In Political Correctness Wars, Ignore Stupid Students

Republican news outlets and various free speech fetishists of the Jonathan Chait variety love it when college students do stupid stuff. It gives them a chance to align themselves with pure virtue as seen through the lens of Enlightenment Liberalism. It gets them out of the impossible task of empirically justifying why the conclusions of 18th Century white men are the best way to run a multi-racial democracy in the 21st Century.

Also, college students do stupid shit. All 20 year olds do stupid shit, actually.

Dont judge stupid 20 year olds too harshly! (That includes people like the Stanford Swimmer and all sorts of people who end up in the criminal justice system.) 

We can and should, however, judge adult bloggers who are stupid, like this one who writes up Princeton Students Walk Out Of Lecture After Professor Uses the N-Word as if there can be no doubt that the professor was in the wrong:

[Salter and Byrd are students. Rosen is the professor.]

“Every single time he used the N-word, he used the word in its entirety,” Salter said. “He said ‘you need to suspend your disbelief for the sake of this class.’”

Byrd eventually came back into the class and asked if Rosen would continue to use the word. That caused students to start to argue with Rosen, demanding an apology.

But because Rosen had apparently already dug his hole and was insistent that he lie in it, he refused to even do that. He reportedly told the class, “I don’t think I need to apologize; I did not oppress anyone.”

What makes this framing so stupid? To her credit, the blogger includes the information that undermines her presentation....although... she kind of had to as the critical information is THE NAME OF THE FUCKING CLASS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

during lecture for the anthropology course Cultural Freedoms: Hate Speech, Blasphemy, and Pornography. This particular lecture was focused on oppressive symbolism.

[By the by, this is from The Root. I actually like that it frames the story this way even though I disagree with it. This is good bias in journalism. It’s declared bias. It’s an honest commitment to truth that acknowledges the way human behavior gets in the way.] 

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