June 17, 2015

Eugene Volokh gets a memo from his employer (the University of California) about how to avoid "microaggressions"...

... and he doesn't like it very much.
[T]his concept is now being used to suppress not just, say, personal insults or discrimination in hiring or grading, but also ideas that the UC wants to exclude from university classrooms. 
I'm adding the boldface. From the memo:

The first step in addressing microaggressions is to recognize when a microaggression has occurred and what message it may be sending. The context of the relationship and situation is critical. Below are common themes to which microaggressions attach….

[Theme:] Myth of Meritocracy[:] Statements which assert that race or gender does not play a role in life successes, for example in issues like faculty demographics.

[Microaggression Examples:] “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.”
“Of course he’ll get tenure, even though he hasn’t published much — he’s Black!”
“Men and women have equal opportunities for achievement.”
“Gender plays no part in who we hire.”
“America is the land of opportunity.”
“Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.”
“Affirmative action is racist.”
Volokh: "Well, I’m happy to say that I’m just going to keep on microaggressing.... [W]hat’s tenure for, if not to resist these attempts to stop the expression of unpopular views?"

Now, I can see that those who wrote the memo think they are not about controlling what ideas can be expressed, and they probably would say it's good for students to be exposed to (something like) a full range of ideas, but they'd like to manage the feelings that students have and imagine that they can separate the ideas from the feelings that are caused by ideas. I don't think that's possible, but if it were possible, how dull our discussions would be!

111 comments:

rhhardin said...

what message it may be sending

Morse code is the way to go.

Henry said...

Morse code is binary-aggressive.

Michael said...

Here is a microaggression for you:

Fuck you, you commie dipshit! Print out your chickenshit memo and roll it up tightly. Dip it in melted butter and shove it up your ass.

Or, much worse:

You are a Republican!!

pduggie said...

" Statements which assert that race or gender does not play a role in life successes, "

"Of course he’ll get tenure, even though he hasn’t published much — he’s Black!"

So that's actually a statement which asserts that race DOES play a role in life success. Just not an acceptable role.

Paco Wové said...

Mill's harm principle slowly, inexorably morphs into the tyranny of feels.

rhhardin said...

He could have mentioned that the new UC President is Janet Napolitano.

The morons in charge theme.

Henry said...

If this is the standard:

Statements which assert that race or gender does not play a role in life successes, for example in issues like faculty demographics.

Then this is a false positive:

“Of course he’ll get tenure, even though he hasn’t published much — he’s Black!”

The standard is too narrow. It must be:

Statements which assert that race or gender DOES OR DOES NOT play a role in life successes, for example in issues like faculty demographics.

But enough verbiage. I think we can refine the definition of a microaggression to:

Statements.

cubanbob said...

The thing about microagression (what a ridiculous term) is that it works both ways. The 'sensitive' soul that is being being microagressed is also committing a microagression on the other party.

Brando said...

I'm all for suggestions to use tact when bringing up sensitive or charged subjects, but the better instruction for teachers is to encourage lively, on-topic debate and avoid expressing viewpoints that may stifle discussion (as some students may fear a lower grade if they raise a competing point).

The "microaggression" trend suggests our schools are becoming far less hospitable to independent thought and perhaps some other venue will have to pick up the mantle of open debate (Internet?). If this is the trend, and not just a few odd examples, it's certainly getting worse--I went to two fairly left-leaning campuses back in the '90s and I don't recall this sort of stifling in classes or generally.

Brando said...

"The thing about microagression (what a ridiculous term) is that it works both ways. The 'sensitive' soul that is being being microagressed is also committing a microagression on the other party."

Absolutely. The end result will be "make everything as bland and possible to avoid any possible offense." The textbook industry is sadly going that way, producing some very weak products as a result.

The Godfather said...

Is it a microaggression to say “Of course he’ll get tenure, even though he hasn’t published much — he’s White!”?

Of course not. Silly me!

Alex said...

Only white males can commit microagressions against non-white males. That's how it works.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I have no problem whatsoever with an employer telling its employees to do the job they're paid to do, narrowly defined: Teach the subject matter and keep your personal opinions and value judgments to yourself.

My objections run more along the lines of the aesthetic.

Alex said...

Eric - that would be fine except for the entire existence of the Gender Studies department at any university shoving supremo bullshit down our throats.

Michael said...

"Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership "

So, a wrong look is a microaggression.
Nice shoes are a microaggression.
An SUV is a microaggression
Answering questions with sentences where the subjects and verbs agree is a microaggression.
Being articulate is a microaggression

Michael K said...

I wonder if the law school faculty members are allowed to tell their students that they might lose a case?

EDH said...

Althouse: "I don't think that's possible, but if it were possible, how dull our discussions would be!"

As if boredom were the downside of all this attempted control over thought and expression.

Of course, that frivolity requires leaving out the "or else".

Such microaggressions, the argument goes, can lead to a “hostile learning environment,” which UC — and the federal government — views as legally actionable. This is stuff you could get disciplined or fired for, especially if you aren’t a tenured faculty member.

Have to admit I'm astounded by Althouse's complacency toward the march of the fascist left. Is it denial or fear?

Richard Dolan said...

Perhaps it's best to view this bit of lefty lunacy through a Marxist lens. The fundamental contradictions in the means of academic production are playing out as Uncle Karl predicted, all leading to a time when the workers in that world will throw off their chains and strike down the parasitical, rent-seeking administrative oppressors, who are not themselves productive members of the work unit.

Eugene Volokh is an unlikely proletarian hero, but he does have the right ethnicity to pull it off.

Brando said...

"Microaggression" will be the new "PC"--a word used to signify the Left's overreach, make a mockery of colleges, and ultimately cause leftists to claim it doesn't really exist and is just a right wing boogeyman.

D.D. Driver said...

"America is the land of opportunity"?!?!

Why would someone with Professor Volokh's background ever say something like that...

Henry said...

“Gender plays no part in who we hire.”

So every time UCLA declares itself to be an equal opportunity employer, which it is required to do by law, it commits a microaggression.

pduggie said...

The best way to get people to empathize with microagressions is to ask them to imagine be asked, when single

"So why aren't you married yet? Don't you want to get married? Is it so tough to find a partner?"

Bryan C said...

"Absolutely. The end result will be "make everything as bland and possible to avoid any possible offense." "

Even worse. It'll be "avoid offending certain favored groups who use feigned offense to advance their views". These sorts of thoughtcrime policies are explicitly hostile to even-handed enforcement and due-process. They're weapons pretending to be laws.

campy said...

There are other microaggressions that should be banned. "There's a rape culture here" is one.

traditionalguy said...

The NBA has a rule fining any coach speaking out about the Referees' affirmative calling fouls on the non-stars that are never called on the Leagues marquee TV Stars. It goes as far as making sure the TV Stars are in the Finals, but no one is allowed to speak about that.

As Hillary says, "What does it matter now?" The system's corruption has to be ignored or else.

MayBee said...

Remember how you so hopefully believed the era of micro aggression had passed?

Ahhh, if only.

EMD said...

Life is microagression.

MathMom said...

University of California? “Gender plays no part in who we hire.” Wouldn't be "Gender plays no part in whom we hire"?

lgv said...

I worry about the sustainability of this microaggression policy.

There, the two terms that make me cringe. I keep thinking it will stop, but it won't. It just gets worse.

Ann Althouse said...

"University of California? “Gender plays no part in who we hire.” Wouldn't be "Gender plays no part in whom we hire"?"

I think using "whom" in spoken communication would be regarded as a microaggression in and of itself.

Joshua Barker said...

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

“Orthodoxy means not thinking–not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

“It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

“You are a slow learner, Winston."
"How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four."
"Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

“For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?”

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”

“Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”

“Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power”

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said... but they'd like to manage the feelings that students have and imagine that they can separate the ideas from the feelings that are caused by ideas. I don't think that's possible, but if it were possible, how dull our discussions would be!
I think you give them entirely too much credit, Prof. If the Admin cared most about Profs being sensitive to students' feelings they could have said simply "remember to maintain a professional attitude towards your students, mind your manners, and approach potentially-divisive topics with sensitivity." The actual examples they cite, though, show pretty clearly that the actual goal is to control people--to enforce a particular worldview/outlook/ideology.
The Admin wants to enforce conformity - of thought and of speech. They're not telling the Profs they should be careful how they communicate their ideas, they are (as you point out) telling Pros what ideas they are allowed to have. The irony of you 60's radicals mocking the squares and buttoned-down men in gray suits in your youth and ending up in these positions cracking down on potential thoughtcrime in this way!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...I think using "whom" in spoken communication would be regarded as a microaggression in and of itself.

You laugh, but I've almost given up on using "shall."

lemondog said...

Memo = microaggression

More micros: (Micro-Micros?)

According to Sue et al.,[10] microaggressions seem to appear in four forms:

* microassault: an explicit racial derogation; verbal/nonverbal; e.g.: name-calling, avoidant behavior, purposeful discriminatory actions.

* microinsult: communications that convey rudeness and insensitivity and demean a person's racial heritage or identity; subtle snubs; unknown to the perpetrator; hidden insulting message to the recipient of color.

* microinvalidation: communications that exclude, negate, or nullify the psychological thoughts, feelings, or experiential reality of a person belonging to a particular group.

* microrape: Characterized by predatory non-physical prurient communications with the intent to penetrate the victim's emotional security on the basis of heteronormative impositions

rhhardin said...

I think using "whom" in spoken communication would be regarded as a microaggression in and of itself.

"Who" is acceptable everywhere except in "formal register." You can't say "For who the bell tolls."

Fronting the preposition is formal register, "who" for "whom" is informal register, mixed registers (though no longer a case error).

"Who the bell tolls for" is okay spoken or written.

matthew49 said...

Idina Menzel and Taylor Swift offer much wiser advice to college students than does Dean Napolitano: Let it go. Shake it off.

rhhardin said...

Microaggression generator

$ insult 20
You ungraced locker box of unwholesome argali shavings
You crude ashtray of soiled fer-de-lance slobber
You ignoble ashcan of insanitary daboia embers
You unengaging picnic basket of abandoned kangaroo mouse scourings
You disconcerting till of rheumatic manta effluent
You troublesome shelf of noxious cockchafer flow
You ill-made file folder of illicit wild duck stool
You miasmic dinner plate of cankered grouse ca-ca
You heartwounding creamer of luetic housefly slabber
You disagreeable pocket of septic turnspit crap
You forbidding gourd of unchaste katydid feces
You ungainly carafe of hydropic warbler puke
You dislikable Boston bag of smirched ounce turd
You loathsome eggcup of envenomed Doberman pinscher rumps
You ill-proportioned hip bath of incontinent manul fart
You malodorous money box of edematous quetzal snot
You evil-favored theca of bilious kangaroo squirt
You revolting chest of drawers of rachitic rhea sediment
You grim dustpan of grubby alpaca debris
You dreary barrel of harmful tic-polonga settlings

Basil said...

Very Stalinistic (and Leninistic) of the University of California system. Just what the COmmunists did when they took over Russia.

Btw, Professor, have you gotten around to reading Ayn Rand's autobiographical novel, "We the Living"? Her best work, imho, and required reading for anyone to understand the mindset of those who try to require all people to think like them.

Basil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Dear people:

The difference between human beings and animals is that animals feel, and humans think and feel.

When you go to college, embrace your humanity, go there to think, and to learn how to think better. Your feelings don't matter.

At all.

If you can't handle that, don't go to college. Stay home and ask your parents to get you a crib, since that's where you belong.

The Cracker Emcee said...

When you have to codify your insecurities, you're losing. Big.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership

How can someone be the target of something unintentional. Targeting requires intentionality.

Joe said...

Teacher calling roll: Johnny?
Johnny grunts.
Teacher: Is that a yes?
Johnny (screaming): That is microaggresive!
Teacher: That is silly...
Johnny: I'm being repressed!

Yes, UCLA is now a Monty Python sketch.

Jason said...

Proud to be USC.

Scott M said...

And yet people will claim, with a straight face, that political correctness doesn't exist. It's linguistic tyranny and has been since the days of the "He's not short. He's height-challenged" jokes. Remember those? Late 80's or early 90's, I believe.

The outcome of adhering to such a bankrupt view of the world was utterly predictable.

kcom said...

"Just what the COmmunists did when they took over Russia."

Yeah, but these people are well-intentioned. See the difference?

Nah, me neither.

Fernandinande said...

rhhardin said...
Microaggression generator


Thou mewling doghearted death-token!
Thou gleeking crook-pated barnacle!
Thou art a very ragged Wart.
Get thee to a nunnery. (for the rape fantasists)

garage mahal said...

Being a professor shouldn't guarantee you a lifetime job. Wymmins Studies!

Fernandinande said...

Richard Dolan said...
Eugene Volokh is an unlikely proletarian hero, but he does have the right ethnicity to pull it off.


He's also an immigrant from the former soviet union, so it seems he jumped from the fire into the frying pan.

Gahrie said...

Fight on!

Alexander said...

It seems very microagressive to use examples that imply that one would make a suggestion that one got tenure early because of *black* skin. Maybe I'm an Indian professor mocking the newly minted Professor Garcia. Maybe I'm black and I note, well of course they got tenure - she's white!

Why single out the strong, black candidate. It's disconcerting that this popped into the heads of whoever wrote the memo. Are they hinting that people are more likely to find a young, rising-star African American to be "uppity".

I don't know. I don't want to judge. But I think this level of micro-agression coming from a major university deserves scrutiny. I think we need a public hearing of everyone involved in setting this policy.

We can't fight micro-aggression if we allow the gatekeepers of micro-aggression to micro-aggress!

jr565 said...

microagressions, the latest addition from feminism to our culture. Thank you so much feminists cry babies.

EDH said...

Althouse said...

University of California? “Gender plays no part in who we hire.” Wouldn't be "Gender plays no part in whom we hire"?

As applied to Caitlin Jenner:

"Womb plays no part in what gender we hire."

jr565 said...

Every time Garage mahal posts, I think we should be warned, so as to avoid microagressions.
Put a disclaimer at the top that warns us about the silliness ahead. And then we can go to our safe places.

PB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DanTheMan said...

Microaggressions require microapologies. I think a shrug would do it.

Dan Hossley said...

Does this mean that we can't call Rachel Dolezal a white liar? Or Bruce Jenner a confused old man?

PB said...

Are nanoaggressions okay? I assume since liberals are all about science and can provide a ranking of aggressions on a discrete scale. Why did they go directly to micro and skip milli?

jr565 said...

as far as microagressions go I could give two microshits.

PB said...

I promise to reply to accusations of microaggression with milliaggression: you stupid fuckwad!

Owen said...

This stuff is pretty amazing. But it is I think a natural consequence of too many administrators with too much time on their hands, mostly in the HR/Student Life area. Apparently they are not accountable to anyone anymore, and have gotten very ambitious to explain and apply the State's policy of No Hurt Feelings For Anyone Ever. Unless and until the senior University "leadership" pulls them up short --peremptory mass layoffs would be a salutary start-- this crazy will go on. The "leadership" won't do the needful until it is in a lot of pain. Which will come in the delayed but then-severe form of lawsuits. Or, maybe better, mass defection by good faculty and students. Just my speculation.

clint said...

This is the art of carefully placed noses.

One man's freedom ends at the tip of another's nose. With the careful placement of overly sensitive noses, there's no freedom that can't be properly restrained.

Owen said...

This stuff is pretty amazing. But it is I think a natural consequence of too many administrators with too much time on their hands, mostly in the HR/Student Life area. Apparently they are not accountable to anyone anymore, and have gotten very ambitious to explain and apply the State's policy of No Hurt Feelings For Anyone Ever. Unless and until the senior University "leadership" pulls them up short --peremptory mass layoffs would be a salutary start-- this crazy will go on. The "leadership" won't do the needful until it is in a lot of pain. Which will come in the delayed but then-severe form of lawsuits. Or, maybe better, mass defection by good faculty and students. Just my speculation.

Owen said...

Sorry for the double post. Micro aggression I guess.

Sebastian said...

As always, I appreciate Volokh's stance but he's trying to be nice and reasonable with Progs who don't do nice and reasonable.

When he sues UCLA for creating an environment hostile to him, I'll know he's fighting back for real.

Rumpletweezer said...

My teenage daughters are already fully prepared to eat these people alive.

DanTheMan said...

RT,
That's good. My two oldest have been programmed to instantly call out anything that could in any way be offensive to anyone. They think that this is a key life skill.
Very sad.
As I said before, the motto of their generation: "Don't judge me, you bigot!"
Dan

William said...

I agree that there is such a thing as a micro aggression, but it wasn't so long ago that society was ripe with macro aggressions. Micro aggressions are a huge step forward in human civility. Beyond this micro aggressions are by their very nature subtle and mutable. Calling someone colored is, for the moment, a micro aggression. The correct usage is person of color. You have to be really keyed into the zeitgeist to appreciate these differences, So perhaps the very concept of micro aggression is itself a form of micro aggression against the clueless. And by clueless I mean lower or working class white people.

Terry said...

So, even if you have certain knowledge that a person was promoted because of his race, you aren't allowed to say so.
Why don't they go one step further? If a person was obviously promoted over his or her coworkers due to race, it can be assumed that the coworkers know this, even if they never say anything. Why not subject these coworkers to Soviet style show trials, were they confess their wickedness, and publicly renounce themselves before they are led out to be shot?

DanTheMan said...

>>they confess their wickedness, and publicly renounce themselves before they are led out to be shot?


I believe that is the intended punishment for microagressors as well.
Nanoaggressors will be flogged.

lemondog said...

Fernandinande said...

Thou mewling doghearted death-token!

Hahaha.....great site!

Larry J said...

Michael said...
Here is a microaggression for you:

Fuck you, you commie dipshit! Print out your chickenshit memo and roll it up tightly. Dip it in melted butter and shove it up your ass.

Or, much worse:

You are a Republican!!


Shorter version: I don't give a microshit about your microaggression. Grow the fuck up.

lemondog said...

[Thou hath] not so much brain as ear wax.

Hahaha...

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

When I was a lad, progress meant creating a world where everyone was treated the same. Today it's all about determining what victim subclass you belong to so you can claim your special rights. So sad.

Fernandinande said...

lemondog said...
Hahaha.....great site!


That guy had a way with words.

And here's a link that pops up occasionally, for us mammering hedge-born hugger-muggers.

Terry said...

This ties into Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. I mean, Napolitano is obviously a double for Saruman, but there are deeper similarities, and an important lesson to be learned. How did the Hobbits beat Sauron? The ring was simply a plot device. The Eagles could have dropped it into Mount Doom any time. No, the Hobbits won by enduring. They did not give up. They didn't draw attention to themselves, but they did not give in to despair.
Galadriel had the ring of Adamant. She despaired, the ring was something she wore, not something she was.
So all you have to do to win over totalitarianism is to endure, and to endure, you cannot give into despair.

furious_a said...

Keep adding zeros to the damage claims. Keep filing claims. That should do the trick.

mikee said...

The progs have decided Chilling Effect and Heckler's Veto are good things to use against non-group-think.

I'd suggest telling them to go f**k themselves whenever they claim a microaggression has occurred, then laughing at them and calling them ridiculous.

But that would be a microagression.

traditionalguy said...

The word Tenure is about to become Micro Agression Enemy word #1. It actually is a claim of Authority to ignore the rebel claque's demands.

Coupe said...

Once a college becomes public, it is essentially a political front, and a football economic engine for the mouth breathing vastness of America.

Scott said...

"Microaggression is a recently current term which some use to refer to unintended discrimination. Psychiatrist and Harvard University professor Chester M. Pierce coined the word microaggression in 1970 to describe insults and dismissals he said he had regularly witnessed non-black Americans inflict on African Americans...In 1973, MIT economist Mary Rowe extended the term to include similar aggressions directed at women; eventually, the term came to encompass the casual degradation of any socially marginalized group, such as poor people, disabled people and sexual minorities." --Wikipedia

Bob R said...

Yet more evidence, if anyone needed it, that you don't get a job in the UC Office of the President, Office of Academic and Personnel Programs because you are smarter that Eugene Volokh.

Freeman Hunt said...

Charges of microaggression call for answers of microsympathy.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Don't you care about microaggressions?"
"Sure, I microcare."

rhhardin said...

There's the milligiveashit from the 60s, applied to various work projects by the disgruntled.

Skeptical Voter said...

Ah the curse of affirmative action and using race to get ahead. From what I understand Fauxcahontas Warren, she of the high "Cherokee" cheekbones, hustled her professorial career along by claiming Native American ancestry, and so she joined the Harvard Law faculty.

While there I understand that she did very good scholarly work and became a recognized expert in bankruptcy law. That's a signal achievement somewhat tarred by the fact that her politics are hard left and there is the question as to just how she managed to get on the Harvard faculty. Would she, could she have done as good scholarly work elsewhere? Probably. Would her reputation have risen as fast but for getting on the Harvard Law faculty? Probably not--and there's the conundrum.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Fascism is a phenomenon of the Left.

Terry said...

Skeptical Voter wrote:
". . . I understand that she did very good scholarly work and became a recognized expert in bankruptcy law.
There is some dispute about her scholarship. Some say that she managed to prove only that if bankruptcy laws were changed to go easier on people with medical expenses, more people claimed that their bankruptcy was due to medical expenses. There was also an issue with, I believe, her claim that bankruptcy resulting from gambling was a medical bankruptcy because addiction to gambling is a mental disorder.

Terry said...

"Everyting within the State, nothing outside of the State, nothing against the State."
-Benito Mussolini
Does that sound more like your average socialist or your average tea-partier?
If Hitler was a conservative he would have put the Kaiser back on the throne. Hindenberg was a conservative. While Hindenberg lived, Hitler was checked.

Scott said...

What's a microaggression? Ask a microintellectual.

Quaestor said...

Here's an opportunity for everyone who still cherishes the classical concept of education to engage in some strategic ridicule, à la Saul Alinsky. "Microaggression" (A neologism that the OS X spell check rejects, a "bug" that shall remain unfixed in El Capitan one trusts.) should be reveled in. There should be scorekeeping, like fighter kills in WWII. Emoticons, or perhaps a lovely new custom icon standing for "microaggression," should be adopted and used on social media whenever possible. I think everyone has seen the insipid emoticon <3. For starters I suggest <\3, which resembles a tiny broken heart, emblematic of the tiny wounded feelings of supposedly strong and independent women who, if they were strong and independent, should be as oblivious of tiny wounded feelings as ducks are of water drops.

Example usage: The "microaggression" memo was issued over the signature of Janet Napolitano, the Obama bureaucrat who never missed an opportunity to interpret the Patriot Act in the most neo-fascist way possible. <\3

Terry said...

Political scientists usually say that the difference between fascism and Marxism is that while both are utopian, Marxists put their utopia in an realized future while fascists put utopia in an atavistic past. This is a distinction without a difference. Neither the future or the past exist. The reason fascists put their utopia in an atavistic past is because it is focused on a people, and people need a history that differentiates them from other and to bind them together. In Marxism, history creates nations. In fascism, nations create history.

David said...

William said . . . So perhaps the very concept of micro aggression is itself a form of micro aggression against the clueless. And by clueless I mean lower or working class white people.

Methinks you just microagressed, William.

Quaestor said...

Freeman Hunt wrote: Charges of microaggression call for answers of microsympathy.

You have my micro sympathies.

Roughcoat said...

"I'm so glad I'm not young anymore ..."

Terry said...

"In 1973, MIT economist Mary Rowe extended the term to include similar aggressions directed at women; eventually, the term came to encompass the casual degradation of any socially marginalized group, such as poor people, disabled people and sexual minorities."

No one marginalizes poor and working class whites like middle and upper class whites, but since they are the people who define what is and what is not a "socially marginalized group", no microaggressions can possibly be directed at poor and working class whites.

Quaestor said...

Fascism is just socialism for people with a sense of style. I mean, if it came right down to it wouldn't you rather dress like this than this?

Just look at the hats. Behold the tailored lines and the jaunty, devil-may-care angle of the fascist style. The only thing that keeps that Nork general from looking like a giant carpet tack is the baggy suit beneath the hat. The commie looks like an idiot, and he knows it; look at his expression. The only reason he's wearing that hat is because Kim Jung Il would force-feed him live grenade if he didn't.

There's a reason why the SM and bondage freaks all like to dress up like Heinrich Himmler, and none wants to wear a Pol Pot costume... Fascism is sexy, communism is not. If there's a fascist vegetable it's a long, smooth, glistening cucumber. The commie veg is a freshly dug turnip with extra grit.

Now let's consider Janet Napolitano. There's no way riding boots are going to help a walking turnip, and she knows it, so she's gone straight for the Ernesto Guevara urban guerrilla look. <\3

Quaestor said...

Oops. Historical faux pas. Kim Jung Il is fertilizer now by now. It's Kim Jung Un who's feeding the generals live grenades nowadays.

cold pizza said...

Just remember, you can't have Wymmins Studies or even students without stud. Oooh, language oppression!

I sincerely hope someone times 'em to court for 1A violations. Sue 'em for a microamount, like 5c but make them waste their time. Again and again. Keep the fires stoked and shine the harsh light of mockery on all of 'em. -CP

Sammy Finkelman said...

Obviously, the Unoversity of California considereed certain statements wrong and that's how Eugene Volokh (correctly) took it.

A prerequisite for a "micro-agggression" is taht the statement is supposed to be invalid.

JAORE said...

Micro... as in one one millionth. So, giving he most generous of possible rounding it requires 500,001 micro-aggressions to reach the threshold of an aggression.

Add 'em up, Bobby. When I get to, say 450,000 I'll dial it back a touch. OK?

Terry said...

Quaestor, the Nazi's had incorporated the Freudian death wish into their tailoring. Death is sexy. Communism is just squalid. They incorporated that into their tailoring.

Michael K said...

"When he sues UCLA for creating an environment hostile to him, I'll know he's fighting back for real."

The guy who needs to sue is this guy.

UCLA education professor emeritus Val Rust was involved in multiculturalism long before the concept even existed. A pioneer in the field of comparative education, which studies different countries’ educational systems, Rust has spent over four decades mentoring students from around the world and assisting in international development efforts. He has received virtually every honor awarded by the Society of Comparative and International Education.

Val Rust’s dissertation-prep class had devolved into a highly charged arena of competing victim ideologies, impenetrable to anyone outside academia. For example: Were white feminists who use “standpoint theory”—a feminist critique of allegedly male-centered epistemology—illegitimately appropriating the “testimonial” genre used by Chicana feminists to narrate their stories of oppression?

It would be funny if it were not ruining this guy's life.

Terry said...

Mussolini started out as a socialist agitator and a dedicated Marxist. Supposedly he developed fascism as a political philosophy because he found that being a socialist agitator was frustrating. People clung too tightly to their identities to become good communists. So he decided to let people have their religion, their identification as workers, or peasants, or aristocrats, or industrialists, or as men and women, so long as they gave their first loyalty to the State. "All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state."

LordSomber said...

As it's been said, the only deserving response to a claimed "microagression" is a micro-apology.

Terry said...

Michael K wrote:
"It would be funny if it were not ruining this guy's life."
Oh, they'll get around to ruining your life. It is their mission. It's what they do. They emerge from a graduate program at age 26 able to completely evaluate your life and determine what your privileges are and what they should be, and they will do whatever it takes to make them match.

JamesB.BKK said...

The question is: which of the parties is seeking to impose on the other loss of property, livelihood, opportunity, or possibly freedom (i.e. prison), due to words. That party is the aggressor, always. They used to tell us to follow this rule, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." Just what is the rule now, in case I ever return to that apparently fast deteriorating country?

It does seem that California is going the way of Argentina ca. 1913.

Char Char Binks said...

There's nothing micro about my aggression.

LibertarianSafetyGuy said...

This microagression memo is, in itself, a microagression on speech. The memo itself will likely not change much behavior. But we'll feel differently about our behavior as a result - and that's likely intended.

For those that are of a certain age, you may remember not having to drive with a seatbelt in a moving car.. Back then, did you even know you were at-risk by not wearing a seatbelt? Most folks didn't. At some point, there were commercials and some states passed laws requiring seat belts. Seatbelt use was taught in schools. And, suddenly, there was a lot of information out about seatbelt use and the dangers of not using one. How many people instantly changed their behavior? Very few. But most people "felt" differently about their behavior. It wasn't until the social support systems caught up (meaning, either we got repeated tickets or children badgered adults about wearing seat belts) did behavior change. And today, this behavior is reinforced as a habit.

While seatbelt use is likely honorable, can we say the same about the microagression memo? Or is it designed to chill speech through ambiguous speech codes. Do we really know what is a micro-aggression? If we don't, won't that make us hesitate or feel differently about all speech? Further, those who actively resist, like Prof. Volokh, will be labeled as supporting all the microagression statements and not as defenders of free speech and expression. We need to stop this before starts.

Terry said...

Blogger LibertarianSafetyGuy said...
This microagression memo is, in itself, a microagression on speech.

Only if it is directed at a historically marginalized group. The power to decide who is and who is not a member of a historically marginalized group is extremely important. The reason Dolezal lost her lawsuit against Howard College is that she was not a member of a protected class. Now she is, according to her.
We need to stop this before starts.
It has already started.

Douglas said...

Prof. Althouse - Prof. Volokh said he was going to continue microaggressing. How about you?