She winnows but does not sift.
We bear no ill will toward Northwestern University, the only private institution among the 14 schools of higher education that comprise the Big Ten athletic conference. (We were told there would be no math.)
Don’t blame us for Rebecca Blank, Mildcats. Blank is moving on from chancellor of the Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin to Northwestern’s president. You’re only trading one Woke Quisling for another.
Northwestern already ranks dead last in the conference in free speech; Wisconsin is the third least-free and ranks only 104th freest in the nation among 159 surveyed by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. On the Madison campus, only 28% say it is wrong to shout down a speaker. Purdue and Maryland rank high at 6th and 7th freest in the nation.
“A huge loss,” bemoans Paul Fanlund over at The Capital Times. “Finding a replacement of her stature may prove profoundly difficult,” Mr. Oblivious frets. Somehow, we doubt it.
Fanlund gushes that Blank had been a member of Barack Obama’s cabinet, that she mandated diversity re-education on her campus, and that she fought Republican “anti-intellectual messaging.”
Excuu-uuu-use us! WHO is anti-intellectual? (!!!) Rebecca Blank is a 21st Century book burner. Commissar of cowardly cancel culture. Committed to equity, not excellence. Rule by passion, not reason.
A latter day Joe Stalin, the chancellor erased noted alumnus Fredric March — made him a non-person. Like Joe McCarthy, the chancellor smeared the reputation of an outstanding man for an innocent mistake — soon corrected — he made as a youth. Self-righteous as the vandals who toppled the statues on Capitol Square, Rebecca Blank defines Woke arrogance. This white woman presumes to tell the NAACP — which came to the defense of Mr. March — that she knows more about racism than they! (Read & weep!)
Even Democrats are awakening from their Woke slumber. Former Madison mayor Dave Cieslewicz in “Blank Slate”:
When she received that letter from the NAACP along with some stiff criticism from John McWhorter [a black man] she doubled down on her anti-intellectualism. … She set aside facts and reasoned arguments in favor of uninformed emotionalism.
Cowardice of the mob
Rebecca Blank presided over a campus awash in fear. According to a 2020 Knight Foundation survey, 63% of college students feel “the climate on their campus prevents some people from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive.” Cieslewicz continues:
Today’s campuses have become … places of rigid orthodoxy where students and faculty with views that don’t conform self-censor for fear of being attacked by virtual (or real) mobs. Classical liberal values of reason, free speech, and rule of law are out of fashion in the very places where they should be revered.
Bret Stephens at the New York Times calls it “the coward culture:”
“Our universities are failing at the task of educating students in the habits of a free mind. Instead, they are becoming islands of illiberal ideology and factories of moral certitude, more often at war with the values of liberal democracy than in their service.”
→ It must also be reckoned that Blank’s campus has been pumping critical race groupthink into Wisconsin’s K-12 schools through its School of Education and its multifarious grievance studies departments.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: In his hagiography of his hero, Paul Fanlund dares not print the name Fredric March or Chamberlin Rock. The editor and publisher of The Capital Times is no Edward R. Murrow.