Skip to comments.When Mettle Meets the Toads
Posted on 10/06/2013 6:34:00 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
Two battles were joined this week, one on Capital Hill and another at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (the symbolic core of which is known as Bascom Hill). In both cases, free men who refused to be cowed struck back at overreaching tyrants.
(a) The Battle of Capitol Hill
As the Republicans and Democrats squared off on spending, World War II and Korean War vets were making their way to Washington, D.C. on Honor Flights, a charitable program to bring these folks to see the memorials to service members who fought...
On hearing that the Obama administration intended to block access to these monuments, efforts were made to get an exception for these veterans making their once-in-a-lifetime visit. Instead, for the first time, the National Park Service, which had been instructed to make the shutdown as painful and visible as possible, barricaded the monument. Ostensibly, this was to save the cost of guarding the monuments, but the shutdown did not affect the guards on the Mall or any of the various police forces in the city. And no barricades or guards were positioned to occlude access to the World War I monument.
This was an act of such spiteful nastiness that it shocks the conscience. (Indeed, the shutdown selections seem to have particularly targeted the military and veterans.) Among the selective closings, Camp David, where the president and his family can relax, and the links at which Obama golfs were kept operating, but NFL coverage to troops was canceled. Initially, the Air Force-Navy and Army-Boston College games were postponed, but they were reinstated when it was made clear that the costs would be incurred even if the games did not take place.
I suppose the next flight of vets to arrive will bring their own wire cutters.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
FTA: (b) The Battle of Bascom Hill
Less public but only slightly less important is the beginning salvo at the University of Wisconsin to take back the university from those who’ve made its motto of “sifting and winnowing” to find the truth into a mockery, as the university increasingly caves to tyranny and propagandizing.
The hero here is a student and teaching assistant, Jason Morgan. The College Fix brings to us his refusal to bow to “intellectual tyranny and mandatory radicalism.”
In his own words, here is where he made his stand and why:
Dear Graduate Director Prof. Kantrowitz, [snip]
As you are probably aware, all new TAs in the History Department are required to attend one orientation session, two TA training sessions, and two diversity sessions. Yesterday (Friday, September 20th), we new TAs attended the first of the diversity sessions. To be quite blunt, I was appalled. What we were given, under the rubric of “diversity,” was an avalanche of insinuations, outright accusations, and suffocating political indoctrination (or, as some of the worksheets revealingly put it, “re-education”) entirely unbecoming a university of our stature.
Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and students at probably every other public institution of higher education in this country, have long since grown accustomed to incessant leftism. It is in the very air that we breathe. Bascom Hill, for example, is roped off and the university is shut down so that Barack Obama (D), Mark Pocan (D), and Tammy Baldwin (D) can deliver campaign speeches before election day. (The university kindly helped direct student traffic to these campaign events by sending out a mass e-mail encouraging the student body to go to the Barack Obama for President website and click “I’m In for Barack!” in order to attend.) Marxist diatribes denouncing Christianity, Christians, the United States, and conservatives (I am happy to provide as many examples of this as might be required) are assigned as serious scholarship in seminars. The Teaching Assistants Association (TAA)-which sent out mass e-mails, using History Department list-servs, during the attempt to recall Governor Scott Walker, accusing Gov. Walker of, among other things, being “Nero”-is allowed to address TA and graduate student sessions as a “non-partisan organization”. The History Department sponsors a leftist political rally, along with the Socialist Party of Wisconsin, and advertises for the rally via a departmental e-mail (sent, one presumes, using state computers by employees drawing salaries from a state institution). In short, this university finds it convenient to pretend that it is an apolitical entity, but one need not be particularly astute to perceive that the Madison campus is little more than a think tank for the hard left. Even those who wholeheartedly support this political agenda might in all candor admit that the contours of the leftism here are somewhat less than subtle.
At the “diversity” training yesterday, though, even this fig leaf of apoliticism was discarded. In an utterly unprofessional way, the overriding presumption of the session was that the people whom the History Department has chosen to employ as teaching assistants are probably racists. In true “diversity” style, the language in which the presentation was couched was marbled with words like “inclusive”, “respect”, and “justice”. But the tone was unmistakably accusatory and radical. Our facilitator spoke openly of politicizing her classrooms in order to right (take revenge for?) past wrongs. We opened the session with chapter-and-verse quotes from diversity theorists who rehearsed the same tired “power and privilege” cant that so dominates seminar readings and official university hand-wringing over unmet race quotas. Indeed, one mild-mannered Korean woman yesterday felt compelled to insist that she wasn’t a racist. I never imagined that she was, but the atmosphere of the meeting had been so poisoned that even we traditional quarries of the diversity Furies were forced to share our collective guilt with those from continents far across the wine-dark sea.
It is hardly surprising that any of us hectorees would feel thusly. For example, in one of the handouts that our facilitator asked us to read (”Detour-Spotting: for white anti-racists,” by joan olsson [sic]), we learned things like, “As white infants we were fed a pabulum of racist propaganda,” “...there was no escaping the daily racist propaganda,” and, perhaps most even-handed of all, “Racism continues in the name of all white people.” Perhaps the Korean woman did not read carefully enough to realize that only white people (all of them, in fact) are racist. Nevertheless, in a manner stunningly redolent of “self-criticism” during the Cultural Revolution in communist China, the implication of the entire session was that everyone was suspect, and everyone had some explaining to do.
You have always been very kind to me, Prof. Kantrowitz, so it pains me to ask you this, but is this really what the History Department thinks of me? Is this what you think of me? I am not sure who selected the readings or crafted the itinerary for the diversity session, but, as they must have done so with the full sanction of the History Department, one can only conclude that the Department agrees with such wild accusations, and supports them. Am I to understand that this is how the white people who work in this Department are viewed? If so, I cannot help but wonder why in the world the Department hired any of us in the first place. Would not anyone be better?
There is one further issue. At the end of yesterday’s diversity “re-education,” we were told that our next session would include a presentation on “Trans Students”. At that coming session, according to the handout we were given, we will learn how to let students ‘choose their own pronouns’, how to correct other students who mistakenly use the wrong pronouns, and how to ask people which pronouns they prefer (”I use the pronouns he/him/his. I want to make sure I address you correctly. What pronouns do you use?”). Also on the agenda for next week are “important trans struggles, as well as those of the intersexed and other gender-variant communities,” “stand[ing] up to the rules of gender,” and a very helpful glossary of related terms and acronyms, to wit: “Trans”: for those who “identify along the gender-variant spectrum,” and “Genderqueer”: “for those who consider their gender outside the binary gender system”. I hasten to reiterate that I am quoting from diversity handouts; I am not making any of this up.
Please allow me to be quite frank. My job, which I love, is to teach students Japanese history. This week, for example, I have been busy explaining the intricacies of the Genpei War (1180-1185), during which time Japan underwent a transition from an earlier, imperial-rule system under regents and cloistered emperors to a medieval, feudal system run by warriors and estate managers. It is an honor and a great joy to teach students the history of Japan. I take my job very seriously, and I look forward to coming to work each day.
It is most certainly not my job, though, to cheer along anyone, student or otherwise, in their psychological confusion. I am not in graduate school to learn how to encourage poor souls in their sexual experimentation, nor am I receiving generous stipends of taxpayer monies from the good people of the Great State of Wisconsin to play along with fantasies or accommodate public cross-dressing. To all and sundry alike I explicate, as best I can, such things as the clash between the Taira and the Minamoto, the rise of the Kamakura shogunate, and the decline of the imperial house in twelfth-century Japan. Everyone is welcome in my classroom, but, whether directly or indirectly, I will not implicate myself in my students’ fetishes, whatever those might be. What they do on their own time is their business; I will not be a party to it. I am exercising my right here to say, “Enough is enough.” One grows used to being thought a snarling racist-after all, others’ opinions are not my affair-but one draws the line at assisting students in their private proclivities. That is a bridge too far, and one that I, at least, will not cross.
I regret that this leaves us in an awkward situation. After having been accused of virulent racism and, now, assured that I will next learn how to parse the taxonomy of “Genderqueers”, I am afraid that I will disappoint those who expect me to attend any further diversity sessions. When a Virginia-based research firm came to campus a couple of years ago to present findings from their study of campus diversity, then-Diversity Officer Damon Williams sent a gaggle of shouting, sign-waving undergraduates to the meeting, disrupting the proceedings so badly that the meeting was cancelled. In a final break with such so-called “diversity”, I will not be storming your office or shouting into a megaphone outside your window. Instead, I respectfully inform you hereby that I am disinclined to join in any more mandatory radicalism. I have, thank God, many more important things to do. I also request that diversity training be made optional for all TAs, effective immediately. In my humble opinion, neither the Department nor the university has any right to subject anyone to such intellectual tyranny.
Thank you for your patience in reading this long e-mail.
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
but NFL coverage to troops was canceled.
I’ve wondered about that. I don’t understand the reasoning on this but AlHurra television station is still going, isn’t it funded by the government?
This kid can actually think straight which is sorely lacking in most adults today
Do you get the feeling, based up reports such as this, that our 'Institutes of Higher Learning" (barf) have learned that such tactics help weed out non-sympathizers at the very beginning. By thus reducing the pool of talent to a pre-selected orientation, the task of keeping the Eduocracy liberally left is made much easier.
With an extensive knowledge of history, I know of no other period in history where such one-sided indoctrination has been done in a supposedly pluralistic society. It brings more to mind the habits and tactics of Fascism and Communism, such excellent exemplars of education!
That is an intellectual communication about insanity.
At that point they will choose none of the above, but instead of staying home they will, at some point, go out and vote for America's Hitler. This man (or woman) will deliver right-sounding speeches about American patriotism while blaming some group or groups for America's demise. Will it be the Jews again? Perhaps not. I think it will be something a little more clever like people who dare to drive their own car or truck when "everyone knows" that riding a bicycle is the only way to "save the planet".
Their hatred of independence and self-reliance will be made possible by the non-trivial amount of socialism that is being put in place now. The promoters of nihilism know that to be popular they must radical, but to sustain their philosophy they must also be anti-Christian and against Middle America.
Thanks for that article extract. It’s a perfect example of the reason college costs have ballooned while true education, i.e. learning HOW to think, has fallen by the wayside. This leads to perversion of history education from facts in context of that moment to an attempt to re-interpret by substituting some currently-prevailing whimsy. The grad student is amazingly brave for one pursuing an academic career where such clarity of thought is not seen until tenure is achieved, ex. Mike Adams of Townhall.com.
That's right, a suggested title for a state-mandated diversity course: "Education in a Pluralistic Society."
I wish the majority of the youth would see things as they really are.
A perfect example of that was Hannity's program (I think Fri. night) where he had a roomful of college students and recent graduates from all of the top colleges. Supposedly they were split evenly Democrat/Republican, but it was hard to tell the difference. The gal from Berkeley and the guy from Yale were particularly annoying and embarrassing.
That’s going to be one heck of a long battle. This is coming from someone who fought a similar battle against the liberal ideology of the UW leadership and majority of students during the Bush administration. But, it HAS to be done, and that TA has me in his corner. All he needs to do is contact me.