Campus Free Speech

Academic Freedom and the Critical Race Theory Legislation

Regardless of what one thinks about CRT, legislators should not try to suppress ideas in academia

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Areo, the online culture and politics journal, is currently highlighting issues of free speech and intellectual freedom. I have a new piece there on the current wave of Republican-led legislative efforts to ban "critical race theory" from schools.

I have little doubt that there are many pernicious ideas and practices currently being peddled in workplaces and schools across the country under the broad rubric of diversity, equity and inclusion. Inside Higher Ed has a report just today about an example of "diversity training" at Stanford University that might well run afoul of existing civil rights laws. Organizations that subject their members to such toxic requirements deserve all the litigation and bad publicity that they have coming to them.

Unsurprisingly, when voters are annoyed by such bad behavior, someone starts to think that there ought to be a law and politicians see an opportunity. In this context, that has resulted in a lot of ham-handed legislative proposals, some of which have already found their way into law. In the K-12 context, there are inescapable political debates to be had about what ought to be taught in public schools and how. We are not having a very well informed or intelligent debate about that now, but a debate there will be.

When it comes to universities, things are different. The principle of academic freedom insists that scholars, not politicians, should determine the curriculum, teaching, and programming in higher education. The kind of clumsy legislation currently being discussed in state legislatures will have broad chilling effects in state universities and will undermine the educational goals of those institutions.

What academics mean by "critical race theory" is not the same thing as what politicians currently mean by "critical race theory," and so the public discourse involves a lot of people talking past one another. But it is precisely because politicians rarely understand the details or merits of academic literatures that we should not want them adopting sweeping laws that implicate how universities conduct their scholarly business. If conservative politicians are mad about Robin DiAngelo, they should not respond by passing laws that make it legally risky to teach W.E.B. Du Bois.

From the piece:

It might be possible to construe these legislative measures very narrowly. They could be limited to prohibiting mandatory participation in the kind of self-flagellating confessional diversity "training" that has become all too common at workplaces across the country. They could be restricted to barring compelled political speech under the guise of anti-racism pledges or preventing governmental institutions from endorsing racial hierarchies and sending the message that some Americans are second-class citizens. If university professors are indoctrinating rather than teaching, such misbehaviour can be addressed regardless of the content of the indoctrination. If universities are disadvantaging students on the basis of their race, that can be remedied through existing civil rights laws.

But the state laws have not been carefully written. University administrators will not be willing to gamble their institutional budgets on the possibility that such laws will be read narrowly rather than broadly. Syllabi will be censored. Classes will be cancelled. Public speakers will be disinvited. It is hard to escape the suspicion that such chilling effects are precisely what is intended.

You can read the whole thing at Areo.

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  1. Bullbleep.

    Academic Freedom no longer exists, hasn’t for several decades now, and Marxist Leftists shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind claims that it does.

    It’s high time for us to realize that union work rules long ago replaced the purpose of academic freedom — and give it a Christian burial…

    1. And as to the parade of horribles — they exist TODAY…

      They have existed for 30 years — welcome to reality.

    2. CRT is a masking ideology for Marxist assault on our nation. It is an act to promotes Chinese Commie Party interests. Its promoters should be arrested, tried, and imprisoned for treason. It is the Red Guard come to the US. Legislation is better than the killing of these people that is fully justified by the national defense.

      1. Call it Marxist and won’t get it and some might even think it’s a good thing. Call it what class-warfare and racist and people will understand.

    3. There are several simple answers.

      One, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

      Two, choosing some topics means not choosing other topics. No matter what is chosen, other things are not chosen. With academics choosing to waste time and effort on CRT, they are explicitly choosing to not teach actual useful subjects, and we’re right back to he who pays the piper calling the tune.

      Three, suppose a university was teaching astrology, or reading goat guts or tea leaves, or casting sticks. Those are harmless compared to CRT, yet an outraged pubic would demand legislators stop such nonsense.

      Yet we have universities teaching indoctrinating kids in Marxism, racism, classism, and every other evil subject under the sun.

      Fuck no. No CRT. I hope they don’t stop there. CRT is pure racist Marxist propaganda.

      1. ” he who pays the piper calls the tune.”

        So if a state legislature doesn’t like evolution they can just tie state funding to any university on a condition that evolution not be taught there?

        1. Creationism is about as harmful as astrology, reading tea leaves, or other nonsense. Their only harm is displacing something useful. Plenty of people read astrology columns and act on them; others believe in creationism. The world is not worse off, since almost by definition, nonsense which affects your job or life will be quickly weeded out.

          CRT and Marxism (but I repeat myself) are actively harmful.

          1. “Their only harm is displacing something useful.” And you’ve deduced this how? The experts in science think it’s pretty harmful.

            “since almost by definition, nonsense which affects your job or life will be quickly weeded out.”

            Wouldn’t that apply to ‘CRT’?

            “CRT and Marxism (but I repeat myself) are actively harmful.”
            Ah, so Marxism should be canceled as well?

            1. You quoting experts? I thought you didn’t trust people who claimed to be experts.

          2. CRT and Marxism (but I repeat myself) are actively harmful.

            Pretty sure you haven’t bothered to figure out what either of those are.

            1. It’s funny — a lot of people complain that others are not clearly identifying CRT or discussing it honestly and objectively, and finish their screeds without clearly identifying CRT or discussing it honestly and objectively.

              1. It’s funny, you don’t need to carefully define something to point out someone is bullshitting.

                But there’s a freaking wikipedia entry out there if you want one.

                1. The Wikipedia entry makes very little about it clear, except that it broadly concerned with law, revisionist history, seeing white supremacy everywhere, and far-left activism. Also that, through its Critical Theory aspect, it is an outgrowth of Marxism generally and Antonio Gramsci’s ideas of subverting and undermining institutions more specifically.

                  You don’t need to carefully define something that thoroughly awful to point out it is bullshit. No wonder its defenders avoid trying to say where its critics are wrong.

        2. Absolutely could. Balance academic freedom against the right not to be forced to pay for teaching ideas you find hateful, and I’ll come down on the latter side every time.

          Want academic freedom? Foot the damn bill yourself.

          1. “Balance academic freedom against the right not to be forced to pay for teaching ideas you find hateful, and I’ll come down on the latter side every time.”

            Thank god people like you don’t run our educational institutions.

            You see, the problem with people like Brett is they are pure Jacksonians. They recognize no expertise, instead everything is political. There is no best way to pave a road or to deliver the mail or to run a college other than having your side do it and do it in a way that affirms your side. Politics uber alles.

            1. Don’t be even more of an idiot than usual, Queenie. Whether or not people should be forced to pay for the teaching of ideas they find odious is a moral question, which has nothing at all to do with whether those ideas are true. I’d maintain it as much of thermodynamics or calculus, if anybody were benighted enough to find them odious, as I do of CRT or Marxism.

              Not that theories like CRT or Marxism are actually capable of being “true” in the same sense as mathematics or chemistry. They’re actually more like secular religions than science. (As is demonstrated by the fact that Marxism is still around after the 20th century…)

              1. Like I said, you see all matters of government as moral/political questions, good Jacksonian that you are. You even agree that if basic science is seen as immoral by the majority then government can have no hand in it.

                1. Is government the only way you can conceive of anything being acomplished?

                  Queen, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence-it is force! Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”

                  It is a horrible imposition to not merely teach something somebody finds odious, but to force them to pay for the teaching of it.

                  And that’s true whether we’re talking about something which is logically incapable of being wrong, like mathematics or formal logic. That’s true whether we’re talking about something so solidly proven empirically true that only an absolute idiot questions it, such as that the Earth is round.

                  But it is especially true of things like CRT, which are neither logically nor empirically true, but only articles of faith, and hideously evil faith at that.

                  1. Of course it’s not the only way things can be accomplished, but I can conceive of government recognizing the value of things non-political.
                    That’s the idea of the general welfare.

                    1. Again, it really isn’t relevant whether it’s good. I wouldn’t force a member of the KKK to pay for teaching the works of MLK, I wouldn’t force a flat Earther to pay for teaching geography, and I wouldn’t force you to pay for teaching the golden rule.

                      But you would.

                  2. I fully agree Brett. Ersatz religion. Nothing more.

            2. You don’t recognize expertise unless it fits your pre-conceived bias. You’ve admitted several times here, even bragged, that you don’t trust people who discuss things you don’t understand.

        3. You could turn it around and ask if faculty at a public institution decided to teach astrology, creationism, or some other nonsense, should the state be forced to pay for it? One might counter that creationism is religious and thus has no place in a state supported classroom. Fair enough, but one might argue that the same is true about CRT (as McWhorter does).

          I’m conflicted. In the case of Ball State where the faculty in the physics department were teaching ID in their courses, I am sympathetic to arguments about academic freedom. Similarly for faculty in sociology departments teaching CRT. But students can generally pick and choose which courses to take and generally find ways to avoid such courses. The larger problem in my mind are the mandatory “trainings” student affairs requires students to attend. Here I think legistators are on firmer ground intervening. Students shouldn’t be required to endure ideological (or religious, partisan, etc…) propaganda sessions as a condition of acquiring a degree from a public university.

    4. All the legislation I’ve seen refers to banning CRT in government institutions/schools so I don’t understand why who isn’t a CRT cultist has a problem. If you want to do CRT you can still do it in your own time on your own dime, just like any other religion. I mean are the authors also okay with mandatory Christian prayers in school or IRS offices?

        1. OMG, did you link to the OWL writing center? Why didn’t you just create a banner that says ‘I don’t know what I’m talking about regarding academic matters, but I feel really strongly so here goes!’

          1. ‘OMG, did you link to someplace that doesn’t agree with me? I’m only open to sources of information I know will confirm my views!’

            1. Lol, it’s not that it doesn’t agree with me, it’s that unlike you I know what OWL is and use it regularly and it’s laughable that when someone was asked for primary works on an academic school of thought they would cite OWL.

              1. Doesn’t matter whether it agrees with you or not; if you don’t understand it, you don’t trust it. You’ve said so yourself.

          2. So you won’t answer the question, and are just blowing smoke.

        2. Don’t know OWL from FALCON, but CRT as anything other than a legal theory is a misapprehension of the scholarship.

  2. “Regardless of what one thinks about CRT, legislators should not try to suppress ideas in academia”

    Yes, only academics and students get to do that!

    GFY

    The people who are paying for the Universities have an absolute right to decide what will go on there, FAR more of a right than do the left wing scum bag “academics” getting paid to be there

    You are either an idiot, or a scummy left-wing hack

    1. “You are either an idiot, or a scummy left-wing hack”

      Whittington has taken shits that have advanced conservatism more than you ever will. He’s just not a frightened tribalist as you seem to be.

      1. You still don’t know how to shoot the message, do you? Learn how to shoot the message instead of the messenger, and you might actually start a conversation. But that carries the risk of learning something.

        1. You do know that the fact that you clutch your pearls over this kind of thing with me but never to our wacky conservative regulars who engage in easily equivalent type of things destroys your credibility, right?

      2. “Whittington has taken shits that have advanced conservatism more than you ever will.”

        Ok, I’ll bite, what specifically has he done that “advanced conservatism”?

        1. His work with Hetreodox Academy alone has done more than you ever will.

          1. A think tank basically. Wow, so much conserving.

            It should be easy to provide some specific examples of something he conserved. Let’s start with one.

            1. It fights to win hearts and minds in expanding the conservative and libertarian presence on campuses.

              What have you ever done?

              1. “fights to win hearts and minds”

                Well, I asked what HE did but apparently the answer is nothing if “fights to win hearts and minds” is his great achievement.

                We fought to win hearts and minds in Vietnam.

                1. Most of politics is fighting for hearts and minds.

  3. In public school systems, when the Board of Education allows for this crap to be taught without any public debate and actively silences critics, the ONLY check on their power is legislation.

    1. the ONLY check on their power is legislation.

      That was true last year. It’s not true this year. School Choice will provide a check as parents pull their kids out of shitty school systems.

      1. The problem with school choice is that the private schools are pulling their teachers (and more importantly, their administrators) out of the same cesspool.

        Real reform will involve cleaning up the Schools of Education….

      2. School Choice will provide a check only if the legislature allows it. While school choice is more popular than it was a year ago, it is still distressingly hard to come by in the very jurisdictions that need it most.

  4. “If universities are disadvantaging students on the basis of their race” except they have been for my entire life time and the courts have made clear they have no intention of enforcing the law. CRT would have never taken off if the courts would enforce the laws as written when colleges have been sued.

  5. “When it comes to universities, things are different. ”

    The true and eternal Golden Rule still applies.

    Academics at public colleges ought to establish and fund their own colleges if they want “freedom”.

  6. “The principle of academic freedom insists that scholars, not politicians, should determine the curriculum, teaching, and programming in higher education.”

    Ah, yes, that “academic freedom” that says that only the views of the extreme Left can be “taught.”

    Yeah. No

    By their political suppression of the Right on campus, academia has proved itself to be political hacks, not trustworthy on any manner, and utterly undeserving of any power, over anything.

    He who pays the piper, calls the tune. You don’t like it? Then leave those States and go someplace where they like your brand of evil

  7. “But the state laws have not been carefully written. University administrators will not be willing to gamble their institutional budgets on the possibility that such laws will be read narrowly rather than broadly. Syllabi will be censored. Classes will be cancelled. Public speakers will be disinvited. It is hard to escape the suspicion that such chilling effects are precisely what is intended.”

    Good.

    “Syllabi will be censored”? Oh, you mean like not teaching Dred Scott because someone might claim to be “hurt”?

    “Classes will be cancelled.”
    Oh, you mean like what happened to Amy Chau for her crime of supporting Kavanaugh?

    “Public speakers will be disinvited.”

    So you mean that left wing racists who make a living off of huge speaking fees will have to find different troughs at which to feed?

    The horror!

    Shall we list the huge number of “not extremely left wing” speakers who’ve been disivited in the last decade?

    Seriously? You’re trying to pretend that this “parade of horribles” isn’t happening to those not on the Left, right now, all over America?

    But it’s only “bad” if it happens to Left wing racists? You are a sick, twisted, pile of garbage.

    There is no “Campus Free Speech”. Until you’ve fixed that issue, you need to STFU about the Right doing to the Left what the Left is been doing to everyone else

    1. ““Syllabi will be censored”? Oh, you mean like not teaching Dred Scott because someone might claim to be “hurt”?”

      You do know that was about a prof that decided for himself to change how Dred Scott was taught (and he didn’t decide to ‘not teach’ it, he condensed his teaching of it).

      “like what happened to Amy Chau for her crime of supporting Kavanaugh?”

      Chau got in trouble for a few other things that went on…

      The rest of your post is a bunch of emotive ranting and ‘they did it first!’

      1. So what — they DID do it first, and CONTINUE to do it, and this is a war.

        We didn’t start the culture wars, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t fight back….

        1. All means are justified for extremists.

          1. When the middle ceases to hold, *everyone* is an extremist….

        2. and this is a war.

          No, you jackass.

  8. Tolerate intolerance.

  9. Suppress? No. Defund? Yes.

    1. Assuming you are referring to private parties, it seems likely the unconstitutional conditions doctrine is implicated?

      1. Josh, there really are only TWO truly private colleges left — Hillsdale and Grove City College.

      2. Perhaps, depends on how the state legislature goes about reducing the funding of state universities. A lot of ways to do it legally I presume.

        The wider issue is that state level republicans have long been using taxpayer dollars to fund the a nexus of political opposition to their party and their policies, which is the university system. It’s like Napoleon giving money for the British to build ships.

        1. Everything is a not just politics but a war for extremists.

          1. “War is a mere continuation of policy by other means. We see, therefore, that War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means.”

            – Clauswitz

            1. Something crazy doesn’t become more sensible because a famous person said it.

              1. While you are correct, that if a famous person said something it doesn’t make it true or correct (witness Hollywood advocacy for social cause XYZ of the moment) I would hope that you’d have the intellectual open mindedness to say “gee, one of the world’s most famous and knowledgeable statesmen said something about war and politics being pretty much the same thing but by other means, so perhaps there is something to it. Let me think about it some more.”

                1. Actually, it doesn’t matter — QA is the enemy in a war that we didn’t start, and would prefer not to have to fight.

                  But fight it we must — and will…

                  1. Batshit crazy.

                    1. You are…

                2. I’ve thought about it plenty. Only extremists see everything political as a war. It’s a terrible way for an individual to go through life and it’s bad for a society when the idea becomes popular.

                  Like many ‘knowledge class’ sectors academics lean left, but they’re not fighting a war against conservatives (only certain departments are much political). Republican legislatures want prestigious universities and so they do, intelligently, let academic experts run them. The result is that academic administrations in conservative states will be somewhat to the left of the legislature, but that’s no more a ‘war’ on them than the fact that police, who tend to skew right, get plenty of funding from Blue legislature.

                  1. I find it difficult to believe you’ve thought about it a lot when your response to possibly one of the most famous quotes on the topic of war and politics was to make an ignorant quip.

                    If the “war” euphemism is your problem, then there’s a lot more at stake here, as there are “wars” on terror, cancer, drugs, drunk driving, etc. etc. The politics as war idea is fundamentally correct, as Clauswitz points out, in that you force other people to agree or go along with your preferred policy. You force people to comply even if it’s the allocation of resources toward X instead of Y. That is done sometimes by war, sometimes by the detante from the “a war of all against all” that is the state of nature.

                    That is what you’re missing, if liberal academics (but I repeat myself) want to dismantle and oppose republicans politics and policies, they have implicitly declared war on them. We call this the “culture war.”

                    1. This kind of thing reminds me of the joke to the effect that since you pay for your date’s dinner and movie ticket and you pay for a prostitute’s services the encounters are the same thing. I was taught the difference between metaphor and reality at an early age.

                    2. Queen, that’s a bad analogy to complain about a kind of typology. You’ve actually made things muddier by an attempt to inject some sort of folksy charm to cut off discussion that just falls flat.

                      Politics is a means to prevent a war of all against all (bellum omnium contra omnes) as Thomas Hobbes said. All political authority is ceding the legitimate use of force to others. How about this, political power flows out of the barrel of a gun.

                      You’re not arguing with me, so much, but political theory and philosophy.

                    3. “Politics is a means to prevent a war of all against all ”

                      So then it’s not a war then (it can’t both be something and the means to prevent that thing).

                      See, I’ve thought about this a bit too, it’s just I find Clausewitz’s metaphor to be just that, of literary interest perhaps but not to be taken too literally.

                    4. The ‘logic’ of taking the metaphor seriously is ‘war involves a struggle to get goals, politics involves a struggle to get goals, so they’re totes the same.’ That’s an obvious fallacy. The means often make the thing.

                    5. “So then it’s not a war then”

                      No, it is, it just replaces the war of all against all, with the war of some against others.

        2. State universities aren’t private. Thus, the state can suppress or defund if it wishes, subject to a possible First Amendment violation for infringing on academic freedom. Assuming such a violation, it would be interesting to see if the courts give the states more leeway in funding. At the very least, I would expect – based on how the unconstitutional conditions has been applied to private parties – direct funding for history classes could be conditioned on not teaching CRT.

    2. During WWII, we firebombed Dresden.

      In dire circumstances, which we currently are in, less than ideal solutions must be employed. I argue we should BOTH suppress *and* defund — as the college degree is still a monopoly.

      For example, while the ABA doesn’t require an undergrad degree (or at least didn’t when my pre-law advisor told us about this), every law school *does*. And to what end?

      Until alternative credentials are widely accepted, desperate young people and their loving parents will sacrifice to pay tuition even if the institutions are defunded. University administrators know this, one once openly told me that “costs are going up, a lot, and it depends on how much parents love their children”.

      1. “During WWII, we firebombed Dresden.

        In dire circumstances, which we currently are in, less than ideal solutions must be employed.”

        Ed never met a stupidly hyperbolic analogy he didn’t embrace.

        1. It’s a cold day in hell. I agree with you, only to the extent that we weren’t in dire circumstances such that we had to firebomb Dresden, which was, arguably, a war crime.

          1. Dresden and rejecting Eichmann’s infamous offer of one million live Jews for ten thousand army trucks were tough calls, but I believe the right ones. Logistics was the Nazi’s problem on the Eastern Front and (along with Stalin’s willingness to incur *massive* casualties), the reason why the Germans lost both there and then the war as a whole.

            Dresden was both a major rail hub for trains heading east, and had over 100 factories and enterprises that made armaments, torpedo parts, aircraft parts, U-boat and other naval parts, field radios, telephones, and precision optical instruments.

            That alone made it a legitimate military target, except that Stalin was also insisting on Allied help in taking the pressure off his advancing troops — and keeping Stalin happy was a necessity in winning the war.

            Hence war crime — no. Tough call, yes, but not war crime.

            I might feel differently if I didn’t have two uncles who fought in Europe…

            1. Showing your age…my grandfather (who didn’t die till I was 18, I knew him well) was a Navy man and had the Japs sink his ship out from under him. I’ve got the katana in my closet he traded something (he never said what) to the Marine who took it from the dead officer. It can really cut. I bear no ill will against Japan, and you shouldn’t against the Krauts.

              That said, if Dresden was so important a target, why was it left untouched prior to the firebombing? I’ll tell you why, in order to make an example when they did it. Their goal was to try to break German morale. It didn’t work.

              Your definition of what constitutes a war crime is immaterial. War crimes are decided up on by the victors. The Germans lost.

              1. It’s relevance as a rail hub increased as the Soviets moved closer.

                Or at least Stalin made that argument.

                And further clogging the roads with homeless refugees also was a burden on the German war effort…

  10. What academics mean by “critical race theory” is not the same thing as what politicians currently mean by “critical race theory,” and so the public discourse involves a lot of people talking past one another.

    I look forward to your article explaining, in detail, the differences.

    1. I, too, am eager for this explanation. Because I do see ‘what politicians mean by critical race theory” being taught in enough places without any complaints from academics.

      I trust the explanation won’t involve any medieval fortifications?

      1. Why wouldn’t you go out and do something crazy like read some primary works by the relevant academics?

        1. Well, recommend one, then. Ideally one in the public domain, because I’m not eager to send money their way. I may have Mein Kamp and Das Capital on my shelves, but at least I know the authors didn’t profit from it.

  11. I have reservations about CRT, but I don’t see how legislation banning it survives First Amendment scrutiny. It’s the same issue as when the State of Arkansas forbade teaching evolution. See Epperson v. Arkansas.

    1. There’s a big difference between teaching something and indoctrinating students and faculty into it, or forcing their submission to it under penalty of expulsion or firing.

      1. So it’s OK to teach CRT if the teaching process consists of introducing the ideas into the classroom and discussing them?

        1. Bernard – the ideas of CRT and anti-racism are themselves poisonous. Unless one believes that certain forms of racism are swell.

          1. Bevis, which specific work(s) of CRT are you talking about, and which ideas or claims made did you find ‘poisonous?’

            1. The whole freaking thing — I’ve been dealing with this crap for over 30 years now and it is ALL bullshyte.

              It’s like asking “which specific work(s) of ‘the earth is flat’ do you object to”? I’ve seen the sun set over the ocean on a clear summer evening and actually SEEN the curvature of the earth and then seen the distant lighthouses (which send out a level beam relative to their location) actually going up and down across the horizon because, relative to me, their beam isn’t level.

              And I dismiss CRT the same way.

              1. “I’ve been dealing with this crap for over 30 years now ”

                No you haven’t. You’re lying or recklessly don’t know what you’re talking about.

                1. Correction — I first encountered it, defined as CRT, 28 years ago.

                  I was dealing with its precursors some 31 years ago.

                2. You’re lying or recklessly don’t know what you’re talking about.

                  With Dr. Ed, why not both?

          2. Which ones, Bevis?

            That the effects of historical racist practices are still being felt today?

            That race has been an extremely important factor in American history?

            I largely agree with Whittington. Lots of stupid stuff going on, though whether it’s worse than some of the stuff that used to go on is open to question.

            And I agree with him on the main point he makes also. I don’t want the state legislature dictating course content, any more than I want them banning books. I think an important argument against censorship is that we can’t trust the government to tell us what we can read. Similarly, we can’t trust the legislature to tell faculty what they can teach. I’d rather put up with some level of foolishness.

            1. bernard and queen

              The central tenet of CRT is that race is the central tenet around which everything happens, and that people are first and foremost members of their group defined by their race. And that every member of Race A has privilege relative to every member of Race B. The philosophy is rotten at its core, and it’s adherents don’t teach it as a theory, but more like a religion that must believed.

              The stupid stuff that is going on now is every bit as stupid (and harmful) as the stupid stuff that used to go on relative to blacks 60 years ago.

              Discussing it in, say, high school as a concept, what do you think, is probably ok although the people that don’t think positively of it will be shamed into silence. Teaching it to elementary school kids is child abuse.

              1. Bevis, what specific works of ‘CRT’ have led you to conclude these are the central tenets of it? I don’t mean this pejoratively but as someone who has read some of what I think would be considered ‘CRT’ you sound like your ignorant of what it’s about (and by this I mean you just haven’t read much of its primary works, btw there’s tons of academic schools of thought of which I’ve read little to no primary works in).

                1. That’s all you hear from the CRT folks and anti-racists. White supremacy!!! White privilege!! You must disavow your whiteness!!!

                  It’s all bullshit and there are certain situations which demonstrate it. Look at how much problem they’re having with Asians and Jews. Oh, that’s right, they’re “white adjacent”. LOL.

                  If I’m wrong it’s because they’re doing a shitty job of selling it to the public. What is the healthy, rational concept of CRT? Because it looks as if they’re simply trying to balkanize the US for their own financial gain.

                  1. Wait just a minute. I think you’re conceding you’ve read no primary works in the field, right? If that’s true how do you know that “That’s all you hear from the CRT folks and anti-racists?” I mean, even here you’re including a much smaller set of folks (CRT) in with a hugely broad group (anti-racists?).

                    I’m going to go out on a limb and bet most of what you think you know about ‘CRT’ is based on reading things from hostile media outlets about them…

                    1. I mean, two of your three phrases ‘white supremacy’ and ‘white privilege’ are pretty mainstream in many, many schools of thought on the left. ‘Disavow your whiteness’ is getting closer to what ‘CRT’ folks might say (but to be honest it sounds a lot more like what some silly DEI consultant with no academic cred might say). That you lumped them in together as evidence of what ‘CRT’ is all about….It doesn’t suggest familiarity with the subject.

                    2. “I’m going to go out on a limb and bet most of what you think you know about ‘CRT’ is based on reading things from hostile media outlets about them”

                      Well, I’d say that since I avoid biased media outlets from both sides (which is damn near all of them now, unfortuntely) that you’d be wrong.

                      Note that you completely avoided my asking you to describe the rational concept of CRT. I suppose that means you can’t.

                    3. I’m curious where you go the idea that talking about ‘white supremacy’ or even ‘white privilege’ is a ‘CRT’ thing. I mean, that’s pretty mainstream left thought. If I were teaching about white supremacy movements or examples of what could be called ‘white privilege’ would you think I was teaching ‘CRT?’ Because I have to tell you, you’d be really, really wrong.

                      As for ‘rational concept…’ CRT is a loosely connected group of thinkers who write about a lot of different things. It’s kind of odd to ask ‘the’ rational concept ‘of’ CRT. It’s like asking what the ‘rational concept of’ human relations theory in industrial psychology (my field). I guess I could say ‘workers have feelings and organizations that take that into account do better.’ In that vein, from what I’ve read in the area of CRT I guess I could say it’s ‘rational concept’ boils down to Faulkner’s quote ‘the past isn’t over, it isn’t even the past.’ What’s called ‘CRT’ is usually analysis of an area, if it’s a CRT law professor it’s the law, if it’s psychology its attitudes, whatever, which sees how much can be explained by the effects of past racism. It’s not obvious to me how that’s ‘evil.’

                    4. LOL. You can’t define it either.

                      “There was racism before and there’s racism now” (e.g., the past is not really the past) is not CRT. It’s a basic fact that only the looniest 2% of the population would deny.

                      They aren’t having diversity training at companies in which they segregate off the white folk simply to tell them there was racism before and there’s racism now.

                      You’re not even trying to seriously defend this crap because it’s indefensible.

                    5. You’re beclowning yourself here, which is common when you by your own admission are ignorant of what you’re talking about and the other person isn’t. I’ve never understood this kind of thing, why take such an insistent position on something you must know you’ve not read up much about?

                      A few things:
                      1. “You can’t define it either. ”

                      This is really your conclusion from me saying that a broad field, actually more of a general academic approach, is hard to boil down into ‘what is the rational concept of ___?’

                      2. ““There was racism before and there’s racism now”
                      Uh, that’s not what I said. I said “What’s called ‘CRT’ is usually analysis of an area, if it’s a CRT law professor it’s the law, if it’s psychology its attitudes, whatever, which sees how much can be explained by the effects of past racism.” That actually doesn’t imply any racism now, just current effects of past racism.

                    6. You still can’t fucking define what they believe in. “It’s a broad field”. Tell us what the hell they believe. Either you can’t (while calling me ignorant) or you won’t because you realize how embarrassingly racist the CRT bullshit is.

                      Either way, you’re reverting to your form of arguing just to argue. It’s tiresome so I’m done.

                    7. The form being reverted to is not “arguing just to argue”. It is “disagreeing just to disagree”. Argument implies some marshaling of facts and logic that is sadly lacking here.

                      (“CRT is a loosely connected group of thinkers who write about a lot of different things”, but when YOU describe them, it’s wrong! Also, equivocation on the meaning of “racism”. And a massive disagreement on the scope of CRT between its two leading defenders here: strictly a legal theory, or a perspective that can be applied to law and psychology and other fields. Maybe these supposed defenders need to go read some primary sources.)

        2. “So it’s OK to teach CRT if the teaching process consists of introducing the ideas into the classroom and discussing them?”

          Short answer, yes.

          However, it should be taught with a tolerance for opposing viewpoints, discussed in the context of criticism.

          Teaching it as fact, and requiring students and faculty to repeat it, agree to it, and act on it, is wrong.

          1. What is the standard for which topics may be taught in a way “requiring students and faculty to repeat it, agree to it, and act on it?” Lots of Republicans think evolution is not only false but bad for the health of the nation. Is it ok for GOP states to deny funding for teaching evolution? If they ask test questions for which evolutionary theory are part of the answers is it requiring students to agree to it to evaluate them on their answers.

    2. Could a school in say, Alabama, be free to teach in civics class that blacks are inherently inferior citizens – with all of the usual stereotypes – with no oversight from anybody? By your argument stopping that would be a 1A violation.

      1. EXACTLY — but add in the football coach being a Kleagle(?) in the Klan, and hooded klansmen being hired as hall monitors.

        The implicit (often explicit) threat of physical violence is very much a part of the teaching of CRT — academic freedom could only exist in an environment where it is safe for a student (of any race) to say that he/she/it finds CRT to be racist.

        1. The implicit (often explicit) threat of physical violence is very much a part of the teaching of CRT

          No. This is what’s known as “projection.”

      2. A private school almost certainly has a First Amendment right to do so. Just as certainly, a K-12 public school could be barred from doing so since the government is speaking. Most likely, a public university can likewise be barred without implicating academic freedom since your hypothetical likely involves indoctrination (uncritically accepting what is presented) rather than teaching.

        1. I think that any private school that did so would run afoul of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, particularly with AG Garland in power.

          See: https://wrko.iheart.com/featured/kuhners-corner/content/2021-06-15-what-are-democrats-afraid-of-ag-garland-vows-to-crush-az-election-audit/

    3. It almost certainly would not if it applies to private schools, but for public schools (*) the government is speaking. On the other hand at public universities, it is possible that the First Amendment protects the speech of professors.

      (*) Epperson was decided based on the Establishment Clause.

      1. Please get back to me when a professor at a private school calls a student a “Nigger” and isn’t fired…

    4. but I don’t see how legislation banning it survives First Amendment scrutiny.

      That’s because you clearly don’t understand what the legislation in question is prohibiting, nor what Amendment I prevents the government from doing.

      It’s the same issue as when the State of Arkansas forbade teaching evolution. See Epperson v. Arkansas.

      How about you see Epperson v. Arkansas? While the Chancery court found the legislation in question violated the free speech provision of Amendment I, via Amendment IV, that ruling was overturned on appeal to the AR Supreme Court. SCOTUS then reversed that court’s ruling, but only on the grounds that the law violated the Establishment Clause of Amendment I because it was based entirely on favoring a religious belief, not because it violated anyone’s free speech rights.

      So, no…it’s not at all the same issue.

      1. Wuz, I just re-read Epperson for the first time in 30 years. While you are correct that the primary issue was establishment, the opinion also contains the following line:

        “The challenged statute, it held, unconstitutionally interfered with the right of the individual, guaranteed by the Due Process Clause, to engage in any of the common occupations of life and to acquire useful knowledge”, quoting Meyer v. Nebraska. “Acquiring useful knowledge” is pure speech. So you can’t fairly say that the free speech component of the First Amendment was completely absent, even though it took second chair to the establishment clause.

        Further, religious speech is, well, speech.

        So, while this time I give you credit for at least trying to make a substantive argument, ultimately, the case was about both.

        1. So you can’t fairly say that the free speech component of the First Amendment was completely absent, even though it took second chair to the establishment clause.

          I see you omitted what immediately follows the text you selectively quoted:

          “For purposes of the present case, we need not reenter the difficult terrain which the Court, in 1923, traversed without apparent misgivings. We need not take advantage of the broad premise which the Court’s decision in Meyer furnishes, nor need we explore the implications of that decision in terms of the justiciability of the multitude of controversies that beset our campuses today. Today’s problem is capable of resolution in the narrower terms of the First Amendment’s prohibition of laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

          So not only did the free speech clause not take 2nd chair to the establishment clause, it took NO chair.

          Further, religious speech is, well, speech.

          The issue was not “religious speech”, you simpleton.

          You’re not in a position to pompously be giving “credit” to anyone for anything.

          1. This is progress, you’re at least trying to make substantive arguments instead of just tossing off insults. That’s good. That’s really good in fact. You get a cookie.

            Religious speech is a subset of speech. Religious cases are ultimately all about speech, unless they also have the added component of conduct. Telling someone that they must teach Genesis, or are forbidden to teach Darwin (or, for that matter, vice versa) is about what they are allowed to say. Every bit as much as if the state were presuming to tell pastors what they could preach about. You’re drawing an unnecessary distinction. Religion *is* speech. It got a separate mention in the First Amendment because of how much trouble it causes, but discussions about dogma are discussions about speech.

            And as for the quoted language, what the court was saying is that they’re not going to reach a broad issue (speech generally) if they can narrow it to religious speech.

            You know, not everyone who disagrees with you is a liar, an idiot, or both.

            1. This is progress, you’re at least trying to make substantive arguments instead of just tossing off insults. That’s good. That’s really good in fact. You get a cookie.

              That sort of idiotic condescension wouldn’t be such an issue if you weren’t such a…you know…idiot. That’s something you seemed rather eager to put on display in your very next paragraph:

              You’re drawing an unnecessary distinction. Religion *is* speech. It got a separate mention in the First Amendment because of how much trouble it causes, but discussions about dogma are discussions about speech.

              LOL! That would sure come as a surprise to pretty much every court that has ever addressed those two provisions of Amendment I…as well as to the authors thereof.

              And as for the quoted language, what the court was saying is that they’re not going to reach a broad issue (speech generally) if they can narrow it to religious speech.

              What the court was saying was that their decision did not require it to address the issue at all, so they didn’t…which is why it was NOT any sort of basis for the court’s decision.

              You know, not everyone who disagrees with you is a liar, an idiot, or both.

              Nor have I ever said/implied/suggested any such thing. You just happen to be both.

              1. That sort of condescension is the direct result of you not being able to carry a civil conversation. You’ve got three choices:

                1. Don’t talk to me.

                2. Be civil.

                3. Be uncivil and expect an uncivil response in return. And since I’m a far better wordsmith than you are, that’s not a fight you’re likely to win.

                Can you cite a case in which the court said that religion *isn’t* speech? It analyzes them differently based on context, for the same reason it analyzes establishment and free exercise differently, even though both fit under the broad rubric of “religion” and even though there is frequent overlap between the two.

                Now remember:

                Don’t talk to me, be civil, or prepare to receive return fire.

      2. “Amendment I, via Amendment IV”

        Lol, it was an unreasonable search of the origins of life! Simpleton indeed.

        1. “Amendment I, via Amendment IV”

          Lol, it was an unreasonable search of the origins of life! Simpleton indeed.

          That’s a good sockpuppet. Ignore the substantive analysis and do a victory lap over a typographical omission of an “X”. You are truly an intellectual force to be reckoned with.

          1. Lol, the day the pot achieved black hole levels of blackness and went on about the kettle…

            1. I can’t even imagine being as comfortable (nay, apparently proud) as you are of being not only a lying sack of shit, but a coward as well.

              1. Oh come now Wuz, you’re the biggest pussy I’ve seen since your mom’s.

                1. Is that the best you’ve got? I mean, if you’re going to set up an sock account so you can say the sorts of stupid things that you don’t want your main persona to be tarred with…so you can continue pretending to be something other than the completely piece of shit that you really are…you ought to at least swing for the fences.

                  1. Don’t cry, lil’ guy.

  12. Taxpayers are declining to fund teaching young people to hate their country. It’s long overdue. Too bad it didn’t happen 20-30 years ago.

    Here’s what you’re calling “academic freedom”:

    https://nypost.com/2021/06/14/north-korean-defector-slams-woke-us-schools/

    Quote from story:

    [North Korean defector] Yeonmi Park attended Columbia University and was immediately struck by what she viewed anti-Western sentiment in the classroom and a focus on political correctness that had her thinking “even North Korea isn’t this nuts.”

  13. Boy, conservatives *love*themselves some cancel culture!

    1. I do! It mainly hits my enemies.

      1. Yeah, we knew that about ya Bob.

        1. I repeat: We firebombed Dresden. And Toyko — killing a *lot* more innocent civilians than we did in Hiroshima and Nagasaki *combined*….

          The atomic bomb only ended the war because the Japanese neither knew that we didn’t have any more nor the logistics of dropping one. They’d seen upwards of a thousand B-29s, each dropping a whole bunch of bombs and imagined what would happen were those these new “atomic” bombs instead of conventional ones.

          1. You’re batshit crazy Ed. I mean, whatever the merits of this issue you’re literally raving about dropping atom bombs. WTF is wrong with you?

            1. I’m glad we did — we saved lots of lives doing that — both Japanese and American lives.

              Do you have any idea what the invasion of the home islands would have involved? Or how many Japanese would have been alive afterwards? It literally would have been the end of the Japanese race…

          2. killing a *lot* more innocent civilians than we did in Hiroshima and Nagasaki *combined*….

            Dr. Ed makes up a fact. Must be a day ending in ‘y.’

    2. As if you object to it when the right type of people are harmed.

      1. One difference might be that I don’t go around complaining about ‘cancel culture’ 24/7. It’s the hypocrisy here I’m pointing out.

  14. Simply put, academia can think and say what they want, BUT not on my dime. When they take taxpayer money (grants, students aid, whatever), the speech belongs to the taxpayer. As the left so inelegantly says to the right, “build your own” if you want to espouse your personal philosophies.

  15. What academics mean by “critical race theory” is not the same thing as what politicians currently mean by “critical race theory”

    And what academics mean by “critical race theory” in the morning is not the same as what they mean by “critical race theory” in the afternoon. Academics have to scuttle between motte and bailey, according to the audience.

    Legislators can just nuke the bailey.

    1. This reminds me of when the left had a brief obsession with the idea that the ‘neo-cons’ were being driven by nefarious ‘Straussian theory.’ They had never read Strauss or his followers in academe, of course, but they were convinced they were up to something really secret and no good.

      But at least they didn’t go whining to their local legislature to get them to engage in the really important work of trying to cancel the teaching of Strauss.

  16. Just out of interest, why are the State universities, in States that have been solid Republican since the flood, nevertheless run by committed lefties ? I know it’s the long march through the institutions, but what’s the actual route taken ? Do State constitutions essentially entrench the lefty cabal against the elected branches of government, once they’ve managed to take over ? Or what ?

    1. “in States that have been solid Republican since the flood,”

      If you mean Texas and Southern states, its been less than 30 years since GOP took over the legislatures.

      In Kentucky it was 2016.

      https://www.huffpost.com/entry/2016-election-kentucky-house-gop_n_58223ddce4b0d9ce6fbf78e3

    2. why are the State universities, in States that have been solid Republican since the flood, nevertheless run by committed lefties ? I know it’s the long march through the institutions,

      “The long march through the institutions?” Really, Lee. You’re starting to sound like Bellmore when he goes all paranoid.

      Anyway, I don’t know that they are all run by “committed lefties,” as least not as anyone outside the RW bubble would understand that term. I mean, I know Fox and OAN and so on push that, but they lie a lot.

      1. The radicals started getting tenure in the late ’80s, became the “tenured radicals” and everyone sane retired in the 1990s…

  17. ” why are the State universities, in States that have been solid Republican since the flood, nevertheless run by committed lefties ?”

    Start with a silly premise and work your way up!

  18. Note the lack of concern when Democrats threaten funding for schools over content:

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/06/15/connecticut-dem-provision-axes-funding-schools-native-american-mascots/

    I guess there’s no social-circle brownie points to be gained. Those only come from attacks upon Republicans.

    1. Lol, mascots totes = curriculums!

  19. Very well then, by way of compromise, let’s just apply these laws to government-run K-12 schools. Let’s exempt state universities/colleges. Heck, let’s even exempt charter schools, so long as they make their CRT curriculum public, so parents choosing a CRT charter school would know what they’re getting into.

    Is that enough to alleviate the author’s concerns?

    1. Yes, we simply must allow for 2nd graders to be taught that if they are white they should be ashamed of themselves forever because of their skin color. Need to also make sure that Asians and Jews learn at 8 years old that they’re white adjacent and when they grow up and some aggrieved minority beats the shit out of them that they deserved it and they need to be ashamed harder.

      It’s the only hope we have for a free, fair society.

      1. It sounds like we’re on the same page.

        “Academic freedom” at colleges and universities raises such special concerns that they need not be dealt with in the same bill as K-12.

        Banning racist teaching (under whatever guise it poses) in K-12 government schools seems a logical outgrowth of the “hostile environment” principle. Constantly having one’s race denounced by one’s teachers sounds enough like a hostile environment that a general ban on racist teaching would simply nip these abuses in the bud.

        1. Politically, it would be a signal to beleaguered parents that the government has their back and any school teacher or official who spouts racist doctrine can more easily be slapped down.

          Of course as far as these bills are concerned teachers can belong to the KKK or its former political auxiliary (Democratic Party) off the clock, so long as they don’t bring KKK / Democrat doctrine into the classroom while teaching on behalf of the government.

          1. Yes, what you say is correct. At least in college people are a starting to be able to handle the shunning and scorn of being in the outgroup a little better. Some might even enjoy being the contrarian martyr.

            And unlike K-12, if it gets bad enough they can simply drop the course.

            But as you (and I) say, teaching anything racist in K-12 should be strenuously opposed. Problem is that the CRTs and anti-racists and their enablers can’t see themselves for what they are. At least the actual real white supremacists and KKK types realize they’re racists assholes. They just don’t care.

        2. Do you mean that we should rely on children to identify when an in-school authority figure they are taught to respect (their teacher) is creating an illegal hostile school environment?

          Or are you only saying that such a hostile school environment should be allowed in private schools (government-funded, since you said “charter” earlier), as long as parents are warned in advance that the environment will be hostile in such a manner?

          1. Give parents the tools to stop it, or to opt into it specifically if they’re into that sort of thing.

            1. Recognize it as a matter of *parental authority* what their kids get taught (after we get past the extreme cases of not teaching reading etc.). If parents want to call their own kids racially inferior they can, otherwise simply presume they don’t want their kids taught that, and forbid such teaching from being done).

              1. So charter schools should be free to teach discrimination, even if in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 (e.g. because they only receive state funding rather than federal funding)? Even if it discourages otherwise students from attending an otherwise high-quality school? (Should states adopt laws like Title VI?)

                I am not entirely opposed to the hypothesis that market forces will sufficiently deter schools from doing that, or at least that a competing school would develop to address an unmet niche of “high-quality, non-racist education”, but it is a rather more libertarian position than most of the US holds.

                (I am reminded of a vacation I took earlier this year, to Highland County VA — population 2000, with one public school for the whole county. Not all markets are so large that they can easily support many schools.)

                1. I wasn’t focusing on generic markets but on parental authority. And on the belief that it’s not worth wasting political capital protecting kids whose parents don’t want them protected.

                  1. But when I think about it, I presume even charter schools can be subject to “hostile environment” complaints for the really blatant stuff.

  20. Jesus, what a shitshow of thought-policing viewpoint discrimination fans.

    I’m all for teaching Hayek and Rand, y’all should be able to deal with scholarship you disagree with.

    This kind of defensiveness is not the attitude of people who think their ideas are good or appealing.

    1. I don’t know if you’re referring to me, because I think you know I’m not a wing nut, but yeah I object to teaching racist trash to 8 year olds. Or 15 year olds for that matter.

      Obviously you teach honest history including things like slavery and the reasons the civil rights movement was necessary and so on, it teaching elementary kids that they are and will always be racist is child abuse.

      If that makes me a nut, then fine.

      1. 1) CRT isn’t racist, is the thing. It’s not something I think is universally correct, but it’s not what the right has been pumping out there – you have your facts wrong.

        But even if it were, there’s some bad stuff going down here. Is there a law forbidding antisemitism from being taught in schools? Anarchism? Plenty of bad stuff and yet there isn’t a thousand laws binding academics.

        Except for this. This partisan viewpoint that is ill-defined.

        Which should raise some alarm bells, no?

    2. “I’m all for teaching Hayek and Rand”

      Really?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wob10lOLWY

    3. Just to demonstrate the dishonesty of the CRT people – today my governor (Abbott), of whom I have been very critical of lately, signed an anti-CRT bill. Instead of honestly arguing against it by telling the public what they want to teach they simply argues that the bill will stop the teaching of slavery and racism.

      In real life the bill MANDATES “the teaching of the history of white supremacy, including but not limited to the institution of slavery”.

      When a side has to resort to blatant dishonesty, you gotta wonder what they’re hiding.

      1. Well, here’s the new law –

        https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/87R/billtext/pdf/HB03979F.pdf#navpanes=0

        Suggest which specific parts are wrong, Oh critics.

        (I’ll grant that the parts about “sex” are vulnerable to misuse by feminists. Anything else?)

      2. Is there even one example of a teacher teaching ‘America is racist’ or a student saying they were taught to hate white people in class?

        Or is this an outrage created by media, no need for facts to back it up?

        1. I have seen documented instances of students being taught that in grade school. I have seen video on the news of parents protesting that type of teaching (that has occurred) at school board meetings and being pretty much dismissed by the board.

          Several school districts have decided to incorporate the horribly flawed 1619 project into their curriculum. Buffalo is one, if I remember right.

          I don’t know how prevalent it is but better to just stop it now rather than try to kill it once it’s widespread. If you’ve got a better idea than hamfisted legislation, I’m all ears, although I’m not sure what the objection would be to one like became law here in Texas yesterday.

      3. The bill also forbids, inter alia, the teaching that “with respect to their relationship to American values, slavery and racism are anything other than deviations from, betrayals of, or failures to live up to, the authentic founding principles of the United States, which include liberty and equality.”

  21. Academic freedom is not really academic freedom if only one viewpoint is allowed to be taught or discussed. If students are penalized for not having the “correct” viewpoint, and if faculty members are penalized for not teaching the “correct” doctrine, then there is no such thing as academic freedom.

  22. Reading this thread, I was reminded repeatedly of Virginia’s resistance to integration after Brown v. Board of Education. The legislature passed a law to defund any public school system which integrated. Many of the arguments offered in these comments would have been right at home in the uproar which followed.

    Seems like a useful context for this discussion. On the one hand, you got a commitment to letting the schools do whatever the majority demands. On the other hand, you got an imposing bit of evidence on behalf of a CRT approach to teaching. If you ask what to make of that for university governance, it’s hard to see how going all-in for legislative supremacy is the right conclusion.

    1. Yeah, I guess anybody who opposes the racism of CRT is themselves racist.

  23. It seems to me that any teaching of CRT constitutes “hostile environment racial harassment” in the meaning of existing federal civil rights laws which protect both students and the employees of any employer. And if I were subjected to it I would sue on that basis and expect to win. Therefore case closed, and the question of academic freedom does not even arise.

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