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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Gauche

Our chief administrator just rubs me the wrong way, folks. He sends out these long and confusing missives that are impossible to decipher and make no sense at all.

Take the most recent example of his poor command of the English language. It looks like today the verdict might come in in the case of a black man killed by a white cop in St Louis. This isn’t like the Michael Brown murder because here the victim was armed, he was fleeing the police, and he had firearm convictions before. I’m not offering an opinion on the case, though, because I haven’t been following it. 

What bugs me is that the top administrator in question sends out an email to faculty members saying that in view of the verdict coming in soon, he urges us to “recommit to treating everybody we meet with courtesy.” There is no explanation whom we didn’t treat with courtesy in his opinion and how the courtesy habits of a bunch of professors are to prevent cop killings in St Louis. He has no idea how to lead or what to say, so he copy pastes some silly admin stock phrase without even trying to make sure it relates to the actual events he’s trying to respond to.

In the meantime, there are reports from our black students who have been finding racist notes taped to their dorm doors. Does he have anything to say about that? Is there an investigation? Is he promising to punish the fuckers who did this? No, he keeps mum on the subject. 

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3 thoughts on “Gauche

  1. It sounds like he’s trying to comment on the racist notes without actually mentioning them.

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  2. Authority figures are, essentially, all the same. They rely on and embrace the ethos of duplicity, illusory, and sophistry to “make their point”. Or at least to “validate” any point they wish to make.

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  3. Shakti on said:

    It’s bureaucratese. He’s concerned with order on the campus, not root causes of disorder. Acknowledging any of this would require taking some kind of political position, which is verboten and would excite far more comment. He doesn’t want people angrily declaiming about his support or lack thereof, of BLM or free speech or whatever bogeyman stalks the pages of the Chronicle. So he leans on “courtesy” because the campus is midwestern and near southern. People with manners can’t be racist, can they?

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