At Stanford: Death by Suicide
Many of us mere mortals might define the word “suicide” as the act of killing oneself intentionally. Now we are apt to read “died by suicide,” as though it just happened. Please, no agency or responsibility involved.
Stanford University, (endowment as of June: $40.1 billion) that “elite bastion of politically correct attitudinizing,“ has a new “multi-phase, multi-year project to address harmful language in IT.” Administrators recently published guidelines for its Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative, or the eminently catchy EHLI.
It gets worse, much worse, warns Roger Kimball at American Greatness, who also recommends readers keep an air sickness bag at the ready. Early on readers are warned:
CONTENT WARNING: THIS WEBSITE CONTAINS LANGUAGE THAT IS OFFENSIVE OR HARMFUL. PLEASE ENGAGE WITH THIS WEBSITE AT YOUR OWN PACE.
On the website are all the usual politically correct categories, with entries on “ageist” language, 57 varieties of “gender identification” and, of course, endless handwringing entries dealing with race.”
What’s that? No, you wouldn’t even think of using personal pronouns or the word “man” as a collective noun or as a verb? Over Christmas we had a guest join us who identified as ”they,” and I’d have been hard-pressed to hazard a guess as to whether “they” was formerly known as he or she. And truth be known, would it have mattered?
Roger Kimball thinks the version of Stanford’s pathetic document exists on a server at the Wall Street Journal. Stanford, facing blowback (that word must certainly offend someone!) to hide it from public scrutiny. As the WSJ notes, “without a password, you wouldn’t know that ‘stupid’ made the list.”
Mr. Kimball also thinks the document recapitulates the politically correct nostrums that have been with us for decades.
Back in the 1990s, I was writing about similar implosions at Smith College, for example, where one was advised to avoid the sin of “lookism,” i.e., the mistaken belief that some people are better looking than others. But like recent formulations of cannabis and other drugs, Stanford’s latest folly is more concentrated, and therefore more toxic, than the academic street drugs of yesteryear.
As Victor Davis Hanson predicts, “the accumulation of woke impedimenta is in the process of destroying the university.” Soon, VDH suggests, they are likely to be abandoned by the public as “irrelevant.”
The injection of identity politics and “DEI” initiatives into the lifeblood of the university, their deliberate lowering of academic standards and abandonment of the effort to preserve and transmit the deposit of our cultural heritage, what we used to be able to call, without irony, our “institutions of higher education,” have turned rancid and are consuming themselves from within: all of that is rendering them increasingly preposterous.
Overpriced Indoctrination Echo Chambers
Are Stanford’s days numbered? Not yet, continues Mr. Kimball, despite that he has thought so in the past.
… the self-engorging Leviathan somehow managed to lumber on, getting richer and richer—and more and more irrelevant. Perhaps judgment day is right around the corner. We can only hope.
Roger Kimball ends his article with a prediction:
Stanford’s embattled president Marc Tessier-Lavigne is on his way out. The next Stanford president will be a black woman, “gender non-conforming” if possible but recognizably female and recognizably black. (See Francis Menton’s excellent piece on enforcer-in-chief Gay’s appointment at the Manhattan Contrarian.)
“Stanford can’t let Harvard hog all the glory,” predicts Mr. Kimball.
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