We have often discussed how universities have become battle grounds over so-called “microaggressions” and offensive terms or images involving race, religion, or culture. Some of these efforts raise serious questions of the erosion of free speech as well as double standards applied to faculty and students. The example of the sensitivity toward such objections was evident this week at Clemson University, which apologizes for racial or cultural insensitivity for holding “Maximum Mexican” night featuring Mexican cuisine. Two students were offended and the university has apologized.
There is another controversy brewing in California over allegations that the University of California at Berkeley is again trying to circumvent a state law that bars the use of race in educational decisions. Berkeley has announced a $20 million fund to endow scholarships for African-American students and to hire a diverse faculty. Critics say that it clearly runs afoul of the law and is another example the refusal of administrators to comply with a state policy for absolute racially blind decision-making in admissions and other educations decision making.
Dr. Ben Carson is learning the perils of rising in the polls in a presidential election. This week, the National Enquirer produced an article detailing what it says is a pattern of malpractice by Carson, including leaving a sponge in the head of a patient. Some of the harshest commentary however have come from liberal African Americans. Much like some of the criticism faced by Clarence Thomas, Carson has been attacked as being a type of traitor to the black community despite the fact that he is a hugely successful doctor and mentor for many. University of Pennsylvania Professor Anthea Butler however took that criticism to a new low in calling Carson a “coon.” While such a racial slur would normally be followed by demands for terminations from a white professor, the response to the slur has been at best muted.
Bahar Mustafa, of the University of London is facing criminal charges for sending a threatening communication. Mustafa attracted international condemnation for her use of a Twitter hashtag #killallwhitemen and asked for white men not to come to certain university events. Despite her unmitigated racism and sexism, an effort to remove her failed after only 165 people signed a petition for her removal. The retention of Mustafa at the university is a disgrace for both the university and academia as a whole.
In Raleigh, North Carolina, Jewel Shuping is finally happy. With the help of what was described as a “sympathetic psychologist,” Shuping, 30, fulfilled a lifelong dream in blinding herself with drain cleaner. Shuping says that she always wanted to be blind and is now overjoyed to be disabled. It is the latest example of what is called Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) where able bodied people disable themselves. What is even more astonishing is that there is no indication of any discipline of the alleged psychologist who performed this harmful practice.
Jonathan Harrington, 21, thought he had a great joke when he heard that the University regularly inspected dorm rooms for drugs. Harrington took powdered sugar in lines to look like cocaine on his desk with a rolled up dollar bill and seven aspiring pills. The university police proceeded to do a field test and declared it to be real cocaine — leading to Harrington being charged with felony drug possession.
Russian Ambassador Sergey Andreev has caused an outcry in Poland after stating that Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 was an act of self-defense prompted by the failure of the Poles to join a coalition against Hitler. It was a bizarre claim was not only politically disastrous but historically moronic. The Russians have often omitted from their accounts of the heroic Russian war with Germany that they were first and foremost an ally of Hitler and sought to carve up Europe with him. it was only when Hitler betrayed Stalin that the Russians fought against Germany in its invasion.