The Slippery Use Of ”Social Justice

For educational reformers, the struggle can sometimes be frustrating, in that even successes—such as getting policies that attack academic freedom repealed—generally leave in place the people who designed and implemented those policies in the first place. But, at the very least, such efforts can force ideologues to abandon easy tools for enforcing their orthodoxy. Take, … Continue reading The Slippery Use Of ”Social Justice

How Schools Create Social Justice Warriors

When people watch videos and TV footage of college students screaming at professors and blocking doors to lecture halls, they wonder where the rancor and intolerance come from. A story recently in The New York Times identifies one origin. It’s called “Children’s Primers Court the Littlest Radicals,” and it covers a new trend in children’s … Continue reading How Schools Create Social Justice Warriors

Universities Torn Between Truth Seeking and Social Justice

A lengthy article by Jonathan Haidt dealing with the growing conflict over the proper goal or end of the academy ran here in full on October 23.  It was neither an original article of ours nor a reprint published with permission. It should have run–and appears now–as an excerpt referring readers back to its original site, … Continue reading Universities Torn Between Truth Seeking and Social Justice

The Power of Buzzwords, like ‘Dispositions” and ‘Social Justice

Mitchell Langbert, a professor at Brooklyn College, wrote last week about the grandly titled and resolutely leftist faculty union that he and all teachers at CUNY are stuck with, the Professional Staff Congress (PSC). Langbert mentioned, briefly, that PSC had made no effort to defend our excellent writer, KC Johnson when KC was under attack … Continue reading The Power of Buzzwords, like ‘Dispositions” and ‘Social Justice

The Strange World of Social Justice Warriors

Culture wars over “social justice” have been wreaking havoc in many communities, including universities and science fiction fandom. The ordeal of Northwestern University film professor Laura Kipnis, hauled before a campus gender equity tribunal for publishing a critique of academia’s current obsession with sexual misconduct, has brought the backlash against “political correctness” to reliably left-of-center venues such as Vox. But this is … Continue reading The Strange World of Social Justice Warriors

Totalitarians for Social Justice?

In the New York Observer, Cathy Young laments the rise  of “social justice warriors,”  primarily on campus and online, arguing that “this version of ‘social justice’ is not about social justice at all. It is a cultish, essentially totalitarian ideology deeply inimical—as liberals  such as Jonathan Chait wam in New York Magazine—to the traditional values … Continue reading Totalitarians for Social Justice?

More Ed-School “Social Justice” Studies

The Boston Globe brings news of “discord” at the Harvard Education School. The issue, incredibly, involves claims by graduate students and some faculty members that the institution is insufficiently committed to a left-wing educational agenda. Over the last few years, three “social justice” professors left the Graduate School of Education, including the husband-wife duo of Marcelo and Carola Suarez-Orozco. (She explores such only-in-academia … Continue reading More Ed-School “Social Justice” Studies

Social Justice Art and Liberal Democracy

Michelle Kamhi is the co-editor of the online arts review Aristos, and a mild-mannered, well-spoken New Yorker with a love of art and intellectual integrity. She is also the cause of a heated controversy that has broken out in the world of art education. The source of this conflict is an op-ed Kamhi wrote in … Continue reading Social Justice Art and Liberal Democracy

Teach Social Justice–Or Else

A frequent allegation against efforts to inculcate “dispositions” in student-teachers is that they are fuzzy and un-quantifiable. Especially in a high-accountability climate, the rise of “disposition” outcomes is particularly hard to sustain. Here’s a study in The New Educator that answers the objection. Authored by educators at Boston College, it appears under the title “Learning … Continue reading Teach Social Justice–Or Else

Should Universities Be In The Social Justice Business?

Brandeis University is now officially committed to social justice. The university’s “Diversity Statement” says that the university considers social justice central to its mission. Is this controversial? Absolutely, says George Mason law professor David Bernstein, blogging at the Volokh Conspiracy. Universities shouldn’t be in the social justice business, according to Bernstein, a Brandeis alum who … Continue reading Should Universities Be In The Social Justice Business?

A Challenge to Harvard’s Social Club Crackdown

Harvard’s new policy on social clubs, penalizing student members of single-sex clubs, has run into faculty opposition. Under the policy, students in the class of 2021 and beyond cannot simultaneously be a member of a single-sex final club or Greek organization and hold club leadership positions or athletic team captaincies, or be recommended for Rhodes … Continue reading A Challenge to Harvard’s Social Club Crackdown

Race Baiting in the Name of Justice

The annual White Privilege Conference, not open to the public, concluded yesterday at an undisclosed site in Philadelphia. Caucasians mustn’t worry though — the sponsors say they aren’t anti-white. It’s just that having white skin is an oppressive virus or disease that must be repented in the name of mutual respect. The teachers and lecturers … Continue reading Race Baiting in the Name of Justice

Justice Kennedy and Affirmative Action

The Supreme Court holds oral arguments tomorrow in Fisher v. Texas, possibly the most consequential case in years involving affirmative action. Many of us critics of racial preferences are optimistic that Justice Anthony Kennedy, the likely swing vote, will agree to modify if not overrule Justice O’Connor’s ruling in the 2003 Grutter case, which, in … Continue reading Justice Kennedy and Affirmative Action

Justice Kennedy Should Read Richard Brodhead

The Supreme Court’s decision in Grutter operated on the basis of some unspoken assumptions. One was that regardless of how other applicants were affected, students admitted because of preferences benefited from the decision. Another was that universities could be trusted to handle issues of race fairly and efficiently, or at least more so than could … Continue reading Justice Kennedy Should Read Richard Brodhead

A Social Scientist Who Made a Difference

Irving Louis Horowitz, who died last week at 82, was a force of nature–a brilliant, cantankerous, sociologist of astonishing range; a forceful and important publisher (Transaction Books, Society magazine); and a radical acolyte of C. Wright Mills who moved to the right as he saw the crippling effect doctrinaire Marxists were having on social science … Continue reading A Social Scientist Who Made a Difference

Ex-Justice: Civil Rights Act ‘Poorly Considered’

When Justice John Paul Stevens retired from the Supreme Court in 2010 ABC News noted that over the course of his 34 years on the Court he “became a hero to liberals[,]  voting to … uphold affirmative action” and other liberal causes. Now he has written an autobiography, Five Chiefs: A Supreme Court Memoir, ruminating … Continue reading Ex-Justice: Civil Rights Act ‘Poorly Considered’

War Over A Trojan Horse

A few weeks ago, the Delta Phi fraternity at Hamilton College distributed on campus fliers welcoming students to attend “the 53rd annual Mexican Night” party. The invitation, which was intended to be symbolic of spring-break excursions to Cancun and other vacation spots south of the border, contained the image of a Trojan Horse in the … Continue reading War Over A Trojan Horse

Ed School Politics – Still A Problem

Beware the words “social justice” and “dispositions” when used by schools of education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). These apparently harmless terms lay the groundwork for politicizing the training of teachers and giving the ed schools an excuse to eliminate conservatives from their programs. The news this week is that … Continue reading Ed School Politics – Still A Problem

Are All Men Really Like That?

In the mainstream and on social media, we’ve been told that all women live under constant threat and that all men are part of the problem. One columnist admonished “nice guys” were most likely responsible for the bulk of the problem and bore the responsibility for fixing it. The journalist Benjamin Law started the hashtag #How … Continue reading Are All Men Really Like That?

When Students Kill Important College Courses

The Abolition of Man is the best refutation of moral relativism that has ever seen print (aside from the Bible, of course). In this short and cogent book, C.S. Lewis ponders what happens when human beings abrogate transcendent moral law and objective truth and begin to fashion their own guidelines for living. One argument that … Continue reading When Students Kill Important College Courses

Disrupting Campus Speakers Is Not Just A Free-Speech Problem

From kneeling football players to campus shout-downs to professors and a president Tweeting out malignancies, America now has a new problem. Taken out of its Christian context, to witness is to make an emphatic assertion to someone else who doesn’t share your view that your view is right. That assertion, moreover, doesn’t aim to persuade … Continue reading Disrupting Campus Speakers Is Not Just A Free-Speech Problem

Protecting Academic Freedom Through All the Campus Smoke

Once many years ago I spoke to an Army recruiter who tried to convince me that I would learn many valuable skills in the military, including how to jump from helicopters. I was puzzled. How exactly was learning to jump from a helicopter a valuable skill? He explained that I could then qualify for a … Continue reading Protecting Academic Freedom Through All the Campus Smoke

The Roots of Our New Civil War: Tocqueville vs. Gramsci

As intellectual historians have often had occasion to observe, there are times in a nation’s history when certain ideas are just “in the air.” Admittedly, this point seems to fizzle when applied to our particular historical moment. On the surface of American politics, as many have had cause to mention, it appears that the main trends predicted … Continue reading The Roots of Our New Civil War: Tocqueville vs. Gramsci

Why I’m Leaving the Political Science Association

Looking forward to a lively annual conference of the American Political Science Association, due to start this week in San Francisco, I proposed a panel on “Viewpoint Diversity in Political Science.” After all, I thought, wasn’t the 2016 election a signal lesson in the continuing relevance of diverse viewpoints in the American body politic? My … Continue reading Why I’m Leaving the Political Science Association

What Damore’s Memo Taught Google

James Damore, the author of the ten-page “anti-diversity manifesto” that got him fired from Google, is not likely to fade to the level of a remote trivia question. That’s because Damore, a 28-year-old engineer, former chess champion, and researcher in computational biology at both Harvard and Princeton, sharply focused evidence and argument that shook the … Continue reading What Damore’s Memo Taught Google