“Truth Conquers All,” or Does It?

 

Lindsay Shepherd is a teaching assistant for a communications course at Wilfrid Laurier, a Canadian university whose motto translates to “Truth conquers all.”  She showed her class a debate that involved Jordan Peterson and others regarding gendered pronouns that had previously aired on Canadian television. She presented the video without comment, although she later revealed that she disagrees with Prof. Peterson’s position on the issue. However, a “gendered violence” complaint from her class was lodged, triggering a review, and Ms. Shepherd was reprimanded.

Her transgression? According to her supervising professor, Prof. Rambukkana, Ms. Shepherd failed to take sides prior to showing the videotape, and that “created a toxic climate for some of the students.” Rambukkana also stated, “This is like neutrally playing a speech by Hitler,” representing just one of several references to Nazi Germany made by himself and other authority figures at the meeting.

We know all this because Ms. Shepherd recorded the meeting in which she was reprimanded, and it became public.

It seems the Canadians have passed a law making it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their gender identity. This is being used, at least by some, as justification to deny speech to individuals they decree in violation of their interpretation of the law. A university official at the meeting insisted that by introducing students to Peterson’s opinions, which were (still) fit for the public airwaves, and (still) far more common than not, Ms. Shepherd caused harm to transgendered students by “bringing their identity as invalid.” When Ms. Shepherd insisted she “remained very neutral,” her supervisor retorted, “that’s kind of the problem.” “In a university all perspectives are valid,” insisted Ms. Shepherd. “That’s not necessarily true, Lindsay,” replied Rambukkana.

The president of the university has apologized to Ms. Shepherd, although Ms. Shepherd herself questions whether that would have occurred had she not recorded her disciplinary session. According to this Heterodox Academy article, Prof. Rambukkana “went beyond the minimum necessary” and gave Ms. Shepherd “the honor of actually listening to her arguments. He questioned whether it is appropriate for him to teach from a partisan social justice perspective, or whether it might be better for professors to be less heavy-handed and more open to ‘diversity of thought.'”

An epiphany? My instinct is that this is merely a tactical retreat. Professor Bret Weinstein, late of Evergreen State College, the site of an eruption of social justice thuggery earlier this year, might very well agree. In an unrelated interview, he said: “The number of classes in a university that are immune to this extremely broken way of thinking is ever smaller. And I think we can even see from here the day in which it will be no classes that are immune because every class is going to be subject to some set of rules that is built around this very naive notion of privilege and white supremacy and all of that. So that day is coming.”

Professor Weinstein, a leftist himself, pointed to the heart of the issue. “Each of these definitions can’t be pinned down. You can’t figure out what they mean be equity. On the other hand, if you start asking questions about equity you’re going to run afoul of a booby-trap that’s gonna have you portrayed as a white supremacist,” he said.

In the future, everyone will be Hitler, when and where convenient.

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  1. Cyrano Inactive
    Cyrano
    @Cyrano

    To avoid making the post overlong, I did not include this from the Hot Air post, which is more generally than specifically relevant:

    [T]he goal of this movement is often vague, the leadership difficult to pin down. What is always clear however is the demand for attention and dominance. When SJW’s shut down a conservative speaker (aka no platforming) the talking points are all about students safety and their feelings, etc. But the real goal is dominance, i.e. to claim ownership of the space and with that ownership the right to exclude the unwanted.

    The author, John Sexton, goes on to outline the social justice activist recipe:

    1. Demand for dominance/compliance (because of lack of safety/perceived threat).
    2. Dominance exercised through the exclusion of perceived threat.
    3. Non-compliance/questions trigger accusations, i.e. racism, sexism, etc. (the booby-trap).
    4. Accusations become proof of lack of safety/threat.
    5. Return to step 1 and repeat.

    I think he has it exactly right.

     

    • #1
  2. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    It is amazing how fast this insanity has taken hold and how quickly those in power embrace it.  The universities are all but gone, a shell of their former selves.  Now business is embracing this ideology.  So we all will have to bend knee to it just to continue to feed our families.

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    And the Bastion of Truth remains Hillsdale College.  Support Hillsdale.  Send your children to Hillsdale.  Support Hillsdale some more.

    • #3
  4. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Cyrano (View Comment):
    The author, John Sexton, goes on to outline the social justice activist recipe:

    1. Demand for dominance/compliance (because of lack of safety/perceived threat).
    2. Dominance exercised through the exclusion of perceived threat.
    3. Non-compliance/questions trigger accusations, i.e. racism, sexism, etc. (the booby-trap).
    4. Accusations become proof of lack of safety/threat.
    5. Return to step 1 and repeat.

    I think he has it exactly right.

    I am disappointed that the OP was not tagged with the word “bullying.”

    • #4
  5. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    These SJWs always sound the same. A behavior or idea is problematic, they have a positionality, there’s a toxic climate, and an unsafe learning environment. Do they take seminars in SJW-speak?

    Ms. Shepherd is a very brave young woman. She’s a TA (probably early 20s) confronting her supervisor and other members of the university power structure, all of whom are capable of ruining her career, or at least significantly damaging it. She is unable to confront her accusers, she does not have the benefit of the presumption of innocence. This is a star chamber proceeding with one outcome in mind: to get her to recant and toe the mark. This is the worst attack on freedom of thought and expression since Galileo faced the Inquisition. At least she’s not being shown the instruments of torture.

    When I was a grad student, a professor for whom I was a TA called me at home to complain about something I’d said in my section. This professor had limited power over me; he was not my thesis advisor and held no special authority in the department. Nevertheless, I was somewhat intimidated, at least initially. Today I’d tell that jerk to take a flying leap, except using language would violate the CoC. Makes me angry just thinking about it.

    The point is this: as a graduate student, Ms. Shepherd is in a weak position and doesn’t have the experience to fight back effectively. Except that she did! These fascists brought her to tears but she held firm. I hope there’s someone around to give her a hug because she sure deserves one.

    • #5
  6. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Cyrano: Her transgression? According to her supervising professor, Prof. Rambukkana, Ms. Shepherd failed to take sides prior to showing the videotape, and that “created a toxic climate for some of the students.” Rambukkana also stated, “This is like neutrally playing a speech by Hitler,” representing just one of several references to Nazi Germany made by himself and other authority figures at the meeting.

    The video of the professor played wasn’t a speech by Jordon Peterson, it was a debate.  If a professor played a recording of Adolph Hitler debating someone who was anti-Nazi and played it without comment, what would be the problem with that?  Are the students so intellectually helpless that they cannot listen to both sides of an argument unless an authority figure tells them what to think first?  I would think it might be productive to play a debate, then let the students have an informal debate among themselves.  The instructor can chime in after the students have had a chance to think about it themselves first.

    • #6
  7. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    One more thing: thanks, @cyrano, for bringing this to our attention and providing the links. I’d heard about this incident but hadn’t gotten around to trying to find the audio of the meeting. The only good news here is that the Left are eating their own, thereby driving reasonable people away. This is what happened to Dave Rubin and a host of others. When the Regressive Left show their true colors, almost everyone runs the other way.

    • #7
  8. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Truth conquers all?  Really?  Where?  When?  Truth conquers nothing, only force conquers anything.

    • #8
  9. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    Truth conquers all? Really? Where? When? Truth conquers nothing, only force conquers anything.

    Yes. Right now in this country and in Canada the leftists run things in many of these countries’ very important institutions. And there are cowards in the administrations as far as the eye can see.

    • #9
  10. Matty Van Inactive
    Matty Van
    @MattyVan

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    These SJWs always sound the same. A behavior or idea is problematic, they have a positionality, there’s a toxic climate, and an unsafe learning environment. Do they take seminars in SJW-speak?

    Ms. Shepherd is a very brave young woman. She’s a TA (probably early 20s) confronting her supervisor and other members of the university power structure, all of whom are capable of ruining her career, or at least significantly damaging it.

    Just today I listened to a talk by Jordan P where he explained that one of his discoveries upon his recent notoriety was how few people are actually capable of acting courageously.

    • #10
  11. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Matty Van (View Comment):

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    These SJWs always sound the same. A behavior or idea is problematic, they have a positionality, there’s a toxic climate, and an unsafe learning environment. Do they take seminars in SJW-speak?

    Ms. Shepherd is a very brave young woman. She’s a TA (probably early 20s) confronting her supervisor and other members of the university power structure, all of whom are capable of ruining her career, or at least significantly damaging it.

    Just today I listened to a talk by Jordan P where he explained that one of his discoveries upon his recent notoriety was how few people are actually capable of acting courageously.

    Most likely true.  To be honest the stakes are too high and the reward to little in being courageous in such instances.  We are all used to taking indignities for the sake of making our way in the world and feeding our family.  If you do fight and win then so what?  The battle will just happen again and eventually you lose.  So then how do you explain to your kid that they are hungry because you are too prideful to call a person what they want to be called?  Even if what they want to be called is delusional.

    • #11
  12. Matty Van Inactive
    Matty Van
    @MattyVan

    Fake, I was thinking exactly along those lines after I posted that comment. Personally, I expect I was more courageous before I had family responsibilities and am probably more courageous now since those responsibilities have been largely fulfilled.

    Not courageous. Just more courageous.

    • #12
  13. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    J Peterson spoke and debated often against the passing of C-16. He was prepared for the debate as it was his refusal to abide by the list of dozens of different pronouns provided to him by Uni of Toronto that catapulted him into fame.

    Over and over he brought up the criminalization of speech and the effect that “compelled speech” would have.

    And over and over his concerns were pooh poohed.

    I think even he is shocked at how quickly he was proved right.

    Hats off to Miss Shephard (who is only 22) for one, trying to be a good teacher; two, standing firm against the University bullies; and three, having the foresight to record the meeting.

    And I definitely believe there never would have been an apology had there not been a recording. I remain unconvinced that the bullies even know they did anything wrong.

    Jordan Peterson deserves all our support. After his grants for the year were denied he turned to Patreon, with rousing success. There are now petitions to get Patreon to drop him because he’s a transphobic, homophobic, white supremacist, misogynist, blah blah blah.

    .

     

    • #13
  14. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Matty Van (View Comment):

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    These SJWs always sound the same. A behavior or idea is problematic, they have a positionality, there’s a toxic climate, and an unsafe learning environment. Do they take seminars in SJW-speak?

    Ms. Shepherd is a very brave young woman. She’s a TA (probably early 20s) confronting her supervisor and other members of the university power structure, all of whom are capable of ruining her career, or at least significantly damaging it.

    Just today I listened to a talk by Jordan P where he explained that one of his discoveries upon his recent notoriety was how few people are actually capable of acting courageously.

    Most likely true. To be honest the stakes are too high and the reward to little in being courageous in such instances. We are all used to taking indignities for the sake of making our way in the world and feeding our family. If you do fight and win then so what? The battle will just happen again and eventually you lose. So then how do you explain to your kid that they are hungry because you are too prideful to call a person what they want to be called? Even if what they want to be called is delusional.

    A good friend is a university professor; he received his list this year of a dozen or so pronouns. So he is going to retire. Lucky him, his kids are grown and he has the wherewithal to make that choice.

    As he said (and I’m pretty sure J Peterson has also) he has no problem calling anyone what they want to be called as long as it’s consistent (they don’t get to change their mind everyday, and it kinda sorta fits with how someone is presenting themselves) and he is asked to do so politely.

    It’s the “compelled” part that is sending him to retirement.

     

    • #14
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Matty Van (View Comment):
    Fake, I was thinking exactly along those lines after I posted that comment. Personally, I expect I was more courageous before I had family responsibilities and am probably more courageous now since those responsibilities have been largely fulfilled.

    Not courageous. Just more courageous.

    True, family responsibilities can make this difference.  And as to how to explain to the children that the reason they are going hungry is because daddy spoke the truth, it depends somewhat on how hungry. But if it’s the reason they don’t have all the material advantages their peers have, they may end up blessing your name forever for it. Or they may not.  Or both. When former sharecropper and then independent farmer Ned Cobb used a gun to keep from getting pushed back into dependent sharecropping by the white establishment, his family resented the ten years he was lost to them while he was in prison. But years later, they were proud of him.  It’s complicated, and there are no guarantees.

    • #15
  16. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Professors and the Pornography of Power

    • #16
  17. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    True, family responsibilities can make this difference. And as to how to explain to the children that the reason they are going hungry is because daddy spoke the truth, it depends somewhat on how hungry. But if it’s the reason they don’t have all the material advantages their peers have, they may end up blessing your name forever for it. Or they may not. Or both. When former sharecropper and then independent farmer Ned Cobb used a gun to keep from getting pushed back into dependent sharecropping by the white establishment, his family resented the ten years he was lost to them while he was in prison. But years later, they were proud of him. It’s complicated, and there are no guarantees.

    Another example is Alexei Navalny, who wants to take Putin’s job. Russia has a long heritage of making life difficult for the wives and children of dissidents.  Many of Navalny’s supporters who have also been thrown into jail on this or that pretext are young people without family responsibilities. But Navalny has children, and a wife who supports his work. When asked why he is doing what he’s doing, he says he’s doing it for his children. He wants them to grow up to have a better country to live in.  But in the meantime, I imagine life is difficult for them.

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I find myself going back and forth between outrage and fear–outrage that the SJW movement seems to be growing, and fear that their beliefs will ultimately affect all of us in our daily lives. I hope I’m being paranoid, but I don’t think I am.

    • #18
  19. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I find myself going back and forth between outrage and fear–outrage that the SJW movement seems to be growing, and fear that their beliefs will ultimately affect all of us in our daily lives. I hope I’m being paranoid, but I don’t think I am.

    If you don’t have a plan to sue your employer in 5 years under state and federal EO law when the SJWs start taking their positions in our HR departments you basically hate your children.

    • #19
  20. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    My parents were very public in their opposition to abortion in Massachusetts; I bless their name for it. My Dad worked for other pro-lifers, and at my Mom’s work, nobody seemed to care all that much about politics, so there was never any fear of anybody losing their job.I am pretty sure that if either of my parents had lost their job, my admiration for them would have only increased, but then, I was never hungry as a kid, so I don’t know for sure.

    My husband works for himself; both us write in our real names on the internet. I think those of us who don’t face dire financial consequences for speaking out have a special responsibility to speak out.

    • #20
  21. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    The quote feature isn’t working now, this text is appearing in white so I have no idea if or how this will post and the toolbar is gone so I can’t put in a link, and “report a bug” isn’t working

    I was trying to insert the Sexton quote from comment #1

    http://ricochet.com/472589/truth-conquers-all-or-does-it/#comment-3991135

    Sexton omitted a few steps, which Iowahawk (@iowahawkblog) supplies:

    • Identify a respected institution

    • Kill it

    • Gut it

    • Wear its carcass as a skin suit, demanding respect

    • #21
  22. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Rambukkana also stated, “This is like neutrally playing a speech by Hitler,”

    Not the most retarded schnitt I’ve seen coming out of academia, but it’s up there.

    • #22
  23. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Rambukkana also stated, “This is like neutrally playing a speech by Hitler,”

    Not the most retarded schnitt I’ve seen coming out of academia, but it’s up there.

    Speaking of Hitler, in case you thought that Downfall parodies were passé, here’s a really good one:

    And no mention of pronoun trouble is complete without this:

    • #23
  24. Cyrano Inactive
    Cyrano
    @Cyrano

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    The quote feature isn’t working now, this text is appearing in white so I have no idea if or how this will post and the toolbar is gone so I can’t put in a link, and “report a bug” isn’t working

    I was trying to insert the Sexton quote from comment #1

    http://ricochet.com/472589/truth-conquers-all-or-does-it/#comment-3991135

    Sexton omitted a few steps, which Iowahawk (@iowahawkblog) supplies:

    • Identify a respected institution

    • Kill it

    • Gut it

    • Wear its carcass as a skin suit, demanding respect

    That might be my second favorite Iowahawk tweet.  My clear favorite, though, is: “Journalism is about covering important stories.  With a pillow, until they stop moving.”

    • #24
  25. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Cyrano (View Comment):
    That might be my second favorite Iowahawk tweet. My clear favorite, though, is: “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.”

    That one is truly great. I first came across Iowahawk when someone linked to his Archbishop of Canterbury Tale, Heere Bigynneth the Tale of the Asse-Hatte from before he went on to fully dominate the Twitterverse.

    • #25
  26. Cyrano Inactive
    Cyrano
    @Cyrano

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    Cyrano (View Comment):
    That might be my second favorite Iowahawk tweet. My clear favorite, though, is: “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.”

    That one is truly great. I first came across Iowahawk when someone linked to his Archbishop of Canterbury Tale, Heere Bigynneth the Tale of the Asse-Hatte from before he went on to fully dominate the Twitterverse.

    I wish he didn’t give up blogging.  Twitter is generally ephemeral or confining, and all too often is both at once.

    • #26
  27. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    Are the students so intellectually helpless that they cannot listen to both sides of an argument unless an authority figure tells them what to think first?

    Yes.

     

    • #27
  28. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    Are the students so intellectually helpless that they cannot listen to both sides of an argument unless an authority figure tells them what to think first?

    Yes.

    Maybe they aren’t ready for college, then.

    • #28
  29. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    Are the students so intellectually helpless that they cannot listen to both sides of an argument unless an authority figure tells them what to think first?

    Yes.

    Maybe they aren’t ready for college, then.

    If an authority figure told them to think in favor of free speech and free markets, I don’t think they would take it well. In other words, they don’t need an authority figure to tell them what to think. They need an authority figure to prove he has the correct ideas.

    • #29
  30. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    Are the students so intellectually helpless that they cannot listen to both sides of an argument unless an authority figure tells them what to think first?

    Yes.

    Maybe they aren’t ready for college, then.

    That depends on whether the purpose of college is education or indoctrination. The structure and staffing of colleges – where full convergence with the Social Justice Warrior agenda is institutionalized to the detriment or even destruction of the original mission of the department, or of the college or university – suggest the latter. Of course some departments were organized by and for SJWs; no internal convergence necessary. These faculties serve as beachheads for the more general invasion and takeover of the larger institution. There is support for that invasion at all levels of government.

    • #30

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