Multiculturalism v. Free Speech

I don’t think anyone in an academic institution would be surprised to hear that leftist/multiculturalists are an organized, imminent, and active threat to free speech in higher education. IUPUI’s discipline (without a hearing) against a student for reading Notre Dame v. The Klan is an extreme example of this trend (h/t Weekly Standard):

The IUPUI AAO seems to have been renamed the IUPUI OEO, but unfortunately it appears to still exist in some form. More on this scandal is available from Reason.

I would be interested in knowing more about this case. In particular, the allegation that the instigator of this scandal is now the Assistant Director of IUPUI OEO is disturbing, to say the least.

24 thoughts on “Multiculturalism v. Free Speech”

  1. How much is multi-culturalism, and how much is stupid bureaucrat pandering to stupider co-worker? If they can’t tell the difference between racism and a book about fighting racism, they need to be unemployed. If their employers can’t see that, it’s time to lobby the State for a shakeup in their higher education system.

  2. Michael,

    There are two stories here: a humorous one about an idiotic bureaucratic, and a serious one about the lack of academic freedom at IUPUI, and other colleges.

    The particular case at IUPUI was made humorous because the book was against the Klan… but if academic freedom means that you can read books other people agree with, then it’s a worthless concept.

    Are books that present alternative views on the Klan now forbidden on college campuses? What about Naziism? Or militarism? Or any of the other hobgoblins, that are used to test whether someone supports free speech in practice?

    The watchword of the university system seems to be, free speech for all, as long as they are liberal or left.

  3. Non-rhetorical question: Last time the conservative/right wing types had the kind of power over academia that the liberal/left wingers now have, did they use it any better? Or were their ideals soiled by idiots, nut jobs and hypocrites as well?

    Call me cynical, but I’m inclined to expand on one of Napoleon’s sayings in situations like this. Not only should one Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity, but one should Never attribute to false ideals what can be adequately explained by blind grasping for power.

  4. Michael,

    Great question!

    Non-rhetorical question: Last time the conservative/right wing types had the kind of power over academia that the liberal/left wingers now have, did they use it any better?

    They never did. Modern academic arose along with the Progressives movement. The consequence of the 1960s and 1970s, for academia, was to shift power away from liberals and progressives and toward Leftists.

    C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength is a satire of the progressive Academy. [1] The events are IUPUI are as good of a satire of the Leftist academia is as possible to write.

    Call me cynical, but I’m inclined to expand on one of Napoleon’s sayings in situations like this. Not only should one Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity, but one should Never attribute to false ideals what can be adequately explained by blind grasping for power.

    Perhaps, but that just proves the point. Whether or not the concern is over a pro-Klan book or an anti-Klan book, the universal point is that there is an Academically Correct way to think, and those who oppose it are subject to disciplinary action.

    [1] http://www.amazon.com/That-Hideous-Strength-Space-Trilogy/dp/0743234928

  5. “How much is multi-culturalism, and how much is stupid bureaucrat pandering to stupider co-worker?” (Micheal)

    Multiculturalism is only a subset of the religion of Political Correctness. However, multicultrism or “diversity” is the highest of sacraments within the faith. If Dutch women are raped by Muslim men in Holland, feminists will point out that the women played a role by dressing too provocatively. If Mexicans are displacing American workers and lowering wages, the leftest will say “no one is illegal.” No other leftest sacrament is as high as “diversity.”

    The religion of Political Correctness was created for people who out grew Christianity. But just like Christianity, its a system that the elites use to control the masses. Its has similar characteristics as well.

    Just as the Christian believes we’re are born with “original sin,” the PCist believes that we’re all born racist. The only way to cleanse yourself of the “sin” of “racism” is to go to church (liberal arts programs at the University) and listen to the Priests (Professors). The PC faith also has saints (Marx) and savors (MLK). As soon as humankind breeds itself into one large brown monstrosity, then true heaven on earth can come about. In this way its closer to Judaism, where a Messiah can only come when the earth is properly prepared. Many have mistaken Obama for the Messiah. Instead, Obama falls under the Saint or Savor category. But he is Holy in the PC faith. It may be more accurate to compare Obama and MLK to the Prophets of the Old Testament? I haven’t figured this part out yet, I’m still trying to understand it.

    Of course, not professing true faith to the religion of Political Correctness will make you a heretic. The student who read the book about the KKK was mistaken most likely by an illiterate Deacon of PC. These Deacons aren’t quite Priests (Professors), but still dedicate themselves to the faith by either being resident hall directors, or perhaps by running the office of “Tolerance and Understanding” on campus.

  6. “I don’t think anyone in an academic institution would be surprised to hear that leftist/multiculturalists are an organized, imminent, and active threat to free speech in higher education.”

    And keep in mind that it is a self-described “pro-choice liberal” that comes to the rescue in this video.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Lukianoff

  7. Here is my favorite part of the letter.

    “…you were instructed to stop reading the book in the immediate presence of your co-workers and when reading the book to sit apart from the immediate proximity of these co-workers.”

    Oh, so one must “segregate” themselves from their black coworkers if they wish to read a certain book?

  8. Eddie,

    Yet some still wonder why race relations can be so poisonous.

    The main political organizations for blacks have focused on political mobilization in order ot increase the efficiency of their rent-seeking behavior, rather than an attempt to integrate with the wealth-generating aspects of American society. The case at IUPUIC is an example of attempting to change the agenda through rent-seeking, as opposed to cultural influence.

    Another example of this is the designated new Senator from Illinois. [1]

    Jeffrey,

    And keep in mind that it is a self-described “pro-choice liberal” that comes to the rescue in this video.

    Wow. No idea Lukianoff was associated with HuffPost. Quite fascinating!

    Oh, so one must “segregate” themselves from their black coworkers if they wish to read a certain book?

    Great point!

    Seerov,

    I generally agree. Diversity is a sacred cow among the Left, and much of contemporary leftism is identifiable as a form of Mainline Protestantism, just without God or the Gospel.

    The biggest quibble I have is that many leftists deny that non-whites can even be racist, while Christians who believe in original sin believe that everyone (except the immaculately conceived) shares in it.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/12/30/not-exactly-the-new-generation.html

  9. The leftist explained it to me in school as:

    racism = prejudice + power

    …and only whites had power. Therefore by definition only whites can be racists.

    I really hate the left.

  10. “Wow. No idea Lukianoff was associated with HuffPost. Quite fascinating!”

    I am just saying that there are two opposing “lefts” at work here.

  11. Jeffrey,

    A prominent researcher once said to be, “In America, we have conservatives but no Right; liberals but no Left; we are lucky for that.” In general, that is true, but academia is one of the rare places in American life that the Left still exists. Happily, there are good men and women (including liberals like Lukianoff) willing to fight against them.

    Purpleslog,

    I’ve heard the same.

    What’s interesting about the leftists who profess that is they are completely ignorant of what power can actually be — there’s no recognition of asymmetric racism, etc. It’s all control/resistance, a Maoist view of the world.

  12. “What’s interesting about the leftists who profess that is they are completely ignorant of what power can actually be — there’s no recognition of asymmetric racism, etc. It’s all control/resistance, a Maoist view of the world.” (Tdaxp)

    I would also challenge the idea that whites (Euro-Americans) have the “power.” Certainly there is a white (meaning:Euro and Jewish) elite that wields much power in the US. But that doesn’t = power for the white masses. Obama and his wife grew up more privileged than I did. I had to go to the military for a college education. Obama and wife only had to be black to get theirs.

    A white can literally have his or her career and reputation ended for saying something “wrong.” Meanwhile, Obama can say stuff about the “typical” white person and get elected POTUS.

    I can go on but lets think about this:

    If we were going to create a system of “white privilege,” would it look like current day America? Whoever designed this system did a pretty crappy job?

    The greatest challenge facing America and the West today is the decline of nation state identity and the rise of the new identities that will fill this vacuum. The establishment is in the precarious situation of having to bring in new immigrants (due to low birthrates), while keeping the white masses happy (happy meaning still thinking of themselves as “Americans”). If this can be accomplished, American will be even more powerful in the 21st century. If it can’t, America (and the world) is heading for ugly period.

  13. Seerov,

    Thought-provoking comment! Here are my own, shortly before bed…

    If we were going to create a system of “white privilege,” would it look like current day America? Whoever designed this system did a pretty crappy job?

    Not if you assumed it was created by the Eastern Establishment to protect themselves from all others, including white ethnics. For instance, much affirmative action only negatively impacts whites who have to make it on their own, while those who have the right family connections will and a spot anyway (Indeed, AA may be a way of covering legacy hires and admissions generally.)

    Further, going back a century non-academic criteria have been used in university admissions, whether under the term ‘The Whole Man’ or something else, to make sure Establishment types with politically correct hobbies (society work, charity work, etc) can get in past the Jews and Asians who have to work for it.

    The establishment is in the precarious situation of having to bring in new immigrants (due to low birthrates), while keeping the white masses happy (happy meaning still thinking of themselves as “Americans”).

    They need them to pay taxes, and enough to die in wars as they arise. This is distinct from being either happy or self-consciously ‘American.’

  14. “Not if you assumed it was created by the Eastern Establishment to protect themselves from all others, including white ethnics.” (Dan)

    Very good! But remember, the Eastern Establishment is the source of “white guilt” rhetoric and the doctrine of the Multi-Cult. Because of this, I don’t think we have a system of WP. Instead, WP (White Privileged) is purely a rhetoric device, which is part of the socialization tool known as “white guilt.” White guilt is used for a number of reasons; the main one being control of the white non-elite.

    “They need them to pay taxes, and enough to die in wars as they arise. This is distinct from being either happy or self-consciously ‘American.’” (Dan Tdaxp)

    If I didn’t know better, I would of thought I written the post above? Anyway, you need to remember, whites are willing to pay taxes and fight wars because they DO see themselves as “Americans.” The minute this ends, whites will look for a different identity that they see as legitimate. When the American State looses its “legitimacy” (as mentioned by Van Creveld, Robb), the American State will be over. The glue that keeps America together is the white masses. Blacks don’t care for the mythology of America, the masses of Mexicans relate more to their ethnic heritage, and other ethnic groups are too small to matter.

    And this is the challenge of this State. The establishment must bring in new immigrants, but not loose legitimacy in the eyes of the white masses. New immigrants are bringing in characteristics that are frustrating the white masses. The establishment must find a balance. Ethnic management is no different than the management of the economy.

  15. Seerov,

    Very good! But remember, the Eastern Establishment is the source of “white guilt” rhetoric and the doctrine of the Multi-Cult. Because of this, I don’t think we have a system of WP. Instead, WP (White Privileged) is purely a rhetoric device, which is part of the socialization tool known as “white guilt.” White guilt is used for a number of reasons; the main one being control of the white non-elite.

    Well said. Teaching a college senior-level class on psychology last year, I noticed a lot of that style of poster (white privilege, multiculutralism, etc). The universities are indoctrinating students with a lot of garbage.

    If I didn’t know better, I would of thought I written the post above? Anyway, you need to remember, whites are willing to pay taxes and fight wars because they DO see themselves as “Americans.”

    I once watched a documentary on China in which Ted Koppel asked a patriotic Chinese, “Do you love the Communist Party?” “No,” he replied, “I love China. I trust the Communist Party.”

    I think the relationship between the American people and our country and government is similar. There is a widespread love of the country. There is a grudging trust in the government to be there, and to act in the way that it’s always acted. People die for the country, not the state. People pay taxes to stay out of trouble, not out of affection for the Congress that levies them.

    When the American State looses its “legitimacy” (as mentioned by Van Creveld, Robb), the American State will be over.

    The State exists as long as people believe it is. This has little to do with legitimacy.

    The glue that keeps America together is the white masses. Blacks don’t care for the mythology of America, the masses of Mexicans relate more to their ethnic heritage, and other ethnic groups are too small to matter.

    Certainly there are ethnics who care for their own folk — ethnic whites, ethnic blacks, ethnic Mexicans, whatever. There seems to have been only one organized rebellion against the Union by one of these groups (the Confederacy, which can be organized as a Scot-Irish revolt against Anglo dominion). They were ground into the dirt.

    And this is the challenge of this State. The establishment must bring in new immigrants, but not loose legitimacy in the eyes of the white masses. New immigrants are bringing in characteristics that are frustrating the white masses. The establishment must find a balance. Ethnic management is no different than the management of the economy.

    Of course, there are those who are self-consciously more ethnic than American, or more self-identified with their faith than with the country. This does not matter, as this form of “identity” does not matter. The yearnings of a minuscule and marginal elite does not make history: history happens to it.

  16. “There is a widespread love of the country” (Dan)

    What do people love about this country? Or any country?

    “The State exists as long as people believe it is. This has little to do with legitimacy.” (Dan)

    Maybe we’re thinking of legitimacy differently? People see the State as “legit” when it defends their interests? Interests include safety, economic opportunity, freedoms (Bill of Rights), and private property. If the State can longer gurennee this stuff, then its very likely that people will look to another entity that will? The State is not a “legitimate” government when it stops providing for the people’s interests. What do you see legitimacy as?

    “Of course, there are those who are self-consciously more ethnic than American, or more self-identified with their faith than with the country. This does not matter, as this form of “identity” does not matter. The yearnings of a minuscule and marginal elite does not make history: history happens to it.” (Dan)

    Can you explain what you mean here about the “marginal elite?”

  17. What do people love about this country? Or any country

    It’s their home, and it’s good.

    I think if your expecting most people to think this out in a rational and scientific way, your hopes are misplaced.

    The question, “Why do some countries enjoy the love of their people?” is a more interesting question, I think.

    Maybe we’re thinking of legitimacy differently? People see the State as “legit” when it defends their interests? Interests include safety, economic opportunity, freedoms (Bill of Rights), and private property. If the State can longer gurennee this stuff, then its very likely that people will look to another entity that will? The State is not a “legitimate” government when it stops providing for the people’s interests. What do you see legitimacy as?

    I did some reading, and see that political scientists use the term ‘legitimacy’ differently from political philosophers or international relations scholars — hence our confusion.

    The State clearly guarantees the people’s interests. Indeed, only very worst of states in the world can be considered worse than the state of nature. This will not change.

    The State is also self-interested, as all but the most starry-eyed of national security conservatives and obamaniacal liberals realize. This has been true since time-immemorial, and is in no danger of changing.

    I would imagine very few people agree with the tax laws as applied to themselves, or indeed any other law as applied to themselves, except when it is a favorable one. People do not judge the state objectively, but from the perspective of where they would be if the state provided all the services but imposed none of the burdens.

    People despise the Congress explicitly, and our system of democracy implicitly. These are not going to change either.

    The State exists as long as people believe it does, and continues to be legitimate until the point that it either is perceived as being actively hostile to the country, or to the point when people despire the country and see the State as its ally. The former condition happened during the American Revolution, and in the South during the Civil War. The latter is ongoing in Europe.

    Can you explain what you mean here about the “marginal elite?”

    Merely that those who think in these terms are rare in the population, and generally powerless. This focus on identity and symbols is essentailly a French one. It is very common in French texts. It’s unusual in our country. It cannot gain traction among the people, so the marginal elite who take this French framework and drop in words they care about (ethnic, white, black, Catholic, etc) talk only to themselves.

    America is a pragmatic and antiintellectual country, and the idealism and intellectuality of “identity” in this sense is foreign to us.

  18. Dan Tdaxp,

    Thank you for this reply. I wish to further discuss this subject and I’ll have more to say tomorrow (I have to be at my internship at 9am and must go to sleep soon).

  19. “It’s their home, and it’s good” (Dan)

    Is that it? You don’t think people love American for the way of life? If tomorrow, we see the rise of an oppressive State; one that is dangerous and doesn’t provide opportunity, would you still see America as your home? Is America a geographical area, or is it a set of ideas? I tend to think of it as a set of ideas, with a narrative. Before the US was here it was a colony of Britain, and before that, it was Indian territory. It was NOT America during these two early stages.

    “I did some reading, and see that political scientists use the term ‘legitimacy’ differently from political philosophers or international relations scholars — hence our confusion.” (Dan)

    Are you calling me a political scientist?

    “The State clearly guarantees the people’s interests. Indeed, only very worst of states in the world can be considered worse than the state of nature. This will not change.” (Dan)

    Unforchunatly, not everyone agrees on interests. We see this in the so called “Culture War.” Christians complain of a Judaical system that is oppressive and an Eastern Establishment that is hostile. But What’s this “state of nature” you’re talking about? The USSR was somewhat advanced and they still had to build a wall around it to keep people in.

    “America is a pragmatic and antiintellectual country, and the idealism and intellectuality of “identity” in this sense is foreign to us.” (Dan)

    My concern isn’t the rise of a new identity based political philosophy sweeping the land. Instead, I see danger in the rapid demographic transition that were experiencing. We’re currently bringing in millions of Mexicans. Americans are becoming frustrated with this. There’s a reason that people are leaving states where the Mexican population is growing the fastest, and moving to places like Wyoming and Utah.

    Meanwhile the establishment scorns people for not be “accepting” enough. As the economy worsens, people will start thinking more about their identities. When people don’t have pride in their work, and/or better things to think about, they find alternative ways to feel self worth. This is why African Americans tend to be hyper-ethnocentric. They feel the lowest amount of self-worth, so are willing to accept ridiculous mythologies or other nationalist characteristics in order to feel better.

    White Americans will be no different. When they see the power structure (media, educational,political) as no longer protecting their interests, they’ll form new power structures. And as they do this, the establishment will fear loosing control and this will result in a loss of more civil liberties and overall freedoms.

    I don’t want to see this happen. Because when the State is forced to used its resources on internal stability, it has ability to be out in the world furthering our geopolitical and economic interests. This leads to loss of global influence and lower living standards. Despite all the hype regarding “the rise of the rest” and “the Asian century,” America has the opportunity to truly have an “American Century” if we do things right. But internal security problems can ruin everything.

  20. Note above,

    This sentence:

    “Because when the State is forced to used its resources on internal stability, it has ability to be out in the world furthering our geopolitical and economic interests.”

    Should have said:

    “I don’t want to see this happen. Because when the State is forced to use its resources on internal stability, it has less opportunity to be out in the world furthering our geopolitical and economic interests.”

    Sorry about that…..

  21. Seerov,

    Thanks for the comment.

    Is that it? You don’t think people love American for the way of life?

    Of course.

    I wouldn’t expect them to be able to describe that in anything other than universalist (it is good) or material (I have two cars and an LCD HDTV) terms.

    If tomorrow, we see the rise of an oppressive State; one that is dangerous and doesn’t provide opportunity, would you still see America as your home?

    There are two sorts of alternatives for the current system: a political change (in which either we move to a more colelctivist economic framework, like in Britain or Canada, or also move toward a more coherent political combine, like in Japan or Sweden) or a quality of life change, in which crime increases, wages stagnate, etc.

    People would not care about the former enough to do anything about it. The former would be bad, but those programs can be solved regardless of form of government.

    Is America a geographical area, or is it a set of ideas? I tend to think of it as a set of ideas, with a narrative. Before the US was here it was a colony of Britain, and before that, it was Indian territory. It was NOT America during these two early stages.Are you calling me a political scientist?

    Haha! Them are fightin’ words! 🙂

    Unforchunatly, not everyone agrees on interests. We see this in the so called “Culture War.” Christians complain of a Judaical system that is oppressive and an Eastern Establishment that is hostile. But What’s this “state of nature” you’re talking about? The USSR was somewhat advanced and they still had to build a wall around it to keep people in.

    Certainly culture matters, but it matters when economics are handled well enough. So a culutre way is perhaps a sign of a well-functioning economic system.

    Now we have a financial meltdown. The culture warriors on both sides are temporarily silent, as they worry about their jobs and 401ks.

    The state of nature is the anarchy that would exist withour the government. Almost every government in the world is better than the lack of one.

    But as I mentioned above, the American system of government is not essentially more appealing to our people than Sweden’s or Japan’s or Britain’s, with the exception that one is called ‘American’ and is ours.

    My concern isn’t the rise of a new identity based political philosophy sweeping the land. Instead, I see danger in the rapid demographic transition that were experiencing. We’re currently bringing in millions of Mexicans. Americans are becoming frustrated with this. There’s a reason that people are leaving states where the Mexican population is growing the fastest, and moving to places like Wyoming and Utah.

    This pattern has happened before, as the Irish and Italians displaecd the WASPs of Rhode Island [1].

    The problem with many nativists is that they turn against their natural allies (the immigrants themselves), throwing up roadblocks to integration in the hope that they can close the borders generally.

    Meanwhile the establishment scorns people for not be “accepting” enough. As the economy worsens, people will start thinking more about their identities. When people don’t have pride in their work, and/or better things to think about, they find alternative ways to feel self worth. This is why African Americans tend to be hyper-ethnocentric. They feel the lowest amount of self-worth, so are willing to accept ridiculous mythologies or other nationalist characteristics in order to feel better.

    People care about their ‘identity’ to the extent that some trait in their identity is a proxy for resource competition. So, for instance, if the government is setting aside construction jobs for Mexicans, or Senate seats for blacks, this creates an identity-politics. But note this is a function of government action, not the general economic conditions.

    Generally, when I come across self-worth, self-esteem, etc, in studies, I find they are circular: you can use self-worth to predict self-worth, or self-esteem to predict self-esteem, but it’s not a variable that matters. Increasing self-worth does not do anything, and likewise decreasing it should not have any consequences.

    White Americans will be no different. When they see the power structure (media, educational,political) as no longer protecting their interests, they’ll form new power structures. And as they do this, the establishment will fear loosing control and this will result in a loss of more civil liberties and overall freedoms.

    You need to be careful in your terms here, as by ‘white Americans’ you seem to mean poor and middle class whites, and my Establishment you seem to mean upper-class whites.

    [1] http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Street

  22. “I wouldn’t expect them to be able to describe that in anything other than universalist (it is good) or material (I have two cars and an LCD HDTV) terms.” (Dan)

    Fair enough.

    “Certainly culture matters, but it matters when economics are handled well enough. So a culture way is perhaps a sign of a well-functioning economic system. ” (Dan)

    Interesting, you seem to be saying that culture wars are more likely when the economy is good? I was thinking it was the exact opposite.

    “The problem with many nativists is that they turn against their natural allies (the immigrants themselves), throwing up roadblocks to integration in the hope that they can close the borders generally.”(Dan)

    You see immigrants as natural allies to nativists? Is this becuase they both appear to be socially Conservative?

    “People care about their ‘identity’ to the extent that some trait in their identity is a proxy for resource competition.” (Dan)

    I hadn’t thought about it this way. Thank you. So if identity politics weren’t “rewarded” in America, we would see less focus on identity within minority groups? This may also explain the lack of identity politics from whites? It doesn’t “PAY” to have “White Pride” in America. Well, I think you just helped evolve my thinking on this subject.

    “You need to be careful in your terms here, as by ‘white Americans’ you seem to mean poor and middle class whites, and my Establishment you seem to mean upper-class whites” (Dan)

    Yes, that’s what I meant.

  23. Seerov,

    You see immigrants as natural allies to nativists? Is this becuase they both appear to be socially Conservative?

    I was thinking of a desire for integration. If someone is an immigrant, it is because they want to be here. The multicultural lobby (full of those who dislike this country) become the refuge of last resort, as their attempts at integration are foiled by the nativists.

    I hadn’t thought about it this way. Thank you. So if identity politics weren’t “rewarded” in America, we would see less focus on identity within minority groups? This may also explain the lack of identity politics from whites? It doesn’t “PAY” to have “White Pride” in America. Well, I think you just helped evolve my thinking on this subject.

    Thanks for the kindness! 🙂

    I agree with your take. If, say, affirmative action no longer worked on racial lines, there would be less incentive for either blacks or ethnic whites to focus on racial politics. Instead, resource competition would shift to some non-racial arena. So, say, if affirmative action was based on climate or origin (which makes some sense — the more hot and humid the place you spent your pre-birth life, the more likely to are to have suffered from parasites that reduce your intelligence and willpower), you would see a political coalition of southern whites and blacks supporting such a policy, and another political coalition of northern whites and blacks opposing it.

    As for the current regime, while the benefits of affirmative action can be keenly felt, the disadvantages of it to whites tend to be more dispersed, or impossible to directly see.

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