Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Saying “No” to Wasting Precious, God-given Time

 

There’s a little-covered kerfuffle happening over at Duke University’s Divinity School. Rod Dreher, over at his blog on the American Conservative, is performing his usual insightful and careful coverage of the matter. Faculty member Paul Griffiths had enough of the usual diversity drivel that is the mainstay at academic, and, for that matter, most commercial institutions.

It started when fellow faculty member Portier-Young circulated a boiler-plate memo to the Divinity faculty, urging their participation in a “Racial Equity Institute Phase I Training” session. Professor Griffiths, politely, but firmly, urged his fellow faculty; “I exhort you not to attend this training. Don’t lay waste your time by doing so. It’ll be, I predict with confidence, intellectually flaccid: there’ll be bromides, clichés, and amen-corner rah-rahs in plenty.”

Amen, professor, amen.

Of course, it didn’t end there. Where it goes is simply astounding. I encourage you to read the three substantial blog posts (1) (2) (3) on this issue.

I honor Professor Griffiths for his bravery and faith, as he has resigned from Duke due to this, which is too bad.

There are 62 comments.

  1. Johnny Dubya Inactive

    Fred, may I ask why this is members-only? Even with all that’s going on in Washington, this is an amazing story that deserves attention and to be recommended for the Main Feed.

    • #1
    • May 10, 2017, at 11:17 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. John Park Member

    I see that a workshop is involved. As Kingley Amis observed, “If there’s one thing that sums up everything that’s gone wrong since the War, it’s workshop. After youth, that is.”

    • #2
    • May 10, 2017, at 11:33 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  3. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I read the whole series. Riveting. Couldn’t put it down. I knew things were bad in academia but didn’t quite know how bad. Not staying in the academy is shaping up to be one of the best life decisions I ever made.

    • #3
    • May 10, 2017, at 2:14 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  4. Ford Penney Inactive

    The sad part of this story is that the people driving Professor Griffith’s out are truly proud of their efforts and are more emboldened to do ‘even more’ cleansing’ in that name of that perfect ‘diversity’.

    And we all become smaller and smaller in their efforts.

    • #4
    • May 10, 2017, at 3:26 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  5. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ford Penney (View Comment):
    The sad part of this story is that the people driving Professor Griffith’s out are truly proud of their efforts and are more emboldened to do ‘even more’ cleansing’ in that name of that perfect ‘diversity’.

    And we all become smaller and smaller in their efforts.

    Their efforts are directed at intimidating any possible opposition. More important that punishing Prof. Griffiths is silencing everyone else. Of course they are proud of their efforts; theirs is the just cause and opponents are evil.

    • #5
    • May 10, 2017, at 4:17 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Fred Houstan Member
    Fred Houstan

    @johnnydubya: I think I was able to change the status of this post to allow it to be promoted to the main feed. We’ll see.

    • #6
    • May 10, 2017, at 6:16 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Ford Penney (View Comment):
    The sad part of this story is that the people driving Professor Griffith’s out are truly proud of their efforts and are more emboldened to do ‘even more’ cleansing’ in that name of that perfect ‘diversity’.

    And we all become smaller and smaller in their efforts.

    Their efforts are directed at intimidating any possible opposition. More important that punishing Prof. Griffiths is silencing everyone else. Of course they are proud of their efforts; theirs is the just cause and opponents are evil.

    Everybody really needs to read 1984 again. The book is unbelievably brilliant. Orwell was just off by 30 years or so.

    Especially read the appendix on the use of language to control thought.

    • #7
    • May 10, 2017, at 6:20 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. Dr. Bastiat Member

    I have a daughter who attends Duke. She says it’s much worse than even this story describes. She would never consider expressing her views honestly in class, or even around her friends. She lies, & says she believes in whatever the proper thing is that week.

    The heck of it is that she is correct to do so. If your views aren’t standard progressive boilerplate, you KEEP THEM TO YOURSELF. Stay underground. Get your grades & get out. You can enjoy freedom of thought – later. Not in college – only after you get out.

    Freedom of thought and expression are openly banned at universities. They don’t even pretend otherwise anymore.

    So very sad.

    • #8
    • May 10, 2017, at 6:31 PM PDT
    • 24 likes
  9. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    Everybody really needs to read 1984 again. The book is unbelievably brilliant. Orwell was just off by 30 years or so.

    Orwell was off the charts brilliant. One of the great minds of the past couple hundred years or so, in my view.

    • #9
    • May 10, 2017, at 6:33 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I do wonder whether at future interviews with prospective faculty members, Dr. Heath will be asked if there is a handbook outlining acceptable thoughts for new members. You know, to avoid such squabbles in the future.

    • #10
    • May 10, 2017, at 7:31 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  11. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    I have a daughter who attends Duke. She says it’s much worse than even this story describes. She would never consider expressing her views honestly in class, or even around her friends. She lies, & says she believes in whatever the proper thing is that week.

    The heck of it is that she is correct to do so. If your views aren’t standard progressive boilerplate, you KEEP THEM TO YOURSELF. Stay underground. Get your grades & get out. You can enjoy freedom of thought – later. Not in college – only after you get out.

    Freedom of thought and expression are openly banned at universities. They don’t even pretend otherwise anymore.

    So very sad.

    What is such an “education” worth? Not what it costs, but what is it’s worth.

    • #11
    • May 10, 2017, at 7:41 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. Lois Lane Coolidge

    It’s about getting the sheet of paper and moving onward. You have to show you’re “smart” by earning degrees from certain institutions, or you aren’t allowed to climb as high on the ladders. It’s mostly about networking, I think.

    • #12
    • May 10, 2017, at 8:42 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  13. A-Squared Inactive

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    It’s mostly about networking, I think.

    It’s just that your network is saturated with boilerplate lefties that were taught what to think instead of how to think.

    • #13
    • May 11, 2017, at 4:27 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Muleskinner (View Comment):
    What is such an “education” worth? Not what it costs, but what is it’s worth.

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    It’s about getting the sheet of paper and moving onward. You have to show you’re “smart” by earning degrees from certain institutions, or you aren’t allowed to climb as high on the ladders. It’s mostly about networking, I think.

    It’s credentialism, not education.

    • #14
    • May 11, 2017, at 4:48 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  15. Lois Lane Coolidge

    A-Squared (View Comment):
    It’s just that your network is saturated with boilerplate lefties that were taught what to think instead of how to think.

    I agree to some extent, but this is the thing. There are a lot of closet conservatives. Not on staff, mind. Those are easier to weed out. There are kids who find all of this ridiculous and who are as tired as the professor of the endless seminars on race.

    It’s difficult, however, to assert yourself while IN college.

    My hats off to this particular professor. I hope he is able to work somewhere else that will appreciate him, but that’s hard because now he’s “out.”

    What I’d really like is for him to sue Duke for libel and creating a hostile work environment per lack of ideological diversity, but I’m not a lawyer, and I know such steps are very expensive.

    • #15
    • May 11, 2017, at 5:26 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. A-Squared Inactive

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I agree to some extent, but this is the thing. There are a lot of closet conservatives. Not on staff, mind. Those are easier to weed out. There are kids who find all of this ridiculous and who are as tired as the professor of the endless seminars on race.

    I agree, that why I didn’t say your network was only lefties, just saturated.

    I will say, I’ve been predicting the demise of the elite institutions for a while. My oldest son turns 16 next week and I’ve been saying for since he was born that Harvard won’t be “Harvard” when he is ready to go to college, but here we are and Harvard is still “Harvard”. I still thin that like most bears, I wasn’t wrong, I was just early.

    These institutions are living off their reputation to get rich parents to pay for 2 tuitions, one for their own child and one for an appropriately “needy” child (usually defined as a committed lefty from an upper middle class family that is not white or Asian). Eventually, smart parents, even rich ones, will figure out that they are not getting what they are paying for at these elite universities, though I admit that we are in the luxury good category where, counter-intuitively, higher prices can lead to increased demand.

    More importantly, the vaunted network is from alumni that went to these schools 20 years ago when these schools were giving out a quality education. They no longer do that. So 20 years from now, the current brainwashed idiots with graduate degrees in “Womyn Studies” these schools are currently pumping out won’t be of much use to new graduates.

    • #16
    • May 11, 2017, at 7:51 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Lily Bart Inactive

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    I have a daughter who attends Duke. She says it’s much worse than even this story describes. She would never consider expressing her views honestly in class, or even around her friends. She lies, & says she believes in whatever the proper thing is that week.

    Andrew Klaven talks about this:

    The Cruelty of the Academic Left

    Several of my young conservative hosts discussed the fact that, when taking tests or writing essays, they had to regurgitate leftist talking points in order to avoid getting low grades. This is a disgusting position for a mentor to put a young person in, especially a young man. The very essence of manhood is integrity: the courage to think and speak and act all as one. To have a young person in your charge and force him to violate his own principles in order to please you is disgraceful and deeply, deeply unkind.

    • #17
    • May 11, 2017, at 10:31 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    A-Squared, send your kid to Hillsdale.

    • #18
    • May 11, 2017, at 10:34 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. A-Squared Inactive

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    A-Squared, send your kid to Hillsdale.

    It’s a very long story, but let’s just say that my son is not at risk of being accepted to an elite university.

    • #19
    • May 11, 2017, at 10:38 AM PDT
    • Like
  20. Lily Bart Inactive

    This is quite an insightful observation from Griffiths, applying to the SWJs in general, I think:

    The convictions that some of my colleagues hold about justice for racial, ethnic, and gender minorities have led them to attempt occupation of a place of unassailably luminous moral probity. That’s a utopia, and those who seek it place themselves outside the space of reason. Once you’ve made that move, those who disagree with you inevitably seem corrupt and dangerous, better removed than argued with, while you seem to yourself beyond criticism. What you do then is discipline your opponents.

    • #20
    • May 11, 2017, at 10:39 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. KC Mulville Inactive

    I can’t think of a more soul-sapping experience than a faculty workshop.

    It’s like having Liam Neeson trying a Jedi mind trick on you, but you aren’t fooled and you tell him to stop waving his hand across your face. But then he keeps doing it.

    • #21
    • May 11, 2017, at 10:42 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  22. Johnny Dubya Inactive

    A-Squared (View Comment):

    …These institutions are living off their reputation to get rich parents to pay for 2 tuitions, one for their own child and one for an appropriately “needy” child (usually defined as a committed lefty from an upper middle class family that is not white or Asian)….

    The phenomenon you’re referring to – favored treatment of certain groups, even when individuals may not be from low-income families – is an issue with regard to admissions – not financial aid.

    Take, for example, the son of Charles M. Blow, an opinion columnist for the New York Times. Yesterday, he tweeted the following:

    It’s tough for parents who struggle in a world bent against blackness. My son was accepted at Yale, Princeton and Penn…also Howard. #tough

    Now, Chuck’s point wasn’t exactly clear. The tweet concluded a short series wherein he lamented the lack of respect given to historically black colleges and universities. But whatever his point was (other than the obvious opportunity to brag), it is worth noting that his upper-middle-class black son was almost certainly the beneficiary of disparate admissions standards that were originally designed to benefit underprivileged minorities.

    I replied to his tweet with the following:

    The world is so “bent against blackness” that your son was accepted to four top schools? Ooh, that’s tough. Are you listening to yourself?

    As far as the financial aspect is concerned, obviously there is some degree of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” with regard to the tuition paid by each family. (Whenever I come across the phrase “expected family contribution,” it rankles. If you were purchasing any other kind of service, you would be angered to learn that the price was higher for you than the price charged for the same service provided to people of lesser means.)

    But a bigger problem is that schools are spending like drunken sailors. Every college I have visited with my high school senior has had large construction projects in progress. Furthermore, the number of administrators is out of control. Apparently, some of them don’t have much to do except pressure faculty and students to “lay waste to [their] time” at various indoctrination events.

    • #22
    • May 11, 2017, at 10:57 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  23. La Tapada Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    Everybody really needs to read 1984 again. The book is unbelievably brilliant. Orwell was just off by 30 years or so.

    Orwell was off the charts brilliant. One of the great minds of the past couple hundred years or so, in my view.

    I’ve been following Dreher’s blog too and I’ve found myself thinking that we need another Orwell, someone who can put into an incisive story all the strange things that are going on in our culture.

    • #23
    • May 11, 2017, at 11:39 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Ontheleftcoast Member

    A-Squared (View Comment):
    It’s just that your network is saturated with boilerplate lefties that were taught what to think instead of how to think.

    Muleskinner (View Comment):
    You can enjoy freedom of thought – later. Not in college – only after you get out.

    Oh, you have freedom of thought in college, just not freedom to speak… so you’re not free to use the resources college provides to deepen your thought except clandestinely. Even if you successfully dissembled in college, the network will see to it that you continue to toe the line in any institution where they have power and influence. If you are planning on an occupation for which a Duke or Ivy diploma is a major plus, you are probably going to be subject to the hive; you may be free to think, but not speak.

    This is still less true in STEM fields, but the rot is creeping in there too.

    I think it was Solzhenitsyn who put forward the idea that the entire USSR was one huge prison camp, and the exterior zones such as the cities, the professions, the universities were ruled by their occupants’ fears to be sent to the interior zones, the actual physical camps… in which, because illusions about the system were much less feasible in the camps, honesty and freedom, which were impossible in the exterior zone, became possible (not certain, not easy, but possible.)

    Natan Sharansky wrote in Fear No Evil that each inmate faced the moral dilemma of how much he or she would cooperate with the KGB. Here is his advice to new zeks who came to him in the camps:

    If you have the strength, break away entirely. Otherwise, cooperate with them as little as possible.If they’ve entered into a game with you, don’t assume they will leave you alone after your release. This relationship is permanent. And the further you go in these games, the higher the price you will have to pay later, when you finally break with them.

    Go Blue Devils.

    • #24
    • May 11, 2017, at 11:49 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. The Reticulator Member

    Does anybody else remember when the American Association of University Professors criticized the University of Missouri for firing Melissa Click for threatening free speech? They said that it compromised academic freedom to fire someone who urges violence against free speech.

    I wonder what the AAUP has to say about this case at Duke.

    • #25
    • May 11, 2017, at 12:51 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Front Seat Cat Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    I have a daughter who attends Duke. She says it’s much worse than even this story describes. She would never consider expressing her views honestly in class, or even around her friends. She lies, & says she believes in whatever the proper thing is that week.

    The heck of it is that she is correct to do so. If your views aren’t standard progressive boilerplate, you KEEP THEM TO YOURSELF. Stay underground. Get your grades & get out. You can enjoy freedom of thought – later. Not in college – only after you get out.

    Freedom of thought and expression are openly banned at universities. They don’t even pretend otherwise anymore.

    So very sad.

    WOW!

    • #26
    • May 11, 2017, at 1:27 PM PDT
    • Like
  27. Susan in Seattle Member
    Susan in Seattle Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Here is another article Mr. Dreher has written recently that’s in the same vein.

    • #27
    • May 11, 2017, at 1:36 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    I have a daughter who attends Duke. She says it’s much worse than even this story describes. She would never consider expressing her views honestly in class, or even around her friends. She lies, & says she believes in whatever the proper thing is that week.

    The heck of it is that she is correct to do so. If your views aren’t standard progressive boilerplate, you KEEP THEM TO YOURSELF. Stay underground. Get your grades & get out. You can enjoy freedom of thought – later. Not in college – only after you get out.

    Freedom of thought and expression are openly banned at universities. They don’t even pretend otherwise anymore.

    So very sad.

    WOW!

    My daughter at Duke recently emailed me a proof a paper she had to write about Affirmative Action. She said, “Hey Dad – check this out! I almost convinced MYSELF that I’m liberal!”

    Her goal is not to explore the topic at hand. Her goal is to convince her professor that she is sufficiently progressive to warrant an “A”. Apparently she was successful – she got an A.

    She considered UConn, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Arizona State, and a few other places – she’s a REALLY good basketball player. She chose Duke because they’re a top 10 basketball program, their academics have a great reputation, the degree is worth more in the business world, and it’s close to home for us. But I suspect that the actual education would be similar wherever she might have ended up. Just repeat what you’re told, don’t think or analyze, and we’ll give you this shiny piece of paper.

    She’s at Duke because their shiny piece of paper is worth more on the job market. I doubt the education is that much better. Hard to say, I guess.

    • #28
    • May 11, 2017, at 2:04 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    My daughter at Duke recently emailed me a proof a paper she had to write about Affirmative Action. She said, “Hey Dad – check this out! I almost convinced MYSELF that I’m liberal!”

    Her goal is not to explore the topic at hand. Her goal is to convince her professor that she is sufficiently progressive to warrant an “A”. Apparently she was successful – she got an A.

    She considered UConn, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Arizona State, and a few other places – she’s a REALLY good basketball player. She chose Duke because they’re a top 10 basketball program, their academics have a great reputation, the degree is worth more in the business world, and it’s close to home for us. But I suspect that the actual education would be similar wherever she might have ended up. Just repeat what you’re told, don’t think or analyze, and we’ll give you this shiny piece of paper.

    She’s at Duke because their shiny piece of paper is worth more on the job market. I doubt the education is that much better. Hard to say, I guess.

    Sounds like she’s gotten an education all right, if you catch my drift.

    • #29
    • May 11, 2017, at 2:09 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. civil westman Inactive

    It is hard to believe we inhabit a (fraying) nation founded on belief in the existence of self-evident truths. The linked materials make for dispiriting reading; how far we have fallen. Orwell and Havel articulate the self-evident truths in such devastating fashion that one must wonder how the professor (sic) Griffiths of the world can be exposed to such words and not instantly melt, like the Wicked Witch of the West when splashed with water.

    Can a reprise of the reign of terror be far behind our witness, here, to the training of post-modern Mesdames Defarges and Robespierres?

    • #30
    • May 11, 2017, at 2:14 PM PDT
    • 3 likes