Trigger warning: The following does not provide a safe space for any of the perpetually aggrieved victims currently sheltering in place on AmeriKKKan college campuses. Some may even consider this cyberspace a hostile environment, not to mention a source of multiple microaggressions – hate speech that students of color may find “profoundly difficult” and which may tend to leave them “deeply troubled,” to paraphrase recent PC pablum from the adverb-addled president of Yale University.
Before I go all Archie Bunker on you, let me start with four words to everyone of you self-identified victims shaking your fist at The Man at Yale, Mizzou, Ithaca and all points in between:
Shut the bleep up!
Never have so many whined so much about so little.
I am so fed up with all this BS. Who do you pajama boys and womyn’s studies majors and queer-theory professors think you’re kidding? It was a bad joke back in 1969 when some fool wrote a book called “The Student As Nigger,” and it’s even more preposterous now when a bunch of Ivy League pukes in New Haven have the gall to describe themselves as “marginalized students.”
Marginalized? At Yale! Pardon me for laughing in your face. Not for nothing did Elvis Presley sing a song called “The Poison Ivy League.” George Wallace called you people “pointy-headed intellectuals what can’t park a bicycle straight,” and he was a Democrat.
What are my credentials, you ask? Well, unlike “Dr.” Melissa Click, I never wrote a monograph on the “commodification” of Martha Stewart. But I did once teach a course – okay, it was a seminar – at Harvard. All right, it was only the Institute of Politics, a/k/a, Camelot High, but I did get paid. Three hundred bucks, as I recall.
To get to my class on Boylston Street the first day, I had to cross a picket line – some squirrely looking trust-funders with those sad little wispy Brooklyn hipster excuses for goatees. They were protesting my hiring. So much for my white privilege. Where the hell was my “safe space?”
This was after I spent three years teaching introductory newswriting at Boston University. The president of BU then was John Silber, that most non-PC of academics, who in 1990 was almost elected governor of Massachusetts, as a Democrat believe or not. They’re not making Democrats, or college presidents, like John Silber anymore.
Silber was desperately trying to save the school from bankruptcy while his students were protesting… something. Here is how Silber later reminisced about his battles with the trust-funded hippies of BU back in the early 1970s:
“I do not take them seriously,” Silber said in 2005. “This is not some very deeply felt, high moral cause on their part; this is showboating of a very insincere kind by most of these students, and I want them to understand that I see through their pretensions.”
That makes 300-plus million of us, Dr. Silber.
You don’t have to be an Okie from Muskogee to be pissed off about the outburst of sanctimony this week. This is a very partial list of the subjects we taxpayers and alumni demand that you silly billies stop bellyaching on TV about, and by the way, these demands of ours are, like yours, “non-negotiable.”
- Calls for free tuition. We already have a government program that provides free tuition. It’s called the GI Bill. And by the way, can all future news stories about college oppression include exactly how much each of the protesters are actually ponying up to be oppressed? We all want to know who’s going to college on the arm – our arm. We suspect that those bitching the loudest are paying the least. We’d also like chyrons under their names on TV with their SAT scores – oh, I forgot, standardized testing isn’t required of all students anymore. Gee, I wonder why.
- Calling campuses “unsafe environments.” Why did the Houston electorate repeal the city’s transgendered bathroom ordinance 10 days ago? Because more than two-thirds of the voters felt that allowing male sex offenders unfettered access to women’s locker rooms and toilets might create some of those dreaded “unsafe” environments. Yet Houston voters are denounced as bitter clingers, while you scholars get no pushback when you say you’re too traumatized to take your first-semester finals, for, what is it now, the third, or fourth year. (First it was Occupy, then the Gentle Giant, and now this… whatever this is.)
- Lose the PC jargon. The New York Times described the Yale controversy as involving “transgressive Halloween costumes.” The English translation for “transgressive” is “really cool.” The cliché du jour “microaggression” likewise fools not even Bernie Sanders voters. Micro is to macro what misdemeanor is to felony, what venial is to mortal. Another Times euphemism: “subtle rather than blatant.” Off campus, the synonym for “subtle” is “non-existent.”
- I’ll say it again: stop complaining. To quote an old-time Hollywood mogul, “Self-pity is not good box office.” Anybody who truly believes Yale students are “marginalized,” or that the campus (as opposed to the city of New Haven) has a “poisonous atmosphere” is a fool. Hey kids, here’s a quarter, call someone who cares.
- Is racism bad, or is it acceptable – please make up your collective mind. Have any of you demanded an end to higher ed’s reverse Jim Crow policy of affirmative action – discriminating against more qualified white and Asian students in order to increase enrollment of racially protected groups? Oh, that’s right – if you say #WhiteLivesMatter on campus now, you must issue a groveling apology or face the wrath of the mob. To cite George Orwell, an author none of you have ever heard of, let alone read, all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. Right?
- At least try to fake the courage of your alleged convictions, comrades. Perhaps the most revealing story of the week came from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on “Dr. Click.” The day after she jumped ugly with the student photographer on the quad, she was holed up in her office “and sobbing could be heard through the door.” Worried about your tenure track, Missy? Emma Goldman thinks you’re a running dog capitalist-roader lackey.
- Crocodile tears from cowed administrators. Here’s a quote from Smith College Dean Donna Lisker: “I don’t think I ever want to fall into a false sense of security that things can’t happen here.” The “thing” she’s petrified will happen in Northampton is that she might get Tim Wolfed – forced out of her six-figure no-heavy-lifting sinecure for failure to overreact to imagined, or invented, slights. Speaking of which….
- Can we have a little more skepticism about these “incidents?” Who believed that the KKK was roaming the Mizzou campus, as the National Guard conferred with the student body president? As they say in the Show Me State, show me. That whopper was tweeted out by the same guy who says he was accosted in Columbia by a redneck in a pickup truck. (Is it a surprise that this student leader has been photographed with Barack Obama, who still thinks the Cambridge police “acted stupidly?”) When was the last time you read about a noose, a burning cross, an incendiary pamphlet, a fraternity rape at UVa, a Duke lacrosse team atrocity or, yes, even a poopswastika, that didn’t eventually turn out to be a media hoax? It’s bad enough to have an endless stream of whiners offended at the drop of the hat, but even worse is that 98 percent of the time the victims are the ones who actually dropped the hat.
- No more nostalgie de la boue – literally, yearning for the mud, in this case a bunch of poor little Richie Riches imagining their hard-scrabble roots. That Yale coed who screamed at the professor, “Who the bleep hired you?” – she’s from Fairfield, CT. On Thursday, a clueless white ACLU intern from Northeastern went on Fox and told Neil Cavuto: “I come from an incredibly working-class family, um, and my family is already on numerous forms of government assistance.” Um, how can you simultaneously be working class and on welfare? She just proved once again that when any Che Guevara wannabe from Barack Obama on down speaks reverently of “the working class,” he invariably means “non-working class.” Likewise, when these campus lilies of the field bitterly denounce “the one percent,” they are in fact referring to people also known to them as “Mom and Dad.”
- No more professional students. I’m talking to you, “hunger striker” Jonathan Butler. Another up-by-the-bootstraps educational-leadership major, with a businessman father who made $8.4 million last year, according to SEC filings. Butler describes Mizzou as “unlivable,” despite the fact that he’s been living there continuously since 2008. In other words, he’s wasted more time at Mizzou than Bluto did at Faber College in the movie Animal House.
- Lose the wimpy names. “Dr. Click” is okay – sounds like a James Bond villain. But the guy she reportedly lives with, the religion professor – his name is Chip Callahan. Chip? What the hell kind of moniker is that for a wannabe kicking-the-ass-of-the-ruling-class revolutionary who goes around chanting “Power to the people right on.” Chip was on My Three Sons, not the Politburo. The name of Dalton Trumbo’s favorite mass murderer was Josef Stalin, not Buzz Stalin. Even a wimp like Sam Grossman realized he’d have more Weatherman terrorist cred at Attica if he changed his name to “Sam Melville,” which gets that ominous Moby Dick air of menace going. Hey Chip, how about… Ishmael Callahan? As for Payton Head – do I have really to explain why that handle is a non-starter for a gay guy?
- Don’t compare your sad-sack spectacles to the Sixties. At least back then, male college students could be drafted and sent to Vietnam. They had skin in the game. That’s proven by the fact that once the first draft lottery was held in 1969, and 80 percent of the college-age male population (including Bill Clinton) realized they were out of danger, the formerly massive anti-war demonstrations began shrinking down to Darfur-Not-On-Our-Watch candlelight-vigil size. The only exceptions were the post-Kent State disturbances in May 1970, and those were mostly about getting the spring-term final exams cancelled. Sound familiar?
I just wish John Silber were still around to take this bull, or should I say bullbleep, by the horns. (He died in 2012.) You wouldn’t need to march down Com Ave chanting, “Hey hey ho ho, Dr. Click has got to go!” If Click ‘n’ Chip et al. were at BU, Silber would have already had them evicted by the campus police force he once tried to arm with machine guns.
Silber signed one of my paychecks, but I never met him until he started running for governor. His campaign consisted of musing about welfare recipients arriving from “tropical climes” and hanging around with Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger’s younger brother, the president of the state Senate, a fact I never failed to mention in my newspaper column.
When I was finally introduced to Silber at a rally, he glared at me. He knew I was no friend of his friend Bulger. So I tried to break the ice by reminding him that I worked for him, as an instructor of journalism. His lips curled into a sneer.
“Not journalism ethics, I trust,” he said.
Another microaggression! Those were the good old days.
Howie Carr is the author of the new novel, “Killers,” about organized crime in Boston. You can listen to his daily radio show at howiecarrshow.com.