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Dean offers counseling for those traumatized by ‘microaggression’

Members of a Columbia University sorority were dubbed insensitive – even racist – after they donned culturally inspired costumes at an Olympics-themed party.

The Feb. 22 mixer has since prompted politically correct pandemonium at the Ivy League institution – with its interim dean of student affairs going so far as to offer counseling for those who were offended.

A Latino campus group called the party “offensive,” saying “stereotypes are used to oppress marginalized communities.” The sorority in question also begged for forgiveness and promised to launch “social awareness” campus initiatives.

At issue is an Olympics-themed sorority/fraternity mixer at which female students wore costumes to celebrate the Beer Olympics, which is like the real Olympics but with less athleticism and more beer, maracas, potatoes and sombreros.

Some on the “French” team wore revealing, tight French Maid-inspired get ups, while a few on Team Japan wore pigtails and provocative schoolgirl attire that included chopsticks and high socks, according to photos published by Bwog, a campus news website run by Columbia students.culturalcostumes

(AT RIGHT – BWOG PHOTO COMPILATION SCREENSHOT)

One of the students who dressed as an Irish immigrant wore a T-shirt saying “kiss me, I am a famined potato.” And pictures of the Mexican team included young gals with fake mustaches and sombreros, a bottle of tequila, and an incomplete version of the Mexican flag.

It was all too much for campus administrators.

“I am incredibly saddened and disappointed to learn of students in our community participating in costume caricatures of several different nationalities,” Terry Martinez, interim dean of student affairs, said in a prepared statement. “It is our utmost responsibility to ensure that your living and learning environment is free from any act or behavior that degrades individuals or groups, including racially or culturally- based insensitivity.”

Dean Martinez pledged that the university’s “bias-related response team” would reach out to “potentially impacted communities to offer support and follow-up,” adding such “microaggressions unfortunately are pervasive … we need to continue our collective efforts to substantively address systemic issues that perpetuate such incidents.”

The Sorority Sisters begged for forgiveness as well.

“We – wrongfully and regretfully – used stereotypes a few days ago in a manner that we now recognize was insensitive and unacceptable,” they said in a prepared statement that included a pledge to launch multicultural initiatives on campus. “We were wrong, and we are truly sorry for our actions surrounding the weekend’s events.”

Complicating matters, however, is the fact that one of the offended campus groups – Columbia’s Chicano Caucus, the one that said caricature Mexican attire is offensive – also recently hosted a caricature costume party of its own, prompting allegations of hypocrisy, Bwog reports.

The Chicano Caucus on Feb. 13 participated in an event which, the Caucus argued, showcased Mexico through papel picado and face cutouts. During the ironically titled Glass House Rocks 2014 event, many Caucus members posted photos of themselves on Facebook with cutout images of Mexican immigrants wearing sombreros and fake mustaches, raising questions to the Caucus’s credibility on ferreting out negative stereotypes.

The Chicano Caucus, like the sorority, apologized in a written statement to those who were offended by the photos.

The statement, however, goes on to distinguish its Facebook photos from the sorority photos. The Caucus photos, the statement declares, were meant to pay tribute to “one of the many cultures within Mexico, combating the very issue of cultural unawareness,” while the sorority photos were meant to malign an oppressed minority through stereotypes.

College Fix contributor Christopher White is a University of Missouri graduate student and an editorial assistant for The College Fix.

RELATED: ASU Fraternity Suspended For ‘MLK Black Out’ Party – click here

RELATED: Sombreros, Nachos Deemed ‘Culturally Insensitive’ at Cornell University – click here

RELATED: Students Told Not To Drink Tequila, Eat Tacos on Cinco de Mayo – click here

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Did you know that eating or even talking about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich could be considered racist?

That’s right.

Apparently, it’s because people in some cultures don’t eat sandwich bread. Verenice Gutierrez, principal of Harvey Scott K-8 School in Portland explained in and interview with the Portland Tribune:

“Take the peanut butter sandwich, a seemingly innocent example a teacher used in a lesson last school year,” the Tribune said.

“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” Gutierrez asked. “Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”

…The Tribune noted that the school started the new year with “intensive staff trainings, frequent staff meetings, classroom observations and other initiatives,” to help educators understand their own “white privilege,” in order to “change their teaching practices to boost minority students’ performance.””Last Wednesday, the first day of the school year for staff, for example, the first item of business for teachers at Scott School was to have a Courageous Conversation — to examine a news article and discuss the ‘white privilege’ it conveys,” the Tribune added.

Gutierrez completed a week-long seminar called “Coaching for Educational Equity,” a program the Tribune says focuses “on race and how it affects life.” She also serves on an administrative committee that focuses on systematic racism.

“Our focus school and our Superintendent’s mandate that we improve education for students of color, particularly Black and Brown boys, will provide us with many opportunities to use the protocols of Courageous Conversations in data teams, team meetings, staff meetings, and conversations amongst one another,” she said in a letter to staff.

You can read more about principal Gutierrez’s sandwich-sensitivity philosophy here.

Next time you’re in the bread aisle at the grocery store, you may want to think twice. Sensitive liberal educators are now recommending the “torta” or the “pita” as a more culturally inclusive alternative.

Now that you’ve been made aware of the evil of PB&J, there’s only one question left to answer: Is white bread more racist than whole wheat?

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

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During a recent CNN iReport interview about racism on American college campuses, Professor Trica Rose of Brown University said that theme parties present an occasion for “unintentional, seemingly neutral” forms of racism.

Rose cited “Gangsta parties” or “Pimp and Ho parties” as events that demean racial minorities. She also cited “Mexican sombrero parties” as an examples in which white students exploit “gross racial and ethnic stereotypes… at the expense of people of color.”

 

What do you think? Is it racist to host a sombrero party? Or could it be seen as a compliment to Mexican culture?

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A Japanese history major shares true-life examples of the laugh-out-loud absurdities of the Left …

Nowhere, outside of perhaps the IRS break room, is liberalism so ostentatiously on display as in academia. Here, liberals get to spend their time engaging in their favorite debates: the ones they don’t have to have. Disagree with them? You’re a racist. Please have your essay on “Why Everyone Who Disagrees With Me Is A Racist” in my dropbox by this afternoon.

All of this, it must be admitted, makes for some rather hilarious pronouncements. And, like the best hilarity in every age, most of it is entirely unintentional.

In this article, I list the ten most memorable Liberalisms read, heard, and overheard in my lengthening career as the token pariah in three separate institutions of higher education.

“Only ten?” you ask? Well, my editor gave me a word count, you see.

10. Ronald Reagan disparaged… in a book about medieval forestry. In Japan.

Remember that time Ronald Reagan, Karol Wojtyła, and Margaret Thatcher drove the most blood-soaked tyranny in world history out of the freedom-crushing business? Well, liberals don’t recall that part, but they do recall that the “ideologically couched, interest-group Cold War politics of Reaganites and residual Breshnevites seemed to be propelling humankind toward catastrophe.” Aha, this must be a book about geopolitics in the late twentieth century.

Well, sort of, if by “geopolitics” you mean “forests in Japan five hundred years ago.” After this even-handed preface to The Green Archipelago, environmental historian Conrad Totman spends 214 pages outlining the minutiae of forest management during the Tokugawa Shogunate, proving that no subject is too esoteric to preclude a good jab at conservatives.

9. Ronald Reagan disparaged… in an article about medieval peasant revolts. In Japan.

Does the Left love Reagan, or what? They can’t stop talking about him. In a review of books about Japanese peasant revolts, political historian Roger Bowen levels the insult of all insults at poor Richard Smethurst, a distinguished scholar of the Japanese political economy, by calling him “Reaganesque.”

Why? “Because like the Great Communicator, Smethurst is not shy about pointing to the Japanese equivalents of the leading economic indicators in order to make his point that farmers never had it so good. Also like the American president, Smethurst neatly avoids the bad news about the economy and those for whom the bad news was written (albeit seldom reported).”

Fortunately, just when the “Reaganesque” dig was getting a little shopworn, “Bushesque” swooped in to take its place. Speaking of which:

8. George Bush slantedly called a holy war mongerer.

Did you know that, in politics in 2006, “the delusional is no longer marginal”? Bill Moyers did. He further knew that, “it has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress.” Look there at all the stuff you didn’t know! Fortunately, there’s Bill Moyers, who knows hard stuff so the rest of us don’t have to.

This quote was the epigram to Ch. 9, “Orthodoxation of a Holy War,” in Walter A. Skya’s Japan’s Holy War: The Ideology of Radical Shintō Ultranationalism. Gosh, I wonder which other “holy war” Skya was alluding to. Perhaps the one that Muslims were waging about that time—you know, the one where they accidentally tipped over two of our buildings back in 2001? That evil George Bush—he just couldn’t get enough of defending the nation from terrorist attacks.

But, you know, actually shooting the maniacal Muslims and killing them is so last century. Couldn’t George Bush have found some way to defeat the terrorists and keep Bill Moyers happy?

7. Margaret Thatcher blamed for the coarse manners of the English, and for deliberately increasing unemployment in Britain, but the book is still assigned as serious scholarship.

Terry Eagleton’s Ideology exposes perfectly the hypocrisy of the current leftist custodians of the academy. He gets away with saying, for example, that Margaret Thatcher converted “the moderately pleasant people who populated [England ...] into a thoroughly nasty bunch of callous, self-seeking oafs. Unless most of the British have become completely hideous and disgusting characters, Thatcherism has failed in its aims. [... Margaret Thatcher] deliberately foster[ed] massive unemployment[, ... and] exploited the cynicism, apathy and masochism of some of the British people.”

A model of sober scholarship, if ever there was one.

Eagleton also informs his readers that “a peculiarly noxious brand of Christian Evangelicalism” has swept across the United States. Once you’ve insulted an entire class of political party members, you may as well go ahead and insult their religion, too.

But all this is alright, because, as I’m sure is also the case at your school, for every book we’re assigned that denigrates Christianity, Israel, and conservatives of every stripe, we’re assigned another book that takes the Leftists to task, too. It all evens out, and there’s always an attempt to balance one viewpoint with another.

That’s how it is in your graduate seminars, too, right?

6. Global warming hyperventilation… in a newsletter. Between announcements about babysitting groups and recipes for rhubarb pie.

The newsletter distributed to my university apartment complex by the office staff is usually pretty fluffy stuff. Field trips to the zoo, ice cream socials for new moms, announcements about changes to the bus schedules… and, of course, diatribes about global warming, peppered with some gratuitous jibes at Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK).

I wonder if there will be a follow-up to that article, informing everyone that global temperatures have remained flat for the past fifteen years. Will be checking my mailbox to find out!

5. Welfare fraud is… entrepreneurial?

This one actually came from a fellow grad student. We had been assigned a book on the glories of welfare, complete with a picture of Jane Fonda on the cover and everything (the collectors’ edition, I suppose). The book was about a woman named Ruby Duncan, who organized welfare recipients in Las Vegas into a giant mob so they could go out and protest for more welfare. (Your mob is not official until at least one downmarket Hollywood celebrity shows up. Otherwise, you’re just a madding crowd.)

When I pointed out that, with probably the same amount of effort, the same people could have organized in order to create gainful employment for themselves, a classmate let me know that conservatives should be supportive of Ms. Duncan, because extorting greater amounts of money from the taxpayers is “entrepreneurial.”

Boy, am I out of touch. When I was growing up, extorting anything from anybody was called a “crime.” And demanding free money from people in exchange for doing nothing was called “shameful.”

4. History should pretty much exclusively be about… the historian.

This was the conclusion of our professors during a seminar on historical writing. Objective facts? Meh. Self-referential whining? Back up the truck!

Of many readings pointing out the subjectivity of all reality (a curious conclusion to reach, and especially to preach, because radical subjectivity would seem to preclude both rational thought and communication of any kind), one stands out. A particularly nasally “activist” named Allen Bérubé wrote an article about, well, almost about an historical topic, but really about how he (Mr. Bérubé) was treated snidely at a party once for having an older-model car. This galvanized his class consciousness, leaving him free to identify with the other marginalized people he was supposed to be writing about.

The most salient thing about you… is me!

3. Timothy McVeigh was a “disgruntled patriot.”

Did you pick up on that subtle association? Eric Foner probably hopes you did. In his book The Story of American Freedom, Foner tries very hard to tie everything patriotic to that particular feeling you might have of being hunted by Sasquatches when you’re taking a stroll through a darkening wood.

He does try to be fair in some places, though. Like when he says that “[Barry] Goldwater’s nomination in 1964 was a remarkable triumph for a movement widely viewed as composed of fanatics out to ‘repeal the twentieth century’.”

Nevermind about being called a “fanatic” if you like Goldwater, though. (You don’t, do you? You see, this is precisely why I have the Southern Poverty Law Center on speed dial.) Because if you’re patriotic, you’re probably just one disgruntled twitch away from blowing up a federal building. Just like that arch-patriot, Timothy McVeigh, whose atheism and hatred for humanity are precisely the same sentiments that led millions of other “patriots” to give up their lives so that even Eric Foner might be free.

2. There is no objective truth… said just about every college professor ever.

Gender is a social construct. (Translation: Please don’t ask me what gender is.) All truth is subjective (except this one—check!). All traditions are invented (and only we, Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, have been clever enough to realize it).

Ever wonder why enrollments are dropping in the humanities? Perhaps some of the tradition-inventing, guns-and-God-clinging rubes that the professoriate loves to insult have figured out that they can skip the two-hundred-thousand-dollar college loan and just get some guy sitting next to them on the subway to say “reality is whatever you want it to be.” In the world of federally subsidized higher education debt, following your bliss is a lot more expensive than it used to be.

But next to the wishy-washy pseudo-intellectualizing of the postmodernists, even the marxists look like they have some semblance of a clue:

1. Please do not hold Marx or Marxists responsible for Marxism.

So communism killed a hundred million or so people. Big deal! They were probably reactionary capitalist roaders—running dogs of bourgeoisie decadence—so I’m sure they had it coming, anyway.

“In ten years, who will remember all of this riff-raff?” (Sorry, that wasn’t fair. The quote is from Stalin, uttered laughingly as he signed papers condemning lists of randomly-selected people to death. Stalin was also a Marxist. But what difference does that make?)

Besides, our Marxism is sophisticated. We look at superstructures and we read Adorno and we toss and turn at night over the heretical Gallicisms of Althusser. No execution squads. No Holodomor. No unpleasant gulags or one-way tickets to Siberia. We’re more concerned with the way classes are at each other’s throats. And if they aren’t, then we try to figure out why. And then how they could be. Not that we’d ever act on those kinds of impulses, though. Probably.

Anyway, don’t you remember? Violence is only carried out by patriots. And only patriots are violent. That’s kind of a syllogism, so you know it’s right.

As you head back into your classrooms this semester, please keep this humble list in mind, and please add your own Great Moments in Campus Fairness below!

Fix contributor Jason Morgan earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, his master’s degree at the University of Hawai’i, and is currently earning his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a White Student Union club is expected to launch this fall semester at Georgia State University. The newspaper says despite some complaints about the emerging group, campus officials defended its right to form, citing the First Amendment.

As for the young student behind the effort, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution states:

Freshman Patrick Sharp said he started the club so that students of European and Euro-American descent can celebrate their shared history and culture and discuss issues that affect white people, such as immigration and affirmative action.

The club is not an official student group recognized by the university. Sharp said any student can join and that he would work with other clubs, such as the Black Student Alliance, on common issues. …

“If we are already minorities on campus and are soon to be minorities in this country why wouldn’t we have the right to advocate for ourselves and have a club just like every other minority?” said Sharp, 18. “Why is it when a white person says he is proud to be white he’s shunned as a racist?”

Read the full article.

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Millions of people have now seen the video of the USC political science professor calling Republicans stupid and racist, referring to them as losers and “old white guys,” and accusing them of voter fraud while appearing to advocate using voter fraud to defeat them. Fox News’ The Five opened their show with it earlier this week and the outcry (in the non-mainstream media at least) has been significant.

I’ve watched this unfold with great interest because I took that exact class, from that exact professor, just a couple of years ago. Darry Sragow was also my professor. But my class experience was a little different – and the reason it was different is the reason I am not particularly outraged by this incident, nor do I wish to see Professor Sragow censured.

I’m not outraged because I agree with the professor. On the contrary, as a conservative and a former board member of the USC College Republicans, I find his comments both false and insulting. Should he have expressed his views that way? No – I think it shows a lack of respect and certainly does not reach the standard of civil discourse.

That being said – I am more disturbed by the behavior of the students in the class. And I’m actually not talking about the ones who are laughing and agreeing with his offensive and off-target sentiments. Students parroting left-leaning professors is almost as predictable as the fact that almost all professors are left-leaning. But I’m talking about the ones who do not agree with him. And we know there was at least one student who didn’t agree, because that student, Tyler Talgo, recorded Sragow’s shenanigans throughout the entire semester and then compiled the 15-minute clip, which went viral. And Talgo may not have been the only one, either – in my experience, there is often more than one student who sees things differently.

Although I understand Talgo’s reluctance to challenge Sragow, I submit that this is where he went wrong. Because while Sragow’s comments are certainly offensive, nobody in the class challenged him – and this itself is an even bigger problem than indoctrination, at least at the college level (teachers of minor children is a different issue).

As I said, biased professors are absolutely de rigeuer at almost every college or university – and I would argue that for conservative students, that bias in and of itself isn’t always bad. College is a wonderful place to gain exposure to alternative viewpoints, because it gives you an opportunity to think about what you believe, as well as an opportunity to hone your debate skills. (This, I might add, is an opportunity left-wing students will never have!)

I argued with Professor Sragow in almost every class session. I challenged him so often that when he made certain types of statements people laughed and looked at me, knowing that I’d have a response and an argument. So in my class, alternative viewpoints were debated. I also should point out that Professor Sragow, despite his obvious partisanship, always welcomed that debate and discussion, and regarded my comments with a dry sense of humor. I realize, again, that some students may not be comfortable in such a situation – but conservative students need to understand that when they refuse to challenge faulty thinking, they’re letting only the wrong viewpoint be heard. It is crucial for us to speak up – it is crucial for us to challenge this type of rhetoric.

Had Professor Sragow punished me for speaking up, or given me a lesser grade, then a line would have been crossed. And there are methods for dealing with that kind of unfair academic practice. But whether he responded inappropriately to my challenges or not, I still had the responsibility to speak up. (He did not, by the way, grade me unfairly.)

What struck me about that video – and I think it struck a lot of people – was how unpleasant that classroom environment would have been for someone who didn’t agree with the professor. But I am living proof that it didn’t have to be that way. Our class did not have that same oppressive atmosphere, because our ideas – the ideas of limited government, personal responsibility, individual liberty – were brought to the table. We must put them out there in this kind of environment. (And sometimes when one student is brave enough to speak up, another one or two conservatives – or at least non-liberals – will join in!)

The idea that a professor should be reprimanded for something he said, with very rare exceptions, is wrong. Punishing a professor for inflammatory statements (true or not) is just another form of censorship. The entire idea of dialogue and debate is a conservative principle, as is defending free speech – even when we don’t like it. But I can’t help but think how different this classroom’s experience of these issues would have been if someone had just challenged Professor Sragow’s ridiculous assertions. It’s not about winning an argument with the professor – it’s about letting your classmates know that there is another way to see things.

Fix Contributor Emily Schrader graduated from the University of Southern California. She currently attends graduate school at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

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