Thursday, November 12, 2015
Racists, Tigers and Chickens Come Home to Roost — Oh My!
The freshman class at the University of Missouri must be the most racist, sexist and homophobic student body in America. After all, it was just last year that Mizzou was lauded by the Leftmedia for its tolerance and inclusion after rallying around Michael Sam, the star football player who had recently announced his homosexuality to the world. Since the faculty is largely unchanged, the only conclusion we can draw from the recent resignation of university president Tim Wolfe is that he recruited a bunch of racist students over the last year and now must be punished for his sins. How else does one explain Mizzou going from the gold standard of tolerance and diversity to a hotbed of racism, sexism and homophobia in just a single year?
The impetus for the unfolding scandal was the hunger strike of Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, which would not end, he declared, until “either Tim Wolfe is removed from office or my internal organs fail and my life is lost.” Butler claimed the university had consistently failed to address incidents of intolerant behavior.
The primary complaint stems from an incident last month in which a white student jumped on a stage where black students were rehearsing a skit and allegedly shouted racial slurs. The evidence for Wolfe’s indifference apparently comes from the fact that Wolfe, riding in his car during the homecoming parade a few days later, did not step out of the vehicle and prostrate himself before a mob of angry black protesters.
Butler’s demands received little attention until he was joined in solidarity by some members of the Missouri football team, who declared their refusal to play another game until Butler’s demands were met and Wolfe resigned. (Based on the Tigers' current 4-5 record, the result might have been the same whether they played or forfeited). Not only did they demand that Wolfe resign, but in doing so he had to issue a hand-written apology in which he declared his “white privilege.” Sadly, the student bullies won, and Wolfe resigned.
It’s unfortunate that Wolfe gave in so easily, but once the football team was involved — putting millions of dollars of football revenue at risk — Wolfe had the weaker hand, and he knew it. Mizzou plays BYU this Saturday, and a forfeit to the Cougars would have cost the university a $1 million penalty for failure to play, plus potentially millions more in lost revenue.
Yet there is an element of schadenfreude here. While this phony scandal is ridiculous, we also admit to somewhat enjoying the show. Because, to paraphrase Obama mentor and America-hater Jeremiah “G-D America” Wright, for liberal academia and the cult of victimization it has created, their “chickens are coming home to roost.”
For several decades now our once-vaunted establishments of higher learning have been run by liberal academics who loathe everything that made America great. They preach America’s sins without extolling her virtues, and they infect students with the idea that America is an evil, imperialistic nation founded by rich, white slaveholders for their own enrichment. They teach these young, impressionable minds that they are either victims of oppression, racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia, or they’re guilty of perpetuating those sins.
The problem for the Dr. Frankensteins of liberal academia is that they can no longer control the monster they created. It was all fine and good when their weak-minded little whelps were turned loose on the world of business and politics, where they would be good little warriors for liberal causes. It is another thing entirely when their perpetually offended little howling hobgoblins of heresy turn on them and find offense in every innocuous word, look or gesture. Once that Pandora’s Box of liberal victimhood lunacy is opened, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to close.
The ironic part of this story is that at no time in our nation’s history has there been less racism, less sexism, less homophobia and less bigotry in all of its forms. That isn’t to say it isn’t real, but it is no longer the widespread and culturally accepted practice it once was.
In fact, such bigotry has become so rare that liberals have been forced to do the job that racist hate-mongers will no longer do. These days, the offender is as likely to be a “victim” as a perpetrator of true bigotry. For example, the media was briefly atwitter this month following a string of fires set to black churches. The media interest came to a screeching halt, however, when it was revealed that David Lopez Jackson, a black man, was arrested for two of the arsons and named as a suspect in several others.
This was just the latest in a long list of “hate crimes” in which the instigators of the crimes were the supposed victims themselves, or those who were simply lying about a crime being committed. Examples abound, including Al Sharpton and the Tawana Brawley hoax, the Duke lacrosse rape allegations (where the so-called “victim” was not only exposed as a liar but was later convicted of murdering her boyfriend), Nazi flags and anti-Islamic flyers at Oberlin College, the lesbian waitress who claimed she was denied a tip by Christians, and the list goes on and on. Yet that never prevents the media from jumping on each new accusation and screaming it from the rooftops as fact before ever making the first attempt to verify.
In a way, this is a good thing. After all, if the leftist Cult of Victimhood is having to manufacture incidents of bigotry out of whole cloth, it means that actual incidents of bigotry have become difficult to find.
Still, as amusing as all of this can be, this also should be a warning for Americans of all political and ideological stripes of frightening things to come unless we immediately begin to crush this idea that every offense, real or perceived, is worthy of a lynch mob marching the streets with torches and pitchforks, demanding the blood of the accused. We need to start teaching these kids that life isn’t fair, that you don’t always get a trophy, and that there is no constitutional right to never be offended.
From “free speech zones” and speech codes that ban “offensive” or “hurtful” speech, to leftist laments of “microaggressions” or “triggers” that cause poor little sheltered students to get the vapors, it should be blatantly obvious that our institutions of higher learning are now all too often centers of pampering and indoctrination into the Society of Sniveling Sissies. It’s long past time that we teach these kids (and faculty) that life in the real world means growing a spine and taking life as it comes.
The new British passport design isn’t sexist, it’s historically accurate
Surprise, surprise, the new British passport has been met with an onslaught of online feminist criticism. The problem? The new design, which celebrates British landmarks and influential figures from the past 500 years, featured more men than women. In the same vein of criticism as that which was hurled at the British banknote a few years ago, rent-a-gob feminists are demanding that the new passport have more pictures of women in it.
First in line with a cutting tweet was Labour MP Stella Creasy, who declared she was ‘So tired of this shizzle’. Similarly, feminist blogger Caroline Criado-Perez, who led the campaign to get a woman on the £5 note, said, ‘I’m just tired of protesting this shit’. Emily Thornberry, another outspoken Labour MP, added that the underrepresentation of women was ‘exasperating’.
This latest scandal begs the question: why can’t feminists give all this tiresome whinging a rest? I have my own criticisms of the new passport. I would have probably chosen someone better than Anish Kapoor, whose work is celebrated in the new design, to represent the creative talent of modern Britain.
But the fact remains that most people are more interested in where their passport can take them, rather than the drawings inside it.
More than that, the complaining about the new passports, rallying online under the #herstory hashtag, is ignoring the reality of history. As hard as it is for modern, liberated women to swallow, historically speaking, more men than women have achieved impressive things – precisely because of the past inequalities women squashed in their political fight for liberation.
Changing the past to adhere to modern wishes doesn’t better women’s lives today, it only skews our understanding of history.
I share Creasy and Criado-Perez’s exhaustion, not because I want to campaign for more public pictures of women, but because I’m truly sick of having to refute the idea that women need to be barraged with representations of important women in order to be inspired. The idea that I need to see Mary Wollstonecraft on every item in my handbag, from my passport to my cash, in order to feel important and valued is pathetic.
While feminists are wasting their time whinging about such superficial matters, they could be campaigning for change that would actually better women’s lives.
LGBT Groups Deem Transgender Beer Not ‘Diverse’ Enough, ‘Inflammatory’
Brewdog, a Scottish craft beer company, announced their launch of a “non-binary, postgender beer” last week, which they called “No Label.” While the label was created in partnership with an LGBT group, the beer has stirred up controversy with some in the LGBT community, who claim that it “undermines” the diversity of the trans community.
“No Label is the world’s first ‘non-binary, postgender beer’ designed to reflect the diversity of the area and champion inclusivity,” according to Brewdog’s website.
“This 4.6% ABV Kölsch has been brewed with hops that have changed sex from female to male flowers prior to harvest. We have used these to emphasise that, just like humans, beer can be whatever the hell it wants to be, and proud of it,” it stated.
The announcement also stated that the beer was created in partnership with “LGBTQI+ events organisers Queerest of the Queer; an organization that celebrates the diversity and talent of the LGBTQI+ community. We are donating all profits from the sale of No Label to Queerest of the Queer to in turn support charities aiding transgender youth communities.”
However, some in the LGBT community are protesting the beer.
The LGBT advocacy group Stonewall told the UK’s Independent: “While it’s encouraging to see BrewDog raising money for trans youth communities, and we like the ‘No Label’ concept, we’re concerned about the language. The trans community is diverse - many trans people do not transition, or identify with binary genders, and BrewDog’s language undermines that."
“I would have thought that it might if anything be considered somewhat inflammatory,” Trans film-maker Jake Graf told the Huffington Post UK of the beer’s debut.
"The Jester hops that change sex might be perceived as making a mockery of what is a rather sensitive subject for many people too,” he said. “I would say possibly a rather misguided attempt at waving the white flag, that I can almost guarantee will be met with disdain from the community. Once again it's making light of an all too serious matter."
Brewdog also came under fire on Twitter with some users calling it “insulting” and complaining that it “feels like you’re mocking us.”
The new beer comes just months after Brewdog came under fire for an advertisement that some labeled ‘transphobic.’
The advertisement features founders James Watt and Martin Dickie asking viewers not to force them into any humiliating experiences, showing a segment in which they are dressed as female sex workers.
Consent: it’s a piece of cake
Being guilt-tripped into eating baked goods is not a matter for the police
The latest campaign to educate the masses about sexual consent has a cute slogan, ‘consent: it’s as simple as tea’, and a cute video with animated stick figures to illustrate the idea. (The video, based on a blogpost that went viral last March, was made by Blue Seat Studios; there’s also an uncensored version with swear words.) The UK Crown Prosecution Service used the clip last month as part of its #ConsentIs campaign; now, Thames Valley Police have used it as part of their own YouTube public-service announcement. AdWeek calls it ‘brilliant’.
Rule of thumb: If we’re told that an issue widely viewed as complicated is actually incredibly simple… it’s probably not that simple. Mind you, the principles explained in the tea-and-consent clip should be obvious to the average 10-year-old. Take the following: ‘If you say, “Hey, would you like a cup of tea?”, and they’re like, “Uh, you know, I’m not really sure”, then you can make them a cup of tea, or not, but be aware that that they might not drink it. And if they don’t drink it, then – and this is the important bit – don’t make them drink it. Just because you made it doesn’t mean you’re entitled to watch them drink it. And if they say, “No, thank you”, then don’t make them tea. At all.’ Also, just because she said she wanted tea last week, that doesn’t mean she wants it now. And no tea if she’s unconscious. Got that? Piece of cake.
Speaking of which, tea is fine, but if you’re going to use a gastronomic metaphor for sex, shouldn’t it be cake? Cake has connotations of sin, temptation, forbidden pleasure and guilt (at least for the weight-watchers among us). Google ‘sex is like cake’, and you’ll get over 8,000 hits. Google ‘sex is like tea’, and you mostly get references to the ‘tea and consent’ video.
So, let’s say you’re visiting a friend and she asks if you’d like some cake and you say, ‘You know, maybe I would’. So she puts the cake on the table, cuts off a slice and puts it on your plate, and then you think of all the extra calories (or maybe you see that it’s a kind of cake you don’t like), and say, ‘You know… thanks, but I don’t think I should’. No one needs a consent class to understand that if your friend grabs a piece of cake and starts forcibly shoving it in your mouth, they’re committing assault. Shoving cake in someone’s mouth is generally a no-no, unless you’re at a wedding and that person is your newly minted spouse. Ditto for threatening someone with bodily harm unless they eat the damn cake. That’s illegal, you know.
But suppose your friend says, ‘Oh come on, just one slice. It’s really delicious!’ And you say, ‘okay, sure’. Or maybe you keep saying, ‘No, I really don’t feel like it’, and your friend keeps pushing, coaxing and wheedling you until you finally say yes. Maybe she uses guilt: she slaved for hours baking that cake just for you, or made the rounds of a dozen bakeries trying to find the perfect cake! Maybe she tells you you’ve ruined her whole evening, or just sulks and pouts visibly. Finally, you agree to eat the damn cake just to get her off your back. And maybe then she badgers you into having another slice. Or two.
Is your friend being obnoxious? Sure. No one would blame you if you weren’t in a rush to visit that friend again, or complained to mutual friends about how annoying her behaviour was. On the other hand, if you suddenly decided that what your friend did was no different from grabbing you by the nose and forcefeeding you cake when you opened your mouth to breathe, or forcing you to eat the cake at knifepoint… well, your mutual friends would be likely to think there was something wrong with you. And if you walked into a police station with a story about being guilt-tripped or pestered into unwanted cake-eating, they’d laugh in your face and probably tell you off for wasting valuable police time.
When it comes to sexual assault, though, respectable mainstream studies are increasingly relying on definitions that include ‘arguing and pressuring the victim’ into unwanted sex, or ‘using guilt’. On college campuses, there are educational posters asserting that ‘if you have to convince them, it’s not consent’ (obviously, someone doesn’t get the dictionary meaning of ‘convince’!), and ‘if they don’t feel free to say no, it’s not consent’. In the media, we have rape narratives that boil down to ‘I kept saying no but he kept trying until I went along with it’.
And then, of course, there’s the alcohol issue. We can all agree that if you’re passed out or semi-conscious and someone shoves cake in your mouth, that’s assault. But let’s say you have a little too much to drink while at your friend’s place and then you polish off one slice of cake after another. Then a few days later you get on the scale and don’t like what you see. You may be annoyed at yourself for eating all that cake. Maybe you’re also annoyed at your friend because she kept offering you more cake. But are you going to have a sudden epiphany that you were actually forcefed the cake because you were drunk and in no state to make an informed, sober decision to eat it? No, you’re not, and your diet counsellor isn’t going to suggest such a thing, either.
So, to recap:
If someone offers you cake and you say, ‘Oh, I’d love some!’, that’s consent.
If someone offers you cake and you don’t really feel like eating it but say, ‘Sure, I’d love some!’, because you don’t want to hurt their feelings, that’s also consent.
If you say, ‘Thanks, but I don’t think so’, and they convince you to change your mind, that’s also consent. It doesn’t matter how many times you said no. It doesn’t matter if your friend was being an obnoxious, guilt-tripping, sulky, passive-aggressive pest. (Well, it matters. It may be a reason to reconsider your friendship. But it’s certainly not a reason to go to the cops.) As long as you were free to refuse the cake without risking some tangible harm, it’s up to you to grow a spine.
If you’re drunk (but sufficiently in control of your faculties to eat cake…), that’s also consent. If you weren’t thinking straight and ate so much cake you were sick the next day, chalk it up as a valuable learning experience.
Now, somebody make the above a public service announcement. I even have a title for the campaign: ‘Consent: it’s a piece of cake.’
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.