identity politics

COVID-19 Bites Identity Politics

As I write this, I am surrounded by silence: not only the silence of a small university town on lockdown but, also, the silence of the feminists and postmodernists as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken over. Where are the usual attacks on white male-dominated science? Where’s the “standpoint epistemology” to tell us how different is […]

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Playing Politics With History

At the American Historical Association’s recent annual meeting, the program’s abundance of panels were devoted to issues of social justice. Perhaps its name should be changed to the Activists Historical Association. Here are a few examples: Historically Informed Present-Day Activism in the City Activism, Academics, and the Academy African Americans and Chinese Activists in World […]

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When 29 Courses on Black Writing Isn’t Enough at Williams

The readers, writers, and editors of Minding the Campus have it all wrong. If they were to hear the words “Williams College English Department,” a vision of politically correct, exquisitely liberal professors would instantly spring to mind. If they went to the department web site, to be sure, they could find support for their judgment, […]

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Where Does the Impulse to Vilify America and the West Come From?

When I first took up my teaching post in 1968, a bright undergraduate said to me, “North American culture is the most corrupt in the world.” I was rather shocked to hear this, having just returned from a year of ethnographic research in the Middle East, where arguably there are many more serious problems. The […]

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The Garden of College Excellence Is Growing Weeds

Anthony Kronman, my long-time Yale Law School colleague and perhaps the most eloquent individual I know personally, has written a brave, high-minded, argumentative, and largely persuasive book about the values and choices that should animate our greatest colleges and universities but no longer do. His book, The Assault on American Excellence, is also quixotic in […]

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Signing-of-the-Constitution

The New York Times Rewrites American History

On August 18, the Sunday New York Times included a section, The 1619 Project. It announced a goal unusual in journalism, reframing American history, “making explicit how slavery is the foundation on which this country is built.” The Times seemed to imagine that all the protestors were far-right conservatives, but one that caught our eye […]

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Intimidation-Produced Silence at Stanford

Back in the late middle of the last century I attended Stanford for my last three years of college and my last three years of graduate school. Since then I have looked in vain for the dividend checks from that investment, but one thing I have received with some regularity is the alumni magazine. Along […]

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Nike, Kaepernick and Looming Tribal Warfare

Today, many people, in the U.S., Canada, and the rest of the West, have rejected liberal democracy in favor of “woke” identity politics and cultural Marxist “social justice.” Following the Marxist vision of society as a division of classes, with the oppressed victims struggling against the privileged oppressors, identity politics has expanded the class struggle […]

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Whitewashing the Harm Colleges Inflict on the Nation

Over the last half-century, higher education in America has been transformed from a quiet backwater with relatively little influence or cost into a powerful system responsible for or at least deeply complicit in numerous deleterious trends that are today wreaking havoc on the nation. A bill of indictment would have to include the following. The […]

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When Radical Ideologies Corrupt Universities

I keep being invited to talk about free speech on college campuses and every time I’m invited I make the same point: that this isn’t about free speech and this is only tangentially about college campuses. This is about a breakdown in the basic logic of civilization, and it’s spreading. College campuses may be the […]

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Word by Word, SJW’s Are Changing America

It is not news that “social justice” ideology, supported by its pillars of “diversity,” “inclusion,” and “equality of results,” has replaced liberal democratic culture in our government, university, and business offices. Instead of being treated as individuals, people are treated according to the racial, gender, sexual preference, and ethnic categories that they belong to. Instead […]

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Google, Facebook Censorship ‘A Mistake’

Last week Google told the Claremont Institute that the Institute’s advertisements for its annual conference were banned. This act of censorship by the internet giant followed Facebook’s announcement that it was banning Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan, and Paul Watson. Ryan P. Williams, the president of the Claremont Institute, posted his account of what […]

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The War Against White People

Anti-white hate is now mainstream American culture. Not just by racial extremists such as Black Lives Matter, for whom statements such as “all lives matter” or “blue lives matter” are racist. Our highest leaders sing the same song. Presidential candidate Barack Obama said of working class, white voters in 2008, “They get bitter, they cling […]

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How Nine Universities Pander to Campus Radicals

In higher education, disgraceful scandals and major embarrassments once arrived one by one. Now, they appear in clusters, like epidemics we should have been expecting. Take the University of Tulsa, suddenly in the grip of a “strategic plan” aimed at marketing the university to students who are career-oriented and lured by the idea of fighting […]

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The Cult of Diversity Shows Its True Face

Last year, a former student of mine won a job interview at the satellite campus of a state university system. One of the first questions she had to answer was this: “Tell us how you will contribute to diversity on our campus.” My ex-student was Shiite, female, heterosexual, and 50 years old. As far as she […]

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When Identities Clash, Who Wins–Victim or Perp?

“After a University of Nebraska at Lincoln student was sexually assaulted in her dormitory last month,” Inside Higher Ed reports, the university came under intense fire “by students who thought police should not have mentioned in a campus-wide bulletin that two men accused of sexual assault were black, believing that it reinforced harmful stereotypes.” The […]

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US Constitution-edited

How Equality Became the Enemy of Justice

}In the U.S., coastal progressive Democrats and conservative Republicans from “fly-over country,” are at each other’s throats. At least half of Americans despise their politically incorrect President. The results of elections are no longer accepted; “resistance” is proclaimed, and the aim is to overthrow those who have been elected, along with the Constitution and the […]

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University of Texas Black Graduation Ceremony - 2018

The New Color Line at University of Texas

Civil rights leaders once dreamed of a day when Americans would be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin, but today a different message is being spread at the University of Texas and other college campuses. “Diversity” means singling out certain races for special treatment. UT’s extensive diversity bureaucracy […]

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the poison of identity politics

Diversity Studies: Your Path to a 6-Figure Salary

Universities face a serious dilemma in their quest for diversity and inclusion. Alas, this noble intention has a cost: degrees in Black studies, Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, and similar identity group majors hardly put much bread on the table. To be blunt, the well-intentioned, socially responsible university is guilty of fraud when it tells its […]

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Studying English Takes a Back Seat to Identity Politics

Two-thirds (66.3%) of English departments responding to a survey indicated that the number of undergraduates majoring in English is either lower or sharply lower. Only 8.7% reported an increase in the number of majors; none reported a sharp increase. That’s the abysmal finding of a survey of English departments issued last month by the Association […]

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Galileo and Viviana

It’s Time to Fight for Western Civilization

Soon after arriving at McGill University in 1968 from a year of ethnographic field research in Iran, I met an intelligent and sincere young man, an anthropology student, who told me that North American culture was the most corrupt culture in the world. I asked him where else he had been in the world, where […]

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4 philosophers

Defending a Debased Version of the Liberal Arts

Two college associations are purporting to defend the liberal arts, the areas of study that undergird higher education in Western history and educate society about universal principles essential for a free person to know to participate in civic life. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) […]

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Early Man-natural history Museum

How ‘They’ Hijacked Anthropology

Perhaps the greatest shift in any academic field in the past 30 or 40 years has been in anthropology. Call it an epistemological paradigm shift away from science. Three main influences led to this shift: One was the morphing of symbolic anthropology into interpretive anthropology under the influence of Clifford Geertz, who distanced himself from […]

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Diversity Policies Are Corrupting the Sciences

Anyone who believes that the hard sciences could never capitulate to identity politics in the way the humanities and softer sciences have should not read Heather MacDonald’s report just posted at City Journal. It’s too infuriating, and the impacts could be devastating. MacDonald surveys the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and accrediting organizations […]

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The Decline and Fall of Sociology

As totalitarian modes of rule continue to decline throughout the world, readers of Minding the Campus will recognize the insidious strain of totalitarianism that has emerged on many college campuses—one that is characterized by the bullying, and sometimes silencing of faculty and students who deviate even slightly from the prescribed progressive campus politics. Most recently, […]

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Five Realities of Tribal Politics

Chattering classes throughout the world are talking about identity politics and with good reason. It is propelling the so-called populist movements, and the response to those movements, which are shaking the foundations of almost every society today. Whether a polity is democratic, authoritarian, or anarchic, it is awash with clamorous appeals to relatively narrow allegiances […]

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the poison of identity politics

Identity Politics v. the New ‘Me Generation’

 “The single most important intellectual trend of our time is the popular rediscovery of human tribalism,” Jonathan Rauch wrote earlier this month in an influential op-ed in The Washington Post. Now the conversation on tribalism rolls on. In her new book, Political Tribes: Group Thinking and The Fate of Nations, Amy Chua of Yale Law School […]

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Stars_Showcase_-_Divergent_Book_Club-2

Yes, the Weird Campus Culture Pollutes the Whole Nation Now

Several correspondents send me links to “must read” articles every few days. High up on the list since February 9, has been Andrew Sullivan’s New York Magazine article, “We All Live on Campus Now.” Like most “must reads,” Sullivan’s article is a blazing reassertion of what most people already know. Its claim, as Pope defined […]

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Pensive woman by Eugene Kukulka

Sexual Abuse Gets a Free Pass on Campus

Amid the tidal wave of sexual abuse allegations against powerful individuals in politics, sports, the media, the entertainment industry, and in academia, one stands out because it has not inspired the kind of collective outrage that the others have. Ithaca College’s new President, Shirley M. Collado, was accused—and convicted—of sexually abusing a female patient in […]

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Race and Gender Crowd Already in Mid-Season Form

There is so much zany nonsense erupting on campuses these days that many items deserving notice get buried in the avalanche. Here are three from the past weeks that, while perhaps not each warranting a full-fledged article, are too good to ignore. Charlottesville: No Violence From “Our” Side? Walt Heinecke somehow finds time to serve […]

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