Progressive Conundrums part 2-The intolerance of the tolerant

The other morning as I sit with my 7-year-old daughter eating breakfast before going to school, I noticed a scene on a movie that my daughter was watching. The movie Dr. Doolittle: Million Dollar Mutts appears to be another sequel to the Dr. Doolittle movies with Eddie Murphy as Dr. Doolittle.

This straight to video movie despite the title is about Maya Doolittle, the daughter of Dr. Doolittle who like her father has the ability of talking to and understanding animals. In this sequel Maya is graduating from HS and is looking into Veterinary program, while watching the video of the school she learns that it would take 7 years to graduate to her horror.

She then complains that in 7 years she would be old, she would be 25 and finally exclaims: “But, I am different, why should I have to do things the same way as others?!!!”

That sentence and the attitude that accompanied it kinds of summed up the attitude of today’s young and college soon to be brethren.

As Daniel Henninger writes in the WSJ:

“It’s been a long time coming, but America’s colleges and universities have finally descended into lunacy.”

“Last month, Brandeis University banned Somali-born feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali as its commencement speaker, purporting that “Ms. Hirsi Ali’s record of anti-Islam statements” violates Brandeis’s “core values…”

“On Monday, Smith announced the withdrawal of Christine Lagarde, the French head of the International Monetary Fund. And what might the problem be with Madame Lagarde, considered one of the world’s most accomplished women? An online petition signed by some 480 offended Smithies said the IMF is associated with “imperialistic and patriarchal systems that oppress and abuse women worldwide.”

“On Tuesday, Haverford College’s graduating intellectuals forced commencement speaker Robert J. Birgeneau to withdraw. Get this: Mr. Birgeneau is the former chancellor of UC Berkeley, the big bang of political correctness. It gets better.

Enlarge Image

Chad Crowe

Berkeley’s Mr. Birgeneau is famous as an ardent defender of minority students, the LGBT community and undocumented illegal immigrants. What could possibly be wrong with this guy speaking at Haverford??? Haverfordians were upset that in 2011 the Berkeley police used “force” against Occupy protesters in Sproul Plaza. They said Mr. Birgeneau could speak at Haverford if he agreed to nine conditions, including his support for reparations for the victims of Berkeley’s violence.

In a letter, Mr. Birgeneau replied, “As a longtime civil rights activist and firm supporter of nonviolence, I do not respond to untruthful, violent verbal attacks.”

Read the whole thing

Not mentioned in the article was Condoleezza Rice, the first African-American Secretary of State whose invitation to be the speaker at Rutgers drew student protest and led to her withdrawal.

It is not just commencement speakers that are facing the intolerance of the tolerant but other activities are also being affected. In Dartmouth an annual fundraising event called “phiestawas cancelled after one, I repeat one student of Mexican origin complained that it was offensive.

Then there is the latest absurdity, “trigger warnings”. It originated with the feminist movement but now it is beyond ridiculous, gaining wider acceptance. As Rich Lowry writes in the National Review:

“Oberlin College, long the nation’s leader in the earnestly ridiculous, seeks to be the FDA of political correctness, with warnings about classroom material nearly as comprehensive as the litany of side effects included in advertisements for a new drug. The school’s Office of Equity Concerns published a document for faculty (since pulled for more work after professors complained) urging them to “understand triggers, avoid unnecessary triggers, and provide trigger warnings.” It exhorts professors to “be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism [i.e., prejudice against the transgendered], ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression.”

Yes, the Chinua Achebe anti-colonial novel Things Fall Apart is a “triumph of literature that everyone in the world should read,” according to the guide. But there’s a downside — it could “trigger readers who have experienced racism, colonialism, religious persecution, violence, suicide, and more.”

Ace has more of the Oberlin demands for new rules regarding “triggers” and it is worth a read in its entirety, here’s and excerpt;

“Respect students, colleagues, and guest speakers pronouns.

The Sexual Offense Policy defines sexual offense as a behavior, which calls attention to gender, sexuality, gender identity or sexual orientation in a manner which prevents or impairs an individuals full enjoyment of educational or occupational benefits or opportunities. For many, use of incorrect pronouns calls attention to gender in a very inappropriate way, and prevents or impairs their safety in a classroom.

When possible, dont call roll using names from Presto or Blackboard allow students to self-identify using preferred names by asking them to sign in or to speak their preferred names.

If your class is too large to memorize names and pronouns, avoid using gender-specific language whenever possible. For example, if your instinct is to call on the guy in the purple shirt, try instead saying, you, in the purple shirt.�”

Read the rest;

You in the Purple shirt, how personal and uplifting!

James Taranto writing in the WSJ adds;

“The MPAA, ESRB, TV Parental Guidelines and RIAA warnings are all designed to strike a balance between freedom of expression and parents’ interest in shielding their children from the fouler aspects of popular culture. For the most part free expression wins out, especially in the Internet age, as it generally requires an enormous effort to prevent a determined adolescent from gaining access to “adult” material.”

Every one of these organizations faced free-speech controversies though they were design to address parental concerns for their minor children as Taranto concludes;

‘In those days, “mature” content held a certain allure for teenagers and young adults. By contrast, it would seem that today’s young adults are anxious to be infantilized.’

As the protest about the commencement speakers demonstrated it is not only Conservatives that colleges are trying to either censor or shut down but Progressives who step out of line to whatever precious beliefs they are beholden to.

A couple of weeks ago, anarchist author Kristian Williams was to deliver a panel talk about police brutality at a Law and Disorder Conference at Portland State University. He was met by 15 students who proceeded to silence the other panelist with continuous chants. What was Mr. Williams’s crime, he suggested sexual assault allegations should be more thoroughly investigated rather than assumed to be true.

Williams in “The Politics of Denunciation,” states that:

“Under this theory, the survivor, and the survivor alone, has the right to make demands … one obvious implication is that all allegations are treated as fact. And often, specific allegations are not even necessary” it reads. “It may be enough to characterize someone’s behavior … as ‘sexist,’ ‘misogynist,’ ‘patriarchal, ‘silencing,’ ‘triggering,’ unsafe,’ or ‘abusive.'”

You can watch the video below h/t to Ace of Spades via the College Fix;

The title of the panel was called “Informants: Types, Cases and Warning Signs

Jonah Goldberg concludes it best;

And what a strange madness it is. We live in a culture in which it is considered bigotry to question whether women should join combat units — but it is also apparently outrageous to subject women of the same age to realistic books and films about war without a warning? Even questioning the ubiquity of degrading porn, never mind labeling music or video games, is denounced as Comstockery, but labeling The Iliad makes sense?

I do wish these people would make up their mind. Alas, that’s hard to do when you’ve lost it.

Historian Ron Radosh gives a historical perspective about how the Free Speech Movement of the 60’s has evolved into this Approved Speech Movement that is going on in our Progressive colleges around the country. He concludes here that:

“…the faculty elders grew up when Herbert Marcuse, of the Marxist Frankfurt School, was a household name to them. Marcuse, as I have pointed out in this column some time ago, believed in the theory he dubbed “repressive tolerance,” which coincided with the original FSM at Berkeley, and to which he dedicated his essay to his Brandeis students. According to the great sage of the New Left, “reactionary” and right-wing ideas should be suppressed. As he argued, the American state precluded true ideas – those of the Marxism he espoused — from being heard; therefore, the only chance of “liberation” was to free the people from being dominated by the ruling ideas. America, he believed, was “a totalitarian democracy.” His argument boiled down to this: “Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.”

This is how we have gone from as Voltaire may or may have not said;

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”


Tolerance, no, is not – it should not be a two-way street. It’s a one-way street. You cannot say to someone that who you are is wrong, an abomination, is horrible, get a room, and all of those other things that people said about Michael Sam, and not be forced — not forced, but not be made to understand that what you’re saying and what you’re doing is wrong.

Read more:

This was said by someone who I argued with back and forth during the Zimmerman trial months back, journalist and one-time Washington Post Editorial Board member Jonathan Capeheart. To him and Progressives like him tolerance is only of those that share your views.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s