The Dogmatic method

Contrast with Socratic.

From New York to California parents fear to criticize the Marxist indoctrination of their children.
The Miseducation of America’s Elites

In Los Angeles, teachers union leaders think their membership is so arrogant and stupid that teachers must be warned not to publicly flout their disdain for the CCP virus restrictions they use to avoid doing their jobs.
LA Teacher Warns Union Members Not To Post Vacation Pics While Classrooms Are Still Closed

In Virginia, a Wokerati K-12 unionist cabal conspires on Facebook to suppress the First Amendment rights of anyone questioning Critical Theory. Doxxing and hacking are encouraged. Sort of a cybernetic struggle session.
Loudoun County Anti-Racist Teachers Are Making Their Lists

And to prove the LA union leadership had a point, we turn to Chicago, where a teachers union grandee vacationed in a tropical, CDC designated CCP virus hotspot, and did exactly what they warned about.
Puerto Rico Swimsuit Selfie Is A Lesson On Chicago Teachers Union

Still in Chicago…
Chicago Teachers Union Prez Tells Members: Don’t Reveal You Got Vaccine If It Means You Return To School

Teachers unions are child abusers.

There’s talk about breaking up Facebook, but Facebook is only a symptom. We need to break up public employee unions. Especially those of teachers.

Then we might get more Facebook users who could think.

Farming Detroit

I was reminded by this story today, BUSTED: Democrats Snuck $1 BILLION For ‘Racial Justice’ In Farming Section Of COVID Bill …of an email I wrote to the Michigan State University College of Agriculture & Natural Resources in September, 2020, about a seminar series titled Race, Food, & Land.

One suspects the CANR seminar owes something to this 2014 WKAR (MSU’s PBS station) short video on food security and sovereignty. WKAR’s presentation is very unassuming, including none of the Critical Theory espoused by, shall we say, more activist websites.

This link to the CANR seminar announcement is from the Wayback Machine, so it might load slowly. In any case, I have reproduced the relevant section at the end of this post.

The Race, Food, & Land seminar is an example of what oozes out of our Universities to become billion dollar CCP virus porkulus. Seems more in line with the Reparations demands than anything to do with the pandemic. But, never miss a chance to feign virtue for votes using other people’s money.

Anyway, here’s the letter:

RE: Race, Food, & Land Series- September 24th

The description of this seminar is confusing.

The idea that “Across the United States black farmers and black communities face major barriers related to farmland acquisition and achieving food sovereignty” may well be true, but “food sovereignty” here seems to be the idea that black people should only depend on other black people, in Michigan, so as to eat.

It occurred to me that I was misinterpreting the term “food sovereignty.” So, I looked it up. What I discovered is typified by complaints about colonialism, anti-capitalist screeds, appeals to climate change (a intersectionalist irrelevancy), and anti-GMO hysteria. Altogether, it seems to intend to promote the tragedy of the commons via a splintered collectivism.

I’m all for people making their own decisions, and being left to live with the consequences. This means, (contra ‘food sovereignty’) that eating is not a “right.” Eating without working has been proposed, even tried, but it does not seem to work out.

To be sure, colonialism was problematic. Certainly, neither the United States nor capitalism are perfect.

Still, emphasizing the past and complaining about the country and economic system that have raised more people into immense wealth relative to the days of the Raj is utopian folly.

Food sovereigntists blame both starvation and obesity on market based free trade, but I found no explanation, policy suggestion, or description of how their proposals solve this.

Food sovereignty may be well intentioned, but the implementation would prove far more oppressive than the current, hard won economic conditions we experience, while hurting the supposed present day “colonized” the most. “Food deserts” are to be converted into boycotts of non-POC farmers?

I’m unsure how the acquisition of farmland relates to the (emphasis mine) “past, present, and future projections of race relations in Detroit.” That is, I’m wondering what Detroit acreage “Black/African-American farmers in Detroit,” are unable to acquire. And how many of them have tried to purchase what I would have supposed to be non-existent for practical purposes.

I couldn’t help but think about the result for farming, and eating, in South Africa and Zimbabwe as a blacks only food sovereignty experiment your seminar may wish to examine.

Maybe a seminar on turning blocks and blocks of blighted Detroit real estate into arable land could be a topic for a future seminar series? That would at least make your current seminar relevant to its description.

As a supply chain issue, I get why local resources are important, though clearly we all also benefit greatly from global food supply. Leaving aside the fact that no Michiganders of whatever surface melanin content have local food sovereignty in the purchase of bananas or pineapples, I still can’t understand the racial focus this series advertises.

Why is it that a white man growing peaches near South Haven, or a brown man growing tomatoes in Florida, or a yellow man growing rice in California, can no longer be trusted as much as a black man growing apples near Benton Harbor to supply foodstuff to people whose color none of the trading partners know, or care, about?

Such a contention is just as racist as if I insisted that all watermelon and fried chicken eaten by blacks in Detroit be produced within 50 miles of the 8 Mile corridor. By black farmers.

——————————

Seminar description from CANR:

Race, Food, & Land Series- September 24th
September 24, 2020 6:30PM – 8:30PM

Zoom Webinar

Contact: For more information, please contact —- —— at ——-@msu.edu or 517-nnn-nnnn.

Across the United States black farmers and black communities face major barriers related to farmland acquisition and achieving food sovereignty. These issues often go unseen and need to be discussed. MSU Extension and MSU Tollgate Farm will be facilitating a three-part lecture series to highlight the past, present, and future projections of race relations in Detroit and how race has impacted land acquisition and food sovereignty. Each session will consist of a team of MSU Extension facilitators joined by panelists from across the Detroit food systems landscape to share their lived and learned experiences. Registration fees, minus the cost of stipends for the panelists, will go toward initiatives that support the needs of Black/African-American farmers in Detroit…

September 24th, Envisioning the Future of Food and Farming in Detroit:

Articulate action items that can support the work of grassroots organizations within Detroit tackling the issues of food, land, and racial equity.

Envision what needs to change, grow, or “be weeded out” to bring forth food sovereignty in Detroit.

Doktor Biden

Is Mrs. Biden’s insistence on the honorific “Dr.” pretentious. Yes.

Should she cease demanding it? Yes.

Are Democrats calling anyone who suggests these things sexist pigs? That’s rhetorical.

Did Mrs. Biden’s Ed.D dissertation, STUDENT RETENTION AT THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE: MEETING STUDENTS’ NEEDS, meet student needs? Yes, if she’s referring to herself in the plural. Yes, if she’s complaining about class sizes over 100%, and no, if she’s excluding Asians and non-resident aliens entirely:
Three quarters of the class will be Caucasian; one quarter of the class will be African American…the remaining seats will be filled with students of Asian descent or non-resident aliens.

The remaining seats are in the hallway.

And also no; if she’s trying to argue for more funding based on the percent of enrollment increase, which is ‘approximately’ double her calculation:
By 1963, public and private two year headcount enrollment stood at 850,361. By 1980, enrollment had grown to 4,526,287… approximately a 230 percent increase in student attendance.

Keep her well away from budget discussions.

On the patriarchy contention, a counterexample: President Woodrow Wilson was a PoliSci Ph.D, President of Princeton, and he won a Nobel Prize. He assumed his academic credentials gave him the knowledge and insight to ignore the Constitution and decide how the riff-raff should conduct their lives.

Jill Biden certainly may share those characteristics. One characteristic she does not share with President Wilson is an insistence on being addressed as “Dr.”

Perhaps her insecurity will be assuaged by “FLOTUS?”

Update: 2:40PM
It occurs to me that some people won’t know how Jill Biden’s predilection became an issue, and that the guy who’s been partially cancelled over it could benefit from a plug.

The issue:
Cancel Culture Fights for ‘Dr.’ Jill Biden

Some books:
The author of the now infamous piece is 84, and probably doesn’t much care. Still, here, and here are a couple of his books you could buy to stuff a little capitalism in the cancel crowd’s apertures.

P.S. I bought this one because of the one negative review.

Grammatically incorrect

Propagandists in the classroom are a luxury that the poor can afford least of all. While a mastery of mathematics and English can be a ticket out of poverty, a highly cultivated sense of grievance and resentment is not.

-Thomas Sowell

Jeff Jacoby has a piece worth reading at Jewish World Review on the Rutgers English department debacle.
Is English grammar racist?

A slice (but RTWT):

Today, of course, Rutgers and its champions of “critical grammar” would regard Churchill’s emphasis on acquiring “the essential structure of the ordinary British sentence” as a primitive abomination. John F. Kennedy said of Churchill that he “mobilized the English language and sent it into battle”; there is little question that the power of Churchill’s well-wrought English rhetoric helped save Western civilization in one of its darkest hours. (The power of that prose also earned Churchill the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.)…

“In short,” observes David Bernstein, a university professor and head of the Liberty & Law Center at George Mason University,

the Rutgers English Department wants to make sure that students who come to Rutgers with a poor grasp of standard written English not only remain in that state, but come to believe that learning standard English is a concession to racism. I remember when keeping “people of color” ignorant was considered part of white supremacy.

Churchill’s majestic command of English was due, in part, to rigorous training. Training of the sort that instills discipline, perseverance and clear thinking; whatever the subject. Rutgers charges over $900 per credit hour to willfully deny this opportunity to its students. Because those virtues have been racialized.

Churchill’s profound grasp of rhetoric didn’t merely serve him well during Question Period, it played a critical role in keeping all of us – including Black, Indigenous, People of Color – from slavery under a global racist tyranny. Countless LBGTQ people live today because a virulently anti­gay totalitarian was defeated.

At Rutgers, though, it is no longer enough to vilify Churchill with slipshod fantasies of racism, sexism, and colonialism: Now add to his sins an exemplary command of language.

It might be useful to bring the news to Rutgers that among those who shared that facility are Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, and Martin Luther King.

Bab’l, Towr of

Rutgers English Department to deemphasize traditional grammar ‘in solidarity with Black Lives Matter’

“Under a so-called critical grammar pedagogy, “This approach challenges the familiar dogma that writing instruction should limit emphasis on grammar/sentence-level issues so as to not put students from multilingual, non-standard ‘academic’ English backgrounds at a disadvantage,” the email states. [So long as they are not Asian.]

“Instead, it encourages students to develop a critical awareness of the variety of choices available to them w/ regard to micro-level issues in order to empower them and equip them to push against biases based on ‘written’ accents.””

Well, writing that in Ebonics would be an improvement. At least it would be less confusing about the dogma Rutgers no longer favors.

But, it’s not Ebonics I want to pick on here. Like any useful vernacular it affects the everyday language of most of the population. Words creep into accepted usage as the language naturally evolves. Still, there are standards for spelling, sentence structure and grammar that need not be hastily discarded by imposing Critical Theory memes.

It’s not that Rutgers is returning to rigorous grammar instruction, the dogma most of us would expect to inform University level English courses. They are abandoning grammar/sentence level instruction entirely.

An emphasis on grammar has a place in at least some University English courses, and certainly should be required for an English degree. Poetry, obviously, has different rules from prose, and Creative Writing 201 might encourage you to break rules. But to break them effectively you have to know what they are, and why they are. Entry to a University used to assume that incoming students did know.

But, in a rush to wokeness, Rutgers “”has moved past bias awareness and prevention and into a focus on “decolonization.””

Put more clearly, bias awareness has become insufficiently patronizing – we now need to let students know that whatever ideas of English they bring with them are as valid as any other ideas, because some students aren’t capable of learning. Because “white supremacy.”

The real irony is that the pedagogical change order was written by a Professor of English trying to impress his peers. If he wanted to help those who can’t grok English grammar he might have abandoned the critical theory box checking and used a comprehensible sentence structure. Instead, we have wordy, woke, Academiot jargon.

One might wonder how those downtrodden souls came to be in an elite college English program. Surely an inability to distinguish an adjective from an adverb should have funneled them into a Grievance Studies discipline (to maintain the fiction that English hasn’t become one), where nouns are regularly made into verbs.

Ignorance of commas: “Protest, shootings, and arson,” rather than “Protest shootings and arson,” might pass in an Applied Critical Theory class where there is only one possible meaning. But it could limit your chances of entering J-school at Columbia.

And, these days, not understanding pronoun disagreement could be fatal to your career.

Lest you think this sleight of hand racism is unique to Rutgers, let’s take a similar example from a Ball State conference:
Professor says grading, good grammar are examples of white supremacy

“White language supremacy, according to [Asao] Inoue, [associate dean of the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at Arizona State] is “the condition in classrooms, schools, and society where rewards are given in determined ways to people who can most easily reach them, because those people have more access to the preferred and embodied white language practices, and part of that access is a structural assumption that what is reachable at a given moment for the normative, white, monolingual English user is reachable for all.””

Translated: Grades should be given in mysterious ways (though with extra credit for the oppressed) to those who have the most to learn – whether they learn or not. We must assume these people can’t learn another dialect.

A Masters (A word on the way out, and I don’t think we can use “He da man,” either.) in English is now a purely political credential.

So, now I’m wondering about what happens when the “pedagogy” meets the rubric. Starting with why someone would pay over $900 per credit hour, plus room and board, for a English degree from Rutgers?

The English language is the remit (noun) of Professors of English. They are choosing to trash it.