Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

How tolerance became so intolerant

original article: Why the New Definition of Tolerance Is Dangerous
March 11, 2016 by Amy Hall

I received an email objecting to one of Greg’s commentaries on tolerance. In the commentary, Greg explains that tolerance “involves three elements: (1) permitting or allowing (2) a conduct or point of view one disagrees with (3) while respecting the person in the process.” In other words, only disagreement calls for toleration; otherwise, it’s simply agreement (or apathy). But not according to the email I received:

You said on Feb 4, 2013 – “Tolerance is reserved for those we think are wrong.”

Wrong. Tolerance is removing the right/wrong judgement from your view of other people & beliefs, as long [as] those people and their beliefs don’t impede the freedom or well-being of others.

What you’re describing is holding your nose and lying about being tolerant. That’s not tolerance, that’s empty condescension.

“We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.” – Karl Popper

Of course, this response perfectly illustrates Greg’s description of the current understanding of “tolerance,” and it struck me, as I read it, how dangerous this view of tolerance is. Here’s what he’s really saying: “It’s wrong for you to think my views are wrong. Therefore, if you think my views are wrong, then I have a right to shut you up.”

Keep in mind that his complaint here isn’t even about “intolerant” actions; it’s about beliefs. He argues that “intolerance” means holding a judgment in your mind against someone else’s beliefs. And intolerance (i.e., incorrect beliefs), according to him, should not be tolerated. How far people will go to uphold this new “tolerance” remains to be seen. Considering the fact that 40% of Millennials favor government censorship of speech, the future doesn’t look promising.

Notice also that his reasoning doesn’t work the other way around—i.e., Greg wouldn’t be allowed to say to him, “‘Tolerance’ means that if you think I’m wrong, then I have a right to shut you up,” because baked into this new definition is a preference for a particular set of political positions (i.e., anything his side deems essential for the “well-being of others”). If you agree with those positions, you’re declared “tolerant.” If you disagree, you’re intolerant.

This new definition of tolerance is nothing but a political tool to accomplish the very opposite of tolerance.

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Permit required to exercise constitutional rights

In all the voter ID objections I’ve heard the most prominent is the idea that no permit or ID should be required to exercise our constitutional right to vote – because it’s a constitutional right.

Keep in mind, our right to keep and bear arms is blatantly spelled out in the constitution but for some reason requiring permits for that meets little objection from the voter ID opponents. If being a constitutional right is in and of itself reason enough to oppose the requirement of a permit shouldn’t that apply to the second amendment as well as the right to vote? Most voter ID opponents have weak reasons for their objection but I actually like the argument that constitutional rights ought not require permits. Of course, when abuse occurs an intervention seems almost inevitable.

There are certainly reasonable limits to all our rights. For example, felons do not have the right to keep or bear firearms nor do they have the right to vote. The right to vote has an age limit, where one must be at least 18 years old before it becomes one’s right. But free speech is an entirely different matter. There seems to be two different standards on speech.

If you ever wondered what the next step would be after limiting the constitutional right of free speech to “speech zones” Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, MI has the answer: free speech permits. Yes, in the name of diversity and inclusion, institutions of higher education are pushing the oppressive absurdities even further without recognizing the irony of their own actions. Not only are college students often limited as to where they can express their opinions but apparently they must also have obtained official approval from the institution. KCC is not the only one.

So the next time someone complains about voter ID laws (supposedly an example of right wing extremism), ask them about gun rights and free speech rights, both of which are highly regulated and limited by left wing extremism.

abuse, bureaucracy, corruption, culture, diversity, education, extremism, free speech, freedom, hypocrisy, ideology, left wing, liberalism, oppression, political correctness, progressive, public policy, relativism, scandal

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A dynamic society is not perfectible – stop acting like cattle

In light of the US Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage we see the two fundamental social forces at work in the United States. These forces show us the human condition is dynamic, thus so is human society. Because society is not a static thing the idea of progress is not nearly as settled as many people would think.

The idea of progress is a very noble one, at its core. There is suffering and injustice in the world. A lot of it. ISIS is a good example of the evil that exists in the world. Indeed the desire for improvement of the human condition adds social pressure to a people to prevent its decay into a barbaric society like that of ISIS. A health society needs this desire to improve.

On the other hand, because society is dynamic and not static, we must remember that progress itself is not static. The idea that past improvements are here to stay is an assumption. There are good reasons for thinking progress is a permanent thing but there are also good reasons to doubt this assumption. It seems to me the idea of progress, while often viewed as achievement, is in practice really nothing more than trend.

In the gay marriage example, we have a group of people who are widely believed to have been oppressed. The alleged oppression prevented gay people from loving who they wanted to love and prevented them from living with who they wanted to live with. Of course neither of these forms of oppression are true in the United States, as gay people were living with and loving the people they wanted all along. Though these allegations are true in some regions of the world:

Thrown to death… for being gay

‘Kill the gays’ penalty proposed Malawi Muslim Association

UK Muslim Cleric: ’Okay to Kill Gays’

Horrific moment ISIS kill four gay men by throwing them from a roof

Iranian Gay Men To Be Hanged For Sodomy: Report

‘Gays’ and the Muslims who kill them

So Far, Media Downplaying Muslim Scholar Preaching Death for Gays in Orlando

Yes, yes, gay people have been murdered in the United States as well. In the US killing gay people is considered murder, while in many other parts of the world murdering gays is considered justice. But there are plenty of people who insist on treating the murder of gays in the US as no different from killing them elsewhere. In fact many go out of their way to argue conservatives and Christians are no different from Islamic extremists, yet would insist Muslims don’t hate gays. How are conservatives and Christians hateful homophobes no different from Muslim homophobes while Muslim homophobes are not homophobes at all? Don’t ask me. We live in a country where believing marriage is between one man and one woman is treated as equivalent to murdering gays, yet when gays are actually murdered by an Islamic extremists it is not Muslims who are to blame. Guess who is to blame:

ABC Blames Orlando Terror on Election Rhetoric and Guns in America

Anything But Islam: Media Attack Guns, Men, Christians, GOP Instead of Ideology in Terror Attack

NYT Columnist: Orlando Shows ‘How Potent’ Combination of ISIS, NRA Can Be

The View: Orlando Shooter Had No Ties to ISIS but Trump Is ‘Working With ISIS to Kill Us’

Vile Bee Prays NRA Is Plagued with Boils, Declares She Wants to Take Guns Away Post-Orlando

ThinkProgress Blames Christians For Orlando Shooting

Nets Censor Chick-fil-A’s Help in Orlando Blood Drives After Shooting

North Carolina NBC Reporter Blames Christians, Bathroom Law Advocates for Orlando

CBS Insinuates Christians ‘Promote the Kind of Violence’ in Orlando

Huffington Post Blames Orlando on Christians and Fox News Viewers

NY Times Again Blames Anti-Gay GOP, Not Radical Islam, for Orlando Massacre

The Logic Behind the Left’s Demonization of Conservatives

So we’ve got a convoluted notion of who is anti-gay and who is not but American culture tells itself redefining marriage to include same sex couples is progress, and this progress is here to stay.

That’s rather curious. In Europe in centuries past, it was one group or another of Christians who could be oppressed, abused and murdered merely for being the wrong kind of Christian. Some of those people left the old world to help forge a new world, one inherently based in a spirit of individual liberty where they could practice their beliefs freely. This idea would later be codified as the freedom of religion and made part of the law of the land. But that essential liberty is being undermined, along with a few other things.

There some fundamental problems with the way the American government dealt with the gay marriage issue. The tactics chosen to affect this type of change undermine many rights Americans currently enjoy and even some vital aspects of the government itself.

First, American society holds to a separation between church and state. This separation is widely and frequently cited as essential to the preservation of liberty. Throughout its history the United States has treated marriage as an inherently religious thing. But in 2016 the federal government usurped this religious institution, making it what a few oligarchs on the bench decided it should be. And gay activists demanded this. So much for keeping government out of the bedroom. It turns out keeping government and religion separate is only selectively important; apparently we don’t need this separation when government wants power over religion.

Second, American society holds to a separation of powers. The genius of the American experiment has several aspects, not least of which is the balance of power. In the Constitution of the United States, the supreme law of the land, the power to make law does not rest in the hands of the President or the Supreme Court. That power is reserved for the Congress. But the Supreme Court has decided it can make law by fiat. This is not the first time SCOTUS presumed the right to make law (Roe v Wade is another).

This episode in American history show us certain things presumed permanent can easily be undone. The separation between church and state and the separation of powers are being undermined, and are done so with celebration from the political left. In the aftermath of recent mass shootings we see an overt effort to defend Muslims against imaginary acts of meanness while undermining the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms (and even question the right to self defense, another aspect of the law of the land long thought to be permanent). Some people are willing to be honest about their true intentions in supporting gun control.

You think gay marriage is a great step forward? Will you think the same if it turns out changing marriage in this way was merely a step toward banning marriage altogether as activist Masha Gessen is candid enough to admit?

You think the right to free speech is a permanent fixture of a free society? Well, you’re right, but that doesn’t mean the United States is going to remain a free society, not with politicians clamoring to change the first amendment. In the United States it used to be taken as self evident that rights do not come from government but from a higher source. Today it seems half of Americans think rights are bestowed upon us by government. Some may call this progress; I would call it regress.

When our Progressive (by that I mean radically left leaning) society pushes for its idea of liberty I cannot help but notice this also means the restriction or even elimination of other liberties often taken for granted. Liberty is an achievement, but not a permanent one. The American experiment is an historical anomaly in a world where oppression and tyranny are the norm. Not seeing tyranny for what it is, Progressives tend to fight inequality not realizing they do so by sacrificing everyone else’s liberty and are pushing American society back towards the historical norm.

In his body of work on analyzing society Russel Kirk explains ten principles of conservatism. In principle 10 he explains it like this:

The conservative is not opposed to social improvement, although he doubts whether there is any such force as a mystical Progress, with a Roman P, at work in the world. When a society is progressing in some respects, usually it is declining in other respects. The conservative knows that any healthy society is influenced by two forces, which Samuel Taylor Coleridge called its Permanence and its Progression. The Permanence of a society is formed by those enduring interests and convictions that gives us stability and continuity; without that Permanence, the fountains of the great deep are broken up, society slipping into anarchy. The Progression in a society is that spirit and that body of talents which urge us on to prudent reform and improvement; without that Progression, a people stagnate.

Therefore the intelligent conservative endeavors to reconcile the claims of Permanence and the claims of Progression. He thinks that the liberal and the radical, blind to the just claims of Permanence, would endanger the heritage bequeathed to us, in an endeavor to hurry us into some dubious Terrestrial Paradise. The conservative, in short, favors reasoned and temperate progress; he is opposed to the cult of Progress, whose votaries believe that everything new necessarily is superior to everything old.

Change is essential to the body social, the conservative reasons, just as it is essential to the human body. A body that has ceased to renew itself has begun to die. But if that body is to be vigorous, the change must occur in a regular manner, harmonizing with the form and nature of that body; otherwise change produces a monstrous growth, a cancer, which devours its host. The conservative takes care that nothing in a society should ever be wholly old, and that nothing should ever be wholly new. This is the means of the conservation of a nation, quite as it is the means of conservation of a living organism. Just how much change a society requires, and what sort of change, depend upon the circumstances of an age and a nation.

Let us embrace healthy change (an admittedly subjective concept) when it is needed (also a subjective notion) and not rush to it just for the sake of change. All actions have consequences. Changes we impose on society by fiat have not been vetted and consequences will ensue, often painful and often accomplishing the opposite of what was promised. As Kirk alludes to a balance between permanence and progression let us carefully consider the change we desire and especially the methods we employ to achieve it. Whether the change we affect hits its target or misses completely there will inevitably be unforeseen consequences either way. We cannot possibly know how future generations will interpret or distort our efforts and accomplishments of today.

Change should be viewed more like a pendulum rather than a ladder. As we see in our own lifetime some things previously taken for granted have been inverted. We now allow a man to claim to be a woman. We now allow a white person to claim to be black (though for some reason we won’t allow a murderous thug to declare himself Muslim). We officially claim the freedom of religion and use it as an excuse to restrict the freedom of religion. We restrict the freedom of speech and excuse it as the avoidance of hurting someone’s feelings. The more volatile an issue is, and the more controversial the methods of dealing with it, the more likely a strong reaction will upend what was once considered stable. You can push, but you should expect others to push back.

We humans are not perfectible. And neither is society. What was once achieved can be torn down. Humanity is a dynamic thing. Real solutions are elusive. Realistically we should expect to deal with the problems of life by finding trade offs rather than sweeping solutions. In this election season we would do well to remember every promise a politician makes has an underlying cost, a cost often obscured or ignored but will come back to bite us eventually. Don’t blindly accept what politicians and news media are selling.

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Tell me again who is waging culture war here

original article: NYC Hits Peak Gender Idiocy
May 18, 2016 by Rod Dreher

Not long ago, I was talking to a university-based research scientist in New York City about a particular project he’s working on. It was interesting stuff, and I said that his research might have fascinating implications for broader society in light of the radical and relatively swift changes in social norms around sex, marriage, and gender. Ever thought about exploring that? I asked.

The scientist said he wouldn’t even begin to think about it. In his work, he stays far away from anything related to race, sex, and gender, unless it can’t be avoided, and even then he treads very, very carefully. Too risky politically. You never know where the land mines are hidden. You could say something you think is entirely uncontroversial and scientifically neutral, but if someone decides to make trouble for you, and call you a racist, homophobe, transphobe, or whatever, it can ruin your academic career.

The Social Justice Warriors have done their work well. Especially in New York City.

Eugene Volokh reports that in NYC, the Human Rights Commission advises that you can be fined if you don’t refer to someone by the name and crackpot pronoun (“ze,” “hir”) that they prefer. How can you avoid trouble under the NYC Human Rights Law? Says the Commission:

Covered entities may avoid violations of the NYCHRL by creating a policy of asking everyone what their preferred gender pronoun is so that no individual is singled out for such questions and by updating their systems to allow all individuals to self-identify their names and genders. They should not limit the options for identification to male and female only.

Oh for freak’s sake. Volokh is not having it:

So people can basically force us — on pain of massive legal liability — to say what they want us to say, whether or not we want to endorse the political message associated with that term, and whether or not we think it’s a lie.

We have to use “ze,” a made-up word that carries an obvious political connotation (endorsement of the “non-binary” view of gender). We have to call people “him” and “her” even if we believe that people’s genders are determined by their biological sex and not by their self-perceptions — perceptions that, by the way, can rapidly change, for those who are “gender-fluid” — and that using terms tied to self-perception is basically a lie. (I myself am not sure whether people who are anatomically male, for example, but perceive themselves as female should be viewed as men or women; perhaps one day I’ll be persuaded that they should be viewed as women; my objection is to being forced to express that view.) We can’t be required to even display a license plate that says “Live Free or Die” on our car, if we object to the message; that’s what the court held in Wooley v. Maynard (1978). But New York is requiring people to actually say words that convey a message of approval of the view that gender is a matter of self-perception rather than anatomy, and that, as to “ze,” were deliberately created to convey that a message.

It’s much worse. If the patron of an establishment doesn’t comply with the law, the owner has to throw the patron out, on pain of having to pay a fine. And, according to the Commission’s guidance, it “can impose civil penalties up to $125,000 for violations, and up to $250,000 for violations that are the result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct.”

They could ruin you if you failed to understand this bizarre gender babble, and apply it correctly.

Seriously, how does a business owner operate under these conditions, even a business owner who wants to do the right thing? Read Volokh’s entire piece to get a full appreciation of how lunatic this thing is. 

Could you imagine being a business owner in NYC under this fanaticism? “Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue,” said Robespierre. So it is with the Gender Robespierres. First they make us all lose our minds and our integrity by acquiescing in their bizarre fantasies, and then, if we don’t, they make us lose our livelihoods. (But not our heads; be thankful for small mercies.)

Volokh points out that this is not likely to remain in New York City, either. Think about that. Three of the scariest words in the English language are “Human Rights Commission.”

You know, liberal friends, next time you want to complain about how conservatives are the ones waging culture war, I want you to think about this.

abuse, bias, bigotry, culture, diversity, extremism, free speech, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, oppression, political correctness, progressive, public policy, relativism, unintended consequences

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One college defends free speech despite its hateful intent

Among the many examples of hate speech punished on college campuses there are still two topics on which free speech trumps all. These are anti-Americanism and Antisemitism.

Numerous instances have been reported about differences of opinion and policy about academic freedom. Oberlin College shows us another example of a higher ed. administration defending free speech when it is anti-American or anti-Israeli in nature, even if it’s racism. In any other situation, speech like this would simply be deemed hate speech and prosecuted.

The head of a prestigious Ohio school appeared to have defended a professor whose Facebook posts blaming Israel and Jews for everything from 9/11 to the creation of ISIS created an uproar earlier this week.

Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov said in a letter to the college community Wednesday that professor Joy Karega’s posts on social media affected him on a personal level and also challenged his professional beliefs, according to The Chronicle-Telegram.

To be honest, the way Oberlin is treating this instructor’s comments is how speech ought to be treated across the spectrum, on every campus in the US. Approved speech is the opposite of free speech; setting rules on what is approved or where it is approved naturally invites further restriction. That is not how free speech works. If Oberlin will defend all speech like this, kudos to them. But will they?

read full article:
Oberlin College president appears to defend controversial professor in letter
March 3, 2016 by FoxNews

Rutgers University can also be found defending free speech recently.

bigotry, education, extremism, free speech, hate speech, ideology, racism, racist, tolerance

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Poop Nazis

original article: Poop Nazis
Dec 14, 2015 by Mike Adams

Matt Walsh is among the best conservative writers in America. I appreciate his insights on a number of issues. I was especially happy when he wrote about the recent race debacle at the University of Missouri (Mizzou). However, I think his correct observations about the veracity of certain alleged hate crime claims were supplemented with an incomplete analysis of their causes. I write today to offer some additional insights, if not incites.

First, as Walsh points out, if someone made a swastika out of fecal matter, it would not have been an example of anti-Semitism. Just as someone covering an American flag in fecal matter would have been expressing anti-American sentiment, a poop swastika would have been a statement against Nazism. In other words, the rise of a Turd Reich would have been a statement against the Third Reich. Of course, people who write messages with their own poo are seldom led by reason. The same is true of those who concoct stories about non-existent poop crimes.

Second, none of this is relevant to the Black Lives Matter movement. Black civil rights leaders – all the way from Farrakhan to Jackson to Sharpton – have long been openly anti-Semitic. It’s been that way ever since Martin Luther King was assassinated. In fact, Black Lives Matter should apologize for attempting to build a phony civil rights movement on the foundation of a very real Holocaust.

Given their obvious illegitimacy, what can be said about the causes of these contrived incidents? Matt Walsh believes the cause is simply immaturity. But I think immaturity is just another effect from a common cause. That common cause is better described as narcissism. It is a growing narcissism that I have been dealing with for 45 semesters as a college professor.

When I first became a professor in the early nineties, the universities had just started implementing speech codes. These codes promised students they had a right to be free from being offended. It didn’t take long for the most self-absorbed students to demand that the university make good on the promise of an offense-free environment. I’ll share just one early and salient example.

In 1993, the first time I taught Introduction to Criminology, a black student was offended by my explanation of Social Disorganization Theory, which is a theory of juvenile delinquency. She thought the theory was anti-diversity because it implied that ethnically diverse neighborhoods were less cohesive and thus more likely to experience crime. She announced in class that I had offended her and demanded I stop teaching the theory. It was a harbinger of things to come.

In more recent years, our university administration has supplemented the speech codes with campus “safe spaces.” They have also printed up “ally” stickers for faculty members to put on their doors. That way, if the KKK suddenly appears on campus attempting to lynch blacks, feminists, and homosexuals, the students have a place to run and hide.

But that hasn’t happened. Instead, leftist students have started trolling Facebook pages looking for comments they deem “offensive” or that make them feel “unsafe.” Some actually file complaints with the Dean of Students about faculty and student speech expressed on social media. In other words, students actively seek out dissenting opinions made off campus, pretend to be offended and threatened, and then use the false claims to get authorities to intervene and restore their sense of comfort and safety on campus.

Like their Marxist professors, they seek global domination. They want to turn the entire world into one giant safe space where only their ideas are disseminated. If Matt Walsh had it right and all of this was simple immaturity we could expect students to grow out of it. But none of these students ever contemplated feigning offense in order to silence dissent before going off to college. In other words, it is not something they failed to grow out of (like ending sentences with prepositions). It is something they grew into with the help of campus leftists.

The combination of this new generation’s narcissism and the old generation’s ideology is potent. The only good news is that leftist students have started going after the jobs of leftist administrators who refuse to accede to their demands.

Hopefully, some day history will be revised to say that one Marxist consumed many.

abuse, bias, bullies, censorship, corruption, culture, diversity, education, elitism, extremism, free speech, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, marxism, nanny state, oppression, political correctness, progressive, racism, relativism, scandal, unintended consequences

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New Survey Exposes Threats to Free Speech on Campus

original article: New Survey Exposes Threats to Free Speech on Campus
October 28, 2015 by Haley Hudler

On Monday, Yale University’s William F. Buckley, Jr. Program released a national surveymeasuring U.S. college students’ attitudes towards free speech on campus. The results were troubling.

The 2015 Buckley Free Speech Survey, which was conducted by pollster McLaughlin & Associates, sheds light on how students view topics including the First Amendment, intellectual diversity, academic freedom, campus speech codes, political correctness, and trigger warnings.

At first glance, some of the findings seem to bode well for campus free speech. For example, 95 percent of the 800 college students surveyed said that campus free speech is important to them, and almost nine in ten (87 percent) agreed that there is educational value in listening to and understanding views and opinions that they may disagree with and are different from their own.

However, upon closer examination, the survey reveals some alarming insights into the anti-free speech mentality on college campuses today. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • Nearly one-third (32 percent) of students could not identify the First Amendment as the constitutional amendment that deals with free speech. 33 percent of those who correctly identified the First Amendment said that the First Amendment does not protect hate speech.
  • More than half (51 percent) of students are in favor of their college or university having speech codes to regulate speech for students and faculty.
  • 72 percent of students said they support disciplinary action against “any student or faculty member on campus who uses language that is considered racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise offensive.”
  • 49 percent of students said they have often felt intimidated to share beliefs that differ from their professors, and exactly half (50 percent) said they have often felt intimidated to share beliefs that differ from their classmates.
  • 55 percent of students said they are aware of “trigger warnings,” and 76 percent of these students favor their professors using them.
  • By a 52 to 42 percent margin, students believe that their institution should forbid people from speaking on campus who have a history of engaging in hate speech.

While these results are disconcerting, they are not surprising. Indeed, they illustrate many of the campus behaviors FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff and best-selling author and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt recently critiqued in their cover story for The Atlantic, “The Coddling of the American Mind.”

You can check out the full results of The 2015 Buckley Free Speech Survey on McLaughlin & Associates’ website.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the survey was released yesterday. The release date was Monday, October 26. The Torch regrets the error.

censorship, culture, diversity, education, extremism, free speech, hate speech, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, political correctness, progressive, study

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Yale couple flees classroom amid free speech chill

original article: Yale couple flees classroom amid free speech chill
December 08, 2015 by FoxNews

Anti-free speech demonstrators at one of America’s most vaunted universities have claimed a pair of scalps – a husband-wife duo who say teaching is too much trouble in a campus climate “not conducive to civil dialogue.”

Yale University professors Nicholas and Erika Christakis, who both have always gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews from students, said they have had enough, after an email she sent sparked a campus-wide controversy that soon pulled him in.

“I have great respect and affection for my students, but I worry that the current climate at Yale is not, in my view, conducive to the civil dialogue and open inquiry required to solve our urgent societal problems,” she said in an email to The Washington Post.

“I have great respect and affection for my students, but I worry that the current climate at Yale is not, in my view, conducive to the civil dialogue and open inquiry required to solve our urgent societal problems.”

– Erika Christakis, Yale professor

The affair began in October, when Erika Christakis, a psychology professor and associate master at the school’s Silliman College, one of a dozen residential communities, sent out an email defending the right of students to wear costumes which may be “culturally appropriating.” That spurred outrage and led to one student confronting Nicholas Christakis on the campus quad and berating him in a shocking episode that was caught on video that soon went viral.

The video showed Nicholas Christakis, a physician and professor of social and natural science, calmly trying to reason with a student who was screaming at him for not keeping students “safe,” as others snapped their fingers in a trendy sign of approval.

Erika Christakis said she will quit teaching indefinitely and cited a campus atmosphere not “conducive to the civil dialogue and open inquiry required to solve our urgent societal problems.” Her husband said he would not teach scheduled classes in the spring, and would take a sabbatical.

Neither Yale officials nor the Christakises responded to requests for comment.

“I don’t have much to add to her decision,” Yale Dean Jonathan Holloway told The Washington Post, adding that as a lecturer, Christakis is paid per course and can decide whether to teach each semester.

The school is ultimately responsible for the chill on free speech, according to Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

“While Yale did eventually get around to issuing a statement in favor of free expression, it’s hard to imagine that Erika or Nicholas Christakis would have decided to quit teaching at Yale and take a sabbatical, respectively, had Dean Holloway or President [Peter] Salovey consistently shown their support for free expression through their words and actions on campus,” said FIRE’s Robert Shibley.

The issue of free expression on campus has come into sharp relief on several campuses, with students calling for “safe zones” and speech codes where words and deeds deemed offensive are barred. Erika Christakis provoked outrage when she sent an email to Silliman residents questioning the desire to find offense in Halloween costumes.

“Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious… a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?” Christakis wrote. “American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition.”

He husband later apologized for his role in the controversy in a heartfelt mea culpa delivered in his own home.

“I have disappointed you and I’m really sorry,” he told about 100 students gathered in his living room last month, as Holloway and other university administrators stood by.

“I’ve spent my life taking care of these issues of injustice, of poverty, of racism,” he said. “I have the same beliefs that you do … I’m genuinely sorry, and to have disappointed you. I’ve disappointed myself.”

In a related matter, Yale announced it could soon follow Harvard and Princeton and change the administrative title both Nicholas and Erika Christakis hold, as “master” evokes imagery associated with slavery.

“The word ‘master’ can evoke thoughts of slavery and other forms of subjugation, and it has made me at times quite uncomfortable to be referred to as ‘master,’” Nicholas Christakis said in a letter to students at the beginning of the year.

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WE DISSENT: The Claremont Independent speaks out against progressive fascism

original article: We Dissent
November 13, 2015 by The Claremont Independent Editorial Board

The student protests that have swept through Claremont McKenna College (CMC) over the past few days—and the ensuing fallout—have made us disappointed in many of those involved.

First, former Dean Mary Spellman. We are sorry that your career had to end this way, as the email in contention was a clear case of good intentions being overlooked because of poor phrasing. However, we are disappointed in you as well. We are disappointed that you allowed a group of angry students to bully you into resignation. We are disappointed that you taught Claremont students that reacting with emotion and anger will force the administration to act. We are disappointed that when two students chose to go on a hunger strike until you resigned, you didn’t simply say, “so what?” If they want to starve themselves, that’s fine—you don’t owe them your job. We are disappointed that you and President Chodosh put up with students yelling and swearing at you for an hour. You could have made this a productive dialogue, but instead you humored the students and allowed them to get caught up in the furor.

Above all, we are disappointed that you and President Chodosh weren’t brave enough to come to the defense of a student who wastold she was “derailing” because her opinions regarding racism didn’t align with those of the mob around her. Nor were you brave enough to point out that these protesters were perfectly happy to use this student to further their own agenda, but turned on her as soon as they realized she wasn’t supporting their narrative. These protesters were asking you to protect your students, but you didn’t even defend the one who needed to be protected right in front of you.

Second, President Chodosh. We were disappointed to see you idly stand by and watch students berate, curse at, and attack Dean Spellman for being a “racist.” For someone who preaches about “leadership” and “personal and social responsibility,” your actions are particularly disappointing. You let your colleague, someone who has been helping your administration for the past three years and the college for six years, be publicly mocked and humiliated. Why? Because you were afraid. You were afraid that students would also mock and humiliate you if you defended Dean Spellman, so you let her be thrown under the bus. You were so afraid that it only took you five minutes to flip-flop on their demand for a temporary “safe space” on campus. Your fear-driven action (or lack thereof) only further reinforced the fear among the student body to speak out against this movement. We needed your leadership more than ever this week, and you failed us miserably.

Third, ASCMC President Will Su. As the representative of CMC’s entire student body, we are disappointed in you for the manner in which you called for the resignation of junior class president Kris Brackmann and for so quickly caving in to the demands of a few students without consulting the student body as a whole. If you truly cared about representing all of CMC’s interests, you would have at the very least solicited opinions from outside of the movement and your Executive Board. You have shut down any room for debate among the student body with your full endorsement of this movement and its demands, failing to give concerned students an opportunity to speak. We are disappointed that you did not allow for any time for reflection before making your quick executive decisions to announce a student-wide endorsement of this movement and to grant these students a temporary “safe space” in the ASCMC offices.

To our fellow Claremont students, we are disappointed in you as well. We are ashamed of you for trying to end someone’s career over a poorly worded email. This is not a political statement––this is a person’s livelihood that you so carelessly sought to destroy. We are disappointed that you chose to scream and swear at your administrators. That is not how adults solve problems, and your behavior reflects poorly on all of us here in Claremont. This is not who we are and this is not how we conduct ourselves, but this is the image of us that has now reached the national stage.

We are disappointed in your demands. If you want to take a class in “ethnic, racial, and sexuality theory,” feel free to take one, but don’t force such an ideologically driven course on all CMC students. If the dearth of such courses at CMC bothers you, maybe you should have chosen a different school. If students chose to attend Caltech and then complained about the lack of literature classes, that’s on them. And though it wouldn’t hurt to have a more diverse faculty, the demand that CMC increase the number of minority faculty members either rests on the assumption that CMC has a history of discriminating against qualified professors of color, or, more realistically, it advocates for the hiring of less qualified faculty based simply on the fact that they belong to marginalized groups. A hiring practice of this sort would not benefit any CMC students, yourselves included.

We are disappointed in the fact that your movement has successfully managed to convince its members that anyone who dissents does so not for intelligent reasons, but due to moral failure or maliciousness. We are disappointed that you’ve used phrases like “silence is violence” to not only demonize those who oppose you, but all who are not actively supporting you. We are most disappointed, however, in the rhetoric surrounding “safe spaces.” College is the last place that should be a safe space. We come here to learn about views that differ from our own, and if we aren’t made to feel uncomfortable by these ideas, then perhaps we aren’t venturing far enough outside of our comfort zone. We would be doing ourselves a disservice to ignore viewpoints solely on the grounds that they may make us uncomfortable, and we would not be preparing ourselves to cope well with adversity in the future. Dealing with ideas that make us uncomfortable is an important part of growing as students and as people, and your ideas will inhibit opportunities for that growth.

We are adults, and we need to be mature enough to take ownership of and responsibility for our feelings, rather than demanding that those around us cater to our individual needs. The hypocrisy of advocating for “safe spaces” while creating an incredibly unsafe space for President Chodosh, former Dean Spellman, the student who was “derailing,” and the news media representatives who were verbally abused unfortunately seemed to soar over many of your heads.

Lastly, we are disappointed in students like ourselves, who were scared into silence. We are not racist for having different opinions. We are not immoral because we don’t buy the flawed rhetoric of a spiteful movement. We are not evil because we don’t want this movement to tear across our campuses completely unchecked.

We are no longer afraid to be voices of dissent.

bullies, bureaucracy, corruption, culture, education, extremism, free speech, freedom, ideology, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, power, progressive, public policy, scandal, unintended consequences, victimization

Filed under: bullies, bureaucracy, corruption, culture, education, extremism, free speech, freedom, ideology, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, power, progressive, public policy, scandal, unintended consequences, victimization

Bisexual prof. raised by lesbians who supports traditional marriage faces loss of tenure

original article: Bisexual prof. raised by lesbians who supports traditional marriage faces loss of tenure
November 11, 2015 by Dustin Siggins and John Jalsevac

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, November 10, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — Robert Oscar Lopez isn’t your typical social-conservative professor: he was raised by his mom and her lesbian partner, and he openly admits that he is bisexual.

But he also opposes same-sex “marriage” and adoption, and even submitted a brief to the United States Supreme Court arguing against the redefinition of marriage. He bases his views in part on the trauma of his parents’ divorce when he was a toddler, and his subsequent experiences of being raised in a same-sex household.

Now he says he’s under attack for defending the rights of children to be raised by their natural parents. Specifically, he may lose tenure, and even faces suspension without pay, from California State University-Northridge, the taxpayer-funded university that tenured him just two years ago.

Lopez says that it all began when he gave his students the option to attend and present research, for credit, at a conference he organized on parenting and children’s rights at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in 2014.

One of the speakers there, Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute, spoke on the topic of divorce, during which she says she never discussed the issue of homosexuality. However, at her table she had several pamphlets, including one titled “77 Non-Religious Reasons to Support Man/Woman Marriage.” She says that speakers at the conference supported the right of children to be raised by their mother and father.

After choosing to attend the conference, a student subsequently filed a complaint against Lopez, claiming that he discriminated against her based on gender. She also submitted a copy of Roback-Morse’s pamphlet, and one other pamphlet entitled “Are You a Survivor of the Sexual Revolution?” as evidence that Lopez had created a “hostile learning environment on the basis of gender and sexual orientation.” Other students also reportedly filed similar complaints about the conference.

In an e-mail sent to media, Lopez says that he has been under investigation by the University of California’s Northridge administration for 378 days for alleged discrimination and retaliation against students. Lopez says he himself didn’t find out he was under investigation until 245 days after the process was launched.

He also said that one of the three people heading the investigation compared the Ronald Reagan Library to the KKK.

STORY: I grew up with two moms: here’s the uncomfortable truth that nobody wants to hear

Harassment is nothing new for Lopez. The radical LGBT organization Human Rights Campaign targeted Lopez in 2014 as part of the so-called “Export of Hate”, something he says leaves him fearing for his family’s safety.

Now, he says the university violated policies when it targeted him, and he is threatening legal action against the university for violations of California employment and civil rights law.

University policy states that it will complete investigations “no later than 60 working days after the intake interview,” with a 30-day extension if necessary. However, in a disposition, the university told Lopez he was investigated after formal charges were filed in May.

Lopez also points out that the deposition says the allegations made against him by a female student “were similar to the allegations made” by two students “about the conference just days after it took place on October 3” of last year – meaning the investigation apparently started in 2014.

The university eventually found Lopez innocent of discrimination, but last month found him guilty of retaliation against a student. Lopez says the “retaliation” claim is clearly bogus, pointing to how the student in question got an “A” in his class, even after reporting him, and that there is no documented proof of retaliation.

The findings could cause Lopez to lose his job.

In a letter to the university, Lopez’s attorney — Charles LiMandri with the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund — wrote that the finding of retaliation violated university policy, noting that while “intimidation” and “retaliation” have high bars in official university documents, the charges against Lopez are based upon conversation fragments that took place seven months apart.

“In sum, this evidence does not even begin to meet the CSUN’s own standard for ‘retaliation,'” says the letter. “Under these circumstances, we have no choice but to conclude that the disposition of this investigation is purely political and ideological attack on Dr. Lopez for holding — and exposing his students to — ideas about children’s right in the context of family and reproduction which are apparently unpopular at CSUN.”

Lopez says that when it comes to the question of same-sex “marriage,” he is most concerned about the rights of children.

“Same-sex ‘marriage,’ theoretically, does not impinge on anyone else’s rights,” Lopez told LifeSiteNews last year. “But if you guarantee a right to children as part of marriage, now this drags in the rights of other people — there is a third-party…Not everyone gets married but every human being has a mother and father; those latter relationships are more fundamental than a spousal relationship.”

Lopez filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on behalf of children and against redefining marriage, saying that it was children, not same-sex couples, who have real standing in court on the issue of marriage.

Lopez also strongly opposes IVF, telling LifeSiteNews that “gay advocacy groups are pushing for the creation of children through artificial reproduction technology and for adoption systems that give children to gay couples because the gay couples want to be parents, not because children need to be in their homes.”

“This is the transformation of human beings into chattel in a way we haven’t seen since before slavery was abolished. I have stated many times that this isn’t identical to the African slave trade, which involved far worse abuse, but there is an undeniable commonality between pre-13th-Amendment slavery and what is being advocated by groups like the Human Rights Campaign,” he said.

Roback-Morse has come out in support of Lopez. “I believe the sexual revolutionaries despise Robert Lopez because he challenges one of their core assumptions,” she wrote this week at the National Catholic Register. “The sexual revolution is based on the idea that all adults able to give meaningful consent are entitled to unlimited sexual activity with a minimum of inconvenience. What they never mention is this: Children just have to accept whatever adults choose to give them.”

bias, bigotry, bullies, censorship, children, corruption, discrimination, diversity, free speech, hate speech, homosexuality, hypocrisy, ideology, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, oppression, political correctness, progressive, public policy, relativism, scandal

Filed under: bias, bigotry, bullies, censorship, children, corruption, discrimination, diversity, free speech, hate speech, homosexuality, hypocrisy, ideology, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, oppression, political correctness, progressive, public policy, relativism, scandal

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