Thursday, July 02, 2015

Bogus Narrative on Black Churches Burning

From Front Page Magazine:
The media’s dishonest reporting.

July 2, 2015

Michelle Malkin

America is still reeling from the horrific Charleston, S.C., massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church that claimed the lives of nine innocent people.

The last thing the community and our country need are hysterical journalists compounding the pain with inflammatory reporting on an unsubstantiated “epidemic” of black church arsons.

On Monday, a Baltimore Sun lead editorial decried “a series of mysterious fires at African-American churches across the South” in the wake of the Charleston murders. The newspaper cited a “pattern” of attacks, including what it claimed was an “uptick in attacks on 37 black churches in the South” in the 1990s that “prompted President Bill Clinton to set up a church-arson investigative task force.”

The Sun neglected to mention that Clinton had falsely claimed at the time that he had “vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state when I was a child” — an assertion immediately debunked by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The Sun also neglected to mention that the manufactured media coverage that launched the 1990s black church arson juggernaut, fueled by former USA Today reporter Gary Fields’ 61 fear-mongering stories, fell apart under scrutiny. Fields’ own employer was forced to admit that “analysis of the 64 fires since 1995 shows only four can be conclusively shown to be racially motivated.”

Reminder: Several of the hyped hate crimes against black churches had been committed by black suspects; a significant number of the black churches were, in fact, white churches; and the complex motives behind the crimes included mental illness, vandalism and concealment of theft.

Once again, falsified history is repeating itself.

The NAACP, which capitalized on the Clinton-era race hustle, is now pushing the new arson epidemic narrative. The organization remains shamelessly undaunted after fueling the fake NAACP “bombing” in Colorado Springs earlier this year. The group’s CEO, Cornell Brooks, tweeted the incendiary “#WhoIsBurningBlackChurches” hashtag on Tuesday and disclosed that he is “informing churches, reviewing legislation, pushing media awareness and deciding legal options.”

The left-wing instigators at the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose stated mission is to “destroy” its political opponents and whose target map and list of social conservative groups were used by left-wing domestic terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins to shoot up the Washington, D.C., office of the Family Research Council in 2012, baselessly reported: “In what may not be a coincidence, a string of nighttime fires have damaged or destroyed at least six predominately black churches in four southern states in the past week.”

Teach for America alumnus agitator DeRay McKesson quickly added his Twitter kerosene to the fire, reflexively claiming that the “KKK” was responsible for a half-dozen black church burnings.

Buried beneath the sensationalized social media avalanche of panic: the more judicious and careful observations of Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Pearce that the feds have made no official determinations that any hate crimes have taken place and that “it’s unclear whether any of the fires are linked.”

It was observed that “one of the half-dozen church crimes was most likely accidental” and had “no element of criminal intent.”

Another “was likely touched off by an electrical short” after a tree limb fell on the property, yanking the electrical service line with it.

And yet another alleged “black church arson” actually involved a white church “struck by lightning.”

No matter.

NBC News trumpeted: “Spate of Fires at Black Churches Raise Concerns of Rise in Hate Crimes.”

The Washington Post ominously tallied “five predominantly black Southern churches burn within a week; arson suspected in at least three.”

The New York Daily News blared: “String of apparent arson fires plague black churches in Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee.”

Mic.com quoted a hate crimes “expert” blaming — you guessed it — “the growth of violent right-wing extremist ideology in the U.S.” for the nonexistent black church arson epidemic.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

In this case, it’s coming from the five-alarm self-immolation of agenda-driven journalism’s credibility.
That mainstream media types, with their liberal biases, would be suckers for the Standard Racial Narrative — black people as beaten down victims of white racism — is no surprise.

What is stunning is their absurd inability to notice that this narrative has imploded time after time. It did with the “black church burnings” of the 1990s. It did with the Duke Lacrosse case. It did with the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case. It did in Ferguson, Missouri. It did in Baltimore (where three of the six charged officers are black).

Are they stupid? No, they are just immersed in a culture virulently committed to the Standard Racial Narrative. As True Believers, they are staunchly resistant to any reconsideration of the narrative. They might concede this or that case — albeit reluctantly when the evidence becomes undeniable. But the next time a chance to apply the narrative comes along, they revert to the standard credulity.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

A-10 Warthog: the Plane the Air Force Wants to Kill


And why does the Air Force want to kill the A-10?
  1. It’s ugly. The fact that it’s extremely effective matters less to them.
  2. It’s slow. Who would want a plane that can’t fly at Mach 2? Never mind that Mach 2 has almost no military value.
  3. It supports ground troops. That’s not something the Air Force particularly wants to do.
  4. It doesn’t engage in air combat. Flying it, you can’t pretend you are in the glorious tradition of Manfred von Richthofen.
  5. It doesn’t cost a lot.
  6. It’s ugly.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Muddle-Headed Pope on Arms Manufacturers

From the Huffington Post:
TURIN, Italy (Reuters) - People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said on Sunday.

Francis issued his toughest condemnation to date of the weapons industry at a rally of thousands of young people at the end of the first day of his trip to the Italian city of Turin.

“If you trust only men you have lost,” he told the young people in a long, rambling talk about war, trust and politics after putting aside his prepared address.

“It makes me think of ... people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it?” he said to applause.

He also criticized those who invest in weapons industries, saying “duplicity is the currency of today ... they say one thing and do another.”

Francis also built on comments he has made in the past about events during the first and second world wars. He spoke of the “tragedy of the Shoah,” using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.

“The great powers had the pictures of the railway lines that brought the trains to the concentration camps like Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody. Why didn’t they bomb (the railway lines)?”
That’s right. In one and the same speech, he condemned arms manufacturers, and lamented the fact that the Allies did not bomb the railway lines to the death camps.

And with what were the Allies supposed to bomb the rail lines? Bombers. Built by weapons manufacturers. Most likely B-17s (built by Boeing) or B-24s (built by Consolidated).

Has the Pope even noticed the contradiction?

As Marc Livecche has noted:
With what, precisely, did he intend the allies to bomb the rail lines? The 20th Century ought to have convinced us, including us Christians, that those kinds of folks who enjoy genocide cannot usually be talked out of their malevolence with prayers or harsh language – they most often have to be forced out of it. If soft power cannot get those who are murdering the innocent to stand down then hard power is necessary to knock them down. Such business is about more than “hate, fratricide, and violence.” If stopping genocide is a good thing to do then those who have done it – and those who supply the tools to help them do it – have, well, done good. To be sure, the motives of some who sell arms might be mixed. But while this might, in those cases, marble our moral evaluation, we oughtn’t allow the marbling to eclipse the good nor to forget that, just as soldiering can be a Christian vocation, so too can be making the tools of their trade.
Livecche then deals with the notion that Christians can somehow opt out of war and violence:
It will do no good to claim, as some have, that this is the business of the government and not of Christians. To claim that God ordained the sword for the government to maintain just order but that he has called Christians away from such business in order to provide an alternative, peaceable kingdom is, in my judgment, the true hypocrisy – not the notion of Christians providing weapons of war. If the peaceable kingdom were a viable alternative to hard coercion then, surely, God would have ordained such a kingdom instead of, rather than alongside, the government’s sword. Given that God has ordained the sword, I stand among those who infer, therefore, that the sword is necessary. And if the sword is necessary then that makes the peaceable kingdom parasitic – because it cannot remain in a world in which the good do not bear arms. The idea that Christians should allow their neighbors to dirty their hands while keeping their own souls clean is, frankly, morally abhorrent.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pro-Choice?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Self-Righteous Marquette “Diversity Advocates” Block Traffic on Wisconsin Avenue, Make Absurd Demands

It happened back in April, a bunch of students demonstrating for “diversity” by blocking traffic on Wisconsin Avenue. They were quite proud of themselves, as they splashed a photo of themselves blocking traffic all over the top of their Facebook page.

They were, of course, arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Below are the mug shots of the student arrested.

Rebecca Zellelew
Miguel Sanchez
Victoria Gokee-Rindal
Joseph Martinez
So what are these students demanding? In fact, there is a document that is their manifesto, and it reads like a compilation of the standard politically correct grievances and demands of the race hustlers on college campuses.

The Seal

The first demand:
Recrop the Marquette University’s seal which depicts a biased and impartial [sic] narrative of Marquette’s initial relationship with Indigenous peoples to include the Illinois peoples whom [sic] are welcoming and guiding Marquette
That these folks don’t know what “impartial” means nor the usage of “who” and “whom” are the least silly things about this.

What is supposedly objectionable about the seal? One leftist faculty member explains:
“Where Father Marquette is active and commanding, the Native figure appears passive and subservient,” [Jodi] Melamed said. “It’s the classic colonialist and white supremacist division of humanity being represented: the white Jesuit provides the direction, he’s the brains of the outfit, the Native person provides the labor and follows the white person’s lead.”
Melamed, of course, brings the standard politically correct obsessions to the issue. Academics like her, if administered a Rorschach test, would doubtless see colonialism, white supremacy, racism, sexism and homophobia in the ink blots. In reality, Father Marquette was indeed “in the lead” as somebody exploring a land new to him.

And others don’t bring Melamed’s obsessions to the subject:
Jacqueline Schram, faculty advisor of Marquette’s Native American Student Association, sees the image as an inspiration of reflection and hope that Marquette can work to improve its focus on Native American issues and students.

“For me, the Native American in our seal serves as both a source of pride and compass,” Schram said in an email. “The decision to indelibly etch the historic relationship between the First Peoples of Wisconsin and Father Marquette pays homage to the interdependency and inspires a sense of hope that this can be once again.”
But for the politically correct, no opportunity to be aggrieved should be passed up.

Demanding More Indoctrination

Next demand:
The expansion of the core curriculum to include 2-3 more diversity and inclusion required courses that unambiguously address the realities of white privilege and oppression at Marquette, in Milwaukee, and in our nation[.]
Marquette already requires one “diversity” course chosen from a list of courses, virtually all of which are politically correct victim studies.

But this, apparently, is not sufficient indoctrination.

Note the demand that “required courses . . . unambiguously address the realities of white privilege and oppression at Marquette.” Apparently, there has to be an ideological litmus test for these courses. The instructor is not allowed to conclude that “white privilege” is not a useful concept in analyzing race relations, nor that the chief sources of black oppression come from within the black community.  Of course, objective social science says that the biggest disadvantage that black children face is the lack of a father. This subject would apparently be out of bounds in these courses (or else, somehow blamed on white Republicans).

What we have, then, is a direct assault on academic freedom. Faculty who don’t buy into the oppression narrative would not be allowed to teach these courses. Faculty who do, rather than being free to come to their own conclusions, would have to endorse a leftist interpretation, on pain of not being allowed to teach these subjects.

Violence

The there is this:
A dialogue and reflection based training on How to end discriminatory violence in the classroom and in the campus community for Faculty/Administration/Staff, New student orientation and beginning Service Learners
So there is violence in Marquette classrooms? Minority students are getting beaten up? If so, where are the arrests?

But the politically correct campus left, unfortunately, defines violence as pretty much anything they don’t like. Might a black student hear somebody criticize affirmative action? Might an Hispanic student hear somebody say that the nation should control its borders, and stop illegal immigration? In the rarefied world of academia, mere opinions that the leftists don’t like qualify as violence.

And of course, the standard treatment for Thought Crime is a “dialogue and reflection based training.” In other words, Stalinist reeducation.

Rat Out Politically Incorrect Expression

The next part is more explicit as to what might constitute “violence.”
The further development of the Bias Incident Report System to include an anonymous submission option and a student response team inclusive of student leaders, residence hall RAs and Diversity Peer Coordinators. . . . We define discriminatory violence as physical harassment, language, exclusion or imagery that targets an individual or group based upon their race / gender / sex / class / national or cultural identities
Here, it is obvious that “violence” is defined so broadly as to be meaningless. Is telling an ethnic joke violence? And how about “inclusion?” If a bunch of guys in a dorm go out for a beer, and don’t invite the black guy, is that violence? Did they fail to invite him because he’s black, or rather because he’s always whining about “systemic racism?” Or maybe he just wasn’t around when the guys decided to go out.

What the authoritarians who drafted this document seem to want is to micromanage all student speech, expression and association.

Needing a Racial Quota

Next we have this:
Increased initiatives to recruit and retain students of diverse backgrounds – especially students from Milwaukee’s community. Currently the racial makeup of the city of Milwaukee is less than 50% white, while all racial minority groups combined only represent 20% of Marquette’s student population. This is unacceptable.
Why is it unacceptable? These folks appear not to understand that Marquette is classified as a “national university,” attracting students from across the nation (admittedly with a concentration from Wisconsin and northern Illinois). So why does the racial composition need to mirror the city of Milwaukee (and not even the Milwaukee metropolitan area)?

Marquette already discriminates against white students in admissions. Beyond a certain point, admitting less qualified minorities is counterproductive, since it places those students in a tough academic environment where they struggle, and often fail.

Divest

Another point:
We call for the University to responsibly invest in companies that adhere to our Catholic and Jesuit ideals of promoting the betterment of the human community, therefore reconsidering its investment policy and divesting from companies that take part in the abuse and repression of human basic rights
They don’t specify what companies they have in mind here. Companies that do business with Israel? Defense contractors? They don’t say.

Conceal Race of Offenders in Campus Area

This one is particularly interesting:
(a) Remove race from DPS [Department of Public Safety] reports, (b) report ALL crime including sexual assaults, drug usage, etc., which will make clear that white students are frequent lawbreakers and will destigmatize black males/people and students of color on campus and/or (c) make available ALL crime reports via an online active report
The beef here is the fact that Marquette University sends out “Public Safety Alerts” whenever there is a crime on or (more likely) near campus, and the race of the offender (or offenders) is reported. Overwhelmingly, the offenders are black.

We analyzed all Public Safety Alerts issued between May 2014 and April 2015 (inclusive), and found that of 44 offenders whose race was reported, 37 were black. (Four were white and three Hispanic.)

Oh, my! This might give somebody the idea that blacks disproportionately commit crime. So why not conceal this information? Surely, if it isn’t reported, students will start assuming that they are just as likely to be assaulted or robbed by a white as a black. At least, people who drafted this document seem to think so.

As for reporting all crime, naming and shaming (for example) drug offenders, we aren’t terribly opposed to that. But who is going to be named and shamed? Christian students? College Republicans? Or the good buddies of the “diversity” crowd?

These folks better be careful what they ask for. They might get it.

But of course, the purpose of listing the race (and other descriptive details) in the Public Safety Alerts for at large offenders is to help apprehend them. Students smoking joints in the dorm are a different matter entirely.

Politically Correct Dress Code

Then, in a section of the document drafted by The Native American Student Association, we have this:
Implement a no tolerance policy for the Warrior mascot merchandise; students continually wear clothing that represents the mascot which is deeply offensive to Native peoples and upholds White superiority on campus
Here we have the nasty authoritarianism of the politically correct, wanting to stifle student expression. The notion that Indian nicknames are offensive to “Native peoples” is simply untrue. That is unless “Native peoples” merely means Indian race hustlers on college campuses.

A Sports Illustrated poll of a representative sample of American Indians found that over 80 percent opposed changing native American team names. And an Annenberg School poll of American Indians found that over 90 percent did not find the name Redskins offensive.

So what we have here is a situation typical in academia: grievance mongers claiming to represent some constituency (Indians, women, blacks) in fact don’t. But on a college campus, where few have the courage to challenge them, and campus bureaucrats have every incentive to pander to them, they are anointed as official representatives.

Extremist Organization

That the Coalition of and for Students of Color at Marquette University is a rather extreme organization is revealed by their Facebook page, which shows support for cop killer Assata Shakur. Indeed, the posts show that these people see Shakur as a hero.

One of the images from the page is below:


There is also a link to an essay titled “Our Sister, Assata Shakur: Life, Struggle, Justice, and Love.” What are these people thinking?

So how will Marquette react to the demands of this group? In a principled way? Certainly not. Might many or most of the demands be rejected? If there is enough pressure from people who think Marquette has carried political correctness way too far, maybe.

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Global Warming: Arctic Summers Will Be Ice Free by 2013

More Global Warming Fascism: Australia

Academia is more and more intolerant, and one of the tenets of the new orthodoxy is the idea that there is global warming, that human activity is the main cause of it, that it has potentially catastrophic consequences, and that radical policies have to be immediately enacted to deal with it.

Dissenting from any one of these propositions can lead to demands that you be fired, silenced, shunned and banned from public discourse.

And this indeed is exactly what happened at the University of Western Australia, where a climate change “contrarian” named Bjorn Lomborg was banned and denied a job because of his views.

We frankly wonder whether something like this could happen at Marquette. While faculty of natural science departments are mostly not into race, gender and sexual orientation political correctness, there is a certain kind of science political correctness. The prevailing attitude is “we scientists have discovered the truth, and don’t you dare doubt what we say.”

A writer for Reason makes some points that people in academia used to understand, but increasingly appear not to:
Learning is a process of testing, discussion, submitting your ideas to debate and standing by them as the brickbats of disagreement and counter-argument come flying in. This is why academic freedom is so important: the liberty to think and speak and argue is the only real way of getting to the truth of a matter, and in the process boosting our understanding of the world.

In the Lomborg scandal, this process was circumvented. Lomborg’s center was pre-emptively denied the right to put its case in Australian academia, by “passionate emotional” protesters who think they already know The Truth on climate change: that it’s happening, it’s terrible, and we will only alleviate its worst impacts by putting restraints on humanity’s material aspirations.

This isn’t learning, far less academic freedom in action. Rather, it echoes the old, pre-modern view of a university as, in essence, a bookish guardian of ecclesiastical authority. Only now it’s eco-authority that is protected from intellectual poking and awkward analysis, ringfenced from ridicule just as surely as the pointy-hatted overseers of universities in the pre-Enlightenment era also ringfenced ideas that they just knew were true.

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Where are the Leftist “Diversity” Faculty at Marquette?

Whenever Marquette does something contrary to the desires or interests of the politically correct leftist faction of faculty, some petition will doubtless follow.

For example, when Marquette refused to hire aggressively lesbian Arts & Science Dean candidate Jodi O’Brien, a petition attacking Marquette for the decision appeared in the Journal-Sentinel.

More recently, “about 60” Marquette faculty and staff signed a petition protesting the removal of a mural of cop killer Assata Shakur from the wall of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. (The identities of the signers are apparently secret.)

And now, when a group of Marquette students blocked traffic on Wisconsin Avenue to protest a supposed “lack of diversity,” yet another faculty petition has emerged.

We won’t discuss the claims in the petition in this post. They are pretty much the usual politically correct cant. But we will discuss who signed the petition.

Politically correct attitudes (and the intolerance that comes with them) are not evenly distributed across the faculty. Rather, they are concentrated in certain departments and schools. The signers of the most recent petition are distributed as follows:
Education / 4
Counseling Center / 2
Communications / 2
Business and Management / 6
English / 16
Foreign Languages and Literatures / 4
History / 2
Information Technology / 1
Libraries / 6
Philosophy / 6
Political Science / 1
Psychology / 7
Social and Cultural Sciences / 14
Theology / 2
What is missing? All the “hard” disciplines with well-defined theoretical constructs, actual data that prevents their going too far off into wild flights of politically correct fancy, and/or some real-world application that constrains the discipline to care about what works in practice.

In other words, no natural science, math, economics, engineering. The representation from business might seem odd, but indeed the Business School has been found to be inflicting a leftist video called “The Story of Stuff” on its students.

Of course, other departments, not represented among signers, certainly have some leftist (as opposed to, say, moderately liberal) faculty, and indeed perhaps some who would be sympathetic to the petition. But they must be fairly sparse, or they would show up among the signers.

And context matters. In any department, even a few conservatives (if they have the courage to speak up) and some additional traditional liberals (you know, the kind who believed in free speech and liked to debate) can temper the intolerance of politically correct faculty and create some space for diverse opinions.

But in some departments, a hothouse atmosphere prevails, and it is possible for a graduate instructor to tell a student that any opposition to gay marriage would be homophobic and can’t be expressed since it would be offensive to gay students. This is the sort of department where a professor might try to silence a student presenting a cops’ perspective on “racial profiling” and then force him to apologize for doing so. This, of course, would be Marquette’s Philosophy Department.

Not all departments at Marquette are like that. But it’s an outrage that any are.

The Faculty?

Of course, a handful of faculty in the most politically correct departments are going to claim to be “the faculty” and they are going to claim that a handful of their leftist students are “the students” at Marquette. Thus, any failure to give them what they want will be claimed to show disrespect for  “the faculty” and “the students.”  That claim will be bogus.

But Marquette’s administration will lack the courage to say that publicly. And they will feel the need to pander to the minority of politically correct leftists.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Yet Another Faked “Racist” Incident on a College Campus

It has happened with some regularity: some “racist” incident on a college campus that was actually faked by leftist “diversity” activists in an attempt to goad the institution into pushing a leftist agenda. This one, a few months ago, was at the University of Chicago.

As described by The College Fix:
University of Chicago plays down the lie that provoked a federal investigation

A University of Chicago student who claimed his Facebook page was hacked and filled with racist and violent messages against him and another student has now admitted he faked the attack.

Intended to shame the school into making drastic changes around race and speech on campus, the hoax appears to have worked.

The students behind the ruse, the hoodwinked university and the school newspaper have argued that the hoax – which provoked a federal investigation – should not detract from fixing the school’s “culture of racial intolerance,” in the words of a petition demanding policy changes.

Anatomy of a Hoax

The hoax was the culmination of a long list of racial grievances leveled by the perpetrator, Derek Caquelin, and his friend and fellow activist Vincente Perez.

Indeed, before Caquelin admitted they made the whole thing up, Perez told The College Fix not to ask for more details on the racist Halloween incidents they alleged and instead focus on the hostile “culture” of the university.

The hoax started with an allegation against a shadowy hacker group that calls itself the UChicago Electronic Army, which has feuded with activists who circulated a list of men they claim were sexual threats on campus.

As reported by Chicago area media including Red Eye Chicago, Caquelin’s Facebook page was allegedly hacked by the group Nov. 18.

Caquelin initially said the hacked Facebook status was in retaliation for his online complaints about Halloween costumes depicting Mexican criminals and a corresponding push by Caquelin and Perez to address the concerns of minority students. The Facebook status also said Perez would be the next target.

The petition, co-written by Perez, called for the university to create a “campus climate survey” and “mandatory cross-cultural competency program,” as well as “clearly” lay out its responses to “racially insensitive actions,” incorporate racial and ethnic studies in the Core Curriculum and diversity the faculty, according to the Chicago Maroon.

The Fix could not reach Caquelin for comment.

In a hostile email exchange with The Fix days before Caquelin confessed to the hoax, Perez said: “Please do NOT try to focus on the individual students their identities and their costumes. This movement is about revealing the entire culture of intolerance at the University.”

Despite complaining about racist costumes in multiple Facebook posts and possessing a photo of the students who wore them, Perez said the issue was “not about the students who wore the costume, or the hacking, but about the culture that exists at UChicago where Admin does not address students concern for their safety adequately and promptly.”

Perez declined to refer Caquelin to The Fix for more details, saying it was a “disservice” to the activists “fighting for this culture to be challenged.”

Perez nonetheless shared the widespread media coverage frequently on his Facebook page in a bid to get visitors to sign his petition to the university.

Shortly after receiving a followup email from The Fix, Perez posted a screenshot of his response and claimed he was “exhausted” from responding to media inquiries: “This burden is unfair.”

Muted response to a hoax revealed

Campus leaders, even while acknowledging the hoax and the federal resources expended to investigate a fake threat, couldn’t bring themselves to call for any punishments against the students who cried wolf.

Instead, they endorsed the political agenda behind the hoax.

The university, which said Nov. 20 that the “hateful and anonymous Facebook posts” were part of a “larger pattern,” issued a weak retraction four days later.

“Based on our ongoing investigation we now are confident that the Facebook posting was not created by a hacker,” Karen Coleman, vice president for campus life and student services, told the community Nov. 24.

“That conclusion does not erase the seriousness of this episode, the harm it has caused to individuals and our broader community, or the consequences for those responsible,” Coleman said. “Whatever its purpose, the language used in this incident does not constitute discourse and will not be tolerated.”

Coleman said the school would host “special sessions” for students, faculty and staff who wanted to talk about the incidents and “get support.”

In a Facebook post the same day, Caquelin confessed to the hoax.

“Do not defend my name. I am behind this, and only I,” Caquelin wrote. “No others were involved, so I really would like to ask you to leave them alone. There is no excuse for hate, which includes what I did.”

The editorial board of The Chicago Maroon wrote Nov. 25: “The sentiments that existed before the Facebook post still ring true, and should be treated accordingly. The conversations surrounding diversity and inclusion on campus must continue in light of recent developments.”

The revealing of the hoax “should not de-legitimize the issues of racism that have been raised, or mitigate the seriousness with which they should be addressed,” the editorial said.
In fact, incidents like this should de-legitimize the “issues of racism” that have been raised by leftist activists.

If the evidence of racism is bogus, and the people pushing the cause are dishonest, rewarding these people by pandering to them is grossly irresponsible.

And the charade is made worse in that genuine racism is extremely rare among college students today, whether at Chicago or Marquette. So the activists have to find “racism” in the mere expression of politically incorrect opinions, or the lack of “sensitivity” to the overwrought sensibilities of the perpetually aggrieved or some “microaggression” real or imagined.

But college administrations, who lack the courage to tell the politically correct activists they are being silly, and who indeed welcome an excuse for more bureaucratic initiatives, are easy prey for the race (and gender and sexual orientation) hustlers.

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Shakur Mural Gets Support from Communist Paper

From Workers World, whose motto is “Workers & Oppressed Peoples of the World Unite!,” an article attacking Marquette for painting over the mural of cop killer Assata Shakur.

The article has the sort of rhetoric one would expect from a far left paper, including things like this:
At a time when every progressive law, every policy, every organization and every resource is under attack by the right wing in Wisconsin, the destruction of the mural must be seen as part of the overall effort by Wall Street and their servants to attempt to smash what’s left of the labor-community movement and to make the state a Jim Crow, low-wage, nonunion, deregulated playground.
Particularly interesting is the following:
The Coalition of and for Students of Color at Marquette University issued a statement May 18 after the mural was removed:

“Marquette University does not waste a moment. They painted over a mural with inspirational quotes from activist Assata Shakur without asking anyone (the students) if it was ok the same day of graduation. This is an attempt to erase our voice and silence the people, but we refuse to be silenced MU! Remember you are only functioning because we pay tuition and the Coalition doesn’t believe the mural should have been painted over. This is disrespectful and unacceptable!”
So who is this Coalition of and for Students? As per their Facebook page, they are another project of the grievance industry at Marquette, whining about being minorities on a majority white campus.

Workers World is a Communist newspaper.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

More from Leftist Marquette Faculty on Cop Killer Mural: Whine, Moan, Bitch

Very few people have been willing to defend the mural, in Marquette’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, honoring convicted cop killer and fugitive from justice in Castro’s Cuba Assata Shakur. But predictably, a few dozen leftist Marquette faculty have done so.

There were two petitions urging Marquette not to fire Susannah Bartlow, the Director of the Center who approved the mural.

Then there was a petition, signed by “about 60” faculty and staff protesting the removal of the mural.

Then there was a meeting of aggrieved Arts and Sciences faculty (and some who were merely interested) with Dean Rick Holz, where objections to the removal of the mural were aired.

And now we have yet another statement, with further objections to the removal of the mural. It is as bad as all the others, but it offers further insight into the mentality of the hard core politically correct faculty at Marquette.

Just to deal with a few excerpts:
This most recent incident is another in a pattern (see the firing of Jodi O’Brien and the FemSex controversy) of non-consultative decision-making that has caused the university public notoriety and significantly deteriorated both student and faculty morale.
And what is the evidence that student and faculty morale has deteriorated? Apparently just that the leftist faculty (and a few of their student sycophants) are unhappy. Only a few dozen of several hundred Marquette faculty and staff have signed these petitions. And the only body with any claim to represent students (Marquette University Student Government) has supported the university’s decision to remove the mural.

But apparently for these leftist professors, they are “the faculty” and their student acolytes are “the students.”

Student Opinion

First and foremost, the decision not to engage the leadership and members of the sponsoring sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, sends the very clear message to students that their opinions and concerns are irrelevant to the administration.
Just how should the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha have been engaged?

They should have been confronted and asked “what were you thinking?” But that’s not what these leftist faculty have in mind.

And the message that “students” in Student Government apparently got was that Marquette had acted responsibly. Since student government tends to be dominated by more liberal and politically activist students, the message from the entire student body would have been an even more emphatic “what kind of idiots thought this was a good idea?”

Expertise?

Second, we find it deeply troubling that in a university—a societal institution explicitly designated to exchanging ideas and advancing knowledge—no efforts were made to consult faculty or staff with expertise in the area in order to understand the context and content of the mural itself from intellectual, cultural and historical perspectives. Instead, the reactionary rhetoric of a single faculty member who is currently suspended by the University took precedence over the knowledge of faculty in Africana Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, History, Sociology, Criminology and Psychology, to cite only a few relevant academic disciplines, who possess years of training and valuable insights into the complexities surrounding race and gender studies generally, and the case of Assata Shakur specifically.
Translation: we leftist faculty were pretty much ignored.

And they should have been ignored.

Here is the dirty secret of academia: disciplines and subdisciplines are not merely repositories of expertise. They are little cottage industries where people tend to think alike. Sometimes there is genuine expertise: astrophysicists can tell you a lot about the universe. But often they are dominated by narrow ideological biases, the result of both self-selection (only feminists go into Women’s and Gender studies) and group think. And if you think independently, you’ll have trouble getting tenure.

So this statement is asserting that Marquette should have gone to the most narrow and biased centers of politically correct thinking to ask for advice about the mural. Given that this statement comes from those places, this is not a surprise.
Instead, the reactionary rhetoric of a single faculty member who is currently suspended by the University took precedence. . .
These, of course, are the same leftist faculty that have been demanding that Marquette fire us, and it must gall them terribly that they have not succeeded in shutting us up. Nasty authoritarians often have been successful in cowing and bullying into silence people whose views they dislike, but it didn’t work this time.
academic freedom; or the cold climate surrounding race, gender and sexuality in which we must work and live at Marquette.
Irony alert!

People who wanted us fired are talking about academic freedom? When they use the term, they apparently think it only applies to ideas of which they approve.

As for “cold climate:” what has actually happened is when they push too hard on their anti-Catholic, secular agenda, they get pushback. Since they are absolutely convinced in the righteousness of their cause, they consider this unfair. But anybody who thinks Marquette should try to be at least a little bit Catholic will have doubts about an aggressively lesbian dean candidate (Jodi O’Brien) and a Femsex seminar where women color pictures of female genitalia, produce a piece of pornography, and participate in a “non-judgmental” discussion of abortion and prostitution.

Catholic Identity a Sham?

Apparently, these secular faculty leftists have gotten the idea that a “Catholic identity” at Marquette is just a sham marketing ploy. One can easily see why they might think that, given that it’s mostly true. But then when Marquette is forced into a corner and has to reject something radically at odds with any notion of a “Catholic identity,” they whine and moan.
We expect to contribute our expertise in this process and challenge you to invite that of Marquette’s most important constituency, the students themselves, as you chart a new, inclusive and collaborative path for the University.
Of course, these leftist faculty have no “expertise” that would allow them to say that honoring a cop killer is acceptable. They have only leftist ideology.

Including all faculty would be a dandy idea. Including all students would be too. As noted, they are doubtless less likely to condone a cop killer mural than is MUSG. And alumni should be included, something the faculty leftists don’t like, having already lamented “that the university satisfies the Catholic, conservative base of alumni and donors.” But these folks are real stakeholders, the value of whose degrees are dependent on the reputation of Marquette, and whose contributions heavily support Marquette.

A genuinely inclusive and collaborative process would find these few dozen leftist faculty outnumbered and marginalized. Which is why they don’t want any such process. They simply want Marquette to cater to them.

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Censoring Speech at the University of California

From the The Volokh Conspiracy:
One of the latest things in universities, including at University of California (where I teach) is condemning “microaggressions,” supposed “brief, subtle verbal or non-verbal exchanges that send denigrating messages to the recipient because of his or her group membership (such as race, gender, age or socio-economic status).” Such microaggressions, the argument goes, can lead to a “hostile learning environment,” which UC — and the federal government — views as legally actionable. This is stuff you could get disciplined or fired for, especially if you aren’t a tenured faculty member.

But of course this concept is now being used to suppress not just, say, personal insults or discrimination in hiring or grading, but also ideas that the UC wants to exclude from university classrooms. Here, from the UC Office of the President, Academic and Personnel Programs department’s site . . . are some of what the UC wants to see stamped out, in classrooms and presumably elsewhere as well:

Tool: Recognizing Microaggressions and the Messages They Send

Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership (from Diversity in the Classroom, UCLA Diversity & Faculty Development, 2014). The first step in addressing microaggressions is to recognize when a microaggression has occurred and what message it may be sending. The context of the relationship and situation is critical. Below are common themes to which microaggressions attach….

[Theme:] Color Blindness[:] Statements that indicate that a White person does not want to or need to acknowledge race.

[Microaggression Examples:] “There is only one race, the human race.”
“America is a melting pot.”
“I don’t believe in race.” …

[Theme:] Denial of Individual Racism/Sexism/Heterosexism[:] A statement made when bias is denied….

[Microaggression Examples:] … To a person of color: “Are you sure you were being followed in the store? I can’t believe it.” …

[Theme:] Myth of Meritocracy[:] Statements which assert that race or gender does not play a role in life successes, for example in issues like faculty demographics.

[Microaggression Examples:] “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.”
“Of course he’ll get tenure, even though he hasn’t published much — he’s Black!”
“Men and women have equal opportunities for achievement.”
“Gender plays no part in who we hire.”
“America is the land of opportunity.”
“Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.”
“Affirmative action is racist.”
In short, certain opinions that somebody might hold are being summarily banned on campus.

Interestingly, microaggressions against whites are apparently OK. Ranting about “white privilege” or telling a white person “check your privilege” is OK. Also, telling a male that he “cannot understand” this or that issue because of his gender is also fine.

Nothing here says that comments against Christianity are in any way questionable. But civil rights legislation protects (in the letter of the law and in legislative history) whites as well as blacks, males as well as females and Christians as well as Muslims and atheists.

Volokh continuess:
Well, I’m happy to say that I’m just going to keep on microaggressing. I like to think that I’m generally polite, so I won’t express these views rudely. And I try not to inject my own irrelevant opinions into classes I teach, so there are many situations in which I won’t bring up these views simply because it’s not my job to express my views in those contexts. But the document that I quote isn’t about keeping classes on-topic or preventing personal insults — it’s about suppressing particular viewpoints. And what’s tenure for, if not to resist these attempts to stop the expression of unpopular views?
Volokh may be in la-la land on this.

Since these “microaggressions” can supposedly lead to a “hostile learning environment,” tenure may be no protection for a professor who steps out of line and voices a disapproved opinion.

And Volokh is doubtless correct in saying that:
But I’m afraid that many faculty members who aren’t yet tenured, many adjuncts and lecturers who aren’t on the tenure ladder, many staff members, and likely even many students — and perhaps even quite a few tenured faculty members as well — will get the message that certain viewpoints are best not expressed when you’re working for UC, whether in the classroom, in casual discussions, in scholarship, in op-eds, on blogs, or elsewhere. (Remember that when talk turns to speech that supposedly creates a “hostile learning environment,” speech off campus or among supposed friends can easily be condemned as creating such an environment, once others on campus learn about it.) A serious blow to academic freedom and to freedom of discourse more generally, courtesy of the University of California administration.
Note, again, the hypocrisy of the academic left in trying to protect politically correct minorities from opinions with which they are presumed to disagree. The former director of Marquette’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, trying to defend painting a mural of a cop killer on the wall of the center, asserted:
Effective learning happens with healthy discomfort and sometimes with controversy.
But somehow, blacks are to be protected from any disapproval of affirmative action, or even the notion that America is the land of opportunity.

Only certain groups, it seems, should be exposed to any “discomfort” on a college campus.

Unintended Consequences?

If somebody is overgenerous toward university administrators and to the leftist faculty who push “diversity” initiatives, one might say that this is a laudable attempt to include previously excluded groups that has merely gone too far.

But that would be flatly wrong. Leftist faculty want to shut up opinions with which they disagree. They simply don’t like free speech or academic freedom (that is, unless it protects them).

And administrators, with their typical petty bureaucratic mentality, take the path of least resistance, pandering to leftist faculty, clamorous leftist student organizations and activist liberal federal bureaucrats.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Susannah Bartlow: Doubling Down on Assata Shakur

When we first discovered that a wall of Marquette’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center was decorated with a large mural of convicted cop killer Assata Shakur, we thought that perhaps somebody simply didn’t know who she really was. Maybe somebody found some quote from her that they liked without bothering to learn anything about her. Otherwise, who would honor a cop killer?

We quickly discovered that the Director of the Center, one Susannah Bartlow, knew exactly who Shakur was, having signed a petition demanding that she be taken off the FBI’s list of the Ten Most Wanted Terrorists.

Bartlow was sacked, but she has a blog, and she has not backed down at all from her support for Shakur.

Here is one of her posts on the issue, and here is the other.

The posts are a window into the insular bubble that is political correctness at contemporary universities. It’s not just Bartlow. It’s at least several dozen professors at Marquette, and a fair number of administrators too.

Some examples:
This disrespect for the work of women of color is another astonishing example of how racism works. It is hard to imagine another mural, whatever its subject, being removed without even an attempt to understand the subject or the students’ perspective.
So it is hard to imagine that a mural of a Klansman would be removed without even an attempt to understand the subject or the students’ perspective?

No, if such a mural appeared, it would be summarily painted over, and the “students’ perspective” would be roundly condemned with no “discussion” necessary. But in the world of the politically correct, violent black terrorists are somehow heroes.

Further, the official statement of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the black sorority whose members painted the mural, claims that the members simply did not know who Shakur was, and if they had, they would not have painted the mural.

Assuming that’s true, what we have here is what happens so often on college campuses: white leftists using minorities as human shields.
. . . right now, a national movement is mobilizing in support of black and brown people who have been unfairly targeted by law enforcement! It should be more clear than ever that something is wrong with our system and how people of color fare within it.
In the first place, Bartlow doesn’t seem to notice that the “hands up don’t shoot” nonsense from Ferguson, MO has been thoroughly debunked, and debunked by the Eric Holder Justice Department. And the six officers changed in the Baltimore case of Freddie Gray include three blacks, making the simple racial narrative difficult to sustain.

Racial Grievance

Worse, just how is it that honoring a cop killer addresses any legitimate grievance about policing in the black community? In fact, it only poisons the atmosphere, and does so to the detriment of black citizens. Is the assumption here that black people approve of cop killers? A few do, but they should not be appeased or pandered to.
Although it feels good, “appropriate” doesn’t have much to do with the discomfort it takes to learn new things, especially about volatile political issues. It usually backfires, making people who are already threatened feel less safe, and enabling people who typically feel pretty safe in any environment to keep on keeping on. Educationally, this is counterproductive.
So, in the politically correct bubble, the world is divided into people who feel “safe” and need to be made to feel less safe, and those who feel “unsafe” and need to be made to feel safe.

This is typical of campus political correctness, where favored and petted victim groups are allowed to shut up speech they claim makes them feel “unsafe” (no matter how ridiculous such claims are) but whites, males, Christians, conservatives and so on must put up with whatever demeaning comments anybody chooses to make.
More importantly, though, Marquette students were protesting all year, mostly related to racism on campus. Many of the students I worked with were tired, sad, angry, energized, inspired, and motivated to claim some space where they could feel like their experiences and histories were affirmed.
Very few Marquette students (indeed the number is vanishingly small) are racists, that is unless any politically incorrect opinion on racial matters, or any innocent “microaggression” somehow counts as racism.

But students in the orbit of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center have been taught to collect and nurse grievances.

Exploration?

. . . why is Assata Shakur “inappropriate for a mural”? Because her story is more contemporary? Because she lives in Cuba? Because she is still alive? Who decides what is appropriate? What is a university for if not to explore these questions?
Unfortunately, the mural was not “exploration,” it was glorification. Had Bartlow’s center sponsored a debate on Shakur, that would have been exploration. Instead, debate was summarily bypassed and a mural painted.

It’s odd for Bartlow, who didn’t feel discussion was needed before the mural was painted, to now tout “exploration.”
In my first post, I used the phrase “regardless of the mural’s content” to argue that the GSRC (and all campus educational/resource centers) should be able to support students’ interests and expressions without censorship or controlling influence.
Of course, this is flatly disingenuous. If some bunch of students wanted to honor a Klansman, Bartlow would not think of making this sort of argument. Indeed, a mural honoring a prominent opponent of gay marriage would be doubtless denounced by campus leftists.
I supported the student-led mural project because my job as an educator is to provide space, resources, and opportunities without censorship or condescension. In an environment of daily racism, the students wanted to research and offer up images of powerful black women leadersboth as a way to brighten up the GSRC as a hangout space and as a way to support identities and experiences that were on the margins at Marquette.
Of course, Shakur is not a “powerful black woman leader.” Condoleezza Rice is.

Again, either Bartlow is a white woman using black women as human shields, or the national spokeswoman for Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority is lying (or at least badly mistaken) about what happened.

The argument seems to be that since black women deserve a “voice,” whatever they choose to say must be supinely accepted, since they are, after all, an oppressed minority group. Ironically, Bartlow adds:
Effective learning happens with healthy discomfort and sometimes with controversy.
But somehow, pampered minority groups should be spared discomfort and controversy. All the while, less favored groups should be made to feel uncomfortable about their “white privilege” in a “racist society” and have their political and social views challenged.

Somebody should have asked the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha “do you know who this woman is?” And if the answer was “yes,” “why in the world do you think she is some sort of role model?”

As is usually the case, politically correct people end up demeaning the victim groups they claim to champion. The implication here is that blacks and other minorities have fragile egos that cannot stand an intellectual challenge. Further, if having one’s views challenged is part of a good education, what does it say if one wants to dispense with that for minority students?

Conclusion

Bartlow’s essays are important as a window into the world of politically correct thinking in academia. It’s the sort of thinking that is increasingly dominant in academia, and part of the general corruption of college life.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Global Warming: Attacks on Scientists and the Corruption of Science

Mark Steyn at Heartland Climate Skeptics Conference

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fundraising Support for Susannah Bartlow

For those who have not been following this blog, Susannah Bartlow is the former director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center at Marquette, who was summarily fired when it was found that she had approved a large mural on the wall of the Center honoring cop killer and terrorist Assata Shakur.

A fund raising effort on her behalf can be found here:

http://www.gofundme.com/susannahbartlow

The appeal starts with some silly statements:
On Monday, May 18th, Dr. Susannah Bartlow was fired as Director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center at Marquette University. She was fired suddenly and swiftly, without input from the GSRC Advisory Committee, after pouring her heart and soul into bringing excellent programming to Marquette over the last three years. She was fired seemingly for doing her job: providing a safe space for students to express themselves and engage in thoughtful dialogue (more information below).
No, the purpose of the Center was to promote a gay lifestyle, and push leftist political causes, as its Facebook page shows.

But then, we get some new and rather disturbing information:
When she was fired, Susannah was not offered any severance. She was paid only through her last day of work on May 18th, and was not expecting, at that moment in her professional life, to face the job market. Additionally, when she was terminated on May 18th, Susannah had already missed the 2015-2016 hiring cycle for positions in higher education. She continues to contribute to her community by accepting a temporary position at Pathfinders in Milwaukee, which pays a modest hourly income, but it is going to be hard to make ends meet and cover some of the basics, including health insurance. Her friends, colleagues and well-wishers ask that you consider donating to a fund to support Susannah as she transitions into a new (permanent) professional role. We want to give her the time to find the right placement for herself. Please consider donating; even a small amount helps. Funds will be used to cover her living expenses, health insurance, and any legal fees associated with an unemployment claim. Susannah has also pledged to donate any funds above our goal to Pathfinders and plans to blog about what’s going on in her life, especially related to job searches, work at Pathfinders, and writing projects on a weekly Wednesday blog called Work in Progress.
So how do we feel about this?

We are actually hoping that the campaign raises the target amount ($3,800) for Bartlow. Yes, she is a leftist extremist (as her blog posts about Shakur show) and should never have been hired as a director of any program at Marquette.

But we have seen no evidence that she ever concealed or misrepresented her political views when interviewing for the position. And indeed, Marquette seems to have approved (if only through inattention) of her leftist activism in the position (with Femsex being a large exception).

That being the case, Marquette owed her a reasonable severance package. We won’t contribute, although only because we would accused of some nefarious purpose if we did so. But we think certain Marquette administrators should step up and see that this campaign reaches the goal.

Dan Maguire Comments

Among those who commented and gave a relatively generous gift ($200) was Dan Maguire, who said:
Another example of heavy-handed non-collegial authoritarianism in the Lovell administration. Another example of the lack of appropriate faculty participation in university governance as recommended by the AAUP and other academic agencies.
Maguire is making a principled argument here, although it’s one to which we have never been sympathetic. It has always sounded to us a bit like wanting the inmates to run the asylum. This has been especially true given that the “faculty” who want to participate in “governance” have been a highly self-selected bunch of activists.

But then, what about the case where the people supposed to be running the asylum are corrupt?

Marquette has not had a president whom we could respect since John Raynor, who served from 1965 until 1990.

In this case, however, we don’t think Marquette had any choice but to take the mural down, and to fire Bartlow. Had the issue of the mural been opened up for “discussion” with some faculty defending it, and others (probably many fewer, since conservative professors keep their heads down) opposing it, the public relations fallout would have been monumental. Unlike in academia, in American society as a whole murdering cops is not only viewed as evil, it’s not even viewed as something that can be defended.

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Identity Politics

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Marquette Leftist Faculty Continue to Protest Removal of Cop Killer Mural

To normal people in the real world, it might seem obvious that Marquette should not honor a cop killer who is on the FBI list of the Ten Most Wanted Terrorists. So a large mural of Assata Shakir on the wall of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center seemed clearly out of place.

And indeed, when we outed Marquette for having the mural on campus, the University moved quickly to have the mural painted over, and also fired Suzanna Bartlow, the Director of the Center, who had given permission for the mural to be painted.

But academics are not normal people in the real world, so there has been some push-back by campus leftists.

First, there was a petition, signed by over 60 faculty and staff, protesting the removal of the mural.

At about the same time, leftist faculty were meeting with Arts & Science Dean Richard Holz to complain. We have the minutes of that meeting:
Gender Resource Center Faculty Meeting with Dr. Richard Holz
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
1:00-2:30 p.m.

Attendees: Drs. E. Afinoguenova, A. Blair, C. Burrows, K. Coffey-Guenther, M. Cover, A. Crampton, E. de St. Aubin, A. Efford, K. Foster, S. Foster, S. Gendron, O. Goldin, N. Gordon, J. Grych, H. Hathaway, S. Hartman-Keiser, C. Hay, J. Holstein, R. Holz, G. Krenz, S. Luft, C. Maranto, R. Masson, M. Mattox, D. McDaniel, S. Mulla, D. Nowacek, R. Nowacek, A. Pasero, J. Peterson, A. Sheikh, M. Siderits, A. Sorby, J. South, J. Su, R. Stuart, M. Williams, A. Zurcher. Ms. Kim Patterson

Dr. Holz welcomed and thanked everyone present for meeting with him. He will share concerns with President Lovell, Interim Provost Callahan, and incoming Provost Myers. Dr. Holz was contacted by OMC and notified of the mural on Sunday, May 17 (graduation).

Concerns/Discussion:
  • The Gender Resource Center Chair was told of the decision by the Interim Provost. The Chair was not consulted nor made part of the conversation regarding the outcome of this situation. In addition, members of the Diversity Advisory Committee, the President’s Task Force on Equity and Inclusion and the University Academic Senate-Committee on Diversity and Equity were also not consulted or involved in a discussion or the process.
  • The director position should be held by a tenured faculty member.
  • The Gender Resource Center should be located in a more prominent spot on campus. The media statement issued indicated the mural was located in a “remote” area of campus. What message does this portray about the Center and to those who are actively involved with it?
  • The incoming WGST faculty director resigned as a result of this issue.
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority students completed the necessary university paperwork required for this project with no indication that their project would be problematic.
  • This is an issue about black women, a specific voice on campus, who wanted to be heard and were shutdown.
  • No outreach effort on the part of university leadership to the students involved with the project.
  • Students who are not part of the “mainstream” feel that the university sides with a certain population on campus who is/was hurt by this display. These students don’t see a tolerance or respect for inclusion and diversity on campus but rather a tenor that continues to favor the traditional/white student. They are on campus and in class with their peers and are seeing repercussions.
  • A university is a place of discussion and ideas, even a Catholic university. It is not a place where the conversation is shutdown no matter how uncomfortable. It is problematic that we are not able to discuss/talk about ideas/issues that we are uncomfortable with. This could have been a teaching/learning opportunity for the entire university community. A dialogue to learn why students chose this person, why some members of campus feel it is/it is not a good selection and a discussion to determine how to best collectively move forward, would have been prudent.
  • Marquette is a Catholic-Jesuit University; part of a 100 year tradition. A tradition that encourages discussion. We must articulate the difference between a parish and a university.
  • The Marquette Parents social media outlets are in need of a university leader/facilitator who is well-versed in Jesuit traditions and pedagogy. This issue was a recent topic of discussion on one of the parent social media formats and clearly there was no one providing a perspective/interpretation on behalf of the university. It was clear that no one was tasked with responding on behalf of the university and/or that as a university we are a place for discussion of all types of issues and concerns.
  • Discussions about sex-race-gender continue to be taboo on campus.
  • A number of junior faculty members are asking themselves if Marquette is the right place for them. We need to be concerned both with the retention and recruitment of junior faculty.
  • Dr. McAdams influence and reach appears to be in full force even though he has been suspended. This has a chilling effect on the campus community. Some faculty members are now more than ever concerned with what they are saying/doing in the classroom because it seems that legitimate discussions of controversial topics can be used against them.
  • The university finds itself in the media spotlight and is immediately reactive. Rather than talking about the concern/issue in an intellectual manner, the university satisfies the Catholic, conservative base of alumni and donors.
  • How do faculty members respond to peers and collaborators at other institutions who are asking and wondering what is happening at Marquette? Recommendations:
  • A tenured faculty member serve as Director of the Gender Resource Center.
  • The Gender Resource Center be placed in a more prominent space on campus.
  • The Center falls under the umbrella of the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • A request of President Lovell to hold a forum/discussion with faculty, students and staff about this issue.
  • Academic Senate to make a statement about the lack of inclusion in the decision to erase the mural and remove the director.
Dr. Holz thanked everyone for sharing their thoughts and feedback.
Let’s deconstruct some of this blather.
In addition, members of the Diversity Advisory Committee, the President’s Task Force on Equity and Inclusion and the University Academic Senate-Committee on Diversity and Equity were also not consulted or involved in a discussion or the process.
Translation: all of these bodies were approved and established by the University as sops to the politically correct “diversity” faction on campus, but when an issue arose of actual vital importance to the University, the institution saw no need to consult the race-gender-sexual orientation hustlers. Good call on Marquette’s part.
The director position should be held by a tenured faculty member.
Tenure would protect the faculty position of a Director who wanted to honor a cop killer, but not the administrative position. A lot of administrators have tenure in an academic department. If they screw up and are fired from their administrative position, they have the option to go to their academic department and be just like any other faculty member.

But they virtually never want to do that.
The media statement issued indicated the mural was located in a “remote” area of campus. What message does this portray about the Center and to those who are actively involved with it?
It says, folks, that it was just a sop to the campus gay lobby in the wake of Marquette’s failure to hire aggressively lesbian Dean candidate Jodi O’Brien.
Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority students completed the necessary university paperwork required for this project with no indication that their project would be problematic.
Which was a major dereliction of duty by the person (presumably, Suzanna Bartlow) who approved the project.
This is an issue about black women, a specific voice on campus, who wanted to be heard and were shutdown.
The national Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority claimed “Unfortunately Ms. Shakur’s entire history and background was not fully researched. If that process had occurred, she would not have been featured in the mural.” Is this a lie? Did the women of the sorority mean to honor a cop killer and terrorist? If so, they deserve to be condemned, “specific voice” or not. The faculty who are complaining about this would quickly want to silence a “specific voice” with which they disagreed. Indeed, later in the letter they complain about not being able to silence this blogger!
Students who are not part of the “mainstream” feel that the university sides with a certain population on campus who is/was hurt by this display. These students don’t see a tolerance or respect for inclusion and diversity on campus but rather a tenor that continues to favor the traditional/white student.
So tolerance and respect require honoring a cop killer? Is the implication that there are lots of minority students on campus who support killing cops? If it is, this is a terrible slur against minority students.
A university is a place of discussion and ideas, even a Catholic university. It is not a place where the conversation is shutdown no matter how uncomfortable.
But discussion has not been shut down. These folks can “discuss” all they want. All that has happened is that a mural honoring a cop killer and terrorist has been painted over. The mural involved no discussion. Just the glorification of Shakur.
It is problematic that we are not able to discuss/talk about ideas/issues that we are uncomfortable with.
Irony alert!

These are the kind of faculty who believe that discussion of gay marriage should be forbidden because any arguments against it would be “offensive” to gay students and “homophobic.” These are people like Nancy Snow, who tried to shut up a student in one of her classes who wanted to present a cops’ perspective on “racial profiling.” It seems these folks are very selective about when they want to “discuss/talk about ideas/issues.”
Discussions about sex-race-gender continue to be taboo on campus.
No, people blather about those issues endlessly. But then when somebody disagrees with them, they start whining about how an issue is “taboo.” What they would really like is to make it taboo to voice opinions which they dislike.
A number of junior faculty members are asking themselves if Marquette is the right place for them.
What kind of junior faculty? Yahoos who think honoring a cop killer is acceptable? If there is any substantial number of such people, that speaks very badly of Marquette, and if such people should leave, that would be good.
Dr. McAdams influence and reach appears to be in full force even though he has been suspended.
It’s amazing how much “influence and reach” one can have by simply reporting things that certain people would like to be secret.

Did they think they had silenced us when they got Marquette to suspend us? If so, they now know better.
Rather than talking about the concern/issue in an intellectual manner, the university satisfies the Catholic, conservative base of alumni and donors.
It seems that these people are “stakeholders” when Marquette wants to hit them up for money, but they should not count if they object to bizarre things happening at the institution.
A request of President Lovell to hold a forum/discussion with faculty, students and staff about this issue.
Of course, as Marquette has pointed out, the time for such a discussion was before the mural was put up. A discussion would be a good idea, but these folks would not want a balanced discussion with a representative group of faculty, students and alumni. They want a discussion stacked to favor people such as themselves.

This whole document is a window into the insular, politically correct bubble that is the political climate in substantial parts of academia. Yes, in that bubble, it’s not only arguable that killing cops is justified, it is thought reasonable that Marquette might honor a cop killer.

Update

An e-mail correspondent sends the following comment:
I read your Tuesday blog post. Just because some faculty showed up to the meeting doesn’t mean that they are politically motivated in attending, though your blog suggests that this is a special meeting with outraged leftist faculty. A number of us were silent, listening. The invitation to the meeting went out to all Arts and Sciences faculty interested in hearing what the dean had to say about the matter. Turns out that he had no information, only offering himself as a conduit to the higher administration, but we didn’t know that when we showed up.
This is a fair point to raise. Our readers should not assume that just because a particular faculty member is on the list of people who attended he or she approved of the mural or was protesting its removal.

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Sunday, June 07, 2015

Petition Protesting Removal of Marquette Cop Killer Mural

We now have the text of the petition signed by over 60 Marquette faculty and staff, protesting the removal of a mural of cop killer and terrorist Assata Shakur from a wall in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center.

First, the text of the e-mail cover send out with the letter:
Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Please read and consider signing the attached statement regarding the removal of the Assata Shakur mural from the GSRC office and the firing of GSRC Director Susannah Bartlow. This statement will be sent to members of the University Leadership Council. After reading this statement, email me if you’d like to sign and I will add your name and university department/position to the list of signees. You may sign anonymously, if you prefer. In that case, you will be listed as “Assistant Professor, Name Withheld” or “Staff Member, Name Withheld” (or perhaps “Staff Member, Libraries, Name Withheld”).

Take care,
Stephen Franzoi
Professor Emeritus, Psychology Department
Now the text of the letter itself:
The recent events on campus in response to the mural of Assata Shakur and the subsequent firing of the GSRC director, Susannah Bartlow, demand a response. As faculty, we would hope that a university administration would respond with a critical and careful concern for our students, our faculty, and our staff. In short, the administration should act with discernment following a process of examen and reflection. The university’s response has been the exact opposite. As a faculty, we submit that the following were not weighed in considering the process for engaging the mural, erasing the mural, and terminating Dr. Bartlow. The incident has raised critical questions that the university ought to have considered before any decisions were made.

First and foremost, there was no consideration of the intellectual or scholarly traditions in which Shakur is invoked and engaged. While she is certainly a controversial figure, by adopting the narrative of pure vilification, the university has applied a problematic standard. The opportunity to sponsor a discussion about the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the mural’s subject was completely lost. Any context about race, policing, and the present moment and historical legacy surrounding these issues were ignored, including any reflection on Marquette’s own place within the social justice landscape. Did the administration consider the chilling impact of the erasure of the image within the context of present conversations about police brutality and black life? To disappear the mural with no engagement or conversation was to deny the role of such symbols in the social critique of police and to selectively erase some difficult histories while leaving others untouched. For a university to adopt a position informed solely by police is problematic in that they are but one stakeholder in our community. Students, staff and faculty are the other stakeholders on this campus, and their perspective and knowledge ought to have been weighed.

Second, the racial politics of the erasure of the mural were not considered with care. A group of black women students asks for a space to self-educate and explore. They paint a mural of a controversial black female figure. The figure is erased. Were the students consulted? Were they offered an opportunity to engage? To defend their choice? Were they offered opportunities for education and coursework? Was any of the care for their whole persons extended on the part of the university? Or was their initial request, that for space to invest in the representations of black women on campus, simply denied and stripped away? Where is the care for our students, their desire to engage in serious and difficult conversations? Does the university note that the involvement of Professor McAdams in drawing attention to the mural after its painting on March 24, 2015, means that a white male professor’s voice has taken prominence over the voices of many black female students, and the staff who took their project seriously and sought to give them space for conversation? What is the university planning to do to make those students whole? There is also the issue of whether similar standards are applied to other figures with problematic legacies, and how the term “terrorist” is itself not a neutral moniker, but one that is deeply racialized and politicized. For example, while Nelson Mandela is honored as a freedom fighter, he and the ANC were literally branded terrorists by the apartheid state in South Africa. Mandela remained on the U.S.’s lists of terrorist until 2008. Conversely, Thomas Jefferson is largely celebrated at the University of Virginia and at many universities across the country as a founding father and celebrated figure in our democratic history. Simultaneously, a robust and well-documented understanding of his legacy of slave ownership and sexual exploitation is well known in scholarly and popular discourse. As universities, which problematic legacies do we quietly accept, and which do we hold accountable? Is their [sic] racial and gender parity in how these standards are applied? Are we condoning some forms of violence while rejecting others?

Finally, was the process by which Dr. Bartlow was terminated appropriate and proportional? Was the board of the GSRC asked to weigh in? As the GSRC’s charter dictates that all decisions impacting the operations and future of the center must be vetted through the board, how was the board included in the decision-making process? Is immediate termination an appropriate course of action given the sequence of events, and was Dr. Bartlow’s contribution to enriching the research and teaching practices on campus outweighed by the perception of transgression in this case? Was her expertise in bringing best practices around LGBTQ advocacy, sexual assault prevention and advocacy, allyship, and student support outweighed by this event? Does the administration consider how difficult it will be to replace Dr. Bartlow and that this hasty decision undermines the momentum of the GSRC, and compromises the students, staff and faculty who depend on the center’s resources and role at the university to enrich our work? Has the university considered the impact on future enrollments of our student body, or future faculty hires? How will this decision impact the quality of student, staff and faculty life in the future?

Given the failures of the administration to act in a manner befitting a scholarly Jesuit institution, we ask the university respond to these queries, put in place processes to secure the future of the GSRC, to support students of color, and to embrace difficult conversations. Chiefly, it is clear that as the original recommendations for chartering the GSRC indicated, the GSRC must be directed by a tenured faculty member. In addition, programs such as Africana Studies and Women and Gender Studies must be adequately resourced, and care for our students, particularly students of color, must be exercised in the university’s practices, and not simply its words.

Sincerely,

Stephen L. Franzoi, Psychology

Analysis

This is a virtual thesaurus of politically correct ways of trying to defend the indefensible. Just how muddle-headed (and downright evil) is it? Let’s take it piece at a time.
As faculty, we would hope that a university administration would respond with a critical and careful concern for our students, our faculty, and our staff. In short, the administration should act with discernment following a process of examen and reflection. The university’s response has been the exact opposite.
And just how much “discernment” is needed to figure out that Marquette should not honor a cop-killing terrorist? If somebody painted a large racist mural on a wall on campus, the politically correct crowd wouldn’t be asking for “discernment” or “examen.” They would be demanding that it immediately be taken down. But they believe racism is really bad. Black militants killing white cops they think is debatable, and perhaps defensible.
First and foremost, there was no consideration of the intellectual or scholarly traditions in which Shakur is invoked and engaged. While she is certainly a controversial figure, by adopting the narrative of pure vilification, the university has applied a problematic standard.
What “intellectual or scholarly traditions?” The notion that it’s OK for blacks to rob and murder and that this somehow redresses racism?

Being a violent thug is not a “intellectual or scholarly tradition.” And even if it were, it would not be one Marquette should honor and commend.
Any context about race, policing, and the present moment and historical legacy surrounding these issues were ignored, including any reflection on Marquette’s own place within the social justice landscape.
So there is some “context” that makes killing cops (or honoring cop killers) acceptable? If one thinks there are problems surrounding race and policing an appropriate response is for black militants to kill cops?

Or perhaps Franzoi thinks that if black people are upset about police behavior (and it doesn’t seem to matter if, as in Ferguson or Madison, the cops were blameless) a good way to placate them is to honor a cop killer.

People who condone killing cops should not be placated. They should be roundly condemned. But leftist academics can’t bring themselves to do that.

As for “Marquette’s own place within the social justice landscape:” just how do you strike a blow for social justice by honoring a cop killer? Not only is this an injustice to the cop who is killed, it poisons the racial atmosphere, mostly to the detriment of black people.
Did the administration consider the chilling impact of the erasure of the image within the context of present conversations about police brutality and black life?
If painting over the mural sends a clear “chilling” message to those who think killing cops is defensible, that’s good. Marquette ought to condemn such ideas.
Students, staff and faculty are the other stakeholders on this campus, and their perspective and knowledge ought to have been weighed.
Does Franzoi believe that more than a tiny clique of politically correct yahoos among the “stakeholders” approve of a mural honoring a cop killer? Actually, he probably does. In certain departments at Marquette a narrow insular political correctness is dominant. But not among all faculty, and certainly not among all students, who on net are politically moderate. But perhaps when Franzoi says “students” he’s talking about a small group of leftist political activists. But they don’t represent all students.
Second, the racial politics of the erasure of the mural were not considered with care. A group of black women students asks for a space to self-educate and explore. They paint a mural of a controversial black female figure. The figure is erased. Were the students consulted? Were they offered an opportunity to engage? To defend their choice?
Here Franzoi most explicitly plays the race card. If a group of black women asked for something, they should not be denied, since they are members of a victim group, and any of their requests must be acceded to, under penalty of being charged with racism.

But it gets worse:
Does the university note that the involvement of Professor McAdams in drawing attention to the mural after its painting on March 24, 2015, means that a white male professor’s voice has taken prominence over the voices of many black female students. . . .
So here we have the anti-white racism and anti-male sexism so prevalent in academia. McAdams’ views must be rejected, since he’s a white male.

But of course, Marquette doesn’t care what we think. They reacted to the undeniable empirical reality: a large mural of a terrorist and cop killer was painted on a wall on campus.

Further, according to a national spokesperson for the black sorority in question (Alpha Kappa Alpha):
Unfortunately Ms. Shakur’s entire history and background was not fully researched. If that process had occurred, she would not have been featured in the mural.
In short, it was not “the voices of many black female students,” it was a screw up by sorority members who didn’t do their homework.
What is the university planning to do to make those students whole?
The members of Alpha Kappa Alpha do not need to be “made whole,” they need to be sternly lectured about expecting Marquette to honor a cop killer and terrorist. They need to be told to do their homework. And if they did intentionally want to honor a terrorist, they should be condemned.
Thomas Jefferson is largely celebrated at the University of Virginia and at many universities across the country as a founding father and celebrated figure in our democratic history. Simultaneously, a robust and well-documented understanding of his legacy of slave ownership and sexual exploitation is well known in scholarly and popular discourse. As universities, which problematic legacies do we quietly accept, and which do we hold accountable? Is their [sic] racial and gender parity in how these standards are applied? Are we condoning some forms of violence while rejecting others?
To compare Thomas Jefferson to Assata Shakur is absurd. Jefferson was one of the Founders of the greatest democracy on earth. Shakur’s legacy is a dead cop, numerous other crimes for which she was not convicted, and asylum in Fidel Castro’s Communist dictatorship.

Jefferson’s sexual behavior was immoral, but so was the sexual behavior of Martin Luther King, who frequently and blatantly committed adultery. But both King and Jefferson have a positive legacy. Shakur is just a thug and a criminal.
Has the university considered the impact on future enrollments of our student body, or future faculty hires? How will this decision impact the quality of student, staff and faculty life in the future?
Just what kind of people would blame Marquette, and refuse to come to Marquette, because Marquette would not allow a cop killer mural on campus? Apparently the sort of people that Franzoi would want to have at Marquette.

But not everybody thinks what Marquette needs more of the sort of leftists who think killing cops is acceptable. That is if a black kills a white cop. A white killing a black cop is something the leftists would really dislike.

Conclusion

That sixty-plus people signed this shows how corrupt Marquette has become. It’s true that this is only a small proportion of all Marquette faculty and staff. But this mentality permeates certain departments at Marquette, including two departments integral to a liberal arts education: English and Philosophy. And it’s dominant among the activists who are constantly pushing Marquette to be less and less a Catholic university, or more a citadel of secular political correctness.

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