Thursday, August 13, 2015
By Walter E. Williams
George Orwell said, "There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them." If one wants to discover the truth of Orwell's statement, he need only step upon most college campuses.
Faculty leaders of the University of California consider certain statements racism and feel they should not be used in class. They call it micro-aggression. To them, micro-aggressive racist statements are: "America is the land of opportunity." That is seen as perpetuating the myth of meritocracy. "There is only one race, the human race." Such a statement is seen as denying the individual as a racial/cultural being. "I believe the most qualified person should get the job." That's "racist" because it gives the impression that "people of color are given extra unfair benefits because of their race."
These expressions don't exhaust the list of micro-aggressions. Other seemingly innocuous statements deemed unacceptable are: "Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough," "When I look at you, I don't see color," or "Affirmative action is racist." Perhaps worst of all is, "Where are you from or where were you born?" For more of this, see a document released by The College Fix (http://tinyurl.com/ne8ckqn) titled "Diversity in the Classroom," UCLA Diversity and Faculty Development.
This micro-aggression nonsense, called micro-totalitarianism by my colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell (http://tinyurl.com/nxulxc), is nothing less than an attack on free speech. From the Nazis to the Stalinists, tyrants have always started out supporting free speech, and why is easy to understand. Speech is vital for the realization of their goals of command, control and confiscation. Free speech is a basic tool for indoctrination, propagandizing, proselytization. Once the leftists gain control, as they have at many universities, free speech becomes a liability and must be suppressed. This is increasingly the case on university campuses.
Daniel Henninger, deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page, writes about the campus attack on free speech and different ideas in his article titled "Obama Unleashes the Left: How the government created a federal hunting license for the far left" (http://tinyurl.com/mp5x428).
He says that in the Harvard Crimson, an undergraduate columnist wrote: "Let's give up on academic freedom in favor of justice. When an academic community observes research promoting or justifying oppression, it should ensure that this research does not continue." The student was calling for the suppression of the research of conservative Harvard government professor Harvey Mansfield.
Oberlin College proposed that its teachers be aware of politically controversial topics such as "racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, capitalism and other issues of privilege and oppression." The presumption that students must be protected rather than challenged in a classroom is at once infantilizing and anti-intellectual.
Last year Vassar College faculty and students held a meeting to discuss the school's movement to boycott Israel. Before the meeting, an English professor announced the dialogue would "not be guided by cardboard notions of civility." That professor's vision differs little from Adolf Hitler's brown-shirted thugs of the paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party in their effort to crush dissent.
Azusa Pacific University "postponed" a speech by political scientist Charles Murray to avoid "hurting our faculty and students of color." Brandeis University officials rescinded their invitation to Somali writer and American Enterprise Institute scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose criticisms of radical Islam were said to have violated the school's "core values." Brandeis officials claimed that allowing her to speak would be hurtful to Muslim students.
Western values of liberty are under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America. These people want to replace personal liberty with government control; they want to replace equality before the law with entitlement. As such, they pose a far greater threat to our way of life than any terrorist organization or rogue nation. Leftist ideas are a cancer on our society. Ironically, we not only are timid in response, but also nourish those ideas with our tax dollars and charitable donations.
Clinton Unveils Plan to Tackle College Sticker Shock
If you don't like how much college costs, wait until it's free!
Funny how the Democrat candidates for president are working a platform of college affordability to buy the votes of young Americans. Hillary Clinton unveiled a plan Monday that she claims will reduce the cost of college, a plan that requires the U.S. government spend $350 billion enticing states to lower their tuition prices. We’re guessing tuition would rise by about, oh, $350 billion.
Also her plan would require students work 10 hours a week to pay for their education. Talk about fun camps…
As Fox News notes, Clinton does not have the most radical income redistribution plan in the Democrat scrum, as socialist Bernie Sanders has proposed taxing Wall Street in order to make public universities free.
On its basic level, the astronomical price for college rests in Big Government’s attempt to make college affordable, and thus mostly a Democrat-caused problem. It was easy to procure the government loans that inflated the cost of college. By instituting those polices, the government divorced the price of education from the effort needed to pay for it.
In other words, it was easy to take on tens of thousands of dollars of debt; after all, what does the future hold? Democrats are now saying government should pick up the tab directly. Hello, massive government spending.
Extreme campus rape policies coming under fire from judges
Judges across the country are saying “no” to the “yes means yes” standard of affirmative consent for date rape.
The legality of the standard – adopted on California and New York campuses by state legislatures and in effect on numerous other colleges throughout the country – is in question following a series of recent rulings that cite a lack of due process.
“These decisions are harbingers,” said John Banzhaf, a professor at George Washington University Law School and a public interest lawyer. “It does take time for new ideas to percolate through the system.”
Under the standard, the accused, typically a male, has to prove he obtained consent, even if neither party remembers what happened. The standard forces the accused to prove his innocence, rather than be proven guilty.
Proponents of the “yes means yes” law claim it’s a necessary step to combat sexual assaults, which some studies suggest occur at a high frequency on campuses.
But judges in California, Tennessee and Virginia say it goes too far.
A student expelled from the University of California-San Diego had an “unfair” hearing, Superior Court Judge Joel M. Pressman ruled in July. The John Doe accused in the case said he was unable to cross-examine his accuser and other witnesses. He also said he was forced to submit questions to a hearing panel in advance, and many of his questions were then rejected. Pressman agreed this was a violation of his due process rights.
A student found guilty of sexual misconduct by the University of Tennessee because he couldn’t prove he obtained verbal consent had his verdict overturned by a Chancery Court judge on Aug. 4.
A student expelled from Washington and Lee University for alleged sexual misconduct will be allowed to continue with his gender bias lawsuit against the school, U.S. District Court Judge Norman Moon ruled on Aug. 8. In the lawsuit, a Title IX officer at the school is quoted during a presentation she gave to the woman who later accused John Doe. The Title IX officer is alleged to have said “regret equals rape” and “went on to state her belief that this point was a new idea everyone, herself included, is starting to agree with.” Shortly thereafter, an allegation of misconduct was launched against John Doe. The Title IX officer played a significant role in the investigatory process.
A right to due process at state universities may seem like a novel concept, but Banzhaf said the fourth amendment protection was never intended to apply solely to the court system.
“The Constitution trumps everything else,” he said. “So no matter what the Department of Education or Department of Justice suggest, regardless of what a state’s statute provides, or what the University decides, the Constitution trumps it all.”
The Supreme Court somewhat settled the due process question in its 1976 Mathews vs. Eldrige decision, a case cited by Chancellor Carol L. McCoy in the University of Tennessee decision.
“The fundamental requirement of due process is the opportunity to be heard ‘at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner,’” McCoy wrote. “Due process is flexible and calls for such procedural protections as the particular situation demands.”
Banzhaf explains that means that not every element of protection for the accused must be provided in every case. A “minimal amount of procedural protection” – such as the right to cross examine witnesses – must be provided in all cases, however.
The University of Tennessee announced on Monday that it would implement a new sexual misconduct policy, to take effect on Aug. 19. The changes reportedly involve “easy-to-read” mandatory reporting charts and making prohibited conduct “front and center” in training manuals. Nothing about expanded due process is noted.
That could change, however.
The American Bar Association on Aug. 4 adopted three resolutions focusing on campus assaults and gender-based violence. Some of the language includes “assuring that the rights of those accused of such acts are recognized, respected and protected.”
These protections for the accused are vital from both a fairness perspective and a financial outlook, Banzhaf said. Not only can universities be sued by those accused of assaults whose due process rights may have been violated, Banzhaf added, but administrators can also be sued and possibly held individually liable.
“Colleges who are smart are going to look at these cases and say maybe we should start thinking about this when we craft our policies,” he said.
Posted by jonjayray at 12:42 AM