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May 20, 2014

Not a Cult: Creepily Chanting Leftists Shut Down College Forum

This is barely newsworthy, I guess, given that it happens so frequently.

However, the Cult Conformity here is especially creepy and chilling. They have a cult call-and-response chant, in which someone shouts out some ill they oppose -- such as "Survivor Doubt," which means reserving any doubts whatsoever about a rape claim and investigating to see if the charge has any merit -- and then the rest chant, in response, "We will never be silenced in the face of your violence."

This gets particularly ridiculous at about 1:46, when the Hate Word offered by a Ritual Chant Leader is "Mansplaining!", which Forbidden Word then provokes the brainwashy drone of "We will not be silenced in the face of your violence."

Video below: Not Safe For Work due to occasional profanity and, actually, I have to give it a Trigger Warning for pure, unreasoning hatred.

Oberlin College recently considered a draft of its new rules about issuing "Trigger Warnings" for college materials and for sensitivity generally. This document -- the student pressure groups' list of demands they would impose on professors and other students -- has been withdrawn for further work, I guess because the document is diagnosably insane.

It's worth reading. Here are some of the demands:

Understand that sexual misconduct is inextricably tied to issues of privilege and oppression.

Educate yourself about racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of oppression.

Anticipate these issues entering class discussion. Think about how you could support positive ideas and discussions.

Invite and accept pushback in the classroom. Being engaged or even challenged by a student on these issues is an opportunity to learn, and to model supportive behavior for students.

I don't believe that professors should not be challenged in class, God knows, given how many of them are unreconstructed red diaper baby communists and collectivists.

But it is sort of weird that this document now instructs professors that they are to "learn" from their students, and should accept their unprompted political speeches.

Aren't they being (over)paid to stand at the front of the classroom based upon the assumption they, get this, have something to teach the 18 and 19 year old superannuated children sitting in the lecture hall?

I don't have too much sympathy for the professors (you brought this on yourselves, guys).

However, I do wonder about the other students, paying between $100,000 and $150,000 for a four year degree, and how they may now feel that they'll be "learning" from an ad hoc committee of Student Truth Vigilantes who will be teaching class, displacing the professor whenever the urge to disclaim overcomes them.

Respect students’, colleagues’, and guest speakers’ pronouns.

The Sexual Offense Policy defines sexual offense as “a behavior, which calls attention to gender, sexuality, gender identity or sexual orientation in a manner which prevents or impairs an individual’s full enjoyment of educational or occupational benefits or opportunities.” For many, use of incorrect pronouns calls attention to gender in a very inappropriate way, and prevents or impairs their safety in a classroom.

When possible, don’t call roll using names from Presto or Blackboard — allow students to self-identify using preferred names by asking them to sign in or to speak their preferred names.


If your class is too large to memorize names and pronouns, avoid using gender-specific language whenever possible. For example, if your instinct is to call on “the guy in the purple shirt,” try instead saying, “you, in the purple shirt.”

"You in the purple shirt." Awesome.

This list of demands reads in no way like it was put together by a group of doltish 20-year-olds at a second-rate college on the Seven-Year-BA-Degree plan.

Understand triggers, avoid unnecessary triggers, and provide trigger warnings.

A trigger is something that recalls a traumatic event to an individual. Reactions to triggers can take many different forms; individuals may feel any range of emotion during and after a trigger. Experiencing a trigger will almost always disrupt a student’s learning and may make some students feel unsafe in your classroom.

Triggers are not only relevant to sexual misconduct, but also to anything that might cause trauma. Be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression. Realize that all forms of violence are traumatic, and that your students have lives before and outside your classroom, experiences you may not expect or understand.

Anything could be a trigger — a smell, song, scene, phrase, place, person, and so on. Some triggers cannot be anticipated, but many can.

Remove triggering material when it does not contribute directly to the course learning goals.

In one neat sentence they admit what they usually deny: They don't want trigger warnings, they really seek censorship of all "triggering" material.

Sometimes a work is too important to avoid. For example, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is a triumph of literature that everyone in the world should read. However, it may trigger readers who have experienced racism, colonialism, religious persecution, violence, suicide, and more.

I don't think it's any accident that the one "triggering" work permitted by the Trigger Happy Censors is one written by someone who hails from a socially-favored Trigger Group.

Here are some steps you, as a professor, can take so that your class can examine this source in the most productive and safe manner possible:

Issue a trigger warning. A trigger warning is a statement that warns people of a potential trigger, so that they can prepare for or choose to avoid the trigger. Issuing a trigger warning will also show students that you care about their safety.

You may hesitate to issue a trigger warning, or try to compose a vague trigger warning, because you feel it might also be a “spoiler.” A trigger warning does not need to give everything away. If you’re warning people about the issue of suicide in Things Fall Apart, you can write, “Trigger warning: This book contains a scene of suicide…” You don’t necessarily need to “give away” the plot. However, even if a trigger warning does contain a spoiler, experiencing a trigger is always, always worse than experiencing a spoiler.

Again, in no way does this read like it was put together by low-achieving, internet-besotted ignoramuses who are still upset their older brother got into Harvard and they didn't.

Try to avoid using graphic language yourself within the trigger warning, but do give students a hint about what might be triggering about the material. If you say something like, “This movie might be upsetting to some of you,” that can a) sound patronizing...

The entire point of this document is to encourage patronizing behavior.

But to sound like you're being patronizing -- well, that's triggering.

... and b) lead everyone who’s experienced trauma to feel like they might have a terrible time.

Reading about the Holocaust should be Fun.

Try instead saying, “This movie contains scenes of racism, including slurs and even physical violence, but I believe that the movie itself is working to expose and stand against racism and I think it is important to our work here.”

If I learned anything from college, it's that drawing your own conclusions from a book or film is dangerous, and what you really need is your professor to deliver a candy-coated Morally Uplifting Message about it from the outset.

Tell students why you have chosen to include this material, even though you know it is triggering. For example:

“…We are reading this work in spite of the author’s racist frameworks because his work was foundational to establishing the field of anthropology, and because I think together we can challenge, deconstruct, and learn from his mistakes.”


“…This documentary challenges heterosexism in an important way. It is vital to discuss this issue. I think watching and discussing this documentary will help us become better at challenging heterosexism ourselves.”

You know, as we've previously noted many, many, many times, these Thought Police always proceed from the rationale that they have to protect stupider people from Dangerous Thoughts by either censoring those ideas altogether, or by straight-up spoon-feeding them a Babytalk Moral of the Story, to make sure those exposed to the Dangerous Thoughts do not Draw the Wrong Conclusion.

And as we always have to note, The Thought Police themselves are pretty much at the absolute bottom of the IQ pile. There are no "less intelligent" people for them to protect, as they are the least intelligent of everyone.

This is the cruelty joke of all of this. These idiots, these drooling cretins, need to tell themselves pretty little lies about being Smarter Than Most People, a need which is all the more urgent due to the fact they are Stupider Than Most People.

And this is how these simpletons reassure themselves: By moronically ruining things for everyone else, then clapping themselves on the back and telling themselves They Did Smart Things Today.

Strongly consider developing a policy to make triggering material optional or offering students an alterative assignment using different materials.

Perhaps it's bitchy of me to point this out, but the nonword "alterative" appears in the original Charter of Stupidity.

When possible, help students avoid having to choose between their academic success and their own wellbeing.

Bring in a guest speaker who can help you make the conversation productive. The Oberlin College Dialogue Center is one excellent campus resource for facilitating difficult dialogues.

Respect your students’ personal space and bodily autonomy. Physical touch and feeling one’s body controlled is often triggering.

If it is absolutely necessary to touch a student or direct that student’s body, practice active consent. Always, always, always ask.

For example, instead of correcting a student’s posture without saying anything, say, “Your posture is a little off, do you mind if I adjust your back?”

I'm not really sure what the hell this section is about. While I don't have much respect for professors, I don't think I buy the underlying premise here that they are always touching their students (or... adjusting their posture? WTF?!).

Listen to your students, accept no gracefully.

A “no” is not a comment on you personally nor on your rapport with the student.

By "accept no gracefully," they mean defer to a student's choice of what books he will be reading or not reading, and which assignments he will be completing and those he'll be skipping.

Hey, Prof:

No, I won't take your heteronormative hierarchical exam.

It's a Trigger. You wouldn't understand, White Man Spine-Toucher.

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posted by Ace at 05:03 PM

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