Thursday, September 03, 2015

Rand Richards Cooper on PC

The novelist Rand Richards Cooper has recently published an article titled "Political Correctness" (Commonweal, September 1, 2015) to explain it to folks who don't know what it means:
The m.o. [- modus operandi, the usual way of doing things -] on today's campuses, at least among the humanities, features the elevation of group identity politics, with a special focus on oppression, and the use of academic discourses to apply an analysis of systemic power relations to individual interactions and (especially) utterances. The goal seems to be to cleanse public discourse, and even campus itself, of anything ideologically adverse . . . . [There have been] disinvitations of Condi Rice, Christine Lagarde, George Will and others as campus speakers. When I was at college, we eagerly invited speakers whose ideologies we were hostile to (Antonin Scalia, Cal Thomas, etc), and then debated them. Christine Lagarde is the head of an organization whose workings are central to the global economy. The student group whose protests led her to withdraw blamed her for "the strengthening of imperialist and patriarchal systems that oppress and abuse women worldwide." That doesn't sound like an attitude of eagerness for inquiry.
Cooper's right, of course, and he's explained political correctness perfectly. He's even endured it:
People seem to be spending a good deal of time waiting for other people to transgress, so that they can pounce. When I was visiting writer at an elite liberal arts college I published a fictional narrative with a black man as the protagonist (I am white). I was assailed by a progressive political scientist (also white) for my "audacity" in presuming to inhabit the point of view of the African-American underclass; he cheerfully skewered the story as an act of cultural and political appropriation. These tropes are common.
I've tolerated political correctness at times, for much of it is about courtesy, but when it suppresses free speech, the time is right to fight back hard.

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At 7:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've mentioned Thank God, just the simple word "Courtesy" in your post here Professor Jeff which I can never get enough of.

Which led me to to fire off an email requesting your'n an' mine feller Arkansas guy President Clinton an' invitation to give a series of talks on all "that stuff" [Suggested Title] "Plain 'Ol Coutesy" in the Oval Office" an'

Since I know she's got a Teacher's License

Have "Cuz Bill" in to talk and wifey to grade the resulting essays.

UALR says "Only one problem" (which Professor Jeff I reckon you're gonna say something like "If only all us Teachers being Dead Broke" is, it'll cost UALR for Cuz Bill $Eight Million/second a sentence and though his wife's volunteered to grade the papers "Pro Boner" due to Federal Rules (and the Secret Service contingent makes totally impossible #BLM could pull a 'Bernie' at anything of her's - she cain't accept less'in a Cool Quarter Million bucks/per pop at each and every essay she'll spend "grading" [hand to Huma anyway]

UALR says its "probably gonna be a good idea anyway - all the profits will be donated to Haiti - an' "Look how much better that hellhole looks like since The Secretary Of State took all that Arab money to improve the place."

UALR as I understand it at the end of the course will name a new award for Hillary:

(The Buddy) "Ibsen's Choice" Nobal Peace Prize (an' all Arkies registered to vote which attends The Red Ink Ceremony will be Positively Guaranteed *A Free Lottery Chance at a Tyson's Chicken Wing* provided Huma don't mind getting runned over by a bus - and we each have $25,000 'cause that's the day UALR costs everybody to get on campus that day anyway.

Herschel D.

At 8:16 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Herschel, your mind works in ways too advanced for me - I'll just have to admire from a distance . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Free speech is not free when speakers are paid by university funds, and not all speakers are open to debating the audience.


At 1:34 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Free speech is never free - if I might equivocate on the word.

Jeffery Hodges

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