October 18, 2021

"The theme of our party was Constitution Day. I was trying to say we’d be serving classic American foods, quintessentially American foods—sort of caricaturing ourselves as Americans..."

"... on Constitution Day, this very American day. And I have a very casual tone when I write emails. So that’s why I referred to 'basic-bitch-American-themed snacks.'"


Colbert is one of Yale Law School's Native American students, by the way, and the email at the core of this controversy was addressed to Native American Law Students Association. This is such a small group — so hard to recruit in "critical mass" numbers — that it amazes me that Yale wasn't especially considerate to Colbert when he was accused of racism. 

It's also interesting to me that the Native American group was making a party out of being ordinary Americans. It's so loathsomely incurious of Yale to jump at the critique by black students and to have no interest in what this meant to Native American students.

That party idea made me think of "Mundane Halloween," a trend in Japan and Taiwan where they costume themselves as ordinary people — "From 'the guy who had to work during vacation' to 'the surprised man who got a vasectomy last year,' all the costumes you're about to see are downright amazing."

34 comments:

rhhardin said...

Why care what either native American or black students think of it. That's not university concerns.

Dave Begley said...

Trent Colbert doesn't fit the liberal narrative. He's the new Clarence Thomas.

As a minority, he's supposed to be consumed by identity politics. And, of course, all Native Americans must be liberal Democrats.

I'll never forget Bill Clinton's speech in Omaha in support of Hillary's campaign, "We'll put wind turbines on Indian reservations and we'll all become rich."

That's the whole goal of today's Dem party: Using the Green New Deal and other means so that favored minorities can become rich.

If you are not the right minority, too bad. Being an American isn't good enough.

Owen said...

“Loathsomely incurious” is very fine.

Joe Smith said...

Forget 'Mundane Halloween' in Japan.

My favorite Halloween in Tokyo was the time I ran into a gang of about 20 young, 'naughty nurses' in a side street in Ebisu.

It was not terrible : )

p said...

Woah, clicking on that link changed my sponsored facebook posts more radically than the plasma cutting table from while back.

Richard said...

He was planning on celebrating the Constitution at a top-tier law school. Should have known better.

Gahrie said...

It's so loathsomely incurious of Yale to jump at the critique by black students and to have no interest in what this meant to Native American students.

Incurious? This is an institution that routinely and systematically discriminates against Asians and Jews in favor of White people and Blacks, and against White people in favor of Black people.

At least half of the problems in all levels of education today are due to the fact that Black people on average perform poorly in academic settings and the Left is simply unable to accept the facts.

Gahrie said...

It's so loathsomely incurious of Yale to jump at the critique by black students and to have no interest in what this meant to Native American students.

That's required in a world desperately seeking boredom.

God of the Sea People said...

Is it just me, or should we expect law students at Yale to have better communications skills than are on display on all sides of this story? I guess I’ve internalized the notion that people who attend Ivy League schools are better than me, that it seems so much more galling to see the lazy writing in use by these students.

Critter said...

Much ado about nothing. I’d certainly hire Trent as my attorney and not any of the complainers. He sounds like a fun guy with common sense.

Mike Sylwester said...

The texts of three stupid apologies at Yale Law School

Ignorance is Bliss said...

It's so loathsomely incurious of Yale to jump at the critique by black students and to have no interest in what this meant to Native American students.

What did he expect? He wandered off the reservation...

wildswan said...

What do identity politics require a Native American to think about the black community? Can the indigenous originate their own identity? Or must it align with the best thought at Yale?

MikeR said...

Ahh: "As folks who have been following the story know, Colbert recorded some of his conversations with Eldik and Cosgrove. Connecticut law allows the recording of in-person conversations without the consent of all parties." Whew. That of course gave him a big advantage over his questioners - he knew he had to sound reasonable, and they didn't. We got to hear all their slightly veiled threats.
Since we're talking about it, it sounds like his questioners acknowledged at the time what he now claims: that he had no real idea that his email could possibly offend anyone. If that is so, it is even more astonishing that they wanted him to submit an abject apology, where he was so sorry and promised to "grow" and "learn" etc. The right response to bumping into someone by accident is to say Excuse me, and forget about it. The right response to getting bumped into by accident is to say Sure, and forget about it.
The right response if the second person calls in the authorities is to tell them to grow a brain and stop making trouble. The ones complaining should have been the ones who got counseling sessions.

tim maguire said...

It's so loathsomely incurious of Yale

"Incurious" broke into the mainstream as a smear of Sarah Palin, which means I don't often get an opportunity to applaud its use. In the case of Yale law school, it's appropriate. "Obtuse" is another fine word. Incompetent, unprofessional, bad faith. The list goes on.

cr said...

All this convulsion over a dopey little email. Those offended students are like toddlers with knives running around the house, with no adults nearby to take the sharp objects away.

Fernandinande said...

Why care what either native American or black students think of it. That's not university concerns.

Loco parentis now means "crazy parents".

it amazes me that Yale wasn't especially considerate to Colbert when he was accused of racism

Fear not, disparate treatment based on one's race is not dead.

About a year ago the Navajo Times had a story of a guy who was going to be kicked out of the National Guard (or Army Reserves?) because a black guy said the first guy had insulted him, but when the Powers That Be discovered that the accused was half Navajo they dropped their complaint. Pretty cool, huh?

Fernandinande said...

It's so loathsomely incurious of Yale to jump at the critique by black students and to have no interest in what this meant to Native American students.

It's like they were treating the Amerindian group as if they were White! Yikes!

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Was YLS meaner to Colbert than they would have been to a black student? Maybe, but we now have evidence that if a white student were involved, the Law School may have moved to prevent him from graduating, or from passing the bar or practising law after graduating Yale Law. For saying "Chap House," "fried chicken," and "bitch" in an e-mail.

mikee said...

Identity politics uses intersectionality to rank groups for distribution of power, money, moral righteousness, and so on. The only problem is that it doesn't work. This ends up being a case of divide and conquer, where your group must compete for any crumbs provided by those doing the grouping and deciding the intersectional significance of your group. It is a modern example of the "divide and conquer" strategy used throughout history.

The onlyway to fairly, equitably, rationally, honestly distribute power among people is to recognize the individual as the fundamental holder of all power and rights. That concept doesn't work for collectivists, however, so round and round the leftists go, trying to keep appeased those they have grouped and separated, struggling against each others' groups for primacy, in order to keep power for themselves.

Maybe the founders were on to something valuable when they proclaimed individual rights paramount over government authority.

As to costumes, I like to dress as a bill of attainder, a bit of individuality specifically forbidden by the US Constitution.

Yancey Ward said...

I wish him well, but they will eventually expel him from the program on some trumped up charges. He has so far defeated people who don't take kindly to losing.

Richard Dolan said...

I am told by a friend and YLS graduate that these controversies showing that YLS has become a very CRT/lefty-loony place (Colbert's treatment being only the latest example) are having an impact on fundraising. Colbert is 'cautiously optimistic' that his travails may have a positive outcome on the place. I'd say that has a chance only if the fundraising impact of these continuing embarrassments really starts to bite.

Althouse says that the kerfuffle made her think of Halloween costumes in Japan. Perhaps that connection was helped along by another bit of out-of-control silliness a few years ago at Yale, involving a confrontation between a shrieking, uber-woke student and a professor/college master about 'triggering' Halloween costumes. For me, the way YLS is spiraling down calls to mind the argument by, e.g., Patrick Deneen (Why Liberalism Failed) and Joshua Mitchell (America Awakening). For the reasons they articulate, an approach to racial discrimination that began as principled and sensible has descended into farce and self-contradiction. CRT and all the other 'world gone mad' stuff Bari Weiss was talking about on another post this morning is the end result. You can see those results on full display not only at YLS, but in the law (affirmative action being the prime example) and in every major institution in our society.

Wince said...

Apple pie is racist?

Lem said...

I worked with a guy that looked like teevee MacGyver, son of a founding partner. So he goes as himself to Halloween parties and the women go, you’re MacGyver.

Sebastian said...

"It's so loathsomely incurious of Yale to jump at the critique by black students and to have no interest in what this meant to Native American students."

A nice liberal sentiment, but also irrelevant. They're not into curiosity; they're into power. They have an interest in NA students only if it serves their cause. They will jump if black students say jump. They do not care about being loathed by nice liberals, except insofar as it confirms their progressive self-regard.

Martha said...

Yale refuses to let the matter go. Heather Gerken, the Dean of Yale Law School, has emailed the entire school suggesting the reporting about the incident was based "on partial facts" and announces that she has asked Deputy Dean Ian Ayers to "assess the situation”

Trent Colbert had the foresight to record his interactions with Yale Law School administration officials associate dean Ellen Cosgrove and diversity director Yaseen Eldik. The recording was produced unedited by The Washington Free Beacon. Dean Gerken, please enlighten us as to the missing facts.

https://freebeacon.com/campus/a-yale-law-student-sent-a-lighthearted-email-inviting-classmates-to-his-trap-house-the-school-is-now-calling-him-to-account/

Fernandinande said...

Diné Nat’l Guardsman accused of racism after reporting incident

“If you look at him, he looks white,” said Brian [his father], who is full-blooded Diné. “He’s six-foot-three and light-complected. But he speaks our language, ... He’s Navajo.”
...
“Now my son is experiencing racism from Black people because he’s white. It seems like us Native Americans are just always falling through the cracks.” [sic]

Two weeks later: Charges dropped against Diné Guardsman

"Brian credited a Navajo Times story two weeks ago with the reversal. ... there was another Navajo soldier at the base who had gone to bat for him, according to Brian."

Drago said...

Dave Begley: "Trent Colbert doesn't fit the liberal narrative. He's the new Clarence Thomas."

Thus guaranteeing a slew of racist articles and postings against him from the usual suspect LLR's.

Bill Peschel said...

Mundane Halloween reminds me of comedian Trevor Wallace, who I just discovered on YouTube.

He does short videos of various personality types talking to the camera. They're so specific and so out of my bubble that I can't tell how accurate they are (but the commenters think they are).

Best to just give you the titles so you can judge for yourself:

"Guys with 'Entrepreneur' in their bio"

"Every local coffee shop barista"

"When your name is Kyle" (apparently aggressive anti-social teen behavior is part of this one)

"Dudes who reverse into their spot"

"How postmates drivers pick up your food"

This guy has the courage and facile improv ability I wish I had. For example: "Trolling 60,000 people as a fake DJ"



Scot said...

Many of the Mundane Halloween photos seem to be more about performance art than a costume. I've never seen a dude moping around while holding a positive pregnancy test.

Also, can anyone explain #3?

Amadeus 48 said...

"This is such a small group — so hard to recruit in 'critical mass' numbers — that it amazes me that Yale wasn't especially considerate to Colbert when he was accused of racism."

That's because Yale--and it isn't alone in this--isn't really interested in the truth of claims of racism or the individual identities of its students--it is interested in catering to black students who accuse others of racism.

I knew Ellen Cosgrove when she was at the University of Chicago Law School. I think she was dean or assistant dean of students then. She is a lovely person. Then she got the Dean of Students job at Yale. I think she adapted quickly to her new surroundings.

PM said...

The Onion explains for all: Woman In Giddy Honeymoon Stage Of Hating Someone New

cassandra lite said...

I like "loathsomely incurious" almost as much as I enjoyed your coinage of several years ago: "the gooey swamp of liberal self love."

Greg The Class Traitor said...

This is such a small group — so hard to recruit in "critical mass" numbers — that it amazes me that Yale wasn't especially considerate to Colbert when he was accused of racism.

But he's part of the Federalist Society, so he's a "white Indian", not a "Native American"

Because if you don't vote for Biden, you ain't Black / Hispanic / Native American / any other "good race".

I thought you understood that. Where have you been?