Saturday, October 03, 2015

Supposedly Racist Tweets at Claremont College Aren’t

A bunch of black students staged a “black lives matter die-in” at Claremont College, apparently taking over a public space and inconveniencing students who just wanted to get some food or get some studying done.

A fair number of students were unimpressed with the demonstration, and said so on Yik Yak.

How did the black students respond? By calling the tweets “racist” and making a video reading some of them.

Of course, there was nothing racist about the tweets unless you think that any dissent or failure to be supportive is racist. Check out the supposedly racist statements.

This, of course, exactly parallels tweets Marquette students posted in response to a “diversity” demonstration that blocked traffic on Wisconsin Avenue. In that case also, a lot of Marquette students were unsympathetic, and said so on Yik Yak. Good for those Marquette students.

Note to leftist students: get out of your little politically correct bubble and face the fact that a lot of people disagree with you. And the vast majority of people who disagree with you are not racist, they just don’t buy your arguments.

The little world you live in, pampered and coddled by university bureaucrats and leftist faculty, isn’t the real world that exists off college campuses. Your college experience is teaching you things that don’t transfer well into the real world. The tweets responding to your antics are a dose of that real world, and if you stubbornly insist on demonizing the people who post them, you are marginalizing yourself.

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Thursday, October 01, 2015

The Plight of the Campus Religious Believer

From the Intercollegiate Review:
If you’re an orthodox believer at a mainstream college, you don’t need me to tell you that you feel like an oddball, maybe even besieged. Your professors and most of your peers would treat your most deeply held beliefs with condescension and probably horror, if they knew about them.

So what should you do about it?

If you had asked my advice even a few years ago, I would have told you to be the turd in the ­liberals’ punchbowl. When I was an undergraduate in the 1980s, I did everything in my power to challenge leftist orthodoxies. I saw offending liberals as a key public service, which I dubbed “insensitivity training.” I relied on, and fought for, the principle of free speech.

That’s long gone on campuses now.

My advice today? Grit your teeth, do your reading, make some friends, get your degree, and then make like Lot fleeing Sodom: never look back.

Sounds depressing, right? Well, I do have some good news, as you’ll see.

Big Mother Is Watching You

Colleges are much less tolerant than they were even back when I was in school. Instead of welcoming free, vigorous debate designed to prepare people for adulthood, many campuses are turning the classroom into a “safe space” where infantilized pseudo-victims can wallow in their phantom pains for four long, pricey years before the college dumps them into the real world and sends the bill. The tenets of your faith, if you stood up for them, might count as “microaggressions,” “trigger words,” or even “harassment.” Citing free speech won’t get you far on most campuses nowadays.

If your creed is anything like mine, it is by any contemporary secular standard “homophobic,” “transphobic,” “patriarchal,” “sexually repressive,” and opposed to “abortion rights.” There is no way to airbrush any orthodox mono­theist religion, especially biblical or ecclesial Christianity, to make it acceptable to secular progressives. It would take full-on plastic surgery, and you saw what that did to the Episcopal Church, Bruce Jenner, and every Jesuit college.

As someone who delighted in debating professors and students in and out of the classroom, it pains me to recommend a “covert-ops” approach. But the battlefield has shifted, and you are now deep behind enemy lines.
And what to do about this?
So keep your head down, and keep your faith. That last part can be difficult when peers and professors attack your religious beliefs as “retrograde” or “reactionary.” But you can do it. You can do it even if your campus ministry soft-pedals any supernatural aspect of your religion, privileging instead some social justice activism. If that’s the case, go find a local church and pray with the grown-ups at a faithful congregation. You may spot fellow students there. Befriend them.

You can also find like-minded students in organizations like the ISI-affiliated group on campus, Young Americans for Liberty, College Republicans, or your campus pro-life club. Maybe even a Greek organization, if those haven’t been banned from your campus. Their meetings could be a “safe space” for you.
It’s not quite as bad as this essay makes out, although anti-religious (or at least anti-Christian) intolerance can be pretty bad.


Some institutions are better than others. A useful (but perhaps a bit dated) ranking of schools by religious commitment can be found here.

Sometimes the students are not as biased as the professors. At Marquette, for example, students apparently split about equally in voting for Republican Scott Walker and Democrat Mary Burke.

Some majors are better than others. Expect a lot of leftist indoctrination in the humanities, the social sciences (except economics and perhaps political science), communications and education. Other majors are better, although you will have to take some courses in those most biased departments.

Plot out your path carefully. You will indeed be in enemy territory.

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The Academic Left’s Hatred of Israel

From Real Clear Politics an essay about the academic left and its hatred of the state of Israel.
What has happened on campus, aside from the well-documented suppression of pro-Israel views, is the formation of a durable coalition opposed not only to Benjamin Netanyahu and specific Israeli policies but to Israel itself. The coalition is composed of the two fundamental groups on all elite campuses: the self-professed “victims” and the self-flagellating “guilty.” One of the main purposes of orientation week is to sort students into one of these two groups and to educate them in their assigned roles.

The guilty are all students from comfortable backgrounds, except those from approved minorities. These middle-class students are, by definition, “oppressors.” They can expiate their sins by pleading guilty and showing they want to remedy the mess their families have made of America and the world. Their own special movement is environmentalism and “safety” on campus, which goes beyond the legitimate goal of ensuring all students’ physical security to include suppressing views they don’t like. Those views, they say, make them “feel unsafe.” Deans of students, who care not a whit about free speech, happily rush in to protect them. But the main way middle-class students can wash away their sins is to back the movement-du-jour of the “victims’ groups.”

There is no shortage of opportunities. There are all sorts of self-designated victims on campus, each vying for the coveted position as “the most terribly oppressed by America.” Among international students, the undisputed winners are the Palestinians (and Muslim students in general). They are glad to have others’ support as long as no one challenges their status as the No. 1 international victims group.
But why does the left hate Israel? The author (Charles Lipson) goes on to explain:
The left hates Israel’s military strength and its willingness to use it for the same reasons it hates American power. As right-thinking cosmopolitans, they would never approve such brutality. Obama captured this perspective in a Freudian slip. “Whether we like it or not,” he explained, “we remain a dominant military superpower.” The left doesn’t like it. They don’t like it in America, and they don’t like it in Israel. As for Russia, China, Iran, or North Korea brandishing military threats, well, let’s not think about that. The threats may vanish from their minds, but they still threaten everybody else with working synapses.

Not only is Israel powerful, the left (like the Muslim world) sees Israel as a remnant of Europe’s crimes: imperialism and the Holocaust. University faculties are preoccupied with imperialism and post-colonial legacies, which they blame for many of the world’s ills. They see Israel through that lens, as a colony of white settlers in an Arab-Muslim region. They blithely ignore the Jewish people’s age-old connection to the land, its continuous presence there, and its central religious significance. And they ignore how many Israelis were driven out of Arab countries, which have become virulently anti-Semitic.

The combination of Israel’s religious heritage, its nationalism, its prosperity, and its unapologetic self-defense combine virtually everything loathed by secular, cosmopolitan intellectuals. That’s why Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech offered such a tepid “defense” of Israel’s right to exist. Israel was needed, he said, because Jews needed somewhere to go after the Holocaust. That is the view of the average professor of French literature: Israel is the bastard child of Europe’s crimes.
This kind of mentality is common at Marquette, reflected (for example) in the “Israeli Apartheid Week” sponsored by several offices at Marquette.

A few years ago, Manresa sponsored a conference on “peacemaking” which included a panel titled “Jews of Conscience: Voices for Justice and Peace, Hope and Obligation.” What sort of Jews supposedly had a “conscience?” Those who oppose Israel. The people on the panel compared Israel to Nazi Germany, and justified Palestinian terrorism.

Then there was a virulent 2005 Arab Heritage Celebration, which rather than celebrating the cultural heritage of Arabs, attacked Israel.

“Catholic” Marquette, in other words, is no better than the average secular university. Indeed, Marquette is the average secular university.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Actually Addressing Sexual Assault on Campuses

From Commentary Magazine, some data on how to actually reduce the number of campus sexual assaults.
Any successful approach to reducing sexual assault on campus will require the reconsideration of these very notions. We have completed a study of more than 1,300 colleges and universities and have found that far fewer accusations of sexual assault are levied at the schools that ban alcohol and prohibit opposite-sex overnight guests in residence halls. Our findings suggest that students are not so much victims of a “rape culture” as they are victims of faulty institutional policies that contribute to a higher risk of sexual assault.
Not surprisingly, religious schools and single sex schools also have lower levels of sexual assault.

Stated so simply, one might raise a bunch of caveats and methodological objections. But the authors of the article (Bradford Richardson and Jon A. Shields) are well-trained social scientists who understand the objections and have dealt with them well.

By all means read the whole thing.

Of course, the people who are most vocal about campus sexual assault are also the most adamant about absolute sexual freedom. That there might be a conflict between these two values will take a long time to penetrate their minds. Until then, they will double down on things like teal ribbons and telling male students they are all guilty of rape since they are part of a rape culture and stripping due process protections from males accused of sexual assault. Those things serve their ideological biases and bureaucratic interests.

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Universities as “Safe Spaces:” Fluffy-Bunny Totalitarianism

Yes, the politically correct campus left considers anything “unsafe” if any ideas are expressed with which they disagree. Or if it violates the sense of proper expression of the most politically correct.

How much of this is there at Marquette? It’s pretty common in the most politically correct quarters. A candidate for the current Academic Senate ran on a platform of making Marquette a “safe space” for women and minorities and LGBT people. Happily, this candidate did not win.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

The Campus “Hate Crime” that Wasn’t a Hate Crime

On Monday, Townhall’s news editor, Katie Pavlich, went to the University of Delaware to give a speech about the Second Amendment. University of Delaware’s student group–Students for the Second Amendment–had invited Pavlich to speak about the issue, which was open to the public at the cost of three dollars. Yet, Pavlich criticized the Black Lives Matter (BLM) for their atrocious “pigs in a blanket” chant - and the overall movement - as one that promotes violence against police officers. Well, surprise; that didn’t bode over well with some folks on the left and a protest was organized during her visit to U-Del.

There was a heavy security presence at the event, and it ended without any major incidents. Yet, reports of nooses being hung in some trees on campus one day after Pavlich gave her speech got everyone freaking out about hate crimes. There was only one problem: these weren’t nooses, thus no hate crime:
University of Delaware police say what was originally believed to be “nooses” hanging from a tree on campus were actually leftover lantern decorations.

Officials say a hate crime investigation ended when it was determined the items were paper lantern decorations leftover from an event that was held on campus on September 16.

The items that were left in the tree were part of a decoration from a paper lantern that was used during an event held on The Green that was a UD-sanctioned event,” University of Delaware Police Chief Patrick Ogden said Wednesday morning.

It was determined that the paper lantern decorations were removed from the tree, but the strings were never taken down, leading to them being mistaken for nooses.
OK, so it was all over then, right?

Well . . . no.
The issue should have ended right then and there, but nope–not a chance. We need to meet and discuss this non-hate crime for reasons that escape logic. On Wednesday, the acting president of the University of Delaware, Nancy Targett, encouraged students to meet her at The Green for a dialogue about what happened.

Can we at least agree that we should be happy that these aren’t nooses? Could we come to that consensus? Of course, if such an incident had occurred, it does deserve the wrath of disgust and anger over what is a blatantly racist act. This incident didn’t carry any of that–and having some un-serious discussion about events that are the figments of some people’s imagination isn’t helping anyone, it’s enabling one’s disconnect with reality.
Campus bureaucrats can’t resist pandering to racial (and gender and sexual) grievance mongers, and it doesn’t seem to matter at all if the people claiming a grievance are entirely out to lunch.

Typically, these folks need to be scolded rather than pandered to. In this case, Targett needs to be asking “why did you say that wire hangers were nooses when they didn’t look at all like that.  What were you thinking?”

This reminds us of what Marquette diversity official William Welburn told a small group of students who objected to the removal of a mural honoring cop killer and terrorist Assata Shakur.
“I believe very strongly that we are not going to have processes like this again, especially when it comes to issues of how this campus handles diversity and inclusion,” Welburn said. “Whatever we do moving forward, we have to think about women, women of color, African-American women specifically because of this incident. We have to think about the damage.”
What Welburn should have asked the students was “Did you really think it was a good idea to honor a terrorist and a cop killer? Why in the world did you want that?”

But campus bureaucrats can’t possibly imagine that the grievance mongers might need to be confronted, challenged to defend their ideas, and learn that lots of people out in the real world don’t agree with them.

The coddling of the activists is simply a failure to educate.

Nooses? Here are the “nooses.” What sort of people could see a hate crime here?

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Feminist Harpy Defends Censorship at Oxford Union

Of course, these sorts of attitudes are not limited to the U.K. This sort of attitude should remind one of some things that have happened at Marquette.

You can watch all the debaters, starting with the first, at this link.

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Crime and Racism

Heather MacDonald, writing in National Review, discusses the standard liberal response to the Charleston, South Carolina massacre:
The Roof massacre was also portrayed as part of a pattern of white violence against blacks. Blacks live with the “daily threat of terror,” according to Patricia Williams Lessane, the director of the Avery Institute for Afro-American History and Culture at the College of Charleston. Such “terror,” Lessane wrote in the New York Times, “does not exist within a vacuum. It looms within the growing prison-industrial state, against the backdrop of school-reform debates, our slow movement toward gun reform and the political maneuvers by Republicans to make it increasingly more difficult for poor people and minorities to vote. The reality that our civil rights are under attack is just as heavy as our fear for our lives.” Bryan Stevenson, a black lawyer and activist, told the New York Times that the Charleston bloodbath is just the latest example, however extreme, of the way “black men and boys are treated by the police, by schools, and by the state.”
But the reality of race and crime is radically different. MacDonald provides data on crime, broken down by the race of the victim and the race of the offender, and the story is one of blacks victimizing whites, not whites victimizing blacks.

Both blacks and whites are mostly victimized by people of their own race, but there are many more black on white crimes than white on black crimes. According to MacDonald:
In fact, white violence against blacks is dwarfed by black on white violence. In 2012, blacks committed 560,600 acts of violence against whites (excluding homicide), and whites committed 99,403 acts of violence (excluding homicide) against blacks, according to data from the National Crime Victimization Survey provided to the author. Blacks, in other words, committed 85 percent of the non-homicide interracial crimes of violence between blacks and whites, even though they are less than 13 percent of the population. Both the absolute number of incidents and the rate of black-on-white violence are therefore magnitudes higher than white-on-black violence. There is no white race war going on.
So blacks commit 5.64 times as many interracial violent crimes as whites, but white population was 4.74 times that of black population in 2013.

Which means that a random black person is about 26.7 times as likely to commit a violent crime against a member of the white race as a random white person is to commit an violent crime against a black person.

One might ask why the above statistics exclude homicide. The answer is simple: this data are based on a victimization survey, and victims of homicide are not around to answer questions about their victimization.

Data on homicide exists, however.

It shows that blacks commit over twice as many homicides against whites as whites commit against blacks (2.23 times as many, to be exact). Since there are 6.01 times as many whites as blacks in the population (we are not classifying Hispanics, who can be any race, separately here, to be consistent with the homicide data), this means that a random black person is over 12 times as likely to murder a white as a random white person is to murder a black.

This is the reality that the politically correct don’t want to talk about. Which is why when a bunch of leftist Marquette students demonstrated and blocked traffic on Wisconsin Avenue, one of their demands was that Marquette’s Public Safety Alerts conceal the race of the suspect.

The Bigger Reality

But there is a bigger reality, shown in these statistics. The vast majority of crimes against white people are committed by other white people, and the vast majority of crimes against black people are committed by black people.

Which means that when the race hustlers who complain about “over policing” in the inner city, they are clearly (if implicitly) siding with the thugs who victimize black people, and not the innocent black victims.

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Campus Leftists Still Whining Over Removal of Terrorist Cop Killer Mural

From the Marquette Wire, an account of a meeting between some leftist students and the new Provost, Dan Myers. A key topic was the decision of the University to paint over a mural, in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, honoring black militant terrorist and cop killer Assata Shakur.
Some students expressed frustration over a university decision in May to remove a mural in the GSRC that featured FBI Fugitive Assata Shakur. Formerly known as Joanne Chesimard, Shakur is on a FBI most wanted list for escaping prison and fleeing to Cuba after she was convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973.

“It would have been nice to have some time to go and take a picture and have some dialogue before they just took it down,” said Nailah Johnson, a senior in the College of Health Sciences.

Some attendees said the decision was one of institutionalized racism. They expressed being hurt when little information or explanation was provided before and after the decision was made.

Johnson strongly and tearfully advocated for an apology from administration responsible for the decision, in addition to a space on campus to recreate what the mural symbolized. It was painted with help from Marquette’s Mu Beta chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and included quotes from “Assata: An Autobiography.”

In response to Johnson’s testimony, Myers said “I want to change things. I came here to change things. I am really committed to this.”
And further:
Bartlow’s former supervisor and William Welburn, associate provost for diversity and inclusion, was involved in the decision to remove her from the university.

“I believe very strongly that we are not going to have processes like this again, especially when it comes to issues of how this campus handles diversity and inclusion,” Welburn said. “Whatever we do moving forward, we have to think about women, women of color, African-American women specifically because of this incident. We have to think about the damage.”
These are bizarre responses. So not being willing to honor a terrorist cop killer is “institutionalized racism?” In what sort of alternative universe do these people live?

And how do we interpret Myers comment that “I want to change things”? Does Myers think Marquette is not politically correct enough? Or is he pandering to the campus grievance mongers?

Worse is Welburn’s comment. Does he believe that Marquette should always give “women of color” anything they want, no matter how absurd, or downright immoral?

Were the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha hurt? If we take the official statement from the national sorority seriously, they should have been embarrassed. According to a spokeswoman:
“The chapter worked with the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center to determine a theme and imagery for the mural,” the statement said. “The chapter, along with other university staff and students, painted a mural that featured an image and quote by Assata Shakur to promote student thinking about their educations and history. Unfortunately Ms. Shakur’s entire history and background was not fully researched. If that process had occurred, she would not have been featured in the mural.”
But the campus leftists don’t buy this. They keep insisting that the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha intended to honor a cop killer, and thus were “damaged” when their attempt fell through.

If this is true, they should be shamed for condoning (and celebrating) the actions of a murderer and terrorist.

But moral clarity is not something about which politically correct campus bureaucrats have any clue. Their impulse is to pander to any politically correct victim group.

But members of those groups are ill served by the pandering. When they leave the hot-house atmosphere of a college campus they (with the exception of a handful who find employment as life-long race hustlers) will find themselves in a world where leftist activism is controversial, and where being able to produce for an employer (or perhaps be an employer) pays off, and their experience whining to pandering campus officials has very limited value.


A photo of the meeting from the Marquette Tribune website shows only very sparse attendance at the meeting described in this article. There is nothing wrong, of course, with Marquette officials listening to a small group of students, or even an individual student. But the “student voice” clearly has not endorsed the mural, nor objected to it being taken down.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Faked Hate Crimes on College Campuses

Two sources that are not new, but continue to have relevance whenever somebody claims to have been victim of a “hate crime” on a college campus. First, from The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, No. 22 (Winter, 1998-1999), p. 52:
In the 1990s hoaxes disguised as hate crimes have become common. JBHE’s sister publication The Race Relations Reporter has documented about a dozen such racial hoaxes over the past several years. Hate crimes have been staged at several college campuses. But in these cases the motive for the hoaxes has not been financial gain. Rather, the hate crime hoax is usually conceived as an effort to energize black student activism or to press the administration to move more quickly on black students’ concerns. Here are some examples of hate crime hoaxes that have occurred on college campuses in recent years.
The article also includes a short list of racial hoaxes.

Then there is John Leo, writing in U.S. News & World Report:
Like Tawana Brawley’s hoax, some recent fake hate crimes seem intended to cover personal embarrassment. . . . But more of the college hoaxes seem to reflect an acted-out commitment to a cause, not just personal difficulties. One factor is that colleges now stress the need for each identity group to express its “voice” or “narrative,” without much scruple about whether the narratives are literally true. (Postmodern theory says there is no such thing as truth anyway.) After the Brawley hoax, an article in the Nation magazine argued that it “doesn’t matter” whether Brawley was lying, since the pattern of whites abusing blacks is true.
This, of course, has not changed since the 1990s. What the literal, empirical truth is matters less than what serves a politically correct agenda.

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Friday, September 11, 2015

The 9/11 Anniversary

The nicest, most eloquent of the 9/11 songs. Of course, we don’t mind other more truculent responses. But Alan Jackson is a class act.

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Marquette Climate Survey: Debunking Bogus Sexual Assault Hype

It’s just out (in the form of an Executive Summary): Marquette’s much touted “Climate Survey.” Given that it was mounted by an LGBT activist, we expected it to be rather politically correct, and claim that the climate on the Marquette campus is really horrid for each and every politically correct victim group.

But it didn’t turn out that way.

Which is not to say that we don’t have some quibbles with parts of it, for example the low participation rate (only 31% for undergraduate students) and the fact that the report sometimes offers generalizations based on very few respondents.

One key part involves the issue of “sexual violence” on campus. An outright hysteria has surrounded this issue during the last few years, fueled by feminist activists, a mainstream media that is both liberal and ignorant of social science, and the Obama Administration. Vastly, absurdly inflated figures about the number of college women who have been victimized have been uncritically accepted.

The report starts out citing a bogus White House document:
In 2014, Not Alone: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault indicated that sexual assault is a significant issue for colleges and universities nationwide, affecting the physical health, mental health, and academic success of students. The report highlights that one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college. One section of the Marquette University survey requested information regarding sexual assault.
But it then goes on to note:
4% (n = 186) of respondents indicated that they had experienced unwanted sexual contact while at Marquette University.
Of course, for the demographic to whom this is stereotypically applicable, the incidence is a bit higher:
A higher percentage of Women respondents (6%, n = 164) than Men respondents (1%, n = 19) reported having experienced unwanted sexual contact.
This, of course, is radically below the “one in five” figure widely touted. Further, “unwanted sexual contact” is a broad category including a lot of things far short of forcible rape.

Oddly, the report doesn’t reveal what percentage of women who experienced unwanted sexual contact reported it to authorities or university officials. But it does reveal:
Respondents were offered the opportunity to elaborate on why they did not report unwanted sexual contact. Sixty-eight respondents provided written responses. Common themes included: (1) Not that serious, 60 respondents indicated that they did not report the unwanted sexual contact because for them it was not that serious.
There are a lot of things a guy could do that are “out of bounds,” but it’s hard to believe that actual rape would not be considered “serious.” And remember, this is 60 out of 68 women who volunteered a reason for not reporting to authorities.  It’s not 60 out of a larger number who failed to report the incident to authorities.

Universities (and the media, and the Obama Administration) need to quit lying about the incidence of campus sexual violence. Social Justice Warriors who pride themselves on being opposed to sexual violence and use bogus statistics to bolster their case deserve to lose credibility as the truth slowly seeps into public consciousness. The implosion of the University of Virginia tall tale of “Jackie,” and the exposure of “Mattress Girl” at Columbia, have put the sexual violence hustlers on the defensive. That’s a good thing.

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Bobby Jindal Blasts Donald Trump

While most other Republican candidates have been pussy-footing around, apparently afraid of alienating Trump supporters, Bobby Jindal has finally decided to take on Trump.

It’s not something that the professional politicians or their handlers seem to recognize, but telling the flat honest truth can sometimes be the best politics. Jindal, who really has no chance at the nomination, is the candidate who is willing to test that.

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Saturday, September 05, 2015

Sexual Hysteria on Campus: Absurdly Broad Definition of “Sexual Assault”

A new survey of Rutgers University students reinforces the idea that one in four college women will be victims of sexual assault... but only if you don’t look at the study too closely. Zoom in and you’ll find the same problems that plague so much research about sex crimes on college campuses, from defining violence to include rude comments to failing to differentiate between an unwanted kiss and forcible rape.

The Rutgers survey—conducted by the school’s Center on Violence Against Women and Children at the request of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and the Department of Justice—was carried out last academic year at the state school’s New Brunswick campus, attended by about 42,000 students. Around 10,800 students completed the online survey; the majority were undergraduates (80 percent) and women (64 percent).

Rutgers used definitions of sexual violence and sexual assault based on material from the White House task force. “‘Sexual assault’ and ‘sexual violence’ refer to a range of behaviors that are unwanted by the recipient,” notes a school summary of survey findings, “and include remarks about physical appearance, persistent sexual advances that are undesired by the recipient, threats of force to get someone to engage in sexual behavior, as well as unwanted touching and unwanted oral, anal, or vaginal penetration or attempted penetration.”

Survey respondents were presented with that definition, then asked whether they had experienced sexual violence prior to starting school at Rutgers. Nineteen percent of all respondents and 24 percent of undergraduate women said they had.
That’s right. “Remarks about physical appearance” could constitute “sexual assault.” So could “persistent sexual advances that are undesired by the recipient.” The latter are a form of harassment, and somebody in authority might need to tell the dork who does it to back off, but it’s absurd to call it violence.

Surveys like this are virtually always conducted by people with an agenda. Often, they are feminists who want to promote a narrative of men as evil oppressors. But often they come from campus bureaucrats who want an excuse for more programs and initiatives to justify more staff, a larger budget, and more power.

And of course, the two groups overlap.

Further, participation in these studies is typically entirely voluntary, and in this study fewer than 30 percent of the student population took the survey. Thus there may be a skew toward those who have been sexually assaulted (or have some grievance about some sexual encounter).

Things like this may explain why the very best survey of victimization, the National Crime Victimization Survey, shows a radically lower level of campus sexual assault, and campus rape. It mostly limits the definition of “sexual assault” to things that people in the real world (outside college campuses) consider an assault, and the response rate is quite high (88%).

This survey shows the rate of sexual assault among college women as 4.3 victimizations per thousand.

Yes, per thousand. That is the rate for six months, so for a college career, one might need to multiply it by eight. But it’s a little more complicated since college women are apparently less likely to be assaulted in the summer (when they are likely away from the party atmosphere of campus). On the other hand, some women take five years to graduate. But there is no way to get anywhere near the scary statistics the rape activists use.
Click on image to enlarge

Where actual rape is concerned, the rate is two per thousand, and the rate for attempted rape is 1.5 per thousand (see Table 1 here).

Further, rather than there being a rape crisis, the rate of campus sexual assault has been declining.

So what we have here is yet another case of college campuses being a Wonderland were hard empirical facts don’t matter, and the proper politically correct attitudes are all that counts.

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Friday, September 04, 2015

Green Energy: Subsidies for Affluent Liberal Yuppies

A new paper from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, on the “The Distributional Effects of U.S. Clean Energy Tax Credits.” “Distributional effects” is just a way of saying “from whom is government taking money, and to whom is it giving it.” The bottom line:
Since 2006, U.S. households have received more than $18 billion in federal income tax credits for weatherizing their homes, installing solar panels, buying hybrid and electric vehicles, and other “clean energy” investments. We use tax return data to examine the socioeconomic characteristics of program recipients. We find that these tax expenditures have gone predominantly to higher-income Americans. The bottom three income quintiles have received about 10% of all credits, while the top quintile has received about 60%. The most extreme is the program aimed at electric vehicles, where we find that the top income quintile has received about 90% of all credits. By comparing to previous work on the distributional consequences of pricing greenhouse gas emissions, we conclude that tax credits are likely to be much less attractive on distributional grounds than market mechanisms to reduce GHGs.
One example, the Chevy Volt: According to autoblog (writing in 2011):
In order for the Chevy Volt to really be a success, the car needs to be affordable for the masses.

But for now, the car is mostly the province of the wealthy. General Motors, which makes the Volt, said Monday that the average income of Volt buyers is a whopping $175,000 a year. That rarefied space is usually reserved for buyers of German luxury cars.

“The Volt appeals to an affluent, progressive demographic,” says Bill Visnic, senior editor for “It’s rare. It’s hard to get one. ... It’s the same reason that people buy the really rare exotic cars: Because other people can’t have one.”
Median family income in 2011 was $50,502.

So the liberal Yuppies have it really good. They get to feel very self-righteous, and do so largely with the money of people at whom they look down their noses.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Racial Double Standards

From Frontpage Magazine:
In the past week, two television reporters in Roanoke, Va. — Alison Parker and Adam Ward — were murdered by a black man who hated whites, and a white police officer in Houston — Darren Goforth — was murdered by a black man. Neither crime has been labeled a hate crime. And no mainstream media reporting of the murders attributes either to race-based hate.

For the mainstream media, the Roanoke murders were committed by “a disgruntled former employee,” and regarding the Houston policeman, the media report that, in the words of The New York Times, “a motive for the shooting remained unclear.”

The disregard of anti-white hatred as the motive for blacks who murder whites even when the murder is obviously racially motivated comes from the same people who denied that the Islamist Nidal Hasan’s murder of 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood was religiously motivated. These people — all on the left — have an agenda: to deny black racism and Islamist-based violence whenever possible. Only white police and other white violence against non-whites is clearly racist — even when not.

Thus, President Barack Obama convened a “White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism” rather than a “White House Summit on Countering Islamist Violence.” Though the summit was convened the month following the Islamist massacre of the Charlie Hebdo staff in Paris, the words “Islam,” “Muslim” and “Islamist” did not once appear in the White House’s 1,668-word fact sheet on the summit. The Obama administration went so far as to label Hasan’s murders of his fellow soldiers “workplace violence.”

So, too, the mainstream media depicted the black murderer of eight white people at a Connecticut beer warehouse in 2010 as a man who had been angered by white racism, not as the white-hater he was. Under the headline “Troubles Preceded Connecticut Workplace Killing,” a New York Times article reported: “He might also have had cause to be angry: He had complained to his girlfriend of being racially harassed at work, the woman’s mother said, and lamented that his grievances had gone unaddressed.”

And a Washington Post headline read: “Beer warehouse shooter long complained of racism.”

The fact was that the man was fired for stealing beer from his workplace, and there was a video of him doing so.
Back in the heyday of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King proclaimed:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
He was calling for a single standard to apply to blacks and whites, in an era when a double standard often disadvantaged blacks. And decent people accepted the idea, consistent as it was with the individualism of the American political culture.

But soon enough came demands for a double standard, with affirmative action, racial quotas and incessant excuses for bad behavior from the black community.  That continues today, and it poisons the culture and generates fully justified resentment from whites.  That liberals label that resentment “racist” silences some voices, but does nothing to reduce the resentment.  In fact it amplifies it, since whites not only resent the double standard, but also resent being attacked for believing in racial equality rather than the black race privilege that the liberals want.

Blacks who marched with King were not demanding a double standard.  And they did not need a double standard, since their behavior did not need a bevy of excuses made for it.  They were far different from the rioters in Ferguson and Baltimore, and from the black racist killers.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Leftists: Frail, Fragile Black Sensibilities

From Frontpage Magazine:
You can never be equal if you’re always angry and afraid.

There is a war on black people.

You hear about it from powerless black men like Barack Obama, Eric Holder and Al Sharpton. Black people can hardly leave the house without being shot by a cop for no reason at all. That’s what you hear from the activists of #BlackLivesMatter who illustrate the point by blocking traffic, harassing white people in restaurants and shoving elderly Democratic presidential candidates… without getting shot.

Black racist activists and their white leftist allies like to talk up “White Fragility” which means that white people are used to sitting down for brunch without having fat black women yell in their faces about genocide. Or as the official definition would have it, white people are so insulated from critical dialogues about race that they get upset when those women, who are actually working on their PhDs in critical race theory, loudly accuse them of white supremacy.

Or as the official definition goes, “call them out” for their white privilege.

That’s what Eric Holder meant when he accused Americans of being a “nation of cowards” when it comes to race. The former Attorney General and future drug cartel lobbyist was referencing “White Fragility.” White Americans were just fragile cowards unwilling to admit their guilty white privilege.

But if any group is fragile when it comes to racial dialogues, it isn’t white people. It certainly isn’t your average melanin-challenged cisgender heterosexual who has to dive into a safe space or demand censorship the moment that he encounters a dissenting view.

Political correctness is a culture of fragility for minority groups. Every member of a political identity group is a fragile survivor who veers from outraged protests to panic attacks. And any minority who doesn’t act like a manic-depressive twit is a traitor who is no longer a part of his “community.”

To be a true member of the political identity community is to be both angry and fragile.

The hysteria of #BlackLivesMatter embodies angry and fragile. Its members shriek that they’re being murdered on every corner while behaving in ways that would get anyone else murdered. Their racist tantrums are justified by their racial fragility. Their victimhood entitles them to victimize others.

That is black privilege which is based on false claims of black fragility.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose latest memoir sits on every good liberal’s bookshelf, takes black fragility to new lows. In his world, “black bodies” are constantly being victimized by “white supremacy.” Even the 9/11 firefighters are “not human to him” because they could “with no justification — shatter my body.”

Why would the FDNY set out to shatter Ta-Nehisi Coates’ body? The black fragility of Coates or #BlackLivesMatter isn’t rational, it’s racist. Its exaggerated sense of peril is really prejudice. When a white man suspects any random black man of being out to get him, he’s a racist. When a black man suspects any random white man of being out to get him, he’s just being #BlackLivesMatter.

White criminals go to jail. Black criminals are victims of “mass incarceration.” White criminals just get shot. But when black criminals are killed, it’s genocide.

A white man who knocks over a convenience store and then dies after getting in a fight with a cop, is a statistic. A black man inspires protests, t-shirts, riots, an Obama investigation and bad hashtags.

There’s a reason #BlackLivesMatter activists hate the rival hashtag #AllLivesMatter. If all lives matter equally, then the rationale for turning random black criminals like Michael Brown into causes comes apart. It’s only by elevating black lives above white lives that the facts of the case stop mattering and it’s only the cult of black fragility that turns the tribal emotions of its activists into a political cause.

Black fragility says that real black people are victims who are afraid all the time. Its protests are exercises in hysterical black fragility in which to be black is to constantly live on the edge of death. America is a white supremacist country out to kill black people, before electing some of them president.

And you are either a fragile angry black activist yelling in panic about the police being out to shoot you while blocking traffic on the interstate or you are one of the race traitors trying to get to work and wishing the activists would get out of the way and get a real job.

If you’re Latino, you’re supposed to spend all your time fearing that the Republicans will deport you, even if you’re not an illegal alien, but have been living in this country for generations. If you’re a female college student, you’re expected to retweet inflated campus rape statistics and treat all men as rapists. If you’re gay, you’re supposed to believe that if Ted Cruz is elected, he’ll send you to a gay labor camp.

Forget hope. Fragility is all about fear and hate. All black people are victims. All white people are oppressors. All women are victims and all men are oppressors. An oppressor can ally with the oppressed only if he recognizes his privileged role. Any space that doesn’t recognize this dynamic is a space of privilege.

And fragile minorities need a safe space to go back to after protesting those privileged spaces.

Social justice warrior activists define a space. Then they campaign to take it over while treating any criticism or opposition as a threat to their collective identities and their fragile politicized “bodies.”

The term “social justice warriors” is ironic because SJWs make a fetish of their fragility. Challenge an SJW and it immediately runs to a safe space to play victim. The SJW cyberbullies opponents when it has a numerical advantage on social media and whines about being terrorized to the press when it doesn’t.

Assertions of fragility end every discussion about SJW causes because fragility has become the cause. Every campaign is really about the fragility of the activist. The facts don’t matter and don’t even exist. Debate doesn’t happen. Criticism is something that activists “endure” on their way to achieving their goals. The focus is never on the ideas, but on the suffering of the activists as they struggle to be heard… despite enjoying a total monopoly on the news and editorial side of every mainstream media outlet.

Fragility isn’t a cause, it’s a cult. Like most cults, it fills true believers with the conviction that the outside world is evil and that they are vulnerable because of their unique sensitivity. Its safe spaces are cult spaces in which believers reinforce their programming and their fear of the outside world.

Like most cults, fragility doesn’t teach love. It programs hate and fear.

Black fragility is a racist cult that disrespects both white and black people. It tells black people that to be authentic they must be afraid. It tells white people that they are evil because of their skin color. It offers a blatantly racist narrative in which all black problems can be reduced to white people which is why it disregards the killing fields of gang violence to focus on black criminals who are shot by white cops.

Black fragility denies black equality. It says that black people can’t compete with white people for jobs or college admissions. That they can’t be expected to live by the same laws as white people. That minorities can’t even participate in dialogues on the same terms as everyone else without invoking fragility terms like “White Privilege” or demanding politically correct censorship so comprehensive that it’s indistinguishable from political repression.

We can have equality or fragility, racial progress or racial fragility, but we can’t have both.

Black people are not as fragile as #BlackLivesMatter, Eric Holder or Ta-Nehisi Coates would like white liberals to believe. It’s the cause of the leftist radical activists that is fragile because it depends on infantilizing black people and all political identity group minorities as victims who endure rather than achieve, who struggle rather than thrive, who need safe spaces even when they’re in the White House.

Black fragility is the real war on black people. It’s a war on their dignity and their self-sufficiency. It’s a war waged against their equality. You can never be equal if you’re always angry and afraid.
This mentality is very much present at Marquette, where leftist activists deemed “racist” a bunch of Tweets from Marquette students who failed to be impressed by a bunch of demonstrators who blocked traffic on Wisconsin Avenue. How dare they say things like “stop using history as an excuse and start taking responsibility for your lives and your future!” How could any black person possibly not faint hearing things like that?

Likewise, the same leftist activists complained about “discriminatory violence in the classroom.” Since nobody has been beaten up or physically attacked in a Marquette classroom recently (or even in the distant past, so far as we can remember) “violence” must mean merely racial grievance mongers hearing things with which they disagree.

Are they such wimps?

No, this is just another ploy for claiming victim status, and demanding the privileges that go with victim status on a college campus.

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Political Corretness in Europe: Don’t Reveal Ethnicity of Criminals

With a hat tip to a former student out ours: news from Zurich.
Zurich communal authorities have instructed city police to stop releasing the nationality of criminals to the media to avoid stigmatization.

An exception can only be made if the information is “pertinent” to the case, authorities decided on Wednesday, as reported by newspaper 20 Minutes on Friday.

The move was suggested by the political left as a way to prevent the racial prejudice that can arise from releasing the origins of those involved in criminal activity.

But right-wingers counter that releasing such information is a matter of transparency.

Opinions on the issue differ throughout the country.

Police in Neuchâtel and Fribourg only release nationality “if that adds value,” Fribourg police spokesman Gallus Risse told 20 Minutes.

“It’s about using common sense and avoiding stigmatizing a specific nationality,” he said.

However police in the cantons of Geneva and Vaud take the opposite stance.

There, a suspect’s nationality would only be kept secret if it could identify him.

“We wouldn’t say that he’s Chinese if he lives in a small village and he’s the only Chinese person living there,” Pierre-Olivier Gaudard of Vaud police told the paper.

“It’s also a question of transparency,” he added.
You can’t solve any social problem unless you are willing to face the facts, and politically correct people chronically refuse to face facts. And the reason is simple: the facts refute their biases and show that their “solutions” don’t at all address the real problem.

If you believe, for example, that the large number of blacks in prison is the result of racist cops, you’ll do nothing to address crime in the black community.

But the left wants the facts suppressed. Thus a bunch of leftist students at Marquette, back in April, staged a sit-in on Wisconsin Avenue demanding (among other things) that Marquette “Remove race from DPS [Department of Public Safety] reports.”

Whom do they think that would fool?

As we reported at the time:
We analyzed all Public Safety Alerts issued between May 2014 and April 2015 (inclusive), and found that of 44 offenders whose race was reported, 37 were black. (Four were white and three Hispanic.)
Indeed Marquette did, for a while, conceal the race of people committing crimes near campus. But we outed the policy right here. Marquette got chewed out by Charlie Sykes, and perhaps because of that (or perhaps because the Clery Act might leave a school open to a suit if key information is not reported) it changed the policy.

People who try to promote their political agenda by concealing information should be assumed to be on the wrong side of any issue. People who are willing to face the facts, and see the truth come out, are those with whom we should instinctively side.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Greenpeace: Workers on Strike

From the very left wing San Diego Free Press:
On August 5, 16 of 19 canvassers for Greenpeace in San Diego walked off the job. They were followed by a majority of the Sacramento office. 22 total employees of the Frontline program, Greenpeace’s in-house fundraising program, have had enough of labor policies that give them no job security.

The strike, led by two veteran canvassers in Socialist Alternative San Diego, comes against an organization that claims to be progressive. However, Greenpeace uses a quota system where even veteran fundraisers can be fired for missing quota two or three weeks consecutively. Senior workers bring in six or seven times their salary in recurring donations, yet are routinely fired. Morale is understandably very low. But choosing to resist, they have mobilized in defense of their jobs and dignity. Non-profits beware: the persuasive skills developed by your employees can be used against you. Instead of selling Greenpeace, organizers now sell the strike against it.

Tara Dawn, a strike member from the Sacramento field office, said “As a single mother, I work hard week in and week out not knowing if I’ll have a dependable paycheck to keep a roof over our heads. That is a very difficult reality to face. I love my job and the organization I work for, but myself and the all of the other canvassers deserve to see reform.”

Resistance to reform, both in senior and mid-level Greenpeace administration, emphasizes the presence of “the worker elite”. Despite being former fundraisers themselves, low-level managers have decided not to stand in solidarity with their former co-workers, their interests now aligning with their superiors. In the absence of help from those potential allies, the street-level workers have banded together, using democratic methods and a sophisticated media campaign to damage Greenpeace’s most valuable asset: its image and reputation.

Canvassers have great labor power for two main reasons. First, because they gather monthly donations, each $20 donation that is not gathered is multiplied, since most people donate for 9 or 10 months before canceling. Second, attempts to bring in strikebreaking replacements are frustrated because good canvassers emerge from training, not raw talent. The trainers are on strike, thus nobody can truly be their replacement.

Socialists everywhere should stand in the new areas of labor struggle. Thousands of vulnerable canvassers for all sorts of non-profits can learn from a strong victory.

Their Facebook page is:
Their strike fund page is:
We generally take a dim view of strikers. They are usually what economists call “rent seekers.” “Rent,” in the technical jargon of economists, means “rip off.”

Our view is that if somebody doesn’t believe they are being paid decently by their employer, they should go find another job. If the employer can fill their position with a qualified worker at the same wage (and benefits package) they were being paid decently. If the employer can’t, then the market is telling the employer “you are going to have to up the compensation for this job.” That’s fair enough.

But that’s free market logic, and it’s nice to see the hoity–toity leftists who run Greenpeace faced with the same sort of demands that they endorse when directed at profit-making capitalist enterprises.

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