A Forum for Vigorous Debate, Cornerstone of Democracy

[For the journal (guidelines, focus, etc.), go to www.theamericandissident.org ].
Encouraged censorship and self-censorship seem to have become popular in America today. Those who censor others, not just self, tend to favor the term "moderate," as opposed to "censor" and "moderation" to "censorship." But that doesn't change what they do. They still act as Little Caesars or Big Brother protectors of the thin-skinned. Democracy, however, demands a tough populace, not so easily offended. On this blog, and to buck the trend of censorship, banning, and ostracizing, comments are NEVER "moderated." Rarely (almost NEVER) do the targets of these blog entries respond in an effort to defend themselves with cogent counter-argumentation. This blog is testimony to how little academics, poets, critics, newspaper editors, cartoonists, political hacks, cultural council apparatchiks, librarians et al appreciate VIGOROUS DEBATE, cornerstone of democracy. Clearly, far too many of them could likely prosper just fine in places like communist China and Cuba or Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Russia.

More P. Maudit cartoons (and essays) at Global Free Press: http://www.globalfreepress.org

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Martin Espada

People must be protected from discrimination by virtue of their race, but you cannot ring-fence their ideas. The moment you say that any idea system is sacred, whether it's a belief system or a secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible. […] If we cannot have open discourse about the ideas by which we live, then we are straitjacketing ourselves.
—Salman Rushdie

To yield subjectively, not merely to a party machine, but even to a group ideology, is to destroy yourself as a writer.
—George Orwell, “Writers and Leviathan”

The Sixties and its many sellouts gave birth to the PC plague, which has since become entrenched in America (for a full history of the term, which actually predates the 60s, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness). The plague's enemy is vigorous debate and logical argumentation. That enemy is the same for all ideologies, left and right. Criticize the plague and expect not logical retort, but rather ad hominem. Indeed, criticize it and be dismissed as a neocon, white supremacist, racist, sexist, or simply asshole. Criticize it and simply be ignored. That is the sad modus operandi of PC indoctrinees and their esteemed professors. PC tends to thrive virally in the nation’s colleges and universities. It also maintains a deep grip upon the literary milieu. National Poetry Month is PC-infected, for example.

Multiculturalism gone wild is part of the PC ideology and inevitably translates into white males need not apply, especially when they might be apt to question and challenge PC. As a white male, I’m disgusted to know that non-white non-citizens might very well be given priority over me for jobs for the simple reason of their non-whiteness. That occurred at Grambling State University where a female Mongolian with a green card (and ambassador father) was accorded priority over me for a position as French professor. I’d spent seven years in France and had a French doctorate. She’d spent a month in France and had a doctorate from a university in Louisiana.

For a listing and legal discussion of numerous examples of PC-infected colleges and universities, see thefire.org. At one college, North Shore Community College, I noticed: “Appreciation of multiculturalism required,” which clearly implied no discussion or other questioning and challenging of “multiculturalism” would even be permitted. I brought that to FIRE’s attention. Its lawyers wrote the college, and the college removed those words from its job ad. No doubt, however, the concept still remains firmly implanted in the brains of the administrators and faculty who enacted it.

It is constitutionally illegal for a public college to demand adherence to a particular ideology.

The Social Thought and Political Economy Program or STPEC (see illustration above), an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, stipulates on its website that it “encourages students to engage in a critical examination of society and to develop their own capacities for critical reading, writing, and thinking.” Yet it certainly does not encourage students to question and challenge the PC-mindset it seeks to promote. Indeed, what it does is encourage students to close the door to vigorous debate, cornerstone of democracy. That is precisely what happened at the University of Massachusetts this year. Student Vanessa Snow, majoring in Social Thought and Political Economy Concentration [i.e., Social Training and Political-Educationist Correctness], decided to close the door on debate by trashing the university’s conservative newspaper. She, model of university enlightenment, is a founding member of Student Bridges and has been an active student organizer on campus with the Student Government Association and ALANA Caucus, as well as state-wide with Massachusetts Students Uniting (MSU). She also currently holds the SGA position of Commuter Area Governor.

As far as I’m aware, few if any professors at all spoke out against Snow’s actions. Where was poet luminary Martin Espada, a tenured University of Massachusetts professor? Jabbering on NPR? Where was department chairperson Sara Lennox? Rooting wildly behind a tree or bush? Below is what Assistant Professor Ruth Jennison had to say about this blog entry. She is one of the U Mass professors I contacted regarding it. Likely and sadly, she is the rule, not the exception: "Please remove me from your list."


susana said...

Thanks for sharing &Thanks for the courage...
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mather said...

Now that's some real humor there, funny, Susana, ha ha, posting an online loan advertisement here, imagine, OF ALL PLACES, that's hilarious...have to stop writing now...laughing too hard...you really got Slone good that time...really hammered home your message...oh, god...such utter indifference...such free spirited irreverence...ha ha...too much...good one...touche...touche...that's French you know...

G. Tod Slone said...

What do you want, man? This ain't country, it's a business. Get serious on a non-business issue... and they think you're nuts.

mather said...

Now, if you wanted a loan for your journal, we could talk...

dyana said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
G. Tod Slone said...

Spam posts will be deleted.