Education, Spotlight

The Hysterical Campus

Editor’s note: The following text is excerpted with permission from The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture, by Heather Mac Donald, published by St. Martin’s Press. © 2018 Heather Mac Donald.

Where are the faculty? American college students are increasingly resorting to brute force, and sometimes criminal violence, to shut down ideas that they don’t like. Yet when such travesties occur, the faculty are, with few exceptions, missing in action, though they have themselves been given the extraordinary privilege of tenure to protect their own liberties of thought and speech. It is time for them to take their heads out of the sand.

I was the target of such silencing tactics two days in a row in 2017, the more serious incident at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, and a less virulent one at UCLA.

The Rose Institute for State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna had invited me to meet with students and to give a talk in April about my book The War on Cops. Several calls went out on Facebook to “shut down” this “notorious white supremacist fascist Heather Mac Donald.” A Facebook post from “we, students of color at the Claremont Colleges” announced grandiosely that “as a community, we CANNOT and WILL NOT allow fascism to have a platform. We stand against all forms of oppression and we refuse to have Mac Donald speak.” A Facebook event titled “Shut Down Anti-Black Fascist Heather Mac Donald” and hosted by “Shut Down Anti-Black Fascists” encouraged students to protest the event because I allegedly “condemn [the] Black Lives Matter movement,” “support racist police officers,” and “support increasing fascist ‘law and order.’” (My supposed fascism consists in trying to give voice to the millions of law-abiding minority residents of high-crime areas who support the police and are desperate for more law-enforcement protection.)

The event organizers notified me a day before the speech that a protest was planned and that they were considering changing the venue from CMC’s Athenaeum to one with fewer glass windows and easier egress. When I arrived on campus, I was shuttled to what was, in effect, a safe house: a guest suite for campus visitors, with blinds drawn. I could hear the growing crowds chanting and drumming, but I could not see the auditorium that the protesters were surrounding. One female voice rose above the chants with particularly shrill hysteria. From the balcony, I saw a petite blond female walk by, her face covered by a Palestinian keffiyeh head scarf and carrying an amplifier on her back for her bullhorn. A lookout was stationed about forty yards away, and students were seated on the stairway under my balcony, plotting strategy.

Since I never saw the events outside the Athenaeum, which remained the chosen venue, an excellent report from the student newspaper, The Student Life, provides details of the scene:

The protesters, most of whom wore all black, congregated outside Honnold/Mudd Library at 4 p.m. to stage the action. “We are here to shut down the fucking fascist,” announced an organizer to a crowd of around 100 students. The protesters subsequently marched to the Ath around 4:30 while chanting. An organizer shouted “How do you spell racist?” into a megaphone; the marchers responded “C-M-C.”

When they arrived, the protesters were greeted by around two dozen Campus Safety officers and Claremont police officers, stationed at various locations around the building. Protestors ignored the officers (who did not obstruct them) and the makeshift white fences sectioning off areas of Flamson Plaza, enveloping each of the Ath’s entrances with multiple rows of students linking arms. White students were encouraged to stand in front to form a barrier between students of color and the police.

The protesters continued their chants, including “hey hey, ho ho, Heather Mac has got to go,” “shut it down,” and—most frequent and sustained—“black lives matter.” Some of the officers appeared visibly uncomfortable during the chant of “from Oakland to Greece, fuck the police.”

Keck Science professor Anthony Fucaloro pushed against and grappled with the crowd of protesters in an unsuccessful attempt to reach the door. Garrett Ryan, CM ’17, brought a large speaker to the Hub’s patio, blasting Sousa’s patriotic march “The Stars and Stripes Forever” to provoke the protesters. A woman who ran up to him managed to steal his audio cable after a brief scuffle, cutting off the music and garnering cheers from the protesters when she returned to the crowd.

“It was not well-received,” Ryan told TSL.

Steven Glick, PC ’17, coeditor-in-chief of the conservative Claremont Independent publication, attempted to livestream the protest but was swarmed by protesters who blocked his phone.

Several administrators attended the protest and stood to the side. They told TSL that they saw their role as ensuring student safety, but they also sympathized with the protesters’ views. “Black Lives Matter is really at my heart,” said Pomona associate dean Jan Collins-Eaglin.

Of all the chants, “How do you spell racist?” “C-M-C,” was the most absurd (and didn’t even rhyme). “Racist” CMC is so eager for “diverse” students that it has historically admitted black and Hispanic students with an average 200-point-lower SAT score than white and Asian students.

Shortly before 6 p.m., I was fetched by an administrator and a few police officers to take an out-of-the-way elevator into the Athenaeum. The massive hall, where I was supposed to meet with students for dinner before my talk, was empty — the mob, by then numbering close to two hundred, had succeeded in preventing anyone from entering. The large plate-glass windows were covered with translucent blinds, so that from the inside one could see only a mass of indistinct bodies pounding on the windows. The administration had decided that I would live stream my speech in the vacant room in order to preserve some semblance of the original plan. The podium was moved away from a window so that, as night fell and the lights inside came on, I would not be visible to the agitators outside.

I prefaced my speech by observing that I had heard chants for the last two hours that “black lives matter.” I hoped, therefore, that the protesters had been equally fervent in expressing their outrage when five-year-old Aaron Shannon Jr. was killed on Halloween 2010 in South Central Los Angeles, while proudly showing off his Spider Man costume. A 26-year-old member of Watts’s Kitchen Crips sent a single bullet through Aaron’s head, and also shot Aaron’s uncle and grandfather. I said that I hoped the protesters also objected when nine-year-old Tyshawn Lee was lured into an alley in Chicago with the promise of candy in November 2015 and assassinated by gang enemies of Tyshawn’s father. The murderers’ original plan had been to cut off Tyshawn’s fingers and send them to his mother. While Black Lives Matter protesters have, in fact, ignored all such mayhem, the people who have concerned themselves are the police, I said. And though it was doubtful that any of the protesters outside had ever lost a loved one to a drive-by shooting, if such a tragedy ever did happen, the first thing that he or she would do would be to call the police.

I completed my speech to the accompaniment of chants and banging on the windows. I was able to take two questions from students via live streaming. But by then, the administrators and police officers in the room, who had spent my talk nervously staring at the windows, decided that things were growing too unruly outside to continue. I was given the cue that the presentation was over. Walkie-talkies were used to coordinate my exit from the Athenaeum’s kitchen to the exact moment that a black, unmarked Claremont Police Department van rolled up. We passed startled students sitting on the stoop outside the kitchen. Before I entered the van, one student came up and thanked me for coming to Claremont. We sped off to the police station.

The previous night, I actually succeeded in delivering a talk on policing to the audience who had come to hear it; such heretofore ordinary circumstances are now noteworthy. My hosts, the UCLA College Republicans, had titled my presentation “Blue Lives Matter,” which campus activists viewed as an unspeakable provocation. After I finished speaking and welcomed questions, pandemonium broke out. Protesters stormed the front of the classroom, demanding control of the mic and chanting loudly: “America was never great” and “Black Lives Matter, they matter here,” among other insights. After nearly ten minutes of shouting, one of the organizers managed to persuade some students to line up for questions. The College Fix paper captured the subsequent interaction:

A black female asked whether “black victims killed by cops” mattered.

“Yes,” Mac Donald replied. “And do black children that are killed by other blacks matter to you?”

At that the room erupted in gasps and angry moans and furious snaps, and the young lady who asked the original question began to yell at Mac Donald, pointing her finger and repeating the original question. . . .

“Of course I care [that black victims are killed by cops], and do you know what,” Mac Donald said. “ There is no government agency more dedicated to the proposition that black lives matter than the police.”

Again, gasps and moans filled the auditorium. “Bullshit! Bullshit!” a young woman off camera could be heard screaming.

Mac Donald continued: “The crime drop of the last 20 years that came to a screeching halt in August 2014 has saved tens of thousands of minority lives. Because cops went to those neighborhoods and they got the dealers off the street and they got the gang-bangers off the street.”

Mac Donald took more questions and at times was able to articulate her points during the Q&A, but was also often interrupted by angry audience members shouting out things such as:

“I don’t trust your numbers.”

“Why do white lives always need to be put above everybody else? Can we talk about black lives for one second?”

“The same system that sent police to murder black lives…”

“You have no right to speak!”

“What about white terrorism?!”

To the inevitable claim that poverty causes gun violence, I responded that if students really believed in that causation, they should be concerned that mass low-skilled immigration was driving down wages for the American poor. That provoked a new chant: “Say it loud! Say it clear! Immigrants are welcome here.”

At 8 p.m., the organizers decided to end the event, and I was hustled out of the room with a police escort.

The UCLA administration never acknowledged the disruption of my presentation and interaction with students. The Claremont McKenna administration did, however, respond both before and after the incident. Two days ahead of my speech, the director of the Rose Institute, Andrew Busch, sent out an email decrying the use of the epithet “racist” “as a bludgeon with which to shut up critics or keep friends in line.” Busch optimistically put matters in the conditional: “If we ever accept that approach we will have taken a giant step toward surrendering freedom of thought and expression”—as if intimidation via the R-word is not already routine on and off campuses. Busch graciously tried to provide a neutral summary of my views and noted that I, too, aim to protect black lives.

A few minutes after I was escorted out of the Athenaeum, a campus-wide missive from Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty Peter Uvin expressed disappointment that people could not attend the lecture, but lauded the fact that the lecture was live streamed. Uvin, a government professor specializing in development and human rights, went on to establish his bona fides with the social-justice crowd: “I fully understand that people have strong opinions and different—often painful—experiences with the issues Heather Mac Donald discusses. I also understand that words can hurt. And in a world of unequal power, it is more often than not those who have a history of exclusion who are being hurt by words. I support everyone’s right to make this world a better one.” This may not have been the best moment to reaffirm the idea that undergirds such silencing protests: that speech can damage allegedly excluded or marginalized minorities.

The next day, CMC president Hiram Chodosh, a former international law professor, weighed in. He explained the failure to intervene against the protesters: “Based on the judgment of the Claremont Police Department, we jointly concluded that any forced interventions or arrests would have created unsafe conditions for students, faculty, staff, and guests. I take full responsibility for the decision to err on the side of these overriding safety considerations.” Chodosh said that students who violated school policies by blocking access to buildings would be held accountable.

A poorly written editorial in the student newspaper attributed to me positions I have never taken and quoted me wildly out of context. Such misunderstanding goes with the territory. But the editorialists’ explanation for why my talk had to be shut down revealed the “racism is everywhere” brainwashing that students at even a once relatively conservative campus like Claremont now receive: “If we allow her to speak at the Ath or attend her talk, we are amplifying her voice and enhancing her credibility. Last month, we proposed that writing and publishing an article, even if it’s ‘free of opinion,’ is not passive. This is a through line for many of our editorials this year: many actions that seem neutral in theory are actually entrenched in unconscious bias.”

When speakers need police escort on and off college campuses, an alarm bell should be going off that something has gone seriously awry. Of course, an ever-growing part of the faculty is the reason that police protection is needed in the first place. Professors in all but the hardest of hard sciences increasingly indoctrinate students in the belief that to be a non-Asian minority or a female in America today is to be the target of nonstop oppression, even, uproariously, if you are among the privileged few to attend a fantastically well-endowed, resource-rich American college. Those professors also maintain that to challenge that claim of ubiquitous bigotry is to engage in “hate speech” and that such speech is tantamount to a physical assault on minorities and females. As such, it can rightly be suppressed and punished. To those faculty, I am indeed a fascist, and a white supremacist, with the attendant loss of communication rights.

Hyperbole is part and parcel of political speech. But I would hope that there are some remaining faculty with enough of a lingering connection to reality who would realize that I and other conservatives are not a literal threat to minority students. To try to prevent me or other dissenting intellectuals from connecting with students is simply an effort to maintain the Left’s monopoly of thought. The fact that this suppression goes under the title of “antifascism” is particularly rich. I am reluctant to wield the epithet “fascist” as promiscuously as my declared opponents do. But it must be observed that if campus conservatives tried to use physical force to block Senator Elizabeth Warren from giving a speech, the New York Times would likely put the obstruction on the front page and the term “fascist” would be flying around like a swarm of hornets, followed immediately by the epithet “misogynist.” And when students and their fellow anarchists start breaking glass, destroying businesses, and assaulting perceived opponents, as they did during the Berkeley riots against Milo Yiannopoulos’s scheduled talk in February 2017, and to prevent sociologist Charles Murray from speaking at Middlebury College the following month, it is hard not to hear echoes of 1930s fascism.

Feature photo by Andy Ngo.


Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute. You can follow her on Twitter @HMDatMI


  1. Circuses and Bread says

    An interesting article and thanks for writing it.

    Articles like this always seem to beg the question: what is to be done? Which in turn leads to all sorts of political “solutions” that in the end resolve nothing and simply chew up time and resources. Let me suggest a different and yes, antipolitical solution that might actually work: defunding. In the end universities that want to limit thought and punish ideas provide nothing for society. There is no good and beneficial reason for them to exist. So stop subsidizing them by sending them students, donations, or by hiring their graduates. It’s not as if they’re actually providing useful job training unless you’re in something like the community organizing business.

    • What’s to be done? When students disturb the peace, call the cops on them. If they do such things repeatedly, kick expel them. And, as you say, if universities don’t hold their students accountable for their own actions, defund the hell out of them. Starve them out and don’t hire people who graduate from them.

    • preach says


      I hear Victor Orban has defunded critical theory studies in the Hungarian unis, since he and others feel they offer no benefit to society (my spirit tried to jump from my body and move to Hungary on hearing this).

      I’d LOVE to see the US pull that move. Let’s fund and give financial aid to STEM and let those who want to get a degree in queer intersectional feminist decolonizing studies get their aid from George Soros or whatnot. Same goes for what now passes for history and English, and the social “sciences”. It’s beyond insane that our tax dollars fund profs to teach our young to undermine their own country, and worst of all, to attack their brethren in the STEM fields and tell them what science they can and cannot research and publish according to woke doctrine.

      NYU had another tactic. Some students not long ago protested something or other and were blocking a staircase. The administration called the parents of the students and told them they were going to revoke their student housing and financial aid for unlawfully blocking a fire exit.

      Cell phones on the staircase exploded in parental rage, and the protest evaporated in minutes.

      If the administration at CMC were serious about free speech, they’d do the same. They’d let students know that they can gather and they can shout and hold their signs and have a First Amendment hoedown; but if they physically intimidate or strike ANYONE, if they block access, if they destroy property, their academic lives are OVER. Financial aid GONE. Expelled from the school.

      But the administrators like what the students are doing, and most agree with it. Their little bureaucratic hearts bubble with glee that the students give them an excuse to shut down someone they don’t agree with for “safety reasons.” And that’s the core problem.

      • chowderhead says

        Let me see if I’m getting you right: You read an article about deplatforming and your solution is to up the deplatforming model to institutions? We’re fucked if that’s the best we can come up with.

        Assholes. That’s the real problem here: assholes. Our entire society is geared for the most base asshole it contains. Everyone pays the price for the actions of assholes. The worst part is that there are too many indulgent parents absolutely committed to raising entitled assholes with no grasp of personal accountability. Children who apparently have no spine and no sense of a moral compass since they would be unalterably harmed, influenced or diminished by the words of someone who doesn’t completely agree with their uninformed opinions. A society of pussy assholes who come up with stupid solutions that completely ignore personal accountability.

        The right thing to do is demonstrate that shitty behavior comes with consequences. Arrest the fuckers who block doors to public events. Treat them like the assholes they are.

        • Circuses and Bread says


          Interesting reply. I would think it obvious that neither the police nor the university administrations are at all inclined to arrest or pursue administrative sanctions against the little dears. Indeed, they’re perfectly fine with them running amok. And the costs for the rest of us to get the police and administrators to actually do their jobs will be high. This is eerily similar to the situation the US auto industry faced in the 1970s and 1980s. They provided a crappy end product and found themselves unemployed as a result.

          Refraining from sending the universities money or students is comparatively easy. And simply takes advantage of already emerging trends. The university-political complex is already looking into the abyss as the services they provide are becoming less in demand. You write about accountability. There is no better way to hold the people who profit from the university-political complex accountable than having them become unemployed as a result of their (in)actions. And it has the virtue of actually fixing the problem permanently.

          • chowderhead says


            Holding organizations accountable for the actions of their customers is ridiculous. In that respect, the auto industry is indeed a good analogy. Remember unintended acceleration? Ends up it was the drivers all along and not shortcomings in auto design. With stark similarities to the topic at hand, the drivers in all those cases simply couldn’t be capable of depressing the wrong peddle! These college students and their fellow provocateurs just can’t be wrong about what they’re protesting!

            They were and they are.

            The experiment you propose, by the way, is currently underway. State funding of universities has been in steady decline for years, pushing the financial burden to the students and their families. You are aware of the burgeoning $1.5 Trillion (!) student debt? The same is true of public schools, and nowhere is the entitled student more apparent than there. So if your argument is valid, why are we having this conversation?

            There is no simple solution, but holding the actual perpetrators to account is an action with immediate result, and it’s a lesson that just might stick in a few of these knuckleheads. This mass of entitled assholes who think they’re more special than all the other special humans is insane.

          • @chowderhead
            “The experiment you propose, by the way, is currently underway. State funding of universities has been in steady decline for years, pushing the financial burden to the students and their families”

            Bingo. I think we have found the reason that the administration considers students untouchable.

        • I keep thinking all this will start to slough off the first time some speaker, or whoever, feels sufficiently threatened to perforate a few of the fascists shutting down the speech. I really am afraid violence is going to be the only action that gets a thoughtful response. We’ll see. The university administrators certainly aren’t going to do it.

        • Chowderhead, simply arresting the “assholes”, while extremely satisfying in the short term, would not solve the problem. The enablers / indoctrinators of these “assholes” are the activist professors and administrators in these institutions. You can arrest as many activist students as you like but there will always be fresh intakes of impressionable young minds coming through that will be ripe for the picking.

          The way to deal with this in the long term is to defund the activist components of these government subsidized academic institutions.

        • Tom Udo says

          Chowderhead, you are no chowderhead. You are right about the spoiled little jerkoffs populating campuses today. There used to be a perfect solution to mobs of idiots like this: fire hoses.

      • For a European (by the way I am Hungarian as well) to watch what’s happening at the US campuses is shocking. I see you have a distaste for social sciences but please be aware that they are legit part of the scientific world. I have studied at home in Hungary then UK universities, lived in numerous European countries and I could see that there are definitely some visible differences in approach to freedom of speech, involvement of politics at university campuses etc but I have never even seen such disgraceful disrespect of freedom of speech and violence US has and I am afraid that this ‘disease’ will spread across the pond one day. This so called victimhood culture at US campuses, this black and white issues cannot be compared to anything here in Europe not even in the UK, there are so many things that in my opinion are totally out of order at US campuses but obviously this is my point of view, perhaps many things are part of the US culture this is why it seems weird in my eyes, I don’t know.

        As for Hungary, you should do your own research and understand the Eastern European block a little more. What you are talking about is called gender studies which a interdisciplinary field. Gender roles are not about extreme feminists and queers and so on but unfortunately due to the uninformed masses general public believes it is so many of them backed up Orban on this. Unfortunately due to this very ‘liberal’ presentation of feminism in the media people believe it’s about hating men for example, and yes, I see some women calling themselves feminist while talking ‘white straight middle men’ in a despicable way, I see the transexuals who talk about lesbians the same negative way or vegans talking about meat eaters as representatives of a patriarchal system that’s against women (yes, I just watched a vegan feminist university professor from the US talking about this, it’s happening, it’s real) and so on and unfortunately these are the people who are overrepresented in the media.
        The same way talking about knife crime in London may make you a ‘racist’ in some people’s eyes if you say that this is a complex issue and it is not just because the white middle class (there where articles in some UK newspapers saying that black kids are killing each other just because of white middle class men using cocaine.)
        Now, to understand the issue around knife crime in London you need social sciences. I just wanted to point this out, ‘hard’ sciences as optical physics or cell biology won’t have an explanation why this is currently happening. Social sciences are legit and while you will meet some people working in the field who are part of the ‘crowd’ who talk about liberal values while they don’t want to deal with anyone who doesn’t share they values it shouldn’t give social sciences in general a bad reputation and say that the work of social scientist are only pseudo science.

        I believe that this kind of overly sensitive behaviour we experience needs to stop, no matter where it is coming from, left or right. It’s destructive, massively destructive. I also believe that getting too political is not the right way to debate these issues. Watching so called ‘debates’ and reading about them what I experience way too often is people just dropping in words like racist, snowflake, feminist, vegan and so on. There is no real discussion but labelling, and this is happening both sides although it seem people who called themselves liberal are masters at using this technique. But who is liberal? In my mind I’ve been a liberal, someone on the central and who believes in freedom of speech but today so called liberals are often a bunch of people who need to be defended because the world is such cruel place so anyone who doesn’t share they view must be silenced. Sorry but this is total BS and got nothing to do with liberal ‘values’. On the other hand so called ‘patriots’ or ‘conservaties’ are often the masters of bigotry so the same issue there, no real substance when ‘debating’ but blaming the so called ‘liberals’ who want to destroy the world by feminism, multiculturalism and so on. All of these are nonsense and doesn’t lead anywhere but chaos.

        I cannot comment on your thoughts about financing US universities but I definitely agree that the behaviour we can observe today on these campuses is insane and needs to stop.

        • Wilson says

          We see this kind of intolerance and black-and-white thinking everywhere as it’s a level of cognition, not a behavior specific to particular cultures. We see it in different proportions in different countries, but it exists everywhere. To a significant degree, this intolerance of freedom of speech we have in the U.S. now came from Europeans like Herbert Marcuse. We had something similar during the McCarthy period in the U.S., but it was not nearly as severe. It is generally against the American tradition of freedom of speech. There are many causal factors, but the intellectual movement that is largely responsible comes from Europe. It includes Marcuse, Antonio Gramsci, Louis Althusser, Chantal Mouffe, and the French post-structuralists.

          • Douglas D Kelly says

            This is from Sigmund Freud’s “Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego”:

            “A group is extraordinarily credulous and open to influence. It has no critical faculty… Anyone who wishes to produce an effect upon it needs no logical adjustment to his arguments; he must paint in the most forcible colors, he must exaggerate, and he must repeat the same thing again and again… It respects force and can only be slightly influenced by kindness, which it regards merely as a form of weakness… It wants to be ruled and oppressed, and to fear its masters… And finally, groups have never thirsted after truth. They demand illusions and cannot do without them. They constantly give what is unreal precedence over what is real; they are almost as strongly influenced by what is untrue as by what is true. They have an evident tendency not to distinguish between the two… A group is an obedient herd, which could never live without a master. It has such a thirst for obedience that it submits instinctively to anyone who appoints himself as its master.”

            Does this sound familiar? Is this what is really being discussed here?
            I’d say, for the most part, it is.

        • Andrew Mcguiness says

          “social sciences . . . are legit part of the scientific world” – I had a bit of a laugh to myself when I read that but reading on, I saw that you sincerely mean what you write. I disagree, actually: while I think it’s important to think and argue about the structure of society, I doubt sociology can ever be a science. In fact, I see the push to use quasi-scientific methods (mainly the use of statistics) as legitimising what is most often a view formed according to preconception and prejudice and the publishing of articles and statistics just part of a progaganda war.

          • Douglas D Kelly says

            You seem to believe that statistics are quasi-scientific method used to legitimize a view formed according to preconceptions and prejudice and the publishing of articles and statistics are part of propaganda.

            You meant this to be a derogatory statement, but in fact it can be quite true. The veracity of any scientific study is only a valid as those doing the study. My solution to this problem is for one to be vigilant and suspect of every study done for any reason. One must know the the questionnaire, the methodology, the demographics, and also be able to match the cross tabulations of any study to validate its premise and its findings.

            This is the critical part of reviewing any study findings, and without doing such, the ignorant and uninformed merely read the findings line for line. The obvious result is not valid nor is it projectable into the whole population or the study.

            I believe you have made a leap from reasonableness to fatuousness in your condemnation of sociology. It is a very legitimate science. And it must be treated as a science in that the findings must be repeatable. That is, the findings of a sociological study must be similar to other well-constructed studies.

            Or conversely, one can construct a study to find anything one wants to find by betraying the basic rules of a legitimate and verifiable studies. The sensationalism we find in the news mediums regarding certain desperately wished for findings of their own studies is nothing but a crime against the scientific method.

        • John M says

          @erzsebet naftalin

          You are correct that defunding is a blunt instrument that will have collateral damage in the form of stifling legitimate research. Involving the government in this way usually lacks nuance.

          A more nuanced solution would require people in the social sciences to police their own profession and the protesters it spawns, and thus far there seems to be a lack of will to do this effectively. Social scientists as a group need to censure the protesters who engage in these tactics, as well as their peers who enable them. They need to denounce them both unequivocally, not by making excuses like “I sympathize with their cause, and they’re just misguided.” Actions speak louder than words, and the protesters actions say they want to cause others physical and emotional pain as recompense for the pain that they themselves feel. If censure doesn’t cause a behavioral change, then ostracism should be the next step. Intolerance of this stuff needs to become the norm in the social sciences.

          Given this lack of action within the profession, what do you expect those outside the profession to do? If those inside don’t “control their crazies”, somebody from the outside will. Those inside have to “put them on an island” to make it clear they stand on their own. Otherwise society will do the same to the entire profession. Those inside have a difficult choice to make.

          I can empathize with those in the profession who wish it would just go away on its own, because they’d be risking their own livelihood and comfort by doing so. There are similar risks in my profession. I find the idea that tenure is a sufficient safeguard to be disingenuous. The administrators and others can still make your life a hell while preserving your nominal position.

        • Circuses and Bread says


          Thanks for the response. Yes, I do think the organizations should be held accountable for their customers actions *when they share culpability*, as is the case here. The universities, and more specifically their staff, are frequently participants in these protest/ riot actions and often work to incite them. In the specific cases discussed by the author, it’s more of an issue of administrative inaction, but the culpability is there just the same. The universities had a choice to act positively or do nothing. They chose to do essentially nothing and should pay the price. If universities wish to preserve their good name and ability to attract students and revenue, they need to act appropriately. Emphasis on the word “act.’”

          While we’re talking about the culpability of universities, I’m glad you brought up the issue of student debt. This is probably the next financial bubble: former students who can’t pay their student loans because the education that they received is not worth what it cost. Universities are very culpable in this respect. When was the last time a public university reduced student costs? When was the last time a public university engaged in a campaign to dissuade it’s students from going into major fields with relatively low salaries?

          Universities have been perfectly happy to raise tuition and see students saddled with unmanageable debt loads. Just so long as the money keeps rolling in. It’s both appropriate and just that the “experiment” as you term it should come at the cost of the universities that did so much to create the problems in the first place.

        • Douglas D Kelly says

          Just because most of our ancestors came from Europe, Africa and Latin America, the perceptions within the American culture compared with these cultures have striking differences. Don’t take any similarity on its face, or you will rue the day.

          The very way we in America think about ourselves and others, and even the way we perceive reality makes us distinct from other people in the world, distinct even from the vast majority of our ancestors. Don’t misunderstand. The American culture is not better or worse than any other. But it is distinctly different.

          Among Westerners, studies show that Americans are often the most unusual. This led researchers to conclude that Americans are an exception even among Westerners — outliers among outliers.

          The Western mind, specifically the American mind, is the most self-aggrandizing and egotistical on the planet. That’s not a negative, it’s just a fact. We are more likely to promote ourselves as individuals versus advancing as a group. This has deep ramifications for Americans communicating within other cultures.

          Even among western cultures, American minds are more analytic and tend to telescope in on an object of interest rather than understanding that object in the context of what is around it.

          It’s important to know that cultures are not monolithic. Even the American culture can be endlessly parsed. Ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, economic status, parenting styles, rural upbringing versus urban, or suburban. There are hundreds of cultural differences that exist individually and in endless combinations, influencing our concepts of fairness, how we categorize things, our method of judging and decision-making, and our deeply held beliefs about the nature of the self among other aspects of our psychological makeup.

          Cultural anthropologists say they are just beginning to learn how these fine-grained cultural differences affect our thinking. Recent research has shown that people in “tight” cultures, those with strong norms and low tolerance for deviant behavior (think India, Malaysia, and Pakistan), develop higher impulse control and more self-monitoring abilities than those from other places.

          As an example, I posit the following: Exuberance is somewhat shocking to people in Eastern cultures. Being excitable is thought of as a loss of self-control. In America, it’s quite the opposite and is generally seen as enthusiasm.

        • Lucius says

          Thank you for your comment. All this anger and polarization is dispiriting. You are right; we need to stop rewarding people who are overly

      • That’s a better idea than giving them a little “stick-time,” which was my first impulse.

    • Daniel says

      Gutting the student loan program. They can abolish it altogether, turn it over to the universities themselves, or allow students to declare bankruptcy.
      1) Abolishing it altogether is probably unrealistic, although universities would have to massively tighten their belts, trimming down to a 10:1 faculty/administrator ratio. This would also bring back the possibility of students working to put themselves through college — what is in many ways an ideal situation, because they are learning responsibility in addition to doing research and writing papers.
      2) Having universities issue their own loans would make them responsible for collecting money from their graduates. They would be much more likely to make sure that their alumni have valuable qualifications and skills. Of course this would only work if —
      3) Students could declare bankruptcy. The students in useful majors will be prepared for the actual workplace. Students in the SJW disciplines will not. Guess who will be most likely to declare bankruptcy? Universities will have negative revenue streams from their SJW-degree holders, and will be increasingly likely to shut those departments down.

    • Wentworth Horton says

      Defunding should happen solely because funding pays no return, the value of a university education has been severely over blown. Identity Politics, the anchoring Ideology of students and staff, has infused itself much more broadly than just at the Unis. It’s tribalism baby, and it’s on a roll. The first thing that has to be done is to parse out that portion of their angst that is genuine and factual and address it. IP has the White Male Hierarchy and Trump has The Swamp and there is a common thread. They are both looking at the establishment asking “WTF you guys?”. Too many people in society feel like they are on the outside looking in. We need to fix that. Soon.

      • Circuses and Bread says

        @wentworth horton

        There’s a reason why people in society feel they are on the outside looking in. Because they are. This is just part and parcel of the Hyper-Politicization of Damn Near Everything over the last 20 years or so.

        Politics is a piss-poor substitute for God and love.

        • Douglas D Kelly says

          I agree. The hyper-politicization of everything — part of the politically correct atmosphere that has begun to dominate our culture — shows a very sick culture. When one must fall back on politics to excuse or explain social mores, then we are totally screwed as a culture.

          The US has a nearly pathological political war in progress and is most likely going to result in civil war or at the minimum, uprisings. It seems as if many people are so intolerant (I hate that word since it’s used by those most disruptive to our society, but it’s the right word here.) that are actually enjoying fighting any beliefs but their own.

          If one will take notice, these are the same things people have been fighting about for the past 10,000 years. It hasn’t changed in any way but the means of communication.

          But one thing has made a great difference. I believe there are just too damned many people in the world to make anything work right.

      • Circuses and Bread says


        I looked up the name and he would seem to be an interesting fellow. I would disagree with him on anarchism and this odd idea of “covenant communities” set up with the intent to exclude religious and ethnic minorities. Hopefully someone (or perhaps he himself) will post something on Quillette about his views.

    • Where are the teachers? They are teaching this nonsense to their students. Between Russian Trolls and American non-science Professors, who needs anybody else to destroy a nation.

    • @Circuses and Bread said that companies should stop hiring the graduates of these SJW programs because they received no useful job training. But companies hire them because they do have SJW training! They hire them to tell them how to prevent being targeted by SJWs and the resulting negative coverage in the SJW-dominated media. It’s a protection racket.

    • Tom Udo says

      It certainly raises the question. But “beg the question” means something else entirely.

    • Charles M. Hill says

      Amen, amen. I am so glad that someone said what you said. If an organization forms, or petitions are started concerning this issue please let me know @ I would like to participate in such a project.

    • Defunding is the only answer. From Fed guaranteed loans to gov grants. That will make free speech acceptable, again. Lol.

  2. TarsTarkas says

    The protests will continue and increase as long as there are no consequences. With too much of the teaching staff on the side of the protesters, with too much of the administration either supine in the face of or complicit in the protests, I don’t see that happening any time soon. Too much money is involved in the form of tuition payments (much of which is supplied by us, the unwilling taxpayers). It will probably take a complete collapse in the student population for any meaningful action to occur.

    • Jack B Nimble says


      “…. there are no consequences…..”

      Too many people on the right think that college administrators wink and smile at student protests that get out of hand, but the reality is different. For example, Middlebury College disciplined 74 students after the infamous Murray protests and referred some cases to the town police dept. However, the local PD determined that there was insufficient evidence to make any criminal charges. N.B. Details on individual cases are not available, thanks to federal educational privacy laws [‘FERPA’]. Source:

      And MacDonald’s claim that university faculty “…. have themselves been given the extraordinary privilege of tenure to protect their own liberties of thought and speech….” withers away when one considers cases like Rutgers U. tenured professor James Livingston. Livingston is being investigated for comments he made on his private FB page. The post did not reference Rutgers U., but Livingston still faces the threat of being fired, tenure be damned:

      “…Carolyn Dellatore, the associate director of employment equity, conducted the investigation.She said the university’s mission to educate a diverse student body has been disrupted by his public statements, since Rutgers received numerous complaints…..Although the posts were on Livingston’s personal social media account, discrimination or harassment doesn’t need to occur in the physical confines of the workplace to be actionable, Dellatore said in the report…..” Source:

      Here are three important points about the above news excerpt:

      1………A university’s response to a free speech case can be determined by how many outsiders complain about the behavior, not by any rules in the faculty handbook.
      2……..Livingston’s case is being handled by low-level administrators, not by faculty members and not by an impartial ad hoc panel.
      3……..The distinction between a professor’s private life and his/her professional career has vanished.

      Bottom Line: HMD is clueless about what is really going on at campuses around the country.

      • Martin28 says

        @ Jack B Nimble:
        “Too many people on the right think that college administrators wink and smile at student protests that get out of hand, but the reality is different. For example, Middlebury College disciplined 74 students after the infamous Murray protests and referred some cases to the town police dept. However, the local PD determined that there was insufficient evidence to make any criminal charges. N.B. Details on individual cases are not available, thanks to federal educational privacy laws.”

        They got slapped on the wrist, and you know it. They could have been expelled for violating school policy, and some of them should have been, but they weren’t. And in most other cases, like Evergreen, Missouri, this one, NOTHING was done to discipline students, not even slaps on the wrists. Mac Donald is correct.

        • Jack B Nimble says


          To refute @TarsTarkas extravagant claim of “… no consequences…..”, I cited one instance where protestors DID face consequences.

          And did you even skim the Middlebury Coll. press release? Some protestors wore masks, could not be identified, and may well have NOT been Middlebury Coll. students at all. The local DA determined that no prosecutions were possible for those individuals.

          Similarly, the recent anti-racism protests at UNC resulted in 7 arrests, but none of those arrested was a UNC student. Source:

          And Mizzou? Press reports make clear that, with the possible exception of protestors surrounding the Univ. President’s vehicle* during homecoming 2015, no violence or property damage occurred. Source:
          *The protestors were removed by police but not arrested. I consider that incident to be a non-violent instance of civil disobedience.

          Bottom Line: At least some of the time, the most violent protestors on campus turn out not to be students at all. To use those cases as evidence that administrators are coddling students is flat out wrong.

          • Farris says

            I read the article. According to the article the consequences are confidential, so it is unknown if the sanctions were serious or a joke. No bedtime mints on the pillow I suppose.
            Regarding the north jersey article I couldn’t help but notice that Professor Livingston is being defended by FIRE.

          • Martin28 says

            @ Jack B Nimble
            Anybody protesting at a college where a mask should be arrested on the spot, and at least escorted off of the campus. Immediately. That is obvious. And I think there are grounds for police questioning, at the least, to determine identity. Nobody should be protesting anywhere in a mask, which is clearly a threat to conduct illegal acts in secrecy, and has been shown on many occasions to be a cover for violent acts, including at Middlebury.

            What about Evergreen? Students oaming the campus with baseball bats, attacking people.

            Queen’s College?

            The event described by Heather Mac, where they clearly violated students’ rights to free assembly? There are many other examples.

            I agree with you that outside agitators are partly to blame, and the students need to be protected from them. Good for UNC.

          • D.B. Cooper says

            @ Jack

            Too many people on the right think that college administrators wink and smile at student protests that get out of hand, but the reality is different.

            Really? Who are these people and how many of them are there, because I have yet to see anyone here make such a moronic claim? I did, however, stumble across one individual who was using it as a strawman…

            Bottom Line: At least some of the time, the most violent protestors on campus turn out not to be students at all. To use those cases as evidence that administrators are coddling students is flat out wrong.

            Before I go any further, I have to know – Did I read somewhere that you are a faculty member at a university? I ask only because it seems likely that one of two things are going on, here. You’re either trolling the entire comment section, in which case you get a tip-of-the-hat; or you’re completely incapable of making a rational argument, in which case you’re an idiot, bad actor, or both. Whatever the case may be, I’ll know to skip over your comments in the future. However, if it so happens that you are, in fact, a university faculty member; then I really hope it’s the former and not the latter.

            Once, again, who the Hell used cases where the violent protestors on campus turned out not to be students at all as evidence that administrators are coddling students? Granted, I didn’t catch the legal sections of the LA Times or the Claremont Courier, so I’m willing to concede the possibility that either event (UCLA or CMC) might qualify as such a case; but if not, then what are you talking about? Because it looks like you’ve pulled this assertion from thin air and then argued against it.

            Normally, I wouldn’t attempt to parse the contextual meaning of a fallacious argument, but most of your claims resemble something closer to a recursive process than a matriculation towards truth. But the paucity of well-reasoned arguments aside, it is nonetheless true that even poorly reasoned arguments can just as easily draw true conclusions. Unfortunately, it’s not clear that any of yours has.

            Take for example, the first sentence in this passage: Bottom Line: At least some of the time, the most violent protestors on campus…

            This is an essentially meaningless statement. First, you qualify the frequency of the incident and then the magnitude of the offense as if either of those qualifications were a defeater. Stacking the deck, a bit there, aren’t we? I’ve seen anti-vaccers ignore less evidence to the contrary. And what about ALL THE REST OF THE TIMES, where the undifferentiated haze of liberal indignation is populated with only MODERATELY VIOLENT PROTESTORS? Do those times count, or are they victims of your greedy reductionism?

            This is not a theoretical distinction. Ask yourself the rhetorical question – What if a more charitable version of Anderson Cooper commented that at least some of the time, President Trump isn’t the biggest American asshole this side Andrew Jackson? Good Bayesians are hard to come by, I grant, but this may be the most vacuous strawman, I’ve ever seen. It undoubtedly sets a new precedent for imaginary hypocrisy.

            overall campus disturbances are not a big problem in 2018.

            1……under-funding of public universities since 2008, leading to tuition increases and greater student loan debt.
            4……hysterical and distorted right wing attacks on campuses, fueled by Fox News, Breitbart, D. Horowitz’s Freedom Center, College Fix, HeatSt [now defunct], Turning Point USA, etc.

            (1) Under-funding of public universities has led to tuition increases and greater student loan debt. Yeah, I’m not sure that’s entirely true. Maybe, partially true, but not entirely and not by a long shot. I’m willing to give you some concession, because (A) I’m not terribly familiar with the data; and (B) I don’t feel like looking it up. Having said, one needs not much more than a cursory glance at the incentive structures of higher education to understand the rapid increase in tuition and student loan debt. For matters of brevity, I’m going to ignore the bloated salaries of administrators as well as the unwarranted allocation of resources for a pernicious lot of non-academic diversity officials – an indulgent vocation that respects neither logic, nor honesty.

            In any regard, the primary (or one of) driver of higher tuition and student loan debt are the student loans themselves. They’re too easy to acquire. It’s almost impossible not to qualify for a loan of some type (public/private). And since universities are all too aware of this – aware Fed/banks will subsidize student tuition – only hypothetical question is whether or not school administrators will follow the rewards. Obviously, the jury’s in on that question. Ask yourself, if you had a bread store and the gov’t subsidized the purchase of bread by private citizens, what do you think you would do to the price of that bread? Granted, student loans due have to be paid back, but (A) most 18-year-old kids don’t fully appreciate that reality, and (B) we’ve (society) have manufactured the false narrative that not only is it (cognitively) possible for every kid to get a college degree, but in point of fact, every kid should go to college and get a degree.

            Personally, this narrative strikes me as rather cruel in light of the fact that half of society is by definition below average. Not only that, you would think progressives would have the foresight to realize that if everyone has a college degree, then no one has a college degree. On reflection, if inductive reasoning still has any predictive power you actually shouldn’t expect progressives to have any foresight at all. But, in a testament to the perpetual short game of progressives everywhere, this narrative has now been wedded to reality by way of the promiscuous nature of student loans in conjunction with recent trends in academia (grade inflation).

            (4) Hysterical and distorted right-wing attacks on campuses, fueled by Fox News, Breitbart… It’s a strong field, but this may be your best one, yet. I don’t really have anything to add to it. The statement is so bat-shit crazy that it speaks for itself. I will say, though, it is statement’s like this – the inherently absurd ones – that really makes wonder if you’re not just trolling Quillette.

            No matter. If we knew nothing else, I feel there’s enough circumstantial evidence to reliably conclude that whatever position you occupy (within academia), we can be damn certain that it’s not a tenured faculty member of the philosophy or economics departments. It should be said, it should be said.

          • Jack B Nimble says

            @D.B. Cooper

            I guess you are another commenter who didn’t bother to read the Middlebury Coll. press release. If you had, you would have encountered the following:

            Separately, the Middlebury Police Department (MPD) today announced that it had concluded its investigation into the violence that took place following the event as Murray and Professor Allison Stanger left the building. The department said it has been unable to identify any specific individual responsible for the injuries sustained by Stanger. MPD also said it had established that as many as eight masked individuals were in the area and used tactics indicating training in obstruction. Further, the department said that while it had identified a number of other people who were in the crowd of more than 20 people outside the event venue, “on consultation with the Addison County State’s Attorney it was determined that there was insufficient information to charge any specific person who participated in damaging the car or interfering with or blocking the car’s progress as it exited the parking lot.” bold emphasis added.

            It is reasonable to suggest that the masked individuals who seemed to be trained in obstruction tactics could be non-students; at the very least they couldn’t be identified or prosecuted. Non-students obviously fall under the local DA’s purview, not that of campus administrators. To use ‘Middlebury’, ‘Evergreen’, and antifa as symbols of broader, systemic intolerance among students and incompetence among administrators on campuses in the US is just lazy thinking. N.B. I am not a supporter of careerist administrators in higher ed, but will defend them against unfair attacks as needed.

            Your epithets are sadly illustrative of much conservative ‘discourse’ on higher ed in the US: troll, idiot, bat-shit crazy and similar phrases are not part of a well-reasoned argument.

            I almost forgot–please skip over my comments if they bother you; I write only for my own enjoyment and edification, not to edify anyone else.

      • JWatts says

        “Bottom Line: HMD is clueless about what is really going on at campuses around the country.”

        She wrote several thousand words that belie the idea that she is clueless. Frankly, just making such an obviously wrong statement lowers the quality of your your entire post.

        You may be correct that some schools have attempted to punish the outrageous behavior of some protestors. But if the implicit suppression of speech continues, it’s clear that the punishment has been ineffective.

        • Jack B Nimble says


          I AM correct that some university administrators or local DA offices, as appropriate, have sanctioned campus protestors. And putting a permanent disciplinary note in a student’s transcript will follow them for the rest of their lives–that is no slap on the wrist, as someone else suggested in this thread.

          Events at Evergreen State, Middlebury Coll. and UVA-Charlottesville [how come no one has mentioned this riot?] are concerning, but overall campus disturbances are not a big problem in 2018. Most student newspapers are published without censorship, campus lectures usually go off without a hitch, and so on.

          In fact, I wouldn’t put campus disturbances in the top 5 list of problems facing academia in 2018. What are my top 5?

          1……under-funding of public universities since 2008, leading to tuition increases and greater student loan debt.
          2……the ongoing Title IX/sexual harassment crisis that has engulfed major universities like Michigan State, Ohio State, and so on.
          3……attacks on federal grants to universities, led by Congressional Republicans including Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tx) [for details see
          4……hysterical and distorted right wing attacks on campuses, fueled by Fox News, Breitbart, D. Horowitz’s Freedom Center, College Fix, HeatSt [now defunct], Turning Point USA, etc.
          5……Palestinian students in the US being silenced or disciplined for protesting policies of the current Israeli govt. []. And the Israeli govt. paying Jewish students in the US to push back against the BDS movement using social media. That’s not illegal, of course, but it is hardly a fair fight, since BDS advocates have no government sponsors and in fact are at risk of being silenced by the U.S. Congress. See the article ‘Israel to pay students to defend it online’ in USAToday from 2013 and the article ‘This piece of pro-Israel legislation is a serious threat to free speech’ in WaPo from July, 2017.

          Items 4 and 5 above are DIRECT threats to the freedom of speech of faculty AND students.

      • Neither of your points negate her claims. A single case of a single professor at a single university, possibly losing tenure sometime in the future does not constitute a valid objection to her claim. Im not familiar with the Rutgers case but I would bet a substantial amount of money that he isn’t fired. I just read about a similar case where a tenured professor was fired for personal statements (unaffiliated with the university). He sued and now (rightfully) has his job back Anyways, she is correct on both of these points

      • X. Citoyen says

        Oh my, Jack…

        The day-to-day functioning of university learning depends on norms of civility, such as not disrupting classes, not shouting down lecturers, fellow students, and speakers, not barring doors or pulling fire alarms, or any of the other forms of antisocial behaviour that affects the “free-flow of ideas,” including (because I suppose it needs saying) violence and destruction of property. Some of these norms must be learned by students at university: toleration of opposing viewpoints, not using emotional blackmail or invective to silence others, and generally speaking to the argument and not to the person.

        You either abide by these norms or you must be disciplined (until you do) or expelled or fired (if you won’t) because a university cannot function unless the vast majority of people follow these norms the vast majority of time. There is no other side of the coin: When you make the case against these norms you’re no longer talking about an institution dedicated to learning.

        If you’ve been in a university as long as you say you have, you know that progressives and their favoured groups are, as a general rule, granted exemptions from the norms of civility that allow the university to function. I recognized this exemption when I began university in the 1990s. In the years after, I watched as smaller violations of the norms by selected groups went from being tolerated to becoming new norms. This became apparent when one could no longer object to incivility as incivility because it was redefined as justifiable outrage (or some such) when the incivility came from the right sort of person for the right sort of reason. Predictably, activists pushed the boundaries even further, and here we are with activists routinely using even more antisocial means and more often to get their way.

        Like so many people I know within universities, you don’t see how the norms have changed over the years. You’ve even forgotten how different it was when you were a student. You’ve contextualized the past to conform to the present to adapt to your environment. Throw in a little sympathy for the progressives, and you see this behaviour as either normal or as minor and isolated cases where things got a little out of hand but were then exaggerated and taken out of context by right-wing agitators.

        Of course, you’d be right to object that I don’t know you because I don’t know you. But I do know the perspective very well, and I also know the day will come when you change your mind. Like Haidt, Peterson, and all the other good and upright liberals who dismissed the lying right-wing agitators, you’ll poo-poo the hysteria until the day you say the wrong thing to the wrong person and the monster comes for you. You’ll be shocked at how no one understands that it’s all a big misunderstanding, that you misspoke, and that you’re sorry. You’ll be shocked, too, at how all your one-time friends on the faculty suddenly avoid you like the plague because they’re not willing to risk their grant money to save your hide: “Sorry, Jack, I can’t afford to stick my neck out right now. I hope you understand.” As Plato observed so long ago, people only think they can avoid or control the beast because they don’t see that they’re dealing with one.

        • Jack B Nimble says


          Good grief. For someone who admits that they don’t know me personally, you certainly have a lot to say!

          Your point about norms is important. A university can function well as long as norms of conduct are followed >99% of the time (roughly). For example, I caught a few instances of students cheating, but wasn’t able to refer them to the Dean of Students. Those cases were rare enough so that they didn’t distort my grading scale.

          Similarly, higher ed functions as intended >99% of the time. Cherry-picking stories of violent or destructive protests at mostly small liberal arts colleges ignores the fact that the vast majority of students in the US do not attend small liberal arts colleges, not to mention the fact that even on those campuses, violent protests are rare.

          Side note: conservatives like HMD like to point to the statistic that >99% of encounters between police and unarmed Black civilians do not result in a shooting [as a way of undercutting BLM protestors], but they fail to use the 99% rule when they ‘analyze’ student protests.

          You claimed without evidence that things were different when I was a student, and you are right! My freshman year was the year of Kent State, Cambodia, Jackson State, the Moratorium*, etc., and I did smell tear gas and see helmeted riot police drawn up in ranks.

          Most of the changes in academia since then have been negative, but not in the way you think. Here are a few:

          1….Downgrading of tenure protections, greater use of adjuncts
          2….Widespread privatization of services on public campuses including for-profit online courses. Net result–students pay more and get less
          3….Greater pressure on faculty–not just to publish and get grants, but to publish in ‘top-tier’ journals and get grants that bring the largest overhead. Result–loss of collegiality, unwillingness to serve on committees, etc.
          4….Over-reaching and power-hungry administrators, passive faculty, weak faculty senates
          5….Greater power accruing to administrative offices like HR, accounting, etc.–where staff do NOT face annual performance reviews comparable to those of faculty members.

          What hasn’t changed?

          1…..Black and other minority students still mostly lack the mentors and role models they need to succeed, except at HBCUs and a few other places.
          2…..Division I schools still place too much emphasis on sports
          3…..Price-gouging by publishers of textbooks and journals……. and so on

          What has changed for the better?

          1…..Greater emphasis on student rights, including rights to privacy and to due process.
          2…..More women moving up the academic ranks. When I was an undergrad, I had essentially NO women professors, although there were of course women working as adjuncts, instructors, teaching assistants, etc.
          3…..Other positive things on campuses that I can’t think of at the moment.

          Bottom line: I took early retirement because I could afford to and because I got tired of administrative over-reach and faculty passivity.

  3. I was shocked to read that Claremont McKenna College “has historically admitted black and Hispanic students with an average 200-point-lower SAT score than white and Asian students.“

    Two-hundred points!

    Wow — that’s literally the SMALLEST difference between average white and black SAT scores I’ve ever heard of at any elite American college!

    I commend Claremont McKenna for its apparent success in reducing the amount of institutional racism experienced by whites and Asians in its admissions process — from the typical 250-350 point difference to merely 200 points.

    Only two-hundred points! Now that’s real progress!

    • @ A New Radical Centrism

      “Institutional racism” is actually a very descriptive term to describe what Asians and whites experience in the admissions process at US colleges, especially when they are applying to the most prestigious schools.

    • Southside says

      New Radical Centrist –

      You may be underestimating the typical difference between the white/Asian average SAT score and the average black SAT score at elite universities. The elite schools never voluntarily release these data – you have to sue them, and then obtain the scores during the legal discovery process. In the current Harvard discrimination case, for example, the data obtained by the plaintiffs showed that average Asian SAT score was 450 points higher than the average black score, well above your 250-350 point figure. This was the case at the college at which one assumes the very smartest African-American students would apply! Even if you assume that the Asian average was a perfect 1600, that means that the black average would have been 1150 – a score which might not even get a white or Asian student into a typical non-selective crappy second-tier state college. A combined 1150 represents the best that a massive population group can do? Now, THAT’s shocking.

      • @Southside

        Come to think of it, that 200-point difference at CMC between the white and Asian students, on one hand, and the black and Hispanic students, on the other, probably isn’t all that descriptive of the amount of difference between Asian and black students at the school because this 200-point difference represents the average of two groups (white and Asians) against the average of two other groups (blacks and Hispanics), and all four of these groups invariably place themselves as follows (in order of highest to lowest): Asians, whites, Hispanics, blacks. At elite schools there’s usually about a 50-75 point difference between Asians and whites, 150 points between whites and Hispanics, and about 100-125 between Hispanics and blacks. So even though the average of Asians/Whites might be 200 points higher than Hispanics/Blacks, the difference between Asians and blacks is probably in the range of 300 to 350 points, lower than that at Harvard, but still pretty staggering.

  4. prince says

    It is time for university administrators to regard suppression of free speech and inquiry at the same severity they regard Title IX violations.

    Let’s not forget that these immature students despite their vocal and irrational tantrums are actually legal adults. The kind of behavior they exhibit would not be acceptable in any other setting, and should not be acceptable in colleges.

    Only when violent suppressors (and those who organize them) are expelled from college for their actions then change will come.

    • Daniel says

      I have a problem with the over-the-hill adult organizers. It is an inherently pathetic spectacle when a 40-year-old failed hippie is trying to live out his/her dreams by leading undergrads in pre-pubescent cheers.
      Throw the book at them and lock them up. Loitering, trespassing, noise ordinances, whatever. They are the actual hate mongers.

  5. Circuses and Bread says

    @Tars. You’re undoubtedly correct that the situation in the short term is unlikely to change and will probably get worse. Universities don’t exist in a vacuum, however, and we’re already seeing a trend toward online degrees and towards certification based programs that might have some actual commercial applicability. Universities and liberal arts colleges are already providing a largely obsolete service. Defunding is going to happen in the natural course of events when students get the message that a six figure university debt is going to be tough to pay off when all it qualifies you for is barista work. When those who spent a lot less on a trade school or certification program at their local community college are earning more, the flow of students out of the universities will happen.

    On that note I have to wonder if the author has spoken at community colleges and Iwhat the reaction was in that forum as compared to the universities.

  6. Has Ms. MacDonald ever actually spoken TO people of color, rather than AT them?

    For all her erudition, she sounds like a troll from some Reddit forum. These quips about dead black children don’t sound like a compassionate concern, but rather using other people’s tragedy as handy props.

    I’m white as a ghost, but I can easily see why people of color would become enraged by some privileged white woman helicoptering in to harangue them about her moral superiority.

    • Martin28 says

      They didn’t need to listen. They had a right to not attend, but not to shut down any opinions they disagree with. That is the fascist behavior. Heather Mac Donald makes tons of sense. But making sense is not the foundation of her rights, nor is it the foundation of the rights of those who want to hear what she says. The “protesters” are close-minded, spoiled, radical, dangerous fanatics. Any fair-minded person can see that.

    • @Chip

      My black step dad was killed in a drive by by black gang members in Detroit. It was cops who searched for his murderers not any supposed antifascist student. It was cops who had to break the news to his son, who now is a father too and whose child will never meet his grandpa. Assuming blacks or anyone else automatically sides with those who yell the loudest about matters that they won’t even acknowledge like fatherlessness in black communities or black on black crime, is the height of non-thinking.

      • Chip Daniels says

        But notice, you are invoking the tragedy of a black person to give your story authenticity.

        Wouldn’t Ms. MacDonald’s observations about black Americans be more believable if she related their stories, in their own words, and allowed them to stress their priorities?
        Instead, she appoints herself the spokesman for Black America, and substitutes her own opinions for theirs.

        • Sunset Bruce says

          “…you are invoking the tragedy of a black person to give your story authenticity.”

          Interesting take! I would have said Mrs. Q was invoking the tragedy of a murdered family member to give her story authenticity. I totally misread that.

          “Wouldn’t Ms. MacDonald’s observations about black Americans be more believable if she related their stories…”

          Not to me. I believe her statistics over narratives every day of the week. People mislead for their own benefit a lot, sometimes unconsciously.

          “… related their stories, in their own words, and allowed them to stress their priorities?”

          There is no “their” there. Americans of African ancestry don’t possess monolithic or even a cluster of unique priorities. A recent naturalized citizen from Uganda may share no words, priorities, or stories with me, but we are both “African Americans”.

          “….she appoints herself the spokesman for Black America, and substitutes her own opinions for theirs.”

          I think you are mistaking Heather MacDonald for Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, who do just what you say. The mistake is understandable. I have often looked at Al Sharpton hanging with the Clintons or George Clooney and thought to myself, “That is the whitest bitch I’ve ever seen…”

          And again: there is no “black community”, no “black America”. We do not all hang out, communicate, agree, or even eat the same food. We just share some genetic ancestry and skin tones. It’s not nearly as exciting as some would have you believe. Those who say there is a monolithic blackness … are selling you something.

      • Mnandi says

        Even a product of the American public education system should understand that…

    • Conan the Agrarian says


      “…TO people of color, rather than AT people of color …”

      See if this thought poem helps:

      You aren’t white.
      You are pink.
      Pink is a color.
      You are a person of color.
      So is Heather MacDonald.
      Black is not a color.
      Black is absorption of all color (science!).
      One cannot be “black” and “a person of color.”
      There are no “black children.”
      Children of African ancestry are shades of brown
      Unless one lumps them all into “black”, which is willfully incorrect
      Like calling Indigenous Americans “Indians”
      When they aren’t from India.
      Arbitrary and unscientific racial categories are bogus.

      Boom. All problems solved, right?

    • 007-11 says

      @Chip, without sarcasm or meaning to diminish you personally in any way, I suggest you fundamentally misunderstand the situation.

      MacDonald isn’t attempting compassion, so she’s not failing in that regard. She’s highlighting mass psychosis in the American university system.

      By drawing enemy fire on herself, MacDonald is demonstrating to the world that it doesn’t matter whether you talk TO or AT or AROUND or INTO these students and faculty (of color or otherwise); they aren’t really listening, just howling agreement with one another’s far-Left generalities. A hard core are caught in an ecstatic, self-referential hypnotic fog of wokeness (“hysteria”) and in that state giving each other permission and encouragement to act in the most shameful and illiberal manner.

      MacDonald isn’t just erudite. She’s brilliant and a true social warrior who risks physical injury on the regular (I find it incredibly sexy, though I believe she’s into men). She is following the strategy laid down by Gandhi and later MLK, when he provoked Southern authoritarians to violence for Americans to witness on the TV and in the press.

      Unless I am very much mistaken, she wants to communicate to you, me, and the world that:

      American campuses have fallen under the sway of a motivated and organized minority of far-Left zealots who punish, sabotage, intimidate, and harass dissent from groupthink, all the while aping support for free speech to avoid backlash from the larger society, who still believe free expression of ideas matters to our collective mental health.

      MacDonald’s work is important. Contrary to what most people assume, most American southerners were not rabid racists, and huge numbers were quietly sickened by the actions taken by their establishment. Less than 10% of Germans were members of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party. Ditto Russian Communist Party. Small, powerful, zealous, and organized factions can control a society and do staggering amounts of damage.

      • MacDonald is telling a story, weaving a narrative of persecution that is preposterous.

        She goes into a campus hectoring other people about their deficiency and wonders why they become enraged. Then feigns victimhood when the predictable shouting starts.

        She doesn’t have anything productive to add to our national conversation.

        • “She doesn’t have anything productive to add to our national conversation.”

          That’s your opinion. Others differ and should not be barred from attending her lectures or fearing violence for doing so. .

    • @Chip,

      Have you read any of Ms. MacDonald’s works? She has a long record of highly respectable, fact-based scholarship in the areas that she focuses on. She did not helicopter in to harangue them about her moral superiority: she came to a university to present a fact-based take on the issue of how the police are being treated (not just culturally or socially but in terms of policy) in the wake of the BLM movement and what this has meant for crime, especially in minority neighborhoods. That’s a legitimate subject that needs discussion and that people of any race should be able to engage with. Many of these students simply refused to even hear what she had to say judging her work – which I’m damned certain none of them had ever read – ahead of time. If anyone is talking AT rather than TO people, it is these campus thugs, to whom speaking to (and therefore also listening to) someone they may not agree with is anathema. As to the point about using people’s tragedies as handy props, you’ve just described the BLM movement and the anti-gun rights movement. Ms. MacDonald is, moreover, within her rights to ask people who are purporting to speak for the black community why they are more outraged about police shooting blacks when the staggering, overwhelming number of young (and not so young) black people killed in our country are killed by other blacks – mostly fatherless, unemployed (and unemployable) young black men.

      • Her point is what, that cops are doing a good job and black folks should ignore that they get mistreated and shot with impunity?
        That cops shooting people in the back and planting a gun on them is just the price we have to pay for protection?

        “Engage” means a two way conversation, in good faith. I don’t see any evidence that she has ever listened or taken seriously the testimony of people who actually experience life differently than she does.

        She seems like the very definition of a parochial dilettante.

        • Big Jim Slade says

          I don’t see any evidence that she has ever listened or taken seriously the testimony of people who actually experience life differently than she does.

          That’s because, with the possible exception of this article, you’ve never read anything she’s written, and don’t plan to. That way you can remain ignorant and blithely parrot smears about her that were made up by others who also have never read her work, just like her campus protestors.

  7. Martin28 says

    Philosophy is the most powerful thing in the world. For too long the “adults in the room” have been content to engage in politics, which is a mere branch of philosophy, while a festering and destructive philosophy was able to take root—unopposed—in our centers of learning. This has happened over the last 40 years. With philosophy, you can claim the moral high ground, since morality is another branch of philosophy. THIS is why Jordan Peterson is so important and hated by the left, he attacks them at the root, at the level of philosophy. We need to attack their premises and never let these fanatics and zealots hold the moral high ground.

    • Cerastes says

      You’re kidding, right? Philosophy is largely dead – the only useful part for generating new knowledge has spun off into a separate field (science), while the remainder try to pretend they have anything useful to say. Politics has little to do with philosophy and instead is more accurately described by primatology, while modern moral philosophy is little more than a desperate scramble against admitting that all of those problems have been conclusively answered by moral and existential nihilism (even if most people cannot accept that).

      Claiming that philosophy is “the most powerful thing in the world” is like saying that Haikouella is the most dangerous predator in the world because almost all major predators evolved from, even if it alone is just a jawless proto-fish that’s been dead for half a billion years.

      • Cerastes is correct, which is why in totalitarian regimes always repress professors of hard physical sciences primarily while you always find a robust department of philosophy with plenty of open debate.

        For example, when the Bolsheviks expelled 160 leading intellectuals in 1922, they were all hard scientists, not a philosopher to be found. You always repress that which is most threatening, yes?

      • martti_s says

        Cerastes, I’d like to shake your hand.
        “Haikouella!” A beautiful analogy.

  8. E. Olson says

    Name calling, violent disruption, and terrorism are the only tools the Left has at its disposal in countering someone such as Heather MacDonald who actually has done the research on topics near and dear to the social justice crowd. They can’t win in a fair-minded debate because the facts are not on their side. For example, black America is responsible for a hugely disproportionate share of crime, murder, welfare dependency, and poor school results. Illegal and legal immigrants from failed cultures (i.e. most Hispanic areas, Africa) by and large bring their failed cultures with them and commit disproportionate amounts of violence, crime, and end up as takers and not makers for American society. Leftist social policies by and large do destroy traditional family structures, work ethic, independence, and honesty of the people they are supposed to help. These are simply the type of facts that the left cannot honestly deal with, and as a consequence they resort to the deplorable behaviors experienced by Ms. MacDonald, Charles Murray, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Ann Coulter, etc. that are designed to intimidate and silence anyone who dares to bring these difficult realities and leftist failures to public attention.

    • Come now, the African immigrants to the US are mostly highly skilled and bright, the cream of the elite. They are very different from “undocumented” Guatemalans.

      Of course, surprise surprise, a lot of the AA “diversity” slots at the Ivies are going to the children of these African immigrants, who are the beneficiaries of historical elite status in Africa, and were never slaves or subjected to Jim Crow (at best, their ancestors sold the AA’s to the Portuguese in the first place). ‘Cuz thats Social Justice!

      • E. Olson says

        Some immigrants from troubled areas are the cream of the crop, but most are not. For example, Somalian immigrants have not been successful as a group. But even the cream of the crop are not necessarily competitive with the native elite they hope to compete with, which is why most of the African Ivies are AA because they don’t have the test scores to get in without the boost.

      • KD, Sorry but that is not at all what the influx of Somali immigrants brought. Did you know the public school system has every original Somali kid listed as born on Jan 1? I guess DP camps had to guess age? A highly educated Somali interpreter, who is a linguist immigrated here 25 years ago, was hired but so disgusted with the obvious lies (mainly concerning what region they claimed to from) and tried to get Catholic Charities to listen. Not interested. Further insult when they wanted to pay him, a university prof, 25 bucks an hour when he knew the Feds were giving them 100/hr. It’s all a scam. We took in 6000 here which have now become 15,000. Not the brightest or best. Just the opposite. They are very barbarian and coldly patriarchal.

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  10. Sheri from Jackson Heights says

    The only way to get some of these yahoo’s to come back to reality is to put our arguments in their context. Using Jonathan Haidt’s research, these AltLefters all draw their morality from a very simple set of tenets; Fairness and Ending Oppression.

    So…next time they get up in our faces, simply respond “is it fair that you’re going to a $50,000 a year school while poor black children are being killed by gangs in their inner city neighborhoods? Is it fair that these kids can’t go to school unmolested while you advocate for even more violence in the inner cities by your oppressive mind set that the police are the problem instead of bad actors in those communities? Who’s oppressing whom? What’s fair about your parents writing a big fat Capitalist Check to this college so that you can practice Marxism that demands that you destroy the very people who’ve made your education possible? What’s fair about that?”

    Usually they have a seminal moment because now you’re playing their game…and they don’t know what to do with since they’ve live their entire lives in a conforming little cocoon.

  11. Caligula says

    I just finished reading “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure” by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, and I was surprised at how good it was.

    Based on the title, I expected this to be a variant on a “Dang kids these days!” rant, but it is not. It offers some description of what’s been happening on campuses lately, along with reasons why it’s happening and at least some prescriptives as to what might be done about it (although the prescriptives seem the weakest part of the book). And it’s certainly not a rant.

    The title is unfortunate, as it implies something else. It’s well worth reading.

    • Innominata says

      Thanks for the topical recommendation! Love Haidt. Read his book “The Righteous Mind” twice. Perceptive thinker. Agree that his prescriptions are usually anodyne. His forte is analysis, and he does a damned good job.

  12. “Steven Glick, PC ’17, coeditor-in-chief of the conservative Claremont Independent publication, attempted to livestream the protest but was swarmed by protesters who blocked his phone.”

    The answer lies here. Don’t rely on random people to video these events. If you feel a big protest ramping up, bring someone with you whose entire job is to capture video of any nasty behavior. Put the videos on Youtube for all to see.

    As the author suggests at the end, the real fascist behavior is from the students who dress in black and physically threaten those who disagree with them. They must be exposed, and video is an extremely powerful tool to do this.

  13. Gary Lowe says

    I’m sure the author of this article is disturbed by the treatment she received on various campuses, but this article seems to be a bit of navel gazing. Most of these students will be never heard from again when they enter the real world. To think that theses few naive students are somehow going to have real influence is to think that they will somehow be in positions of power. The author might think this because she imagines she has societal influence and these students will move into her profession (whatever that is) and exert the same amount of influence. In my opinion, neither the students or this author make much of a difference on my life. You know who does: the small-handed, spray-tanned imbecile in the White House. So, stop complaining and start doing something that actually makes a difference.

    I came to Quillette because I like a good counterpoint to progressive excess, not to read first-hand accounts of how some minor league intellectual had a spat with a bunch of naive college students. This sh*t was going on when I was a student in the 80’s and will continue indefinitely. Whining won’t make it better. And the comments seem to be just as much of “you go girl” tribalism as I see on rags like Slate.

    • They won’t be heard from again until the head human resources departments, federal administrative agencies, and university administrations, you mean! Stalin, Beria, Goolag!

    • 007-11 says

      @Garly, I believe the author’s larger point is not about the students but contained in the first line of the article: “Where are the faculty?”

      The students come and go, but the faculty wield enormous long-term shadow power and set the tone, using the students as their proxies. They permit a minority of zealots to engage in reprehensible displays of micro-terrorism and vandalism, displays the faculty could restrain with ease if they half put their minds to it. They don’t, and that concerns me.

      The faculty of American universities is huge, homogenous in progressivism (roughly 90-95%), and make a difference in all our lives. They frame the world for successive classes of minds that comprise the bureaucracy and decision makers of our nation. If their sympathies tend toward replacing our nation’s ideals with ones more attractive to their present progressive fashion of belief but ultimately intellectually authoritarian and illberal, America has a serious problem.

      • The American university has become a hive of group think and cowardice, indoctrination and bad faith. A complete inversion of the concept of the German research university from which it supposedly derived. It seems to make people more stupid rather than less, whether in the assault on stereotypes (generally true) or the suppression of crime statistics (Mac’s sin) or the suppression of common sense (two biological sexes).

        Young people come in, and go out more ignorant, intolerant and self righteous then when they entered. . . and with six figures in debt to show for it.

      • Jack B Nimble says


        “…….homogenous [sic] in progressivism…..”

        If we consider the top 100 research universities in the US [you know, the schools that train most of the professionals, have campuses of 25,000+ students, and create the ground-breaking research that makes international headlines], your claim of homogeneity is false. Faculties in economics, medicine, dentistry, agriculture and engineering, for example, are on average more conservative than faculties in arts, humanities and social work. Faculties at southern universities are on average more conservative than northern, urban campuses [some self-selection going on there, no doubt].

        Back when I was active in academia, if I’d had Jedi-like power to shape the minds of my students, I would have used it to instruct them to come to lecture, read the textbook, do the assigned homework and study for exams. In reality, I could only use pathetic ploys like giving bonus points for class attendance and collecting and grading homework–and even that didn’t work in many cases!

    • Circuses and Bread says

      @Gary Lowe

      I couldn’t agree more, we should do something that makes a difference. And if we want to do that, we should leave politics completely out of the equation.

      Politics is an evil, counterproductive, soul-sucking cancer that leaves little but misery in it’s wake. Tribalism is just one of its side effects. The good news though is that once you stop looking at politics as a means for accomplishing anything worthwhile, all sorts of other strategies that can actually work start to become apparent.

  14. What needs to occur is disavowment of intersectionality and Critical Theory and a return to coalition building. The BLM movement is proof that this is the missing solution. 30 years ago, when there was a social grievance, the leaders of a movement sought to form a coalition. They wanted not only the aggrieved group’s involvement but also to provide analogs showing how the aspect of society was a problem for everyone. This coalition building led to a movement which resulted in change. Today’s CT-based education has robbed the movement leaders of this important skillset.

    The crux of BLM is biased policing. The argument made is that police unequally treat individuals based upon their characteristics and that there is no accountability of the police officer, correct? Imagine the success of the movement if instead of framing it as BLM they framed it as Law Enforcement Accountability matters? The EXACT same grievance that BLM throws out as the poster-child is the EXACT same grievance from the Right about the treatment of HRC in 2016 and DJT (and their respective associates) now. No accountability of actions for an LEO shooting a black man…no accountability of actions for LEOs leaking and twisting investigations and manipulating statements for [FISA] warrants.

    But nope! CT has resulted in the aggrieved on the Left being unable to form a movement capable of actually generating change.

    • Law Enforcement Accountability matters? Yeah, that’ll really drive up the Black vote.

      Why not “Better Auditing of Arrest Data Matters”?

      Don’t you think that outsider-Whitey killing our innocent and pure offspring out of racial hatred and a desire to exterminate us might provide a better “limbic appeal”?

      That is, the problem with Mac’s take is that the point of BLM is and has always been “race baiting”–and arguing with a lynch mob that the suspect may not have raped one of “our” women has never been an effective tactic.

      What did BLM accomplish? Race riots, property damage, assaults, and police shootings, but unfortunately, it was not enough to push Black turnout high enough to knock out Trump.

      • race-bait race-bait
        also race·bait


        race-bait·ed, race-bait·ing, race-baits, also race·bait·ed or race·bait·ing or race·baits
        intransitive verb

        To arouse the prejudice or fears of one racial group regarding another, especially as a political tactic.

      • The Black Leadership in this country learned how to do politics from Southern White Supremacist populists–by virtue of being their victims. They know what works and what doesn’t work, and we all know that if you copy White Supremacist populist political tactics but if you are working for one of the pure races per intersectionality, it can’t be morally or politically equivalent, and the MSM will never notice or draw attention to the similarities.

    • KD, your responses prove my point indirectly. Their “movements” are about politicing and vote buying ala High School student council elections where they promise pizza and free soda and other such nonsense. It isn’t a movement looking to make substantive changes to society or even really opening up a discussion. They are about inflaming emotion and [hopefully] attracting a victim group to “vote against him” ala Obama’s “vote for me, i’m not Bush!” from 2008.

      A true movement seeking societal change would require building of a broad coalition recognizing the issue, as I pointed out. A movement seeking accountability of LEOs, be it “setup” DUI arrests to harassment by ethnicity or excessive force, is logical and acceptable to a broad base; however, that isn’t going to sound the hysteria/emotion dog whistle like “BLACK” lives matter (but only some of them).

      • These “movements” and their race baiting tactics have also gotten people positions like Chancellor of Germany or Prime Minister of Italy.

  15. Charlie says

    Rutherford said the only science is physics, the rest is stamp collecting. The humanities have declined from the time when it was just the study of Latin Greek. History developed as a subject in the late 19th century, then English post WW1 which still needed a knowledge of the Latin, French and Anglo Saxon roots. JR Tolkien was great scholar of early English. Until the 1960s , there were few universities and one needed to be scholar to become an academic. The increase in numbers at universities meant many became employed, who in the 1950s or earlier would have been unemployable. The creation of new subjects in the humanities further increased the employment of the inadequate.

    If one compares the intellectual achievement between someone who obtained Double First in Greats from Oxford and poor degree in say History from the average university of the 1930s, the gap was not great; now it is massive.

    The left wing middle class humanities are fundamentally weak scholars; one never hears of Marxist classicists. Also one never hears of say left wing middleclass types taking STEM subjects and playing for their university teams at say, rugby, rowing, hockey, lacrosse , athletics, etc, etc.

    The reality is what M Muggeridge said about communists in the USSR ” They have a against their fellow man and civilisation “. The left middle class are educated underachievers. If one examines what defines a civilisation – great engineering, great art, great science, great military victories, great law, a peaceful and prosperous society, a people well fed , good health; the left wing middle class have done nothing to create and maintain civilisation.

    Rather than allowing their achievements to speak for themselves, which is impossible as they have none, they scream and throw tantrums to gain attention. They are the spoilt child talentless child who jumps around and screams to get the parents and adults attention who have over indulged them for years. Lacking well trained minds capable of winning debates, they shut down discussion.

    Arnold Toynbee considered that civilisations rose by responding successfully to challenges and were shaped by spiritual forces. Solzhenitsyn said the West had lost the spiritual strength. Since the 1960s, never in the history of the World have the middle and upper classes had such material comfort. Ibn Khaldun said material luxury had sapped the Arabs of their vitality.

    The humanities departments comprise academics and students who lack the brains to study the classics and the backbone to play tough sports. They are the spoilt over indulged cosseted products of a decaying civilisation which lacks vitality, creativity and spiritual strength.

    When they criticise White Privilege it is because they lack any of the qualities which made western civilisation: whether it is Leonides and 300 Spartans at Thermopylae, Archimedes, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Bach, Newton or even the skills of good plumber or electrician. The reality is that they are at best an irrelevance to civilisation and at worst a liability.

    Universities should be centres of academic excellence. The simple solution is make all those wishing to study a humanities degree sit the old Oxford and Cambridge entrance exams for Latin and Greek. After all Wolsey, a son of butcher managed to pass. If Bishop Samuel Crowther, a member of the Yoruba Tribe could learn Latin and Greek in the 1830s , why can’t African Americans in the inner cities?

    If left wing white middle class wanted to improve the chances of those living in inner cities they set up schools offering the most rigorous education but this would require obtaining classics degrees or Maths degrees from Cambridge/MIT. If there teachers with distinctions in the Part 111 of the Cambridge Maths Tripos working in inner cities this would enable deprived children to receive a superb education. Who knows, a Newton could arise.

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  17. Editor’s note: The following text is excerpted with permission from The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture, by Heather Mac Donald, published by St. Martin’s Press. © 2018 Heather Mac Donald.

    It’s also just a reprint of this City Journal article from April 2017, back when it was recent and relevant before it got recycled into the book.

    Only this version loses the hyperlink to the quoted contemporaneous article from The College Fix since it’s based on the text-only book copy.

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  19. If only the world was as simple as Heather MacDonald wishes it was. If only all those other people would just behave in a manner more to her liking.

    MacDonald is clearly the most intelligent, rational and decent person in this article which she has written. She’s just like all the other intelligent, rational and decent conservative writers who walk this path with her.

    I say I would take their opinions more seriously if only the conservative writers and their audience could just once write something that lets me know that they understand how every person of color feels when they watch a news report with video of a white cop murdering an unarmed person of color. I mean really understand that deep sickness, pain and fear they experience when reminded so brutally of the worth of their lives.

    I was of draft age during the Vietnam War. I was so sickened of the scenes of death broadcast every night that I could not watch the news. You see, I thought that I would soon be one of those dead soldiers. I remember the feeling well, perhaps too well.

    We protested far more aggressively than young people today. The “tragedy” faced by Prof. Murray at Middlebury pales in comparison to the 4 deaths at Ohio State. The violence today is
    literally next to nothing compared to the battles at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968 and elsewhere during that time.

    So to MacDonald and her cohort I say, Stop your whining and your hand wringing. Take a tranquilizer if necessary. And let marginalized groups carry on their nonviolent struggle for human dignity in the best way they know. Go help them refine the methods they use in their cause if you want to be useful.

    Pause to think that if you are successful in shutting down the forms of protest you see and experience now, you may see far worse as we did in 1968. And be thankful that people of color don’t respond to police violence today as they did in 1968 when Martin Luther King was assassinated.

    • Jack B Nimble says


      I agree with most of what you are saying, but your request to conservatives and libertarians that they stop whining and pause to think will probably fall on deaf ears.

      Also, some minor corrections–the campus deaths at the hands of the Ohio Natl. Guard occurred at Kent State U, Not OSU. We should also remember the contemporaneous student deaths at Jackson State at the hands of the Mississippi state police [ ]. And Charles Murray, like HMD, has never held a faculty appointment or led a class at a college or university in the U.S., so don’t call him a professor. Instead, Murray and McDonald specialize in dropping onto campuses, lecturing students and faculty on what is wrong with American higher ed, and then leaving. Source:

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  24. Susan says

    Here’s the problem with the whole premise:
    The police are hired by us to represent us. You know, “us.” All of us. We have a right to expect them to do it ethically.
    One reason we have to have police forces is that we have crimes with victims. We don’t expect criminals to act ethically. Though we clearly have that right, as we do for all citizens to act ethically, these aren’t people who work for us. That means that the comparisons are bullshit. The legitimacy of the argument presented here rests on those comparisons.

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