Undergrad Drivel

The following is an article published in the Binghamton University newspaper, The Pipe Dream, followed by my response. A glimpse into the mind-numbed world of woke, entitled snot-nosed brats pretending to know something.

As a predominantly white institution, BU has a responsibility to enforce strong consequences for racism on campus

By DORIS TURKEL – APRIL 15, 2021

During the second week of my sociology class this semester, our professor Joshua Price brought to the class’s attention a racial incident that had occurred in a discussion section. A student had said a string of slurs while referring to a teaching assistant (TA), who is a woman of color. My initial reaction was how horribly ironic it was that in a class devoted to the unpacking of patterns of oppression, a student would say such a disgusting and racially charged statement. I also wondered what consequences the student would face. Unfortunately, it is unknown whether the student has faced any consequences besides dropping the course.

Instead of briefly addressing the incident and moving on, Price, the TA and Gladys Jiménez-Muñoz — an associate professor and undergraduate director in the sociology department — contextualized the incident by discussing the racist history of Binghamton, the power of words and the discrimination that Black students and teachers face in predominantly white institutions (PWIs). Price shared that he was in the process of reaching out to resources on campus to seek guidance for further disciplinary action.

Price made it clear that racial harassment is not tolerated in class, and other professors should take note. The 2021 Binghamton University student handbook states that “the Binghamton University community does not condone the use of insensitive, discriminatory or other disrespectful comments.” On February 27, a B-Line News Addition following the incident emphasized that racist incidents will not be tolerated at BU, condemning racism as “antithetical to our core values.” However, when overtly racist incidents occur with no known consequence, racism is passively being tolerated. Subsequently, the University’s words become hollow.

I am embarrassed to admit that before our discussion in class, I was not fully aware of Binghamton’s racially charged history. From 1923 to 1924, Binghamton served as the state headquarters for the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Because of pushback from the high immigrant population in New York City, the KKK traveled upstate for recruitment. At the time, Binghamton was the perfect place, having very few foreign-born residents and a highly conservative population. The KKK attained a headquarters space at the intersection of Wall and Henry Street — less than five miles from where BU’s campus now stands — but left Binghamton a year later because of conflict with the national organization over the space. Binghamton’s racist and conservative history should put extra pressure on the University to open up communication about the city’s past, which should be acknowledged and reflected on with students.

BU is a PWI, with a student body that, as of 2019, is 55 percent white and 4.75 percent Black or African American, according to Data USA. Prior to the 1950s, Black students were almost exclusively educated in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). In the past few years, PWIs have begun conducting research into their history with slavery, finding that profits from slavery and related industries funded several prestigious colleges in the Northeast, including Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown, Princeton and Yale, and that students and teachers on campus were even served by slaves. The Princeton & Slavery Project found that there were slave auctions held on the Princeton University campus. Because BU is a newer school, it does not have such an intimate history with slavery, but it still has a racist history. The Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science is named after a publicly known Nazi sympathizer who Adolf Hitler honored in 1937, and the University has not made any effort to change the name. Additionally, Black staff and students at BU have repeatedly reported and endured racial harassment and discrimination on campus. BU’s ignorance sends a message that’s loud and clear — responding to racism is not a priority.

An open letter to Harvey Stenger on June 12, 2020 signed by over 200 faculty members, students and alumni stated that “67 percent of Black males, 57 percent of Black females, followed by 25 percent of Native American females reported that they have experienced some form of discrimination, harassment or incivility” on campus. The creation of the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship and refunding of the Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowship, although positive, failed to address the issues that permeated the Black student body on campus. The staff and faculty expressed frustration with the lack of action and responsibility, writing “we remain gravely concerned, because these measures do nothing to address the pervasive racist climate on campus that has been on the rise and that students, faculty and staff have spent years telling you about.” Stenger’s inaction has also been a source of disappointment in the past, as he walked out of a meeting in March 2015 during which Students for Change questioned him about how he planned to respond to racism on campus, and racist pictures and slurs found on a campus whiteboard in 2017 were followed by an email where Stenger promised to react “forcefully” but no significant change was made.

How can students of color feel safe and comfortable at BU when there are no serious consequences for racial harassment and there has been no effort to educate students about the history of Binghamton and PWIs? Minority students do not get an equal educational or social experience to white students because they have to deal with the pressure and emotional trauma of racism. A majority of Black students report feeling alienated and discriminated against in PWIs. A phrase in the code of conduct condemning racism is not enough — BU’s empty words do nothing to protect minority students.

There have been some steps in the right direction, though, including a proposal by the Student Association (SA) Congress for a required race and diversity education program at student orientation. Hopefully, this course will distinguish itself from the performative actions of the University so far and thoroughly address the history of PWIs and racism in Binghamton. Additionally, it is crucial that BU publishes guidelines mandating and describing concrete consequences for racist acts so that when an incident occurs, the University and the perpetrator can be held accountable. BU should also make an effort to hire more diverse faculty members, as College Factual reports BU faculty as 71.7 percent white and only 3.6 percent Black or African American. The open letter to Stenger called for the resumption of a cluster hire initiative for professors of color that the University halted. Furthermore, counselors of color could provide extra support and guidance to students of color. The University of Maryland, for example, has a drop-in hour during which students of color can meet with counselors of color.

For now, BU’s overused statements of intolerance are just a formality. It is traumatic enough to be subjected to an act of racially charged hate speech, but to have the perpetrator face no clear serious consequence is painful for the victim and is not constructive for the perpetrator. Without any consequences, the student is just as likely to do the same thing again, because they have not learned from nor been impacted by their actions. As an institute of higher education, BU has the responsibility and the power to shape the minds and actions of students, affecting how they view and treat other people. When the University does not respond to racist incidents vehemently, it disempowers the victims and sends the message that acts of racism are of lesser importance. It is imperative that BU works to remedy the performative nature of its activism, and students reflect on their individual biases and the impact of their actions. As an institution where Black students have historically been excluded and are a minority, BU must respond to racism earnestly and productively.

My response:

It is amusing to me how many young white women have seemingly found their cause celebre by defining, defending and describing racism on behalf of others of another race.  It is insulting to hear these mostly privileged white girls, (like yourself), drone on about oppression as if they themselves or you have experienced it.  The je ne sais quoi of such assumptive drivel smacks of virtue signaling thinly veiled as actually caring.  The insincerity of such nonsense is not lost on those folks who have actually suffered under such oppression.  Settling for an iced latte creamy milk blended espresso from Dunkin Donuts because the Starbuck’s is closed for diversity training is not a hardship akin to the racism you pretend to understand.

The fact that a single student was alleged to have uttered racial slurs in class is hardly a call-to-action for accusations of campus-wide racism.  You seem to be someone just looking for an excuse to be outraged.  Linking KKK activity to this region from almost 100-years ago and comparing the founder of IBM as a Nazi sympathizer is a tired old trick of applying the moral high ground of 2021 progressive philosophy to the acts of our ancestors, as if that is intellectually honest.  This form of comparative morality is patently unfair and proves nothing, other than your own explicit bias.

The author unwittingly exposes her prejudice when she conflates racists with conservatives in the following sentence:  “Binghamton’s racist and conservative history should put extra pressure on the University to open up communication about the city’s past, which should be acknowledged and reflected on with students.”

I would gently remind this young un-declared under-graduate snowflake that the party of racism, Jim Crow, lynchings, slavery, segregation, the KKK and all of the resistance to attempts at achieving racial equality has come in every historical instance from the Democrat Party not from Republicans or conservatives.

If you’re going to twist history by overlaying your modern principles on judging the goodness of those actions, have the intellectual consistency to accept that the liberalism of which you are so proud and so woke with your enlightenment is the same liberalism that historically fought against the equality of the races every step of the way.

Hopefully, as your collegiate career progresses, you’ll have the good fortune to encounter a professor or two that is still interested in teaching you how to think instead of convincing you of what to think.  Questioning all of your assumptions is a healthy exercise and if you’re truly interested in learning and growing, that is exactly what you have to do.  I wish you well.




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Open Letter to MLB, Delta and Coca-Cola

Major League Baseball, (MLB), decided to cancel the 2021 All-Star game that was scheduled to be played this July in Atlanta.  Here is a portion of the official statement from the MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.

“Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views. I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.  Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”

This latest example of the “cancel culture” at work is a response to the Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, for the audacity he has demonstrated by drafting voting regulations that insure the integrity of the electoral system.  As a punishment for this, MLB, along with Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines, both headquartered in Atlanta, have expressed their disapproval by making public statements condemning the changes in the Georgia voting rules.  The financial impact to Atlanta from the All-Star game and the MLB draft cancellation is estimated to be approximately $100 million.

Maintaining and insuring the integrity and accuracy of our voting processes throughout America is a fundamental requirement if we are to keep the United States the United States.  If we lose credibility and it becomes clear that rules are not being followed and those not eligible to vote can indeed vote, then the country is gone because the full faith and credit of a rightfully elected slate of candidates that become leader’s, are now undermined by fraud, deception and lack of accountability.

Commissioner Manfred, manage your leagues.  No one elected you to office and your opinion about political machinations that occur lawfully and legally throughout the country are outside your purview and pay-scale.  Play ball and shut up.  There isn’t a ballpark in America where you can go to the Will Call window for tickets and not show a photo ID in order to do so yet somehow, voting rules should be less robust than getting tickets to a game?  You can’t control your players on the field so why would you look to you for any kind of leadership off the field.  You are paid an exorbitant sum of money to manage a kid’s game.  Do that sir and please, just shut up.

As for the two morons who run Delta and Coke, please continue to run your filthy flying buses from one city to another and keep making that brown sugar-water that rots teeth and contributes so nicely to the national epidemic of obesity, you two guys are the epitome of self-important jerks.

We go to sporting events to find respite from politics and from blowhards like you.  All three of you, sit down, shut up and leave us alone.

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Re-Imagining Sanity

Ithaca, NY resident Richard Rivera sits on a committee called “Re-imagining Public Safety” which is responsible for suggesting reforms to the Ithaca police department.  Mandated by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, all 500 police agencies throughout NY were tasked with holding public meetings in order to gather input about how best to operate.  The participants in the Ithaca initiative chose to basically disband the police department and replace it with a hybrid group of armed and unarmed de-escalation people that would replace the traditional way of policing.

56 year-old Richard Rivera is alive and healthy.  He has a girl friend, a nice job working for a non-profit in Ithaca, NY and he also sits on the committee called Re-imagining Public Safety.

Robert Walsh is dead.

Walsh was a decorated, 12-year veteran police officer in New York City.  He had four children and a wife in 1981 when he was murdered, execution-style by Rivera in a Queens, New York bar robbery gone bad.

Walsh had just finished his 3-11 tour of duty and was having a beer after work at the BVD Bar and Grille on Flushing Avenue when Rivera and several others entered the bar, guns drawn in the commencement of a robbery.  As Walsh moved to thwart the men, Rivera shot him in the shoulder.  The impact disarmed Walsh and put him on the floor writhing in pain and begging for his life.  Rivera put the barrel of his gun to Walsh’s head and executed him on the bar room floor.

Rivera served 39-years in prison for murdering Robert Walsh.  Rivera is alive and healthy.  He has a girlfriend, a nice job working for a non-profit in Ithaca, NY and he also sits on the committee called Re-imagining Public Safety.

Robert Walsh is still dead.  He was a father of four.  They all grew up without their father.  This is what one daughter had to say some 30 plus years later about her dad:

“Today is my Dad’s Birthday. What memories I have of you are never lost. If I try real hard I can still hear what your voice sounds like. I always think of how better my life would have been if I was lucky enough to still have you in it. I think of what kind of relationship we would have had. I know you have watched over Ella in her times of need. Thank you Daddy! I hope you always watch me and my family and keep us in your embrace. I will talk with you soon. Love you.”

Rivera is alive and healthy.  He has a girlfriend, a nice job working for a non-profit in Ithaca, NY and he also sits on the committee called Re-imagining Public Safety.

This is what the New York City Police Commissioner had to say about this tragedy in 1981.  ”It’s ironic that a cop can get a death sentence for being a cop,” Commissioner Devine added, ”but there are no death penalties for people who kill cops.”

Robert Walsh is still dead.  By now he has a host of grand-children whose births he will miss, concerts never hear and graduations not attended.  A family of children that he will never know, not influence, love or fawn over because he is gone, only a memory.

Rivera is alive and healthy.  He has a girlfriend, a nice job working for a non-profit in Ithaca, NY and he also sits on the committee called Re-imagining Public Safety.

The City of Ithaca, NY is Re-imagining Public Safety with input from a convicted cop-killer.  This is my version of re-imagined public safety.  I believe that the public would be much safer if Mr. Rivera were dead and Officer Walsh was very much alive as a retired NYPD police officer, perhaps living in retirement in Ithaca, NY and being a member of the Re-imagining Public Safety Committee, with all of the knowledge and experience he would have brought to that endeavor.  But unfortunately that is not the world in which we live. 

The stark reality is that Rivera is alive and healthy.  He has a girlfriend, a nice job working for a non-profit in Ithaca, NY and he also sits on the committee called Re-imagining Public Safety.

Those in Ithaca that support this, defend it, even celebrate it ought to be recognized for the vile, twisted human-beings they are but instead Ithaca, 10-square miles of insanity surrounded by reality, will forever more be the crack in their famous gorges that apparently allowed satan to escape to the Earth’s surface, in the form of those who believe that this is a good idea.

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