Draptoresponsia Case Study #8: Faux Pas and Fables

Patient #0008

Clinician was referred patient by a liaison to Racialicious, whose notes were documented while observing the patient feverishly muttering to himself in his natural habitat.
When the University agrees that its curriculum needs to change to address “the growing diversity of our campus” or any other imaginary concern of its students, it opens itself up to politically motivated efforts like ethnic studies. Tragically, worthwhile academic subjects like Egyptology have also been subsumed into the larger effort of emphasizing diversity and ascribing significance to the insignificant, as demonstrated by Professor Christopher P. Jones’s comments that “Egypt is a major African civilization,” and that “it is very important that Africa should be a part of what everyone thinks about the modern world.”

Egypt is a worthwhile subject not because it is an African civilization, but because it represents an incredibly sophisticated and important ancient civilization that happens to be African—let alone the fact that the Egyptians pharaohs, with the exception of 75 years of Nubian rule, were about as “African” as Ian Smith. Harvard should have an Egyptology department, or at least devote some of its resources to the study of a civilization which has had such profound influence on the world. It need not offer a course on African civilizations if there is none worthy of study. The progressive priorities of Harvard’s curriculum usually do not coincide, however, with the promotion of meaningful areas of study.
The patient exhibits draptoresponsic symptoms of arrogantly dismissive racism ("'the growing diversity of our campus' or any other imaginary concern of its students") and confident ignorance - he clearly is unfamiliar with the actual history of Egypt ("let alone the fact that the Egyptians pharaohs, with the exception of 75 years of Nubian rule, were about as 'African' as Ian Smith").  This glaring ignorance, however, doesn't stop the patient from uttering blatant fallacies ("[Harvard] need not offer a course on African civilizations if there is none worthy of study" - client neglects to mention Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Kush, Great Zimbabwe, Kanem-Bornu, Dahomey, etc.; he does not know them and has made no effort to know them).
Ethnic studies is a good example of an academic subject entirely driven by a leftist political agenda. While it is not absurd to suggest that there are some worthwhile topics that fall under the heading of “ethnic studies,” the area is certainly not important enough to merit a secondary field....  Americans of color have undoubtedly done some things of note, but their “encounters” and “experiences” are not of paramount importance to a university education. The ethnic studies movement is motivated by an attempt to direct more attention to a topic that deserves no more attention than it already gets, and probably a good deal less. Other similarly useless departments, like Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality serve similar purposes....

Curricula ought to be naturally conservative rather than progressive. The necessary elements of an educated man’s curriculum have not changed much over two thousand years of Western education.... It is quite difficult for academia to justify an attempt to free the sciences from a “Eurocentric” perspective, given that, with rare exceptions like the Abbasid Caliphate, little scientific and mathematical thought of consequence has occurred outside the Western world.
The patient continues presenting arrogant tendencies resembling the personal fable; in his mind Western education should be all about the West because everything and everyone else is irrelevant.  Patient also exhibits the draptoresponsic tendency to rewrite history to maintain his fable ("little scientific and mathematical thought of consequence has occurred outside the Western world").  Even though his particular corner of West isn't his and owes its touted "developed status" to the toil of non-whites, the patient mindlessly disregards this history as it tarnishes his staunch belief in white Western accomplishment, perfection, and superiority ("Americans of color have undoubtedly done some things of note, but their 'encounters' and 'experiences' are not of paramount importance to a university education").  In doing so, he confirms the first tenet in Jensen's Theory of White Fears.

Client also exhibits strong sexist leanings with his disregard to the necessity of in-depth studies of women.  As one clinician pointed out on Racialicious, "...considering that women are half the world’s population and sexuality is what keeps the human race going, how could the study of those be 'useless'?"
But additions like the ethnic studies secondary field are pushing Harvard in exactly the wrong direction—away from the unfortunate but somewhat harmless leveling of academic disciplines, and toward the promotion of newer and more progressive fields and the demotion of traditional, Eurocentric areas that have formed the basis of education for centuries. This is partly the consequence of listening to students....  Paying attention to the desires and putative needs of twenty-year-olds is of course a dangerous game, and unlikely to produce a rigorous or useful curriculum.

Harvard’s curriculum in fact has more to fear from the influence of those who want to politicize it than those who want to professionalize it....  The problem is that studying literature is not better than studying accounting if one is allowed, or even encouraged, to allot as much time to Latin American writers as to Latin ones. The standard work of ethics for nearly two millennia was Cicero’s De Officiis. The world has not changed enough in the past hundred years to justify its replacement with whatever pablum Michael Sandel wants to feed PBS viewers.

Curricula should be essentially conservative and permanent. The essential elements of an education have stayed steady enough over time that allowing students or faculty to determine that there is now a need for a study of ethnic Americans, or, as they apparently did sixty years ago, that there was no longer a need for a study of Egyptians.
The patient is careful not to disclose the race, ethnicities, genders, or even quote the arguments of the students he refers to.  He is threatened by the challenge to Eurocentricism's academic monopoly and protective of his ignorance; he does not believe academia should evolve or incorporate multiple world perspectives.  The irony of patient's statement is that, when branded a racist and a bigot, he will likely invoke the First Amendment and criticize his critics for not appreciating diversity of thought and opinion.  This tendency to self-contradict is prominent in draptoresponsics, as self-deception consistently leads to confused and irrational thinking.

Suggest Treatment for Patient #0008?

Copious amounts of ridicule, followed by strictly maintained ostracism.

* Clinician's Note: Two more documented case studies and Jensen's Theory of White Fears becomes Jensen's Law.

Comments

  1. Did he really... postulate that shit on an academic website and try to make it sound like he's some authority on the subject? Absolutely shameless.

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  2. Lo and behold, darlin', white privilege doth maketh the man bold....

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  3. Excellent post! It is now my Facebook status!

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  4. "while observing the patient feverishly muttering to himself in his natural habitat"

    ooh, so funny.

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  5. @ Julia

    *blush* I try.

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  6. I laughed far more than I should have at this! A++++

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  7. I aim to amuse as well as educate.

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