From Canada. Discussion of discipline handed down to Wilfrid Laurier University graduate student and Teaching Assistant Lindsay Shepherd for playing a 3 minute clip of a TV program with Jordan B Peterson debating Canada’s bill C-16 which would criminalise the use of certain gendered pronouns. The point Peterson is trying to refute is a statement made by some other PROFESSOR that there are “no biological differences between men and women”. Peterson begins at 2:17.
Lindsay Shepherd describes the eventual reaction of the university and her fellow students.
She is tougher than they are, shrewder, more clued in, but this is now and not even the medium term. Finally, here is the full recording of her discussing the issue with the University. Runs more than 40 minutes but worth your time. The disturbing notion presented by one of the academics was the equation that Opinion minus Evidence is Prejudice (O-E=P) with the only form of evidence permissible publication in a peer reviewed journal. Once control over what is published in peer reviewed journals is sealed up (see the debate on climate change which is even brought in by one of the professors) certain ideas can never be presented within an academic environment. The enemy seems to be “alt-right” opinion. So they have to provide them with a “critical tool kit” before they hear different opinions. Try this on for size (33:35):
“Everyone is entitled to their opinions but we have a duty as educators, as scholars, as academics, even as public intellectuals to make sure we are not furthering the kind of what I call charlatanism”.
Such self-delusion! Makes you sick. And there is little doubt that the same idea would be found at the highest reaches of the academic world.
Terrifying. I am actually astonished that when this became public that there was still enough reality left in their heads that they pulled back on their consideration of whether to terminate her employment. This then is an interview with Lindsay giving the background.
And here is one last commentary, this one from the United States. Has an excerpt from her tape of the interview which really gets to the heart of the issue.
She is astonishing and brave. Dissidents come in all forms and it is fortunate we are still able to bring these things to the attention of others. And like she says herself, her enemies are “insane”. Meanwhile will we still be able to teach free market capitalism when they turn their attention to that?
AND THERE’S MORE: The story is picked up by Steve Hayward at Powerline: The Inquisition at Laurier University.
And for some direct quotes from the Inquisition Ms Shepherd was forced to endure here via Steve Hayward “are some key excerpts and delightful commentary from Raffi Grinburg at Heterodox Academy“. But of more value are Grinburg’s comments between the quotes such as this which was picked up by Steve Hayward and is really to the point.
At Laurier—and other universities—can teachers be disciplined for being anonymously accused of violating an undefinable policy? If so, this has chilling implications for teaching and learning. Teachers will have to guess at what policies might protect students’ sensibilities, and eye their classrooms with fear. Each student is a potential accuser, so teachers must plan their lectures with the most easily-offended student in mind, taking account of all topics that could cause offense. In fact, since 2015 we have been hearing many reports of teachers self-censoring, “teaching on tenterhooks,” and cutting potentially controversial materials from their syllabi.
Anyway, I am thinking of applying for membership in the Heterodox Academy whose structure and aims are discussed here. My hesitation is Conquest’s Second Law: any organisation that is not by nature right wing eventually becomes left wing.