Turning students into a woke Stasi

Sheffield University wants to pay students to police racial ‘microaggressions’.

Joanna Williams
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A friendly word of warning to black students thinking of applying to the University of Sheffield: don’t. Racism is endemic at this university. You will be confronted with racist abuse everywhere – in your accommodation, the library and the student bar. Racism at Sheffield University is – apparently – so rife that the vice-chancellor has had to resort to paying students to police not just the words but also the thoughts of their peers in a bid to get to grips with it.

The university has announced that it will employ 20 of its own students at the generous rate of £9.34 an hour to tackle racist language on campus. The qualifications needed to become a ‘race-equality champion’ have not been made public. Thankfully, details have been provided about the role so we can make a guess at the skills required. The informers will be expected to tackle ‘microaggressions’ — that is, ‘comments or actions which might be unintentional, but which can cause offence to a minority group’. Sheffield’s vice-chancellor, Koen Lamberts, has said the aim of the initiative will be to ‘change the way people think about racism’ through initiating ‘healthy conversations’.

Examples of the kind of microaggressions the chosen candidates will likely overhear include: ‘Stop making everything a race issue’; ‘Why are you searching for things to be offended about?’; ‘Where are you really from?’; ‘I don’t want to hear about your holiday to South Africa. It’s nowhere near where I’m from’; or – perhaps worst of all – black students being compared to black celebrities they look nothing like. (I was recently told that I look like Rebecca Long-Bailey, so I know exactly how painful this can be.)

Neither the intention of the student making these remarks nor the interpretation put on them by anyone else involved in the conversation count for anything. According to the team at Sheffield, bad thoughts lie behind these statements, and these bad thoughts must be publicly exposed and challenged.

We can conclude from this that mind-reading will be high up on the job description for wannabe race-equality champions. They will, after all, be expected to uncover offence where it was not intended and then go on to change the way the culprits think. Potential applicants will also require great hearing to listen in on other people’s conversations. They will need an odd combination of extreme sensitivity to offence – alongside a high degree of insensitivity to interrupting conversations – to point out exactly where the speakers went wrong. Presumably, candidates will also have to sit some kind of test to prove their own thought purity on all matters concerned with race and ethnicity.

Yet still, so many questions remain unanswered. Will the student race-equality champions have a uniform or a badge so that they can be easily identified by victims of a microagression? Or will they go incognito, perhaps pressing ears up to doors or loitering in bars to catch unintentional racists unawares? If they have to sit in cafés and pubs, ears on full alert, will they be able to claim expenses for the drinks they’ll have to consume? Or will they just stand, backs against the wall, fingers hovering over their phone’s record button? Will they have the power to report students who don’t want to have their thoughts changed – or who don’t accept that their comment on someone’s holiday destination was racist?

And will they be paid a commission for the numbers they inform on? What about snitches, sorry – champions – who find no sinners, no matter how hard they try? Will they risk losing their jobs? The East German Stasi seemed to have the answers to some of these questions – surely an all-expenses-paid fact-finding trip to Berlin by Sheffield’s senior-management team is perfectly justified.

University lecturers and students must be among the most sensitive and most politically correct people in the UK today – and Sheffield is unlikely to be an exception. Sadly, this new initiative will inevitably lead to a massive increase in reports of racism. This won’t, of course, mean that the university has actually become more racist. It will mean that students have been taught to interpret every question posed to them, every sentence of every conversation, even every intended compliment as an expression of racist thinking. Every remark must be seen in the worst light possible. No joke shared between friends, no chat about home or holidays can be spared analysis for unintentional racism.

What’s more, students will be taught that nothing can be questioned or challenged informally among friends – everything should be reported to officials who can intervene and instigate a ‘healthy’ conversation. What sociologists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning have labelled ‘victimhood culture’, where an accusation is as good as proof and being a victim becomes a form of social status, will take root. This will be to the benefit of no one other than the bureaucrats and administrators who manage the campus.

There is unlikely to be any problem with racism at the University of Sheffield – for now. But if there was one initiative designed to encourage students to see each other not as individuals but as representatives of a racial group, not as classmates and comrades but as a potential threat, and not as confident young adults able to speak freely and openly with each other, then it is surely this ridiculous idea to pay students to police microaggressions.

Joanna Williams is associate editor at spiked. She is the director of the new think tank, Cieo. Find out more about it here.

Picture by: Kiyun Kim

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Comments

Allan Kessing

19th January 2020 at 9:57 am

Sounds like someone at Sheffield was reading Pullman’s Belle Savage and decided that the League of St Alexander the Gender Expander was a spiffing idea.

Aunty Podes

17th January 2020 at 11:30 pm

Abso – bloomin – lutely! How utterly ridiculous is this action. Apart from the predictable injustices of the kanga-kourts this will produce, it will most definitely result in a reluctance to communicate with any person other than ones own apparent race. Probably everybody will resort to whispered, behind the hand, conversations, all the time warily looking over the shoulder looking for a snooper or sound detecting dish aerial.

But – hey – what an ingenious way to subsidise “progressive” students. I wonder – from whence cometh the funds for this odious scheme? Is Sheffield Uni so rlush with money?

Ray Gunn

17th January 2020 at 4:29 am

The ‘conversation monitors’ at Sheffield will require identification when they are on active duty. My suggestion to vice -chancellor Lamberts is that they wear a black ‘executioner’s hood’ surmounted with a large plastic ear – not only will this define their job but will also help in initiating conversations with fellow students.

Andrew Carter

16th January 2020 at 11:27 pm

The solution is to hold people to their own standards. Report and demand investigation of every case of anti white male, cis, straight micro aggression used by the administration and activist groups.

Skeptic 1972

16th January 2020 at 8:02 am

Wasted money. Anybody evil or brainwashed enough to take this “job” will likely do it for free, for the sheer pleasure of informing on the heretical thoughts of his fellow students to big brother.

jan mozelewski

15th January 2020 at 2:24 pm

Bleak Mentors is an anagram of Koen Lamberts. Cue spooky music.

Forlorn Dream

15th January 2020 at 1:12 pm

I expect to see enrollment levels at Sheffield university drop off a cliff. Only an idiot would voluntarily enrol at an establishment that employs secret police. I assume all it would take is condemnation from these secret police to be expelled and publicly branded as a racist.

Apocalyptic Reindeer

15th January 2020 at 11:36 am

“Examples of the kind of microaggressions the chosen candidates will likely overhear include;……….. ‘I don’t want to hear about your holiday to South Africa. It’s nowhere near where I’m from’”

Out of interest, has anybody, anywhere, ever said that to anyone? It’s just plain weird. A bloke in the pub was telling me the other day about his trip to Florence. At no point would it ever in a million years occur to me to say I didn’t want to hear about it because that’s not where I’m from.

Ed Turnbull

15th January 2020 at 10:38 am

I have a very large long-haired cat; he’s getting on a bit now but I still adore him. If I was walk around the campus at Sheffield Uni wearing a T shirt with the words “I love my Maine Coon” would that count as a micro-aggression? Is my cat now racist?

Thomas Laird

15th January 2020 at 6:00 am

Perhaps the Vice Chancellor should consider changing his name from Koen to something less triggering. As it sounds a bit racist.

Dominic Straiton

14th January 2020 at 11:10 pm

wasting your money and life going to be told what to think for points that wont get you anywhere cos everyone else has the same shit and anyone employing anyone of those twatsjust looks for a bit of grammer and spelllimg to weed out the peeple to employ. A bit of free thinking helps.

Dominic Straiton

14th January 2020 at 11:19 pm

Obviously if you live near Polly Toynbee in Umbria your in.

JP Edwards

14th January 2020 at 9:51 pm

This behavior exhibits an incipient form of prejudice towards students from vice-chancellor, Koen Lamberts. Dare I say that prejudice is mainly intended to target students of non-colour? (Whoops micro-aggression).
In which case the University should also employ some staff members to discreetly monitor him and those around him as after all, he wouldn’t want to end up hoisted by his own petard.

Tom Helme

14th January 2020 at 9:49 pm

Maybe the Conservative government can have a word with the University of Sheffield and stop this nonsense. Maybe this is exactly why the country elected a Conservative government after nearly two decades of New Labour pervasiveness.

It doesn’t cost any money and, as with the reintroduction of selection and grammars in education under Gove, maybe it is time to call time on a liberal ideology that serves no one. This stuff does more harm than good and I don’t want my children having to look over their shoulder like it’s the USSR or some awful parody of the film, The Lives of Others.

Michael Green

14th January 2020 at 8:03 pm

Who decides whether a remark “can cause offence to a minority group”?

And, I bet they won’t wear any identifying badges or the like. The point is the panopticon – you’ll never know when you’re being watched, monitored, so you’ll self-censor.

Hugh Bryant

14th January 2020 at 7:12 pm

The university as a bricks and mortar institution effectively became obsolete the day the first web browser was launched. Eventually some Silicon Valley billionaire will recruit the world’s top academics for an online university and put the second raters out of a job forever. Why pay a fortune to be ‘educated’ by jobsworths like most of the teaching staff at Sheffield when you can go online and learn from the greatest thinkers in the world? It’s only a matter of time.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

15th January 2020 at 8:55 am

Even before the WWW, we had something called ‘books’. You could use them to educate yourself.

George Orwell

14th January 2020 at 5:18 pm

Why should curiosity about differences be automatically labelled malign ?
We should be proud of our differences and pleased when others show an interest.
I don’t mind what people say or do out of benign curiosity.
This is all part of the process of dividing people so that authoritarians can increase their power.
Every time someone rises to it and expresses annoyance in order to gain personal advantage they are simply attacking our most basic freedoms.

Phil Ford

14th January 2020 at 7:09 pm

“Why should curiosity about differences be automatically labeled malign?”

It shouldn’t. But the left – which claims to stand for equality in all things – has somehow set itself the task of making sure those differences are both amplified (for cynical, manipulative reasons) and simultaneously exempt from comment, inquiry, curiosity or even celebration. Having an interest in someone else’s race and culture has now become a social minefield best avoided, for fear that some woke commissar will take notes and file a complaint. It’s a tragedy. This is how the left goes about sowing division and distrust. It has to stop.

Jim Lawrie

14th January 2020 at 8:11 pm

Imputing to us motives and agendas based on our race? The ever more shrill accusations are now regarded as their own evidence. Blacks tell us that we are racist in our speech but cannot explain it in any way except our race. They can see it due to special insight inherent to their race but which they cannot articulate. They just know. The same as wee Great can see the carbon dioxide. But we cannot. Racism then becomes the reason for their every failing and our every achievement. This leads to bizarre claims like white people make computers deliberately complicated to keep blacks out of the profession. Nothing to do with ability.

Nobody at school liked the prefects, janitors and monitors. They will hate this load of clypes even more. This is the road to social and racial exclusion, and serious conflict.

NEIL DATSON

14th January 2020 at 8:33 pm

Jim, I fear you are falling into a trap: ‘Blacks tell us that we are racist in our speech but cannot explain it in any way except our race. They can see it due to special insight inherent to their race but which they cannot articulate. They just know.’

It’s not blacks. It’s a subset of rent-a-gob commentators. Some are black, but skin colour has nothing to do with it. Some are white. In the current climate the Guardian will give them column inches and the BBC will give them airtime. Best not buy the rag or turn on your television.

Alley Kat

14th January 2020 at 8:36 pm

Haw Jim you’re making me weary for home with your use of scots language – havent hear clype for years 🙂

As you know we are a friendly people, I love asking and hearing about people’s heritage, theres nothing wrong with being proud of your heritage. but I’ve stopped asking now for fear of the stasi and their nasty little accusations.

Jim Lawrie

14th January 2020 at 11:54 pm

Alley Kat we are sociable. But we do not like a clype, do we?

Jim Lawrie

14th January 2020 at 11:57 pm

Neil had it no resonance it would not work. There is a significant number of people only too willing to blame us for all the ills of the world. My point is that divisions are being created along lines that force people to take sides.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

15th January 2020 at 9:02 am

‘Clype’. Please give us more Scots slang, yer glaikit tumshie.

Ed Turnbull

15th January 2020 at 10:24 am

Jim, if these idiots claim that whites make computers deliberately complicated to exclude blacks, aren’t they just endorsing the views of the ‘race realists’ on black IQ levels? Maybe someone should point out that the use of ‘white supremacy’ to defend black people is a rather odd tactic.

Alley Kat

15th January 2020 at 8:38 pm

@Jim, we do not. Snitches get…well you know the rest.

Zen stop appropriating our language. Googling doesn’t count.

Brandy Cluster

19th January 2020 at 7:34 am

My family and I think this is grossly unacceptable. Propaganda worthy of the polituro and its ‘re-education’ programs:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/i-have-come-to-indoctrinate-your-children-lgtbq_b_6795152

Ven Oods

14th January 2020 at 5:14 pm

This stuff has a definite whiff of Yeames’ “And when did you last see your father?’

NEIL DATSON

14th January 2020 at 5:14 pm

There is something rather intriguing here.

‘. . . perhaps worst of all – black students being compared to black celebrities they look nothing like. (I was recently told that I look like Rebecca Long-Bailey, . . .’

Now, I can’t give an opinion on whether or not Joanna looks like R L-B. All I have to go on is the sketch that accompanies this article. But should I take it that – at Sheffield University – it is okay for white students to be told that they look like white celebrities? Or asiatic students to be told that they look like asiatic celebrities? Or white students to be told they look like asiatic celebrities? Or black celebrities? Or asiatic students to be told . . .?

Perhaps we should see it as a positive step. Possibly Sheffield University is such an amazing, positive, high-achieving institution that it has no real problems of any kind, and needs must dedicate its resources to inventing some imaginary ones to correct.

steve moxon

14th January 2020 at 4:59 pm

There’s an absolutely hilarious item on this on the BBC News channel by the BBC Look North ‘presenter’ Harry Gration: a right dumb PC-fascist numptie if ever there was one. [I’ve had the misfortune of meeting the prat, on more than one occasion.] He’s getting long in the tooth, having spent so many decades pretending he knows about current bands that he’s no interest in or knowledge of, that his items have to be done as send-ups. Gration needs to take his retirement and book a place in a dementia-specialist care home.

Paul Carlin

14th January 2020 at 4:56 pm

Hell’s teeth. You don’t look like Rebecca Long-Bailey, do you? I can give you the name of a good surgeon if you do.

steve moxon

14th January 2020 at 5:11 pm

Wrong-Daily was actually cute as recently as five years ago. All that face-ache like she’s chewing a wasp and the chainsaw voice has taken its toll. But is this just the result of politics? Well, Lisa Nandy’s still cute. Apparently the Unite union leader wants to take her ‘ome (join the queue). Well fancy: being cute might just make yer Liebore leader!

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

15th January 2020 at 8:58 am

‘Lisa Nandy’s still cute’ —- I’m sure you look like George Clooney… If your face doesn’t look like a sack of potatoes, I’ll eat my sombrero.

steve moxon

15th January 2020 at 10:50 am

?! Daft pointless comment of the decade, or what?!
It suggests it’s the Xenophobia troll who looks like the back end of the bus.

steve moxon

14th January 2020 at 4:32 pm

No surprise. This woky-poke dump is my local university. I’m proud to have been ‘banned’ from the Students’ Union yonks ago, and just continued performing weekly at their own open-mic do and meeting anti-woke-poked intelligent folk in their bar.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

14th January 2020 at 4:11 pm

I’ve been on the receiving end of the ‘no, where are you really from?’ question and I can assure you that it is fundamentally racist (and incredibly stupid). The question is do we want a meritocratic, constitutionally-based open society based on ability to contribute to the commonwealth or do we want a crappy, dysfunctional ethno-nationalist monarchy? It seems that many Anglo-Saxons prefer the racial state option. How utterly immoral.

Phil Ford

14th January 2020 at 4:59 pm

I’m aware this could be a troll, but let me answer the comment as if it were genuine (which it might be). I spent six weeks in Vietnam recently. I’m a white Englishman. Everywhere I went in Vietnam, generally, the first question I got asked by Vietnamese people was ‘where are you from’? Did I take offence, even when they said ‘oh, I thought you were from Australia, America’, etc? Of course not. I didn’t mind answering the question (every time it was asked). Or were the Vietnamese just being racist? Offensive? This is so ridiculous. I cannot believe people actually think like this. Just how malign, how resentful and steeped in malevolence does one have to be to have that mindset? There is an illness in our universities (and our places of learning, generally), and it isn’t racism.

Weyland Smith

14th January 2020 at 6:31 pm

Zenobia Palmyra is the resident troll – your suspicions are spot on.
‘Where are you really from?’ would have been asking about other planets.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

15th January 2020 at 9:00 am

‘Troll’ lol. I’m well and truly triggered by your Trollist statement. What have you got against Trolls. We live under bridges and waylay unsuspecting travellers. What have you got against green-skinned beings? Do you have a green skin problem?

cliff resnick

14th January 2020 at 5:06 pm

If you feel resentment, then tell them exactly what you think the need or want to know in regards to your ethnicity and place of birth and move on!

Neil McCaughan

14th January 2020 at 5:11 pm

Racism is normal and healthy, unless pursued to excess. Only idiots get fixated on it.

jan mozelewski

14th January 2020 at 6:32 pm

I get asked this all the time. (No I am not Polish) i have no problem with it. Why should I? I don’t find it in the least bit insulting. Being insulted would imply there was something in any of their assumptions to be ashamed of. And that would be my problem, not that of the inquirer.

Michael Lynch

14th January 2020 at 8:09 pm

Many years ago I spent some time in China. In many of the rural towns you would be crowded around almost immediately. They mainly wanted to have a picture taken with me and many couldn’t resist touching my face and hair (I’m a ginge). A few could speak a little English which surprised me and would ask where I came from. I thought it quaint and was never offended by any of it. You should explore the world, Zen, it might broaden your mind and desensitize you a little.

Ed Turnbull

15th January 2020 at 10:29 am

Really? Let me guess: someone assumed you were from Jarrow when, in reality, you’re from South Shields. That must be soooo triggering.

Brandy Cluster

14th January 2020 at 3:43 pm

And please do not forget folks, that all this plays out under the nose of conservative governments!! If that doesn’t scare you nothing will.

Higham Leg-end

14th January 2020 at 3:43 pm

Oh, Dear, they have somewhat missed the point. Anti Racism but not open to anyone who isn’t a minority.
If the majority are committing the racism, even if subconsciously and unintentionally, then surely they need to be allowed access to the training?

Plaintain isn’t something many people have experience with…
But it is delicious.
and touching other peoples hair without permission is god damn annoying, but it isn’t racist, it’s just bad manners.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

14th January 2020 at 4:13 pm

Touching a black person’s hair really is racist, and incredibly fucking stupid.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

14th January 2020 at 4:14 pm

Touching a black person’s hair is racist and also completely f-ing stupid. The human race is diverse. Get over it. It is important to leave this island occasionally in order to be educated.

Phil Ford

14th January 2020 at 3:40 pm

“…According to the team at Sheffield, bad thoughts lie behind these statements, and these bad thoughts must be publicly exposed and challenged.”

Struggle sessions for the comrades, then. It’s been heading that way for a while now, speeding-up, I’d say. As usual, led by the universities. Everyone sees what’s happening, but nobody steps in; there is no intervention, no bringing anyone back to their senses. I dunno, maybe nobody reads history anymore. Perhaps what happened in so many places around the world in the last century simply doesn’t matter. The record of those events might even have been abolished. Hard to say, really. Perhaps that’s the point.

Danny Rees

14th January 2020 at 3:22 pm

If someone makes a comment that another person finds offensive the person who found it offensive can call them a dickhead and then move on.

We don’t need to pay people for it.

Brandy Cluster

19th January 2020 at 7:37 am

But it’s only progressives who find their sensitivities rubbed raw over the slightest comments. What hideous societies we all have. No wonder we’ve got Ice in Australia and heroin elsewhere. A generation of sad, aggrieved, indoctrinated, very confused, depressed and suicidal kids.

Congratulations to somebody for all this.

John Stokes

14th January 2020 at 3:12 pm

I was an 18 year old student at Sheffield University many years ago. Me and my mates would have ripped the piss out of this. Like most working class boys, our leisure interests were beer, girls and more beer. Hearing about this initiative, we’d have congregated in the union bar and spoke loudly about shooting rhinos, and worse, on our South African holiday even though none of us had set foot out of northern England. In our day we’d have been ignored and we’d move out to the pub and the next conversation topic.
But today? Hauled up to the VC’s office, diversity training, even a visit by the local constabulary, and then what? Hard on teenagers being silly, still kids ourselves in most ways, who would have forgotten all about it on the next round of drinks. Were we seriously racist? No. I and at least two others married ‘people of colour’ and have mixed race kids; another teaches at an inner city school in the North-West; another a luminary in the Labour Party in London.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

14th January 2020 at 3:07 pm

I haven’t read the article. Is it any good? Let’s get angry about everything – especially things over which we have no control.

jan mozelewski

14th January 2020 at 3:21 pm

As people pay, via tax, for the education (indoctrination too often) of young people it is a serious issue and one which bears scrutiny. You know this Zen. In the words of Kenneth Williams : “stop messin’ about”….
These students will go on to teach others, to influence others…the BBC is full of them as is the Guardian.

Brandy Cluster

14th January 2020 at 3:34 pm

My own sons are having to fight PC culture and propaganda in primary schools on behalf of their children. This is a growing and very serious menace indeed. More and more like Germany between the wars; the only thing missing is the uniforms.

In a discussion in recent days with my adult sons about this I’ve advised them that the best thing they can do for their children (10 through to 7) is to inculcate values very strong, use role modelling and monitor screen time. Propaganda and PC loves a vacuum and this can easily be filled by parents setting an alternative narrative for their lives. The Guardian is proving to be amongst the most extremist media and this is very disturbing to me because it’s all motivated by hatred.

We in Australia have been the subject of yelling and bullying from the extreme left internationally over ‘climate change’. The recent fires have been the catalyst, but this is really a proxy because we are 5th in standard of living in the globe and remain stubbornly that way. Nothing like envy and jealousy to get people hectoring and pointing the finger – especially over a massive 1.3% of the world’s carbon emissions!!!

Brandy Cluster

14th January 2020 at 3:28 pm

And then let’s keep commenting about it saying nothing, over and over.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

14th January 2020 at 4:17 pm

Yes, let’s do that!

Mark Lambert

14th January 2020 at 3:06 pm

Being “moderated” so will try again.

Entirely correct on every single point.

I fully expect a report on a “spike” in racism at Sheffield university, blasted out by the usual suspects, with no recourse as to how and why that might be the case, ie the students eavesdropping when they had not before, and had come up with “microaggressions”.

It will be gobbled up by TV shows, where a guest will espouse the “spike” and the presenter will frown in agreement while nodding along.

Jim Lawrie

14th January 2020 at 2:59 pm

I welcome this. The left are retreating further and deeper into their coloured constituency. They have given up hope of attracting white youngsters to their cause. It is divide and rule. Grievance based entitlement will ensure a steady supply of black lackeys, who will trumpet their lack of white friends as all round racism.

Brandy Cluster

14th January 2020 at 3:41 pm

I’ve just finished reading Tucker Carlson’s “Ship of Fools” and he says much the same thing – and that segregation is the flavour of the month now increasingly in the USA. Active racism against whites, abuse and segregation are now the courses de jour of the modern Left. There WILL be long-term consequences of this.

I’ve advised my own family – with children of their own – that the one countervailing move they can make is to be successful and make as much money as they can. This is the ultimate Kryptonite to the Left: they despise people who make money and the best way to deal with them is to pander to that fact. Then turn around to any such person hectoring and lecturing and say “eat my dust”.

Jim Lawrie

15th January 2020 at 12:13 am

The indigenous British are leaving London in greater numbers than ever before despite the fact that half of them have left in the last 70 years. The only thing keeping London majority white is one million Europeans. The most common age group leaving London is 30 to 50 with children.
The Left are part of the exodus, and for the same reason as everyone else.

Mark Lambert

14th January 2020 at 2:53 pm

Entirely correct on every single point.

I fully expect a report on a “spike” in racism at Sheffield university, blasted out by the usual suspects, with no recourse as to how and why that might be the case, ie the students eavesdropping when they had not before, and had come up with “microaggressions”.

It will be gobbled up by the likes of the Victoria Derbyshire show, where a guest will espouse the “spike” and the presenter will frown in agreement while nodding along.

K Tojo

14th January 2020 at 2:37 pm

There is a crude logic at work here. If you are certain you are in the right why tolerate opposition?

If you and your friends, your associates and acquaintances all agree with the identarian and “woke” world view and if you have been appointed to the upper echelons of higher education (confirming that you are among the brightest and best in the land) surely it makes sense to crackdown on those ignorant outmoded attitudes that “everybody” knows are dangerous.

“Everybody” knows that racism, sexism, homophobia, islamophobia, transphobia and climate change denial are wrong and dangerous. Do we expect the brightest and best in the land (tasked as they are with the education of the nation) to allow these atavistic attitudes to pass unchallenged simply to show respect for the quaint custom of freedom of speech and thought?

jan mozelewski

14th January 2020 at 3:22 pm

Unfortunately, these days, access to Higher Education says nothing whatsoever about your intelligence or ability.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

14th January 2020 at 4:16 pm

The sciences are flourishing in higher education and (mostly) changing our world for the better. The humanities are in fundamental crisis because of an abandonment of Christianity, theology and realist metaphysics.

jan mozelewski

14th January 2020 at 6:26 pm

No, Zen. They are in crisis because students don’t spend enough time actually studying and the vast majority are not really students at heart. They go to Uni on the back of increasingly weak A levels…..essay writing, reasoned discussion, research etc are largely poor shadows of the past and seem to involve more cut and paste than actual thinking.
I have been involved in Higher Education and many of my old friends still are. My son and his various girlfriends went through it. I have seen first hand how much ‘work’ they do. Some of these courses are pretty much attendance ‘give us the money and we’ll supply the scroll’ affairs. Utterly debased.

Brandy Cluster

14th January 2020 at 3:36 pm

Oh, no; we certainly cannot tolerate attitudes and opinions against our own – especially when ours are correct. We should wear the jack-boots to prove it, too. In case that doesn’t work there’s always burning at the stake.

Gareth Edward KING

14th January 2020 at 1:48 pm

9.75 an hour! That’s outrageous! And of course you’ll need to bear the Equality Act 2010 in mind, talk about exploitation of ethnic minorities (we can assume that most ostensible candidates be non-white)! You’d earn more mopping the union bar floor!

jan mozelewski

14th January 2020 at 6:28 pm

Yes but consider what usually ends up on the Union bar floor.

jan mozelewski

14th January 2020 at 1:47 pm

What I would like to see is a proper study of why these people are so obsessed with racism…It really is quasi-religious and thus completely bonkers.
It reminds me of people who are always on a diet. They obsess about food…i.e. not eating it. A dieter will bore on endlessly about how much they have denied themselves. Of course, they never do lose weight—or they swiftly put it back on again….because they haven’t changed a darned thing. They are still obsessed with food, except in a different way. Still, the Slimming Industry successfully makes fortunes from getting into people’s heads. Whereas the successful way to keep a healthy weight is to have a healthy relationship with food. Think about it, certainly some of the time, at other times simply do something else. If I am absorbed in something I often forget to eat.
Now bringing this back to racism. The best way to tackle it is obviously to have a sensible moderate approach to it and not be obsessive. Most of the time the best way is simply to NOT talk about it. It becomes a non-issue. And over time this whole nonsense about skin pigment will cease through lack of attention.
Of course the Racism Industry, like the Diet Industry doesn’t want that to happen and for the same reasons.

eli Bastenbury

14th January 2020 at 1:37 pm

That’s the modern progressive left, focus upon what makes people different rather than what we have in common.

Michael Lynch

14th January 2020 at 1:36 pm

I would go even further, the very fact that you are white will be interpreted as a racist statement. But perhaps this is their end goal; to eventually bar all white people from higher education. Because I certainly wouldn’t want to be on that campus, you’d be petrified to open your mouth or look at anyone! Society, as a whole, is rejecting this nonsense whilst the educated elite seem intent on doubling down with it. It’s highly divisive and bizarre behavior for intelligent people.

Jim Lawrie

14th January 2020 at 3:09 pm

They are turning higher education into political correction camps. Those accused will be required to denounce themselves then volunteer for corrective education.

Brandy Cluster

14th January 2020 at 3:46 pm

You’ve absolutely hit the spot here. This is frighteningly accurate.

My eldest son stormed down to his local school recently and told the Principal that if his children are taught anything at all about homosexuality, indigenous affairs, racism, sexism and so forth that there would be ‘trouble’ and he’d be making it. So far, so good.

Danny Rees

14th January 2020 at 3:21 pm

Yes anyone who is against racism thinks to even be white is racist and all white people should be barred.

Really.

L Strange

14th January 2020 at 6:50 pm

Yes, really. It may not be at Sheffield yet, but in the US not ‘giving up your whiteness’ is being reframed as ‘violence’. Quite how a white person ‘gives up’ whiteness isn’t entirely clear, but as blackface is generally frowned upon, it seems that continual self-flagellation and self-abnegation is required.

In addition there is Whiteness Studies and similar courses which, unlike Black Studies or Ethnic Studies that are positive, are intended to reveal the unique wickedness of white people and deny that white folks have ever created or pursued anything to the good.

As UK universities are always champing at the bit to adopt the more extreme ideas and policies of the American academy, expect such lunacy to appear here soon. Oh, and segregation is now ‘woke’ too and being pursued as the only way p.o.c can ‘feel safe’. I suppose we’ll get that as well.

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