Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

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The Thinker
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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by The Thinker » Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:47 pm

Peace be with you :namaste:
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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by Sea Turtle » Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:18 pm

dhammafriend wrote:As a black male (not American), let me explain what safe space means to me and people like me. It's a space where we can breathe freely, away from notions of white supremacy and all of the assumptions that come with it. A place where our views about the world are valid, whether they please the scared white boy or not. A space where we can acknowledge pain and anger, without judgement or denial. It may take the form of meeting for lunch, going to the movies, or simply choosing to surround ourselves with other people of color.

In that sense, DW is not a safe space for me, or people like me. I've read may threads with Thais, Indians etc being racially denigrated as primitive, backward and just not Buddhist enough (whatever the hell that means). In the English speaking 'western' world, you cannot separate racism, white supremacy and colonialism from Buddhism as it it practiced outside of Asia today. These three have literally shaped notions of Buddhist modernity. The end result are people like Stephen Batchelor etc.

Time and time again, threads have popped up about how people seeking social justice need to just contemplate anatta, and all their problems would go away. Because race is a social construct, so if you act like it doesn't exist, the rest of the world will happily play along with you. Do people even realize how violent statements like that are?

But! lest we forget that whiteness took the dhamma out of the muck of brown and yellow cultures. With their backward, heathen ways and childlike minds. Whiteness made it pure again! A new day has come! We, Africans, Thais, Sri Lankans, Chinese, will sit at the feet of our master reborn! He's come to teach us what we've forgotten you see! Silly brown folk, how could you be anything but grateful. Whiteness tells you how to feel, how to think and what's worth passing on to our children. Aren't they good to us? Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Hello Dhammafriend,

Thank you for offering your voice on this forum and for candidly sharing your personal, real-world experience. I appreciate you bringing this matter to attention. I look forward to looking at the links you provided so that I can learn more and widen my perspective.

Wishing you the best in your practice.

:anjali:
Helena

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:51 pm

Mr Man wrote:
samseva wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:...
Mr Man wrote:...
Tilt and Mr Man, I have a question which I would like to ask you both: What is the difference between a group of extreme activists wanting to violate basic rights of everyone as to protect the rights—sometimes only feelings—of marginalized groups? Is this a viable solution?
Hi Samseva,
Sorry but I'm going to answer that one. My last contribution to this thread is going to be to say that it is my opinion that in the society where I live discrimination and other social issues are still are far greater problem than infantilization and the erosion of rights.
All the best
Hi Mr Man
No one is saying these things are still not an issue, or shouldn't be dealt with. But as I pointed out to tilt these are only used to distract from the issues being raised.

Just because there are other issues that can be addressed does not mean different issues are ignored, unless you want to ignore them, and it is only one side of this argument wanting to ignore issues by claiming superiority with an issue.

Kind Regards
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:30 pm

dhammafriend wrote:As a black male (not American), let me explain what safe space means to me and people like me. It's a space where we can breathe freely, away from notions of white supremacy and all of the assumptions that come with it.

And how would a "safe space" manifest if not a form of segregation?
I will explain my concern about segregation if that is what you are suggesting.
Segregation creates a problem because it creates a self and other mentality, in the same way the George W Bush Rhetoric about terrorists/Muslims created issues for all Muslims and caused some radicalization. Here it creates a evil white man regardless of who or what the person has actually done, it is essentially creating the events at the end of apartheid in South Africa where white friends of blacks were killed. I have seen recently with the University of Missou and previously by feminists where history they did not live through became personalised and a source of anger and something to receive justice over. The past certainly effects the present, but we can not change the past or accept blame for things never done by ourselves.

Just to point out the silliest tweet I saw when trying to get to the original #fu<(paris tweet, was France apparently invented slavery. That poster was either completely ignorant of the actual long history of slavery, not to mention some of the images.
A place where our views about the world are valid, whether they please the scared white boy or not. A space where we can acknowledge pain and anger, without judgement or denial. It may take the form of meeting for lunch, going to the movies, or simply choosing to surround ourselves with other people of color.
{EDIT spelling corrected)
I did not know being white made me scared, not ever thought it had. but if your views of the world are wrong they are wrong, if the views are correct they care correct. There is no way to sugar coat it, if someone is offended over nothing they are offended over nothing, whether that person likes it or not. I don't care that you said "scared white boy" which I am sure can be taken to be some kind of insult, but I am sure there are some who would. But no one is suggesting you can not associate with whomever you are friends with
In that sense, DW is not a safe space for me, or people like me. I've read may threads with Thais, Indians etc being racially denigrated as primitive, backward and just not Buddhist enough (whatever the hell that means). In the English speaking 'western' world, you cannot separate racism, white supremacy and colonialism from Buddhism as it it practiced outside of Asia today. These three have literally shaped notions of Buddhist modernity. The end result are people like Stephen Batchelor etc.
Where are these threads? But I find Stephen Bachelor useless to my practice which is informed by Many Thai, and some Burmese, Korean and Chinese Teachers, as well as some western disciples of these teachers. The colour of their skin is meaningless, it is what they have to say and its usefulness that is important.
Time and time again, threads have popped up about how people seeking social justice need to just contemplate anatta, and all their problems would go away. Because race is a social construct, so if you act like it doesn't exist, the rest of the world will happily play along with you. Do people even realize how violent statements like that are?
care to share the threads where this has been done time and again. But there maybe some truth in this, if you create a self and other you create opposition.
But! lest we forget that whiteness took the dhamma out of the muck of brown and yellow cultures. With their backward, heathen ways and childlike minds. Whiteness made it pure again! A new day has come! We, Africans, Thais, Sri Lankans, Chinese, will sit at the feet of our master reborn! He's come to teach us what we've forgotten you see! Silly brown folk, how could you be anything but grateful. Whiteness tells you how to feel, how to think and what's worth passing on to our children. Aren't they good to us? Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I don't believe Luang Ta Maha-Bua was white and I find his (and other Asian teachers) teachings pure, and I don't think any culture is muck. Saying something doesn't make it true. Sure it was through colonisation that the west became aware of Buddhism, but the west didn't colonise every Buddhist country, yet we are aware of these forms and these are practised in the west also.
If you want to share your views, you should expect them challenged, rejected, and agreed with, not because of the colour of your skin but rather on the merit the views have.

Kind Regards
Cittasanto.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:51 pm

The Thinker wrote:We do cling to our perceptions, perhaps one day the education system(dependent upon which country you live?) will permit us to look for and debate possible changes that may benefit us all, but in the west on the whole this topic is not open for discussion, you see it is all part of the bigger system, and the educated are ignorant of their own vanity of place in the world, why? because they paid for their education?
You should know that fees only came the UK universities a little less than 20 years ago. But having the discussion is not prohibited anywhere, you can start a thread here, or in a local (to your country) education forum. If you feel the debate has not started in your education system start it.

Kind Regards
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:28 pm

Greetings dhammafriend,
dhammafriend wrote:
Paul wrote:Has anyone actually said or thought such things, or are you merely projecting upon others in bad faith here based upon the colour of their skin? If so, isn't that racist?

Am I and others guilty of some atrocity because your mind has fabricated these thoughts?
Ladies and gents. I rest my case.
Without even responding to these serious questions? I guess that's your prerogative.

Dhammafriend - I don't believe there is a single person here at this forum who is favour of, or who wants to see any form of discrimination take place against any person here at the forum, or in the world at large. Similarly, I don't believe there is a single person who wouldn't want the world to be a place of less suffering. Now, if you take these assumptions as the starting point of a discussion to improve the forum or the world at large, then I would happily join you at the virtual table of discussion to work WITH you on such issues. When however, your opening statement is to effectively lash out at people, not for what they have done individually as people, but for the colour of their skin, don't you see that you are simply setting yourself up in opposition AGAINST those people you have decided to singlehandedly tar with the same brush? People whom, I believe, are both against discrimination and who would like to reduce the suffering of others.

I don't believe your caricature of the white perspective bears any relation to how members of this forum see the situation, and it certainly doesn't reflect mine. Holding onto it and seeing the situation through the lens of identity politics and cultural appropriation appears only to bring you dukkha and alienate those who are actually your allies and potential allies in the quest to end discrimination and unequal treatment of people.

I am not aware of any wrong I have ever done to you personally, but if I have, please let me know and I will readily apologize and make amends. I will not however be shamed or guilted into apologizing for the actions of people who are not me, simply because you might decide to group me in with them based on attributes of colour, race or nationality.

All the best.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:31 pm

Greetings Cittasanto,

Thank you for your logical and reasonable posts. As you say, "saying something doesn't make it true" and "if you want to share your views, you should expect them challenged, rejected, and agreed with, not because of the colour of your skin but rather on the merit the views have."

:clap:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:51 pm

Greetings,

From This Professor Was Fired for Saying ‘F*ck No’ in Class
A confluence of factors has created the current environment. Certainly, part of what’s at work is the emergence of a very crude sort of identity politics that valorizes knee-jerk offense taking. As Shira Tarrant, a professor in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at California State University, Long Beach, says, “Ways of communicating on Twitter, or takedown culture, are infusing the classroom.”

More significant, however, is the pusillanimity of campus bureaucrats who are terrified of lawsuits, particularly in the wake of the Department of Education’s Title IX investigations into campus handling of sexual assault. Ange-Marie Hancock, a professor of political science and gender studies at the University of Southern California and author of Solidarity Politics for Millennials: A Guide to Ending the Oppression Olympics, observes that attacks on academic free speech are not just coming from the left. She points to Steven Salaita, whose job offer at University of Illinois was withdrawn due to tweets that were hostile to Israel, and Shannon Gibney, a tenured African-American English professor at Minneapolis Community and Technical College who was reprimanded for creating a “hostile learning environment” for white men.

Colleges and universities, says Hancock, are “increasing not run by faculty or former faculty. They’re run by professional administrators who have a customer service or client service attitude towards students, as opposed to an educational attitude.” Indeed, according to the Delta Cost Project, an American Institutes for Research program that studies the rising price of higher education, at most four years colleges and universities, the average number of faculty and staff per administrator declined by around 40 percent between 1990 and 2012.

Buchanan attributes her firing, in part, to a disjunction between the values of the administrators and those of the professoriate. Starting about ten years ago, she says, “We noticed that every new administrator that came to LSU had the discourse and language of a business person. So, for example, my dean calls himself the CEO of his organization.”

“That never used to happen. We were the academy,” Buchanan continues, “Their whole discourse has shifted to this business discourse. To me that explains the lack of faculty of governance, because corporations aren’t governed by their employees, and it also explains to me this policing of behaviors.”

Thus there’s a symbiosis between student demands for emotional safety and the risk-aversion of bloated bureaucracies. The students may be inspired by radical ideas, says Michael Bérubé, a literature professor and director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Penn State, but “they wind up playing into the hands of a faceless and possibly pernicious bureaucracy.” The kind, for example, that orders investigations of feminist professors for writing inflammatory essays, or fires people for saying “f*ck.”
Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:37 am

Greetings,

Dr. Everett Piper is back with some recommended on-topic viewing...

https://twitter.com/dreverettpiper/stat ... 4958973953

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by coucholder » Mon May 01, 2017 4:55 am

To this thread,

I've noticed lately it's become fashionable to mock the idea of safe spaces, and I'm disheartened to see the same thing South Park mined for one of their patented single-joke episodes is being lauded here by a community of spiritual disciples who should be stressing understanding and compassion. I'd like to point out that African-American student unions and LGBT and women's student centers are, themselves, safe spaces, are have been, for example, all African-American universities. Their purpose is and has always been this: these are groups of people who get harassed on a regular basis. Additionally, their harassment has and in many ways still is perpetuated by certain ideas that enjoy a privileged hegemony in society, having emerged, in the past, as justifications for the most brutal violence and now being used to intellectualize daily bigotry. These safe spaces were created so that these students could have a safe space in which to learn, free from having to constantly justify and defend their own existence against a society stacking the deck against them.

When I was growing up, I learned math and how to read and write in programs designed in such a way that I could be trained gradually in these things, that I wouldn't be thrust out into a world that demanded my very survival be dependent on these skills. Now my life does depend on these skills, but, to learn them and to hone them, I was given space in which I was safe to practice and fail and try again and learn from mistakes. Likewise, even as an adult, I am provided with space in which I am safe to be trained in order to properly do my job for my employer, even if I am already coming in with skills I learned and hone elsewhere (and yes, in spaces that were safe for it). And I see parallels between this and the paths we take as Buddhists. People who oppose safe spaces say that they are "infantilizing," but we wouldn't demand that those who are ordained become engaged in worldly affairs simply because they should be "able to handle" the world beyond the temple or the retreat. Among the rules our ordained are expected to observe are rules against going to see shows and handling currency. Now, I understand the latter of my two examples is given some leeway in this day and age, but my point stands that these rules exist to provide the ordained with a space in which they are safe to focus on their training. So perhaps they "should" be able to "handle" the worldly things you and I encounter every day, but do we not honor them for renouncing the world and retreating into a life of pure spiritual focus?

Students should be challenged and exposed to new ideas, but there are some who think that among the valid ideas by which these students should be challenged are questions as to their very right to exist, as to the validity of their own experiences. Yes, it would be quite noble, downright heroic for students to meet all such challenges courageously, but how can we, as Buddhists, demand this of students with no compassion, with no regard to how utterly exhausting meeting such challenges can be because, even once those hateful "ideas" are met and overcome and discredited, those who advance those ideas will never stop advancing them? Even now, decades after the end of segregation, there are groups of people pushing for black to be separated from white. When is a Black student entitled to a learning environment wherein he doesn't have to keep disproving racism? In what world is prejudice and bigotry even worthy of open debate? In what fantasy utopia do racists and fascists and misogynists and homophobes and transphobes ever admit to being wrong and then respectfully concede to the opposing point of view? If all such groups really did approach society in good faith toward other groups, these debates would be valid, but that's not what happens in real life.

Students deserve safe spaces because they deserve to be safe while learning. These mockeries of the idea of safe spaces are disgusting caricatures that, while perhaps not being advanced by anyone intending to be bigoted, are drawing from ideological language developed by people who absolutely do intend to be bigoted. We are not animals; we do not throw our cubs off the side of the mountain and raise only those strong enough to climb back up to the den. We are not Spartans or eugenicists or social-Darwinists, either. The truth can be difficult to hear, but safe spaces have never been about escaping the truth. Rather, the very fact that they implicitly assert the truth of the validity of the experiences of marginalized groups is why they're being challenged concurrently with the rise of an emboldened quasi-fascist constituency in the West.

P.S. - Also, the "triggered" joke refers to triggering panic attacks as a result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. So every time we ridicule triggers (which is something I think is more suited to the pedigreed intellects of 4chan than to Buddhists), we're essentially ridiculing survivors of abuse and of war. I live in a town with a lot of veterans, and I happen to know they don't appreciate the popular characterization of "Triggered!" at all.
natthi me saraṇaṃ aññaṃ
buddho me saraṇaṃ varaṃ
etena sacca-vajjena
hotu me jayamaṅgalaṃ


A socialist is just someone who is unable to get over his or her astonishment that most people who have lived and died have spent lives of wretched, fruitless, unremitting toil. Terry Eagleton, Ideology: An Introduction.

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist. Hélder Câmara, Essential Writings.

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by mikenz66 » Mon May 01, 2017 6:06 am

Thanks coucholder,

Personally, I think the alt-right rants about safe spaces, triggering, SJW, etc are so silly that I don't take seriously anyone who uses such facile insults.

As an educator, it is clear to me that safe spaces are a key aspect of learning. I challenge my students, but don't harass or belittle them. They need a supportive environment to flourish.

And, of course, as you say, monasteries, retreats, and discussion forums such as this one, are (or should be) safe spaces, free from name calling or harassment.

:heart:
Mike

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by Buddha Vacana » Mon May 01, 2017 7:05 am

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks coucholder,

Personally, I think the alt-right rants about safe spaces, triggering, SJW, etc are so silly that I don't take seriously anyone who uses such facile insults.

As an educator, it is clear to me that safe spaces are a key aspect of learning. I challenge my students, but don't harass or belittle them. They need a supportive environment to flourish.

And, of course, as you say, monasteries, retreats, and discussion forums such as this one, are (or should be) safe spaces, free from name calling or harassment.

:heart:
Mike
sadhu sadhu sadhu
:bow:
:tongue:

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Re: Inspiring University President stands up against intellectual infantilization

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:58 am

Greetings,

Dr. Everett Piper is still doing the rounds, and here's his latest article in the New York Post...

How to make sure your kid doesn’t go to Snowflake U.
As a father of two young men, I am alarmed by the endless protests and outrage on both private and public university campuses today. Institutions like UC Berkeley and others have failed to correctly handle situations where pandemonium occurs and have been forced to cave in to countless demands of self-righteous radicals who seem to be much more interested in ideological fascism than intellectual freedom. If you are like me, you want to prevent your children from ever being influenced by such nonsense and make sure they attend a college that values the pursuit of truth and an open and robust debate.

So how can you tell if your child is going to a Snowflake U? Here are the telltale signs to look out for...
Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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