The angry looking lady to the left in the photo is Melissa Click, who was an Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri, that generated headlines when she called for “muscle” to help eject journalists who were trying to cover the ongoing protests on campus. She resigned today before she could be fired. I would love to say she was just an outlier, but the sad reality is this sort of assault against free speech and indeed against journalists trying to do their jobs has now become far too commonplace.
Luckily this has not gone unnoticed and people are beginning to fight back. Ken White on his law and liberty bog called Popehat does a great job of covering these sorts of cases and also defends bloggers against free speech lawsuits. Last month he covered a controversy at Wesleyan University over censorship. More recently he wrote a Part I and Part II series covering an incident at Yale involving false outrage over an email about Halloween costumes as well as the University of Missouri professor featured in the photo:
For the moment, let’s accept for the sake of argument that some speech can make people genuinely unsafe. Imagine, perhaps, speech advocating for the physical abuse of minorities or urging vulnerable people to commit suicide. But the Yale incident demonstrates that this core concept, once accepted, can be expanded to cover anything. The argument seems to be that because we can imagine truly threatening speech, we must therefore accept uncritically other people’s subjective beliefs about what speech is threatening. The speech at issue here was an email acknowledging that ethnic Halloween costumes could be hurtful but discussing whether it should be the role of a university to tell students whether to wear them. This is safety as Ouroboros — it is unsafe to question what is unsafe, unsafe to discuss the concept of safety.
The incident at Yale was much ado about nothing and was rightly lambasted by many including this great article from the Atlantic called The New Intolerance of Student Activism . This is too convoluted a story to adequately address here, but the super succinct version is some students felt they had the “right” not to be offended — even in trivial ways — and this now trumps others’ right of free expression, and they hold to no social norms concerning debate. Your opinion doesn’t matter if it differs with theirs. They are not interested in the opinions of others, so they quickly shout them down with obscenities or even threats. This is not the conduct of a pluralistic mindset, but of fascism. The chickens are coming home to roost and all the rotten eggs laid by proponents of Critical Race Theory promulgated by many in academia now find their own “children” targeting them. The eggs are hatching and some very angry and entitled brats are not afraid to shout down anyone who dares to disagree with them on any topic are spreading their wings with temper tantrums.
There was also an additional report that the SAE fraternity chapter at Yale turned away some girls of color from a recent party. This now appears to have been completely fabricated and false.
Have a look at this shrieking brat named Jerelyn Luther that goes into drama queen berserker mode while confronting Nicolas Christakis, the Silliman College master. His crime? He dared to defend his wife’s email that dared to suggest it was inappropriate for the college to dictate how the students should dress for Halloween.
Dr. Richard Dawkins summed it up best in his usual acerbic style I so love. In one short tweet he slaps this annoyingly entitled banshee down to size.
"“I don’t want to debate. I want to talk about my pain.” And she was accepted into Yale. Grow up, spoiled brat. https://t.co/QLKSF8S7c3
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) November 10, 2015
Every day there are multiple occurrences just as appalling as the ones at Yale and the University of Missouri by the journalism professor, but instead of discussing the minutiae of all these frequently occurring incidents, I would instead prefer to examine the root cause. In my opinion, the main reason for this assault on free speech or indeed on any critical thinking at all is a theory which ironically enough is called Critical Race Theory.
What Is Critical Race Theory?
Critical Race Theory can best be summarized thusly. If your white male ancestors ever had success you have no right taking credit for their achievements. If your white male ancestors swindled, harmed, or injured anyone at any point in time then your’e still at fault. If you’re black, female, or indeed anything other than a white male then just do whatever you want. If you screw up, it’s someone else’s fault due to white male privilege and racism. One writer described it as repackaged narcism and I fully concur. It is convenient because it allows you to do away with taking any responsibility for your own actions or behavior and blame others for any shortcomings or failures. Blame-shifting is a very attractive theory to anyone afraid of taking responsibility for their own failures.
For those of you interested in a more scholarly look at the history and beliefs behind CRT, I highly recommend you take the time to read this rather lengthy but exceptionally well-reserached article by law professor Daniel Subotnik entitled What’s Wrong With Critical Race Theory?: Reopening the Case for Middle Class Values.
According to CRT advocates like the shrieking Yale student and Mizzou professor, “White Privilege” with required guilt is alive and well in all American universities. Now you can certainly make the case that at least at the University of Missouri there was some meat on the bones to that story about racism. Anytime you have a swastika on the walls made from feces you might have a problem on campus that needs addressing.
I do not in any way seek to diminish legitimate concerns of overt racism on their campus and want to be perfectly clear this article has nothing whatsoever to do with those grievances or of the student protests. This article is only mentioning Mizzou as it relates to the actions of Melissa Click and no other issues on the campus.
You can find CRT courses at all levels of both undergraduate and graduate schools under the guise of multicultural education, social justice, or similar names. Regardless of the title of these courses, they are intended to indoctrinate and ultimately to recruit an army of new converts to the Church of Critical Race Theory.
The teachers who indoctrinate these young and often very gullible students teach them to look for any microagressions. They accomplish this by inventing hypotheticals, sometimes called “counter factuals”, in which racism prevails but is undetectable to inconsiderate white bigots who cause the offenses. To CRATS, as they call themselves, there is no shortage of microagressions.
Emory Law Professor Dorothy Brown offered the following definition: “Critical race theory seeks to explain judicial decisions by asking the question, What does race have to do with it?” CRT simply “looks at race in America,” professor Brown stated. Religious zealots discussing theology and expecting someone of a different belief system to accept their sacred text as the only source for the discussion is a great analogy to the CRAT framework.
Critical race theory advocates are truly are akin to zealots seeking converts which is why I used the term church earlier in this article. They preach, they hold revivals other wise known as seminars where professional race peddlers like Glen Singleton bilk poor school systems out of millions of dollars. They sell their books via professors that force them on students as required reading but otherwise go largely unsold because they can’t stand on their own merit.
To believe that some remnants of white privilege or overt racism doesn’t exist in our culture is delusional. However, our responsibility lies not in attempting to shame our white youth with the sins of their fathers; rather, our responsibility lies in instructing them in how to both recognize and stand against the influences of racism in all its forms, including this newest, which is attempting to stereotype whites based on the bigoted opinions of an elitist minority.
The most obvious debacle with this latest bigotry is that by tearing down the character of some in order to build up the character of others, it imparts only a false and fleeting sense of worth to those it supposedly is aimed at helping, and ultimately it does nothing to remove any actual disparity or level the playing field. Teaching impoverished black students to “blame whitey” isn’t a great recipe to escape poverty.
We must be reminded and taught about the the murder of people like Henry Marrow, Emmet Till, Medgar Evers, and so many others who were killed for the crime of being black. The more recent Charleston church massacre is a sad reminder racism is alive and well. But at the same time I think it is also important that we realize how far we have come as a nation and as a people. I am not blind or so naive to think that we have eradicated all racism or bigotry nor will we likely do for a very long while– if ever.
Having taken a course taught by an advocate of CRT, I have come to believe this radical theory has nothing to do with helping minority students or their teachers improve their academic outcomes. Instead it is more about therapy and blame. The framework, such as it is, is anecdotal and chooses to selectively cherry-pick books and articles that promote the narrative of victimhood and systemic racism which encourages students to blame white males and apparently shriek obscenities at them on the quad of an elite Ivy League university.
I suppose this is bit of karma for us Democrats laughing from the sidelines at the ongoing civil war in the Republican party between the Tea Party and establishment Republicans for control. We ignored our own radical elements that are doing their best to infiltrate and silence any dissenting voices. I don’t view advocates of Critical Race Theory as liberal since they are an anathema to the ideals of liberty and equality that all true liberals should espouse.
Shouting down, bullying, and calling in “muscle” to silence the views of people you may disagree with is not my idea of what it means to be a member of the Democratic party. This goes well beyond a battle of the left or right, this is a societal issue we must all confront and condemn. There is no freedom against being outraged, but the freedom of speech is most certainly under assault. The bar for what people find offensive gets lower and lower every year and they now know their tactics of shouting down anyone who may disagree works.
Critical race Theory is an insipid and very dangerous neologism that is both non-sensical and increasingly pervasive at colleges. It is extremely shallow and for anyone that has ever tried to have a discussion with an ultra-thin skinned person intent on shouting you down, you quickly realize the futility of trying to offer any counterpoints as Nicolas Christakis learned in his encounter with the entitled CRAT from Yale in the video above.
The irony is that the most outraged individuals who decry against “white privilege” are often among the wealthiest and most privileged people on the planet. We witness a bizarre display of hatred and meanness towards a man who had dedicated his life towards assisting minority students. These students are taught only through the glorification of victimhood and by blaming others are they able to get ahead.
Until we address the dangerous elements taught by Critical Race Theory advocates at our academic institutions we can expect to see a lot more angry students and professors expressing their outrage at any perceived slight. As long as their fascist tactics work and they get their way they have no incentive to silence their contrived outrage and why should they. They are winning the battle and they would be foolish to switch gears when they are so often able to silence any dissent.
I will close with a wonderful quote by a very talented writer named Rebecca Bradley that I think cuts to the heart of CRT.
Overall, it seems to me there is no room in this analysis for actual goodwill and a sincere desire for social equality. People of perceived privilege can do nothing right, except perhaps shut up and wallow in collective and historical guilt. People without perceived privilege are obliged to be angry, to wallow in victimhood, to view every person born with a white skin and/or a penis as an oppressor …
….CRT, along with its feminist and other counterparts, constitute an ideology that erects obstacles between people who might otherwise work together. This ideology assigns collective guilt, with no hope of absolution. It slaps pejorative labels—racist and sexist—on great segments of the population on the grounds of the skin colour and genitals they happened to be born with, and aims to radicalize other segments into a state of perpetual victimhood. It holds cheap the observable progress of the last half-century. As an ideology, it is as racist and sexist as any other we have suffered from in the long, painful history of our species. It is not helping.
This is a satirical video but unfortunately it is quite accurate.
If this subject interests you, below are some additional readings on this subject.