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Even Against Trump: Lefties in University Unable to Distinguish Friend from Foe

Fiddytree

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Over the past week, I saw something interesting happen. The Chronicle of Higher Education supplied a reading list examining the Trump phenomenon from a multidisciplinary lens. One could discern that this would not be a "course" (given the talent pool of contributors, one hopes that this would be a real seminar someday) that would provide a defense of Trump, due to not only the reading list, but also the scholars involved in the project. I noticed notable conservative scholars, those engaged with conservative history or ideas, those in defense of American democratic socialism, and those who have focused on minority and power minority issues (gender, race, and so on).

Certainly the number of conservatives in the group is large, considering the largely left-wing make-up of the academy, but that's not what makes this contribution interesting.

They released a 12 week syllabus containing selections from Plato, Thucydides, the Federalist Papers, Richard Hofstadter, Hanna Arendt, Carl Schmitt, Theodor Adorno, Sinclair Lewis, Jeffrey Bell and Michael Kazin, among many others. It was a pretty respectable collection of works from within the Western tradition and modern Western writers. By all means incomplete, but this reading list was nothing to snarl at.

One could see that this was going to be a pretty hard class for an ardent Trump supporter to feel comfortable in.

See here: Trump Syllabus - The Chronicle of Higher Education


At least I thought so. Until yesterday. A letter to the editor from five scholars throughout the country, spoke of the "highly objectionable" Syllabus and demanded that the Chronicle Review "make immediate revisions" to the reading list.

The "offensive" content found within this article, apparently is the sin of omission.
Rather than merely suggest that the syllabus was solid, but incomplete in diversity, the offended parties felt that they had to emphasize how oppressive a reading list was (no matter how much it underscored much of what the Left fears about Trump).

The syllabus fails to include the works of scholars of color, thereby perpetuating the message that the only works worth reading in American political history are those written by white scholars. In a syllabus that promises to offer "insights from history, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, and beyond," the authors have excluded seminal works in all of these fields written by scholars of color. It also centers the scholarship of (white) men and overlooks any work produced by LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups in the United States. The lack of diverse voices on this syllabus is not only inappropriate but also highly offensive. As the historian N.D.B. Connolly explains in the comments section, "this syllabus offers a disgraceful example of white methodological myopia." Regardless of The Chronicle Review’s intent, the syllabus reinforces the same racist, sexist, and xenophobic messages articulated by Trump and many of his supporters.

‘Trump Syllabus’ Is as White as the Man Himself - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Scholars should apparently not hesitate to bash Trump incessantly, but failing to incorporate all the means by which Trump is an evil presence in Western life is in itself a reinforcement of "the same racist, sexist, and xenophobic messages articulated by Trump and many of his supporters."

Point blank: the reading list was deemed "an artifact of racism itself."

The Chronicle, rather than suggesting that the aggrieved parties exaggerated their case, instead bowed to them and groveled for forgiveness.

Editor’s Note: We apologize for the absence of works by scholars of color and other marginalized groups. We recognize that these omissions are offensive. Responsibility rests solely with The Chronicle, not the scholars who offered suggestions for the syllabus. We have and will continue to cover issues of race, and we’d like to hear from you. Please write to us at editor@chronicle.com.

‘Trump Syllabus’ Is as White as the Man Himself - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Trump Syllabus - The Chronicle of Higher Education
 
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Captain Adverse

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I just think it's funny anyone feels the need to create an educational syllabus about Donald Trump. :roll:

I intend to vote for him, and even I don't think he is that important a character in American history or society. :coffeepap:
 
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Fiddytree

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I just think it's funny anyone feels the need to create an educational syllabus about Donald Trump. :roll:

I intend to vote for him, and even I don't think he is that important a character in American history or society. :coffeepap:

It wasn't so much as Trump himself as it was using him as the example. It is the underpinnings of democratic populism, demagoguery, and nativism and how it can explain how those like Trump (and his forebearers) come into existence and what consequences come from that.
 

Beaudreaux

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