Mob of Yale Students Scream Profanities about Halloween Costume Insensitivity

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A Halloween message signed by 13 college administrators asked Yale students to be sensitive about the costumes they chose, so as not to demean, alienate or “impact” any groups or individuals.

But when the associate Master (faculty head) of one of the dorms on campus, early childhood educator Erika Christakis, wrote her own note to students suggesting that maybe we don’t want the authorities deciding what costume is or is not sensitive enough, you’d think she’d endorsed genocide.

Students, hundreds of them, insisted they  longer felt “safe.” They protested. They screamed. They demanded her ouster,  even though in her letter, Christakis bent over backwards to say that she knows that the costume guidelines came from “a spirit of avoiding hurt and offense.” What’s more:

I laud those goals, in theory, as most of us do. But in practice, I wonder if we should reflect…on the consequences of an institutional (which is to say: bureaucratic and administrative) exercise of implied control over college students.

…As a former preschool teacher…it is hard for me to give credence to a claim that there is something objectionably “appropriative” about a blonde-haired child’s wanting to be Mulan for a day….

Even if we could agree on how to avoid offense – and I’ll note that no one around campus seems overly concerned about the offense taken by religiously conservative folks to skin-revealing costumes – I wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious… a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?

Answer: NO!

Over 700 angry Yalies (my alma mater) signed a petition saying that Christakis’ “offensive” letter “trivializes the harm done by these tropes” (stereotypes) and “invalidated” those hurt.

As the days passed, the outrage mounted, a until a mob surrounded Christakis’ husband, the sociologist/doctor/professor Nicholas. He is seen in this video being screamed at by a student swearing at him and insisting he and his wife step down, because their job is not to create an intellectual space, but a “safe space” for students.

It’s that “safety” idea that is so interesting, from a Free-Range Kids perspective.
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This video was taken by Greg Lukianoff, head of a group I love, FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), which has a long piece on the story. It’s fascinating. But what I keep trying to figure out is: Where is all this demand for “safety” coming from?

Could it be that in a society that has told young people and their parents that NOTHING is safe enough, students grow up actually believing this? Think of all the things we have dangerized. This month’s Parents Magazine tells parents to get rid of their wire laundry hampers — “they should be off-limits to kids: They’ve caused severe eye injuries.” Meantime, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently recalled 140,000 children’s sweatshirts because there was one report of one pull-tab falling off a zipper, thereby posing a “choking hazard.” There are towns that don’t let people vote into the schools anymore, for fear the voters could pounce on the kids, and local newspapers that no longer announce births, for fear this would lead to baby abductions. The common thread?

All these dangers are nearly non-existent.

There’s a difference between a real danger (a baby bottle filled with bleach) and a product or practice that could, very rarely and unpredictably, result in serious injury (a laundry hamper, a birth announcement, a zipper pull). But we keep insisting that there is no difference, and congratulating the authorities who refuse to acknowledge it.

When extraordinarily unlikely dangers are seen as enormous, immediate threats — threats that the experts, the universities and/or the government feel compelled to take action on — it’s quite possible we have bred a generation convinced that everything they encounter that is not an organic avocado (or organic avocado costume) is making them “unsafe.”

We know — we MUST know — that 140,000 sweatshirts with one defective zipper amongst them aren’t really dangerous. And we know — we MUST know — that a non-Asian dressing up as Mulan isn’t threatening an entire group of people, to the point where they are no longer “safe.” But even saying, “What’s the big deal?” is not allowed. Even “What’s the big deal?” could make someone, somewhere feel unsafe — because everything can.

I’m not positive it is a straight line between society’s obsession with far-fetched childhood dangers and the fear that leads to screaming college students racked with fury. But I am positive that when we grant credibility to non-existent threats, nothing and no one is safe.

How ironic. – L.

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Is anything "safe enough" after growing up in a danger-obsessed society?

Is anything “safe enough” after growing up in a danger-obsessed society?

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317 Responses to Mob of Yale Students Scream Profanities about Halloween Costume Insensitivity

  1. Colin Summers November 7, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

    This is a very difficult subject to get ahold of. There was, when I was in college in the mid-eighties, a big push for “political correctness.” Then a swing back the other way for a bit. It feels like the current “trigger warning” discussions (and similar things like the Halloween issue at Yale) is simply a pendulum swing.

    I wonder if a sociologist could connect the first push for political correctness to the rise in rights, including the eventual right to marry, for homosexual individuals.

    My son is in college now and there is a push for students to be allowed to choose their pronoun. That seems ridiculous to my parents, but I remember that my mother told stories of her father thinking it was silly that black people didn’t want to be called “colored” anymore. It is possible that progress *always* looks absurd to those it is important to. And it is possible that some of it is silly and will fall away naturally, like unused parts of our language.

  2. Jessica November 7, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

    This really takes “safety” to a whole new level. These kids have been taught that they shouldn’t even have to feel slightly uncomfortable. What happened to wanting to stretch, to take on challenges, or even just to try and see things from a different perspective? Sad times. It will be even sadder when the world throws the curve balls we all get thrown and they’re completely unable to cope.

  3. David Pomatti November 7, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

    Those “far-fetched childhood dangers and the fear that leads to screaming college students racked with fury” are displacements of a far deeper ambient fear, but they may be things at hand that people may be able to deal with and ‘feel safer’ in the process. In that, I think they are diversions–and I’ll get psycho-spiritual here–from the primal fear inherent in being an ego, a terminal and constantly threatened identity that is separate from others and surroundings. Focusing on dangers within the ego’s perception, though often a necessary survival mechanism (for the ego and its body), is ultimately like the deck-chairs-on-the-Titanic image: no amount of fixing them will save the ship.

    I would hope that Yale (alma mater, too) could teach students that their various per-sonas are fleshed-out costumes as well, and that existentially every day is Halloween. Really…costumes putting on costumes–another grand displacement!

  4. nona November 7, 2015 at 7:49 pm #

    I hate to say it, but ‘you’d think she’d endorsed genocide’ is a *really* poor choice of words here, considering that Native American cultures are so often the ones getting appropriated for cheap, tacky, and disrespectful Halloween costumes.

    I can’t comment on blonde six-year-olds wanting to dress as Mulan. I *can* comment on actual, legal adults (as most college students are) who think it’s fine to wear a war bonnet as a fun party accessory, or dress up as ‘sexy geisha girls’ that look nothing like actual geisha, or wear actual freaking *blackface* like it’s 1915 and not 2015. That’s what Yale students were being asked– not ordered, asked– to do. That’s not an unreasonable request. And yet, every year, people keep doing all those things.

    The easiest way to understand cultural appropriation is this: if something has a specific meaning and importance in a particular culture, people who don’t belong to that culture should not re-use that thing in ways that undercut its meaning or diminish its importance. Native American cultures that wear eagle feathers do so because they’ve earned them through good deeds or acts of bravery. I wouldn’t wear them on Halloween any more than I’d wear a Purple Heart; I haven’t earned either, and pretending to would be disrespectful.

    That’s not even touching on costumes that are just straight-up gross stereotypes, which are still much more prevalent than they ought to be.

    So, for a personal example: I’m Jewish. If I saw someone on the street wearing a tallit as a scarf, because they thought it was pretty, I’d be upset, because they were treating an object that has specific meaning to me with disrespect. And if I saw someone dressed up for Halloween as a 19th century stereotype ‘evil Jew’ with a fake hooked nose, I’d be livid. Especially if they were old enough to know better.

  5. James Pollock November 7, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

    The demand for “safety” and “safe spaces” on college campuses comes about because young people are still figuring out who and what they are, and they need some space to figure it out. (Whether it is incumbent on anyone else to honor their request remains an open question. But there’s nothing wrong with asking for, even demanding, that it be provided. People go to college to learn; some of them feel that they can’t learn if they are subject to (insert your choice of “oppressive measures to support the dominant paradigm” or “vigorous criticism” here, whichever fits your ideology).

    In some parts of academia, criticism is part of the process. If an engineering student designs a bridge which will fail, we (collectively) want this to be pointed out to them, and engineering students are prepared to face such criticism if they make mistakes. Over in the College of Liberal Arts, however, the delineation between right answers and wrong ones is usually MUCH murkier. This means the stakes are much, much lower. Make a mistake building a bridge, and the results in terms of human carnage and economic disruption can be huge. Make a mistake building a literary criticism of William Faulkner’s later works? Not so catastrophic. Oddly, the vitriol associated with discussion of social science and liberal arts are all out of proportion to their importance to the real world.

  6. James Pollock November 7, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

    I think there might be some overlap between two different things, as well… fuss over what costuming is acceptable for Halloween (and, to a lesser extent, costume parties the rest of the year.) and fuss over what costuming is acceptable for sports mascots. There’s been some change in the latter in recent years, with many teams changing away from mascots that have been shown to cause offense. There’s also been pushback against it (most notably, by the Washington Racialslurs professional football team, but some at the university level as well.) In general, we’ve become much more culturally sensitive, which has changed expectations.

    I am less troubled by the cultural appropriation of dressing up as another cultures’ heroes (“How DARE you dress as Superman! That’s offensive to Kryptonians!”) I’m also not convinced that using stereotypes, even offensive ones, is inherently bad… it depends on how they are used. I mean, there are certainly some costumes that are MEANT to offend, but if you start with the assumption that someone you don’t know didn’t mean to offend you, a lot of the anger can be dispensed with.

  7. nona November 7, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

    And actually, having thought about it a little more, there seems to have been a certain amount of people talking past each other here– or at least not understanding each others’ meaning.

    The original letter specifically cites blackface, ethnic stereotypes, and religious symbols as things to avoid. This reads to me as the administrators saying ‘please, for the love of Pete, do not make us do damage control on November 1st when someone inevitably posts a picture of students in blackface at a frat party.’ For some reason, Christakis read this and came away with ‘so you’re saying that tiny children can’t be the Disney princesses they want? Overreact much?’

    The student body, having correctly interpreted the first message, then read the second as ‘oh, blackface isn’t that big a deal! Let kids be kids! You know, incredibly racist kids!’ They were, rather understandably, not pleased.

  8. ebohlman November 7, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

    Lenore: I think you focused on the wrong free-range issue; the problem isn’t so much the attempts to protect kids from rare but serious dangers. Rather, it’s the attempts to protect kids from “ouchies”, disappointments, and hurt feelings. That’s what causes lack of resilience and the misinterpretation of discomfort as injury.

    Colin: The GLB rights movement generally didn’t use the tactics and assumptions of the “politically correct”/”social justice warrior”) crowd (IMHO it wouldn’t have been successful if it did). It wasn’t driven by “critical theory” (specifically the version known as Queer Theory). It didn’t treat Westboro Baptist as speaking for your average straight person. It didn’t assume bad faith on the part of people who showed no signs of bad faith.

    In fact the PC/SJW crowd by and large poo-poos accomplishments like marriage equality, equal military service, and abolition of sodomy laws, claiming that they only benefit “white males”. One SJW insisted that women had been completely locked out of the marriage equality movement (Edith Windsor might dispute that). I think the problem is that GLB equality was by and large a win-win, whereas self-styled revolutionaries (particularly the adolescent wannabe kind) need for everybody not sufficiently like them to lose.

    I specifically said “GLB” rather than “GLBT” because much (though not all) transgender activism is in fact driven by Theory, resulting in progress being slowed due to all the circular firing squads forming.

  9. BL November 7, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

    “A Halloween message signed by 13 college administrators asked Yale students to be sensitive about the costumes they chose, so as not to demean, alienate or “impact” any groups or individuals.”

    This makes me feel unsafe!

  10. Uly November 7, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

    So, wait. These young adults – teens, half of them – were self-advocating for the way they want their school to be run, and this is wrong? It would be better if they weren’t brave enough to stand up for themselves?

  11. Warren November 7, 2015 at 10:23 pm #

    nona,

    Get over yourself. If you are that easily offended, you need help. Part of living in a free society, is being able to understand that others have their rights to do things, and if you don’t like it, don’t look at it, don’t participate in it, or simply just leave. Your rights to participate do not trump others rights, just because you are of weak character.

    And that is what it comes down to. People of weak character, insecure of their being.

    As George Carlin was know to say many times, “Get over it, it is a f—–g joke.”. So sick and tired of people in general these days.

  12. nona November 7, 2015 at 10:34 pm #

    Warren, you missed a right. I also have the right to criticize bad behavior. If someone is too delicate to cope with criticism, maybe they should rethink the actions that draw it.

  13. nona November 7, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

    (and, seriously– I didn’t draw the Purple Heart comparison lightly. It is literally a Federal offense, punishable by jail time, to wear medals you didn’t earn. We don’t say that veterans need to toughen up and quit whining, or call them weak of character, when they get upset that someone’s wearing meaningful honors that they don’t deserve.)

  14. James Pollock November 7, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

    “It is literally a Federal offense, punishable by jail time, to wear medals you didn’t earn.”

    It’s not. The statute was overturned because it’s unconstitutional.

  15. nona November 7, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

    “The statute was overturned because it’s unconstitutional.”

    Is it? My mistake, then– I remembered it being enacted, but I must have missed the repeal. Still, it’s broadly agreed to be a dick move to claim honors you didn’t earn.

    –ah, I checked Wikipedia, and yup, the original 2005 act was overturned, but there’s a new version as of 2013 that still stands.

  16. K November 7, 2015 at 11:37 pm #

    So this has nothing to do with Halloween, but I’ve been stewing about it and figured this was the best place to vent.

    One day last week, my 11 year old fifth grader didn’t finish his homework so he had to do it before school in the morning. He took so long that his ride (his father takes him and his sister on his way to work) left, and I refused to drive him, so he walked the half mile to school. We live in a large city, with lots of traffic, but there are sidewalks and he’s been crossing the street on his own for years now.

    Apparently he walked into class (late) and announced that he walked, and it was a huge deal with his friends. His teacher suggested to me that I look into the legality of a kid his age walking to school alone and when I scoffed, she said the people from “safety city” which operates in my city and is supposed to teach kids how to be safe, those people say a kid shouldn’t even begin to learn to cross the street alone until age 10. Which is absurd. Absurd.

    I googled it and sure enough, other groups dedicated to this sort of thing (one is called safe routes) have the same reccomendation.

    Is it me or do other people find this ridiculous too? Maybe it’s a city/suburbs thing? As city residents, we walk everywhere. Blocks here are only about .05 miles long so you have to cross the street to go anywhere. The idea that a ten year old isn’t capable of that just blows my mind.

    Incidentally, my boy wants to make walking to school a regular thing. I’m fine with that, as long as he agrees to be nice to his sister (9 years old this month) on the way.

  17. Barry Lederman November 7, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

    What makes me feel unsafe is the mob mentality in this video.

  18. Abigail November 8, 2015 at 12:26 am #

    I second Barry’s statement. Nothing safe feeling about screaming at people.

    This is a FR issue – imagine a hypothetical child raised in a situation where racism just didn’t exist. That kid grows up, gets to dress up and decides to be the female lead in Disney’s The Frog Princess. Guess what, that’s not racist just because historically blackface has been another not so subtle slap. It isn’t even blackface, it’s a costume.

    Assuming there is a negative where there isn’t one is what makes this a FR issue. We need to speak up about efforts to turn the viewer’s fears into our own.

    Costumes arise from a fascination of another’s cultures as much as anything else. And the sexualization of them is unsurprising given trends in general. But don’t any of you wear a suburban housewife costume next year. I’ll be so offended.

  19. James Pollock November 8, 2015 at 1:40 am #

    “don’t any of you wear a suburban housewife costume next year. I’ll be so offended.”

    Freddie Mercury did in about 1981. … and, YouTube has a content warning on it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4Mc-NYPHaQ

    But also doesn’t.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kee9Et2j7DA

    And the Monty Python guys were doing in in the 1960’s.

  20. James Pollock November 8, 2015 at 1:45 am #

    “Still, it’s broadly agreed to be a dick move to claim honors you didn’t earn.”
    Maybe.
    When some movie actor plays a military hero in a movie or a play, and they put on a uniform that has some fruit salad on it, that’s not.

    “the original 2005 act was overturned, but there’s a new version as of 2013 that still stands.”
    The new one covers about .5% of what the first one does, and notably, does not attempt to criminalize wearing military medals not earned. (It criminalizes attempts to profit from claiming to have earned medals not actually awarded… which was already illegal.)

  21. Commenter November 8, 2015 at 2:37 am #

    LENORE! This is extremely inappropriate! The pits in organic avocados are extremely dangerous. The points are sharp and the pit itself is a choking hazard.
    How DARE you downplay the dangers of organic avocados? I DEMAND that you step down and shut down this website IMMEDIATELY before you cause irreparable harm. /s

  22. Jens W. November 8, 2015 at 3:44 am #

    @nona:

    I see where you are coming from, but I think that e.g.by wearing a ‘General Patton’ costume one does not reasonably pretend to actually have earned all those honors that are displayed as ribbons on the uniform.

    I think that wearing a ‘Chief Geronimo’ costume therefore is just as legit. One may even add an educational aspect to it by pointing out how those feathers are pretty much the same as the ribbons on modern uniforms, each with a distinct meaning.

  23. lollipoplover November 8, 2015 at 5:35 am #

    The video is truly disturbing. “Be quiet!” and “Who the f*%k hired you” as “dialogue” in a safety conversation when this mob is verbally threatening a professor on campus. How can professors feel *safe* walking on campus when subject to this type of abuse?

  24. Sodium11 November 8, 2015 at 8:30 am #

    Burgwell’s original email was entirely unobjectionable, and was not in any way inconsistent with principles of free speech. It did not announce a policy that required anyone to do anything. It encouraged people not to wear racially insensitive costumes. Uh…good? What’s the problem here?
    Erika Christakis’s email, conversely, was rather silly. Nobody was trying to “control” what people were wearing, and her argument that these emails didn’t give students the appropriate space to be “offensive” and “obnoxious” was extraordinarily unconvincing on the merits, not least because it ignores both the asymmetrical effects of racist Halloween costumes, particularly in the context of Yale’s still ongoing issues of racial inequity. (The detail that the university still has a building named after John Calhoun is instructive.)
    The context of the allegedly racially exclusionary frat party is also very important.
    Calling on someone to resign, whether right or wrong, is free speech.
    I don’t think Christkis’s email was a firable offense, and I don’t agree with all of the reaction against it. But it is certainly worthy of substantial criticism.

    (Excellent analysis of this issue from Lawyers Guns Money blog.)

  25. ALM November 8, 2015 at 8:35 am #

    It seems that Yale is missing an opportunity to teach its students how to respectfully debate. This young woman is threatening, insulting, and in her rage has completely lost her capacity to convince anyone of her point. Her demeanor is closer to a toddler having a tantrum than a student at an ivy league university with a valid complaint.

    Since when is it a university’s job to create a cocoon for students to avoid the harsh realities of being a human?

  26. Lisa November 8, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    I don’t know this is all over the place for me. Personally, it ‘feels like’ to me anyway, that it was a bunch of Yalies trying to over-intellectualize something, which didn’t need to be. Get mad about Syria, get mad about 20% of American children not having enough food…but to get mad over a Halloween costume issue??

    A friend of mine let her son dress as a homeless person with a “will work for candy” sign and seeing the photos on fb made me uncomfortable and squirmy in my seat. I don’t like it, I felt it makes light of the situation and I have worked with many homeless families in the past. My point is, this is a good person, a good family…so sometimes even a notice about “remember to be sensitive” will go unnoticed. Some people need direct instruction. Or, is it me who is being too sensitive? Would his costume have made homeless people feel unsafe, if they saw hime? I don’t know. I know that just because it makes me uncomfortable, I don’t need to write an editorial in the local paper asking everyone to be more sensitive next year. I have however, written several editorials asking people to avoid Pennhurst, the former asylum-turned-Halloween attraction.

    Ok, I am rambling…but in a not so succinct way, yes, there probably is a correlation to over protection and this behavior. Then again, some people need protections. I’d love to say “just let society judge and work it out” but society has rewarded people (Donald Trump) for outrageous and racist behavior. You might get shunned if you wear black face to a Halloween party, but he gets an SNL spot for making disparaging comments about Mexicans.

    And the truth lies somewhere in between.

  27. andy November 8, 2015 at 11:42 am #

    @nona The 2015 America is probably the only country and time where something like “cultural appropriation” is seen as racist. Anywhere else in the world, people are happy when foreigners gets inspired by their culture. Even Americans themselves do everything possible to broadcast their own culture around the world. (I do not complain about that.) Other using something our is universally seen as a good thing.

    The idea that keeping foreign influences away is somehow anti-racism and show of respect is ridiculous. It was always racists and nationalists that tried to keep cultures pure. “Do not bring their stuff over here” pretending to be an anti-racist projects is insult to intelligence and history or pretty much everywhere.

  28. John La Fontaine November 8, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    There is nothing healthy about stoking the inherent latent narcissism in young folks. Failure to challenge their self consuming victim blathering is not doing them a favor

    Teach your children and young adults to focus on things outside of themselves. Claiming special status by focusing on real or perceived unfairness is not a good character trait. When it becomes habit, it leads to a life filled by disappointment and bitterness. In summary “get over it”.

  29. dancing on thin ice November 8, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    Rather than objecting to political correctness, we might consider the selective outrage, from all sides, against things we don’t agree with. When it comes to ethnic portrayals it often is selective as to which ones are objected to such as against native American imagery for sports teams but Tomahawk, Comanche or Black Hawk are acceptable for weapons. Let’s seek a reasonable balancing of sensitivity towards others while not being offended for merely asking to consider others?

    I worked for many years at a large nightclub frequented by Yalies. There were a few creative halloween costumes over the years of questionable taste. Usually when they bordered on ethnic stereotypes they tended to be done with a sense of humor.

    For example, a South American costume of the coffee mascot Juan Valdez complete came with a live donkey. The people most offended by it were the barbacks having to clean up afterwards.

  30. Farrar November 8, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    I just don’t think this is a free range issue. I see the connection you’re trying to make between the concept of “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” and I think there’s some vague overlap there, but this piece just goes too far. I don’t think the behavior of the college students was very mature or useful in how they talked about this, but their point that it’s offensive to dress up as other races for Halloween is a real point, I’m glad it’s being made. I don’t think it infringes on my ability to raise my kids free range to also raise them to think about being sensitive to cultural differences. I think this piece just undermines the good points you usually make.

  31. Pophouse November 8, 2015 at 11:52 am #

    This doesn’t seem hard to me. Some people asked other people to be sensitive. That is absolutely fine to do. Another person said that people can be free, as if they weren’t. Then it went off the rails with people claiming the freedom advocate was doing something wrong. I guess they don’t have any real problems to deal with, so things got out of hand a bit, but at the end of the day, so what? Is there really anything less scary than a mob of Yale students? Even if I imagine the over-privileged effetes with pitchforks and torches it still doesn’t conjure any proper Halloween fear.

    On another note — if one attends Yale is it always required to mention your attendance there any time that school is mentioned?

  32. lollipoplover November 8, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    I volunteered for the Halloween parade/party at our elementary school. Every year, parents are reminded to have costumes with no weapons or super scary/gory. Volunteers help the kids with their costumes (though this class of 4th graders needed very little- I only helped Wonder Woman tighten her headband).

    The teacher was annoyed because even though she also sent an email to the class about no scary costumes, 3 kids had very scary ones and a ninja had weapons she really wanted to hold in the parade. I told the ninja she was just as stealth and scary without the weapons. After asking the other kids in the class if the “questionable” costumes were scary, they said no, they’ve seen them at all of the Halloween stores and many other kids were also wearing them. No one got a case of butthurt and the parade and party were awesome, scary costumes and all.

    I’m more offended by the Yale students offensive and rude language than the ignoramus who dresses in black face. Have a respectable dialogue about issues that are actually important. Tackle the gender inequities that offer girl costume choices like slutty candy corn witches and boys as police officers and superheroes.

  33. Richard November 8, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    Sodium11, there may be a range of opinions both about the original message and Christakis’ response to it. If the original message was intended just as a reminder to think about a costume before putting it one, why was it signed by so many administrators. In any event, the full response by Christakis–which basically asks whether the administration should be involved in decisions about Halloween costumes, is not a threat but a discussion of appropriate college policy. When college students claim that the chief function of the university should be to provide a “safe” place where opposing views are silenced in the interest of creating a space where the student’s views will go unchallenged, the administration should respond that they appear to be looking for some other kind of residential facility. Unfortunately, we are seeing college administrators too often carry on the approach started by parents–my snowflake (or our children) are so vulnerable that they should be protected from exposure to the kind of discussion represented by this particular e-mail exchange. It’s frightening that at least some of these students think that being unable to sleep or concentrate is a response to the exchange which should be respected and catered to rather than treated (either with a strong dose of common sense or by mental health professionals-depending on the specific person involved).

  34. Kenny Felder November 8, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

    I just posted a link to this entry on my FB. I try not to do that too often so people don’t get sick of it, but this is such a perfect example, Lenore, of why you are my hero of common sense.

  35. Ron Skurat November 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

    I’m a Yalie too (Stiles ’87). I’ve never been a huge donor, but I stopped all contributions about two years ago precisely because of this sort of nonsense, aided & abetted by the administration. I’ve also cut all ties to Connecticut College, where I was an instructor, over the Pessin affair earlier this year.

    Mind you, this sort of behavior comes from a small minority of campus activists, but why fellow students and the administration fail to point out the idiocy of these people only underlines the save-my-job-at-any-costs attitude of the corporate education model.

    I was hoping my nephew might go to Yale, but I’ll be sure to steer him clear.

  36. Greg November 8, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    1. I’m going to take a moment to reflect on the absurdity of a college, a degree-granting institution of higher learning, bothering AT ALL on telling ADULTS (yes, most in college are 18+) to be sensitive, or not to be so sensitive, about Halloween costumes. These institutions must be completely lacking for real problems, and thus reaching for something, anything, to show concern about. However…

    2. If a school/college has some kind of official school-sponsored function and they wish to issue guidelines on what costumes may or may not be worn, that is their business, and those of us not the business of education should stay out of it. As referenced in an earlier comment, elementary school children, when they are allowed to costume for school functions, are routinely barred from “scary” costumes or mock weapon props. I am VERY grateful my son’s elementary school has no costume ANYTHING for Halloween.

    3. Halloween has to be the most overrated, most overhyped, ridiculous holiday of the US calendar, and that is saying a lot in the face of Christmas.

  37. Reziac November 8, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    The Yale logo is threatening, demeaning, and triggering to people who didn’t grow up speaking Latin.

    Oh wait, I forgot, it culturally appropriates Hebrew as well.

    /sarcasm

  38. Reziac November 8, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

    Hey, kids… if you think Yale is so unsafe… DON’T GO TO YALE.

  39. Floyd Stearns November 8, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    Hi Lenore,

    A most interesting article…as always.

    I’m certainly not an expert on these things, but I agree with your final statement, which sums it up perfectly:

    “But I am positive that when we grant credibility to non-existent threats, nothing and no one is safe.”

    Seems that this whole “safety” issue is terribly out of control. These kids have been brought up under these beliefs and it just snowballs as illustrated by this mob scene.

    Will common sense ever return?

    Take care, Floyd

  40. Christopher Byrne November 8, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

    Where is freedom of expression? If someone wants to be an insensitive jerk and dress in a costume that’s inappropriate, then you look at them as a jerk, shrug and move on.

    These kids are going to have to learn that there’s a lot in the world that will offend them. I, for one, am offended by over-privileged children who try to exert control over other’s expression for some abstract impression that someone dressed as a classic Native American is endorsing genocide.

    At $60K a year for school, don’t they have better things to do than parade their tender egos around the campus and torment faculty. They are as offensive as the notion that these young adults can’t make their own decisions and need to be protected at every turn.

    Good luck with life, kids.

  41. Mark Sullivan November 8, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    Snotty little entitled facist… alas, poor Yale…

  42. Ross Andrews November 8, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

    “I’m not positive it is a straight line between society’s obsession with far-fetched childhood dangers and the fear that leads to screaming college students racked with fury. But I am positive that when we grant credibility to non-existent threats, nothing and no one is safe.”

    Regardless – The origin for both is fear. So how do we combat fear? By empowering our kids to be self-sufficient, confident, and resilient.

    Great article Lenore!

  43. Puzzled November 8, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    The line that really got me was the girl screaming that they want safe space, not intellectual space. It appears Yale was lacking for students who care to learn anything – actually, it appears that students who weren’t admitted, and actually do care to go to school and learn, have something to be offended about.

    Let’s talk about safe spaces, shall we? Can I get a safe space, a space where I won’t be fired if I slip up on someone’s non-obvious pronoun? If a professor saying that the administration shouldn’t tell grown-ups what to wear on Halloween makes the students unsafe, why doesn’t constant fear for my job make me unsafe?

    For those who say this has nothing to do with free range, first, it’s Lenore’s blog to put what she wants on. Second, though – how do you think these students got to the point of thinking it’s a good idea to go to Yale and demand not to be exposed to ideas they disagree with? How do you think we got to the point where Yale students can’t form a coherent argument, and just scream at their professors to shut up and do as the mob tells them? I would suggest it might have something to do with the way our culture is raising its kids.

    This type of thing is not just an annoyance, and we can’t write it off as “campuses are crazy.” Yes, they are – but campuses are also the intellectual center of a culture. Ours is rotting.

  44. James Pollock November 8, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

    “When college students claim that the chief function of the university should be to provide a “safe” place where opposing views are silenced in the interest of creating a space where the student’s views will go unchallenged…”

    Keep in mind that a university is two things… it is both a place where education happens (or not), but it is also where some (most?) of the students live, as well. The notion that someone should feel safe in their home is not a new one.

  45. Amanda November 8, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    @Richard, who wrote:

    “In any event, the full response by Christakis–which basically asks whether the administration should be involved in decisions about Halloween costumes, is not a threat but a discussion of appropriate college policy.”

    EXACTLY!!!!!!!

    Can I re-quote the most important part again:

    “is not a threat but a discussion of appropriate college policy”

    and the most important part of that:

    “discussion”

    I can’t thank you enough for pointing this out. What she was asking for was DIALOGUE. A conversation. A discussion.

    She asked for discussion and got screamed at. And now they want her fired because she didn’t apologize enough or in the right way.

    All for asking for a discussion. All for saying “Can we maybe talk about this?”

    Furthermore, you wrote:

    “When college students claim that the chief function of the university should be to provide a “safe” place where opposing views are silenced in the interest of creating a space where the student’s views will go unchallenged, the administration should respond that they appear to be looking for some other kind of residential facility.”

    I cannot agree more. And you said it very well.

  46. Rook November 8, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    There are Christmas decorations and music up everywhere and people are still bitching about Halloween. Good grief… People just really need to get a grip on themselves. I see people prancing around dressed up as somebody from my culture and heritage on Halloween, but I don’t have a come-apart over it. Because it’s done in FUN, not MAKING FUN. Kind of an important difference there that today’s society is too stupid to grasp it seems.

  47. Andrea November 8, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    We’re doomed.

  48. James Pollock November 8, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    “Where is freedom of expression?”
    It’s everywhere in this story. Some of the people might have been better off with a little more thinking before they did their expressing, I don’t see anyone who’s been prevented from expressing freely.

    “If someone wants to be an insensitive jerk and dress in a costume that’s inappropriate, then you look at them as a jerk, shrug and move on.”
    Or you ask them politely not to be a jerk. Or maybe even ask them if they actually meant to be insensitive, or not, and if not, you give them advice on how not to be an insensitive jerk. (Just expecting people to not be insensitive jerks without telling them how not to be insensitive jerks is a recipe for unhappiness.)

  49. Shelly Stow November 8, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    Someone needs to tell these kids–and some of the adults also–that they do not have the right to never be offended. What happened to, “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”?

  50. Amanda November 8, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    @James

    “The notion that someone should feel safe in their home is not a new one.”

    I feel safe in my home when I believe nobody is going to break in and steal my things or murder my family. The fact that my neighbors are born-again Fundamentalists, or that the neighbors behind me think I’m going to burn in hell because I put up Halloween decorations — knowing this shouldn’t make me feel “unsafe” if I’m mentally healthy. I have to live with differing opinions. I think they’re as wrong as I know they think I am.

    As a woman, I’m well aware of the mens rights idiots. I don’t feel safe knowing those people exist so we should immediately put an end to their freedom of expression because of my perceived lack of safety. ???

  51. Puzzled November 8, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    If anyone is looking for the moment that higher education died:

    Holloway wrote an email to campus Thursday, saying he was moved by students’ “profound pain.”

    “Let me be unambiguous, I am fully in support” of the e-mail urging students to avoid offensive costumes, he wrote: “We need always to be dedicated to fashioning a community that is mindful of the many traditions that make us who we are.”

  52. James Pollock November 8, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

    “I can’t thank you enough for pointing this out. What she was asking for was DIALOGUE. A conversation. A discussion.
    She asked for discussion and got screamed at.”

    If what you want is a discussion with the administration, why send messages to students?

    I see plenty of blame here for almost everyone to get some. I don’t find any in the original message… “please think about whether your costume might offend somebody, and, in case you don’t know, here’s some help to figure out if it might.”
    Treating that message as a heavy-handed command of what is allowed and what is not allowed? That’s not right.

    Screaming at people who dare to say something you don’t like? That’s blameworthy, too.

    Finally, treating the actions of a group of angry people as representative of everyone similarly situated? That ain’t right, either.

    For all I know, the Yale students have been fed up with this lady for a long time, for legitimate grievances, and this was just the trigger event, the straw that broke the camel’s back. For all I know, she’s done excellent and tireless work, and these students are just a bunch of self-righteous snots. The truth is PROBABLY somewhere in between (or they could both be true!)

  53. Donna November 8, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

    Personally, I think that it is offensive to dress in black face, native american costume and the like. I do not think favorably of anyone who dresses in those types of costumes for Halloween. I have no problem telling someone dressed in that fashion that I find their costume offensive and would likely reconsider friendships with people who would pick those costumes.

    The issue is not in finding offense in these costumes. I hope that the majority of people do find them offensive. The issue is the insistence you have some right to demand that other people not offend you. You can certainly make a determination as to what you think about people based on their desire to dress on these types of Halloween costumes, but you have no place trying to place limits on how they want to express themselves on Halloween. It is their right to dress however they want and to then suffer the consequences of that choice.

  54. JJ November 8, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    Can anyone comment on whether this need for safety from ideas on campus (trigger warnings, safe spaces for students who encountered ideas contrary to their own, protection from costumes) is primarily at elite universities? Or is it also happening at non-elite colleges (state universities,etc.)?

  55. James Pollock November 8, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    “As a woman, I’m well aware of the mens rights idiots. I don’t feel safe knowing those people exist so we should immediately put an end to their freedom of expression because of my perceived lack of safety. ???”

    You don’t have to let them into your home to spout their crap, though, do you? If someone comes in your house and spouts that stuff, so you tell them to leave… would you expect to take crap from other people about how you have to be open to all the ideas that are out there in the real world?

    Is there freedom of expression that badly harmed by not being allowed to come into your home to do their expressing?

    Can you not tell the difference between “you can’t express that opinion here” and “you can’t express that opinion”?

    The university, in its role as your school, should be trying to help you learn, which means, among many, MANY other things, dealing with people who disagree. The university, in its role as your landlord, should be providing a place where you can retreat from that when you choose to do so.

  56. James Pollock November 8, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    “Can anyone comment on whether this need for safety from ideas on campus … is primarily at elite universities? Or is it also happening at non-elite colleges”?

    “safe spaces” have been around for decades, and at state universities, too.
    The one I went to has a native American longhouse, a Latino cultural center, an asian and pacific islander cultural center, a black cultural center, and a women’s cultural center, which all existed at least as far back as when I went there in the 1980’s. They have a pride center, too. And apparently they now have something called “Ettihad Cultural Center”.

    “trigger warnings” have been around for a long time, too… what’s new is the suggestion that there should be a policy requiring them rather than leaving it to the instructor’s prerogative.

  57. Alanna November 8, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    Are any of these college students aware that some of use might find their language offensive? Do they know that anyone walking by on the campus and hearing this screaming might feel unsafe especially if the person did not know what they were screaming about?

    My Chinese daughter dressed as a princess one Halloween. Was she offending someone because she did not dress as a Chinese princess but in more of a European style? Would a Chinese girl dressed as a little princess make some white person feel unsafe? I really don’t get it. No one seemed offended by her costume, and she won a prize.

  58. Dave November 8, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    You’re missing the big change: there are ONLY subjective standards of emotion now, both logic and objectivity have been completely dismissed. That anyone might feel unsafe is therefore the ultimate proof of being wrong. Note I didn’t say thet actually felt unsafe, empiricism is dismissed, too. All that is required is that the potential for feeling unsafe.

    It is the logical conclusion of relativistic morality.

  59. ChicagoDad November 8, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    When my parents were in college, they lived in married student housing in old quonset huts that had been built after WWII for returning vets. A vet himself, my father used the GI bill to pay for school, but nearly everyone he went to basic training with had been killed or injured in Vietnam. One of my parents’ best friends in college was a POW for almost two years, if I remember correctly.

    I know people who can recount what happened in every month of 1968, from assassinations to major riots, to the Chicago DNC debacle. It was such a tough, brutal year that it was etched in to the memories of some people,

    The generation before had it even worse: WWII, economic depression, polio outbreaks, etc.

    When my wife and I got married, we had this rescue dog that would freak-the-hell out when we’d leave her alone. Once, she broke a window once to get outside and bled enough to make our place smell like a slaughter house. The dog survived and just needed stiches. The vet said that dogs had spent millenia working for their keep–hunting, finding shelter, scaring off bigger predators. Now, dogs don’t have to work for anything and some dogs (especially rescued strays) just can’t handle it. Those dogs just go nuts with anxiety because there are no real challenges to overcome in their daily lives.

    A lot of safety and a lot of fear can make a person do crazy things. A little hardship and a lot of confidence can help a person be resilient in life, even if that means overcoming the danger involved in reading and disagreeing with a faculty email about Halloween costumes.

  60. Melissa November 8, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    This is terrible. We are in a terrible state. I think the problem has resulted from a number of sources. Sure, helicopter parenting can be one of them, where parents constantly make sure their sweet cherub is safe from any number of real or imaginary fears, offenses, slights, or other torturous emotional trauma (snark). But another thing has GOT to be the ever presence of the internet. I has to be. People have become so completely self absorbed, and have this pathological NEED to turn the hurt that others feel into their own. Even if this means making up supposed traumas. We have become a society of victims, and this is wholly encouraged on a national scale, internet style. People become famous for being insulted by something. Everyone is insulted or offended by something. Because if you aren’t, it’s almost like you aren’t participating in modern life. What is there to talk about except some article we read about something ridiculous that stirs up conflict, and we take sides, and we argue about why our offense is greater than the offense others feel. Even in this comment thread, there are multiple examples of people starting their comment with what offends them. And I think that at least some of these comments were meant ironically, but they became real when people then outlined something in their recent lives which offended them. We are all so offended by everything. I am not offended by Halloween costumes. They are make-believe. Can people not understand that? They are not real, are likely not representative of the wearer, and are for fun. Sometimes (gasp) the whole point of a Halloween costume is TO offend, and that’s ok too. Someone else’s costume does not threaten your personal safety. Someone else’s ideas do not threaten your personal safety. None of these things create an environment in which a “safe space” is needed. People need to stop internalizing all this external stimuli and making it their own personal struggle. But again, we are bombarded by messages of hate, racism, intolerance, etc regularly in the media. It is presented as “news”, when it really shouldn’t be. Even this story shouldn’t really have an audience outside of those immediately affected, but in our wonderful age of constant internet presence, here we are debating this issue, and discussing all the reasons that we should or should not be offended by everything. I think it’s sad that our society has done this to our young adults, that we’ve created an entire generation of hysterical, narcissistic, entitled, and coddled people. I surely hope the pendulum swings at least a little bit back the other way before my daughter reaches college age.

    PS: remember when college students hated administration? When they distrusted all authority and raged against the machine? It sounded to me like the professor was stating that the admin should not be telling adult students what to wear for Halloween, that it should be decided by the wearer, and all hell broke loose. I’m quite sure that if admin had told students what not to wear for Halloween 40-50 years ago the students would’ve revolted against them and made sure to wear the most offensive costume possible. (Not only that but students back then had bigger fish to fry than worry about costumes). Students now embrace authority, and look to them as extensions of parent-figures. Is this because they have been so wholly coddled that even as young adults they need a mommy and daddy to help make their boo-boos better?

  61. Melissa November 8, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

    And also, young adults make a lot of questionable choices, and college students are no exception. Being a student at Yale doesn’t mean that you are somehow more mature than any other student anywhere else. I’m sure we can all think back to an occasion where we made a huge deal about something that we ended up being embarrassed about. I know I have. Luckily I did all my stupid stuff before the internet was so omnipresent so there is no record of my heinous behavior except in the recesses of my memory. The fact that everything gets recorded and posted to the internet these days is beyond infuriating to me. This could’ve been a moment where this girl has a bad day, goes off on a professor, but in a couple months people have forgotten about it and she can live out her life with this as just a terrible memory. But not now! Now she’s being talked about and criticized all over the internet where strangers can dissect her every move and engage in critical analysis of how she came to be that way what this means for the future of America. Honestly. How truly terrible to be growing up in this day and age. Maybe another reason kids are so neurotic these days?

  62. LGB November 8, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    This is yet another case of privilege gone awry. The nation’s brightest minds and fattest wallets are roaming those campus grounds. Anyone who can turn an offensive Halloween costume into the epitome of human suffering has obviously never witnessed real human suffering. The world would be a drastically better (and safer!) place if a fraction of this moral outrage were directed toward human traffickers or countries turning away helpless refugees.

    By the way, here is their official Pinterest board of acceptable and appropriate Halloween costumes. https://www.pinterest.com/yalecces/halloween-costume-ideas/

    If I had more time on my hands and a snarkier wit, I’d go through an comment below different costumes about how outraged and unsafe I feel to see them condoning the the gender-oppressive I-Love-Lucy, or the woman’s body objectified into a man’s Gameboy to, and I quote, “really push his buttons.”

    Just scream “unsafe!” and—poof!–instant witch hunt!

  63. LGB November 8, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

    Two years ago, both black and white students at a Georgia high school banded together to challenge an age-old but unquestioned tradition of segregated proms. Thanks to their tireless efforts, Wilcox County High School finally celebrated its first-ever interracial prom. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/04/bridging-the-divide-wilcox-county-high-school-students-hold-first-integrated-prom/

    Mississippi students celebrated a similar success: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91371629

    Notice how they instigated change. They didn’t run whining and cursing to administrators about how unsafe they felt. They didn’t sign petitions demanding that anyone be fired. They didn’t do anything to underscore their own martyrdom and victimization.

    They simply leaned on the strength of their moral convictions and took an unjust matter into their own hands. They put their outrage to positive, productive use. They combated racism and enjoyed a smashing fabulous prom. If I do half as well at raising my children as their parents did raising them, I can call myself a good mother. 🙂

  64. Diana Auerhammer November 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

    You know. This is very interesting because in the world of psychotherapy we know that others cannot cause our emotions. Our emotions are generated by our own chosen interpretation of the events around us. Placing feelings of being “unsafe” in the hands of other people’s Halloween costumes certainly contradicts what we do know about the source of emotions. I’m not buying the complaint about feeling unsafe that these students claim to be experiencing. These young people are looking at a long, hard, life of frustration if they continue to think the world has to change so they can be happy, or…..feel safe.

  65. Wendy November 8, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    I spend my life trying to help bullied kids and their parents. But this- this entitlement of “if anyone can be offended by it, then it can’t ever happen” is making me a little nuts. (No offense to mentally ill people)

    I live in Connecticut. I was watching the news last night when I heard people were offended that there was a party that only white girls were invite. The African American society was pissed off there was a party that they were no black people invited to. So here’s the thing- if there was a party, and black women were told’ You can’t come- we don’t want your kind here- I’ll be there with a sign to help you picket. But if there was simply a party where the people who were invited were white- get over it.

    We are making everything so damn politically correct that I’m scared for my kids and grandkids. What is this world coming to?

  66. Casey November 8, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    You know, I don’t think the email from college administrators to Yale students had anything to do with a white preschooler going as Mulan.

    I think it had to do with white college students (i.e. ADULTS) who dress up as “gangsters,” sometimes with blackface, in a country where black children are perceived as inherently violent and murdered by police.

    I think it had to do with white women who dress up as “Pocahotties” in skimpy “buckskins” when 1 in 3 Native women will be sexually assaulted in her LIFETIME.

    This isn’t about “names will never hurt me.” This is about encouraging a culture where white people are safer than people of color.

    If a preschool girl want to be Mulan, or Tiana, or Doc McStuffins, she can just put on the outfit. I don’t think any ethnic or racial group is claiming exclusive rights to Disney characters.

    This is incredibly tone deaf and tries to erase one of the reasons that your free range kids organization is mostly white people. Children of color face actual danger when being themselves in most American public spaces. Acting like this is just hysterical semantics is offensive.

  67. Donald November 8, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

    “What happened to wanting to stretch, to take on challenges, or even just to try and see things from a different perspective? Sad times. It will be even sadder when the world throws the curve balls we all get thrown and they’re completely unable to cope.”

    This really hit the nail on the head. These sad times won’t be only ‘sadder’ they will be dangerous. This danger is real! It isn’t imaginary. This real danger needs to be weighed up against the perceived danger. Many people are already doing that and are speaking out. (such as this blog) Unfortunately the world is slow to react.

    When the financial meltdown combines with the environmental problem (global warming will get much worse in the future) people will have more to think about then someone becoming offended because of a Halloween costume. All of us are in for tough times ahead and the creampuff generation will be hit very hard. (or more accurately, the creampuffs within that generation)

    Whether you think of them as creampuffs or having a legitimate complaint is not really the issue. There will still be bigger problems ahead for them to face.

  68. ChicagoDad November 8, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

    Jerks who dress like “gangstas” or “Pocahotties” probably aren’t going to read or follow a pleading missive from the Dean asking students to “avoid those circumstances that threaten our sense of community or disrespects, alienates or ridicules segments of our population based on race, nationality, religious belief or gender expression.” It is written in administration, CYA, bureaucratese. Would a jerk frat boy read those lines and think, “Gee, the Dean is right, I shouldn’t dress up like a “gangsta” for the Halloween frat party”?

    The administration isn’t promoting an actual safe, inclusive campus for students of color. It’s covering it’s own rear end and pretending to so it can mollify a group of activist students. If a fraternity or sorority throws an offensive-themed party, the administration wants something proactive-seeming in writing to counter the bad press.

    When administrations rely on tactics like these (memos about costume choices, canceling speakers due to differences in opinion, micro-managing student life, etc) it is worse than doing nothing about creating a safe, inclusive campus. It is window dressing that can allow the administration to avoid doing the real, difficult, evidence-based work to create a safe, inclusive, educational program that allows all of their students (people of color or not, cis or trans, gas or straight) to succeed in life and lead in their communities.

  69. Papilio November 8, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    I so don’t understand this whole thing…
    I mean, I would laugh SO HARD if some American college kid would show up at a Halloween party dressed like this! https://reversekulturshock.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/dutch-stereotypes.jpg

    And why would a white kid dressing up as Mulan be racism? Why do people assume that dressing up as someone of another race is meant to mock that race (right? Or is that not the issue?), whereas someone dressing up like, I don’t know, a nazi is assumed to agree with Hitler c.s.?
    And what’s wrong with a black face?? So if you’re a fan of Rihanna, you can’t dress up like her just because you’re white? What is the racism here?

    Re the Yale logo: I get the Latin, but I can’t read Hebrew. Someone help me please? 🙂

  70. Anna November 8, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    Nona: “If I saw someone on the street wearing a tallit as a scarf, because they thought it was pretty, I’d be upset, because they were treating an object that has specific meaning to me with disrespect. And if I saw someone dressed up for Halloween as a 19th century stereotype ‘evil Jew’ with a fake hooked nose, I’d be livid. Especially if they were old enough to know better.”

    It’s interesting that those examples are only hypothetical to you. I’m Catholic, and I see sexy nun and villainous monk costumes every Halloween, as well as people using crosses for decorative or even anti-Christian purposes. I do indeed find these things offensive – deeply so – but I wouldn’t want to institute a bureaucracy to police them.

  71. Donna November 8, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

    “And what’s wrong with a black face?? So if you’re a fan of Rihanna, you can’t dress up like her just because you’re white?”

    The true meaning of blackface is actual black makeup – shoe polish was popular – that actors would wear on stage in minstrel shows in order to depict highly exaggerated, racist portrayals of black people performed for white audiences. It was meant to be racist and demeaning to black people. Obviously, anything that would replicate these images would be considered highly offensive to black people.

    Less obvious is the notion that putting on brown makeup to turn white skin brown in order to portray a black character/person is also considered offensive. It just is. Contrary to Christakis assertion, there is no real outrage for white people dressing as a famous black person or character. You just kinda have to do it in your natural skin color.

  72. James Pollock November 8, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

    “It’s interesting that those examples are only hypothetical to you. I’m Catholic, and I see sexy nun and villainous monk costumes every Halloween”

    So the first step is to politely ask them to knock it off.
    Assume that the set of all people wearing outfits that are clearly “Catholics” has two subsets, those that are respectful and those that are not. I’m assuming that nobody objects to costumes that are respectful.
    Assume that the set of all people wearing costumes that are offensive to Catholics consists of two subsets… those who meant to be offensive to Catholics, and those who didn’t realize they were, in fact, offensive. You probably aren’t going to change the behavior of the first group, but you still have a chance with the second.

  73. The Gaul November 8, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

    all I can say is Americans are crazy, what is going on over there? …
    universities are supposed to be the hubs of intellectual debate not child like rants , how precious! and yes paternalism which I believe is what Erika Christakis was referring to , institutionalised paternalism, is dangerous and needs to be consciously understood to be what it is supposed to be, guidelines, not a policing system for peoples thoughts…….

  74. James Pollock November 8, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    “And what’s wrong with a black face?? So if you’re a fan of Rihanna, you can’t dress up like her just because you’re white?”

    If you’re TRYING to be offensive, you don’t do Rihanna in blackface, you do Rihanna in black-and-blue-face. (Not Recommended.)

  75. MiltonKeynes November 9, 2015 at 1:06 am #

    I don’t think it is just the current cohort in college that is over-sensitized to discomfort and danger, I think that this is true of the post-college crowd, into the early 30s age group. We’ve been coddling these kids for a couple of decades now, or more.

    One of the insidious and peculiar ways this kind of aversion to discomfort presents itself in the workplace is, I believe, ageism.

    It is a known fact these days, among age 35+ or age 40+ job seekers, that it is almost impossible to get a job in a workplace that has a large proportion of younger people. This is usually expressed in reject letters as “a lack of cultural fit” or some such.

    But mostly, it is just a euphemism for the discomfort of the young in working alongside people who are older and thus may be wiser. The discomfort is knowing that the older person in the next cubicle has perspective or experience that you are yet to come by.

    This is threatening and disquieting to the non-freerange generation.

    In the next decade or two, I bet you we will see all kinds of unanticipated and weird expressions of these kinds of programmed-in risk aversion in the world of adults in America, as today’s kids grow up and join the workforce and adult society.

  76. Esteban November 9, 2015 at 1:26 am #

    Wow. I saw the video. I can’t believe how rude the student was. (I’m Yale ’87.) I felt that, if anything, she was offensive, abusive, and threatening to the professor and he should not have had to listen to her. I’d have walked away. But she was an immature student in a public space with an audience. Perhaps she will learn to have a civil conversation in which she can make her points with logic and reason. Isn’t that the point of a university education? Her uncivil behavior obscures the point she was trying to make, which was otherwise a good one worth considering and even acting upon. People in deciding to wear holiday costumes should consider the sensitivities of others. It’s just polite and common sense.

  77. Abigail November 9, 2015 at 1:35 am #

    Hi Casey,

    Your message resonates because there is so much powerful truth to it. There are hard questions we need to ask, and you’ve succinctly addressed many.

    Something I’ve been stewing over – the mention of war medals. There is a difference between impersonating and a costume. You can dress up like a police officer for halloween, but don’t impersonate. A costume and blackface truly are different, both historically and currently.

    Now, the gender issue that no one has brought up (that I’ve noticed). Part of our offense is derived from the oversexualized caricatures. We should all be offended that our sons get costumes imitating and reminiscent of the character, profession, etc… but our girls will be forced to wear something that is literally a third of the real deal. Guess what? Female fire fighters wear the same stuff as the males. And so on and so forth.

    James Pollack – always 2 steps ahead…so let this be a warning, to truly offend me, you’ll need to dress as a sexy stay at home parent, with scanty workout clothes to shop Target before driving too fast thru crosswalks in either a minivan or SUV. Ah, let’s be inclusive – or a Subaru.

  78. hineata November 9, 2015 at 2:41 am #

    I’m Massey (class of ’88, and again of 2014)…means nothing but I just wanted to drop it in there. . What about you, Papilio?

    Education is what you make of it, and it seems to me that this particularly rude young woman is not making the most of what is supposedly a top-flight university. Hopefully she matures somewhat. Personally if I were that professor, I would have felt decidedly unsafe in that situation .

    @Warren – I was tempted to say that, given Canada’s record with its indigenous populations, it’s time you learnt some cultural sensitivity, but considering I come from a nation that produces (and thoroughly enjoys consuming) sweets that look like the babies of some indigenous groups in another part of the world, that would probably be a little hypocritical of me ☺.

  79. Wotan November 9, 2015 at 2:55 am #

    Nona, offense is taken, not given. The declaration of human rights doesn’t mention any “right to not be offended”. You’re saying the students are adults. So are you, which means you should be mature enough to understand that someone who wears a tallit (I had to Google what it was), a hooked nose or dresses up like Adolf Hitler isn’t doing so to upset/mock/offend you. There is a principle which says: “Actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea” (the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty”), try to follow it and the world will be a more peaceful place. Yes, people can be tacky and make poor choices, get over it. I don’t like looking at fat girls in leggings and I don’t write letters to rant about it.
    Moreover, I haven’t studied religious or cultures and I’m not obligated to be aware of everything that can have a specific meaning to someone. And the more multicultural the society becomes, the lower the chance that people will be aware of what’s important to others. The only way to prevent people from being offended by cultural differences is to let them live in culturally homogenous communities where all members of the community share the same beliefs and values. But this idea seems to be a big no-no today.

  80. Warren November 9, 2015 at 3:08 am #

    nona,

    If you are so sensitive that on a couple of nights a year, because costumes are not just for Halloween, that you get upset, offended or slighted at the sight of whatever, then you should just stay out of the public or get some help.

    This costume crap ranks right up there with all the BS going on over the Confederate Flag. Personally I think some students at Yale should band together, get into blackface to offend the blacks, dress like Mel Brooks to offend the Jewish, fly the Confederate Flag, while wearing a head dress full of eagle feathers, and march thru the campus eating egg rolls and tacos. While carrying signs saying, “For those communities we are not misrepresenting, we didn’t mean to leave you out, so we’ll piss you off next year.”.

    hineata,

    I have Algonquin blood on my Dad’s side. Learned to make drums from the son of a Haida Chief, and use to go hunting with Mohawk friends of mine. And any native that has an IQ over their shoe size, is like me, and doesn’t give a rat’s behind about the Washington Redskins, Chicago Blackhawks or people dressing up like Tonto going around and greeting each other with “Hau'”

    Like we have always said, they want to dress up that way, go for it. Just don’t expect us to dress up like Justin Trudeau or Donald Trump. You white folk are boring.

  81. sexhysteria November 9, 2015 at 3:23 am #

    When students were occupying NYU in the early 70s they shouted at anybody who ignored them. Even though I agreed with what they were demonstrating against, I couldn’t stand their arrogant insistence that all classes be boycotted by all students. American students haven’t made much progress in over 40 years, and none of the presidential candidates (except Trump!) has attacked political correctness.

  82. Roger the Shrubber November 9, 2015 at 7:58 am #

    The students’ complaints remind me of those of my sons, 9 and 7. Their complaints often revolve around not getting what they want or petty complaints that the other got something they didn’t. Their QED finale is ‘It’s not fair!’ I let them know that their skewed concept of fairness is not my concern and that they should get on with their life rather than obsessing about their marginally hurt feelings. The Yale administration should consider doing the same.

  83. Nicole R. November 9, 2015 at 8:07 am #

    1) Universities are supposed to expose you to new ideas, not protect you from them.

    2) Calm letters should be met with calm letters, not screaming mobs.

    3) We are guaranteed the pursuit of happiness, not protection from unhappiness.

    4) Restricting Halloween costumes by race is just as much segregation as restricting drinking fountains by race. Racism is not going to go away until we raise kids who AREN’T forced to think about it all the time.

  84. Lisa November 9, 2015 at 8:40 am #

    The girl in the video is behaving poorly (towards the wrong target!) but that doesn’t mean her concerns are unfounded. I believe the “safety” she talks about, and “home” is more about feeling comfortable and NOT marginalized than anything else. I really don’t think this is about the other stuff (which I largely agree with you about) that is being “dangerized”. I think Yale IS an elite institution with a very privileged and very white history. It is still living that history down, and for students of color, feeling safe, feeling understood, may be a very big thing. College IS home, usually for young people who have left home for the first time. Feeling welcomed/understood can be particularly a concern for students who might come from urban public schools or abroad, and could be experiencing a demographic like Yale’s for the first time. I think it can’t be forgotten that, for all that college students are adults, they are also still kids; and the administration of the university acts in loco parentis.

  85. lollipoplover November 9, 2015 at 8:53 am #

    “We are guaranteed the pursuit of happiness, not protection from unhappiness.”

    I can’t even type the words “costume insensitivity” without gagging at the offensiveness of words and time wasted arguing about DRESS UP.

    Is costume insensitivity not allowed for the wax museum/historical figure projects kids do in elementary school?
    My daughter dressed as Sacagawea last year. She insisted on a realistic costume, and tied one of her baby dolls around her with burlap as Sacagawea was a young mother. At around age 12, she was captured by an enemy tribe and sold to a French-Canadian trapper who made her his wife. She carried her baby on most of her expeditions, including with Lewis and Clark. A group traveling with a woman and a child were treated with less suspicion than a group of men alone.

    Come to think of it, this costume was completely insensitive to all victims of childhood sex abuse, sexual slavery, and teen pregnancy. Can we even teach history anymore if we cannot offend?

  86. andy November 9, 2015 at 9:50 am #

    @Lisa I find it fascinating that your expectations on elite universities students are so low, especially when compared with expectations placed on their working/unemployed peers (e.g. majority of youth). Their peers are expected to find a job, be useful there, find an apartment to live in, marry and live independent lives. Meanwhile, you write about elite students of the same age as if they were 7 years old and on their first parentless trip.

    Elite universities claim to pick future leaders students. That is why they do not choose students on academic results only, but add college essay, extracurricular activities and other nebulous lifestyle considerations. That is also why those colleges focus on well roundness, because they pretend to world you are future leaders.

    And somehow, you manage to expect less of this supposed elite then we normally expect from high school drop out.

    College is not supposed to be your parent and is not supposed to understand you. It is an impersonal institution that is supposed to educate you in your chosen major.

    If you are looking for an understanding place where you will grow up little bit, I suggest you leave your college place to someone who wants to learn and grew up already. Because I am pretty sure that America has ton of black kids who want to learn, are ready to learn and simultaneously grown up already.

  87. Doug November 9, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    Bottom line: There is no reason to send your child to Yale.

  88. pentamom November 9, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    “their point that it’s offensive to dress up as other races for Halloween is a real point, ”

    But it’s a silly point that ignores how the world really works.

    Kids don’t dress up as things in order to look stupid or inferior. They dress up in order to pretend be someone else for a day. What is offensive about pretending to be from a race or culture you’re not from? No actual real person I’ve ever met takes from a Halloween costume the message “the person I’m dressed up as is stupid” or “I’m better at being that kind of person when I’m dressed up, than those people actually are at it.” Nobody.

    So where’s the offense?

  89. Jana November 9, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    Andrea, I read the article. I might also feel “disadvantaged” due to my skin color. As a “caucasian” I cannot apply for any scholarship intended for Afro-Americans, Lations etc. Again, everybody insists on their rights nowadays, but as Immanuel Kant said: Your rights begin where mine end.

  90. Julie November 9, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    @John La Fontaine Slightly off topic but – THANK YOU!!!! Just the other day I was trying to put into words that very sentiment for my 13 year old daughter, but I was really having trouble saying it eloquently. I have printed off your statement to share with her.

    The topic that prompted the discussion was my 13 year old niece who has taken off into a bad direction on this front. A few examples…

    #1 – My little nephew had proudly opened the door for his older sister and cousin (my daughter) and beamingly said “Ladies first.” My daughter smiled and thanked him. My niece lectured him on how sexist that is.

    #2 – My niece was bragging how someone on her robotics team was “being sexist” and that she yelled at him and put him in his place. Somehow she wasn’t able to explain to me what this middle school boy had done that was so horrible. I tried to help her understand that her response to him was out of line and doesn’t help advance “women’s rights” – and that she had better practice now because it wouldn’t be acceptable in a workplace environment. She will just get herself labeled a b**** that people will avoid working with.

    My dd wants to study engineering or physics. She will surely sit for classes (as I did too) in which she is one of only a few females. She can see every statement and action as an affront and live a miserable life, or pick and choose her battles and find much more happiness.

    This isn’t to say that there aren’t times when behavior and actions are so egregious that one should stand up and say, “This is wrong.” But those situations are few and far between. Most of the time, we should just “get over it.”

    Again, thanks for putting it so well.

  91. nat philosopher November 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

    When you inject vaccine simulants into infant mice, they grow up crazy and defensive. (There are many other environmental toxins too.)

  92. Julie November 9, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

    @pentamom – “No actual real person I’ve ever met takes from a Halloween costume the message “the person I’m dressed up as is stupid” ”

    Well, now you have met one electronically 😉 I went to a costume wedding reception on Halloween this year. Put on a bright yellow University of Michigan tshirt, UofM hat, and UofM scarf (all items borrowed, thank you very much). “The person I’m dressed up as is stupid…” was EXACTLY the look I was going for at this mostly Catholic, Notre Dame fan event…

  93. andy November 9, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

    @Julie I do not think girls should have to be extra nice when someone is really explicitly sexist or mean to them (if that is what happened).

    I am saying so only because there is more pressure on girls to be nice in expense of being assertive and I have seen it harms their career long term. Precisely because they placed premium on “being nice” and were less able to assertively demand what they needed. Even adult colleges sometimes act badly and if you cant stand up for yourself cause you are too afraid to come across as not nice, then your likelihood of becoming victim goes up.

    If the boy really said something about girls being less capable or not belonging to robot club or something of the sort, I would fully absolutely support the girl to put him in place.

  94. Scarborough November 9, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

    I think you are missing the racial component of this incident which is covered in the NY Times article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/09/nyregion/yale-culturally-insensitive-halloween-costumes-free-speech.html

  95. andy November 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm #

    @Julie Also, most engineers are not sexists and wont be full of anti-girl remarks around her. That latest stereotype about engineers is false. She does not have to prepare herself to life full of things she would be expected to “deal with” (except tons of math and homework).

    They are pretty much like guys everywhere and if she personally minds something, saying that out loud is her best option. Especially since people with asperberg are over-represented slightly (compared against career that require working with people) and really cant expect them to get your nice hints.

    Engineering places less value on delicate eloquent complicated social mores and being nice. It places a lot of value on being right, direct and logical argumentation. Then, sadly, there is some posturing about who is better. Sacrificing all those to being nice is often wrong call (to your position and career). The environment can get quite flighty sometimes.

  96. Julie November 9, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    @ Andy “If the boy really said something about girls being less capable or not belonging to robot club or something of the sort, I would fully absolutely support the girl to put him in place.”

    Ah, but here’s the rub. This highly intelligent girl couldn’t explain to me what was so offensive – which, knowing her as I do, leads me to believe that she was trying to show off in her statements to me but when pressed for details knew that it was something minor that didn’t warrant her reaction. And putting someone in their place does not require yelling – which was her first response to dealing with it the first time the situation came up. That comes from her own account of things.

    As a woman, I can say that one can be both nice and assertive IN MOST CASES…and that will get one much further than being a b**** and assertive IN MOST CASES. I feel that I can speak with some amount of authority as to the truth of that statement. I hold a degree in computer and electrical engineering. I was most usually the only woman in my classes (early 1990s). I took a job at a high profile computer company and was usually the only woman in whatever department I worked in (late 1990s). I am now the vice president (managing the day to day operations for the owner) and engineer at a screw machine job shop – very few of these types of businesses are run by women, with typically few female employees. I have been treated to a wide variety of “unpleasant situations” one may imagine a woman in male dominated fields may experience. A firm, yet polite, addressing of the more bothersome situations, in the presence of the male’s peers, usually takes care of it if necessary. I can think of 4 times in my life where the situation required escalation beyond that – and the fact that peers and those in authority saw the “nice and assertive” tact used first, I gained respect with the more aggressive approach.

    Success in this lies in two fronts: developing a healthy self respect and confidence and not getting offended over every little thing.

  97. JulieC November 9, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

    “‘Down with Big Brother!’ Yes, I said that! Said it over and over again, it seems. Between you and me, old man, I’m glad they got me before it went any further […].”

    “Who denounced you?” said Winston.

    “It was my little daughter,” said Parsons with a sort of doleful pride. “She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don’t bear her any grudge for it. In fact I’m proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit, anyway.”

  98. Julie November 9, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

    @Andy “Also, most engineers are not sexists and wont be full of anti-girl remarks around her. That latest stereotype about engineers is false.”

    Please let me know if you are female and an engineer.

    Males studying engineering will make anti-girl remarks around her and will have actions that will feel anti-girl to her. I know this from experience. Most of it was just dumb and not worthy of a reaction.

    Degreed engineers that have been working for a while…yes, I would agree that they do not have these tendencies. However, those that engineers regularly work with pick up where the immature college students leave off.

  99. Jim Collins November 9, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

    The post about the engineer and the bridge got to me. I am an engineer. The industry that I work in requires both engineers and the artistic, creative types. The artistic creative types tend to be younger, usually fresh out of college and the engineers tend to be older. The creative types come up with the idea or concept and sells the image to our customers. Then the engineers have to make it work and meet the budgets. The easiest thing for me to do is to give the creative types what they want, but, there are times that I have to say “No it can’t be done that way.” I have to obey minor things like building codes, the Laws of Physics etc. etc. Lately this has started to become a problem, because, the newer creative types don’t like to be told no, that there are rules that you have to obey. When I say “no” it isn’t because I want to, it is because I have to. I can’t hang a 60 lb. object with a wire that can only hold 30 lbs. I can’t run 30 amps of lights on a 20 amp circuit no matter how much I want to. When this happens, to them the problem is me, if they get rid of me, they can do what they want to. A few months ago they ran a project through bypassing engineering. It got to our customer and promptly collapsed injuring one of our customer’s employees. I came into work one morning and there was a note for me to be at a meeting concerning this project. I was about to be fired until I asked for a set of the engineering drawings and they didn’t have any. The attitude was that I always said “no” they decided to go around me since I wasn’t a “team player”.

    This attitude of having to be “protected” from everything has been growing stronger over the years. I was watching some television shows from the 70’s and 80’s. It is amazing how many of those shows were pushing an agenda that the Government had to save us from. Everything from children’s car seats to water pollution.

    The “Government” of Yale issued it’s proclamation and anybody going against it is evil and must be silenced. How many Yale grads go into the Government? It is only going to get worse.

  100. Catherine Scott November 9, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    Here’s what America looks like from the outside: a country where guns are everywhere and children die every day from gunshot wounds, accidentally or because they have been murdered by homicidal lunatics or trigger happy cops.

    And you’re all getting bent out of shape of hallowe’en costumes.

  101. James Pollock November 9, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

    “The “Government” of Yale issued it’s proclamation and anybody going against it is evil and must be silenced.”

    What “proclamation” is that?

  102. BL November 9, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

    “a country where guns are everywhere”

    About the only guns I regularly see are carried by cops, who would still have them under the strictest gun control laws I’ve ever heard proposed.

    Once in a blue moon I’ll pass by a driveway and see a hunter putting his rifle into his vehicle before leaving to go hunting (or unloading after coming back).

    That’s about it.

  103. Jim Collins November 9, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    Here’s a link to it James.

    https://www.thefire.org/email-from-intercultural-affairs/

  104. EricS November 9, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

    “Could it be that in a society that has told young people and their parents that NOTHING is safe enough, students grow up actually believing this?”

    That’s exactly how it works out. We as adults are a product of our upbringing. If we are told something(s) for the first 10 years of our lives, our brain will have become accustomed to them. And we see it as “truth”. After all it’s all we’ve known. So when someone tells you something differently in your teens, or young adulthood, it’s hard to believe them. Like habits, they are not easily overcome. It takes reconditioning of the mind, a lot of patience, open mindedness, and the willingness to see pass what they’ve believed all their lives.

    For some, it’s just easier to continue to be ignorant, than re-learn something you’ve believed all your life.

  105. James Pollock November 9, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

    “Here’s a link to it James.
    https://www.thefire.org/email-from-intercultural-affairs/

    No, that’s the link to the email asking people to be sensitive to each other.
    This one says stuff like “Yale is a community that values free expression” and “students, undergraduate and graduate, definitely have a right to express themselves.” And then there’s “we encourage Yale students to take the time to consider their costumes and the impact it may have.” and ” we encourage everyone to be safe and thoughtful during your celebration.”

    I wanted to see the “proclamation”, the one that sets out what is allowed, and anyone not following it is evil and must be silenced.

  106. Tracie November 9, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

    This was a powerful and imperfect move these kids made. I’m proud of them and it doesn’t read like they’re saying nothing is safe or that they’re being hypersensitive. There are terrible things worn on Halloween at campuses. Many people use the day as an excuse to present some really vile images that effect people (women, gay people, people of color…) and how safe they feel and actually are. It’s a good thing when young people say to grown ups, you don’t get to tell us how we should feel and what we’re experiencing. That’s Free Range! This is student activism and it’s done by young people so it will be young and sort of crazy. It’s to be expected and supported when it’s heading on the right path. I think Free Range Kids missed this one. Missed that kids on campuses do experience real danger based on images and they’re allowed to call it out in their way. They get to determine what’s safe for them on a campus in 2015 and what’s important to them on THEIR campus of 2015. And of course we will have some of us from older generations saying how silly and look at that out of control mob! Nothing new under the sun : )

  107. lollipoplover November 9, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

    “Missed that kids on campuses do experience real danger based on images and they’re allowed to call it out in their way. They get to determine what’s safe for them on a campus in 2015 and what’s important to them on THEIR campus of 2015.”

    I still don’t get this notion that the students can control all aspects of what’s considered safe on campus. My 2 nieces go to Temple in North Philly (which is a great school in a bad neighborhood). You want to talk about real danger on campus, they’d be happy to tell you many stories about staying safe, traveling in groups, and what neighborhoods not to walk near. But the reality is that crime can happen anywhere, even in ivory towers of ivy league campuses that apparently now are THEIRS.

  108. JP Merzetti November 9, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

    Well, you’re never going to convince me that the woman with the loud voice is not transferring an awful lot of hatred, frustration, stess, tension, confusion and fear about her own future – at someone toward whom none of that stuff belongs to. And that’s just the guts of my ears responding.

    Long ago and far away I sat out on my front lawn on a Halloween night, with a good friend, sipping wine, enjoying the good fright we’d whipped into a goodish number of wee tots- all in good fun.
    We were just about to close up shop and put the candy bowl away, when ’round the hedge and up the driveway simpered two tweens who were bent on late spoils….trick and treating and after candy.

    One of them happened to be done up perfectly as a French maid…..costumed and cosmetic’d exquisitely as such.
    My friend and I raised eyebrows, handed out candy, and watched the two disappear around yon hedge….while we muttered concerns about the safety of such adornments (in a family friendly neighborhood, no less.)

    Oh! How I do so wish that certain political correctnesses and desultory casual niceties of manner, demeanor, observances of social pluralities and all the bloody rest of it…..were the toughest things these kids are going to have to encounter in their long and adventurous lives.
    Compared to the crapstorms that will indeed, come their way. I know.
    I work in a university and I make it my business to apply my wits to earning and learniing that knowledge.
    These………………..are the things that matter.

    I just can’t help feeling that the emotional/intellectual construct of this……stuff, filmed in dreaded technocolor…….has indeed, dumbed that poor little world down into something resembling a Brat movie in an adolescent bedroom.
    To intellectually bully someone is a crime of the human spirit. Agreed.
    To be unable to put stupidity in its rightful place……for whatever reason……is human failure writ large.

  109. Mike November 9, 2015 at 6:14 pm #

    Why are we teaching our kids that they have a right (or should even have an expectation) to go through life without being offended, insulted, or having their feelings hurt?

    All the discussion about whether something is or isn’t “offensive” seems to be premised on the idea that being offended is off-limits. I don’t think it is.

  110. patricia November 9, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    Just thought I would throw in a mention that this issue goes far beyond the controversy over “offensive” Halloween costumes. Children in public schools are being punished for all manner of imaginary “offenses” – including for demonstrating compassion to one another. Recently, a 6-year-old was suspended for three days for making an imaginary bow and arrow with his hands on the playground while playing with a friend. They were acting out a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle episode. Kids have been suspended for eating a pop tart into the shape of a gun. Just before Halloween a Colombian-American teen was told he could not even celebrate his own culture for Halloween. His school made it clear to him that he could simply stay home if he insisted on wearing a mariachi costume (which is also part of Colombian culture).

    I am inclined to believe that these policies come to us through the feds, who now control much of what happens in our schools. An atmosphere of hysteria is being created in our educational institutions and the creative imaginations of young children are being criminalized, outlawed and penalized. Our kids are being robbed of play and imagination and stripped of gender identity. Children are being told they have no definitive gender, that the words “boy”, “girl”, “he”, “she,” and even “mother” and “father” are offensive to some. They are being encouraged to see themselves as purple penguins rather than as boys and girls. So, in other words, our kids are now allowed to identify as permanent Halloween figures (purple penguin), but are not even allowed to celebrate their own culture.

    I believe the episode at Yale must be looked at in this broader context. What we are witnessing is the attempt to strip us of social norms, to deconstruct our culture piece by piece so that the very radical political revolutionaries among the political elite can eventually replace the artificially created cultural vacuum with a new kind of social “order”. It is well documented – and was admitted by the pope in late September – that the elite have a radical vision about how to “transform” society into a new kind of Orwellian dystopia. Simply put – we are being socially engineered.

    Americans are very liberal-minded and want to support positive social progress. These are noble tendencies, but how much of this so-called progress is actually positive? We should be very careful about uncritically accepting social transformation that leads to so much confusion in young children. Tradition has value. OUR CULTURE has value. I am inclined to think it is time for us to see the value in preserving it.

    The students at Yale are the product of this new social engineering. Historically, students have preoccupied themselves with actual issues of injustice within society. This narcissistic preoccupation with sensitive feelings leaves them ill-equipped to function in such a difficult and challenging (and often hurtful) world.

  111. James Pollock November 9, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

    “Why are we teaching our kids that they have a right (or should even have an expectation) to go through life without being offended, insulted, or having their feelings hurt?”

    Another way of looking at this is that we’re teaching them to stand up for what they believe in and to try to make the world into what they want it to be. Even if what they want it to be isn’t what we think it should be, or even possible. The alternative is to have them sitting back, waiting for the change they want to fall in their laps, and that is not what is happening here.

    There’s plenty of mis-placed, mis-directed anger… from both sides.

  112. Ross November 9, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

    What is really astonishing is how rude and disrespectful that student was to Professor Christakis. Throwing “f..” bombs at him and telling him to shut up deserved a reprimand in response, not silence. How dare anyone, especially someone at an institution of higher learning where individuals are supposed to respect other opinions and be open to an exchange of ideas, treat another person this way. What if the Professor spoke to the student in that manner? He would be placed on leave or worse. This is typical “progressive” behavior; shout down and attempt to intimidate the opposition.

  113. AmyO November 9, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

    Here are my thoughts:

    1. Students are confusing feeling “safe” with feeling “comfortable”. They are not the same thing, but are being treated as such.

    2. What’s offensive to one is not offensive to others. People are policing each other based on their own personal preferences. This is not fair and not right.

    3. Living in a free country means that sometimes you come up against jerks. Most people aren’t jerks, though, and are happy to accommodate you if you are kind and respectful too.

    4. This behavior from this generation is definitely a result, even in part, of the way they were raised. Their resiliency is atrocious, and have no abilities to react as a rational adult. They sense “danger” and react as children.

    5. This behavior is also a result of how safe America really is. People have time to concern themselves with how other grown adults are dressing for Halloween because they have little else to worry about.

  114. Donna November 9, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

    “Kids don’t dress up as things in order to look stupid or inferior. They dress up in order to pretend be someone else for a day.”

    Kids may not (although I would say that many older kids do), but plenty of adults dress up in ways meant to mock what they are dressing up as. Do you really think people who wear Obama masks with huge ears are doing it because they actually want to be Obama or because they are mocking Obama?

  115. James Pollock November 9, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

    “This is typical “progressive” behavior; shout down and attempt to intimidate the opposition.”

    Your bias is showing. This was also typical “conservative” behavior, during the various town hall meetings while Obamacare was being discussed. It’s also how many radio show hosts act when someone challenges their orthodoxy.

  116. James Pollock November 9, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

    “4. This behavior from this generation is definitely a result, even in part, of the way they were raised. Their resiliency is atrocious, and have no abilities to react as a rational adult. They sense “danger” and react as children.”

    This statement could have been made at any point during the last 2500 years. Socrates said something along these lines, and nothing has changed since. Old people have been complaining about how disrespectful and immature the young people are, and young people have been complaining about how rigid and unimaginative old people are, for approximately as long as there has been speech and language to make the complaints in.

  117. Nicole R. November 9, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

    “Students are confusing feeling “safe” with feeling “comfortable”. They are not the same thing, but are being treated as such.”

    Excellent way to put it!

  118. Asparagus November 9, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

    I can definitely understand why some of the costumes mentioned in the administrators’ letter might offend some people, but feeling offended is NOT the same thing as feeling unsafe. I do see the FR connection here, insofar as a fair amount of official/administrative effort seems to have been made to protect young adults from other people’s boorishness. The purpose of a university is NOT to “create a safe space” for students. It’s to create a learning space where ideas can be exchanged. Sure, the learning space should literally be safe, as in, you should be able to study without the threat of physical harm. But the idea that, by age 18-22, you still want the administrators to make everybody be nice to you is patently ridiculous, and the administrators themselves should know that. What the hell has happened to everyone’s sense of humor? Such a fragile generation, taking themselves so exquisitely seriously.

  119. hineata November 9, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

    @Warren – who are you calling white, lol! ☺. That statement makes me feel ‘unsafe’….as a monger breed, I feel discriminated against ☺☺.

  120. pentamom November 9, 2015 at 10:36 pm #

    “Do you really think people who wear Obama masks with huge ears are doing it because they actually want to be Obama or because they are mocking Obama?”

    Of course not. But these people aren’t simply saying “don’t dress up as insulting caricatures of people.” They’re saying “don’t dress up in imitation of these people.”

    It’s not offensive to dress up like a Native American. It’s offensive to dress up offensively like a Native American.

    Sort of like it’s not offensive to refer to other human beings. It’s offensive to use slurs and demeaning epithets about other human beings.

    If they were simply saying “don’t dress up as demeaning versions of people,” their point would be both true and obvious. But there is nothing obvious in the claim that dressing up in imitation of a different culture is per se offensive.

  121. pentamom November 9, 2015 at 10:37 pm #

    I meant, “of course they are not dressing up that way because they want to be Obama.”

  122. James Pollock November 9, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

    “But the idea that, by age 18-22, you still want the administrators to make everybody be nice to you is patently ridiculous”

    By what stretch of the imagination are you seeing this here?

  123. James Pollock November 9, 2015 at 11:01 pm #

    “these people aren’t simply saying ‘don’t dress up as insulting caricatures of people.’ They’re saying ‘don’t dress up in imitation of these people.””

    More correctly, they said “please don’t dress up in a way that bothers other people, specifically these groups that have been picked on in the past and might still be sensitive about it”.

    Asking people to do something, or to not do something, is a whole different animal that telling them what to do (or not do).

    “It’s not offensive to dress up like a Native American. It’s offensive to dress up offensively like a Native American.”

    So you’re in agreement with the Yale administrators who posted the original message.
    “if you are planning to dress-up for Halloween, or will be attending any social gatherings planned for the weekend, please ask yourself these questions before deciding upon your costume choice:
    • Wearing a funny costume? Is the humor based on “making fun” of real people, human traits or cultures?
    • Wearing a historical costume? If this costume is meant to be historical, does it further misinformation or
    historical and cultural inaccuracies?
    • Wearing a ‘cultural’ costume? Does this costume reduce cultural differences to jokes or stereotypes?
    • Wearing a ‘religious’ costume? Does this costume mock or belittle someone’s deeply held faith tradition?
    • Could someone take offense with your costume and why?”

  124. Regular Reader November 9, 2015 at 11:34 pm #

    I’ve only read through the first 60 or so comments, not all 125, so forgive me if someone else has made the same point (although I searched the page for key words and didn’t find them so I think not). Some of my ancestors were Irish, and their descendants came to this country during the same period when slaves were being brought over from Africa. Am I allowed to get offended at the Notre Dame mascot and various St. Patrick’s Day parades when obviously non-Irish people get dressed up as leprechauns and drink green beer and mock my Irish heritage?

  125. Donna November 10, 2015 at 6:41 am #

    Pentamom, I agree that the letter was ridiculous, but I can definitely see where outsiders treating your culture as a Halloween costume would be highly offensive.

    When I lived in A. Samoa, it was considered acceptable for the palagi (white folk) to dress in the typical Samoan clothing. In fact, it was considered respectful to do so and we all had puletasis (women) and lavas (men) to wear for at least more formal occasions. The men wore them all the time as lavas (skirts) tended to be more comfortable than long pants in the hot climate. Puletasis (long ankle length skirts) were somewhat uncomfortable and worn less often, but I had puletasis for jury trials, court of appeals arguments, weddings, funerals, etc.

    However, it would have been considered offensive for the same people to wear the same puletasis as Halloween costumes. It would have seemed as though we were mocking and disrespecting their culture even if none was intended. Halloween is about fake and make believe. Real cultural dress has no place among the zombies and superheros.

  126. Puzzled November 10, 2015 at 7:04 am #

    According to The Washington Post, “several students in Silliman said they cannot bear to live in the college anymore.”

    Well, this situation has an easy solution then. They can move out, and a few of the thousands of students who were rejected, and would actually appreciate an Ivy League education, not react to disagreement this way, can move in. Better yet, some of the Syrian refugees can move in – they’d likely consider a luxurious college with a grand piano to be a “safe space.” That’s probably what gets me the most – just try to explain to vast portions of the world that coddled youth need a “safe space” and feel threatened by an email. Try to explain it to people fleeing rebels who wish to behead them. We are seeing the largest humanitarian crisis since WWII, and this is what the students at our leading university are up to. Is there any louder way for them to shriek “I don’t care about anyone but myself?”

    Then there’s this:

    “No,” he said, “I don’t agree with that.”

    The student explodes, “Then why the fuck did you accept the position?! Who the fuck hired you?! You should step down! If that is what you think about being a master you should step down! It is not about creating an intellectual space! It is not! Do you understand that? It’s about creating a home here. You are not doing that!”

    I have been saying for years, here and elsewhere, that the most fundamental problem in our society is that we lost the ability to disagree, and replaced it with Bill O’Reilly style shouting. Want to explain the bigger police presence in our lives, and the calls to CFS about other people’s parenting? We only have big government because we created a vacuum and demanded government step in, and now we’re complaining about the inevitable results, such as the Meitivs and an increase in police shootings. We have become a society of children, afraid to confront one another without calling in “the authorities.”

    If further proof is needed that this ability has been lost:

    We were told to meet the offensive parties head on, without suggesting any modes or means to facilitate these discussions to promote understanding.

    Our best and brightest (who, by the way, I have noticed also have not figured out how to use crosswalks properly, or even how to make use of traffic lights when crossing streets, which makes driving in New Haven quite irritating) tell us, directly, that they cannot engage in a discussion without an authority figure telling them how to do so.

  127. BL November 10, 2015 at 10:21 am #

    “It is not about creating an intellectual space!”

    Yeah, who’d have ever thought there could be an intellectual space at Yale?

    What a curious idea!

  128. Dirk November 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    1) The response from the student body is the culmination of many different racial issues that have occurred on Yale’s campus recently.

    2) No one is talking about a child dressing up as a Disney character or say Lebron James… The issue is adults dressing up like stereotypes of Mexicans and American Indians, or similar costumes.

    3) It is racist. What is upsetting to you is that a younger generation, not just a few either…but a majority of them, are no longer going to accept so called mild or casual racism or bigotry. “No one” from that generation is going to tolerate it. I am sorry if it pains you to let go of your ability to draw doodles of attractive women during class or at work, or if you can no longer pull your skin back on your face to make “Asian eyes,” or if basically everyone under the age of 30 thinks the name Redskins is curse word. Etc.

    4) What these kids wants is not to “feel safe at every level” what they want is to not be marginalized. To be told that no you do not matter as much as this other group. There is a disconnect between generations going on here, where the older generation thought that since in general major acts of every day bigotry stopped that it would be ok to allow soft and mild forms of bigotry to continue. What incenses the woman from the video is that the Prof. who studies social networks doesn’t get it, that he is part of the older generation.

    5) This is not a free speech issue. There are certainly actions and indeed Halloween costumes everyone here would deem simply wrong. Calling someone an historically derogatory word for example. Or dressing up in a minstrel show outfit. Or a KKK costume. Where is the line drawn. Well the offending email itself contained the answer. “I wonder what is the statute of limitations on dreaming of dressing as Tiana the Frog Princess if you aren’t a black girl from New Orleans? Is it okay if you are eight, but not 18? I don’t know the answer to these questions; they seem unanswerable. Or at the least, they put us on slippery terrain that I, for one, prefer not to cross.” The College Master in question wrote that in the inflammatory email. And it contains its own answer. If you are jutting up to something you prefer not to cross, that is too far. And you should come back. Merely being able to realistically ask if a costume is ok 8 but not 18 means at the very least it is possible it is not ok for the 18 year old. Free speech is intended to defend something and or attack something. When someone wears a “Sexy Indian Costume” what are they in favor of or defending?

  129. ChicagoDad November 10, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

    @Dirk. I appreciate your passion about this. It is a great thing that Yale students are protesting actions and communications that they percieve to be racist, prejudiced, ill-informed.

    What is surprising to me is that students are asking authority figures to tell them how to conduct their daily lives, the administration is doing a crappy, bureaucratic job of it, and the students want more. On top of this, it is window dressing to cover for the fact that there is little real progress towards advancing equality in education and opportunities for Yale students or students at other universities for that matter.

    What would be a better approach, a memo in vague bureaucratese begging students to avoid insensitive “circumstances”? Or, say, empowering the student government to censure students that have acted reprehensibly?

    By asking the administration to fix their problems for them, rather than demanding the authority and resources to fix it themselves, the students are doing themselves and their cause a disservice. The students could have a lot more influence over the campus environment and culture, but they are ceding that authority to the administration by asking weak, paternalistic, bureaucrats to fight their battles for them (and not well, apparently). It’s not a good model for educating people who can go on to achieve success, leadership and address inequality and racism in our country.

    Dirk, I really hope you are right that a majority of the younger generation will no longer tolerate biggotry! That would be a great thing. If that it is true, though, why should the students ask the older generation to step in, make decisions and mete out punishments? Wouldn’t the older generation do a poor job of it? Instead, they should seek ways to act on their own without the need of supervision from parental figures.

  130. James Pollock November 10, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

    “What is surprising to me is that students are asking authority figures to tell them how to conduct their daily lives,”

    I don’t see that.

  131. James Pollock November 10, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

    “What would be a better approach, a memo in vague bureaucratese begging students to avoid insensitive “circumstances”? Or, say, empowering the student government to censure students that have acted reprehensibly?”

    The first one. And it’s not even close.

  132. Dirk November 10, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    @ChicagoDad. It isn’t that they want people to tell them what to do. This thing that is happening at Yale is a rolling series of events and perceptions that were handled poorly. The woman in the video isn’t reacting to one thing it is a series of things. It includes the accusation that a banned fraternity was having a “White Girls Only” party. This article at the Business Insider does a good job of hashing it out. http://www.businessinsider.com/yale-university-racism-on-campus-2015-11 The inflammatory email seems to support bigotry in the minds of the students. Even its author thinks so. On Twitter Christakis clarified that her point was not to suggest that some costumes aren’t offensive, noting that “many of the same costumes offend me too.” Why she felt the need to support and defend something she felt was offensive is odd. Freedom of speech is great. She used it and is now facing the freedom of speech of others. The thing is your freedom of speech isn’t in a vacuum. Your 8 year old daughter shouldn’t be dressing like Nicki Minaj for a Halloween party. Heck a college professor shouldn’t be dressing like Nicki Minajfor a Halloween party (at least not one with students…). One of the English princes dressed like Hitler for Halloween party a few years back (I wonder if his royal isolation made him immune to the common sense knowledge that was a bad idea…?).

    At any rate ChicagoDad I don’t think the 1,000 students that marched across Yale today expected hard rules emailed out by the presidents office. More at issue here is that they didn’t expect an email from the person charged with running their housing to send out an email saying it is OK to be a bigot. The university official didn’t defend free speech so much as defend being a bigot. That is how it is being read by the students.

    Free speech, when it is invoked, is usually intended to support an unpopular position. What unpopular position was the College Master’s email supporting? Sexist and bigoted Halloween costumes. She may have thought she was talking about microaggressions and trigger warnings, but she was defending bigotry.

  133. Roger the Shrubber November 10, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    James Pollock November 9, 2015 at 10:52 pm #
    “But the idea that, by age 18-22, you still want the administrators to make everybody be nice to you is patently ridiculous”

    By what stretch of the imagination are you seeing this here?
    ————————————————————————————
    Well, it appears that the administration believes that that is exactly what the students want: https://reason.com/blog/2015/11/10/university-of-missouri-cops-tell-student

    Mr. Pollock, you are a contrarian bore.

  134. Roger the Shrubber November 10, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

    James Pollock November 10, 2015 at 1:28 pm #
    “What is surprising to me is that students are asking authority figures to tell them how to conduct their daily lives,”

    I don’t see that.
    ————————————————-
    What I see is students asking authority figures to tell others how to conduct their daily lives.

  135. Dirk November 10, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    @Roger the Shrubber What I see is students telling the people they are paying money to to not promote bigotry, and that they think their fellow students shouldn’t act like bigots.

  136. Beth Holmes November 10, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    Read this excellently written and argued Atlantic piece which supports Lenore’s reason for highlighting it here. This quote is just one of many:
    “too many college students engage in “catastrophizing,” which is to say, turning common events into nightmarish trials or claiming that easily bearable events are too awful to bear.”
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/the-new-intolerance-of-student-activism-at-yale/414810/

  137. James Pollock November 10, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    “Well, it appears that the administration believes that that is exactly what the students want: https://reason.com/blog/2015/11/10/university-of-missouri-cops-tell-student

    Since you can’t seem to tell the difference between Yale and the University of Missouri, I have to assume that your other observations are similarly flawed.

  138. Roger the Shrubber November 10, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    @Dirk – I don’t see this administration official defending bigotry, rather suggesting a more appropriate response to it.

  139. ChicagoDad November 10, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

    @ Dirk. Thanks for the reply. I have some more thoughts that I’d like your perspective on, but i can’t type much now. I hope you’ll check back later. Thanks for the dialog!

  140. James Pollock November 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    “I don’t see this administration official defending bigotry”

    Look harder. Assuming you meant the administration official who wrote
    ” Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious… a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?”

  141. Dirk November 10, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

    @Beth Holmes isn’t a series of bigoted events including student reports of being turned about from fraternity party that was for “white girls only” a nightmare? A large block of students are coming up against marginalization both explicit and implicit. They aren’t going to take it. The idea that they should just look away from racist costumes is about as smart as saying it is ok to not admit minorities to an otherwise open party.

    The article you link to talks about how none minorities from California feel at East Coast schools dominated by Prep School graduates. Well, that is now the women feels in who yelled at the professor. Honestly, to a certain degree the article seemed to punishing the 1,000 students who marched through Yale today for being too “uppity.”

  142. JulieC November 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    James Pollock:

    Bigotry: stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.

    Offensive: causing resentful displeasure, highly irritating, angering or annoying

    Those two words have two different meanings, especially when the second word is moderated by the word “slightly”. Shall I define that one for you too?

  143. James Pollock November 10, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

    “Bigotry: stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.
    Offensive: causing resentful displeasure, highly irritating, angering or annoying
    Those two words have two different meanings”

    Some people find bigotry offensive. If you don’t, you don’t.

  144. JulieC November 10, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

    James -You conflated ‘slightly offensive’ with bigotry. Nice try – but no dice.

    I would suggest you consult a dictionary next time, as you love to play fast and loose with words to suit whatever point you think you are making, and that trips you up.

    I’m sure you’ll respond again, because from what I can tell from your online presence here, you must have very little human interaction and thus have loads of time to spend copying and pasting and responding. And judging from your online interactions, I’m not surprised that actual humans want to have as little to do with you as possible.

  145. James Pollock November 10, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

    “You conflated ‘slightly offensive’ with bigotry.”

    No, I showed you how they are related to each other.

    “you must have very little human interaction”
    If that’s the nature of your observational skills, no WONDER you struggled with this.

  146. James Pollock November 10, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

    “You conflated ‘slightly offensive’ with bigotry.”

    And just for the record, the original email refers to “offensive”, not “slightly offensive”.

  147. Roger the Shrubber November 10, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    @James Pollock – Perhaps a Venn diagram of ‘bigotry’ and ‘offensive behavior’ would be helpful for you Your contrary BS is evident to all.
    On a scale of offensiveness, which ranks higher – the administrator’s email or the student’s berating of her husband? That is not even close, yet you are defending the latter while excusing the former.

  148. James Pollock November 10, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

    “On a scale of offensiveness, which ranks higher – the administrator’s email or the student’s berating of her husband? That is not even close, yet you are defending the latter while excusing the former.”

    I hate to be contrary, but…
    “I see plenty of blame here for almost everyone to get some. I don’t find any in the original message… “please think about whether your costume might offend somebody, and, in case you don’t know, here’s some help to figure out if it might.”
    Treating that message as a heavy-handed command of what is allowed and what is not allowed? That’s not right.
    Screaming at people who dare to say something you don’t like? That’s blameworthy, too.”
    http://www.freerangekids.com/mob-of-yale-students-scream-profanities-about-halloween-costume-insensitivity/#comment-394031

  149. James Pollock November 10, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

    “Perhaps a Venn diagram of ‘bigotry’ and ‘offensive behavior’ would be helpful for you ”

    Perhaps it would. Can you describe what you imagine such a diagram would look like?

  150. Puzzled November 10, 2015 at 6:15 pm #

    No, it’s not at all about them being “uppity,” but nice try painting defenders of academic values with a well-known racist insinuation. It’s about opposition to intellectual discussion at a college. It’s about screaming and throwing a temper tantrum the second someone says “I disagree with you,” then saying they shouldn’t be permitted to teach because they hold a contrary position. It’s about simpering and whining to the administration and explicitly saying that dealing with things you find offensive yourself is not an option. It’s about the destruction of intellectual culture at one of our greatest universities.

    Have you thought through the consequences of firing any professor who departs from the party line on, well, anything? It’s not like this is some isolated incident, either, although it’s somewhat unusual in how blatant it is. The second he says “I disagree” the demands that he be fired can be heard. This is discussion? Oh, that’s right, I forgot – “I don’t want a debate, I want my feelings to trump all else (paraphrased).”

    She said to confront people ourselves without telling us what to say, the whining mob complains. I guess she made the offensive assumption that Yale students, who are adults, have brains.

  151. ChicagoDad November 10, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

    @Dirk, if you are still following the thread. I was thinking about your points and my reply, but I read an article by Mark Oppenheimer at the Tablet that articulated my thoughts better (and more harshly) than I would:

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/194874/person-up-yale-students

    Here is an excerpt:
    But what I really want for my [Yale] students is for them to grow into empowered, confident, majestic adults. That doesn’t mean they should never appeal to authority, but I hope that they will recognize the authority they have in themselves. Here I return to the case of the fraternity racism: I actually believe that the power of the student body as a whole to shame, cajole, and even intimidate the fraternity is more powerful than anything Yale administrators can do.

    I would just add that in addition to being less effective to appeal to the university officials to punish another “university official [who] didn’t defend free speech so much as defend being a bigot”, this tactic can undermine the development of students’ capacity, individually or collectively, to institute real change. Even worse, this tactic can empower the administration to with unearned authority, which heaven knows ivy league schools have never used to gain wealth or clout and entrench inequality.

  152. andy November 11, 2015 at 3:02 am #

    @Julie I guess I live in very much less openly sexist place I guess. The anti-girl remarks are definitely not expected all the time and definitely not common. It might happen that a man would be more likely to be hired due to bias, but openly sexist remarks not really. I heard one once and I did reacted strongly. I would rather be seen as angry or b*** then someone who is fine with being insulted or doormat or someone passive aggressive or someone who needs third party defense in situations like this. I do not think there is any duty to be nice when someone insults you (meaning intentional real insult not random slight).

    But, from what you said, your niece was more of “if I accuse him of sexism I am free to smack him as much as I want” case rather then boy being sexist. Which is different situation.

  153. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    @Roger the Shrubber The College Master sent out an email saying to look away from costumes that were offensive, meaning racist. That condones racism.

    There is no contradiction between saying we need to protect free speech and saying you think what the other person believes is wrong. The idea of free speech means the KKK can hate monger all they want but it doesn’t mean I have to say it is a good idea or let them come to my town. The idea of free speech means sure someone could dress up like a stereotyped African tribesman, but it doesn’t mean I have to condone it. It doesn’t mean I have to say that it is ok and if I have a problem with it I should “look away.” That is condoning bigotry and in general young people today wont have it.

  154. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    @ JulieC, James Pollock, Roger the Shrubber, Puzzled

    No, this about more than something being offensive. This isn’t a fart joke, or someone being crass. This is a series of racist things that have occurred repeatedly.

    1) Last year, there were swastikas found outside a freshman dorm. News reports say the swastikas were drawn in feces.

    2) A recent speaker invited to campus made a joke about Native American genocide in response to a question during the Q and A.

    3) A fraternity member of the school’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter allegedly turned away a group of women of color at a Halloween “white girls only” party, ( Allegedly because of course the people from SAE deny it and the people who it happened to say it happened.)

    4) Student Petros-Gouin said she had been visiting Yale on Halloween when she witnessed what she described as the “explicitly racist and absolutely abhorrent behavior” of the a brother at a fraternity, who turned away girls of color from the party saying,”No, we’re only looking for white girls,” she told the Washington Post,.

    5) After Yale’s Intercultural Affairs Council sent an email asking students to be thoughtful about the cultural implications of their costumes — citing BLACKFACE and TURBANS as examples of insensitive costumes that could disrespect, alienate or ridicule marginalized groups of people…Christakis wrote in the email that her husband, who is a master at the Silliman College at Yale, said that “if you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, “look away…”

    5) Recently, in response to complaints, Yale had an open forum to talk about the racism that is found on campus. Here are a few of the things that students divulged. Insults – ranging from ‘charity case’ to ‘ghetto Black b****’ are reported by students. Harassment in dining halls, at fraternity houses and on New Haven streets by Yale fraternity members and male athletes was described. Etc. These are just examples I was able to find online, news reports say students meet with one Dean who was moved to tears with examples of racism on campus.

    No one event is the catalyst for what is happening here or at other universities. The young woman who yelled at the College Master, the Masters are faculty who live in what would commonly be viewed as a dorm and who’s job it is to make it a nice place to live, was upset because the person charged with running where she lived (she, the student, was involved in hiring the Master by the way, which is why she asked “Who…hired you?” meaning she did and the faculty members spouse is Co-Master) well that person (the Master and Co-Master are the same) told everyone who lived there it was cool with him if someone dressed up in blackface, or like John C. Calhoun, or what have you.

    There is simply a disconnect. Listen carefully, being “offensive” racially is bigotry. Holding a sign of the President dressed with a bone through his nose is bigoted. Putting shoe polish on your face and a wearing brown sheet wrapped around your waist in bigoted. Dressing up like a stereotyped Mexican is bigoted too. So is wearing a “sexy Indian” costume. I contend there is just a generational disconnect. Young people will not tolerate mild or moderate forms of bigotry. And again it wasn’t one example of bigotry that created this problem at Yale and other schools, it is constant daily encounters with bigotry of various degrees (some yes, are small…others like being barred from entering places due to your race…are not).

  155. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 10:48 am #

    @ChicagoDad I don’t think the excerpts that you posted are, in general, contradictory to what I have said. I think the students are engaged in free speech. I think the students (especially the student who yelled at the College Master!) would certainly engage in a “spirited discussion” any student she found walking around on Halloween in a racist costume, or who snickered something at her for choosing a certain food at a dinning club. I do think the excerpts you posted are contradictory to what I have said in that, I also think there is indeed a responsibility of the administrators to set a tone for behavior. I my mind they don’t have to tell students what to wear or not wear. But if a student dresses up like an stereotyped African tribesman, maybe that student should have a meeting with someone. I mean, if you sent your 8 year old to the school Halloween parade dressed like that you certainly would called into the principles office. The College Master who sent out that email was trying to make a point, I wont comment if I thought it was valid, I will say, however, she did a piss poor job of it.

  156. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    “Young people will not tolerate mild or moderate forms of bigotry.”

    Aren’t the people you’re accusing of COMMITTING all this bigotry “young people”?

  157. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    “if a student dresses up like an stereotyped African tribesman, maybe that student should have a meeting with someone.”

    Oh, hell no. It’s going to be a short meeting.
    “Someone”: What makes you think you have the right to dress up like that?”
    Costumed Student: I’m an American.
    “Someone”: Meeting adjourned.

    “I mean, if you sent your 8 year old to the school Halloween parade dressed like that you certainly would called into the principles office.”
    Can we talk about whether walking around in costume, possibly not even on campus, is the same thing as being in class or a school-sponsored event?

    Trying not to offend people is a matter of politeness. The sanctions for not being polite are that polite people don’t want to associate with you. Period.

  158. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 11:06 am #

    @JimmyP

    Mr. Pollock, You just said “The sanctions for not being polite are that polite people don’t want to associate with you.” EXACTLY! So, at Yale wearing such Halloween costumes means that most (yes JP the idiot students behaving “badly” are outliers) student will not want to associate with you…and the college will throw your out if you keep it up. It means if you call a student a ghetto so and so, or a racially negative word, yep…your fellow students will not like and on a long enough time line you will be barred from Yale or any school. The younger generations will not tolerate it.

  159. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    @JimmyP

    All colleges have had student handbooks for decades. This isn’t new. What is new are the changes that happened in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, etc in what is polite, and even legal.

  160. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 11:41 am #

    @Roger the Shrubber Thanks, I got scrambled on where the poop bandit happened.

    Sorry but it was REAL. In April, authorities found a swastika in another Missouri dormitory. Bradley Becker pleaded guilty to second-degree property damage and was given a suspended 90-day sentence. He was also placed on two years’ unsupervised probation.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Missouri+dormitory.+Bradley+Becker&oq=Missouri+dormitory.+Bradley+Becker&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8#safe=off&tbm=nws&q=Missouri+dormitory+Bradley+Becker

    Just because no one wants you to see a picture of the poop bandits work doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The school doesn’t want that image floating around.

  161. ChicagoDad November 11, 2015 at 11:52 am #

    @Dirk. I’m disappointed by your replies. I thought you’d have something interesting to say. You compare Yale college students to 8 year olds, and your notion of a response to bigotry is limited to having the authorities intervene (“have a meeting with someone, thrown out, barred from school”), and you suggest that the only way to confront repugnant ideas is through distance and punishment. It is more of the paternalistic coddling that many of the commenters here have a problem with. I also think that the feces swastika incident was at the U of Missouri, not Yale.

    Listen, if you want to do something to denounce bigotry, promote a healthy multi-cultural campus and address structural inequality, you can do it. You don’t need to petition the administration to police speech, dress and thought on and off campus to make a difference–in fact asking them to do this can and does backfire. How would you enjoy holding a protest calling for the resignation of an associate master from a “free-speech zone” by the grease traps behind the cafeteria? It happens.

    Good luck.

  162. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    “@JimmyP Mr. Pollock, You just said “The sanctions for not being polite are that polite people don’t want to associate with you.”
    You’ve truncated my statement here. The sanctions for not being polite are that polite people don’t want to associate with you. Period. It’s a small difference, but oh, so meaningful.

    “So, at Yale wearing such Halloween costumes means that most (yes JP the idiot students behaving “badly” are outliers) student will not want to associate with you”
    Good. That’s the end of it, then. The insensitive twits either stop behaving like insensitive twits, or they stop getting invited to parties.

    “All colleges have had student handbooks for decades.”
    That’s good to know. If I need a college student handbook, I now know there is one. Thanks for that.

  163. Warren November 11, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    Dirk,
    I am curious. What is your stance on the Confederate Flag issues these days?

  164. Roger the Shrubber November 11, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    @Dirk – So the perpetrator was apprehended and punished, what more could you ask for? I would suggest that the act was more indicative of the perpetrator’s mental imbalance than some form of racism. If there was a group of people standing up for the actions of the perpetrator you may have a point, but there isn’t, so you don’t. What more do you expect from anyone regarding this incident and why do you think it is indicative of some systemic racism?

  165. Roger the Shrubber November 11, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    Warren – I am sure that Dirk can expound endlessly about the multitude of injustices faced by the privileged Yale students. I am equally certain the whatever Dirks position on any topic, J. Pollock will have an equally passionate rebuttal of nearly every one of his points.

  166. Roger the Shrubber November 11, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    Dirk November 11, 2015 at 9:52 am #
    @Roger the Shrubber The College Master sent out an email saying to look away from costumes that were offensive, meaning racist. That condones racism.
    —————————————————————————–
    From the email:”..if you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended. Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offence are the hallmarks of a free and open society.’

    Tell me again how that is condoning racism.

  167. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    “I am equally certain the whatever Dirks position on any topic, J. Pollock will have an equally passionate rebuttal of nearly every one of his points.”

    And, I’m equally sure you’ll whine about both, without actually contributing anything. Have a nice day, anyway.

  168. Warren November 11, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

    Roger,

    I am pretty sure that Dirk is just another profile created by James. This way he has someone to talk to.

  169. Roger the Shrubber November 11, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

    James – The great thing about arguing both sides of the fence is that you never run out of people to argue with.

  170. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    “The great thing about arguing both sides of the fence is that you never run out of people to argue with.”

    I don’t think I’m going to take this advice. What do I need more people to argue with for?

  171. Julie C November 11, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    @Dirk:

    Perhaps it’s my advanced age (over 50) but I’ve learned that while I don’t have much control over what other people say or do, I do have control over how I react to it. What I saw from the Yale video is young people not in control of themselves.

    I appreciate your desire for a world without bigotry. And I think we’ve come a long way in that regard over the last thousand years or so. But human nature being what it is, I don’t think you can completely remove it. We are flawed, all of us, and college students, generally speaking, will do and say and think some things that push the envelope. They are young, and still maturing.

    But to go through life with a hair-trigger, ready to take offense at every little thing someone else says or does that you disagree with — well, I don’t think that will make for a happy life. Or a successful one, for that matter. No one wants to work with someone who develops a reputation for calling others out over every perceived slight. Life’s too short, Dirk.

    As to your examples, I’m still confused over the feces swastika. If you are drawing a swastika because you believe in it and appreciate it, why do it in feces?

    The supposed remark made at the Free Speech conference at Yale was a joke made by one of the speakers, who said that the students were reacting as though the professor had actually burned down an Indian village, rather than written an email. It was a joke, and frankly, a funny one. But then again, one of my favorite shows is Family Guy. I appreciate that Seth McFarlane is fearless and willing to make fun of pretty much everybody. Humor on college campuses is lacking these days, it would seem.

  172. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    “As to your examples, I’m still confused over the feces swastika. If you are drawing a swastika because you believe in it and appreciate it, why do it in feces?”

    People don’t draw swastikas because they like swastikas. They do it because they hate people and want to make them uncomfortable.

    It’s a shorthand for “I’m very angry and can’t seem to resolve my problems.”

  173. Papilio November 11, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    I like Warren’s idea of just offending (well, dressing up as) EVERY group equally, as long as all those offended groups are also present in that offending group, so it all goes both ways.

    @Donna: Thank you for the explanation; I didn’t know it was an actual thing/concept, with a very dirty history (up until quite recent). I’ve heard of/read about Josephine Baker’s shows in which she dressed up very stereotypically, but I’d never heard of this blackface thing. No wonder the UN make such a stink about every child’s hero Zwarte Piet.

    @Hineata: Universiteit van Amsterdam… On my way to class I’d pass several coffeeshops (imagine getting a nose full of weed smell when you walk by), a smart shop, a gay cinema and some red light windows. Ah, those were the days… 😛

  174. hineata November 11, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

    @Papilio – sounds like some great times .

    @Dirk – good discussion.I find myself agreeing with most of what you are saying.

    Was thinking about this stuff last night as I was traveling, and it reminds me somewhat of my own student days. At that stage the Maori ‘renaissance’ was only a few years old, and emotions around anything Maori, and from many who looked/were Maori, were running high. It wasn’t the easiest time in the world to be between cultures.

    These days, things are a lot more relaxed. There’s more recognition from all sides that we’re all different but we can all get along AND do some things in a Maori way and some in other ways without anyone’s face etc falling off. My boy can attend Maori or Chinese gatherings with no hassle (as, for that matter, can any ethnicity ).

    Maybe Yale is just a generation behind.

  175. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    @James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    It isn’t a matter of being insensitive. They didn’t make light of some trivial thing. What we are talking about here is racism. Plan and simple. You might not think of it as so, but it is.

    @ChicagoDad November 11, 2015 at 11:52 am #

    I never said I wanted more admin involvement. I AM saying that the College Master did get involved when she decided to write something that defended the ACTION, not the right, but the ACTION of wearing a Halloween costume that is inherently racist. She didn’t frame it as this is a chance to engage that person and change the world, she said basically tough nuts Yalies. You don’t like blackface deal with it. Which is condoning bigotry. IF you think blackface is ok please say so. You wont, I hope, say that. But you will say you like freedom of speech. Which again is great. Using that freedom of speech to wear blackface even on Halloween on a college campus can/will get you expelled. Because it is racist.

    The admin isn’t policing speech, the students are determining their own standards. The outliers who think it is ok to call someone a ghetto bitch will get expelled on a long enough time line if they rack up offenses. You can’t talk like that in the workplace and you can’t talk like that to your college classmates. You can’t deny people entrance to a social event or club based on race. The students expect the school to expel students and organizations don’t follow the rules.

    @Julie C November 11, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    Genocide isn’t funny. That guy isn’t Mel Brokes and an intellectual lecture isn’t the forum to make jokes like that.

    And this isn’t about slights. This isn’t about someone making an off hand comment that didn’t mean anything. This is about people calling other people explicitly racist words and discriminating against them due to their race and gender. Doing so is grounds for expulsion from any college. At your age surely you must have seen or experienced something that was sexist as a student. If you are luck you didn’t. But college students wont tolerate it today. On any campus.

    Another similar issue is rape. There is a problem with rape on college campuses today because a younger generation of women aren’t ok with being quiet about it. If something happens they expect the authorities to expel the person and report them to the legal authorities. There are lawsuits pending because women are reporting these things and schools have been sweeping them under the rug. Female students won’t tolerate it any more.

    @James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    I mentioned that colleges have student handbooks because the rules of the college are in there. Which include things like you cant steal or cheat from fellow students. You can’t threaten them. You can’t etc. To continue, it isn’t as you said that people who make racist comments wont get invited to parties, it is that they wont get to continue in their enrollment at Yale. If a student organization, or even a student themselves, is refusing to admit people to social events because of race, or using racist language, or sexist language, or is whatever…they will get expelled from school. We aren’t talking about poop and fart jokes here. We are talking about people blatantly using racist words and discriminating against minorities.

    @Roger the Shrubber November 11, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    I would agree with you that racists might be mentally unbalance, but I think a larger percentage probably learned their behavior from someone else.

    As you quoted from the email: ”..if you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended. Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offence are the hallmarks of a free and open society.” — But the issue isn’t one of simply being offensive in a way that is acceptable. Society has grown to the point where you can’t call a grown 20 something black male “boy” or draw doodles of the girls in class and show it to them because they are powerless and have to take it. It isn’t tolerated any more than not being able to use the same bathroom as whites. But again, that is the sort of thing we are talking about. Students being banned from an open party do to their race and costumes that are just as offensive as calling grown 20 something black male “boy.” You can’t call someone a ghetto bitch. You can’t yell the N word at them as you drive to crew practice. These are the things the students are talking about, and they are talking about them because it has come to a boiling point. They wont tolerate racism. Even what used to be considered mild moderate forms of it.

    @Warren You asked about my view of the Confederate flag? I, personal opinion alert, don’t think it makes much sense. I get that people want it to mean something good. But I don’t think it does. And it is coming to a head I think because as a society we turning to the viewpoint that it isn’t “good.” But personally, I view it as the flag of a group of people who committed treason. It was adopted by outlaws who committed acts of domestic terrorism. When I was in college I engaged in a real friendly argument with a friend, a true southerner about, who gave me the whole its about history and community thing and that the war wasn’t about slavery. (Which is nuts cause the war happened directly because of slavery. No slaves no war.) At the end of the day I told him “You lost. Take it down.”

    A shorter answer is I find it jarring the few times I have seen it. I don’t think it is what its proponents say it is. And I think in general it has outlived its usefulness and society as a whole is turning on it. Which is why people are talking about it. All the talk about that flag is happening because it is being called into question by enough people that those who want it have to defend it. At sometime it will virtually vanish. Sooner rather than later.

  176. Donna November 11, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

    “The idea of free speech means the KKK can hate monger all they want but it doesn’t mean I have to say it is a good idea or let them come to my town.”

    You definitely don’t have to say it is a good idea, but I’m not sure how you would plan to stop them from coming to your town. I suppose that you could be the mayor of your town, but then you have violated the 1st amendment by not letting them come.

  177. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

    “What we are talking about here is racism.”

    No, it isn’t.
    There are literally no people who engaged in racism in this story, beginning to end.

    There’s the administration asking people to please not be dicks* when choosing a costume. There’s a response that asks whether or not the college should be taking an approach on what people do in their private activities. There’s a counter response that screaming and yelling at people with different opinions is an appropriate response. But no racism.

    *I apologize for my use paternalistic, sexist terminology in this instance. Well, no I don’t, actually.

  178. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    @Donna

    I don’t have to look the other way and clear the street. In fact one could say I should stand next to them and shout at them what a terrible human being each and every one them in fact is. You can counter march or whatever.

    My point was the College Master worded her email is if the action of ACT of racism was ok. And it is jarring and unacceptable to students. She didn’t word it as racism is bad, lets engage it through free speech. She worded it in a way that she thought people were being rude, not racist. Which doesn’t match up with what the students see. This isn’t an argument about fashion, or who was the greatest US President, it is about racism.

  179. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 4:40 pm #

    @James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

    People who wear blackface are not being rude they are being racist.

  180. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    Jimmy P.

    Blackface is racist = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackface

  181. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    “she said basically tough nuts Yalies. You don’t like blackface deal with it.”
    I’ll say that, too. Stop acting like this is the worst thing that has ever happened to you, because if it is, I have zero sympathy for you.

    “Which is condoning bigotry.”
    No, it’s condoning wearing a costume in a way that many people do not and will not like.

    “IF you think blackface is ok please say so.”
    No, it’s stupid and reflects poorly on the wearer.

    “Which again is great. Using that freedom of speech to wear blackface even on Halloween on a college campus can/will get you expelled.”
    Following which, you will get paid… if you hire a good lawyer.

    “The admin isn’t policing speech, the students are determining their own standards.”
    The students don’t have the authority to expel people. Do you read these before clicking “Submit Comment”?

    “The outliers who think it is ok to call someone a ghetto bitch will get expelled on a long enough time line if they rack up offenses.”
    Ghetto bitch, you’ve got to be kidding. How many more “free” ones do I get before I get kicked out of school?

    “You asked about my view of the Confederate flag?”
    Most people wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it. They think that ugly orange thing is the confederate flag, and likely have never seen an actual confederate flag.
    As for the people who think the battle flag represents something other than “racists present”, I kind of feel sorry for them, because the racists have successfully stolen their symbol.

  182. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

    “People who wear blackface are not being rude they are being racist.”

    OK. Sorry I forgot to point this out for you before.
    There are no people wearing blackface in this story. None. Zilch. Nada. Zip. Zero.

    Is that clear enough for you, Dickie?

  183. ChicagoDad November 11, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

    @Dirk. You arguments are all over the place and you argue with me over positions I haven’t taken. I really have no idea what you are advocating for except “racism bad”

  184. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    “I really have no idea what you are advocating for except ‘racism bad’”

    There’s also “students today won’t accept it”.

  185. Roger the Shrubber November 11, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    Just so everyone is clear what the ‘offensive’ joke about genocide was, you can read here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/11/10/yale-students-protest-forum-on-free-speech/

    The exact qoute, of which much offence was taken: “Looking at the reaction to [Silliman College Associate Master] Erika Christakis’ email, you would have thought someone wiped out an entire Indian village.”

    For those like Dirk who have poor levels of reading comprehension and apparently want to find racism and insensitivity whenever their ideas are challenged, let me explain this to you – genocide was not made light of here. This is a joke about you* and your completely inappropriate response to the Christakis’ email. But because you are actually the but of the joke here, you want to twist things in such a manner were you can accuse anyone of racism who agrees with him.
    *’you’ is meant to be collective of the Yale student protesters and those that share their sympathies.

    You should read the article reference in the WashPo artice. For your convenience: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

  186. Roger the Shrubber November 11, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    JP – your response to Dirk above and your response to me here: http://www.freerangekids.com/mob-of-yale-students-scream-profanities-about-halloween-costume-insensitivity/#comment-394343
    is why I agree with you half the time and maintain that you are a contrarian bore.

  187. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    “your response to Dirk above and your response to me […] is why I agree with you half the time and maintain that you are a contrarian bore.”

    Your inability to distinguish between “defending bigotry” and “being racist” is why I don’t give your opinion more credence.

    Mrs. C stood up to defend freedom of speech (sort of) and freedom from the university’s interference in the private affairs of the students. Yay! But… the university wasn’t actually interfering in the private affairs of the students (oops) and she did, in fact, go beyond defending students from interference by the university to excusing obnoxiousness. (boo).
    This is actually the students’ business, as she is their employee. They are right to express their dissatisfaction with the performance of her duties, but wrong in the method they chose to do so.
    Try to move beyond the “us vs. them” thinking. Or don’t. I don’t have a particularly strong opinion either way.

  188. Roger the Shrubber November 11, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

    JP – Like Dirk, you are able to find racism, bigotry, and offensiveness wherever you look for it.

  189. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

    “Like Dirk, you are able to find racism, bigotry, and offensiveness wherever you look for it.”

    Like a stone, you have mass and occupy volume.

  190. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

    @James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    I agree with everything you said there…

    @James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    The bit about the Cflag being the battle flag of N Virginia is a funny bit of trivia every time I hear it. There were national flags of the COS, but the slow ability of a noncentralized group made it hard to agree (or agree for long) on them. Battle flag or not it what was coopted

    @James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

    What do you mean blackface isnt part of this? THAT WAS THE CENTER HALLOWEE COSTUME AT ISSUE. Blackface was the center item mentioned in the email the College Master was writing in response to!!!!

    @Roger Python

    The person used the genocide of American Indians as a joke, it was for laughs. Which isn’t OK. Like I said…there is a generational divide.

    @whoever…

    Nonetheless racist acts will get you kicked out of school no matter what you believe…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/11/us/university-of-oklahoma-sigma-alpha-epsilon-racist-fraternity-video.html?_r=0

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/04/05/university-of-south-carolina-student-suspended-after-racist-photo-goes-viral/

    http://nypost.com/2015/03/31/black-people-should-be-dead-bucknell-students-expelled-for-racist-radio-rant/

    Etc.

    I am reminded here at an episode of Mad Men. I think it was the first one. Where as a practical joke the ad execs put a group of sheep hearders I think it was who the ad men thought of as Chinese. One of them quips to them about how long they are taking with his shirts. That wouldn’t be ok today. It is that simple. Some people are still living that way. But they are slowly dying out. It doesn’t make anyone less strong or more sensative. If anything the woman there is insensed that someone is so far removed from the current state of affairs. It is jarring to me to see somone say or write “people of color” as much as it would probably have been jarring to hear someone say negro in the 80s. This isn’t about free speech.Unless the speech you want to defend is hate speech.It is about being bigotry. I can’t say it in any simpler terms to you. And blackface is an act equal to hate speech. Blackface is the tent pole that the College Master’s email was responding to. I can’t say it in any simpler terms to you.

  191. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

    From the Yale College Undergraduate Regulations 2015-2016:

    Among the offenses that are subject to disciplinary action are…:

    “Acts of harassment, intimidation, or coercion, including harassment on the basis of race,
    ethnic origin, gender, or sexual orientation.”

    http://yalecollege.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/URs%202015-2016%281%29.pdf

    Blackface halloween costumes fall under that category. The College Master doesn’t believe they do apparently but the vast majority of students do. Generational divide. I don’t think this is like that South Park parody. I place it closer to the idea that it used to be OK to treat certain groups certain ways and now it isn’t because we’ve grown as a society.

    There is a podcast by the group who now run Cracked Magazine (of all things) that explains the generation gap far better. IF you really want to understand the disconnect between the students and the admin…then seriously take a moment to listen to this podcast in its entirety. It is worth it (it is also fun!)

    https://soundcloud.com/crackedpod/the-horrible-90s-hit-song-that-explains-the-modern-world

  192. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 8:37 pm #

    They also have an episode that is straight up everyone’s alley…

    https://soundcloud.com/crackedpod/a-genealogy-of-modern-fear

    But the one about We Didn’t Start the Fire (https://soundcloud.com/crackedpod/the-horrible-90s-hit-song-that-explains-the-modern-world) Is the one that really explains the generational divide here in super detail, it is funny too.

  193. chris watts November 11, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

    I just hope Yale as an institution makes a committment to support their faculty and to educate the spoiled brats they have chosen to admit.

  194. Roger the Shrubber November 11, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    Dirk – Your collectivist generational divide argument is lacking. While it it true that there is a generational gap between the vocal activists and the administration, your opinion is far from the majority in your own generational cohort. And like the generations before you that thought you were the start of a great cultural revolution, you will eventually grow up.

    I will try to listen to the podcasts you recommended.

  195. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

    Hey Roger, I’m older than the students in question. Generation x-er here. But if you work across generations these things become pretty visible. I don’t think the world can be fixed but I know we can move forward bit by bit. I mean 100 years ago women could not vote for president in the united states. You just move the ball forward.

    The podcasts are good. But I would BEG you to listen to the We Didn’t Start the Fire podcast especially. In it’s entirety because it doesn’t hit stride till halfway through.

  196. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

    “What do you mean blackface isnt part of this?”
    Because there were no students in blackface?

    ““Acts of harassment, intimidation, or coercion, including harassment on the basis of race,
    ethnic origin, gender, or sexual orientation.”
    http://yalecollege.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/URs%202015-2016%281%29.pdf
    Blackface halloween costumes fall under that category. The College Master doesn’t believe they do”
    That’s because they don’t. “Wearing a costume I don’t like” is neither harassment, intimidation, nor coercion. I get that you wish it were, but it just isn’t.

    “This isn’t about free speech.”
    Wrong. So very, very wrong.

    “Unless the speech you want to defend is hate speech.”
    Yes, that is how it works. Free speech is free for everyone, not just people who agree with us and say things we’d like to hear.

    “It is about being bigotry.(sic)”
    Bigots have rights, too.

    “blackface is an act equal to hate speech.”
    It can be, sure. And hate speech is illegal in which states?

    “Blackface is the tent pole that the College Master’s email was responding to. I can’t say it in any simpler terms to you.”
    There weren’t any students in blackface. How many times do you need this pointed out to you?

  197. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

    “I mean 100 years ago women could not vote for president in the united states.”

    They still can’t, unless they first get elected to the College of Electors. Americans don’t vote for President. They vote for Electors.

    And your timeline’s off, too. Women were first extended the franchise as early as 1869.

    Maybe you should get your history from someplace other than humor podcasts.

  198. Warren November 11, 2015 at 10:27 pm #

    Doink……..oops Dirk,

    “Blackface halloween costumes fall under that category.”

    In your twisted opinion it falls under that category. So please explain how black face makeup is either harassment, intimidation, or coercion?

    You can’t, because black face does not meet the definitions for any of them. It can be used as a tool to accomplish any or all of the three, but it all depends on the actions and motives of the individual or group using it. The actual makeup is nothing more than black makeup. That is like saying guns are evil. No they are a tool, that some people with evil motives have used. Big difference.

    How is it coming with those voices in your head?

  199. Roger the Shrubber November 12, 2015 at 5:33 am #

    Dirk – Your idea that purposely misinterpreting people, claiming the highest forms of offense at the slightest disagreement, and then whipping up a sanctimonious mob of unthinking support is a cultural advancement is why we are not going to see eye-to-eye on this. Please read the Atlantic article I linked above, and familiarize yourself with the history of China’s Cultural Revolution and notice the parallels.

  200. Dirk November 12, 2015 at 11:57 am #

    I already red the Atlantic article and in general didn’t agree with it. Wearing blackface is tantamount to using the N word. This is not a mimicry of the cultural revolution. This is a continuation of American progress and a direct result of the 1964 civil rights act with a slow climb to the point where Another commentator somewhere said something like, “…when someone wears blackface, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a racist, but it does signify a certain ignorance about racial paradigms in America.”

    Here is a different article from the Atlantic…http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/10/espn-no-comment-on-talent-wearing-the-native-equivalent-of-black-face/280713/

    Better yet this and this:

    http://thoughtcatalog.com/madison-moore/2012/10/sorry-white-people-blackface-is-still-not-ok/

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/30/blackface-halloween-costumes-obviously-offensive

    And so on. Yes free speech. No don’t send out an email saying free speech without saying you are against the a certain type of speech if that speech must be protected and then you have to go on to say hearts and mind need changing. Otherwise you are the old lady on the block who still says colored. Sorry. That’s just the truth.

  201. Becks November 12, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

    Wow that girl in the video seems mentally and emotionally unstable.

  202. Warren November 12, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    Doink,

    Two things.
    First, please cite me where in law, or document, that you have the guaranteed right not to be offended? Grow up, and stop whining.

    Second.
    Screaming and whining about everything and anything being racism is almost as bad as racism itself.

  203. Roger the Shrubber November 12, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    I have read the Christakis email three times now. The first sentence indicates that she is responding directly to students who had approached them (she and her husband) and were seeking clarity of the ‘appropriate costume’ email sent by the administration. It seems evident that they were being asked if costumes that they planned to wear were appropriate. She acknowledges the good intent of the email but goes on to say ‘I laud those goals, in theory, as most of us do. But in practice, I wonder if we should reflect more transparently, as a community, on the consequences of an institutional (which is to say: bureaucratic and administrative) exercise of implied control over college students.’

    She does not defend blackface, an issue that you are so manically stuck on. Rather she takes a step back from the specifics and ask the greater question of ‘Why are you asking me, as a bureaucrat, what is appropriate? Why would you trust my opinion as authoritative on the matter? As an adult, these are issues that you should be able to resolve yourselves, perhaps, even, seeing the merit of an opposing viewpoint while not actually agreeing with it.’

    Do you really think that if some student told her that she planed to wear blackface for Halloween the she would say that that is a ‘great idea?’ From reading her email, I think she would suggest to the student to consider how others my interpret the costume, but it is not my responsibility to approve or disapprove of your decision. But because it seems evident that she would not immediately arrest the student and send her to racial reeducation camp, her husband is accused by a childish and privileged student that he is creating and environment in which she does not feel safe. And now, anyone who shows any sympathy with the greater point that Christakis is trying to make – that these students are adults and should not be looking to administrators or the government to forcefully intervene any time someone makes me feel the slightest bit uncomfortable about race, ethnicity, gender, sexuallity, etc. – can be dismissed as a racist and excluded from polite society. And this is the very tactic that you use when you equate the Christakis email with a defense of blackface.

    I’m Sicilian. Are you aware of the racist perception of Italians in early 1900 America? Are you aware of the racist perception of Sicilians in mainland Italy that persists to this day? Regardless of that, should I be offended when people dress as gangsters for Halloween with the slicked back hair and thin mustache? Perhaps I am, but I’m an adult so I do not dwell on my hurt feeling to such an extent that I am unable to rationally go about my life. Nor do I insist that everyone share my hurt feelings by demanding that those who don’t be ostracized.

  204. Dirk November 12, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    @Warren November 12, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    Some people don’t see it as offensive, they see it as just what the student handbook calls it. Harassment and intimidation. Generally younger generations view what the older gen did as…I don’t know what to call it…

    BIG STATEMENT COMING UP!!!

    I guess I and the young gen being complained about in the post by Lenore think that when you call someone a ghetto bitch, or yell the N word at them when the go jogging, or call them a water buffalo that you are harassing and intimidating that person. Because ultimately doing those sorts of things make it harder for that person to participate and function be it at school or work. Individually the incidents may not sound that bad. And I am sure people could handle experiencing one or two or three or four “offensive” things. However, these things add up, And when the sorts of things happen that we are talking about, it makes it harder for someone to succeed at curing cancer or autism, it makes it more difficult for someone to invent a self tightening tourniquet for soldiers, it makes it harder for them to invent the next iphone. The reason it took so long to cure polio is directly related to the fact that women and minorities were not allowed to study and work in a capitalist fashion. The were treated as inferior or property. At the end of the day it is never about social justice, despite the moniker and explanation that some so called SJWs themselves would give, no it is about the simple fact that when you inhibit someones ability to perform you hurt us all. Having to deal with a small small fraction of students who will over the course of time harass and intimidate you with what appears to simply be name calling (or maybe some mild physical intimidation) prevents individuals from learning and working. Every time some idiot uses negative racial language or excludes a minority from something they are preventing them from achieving something that might benefit me, or you, themselves, and everyone. This isn’t about justice so much as it is about equality. It is about a persons ability to study and work unfettered by the limitations of others. I want this because it benefits everyone, myself included.

  205. Roger the Shrubber November 12, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    ‘This isn’t about free speech.Unless the speech you want to defend is hate speech.It is about being bigotry. I can’t say it in any simpler terms to you. And blackface is an act equal to hate speech. ‘

    The funny thing is, there is no need to defend polite speech because no one objects to it. So unless you are willing to defend the right to say things you don’t agree with, including ‘hate speech’, you don’t believe in free speech.

  206. Dirk November 12, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    @Roger the Shrubber November 12, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    Christakis did a real bad job of explaining what she meant and clearly did not understand how she would be interpreted.

    I am aware of the racism towards Italians and the Irish (in the 19th and 20th century especially). And that is my point. That you hurt EVERYONE when you do what happened to the Italians, Irish, or any other nationality or ethnicity. Harvard had quotas on the number of Jewish students they would admit in the 1930s. Who know what the Italian, or Irish, or Jewish individuals who faced discrimination might have done had they not been hampered. Advancements in medicine, engineering, computers were all delayed because we were keeping giants swaths of people out of the game.

    I am going to repeat my statement from an earlier post because it really explains what I mean. I guess I and the young gen being complained about in the post by Lenore think that when you call someone a ghetto bitch, or yell the N word at them when the go jogging, or call them a water buffalo that you are harassing and intimidating that person. Because ultimately doing those sorts of things make it harder for that person to participate and function be it at school or work. Individually the incidents may not sound that bad. And I am sure people could handle experiencing one or two or three or four truly “offensive” things. However, these things add up, And when the sorts of things happen that we are talking about, it makes it harder for someone to succeed at curing cancer or autism, it makes it more difficult for someone to invent a self tightening tourniquet for soldiers, it makes it harder for them to invent the next iphone. The reason it took so long to cure polio is directly related to the fact that women and minorities (and the Italians in America, etc) were not allowed to study and work in a capitalist fashion. The were treated as inferior or property. At the end of the day it is never about social justice, despite the moniker and explanation that some so called SJWs themselves would give, no it is about the simple fact that when you inhibit someones ability to perform you hurt us all. Having to deal with a small small fraction of students who will over the course of time harass and intimidate you with what appears to simply be name calling (or maybe some mild physical intimidation) prevents individuals from learning and working. Every time some idiot uses negative racial language or excludes a minority from something they are preventing them from achieving something that might benefit me, or you, themselves, and everyone. This isn’t about justice so much as it is about equality. It is about a persons ability to study and work unfettered by the limitations of others. I want this because it benefits everyone, myself included.

  207. Dirk November 12, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

    @Roger the Shrubber November 12, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    Of course idiots can say whatever they want because of free speech. The House Master did a piss poor job of saying free speech says these people can be racists. I think they are wrong. Let’s engage with them.

    But I think what I said earlier is more relevant and I would like to know what you think…I am going to repeat my statement from an earlier post because it really explains what I mean. I guess I and the young gen being complained about in the post by Lenore think that when you call someone a ghetto bitch, or yell the N word at them when the go jogging, or call them a water buffalo that you are harassing and intimidating that person. Because ultimately doing those sorts of things make it harder for that person to participate and function be it at school or work. Individually the incidents may not sound that bad. And I am sure people could handle experiencing one or two or three or four truly “offensive” things. However, these things add up, And when the sorts of things happen that we are talking about, it makes it harder for someone to succeed at curing cancer or autism, it makes it more difficult for someone to invent a self tightening tourniquet for soldiers, it makes it harder for them to invent the next iphone. The reason it took so long to cure polio is directly related to the fact that women and minorities (and the Italians in America, etc) were not allowed to study and work in a capitalist fashion. The were treated as inferior or property. At the end of the day it is never about social justice, despite the moniker and explanation that some so called SJWs themselves would give, no it is about the simple fact that when you inhibit someones ability to perform you hurt us all. Having to deal with a small small fraction of students who will over the course of time harass and intimidate you with what appears to simply be name calling (or maybe some mild physical intimidation) prevents individuals from learning and working. Every time some idiot uses negative racial language or excludes a minority from something they are preventing them from achieving something that might benefit me, or you, themselves, and everyone. This isn’t about justice so much as it is about equality. It is about a persons ability to study and work unfettered by the limitations of others. I want this because it benefits everyone, myself included.

  208. Roger the Shrubber November 12, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

    You continue to purposefully misinterpret the Christakis email because doing so allows you beat the drum you so like to play. And that is the whole point of my argument. No one here is arguing that blackface, racism, and discrimination are good things. I am arguing that the offence taken to the Christakis email and the Lukianoff ‘genocide’ statement are week examples on which to build a convincing argument, and the subsequent student reactions and protest come off as petulant and childish and only hurt your case.

  209. Roger the Shrubber November 12, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

    ‘The House Master did a piss poor job of saying free speech says these people can be racists.’

    That was clearly not the intent of the email and you are doing a piss pour job of trying to interpret it as such.

  210. Dirk November 12, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

    @Roger the Shrubber November 12, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

    Regardless of that disagreement you have not responded to my statement…

    I think what I said earlier is more relevant and I would like to know what you think…

    I am going to repeat my statement from an earlier post because it really explains what I mean. I guess I and the young gen being complained about in the post by Lenore think that when you call someone a ghetto bitch, or yell the N word at them when the go jogging, or call them a water buffalo that you are harassing and intimidating that person. Because ultimately doing those sorts of things make it harder for that person to participate and function be it at school or work. Individually the incidents may not sound that bad. And I am sure people could handle experiencing one or two or three or four truly “offensive” things. However, these things add up, And when the sorts of things happen that we are talking about, it makes it harder for someone to succeed at curing cancer or autism, it makes it more difficult for someone to invent a self tightening tourniquet for soldiers, it makes it harder for them to invent the next iphone. The reason it took so long to cure polio is directly related to the fact that women and minorities (and the Italians in America, etc) were not allowed to study and work in a capitalist fashion. The were treated as inferior or property. At the end of the day it is never about social justice, despite the moniker and explanation that some so called SJWs themselves would give, no it is about the simple fact that when you inhibit someones ability to perform you hurt us all. Having to deal with a small small fraction of students who will over the course of time harass and intimidate you with what appears to simply be name calling (or maybe some mild physical intimidation) prevents individuals from learning and working. Every time some idiot uses negative racial language or excludes a minority from something they are preventing them from achieving something that might benefit me, or you, themselves, and everyone. This isn’t about justice so much as it is about equality. It is about a persons ability to study and work unfettered by the limitations of others. I want this because it benefits everyone, myself included.

  211. Warren November 12, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    Dirk,
    You big statement is so full of crap it floats.

    If someone calling you a name will affect you to the point you cannot perform, then I suggest you seek mental and of emotional help. If someone calling you anything can affect you to that level, you are weak of mind, and weak of character.

    And there is a big difference between some jerk calling a researcher the N word, and society not allowing an entire gender, or race to enter a field of study or work.

    You are comparing apples to oranges and failing at it.

    Again, there is no guarantee anywhere for poor little Dirk, that says everyone has to be nice and polite. So suck it up princess, this is the real world.

  212. Roger the Shrubber November 12, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    I think I have pretty clearly explained that I am against racism and discrimination so I don’t know what you would like me to add. Why don’t you explain why you think that the Christakis email defends racism, discrimination, and blackface. And please cite directly from the email rather that your feelings about racism, discrimination, and blackface. We are in agreement that they are bad things.

  213. Dirk November 12, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

    Students Share What It’s Like To Be Black At Mizzou…this article might open you up to the possibility that racism is constant…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/students-share-what-its-like-to-be-black-at-mizzou_56439736e4b0603773476699

  214. JulieC November 12, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/american-society/racial-hoaxes-college-campus/

    Dirk – sometimes people make crap up. Sometimes stuff actually occurs. You’ve mentioned the same two or three “incidents” at Yale and a couple at U of Missouri as though they are facts. These incidents may not have occurred at all, or they may have been intentional hoaxes. Or they may have occurred. The above article talks about the many hoaxes that have occurred on college campuses over the years. I read the HuffPo piece you provided and it’s long on feelings and short on facts.

    I do find it kind of ironic that this discussion took place primarily yesterday, Veteran’s Day. When my father was 19 he was a Marine in the pacific theater in WW2. Guadalcanal was not a pleasant place to be. When one of my nephews was 19, he watched one of his best friends die in Iraq. They were both Marines as well.

    I don’t find the complaints of a bunch of coddled, Ivy League narcissists to be particularly compelling.

  215. ChicagoDad November 12, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    @Dirk. U of Missouri and Yale are not the same. On the one hand, you have students who want the string of assaults, vandalism, threats of bombings and harassment to stop. On the other (Yale) you have students who want “to have their pain heard”, to have “safe spaces”, to have residents heads who think it’s OK for the University to police student costumes. On one hand you have students bravely putting their academic status and sports careers in jeopardy in protest. On the other (Yale) you have students surrounding a faculty and shouting at him for his wife’s email comments. Totally different.

    I think there is a generation gap. You have an older generation that was raised to confront and overcome difficulty in their daily lives, and some members of another generation that want to be shielded from and ignore difficulties and adversity–because that is how they were raised.

    In my neighborhood last week, there was a young, 10-year old black child that was harassed by a car full of white teens. We have constant violence here with 9 year-olds getting executed in alleys. We have white residents who say horrible things, publicly, about African-Americans and their neighborhoods. And aggressive racist vandalism.

    Forgive me if I find the Yale students’ protests for “safe spaces” and an administration that “feels their pain” a bit solipsistic, sheltered, and naive. I mean really, the Yale students are pissed that the resident master suggested “looking away” from offensive costumes, but the solution they demand is “safe spaces” where they don’t have to look at the crappiness in our world? They aren’t helping, they’re hurting.

    So I’m with the students of Mizzou, but the students at Yale aren’t getting my support.

  216. Dirk November 12, 2015 at 8:05 pm #

    @JulieC November 12, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

    Unfortunately it is unlikely any black soldiers served at Guadelcanal Julie. You see…”despite a high enlistment rate in the U.S. Army, African Americans were not treated equally. Racial tensions existed. At parades, church services, in transportation and canteens the races were kept separate. During World War II, most African American soldiers still served only as truck drivers and as stevedores…” Except extremely limited numbers they were not allowed to fight. Eventually that wore down. Returning black soldiers didn’t accept the racism they received when they returned home.

    @ChicagoDad November 12, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    Basically right there you said it. You think the kids at Missouri are dealing with real issues and the kids at Yale are pansies. You think real aggressive racism exists, that you see it yourself, but therefore mild forms of racism should just be swallowed. I think both are some BS.

  217. ChicagoDad November 12, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

    @Dirk. “but therefore mild forms of racism should just be swallowed.” You have my argument completely wrong. The Yale students aren’t confronting mild racism, they’re running from it and demanding to be sheltered from even hypothetical racism because it violates their safe space. They are among the brightest, most talented people on earth, and what they are doing is choosing to perpetuate racism with their navel-gazing demands. It’s wrong. They could protest and organize in meaningful ways, develop programs, initiatives and narratives that make a difference, but they want shelter, protection & sympathy.

  218. Dirk November 12, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

    @Warren November 12, 2015 at 3:03 pm # “Dirk, You big statement is so full of crap it floats.If someone calling you a name will affect you to the point you cannot perform, then I suggest you seek mental and of emotional help. If someone calling you anything can affect you to that level, you are weak of mind, and weak of character.”

    Let me ask you, in all seriousness, how many times would it take before it sort of wore you down? Chicago Dad said “In my neighborhood last week, there was a young, 10-year old black child that was harassed by a car full of white teens. We have constant violence here with 9 year-olds getting executed in alleys. We have white residents who say horrible things, publicly, about African-Americans and their neighborhoods. And aggressive racist vandalism.” So clearly that is making it real hard for those people to contribute and work towards curing autism or building a self driving car or joining society in a meaningful way. It wont be impossible for some, but it will be impossible for others. But ChiPops basically says that mild forms of racism are therefore not an interference even if they are constant. I would ask what effect it has when your parents have to explain to you as a child that the police will not act towards you the same way they will act towards white people you know. I ask what effect it will have when many store owners will simply treat you with suspicion. I ask what effect it will have if people assume you couldn’t get into college let alone an Ivy League one without affirmative action. Etc. Etc.

    I see what you are saying. I see where you are coming from. But, like many times on the FRK website, users swing the pendulum to far in the other directions because of a knee jerk reaction. But to at least a small degree that young woman yelling in the video is correct.

  219. Dirk November 12, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

    @ChicagoDad November 12, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

    I think by saying WTF is wrong with you Yale Admins the students are indeed confronting racism. You’re talking about a school that has a building named for one of the greatest American racists of all time John C. Calhoun. To them this is common sense. (This entire thing is complicated by the house systems at places like Yale which are slightly different than at most other colleges. In that the houses are centers of social life, and are not quite the same as typical dorms.) Here is an article by a Yale prof just published that explains it better than I could…https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/11/12/heres-what-my-yale-students-get-free-expression-and-anti-racism-arent-mutually-exclusive/

  220. Dirk November 12, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    @ChicagoDad November 12, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

    I think by saying WTF is wrong with you Yale Admins the students are indeed confronting racism. You’re talking about a school that has a building named for one of the greatest American racists of all time John C. Calhoun. To them this is common sense. (This entire thing is complicated by the house systems at places like Yale which are slightly different than at most other colleges. In that the houses are centers of social life, and are not quite the same as typical dorms.) Here is an article by a Yale prof just published that explains it better than I could…https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/11/12/heres-what-my-yale-students-get-free-expression-and-anti-racism-arent-mutually-exclusive/

  221. James Pollock November 12, 2015 at 8:43 pm #

    :Students are going to these schools and are pissed they aren’t what they were sold as. Racist free…”

    Anyone who thinks any part of the world is racist-free is too stupid to be educated successfully.

  222. Warren November 12, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

    Dirk,

    Funny, you blame racism for people’s failure to live up to their potential. The way I see it, those that are going to be great, those that are going to succeed, will do so. If others treatment of them, or view of them can prevent them from being the best they can be, then they were never that great to begin with. The truly great do so despite others.

    If you let others control your life and future, then you are just as much the problem. You are either strong or you are weak. Which one are you? Because you seem to be the kind to use racism as an excuse for your own failings.

  223. ChicagoDad November 12, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

    @Dirk. If you say the Yale students are running an effective protest to strike at the heart of institutionalized racism, I’ll take your word for it. It looks to me, at best, like a counterproductive, self-defeating endeavor on their part.

    If the Yale activists wanted to do something, I have six ideas right now:

    1) Raise money to change the name of the Calhoun building. If the administration won’t change it, buy a sign (or bench or fountain) to put in front of the building with a better name, as a “gift from the class of 2015”. And then organize the students agree to only call the building by its new name.

    2) There is likely a wealth gap between minority alumni and white alumni–it’s pretty common at any university. Minority alumni probably also have less influence on school policy than white alumni. Solve both. Business and Comp Sci students could design a crowd-sourcing app to raise venture capital from Yale minority alumni and their allies to help recent minority Yale alumns start new businesses. The same app could send the donors updates on university news and policies that might interest them, with a social media feedback feature to give the alumni office instant feedback. Two birds, one stone. The students could use the momentum of the protests to ask for start up funds and alumni data and support from the alumni office.

    3) Students could organize to boycott fraternities and sororities that are alleged to accommodate racism. Or, even better, start their own house dedictated to inclusion, diversity and dialog. They could demand support, or space, from the administration for the new dorm.

    4) Journalism students could write a series on campus racism, comparing the experience at ivy league schools, state schools and community colleges–and use the protests to demand funding for travel and expenses. Maybe Salon.com would pick it up.

    5) The students could demand support and raise funds to host high-profile debates putting their best ideas against the older generation’s free-speech proponents. Warren and I would buy tickets. Maybe Roger too. But Donna should moderate the debates. I’d nominate Lenore to MC.

    6) The students could organize and demand support for a controversial art installation depicting 21st century American racism, and then organize funds to bring disadvantaged high school students to Yale on field trips to see the work and discuss it with the artist(s) and students.

    Who knows, maybe they are doing this already. The Yale students could probably come up with better ideas if they were actually challenged to do so. But all of these could start a virtuous cycle to improve the campus. All of them require initiative, confronting racism (real or hypothetical) and working outside of the safety zone.

  224. Roger the Shrubber November 13, 2015 at 8:19 am #

    Dirk – you have drug this conservation into the weeds with your non-sequitors and avoidance of addressing direct questions concerning the Yale email and student response. No one here is arguing that racism doesn’t exist or that it is a good thing. Your examples of true racism and lectures of how racism is a bad thing is really pointless to the discussion of the situation at Yale.

    I took the time to listen to the Cracked podcast you recommended. It starts with a discussion of ‘check your privilege,’ which is really just a reframing of the old adage ‘don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.’ Which is good advice. The problem comes when people use the concept to substitute for charges of racism and sexism in ad hominem attacks in attempts to exclude people from the discussion. It is often used as a clever way to say ‘Shut up!’ The podcast goes on with a lecture which is basically summarized in your BIG POINT above which I really have no real problem with, as I’ve said. I just don’t think that it’s really relevant to the discussion of what has happened at Yale. The podcasters weakly dismiss arguments that many issues are strongly related to economic factors, rather that solely racism, hint at the Gamergate issue and imply that it is the responsibility of some poor white trailer trash to take up the feminist cause lest he implicate himself as an enemy of the cause.

    As Christakis points out in her email, it’s all good in theory; the issues arise when one tries to craft institutional policy in a multicultural environment that would lead to the desired outcomes of a fraction of the students that she and her husband are supposed to represent. In response to the students that questioned the intent of the administrations statement, she basically said that there is no ‘policy’, please don’t ask me to institute one, but I would welcome a rational discussion of the topic. This didn’t conform to your question begging of ‘blackface is racist, ALWAYS,’ a subject that is open to rational discussion among rational people, but not, apparently, to those that think that the mere suggestion that there is a rational discussion to be had creates an environment where she does not feel welcome or safe. And that is the point that you consciously avoid when you continue to say ‘but look over here – racism!’ as if that is responsive to what has occurred at Yale.

    Yes, I read the Zareena Grewal article. She basically makes the same argument you are.

    I have to ask, Dirk. Do you work at an institute of higher learning?

  225. James Pollock November 13, 2015 at 9:35 am #

    Roger, you obviously just don’t get that Racism Is Bad, and that Students Today Won’t Stand For It. Why do you support racism?

  226. LIsa November 13, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    I have read with great interest the wide and varied stance on the Yale email and ensuing demonstration on the green. Why is it that I don’t hear anyone being appalled at the complete, utter and distasteful lack of respect heaved upon Nick? He was brave to have engaged the students in an an attempt to obviously quell the growing frenzy that was created. But, for the young lady who inserted herself into the discussion and turned the effort into a freak side show was truly unacceptable. Yale student; your vocabulary isn’t developed enough to choose words with more than 4 letters? AND, this is something that’s going to be around for your children to see; can’t imagine how I would explain that one. AND the anger and hatred she spewed at him, this is a leading contributor to why our society is regressing; people DO NOT know how to speak to one another any more, contentious topic or not, respect and civility in face to face conversation is a thing of the past (IMHO), which I thank social outlets of any source.

    I respect every commenters right to their opinion and thank them for crafting them in such a way (mostly) to convey a point of view while may not be my point of view but was conveyed in such a way that I will contemplate it and not feel judged. Thank you.

  227. Cam November 13, 2015 at 11:05 am #

    Being no stranger to campus excitement (I went to school in the 60’s/70’s), I have heard a good deal of shouting and worse during campus protests. But those were protests over napalm being dropped on children, wars being fought in far-flung corners of the globe with no prospect of being “won”, sexual assault, gross income discrepancy, and more.

    Not over Hallowe’en costumes.

    Indeed, the campus where I spent many happy (and activist) years, hosted an annual Hallowe’en celebration that rivaled Mardie Gras. And the costumes! So fun, creative, and, yes, many of them far from ‘politically correct’.

    Many today–including students at elite universities like Yale, who should know better–are forgetting that we live in a country that strives to be tolerant. Not always successfully, of course. But we do strive, and have gone so far as to enshrine our idealism and commitment to tolerance of thought and expression in a document called the Bill of Rights, and something called The First Amendment.

    First Amendment rights do not create safety, at least not in the sense that the young woman in the video seems to want. They do however, create safety in that, barring a few extreme assertions, one can rest assured that in the US, one can speak his or her mind. This, of course, does not create a safe, “home”-like environment where everyone agrees with everyone else, and is polite, respectful, and restrained.

    It creates precisely the opposite; a nation that is messy, noisy, creative, fast-paced, fascinating, and littered daily with the ideas, musings, rants and ramblings–intelligent, rational, biased, insulting, or not–of millions of people.

    While I cringe at both what, and how, the student spoke to the professor, I am heartened that as she verbally assaulted him, many students drifted away, presumably acutely uncomfortable with what was being said and how.

    And I am impressed with the restraint shown by the professor. I don’t know if I could have taken that abuse.

  228. Dirk November 13, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

    @ChicagoDad November 12, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

    Yeah, I would agree with the sentiment you made that at least some of the actions by concerned students at Yale have been counter productive. I think the counter productive things come from a few different factors/types. 1) Getting to Yale or any school and finding out that the admissions brochure didn’t accurately depict things for a minority student. That despite all the things attempting to alleviate divides (like having a winter coat fund for poor students, or a multicultural startup group to learn how to navigate a school with Yale like traditions that you have never ever seen before) students get there and are basically excluded from things or in more dire ways actively ostracized. 2) When students arrive at Yale or any college and are suddenly presented with actions from non minority classmates who think everything is cool now, we are post racial or whatever and they can use the N word, dress up as Lil Wayne for Halloween, or whatever and who don’t realize that they are offending someone. This compounded when it happens every…single…day. 3) When the school itself, the company that you are paying in many peoples eyes, doesn’t seem to care. That despite all the things they have done (Multicultural Centers, maybe an extra workshop like “Navigating Yale for First Generation College Students,” or having Freshman Deans, etc) still seems to have institutionally racist underpinnings. Having to live in a dorm named after a slave trader for example, or the primacy of private dinning halls that historically wont admit minorities, etc. Non of these things should cause an emotional breakdown in isolation or if stumble upon once. It is the rolling and continuous nature of them, I think, that cultivates the responses you have seen. Now I have to admit, the issues in Missouri seem far more concrete than at Yale. But I think these are issues that are building in many if not most institutions if higher learning these days because younger students have grown up the impression that college will be different, and the racism they have experienced (like having to be told when you are a black child that the police will treat your white friends differently than they will treat you) that that racism will not be there in college because college students know better. The students are waking up to the fact that this is not the case, and they are pretty pissed about it.

  229. Dirk November 13, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

    @Roger the Shrubber November 13, 2015 at 8:19 am #

    Hi Roger, The reason the student was so upset at the House Master (which don’t get pissed at me but that name…come on…House Master?) she got so upset at the house master’s email (you succinctly laid it out as …she basically said that there is no ‘policy’, please don’t ask me to institute one, but I would welcome a rational discussion of the topic….”) the reason the young woman got so angry at that is the House Masters job is to run a fancy Yale style dorm. Literally to make sure the toilets are clean, that there are social events, that there are rooms to study in, that there are some academic resources for the residents to use. I am sure if you looked at the job description it would say something about guiding the social, academic, and yes intellectual experiences of the residence. But the students view their residences at Yale and elsewhere surely more as a place to hang your hat, relax, and study. Like I said before, I get what the College Master was trying to say, but she did a bad job of it and I will explain why I say that. In response to her email a large portion of the student body reacted negatively. The misjudged her audience and did not persuade them for very specific reasons.

    A multicultural group at Yale had sent out an email explicitly citing blackface as a costume worn in the past and how that was negatively received by black students due to the history of blackface in America. The College Master then sent out an email in direct response to the first email from the multicultural group which had cited blackface as a costume worn in the past and how blackface is negatively received by black students due to the history of blackface in America. The College Master’s email was negatively received because of the one small portion of it which was perceived as saying, if you see someone wearing an offensive costume (which to many readers of the College Master’s email directly and primarily meant the blackface costumes referenced in the email the College Master was responding to) to “look away” and in the minds of the readers to essentially accept it.

  230. Dirk November 13, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

    @Roger the Shrubber November 13, 2015 at 8:19 am #

    O draw some different conclusions from the podcast. 1) That most non minorities don’t have an historical handle on the relevance of race. (Not understanding that to many people using blackface is tantamount to using the N word regardless of intent,) 2) that most non minorities don’t grasp that they have an instant leg up on minorities due to historical events and cultural bias (like the fact that blacks get pulled over for traffic violations more despite breaking traffic laws at the same rate as whites). And I believe another person commented here about discrimination against Italians, it is the same here; or for the Irish, Jews. Etc. I would have to think if you hear enough times that girls are good at math you simply wont want to major in Math. Case in point the closer you are to being a white, protestant, male from the Northeast…the more likely you are to get into Yale. 3) Every time you slow the progress of an an individual you hurt the progress of the god damn human race. Is it that hard to think hey, lets not use things that are mildly racist because it will slow someone down…even 18%. There are certainly broader more violent and destructing forms of racism alive and well in America. But I also think that casual racism, even if it is from blindspots someone has towards other racial groups due to lack of life experience, is BS.

    Look, if you are are at college and people every single damn week say things like “You’re not really black,” or “You’re one of the good ones,” or “I don’t think of you as black.” or “Did you grow up in the ghetto?” or “We can go to that chicken place if you that is the food you like.” or “Where are you from? In Africa? What do you mean you don’t know? You’re from Kansas? But you’re black…” When you hear these things week in week out it becomes at the very least a distraction. And at worse the type of pervasive bullying that makes staying at that school not worth it. I think the young woman wasn’t just yelling because of Halloween costumes. She was yelling because of a series of things that she has experienced. Like a person getting into a fight because of a traffic jam, it wasn’t the traffic that cause it. It was the hard day at work plus the son that got in trouble plus the dog pooping on the rug plus the mortgage plus your crazy mother in law that boiled up at the moment you got cut off in traffic and you got into that screaming match and a fist fight with a stranger… The young women in the video wasn’t just yelling about halloween costumes. She was yelling about 250 years of racism.

  231. Brent November 13, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    I’m reading a book about World War II right now (“Unbroken”). Holy cow how young adults have changed over a few generations! In the 1940’s, many young adults lived through absolute terror fighting in WWII as well as the brave men and women who still face similar terrors on today’s battlefronts. And now people get their figurative panties in a wad over Halloween costumes. How did we go from the greatest generation to wusses in such a relatively short period of time?

  232. James Pollock November 13, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

    “A multicultural group at Yale had sent out an email explicitly citing blackface as a costume worn in the past and how that was negatively received by black students due to the history of blackface in America. The College Master then sent out an email in direct response to the first email from the multicultural group which had cited blackface as a costume worn in the past and how blackface is negatively received by black students due to the history of blackface in America. The College Master’s email was negatively received because of the one small portion of it which was perceived as saying, if you see someone wearing an offensive costume (which to many readers of the College Master’s email directly and primarily meant the blackface costumes referenced in the email the College Master was responding to) to “look away” and in the minds of the readers to essentially accept it.”

    Blah Blah Blah blackface blah blackface blah blah blackface.

    Still no actual people wearing blackface in the story.

  233. Warren November 13, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

    Dirk but should be Doink the Clown,

    She was yelling about 250 years of racism.

    Then I really have to hand it to he. She doesn’t look even remotely close to 250 yrs ago.

    And that is one of the problems. Get out of the past, stop whining and bitching about the past. My generation did not have anything to do with racism of the past. And we damn well are tired of paying for it and having it thrown in our faces. This is not the Klingon home world, where a man’s dishonor is burdened upon all future generations.

    You want to put an end to racism, then stop living in the past and move towards the future. Because each and every time you tell me about what your people went through generations ago, I am going to tell you to shut up and grow up.

  234. Dirk November 13, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

    @Brent November 13, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    Actually, young people just sort of finished fighting the longest running war in US history. Of course it really isn’t over.

  235. James Pollock November 13, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

    “young people just sort of finished fighting the longest running war in US history. Of course it really isn’t over.”

    If you’re finished fighting, but it isn’t over, you lost.

  236. Dirk November 13, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    @Warren November 13, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

    If your dad was born at a time when he wasn’t allowed to vote how different do you think your life would be?

    If it was illegal for you to marry who you wanted to marry until 1976, how different do you think your life would be?

    If your parents were, by government decree, not allowed to receive mortgages for homes in certain areas, how different do you think your life would be?

    Everything that you are now was created by a million things that happened before you were born and which are currently out of your control.

    In the podcast I mentioned they use an example of snow. You talk about how “…my generation did not have anything to do with racism of the past. And we damn well are tired of paying for it and having it thrown in our faces. This is not the Klingon home world, where a man’s dishonor is burdened upon all future generations.” You are right, but what you are talking about is blame. No one is blaming you. No one blames you when it snows. But you are responsible for shoveling your walkway, driving safely, and dressing your kids warmly. When the civil war happened in the US, was it the fault of Union Soldiers that our forefathers had legalized institutional slavery? No, but it was their responsibility and the responsibility of all Americans to end it. When Lyndon Johnson was president, was it his fault that reconstruction had failed and blacks didn’t have basic civil rights in America? No, but it was his responsibility and the responsibility of all Americans to ensure that they did. Is it your fault racism exists in America? No, but you are responsible for ending it as best you can. You aren’t a child who only has to clean up his own room. I’m sorry. Yes, I am not to blame for what came before me, but I am responsible for what happens right now. A middle relief pitcher has no blame for being behind in the count when he takes the field, but he sure as hell is responsible for closing the inning.

  237. Dirk November 13, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    @James Pollock November 13, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

    In general blackface has been an issue at Yale specifically for about 10 years. Certain student organizations seem to like wearing it in waves as classes come and go. Just google Yale and blackface and articles from the Yale Daily News or Hartford C will come up.

  238. James Pollock November 13, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    “In general blackface has been an issue at Yale specifically for about 10 years.”

    In specific blackface was not an issue at Yale specifically this year, and none of the people in this story were in blackface, none were alleged to be in blackface, and, one more time for the challenged… there was no blackface.

  239. James Pollock November 13, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

    … except, of course, for the people who were born with black faces, which presumably you have no quarrel with.

  240. Dirk November 13, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    @James Pollock November 13, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    “In general blackface has been an issue at Yale specifically for about 10 years.”

    “In specific blackface was not an issue at Yale specifically this year, and none of the people in this story were in blackface, none were alleged to be in blackface, and, one more time for the challenged… there was no blackface.”

    That’s presumably right, and due to the fact that all this happened before Halloween…

  241. Roger the Shrubber November 13, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

    Dirk – I can appreciate that you feel it is your personal responsibility to fight against racism and call it out whenever it presents itself. But it has lead you to see racism where it does not exist which, in the end, hurts your effort. You mentioning the House Master is the perfect example. You seem smart enough to realize how the title of House Master came to be. It is a relic of the English school system that gave titles to administrators such as Head Mistress, School Master, and the like. But because you interpret everything through a lens of racial oppression, you immediately relate the word ‘master’ with ‘slave master’. Doing this is a form of mental illness as explained in the Atlantic article I cited.

    Now I don’t deny that some comments are made with racist intent, but this problematic mode of thinking is often evident in claims of microagressions. When a white womom asks a black women how she cares for her hair, instead of thinking that she would like to know more about her in a cultural sense, faulty thinking projects malignant racist intent. When a white person asks a n Asian where he was born, instead of thinking that he would like to know more about him and his cultural haritage, faulty thinking assumes that the question is intended to exclude him from the American experience.

    Now this faulty thinking has manifested itself in an inappropriate outburst buy a young woman that has been recorded for all the world to see, forever. She has been identified and now she will forever be associated with this incident. I am glad I grew up in a time when my most embarrassing and inappropriate interaction with another human being was recorded for posterity. I feel sorry for her. But her reaction was less about the 250 year black experience in America than the 3 year she has spent at Yale, exposed to an ideogy than has led her to interpret any racial comment as an expression of racism.

  242. James Pollock November 13, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

    ““In specific blackface was not an issue at Yale specifically this year, and none of the people in this story were in blackface, none were alleged to be in blackface, and, one more time for the challenged… there was no blackface.”

    That’s presumably right, and due to the fact that all this happened before Halloween…

    If you’d like to share the names of any Yale students who were in blackface on (or after) Halloween, I’d be happy to join you in deriding them. If not, I plan to continue deriding you for continuing to pretend it was an actual issue in any way related to this.

    Since Mr. C. did not don blackface, did not suggest that anyone should don blackface, and did not, in fact, as best as I can tell, refer to blackface in any way, shape, or form… how is anyone justified in yelling at HIM over anyone wearing blackface, real OR hypothetical?

  243. Dirk November 13, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

    http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2007/11/01/white-yalies-in-blackface-reveal-racism-on-campus/

    I’m done. You don’t see you aren’t completely right and you don’t see that the young woman isn’t completely wrong. The reason for this is you assume everyone is the same as you, and if they aren’t that it is due to their short comings.

  244. Dirk November 13, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

    @James Pollock November 13, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

    If not blackface then what. What offensive costumes as the House Master referring to? It is 100% true that she was referencing another email that explicitly talked about blackface amongst other costumes. But if not blackface then what the hell was she referring to as an offensive costume?

  245. Warren November 13, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

    Doink,

    “Is it your fault racism exists in America? No, but you are responsible for ending it as best you can.”

    How do you figure? First of all I am Canadian, not American. Secondly, how does anybody expect race not to be an issue, when you here blacks calling it “our community”, meaning the black community, and the same for most other minorities? When minorities stop playing the race card, then that will be the first biggest step towards the end of racism in America, in this century.

    As for your analogies, you are wrong on both counts. Snow is a naturally occurring event, where racism, wars, and so on, are man created issues and events. Again your apples have nothing to do with your oranges.

    Also any relief pitcher that comes in, is NOT responsible for players on base, or at bat. Any runs scored by those on base, are credited to the pitcher that pitched to them. And if a relief pitcher comes in with a batter at the plate. That plate appearance goes against the pitcher that started. Nice try but you fail again.

  246. James Pollock November 13, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

    The offer was:

    “If you’d like to share the names of any Yale students who were in blackface on (or after) Halloween, I’d be happy to join you in deriding them. If not, I plan to continue deriding you for continuing to pretend it was an actual issue in any way related to this.”

    You chose option B.
    Number of Yale students in blackface: 0
    Number of times Mrs. C used the word “blackface”: 0
    Number of times Mr. C used the word “blackface”: 0

    Number of times Dirk has used the word “blackface” to refer to people who were not wearing blackface, are not known to have ever used blackface… 40? 50? (No, I’m not going to go back and count).

    Somebody’s obsessed with something, and it’s interfering with his ability to function normally… the very definition of mental illness. I’m not qualified to give you the kind of help you need (wrong kind of doctor).

  247. Dirk November 13, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

    @Warren November 13, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

    The relief pitcher is responsible for what he does and has to deal with what happened before. He isn’t to blame for the runs scored, outs, or balls prior to his arrival, but he has to deal with what happened. That is exactly the point.

    There is a difference between blame and responsibility (or involvement if you prefer that word). Middle relief has to deal with the events that occurred prior, he isn’t to blame for them, but he has to deal with them. They aren’t naturally occurring either. The point is things have happened before you get there and you have to deal with them.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————–

    I hadn’t thought about blackface since history class. But this is what happened at Yale that brought it up…

    “On October 28, a university committee on intercultural affairs sent a campus-wide email urging students to reconsider Halloween costumes that might be racially insensitive. In response a few days later, a lecturer in early childhood development sent an email to the few hundred students in her residential college questioning whether the first email had been necessary and worrying that universities had become “places of censure and prohibition.””

    The “costumes that might be racially insensitive” in the original email EXPLICITLY used the word blackface. Here is the original email.

    https://www.thefire.org/email-from-intercultural-affairs/

  248. Roger the Shrubber November 13, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

    Dirk- I’m really trying to read your comments sympathetically. But are you really denying the truth of the origin of the term House Master? is your argument really nothing more than things are racist because they make me feel bad, that they are reminiscent the racist things?

  249. Dirk November 13, 2015 at 9:26 pm #

    @Roger the Shrubber November 13, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

    I think you shouldn’t give anybody the opportunity to misinterpret things. The word master is loaded no matter the intention.

    http://www.bet.com/news/national/2013/07/24/commentary-why-white-people-don-t-see-racism.html

    Like I said. I don’t think the College Master was entirely wrong and I don’t think the young woman was entirely right, and vice versa.

  250. Roger the Shrubber November 13, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

    That’s funny, being that much of you offense is derived from the purposeful misinterpretation of people.

  251. Warren November 13, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    Doink,

    You cannot even keep your thought process straight. Of course the relief pitcher has to deal with what he comes into. But I am not coming into the middle of legalized slavery, nor the middle of the era in which certain genders and races could not vote……………..wait for it, wait for it……………………because those issues have already been dealt with.

    If I step on the mound with runners on base, yes the outcome of the game can rest on my shoulders. When I wake up tomorrow, slavery, and all sorts of other crap will have no effect on my day, week, year or life. It is history. People learned from it. It is over. And no matter how much you want to or how loud you want to, today’s generations have nothing to do with slavery or other issues that have been resolved. No matter what side your on.

    And unless you address the point of minorities trying to segregate themselves from society, such as “our community”, meaning the black, hispanic or whatever, instead of it being one big community, then shut the hell up.

    I am sick and tired of people like you using racism for being weak, and cowardly. A crack dealer doing time, isn’t their because people called him names, or his great great great great uncle was a slave, or his whatever died building the railroad or any other BS EXCUSE. He is in prison, because he chose to sell crack, instead of going to school, working his ass off and making something of his life.

    I don’t know what you do for a living and really don’t give a rat’s furry ass. But if your life is lousy, not what you wanted or just sucks…………….look in the mirror for the cause and nowhere else.

  252. Dirk November 13, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

    @Warren RE: Look in the mirror comment.

    Yup you are responsible for what you do.

    Let me ask you. Do you give any credit to who are as a person to your parents or the environment you were raised in? The things that happened before you were involved? What about the fact that you are Canadian? You are Canadian because of something someone else did. And you had no choice in the matter.

  253. James Pollock November 13, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

    “I think you shouldn’t give anybody the opportunity to misinterpret things. The word master is loaded no matter the intention.”

    So, now you want Yale to stop conferring Master’s degrees?

  254. Dirk November 13, 2015 at 10:07 pm #

    @Warren…

    http://www.bet.com/news/national/2013/07/24/commentary-why-white-people-don-t-see-racism.html

    Unfortunately, our laws and our public discourse haven’t kept up with the changes in racism. Many whites are still stuck in the 1960s image of overt bigotry, of Klansmen burning crosses and segregationist governors blocking schoolhouse doors. They may know a parent or a grandparent who still uses the N-word, but as long as they refrain from using it themselves then they can’t possibly be racist, they think.

    But Paula Deen aside, modern racism isn’t really about the N-word. New code words like Detroit, Chicago, “Stand Your Ground,” voter ID, food stamps and welfare now carry the same impact with dog whistle messages too subtle to be reported by many in the media. This seemingly race-neutral language allows the majority to engage in public discourse under the mantle of innocence and thus dismiss the vestiges and effects of hundreds of years of legally sanctioned white supremacy. The only racists in this vision are the people who complain about racism.

    That’s why the U.S. Supreme Court eviscerated the Voting Rights Act last month and argued it had outlived its utility. And that’s why George Zimmerman’s defense attorney Mark O’Mara last week told Fox News’s Sean Hannity that his client, a known killer with a long arrest record, was just a “meek, mild guy without a racist bone in his body.”

    If you kill an unarmed Black boy or fan the flames of white resentment on talk radio, you’re a “patriot.” But if you help the family of the young Black boy who was killed, you’re a “race hustler.” To be white in America allows you the freedom to remain oblivious to these distinctions.

    Yes, this dialogue must be a two-way conversation. But until white Americans examine their own racial privilege and open their eyes to the experience of Black Americans, they’ll never notice the magnet we carry every day.

    @James There is a diff between being a master of a space or people and being a master of information.

  255. Dirk November 13, 2015 at 10:11 pm #

    I’m going to my bed. I’ll wake up tomorrow and not worry about cops profiling me, I’ll go shopping and be welcomed in every store I enter. I will think about work and how likely it is I will get promoted. I’ll look at real estate listings ensured that my bank will always give me a fair mortgage and that I will be welcomed in any new community. I am riding the crest of every successful possibility a person could.

  256. James Pollock November 13, 2015 at 10:22 pm #

    “There is a diff between being a master of a space or people and being a master of information.”
    “The word master is loaded no matter the intention.”

    Make up your mind.

  257. Warren November 14, 2015 at 2:33 am #

    Doink,

    You just don’t get it, do you. Unless you were born with a medical condition, or some mental condition, including learning disabilities, it is up to you. You can sit back and cry because you were born poor, or black, that you were abused and so on and so forth. Go ahead and use all that as your excuse for not succeeding. The truly great ones not only do in despite their upbringing, and environment, but for some it is the motivation behind their success.

    As for being Canadian, well that is by birth, and by choice. Should I ever feel the need, which will never happen, I could pretty much move to and become a citizen wherever I choose. But I choose to be Canadian, as it is beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best damn place in the world to live, and raise a family.

    And yeppers my parents get credit for me being born healthy, with the genetics from my lines making me big and tough enough to do the work I enjoy. I also give them credit for raising me to have a work ethic second to none. And for them to wait for it, wait for it, not sit back and expect them or the world to hand me anything. To work for what I want, and stand up for what I believe in.

    Like right now. I am on my tablet, at the truck stop having coffee. Just finished replacing two 11R24.5’s on a trailer, in the dark, in the snow. And am waiting for another customer to get here. He has a blowout on his lift axle, of a 385/65R22.5, and should be here in about 30 mins. It is called work. Something you should consider doing one day, instead of complaining about how hard you had/have it.

    And you still have never addressed anything I have asked you to. Probably because you can’t.

  258. Warren November 14, 2015 at 7:15 am #

    Doink,

    Just got in from doing yet another service call. Was on the go all night. That is what people do when they want to succeed.

    “I’m going to my bed. I’ll wake up tomorrow and not worry about cops profiling me, I’ll go shopping and be welcomed in every store I enter. I will think about work and how likely it is I will get promoted. I’ll look at real estate listings ensured that my bank will always give me a fair mortgage and that I will be welcomed in any new community. I am riding the crest of every successful possibility a person could.”

    If the cops are profiling you, then move somewhere else.
    If you are not welcome in all stores, stop being a jerk.
    If you want to be promoted, work harder.
    If you want a fair mortgage, work harder.
    If you want to be welcome in any community, stop being a jerk.

    You see the common thread……….you. Your attitude, and work ethic. And yes, I have been in business long enough to know that someone like you has a piss poor work ethic, because it is never your fault.

    And now after being on the go all night, I am off to run my brother in laws feed mill for him today. He had surgery and I won’t let him close up while he is on the mend. Loyalty, family and do what needs to be done. Things quite foreign to you.

  259. Roger the Shrubber November 14, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    Dirk – Not everyone here is giving you a fair shake. But as someone who agrees with you 95%, I don’t really appreciate being called a racist because because I ask you to reconsider your opinion on the other 5%.

  260. Roger the Shrubber November 14, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

    My kids train in martial arts. Their head instructor and others who gave attained the highest rank are addressed as Master.

  261. Dirk November 14, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

    @Warren November 14, 2015 at 7:15 am #

    Don’t conflate the argument I have made with how my life has gone, my background, where I come from or what I do for a living. I am not worried about any of the things I just outlined, that was the point.

    “Loyalty, family and do what needs to be done.” You sound more industrious than I realized, What do you think led to your successful mindset?

  262. Dirk November 14, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

    @Roger the Shrubber November 14, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    Sorry. I think everyone is an ist of some sort though. In general everyone congregates first with the people most like themselves. Marines with Marines, hockey players with hockey players, southerners with southerners.

    Roger the Shrubber November 14, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

    Maybe…I don’t know. That’s a tough one. In the context of MA, Master doesn’t mean “owner” or “overseer”, it means “expert” in whatever MA that they instruct in.

  263. James Pollock November 14, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

    ” In the context of MA, Master doesn’t mean “owner” or “overseer”, it means “expert” in whatever MA that they instruct in.”

    Guess what it means in a university context?

  264. Dirk November 14, 2015 at 9:30 pm #

    @JP

    A House Master or College Master…I don’t know. I was fine with it for most of my life but know it seems past its date.

  265. James Pollock November 14, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

    “it seems past its date.”

    “Master” has meant “expert” for about 500 years or so, going back to the earliest trade guilds (a pillar of freedom, BTW, and the beginning of the end for monarchial power.). When, exactly during that timeframe, did it go past its “sell-by” date?

  266. Roger the Shrubber November 15, 2015 at 7:28 am #

    ‘It’s OK when we do it’
    http://www.hulu.com/watch/10356

    BTW this skit is great as it attacks both sides. It highlights the existence of privilege yet mocks those who think that this is how easy it must be for white people.

  267. David November 15, 2015 at 9:25 am #

    Nona – Last I was aware desecration of the American flag was legal, despite the fact that too many it is deeply offensive. Why? Because freedom of speech and expression is a constitutional right. To then argue for the need to “manage” Halloween costume selection by presumed bright, young “adults” so as to avoid offending every potential ethnic/social/religious/cultural/sexual-oriented group seems silly. It’s gonna happen. Further, to then make the leap from a discussion about HALLOWEEN costumes to misappropriating the Medal of Honor is ridiculous. We are talking about HALLOWEEN outfits. Is there no longer any proportionality to perceived victimization and the offending action?

  268. Warren November 15, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

    Dirk,
    ” What do you think led to your successful mindset?”

    My own personal code, my own hard work, and the fact that “I don’t give a damn about what other people think, What do you think about that?”.

    I do not see in term of race, religion or gender. I see and live with people. End of story. The moment one brings race, religion or gender into the equation, they are usually on the way out of my circle, because those things have no place in it.

  269. Dirk November 15, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

    @Warren November 15, 2015 at 2:29 pm # I asked “” What do you think led to your successful mindset?” and you answered “My own personal code, my own hard work.” And what events in your life led to you developing your own personal code, and instilled the concept of hard work?

  270. Dirk November 15, 2015 at 8:23 pm #

    @ames Pollock November 14, 2015 at 9:17 pm #” In the context of MA, Master doesn’t mean “owner” or “overseer”, it means “expert” in whatever MA that they instruct in.”Guess what it means in a university context?

    As a degree, which I think is what you are referring to, it means a master as an expert. In a university setting such as House or College Master it means overseer. I think it went past its sell by date when it became primarily associated with the concept of slavery for most people.

  271. James Pollock November 15, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

    “I think it went past its sell by date when it became primarily associated with the concept of slavery for most people.”

    I see. So, it’s just limped on for the last 4500 years or so?

    BTW… congratulations… you managed to go 2 consecutive comments without mentioning blackface. You’re making progress.

  272. Warren November 16, 2015 at 2:56 am #

    Doink,
    Are you writing my biography?

    Why don’t you answer some questions for a change.

    In answer to yours. I made me who I am. It is that simple. I don’t blame others for my failings or give them credit for my success. It is all on me.

  273. Roger the Shrubber November 16, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    People don’t go around calling people with Master’s Degrees, ‘Master Smith.’ At Yale, are the administrative ‘masters’ addressed as ‘Master Smith?’ Regardless of the racial overtones that can reasonably be inferred, despite the non-racial origin of the term, the Christakis’ are glorified babysitters and activity coordinators of young adults. If I were them, I would be embarrassed to be addressed by another human being as ‘Master.’ But having the position of House Master, and being referred to as ‘Mr. Christakis, Master of Southerland House’ is only offensive to those who are looking to take offense. I would be very surprised to learn that he is commonly referred to as ‘Master Christakis.’ Anyone in their position insisting to be addressed as ‘Master Smith’ is, frankly, a prick.

  274. Dirk November 16, 2015 at 2:08 pm #

    @Roger the Shrubber November 16, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    Being a College Master at Yale or House Master at Harvard means that is your title (they are Profs too, have doctorates, and the entire thing is unrelated to the degree of master of whatever). In relation to their admin duties. they would be referred to as College Master Smith or simply Master Smith. So students will get emails that say Master so and so, and people will refer to them as Master so and so. Lots of people simple say Prof to get around it because it is a little weird when it comes out of your mouth. Schools have headmasters too, but it sounds less odd with the extra part added I think. People approach it differently depending on where you are from.

  275. Dirk November 16, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    @Warren November 16, 2015 at 2:56 am # “Doink,Are you writing my biography? Why don’t you answer some questions for a change. In answer to yours. I made me who I am. It is that simple. I don’t blame others for my failings or give them credit for my success. It is all on me.”

    You were on a service call the other night. I guess you lived somewhere that you could receive training or go to school for a trade then? I know you have kids, they are lucky to have someone who works hard to provide for them and provide an example of self sufficiency. You are helping your brother in law out at the feed mill. He’s lucky to have a family member willing to help him out!

    Warren you are a reaction to everything that came before you. You are the result of many events that happened before and since you were born. You are a product of the genes you have, the nurture and example that was provided, and your environment.

  276. Roger the Shrubber November 16, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    A dear friend Yale grad tells me, ‘we never called them masters to address them. only if “there’s a masters tea today about modern art,” or, “the master of silliman is a professor in the history dept.” otherwise it was prof. smith or whatever.’

  277. Dirk November 16, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

    @Roger the Shrubber November 16, 2015 at 2:32 pm # “A dear friend Yale grad tells me, ‘we never called them masters to address them. only if “there’s a masters tea today about modern art,” or, “the master of silliman is a professor in the history dept.” otherwise it was prof. smith or whatever.”

    Yup, that’s why I said lots of people simply say Prof to get around it because Master is a little weird when it comes out of your mouth. But they still get emails that say Master so and so, and the website lists them as master, says it on the door to their office. Etc. http://silliman.yalecollege.yale.edu/masters-office

  278. Roger the Shrubber November 16, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

    ‘Warren you are a reaction to everything that came before you. You are the result of many events that happened before and since you were born. You are a product of the genes you have, the nurture and example that was provided, and your environment.’

    Dirk, It was obvious to me that that that what the point you were trying to make all along. But doesn’t that argument fall apart when Warren has a brother who has ruined his life with drug abuse, or is just a lazy SOB who would rather collect welfare than do honest work? Do you think that such situations between siblings do not exist?

    On the other hand, how do you explain the successes of people that have come from poverty to become successful people. Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey. Forget about the famous people we all know, why don’t you explain to these people how the world is rigged so they can’t succeed: http://fortune.com/2015/06/29/black-women-entrepreneurs/

  279. Warren November 16, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

    Doink,
    No I am a product of my own free will. I am a product of my own hard work. Nice try though.

    That is why people like you will never be a success, nor happy. You are always looking to the past and other sources for your failings, failures and successes. Instead of looking in the mirror.

  280. Dirk November 16, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

    @Warren November 16, 2015 at 2:52 pm # “Doink, No I am a product of my own free will. I am a product of my own hard work. Nice try though. That is why people like you will never be a success, nor happy. You are always looking to the past and other sources for your failings, failures and successes. Instead of looking in the mirror.”

    So you don’t think it matters at all if you beat the shit out of your kid everyday, or if you give them knowledge and a good example. The kid comes out the same. All determined by the random mix of genes?

  281. Roger the Shrubber November 16, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    ‘So you don’t think it matters at all if you beat the shit out of your kid everyday, or if you give them knowledge and a good example. The kid comes out the same.’

    Which has exactly zero to do about race.

  282. James Pollock November 16, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    “People don’t go around calling people with Master’s Degrees, ‘Master Smith.’”

    Well, I mean you can. Nobody’s stopping you.

    “Master” used to be the term applied to male minors before they became “Mister”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_(form_of_address)
    More than a little bit archaic nowadays.

    “Master” is a title that has been around for quite a while, in contexts other than in regards to slavery. For example, master sergeants and chief master sergeants only SEEM like slavedrivers.

  283. Roger the Shrubber November 16, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

    Dirk – after I admit that there are inequities in the world, that some are racially based, and that I feel fortunate for my privileged upbringing, what should I do? Please be aware that time and money are zero sum games and I have children that I feel is my duty to raise, provide for, and educate.

  284. Dirk November 16, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

    @Warren “That is why people like you will never be a success, nor happy.” You make some assumptions about me…

    It isn’t that you should look in the mirror, it is that you aren’t really in any control unless you practice introspection.

  285. Roger the Shrubber November 16, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

    James Pollock November 16, 2015 at 3:05 pm #
    “People don’t go around calling people with Master’s Degrees, ‘Master Smith.’”
    Well, I mean you can. Nobody’s stopping you.
    ——————-
    I shall begin referring to you as Master Pollock for all the wrong, ethnically stereotypical reasons.

  286. James Pollock November 16, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

    “I shall begin referring to you as Master Pollock for all the wrong, ethnically stereotypical reasons.”

    When I left, I was but the student. Now I am the master.

  287. Roger the Shrubber November 16, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

    ‘When I left, I was but the student. Now I am the master.’

    Well, you have been schooled.

  288. James Pollock November 16, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    You don’t know the power of the dark side.

  289. Roger the Shrubber November 16, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    ‘It isn’t that you should look in the mirror, it is that you aren’t really in any control unless you practice introspection.’

    I don’t want to defend Warren 100%, but what is he not ‘in control’ of? How does introspection give him more control?

  290. Roger the Shrubber November 16, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

    ‘You don’t know the power of the dark side.’

    Somehow there is always a railing guarding a long fall over which you can be thrown.

  291. Dirk November 16, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

    @Roger the Shrubber November 16, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    I was talking to Warren who thinks where you end up usually has nothing to do with where you start. I picked two examples very far apart to illustrate how an individual would end up a very different adult depending.

  292. James Pollock November 16, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

    “I don’t want to defend Warren 100%, but what is he not ‘in control’ of? How does introspection give him more control?”

    Know yourself, and know your enemy, and you will always be victorious — Sun Tzu.

  293. Warren November 16, 2015 at 4:24 pm #

    Doink,

    There’s the rub. You believe where you end up is related to where you started. And while yes it “can” be related, it most certainly does not “have” to.

    That is the problem with your program. No matter what the outcome you will find a way to connect it with the past. And all that is, is a way of relinquishing responsibility. The sign of a weak will and weak person. You either control your destiny or your let others control it. Your choice.

  294. Roger the Shrubber November 16, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

    ‘I picked two examples very far apart to illustrate how an individual would end up a very different adult depending.’

    And I gave an example of how two people starting at the same point can end up in very different places. And examples how people starting in very unprivlidged situations can end up very successful. Your theory of privlidge, while having a basis in fact, lacks the universal application that would make it a useful basis of any action.

  295. Dirk November 16, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

    @Warren November 16, 2015 at 4:24 pm # “Doink,There’s the rub. You believe where you end up is related to where you started. And while yes it “can” be related, it most certainly does not “have” to.”

    It is always related. There is no it “can” be related. Everyone starts at go. Why do you think most students get into Yale, or Harvard? It isn’t their bootstraps. It is because they were shepherded by their environments. The reason so many prep school students get in is the school prepares them in more ways than just getting straight As. The school cultivates their entire application, grooms them, for admission. Most of the applicants to the ivies haven’t even taken AP or advanced high school courses. Most haven’t done any let alone enough extracurriculars, etc.

    (@Roger) In contrast if the environment you are in is negative one of two things happen. Either you accept it, and live in that negative environment. Or you rebel against it and leave that negative environment. But those that rebel do so due to experiences that run counter to where they are. Meaning the environment they were in taught them what not to do. It is a harsher way to learn for sure. Or if they are lucky they have a positive impact point from somewhere in their life that leads them to leave. Most people in a negative situation never have that transformative experience in their life. They get stuck in the cycle of suck and stay in the negative.

  296. Roger the Shrubber November 16, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

    Dirk – Like I’ve said, I agree with you 95%. So I ask you again, what would you expect from me now, being 45 years old with 2 young kids, living in a 92% white, upper middle class community? Do you think that my opinion of the appropriateness of the Halloween costumes of Yale students, one way or the other, is going to have any effect on the opportunities presented to young minority children in some inner city? When you focus on the microagressions perceived by privileged minority students at elite universities you’re not missing the forest for the trees, you’re missing the world for a grain of sand.

  297. Dirk November 16, 2015 at 7:59 pm #

    I’m not focused on it. I’m just not excluding it.

  298. Warren November 16, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

    Doink,

    ” Meaning the environment they were in taught them what not to do.”. Nobody ever became a success by learning what not to do. You become a success by knowing what and when to do it. Rarely do people ever learn form other’s mistakes or failures.

    You can blame the past for whatever you want. I don’t give a rat’s ass. You can credit the past for whatever, and I feel the same way. There are certain characteristics that are common within successful people. DRIVE. AMBITION. DESIRE. & WORK ETHIC. None of which can be taught. You either embrace them, or you don’t. And that is all on the individual.

  299. hineata November 17, 2015 at 12:05 am #

    @Warren – ‘no man is an island’ and all that jazz. You can rightfully pat yourself on the back for working very hard both to get into business and in the course of running it, successful raising of a family etc, etc. These are all wonderful things.

    You are just wrong about race, though. It is only because you are white in a white majority country that you can ignore race, ethnicity, background etc. The subject is complex, as we can see from the many comments. If you spent a few months in a country where you were in the minority, I think you would see that race, ethnicity and culture are very important to you. You just haven’t been in a position where you’ve had to see you actually have a culture, and what such entails.

    Rather like many Kiwis when I was young would go around saying quite seriously that Kiwis don’t have accents, everyone else does…….it’s very difficult to see you have a culture when the way you do things is seldom challenged.

  300. Warren November 17, 2015 at 1:06 am #

    hineata,

    That is the problem. It is only a complex problem, because idiots make it a complex problem. I really get a laugh out of the problem. Because minority races don’t want equality. They want to be special interest groups. They want more than equality. They want this generation and future generations to pay for crap that went on years, decades, and centuries ago.

    And racism is never going to go away. Not as long as people like you and Dirk think I am doing something wrong, insensitive and or ignorant, when I don’t consider and see race, gender or religion. I see everyone as equals, and that is not good enough. And as long as people like you see it that way, the world is screwed.

  301. Warren November 17, 2015 at 1:11 am #

    hineata,

    Just to be clear……..were you politely accusing me of being part of the white elitist establishment, or were you just calling me a cracker?

    Either way, you are making some big assumptions.

  302. hineata November 17, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    @Warren – am not accusing you of anything, just pointing something out. I didn’t think skin colour mattered much until I spent months as a decided minority (in Malaysia). It was a really weird experience the first time I hit it outside of New Zealand. As a white-looking member of a Maori tribe I already had a few odd experiences here being in the ‘minority ‘.

    My husband is a hard worker, happens to make good money, etc etc. And has been in the country nearly 30 years now. A couple of times ago when we came back to NZ from somewhere, we happened to exit the plane separately. A customs agent, before the checlpoint and without seeing his Kiwi passport, very sternly asked him what his business in the country was. Ah, paying taxes..lots of taxes? English migrants never seem to get asked that…..He gets other odd crap as well. The kids get weird things at school too…..as Chinese named people they should be able to do math, for example ☺.

    None of this affects either my husband or kids hugely, it’s just life. And they don’t need safe spaces on campus, though my son does hang out at the whare (Maori house) on occasion. I was just pointing out that it IS a fact of life, and you would find it so were you able to live overseas for a while in a non-white community. You would probably have great fun, actually. …being noticed for being different isn’t all negative (well, in many areas anyway).

    And why would I accuse you of being a tasty snack?☺

  303. Warren November 17, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

    hineata,

    So seeing people as people is wrong?

    You and many others just don’t get it. Either we are one whole community of equals, where race, creed and gender don’t mean a thing, or we are a world of broken communities filled with special interest groups and bigots.

    Where a lot of other cultures and races have gone wrong, is by demanding others change their traditions, culture, and celebrations, because they are left out or offended or both. And that is what is stalling all progress on the elimination of racism. Why? Because, even to those that do not see race as an issue, then start to because they are being told to.

  304. hineata November 17, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

    @Warren – am getting old. By the time I get to the top of the page to comment, have forgotten exactly what you said ☺.

    Anyway if I have it right you share a common opinion among those who want to treat those around them as equals, and that’s commendable. I would also like everyone to be treated as equals, so I definitely agree with you on that.

    If you have spare time some time, the Tiger Mom author, Amy Chua, wrote an interesting book about successful minorities (The Triple Package). Well worth a read – it explains well why some groups seem more equal than others…

  305. Roger the Shrubber November 18, 2015 at 7:25 am #

    I had sworn off this thread because of Dirk’s insistence on the self-reflection of others while refusing to address the weakness of his own arguments. But I had to share this:
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/11/obama-on-pc-a-recipe-for-dogmatism.html
    It seems that President Obama, with whom I share few opinions, also understands the bad direction pointed to by recent campus crusades. The author’s analysis is also spot-on.

  306. Warren November 18, 2015 at 10:02 am #

    hineata,

    Been there with the getting old. Sometimes when somebody’s comment has more than one point, I will copy it to mine for reference, and erase it before posting.

  307. Donna November 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

    “Either we are one whole community of equals, where race, creed and gender don’t mean a thing, or we are a world of broken communities filled with special interest groups and bigots.”

    There is a difference between seeing everyone as equals and believing that race, creed and gender don’t mean a thing. Your life experience is different based on what race, culture, creed, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, etc. you are and those things are a part of making you who you are.

    I don’t want someone to have to not see me as a woman in order to treat me equally. I want people to fully see me as a woman in all my feminine glory, accept that I am a woman, understand that me being a woman instead of a man has an impact on who I am as a person and STILL treat me as an equal.

    That is the problem with your assertions. Blacks, etc. don’t want people to have to not see their color in order to be treated equally. They want to be able to be SEEN as what they are and still enjoy equality. And they currently aren’t in the US. Blacks are only treated as equals if they assimilate fully to white culture. Even when they do assimilate, they are still suspect until proven to be “good” blacks.

    Maybe as a white Canadian you shouldn’t talk as if you are an authority on what it is like to be black in America (or even a black Canadian because I have a friend who is a black Canadian and her take on racism in Canada is a good bit different than yours). As a white American, I don’t even fully understand it. I can empathize with the outrageous stories of their treatment that my black friends tell me and that I see daily with my black clients, but I will never experience these things personally so I can’t know what it feels like. Even my time as an extreme minority in A. Samoa didn’t show me what it is like to be black in America because Samoans don’t really have negative stereotypes of palagis.

  308. Bebe Nicholson November 19, 2015 at 7:20 am #

    This reminds me of the early beginnings of the Red Guard, when professors and educators were targeted by angry, roving bands of young people who refused reason, civility and discourse. Anybody familiar with this era knows what happened next.