Sticks and Stones

SticksAndStonesby Deana Chadwell11/16/15
Whoa. The door has swung open and now we can see what’s really in there. Oh my goodness. We see actual grown people, whom we assume to be somewhat intelligent because they’re college students, but they may not be entirely human because homo sapiens are supposed to be rational creatures who grasp things like cause and effect, fiction and reality, right and wrong. I see, however, very little logic happening – lots of mania and misery, but very little thinking.

In fact, I’m even having trouble figuring out what their problem is. One kid says he’s against white privilege, but his family, which is all black, is solidly part of that famous and much maligned 1%. So if a black man can earn millions of dollars a year in Middle America, what’s his son so mad about? What privilege can he possibly gain from disrupting a major college campus?

Students at Yale and at Ithaca College say they need “safe rooms” where they can hide from words they don’t want to hear. There’s no way to even think about that; my nonsense siren keeps going off like the sound effects in Harrison Bergeron. It’s true that the students at UCC in Oregon could have used a safe room, so could the Parisian revelers last Friday, but none of them would have had time to get to it. Those were bullets flying at them, not just words.

Words actually are the problem, though. You see, we don’t have any anymore. The students in Ithaca, NY, are worried about “covert and overt racism” on campus. The word “racism” by itself has lost almost all meaning, being hurled constantly at conservatives despite the Republican civil rights record, but then to compound the felony by adding “covert?” Oh my.

What, on God’s green earth (can I say that?) is “covert racism?” Nothing observable or measurable comes to mind, so how do we know there is any?  Is it just looking at someone the wrong way? Would the recipient of this politically incorrect evil eye have to be a person of color in order for the r-word to apply? And what does it take to be a “person of color?” It seems that people like Ben Carson, or Marco Rubio, or Ted Cruz don’t qualify in spite of being black and/or Hispanic and conservative– and yet these people got through life at American universities apparently unscathed, and they had no access to safe rooms.

As far as I can tell very little systemic, racial unfairness is going on in American colleges. If I remember properly, Affirmative Action was supposed to correct any racial discrepancies. At Smith – one of the colleges hosting demonstrations this month – 87% of its black students graduate – that’s a graduation rate 4% higher than its white students. Ivy League schools appear to be enrolling record numbers of blacks, but the number of black males is dropping. Is that “covert racism?” or sexism or evidence that young black males can make more money selling drugs than they can being lawyers?

And what is “micro-aggression?” What can that possibly mean? A raised eyebrow? A snicker? An eye-roll? An opposing point of view? Seems like it could be almost anything, which is convenient if what you want to do is pitch a public fit.

The situation is ridiculous and made even more so by the fact that anyone anywhere is taking these kids seriously. Though maybe we should – there’s some obvious mental derangement problems on our campuses.

If students of color were entering these colleges and then disappearing, jumping out of dorm windows, or being kicked out disproportionately then investigations and fit-throwing is reasonable – but some kid used some language some other kid didn’t like, some feelings were hurt and the reputations of important people have been ruined and what was once a fine university comes off looking like a mismanaged zoo. Is anything of substance going on in these institutions? Is anyone learning any thing real about history? Anything about ethics?  Anything about the rules of logic? What are these kids getting for their money? Neuroses?

Yes, neuroses is another way to say liberal, progressive indoctrination, which produces people with no clear boundaries about anything. No sexual boundaries. No linguistic boundaries – just a twisted view of taboo language. No awareness that one’s feelings are not the only, or even the best measure of anything. They appear to have no idea that reality is real; that’s what they learn for sixty thousand dollars a year. I guess that would make me mad, too.

We have coddled several generations into thinking that – in a misunderstanding of Copernicus – the world revolves around them. That there is only one world and 7 billion individuals is not a reality that breaks through their personal cosmology. They are dead sure that all that happens in this life must be designed and arranged to please them and make life comfortable for them and for anyone else who also hates the status quo. You see, the status quo – law, morality, the Constitution, the Bible, the American work ethic, the traditional family – all these, because they not only provide, but demand, are the enemy.

Therefore, there’s room in their boat, leaky as it is, for all the outrages of Islam, of socialism and communism and they’ve been trained to blithely repeat the old saw that we must be “willing to break a few eggs.” In my outdated understanding of numbers, 200 million is a tad more than a “few,” but why quibble – facts are fungible on American campuses.

There’s also room in this floundering boat for hatred of those who fund the educations these folks are so unhappy with. No one is more despised than the 1% who so generously contribute to the endowment funds that make scholarships and private grants possible. These same rich people, through their tax dollars, also make government largess possible. But it is somehow politically required that college students hate these successful people. I find this confusing because I had always thought that one went to college to join the ranks of the elite and powerful. It must be so confusing to be a student today.

The colleges themselves have caused this and are now reaping the whirlwind. You know, if you don’t take in nutrition for a few weeks your body starts to digest itself. That’s what we’re seeing happen on these campuses; students have not been fed anything intellectually nutritious for decades and now they are digesting their own schools, and their own chances for meaningful careers.

Time was we trained our children to ignore rude speech – “Sticks and stones may break my bones/But words will never hurt me.” That’s not entirely true, but it helped us raise tough, resilient kids. Now, however, we’re dealing with a generation that has no idea that society is a matter of both give and take, and this lack of understanding has put them and everything around them at terrible risk. The door has swung open and now we’re seeing what utter nonsense is going on in these places we used to call schools.

Deana Chadwell blogs at and is a writing and speech professor at Pacific Bible College in Southern Oregon.
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Deana Chadwell

About Deana Chadwell

I have spent my life teaching young people how to read and write and appreciate the wonder of words. I have worked with high school students and currently teach writing at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. I have spent more than forty years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics and that finds its way into my writing whether I'm blogging about my experiences or my opinions. I have two and a half moldering novels, stacks of essays, hundreds of poems, some which have won state and national prizes. All that writing -- and more keeps popping up -- needs a home with a big plate glass window; it needs air; it needs a conversation. I am also an artist who works with cloth, yarn, beads, gourds, polymer clay, paint, and photography. And I make soap.
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14 Responses to Sticks and Stones

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    The proper response is to start shutting down these schools. Those funded by their states could easily be defunded. It might be fun to get the overwhelming majority of students who didn’t join the lunatic protests, and give them the opportunity to vent their spleen on the lunatics who protested over effectively nothing, and the lunatics who were too weak to stand up to them. With luck, the former would get rid of the lunatics and thereby reduce the local population of vermin.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    What are these kids getting for their money? Neuroses?

    A splendid essay, Deana. And I put this in the category of “Better you than me.” Granted, we’re all going to have to deal with these emotional fascists as they leave the university and join…more than likely…government. Or worse, the human resources department of your business. But I try not to think about them too often. It hurts the brain.

    These people are mental, moral, and emotional basket cases. There is no “safe room” from life. And I can’t imagine that the university system can survive as it is. Please tell me that the market will correct this…via online academies or whatever. This shows you how insane and stupid the parents are…blowing sixty grand on this kind of indoctrination…actually paying your kids to become stupid…but with a nice piece of paper at the end.

    Love your New Copernican Theory. So true.

    The colleges themselves have caused this and are now reaping the whirlwind. You know, if you don’t take in nutrition for a few weeks your body starts to digest itself. That’s what we’re seeing happen on these campuses; students have not been fed anything intellectually nutritious for decades and now they are digesting their own schools, and their own chances for meaningful careers.

    That’s a truly excellent point and great analogy.

    • This is why I’m so involved in Pacific Bible College. We’re small, but growing and dedicated to providing students with an actual, meaningful, useful education and to equipping our students to withstand the liberal crapshoot they’ll find in a secular 4-year college. Little schools like this are popping up all over the country offering both local and on-line classes. It will get better. How do I know that? Because it can’t get worse.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I hope you’re right, but never say it can’t get worse. It always can. Just imagine following 8 years of the Crimson King with 4 years of the Fire Witch — and allow her to replace a couple of conservative Supreme Court justices. So much for the Bill of Rights then.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I’m convinced that one of the purposes of the intense emotionalism and self-righteous vapors you so often get from the Left is because that’s all they know. You or me can cite the Constitution, American history, logic (remember what that is?), or common sense to make a case. We may not always be right (always new things to learn, some old things to unlearn) but we don’t rely on emotional intimidation. We don’t need to.

        But that seems to be the one and only thing learned by many. They have no other arrows in their quiver. Many are thus left, as you said, digesting the institutions — all the good stuff that holds everything up.

  3. David Ray says:

    Any here know which colleges don’t receive tax-payer funding?
    (I know about Hillsdale. I also know Perry likes giving illegals “in state” tuition.)

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I suspect Bob Jones doesn’t get any either, for much the same reason as Hillsdale (being uncooperative with obsessive government racialists). Note that we’re talking even about government grants and loans to students as well as any money directly going to the colleges.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Stepping back and taking the long view, imagine that there is a Creator who fashioned us and everything that is (as scientific evidence gives more and more credence to) for whatever purpose. Imagine also that we are spirits in the material world (not to be confused with the same song by The Police).

    That is, we have a material body (with all the limitations and afflictions that go with that) and a non-material self. We should thus note what “Utopia” really is all about. It’s about transcending our earthly or material limitations. We see this in the attitude of those indoctrinated in Leftism. They expect everything to be provided to them. They are not in any meaningful way attached to the reality of the world.

    So, I would say, look at what happens to human beings when they become untethered from the material world and all the practical realities we must made accommodations for. You would suppose this would let the spirit soar to new heights. But this sort of earthly materialism/atheism of unfettered dreams tends to make little monsters of people.

    So imagine there is a God, that there is a spirit realm. Well, mankind is not yet fit to exist in that realm. If you take off the limitations of the physical world, many become little monsters. They want this, that, and the other thing, and they want it now. They exist in their dreams…a dream that quickly becomes a nightmare.

    So next time you stub your toe and lament, think perhaps of the wisdom of having limitations. Those who dream of Utopia are amongst the most spoiled, ugly, and violent people in existence. This, for example, is one of the inherent flaws of not only Leftism but Islam. Any ideology that hopes to achieve perfection is doomed to creating vast swaths of destruction. And we see this every time.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      And, as C. S. Lewis pointed out, those who wish to control you “for your own good” (which is an inherent characteristic of utopians) will never flag in their oppression because they just KNOW they’re doing right. This is what enables such people to believe like sociopaths — not because they have no conscience, but because they have created a bypass for it.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        All government is control to some extent. The question is how much, for what reason, and of what type. Libertarians have simple-mindedly reduced this complex equation to a fetishized word, “liberty.” The Left does the same with that word and adds “equality.”

        What I’m talking about is the simple-minded, even childish, populace for whom the label is required on the Superman suit that says: “Costume does not allow wearer to fly.”

        Instead of facing the reality that in a free society we don’t all agree, the infantilized mind of the Left wants “safe zones.” And that is a metaphor for their Utopia. Reality be danged. They want the visions inside their heads to be given precedence. And if it takes “safe zones,” eating the rich, or any number of other mean things to keep their vision alive, they will do so.

        They will bankrupt the country, they will flood us with illegal aliens who have no desire to assimilate, they will ignore law, they will demonize the good and decent, they will do anything and everything to realize their Grand Vision. And this vision can only exist inside their heads. The world will constantly be at odds with this vision so those on the Left will constantly be at odds with the world.

        I might add that this is a very traditional Catholic view: Man exists for a purpose. He will encounter many hardships, many of which are for the purpose of strengthening his character. Some hardships are unavoidable, even random, and go with the territory. There is the idea of carrying one’s own cross. Suffering can be redemptive even if it often seems gratuitous.

        None of this makes sense to the pseudo-Christians of the day for whom “social justice” is the watchword. To heck with suffering. We must all be cozy and comfy…and if we have to eat the rich and tear down the walls of every good idea and institution to do so, so be it.

      • Wow, Tim — “not because they have no conscience, but because they have created a bypass for it.” Great line! Hadn’t thought about it that way, but yes. Exactly.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Here is a short piece about a university president who is standing up to the brats in college. He calls out the selfishness of the poor little darlings in all its ignominy.

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