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University of Michigan cancels culture compared to Maoist China

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Charles Hill, National Review

Locals in the southeastern Lower Peninsula refer to the University of Michigan as the “Ann Arbor People’s Republic.” In the fall of 2021, Professor Brightshen showed the class that in Laurence Olivier’s 1965 film adaptation of Othello, an actor wore blackface. The university investigated and reinstated Shen permanently, but his ordeal was reminiscent of that of professors during the Cultural Revolution, which Shen experienced in Maoist China.

The incident involving Sheng is not an isolated incident, but part of a larger problem of cancellation culture within the university, where students attempt to get administrators to punish faculty by forming a cancellation mob. Universities don’t typically fire professors after a mob forms, but students are encouraged to use unprofessional methods to voice their grievances, some school staff told the National Review. Told.

“We are in the middle of a cultural revolution,” said Scott Lyons, an English professor. Within the University of Michigan, there is a “harmful ideology that seeks to push aside certain principles that enabled our university to be great in the first place, such as the principles of the Enlightenment, academic freedom, free speech, and collegiality.” there is.

According to Lyons, one of the main problems in this culture is that students are offended by what professors say or take.

“I would enjoy the conversation if it was dealt with consensually,” he said. If you call my name, I have to call my lawyer, so that’s a terrible way to go.”

One professor who has had such an experience is Dr. Christine Collier, who was scheduled to speak at the medical school’s July 24 white coat ceremony. Citing her pro-life views, Michigan students drafted a petition demanding that colleges ban Collier from speaking. She had no intention of speaking about abortion, but the students were skeptical that the university would “continue to advocate for reproductive rights,” given that she had chosen a speaker with such convictions.

However, the medical school’s dean, Dr. Marshall Runge, would not acquiesce to the mob’s demands and publicly stated that Collier would speak at the ceremony.

Although Runge refused to yield to the pressure of the students, the ceremony was not without controversy. As soon as Collier was introduced, many of the students left after receiving their coats.

Another member of the faculty feeling the fury of the Wrath Mob is psychology lecturer Eric Fretts. Although he expressed support for the university’s “fair goals”, he expressed concern with NR about the way the administration pursues them. I have included a disclaimer apologizing for the sex, but even this is causing him problems.

It says “born in the 1960s”. “The end of an era when all mothers stay at home, all textbooks show only male scientists, etc. You cannot escape youth. If I say something that annoys you or use an all-male example during a lecture, feel free to call me.”

Fretts said one student was offended by the sentence and brought it up to him, and he asked for her feedback to change it. Tell me what to say, I’m open to being corrected.” Unfortunately, he tells his NR: That was clearly not her goal. ”

After the meeting, she tried to incite anger in a class group chat.When other students were unaware of the problem, she took her case to the university’s Office of Institutional Investment (OIE). proceeded to investigate FLET’S.

A representative from the department requested a meeting with Fretts and told him there was a “complaint,” he told NR. Although Fretz’s attendance was entirely voluntary, he felt the process involved “implicit intimidation” and refusal to participate would have negative consequences, with officers implying.

At a meeting he called “strange,” a representative described student complaints about the problematic text. Fretts then shared aspects of her story, including conversations with students and information about her efforts in group chats. I told him that I should put a section in and encourage students to contact the OIE if they have any problems.

“I was appalled,” Fretts said. “I said, ‘I’m sorry, I put the phrase in my syllabus to tell students not to talk to me and report me to the university’s investigative department, which is responsible for investigating rapists and sexual abusers.’ Are you telling me to ask the

Other professors in many different fields have been targeted in similar ways.

See National Review for more information.

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