December 7, 2019

"A good number of today's college students have been taught that civility is a manifestation of America's white patriarchy designed to reinforce white racial power and bypass black grievances..."

"Using a seminar format to box students into civility might be viewed as a racist tactic to patronize students of color. Instead of saving civility, it might be best to let it rest in peace. In our age of identity politics, it is remarkable if students feel free to speak their minds regardless of group dynamics. Whether at a family dinner table or around a seminar table, those of us who are conservative or are deranged enough to admit that we prefer the Trump we know to the Democrats we fear generally keep our opinions to ourselves."

A letter to the editor at The Wall Street Journal, responding to the op-ed, "The Seminar Course Can Save Civility."

"Civility" is an elitist power move. I agree with that. I would love to have civility all around, and I try for civility myself, but I believe that calls for civility are always bullshit. The agenda of the caller for civility is always to keep his side in charge and to suppress the other. When the caller for civility sees an advantage for his side in going big and ugly, the civility principle will be treated as invisible or — if he's prodded — inapplicable.

63 comments:

Ken B said...

Civility is a power move, punch a nazi is not. Words kill, cement milkshakes express an opinion.

PB said...

Look who woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Meade, be on your best behavior today.

rhhardin said...

Acting white is always a good move. You get jobs and fit in.

Shouting Thomas said...

I never talk politics in my public life, be it social or professional.

I can yak politics 24/7/365 online. So, what's the need? Somebody's going to say something new?

As to being afraid to voice support of Trump, I don't wear my politics on my sleeve in public and I don't want to talk or argue politics in public.

My public life is playing music in churches and accompanying choral groups. What purpose would talking about politics serve in these settings? People often do talk politics, and I just consider that a breach of etiquette.

I've devised several strategies for avoiding political talk, and I always find a way out.

mockturtle said...

If today's college students believe that [the headline], it's because it's been drilled into their otherwise empty brains since kindergarten.

Wince said...

There is something to be said for disengagement and allowing those on the left to fight it out amongst themselves for grievance supremacy.

Like that white Black Lives Matter activist grabbing the mic from actual blacks at the Mayor Pete event.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

Hey, I've got no problem with crudity or civility. Both are fine by me.

What I've got a problem with is either elitists or rubes (controlled by them) who want to run the country via irrational nonsense. Whether you're going to be crude or civil, if you're doing it for your own selfish ends and have no use for reasoned, enlightened leadership then I've got no use for you. And neither does most of the country. There's a limit to how much base appeals and the WWE model of governance can do. If you don't believe me then there are many Josef Goebbels wanna-be's you can get to agree with you instead.

mockturtle said...

I'm never afraid to voice my support for Trump if the topic arises. And I've lost a few friends and a couple of relatives over this. So be it. But, as I've posted before, there are situations where I wouldn't:
1. Restaurants, where the safety of my food is at stake.
2. The dentist [for obvious reasons]
3. A hospital [for obvious reasons]
4. The hair salon

Wince said...

That lady wielding the cane at the Mayor Pete event was enforcing civility.

Shouting Thomas said...

If you don't believe me then there are many Josef Goebbels wanna-be's you can get to agree with you instead.

Ritmo wins the Godwin's Law award on his first try!!

You define stupid, Ritmo. Take a bow.

Ken B said...

Some Democrats are standing up civility. Joe sure put that questioner in his place. “Ok fat, drop and give me 50!”

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

But, as I've posted before, there are situations where I wouldn't:

Ooooh! What a bad-ass underground rebel you are.

Declaring your Trump-love in the presence of those "elitists" upon whom you rely for your safety is as hilarious as declaring your anti-semitism to the Jewish doctor and then calling "foul" when your surgery doesn't go right. At some point you might want to consider that your leader is just a scumbag and your love for him misplaced.

Conservative "ideology" reached its sell-by date long ago. The fact that conservatives have nothing to rally behind but crudity for its own sake shows you how bankrupt they are.

rcocean said...

SO if its a tool of white people, that means White People have to use it? And "Colored people" don't? Anyway, I'm all for incivility. The Center-Right needs to stop being taken advantage of.

Giovan Pietro Bellori said...

Ritmo is just another religious lunatic.

Shouting Thomas said...

Ritmo, you really need to retire.

We've got Glory Hole Howard now to fill your role. He does references to orifices spurting stuff better than you do.

He's even kind of funny. You're just stupid and dull.

Two-eyed Jack said...

We are told endlessly that free speech is about the right to say crude or obnoxious things without consequence (c.f. Episode 1 of Season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel now on Netflix). Free speech is about restraining reaction to divisive ideas so that significant conflicts can be aired without resort to violence. We constantly praise infantilism and dare anyone to react, while tearing down the sense of restraint that is the true heart of freedom of speech.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

stupid...

I'll wager $500 that the last time anyone came to Shouting Thomas for intelligent advice that they could trust was when they tried grooming their pubes with a lawnmower.

Don't worry Tom. No one ever accused you of being intelligent and they never will. And that rightly makes you feel like a loser, no matter how much you beat your chest about it.

whitney said...

Civilization, civility, hmm

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

stupid and dull.

Point taken. Delusional liars like you prefer entertainment to truth. Tell us something we don't know.

Shouting Thomas said...

The shock from the torrent of abuse and purple prose wore off a long time ago, Ritmo.

It's boring, dull and not even fit to read.

Really, I suggest you find something else to do.

Narr said...

Early morning paywall--blechhh. At least the authoress self-identifies as an intellectual--that can be as dangerous in some circles as wearing a MAGA hat in others.

I'm totes with ST on this one: the world gets by just fine without more polisquawk.

As to seminars and civility, one presumes the other. A lot of civility bullshit is really civility bullshit bullshit--as if civility arose from and is concerned with and confined to, of all fooking things, Race, our modern shibboleth.

I see real civility every day, from and between people of all descriptions, here in my poor-ass hometown. And anyone can see how things get when civility is treated as a mere menu choice and not a principle and even obligation.

Narr
Retired profs out in the morning will be the first to miss a presumption or expectation of civility

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

It's boring, dull and not even fit to read.

Really, I suggest you find something else to do.


If it didn't get under your skin so much you wouldn't chest beat like this.

So maybe it's you who needs to find something else to do.

Your chest-beating and Trump fellating impresses no one. But it does advertise your stupidity and hatred of country for all to see. And for all time.

It's why Myrna told you to shut up about it so many times.

Myrna!!!

Jack Klompus said...

Hey, I've got no problem with crudity or civility. Both are fine by me.

Yes, we all know what an insufferable jackass and spineless little pussy you are.

Michael K said...

I'll wager $500 that the last time anyone came to Shouting Thomas for intelligent advice that they could trust was when they tried grooming their pubes with a lawnmower.

Whereas the only question Ritmo is asked is "Do you want fries with that ?"

Up early today, Ritmo. You must have the late shift.

Shouting Thomas said...

Your chest-beating and Trump fellating impresses no one.

You see, this kind of flapping about blow jobs is why I initially assume you were Glory Hole Howard.

I still wonder if Glory Hole Howard isn't your latest incarnation.

Howard said...

Shouting Thomas... On the down-low in every aspect of his pubic persona.

Mark said...

I think i disagree that all calls for civility are simply a power move but the thought then prompted me to wonder if civility is actually evil (as an oppressive force) what then is the opposite of civilty?
From Miriam-Webster:

Near Antonyms for civility

audaciousness, audacity, boldness, brashness, brassiness, disrespect, impertinence, impudence, insolence, sauciness, shamelessness
boorishness, churlishness, clownishness, loutishness, vulgarity
casualness, informality
delinquency, improperness, impropriety, inappropriateness, incorrectness, indecency
inconsiderateness, inconsideration, thoughtlessness
arrogance, conceit, presumption, pretentiousness
Antonyms for civility

discourteousness, discourtesy, impoliteness, incivility, rudeness, surliness, ungraciousness

Is there anything there that promotes dialogue?

If we are going to exist together in this town/state/country/world given that we all have differences I'm thinking civility is far better at promoting talking to each other than anything offered by the opposite.

Howard said...

Uncle Tom's Log Cabin

Shouting Thomas said...

@Glory Hole Howard

How was your visit to the dungeon last night?

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

Shouting Thomas... On the down-low in every aspect of his pubic persona.

He used to go into graphic details about his experiences - of gay S.F. bath houses.

For someone who pretends to be interested in the world he's a pretty uptight guy.

Too bad Dear Myrna couldn't save him.

/sarc

Shouting Thomas said...

Ritmo and Howard at the same time!

Whew!

Ritmo's torrents of purple prose and Godwin's Law violations and Glory Hole Howard's Big Dickkus act.

A rare sighting!

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

Sorry - experiences or, ahem "observations."

LOL.

Shouting Thomas said...

Even your attempts at deliberate cruelty are boring, Ritmo.

You've rerun this dumb act too many times, kid.

Stick to flipping burgers.

Seeing Red said...

It used to be called common courtesy.

How racist do you have to be to think people of other colors aren’t capable of showing common courtesy?

It’s like the rest of the world doesn’t exist.

there’s nothing wrong with saying please thank you hello you’re welcome. that’s not white person’s privilege and patriarchy. Other societies highly value courtesy. I think of the Japanese.

Ugly American.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

Stick to flipping burgers.

It's funny to hear someone who had to marry a lawyer to save him from the trailer pull the classist/elitist card as if they applied to me.

MYRNA!

Stephen said...

This is an unbelievably simplistic and fallacious view. It assumes that a call for civility is always zero sum. Incivility is the other sides best weapon so taking it away is just a way of disarming them, so that you can use your more civil weapons unimpeded or let your allies use their uncivil weapons unimpeded. And get more for your side.

The only way this could be true is if all the relevant outcomes are zero sum:more for one side is less for the other. But political outcomes are not always zero sum. There are potential mutual benefits from respect. And from a pattern of showing respect. And hence a statement urging that the other side dispense with the disrespect, if responded to, sometimes has the potential to be mutually beneficial.

Put another way, if incivility is impeding deals that could benefit both sides, then calls for civility can benefit both sides and are not bullshit.

To make the illustration concrete, it seems to me that Obama’s civility benefited all Americans, including those who opposed him, and Trumps incivility harms all Americans, including those who support him. Calls for Trump to be more civil, though they may be unavailing, are not bullshit. And voting against him because his incivility is destructive would be a legitimate decision for a moderate professing to be on the fence.

Scott said...

What's the opposite of civility? Tribalism. Domination by the biggest cliques with the loudest voices.

Within the United States, it's okay to be tribal; but government should be anti-tribal. This is what the First Amendment is about. You can have your opinions and be be part of your groups, but everybody else has the same right. And your tribal identity should never determine your access to government's coercive power.

We are a civilization living in a civil society. Our civic institutions, run by civil servants, ideally serve everyone. When they don't, they are corrupt.

Civility is not bullshit.

Howard said...

Log Cabin Thomas always swallows the big dick bait whole. Jigging or trolling both work.

JaimeRoberto said...

Oh Lord, it's a retard fight.

Scott said...

Expressions of anti-gay bigotry is cute and urbane and sophisticated, huh. (Being civil here.)

Scott said...

is = are. Meh. Time for my AA meeting.

Francisco D said...

Let's stop with the sixth grade (circa 1960) "homo" insults.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Up early today, Ritmo. You must have the late shift.

*****************

He's always nastier when it's his turn to clean the Fry-o-lator.

Sebastian said...

""Civility" is an elitist power move."

But rejecting civility, dispensing with it, is an even bigger elitist power move, by our prog overlords and their identity-political minions.

"calls for civility are always bullshit"

By contrast, calls to do away with civility, on the grounds that it is "racist," are not bullshit: they are deadly serious, yet another maneuver in the culture war, aiming to tear down what is left of civil society in the interest of concentrating prog power.

Christopher said...

The agenda of the caller for civility is always to keep his side in charge and to suppress the other.

At the countless public addresses attempted by conservatives at American universities that are routinely, angrily and often violently shut down by the toddler left, who, exactly, is suppressing the other?

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

unheeded calls for unilateral civility highlighted the opposition's depraved pig-headedness

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

Professora, please turn on the moderation. The lack of civility is making the commentariat tedious.

CR said...

Civility is simply a part of the Golden Rule: treat others as you'd want to be treated.

Yancey Ward said...

You practice civility, you don't preach it.

doctrev said...

I personally find the comments section to be a fascinating microcosm of American politics. The trolls might seem like low-watt degenerates or highly paid shills, but they're correct in believing that they will suffer no consequences for their actions. A ruthless extremist like Vox Day won't hesitate to have them doxxed- he has in fact managed to get one of his trolls tracked by the police- but more tolerant and civil proprietors like Althouse find themselves stepped on relentlessly by their most demanding and persistent guests.

Generally, one can extrapolate this to America as a whole. The hard left won't dare pull their bullshit in areas where they would be beaten at best, or left in a tree. In urban areas, they correctly realize that they are able to effortlessly dominate urbane conservatives at will.

The question is, what will the conservatives actually do about it? Stay silent when they go out in public? People who rely on that to protect them are probably going to have a nasty shock when politics turns into low-level guerilla warfare. I wouldn't eat things made by people I don't know to trust. Why would anyone else?

Bill Peschel said...

Civility begins at home. The way you get civility is to practice it yourself, then from that foundation call out those -- especially those on your side -- who do not practice what you exhibit.

It's not that hard. That's why calls for civility are bullshit.

Scott said...

"Acting white is always a good move. You get jobs and fit in."

Doesn't work for me. At the European bank in lower Manhattan where I now work, more than 80% of the people on my floor are of Indian heritage. At other places I've worked with a plurality of Indians, they conversed in English, presumably to fit in. But at this new location, they don't even bother. They yammer away in their dialects. And I work with headphones on.

Equal Employment Opportunity has always been window dressing when practiced, and bullshit when not. Nonetheless, I'm civil. I'm grateful for decent-paying employment, and for my cultural advantage in being able to write decent English on my better days, in contrast to everyone else on the floor.

Bill Peschel said...

Scrolled up to read the discussion and see that the same people who always want to make it about themselves are here. I'll see y'all later.

Scott said...

Unlike you. Thanks for posting.

mockturtle said...

Acting white is always a good move. You get jobs and fit in.

Wouldn't hurt. And don't talk about 'axing' someone when you mean 'asking'. Could instill suspicion.

Rory said...

Is there a civility bullshit bullshit tag?

mtrobertslaw said...

Ann is 100% right. "Civility" is BS! And the sooner we get rid of it the better. I see nothing wrong with delivering a knuckle sandwich to someone who has audacity to publicly attack my truth. After all, a quick punch to the face is nothing more than a metaphor for an exclamation point.

Mark said...

"Civility" is an elitist power move. I agree with that. I would love to have civility all around, and I try for civility myself, but I believe that calls for civility are always bullshit. The agenda of the caller for civility is always to keep his side in charge and to suppress the other.

What a sad thing it is, and what a sad cynical world they live in, for such who refuse to let go of their leftism.

Don said...

Manners maybe.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Calls for civility in politics are nearly always bullshit.

FIFY.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

...clean the Fry-o-lator.

Funny how the elitist anti-service worker rightwing blowhards always seem to know so many details about the very kind of fast food operations that they label others as toiling away at.

Also funny is the way they would do that when I obviously have professional degrees. I thought it was the professional class that they hated, so why not make fun of that? They keep telling us how much they hate knowledge and expertise and love those same "poorly educated" who would obviously count service workers among their ranks.

So what gives? Is the right wing pro-working class or anti?

We know the answer. They pretend to be populist but are still just much a raging pile of wanna-be elitist jack-offs as they always were.

Michael K said...

Is Ritmo still around ? Time for the shift change,.