“Dark And Vile Verbiage”: Law Professor Under Fire For Use Of Censored Version Of The “N Word” on Exam

Jason Kilborn is a professor at John Marshall Law School at the University of Illinois-Chicago who wrote a Civil Procedure exam based on an employment discrimination hypothetical. The question referenced the use of racial and sexual epithets but, rather than use the words, Kilborn used commonly censored versions of just the first letter and blanks.  That led to his suspension at the school and now, after he was reinstated, University of Illinois-Chicago Chancellor Michael Amiridis has issued a letter to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) that did little to quell concerns over academic freedom. Indeed, it seemed to minimize those concerns. While I disagree that the letter was a categorical denial any academic freedom protection, the controversy is chilling for those who see both free of speech and academic freedom being eroded on our campuses.  (For full disclosure, I have an honorary degree from John Marshall Law School).

Professor Kilborn’s Civil Procedure II exam described how an employee quit “after she attended a meeting in which other managers expressed their anger at Plaintiff, calling her a ‘n___’ and ‘b___’ [sic].”  The full exam question was reprinted by Professor Eugene Volokh in a column criticizing the action against Kilborn.

The use of the censored references led to a complaint in a letter from the Black Law Students Association and later a petition which called for Kilborn to be stripped of his committee assignments and other reforms. The Petition stated:

The slur shocked students created a momentous distraction and caused unnecessary distress and anxiety for those taking the exam. Considering the subject matter, and the call of the question, the use of the “n____” and “b____” was certainly unwarranted as it did not serve any educational purpose. The question was culturally insensitive and tone-deaf. It lacked basic civility and respect for the student body, especially considering our social justice efforts this year.

The integration of this dark and vile verbiage on a Civil Procedure II exam was inexcusable and appropriate measures of accountability must be executed by the UIC administration.

College Fix described the letter from Amiridis as a denial of any academic freedom protections for Kilborn. I do not quite see it that way. The letter denies that there are academic freedom protections against any investigation or adjudication of such claims.  He is arguing that such investigations can vindicate academic freedom values but that the university has an obligation to investigate.

My objection is in the measures taken against Professor Kilborn, which I do believe undermine academic freedom. He was suspended and put on administrative leave because of a complaint that in my view was a denial of his pedagogical privileges. The matter could have been investigated further by the university after an initial determination not to change his status. Instead, he was suspended — a decision that clearly will create a chilling effect on other academics at the school.

I am also concerned by the position of Amiridis in a lengthy footnote that says that the university disputes the claim that the use of the terms was “pedagogical relevant” or “necessarily germane to the study of civil procedure.” That is a statement that drives to the very core of academic freedom. Just because Kilborn teaches Civil Procedure does not mean that hypotheticals raising racial discrimination are not germane. The best Civil Procedure teachers show how these rules can raise difficult political, social, and constitutional issues when applied in different contexts. Moreover, professors have been pushed by universities and various academic groups to incorporate greater consideration of social justice and racial equality issues in their classes.

Professor Kilborn wrote an exam question that included the censored versions of words that are commonly found in media articles and academic publications. For that, he was publicly suspended and ostracized. The school could have investigated without changing his status. It is important to listen to these students who felt offended by the question. Indeed, this was an opportunity to discuss why professors often raise such discomforting or even offensive issues in our exams. I do not believe suspension however was warranted and that the treatment of Kilborn undermined the values of academic freedom in making such choices.

The university has noted that there were other issues raised by students. One such issue appears to be related to a conversation with a student after the exam. Kilborn held a lengthy Zoom call with a member of the BLSA and Northwestern University Law Prof. Andrew Koppelman included Kilborn’s account in an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education:

“While the battle over the exam language continues, it turns out I was actively misled into believing my suspension was related to that language.

“On Thursday, January 7, I voluntarily agreed to talk to one of the Black Law Students Association members who had advanced this petition against me. Around hour 1 or 1.5 of a 4-hour Zoom call that I endured from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm with this young man, he asked me to speculate as to why the dean had not sent me BLSA’s attack letter, and I flippantly responded, ‘I suspect she’s afraid if I saw the horrible things said about me in that letter I would become homicidal.’ Conversation continued without a hitch for 2.5 or 3 more hours, and we concluded amicably with a promise to talk more later.

“He apparently turned around and reported that I was a homicidal threat. Our university’s Behavioral Threat Assessment Team convened, with no evidence of who I am at all, and recommended to my dean that I be placed on administrative leave and barred from campus. […] Having full discretion to implement or reject that recommendation, and knowing me fairly well, having worked with me quite a bit for the past four years, my dean decided that I was, indeed, a homicidal threat.”

Dean Darby Dickerson (who also served as president of the Association of American Law Schools) reported Kilborn on the basis of that statement in a four-hour Zoom call. Again, the question is why the school cannot address such claims informally when the statement was clearly meant in jest. There is no indication that Professor Kilborn is indeed homicidal. Indeed, holding a four-hour call with a single concerned student would seem strong evidence of a desire to engage concerned students and explain his pedagogical purposes.

It is important to note that this entire controversy began with an exam question on an employment discrimination case that censored terms to avoid discomfort or insult. As academics (and particularly law professors), we have to address difficult and discomforting issues in our society. Our students have to be prepared to work in a world that is filled with such offensive terms and discrimination. Instead, the university and the law school showed little concern for the impact on these actions on not just Professor Kilborn but other professors.  Few would want to risk such public humiliation and suspension.  The result is that they are likely to simply sanitize exams questions to avoid anything that might trip a wire or cause a complaint. The loss is not just felt in eroding academic freedom values but in abridging academic training for our students.

155 thoughts on ““Dark And Vile Verbiage”: Law Professor Under Fire For Use Of Censored Version Of The “N Word” on Exam”

  1. America has been distracted, diverted from course and enslaved in the employ of foreign, alien and antithetical interests. What a waste of time. Why do you listen to them? Oil and water do not mix without emulsifiers. In this case, the political emulsifiers required for mixture are dictatorial, illegitimate and unconstitutional – they are the pure, illicit and diametrically opposed communism of the mortal enemies of freedom and of America. In 1863, freed slaves must have been deported as illegal aliens, per the Naturalization Act of 1802, upon the issuance of the unconstitutional emancipation proclamation. Lincoln, most certainly, had no intention of retaining them after freeing them…but someone changed his mind. The forcible imposition of the “Reconstruction Amendments” by Lincoln’s successors, under the duress of brutal, post-war, military occupation, will never be legitimate or constitutional. Like Lincoln’s 1864 “victory,” their ratification was “rigged,” corrupted and illicit.

    To wit,

    “If all earthly power were given me,” said Lincoln in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, “I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” …he asked whether freed blacks should be made “politically and socially our equals?” “My own feelings will not admit of this,” he said, “and [even] if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not … We can not, then, make them equals.”
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    “Frederick Douglass, a gifted African American writer and activist who knew Lincoln, characterized him in a speech delivered in 1876:109

    ‘In his interest, in his association, in his habits of thought, and in his prejudices, he was a white man. He was preeminently the white man’s President, entirely devoted to the welfare of the white man. He was ready and willing at any time during the first years of his administration to deny, postpone, and sacrifice the rights of humanity in the colored people, to promote the welfare of the white people of this country.’

    “Allan Nevins, one of this century’s most prolific and acclaimed historians of US history, summed up Lincoln’s view of the complex issue of race, and his vision of America’s future:110

    ‘His conception ran beyond the mere liberation of four million colored folk; it implied a far-reaching alteration of American society, industry, and government. A gradual planned emancipation, a concomitant transportation of hundreds of thousands and perhaps even millions of people overseas, a careful governmental nursing of the new colonies, and a payment of unprecedented sums to the section thus deprived of its old labor supply — this scheme carried unprecedented implications.'”

    – Robert Morgan
    _____________

    Lincoln was obviously supportive of compassionate repatriation of freed slaves for their own benefit, sense of nationhood and self esteem…but someone changed his mind. You, by contrast, suffer the burgeoning inanity and insolence, and pay for your phantom guilt with national distraction and national treasure through the application of no actual compelling physical force or law. In the worst case, aliens and foreigners allowed into the U.S. do not obtain rights superior to or different from actual Americans. Under freedom, people must be self-sufficient.

    People must adapt to the outcomes of freedom.

    Freedom does not adapt to people.

    Dictatorship does.
    ______________

    “Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.”

    – Sir Walter Scott

    1. “HE WILL NEVER DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.”
      _________________________________________

      “Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again. He will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country.”

      “Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First.”

      – President Donald J. Trump
      ______________________

      “[We gave you] a republic, if you can keep it.”

      – Ben Franklin
      ___________

      You couldn’t keep it.

      Can you take it back?

      1. Oh, and, to fight the

        “China Flu, 2020,”

        President Donald J. Trump

        gave America the…

        “Trump Vaccine.”

    1. The question asked by an audience member –
      Considering COVID-19 and its significant impact on black Americans, especially here in Milwaukee, and thus the exacerbation of our racial disparities in healthcare, we have seen less than 3 percent of Blacks and less than 5 percent of Hispanics, given the total number of vaccines that have been administered to this point. Is this a priority for the Biden administration? And how will the disparities be addressed? And that’s both locally and nationally.

      His answer –
      Well, first of all, it is a priority, number one.

      Number two, there’s two reasons for it being the way it is. Number one, there is some history of blacks being used as guinea pigs and other experiments — I need not tell you, Doctor — over the last 50 to 75 to 100 years in America. So there’s a — there is a concern about getting the vaccine, whether it’s available or not.

      But the biggest part of it is access — physical access. That’s why, last week, I opened up — I met with the Black Caucus in the United States Congress and agreed that I would — all — all of the fed- — all of the community health centers now, which take care of the toughest of the toughest neighborhoods in terms of illness, they are going to get a million doses, you know, a week, in how we’re going to move forward, because they’re in the neighborhood.

      Secondly, we have opened up — and I’m making sure that there’s doses of vaccine for over 6,700 pharmacies, because almost everyone lives within not always walking distance, but within the distance of being able to go to the pharmacy, like when you got your flu shot. That is also now being opened.

      Thirdly, I also am providing for mobile — mobile vans, mobile units to go into neighborhoods that are hard to get to because people are on — for example, even though everyone is within, you know, basically five miles of a Walgreens, let’s say, the fact is, if you’re 70 years old, you don’t have a vehicle, and you live in a tough neighborhood — meaning you’re — it’s a high concentration of COVID — you’re not likely to be able to walk five miles to go get a vaccine.

      The other thing we found is — and I’m sorry to go on, but this is really important to me. The other part — portion is, a lot of people don’t know how to register. Not everybody in the community — in the Hispanic and the African American community, particularly in rural areas that are distant and/or inner-city districts — know how to use — know how to get online to determine how to get in line for that COVID vaccination at the Walgreens or at the particular store.

      So we’re also — I’ve committed to spend a billion dollars on public education to help people figure out how they can get in there. That’s why we’re also trying to set up mass vaccination centers, like places in stadiums and the like.

      He was asked about Blacks and Hispanics, so he answered about Black and Hispanics.

      Do you dispute that some people — especially those living in areas where fewer people have broadband access — don’t use the web much and don’t know how to use the registration websites?

  2. How do we get off of the ridiculous merry go round? I have a suspicion that our leftist friends have no desire to do anything but double down. I mean wouldn’t we already have the leftist utopia if it weren’t for the saboteurs and wreckers?

    Reminds me of China in the late 1960’s where the glorious “Red Guards” attempted to destroy 5000 years of Chinese culture and history.

    Of course, the “woke” crowd will not stop until everything else in our civilization is similarly classified. And woe to the person who opposes or merely questions their activities.

    Shakespeare is racist.

    Math is racist.

    Moving from a decaying neighborhood due to the presence of minorities is White flight and therefore racist.

    Moving back in is gentrification and therefore racist.

    Seeing color is racist.

    Being colorblind is racist.

    Doesn’t participate in foreign culture – that’s racist.

    Tries to adopt foreign culture but you’re white – that is called cultural appropriate and therefore racist.

    THE CHURCH OF WOKE IS A CHURCH WITH NO SALVATION!

    antonio

    1. Forgot to add that classical music is racist too!

      It will literally be heaven on earth when we rid ourselves of evil western cultural influences.

      antonio

  3. Some of the names I’ve been called in my life include: “Beaner, Cholo, Goy, Greaser, Gringo, Hick, Honky, Spic, Wet Back, Cracker, Hillbilly, WASP(B) meaning White Anglo Saxon Protestant [the B represents without Father] and White Trash” just to name a few. I also been accused of being a Racist (because I’m White and conservative), SOB because I was the boss and later the owner of a company, and Chauvinist because I held a door open for a woman, even though the dictionary defines it as “ a person displaying aggressive or exaggerated patriotism”. Did I take offense at these names, heavens no, they are just words, and did not and do not represent my character. The child rhyme should be learned by those who take words the wrong way; (stick and stone will break my bones, but words will never hurt me).

  4. This whole thing got out of hand a long time ago. It’s all about a word that blacks use ALL THE TIME themselves. It started when LBJ was in office and has escalated. Blacks raise hell about it because they have political power – white politicians are scared of race riots. As far as academia goes, it seems that people today are more interested in feeling good about themselves than in actually getting an education.

  5. I’m late to the discussion and too lazy to read all previous posts. Sorry, but…

    JL said: “(For full disclosure, I had an honorary degree from John Marshall Law School).” Did he mean “… have an …”? Typo? OR, has he given up the honorary degree and, if so, why?

  6. The thing about pejorative words about groups is that they are coined by superior groups who dominate the inferior , and are associated with all the negative stereotypes that members of the dominant group have about them. The word “Nigger” has attached to it all the Jim Crow attributes of the black and white minstrel shows featuring the character “Jim Crow” such as clumsiness, stupidity, laziness, bad character, lack of hygiene and so on ……..

    For a brown skinned person being called a “nigger” by a white man can hurt but if called by another black does not hurt as it is an expression of racial solidarity. Blacks use the word among themselves because it states an obvious major determinant of their lives that people with power see them as being exemplars of all these negative stereotype and this includes powerful black people who have become honorary whites such as Clarence Thomas and Barak Obama.

    When other non-pejorative words such as N—— are substituted they eventually take on the pejorative characteristics of the original word if the racial dominance still exists as it does in the US and Australia.

    It is true that anti-black racism is less now than it was in 1850, less than it was in 1900, less than it was in 2000. I am not sure that it is less than it was in 2010. Many of us make linear assumptions about cause and effect but the effects of social attitudes are extremely non-linear. Even a 5% level of racism has a much greater than 5% effect because the actions of social mechanisms are carried out by chains of individuals most having the same unconscious or conscious biases and there still exist laws that were motivated by anti-black racism.

    Why does the US have all the harm maximisation laws against certain mind altering substances but not alcohol? It is because using mind altering chemicals is normal human behaviour and humans do it for many reasons. Criminalizing normal human behaviour creates so many instances of crime that no agency can afford to detect and prosecute more than a fraction and unsurprisingly such law enforcement agencies concentrate army of occupation policing on “high crime areas” where Blacks Hispanics and poor people live. Most marked police cars in the US bear a slogan “To Serve and Protect”. We may ask serve and protect whom? The answer is not everyone but only those people deserving service and protection not criminals and deviants. We may also ask is serving and protecting the only thing that police do? No it is not, police also detect crime, charge and prosecute. The problem is that there are two disjoint and non-overlapping groups in society, respectable people who live in respectable areas who deserve service and protection and are not under intense observation for signs of nefarious activities and people who live in high crime areas who DO NOT deserve service and protection but intense observation for the slightest sign of a misdemenour. I suspect that when a crime against a resident of a high crime area occurs the police show little enthusiasm to investigate unless there is some nearby low hanging fruit black they can fit up, but they are always looking for crime especially drug crime. If one studies the history of the drug laws one finds that in the Nixon and Regan years they were introduced with explicit malice against blacks and the counter-culture. I think H R Halderman is on record as saying that the Nixon administration had two sets of enemies the hippy counter-culture and the blacks and illegal marijuana allowed pursuit of the hippies and heroin and cocaine the Blacks. The war against drugs has never made sense as a means of reducing harm from drugs but rename it as “The War Against Niggers” and it make sense.

    What Nixon started Regan extended and many of the laws were explicit in racial intent. Cocaine is an alkaloid, that is a substance that contains nitrogen and when dissolved in water raises the PH above seven. Powder cocaine is a salt, cocaine hydrochloride which cannot be vaporised and smoked while crack or freebase cocaine can. For people short of money crack gives more bang for a buck while wealthy masters of the universe snort powder cocaine with less effect. The laws used to consider 5 grams of freebase deserved the same sentence as 100 grams of powder. The main justification was that crack caused some much violence in the high crime areas so draconian sentences were needed because the violence was because of black wickedness and bad character. My take on the violence in black neighbourhoods is that blacks lack both the protection of the law for crimes against themselves and protection from oppressive actions by the law. A black who suffers a crime has to consider whether calling the police will not solve the crime and if the crime is “solved” may only cause another innocent black to be convicted. Black criminals know that they can mostly get away with stealing from other blacks and turf disputes over lucrative cocaine and heroin franchises cause gun violence. A Black living in a hood has to decide whether being law-abiding in a McJobs poverty wage job is worth it when so much money is available in the drug world. I strongly suggest watching the DVDs of the Baltimore crime procedural series “The Wire” as a source on the perverse incentives in the high crime areas.

    Some self-righteous individuals have been heard to say “No-one forces anyone to take drugs” but I dispute that. Some people take drugs because they like the effect but others because their normal state of consciousness SUCKS because any rational consideration of their current circumstances and reasonable prospects indicates LIFE SUCKS NOW and WILL SUCK IN THE FUTURE and taking a hot shot of heroin would be the most rational decision they could make. Blacks in the US are in an underclass and the underclass status is the major determinant of their prospects with the caperbility of superb athletic performance being the only way out for a few and being a successful and un-convicted drug entrepreneur for others. The state of consciousness brought on by drugs may also be unpleasant but different unpleasant.

    Education is not a way out because the schools do not have the funds to teach those who want to learn and a large proportion of the students act out because of anger at their situation.

    1. “schools do not have the funds to teach those who want to learn and a large proportion of the students act out because of anger at their situation.”

      ***

      Schools have lots of money but much is wasted on bs programs and administrators.

      1. In the US public schools are funded by local government not state government nor federal.

        Therefore the public schools in poor areas are funded by poor local governments who do not have the funds to do so adequately. In addition the children who attend these schools come from lousy environments that damage them to the extend that many can’t but behave in a way that disrupts teaching.

        To get damaged students to learn and not disrupt the learning of others requires more resources not less. But more resources are not available so ridding schools of disruptive students by zero tolerance policies of suspension, expulsion or charging their behaviour as crimes to get them into the school to prison pipeline are used instead.

        Living in a drug war zone damages people including students. My advice would be to work out how much is reasonably needed to educate a student, divide that number into the school budget and accept that number of students and no more. Determine the students to be admitted selectively and take the remainder to a vet surgery and painlessly euthanize them. The vast majority of black children have no future because blacks have never reached the lower tiers of the ladders of opportunity as they have been elbowed out by successive waves of immigrants. Each wave of immigrants has suffered discrimination but eventually been accepted as White or at least model minority. One of the requirements of being accepted is to hate blacks as much as the current population does.

        1. Carlyle: “In the US public schools are funded by local government not state government nor federal.”

          *****

          Schools get local, state and federal funding. When Biden* says federal funds might be withheld from schools that don’t allow transgenders to compete with biological women in sports [thus destroying women’s competitions] what funds do you suppose he is talking about?

          You can go online and see how much different areas spend on schooling per student.

          https://educationdata.org/public-education-spending-statistics

          The only place that spends more per student than Washington, DC, one of the worst performing school systems in the country, is New York. DC spends almost TWICE the national average per student and achieves among the lowest performance outcomes. La Jolla, California is a wealthy community and it spends a bit more than one third per pupil than Washington, DC does.

          Money is not the problem.

          “children who attend these schools come from lousy environments that damage them to the extent that many can’t but behave in a way that disrupts teaching.”

          The ‘lousy’ environment is a home with a single parent who is often involved in anti-social or criminal behavior. When Democrat Senator, Dan Moynihan [a great man by the way] tried to point that out he was excoriated. We are not permitted even to discuss much less address the underlying problems in those communities and many of those problems are increased by government dictates. Obama insisted that higher rates of discipline of black students must be because of racism rather than the disruptive behavior of the students themselves. Soon teachers and other students were put at great risk in more chaotic schools because schools were threatened if they dared to discipline violent black students. Trayvon Martin was one of the outcomes of that program. He had burglary tools and women’s jewelry stolen from a nearby home in his school locker and he effectively had no punishment. If he had been detained and locked up for awhile he would not have been where he could attack George Zimmerman and get shot. The school actually hid his criminal behavior so they could cheat on their discipline statistics.

          Like most of those who perpetuate this disease in education you want to look everywhere but at the actual problem. It’s money! No, it isn’t. It’s because of racism! No, it isn’t. It is because we allow low performance and criminality and, in some cases, actually encourage it. It would also help to have a decent curriculum rather that tinkering with it all the time with opium pipe dreams that never work and by hiring better trained and better paid teachers, taking money away from featherbedding administrative layabouts.

          Also get rid of the teachers union. They are a well-funded political pac that mostly harms standards in education.

          Teaching certificates should not be limited to graduates of teaching colleges. People from the world of work can often do better.

          Jaime Escalante, the incredibly successful teacher who was the model for the movie Stand and Deliver, was an engineer with a working knowledge of mathematics. The teacher’s union and administrators despised him and his success, and did all they could to get rid of him. We need many more like Escalante.

        2. Therefore the public schools in poor areas are funded by poor local governments who do not have the funds to do so adequately. I

          Chuckles. Schools get scads of state and federal aid (which comes with strings which wreck local autonomy). You could improve the funding mechanism, but your remark suggests that tonight your gonna party like it’s 1955.

        3. The vast majority of black children have no future because blacks have never reached the lower tiers of the ladders of opportunity as they have been elbowed out by successive waves of immigrants.

          Don’t be stupid. The employment-to-population ratio among blacks is lower than it is for the other coarse categories, but only about 10% lower. It is true that blacks are very common among the ranks of those holding dead-end service jobs, but blacks as often as not hold skilled hourly jobs or salaried positions. Personal income levels among American blacks are 30% below national means, but higher than that of all but about 20 countries abroad. The situation of the black population is distinct on a number of measures, but gentry liberals are not willing to address those problems.

        4. Carlyle, NYC is a prime example of spending a lot and getting very little for the buck. Charter schools have been competing with the public schools so well (actually graduating students with proficiency with college bound students) that there is a huge waiting list of parents competing in the lottery system to get their kids in.

          The schools are paid less per student than each child that attends a regular public school. The lottery ensures equal access and the student populations are as close to identical as can be. Why is the left trying to put those schools out of business when the minority student’s performance has been improved so much that they can compete with non minority groups whose proficiency rating has always been higher? Here we have scientific proof that charters should be encouraged and the public school should learn to compete for students, but the left doesn’t believe in science. They believe in power.

          It is not money that is the problem. It is the left that is more interested in the teachers union than the children.

  7. With what seems to be an unrelenting assault on the 1st amendment, after reading this article, I believe I finally understand why it will get a lot worse before it even thinks about getting better. This article gave me a different understanding of what seems to be blatant hypocrisy. If everything said or done is subject to cultural interpretation, then there cannot be a common understanding of anything. Truth and facts can be two different things. This is how a QPQ on video is argued to be nothing, but a non-QPQ on a phone call is argued to be an impeachable thing.

    Tearing Down the Possibility of Meaning

    This approach to English is wholly negative. The academy has, for decades now, been entirely devoted to subverting, demystifying, and debunking the ideals expressed in language and literature. What was previously seen as transcendent and timeless standards of aesthetics and values have become the very “mystifications” that need to be debunked. Like the moral valence that attaches to the F-word, transcendent ideals are taught as no more than social constructs.

    At its root, the debunking of values is rooted in the destabilization of language that comes out of what the profession calls “literary theory.” A major tenet of theory posits an unbridgeable gap between words and meaning. In such a system, words never exactly refer to the reality they signify. Real meaning is always fleeing from language, and words themselves never entirely catch up.

    The theory explains that meaning is conferred upon language by culture. But, of course, cultures are not disinterested, and what cultures of the past have asserted are matters of truth are actually, so runs the argument, simply matters of political assertion. What passes as meaning is mystification constructed in the service of oppression, needing to be debunked by modern critics.
    https://thefederalist.com/2021/02/17/how-reading-great-literature-helps-protect-you-from-big-brothers-thought-control/

    1. Sometimes for some pairs of humans communication is indeed impossible.

      It is necessary to recognize when in such a situation and leave.

      1. It is necessary to recognize when in such a situation and leave.

        To go where? This is not merely a breakdown in communication where opinions differ. This has become a breakdown in the perception of reality. The phrase, words have meaning, used to be followed by a recognized source to define what that word meant. We could use that to clarify miscommunications and possibly come to a reasonable agreement. That is no longer the case. We can no longer share meaning if we don’t share realities. And if all realities have equal relevance in our culture, then no reality is relevant. We are living a modern day story of Babel.

        God did not like the pride and arrogance in the hearts of the people. God caused the people to suddenly speak different languages so they could not communicate and work together to build the tower.

        1. He will sit in a corner with his ‘blankie’ and suck his thumb. Not possible for those delicate, snowflake ears to hear anything that he doesn’t already believe.

      2. Hey Carl ; you do realize you bloviate way way too much to come to your conclusions. There are much more deliverable ways for your POV by keeping it simple. Yet you take a winding road of language tossed salad…. and frankly we tend to fall asleep to such. You do not present compelling POV’s when you write like a melville novel. If you shout and pout incoherently , than scream – well sort of language you are taking your toys from the sandbox and running away…say so.

    2. Olly, you are describing postmodernism, sometimes referred to as the “linguistic turn,” in which powerful arguments trump fact becaue all arguments are merely “narratives.” So sex becomes gender, truth is ‘negotiable,’ narratives can be ‘dominant’ or not, and so on. It is akin to arguing about angels on the head of a pin. It has all but detroyed the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, history, and political science (whose more grounded members sought refuge in statistics). It is a regressive methodology which has been widely embraced by academics, pundits, and the half-educated.

      1. Good post. And I would add law itself as a victim of this “philosophy”. I had emailed JT a while back regarding the drift this blog has taken away from what used to be a common understanding of facts, evidence, the rule of law and so on. Not from JT necessarily, but by those that contribute to the discussions. I know it’s not a practice of his to comment in his own blog, but I had suggested to him that he should use his blog as a vehicle to positively assert and/or reestablish the foundation of our constitutional rule of law. I hope he doesn’t mind if I quote his response:

        As frustrating as legal commentary can be in this environment, it is now more important than ever that we continue to have a dialogue on these issues. Even when heated, we have to continue to explore these issues and seek resolution. I remain hopeful that this fever will break and most people will see the lunacy of our current times.

  8. I’ve been reviewing the rhetoric involving climate change while recognizing that some people become very hot under their collars contributing to it. Perhaps those people should temporarily move to Texas and have a debate with Texans about wind power. That might increase the temperature a couple of degrees.

    Frozen wind turbines contribute to power blackouts across Texas, at least 4 million without power

    https://justthenews.com/events/frozen-wind-turbines-contribute-power-blackouts-texas?utm_source=daily-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

    1. S Meyer, most of the problem in Texas appears to have arisen because the freezing weather stopped natural gas production and natural gas fueled power plants. Wind turbines also froze but that was a much smaller part of the problem. Texas failed to winterise its power production sufficiently, both natural gas and wind. And the independence of its power grid meant that electricity could not be transmitted from outside Texas.

      1. Daniel, no one is saying there aren’t other problems that are or can happen. Quite the opposite is said. Many of those pushing abnormally hard for solar and wind power don’t consider the other problems that too much of a push create. I love all types of alternate energy but have noted that some are willing to go full scale before adequate trials are performed.

        I like the market place to dominate. Provide a better and less expensive solution and I will quickly purchase the product. At my residence we have a gazillion bulbs. We don’t use just one type. We pick and choose. Some satisfy our needs better than others. I don’t need some person in DC who flies around in a private jet telling me what bulbs to buy. If he did he would probably limit my backyard lighting to one or two bulbs where I have a huge number and like it.

        1. Bill gates says we have to eat test-tube grown steaks instead of real beef, too. I am increasingly convinced he literally wants the big die-off to happen. Then all the useless CO2 emitters will be gone and the “carbon neutral economy” can be achieved.

          Ironically, here is a scene from Blade Runner 2049, movie from a couple years ago, about a future insect-protein farm. Bill Gates increasingly seems like a cartoonish villain version of himself

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz4sKOXsYJ8

          sal

  9. Why should Judicial Watch have to sue to get records that deserve to be in the public domain. We have had an impeachment hearing directly involved with those records. Congress has been acting in strange ways based on those records. By these actions are the Democrats admitting that they are exerting authoritarian rule or fascism on the American public?

    Judicial Watch sues U.S. Capitol Police in pursuit of emails and videos pertaining to Jan. 6 riots
    “The public has a right to know about how Congress handled security and what all the videos show of the US Capitol riot,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.

    https://justthenews.com/government/congress/judicial-watch-sues-us-capitol-police-pursuit-emails-and-videos-pertaining-jan?utm_source=daily-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

  10. This is indeed an interesting topic. So let’s dive into it.

    Testing for the sixth sense after committing a crime, can be attributed to an anomaly.

    1.You’ve probably been taught that humans have five senses: taste, smell, vision, hearing, and touch. However, an under-appreciated “sixth sense,” called proprioception, allows us to keep track of where our body parts are in space.

    2.If you say that someone has a sixth sense, you mean that they seem to have a natural ability to know about things before other people, or to know things that other people do not know.

  11. “in a letter from the Black Law Students Association”

    ***

    Could there be a counter letter from the White Law Students Association?

    You know the answer and you know that’s what’s somehow wrong here. Once you begin Balkanization by race you discover it’s hard to stop.

    1. This morning I read an article about a sports coach in Tennessee. He has been on the job approx. two years and has brought his team to absolute last place in their div/sport….. absolute last. He was hired due to his color ( surprise ? ) . apparently sports writers/critics are panning him for his complete failures. He came in with low score credentials, he immediately “diversified” his staff ( to all black , imagine that kind of one sided ‘diversity’ ). This coach now blames all his ills on Trump and racism etc etc. When is this sick kind of wokeism , much like that tormenting this Law school professor going to stop ?. This has been a political/racist witch hunt by the fascist left for way way too long. It must stop , it is flat out Orwellian garbage. A cancer on our culture & society.

      1. I don’t fret so much about coaches hired for their color as I worry about air traffic controllers hired only because of their color.

    2. Yes, Let’s be blunt about this. All these outfits are aimed at attacking white men, just because they are white men. The notion is that they are entitled to engage in the same sort of thing they condemn, because they have colored skin or female “gender”

      White women are very much on the bandwagon attacking white men in professional circles. This is the most pathetic aspect of all, considering they are related to us as sisters, mothers, and daughters. It’s never been clear to me, how they seriously think they’re going to rise up by smashing us down.

      Sal Sar

  12. In a sane world, the question on the next exam would read, “These a__h___s expressed their b___s___ outrage so they could bootup their heavily-entitled narcissism by getting their prof [sic] fired.”

        1. You noticed that Letitia James spent her abbreviated career in law working as a public defender and legal aid lawyer.

      1. Many will be hired by the Crook county persecutor’s office. Or some lesser agency if their grades stink.

        Many are already on the public payroll I am sure

        Sal Sar

  13. Speaking of being “offended”.

    During a train wreck of a CNN townhall, our new President says that many black and Hispanic Americans don’t know how to use the internet.

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1361864216509091840

    In the meantime, it appears that Joe’s handlers know better than to allow him to speak with foreign leaders (much less meet with any of them).

    “Who Is The US President? Kamala Harris, Not Biden Is Talking With Foreign Leaders”

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/who-us-president-kamala-harris-not-biden-talking-foreign-leaders

    Old Joe is history. Now it’s just a matter of what type of story they concoct to get rid of him.

    The entire thing is like a low budget really bad B movie.

    1. Kamala is swallowing the Biden* presidency like a snake swallowing a large rodent. Soon only the rat’s tail will be visible.

      1. So people speculate. I suspect there are several factions handing him the pen to sign stuff. No clue if the speculation and anonymous-source reports in re Shamala are true or not. I’m wagering a Kamala faction and a Jill faction will be slicing each other up. No clue what Klain’s angle is.

      2. “Kamala is swallowing . . .”

        Have you noticed the propaganda tributes popping up all over the culture?

        Disney put out a slick production on its channel, for children. There are large, stylized posters of her behind the players’ benches at NBA games. The media fawns over everything from her shoes to her demeanor.

        Somebody sent out the message: “Promote KH. The “horse” has three legs in the glue factory.”

        Meanwhile, nobody’s discussing her irrational ideas, her destructive *policies*, or the fact that she’s the most patently phony politician in the country.

  14. I unsubscribed from Turley’s newsletter this morning.
    Nearly every day, there are errors in spelling and punctuation, missing words, poor use of antecedents, and more. Reading these articles is a struggle. It is time consuming to re-read while trying to sense out the point of such lengthy, poorly written sentences.
    The content provided through this offering is not worth the effort required to eke out the intention. The information is available from other sources. When such little attention is given to syntax, how can the reader be expected to trust the intelligence proffered?

    1. Sorry if you missed the memo, Turley has turned his blog into a right-wing deflection and enabler machine, and writes to who would believe it.

      1. Fishdiks ; Turley has changed little if at all. He is still that opened minded old school ‘liberal’. It is partisans like yourself of a left fascist bent that cant see for themselves their divergence from common sense , culture and morality. Please take a “walkabout” and stare into a mirror and reflect on your partisan anger , antithetical to American values. But you won’t as it’s easier for you to pillary and spout parabolic bunk in your mindless rage . Please take debbies route and pick up yourtoys and go play in a one dimensional one thought sandbox you so yearn for.

    2. And it opens it’s mouth….Mark Twain has you pegged Ma’am. Thank you for leaving , your bias is duly noted and not missed.

    3. Have you unsubscribed from your fair share of affirmative action privilege, quotas, etc.?

      Affirmative action privilege, PP, OCC, WIC, SNAP, HAMP, HARP, quotas, etc.,…Don’t Leave Home Without It!!!

      Ain’t communism great?

      Thank you so much, Karl.

  15. If you have a relative or friend gearing up to go on to a law school then put this Chi Town school on the itShay list.

    1. from best to worst it has been for decades, U of Chi, Northwestern, Loyola, DePaul, U of I Kent, John Marshall at the very bottom

      It has earned its place all over again

      Sal

  16. I have heard all of this “race” whining since the 60s and nothing has changed. I went to law school in my late 40s and as a former LEO my respect for attorneys was pretty low. But, my law professors pushed me to think in ways I never had before, and I already had a B.S., B.A., M.S. The only other academic study that pushes to think in this capacity would be philosophy (in my personal opinion). Professors need to push students to be uncomfortable and to think in ways that may be offensive. Life is offensive and as a lawyer you may be forced to represent the very people or ideas you find offensive. Shut-up, quit whining, and get to work!

  17. In the classroom these children wish to set up boundaries for everyone else. What will happen when they get into the real world? How will they handle worse problems? We got our answer. They will riot, look, burn and potentially kill others. That is the type of citizen we are creating when we don’t teach young minds to deal with the crassness society has to offer.

    1. Anon:

      Kinda makes you want to so their radical heads will explode. To bad there are so many wonderful people from my experience that the epithet might mislabel and impugn. Its the only reason I don’t write it out is respect for them. I also remember the “W” word – WOP. Let’s just use Libber!

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