Thought of the Day: The Enemy of My Enemy Is a Facist
 
The enemy of my enemy is not my friend. They are a facist. Case in point, universities and their nemisis: the right.

The neoliberalization of the university that has sought to crush academic labor over the last four to five decades - as critiques of its white supremacy, colonialism, and patriarchal nepotism began to take hold - has made the university and its bureaucrats my (and many others') enemy.

But that does not make the right my friend. I still (probably very naively) believe in free, accessible, and open education. People like Jordan Peterson and Lindsay Shephard are, like the neoliberal university, the enemies of that project.

They are not free speech heroes targeted by the neoliberal university for disciplining and silencing because of their race, gender, sexuality, and (dis)abilties, like so many who attempt to occupy spaces at universities or just live in the world are. They are white nationalists who would like to see anyone and any teachings that even touch on or reflect the perspectives of people who are not normatively gendered, straight, white people removed from the university and curriculum and, following that, implicitly, removed from the existence.

For these reasons, I just can't with those liberals and leftists who identify with people like Shephard, viewing her as a victim of an overreaching and micromanaging university. Yes, that is a reality many face daily in the university, but that is not what happened in Shepard's case: 

1) She is a TA who is obligated to follow the course direction of the professor who she works for. She has no free speech or academic freedom in that context, especially to teach bigotry that a) run contrary to the course and b) do not stand up to any kind of academic rigor or usefulness

2) As an employee at an Ontario university, her teaching is governed by Ontario human rights law, which means that the university has an obligation to intervene when students are subjected to bigoted discourses in the classroom. This is actually something that should happen more, not less. But of course instead the university is caving to organized white nationalist backlash and has apologized to Shephard.

3) Shephard is gaining extraordinary cultural (if not actual economic) capital and support from within and without for standing her ground as a white supremacist bigot. She is not being marginalized or forced out, she has not lost her job. In fact, these supports and pressures extracted an apology from the as yet untenured, faculty member of color running the course as well as from the university itself.

4) Where are all the people worried about the censure of the faculty member, who not only has had his course hijacked by an ignorant white supremacist who is alienating his students and teaching content that likely runs contrary to his course materials? Who then, on top of all of this, was likely (whether implicitly or explicitly) forced to apologize for attempting to hold this white supremacist renegade TA accountable for her poor pedagogy and seemingly stunning lack of familiarity with basic concepts in the field? What about the students subjected to this poor, ignorant, and bigoted pedagogy?

This is not a situation where a marginalized and vulnerable figure has been quashed by the Goliath university. This is an orchestrated white nationalist stunt that has hijacked the university - and the course of a specific faculty member who teaches feminism, queer, postcolonial, and critical race theories - with the goal of recentering white supremacy as hetero/gender normativity.

The enemy of my neoliberal enemy is not a friend, they are a fucking fascist.

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