Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Does University culture think racism is sometimes okay?

The University of Alabama recently found itself undesirably in the spotlight again when an administrator of high standing lost his job at the institution. The essence of the matter appears to be that Dr. Jamie R. Riley, dean of students and assistance vice president of student life, resigned from UA in a mutual agreement with the institution after some allegedly racist social media comments of his publically surfaced.

The Tuscaloosa News has two stories about the incident published Sep. 13 and Sep. 18, both written by Ed Enoch. The earlier story focuses on student reaction to Riley’s resignation, the latter focuses on the UA Faculty Senate’s reaction. While some details on the initial comments are mentioned, neither story focuses much attention on the controversial comments that serve as the catalyst for the entire situation.

In the Sep. 13 story, the reader can see some of Riley’s twitter comments pertaining to a politically loaded view of the American flag (though screenshots would have been more helpful since Riley’s twitter account is now visible only to approved followers), in which Riley expresses his opinion as if it were the opinion of ALL black Americans. (screenshots taken from the Breitbart article that originally broke this story)

Riley Twitter

Surely not all black people think of the American flag the way Riley does. In fact, some in the black community consider the American flag is a symbol of emancipation, as opposed to a different symbol (the Confederate flag) flown in defense of systemic racism.

Another of Riley’s contentious tweets claimed white people can’t experience racism and therefore have no right to an opinion on the matter.

Riley Twitter

Imagine, if you will, a white person making racially insensitive remarks about the black community and being given the benefit of the doubt with defensive comments such as “the context is unclear.” This is the Tuscaloosa News’ odd reaction to Riley’s racially combative comments. According to common understanding, if someone is discriminated against because of their race, that is racism. And that can happen to anyone, because hate and prejudice are not limited to one group or another. And we all know this.

The Sep. 18 article mentions only “systemic racism” and “police use of force” for context on Riley’s statements. In what may be a subtle effort to protect Riley, neither article makes mention of further comments he made, some of which border on the conspiratorial, such as his suggestion movies about slavery may actually be a means of putting black people “in their place”:

Riley Twitter

In the scenario where a university administrator makes racially disparaging remarks aimed not at merely an individual or two, but at an entire group of people, and he mysteriously resigns from his job soon after, one would think the nature of the initial comments would be the focus of subsequent reporting, rather than being glossed over. In this case, the reporting and those interviewed for these two articles instead show an odd focus on the lack of information produced by the UA administration about Riley’s resignation, as if his contentious comments themselves have little to do with the situation. To borrow from a statement of Dr. Riley, is it that hard to see the correlation?

Observe some of the interview material selected in the first Tuscaloosa News article focusing on student reactions:

“This is complicated, and I don’t have all the answers,” said Andre Denham, BFSA president and an associate professor in the College of Education.

Denham mentioned free speech concerns from faculty and staff whose academic work involves topics discussed by Riley or those who actively share their opinions on social media.

“The university not clarifying what has happened is making folks a little nervous,” he said.

Denham took questions from the students in the Ferguson Student Center ballroom. The students who spoke described frustration at the lack of information and inaccessibility to top administrators.

One of the students described frustration with university’s pledge to be a diverse climate and the seeming contradiction of a black administrator forced out for expressing his opinion.

Some of the students were upset an administrator whom they admired was “taken down” for being truthful and questioned what it meant for free speech and their sense of security on a majority-white campus.

Did you notice that gold nugget about Riley being “truthful”? Were there no students interviewed who were concerned about the apparent racism of Riley’s comments? A controversy such as this is controversial mainly because not everyone agrees with the comments or actions made. Clearly there is disagreement in the UA community about Riley’s quick resignation and the silence of UA administration on it. Was there no disagreement about the “truth” of Riley’s comments? In the American public, in general, there is strong disagreement about ideas like those Riley posted.

But the question of a double standard is not missed by the Tuscaloosa News. Another student is quoted who thinks there might be more than one set of rules in play:

(Freshman Kelvon) Malik argued the situation would be different if Riley was not black.

“If it was a white man, it would be totally different,” Malik said.

I should say Malik is right. If it was a white man whose social media footprint revealed racist comments, it would indeed be quite different. It’s likely that a white man in Riley’s position would also have mysteriously resigned, but conspicuously precipitated by (rather than followed by) a public outcry (calling for his ouster) and there would have been no worries about free speech or academic freedom. And how can we know this? Precedent gives us some insight.

There is another Tuscloosa News story from April 2018 in which an alleged white supremacist had been invited to speak by a UA student organization. That student organization had its status as a recognized UA group withdrawn and the event in question was cancelled. Apparently there was no one in the UA community who had concerns about endangering free speech or academic freedom, and none when UA president Stuart Bell encouraged students to avoid the event before it was cancelled. At least no such concerns were mentioned in the News report. Instead of including student interviews or comments from the Faculty Senate about the matter, the writer chose to seek outside the university community and quote the leftwing activist group Southern Poverty Law Center which described the speaker as:

“a courtly presenter of ideas that most would describe as crudely white supremacist — a kind of modern-day version of the refined but racist colonialist of old.”

In the case of a speaker identified by a politically partisan organization as a white supremacist, the UA administration and supposedly the UA community at large seem to agree that preventing the speaker from expressing his opinion was the right course of action. But with Dr. Riley, the community and a local newspaper apparently focus instead on “frustration and anxiety on campus with the perception that Riley was forced out for expressing his opinion…” The former incident seemed quite simple, whereas the latter is “complicated”.

Similarly, there were two other incidents in 2018 (in January and in March of that year) where a UA student was found, via social media video, to be spouting racially offensive language. In both cases the students in question quickly turned out to be no longer enrolled at the university. Nowhere in the local news reporting or in Editorials was there an outcry of concern about free speech or academic freedom, or a lack of information about the change in status of the students. The reporting focused merely on the content of the racially offensive statements, not on procedural matters. These incidents likewise seemed to be quite uncomplicated, as with the cancelled white supremacist speaking event.

Returning to Riley’s case, the UA Faculty Senate issued what seems to be a politically calculated response to his resignation. As reported by the Tuscaloosa News:

In the statement, the Faculty Senate said the silence from administration has perpetuated the university’s reputation as non-inclusive and discriminatory; does not align with its strategic plan commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion;

Faculty Senate criticizes UA’s silence on dean’s departure and raises questions about UA’s commitment to freedom of speech and academic Freedom.

The Faculty Senate also called on the administration to publicly and unequivocally affirm the university’s “commitment to creating and maintaining a safe climate that supports and encourages students, faculty, and staff to exercise their right to academic freedom and free speech, to denounce inequality and racism, and promote social justice.”

The instances of the two students and white supremacist show UA leadership had acted in a way that apparently the UA community thought to be apt and responsible. There is the appearance of a different standard in place for Dr. Riley, especially given the Faculty Senate’s absurd implication there has been no progress against racism at the university.

In 2018 an editorial at the Tuscaloosa News shows a more level headed approach to dealing with these matters. The editorial titled “When racism surfaces, a response is required” addressed the two student incidents of that year. It mentions no meetings of the student community or any other UA group questioning the actions of UA leadership or expressing concern about free speech or academic freedom. As the article put it:

In both instances, the university swiftly condemned the behavior and reiterated its commitment to inclusion. That was the right thing to do, of course.

The editorial rightly points out the university could have done nothing to prevent “disgusting social media posts” of the two students and the appropriate thing to do is to swiftly address and disavow those actions. It also points out “(President Stuart) Bell was correct to remind the community that the university condemns racist behavior.” UA leadership also quickly disavowed the white supremacist invited to speak on campus, evidently for the same reasons.

In one more Tuscaloosa News editorial titled No room for hate here, no tolerance for haters, the editor addresses the first 2018 racial incident. The title implies much of what the article is about. In it, the editor esteems UA leadership for swiftly responding to and disavowing the hate-filled comments. The editor ends the piece with what could easily be taken for a general consensus among American higher education culture (referring to the perpetrator by name for the incident in question):

There should be no room for hate here and no tolerance for those who would come here to foment it.

Yes, it was good to see reports that Barber has apologized, but ultimately her words did more harm to her than to anyone else. We hope she truly comes to understand how horribly wrong they were.

One lesson she should now understand is that her right to free speech doesn’t include a right to avoid consequences for her words.

Ah, there is no right to avoid consequences for one’s own words. Some evidently feel Dr. Riley’s controversial comments were hateful, both toward a group of people (based on their race) and toward the United States, but you might not know that if the Tuscaloosa News were your only source. If equality is really one of our goals as a society, why should he be treated any differently than a white person found to be making racially offensive comments? Given the UA community’s disapproving reaction to the Riley incident (disapproving of UA administration actions, rather than of Riley’s comments themselves), it almost appears that racism is sometimes okay.


bigotry, diversity, education, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, news media, pandering, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, racism, racist, relativism, scandal

Filed under: bigotry, diversity, education, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, news media, pandering, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, racism, racist, relativism, scandal

Gay writer pens blistering commentary on the ‘shame’ and ‘horror’ of ‘pride celebrations’

original article: This Pride, let’s celebrate shame
Few gay men are proud to have surrendered their movement to a hostile takeover by Democrats, corporations, Marxists, and racial identitarians
June 17, 2019 by Chadwick Moore (h/t to LifeSite)

New York Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill has formally apologized for the raid of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Manhattan, 50 years ago. The proclamation came as the city’s Department of Tourism gears up to host World Pride, making it the official epicenter of Pride Month activities around the globe. Think of it as the Olympics for meth, alcoholism, public fornication, corporate pandering, and hairy asses shoved in the faces of children.

The Stonewall raid of June 28, 1969 sparked riots in New York, and is recognized as the moment the gay rights movement began. Unfortunately, Commissioner O’Neill may have apologized for the wrong reasons. The man in the strippergram uniform should have said:

‘We’re sorry. We were only doing our jobs. We couldn’t have known that a routine check on an illegal business five decades ago would unleash the horror of Pride parades onto the world for the next 50 years.’  

Stonewall is a legend, and the mythology keeps evolving. Back then, all the gay bars in New York were owned by the Mafia. In 1966, ‘Fat Tony’ Lauria of the Genovese crime family purchased Stonewall, then an unassuming family-friendly restaurant, and converted it into a festering dump for gays. The toilets constantly overflowed. There were no fire exits and no soap to wash the glasses. The liquor was watered down and stolen. Employees trafficked prostitutes, and dabbled in blackmailing patrons with threats to ‘out’ them. The cops constantly raided Stonewall and other mob-owned businesses in the area but, because the mob paid off the police, the cops usually gave warnings or came in the middle of the afternoon when no one was there. It’s unknown whether on that fateful night in 1969 the cops were cracking down on the mob, or on corruption in their own ranks, or if the owners of Stonewall simply didn’t get the tip-off in time. What is clear is that Stonewall was not targeted simply because gays hung out there.

Rather than today’s trendy Evil Cop vs. Angelic Minority narrative, historians say the Stonewall riots were as much about gays being fed up living under the heel of the mob as about protesting the laws that criminalized homosexuality. It’s a wonderful thing those laws don’t exist anymore and we owe a lot to the gays of that era. I’ve met some of the men who rioted outside Stonewall. No-nonsense, grisly old fags, they rightfully look with disdain at today’s generation of whiners and crybabies.

But when it comes to historical revisionism, gays are the worst offenders. Most Americans still believe Matthew Shepard, the world’s favorite ‘hate crime’ victim, was killed because he was gay. In fact, it had nothing to do with his sexuality. He was killed during a robbery and drug deal gone terribly wrong, and he was even friends with one of his killers, a gay-for-pay prostitute. Even the bar that President Obama declared a national historic landmark isn’t the location of the original Stonewall, which is an abandoned nail salon next door.

Today, lesbians and Marxists have commandeered the gay rights movement and built up the vast LGBT Industrial Complex. They’re now attempting their most brazen lie yet, that the Stonewall uprising was actually led by ‘trans women of color’. They want everyone to believe gay liberation is owed exclusively to a scrappy band of black drag queens ripping parking meters out of the cement with their teeth to fend off the invaders. This is a lie, but it’s working.

To canonize this falsehood and to posthumously baptize into the cult of transgenderism, which wasn’t even a word in 1969, Marxist powerbrokers have dug up Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, two self-identified transvestites — men who dress in women’s clothing, as opposed to men who think they are women. This year, historical revisionists successfully lobbied the city of New York to install a statue of these two crossdressers outside Stonewall. The problem, historians theorize, is that Rivera was blacked out on heroin 30 blocks north in Bryant Park as the riots unfolded, and Johnson admitted in interviews he wasn’t there when it started. If you believe Johnson chucked the first Molotov cocktail outside Stonewall and started a global revolution, Jussie Smollett is waiting to show you MAGA country.

The gay rights movement was founded by gay men who were almost entirely white. But the taxpayer-funded advertisements for World Pride 2019, plastered on subway cars, streetlights, and billboards in New York City, and in magazines and websites, intentionally feature no images of white people and very few men. It’s mostly obese, sassy black lesbians. And the Pride 50th Anniversary banner a block away from Stonewall features the image of a Muslim woman in a hijab.

This Pride month, let’s acknowledge what gay people can teach us about the virtues of shame. Let their movement be cautionary and instructive. Let us use this month to reflect on how we may be more humble and palatable to our fellow man. Let’s appreciate all the wonderful things that shame has brought to our lives.

Few gay men are proud to have surrendered their movement to a hostile takeover by Democrats, corporations, Marxists, and racial identitarians. There’s also nothing to be proud of when the powerful LGBT lobby thinks so lowly of its own people that all its political gains have been based on lies and misinformation, and all its public figures are scrubbed and sanitized.

The only sense of ‘pride’ I ever felt at being gay came from knowing my forefathers included cultural icons like Oscar Wilde, Quentin Crisp, and Freddie Mercury. Today we’re left with sexless 3D printout Pete Buttigieg, drag-queen story-time in elementary schools, chemically castrated ‘transgender children,’ and an entire generation of privileged little brats addicted to fantasy oppression porn, boycotting chicken sandwiches, and hauling elderly bakers into the Supreme Court. Time to put it away, guys. That’s nothing to be proud of.

As you watch naked, leathery old men with nipple rings waddle down the street, testicles knocking at their knees, or third-rate drag monsters expose their buttholes to crowds of children, just remember that this is not the behavior of an honorable — or even rebellious — people. Everyone knows it, but no one is allowed to say it. It’s hardly even Pride in the Biblical sense. In Christianity, Pride is the first sin, and the most deadly. Pride got Satan expelled from Heaven and Adam and Eve cast out of Paradise. Today’s gay Pride is just corny and mildly uncomfortable.

Of course, the great irony is, come Monday morning after World Pride, millions of gay people will experience some of the deepest, darkest shame of their lives as they wake in a seedy apartment in a mysterious zip code, Cher’s Farewell Tour blaring from the television, a mountain of cocaine on the table, with a sore backside and limbs of indiscriminate origin flung about them. We’ve all been there; it’s part of the Pride experience.

And they should feel ashamed. In psychology, modern affect theory asserts that shame is not learned. It is in our genes, and acts as a kind of emotional circuit-breaker. In his 1872 survey of human emotions, Charles Darwin concluded that shame is universal across human cultures and expressed in exactly the same way by all people. Pop sociologist Brené Brown calls it our most powerful ‘master emotion’, a force that steers us to do good.

As psychologist Joseph Burgo said, American culture over the last 100 years has been at rebellion against shame, particularly related to sex. This revolt has reached fever-pitch in many areas. The more people have given in to abandon, the less happy they have become. They feel they’re entitled to live shame-free lives. But they aren’t. We fail to acknowledge the benefits of healthy, productive shame — constructive criticism, as it is sometimes called — as opposed to the crippling, nuclearized shame of early Puritanical movements and contemporary Islam.

Perhaps if someone told this to Big Gay during those tacky Pride orgies that intend more to shock and offend than to celebrate, then huge swaths of mankind might actually grow to appreciate the gay community, in the way that I once did, rather than merely tolerate it. Maybe, also, many of us would be happier, more stable people.

culture, diversity, extremism, homosexuality, philosophy, sex

Filed under: culture, diversity, extremism, homosexuality, philosophy, sex

College level professor bias

original article: Paper: Professor Bias May Deflate Conservative College Students’ Grades
May 9, 2019 by Joy Pullmann

Conservative students enter college with higher SAT scores and GPAs than liberal students, but by the fourth year of college have lower GPAs than liberal peers, which may be a consequence of institutional bias, finds a new working paper from the University of Arkansas.

Self-identified conservative students saw the biggest grade dip when studying in the humanities and social sciences, none when studying in professional fields, and an extra grade advantage when studying in hard-science fields. The bias was more pronounced at higher-ranked colleges and universities.

“Notwithstanding the GPA advantages held by conservative students in high school, students who support banning racist/sexist speech, and who endorse dissent as critical to the political process (positions typically associated with liberalism) enjoy a relative advantage over their peers,” the paper finds.

The authors controlled for students’ family income, SAT scores, and demographics, and repeatedly caution that the GPA effect is comparatively small, although statistically significant, and may have explanations other than professor bias. For example, since other social science has found conservatives tend to follow rules better and score lower on spontaneity and creativity, perhaps those characteristics make them a poorer fit for college or humanities programs.

Statistical analysis on a large database often used by researchers shows that “by the fourth year of college, liberal students tend to have higher grades than conservative peers: ideological self-placement is the only variable in the model changing direction from high school to college” (emphasis original), write paper authors Matthew Woessner of Penn State, Robert Maranto of U-Arkansas, and Amanda Thompson of the University of Georgia. The working paper from U-Arkansas’s Department of Education Reform has not yet been peer-reviewed nor published in an academic journal, but has been released to generate academic input pre-publication, it states.

The paper includes the graph below, showing that conservative students have the highest overall grades in high school, although lower writing and verbal SAT scores than liberal students. This also could reflect conservatives’ higher compliance levels, political biases in the verbal (less objective) portions of tests, neither, or both. Other research has found that high schools highly value compliance and that K-12 teachers award higher grades to more agreeable students and students more similar to them, which lowers boy’s grades compared to girls.

“Rather than political bias, conservatives might earn lower grades if colleges play to the strengths of liberal students,” the paper says. “Prior work shows that liberals more deeply value independence and the creation of original works, while conservatives more deeply value family life, community, and loyalty (Kelly-Woessner and Woessner 2009; Haidt 2012). In short, one could interpret findings here as suggesting that as institutions, high schools fit the strengths of conservatives while colleges fit the strengths of liberals.”

Or perhaps college culture tends to be anti-conservative. The paper notes later that, in the authors’ field experience, students from rich, secular, liberal families adapted better to campus life than did students from conservative, middle-class homes. It suggests that’s because “students from conservative or religious household might face difficulties in the transition to college, losing the structure and community they enjoyed in high school.”

But it also could be that campus cultures can be actively hostile to family, faith, community, and a well-ordered life. A further indication of this comes later, when the paper discusses how students who support same-sex marriage “tend to feel more valued, and believe that faculty see their potential, show concern, and take an interest in their success” when rating their college experience. Students on the opposite side of the issue tend to say the opposite. This, the paper suggests, “opens the possibility that directly or indirectly, opposition to same sex-marriage contributes to alienation among some students.”

If this is just one indicator of the well-known reality that campuses have a culturally leftist bent, it’s no wonder that conservatives would feel less comfortable and have more difficulty adapting. Since conservatives tend to have better self-organization and perform better in the academically more difficult science fields, perhaps a politically leftist culture is a major hindrance to their adjustment to college life.

If we saw these difficulties among liberal students or minorities, we’d no doubt see op-eds in major newspapers and websites about how campus climates are “chilly” and “hostile” to such young people. Don’t expect that to happen when the difficulties apply more to conservative kids.

While all kids’ GPAs dropped in college compared to high school, the conservative students’ grades dropped more than the liberal students’ did. Other research has found that high school GPAs are the best predictor of college achievement, even better than SAT and ACT scores. Conservative students’ high GPAs also dropped more dramatically for some measures of political conservatism than others, as the graph below from the paper shows.

“[H]olding all else constant, the most liberal student would enjoy a 0.16 point advantage over the most conservative student on a 7 point scale. Given our large sample size [of more than 7,000 students], this difference is statistically significant,” says the paper.

Students’ views on abortion had the strongest relationship with conservatives’ high school to college grade drop, partly because pro-life students had the highest average high school GPAs. At medium to low-prestige higher education institutions, pro-life students’ academic achievement actually increased, but at high-prestige schools their advantage was erased. The reverse happened with students who opposed free speech: they saw higher grades in college than their high school performance would have projected.

“Whereas the advantage enjoyed by pro-life students declines, the advantage of those who would ban racist/sexist speech or who value dissent grows,” the paper notes.

Another factor here is that while college professors massively more leftist than the general American population, K-12 teachers are also significantly farther left than most Americans. Fifty percent of K-12 teachers voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, compared to 29 percent voting for Donald Trump. Forty-one percent of teachers identify as Democrats, and only 27 percent as Republicans, according to a 2017 poll by the trade publication Education Week. That’s a 12-point higher percentage of Democrats among K-12 teachers than among the general American public.

By comparison, a recent study found that high-ranked liberal arts colleges employ ten self-described Democrat professors for every one Republican. So if bias unfairly deflates conservative students’ achievements in college, it probably has an effect in high school, also, especially since these biased colleges train K-12 teachers. Bias just may not affect K-12 students as much as it does college students.

This may be one reason that public schools are the top choice for only one-third of American parents, even though eight in ten of those same parents have their kids enrolled in public schools. A recent poll in Wisconsin found that two-thirds of Republican voters are worried about politics in their kids’ public schools, and it’s certain they’re not alone. The question is: Are conservative parents and GOP politicians going to do anything serious about a system stacked against their kids?

bias, diversity, education, ideology, political correctness

Filed under: bias, diversity, education, ideology, political correctness

Displacing girls, the (hopefully) unintended consequences of the transgender moment

original article: 8th Place: A High School Girl’s Life After Transgender Students Join Her Sport
May 6, 2019 by Kelsey Bolar

When two high school athletes who were born male but identify as female tookfirst and second place at Connecticut’s girls indoor track championship this year, it wasn’t just a local news story.

To some, it was a story of triumph and courage. The winner, a junior from Bloomfield High School, set a girls state indoor record of 6.95 seconds in the 55-meter dash, and went on to win the New England titles in both the 55-meter dash and the 300-meter dash.

To others, it was a story of shock and disappointment: Is this the end of women’s sports?

To Selina Soule, a 16-year-old runner from Glastonbury, it was personal.

A junior, Selina missed qualifying for the 55-meter in the New England regionals by two spots. Two spots, she said, that were taken by biological boys.

Had the boys who identify as girls not been allowed to compete, Selina would have placed sixth, qualifying to run the 55 in front of college coaches at the New England regionals.

Instead, she placed eighth, watching the 55 from the sidelines after qualifying in only the long jump, an event in which the transgender athletes didn’t compete.

“It’s very frustrating and heartbreaking when us girls are at the start of the race and we already know that these athletes are going to come out and win no matter how hard you try,” Selina told The Daily Signal. “They took away the spots of deserving girls, athletes … me being included.”F

While the debate over transgender athletes and fairness is complex, the situation in Connecticut has brought forth another complicating layer: Plenty of parents and high school girls appear to object to the participation of biological boys in girls sports, but fearing public bullying and backlash, they’re not speaking out.

Publicly, at least.

The stakes of remaining silent are high: Policies are being formed in real time at the local, state, and federal levels regarding transgender individuals, student athletes, and sports.

Most prominently, on March 13, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced HR 5, the Equality Act, a bill that would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes under federal civil rights law.

The legislation would create a civil right for male athletes to self-identify as females at any time, critics say, without any evidence of physical changes to their bodies.

A Voice for the Voiceless

Selina Soule, a 16-year-old runner from Glastonbury, Connecticut, shares what it’s like being forced to compete against biological boys. (Photo: The Daily Signal)

When the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, or CIAC, said biological boys who identify as girls can compete as girls in sports, most track athletes remained mum.

Connecticut is one of 17 states that allow transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions, according to Transathlete.com, a website that tracks state policies in high school sports across the country.

Encouraged by her mother, Bianca Stanescu, who has been in the forefront in challenging the state policy, Selina is one of the few students, if not the only one, giving a voice to countless others who appear to feel the same way.

“Everyone is afraid of retaliation from the media, from the kids around their school, from other athletes, coaches, schools, administrators,” Selina explained. “They don’t want to drag attention to themselves, and they don’t want to be seen as a target for potential bullying and threats.”

In a visit to the Nutmeg State, The Daily Signal spoke with four other track athletes from two high schools in Connecticut. Echoing Selina’s sentiments, they asked to remain anonymous.

“I think it’s a very important thing for people to really understand where we’re coming from, instead of just immediately going to, ‘We’re transphobic,’” one said. “Just the way that our society is built, it snaps on people so quickly.”

“We live in such a cruel world, and society is just so hard to figure out sometimes,” another girl told The Daily Signal. “You never know what the reaction is going to be. It’s so hard because you want your voice to be heard … but, how can you know what to say that will affect things positively, instead of people twisting what you’re saying and turning it against you?”

‘An Equality Issue’

The girls’ parents, too, expressed a high level of concern for protecting their daughters’ identities, not even wanting to identify them by high school.

Connecticut is made up of small towns, the parents explained, and given the relatively small number of athletes affected, people can connect the dots.

“There’s really nothing else you can do except get super frustrated and roll your eyes,” the first girl said, “because it’s really hard to even come out and talk in public just because of the way with the far left, and how just immediately you’ll just be shut down.”

“It’s not like we’re saying that we don’t like transgender people,” she added. “It’s just an equality issue where these girls are trying their absolute hardest to try and get those good things on their college resumes, and then it just gets completely taken away from them because there’s a biological male racing against them.”

The athletes say they don’t fear only being bullied or portrayed as a bigot. They also hope to attend college, and are afraid their politically incorrect views could hurt their prospects.

“I personally want a future in athletics in college,” a third girl told The Daily Signal, “but I feel like if there’s a coach that disagrees with my personal opinion, or a board that disagrees with it, then they’ll already have a predisposition with me and then it’ll affect maybe playing time or my ability to get into that college.”

“We have college down the road—I’m scared that that could get impacted,” a fourth girl said. “Sometimes the coaches will just like look at the lists … and if you’re not No. 1 then they won’t choose you.”

“I have heard opinions where coaches are just going to look at your times, and that they don’t really care where you place,” the first girl added. “But college coaches are going to these bigger meets, and when they don’t see you there, they’re not necessarily focusing on you. They’re focusing on the people that are there.”

“It kept Selina from getting to New Englands, where she had the opportunity to be running in front of college coaches, which is just unfair,” she added.

Uncomfortable Opinions

The athletes’ hesitation to speak out publicly begs the question:

How did society get to the point where high school girls now fear their uncomfortable opinions could prevent them from being admitted to the very institutions where uncomfortable opinions are supposed to be explored?

Whatever the answer, few could blame them, given the vitriol on display in today’s public square.

Business Insider removed a writer’s article defending the casting of Scarlett Johansson to play a transgender man in an upcoming film, for example. The publication said the article violated its “editorial standards,” and the writer later quit.

Authorities in Canada allegedly threatened to arrest a father if he refers to his biological daughter as a female in private or in public because she identifies as a boy.

And in schools, The Daily Signal has documented multiple cases of biological girls being forced to share locker rooms or bathrooms with boys, despite their safety concerns and discomfort.

But again and again, those on the “wrong side” of this conversation are too afraid to speak out.

‘Door Is Open for Any Other Sport’

A junior in high school, Selina Soule is asking for fairness to be returned to her sport.

Selina’s mother, Stanescu, told The Daily Signal that she has done “everything that I thought would be possible to help this and just open a conversation” about what’s happened in Connecticut and what could happen should Congress pass the Equality Act.

“The doors have been shut over and over again,” Stanescu said. “People are afraid to speak.”

In addition to potentially instating a nationwide bathroom requirement, health care mandate, and a “preferred pronoun” law based on gender identity, the Equality Act would enshrine in federal law the right of biological boys to compete as girls in all sports.

If the measure passes, Stanescu warned, “women will be completely eradicated from sports.”

What’s happening in Connecticut, she added, will happen across the country—and not just in track and field.

“Yes, it has been affecting track and field in Connecticut, but the door is open there for any sport, and that is something that could become also a safety issue,” Stanescu said. “It’s taking away the opportunity to win for the girls, but in sports that have physical contact, [it] could become a serious safety issue.”

“It could be potentially very dangerous if you have a transgender female that’s competing in basketball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey because they are so physically superior to females,” her daughter Selina added.

Selina says all this while making clear she supports athletes “being true to themselves.”

“I have friends in school who are transgender and I know when they are struggling to come out or deciding to come out, I was there supporting them,” she said. “And when they were freshly out, I was caring towards them. I was never rude or disrespectful.”

But the situation in sports has “nothing to do with their gender identity and how they feel,” Selina said. “It has to do with what is right and what is fair in athletics.”

Looking forward to her senior year, Selina said she hopes to run track in college. She referred to the long jump event as her “safe haven” where “the results were fair no matter what, because it was girls competing against girls.”

“But now, unfortunately,” she said with a disappointed look on her face, “one of those athletes has started to compete in long jump. So now none of my events are safe.”

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The religion of sex: is rape in the eye of the beholder?

In the 1990s Whoopi Goldberg played wise, ancient sage in a popular TV show. In one episode her character and another were discussing matters of truth, and Goldberg’s character voiced this popular tenet of progressivism: “Truth is in the eye of the beholder”.

This was nothing innovative even back in the 90s. It was merely another example of how the political left revels in customizable reality. But the quote is a good reminder of the underlying problem: some people don’t know the difference between fact and opinion.

People who wish to genuinely understand the world freely recognize the difference between fact and opinion. We recognize there is no such thing as “your truth” or “my truth” or “true to you but not to me”. If something is “true to you”, it’s your opinion, not truth. Your opinion is yours, reality is not yours.

Truth is reality, what ever reality happens to be. Our views, preferences, beliefs, feelings about reality matter not to the universe. Reality is what it is, regardless of what you or I wish it to be. We can change some aspects of reality, which is best accomplished one heart and mind at a time, by persuasion and understanding. This is the antithesis of modern progressivism, both in the acknowledgement of truth and in the peaceful, non-coercive means of accomplishing change.

Recently, another Hollywood-ite once again entered the light of controversy. Quentin Tarantino once defended known pedophile Roman Polanski. There is now a published audio recording from 2003 of Tarantino stating “I don’t consider him a rapist”.

Consider what he’s saying here. Social norms and sexual mores, even the law, are irrelevant as far as Tarantino is concerned. What matters is the fact someone wanted to have sex, and that should be the end of it.

Consider this attitude in some other contexts. Business owners don’t have the right to do anything and everything they want with their businesses, and people don’t have the right to do anything and everything they want with their money. Given the more recent limitations imposed on us all via political correctness, one could legitimately argue we no longer have the right to free speech either. But never mind all the areas of life where limitations imposed by culture or by law are widely considered good, healthy, and necessary.  On the matter of putting one’s genitals where one wishes, in this one area, our same progressive culture would have us believe any limitations here constitute a grievous form of oppression.

So we find this curious contradiction in progressivism. On matters related to money, ownership, speech, and more, progressive culture has no problem imposing limitations on individuals who challenge societal pressure (such as florists, bakers, photographers, or pizzaria owners). The culture gets to dictate what is acceptable, such as the transgender controversy taking the United States by storm. But on matters of sexuality the opposite is demanded, society must acquiesce to the demands of individuals who challenge cultural norms. Here, it is the outlier individual who gets to dictate what is acceptable, and the broader community must give way.

And that leads us back to the failure of progressive culture to distinguish between fact and opinion. Reasonable people recognize words mean things. If we intentionally distort the meanings of words we can find ourselves in a heap of trouble where no one wanted to go, such as the asinine but inevitable position of a pedophile raping girls as young as age 6 claiming he is a 9 year old boy trapped in an adult’s body. This is where customizable reality leads us. An acknowledgment of genuine truth protects us from such things.

Tarantino offers us another example of the insanity Western culture has embraced, an insanity where actual rape is not to be considered rape, but false allegations of rape are treated as unquestionable, depending on who the accused happens to be (such as Roman Polanski or Bill Clinton on one hand, and the Duke Lacrosse team on the other.)

Rod Dreher has good insight into this problem in his short piece “The Religion of Sex“. Give it a read.

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crisis, culture, diversity, ethics, hypocrisy, ideology, law, liberalism, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, relativism, scandal, sex, unintended consequences

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Is your elementary student being instructed with sexualized propaganda?

original article: California elementary schools to use pro-LGBT history textbooks
November 14, 2017 by Dorothy Cummings McLean

 

Children in California will be learning to identify historical personages by their sexuality.

The Advocate reported that the California state board of education approved “10 LGBT-inclusive history textbooks” for elementary school students in grades K-8 last week. It also rejected two textbooks on the grounds that they did not include “LGBT history.” The exclusion of LGBT history violates California’s FAIR Education Act.

The FAIR Education Act, once informally called the LGBT History Bill, was written by Senator Mark Leno. FAIR stands for “Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful.” It ensures that the political, economic and social contributions of people with disabilities as well as those people identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender are included in textbooks of California’s state-funded schools. It also added sexual orientation and religion to a list of characteristics that California schools already could not present in a negative way.

In 2008, Mark Leno became the first openly gay man to be elected to the California State Senate. He introduced the LGBT History Bill in 2011. Fifty-eight other bills penned by Leno were made into law, including the California Universal HealthCare Act and the establishment of Harvey Milk Day in California.

When the LGBT History Bill was presented, there was opposition from traditional family organizations. Candi Cushman of Focus on the Family told LifeSiteNews that the Bill was unnecessary because “California has some of the most pro-active laws in the nation in this regard already on the books.”

Cushman added, “The appropriate emphasis in history books and social science books is to honor people because of their contributions. It just seems kind of crazy to be promoting them based on their political or sexual identity. You wouldn’t want to leave people out based on that, but neither do you want to base the entire reason that they’re included in history on sexual identity. It should be based on their historical contributions.”

However, homosexual rights advocates welcome the new LBGT-inclusive textbooks. Rick Zbur, head of Equality California, told the Advocate that this “is the next step for California students to learn about the contributions of LGBT people.”

“Approval of these textbooks means that California schools will now have access to approved materials that accurately represent LGBTQ people … ”

Renata Moreira, executive director of the pro-homosexuality Our Family Coalition, told the Advocate that “LGBTQ students, and those with LGBTQ families, will finally be able to see themselves and our history accurately reflected in textbooks in California.

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Protesting athletes have forgotten what “pastime” means

The recent athletic protests of the U.S. national anthem highlight some important points we all know but are worth reiterating. First, no matter how important some may think they are, professional sports are a pastime. Second, how other people view your actions is not in your control.

Let’s expound on the nature of professional sports. The United States is a country of such opportunity and prosperity that millions of us have enough time and money to watch athletes play a game, and pay them for the pleasure of doing so. This is no chump change. Do you realize how much money we the people pour into professional sports each year? It’s a lot. The professional athletes protesting our national anthem are paid very well to play a game. And why do so many of us have the ability to make those athletes filthy rich to play a game? Because we live in a country based on freedom, and we have people who put on the uniform to protect that freedom. Respect for those who risk their lives to defend the American experiment was built into our sports tradition long ago. Those who make a living (becoming filthy rich) playing a game should respect that.

There are multi-millionaires taking a knee out of protest of the country, not out of respect for it. Professional sports are a pastime. We the people engage in pastimes to get away from things like politics.

And what are these professional athletes protesting? Well that brings us to the second point: we don’t control how other people view our actions.

The infamous Colin Kaepernick, the catalyst for the controversial displays of protest, lays out his reasons at NFL.com:

I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color…

Keep in mind there are multi-millionaire athletes who get to play a game for a living who are basically calling America a racist country. That brings us to a problem of intellectual dishonesty.

Kaepernick, and many others, would have us believe the United States is a racist country. And, of course, when I ask where are the Jim Crow laws, where did the poor white unemployed whose kids are stuck in bad schools put their privilege, and how did a racist country let a black guy get elected for the most powerful office in the world not once, but twice, the inevitable lame response is to accuse me of falsely claiming there is no racism here anymore. Which is hogwash.

No one is claiming racism has been eliminated, no one. Accusing people of thinking that doesn’t make it so. But where are the Jim Crow laws? Today Jim Crow HAS BEEN eliminated (except in institutions of higher education, where leftwing extremists are once again demanding racial segregation, renewing a long standing Democrat tradition).

On the contrary, affirmative action is the rule of the day. Historically disadvantaged people groups now have privileges while folks (who invented and implemented Jim Crow) used to enjoy. (Did you notice that? Right here I’ve acknowledged slavery and racism actually happened. No one denies these things happened, so it’s really quite ridiculous to suggest anyone is. And it’s intellectually dishonest to accuse anyone of denying these things.)

But the tables have been turned. The Duke Lacrosse team showed us a glaring example (one of many) of how while folk can now be falsely accused of a crime and deprived of their civil rights, not least of which is the the right to due process. Thankfully the anti-white racism was noticed and refuted, despite getting a jump start by a complicit media and over 80 Duke faculty who had already convicted the accused before the facts were made known and then incredulously tried to deny they jumped the gun, and called for the dismissal of the accused boys by claiming they were “merely” trying to bring greater attention to the abuse of women.

So, yes, racism still exists. But institutional racism does not. Racism still happens but it does not lurk around every corner. Given the scare stories the media has published about white supremacy, it is absurd to think an inherently white supremacist nation would elect a black guy to the most powerful position in the world. It is asinine to suggest white supremacists let Obama win the presidential election as a “token” black guy, yet the same white supremacists were so upset he won that they let it happen a second time.

Besides, do you realize how insulting it is to suggest Obama didn’t actually win the 2008 or 2012 elections, but he was merely allowed to win so white supremacists could have their token black guy? In a slightly “you didn’t build that” way, it is profound partisan blindness to think those elections were merely handed to him. If you think Obama’s critics opposed him because they’re racist, the last thing you should do is act like Obama didn’t win two terms of the presidency because of his own abilities. It sounds racist when you do that.

While those who get paid to find racism even when it isn’t there continually stir up strife and manufacture fear that racism lurks around every corner, filthy rich athletes protest the flag and the national anthem. It doesn’t look like they are protesting oppression, since it is we the supposedly racist middle-America types who spend our hard earned dollars that make them rich. People don’t pay to watch professional sports despite the skin color of the athletes, they watch professional sports because they DON’T CARE about the skin color of those athletes. The only begrudging thing about this is the fact we are paying these athletes and then watching them accuse us of racism.

That’s precisely how millions of Americans feel when professional athletes protest the anthem or the flag. We feel we are being called racist, by the multi-millionaires taking a knee during the anthem. When a white supremacist waves the Confederate flag and says “it’s not about race, it’s about heritage” do you buy that? I don’t. So when the protesters say “I’m not anti-America, I’m protesting oppression of people of color” I don’t buy that either. Protesting against bad cops is one thing, something all reasonable people agree with, but acting like ALL cops are bad is ridiculous. If it’s not okay to think all Muslims are evil, it’s not okay to think all cops are evil (or all Republicans, or all conservatives, or all Christians either).

If rich athletes really want to protest oppression, there are plenty of other venues for doing that, and they will have a much easier time than I would in building an audience simply because they’re famous.

Actual racists don’t care about being called racist. People who are NOT racist are offended by such accusations. Athletes have the right to protest as they wish. And I have the right to respond as I wish. I’m not going to pay for that. And many other people feel the same.

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She assured me this sort of thing would not happen, nonetheless it is happening

original article: A sixth-grade teacher tried to pull a fast one on parents by assigning a sexual orientation quiz
October 13, 2017 by Pat Gray

Parents in an Atlanta suburb were not happy when they found out their children were subjected to a sexual orientation and gender identity quiz by their sixth-grade teacher at Lithonia Middle School.

The quiz included wildly inappropriate fill in the blank questions regarding sexual preferences and suggestive references to homosexuality and transgenderism, but parents were having none of it.

“Why are they teaching that in school? What does that have to do with life?” an infuriated Octavia Parks told Fox 5 Atlanta.

“We’re talking about a sixth grader who still watches Nickelodeon. I’m not ready to explain what these words are nor what they mean,” said Parks.

The district is currently investigating. Pat pulled no punches when he got wind of the story and praised the parents for standing up to this kind of stuff but highlighted the double standard. Check out what he had to say in the clip.

To see more from Pat, visit his channel on TheBlazeand listen live to “Pat Gray Unleashed” with Pat Gray weekdays 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET, only on TheBlaze Radio 

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Conservatives should have the same free speech rights at Colin Kaepernick

original article: Christian Artists Should Have The Same Free Speech Game As Colin Kaepernick
August 30, 2017 by James Gottry

In case you haven’t been following the news, the NFL, or the little blue bird I like to call Tweety, Colin Kaepernick is trending. Again. But this time it is not for kneeling on the field during the national anthem. It is because he is not even on the field during the national anthem.

If you’ve missed the off-the-field action, here are the highlights.

  • March: Kaepernick opts out of the final year of his contract with the 49ers.
  • April – present day: No NFL team signs Kaepernick.
  • August 23: More than 1,000 people rally outside NFL headquarters in New York, demanding that Kaepernick be signed by the start of the regular season next month.
  • August 24: Two bars in Chicago announce their TVs are on the fritz they will not show any NFL games until Kaepernick is signed.

Throw in Michael Vick saying Kaepernick should cut his hair to “be presentable,” then Vick apologizing and saying “his Afro has nothing to do with him being signed,” and Jim Brown arguing that Kaepernick should be an activist or a football player but not both, and we’ve got ourselves a good ‘ol-fashioned controversy. (Not that conflict has been missing from the news cycle.)

I love it. NFL teams are free to sign Kaepernick, not sign him, or offer him a discount on season tickets. Those who don’t agree with Kaepernick’s views are free to cheer his current unemployment, wave a flag, or whistle the national anthem all the way home. Fans of Kaepernick are free to fly to New York and protest outside the NFL, burn a flag, and decry the injustice of it all. And yes, two bars in Chicago are absolutely free to pursue a new demographic by playing Lifetime movies on Sunday afternoons.

It’s the beauty of America. The beauty of freedom of speech and conscience. And yes, the beauty of learning to co-exist with people who think differently than you.

Now, Let’s Join Another Game in Progress

In Colorado, Jack Phillips is facing a very different set of rules. Like Kaepernick, Jack took a principled stand in relation to his career. Jack is a cake artist and decided years ago that while he would serve any individual who came into his shop, he would not accept invitations to create certain custom cakes. Cakes with alcohol in them, and cakes that promote atheism, racism, or indecency were on that list. So were cakes that were anti-American. So if you want a flag-burning cake for your Kaepernick protest, Jack is probably not your guy.

It turns out, no one cared too much if Jack declined an invitation to make a cake with alcohol in it, or a flag-burning cake, or a Halloween cake. If they did care, they voted with their wallets and took their business elsewhere. That’s fine with Jack, because he doesn’t want to force anyone to believe what he believes; he does, however, want that courtesy to go both ways. He wants true tolerance, the kind where we can co-exist with people who think differently than we do. Sound familiar?

No problems there. But there’s another type of cake Jack doesn’t design: cakes for same-sex weddings. That’s the one that has Jack scheduled to go before the U.S. Supreme Court later this year. Because when two men entered Jack’s Masterpiece Cakeshop and asked that Jack design a wedding cake for their same-sex ceremony, Jack politely told the couple that he would gladly sell them anything in his store, but designing a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage was not something he could do.

So why is Kaepernick’s situation playing out in the court of public opinion while Jack’s is playing out in the Supreme Court of the United States?

When the couple left Jack’s shop, they had a range of options. Among other things, they could have applauded his free exercise of conscience based on his sincerely held religious beliefs (unlikely in this situation, though not unprecedented). They could have held a rally imploring Jack to change his views, or they could have voted with their wallets and taken their business elsewhere (which they did).

But they took an additional action, one we haven’t seen in the Kaepernick situation. The men asked the government to punish Jack for attempting to live peacefully according to his views, and—when offered the power to interfere—the government obliged.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission determined that Phillips’s decision to live by his conscience was unlawful and ordered him to re-educate his staff, file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years, and create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings if he creates wedding cakes at all. That’s why Jack finds himself preparing to go to the Supreme Court and ask the justices to protect free speech and religious freedom for all people.

Too Many Men on the Field

The day after the news broke that Chicago bars were announcing their plans to nix NFL games, attorneys for Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib, were in a courtroom in Phoenix, Arizona. As I’ve written before, they also face something Kaepernick does not: government interference and punishment.

Meanwhile, Barronelle Stutzman is waiting to hear whether the Supreme Court will hear her case, and this 72-year-old grandmother stands to lose everything. She is also the victim of government interference and punishment.

If you disagree with Jack, Brush & Nib, and Barronelle, then write a letter to the editor, attend a rally, and otherwise express your beliefs. Raise a flag, burn a flag, but don’t give the government the power to throw a flag.

If the government can force a Christian cake artist to design and create a cake for a same-sex wedding, it can force a Muslim singer to offer her services for an Easter service, or a liberal speechwriter to draft speeches for a conservative candidate, or a pro-gun control T-shirt designer to create shirts for the National Rifle Association that say “more guns are the solution.” That kind of government blitz on conscience should alarm all of us, no matter where we stand on the individual issues.

After the New York rally, Kaepernick tweeted, “My faith always has been and always will be in the power of the people!” He’s right. And when it comes to free speech, the government belongs on the sideline. We the people can handle it.

censorship, christian, civil rights, conservative, culture, discrimination, diversity, free speech, freedom, government, ideology, judiciary, justice, political correctness, public policy, relativism

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Professor offers ‘American Whiteness’ course

original article: Professor offers ‘American Whiteness’ course which describes ‘whiteness’ as ‘a very bad idea’
August 21, 2017 by Jeffy Fisher

A professor at an Iowa college is teaching a class called “American Whiteness” this fall that will explore the “historical expansion” of white people in the U.S. as well as “challenges to whiteness.”

Professor Karla Erickson is offering the course, which will look at “whiteness as a specific racial formation with a distinct history, proactive and defensive politics, and institutional and personal investments,” Campus Reform reported.

Students will learn about the “historical expansion” of whiteness; “formal and informal advantages that accrue to whiteness”; and potential “challenges to whiteness.”

On this week’s episode of “The Jeff Fisher Show,” Jeffy Fisher thought the title “American Whiteness” sounded like a TV series available to stream.

He pointed out that college and university campuses are tumultuous places where students protest in order to feel “safe.”

“What we need more of is people finding ways to divide us on college campuses,” Jeffy said sarcastically.

To see more from Jeffy, visit his channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “The Jeff Fisher Show” Saturdays 9 a.m.–noon ET, only on TheBlaze Radio Network.

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