March 9, 2007

The philosopher's perspective on the Kaplan story.

Now let's hear from the education and philosophy professor, Francis Schrag, in this letter to the Cap Times editor. He says he's learned 5 lessons. Here's #1:
1. Despite their evident distress, the Hmong students displayed an admirable ability to rally supporters and "get their story out." In other words, within a generation, the Hmong have learned how to be effective American citizens...

79 comments:

Jeff said...

"In other words, within a generation, the Hmong have learned how to be effective American citizens..."

An academics' idea of being an effective American citizen is to join in the current culture of victimology, self-pity, and identity politics as lifestyle.

Tibore said...

Good grief! This story just won't die, will it?

I mean... I don't mean to belittle the importance of the topic, but just about every subject has a saturation point, and this story's pretty much reached it.

Telecomedian said...

BEGIN SARCASM

I don't know, Tibore. I know I'm still PINNED to wall-to-wall Anna Nicole Smith coverage.

END SARCASM

This Kaplan story does have merit, though I'm not sure what it says about academia as much as it becomes yet another example of how lazy American journalism has become. I'd love to see Howard Kurtz at the DCPost weigh in on the original sloppy, haphazard reporting of this incident.

The Kurtz column in the Post is how I first learned of Ms. Althouse, so I know he's a regular reader.

Revenant said...

In other words, within a generation, the Hmong have learned how to be effective American citizens

See, this is why I don't like the habit of thinking of people as a mass, rather than as individuals.

The students were born here and grew up here. Small wonder that they know how to behave like Americans. They've never been anything else.

Peter Palladas said...

An academics' idea of being an effective American citizen is to join in the current culture of victimology, self-pity, and identity politics as lifestyle.

...errr, wasn't that rather an academic's irony?

But then again maybe it wasn't: I've been taught since my mother's milk that 'Americans don't do irony'. But they do. I stake my ironic soul on it.

It's a triumph of assimilation for sure.

Simon said...

Lessons 3 and 4 seem the most salient. Something has gone seriously awry on campus -- something that has distorted an understanding intuitively understood by everyone who ever watched Perry Mason and shows of that ilk -- if this is how law students reacted to this event.

As to lesson 1, I agree with revenant?

Jeff said...

I wish this "education and philosophy professor" were being ironic but I rather doubt it.

Bissage said...

Many times I have been evidently distressed.

Never have I displayed the ability to rally supporters and get my story out.

I am a third generation American who has not learned how to be an effective citizen.

Fen said...

I don't have an issue with his first two points. They seem to be faint praise designed to lure his audience into the meat of his argument, which starts at #3.

Richard Dolan said...

Comment 3 certainly puts the Law School dean in a bad light:

"On the less admirable side, of the speakers who were not in Professor Kaplan's class that fateful day, none appeared to have internalized what I assumed was lesson one in American law: Wrongdoers are presumed innocent until proven otherwise, and judgment is withheld until one is sure of one's facts. Of course, with the Law School dean as role model, perhaps these students should be excused. "

Ouch, as Glenn would say ...

Audrey_speaks99 said...

An academics' idea of being an effective American citizen is to join in the current culture of victimology, self-pity, and identity politics as lifestyle.

Jeff, I think you are misjudging the situation. I don't believe the law students ever believed they were victims. They disagreed with what was taught to them in class and expressed it vocally. They are actively engaging in a debate and questioning what is true. The law students have a right to explain how they were impacted emotionally. I think their greatest challenge will be to explain to the public how what was presented in class as facts is wrong and support it with objective and intellectual merit.

J. Peden said...

One very important benefit of "being offended" is that it's essentially like a disability - if you want it to be badly enough - and you can perhaps even look forward to a listing under the Endangered Species Act.

Then you live happily ever-after, except that you keep having to be more and more disabled just to keep enough unable compared to "normal" to be "endangered", because as the niche grows somewhat, so does the competition for it even more.

As Professor Schrag suggests, complaining a lot is the first step to success, but I think he's really kidding.

At any rate, my utmost sympathies to "the Hmong", et al, for/except that they appear to be heading toward actual extinction, not merely the virtual one they seem to seek, given the probable very real workings of what many of us see as evolution.

mcg said...

I'm with audrey on this one. I think #1 was a bit cheesy, for sure. But I think he is basically applauding them for standing up for themselves against a perceived offense. If we grant for the sake of argument that Kaplan had done all of the horrible things that he had been accused of, their response might be more justified. I think that, for the most part, their response comports well with a view that the proper response to offense is not censorship but discourse.

That Kaplan did not do what he was accused of changes the situation, of course. But the author addressed that in subsequent points.

Patrick said...

Since rallying supporters and getting the story out is apparently an "effective" American thing, what would Professor Schrag say is the native Hmong cultural response during times of evident stress?

Pogo said...

I hope the law school Dean gave Kaplan ,, the offended students, and all the attendees at the rally participation ribbons, just like in first grade soccer.

Because in the end, everyone's a winner.

qwerty said...

Re: whether Prof. Schrag was being ironic in any of his points.

Isn't one of the key lessons of this whole "kerfuffle" that it doesn't matter whether Schrag was being ironic or not. Nor does what he wrote matter. Rather, we can each take as much irony, or as little irony, or as much offense, or as little offense as we like.

Nothing we say matters. It is ironic, I suppose, that post-moderism, which sought to wrest absolute control over meaning and intention from authors and speakers, seems to have allowed vesting of absolute control over meaning and intention in the ears of listeners and readers.

I took Schrag, by the way, to be wryly pointing out that the purported victims here "found their voice" (as I hear some say these days) and seemed to engage in precisely the kind of political discourse that seems calculated for success on American university campuses like Madison. A triumph of asimiliation indeed.

I am not sure this story is really one of PC run amok on a liberal campus. I think it is a question of badly breached civility (on the part of the students), garnished by an unhealthy dose of bad reporting in the press.

Audrey: Since I have repeatedly criticized the reporting of this case, I realize that I should be careful in invoking that same reporting to make point - but as I undertand it, the comlaining students were very keen to cast themselves as victims at the public meeting (how is one suppose to read claims about lost sleep, feelings of abandonment, and stress). Perhaps the papers overplayed this part of the students public statements - but it is a strange way to refute what appear to have been sociological claims made in the classroom.

I agree though that the students would face a challenge in refuting the sociological claims Kapaln made since, right or wrong, his claims appear to have been drawn fairly directly out of socio-legal scholarship on the Hmong and law reports involving Hmong criminal defendants.

My expertise on this question is limited to a book I read several years ago about a Hmong family and their epileptic daughter in conflict with welfare services in California (I think the title was "The Spirit Catches You"). The book is incredibly sympathetic to the Hmong but trots out most of the sociological claims Kaplan appears to have made.

Mark said...

I've found this whole train wreck interesting. However, i'd guess that the longest lasting effect will be on hiring partners (I'm one) who google these students names. Will their complaints be seen as a plus or will they be viewed as whiny troublemakers? Take a guess.

-mark

From Inwood said...

Jeff: You're absolutely right. Sorry Prof A., this is 21st Century Civics 101: How to spin the profanum vulgus (& even otherwise reasonable academics) through victimology. And it's patronizing (real injustice) "within a generation". Indeed. Amateur anthropologists!

Pogo: In two pithy packed sentences, you've nailed it.

Peter Palladas said...

However, i'd guess that the longest lasting effect will be on hiring partners...

Indeed. If there are indeed any Natural Born Killers going spare I've got room for at least two. Would work a treat.

"Integrate or die."

A one sentence report is my idea of heaven.

From Inwood said...

Telecomedian

Being sarcastic toward a woman & references to a sex symbol. Tsk, Tsk.

You're gonna turn this Blog into a hostile environment!

Hey, with comments like these, I'm learning how to become an effective American citizen.

Zeb Quinn said...

Lessons 3 and 4 seem the most salient. Something has gone seriously awry...

It's been that was since the mid to late 60s, when demonstrating, marching, making noise, and making a ruckus generally came to trump reason and orderly process. It has been squatting ever since.

MadisonMan said...

The students were born here and grew up here. Small wonder that they know how to behave like Americans. They've never been anything else.

There's some truth to that. However, I've interacted with lots of Hmong (both my kids' schools have significant Hmong populations), and even though they are growing up here, they are certainly influenced by the Hmong culture.

I agree with mcg and audrey re: Comment #1. It is laudable that the Hmong have learned to speak up. They need work, however, (or practice) on choosing what to speak up about.

Jeff said...

"Nancy Vu, another organizer, stressed the women’s collective victimization, saying they’ve felt “so intensely alone” and “at every corner have been dismissed” by faculty and students. “You have made us feel alienated.”

Additional speakers from student and community groups accused university leaders of not doing enough to promote diversity and sensitivity. Madison school board member Shwaw Vang, who is Hmong, said Kaplan’s speech “degrades and dehumanizes me.” Activist Peng Her drew parallels between the seven women and Rosa Parks and the civil rights marchers in Selma, Ala. And the women were called the “Magnificent Seven” to great applause."

This is what I mean by victimology and self-pity.

They aren't debating ideas, they are cashing in on trumped up victimhood. They are claiming a moral high ground and attempting to silence their professor for expressing doubleplusungood crimethink.

Kirby Olson said...

This kind of incident always reminds me of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and the ways in which students swarmed teachers judging them as they beat them to death. It's scary.

It's not very well known that the Hmong is also a kind of bean that goes pretty nicely in a salad.

paul a'barge said...

effective American citizens

In other words, victims.

Good lord. All is lost. Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

We're now officially a lost nation of pussies.

Simon said...

Mark said...
"I'd guess that the longest lasting effect will be on hiring partners ... who google these students names. Will their complaints be seen as a plus or will they be viewed as whiny troublemakers?"

Bingo.

Fritz said...

Off Topic:

Ann,
Am I missing something. I consider Fitzgerald's line of questioning as discovery, not specific to what the Court said could be investigated in Nixon & Cheney. Also, don't you think it would be wise in cases like this, that judges, congress, executive have special protections of counsel and a judge to protect the constitutional officer from prosecutors fishing?

Fritz

Simon said...

Fritz, what d'you have in your mind's eye as the role of a judge in "protect[ing] the constitutional officer from prosecutors fishing"? I'm not sure I understand what you're advocating.

tcd said...

qwerty, I guess reading one book about the Hmong makes you an expert on Hmong culture? Comment away then, hack.

And patrick, WTF do you mean by "... what would Professor Schrag say is the native Hmong cultural response during times of evident stress"? Oh right, they're all barbarians to you, aren't they?

I really don't know what happened between the students and Kaplan and neither do anyone of you here. To pretend otherwise, like most of you have, is to betray your own biases, cultural or racial. I think one of the law students in Kaplan's class, claire, said something about how this whole issue is making strange bedfellows among people who are genuinely concerned about having open and free discussions about race and academic freedom and those who are just plain racist. I think she's right. I've read all the threads here at Althouse (being a longtime regular fan of Ann) and some commenters are coming off as racists or at least very ethnocentric.

Thanks to Audrey and mcg for your reasonable and sane comments.

Fritz said...

Simon,
When Fitzgerald asked questions about Cheney's mood, I would object as not germane. That the "why" he wanted to respond to Wilson was irrelevant to the "unauthorized disclosure" the subject of the investigation. One could argue that it is established the OVP can respond to anything. At issue was the unauthorized disclosure, how and when, why her name was discovered, what they knew of her status, who he spoke with about her,is the only relevant subject matter. Also the deliberations about the NIE had nothing to do with this case and should have been out of order.

Pogo said...

Re: "...some commenters are coming off as racists or at least very ethnocentric"

I would say Hogwash! but I think the more forceful Bullshit! is required.

I am not denigrating their race or their ethnicity. I am mocking them as humans, and rather pathetic failed humans at that. They are not adults but whiny children, and need mommies with them to protect them from even their own mistaken perceptions that certain words are hurtful. It's a miracle they can make it down the street each day, given the ice, and uneven ground. What if they should fall? And who will make sure they walk outdoors with mittens and scarf?

tcd, you wear your bleeding heart upon your sleeve, to be sure. But it's time you and these young women grew up. Otherwise, as noted here, these little women will find it hard to land a job in a real law firm where the meeting rooms, offices, and courts rarely have a fainting couch nearby.

Simon said...

Fritz - right, but that just envisions a role for counsel - or at least, a witness with enough brains to plead the fifth.

I have to say, I think Ann basically nailed it on the Cardin program this morning, having now listened to it. The issue here is purely one of perjury, did he or didn't he - the original purpose of the investigation is (or should be) irrelevant. So the real question is whether Ann would agree that the same applies to the Clinton impeachment? I don't remember if this has been addressed before.

Wurly said...

Prof. Schrag's comment that Kaplan remained "a persistent advocate for the less powerful in our society," made me pause.

I'm struggling with the suspicion that if Kaplan had been known as a conservative and had made the same exact comments for the same pedagogical purpose, he would not have received anything near the level of support he has been given. He would remain a presumed racist and his reputation would be tarnished beyond repair.

The perverse result is that liberals in academia are (correctly) permitted to fully engage students on issues related to race, while conservatives must avoid such issues.

Fritz said...

Simon,
My point is this. We got rid of the Independent Counsel because it was too easy to trigger, too much power, the Special Prosecutor shouldn't substitute it. This is politics, all Parties don't want to criminalize it. So by having branch counsel to protect the separation of powers issue there during questioning would keep the investigation from getting off track into the protected privilege of office. What we learned could never have been sequestered by Congress or the Courts, so why have we allowed a special prosecutor do so?

Seven Machos said...

TCD:

1. To pretend otherwise, like most of you have, is to betray your own biases, cultural or racial. What? Are you superior to us? You don't have biases, cultural or racial? Or are you bionically able to rise above them, what with your vast superiority? It doesn't sound like it. It sounds like you have biases against people whom you perceive to be more intolerant and biased than you. To pretend otherwise, like you have, is to betray your own biases, cultural or racial.

2. some commenters are coming off as racists or at least very ethnocentric You don't really know what "ethnocentric" means, do you?

qwerty said...

tcg

If you had read more closely my overlong post above, you would know that I merely noted the proximity of Kaplan's Feb. 15 lecture to a book written about the Hmong by a journalist who took a very sympathetic approach to a difficult case.

I wasn't claiming expertise, but if you perceived an authority in my remarks that made you feel uncomfortable, then perhaps you feel an apology is in order. I am not offering you one.

What the hell is wrong with bias, tcg? I don't know a thing about you except what you revealed in your post here and I am already biased against you. I think you are an idiot.

tcd said...

Look pogo, I agree with your comments about 90% of the time here at Althouse. I agree somewhat with you here as well since I think the law students should develop a thicker skin and I have no sympathy for race hustlers. But the rush to make judgements about the students and speculation about their motives is unseamly. Didn't the students confront Kaplan personally before taking this matter public? I want to know what happened during that private meeting before I can say definitely who is right and who is wrong.

Seven Machos said...

I want to know what happened during that private meeting before I can say definitely who is right and who is wrong.

The whole problem here is that there was a rush to judgment by left-leaning authoritarians and their press lackeys. If anybody has rushed to judgment, it's the complainers and their supporters.

tcd said...

7M, I know what ethnocentric means, do you?

qwerty, There's nothing wrong with bias? So you're admitting prejudice in general is OK. Let's be specific, shall we? What do you think about racial prejudice?

Seven Machos said...

There is nothing wrong with saying that American culture is better than Hmong culture. (Nor is there anything wrong with saying that Hmong culture is better than American culture). And for you to play the race card at this point, about this topic, after what has transpired, is just silly.

As for me, I would rather live in the United States than where Hmong come from. So, obviously, would the Hmong people who are here. Or did they come here on Hmong slave ships?

Pogo said...

tcd
My apologies.
This case exemplifies much of what I can no longer abide on college campuses. In the 1960s, the administrations of several universities repeatedly and easily gave in to the demands of protesters and rioters, even to the extent of relinquishing control of administrative offices.

And now we come full circle, where even a professor known to have the 'right' liberal credentials is pilloried by a small group that claims he said something bad about them. The standard emotive 'discussion' (really a political rally) stoked the flames, even though two of the loudest complainers (and, most curiously, the ones most injured) weren't even present when the episode occurred).

Once I saw that, and the refusal of the adminstration to meet with all interested parties out of the public eye to investigate and resolve this tiny matter, I knew the women were in the wrong.

I very much doubt that a law professor of Kaplan's background and longevity would only just now be betraying a hidden loathing for Asians. No, I don't believe it for a second.

Instead I see a leftist mob, out to lynch someone, at least as liberals do: show trial, career destruction, confessions of crimes, power for the victors. Repeat.

qwerty said...

OK, tcd, I'll bite, but only because your 4pm post was a farsight more level-headed than your "racist or at least ethnocentric" moment of what I will assume was temporary hysteria.

But good god, tcd, you're really trying to tap into the awesome power of carelessly flinging about implications of racism here, aren't you?

Since you asked about bias: I am biased against people equate victimhood with unassailable moral rectitude. (I am not saying this is you)

I am somewhat biased against people who use words like "ethnocentric" without knowing what they mean. (This is you)

I am biased against peope don't like beer. I am biased against people who wear stripes with plaid.

I am also biased against people who draw conclusions about a persons character or abilities based on accidents of birth, like race, gender, or stature, etc.

I am also biased against people who can only see the world through a simplistic moralizing lens. (This appears to be you, too, at least on this particular case.)

Simon said...

Fritz said...
"So by having branch counsel to protect the separation of powers issue there during questioning would keep the investigation from getting off track into the protected privilege of office."

I'm still not sure I understand: what change are you advancing? The Executive branch and both chambers of Congress already have their own "in house counsel," so to speak. I would have thought that the OLC, or at least the White House Counsel's office would have been able to supply Libby with someone to advise him. Or am I missing something obvious?

(An aside: The problem with independent counsel, as I saw it, was that it was unconstitutional, regardless of its actual merits as a good or bad idea. I tend to agree with you that it became a political tool and likely always had that possibility, but I don't reach that argument.)

Bissage said...

tcd,

I think you might have misread Patrick's 1:34 p.m. comment.

He did not say that Hmong are inferior.

Not unless he speaks some kind of weird hyper-irony that attributes to himself the negative implications of the opposite of the other speaker’s intended positive reflected in the inference forced to prominence.

Er, . . ., ah, . . ., something like that.

*phwew!

(Wipes sweat from brain)

MadisonMan said...

Seven Machos, the Hmong resettled in the US because the Vietnamese and their allies in SE Asia were killing them off because they sided with the US in the Vietnam war. So whether they wanted to come here isn't really a valid question, given that staying meant death.

Why did so many came to Wisconsin. Fertile soil? Church sponsorship? I don't know.

Fritz said...

Simon,
I would have them there during questioning with a judge present, to keep the questions solely on the criminal activity being investigated. Punishing Joe Wilson is a subjective political motivation not a legal issue. The Administration can respond to anything as it sees fit, privilege says they don't have to explain and get approval from a Special Prosecutor, even if it is a lie. Cheney's notes on the op-ed would not be admissible. The Vice President can read anything he wants and can doodle if he wants. Unless there were notes that indicate a criminal action, they are his personal privileged notes. The NIE was discussed just for this reason, to prove that the response was justified. Again, it was none of Fitzgerald's business when or how the Administration declassified the NIE or what was contained therein. A judge could easily rule that Plame's identity was revealed to Administration officials because the op-ed and prior articles brought attention to her, because they queried as to why this person was sent. The only questions that Fitzgerald could ask should have pertained to Plame alone. How she was discovered, who they told, why they didn't follow proper procedure when dealing with protected status employees. In the end, Libby would still be convicted but information about internal deliberations of the White House that could never be revealed by congressional action, would have remained privileged.

Fritz said...

Simon,
...and lastly, Ann would have talked about the case on the radio rather than listen to all the Machiavellian chatter about Cheney.

tcd said...

qwerty,
I know what ethnocentric means. If you don't, then look it up. I used it as a euphemism for "racist" since "racist" is such a loaded word and a bit harsh. I guess I shouldn't have written "racist" at all. But I have to say that 7M's 4:23 PM comment is pretty ethnocentric.

And 7M, WTF? You think using the "How dare you use the "race card" card" argument, will shut me up? That's just lame, dude. I make no claims of superiority, I'm just more circumspect than some people who make unequivocal proclamations about an issue of which they don't have full knowledge. Do you know what happened between the students and Kaplan during that initial private meeting? Did you never stop to think what could have happened or was said that made the students escalate the issue to the dean and then publicly? I don't know. You don't know. Yes, it's wrong to declare Kaplan a racist from the get go. It's also wrong to dismiss the students' claims outright. This is how I see the issue.

Patrick said...

"And patrick, WTF do you mean by "... what would Professor Schrag say is the native Hmong cultural response during times of evident stress"? Oh right, they're all barbarians to you, aren't they?"

To me?! I didn't make the list. Professor Shrag is making the point here, and I thought it interesting that it wasn't too far from the kinds of things Kaplan was saying, except in a more roundabout way.

Patrick said...

It's like saying they're all "very articulate" now.

tcd said...

pogo, No apologies needed. I'm sorry for throwing out the "race card" as 7M says. Yeah, I understand now where you're coming from. Was it the hippies that ruined the world for you, too?

tcd said...

Oh Patrick, I am so sorry!

Patrick said...

no worries. It was worth the outrage to gaze at that marvelously crafted sentence Bissage wrote, which really needs to be sold at auction and placed in the Smithsonian museum.

qwerty said...

tcd, call me a racist, but I don't see the "enthnocentrism" in the 4:23 comment.

It makes me think "euphemism" doesn't mean what you think it means.

tcd said...

qwerty, Should I just buy you a dictionary?

qwerty said...

tcd - sure. But before you give it to me, use it to look up the meaning of the roots of words like "ethnocentric" and "euphemism." Then, compare those meanings to your usage on this thread. But be sure to read the entries with more care than you read this post.

tcd said...

qwerty, A mind is a terrible thing to waste, even one as tiny as yours. I better overnight that dictionary.

Revenant said...

some commenters are coming off as racists or at least very ethnocentric.

If by "ethnocentric" you mean "of the opinion that one culture is superior to another" then there's nothing wrong with ethnocentrism. After all, the notion that all cultures are equally good is ridiculous.

If by "ethnocentric" you mean "unwilling to ever consider what other cultures are like" then I don't see where you're finding evidence of that in this thread. I certainly don't see where you're finding evidence of racism -- particularly since "Hmong" isn't a racial category in the first place.

qwerty said...

tcd,

I recommend the Oxford English Dictionary.

Throughout this list, you have consistently misunderstood posts. Worse, you have made moral judgments about posters based on your careless readings.

You have, to your credit, gracefully recongnized some of your misunderstandings, and you
have, I admit, offered a qualified retraction of your overly eager use of the word "racist."

But you really should be more careful with your use of the English language, since it appears to be the only one you have.

Hugo Black said...

Ann-- How come you didn't sign the faculty letter to the all us students re: the Kaplan issue? Was something in it objectionable? Or just not your bandwagon?

tcd said...

qwerty, I've misunderstood one post and that was Patrick's. I retract nothing I've said about you. Keep talking, discourse will only prove your true character.

revenent, You've been a commenter at Althouse long enough for me to know where you stand and for me to decline to interact with you.

qwerty said...

You've used up your chances, tcd.

A parting word: If 4:23 is "ethnocentric" then you either misread the post, or don't actually know what enthocentric means, or both. And now you've butchered "discourse."

Good luck.

tcd said...

qwerty, It's good that you're quitting since you're not making any sense. How have I butchered "discourse"? Does the word not mean "verbal expression in speech or writing"? (That's from the American Heritage Dictionary.) BTW, English is one language among three that I speak fluently. How many languages do you speak?

qwerty said...

Actually, two more than you.

tcd said...

Good for you. Do you speak them as little as you understand English?

qwerty said...

tcd,

Against my better judgment, here I go. To answer your question, sadly I rarely have opportunity to speak foreign languages these days since I don't travel as much as I used to now that I live in the States again. I still publish in foreign languages from time to time, but that is not the same as holding a conversation.

But my ability to understand English is not at issue.

Fen said...

tcd: qwerty, I've misunderstood one post and that was Patrick's. I retract nothing I've said about you. Keep talking, discourse will only prove your true character.

tcd: revenent, You've been a commenter at Althouse long enough for me to know where you stand and for me to decline to interact with you.

What a word weasel. You slip in and drop the racism bomb, back off with a lame apology, then re-engage with euphamisms that mean the same thing [to you], then slander the character of people who disagree with you by implying all over again they are racist.

BTW, English is one language among three that I speak fluently.

Its not your fluency thats causing you problems. I'll bet your a race-baiter in all three.

Daryl Herbert said...

1. Despite their evident distress, the Hmong students displayed an admirable ability to rally supporters and "get their story out." In other words, within a generation, the Hmong have learned how to be effective American citizens...

He's impressed the Hmong students didn't kidnap Kaplan and take wifely license with him.

How racist can you get?

qwerty said...

Darryl H,

Congratulations. You made me laugh out loud with that one.

TMink said...

Audrey wrote: "They disagreed with what was taught to them in class and expressed it vocally."

Small point of fact. The student who complained was not in the lecture.

"They are actively engaging in a debate and questioning what is true."

Well, they were actively complaining about hearsay. And that is a different kettle of fish, is it not?


"The law students have a right to explain how they were impacted emotionally."

By what someone told them that they remembered the professor saying at the class they missed.

"I think their greatest challenge will be to explain to the public how what was presented in class as facts is wrong and support it with objective and intellectual merit."

But they would have had to actually been in attendance first. When you factor in that the students did not hear it for themselves, it becomes either a case of telephone or 5th grade nonsense.

Trey

Omaha1 said...

Poor Kaplan, discussing the Hmong,
Made comments, that some thought so wrong
They demanded his silence
While threatening violence
Controversial subjects, "so long!"

Discourse on religion and race
In lecture halls, deserve no place
Embrace the new trend
of "Thou shalt not offend"
Cries of "free speech" will earn you no grace.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't want to stifle creativity here, but it should be absolutely clear that no one threatened violence.

Ann Althouse said...

And the students didn't really demand silence. They were asking for more respect and accuracy.

Fen said...

True.

But by the standards of the students who "felt" offended, if Kaplan "felt" violence was threatened, then surely it was.

Omaha1 said...

oops, sorry about the artistic license there. However, I do feel that the implied threat of violent protest lurks behind many of the challenges to free speech, on campus and elsewhere.

From Inwood said...

Omaha1

What an inspired Limerick.

Ann's point of order on “silence & "violence" apparently would exempt K. C. Johnson's "pot bangers", and was made before she had the benefit of Fen’s witty rejoinder:

“But by the standards of the students who "felt" offended, if Kaplan "felt" violence was threatened, then surely it was.”

as well as your cogent response that you:

“feel that the implied threat of violent protest lurks behind many of the challenges to free speech, on campus and elsewhere”.

I say stet, but, to assuage her kind feelings, & with all due respect to your originality, please allow me then to rewrite the second & third lines of your first stanza:

“Their demand for retraction
Received the required good
traction”

Also, a nit. The second line of your second stanza has a plural verb whereas the first line has a singular subject. With all due respect, I suggest the following as a replacement:

“In Academia deserves no place”.

From Inwood said...

I still think wonder why Prof K was teaching what seems to be a sociology course in law school. I’m all for enrichment but this seems somewhat far afield of what I remember of law school. But maybe I’m showing my age.

Here’s my Limerick, though let me hasten to add that, so long as it meets the bounds of civil discourse, I’ll defend to the death Prof K’s right to affirm his opinion, especially against what injustice collectors "feel" they heard, & more especially when the prime injustice collector wasn't there when he expressed said opinion in the first place:

Ah the time I spent in preaching

When others were mired in teaching.

A student cries out "insult",

My answer: "please be adult" ,

And now they’re shouting impeaching!

From Inwood said...

Wurly

You said, early in this thread that you’re

“struggling with the suspicion that if Kaplan had been known as a conservative and had made the same exact comments for the same pedagogical purpose, he would not have received anything near the level of support he has been given. He would remain a presumed racist and his reputation would be tarnished beyond repair.

”The perverse result is that liberals in academia are (correctly) permitted to fully engage students on issues related to race, while conservatives must avoid such issues.”

I have been this thread & the numerous threads on Prof A’s blog on this Kaplan issue & I waited to see if anyone would respond to you. Silence.

I suppose that you could take refuge in the Maxim about silence giving consent.

Nevertheless I think your comment deserves an affirmation, to use educational or psych jargon.

I guess I’ll be accused of schadenfreude but I agree with you & it’s interesting to see how confused Prof K is about this. All his life, even with his Jewish Mother (nice touch in his letter, but where was the Chicken Soup reference?), he’s said things like this & now a few people, to whom he apologizes for their feelings of pain….

I’ve made comments to friends & relations in Academia on Academic freedom of speech for liberals only, even when the speech sounds like Armanda Marcotte or The Daily Kos rants, & have been asked if I got my ideas from Rush Limbaugh (now they’d add Ann Coulter!). Some will add that (even if I am chock full of facts) my “rants” are “anecdotal”.

When, I feel the need to establish my bona fides beyond talk radio, (insecurity, nah) & Blogs (sorry, Prof A.), I mention, e.g, National Review, WSJ, Weekly Standard, or Commentary. Few of my listeners seem to have heard of the latter two. In any event, if a free pass for liberal academics hasn’t been reported in The New York Times, as far as my friends & relations are concerned, it didn’t happen. And again as far as they are concerned, if something which was reported in The NYT has now been debunked, unless such debunking resulted from a NYT “correction” or “rowback”, nevertheless it still happened & is, regardless, a fact. When I have the temerity to ask where the NYT gets its “facts”, why their sourcing is always better than the sourcing of the things on which I rely, they give me the old 10,000 yard stare & treat me as if I had just belched. An inconvenient truth is not covered under principles of free speech if it is harmful to the cause.

From Inwood said...

So I'm watching PBS in one of its weekly fundraising weeks putting on none of the things it prides itself on, instead doing things like this “Elvis Lives” show!

One of the highlights is, IMHO, a very moving rendition of "Dixie".

How insensitive of PBS to Blacks!

How smart of PBS to use Elvis to get the geezers to open their pocketbooks.

Did I say "Hypocrites"?