“The Problem of Whiteness” course postponed (but not canceled) at my university

November 9, 2022 • 10:15 am

Some time ago, a conservative second-year student at the University of Chicago discovered that a course called “The Problem of Whiteness” was going to be taught this winter. The student, Daniel Schmidt, who has about 30K Twitter followers and describes himself on the platform as “Sophomore @UChicago. Exposing insanity at an elite university. ‘Right-wing college activist’ — Media Matters”, emitted several tweets describing the course and giving bit of the syllabus. The instructor is white and the course is falls under “Critical Race and Ethnic Studies” (“CRES”). Here are two of Schmidt’s tweets.

Of course this caused a social-media fracas, with people getting all hot and bothered and writing the university in protest. I even hear that the instructor, Rebecca Journey (named in the article below), received email threats, but I can’t verify that.

Although I don’t like the tenor of this course, which seems both anti-white and divisive, I cannot demand that it be canceled. What an instructor decides to teach is a matter of academic freedom, and if her department approves the course, it’s their call, not mine.  I of course worry that the University of Chicago will become as woke as some of its peers, which regularly teach courses like this, but while I can criticize the effect and content of such courses as socially inimical, I cannot and will not call or lobby for the course’s elimination or demand that the instructor be criticized—much less threatened—for teaching it.

Nevertheless, as this article in Inside Higher Ed reports, the instructor has, of her own volition, postponed the course until Spring. This is likely a result of the public pushback, though it also may be due to the low prospective enrollment (zero students).

A bit of the article:

The University of Chicago is still offering a course called The Problem of Whiteness, which attracted negative attention online, but it will do so a term later than originally planned—in the spring instead of the upcoming winter quarter.

It’s unclear just what prompted the course delay. The instructor, Rebecca Journey, a teaching fellow in anthropology, did not respond to a request for comment.

In a public statement affirming its commitment to academic freedom, the university said Journey asked to push back the class.

Well, something’s wrong here, because the link above doesn’t say anything about Journey and the class, but merely restates, in the words of Dean Boyer, our principles of academic freedom. I would be surprised if the University had any comment on a specific course. The article goes on:

A description of the University of Chicago course in question says, in part, that “Whiteness has long functioned as an ‘unmarked’ racial category, saturating a default surround against which non-white or ‘not quite’ others appear as aberrant. This saturation has had wide-ranging effects, coloring everything from the consolidation of wealth, power and property to the distribution of environmental health hazards. Yet in recent years whiteness has resurfaced as a conspicuous problem within liberal political discourse. This seminar examines the problem of whiteness through an anthropological lens, drawing from classic works and contemporary works of critical race theory.”

The course became a target for critics earlier this month after Daniel Schmidt, a sophomore on campus with 30,000 Twitter followers, tweeted about it as an example of “anti-white hate.”

“Rebecca Journey, a ‘cultural anthropologist,’ who, ironically, appears to be white, will teach it,” Schmidt tweeted, listing Journey’s photo and Chicago email address. “The course description describes whiteness ‘as a conspicuous problem within liberal political discourse’ with ‘worldmaking (and razing) effects.’ Anti-white hatred is now mainstream academic inquiry. And you’re not even allowed to call that out without being called racist.”

Schmidt posted an apparent screenshot of the course’s registration information, which at the time listed zero students enrolled.

Several days later, Schmidt tweeted another apparent registration screenshot showing the class had been canceled.

“Thank you to everyone who shared my thread,” he said. “We are obviously fighting an uphill battle, but this is a huge victory. Students need to call out anti-white hatred whenever they see it. Just the beginning.”

Of course Schmidt has every right to say what he wants about the course, and that may affect how people see the University of Chicago. That’s proper counterspeech. But there’s also academic freedom, which gives Journey every right to teach her course so long as she adheres to the normal principles of pedagogy. (That, of course, doesn’t mean every course can be taught: teaching creationism in public schools and universities, for instance, has been banned by the courts as an exercise in religious propaganda prohibited by the First Amendment.)

I was glad to see that FIRE (The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression) agrees with me:

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression soon weighed in on this case, saying that while it had learned that the course was actually rescheduled for spring and not canceled, it still had concerns—especially (but not merely) because Chicago has a strong reputation for protecting academic freedom.

“U Chicago told us the class was not canceled, but the instructor had simply ‘chosen to move’ the course to the spring term. All good? Maybe…” FIRE said on Twitter. “Administrators can inappropriately pressure a professor to cancel or delay a class in hopes that a controversy will die down. We don’t have evidence that happened here, but in these cases, transparency is paramount so academics don’t fear teaching controversial material.”

Alex Morey, director of campus rights advocacy at FIRE, told Inside Higher Ed Tuesday that the University of Chicago “doesn’t appear to have exerted any pressure on this professor to cancel their course, which is great and exactly what we expect from a top school for free speech. But other sources of pressure on faculty are also common these days. For example—from legislators or Twitter mobs, who sometimes threaten the professor’s funding or even their safety.”

Given the current polarized political environment, Morey said, “universities should urgently re-evaluate what it means to support a professor through a controversy over their teaching. It likely needs to go beyond just saying their speech is protected. Sadly, that may look like taking interim measures to ensure their safety, like providing their class meetings police protection, so they can continue their important work without delay. That’s what it may take these days to preserve faculty’s rights. Universities and faculty senates should have this on their radar.”

Here’s one of FIRE’s tweets on the issue:

If academic freedom means anything, it means what FIRE says above, and what John Stuart Mill said 223 years ago about freedom of expression: it must not be censored because it exposes people to ideas they don’t like. I don’t particularly like (or agree with) the idea that whiteness itself is toxic, or that all white people are racist unless they are actively antiracist, or that whiteness is the dominant theme of academia, reason, or science, but these ideas aren’t vanishingly rare, either. Let the students take Journey’s course and judge for themselves (if they’re open-minded going in, of course!).


UPDATE: I don’t know if I’ll say much about the Stanford conference on academic freedom until the YouTube videos are released so you can see for yourself, but it’s already been widely attacked. Even this article in Inside Higher Ed is somewhat of a hit piece, concentrating mostly on the more demonized and controversial speakers. Click to read:

54 thoughts on ““The Problem of Whiteness” course postponed (but not canceled) at my university

  1. Maybe they felt that a course called “The Problem of Whiteness” was too confusing in Winter Quarter, and wanted to avoid mordant humor about the weather?

  2. That’s a balanced summary. Thank you! It’ll be interesting to see what comes of it. I’m extremely surprised it had no registered students. I assume that some people would have signed up, even symbolically, to show they support the class. Was it on-site-only or remote (or whatever the terms are these days)?

      1. I call ageism! Showing your age is not a problem. Cultural ageism is the problem!

        Hrm… how do we work that into DEI initiatives, given how ageist they currently tend to be?

        (Poe’s Law)

  3. “(That, of course, doesn’t mean every course can be taught: teaching creationism in public schools and universities, for instance, has been banned by the courts as an exercise in religious propaganda prohibited by the First Amendment.)”

    Perhaps you could elaborate how you distinguish the impugned course from what you mentioned in between the parentheses apart from the appeal to the First Amendment (for those outside the USA) or to the authority of a university’s academic department, of which credibility as we all know has been tanking.

    CRT and its derivatives have as much intellectual rigour and logical fallacies as any religion-based curriculums. In addition, why wouldn’t this course not attract objections on principled grounds when those such as “The Problem with Jewness/Blackness/Gayness etc.” are clearly repugnant and would be removed on public policy alone?

    1. Semi-agreed.

      “CRT and its derivatives have as much intellectual rigour and logical fallacies as any religion-based curriculums.”

      I’m certainly no fan of creationism, but it’s always seemed to me that the First Amendment was just being used as a handy excuse. One religion is being rejected, but another (Wokeness) is endorsed. More consistent to just let both be taught (in college, not grade school).

      “…why wouldn’t this course not attract objections on principled grounds when those such as ‘The Problem with Jewness/Blackness/Gayness etc.’ are clearly repugnant and would be removed on public policy alone?”

      Again, same as above: allow *all* views to be expressed. Can’t pick and choose based on ‘repugnance.’

      1. … allow *all* views to be expressed.

        You’re cool with teachers/instructors/professors proselytizing religion on the taxpayers’ dime at public schools and universities?

        1. Kinda already doing it. But not to school children, no. In college they already have their CRT and gender studies, and it’s fine there. And if that’s allowed, then so should be other things that I totally disagree with. As well as thing I do agree with but one hardly sees given a fair hearing.

          The real issue for me really isn’t whether they’re proselytizing so much as whether they’re wasting time on something other than the course topic. I actually had a creationist entomology professor in college (late 80’s, when creationism seemed to have a far greater presence) who would often interject stuff along the lines of “and we’re expected to believe that that just happened by chance?” But he did a fine job teaching, otherwise. The course in question wasn’t creationism, and so he didn’t actually teach creationism. But he should have been allowed to teach an actual class on creationism, as long as the department approved and there was any demand for it.

          Can’t reject creationism but allow ‘men can get pregnant.’ They’re both equally unscientific.

          1. Maybe they’re both be equally unscientific, but only one qualifies as a “religion” for First Amendment purposes. (I think John McWhorter was working a rich vein in a metaphoric goldmine, but he used that gold to gild the lilly by claiming that “wokeness” isn’t just like a religion, but is an actual religion.)

            I take it, then, eujay, you think our host was out-of-bounds when he complained to Ball State U about Prof. Eric Hedin teaching creationism in a science class, resulting in the university prohibiting Hedin from doing so?

            1. “…you think our host was out-of-bounds…”

              Not legally. As I said: “…it’s always seemed to me that the First Amendment was just being used as a handy excuse.” A perfectly fine legal tool for excluding beliefs you disagree with.


              …Wokeness does indeed seem to me founded on the same sort of moral psychology and believer epistemology as any religion,


              …religiosity (presence/absence) by itself doesn’t determine truth/falsity anyway.

      2. I wouldn’t agree with “allow all views” when it comes to teaching courses that carry degree credit.

        First, there’s a limit to the number of such courses (given the limited instructor time that the university has at its disposal) and secondly, such courses carry the imprimatur of the university.

          1. I don’t think colleges should teach those either; they should teach courses based on evidence, reason, and proper, sceptical inquiry.

    2. Teaching creationism in a public school is banned in the US because it specifically endorses a particular established religion. Religion taught in school creates a coercive effect against students who do not ascribe to that religion. If you try to argue that Wokeness or CRT are religions too, well that precedent has not been set yet in court cases. I doubt that an attempt to declare them as religions would work. The practitioners themselves would have to say that they are in a religion for one thing.

      1. I don’t argue against any of that. As I said, it was a convenient excuse for excluding just one set of beliefs.

      2. I doubt listening to a sermon in a public school would feel much more coercive for a typical American teenager than a lot of other activities required there.

        1. That isn’t right. A teacher proselytizing in a predominantly ultra-christian district creates isolation of the kids who don’t follow along. What about the muslim or jewish kids, for example? It triggers ostracism and bullying. There will be reasonable questions about how such a teacher will grade students who don’t go along.

      3. CRT is just as bunk as any cosmological argument so teaching it in academia is in effect proselytising nonsense. Regardless, its dogmatic promotion of bigotry far outweighs any intellectual value that the so-called experts purport it holds, so it should be excluded on public policy grounds for the same reasons as the hypothetical courses I mentioned above.

    3. In formal academic discourse any issue worth discussing is often framed as a “problem”, i.e., “The Hard Problem of Consciousness”, etc. Could this simply be a case of a culturally tone-deaf academic? Framed this way a course entitled “The Problem of Blackness” would be perfectly appropriate although the public reaction would be fairly predictable. In actuality these kinds of discussions could be immensely valuable given a certain amount of good faith on all sides. Alas, we don’t live in that world. Did we ever?

      1. I am open to a nuanced academic discussion if there is substance, but society’s treatment of one set as acceptable and others as repugnant without any reason other than unstable and illogical social justice-based premises is unacceptable. If there are any rational principles that accord with these distinctions, I am failing to see them.

  4. Dr. Brydon above summarizes the problem: songs like “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” might confuse students who are plumbing the depths of Critical Whiteness Theory.

    The defect of courses like this one is not that it is “divisive” but rather that it is pretentious bullshit. Students are given the impression that Critical Whiteness Theory, Critical Gender Theory, Queer Theory, etc. etc. are exercises of the same kind as the atomic theory and the germ theory of infectious disease. If they absorb this teaching, they will imagine that the words of Robin DiAngelo or Judith Butler will enable interactions with the real world (such as medical treatment). The problem is not “divisiveness”, but the academy’s abandonment of standards of rationality—standards which, in the past, kept Critical Astrological Theory out of the curriculum. Come to think of it, if Critical Astrological Theory can be dressed up as “Indigenous”, we can expect courses in it tomorrow.

    1. The first bit of bullshit that strikes me in the phrase “problem of whiteness” is the conflation of behavior with the skin color of the people performing that behavior. Historical accident resulted in Europeans – living in a world full of enthusiastic colonizers – developing the most effective tools for colonization. It requires an extremely myopic understanding of human history to miss a non-white world that has always been full of expansion, conquest, and brutality.

  5. Agree with John and James here, this course is more akin to Astrology and Creationism than to sociology. But as there is a gradient from pure ideology to neutral truth seeking in areas that study complex interrelated processes in human subjects and groups (Friedmanesque economics was also more of an ideology than a science, at least in my very left leaning eyes), one should err on the side of caution here of and defend her academic freedom. The negative influence of ideology on academic rigor and critical thinking should be countered by a diversity of viewpoint and ideology among the lecturers in ideology prone subjects (including economics). Tolerance of different opinions and ability to discuss them and the arguments for and against them civilly and without moral reprimands should be a central learning goal and experience for students in academia.

  6. I would not be as accepting of this course. I see “academic freedom” as applying mostly to scholarship, but not necessarily to teaching. A lot of public money goes into university teaching (if only through tuition-fee write-offs) and there’s a genuine public interest in what is taught to students.

    I suspect that this course is pretty much pure ideology and propoganda, with little foundation in reason and evidence. We should quite properly object to it being taught. (I also wonder how long an academic who announced a “problem with blackness” course would survive.)

    1. The question in parentheses answers itself. Nonetheless, the purely linguistic aspect of “the problem of blackness” is an interesting one, relating to such words as “blackguard” and phrases like “black magic”. I believe such usages occur in multiple cultures—for a reason which is as clear as night and day.

    2. I could be wrong on some technical point here, but I believe U of Chicago is a private institution. That would free them up to even teach straight-up creationism.

  7. It is hardly clear without further information about the course that it is akin to having a course that takes astrology seriously. Maybe it is worth remembering that someone with a claim to be one of the greatest American writers of the twentieth century wrote extensively on whiteness as a problem. If this course did nothing more than introduce students to James Baldwin’s thoughts about whiteness, it would help students to be aware of how whiteness can be unseen, and how its being unseen is a problem.

    1. The concept and its evolution and current usage in activist circles is a perfectly good, interesting subject for a seminar.
      But the description gives the impression that there will not be a critical academic distance to the current usage and no tolerance for open discussion of its questionable aspects, but that just may be prejudice on our side.
      To be black in early 20th century America must have been a very special, unpleasant experience. But it’s no longer 1950. And the “majority as default” phenomenon is a much more general thing. In our globalized world with diversified Western countries, “Whiteness” possibly isn’t a good term for that any more. Very different populations can be the “seen” minority. E g a Westerner of whatever race in Japan or a European in Niger or Yemen or even a Turk’s German spouse when in Turkey or in an immigrant neighborhood in Germany is “racialized”, as today’s (again far to specific) term goes. Also, in Robin de Angelo’s list, class/wealth aspects are mixed with effects of race, and she completely ignores other immutable characteristics that could either marginalize or privilege you (What/who are “people like me?” that one might see in the media? Beautiful rich celebs for most people are not “People like me”, whatever their race.) To center “whiteness” here as the one privilege from which all others arise isn’t really justified.

      1. The comment about how awful it was to have been black in early twentieth century America rather misses what the point might be of actually reading Baldwin on whiteness. What was the price the European population paid in becoming white? That was the price of the ticket. They paid. Baldwin on whiteness takes you to thoughts about life that you haven’t thought. He’s a great writer and takes you places you haven’t been.

    1. How horrible. Social media brings out the worst in people. There should be strict measures against physical intimidation, including surrounding and shouting down of speakers, at universities.

  8. “Whiteness has long functioned as an ‘unmarked’ racial category, saturating a default surround against which non-white or ‘not quite’ others appear as aberrant.”

    And in China I’m pretty sure that “Chineseness” is the cultural default. Kinda hard to avoid and not clear why it’s only a great evil in one case but not another.

    1. An article on the Univ of Chicago’s student newspaper contains this:

      “I want to just state unequivocally that the class is emphatically not about ‘anti-white hatred,’” Journey said in defense of the course. “This class is about interrogating whiteness as a social construction, not as a biological fact.”

      The study of whiteness has had a history in the social sciences since the 1990s. Scholars have analyzed the idea of whiteness, including the concept’s multiple meanings, how it emerged from history, and how it functions in society today. The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, for example, published a 12-part series called Seeing White, discussing what it means to be white.

      “None of that involves anything remotely close to attuning people who might be thought of or identify as white. It’s not about castigating people at all,” Julian Go, a sociology professor at UChicago, explained the difference between anti-white racism and the study of whiteness in response to the controversy. “That is no more racist than studying how people support a sports team. I mean, they’re completely separate issues.”


      1. Imagine all that psychic energy spent on “…interrogating Jewishness as a social construction…” etc… Not that ‘whiteness,’ or ‘Chineseness,’ or ‘Jewishness’ couldn’t be legitimate things to study. But to say “…no more racist than studying how people support a sports team” is a tad disingenuous, especially in light of all other anti-white rhetoric.

        1. I have no idea what Rebecca Journey’s course covers. Here’s some info about her:

          Rebecca Journey is a cultural anthropologist who earned her PhD from the University of Chicago in 2021. Her work examines how the evolutionary and reformist logics of eugenic ideology animate the aesthetics of green urbanism in contemporary Denmark. She has special interests in the techno- and ethnopolitics of climate change; histories of Scandinavian design; and the semiotics of social difference.


          Who would have thought that eugenic ideology animates the aesthetics of green urbanism in contemporary Denmark? I would not have guessed that.

          1. You wouldn’t have guessed that? Why, every child in my third grade class could tell you all about that relationship. Although some mispronounced “animates” as “animathes” due to missing front teeth…

            I’m kidding, of course. 🙂

      2. “This class is about interrogating whiteness as a social construction, not as a biological fact.”

        Don’t call it “whiteness” then.

        1. +1.

          It also reminds us of the problem of identifying humans as ‘black’ and ‘white’ when there are many different ethnic groups around the world variously described with those terms; there are ‘white Indians’ and ‘black Indians’. Hell, there are also albinos of all races – and not just in the human species.

          Any course titled “problem of whiteness” should be about the problem with having no skin pigmentation. We’re all shades of brown/tan.

          This mirrors the problem with having one set of terms for ‘female’ as a sex and ‘female’ as a gender.

  9. Typo – I think that John Stuart Mill made that statement more recently than 223 years ago – he hadn’t even been born then.

  10. I don’t know. You’ve got a whole Department, apparently, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, and those folks have to teach something. This seems right in line with the kind of stuff I would expect from an academic department with that moniker. I don’t doubt that all of the courses offered under that prefix are pretty much equally risible, but it’s kind of the current deal up on (what we used to call at UCLA) North Campus, and academic freedom is an important thing.

    No, the problem with this particular course is only that the race and ethnicity being critically analyzed is the same race or ethnicity that tends to give rise to this kind of insufferable self-styled Campus Conservative Whistleblower with his white shirt & tie and his YAF membership card spouting off about ‘anti-white hatred’. I mean, if there is a meaningful concept of “whiteness” it’s surely embodied in this twerp.

    1. Well, maybe he should be a good toady and be quiet, change his shirt color to Distressed Pumpkin, and take to heart the substance of the NMAAHC exhibit on Whiteness:


      I look forward to the Museum’s exhibit and opinions about (White-Adjacent?) Asian-ness and Asian Culture – and other cultures. The Museum has had plenty of time to hold forth on at least one more culture.

  11. There are some linguistic patterns that feel highly correlated with postmodern mushiness. One of them is to take a simple descriptive adjective, convert it to a highly abstract noun (abstraction is postmodernists’ stock-in-trade)- a thing on its own with its own set of highly abstract properties – then creatively flesh out those properties with wild abandon, properties that have nothing to do with the original meaning of the word.

    “Whiteness” is a perfect example. From the undisputed fact that humans of European descent have, for well document evolutionary reasons, skin that is whiter than that of humans whose recent ancestors lived closer to the equator, we begin talking about “whiteness” not as a color but as a moral dimension supposedly descriptive of the white oppressor class in general. All the putative characteristics of stereotypic “white culture” – punctuality, belief in objective truth, even belief in binary biological sex – are attributed to “whiteness”, and therefore part and parcel with all the oppression whites have imposed on Nonwhites (did I get my capitalization right?). And in short, bad.

    Another pattern is to bring a clearly metaphorical reference into a discussion, then proceed as though the claim were literal or at least close enough to literal to warrant dropping the real/figurative distinction altogether. Postmodern pioneer Sandra Harding did this when she wrote about some somewhat silly analogies posed by Francis Bacon and others comparing science with the amorous pursuit of a woman, seeking to tease from her her “secrets”. For Harding, that meant that science just *is* a form of sexual assault, and “feminist science” in Harding’s tradition continues to attack science on the grounds of its inherent immorality.

    Postmodern thought is fairly defined by its detachment from the details of the reality it claims to describe. Once in the sphere of the hopelessly abstract, with nothing to tether one to factual reality, there is nothing to stop the descent into Nonsense, especially when the practitioners aggressively attack those who try to point out their excesses.

  12. That, of course, doesn’t mean every course can be taught: teaching creationism in public schools and universities, for instance, has been banned by the courts as an exercise in religious propaganda prohibited by the First Amendment.

    A few questions for our host:
    * Am I correct in my understanding that UChicago is a private university, so the ruling does not apply? That UChicago could teach creationism, if the university administration so chose? (‘could’ legally, not ‘could’ in the scope of existing university policies,)

    * I’m starting to wonder if it makes sense to further fragment universities, to make liberal arts, science, engineering, and business entirely separate legal entities, rather than permitting them to exist under the same university. That would prevent some cross-pollination of ideas among students and faculty, but it would also help ensure that the administration is not pressured by students of the liberal arts to change university-wide policies. So, my question:

    Not to cancel the Problem class, but would you be happier if the Department of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies were in a separate university? In your experience, does it help or hurt science and engineering students to have those programs in the same university?

  13. Postmodern thought (an oxymoron if there ever was one) is not any kind of good-faith distinterested scholarship that has ever or will ever create any real empirical or refutable “Theory” or any honest accurate depiction of reality and/or humanity, but is entirely a Leftist political project disguised in the skin suit of scholarship.
    Postmodern thought and Crit Theory etc are just what the eternal and unkillable Marxist revolution transformed into when it was defeated in the real world and had to retreat to academia as its last refuge. (Things like Marxism have always been much more a project of secular intellectuals than any of the proletariat or victim groups they claim to represent.)
    If any of this sounds overheated or extreme to you, I would have had def agreed for most of my adult life until I recalled what some of my English profs had said about Art and Literature, things like: “All famous artists and writers are just reflections of the ruling classes that expert power by controlling discourse,” that is, the only reason I preferred Tolstoy and Shakespeare to comic books and political pamphlets was that I’d been brainwashed by unseen hegemonic powers aka I was suffering from “false consciousness”. This is just straight cribbing from the Lenin and Mao school of thought.
    The Crit Theorists etc took advantage of Popper’s Paradox of Tolerance, seized control of liberal academia and remade it in its image, and now they have total power to inflict their agenda, with their attacks on “Whiteness” being just one part.

    1. Critical theory is also aptly described as parasitic. It appropriates to itself the victimhood of real victims of social inequality. It appropriates the credibility of academic and media institutions that have worked hard to earn their credibility (e.g. SciAm, NYTimes). Without real social injustice to milk for credibility, and without the mentality of revolutionaries pursuing the Most-Important-Cause-There-Is, they are just a bunch of cranks peddling panaceas.

  14. Indeed, a department of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies has to fill up its curriculum with
    something; so we get a specialist in the aesthetics of eugenic green urbanism in Denmark “interrogating” the concept of “whiteness”—a concept which, in common usage, applies to teeth and products associated with teeth.

    Let me suggest a possible academic response: faculty in appropriate disciplines (such as Neurobiology, Linguistics, Psychology) offer a course called The Problem of Bullshit,
    which will “interrogate” the curricula of departments like the one under consideration. Why, analysis of academic bullshit might belong in the discipline of Philosophy, or even in
    a department of Literature, if any still exist. However, an interrogation of academic bullshit might not be allowed at Portland State U., at which Peter Boghossian used to work.

    1. Agreed. But I don’t think a full course would be required, just prompting the students to ask simple questions, and then followup questions, may be enough. “Critical studies” is a house of cards that tends to fall apart once you leave the rarified air of abstraction its proponents weave, and just ask simple, straightforward questions about what they mean and why we should believe them. Or ask them to paraphrase their claims into everyday English. Or to provide even a single example to help make sense of it all.

      I well remember an interview where the reporter was trying to wrap her head around the claim that mathematics is a “white cultural” phenomenon. The reporter kept asking follow up questions, asking for something, anything, that could support the claims. The interviewee finally said that indigenous cultures might have different preferred geometric patterns than parallel lines. That was it. That was all she had.

      1. It is funny how these bullies who’ve routed the Anglosphere and who send all their opponents into frenzies of atonement are also the naked emperor that gets easily disrobed with a few simple pointed questions.
        This is a paraphrase from a conversation I had recently with a friend about Gender:
        “X, that guy we went to school with, is now a woman.”
        “How did he become a woman?”
        “He ‘identifies’ as a woman.”
        “What do you mean ‘identifies’?”
        “He feels that he is really a woman and not a man.”
        “Based on what?”
        “He loves sex with men, wearing pink underwear and hates sports.”
        “So he identifies with female stereotypes.”
        And yes, my friend told me to shut up!

  15. We are not criticizing you personally because of your heritage or the color of your skin, because that would be racist. We just want to teach everyone all the different ways that your culture and way of life are abhorrent to us.
    Also that these despicable characteristics are permanently linked to your race, and that you will always perpetuate them.

    Additionally, we don’t want to throw the Jews down the well, we just have some minor issues with the government of Israel. Primarily that it exists.

    We would also prefer that you ignore the little skulls on our caps.

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