology. My intellectual hero is an experimental psychologist.

                The issue with only getting an undergrad in psychology is that nothing can be done with it, except more graduate school in either psychology or something else. An undergrad in psychology forces people to go on for more education if they want viable income. This is rightfully so. Undergraduate training is not adequate to understand the human condition. Who would entrust our minds to 22-year-olds?

                Law, huh. Cool. I’ve been fortunate enough to have access to law courses in my doctoral program. I’ve taken two, one a third-year law course called “Genetics and the Law.” I enjoyed the banter in the class and the competitiveness. I could do without the hype around the Bluebook.

                My minor in undergrad was psychology. Like you with literature, I believe I took more psychology classes than speech pathology (major) courses. But I knew I didn’t want to be a therapist–not in psych and not in speech. What I didn’t know until my 30’s is that I was interested in research. Though I’m in genetics, cancer, and epidemiology now, I remain fascinated by psychology. I’ve also contemplated law school, though most of what people do on a daily basis in law would not bring me joy. Being a judge might. I like decision-making, whether it’s in law, psychology, epidemiology, or medicine.

              2. My intellectual hero is an experimental psychologist.

                I’m guessing not B.F. Skinner — and hoping not Stanley Milgram or Philip Zimbardo (of Stanford prison experiment fame). 🙂

                Maybe somebody benign like Jean Piaget? (From those names, it’s obvious I studied experimental psych a long time ago. Anyway, “abnormal psych” provided better preparation for my field of work. 🙂 )

    1. Let them eat …

      … gluten-free brioche.

      (Srsly, “cake”? … were you thinking Oberlin is some down-market, land-grant state college?)

  2. And this all took place at Oberlin College? Shocker.

    As Christina Hoff Sommers said:

    “If you get more politically correct than Oberlin College you will simply evaporate”.

    1. It could only be appropriate on the assumption that the Vietnamese had already culturally appropriated the baguette from the French.

  3. Looks Like you’ve reached your apogee in bat shit craziness!

    Political Correctness, Bat shit crazy feminism, Post Modernism.

    US Academia: the gift that keeps on giving.

    Were not ungrateful here in the UK but maybe some intellectual advances you could keep to yourselves in future?

  4. And we used to grumble about most of the dorm meals containing grey “mystery meat.” Would have loved any kind of fried chicken or Chinese-ish food. This protesting is insane!

    1. My friend once saw food being delivered to one of his college’s dining hall kitchens. A number of boxes he saw unloaded off the truck were stamped, “MEAT – Grade E (but edible).”

  5. I’m no student at Overlin College, but I’m extremely offended by the absence of any demands for traditional German food, in the name of all black citizens of Germany who grew up eating sausages, Eisbein, and Sauerkraut.

    1. Sorry… O*b*erlin College. My senses were clouded by my rage, although I’m white and don’t actually like any traditional German food. 😉

      1. Yes, especially German Schwarzbrot (BLACK bread 😉 ). Speaking of which, dark lager would also be less discriminating for students of German or Czech heritage.

        Drinking in Germany is allowed from 18 years on, so the restriction to 21 years in the U.S. is culturally disrespectful as well.

        1. I always suspected Terry Pratchett was picking on the Germans, when he wrote of “dwarf bread” that can be alternatively used as a weapon …

          Re drinking: It’s 16 years, actually, for beer and wine. Only hard gas is restricted to above 18 year olds.

  6. Last I heard, these “PC-snowflakes” were saying that to even EAT foreign food (especially if your country of origin had a past colonial/oppressor relationship with the foreign country) was “cultural appropriation” and a big no-no! Are they requiring that the “American-identifying” students only be allowed to eat authentic “American” food? This nonsense is beginning to make a few Creatards I’ve debated with look like reasonable people.
    The reason why they don’t just start their own college? They aren’t capable of doing it, for starters, and any attempt would get so tangled up in “cultural micromanagement” that chaos would result.
    As for the “safe spaces” for “African-identifying” students (would Rachel Dozeel qualify?), this whole thing has spun around and burrowed up its own ass so far that they’ve now got the blacks segregating themselves! All this, “celebration of diversity” is leading to nothing more than divisiveness.

    1. I wonder what their message is to their ethnic cohorts who have developed successful, thriving businesses cooking their ethnic food commercially. Should they give up their restaurants and go on welfare?

      This reminds me of an exchange I had a couple of years ago with an animal rights fruitcake, who told me that I should spay and neuter my goats, so as not to “exploit” them anymore. He never did explain how I was going to support them. Perhaps he thought they and I should all starve together. L

      1. I wonder what their message is to their ethnic cohorts who have developed successful, thriving businesses cooking their ethnic food commercially.

        I spoke with some white SJWs a couple of weeks ago, and they said that it’s ok for oppressed, marginalized, non-whites to sell their ethnic food any way they want. The problem, they explained, is when white people ‘do it wrong’.

        For example, if a white person opens up a fast food Vietnamese restaurant, that is cultural appropriation , because only Vietnamese people should be permitted to sell Vietnamese food.

        1. But, if it is “appropriation” to even EAT ethnic food, does that mean that their only customers should be their fellow ethnics? L

          1. The SJW explained to me that it isn’t appropriation to eat ethnic food.

            It is appropriation to ‘eat it the wrong way’

            For example, if you pat yourself on the back for being ‘adventurous’ or if you view the food as ‘exotic’ you are ‘doing it wrong’ and should be ashamed of yourself. It is your duty, as a white person, to think about how the non-whites whose culture the food originates from are oppresesd by your whiteness.

            And yes, *only* whites can be oppressors, because cultural appropriation can only occur if the appropriator is from the dominant culture.

            As was explained to me, it is ok for the Japanese to appropriate baseball, but not for whites to dress up as Geishas. And oppressed people cannot appropriate from one another, because they don’t have power. So, while it might be wrong for a white person to don an Indian headdress, it would be permissible for a black person to do so, because blacks are oppressed.

            BTW, I am sure that a nationalistic Japanese person would love hearing that they are oppressed and that they must be protected by privileged, white, whiney SJW’s, no?

            1. Anybody who thinks that racism is only racism when white people do it needs to spend about two weeks in Espanola or Chilili, NM. L

              1. That isn’t racism.

                It’s called ‘punching up’

                😛

                P.S.

                When I repeat SJW talking points, I feel as if I have fallen down the rabbit hole, overdosed on every psychedelic and hit my head really really hard.

              1. That would have been ableist

                In fact, I was told that 1) statement such as “the weather is crazy” is insulting to the mentally ill 2) that it is a microaggression to refer to women by their first names 3) that I was “ignorant as fuck” 4) accused of trolling 5) I don’t get to have an oinion on *anything* that oppressed folks say because I am not oppressed.

            2. Mention of Japanese reminded me, I’ve just been watching ‘Hula girls’, a Japanese movie (English subtitles) about a group of Japanese girls from a depressed mining village who started up a ‘Hawaiian’ dance group. Or rather, my Cook Island relatives (whose traditional dancing is almost identical with the hula) were watching it and they loved it.

              If anyone said ‘cultural appropriation’ to them, they’d be baffled. They love it when someone else tries to imitate their culture, no matter how well or badly.

              cr

              1. SJWs are inherently racist because they claim to ‘speak’ for oppressed peoples, and if those people happen to disagree with the ideology, their opinions are dismissed because they have ‘internalised the oppression’

                I have a Chinese friend, so I routinely ask her what she thinks about all this. When she tells me that she doesn’t care *what* white people do with Chinese food, I jokingly pat her on the head and tell her that she is being oppressed and that she just doesn’t realize it. However, not to worry, because I am here to protect her and her culture.

                ^ Is the SJW attitude. And I think that ‘patting her on the head’ (figuratively, of course, we are friends over AIM) really gets to the heart of how the SJW infantilizes the person of colour.

                F that.

  7. Ceiling Cat help these students once they graduate from their safe spaces and meet the real world. I would love to see what happens when these future workers demand this kind of (mostly) nonsense at their workplace.

  8. “Mommy, I hate my sister’s guts.”
    “Shut up and eat what’s put in front of you”.

    To paraphrase an old Doug Stanhope bit, this is like going to a strip club and complaining that your dancer is a Communist. So what? The tits are out. Someone needs to tell these kids that the purpose of a cafeteria is to give you something you can cram in your pie hole. Is your pie hole full? Shut up then.

    1. Perhaps the solution is to close the cafeteria for a few weeks and let the precious little snowflakes fend for themselves?

      I would bet good money that after trying to survive on their own cooking for a semester they would be DEMANDing that the cafeteria be re-opened no matter what it served.

  9. I bridle at the constant “demands” from students. What is the “or else” here? They will leave? Riot? All I see is a threat of “action” at several schools. The students are voluntarily at these institutions. If they turn out not to be what you want, transfer.

    There are so many outrageous elements in their demands, but many of them merely add up to a question of whether it is the College’s role to educate the students, by determining what is useful as a course of study, or whether the students should be left to their own devices. If the later, why even go to College? They can do their own selective learning online.

    More or less explicit in these demands, as in most of the demands this season, is the assumption that our culture and nation are Wrong, Bad, and Evil, and that those of us who are not identified as members of the oppressed are all guilty, merely based on our color, sex, heredity, or income. It seems to me like those students really do need mandatory Western Civ.

    I would like to think, as I do each time one of these stories comes out, that the College will take a principled stand against “demands.” I really don’t think it will.

    As a final note, OMG, what a bunch of whiners! Do you know what ethnic food was in Burton-Judson Hall at UC when I was a student? Spaghetti, and by the time you got to your seat, all the water had separated out of the sauce so that you had noodles and tomatoes. We also had strawberry shortcake: left-over dinner rolls with strawberry jam and whipped cream. The principle vegetarian dish? Cheese cutlet: a hunk of cheese about the size of small tortilla, that was fried. We used to dream of General Tso’s chicken with steamed chicken! You try and tell the young people of today that, and they won’t believe you.

    1. Our Chateau de Chassilier is corked, I DEMAND a new case, of a more respectful vintage, served by a sommelier with an authentic French accent.

          1. Catch it? It beat me about the head with a broken bottle … because I was lucky!

            (In truth, his final paragraph jumped out at me only after your wine reference piqued my attention.)

  10. As Peter Boghossian ominously mentioned on the most recent Rubin Report show, this strain of deluded behavior has now thoroughly infested US academia. It’s pretty scary to think this type of crap is spreading and becoming entrenched. It’s victimhood Olympics.

    1. I think a lot of it stems from that point in life that many people go through: they’re out of High School (which they think means they now know everything sufficient for living), young and strong, and giddy with the new experience of being away from home and in charge of their own affairs for the first time- a thought that naturally occurs is, “I’m going to CHANGE THE WORLD”! Of course, normally, reality steps in and soon shows them that, even though their parents are no longer “setting the limits”, reality itself is going to do it from here on out whether they like it or not. Problem is that the relatively sheltered life of college, coupled with the above-average means and support that many college student have retards this normal maturing process (I would bet that the most vociferous “ringleaders” of these “movements” are all from fairly well-to-do families (it was so back in the 60s).
      The solution? College is too late; these kids need a hefty dose of reality by High School, or even Jr. High: make part of their credit requirements that of working a physically demanding(if they are capable of that), boring, menial job for a month, coupled with the “Survivor”-type experience of living for a month in a cabin with no running water or electricity, with certain daily “tasks” assigned to keep them busy and tired. I guarantee you that you’d turn out a bunch of much better adjusted, future citizens.

      1. I agree with your first part. At 18-22 years old, this may be thought of as learning to do social change rather than doing it. Just like with learning to drive or learning anything, you’re going to see young people have a lot more wrecks than older people who have more experience at it. That’s not ideal but it is somewhat expected, part of the process. What we should be doing as adults is interfering only to the extent needed to prevent harm to themselves or others. Beyond that, let them experiment with how to socially protest and what to protest about.

        So I guess I’m a bit sanguine about these sorts of protests compared to everyone else. Yes, they’re ridiculous. But most of the people involved will grow out of it. And if this is the worst mistake these young folk make, then hey, oversight successfully accomplished. Successful oversight is when a teen becomes socially aware and applies it to silly extremes. Failed oversight is when a teen gets drunk and then wraps his/her car around a telephone pole.

        1. My concern is that, when the universities give in to these mostly ridiculous demands, that a “feedback loop” is created that will ensure even more ridiculous demands in the future: a “natural selection” in ideas needs to be maintained that tends to eliminate unviable ideas. I DO agree with your statement, “What we should be doing as adults is interfering only to the extent needed to prevent harm to themselves or others” but “harm” can be manifested in ways other than wrapping one’s care around a light pole, as well. In my opinion, I think we “do harm” to these students in allowing them to think that they can ignore the constitution of this country, so far as the “free speech” aspect of it goes.

  11. Life must be very good for them to find these things worthy of their attention. Perhaps we should start a new draft so they can worry about things like war and death again.

  12. This sounds like a complete Poe to me. Black students demanding fried chicken, Chinese complaining about a fake Chinese dish not being authentic enough? They forgot to add Indian students demanding chicken tikka masala.

    1. They forgot to add Indian students demanding chicken tikka masala.

      Reputedly invented in the Shish Mahal (a restaurant popular with students) in Glasgow in 1971.

      And another thing: I’m appalled to learn that haggis is illegal in the USA.

  13. Well, the clear solution to the problem is to just switch over to American food. Hamburgers, hot dogs, Chicago style Pizza, etc.

  14. There was one important problem with the food, though, which is that the Indian tandoori dish had beef in it, and that would be an authentic issue for Hindu students. I agree to that one, definitely.

    1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with cooking beef in a tandoori oven. Not all Indians are hindu and a tandoori oven is not an exclusively Indian cooking method. No hindus are being forced to eat beef.

      People have always taken cooking methods from other cultures and adapted them to their own ingrediants. That is why we have such wonderful dishes from all over the world.

      1. So long as it was labelled ‘tandoori beef’ upfront, then they have no legitimate beef (sorry!) with it.

        They are entitled to know if an unexpected ingredient is present so they can avoid it if they wish.

        cr

    2. Most Indian restaurants I know of here in Canada (and that I’ve seen in the US and the UK) are actually Pakistani (or sometimes Bangladeshi), so that works 😉 (Of course there are also secular, Christian and Muslim Indians, too who might also eat beef.)

  15. “Worse, the sushi rice was undercooked in a way that was, according to one student, “disrespectful” of her culture. Tomoyo Joshi, a junior from Japan, was highly offended by this flagrant violation of her rice. “I f people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative,” she said.”
    Got to be satire!

    1. I suspect that, too.

      Though if it was the French complaining about undercooking being ‘disrespectful of their culture,’ I would totally buy it.

      1. The other possibility is you find a few outraged idiots tilting at windmills, then use them as a hasty generalisation of the problem going on. I’m fairly certain there are dumb idiots who say dumb things to reporters, and reporters who will write up dumb things as part of a wider story irrespective of its representativeness of a wider trend.

  16. And there was all manner of mis-cooked food that, to the students, constituted cultural offense and appropriation—a big microagression…

    I agree. It’s practically a milliagression.

    1. I’m confused, doesn’t this work like homeopathy? I thought that a milliaggression would be more tolerable, but that escalation to nanoaggression and picoaggression would be grounds for open revolt against the privileged classes.

  17. That an item appears in The Post doesn’t make it any more believable than had it appeared in The Onion.

    Anyway, where is the line between cultural authenticity and cultural stereotyping? Does the Sunday fried chicken have to be polished off with watermelon? The General Tso’s chicken with fortune cookies? (Do the fortunes have to be screened for trigger warnings?)

  18. POST-ONION MERGER REVEALED

    NEW YORK, NY — Rupert Murdoch, majority shareholder of News Corp., owner of The New York Post disclosed at a press conference today that The Post had secretly merged several years ago with the online humor site The Onion. Murdoch said the disclosure was being made in response to growing reader inquiries concerning the similarly outrageous headlines in the two publications. “This merger,” said Murdoch, “allowed us to consolidate the two major sources of satire in American publishing — and to find out how many Post readers were gullible enough to fall for our blatantly phony stories.”

    “Fair dinkum,” Murdoch added before leaving, winking at the Aussies among the assembled members of the press.

  19. Yorkshire pudding. I demand it at every dinner. And for the Scottish part of my heritage, a nice single malt before dinner would be nice, too. By the way, what’s with the Vietnamese kicking the French out but keeping their baguettes?

    1. Not just baguette but quiche, a few other sorts of pies, some versions of the cold cuts, etc. There’s some who even argue that the way *pho* is prepared owes something to the French too. Not to mention the cultural imperialism by the Japanese and the Chinese over the years too yields other influences. (Do the Belgians, say, have a similar diversity of food influences?)

  20. I suspect I am not alone at finding the whole term ‘microagression’ to be exceptionally silly and overused. An aggression so small that the typical perpetrator is not even conscious that they are delivering it, and the receiver needs a magnifying glass to detect it and make a big noise about it.

    1. micro agressions only matter in prolonged harrassment situations, over weeks or months, it’s part of the wears you down by bugs as you battle the monster

      not one off events, I agree

    2. It is indeed a silly term, but (probably unintentionally) accurate. A millionth of a real ‘aggression’? – yeah, that seems about right. Start counting, snowflake, and when you get to a million, you’ll have something worth whining about. 😉

      cr

  21. So, perhaps if these oppressed kids feel that this is such a serious problem, maybe they should go on a hunger strike, donating the cost of their foregone meals to oppressed groups around the world. I wonder how long they would last? My guess is they might make it until dinnertime, assuming that get out of bed around 2pm.

    1. That would be moving and helpful to the world. These students come off as still needing MIRRORING that they have power. And how ridiculous is it that the power they seek reflected back to them is about fried chicken?

      What scares me is the demands about review of the grading system and who gets tenure. I once taught Composition at a Liberal Arts university in Arizona. There, the kids who were told they were oppressed were Navajo. I was terrified of my Navajo students, for they were notorious for complaining about anyone who didn’t give them the grade they wanted. Most freshman students are new writers and their prose is about as good as high schooler’s. But any feedback to the Navajo students was perceived as oppressive. My department chair actually told me “not to help them fail and to just pass them,” believing that their bad writing would lead to failure in other courses at the university; therefore, to avoid the ridiculous race and oppression card, I was instructed to pass them and let others deal with the damage.

      1. Truly bizarre. I guess I have to check my privilege, but I can’t imagine, however oppressed my group’s history, that I would ever want to be treated in such an exceptional and patronizing way. Do they have no self respect?

  22. I think the college should just close the cafeteria and let the students cook their own culturally appropriate food. This should also solve the problem of too much free time these students apparently have.

      1. I teach jazz at a university. My school is notorious for not being racially diverse, and that is also reflected in the jazz bands.

        It is a complex problem, though. As Garrison Keilor once said, when it became known that candidate Bill Clinton played the saxophone, “Saxophone is not an instrument that mothers want their daughters to grow up playing.”

        1. The ‘saxophone’ comment is probably relevant. Maybe (speculating wildly) jazz is not seen by black students as a promising career move.

          Also, re ‘black female identifying (!) instrumentalists’, it’s my impression** that there weren’t many female instrumentalists in jazz. So while the students demand strictly authentic cooking, they want to change the recipe for jazz bands. Not that that’s wrong, just inconsistent.

          cr

          (** Could be wrong)

  23. I think the professors at this school need to assign far more homework. Obviously, these students have too much time on their hands.

  24. Have I fallen down the Rabbit Hole ? sounds to me like a few of these overpriviledged Students want a kick up the arse.

  25. OK I’m hunkered down, and ready for the potential response to this comment. Please be kind, but more reasonable SJW’s I know would agree this is silly, but would point out the interest, and the number of comments this post has had, and wonder if a post about actual injustice, and legitimate demands would receive as much interest, and support.

    The way they see this, particularly when coming from the right, is as an attempt to ridicule social justice activism in order to undermine legitimate activism against actual injustice.

    I’ve had the same point made to me regarding the screaming student at Yale, or the safe space harpy at mizzou.

    They would argue that actual injustice is far more problematic than incidents such as these, and that by highlighting them we are harming the fight for equality.

    I have to say I’m not sure they are entirely wrong.

    1. They would argue that actual injustice is far more problematic than incidents such as these, and that by highlighting them we are harming the fight for equality.

      The SJWs who peddle this BS are the ones who are harming the fight for equality.

      And when I run the crazier stuff past ‘reasonable’ SJWs it turns out that they too have swallowed the Koolaid.

      Just last week I learned that transwomen who maintain their male appearance and *never* change a thing, should have full access to women’s private spaces – change rooms, locker rooms, you name it. And that I was a sicko to even suggest that a pervy man might *lie* about being a woman just to legally access women’s change rooms. Because who would do that?

      Basically, that any man who declares “I am a woman” should be treated as such under all circumstances, and that to even suggest that such a person might be full of it is cray cray.

      And google Stefonknee Wolscht. Yeah. The more ‘reasonable’ SJWs told me that this ‘woman’, who is clearly a fetishist, should have full and complete access to the private spaces of women and girls, since claiming that you are 1) a girl 2) and a 6 year old, is totes legit.

      The SJWs are hurting their own cause by supporting the fringe elements, and then shaming those of us who dare to call them out on it.

      1. Totes agree with you. It cost Houston an equality bill by feeding those fears. I interact with a few MTF trans and they maintain their male privilege semi-consciously. They do not know the subtle and blatant discrimination, put downs, cat calls, condescension, oh everything a girl experiences growing up in patriarchy. Then they want to be one of the girls and scream like hell if they feel the least affront. Sigh, we will work through this but…

      2. ‘Basically, that any man who declares “I am a woman” should be treated as such under all circumstances’

        Ooh! Ooh! I want to be a fire-engine!

    2. Ok, I’ll start Mike!

      If this were one or two idiot students, with the situation exaggerated out of proportion by Fox News alone, then this might be a valid criticism.

      But a significant swathe of students seem to have lost touch with reality, are abandoning core liberal values, are seeking to suppress free speech through coercion and bullying, are groundlessly damaging the careers of thoughtful respected academics.

      This is a real problem in itself, not just an insignificant distraction.

      And, frankly, as a left winger in favor of social justice, I feel no more sense of unity with the students expressing these preposterous sentiments than I do with the Republican Party. As somebody said recently, the crazy ends of the right and left appear to have looped around to meet each other at fascism.

      I shall continue to exercise my free speech to ridicule both extremes, in support of liberal values and general human decency.

      1. “a significant swathe of students seem to have lost touch with reality, are abandoning core liberal values, are seeking to suppress free speech through coercion and bullying, are groundlessly damaging the careers of thoughtful respected academics.”

        From my perspective that seems to be the case, but I come here, I listen to atheisticallyspeaking podcast, I subscribe to Dave Rubin on youtube. You, and I get these incidents brought to our attention. Is it really as significant a problem as we think it is, or are we suffering from confirmation bias?

    3. I’m not saying they’re entirely wrong either, Mike — at least the ones with a legitimate interest in social justice, rather than the poseurs looking for attention and personal aggrandizement.

      But they need to stop straining at gnats. College students today, by all accounts, are among the most pampered members of society. If they have a legitimate beef — if they are being denied some opportunity that impedes their education, if they’re facing invidious discrimination of some kind — I’m foursquare behind ’em. But when they’re looking for more pampering, when they’re looking for a cocoon to protect their feelings, when they’re stifling others’ free speech because they find it “hurtful,” they’ve lost me. There’s plenty of social injustice in the world, Mike; they need to look outward, off campus, to find some, and to do something about it. Or hell, if they’re paying attention, they can probably find some social injustice on campus — just not with their own pampered selves as the “victims.”

      I took part in a pro bono project through an ACLU affiliate a few years back — just before this SJW thing broke into public consciousness (or at least before it broke into mine) — representing a group of students at a local university who were facing severe disciplinary proceedings because they’d participated in a sit-in on campus, blocking access to administration buildings, in support of university maintenance workers who were engaged in collective-bargaining organizing. (The maintenance workers were being treated like shit by the university.)

      The school was attempting to impose heavy sanctions on these kids, ones that would have put their academic careers in jeopardy; what’s worse, the disciplinary administrators were being total bullies about it, calling the kids in for private hearings without representation, trying to ramrod them into admitting the charges and accepting their punishment. The lawyers I was with each took on the representation of a single student. (My client was a great kid, a third-year student in architecture with a 3.9 GPA, who had just begun applying to grad schools.)

      We imposed ourselves between the administration and our clients, demanding notice of all proceedings, the right to represent our clients at hearings, the right to review the school’s evidence before hearings, and the opportunity to offer evidence of our own and to cross-examine the school’s witnesses. We threatened to seek redress in court if our demands weren’t met. The university backed off, and we settled the matter for a minor disciplinary violation that would be expunged from our clients’ school records within a year, before any of them graduated.

      If the social justice warriors of today want to fight the good fight my architect-to-be client fought, they’ll get all the support they could ever want from those of us on the non-regressive left.

      1. “But they need to stop straining at gnats.”

        The reasonable social justice activists I speak with don’t, find the types of things often highlighted here just as annoying, and do their best behind the scenes to combat it.

        As I said however is they object to the type of attention we give it because, and I’ll quote one “an 18 year old kid screaming at a professor on the quad is not a fair example of social justice activism, but it is all to often portrayed that way”.

        Personally I’ve seen Fox news lumping that, and mizzou, in with real issues like police disproportionately shooting black kids as all being examples of oversensitive kids seeing racism where it doesn’t exist.

        I don’t think we should stop doing what we’re doing here, but we need to be careful, and I think PCC generally is, to point out there is real racism, sexism, and bigotry happening too.

        1. The reason that we do ridicule these little fascists is precisely because their goal *is* to restrict free speech.

          Their behaviour has, and will continue to have, real world consequences.

          The old adage ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’ is true in this case. And one way to combat the idiocy that comes out of SJWism is to ceaselessly mock those who are ruining it for everyone else.

          Ignore them and they will simply get what they want. Ridicule them, and they will lose whatever ‘power’ they might have.

          1. “The reason that we do ridicule these little fascists is precisely because their goal *is* to restrict free speech.”

            Yes I understand why we do it.(rolleyes) The question however is whether this potential problem trumps the real quantifiable problems of sexism, racism, and bigotry.

            I suspect we “antiSJW’s” for want of a better term, might be making more of this than is currently necessary, and harming the legitimate struggle for social justice.

            People like the girl at Yale, and Harpy at Mizzou are not winning, one lost her job, and the other has become a laughing stock. Those facts make me think we may be overestimating the problem.

            1. People like the girl at Yale, and Harpy at Mizzou are not winning, one lost her job, and the other has become a laughing stock. Those facts make me think we may be overestimating the problem.

              And if we didn’t call them out on their behaviour, I really do wonder how much they would get away with.

              That’s the point that I was making.

              Most people, in wanting to appear politically correct, will try to appease the most strident SJW, simply out of fear of being labelled racist/bigoted etc.

              1. “And if we didn’t call them out on their behaviour, I really do wonder how much they would get away with.”

                I don’t think our calling them out made a difference, even their fellow SJW’s (the ones I know) found their behavior embarrassing. And they likewise shake their heads in disbelief at some of the insane demands made by students that we highlight here. They rightly recognize that making silly demands make more serious legitimate ones less likely to be listened to.

  26. Hey, everybody! Hope you’re having a good day!
    Look, these students are taking the administration for a ride — totally trolling them. They’re not learning this crap from the university but they are being enabled. Just tell them to eat what they’re served or go without. They’re also more than welcome to brownbag it!
    What’re they going to do, transfer? That’d be a shame.

  27. Cultural appropriation??? The next time I see an ad asking me to watch “The Wiz” can I go screaming about appropriation of that little Kansas girl and her dog? Free speech for everyone, and work for term limits.

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