Showing posts with label Dartmouth College. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dartmouth College. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Don't Mess With the Man: Occupy Wall Street Activist Cecily McMillan Gets Three Months In Jail

I lived in Alaska for nine years, a state that takes its wildlife very seriously.  If you were accused of bank robbery or murder, you could expect justice.  But heaven help you if you shot a moose out of season!

Cecily McMillan
America's elitist colleges have a similar scheme of skewed values. Our elitist institutions encourage students to focus on trivial issues.  When Dartmouth students took over the college president's office to demand gender-neutral bathrooms, Dartmouth treated them with utmost respect. Likewise, our elitist colleges are happy to entertain bizarre student demands to put warning labels on great works of literature.  Warning! The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn contains racist language!

Why do colleges put up with such mindless student antics? Because they don't want students to start thinking about true injustices: the cost of tuition, the out-of-control student loan program, the economic injustice perpetrated by the corporate banks and our federal financial policies.

No--when students protest about important things, the authorities come down hard. Remember the Occupy Wall Street protesters at UC Davis awhile back?  UC Davis police pepper-sprayed students sitting passively on a sidewalk.  Don't mess with Wall Street!

And Cecily McMillan, a graduate student at the New School, was recently sentenced to three months in jail for allegedly assaulting a police officer during an Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York City.  Ms. McMillan denied the charge, saying that she was only defending herself against a police officer who grabbed her breast. Personally, I think her only crime was to challenge the economic order in an Occupy Wall Street demonstration.  She should have barricaded herself in a college president's office demanding an end to "abilityism."  The college president would probably have served her coffee!

Cecily McMillan

Yes, college presidents and professors will talk with students for hours about the rights of transgender students to go to the bathroom, whether the college endowment fund should divest itself of coal-company stocks, or whether warning labels should be placed on The Great Gatsby. But don't ask them about bloated tuition costs, excessive executive-compensation packages, or the ties between academia and the finance industry.  If you ask difficult questions, you are liable to get pepper sprayed.


James C. McKinley Jr. Despite Calls for Release, Activist in Occupy Case Gets Three Months. New York Times, May 20, 2014.

Jennifer Medina. Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm. New York Times, May 18, 2014. p. 1.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Student Take-Over of the Dartmouth President's Office: Three reasons not to borrow money to attend an elitist American college

Dartmouth students staged a takeover of the Dartmouth College president's office recently, protesting a variety of isms: racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and another ism I can't recall right now.  Will they be disciplined in any way? Probably not.

Students take over Dartmouth President's Officve
photo credit:
This is the kind of event that drives Bill O'Reilly crazy, but I'm not going to comment on the insanity of this incident. I think it is enough to say that Dartmouth is one of the most politically correct institutions on earth. It is totally incomprehensible to me why students who are privileged to attend Dartmouth--a thoroughly liberal-minded institution--would behave so irrationally.

But the Dartmouth president's office takeover illustrates why smart, decent young people should avoid attending elitist higher education institutions--especially if attending a nuthouse like Dartmouth requires borrowing money.  Here are three reasons to skip the elitist college experience:

1. The inmates are running the asylum.  First, as the Dartmouth president's office takeover shows, the inmates are running the asylum.  It is the students at our nation's elitist colleges that get to lecture to the  professors--not the other way around. I understand one of the participants in the Dartmouth takeover was a freshman who had only attended Dartmouth for a few months.  Yet he felt himself entitled to condemn Dartmouth for its allegedly racist culture and practices.  And the professors cower in their offices--afraid to express any opinion that would attract the ire of the student thought police.

2.  You won't learn anything useful at an elitist college. A college education is supposed to teach people to think rationally, to learn how to solve problems and to gain a broad understanding of our civilization's history, art, literature and culture. But as the recent Dartmouth incident illustrates, students aren't learning much of anything at our elitist colleges.

I would admire today's college students if they took personal risks to advance social justice in this country. But these Dartmouth students went to the barricades (so to speak) to demand gender-neutral bathrooms!

3. The elitist institutions are deceptive.  You would think that our finest colleges and universities would be driven by the search for truth, that they would encourage a free flow of ideas and debate.  After all, Harvard's motto--Veritas--is the Latin word for truth.

But in fact, our elitist  higher education institutions operate in a web of deception and intellectual dishonesty.  Our colleges and universities pretend to be open to controversial ideas, but in fact they close their ears to anyone who voices an opinion that contradicts the elitists' postmodern worldview.

Ross Douthat made this point in a recent New York Times op ed essay.  Our nation's elitist institutions make a pretense of universality, Douthat observed, when in fact they will not tolerate points of view that are contrary to their own. "I can live with the progressivism," Douthat wrote. "It's the lying that gets toxic."

Of course our nation has experienced irrational social movements before, and most of them faded away after being subjected to the light of public scrutiny. The Know Nothing Party of the 1850s, the second rising of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, the McCarthyism hysteria of the 1950s--all disappeared within two or three years of their first emergence.

But bizarre campus behavior like the recent bedlam at Dartmouth has become embedded in the culture of our elitist colleges.  We've seen campus building takeovers, irrational student demands, and anti-intellectual bullying on America's most prestigious universities for more than 40 years.  What happened at Dartmouth is not an aberration--it is an example of how our elitist college communities think and behave.

So my advice is this--skip the elitist college experience. Get your degree from a respected public university. You might not learn much there either, but at least it will be cheaper. No sensible person should invest a quarter of a million dollars to hang out for four years at a goofball institution like Dartmouth.


Ross Douthat. Diversity and Dishonest. New York Times, April 13, 2014, Sunday Review section, page 12.

Oppressed by the Ivy League: What Dartmouth's president should have told bullying students. Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2014. Available at: