It’s easy to despair over the state of education from kindergarten through university these days. From public school teachers union presidents calling for strikes against in-person teaching via selfies taken in pandemic ridden Caribbean resorts, to an explosion of private school curricula teaching Critical Race Theory, to university professors criticizing MLK’s vision of color blindness. It is easy to believe that this strident group of so-called Progressives face little opposition. They’ve taken control, but we’ll see that they aren’t unopposed.

Exactly how over-represented Woke faculty is in these institutions is disputed. Most studies of this relate to higher education, where many Progressive academics say it isn’t really a problem. For them, it’s not. And, of course, they say also that about teaching a 6 year old white skin is the new original sin.

Wokeness to the contrary notwithstanding, freedom of conscience is a much rarer privilege in the ivory tower than it used to be. The screaming fits about pronouns, safe spaces, and… anything, really, they don’t want to hear, indicates that reducing that freedom has not gone far enough for the culturally over-caffeinated.

This survey, for example, shows an alarming (p.5) state of affairs for a temple of advanced learning.

The selfie taking, CRT teaching, MLK revisionists will interpret this as “2/3 of college students feel they are free to speak about politics,” and as a good thing. Surely, there is at least a third of students who should just shut up.

I do wonder how any of the topics except maybe “Non-controversial” can be separated from politics. When tenured professors describe mathematics and Abraham Lincoln as racist, belief in biological sex as transphobic, gender as a limitless spectrum, and at least one religion as a colonialist evil, what is there that isn’t political? So, what questions did they ask to produce this chart?

Here’s the question asked about each topic, where the topic (Race or Politics, for example) is in the blank ______.

Think about being at your school
in a class that was discussing a
controversial issue about _______.
How comfortable or reluctant
would you feel about speaking up
and giving your views on this topic?

How the hell can you tell what’s “controversial,” when “all lives matter,” is a racist statement; and what wasn’t controversial this morning suddenly is, because someone accuses you of cultural appropriation for wearing hoop earrings; or you use yesterday’s pronoun for someone who changed ‘gender’ overnight? And who knows when the discussion you were comfortable contemplating in a survey might go all pear shaped in a micro-aggression minute?*

The survey captures a squishy overall sentiment, and tells me not much about the real extent of the problem.

In today’s climate how does one distinguish a discussion about race, religion, gender, or sexuality from a political discussion? Survey takers did, or the percentages would be identical. The categorization is in the mind of the person surveyed, and is related to how “mainstream” they think their opinions are. How did they mentally segregate gay marriage? Sex or religion? It’s definitely about politics. I’d check all three boxes. In any case, that 1/5 to 1/3 of students are uncomfortable speaking about any of those topics is a massive failure of the institution they attend.

In terms of measuring faculty and administrative tendency to claim speech is literally violence, I’d suggest leftist party affiliation and political donations are a rough proxy. How many political donors and how much they give is an indicator of campus culture. Though, since voter registration and donations are public information, a sufficiently strong campus cancel-culture could skew results.

TOC’s “academiots” tag has 62 references as I write this. Today, I’ve added a new tag, “acadissidents,” because as few as there are, and as unreported their dissent, they deserve support and encouragement. You could start by joining the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) in defense of UCSD professor Tom Smith at the first link below.

You could also periodically drop by Heterodox Academy, Hillsdale College. Legal Insurrection, New Discourses, Victor Davis Hanson, and Carpe Diem, to name just a few. Links to all in the blogroll.

A professor is under investigation for criticizing the Chinese government. Defend his rights with two clicks.

I Refuse to Stand By While My Students Are Indoctrinated

When the social justice mob came for me

You Have to Read This Letter

Whistleblower at Smith College Resigns Over Racism

Professor Who Refused To Obey “Preferred Pronouns” Can Continue Lawsuit, Appeals Court Rules

The Targeting of Princeton Prof. Joshua Katz Continues

I try to stay aware of individual academics that might need financial support, and contribute a few dollars to them. This can be difficult, since GoFundMe will often cancel funding campaigns, but there are typically ways around that – like direct contributions through PayPal (not that PayPal isn’t “woke,” too).

There are people standing up for reason, at significant personal risk. We should have their backs. Many of them have experienced significant reprisals for exercising freedom of conscience; loss of employment, heavy legal expenses, doxxing, direct personal threats, and physical violence (see, for example, A Violent Attack on Free Speech at Middlebury) for daring to question SJW dogma.

*Since being on time is a white supremacist characteristic, maybe “minute” qualifies as a microagression.

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 —— 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.