identity politics

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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Here’s Why Public Colleges Could Face Defunding

Is America about to embark on the “mass defunding of public higher education”? Fredrik deBoer thinks it’s a real, horrifying possibility. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed and on his blog, he argues that the political basis for this defunding now exists. The problem, according to the Pew Research Center, is that the list of […]

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Our Exquisitely Sensitive Academic Culture

“Mind your Ps and Qs,” Wikipedia tells us, “is an English expression meaning ‘mind your manners,’ ‘mind your language,’ ‘be on your best behavior.’” Recent advice provided in the Chronicle of Higher Education suggests that academic conference goers also need to mind their PC. The Chronicle’s July 7 “Daily Briefing” to subscribers links to two […]

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A Catholic Professor’s Problems at a Catholic College

Anthony Esolen is an embattled professor at Providence (R.I.) College, an aggressively Catholic believer at an institution run by Dominican priests but less forthrightly Catholic than he is. Esolen teaches Renaissance literature and the development of Western culture. Among his books is a translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy regarded as one of the best. He […]

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Can Sociology be Saved?

While the American Sociological Association continues to congratulate itself for a rising number of bachelor’s degrees in sociology, traditional sociology seems to matter less than ever before. Apart from the recent and brilliant Strangers in Their Own land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild, not many sociologists have a good […]

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Can America Survive Its Elites?

In his posthumously published The End of the Experiment, the great social scientist Stanley Rothman makes a pessimistic– and cogent– argument that our recent history is building up to the end of the American experiment in self-government. Rothman sees our national nadir as reflecting long-term, likely terminal elite dysfunction stemming from the impact of the […]

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‘Anti-White Rhetoric Comes Right out of the Academy’

Democratic pundits are calling on their party to court working-class and non-coastal whites in the wake of November’s electoral rout. But the Democratic Party is now dominated by identity politics, which defines whites, particularly heterosexual males, as oppressors of every other population in the U.S. Why should the targets of such thinking embrace an ideology […]

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How Colleges and Universities Foster “Hate Culture”

Many of my colleagues and students are responding to the results of the 2016 presidential election with fear, disappointment, and disbelief. For some, Trump’s victory and the social unrest that followed dramatically changed their perceptions of Americans, democracy, and human nature. They are mourning the loss of a progressive dream. Although I share my colleagues’ […]

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How Student Protesters Cheat Themselves

One common complaint of protesting students is the old multiculturalist argument that the curriculum is too white and male and Western.  The petition filed by students at Seattle University is a case in point. Once again, we have outlandish allegations of racism and harassment leveled against one of the most progressive enclaves on Planet Earth, […]

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4 Well-Known Universities With No Integrity

In a Commentary essay earlier this spring, I argued that universities’ response to the 2015-2016 campus protests can be seen, in part, through the lens of faculty and administrators sharing the protesters’ diversity-obsessed goals, if not agreeing with them on tactics. A recent protest from Dartmouth confirmed the point. Sometimes, campus speech issues are complicated. […]

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Political Tests for Faculty?

What’s going on when a public university feels entitled to ask potential faculty members questions clearly aimed at ferreting out their political and social commitments? Such questions, reminiscent of loyalty oaths and the demands of totalitarian regimes would seem to have no place in an educational institution in modern-day America.  But for some years now, […]

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md-stacks-boys

How Universities Encourage Racial Division

By James Huffman In response to the campus protests, much has been written and spoken about how universities can best serve the interests of their students of color. Those who sympathize with the protesters argue that students of color, in particular, should be nurtured and protected from uncomfortable experiences that distract from their education. Others […]

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Free speech

Donald Downs on the Return of Campus Censorship

The demand for equality that’s emerging on campuses today is primarily underpinned by two things: identity politics and a perception of individuals as suffering from trauma. Students have become attached to the particular trauma they identify with; they see it as a badge of honor and any perceived slight becomes a threat to their sense […]

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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 […]

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