January 7, 2017

"Muslim woman who voted for Trump asks Georgetown to intervene over professor’s ‘hateful, vulgar’ messages."

The Washington Post reports on the harassment that has befallen a former Georgetown professor, Asra Q. Nomani, who wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post — "I’m a Muslim, a woman and an immigrant. I voted for Trump."
On Thursday, Nomani filed a formal complaint with the university, alleging discrimination and harassment after comments made by Christine Fair, an associate professor in Georgetown’s School for Foreign Service....

“I’ve written you off as a human being,” Fair wrote in one message detailed in the complaint. “Your vote helped normalize Nazis in D.C. What don’t you understand, you clueless dolt?” Fair wrote, later adding: “YOU publicly voted for a sex assailant.” She went on to say that Nomani “pimped herself out to all media outlets because she was a ‘Muslim woman who voted for Trump.’ ”

Fair called Nomani’s appeal to her employer a “very dangerous trend.” She said Nomani, a former professor at Georgetown, has no standing at the university to complain.

“I am most concerned about the increasing appeal to employers to silence the criticism of citizens made in their private capacity as citizens,” [Fair] wrote in an email to The Washington Post. “Because most of us need our jobs, as few of us are financially independent, this is the most pernicious form of bullying of critics.”
Who's the bully here? The bully may be the one who's crying "bully."

“I am writing to share with you that, as a result of my column, Prof. Fair has directed hateful, vulgar and disrespectful messages to me, including the allegations that I am: a ‘fraud'; ‘fame-mongering clown show'; and a ‘bevkuf,’ or ‘idiot,’ in my native Urdu, who has ‘pimped herself out,’ ” Nomani wrote in a Dec. 2 email included in the complaint to Bruce Hoffman, director of Georgetown’s Center for Security Studies. “This last allegation amounts to ‘slut-shaming.’ ”...

“She has no right to decry criticism . . . even criticism that is in language that offends her fragile sensibilities,” Fair wrote in a Facebook post. “ ‘F–k off’ and ‘go to hell’ and ‘pimping yourself out’ for media coverage offended her . . . but not ‘I can grab their p—–s’ or the various misogynist, racist, xeonophobic [sic] race-baiting bulls–t espoused by her candidate of choice.” Fair concluded: “So again, Ms. Nomani, ‘F–K YOU. GO TO HELL.’ ”
Well, Fair has gone pretty far, but I side with her free speech rights and interests. Nomani had her say and Fair reacted to it, with vivid speech. Fair could be fancily articulate, but sometimes what you have to say really is "Fuck you. Go to hell." Form is part of the expression, as Justice Harlan fancily articulated in Cohen v. California (the "Fuck the Draft" case)(and, yes, I know Georgetown is a private institution):
To many, the immediate consequence of [freedom of speech] may often appear to be only verbal tumult, discord, and even offensive utterance. These are, however, within established limits, in truth necessary side effects of the broader enduring values which the process of open debate permits us to achieve. That the air may at times seem filled with verbal cacophony is, in this sense not a sign of weakness but of strength. We cannot lose sight of the fact that, in what otherwise might seem a trifling and annoying instance of individual distasteful abuse of a privilege, these fundamental societal values are truly implicated. That is why "[w]holly neutral futilities . . . come under the protection of free speech as fully as do Keats' poems or Donne's sermons," Winters v. New York, 333 U. S. 507, 333 U. S. 528 (1948) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting), and why, "so long as the means are peaceful, the communication need not meet standards of acceptability," Organization for a Better Austin v. Keefe, 402 U. S. 415, 402 U. S. 419 (1971).
And let me just focus on Nomani's charge that Fair committed "slut-shaming" when she said that Nomani "pimped [her]self out." That's Nomani engaging in some vivid, hostile speech, leveraging the liberal meme "slut-shaming." Is the metaphorical use of "pimped yourself out" really so bad? Writing for personal gain is often analogized to sexual prostitution, and we know that calling someone a whore for selling out his or her intellectual work product is not sexual. It's no more sexual than "fuck you" to express anger. It's no more literal than "Go to hell." It's just coarse, hyperbolic speech.

Maybe you remember back during the 2008 presidential primaries, when a reporter — MSNBC's David Shuster — got in trouble, for saying "Doesn't it seem as if Chelsea is sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?"
After Shuster made the remark on "Tucker," Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines contacted him and said the reference was offensive. Shuster e-mailed back that he was referring to the fact that Chelsea Clinton is making calls to convention superdelegates but refusing to talk to the press. After Shuster continued to defend himself, Phil Griffin, MSNBC's top executive, called Reines yesterday to apologize.

[Clinton campaign communications director Howard] Wolfson noted that MSNBC's Chris Matthews expressed regret last month for suggesting that Hillary Clinton's political success can be traced to sympathy stemming from her husband's affair with Monica Lewinsky. "At some point you have to question whether there is a pattern at this particular network," Wolfson said.
That was back when Tucker Carlson was on MSNBC and it was possible to argue that MSNBC had a plan to use sexism to thwart Hillary Clinton. Times change.

And here's where I realize I need to use my "civility bullshit" tag. Calls for civility are always bullshit. That's what I always say. It's particularly interesting when — as in the case of Nomani v. Fair — both sides are purveying civility bullshit.

The right remedy, as ever, is more speech. That goes for women too. Stop running to the paternal authority for help. Return fire as a free and fully empowered human being. You don't like her speech? Show me that your speech is better. Don't try to get the other person fired.

You know, Nomani purports to be for Trump. How about asking: What would Trump do? When hit with verbal criticism, he hits back with words. He's shown us how to verbally joust and not crumple. Take a cue.

Here's video of Shuster making the "pimped out" remark and then apologizing in case anybody took it literally:



ADDED: I'm just now looking back at what I wrote at the time about the Shuster remark. I like looking back 9 years and seeing how consistent I've been:
Really, how bad is it to say "pimped out"? Is it "nappy-headed hos" bad? Did anyone think Shuster was literally calling Chelsea a whore or even making any reference to her womanly virtue? "Pimped out" is a common colloquialism these days. According to the Urban Dictionary, which gives a good read on how young people use words, the connotations having to do with exaggerated fashion and style predominate.

Even if the clear associations with prostitution remain, we often make figurative references to prostitution in speech, and the cause of feminism is not served by requiring special limitations when we're talking about women. We ought to be able to call a female publicity hound a "media whore."

I've never watched "Tucker," the show Shuster was guest-hosting when he made the supposedly offensive remark, but if the conversation there is casual and slang is the norm, then saying "pimped out" about Chelsea should be taken in stride. Otherwise it looks as though NBC caved to the Clintons.

ADDED: Ugh! Here's Shuster groveling...
Ha! I've got exactly the same video embedded. 
"All Americans should be proud of Chelsea Clinton"? Why? Because, sublimely privileged, she went to work for a hedge fund? And, generally, why should anyone be "proud of" someone else's children? Plus, Chelsea isn't a kid anymore! I think saying "All Americans should be proud of Chelsea Clinton" is offensive. Please fire David Shuster.

AND: Out in the real world today, I had an encounter with the word "pimp." Plus, the dominant meaning of the word today — relating to style — may be the original meaning, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary:
pimp 1607, perhaps from M.Fr. pimper "to dress elegantly" (16c.), prp. of pimpant "alluring in dress, seductive." Weekley suggests M.Fr. pimpreneau, defined in Cotgrave (1611) as "a knave, rascall, varlet, scoundrell." The word also means "informer, stool pigeon" in Australia and New Zealand and in S.Africa, where by early 1960s it existed in Swahili form impimpsi. The verb is attested from 1636. Pimpmobile first recorded 1973.
MORE: The Moderate Voice has a big roundup of the commentary, which does not just break down along partisan lines. For example, Jane Hamsher said:
It may surprise everyone but I actually wasn't bothered by [what Shuster said]. The phrase is ubiquitous, I use it all the time and although it is a loaded term my initial impression was that in the wake of all the truly awful sexist stuff that's come down the pipeline from MSNBC over the course of this campaign, much of which I have personally railed about, this just didn't fall into that category. At first I thought it might be because I know Shuster and don't think he has the women's issues that many on MSNBC seem to have, and maybe that was affecting my assessment of the situation. But I wrote a post recently about Ben Affleck appearing at a press conference for the SEIU in Boston, and shortly after it went live someone involved in helping me put together the story sent me an email wondering what the hell I was thinking linking to a headline that said something on the order of "Boston Mayor Pimps For Healthcare Workers." I wasn't sure what they were upset about either at the time, but after a moment I realized that the term probably didn't strike others as being as inert as it did me so I changed the link. I understand that this situation is different, we're talking about a young woman and Hillary Clinton has been on the receiving end of a lot of really misogynistic and disrespectful shit from MSNBC and that on the heels of that, a comment which overtly compared her daughter to a prostitute probably did not sit too well. Still, if you asked me, I'd say that while I certainly understand that others might feel differently, for me this was a minor infraction.
And if anyone thinks my comment here is partisan, remember that I just defended Randi Rhodes (and I've been arguing the free speech side of nearly every dispute over the 4-year life of this blog).
4 years. It's 16 years now. I've been staunch!

141 comments:

Hagar said...

Isn't it one of Alinsky's Rules to make the other side live up to their own code?

Bob Ellison said...

Neither sluts nor bullies. Prima donnas.

Sydney said...

I agree that the Georgetown professor should not be fired for expressing herself, but one does have to wonder why a professor of "Foreign Service" doesn't know how to express herself with better language. She isn't representing the school or her department very well. And considering that people pay a lot of money to go there, that should concern them.

Unknown said...

Do we have all the facts? Did fair send a university email to nomani? Did fair send a university email to nomani colleagues? Did fair call her an idiot in Urdu to actual create a hostile workplace environment? Fair seems like the kind of person who would do all these things and even complain to Georgetown or the faculty lounge in the hopes of making it an untenable workplace for nomani?

Let's see

Curious George said...

"Sydney said...
And considering that people pay a lot of money to go there, that should concern them."

Google "tenure" and come on back.

Big Mike said...

I would dearly love to have a Con Law professor the "fighting words" exemption to free speech. It seems to me that a right and proper response to the badly mis-named Prof. Fair is s punch in the nose.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

What would Trump do? When hit with verbal criticism, he hits back with words.

To be fair, I believe Trump has filed his share of lawsuits, and has advocated changing libel law to allow more such suits.

Big Mike said...

@Sydney, one does not go to a Jesuit university to be educated. One goes to a Jesuit university to watch basketball.

rhhardin said...

She's falling for the hate speech crime.

Hate speech is only a crime if it's in connection with something else, like not wearing a seatbelt.

She should check for that.

traditionalguy said...

All will calm down soon. Trump has reestablished Dueling done on Twitter.

And when Twitter suspends the account of a Tweeter, you know that person is winning all their duels.

tim in vermont said...

I would hope that Georgetown would flunk out a student who found it impossible to communicate at a higher level than this professor.

rhhardin said...

Wayne Booth, in Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent, written of U Chicago in the 70s I think, noticed that each side was citing the other's boilerplate without comment to prove their own case.

The left no longer cites the right today, is the chief change.

Sydney said...

@Big Mike - LOL

Fûz said...

"When hit with verbal criticism, he hits back with words. He's shown us how to verbally joust and not crumple."

Agree and amplify. Nomani should indeed defend what she said and why she said, instead of seeking Mom and Dad's intervention.

Curious George: "Google 'tenure' and come on back" is fine if the suggestion were for the university to discipline or dismiss Prof Fair. But Sydney wrote: " considering that people pay a lot of money to go there, that should concern them" referring to the tuition-paying parents, not the university.

rehajm said...

Georgetown University ETHOS STATEMENT:

Choosing to come to Georgetown University means joining a distinctive community. As a Catholic and Jesuit University, Georgetown places special emphasis on the dignity and worth of every person and the love of truth. Membership in this community carries with it high expectations regarding the ways in which each person will act both within and beyond Healy Gates. In particular, students are expected to honor the following commitments in all their actions:

 A commitment to the highest standards of honesty and personal integrity both inside and outside the
classroom.
 A commitment to treat others in a respectful manner, regardless of differences such as race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.
 A commitment to open discourse and the free exchange of ideas.  A commitment to exercise mutual care and responsibility in all relationships.
 A commitment to an active concern for the safety, security, and well-being of each individual and a respect for individual, communal and university property.

This Ethos Statement expresses the fundamental expectations for the character of students, faculty and staff at Georgetown University; and informs the policies and procedures inherent in the Code of Student Conduct.

campy said...

one does not go to a Jesuit university to be educated. One goes to a Jesuit university to watch basketball.

Unless it's my alma mater, in which case one watches hockey.

Laslo Spatula said...

As a Pimp and Proud of It, I hate it when people use the term all damn loose-like. If you ain’t actually getting money for your ho turning tricks you ain’t pimpin’ — you feel me…?

Pimping is hard work: there are bitches to keep in line, money to collect, turf to protect, the occasional beat-down of a customer who got too rough with one of your girls: people, you ain’t selling your goods if you ain’t selling pussy, straight up. Or cock: I don’t pimp dudes, but live and let live, I say that sometimes…

And this whole thing about ‘pimpin’ yourself out’? That’s Bullshit. There ain’t no such thing: if you’re ‘pimpin’ yourself out’ that just means you a whore who doesn’t got a Pimp, that’s all. And Bitches without Pimps learn things the hard way: when you wake up in the alley by the dumpster with your face all broken up and your purse gone, you’ll wish yo ass had a Pimp, bitch…

When I Pimp someone out I PIMP SOMEONE OUT: their ass gets BANGED. It ain’t about words, it’s about ass and the dollar. So find yourself another Profession to make your point, and leave Pimpin’ to the Pimps. And this goes double for the bitches…

I am Laslo.

Mark said...

Sounds like someone needs a #SafeSpace to run to.

It's amazing how quickly Conservatives become the very thing they just criticized.

rehajm said...

Also, there's a special place in Hell for women who don't help each other.

Curious George said...

"Fûz said...
Curious George: "Google 'tenure' and come on back" is fine if the suggestion were for the university to discipline or dismiss Prof Fair. But Sydney wrote: " considering that people pay a lot of money to go there, that should concern them" referring to the tuition-paying parents, not the university."

I know. But she has nothing to fear from parents, or administrative action over parents disapproval. Because tenure. Get it?

Jake said...

If Fair is harassing the other lady, then that isn't protected speech. Or maybe it is. Either way Fair seems like an utter___________ . (insert your choice derogatory term)

Curious George said...

Muslims can fly planes into buildings. Shoot up gay nightclubs and Christmas parties. Go on rampages at Army bases. Kill or injure thousands of innocent Americans. But to get a lefty to tell them to "Go to hell!?"

Vote for Donald Trump.

Curious George said...

"Mark said...
It's amazing how quickly Conservatives become the very thing they just criticized."

Huh?

Darrell said...

Fair? Ironic. Like A Reasonable Man here. Lefty names are always the opposite of what you'll find.

Original Mike said...

"I've been staunch!"

You've certainly garnered my respect.

J. Farmer said...

@CuriousGeorge:

But to get a lefty to tell them to "Go to hell!?"

Vote for Donald Trump.


Them? Wasn't he saying it to a single individual?

Sebastian said...

I am all for free speech etc. etc. but the facts of the case matter. For example, if Fair's target still had an employment relationship with Georgetown, her speech could run afoul of discriminatory harassment provisions. If Georgetown, as a private institution, included other special provisions in faculty contracts, such as the ethos statement cited by rehajm, Fair could run afoul of those.

I also agree that whining does no good. But simply calling for more speech is, as lefties have told us, simplistic, when the playing field isn't level and some can speak more than others. With universities and the MSM controlled by the left, talking back to aggressive slut-shaming is hard and costly for anyone right of center in a way it isn't for anyone left of center. And of course lefty institutions apply double standards: Georgetown would not condone similar vitriol directed at a favored minority target--an"investigation" would be started, protests would erupt, the administration would apply sanctions, the prof would be relieved of teaching duties, and so on.

Original Mike said...

"Your vote helped normalize Nazis in D.C."

I'm looking forward to those goose stepping Rockettes at the inauguration.

mockturtle said...

Big Mike explains: @Sydney, one does not go to a Jesuit university to be educated. One goes to a Jesuit university to watch basketball.

Exactly! Think Gonzaga.

rhhardin said...

Bitches without Borders.

PackerBronco said...

Just a quick question Anne:

If I write a post in same manner as Fair's would it get removed? And if I continue to post comments in that fashion, would I get banned?

But is that "fair"? Isn't the response to offensive speech, more speech?

Curious George said...

"J. Farmer said...
@CuriousGeorge:

But to get a lefty to tell them to "Go to hell!?"

Vote for Donald Trump.

Them? Wasn't he saying it to a single individual?" It was a she, and so?

Rob McLean said...

So again, Ms. Nomani, ‘F–K YOU. GO TO HELL.

Class.

J. Farmer said...

Christine Fair seems like one of those lovers of diversity so long as the diversity is not of thought, opinion, or conscience.

rhhardin said...

I object to the mapy headed ho's comparison. That wasn't bad as it fit precisely in context of the Rutgers basketball team running a trash-talking court against their opponents, which was the topic.

That Imus subsequently folded to PC is irrelevant. He's big into victim porn.

Even ultra-lefty Dick Cavett was on Imus for caving.

Susan said...

I've noticed that for at least as long as I've been alive that civility of expression is only expected on the right. From the Vietnam War protests on the vilest lies, slander, and expression are celebrated on the left when directed at the right because that is just who they are.

Only people who are incapable of seeing the hypocrisy of it all stay that way. The rest grow rightward in their thinking. The pressure in academia to remain left is enormous, however, because their phony baloney jobs depend on it.

Not a one of them would have batted a single eyelash if someone had spoke of Ivanka being pimped out.

J. Farmer said...

@Curious George:

It was a she, and so?

Why did you use the pronoun "them?"

Hagar said...

Lefties appeal to the administration (of whatever) all the time to intervene against "hate speech" directed at them, so what is wrong with Ms. Nomani asking what about "hate speech" directed at me?

mockturtle said...

I wonder what a parent [or grandparent] thinks about how their tuition dollars are being spent when public pissing contests like this hit the media. It is my hope that they realize that any cachet once linked to a university education has long lost its luster.

William said...

If I looked up the word for idiot in Luo and called Obama that word, I'm pretty sure I'd be called racist. I understand the insult has more penetrative power if said with a Kikiyu accent, but an American accent will do.......The Muslim woman has used her free speech to respond to Prof. Fair's free speech. She is not firing Prof. Fair. She is using her free speech to propagate for that position. In any event, her actions have served to publicize the frothings of Prof. Fair so it's a win for her.

Curious George said...

"J. Farmer said...
@Curious George:

It was a she, and so?

Why did you use the pronoun "them?""

Clunky wording because I'm doing other things. Did you not understand the intent? Here:

But to get a lefty to tell any Muslim to "Go to hell!? The Muslim needs to vote for Donald Trump.

How's that?

Now why did you use the pronoun "he."

Levi Starks said...

Insomuch as it is a dialogue between two private citizens it seems perfectly acceptable. More so since they have both a one point shared the status of professor. There does seem to be some significance in that one continues to work as an educator. On one hand it's easy to see how any current, or future potential student who voted for trump would by proxy feel that the remarks were directed at them. That's the power wielded by a college professor. On the other hand the "active" professor has done current, and possible future students a favor in that she's given them fair warning as to her political standing, and eagerness to retaliate with words, (and grades?) against them.

whitney said...

"What would Trump do?"

Someone should make bracelets

J. Farmer said...

@Curious George:

Now why did you use the pronoun "he."

Typo.

Luke Lea said...

From Randi Rhodes transcript: "John McCain spent years in a North Vietnamese prison. A prison? That doesn’t make him a hero. That makes him an ex-con.” After what Trump said that strikes me as pretty funny. Would have been even funnier if Trump said it himself. Maybe he heard it, which put the idea in his head that maybe McCain wasn't a hero. . .

Original Mike said...

"...it's easy to see how any current, or future potential student who voted for trump would by proxy feel that the remarks were directed at them."

Yes it is, because they were.

William said...

id like to see some Democrat with standing in the party criticize Colin Kaepernick in such a robust and forthright manner. Then I'll believe in Democrats commitment to free speech.

J. Farmer said...

@Original Mike:

Yes it is, because they were.

Of course they were, but so what? Learning how to withstand an onslaught when voicing unpopular opinions is an important skill to develop.

J. Farmer said...

@William:

Why would a commitment to free speech obligate you to criticize Colin Kaepernick?

Leslie Graves said...

Gotta agree with you.

retail lawyer said...

Who's proud of Chelsea? Anybody?

rhhardin said...

Women always complain to the authorities for hurt feelings.

It probably has survival value, probably against the case where her mate no longer is willing to take responsibility for them, say she's nagging all the time.

rhhardin said...

You're not proud of Chelsea, just afraid to say so. That's why the statement is there.

It's a do-not-notice warning.

Original Mike said...

"Of course they were, but so what?"

I really think it's wrong for a professor to do that to students.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Is the metaphorical use of "pimped yourself out" really so bad?

It was the end of the world as we know it, according to the Liberal press, when someone metaphorically used the term, pimped out, to refer to the Clinton's parading out of their daughter Chelsea to be used as a political prop and puppet in the 2008 campaign.

Well to be fair, Chelsea does kinda look like a puppet.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

mockturtle said...

Why would a commitment to free speech obligate you to criticize Colin Kaepernick?

Kaepernick indulges his right to free speech [although I think he owes his employer a certain decorum] and the rest of us indulge our right to flame him.

mccullough said...

This is weak on both sides. Make Cat Fights Great Again

David said...

Big ol' cat fight. Gather round.

mockturtle said...

rhhardin opines: Women always complain to the authorities for hurt feelings.

Sadly, this is only too true. It's embarrassing.

mccullough said...

Chop her head off!

Virgil Hilts said...

Q for Ann. What do you think of suspension of the Harvard Soccer, Columbia Wrestling, Princeton Swim and Amherst Cross Country team, in each case because some of its members engaging in bad speech? Are you OK with that? Isn't the targeting speech by Fair worse (it would certainly seem to violate the speech/civility codes at each one of these schools)? I think I agree with Ann but do not see how one can think Fair should get a pass while these young men are treated so harshly.

stlcdr said...

In the initial column, a Muslim woman confesses (sic) to voting for Trump. Admittedly, I don't know what other content was in there, but doesn't seem to be anything too obnoxious.

A university professor then rebukes with public personal attacks (what it seems) with language that The Left attribute to The Right.

This isn't a free speech issue per-se.

rcocean said...

When does personal abuse turn into defamation? I think Ms. Fair is getting pretty close to that line.

In any case, how'd you like to be a Republican student in one of Ms. Fair's classes?

rcocean said...

I'm in favor of getting rid of Speech codes but until then, lets enforce them equally. Ms. Fair's foul abuse must have violated Georgetown's speech code.

Danno said...

The professorial class apparently has a right to say anything, because tenure. A high-tech executive gets shamed and fired for donating to a traditional marriage organization, about ten years ago. What a fucking country!

J. Farmer said...

@mockturtle:

Kaepernick indulges his right to free speech [although I think he owes his employer a certain decorum] and the rest of us indulge our right to flame him.

I agree with that. It was William's formulation I found odd. Although, if Kaepernick's refusal to stand was because he was a Jehovah's Witness as opposed to wanting to make a political statement, I wonder how different the response would be.

J. Farmer said...

@rcocean:

In any case, how'd you like to be a Republican student in one of Ms. Fair's classes?

It'd be good training for them. Also, it's not a good habit to surround yourself only with people who agree with you. If you want to be confident in your positions, you need to be prepared to take unhinged attacks from hysterical people.

rcocean said...

BTW, on turned on NPR this AM and they're beyond parody. The first story? A Rockette and her "brave" fight to not dance for Trump. The second story? The "brave" congresspeople who objected to the Electoral College vote. The Third story? Sports, which quickly left actual sports news to discuss a college football player and domestic violence.

Birches said...

The WAPO comments are illuminating. I doubt anyone would be crying free speech if a male professor had been doing this to a female Hillary supporter.

I wouldn't have run to Georgetown though, probably just retweeted the check out of Fair's own words to show what she really was: an angry, reactionary bully. The problem with that I suppose, I too many people in the D.C. bubble think her language is justified because Trump.

rcocean said...

"It'd be good training for them. Also, it's not a good habit to surround yourself only with people who agree with you. If you want to be confident in your positions, you need to be prepared to take unhinged attacks from hysterical people."

Yeah, its always great to have people with power over you to be left-wing lunatics.

Rob Parrish said...

Where I went to secondary school, Georgetown fell below say Trinity College, where our small time jocks went, and above Ole Miss, which was considered a "flunker's retreat".

William said...

Kaepernick's act is provocative. It provokes the Democrats into saying that it is covered by free speech. Even the Republicans couch their criticisms in bland words. The most over the top, rabid demonstrations of free speech nearly always come from the left. When someone on the right responds in kind it is characterized as hate speech........It is impossible for a Democrat to say anything openly critical of Kaepernick. That will cost them in elections.

EDH said...

Wasn't the exculpatory distinction made in the Portland professor wearing black face paint case that the intent of her portrayal was laudatory of specific historical figure, not a denigrating minstrel show stereotype of a race? Had it been the latter would she have had any defense at all? I didn't hear anyone say wearing "more blackface" was the solution. What would happen to students who wore blackface to class to protest the investigation? I think you know the answer.

Wasn't this Georgetown case akin the latter? Attacking Nomani because of her racial/religious heritage in a way that violated established honor traditions?

She went on to say that Nomani “pimped herself out to all media outlets because she was a ‘Muslim woman who voted for Trump.’ ”

Ann Althouse said...

"Q for Ann. What do you think of suspension of the Harvard Soccer, Columbia Wrestling, Princeton Swim and Amherst Cross Country team, in each case because some of its members engaging in bad speech? Are you OK with that? Isn't the targeting speech by Fair worse (it would certainly seem to violate the speech/civility codes at each one of these schools)? I think I agree with Ann but do not see how one can think Fair should get a pass while these young men are treated so harshly."

I think I've posred on that. My position is consistent. I am opposed to that suspension.

Michael K said...

Mark said...
Sounds like someone needs a #SafeSpace to run to.

It's amazing how quickly Conservatives become the very thing they just criticized.


What was "conservative" about the Muslim woman ? Did only conservatives vote for Trump ?

You need to get out more.

FullMoon said...

Luke Lea said... [hush]​[hide comment]

From Randi Rhodes transcript: "John McCain spent years in a North Vietnamese prison. A prison? That doesn’t make him a hero. That makes him an ex-con.” After what Trump said that strikes me as pretty funny. Would have been even funnier if Trump said it himself. Maybe he heard it, which put the idea in his head that maybe McCain wasn't a hero. .


Actually,in 2000, Al Franken created the "joke" used by Trump. Bad decision by Trump for stealing a joke, and, because it wasn't very funny.

Unknown said...

The left has made political discourse a fireable offense. The left is going to have to deal with it. As the first poster Sid, force them to live up to their own rules, that is the only we to effect change in them.

Gahrie said...

if Kaepernick's refusal to stand was because he was a Jehovah's Witness as opposed to wanting to make a political statement, I wonder how different the response would be.

Well, for starters, he probably wouldn't be as much of an asshole about it as he is......

mccullough said...

Kaepernik can't play QB effectively at the NFL level. The 49ers have the worst owners, management, and QB in the NFL.


I don't care about Kaepernik's morally superficial views. He can't play at the NFL level. He should be cut.

Crimso said...

I think the most important point about this story is that "an associate professor in Georgetown’s School for Foreign Service" is completely ignorant of what a Nazi is.

fivewheels said...

If sincere, this complaint is incredibly lame and weak and embarrassing. If it's just a taste-of-your-own-medicine poke in the eye, I approve. I will give the benefit of the doubt and assume the latter.

JAORE said...

"It's amazing how quickly Conservatives become the very thing they just criticized."

Yeah, it's been MUCH better watching a one-sided exchange over the past decade.

Distasteful as I find the tactics, perhaps it would open some eyes and make them inspect their own tactics.

Like "hate crimes". Don't like 'em.I think the crime is the crime. But when the application is always one-way, perhaps a u-turn is in order.

n.n said...

Liberals and Progressives continue to be surprised that their actions have consequences and that their means and methods can and will be used against them.

"while evils are sufferable"

It seems that Americans have reached the limits of tolerance.

It's ironic that not a few Progressives and a few Liberals were caught in an inter-factional fight, notably in the context of environmental prophecy, but they still voted for more of the same. Round and round.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Eh, it is one of those unhappy cases--the Professor is correct that using legalistic speech regulations, harassment rules, or conduct codes to crack down on offensive speech is the wrong way to go. It is nevertheless too much to ask for one side to unilaterally disarm, especially when the side in question is the one most often attacked using those weapons. People shouldn't punch each other but it wouldn't feel right to prevent someone who was being pummeled from punching back in the middle of a fistfight, you know?

These institutions have their codes. The institutions and the Left are all too happy to use the codes and similar tools to attack their enemies and prevent debate. It seems like a bit of a goose gander deal, no? Not an optimal solution for the system as a whole, but probably a valid and understandable decision for the individual.

jaydub said...

"An associate professor in Georgetown’s School for Foreign Service...."

“Your vote helped normalize Nazis in D.C. What don’t you understand, you clueless dolt?” Fair wrote, later adding: “YOU publicly voted for a sex assailant.”

The free speach angle on this alleged academic totally misses the point. More to the point is that here is an asst professor in the School for Foreign Service, of all places, who doesn't have a clue what a "Nazi" was. Trump has nominated three former US four star generals, several US senators, at least two US governors, a number of fairly distiguished CEOs, a former labor secretary and wife of the senate majority leader, the chairman of the Republican party, a neurosurgeon, several US congressional representatives, etc, etc and these are supposed to be the "Nazis" he's bringing to town? And what credible sexual assault allegation has been brought against Trump? The opinion he expressed on groupie sexual mores? Merely making the observation that groupies will do anything required to "group," as he did, is not an assault on women or even remarkable. Groupies have traded pussy for access to powerful or famous men forever - that's practically the definition of groupie for heavens sake and has been proven by the likes of Bill Clinton, FDR, John F Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlin or any local rock band member in your town. Women have been screwing their way into the elite social cricles since Christ was a recruit. These leftist lunitics pretending to get hysterical over it is just beyond the pale. This person is obviously incompetent to teach foreign service at any university, even a Jesuit one with a crappy basketball team like Georgetown. Thats her firing offense.

CWJ said...

"It'd be good training for them. Also, it's not a good habit to surround yourself only with people who agree with you. If you want to be confident in your positions, you need to be prepared to take unhinged attacks from hysterical people."

Who then grade you.

Michael K said...

Agree with jaydub.

I think 90% of the Cosby stuff falls in this area, as well.

Rick said...

“I am most concerned about the increasing appeal to employers to silence the criticism of citizens made in their private capacity as citizens,” [Fair] wrote in an email to The Washington Post. “Because most of us need our jobs, as few of us are financially independent, this is the most pernicious form of bullying of critics.”

Can she show us where she previously expressed this concern? Maybe when Brendan Eich was under attack?

No?

I agree she's right in this case, but she is only for free speech in this case because she's the target. She's an unprincipled hack in addition to an immature and hateful waste of carbon

Theodore James said...

rcocean @9:35AM,

I heard the same interview this morning. The anonymous Rockette asked plaintively "...why should I have to tolerate someone so intolerant?". Doesn't that make her intolerant? Does she tolerate her own intolerance but not others intolerance?

Perhaps A Reasonable Man can explain this intolerance of intolerance that is so popular on the Left.

Chuck said...

It's a really great line: "...one does not go to a Jesuit university to be educated. One goes to a Jesuit university to watch basketball." Because they ain't watchin' football, for sure!

Still, I am afraid it is all mistaken. Because the real reason that one goes to a Jesuit university, is to challenge the institutional policy on birth control.

iowan2 said...

I grew up on a farm in Iowa. Cattle, hogs, corn, hay, soybeans. It's production reared 4 kids, with out benefit of outside income.
Our parents, neither college graduates, explained to us that cursing was a sign of a lazy, not very bright, and probably uneducated person. Cursing was not forbidden, nor was a punishment ever meted out. Language and how it was used was important and we learned by example.

Reading this piece just reinforces what I was taught,(and taught our children)

lemondog said...

To annoy Ass Prof Fair further, she might respond with a reply such as: I feel great sympathy for you and pray you will receive positive therapy to help you overcome your deep anger. Let me know if I can be of help. Caringly yours, Asra.

Would that be bullying?

iowan2 said...

So the college prof is right to point out that the Muslim, entered the debate, pimped herself out. So pointing that out is fair game.

Isnt that what Trump did to the Gold Star mother? Trump was (is) soundly denounced for his simple observation. Not a cross work, a single curse, no smears, nothing personal. Just a benign observation, that asked a simple question, 'why didn't the mother speak'?

Leftist are so predictable. It's like they have no core values to base their beliefs on, or something.

Alec Rawls said...

Filing a complaint with Fair's employer was a leftist move. Could have destroyed her just by going oublic with Fair's bad behavior.

Jupiter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
American Notice said...

Professor is Jewish.

harkin said...

Kind of missing the point here.

The real problem here is the double standard.

Post a polite, well-reasoned email saying let college kids wear certain Halloween costumes and you (and your spouse) are hounded out of your positions at an elite university.

Post vulgar, vitriolic messages about a person you disagree with based purely on politics and hey, freedom of speech and all that!

Edmund said...

If Fair used university email accounts to send these messages, she might get canned. Every employer I've had would fire you for sending something like this via company email.

Jupiter said...

Blogger Jupiter said...
Ann Althouse said...

"I think I've pos[t]ed on that. My position is consistent. I am opposed to that suspension."

Yes, but you also pointed out, in a post on a university employee who sang a Beach Boys song to some Chi-Coms, that an employer has a right to place requirements on the behavior of their employees. And, by implication, to make those requirements as far-fetched, unfair and onerous as they like, and enforce them in a capricious, ad hoc, and ex post facto fashion, without due process or indeed any process.

I tend to agree with the latter position, on freedom-of-contract grounds. To suggest that an employer must continue to pay someone whose actions he does not approve of and has not contracted to allow is theft, and nothing else. Who pays the piper calls the tune. Existing US employment law already imposes requirements on employers that are far-fetched, unfair, onerous, and counterproductive in the extreme. But there is certainly a case to be made that the employer loses his contracting rights when he accepts public money, as almost all universities do.

George said...

In a vacuum, I agree. Here's the problem--the left uses this exact same attack all the time. I'm sure Professor Fair was just fine with using a Twitter mob to destroy a small pizza parlor in Indiana or a florist in Arizona. I'm not willing to live in a polity where only one side gets to use public appeals against an employer to crush some unfortunate SOB. Good for the goose, good for the gander.

American Notice said...

"Well, Fair has gone pretty far, but I side with her free speech rights and interests. Nomani had her say and Fair reacted to it, with vivid speech."

If a white professor put down a Jewish one in this manner, would you say the same thing?

Paul Bird said...

Ms. Nomani should just say that Ms. Fair is an arrogant, intolerant bitch and just move on. Better to punch back than try to send the other person to the principal's office.

Mark said...

In that poll a couple of weeks ago, who asked for longer posts???

mockturtle said...

Employers should have a right to curtail the speech of their employees while they are on the job. An Evangelical Christian can't use the first amendment to proselytize customers in a store or restaurant, for instance. Universities have certain standards for staff and for students in their charge. But if you're in a Poli Sci class discussing an issue, there should be free discourse and not just from the 'accepted' political climate.

mockturtle said...

American Notice asks: If a white professor put down a Jewish one in this manner, would you say the same thing?

Jews aren't 'white'? Who knew?

Jupiter said...

I don't think it is slut-shaming if the victim is not a slut. The point is that women have a right to be as slutty as they like, and it is sexist to see anything wrong with that. In fact, Nomani's objection to Fair's accusation that she has "pimped herself out" is actually slut-shaming, since it implies that there is something wrong with engaging in "sex work".

Of course, it is possible that I am trying to impose a consistency on the Progressive position that it will not actually support. Why would Fair attempt to belittle Nomani by comparing her actions to those of a group of people toward whom Fair feels nothing but fond approval? If Fair were to accuse Nomani of "behaving like a Psycho Left-Wing College Professor", that could hardly be taken as criticism.

It's a puzzle. A Gordian knot, as it were, awaiting an Alexander.

walter said...

Nazis! and Racists! are upset about the the reckless use of their brand as much as Pimps!.

"Writing for personal gain is often analogized to sexual prostitution, and we know that calling someone a whore for selling out his or her intellectual work product is not sexual."

See much of academia's publishing.

J. Farmer said...

@mockturtle:

Jews aren't 'white'? Who knew?

Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry can be identified genetically. It's one of 23andMe's categories.

J. Farmer said...

@rcocean:

Yeah, its always great to have people with power over you to be left-wing lunatics.

Who cares? If they do something to you in a discriminatory manner because of your political beliefs, then you'd have a case for professional misconduct. But disagreeing with you politically in vehement, colorful language is something a mature adult should learn how to handle without having to run off to a bureaucratic complaints department.

Jupiter said...

Blogger mockturtle said...
"Employers should have a right to curtail the speech of their employees while they are on the job."

I see the distinction. But the fact is, if your customers are prepared to boycott you because of your employee's activities during his free time, it is reasonable to take such action as will preserve your business. If that means shutting him up, shut him up. If only firing will do, fire him. It is not the duty of private employers to preserve our rights from the mob of Professors we pay to destroy them.

I realize that is a revolting situation to contemplate. But it is precisely the situation that the Left has intentionally driven us to, with the perpetual yammer that the Personal is Political.

mockturtle said...

The boycott angle is a thorny one, Jupiter. I have personally avoided Target stores because of their policies but have supported others for theirs. I guess businesses tend to hire people who agree with their policies to avoid their breaching them on FB. And if a Christian church hired a pastor who, on his 'off time', partook in Satanic rites, it would likely--and rightfully--be cause for termination.

Chuck said...

Sayre's Law (a corollary, at least):

Academic disputes are so bitter, because the stakes are so low.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sayre%27s_law

mockturtle said...

Good one, Chuck.

wildswan said...

fivewheels said...
If sincere, this complaint is incredibly lame and weak and embarrassing. If it's just a taste-of-your-own-medicine poke in the eye, I approve.

Quite an interesting point. Should we adopt the tactics of the left when dealing with the left? Should we lie? Should we spout foul language like a cathedral gargoyle spouting dirty roof water?

Is there another way? Should we ask whether the Georgetown Foreign Service School is a good school if one its tenured professors handles political disagreement in this stupid uncontrolled way? Is this what future diplomats should be learning?

Moreover, this professor seems very cocooned as if she has never encountered a Trump supporter as an equal. What does that say about the school? Has the school been allowing its professors to grade based on political affiliation so that Trump supporters are silent? In that case, should the Trump administration hire graduates of this school? I would say not.

n.n said...

Should we adopt the tactics of the left

As a matter of class (i.e. character), no. As individuals, if no one gets aborted, then it's our responsibility, it's our choice.

J. Farmer said...

@wildswan:

Should we adopt the tactics of the left when dealing with the left?

It's more a tactic of tribal, identity politics, though the left obviously plays identity politics more than the right given the nature of its constituency, and its general worldview. On the foreign policy front, though, these tactics are widely engaged in on the right. If you argue for less militarism and interventionism, then you are an "isolationist" or you somehow have sympathy for Islamic terrorist or some other such nonsense. If you question the one-sided, counterproductive relationship with Israel, you're an antisemite or you have affection for Palestinian suicide bombers.

Avoiding tribalism is a constant struggle that anyone who values independence of thought must engage in.

Mike Sylwester said...

This is what happens when a Scientific Progressive is allowed to become an associate professor in Georgetown’s School for Foreign Service.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I'm with Jupiter on this. I'd like to hear how Althouse squares her support for an investigation by the administration of some awkward professors Beach Boy parady but not this.

buwaya said...

Sadly, concerning academic disputes/Sayres law, these disputes and moreso the academic consensus imposed by the winners has a nasty way of intruding into the real world, especially since universities started staffing a vast array of powerful bureaucracies that are similarly disconnected from real-world feedback, but have no qualms about imposing their ideas on real people.

And worse, universities now directly affect vast numbers of kids, as far too many are enrolled, and they control what is taught and how its done in K-12, where real education happens.
The whims of some idiot professors are very likely to ruin the lives of thousands of innocent kids.

Its long past the time for the outside world to take a direct interest in academic disputes, as the stakes are high.

Jupiter said...

walter said...

"Writing for personal gain is often analogized to sexual prostitution, and we know that calling someone a whore for selling out his or her intellectual work product is not sexual."

"Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, then for a few close friends, and then for money."

Moliere

Jupiter said...


Blogger buwaya said...

"Its long past the time for the outside world to take a direct interest in academic disputes, as the stakes are high."

I heartily agree. Universities receive massive public support, on the grounds that they provide a useful and even necessary public service. That was once entirely true, and is still true in many ways, but modern universities are increasingly destructive. While we were shaking our heads, and laughing at their stupidity, the Left Fascists have seized the universities, and are now using them as a base to launch assaults on the rest of our society. It is, indeed, long past time to lay the axe to the root of the poisonous tree, which is to say, cut off their funding. Neither one of these execrable women should ever have received a penny of public money.

Jupiter said...

'By mid-October, it was one Aug. 17, 2014, email from the WikiLeaks treasure trove of Clinton emails that poisoned the well for me. In it, Clinton told aide John Podesta: “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL,” the politically correct name for the Islamic State, “and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”'

So apparently the Dems are right. The Russians threw the election to Trump, by leaking a Podesta e-mail which convinced a crazy left-wing Muslim woman that she could not rely upon Clinton to protect her from crazy Muslims of a somewhat different disposition. Those Russians are a crafty bunch!

Birkel said...

Was the Hillary tag supposed to be applied?

Hillar seems wrong and only used once.

Jupiter said...

"Nomani said she doesn’t want Fair to lose her job, but thinks an apology and training are appropriate."

So, now we know what Islam will look like after it has undergone the "Reform" that all the Islamophiles claim it is ripe for. They will no longer demand death for homosexuals, adulterers, apostates, and pretty much everyone else, for that matter. They will just demand an apology. And training.

wildswan said...

I've always thought that Althouse would have lost her job in Madison over the comments by her, by Meade and by us in this blog if she had not had tenure. So while something needs to be done about the universities and their PCness, it's tricky.

In a market or with a tool like Rat-out-your-professor, we can come to understand which universities and colleges are PC totalitarians like Oberlin and which are have some PC totalitarian individuals while also allowing real teachers - like UW Madison, which, after all, had both Althouse and Mr. White Guilt Sajnani at the same time. I think it should be legal to record classes and post them on the internet as soon as a teacher takes a political stand and ties agreement with that stand to grades. Because that linkage isn't education, it is propaganda and it is common and quite unchecked and quite bad.

Look at Georgetown. Its graduates will regard all nationalists as Nazis if we regard this professor as typical. And she probably is typical of the faculty lounge or she wouldn't be so unhinged at hearing views accepted by millions in this country and around the world. She would have heard it before from her colleagues and she would be able to handle herself better. It would be better for the foreign service to hire people from the heartland who have languages and history and some connection with reality than people trained to scream Nazi at nationalists.

Earnest Prole said...

You've been more than staunch. You've been stouthearted.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Actually,in 2000, Al Franken created the "joke"' right after he invented the Post It note.

What a guy!

You know he went to Harvard, right?

Hyphenated American said...

"It's amazing how quickly Conservatives become the very thing they just criticized"

Actually, conservatives who attack hate speech and use administrative means to suppress it show liberal tolerance , diversity and inclusiveness and should be celebrated by liberals. And university diversity, tolerance and inclusivity administrators should be very happy and support those conservatives.

Agreed?

Hyphenated American said...

"If you question the one-sided, counterproductive relationship with Israel, you're an antisemite or you have affection for Palestinian suicide bombers. "

Actually, if you question the one-sided, counterproductive relationship with Palestinian authority, and Islamic leaders, you will called an islamaphobe, racist and evil. In fact, I don't know of many academics who would dare to question the Islamic control of the Temple Mount or the Islamic prohibition on Jewish presence in Judaea and Samaria, let alone in Mecca and Medina. And how many academics are there who would propose that Gaza and Judea and Samaria house as many Jews as Israel has arabs?

SDN said...

"“I am most concerned about the increasing appeal to employers to silence the criticism of citizens made in their private capacity as citizens,” [Fair] wrote in an email to The Washington Post. “Because most of us need our jobs, as few of us are financially independent, this is the most pernicious form of bullying of critics.”"

Brandon Eich could not be reached for comment.

Althouse, your Leftist fellow travelers have been using this tactic for over 10 years in every conceivable circumstance. As they sowed, so shall they reap, until they abandon this tactic forever.

J. Farmer said...

@Hyphenated American:

I was comparing the use of the tactic between the "left" and the "right." I am not talking about just what happens in academia. I can personally attest to this, as I've seen it routinely firsthand for years. Abe Foxman made a 30-year career of labeling virtually any criticism of Israel as antisemitic, and it's a common tactic.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

J. Farmer, there is nothing logical or even-handed in our lopsided support for Israel. But it is based on tradition, political pressure and Biblical imperative. The mere fact that Israel is marked for extinction by the enemies who surround her is reason enough to continue our support for a nation that shares our basic values and longstanding spiritual beliefs.

tokyov said...

Free speech seems to be working in this case. Fair freely outed herself as a fool whom a third grader could easily defeat in a debate. Sad that someone with this level of "thought" could be a professor at a leading university.

J. Farmer said...

@mockturtle:

That's fine; it's a position I disagree with but can be argued on the merits. I'm talking about the use of personal attacks against ideological opponents.

mockturtle said...

I'm talking about the use of personal attacks against ideological opponents.

And I agree with you that being against US support for Israel does not necessarily make you an anti-semite.

arjr111 said...

Liberal tolerance never ever extends a centimeter to the right of any given individual Leftist.

Hyphenated American said...

J. Farmer:

"I was comparing the use of the tactic between the "left" and the "right.""

Liberals say they want inclusive, diverse, tolerant campus, free from hate speech. They should be happy that conservatives are working on the same thing. Agreed?

"I am not talking about just what happens in academia."

The original article was about academia. Let's finish with academia first.

"I can personally attest to this, as I've seen it routinely firsthand for years."

You need to explain what you mean by "this".

"Abe Foxman made a 30-year career of labeling virtually any criticism of Israel as antisemitic, and it's a common tactic."

One man? That's you got? Is he published regularly in the NYT about this? Is he invited to give speeches in academia? I mean, for God's sake, let's put things in perspective. Can you name one person in academia who supports ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Israel? Well? How many though support ethnic cleansing of all Jews from "Eastern Jerusalem", Judea, Samaria and Gaza? Let's put things in perspective.

Hyphenated American said...

"And I agree with you that being against US support for Israel does not necessarily make you an anti-semite"

And being against moslem immigration to USA doesn't to make you a hater or bigot either.

J. Farmer said...

@Hyphenated American:

Liberals say they want inclusive, diverse, tolerant campus, free from hate speech. They should be happy that conservatives are working on the same thing. Agreed?

No; I'm not for diversity and I don't believe in labeling speech "hate speech." I don't give a rat's ass if it comes from the "right" or the "left." That's the tribal partisanship I was criticizing earlier.

The original article was about academia. Let's finish with academia first.

No, I am talking about something broader, and my comment was directed at another commenter, not the contents of the article.

You need to explain what you mean by "this"

Being called antisemitic in response to criticisms of the Stat of Israel. That's right out of the SJW playbook and is an example of SJW tactics coming from the "right," which was my point.

One man? That's you got?

Abe Foxman, if you've never heard of him, was president of the Anti Defamation League (ADL) for 29 years, but it's basically the Jewish version of the Southern Poverty Law Center, labeling people it disagrees with as far-right extremist and calling speech it doesn't like antisemitic, racist, and hate speech.

And being against moslem immigration to USA doesn't to make you a hater or bigot either.

I want a complete moratorium on all immigration into the US, so you're pushing on an open door with me.


Jeremy Abrams said...

What's wrong with trying to get someone fired? Her filing with the university is a legitimate tactic. If Georgetown finds she has standing (I'd say she doesn't), that's Georgetown's fault, and if it finds she lacks standing, at least she got the message out.

Who wants to go to a university whose professors engage in that manner of discourse? It's newsy.

There are no censorship issues here, because there's no government entity or action. Let the games proceed.