Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Teleology of Triggered Minds

Unless you are scheduled to appear on a college campus, that is, for example, at Berkeley, to deliver a culinary-themed lecture on the best way to prepare an egg and ham quiche, Antifa thugs and Social Justice Warriors (thugs-in-training) are not likely to appear to riot, destroy or damage property, and physically assault anyone in protest of your presence. But then who knows what mildewed nihilism, undigested grunge, and ideological sewage pass for thought in the minds of “activists” anymore?

Also, remember that the original “triggered minds” also include Muslim minds, who are the paramount “victims” of micro-aggressions by Western culture, such as freedom of speech, imaginative images of Mohammad, hijab-less women and women in alluring garb, and blasphemous talk about Islam and Allah. Jihadists and Islamic activists are also nihilists, whether they wear $1,000 suits or jeans and T-shirts and flash knives or machetes.
The poster boy victims of micro-aggression:
Triggered Muslims, brothers in
Spirit of Antifa

Heather McDonald of the Manhattan Insitute, in her Wall Street Journal article of April, wrote:

Student thuggery against non-leftist viewpoints is in the news again. Agitators at Claremont McKenna College, Middlebury College, and the University of California’s Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses have used threats, brute force and sometimes criminal violence over the past two months in efforts to prevent Milo Yiannopoulos, Charles Murray, Ann Coulter and me from speaking. As commencement season approaches, expect “traumatized” students to try to disinvite any remotely conservative speaker, an effort already under way at Notre Dame with regard to Vice President Mike Pence.

And then there is Pomana College, whose sociology students are demanding the firing of a white professor who teaches “black communities.” Addressed to the school’s sociology department, the dean, and the college president, it complained – nay – demanded the immediate firing (or not hiring) of Alice Goffman. The brave students ended their demand:

(128 names redacted for individual safety in recognition of the violence inflicted on communities of color by various publications, namely [and apparently solely] by the Claremont Independent) (square brackets mine)

Reviewing her subject of “black communities,” one is at a loss to understand why the students would object to her Pomana appointment. She is of the Left, as “her PhD dissertation on the impact of mass incarceration and policing on low-income African-American urban communities… when she immersed herself in a disadvantaged neighborhood of Philadelphia with African-American young men who were subject to a high level of surveillance and police activity….” She is a product of that bastion of Progressive causes, the University of Wisconsin.

Jonathan Marks agrees with my assessment of Goffman his Commentary article of April 24th, “New Rule: White Women Should Not Study Black Communities.”

Alice Goffman, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, is a controversial scholar. Her book, On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City is based on Goffman’s six year immersion in a black neighborhood in West Philadelphia.

The book was published in 2014 to wide acclaim. But it soon attracted critics, including the estimable Steven Lubet, who thinks that Goffman embellished her experiences, repeated as fact things she had heard from her subjects though they were unlikely to have been true, and, most sensationally, became so caught up in the lives of the people she was writing about that she could have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder under Pennsylvania law. Goffman replies here, and Lubet takes up part of Goffman’s reply here. Suffice it to say that there is enough to the controversy to make it unsurprising that when Goffman’s hire as McConnell Visiting Professor of Sociology at Pomona College was announced, some people were disappointed.

But the “collective of Sociology students, alumni, and allies at Pomona College” who have stepped forward to complain in an open letter were not disappointed about the kinds of issues Lubet raised. They seem troubled mainly by the fact that Professor Goffman is a white researcher who had the effrontery to study a black community. The hire “boasts the framework that white women can theorize about and profit from Black lives while giving no room for Black academics to claim scholarship regarding their own lived experiences.” We are given to understand that one should not boast such a framework.

Let’s be clear: Goffman is not a right winger. Cornel West, who blurbed the book, called it “the best treatment I know of the wretched underside of neo-liberal capitalist America…”

So, one truly does not know anymore what the disintegrated, whirligigish minds of contemporary students will object to and vociferously protest against. Here they object because the subject and the ethnicity of the professor do not match. The fact that she got her degree from the University of Wisconsin, is irrelevant. Go figure.

Heather McDonald writes:

Campus intolerance is at root not a psychological phenomenon but an ideological one. At its center is a worldview that sees Western culture as endemically racist and sexist. The overriding goal of the educational establishment is to teach young people within the ever-growing list of official victim classifications to view themselves as existentially oppressed. One outcome of that teaching is the forceful silencing of contrarian speech. [Italics mine]

Offending “rhetoric” frequently includes the greatest works of Western civilization. In November 2015, a Columbia sophomore announced on Facebook that his “health and life” were threatened by a Core Curriculum course taught by a white professor. The comment thread exploded with sympathetic rage: “The majority of why?te [sic] students taking [Contemporary Civilization] and on this campus never have to be consistently aware of their identities as white ppl while sitting in CC reading racist, patriarchal texts taught by white professors who most likely are unaware of the various forms of impact that CC texts have on people of color.”

And most of the authors of the Core Curriculum are “dead white males.” Automatically all racists, you see.

Another sophomore fulminated: “Many of these texts INSPIRED THE RACISM THAT I’M FORCED TO LIVE WITH DAILY, and to expect, or even suggest, that that doesn’t matter, is [obscenity] belittling, insulting, and WAY OUT OF [obscenity] LINE.” Those “racist” texts include works by Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Rousseau and Mill.

His progressive education has embedded misanthropy, a hatred of men, into his unformed, untested, unexposed mind, in addition to misology, or a hatred or fear of philosophy or reasoning, or the rational discourse of ideas. His mind will never be tested by reason, because he has been told that reason is a product of the Enlightenment (emerging from the Dark Ages, the the Age of Enlightenment promoted a confidence in reason or intellectual enquiry), which was wholly “racist.” He must “live with the” offending texts daily! Does that mean he is reading them daily, and gnashing his teeth over every page and sweating bullets? Doubtful. Somehow Immanuel Kant, Aristotle, Plato and the others all inspired “racism.”

Trigger-free: hermetically sealed
against all bothersome and disturbing ideas
Do the offending texts explicitly say something to the effect, “This is white philosophy, and is intended to be imbibed by white men only”? Sorry, snowflake, regardless of whether or not you agree with the texts and the authors – and the implication is that you would not be able to comprehend a single of them, at all, to even be able to agree or disagree with them, because your animus is so Pavlovian, deep-seated and thoroughgoing – that is not what they say or insinuate, not in the least.

Oxford dons may find themselves hanged in effigy if they ignore the latest triggering offense. Of course, if your professor is of the old school who doesn’t think it is necessary to engage with you facially, you can accuse him of racism.

Staff at Britain’s Oxford University have been told that avoiding eye contact with students could constitute "everyday racism".

The BBC reports, it is included in a list of "racial micro-aggressions" published in a newsletter by Oxford's equality and diversity unit.

The newsletter claims racial micro aggressions might include: "Not making eye contact or speaking directly to people."

And if your professor finds your physiognomy dull or repellent, that is a double offense. If you catch him looking askance while speaking to you, that’s a triple offense of micro-aggression, and it might even suggest “beautyism” or esthetic bias.

Claims of micro-aggression are instances of intolerance.

As McDonald explains, “Campus intolerance is at root not a psychological phenomenon but an ideological one.” A student can claim a micro-aggression over a piddly, or, in reality, the most inconsequential behavior, statement, or thing, especially if he has been raised in a family or pedagogical environment that inculcates fear and loathing of himself and of others and of the culture he inhabits.

Academic intolerance is the product of ideological aggression, not a psychological disorder.

Antifa, colleagues in spirit
with the Muslim Brotherhood
In today’s schools, the “ideological aggression” conforms to a kind of Progressive jihad against the individual’s mind and values.

The chief focus is emotion – “that hurts my feelings, I don’t know why, it just does, don’t ask me to figure it out, that’s asking me to think, to use reason – and we've been taught that thinking and reasoning are tools of a patriarchy, of capitalism, of racism, of transgender oppression, and of a million different bogeymen, so why shouldn’t I hate the American flag and individual responsibility and anyone who disagrees with how I feel about things?” They’ve been taught that there is such as thing as “emotional reasoning” and that it trumps reasoning from facts. “Emotional reasoning is a cognitive process by which a person concludes that his/her emotional reaction proves something is true, regardless of the observed evidence.”

Anyone found guilty of “micro-aggression” may not be intolerant; but the victim can be as intolerant as he pleases.

If one’s teachers continually harp on the “evil” of America and of certain freedom-associated ideas – and if that is all one hears without abeyance, and if one’s cognitive abilities are have been sabotaged, derogated and dismissed by those charged with developing one’s mind to deal with reality – all one can do in response is rely on one’s emotions. That is sure to lead to one’s death.

The “snowflake” generation will not produce a single Sherlock Holmes.

A “trigger-happy” mind is capable of two aggressions: a “micro” verbal assault, or a physical one. They are the only forms of “discourse” such a mind knows. Beware, but speak, write, or act according to your lights and your values.

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