Campus-born 'social justice' creeping into society

Tuesday, December 3, 2019
 | 
Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

LGBTQ on campus

A professor at Portland State University is warning America that the social justice frenzy on college campuses is quickly spreading beyond the gates and into the real world.

Professor Peter Boghossian published a piece last week exposing how far-left leaning campus politics – regarding everything from LGBTQ activism to pushing the notion of "white privilege" – is penetrating American culture from the streets to the workplace to the entertainment industry to the mainstream media.

"You've almost certainly heard some of the following terms: cisgender, fat-shaming, heteronormativity, intersectionality, patriarchy, rape culture and whiteness," Boghossian wrote in an op-ed posted Nov. 24 by the Wall Street Journal. "The reason you've heard from them is that politically engaged academicians have been developing concepts like these for more than 30 years – and all that time, they've been percolating."

The floodgates of social justice have opened

Boghossian said today – more than ever – the social justice wave is deluging mainstream American life.

"Only recently have they begun to emerge in mainstream culture," Boghossian added. "These academicians accomplish this by passing off their ideas as knowledge; that is, as if these terms describe facts about the world and social reality. And while some of these ideas may contain bits of truth, they aren't scientific. By and large, they're the musings of ideologues."

This summer, Portland State University, where Boghossian teaches, attempted to silence his message because he warned America of the radical political philosophy college and university campuses are exporting into the real world.

"In July … Portland State University had sanctioned Boghossian for participation in an effort to dupe leftist academic journals," Breitbart News recounted. "Boghossian and a small team submitted radical hoax papers to various 'social justice' journals, [and] some of the papers – like one that focused on 'dog rape culture' – were accepted for publication."

He accused university faculty and administration of pushing their radical ideas on students and the outside world as if they were facts – or at least rooted in facts – even though they are pure conjecture.

"Boghossian made the case this week that 'social justice' academics are pushing their ideas into the mainstream through a process called 'idea laundering,'" Breitbart's Tim Ciccotta informed.

"'Idea laundering' – a concept coined by former Evergreen State College professor Bret Weinstein – is the process by which far-left academics propel their ideas into the zeitgeist. The process involves the conversion of an academic's moral beliefs into a form of 'knowledge' based on their subjective sense of morality."

Ciccotta described "idea laundering" in further detail.

"It's analogous to money laundering, [and] here's how it works: First, various academics have strong moral impulses about something – for example, they perceive negative attitudes about obesity in society, and they want to stop people from making the obese feel bad about their condition," he explained.

"In other words, they convince themselves that the clinical concept of obesity (a medical term) is merely a story we tell ourselves about fat (a descriptive term); it's not true or false – in this particular case, it's a story that exists within a social power dynamic that unjustly ascribes authority to medical knowledge."

Then, he continued, the far-fetched leftist notion evolves into academic fact.

"Second, academics who share these sentiments start a peer-reviewed periodical such as Fat Studies – an actual academic journal," he described. "They organize Fat Studies like every other academic journal, with a board of directors, a codified submission process, special editions with guest editors, a pool of credentialed 'experts' to vet submissions, and so on. The journal's founders, allies and collaborators then publish articles in Fat Studies and 'grow' their journal. Soon, other academics with similar beliefs submit papers, which are accepted or rejected. Ideas and moral impulses go in, knowledge comes out. Voilà!"

Criticizing/exposing the left not permitted

Late last year, Portland State University was livid that Boghossian exposed how just about any topic – no matter how absurd – can be published in a peer-reviewed academic journal and touted as scientific fact.

"Peter Boghossian made headlines in 2018 after he and two other researchers set out to prove a point about the integrity of 'peer-reviewed' academic publications by submitting several fake studies including an analysis of 'dog rape culture,' and a piece that was simply a section of Hitler's Mein Kampf reworked to include a smattering of academic buzzwords," Campus Reform reported in July.

School officials were so upset with Boghossian for exposing the lack of credibility of the university's academic journals that it took several measures to preclude him from humiliating the school any further.

"After his experiment, Portland State threatened Boghossian with disciplinary action, accusing him of conducting research misconduct," Campus Reform's Celine Ryan noted. "The school asserted that Boghossian had unethically conducted research on human subjects with his experiment."

They took all precautions – making sure Boghossian would never discredit the university again.

"According to the school's Institutional Review Board, Boghossian would have needed to obtain 'informed consent' from the individuals reviewing his hoax articles in order for his actions to have been considered ethical," Ryan added. "The IRB conducted several reviews of Boghossian's work involving his treatment of animal subjects, human subjects, and the possibility of 'plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification.'"

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