Paid at Last, Paid at Last, Thank God Almighty…

A trend in social justice emerged at some point in the heady last days of Obama, introducing the concept of “emotional labor” to social justice, in particular to black advocacy. Emotional labor is the effort one puts into social interaction, particularly regarding having to “fake” it; the smiling waitress, for instance, is laboring to an extent she wouldn’t be if she didn’t have to smile. The concept originated in 1983 as a class-based concern of progressives. That smiling waitress, domestic workers, immigrants in foreign lands were all enduring greater loads of emotional labor to get by.

As nobody labors more, emotionally, than blacks, I’m surprised it took this long for the idea to find its natural home as a civil rights hustle. But it’s here. Explaining racism to white people is exhausting, say black people making a living explaining racism to white people. Enduring racism is literally giving black people high blood pressure, says the New York Times. So it necessarily follows those angry protesters shutting down speeches and entire schools are being unfairly taxed in the fight for justice. They are not being compensated for their emotional labor. Yeah.

Here’s an impromptu lecture on the subject in a college square:

The dog must be one of those service pets for the emotionally fragile.

The professor above had collared some of her white colleagues who had managed to escape an impromptu inquisition going on inside–wherein the students who had shut down Evergreen State College were assailing faculty and administration. The white teachers were shirkers. She’s tired of her and the other women of color doing all the emotional labor. The logic is sound–if you accept that social justice seeks the common good. Why shouldn’t they be pitching in? That’s why the white cucks stand there and nod–to disagree would be to question the whole enterprise.

The professor complains of having to “sit there and fucking wax poetic for your benefit about shit”; she gets the game perfectly, if the gormless whites haven’t a clue. She’s a performer. She’s to be paid for her performance.

Meanwhile inside the same refrain:

Love’s Labor Cost

The tranny taking a stand in hotpants on behalf of Proud Black Women was leader of the protests and all but took over the school like a Vandal warlord for a couple of days. The media studies professor and diversity board member lambasting her colleagues was another principle in organizing the school takeover, all leveraged off of–what else?–an email sent by a dissenting professor questioning the latest social justice excess.

The professor hasn’t been back to school all year, fearing for her safety after online bullying. She won’t be getting any emotional reimbursement for her efforts now, but some financially, at least.
She’s leaving the school and settling her lawsuit (did I forget to mention the lawsuit? do I need to mention the lawsuit?):

Powers said the resignation was a condition of a settlement Lowe reached with the college. She will receive $240,000, which includes final wages and attorney fees, to settle her tort claim of discrimination and a hostile work environment, according to Powers.

Speaking of money, the school is reeling (no sympathy for its collective emotional labors) since the shutdown, having already impoverished programs to promote diversity (and of course conceding more money to it following the takeover), losing faculty and students.

Bret Weinstein, the progressive biology professor whose offending email made the black kids angry, as they say, and who’s no longer at the school as a result, tells the backstory to the shutdown:

In 2015, Evergreen hired a new president. Trained as a sociologist, George Bridges did two things upon arrival. First, he hired an old friend to talk one-on-one to members of our community — faculty, staff, and students. We talked about our values and our visions for the college. But the benefit of hindsight suggests that he was looking for something else. He was mapping us, assessing our differences, our blind spots, and the social tensions that ran beneath the surface. Second, Bridges fired the provost, Michael Zimmerman. The provost, usually synonymous with the vice president for academics, is the chief academic officer at an institution of higher education. Zimmerman would have disapproved of what Bridges had in mind and would have had some power to stop it. But he was replaced by a timid (though well-liked) insider who became a pawn due to his compromised interim status and his desire not to make waves. 

Having mapped the faculty and fired the provost, Bridges began reworking the college in earnest. Surprise announcements became the norm as opportunities for discussion dwindled.

We know Bridges as the bow-tied, submissive flak-catcher of the protests. That’s a very different fellow described above. I bet that describes a lot of these types.

The president took aim at what made Evergreen unique, such as full-time programs. He fattened the administration, creating expensive vice president positions at an unprecedented rate, while budgets tightened elsewhere due to drops in student enrollment and disappearing state dollars. He went after Evergreen’s unparalleled faculty autonomy, which was essential to the unique teaching done by the best professors. 

All of this should have been alarming to a faculty in which professors have traditionally viewed administrative interference in academic matters with great suspicion. But Bridges was strategic and forged an alliance with factions known to be obsessed with race. He draped the “equity” banner around everything he did. Advocating that Evergreen embrace itself as a “College of Social Justice,” he argued that faculty autonomy unjustly puts the focus on teachers rather than students, and that the new VP for Equity and Inclusion would help us serve our underserved populations. 

But no discussion was allowed of students who did not meet the narrow criteria of being “underserved.” Because of the wrapping, concerns about policy changes were dismissed as “anti-equity.” What was in the nicely wrapped box turned out to be something else entirely.

The civil rights movement is now pure plunder–ironic that this is one of Ta Nehisi Coates’ favorite words. The fury of protesters, the pettiness of their complaints, these are measures of a sort of how deep into the nation’s ruin they are. They’ll have to work harder and harder to extract less and less from the American legacy, with more and more identities elbowing up to the trough.

Ever more creative monetization schemes will be required for emotional labor and other degradations.

Should be an interesting time ahead.

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