Butler Trump Class

Discussion in 'Non Sports' started by Overland Bark, May 3, 2017.

  1. #60

    #60 Active Member

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    I understood your inference in your initial cautionary "snowflake" post, FUK.

    I've had to explain this older, pre-Fight Club usage quite a bit lately. I'm not implying that a word's usage can't or shouldn't change--just that the usage in this case isn't novel. My father, born in Mississippi in the 1930s, tipped me off to that usage--a reference to "uppity negroes"--when I was a boy. And I heard its usage as such while growing up in the 70s & 80s. So it's been around for a while. In the 1984 movie, A Soldier's Story (it was also a play), the word is used in just this way. The film's reference was intended for an educated Black lawyer in the U.S. Army during WW2 (it appears just after the 37-minute mark). There were earlier uses of the word; one in the 1800s that referred to anti-abolitionists. But by the turn of the century, the word was pretty much a way to single out aspirational Blacks.

    "Snowflake," & its synonym "snowball," go quite a ways back. According to the Dictionary of Americanisms (1848), a definition in usage describes the word "snowball as 'a jeering appellation for a negro.'"

    Parenthetically, there's a dispute vis-á-vis "snowflake" as a word for Jewish ashes during the Holocaust. I can understand that the word might be used that way, but some say that Germans didn't employ the word "snowflake" as such. Nonetheless, "snowflake's" usage in America precedes this particular WW2 reference.

    [Sorry for the interlude. I'll step out so that the discussion about this particular class may continue.]
     
  2. Eric

    Eric Well-Known Member

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    From Merriam-Webster:

    "The available evidence suggests that this particular use of snowflake never moved much beyond the borders of Missouri or the era."





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  3. #60

    #60 Active Member

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    I may be wrong, but I think that M-W reference is to the pre-Civil War anti-abolitionist movement in Missouri, in which Whites that were pro-slavery were called "snowflakes." All the references I've encountered state that this particular usage was regional & short lived.

    "Snowflake/snowball" had other connotations prior to, during & after antebellum. Geographically speaking, I can assure you that I've heard this slang in Indiana, Illinois & Mississippi--not Missouri. While on a visit to Mississippi as a boy, I didn't understand the usage. It was summer time. I couldn't grasp why the man would talk about snowflakes during that heat & humidity. My cousins filled me on the spot & in at that moment; then, later, my dad explained the usage more comprehensively. Maybe that man's reaction was due to my not having a drawl & using "proper" English while addressing the shop's owner. I don't know--& I guess it really doesn't matter. The only germane point is the word's usage, the time (late 60s) & the location.
     
  4. halftime_floor_sweeper

    halftime_floor_sweeper Well-Known Member

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    "In Missouri in the 1860s, a “snowflake” was a person who was against the abolition of slavery, according to Merriam-Webster."

    Clearly this a different connotation. It is however interesting this isn't the first time Republicans have used the same term to disparage a largely Democrat grouping.
     
  5. Mark Shelvin

    Mark Shelvin Well-Known Member

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    Are you familiar with the history of US politics? Either you aren't, or this statement is incredibly sloppy.
     
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  6. pjohnsto2003

    pjohnsto2003 Well-Known Member

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    Just like how Denzel Washington kept referring to Andre Braugher in the movie "Glory".

    Wow - let's shut this post down.


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  7. Red1972

    Red1972 Well-Known Member

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    Put this post to bed! This is a basketball message board.
     
  8. bumba

    bumba Well-Known Member

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    Then... maybe... don't take the class? I don't read a lot of the websites my wife does but it doesn't mean I'm going to get pissy and cancel our internet. It just means our tastes are different.
     
  9. I like turtles

    I like turtles Active Member

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    This is the last thing I will say on this topic as either I am not making a clear point or some of you are completely ignoring what I have said:

    1. It being an elective class is wholly immaterial. Students who enroll in that class don't directly/solely pay for the class's costs - everyone does. It's inconceivable to me why people keep pointing to the elective nature of the class as some sort factor in its appropriateness. The fact that its not mandatory means absolutely nothing.

    2. If you are fine with the class, you must also be fine with a class called "Clinton 101: How Hillary Clinton's entrenched special interests, morally dubious ties to wall street, overconfident election strategy and well known history of hypocrisy caused her to lose the election and how we can insure that political elites continue to lose power." Of course, any sane, unbiased adult would react to that class description and say "the election ended 7 months ago. it is entirely too early and too complex of an issue to make such a blanket, immutable conclusion. Certainly some of the reasons for her defeat could be what you listed. However, this topic is still in its infancy and requires continued academic debate. A class with this combative, narrow-minded description shouldn't be offered at any institution that takes open political discourse seriously."

    3. If you are ok with trump class and not the equally moronic Hillary example above, then you are a hypocrite.

    4. All snowflakes are, theoretically, unique and "special" in their fractal design. Thus why snowflake is used as a derogatory term against people who are self-absorbed or practice identity politics. This crap about slavery and the holocaust is laughable and a lazy interpretation of a equally lazy term.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  10. pjohnsto2003

    pjohnsto2003 Well-Known Member

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  11. Hinkle

    Hinkle Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a fascinating thing to study; could make for an interesting college special topics class.

    Also, I know zero people in my left leaning circles who would be so upset about this hypothetical course they'd lose their minds and threaten to pull donations... because they're not so f*cking sensitive they can't accept the realities of (and find interest in learning about) their preferred candidate's failings. (Obviously that doesn't mean they wouldn't still believe the cartoon in office isn't vastly more flawed as leader of the free world.)





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    Last edited: May 7, 2017
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  12. halftime_floor_sweeper

    halftime_floor_sweeper Well-Known Member

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    Oh no, of course not.
     
  13. mizebl

    mizebl Active Member

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    In my mind this was an unforced error by the university that should not have happened. It is clear that Butler nor most reasonably minded individuals, did not think the course description was befitting of the organization/institution and by walking it back, it appears there is a lack of proper control/oversight withinin curriculum. Either way, not good PR for the college.
     
  14. mizebl

    mizebl Active Member

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    I think the issue is you step over the line once the candidate becomes president and you are espousing phrases like "open resistance". Based on that, I don't necessarily think this was a "right" or "left" issue for the university more than it was below the principles of higher education by offering a course that appears to be agenda based. Best to not wade into that pond....
     
  15. Hinkle

    Hinkle Well-Known Member

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    Good argument, helpful addition.
     
  16. Hinkle

    Hinkle Well-Known Member

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    That's fair. I'm skeptical the response would've been any different if you remove that phrase. But you could be right.


    I want to add one last thing. I strongly believe you can be ardently anti-Trump without being anti-conservative. A) I don't think Trump is anything close to a true conservative (there are some ways in which he's farther left than any real conservative could even stomach). B) Of course there are terrific, intellectually coherent reasons to be a conservative (as an aside, I still think Jon Huntsman would've been an outstanding president and that's the type of center right person the American right used to put forward - can't even sniff a primary win now). But It's much more difficult (and I'd argue impossible) to come up with intellectually coherent reasons to think Donald Trump is or will be a effective president and do what he can to further the interests of all Americans.

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    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  17. Albick

    Albick Well-Known Member

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    The old saying in Hollywood was that "any publicity is good publicity," but in this case, I don't think it holds true. Butler's national media attention (see, e.g., http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/bu...-trump-resistance-class/ar-BBAOCXG?li=BBnb7Kz) may raise its name recognition, but I hardly think that it raises the stature of the school in the eyes of many (even Trump haters) and certainly raises questions about the judgment of its administrators and faculty among some. An even-handed review of Trump and his policies would be appropriate. Unfortunately, apparently no one thinks that will be the case or even the intent of this course notwithstanding the lipstick put on the pig by the cosmetic course description changes. As for the "academic freedom" line that the school used in defending the course, that is just a smokescreen for timid administrators to hide behind. Academic freedom doesn't mean that you have to allow a professor to create and teach any class of any description that she wants to teach. If that were the case, are they saying that they would have allowed a similarly biased anti-Obama course when he became president? Of course they wouldn't, nor should they have.

    Any publicity is good publicity? Not in this case. Just as many people thought RFRA was "bad publicity" for Indiana, in my view, this course, and the inept handling of it and its aftermath by administrators, create nothing but a black eye for Butler. The administration has done a lot of good things as relates to the basketball program, but in this case, IMHO, they really stepped in it, and I don't think even Trip can bail them out of this PR mess.

    Too bad we're not in the middle of basketball season so the Dawgs could put a different, more positive image in people's minds about Butler.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  18. halftime_floor_sweeper

    halftime_floor_sweeper Well-Known Member

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    I would argue it's intellectually impossible to come up with a coherent rationalization where ANYONE can, will, or should be judged based on whether they further the "interests" of ALL Americans. Now remind us who came right out of the gate stating "elections have consequences".
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  19. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

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    I think that the topic of Trump and his rise are wholly academically legitimate, and the course description change was made to reflect that. As has been mentioned, there is probably little reason to believe those changes have actually been made.
    My biggest problem with this course is that it in no way prepares students to be critical thinkers, ready to make a positive professional or societal contribution. So, how does this fit the school's educational mission?
    Finally, the responsible counter to the Trump class is not having a SEPARATE right leaning class, it's presenting counter arguments in the SAME class. Cover the rise of Trump, but also the rise of populism. Call it Contemporary Political Movements. Now you have a relevant, fascinating course that is wholly legitimate.
    This isn't difficult, and the university deserves all criticism they receive, because the execution was nothing short of moronic.


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    Last edited: May 8, 2017
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  20. jal8908

    jal8908 Active Member VIP Member

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    Agree 100% with everything you just said, but especially the bolded. Aside from the "strategies for resistance" line, this was where I took issue with the course. College is about teaching students HOW to think, not WHAT to think. Based on the original description it sounded like the "correct" answer had already been decided and there was no room for intellectual discourse.
     
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