Thursday, June 20, 2019

Safety School, Baby!

My alma mater gets a nod from the Style Section of the Washington Post, but not of the sort it would want:
But I’m still at a loss about what to do with a situation like Kyle Kashuv’s. And not in some what-is-the-meaning-of-redemption way. But practically speaking: Unless we seal them all in a cave, people who do bad (but not illegal) things are going to continue to be part of our society. What do we think that should look like? What is your personal vision?
The miscreant in question is Kyle Kashuv, a top student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who had the credentials to get into Harvard, but was drummed out because SJWs don't like 2nd Amendment types (Kashuv spoke in favor of the 2nd Amendment, unlike his classmate David Hogg, who is sailing into Harvard with less stellar credentials but a more correct worldview). The SJW spelunking teams dug up some nasty texts he wrote two years ago, where he apparently used the "n" word and maybe said some other uncharitable things that 16-year-old dudes say as they marinate in testosterone. Harvard doesn't want him now, so what to do with him? Post Style Writer/Moral Arbiter Monica Hesse has some suggestions (emphasis in original):
University of Florida? I saw someone suggest that as a possible destination for Kashuv. The argument went that Kashuv shouldn’t be rewarded with the prestige of the Ivy League, but maybe could go off to some less illustrious institution, where he could then continue to work on himself.

I actually saw a fair number of suggestions like this: Not Harvard. Somewhere else. Somewhere less good. The solution seemed reasonable, but it had a tinge of classism, an element of passing the buck. If you don’t believe that Harvard students should have to attend classes with someone who has used racist terminology within the past two years, then why would you subject University of Florida students to that? Or students from Beloit or Colorado State? Would those universities even admit him, or would they follow Harvard’s lead?
Beloit! My alma mater! The quintessential safety school! Beloit, the self-proclaimed "Yale of the Midwest," known up and down the Acela Corridor as a place to park your kid if he's not smart enough to get into Harvard, or was too busy doing bong hits at Pomfret to crack the code at Princeton. But should my fair school be the place where people who are Not Our Kind, Dear have to serve their penance? For her part, Monica Hesse went to Bryn Mawr, a place where one can sniff the glory of the Ivy League from the Philadelphia Main Line. Her school is a member in good standing of the all-female Seven Sisters, so a brute like Kashuv can't even try to go there. Besides which, elite liberal arts schools on the eastern seaboard are right out, including the other proper places in Bryn Mawr's neighborhood; I suspect Haverford would provide no haven and Swarthmore would swat him away, too, so he'll need to go someplace in District 10, where they keep the livestock. Thus, the Beloit dilemma.

Maybe I'm being churlish about this; perhaps Beloiters should be grateful that Hesse doesn't really want to subject my alma mater with an irredeemable type like Kashuv. After all, the Yale of the Midwest needs to maintain its own smelly orthodoxies and a guy who actually likes guns might scare the other matriculants. Hesse is concerned, though -- something has to be done, you see:
What does it look like to make amends? How do we decide what’s redeemable, for example, and then how does a person actually become redeemed? What kind of roles does our society allow for them, and when?

When I read Baker’s essay, I didn’t know what to do with the bad men. I didn’t know where they should go, or what the right societal reentry would be. I didn’t want to talk about the bad men at all, but eventually we’ll need to.
The Baker in question is Katie Baker, whose essay concerns what to do with men who run afoul of #MeToo. No one has suggested Kashuv has a sexual issue, other than obviously being too in love with guns so he must be compensating for something, I guess.

Ultimately, we're back to the same cultural turf where we encountered the Covington Catholic kids, who were bad by definition, even though those doing the defining, including Hesse's employer, were wrong. Nicholas Sandmann is suing Monica Hesse's employer. Kyle Kashuv won't be, most likely. But I have two questions -- first, why on earth would Kyle Kashuv want "societal reentry" in the world Monica Hesse inhabits? And second, who made Hesse and her ilk the arbiters of such things?

5 comments:

W.B. Picklesworth said...

If this is culture war what they're doing makes sense. Doing a little creative destruction to the university system would make sense too. A touch of that metaphorical "ultra-violence." Like taxing endorsements, for example.

Unknown said...

I think the elite schools have done enough lately to bring that eliteness into question.

R.A. Crankbait said...

You know, you say "safety check" and I think "Safety Dance", and then I think I'll pick a couple lines from the song that fit the Left's protest philosophy. And then I realize that the whole song does that. The piper will be delivering a pretty large bill.

S-s-s-s A-a-a-a F-f-f-f E-e-e-e T-t-t-t Y-y-y-y
Safe, dance!
We can dance if we want to.
We can leave your friends behind.
Cause' your friends don't dance,
and if they don't dance, well they're
no friends of mine.
I say, we can go where we want to.
A place where they will never find.
And we can act like we come from out of this world!
Leave the real one far behind.
We can dance.
We can dance if we want to.
We can leave your friends behind.
Cause' your friends don't dance,
and if they don't dance, well they're
no friends of mine.
Say, we can go where we want to.
A place where they will never find.
And we can act like we come from out of this world.
Leave the real one far behind.
We can dance.
Dance!
We can go when we want to.
Night is young and so am I.
And we can dress real neat
from our hands to our feet
and surprise 'em with a victory cry.
Say, we can act if we want to.
If we don't nobody will.
And you can act real rude,
and totally removed and I can act like an imbecile.
I say, we can dance.
We can dance.
Everything's under control.
We can dance.
We can dance.
We're doin' it from pole to pole.
We can dance.
We can dance.
Everybody look at your hands.
We can dance.
We can dance.
Everybody's takin' the chance.
Safety Dance.
Oh well the Safety Dance.
Yes, Safety Dance.
S-s-s-s A-a-a-a F-f-f-f E-e-e-e T-t-t-t Y-y-y-y
Safe, dance.
We can dance if we want to.
We've got all your life, and mine.
As long as we abuse it,
Never gonna lose it.
Everything will work out right.
I say, We can dance if we want to.
We can leave your friends behind.
Cause' your friends don't dance,
and if they don't dance, so they're
no friends of mine.
I say, we can dance.
We can dance.
Everything's under control.
We can dance.
We can dance.
We're doin' it from pole to pole.
We can dance.
We can dance.
Everybody look at your hands.
We can dance.
We can dance.
Everybody's takin' the chance.
Oh well the Safety Dance.
Oh yes the Safety Dance.
Oh well the Safety Dance.
Oh well the Safety Dance.
Oh yes the Safety Dance.
Oh well Safety Dance. (yeah)
Let's Safety Dance.
It's the Safety Dance.
Well it's the Safety Dance.
Well It's the Safety Dance.
Well It's the Safety Dance.
Well it's the Safety Dance!

Mark said...

Well played, Crankbait! If you want to sum up the state of higher education these days, you could hardly do worse than this:

Say, we can act if we want to.
If we don't nobody will.
And you can act real rude,
and totally removed and I can act like an imbecile.


R.A. Crankbait said...

Never going to lose it, as long as we abuse it.

But they're no friends of mine.