Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Marquette’s Race and Ethnic Studies Program: Stacking the Faculty with Leftists, Diverting Students into Victim Studies
The university website explains:
Marquette University seeks to diversify its faculty and student body. In support of these goals, Marquette is planning a new Race and Ethnic Studies interdisciplinary program, and a hiring initiative to support the program is underway.Translation: we want to hire a lot of new minorities as professors, and we might have trouble if we simply allowed more hires in traditional disciplines, driven by the need offer a balanced curriculum or allow reasonably sized classes. So we will define positions in a way such that minorities will be most of the applicants.
Here is the list of new positions:
Marquette University seeks six tenure-track faculty members in these areas:Needless to say, first-generation students who happen to be white will get short shrift.
Assistant Professor of Marketing (tenure track)
Assistant Professor of Multicultural Branding
Assistant Professor of Social and Cultural Sciences – Sociology (tenure track)
Assistant Professor of Latinx Studies
Assistant Professor of Philosophy – Africana Philosophy (tenure track)
Assistant Professor of Philosophy – Non-Western Philosophy (tenure track)
As a Catholic, Jesuit university, our history and mission call us to provide higher education to first-generation college students. New programming and hiring, and plans to become a Hispanic-serving institution are only part of Marquette’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The links to the job listings don’t work now, but we are including them in case they work in the near future.
Whose Interests Does This Serve?The notion that you serve the interests of black and Latino (not “Latinx,” a barbaric politically correct term) students by having them study “Race and Ethnic Studies” is not merely risible, it’s absurd.
It achieves neither the traditional goal of a liberal arts education — “the cultivation of the person’s own intellect and imagination, for the person’s own sake” — nor does it provide what parents often obsess about: preparing the student for a good job.
So why would minority students enroll in such a major? In fact, a lot will be sensible and major in something else.
But affirmative action, perversely, creates a market of this sort of major. Minority students, admitted under affirmative action, find themselves “over their heads,” especially in STEM fields, but often even in mainstream academic fields (political science, history). Thus they tend to gravitate to softer fields, such as education, communications or even the archetypal soft majors in victim studies.
There, sympathetic instructors hand out good grades, and the students marinade in a sense of victim-hood that allows them to rationalize their precarious situation, and avoid asking hard questions about public policy issues.
All this is in place of studying Plato, or Physics, or maybe accounting. These students are victims, alright. But they are victims of the politically correct campus bureaucrats who claim to be their allies.
More Fake News from CNN
CNN, Credibly Accused of Lying to its Audience About a Key Claim in its Blockbuster Cohen Story, Refuses to CommentBut that’s not the part that indicates CNN’s dishonesty.
Photo: YouTube/CNN CNN’S BLOCKBUSTER July 26 story – that Michael Cohen intended to tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller that he was present when Donald Trump was told in advance about his son’s Trump Tower meeting with various Russians – includes a key statement about its sourcing that credible reporting now suggests was designed to have misled its audience. Yet CNN simply refuses to address the serious ethical and journalistic questions raised about its conduct.
The substance of the CNN story itself regarding Cohen – which made headline news all over all the world and which CNN hyped as a “bombshell” – has now been retracted by other news outlets that originally purported to “confirm” CNN’s story. That’s because the anonymous source for this confirmation, Cohen lawyer Lanny Davis, now admits that, in essence, his “confirmation” was false. As a result, both the Washington Post and the NY Post outed Davis as their anonymous source and then effectively retracted their stories “confirming” parts of CNN’s report.
CNN, however, has retracted nothing. All inquiries to the network are directed to a corporate spokesperson, who simply says: “We stand by our story, and are confident in our reporting of it.” A newsletter sent Sunday night from CNN’s two media reporters, Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy, contained the same corporate language, but addressed none of the questions raised about CNN’s report.
It’s certainly possible that CNN had other sources for this story besides Davis, who now repudiates it. It’s hard to see how CNN’s story could be true given that Davis, Cohen’s own lawyer, explicitly says that Cohen has no information that Trump had prior knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting, that Cohen cannot and will not tell Mueller that this happened, and that Davis’ prior claims about Cohen’s knowledge and intentions are false.
But there’s an entirely separate, and more significant, question about CNN’s behavior here; namely, the very specific claim they made about their sourcing for that blockbuster story. Last night, BuzzFeed reported that Davis explicitly confessed that he was one of the anonymous sources for CNN’s July 26 story, just as he was for the stories from the Washington Post and the New York Post. Last week, CNN put Davis on the air with Anderson Cooper to deny that he was the source for that CNN story – a denial Cooper did not contest – but Davis now admits he was one of CNN’s sources, if not their main source.The media have long had a liberal bias. But the bias against Donald Trump exceeds anything in modern history. Trump himself eggs it on by his attacks on the media, which have the effect of causing them to abandon journalists standards. Which in turn plays into Trump’s hand.
Yet remarkably, CNN, in its July 26 story, specificaly claimed that Davis refused to talk to CNN about the story or provide any comment whatsoever.
Only one of two things can be true here, and either is extremely significant: (1) CNN deliberately lied to its audience about Davis refusing to comment on the story when, in fact, Davis was one of the anonymous sources on which the CNN report depended, and CNN claimed Davis refused to comment in order to hide Davis’ identity as one of their anonymous sources; or (2) Davis is lying now to BuzzFeed when he confessed to having been one of CNN’s sources for the story.
How can CNN possibly justify refusing to address these questions, and refrain from informing the public about these critical matters on a story that they themselves hyped for days as a “blockbuster,” one of the most significant stories yet in the Trump/Russia saga?
More Fake NewsWe have chronicled the massive parade of bogus anti-Trump stories in multiple blog posts.
Friday, August 24, 2018
Most Transgender Kids Don’t Stay Transgender
The National Post recently covered the CBC’s cancellation of a BBC documentary about transgender children (Why CBC cancelled a BBC documentary that activists claimed was ‘transphobic’). In that coverage, the Post shared claims made by some activists criticizing some scientific studies, but did not apparently fact-check those claims, so I thought I would outline the studies here. For reference, in a previous post, I listed the results of every study that ever followed up transgender kids to see how they felt in adulthood (Do trans- kids stay trans- when they grow up?). There are 12 such studies in all, and they all came to the very same conclusion: The majority of kids cease to feel transgender when they get older.The author, James M. Cantor, then discusses and rebuts the criticisms of some of the studies that show transgender kids “desisting” — eventually deciding they are not transgender and want to remain their birth gender. He concludes:
The state of the science is made clear simply by listing the results of the studies on the topic. Despite coming from a variety of countries and from a variety of labs, using a variety of methods, all spanning four decades, every single study without exception has come to the identical conclusion. This is not a matter of scientists disagreeing with one another over relative strengths and weaknesses across a set of conflicting reports. The disagreement is not even some people advocating for one set of studies with other people advocating for different set of studies: Rather, activists are rejecting the unanimous conclusion of every single study ever conducted on the question in favour of a conclusion supported by not one.So why is this controversial? Because a misguided notion of “tolerance” may cause some liberal parents (and other adults) to immediately accept a kid’s claim that he or she feels like a different gender, and even authorize a “transition.” To be skeptical of the kid’s opinion is viewed as “transphobic.”
Importantly, these results should not be exaggerated in the other direction either: The correct answer is neither 0% nor 100%. Although the majority of transgender kids desist, it is not a large majority. A very substantial proportion do indeed want to transition as they get older, and we need to ensure they receive the support they will need. Despite loud, confident protestations of extremists, the science shows very clearly and very consistently that we cannot take either outcome for granted.
Planned Parenthood, of course, is fully on board with the politically correct view:
Gender identity — including transgender and gender nonconforming identities — are cemented early in elementary school. Not everyone who defies traditional gender roles is transgender. For example, lots of girls hate dresses. But your kid figures out what their gender is really early on — and they’ll usually tell you. So in preschool and in early elementary school, trans kids are starting to realize that they’re not the gender everyone said they were when they were born. They may want to be treated like a different gender.But the science says that what kids believe about their gender may or may not persist into adulthood.
A columnist in the (left-leaning) New Statesman discusses the harm possible by being too “gender affirming.”
The costs of putting a child on the wrong path can be huge. We hear a lot about the dangers of suicide for trans children who don’t receive affirming treatment (although [Ken] Zucker points out that his research has found suicidality among trans children is no higher than among children with depression, anxiety or ADHD), but inappropriate affirmation is no less damaging. A young woman called Lou, who started hormone treatment and had a double mastectomy before realising she didn’t want to be a man, tells the documentary that she now feels “grotesque.” The female body that had horrified her so much during puberty now seems normal to her. The flat-chested, bearded self she has now appears to her as grotesque.The problem, of course, is identity politics. Politically correct liberals and leftists reflexively side with any “marginalized group,” and this involves always accepting any claims made by or (more frequently) on behalf of that group. Saying to kids “you might be wrong in thinking you are not your birth gender” or even “chill, and see how you feel in a year or five or when you are 18” is not politically correct.
“Affirming” a gender notion that might turn out to be false is child abuse. On the other hand, draconian demands that the child conform to normal gender behavior are likely to be harmful or counterproductive. Messing with the endocrine system (hormone therapy) or sex reassignment surgery should be reserved for adults who are confident about their gender preference.
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Play “White Privilege” to be presented by Marquette Theatre
MILWAUKEE —Marquette Theatre will present White Privilege at the Evan P. & Marion Helfaer Theatre Aug. 31–Sept. 2.This is just the tip of the iceberg, since white Marquette students tell me they are frequently berated about their “white privilege.”
Marquette Theatre student Malaina Moore invites audiences of any and every race to join the nationwide conversation and consider how interactions with students, teachers, parents, friends, and even strangers are influenced by race and how the color of one’s skin can lead to a very different experience of the world.
In reality, far and away the most important form of “white privilege” is that most white kids have a daddy, and most black kids don’t. Is that whitey’s fault? Has racism made black males unable to be husbands and fathers? In 1955, 20.2 percent of black kids were born out of wedlock, and in 1920 is was 12.5 percent. How is it that black males could be husbands and fathers under Jim Crow, but can’t now.
The next most important form of white privilege is that whites tend to live in safe neighborhoods, and blacks in unsafe ones. Is this whitey’s fault? FBI homicide data show blacks, about 13 percent of the population, are almost half of all homicide victims. And who is killing all these black people? Other black people.
Of course a fair number of whites have some negative stereotypes about black people. A lot of them reflect the reality of the black community: out of wedlock births, crime, school dropouts, welfare dependency, and so on. Anybody who acts on these stereotypes (rather than judging people on their merit) is discriminatory. However popular measures of “implicit bias” are simply not correlated with behavior.
But then there is a huge amount of affirmative action discrimination against whites. So it’s ironic when black students, who got into selective colleges due to affirmative action, lecture white students about “white privilege.”
One source of racial hostility on the part of whites may be whites’ annoyance at race hustling blacks berating them about their “white privilege.”
The Point of the AccusationThe whole point of talk about “white privilege” is to guilt whites into supporting a standard leftist racial agenda. But if the guilting does not work, bullying soon follows.
Monday, August 13, 2018
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Marquette Paid PR Firm Big Bucks to Counter Negative Publicity Over Attempt to Fire Warrior Blogger
FYI - see below. I received a very odd email from Marquette’s PR firm re: your case a few months ago. I had forgotten about it, but was reminded when I saw the recent court ruling. Anyway, I’m not sure why they contacted me, but thought you should know.The e-mail exchange started with this message from an executive at the Edelman firm:
On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 1:58 PM, Diaz, RickyOf course, the claim that we doxed Cheryl Abbate is a flat out lie. Webster’s defines “doxing” as
Professor, I hope you are doing well. Because of your background and previous commentary on doxing, I thought you might be interested in a recent development happening at Marquette. The Wisconsin State Supreme Court has agreed to hear a high profile case in which a Professor (and later, George Will) doxed a student and it led to terrible consequences. Marquette is looking to connect with experts such as yourself interested in doxing to discuss the case and I think you would find it to be fascinating given your background.
Please let me know if you’d like to talk with Marquette and I could put you in touch with a few folks at the University to speak with directly about the case. Look forward to hearing from you,
. . . to publicly identify or publish private information about (someone) especially as a form of punishment or revenge.In fact, we published zero “private information.” We did link to a toxic feminist essay on Abbate’s blog. Her e-mail address was elsewhere on the blog (not on the page we linked to). But it could also be found by a simple google search. If your e-mail address is all over the web, it’s not “private information.” Nothing in our post suggested anybody should harass or even contact her.
Even more bizarre is the notion that George Will doxed Abbate. All he did was mention her name. Did the editors at the Washington Post allow doxing? Marquette’s position is apparently that Marquette Instructor Abbate must somehow never be named. But in the wake of our post criticizing how she told a student that he was not allowed to oppose gay marriage in class, since “you don’t have a right in this class to make homophobic comments,” she went to a philosophy blog to attack us.
Back to the E-mail Exchange
From: <[redacted]@redacted.edu>Diaz’ response:
Sent: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 3:08 PM
To: Diaz, Ricky
Subject: Re: Doxing
Is Marquette’s administration seeking my legal and/or crisis communications advice?
From: “Diaz, Ricky”The professor didn’t respond, explaining to us that:
Date: March 7, 2018 at 9:33:13 AM EST
Subject: RE: Doxing
Hi, [redacted]. Specifically, Marquette is interested in giving you a briefing on the case that’s headed to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. They would like to ask for feedback on the case, particularly the privacy/doxing issues at play and any other reactions you have. Media coverage of the case will likely increase as the oral arguments get closer, and the school feels that the public doesn’t quite understand doxing or the consequences. While there’s no specific ask or commitment after the initial briefing at the moment, they are trying to build relationships with people such as yourself who may be able to shed light on these issues to media or other groups down the road if there’s interest.
Please let me know if you’re interested in an introduction to the University’s team.
I really didn’t understand what the controversy was all about when Edelman contacted me or why they chose me — considering the email’s author is a VP at a major PR firm, he doesn't seem to express himself very clearly. I was also kind of annoyed that a highly profitable PR firm apparently expected me to do free work for them . . .He gave us permission to publish this exchange, but instructed us not to publish his name, since there are “too many crazy, vindictive SJWs [social justice warriors] out there.”
The Edelman FirmIf you are an institution that has done something really evil, or really stupid, and are trying to manage the resulting firestorm, Edelman is the firm for you. Which is not to say they don’t do legitimate PR work. Their website shows a lot of PR work for a lot of interests, and it’s impressive until you remember they are as good at puffing their own work as they are puffing their clients.
But two things are similar to what they did for Marquette. First, a PR disaster when a crock-pot explodes, burns down a home and kills a man. Edelman claims:
Thrust into an unexpected firestorm, we cooked up a strategic recipe for Crock-Pot® to extinguish the misdirected hatred, defend the brand and playfully remind the world that #CrockPotIsInnocent.Then there was the bad PR when Samsung released a defective smartphone.
Twitter had become a hostile environment for the brand after the Galaxy Note7 recall, so we couldn’t let this go. This was our chance to stand up for anyone who’s ever received an unwanted picture. Within minutes, we responded with a savagely simple reply: The microscope emoji.In fact, they have an entire division devoted to “crisis and reputation risk.” And the fellow who wrote the professor (Ricky Diaz) identifies himself as expert in “crisis communications, research, digital, media relations and public affairs.”
We knew the one-character tweet was a clever retort, but we didn’t predict the viral sensation that followed: More than 80 news stories worldwide — all from a single emoji.
We had already identified that we could rebuild trust with our community by being “real” and transparent after the Note7 recall. After all, millennials expect more from brands; they’re drawn to those that take risks and feel human. Our strategy had become confronting negativity head on, in real-time.
Unfortunately, you never know what the Internet will serve up next. So we stacked our team with community managers and strategists who not only deeply understood Twitter, but could act on the unexpected quick. They knew what to look for, and how to react to it with brevity and incisive wit.
Interestingly, a Google Advanced Search of edelman.com shows no mention of the work they did for Marquette.
Wikipedia has a long list of Edelman’s clients. Some of their work involves legitimate activities supporting controversial policies (eg. the Keystone Pipeline), but at other times they seem to have used questionable tactics (setting up front groups claiming to be grassroots support for their clients).
How Much Did it CostOf course, neither Marquette nor Edelman is going to say how much the campaign against this blogger (which included an attack website, ads on Google, an ads in major newspapers) has cost them.
But some public information comes from another case: Michigan State’s response to sexual abuse accusations against former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. According to NPR:
Michigan State University spent more than $500,000 to keep tabs on the online activities of former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s victims and journalists covering the case, according to the Lansing State Journal.Weber Shandwick is a major PR firm, but apparently no more prestigious than Edelman, so it is almost certain that Marquette got billed at similar rates.
The public-relations company Weber Shandwick billed the university $517,343 for more than 1,440 hours of work tracking social media in the month of January, the Journal reports.
Michigan State’s Office of Communication and Brand Strategy monitored social media and news media activity involving the Nassar case previously and concurrently with Weber Shandwick, the newspaper notes.
“The firm billed for work done by 18 different employees, whose hourly rates ranged from $200 to $600 per hour,” the Journal writes. “Five of those employees billed MSU for more than $50,000, including one who billed for $96,900 and another who billed for $120,893.”
The Total CostWe can add whatever Marquette paid for the services of Edelman to the legal fees the university paid, which were in the range of $750,000 to a million dollars, according to informed sources.
Then there are lost alumni contributions. We have no way to estimate those, but literally dozens of alunni have told us that they discontinued contributing to Marquette because of our case.
And while the attempt to fire us may have increased Marquette’s reputation among a politically correct fringe, it has doubtless hurt it among parents who actually want a Catholic education for their children. That is, hurt it among the sort of parents who might prefer Marquette to a much less expensive state school, or an overtly secular private college. But now they have no reason to.
All because of Michael Lovell’s rigid, authoritarian jihad against this blogger.
Updated 8/13 with information on Diaz.
Thursday, August 09, 2018
ACLU Likely Won’t Defend Politically Incorrect Speech
The American Civil Liberties Union has explicitly endorsed the view that free speech can harm “marginalized” groups by undermining their civil rights. “Speech that denigrates such groups can inflict serious harms and is intended to and often will impede progress toward equality,” the ACLU declares in new guidelines governing case selection and “Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities.”Actually reading the document shows it to be even more mendacious than this article suggests. For example:
This is presented as an explanation rather than a change of policy, and free-speech advocates know the ACLU has already lost its zeal for vigorously defending the speech it hates. ACLU leaders previously avoided acknowledging that retreat, however, in the apparent hope of preserving its reputation as the nation’s premier champion of the First Amendment.
But traditional free-speech values do not appeal to the ACLU’s increasingly partisan progressive constituency—especially after the 2017 white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville. The Virginia ACLU affiliate rightly represented the rally’s organizers when the city attempted to deny them a permit to assemble. Responding to intense post-Charlottesville criticism, last year the ACLU reconsidered its obligation to represent white-supremacist protesters.
The 2018 guidelines claim that “the ACLU is committed to defending speech rights without regard to whether the views expressed are consistent with or opposed to the ACLU’s core values, priorities and goals.” But directly contradicting that assertion, they also cite as a reason to decline taking a free-speech case “the extent to which the speech may assist in advancing the goals of white supremacists or others whose views are contrary to our values.”
In selecting speech cases to defend, the ACLU will now balance the “impact of the proposed speech and the impact of its suppression.” Factors like the potential effect of the speech on “marginalized communities” and even on “the ACLU’s credibility” could militate against taking a case. Fundraising and communications officials helped formulate the new guidelines.
One half of this balancing test is familiar. The “impact of suppressing speech”—the precedents that suppression might establish, the constitutional principles at stake—is a traditional factor in case selection. But, traditionally, the ACLU has not formally weighed the content of speech and its consistency with ACLU values in deciding whether to defend it.
Tension between competing values isn’t new to the ACLU. Given its decades-old commitment to defending civil rights and liberties, the organization has long navigated conflicts between equality rights and freedoms of religion, speech and association. The guidelines assert that “no civil liberties or civil rights value should automatically be privileged over any other.” But it’s clear that free speech has become second among equals. Where is the comparable set of guidelines explaining when the ACLU should decline to defend gay-rights claims that infringe on religious liberty or women’s-rights cases that infringe on due process?
The speech-case guidelines reflect a demotion of free speech in the ACLU’s hierarchy of values. Their vague references to the “serious harm” to “marginalized” people occasioned by speech can easily include the presumed psychological effects of racist or otherwise hateful speech, which is constitutionally protected but contrary to ACLU values. Faced with perceived conflicts between freedom of speech and “progress toward equality,” the ACLU is likely to choose equality. If the Supreme Court adopted the ACLU’s balancing test, it would greatly expand government power to restrict speech.
In Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), for example, the ACLU defended the First Amendment rights of a Ku Klux Klan leader prosecuted for addressing a small rally and calling for “revengence” against blacks and Jews. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed Clarence Brandenburg’s conviction, narrowly defining incitement to violence as speech both intended and likely to cause imminent illegal action. Brandenburg made an essential distinction between advocacy and action, which progressives who equate hate speech with actual discrimination or violence seek to erase.
The ACLU would be hard pressed to take Brandenburg’s case today, given its new guidelines. The organization hasn’t yet endorsed a ban on hate speech, or a broader definition of incitement. The guidelines affirm that “speakers have a right to advocate violence.” But even if Brandenburg managed to pass the new balancing test for speech cases, some participants at his rally were armed, and, according to the guidelines, “the ACLU generally will not represent protesters who seek to march while armed.”
All this is the ACLU’s prerogative. Organizations are entitled to revise their values and missions. But they ought to do so openly. The ACLU leadership had apparently hoped to keep its new guidelines secret, even from ACLU members. They’re contained in an internal document deceptively marked, in all caps, “confidential attorney client work product.” I’m told it was distributed to select ACLU officials and board members, who were instructed not to share it. According to my source, the leadership is now investigating the “leak” of its new case-selection guidelines. President Trump might sympathize.
The ACLU has also made many other rights priorities, including religious liberty, privacy, autonomy, reproductive freedom, the rights of people with disabilities, and criminal defendants’ rights. In deciding how to use our limited resources, no civil liberties or civil rights value should automatically be privileged over any other. There is no presumption that the First Amendment trumps all other amendments, or vice versa. We recognize that taking a position on one issue can affect our advocacy in other areas and create particular challenges for staff members engaged in that advocacy. For example, a decision by the ACLU to represent a white supremacist group may well undermine relationships with allies or coalition partners, create distrust with particular communities, necessitate the expenditure of resources to mitigate the impact of those harms, make it more difficult to recruit and retain a diverse staff and board across multiple dimensions, and in some circumstances, directly further an agenda that is antithetical to our mission and values and that may inflict harm on listeners.Of course, for people who believe in free speech, it does trump other issues. It’s called the “preferred position” doctrine, and holds that no other liberties mean much if people aren’t free to speak in support of them.
And if you have free speech, you have a right to “directly further an agenda that is antithetical to [the ACLU’s] mission and values.”
And what kind of “harm” might be “inflicted on listeners?”
The ACLU seems to have adopted the position of intolerant campus snowflakes: that merely hearing opinions with which you differ is a form of “harm.” This, of course, enables a robust heckler’s veto, in which people can stifle speech by merely claiming to have been harmed.
And undermining “relationships with allies or coalition partners” and making it “difficult to recruit and retain a diverse staff and board” simply means we have to be team players. We are leftists, and if defending free speech alienates other leftist groups, we will back off. Of course, the ACLU doesn’t have to be part of a team. And their team could consist of groups that actually favor free speech, like the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. But in fact, their team is all the usual leftist suspects.
Our defense of speech may have a greater or lesser harmful impact on the equality and justice work to which we are also committed, depending on factors such as the (present and historical) context of the proposed speech; the potential effect on marginalized communities; the extent to which the speech may assist in advancing the goals of white supremacists or others whose views are contrary to our values; and the structural and power inequalities in the community in which the speech will occur.Translation: if we think speech is harmful to our “justice work” (read: leftist political agenda) we might decide that government can suppress it, and we will stand aside.