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Even-tempered yet cogent analyses such as this are very much needed now. This politically driven practice is destroying higher education and free thinking.

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Feb 8·edited Feb 8Liked by Amna Khalid

I'm delighted to see historians tackle these complex issues with nuance and knowledge. This really is a time when history is most under attack, and most needed. Thank you, both. I am also concerned that CRT in the hands of K12 classroom practitioners might be more a product of DEI, Inc, as you put it, than an offshoot of its law school origins, and that it's unwittingly playing into the hands of those who would suppress academic freedom, and wondered if this is something you have tackled, or will.

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Feb 8Liked by Amna Khalid

Thank you for this piece that sums up today’s sad reality

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I feel one should actually ask that student what actual harm was done to her. She doesn’t feel welcome? Or a part of the college? Did she not read the syllabus? Why even go to a non-Muslim majority school? I went to a huge university and believe me, I didn’t feel welcome. That’s not why I went there. I went there to become educated. Professors in my subject knew me, but I certainly would not have expected validation from them. That’s not their job nor is validation the purpose of education. I lived not far from from Hamline in Minnesota years ago. I taught ESL to adult refugees mostly from Somalia and Russia. During Ramadan, a number of fellow teachers wanted to shut down the coffee break we had each morning, so our Muslim students wouldn’t feel left out. Thankfully administration saw otherwise.

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My wife and I, both atheists, decided to send our son to an all day catholic kindergarten. This was because we both worked at the post office and needed the day care. They asked what our religion was and we told them we were atheist and they were delighted. They wanted to be inclusive. Another way of saying “expand the market.” They didn’t require non Catholics to attend daily mass and we didn’t demand they take down the crucifix. We both had needs and made concessions. Everything worked out and our son went there for first grade. After that we sent him public schools. After all we are atheists. Although we were both raised catholic. I don’t think there needs to be a conflict between academic freedom and d,e,i ( small letter ). The problem is d,e,i becomes DEI, Inc and then the problems begin.

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Intention matters. Words and deeds that intend to mock, demean or attack various religions are all around us. The lecturee at Hamline was definitely NOT among these. End of the story.

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I had a reasonably good education (top 15 prep school, undergraduate majors of Latin and Greek, and JD/MBA from top 10 schools). During that time, I never felt uncomfortable because I was exposed to new ideas. Instead, I was challenged and made to feel uncomfortable in two circumstances. One was when I didn’t learn the material assigned (like the names and dates in history or vocabulary, declensions and conjugations in Latin and Greek). The second was when I did not express myself clearly in the written or spoken word. Those are the only circumstances when students should feel uncomfortable.

A fundamental problem is that we are teaching children that they should feel offended. Hamline did not reward this undergraduate because she learned something useful about this painting, which is the point of the class she was taking. Hamline rewarded her because she was offended by a 700 year old painting. Taking offense is one path to fame, glory and influence. Much easier path than exhaustively learning facts or how to argue rationally and persuasively. We need to stop rewarding students when they are offended. Part of that is getting rid of the whole trigger warning nonsense. If this painting is worth learning about, then everyone in the class should learn about it.

I am a Christian and do not like the fact that the federal government funds artists like Mapplethorpe. I have advocated against it. I’ve seen some some of his work, don’t like it and would not pay money to go to a museum exhibit featuring him. But, if I was interested in learning about photography as an art form or in how to become a better art photographer, then I would not get upset seeing his photographs during an art photography class. In fact, it’s more likely that I would conclude the teacher is incompetent for not including his work than that I would be offended by seeing it.

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deletedFeb 9·edited Feb 9
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