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Lawyers, Guns
and Money
Picture of chellim1
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Higher Ed's Latest Taboo Is 'Bourgeois Norms'
Heather Mac Donald
The Wall Street Journal
September 19, 2017

An op-ed praising 1950s values provokes another campus meltdown — from the deans on down.

To the list of forbidden ideas on American college campuses, add “bourgeois norms”—hard work, self-discipline, marriage and respect for authority. Last month, two law professors published an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer calling for a revival of the “cultural script” that prevailed in the 1950s and still does among affluent Americans: “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. . . . Eschew substance abuse and crime.” The weakening of these traditional norms has contributed to today’s low rates of workforce participation, lagging educational levels and widespread opioid abuse, the professors argued.

The op-ed triggered an immediate uproar at the University of Pennsylvania, where one of its authors, Amy Wax, teaches. The dean of the Penn law school, Ted Ruger, published an op-ed in the student newspaper noting the “contemporaneous occurrence” of the op-ed and a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., and suggesting that Ms. Wax’s views were “divisive, even noxious.” Half of Ms. Wax’s law-faculty colleagues signed an open letter denouncing her piece and calling on students to report any “bias or stereotype” they encounter “at Penn Law ” (e.g., in Ms. Wax’s classroom). Student and alumni petitions poured forth accusing Ms. Wax of white supremacy, misogyny and homophobia and demanding that she be banned from teaching first-year law classes.

Ms. Wax’s co-author, Larry Alexander, teaches at the University of San Diego, a Catholic institution. USD seemed to be taking the piece in stride—until last week. The dean of USD’s law school, Stephen Ferruolo, issued a schoolwide memo repudiating Mr. Alexander’s article and pledging new measures to compensate “vulnerable, marginalized” students for the “racial discrimination and cultural subordination” they experience.

USD’s response is more significant than Penn’s, because it is more surprising. While USD has embraced a “social justice” mission in recent decades, the law school itself has been less politicized. It has one of the highest proportions of nonleftist professors in the country—about a quarter of the faculty. Mr. Ferruolo, a corporate lawyer with strong ties to the biotech industry, presented himself until recently as mildly conservative. If USD is willing to match Penn’s hysterical response to the Wax-Alexander op-ed, is there any educational institution remaining that will defend its faculty members against false accusations of racism should they dissent from orthodoxy?

Two aspects of the op-ed have generated the most outrage. Ms. Wax and Mr. Alexander observed that cultures are not all “equal in preparing people to be productive in an advanced economy.” Their critics pounced on this statement as a bigoted, hate-filled violation of the multicultural ethic. In his response, Penn’s Dean Ruger proclaimed that “as a scholar and educator I reject emphatically any claim that a single cultural tradition is better than all others.” But that wasn’t the claim the authors were making. Rather, they argued that bourgeois culture is better than underclass culture—specifically, “the single-parent, antisocial habits, prevalent among some working-class whites; the anti-‘acting white’ rap culture of inner-city blacks.” The authors’ criticism of white underclass behavior has been universally suppressed in the stampede to accuse them of “white supremacy.”

The op-ed’s other offense was extolling the 1950s for that decade’s embrace of bourgeois virtues. “Nostalgia for the 1950s breezes over the truth of inequality and exclusion,” five Penn faculty assert in yet another op-ed for the student newspaper. In fact, Mr. Alexander and Ms. Wax expressly acknowledged that era’s “racial discrimination, limited sex roles, and pockets of anti-Semitism.”

None of the professors’ high-placed critics have engaged with any of their arguments. Mr. Ferruolo’s schoolwide letter was one of the worst examples. The dean simply announced that Mr. Alexander’s “views” were not “representative of the views of our law school community” and suggested that they were insensitive to “many students” who feel “vulnerable, marginalized or fearful that they are not welcomed.” He did not raise any specific objections to Mr. Alexander’s arguments, or even reveal what the arguments were.

Instead, he promised more classes, speakers and workshops on racism; more training on racial sensitivity; and a new committee to devise further diversity measures. Stronger racial preferences will most certainly follow. The implication of this bureaucratic outpouring is that the law-school faculty is full of bigots. In reality, Mr. Alexander and his colleagues are among the most tolerant people in human history, and every University of San Diego law student is among the most privileged—simply by virtue of being at an institution with such unfettered intellectual resources. The failure of administrators like Mr. Ferruolo to answer delusional student narcissism with obvious truth is an abdication of their responsibility to lead students toward an adult understanding of reality.

What are university administrators and faculty so afraid of? The Wax-Alexander op-ed confronted important issues responsibly and with solid grounding in social-science research. Each of these administrative capitulations sends a message to professors not to challenge the reigning ideology. The result is an ever more monolithic intellectual environment on American campuses, where behavioral analyses of social problems may not even be whispered. What happens to America if those banned ideas turn out to be true?

https://www.manhattan-institut...ois-norms-10635.html



"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."
-- Justice Janice Rogers Brown

"The United States government is the largest criminal enterprise on earth."
-rduckwor
 
Posts: 17963 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: April 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Ice Cream Man
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So a Catholic school is upset about promoting nuclear families and education???
 
Posts: 3870 | Location: Republic of Ice Cream, Myrtle Beach, SC | Registered: May 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lawyers, Guns
and Money
Picture of chellim1
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This is what they call "white supremacy"...
Roll Eyes

quote:
Last month, two law professors published an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer calling for a revival of the “cultural script” that prevailed in the 1950s and still does among affluent Americans: “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. . . . Eschew substance abuse and crime.”



"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."
-- Justice Janice Rogers Brown

"The United States government is the largest criminal enterprise on earth."
-rduckwor
 
Posts: 17963 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: April 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The guy behind the guy
Picture of esdunbar
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My kids are going to dominate these sissies in the future.

The snowflakes are gonna melt by looking at them wrong.


E.S. Dunbar
________________________________
I'm confused...wait, maybe I'm not.
 
Posts: 7262 | Location: Toledo, Ohio | Registered: April 19, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
This is what you want...
This is what you get
Picture of tgajak
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I wonder if the professors could sue their respective schools for false light defamation? I can only imagine how difficult it would be to work in education after being labeled a "white supremacist".

It would be interesting, not because of any sort of damage model, but to see the argument of the universities put to the test.




"The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher
 
Posts: 412 | Location: The Great State of Texas | Registered: September 15, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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Hard work? I gotta stay with one woman and takes care of my chillen and I caint take no drugs? That's racist!


No one's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.- Mark Twain
 
Posts: 2591 | Location: TX | Registered: October 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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This is how we silence the truth.
 
Posts: 1060 | Location: WI | Registered: July 07, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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