How Identity Politics Is Changing Universities

Authored by William Anderson via The Mises Institute,

Ours is a politicized age from the college campus to the corporate boardroom, a situation in which things that once were personal now are utterly political.

The hard left now controls not only higher education, but also much of scientific research upon which the future of humanity as we know it depends. What began in 1969 as the establishment of a single course in Women’s Studies at Cornell University and similar courses elsewhere in what then were called Black Studies has metastasized into a monster that almost completely dominates higher education in the United States and Canada. Today, it is rare to find a college or university that does not have majors and programs in Identity Studies.

This long march of feminists and racialists from near-obscurity to absolute-dominance is compared to the rise of Snopes family created by author William Faulkner in his 1940 novel, The Hamlet. In Faulkner’s book, the Snopeses move into the Mississippi community of Frenchman’s Bend and slowly take over nearly all aspects of life. Even though the locals seem to understand what is taking place, they are seemingly helpless because they heard the rumor that people that made a Snopes unhappy would have their barns burned to the ground.

In campus politics, the activists did not threaten to burn only the barns but rather the entire college campus. Anyone in higher education that might allegedly say or write something that offends someone in a politically-protected group is likely to be the focus of the infamous Twitter Mob, and even a distinguished career and something as prestigious as a Nobel Prize offers no cover, as Tim Hunt found out.

For that matter, truth itself is no defense, as we found out in the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case.

All that matters is identity politics, and the Duke case demonstrates just how powerful – and destructive – such politics have become.

In March 2006 at Duke University, a black stripper falsely claimed that three members of the Duke men’s lacrosse team beat and raped her at a team party where she performed, and the Duke campus exploded in anger as the story spread throughout the country, dominating newscasts and the Internet. Shortly after the accusations surfaced, 88 Duke faculty members signed an advertisement in the Duke Chronicle, a student newspaper, condemning the lacrosse players and thanking demonstrators for not waiting to see if the charges were credible.

Some signatories, such as historian William Chafe (who publicly likened the alleged incident to the infamous 1955 murder of Emmett Till), were well-noted academically. However, most signees came from the humanities programs such as Women’s Studies and African-American Studies and had sparse publication resumes and certainly nothing to compare with the publications records of Duke faculty members in the sciences and fields such as economics. For example, Wahneema Lubiano, who still teaches literature and African-American Studies at Duke, has almost no publications, but has listed two forthcoming books for more than a decade. A faculty member with that kind of record in the sciences or the business disciplines long before would have been dismissed for lack of academic productivity, but Lubiano received tenure and promotion at one of the nation’s most elite universities.


This is beyond ironic.

First, the rape charges clearly were false, but Duke University officials, journalists, and many others – including the local District Attorney, Michael Nifong, who brought the rape charges – refused even to consider the players’ innocence.

Second, even though most of the signatories of the Chronicleadvertisement were far less academically proficient than the rest of the Duke faculty, they dominated the campus discourse and cowed other more-accomplished faculty members into silence.

Far from finding themselves academically discredited, many of the signers went on to promotions, being hired at Ivy League universities such as Cornell, Vanderbilt, and to strategic administrative positions at Duke.

Instead of weakening the thoroughly-politicized areas of academic study such as Women’s Studies and African-American Studies, creating a witch-hunt atmosphere seems to have strengthened the status and position of those faculty members. Since then, faculty in the Identity Studies disciplines seem to have even more power not only at Duke, but on campuses across the country.

Instead of being subordinate to disciplines such as the sciences, the Identity Studies dominate campus discourse and their advocates now force scientists and mathematicians to bow down to racialism and feminism. Professors that do not stoop quickly or those that resist often are pushed out of their jobs or are marginalized. The feminist uprising that threw Lawrence Summers out of Harvard’s presidency, along with the outcry responsible for the ouster of Nobel Prize-winning scientist Tim Hunt from his university position in Great Britain for remarks that he made as a luncheon speaker, speaks to the influence and power feminism has at the modern university.

In fact, ideologies of identity now are being embedded into actual scientific study itself, a phenomenon embodied by a recent academic paper in the science journal Progress in Human Geography, entitled “Glaciers, gender, and science: A feminist glaciology framework for environmental change research.” The last sentence of the paper’s abstract declares:

Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions. 

The sentence is laughable on its face, but the politicization of academic study is real. Faulkner’s Snopes family consisted of dull, mediocre but dogged people who strategically-placed themselves in locations in which they gained control over others. The academic Snopeses have done the same, putting themselves not only in important governing and administrative positions on campus, but also in government regulatory jobs such as the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education. While many people in traditional academic pursuits sought to publish and expand knowledge in their fields, those in the Identity Studies sought to expand their own political power by threatening anyone who opposed them, accusing dissenters with accusations of racism, sexism, and homophobia.

Even traditional feminists cannot escape the campus witch-hunts that ramped-up enforcement of Title IX of the 1972 Higher Education Act has created. Highly-accomplished Northwestern University film professor Laura Kipnis in 2015 found herself being investigated by her employer for alleged Title IX violations because of an essay she published in The Chronicle of Higher Education entitled “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe.” Kipnis, it would seem, had the necessary credentials of a feminist, but that did not matter to the new campus Snopeses. (Northwestern did rule in her favor, but only after Kipnis fought back. She then published another essay, this one on her “inquisition,” and recently publishing a book, Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus,about her experiences.)

The present situation is close to being a crisis, if not already one. Faculty members on many campuses are being forced to sign “diversity statements,” which are little more than disguised loyalty oaths, which should be anathema in higher education. Universities are demanding conformity that is reminiscent of the Lysenkoismthat infected universities and the scientific community of the U.S.S.R. for decades, and with disastrous results.

In the end, residents of Frenchman’s Bend were resigned to living under the thumb of the Snopes family.

Higher education is heading toward the same fate, but the results will be much more tragic than they were for a tiny hamlet in the imaginary Yoknapatawpha County.



MoreSun 1 Alabama Sun, 05/27/2018 - 20:02 Permalink

While the jew supremacists are actively criminalizing all free speech in all western countries including the U.S.A.

They are begging for more war funds to carry out their never ending blood lusts against everything goyim !

Israel: Jews Demand “Better” Military Aid Deal from US Taxpayers Despite $38 Billion Gift !…



If you, your family, & your friends are serious about putting a stop to the jew supremacist stranglehold on the world then make sure you:

VOTE "PATRICK LITTLE" U.S. Senator June 5th in California !!

In reply to by 1 Alabama

LetThemEatRand Leakanthrophy Sun, 05/27/2018 - 18:48 Permalink

You can trace some of this back to groups such as the ADL who advocated for criminalizing what they termed "hate speech," but I see no evidence that the movement is controlled by Jewish interests.  If anything, trying to blame the Jews for this mess plays into the hands of those who are behind it because the argument by definition focuses all of the attention on one religious group as the "culprit."   For example, Hillary Clinton used identity politics as a large component of her bid to become President.   There is also the fact that once you "blame the Jews" for a given problem, you've instantly polarized many into thinking that you must be anti Jewish if you are to be against it.  It's a lazy argument and just ends up turning the conversation away from the real problem.

In reply to by Leakanthrophy

Arctic Frost Escrava Isaura Sun, 05/27/2018 - 22:13 Permalink


You people are no different than the people described in this article. You want us to ignore common sense, ignore facts and ignore intelligence and scream, IT’S ALL THE JEWS FAULT! Let’s take away the people’s freedom, let’s take away the people’s right to speech, let’s replace it with everything WE think and punish anyone who doesn’t agree with us. What IS interesting though is AS USUAL, you don’t direct any comments towards the article which is an indication that you lack intelligence. You just babble in anti-Jewish vague accusations that can be applied to any and every situation and mean nothing. You think you’re so clever when in fact all you did was post early in the thread. Oh boy, aren’t you impressive.

Basically put, you are what you say you hate. You’re just the pathetic no power version. The more you whine and cry in here the more you convince people how inane you are and no one needs to give you any consideration. So keep it up, idiots.  

In reply to by Escrava Isaura

Escrava Isaura Arctic Frost Sun, 05/27/2018 - 23:20 Permalink

Identity politics is not a left exclusive product; right applies identity politics all the time.

In my view both left and right lost touch with reality and what is moral. Actually, both made society even more unethical.

However, the left is an academic creation that can be easily discredited. On the right is much harder because involves illusions that become facts as in conspiracies, false flags, and symbolic idols such as Kabbalah’s geometric forms.

And finally, I don't hate anything. In fact, by blogging, i learned to be less emotional. I don't even get mad like I used too.

My main concern is to learn about the facts and not create it, then connect what I learned, then shared it.




In reply to by Arctic Frost

any_mouse SnottyBubbles Sun, 05/27/2018 - 18:54 Permalink

Already is bankrupt.

The World is beginning to stop taking USA markers as payment.

Debt exceeds Revenue. Interest payments alone exceed revenues. Definition of Bankrupt.

The Global Force for the Petrodollar can only push so far. The ships and planes run on debt.

USA Sanction strategy pushes significant nations away from the Petrodollar. Forging new alliances based on alternatives.

USA is getting in the way of the World with constant warfare and punitive sanctions.

The Belt Road Initiative is building a new way.

In reply to by SnottyBubbles

techpriest SnottyBubbles Sun, 05/27/2018 - 19:03 Permalink

You trolling? Our demographics include an aging population that is in debt and has no retirement savings, so who has the piles of cash laying around to pay the current debt and interest, let alone the new deficit spending and pension obligations?

Further, is the ongoing shift from a unipolar world to a multipolar world going to permit the same dollar hegemony we have enjoyed for the last few decades?

Ah, I know, you are relying on 30-somethings like myself to save hard into a 401(k), so that there is a nice multi-trillion pile of cash to rob when the entirely predictable demographic crisis rolls in. It isn't prophecy so much as simple math.


Edited to add: "Hard at first, but it is for the best" means that non-productive expenses are going to be purged, aka the paychecks of identitarian professors, along with that neighbor who works for Halliburton, Raytheon, etc. When they riot it will suck. But once the dead wood is finally cleared out (professors get a job digging ditches, and their pensions are all gone), the country will be in a better fiscal position.

Kinda like when someone went $1M into debt to flip houses on the eve of the housing crisis, and after learning from their idiocy, they declare bankruptcy, sell off the goods, give up notions of fast living, and start over.

In reply to by SnottyBubbles

Cigar Smoker HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Sun, 05/27/2018 - 21:34 Permalink

HRH, believe it or not a Stanford professor is changing the name to "maths", I guess afraid to go all the way to "maffs".

Boaler, a professor at the Graduate School of Education, sees math altogether differently — as a subject of beauty and creativity in which any student can thrive. Indeed, her Britishness only partly explains why she prefers “maths.” The plural, she says, is more apt for mathematics’ depth and variety. “Math” strikes her as narrow and constricted. “Maths is so much more than that,” she says. ¹


In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

MonsterSchmuck Sun, 05/27/2018 - 18:37 Permalink

Wrong way round- universities created identity politics and it’s a joy watching the chickens come home to roost. 

FU Columbia, Harvard and rest of Ivy League!

MusicIsYou Sun, 05/27/2018 - 18:42 Permalink

Universities are a place where people without God given intelligence find a purpose. That's why universities are a den of rats, snakes, and crap agendas and conspiracies.

eyeslevel Sun, 05/27/2018 - 18:44 Permalink

All politics is identity politics. I identify with my team. You identify with your team. All politics is my team vs. your team.

All politics is divisive. Followers of the Religion of Political Correctness want to divide everyone between believers and heretics. I want to divide everyone between pro-white and anti-white.

eyeslevel Sun, 05/27/2018 - 18:44 Permalink

The more racial diversity you get the more racial politics you’re going to get. It’s not a choice, it’s an inevitability.

In 1965, America was 90% white. The people who deliberately set out to make America non-white are the ones responsible for racial politics, not the ones who opposed that genocidal program.