So much of today’s “scholarship” is actually tripe – unseriousness at the highest level (or is that the lowest level?). It seems to me that academia is in a rush to invent areas of study so that unqualified “scholars” can be experts at something (and the universities can get paid).
Sort of the academic version of a trophy for every player on the team.
These are the same types of “scholars” who will tell you that Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism is just too self-centered and selfish. While I have never been 100% sold on objectivism as a sole guiding principle, I do understand that at its root, it is saying that as each individual prospers in pursuit of their self interest, it is made possible for other individuals to prosper. Rand’s philosophy is about the individual taking action to change his own situation and that no external force has a right to his productivity.
What Heather MacDonald describes here is the polar opposite of objecvtivism – the demand to simply be given worth due to who or what you are. They want a trophy for just being. It is also an indication of how deeply the postmodernist rot has eaten into our foundational institutions, that they produce such inanity as this.
It was therefore ironic that Rust’s graduate-level class in dissertation preparation was the target of student protest just a few months later—ironic, but in the fevered context of the UCLA education school, not surprising. The school, which trumpets its “social-justice” mission at every opportunity, is a cauldron of simmering racial tensions. Students specializing in “critical race theory”—an intellectually vacuous import from law schools—play the race card incessantly against their fellow students and their professors, leading to an atmosphere of nervous self-censorship. Foreign students are particularly shell-shocked by the school’s climate. “The Asians are just terrified,” says a recent graduate. “They walk into this hyper-racialized environment and have no idea what’s going on. Their attitude in class is: ‘I don’t want to talk. Please don’t make me talk!’ ”
Val Rust’s dissertation-prep class had devolved into a highly charged arena of competing victim ideologies, impenetrable to anyone outside academia. For example: Were white feminists who use “standpoint theory”—a feminist critique of allegedly male-centered epistemology—illegitimately appropriating the “testimonial” genre used by Chicana feminists to narrate their stories of oppression?…
My test for inanity is WWMGD – What would my grenddaddy do? My grandfather was a man who fought through the Great Depression while raising a family on a rural Mississippi farm. I can just imagine his reaction to being surrounded by 5 “Scholars of Color” as they recited their “Day of Action” grievances.
He would smack them upside their heads and after they finished crying, he would put a hoe handle in their hands and send them to the cornfield to commune with the weeds between the rows. It wouldn’t have anything to do with their race. It would be because as a man who had seen the harshness of reality up close and personal, he would recognize just how disconnected from reality these adult infants are.
The responses of the universities to this sophomoric behavior is also an example of what I meant in my post about minorities (and I wasn’t just talking about race) and how the desire of a free society to protect them without holding them accountable for their actions affects a destructive effect.
A little time at the business end of a hoe handle would do most of these “scholars” good.