FYE on you! 5

You want to become a scientist, an engineer, a mathematician, a doctor? Okay, but you have first to become a racist, and if you’re white, a penitent, and if you’re black, a victim.

The re-education camps of America, aka the universities, have a name for their introductory course of indoctrination for newcomers: the First-Year Experience, commonly referred to as FYE.

John Tierney reports and comments at City Journal:

The programs often start with a “common read”, a book sent to everyone the summer before school starts, and proceed with lectures, discussion groups, seminars, courses, exercises, field trips, art projects, local activism, and whatever else the schools will fund. The programs are typically run not by professors but by “cocurricular professionals”—administrators lacking scholarly credentials who operate outside the regular curriculum. They don’t need to master an academic discipline or impart an established body of knowledge. They create a cocurriculum of what they want students to learn, which usually involves a great deal of talk about “diversity” and “inclusion”.

These professionals seem to lean even further left than the faculty, and in some ways they have more influence. They get to the students early, before classes begin, and they’re inescapable. By choosing your courses carefully, you can avoid the progressive sermonizing that passes for scholarship in some departments, but everyone has to undergo the orientation and first-year programs. You may have come to study computer science or literature or biochemistry, but first you’ll have to learn about social justice, environmental sustainability, gender pronouns, and microaggressions. You may have been planning to succeed by hard work, but first you’ll have to acknowledge your privilege or discover your victimhood. If you arrived at college hoping to broaden your intellectual horizons, you’ll quickly be instructed which ideas are off-limits. …

When administrators of these first-year programs convened this year, they chose to be addressed by author Julie Lythcott-Haims.

As an undergraduate at Stanford, she had been required to take a course called “Western Culture”, but she and other students succeeded in eliminating the requirement by joining with Jesse Jackson in protests where they chanted, “Hey-hey, ho-ho. Western Culture’s got to go!”

In Africa the doctrine is known as Boko Haram.

She went on to Harvard Law School and a brief career in corporate law before returning to Stanford as the dean of freshmen, which enabled her to put her cultural philosophy into practice.

As dean of freshmen, she insisted on choosing books that “fostered a sense of community and belonging”. And now, after leaving academia, she has written just such a book herself, Real American, which she calls “a post-poetry memoir”.

She said in her address:

Mine is a memoir of being black and biracial in a country where black lives weren’t meant to matter. … I am privileged. I have privilege that I’m aware of and more privilege that I don’t even know.

The daughter of a white British immigrant and black American doctor who was once assistant surgeon general of the United States, she grew up in good neighborhoods and thrived at school academically and socially. In high school, she was a cheerleader and president of her class as well as the student council. But despite those successes, despite the degrees from Stanford and Harvard, despite the well-paying jobs and a bestseller she published on how to raise children, her memoir is a saga of oppression.

She has discovered the awful cloud behind all those silver linings by dredging up an incident from her high school days. The great pivot point of the book, the moment that would haunt her for decades, was her discovery of graffiti on a birthday card that a friend had taped to her locker. Someone, presumably a classmate jealous of her achievements, had defaced the card by scrawling the N-word, misspelled as “Niger”. 

This is the story of how despite all that privilege and opportunity, America made me loathe my black self, my brown skin …

… she tells the audience. It’s not clear why one semiliterate teenage bigot should represent America, but Lythcott-Haims quickly segues into denunciations of the police, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and whites in general, to repeated applause from the (mostly white) audience. She explains why she has left a wide margin on each page of the book (“As a black woman I do not have access to the full page”) and reads a passage: “You think your whiteness makes you better than the rest of us. You make us your scapegoat. Your excuse for your violent rage.”

What violent rage, we ask rhetorically, would that be?

In her memoir, the well-meaning liberal whites are continually guilty of unintentional slights. Don’t try suggesting that she overlook them, because she classifies “Get over it” as yet another microaggression. The nonliberals in the book are simply evil. When Peter Thiel and other classmates of hers launched the conservative Stanford Review, she is “scared to death of these unhooded whites printing their disdain for our existence”. When she sees Clint Eastwood speak to an empty chair representing President Obama at the Republican National Convention, she believes that it “symbolizes the chair underneath the Black man about to be hanged from a Southern tree”. 

Yes, it’s all part of her mission to “foster a sense of community and belonging”, as long as the community doesn’t include any Republicans.

The writing is dreadful, but you have to give her credit for knowing her audience. The first-year administrators give her a standing ovation, and afterward they wonder to one another what she charges for a campus speech. The intercollegiate competition for black authors has driven up their speaking fees …

Last year, when the University of Oregon assigned Between the World and Me for the common read, it paid Ta-Nehisi Coates $41,500 for a campus appearance (while also meeting his contractual requirement to be supplied with Nature Valley Oats and Dark Chocolate granola bars), and afterward students complained that the university hadn’t gotten its money’s worth. Coates was scheduled for a speech and question-and-answer session lasting 75 minutes, but he left the stage after 40 minutes without taking questions. Somehow, it didn’t feel very inclusive.

For colleges that can’t afford Coates, the first-year conference is a chance to scout for cheaper alternatives. Besides Lythcott-Haims, there’s another autobiographer, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, who gets a warm reception for her book When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir.

The administrators pack another ballroom to hear about All American Boys, a novel written to protest the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. The protagonist is an amalgam of the two martyrs, with a few details changed. Instead of pounding a white man’s head against the sidewalk, as Martin did, or shoplifting and then assaulting a police officer, as Brown did, this young African-American man is a peaceful, law-abiding customer at a convenience store, wrongly accused of shoplifting by a white police officer who slams his head against the pavement. The novel’s coauthors, one white and one black, extol their collaboration as a model for how the races can learn to communicate with each other—or at least communicate in one direction, as the white author, Brendan Kiely, tells the audience. “The most important thing I can do as a white man is listen, listen, listen to the truth coming from communities of color across the country,” he says. “I especially want to reckon with whiteness. Because as a white person I can’t talk about racism or dismantle the system that supports it or eradicate racism itself without first grappling with whiteness. It is whiteness that perpetuates racism.”

How does a white person “reckon with whiteness”? What must he do to “grapple with whiteness”? Presumably, that’s what FYE teaches you.

Clearly, since “whiteness” is what “perpetuates racism”, and since white people cannot be anything but white, the only way to bring about the elimination of racism is by extinguishing the white race.

The disadvantage of the social surgery would be the loss of the most important academic subject, the laying off of thousands of “diversity” officers, the obsolescence of hundreds of books, and – well, what do you do when your enemy vanishes? Whom shall you hate for all your frustrations? Whom blame for your failures?

While the days of hate last, while accusation, shame, guilt, obsequiousness can still be freely indulged, enjoy the presence of whiteness while ye may! Carpe diem.

The crowd applauds and listens raptly as Kiely sketches the possibilities for using this book on campus. “We should be talking about race consciousness in all our disciplines of higher learning,” he tells the administrators. “You can talk about it in your math classes. You can talk about in your education classes. You can talk about it in your humanities classes.”

He doesn’t explain the connection between calculus and Trayvon Martin, but then, he doesn’t have to. This audience knows that racism is the all-consuming topic in higher education. It has been the most popular theme for common-read books for the last three years, according to the National Association of Scholars (NAS), which has tracked these programs across the country for the past decade. The latest report by the NAS, a group dedicated to reviving traditional liberal arts education (and a haven for non-progressives in academia), analyzes some 350 schools’ common-read books and finds a “continuing obsession with race” as well as an “infantilization of students”.

The obsession depends on the infantilization.

Can real education ever be resurrected? Will a deeply humiliating defeat of the race-obsessed Left in the forthcoming elections restore common sense to the institutions of learning – and save the white race?

Clint wants us all to know … 9

Clint Eastwood: Preparing To Say Good-Bye 

My Twilight Years at 84

If you realize each day is a gift, you may be near my age. As I enjoy my twilight years, I am often struck by the inevitability that the party must end.  

There will be a clear, cold morning when there isn’t any “more”. No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat.  

It seems to me that one of the important things to do before that morning comes, is to let every one of your family and friends know that you care for them by finding simple ways to let them know your heartfelt beliefs and the guiding principles of your life so they can always say, “He was my friend, and I know where he stood.”  

So, just in case I’m gone tomorrow, please know this: I voted against that incompetent, lying, flip-flopping, insincere, double-talking, radical socialist, terrorist excusing, bleeding heart, narcissistic, scientific and economic moron currently in the White House!  

Participating in a gun buy-back program because you think that criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you think your neighbors have too many kids.  

Regards, Clint

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