If you pay attention, you'll notice a pattern to the way that concepts are frequently expressed by Marxist ideologues such as Abigail Bakan, the new "Social Justice" Department Chair at University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
A supposed maxim will be forwarded based not on verifiable facts, but on opinions rooted in antiquated, Marxist axioms. Then, to "prove" it, few if any actual supporting facts will be offered. Instead you will hear quotations of the unsubstantiated opinions of people who share the same views as her.
For example, to prove that Israel is an "apartheid state" she may offer that Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter consider Israel is an "apartheid" state.
Forget for a moment Jimmy Carter having expressly said there is nothing resembling apartheid in Israel proper, or that Tutu holds weird, somewhat anti-Semitic views and his outlook on Israel is shaped by factors other than that nation's actual policies.
According to Ms Bakan's dysfunctional logical processes, one has to accept that that something means whatever Desmond Tutu says it means. But then, naturally, only on those occasions when Tutu's opinions align with those of Abigail Bakan and whatever the current Marxist zeitgeist allows.
If this resembles a description of the way conspiracy theorists look at everything, there's good reason for it. Abigail Bakan is a conspiracy theorist; one who makes a living promoting a fallacious, ridiculous,and malign version of global events.
In a speech she made at Lakehead University that was loaded with uniformed, paranoid assertions predicated on her own extremist ideological prejudices, she discussed, among other matters, the primary campaign of Jesse Jackson in the 1980's.
As an example of the power of the dreaded American capitalist elite, she offered that Jackson "ran for President in 1984 and 1988 and at that point his presidency (sic) was withdrawn on the grounds that the Democratic Party would likely split if they put forward a black American candidate. That the party itself couldn't tolerate that type of, just visible diversity. So racism interacts with capitalism..."
Anyone who was an adult while Jesse Jackson ran for the Democratic Party nomination will be aware of a very different reality than the one claimed by OISE's Social Justice Chair Bakan.
Jesse Jackson did well in early primaries and caucuses. But he was eventually defeated not by an elite who forced him out because of a racist conspiracy, but the rather straightforward fact that Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis eventually trounced Jackson in open, democratic primary voting and gained enough delegates to win his party's presidential nomination. Among the other candidates Dukakis defeated for the 1988 nomination were Al Gore and Joe Biden.
The fact that the Democrats hadn't named a presidential nominee who never held elected office, such as Jackson, since 1904 when Alton Parker was defeated by Teddy Roosevelt, may have escaped her attention. Or perhaps it's a result of an inability to process information that doesn't coincide with her conspiratorial obsessions.
Whatever the reason, university students, the bulk of whom were not even born when the father of George W. Bush defeated Dukakis for the presidency and whose knowledge of American history is minimal, could easily unquestioningly accept the twisted interpretation put forward by an authority figure like Bakan.
Imagine a generation of students being guided by Abigail Bakan, who is on the editorial board of a website called The Canadian Charger that routinely publishes demented 9-11conspiracy theories.
In Ms Bakan's deranged, conspiracy riddled outlook, the election of Barack Obama was the means by which the ruling capitalist elites planed to replace racism against African Americans with "Islamophobia." In Ms Bakan's mind, the magazine The Economist exists to provide a discourse by elites "maintaining and sustaining American and global imperialism."
Her lunatic assertions are too long to list, but you get the idea.
The world may be terrifying if one believes the idiocies fostered by Ms Bakan. But what should be even more terrifying is that the University of Toronto has given her a substantial platform to proselytize those idiocies as dogma to impressionable students.
‘Certainly,’ said Alice.
‘And only one for birthday presents, you know. There’s glory for you!’
‘I don’t know what you mean by “glory,”’ Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty Desmond Tutu smiled contemptuously. ‘Of course you don’t — till I tell you. I meant “there’s a nice knockdown argument for you!”’
‘But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument,”’ Alice objected.
‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean— neither more nor less.’
‘The question is,’ said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master - - that’s all.’
OISE is like something through the looking glass and down a rabbit hole.
I have not followed this very closely, although no doubt it is just as crazy in BC. My children are long grown but I have pre-school grandchildren.
These people are crazy, no other word for it. From their page, OISE is recognized around the world as a leader in initial and continuing teacher education and graduate programs in education. OISE is the largest and most research-intensive faculty of education in Canada, and one of the largest in North America. Guided by our commitment to equity and social justice, and mindful of our special responsibility to lead, we will enhance our impact as we continue to shape how the world thinks and goes about education.
Uh, right, sure...
OISE grads both teach and form curricula at school boards and Education Ministries throughout Canada.
And they get indoctrinated with this type of lunatic crap, which is why this appointment should be of public concern.
And let's not forget that other illustrious prof at OISE: Benjamin Levin, former Deputy Minister of Education in the Ontario government under then Education Minister Kathleen Wynne, both of whom oversaw the implementation of the sexually explicit, age-inappropriate sex-ed curriculum introduced into Ontario schools a couple of years ago.
This same Benjamin Levin was part of Kathleen Wynne's "transition team" and was recently charged with and arrested for seven counts of child exploitation including possessing images of children being sexually abused, arranging for sexual offences against a child, making child porn, and distributing it to others.
I'm beginning to wonder if OISE has the well-being of its students first and foremost or if it's some kind of cover for other, more nefarious, agendas.
I think the "wonder" stage is long gone.
Long gone is right. I was being utterly tongue-in-cheek-facetious. It's pretty clear that something wicked this way comes in the corridors of OISE.
I always found left wing conspiracy theorists to be the most entertaining. They hold two mutually exclusive beliefs: that government is evil and that the solution to all problems is more government. I'm surprised their heads don't explode like the androids in that Star Trek episode.
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