The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The Committee

The overarching influence of the Left and its extreme PC worldview has overtaken common sense, historical perspective, and decency at many American colleges and universities. Roger Kimball reports:
On Aug. 1, Yale University president Peter Salovey announced that he is creating a Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming. There has been a craze for renaming things on college campuses the last couple of years—a common passion in unsettled times.

In the French Revolution, leaders restarted the calendar at zero and renamed the months of the year. The Soviets renamed cities, erased the names of political enemies from the historical record, and banned scientific theories that conflicted with Marxist doctrine.

At Princeton, Stanford, Georgetown, Harvard and elsewhere, students have demanded that buildings, programs and legacies be renamed to accommodate modern sensitivities. Amherst College has dropped Lord Jeffrey Amherst as its mascot because the colonial administrator was unkind to Indians. Students at the University of Missouri have petitioned to remove a statue of the “racist rapist” Thomas Jefferson. This is part of a larger effort, on and off campuses, to stamp out dissenting attitudes and rewrite history to comport with contemporary prejudices.

But isn’t the whole raison d’être of universities to break the myopia of the present and pursue the truth? Isn’t that one important reason they enjoy such lavish public support and tax breaks?

A point of contention at Yale has been the residential college named for John C. Calhoun, a congressman, senator, secretary of war and vice president. Alas, Calhoun was also an avid supporter of slavery.
Kimball goes on (with tongue planted in cheek) to suggest that the target of the talebaneque "Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming" would more appropriately be Elihu Yale after whom the entire university is named. Kimball writes:
Elihu Yale, the philanthropist whose benefactions helped found the university. As an administrator in India, he was deeply involved in the slave trade. He always made sure that ships leaving his jurisdiction for Europe carried at least 10 slaves. I propose that the committee on renaming table the issue of Calhoun College and concentrate on the far more flagrant name “Yale.”
Great idea. Maybe Yale could be renamed "Che Guevara University"—oh wait, possibly the fact that Che Guevara killed thousands would be a roadblock for the committee. How about "Abdullah Kamel University," after a Saudi Billionaire who recently donated $10 million to Yale and just happens to be a Islamist sympathizer with indirect ties to the 9/11 attack. Probably not—Yale has such a nice privileged ring to it anyway. But I digress.

It's almost as if University administrators are engaged in a mass effort at self-parody, except, they, and the full-time grievance mongers who support these efforts, are deadly serious.

A commenter on Kimball's piece, "Richard Hardin" writes:
These ignoranti (in the root sense of the verb "to ignore"), are no different from the Taliban defacing Buddhist statues. Memoria damnato is nothing more than intolerance and willful destruction of history. History is not always to ones liking, yet reminders of painful history are learning opportunities.. reminders. But not here in PC 21st century devolving America. We destroy our history and invent fables of faux history to suit our needs. Elite colleges uninvite speakers who do not share their partisan political bias, demonize those who dissent. Debate is not tolerated let alone encouraged. Racial and gender bias are the rule of law. The Brownshirts are loose and they claim to be here to help the less wealthy and less healthy. They are "smarter" than us, can see all the dots and connect none.
It would be enlightening to ask Hillary Clinton, a graduate of Yale, what she thinks about all of this, but of course, her trained hamsters in the media would never broach a subject that might put her at odds with her leftist base. Then again, Hillary might wholeheartedly endorse the "Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming". In fact. she might adopt it at a federal level so that she could change the name of the Department of State to the Clinton Conduit. Has a nice ring to it.