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YYW
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4/22/2016 6:40:10 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
...there is an equal and opposite reaction:

http://www.theatlantic.com...

The Tools of Campus Activists Are Being Turned Against Them

At UC Davis, where student activists still hope to oust Chancellor Linda Katehi, critics of their activism are using concepts like "safe space" and "hostile climate" to attack it.

The conflict illustrates a pattern that campus observers are likely see more and more in coming years: Insofar as progressives succeed in remaking campuses into places unusually sensitive to psychological harms, where transgressing against "safe spaces" is both easy to do and verboten, confrontational activism will no longer be viable.

...the anti-activist backlash is relevant to those trying to understand campus politics and to activists who care enough about righteous causes to avoid derailing them. The 100-some critics of the campus activists began their statement as follows:

Some of us agree with the broader issues of the protesters, like greater transparency and more dialogue between the students and campus administration. But we write to strongly condemn the tactics of the protesters, including sexist and racist behaviors, threatening and bullying of staff, students and faculty who come to Mrak Hall to work. We feel that these actions undermine not only the values of our campus community, but also the ideals which the protesters claim to defend. Several students and staff have been treated abusively by the protesters.

Several students and staff were stalked for a period of time after leaving a meeting with the Chancellor. Many students and staff who are supposed to work in Mrak no longer feel safe. Staff and student workers have been also filmed without their permission. For the sake of the daily operations of UC Davis, we call upon the Mrak Hall protesters to move their protest to a location that does not lead to these aggressive disruptions of UC staff and student work spaces in case they have plans to continue this protest.

It"s worth pausing here to note that, this being a group petition on a college campus, what"s characterized as "threatening" and "bullying" and "abuse" may describe behavior that others would call "harassing" or "annoying" or "irritating." Concept creep has robbed us of linguistic clarity or precision in these matters.

Again, I suspect my threshold for what constitutes "stalking" is higher than that employed by the authors of this letter. What"s beyond dispute is that a group of protesters followed Katehi and a small group of students and staff she was speaking with across campus, filming them without their consent, snarking at Katehi, making her companions visibly uncomfortable"as almost anyone would have been in similar circumstances"and coming off " well, you can judge for yourself:

This was petulant and self-indulgent. It was an excuse for two or three activists to peacock and self-aggrandize. The fact that it was posted publicly, as if those who took the footage thought it reflected well on them even in hindsight, astonishes me. The female activist who shouts her head off across campus, literally serenading her chancellor with insults, claims at one point that she is being silenced!

But the part that struck me most is when, at roughly 6:25, one of the student activists reacts to the apparently unplanned arrival of an adult black male, who is friendly toward Katehi, by accusing the chancellor of "doing what they usually do, which is grabbing a person of color as a shield"that"s a tactic that the chancellor likes to use."

This for merely talking to a black person who approached.

That activist couldn"t see the black man as an autonomous subject"only as a white person"s prop. The offensive jump makes sense within a highly stylized ideology wherein Katehi is "the oppressor" and all black people are "the oppressed." By that logic, the only possible reason she would be doing something as enlightened as cordially interacting with one of "the oppressed" is if the black man was functioning not as a person, but as a "prop" and a "tactic," never mind his agency.

The whole encounter is dripping with dehumanization.

It"s ironic, this recurring feature of campus protests: Time after time, activists wield phone cameras, intending to publicly discredit any adversary who lets so much as a "microaggression" slip. And in doing so, they inadvertently reveal prejudices that spring predictably, though quite unintentionally, from flaws in their belief system.

The article continues to identify a statement chastising the protesters for being "hostile, aggressive and threatening to those with whom they do not share an opinion."

(We've seen that with DDO SJW types too.)

Then, the author points out the SJW hypocracy:

Notice that the activists are being accused of fostering "a hostile climate," of acting to "silence" students, staff, and faculty"the very transgressions that loom so large on college campuses because of the ideology advanced by other social-justice activists.

After some discussion about the appropriate level of tolerance for student political activism, the article goes on to say:

Today"s strain of campus progressivism has a more ambiguous relationship with traditional liberal values, finding them too viewpoint neutral and rough-and-tumble.

Still, most campus protests are left-leaning. And administrators cannot help but realize that almost all of that activism is, on some level, about confrontation"that it frequently involves a lot of shouting or chanting or marching or banging on drums. Now, any time such protests challenge the interests of the administration, or make their jobs marginally harder or their lives marginally more inconvenient, they can always pinpoint some folks who are earnestly upset or unnerved by all the ruckus.

With the impact that:

They can always undermine the activists of the moment by finding the students experiencing "trauma" from all the conflict; the staff members who feel "unsafe" around protesters, the community member who, in the new paradigm, somehow feel "silenced."

Some campus activists seem to think that, by declaring themselves marginalized and the people they protest "oppressors," they can benefit from a double-standard in how sensitive to harm they"re expected to be. In the short run, this sometimes works. But the world is rarely divided neatly between oppressors and the oppressed, especially on college campuses.

And in the long run, it's strange to count on a status quo where the powerful willingly hold themselves to disadvantageous standards with regard to people they"re "oppressing."

In closing, the article says what I have been saying since the start:

If that ideology keeps spreading, successful left-wing activism will have to police itself, on college campuses, to be less confrontational, less "silencing," whatever that means, and less aggressive, so that no one feels "unsafe." It isn"t clear to me that any activism of significance can survive those conditions.

In the end, unreformed social justice activism may destroy itself.
Tsar of DDO