June 26, 2017

How to lose your job in higher education: Speak freely and cause offense... about white privilege.

1. The University of Delaware is declining to rehire the "part-time professor" Katherine Dettwyler who wrote on Facebook (and later deleted): "Is it wrong of me to think that Otto Warmbier got exactly what he deserved... His parents ultimately are to blame for his growing up thinking he could get away with whatever he wanted. Maybe in the US, where young, white, rich, clueless white males routinely get away with raping women. Not so much in North Korea. And of course, it's Ottos' parents who will pay the price for the rest of their lives." She spoke of privilege, perhaps relying, ironically, on the privilege of freedom of speech.

2. Essex County College fires adjunct professor Lisa Durden after she defended a blacks-only Black Lives Matter event (on Tucker Carlson's show). She said: "What I say to that is, boo hoo hoo... You white people are angry because you couldn’t use your white-privilege card to get invited to the Black Lives Matter all-black Memorial Day celebration." She said white people have had "white days forever," and this was one day when black people were saying "stay your asses out... We want to celebrate today. We don’t want anybody going against us today."

Both women voiced a critique of "white privilege." Is it evidence of white privilege that this is the offense that gets you fired? I observe that both of them spoke clearly and with edge but were inviting or participating in dialogue.

Dettwyler posed a question, beginning "Is it wrong of me...?" Are people so afraid to have that conversation? Yes, it was a time of overflowing empathy for the unfortunate man and his grieving family, but Dettwyler wasn't showing up to yell at Warmbier's funeral. She was showing her thoughts on Facebook and exposing an issue that some people might want to discuss, even if others want to slam the door on that line of inquiry.

Lisa Durden had the nerve to go on Tucker Carlson's show, where guests must know they are going to be hounded. Carlson had the easy side of the debate: Racial discrimination is bad. And Durden gamely jousted: The traditionally discriminated-against group is justified promoting and participating in a one-race festivity; can't you white people back off for one day and give us that?

Dettwyler and Durden should not have lost their jobs over this.

275 comments:

1 – 200 of 275   Newer›   Newest»
AReasonableMan said...

I heard people express similar opinions to Dettwyler on this forum, kind of shocking that this would get you fired.

rhhardin said...

That's a "too soon" offsense. The public is still entertaining itself with sympathy virtue signalling.

It's really an offense against that self-entertainment.

AReasonableMan said...

On a related note, June Y. Chu, the Yale dean who made racist comments about whites was also sacked.

David Begley said...

Durden now allegedly looking to file a lawsuit.

rhhardin said...

The right consists in large part of the same crowd behavior as the left and so enforces the same kinds of rules.

If you can't attract morons you won't have any movement at all.

The right though has a better reading of stuff than the left. The left is for juveniles.

Chest Rockwell said...

'Critique of white privilege...'

That concept is bullshit to begin with. They got fired because some sane people don't want racist teaching their students.

Annie C said...

Ask the conservatives hounded from their jobs for supporting traditional marriage. Ask the rodeo clown that dared to wear an Obama mask. Ask the shop owner that lost their business for daring to voice a conservative opinion on a hypothetical situation.

Live by the SJW sword, die by the SJW sword.

Maybe if the left has to face the consequences of free speech that the right has faced for so long, people will stop over-reacting to every utterance.

Qwinn said...

Brendan Eich could be reached for comment, but who cares about *his* job? After all, he held the same position on gay marriage in 2008 as Obama and Hillary did in 2008, which is obviously unforgivable.

When he gets his job back, with back pay, I'll entertain arguments that these women should have kept their jobs. Till then, couldn't care less. I didn't make the rules.

Michael said...

Yikes, the noise the gander makes is so satisfying.

Ralph L said...

Their new notoriety will get them better jobs somewhere else.

The Vault Dweller said...

If this were an isolated incident I would agree completely that that these two professors should not have lost their jobs. Nothing they said was a call to violence, just messages that upset some people. However, this sort of things has been occurring for decades to right leaning people, in Academia and the wider professional world. This doesn't mean revenge is good, but making the them live up to their own rules is a good way to change unjust rules. Or to approximate Glenn Reynolds, the best way to get an unjust law reversed is to strictly enforce it on all people. Once there is widespread agreement on the left that this kind of behavior is bad when it happens to anyone then it should change. I have similar feeling about what happened to Kathy Griffin and the Julius Caesar production. Though I think what Kathy Griffin did was more inappropriate.

Rae said...

Dettwyler and Durden should not have lost their jobs over this.

Maybe, but this is the world rampant Progressivism has brought. I'm a big proponent of forcing lefties to live under the same rules they enforce against conservatives.

Bring on the struggle sessions, Commies!

dreams said...

Yeah, they shouldn't have been fired but aren't both firings just a couple more examples of political correctness?

etbass said...

The best treatment of people who make offensive comments is to be shunned. But that only happens to those on the right who offend. So let's balance the scales and then maybe all will eventually return to a normal behavior and normal reactions. Although I am not optimistic.

BAS said...

They're both adjunct professor. Little pay, no benefits and no support from the University. To the schools they were easily disposed of so that's what the schools did.

Mark said...

I guess those on the right like the new standard that they have been decrying for the last few years.

It looks like the end of their complaining about free speech.

Annie C :"Ask the shop owner that lost their business for daring to voice a conservative opinion on a hypothetical situation."

Wouldn't that be the free market working as intended? People freely choosing not to do business is quite unlike getting fired by a bureaucrat.

Fen said...

"should not have lost their jobs"

Yes they should - new rules and all. Only from now on, the Left is held to them. If conservatives can be fired for speaking against whatever is in vogue at the moment, then so can liberals. And fads change year to year, academia, so stay sharp - who knows what the New Black will be tomorrow?

I have zero sympathy for academia. They created this Frankenstein monster with their PCBS. Let it tear them limb from limb. After a decade or so, we will be open to negotiating a peace. But not with these people.

"Burn them all" - Aegis Targaryan, Game of Thrones

Rene Saunce said...

Otto raped a woman?
No. He removed a propaganda poster with the intent of keeping it as a souvenir.

"Is it wrong of me to think that Otto Warmbier got exactly what he deserved... His parents ultimately are to blame for his growing up thinking he could get away with whatever he wanted. Maybe in the US, where young, white, rich, clueless white males routinely get away with raping women. Not so much in North Korea. And of course, it's Ottos' parents who will pay the price for the rest of their lives."

He didn't rape anyone.
She should be fired for stupidity.

Ann Althouse said...

"They're both adjunct professor. Little pay, no benefits and no support from the University. To the schools they were easily disposed of so that's what the schools did."

Yes. And think of the chilling effect this has on the many, many people who work at this level in higher education.

Hari said...

I think schools are worried about being perceived as the next Evergreen.

Curious George said...

I'm surprised they didn't get promoted.

Kate said...

"Brendan Eich could be reached for comment, but who cares about *his* job? After all, he held the same position on gay marriage in 2008 as Obama and Hillary did in 2008, which is obviously unforgivable."

The Left didn't go after him because of his opinion in 2008. It's because he wouldn't recant his position. Hillary and O changed their minds. They agreed with the groupthink when the time was right. Eich refused to say he had been wrong and unenlightened. He refused to self-flagellate enough for all the feelz he hurt.

This is way worse. He's not punished under a restriction of free speech. He's under a restriction of free *think.

The Left pushed too far. My sympathy for Dettwyler is a tiny violin playing.

Rene Saunce said...

We have "white days forever"?

When whites segregate as whites only - It's a KKK meeting.

When blacks do it, it's all good.

Rae said...

I guess those on the right like the new standard that they have been decrying for the last few years.

Like has nothing to do with it. It has been imposed on us. Enforce it equally.

Wouldn't that be the free market working as intended? People freely choosing not to do business is quite unlike getting fired by a bureaucrat.

Not if bureaucrats whip up the mob.

Man in PA said...

Chest Rockwell wrote "That [white privilege] concept is bullshit to begin with. They got fired because some sane people don't want racist teaching their students."

+1000

Rae said...

Yes. And think of the chilling effect this has on the many, many people who work at this level in higher education.

No sympathy at all. I'll agree it's bad, but reap what you sow.

The Vault Dweller said...

Mark said...

"Wouldn't that be the free market working as intended? People freely choosing not to do business is quite unlike getting fired by a bureaucrat."

To an extent that is true. And certainly in a legal distinction regarding first amendment rights that distinction is important. But the idea of "Free Speech" isn't just a legal doctrine. It is also a cultural value. Part of that value should include a society tolerates the non-call-to-violence speech of others even if they really don't like it. If an individual feels a response is needed, then the response should be proportionate to the offense included in the speech. Merely saying a mean or offensive thing, even if it seems to have no redeeming value, shouldn't cost a person their career or livelihood.

rehajm said...

They're both adjunct professor. Little pay, no benefits and no support from the University.

Who wants statements from the temps representing the entire institution?

I fully support the respective institutions right to fire the people of their choosing.

Michael K said...

"Their new notoriety will get them better jobs somewhere else."

Maybe we should ask "The Duke 88" who all got better jobs after their libel of the white fraternity kids.

Ten years later, the faculty interviewed by The Chronicle claimed the ad was misinterpreted and that no one anticipated the backlash.

“I’d have to have been a psychic to see it coming,” said one former Duke faculty member who signed the ad and asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

Of the original Group of 88, approximately 50 signatories are still affiliated with the University, according to the Duke directory.


At least the local DA who tried to prosecute the boys got disbarred. Academia ? Nothing.

Unknown said...

I don't believe that either of the "professors" should have been fired for their comments (after all, we do enjoy freedom of expression); however, those who teach our youth (?) should be far more cognizant of the impacts of their statements. If you are taking these types of positions (those that each of them espoused) merely to evoke conversation or debate, you should preface your statements as such. Alternatively, you tend to "own" your comments.

I should note that Ms. Durden did not make note on air of her affiliation with Essex County College; thus, her comments were more defensible as being "personal" rather than "professional". But I believe ECC has fired others for their opinions in the past, although those were folks with the "wrong" opinions.

Confused said...

First of all, I agree that people shouldn't be fired for voicing unpopular opinions.

Ironically, though, since you talk about privilege, I think these women are victims of their own sense of privilege. I'm an adjunct professor, and a white male, and I wouldn't come within 100 miles of an opinion show like Tucker Carlson and I don't post anything political on Facebook. I want to secure better employment than adjuncting, and I know that being outspoken could cost me. Most likely these two knew that as well but believed the rules didn't apply to them because they are not white males. Like your "beautiful people" post the other day, minorities in academia have no one to tell them that you cannot just say whatever you want whenever you want when you don't have tenure.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

The black racist needed to be fired. The Woman who attacked Warmbier was probably fired because people are tired of these shrieking harridans.

Fen said...

They should be happy they only lost their jobs. Clueless white boys might take a break from tbeir rape spree to hang them.

campy said...

Yes. And think of the chilling effect this has on the many, many people who work at this level in higher education.

Okay, I'm thinking of it ... and I'm smiling. Now what?

William said...

The first offense is far more egregious. Warmbier may very well have been tortured to death, and he wasn't arrested for rape. What a spectacularly rancid statement!.......If she said such a thing about Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin, I don't know if she would attract such sympathy.......For the record, that's my opinion about Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, but if I were invited to be the keynote speaker at a BLM demonstration, that would not be my opening remark.

Fen said...

I'm surprised Althouse wasn't fired for normalizing us Deplorables. I hear she even married one.

SDaly said...

These are mostly the result of the "hostile environment" prong of anti-discrimination lawsuits. The First Amendment, and the general societal support for free speech, cannot stand before the threat of legal liability. Courts' concern for any "chilling effect" in First Amendment law is laughable given their creation of hostile environment claims.

Gretchen said...

"...where young white males get away with routinely raping women..."

Does she really believe this? Does she think all white males just rape women all the time, get up, shower shave, rape some women, have lunch, rape some women, etc? This woman is delusional. She also comments that in NK "not so much". Does she seriously believe that women's rights are better in NK?

I don't think comments on a forum should loose someone's job, but I think it is okay to publicize them and allow students to skip her classes. What if she wrote "young Muslim males who routinely rape women" or "young black males ....? Would she deserve to be fired then? Do you think she treats and grades white males (when they make it to class between routine rape-fests) fairly in her classes?

PackerBronco said...

Oh please. Imagine a white conservative professor who had said: "Michael Brown got was he deserved" or "Blacks need to get over slavery and stop whining" ...

Of course "imagine" is all you can do because no white conservative professor would say such a thing because he or she would know it would be a firing offense.

Laslo Spatula said...

I think Lisa Durden's problem was that 'white people' is too broad of a category.

She should have just said 'Jews'.

For instance.

It'd be like saying all black people are criminals, when you just meant all urban black youth.

As an example.

I am Laslo.

LilyBart said...

Lisa Durden had the nerve to go on Tucker Carlson's show, where guests must know they are going to be hounded.

I don't like to see people fired for expressing their (sometimes unpopular) views outside of work. This is not a good trend.

However, did you watch this video? She wasn't 'hounded'. She came ready to act like a mean-girl. This woman is an idiot, and so is the lady who made the Warmbier comments. Really. They expressed their views a ridiculously childish way. These sound more like emotional rants of high school girls than the thoughtful comments of educated ladies. I probably would have dis-invited them myself on the grounds that they're far to immature to be shaping young minds.

Basil said...

So, it's ok to be an avowed, active racist, supporting segregation and still keep your job?

You're trolling us, right?

Chuck said...

Althouse and some of her commenters understand the conundrum in this story. The fired faculty members in these stories were adjuncts; easily discarded without tenure. And consequently, even more exquisitely sensitive to informal speech codes.

But then there is the matter of granting tenure in the first place. Where the people who run departments, and who are virtually immune to discipline as they discipline the adjuncts, are all selected from top to bottom by like- minded academic liberals.

The fact that this was a lefty black activist who was found to have crossed the line is truly a man-bites-dog story in this realm.

Meade said...

"I hear she even married one."

Oh he isn't that bad. In fact in many ways he's quite admirable. And he voted for Hillary, I think.

Kristian Holvoet said...

Losing you job and not getting rehired / a contract renewal are two different things. At the expiration of a contract, both sides are free to move on. So the lesson is, don't bring create an embarrassing situation for the potential employer.

Ken B said...

I think you should only lose your job for such tings if they damage your ability to do your job. I don't think either is the case here, although I will admit I wouldn't be thrilled to have either teaching my white son. Still I don't see enough. I asked a few days ago if the second woman had a case, and I think she might. I did not see a response from the law prof though.

Laslo Spatula said...

Is the lesson Have Tenure before you say such things?

I am Laslo.

Fernandinande said...

Since they're both half-witted black women, it's safe to assume that they "teach" some form of "ME studies", and not electrical engineering or chemistry; that's a good enough reason to fire them right there, but they were both lying about the subject matter they pretend to profess: "white, rich, clueless white[sic] males" don't get away with raping women, and if white people have had "white days forever", white people wouldn't have to put up with this shit.

Oh, and the oh-so-very obvious "hostile work environment" stuff that gets other people fired for far less.

Rusty said...

Yeah. There is such thing as free speech. You can say whatever you want. There are also consequences.. those aren't free.

clint said...

"The traditionally discriminated-against group is justified promoting and participating in a one-race festivity; can't you white people back off for one day and give us that?"

I think you're being too charitable in your characterization of Lisa Durden's remarks. If she'd phrased it like that, she'd still have a job.

Kevin said...

The best treatment of people who make offensive comments is to be shunned.

No, shunning begins with the idea that some speech is offensive and should not be uttered - that there are feelings you cannot express and thoughts you must punish yourself should you think them. I can't believe thinking people find this world anything but dystopian.

The best treatment is for them to be engaged. Speech begets more speech which begets understanding. We might even realize, from time to time, that what they said wasn't so offensive after all.

Confused said...

@ Laslo

She should have stuck with "frat boys," which of course is just a dog whistle for "white males," but is at least publicly acceptable for stereotyping.

CWJ said...

Laslo,

Hugh Becha.

walter said...

Blogger Laslo Spatula said...Is the lesson Have Tenure before you say such things?
--
I bet in many a facility of higher learnin', you say things like that to help secure tenure.
But what's said in the faculty lounge, should stay in the faculty lounge.

Angel-Dyne said...

Dettwyler and Durden should not have lost their jobs over this.

The real question is, what are two such unintelligent people doing anywhere near "higher" education anyway?

That people who say thunderingly stupid things like "[m]aybe in the US, where young, white, rich, clueless white males routinely get away with raping women" can get hired in the first place, even as throw-away adjuncts in lower-tier institutions, just demonstrates that a good chunk of the academic-industrial complex needs to be burned to the ground.

AJ Lynch said...

The pendulum is swinging back against the librul craziness. It is about time.

Virtually Unknown said...

This is why the kids can't think. They can't play with ideas. Too dangerous. It all started when they banned throwing rice at weddings "to help the birds." I see huge flocks of birds fattening up for their trip south on wild rice every year, but nobody questioned it. Then it was "no monkey bars" at elementary school, "don't ride in a car without a car seat", "Never ride in the back of a pickup", "Don't ride your bike without a helmet!" and it has reached "don't play with dangerous ideas!"

They can't wait 'til robots can do everything and we can all be locked in rubber rooms with propaganda playing all day.

Kevin said...

She should have stuck with "frat boys," which of course is just a dog whistle for "white males,"

I thought it was a dog whistle for rapists, the non-white males also being included in the whistling.

Laslo Spatula said...

I do not think they should have been fired.

Unfortunately, Free Speech is no longer a Highway, it's a Slalom Course.

Slalom Courses generally take place on Slippery Slopes.

I am Laslo.

Jives said...

The first professor could have raised her point without down-shifting into the white privilege
and rape culture canards. In fact, I think she walks right up to and maybe over the line of "hate speech." But it's against white guys, so, no harm, no foul, right? I believe in absolute equality and it's nice to see these delusional people hoisted by their own petard for a change. Of course, this firing will not spur any reflection on their part. It will simply reinforce their own jaundiced narrative about what a horrible horrible country they live in.

I can't imagine going into higher education today as a white male, teacher or student, just to be shit upon in so many ugly ways.

Virtually Unknown said...

"[m]aybe in the US, where young, white, rich, clueless white males routinely get away with raping women"

That's what got her fired. Reflected badly on Bill Clinton.

M Jordan said...

Barack Obama opened this door with his eight-year embrace of the neo-Red Guard. Obama is now gone but the demons he released are still racing about. It'll be a decade, minimum, before order is restored.

Kevin said...

This is why the kids can't think. They can't play with ideas.

Way too dangerous. They might come to the wrong conclusions! Then how will the country ever become the progressive utopia all right-thinking people know it needs to be?

Bay Area Guy said...

It's a question of standards.

Under a reasonable standard, one should not lose her job, just for expressing an unpopular opinion that hurts no one.

People should be allowed to express opinions, even loopy ones, even ugly ones.

That's my desired standard.

However, as we all know, the Left has imposed these unspoken "politically correct" rules of speech and thought on its college campuses, where saying the wrong thing, gets you the employment axe.

I hate this standard, and it mostly effects right of center folks. It chills free speech and free thought.

So, these are the rare exceptions where left of center folks (without tenure) step on one of these politically correct tripwires.

It's almost a "reverse Saul Alinksky" - make 'em live up to their own set of rules.

So, I would prefer that we revise this "politically correct" standard into a "free thought/speech" standard, where folks are not fired for merely saying stupid things. But I don't know how to get there yet.



brylun said...

The root issue here is that multiculturism is a failure: some cultures are obviously better than other cultures. White culture is clearly better than Islamic female genital mutilation culture, for example. Black music culture, as in denigrating women, people who strive academically, while promoting drugs, etc., is clearly worse than White cultural values. Working hard, studying, foregoing pleasure, saving, these are all part of the White Judeo-Christian culture. Multiculturism is divisive and is fragmenting this country in unacceptable ways. It's not the race or ethnic group, it's the culture.

MikeR said...

Durden should not have lost her job. Dettwyler should have. Sneering about a boy who died from foreign captivity on a trivial trumped-up charge is just disgusting; nothing to do with the "white privilege" part of the comment. School doesn't have to hire disgusting people.

Fernandinande said...

Laslo Spatula said...
I do not think they should have been fired.


Seriously? They were both lying about their subject matter, not just spouting stupid opinions.

Mr. D said...

The administrators in academe are thinking about Mizzou. Melissa Click and her pals caused lasting damage to the institution itself. And the administrators, like Gov. LePetomane in Blazing Saddles, need to protect their phony-baloney jobs first. So if you want to avoid nasty internet clicks, you can’t have any Clicks in your clique.

Kevin said...

So, I would prefer that we revise this "politically correct" standard into a "free thought/speech" standard, where folks are not fired for merely saying stupid things. But I don't know how to get there yet.

I don't think you get there by shunning people back. That leaves those in the middle who are uncomfortable with the shunning with no place to go and no way to differentiate you from the original idiots who started the shunning in the first place.

See: Althouse, Ann.

"Both parties do it" is not where you want to be on these things.

David said...

"Dettwyler and Durden should not have lost their jobs over this."

Strongly agree. If Conservatives want to be the champions of freedom of speech, they have to stand up for speakers with whom they disagree, even if it is in bad taste like Dettwyler's. I think both of these women were wrong and used bad judgment, but that's not a firing offense.

SGT Ted said...

Oh, NOW they don't like being held to the same standards they've used to wage culture war when it was whites and males getting fired for similar speech.

I thought lefties were cool with racists and sexists being fired from colleges. Or is that only for the white racists?

Colleges have gone out of their way to create this climate of hate directed towards whites and males by establishing the Victims Studies Departments as political sinecures/Affirmative Action hiring slots and running left wing activist training programs posing as "scholarship". And they are surprised when the people they produce repeat the same racist and sexist garbage they've been taught in those programs? This is how these people think and talk and it is no secret.

They've made their bed and they can lie in it. I have no more fucks to give towards tinpot cultural Marxists being hoist on their own petard.

Rene Saunce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mtrobertslaw said...

Dettwyler wasn't fired, her contract wasn't renewed. So what's the problem? She has no right to a new contract--unless she claims she is privileged.

Since by her own words she was extremely biased against white male students, the university was reasonable to conclude she would not be able to treat them fairly in her classes.

Sebastian said...

It's a bit late to talk about chilling speech after the left has turned academia into an arctic zone.

As long as the left fights, and the culture war continues, reverse Alinskys are the best we can do.

In a better world, the fired "professors" wouldn't come anywhere near "higher" education, and their mindless racist drivel would be cause for ridicule rather than coercive measures.

David said...

This is why the kids can't think. They can't play with ideas. Too dangerous. It all started when they banned throwing rice at weddings "to help the birds." I see huge flocks of birds fattening up for their trip south on wild rice every year, but nobody questioned it. Then it was "no monkey bars" at elementary school, "don't ride in a car without a car seat", "Never ride in the back of a pickup", "Don't ride your bike without a helmet!" and it has reached "don't play with dangerous ideas!"

Playing with dangerous ideas has always been risky. That is why it deserves vigorous defense.

Bruce Hayden said...

I have little sympathy. Both apparently worked for state schools, that are bound by the 14th Amdt to Equal Protection. They both, essentially, openly advocated special Black Privilege (primal face violative of such). Much of the schools' clientele, whether students, parents, or alums, don't like the white privilege garbage, don't feel esp privileged themselves, and these two academics were tying their schools to it. The schools just had to look at the devastating reductions in applications, matriculations, and alumni contributions seen by the University of Missouri as a result of it essentially openly condoning Black Privilege, to know that they couldn't openly condone it.

The unwritten rule is that, to the extent possible, gross discrimination on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, etc, that colleges and universities across the country routinely embrace in the name of political correctness, inclusion, and other bogus progressive reasons, must be done fairly quietly, so that the depolorables in Trump country don't find out and overreact. These former academics were too impolitic that they drew attention to these policies, and put into question why they were hired in the first place. Were they the beneficiaries of illegal, but pervasive, reverse discrimination? Very likely.

Maybe it is a stretch to tie Trump to the Mizzou trials and tribulations, but they started, and were publicly known before the election. The parents, students, and alums were silently voting with their feet. And it was the shy Trump voter who was a big reason that his election was so badly mispredicted. Much of America is fed up with political correctness, esp when it comes to things like race, isn't willing to tell pollsters out of fear of redicule, but is willng to vote with their feet or in the anonymity of the voting box.

Annie C said...

Gretchen said...
"...where young white males get away with routinely raping women..."

Does she really believe this? Does she think all white males just rape women all the time, get up, shower shave, rape some women, have lunch, rape some women, etc? This woman is delusional. She also comments that in NK "not so much". Does she seriously believe that women's rights are better in NK?

I don't think comments on a forum should loose someone's job, but I think it is okay to publicize them and allow students to skip her classes. What if she wrote "young Muslim males who routinely rape women" or "young black males ....? Would she deserve to be fired then? Do you think she treats and grades white males (when they make it to class between routine rape-fests) fairly in her classes?

THIS!!!!

Big Mike said...

Dettwyler posed a question, beginning "Is it wrong of me...?"

And I guess she got her answer, didn't she?

And a point of information, here. I have read a report that Danny Gratton, Warmbier's roommate on the trip, expressed considerable doubt that the incident even occurred. This was in the Washington Post so right now it's behind a paywall for me. Perhaps someone else can find it?

Fen said...

"Both sides do it... is not where you want to be"

Wrong. We tried to reason with the speech bullies. We tried emotional appeals. We took the high road and remained civil everytime they slammed us into the lockers and demanded our lunch money. We did this for a decade at least, didn't work. In fact, it only emboldened them.

The only way to get the bullies to back off is to bloody their nose. Break their legs. Cripple them. Then sneak into the ICU and crimp their respiratory tube.

Anyone playing the "civility" card is either stupid or corrupt. And is on the enemy's side.

Quaestor said...

How to lose your job in higher education: speak freely and cause offense... about white privilege.

Is that truly why they lost their jobs or is it just a convenient self-righteous excuse? Is it possible Dettwyler and Durden were fired for incompetence? Neither seems exceptionally bright, Isn't that a fundamental prerequisite for a position in higher education, assuming of course higher education is the institutional mission.

Many colleges and universities have so-called academic departments that exist for reasons quite apart from higher education, "consciousness raising" was the once popular term for what is essentially anti-American agitprop. Standards of literacy and general knowledge in America have been plummeting since the 1960s, and such fields as women's studies and African-American studies have done nothing but accelerate the decline. Just within the last few days, I have encountered two examples of this disheartening truth in discussions with people with advanced degrees and professional qualifications. One person was unable to locate Holland on a map, the other thought Madame Defarge was a real historical figure.

SGT Ted said...

"The best treatment of people who make offensive comments is to be shunned."

No. Getting people fired for what they say is the ultimate and logical conclusion of shunning and is the current standard applied to whites and males who do not agree with Progressives and Social Justice Assholes.

John said...

Having taught 80-90 courses as an adjunct over the years, I object to the characterization of them being fired or terminated.

As I understand it, in both cases, they work on a semester by semester contract. Unless they were told, in mid semester, not to complete the semester, they were not "fired" or "terminated". They were simply told they would not be rehired. It routinely happened to me, though not for political reasons. "Sorry John, didn't get enough students signed up this term."

I would also question whether they were actually "Professors". I thought most schools called their adjuncts "instructors", "lecturers" or the like. (I may be wrong on that)

Ex-President Obama, when he was teaching at U Chicago was not a professor. His title was "Senior Lecturer" If he, the smartest man who ever lived, can't be an adjunct professor, who can?

John Henry

Rocketeer said...

Perhaps these fired professors could pursue a new career as cake artists.

Kevin said...

"Both sides do it... is not where you want to be"

Wrong.


Then why the initial resistance? If we wanted to be in the shunning business, why didn't we jump right in?

The only way to get the bullies to back off is to bloody their nose. Break their legs. Cripple them. Then sneak into the ICU and crimp their respiratory tube.

And you can't do that through speech? I've seen your posts. I know you can.

Jersey Fled said...

Ann:

As an adjunct who taught at an urban university for eight years, I can tell you that the "chilling effect" has been in place forever, but in the opposite direction. God help the adjunct who said or did anything that might remotely be construed as being offensive to favored groups, the list of which gets longer by the day.

If a little leveling of the playing field happens now, maybe it's a good thing.

Fen said...

Confused: "I don't want to be outspoken...expressing the wrong opinion could cost me"

See? This guy hasn't been subjected to a witch hunt, but he's smart enough to see the writing on the wall. The Left doesn't need to censor him, he does it for them.

And there are millions just like him. Speak to that before clutching your pearls over two Marxist parasites.

SGT Ted said...

One could consider their being fired a sort of market correction for being too stupid to be thought of as a University instructor to begin with, but there are hundreds of idiots who think and utter similar ideas still employed on campuses.

Etienne said...

All Universities have a "loser" clause.

Especially coaching staff. If you are a loser, or display loser tendencies, then you may have to walk down the road to the next asylum.

John said...

Blogger LilyBart said...

She came ready to act like a mean-girl. This woman is an idiot, and so is the lady who made the Warmbier comments. Really. They expressed their views a ridiculously childish way. These sound more like emotional rants of high school girls than the thoughtful comments of educated ladies.

Seems like that would be reason to fire her. A person like this, regardless of political views, does not seem qualified to teach.

John Henry

Bruce Hayden said...

"I think you should only lose your job for such tings if they damage your ability to do your job."

Respectfully disagree. In business, you can also be fired if you bring disrespect, or otherwise besmirch the reputation of your employer, which both women appear, in my mind to have done. Why should non-tenured academics be immune from this? Academic Freedom? To do what? Openly espouse progressive views that are highly popular in academia, and just as unpopular outside? That is why we have tenure, which these women did not have.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Chuck said...
Althouse and some of her commenters understand the conundrum in this story. The fired faculty members in these stories were adjuncts; easily discarded without tenure. And consequently, even more exquisitely sensitive to informal speech codes."

However, they were not "exquisitely sensitive" in these cases, were they? They felt they could talk trash about white males because in the environments they work in there is normally no blowback at all. They were not being brave, anymore than Meryl Streep was brave for making anti-Trump comments at the Academy Awards. The one who appeared on Tucker Carlson probably thought she'd be applauded for Speaking Truth to Power in the form of preppy white boy Tucker.

Instead, they lost their jobs. And, like others here, I have no sympathy. The Left made the rules and the rules will never change unless the Left is hurt by them.

Fernandinande said...

Big Mike said...
This was in the Washington Post so right now it's behind a paywall for me.


?? I guess I block the paywall somehow...

Perhaps someone else can find it?

"Until now, Gratton has not spoken publicly about the case. He was never contacted by the U.S. government or the tour company that arranged the visit.
...
His recollections form a part of the story that speaks to Warmbier’s innocence and further undermines the North Korean government’s version of events. His message is that Warmbier was an innocent victim of a cruel and evil regime and did nothing to warrant his sad fate.
...
Gratton said that in the four days they spent together, Warmbier never said anything about a banner and that he saw zero evidence that Warmbier was planning any such act — quite the opposite.
...
“Otto was just a really great lad who fell into the most horrendous situation that no one could ever believe,” Gratton told me in an interview Thursday. “It’s just something I think in the Western world we just can’t understand, we just can’t grasp, the evilness behind that dictatorship.”

++

madAsHell said...

Dettwyler and Durden should not have lost their jobs over this.

They didn't have jobs. They were contractors.

Kevin said...

I'm not preaching civility bullshit. I'm pointing to the only way you'll actually win the argument while keeping the Constitution intact.

We say we love the damn thing, but at the first sign the other side isn't going to play by its rules it's "Out with the First Amendment because that commie pinko Alinsky told us to!"

I guess Alinsky can't lose. Either one side tears up civil liberties to meet their objectives, or the other side does it for them in response.

Johnathan Birks said...

I agree they should not be fired (or not not rehired) but you reap what you sow. It's naive to assume that anything you post can't bite you on the ass some day.

Unknown said...

It just sounds like the left being hoisted on their own social justice petard. If a google exec can be fired for a 1000 donation to a pro marriage amendment that was legal, I can not get too worked up about lefties having to live by their own rules.

You know alynsky and all.

Enlighten-NewJersey said...

“Otto is typical of the mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueles [sic] males who come into my classes,” Dettwyler wrote. She sounds like a bigot to me and I see no reason why a University would want to retain the services of somone with her mindset.

hawkeyedjb said...

These are teachers. One could hope that there are some standards that apply to them that may not apply in other occupations. If a racist white teacher loudly and publicly and proudly proclaimed her racism and her animosity toward people based solely on race, would she keep her job? For more than an hour? Would she ever get another teaching job anywhere? While I prefer that we not hire racist teachers, I realize that every profession has a percentage of racists. Best to take steps to quickly remove them. I don't believe in the ameliorative effects of re-education.

Kristian Holvoet said...

Rule of thumb: If you start a sentence with 'Is is wrong of me..." the answer is Yes (and you damn well know it, or you wouldn't be hedging like that).

William said...

Sorry Professor, but I think these two should have lost their jobs. Why? Because in their comments, they clearly demonstrated a deep and ingrained bias, call if prejudice if you'd like.

These folks are TEACHERS, yet they showed an appalling lack of objectivity and perspective. Sure, they have a right to say anything they want. But the educational institutions for whom they work also have a right to hire only objective, professional, effective educators. By their comments, these two set off alarms, alarms that indicate that all is not as it should be in their classrooms.

I worked in the private sector, and I remember one time when a colleague lost his job because of some inappropriate remarks. He misspoke (badly) to a journalist on an important issue, and ended up losing his job because his actions made it clear that he didn't have the kind of judgement required for someone in his position. This is no different. When things you say (free speech) indicate that you are unfit for your job, you should be terminated.

Bottom line? By their remarks—full of vitriol and (unfounded) bias—these people showed they were unfit to be doing what they're doing. They showed that they were probably not the best people to shape and nurture young minds.

End of story.

Fen said...

"Then why the initial resistence ?"

Because we thought we were dealing with normal Americans, not Marxist scum. We thought that taking the civilized approach. We did not realize we were dealing with savages.

Consider: time and again you send forth riders under a white flag to parlay. And every single time they are sent back to you headless. Now what?


"How many more Starks do they have to behead before you get it?" - The Hound, Game of Thrones

exiledonmainstreet said...

Bruce Hayden said...
I have little sympathy. Both apparently worked for state schools, that are bound by the 14th Amdt to Equal Protection. They both, essentially, openly advocated special Black Privilege (primal face violative of such). Much of the schools' clientele, whether students, parents, or alums, don't like the white privilege garbage, don't feel esp privileged themselves, and these two academics were tying their schools to it. "

Imagine being a white male student of theirs. Your choice: abjectly agree that you are the cause of all evil in the world or else be hounded, ridiculed and given a poor grade because privilege.

Kevin said...

They felt they could talk trash about white males because in the environments they work in there is normally no blowback at all.

That is what Chuck meant by "even more exquisitely sensitive to informal speech codes."

After seeing what is and isn't sanctioned, they were surprised to find out they were not part of the group after displaying the (tenured) group's sanctioned behavior.

Fen said...

No, the only way to get the bullies to stop is to inflict it back on them.

You want to keep to the high road? Fine, be my guest. I took it for 20 years, I know what it leads to. You're smart, you'll figure it out for yourself. But meantime, don't cry out for help when they ambush you. You were warned off and you did it anyway.

John said...

I am disturbed by the trend of people who seem to think that adjuncting is a career. It was always supposed to be an "adjunct" to a regular job. Like the labor lawyer who taught me Collective bargaining or the plant manager who taught me operations management and so on.

I liked adjuncting for a variety of reasons, mainly because it made me think, in a structured way, about various things. Teaching Compensation Management is nowhere near the same as just reading about it or even studying it (One of my Grad majors was HR)

The extra money was nice but never a significant part of my income. Nor should it have been.

What is with these two women (and other career adjuncts in whatever field) Can't they get a regular job?

John Henry

John Henry

walter said...

But wait..there's more!

exiledonmainstreet said...

“Otto is typical of the mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueles [sic] males who come into my classes,” Dettwyler wrote."

I would bet that these are the guys who come into her classroom and challenge her bigoted pronouncements instead of groveling before the feet of the Woke Black Woman.

William said...

There's some confusion here. Free speech covers remarks directed against whites, especially straight males. Free speech should be encouraged. Hate speech covers remarks directed against blacks and other minorities. Hate speech should be suppressed .....It is impossible for North Koreans to oppress white men because they do not possess sufficient power to do so.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Eh, Dettwyler's case doesn't seems so bad--the university declined to rehire her after she expressed a loathsome opinion in a public forum. If she'd said something objectionable about a protected class (remarks disparaging racial minorities, or homosexuals, etc) I have a hard time believing people would have a problem with the university's action. I remember a few days ago when Harvard rescinded admission for a bunch of kids after those kids made objectionable comments in a private social media forum...I don't remember hearing much sympathy for those kids. Similar situation, isn't it?
If I wanted to think deeply about Dettwyler's treatment I might almost conclude it's a healthy thing---saying objectionable things about minorities/groups the Left cares about will definitely get you fired, and here we have evidence that saying objectionable things about white people/groups the Left doesn't care about can also get you fired.

That's progress, of a sort! Probably the Professor agrees people shouldn't be fired for saying unpopular things. The only way to get to that norm (from the current norm where people can be/are) is to get widespread agreement that it's bad. We can't get that kind of agreement when only one "side" is at risk of paying the penalty for that norm. Maybe when it's a problem for everyone we can all agree to change the norm. See? Optimism!

SGT Ted said...

"I guess Alinsky can't lose. Either one side tears up civil liberties to meet their objectives, or the other side does it for them in response."

We are in a culture war and the left and progressives are the aggressors here, having jettisoned civility a tolerance in order to win at all costs to civil liberties.

During a war, certain civil liberties are usually suspended in order to win. It is appropriate that we wage our side of the culture war under these total warfare rules until the other side sues for peace and negotiation to restore civility and peaceful co-existence under the old, normal rules.

And really, we're not fighting back all that hard. Yet.

Kevin said...

1. Universities should be like any other corporation, with a public relations department that pre-clears employees' public appearances and the content of what they intend to say. That way there are no surprises and backlashes against individual employees. Either the employee is rogue, and is fired for going rogue, or they are spokesmen for the university and what they say reflects directly on it, and the university bears the negative reaction or the praise as a whole.

2. I'm with Ace on this type of situation. No one should be being fired for speech, in a university above all things. But if the right has to take the punishment, we must demand that the left takes it too. It's the only way I can see that we're ever going to get to a truce. That being said, I don't think we'll ever get to a truce anyway. This game is too big of a winner for the left. For every Kathy Griffin who gets destroyed, there are 100 of us. 1000, maybe.

Jason said...

Did any of these professors manage a full-throated defense of that guy at Marquette at the time?

No?

Fuck 'em.

Fen said...

"I'm pointing out the only way you'll win the argument - "

There is no argument to be made that will influence them. I know because I tried for decades. They are not interested in Reason, they are interested in Power.

Again, knock yourself out, just don't pull the rest of us into your suicide mission. If you come back with your head still attached, maybe you can help me sharpen these machetes.

Gahrie said...

Dettwyler and Durden should not have lost their jobs over this.

Would you say that if the races were reversed? Is it possible to attack Black racism, Black and victim privilege? Can you promote a Whites only day?

Known Unknown said...

"We have "white days forever"?"

I for one, love the White Days Forever Sales at my nearest Sealy mattress retailer. So much White Savings!

Big Mike said...

There's a trap that Althouse and many commentators here have fallen into. What else do we know about them and their relationship with their respective institutions? What are their respective student evaluations? Are students coming out of their courses poorly prepared for higher level courses? For all we know they were hanging onto their jobs by their fingernails.

John said...

Blogger madAsHell said...

They didn't have jobs. They were contractors.

There are legal requirements one has to meet to be a "contractor". Fail to meet those and you are an "employee". It's a 25 part test, mostly dealing with how much control the employer has over your work, hours and working conditions.

I adjuncted in several different schools since 1974 and was always an "employee". A temporary, part time employee, but legally an employee. SS, workers comp, income tax withholding, unemployment, the whole bit.

I suspect that these women, and most adjuncts in the US are legally "employees"

Were, in this case.

John Henry

Christopher said...

Dettwyler posed a question, beginning "Is it wrong of me...?" Are people so afraid to have that conversation? Yes, it was a time of overflowing empathy for the unfortunate man and his grieving family, but Dettwyler wasn't showing up to yell at Warmbier's funeral. She was showing her thoughts on Facebook and exposing an issue that some people might want to discuss, even if others want to slam the door on that line of inquiry.

It is orders-of-magnitude more common for GOP/Republican/Conservative speech to result in firings and other anathemas.

The way the left justifies this is to say you have the right to free speech but not the right to be immune from the consequences. In the case of an academic or corporate setting, they say "if you believe that, we don't want you in our community." And increasingly they press the juvenile "safe space" button.

Dettwyler and Durden should not have lost their jobs over this.

Their rules.

Bob Boyd said...

As a wise man once said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mj6B4DtNyM

Gahrie said...

Yes. And think of the chilling effect this has on the many, many people who work at this level in higher education.

You are proving our point Althouse. When conservatives were punished for speech over the last twenty years or so we hear crickets. Fire a couple of racist Black part time professors, and suddenly the world is ending.

SGT Ted said...

See, in a shooting war, casualties are inevitable and are how victory is gained. So, these career casualties on the left are completely moral and necessarily inevitable in this culture war we are in.

Kevin said...

Because we thought we were dealing with normal Americans, not Marxist scum.

Gee, they looked like Marxist scum to me from the get-go. It seems we thought someone in authority would give them a stern talking to. And when they folded, we were shocked, shocked I tell you!

Here is a little secret. The Democratic Party has made itself into a bunch of victimized identity groups, each with grievances against the others. They argue whether black woman is a greater victim than a transsexual man. And they're already fighting each other on the streets of Gay Pride Parades.

Why do the Dems encourage this? Because the American people want peace and prosperity, while recognizing historical claims of abuse. The Dems know they can send out the subliminal message that to vote Dem is to insulate yourself from the street fighting - to mark yourself as a "good person". And the Dems are always insinuating that to not have a Democratic political class in power invites more anarchy in the streets. The Dems are the only people who can pay off and pacific the hordes they themselves organized and set against each other. Wink, wink.

So we can say "Ho hum" and let them tear each other apart, as the Dems are not in power, and can no longer shake down corporations to pay bribes to their interest groups.

Or we can wade into their inter-party civil war, amplifying it to the point where the middle of the road voter decides to vote D in order to return peace to the streets.

I'm for letting themselves kill each other off while we keep the Constitution intact for the aftermath. If we're going to leave our kids without a first amendment, I'd rather not have to tell them Saul Alinsky made me do it.

John said...

I also, since 1985, have been working as a "contractor" in my day job. 22 years as a manufacturers representative and now as a consultant.

I have had to be aware of where the line between employee and contractor is to make sure I do not step over it. Lots of complications for both me and my principals if either of us does and I become an "employee".

John Henry

Gahrie said...

By the way, has anyone looked at the Department of justice rape statistics broken down by race lately?

David said...

"Dettwyler wasn't fired, her contract wasn't renewed. So what's the problem? She has no right to a new contract--unless she claims she is privileged."

Adjuncts are easy prey. That's one of the reasons administrators embrace adjuncts. They have to be docile to keep their jobs. I am waiting for the tenured and otherwise protected to stand up for the adjuncts. It will happen here and there (thanks, Althouse) but the adjuncts are a different social class than the tenured and tenure track. It will be a long wait for other than the most principled to bother to bridge that gap.

Big Mike said...

@Ferdinande, apparently I only get to see a certain number of free articles a month before following a link gets me to a sales pitch that begins "You obviously love great journalism ..." And I do, but I don't expect to find it in the Post anymore. Not since Jeff Bezos bought the paper.

Kevin said...

They are not interested in Reason, they are interested in Power.

And they just lost their last hold on the federal government. You're winning Fen. We're winning. Let's not win in a way that reconciliation is not possible for the majority of citizens afterwards.

Trumpit said...

Trump should send wunderkind Kushner to the bakery to settle the gay-wedding-cake dispute. No, Trump who shared the most wonderful chocolate cake with the premier of China, a Ximale, should settle the berry longan dispute himself. He's the great negotiator after all, and connoisseur of fine cakes which promoted peace between Blac Chyna and the U.S. of warm caramel sauce. A reasonable middle ground would allow the baker to write "God hates fags" on the cake. The gay couple would love the gag gay unfriendly wedding cake. They can add tuxedo-ed figurines of Adam and Steve themselves When you reconcile love with hate, everyone gets to have their cake and eat it too.

Kevin said...

By the way, has anyone looked at the Department of justice rape statistics broken down by race lately?

What a crock! Race is just a construct. I'm sure any non-white rapists were identifying as white when they raped their victims.

See, ridicule is more fun than rage.

walter said...

Blogger Gahrie said...
Fire a couple of racist Black part time professors, and suddenly the world is ending.
--
Maybe in a Lizzy Warren sense she is..but Dettwyler sure looks white.

Jim Gust said...

Great set of comments. I find that all my thoughts have been thoroughly discussed already. I'm in the "they are too stupid to be teaching" camp.

Thanks Althouse!

Quaestor said...

A straw should pose no hazard to a camel's spinal column, and yet...

Both of the articles cited by Althouse were published by the New York Daily News, a sterling example of unbiased journalism, and are silent on the matter of the past histories of these two "academics". We, therefore, have insufficient data to fairly judge why they were fired.

However, suppose for argument's sake we stipulate that these women were blameless teachers who lost their jobs solely because of what they said about white privilege. Were they rightly fired? Does freedom of speech immunize one from consequences? Suppose these women were employees of Ford Motor Company and had made disparaging and likely false claims about Ford products. Suppose Dettwyler's Facebook page had charged that Ford uses live kittens rather than crash test dummies to qualify their seatbelts and airbags. Would Ford be within their rights to fire her for cause? Institutions of higher learning don't produce manufactured products, but they do have reputations for probity that need to be protected for the sake of their students if nothing else. A degree in paleontology from Yale University is more respectable than that same degree from Patriot Bible University partly because the teachers at PBU believe dinosaurs co-existed with humankind and will tell you so if asked. If Derek Briggs went on Tucker Carlson's show to discuss the special sauropod-friendly features of Noah's Ark his tenure would be in jeopardy to say the least.

Kevin said...

Trump should send wunderkind Kushner to the bakery to settle the gay-wedding-cake dispute.

It's bound to go better than having a beer with Obama and Biden did for black-blue relations.

Gahrie said...

"Both parties do it" is not where you want to be on these things

So what is your answer?

Kevin said...

Were they rightly fired? Does freedom of speech immunize one from consequences?

I stipulate the organization can fire them for expressing certain views which can be attributed back to the company. I have no issue with that. I object to the idea that they MUST be fired for expressing such views because other people were fired for expressing other views in some other similar organization.

One is a private transaction which can be amended or reversed at any time. The other is a public demand for lynching in any and all similar situations.

My pitchfork is strictly for the feeding of livestock.

Gahrie said...

And they just lost their last hold on the federal government. You're winning Fen. We're winning.

...and yet conservative and White male progressive professors are still being hounded by baying mobs of students and eventually fired. Bakers are still losing their businesses, and Lefties are still making outrageous comments freely.

walter said...

Quaestor said...We, therefore, have insufficient data to fairly judge why they were fired.
--
Or contract not renewed. The article I linked to above suggests Dettwyler had some positively negative student feedback.
But the timing and public announcement suggest why.

Big Mike said...

@David, far too many people come out of graduate school unable to get any job other than as an adjunct. There's something seriously wrong with that.

Ambrose said...

At-will employment is a wonderful old common law concept that has slowly eroded over time. Maybe it will make a come-back.

Rene Saunce said...

When you're soaked in inter-sectional paranoia, stupid garbage is gonna come out the other end.

* pft

Kevin said...

"Both parties do it" is not where you want to be on these things

So what is your answer?


See my posts at 8:27, 9:07, 9:28, and 9:33 for further explanation.

Big Mike said...

@walter, it took me a minute or two to parse "positively negative."

Seeing Red said...

Maybe in the US, where young, white, rich, clueless white males routinely get away with raping women....


Enough about the Kennedys.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

It's a coordination problem, Kevin. We want free speech but the Left is happy to punish the non-Left for speaking freely while demanding a free speech standard for themselves. That's something we've put up with for a long time, but lately it's gotten intolerable. We can talk about why that might be the case--about why the non-Left is suddenly "punching back," but whatever the reason that's what's happening now.

Analogy: there's a cake needs to be divided between you and another person. You both love cake! Once it's divided you can't go back, so once it's cut you each just get one portion. Only one person can cut the cake. What system or set of rules can you both agree on to protect your own interests? You each just get one vote on the rules, so you must agree.
The standard solution is a "you cut, I choose" framework. The first person gets to make the cut and the second person gets to choose which piece each one gets. Do you see why that's a solid set of rules, one that both can agree to, and one that promotes "fairness" by design (insofar as it's in the cutter's self-interest to divide the cake as evenly as possible)?
Now, the treatment of objectionable ideas/speech is the knife. That knife has been wielded by the Left for quite some time, and they got to both cut and decide--when it was convenient they used a standard of "free speech must be protected!" and when it was convenient thy used a standard of "certain objectionable ideas must not be tolerated!" They were cutting and choosing, and to no one's surprise they favored themselves. How can you convince someone in that position to be more fair, Kevin? You can ask nicely, but it'll never be in their interest to be evenhanded. But! If you switch from a "you cut, you choose" framework to a "you cut, I choose" framework...
That's what's happening here. The Left has set the standard: expressing objectionable or unpopular ideas can/should cost people their jobs. You and I agree that's a terrible standard, but I don't hold the knife. The very least we can do, Kevin, is make sure that whatever standard they choose is applied against them as well as against their opponents/enemies. If it is, they might just decide that it's not such a great standard, and start cutting the cake a little more evenly/start embracing a "free speech for all" approach.

Kevin said...

...and yet conservative and White male progressive professors are still being hounded by baying mobs of students and eventually fired. Bakers are still losing their businesses, and Lefties are still making outrageous comments freely.

And now Trump is president, and Gorsuch is on the court, and the SC ruled the federal government cannot restrict trademarks it finds offensive, and corporations are no longer being shaken down to fund hate groups, and the Dems have been exposed as having nothing to offer, and, and, and...

Ronald Reagan didn't stop the craziness in 150 days. And he didn't do it by unleashing a bunch of Republicans to go out and treat the Democrats like the Republicans had been treated in the previous decades.

The Left is waiting in earnest for the Trump "brownshirts" to emerge. Why do we so badly want to give them that? Why do we seek revenge rather than victory?

Kevin said...

Re: Quaestor's Ford example, contrasted with what I said about no one should be fired for speech. I guess I have to amend what I said, to "no one should be fired for speech that isn't illegal or subject to tort." So fraudulent or libelous speech are clearly fire-able offenses.

But there's the real rub, notice that subject to tort part. With Title IX and other non-discrimination laws that have wormed their way into our lives, many far overstepping their original intent, it is easy to see how universities look at any speech that has any racial component and immediately jump to the conclusion that if they don't fire the person they will be subject to criminal and civil penalty for discrimination. So what should be a political or anthropological concept becomes punishable not because it is seen as being illegal in and of itself but that it opens up the institution to other legal penalties.

Gahrie said...

The Left is waiting in earnest for the Trump "brownshirts" to emerge. Why do we so badly want to give them that? Why do we seek revenge rather than victory?

What does forcing the Left to live by their own standards have to do with brownshirts?

Dr Weevil said...

Pretending that "rich . . . males" who "routinely get away with raping women" are all "young" and "white" is pretty damned "clueless", when we've been hearing all about the Bill Cosby trial all semester.

h said...

I work in a small academic department (as tenured Prof.). It is not unusual for our department to hire a person ("adjunct") to teach a course normally offered by a faculty member who is on leave, or has left us and not yet been replaced. The adjunct, in this situation knows full well that the teaching job is temporary. (It is not necessary to go into the difference between an employee and a contractor, in this context. Even if the person is an employee, he/she is employed under terms that make it clear that the job is temporary, though it could be renewed.)

We know that these two people made comments, and then learned that their employment would not be renewed. We don't really have any evidence about cause and effect, and it's a bit of a stretch to say that they "lost their jobs".

And the causality could be complicated: if an instructor generated a lot of student complaint, that might move the decision toward non-renewal; but what if the student complaints were based in part on political statements during class? if an instructor missed a number of class sessions, or was unable to commit to a necessary schedule ("can't teach on Thursday mornings") that might move the decision toward non-renewal; but what if the missed classes were to appear on cable TV shows?

Gahrie said...

See my posts at 8:27, 9:07, 9:28, and 9:33 for further explanation.

Continue to suck it up and turn the other cheek is not the answer. The insistence by the GOP Establishment and the Left that it is is how we got Trump.

Kevin said...

Analogy: there's a cake needs to be divided between you and another person.

We are not talking about federal restructuring of speech laws - we control that - we are talking about hundreds of millions of conversations each day. Hundreds of millions of cakes!

The left gets excited when they win one, but in doing so they lose hundreds more. It's OK, they tell themselves. "One for our side! That's progress!"

If we shut up. If we start treating every cake like the last one, then we really can lose. If we talk more, if we open up more people to thoughts and ideas, that's more cakes.

We are not fighting over one cake. We are fighting over whether the cake factory is going to be open or closed. Closing it helps the people who like to fight over cake. Overwhelming the fighters with a stream of cakes which makes fighting over one of them into a ridiculous face, is how people who like cake more than fighting win.

And if we like making cakes, but only such that the "correct" people ever get to eat them, then we're no different than the people we say we oppose. In a free society, everybody gets at least some cake.

walter said...

Questor,
Kevin wrote that.

Here's more/related from Campus Reform: Wisconsin Dems complain free speech bill targets UW-Madison

MikeD said...


Waiting for the Left's outrage over this firing.
Indiana’s Grace College and Seminary has fired three employees after they dressed up as rappers for a spoof album cover.
https://heatst.com/culture-wars/college-fires-three-white-employees-for-posing-on-parody-rap-album-cover/

Kevin said...

Continue to suck it up and turn the other cheek is not the answer. The insistence by the GOP Establishment and the Left that it is is how we got Trump.

If you read what I typed today as "do nothing" and "go along to get along" please read again. I said nothing of the kind.

And if we can't see any possibilities other than total capitulation or total destruction, then the republic is already lost. There may be fighting. But we are only fighting to be the boot rather than the neck. If that's the case, we long ago left behind any principles we might espouse.

And we shouldn't kid ourselves otherwise.

Fen said...

"Why do we seem revenge and not victory?"

We are not seeking revenge. The victory we seek is a world where we can express unpopular opinions without being fired. We tried everything else we could think of. And the Left taught us the only way to get them to abandon their PCBS speech code is to inflict it back on them.

This is commonly understood, so I don't understand why you are misreprenting it.

You also sound very much like the jihadi apologists: "if we kill all the terrorists, we will be giving ISIS exactly what they want".

Roughcoat said...

Kids, here's a valuable life-lesson: don't say things that'll piss off your boss.

They said things that pissed off their bosses. They got fired. Tough shit. That's how the world works and I'm okay with that.

CJinPA said...

"White privilege" is a racist term.

Even if it isn't, enough people 'feel' as if it is.

So, "white privilege" is a racist term.

Radical rules, universally applied.

Kevin said...

What does forcing the Left to live by their own standards have to do with brownshirts?

The question contains it's own answer in the verb: forcing. It can be rewritten as "How might I be perceived if I intervened in someone else's life to ensure they live by the standards they themselves avow?"

I think that person might be perceived as the mother of all pricks. And not just by the person being forced. How do you think they'd be perceived by that person's friends, family, community, business associates?

It's not a flattering picture once we get beyond the initial feeling of righteousness.

Quaestor said...

Kevin wrote: One is a private transaction which can be amended or reversed at any time. The other is a public demand for lynching in any and all similar situations.

My pitchfork is for pointing out excluded middles.

(Reposted with corrected attribution. My apologies, Walter.)

Gahrie said...

And if we can't see any possibilities other than total capitulation or total destruction, then the republic is already lost. There may be fighting. But we are only fighting to be the boot rather than the neck. If that's the case, we long ago left behind any principles we might espouse.

You are sometimes forced to do terrible things when you are fighting a war. Then you return to normalcy after you have won.

Roughcoat said...

And think of the chilling effect this has on the many, many people who work at this level in higher education.

Good. I want higher education to feel that chill. I detest academia/higher education, at least in the humanities. The whole rotten system should be dismantled and rebuilt.

Kevin said...

We are not seeking revenge. The victory we seek is a world where we can express unpopular opinions without being fired.

And you're going to get it by enlarging the world where one can get fired for expressing an unpopular opinion?

Would you similarly suggest to the fire department they put out a building fire through the use of Molotov cocktails?

Kevin said...

You are sometimes forced to do terrible things when you are fighting a war. Then you return to normalcy after you have won.

There won't be a country left worth living in. What do you suppose you will have "won"?

Balfegor said...

I think it's unfair to Durden to lump her in with Dettwyler here.

Dettwyler expressed a deep and repugnant nastiness in her own character, by using a man who had been detained by the most brutal surviving Communist regime in the world as a prop for a tired "white privilege" complaint -- holding him up specifically for criticism.

Durden just said she didn't want Whites showing up to something or other, which is racist, but not vicious. Also, Dettwyler was, I guess, just not rehired, while Durden was apparently hired and ready to start her first class of the semester when she was summoned and told she was being fired for reasons unknown.

I don't think Dettwyler's treatment was unwarranted. But I don't think Durden should have been fired for expressing her racist views -- being a racist shouldn't be a firing offense in the first place, and the circumstances of her termination are actually kind of egregious, as she describes them.

Gahrie said...

I think that person might be perceived as the mother of all pricks. And not just by the person being forced.

But that's the point...when a Lefty attacks someone on the Right, they aren't seen as pricks, they're seen as courageous warriors and usually rewarded.

Martin said...

Ann ignores the clear message of hatred that both professors were sending. She is thinking like a lawyer, carefully parsing each word-- "Is it wrong of me to think..." as if that is a genuine invitation to debate rather than an academic way of saying something.

She misses that both professors were just dripping bile and animus towards many people who would be under their authority as their students, were they to continue in their positions. They could no longer credibly perform their jobs--they had to go.

Gahrie said...

There won't be a country left worth living in. What do you suppose you will have "won"?

But somehow things will be better if we continue to surrender?

Quaestor said...

There won't be a country left worth living in. What do you suppose you will have "won"?

Being on the horns of a dilemma is particularly unenviable when the dilemma is illusory.

Rae said...

And you're going to get it by enlarging the world where one can get fired for expressing an unpopular opinion?

We're out of options, Kevin. You are certainly free to continue whistling past the graveyard.

Gahrie said...

And you're going to get it by enlarging the world where one can get fired for expressing an unpopular opinion?

Possibly..yes. If we can finally convince the Left that they have to live up to these horrible standards, we might. We're certainly not going to get it by allowing the Left to behave outrageously while continuing to destroy the Right.

Kevin said...

But that's the point...when a Lefty attacks someone on the Right, they aren't seen as pricks, they're seen as courageous warriors and usually rewarded.

I don't think so. How do you think the average BLM fanatic is seen - in their own communities? I mean, do their own neighbors get excited when they see them coming down the street? Or do they quickly duck inside or pretend to get a phone call until after they've passed?

If these people were so looked up to in their communities, Trump wouldn't have had a shot.

The Democrats are slowly coming to terms with this. Why can't we?

Rae said...

But I don't think Durden should have been fired for expressing her racist views -- being a racist shouldn't be a firing offense in the first place, and the circumstances of her termination are actually kind of egregious, as she describes them.

It's already been decided by leftists that expressing racist thoughts is a firing offense. That's the whole point of this discussion.

Kevin said...

"We have action on the travel ban. 'We grant the petitions for certiorari and grant the stay applications in part.'" THE STAY IS GRANTED! in part.

Oh, while we were typing away and not out forcing people to do anything - more winning!

exiledonmainstreet said...

But I don't think Durden should have been fired for expressing her racist views -- being a racist shouldn't be a firing offense in the first place

6/26/17, 10:27 AM

But it is and has been for quite some time - but only if the racism expressed is politically incorrect.

I'm with Gahrie. I am tired of having the rules applied to one side but not the other.

Gahrie said...

If these people were so looked up to in their communities, Trump wouldn't have had a shot.

Are you paying attention? Those people are looked up to in their communities. Hillary swept those communities. It was the rest of us expressing our contempt for them, and people like you, that allowed Trump to win. People are tired of moral victories that allow the Left more privilege and power, and even more tired of those who keep insisting that any resistance is simply rude.

Kevin said...

Roberts writes that, although the state's policy "is nothing so dramatic as the denial of political office," "the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution all the same, and cannot stand."

And while we weren't forcing anyone to do anything - more winning!

Pookie Number 2 said...

Would you similarly suggest to the fire department they put out a building fire through the use of Molotov cocktails?

Perhaps - if the Molotov cocktails were being tossed at the people that repeatedly set the building on fire.

I understand your point, but I'm not sure your pathway actually leads to a more civil society.

bagoh20 said...

"Dettwyler and Durden should not have lost their jobs over this."

That's entirely up to their employer, and nobody else.

If you have an organization that is ill served by having openly racist and unapologetic assholes among your employees, then you fire the racists and assholes. They were damaging their employer and everyone else who works there, who need public support to survive.

Just like athletes and spokespeople can get fired for discrediting their employers or sponsors, they had every right, and even a responsibility to get rid of such a terrible advertisements. Universities are a business - a corrupt, culture destroying, truth challenged, bait and switch business, but a business none the less.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Kevin wrote of BLMers:

"The Democrats are slowly coming to terms with this."

I have not seen any evidence of this. The Democrats rely too heavily on the race card to give it up. All I've seen from them is "Trump won because: Russians/hillbillies/racism/voter suppression/xenophobia/sexism/check all that apply"

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm surprised Althouse wasn't fired for normalizing us Deplorables. I hear she even married one."

1. I was a tenured professor. I did not face the risks that affected the 2 women described in the post. But things I said here probably had an effect on me in my work but only in ways too subtle to point out. I took some risks, and I presume I got injured, but I was also protected by tenure and by the fact that I have a pretty high platform here. Anyone trying to hurt me for my speech would risk getting hurt by me doing more speech. And I was always free to retire and live on my pension. It's interesting to think about the ways I could have leveraged getting ousted. Of course, I'm also in the law field. I might have had a pension plus a victory in a lawsuit. It was so not worth punishing me. Anyone sensible would figure that out. But I did live with some fears and uncertainties.

2. There's actually a strong commitment to academic freedom here at the University of Wisconsin. We have people here who have fought for it over a long period of time. Look up "sifting and winnowing."

hawkeyedjb said...

"And you're going to get it by enlarging the world where one can get fired for expressing an unpopular opinion?"

Maybe. If the people making the rules come to realize that the rules are awful, perhaps the rules will be relaxed. When a cake baker or pizza maker can get fucked for their beliefs, the social justice warriors cheer. They don't cheer for ALL suppression of unpopular beliefs, just suppression of wrongthink. Let's introduce some consistency and come up with rules everybody can live by. How about trying "live and let live."

robother said...

"Adjunct Professor" seems like a glorified term that University of Delaware uses to describe a contract worker. I guess it allows persons with a tangential relationship to a university to present themselves as something more, allowing them to present themselves as having a permanent position at a university even when they aren't teaching any classes there.

Universities think this illusory credential is a freebie, but these people can create big image problems in attracting paying customers in a competitive environment. I imagine students paying non-discounted resident or non resident tuition at U of D are disproportionately the white "rich" kids she is expressing animus against.

The remedy is not firing, though: it is ideally more speech. Universities competing with U of D should be pointing out that this anthropology professor's racist animus is probably indicative of a hostile environment for your white son, since her hiring likely shows an entire department (if not liberal arts faculty) that shares these attitudes.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Kevin said...We are not talking about federal restructuring of speech laws - we control that - we are talking about hundreds of millions of conversations each day. Hundreds of millions of cakes!

What's going to change the norm, Kevin? The non-Left has been arguing against the Left's unequal treatment of "free speech" issues for years. For as long as I've been alive, certainly. What progress was made during that time? Was free speech embraced more, as a principle? No--we've been going the other way. I can point to a number of "wins" as far as Court cases and laws moving the nation in a free-er direction in my life, but the general trend w/r/t free speech BELIEFS has been against--strongly against, in the last few years. Call it the "new PC," call it the rise of "wokeness power," whatever; the trend is against free speech.
I'm not going to win over the Media. My argument that free speech should be respected has been dismissed as "the ugly whining of racists/sexists/homophobes/bigots" for as long as I can remember. The Left owns the Media and owns the Academy. When I insist on free speech for all those groups pay no price for punishing free speech by the Right but upholding free speech for the Left. As long as they pay no penalty for unfairness, they have no reason to be fair!

I want a free speech standard. I oppose a heckler's veto. The non-Left has largely restrained from exercising a heckler's veto while the Left has largely supported a heckler's veto against the non-Left. People in authority allowed the Left to shut down non-Left events without penalty. Now, recently, some non-Left people have been interrupting Lefty events and the Media and Left are just shocked, shocked! to see such a thing. Suddenly the Media's discussing the problem and people in authority are talking about the need to enforce penalties against anyone trying to interrupt events. That sounds a bit like progress, no? Complaining about the problem and pointing out the double standard (for years) didn't get much done, but making the Left suffer as they've made others suffer seems like it might convince the Left to agree to rules to penalize the practice (for all).

bagoh20 said...

If, on the other hand, the universities feel these particular employees are a net benefit despite their racist tendencies, then they should keep them on, and the students and parent of students being indoctrinated in modern racism should decide accordingly.

JAORE said...

Congressmen fired upon by "woke" Bernie Bot = can't we all be more civil.
A week later, "blood money" and "millions of deaths".

Two adjunct teachers contracts not renewed after racist,sexist, outrageous statements = Save the freedom of speech.

Any bets on the time frame for the next time a conservative is stopped from speaking on campus?It's the old keep hitting them until they show signs of fighting back, then call for a (temporary) truce.

Nope, not desirable, but unilateral disarmament has failed time after time.

Kevin said...

Are you paying attention? Those people are looked up to in their communities. Hillary swept those communities.

Those people are blowhards. My point is they aren't well-liked even in their communities, not that every community flipped to Trump.

It was the rest of us expressing our contempt for them, and people like you, that allowed Trump to win.

It was a lot of people in a lot of counties that got Trump WI, MI, and PA. People who'd never voted Republican in their lives but who didn't want to play the victim-identity politics game.

People are tired of moral victories that allow the Left more privilege and power, and even more tired of those who keep insisting that any resistance is simply rude.

President Trump is not a moral victory. Justice Gorsuch is not a moral victory. Enforcing the law is not a moral victory. I'm saying that resistance is all the left has. We have everything else. Why would we swap everything to wrestle in the mud with the pigs who have only mud?

bagoh20 said...

" There's actually a strong commitment to academic freedom here at the University of Wisconsin.".

That may be, but as you admit, it was also the threat of it costing them in money or image that protected you. I wonder which is stronger. If they could have fired you without cost for your unpopular (among the faculty) words, would they have tried or succeeded with nothing to protect you except some peoples' "commitment to academic freedom"?

walter said...

Look up "sifting and winnowing."
--
Yeah..it's a quaint plaque sculpture on campus. The slide towards intolerance of centrist/right views was already happening in late 80's.

n.n said...

Finally, people are confront the progress of racism, sexism, congruence under different names. [class] diversity under the Pro-Choice Church was self-evidently the resurrection of institutional racism, sexism, etc. forced by special and peculiar interests (e.g. minority minders) for Democratic leverage to disenfranchise Americans and defeat their competing interests. It was a gross violation of civil and human rights, second only to abortion rites (i.e. deny lives deemed unworthy).

walter said...

The tenure bit is a double edged sword..allows diversity of thought for those who have it, encourages group-think for those who seek it.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Look, there are some people on the Right who don't care about the principle (free speech) and just want revenge/just want to punish the Left as the Left has punished the Right. I get that, and Kevin's correct that being "just as good as the Left" isn't good enough when the Left doesn't respect a principle we should care about.
There are others, though, who do care about the principle and see using the Left's tactics against the Left as a tool to convince the Left that they should uphold the rules that respect that principle even if they don't care about the principle itself.

The best-case would be to convince the Left that the principle is worth respecting. We've tried to do that, and largely failed. We can continue to fail or we can try a new approach. One such approach is to make the Left suffer the same penalties they enforce against the non-Left as part of not respecting the principle. In order to do that we have to use the Left's rules even though we oppose the rules themselves.

"I respect free speech as an idea, and given that I don't think this instructor should have been fired. You people in power, though, don't respect free speech, and since you don't your rule is that people who say objectionable things should lose their jobs. I think that's a bad rule, but if that's the rule you support then the rule must be enforced against you, as well. Accordingly these Leftist people must lose their jobs. As soon as you're ready to change your mind and start respecting free speech for everyone I will be happy to support you as you change the rule."

That sounds reasonable to me.

walter said...

But hey..my niece seems to be fully compliant. She'll do well...her home-schooling mom turning in her grave.

Kevin said...

I want a free speech standard. I oppose a heckler's veto.

And I will ask again: The way you're going to get these things is to impose more restrictions on speech and imposing your own heckler's veto?

The Left will be happy to have us go down this course. They will LOVE that we now affirm the right to make certain speech "off limits". That's exactly what they need to move their resistance forward. If we're going to sign on to that, then there is a never-ending list of things they'll immediately add to it.

We want the right to shout people down? The Left would be grateful. Instead of arguing our principle, both camps can start enlarging their target maps of who is no longer able to present their opinions.

We love free speech, right? We care about it, right? Then how can you think you can win an anti-free speech war with people who have no regard for it at all?

For everyone we shout down, they'll shout down two. For every item we say they can no longer say, they'll add three. It's a war they know they cannot lose, because if it takes removing the ability for people to say "Happy Birthday, Mother", then that's what they'll do.

We want a free speech war only because we think it will be so immediately painful that they'll quickly sue for peace. We haven't even considered the alternative - that they'd be happy to have one because they can't obtain their objectives in a world where speech isn't effectively controlled.

walter said...

Hoodlum,
Maybe the Do unto others thing resonates stronger once you've experienced the other side of that.

n.n said...

The problem is that [class] diversity is an active judgment/discrimination that denies individuals equal rights. This a problem that progressed with the establishment of the Pro-Choice Church with normalization of abortion rites, immigration replacement, elective wars (etc.), and congruence ("=").

n.n said...

The Pro-Choice quasi-religious/moral/legal philosophy is a double-edged scalpel.

Gahrie said...

It was a lot of people in a lot of counties that got Trump WI, MI, and PA. People who'd never voted Republican in their lives but who didn't want to play the victim-identity politics game.

Close. it was people who were tired of losing the victim-identity politics game, even though they didn't want to play. What we are saying now is, OK, you can force us to play the game, but we are going to force you to follow the rules also. Then perhaps you will grow as tired of the game as we are, and not force us to play it anymore.

Gahrie said...

We want a free speech war only because we think it will be so immediately painful that they'll quickly sue for peace.

We don't want a free speech war at all, but we haven't been given a choice. Some of us have simply decided that if we have to fight the war, maybe we should actually start fighting back.

Gahrie said...

I know, i know...fighting back just results in more violence, and frankly is rude...one might even say deplorable.

Fen said...

"There is actually a strong commitment to academic freedom here"

Good. If you ever catch heat from your colleagues, point them to this Deplorable's remarks and then tell them you alone flipped me on a few issues.

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