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Some Cornell profs cancel classes after Trump election win

Some Cornell profs cancel classes after Trump election win

Remember when colleges were concerned about emotional well-being of McCain and Romney supporters? Neither do I.

Election Day and the day after were mostly travel days for me, so I was not in Ithaca when news broke that Donald Trump was elected President of these United States of America.

What is living in Ithaca like? Here’s how I described the directions to my house just after Obama was elected in 2008:

To live in Ithaca is to live in a city alive with anti-Bush, anti-war protest.  I often joke that the directions to my house in Ithaca  read as follows:  Take a right at the fifth Obama sign, a left at the third “Impeach Bush” placard, bear right at the “Support Our Troops, End the War” poster, and we are the house just after the “There’s a Village in Texas Missing its Idiot” banner.

I was in Ithaca in 2008 when Obama defeated John McCain. Cornell students ran through the Collegetown section next to campus shouting, dancing and setting off fireworks.

Although it’s been a while, I don’t recall anyone expressing concern about the emotional well-being of McCain supporters. Ditto 2012, when Obama beat Romney.

My, my, how times have changed. All across the country some students are in total emotional meltdown that their candidate lost an election. Because that has never happened in the history of the Republic.

And administrators and professors are reacting with group therapy sessions and special accommodations to help ease the emotional burden.

Cornell University, where I teach at the law school, is no exception. According to the student daily newspaper, The Cornell Sun, Trump Wins; Cornellians Aghast at Shocking Upset:

As midnight approached and a series of swing states turned red, disproving countless polls and shocking the nation, Cornellians expressed horror that Donald Trump could actually become president.

“How the fuck is he winning? What the fuck?” said a student early on in the night, at an election-watching gathering in Flora Rose House, as Trump took the state of Ohio….

“We should’ve died in 2012 while we still had the chance,” added Mitch Laski ’17, echoing several students who said they fear a Trump presidency will be the end of equal rights for minorities and free speech in the United States.

Students reacted with shock after Donald Trump won several swing states to be elected president of the United States.

Shayra Kamal ’17 said she is genuinely concerned about her future in the United States.

“I’m looking into flights back to Bangladesh right now, so I can remove myself before Trump repatriates me,” she said. “Liberty and freedom are dead.” ….

“I feel as if many of my peers are in shock — at a time that is so critical to our identity development, this invalidates who we are,” said Dustin Liu ’19. “Many feel this as a personal attack, and I can only think of how we can support one another in the days moving forward.”

Apparently even professors who study politics didn’t see it coming, the Sun further notes:

Prof. Elizabeth Sanders, government, called the results of the election “stunning.”

“How could this happen?” she asked. “Clinton outspent him two to one, had a united party and abundant help from the president, first lady, vice president, her former opponent Bernie Sanders and scores of political and cultural celebrities, in addition to the best ground game money could buy.”

Students organized a “cry-in”:

Over 50 Cornellians gathered on Ho Plaza this afternoon for a cry in to “mourn” in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s shocking presidential victory.

Braving the cold, wind and occasional rain, Cornellians sat in a circle to share stories and console each other, organizers encouraging attendees to gather closer together and “include each other.”

Willard Straight Hall Resource Center employees gave out blankets, tissues and hot chocolate to keep participants warm, while students signed posters with words of encouragement and protest, including “Donald Trump is not my president.”

I think a lot of this emotional reaction is a product of a campus and academic culture where opinion is homogeneous and anti-Republican and anti-conservative. Republican and conservative students, by contrast, live in a politically hostile environment, and can’t afford to be so tender or they’d not be able to get out of bed in the morning.

I made this point when the Cornell Sun published Cornell Faculty Donations Flood Left, Filings Show:

Prof. William Jacobson, law, one of the 15 Republican donors, said that he found the statistics “completely predictable.”

“Academia in general leans heavily liberal, and that likely is compounded at Cornell because Ithaca itself is a progressive bubble, surrounded by reality, as the saying goes,” he said….

Jacobson said he believes this lack of diversity is actually most damaging to liberal students, who leave college without having to defend their views and enter a world where “Republicans control both houses of Congress and most state legislatures and governorships.”

“Such homogeneity in thought process at the professorial level is not conducive to intellectual rigor. That harms liberal students more than anyone, because they have a comfort zone of political acceptance which does not exist in a real world,” he said. “Over the years, I have observed that openly conservative students have to be better prepared for argument than their liberal counterparts and that process prepares them for life better than being intellectually coddled.”

A friend posted a screenshot of a local liberal’s Facebook post, indicating that at least one local just realized she lived in a bubble:


Rather than addressing the intellectual and emotional bubbles students live in, some professors have cancelled classes to allow students to adjust emotionally to the election result, Professors Cancel Class, Responding To ‘Shocking’ Election Results:

Responding to Donald Trump’s shocking presidential victory, several Cornell professors across departments cancelled class Wednesday, citing personal distress and concern for students’ emotional well-being.

Prof. Jane-Marie Law, Asian, Near Eastern and religious studies, said she cancelled her “Introduction to Japan and Religion” lecture, because she was “so upset and worried I would break down, thinking about how dangerous the move the American electorate — half of them — made last night is.” ….

Prof. Mukoma Wa Ngugi, English, also cancelled his second class of the day, “Africa in Hollywood,” after recognizing that students in his first class were clearly distracted by the election results.

“We tried to discuss the day’s assignment but after a few minutes it occurred to me that they were feeling what I was feeling as well, that a seismic shift had happened in U.S. domestic and international politics — an earthquake was happening and there was no use carrying on as if it was business as usual,” he said.

Maybe administrators and professors should consider getting rid of the intellectual and emotional bubbles they have created for students. Because reality happens.

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This is awesome, in a bad way. Bill, great job on this election, really enjoyed reviewing LI every day. Ding, dong, the witch is dead!!

“High above Cayuga’s waters,
There’s an awful smell.
Some say it’s Cayuga’s waters.
Some say it’s Cornell.”

legacyrepublican | November 10, 2016 at 10:18 am

The voices that would have calmed them with reason were silenced in the womb.

thalesofmiletus | November 10, 2016 at 10:20 am

The tears, oh, so delicious…

Cocooning in an echo-chamber is hazardous to one’s mental health.

Any echo-chamber. Reality always asserts itself.

    MattMusson in reply to Ragspierre. | November 10, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    They need to do what we did the last two elections –
    Eat your Shit Sandwich and move on.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Ragspierre. | November 10, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    That’s wonderfully rich coming from you, my friend.

      Anonamom in reply to stevewhitemd. | November 10, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Isn’t it just?

      Ragspierre in reply to stevewhitemd. | November 11, 2016 at 11:19 am

      See, that’s just false.

      Every week here, I show that I’m one of the most broadly read posters on these threads. I read a variety of blogs and articles every morning I’m not in court or have a similar commitment.

      I’ve even been slimed for readings from sources outside the “approved” bubble most here occupy.

      I also notably am NOT one of the PC (T-rumpian variety) idiots that are calling for ‘purging’ or otherwise cutting off conservative voices “not-for-T-rump”.

      I really like reality, which just galls the shit out of a lot of you who don’t.

        You were wrong about everything this election cycle, your analysis was poor and didn’t withstand reality. You still haven’t demonstrated the integrity to issue a mea culpa.

        But worse, you were toxic and insulting to everyone who disagreed with you – you made policy discussions personal and launched ad hom at anyone who had a different opinion. You really owe the readers here an apology for your behavior, but you aren’t even man enough to do that.

        You bullied people, got throat-punched in return, and now you play the victim.

        You boast about how the Prof is is your bud, yet you come to his house everyday and take a dump right in the middle of his living room floor. I can only guess that he tolerates you out of pity.

        Most of us would have shown you the door a long time ago. At the very least, you should apologize to the Prof for lowering his blog into to gutter. I

          Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | November 11, 2016 at 4:41 pm

          Your bizarre bullshit projections are hilarious!

          Trouble is, you are a lying, trolling lil’ sack of shit.

          And that’s pretty much all you do here these days. Which will shortly cease.

          Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | November 11, 2016 at 4:52 pm

          “You boast about how the Prof is is your bud…”

          This is a particularly egregious lie, you little troll.

          I’ve never made any such claim. Never WOULD make such a claim, and IF it were true, I’d never impose on it.

          What I have said is they your lies about me can be disproven via the intermediation of the Prof.

          Which, of course, you are such a lying lil’ sack of shit you won’t recognize or step up to.

          You just keep lying.

To answer Prof. Elizabeth Sanders’ question… not everything is for sale.

The children are still throwing their hissy fits in the streets. As a Vietnam vet, I remember the late 60’s and 70’s. Some things never change. They tried to shame me then and they are now trying to make me ashamed for being a white male. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. Eventually, they will go back into their momma’s basement and life will go on. S/F

“Prof. Mukoma Wa Ngugi, English…”
Embedded contradictions are the best!

“Braving the cold, wind and occasional rain…”
Such sacrifice!

NorthernNewYorker | November 10, 2016 at 11:00 am

I was there for the Reagan blowout of ’84, but there were no protests – only some drunken clown in the Donlon field at 1 AM shouting that we’d been collectively violated as a nation. IIRC, Tompkins County was one of the few in the state to go for Mondale. And classes went on the next day as usual. If they have been canceled this go-around, students should demand a refund. Hitting the bottom line should get the administration to act.

Sometimes I wonder if it would perhaps be a good thing if we had a few more natural disasters and economic collapses to weed out these fragile snowflakes and let the rest of us get back to living our lives unmolested by their idiocy…

Honestly, canceling classes is probably the better option.

The alternative is probably having a class where they rail and scream about how evil America is and so on…

Talk about a hostile environment.

Before heading off to school yesterday, our daughter said all her classmates on social media were urging everyone to dress in black as a show of mourning.

Having lost my little sister recently, I was angered almost to the point of tears, something that never happens to me.

At work downtown last night, our building was surrounded by thousands of protesters blocking the streets (they went on to block the 110 Freeway) shouting “Not my President,” as well as some slogans I couldn’t make out peering from the 7th floor window.

This morning my son said virtually all his teachers were in a state of shocked depression and very little classwork was done. He said one teacher spent the entire period telling the class about her reaction to the results and how she had cried for most of the night.

Now I see on Facebook a thread of old classmates saying they don’t recognize America anymore. One suggested the need to “infiltrate” and “educate” people who had voted for Trump.

Yes. The march through the institutions isn’t enough.

The beatings won’t only continue, they will intensify until morale and thinking improves.

Maybe just maybe self-awareness is not their forte.

Damn class diversitists. This is the first time a “Donald J Trump” has been elected president in America. It’s a historic occasion for diversity.

Dock their pay for the day of not working.

If you review the Red/Blue Map on election results, in all the states coming in “Red” there is/are still the “Blue” pockets which if you know the layout of the state, you can place a major named College/University or an area that benefits from government largesse. In states which have been traditional “Blue” and stayed blue, the pocket areas coming in “Red” are all outside of the “bubbles” such as described by Dr. J. of living in Ithaca. Keeping it contained in a 10 mile radius is a 24/7 effort as Cornell and is Ithaca College, a major employment center for those who reside in the land of reality.

I’d be more impressed if they canceled regular classes and had a mandatory class on the electoral college, followed by a symposium on the responsibility of adults.

    Old0311 in reply to Sanddog. | November 10, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    I’m not sure the snowflakes to stand up to a real education. Combine Trump’s election with the fact the liberal teacher who has been my neighbor for too long moved back to New England and I’m one happy sob.

I think progressive students at Cornell should all automatically earn a double major; their original major and one in Advanced Hyperbole.

I’ve said it many times, but seeing America and Americans through my Japanese wife’s foreign eyes is fascinating to me.

Like most Japanese women, she has always been almost totally apolitical.

The morning after Obama won in 2008, she returned home from taking our two youngest children to their elementary school. She walked in the front door bent over, laughing almost hysterically. She said many of the mothers at the school were crying with joy. One with tears streaming down her face hugged my wife and said, “Keiko, now there is hope in America!!”

When she was finally able to stop laughing and catch her breath, she asked me, “How did Americans become so creepy?”

“These are leftists, Honey. They are into melodrama.”

Fast forward to last night.

The day after my little sister passed away, my car was stolen, of course! So, since that horrible time my wife has had to drive downtown every night and pick me up after work around midnight.

By that time, the protesters surrounding our building had been largely dispersed, but many were still crowding the sidewalks around the area. I heard that a large faction had moved on to block the 110 Freeway.

My wife arrived and I got into the car. As we drove we passed hundreds of mostly white, college-aged, progressive wannabe radicals with their tediously daring tattoos and crazy-color dyed hair, etc., holding anti-Trump signs.

Looking at them, my wife observed and said,

“OMG. They’re creepy when they win, and they’re creepy when they lose.”

And that’s how an apolitical foreigner sees America’s leftists. With clear eyes.

They may say they’re protesting against Trump, but that’s obviously not the case as they wouldn’t be protesting if he’d lost the election.

And they surely can’t be protesting against acts taken by President Trump, as even they must realize he’s still just the president-elect.

Thus, they can only be protesting against the American electorate itself. If so, what is their solution, a do-over (and another and another, until The People finally get it right)?

I realize that emoting is in fashion and thinking is out, even (especially) on college campuses, but, have they thought this through?

Do they really want to chastise the American people for making the “wrong” choice and, if so, can they have any conception of the level of arrogance it must take to do that? If they’re so very sure of our wrongness, would they replace our messy, constitutional republic with a Plato’s Republic in which the professoriate would dictate the range of acceptable opinion, and just everything from music to the arts and (especially) education was tightly regulated?

Do they think?

Most protest spurred on by paid activists, some sincerely, but each protests being forcefed the evidence that they are not the center of the universe. They have encountered reality and reject it.

We laugh at our own peril. Their tears represent the passions of deeply held convictions. They voted their conscience just as much as any of us did. Their beliefs are not going away just because Trump won. They will do as we did when Obama was elected – redouble their efforts. They will be back in 4 years and we better plan for it. They will be better organized and more passionate. Electing Trump gave us a breathing spell, nothing more. Time will tell if we were smart enough to use it or if we listened to our own echo chambers.

“some professors have cancelled classes to allow students to adjust emotionally”

If they really wanted to help these kids, they would kick them off campus and refund their money. Cornell is ripping them off.

One of Wisconsin’s great Governors, who I had the pleasure of meeting, Lee Dreyfus, coined the phrase “Madison is 30 square miles surrounded by reality” in 1978 during his first governatorial campaign.

Campaigning in his trademark red vest, he became a Republican in 1978 and won the election on the issue of returning a large surplus to the overburdened taxpayers. “Let the people decide” was his slogan. He believed that the federal government should be limited to three things, “defending our shores, delivering our mail and staying the hell out of our lives.”

His first term as governor ended in 1982 in the midst of a recession with the state in debt by a billion dollars and the unemployment rate at 12%. I remember that well because It took me 10 months to find a full-time job back then. Dreyfus politely refused an invitation to run for a second term and instead took up residence at UW-Stevens Point as its chancellor.

Blaise MacLean | November 11, 2016 at 8:39 am

Regarding the following:

Prof. Elizabeth Sanders, government, called the results of the election “stunning.”

“How could this happen?” she asked. “Clinton outspent him two to one, had a united party and abundant help from the president, first lady, vice president, her former opponent Bernie Sanders and scores of political and cultural celebrities, in addition to the best ground game money could buy.”

Isn’t this a bit of a Fox Butterworthism?