The Cocked Fist Culture, from the Weekly Standard.
……Many of us who came of age on a college campus in the early nineties mistakenly believed that full-throttle political correctness was too insidious, not to mention too exhausting, to follow us into the new century. Person, were we wrong. See what had to be done there? Under the new rules, I had to insert “person,” a non-binary, gender-neutral noun, so as not to offend people with the expression “man,” the preferred signifier of oppression of a white heteronormative cis-male member of the Kyriarchy. (I only understood about half that sentence myself, but I’m assured that everything in it is bad.)
……The Cocked Fist Culture has turned into an ouroboros, except the snake is well past swallowing its own tail. It’s eaten its way clean up to mid-sternum. Recent books across the political spectrum have extensively documented this turn, notably Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson’s End of Discussion on the right and Kirsten Powers’s The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech on the center-left. Though the outrage industrial complex shows no sign of shrinking, some thought a high-water mark had been reached earlier this year when Jonathan Chait, a New York writer and reliable liberal, broke ranks, accusing his own team of ideological repression through all the thought-and-speech policing. He charged that the hijacked left had adopted the modus operandi of old-line smash-mouth Marxists, who’ve always been contemptuous of mainstream liberalism’s tendency to enshrine dissent. The present left merely swaps Marxist preoccupation with economics for race-and-gender-identity fetishization.
While some on the right gave Chait a swat for sniffily arriving a quarter-century late to the anti-p.c. party, his comrades lined up to steamroll him. Amanda Taub, Vox’s self-described “senior sadness correspondent,” responded that there’s no such thing as political correctness. Even using the term is just a way “to dismiss a concern or demand as a frivolous grievance rather than a real issue,” a device “often used by those in a position of privilege to silence debates raised by marginalized people.” A sentence that sounded suspiciously like it had been written by a political-correctness meme generator. The kind that Orwell described as prose consisting “less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a pre-fabricated hen-house.”
But the senior sadness correspondent must’ve grown even sadder when several months later, Vox itself ran a piece by a professor bylined Edward Schlosser. He complained of students’ claiming grievous harm over every imagined affront. Of his and his colleagues’ having to adjust their teaching materials so as not to trample the fragile buttercups, for fear of losing their jobs. Of being afraid to teach the likes of Upton Sinclair and Mark Twain at the risk of triggering sensibility-offending IEDs. Of cultural studies and social-justice writers enabling these attitudes in popular media by attempting to make complex fields of study as easily digestible as a TGIF sitcom, which has “led to an adoption of a totalizing, simplistic, unworkable, and ultimately stifling conception of social justice.”
The piece’s headline, incidentally, was “I’m a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me.” One is tempted to reply to Professor Schlosser (not his real name, he was too afraid to use it) : How do you think the rest of us feel? Especially as the students being taught—if “teaching” is actually what happens in the trigger-warned, hermetically sealed safe spaces that higher-education classrooms have become—move into the workforce. There, they can further the debate, which no longer remotely resembles a debate, since a debate is something too unsafe-spacey to have. Perhaps one will even do so as the “race and identity editor” at Vox, a newly advertised position that I’m unfortunately not making up.
……But microaggression didn’t really take flight as a concept until decades later, when expanded upon by Derald Wing Sue, an Asian-American professor of counseling psychology at Columbia University. If there is a microaggression bible, Sue’s 2010 book Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation is it. Having pushed through all 310 punishing, repetitive pages, I can say with a clear conscience that it reads less like a seminal breakthrough in an important new field of study and more like a cry for help. In fact, it closely resembles the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, specifically, the “Paranoid Personality Disorder” section.
From the DSM:
The essential feature of this disorder is a pervasive and unwarranted tendency . . . to interpret the actions of people as deliberately demeaning or threatening. Almost invariably, there is a general expectation of being exploited or harmed by others in some way. . . . The person may read hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events. . . . Often these people are easily slighted and quick to react with anger or counterattack; they may bear grudges for a long time, and never forgive slights, insults or injuries. . . . They tend to avoid blame even when it is warranted. . . . They intensely and narrowly search for confirmation of their expectations, with no appreciation of the total context. Their final conclusion is usually precisely what they expected in the first place.
The microaggression insanity is rampant on college campuses, where anything and everything can be construed as ‘offensive’ by the aggrieved group du jour:
But especially vigilant are the gluttons for punishment at the College Fix, who actually run dispatches from student journalists throughout the country, fated to live at microaggression Ground Zero. Rake through their archives, and you find an embarrassment of microaggression riches.
To wit: A University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign study has concluded that black students “walking into or sitting in” a roomful of white people can be considered a microaggression. (This is destined to be a recurring problem, since blacks constitute only 13 percent of the U.S. population.) At Northeastern University, courtesy of the LGBTQA Resource Center, students can now be trained and certified as human “safe zones,” allowing them to receive “safe zone stickers.” (Is it any wonder that helicopter-parented, milk-fed millennials might regard a kindergarten-style sticker as a laudable achievement?)
At Washington State University, students were told they would be downgraded not only for using microaggressive descriptors such as “illegal alien,” as well as “male” and “female,” but also for failing to “defer” to nonwhite students.
While at Brandeis University, a campus group that put up an exhibit to raise awareness about micro-aggression against Asians felt compelled to apologize, after a student protest, for triggering those Asian students who were “hurt by the content of the microaggressions in our installation.” Putting me in mind of the comedian Chris Rock—nobody’s idea of a knuckle-dragging conservative—who last year explained why he wouldn’t play college campuses anymore: “You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.”
At Wheaton College, an evangelical liberal arts school, a microaggression survey found that some students were offended that “the class worship band does not include worship styles familiar to my cultural background.”
At Ithaca College, students proposed an online reporting system in which the offended could rat out classmates for “belittling” or “isolating” words and/or behavior.
At the University of Missouri, despite the state declaring it unlawful to restrict free-wheeling campus speech to campus “free speech zones,” faculty were advised to correct any peer’s “noninclusive language” and were given a four-page “inclusive terminology” guide to help them along.
University of Illinois faculty have been advised to “nail” microaggressions through use of helpful admonishments, such as “Watch it! Racism.”
Harvard’s dining service felt it necessary to remove SodaStream stickers from its Israeli-manufactured water-machines, so as not to microaggress Palestinian students.
A University of Washington union, in its bargaining demands for academic student employees, insisted on “genderless bathrooms, and working towards bathroom equity in access to already existing gendered bathrooms.”
Arizona State now offers a course on “U.S. Race Theory and the Problem of Whiteness.”
Princeton students have proposed making a “privilege-examining program” mandatory during freshman orientation.
The student government president and Hispanic/Latino campus club at Northwestern admonished students not to eat tacos or drink tequila on Cinco de Mayo on grounds that it “offends, marginalizes, and isolates many of our friends, classmates, and community members.”
More insanity from academic intelligentsia:
“White privilege” conference in Madison, Wisconsin.
University of Minnesota ponders ‘discrimination-based” education plan.
University of Wisconsin plans race-based grading standards.
Ohio University student group demanded a “PC Halloween”.
California signed into law, a regulation that allows children to use bathrooms based on their “gender identity”, regardless of the gender noted in their birth certificates.
“Diversity” on campus depends on who you are.
Mooshelle Obama flung the race card during a speech at Tuskegee University.
A Brown University student declared that ROTC is a criminal enterprise and should be banned from campus.
Brandeis University branded Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a staunch critic of Islam and its brutal treatment of women, ‘Islamophobic’.
A Sacramento, California high school teacher nixed the works of William Shakespeare because ‘his perspective does not speak well to her ethnically diverse students’.
Remember the “Free Speech Movement”? Here’s the end result: UC teaching faculty members will not criticize race-based affirmative action, or call America a ‘melting pot’.
This bat-shit crazy agenda of ‘non-offensive, politically correct, inclusive, diverse’ bullshit extends all the way across the societal spectrum.
An illegal alien hosted a racist show against white people on MTV, a music channel that hasn’t been worth a shit since maybe the 80’s.
In keeping with the trend of gender-confused fruitcakes, Facebook added 51 “gender options” to the individual profile settings.
When two members of the perpetually outraged nation compete for the title of most victimized, hilarity ensues.
The only people excluded from the Left’s ordained protected class are straight people and whites; white southerners and white Christians in particular. There are a few exceptions; the white liberals-turned faux black activists.