Friday, May 22, 2015

The Assata Cult

Assata Shakur, the subject of an adoring mural posted (until it caused a media firestorm) in the office of the Marquette Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, is a somewhat obscure figure to normal people. But the cop killer and domestic terrorist has quite a following on the hard left.

As explained by Michelle Malkin:
“What Assata taught me” is the new “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

For $35, you, too, can sport a politically correct black hoodie emblazoned with a fugitive convicted murderer’s name. Assata’s apparel is the new rage among perpetually enraged Baltimore and Ferguson social justice warriors. It won’t be long now before hipster actresses and cable news progressives are Instagramming themselves wearing this latest entry in radical chic to show their “solidarity.”

Here’s what Assata taught me: The left’s sick fetish for cop-killers is still going strong after four decades of violence, bloodshed, bigotry and excuses. The timing couldn’t be more blood-boiling. As the relatives, friends and colleagues of NYPD Officer Brian Moore, 25, prepare to bury their hero on Friday after he was brazenly shot in the face this weekend by a thug with a long rap sheet and a deep hatred of police, Assata’s army remains as militant as ever.
And just a little Googling shows plenty of examples of the cult:

So what did the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center think it was doing signing on to this cult? Somebody really concerned with social justice would Tweet something like this:

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Marquette Student Government at Odds With Itself Over Cop Killer Mural

When this blog outed a mural, in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, honoring convicted cop killer Assata Shakur, the University had to take action. It ordered the mural painted over, and fired the Director of the center.

Some pundits, like Journal-Sentinel writer Karen Herzog, have suggested that painting over the mural was some sort of violation of academic freedom. This, of course, is silly. A mural in a Marquette office, approved by a Marquette official, is an official statement by Marquette. Top administrators have a right to tell lower level administrators (but not individual faculty members) what statements they can make. Endorsing a cop killer was not one that Marquette wanted to make.

But the politically correct lobby on campus has rallied behind Susannah Bartlow, the fired Center director.

There is, first, a petition demanding that Bartlow be restored. Here is the first version (a Google Doc) and here is the second (on ipetitions).

First Petition

It turns out that a posting a petition as an editable Google Doc is a bad idea. Somebody has edited the first petition to say “This petition is for Dr. Bartlow, whose presence at Marquette is greatly needed to help show people how to love cop killers.” Since this will doubtlessly be removed from the document linked to above, here is a cached version.

Diversity Activist

Of course, support for Bartlow has come from the “diversity” crowd. According to the Journal-Sentinel:
A student government leader who coordinates a [Marquette University Student Government] Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Committee said Wednesday that students and others within the Milwaukee community were mobilizing to protest the university’s “actions against its Gender and Sexuality Resource Center” because they view the actions as “taking a step back on its initiatives surrounding inclusion.”

“This center, and its staff, have been responsible and successful in creating a campus environment of inclusivity, respect, and acceptance,” said the leader, Joshua-Paul Miles.
Miles has the politically correct rhetoric down pat. Miles was a recent winner of an LGBT leadership award.

Student Government

While Miles heads a Student Government committee, Student Government itself endorsed the actions of Marquette’s administration. A statement from the organization said:
Marquette University Student Government has been actively engaged in recent developments regarding the mural in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. With the best interest of the Marquette student body as our top priority, we have been in collaboration with University leadership to address the situation.

MUSG stands with Marquette University and believes recent decisions were made through a thoughtful process and in accordance with the University’s Guiding Values. In order to effectively address the needs and concerns of every student, MUSG will continue to work in a collaborative and respectful manner with all parties involved.

MUSG will be working with University leadership to hire a new Director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center as soon as possible. We are committed to protecting the initiatives of the GSRC and supporting its role on campus.
Marquette President Michael Lovell responded with a Tweet that said:
@MUSG Thank you for your support as we continue the important work around diversity and inclusion.


Everybody involved in this fiasco looks silly. This includes Miles and the petition signers who are desperate for an organization on campus that is committed to the idea that Catholic teaching on sexuality is bunk and should be ignored.

Then there is Michael Lovell, who having been stung badly by an excess of political correctness continues to pay pious obeisance to the rhetoric of “diversity” and “inclusion.”

And finally there is Marquette University Student Government, which having approved a Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Committee now sides with the university while being opposed by the head of a committee it recently established.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sheriff David Clarke Tweet on Marquette Mural of Cop Killer

Firestorm: Marquette Mural Honoring Cop Killer Goes National (and Beyond)

The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center’s posting of a mural honoring cop killer Assata Shakur has garnered attention all across the nation, and even in the United Kingdom (the Daily Mail).

A Marquette in the News summary lists the following outlets as having covered the story:
Story appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 19, 2015

Story aired on at least 11 news outlets, including: WNYW-TV (FOX 5, New York), WISN-TV (ABC 12), WTMJ-TV (NBC 4), WITI-TV (FOX 6), WLUK-TV (FOX 11, Green Bay), WTMJ-RADIO (620 AM), WISC-TV (CBS 3, Madison), KRGV-TV (ABC 5, Rio Grande Valley, Texas), WBOC-TV (CBS 16, Salisbury Md.), WSJV-TV (FOX 28, South Bend, Ind.) and WPVI-TV (ABC 6, Philadelphia), May 17-19, 2015
But that is merely the tip of the iceberg.

A Google News search, conducted earlier today, produced pages and pages of results.

Here are the first five pages of results.

And here are the second.

Is Marquette’s administration going to learn anything from this fiasco? We frankly doubt it. The most sensible thing to do would be to abolish the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. Any legitimate issue surrounding gender and sexuality could be addressed through the Counseling Center, Campus Ministry, Student Affairs and so on.

But in an administration lacking vision, the incentives for pandering to politically correct lobbies on campus are too large.


It’s an honor Marquette most certainly didn’t want: being featured on Drudge.

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Susannah Bartlow Knew About, Supported Assata Shakur

Susannah Bartlow, who was just yesterday apparently fired by Marquette, was the Director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, where a huge mural painted on the wall honored the cop killer and domestic terrorist Assata Shakur.

Until now, we have entertained the idea that this was merely an act of gross negligence on the part of Bartlow and the staff at the GSRC. Did they not know who Shakur is? Was it just “failure to Google?”

But an assiduous web surfer brings us this information: Bartlow signed a petition at demanding that Barack Obama remove Shakur from the “Most Wanted Terrorists” list.

So Bartlow knew perfectly well who Shakur is. And she chose to present Shakur as a sage and a role model for Marquette students.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Susannah Bartlow Out As Director of Gender and Sexuality Resource Center

According to the Marquette Wire:
“Susannah Bartlow is no longer an employee with Marquette University,” said University Spokesman Brian Dorrington in an email. “We will work with the Center’s advisory board to search for a new director so that we can continue to grow the important programs in the Center.”
The obvious inference is that she was fired over the posting of a mural in the office she heads honoring black militant domestic terrorist Assata Shakur.

Certainly, Marquette wants people to draw this inference.  Otherwise they would have waited a decent interval after the scandal died down and eased her out.

Interestingly, there is a petition (begun even before the firing was announced) urging Marquette to keep Bartlow.

So how do we feel about this?

Back in the old days of the USSR, there was something known as the “vertical stroke.” If a lower level bureaucrat (an Army officer, perhaps) screwed up, not only was he fired or demoted, his immediate superior got the same treatment. And so did his superior’s superior, right on up. In the army, this could be up to the corps or army level. This had some negative consequences: it created a huge incentive to conceal problems. But it did embody a sound principle: higher level people are responsible for their subordinates. The top people put the lower level people in charge, had the power to fire them, and had the responsibility to properly supervise them.

It’s a shame the “vertical stroke” won’t happen here.  Bartlow screwed up badly.  But the ultimate responsibility lies with top Marquette administrators, who created a large “diversity” and “inclusion” and “gender” and “sexuality” bureaucracy, hired the kinds of bureaucrats drawn to those offices, and now find themselves embarrassed when the predictable things happen.

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Tweet From Marquette Center Praised Assata Shakur as “Courageous”

Marquette, in the wake of our publicizing a mural in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center lauding cop killer Assata Shakur, has been in damage control mode, insisting that higher level administrators didn’t know about it.

And that may well be so. But did staffers in the Center, who must have approved the mural know about the woman they were holding up as a sage or role model? Or was it all just a matter of ignorance, with the women of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority wanting to put up a mural of a woman nobody knew anything about? If it was ignorance, the ignorance was stunning.

Of course, the quotes in question came from Shakur’s autobiography. How could anybody read her autobiography and not know about her murder conviction? But maybe somebody simply found the quotes entirely out of context.

However The College Fix has turned up a Tweet, from the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, that clearly implies staffers there did know about the woman whose image they allowed to be painted on their wall.

How in the world could they think she was “courageous?” If they had any information about her at all, they would know that Shakur is a cop killer who is on the FBI’s list of the Ten Most Wanted Terrorists. Who judged her to be “courageous?”

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Kirsten Powers on “The Silencing”

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Campus Mural of Cop Killer: Marquette Responds

It has been a massive public relations fiasco, and Marquette had to engage in damage control.

The University just supplied the following statement to Fox News. This, presumably, is what they will tell all media outlets:
Marquette University statement:

Our university’s senior leadership just became aware of a mural that was created and displayed in a remote area of campus. This is extremely disappointing as the mural does not reflect the Guiding Values of Marquette University. It is being removed immediately. We are reviewing the circumstances surrounding the mural and will take appropriate action.
Since they could hardly defend the mural, this statement is not surprising.

It’s possible they just heard of the mural, since they can hardly keep track of everything that occurs on campus. In fact, the bureaucrats who run the University spend most of their time holed up in Zilber Hall, talking to each other, and don’t get out much.

But they should not have hired the sort of leadership for the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center that would allow this to happen.

Further, the office is on the 4th floor of the union. That’s not some “remote area.” The Union is smack in the center of the campus. It’s true there is not a huge amount of foot traffic up to the 4th floor.

What Marquette has done is to install bureaucracies to cater to the demands of politically correct victim groups — or more properly people claiming to represent politically correct victim groups. In those places — the “diversity” bureaucracies, Student Affairs, Campus Ministry and so on — a very narrow and insular worldview prevails. Those folks don’t seem to realize that glorifying a cop killer is a bad thing.

Gender and Sexuality Resource Center

But worse still, the higher administration doesn’t fully comprehend what they have put in place. Rather, the top administrators are proud of their “initiatives” about “diversity” and “inclusion” and “gender and sexuality.”  They have pandered to the politically correct, and now are embarrassed at what the politically correct have done.

The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center has already embarrassed Marquette once, with the Femsex Workshop, a program that runs roughshod over virtually every Catholic teaching about sex, in addition to having the participants do very silly things, like color pictures of female genitalia. Marquette had to cancel university sponsorship of the program.

It’s interesting that, when the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center was first established, Marquette officials were touting it as a major initiative with huge value to the institution.  Now they are saying it has been relegated to a “remote area of campus.”

Who Knew?

Literally dozens of people had to know about the mural. There were, first, all the staffers at the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. Then there were the members of Alpha Kappa Alpha, who sponsored the project. Then there was everybody who visited the Center since the mural was installed in March. Finally, there was everybody who visited the Facebook page of the Center since March 24. And none of these people found the whole enterprise sufficiently objectionable to raise some hell.

This incident is thus a window on the culture of political correctness at Marquette.

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Marquette’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center: Glorifying a Black Militant Cop Killer

Marquette’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center was set up as a sop to the campus gay lobby in the wake of Marquette’s refusal to hire aggressively lesbian Arts & Sciences dean candidate Jodi O’Brien. Not surprisingly, it has consistently pursued a leftist secular agenda including, for example, the Femsex Seminar, which was so raunchy and so opposed to Marquette’s supposed “Catholic mission” that the Administration ordered that sponsorship be withdrawn.

But now we have yet another case of the extreme leftist agenda of the organization. An entry from its Facebook page:

(Click on image to enlarge)
Yes, it’s a mural, in the offices of the Center, celebrating one Assata Shakur.

(Here is a larger view of the image.)

So who is Assata Shakur? A black militant who was convicted of murder and fled to Cuba, where she is still protected by the Communist government. According to Wikipedia:
Assata Olugbala Shakur (born JoAnne Deborah Byron on July 16, 1947[1]), whose married name was Chesimard,[2][3] is an African-American activist and member of the former Black Panther Party (BPP) and Black Liberation Army (BLA). Between 1971 and 1973, Shakur was accused of several crimes and was the subject of a multistate manhunt.[4][5]

In May 1973, Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike, in which she was accused of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and grievously assaulting Trooper James Harper.[6] BLA member Zayd Malik Shakur was also killed in the incident, and Shakur was wounded.[6] Between 1973 and 1977, Shakur was indicted in relation to six other incidents—charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping—resulting in three acquittals and three dismissals. In 1977, she was convicted of the first-degree murder of Foerster and of seven other felonies related to the shootout.[7]

Shakur was incarcerated in several prisons in the 1970s. She escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba in 1984 after living as a fugitive for a few years, and received political asylum. She has been living in Cuba ever since. Since May 2, 2005, the FBI has classified her as a domestic terrorist and offered a $1 million reward for assistance in her capture. On May 2, 2013, the FBI added her to the Most Wanted Terrorist List; the first woman to be listed.[8] On the same day, the New Jersey Attorney General offered to match the FBI reward, increasing the total reward for her capture to $2 million.[9]
More information on her can be found here.

Yes, this is the sort of person the “sexuality” bureaucrats at Marquette feel deserves to be honored.


With a hat tip to Charlie Syles (who Tweeted this), the wanted poster for Shakur.

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Kirsten Powers on Marquette’s Attack on Warrior Blogger

Kirsten Powers is a liberal, but an old-style liberal who believes in freedom of expression. Those folks are becoming fewer and fewer. As one would expect in a volume that chronicles the actions of the intolerant left, her new book The Silencing deals with Marquette University.
The relentless stereotyping and demonizing of people who oppose same-sex marriage has paid enormous dividends for the illiberal left. Their views have seeped into the culture to the point that many people think that denying same-sex marriage opponents the right to speak about their views is acceptable. In 2014, an instructor in a philosophy class at Marquette University, a Catholic school, let it be known that opposition to same-sex marriage was unworthy of discussion. In a conversation recorded by a student following the class, instructor Cheryl Abbate explained “there are some opinions that are not appropriate, that are harmful” and compared questioning same-sex marriage to sexism and racism. Abbate went on to say that no one should express views that might be “offensive” to any gay student. Abbate told the student, who opposed same-sex marriage, “You don’t have a right in this class make homophobic comments” and said the student could drop the class. The student complained, but the university took no action against the instructor.

Marquette political science associate professor John McAdams wrote a blog post criticizing Abbate for refusing to allow criticism of same-sex marriage in class discussions and quoted the conversation Abbate had with the student. He then found himself the object of illiberal scrutiny. Inside Higher Ed’s Colleen Flaherty wrote that University of South Carolina associate professor Justin Weinberg argued that McAdams had made Abbate the “target of a political attack,” likely stemming from “sexism.” Louisiana State University French studies professor John Protevi posted an open letter of support of Abbate on his blog blasting McAdams’s “one-sided public attack.” Abbate characterized McAdams’s post as “cyberbullying and harassment” and noted, “It is astounding to me that the university has not created some sort of policy that would prohibit this behavior which undoubtedly leads to a toxic environment for both students and faculty.”

Just to be clear here: the illiberal left considers the victim in this story to be the professor who preemptively silenced a student and compared his views to racism and sexism. Disagreement expressed by McAdams, in an academic environment where rigorous debate should be encouraged, was cast as a bullying attack. Rather than his motivation being reasonably interpreted as wanting to expose illiberal silencing on a campus, McAdams was accused of being motivated by sexism. This is all standard fare for the illiberal left. Why make a substantive argument when it’s just as easy to smear dissenters as sexist bullies?

While the university brushed off the student’s complaints of being silenced, the administration became vigorously engaged when the illiberal left complained about McAdams’s post. Incredibly, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences sent McAdams a letter informing him he was “relieved of all teaching duties and all other faculty activities, including, but not limited to, advising, committee work, faculty meetings and any activity that would involve your interaction with Marquette students, faculty and staff.” He was ordered to stay off campus while he was being investigated for an unnamed transgression. Enclosed was a copy of Marquette’s harassment policy, which appears to be modeled on Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), screenshots of a faculty training session on the policy include “a slide about hypothetical peers Becky and Maria, who ‘have been talking about their opposition to same-sex marriage.’ Hans overhears the conversations, is offended, and reports the two for harassment. Hans’s action is condoned.”

It’s hard to imagine a more intellectually chilling policy than one that turns students and faculty into informants and punishes them for discussing issues in a manner not sanctioned by university authorities.

When a reporter inquired about the investigation against McAdams, a Marquette spokesperson straight out of Orwell’s 1984 asserted that McAdams had violated the university’s “Guiding Values to which all faculty and staff are required to adhere, and in which the dignity and worth of each member of our community is respected , especially students.” Clearly Marquette’s “Guiding Values” don’t apply to students who oppose same-sex marriage. Marquette was also violating its expressed commitment to free speech in its official handbook, which states, “It is clearly inevitable, and indeed essential, that the spirit of inquiry and challenge that the university seeks to encourage will produce many conflicts of ideas, opinions and proposals for action.”

Due process was also out the window. McAdams was not informed of his offense, nor was he given an opportunity to defend himself. This treatment blatantly violates another one of Marquette’s show documents, the faculty handbook, which states that the university protects professors’ “full and free enjoyment of legitimate personal or academic freedoms of thought, doctrine, discourse, association, advocacy, or action.” Apparently, Marquette’s professed commitments to their students and professors are trumped by their enigmatic and creepy “Guiding Values.” One might also note the irony of an orthodox Catholic position on marriage being ruled as outside the bounds of legitimate discussion at a Catholic university at the hands of the illiberal left who dominate or run so many college and university campuses.
Power’s book can be purchased here.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Obama: Hypocrite on Private Schools

This issue is typical of how liberals think. They condemn parents who send their kids to private schools, but send their own kids to private schools (or are ensconced in affluent suburbs were the public schools are quite elite).

They want to force the masses on public transit, while they feel free to drive their Priuses wherever it’s convenient for them.

A few decades ago, they were supporting the massive busing of school children to achieve racial balance in public schools. But somehow, mostly black kids, and sometimes working class whites got bussed. The white liberals’ kids virtually never did.

They are strong proponents of “social justice” imposed on other people by people like themselves.

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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Religion as the Basis of Democracy

Yet More Feminist Nonsense: Trigger Warnings

As Summers makes clear, trigger warnings demean women, implying that they are fragile flowers, unable to deal with tough realities, even when presented in literature, movies or merely by speakers on college campuses.

So why would feminists push such a notion? Because they are grievance collectors, always looking for something they can claim is oppressive.

And also because they are nasty authoritarians, wanting more and more reasons to censor ideas and opinions they don’t like. Thus they are constantly complaining about feeling “unsafe” when merely hearing or seeing things they dislike, notwithstanding that no physical danger is anywhere near.

Thus their intellectual (and indeed moral) bad habits trump logic.

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Sunday, May 03, 2015

College Encourages Diverse Idea

Hat Tip to Tom McMahon:
BOSTON—Saying that such a dialogue was essential to the college’s academic mission, Trescott University president Kevin Abrams confirmed Monday that the school encourages a lively exchange of one idea. “As an institution of higher learning, we recognize that it’s inevitable that certain contentious topics will come up from time to time, and when they do, we want to create an atmosphere where both students and faculty feel comfortable voicing a single homogeneous opinion,” said Abrams, adding that no matter the subject, anyone on campus is always welcome to add their support to the accepted consensus. “Whether it’s a discussion of a national political issue or a concern here on campus, an open forum in which one argument is uniformly reinforced is crucial for maintaining the exceptional learning environment we have cultivated here.” Abrams told reporters that counseling resources were available for any student made uncomfortable by the viewpoint.
This, of course, from The Onion. It’s a classic formula for parody: take the pious rhetoric of some pompous official, and rewrite it to say that it really means.

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Friday, May 01, 2015

Student Rejects Marquette Because of Politically Incorrect Intolerance

Via e-mail:
Professor McAdams,

My son was offered admission to Marquette. It had been his first choice, in part because of my family’s roots in Wisconsin, but in part because of the idea of a Jesuit education being academically rigorous, service oriented, and values oriented. He is neither Catholic nor particularly conservative, but he does hold a number of libertarian leaning views. After reading about your treatment, and the vilification of “incorrect” views, he has decided to attend a different university in another state. He was afraid that, if he went to Marquette, he might be ostracized, or even punished, for speaking his mind. He was horrified about your situation and frankly did not believe me at first. He had other wonderful choices, so we leave Marquette in the the rear view mirror.

Best of luck to you, [Name Redacted]

P.S. Although my email reflects my actual name, I would prefer that you not publish my name. I live and work in an environment that is even less forgiving than yours and would like to keep working so we can get this young man through college with no debt.
We doubt that Marquette minds losing a student who might make trouble by voicing politically incorrect views.

But did he make the right choice?

Student Body

The Marquette student body is not particularly leftist, intolerant and politically correct. In the 2014 Wisconsin Governor’s election, the Marquette Tribune claimed “Marquette polling locations solidly support Mary Burke.” In fact, those “Marquette polling locations” included wards that voted at the Marquette Union and the Public Library, and those wards contain a lot of voters who are not Marquette students. Indeed, they include a lot of black voters. Burke won those wards over Scott Walker by 58 to 42 percent, and thus it’s not clear that even a bare majority of Marquette students voted for liberal Democrat Burke, and obvious that no lopsided majority did.

Of course, the leftist students sometimes make a lot of noise, as they did during a “diversity” protest a few days ago. But, depending on who a student hangs around with, the culture is not oppressively leftist.


Marquette faculty, like professors at most schools, lean left. Very few these days are Catholic, and those are likely to be liberal Catholics. As with faculty elsewhere, tolerant liberals are fewer and fewer, and intolerant politically correct leftists are more and more common. But they are distributed unequally across the departments. The humanities are particularly politically correct, and often quite intolerant, with faculty sometimes willing to shut up and demean students with conservative views. Sociology, and the schools of Communications and Education are similar. Students majoring in other fields will find a more tolerant environment, with the proviso that they will be required to take some humanities courses, and a “diversity” course. Most of these latter are politically correct victim studies, although a student picking carefully can find, on the list, some legitimate offerings.

Arts and Science Dean Rick Holz, in order to improve the competitive position of the Arts and Science College relative to other schools and colleges, has substantially watered down the College curriculum. In principle Holz is selling out the entire notion of a liberal arts education. But in practice, it will free students from some of the oppressive political correctness of Marquette’s humanities departments.

The Administration

Here is the best reason to avoid Marquette. Institutions become stupid as they become bureaucratized, because as they become more bureaucratized administrators talk more and more to each other, and less and less to people outside their narrow circle. Marquette has become massively bureaucratized. The university’s attempt to fire this blogger has been the epitome of institutional stupidity, but it goes far deeper than that.

As a typically over-bureaucratized university, Marquette has been unwilling to oppose any fashionable initiative found in higher education. Marquette imposed on all employees a “training module” that basically said “shut up” about anything that any excessively sensitive and intolerant person might object to. It has consistently catered to the demands of the campus gay lobby, including mounting a “climate survey” contracted out to an LGBT activist.

Is Marquette worse than other institutions? That depends on the institution, but Marquette claims to provide an “academically rigorous, service oriented, and values oriented” education and to serve a “Catholic mission.” It is difficult to see how this can be so if the university seeks to silence disfavored views and to ostracize what are still orthodox Catholic positions.

No student should come to Marquette thinking that the institution is anything more than a standard, secular, politically correct generic university.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Class of 2015: Some Frank Talk

Of course, only a minority of the Class of 2015 are politically correct yahoos. But they have disproportionate power, because they are the pets of university administrations, and of the faculty.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

College Authoritarians Feeling “Unsafe”

Yes, the currently fashionable tactic for trying to shut up campus speech that leftists don’t like is to claim that it makes students feel “unsafe” as Charlie Sykes discussed in a recent show.

From National Review, a good roundup of the bizarro cases on campuses where the politically correct authoritarians tried (and often succeeded) in shutting up campus speech by claiming to feel “unsafe.”
The University of Michigan made headlines this week for initially canceling a screening of the blockbuster film American Sniper because some Muslim students said that it being shown would make them feel “unsafe.” The college has since reversed this decision, but it’s not the only time something like this has happened.
Why should Muslim students feel “unsafe” seeing the movie American Sniper?

Could it be that some are thinking about going to Afghanistan and joining the Taliban and trying to kill American soldiers? If so, we want them to feel unsafe. Indeed, we want them to be scared shitless. And if they actually go join the Taliban, we want them killed by people like Chris Kyle.

But no, the campus grievance mongers aren’t going to do any such thing. They lack the courage to do much more than pop off in the oh-so-indulgent campus environment.

But have they thought about the message they are sending? As between American soldiers and terrorists trying to kill American soldiers, they seem to be siding with the terrorists. People are going to question their patriotism — and with good cause.
Here are seven other things that a school or its students have declared hazards to campus safety:

1. Bill Maher

When the University of Berkeley announced that Bill Maher would be its graduation speaker last October, more than 6,000 students signed a petition demanding that he be banned because he “perpetuates a dangerous learning environment” and “they cannot stand for any action that makes our students feel unsafe.”
Maher is a vicious anti-Christian bigot. But that’s not what makes him unpopular on a university campus. Being an equal opportunity bigot, he’s also anti-Muslim. That’s what can’t be forgiven.
2. Face paint of any color at any event ever

Last October, Arizona State University’s athletics department banned facepaint — “whether the theme is black, maroon, gold or white” — because ASU is an “inclusive and forward-thinking university” and they must make sure that “everyone feels safe and accepted.” They did not explain whether or not any students had actually reported feeling threatened by the paint, and if so, how those students were handling their lives currently.
And face paint is bad how? Perhaps because American Indians used it? But how many other groups have used face paint? Lots, including U.S. Special Forces.

But wait, face paint is bad if an oppressed minority group uses it. But then it’s bad if American soldiers use it.

Any excuse to articulate a grievance, we suppose.
3. A petting-zoo camel (due to concerns over racial tensions)

Students at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota planned to bring a camel (one which had been trained for these kinds of events) to campus last spring as part of a fun “Hump Day” event celebrating the end of the year — only to be told that the idea was not fun, but actually so horribly racist against Middle Eastern students that it would be “possibly unsafe” for anyone to attend. It was canceled.
So apparently Eskimo students should be offended at a picture of a polar bear. And South American students at a llama. Given the variety of interesting animals from Africa, black students have dozens of ways to be offended. Student Government, don’t ever plan an outing to the zoo.
4. The word “bullet” (not to be confused with actual bullets, which are a perfect example of something that can actually be dangerous)

Last fall, the student newspaper staff at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia decided to change the publication’s name from The Bullet to The Blue and Gray Press on the grounds that the word “bullet” “propagated violence.”

5. Calling freshmen students “freshmen”

Last November, the administration at Elon University in North Carolina instructed student orientation leaders not to call the freshmen “freshmen” — because the word makes women sound “vulnerable” and therefore suggests that they “might be targets” for sexual violence, according to the school’s Inclusive Community Wellbeing Director. (Yes . . . “Inclusive Community Wellbeing Director.”)
In the insular little world of academia, there is no politically correct grievance so trivial or so silly that it can be dismissed.
6. Cinco de Mayo–themed parties

On May 19, 2013, Northwestern University’s Hispanic/Latino Alliance wrote a letter explaining why they were totally not ridiculous for having told students that they shouldn’t drink tequila or eat tacos at parties earlier that month: Sometimes people will be “drinking tequila shots while saying things like ‘cinco de drinko,’” and that contributes to a “campus climate” where Mexican students “feel unwelcome if not often unsafe.”
Of course, refusing to drink tequila or eat tacos would be deemed “racist,” showing an antipathy to Mexican culture. So if you embrace parts of the culture of a minority group you are racist, and if you reject them you are racist. Whichever is convenient for concocting a grievance.
7. Posters

Students at Boston College did something crazy last month: They put up posters advocating for free speech without officially registering as a campus group before doing so. School administrators called the cops, and Dean of Students Thomas Mogan explained that the posters were “a nuisance and in some cases a safety hazard.” What he thinks “safety hazard” means remains unclear. Maybe someone had to go into a Cinco de Mayo party to grab one.
Campus activists, and the campus bureaucrats who pet them and pander to them really don’t understand how silly all this looks. They exist in an insular, parochial environment where any claims made on behalf of a politically correct victim group must be instantly accepted.

Wimps and Wusses

But of course, the image conveyed here is that such groups are oversensitive wimps and wusses.

As for the guys, whether Muslim or Latino or American Indian: how about a little machismo, fellows. Are you such sissies that a camel, or face paint, or a taco, or a lame jibe like “cinco de drinko” turns you into a quivering bowl of jelly?

And ladies, how about living up to the feminist idea that women are tough, resilient, self-confident and assertive. You think women should be in combat? If hearing the word “freshmen” freaks you out, how are you going to react to incoming fire from the Taliban? Do infantry units need to be equipped with smelling salts?

You folks are making fools of yourselves.  But indulgent campus bureaucrats are encouraging you.

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