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Sep 22 2020

Academic Implications of the Black Lives Matter Cultural Revolution

There is follow-up on the case of Greg Patton, the USC Marshall School of Business professor who was placed in purgatory after using the Chinese term “nèi ge,” which militant crybullies say sounds like the forbidden n-word. Patton used the word in order to be inclusive of international students.

At last word, educrats have admitted to no error for their treatment of Patton. The dean denounced him; he remains under suspension, and it is unclear whether he will ever be reinstated. Even the Atlantic is appalled at the injustice, and his fellow faculty are scared that they might be next to get frog-marched to the guillotine through no fault of their own.

Recent grads are also alarmed:

Ninety-four recent graduates of the MBA program, purporting to represent “more than a dozen nationalities and ethnicities,” wrote that “a few of us, but many of our parents, lived through mainland China’s Cultural Revolution. This current incident, and Marshall’s response so far, seem disturbingly similar to prevalent behavior in China at that time—spurious accusations against innocent people, which escalated into institutional insanity.”

The insanity began when Patton promptly apologized to the crybullies for accidently providing them with a pretext to be offended. Saying “I’m sorry” to the belligerently oppressed puts the smell of blood in the water.

The offended students went into lynch mob mode, shrieking that their “mental health has been affected” by the “unwelcome environment” created by Patton having said a Chinese word that has nothing to do with race. They wrote,

“In light of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the recent and continued collective protests and social awakening across the nation, we cannot let this stand.”

That is, they demanded Patton be offered up to them as a sacrifice or else. After hundreds upon hundreds of Black Lives Matter riots, everyone knows what “or else” means.

The climate of terror that these thugs have been allowed to create has had a predictable effect on the erstwhile open marketplace of ideas:

Last Monday, the faculty council at the business school discussed the results of an anonymous survey on the Patton incident that 105 faculty members answered. According to a transcript I obtained, a member of the council described “an overwhelming sense of vulnerability, worry, insecurity, fear and anxiety” among faculty who worry that they could be “cancelled” anytime due to a misunderstanding. The faculty feel “anger, disappointment, betrayal, and outrage” at Patton’s treatment. … [F]aculty members mentioned that “given the atmosphere of fear and perceived lack of support, they think it is too risky for them to continue discussing certain topics with students. This includes topics related to diversity and inclusion, but it also includes such topics as politics and international relations.”

The crisis is hardly limited to USC:

[A]dministrators all over the country are bending over backward to appease umbrage-taking students in the name of inclusion, and more than a few academics have found themselves under serious investigation for flimsy reasons. “Academics write to me with great frequency to share their anxieties,” my colleague John McWhorter, a Columbia professor, wrote earlier this month. “In a three-week period early this summer, I counted some 150 of these messages. And what they reveal is a very rational culture of fear among those who dissent, even slightly, with the tenets of the woke left.”

A mob of bullies not bright enough to belong in college now dictates what can and cannot be said in academia. What happens in the Ivory Tower today will happen to the rest of us soon absent pushback.

On a tip from Adam.


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