Free Speech

400 Princeton Faculty Demand Committee for "Investigation and Discipline of Racist … Research and Publication"

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

The relevant paragraph:

Constitute a committee composed entirely of faculty that would oversee the investigation and discipline of racist behaviors, incidents, research, and publication on the part of faculty, following a protocol for grievance and appeal to be spelled out in Rules and Procedures of the Faculty. Guidelines on what counts as racist behavior, incidents, research, and publication will be authored by a faculty committee for incorporation into the same set of rules and procedures.

Thanks to Paul Mirengoff (PowerLine) for the pointer.

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  1. What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Racist!

  2. To everyone who said I was a raging lunatic when I claimed that as soon as the gun control fanatics felt they had done enough damage to the second amendment they would start in on the first amendment.

    I told you so!

    1. The only problem with that reasoning is that they weren’t waiting on damage to the 2nd amendment. They were just waiting until they were confident that, if the 1st amendment fell, they would be the censors.

    2. Yea, I think this is no longer a sarcastic statement: we’re going down the rabbit hole of Nazi Germany.

      The thing lost on these people are that these are popular movements, not scurrilous sneakery.

      If this board had automatic .sig attachments, I think it’s time: “So this is how liberty dies — with thunderous applause.” Senator Padme

      1. Someone needs to buy “The 400” 400 copies of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

      2. I’m thinking more along the lines of the meme involving a photo of George Orwell and the words “I fucking warned you”.

        1. Maybe the cover of 1984 with the words “NOT INTENDED AS A HOW-TO MANUAL”?

          1. That’s really good!

  3. Fortunately Bostock is there to protect people’s racial identities from people who would impose race-normative stereotypes, like for example the idea that regarding same-race preference as part of your identity is wrong.

  4. It’s time to end the Federal largess….

  5. A fair number of the signers seem to be alumni and administrators rather than faculty. Still, the number of faculty members signing is a considerable percentage of Princeton’s 1289 faculty members (including lecturers and visiting faculty). One hopes that at least some of those signers were too lazy to read through to the end or too dumb to recognize the implications. Based on my knowledge of elite academics, that’s not an unreasonable hope.

    1. One hopes that at least some of those signers were too lazy to read through to the end or too dumb to recognize the implications.

      I’d say that signing on to something without bothering to read it all the way to the end falls under the “too dumb” heading as well.

  6. Gee … I hope they’re successful and take down the entire university with them.

    1. I used to think “gees this is bad.” But anymore I say “go right at it leftie academics!” Seeing the Left is busy eating their own and there is probably one Republican at all of Princeton I say let them have it.

  7. Defund universities. Police departments get peanuts compared to what these huge institutions sucker out of various levels of governments and poor students who go into massive debt which conveniently can’t be discharged in bankruptcy.

    1. You seem to like a right-wing blog that engages in viewpoint-controlled censorship but appear to be outraged by this report. Would you be less outraged were Princeton run by and for clingers (which would transform Princeton, over time, into just another fourth-tier school controlled by conservatives . . . the type of institution that already imposes strenuous viewpoint-driven censorship, without much observed objection from you or from this blog)?

      This is part of the reason mainstream society marginalizes clingers.

      1. Don’t worry Artie, we already knew that you fully support these kind of shenanigans. As long as it’s the right people.

        1. If schools want to engage in this kind of extreme social experiments that is fine. They can do it on their own using huge endowments. No more need to for government funding or government backed collections on student loans.

          1. Don’t pretend this is what set you off.

            You don’t like schools.

            You want as little of them as possible.

            1. Yeah sure. That is my secret agenda. End schools.

              Or maybe taxpayers shouldn’t get fleeced for racist police departments AND extremist left wing schools who are already sitting on piles of money. Wouldn’t that be a novel idea.

            2. Don’t pretend

              LOL!

          2. Careful what you ask for. My understanding is that a college such as Liberty University is not only a major violator of free speech rights but only survives on government backed student loans….

            “Liberty receives a majority of its revenues—more than $770 million annually—from government sources.”

            https://reason.org/commentary/liberty-university-a-cautionary-tale/

  8. There is much in that letter that is worthy of comment.

    My favorite was their assertion that they deserve extra pay and extra vacation time for all of the extra work they are forced to do educating the unwoke on how to be properly woke. That’s just fantastic.

  9. “Long live Stalin!”
    BANG!

    1. The irony is that my first thought was Joe McCarthy, who imposed a similar kind of thought-policing out of fear of Stalin.

  10. I’m surprised this is necessary. My understanding was that most colleges would find a reason, any reason, to stop research they considered objectional from going forward already.

    Guess the signees just got tired of not getting full credit for stopping research they don’t like.

    1. My understanding was that most colleges would find a reason, any reason, to stop research they considered objectional from going forward already.

      You know who doesn’t make decisions about research directions?
      Universities.

      1. Then why did the mob call for the head of the Michigan State University research team?

  11. This is dumb.

    It also hasn’t actually happened.

    Calling to defund universities is pretty much a nonstarter and shows how crazy out of the mainstream the right has become.

    1. But defunding police makes sense, huh? That isn’t crazy or dangerous or demonstrates how far BLM is from the mainstream?

      1. All your doing is highlighting the asymmetry here.

        When universities start killing people and getting away with it, as well as gassing innocents on camera, we can talk.

        1. They do plenty of denying of rights. Waste lots of money bolstering left wing think tanks. Ruin lots of lives. You don’t need a gun to do violence. Doing a half assed job of providing education and just heaping on left wing indoctrination is probably MORE dangerous than a few bad cops running around since a rather large percentage of younger people are exposed to this 4 year system. If you want to talk about structural or systemic problems in society, the monolithic liberal extremism in universities and the violence it does to free, rationale thinking is probably paramount.

          1. “…heaping on left wing indoctrination is probably MORE dangerous…”

            The good news is that every piece of research on the subject suggests that colleges have very little impact on student politics, and the impact of fellow students is significantly greater than the impact of faculty on students. Virtually all college students are at least 18 years old, plenty old enough to have well-developed and relatively impervious political views. And the reviled “social justice” left-wing saturated subjects account for a microscopic percentage of college majors. At my university, Business is the most popular major, consistent with colleges across the country, and psychology is the most popular arts/sciences major — not exactly a hot bed of liberal silliness.

            1. I’d love to see some of that “research”.

              30 years ago, kids weren’t protesting against the police and tearing down their history. Kids nowadays are. That should be proof enough that these kids most certainly are a lot more indoctrinated than back then.

              1. 35 years ago people were saying the same things about college kids being indoctrinated, while the kids protested against the Reagan administration position on apartheid South Africa. At what point do conservatives acknowledge that maybe liberals are right some of the time?

            2. Granted it was more than a few years ago, but one of my “business” professors felt like it was his job to give us a social justice commercial every single class taking up the first 1/4 of allotted time. Throw that on top of the fact that you can’t escape a college campus without being inundated with everything and anything left of center (which is the complete design) and I don’t think the effect that 4 years in such an environment on young people is so simple or cause to ignore.

        2. “gassing ”

          What a dumb talking point. It was pepper balls, you think they used zyklon-B for all the left’s moaning.

          They were rioters, that nite’s riot had just not started.

          1. Tear gas is used to disperse crowds because it is good at achieving that purpose. Canisters can be fired into large gathering, remotely. Tear gas is universally non-lethal and temporary. At most it is highly uncomfortable for a few hours. And it beats the alternatives which is sending in large numbers of enforcement agents using physical presence and usually batons (which can cause actual injury) to break up crowds.

            Protesters don’t like tear gas because it is highly effective. They want to cause problems and gather in large groups. That is why they want it to be disallowed. Hamstringing police options to break up unruly mobs makes their rioting more effective and easier to achieve.

    2. The left is refusing to even allow the right a platform (on government property) to argue their views, and somehow it is the “right” is out of the mainstream?

    3. This is dumb.

      It also hasn’t actually happened.

      400 academics/faculty/alumni haven’t actually signed on to the idea? The immediate problem here isn’t the idea has been implemented, it’s that so many WANT it to happen.

      Calling to defund universities is pretty much a nonstarter and shows how crazy out of the mainstream the right has become.

      That actually hasn’t happened, so what’s your problem?

      Take some time, figure out what your standard is here and then get back to us.

  12. Can we specify that the “judges” must credibly believe in objective reality, embrace the scientific method, have read both Orwell (Animal Farm AND 1984) and Solzhenitsyn, and can intelligibly articulate the difference between competence and tyranny? I’d be OK with a panel that meets those criteria and swears to make individual determinations without regard to the identity of the writer. Although, if even half of Humanities faculty (and any administrators) met the criteria, the proposal would be rejected out of hand as motivated by neo-Marxist resentment of the meritorious.

    1. Regardless of whether it is public or private, the assignment of political officers to censor research papers is Soviet-style repression. Anyone who who can’t see that is either ignorant as to the history of the last century or an idiot. Anyone who is OK with that is engaging in ideology that lead to about 120 million citizens dead at the hands of their own governments.

    2. “Can we specify that the ‘judges’ must credibly believe in objective reality . . .”

      Given that “objectivity” (along with “individualism” and “intellectualism”) are deemed to be racism, you’re a racist for merely making such a suggestion.

      Heads, they win. Tails, you lose.

  13. Put every one of the 400 on a “Never, ever hire” list. That’s a list we should be compiling right now, given how many people are self-identifying as Stalinists.

    1. Cancel them?

      Funny how the right always advocates for what it despises, even when it’s a strawman.

      1. You guys made the rules; we’re just playing by them.

      2. Cancel them?

        Only because we can’t hang them.

      3. When I grew up the phrase “turnabout is fair play” was regularly used. I see nothing wrong with using the tactics of the Left against them. If they are all into cancel culture I see nothing wrong with using those against them.

      4. Funny how the right always advocates for what it despises, even when it’s a straw man.

        You accusing anyone of arguing a straw man is rolling-on-the-floor funny. But what exactly is the straw man that you’re accusing “the right” of arguing? (I also like your use of that enormously broad brush when you so regularly excoriate others for doing the same thing.)

        Much like Val Kilmer’s version of Doc Holliday, it appears that your hypocrisy knows no bounds.

  14. And they say Trump is a Russian puppet. That comes right out of Stalin’s playbook.

    1. It would, if it actually occurred.

      The thing to do is to point this out and ridicule it before it happens, as Prof. Volokh is doing.

      The thing not to do is use this to defend Trump.

      1. What’s wrong with defunding Trump?

      2. Actually occurred? Are you saying the letter above didn’t happen?

        1. No, he’s saying that the time to be alarmed about something bad is not when someone is attempting to do it, but after they’ve already succeeded. Yes, that’s every bit as stupid as it sounds.

  15. Academic mobbing has long been the academia’s favored torture device. The only difference here is that the mob has become more brazen.

  16. Seize the Endowments!

    1. I think there is a good case for that to happen. Universities have a debt to pay to society. We have invested huge amounts of public resources in them and they consistently fail to pay it out. For a restorative justice approach confiscating their assets is probably called for given the systemic and institutional failures over the years. Reparations from higher education are not that far flung of an idea.

    2. Seize the Endowments!

      That’s what got me into a lot of trouble in high school.

  17. And THAT is why the “Harper’s” letter on cancel culture was necessary!

    Here is Jesse Singal’s post on it

  18. So, who gets to play Robespierre in this little Committee of Public Safety?

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