I'll Burn That Bridge When I Get To It!: Heretical Thoughts on Identity Politics, Cancel Culture, and Academic Freedom

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I'll Burn That Bridge When I Get To It!: Heretical Thoughts on Identity Politics, Cancel Culture, and Academic Freedom

I'll Burn That Bridge When I Get To It!: Heretical Thoughts on Identity Politics, Cancel Culture, and Academic Freedom

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The intelligent reader will not be tempted by such facile judgments but instead will engage with the book's substance, because it has important things to say. When it comes to curbing speech," Finkelstein says, "experience thus confirms the general rule in human affairs: humility is to be preferred over arrogance. Nor would I even try, because I couldn't possibly reproduce the distinctive Finkelsteinian humor—and most of this very long chapter consists of (factually grounded) ridicule, directed at nearly everyone in Obama's presidential coterie, a "revolting retinue of bootlickers. The chapter is tightly argued and has a more disciplined structure than others, consisting of analyses of four academic freedom cases (Bertrand Russell in 1940, Leo Koch in 1960, Angela Davis in 1969, and Steven Salaita in 2014) and then general reflections that conclude in a discussion of his own case. As Finkelstein translates, "if you want to rationally hug your certainty, you must first meet the challenge of every naysayer.

The fight against racism must focus…not on the intangible, impalpable, unchangeable, invisible, or unprovable, but, instead, on what's substantive, meaningful, and corrigible. As Finkelstein says, "When the 'hour of serious danger' to the status quo struck during Bernie Sanders' class-struggle insurgency, the 'true nature' of woke radicalism—not just its opportunism but, even more, its rancid, reactionary core—was exposed as each and all of these erstwhile 'radicals' enlisted under the banner to stop him. The book's kaleidoscopic nature and intimidating length might bewilder the reader, so in this review I propose to summarize and comment on several of its main arguments, to facilitate their diffusion. If you would like to learn more of these unusual idioms, take a look at Mixed Idioms on Twitter and tell us your favorites! It's only a matter of time before a student announces, 'I'm she/her and I'm packing a thick, juicy nine-incher.It's ironic that many self-styled anarchists advocate increasing the power of unaccountable bureaucrats to control what is said and what isn't. A connection that binds will be forged by you, united in the heat of battle facing a common enemy, each marching beside the other, each lifting the other, each protecting the other. It can at least be said for Finkelstein that he practices what he preaches: his book, to put it mildly, does not shrink from uncivil words. Aside from Obama himself, the most satisfying skewering, I found, was of Samantha Power, the "Battleaxe from Hell…downright evil…[whose] conscience only bestirs at the suffering of victims of official U. With I'll Burn That Bridge, he shows his willingness to burn bridges not only with the establishment but also with the "left" of today, for which he shows scarcely mitigated contempt.

Finkelstein seems to take particular pleasure in disemboweling this (as he says) non-scholar and non-activist, for his critique/massacre is a full 110 pages long and features withering juxtapositions with a titan, DuBois. The binary, balkanizing drawing of lines between groups and near-contempt for the "oppressing" group—white vs. It's not a "polished" work, but in an academic and literary environment that sometimes seems to value polish above all else, including moral and intellectual substance, one appreciates something a little more raw.Just consider how the woke mob reacted to the Sanders campaign, the most serious challenge to the establishment in more than a generation: they tried to "cancel" Sanders for his being a "privileged white male" with a supposed blind-spot on race. The Sanders program was far more substantively "anti-racist" than the puny liberal programs of most of his woke critics. But the analogy with Emanuel fails, because in fact one Rahm Emanuel is far too many whereas one Finkelstein is not nearly enough. facile judgments but instead will engage with the book's substance, because it has important things to say.

Whites," says DiAngelo, "control all major institutions of society and set the policies and practices that others must live by.The last chapter of I'll Burn That Bridge delves into a specific dimension of cancel culture: when is it appropriate for a professor to be disciplined for his public behavior and statements, whether on social media or in some other context? Meanwhile, her book White Fragility has sold almost a million copies and has had quite an influence on woke culture, helping to instill a collective fixation on—incidentally—the same idée fixe of Ta-Nehisi Coates (according to Cornel West): the almighty, unremovable nature of white supremacy. As Finkelstein says, Kendi embraces the woke conceit that, over four hundred years, "African-Americans haven't registered any progress in the struggle against racism.

In the malaphor we have chosen this week, there are two conventional idioms at play- “to burn one’s bridges” and “I’ll/we’ll cross that bridge when I/we get to it”. He went on in subsequent decades to subject Israel's apologists as well as Holocaust hucksters to withering scrutiny. His defense of a regime of nearly untrammeled free speech is rooted, first and foremost, in his conviction that this is the surest way to Truth. He endorses the American Association of University Professors' standard that "a faculty member's expression of opinion as a citizen cannot constitute grounds for dismissal unless it clearly demonstrates the faculty member's unfitness to serve [i. You're fallible, you're imperfect vessels… If you unite to change the system, then your psyches will fall into place.Whatever genuinely emancipatory political impulses exist in identity politics have long been, on the whole, coopted and buried under an avalanche of left-liberal virtue-signaling, preening and posing, careerism, and sabotage of a substantive left. One might object that he's painting with too broad a brush here, that advocacy of the interests of minorities and women can, depending on the context and the cause, indeed be an essential political program, but he wouldn't deny this. Every year we publish a selection of books and pamphlets that address the key issues facing activists and trade unionists. It proceeds from the fatuous, almost juvenile, conceit that fastening binary, wooden labels on the actors and ideas incident to Black history will shed light on it.

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