Do UW-Madison students identify as sheep?

Heaven forfend anyone criticizing the University of Wisconsin’s flagship Madison campus. To cross that Rubicon is to brand oneself as a philistine, a rube —Vandals at the gates, Trump voters.

The knee-jerk reaction from our … acquaintances is to defend the Leninist re-education camps our college campuses have become with high-minded prattle. Instead of encouraging intellectual inquiry they demand stifling conformity. Their particular sciences are settled. Their wisdom is received, not discovered. If you don’t get “The Problem of Whiteness,” then you are suffering from implicit bias. You are exercising your white privilege. You are engaging in hate speech. Get played the race card.

dunce_cap_michaelsState Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, has long suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous blowback for daring to question the Closing of American Minds in our institutions of Higher Political Correctness. He is now joined by State Rep. Daniel Murphy, R-Greenville, chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Colleges and Universities.

Nass identified another example of junk science: a six-week program open only to “men-identified students” in a “national liberal effort to rid male students of their ‘toxic masculinity.”

“Preaching, not teaching,” says Mike Mikalsen, a spokesman for Nass. Mike notes that UW is coming to taxpayers for an extra $42 million this budget “and we can’t comment?”

For ‘men-identified’ students only

The “UW Men’s Project” is yet another example of how academia has fallen hook, line, and sinker (to coin a phrase) for the Marxist concept of identity determines politics. Listen to this mumbo jumbo from the university’s own course description:

“A key element of the program is intersectionality. There isn’t just one masculinity, there are many,” says Sam Johnson, a violence prevention specialist. [We used to think that described police but we digress.] … She [she!] explained that other components of one’s identity—including religion, sexual orientation, and race—all contribute to individual perceptions and experiences of masculinity. … By encouraging that kind of dialogue among a men-identified cohort, the goal is to create a sense of security in vulnerability … The program operates on a transformative model of social justice allyship.

“Security in vulnerability.” Backward reels the mind, Mr. Orwell.

Fact is our university campuses — from Madison to Missoula — have been No Fly Zones for conservatives for the last 50 years. Recall the University of Missouri communications (!) professor ordering, “We need a little muscle here!” to shut down speech.

duck-dynasty-pj-boy

‘Security in vulnerability’

Chancellor Rebecca Blank spouts the usual boilerplate: “A university’s commitment to academic freedom and free speech is a commitment that allows all ideas to be presented and discussed.” Yadda, yadda.

Tell that to the BLM protestors who attempted to shut down conservative campus speaker Ben Shapiro. Tell that to the School of Education, which invites only teachers union advocates but not school choice reformers. Tell that to the sociology department’s annual summer School for Radicals.

Oh, for the UW equivalent of Stanford’s Hoover Institution. (Feast your eyes on this line-up!)

Conservatives are not disrupting speakers. They do not demand conformity. They are asking for diversity.

Diversity of skin color but not of thought

Of all people, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof seems to get it.

“We progressives believe in diversity, and we want women, blacks, Latinos, gays and Muslims at the table — er, so long as they aren’t conservatives. … We’re fine with people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.”

In A Confession of Liberal Intolerance, Kristof records the paucity of conservatives in academia. “It’s easier to find a Marxist in some disciplines than a Republican.”

Indeed, identity politics IS Marxist — and racist. It posits that people are not causative agents but are determined by societal externalities. Ultimately, the UW-Madison, with its arrogance and condescension (that’s when you talk down to people), helped elect Donald Trump here in Wisconsin. Not because the president-elect is particularly conservative (he ain’t) but because the man is so damned politically incorrect. Grab ‘em by the … , indeed!

For extra credit — Bookmark Heterodox Academy, where  a renegade academic at New York University plumbs the data showing conservatives in academia are increasingly an endangered species. The money quote:

“Universities are unlike other institutions in that they absolutely require that people challenge each other so that the truth can emerge from limited, biased, flawed individuals,” he says. “If they lose intellectual diversity, or if they develop norms of ‘safety’ that trump challenge, they die. And this is what has been happening since the 1990s.”

For further reading — The College Fix, reports from the campus front lines by college students themselves.

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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20 Responses to Do UW-Madison students identify as sheep?

  1. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    I recently retired from over 30 years of teaching at the college level, so here are a few observations from that vantage point.

    1) The vast majority of college students couldn’t care less about the issues that exercise their crypto-Marxist professors (and their enablers in the administration) and a tiny minority of their fellow students (the self-styled “activist” media whores). They put up with the PC nonsense– mandatory enrollment in “cultural fluency” training, required “diversity” classes–because it’s easier just to go through the motions while concentrating on what they’ll need to learn to succeed in the job market. It’s misleading to think that the leftist lunacy enacted on campuses these days reflects the real concerns or beliefs of all (or even most) college students. Being students, they’ve had plenty of practice in parroting what’s expected by those who give them grades, but don’t mistake a survival tactic for genuine intellectual commitment.

    2) I used to think that the preening narcissists in the humanities and social sciences were the worst offenders, but lately scientists have started to clamber aboard the PC bandwagon. Judith Curry, climatologist at Georgia Tech (not exactly Podunk Junior College) recently resigned from her post because she could no longer navigate the rigid PC orthodoxy surrounding the climate change debate. (Oops, sorry, forgot that topic isn’t up for debate any more.) While she agrees that the climate is changing, she dared to suggest that human contribution to that change might be significantly less than that posited by most of her colleagues. “Research and other professional activities are rewarded only if they are channeled in certain directions approved by a politicized academic establishment,” she said. So much for intellectual diversity. At least Judith knows how Galileo felt.

    3) Last year, to subsidize my vacation travels, I signed up for a temporary job scoring essay tests written by high school students–a nice gig, but well short of a full-fledged career. One of the other employees, a smart, engaging, articulate black woman, happened to be a student I’d had a few years back. She proudly informed me that she had finished her degree at UW-Whitewater two years earlier. While congratulating her on that accomplishment, i found myself wondering, “So why are you doing temp work when you have a degree from a 4-year college?” My next question was, “What was your major?” Her reply instantly dispelled my perplexity: “Afro-American Studies.” Instead of lambasting individual courses at UW-Madison (no matter how deserving of scorn they might be) state legislators ought to be targeting the bogus “departments” (Afro-American Studies, Latino/a Studies, Women’s Studies, Queer Studies, etc. etc.) that have proliferated over the last few decades. Unlike other departments that have to demonstrate intellectual underpinnings solid enough to justify their existence (and funding), these departments (or “programs” as they’re often styled) were foisted on colleges and universities in the late 1960s when student “activists” presented a list of non-negotiable demands to spineless college administrators, who promptly caved in to said demands, mainly to avoid the ultimate horror of being branded “racist.” Who was it that said, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.”? We’re well into the farcical stage today; If Mssrs. Nass and Murphy want to get serious about reigning in the PC excesses at UW-Madison, de-funding any department with the word “studies” in its title would be a fine place to start. Not only are these departments illegitimate by any reasonable academic standard, they do their students (mostly minorities) a huge disservice by awarding them degrees in fields that have no value outside the hothouse confines of the university.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. penquin says:

    It is claimed that no conservatives are allowed at the UW, yet one of the most popular conservative blogs in America is written by a UW Law Professor.

    Can always count on Blaska to put the “hyper” into “hyperbole”

    Like

    • davidblaska says:

      Ann of Althouse would disagree that she is conservative. She voted Obama. Twice. But I’m game. Name 5 conservative professors at UW-Madison. I would name Donald Downs, but he is emeritus. Jim Baughman, but we lost him last year. John Sharpless has retired or is about to. Lee Evans, if I have his name right. That’s all I can come up with. Is Penquin actually arguing that UW-Madison is evenly divided b/w conservatives and liberals? Talk about hyperbole!

      Like

      • penquin says:

        Her site is marketed to advertisers as one of the top conservative blogs in the country…do you beleive they are being intentionally deceiving in those business dealings?

        And are you actually arguing that I am actually arguing that UW-Madison is evenly divided b/w conservatives and liberals? Talk about hyperbole indeed! (Abbot&Costello had a bit like this, no? Or was it Laurel&Hardy? Them people all look alike to me…)

        Like

  3. Jerry says:

    I have suggested to Sen.Nass that a forum or venue should be provided for he and legislators to correct the ideological imbalance that they find on the U W campus. They could be given complete control over themselves selling their brand or bringing in speakers or perhaps even meeting face to face with the professors or students of the class offerings that they find offensive. They might even want to use this opportunity to exist on campus as a partner rather than an outlier to provide a curriculum of their choosing from which students could select as opposed to using threats and intimidation of funding cuts to prevent an academic culture that they find valueless. Unfortunately Sen.Nass did not take to my idea enthusiastically and I was left with the impression that public attacks and using the power of the purse were preferential to the actual use of a stage on the U W campus affording an equal opportunity for their ideological views. They would rather rule the university from their end of State Street than offer their alternative ideological brand on the campus itself! It seems equal opportunity is not really what they are seeking and academic freedom is not their concern.

    Like

  4. davidblaska says:

    Penquin (it’s spelled Penguin btw) answer the question: Are you arguing that the UW-Madison is balanced b/w conservative and liberal? Do you deny that the UW is overwhelmingly liberal-progressive-socialist despite your attempt to deflect with the Ann of Althouse gambit?

    Like

    • davidblaska says:

      Second chance, Penquin. But only if you answer the question: Do you deny that the UW is overwhelmingly liberal-progressive-socialist?

      Like

      • penquin says:

        First off, I think it’s pretty rude for you to tell me how to spell my own dang name, even if this is your house….have you always been this authoritarian?

        What I am actually arguing, sir, is that your claim that no conservatives have been allowed at UW for the past 50 years is extremely exaggerated, not that liberals/conservatives are evenly divided on campus. Are you truly unable to distinguish between those two statements or are you just doing this for the lulz?

        And it isn’t any sort of gambit to point out that Althouse is being marketed as a “conservative blog” ( http://web.blogads.com/advertise/conservative_blog_advertising_network )..but if you wanna insist that they are being dishonest in those business dealings I won’t argue with ya on that.

        Like

      • davidblaska says:

        Did I claim that no conservatives have been allowed at UW in 50 years? Didn’t I just name five of them, now deceased or retired? Talk about dishonest.

        Like

      • AnonyBob says:

        Dave, why on earth should there be a balance between cons and libs in the UW faculty? Why would there be? This is silly. What, now you conservatives believe in quotas? The fact that you don’t know many conservatives on faculty means…you probably don’t know many faculty. I’m guessing the school of business and of engineering contain plenty. Humanities, not so much. But so what? Many would argue highly educated people trend liberal (you know, education, critical thinking skills, etc.). So call me elitist. Pfft. They’re my betters and I know it. You want conservatives? Go to Liberty University. You want a world-class research university to grace this state? Leave academia to the academics. I don’t think faculty or curriculum should be chosen by rubes like messieurs Nash, Murphy, Blaska or Anonybob.

        Like

      • davidblaska says:

        Where did I ask for quotas? Just some balance. For the university’s sake. For its funding prospects. For intellectual diversity. Stimulation. You want conservatives? Go to Stanford. Check out the Hoover Institution. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Richard V. Allenb, Niall Ferguson, Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, Robert Service, Thomas Sowell, George Schultz, Shelby Steele, etc. Drool!

        You’re not elitist, A-Bob. Just stupid.

        Like

  5. Madison Expat says:

    Too many are sheep. Want proof?
    Hey hey, ho ho,
    Bah-h-h-h

    Like

  6. madisonexpat says:

    My favorite at Hoover Institute is Victor Davis Hansen.
    Brilliant.
    Love his work on the Peloppenese War.

    Like

  7. penquin says:

    davidblaska said “Did I claim that no conservatives have been allowed at UW in 50 years?”

    Uhm…yeah…in your original post you said “Fact is our university campuses — from Madison to Missoula — have been No Fly Zones for conservatives for the last 50 years ”

    I took “No Fly Zone” to mean “not allowed”….did you mean something totally different? Please clarify, if you can.

    Like

    • davidblaska says:

      Even Donald Downs was a liberal when he was hired; he only became conservative as time went along. A few years ago, I asked Dean Sandefur to name other conservatives. He came up empty. Now see if you can hew to the point and answer a simple question (for once): Should UW-Madison seek more intellectual diversity as Nicholas Kristof suggests? That’s a yes or no question, not multiple choice, not essay. You will be graded on a curve.

      Like

      • penquin says:

        Can’t answer “yes or “no” to your pop-quiz sir, ’cause it is a trick question given by a tricky teacher. I do agree that more diversity, intellectual and otherwise, would be good for the UW system as a whole but I don’t know enough about Mr. Sandefur to endorse all his suggestions completely.

        And seriously.., what DID you mean by “no fly zones” if you didn’t mean they weren’t allowed? Troubles me that you beleive I was being dishonest in my convo with thee.

        Like

  8. davidblaska says:

    “Should UW seek more intellectual diversity?” That is a “trick question,” Penquin? That, in itself, answers the question!

    Like

  9. madisonexpat says:

    Here’s another indicator of liberal sheep.
    Ahem…
    The people united shall never be
    un-bleated!
    Or something like that

    Like

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