You Will Be Made to Conform

It has already been widely noted that Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Alejandro Villanueva has apologized for “making his teammates look bad” by his act of standing by himself on the sidelines for the national anthem. His jersey has become the most popular NFL item sold online this week, even as NFL viewership on TV continues to slump. (I think the real reason viewership is slumping is that people are catching on that the Super Bowl was fixed in favor of the Patriots. . . Cue Infowars in three, two. . .) I can only imagine what kind of pressure coach Mike Tomlin (who hosted a fundraiser for Hillary last year) put on Villanueva. I still think he should ask to be traded to the Cowboys.

Much more distressing is the news that Portland State University Prof. Bruce Gilley, who article “The Case for Colonialism” was featured here a couple weeks ago, has been forced to yield to the braying mob of political correctness and is retracting his article. Looks like the academic Maoists got to him.

“Occam’s Razor,” the pseudonym of a Cornell graduate student (it is telling that a grad student needs to write under a pseudonym, no?), has a full account of this sorry spectacle over at Legal Insurrection:

Gilley himself was called a “white supremacist,” with calls to fire him, even going so far as calling for Gilley’s Ph.D. from Princeton to be revoked.

The piece in question appeared as a “Viewpoint” article, suggesting it was making unorthodox claims inviting a discussion or debate on its content. This, however, proved too much for the self-styled high priests of the academic discourse on colonialism (which in the current academy includes an enormous portion of the humanities). Astoundingly, calls to quash the blasphemous piece were made in the name of protecting those ‘marginalized’ in the academy from apparent closet white supremacists. The censors pretend not to realize that they rule. . .

[F]ifteen members of the editorial board [of the journal Third World Quarterly] resigned. In a public resignation letter  posted on Facebook (also here) by Vijay Prashad (a Marxist historian at Trinity College in Connecticut). The letter began by stating “deep[] disappoint[ment] in “the unacceptable process” surrounding the publication of the essay. . .

As for the piece itself, the signatories write:

We all subscribe to the principle of freedom of speech and the value of provocation in order to generate critical debate. However, this cannot be done by means of a piece that fails to meet academic standards of rigour and balance by ignoring all manner of violence, exploitation and harm perpetrated in the name of colonialism (and imperialism) and that causes offence and hurt and thereby clearly violates that very principle of free speech. (emphases added)

First of all, I’d say getting 15 members of the editorial board to resign from what is likely another tendentious academic journal is great work for Gilley, and I’m sorry he has felt compelled to apologize in the most abject fashion:

The College Fix claims that “Several academics are trying to blacklist Gilley from publishing further articles and threatening to destroy academic journals that consider his submissions”, implying that this is the reason that Gilley backed down. . .

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