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#14865057
I don't think I need to comment on this. It rather speaks for itself.

Spectator wrote:
Beware the modern-day heretic hunters

Image
Lindsay Shepherd

One of the most sinister noises in the world is that of dumb officialdom groping around to find some reason for a verdict that has already been arrived at. A Canadian university has just given the world a particularly fine example of the genre.

Wilfrid Laurier is a university in Ontario, Canada with a surprisingly high employment rate among its graduates. Surprising because the university’s authorities would appear to be working hard to make their students utterly unemployable. Earlier this month, the university censured a 22-year old graduate teaching assistant called Lindsay Shepherd. Ms Shepherd’s crime had been to show a video of the Canadian Professor Jordan Peterson debating the issue of gender pronouns. This was in a class on ‘Canadian communication in context.’

As anyone who has read his work or watched videos of him lecturing will know, Jordan Peterson is a very good communicator. He may in fact be one of the only Canadians who is internationally known for an ability to communicate, as well as think. Nevertheless, he holds what are currently deemed the ‘wrong’ views on gender pronouns for Trans people (rules which were only invented a few minutes ago but have now become dogma). And so for the crime of showing a brief video of Peterson speaking, Shepherd was hauled before her superiors, including her supervising professor, one Nathan Rambukkana. Needless to say, and as the tape shows, Rambukkana is not a celebrated communicator.

However, the rules of the inquisition currently sit very much on his side. And so, as you can hear from listening to the exchange, it is Rambukkana and a colleague who can interrogate Shepherd on her thought-crime. Everybody should listen to the secretly recorded exchange, because every growing totalitarianism of thought of our time is here.

Like all great Stasi institutions, the university will not explain the exact crime. Nor reveal exactly what the accused is accused of. Nor reveal who the complainant is. Shepherd is not allowed to be told whether one student has complained. Or many. Or all. But she is informed that showing a viewpoint that is contrary to the currently prevailing dogma is akin to an act of violence. This, in turn, is against the Ontario Human Rights Code. All the current torture-terms are there. Things are ‘problematic’. Shepherd is guilty of ‘targeting’. Her actions are ‘discriminatory’ and make people feel ‘unsafe’. One of the apparatchiks even uses the term ‘positionality’ where the word ‘position’ would be perfectly adequate. Presumably because in his particular bubble there is no point in using the correct word when an elongated (and incorrect) one could give off an air of greater authority, the better to intimidate underlings with.

As I say, it really is worth hearing the above in full because it includes several classic examples of modern heresy-hunting. Such as the response to Shepherd’s insistence that ‘In a university all perspectives are valid’. After a brief pause her inquisitor replies, ‘That’s not necessarily true.’

Having tried to tar her as a ‘Transphobe’ there is an inevitable effort also to portray Shepherd as a ‘white supremacist’. This is done by the insistence that there is an effort currently underway to ethnically cleanse the north American states of everybody who is not white. Would she agree with that? The hope is clearly that Shepherd will walk into the laid trap and expose herself as a white supremacist. This she does not do.

They do, however, manage to throw in one of the other great tools of the modern inquisition, which is to claim that Jordan Peterson has engaged in ‘doxing’. This is the practise – high on the list of modern inquisition heresy-claims – of publishing the personal details of somebody online. There is no evidence that Peterson has ever done any such thing. But the Wilfrid Laurier team are keen to grab whatever torture device they have to hand.

Eventually an audibly tearful, upset and intimidated Shepherd begs to know what crime she has committed. And the authorities finally arrive at their answer. By showing a brief video featuring a non-currently orthodox point of view she has violated the ‘Gender and sexual violence policy’. The apparatchiks grasp around and eventually – amid a lot of umming and ah-ing – pass sentence. They declare that she has carried out ‘Gender-based violence. Transphobia. Causing harm to Trans students by bringing their identity as invalid or their pronouns as potentially invalid.’ They declare these in contravention of the law as well as university policy.

Why should this matter? After all, who had ever heard of Wilfrid Laurier University? It’s not even among the top universities in Canada. The problem is that in institutions like it across the world the idiots and bullies now think that they have right on their side because they have co-opted the language of ‘tolerance’ and ‘non-offence’. If this ugly tide is to be stopped then it will have to be stopped wherever it promises to swell, however obscure the place and however unknown its inquisitors and victims.


Listen to the recording and read some of the excerpts from the conversation here.


00:07:28 ALL PERSPECTIVES ARE NOT VALID.

Shepherd: What I have a problem with is, I didn’t target anybody. Who did I target?

Joel: Trans folks.

Shepherd: By telling them ideas that are really out there? Telling them that? By telling them? Really?

Rambukkana: It’s not just telling them. In legitimizing this as a valid perspective—

Shepherd: In a university all perspectives are valid.

Rambukkana: That’s not necessarily true, Lindsay.

[...]

00:22:06 YOUR NEUTRALITY IS “KIND OF THE PROBLEM”

Rambukkana: Do you understand how what happened was contrary to, sorry Adria, what was the policy?

Joel: Gendered and Sexual Violence.

Rambukkana: — Gendered and Sexual Violence Policy. Do you understand how —

Shepherd: Sorry, what did I violate in that policy.

Joel: Um, so, gender-based violence, transphobia, in that policy. Causing harm, um, to trans students by, uh, bringing their identity as invalid. Their pronouns as invalid — potentially invalid.

Shepherd: So I caused harm?

Joel: — which is, under the Ontario Human Rights Code a protected thing so something that Laurier holds as a value.

Shepherd: Ok, so by proxy me showing a YouTube video I’m transphobic and I caused harm and violence? So be it. I can’t do anything to control that.

Rambukkana: Ok, so that’s not something that you have an issue with? The fact that that happened? Are you sorry that it happened?

Shepherd: I know in my heart, and I expressed to the class, that I’m not transphobic and if any of them — again, I don’t know what they said — but I don’t think I gave away any kind of political position of mine. I remained very neutral, and uh—

Rambukkana: —that’s kind of the problem.

[...]

00:25:16 STUDENTS DON’T HAVE THE “CRITICAL TOOLKIT” TO UNDERSTAND THESE THINGS

Rambukkana: These are very young students, and something of that nature is not appropriate to that age of student, because they don’t have …

Shepherd: 18?

Rambukkana: Yes.

Shepherd: They’re adults.

Rambukkana: Yes, but they’re very young adults. they don’t have the critical toolkit to be able to pick it apart yet. This is one of the things we’re teaching them, so this is why it becomes something that has to be done with a bit more care.

#14865085
Kaiserschmarrn wrote:One of the apparatchiks even uses the term ‘positionality’ where the word ‘position’ would be perfectly adequate. Presumably because in his particular bubble there is no point in using the correct word when an elongated (and incorrect) one could give off an air of greater authority, the better to intimidate underlings with.


It sounds to me like Kaiser is using her postality to flan-flon and gobbledygook.

In the transcript above, it sounds like one of the university officials is so desperately reaching for straws they're condemning a YouTube-posted video because it was done in a neutral fashion. :eek:
#14865173
skinster wrote:Here is the audio of the meeting:


The university seems to be overreacting about dumb shit, imho.


What really disgusts me here is what a wimpy shit this woman is. If that were me in that situation, I wouldn't stand for being berated by some jackasses in fancy suits. If they refused to prove that I've done any harm and to who, specifically, then there's no reason why I would have to prove that I didn't. I'd just tell them to either bring a lawsuit against me and prove their bullshit claims in a court of law or they can fuck right off.
#14865216
@Kaiserschmarrn what is more important: acedemic freedom or prevention of discrimination?

I’d argue the former is most important on the grounds that the later is readily manipulated to reinforce established power. A supporting voice from an odd direction: https://philpapers.org/rec/BROSOI. “Outlawing hate speach....powerfully legitimises the state”. I’d go further to argue it powerfully legitimises the interests who control the institutions of state (ie: power elites).


Given the trend in the West over the last 50 years has been rising levels of social-economic inequality, it is only to be expected that those who benefit from these circumstances should seek to prevent open discussions. Knowledge, and thus discourse, has to be controlled to prevent challenges to the haves from the have nots. Political correctness uses various causes, generally based on emancipation, to legitimise the control of discourse.

Like ‘god’, ‘human rights’ is a concept so holy that none can dare challenge it. Ideas which can be held above reproach become a powerful means for an establishment to justify why things should be the way they are. If one is put in a position of being in violation of god/human rights, one must back down and repent or the powers that be have the justification to destroy that person.

An unassailable moral position is highly desirable for an establishment fostering social inequality. Especially so when the culture concerned has a recent past of struggling for political and economic equality. I present this as the reason Western governments are so obsessed with anti discrimination.
#14865217
I agree with foxdemon about this. The ruling elite has effectively hijacked the struggles of various minorities for equality and respectful treatment, in order to reinforce their own control of the public discourse and to reinforce their own 'rightful' place at the head of the table. This has almost certainly been prompted by the series of costly losses to the civil rights movements of the 1950s and 60s. If you can't beat them, join them. Or, in this case, suborn them and take them over. Lol. The naivete of the leadership of many of these minorities has made this process easier for the ruling elite. They seem to think they are finally winning, whereas in fact they are being subverted and corrupted by the traditional ruling elite in a cynical ploy to neutralise them as a threat to that elite. Your situation is never more precarious than when you think you're winning.
#14865221
That seems a kneejerk "it must be the elites" reaction, foxdemon and Potemkin. The minority in this case - transgender people - are not really large enough to be a significant part of a "threat" to the ruling elite. And the teaching assistant doesn't represent any group involved in any major struggle either. Nevertheless, you've leaped, without reason, into accusing the "elite" of staging this and similar fights at universities of being a way to subvert rights movements.
#14865223
That seems a kneejerk "it must be the elites" reaction, foxdemon and Potemkin. The minority in this case - transgender people - are not really large enough to be a significant part of a "threat" to the ruling elite. And the teaching assistant doesn't represent any group involved in any major struggle either. Nevertheless, you've leaped, without reason, into accusing the "elite" of staging this and similar fights at universities of being a way to subvert rights movements.

I tend to be rather cynical concerning the motivations of the ruling class. And this issue isn't just about the transgendered minority, who are indeed not a significant threat to anyone. The ruling elite, it seems to me, have made the decision (and it seemed to happen some time in the 1990s) to adopt the identity politics of minority groups who are or are perceived as being historically oppressed in order to wear the halo of moral righteousness. By adopting the cause of minorities who are not an existential threat to them, the ruling elite can take the moral high ground against groups which are an existential threat to them, such as the industrial working class. There's really no other way of explaining their extraordinary behaviour, as in this example.
#14865244
Do we have an objective source yet?

It seems odd to assume that a 22 year old is actually the professor teaching the course. If she is not the teacher and is just the TA, was she allowed to show the video?

Apparently she was not the professor in charge of the course. Nathan Rambukkana is the professor for the course. So she apparently showed a video without the consent of the actual professor.
#14865252
Potemkin wrote:By adopting the cause of minorities who are not an existential threat to them, the ruling elite can take the moral high ground against groups which are an existential threat to them, such as the industrial working class. There's really no other way of explaining their extraordinary behaviour, as in this example.

It's quite easy to suggest other reasons. The people concerned may not want any conflict of any sort, and so will assume that any complaint must be valid, and they must do something to prevent any complaint like it again. They may be thinking in terms of "we get fees from the students, so take their side". They may be in a culture that measures itself by how much you benefit minority groups.

You are, bizarrely, conflating senior university lecturers with people in conflict with the industrial working class - big business. It's almost as if you want to see the world as "the magnificent workers" and "everyone else, who are all out to oppress them".
#14865258
You are, bizarrely, conflating senior university lecturers with people in conflict with the industrial working class - big business. It's almost as if you want to see the world as "the magnificent workers" and "everyone else, who are all out to oppress them".

I have to admit to my prejudices here. I'm a Brit, and the class system in Britain is not merely about class per se, but is also intimately connected with matters of status, regional identity, culture and even accent. Most senior lecturers in British universities are upper-middle class in origin, and therefore tend to speak with a certain accent, come from a certain region of the country, and attended a fee-paying rather than a state school. I therefore viscerally loathe and despise them, based on my personal experiences with them as an undergraduate and postgraduate student.
#14865261
It also seems that the class was about developing writing skills and had nothing to do with Peterson’s weird thing about trans people. Apparently, Shepherd just started showing the film for no reason when she should have been helping the students with their writing skills.
#14865273
I stopped listening when she started crying, but it seems inappropriate to me. She broke the law and created a "toxic" teaching environment they say, but they don't clarify the complaints and how many complained, so they just need to talk with her and put this right. Sounds like inquisition indeed.
#14865276
I stopped listening when she started crying, but it seems inappropriate to me. She broke the law and created a "toxic" teaching environment they say, but they don't clarify the complaints and how many complained, so they just need to talk with her and put this right. Sounds like inquisition indeed.

Upper-middle class academics being arrogant, pompous and bullying towards a vulnerable person? Why, this is unheard of! :excited:
#14865280
This whole thing is dumb, she shouldn't have shoehorned her feelings into an English class. The administration shouldn't come down like a ton of bricks on every idiot.

There only reason anyone cares is because it plays nicely into right wing victim fantasies and apparently communist conspiracies about trans rights being a secret method of the elites to keep the working class down.

Stupid all around, a pox on you all, etc. :coffee:

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