Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mob Rule For Racial Justice at Yale, University of Missouri

Reposted from  Daily Signal  University of Missouri and Yale Show What Mob Rule Looks Like in Higher Education Andrew Kloster / @ARKloster / November 09, 2015

Students gather on the University of Missouri campus to show support for Jonathan L. Butler, a 25-year-old graduate student who held a hunger strike for seven days, until his university president resigned. (Photo: Bill Greenbklatt/UPI/Newscom)
Andrew Kloster@ARKloster

Andrew R. Kloster is a legal fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, focusing on civil rights, the role of the federal courts and other constitutional issues.Read his research.

America’s universities are supposed to be places where students can get an education. The vast majority of students want that. Some, however, do not. They want a “safe space” where their strange ideas about society can be aired without criticism, and where they can unilaterally punish other students for failing to toe the mass line. These student activists want blood.

At Yale University, last week, a number of members of the Black Student Alliance physically surrounded an administrator and berated him for standing up for free speech and are now demanding his resignation. Caught on camera, one can easily see how dangerous the situation was.

In another example, the president of the University of Missouri, Tim Wolfe, has resigned. His resignation comes after more than 30 members of the football team threatened not to play unless he was forced out. Their claim was that, in unspecified ways, Wolfe failed to eradicate “structural racism” on campus.

These situations have much in common, and the story is becoming a familiar one.

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First, both situations involve student activists disrupting education, allegedly on behalf of education. At Yale, the activists claimed that allowing free discourse and debate and challenging their assumptions threatened the “safe space” they thought Yale was.

At Mizzou, activists claimed that failing to deal with “structural racism” was harming their education. Both groups of students listed not specific harms, but rather vague interests in feeling good at their university.

Second, both situations involve administrators being asked to clamp down on the free expression of other students. At Yale, students were upset that Yale administrators were not clamping down on Halloween costumes. At Mizzou, students wanted more unspecified action against perceived racism on campus.

Third, both situations involve menacing groups of students that come very close to physical violence. At Yale, for example, students physically encircled the administrator, shouted him down, and got very close to him in a threatening manner.

TheFire Yale Students Demand Resignations from Faculty Members Over Halloween Email
By Haley Hudler November 6, 2015

Students called for the resignation of Associate Master of Silliman College Erika Christakis after she responded to an email from the school’s Intercultural Affairs Council asking students to be thoughtful about the cultural implications of their Halloween costumes. According to The Washington Post, students are also calling for the resignation of her husband, Master of Silliman College, Nicholas Christakis, who defended her statement.

...Wednesday, October 28, Yale Dean Burgwell Howard sent an email to Yale’s entire undergraduate student body from the university’s Intercultural Affairs Committee, a 13-member group of administrators from the Chaplain’s Office, campus cultural centers, and other campus organizations. The email, titled “Halloween and the Yale Community,” implored students to be thoughtful about the cultural implications of their Halloween costumes and how they might offend or degrade others, pointing to costumes such as feathered headdresses, turbans, “war paint,” and blackface as examples of inappropriate “cultural appropriation and/or misrepresentation.” Howard sent a similar email to the Northwestern University community in 2010 when he was the dean of students there.

... after midnight on Friday, October 30, Erika Christakis sent an email to the Silliman community in response to the Intercultural Affairs Committee’s Halloween email. Christakis explained that she and her husband Nicholas had heard from a number of students who were frustrated by the committee’s email. Although the email was allegedly supposed to serve as a recommendation rather than a formal policy, to some, its length, tone, content, and the list of 13 signatories seemed to indicate otherwise.
Christakis drew on her experiences as a child development specialist to question whether a university should dictate what students should and shouldn’t wear on Halloween:
I don’t wish to trivialize genuine concerns about cultural and personal representation, and other challenges to our lived experience in a plural community. I know that many decent people have proposed guidelines on Halloween costumes from a spirit of avoiding hurt and offense. I laud those goals, in theory, as most of us do. But in practice, I wonder if we should reflect more transparently, as a community, on the consequences of an institutional (which is to say: bureaucratic and administrative) exercise of implied control over college students.
... More than 740 Yale undergraduates, graduate students, alumni, faculty, and even students from other universities signed on to anopen letter telling Christakis that her “offensive” email invalidates the voices of minority students on campus.

...open forum on allegations of institutional racism on campus. ... more than two hours,... centered around two controversies: Christakis’ email, and allegations that members of Yale’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity hadturned away black women from a fraternity party on Friday night.

... students’ demand that the Christakises lose their jobs for their dissident opinions represents another strong example of the phenomenon Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt talked about in their September cover story for The Atlantic, “The Coddling of the American Mind.” In their article, Lukianoff and Haidt argue that students are increasingly engaging in a culture of “vindictive protectiveness” that seeks to control campus speech in a way that not only limits free expression and chills candor, but that can also promote distorted ways of thinking.

...UPDATE 11/8/15 – FIRE has heard secondhand reports that one or more people in these videos have received threats of violence or death. We do not know whether these reports are valid or whether the alleged threats are credible. Regardless, FIRE condemns any such threats in the strongest terms, and reminds viewers that true threats of violence are not protected speech and that credible threats of violence against any person can and should be investigated by law enforcement.

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